Book Review: Listen...Till You Disappear


Book Review: Listen, Till You Disappear by Martin Kettelhut, PhD

Rating - 5/5 Stars

Martin Kettelhut's Listen...Till You Disappear is an extremely practical, step-by-step guide to uncovering your limiting thoughts and beliefs, reconciling your past, connecting with others, and crafting your very own awesome future.

Martin Kettelhut, PhD

Spoiler alert - I went to graduate school with Martin Kettelhut at Temple University. We were very, very close until the later 90s, when we lost touch.

Then in the way of social media, he showed up one day on my LinkedIn "People You May Know" list. Like me, Dr. Kettelhut chose a path outside of academia. To date, he is an extremely successful executive coach who has co-founded two companies. His focus today is on listening as the key to innovation. Check out his website - Listening is the Key.


Mindfulness and Listening

Dr. Kettelhut focuses on meditation, on internal listening and journaling, as a key to self-understanding and success. He draws from many traditions, including Western Philosophy, Eastern Philosophy, and Yoga to create a very simple, yet highly sophisticated approach to mindfulness and success.

Basically, you refine and deepen your internal listening, which helps refine and deepen your external listening, which helps refine and deepen your communication skills. This then leads to more clarity around what you really want and how to get it.

Getting through the noise in our heads and in the world, getting past our own internal voices and the competing advice we get from outside, is not so easy. Dr. Kettelhut doesn't pretend that it is, which is refreshing. But he does promise that if we are willing to put in some effort, we will have a better life.

Listen Exercises

Listen...Till You Disappear is a practical guide. In the course of the book there are 32 exercises that are aptly named, "Listen Exercises". They start simply, with basic mindfulness meditation,

Simply notice all of the thought and feelings moving around inside of you. ...Stay in the mode of observing these thoughts and sensations, rather than becoming involved with them, until you witness them subsiding and are left in deep peace with yourself.

There are very practical exercises, like de-cluttering your calendar, and more complex exercises that involve recognizing and releasing expectations and finding allies among friends.

Every exercise is journaled. Towards the end of the book, you refine prior answers based on new information and continue to refine your beliefs, expectations, and agreements.

The Techné of Listening - Do the Work

Basically, this is a workbook. Listen...Till You Disappear is about the techné of listening, the work. You can read the book without doing the work, but that would be silly and short-sighted.

Finally, we have a guide to meditation that speaks to the Western analytical mind. Martin Kettelhut pulls together many meditative traditions along with some contemporary neuroscience and personal stories from his own life and his clients' lives, to prove that this works.

Even if you only do a third of these exercises, you will benefit. But I say, trust Dr. Kettelhut's knowledge and experience. And trust me.

Do this work and your life will transform for the better!

"Listen...Till You Disappear" By Dr. Martin Kettelhut ISBN: 9781483422565 Paperback: $25.00 Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu

Revitalize Your Health With The Fear Cure


In The Fear Cure, Lissa Rankin, MD helps you cure your fear, anxiety, and worry and revitalize your health in the process.

Imagine if everyone—our politicians, our bankers, the oil companies, our doctors, our lawyers, our teachers, all the parents of the world, and YOU—actually made decisions from love and not fear. Imagine if we believed that we don't need to avoid uncertainty and loss, that everything that happens, even the painful things, happens with purpose, and that we are all interconnected through a web of love, that we are not separate from each other, that each act of violence against humanity and nature violates ourselves.

We all know that fear, anxiety, and worry limit our potential, harm our relationships, affect our ability to thrive financially, and hold us back from fulfilling our life purpose. But did you know fear also causes heart disease, cancer, and the common cold? In The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul, my friend Lissa Rankin, MD shares with you the scientific data proving that fear isn’t just an uncomfortable emotion that limits your ability to fully step into your purpose in what poet Mary Oliver calls “this one wild and precious life.” Fear is also a significant risk factor for disease.

But don’t worry! This book is not meant to scare you more. In fact, it’s filled with hope, inspiration, and practical prescriptions for ramping up your courage and milking your fear for all it’s worth so you can let fear cure YOU.

