The Commune Blog

Your Health is in Your Hands with Kelly Noonan Gores

podcast Jun 11, 2020

Modern allopathic medicine is brilliant at treating acute trauma, but it’s a big problem when we try to treat chronic health issues with the same approach. Today on the show Jeff speaks to Kelly Noonan Gores, writer, producer and director of the documentary Heal. She explains how our medical system throws drugs at symptoms instead of understanding and treating the root cause of the disease. This is no small matter, as over half the American population is now afflicted by chronic issues such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and cardiovascular disease. Yet Kelly’s message is one of empowerment: We are not destined by our DNA. We have agency over our own well-being.

Modern western allopathic medicine is brilliant at treating acute trauma. Clearly, there are times when surgery and drugs are absolutely necessary and modern medicine has saved lives.

However, as today’s guest on the show adeptly points out, our medical system is often treating chronic disease as if it...

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The Sixth Stage of Grief with David Kessler

podcast Jun 11, 2020

How can we remember those who have died with more than just love and pain? David Kessler’s insights in this podcast are both professional and intensely personal. For decades he taught doctors, nurses, counselors, and first responders about end of life and trauma. Yet despite that knowledge, his life was upended by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son. His journey through that tragic loss ultimately led him to discover and write about the sixth stage of grief—meaning.

David Kessler: My name is David Kessler, and I am a grief specialist.

Jeff: Grief specialist. When I'm asked to check the box on one of those forms, I rarely see that particular vocation. Can you unpack that for me a little bit?

David Kessler: Sure. I often think about no one's in the third grade and goes, "Let's see, police officer, fireman, and grief specialist, I'll do that." I don't think it's a profession you choose sometimes as much as it chooses you. So that's what it did when I was...

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The Hidden Meaning in Hardship with Michael B. Beckwith

podcast Jun 10, 2020

Hardship, loss, loneliness. These aspects of the human experience can be doorways for finding meaning in life. According to Michael B. Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, the key is asking yourself the right questions. Don't ask, "What is the meaning of this suffering?” Instead explore, "Based on this obstacle, how can I imbue my life with greater meaning?” Today, Jeff and Michael discuss that imaginary hole we sometimes feel in our lives, and how what that feeling is really asking for is a spiritual awakening.

Michael B.: I'm Michael B. Beckwith. Right now, I am the founder of Agape International Spiritual Center. We're celebrating our 33rd year as a community here in Los Angeles. Basically, I teach meditation. I facilitate worship services and whatever falls under that description of a spiritual teacher. I speak at the United Nations. I teach around the world. I feel very grateful that I get to be and do what I get to do. 

Jeff: Was...

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Your Hormones Are a Superpower with Dr. Jolene Brighten

podcast Jun 10, 2020

Dr. Jolene Brighten is a women's health naturopathic medical doctor and author of Beyond the Pill. She believes every woman (and the men in her life) should get to know her hormones, because only by understanding how her body works can a woman make informed, healthy choices about interventions such as birth control. Hand-in-hand with education, Dr. Brighten also believes we need to flip the script in women's medicine – where everything is diagnosed is a “dysfunction” – and instead embrace that the cyclical nature of female hormones is actually a superpower.

Dr. Brighten’s new course, Balance Your Hormones, will be launching on Commune in early 2020. Go to and sign up for our newsletter to get our latest course releases!

Dr. Brighten: So I have a very interesting background, so I'm a  nutritional biochemist who then went on to naturopathic medical school and then pursued my postdoc in functional medicine. So functional medicine,...

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Unplug Your Worry

podcast Jun 10, 2020

When life starts to overwhelm us, it can feel like there's nowhere to turn. Stress and anxiety come in all shapes, sizes, and emotions. But what if we learned to turn inward and start to heal our minds from the inside out? Suze Yalof Schwartz founded Unplug Meditation to help you find the meditation that clicks with your personality and neurology. When that magic match is made, meditation meets you where you are and helps you reengage with the world around you with clarity and energy.

Jeff: Can you remember the first time that you meditated?

Suze Yalof S.: Yes.

Jeff: And why?

Suze Yalof S.: Yeah, I was so stressed out and my mother-in-law was like, "You need to breathe," and I'm like, "You're right, I actually do." So, she did this little three minute exercise with me and afterwards I said, "Wow, what was that," and she said, "It's called meditation, you really should do it," and then I was like-

Jeff: This is your mother-in-law?

