14 minutes | Oct 31, 2020
The Transylvanian Tycoon
Happy Halloween 2020 everybody. My name is Brant Huddleston, host of the Dance Past Sunset podcast, a show about how to let go of fear and enjoy peak life experiences in the second half of life. Today's show is going to get a little spooky! Disappearing villages. Shaved heads. Millionaire shepherds? That's a strange assortment of topics for a show, but as with my last show, this one is going to be a little different. You see, in 2019 I took a trip around the world, courtesy of a gift from my brother, a pilot with American Airlines. I traveled that year from the rocky coasts of Portugal, to the hot sands of Morocco, to the mangrove swamps of Panama, with many places beyond and between. In cheap hostels and the backwaters of the nomadic milieu, I discovered a treasure chest of colorful and fascinating people. One of those is the man you are about to meet, the son of vampires and warriors, a fashion mag tycoon, and a real Transylvanian. His story is told in a chapter of my new book Blue Skyways, now available on Amazon, a story I am about to read for you. A warning: Not everything in Marius' story is halloween fun, some of it is brutal -- but all of it is worth thinking about, and all of it is true. So sit back, relax, and take a ride with me on the Blue Skyways.
21 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
Moondance & the Meat Eaters
For Christmas 2018, my brother, a pilot with American Airlines, gave me a gift that became the experience of a lifetime: 12 months of free travel anywhere American Airlines flies. Thus began a year long journey that took me from the rocky coast of Portugal, to the hot sands of Morocco, to the mangrove swamps of Panama, with many places beyond and between. In cheap hostels and the backwaters of the nomadic milieu, I discovered a treasure chest of colorful and fascinating people. The trip became as much a spiritual and emotional journey inward as it was a literal outward one, and found me in a place those of you who are in the second half of life are likely to recognize. What you are about to hear is a chapter from a book I wrote about that experience, one called Blue Skyways, now available on Amazon. With references to the philosophies of Carl Gustof Jung, Jesus, Bob Dylan, and the Buddha, Blue Skyways is an international romp by a man in his 60’s with not much more than a pack on his back, and still much to learn. I met many fascinating people during that trip, and I tell their stories, plus a bit of my own. Before I read this chapter from Blue Skyways, I want to explain some of the background noises you may hear in the recording. My recording studio was a hotel balcony in Datça, Turkey during the dawn hours. Naturally I picked up some spurious morning sounds, birds and the like, which I consider to be the soundtrack to my life. I don't find them distracting, and I hope you don't either. If you want to see pictures of my place in Turkey and the awe inspiring sunrises I saw from that balcony, please check out my Youtube channel GoMobile Tours. But for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy a ride on the Blue Skyways.
41 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
“Discover Your Authentic Sexual Self” with kink positive therapist Galen Fous, Part Two of Two
In my last show I introduced Galen Fous, a 70 year old kink-positive therapist, author, educator and sex researcher who self-identifies as a heterosexual, dominant erotic sadist. In this show I continue my conversation with Galen, where he explains a bit more about his sexual identity, plus we talk about how to have good, healthy sex in the second half of life. I believe the F bomb is dropped at some point, but otherwise the conversation is mostly PG rated and best suited for adults interested in learning more about how to realize their sexually authentic selves. I like how Galen broadens the conversation and takes it to a higher level, not so much about kink but rather the importance of being your honest self. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” So please welcome Galen Fous for Part Two of my interview with him on discovering your authentic sexual self.
