Simple Change is a podcast designed for listeners who are ready to create lasting change, in the middle of a shift or just plain fed-up with doing what everyone else is doing. Simple Change listeners want a new and inspired outlook as a motivation.
The goal and tone of this podcast is to inspire others to step into a transformational process. through the simple changes, be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual and to discuss the lasting impact they can create in your life. Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach Sarah Mastriani-Levi of Mannafest Living shares conversations with inspiring people who will offer tips and tools to create impact and lasting change through a series of small steps.
021:Exposing the Cracks that the Light May Come In with Sarah Mastriani-Levi
"My deep emotional struggle has been a secret, hidden behind the façade of dependability. I’ve been busy making sadness wrong and I was not sure how to talk about it."
Exposing the Cracks that the Light May Come In
Hey guys this Sarah Mastriani-Levi and I wanted to take a few minutes to speak to you from my heart about what's been happening with me, about what's been going on with my podcast and what’s been occurring in my business over the past few months.
I usually don't share a lot of personal stuff on this platform. Although, most of you know that I will share personal anecdotes from time to time to support your processes. But this time, I wanted to let you know a little bit about the authentic and human side of what's been going on lately. I hope it will encourage you and give you support that you're not alone in what you're going through.
These past few months have been tough for me emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually. I have felt like I’ve gone through some challenges that have happened, if for no other reason, then to slow down my pace.
For all of you, who personally know me, being an extremely driven, overachiever has been a trademark of my personality for the majority of my life. But something has happened… maybe lots of some things…that have begun to shift my perspective.
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew did some massive damage to my community, and much of the Southern East Coast. We caught the brunt of the storm. We were evacuated from our homes and forced into a “Hurri-cation mode”. Much of my business is online, so fortunately I could operate it from “the cloud” and the hotel where we were staying. However, while we were away there was a massive energy shift that happened in this area.
For me, trees are like souls, and coming back to the storm damaged area was shocking, to say the least. Now nearly five months later, we are still seeing FEMA collecting fallout debris from the storm. As you may imagine, hundreds of thousands of trees were erased from the natural landscape.
It felt like a spiritual emptying out, almost as if there were volunteer souls that bowed out, in order to allow space and light, for new energy, to come into the area. All in all, that would be a really positive thing, but simultaneously there seems to be a grieving process, both of the people and of the land for the changes that have happened and continue to evolve here. There's a heavy energy, and what feels like opposition to a lot of the new energy that is flowing in.
Being an empath, I'm very sensitive to this. Honestly, it has caused me to lose my rhythm a little. It has toyed with my productive abilities for my business, and otherwise. All of this has challenged me spiritually and emotionally throughout these past several months. It has caused me to question my relationships and whether I am in the right location or not.
The election season has been overwhelming, surprising and divisive. So much of what I never believed could happen, has…everyday seems like a new surprise, a new twist, a new turn. I feel constant fear and unease in the current political environment. I feel like I’m walking on egg-shells not to accidentally mention my opinion in the “wrong company.” Much of what’s around me believes differently, and I can’t for the life of me wrap my mind around it or support it. I keep asking myself, “is there a chance I could be wrong?” but cannot seem to understand how I could ever think or feel the opposite of what I do. I can’t understand what others are supporting.
Strangely, nearly every project that I had started before October has not come to fruition. That is totally unlike me because I love efficiently finishing projects, more than just about anything else. In addition to all of that, every single project that I tried to launch over the past few months has sent me mixed messages with constant snafus and delays. Nearly every lecture that I was invited t
020:Hydration as a Spiritual Act
"Do you realize that by not giving your body enough water, you are telling it to hold onto old cells and that you don't want a new and fresh body."
Hydration as a Spiritual Act
Hydration seems to be all the talk these days. With apps, bottles and an entire culture around the subject of getting enough pure water. Perhaps you have even heard of the alkalizing benefits of adding lemon or apple cider vinegar to your water.
