Joie de Vivre, Living with a Ravenous Thirst for Life: “When our minds are clear and we are free of misguided energy amazing things happen” with Tom Corner and Dr. Marina Kostina

The Mosh Pit of Your Mind — If we understand that our thoughts create things and that more than 50,000 thoughts flit through our minds on a daily basis, we then must be very attentive to what and how we feed our minds. This is analogous to a mosh pit at a rock ’n roll concert. If […]

The Mosh Pit of Your Mind — If we understand that our thoughts create things and that more than 50,000 thoughts flit through our minds on a daily basis, we then must be very attentive to what and how we feed our minds. This is analogous to a mosh pit at a rock ’n roll concert. If you have ever witnessed a mosh pit it can be a scary and somewhat violent experience in which people romp and jump around, pushing, shoving and crashing into one another. Picture the tens of thousands of thoughts romping around your mind every day. If they are negative and self-sabotaging what will your day, week, month or year be like? What will your life be like?

I had the pleasure of interviewingTom Corner, inspirational author and motivational speaker. His latest book, Borrowed Eyes and Feet — Finding Enlightenment After Rage, is his personal memoir reflecting on a life of anger and self-destruction turned to a life of love and forgiveness in what he refers to as his year of enlightenment. The year prior he released Mommy, Why Do You Have Two Birthdays? a memoir celebrating his wife’s triumph over stage four non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Having had enough of the suffering and struggles in his life he changed how he viewed the world and now lives a life of love, laughter and abundance!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Dr. Wayne Dyer, Abraham-Hicks, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, Beverly Lenz, Jim Rohn (and many more influencers) all invited me to join them on their path. It is an open invitation to all and is something as simple as accepting the invitation, or not.

I chose to accept their invitation and for years I dedicated myself to reading their books and listening to their stories. I made a personal decision to not waver from the belief that all things in life are possible and I made a promise to myself that I would ‘not die with my music still in me.’ (Dr. Wayne Dyer)

All the while, life went on. I did what I was supposed to do; I got married, started a family, established a good career and yet I was lost. I seemingly did all of the right things and I worked exceedingly hard, but the dream of a life of ease and enjoyment was still out of reach.

It just didn’t make sense to me. Then I hit a breaking point realizing that all I did up to that point was based on the expectations of others and not what I was inherently destined to do. I had to reset and reframe my life.

Happily, the aforementioned mentors, leaders and influencers were close at hand the entire time; in my car, on my iPhone or on my computer. They were there guiding me when I needed them most. At the time I didn’t believe what they were saying was working, but gradually all of their love, advice and guidance was leaving a lasting impression on my life.

I am here with you today because of them. It is my intention to carry their light forward and guide others as they have guided me.

3. What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?

Let’s start off by looking at the meaning of ‘purpose’:

Purpose | ˈpərpəs |


the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists

verb [with object] formal

have as one’s intention or objective

What is our purpose? Simply stated LOVE is our purpose. I believe it is to love and be at peace with oneself and the world. The next question is How do we live a life intentionally in love and in peace? Two words come to mind:

1) awareness

2) perspective

By being aware of our thoughts and how they influence our behavior, actions and reactions we can always improve or change our perspective of the world and of the people in our lives.

For example, you owe it to yourself to give yourself at least 47 seconds a day towards creating a life on purpose and finding happiness. During this time, you are going to be nice to yourself by pausing, quieting your mind and reciting an affirmation.

To make it even easier we will break it up into 24 seconds in the morning and 23 seconds at bedtime. If this is the first thing you do in the morning it will set the stage for the rest of your day. If this is the last thing you do at night you will sleep well and pre-pave the way for the next day. Even better, if you reflect on one to three good things you did that day you will feel even better about yourself.

You would be amazed by how many people don’t do this! Please don’t be one of them.

Begin today by paying attention to your thoughts and taking the first step with daily affirmations, such as:

• “I am worthy of the best.”

• “I am deserving of all of the goodness that is coming my way!”

• “I am strength. I am love.”

• “I attract honor, respect and dignity for myself and others.”

(That took less than 10 seconds. You are off to a good start!)

