MediMindful Moment Podcast: Meet Dr. Leesa Sklover

In this episode of Cloud 9 Online’s MediMindful Moment podcast, co-hosts Judith Dreyer, Jeff Nelder, and Henry Edinger interview Leesa Sklover, Ph.D., LPC, MA-CMT, CRC, IKYTA, C-IAYT, ACA, the Director of Sklover Love Life Productions. Leesa talks about integrating the use of meditation, music, and creative therapies and the significance of vibration in words and music.

Episode Highlights:

  • Judith introduces Dr. Leesa Sklover. (00:40)
  • Leesa shares that she started her career as a musician and a professional singer-songwriter. (1:16)
  • Leesa mentions that most of what she’s doing incorporates the use of meditation, music, and healing through all of the creative therapies. (1:26)
  • Leesa leads the mindful moment exercise. (4:10)
  • Leesa shares that her music genre is country pop-rock. (9:41)
  • Leesa mentions her new single entitled, Throw My Arms All Around You. (9:49)
  • Leesa shares that the majority part of our brain is musical rather than verbal, and from her perspective, meditating using sound is the key. (10:05)
  • What would Leesa suggest to someone that’s new to meditation? (11:37)
  • Leesa shares that she usually gives people a certain kind of meditation, for every session that she does for psychotherapy. (11:44)
  • Leesa mentions that vibration is a huge element in creating your own mantra. (12:54)
  • Leesa thinks that mindfulness is grounding, and meditation or other types of integrated therapies helps you to open yourself. (13:30)
  • How can people carry exercises with them throughout the day, so they can practice mindfulness? (19:40)
  • Leesa thinks that meditation is an opportunity to think through what’s bothering you, and to process it, and to figure out what you should do about it. (25:00)
  • From a music therapy perspective, Leesa thinks that everything is about the archetype of the heartbeat. Therefore, the whole world is set to the tempo. (25:13)
  • Leesa mentions her podcast series entitled, See Me As I Am. (29:13)

Key Quotes:

  • “Just think of the idea that at this moment in time, we need to bless ourselves, and bless every single person and being that we see.” Leesa Sklover
  • “Imagine yourself just singing this in your mind anywhere you are, anywhere you go. Imagine sending that circle to yourself and to those you care about, and to the things in nature that you care about. Just connecting those anchor cords everywhere you go and slowly feel your feet on the floor, feel yourself in the room, and slowly open your eyes.” Leesa Sklover
  • “Making sure you have the dusk and dawn ritual in your life and making sure that you keep that mindfulness allows people to slow down, and some people who are having a really difficult time, they’ve had to learn how to be mindful.” Leesa Sklover
  • “Think about those words, remember, remind. I’m reminding myself like Humpty Dumpty fell, you had to build them back up, you have to remind yourself all the time to bring yourself back into the moment that you’re in.” Leesa Sklover
  • “Slow yourself down and really breathe too and receive from what’s around you, and use mantra and chant as part of your mindfulness practice.” Leesa Sklover

Resources Mentioned:

MediMindful Moment: Meet Lois Grasso-Barrett

 

In this episode of Cloud 9 Online’s MediMindful Moment Podcast, co-hosts Judith Dreyer, Jeff Nelder, and Henry Edinger interview Lois Grasso-Barrett Holistic Health Coach, Public Speaker, Founder, and Director at OxyGenesis Institute. Lois talks about the ability to focus on our breathing and becoming mindful of our breath. She also shares her knowledge and expertise in understanding the different types of breathing exercises.

Episode Highlights:

