Lauren Kunkler  00:03

If you are trying to manifest a life where you feel healthy, you have to complete that you have to walk down the aisle and put the healthy things in the cart.

Adam Baruh  00:25

Welcome to The Change, where we share stories and inspiration from business leaders and people making positive work life changes. I’m your host, Adam Baruh. We’ve spoken before about mindfulness on this podcast, elevating the ability to be self aware within the body, listening to what our bodies are telling us. And using that to gain a greater perspective on why we may feel a certain way. Mindfulness is a great tool to personally slow us down, so that we may begin to associate feelings with how we are physically and mentally processing information. Mindfulness helped me personally achieve a much greater sense of self awareness as I was dealing with anxiety issues last year. Those who achieve a heightened sense of self awareness often gained the ability to perceive without analytical thought, the signals their internal and external environments are transmitting this level of wareness is called intuition. Some call it a sixth sense. A very well known tool for elevating to this level of intuitive consciousness is meditation. Here to talk about mindfulness, intuition and wellness, is Lauren Kunkler, the founder of brightly Well, a health and personal development company devoted to helping people come into alignment with their true self. Hey, Lauren, welcome to The Change.

Lauren Kunkler  01:41

Hi, Adam. Thanks for having me today.

Adam Baruh  01:43

Yeah, so let’s go ahead and start with the basics. Tell us a little bit about yourself. And the work that you do today with Brightly Well.

Lauren Kunkler  01:50

Sure. So I’m located in eastern Massachusetts, a coastal area called Cape Cod. And my background is as a nutritionist, so I developed brightly Well, as a means to help people to expand on topics that make them feel better instead of just nutrition. And so across the cape at different wellness centers, health centers, studios, I offer classes, courses, a one on one opportunities to work with me in either nutrition, or the wellness mindfulness platform. And so people can be drawn to whatever types of classes we have. And I work with a lot of different collaborators through different wellness centers and health centers, so that we can really give people an idea about what’s out there in a new way. And that’s been a wonderful thing to have in this little coastal community where there wasn’t a whole lot happening before. So it’s, it’s been a nice development to sort of transition as a traditional nutritionist into this wellness company that offers such an array of different and new topics.

Adam Baruh  03:05

Yeah. All right. So so for transparency. For our audience here, you and I know each other, we’ve known each other for a while now. And so I know a little bit about the collaborators, the collaborators that you work with on In fact, I participated in one of those sessions with I believe it was like a Reiki practitioner. So describe that for us. And also, you know, what types of other collaborators and people that you work with? Through Brightly Well.

Lauren Kunkler  03:33

Yes, so I love the topic of alternative healing, because nutrition is really focused on healing the body, as well as nourishing it. So I really enjoyed learning for myself about these alternative healing techniques. So we have had multiple sessions with other Reiki practitioners. And Reiki is a type of energy healing that is commonly accepted even in a hospital setting, to help people manage pain, manage stress, manage fear, and to scientifically backed make them feel better, which is really exciting. And I love bringing these sort of fringe topics to the general public because this transition of holistic wellness to this mainstream, you know, health care protocol really has a big gap we need to fill in and so these types of healers are not just this woowoo type of thing. I mean, in a lot of hospitals, they do offer this because especially for pain management, and stress management, we’re seeing amazing results. So we do a several different Reiki practitioners. We also have other nutritionists that work with different topics. And I love especially the topic of this sort of food mood and bringing in sort of spiritual side of eating some Ayurveda we’ve had psychologists in with the classes, lots of different types of yoga studio, meditation workers, and even things like artists, and henna tattoo artists. And it’s something that like brings a little bit of creativity to a class and sort of breaks up the monotony of just sitting there and learning things. So we mix it up with, you know, sound healing, and, you know, Crystal bowls, and sometimes talking about crystals talking about essential oils, there’s so many things that we go over. So we have an array of all of these practitioners that, you know, we work together to come up with new classes to do repeat classes, and really just help people find some alternatives to help them feel better.  Absolutely. And so I’m super happy that you brought up about the food mood and the associations are, I believe one of the other sessions I did with you was focused on Ayurveda. So if you want to maybe talk about that a little bit, and how that relates to, you know, what you’ve coined as food mood. Yes, I love talking about Ayurveda. And this is a very traditional, started in India type of natural medicine that connects personality types, to body types, to foods, and different things that can help you stay in balance. And so we do a class called intuitive eating, which is one of my favorite classes, because it is sort of like a personality test. And people learn kind of what type they are. And it’s this aha moment for them, where they get to step back and say, I get why these foods don’t work for me, I get why I get really grumpy when it’s cold, or I just have a sour attitude, when I’m overheated, or, you know, spicy flavors or extra healing, or maybe you’re craving sweets all the time, these balances, really tune into different flavors of foods and what those flavors are doing biochemically for you. So just to give that a little bit more understanding, yeah, we can look at things like bitter foods, and some people who are feeling kind of sluggish and may struggle with their digestion, they may be really thriving on these bitter foods, because what these bitter foods do is they sort of light up your salivary glands, and they start making extra of these digestive enzymes in your body, just in the first few bites. So something bitter before you eat a richer meal can actually help you to digest because all of those enzymes are almost like given a heads up by those foods. Sometimes this is from sour foods, sometimes it’s from fermented foods, people can try different things, to see what really helps them feel the best. But we see this a lot in traditional diets. And even today in you know, the classic Italian dinner table where they’re gonna have a you know, these red, by the way, yeah, they’re gonna have foods and alcohols that have a specific purpose to helping you digest food. And I know I’ve sat around a table before, and I cannot eat like they can. And a lot of times, it’s fairly easy for them to stay lean and have these dinners where they’re eating for a few hours, we kind of wonder, how do they do that, you know, we kind of crunched these big meals into short times in the US because it is very, like time crunched compared to a lot of other ways, different countries sort of set up meal times and set up and structure their day. So I Aveda really gets to the root of how these different body types do better with different kinds of foods. So I love that part of it. And where the intuitive eating comes in is really just being able to tune in to these things that your body’s trying to tell you. And sometimes you need a guide. So this guide where you’re actually getting a printout of your body type and what things work for you. It’s sort of connecting these dots that you weren’t able to really connect before because you didn’t have the information, but you’d have these little aha moments like, you know, I knew it, I just knew it, that food didn’t work for me, and there’s a reason for it. So that’s why we really love you know, all of these intuitive topics, because ultimately, we want people to feel better and to feel better. They are taking these little baby steps to understanding what they need.

