Ted Talk Friday: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Manipulate Our Emotions

I work in tech in the Bay Area so these tech giants are everywhere; Google buses (G-buses) are all over the place and Amazon delivers anything and everything. Galloway goes into the psychology of how these giants have taken over both the individual and the industry. Listen to his interesting, even if extreme, perspective on where these tech giants are leading us:

 

 

 

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Do you agree with Galloway? Do you consciously feel manipulated?

Ted Talk Friday: How to deal with gaslighting

I have heard the term gaslighting quite a bit frequently, and it is definitely ringing true in the political world right now. The #MeToo movement has really brought this to the forefront–for so long women have been targeted with gaslighting, but when everyone has the courage to speak up, the power of gaslighting falls to pieces. I hope you enjoy this brave, vivid experience form Ariel Leve about surviving a childhood of chaos, lies, and gaslighting–and how she copes.

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Have you ever experienced gaslighting? Do you agree with her coping strategies?

A Day on Resilience at the Greater Good Science Center

I have heard about the Greater Good Science Center for quite some time now and I’ve been curious to check them out. I finally started looking at the schedule over the holiday season and wanted to go to all the seminars–so many amazing topics and amazing leaders! Kristin Neff taught a seminar on self-compassion in February, which I sadly couldn’t attend, but I was able to make it to “The Science and Practice of Resilience” by Rick Hanson. img_9992-1I left my apartment at the crack of dawn and caught the BART from my apartment to Berkeley; luckily it was a short hour long train ride where I people watched, read, and caught up on work emails.

I caught an Uber from the BART station to the event and serendipitously ended up sharing the ride with a few other attendees. One is a student at Georgia Tech (I went to Emory–coincidence!), whose name was Jalen, and he excitedly told me about his startup, which is an app from focused on emotional awareness and self-compassion. Jalen was such a kind person and I can’t wait to see how his startup, Mind Hack, grows. His companion is a coach at Heroic Voice Academy, which is an incredible company helping individuals develop their own brave, authentic voice whether they are giving a TED talk or interviewing for a new job.

The workshop was incredible; the day was broken down into sections of lecture, activity, and practice. We learned about the neurobiology of resilience, but also why that neurobiology matters so much in the clinical, real world setting.

One of my favorite exercises came near the beginning of the day when we discussed what we see as our own personal inner strengths that we draw on as our mental resources in difficult times. We paired up randomly, and my partner was a thoughtful, open psychiatrist grappling with his recent divorce. He shared his own strengths and my turn rolled around a few minutes later. At first I was drawing only blanks, but I suddenly tapped into this beautiful place of self-empowerment and reflection. Speaking my strengths out loud made me feel powerful, strong, worthy. As Dr. Hanson mentioned frequently during the day, humans naturally focus on the negative; we have an inherent negativity bias that we have to correct for. By focusing on my strengths, rather than the daily frustration I tend to perseverate over, I wasn’t just seeing the world, or myself through rose colored glasses, I was correcting for my own bias. This was definitely a light bulb moment for me.

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Beyond the course, I had the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful, kind people. I spent about an hour getting to know a woman with such a fascinating background who is now a therapist and shaman. She was so open in sharing her story and had such helpful insight into my own future goals.

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I feel so lucky to have gone to such a fascinating, educational event. It is such a privilege to be able to hit the pause button of life every once in a while and attend an event like this. I met so many like-minded people, learned more about the neurobiology of resilience, and developed tools to cultivate resilience.

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Have you heard of the Greater Good Science Center? What do you think are your inner strengths?

Ted Talk Friday: The toxic female gaze

I love the entertaining intro to this talk–cracks me up every time! This talk resonates with me; how many times have you looked up to find someone staring at you and automatically felt judged based on how you look? Watch the talk to learn more about the origin off where that might come from and why.

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Do you think this is more prevalent in females? Do you often feel others looking at you and feel like it’s a toxic gaze?

Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air

I’ve had When Breath Becomes Air on my list for about three years. I’ve often prioritized other books or put off reading it because I knew it would be heavy and difficult. Luckily it was our book club pick for this month and I am so glad I finally read it.

This book was written by a Stanford neurosurgeon diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. He describes his life, philosophy, and reflections on practicing medicine and dying. Yes, it was incredibly sad, but it was so much more than sad. I stayed up two hours past my usual bedtime reading this–caught up in a journey even when I already knew the ending.

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The writing was so beautiful; the thoughts so insightful and grounding. His reflections made me think about my own mortality and facing death of those we love. He lived his life so fully with a dedication to his goals & values. His book is a testament to this and will continue to impact the world long after his passing.

I went to an Emory alumni dinner this past weekend, and one alum brought her husband who happened to be a neurosurgeon at Stanford. Since I just finished the book and wanted to create conversation, I brought up that I had just finished the book. To my surprise, the neurosurgeon had actually worked with Paul Kalanithi and knew him well. I was slightly shocked at how nonchalantly I had brought it up; I immediately apologized. He stopped me and said that he was glad that the book was having such a broad impact–the best possible outcome for such a tragedy.

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It also reminded me that Paul was not a mythical figure, but a real person who died only a few short years ago. His legacy lives on not only through his book, but also through the hundreds of physicians, nurses, patients, and friends with whom he interacted. A few days after finishing the book, I was listening to NPR One and a Modern Love podcast episode came on (also an essay–“When a Couch is More Than a Couch”)…it was all about a woman who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at 39. It was deeply engaging; and the twist at the end connected back to the book. Definitely give it a listen!

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Ted Talk Friday: Beyond Labels: Bridging Differences Through Storytelling

My wonderful, brilliant friend Kate recommended this talk to me during our most recent chat. I loved the overarching narrative that guides this talk by Not Baum. Her message is one that is crucial during a time of such division, especially within the US. I hope you enjoy!

