Mark speaks with Charles Eisenstein, writer, speaker, and author of The Coronation, his new book that searches for ??meaning as we emerge from the troubled time of Covid. Charles’ work covers a wide range of topics, including human civilization, economics, spirituality, and ecology. Charles frequently explores anti-consumerism, interdependence, and how myth and narrative influence culture on his Substack and in his 6 published books. Today, Commander Divine speaks with Charles Eisenstein, writer, speaker, and author of The Coronation, his new book that searches for ??meaning as we emerge from the troubled time of Covid. In this episode, Charles talks about why reality isn’t working anymore for most people, his philosophy about the emerging economy, how to take back our sovereignty, and more. Key Takeaways: Reality isn’t working anymore for most people. The implicit promise is that if you do certain things (like climbing the corporate ladder, buying a house, following the latest diet trend, etc.) then you'll be healthy and happy. But nowadays, people who obey the formula are running headlong into a sandstorm of confusion – whether it's chronic health problems, or dead end careers, depression, or divorce. Something has to change. Considering sovereignty. Lately, the capacity to experience life has become increasingly dependent on technology. For example, most parts of the US are addicted to air conditioning, and to comfort in general. The more comfortable we become, the less tolerant we are to any conditions outside of that small range. This extends to our addiction to the intense stimuli of the virtual world. This trend has accelerated in the last few years, but it's nothing new. It’s time for us to think about what the alternative is…. and to consider this: What is the vision of humanity that underlies this movement toward more and more dependency on things outside of ourselves? The Emperor has no clothes. The elites govern not so much through everybody's agreement with them, but through the perception that everybody agrees with them. It's like the Emperor's new clothes – the Emperor is naked, but everybody else is acting as if he's not. But everybody's thinking it. Charles argues this is why it's so important now to come out about things that go against the status quo, whether it's psychedelics or paranormal experiences, or health. On building a parallel society. You don't change things by fighting existing reality – you build a new model that makes the old one obsolete. We’re currently doing this in many areas of society, from Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (a parallel financial system), to holistic health modalities (a parallel healthcare system). We're recreating all of these institutions, but also the consciousness around them. It’s happening slowly, but it’s happening. Despite it all… the future is bright. Charles is very positive about the way the world is heading, despite things looking bad on the surface. Underneath, there's a huge seismic shift happening in consciousness. More people are aware of and healing their trauma than ever. And despite the vitriol on the Internet, people are nicer to each other in person. We’re becoming less identified with our roles, and are therefore more able to be in humanity with each other. Welcome to The Coronation. Charles’ new book of essays about the pandemic is entitled The Coronation, because the coronation is an initiation into sovereignty. The pandemic has made our unconscious choices more conscious. It's not that COVID has saved us from a technocratic totalitarian future – it’s showed us where we've been going. So now we can choose it consciously, or do something else....
