“Learn compassion.” With Beau Henderson & Dr Prudence Hall

Develop your own emotional intelligence. Learn compassion, listening, and collaboration. To lead is to serve. Learn to serve with purpose and commitment. As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Prudence Hall, Author and Synctuition Mental Health Advisor. […]

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Develop your own emotional intelligence. Learn compassion, listening, and collaboration. To lead is to serve. Learn to serve with purpose and commitment.

As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Prudence Hall, Author and Synctuition Mental Health Advisor.

Dr. Prudence Hall is a physician with a vision. A traditional gynecological surgeon and practitioner turned pioneer of regenerative and integrated medicine, Dr. Hall foresees a future where “average” and “normal” are no longer acceptable standards of health.

After obtaining a Masters degree in International Relations at the University of Toulouse, France, she attended USC School of Medicine where she obtained her MD degree.

She later founded The Hall Center in Santa Monica, California as a mindful medical practice focused exclusively on regenerative medicine.

In addition to treating over 35,000 clients, she lectures and teaches, appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Suzanne Somers Show, The Dr. Phil Show, The Doctors, Access Hollywood, Hallmark Home & Family, The Today Show and local news and talk programs nationwide.

In recent years, Dr Hall joined Synctuition, the world’s most advanced audio relaxation and mindfulness app a mental health advisor and mentor. Synctuition has created a truly revolutionary product that is already taking over the world by storm and Dr Hall is using her years of expertise in mental health to popularize mindfulness and maximize the positive impact of the app globally.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I was raised in a family of four girls, and was well accustomed to the intensity and emotional aspects of girls and women. When I went to university, I loved philosophy, mystic religious studies, and world anthropology. However at that time, the United States was experiencing radical social change which made it harder to stay in philosophical studies. With racial, economic and gender equality rocking my young world and the Vietnam war raging, the United States felt dangerous. Rather than continuing with my second year of university, I went to France which felt solid and safe where I studied with an inspirational professor of International relations. Not only was he an academic, but he ran an important health program in Africa, sponsored by International health organizations. During that year, I saw how becoming a doctor, and more specifically a gynecologist, would allow me to serve women in undeserved countries, while helping to further gender equality. It was a perfect marriage between a desire to serve, understanding women’s needs, and my love of diverse cultures.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I have hundreds of stories about women who emerged from pain and suffering to thrive passionately, living their life’s unique purpose. Many of these stories are in my book, Radiant, Again and Forever. However, today I will touch on what happened to me when I first started practice, after eight years of medical school and my gynecology residency at the University of Southern California. I decided I would spend a few years in the United States before going abroad with international health organizations and was hired by a prestigious group of gynecologists in Los Angeles. After all my years of study, I thought I knew everything about women’s medical issues. I could deliver a distressed baby by cesarean section in under a minute, perform complex surgeries and make elaborate diagnoses. I felt like a super woman who had seen and done everything, while saving the lives of the poorest and most undeserved women in Los Angeles.

However, in my first year of practice when I treated patients going through menopause, I learned that what I had learned in my residency about menopause didn’t actually work that well. In fact, it did not work at all. I had been taught to check one blood test and prescribe Premarin, which is a popular hormone coming from pregnant horses’ urine. I was shocked when I started receiving distressed calls from these patients. They were furious and terribly upset, telling me the treatments were useless and that they felt even worse than before treatment. I literally didn’t know what to do. They were crying in despair, gaining weight, raging at family members, hating sex, and quitting their professions because they were too exhausted and foggy brained to work. And there were lots and lots of these desperate menopausal women who kept showing up in my office.

I started to realize that menopause wasn’t just the loss of estrogen and progesterone, as I had been taught, but a complex loss of many hormones. I saw how menopause should actually be an entire new specialty within the field of gynecology, involving fairly complex endocrinology, nutrition, lifestyle management, sexual counseling, and management of depression, anxiety, and OCD with psychological interventions. I realized that depending on the treatment a woman received, she could either thrive or literally die. When I realized the complexity of handling these menopausal women, I initially tried to refer these patients to various specialists. However, I soon realized that other specialists didn’t know how to handle these patients either. It was extremely distressing to know that menopause lasted for 40 or 50 years of a woman’s life, without expert interventions that worked. This began three decades of work in the field of menopause, where I slowly found new effective and life changing methods of treatment. Ultimately my work not only helped my patients but resulted in me finding my true life’s purpose; to bring more light and love into the world, through each woman regaining her joy, ability to love, and her own life purpose.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Develop your own emotional intelligence. Learn compassion, listening, and collaboration. To lead is to serve. Learn to serve with purpose and commitment.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I read widely and one of my very favorites is Radanath Swami’s book “The Journey Home.” It is a deeply moving, evocative and passionate book about a Jewish kid from Chicago who followed the purity of his heart to embark on his true-life purpose in India. Both the book and the recorded CD’s moved me to be a higher expression of myself with greater courage to follow my own heart and path. I also love Michael Singer’s book, ‘The Untethered Soul.’ It is a beautiful, clear book on how to develop mindfulness, the power of meditation and the transformation available for each individual.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?

