Higher Vibrations in Higher Education

Samantha M Harden, PhD

Interviews, meditations, and musings to promote flourishing at work and in life, through the application, practice, and embodiment of yoga principles. We can, together, create higher vibrations in higher education (#HVHE). Dr. Samantha Harden is a 500+hour registered yoga teacher and associate professor of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise at Virginia Tech. She brings you this work as part of her Extension outreach and expertise in Dissemination and Implementation Science. Follow on Instagram @sincerelysamma read less
EducationEducation

Episodes

Redefining Academic Success: Reflections from sabbatical with Dr. Heather Leach
Yesterday
Redefining Academic Success: Reflections from sabbatical with Dr. Heather Leach
In reflecting on her stellar career thus far, Dr. Heather Leach brings a lightness to the journey. She recounts how she started her education but was “there for the soccer”… finding the degree came separately. Unsurprisingly, to me, she found Health and Exercise Science. Through an internship at NASA she learned what the research was… then came a MS and PhD and Postdoc and when we talked, she was in the last few weeks of her sabbatical (academic rest). We laugh and reflect on the journey, trying to lay out some “cheat codes” for you to find joy in your academic pursuits. A lot of it comes down to this: find your passion; dial up what you love, dial down what you don’t love; take sacred rest whenever you can. My favorite share... "What are you going to do with your PhD?... Whatever the hell I want." Other key takeaways include: Find your passion and maybe you can “back fill” what job or degreeExercise as treatment to chronic diseaseYou can hold on to the fun of learning when you constantly curiousSeek all the information you can: find the right fit for your expertise and daily desiresBeware of our own self-imposed goalsIf you work all weekend or all break, there’s still more to do, where do you press pause, where do you stopAlong the way you might find the epiphany, “I know what I should do to play the game, but I struggle, it doesn’t excite me. If I got the grant if the reviewers say high impact but I don’t think we should do the study. Can I do rigorous science and follow the rules but do the work I think will actually make a difference to the field and the people we are doing these studies for?”Slow down: Dr. Leach wishes she had had a 5 year plan with step by step foresightIf you have the privilege of sabbatical: TAKE it…figure it out, stay cation: Do not decline yourself the resetYou can make this whatever you want it to be (the pursuit, what you do with it, how you apply, who you serve) …. Don’t want for a dept head or mentor to tell you thatYou can have a restful, peaceful, and filled with adventure, by designDon’t forget the interests you had before, they don’t have to be hiddenFlourishing is firing on all cylinders: Let’s get it!Redefining what success is, it’s not the same motivator that got us to tenure
You are not overly sensitive or selfish, you are fully worthy with Miriam Verheyden
Feb 15 2024
You are not overly sensitive or selfish, you are fully worthy with Miriam Verheyden
When people are told that they are overly sensitive or thinking too much—instead of lauding gifts of insight and protection—they feel isolated and alone, and start to wonder, “Is there something wrong with me?” This was the genesis of Miriam Verheyden’s experience with her own self-doubt, intrusive thoughts and… eventual understanding of depression, alcohol misuse, and PMDD. PMDD is premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is distinctly different from PMS and is more closely related to hormone imbalances that lead to sever psychological symptoms (like depression, anger) as well as skin, gastrointestinal symptoms, fluid retention to name a few. At the cross-section of being on her 40s, being almost 2 years sober, and having multiple incredible published books out—Miriam brings a voice to women navigating shame and resilience. I almost audibly gasp when she says she doesn't take being called "selfish" as an insult: We are responsible for ourselves, we have to be selfish. Other key takeaways include: All feelings are valid, observe with compassion, feelings don’t define you. In savasana or otherwiseIf you don’t want to talk to someone, start writing- it’s liberating and often not as bad as you think it is. Reach outside of yourself.How do you let go of what you’ve written? Once it’s out it’s not yours anymore- write and releaseJourney we are on to become our best selves while navigating everything happening in the world is messy, not polished, just like a “snapshot” within a memoirIn sobriety, everything is turned up (brighter, louder, flooding emotions)Hiding your “not good sides” is more painful than outing them, shame is such a heavy feeling to carry.Warm ball inside of me, warming me—everything that happened and I’ve been through is okHide = this is terrible. Out it = better outside perspective. Not that badRaised with conditional love = get love when you do what your caregivers and teachers approve/ likeDon’t should all over yourself: do more, try harder to maintain friendships, become a person you are proud of – without being in hustle culture of always improving—but be somebody you can look in the eye and say you know what, I did the best I could. I'm trying to be kind and helpful, and if others don’t understand or approve, it has nothing to do with meUnlearn decades of conditioning… of being pleasing… to the eye, the way we behave.Rebellious I’m not playing this game anymoreFind sisterhood: See women as friends and supportersPeople’s opinions, or critiques: It ceases to matter. It stings. But it doesn’t really matterSomeone bothering you: You have the right to not respondRefuse to see “selfish” as an insult because it’s nobody else’s responsibilityCutting out drinking is a huge time saverI can be alone with thoughts and feel at peace; Wake up before the alarmWhat we women have to learn is to not be so hard on ourselves, we don’t have to do anything; we are worthy on days when we literally don’t do anything. If there’s a day you have to stay in bed, that’s ok. The myth that we always have to be better—just take it easy more kindness and grace More at: https://miriamverheyden.com/ Specifically, the book that started Everything is Broken and Completely Fine