Mark speaks with Lynne Cox, a long-distance open-water swimmer, writer and speaker. Lynne holds over 50 world records and firsts, including setting the record for swimming the English Channel (twice). Lynne was also the first and only person to ever swim between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Bering Strait. This effort took her 11 years to coordinate during the height of the Cold War, and it helped the world to see that there was a very short distance between these two nations (just 2.7 miles). Today, Commander Divine speaks with Lynne Cox, a long-distance open-water swimmer, writer and speaker. Lynne holds over 50 world records and firsts, including setting the record for swimming the English Channel (twice). Lynne was also the first and only person to ever swim between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Bering Strait. This effort took her 11 years to coordinate during the height of the Cold War, and it helped the world to see that there was a very short distance between these two nations (just 2.7 miles). In this episode, Lynne discusses what it takes to make record-breaking swims, the fascinating process of greatness, and her incredible interactions with dogs, whales, and other creatures in the water. Key Takeaways: Find the others. When asked why she was compelled to embark on such unprecedented swims, Lynne said it’s because swimming is her “song in the world.” When you follow your song in the world, you tune into who you are and are driven to figure out what you're capable of doing. But more importantly, finding your song in the world almost always involves other people. How do you get a team of people around you that can complement your passion? Together, you can do something that's never been done. How do people become who they are? Throughout all her varied interests (swimming, history, exercise physiology), Lynne says that her common thread of inspiration is figuring out how people become who they are, and how they influence change in a positive way. Who was Gandhi before Gandhi? Who was Amelia Earhart before she became who she was? The interesting part is found in the in-between. Everyone is a genius. Lynne owes much of her contributions to the amazing help of other people, from the teams who helped her on her swims, to those who gave her advice about book publishing. There are so many different little worlds out there that you can tap into through others. And if you can just connect at one point, it leads you to directions you couldn’t have dreamed of on your own. Small openings lead to bigger movements. It took Lynne 11 years to orchestrate her historic swim in the Bering Strait due to border issues in the Soviet Union. When the Bering Strait ports were finally opened, Gorbachev and Reagan stood up and toasted “swim.” President Gorbachev said it illustrated how close to each other the two countries are (just 2.7 miles apart). Shortly after that, the Berlin Wall came down; some say this was partially due to the influence of the opening of the Bering Strait ports. People around the world saw this opening and then went toward it.  The two most important life skills. Lynne says that swimming tops her list of life’s most important skills… but reading is a very close second.
Mark speaks with Jeremy Pollack, a social psychologist and conflict resolution consultant. Jeremy’s company, Pollack Peacebuilding Systems, teaches leaders and employees how to communicate more effectively and rebuild mutual trust through coaching, training, and conflict resolution services. His company has helped dozens of other companies, large and small, in all varieties of industries around the world, to resolve conflicts and foster greater peace. Today, Commander Divine speaks with Jeremy Pollack, a social psychologist and conflict resolution consultant. Jeremy’s company, Pollack Peacebuilding Systems, focuses on the psychology, social dynamics, and peacebuilding methodologies of interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. In this episode, Jeremy discusses the relationship between martial arts and peacebuilding, the one essential ingredient in any conflict mediation, the psychology behind why we get stuck in conflicts, and much more. Key Takeaways: Care comes first. People need to feel safe, respected, and accepted at an identity level. To be able to solve a conflict with a person, you need to find out what’s threatening them. People have to know that you hear them, you care about them, and are actually considering what they're saying. As soon as they feel heard, their defenses come down, they can breathe a little bit, and they're more able to have a conversation about solutions. The connection between martial arts and peacebuilding. If you're learning from a good teacher, martial arts is not about violence. At its core, martial arts is built on embodying a level of humble confidence that allows you to feel confident, grounded and present wherever you are. This is so translatable to conflict resolution, because as a peacebuilder, you have to be humble, but you also have to be confident enough to hold a neutral space so that people can feel safe to express and explore. Conflict resolution vs. peacebuilding. Conflict resolution is about being able to solve an acute problem, whereas peacebuilding recognizes that there are presenting problems that could be resolved, but there's a larger system-wide structural or cultural situation that's allowing these types of conflicts to emerge. When we peacebuild, we address both the acute conflicts and the long-term structural elements that are causing these types of conflicts over and over again. Breaking free from conflict identities. Many people form identities around being victims, being in conflict, or being in control. And if that identity is threatened, it leaves a large gap in the way people see themselves. When someone finally decides to replace that identity with something better, it's so empowering. But they have to make that decision for themselves. We all want the same things. If you take two people from opposing groups (say, the right and the left), and you start asking them questions about their underlying core values, needs, and beliefs, they actually have a lot of the same shared values. They both want their families to be safe, they both want to thrive, they both want to feel free. But they have different positions based on the media they watch and the communities they're involved in. And those positions are the methods by which they’re going to achieve those values. This is where the conflicts happen. If we could just get them out of those groups and have them understand how alike their values systems are, we could figure out better ways of reaching a common goal so that everyone feels taken care of. This has to happen on a very local, even individual level. It's hard to do it on a massive level since media bias is too powerful.
