Friday, December 04, 2020

HEARTFUL and Touching: Anderson Cooper on Mindfulness AND his deep conversation with Stephen Colbert on loss and grief

Anderson Cooper learned how to meditate and it has changed life for him.  All of the following are touching interviews that can be helpful for everyone in this dramatic time we are going through.  A good pass-along during this transition period.

A few years ago, Anderson did a segment on 60 Minutes about Mindfulness after attending a small Silicon Valley session here in the Santa Cruz mountains.  Later he was interviewed another time, with questions about that experience and how the practice of Mindfulness has affected his life. Those interviews and a couple other heart-touchers are below. Highly recommended.  - 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper - Interview of Anderson by Soren Gordhamer  - Another interview with Anderson on Mindfulness - Anderson's below-the-surface interview with model Gisele Bundchen re. her panic attacks and how Mindfulness and deep breathing helped her. She talks about how she learned she could look at her life like a movie -- and take a step back in difficult times, realizing she can make decisions from an objective position.  As she says, "The mind is an instrument; don't let it play YOU."  This interview took place in 2019, but it's very helpful for anyone to see it now during Covid times.

And then, there is is the following raw and deeply heartfelt talk between Anderson and Stephen Colbert:  --  Beautiful discussion between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper on how deaths of their fathers, mothers and siblings have affected their lives. They talk about how their lives became bifurcated at age 10 when their fathers died.  Anderson says he and his mom both felt like "everything is possible and nothing is safe,"  with the "everything" meaning it could be good or bad -- a sudden phone call in the middle of the night and your life is changed forever.  I think my family understands that very well through our own personal experiences.

I felt my attention riveted in this talk between these two men about grief and how it led them to understand what is really important in life  -- they are sharing from deep in their souls.  Anderson says he felt like he had to protect his mom from the world.  He finally came to see her strengths by watching her always being open and vulnerable and optimistic.  At the same time, he always felt he had to run interference for her and keep her protected from the world that had once hurt her and could hurt her again.  Colbert says he felt he had to step in as a 10-year-old and almost literally raise his mom since she was so shattered when she lost her husband and 2 sons in a plane crash.

The raw, honest feeling that is expressed between these two men, both of whom often laugh and seek humor as a kind of cover for their more hidden feelings, touched me deeply as I watched them sharing from their hearts with each other.  At one point Anderson's eyes filled with tears and his voice quivered as he asked Stephen a very deep will know that part when you see it. Stephen answered it from a perspective of understanding derived from Catholicism and Buddhism, both of which he has experienced in his life.

This is a side of these two beautiful souls that you don't often get to see.  I wanted to share this with everyone today, as we are all going through difficult times, and it is helpful to see how others have navigated through their great personal losses and griefs.  Shared love and shared stories can be a balm to the spirit and provide uplifting energy, even when speaking of hard, difficult life experiences.  Anderson says this very sincerely as he tells how he welcomes the chance to talk with people about his own grief and to listen to them talk about theirs.  It feels like a communion of the spirit that transcends the daily stuff his life normally revolves around as a journalist.  Both of these men are deep, loving, giving souls.  It is a treat to be able to hear them together.  I can identify with them both in the deepest place in my heart, and am grateful for their openness in revealing so much of their Real identity and spirit to the world.