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Do you struggle to understand the perspective of others? When was the last time you listened to the story of someone you disagreed with?

#CABE SF: A weekend as an extroverted introvert

This weekend was jam-packed with social fun! If you know me, you know this sounds a bit strange…I am a deeply extroverted introvert.

*What does this mean?*

It means I love being around people, but get my energy and feel recharged through alone time–learn more about this in the book Quiet by Susan Cain. I spent both of my days meeting new people and catching up with old friend.

Saturday: I met a new friend for coffee and talked on the phone for over two hours. Yes, two. This is what happens when some of your best friends live hundreds of miles away.

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With plenty of snacks of course

Sunday: I started the day at an amazing event hosted by California Bloggers.

Look at the crazy line to get in:

Huge thanks to my friend Pauline from Sweatpink for hooking me up with the event! I met up with a few other Sweatpink ladies there (Sara and Melissa) , but also had the chance to meet some inspiring female bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Dee Gautham of @squats_and_samosas started the day with her amazing journey from unhappy project manager to entrepreneur living her dream without sacrificing quality of life. She emphasized the importance of vulnerability, which really resonated with me as I try to share both my bad and good days equally.

Danetha Doe of Money & Mimosas  talked about financial independence and how to grow your own personal business (or side hustle).

Danetha broke down her talk into the “5 P’s” for entrepreneurs:

1) know your why/purpose

2) people-getting clear on who is in your community..find your tribe

3) pricing-know what your packages are; how are you helping brands? what are your specific talents you can put a price tag on?

4) positioning- even if you have 2k followers, that doesn’t matter…it’s all about communicating to brands & letting brand know you can help them get to their goals

5) pitching yourself-brag about yourself (yes, brag!), you have skills & a unique message to share..be very clear with companies & business owners; provide a one pager vs. deck based on the conversation…and do your research!

Misha Skova of Skova talked about her development as a person and how the changes in her life have changed her brand. Having a family shifted her brand and she discussed the importance of going with that flow, while still maintaining the vision.

And last but not least the amazing lady behind @girlandthebay, Mandy Ansari. Mandy is an instagram goddess and instantly made me feel comfortable–like she was a friend. She provided her top ten tips for Instagram:

1. Know who you are—being authentic self is so important

2. Find your audience-keep to what they (and you) are interested in

3. Teach yourself how to do something—stay intellectually curious and learn about ads, design, Lynda/YouTube skills–the internet provides endless opportunities for learning

4. There’s an app for that!-look for apps that are great for photo editing to up your photo game

5. Be original (duh?)

6. Be professional-always respond to emails, be courteous, and outsource via upwork if necessary

7. Good things take time & patience; it took Mandy 7 years to grow her account

8. Invest in yourself- try Khan academy, General Assembly, skillshare.com…there are so many resources out there and you are worth the time and money

9. Stay honest

10. Tap it back-respond to everyone & share the love

Plus we got tons of adorable goodies in our gift bags thanks to the amazing sponsors!

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Thanks to…

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Ted Talk Friday: The business benefits of doing good

I know a lot of skeptics say that you cannot run a successful business and also prioritize doing good. Woods delivers a convincing talk supported by numerous examples and hard data that is hard to argue with. She does a great job of bridging the awkward gap of social good and good business.

 

 

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Do you agree? Why do you think there’s a misconception that social good takes away from profit?

NYC Eats: foodie love on the East coast

I was on the road for about two weeks between business and spending time at home. I had the chance to spend a weekend in NYC visiting a dear friend from college, Zoe, and hanging out with an new friend I met through health blogging! My first meal on Friday was a HIT! We started our evening at Souen, and it was delicious. We split the sautéed mushrooms to start and I enjoyed a macrobiotic plate for my main. I loved that it included kabocha—my friend, Zoe, and I initially met because we both loved this squash (I’m 100% serious) and here we are 4 years later!

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For dessert, we enjoyed some of Hungry Root’s delicious black bean brownie batter–sooo delicious! My friend has been working for this amazing company for years so I was thrilled to try one of her creations 🙂

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We ate breakfast on the go before an amazing kickboxing class at Shadowboxing–one of my favorite workout classes to date! It had a great vibe—dark, music that was just loud enough (not too loud), challenging but without any judgement! It was intervals of boxing moves, strength conditioning, cardio, & bag work. Workout rating: 10/10

After getting all cleaned up, we enjoyed a later lunch at Hu Kitchen (it’s all over instagram and I kept hearing amazing things)…

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Next up was an extravagant dinner at The Little Beet Table. Almost everything on the menu sounded superb so we tried not to order everything…we started out with an arugula fennel salad. It wasn’t anything too exciting, but definitely tasted light and fresh.

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Now this dish stole the show; the beetroot tartare–black pepper-lemon yogurt, hazelnut, watercress, horseradish…an incredible combination of sweet, bitter, and tangy.

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My entree pick was the grilled cauliflower steak on a bed of green curry served up with maitake mushrooms, a salad of market herbs, apple & almond. I could have easily eaten an entire plate of the mushrooms! The other entree we ordered was the Atlantic salmon with daikon & carrot slaw, baby bok choy, coconut & turmeric; the curry sauce was quite spicy, but the combination was fantastic.   

Apparently the brussel sprouts are a must at the Little Beet Table so we ordered a side of those as well–they were delicious! A little on the oily side for my taste, but incredibly flavorful. Even a veggie hater would love these.

One of my last meals in the city was a great big kale & shaved brussel sprout salad with a bunch of roasted almonds, beets & orange.

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Do you prioritize good eats when you travel? Do you crave veggies when you’re on the go?