In this episode, Mark hands the mic to Ashley Stahl, a former counterterrorism professional turned career coach. In this feed drop from Ashley’s You Turn podcast, Ashley interviews Chris Voss, the lead international kidnapping investigator for the FBI, author of Never Split the Difference, and CEO of the Black Swan Group. Today, Mark hands the mic to Ashley Stahl, a former counterterrorism professional turned career coach. In this feed drop from Ashley’s You Turn podcast, Ashley interviews Chris Voss, the lead international kidnapping investigator for the FBI, author of Never Split the Difference, and CEO of the Black Swan Group. In this masterclass on negotiation, Chris and Ashley cover salary negotiation tactics, how to use empathy to get what you want, negotiation psychology, and so much more. Key Takeaways: Never go first. Chris says the secret to gaining the upper hand in negotiations is giving the other side the illusion of control. That’s why the smartest and best negotiators let the other side go first. He who speaks first loses, since you're giving the other side a lot of information right off the bat, and you’re not learning anything you can use in your favor. If you’re asked a question first, respond, but don’t answer the question right away. Pivot as much as possible back to the other person and make them divulge first. There are no bad teams, only bad leaders. Chris says that if his people are responding to him poorly, then he’s failing as a leader, and he needs to make some changes. The more work-focused a leader gets, the more the work product suffers. If a leader isn’t happy with the job somebody's doing, they’re likely treating that person as a commodity and not as a human being. Make sure you’re spending enough time nurturing and encouraging your people and finding out who they are. Empathy means understanding, not caring. Empathy has become a synonym for caring about the other side. But Chris says empathy is really about completely understanding where the other side is coming from. If you need to like, agree with, or sympathize with someone to exercise empathy, then what happens if you don’t like them? What happens if you don't agree with them? You can't exercise empathy if those are necessary requirements. But if you don't need any of those things, you can exercise empathy with any human being on the planet. Seek first to understand, then be understood. In any negotiation, this is the fastest sequence to get your way. You don’t have to agree that the other person’s perspective is true, fair, or even reasonable. All you have to do is reflect their perspective back to them, so that they feel like you understand them. Focus on fixing losses vs. accomplishing gains. The reasons why we won't do something are more important in our decision-making than the reasons we will do something. 70% of sales are made by people trying to fix losses, not accomplish gains. So in any given negotiation, the reasons why someone doesn’t want to agree will play a bigger role than the reasons why they should agree. Don’t give lip service. If you hear the other side out in a negotiation, you need to adjust what it is you have to offer after hearing their objection. You need to show that you actually listened. If you make no adjustments and act like you didn’t hear and understand them, the other side will think that talking to you is a waste of time. Never compromise. There’s a difference between compromise and adaptation. Never be so sure of what you want that you wouldn't take something better. This also means accepting that the other side may have the best idea. Relationships make or break a deal. The quality of the relationship between two parties throughout a deal can make or break the whole thing in the end. If someone has been problematic in the run-up to a deal, they’re not...