Freefalling with the universe one sentence, job change, and breath at a time with Dr. Natalya Androsova
Feb 6 2024
Freefalling with the universe one sentence, job change, and breath at a time with Dr. Natalya Androsova
Dr. Natalaya Androsova, a writing and dissertation coach, studied linguistics & the communication and cultural aspects of language for her PhD. When I recorded this episode with Dr. Androsova, I felt so seen, safe, and held by her energy and trust with the universe. What I left knowing was that my inner writing critic isn't about my prose: It’s about my inability to prioritize time. Each of us might be “cobblers without shoes” as we pour our heart and soul onto the page, but are not yet published or not published in the way we hope. We talk about our own personal practices, remind you that you are never alone, and encourage you to remember that someone else might benefit from your words. Keep writing, keep sharing, build your trust in yourself, and as Natalya shares, you can borrow her trust in the meantime.   Other key takeaways: Meditation can change relationship to writing and to SelfBe an apprentice of language- be open to what it has to teach and show todayWe need to chisel away at the heaviness or writing. The heaviness we’ve put on ourselves and our writing; When she works with a client, she sees a person in front of her…she sees the whole, creative, brilliant, person, she doesn’t see “lack.”She had to give up what she loves or find a new way (find a way) … then wrote 3 books in 3 years via 30-45 minTrust life fullySay yes to where life invites me if it aligns with my values; no more serving fearMagic of 7 min writing meditation (more than 5 superficial and not overwhelming) from working with 100s of peopleWriting is the meaning; freedom. "You come to the mat, I come to the page."Safety, security, money, prestige—are all just external noiseWhen we believe life is my best friend, has my  back, is my secretary—magical synchronicity happenLess we try to manage, the more successful life isThis document isn't a representation of your worthPut down the need to change system, to surrender, it’s not about other people, is there a seeming conflict or miscommunication- the key is to look inside. What am I making this mean? Find joy within any circumstanceHow important relationship with self: self reflection, self reliance, self compassion, self kindness, self forgiveness, self acceptance, self advocacy and self talkRare to be “not” flourishing because such a relationship with selfIf you don’t need your books to be sold; you can be disciple of what you love; then writers and readers can be freeExpertise of others is distracting; show up as yourselfEveryone takes a journey from self doubt to self trust.. if you need to borrow my faith and trust, you can… you are not alone, there’s help and you have the strength and resources to trust yourself and be kind to yourself and writing More at: https://www.writingdissertationcoach.com/   https://www.instagram.com/natalya_androsova_/
How to use faith to not live a fragmented life with Tamra Andress
Feb 1 2024
How to use faith to not live a fragmented life with Tamra Andress
When I wanted to speak with someone about how to weave more faith and spirituality into my work as an academic Tamra Andress launched into my mind. Tamra is a best-selling author, spiritual entrepreneur, coach, podcaster, and ordained minister. She also happens to be someone I’ve known since 9th grade. When I stepped away from social media, she was stepping in and up with a colorful platform that “sells words” related to “obliterate(ing) shame and activat(ing) purpose” and putting faith at the forefront of entrepreneurial endeavors. We keep it pretty faith agnostic— so that you can see how spirituality can be an element within any given moment. Her book, Always Becoming, is on bookshelves everywhere. Tune in at F.i.T. in Faith podcast.   And her website: https://tamraandress.com/   Highlights include: I can be all of myself, in all places. Here you are the body as an athlete; here as the mind because you are an academic …musician, actor, mom, wife… faith is an element that shows up in every single one. Show up as who you are in every given moment.Living a bountiful life means not living a fragmented life…. Fragmentation will leave you disillusioned. “Disillusion will leave you lifeless and breathless.”There is something to aging out of other people’s perceptions…Society, media, friends and family and social network encourage one version of me.At a quarter life (or mid-life) crisis, someone might feel “wildly void”; that you have lost your voice not knowing what we’re passionate about, checking boxes of being busy.Power in intentionality; busyness not so much. I tap into my mind body and spirit. And I choose to be here. In that choice, there is fulfillment.When your passion becomes more of your pursuit than the prioritization of look or feel or accomplishment, you start to flourish. Passion can be hard… but favor follows frictionCan spirit be