Adam Baruh  09:44

Yeah, it’s a couple things here. So number one, it’s kind of, you know, bringing back and experience I had going to acupuncture and you know where my practitioner you know, did more than just the acupuncture but, you know, walked through some of my profile and some things about me and he described me as having like a liver chi stagnation and that kind of, you know, as you were talking, it sounded, you know that there’s a lot of, you know, similarity between Ayurveda and a lot of this eastern, you know, philosophy, you know, around acupuncture and that whole study. So can you describe that a little bit? Can you talk about that relationship?

Lauren Kunkler  10:29

Sure, that relationship actually goes much further than that. And it really goes into the sort of ancestral knowledge and like this intuitive knowing of things. So, when, but here’s a good subject, the Reiki subject, this is an energy healer. That is basically tuning into your chi and helping you move it around and see we’re blockages are so cheese basically described as like lifeforce energy that runs through your body. And, you know, if you are sort of this biohacking nerd like me, you probably have looked up everything from these, you know, peer reviewed studies to, you know, monks who meditate for 40 days and 40 Nights, to see the difference of opinions of like, what she is and what it does. But all around. It’s like this lifeforce energy that really seems to deplete in people when they look tired and sick and depressed, and sort of radiates, and people who are thriving and healthy and have a great attitude. And so this Qi is really what we’re trying to enliven within us. And when we’re talking about nutrition, and wellness, and getting into Qi and acupuncture, we have to get these things moving in our body. And the topic of talking about intuition helps us to have a guide. And so we’re sort of learning through things like chakras, which are different energy points in the body, that we recognize and have meaning to, you know, different emotions and different things that we’re going through in life. So we’re almost taking this idea of energy and circulating it around our body to increase our mood, increase our energy. And, you know, if you even think of how electrical our body is, and how many nerves we have firing at once, we have so much potential for electricity in our body, it just seems to intuitively make sense that something like chi could be, you know, changed or moved around. And we, you know, commonly see this as anecdotal evidence, which means that it’s sort of accepted as it makes sense. Like, you go outside and you’re in the garden, you’re playing out in a field and you start to feel better. Maybe you don’t know why, but you slept extra well that night. So all these little things, they start to add up. And I think the reason that this is not more mainstream is really because it’s so hard to test these little things. And so I love that we can just talk about this in a platform like this, where, you know, chi is just there, you know, everybody has Chi energy flowing through them. And, you know, I love to come out in as many ways as I can to help people to get that positive energy flowing, that good feeling that good vibe, all those words, are synonymous with good healthy chi and flow. So working with something like an acupuncturist, they’re actually manipulating these energy channels in your body. So electricity is flowing through these nerves, in its own way, its own protected way. And it’s using these little needles and little pressure points to draw energy, two locations that are not getting enough blood flow, because the energy conducts their conductors of blood, right. And so not only is it helping blood flow, but it’s also helping this energy movement to get in all those nooks and crannies of the body. And sometimes it can really have this profound healing not only in the body, but you can start to feel the sort of spiritual healing through it, too. It’s just that chi energy gets kind of healed and built back up.