Mark speaks with Jessica Buchanan, a humanitarian worker and activist who was kidnapped and held hostage for 93 days in Somalia. Today, Jessica works to help women foster their authentic self-expression through the development of their own manifestos. Today, Commander Divine speaks with Jessica Buchanan, a humanitarian worker and activist who was kidnapped and held hostage for 93 days in Somalia. Jessica miraculously survived to tell the tale in her memoir, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team VI. In this episode, Jessica recounts her experience in captivity, how she coped and healed after survival, and how her kidnapping ultimately led her to a greater purpose. Key Takeaways: Finding strength in the unthinkable. As a teacher from Ohio, Jessica never thought such an extraordinary event could ever happen to her. But her experience taught her that not only was she not immune to having bad things happen to her, but she also learned she’s a whole lot tougher than she ever gave herself credit for. She says that she can now look back on her story as a reminder of her inner strength in moments of imposter syndrome. Trust your gut. The night before her kidnapping, Jessica’s intuition was screaming at her not to travel to southern Somalia as she was instructed to do for work. In fact, she tried to cancel the work engagement twice, but was pressured by her colleague to go. The whole night before her kidnapping, she had nightmares that she was being kidnapped by pirates. She says her decision to go anyway was the biggest self-abandonment moment of her life. She has since vowed to always go with her gut, no matter what. Finding humor in a hopeless place. Jessica says she relied on her “warped sense of humor” to keep her hopeful and strong over the course of her 93-day kidnapping. At one point, when her captors locked the keys inside all 3 getaway vehicles, she turned to her co-hostage and said, “It's official, we’ve been kidnapped by the world's dumbest pirates.” Humor is a hope-builder. Surviving survival is not a linear process. Jessica says that surviving her survival has been two steps forward and 10 steps back. Whether you’ve experienced large or small traumas, you just don't know what's going to trigger you from day to day, so be gentle with yourself. When life gives you lemons... Jessica made use of her 93 days in captivity examining every memory she could remember from her life. During this healing process, she reflected, analyzed, and deeply forgave others and herself. (This is actually very similar to an ancient practice called “recapitulation” from the ancient Toltec warriors.) From the ashes of her traumatic kidnapping, Jessica has now built a daily spiritual practice of meditation and journaling, which has become crucially supportive in her business working with women.
1 hr 14 min
Mark speaks with Jane McGonigal, game designer and author of the new book, Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything, Even Things that Seem Impossible Today. After she created a game to help herself recover from a debilitating concussion in 2009, Jane was inspired to build a more positive and collaborative world through the use of modern technology. Jane believes that games can generate a higher collective intelligence that can be put toward a better quality of human life.
Mark speaks with Daniel Amen, a double board-certified psychiatrist and twelve-time New York Times best-selling author. The founder of Amen Clinics, Dr. Amen’s goal is to “end mental illness by creating a revolution in brain health.” Dr. Amen has helped millions of people improve their brain health and their lives. Today, Commander Divine speaks with Daniel Amen, a double board-certified psychiatrist and twelve-time New York Times best-selling author. The founder of Amen Clinics, Dr. Amen’s goal is to “end mental illness by creating a revolution in brain health.” In this episode, Dr. Amen discusses the link between brain type and personality, the ideal supplementation for brain health, how obesity affects your brain, and more. Key Takeaways: Obesity is literally dumbing us down. Studies have shown that as your weight increases, the actual physical size and function of your brain goes down. Being overweight decreases blood flow, ages your brain, increases inflammation, stores toxins, and changes your hormones. And with 72% of Americans overweight and 42% of them obese, it's the biggest source of brain drain we’re currently facing. Brain scans allow us to diagnose more accurately. Most psychiatrists will talk to you, look for symptom clusters, and then diagnose and treat you - but this process could be much more effective with biological data. Dr. Amen believes that psychiatrists don’t have to fly blind, and that new technology like SPECT brain scans can help us diagnose and treat mental conditions more effectively. The 3 pillars of brain health. Dr. Amen says that boosting your brain health comes down to three specific strategies: 1) brain envy – you must passionately care about your brain and pay attention to it, 2) avoid anything that hurts your brain, and 3) regularly engage in habits that boost your brain’s health. The lowest-hanging fruit for brain health. Dr. Amen says that if he could get all his patients to eat better, 30% of them would be better in a month. In terms of brain health interventions, nutrition definitely comes first. The best happiness supplement. Dr. Amen’s favorite happiness supplement is saffron. He makes a product called Happy Saffron, which includes saffron, zinc and curcumin – and 24 randomized controlled trials showed it to be equally effective to antidepressants to boost mood, with virtually no side effects. What NOT to do for brain health. Dr. Amen says to avoid processed foods, artificial dyes, artificial sweeteners, and high-glycemic, low-fiber foods. We should also limit bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and sugar. And don’t skimp on fat. Diets high in healthy fats have been shown to decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, because 60% of the solid weight of your brain is fat, low fat diets and depression go hand-in-hand. The #1 habit for more happiness. When you go to do something, ask yourself, ‘Is this good for my brain or bad for it?’ If you can answer that with information and love, you're going to be happier. Brain health nutrition is not one-size-fits-all. Different personality profiles are all associated with different brain types. This means that supplements and nutrition are highly individualized, but Dr. Amen recommends that everyone should at least take a high-quality multivitamin, omega three fatty acids, and get your vitamin D to an optimal level.