40 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
"Discover Your Authentic Sexual Self" with kink positive therapist Galen Fous, Part One of Two
My next Dance Past Sunset show will continue my series on sex in the second half, which began with health and beauty consultant Sophie Benge speaking on her personal experience with menopause, followed by Wendy Cobina Demos speaking on restoring sex to its sacred place. My next guest, a 70 year old man, will talk about his journey of reclaiming his own sexual power, and in doing so finally feeling witnessed, seen, and loved. He developed a profound sense of trust and depth of intimacy he would have never experienced without some courageous personal honesty, something I’d like to think we all develop as we move into the second half of our lives. But before I introduce my guest, who will be interviewed in two parts, I want to offer some context. A New and Better Ethic As you may know from my book Blue Skyways, or from comments I’ve made over the years on this show, I spent about 30 years in the evangelical Christian faith, having become “born again” on July 25, 1975 at the tender age of nineteen. When I actually left the faith is less clear, since I kind of smudged out about 14 years ago, keeping some things I valued and throwing out others. One ethic I threw out is the disapproval most but not all evangelical christian's hold for LGBTQ sexual orientation, or for genders other than those distinctly male and female. I personally no longer accept that ethic. A quick study of biology shows diversity in gender and sexuality, physically if not emotionally and spiritually, and I respect science. So I have taken to heart what is for me a new ethic, and for me, a better one. I support a non-binary, gender fluid world that respects and celebrates all genders and that everyone should be able to live their truth in complete freedom. The challenges of our world are complex, and it will take all hands on deck to solve them: all races, all ages, all faiths, all genders, everybody. My Next Guest Galen Fous That new ethic made it easy for me to welcome my next guest, Galen Fous, a man who self-identifies as a heterosexual, dominant erotic sadist, and if you think you know what that means, then I suggest you also listen to part two of this show. Galen is also a kink-positive therapist, author, educator and sex researcher. He is the inventor of the Tetruss Shibari Suspension Bondage Rig, Portable BDSM Dungeon and Sex Swing, which is the world’s most versatile adult toy, and most recently, the my yoga chair. At age 70, he has some good and interesting ideas for how to stay in shape through the second half of life, sexually and otherwise. Our conversation is probably PG rated, so not for little kids, but really useful for any adult seeking to reclaim their own sexual power, and in doing so, finally being able to live in true freedom, feeling witnessed, seen, and loved. Sex & Death Some of you may be wondering how I move from death, the subject of most of my earlier shows and still the red thread that runs though them, and sex, the subject of recent shows. Notwithstanding that sex and death are two of the most powerful forces affecting humans, there is a profound connection, a sort of Ariadne's string that leads us from one to the other in the labyrinth of life. It has everything to do with personal authenticity. Confronting death has a way of stripping away the imposter in us, the person who is living someone else’s life instead of his own. That brutal confrontation doesn’t have to be with the final death, the one with a capital D, although I understand that one is foolproof. Finding our true selves can also come by encountering one of the secondary deaths, like divorce, job loss, serious illness, a Near Death Experience, or the loss of a friendship or loved one. It can be anything that ushers in what the Catholics call the “dark night of the soul.” Galen has his own brutal confrontation when his partner outted him and he lost everything — his job, his children, his position in his community — everything. Then, finally, and only then, was he free to be who he was all along, but now with the honesty and integrity that are vital to wholeness. He died, but then he was born again in a more honest form. I like to think that those of us who are in the second half of life, no matter our age, are primed to begin living our own true, authentic lives, free from the patterns and complexes that held us prisoners in the first half. If you’ve had your own encounter with death, than you know to not to waste a single moment chasing someone else’s dream, or living someone else’s life. Make the most of every moment, because it’s the only moment you’ve got.
35 minutes | Nov 26, 2019
"Sacred Sex in the Second Half" with Wendy Cobina Demos
I am coming to you from the quaint town of Tavira, Portugal, part of my year long travel around the world and the subject of my third book "Blue Skyways." I’ll tell you at the end of the show how you can access an exclusive copy of Blue Skyways, but for now, I want to talk about sex. Yes, this next show is another in my “sex in the second half” series, and not all the content is suitable for the kiddies, so please use discretion before playing this podcast over your elementary school's PA system. Now I’ll admit, I am as dumb as a bag of rocks on many of these issues, which is exactly why I’m curious to explore them. At 63 years old, I can feel my body changing, and that is affecting my sex life. Sound familiar? Furthermore, my ideas about relationships are shifting. Is traditional marriage still the right model for men and women who want to have sex, or is there something else? What about living together 24 by seven by 365? Might there be another approach that is not quite so…ahem…suffocating? I talk about all this and more with my next guest Wendy Cobina Demos, who is the founder of the Sacred Sexual Music festivals and JuicyMeJuicy.com. Wendy and I met in her home city of Vancouver, British Columbia, where we huddled for this recording in her festival van on a rainy evening. Not only does Wendy have a wonderful vision for restoring the sacredness of sex, which you’ll hear about in this interview, she also a talented musician. You can hear one of her songs playing in the background. So please join me on the Dance you my conversation with Wendy Cobina Demos of SacredSexualMusicFestival.com.