How to Cultivate Courage

The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul includes a number of Courage-Cultivating Exercises meant to help you do your part in curing fear and shifting consciousness on the planet, including:

  • How to learn what your fears can teach you
  • A meditation intended to help you stay focused on the present moment
  • How to tell the difference between the frightened voice of your “Small Self” and the brave, wise voice of your “Inner Pilot Light”
  • A map to help you know where you are on your journey from fear to freedom, as well as tips to help you in the stage you’re in
  • Tools to help you “bench press” your uncertainty muscles
  • A powerful practice meant to comfort your “Small Self” so your Inner Pilot Light can take the lead in your life and drive your decisions
  • An exercise to move you beyond your victim story into a state of gratitude for the lessons loss can teach you
  • Tips to help you gather evidence that it’s not a hostile universe; it’s a purposeful universe conspiring to support you
  • A Tibetan practice meant to turbo boost your compassion
  • An exercise to help enlighten you through every way you judge other people
  • Detailed instructions on how to navigate “The 6 Steps To Cultivating Courage”
  • How to illuminate the fear-inducing patterns you may have inherited from your ancestors
  • Practical advice on how to shift from pessimism to optimism
  • A priceless tool to help you question your fearful thoughts to discern whether they’re “true fears” or “false fears”
  • How to stop caring what “everybody” thinks
  • Instructions on how to find a courage-cultivating mentor
  • Tips for strengthening your intuition and hearing the voice of your “Inner Pilot Light” more clearly
  • Diagnostic tools for making your own Fear Diagnosis
  • How to write your own “Prescription For Courage”
  • A 9 step practice to help you offer your problems and desires to the Divine, and how to interpret the spiritual guidance that arises when you do
  • 13 tips for shifting beliefs
  • 7 steps to creating your soul community

Wake Up to Your Purpose

Beware. This book is likely to infect you with “pronoia,” the opposite of “paranoia.” Pronoia is the belief that everything in the universe is conspiring to support you. What if you developed a raging case of pronoia? Who might you be and what might you do if you knew that you are infinitely safe and that everything in the Universe is conspiring to support you, that we are all interconnected in a web of love, and that you are being called to play your role in the awakening of consciousness on the planet? What cosmic purpose might be awaiting you right now?

Afraid to find out? I dare you to leap into your true nature and allow yourself to be used in service to that which wants to be born in the world through you.

Order The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul now. And look for my review and a Q and A with Lissa coming soon!

The Practice - Simple Tools for Managing Stress


An Interview with the author of The Practice - Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness, Barb Schmidt.

I love Barb Schmidt's The Practice, a small and unassuming handbook that introduces (or reminds us of) basic cross-cultural tools for stress management and greater happiness.

This work is built around three pillars - waking up, being present, and letting go - all of which are present in the judeo-christian and muslim traditions, as well as eastern thought. Through the use of mantras, meditations, and other easy to follow and accepted techniques, Schmidt teaches her readers truly simple solutions to help with handling our complex and stressful lives.

Barb Schmidt is the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful World, a community outreach program through Florida Atlantic University (FAU) designed to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace by incorporating workshops and weekly teachings with Barb and many of her esteemed mentors, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Andrew Weil, and many others.

Barb is also the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, a non-profit organization through which she teaches The Practice, a three-part guide to practical spirituality in the modern world and her tool for spreading her belief that “outer peace begins with inner peace.” Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life has rapidly expanded to include an online community via Facebook (with posts reaching over 10 million people), through their daily inspirational emails and weekly blogs. In 2014, Barb’s extensive achievements in fostering positive change earned her an invitation to the White House State Dinner.

Join her for a live chat Tuesday November 11, 2014 at 4pm ET.

The Practice

1.              What brought you to meditation?

When I got out of the treatment center for my bulimia, the 11th step of AA sent me on a serious search of an inward, deep connection with God. I read The Road Less Traveled and started becoming interested in meditation and Eastern religions.

2.            How did The Practice/A Path help you overcome your greatest challenge?

When I started a path of self-discovery, and deep connection with God, little by little in meditation I started to get to know me - all of the good and all of the not so good things that happened in my life.  I believe that my spiritual path has helped me accept me, all of me, and has helped me feel complete; helped me be open and receptive to life; vulnerable. Through this acceptance of my life I have overcome my fear of not being good enough, not being lovable, not feeling complete or whole.

3.         What prompted you to found The Practice?

I have a deep desire to help all beings realize their magnificence; realize that peace is within; you just have to sit with yourself; get to know yourself; accept yourself fully and you can and will live your greatest life! I want outer peace in the world and this begins with finding inner peace; and The Practice can help do just that.

4.        When was the first time you meditated?

I grew up Catholic so I have always had the tradition of praying before bed; praying before meals. But I actually first started meditating in 1984.

