transformation

Love, Loss and Rising Up: The "Fierce Fragility" of Michelle Bitting

In this week's new episode, Susan talks to Michelle Bitting - a poet with a mission! Together they discuss poetry, process, the crisis our culture is in, and from whence her art comes and how it gets on the page.


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Michelle Bitting

A fourth generation Angeleno, Michelle grew up in Los Angeles near the ocean. She studied theatre, wrote poems, danced, played music as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley and went on to study Meisner acting and perform as a modern dancer, including a two year workshop and filming stint with Twyla Tharp for the James L. Brooks movie, I'll Do Anything. Formerly a line cook, chef, outreach worker and pre-school assistant, in 2001, she returned to creative writing and since then has taught poetry in the U.C.L.A. Extension Writer’s Program, led master classes and lectures at universities, high schools, and literary centers across California and beyond, including dozens of hours at Twin Towers prison, DTLA, and for ten years has been an active California Poet in the Schools, reaching over 500 student poets per year. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University, Oregon, an MA in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology, and in the summer of 2018, completed a PhD in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Michelle is the Poet Laureate of Pacific Palisades and has won multiple grants from the Optimists Club and Poets & Writers Magazine for her teaching work in Los Angeles. A mother of two, she is married to the actor, Phil Abrams.

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Visit Michelle’s website for more information!

Gathering Wisdom, Living in Wonder and Learning through Transformation: Cultivating a Contemplative Life with Mirabai Starr

Susan talks with author, poet and grief counselor Mirabai Starr, who uses poetic and passionate language to make the timeless wisdom of the mystics accessible to us in our modern day life.

Together they discuss inter-spirituality, the gathering of wisdom, the transformation of loss and more!


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Mirabai Starr

Mirabai Starr writes creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. She has received critical acclaim for her revolutionary new translations of the mystics, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich. She is the award-winning author of God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and IslamCaravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation, and Mother of God Similar to Fire, a collaboration with iconographer, William Hart McNichols.  Her latest book, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, is forthcoming Spring 2019. She lives with her extended family in the mountains of northern New Mexico.

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Visit Mirabai’s website for more information,

or connect with her on

Facebook, Instagram, or on Twitter @MirabaiStarr!

Check out her latest book: Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics here!

Find Your Own Story: Dr. Claudia Luiz on the New Psychoanalysis

Susan talks with psychoanalyst Dr. Claudia Luiz about finding our own stories through therapy. She believes the core and effectiveness of the therapeutic process is delving into the unconscious - to uncover it, explore it, and make it less intimidating and mysterious. “Listen for what is still unsaid,” she tells us, as a way to connect with those thoughts and feelings that drive us. Join her and Susan as they talk about using psychoanalysis to go on an emotional journey to find ourselves and our own stories. 


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Dr. Claudia Luiz

Dr. Claudia Sheftel-Luiz, Ed.M, Harvard University (1982), PsyaD, Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis (1997) has been in private practice and serving as a consultant to profit and non-profit corporations for over 35 years.  A frequent contributor to news and radio shows, Dr. Luiz is the first-place winner of the 2006 Phyllis W. Meadow Award for Excellence in Psychoanalytic Writing (published in Modern Psychoanalysis) and first place winner of the 2008 Reader's Digest Best Writer's Website Award.  

Dr. Luiz’s latest book is an introductory textbook in psychoanalysis, written as a set of stories about treatment, called: "The Making of a Psychoanalyst: Studies in Emotional Education" (2018 Routledge Press.)   

New Books in Psychoanalysis called the book “a tour de-force poised to create a shift in the cultural consciousness” and the Journal of Modern Psychoanalysis called it “arguably the best lay book written about Modern Psychoanalysis.”

Dr. Luiz is on the faculty of the Academy for Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis in New Jersey, and lives in Tarrytown, NY with her husband John Luiz, a writer, with whom she shares two college-age daughters. 

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Dr. Claudia Luiz can be reached at cluiz@post.harvard.edu.

Visit her website or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn!


Practical Spirituality with Urban Priestess Barbara Biziou

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2018 has officially drawn to a close and we are welcoming and embracing 2019 with Barbara Biziou, a modern day “urban priestess.” In this insightful episode, she discusses powerful rituals, setting intentions, gathering tools, and opening our hearts as we go through our endings and beginnings. 


