The Urban Monk Podcast

Happiness is a very common goal. Who doesn't want to be happy? But what does that mean to be happy? How can we attain happiness? For some of us, though we may have a great job and supportive family and friends, we may still be hit with feelings of insecurities, anxiety, or even depression. Why can this still happen even in the best of situations? Psychiatrist Anna Yusim works with patients who have expressed these very concerns. She's even struggled with them herself! She spent fifteen years studying this phenomenon and concluded that the issue deals with spiritual neglect! What does this mean? How can people address their spiritual and psychological needs at the same time? What effects can this have on people's lives to address their spiritual needs?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk131AnnaYusim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

The rainforests cover about 16% of Earth's total land surface, though that number is shrinking. Many of us understand the importance of the rainforests and their great ability to help absorb carbon dioxide. Many of us also fully understand the need to protect them from further deforestation. But how can we do that from where we are? Do we have to get on a plane and fly to South America to help? Lindsey Allen of the Rainforest Action Network joins today's show to explain that each of us has the power to help and we can help everyday. In what way can we send a message to corporations that might contribute to harmful practices regarding rainforests? What everyday actions can we take to send messages to such massive corporations?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk130LindseyAllen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. What else could possibly happen? Journalist Peter Brannen has taken a close look at the five mass extinctions our planet has gone through. What exactly happened to cause extinction on such a massive, planet-wide level? How did any life make it past these events? Do these past extinction level events provide any clues to how it could happen again? If life was able to continue after these past events, does that provide any hope for humans should something catastrophic happen?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk129PeterBrannen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

We all feel fear. Yet we are often taught to ignore it, overcome it, push past it. But to what benefit? Once recognized as the best extreme skier in the world, Kristen Ulmer knows fear well. Rebuilding our understanding of fear from the ground up, Ulmer starts by exploring why we’ve come to view it as a negative. From here, she unpacks fear and shows it to be just one of 10,000 voices that make up our reality, here to help us come alive alongside joy, love, and gratitude. How can we harness our fear to overpower what we are fearful of in the first place?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk128KristenUlmer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Life has a way of getting us into a very comfortable, yet repetitive grind. We wake up, we shower, we go to work, we get home, we eat dinner, we sleep, we repeat the pattern day after day. Some of us used to do stuff. Some of that stuff might have been considered fun. What happened? Matt Walker wonders that too, but actually wants to help infuse some adventure back into your life. He founded and directs "Matt Walker Adventures" which leads small groups on mountain adventures with a focus on individual development. Why is it important to travel outside of our small town borders and see what else is out there? What irrational fears might some people have regarding international travel? What concerns are actually well founded? And what can be gained by experiencing something firsthand? Adventure is out there!

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Direct download: UrbanMonk127MattWalker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Politics overwhelm the national conversation. They've always dominated the conversation and they're especially at the forefront now. But for a lot of people, politics seem far removed for any realm of citizen control. Sure there's voting, but between elections, how can citizens hold politicians accountable? David Willett of the League of Conservation Voters joins The Urban Monk to discuss the tricky issue of politics. Especially regarding the environment, some politicians seem to have that so far off their radar as to seem entirely invisible to them. How do we give voice to our opinions in a way that will create legislative action?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk126DavidWillett.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT

Sometimes we have trouble, but we want to operate at 100%. Whether it's getting a presentation together at work, pushing ourselves harder at the gym, or just being present with our family, we have moments where we want to operate at full capacity. What keeps us from operating fully at times hard as we might try? In their new book, Peak Performance, Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness explore various practices that can get people to reach their optimal output. How much rest does one need before we put 100% of ourselves into a project? Are there physiological differences between rest and work? How can we align our bodies to do what we need it to do? And how can this be effective across a wide range of activities?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk125BradStulbergSteveMagness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

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