Habits & Health episode 99 with Tom Glaser, a Licensed Psychologist and life coach with over 35 years of experience, Tom is also a bestselling author and yoga instructor. We discuss compassion, listening, how to find the right person to work with and a lot more.
Tom’s book, “Full Heart Living: Conversations with the Happiest People I Know,” is an amazon.com bestseller. Whether counseling, writing, or teaching, his passion is for helping people live their best lives flows through.
Topics discussed in this episode:
03:01 Why Tom became a psychologist
04:19 If we’d lived their lives…
08:15 Clients being open to change
11:51 What qualities should you look for when seeking a life coach?
14:35 Why did you also train to be a life coach?
17:21 What types of psychology Tom studied
20:22 Being perfect
22:55 Taking total responsibility
23:55 Do many of your clients give them self enough self-compassion?
24:58 Younger generations get criticised a lot by the media
27:29 How some teachers can kill creativity
29:38 Why did you call your book, Full Heart Living?
30:00 Things that happier people do
32:22 What do you hope people will get from your book?
35:29 Who is the book aimed at?
37:30 When did you start writing the book?
37:59 Experiences Tom has had at his book talks
40:22 Will there be a follow-up book?
43:46 Listening to someone
44:43 Quote on deep listening
46:04 Being a conduit
52:49 Tom’s social media details
99 – Tom Glaser
Habits and health episode 99.
Welcome to another edition of habits and health and my guest today, some Glazer. I licensed psychologist and life coach. We’ve 35 years of experience. He’s also a best-selling author and a yoga instructor. His book, full heart living conversations with the happiest people. I know.
Is a best center bestseller on Amazon. And whether he’s counseling, writing, or teaching. His passion is helping people live their best lives. That flow. And we’re going to talk about. What that means, why he called his book for heart live in. What he learned from the project and a lot more. So that’s this week’s episode with Tom Glaser.
If, you know, anyone would get some value from this, please do share the episode with them. Hope you enjoy this week’s show
[00:01:03] Tony Winyard: Habit Sound Health. My guest today, Tom Glaser. How are you, Tom?
[00:01:08] Tom Glaser: I am well, how about you? Tony?
[00:01:10] Tony Winyard: I’m doing well. Where I am is not anywhere near as warm as where you are, but I can’t complain because recently we had a very cold spell, but at the moment it’s pretty mild, so yeah, it’s
[00:01:23] Tom Glaser: Nice. Do you have snow on the ground?
[00:01:25] Tony Winyard: No. Well, it’s a few weeks ago. We had a lot of snow and then we had a warm, well warm for England in December.
Um, and all the snow, I mean, literally, I’ve never, I’ve never known this in my life before. We went through a period of a couple of weeks where it was like minus something every single day, and then we had a period of snow and then suddenly it went up 15 degrees overnight. It was, I’ve never known it to go that quick in the winter, you know, to, to go up by that.
[00:01:52] Tom Glaser: wow.
[00:01:53] Tony Winyard: So, yeah, so at a moment, I dunno what, it’s probably eight, nine degrees, something like that. But yeah, there’s no snow
[00:02:00] Tom Glaser: Okay. Well, from where I am, I can see snow on the top of the mountains, but I don’t have to drive or walk through it.
[00:02:10] Tony Winyard: And just, for our, for our listeners, where are you,
[00:02:13] Tom Glaser: I’m in Palm Springs, California, which is where my husband and I winter now, but most of the year we’re in Minneapolis area, Minnesota. Yeah.
[00:02:21] Tony Winyard: Prince Territory.
[00:02:23] Tom Glaser: Yes, that’s right. You got it.
[00:02:27] Tony Winyard: I was a big, big Prince fan, so Yeah, I know
[00:02:29] Tom Glaser: Raspberry Beret, man. Oh, party like it’s 1999, all that.
[00:02:35] Tony Winyard: absolutely. So listen, listen Tom, so you are a licensed psychologist and life coach, and you’ve been doing this for, what, 35 years?
[00:02:44] Tom Glaser: Yeah. Yeah. I’m an old guy and I’ve been doing it my whole career, so,
[00:02:48] Tony Winyard: So what, which came first a psychologist or a life coach
[00:02:53] Tom Glaser: Psychologist.
[00:02:54] Tony Winyard: and why?
[00:02:57] Tom Glaser: life coaching wasn’t even really a thing back then. I mean,
[00:03:01] Why Tom became a psychologist
[00:03:01] Tony Winyard: I mean, why, why a psychologist? What? What made you want to get into that?
[00:03:05] Tom Glaser: Oh, I understand. Oh my gosh. Okay. Couple things. People from a very young age, Tony had told me what a good listener I am. Um, so I feel like I may have had some kind of natural talent in that area. Then in high school, uh, I had a phenomenal psychology teacher, Mr. Ryan, who’s no longer walking the planet, sadly.
Uh, but he was so inspirational and introduced me to so many things. Uh, You know, to me, psychology is the study of human behavior, of the soul, of our motivations. Uh, what could be more fascinating than the human mind And everybody has a story. If you ask the right questions, most people will open up and they have a story, and they have really good reasons they made the decisions they made and how they got here.
And I. infinitely fascinating. So, I’m never bored at my job unless, oh, go ahead.
[00:04:19] If we’d lived their lives…
[00:04:19] Tony Winyard: Well, I was gonna say, have, you heard of a podcaster? He’s a British guy. He’s a doctor Rongan Chatterjee?
[00:04:28] Tom Glaser: No, don’t think of,
[00:04:29] Tony Winyard: He has a line that he often says and he talks about, you know, sometimes we see people do what seems like strange things to us, but he says, well, if we had lived their life and been through the things that they’d been through, we would probably be doing exactly the same as, as.
[00:04:47] Tom Glaser: exactly. Yes. I remember using that. Not in those exact words, but I remember saying that as far back ago as in the 1980s, Yes, in the late eighties, I remember saying that to people. I was supervising a, a team working with a ton of diverse people and yes, we would sometimes scratch our heads. It’s hard for us sometimes to make sense of other people’s choices and behaviors, but yes, there’s to, this is what I see.