  • Judith introduces Lois Grasso-Barrett. (0:40)
  • Lois shares her background. (1:08)
  • Lois shares that she teaches people how to use their breathing, to become present, to own themselves, and we can use the breathing to own and take responsibility for our feelings. (3:58)
  • Lois leads the mindful moment exercise. (5:47)
  • Henry mentions that as the world’s coming back together again a little bit, even with masks on, being compassionate is more vital. (10:21)
  • Lois thinks that all our hearts want is more compassion. (10:35)
  • Lois mentions that laughter is one of her favorite breathing exercises. (11:25)
  • Lois shares that she’s done a lot of laughter yoga, bringing a group of people together and laughing for no reason, we come up with silly little games and silly little exercises to play. (11:35)
  • Lois shares that when you’re laughing, you’re in the moment where you’re present and enjoying yourself. (13:08)
  • Henry mentions that they have a meditation on MediMind called laughter meditation. (14:28)
  • Lois mentions that yawning is also a breathing exercise and contagious, as well. (15:40)
  • Lois mentions that crying is also a breathing exercise and contagious, as well. (16:28)
  • How does Lois stay mindful, or coach people to be mindful when it’s not laughter? (17:06)
  • Lois shares that when we do deep breathing, it leads us out of the fight or flight mode, where our nervous system is when we are angry, afraid, or anxious. (18:16)
  • Lois explains the belly button breathing. (18:28)
  • Lois mentions that she has a children’s book entitled, Maven and The Magic Buttons. (18:37)
  • How do mindfulness programs in school work? (21:36)
  • Lois shares that by tapping on acupuncture points, it calms down the amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain. (22:40)
  • Lois shares her fantasy and goal (25:39)
  • What’s Lois’ vision for her mindfulness programs? (26:17)
  • Judith shares that we have to learn how to accept uncertainty and the techniques to help children come into a sense of peace, within themselves at the moment. (28:488)
  • Judith mentions that we’re learning scientifically that by focusing on our breath, we change our whole biochemistry, and people don’t realize that those three to six breaths, could help our immune system to stay strong. (29:18)
  • Lois shares a brain hack. (29:45)
  • Lois shares that there are different purposes for different breathing exercises, and everybody needs to become aware of and focused on our breathing. (32:23)
  • Lois mentions that all we need is to master our breathing. (34:35)

Key Quotes:

  • “The number one way to claim ourselves on all these levels is to claim our breathing and learn how to breathe fully, which is not just a conscious learning thing, it’s a process whereby we have to reclaim our feelings, or our willingness and our ability to cry.” – Lois Grasso-Barrett
  • “Laughter is ultimately a breathing exercise and gets us breathing big. It has all the benefits of breathing, and it’s a beautiful thing not to mention, it kicks into gear all those happy hormones in our brain and makes us feel blessed.” – Lois Grasso-Barrett
  • “I want to make sure people who are listening to this understand that when they’re feeling anger, or fear or anxiety or any of the unpleasant emotions, what it usually means is that they have been breathing shallowly, and those emotions can exacerbate shallow breathing.” – Lois Grasso-Barrett

Resources Mentioned:

MediMindful Moment Podcast: Meet Ajamu Ayende

 

 

 

In this episode of Cloud9 Online’s MediMindful Moment podcast, co-hosts Judith Dreyer, Jeff Nelder, and Henry Edinger interview Ajamu Ayinde, MA, ACH, Certified Medical Hypnotherapist at Advantage Enterprises. Ajamu shares his knowledge and expertise as a Hypnotherapist and his experience in Transpersonal Therapy. He also talks about the healing tools of mindfulness and the significance of gentle awareness.

Episode Highlights:

  • Have you wondered how our mental health practitioners are coping with the COVID-19 crisis? (1:38)
  • How do mental health practitioners incorporate mindful practices? (1:47)
  • Judith introduces Ajamu Ayinde. (1:53)
  • Jeff proceeds with the mindful moment exercise. (2:29)
  • After Ajamu experienced the exercise, does he have any feelings or sensations that he wants to share? (5:51)
  • Henry shares that gentle awareness is significant in our current situation. (6:34)
  • What states of mind were the most distracting for Ajamu? (6:44)
  • Ajamu shares that feeling overwhelmed is an emotion that a lot of people are experiencing, and many people are feeling very overwhelmed by the information overload and by the changes that are happening. (6:56)
  • What role does mindful awareness play in hypnotherapy? (8:43)
  • Ajamu shares that if we’re used to ignoring our bodies, ignoring our minds, and ignoring our states of being, then it’s easy to allow other elements to also be ignored. (9:17)
  • Ajamu mentions the principle tenet of Buddhism. (9:29)
  • Jeff shares that if we’re going to have any chance to transform fear and anger, it’s going to have to start with each of us. (13:59)
  • Ajamu mentions a book entitled Love Is Letting Go of Fear, by Gerald Jampolsky. (14:14)
  • Ajamu shares that these states of mind are the most unresolvable states that we can hold, and it’s impossible to inspire people if we’re all collapsed inward on ourselves and sticking our heads in the sand. (15:01)
  • Ajamu mentions that the Buddha came to teach us, to use his words, and allow us to make sense of this world that we’re living in. (15:42)
  • Ajamu feels that every holistic practitioner, every mindfulness teacher, and every yoga teacher, were called to be the light bearer, to be of compassion, and to be the force of love. (15:57)
  • Henry mentions that you don’t necessarily have to grab a sign and go to your local town square, to spread knowledge and to spread an understanding. (18:32)
  • Does Ajamu have a story to share about his experience during our current situation? (19:18)
  • Ajamu shares that it has been difficult for him to be in nature, and draw strength from the natural world in a way that he had, all his life. (19:58)
  • Ajamu shares that as a black man, the focus on police brutality is something that he has dealt with his entire life. (20:24)
  • Ajamu mentions that one of the greatest healing tools that he has is nature and being out in the weather. (22:50)
  • Ajamu shares that one of the elements of transpersonal healing and therapy is that it’s very honest, and spirituality is about rawness and realness. (23:06)
  • Ajamu mentions that one of the issues that is not being talked about in psychology or spirituality is race and ethnicity. (23:21)
  • How can we use the tools of mindfulness to help us, within a difficult situation? (24:47)
  • Ajamu shares one of the mindful tools that he learned from different martial arts teachers. (24:21)
  • Jeff shares that the idea that Ajamu can surface wisdom among people, in a very short period of time is something precious, and we should never take it for granted. (26:56)
  • Jeff thinks that a lot of people share the feeling of not being safe outside their home for a variety of reasons, and letting them know that they’re not alone, is very significant. (28:15)
  • Ajamu mentions that he’s a product of hypnotic childbirth, back in 1968. (29:00)