Mindfulness is essentially paying attention to what is arising in the present moment. It is focusing one’s attention on that which is actually and precisely happening, bringing pure awareness.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?

Mindfulness allows one to be in the ever-present field of consciousness, which is pure awareness. It develops an inner quiet, connection and joy, as well as discernment and compassion. It creates a kind of ‘knowing’ and intuition that keeps one safe and grounded, even when the outside world falls apart. The physical body unwinds and relaxes, while the mind becomes more focused and clear. Mindfulness allows deeper and more rewarding relationships, forgiveness and gratitude. A person who is mindful and conscious shines with light, igniting this light in those who are in need.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness and serenity during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.

You’re absolutely right about the effects of the current situation on our levels of stress, anxiety, fear and loneliness. As much as it pains me to say this, but I think that the damage this crisis has done to our mental health will far outlast the physical or economic damage. Part of the reason is that governments are throwing everything they have to save the economy and the health of the population, but close to nothing is being done about mental health which is why it’s critical that everyone finds it within themselves to work on their mental health.

Mindfulness is one of the most important ways to tackle this problem. There are many ways into a state of mindfulness, but I can’t say with certainty that there are 5 steps, or even that each person follows the same steps.

I can say however that all of them involve paying intense attention to what is happening in each moment, referring mainly to what is happening inside oneself.

We have thousands of thoughts a day and during the current period of the crisis, a lot of them are quite negative. One of the ways I like to enter a state of mindfulness and “shut off the noise” is through the use of mindfulness apps. It’s just one of the quickest ways for me to practice mindfulness on a very tight schedule. It may not be surprising to hear, but I love using the Synctuition app a lot as it has a way of taking me into a completely different world in just 25 minutes. It’s hard to describe what it does to you in words, but it has brought me peace and serenity throughout the current lockdown on numerous occasions.

The next important thing is breathing: It helps to initially sit still with the eyes softly open or closed, and to simply bring your attention to your breath. The breath is what allows us to be alive, so paying attention to this life-giving breath is a good place to start. Feel the breath moving in and out, gently with your chest rising and falling.

Also feel your body; perhaps your arms feel heavy, the neck could be tense, maybe the legs are restless. There is nothing to do, but to pay attention and notice.

Next be aware of the noises happening outside and acknowledge birds calling, trucks rumbling, kids playing. It is happening, but of no consequence.

Then notice the voice in your head that is already talking to you, giving advice and criticism. Be aware of it and listen for a few minutes. Then contemplate, “who is noticing that voice?”

Be aware that you are not that voice but are instead distinctly separate. You are the awareness of the voice, of the breath, of the outside noise. Sit in that awareness of the One who notices, and continue breathing in and out, knowing what is you and what is not you. That is a mindful Presence of pure awareness.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

The first step is to listen to the person in need with complete focus and attention. Second, hold that person in your gentle gaze and beam them your love and understanding. Third, exhibit compassion, which is different from having pity or sadness for the person’s suffering. It is the ability to go inside yourself to access a similar kind of suffering, and then meeting that person’s suffering from a place of personal understanding. Fourth, physical touch can be used, when appropriate, as vital comfort. Fifth, continuing support in an ongoing manner.

What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?

I have been helped by many resources over the years including wonderful teachers, countless books, retreats and meditation techniques. Last month I was in India at a retreat with Brandon Bays, called Advanced No Ego. It was held at a beautiful eco village near Ramana Maharshi’s ashram and mountain, and was one of the most loving, heart opening immersions I have been in. I highly recommend her work.

For an excellent way to practice mindfulness on a daily basis, I have been using a series of audio relaxation and mindfulness journeys by a group called Synctuition. Using advanced IT, science of meditation and music matching relaxed brain waves, they have created incredible resources to bring listeners into mindful, transformed states.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Not long ago, I was sitting quietly and suddenly the thought occurred, “life is a mighty river. Learn to walk on water.” It was an evocative and poetic thought, feeling life’s mighty waters fiercely overflowing her banks, and at other times, quietly reflecting the moon in the still night, all while flowing to the sea. And I saw how it wasn’t my job to be in charge of the river’s flow or the rocks causing turbulence or the rains swelling the river to flooding. All I needed to do was appreciate the aliveness of the river and the enormous power of it, and stay with it, so that I too would know the way home to the sea. and I saw how, in turbulent troubled times, I didn’t need to be pulled into its deadly currents, I could simply rise above and walk, untouched. And the way to walk on water is simply to go within and become the river. to become pure presence and lightness of being.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂

Well, that is a lovely question and easy for me to answer. It would be a movement towards each of us being pure love; not giving or receiving love which could be considered a rather commercial transaction but imagine each of us simply BEING the presence of pure love. I can’t think of anything more transformative, fulfilling or true.

I know you asked for one, but as this may trigger some action as you said, I would also encourage people to focus less on the external aspects of life (wealth, job, etc.) and much more on growing their inner world, their mental strength and mental health. This is what will give them the tools to deal with the unprecedented circumstances and unpredictable future we are now facing. It’s true what they say that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

I welcome you to ‘The Hall Center’ Facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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