There’s a reason they’re doing that. always is a really good reason.
[00:05:20] Tony Winyard: Yeah,
[00:05:21] Tom Glaser: If we dig down deep,
[00:05:22] Tony Winyard: yeah, yeah. Yeah.
[00:05:24] Tom Glaser: And I, and I like the second part, you would make the same choice if you had their experiences. It’s very helpful to remember that when we are puzzled or, or worse, uh, troubled or triggered by someone else’s behavior so that we can step back, have some compassion, and particularly when we do learn their story, typically there’s.
[00:05:49] Tony Winyard: Yeah, yeah.
[00:05:49] Tom Glaser: when they’re doing something that’s difficult or challenging, typically it’s trauma based. Uh, and if we knew their trauma, we wouldn’t be so judgmental. And it’s not that we put up with inappropriate behavior, no. If someone’s doing harm, we say, no, you may not do that. You must stop that behavior and, and we can also open our. someone who’s done something harmful and it’s through that, that the person might or at least will have more options for change in the future, right? If just one other person offers them that hurtful experience, interest in their lives, why did you do that? What’s going on? Um, then healing can occur and it’s so exciting.
Again, this is why my work is infinitely. interesting and fascinating and even rewarding because the potential for, well, it’s both. Here’s what I say, Tony. I am stunned by the potential for people to change. I’m also stunned by the potential for people to remain stuck, right? Like both continue to shock me, or shock but not surprised, kind of as I guess where I’m at.
Um, Change is hard. Change is difficult, and it’s possible if we want it, if we want it, if it means enough to us at any age, it’s available in relationship. That’s the second piece that’s so important in that I was getting at before. When someone shows interest in a troubled person, most troubled people are very, very lonely.
Extremely lonely and when someone shows interest, again, opens their heart, asks some questions, remains nonjudgmental, the person has the opportunity. It is not a guarantee. We can’t guarantee that someone else will open up, but it’s more likely as any of us, we all understand this when we’re with someone else who is non-judgemental, interested. Uh, we feel safe and we tend to open up. This is just human nature and we’re wired for that. That’s the other thing. I feel like I’m rambling a bit. I hope you’ll, I’m just trusting you to, to stop me at any time.
[00:08:15] Clients being open to change
[00:08:15] Tony Winyard: One thing that I was thinking as you were saying that, I, I, would I be right in assuming, and it’s never good to assume, but the people that come to you, the patients that you are working with, the, just the fact that they’re coming to you. Surely that means they, they’re open to change, or are there some people you work with that aren’t open to change, even though they have maybe sought you out?
[00:08:42] Tom Glaser: Yes. It’s, it’s, uh, yes, yes. generally speaking, people who come to me, especially at this stage in my career, they tend to be motivated. They tend to be ready. And I remember years ago I’m not gonna be able to. To, you know, call up the study at this point. But this has been studied and great change takes, takes place for people in between scheduling the first appointment and the first meeting, so before it even happens, right?
And that indicates that they’re primed, they’re already making change just by virtue of getting serious about it. Uh, so yes, that’s all true. And there are some people who are still, even though they make an appointment with me, they are not truly ready. It’s rare. Now, at this stage, I, I tend to attract people who, as I say, are more ready.
But every now and then I run into somebody and they, they just are not, it’s either they’re not ready or I’m not the right fit for them, or they’re not the right fit for me, or both. Um, so that’s the other thing. It’s not, healing. You know, they always say the relationship. They always say find a therapist or a coach that you really jive with.
What does that mean? Someone you’re comfortable with, someone who you feel really understands you. I feel like I understand a lot of people, but I, I’m not. Best for everybody. I, I’m like, I’m super sensitive. I’m highly sensitive, for instance, so people who are more attacking and angry, I’m not a very good fit for.
There’s other people who have a different disposition, different life experiences, and they’re really good with that stuff. They know how to work with it and it doesn’t bug ’em so much. Me people. Angry. And they, and they, and they sometimes clients do this and they, they wanna attack and it’s all my fault and I couldn’t possibly understand them and they call me names, you know, that’s just cuz of my own history and disposition that it stirs me up too much.
And I get more unsettled in the face of that. And I know this is not uncommon for people in my field. Uh, but that said, there’s other people in our field who are really good with it. So that’s just one example. Yes. . So it’s a little bit of both. Mostly, mostly people I see are very motivated, ready to change, and they’re already open.
And they’ve, and they’ve also, here’s the other thing, being at this stage in my career, people choose me specifically right. There’s a ton of screening has already happened way before the first meeting. Uh, when I, you know, when I was earlier in my career, I was just a person. They didn’t, they had a name.
They didn’t know who I. It was, it was blind. I worked in a big clinic or several or counseling centers. People would just get assigned randomly. You know, it’s a bustling big thing. Um, and, and that’s very different. We have to get to know each other and then determine more, are we a good fit? But usually people are specifically already choosing me because of things they know about.
[00:11:51] What qualities should you look for when seeking a life coach?
[00:11:51] Tony Winyard: And when you said, they also made me think that when people have decided they want to. See a, a psychologist, a life coach, my guess, and you know, I could be wrong in this, is that many people spend a lot of time looking for, um, someone who’s the best, who’s got a lot of experience, maybe qualifications, whatever.
But in some ways, the most important thing is, is that personality fit and whether, whether you are gonna have the right, whether you are gonna have a nice kind of blend or you’re gonna fit well with personality.
[00:12:25] Tom Glaser: yes, yes. Or like, chemistry is a word that used and, um, that’s hard to define. Right? We know it when we, when there’s a good fit, you feel it, you know it, your body tells you if there’s not a good fit, you’re, you’re more tense.
[00:12:41] Tony Winyard: So
[00:12:41] Tom Glaser: Your
[00:12:42] Tony Winyard: then, so how would then someone who’s decided they need the help of a psychologist, a whatever, and they’re, they’re hunting or they’re looking, they’re looking through the internet, wherever they’re looking, how would they. Now they’ve made me thinking, oh yeah, that’s, that makes sense.