There are some consistent issues that I run into with my clients on the subject, and I thought could help you to understand why using pure water and quality fresh products is so important. Truly fresh products have a new energy about them they bring the newness of the day to us.
Sometimes, I hear clients grumbling when I talk with them about the importance of fresh, organic products. I hear them saying, “Is it really that important? If I'm doing the same thing with a similar product, why isn't that good enough?”
Apple cider vinegar, raw and unpasteurized holds the mother culture which creates healthy probiotics and does not contain any preservatives. I often hear about lemon juice in a squeeze bottle and questions of why that or non-organic lemons are not as healthy as fresh organic lemons for alkalizing their water.
People talk with me about the convenience of pre-bottled products, like pre-squeezed lemon juice…and that they already have a pasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar they have had in their cabinet for years.
Clients tell me that their organic lemons go bad much quicker than the non-organic lemons even when they're not cut. They are surprised when I tell them that is a good sign of a quality product. Within 2 to 3 days anything fresh begins to spoil.
Why is that? Because anything fresh living loses its life energy force within three days and the only way to keep it for longer use to add preservatives.
Sometimes they continue to question me why they would want to buy anything that has that short of a shelf life? In the United States, we have grown accustomed to food lasting for a very long time after purchase.
I talk with them about the importance of renewing and not preserving. What do I mean by that? Every cell in our body, given a healthy environment, will renew itself within a maximum of 13 years. So, that means that every single cell of your body is nothing of what it was 13 years ago. Only your spirit remains and the memories of your experiences.
By eating food with chemicals and preservatives we are causing ourselves to be preserved (think ninth-grade biology lab organs preserved in formaldehyde). Okay okay so not all preservatives are quite as strong as formaldehyde but I think you get the picture would you rather preserve your cells or would you rather get brand-new ones all the time because you're giving fresh energy to your body through fresh foods.
I hope this helps to explain why it is so important to continue to nurture bodies with fresh pure water. Alkalizing ourselves essentially slows the aging process and does not allow sickness to develop, by helping us to create new cells more rapidly. One such way to do that is through use of fresh organic lemons and raw apple cider vinegar with the mother culture.
I also constantly get questions regarding how much water we should be taking in. The general formula is your body weight in pounds divided by two, equals the number (in ounces) you should be consuming.
Do you realize that by not giving your body enough water, you are telling it to hold onto old cells and that you don't want a new and fresh body? Lack of proper hydration puts it into survival mode and it signals, hormonally, for your body to hold on to fats, as well, because you are not going to give it what it needs to stay healthy. Weight gain is often due directly to not drinking enough water.
So, as you dive into your new year I want you to think about the spiritual process of renewing your cells not preserving them, and hydrating in order to giv
019:Brittney Hiller:Giving Yoga a Laughing Twist
"Bliss lies in the feeling of gratitiude, for others, in giving without expecting anything in return."
Brittney Hiller is a wife, massage therapist, yoga teacher, group facilitator, and spiritual creative; in addition to all of that she’s the author of a new children’s book, The Little Laughing Yogini. She is also one of the most joyful people I know.
It turns out that it wasn't always that way. She wasn't always able to celebrate the small victories. She wasn't always able to recognize the "small signs" that were put in front of her to see. Brittney takes us on her journey that has brought her to an understanding that "[people] are more powerful than they believe they are." She reiterates that we need people in our lives to help us to overcome obstacles...we can't do it alone.
Yoga is a path that changed Brittney's life. It all started with a high school dance class where she experienced yoga for the first time. Brittney said that from her first savasana (final resting pose), she was hooked. She had envisioned herself going away to an intensive in Hawaii to get her yoga teacher training certificate, but doors opened to enable her to get it locally.