Today, Commander Divine sits down with Melanie Sliwka, Certified Unbeatable Mind Coach, to discuss one of the most pressing issues of our time: mental health. This important episode covers a lot of ground, from the state of veterans’ mental health to the best techniques to take our well-being into our own hands. Key Takeaways: Always remember to PBTA. Due to childhood trauma and other traumatic life events, most of us are operating in a constant hyper aroused state. (And for veterans, combat stress can exacerbate underlying trauma that already existed.) The acronym Pause, Breathe, Think and Act can be a literal life-saver to bring the body out of “fight or flight” and back into “rest and digest” mode. Who’s your swim buddy? If you’re having trouble managing your own internal dialogue and thinking processes, it’s important to reach out to a positive person you can trust. Think about it right now: who is your go-to swim buddy when shit gets really bad? And how can you be someone else’s swim buddy? Pharmaceutical drugs are a short-term solution. The rate of suicide among those who are taking SSRIs vs interventions through other nonpharmaceutical means is 2:1. While antidepressants can be great for short-term mental health interventions, it’s important to include nonpharmaceutical interventions for long-term well-being. Get re-balanced with the basics. The big four practices for physiological rebalancing are: breath training, proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep. For 20 minutes every morning, try box breathing: inhale for five counts, hold your breath for five counts, exhale for five counts, and hold your exhaled breath for five counts. This is a completely free anti-stress medicine that you can do anytime, anywhere. Balancing the physiological system then leads to psychological space, which enables you to make better decisions across all areas of your life. The 3 best healing modalities for vets. Mark recommends electrostimulation (especially for TBI), EMDR therapy, and psychedelics. Electrostimulation works at the brain level, EMDR therapy works in the heart, and psychedelic assisted therapy works at the heart and the psycho-spiritual level. There’s no one thing that works for every person. Everyone should try multiple things on their healing journey. The most important thing is for healing to be multi-dimensional.
Today, Commander Divine speaks with Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world's largest trade association representing the blockchain industry. Perianne’s mission is to advocate and educate the public and lawmakers about the future of blockchain. In this episode, Perianne busts some of the biggest myths about the cryptocurrency space, including Russian sanctions, environmental impact, and more. Key Takeaways: Myth #1: Bitcoin is bad for the environment. It currently takes 189 terawatts to mine Bitcoin.This is about .1% of the world's energy production. And, over 60% of the energy going to mine Bitcoin is coming from sustainable sources. (We’re also starting to see use cases where crypto mining can actually help stabilize the energy grid.) The energy used to mine Bitcoin is a small fraction of the emissions that are created to mine gold, power our financial sector and support our military sector. Myth #2: Russia is using crypto to evade sanctions. There's a current narrative that says Russians are flocking to crypto to evade sanctions. But there is no evidence of that, and there is nothing that would lead us to believe that that would ever be the case in the future. Since Russia entered Crimea in 2014, they've been working to sanction-proof their economy and diversify out of US dollar reserves. Crypto was not a part of their like sanction-proofing strategy at all. Even if they wanted to start using crypto for illicit finance, law enforcement has significant tools to track and trace the flow of cryptocurrencies, due to the open-source nature of blockchains. Even the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network put out a statement saying that we are not seeing crypto used for sanctions evasion. Myth #3: Crypto is used for money laundering. .05% of crypto transaction volume has been linked to illicit activity. The open-source data shows us that illicit finance using crypto is not common. And it's also decreasing as a percentage and a portion of the markets. Myth #4: Crypto is going to be shut down by the government. Perianne believes we’ve already won the regulatory battles. It’s already been decided that we're going to allow this technology to thrive in the United States. There are absolutely no efforts, indications, or even a legal path forward to flat out ban cryptocurrency. The conversations that are happening on the regulatory front are negotiations between the industry and the regulators on what regulatory frameworks look like. There certainly will be winners and losers in those conversations, but those are winners and losers between different companies and platforms in the space, not the technology itself. The case for this technology has been made, and we're seeing that play out on the global stage right now. Myth #5: It’s too late to invest in Bitcoin. It’s not too late to get in if you want to. We are still in incredibly early days, and there's a lot of opportunity. (This is not investment advice. Just Perianne’s own opinion!) We are living in a currency experiment. For most of human history, we’ve used objects of scarcity as money – salt, stones, shells. After that, we used a gold standard for thousands of years. It wasn't until the 1980s that all industrialized nations moved to a fiat system. This is the first time in world economic history that all industrialized nations are using a currency that is only backed by the full faith and credit of the government. Our current economic inflation and collapse is the aftermath of this shift. Perianne believes we're coming back to our original principles of having a sound monetary system, and that Bitcoin could potentially be the path to get there. Bitcoin is the new gold. Bitcoin is a store of value, which means it’s playing the role gold has played in portfolios for many decades....