in the medical field as much as the church?If you’re in the unpacking journey, just start somewhere.Construct a life creativity. (check out Artisan Soul).Let it go- keep falling, fall away from safety zone.Don’t “wait for tenure” or “wait for retirement”—what does that even mean?Sometimes people get removed when you evolve in mind body spirit entity, you might ask, “will someone evolve with me?” 7 year itch, biochemically, you have changed. Continue dating while married. Don’t ever stop getting to know someone as they grow. Science and faith go hand in hand, but make a space where they don’t feel threatened? Academia blended with spirituality, releasing control…but those in academia want control.Spirituality is not a separate entity of self.Help other people develop passions from pains.Curate message from past and what you imaging future to be to serve others.Essence of a messenger—once you excavate- newness that is your human experience, divine revelation, learn yourself, research yourself and become more who you are supposed to be.I will vocalize my essence- be free in one given moment and not a destination unknown.Not in a religion you are in a relationship…An energetic exchange…Energy is something familiar scientifically.   Check out: Book: Artisan Soul Mode: Ikigai Finding Meaning in Work and Life
Getting a PhD is an emotional experience with Dave Pena and Elizabeth Berry
Dec 18 2023
Getting a PhD is an emotional experience with Dave Pena and Elizabeth Berry
On this episode, I interview Drs. Dave Pena and Elizabeth Berry. Elizabeth posted on Instagram about pursuing a PhD being anxiety provoking. She wondered: Where are the expectations coming from and why do we (as people) perpetuate it? It’s seen as a rite of passage. Is that reason enough? She thinks, wait my boss and committee members went through this too, and her “brain goes to would I ask these in a different way? Treat myself like they’re treating me?” What happens from the time you’re a PhD student to an assistant professor. We jump right in to dialogue and Dave shares some of his experiences and the conflict between what you want (to gain skills and get out) and what your mentor wants.   What we know from research in Occupational Safety and Health is that leadership, specifically, middle management is an indicator of the environment. Which, sometimes can be toxic. Toxic to the point of illegal (some stories Dave shared offline). While all of us had different experiences, we had similar pain points of “not knowing" what we can or should do (or what a healthy level of expectation might be). Dave suggests a committee (like IACUC and IRB for grad students!). Elizabeth and I agree wholeheartedly and our conversation continues.   We wrap with the challenges of deciding to stay or leave a lab. You have to choose your right kind of hard: What suits your personality, resources, abilities. Other take aways include: If you are a mentor or mentee: Check on prior and current performance, attitude, past data … are they changing? What’s going on? Can something change for the better?Through more communication and discussion, we need to change the discourse about mental health decline during grad schoolWe model based on what we’ve seen… just like we don’t know how to be students, we don’t know how to be leaders. There remains generational trauma – to break this cycle it takes people who are more awake and more in tuned with different parts of being a scholar and humansWhen people are mis-mentored, or not mentored at all, they don’t know what to do because they were never taught (you are often so deep in your content, so you don’t have time for business and pedagogy classes)We need more holistic educationWe’re not all having the same experience, even in the same lab, but we still experience similar pain points.*Bonus content of how I found yoga Handles: Elizabeth: @nature.neuroscience.phd Dave: @doctor_pena and his start up: stremecoder.com and pluri.design
Samma Says: Some thoughts about academic service
Nov 27 2023
Samma Says: Some thoughts about academic service
We are not doing this academic work for anything except to be of service. Of service to the greater good, to our communities that we hope to empower, to provide answers to really tough questions. We are doing this to be vessels of service. We need to remember why we are doing what we’re doing. It’s hard to do that when something is absconded with or taken out of context, like service. On this episode, I talk a little bit of trash about service within academia. We’re expected to be of service to keep the system running and rolling. Asked to serve dept, college, university, our topic-area societies/organizations and greater scientific community with the gift of our time. Time is our most precious commodity.  But then we’re asked to review peer review journal articles, conference abstracts, presentations, webinars, guest lectures, ccommittee service...To do this and to do that—all for free. And at the end of the week, we sit back and think, "I didn’t actually even move the needle on the things that I’m paid to do.” Why do we continue to agree to this and work 60, 80 hour weeks because we’re spending so much time serving the greater good that we’re not serving our labs, students, selves, and families, because we’re doing all this service to be an "internationally recognized whatever." It’s because I was tricked by the word “service.” I want to be of service.I believe in putting in my time, energy and efforts—and it’s not altruistically necessary: It’s all to feed and fuel that we matter, that our opinion mattered along the way I used to get a little excited when people would invite me because it meant that my opinion matters. We have to know that our opinion and our work matters and how to appropriately compensate.   