She found herself practicing yoga on her porch and in the silence the idea of the outdoor yogini came to her. She developed her own outdoor practice and quickly wanted to share it with others. Her dream of having a studio without walls became a reality as she began teaching outdoor classes on the dock at Theravista. At some point she realized that people who had yoga memberships were not going to give up their memberships to come play outside. She knew she had to find a way to offer her own style or genre of yoga. Enter laughter yoga.
Brittney went to Atlanta to become certified in laughter yoga. She loved the child-like playfulness and the aerobic work out that comes from each class of laughter yoga. By receiving her certification she found her way back into studios. She found a way to incorporate both laughter and meditation into every practice.
From laughter yoga, Brittney suddenly had another revelation regarding the next step to take on her path. Away on a romantic anniversary get-away in the woods, in the quiet stillness between waking and restfulness...she had a story come to her. Although she didn't want to get out of bed at 6 AM on vacation, she got up and wrote down the vision that was being told to her. From that very dreamy "download" birthed The Little Laughing Yogini, a children's book about a little girl who goes into the forest, meets her friends, teaches them laughter yoga and ultimately finds her bliss. The Little Laughing Yogini doll was created as a tactile for of the girl in the book to help children be both comfortable and comforted by the ideas in the book.
Through each story that Brittney tells, we see there is a recurring theme of dropping the hustle and the direction comes in the silence. "Bliss lies in the feeling of gratitude for others, in just giving without expecting anything in return."
Brittney has found other creative ways to share her message through forms such as Chair Yoga Classes, Reiki Infused Yoga, Little Yoga Playshops, and Monday Morning Meditations to make yoga and meditation accessible to everyone. All along she had been asking for signs that she was moving in the right direction and one by one she received the...mostly in an entirely different form than she had imagined.She encourages others to "Get aware...and stop trying so hard to find answers" they will come in the stillness.
Brittney closes out the episode with an incredible story of giving. She talks about the greatest gift she has ever given and how it enabled her to realize that true bliss is only found in unconditional giving. She shares a moving and vulnerable story of self-realization and taking responsibility for the events that are handed to us.
A Simple Change that Brittney recommends is:
Practice Self-Love by daily looking in the mirror and t
018:Martin Lesch:Creating a Legacy of Improvisation and Compassion
Martin Lesch is a husband, musician, songwriter, phenomenal pianist, and teacher, in addition to being fully committed to preserving the art and culture of jazz music.
There are a lot of people who love jazz music and kind of idolize the life of the creative artist/ musician, so I feel that his willingness to be open and vulnerable about both the joys and struggles on his path will be extremely insightful. During this conversation we discuss creating, as a legacy of caring about community. We delve into tough subjects like the creative process, addiction, dealing with death and questioning everything. He also discusses his decision to create a new CD Journey through Jazz and to sell it on iTunes.
Martin has always had an interest in music. He tells stories of playing the piano from before he was old enough for lessons (starting around 4 years old), simply making up his own melodies and asking his mother what she thought of them. He began taking lessons at 5 and had both good and bad teachers until his tween years, when he finally found a great teacher. That teacher was a stand out because he did two things: asked Martin what kind of music he liked (and let him play that), as well as "taught him music theory from the get-go."
Parallel to his childhood interest in music and the arts, he describes growing up in New York City with a family that had some very interesting theological metamorphoses. He describes how his thought patterns changed and were shaped with deep conversations with family and extended family members.
Martin grew up playing music and went through Berklee music school. He was writing, performing and constantly on the road. He had the opportunity to perform with exemplary musicians from all around the world.
He spent an extensive time in China, and Europe, as well as touring all over the United States. His greatest desire was"[He] just wanted to create." During that time his meditation practice grew, as did the depth of his commitment to Buddhism. We discuss how "creativity develops in the quiet, not in the noise."
Music is definitely another language and form of expression. Jazz solos are like improvisational stories. 'Sometimes you get home at the end of a night performing and you feel like you didn't finish saying everything that you wanted to say..." explains Martin. He then sits down on his piano at home and plays a bit more until he has finished "his story" for the night.