42 minutes | Oct 27, 2019
Cannabis for Seniors, with artist, stoner, and hemp advocate Daniel Roberto Ortega
I first interviewed my friend Daniel Roberto Ortega a few years ago about his art, which he creates from a combination of natural hemp and the cremated remains of pets and people. I suspected at the time that Daniel was stoned, and I made light of it in my introduction to that show. Well, Daniel came clean with me recently and admitted that he was high, and that’s how I learned about his new non-profit venture called Cannabis for Seniors, which is an informational resource for all things hemp. But why seniors? What should people in the second half of life know about this plant and its medical and euphoric effects? Daniel and I talk about that, plus the variety of ways to use cannabis, how it is helping veterans and others with pain and trauma, as well as some things to be careful of. It’s all here in this episode of the Dance, and you can rest easy, neither of us were stoned at the time, so the interview is chock full of useful information for anyone who has never tried cannabis or for those who tried years ago but might want to try again. So please join me in welcoming artist, stoner, and host of the website Cannabis for Seniors, Daniel Roberto Ortega.
45 minutes | Aug 31, 2019
"A" is for Aging. "M" is for Menopause, with International Health & Wellness Consultant Sophie Benge, Part 2 of 2
As I promised in Part One of my interview with Sophie Benge, in this Part Two things get a bit racier as we dive into specific ways women can thrive through menopause, stay connected to their bodies, and wake up their sexual magnetism. While our talk is highly respectful, we do touch on topics that would not be suitable for young children, so some parental guidance is recommended, plus I do drop the occasional cuss word. My guest, Sophie Benge, an international journalist and consultant on beauty and wellness, with a focus on women. She is the author of several books on the healing power of natural resources, the human energy system, and ancient systems of medicine. She is the curator of retreats and workshops for women over 40 called Aging Gracefully,including one coming up in late November 2019. If you want to feel better about yourself, if you want to know what the best options are for easing the symptoms of menopause, if you want more and better sex, then you will want to listen to this show, because Sophie lays it all out in detail, with no holds barred. To my male listeners, pay attention guys, This show is chock full of good information for you too, including an opportunity and the end that you won’t want to miss.
26 minutes | Aug 30, 2019
“A” is for Aging. “M” is for Menopause, with International Health & Wellness Consultant Sophie Benge, Part 1 of 2
I met my next guest in Portugal last May, at a conference on healing, and was immediately attracted to her natural beauty and radiance. No surprise there — just take a look at her picture! When someone has an inner smile, it manifests outwardly, and I love to see it. Sophie Benge is an international journalist and consultant on beauty and wellness, with a focus on women. Now guys, don’t turn me off yet, because you are going to want to hear Sophie explain how you and the woman in your life can have more and better sex, and we do that by talking about…wait for it…menopause. That’s right, Sophie and I dive deeply into this often misunderstood stage of life that affects most women of a certain age, and so it affects us men too. Sophie Benge is the author of several books on the healing power of natural resources, the human energy system, and ancient systems of medicine. She is the curator of retreats and workshops called Aging Gracefully, including one coming up in late November 2019. But Sophie is not just about seaweed soaks and kundalini, she is also a sucker for the traditional salon blow dry and wrinkle-reducing cream. I know — when I was looking pretty shaggy after six weeks on the road, Sophie helped me get a a good haircut in London, where she lives and works. Now I have a confession to make before we get started. As with so many subjects we cover on this podcast, I knew almost nothing about menopause. You’ll pick up on that as Sophie gives me a proper schooling on Hormone Replacement Therapy, the symptoms of menopause, and how it affects our sex lives. There was so much to learn that I broke the interview into two parts, and while they are both PG rated, the discussion gets decidedly saucier as we go on. So please join me for Part One of my two part interview with Sophie Benge, international journalist, author and curator of Ageing Gracefully as we talk about menopause.