Need to make this idea make it to the ears and hearts of administrators, of people who can rethink the infrastructure and think hey, maybe we should be compensated and level of peer review can be graded or valued, instead of getting shitty feedback that took 20 min or less and doesn’t advance the science Money is energy. Money is an energetic exchange of your efforts. Yoga principles for flourishing in academia and beyond, I’m recognizing that part of my lethargy, overwhelm, burn out is root chakra imbalance is based on how much time I spend in service to the “suits”—the people making money off of the business of education.   I invite us to advocate for any opportunities to be compensated for your previous time. Your time, efforts, expertise are so appreciated, thank you for being part of this system and cycle of positivity and overwork or overwhelm.
How to be in the skin you are in with Terri Miller
Nov 13 2023
How to be in the skin you are in with Terri Miller
Trigger warning: In this episode, Terri and I complete our conversation from the previous episode (How to take up space) and the dance that people have to engage in: Between dressing, presenting, and acting how we want and the repercussions of it. We talk about what people might think or say...and don't directly address what people might do, but we address that living out loud or the nuance of "living in the skin you're in" is challenging. We talk about how being sensual and dressing up does not equate to sexual, and there's a right use of energy for each of us to explore in our own ethics and parameters. But: When we try to hide ourselves, we're not helping to take up space. Other comments include: -Practice- exposure therapy- of just doing it—showing up as yourself. - When you live out loud there’s a possibility that people will say or do something...You can't tell people that they can’t say something. -If you are living out loud, you have to figure out how you’re going to navigate it. - Baffling that we can’t see ourselves how others have seen us - There's a spectrum of low self esteem to egoic—where on the spectrum am I? I acknowledge the ways in which I was pretending in past. - Based on our experiences (pain, shame, trauma), some of us have expanded and contracted - Most people living life in a more feminine way have had those experiences where it’s not safe to live out loud - What I put out and how it’s received are two different things - I don’t want to be chosen anymore—as women we dress up to get attention—we are doing it for us. - How do I do this, lipstick, be confident, be cute, and there’s a possibility that someone is going to say something. I can’t control it. - We chameleon to fit, mold.. belong but I don’t even know how I like my own eggs (Julia Robert’s character on Runaway Bride-- not knowing yourself) - Being chosen v doing the choosing - Personal transformation of a divorce- taking all the layers of taking it off, chosen different, I don’t want to be chosen anymore, when I wear the lipstick or the outfit, I’m choosing -Practice loving yourself, choosing yourself, being your best friend. Giving yourself grace when you don’t have enough water, food, or a best friend to hype you up. - Trying to keep up, trying to be cute. To be chosen. To keep up. It’s never enough. - Continuously treading water. Even when nobody says you’re not enough… -More grounded and confident and sexier and whatever today than when we’re jumping around trying to get chosen - I’m not here for your eyes, approval, permission—being sensual isn’t being sexual. Explore your own ethics, morals, practices. It’s complicated. - They might think that I was looking for attention. Maybe they did maybe they didn’t - When you're on autopilot, sometimes you forget to look at yourself in the mirror and say something nice. Give it a try! - My new wish is to help someone get there before 37. Wisdom, confidence, age.. throwing stone to someone behind us.. love yourself, be your own best friend - Accountability partners are important-- for when you can't see you the way someone who loves you does. If you've lost touch with a friend, you can always reach back out
How to take up space with Terri Miller
Nov 7 2023
How to take up space with Terri Miller
Terri Miller brings her expertise in education to create plain language to disseminate science and policy to a very broad audience via the Federal Trade Commission. She provides us with strategies to cultivate grace for ourselves, and to give us time and space for learning, growing, and sharing. Terri and I talk about science, and life, and distraction and presence all at once and how we find friends to be mirrors on our work-life journeys (hint: it's just life). Terri shares that she is not a yoga practitioner or scientist by trade but that this podcast and the samma says reminders help her get energy out and remember to breathe-- helping to show that this podcast is for all: In and out of the academy- those who love or are less familiar with yoga principles. Other mental chatter-stopping takeaways are: Is it ever enough? It’s not, so on this moment I will take a breath and just be to try to find the balance of being a professional, a high performer and being able to stop in the middle of that and just breathe“What works” for wellness is found by “trail and error on what works for you: Right now a tool is to live in all the spaces of your house- take up this space that I’ve purchased. Using all the space—shake up the monotony of “this is what I do”How do you unlearn or learn that other people’s opinions about me (appearance, activities) doesn’t define you? It starts with “confidence at home… is in the everyday things… and