Psych uh, chemistry is very important. So how, what would you say, what would they, how would it, what would be a good way to look for someone who has chemistry that fits with you?
[00:13:07] Tom Glaser: Couple things come to mind. Uh, word of mouth is huge, so, uh, And this is a huge way people find me, is friends. Tell them, uh, that they saw me or that they know someone who saw me, that that’s the, or someone else refers them a doctor or a a, you know, a, a clergy person. Um, so that personal recommendation is huge, number one.
Number two, the wonderful thing of this age where we have access to videos. uh, you get a sense of people in, in less than a minute, really a few seconds. Most of us, we get a sense of a person just in a video clip, so, uh, look at, you know, if my mannerisms bug you, I’m not a good fit for you, right? If the, if the way I speak bugs you, if the things I’m saying seem too.
I don’t know, esoteric or, you know, I’m, I’m, I bring in a lot of spirituality, not in, not in like, I’m telling people how to be spiritual. Like I’m just, I’m me. I bring all of my own spirituality and it blends into how I am my presence with people. Uh, some people don’t want that. They want someone more clinical.
They want someone who’s just gonna do and, and, and there’s nothing wrong with that, right? There’s. , different strokes for different folks, different, that’s why there’s 31 flavors, all that stuff. So yeah, I think the video thing, uh, and uh, word of mouth,
[00:14:35] Why did you also train to be a life coach?
[00:14:35] Tony Winyard: Right. And so you talked about, you started off as a psychologist, so what made you add being a life coach to what you did?
[00:14:44] Tom Glaser: several things. Um, I wanted to serve more people. with, uh, uh, psychology. We get really limited in who we can work with, where they reside, uh, how we can do things. Um, Nothing wrong with that. I really like that there are overseers, uh, helping protect the public really important. But, you know, I can, if I’m doing psychotherapy, I can only see residents of Minnesota, um, by, uh, my license and I could lose my license if I practiced.
Otherwise. So if I do life coaching, which is extremely similar in many, many ways, I can work with anyone in the world,
[00:15:35] Tony Winyard: Mm.
[00:15:36] Tom Glaser: um, that’s really the number one reason I wanted to reach more people.
[00:15:43] Tony Winyard: Right. It’s interesting about seven, eight years ago, I forget when it was, I wanted to work with a new life coach, business coach, and, and in my, I can’t remember why I thought this, but I thought, I wanna find someone who not only is a good business life coach. , but has some sort of expertise in psychology as well, because then they’re gonna maybe understand how my brain works, which is gonna help me better with what I’m trying to achieve and so on.
It wasn’t easy to find.
[00:16:18] Tom Glaser: Right. Bingo. Yes. I’ve heard that from many people.
[00:16:24] Tony Winyard: Hmm
[00:16:25] Tom Glaser: Yeah. There there’s some of us.
[00:16:27] Tony Winyard: mm-hmm. . I mean, I did find someone, but it wasn’t easy.
[00:16:30] Tom Glaser: Yeah. It took you, took some work. Yes. And it paid off.
[00:16:35] Tony Winyard: absolutely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The, the, what I thought, the reason why I was looking for those certain things, it, it all came together and it made complete sense. Yeah. And it, yeah, it helped me. Yeah.
[00:16:48] Tom Glaser: Good. Yes. Well, again, there’s nothing wrong with. Whatever people’s background is, is their background and they bring what they bring and really beautiful, in my opinion, in most, in the vast majority cases. Um, right. So I bring what I bring from my life and professional experience and, um, yeah, it’s like everybody and we all have something to offer everyone.
[00:17:21] What types of psychology Tom studied
[00:17:21] Tony Winyard: And so there’s, there’s many different forms of psychology. There’s what? C B T
[00:17:26] Tom Glaser: Cognitive behavioral therapy.
[00:17:29] Tony Winyard: So did you study any one of those in particular or a few of them, or?
[00:17:34] Tom Glaser: Oh, yes. I’ve studied so many over, uh, over my, uh, time, uh, through not just, you know, formal training in graduate school, but, uh, continuing education beyond and, um, So to my personal belief is that there are as many, uh, types of psychotherapy, not just as, not, not just as many as psychotherapists, but that each one is unique with every client.
[00:18:09] Tom Glaser: Like something new emerges with every person. It’s always unique. It’s always unique because different things happen when different people come together. so. So I’ve studied all kinds. The, the one in my more recent years that has made the most impact is called Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy or A E D P.
very attachment based. It’s, uh, trauma resolution based. Um, heavily using video taping of sessions and then reviewing sessions with an advanced practitioner. . So I learned so much. Um, and it’s a very vulnerable experience, I might say, showing one’s work, which is usually very private to other people, but super, super helpful.
Even after decades of experience to share the work. Here’s what happened in the session and not just talking about it, which can be super helpful with consultants, but showing here’s what happened in this moment. Let’s look at options. How could you do. Super, super helpful.
[00:19:23] Tony Winyard: And then so when someone, you’re working with someone and they’ve maybe giving you feedback on some things that you did with a particular patient, does it ever then happen where then you go back to the patient and maybe look at something again that you’ve previously looked at?
[00:19:40] Tom Glaser: Absolutely. And, and own it and say, Hey, I’ve really been thinking about that moment. Uh, this is what I did. I’m not sure that was best, you know, just saying that. Saying it out loud, here’s what I wish I might have done instead,
[00:19:55] Tony Winyard: Okay.
[00:19:56] Tom Glaser: and then talking about that. Right. So that’s just real. That’s just being human.
Isn’t that great role modeling right there? Right? Isn’t
[00:20:04] Tony Winyard: That never happens. Yeah. So.
[00:20:08] Tom Glaser: mean it never happens that a professional might do that, or in life
[00:20:12] Tony Winyard: well both, but
[00:20:13] Tom Glaser: kind of both. Yes.
[00:20:15] Tony Winyard: can imagine that the, the patient must be really surprised at that because isn’t what you expect.