Key Quotes:

  • “As a hypnotherapist, I always want to remind people that they are much more resourceful than they would give themselves credit for being. One of the central tenants of neuro-linguistic programming is that we have all the resources that we need within us. And I do my best to share that philosophy and presupposition with as many of my clients as I can.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “The central idea is that one must be awake to deal with and address what’s going on. We could all wish things were different or the way they used to be or the way that they might be in some distant future. But what is right now is what we must all grapple with.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “When we bring love into our hearts, when we ignite that love when we acknowledge that love, we extend it to ourselves, we extend it to the other, whoever that other is, then that’s where the hope comes from. That’s where the solution comes from. That’s where the plan comes from.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “We’re not superhuman, we’re not Gods, so to speak. We are vulnerable as well, but it’s our practices that make us able to do what we do. But we must rely on one another, we must lean on each other, we must be vulnerable amongst one another so that we can rebuild ourselves, renew ourselves, and restore ourselves so that we continue shining.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “Disproportionate numbers of people who are being affected are people of color, and that’s not something that is easy for people to talk about, black or white. But it is real, it is what is. And it’s the underlying medical conditions that many people of color have that they bring to the COVID crisis that make them more vulnerable. But that has to be addressed, and it can’t just be written off.” Ajamu Ayinde

Resources Mentioned:

 

MediMindful Moment Podcast: Meet Dr Eric Secor

 

 

 

In this episode of Cloud 9 Online’s MediMindful Moment Podcast, co-hosts Judith Dreyer, Jeff Nelder, and Henry Edinger interview Dr. Eric R. Secor, ND, PhD, LAc, Chief of Integrative Medicine at Hartford Hospital. Dr. Secor shares his knowledge and expertise in integrative medicine and explains the complexity of stress and the benefits of mindfulness. Dr. Secor, a key player within our medical system, on the medical front lines throughout COVID-19’s arrival and impact on our medical system, shares his experiences about how mindfulness played and continues to play a role in his practice and approach to his patients and their medical care.

Join us for an engaging conversation experience.  

Episode Highlights:

  • Eric Secor shares his background and his career in the industry of medicine. (1:12)
  • Eric Secor mentions that only a few medical programs had Nutrition Lifestyle as a key component of their program. (2:16)
  • Eric Secor shares that when he joined Hartford, he helped them oversee the transition of their old integrative medicine model into their current model, and look for novel ways to integrate therapies through applications and cloud-based applications. (4:26)
  • Judith mentions that she loves integrative and holistic medicine. (4:53)
  • Judith shares that mindfulness practices provide a refuge from those daily distractions that are fueled by everything going on today. (5:08)
  • Jeff mentions that this episode is dedicated to creating mindful moments together. (5:59)
  • Jeff proceeds with the four questions. (6:10)
  • What are Dr. Eric Secor’s thoughts about the need for more mindful moments? (8:15)
  • Eric Secor thinks that everybody’s set point is a little bit higher, therefore our threshold for managing stress, anxiety intention, will ebb and flow throughout our workweek and throughout our year. (9:12)
  • Eric Secor thinks that challenges are coming at us from multiple different angles and locations. In a general sense, the setpoints are higher, the stress is enhanced, and anxiety is enhanced. (10:35)
  • Eric Secor mentions that heightened stress response is significant to help us react and adapt in the short term. (12:00)
  • Eric Secor shares the fact that when we’re in a heightened sense of chronic stress, those chronic recurrent conditions can become more active and can become more potent over time, with chronic stress. (13:03)
  • What role does mindfulness play in Dr. Eric Secor’s work environment, with employees, and patients? (13:42)
  • Eric Secor shares that with COVID-19, their workforce has to be more vigilant about daily temperatures, logins, and all the patients that they see daily, have to be screened, questionnaires have to be done. (14:57)
  • Eric Secor shares that they have a new resiliency committee, as part of the new wellness initiative at Hartford healthcare, they were starting pre-COVID, and they had their first organizational meeting. (16:20)
  • Eric Secor mentions that they have deployed Cloud9’s MediMind Meditation App. (17:08)
  • Henry mentions that Dr. Eric Secor’s patients are lucky to have him at Hartford healthcare, and his thoughtfulness about patient needs. (19:13)
  • Eric Secor mentions that 30 years ago, the nurses at Hartford Healthcare began the program from a Reiki perspective which is fundamental meditative mindfulness, and adaptation. (21:27)
  • Eric Secor shares about their newly opened site located in Westport. (22:34)
  • Eric Secor thinks that there is a realization that they have to begin to look at the lifestyle wellness, mindfulness options, and provide them a rigorous and reproducible way to provide this to staff and patients. (24:08)
  • Eric Secor shares a story about his patient who came in with anxiety and palpitations. (25:17)
  • What does Dr. Eric Secor think about pain and mindfulness? (28:58)
  • Eric Secor mentions that pain management is the number one reference to their practice. (29:06)
  • Eric Secor shares that with chronic pain, there is a place for recognizing the lack of deep breathing that directly corresponds to elevated blood pressure. (33:01)
  • Eric Secor mentions that mindfulness lends itself as adjunct care to helping patients to breathe better, improve their circulation, and improve their body temperature. (34:16)

Key Quotes:

  • “When we think about the stress response and the relaxation response, that heightened sense of stress is really about the fight or flight response. So it’s nice to have a fight or flight response when we have an acute stressful situation that we have to react to…the caveat to that is that we want that response to go up and we want that response to go down in a proper time frame. When that response continues, it’s like we’re running away from that bear every single day. ” Eric Secor
  • “If we step back a minute and think about the work that we do, anyone that has a job that requires precision and requires extended attention to detail, in a sense, does need to practice mindfulness.” Eric Secor
  • “If you’re thinking from a large system perspective, if you’re not improving the health of your 30,000 employees, it’s very difficult to contain your costs and have people be highly effective in very stressful changing situations.” Eric Secor
  • “We all know and take for granted that when we breathe very shallowly, our brain gets the signal that we don’t have enough oxygen, and the brain likes oxygen because that’s what it needs to survive.” Eric Secor

Resources Mentioned:

 

Introducing: MediMindful Moment: Podcast

Hi Everyone, I have enjoyed interviewing folks from all over our country sharing their stories and journey with all of you. Today I am honored and delighted to introduce you to a new podcast I am producing and cohosting titled: MediMindful Moment brought to you by Cloud9 Online: www.c9ohealth.com.

My team and I are passionate about making a difference, providing solutions to the challenges we face today. We hope you are inspired and incorporate a mindful moment in your daily life. It’s easy: simply breathe in… and breathe out.

Cloud9 Online is a digital health and wellness company that helps strengthen relationships between organizations and the individuals they serve by creating beautiful mindfulness meditation apps, customized to the client’s brand and tailored to the issues that are unique to the client’s stakeholders. The Cloud9 mindfulness platform combines machine learning & mobile technology with “Medical Grade” guided meditations tailored to specific conditions, to improve mental and physical wellbeing, strengthen the sense of connection, and inspire a culture of self-care. At Cloud9 Online, “Medical Grade” reflects an ongoing commitment to the optimization of mediations through clinical trials and a Medical Grade process which includes a 7-step proprietary rubric that was co-created with medical providers.

