The Primal Happiness Show

This week's show is with Jorgen Rasmussen, who has seen clients professionally as an agent of change for twenty years, the first eight spent running an "Impossibles practice" with a 'no change, no pay' policy.

Having deeply explored NLP, hypnosis, non-duality teachings, developmental psychology and meditation, he is the Author of the books Provocative Hypnosis (2008) and Provocative Suggestions (2015).

In this show, Jorgen and I explored the possibilities for humans that things like hypnosis, the placebo effect, and multiple personality disorders (in some ways a form of self-hypnosis) show us - I find it super intriguing how much power the human mind has over the reality that’s created. Does it only have that power when we truly believe the thought? How does hypnosis even work? And what does that tell us about the human mind consciousness more broadly?

I’d love to know what YOU think about this week's show. Let’s carry on the conversation…  please leave a comment below.

What you'll learn from this episode:

  • The capacity for hypnosis relies on absorption (the ability to be completely absorbed in an experience - for example a movie), disassociation (feeling separate from the experience, for example an artist saying that their hand painted the painting, it didn't seem to be them making it happen), suggestibility (the ability to make an experience feel completely real). Most of us will have these qualities in varying degrees and around 5-10% of people are highly hypnotisable.
  • Most of us engage in rather a lot of self-deception. Our mind creates a belief and then we try to rationalise why we have that belief, which only confirms and solidifies it further, when actually we don't usually form beliefs through logic and reason.
  • When we believe something it can completely change our experience, even to the extent of our physical processes. This can be particularly powerful when its a belief that's been implanted by an expert, such as when it comes to a diagnosis or a prognosis made by a doctor to a patient. It's wonderful that the reverse can also happen like the example that Jorgen gave of his client who marched out of his office but then returned weeks later free from depression!
Direct download: Joergen_Part_2_mixdown.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 2:27pm EDT

This week's show is with Jess P. Shatkin, M.D. An acclaimed adolescent psychiatrist and educator, Shatkin has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and on Good Morning America.

Jess is one of the country's foremost voices in child and adolescent mental health. He serves as Vice Chair for Education at the Child Study Center and Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. He has been featured in top print, radio, TV, and Internet outlets, including the New York Times, Good Morning America, Parade, New York Magazine, Health Day, CBS Evening News, New York Daily News, Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition, for the past eight years Dr. Shatkin has been the host of "About Our Kids," a two-hour call-in radio show broadcast live on SiriusXM's Doctor Radio. He lives in New York City with his wife and two teenage children.

Jess brings more than two decades' worth of research and clinical experience to the subject, along with cutting-edge findings from brain science, evolutionary psychology, game theory, and other disciplines - plus a widely curious mind and the perspective of a concerned dad himself.

In this week's show, we explore how even though adolescence is a risk-taking time, it is also a time of incredible potential. As any parent of a tween, teen or 20-something knows, adolescents take risks. In fact, those aged 12-26 are hard-wired to take risks, but how do you not just handle but even harness these natural impulses? 

Jess also gives practical examples of what parents and teachers can do to honour adolescents journey of risk-taking - in everyday interactions, teachable moments, and specially chosen activities and outings - to work with teens' need for risk, rewards and social acceptance, not against it.

So if you've got an adolescent in your life, this show will allow you to navigate the tricky waters ahead in a much calmer, safer and more rewarding way for all concerned! And if you haven't, this is still an awesome show for understanding more about our evolutionary heritage and how it shapes our behaviour in weird and wonderful ways!