[00:20:22] Being perfect
[00:20:22] Tom Glaser: Correct. But we’re all human. We all make mistakes, right? There’s always this, um, there are so many options we could make in any moment, right? And we, we, given what’s happening in the moment, we make our best choice. We make the best guess in that moment, and sometimes all of us are off, even those of us with decades of experience.
I, I sometimes make, uh, a, a decision that maybe isn’t for the highest good of the person, and absolutely it’s that repair. That. And again, this is not just in psychotherapy, this is in intimate relationships of any kind. So when I can do this with my husband and trust me, I do regularly. Oh my God. I, you know, and I own it.
Hey, I was, whatever I was, I hadn’t eaten enough that day. Right. I was hungry and I snapped at you. I’m so sorry, I wish I would’ve done it this way. I’ll keep working on it now, you know. Okay. We’ve been together 35 years. you know, again, right? We are, we’re always working. As long as we’re alive, there are opportunities to improve and that’s, that’s part of it is accepting, right?
I can’t be an angel. I can’t be perfect all the time. I try my best to do my best as much as I can, and I’m human. So sometimes I make a mistake. And yes, whether it’s in pyschotherapy or with one’s partner or with one’s child, this is a huge one in parenting. It’s impossible. And in fact, it’s bad if you’re a perfect parent. Uh, your child would have feel like they could never reach that potential. And I’ve had clients like this, they thought their parent was perfect and they could never measure up, and then that’s damaging. So you don’t wanna be a perfect parent. You don’t want to intentionally do things to screw your kids up.
Of course not. But when you make a mistake. Oh my honey, I’m so sorry. Uh, daddy was distracted and didn’t attend to you well enough. I wish I would’ve done it this way. I’m so sorry. You own it. You make a repair That strengthens the relationship. It’s a good thing for friendships. It doesn’t have to just be families, friendships.
If you screw up, own it, move on.
It’s a good thing to do. So, so yes. So that does happen with clients and of course I do that. Of course I do that, very important.
[00:22:49] Tony Winyard: I can imagine how happy, happy is not the right word, but I can imagine clients would really appreciate that. Yeah.
[00:22:55] Taking total responsibility
[00:22:55] Tom Glaser: It’s a relief, Oh my gosh. This professional. And it’s very vulnerable to be a client. Or patient Very vulnerable. You all, there’s always this dynamic of feeling like the other person is, you know, you put them, on a pedestal cuz they’re trained and you know, you’re revealing all your darkest, deepest secrets.
And they say, wow, I made a mistake. And then it’s like, oh, I have permission to be human too. Oh. Oh, sink in, right? And then that self-acceptance and the self-compassion can come up. So earlier I was talking about having compassion for someone who has done something harmful. Now I’m talking about the other side of that self-compassion.
Wow. When a role model can own up to a mistake, maybe I can own up to a a mistake, maybe I can be okay and still show up in life, still show up in the world and do the good deeds that I came here to do. , even when I screw up. Wow.
[00:23:55] Do many of your clients give them self enough self-compassion?
[00:23:55] Tony Winyard: And on that self-compassion, and again, I’m doing a lot of guessing here. Again, my guess is that many of your clients, or maybe the majority of your clients, Don’t give themself enough self-compassion.
[00:24:09] Tom Glaser: It’s the number one thing.
[00:24:11] Tony Winyard: Right,
[00:24:11] Tom Glaser: If we really boiled it down, what I’ve come to realize is that what I’m doing, whether I’m life coaching, teaching, being a psychotherapist, I’m helping people learn or remember how to love themselves.
[00:24:28] Tony Winyard: right.
[00:24:29] Tom Glaser: That’s what it comes back to. If we distill it down, and it’s not just clients, there’s an epidemic in Western culture of self-hatred.
It’s not just people who are in psychotherapy.
[00:24:41] Tony Winyard: And what you just said about getting people to love themselves, that sounds like something that now in 2022, nearly 2023 is, is, an accepted phrase. I don’t think that was five, 10 years ago. Something just as a simple phrase as that.
[00:24:58] Younger generations get criticised a lot by the media
[00:24:58] Tom Glaser: self-love. It wasn’t used as much. Yes, it is becoming more, um, well, there were forces that attacked the, attempt to. Instill self-esteem in children, for instance, right? Are we raising a generation of narcissists? This was raised Mm, was it 10 years ago? I can’t re maybe it was 15 years ago. Very publicly, right? It, my humble opinion, this was just journalists needing something to do. Right. Really, I think that was a piece of it. Uh, with a 24 hour news cycle, And the truth is, and and, and there are, um, there are stigma about some of the younger generations that they are self-absorbed. And actually, I was just reading about this the other day.
In fact, there’s no evidence of that. There’s more narcissists now than there ever were. There’s no evidence of that at all. Yes. May, more recent generations indulge children a little too much. That’s possible. I’m, I’m not saying there’s nothing to that. We do, we wanna be careful with parenting. Very careful.
Uh, we don’t wanna reward every behavior. We don’t wanna just say everything you do is good. No, no. That doesn’t help people.
[00:26:18] Tony Winyard: Hmm.
[00:26:19] Tom Glaser: but have, have we damaged a whole generation? No. There’s no evidence of that whatsoever. Uh, and there is evidence that the, the levels of mental health distress are going up. There’s more depression, there’s more anxiety. Where does it ultimately stem from? Not loving ourselves is what, in my humble opinion. Now, who am I? What do I, there’s so much, I don’t know.
[00:26:45] Tony Winyard: Yeah.
[00:26:46] Tom Glaser: I’m learning more and more every single day, but from what I know so far, that’s what I see from my position.
[00:26:54] Tony Winyard: So do you think that your, the patients you’re working with when they are able to love themselves more, They get more, contentment, I dunno what happiness, um, fulfillment in their lives?
[00:27:08] Tom Glaser: Oh, absolutely. It’s that self-judgment that, troubles us, that brings us down, that brings anxiety. We’re working so hard to be so perfect, and then when we do make a mistake, we get down on ourselves. Oh my God. It lends itself to anxiety. and depression, and when we can wake up, and here’s where mindfulness comes in.