Initially you may not believe your own affirmations. Your body might resist the kindness and love you are giving to yourself. Feel it in your body. Where in your body do you feel resistance to these loving words? For me personally I feel it in my chest and shoulders.

To live on purpose we must let go, just be and love. To accomplish this we must first become aware of our thoughts.

Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?

“A life of fear and anger is not a life worth living…I was faced with a self-imposed ultimatum to either end the struggling and suffering by leaving the world behind or change the way I viewed the world and the people in it.” The preceding words were captured from my recent memoir, Borrowed Eyes and Feet — Finding Enlightenment After Rage, and do a pretty good job of conveying my pain.

Although I accomplished all of the things that define a successful life I found myself miserable and lost. For too many years excessive anger and doubt haunted me behind a confident exterior. I yearned to understand my “Why?” and who I was with the vision of finding my purpose.

I came to an understanding that I created my own pain and suffering, which served a function. In a way it forced me to find my purpose opening my eyes to an entirely new world, a world of possibility and love. This has created a higher awareness for me regarding the power of our thoughts.

It wasn’t easy at first, because for the longest time I got in my own way and allowed the negative influence of fear in all of its distressing disguises of anger, judgement, doubt, and hatred dictate my path and the events in my life.

Then the day arrived upon which I hit my breaking point. I woke up wondering “Why?” Why was I doing what I was doing? Why I was so unhappy? My revelation was that if I continued to maintain the same flawed view of myself, the world and people in my life not much would change, and a life of Joie de Vivre would not be possible.

The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?

This country is amazing! It is a land of opportunity and provides us with so much abundance, prosperity, possessions and things. But, we have a difficult time finding solace in who we are because we (our egos) define who we are by what we have. This is a serious disconnect.

If we are defined by what we have, a tangible thing which can very easily be taken away from us, we (our egos) believe we must protect it and that we will never have enough. Even when we have enough there is always someone who has more. On the flip side, there is always someone who has less. It is an endless cycle.

If our mindset, or perspective, is one of lack or that we are not good enough how will happiness ever arrive at our doorsteps? This is where living a life ‘on purpose’ and finding self-acceptance is more important than ever.

• If we cannot accept ourselves, how in the world can we accept anyone else?

In addition, sometimes we need to ‘turn it off.’ Turn off the television, turn off our social media and put down our smartphones. I am selective with what I watch on television and what I read and view on social media.

Whether we like it or not, what we allow into our minds in the morning before heading to work or starting our day is carried with us. If we allow thoughts of fear, dread, hatred, death into our minds the first thing in the morning (or throughout the day) then we unwittingly believe that those things are all around us and our view of the world is altered.

• Unhappiness (pain) is a wrong perspective.

6. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

My story resonates with so many people on different levels. I am using my success to bring goodness to the world by helping people find the strength within to love and accept themselves, which in turn will make them capable of loving and accepting others. Each of us can live a life on purpose and stop defining, and defending, ourselves based on what we have and allow life to flow.

By understanding our fears, we will realize they are not real, just illusions of the mind.

What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

Below I will share is how I pave the way for a day, and ultimately a life, of exuberance “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”.

Affirmations (and the Mosh Pit of Your Mind)

• Every night at bedtime I recite an affirmation to myself or reflect on one to three good things that I did during the day.

– I pay attention to my body. Because if deep down I do not believe it I will feel it. For me personally it is usually in my chest and shoulders.

– The one to three good things is excellent for sports and for kids because they (we) tend to beat ourselves up over our ‘mistakes.’ Just know there are no mistakes, they are lessons in disguise, so be nice to yourself for your ‘mistakes.’

• I sleep well.

• I wake-up refreshed. Before I start my day and allow the ‘mosh pit of my mind’ to start romping around I recite an affirmation (and throughout the day). This sets my day off on the right foot.

• Considering we process over 50,000 thoughts per day, before my thoughts begin jumping around the ‘mosh pit of my mind’ I recite an affirmation which keeps the self-sabotaging, negative, judgmental thoughts at bay. Thus allowing love, happiness, fulfillment to flow throughout my day, week, month and year!

Meditation — When beginning my day with affirmations I also use meditation to quiet my mind before the busy day begins. (Although it can be done at any time during the day.)

• This can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 55 minutes and paves the way for good things.

