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Black Zen and the Weekly Wellness

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This podcast is a weekly discussion on selected wellness topics designed to make you laugh, provide insight and breakdown the Weekly Wellness editorial delivered to inboxes every Monday.

This podcast is a weekly discussion on selected wellness topics designed to make you laugh, provide insight and breakdown the Weekly Wellness editorial delivered to inboxes every Monday.
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This podcast is a weekly discussion on selected wellness topics designed to make you laugh, provide insight and breakdown the Weekly Wellness editorial delivered to inboxes every Monday.






E61_The Best Way to Play Your Hand

For the longest time, there was one card game I could never seem to win. One day, I finally realized it was possible to win by playing each hand I was dealt (good or bad), really really well! I started to play with strategy, patience, and stopped taking every bad hand as a sign that that would be my position forever. It turns out I had a wild card - my ability to make decisions as best I could from the position I was in. Slowly but surely, I started to work my way up from the bottom. Even...


E60_Winter Is Coming!

Maybe it’s just me, but as soon as I hear the days are about to get shorter all I can think is…winter is coming! It’s a time when I usually stay in the house more often than not, and end up sitting with my thoughts for far too long. It’s no wonder that so many of us can get trapped in a loop of negative thinking and may even be affected by the darker days of daylight savings time being gone. And while a meditation practice can definitely help keep the SAD’s at bay (Seasonal Affective...


E59_From Hustler to Stockbroker: Billy Ray Valentine

One of our favorite movies from the 80's is Trading Places. For those who have never seen it (I'm looking at you millennials), Billy Ray Valentine (hilariously played by Eddie Murphy, and btw, best movie name ever) is plucked off the street and made into a stock broker on a bet that anyone can do the job if given the right circumstances. What's so great about this story is the transformation of Eddie Murphy's character. He had these skills in him all along, and the only difference maker in...


E58_What's On Your Bucket List?

I remember waking up on my 31st birthday and realizing I hadn't done a thing on my bucket list. While I had the means (despite my early twenties spending habits!) and the opportunity (free time and no present obligations), I was still waiting to do so many things in life because I had expected to be doing them with someone else. I always wanted to travel, but thought the stories wouldn't be the same without a partner to share in the experience. I'd often thought about going back to school...


E57_Don't Miss Your Boat!

This week reminded me of a story my dad told us when we were younger (some of you preacher’s kids may have already heard this one). A man finds himself in the middle of a storm (yes, the eye of the storm represents life's muck). The storm just doesn’t seem to let up and eventually becomes a full-fledged flood. Our man finds his way to safety on top of his roof. He thanks God for keeping him safe in spite of all the destruction around him, and asks God to come down and rescue him from the...


E56_Room To Grow

Have you ever been dead wrong about something, but swore up and down it was true? This week I found myself lost in these city streets with nothing but the strong conviction that I was right, and my pride. After realizing we actually passed the same park thrice, my ego had me thinking they must’ve added a new freeway exit. (Really? A new exit? C’mon now.) So convinced that I was right, I wouldn’t let up and course correct - despite all of the evidence telling me to do so. As absurd as this...


E55_A New Political Tactic...Guard Your Joy

Sometimes, all it takes is one Fox news story or an ignorant tweet to rock our peaceful boat. That was the BZ Team experience this week that led to this Monday's all-too-important topic… how to protect your peace and guard your energy from emotional and media vampires. Are we being dramatic with the use of the word "vampire"? Perhaps, but let me tell you, the draining of energy is real! Like all responsible adults, we want to know what's going on in the world around us, but this week the...


E54_Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Sometimes we can get so caught up in making sure that we're focusing on the parts of our life that we want to see movement in, that we can easily neglect other areas that need attention as well. I liken this to a relationship where you both know something is wrong, but no one wants to say anything. The unspoken issue between the two of you doesn't mean the relationship is fine, it just means it's deteriorating at a slower rate. So the question is, what are we ignoring in our life right now...


E49_Re-Discovering Your Superhero Self

We've all had times when we thought we'd never recover or bounce back only to return stronger than before and triumph over setbacks or adversity. How many times have we surprised ourselves with our superstrength or discovered a powerful quality we didn't know we had until a particular circumstance in our life drew it out? Unlike the movies where the superpower is something unhuman, in real life our gifts look like those innate, impressive qualities we all possess. When harnessed, they yield...