[00:27:29] Tony Winyard: Hmm.
[00:27:29] How some teachers can kill creativity
[00:27:29] Tom Glaser: The first step is just noticing, oh, I’m doing that thing in my mind. I’m saying that thing to myself. Oh, so I’m not getting down on myself for doing it. I have a curiosity about it. Wow. There I go again. There’s that thing. It’s in my mind. Is it really true? Might there be another possibility? Can I refute, the untrue part of. Can I approach it a different way with more neutrality, with more support? Think about being in a classroom. Think about your favorite teachers. If they just harped on you all the time, you felt like you couldn’t do anything right, and you stopped. Your creativity was squelched, right? Most of us have that experience, like with art, where especially when we were young, we try, I, I distinctly remember this exact thing.
Uh, the assignment was to draw a pine tree. I was so happy with my pine tree. This was fourth grade. Oh, I was so happy. I showed it to the teacher and she was like, You think that looks like a pine tree? I thought I couldn’t draw from then for years, not until an adult, when I was brave enough to take an adult education drawing class, and I had a teacher who was like, oh my gosh, that looks really good.
I love what you did that She was like, wow, I’ve never seen a pine, it wasn’t literally this, but it was like, it was like that. I’ve never seen a pine tree look like that. That’s so cool. That’s beautiful. Right? And then I’m like, oh, oh, I, I could do something. And, you know, I think of myself as not a professional artist, but I, like, I do watercolor sometimes I play with acrylics.
I make greeting cards. Like I just do it. It’s, it’s just for fun. for, cuz I like to give people cards, handmade cards,
[00:29:20] Tony Winyard: I’m intrigued by your your book, the title of your book, full Heart Living Conversations With The Happiest People I Know.
[00:29:28] Tom Glaser: Yeah.
[00:29:29] Tony Winyard: Um, there’s a few things I want to dig into on this. Let, let’s start with a title, full Heart Living.
Why, how, where did that come from?
[00:29:38] Why did you call your book, Full Heart Living?
[00:29:38] Tom Glaser: so my, my working title for a long time was, choosing happiness. My original title was Choosing Happiness, conversations with the Happiest People I Know. And, uh, two things to use the happy word twice is kind of a waste of a word as, as one of my editors pointed out.
[00:30:00] Things that happier people do
[00:30:00] Tom Glaser: And, um, also far more importantly, I realized, although the book started with looking at happiness, first of all, everyone in my book, not everyone, so many people in the book talked about so much more than happiness. They talked about ways to live and they talked about living with their whole heart. Uh, so that’s to really reflect what I really got though.
I though I interviewed the happiest people I personally know , that was the basis of the book. I realize it’s so much more. So happier people live with their whole heart. What does that mean? So first of all, there’s 20 chapters or so in my book, I can’t remember the exact number. There’s all kinds of things that happier people do.
They’re very, very grateful. They take really good care of their bodies. They live in alignment with their values and more. The top things people do in my experience from the people I interviewed is they connect really deeply with other people. They have heart to heart relationships. With people who love them and who they love, that reciprocity.
They have tribes, they have places they go where they feel accepted. They connect deeply with themselves. Again, this is through the heart. They, this is where mindfulness comes in, which I mentioned just a few minutes ago. They’re in the present moment. They know who they are. They honor their rhythms. They’re good to themselves. The self-compassion stuff. Number three, happier people connect with their passions. They do things they love, they do activities that they adore, that bring them into that flow state where they lose all track of time. So to repeat, they connect deeply with other people.
Themselves and their passions. When they do those things in the service of the greater good, when they give back, when they wanna make the world a better place, that’s when it all comes together and people really get to that next level of joy. So how else to describe this in a few words other than full heart living?
My goodness, , that’s why I named it Full Heart Living
[00:32:22] What do you hope people will get from your book?
[00:32:22] Tony Winyard: What is your objective of the book? What do you hope that people will get from it?
[00:32:27] Tom Glaser: Oh my goodness. I hope they’ll wake up to those three gems I just mentioned. I hope they will work on their, or play with their relationships, number one. Connect with people. Start with, if you’re lonely, start with a person you’re standing next to at the bus stop. If they’re receptive, start with the cashier, As you’re checking out buying your groceries, just look them in the eye and ask them genuinely how they’re doing.
You know, low risk things start, maybe take a class like I did, take an adult education class. Maybe art isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s pickleball. I’m just using personal examples here cause I, I’ve taken up pickleball recently too and I’ve met some great people. who I’m developing friendships with through playing pickleball at 60 years old.
Hello, . So just take classes. Do you know that you’re interested in, you automatically meet people who have similar interests, so you already have something in common with them. I hope they will, uh, look at their patterns of thought as I was talking about earlier, if you’re being, you know, bad to yourself, talking to yourself as you never would your best friend, let’s say, look at that.
[00:33:46] Tom Glaser: Make new choices. That may be easier said than done. It is easier said than done. If it’s really hard, reach out to a professional or reach out to a friend or a trusted family member. And talk about it. I’m, here’s what, be honest, this is what I’m struggling with. the things that wound us almost always happen in relationship.
The things that most trouble us is, is because there was a rupture in an important relationship. Almost always, not a hundred percent, but the vast majority. they can be healed only in relationship. So meet with someone that you trust. Could be a professional, it could be not, and be honest. Say your truth. Here’s what I’m struggling with.
See what happens often. Just that sheer act of being vulnerable, being true, being honest shifts something, could be very subtle. Even if the, the change is extremely subtle. You wanna capitalize on it. You want to, um, validate it for yourself right away. You wanna, um, reward it. You wanna say, wow, I did 1% different today.
I did it better. 1%. That’s great. I’ve started, I’m on the path that increases the chance that you will continue if you just stop there? No, you’re gonna go back. You’re gonna fall back into your old habits. But if you keep doing 1% every day, that’s only a hundred days. It’s only a little over three months that then you get to a hundred percent.