38 minutes | Jul 23, 2019
"Fall down seven times. Get up eight" with Attorney Ron Frappier
This next show is deeply personal, because I have the treasured opportunity to interview one of my oldest and dearest friends, a man who was literally given up for dead by the medical establishment, and yet who lived to tell a harrowing story of devastation, faith, hard work, and eventually, restoration. Ron Frappier was at the peak of his game, one of the top five corporate security lawyers in the country. Then, in a split second, everything changed. This show is more than just about enjoying peak life experiences — it’s about finding meaning in life. For Ron, that meant defying every prognosis given by his doctors, and doing the hard, hard work it takes to come back from a traumatic brain injury. It meant finding that sacred balance between accepting “what is” while at the same time determining, with all you heart, strength and soul, to make things different. If that sounds oxymoronic, it is, because that’s “God logic” and not “human logic.” If you, like me and Ron, are in the second half of your life and struggling with all the challenges that come with it, then you will want to listen to this interview with my good friend and champion Ron Frappier. I guarantee it will leave you inspired.
14 minutes | Jul 3, 2019
"Death Rituals from Around the World" with Professional Photographer Klaus Bo, Part 2 of 2
In part one of my interview with Danish photographer Klaus Bo, we learned how he got started with his dead and alive project, chronicling death rituals from Greenland, Haiti, Madagascar, Ghana, India, Indonesia and Nepal. You can see those pictures on his website DeadandAliveProject.com. In this second and final part of my interview with Klaus, we talk about food. That’s right! When the living come together, even for a funeral, food is often and important part of that ritual, even if it’s just coffee and cake. What you won’t hear is me and Klaus after the mics were turned off kicking around the idea of an Anthony Bourdain style TV show involving food, culture, travel, and death rituals. Like the idea? Let us know by liking this podcast on iTunes or following me on Facebook. Your likes will tell producers there’s a market out there for a show like that. But for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy part two of my two part interview with Danish photographer Klaus Bo, on the Dance Past Sunset podcast.
34 minutes | Jun 30, 2019
"Death Rituals from Around the World" with Professional Photographer Klaus Bo, Part 1 of 2
Just before leaving for my recent trip to Europe and Morocco, I had the immense pleasure of interviewing a talented photographer from Copenhagen, Denmark, Klaus Bo Christenson. Klaus travels the world chronicling death rituals, and over the years has amassed the world’s largest collection of photographs, which you can see at his deadandliveproject.com website. Does Klaus have some stories to tell? You bet he does! In fact, I was so absorbed by tales of Haitian voodoo rituals, chicken caskets from Ghana, and Indonesian funeral feasts that I had to break this interview into two parts.
35 minutes | Apr 20, 2019
"One Wild Ride" with Steve Appleton, owner of ReallyGoodEbikes.com
Today I continue with my “Moving to Higher Ground” theme, where I interview folks who are stepping outside of their comfort zones, taking risks, and going for a lifestyle that while unconventional, holds the promise of getting them through their sunset years with a degree of security and quality that they might not have if they just stayed in place. Why am I doing that? Well, it’s because that’s the kind of journey I’m on myself, and I thought I’d take you along for the ride with me as I fumble and bumble my way through the adventure. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes. In fact, this will be the last show I record in the US for a while. In just two short weeks I leave for an extended trek through Africa and Europe, living out of a backpack. Am I scared to leave my comfy life in the US behind? You bet I am…scared moving to terrified. But as it’s been said, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, then it isn’t big enough,” and I’m all for bigger dreams. My guest today, Steve Appleton, is a guy who chased his dream down to Mexico, where he runs an online e-bike store from his laptop. You’ll hear how he did it, and how an unexpected twist in life’s curvy road motivated him to keep going. Stay to the end of the interview to hear some truly precious advice from Steve that is valuable no matter where you are or what you’re doing. You’re going to love it. So please join me on the Dance Past Sunset podcast as I talk with Steve Appleton, owner of ReallyGoodeBikes.com.
