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The Dandelion Effect

Author: Feathered Pipe Foundation - Andy Vantrease

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The Dandelion Effect podcast is a space for organic conversation about the magic of living a connected life. Just like the natural world around us, we are all linked through an intricate web, a never-ending ripple that spans across the globe. Here, we explore the ideas that our guests carry through the world, remember who and what inspired them along the way, and uncover the seeds that helped them blossom into their unique version of this human experience.
6 Episodes
Born into a family of musicians and artists, Matthew Marsolek has been at the forefront of the North American hand drumming movement since the 1990s. He’s the band leader of the Drum Brothers world percussion group, and has facilitated hundreds of events and workshops around the Northwest and Canada, sharing music and rhythm with a variety of groups including corporate teams, at-risk youth, bereaved children, cancer survivors, and students of all ages. He’s also been a featured speaker at TEDx UMontana, teaching his audience from the stage what he means when he says, “Music is your birthright.”Matthew has studied West African and East Indian music for over two decades and is an accomplished guitarist, vocalist, and composer. Along with two solo projects, he’s released albums with Drum Brothers and Mandir and has produced original music for several films. In this episode, we let the melody of conversation run wild. We explore the ancient roots of music making, the proven physiological effects of drumming, the power of music to unite and build connection--a scientific study called entrainment--and we take a deep dive into the multitude of music’s functions in culture and society--how to use drumming and other community-based musical practices to help us grieve, release tension, perform ritual and ceremony, celebrate, find joy, communicate healthy emotions and much more.One of Matthew’s teaching mantras is “If you have a heartbeat, you have rhythm," and his goals as a music educator are to spark joy, to create a safe space for people to reconnect with their inner child’s longing to play, to move past the fear of judgment and perfectionism and to express authentically, their unique song. DrumBrothers.comMatthew's TEDx TalkSupport the show (
Matt Kuntz is the Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness in Montana, the nation’s largest grassroots organization, supporting, educating and advocating for people with mental illnesses and their families. He is also an Army veteran, graduate of West Point Military Academy, former corporate lawyer and a father of three in Helena, MT.Recognized by President Obama as one of 18 “Ordinary Americans Who’ve Made An Extraordinary Difference,” Matt’s legislative work in the mental health field has undoubtedly helped improve the lives of many people. He was recently appointed to serve on the Department of Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Council, helping to sustain a national research program focused on the high-priority health care needs of veterans, and he also helped institute the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University, where he leads studies on Montana Youth and Veterans.In this episode, Matt shares openly about his own struggles with suicidality and what helped him through the darkest periods of his life. We discuss the mental health research he’s involved in, the murky, but hopeful, waters of diagnosis and treatment in our current healthcare system, and the strategy he used to move from a random guy in Montana to someone who helps to pass laws through Congress.Most importantly, we break through the stigma that’s typically associated with mental illness and talk candidly about the biological susceptibility and environmental factors that lead the human brain to function differently for each and every person. This is a raw and open conversation, a new perspective on the complexity of the human brain and the diversity of the human experience.National Alliance on Mental Illness: namimt.orgMSU Center for Research and Recovery: @mattkuntzMatt's Book: An Illustrated Journey Through BipolarSupport the show (
Baxter Bell, MD, is a certified Yoga Therapist, medical acupuncturist, co-author of the book Yoga for Healthy Aging, and former family doctor of 14 years. He teaches public yoga classes, is on the faculty for several teacher trainings around the country, and hosts virtual workshops and retreats specific to the benefits of yoga for healthy aging, back care, digestive health, brain function, sleep and more.Melina Meza is a pioneer in the field of yoga, nutrition, and Ayurvedic Health, sharing her knowledge around the world for more than 20 years. She is also a photographer and the creator of Seasonal Vinyasa Yoga, a holistic practice that features lifestyle, diet, and yoga practices tailored to the rhythms of the four seasons. Melina’s books Seasonal Health and Wellness and The Art of Sequencing series combine her passion for nature, the five elements, movement and beauty to help people stay vibrant and creative in their minds and bodies.Today, they join us from their home in Oakland, California to talk about the power of routine, the physiological effects of being in community, the roles that sleep (by 10pm!), local foods and 20 minutes of daily exercise play in your overall health, and how setting boundaries can be the ticket to finding more space—and creativity—in your day.We dip our toes into the rich wellspring of wisdom that the ancient health sciences of Ayurveda can offer our busy, modern lifestyles. Plus, Baxter walks us through breathing techniques to strengthen the respiratory system for focused prevention against COVID-19 and other seasonal colds and flus.www.baxterbell.comwww.melinameza.comSupport the show (