Suze Yalof S.: Yeah, my mother-in-law.

Jeff: Yeah,...

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The Work of Byron Katie

podcast Jun 10, 2020

Life does not necessarily play out the way we want it. Much of the actions we take in the present, or our current behavior, is based on scripts written for us by others in our past. It may be a traumatic incident or a strong influence, but only through working to become aware of those past influences can we then actively re-write our own scripts to grow and change for the better. In this week's episode, Jeff works with Byron Katie to do "the work", recalling and reliving a difficult time that still impacts his life today. Through that recollection and allowing himself to respond differently in the present, the two of them can help turn what was once a trying time into an opportunity for growth.

In 1986, Byron Katie had an epiphany. She was in a counseling facility dealing with addiction to alcohol and codeine. She was agoraphobic. Her self-esteem was so low that she didn’t think she deserved to sleep in a bed. One morning, She was in slumber on the floor when a cockroach...

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The Tools for Joy

podcast Jun 10, 2020

Is it possible to remove all suffering from our lives? What is the difference between happiness and joy? Danielle LaPorte took this on as a research project for 10 years, and the metaphor she now uses is simple: Joy is the atmosphere, and happiness is the clouds passing through. Joy is foundational. And from that foundation you can begin to unpack your suffering. You can assemble the tools to for your joy. As Danielle says, "When you're in the pit, you forget you have a shovel."

Danielle LaPorte: My name is Danielle. My last name is [LaPorte 00:00:03]. I identify as a planetary citizen, but I live in Canada. What I do is I suffer, and then I get insight out of that, and I package it and I get it to the right people. I get it to the people who want to hear it. And then I also live a lot of sweetness, a lot of joy, and I try and get the wisdom out of that and package that. I exist. I show up to alleviate suffering and amplify joy. It's taken me all this time to figure that out.


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Go With Your Gut

podcast Jun 10, 2020

Dr. Mary Pardee is a functional medicine and neuropathic doctor who specializes in gastroenterology. Often these days we hear the words, "gut health". But what does it actually mean? Our bodies, and especially our guts, are all built differently and it can become easy to end up going down the wrong gut health path when you're not aware of what's right for you. Learn how, in working with your doctor, you can get to the root of your own gut health and find ways to thrive both inside and out.


Mary Pardee: My name is Dr. Mary Pardee. I'm a functional medicine and naturopathic doctor, so I see patients, and I really focus though on the root cause, so a nerd when it comes to nutrition, all the new things going on in health, which there are tons of, and I specialize in functional gastroenterology, so looking at integrative therapies for stomach conditions as well as hormone balancing.

Jeff: God, I should come and see you. That's my Achilles' heel.

Mary Pardee: Your weakness, yeah?...

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Kiss the Ground

podcast Jun 10, 2020

We often consider the fight for global warming as simply the elimination of greenhouse gasses. We need more fuel efficient or electric cars, more solar, and more wind power... But that only slows the dive toward catastrophe. Regenerative agriculture actually sequesters carbon and restores the earth to balance. Finian Makepeace, founder of Kiss the Ground, works with farmers and businesses to show them how to replenish soil, but there's a role for us all to play — as consumers and advocates.

Jeff VO: Welcome to Commune, a global wellness community and online course platform featuring some of the world’s greatest teachers. We’re on a mission to inspire, heal, pass down wisdom, and bring the world closer together. This is the Commune podcast, where each week we explore the ideas and practices that help us live healthy, connected and purpose-filled lives. You can check out our courses, our community and everything we do at Carbon in our atmosphere has...

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The Beautiful State

podcast Jun 10, 2020

What does it mean to live in "The Beautiful State?" Each of our individual lives are full of positives and negatives, of successes and failures, and of suffering. So how might we move past our suffering and enter a more beautiful state of being? Often people think we must overcome entirely our personal sufferings, but the beautiful state isn't about achieving the impossible. It is about creating and nurturing the kinds of lives we want for ourselves. Join our guest Preetha Ji as she helps us explore ways to achieve that beautiful state of being.

Preethaji: So it is important that we nurture, have a very clear vision, we have a clear vision for our external life, about the comforts that we want to have, the achievements that we want to create. But let us have a spiritual vision for our inner state of being that becomes the very foundation on which you can build a beautiful life.


Jeff VO: Welcome to Commune, where each week we explore the ideas and practices that bring us...

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