37 minutes | Apr 7, 2019
“Moving On Up by Moving On Down” with Rita Wilkins the “Downsizing Designer,” Part 2 of 2
In Part One of my interview with Rita Wilkins, the “Downsizing Designer,” we learned how a trip to Africa shook up Rita’s world and led her to a new lifestyle paradigm, one where she shed 95% of her stuff in exchange for more time, money, and freedom in a much smaller apartment in Philadelphia. We talked a fair bit about how such shake-ups can come at a cost to relationships, and that’s where we pick up in this Part Two of our talk. But in keeping with my penchant for random thought, Rita and I go from there to a freewheeling conversation about stuff, how a bunt cake pan and 40 foot aluminum ladder can lead to communism, the story of the 16 pairs of scissors, and how the shared economy resulted from a mindset shift our children learned from observing Boomer unhappiness with materialism. Oh, and be sure to stay to the end when Rita and I kick around the idea of a dating website just for people who have moved past that unhappiness and into a “less stuff, more fun” mindset. So please join me for Part Two of my two part interview with Rita S. Wilkins, the “downsizing designer" and author of the book “Downsize Your Life, Upgrade Your Lifestyle: Secrets to More Time, Money, and Freedom.”
33 minutes | Apr 3, 2019
"Moving On Up by Moving On Down" with Rita Wilkins the "Downsizing Designer," Part 1 of 2
Somewhere along the long road to the present moment, probably during the vain efforts to save my first marriage, I was told “the issue is never the issue.” Now, being both a male and a former engineer, that caused a bit of a mind cramp for me. I mean, how can the issue not be the issue? But it’s true. Often the truth of a matter is hidden behind clutter, both the physical and the metaphysical kind. And so it is with the stuff you own. I mean all that crap you’ve got stuffed away in your house, garage, car trunk and rented storage space. Yeah. That stuff. This show is kind about that, but then...it’s not. What it’s really about is your your freedom, your money, and your life. What is the passion you have that is deep inside you, the “why that makes you cry?” What is the dream you have that no one knows but you? That’s what we’re really going to talk about. My guest is Rita Wilkins, also known as the “Downsizing Designer”, a moniker she embraced after downsizing from her 5,000 sq. ft. home in the country to her 867 sq. ft. home in downtown Philly. Rita's downsizing journey was inspired by a trip to Africa, where people had little but were amazingly happy. Rita returned to the US with a new set of eyes, and a new lifestyle paradigm. She gave away 95% of her “stuff” to people who needed or wanted it, and is now living on 5% of what she once owned. And you know? She's never been happier. I know. I did the same thing, box by box, book by precious book, so that today, I own almost nothing except my guitars. And I’ve never been happier. But this kind of radical change comes at a cost, one I know about personally, and it's the cost of possibly losing a beloved partner, wife, or husband who is on a different path to bliss, one where stuff plays an important role. So what to do? The issue is never the issue, as it’s been said, so listen in as Rita and I unravel the mysteries of love, marriage, stuff, and how to find your unique path to bliss, the one that is calling you from the depths of your soul. My time with Rita was so rich and fulfilling that I split it into two parts, and you are going to want to listen to both. So please join me in part one of my two part interview with Rita S. Wilkins, the “downsizing designer" and author of the book “Downsize Your Life, Upgrade Your Lifestyle: Secrets to More Time, Money, and Freedom.”
46 minutes | Mar 12, 2019
"The Green New Deal (with a Touch of Gray)" with Mick Smyer, PhD, Founder of The Graying Green Project
I have a real treat for you guys today, for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that at the end of this interview, I am going to drop a bomb. But first, let me introduce my next guest, who I discovered while perusing a copy of USA Today while waiting to catch a plane from Brazil to Mexico. I was traveling to record videos for my new Go!Mobile Youtube channel, which is for people who want to travel in an environmentally sensitive way, sometimes referred to as eco-tourism. You’ll find a link to those videos in the show notes. What caught my eye in this issue of the newspaper was an op/ed entitled, "Kids, it's time to give your parents 'the talk.' Not that one, the one on climate change.” “Wow!” I thought. This op/ed contains two issues I am really passionate about: intergenerational communication, and the environment. The author, and my guest today, advocated opening channels of communication between generations on the controversial topic of climate change by keeping the discussion short, social, and positive, and I like that approach. Unfortunately the resulting comments to the op/ed were anything but positive, in fact, they were downright harsh. I wanted to understand the issue better, so I gave the author a call and invited him on the show, so today I am delighted to introduce you to Mick Smyer, PhD, a professor of psychology at Bucknell University, and the founder the Graying Green project, which brings together climate communicators, scientists, community and business leaders to make older people more visible, valued and effective on climate action. A national expert, Dr. Smyer has written and lectured extensively on aging. He has also consulted with Fortune 500 companies, state and national legislative leaders and higher education organizations on the impacts of aging. Mick cares deeply about the environment, and you can really feel that in this interview, in which he gives me a polite but appropriate schooling on how to be appreciative of the prior generation. I like that. Finally, and perhaps most impressive, are Dr. Smyer's prodigious skills as a washboard player with Pennsylvania’s own Rustical Quality String Band. I’ll give you a taste of that sound at the end of the show, but first, let’s hear from Dr. Mick Smyer, PhD, founder of the Graying Green project.