Now I’m just throwing that out. Are we ever a hundred percent? No, no, no. These, these metaphors don’t totally work for human behavior. It’s just, it’s just to make the point.
[00:35:29] Who is the book aimed at?
[00:35:29] Tony Winyard: Yeah. Yeah. And so who then do you think the book is aimed at? What, is there a certain type of person? Is it like a particular demographic?
[00:35:38] Tom Glaser: Well, so yeah, I mean, I, I wanted to write a book that was, uh, kind of for the general population more than people who, who just subscribe to mental health stuff or who have been in psychotherapy. So I wanted something broader, again, to reach more people. So all that said, it’s kind of, it’s kind of meant for the world.
That said, there’s a couple populations that seem to be most drawn to it. The one that doesn’t surprise me is women aged approximately 35 to 55. That does not surprise me. That’s the demographic that tends to be drawn to self-development kinds of things. Generally speaking, tons of exceptions, but there’s a greater proportion in that demographic.
The demographic that did surprise me that has responded so well to my work is senior citizen. That’s where I get the most invitations to come in and do workshops. they love this. They love this. I feel like part of that might be because as we age, we appreciate our relationships more. We know the value of just sitting down with someone and, and having a nice chat over a cup of tea or a cup of coffee, like, like, like by this age, we get to know, oh, that’s what really matters. That’s all that really matters. Ultimately, who cares what the titles behind our name are? Right. Just be with me and, and, and hang out a little
[00:37:18] Tony Winyard: And is that senior citizens, both men and women, or is it more Right. Okay.
[00:37:23] Tom Glaser: Well, well still it does tend to be more
[00:37:25] Tony Winyard: women.
[00:37:26] Tom Glaser: but, but yes, it’s, there’s more gender diversity. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
[00:37:30] When did you start writing the book?
[00:37:30] Tony Winyard: When, when did you start writing the book?
[00:37:35] Tom Glaser: Yeah. It was about 12 or 13 years ago now, and it took me a good long time to write. About six years with some long breaks in there. And it’s been out about six to seven years now. Yeah.
[00:37:48] Tony Winyard: And did you, the reactions that you’ve had to it were, I mean, you’ve just told me about, the demographic that surprised you, but have you got any reactions that really surprised you?
[00:37:59] Experiences Tom has had at his book talks
[00:37:59] Tom Glaser: So Tony what I do now with my workshops, I used to just do a standard kind of book talk and just read from the book and talk to people and tell them about it. Hoping to inspire them to connect more deeply with other people and. , it didn’t, it wasn’t working. I realized really quickly, I would, I would say at the end, I hope I’ve inspired you to connect more deeply.
People that would look at me like a dear in the Headlights, they had no idea what I was talking about. So I realized I needed to provide an experience of actually doing this. So I created this whole process. I take people through of deep listening with a prompt, a conversation. . And so people, uh, talk about themselves and are heard, and then they switch roles and the other person talks about themselves and the other person listens deeply and feeds back.
So they go through this thing and it’s based on themes and values. So they, they give feedback based on what they heard for themes and values. And people cry. People are so moved and here and it’s two things. Cuz often people are paired with a stranger, right? And so within a couple minutes with this activity being deeply listened to and talking about something important to them, like, oh my God, you understood me?
And they cry and they’re so moved and it makes a difference. is shocking and really cool. On the other hand, sometimes you’re with someone you know really well. Sometimes you’re sitting next to your best friend or your spouse or partner, and I even had this experience as I was developing this tool with my own husband.
So here I am. I’ve developed this whole process. We’re practicing it. We’re with our couples group. I already know what the question is, so I kind of think I know what I’m gonna say. and cuz we’ve been together so long, I assume I know what my husband’s gonna say back, but we go through this and we do it and we both are like, oh my God.
Because we listened deeply to each other. We said some things in a new way cuz it’s all primed in this experience. Oh my gosh. We were like, took us to another level really quickly. So yeah, that’s really fun, really exciting to be a part of.
[00:40:22] Will there be a follow-up book?
[00:40:22] Tony Winyard: and can you see, a follow up in sight?
[00:40:27] Tom Glaser: I’m, it is a yes and no answer to that, to that question. I am writing another book. but to call it a follow up wouldn’t quite, I mean, it sort of is a follow up, but it’s not like full heart living 2 . Um, so what I’ve done is interviewed on camera and the, and the first, uh, book I interviewed the happiest people I know on camera.
And, and the, uh, some of those videos are available on my website, FullHeartLiving. Com. But now I interviewed, trauma survivors. Looking at and, and they’re super happy, super functioning people. So, so the question was or slash is how, how do you experience really difficult things and live a great life?
So that, that’s where this second project started. Now those videos are also available, on my YouTube channel. That’s why I started with the second book. But what’s coming now and what happens writing a book is in. Way is, and in many people’s ways is a creative experience, right? The muse tells you, right?
You, you don’t, I’m not in charge. So what’s coming now is different but similar. What I’m writing now is how I work with trauma survivors. what I, what like key moments in trauma therapy is what I’m writing about now. What really seems to make the difference when do people really turn the corner? So what happens in the therapy room in in particular, and again, my hope is not that I’m writing an instructional book on how to be a trauma therapist, although that might be helpful.
For that population as well. Again, I really mean it for the general populations because just as we all know, super happy people, we all know trauma survivors. Most of us, or many of us are trauma survivors ourselves. We just don’t know it. Some of us, or many of us have family members or dear friends who we were talking about this earlier, whose behavior sometimes really puzzles or troubles us. So I, I wanna write, wanted to write a book that would help people, uh, discover why this might. And just how to be with someone. That’s really what it is. It’s just, again, when I’m a therapist, yes, I have all my training, I have all my years of experience. I bring all that with me. In the end, I’m just a human being.
I’m showing up in a particular way though, right? I’m like, I really am in the present moment. I’m listening so deeply. I’m also super aware of what’s going on inside. I’m shuttling back and forth a little bit between each of those all the time, noticing how the person affects my body, how they affect my feelings. So I’m, I’m writing about that in the hopes that we will all come to a place where we can just be one human family despite, however wounded we all are, that we can just be with each other.