Adam Baruh  14:22

Yeah, you know, a number of us, I think, experience this energy and we feel when things are out of whack, but you know, we just haven’t had maybe the vocabulary or the framework in which to discuss it. I have a story that I’ll share. To share an example is just a couple of weeks ago, it was probably one of the most stressful weeks in, in my career, just you know, as a CEO, running my consulting agency, just a number of things. Just this particular week just collided. And I was very stressed out and definitely not doing that I didn’t have the time to do things that, you know, would provide balance. And immediately, I don’t know if it was food poisoning, or just that my body was kind of like in this, you know, freeze mode, this freeze response, but it was like the day after with, you know, one of the most stressful days, like, I feel like I couldn’t digest my food, and it felt like I was getting food poisoning, but then I don’t think it was food poisoning, I honestly think that my body was just kind of like shutting down and not able to digest what I was eating, eating, which wasn’t even anything crazy or anything. So, you know, and then also, as you were talking, I was thinking of like, it makes sense that, you know, when our bodies and our minds are in, like, optimal performance, that there’s a very balanced and natural flow of energy and blood and, and whatever you want to call it through our bodies, you know, dealing with, you know, our extremities or our digestion, or, you know, what have you. And, you know, when there’s a, you know, some sort of imbalance there, I was thinking about it, like, like a, like a highway, right? So, having traffic, you know, all of a sudden, traffic’s backed up. And so things aren’t flowing, things aren’t moving, you know, that energy, that blood flow can’t get to your digestive system to be able to, you know, work with just, you know, digesting food. So yeah, I mean, just a little bit more on that relationship between energy and our body’s natural systems.

Lauren Kunkler  16:34

Yeah, I love this topic. And I’m really glad you brought this up, because you’re not alone in this. So many people go through the sort of biological side effects of stress. But one thing that sort of just jumped up at me from what you said, was that you sort of, you know, when things are kind of wrong in your body, and it almost creates this blockage. So, here I am, this wellness specialist, and I have a background in nutrition. And I am, you know, teaching wellness, which encompasses this mindfulness, this intuition, this meditation, all these things. And so combined, we’re seeing a lot of different things happen here. And I want to sort of describe this in a way that helps people understand kind of what’s happening to them. So physiologically, during stress, we’re having a response where our body is slowing down digestion in the upper part of the digestive tract. And it’s speeding up digestion in the lower part of the digestive track, which for so many people, this is going to cause some change in their daily routine and how they feel in cramping, bloating, and all of the discomforts we get in the digestive track. But then, for some people, there’s a delayed response. So we can actually see them thrive and survive during the stressful period. And then when they get to rest is sometimes when they feel at the worst. So you know, that’s physiologically a response to stress, it makes it more difficult to digest your food when you’re stressed out, because all of the blood flow in your body during stress is going to go to your extremities because your body does not know the difference between getting chased by line is this famous quote, or the stress of, you know, deadlines, and, you know, making people happy at work and, you know, keeping your employees, you know, all of the issues that happen here. And so it’s sending blood flow to your arms and legs, so that you can run away, and where you need that blood flow is in the digestive tract. In fact, the digestive track really takes so much of your energy that what happens if you try to physically exert yourself after a large meal, it will stop you it will cramp you up and you’re going to get these pains, you’re going to feel sluggish. That’s how much energy it takes to digest your food. So when you’re pulling away all of the energy, it’s, you know, no joke that you’re not going to feel your best and you’re not going to feel that light, energize feeling after refueling with some food. And then on another level, this stress sort of, you know, kind of lives inside of us. And when you do things like meditation and mindfulness, all these different things, we want people to develop like a practice, because even me teaching this to other people I go through times where I have overbooked myself or I’m staying up too late or, you know, this is off and I’m outside of my comfort zone or I don’t have any of the foods that I’m used to. And I start to feel that kind of junky energy, sluggish, tired, drawn to junk food and I have to get back to the practice. It’s like realign, realign, you get bumped off core just a little bit, just realign and there’s no rules or bad grades, you just have to keep at it. Because your body is constantly going through these ups and downs, stress, family, entertainment, things that make you feel good. And so you have to just work with it and not be so upset that you can’t just get it perfect or get it right. You’re working with yourself. So we have to remember to seek out things that help us or seek out people that help us and even for me, in my little community of collaborators, we love doing things together, sometimes we will just get together and do a session for each other, which is so nice and so helpful. So there’s this really interesting balance. And I think I’m kind of, you know, reiterating what I do here is that we need to address these wellness topics when we’re even talking about our nutrition, because one thing is not going to make your life completely better. We can’t just have this perfect diet and think I’m good to go. And yeah, when we sort of go through those emotional things, they really do feel trapped in our body. And I love that there are so many tactics and so many protocols to sort of sort those out and process them, give them time and start to release them and just get blood flowing through your body again. So you can you know, work on that chi energy start to build up that lifeforce energy again, it’s it’s a really beautiful cycle, you can kind of imagine in your mind with these, you know, all these plates spinning, you’re trying to get this, this beautiful, symbiotic, you know, spinning going on, but it’s okay, if a few plates fall off, it’s like, just relax into it. Just work with it.

