• October 2014

Get Ready to Unlock Your Potential

Ah, the power of potential. Who doesn’t want to tap into their innate gifts and bring to life all the characteristics and capabilities that make their contribution to the world unique and important? This is especially true for the small-business owner.

But how?

  • Confucius said: “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential … these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
  • Pope St. John XXIII advised: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
  • And Winston Churchill believed: “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Still, harnessing the true potential of yourself, and your business, can be difficult and frustrating. That’s especially true if you are struggling with disorders that plague millions—such as alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress.

That’s why we are excited to feature best-selling author Tom Shroder and his new book, “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal.” In it, the former Washington Post Magazine editor reveals the therapeutic powers of psychedelic drugs. When taken in controlled, medical settings, his research shows they may have the power to heal. Scroll down for more.

Throughout this issue, our columnists help you find additional ways to unlock your potential.

  • Brilliant artist Bob Staake is a living illustration of what it means to tap your potential. Case in point: his latest, My Pet Book, which he wrote and illustrated.
  • And two of our retirement experts show us how to wisely plan ahead for the future. Don’t miss suggestions from Estate Planning attorney Lisa Hughes on what to consider when writing your Will. And Certified Financial Planner Michael Egan provides a checklist for 20-somethings in his article on Millennials and Money.

We leave you with this parting thought from Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist featured in “Acid Test,” who was the first person to synthesize, ingest, and learn of the psychedelic effects of LSD: “Instead of all of this energy and effort directed at the war to end drugs, how about a little attention to drugs which end war?”

Here’s to unlocking your potential. — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine

Tom Shroder Takes Us on a Trip With "Acid Test"

COVER STORY:
OCTOBER 2014

LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal

Author Tom Shroder Investigates the Powers of Psychedelic Drugs

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher
Be Inkandescent

When former Washington Post Magazine editor Tom Shroder was a 21-year-old college journalist, he noticed an article about a charismatic hippie with a pet wolf who was building himself a house in the woods. His name was Rick Doblin, then 22.

“He was trying to live authentically, guided by an inner light rather than society’s preconceived ideas; consciously working to discover and create his own destiny rather than trudging along the rutted tracks set before him,” Shroder explains decades later in his new book, Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal.

In the years since, Shroder has written about Doblin numerous times—the former hippie went on to become a leader in the psychedelic healing community. He founded the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and has been at the forefront of the fight for advancing the responsible use of psychedelic therapy for more than 30 years.

LSD? Ecstasy? Really?

Shroder encourages us to open our minds to the fact that lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) can heal. In fact, that was the premise of Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann, who is credited with being the first person to synthesize the drug back in 1938. Five years later, he was the first person to ingest and learn of the psychedelic effects of the compound.

On his 100th birthday, in 2006, Hofmann said in a speech: “It gave me an inner joy, an open mindedness, a gratefulness, open eyes, and an internal sensitivity for the miracles of creation. […] I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance, LSD. It is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be.”

Certainly, LSD and Ecstasy are controversial. Taken without medical supervision, these hallucinogens can be dangerous—even lethal. But Shroder insists there is more to the story.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Weingarten says of Shroder’s 2014 tome, “A captivating narrative with irresistible characters, [Shroder’s book] will leave you wondering whether we have the moral right to oppose this breakthrough therapy.”

In “Acid Test,” released in September by Blue Rider Press, Shroder contends that there are most definitely therapeutic powers in psychedelic drugs—especially in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression, among others disorders that plague many Americans.

“Since the discovery of the profound alterations of consciousness caused by LSD, psychedelics have played a crucial role in the still-nascent quest to understand the link between mind and matter,” Shroder believes. “From the beginning, compounds like LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and MDMA (better known as Ecstasy) have astounded psychiatrists and researchers in their ability to produce profound altered states that can permanently untangle the deep-seated compulsions behind alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and PTSD.”

However, after two decades in which psychedelics became the most studied psychoactive drugs in history, their widespread abuse prompted a backlash that shut down the research. “Ironically,” Shroder points out, “the prohibitions on research did nothing to curb illegal and ill-advised recreational use, which continued to mount. Meanwhile, the promise of psychedelic therapy remained out of reach of the millions of people who could benefit from it.”

In an effort to shed light on the potential healing powers of LSD, Shroder braids together the stories of three men, forming the narrative that he hopes will spur a new age of acceptance.

  • Rick Doblin, Shroder’s old friend, who has been on the forefront of the fight for advancing the responsible use of LSD and other psychedelic therapies.

  • Dr. Michael Mithoefer, a clinical researcher and psychiatrist, who for decades has been conducting clinical trials using MDMA to treat abuse survivors and those suffering from PTSD. Click here to see his YouTube video.

