Caring for Our Bodies as Temples of Spirit with Nalida Besson: PYP 201

Nalida Lacet Besson wasn't so concerned about weighing 240 pounds or passing the occasional painful gallstone. What got her attention in the summer of 2013 was a physical malaise so complete and overwhelming, she believed she was dying. Everything hurt, including her skin. It was as if her body were saying, "I've had enough of this. Time to rest." Read more »

Thanksgiving and the Calculus of Integrity

The movie Airplane features a running joke in which air traffic controller Steve McCroskey (played by Lloyd Bridges) announces after each new catastrophe, “I guess I picked the wrong week to quit smoking… drinking… amphetamines… sniffing glue.” I woke up yesterday morning, watched a terrifying video of a white supremacist gathering in Washington, DC, and thought, “I guess I picked the wrong week to feel gratitude.” And some of my clients and students will look at all the turkeys, gravies, pies, turduckens, piecakens, and other festive dishes and tell themselves, “I’ll indulge just a little today, and tighten back up tomorrow. After all, progress, not perfection.” To all three examples, I say bullshit. Read more »

Jamie Gannon on Brain Cancer, Golden Tickets, and Silver Linings: PYP 155

When Jamie Gannon was 27, he was an aspiring actor living the dream in Hollywood. Reading for films, TV, and commercials. Working his day job. Working out to keep his leading man physique. Taking voice and acting classes. And living a healthy, active life. When it all fell apart, thanks to a golf-ball sized malignant tumor at the base of his brain. A tumor that, even after its removal and long courses of chemo and other intensive medical therapies, left Jamie with a 10-15% chance at survival. Read more »

PYP 144: Irving Kirsch on Harnessing the Placebo Effect and Discovering the Truth about Antidepressants

Irving Kirsch is a soft-spoken researcher who accidentally stumbled upon one of the biggest and most costly errors in modern medicine. His cautious yet relentless search for the truth has made him persona non grata to much of the psychiatric profession and pharmaceutical industry, and a hero to the rest of us. His findings, documented in his book The Emperor's New Drugs as well as in dozens of published papers and book chapters, has generated a lot of controversy, including a 5-page cover story in Newsweek and a segment on 60 Minutes. His conclusion: antidepressant drugs, including blockbusters like Prozac and Paxil, don't work. They're no better than placebo, meaning the only reason people feel and get better when they take those drugs is because they believe they will. When you look at the evidence collected and analyzed and curated by Kirsch, it's hard to disagree. Read more »

PYP 100: Rich Roll on the Transformative Power of Mindful Authenticity

Rich Roll, along with his wife Julie Piatt, has just released The PlantPower Way. Already #38 on the amazon bestseller list, the book is a wonderful introduction to a family-centered, plant-based lifestyle, and a font of recipes, advice, and philosophical guidance. Read more »

PYP 077: Julie Piatt on Influencing Others, Coming Back to Ourselves, and “Meditating on One Foot in the Moonlight”

Julie Piatt is a musician, plant-based chef and healer, yogi, home-schooling mom, cookbook author, and contributor to She's also the muse and support system that her husband Rich Roll leaned on to transform himself from sedentary, junk-food and late-night TV addicted couch potato to one of the world's fittest men in the span of just a couple of years. (Read his story in his bestselling book, Finding Ultra.) In some sense, Julie "lived the fantasy": influencing her spouse to change in a big way. Don't most of us have a fantasy like that? If not about our spouse, then about our kids, or co-workers, or boss, or politicians, or customer-service reps on the other end of the phone, or - probably most common - ourselves? Read more »