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On Wednesday January 6, 2021, the world watched four years of state sanctioned white supremacy culminate into the ransacking of the Capitol building by radical white extremists. In the aftermath of this event, I hope no one will ever turn a blind eye to the danger of white extremism ever again. What I also want to see is for leaders of every organization to make a firm commitment to protect people, especially those who are most vulnerable, from white terrorism. Without those protections, without a sense of safety, the collective healing process cannot take place.

As a result of Wednesday’s attack, all Americans now have a taste of the psychological trauma and terror that state-sanctioned white mob violence has inflicted on BIPOC communities for centuries. What makes this incident different is that this white mob unleashed its violence on white people in positions of power: white senators and congressmen, white police officers, and traditionally white government institutions. Therefore, the white people who ransacked the Capitol will be brought to justice. …

Reasons to harness the benefits of gratitude 365 days a year

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By Due Quach, November 22, 2017

When we spend most of our lives rushing from here to there maximizing productivity, we end up living in autopilot mode. In this state, it is so easy to take the people and positive things in our lives for granted.

As we run around taking care of tasks and goals that we can then cross out on our checklists, we experience a type of tunnel-vision in which we literally don’t notice the beauty and wonder of the world around us or fully appreciate the many services that others do that benefit us. …

Savor your favorite dishes without food coma

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Image courtesy of Pixabay

By Due Quach, author and founder of Calm Clarity

The phrase “feast or famine” describes how I used to relate to food. As a kid, on the special occasions I was treated to my favorite dishes, I would compulsively eat it like it was my last meal on earth. If no one was watching me, I would eat the entire family sized amount all by myself. I would eat until I was so full, I couldn’t move and felt like I could die from bursting.

My entire life, I have had an irrational fear of running out of food. In hindsight, I suspect this fear and these compulsive eating tendencies could be linked to my family escaping from Vietnam when I was about six months old. I starved for several days when our boat ran out of food and experienced a long period of malnutrition during the one and a half years we lived in refugee camps in Indonesia before we were resettled in the United States. …

The demands of the 21st century make mindfulness a critical part of a leader’s toolkit.

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Image courtesy of Unsplash

“Mindlessness is the application of yesterday’s business solutions to today’s problems. And mindfulness is attunement to today’s demands to avoid tomorrow’s difficulties.”

~Dr. Ellen Langer, Harvard University [1]

Too many companies have discovered only after it’s far too late to course correct that yesterday’s solutions have an expiration date. Blackberry, Yahoo, Kodak, Blockbuster, and Sony are examples of companies that didn’t respond early enough to signals that once dominant products and services were no longer relevant to consumers. In the new economy, organizations can no longer afford to let mindless patterns and ingrained ways of thinking and doing drag them down.

An explanation grounded in neuroscience and direct experience.

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The fact that my first taste of mindfulness meditation in college was a complete disaster helped spur me years later to take up the challenge of developing a mindful leadership training that uses neuroscience to make meditation practices more understandable and concrete. My own initial confusion makes it deliciously gratifying when my clients share that Calm Clarity was the first program that enabled them to really understand what mindfulness and meditation involve.

In 2000, during my senior year of college at Harvard, I took a documentary film-making course and for our final project, we had to make a biography. My partner and I chose as our subject the most interesting person we could find: Aba-la, a Radcliffe scholar who defied categories. She was a Jamaican-American civil rights activist who had since become a Tibetan Buddhist nun. …

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Due Quach facilitating a Calm Clarity Intercollegiate Workshop for First-Generation College Students, hosted at Penn

About a year ago, on April 11, 2016, I was horrified and saddened by the tragic news that a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, named Olivia Kong, had committed suicide that morning by jumping in front of a train at the 40th street subway station near campus. I learned that like me, she had grown up in Philadelphia, graduated from my high school, and had come from a low-income immigrant family. Even though I didn’t know Olivia, I took the news of her death very personally. It brought up flashbacks from two decades ago of how close I had come to ending my own life in college. …

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This year, several people have asked for my thoughts on the “Law of Attraction,” as widely popularized in a number of self-help books, YouTube videos, and workshops. I’d like to share insights from my study and practice of Yoga.

One of the first things that people who begin to spiritually awaken realize is that all human beings are endowed with what is best described as divine consciousness, which gives us the ability to co-create using our minds and bodies. …

Simple steps to overcoming fear

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Photo by Tycho Atsma via unsplash.com

I feel like ever since 9/11, our collective consciousness has been getting lost deeper and deeper into a maze of fear and terror, which we cover up with a front of machismo, anger, and self-righteousness. The more we give into fear, the more we let terrorists achieve their intended effects.

Organisms who feel danger and uncertainty will do anything to re-establish a feeling of security or safety, even if it’s false. To regain a sense of control, people often become rigid, dogmatic, and closed-minded. When people’s hearts close, they feel heightened anxiety, and to alleviate it, there is a natural tendency to assign blame and retaliate on a scapegoat. …

Have you ever wondered why how you think, feel and act can change dramatically from day to day or even moment to moment?

Calm Clarity animated overview

On some days, you are in your best form and can rise to any challenge with grace. On other days, the most minor irritation upsets you or you have no self-control no matter how hard you try to control your urges. The answer is literally in our brains. Findings from neuroscience reveal that our state of mind depends on what neural networks are firing in our brains, that our neural wiring can either help us or cause us to get in our own way, and that by changing our neural wiring, we can gradually gain mastery over our mind. …

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I wrote a post a couple days ago to share suggestions on how to build resilience (“10 things you can do right now to calm yourself and regain clarity in the midst of chaos”) in the tumultuous aftermath of the election, but I now realize what I shared wasn’t substantive enough to help people whose lives have been shaken up by traumatizing events. As someone with firsthand experience healing from PTSD, I want to go deeper in sharing knowledge that might help people heal and move forward.

This past week, as I followed the news and social media feeds, I have been deeply saddened to learn that many people, in particular, young students, are feeling overcome by fear and experiencing panic attacks. Then my heart broke as I read about hate crimes against people of color and the LGBTQ community. Finally, this morning, I saw on the news that a white supremacist used a social media app to target almost every African American freshman student at the University of Pennsylvania with disgusting, terrorizing threats of lynching. I was further saddened to learn that investigators traced the cyber attack to a college student at the University of Oklahoma — it’s very disillusioning that the perpetrator is a young person targeting peers of his own generation. …

About

Due Quach

Founder of Calm Clarity, a social enterprise that uses science to help people across the socioeconomic spectrum master their mind and be their best self.

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