Episode Highlights:

  • Henry explains that MediMindful moments are about people being mindful at the moment. (1:04)
  • Henry shares that the current environment we are experiencing due to COVID-19 allows us to also be part of the mindful minute, mindful moment, and mindful second. (1:31)
  • Judith mentions that their focus on sharing the Cloud9 MediMindful Moment is about mindfulness and daily practice. (2:10)
  • Jeff shares that this podcast is dedicated to helping not only the audience but also everyone recording this podcast, to share more mindful moments. (2:31)
  • Jeff explains the mindfulness exercise called The Four Questions. (3:14)
  • How do Jeff and Henry apply mindfulness practices within their daily lives? (5:09)
  • Jeff and Henry share a little bit about their background and their roles at Cloud9. (5:28)
  • Henry shares that they started a clinical trial, for managing pain and reducing opioids, at Hartford Hospital. (6:05)
  • Henry mentions that part of his job is to think about how to achieve mindfulness and meditation in as many ways possible, and research shows that three out of four people would do meditation if their doctor recommends it. (7:20)
  • Jeff shares that he’s been practicing mindfulness-based meditation for many years and he’s the Chief Mindfulness and Marketing Officer at Cloud9. (8:38)
  • Jeff explains that mindfulness and marketing go hand in hand and the way he applies mindfulness in his daily life is more than simply meditation. (9:20)
  • Jeff mentions that practicing mindfulness, moment to moment improves your life. (9:44)
  • What is Judith’s role at Cloud9 and how mindfulness plays a part in her daily life? (11:44)
  • Judith shares that she’s passionate about anything that’s regenerative and sustainable in a holistic model, and she’s a practitioner of it as an educator, a writer, and a producer of her show. (11:50)
  • Judith mentions that she has a nursing background, and they offer meditations that address a variety of medical conditions, such as cancer, PTSD, and more. (12:38)
  • What are Jeff and Henry’s thoughts about the title, and what does it mean for the work that they’re doing? (13:17)
  • Henry mentions that you can download the MediMind app on the App Store or Google Playstore, and it has well over 450 meditations available. (13:40)
  • How do they envision the world-changing with more mindful moments? (15:16)
  • Jeff shares that mindfulness is about increasing the sense of connection between us and something larger and mindfulness is also about reducing isolation. (15:41)
  • How do they apply mindful moments in their daily lives? (17:30)
  • Jeff mentions that one of his heroes is a Zen Monk from Vietnam named, Thích Nhất Hạnh. (17:51)
  • Jeff shares how he uses the breath to deal with anger. (18:55)
  • Henry mentions that he would like to encourage everyone to go for a walk with their dog in the woods, and just see the blue sky and the clouds. (20:24)
  • Judith mentions that she has her practices in the morning that she loves doing, and it keeps her centered and grounded. (21:31)

Key Quotes:

  • MediMindful practices such as meditation, grow our ability to quiet the inner critic and allow us to be present in the now by creating space wherever we are, and of course, we’re seeking kindness and peace as we go about our daily life.” – Judith Dreyer
  • “What we typically do is we move through a mindfulness exercise that is designed to help us become mindful at the moment with our breath and hold intensities, emotions, thoughts, feelings, sensations that we experienced during the day in a gentle awareness in order to be more at peace.” – Jeff Nelder
  • “We try to think about ways that truly we can change the world and think about what an awesome opportunity that provides, so we’ve been looking at meditation as a way to help people in all different parts of their life.” – Henry Edinger
  • “If people shared a moment where they reduce their depression which is rumination over past events, reduce their anxiety which is rumination over future events, and were able to become present at the moment which is the ultimate expression of mindfulness, which is where all creativity and inspiration exists and sharing that together.” – Jeff Nelder

Resources Mentioned:

 

 

Blog: Dream Navigation: New Class Offered

Did you know dreams come to guide you?
Did you know the dreams of your heart guide you, too?

Dreams are not just about our nighttime journeys but more encompassing than you can ever imagine. And, dreams are our birthright. But how do we understand our dreams and the dreaming time?

These meetings will give you the tools to begin your journey and excite your imagination. Dream sharing is a part of every class and you will learn an easy but profound technique to capture the meaning and essence of your dreaming and create practical action.

You will walk the four directions and capture the essence that is meant for you through exercises and dream sharing. Materials will be provided. Bring your journal.

Where
A Wondering Spirit, 169 Shaker Rd, East Longmeadow MA.
Contact them directly to register: www.awonderingspiritonline.com
If you can’t make it in person and/or live far away, this class is offered the same time and day virtually over Zoom meetings.

Dates and Time
8/12, 8/19, 8/26, 9/2, 9/9, and 9/23/2020
Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm. 

(The space between the fifth and sixth classes is deliberate. I want to encourage time to dream and sit with your dreams before our final class.)

 

I had the privilege of being interviewed on a Voice America show a couple of years ago.  I am including the link to this show since it will give you a more in-depth understanding of dreams and the richness of class material. Obviously studying and learning about dreams has been a true passion of my heart. I love sharing the process and exciting participants on the value of our Dreamtime which unfortunately our society does little to support. If you have further questions don’t hesitate to contact me here or  www.awonderingspiritonline.com.

Listen below or on VoiceAmerica.

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