Allison Radecki is a food writer, culinary tour guide, a member of the first graduating class of Italy’s University of Gastronomic Sciences, and dear friend of the Feathered Pipe. Able to converse and share recipes in a range of languages, she has spent her career traveling the world, learning about culture, tradition and people through the lens of food--where it comes from, how it’s grown and by whom it’s prepared.From the secrets of the perfect udon noodles in Japan to Frankies’ meatballs in Brooklyn, Allison is most interested in how food brings people together and opens us up to connection, generosity and joy. How breaking bread with those different from yourself can lead to lasting social change. How asking questions about what’s on your plate sparks an important conversation about history, diversity and sustainability.Allison reminisces about her favorite childhood dishes, introduces us to the foremost voices in the international Slow Food movement, and tells stories that will leave you saving for a one-way ticket to Italy to embark on your own Eat, Pray, Love adventure--or make you run straight back to your mother’s kitchen. We discuss simple and creative ways to vote for good, clean and fair food systems and support every step in the supply chain from farmers and growers to restaurateurs and small business owners.Disclaimer: Do not listen to this episode on an empty stomach.Resources:Slow Food Movement: of Gastronomic Sciences: Fire Farm: Bombe: Mother's Farm: the show (
Sarah Bergakker is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and the founder of Mooxli, a company dedicated to providing self-care resources and continuing education for healthcare workers. Mooxli is an acronym for 'MOve your mindset, OXygenate your soul, and LIve life differently'. It was born out of Sarah’s personal experience in the healthcare industry for the last quarter century, navigating through emotional, mental and physical challenges that her professional training didn’t at all prepare her for.We talk about the prevalence of burnout, substance abuse and suicide among nurses and physicians and uncover the hidden feelings that many in this field keep bottled up for fear of going against the industry’s “There’s no crying in the ER” culture.Inspired by her personal and professional contemplation, Sarah has created a safe and supportive community where healthcare professionals can learn how to care for themselves first, because it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup--even when running on empty has been historically rewarded.Her team helps people process emotions, release the stories that they carry and navigate the moral dilemma of being asked to constantly choose the wellbeing of others over your own. Mooxli provides the tools of yoga, purpose practices and true resilience training through its online community, book clubs, retreats and continuing education workshops. Website: www.mooxli.comInstagram: @mooxli_Youtube: Mooxli * This program is brought you by the Feathered Pipe Foundation and its kind supporting community.Support the show (
Dan Libby is a licensed clinical psychologist, yoga teacher and the Executive Director of Veterans Yoga Project, a national nonprofit based out of Northern California.Dan specializes in the integration of evidence-based psychotherapies and complementary and alternative medicine practices for the treatment of PTS(D) and other psychological and emotional distress in active-duty military and veterans. As a Postdoctoral Fellow with Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry and the VA’s Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center, Dan conducted research investigating the physiological effects of mindfulness meditation as well as the first epidemiological investigation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in VA PTSD treatment programs.  He is also former Director of Clinical Services for the Starlight Military Rehabilitation Program and has taught mindfulness and yoga to hundreds of veterans and active-duty service members.All that said, Dan claims to have learned everything he ever needed to know at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, the renowned nonprofit educational foundation and yoga retreat center. In this episode, we discuss the clinical conditions of stress: lack of safety, predictability and control; how to create S.P.A.C.E. for healing to occur; the importance of evidence-informed yoga; and the five pillars of VYP's Mindful Resilience programs: breath, meditation, movement, rest and gratitude. Dan shares his excitement for VYP's new Mindful Resilience for Compassion Fatigue program, created to equip healthcare, frontline workers and caregivers with tools to prevent the effects of burnout, fatigue and vicarious trauma. We also spread awareness for the organization's largest annual fundraiser—Veterans Gratitude Week, November 6-16th—which culminates in a weekend online series featuring a dozen of today's most prolific health and wellness professionals.Dan's background in yoga, massage and spirituality married with his extensive training in psychology provide a unique window into holistic healing, and this conversation is a worthwhile listen for veterans, their loved ones and anyone interested in reaching deeper levels of mental, emotional and physical resilience.For more information visit:* This program is brought you by the Feathered Pipe Foundation and its kind supporting community.Feathered Pipe Foundation Since 1975, Feathered Pipe Foundation has been focused on inspiring positive change in the world.Support the show (
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