Ep. 59: Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh — How to Connect With What You Love Every Day of the Year

My guest this week is Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh, back for a second time (Aria was my very first podcast guest). We’re really pleased to announce the release of the book we wrote together called A Mindful Year, on September 10, 2019 (Blackstone Publishing).

In this episode Aria and I explore many of the themes that came up in our year-long collaboration as we wrote back and forth to each other, such as the quality of presence we bring to each moment, how to move through the fear that holds us back, and the value of simplicity.

This book has special significance to me because of the close collaboration that Aria and I had and all that we shared during that year. It’s also the closest reflection of anything I’ve written so far of what’s most important to me and where I find strength and comfort.

The practices we shared with each other, and share now with our readers, were tremendously helpful to me during what ended up being quite a trying year—much more so than I was expecting.

In this episode Aria and I explored topics that included:

  • The development of our friendship and the post-wedding day conversation that led to A Mindful Year
  • The importance of the quality we bring to the present moment
  • Mindfulness as a daily awakening (click on the link for my free guide 10 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety Every Day)
  • The downsides of focusing on the past or the future
  • The tendency to get caught up in our thoughts, and the power in noticing thoughts without following them
  • Seeing through societal assumptions about the “right way to live”
  • The implicit assumption that we need “permission” to live in line with who we truly are
  • The fear that can lead us to become a mere shadow of ourselves
  • The joy that exists in being fully who we are
  • Making peace with time, and letting things take as long as they take
  • Seeing people as whole human beings rather than as objects
  • Sample readings from the book
  • The movie “Free Solo
  • The value of simplicity
  • Distinguishing between our real needs and the “deceptive whims of what we want.”

Here is the affiliate link to buy our book on Amazon (helping to support the podcast, at no additional cost to you):

A Mindful Year: 365 Ways to Find Connection and the Sacred in Everyday Life

The famous Alfie Dog

Here’s a photo of Alfie, Aria’s beloved dog that we talk about in this episode. Aria got Alfie while we were writing A Mindful Year.

Aria Campbell-Danesh, DClinPsych, is from Scotland as his accent suggests, and attended St. Andrews University. He did a year of study abroad that brought him to Penn, which is where I met him (he took my class called “Anxiety and the Brain”).

After returning to the UK he completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at University College London.

Aria is also a certified personal trainer, with extensive training and expertise in mindfulness and meditation. He’s a frequently sought after expert in the media, in outlets such as Marie Claire, Top Santé, Women’s Health, and The Sunday Telegraph. He lives in England.

Find Aria online at his website, and connect with him on Instagram.

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