conversations.”You don’t need “their” permission. Not everyone has to like you… who you are and what you bring to the table and what your values are (is never based on someone else's opinion).Talking to ourselves the way our best friend would speak to us… how do we become one of our own best friends…Maybe that’s the cheat code to be our own best friend and boost each other (to speak more kindly to ourselves in our own minds)You think these things in your head… but when you do it in practice, it’s a moment to walk into a room not caring what other people think. I am going to take up all the space. I don’t need permission.Give interns or student staff a seat at the table so they can understand context. Either at big meetings or when not appropriate, one on one… Have empathy, creating space…giving pieces that they need to tie it together… carve out the time to have those conversations. Being intentional about their time with you. There are things they want to get out of the time with you and a lot of that doesn’t happen without intentionThe practice of …being in the seat of a learner and having a curiosity about things ideally would help you to remember that you have not always known the things that you know…and that you don’t know everything“One thing that has been so helpful during this “intimidating work, imposter syndrome, am I enough, there’s not enough hours in the day, is this the right fit… did I make a bad career choice/decision.” Is to run into the fire and set up 1:1 with your boss. Creates the opportunity to show what you’re bringing to the table and to get feedbackFlourishing is when I have carved out space for people who are important to meHow important it is to not should on yourself. When you’ve given what you have to give, leave some grace for yourself. And in that moment you carved for yourself, don’t “should.” Find Terri on Linked In at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/terri-miller1/
How to recalibrate within your one precious life with Dr. Jessica Matthews
Nov 2 2023
How to recalibrate within your one precious life with Dr. Jessica Matthews
Jess Matthews Dr. Jessica Matthews is here to “surprise and delight” us with her authenticity and reminders as she weaves life lessons, including some from yoga principles such as the yamas and niyamas and a near-death experience, into everyday life. My biggest take away from the conversation was how to show up as yourself, in all spaces. Who you are in the classroom, on the street, or on a podcast could be the same person. And, the less time we spend pretending, the more time we can spend toward our true north, which is creating spaces for students to learn and grow. We wrap with the reminder that you only have one life: so there is no “work/life” balance—it’s just a balance. Other highlights include: An ongoing subject worth discussing: whether you want to be called by your “Dr” title or notHaving great relationships is one facet of a greater whole, great relationships are rooted in compassion. When we see others who are struggling, who don’t show up in their best way… we meet them with genuine compassion. We have no idea what they are navigating in their life.I can only control my inner world: my own thoughts, response, and in turn actionsYamas and niyamas are guiding principles for how we interface with the worldThe importance of us to have honest dialogue about actual things that happen- staya. Speak truthfully in a nonviolent way (ahimsa). Kind candor.Genuine curiosity about an exchange, the players involved… no stereotypes or generalizations. Broach certain subjects with kind candor in mind.  Nutshell version of “what is life.” Just being a human is a very intricate journey and so is my professional one… they are intertwined… because I’m a person who shows up in all these placesRoot issues are not attended to… prevention chronic disease and the very things that prevent them can also effectively treat them.I know so much about the human body… people “know” they should mitigate stress but they don’t do those things… so I went and got immersed in behavioral scienceConcerned about the revenue generating nature of yoga teacher trainings (YTT): about the amount of money and then who would have access to those training; so she built a YTT at community college. Accessible, cost effective, and the quality is high.I work with real, whole people(People) operate from the place they know… they give you options, A or B… a natural evolution for an educator. … we can’t be told what’s possible by people who don’t know what’s possible.Positive psychology has a lot of misinterpretation… it is not saying that we discount the totality of the human experience—there is inherent suffering—life will have not bright spots… shift away from toxic positivity… but to shift in mentality to look for a moment to look at what is going right?I’m an optimist and a realist… the optimist in me sees more value given… to wear all the hats (academy, industry, clinical) stay on same mission that we’re here to serve the students. Same shared page is recognizing that there is value in having diverse experiences. Our true north, our shared mission is the studentsShe developed a coaching conference with the ideas that: Speakers compensated; price should be something that is accessible; and you know what also, it could serve the greater good. So she engineer a lot of things.