E48_Surprise & Delight

I recently attended a 4th of July event that ended in fireworks and it was life changing! I’ll tell you why. If you’ve ever believed you had a good time watching fireworks, try watching a kid watching fireworks. The way that child literally gasped and became awestruck by the seemingly simple bright lights in the sky is a feeling worth hanging onto, even as we get older. It was so clear in that moment that while I was simply seeing a fancy light show, that kid was having a truly joyful...


E47_The Seeds We Plant

Being raised in a large city, I always fantasized about life in the country. More specifically, I admired folks who were able to live off the land and make their own food. So like any adventurous urban farmer, I tried my hand at growing something simple like tomatoes or mint. They didn't last long (turns out, I don't have a green thumb). However, that experience did get me thinking about how many times we plant seeds that will flower as results in our life, but then don't take proper care...


E46_Bossin Up! (w/ special guest - The Memo)

Let's be honest - we all want to be successful. That's why we get up day after day and work as hard as we do. No matter the type of job we have, whether that's blue collar, white collar, member of the gig economy and everything in between, we all want to feel like we've accomplished what we set out to do. The moment we decide we're going to slay, it's time to put action behind that sentiment. This is what separates those who succeed vs. those who wish to succeed. And while each of our...


E45_How To Move Past Survival Mode

There are numerous stories of animals that have been held in captivity for so long, that even when they are moved to larger spaces or freed altogether, they still end up living within a confined area that mirrors the footprint of their previous cage. And before we go thinking this only happens to animals, even the great Oprah Winfrey admits to hiding money under her mattress for the first few years of her success because she was afraid it could all go away at any moment. When we’ve finally...


E44_Making Lemonade

It can be frustrating to put in work, be diligent and consistent about the execution of a plan, and still seem like we're not making progress in life. Or, when we do start to gain momentum, feel like there is a shoe that drops which we never saw coming. In the words of Mike Tyson, "Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face." ...So, now what? When life gives us the proverbial punch, do we shake it off and get back up? Do we go to our corner and regroup? Do we just lay there...


E43_Taking Radical Responsibility

There are two main ways to think about life. It is either happening to us or the choices we make determine our current circumstances. As children, we experience more of the first. Our parents determine the neighborhood we grow up in, the schools we attend and most of our environment. As adults, we now have the awesome opportunity (and radical responsibility) of shaping our life's trajectory. Radical responsibility means no longer blaming our past or our upbringing for the choices we make....


E42_Silent Authority & Quiet Confidence

When we were growing up, we had a healthy fear of our father. He could give one look and we found some "act right" quick, fast and in a hurry. He smiled often and rarely raised his voice, but something about his persona just said "don't try it with this guy." Thinking on it now, we see how much silent authority and power he had as an individual and as a parent. It's a trait that we as meditators have found to be one of the most useful qualities. Silent authority not only demonstrates...


E41_Time vs. Money Trade Off

Time is money. Not sure who said it, or when that phrase became popular, but that has been the focus of our week. Why? Because your girls are exhausted! The Black Zen team has spent countless hours ramping up on partnerships, speaking and teaching engagements and secret projects (Yes, you read that right. Get ready for a big launch – can’t tell you what it is or it wouldn’t be a secret!). In as much, it’s become more and more important to manage our time and energy to bring you the goods. So...


E40_How to Shut Up & Just Listen

When was the last time you felt listened to? I mean really listened to. Somebody looked you straight in the eye and took in what you were saying without interjecting, making the conversation about them, or without a cell phone in hand? I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s been a while. In a conversation, we rarely listen as much as we think we do. Our brain is busy receiving information and dissecting it quick enough to process so we can appropriately respond to what another person is...


E39_The Age Issue

Ann Landers famously wrote, "At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don't care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all." After going through the motions and the hard knocks of youth, age arms us with the experience and the knowledge of lessons learned to live life on our own terms. One of the biggest lessons in every decade is just how important self-awareness is to creating a life that is filled with decisions that accurately...


E38_What Is The Sound of One Hand Clapping?

We found some new and nerdy info this week that we just had to share. I was reading a book from one of my old meditation classes and came across the word “koan” a few pages into my reading. I didn’t think much of it, but a few pages later it showed up again. Since it hurts my heart to read a word and not know what it means, I decided to look it up. In the definition of koan I found myself very much like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, tumbling down a rabbit hole of the obscure and truly...