Martin talks about the Jazz tradition of helping younger players to become accepted into the Jazz community, as well as offering them the experience that they need to fully step into the world of improvisational music. We discuss how Martin extended that invitation to my son Hani'el Mastriani-Levi, after hearing a brief video of him warming up for a sax lesson, in a parking lot.
Hani’el in the Parking lot: https://youtu.be/8XSRPIHjl3Q
Hani’el’s Debut at Jazz corner link: https://youtu.be/Mn_SNfv7UWo
Martin is vulnerable in discussing the risks of creative to show up fully and the bravery necessary.
"Being brave is attractive." "The best art is created in an ego-less space." " Jazz enables your art to be a community activity."
He also openly discusses how substance abuse is a huge deterrent to artistic development and progress. We speak about how prevalent it is in the world of art/music and how quickly it can lead you down the wrong path.
Martin spent years writing for others and now he says, "I'm writing every night...just that I'm doing it live on stage." The legacy that he desires to create is not just as a musician, rather as a compassionate person who helped to bring empathy amongst others in the community.
A Simple Change that Martin recommends is:
Practice Meditation...every day in some way...to create compassion & understanding in all that you do. To learn more about Martin Lesch and how you can support his mission of preserving the art of Jazz music and/or to purchas
017:Natasha Wozniak: Rebuilding a Village-One Brick at a Time
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Today's guest, Natasha Wozniak is a an artist, jewelry maker, philanthropist and committed to bringing awareness to what is really going on today in Nepal.
Natasha describes an interesting childhood in Wisconsin that was rich with curiosity and music. At a very young age Natasha lost her father and began her process of searching out those who were living lives "with meaning." While looking through a National Geographic magazine, she read a story of a man in Nepal who walked three weeks in one direction just to reach a spiritual location that was important to him. That article triggered her curiosity regarding what could be so important that someone would walk for three weeks.
While in college, she decided to do a study abroad, and in spite of her initial inclination to go and study in Paris, she redirected and chose Nepal. While in Nepal, she connected deeply with the people that she encountered in the village where she was staying. There were about 100 villagers. She said that she felt the warmth, love and support that she had been deeply craving in her teen years, since her father's passing. She always maintained some contact with her Nepalese friends along with a very clear desire to give back to them.
When the earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015, and Natasha heard that the village she had once lived in was being called the epicenter...she sprung into action trying to determine how she could best support the people. Many people want to help in situations such as these, yet feel confused if their contributions will reach the actual destination. Natasha had a direct connection and someone, on site, who could offer real footage of how donation dollars we being put to immediate usage.
When the earthquake hit, Natasha had no way of realizing how deeply it would affect everything in her life. She has since traveled there several times and is leading groups who would like to visit. Natasha has been highly instrumental (nearly single-handedly) in organizing fundraising efforts and took on the personal responsibility of doing everything possible to rebuild the village. She has even allowed her jewelry making business, take somewhat of "a back seat" as she is putting all of her efforts in to rebuilding not only Rainaskot, but two other villages that were badly damaged in the area.
Natasha is fluent in Nepali and is able to communicate fluently with officials and villagers in Nepal. She and her local colleagues were asked by local coordinators to create a plan to quickly rebuilt permanent homes. This was the ultimate goal of disaster recovery. They, however, have taken it a step further, by not only rebuilding the homes, but also creating an infrastructure for additional income for the villages, by creating "guest rooms" in each home.
Her current mission is to both help villagers in Nepal to rebuild their homes but also to provide them economic development opportunities through customized plans, whether through tourism, agriculture, crafts or manufacturing.
To learn more about Natasha Wozniak and how you can support her efforts to rebuild Nepal one village at a time and each village one brick at a time, please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her at the website: www.fundforlamjung.org/ There is a large "donate" button that will lead you to a direct donation page.