Adam Baruh  21:51

Yeah, totally. And I think you, you mentioned something that’s really important to reiterate, which is that this is a practice that you’re not going to do this type of work, and then be done with it. Much like just exercise, or yoga, it’s like a lifelong commitment. And something that you need to dedicate to and keep up with.

Lauren Kunkler  22:14

That is so true. And I will be the first person to say that I’m definitely not in the best shape of my life right now. But I feel better than I ever have. And that is something that I never thought I would have being, you know, 39 years old, and kind of coming into this, like, you know, work life, family balance, and not having the time to do the things that I used to do. But I’ve, I’ve just through all these practices, learn what is the most important, what are the things that you do not change to maintain your well being. And for me, the exercises that are more relaxing, like going for a bike ride are just making me feel so much better than that kicking butt at the gym, you know, and sprinting and things like that. So I found like so much peace in that. And so it’s not always about this, like perfect health peak performance in the gym. It is like getting you well rested, getting you feeling focused, getting you feeling optimistic, and having positive thoughts, and getting you getting you just going in the right direction. So that’s, that’s something that I can attest to, that really helped me and I just can’t believe that I feel like the best, I’d say the best I felt in my whole life.

Adam Baruh  23:37

I absolutely love hearing that. And, you know, so you said something else that I wanted to make sure that we reiterate and emphasize which is, you know, while for one person, it might be the getting in the gym and doing a really hard extreme workout. And that’s, that’s what really centers and rebalances them. But that’s not to say that, you know, that’s going to apply for everybody, right? I mean, for me, and I’ve spoken about this before numerous times on this on this podcast, but I’ll share again and give another plug to Jessa Reid who I love to listen to, you know, she and one of her podcasts was talking about you know how we’re kinda like video game characters like avatars running around and you know, for if we’re watching ourselves playing the video game, it’s like you could see our your health meter like above your head as you’re running around and and and the challenge that she made was to you know, to think about what recharges that health meter what recharges your battery and and she she challenged her listeners to sit down and with their journal and and think about what are the five things that recharges you and it’s going to be different for everybody. So you know my wife, surfing yoga, like really hard type of workouts are the thing. You know, one of the things that are a couple of things that that give her that balance and that recentering for me, It’s just quietness, and reading and being in the woods. Um, so yeah. What’s that like for you, Lauren? What are what are some of the things that recharges your battery?

Lauren Kunkler  25:11

Oh, that’s such a good question. I have to say that my top three things are number one, I get so recharged by taking a bike ride, which I have to say I’m very lucky is all coastal up on the ocean, down by you know, tide pools and things, it is pretty epic have a bike ride, but I find myself just laughing at how ridiculously beautiful it is, and how much fun it is. And I’m not a cyclist. I’m on a vintage 40 year old three speed bike here with a basket. So this is not going to be this powerhouse. But just having the breeze in my hair and the sunshine or the clouds or the rain, whatever it may be. Just that feeling of really recharges me and then my second one is laughing with my friends. And I’ve noticed this more than anything is just that feeling of laughter. And it almost slows down time for me. So you know anybody really it could be, you know, just someone who I’ve run into with at the coffee shop. But I’ve noticed that I tend to make more jokes and have more spontaneous laughter with people, even strangers, because it makes me feel better. So I’m selfishly telling bad jokes all around town.

Adam Baruh  26:33

I will go ahead and plug for you. For those that are on Facebook to follow the Misponderstood Facebook group that Lauren I believe he started that it’s hilarious.

Lauren Kunkler  26:44

Yeah, that is that is good fun. People have a nice time posting in there and people post every single day. It’s just a cute little thing on the side. But I love it, it makes my day I love to laugh, and it just lights me up and makes me feel recharged. The third thing for me is sleep 100% I need like seven to eight hours of sleep. I know so many people are proud that they can get five or six and get through their day. But that’s my Achilles heel, I found over the years that if I take care of my sleep, and I am mindful of how many hours I’m getting and preparing myself in advance, even when I have these long days, I can maintain avoiding these stress overloads and avoiding, you know, gut issues and avoiding even burnout. So, and even on top of that is getting colds and every time I’ve gotten a cold or flu in the past several years is a night that I’ve missed sleep. And so that is very, very clear to me that I need to take the most care of that to maintain feeling good and optimistic and positive and healthy every day. So yeah, you’re absolutely right. And I want to just plug another little thing here.