(A healthy lifestyle) is a practice, not a perfect, continual recalibration always… seasons of life and professional journey turning up and down dials“Values are front and center; health and wellbeing, relationships; … I don’t stray. They are very solid and firm. How much I’m in them (may shift)”Yoga and mindfulness practices apply in life. What we do on the mat is such a small sliver of living mindfully.Busyness is not a badge of honor—around 46 minStretch opportunity- challenge me but that’s actually supportive of change. The right amount of discomfort, not a huge change… just a right amount of stretch to move the wheels in the direction you want to go. What works for one person (or what I assume about someone), we don’t know all the intricacies of people. Unique motivators; what are you called to do in your life.Life is exactly what it is: not permanent, not guaranteed. If this was my last day to roam on earth, what would I be doing? Operating principles (even before near death experience).“Waking up with joy to live fully (oh you’re energetic and upbeat) nope, I’m human… there have been some things that are… difficult. If I wake up every day and ask how can I be of service among the challenges – among the dark spots. The darkest of dark isn’t fully dark. Flourishing is the opportunity to live this day to its fullest.”Emotional wellbeing says have an array of emotions… but in those difficult times, what can I be grateful for. Perspective is at the heart of flourishing, at the heart of wellbeing… to live “the good life.”We all hear “work life balance” you have one life… I don’t know how else to say it. You have one. Multifaceted nature… but one life and opportunity to discern how do we really find meaning in our own life, so we can flourish… live it as fully as we can for the amount of time we get the privilege of living. Recognize your one life—professionally personally.Constant pretending is what’s bothering so many faculty and staff. Pretending to be the good whatever. Instead find the effortlessness of being you. More at: https://drjessmatthews.com/
How to Live to 100: Lessons from the Blue Zones with the Blue Zones Project Shannon Wohlford and Dr. Allen Weiss
Oct 27 2023
How to Live to 100: Lessons from the Blue Zones with the Blue Zones Project Shannon Wohlford and Dr. Allen Weiss
Blue Zones Project® is a community-wide well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier. The program is based on principles identified during an ongoing twenty-year worldwide longevity study commissioned by National Geographic, and detailed in the New York Times best-seller, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, and The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner. I interview Shannon Wohlford and Dr. Allen Weiss in their roles as marketing manager and being the Chief Medical Officer, respectively.  Through this discourse we also touch on: -Can we create a model and transform communities and create a healthier way of living? We do this through a  Life Radius Approach: We do our work through people, places, and policy. - Busyness of life—we have to look inward and ask, “what is important to us at the end of the day?” What is important for me and my own personal wellbeing and stand up for what we want out of our life. If we want a long, happy life—that’s a turning point for people who are curious about Blue Zones.  -Faith, family and friends...In the Blue Zones (people believe in) a higher power that brought them a sense of hope. Centenarians (100+ years of age) are prioritizing relationships. - You can live a longer, healthier, happier life...Little by little we can make these changes...Orthodox medical community is (finally) realizing prevention saves money. - Medical school needs to be about emotional interaction not just anatomy and physiology. - Ultimately, we have a whole healthcare industry that is predicated on a certain amount of sickness. - People need salaries and benefits, but they stay (at their job) when they feel respected and rewarded. -We have to meet people where they are....Nothing has to be monumental to make a great day great, or a great lifetime.   More here: https://info.bluezonesproject.com/
How to translate outside of the ivory tower-- being the bridge
Oct 19 2023
How to translate outside of the ivory tower-- being the bridge
In this episode, I have a candid and fun conversation with Drs. Nick Holton and Jon Beale who are antifragility and flow researchers, respectively, with an overall emphasis on flourishing or, living the good life. To that end, they are intentional educators who aim to distill deep philosophical questions and empirical data to determine how you might apply these concepts in your own life. They do this, in part, as co-hosts of Flourish FM podcast.   Other specific highlights of the conversation include: Acknowledging that flourishing is a broad conceptFlourish FM is great fun for them—they have a deep desire to talk about science and make it accessibleThrough the show and conversations, audience members can choose what level of academic rigor makes sense for them. They warn us against becoming “Podcast intellectual”—don’t trust everything you hear; you have a role as the recipientTheir goal is to be “data driven, but not data dependent” and discern “anecdata and me search”Share science that is accessible, make it tangible so people can increase probably of living good life; doesn’t mean feeling pleasant and good all the timeWhat do we mean by resource intensive: Books, time and money are all finite resources, so Flourish FM aims to make this science more accessibly: “Podcast can democratize”There is no perfect way to get knowledge, no perfect study. But come from a lens of “do no harm”Scientism – excessive believe in the power or value of science. Not anti-scientific but yes, anti-scientistic. For example, there are benefits of science and arts and humanities. None of different values   Only do a PhD if you have an intellectual itch; getting a PhD “should humble the hell out of you, tiny little bit about tiny little field, study of a gnat’s