Today is the Day Changemakers

Mindful Leadership with Steven Cohen and Guest Co-host Fred Wasiak

February 16, 2023 Jodi Season 3 Episode 7
Today is the Day Changemakers
Mindful Leadership with Steven Cohen and Guest Co-host Fred Wasiak
Show Notes

Welcome to season 3, episode 7 of the Today is the Day Changemakers Podcast.

This week I am joined by a special guest co-host, the incredible Fred Wasiak, founder and president of The Food Bank of South Jersey as well as Inspire Change Honoree for the 2023 International Changemakers Forum.

Together, Fred and I interview Steven Cohen. Steven is the author of Leading FromWithin: A Guide to Maintaining Your Effectiveness Through Meditation as well as co-founder and chair of the board of Meditation4Leadership which brings the benefits of mindfulness and meditation practices to the workplace. Along with his zen practices, he has a very successful career as a lawyer, being Manager of the Global Emerging Business Technology Practice at Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius, LLP. 

 Steven traces his first experience practicing concentration back to playing team sports in his early years, though he had not yet explored meditation. He was first exposed to yoga in response to debilitating back problems for which he sought a cure. Steven described the experience as “a life problem disguised as a back problem”. He explains that though yoga helped his back problems, once he paid more attention to the minute of meditation in the beginning of the session, he began a new journey to mindfulness. This increased focus on meditation helped him stay present, rather than focusing too much on the past or future.  He states, “coming back to the breath can be a metaphor for coming back to what is important”. 

Steven is a firm believer in letting go of judgment in order to reap the full benefits of meditation. Once he was able to release his self judgements and doubts through practicing meditation, his legal practice tripled and has maintained its level since. He emphasizes that this did not occur because of meditation, but because of the benefits which came from meditation. Steven cites the reasons why people don't meditate as lack of exposure, if exposed, not resonating with the language used, and a fundamental misunderstanding of what meditation really is. If you wish to open your mind to a practice such as meditation, he suggests meditating not to become a better meditator, but to become a better version of yourself.

Learn more about how Meditation4Leadership is bringing the art of mindfulness and mediation to the workplace and helping staff teams at multiple large organizations.

Take a listen to Steven's answer to the question, what is a lesson you learned that you can share with both a young and seasoned changemaker.

Next week, I interview Meredith Lee, Program Director for the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award.

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Have a great week everyone!