[00:43:28] Tony Winyard: again, what went through my mind is you were just saying that just now. So earlier you referred to, I, I forget the, the name you talked about a new style of therapy that you were going through, where you are working with another person who’s kind of looking back at the videos of someone.
[00:43:43] Tom Glaser: Yep. A A E D P. Accelerated experiential
[00:43:46] Listening to someone
[00:43:46] Tony Winyard: And so when, when you were talking about that then what you were saying just then about when you are really listening to somebody and as you, as you listen to someone, and as I was listening to you,
[00:43:57] Tom Glaser: Yes,
[00:43:59] Tony Winyard: it’s just a natural. For us, lots of different thoughts come up as we hear people say different things and we can, we can zero in on any one of those things that someone and that, and then we decide, okay, this is the one I’m gonna respond to.
not kind of that whole sliding doors thing. Well, maybe instead of responding to that one, maybe I’ll respond to this one. We’re going it a completely different direction.
[00:44:23] Tom Glaser: Yes, yes, yes. Right. This is the human experience. If I’m listening deeply and my main focus is on, uh, having the best thing to say in response, that limits how much I can take in.
[00:44:42] Tony Winyard: Hmm.
[00:44:43] Quote on deep listening
[00:44:43] Tom Glaser: Here’s the quote I love about this, and I know that maybe this’ll be my quote. I know there’s a question coming because you primed me, Deep listening, Tony is the willingness to be changed. I love that quote. I don’t know who said it offhand. I, I’d have to look it up. So if, if I’m just thinking about having a pithy, humorous comment to make. I might interrupt the person before they’ve even really gone where they need to go with that, because it might not even be relevant by the time they get there.
So if that’s my goal is to be smart and funny, I’m not as good a listener. But if I’m willing to be changed like then, then I might hold thought and I’ve trained myself to remember the important things and still stay really deeply.
Right. Put it back, put it back, put it back in your mind. Compartmentalize a little bit and stay really present.
I mean, I have decades of experience of doing this, so I can usually do it. Sometimes I forget and then I trust. If I forget, I let it go. Then that’s not meant what I’m was meant to say. I just trust the process. I trust the universe cuz again, when I’m with somebody in psychotherapy, it’s not about me being brilliant.
[00:46:04] Being a conduit
[00:46:04] Tom Glaser: I’m a conduit.
[00:46:06] Tony Winyard: Right?
[00:46:07] Tom Glaser: There’s a greater force somewhere, way out there. This is where I said earlier, I’m like spiritual. I’m not talking about this stuff with every client. I’m just doing it. I trust that what needs to happen will happen and it’s not me. This was way back in my training, Tony. I distinctly remember one of the very first people I worked with, something came out of my mouth.
I don’t remember what it was, but I have no idea where it came from, and it was just the right thing to say. I didn’t plan it. I was spontaneous. I was in the moment. It was like it came through me. I’m a channel. It came through me. Somebody out there knew the right thing to say. It was not me. I have to get myself out of the way.
That’s what I know. I have to get outta my head. I don’t discard. . This is very useful. It gives us a ton of information. I bring this with me, but it’s not the main thing I’m leading with. I’m leading with my heart. I’m leading with my ears. I’m leading with my presence. I’m just showing up. I’m being with you. say what you need to say. I’ll respond in the way I need to respond to trusting, staying in the flow. It’s really fun. It’s really hard work. It takes a lot of energy, but yes, all this. all this chatter that goes on. Tolerating that. I’m not, again, I’m not like saying, oh, I’m such a bad person for doing that.
For sometimes somebody’s talking and I think about my grocery list or something, right? That that’s just how the mind works. I accept that, but I go, oh, I don’t need to do my grocery list. Now come back to the present, and this is in a nanosecond. I noticed that’s what I did, and I come back. This is what matters.
[00:47:52] Tony Winyard: And that comes from working on mindfulness and meditation and so on, isn’t it? And, and you talked about that. I, I’m, I mean, we’ve running out of time. there’s many more things I’d like to but I want, I wanna go into, I, I love the fact that as well as the, the psychologist and life coach, so you’re also yoga instructor, I find fascinating and so do.
are there clients that you are doing all three with or is it, is that separated or how, how is that
[00:48:19] Tom Glaser: Very unusual that a, a yoga student is a client. If, if we were in a super small town and there were no other options, you know, I might make an exception, but we’re, we’re trained to be really careful with boundaries. Cuz there’s so many other good therapists, a yoga student, I would refer to another psychotherapist.
[00:48:40] Tony Winyard: And then so with the yoga though, are you bringing in elements of sort of mindfulness and so on as
[00:48:45] Tom Glaser: absolutely. Yoga is mindfulness. The whole point of yoga is the last most difficult posture. Shavasana laying still on our back. That’s the most difficult posture because the mind. All of that prep helps us get into a place of meditation so that we can just be in the present moment. Yes. And as well as throughout the postures.
Of course, I’m bringing in mindfulness, but, but all good yoga teachers are holding a yoga posture. What comes up in your mind? What’s taking you out of the present moment? What’s happening? That’s all mindfulness. What’s happening in your body and your mind and in your spirit, in your energetic body.
All it’s that is mindfulness all comes together. That’s part of why I love yoga, cuz it’s such a great way to what I’m talking about, mindfulness.
[00:49:47] Tony Winyard: We are running outta time. So before I’m gonna gonna change the subject, something I ask all of my guests, and I get some fascinating answers from this question. So, is there a book that’s moved you for any reason?
[00:50:00] Tom Glaser: Yes. So when I was just about to go into my senior year of high school, I was babysitting and in the basement of our neighbor’s home, they had this paper back. By Maxwell Maltz called, the Magic Power of Self-Image Psychology. Maxwell Maltz was, a dermatologist, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. A, a plastic surgeon.