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Barbara Biziou

Barbara Biziou is a former television and fashion executive who left her corporate career nearly 20 years ago, when she realized her larger calling was to enrich others with the intelligence she amassed from her global travels and deep, meaningful work with gurus and spiritual masters. Something of an “urban priestess,” her practice as a transfomational catalyst, leader, and spiritual life coach motivates clients to live to their fullest potential and drives seismic makeovers, inside and out.

The two-time author (The Joy of Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals) has synthesized the perfect mix of ancient modalities and neuropsychology with a contemporary point of view. “I call my work ritual fusion,” explains Biziou, whose offerings include immersive workshops, one-on-one guidance, custom rituals (weddings, fertility, finding love, healing, space clearings, theater blessings and prosperity & success), and corporate consulting, where she brings meditation, spirituality, communication exercises and emotional intelligence to offices around the world.

Barbara’s client roster includes the International Red Cross, Coca-Cola, Equinox Gym, Morgan Stanley, Lord & Taylor, Daryl Roth Productions, Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and Weight Watchers. She has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Oprah.com. She has also appeared on television shows on CBS, NBC, FX and the Hallmark Channel.

Her personal spiritual practice and studies began over 30 years ago with Native American elders, who taught her traditions that transcend time. From India, Bali and Hawaii to South America, the Celtic lands of Northern Europe and more, Barbara Biziou has woven together a mélange of belief systems and techniques with a personal touch that gives others the tools to bring their desires to life.

Barbara Biziou lives in New York City and works around the world.

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Find our more about Barbara and her work on her website!

Falling Back In Love With Living: A Conversation With Katie McKenna About Life After Traumatic Injury

We’ve all used or heard the phrase “I feel like I was run over by a mack truck” ~ said mostly in response to life’s little to medium bumps in the road. Ten years ago Katie McKenna was literally run over by an 18 wheel truck. She lived to tell the tale and wrote a “brave and funny memoir” about it ~ How To Get Run Over By A Truck. The accident not only changed her life. It transformed her life. From Old Katie to New Katie ~ it marked the beginning of her journey to fall back in love with living. “Trauma can define you or redefine you,” Katie says. “My spirit is strong and continuing to grow.”


Meet This Episode's Guest

 

Katie McKenna

 

Katie McKenna is a professional fund-raiser, life coach, writer and motivational speaker living in Brooklyn. She has given talks at high schools, universities, hospitals, medical schools and corporations across the country. She runs a blog called Small Bites and Little Victories and is an expert on the best date spots in New York City. How to Get Run Over by a Truck is her first book.

 

Find out more about Katie on her website!

Order a copy of Katie's book: How to Get Run Over by a Truck here!

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Everything is Deeply OK: Midlife Awakening! with Jett Psaris

Before she wrote her book, Taking the Midlife Leap, Jett Psaris went through her own midlife awakening, where she experienced the depression of her soul’s withdrawing of its energies from the aims and appetites of first adult life. Fifteen years later, after a conscious investigation of her own and her clients’ midlife journeys, she has an understanding of the universal patterns inherent in this crucial transformation. She acknowledges it can be a scary passage, grappling with the profound question - “A part of us has to die to transform and a part of us dies if we don’t. Which part will prevail - what has been or what will be?” Midlife presents us with the paradox of the chrysalis ~ to the caterpillar it is a death chamber ~  to the butterfly it is a birth chamber. In a culture that favors youth and youthful pursuits we are not encouraged to be accepting of death, to embrace slowing down, to sink into silence, to be in solitude. Yet midlife awakening, aka The Midlife Leap, asks us to do just that ~ to enter ‘the hermit stage’ ~  to withdraw a bit, to detach, to retreat from the more superficial, noisier part of life. “The journey becomes one of mystery, not mastery” - a discovery that “Everything is deeply ok.” This is the spiritual awakening available to us in midlife.


Meet This Episode's Guest

Photo courtesy of www.jettpsaris.com

Photo courtesy of www.jettpsaris.com

Find out more from Jett's website

or follow her on Facebook

Jett Psaris

Jett Psaris’ work is about helping others transform psychologically, deepen spiritually, and cultivate soulfulness in every aspect of life.

She is the co-author of Undefended Love, a Nautilus Award finalist for its “distinguished contribution to conscious living and positive change;” Undefended Love has enjoyed a 5 star rating on Amazon.com for most of the past 17 years.

She has also authored a popular online course about the transformative stages of midlife entitled Taking the Midlife Leap, One Step at a Time. Most recently, Jett has published Hidden Blessings: Midlife Crisis as a Spiritual Awakening, a book that Patricia Holt, former book critic with the San Francisco Chronicle, writes is the “best book on midlife” she’s ever reviewed.