  • Nicholas Blackston, a marine combat veteran who suffered nightmarish hallucinations and panic attacks on his return from the war in Iraq and underwent life-changing treatment under the direction of Dr. Mithoefer.

Don’t stop now! Click here to read our Q&A with Shroder. Scroll down or click here to read the Foreword to Shroder’s book. And listen to our podcast on Inkandescent Radio.

The Science of Gratitude: Why Counting Your Blessings Is Good for Your Brain

By Emma Seppälä, PhD

Associate Director, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

Stanford University School of Medicine

Founder, and Editor-in-Chief, Fulfillment Daily

If we have a roof above our head, a couple of meals a day, are educated enough to read this article, and have access to a computer and the Internet, we have received more opportunities, material goods, and education than the majority of the world’s population.

In fact, research suggests that, in general, we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative ones. However, burdened with the problems that we inevitably face in life, we often fail to remember the blessings and give too much importance to the problems in our life.

Psychologists have found two reasons for this habit:

1. The Negativity Bias—or Why We Focus on What’s Wrong

Research suggests our perspective is biased toward the negative and that, to our minds, bad is stronger than good. We are more likely to pay attention to and remember negative situations, criticism, or losses than to remember positive events, praise, or gains. Sometimes just hearing one word from someone can spoil our whole day, which may have started out perfectly fine.

Psychologists believe that this tendency to give more weight to the negative may have helped our species survive by highlighting potential dangers to avoid. However, in our current time, our negativity bias is often no longer appropriate and may lead to increased stress and a skewed vision of reality.

2. Habituation—or Why We Forget What’s Right

According to research on the “hedonic treadmill,” we receive an increased boost of happiness when wonderful new events happen (like entering a new relationship, buying a new car, or receiving a promotion) but that, over time, these events lose their ability to bring us renewed joy because we get accustomed to them.

As a consequence, we often fail to appreciate what we have.

We tend to be grateful for what we have only once it is gone: It often takes getting sick to gain a greater appreciation for our health, losing heat in our homes (such as after a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy) to fully realize how blessed we are to have radiators, or feeling lonely after moving to a new town to value the family and friends we may have taken for granted previously.

So how can we overcome these tendencies? The secret is gratitude. And recent research shows that gratitude has tremendous benefits for our health and happiness.

The Power of Gratitude

Recall a moment when you were feeling grateful. You may have received help from someone, been overwhelmed by the love in your life, or simply been touched by the beauty and warmth of a summer day.

When we feel grateful, the negativity bias automatically releases its grip. Rather than focusing on all the things that are going wrong in our lives, we remember the many blessings that surround us.

Similarly, gratitude counters habituation: When we feel grateful for someone (for example, our mother or spouse for the care they have provided), we experience renewed love and joy at their presence in our lives.

Research has even shown that gratitude is linked to decreased envy and materialism, which makes sense: Once we begin to appreciate what we have in our lives, we are less insecure about what we don’t have and may have less of a need to grasp for more.

In a number of studies, psychologists have shown that in children and adults, gratitude has incredible benefits:

  • Gratitude increases social connection—which studies show is essential for health and well-being
  • Gratitude increases altruism—which is a strong predictor of happiness
  • Gratitude decreases depression and improves optimism and positive emotions—which in turn increase well-being, boost creativity, benefit relationships, and impact longevity
  • Gratitude improves health and well-being for people suffering from physical ailments

When the negativity bias occurs, closing our eyes and counting our blessings can help give us a reality check. If we are alive, chances are a great many things are working in our favor. Similarly, remembering to reflect on our lucky stars may help counter habituation so we can keep celebrating all of the ways in which we are blessed.

Sure, there will always be difficult situations in our lives and plenty to grump about. However, we can either let these situations control the state of our mind and spoil our day, or take charge of our own well-being by remembering to smile at all that’s right. The situations may not change, but we will.

Four Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

Though Thanksgiving day only comes around once a year, cultivating gratitude can be of tremendous benefit.

The following two exercises do not take much time, but can lead to tremendous results, according to a number of research studies.

  1. Make daily gratitude lists and count your blessings: Whether you do so by writing lists, writing in a journal, or reflecting on your way home from work, bring to mind all of the people, things, achievements, and environments that you are grateful for.
  2. Notice all of the things that happen, each day, to support you: From the bus driver to the janitor at your place of work, the cash register attendant to your best friend, each person, in some way, is helping you.
  3. Express your gratitude to those around you: We often forget to tell the people closest to us how much we appreciate their support, help, and affection.
  4. Take a few minutes out of each day to express your gratitude: Write a letter to an old teacher or mentor, send your mom flowers, or write your colleague a recommendation on LinkedIn.