39 minutes | Feb 6, 2019
"How to Find Your Path to Bliss....Abroad," with Beverly Nelson, Ph.D. and Michael Lee Bartlett, Part 2 of 2
In part one of my last show, I introduced you to Dr. Beverly Nelson and her husband Michael Lee Bartlett, who are the producers and hosts of an eight-week, experiential interactive online program called “Moving Abroad: A Hero’s Journey.” As you may be able to tell from its title, the program uses the work of author and professor Joseph Campbell as a framework for helping people who are contemplating a move abroad, that is, people like me and my wife Leslie. If you have yet to hear Part One, I recommend you listen to at least the first few minutes, where I talk a bit about Joe Campbell, and provide some context for what you are about to hear. Better yet…listen to all of Part One, because when you first meet Beverly and Michael, I think you’ll fall in love with them, as I have. Beverly has a PhD in Psychology and a BA in Business. She has created and directed internationally recognized Healing Centers all around the world, including what has become the largest and most comprehensive holistic center in Mexico — the LifePath Center. Michael is a fellow former IBMer and entrepreneur, having founded or co-founded successful ventures in high tech, education, real estate, video and film production. During the 1970's Michael practiced as a psychotherapist and founded Ashewood Primal Center, a vibrant therapeutic community in New York City and Woodstock New York. Together Beverly and Michael help people find and follow their life’s passions, and that is why I am so pleased to be collaborating with them. I do make a commission on the sale of their "Moving Abroad: A Hero’s Journey" course, even though you won’t pay a penny extra for it. In fact — you’ll pay less — because at the end of this show, we make an offer, exclusive to Dance listeners, that you will want to know about. I am also collaborating with them on a break-out class for discovering one’s life passions, and I can tell you first hand that the quality, beauty and efficacy of their coursework is second to none. I am proud to be associated with it. In Part One, the three of us talked about how Michael and Beverly met, and the circumstances that led them to collaborate in picturesque San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Tragically, those circumstances included the untimely deaths of dear loved ones, but out of the ashes of their sadness a beautiful Phoenix has arisen, one wearing the radiant plumes of their own love affair and subsequent marriage, and now, the birth of “Moving Abroad: A Hero’s Journey.” In this Part Two, we delve deeper into the program, and how it helps couples and individuals make a life transforming decision with greater clarity, confidence and much less stress. It’s all part of my “Move to Higher Ground” theme, which is for people like me who are seeking innovative, out of the box ways to live out our sunset years in a powerful, joyful way. So please join me in Part Two of my two part interview with Dr. Beverly Nelson and Michael Lee Bartlett, and let’s learn how to make the rest of our lives, the best of our lives.