Adam Baruh  28:01


Lauren Kunkler  28:02

When we’re focusing on kind of tapping into that sixth sense that intuition, we can start to feel what we need even better. And when I say intuition, you know, the sort of term we use across the board is mindfulness. Because mindfulness is just becoming more aware of yourself, your surroundings and other people. And you can become so mindful that you can sense what other people may be thinking, maybe feeling maybe needing. And I noticed that this was happening in my nutrition practice and different people would come in, and I would send different things for each one, to the point where I would say, you know, for some people, they would need to go hit something like a get a baseball bat and go out to the batting cages, like that exertion, and that power and force of hitting something is what recharges them and diffuses their stress today. Yeah, there’s something about live sports where you’re hitting something that can relieve so much stress. And then there’s other things where I suggest that people need to dance. And sometimes when I’ve said that their eyes light up and they’re so surprised that I would tell them to do something like that because, you know, we just talked about B vitamins and that’s the next subject. But that finding that thing in yourself and finding that thing and other people is really just this beautiful way of us almost connecting with each other. And it’s okay whatever it is, if you want if you need to sprint, sprint, if you need to sleep sleep, if you need to sing at the top of your lungs in the shower to Mariah Carey, then sing your heart out. That’s what makes you feel better. And I love that you were you know making the notes to about how you you know and versus other people may get back to that health meter. I love that visual of using your little health meter because those visual aids help us to check in. So I appreciate that.

Adam Baruh  30:03

Hey, I’m curious, this might be a little bit off topic, but at least intuition when I was just hearing you talk, I was kind of thinking, or at least receiving what you were just saying as kind of intuition about others, like empathy, intuition about what other people are feeling. And I’m curious, you know, about the relationship between personal intuition. And manifestation is, how would you describe that relationship? And, and I’ll just, you know, kind of caveat this a little bit. I’m curious, if you, if you listen to Abraham Hicks, and you know, that whole I don’t know how to describe it, but the conversation around, you know, being tapped into your higher self, and how that just inherently can can manifest you to be receiving of the gifts that you that you are seeking.

Lauren Kunkler  31:02

Yeah, I think that genre, we can almost call that the school of new thoughts. And Abraham Hicks falls into that. And I really love listening to all of that. And then I’ve even gone back to things like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Joseph Murphy. And oh, goodness, there’s so many of them. I’m probably going to glitch on some of these. But there’s so many of these New Age thought type of researchers, and they do really connect the dots between intuition and manifestation. So this is such an interesting question. And you, you really surprised me with this one, but I love it. And so I’ll just make a note on intuition, we have these different categories of intuition. And I call them spiritual intuition and biological intuition. So what we focus on in the classes that I teach is mostly this biological intuition, because we’re focused on health topics. But I love taking it to the next level. And so if you ever run into me, and you want to talk, Next Level intuition, I will have your ear. So this biological, we’re tuning into what our body needs. And this can be down to what foods work for us or not work for us with IBS clients, or food allergy clients, or people with any kind of issues where they’re just trying to figure out what they can eat. So we take that, and we go a little bit deeper, and then we’re talking about like, what we need to recharge. So there’s these foods, there’s the recharging. And then we take it even further. And we think into this emotional realm of intuition of like, what do I need. But when we open up all of the realms, there’s no boundaries anymore, we’re not looking boxes of biological or spiritual, it’s all just one thing. And we become this kind of grand observer. So we have some, you know, words that we use for intuitive. Some people are in the category of a psychic intuitive, where they’re going to be so open, and so receiving and so Intune. And so mindful that they’re actually picking up on this sort of universal knowledge, universal timeline, sort of things that kind of can blow your mind, because they’re so difficult to understand. And we kind of think of maybe a psychic as somebody who may be trying to take you for your money, or, you know, scam you. But honestly, I know a lot of these people, and they are tapped into something that is really difficult to understand, but will blow your mind. And when you find a good person, they’re really wonderful to chat with, it turns into this really like life changing positive viewpoints, because what they’re doing is they’re seeing what you are manifesting. And that’s the interesting thing about these psychic intuitives. Now, the other side of second derivatives, we have things like empaths empath is a person who can actually feel the emotions, pains, even sensations that other people may be going through, and sometimes that really affects them. And they need help and guidance on how to how to do this, how to live in this world where you’re feeling all the fields, and some people are born like this. I think this connection is just really free flowing for some people and other people just brush it aside because they don’t quite understand it. But anybody can tap into this and anybody can really develop it and you know, see these colleagues of mine, actually going and teaching or going to classes that are for Empath development or for psychic development and it is not teaching you how to like read cards for somebody, it’s teaching you how to tap And to the sort of knowledge that is universal that we just, you know, can barely process even where it comes from. So they’re looking at your life as if you are creating it. And your intuition may be saying, you know, go do this exercise, but they may be looking at you, as you are manifesting a better life, you are manifesting good health, you are manifesting, maybe a career where you have balanced that you can kick butt at work, and then go and just burn off all that energy in the gym, or whatever it may be. So manifesting is basically your life’s direction. And we all have different viewpoints on this. And that’s okay, what’s No, it’s it’s not a competition about who’s right or who’s wrong. Manifesting is really just being cognizant of putting your foot in front of the other foot in front of the other foot in a direction that you have chosen. And so we have to understand that a lot of your thoughts are a choice and a habit.