[00:50:25] Tony Winyard: Yeah, I’ve read a book by him. Cybernetics something
[00:50:27] Tom Glaser: Yes, yes, yes, yes. In in this book he talked about, he would fix people’s faces. Let’s say some people would be so happy with the nose job or whatever. Oh, exactly what I wanted. I’m so happy. Thank you, doctor. The other person looks in the mirror and goes, Ugh. it’s still me there. thanks. But, uh, , he’s like, it’s not about the face, right?
It’s about the insides. And he realized that the self image, so what we believe about ourselves, what other people believe. So I read this before I go into my senior year of high school, so super young, and I start playing with this idea and. And, and you know, it’s a time of life, right? When we’re all like figuring out who we are and we’re all, you know, it’s such a difficult time of life and, oh, I don’t have enough friends and blah, blah, blah.
I start playing with, huh? If I think I’m a good person, if I think I’m a positive person, if I think I’m a person that people might like, maybe they’ll think that. It worked. I’m telling you it worked. And not in a narcissistic, bragging way, just like, oh, maybe I’m an okay person. I started. Thinking that about myself. And then I’m sure my behaviors also reflected it.
It’s not just the thoughts, but the thoughts then guided my behaviors. And I was looking for friends and looking how I was interacting with people. It all, there’s a synergy, then
[00:51:57] Tony Winyard: Hmm.
[00:51:58] Tom Glaser: it worked. That made a huge impact on my life. And isn’t it interesting that all these decades later, I’m talking about self-compassion?
[00:52:05] Tony Winyard: Well, and have you.
[00:52:07] Tom Glaser: thing, right?
[00:52:08] Tony Winyard: Have, have you ever looked at the book in recent years,
[00:52:12] Tom Glaser: No, I haven’t. That’s a great idea. I should, that’s a great idea, , because maybe my memory of it doesn’t even . Who knows? Right? I mean, memory can be Yeah, that’s a really good idea. I would love if you can find it, it’s probably out of print. I’m gonna write that down. Thank you for the homework. Tony
[00:52:35] Tony Winyard: and most things you can find, I mean, if you can’t find anywhere else, Kindle has, you know, cuz it doesn’t need the actual print, does it?
[00:52:41] Tom Glaser: That’s true. I will do that.
[00:52:44] Tony Winyard: Well, if, if people wanna find out more about you, Tom, where are the best places to look?
[00:52:49] Tom’s social media details
[00:52:49] Tom Glaser: I am on Instagram and Facebook. I mentioned full Heart living.com. That’s probably the best way. I do have a YouTube channel, the Full Heart Living YouTube channel. Yeah, so.
[00:53:01] Tony Winyard: Okay, and you’ve got various, webinars and, and you’ve got a course as well, haven’t you?
[00:53:06] Tom Glaser: Yes, through the Yoga Center retreat out of Minneapolis, uh, I offer workshops. Many of them are either online, a hundred percent or hybrid, so available to people. anywhere. Yep. I have four courses coming up over the next Mm. Five months or so. Yeah, please. Everything on high being a highly sensitive person.
to self-compassion. there’s one on my book. Yep. Where we go through that activity that I was mentioning where with the deep listening. Yeah.
[00:53:35] Tony Winyard: We’ll have details of all of those will be in the show So just before we finish, Again, a question I ask everyone is, is there a quote that resonates with you? Are you, I dunno, you’re gonna use the run used before or have you got a different.
[00:53:47] Tom Glaser: Okay, let’s do a different one as long as we have time. This one really helped me when I was writing my book, my first book. Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask everything you want, also wants you, but you have to take action to get it. That’s by Jules Renard.
[00:54:10] Tony Winyard: And why does that resonate??
[00:54:13] Tom Glaser: I love that second line. Everything you want also wants you. It was like, oh, there’s this other force. It isn’t just me wanting something. I have to work, work, work, work. It was like, oh, there’s another force out there that wants me to do that thing. wants me. And the third line, it’s not just gonna happen just cuz I want it.
Just visualizing it. Just seeing it. And then, then there’s, there’s something about visualizing it. I’m not saying that’s bad or wrong, but I also, I, I gotta do some homework. Writing a book is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my entire life, and I just kept showing up day after day after day, writing, writing, writing, and then finding somebody to design the cover and, you know, you know, on and on and on all the tests.
Keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it. And it. And I just find this with other people. There’s people, people, everyone has dreams. We all have dreams. Lean into your dreams. It’s, it’s like the third thing. Happier people connect with, other people themselves, their passions. Lean into your passion. Go for it.
If it brings you alive, pursue it.
[00:55:26] Tony Winyard: Tom, I think we’ll, we’ll stop there. That’s a great place to stop. Thank you for your time. It’s been a fascinating discussion and
[00:55:33] Tom Glaser: you, Tony. You are a deep listener. I really appreciate it.
[00:55:38] Tony Winyard: Well, thank you and I, I think it’s gonna be helpful for people to maybe think in a different way about how, if they are trying to reach out for someone to help them, to, to coach them, to, to guide them, whatever it may be,
about it in a different way about how to try to find that person and how important it is the chemistry it’s so important.
[00:56:03] Tom Glaser: Yes, yes,
[00:56:05] Tony Winyard: that might be one that, that’s such a, that could be such an important thing for many of the listeners. So I hope that does help to help someone. So thank you, Tom.
[00:56:13] Tom Glaser: Pleasure. Thank you.
Next week is episode 100 of habits and health with Joanne Kennedy . She’s a naturopath and a specialist in M T H F R. Histamine intolerance and gut health, especially SIBO, and also women’s hormones. She runs a successful clinic practice in Sydney, Australia. But she sees patients online worldwide.
We talk a lot about identifying the root cause of illness. About using functional pathology testing. And we dig a lot into histamine intolerance. What that is, why it’s at the center of so many different conditions. We talk about her book, that she has a book on histamine as well. So that’s next week, episode 100 with Joanne Kennedy.
If you know anyone who’d get some real value from the wisdom that Tom Glaser shared with us in this week’s episode. Please do share the show with them and hope you have a
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