29 minutes | Feb 5, 2019
"How to Find Your Path to Bliss...Abroad" with Beverly Nelson, Ph.D. and Michael Lee Bartlett, Part 1 of 2
Welcome to the first show of 2019, and what an inspiring one it is. I know you are going to really like it, because it has one of those too good to be true stories behind it, which I’ll tell in a moment. But first let me provide some context. Those of you who have been following me for a while know I am a fan of the American author and Professor of Literature Joseph Campbell, who became famous for his work on the role of myth in literature, religion and ultimately, in all of human experience. You’ll find me quoting Campbell in my “Why?” Video from a few years ago, and in a recent talk I gave on my own spiritual journey. Links to both of those videos are in the show notes. Joe Campbell didn’t really become truly famous until he was well into his sunset years, his 70’s and 80’s in fact, which is an inspiration for me as a tender 62 year old. For decades Campbell quietly taught and wrote books like the “Hero with a Thousand Faces,” gathering a small but impressive group of fans, including George Lucas, Jerry Garcia, and the poet Robert Bly, who are also among my favorites. But it wasn’t until Campbell was near death that he became known to a broader audience, including me, thanks to the films "The Hero's Journey” and his video interviews with Bill Moyers, which aired on PBS as "The Power of Myth.” It was in that last film that I first heard Campbell utter the phrase that some say summarizes his life’s work: “Follow your bliss." Now, what does that mean? I’ll take a stab at it. I believe it means leading an adventurous life of questioning, discovery, and ultimately of delight and joy, a life to which we say “Yes” to our passions and “No” to resistance. When we do that, the universe conspires with us, not against us, and a world of opportunity opens up. It means becoming fully alive. This philosophy really is at the core of the Dance mission and always has been. It’s why the words “explore” and “experience” are in my tagline. It's my personal philosophy, which is why you see me traveling on a lark, constantly learning, and taking risks, most of which “fail” in the world’s eyes. I am following my path to bliss, whatever the cost. But how do we know what our bliss is? Where is that path? How to we find it so we can start our own, personal growth journey? How do we discover where our true passions lie, what is authentic to us, and what is not? That’s where my next guests can help. Dr. Beverly Nelson and her partner Michael Lee Bartlett came to my attention last fall when I was leafing through my latest issue of International Living magazine and an article about them caught my eye. It described work they are doing on a new, online course helping people who are contemplating a move abroad, and based on the work of Joesph Campbell. Called “Moving Abroad: A Hero’s Journey,” the course helps couples and individuals make this life transforming decision with greater clarity, confidence and much less stress. The eight week, experiential interactive online program helps you define yourself, your values and what matters most in your life so that, so that no matter what you decide about moving abroad, you will move forward in a powerful, joyful way. Well…you had to know that would catch my attention! I had already produced several shows featuring guests who were either already living abroad, or who had good reasons for doing so. It’s all part of my “Move to Higher Ground” theme, one I planned on continuing through 2019. Curious about Beverly and Michael's work, I gave them a call, and a short time later we recorded the interview you are about to hear. But that’s where things get really interesting. Little did I know then that within a few weeks I would be a guest at their lovely home in beautiful San Miguel de Allende Mexico, toasting in the warm New Year with a chilled glass of tequila, and dancing well past sunset at a local club wearing a sequined mask. Too much fun! I also became a guest at the LifePath Center, an absolutely charming B&B and holistic healing center right in the center of town, enjoying the fresh food, yoga center, and healing services of the Center’s many practitioners. You can see pictures of all of this in the show notes. Even though Beverly and Michael look like movie stars, they are no lightweights. Beverly has a PhD in Psychology and a BA in Business. She has created and directed internationally recognized Healing Centers all around the world, including what has become the largest and most comprehensive holistic center in Mexico — the LifePath Center. Michael is a fellow former IBMer and entrepreneur, having founded or co-founded successful ventures in high tech, education, real estate, video and film production, and even restaurant and catering. Michael practiced as a psychotherapist in Woodstock New York for several years, helping to establish a vibrant therapeutic community there. How they met and started working together in Mexico is a story you have to hear! Meeting Michael and Beverly is a perfect example of how finding and following your bliss opens up unforeseen opportunities. Not only have I made some dear new friends that I really admire, but now we are exploring ways to collaborate on future online courses for personal growth and transformation. I’ll talk more about that in Part Two. That’s right. My interview with Beverly and Michael is in two parts, and you are going to want to listen to both. In this first part, you’ll learn how Beverly and Michael met, and the circumstances that brought them to San Miguel. Since at the time of the interview I had not yet been to the city, I was curious to know a bit more about it, and they were happy to share. Now that I have been, well let me just say their enthusiasm is justified! In part two, you’ll learn more about the course "Moving Abroad: A Hero’s Journey” itself. Beverly and Michael also have a special offer, just for Dance listeners, that you will want to know about. Whether you are considering a move abroad, or whether you decide to stay where you are, “A Hero’s Journey," based in the work of the brilliant Joseph Campbell, will give you the insights and new capabilities to move forward into a richer and more fulfilling life. So please join me in this interview with Dr. Beverly Nelson and Michael Lee Bartlett, and let’s learn how to make the rest of our lives, the best of our lives.
