How Does Mindfulness Reduce Depression? An Interview with John Teasdale, Ph.D.

All over the world, research has shown that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can halve the risk of future clinical depression in people who have already been depressed several times. Its effects seem comparable to antidepressant medications. But how?

In 2007, renowned psychologists John Teasdale, Mark Williams, and Zindel Segan penned the bestseller The Mindful Way Through Depression to explain how bringing awareness to all your activities can battle the blues.

Now the authors have followed that up with a workbook, The Mindful Way Workbook, that includes targeted exercise, self-assessments, and guided meditations. I have the privilege of conducting an interview here with coauthor John Teasdale, Ph.D. about how mindfulness can reduce depression.

Continue Reading


How I Create: Q&A With Authors Dan Millman & Sierra Prasada

I’m honored to feature both Dan Millman and Sierra Prasada for this month’s "How I Create" series. Millman and Prasada are the authors of the new book The Creative Compass: Writing Your Way From Inspiration to Publication.

In it, they feature five stages of creativity and combine their personal stories with sage insights from other writers and artists. (I shared their wise advice in my piece on creative cures for writer’s block.)

Below, they share a glimpse into their creative process along with surprising insights on cultivating creativity.

Continue Reading


Learning to Be Good to Yourself: An Interview with Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

How do you learn to go gentle on yourself? Where do you begin to teach self-love?

I asked a favorite blogger of mine, Margarita Tartakovsky, who is an Associate Editor at Psych Central, and the author of the blog Weightless. Margarita writes often on this topic, so I thought I’d pick her brain and dispense her wisdom to my readers.

How do you begin to be kind to yourself?

I think taking small steps is key. When you’ve spent years bashing yourself, the idea of kindness not only seems foreign. It seems utterly daunting. So start slow.

For instance, when you wake up tomorrow, ask yourself: What’s the kindest thing I can do for myself right now?

Continue Reading


How I Create: Q&A With Author Barbara Abercrombie

Barbara Abercrombie is the author of one of my favorite books: A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement.

It's a tome of insight. This is the book you keep within arm’s length as you’re writing. The book you turn to when your brain feels empty, and you don’t think you’ll compose anything coherent, let alone helpful, ever again. It's the book you grab for support, kinship and wisdom into the writing process.

This month I'm honored to feature Abercrombie in our series on creativity. Below, she reveals her inspirations and favorite resources; how she navigates potential obstacles to her creative process; her advice to readers; and much more.

Continue Reading


The Gift of Adversity: An Interview with Dr. Norman Rosenthal

Today I have the privilege of interviewing Dr. Norman Rosenthal, the noted research psychiatrist about his new book, “The Gift of Adversity,” that explores how life’s disappointments and difficulties provide us with the lessons we need to become better, bigger, and more resilient human beings.

As a world-class psychiatrist, what have you found to be the most important tool your patients can arm themselves with when confronting adversity?

The most important tool is a clear head. Don’t panic. In most situations there is time to think; thinking is your friend, and impulsive action is your enemy. Analyze the situation, understanding what you’re up against and what resources you have at your disposal.

Of course, in emergencies you will need to act quickly, but that’s when your primitive fight-or-flight responses will click into gear and -- with a bit of luck and quick thinking -- will save the day.

Continue Reading


How I Create: Q&A With Author & Consultant Todd Henry

I was excited to interview Todd Henry for this month’s “How I Create” series, because he knows a lot about creativity.

Henry is the founder of Accidental Creative, a company that helps people and teams generate brilliant ideas.

He’s also penned two books on creativity: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day and The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant At A Moment’s Notice.

In The Accidental Creative Henry gives readers practical strategies for supporting your creative process, especially when you need to produce bright ideas on a regular basis (and the muse is on vacation).

Continue Reading


What is Cognitively-Based Compassion Training?

The root of compassion lies in realizing the interconnected nature of all beings on Earth. Cognitively-based Compassion Training (CBCT), a secular alternative to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of lojong, trains practitioners to cultivate compassion through straightforward contemplative practices.

In addition to realizing greater compassion, practitioners also find an improvement in their health and well-being.

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, senior lecturer in Emory University’s Department of Religion, developed CBCT and has since initiated research studies into the effects of compassion meditation. UB Hawthorn spoke with him about how CBCT works, the health benefits of this type of meditation and the different kinds of compassion.

Continue Reading


How I Create: Q&A with Writer Nicole Gulotta

I don’t remember how I found the blog Eat This Poem by Nicole Gulotta. But I’m so happy I did. It provides a steady stream of inspiration for my writing and my palate. Gulotta’s blog combines two of her passions: food and poetry.

She shares delicious recipes -- everything from blueberry buckwheat pancakes to mushroom quesadillas with brie and honey. She also features her favorite poems and sometimes posts a poem of her own (like this beauty).

Plus, Gulotta regularly writes about creativity, including pieces on curing creative roadblocks, keeping journals and setting up a creative space.

In our monthly series, she reveals her personal creative process and solutions for stubborn obstacles, and shares inspiring, helpful advice for readers.

Continue Reading


How I Create: Q&A With Novelist & Writer Justine Musk

There are some people whose work you’re instantly drawn to. You’re curious about everything from their take on the world to their tips on improving your craft.

And when you read them, you’re itching to create. You want to pick up a pen, a paintbrush, a camera or whatever your tool of choice, and make something. They inspire you to raise your hand, and speak up, to contribute your voice to the conversation. And they remind you just how important expressing yourself really is.

For me, Justine Musk is one of those people.

Continue Reading


How I Create: Q&A With Playwright & Creativity Coach Zohar Tirosh-Polk

Every month we chat with a different person about their creative process, hopefully gleaning an insight or two about creativity. Specifically, we delve into the activities that spark their imagination and how they overcome creativity-crushing obstacles. We also ask for their advice on how readers can cultivate their creativity.

This month we had the pleasure of interviewing Zohar Tirosh-Polk, an award-winning playwright and creativity coach. Through her company, Grow Creative Coaching, Tirosh-Polk supports creative women and moms on their artistic journeys.

What's her creative process, her inspirations, and how does she get over those creativity distractions?

Continue Reading


How I Create: Q&A with Creativity Coach Miranda Hersey

In our monthly series, we take a sneak peek into the creative processes of everyone from photographers to authors to artists to creativity coaches.

This month I’m excited to share my interview with Miranda Hersey. Hersey wears many creative hats. She’s a writer and editor, creativity coach, and host of the blog Studio Mothers. And she’s a mom of five!

I’ve already interviewed Hersey for several creativity pieces, and I love her interesting insights and valuable tips. Her e-book on creativity and motherhood is excellent. (I shared a few of her tips here.)

And her mission is powerful: to help others live deeply satisfying, creative lives.

Continue Reading