Adam Baruh  36:11


Lauren Kunkler  36:11

And so if you’re feeling these bad thoughts, and absolutely, there are chemical imbalances that can cause negative thoughts, and we have to completely give that the attention that it needs. And there is a lot of help that people can get, trying to manage these ups and downs. But there’s also bad habits, bad habits may be thinking about the past, thinking about things that upset you thinking about things that are bad in the world, or annoying in the world. And these are ones that we can reprogram. And as we reprogram, we are manifesting positivity, we are manifesting, it’s like going grocery shopping, and saying, I eat healthy, now, I’m only going to put healthy things in this car. And this car is going down the aisle and then to the checkout, and then to my house. And so if you are trying to manifest a life where you feel healthy, you have to complete that you have to walk down the aisle and put the healthy things in the cart.

Adam Baruh  37:10

Yeah, so mindfulness, and just the self awareness and the intuition. You know, I, and you’re talking about these habits that we get into and yeah, like, I’d fall into habits. They still happen. They’re definitely habits. It’s like, you know, when I when I kind of go into this mental space, it’s like, oh, yeah, here we go again. And, you know, I was just talking with my wife about this. And, you know, it’s something I strongly believe, although I don’t do it a whole lot. But, you know, for me, one of the greatest ways to break the habit, if I’m in like a negative headspace, again, sitting down with my journal, and just writing a gratitude list, you know, again, maybe just five things I’m grateful for, and just, you know, the process of putting that down in my journal, I always feel better afterwards. And so, you know, how, what are some things that you do when you find yourself, you know, maybe going back into these habitual ways of thinking or whatever? What are? What are some of the ways that you get yourself out of those habits?

Lauren Kunkler  38:20

Um, that’s such a good question, you know, well, I want to know, on your habit of writing down gratitude. Topics in a journal is a way to boost oxytocin in the body, and that gives you a feeling of well being. So anything, like gratitude, telling someone, they you love them, being grateful for things in your body, you are creating a hormone that makes you feel good. I mean, that’s a pretty good deal in the grand scheme of things. And you know, things like yoga and spending time with family and friends and dancing, those can all raise the oxytocin as well. And so and even makes you digest your food better. I mean, all these good things happen when you do things with gratitude. And so, you know, when you are creating these, you know, manifestations like I’m going to have this positive life, I’m going to work on this habit. All of these things, in the grand scheme of thing are pretty superficial. I mean, your beliefs about how the world is and how you are and what you’re capable of really live in your subconscious mind. This mind that is underneath, right? So we have the things that we do and then we have the things that we have been deeply programmed with. Yes, and some of the best ways to reprogram your subconscious is through anything that creates a trance mode. So going into trance helps you reprogram the subconscious and you can even use symbols of things like this is what I really appreciate about religions around the world as they use different types of symbolism. to mean something, and it really goes deep into people’s sub subconscious, and makes them feel a certain way by having all these symbols, all these meanings of different rituals, different routines, all these things. It’s really beautiful. And it’s an amazing way to really tap into your belief systems, your

Adam Baruh  40:17

Yeah, what would you say? Like mantras kind of fall into that description a little bit like having a mantra?

