The Urban Monk Podcast

When playing sports, we all want to tap into every bit of energy we can get. How do we achieve peak performance? Today's guest teaches athletes to optimize performance by fixing their mental game. Jonathan Fader is the team sport psychologist for the New York Mets and a resource doctor for the MLB rookie program. Jonathan explains how performance psychology evolved in sports. What is the process of working with athletes to psychology prepare them for a game? Can this process be used by people who aren't elite athletes? Can the right psychological preparation help doctors, lawyers, chefs, and cashiers? What can we do when stress seems to take over and how can we stop a negative dialogue that might occur in our heads from time to time?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk044JonathanFader.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Sometimes some of us may feel completely lost in life with no idea what to do. When we get really lost without a sense of purpose it can really bring us down in many ways, emotionally and physically. How can we go about trying to find a purpose? To help navigate this, Pedram welcomes Vic Strecher, an award-winning professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and author of the book "Life on Purpose." How does he define purpose? What is the difference between finding "purpose" and "meaning"? Do we choose a purpose or does it find us? Vic also speaks about a personal tragedy and how such events can shift what purpose can be. Can having a purpose help make someone more resilient to adversity?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk043VicStrecher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

We all want to be happy. Seems like a simple goal, but what does that actually mean? Happiness isn't something at all tangible so what does it mean to pursue happiness? Is it even possible to be happy all the time? To help figure this out, Pedram welcomes Kristi Ling, a life and business coach, to discuss how to create more happiness, love, and success in our individual lives. Is happiness something we create for ourselves or do we find it from outside sources? Is being happy a skill we can hone and perfect? What role does our individual biology play in how happy we are?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk042KristiLing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Pedram has been meditating for years and teaching meditation for just as long. It keeps him centered, focused, and helps him manage his stress! To go deeper on the topic, Pedram welcomes Dr. Norman Rosenthal who is an expert on Transcendental Meditation. He's a firm believer in the power of meditation, but he also comes as a research psychiatrist who has woven decades of clinical research with compelling personal stories into a new book titled "Super Mind." How does transcendental meditation (TM) differ from other types of meditation? What does it even mean? What are some benefits from TM? With how busy all of us are, how much time does a person need to be meditation a day to actually get the benefits?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk041NormanRosenthal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm EDT

How aware are you of the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides? When it comes to food, you may be very aware. But what about the use of pesticides on the grass and plants at a nearby park? On this episode of The Urban Monk, Pedram Shojai welcomes three guests from Non-Toxic Irvine, a group that was concerned with the use of chemicals in Irvine, California. The guests are Ayn Craciun, Kim Konte, and Professor Bruce Blumberg. They share their story of how they became organized after they saw the declining health of people in their community. Irvine is frequently at the top of the list for safest large city in the United States, but that's regarding crime rates. It's a completely different story when it comes to personal health and safety against chemicals and pesticides. What was Non-Toxic Irvine able to accomplish? Are others being exposed to pesticides unknowingly in other cities? How can you check? And what can you do if you find out chemicals and pesticides are being used in the public areas near you?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk040NonToxicIrvine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

It's difficult to make the adjustment when you're a new parent. Even though his son is now two years old, that balance can still be tricky. To talk and swap stories about starting a family while trying to run a business, Jake Carney of The Alternative Daily joins Pedram on this episode of The Urban Monk. What are their experiences as parents? What have they learned in their years as parents? Were they ever able to finally strike that balance between work and family?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk039JakeCarney.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Dr. Robert Rountree is one of the pioneering practitioners of functional medicine. Today he's here to talk to Pedram about the human microbiome and how it can affect our health. What is the microbiome? What is the composition of micro-organisms that make up the human microbiome? What has been the impact of new technologies on our understanding of the composition of the human microbiome? What new information have we learned as a result? Is everyone's microbiome similar? What are the differences? And what are the implications of having to work with unique microbiomes? How does this affect the development of disease as well? What environmental factors affect the microbiome? How much control do we have on the microbiome?

Direct download: UrbanMonk038RobertRountree.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

How can we achieve sustainability in commercial real estate? This is a major, major issue to change the way engineers design and construct buildings to ensure our personal health along with the health of the planet. Today on The Urban Monk Pedram Shojai welcomes a man who is at the forefront of this issue in California. Chris Jafarieh heads up the Green Diamond division of the Blaqk Diamond Group and he'll give us an insight into how traditionally constructed buildings are impacting us and the planet. Can only new buildings be completely sustainable? Is it possible to retrofit old buildings? How much would that cost and is it worth it? What is a green, sustainable building anyways? And what does the future hold for sustainable buildings?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk037ChrisJafarieh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Ever wonder why some people have an amazing ability to learn fast and remember numbers, dates, names, details, while other people can't remember the name of someone they just met at a party? Today on The Urban Monk Pedram Shojai welcomes Jim Kwik, the CEO of Kwik Learning and the founder of Superhuman You. He's a widely recognized expert in memory improvement, speed reading, brain performance, and accelerated learning. He has also been an advisor and mental coach to many of the world's top CEOs and celebrities. Is having a super mind a skill that people are born with? Or can it be taught?

For more on Jim Kwik's Memory Course, visit: http://www.JimKwik.com/UrbanMonk

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Direct download: UrbanMonk036JimKwik.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

Boundaries in regards to relationships determine what you have the authority, responsibility, and accountability to do and not to do. How can we set clear boundaries? How important are they to set? Today on The Urban Monk, Pedram welcomes Dr. Damon Bayles, a clinical psychologist who approaches his work with his clients in an empathetic, collaborative, and mindful way and is a big believer in setting boundaries. How can boundaries create different systems? And how can we create different roles for different systems? That is, do we act differently as a spouse than as a parent and as a co-worker? What impact does this have on a person to shift between different roles in different systems?

For more on Dr. Damon Bayles and his work on Boundaries, visit http://damonbayles.com

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Direct download: UrbanMonk035DamonBayles.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42am EDT