What you'll learn from this episode:

  • Our drive to take risks as a young person is an entirely natural and beneficial aspect of humans, which has developed to take both personal growth, our community and the human species forward. Seen from that perspective it makes a whole lot less sense to demonise young people's behaviour and a whole lot more sense to harness it.
  • It's a huge step forward simply to understand why your adolescent is behaving the way they are. That allows you to be more supportive and understanding of them. Supportive families benefit the brain: Studies show teens raised by parents with low levels of conflict in their homes have less demanding brain reward centers; these teens will engage in less risk-taking behaviour because their interpersonal relationships are rewarding. 
  • Young people assess risks and make choices differently to older people. Teens know that they’re not invincible. In fact, studies have shown that, when teens engage in risky behaviour, they often overestimate their chances of being harmed by that behaviour. Understanding that means we as parents can help our adolescents to connect them to the real emotional impact of their choices as well as support them to make good decisions.
  • There's a value and benefit of all ages in human life, being aware of that and honouring and harnessing it allows all of us to be better understood, to feel more connected and more useful as part of our community.
Direct download: Shatkin_mixdown.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:58pm EDT

This week's show is with Jules A. Lalonde. A super-smart guy who we had to get on to share him with you.

By day, he's a financial wizard, and by night, he's a super-hero of science and philosopher. He has an MBA in Behavioral Finance, a degree in biochemistry and has completed graduate research in Non-linear dynamics (ie chaos theory). Are you getting a sense of what I meant by 'super-smart' yet?

Jules has studied many subjects and his curiosity and interest continues to be drawn to many topics including cognitive biases, fundamental neuroscience, the science of emotion, unconscious communication, social behaviour and the nature of human consciousness. Jules is currently working on course on Science and Critical Thinking for change workers entitled “Keep Science in Mind” which'll be available in the new year.

In this week's show, we explored current neuroscience and evolutionary biology, in particular the aspect of our primary affective (feeling) networks in the lower brain that govern much of our subjective experience (what Jules likes to call our personal holodeck).

In simple terms, we talked about how our minds have evolved to work and why. In fact, in many ways our modern minds aren't too different to the average cave man's - what is radically different is the environments we each inhabit. Understanding this allows us to set up our modern lives in a way that makes them a lot more enjoyable.

I’d love to know what YOU think about this week's show. Let’s carry on the conversation… please leave a comment below.

What you'll learn from this episode:

  • Jules talks about our personal 'holodeck' which is our internal system which allows us to create and interact with our subjective experience. Our personal holodeck is created through usage, especially when we're young so it is vitally important that we're able to use and develop our senses through interaction and play.
  • The seeking part of our mind drives so much of our feelings and behaviour. That means that the treasure IS the search!
  • Humans have a tilt towards negativity - it's a trait that's been selected for because it's what keeps us alive. Many of us in this modern world are being bombarded with triggers which create a lot of negative thoughts and feelings - most of that fear is not useful and makes our experience of life pretty crappy. However, when we're in a more 'primal state' it is worth recognising fear can contain message that can be worth taking notice of and adjusting course as a result.
Direct download: Jules_mixdown.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT

This week's show is with Robert Kandell. Robert is the host of the Tuff Love podcast and co-founder of OneTaste (orgasmic meditation). He is a relationship expert, life coach and of course has his own personal breakup stories to tell.

In this show we explored what's going on in relationships and between men and women in this crazy modern world, as Robert said and men are acting more like boys. Women are acting more like men. So we talked about that, what's caused it and what we can do about it!

I’d love to know what YOU think about this week's show. Let’s carry on the conversation… please leave a comment below.

What you'll learn from this episode:

  • We all have a masculine/feminine ratio - a man can have some feminine and a woman can have masculinity. This is absolutely natural and fine and the ratio often changes during our life.
  • In this modern world, men are acting more like boys - The whole Peter Pan thing of being part of an urban tribe and having fun. Women are acting more like men - being the strong one and being the provider. This behaviour is in contrast to what Robert believes that a powerful underlying drive for the masculine is to get approval whereas the feminine wants to feel beautiful.
  • If you're not happy with how your masculinity or femininity is showing up in your life and relationship then the first step is just to be honest with yourself: take an inventory - job, relationship, and purpose. Then take responsibility for what you've co-created.
  • Get into the habit of success. We're surrounded with potential connections in the world - go look! Build allies around creating the changes you want.
Direct download: Robert_Kandel_mixdown.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

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