Sources Mentioned in the Podcast
Natasha's Jewelry business
National Geographic Documentary on Earthquake in Nepal
Connect and Follow Natasha Email
Video of the work in Rainaskot
Facebook-Fund for Lamjung
Simple Change Theme Music by Hani’el Mastriani-Levi
Simple Change Logo by Eden Mastriani-Levi
This podcast was edited by Mannafest Living
016:Nick Snapp:Helping Others Get Their Time Back
Never miss an episode of weekly inspiration from Simple Change. Subscribe now through iTunes, or Stitcher, or listen to an episode here.
Today's guest, Nick Snapp is a family man, engineer, coach, speaker and host of the Make It Snappy Productivity Show Podcast in addition to being the productivity specialist and podcaster at Inspire Me Solutions.
Nick, being trained as an engineer initially felt that he had to chase the corporate lifestyle. He enjoyed the people in the corporate world, but he always knew that there was something missing. As years progressed, he realized that environment wasn't for him. In his experience, he would find a lot of people who were depressed and stuck doing the "corporate thing" which led him to answer his calling of becoming an entrepreneur.
February 2015 was Nick's turning point and also the time when he decided to pursue the "entrepreneurial thing." He started his business with LEAN SIX SIGMA studies for products and companies. The job required more time spent away from his family, which he could not afford, so he got a coach to find some solutions. A program in L.A. made him identify what he was good at and what accolades he had always received in the past and they were all about PRODUCTIVITY. Since then, he has been hitting it hard in the productivity space.
Nick views productivity as "working on the right things and spending your time working on your best activities. Defining what those best activities are, is the most productive thing that anybody can do".
Getting involved in this productivity line got Nick thinking about every moment of his life. He came to know that your time really matters as an entrepreneur and on the outset you are the only person accountable for what you are getting done. When he first started, he was struggling with procrastination with his website; he just could not get it together. Later on, he finally decided to build the website at all cost in two weeks with the help of stickK.com. StickK.com is a helpful online tool that asks users to sign Commitment Contracts, define their goals, acknowledge what it’ll take to accomplish it, and leverage the power of putting money on the line to turn that goal into a reality.
As an entrepreneur, Nick is not afraid to push limits on what he feels that he can do. He started experimenting with coaching on air, with having panel answering questions from listeners and even with his wife or kids on, doing commercials. He’s never been afraid to execute whatever he feels is solid and consistent with his message and brand that adds value to people , however possible.
The majority of Nick's clients are parents who feel overwhelmed, lacking focus and feeling distracted. Nick also experienced that previously ,which led him to learn productivity. Nick wants to inspire and help people live their lives where they want to, do things that they want to do and help them get their time back.
Nick also developed a group coaching program, as he believes that the clients support each other. It’s a group with a common mission and similar mindsets to help each other.
Some Simple Changes that Nick recommends:
" Getting around people that think like you." " If you have an idea, it's going to sit our there in “idea land” until you set a date and commit and you tell people what you are doing."
To learn more about Nick Snapp and how you can get your time back, to spend more time doing what you love, please contact him at via email: email@example.com or visit him at his website: www.makeitsnappyshow.com
Sources Mentioned in the Podcast
Inspire Me Solutions
Make It Snappy Show
Sarah Featured on Make It Snappy Show
Lean Six Sigma
Prison Break Coaching Program
The Productivityist Podcast
Connect and Follow Nick Email
Make It Snappy Productivity Show
Inspire Me Solutions, LLC
Make It Snappy Productivity Show Facebook
Simple Change Theme Music by Hani
I love the wisdom that Sarah and her guests reveal in these discussions. Thank you for producing this podcast and sharing these insights.
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Yes, we can change if we are determined to understand ourselves better. That's Sarah's gift, her calm, loving voice and her connection to her guests let you see how good your life can and should be, one simple change at a time. Join her on her sofa, from the comfort of your own space, prepare a cup of tea, relax and get to work thinking about how her messages, and those of her guests can work to change YOUR life. You won't be disappointed.