5.            What was your inspiration in writing this book?

I want to change the world- I want to change people’s lives- I want all beings to realize their greatest lives- I want outer peace and love in the world and I know deeply that this first starts with inner peace. So The Practice is a toolkit for bringing inner peace into life. Being a recovering addict myself, I have a strong passion for helping people overcome addiction and live the great life they can live.

6.            There are so many self- help books out there what makes yours stand out?

I feel that I’ve taken thoughtful deep practices, like meditation and explained them as an easy to understand and follow guide for life. I have given many personal examples as well as used many quotes from so many of our greatest teachers. I’m hoping that as people read this book they say to themselves “I can do this- I want to do this- I want to live my most magnificent life!”

7.            What is your mission for PMPL?

Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life is a movement to peace, and wholeness. It’s a vision I have of changing the world through inner peace. The Practice is a path; method for living a self-empowered life, managing the stresses of life, and uncovering the happiness and greatness that we all have within. We have become such an external society of beings and we must start living our lives from “the inside out”. We cannot live the life we wish to live at the mercy of the external world. When we take the time to go within each day, ground ourselves, we can take on the challenges of the world; our lives with strength, security and patience. Having patience, managing our stress, living with peace and love is changing the world; fulfilling the mission of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life.

8.        What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read, spend time with friends and family, walk and play with my dog Ellie, yoga, pilates, walking, skiing, watch football and basketball.

9.        What would you like for people to take away from your book/message?

We all have everything we need within us to live the greatest life. We have all the security, strength, courage we need without needing anything from the outside. We can have complete control over what we do and say and how we let life affect us- we can manage our stress, we can learn patience and we can live the life we wish to live.

11.        What spiritual teacher has influenced you the most?

There are so many it’s hard to pick one! I am such a firm believer that we are all meant to be our own teachers and it’s our job to get there. If I had to name a few I would say, the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Palmo, James Finley, Scott Peck, St. Francis of Assisi, Sri Ramakrishna, Gandhi; see I can’t just name one!

12.        What is one simple thing everyone can adapt into his or her lives?

We can all stop, breathe, smile and spend a minute just being!

World Healing September 2012


In my mailbox from Astrid Lee, Reiki Master Teacher, Initiative Leader, We Are One World Healing World Healing is on Sunday September 30, 2012.

"You know the routine: meditate at your usual time/place and connect with us in spirit or distance Reiki and collectively we shall beam loving energy healing to Mother Earth.

Beyond the general wish of healing Mother Earth, it is tempting to add the wish to make it GMO-free, to repair the ozone layer and to clean the oceans. These are three high priorities for me. I guess you will have your own perception. Fortunately the Divine knows what is best.

Usually, I see you all in a big circle and we all hold hands. I send Reiki to each and everyone of you. And I invite angels to come help as we collectively start sending out the energy to the world and all people around us, individually, and then thus collectively.

I wish you a wonderful weekend, and a great month ahead. Meanwhile, when you have a moment, drop me a line or so to tell me how your life has changed since you started doing monthly world healing sessions. Or something about YOU  / YOUR experiences during the world healing sessions ~ as you wish to share.


PARTICIPATE: Date/Time (for all 2012 session) How To Participate

Hand Placements for Reiki Self Treatment

Today at Sarvodaya's Early Morning meditation
Image via Wikipedia

Regular readers of this blog may notice that I am a big proponent, along with my friend Pamela Miles, of daily Reiki self treatment for all Reiki attuned people, whether you work on others or not. Reiki is a gift that we have to easily and comprehensively relax, meditate, and focus on our own well being for 20 minutes a day.

Some people are confused about the Hand placements for Reiki Treatment generally, and especially for self treatment. I was taught the following in my Reiki I training:

crown of head eyes ears throat chest diaphragm navel lower pelvis

and this is the "protocol" I generally follow in a self treatment, ending again at the crown. I set my little BB timer for 2 minutes per position and am up and done in 18 minutes.

If you only put your hands on yourself as you fall asleep, that’s better than nothing. Mrs. Takata often said, any Reiki [practice] is better than no Reiki [practice]. Simply placing your hands anywhere on your body can be enough to stimulate a systemic balancing response from deep within you.

However–you knew there would be a “however”–if you want to receive the greatest benefits as fast as possible (yes, I am a New Yorker!), give yourself a full Reiki treatment every day, moving your hands leisurely along whatever sequence you were taught.

If you use a protocol–a sequence that you repeat every time–you don’t have to pay attention to what you are doing, and your mind can drop spontaneously into a meditative state. This adds another level of healing to the session.

  • Reiki Self Care (
  • Do Your Reiki Training with Lynda In 2011 (