Wake Up, Human 007: Living a Life of No Regrets

Living a Life of No Regrets: Jeffrey S. Cramer on the life and legacy of Henry David Thoreau


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If I am not I, who will be?

Henry David Thoreau

In this episode of the Wake Up, Human podcast, I talk with author and editor Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections at the Thoreau Institute Library of the Walden Woods Project. Jeffrey is perhaps the foremost living authority on the life and works of one of my earliest and greatest heroes, Henry David Thoreau.

My conversation with Jeffrey weaves through discussions on Thoreau the writer, naturalist, and social reformer. We’ll touch on themes of his two most famous works, Walden and Civil Disobedience, and discuss what those writings have to offer us for today’s activism and social justice work, and for navigating the craziness of the modern world. We explore how small, personal acts of kindness can be a powerful means of social reform. And Jeffrey and I will each share a couple Thoreau geek stories from our own lives along the way.

If you’re a fan of Thoreau, you’ll likely learn some things you never knew before. If you’re not familiar with him, you’ll get a primer on topics as diverse as transcendentalism, the power of the moral compass for making decisions in our lives, and the art of living deliberately in a distracted world. We’ll even randomly discuss what eating strawberries can teach us about waking up to our place in society and the world. Join me for this rich and fascinating conversation, in this episode of the Wake Up, Human podcast.

To learn more about Jeffrey, visit his website at http://www.jeffreyscramer.com. You can learn more about the Walden Woods Project at http://www.walden.org.


Episode at a glance: topics we’ll explore

  • Who was Henry David Thoreau, and why are people interested in keeping his work and his legacy alive?
  • Why Thoreau’s Walden is not really a book about a man living in the woods, and why his essay Civil Disobedience has nothing to do with civility.
  • What is the one shared message that all the world’s sacred texts boil down to, according to Thoreau?
  • What is the absolute litmus test for deciding what is right and wrong, concerning our actions in the world, according to him?
  • We discuss the difficulty of “doing what’s right” in a divisive world. How do we stand up for what we believe is right, against someone with an opposing view who is equally convinced they are right?
  • Jeffrey shares his key takeaway from Walden, which he calls “the Thoreauvian question.”
  • What is Jeffrey’s favorite his favorite quotation by Thoreau, and why? (And why he wishes every school in the country would have this emblazoned over the front door so every student could read it every day.)

Links and resources mentioned in the episode:


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Henry David Thoreau


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Wake Up, Human 005: The Magic of Breathwork

The Magic of Breathwork with Travis Steffens


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…or check it out wherever you enjoy podcasts:


Believe it—and then you’ll see it.
That’s when you step into the infinite.

Travis Steffens

In this episode of the Wake Up, Human podcast, I talk with Travis Steffens, a teacher and practitioner of breathwork: breathing exercises and techniques that employ conscious control of the breath in order to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well being.

My conversation with Travis explores breathwork as a portal to transforming both body and spirit. We’ll weave through discussions on the science behind breathwork, the mechanics of breathing practices, and the gifts that breathwork offers to the mystic and the spiritual seeker. Travis will even introduce us to two of the most powerful breathwork practices in his repertoire: Wim Hoff breathing and the DMT breath.

Watch for practices from Travis to be included in the upcoming breathwork app, Breathspace. You can learn more about him on his company website at www.Rinvestments.net.


Episode at a glance: what you’ll learn by listening

  • “What exactly is breathwork, and what can the experience of breathwork open up in us that otherwise might not be so available to us?
  • Why has our physical body been referred to as “the greatest pharmacy in the universe?”
  • What’s the difference between breathwork and “just breathing” as we do all the time?
  • Travis mentions he’s seen breathwork heal people from chronic illness. How is this possible?
  • Why is visualization important to the success of a breathwork practice?
  • Who is Wim Hoff, and why do we love him?
  • What is the DMT breath, and why might it be “the closest thing to an ayahuasca experience without the ayahuasca”?
  • What’s the most foundational reason for practicing breathwork? (Hint: It’s not to become superhuman, heal from illness, or to become enlightened.)

Links and resources mentioned in the episode:


Knowledge is a book on a bookshelf. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. And the only way to connect the two of them is through experience.

Travis Steffens


There’s a monthly digest of this stuff…

Thank you so much for visiting. If you liked this offering, you can sign up below to receive the monthly Wake Up, Human digest, which includes writings, podcast episodes, and other offerings, sent on or near the time of the full moon. Have something to share or suggest? Head over to my contact page and drop me a line.

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