About Emma Seppälä, PhD

Emma Seppälä, is associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. To stay up to date on the science of happiness, health, and social connection, visit Fulfillment Daily, or www.emmaseppala.com.

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

– Ajahn Chah

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

– Robert Fritz

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”

– J. Kristnhamurti, The First and Last Freedom

The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.”

– Charles Brower, Advertising Hall of Fame

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

The best hobbies are the ones that take us furthest from our primary occupation.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

– Lisa Earle McLeod

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

– Bob Dylan

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

‎Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

– Booker T. Washington

Some things are destined to be—it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.”

– J.R. Ward, Lover Mine

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

– Lewis Carroll

Do you believe it is important to give back some portion of your wealth to support charitable causes?”

– Steven Schussler

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?”

– Steven Schussler

Books

Unlock Your Imagination With Bob Staake's, "My Pet Book"

“Most pets, you know, are cats and dogs. Go out and take a look. But there’s a boy in Smartytown, whose pet is … a little book!”

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Estate Planning

Your Will Is the Cornerstone of Your Estate Planning—Here's What Should Be in It

Your Will should be the first document you prepare when doing your estate planning. “It should answer the question: What do I want to happen to my assets after I die?” explains attorney Lisa Hughes.

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Great Spots to Work

You'll Find Style and Great Food at DC's Panache

The next time you are in DC in the middle of the day, or just out for lunch in the city’s Golden Triangle neighborhood, step into Panache.

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Hiring

What's the Key to Unlocking Your Potential? Try Mentoring!

Looking for a mentor? Think outside the box, says HR expert Barbara Mitchell. “I love to think of mentoring as a relationship between someone who has more knowledge on a particular subject and someone with less experience—regardless of age.”

Read more...

History

History Matters: How Jim Basker Teaches Appreciation for the Past

As president and CEO of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Jim Basker talks about the ways they promote the study and love of the nation’s history.

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Intuition Rules

Edemir Rossi on the Art and Power of Meditation

To tap into your intuition, it’s helpful to have tools that enable you to go deeper into the practice, knows Edemir Rossi, a Brazilian who for decades has been teaching what he calls “practical spirituality.”

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Nonprofits

The Reading Connection Opens the Door to Literacy for Children

Reading aloud to children is the focus of The Reading Connection, because, “We believe that reading empowers kids to reach their potential,” says Executive Director Courtney Kissell.

Read more...

Publisher
Hope Katz Gibbs
Art Director
Michael Glenwood Gibbs
Website developer
Max Kukoy
Managing Editor
Kathleen McCarthy
Associate Editor
Cheryl Moore
Assistant Editor
Samantha Dannick
Editorial Interns
Meet our 2014 team

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Networking

We're Off to the Races on Nov. 1 at Montpelier's Hunt Races

Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds of James Madison’s historic home, Montpelier, and pick a winner at the premier annual event on the National Steeplechase Association’s circuit.

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PR Rules

Unlock the Potential of Your PR Campaign with "PR Rules" — Available on amazon.com

Help us sell 100 books in 100 days! Learn how to maximize your visibility with the 8 Steps to PR Success. From www.PRRulesPlaybook.com.

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Public Speaking

Stand Up, Take a Deep Breath, and Develop Your Public Speaking Potential

“Developing the potential in my clients is what I do on a daily basis,” says public speaking coach Hilary Blair. “When I look into someone’s eyes, I don’t just see what is before me. I see all that they can be.”

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Inkandescent Radio

Kate DiCamillo on the Art of Writing a Best-Seller

Themes of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances are the hallmark of Kate DiCamillo’s wildly popular novels. Listen to our podcast interview with the best-selling author to find out why she’s still surprised that her work is published.

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Retirement

Michael Egan on Millennials and Money—What They Need to Know

Are you ready to unlock the potential of saving for retirement? By the time you reach your 20s, it’s time to get serious about planning ahead for your future,” says Certified Financial Planner™ Michael Egan.

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Speakers Bureau

Carol Kinsey Goman Helps Us Make the Most of Work

Carol Kinsey Goman, who specializes in leadership and nonverbal communication, delivers keynote addresses all over the world on how to build strong business relationships by projecting confidence, credibility, caring, and charisma.

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Wealth

How to Use Your Time Wisely for Wealth Management

“One key to unlocking your wealth potential is to be wise about the amount of time that you are invested in the market,” says Wealth columnist Rita Cheng.

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To learn more about becoming a client of Inkandescent Public Relations, or becoming a Be Inkandescent Magazine columnist. send an email to publisher and founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!