ass”Flourishing might include: (1) key areas of life are going well: close relationships, work/education, health (both mental and physical) and personal development; (2) your perception that those 4 domains map to reality; (3) leading a meaningful life; (4) morally good life; (5) fulfillment (potential and sense of life satisfaction; and (6) how much your communityFlourishing is top down, bottom up, outside in...Top down: Thinking about your thinking (mindset, expectancy, gratitude, benefit finding); Bottom up: physical sensations and the mind-body connection; Outside in: you don't flourish in a vacuum...attitudes, mindset, etc. all influenced by our environment.Don’t focus too much on “achieving” flourishing —just be aware and flow Links: LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook @drjonathanbealeInstagram  @flourishfmpodcast@jonnybeale@dr.nickholton Flourish FM links: https://www.flourishfmpodcast.com/LinkedIn & Instagram @flourishfmpodcast Facebook & Twitter @flourishfmcast  Measures of flourishing: https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/
How to find success after tenure with Dr. Vicki Baker
Oct 11 2023
How to find success after tenure with Dr. Vicki Baker
Dr. Vicki Baker’s passion is helping others advance in their careers. She uses her deep curiosity of organizations and an interdisciplinary approach to ask big questions about our skills, talents, and interpersonal dynamics. When prompted about, "How do you feel like an expert? How do you know when “you’ve made it”, she shares that there's a challenge, especially for women and POC, in sharing your confidence in your knowledge and abilities, and communicating that confidence in a way that’s "socially acceptable." Dr. Baker lights up when talking about students, faculty, and stories.  Other highlights include: Expertise in mid career: Questioning “What’s next” since the milestone has been met.Not interested in research for the sake of research – wanting to impact the day to day existence and livesI’ve learned ____. How do I use it? How do I improve communities and lives?In midcareer, often, you’ve met your milestones and still have career runway left. Keep asking: What’s my value add? My impact? How do I benefit others?White woman, full professor is a privileged position, not acknowledging that can be “quite frankly, dangerous”Focus on contribution: What do you want it to be? And if that seems too big, start with: Where do you find the most joy?Admin well intention but ill equipped, bring in multiple perspectives—academy wide resources neededInfluential without being an “influencer”Tenured and promoted but still need guiding lightVolunteer for service positions that lead to overall contribution, can’t be upset if people in positions of power don’t know what you’re trying to “value add”The best part of the job is daily interactions with undergraduate students and personal stories with faculty across the academyYour life is precious and you are precious, grant dollars are not preciousCan’t add hours but be more thoughtful with the hours you do haveContent and grounded in identities that matter to you, where those identities are safe on visible displaySpace, community, connection is where higher ed is at its bestWeekly projects; boundaries for no work on weekends; walk away= sacred rest and scholarly work of sabbaticalSustainable programming for mid-career faculty support Inside Higher Ed article, Leading with Yes: https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2022/07/01/how-overwhelmed-and-burned-out-faculty-can-reframe-saying-no-opinion
How to appreciate the ’doctor you don’t see’ with Dr. Viola Lanier
Sep 26 2023
How to appreciate the ’doctor you don’t see’ with Dr. Viola Lanier
Dr. Viola Lanier is the epitome of a healthy form of busy-- working as a medical liaison, leading a non-profit, and being present with her family. Each of these roles lights her up and lets her know she's using her degree to be of service to others. We dive into the mis-education society has around different terminal degrees and the roles each type of "doctor" plays in your cancer journey. We specifically talk about how a cancer diagnosis and recovery centers on treatment/response rather than other needs beyond medicine. Tune in for other takeaways including: Sometimes we need to say, “It’s been a big day,” instead of “I’m busy” or “ok”Drop expectation or plan and give people some time to connectWhy do we have a job? Trying to fill a needThere’s always a need, but can there be some grace (in your schedule and to yourself)Social media as your water cooler break – it doesn’t take much to acknowledge that something resonatedSociety has misinformed us all; the doctor you see is an MD and the doctor you don’t see is your scientific doctor—both play huge rolesFor me to feel safe I have to have boundaries: establish them share themAs I’m getting older I’m done with unvaluable connection… some things will bring value to you, space, person... but if no one is getting value, that connection isn’t meant to drag out and that’s okWhat’s spiritually nourishing for me? Owning what my new awareness and beliefs are... not being afraid… not betraying myself; not shrinking backAwareness campaigns create activism and advocacy not (necessarily) asking for anything from healthcare providerWe share our wins and losses, knowing that they didn’t select me where I am at the time, we don’t know what else is going on behind the scenes Book recommendations 7 stages of Spiritual SuccessAnatomy of the SpiritMyth of NormalYou Can Heal Your Life   More From Viola: Linked in : https://www.linkedin.com/in/viola-lanier-2016/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.violalanier/Young Women Crush Cancer Inc.