• Note: This is as simple as sitting quietly with no distractions. If thoughts arise and you cannot let them go, simply write them down. I use my iPhone and computer to capture the majority of thoughts, but during meditation it is easier to use a pen and paper.

Awareness — Instead of retaliating, defending or desiring to be right I choose to be happy.

• The aforementioned practices have heightened my awareness, my thoughts and my well-being.

• If I feel a negative thought or a retaliatory response coming on, I am able to shift my perspective to that of love, harmony and cooperation.

• I do this quite often with my children. I find it very easy for adults to overreact to things kids say or do. I remind myself that they are just that, kids, and I do my best to view the world through their eyes. Their view of the world is not clouded by fear or doubt and I am aware that my reaction is based on what I feel is right according to my knowledge and my experience at the point in time. I wouldn’t want to stop a plant or tree from blossoming, so why would I want to stop a child from doing the same?

Ask “Is this really true?” and “What’s the worst that can happen?”

• If negative thoughts still arise I ask myself, “Is this really true?”

✓ I listen, really listen, for an answer.

• If the ornery thoughts linger I ask a follow-up question, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

✓ I do this over and over again allowing me to get to the root of my fear or anxiety.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you the most to live with a thirst for life?

• Favorite Podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show

• Favorite book: A Course on Miracles.

• Favorite resources, guides and coaches:

– Eckhart Tolle, Abraham-Hicks, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Jim Rohn.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Too often, we wait for tomorrow to celebrate our yesterdays. Why not today? Why not celebrate what we have right now?” — Interview with Fox 29 news Philadelphia Thanksgiving 2017

Once I have forgiven myself and remembered Who I am, I will bless everyone and everything I see. There will be no past, and therefore no enemies. I will look with love on all that I failed to see before.” — A Course in Miracles

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

When our minds are clear and we are free of misguided energy amazing things happen. That being said, I typically have many different projects going and it all depends on whether it is the initial idea for a book, a business opportunity or a way to help other people find their path.

• I am currently working on a book reflecting on lessons learned in the corporate world, the traits of successful leaders, the “Why?” of doing business and the importance of “loving your people.”

• My next children’s book is in the works with the help (urging) of my daughters. This would be the fourth book the series with themes revolving around life lessons we can teach children (and adults) to guide them to living a life on purpose and finding happiness:

✓ Goal setting (List for Santa, List for Life!)

✓ Affirmations (Positive Thoughts, Positive Life!)

✓ Awareness (Life is Fine, When You are Aligned!).

• A television series based on my children’s books is in the preliminary phase.

The vision is that all of these projects guide children and adults to carry the light of love and happiness forward in their lives and careers.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

In Chapter 3 of Borrowed Eyes and Feet — Finding Enlightenment After Rage I make reference to the ‘mosh pit of my mind’ and ‘The Amazing A’s’ of Awareness, Acceptance, Allowing, Asking, Affirmations and Abundance.

The Mosh Pit of Your Mind — If we understand that our thoughts create things and that more than 50,000 thoughts flit through our minds on a daily basis, we then must be very attentive to what and how we feed our minds. This is analogous to a mosh pit at a rock ’n roll concert. If you have ever witnessed a mosh pit it can be a scary and somewhat violent experience in which people romp and jump around, pushing, shoving and crashing into one another.

Picture the tens of thousands of thoughts romping around your mind every day. If they are negative and self-sabotaging what will your day, week, month or year be like? What will your life be like?

The Amazing A’s begins with having an Awareness of our thoughts; good and bad. Once we have this Awareness it is important that we Accept these thoughts and Allow them to flow. Repressing or resisting them could be even more disastrous.

Through deliberate practice we learn to Ask questions about any ornery thoughts such as, “Is this really true?” and “What’s the worst that can happen?”

The next step is the introduction of Affirmations into the mosh pit of our mind and to NOT GIVE UP! Initially, any negative or self-sabotaging thoughts will stomp on the positive thoughts and you will be deceived into believing it doesn’t work.

This is the point at which most people give up and go about their lives the way it has always been, deluded that they don’t have a choice. Affirmations are very important and you must make it a deliberate practice. If you persist, eventually your life (and the mosh pit of your mind) will be transformedinto a life of Abundance and All things possible.

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