1 hr 8 min
Today, Commander Divine speaks with Beena Sharma, international consultant and president of the Vertical Development Academy. ?? Beena has worked for more than two decades in the area of whole-system, large-scale change. In this episode, Beena discusses polarity thinking, how language affects our reality, and the difference between horizontal and vertical development. Key Takeaways: We are entering the age of vertical development. Vertical development fosters essential growth of new perspectives and gives leaders a greater ability to handle the complex problems of our changing world. Fortunately, we can now measure how an individual grows through these stages of maturity thanks to assessments like the ones provided by the Vertical Development Academy. We need both horizontal and vertical development. While horizontal development gives you more knowledge, information, skills, credentials, and certificates, it doesn't fundamentally change any assumptions you have about yourself. It doesn't challenge any beliefs you have about how the world works. Vertical development, on the other hand, recognizes that you have certain beliefs, and that you’re invested in and identify with certain assumptions. And then these get challenged over time because of life experiences. How can a MAP assessment help? The MAP (Maturity Profile) assessment analyzes our developmental anatomy. It shows us how language reflects development, how we express our meaning-making, and what we see in the world through language. This then reveals what we are aware of, what we're not aware of, and the hidden beliefs and assumptions that we hold. By challenging those beliefs and assumptions, we can open up to new perspectives. Our new psychological development models mirror ancient spiritual traditions. Traditionally, the Eastern spiritual and wisdom traditions have talked about unitive consciousness. And now, we have a model that mirrors the stages of consciousness for psycho-emotional development, which is a fascinating and valuable parallel. The paradox of polarities. Polarities are tensions or interdependent values that we struggle with. Sometimes, we pick one value over the other thinking one is better than the other. But as we grow, we realize that it's not this or that; it's both. It's like inhaling and exhaling; we have to both inhale and exhale to live and breathe. You would never be able to pick one, because you need both to survive. So, not all problems are problems that can be solved. Sometimes it’s not about solving a problem; it's just about harmonizing, integrating, and managing both sides of the spectrum. Don’t let labels box you in. In early stages of development, we like to orient ourselves by boxing ourselves in and labeling ourselves as a “type” (i.e. “I’m a thinking type” or “I’m a feeling type”). This is helpful to a point. But as we grow, we continue to define ourselves in more expansive ways, until we eventually arrive at the style of no style. This is where you’re not bound by anything and you can be anything, because you realize that your conditioning has been keeping you in a box. This happens systematically and progressively, and it can sound like a tall order. But it’s the process. We all have the potential for unity consciousness. The idea of seeing others as the enemy is a very early stage idea. Many of us grow through that and recognize that it’s a limited way of viewing the world. And so our circle of embrace expands. While this might never happen for some people due to life circumstances and a lack of inner and outer resources, it has the potential to grow in every human being. In fact, it’s our birthright.
1 hr 9 min