44 minutes | Dec 26, 2018
"Can you live on $16K a year?" with Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works
You know I’ve been on a kick lately for ways we older people can economize and make the most of our money, and today’s show digs into the question: How can the government help? Yeah, yeah, I know the old joke: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help. Ronald Reagan said those were the nine most terrifying words in the English language. But are they really? At age 62, I am already looking forward to a little help from Medicare and especially, Social Security. I mean, after all, a good bit was taken out of my paycheck over the years to pay for those programs, so why shouldn’t I get my money back? Well, it turns out there is more than one answer to that question, and here to talk about one side of the debate on Social Security is Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works and chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition. Ms. Altman has a forty-year background in the areas of Social Security and private pensions. She was appointed by Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi to sit on the seven-personSocial Security Advisory Board -- a bipartisan, independent federal government agency that advises the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security. Ms. Altman is the author of The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble, and The Truth About Social Security: The Founders’ Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies, and Common Misunderstandings. She is also co-author of Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All. Ms. Altman was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and taught courses on private pensions and Social Security at the Harvard Law School. She was also Alan Greenspan’s assistant during the years he led the developed the 1983 Social Security amendments. I’m exceedingly fortunate to have Nancy on the show, because she has shared her Social Security expertise on numerous other television and radio shows, including PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, and FOX News. She has published op-eds in dozens of newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. So for some expertise and valuable insights on a program that affects every American, please welcome Ms. Nancy J. Altman to Dance Past Sunset.
49 minutes | Sep 12, 2018
"Reaching Across Generations" with Andrew Belser, Creator and Producer of FaceAge, Part 2 of 2
In my last show, I talked with Andrew Belser, who is presently a professor of Movement, Voice, and Acting at Penn State University. Andrew is also the creator of an award winning video program called FaceAge that shows young and older adults interacting knee-to-knee, nose-to-nose almost, while studying and describing one another’s faces. It is a deeply moving work that challenges perceptions about what it means to be “old," fosters introspection, and builds acceptance, awareness, and cross-generational connections. I had the chance to experience FaceAge in DC earlier this year, and it quite frankly moved me to tears. In part one of my talk with Andrew, we heard him tell us what FaceAge is and about its power to affect perceptions. In the part two of our interview, which you are about to hear, Andrew tells us more about the neuroscience behind FaceAge, and a little bit about his personal story, and how an encounter with his older Uncle on a rooftop changed his life. So please join me in Part Two of my interview with Andrew Belser of FaceAge. I encourage all of you to experience FaceAge in person if you can, and if you are interested in having FaceAge to your city, check out the show notes for a way to contact Greg Wolf, the former CEO of Humana, who coordinates FaceAge exhibitions. Greg is a great guy and he can tell you all about how FaceAge is more than just a video program, but also includes training for organizations that want to do more to promote intergenerational connections. A good thing, me thinks.
23 minutes | Aug 7, 2018
"Reaching Across Generations" with Andrew Belser, Creator and Producer of FaceAge, Part 1 of 2
My kids will tell you I cry when my heart is moved by something…a poem, a story or a piece of music, heck even a television commercial can bring on the tears. It’s something I’ve accepted about myself and don’t deny. But that something has to be truly exquisite, poignant or deeply beautiful, something that reaches into the broken puzzle I call my heart and brings forth a salient emotion. FaceAge had that effect on me. This award winning video program weaves together interconnected chapters in which young adults and aging individuals reflect on life while studying and describing one another’s faces. The FaceAge experience meets audiences through an immersive three-screen video environment presenting interconnected video chapters built around these cross-generational encounters. I had the opportunity to experience FaceAge in Washington DC earlier this year, and after wiping my eyes and blowing my nose, I just had to meet the person behind this ground-breaking work of art and science. That’s when I met Andrew Belser, who is presently a professor of Movement, Voice, and Acting at Penn State University, as well as Penn’s Director of the Arts & Design Research Incubator, a studio/laboratory where artists and designers join with scientists, writers, philosophers and others to research and create artistic projects for national and international venues. If you long to see the gaps between people bridged, as I do, then you will want to learn more about FaceAge, which helps us see ourselves “through the lens of old age,” as Andrew puts it. FaceAge is more than just about intergenerational connection…it is about human healing, and there is nothing more deeply beautiful than that. Here to tell us more about that, in part one of this two part interview, is Andrew Belser, creator and producer of the award winning video exhibit called FaceAge.