Lauren Kunkler  40:24

Yeah, a mantra is only going to work if you are in a place where it’s being heard by your subconscious. And so you have to get into, you know, just saying yes, to yourself things every single day are good. But if you take it to the next level, and you say, you know, say, I love crystals, right. So they can be symbols of things. They can be, you know, beautiful little things to collect. But if a certain crystal to you is a symbol of good health, and you take this little crystal, and you maybe say something, gratitude, I’m so grateful for this crystal, I feel good, I feel recharged. I’m worthy of feeling good every day. These are mantras that can be super helpful. And we either want to use a mantra and a state where we’re very relaxed, or in a state where we’re sort of priming our mind like those first thoughts in the morning, those last thoughts before bed, because those are closer to that subconscious mind. But just during the day, it’s still works, but it’s going to take time, and you’re going to need to stick with it because it’s slower sinking in. And as you asked me before, sort of what do I do is I use guided meditations and even some guided hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is unbelievable when you have a good practitioner, that is a way for them to put you in a trance and come up with specific things for you to say that you want to reprogram your subconscious with so I’ve had really wonderful success with that. But I do find myself sinking back into habits and sometimes even some some of the negative self talk coming up thinking, wow, I thought I got rid of that years ago. Okay, let’s work on that again. So you kind of have to find these things at work. But for me, I really feel much better when I will go to a certain meditation for either self care or a hypnosis for positive thinking or for energizing yourself. You know, if sometimes I get sort of mentally burned out with constantly creating things, which is wonderful, and I love it, but sometimes I do feel a little rundown. So that is one way you can tap in so you can you know, it’s so interesting to talk about trance work. But meditation gets you into a trance, there’s different levels, of course, you can use things like sound healing, tonal healing, singing bowls, you can use silence and just meditation on very simple things, quieting your mind. And each of these different things can get you into this trance level, one of my favorites that people can do is a relaxation exercise where you kind of go through and you relax each little set of muscles from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, and all you’re doing is just putting your awareness on them and relaxing them. So if you think I think a really good one for people is their forehead, their shoulders and their back, we’d send we seem to put a lot of tense emotions, a lot of our strain on those spots. But if you just take a second and become aware of those muscles and just relax them, almost imagine them sort of feeling like warm and melty. And just go through it. You don’t even have to do a special breathing if you don’t want to. But this changes our brainwaves and brainwaves are how we can measure what level trance that you’re in. So even breathing exercises are wonderful as well. But these are just some examples of how we can achieve this trance level. And I just want to add one more I know I’m all over the place with these but walking is an amazing way to get into a light level of trance. So when you are walking without holding things without trying to catch up with people at a just a normal pace, you have what’s called bilateral movement meaning your arms and your legs are moving in a cadence that actually helps your brainwaves to go from a stressed out scattered state to a very calm state, the first level sort of this trance state. So if you’ve ever been walking along and just looking around letting your mind rest and notice you sort of lost some time. That was a trance for you. You just entered that sort of first or even second level of trance, just by walking. And people can do this in the garden, they can even do it while they’re just cleaning, just sort of mindless things that they may do. And they lose that little time. And they, they feel relaxed afterwards. And those are good signs of trance. So we can use that and actually be mindful of what we’re doing with it, to give ourselves some new programming, that is what we are manifesting, if you want this life that has, you know, peak fitness, then we can manifest towards that if you want lots of energy, if you want to be sharp as a tack all of these different directions we can choose, and then just focus on those one at a time. And it’s not a race, we really just get to enjoy this. They’re they’re very enjoyable things.

Adam Baruh  45:45

Yeah, that’s awesome. And so thank you for sharing that. Alright, so let’s switch gears a little bit. You founded Brightly Well, offering coaching and classes to Individuals wishing to learn how to intuitively create peace in their body and their mind. So tell us a little bit more about how you came up with the concept and the idea. And also, you know, if you want to go into depth a little bit more on some of the classes that you offer?

Lauren Kunkler  46:07

Oh, yes, um, so Brightly Welll, I wanted a wellness company. And I really wanted to give a name that showed people that we’re going to be that high chi type of feel, you know, we want to feel bright, we want to feel well. And it’s it’s positive base. So it’s positively inspired wellness. And I really wanted people to be able to let themselves be drawn to it. And the classes that I offer are really diverse. My two main classes right now are the intuitive eating class, people can book that one on one or in a group, we do intuitive wellness class, which is really good to do with a with a buddy, a partner, or family member. And then another one is the chill pill class, which is 10 Easy Ways to calm down fast. And that’s a great one that really goes over a lot of those alternative healing topics. And really interesting and easy ways you can kind of do what we had talked about is tap into that subconscious start to find things that you really are drawn to that you tune into that make you feel recharged and make you feel better.

Adam Baruh  47:20


Lauren Kunkler  47:21

There’s always new classes coming.

Adam Baruh  47:23

Yeah, no, I love it. And, you know, we’ll we’ll link to you Brightly Well on, on on our guests page that we set up for you. But as we close here today, I want to ask just a couple more questions. First, what’s been your biggest inspiration?