How to Find Your Way in Academia with PhD Candidate Lauren Mason
Sep 20 2023
How to Find Your Way in Academia with PhD Candidate Lauren Mason
Lauren Mason is the creator and academic behind the platform Lauren Finds a Way.  Her academic Instragram includes curated content while her youtube channel shows more of the day-to-day PhD student vibes. Her goal is to share nuance behind the beauty of education. Lauren encourages us to embrace all parts of you and reminders to create patterns and habits that help you ground and find stillness within the ebbs and flows of academic life. We also talk about: "From my experience, I had a vision in my mind what is an academic, what is someone with a PhD like. I weighed myself against that and thought, I don’t fit that mold…We don’t all look the same or act the same…that’s one of the benefits of academia right now"Now (through social media) we have access to a huge group of people pursuing a similar pathLoving the emphasis on learning in academiaWe’re arriving at a time where people are becoming more transparent about experiences in academia (we get access daily to so many experiences)Journalism major, decided to switch to psychology … wanted to gain expertise in something and then write about it rather than various topicsAs an undergrad research assistant one of the things that helped me stand out was bringing research to themWhen we have aspects of ourselves that people think “oh people with a PhD don’t have that” when we share it inspires others to take the chance, and not feel shameWhen we compare ourselves to others it robs us of opportunity to shed our own lightThe goal is to try to maintain balance—off balance in PhD journey for sure. One thing she's strict about (and shares openly) is that she doesn’t work on the weekend… Structured time away from work is one of the healthiest things she's done for herself"And I think out of everything, all the lifestyle changes I’ve made to try to help with mental health, I think movement has been the best one, and the most impactful" Lauren challenges herself to be authentic- sometimes we have highs and are acknowledge for our work but sometimes there are lows—along the way, transparent and authentic promotes health in the communityI get to choose how I want to use my time today, how I want to be creative todayToo many things on the plate in one day, not achieving very much at all…grant ourselves the ability to focus on one thing actually increases our productivityMaintain health: sometimes we get out of balance, strategies to get back into it. Have grace with ourselves… let it go when you haven’t achieved or made a mistake"Find myself gasping throughout the whole day, can’t catch my breath, mind is racing"… journals and lists help her find limitsBecoming more conscious (that we’re not taking care of ourselves); small challenges to do it, 5 min break, feels difficult reinforces it’s ok to take up space, change situation that you’re uncomfortable in and make yourself more comfortableLearning to say no during PhD has been a journey; say yes to any opportunity that comes your way… pressure with developing your CV, you should take it and run with it… that isn’t working for me anymoreStart to rethink "I’m doing enough to meet my requirements… saying no has become liberating""Academia has a way of breaking you down… no one is going to build me back up, I have to build myself back up"End of PhD is almost an identity crisis... we don’t even know what we know anymore Identify your skill set instead of parts that are missingRemind yourself what you do, what you’re capable of doing. You have an idea of those things (skills) and you can communicate that with othersFlourishing: Waking up excited for the day is a good sign… feeling calm… feeling connected with those around me and in my community…laughing a lot, and in a lighthearted wayWriting, sharing, connecting, sharing your light with others… More at: https://www.instagram.com/laurenfindsaway/ https://www.youtube.com/@laurenfindsaway