Lauren Kunkler  47:39

Oh, you know, this is maybe kind of a long answer, but a good one to me. So I was working in a program for diabetics, and it was through the local YMCA. And they tried to get me to do lots of outreach, lots of classes for the community. And I was all game. And so I was really interested in getting as much, you know, time with people that I could to help them with whatever subjects so we were doing all different sorts of sessions, all different sorts of topics. And they came to me and they asked if I would make a specific class for their LIVESTRONG program. And if you’re familiar with LIVESTRONG, it is for cancer survivors, or people that currently are undergoing treatment for cancer, and they’re offered through almost all of the YMCA is through the country, I do think that with COVID, they were shut down, because this is a group with compromised immune systems for the most part. So I do see them coming back and getting, you know, their programs up and running again. So these people come through and they do a session of a few months, they go to their meetings, and they have some people come in and do talks for them. So I created this talk, and I really was going through all of the stuff on my own outside of work, where I am diving into this mindfulness stuff, I am really geeking out on things that, you know, develop intuition. And all of these things are happening to me while I’m developing these, these classes. And so I started to use some of the biohacker stuff and some of the intuitive spiritual stuff to kind of come together and create this class for them. And I didn’t even have a special name for it. It was just, you know, health and wellness for this LIVESTRONG group, but they loved it so much that they asked me to come back for a second class for the same group, which normally they don’t have time to have a second class with the same person. And they asked me to do them, you know, so much so that like, I’ve been doing them for the last, you know, five or six years, and every group is just amazing and they Leave with these jaws dropped. And I’ve worked with a lot of the people one on one after these classes, because they’re so grateful to have a different perspective on what it means to be healthy. They feel so bogged down by diagnosis and by someone telling them that they’re not healthy, that is just really difficult to get over. And on top of that, they have all these different nutritional needs. So the class that we did, we really talked about some interesting subjects. And the way that I would describe things to people was based on keeping your electrons happy. And that might be an odd topic, but your electrons are what basically send signals from one cell to another. And they are down to like the microscopic level, the things that are having a charge on your cell. So when we say Oh, drink this high pH, ionized water, or do this ionic salt, cave treatment, all these things are getting our electrons to spin faster. So I was so inspired by this, that I actually found ways where people can, through this sort of metaphysical study through the sort of antidote antidote, total study, I can say the word. And we really all kind of in these classes look at each other, like, wow, this is so true, that we can look at talking positively using these words of gratitude, to make our electrons work better, right, because that subject is talking about Qi, talking about this energy moving around the body. And then we can talk about using good healthy water to get your electrons moving better using vegetables, which create hydrogen in your body. And the hydrogen helps the communication between your cells. And so this class was just as much for me as it was for this group. And it allowed me to spend enough time with these people that I got to know what they wanted to hear how they were responding to the material. And all I could think every time I would leave was I’m so grateful to be able to do this. What a great session, I can’t wait to do this again. So that led me to saying like, I just sitting down with one person at a time. It just wasn’t enough. I wanted to get these groups going. I wanted to get the information out there. So people can kind of go through this together, ask questions, see what other people are asking. And this just inspired me. So much so that I really love teaching classes still. And that one is something that I always still do, if people are interested as well. So that’s, that’s definitely the source of a lot of this inspiration. And it just so happened to be the same time I was going through this amazing, intuitive process. So it felt right. It worked correctly. And I hope that it’s inspired people along the way.

Adam Baruh  53:04

That’s awesome. Well, it’s been inspiring to listen to you talk about this, because clearly, there’s a passion there. So you know, as I just mentioned, we’ll have some links on our website. But as we close here today, can you you know, tell us where our audience can find you and get connected with you?

Lauren Kunkler  53:21

Yes, as of right now, my website has some context there. You can also book nutrition appointments, and I’ll make sure all the links are working if you want to book classes, but honestly, just reach out to me through email. It’s If you want a custom class, if you want me to speak for a group, we have some flexibility. And I’m happy to do things virtually. So in this Cape Cod community, we do have some things going on. But as of right now, I don’t want to announce times and dates quite yet. So that’s the best way to contact me. There’s also a Facebook page Brightly Well, and an Instagram page that you can visit. And of course, you’re alwaMiys welcome on Misponderstood.

Adam Baruh  54:05

Oh, yes, highly recommended again. All right. Well, Lauren, I want to thank you again for being my guest here today and for sharing everything that you’ve shared with and as I just mentioned, clearly there’s a passion there. And this has been a very inspirational discussion. So thank you again.

Lauren Kunkler  54:21

Thanks so much for having me, Adam.

Adam Baruh  54:22

Of course. Lauren Kunkler is an experienced nutritionist with a demonstrated history of working in various aspects of the health care industry. She is skilled in counseling, coaching, public speaking, healthy cooking and writing. Her professional focus is in nutrition and mindfulness. And she’s worked closely with her community to share workshops and classes in holistic health, mindfulness, meditation, stress management, plant based eating and spirituality. She has over 15 years of experience and holds a BS in dietetics nutrition from the University of Rhode Island and certifications in precision nutrition chip facilitator and as a level two Reiki practitioner. You can read more about Lauren on our website Our theme song and sound engineering was provided by Shane Suffriti you can listen to more of Shane’s music at If you have a story to share about mindfulness, intuition or gratitude, or if you’d like to tell us what you think about our podcast, send me an email at Thank you all for listening. We’ll see you next time on The Change.

EIQ Media, LLC  55:36

The Change is produced and distributed by EIQ Media LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on leadership, mental health, entrepreneurship and more.