Finding Inner Peace with Author Diane Dreher, PhD

Diane Dreher is on a mission to make the world a more peaceful place…and that peace starts inside each one of us. In her book The Tao of Inner Peace, which draws upon the vital lessons of the Tao Te Ching, she invites us to create greater balance by aligning with the rhythms of ourselves and the natural world.

This is Wendy Halley, and you're listening to Lucid Cafe.

Boy, if there was ever a time where we could use some inner peace, it's now Things just seem to be getting more and more surreal. All right.

My guest, Diane Dreher, is on a mission to help make the world a more peaceful place. She's the author of five nonfiction books, including the best selling Tao of Inner Peace. She's an Award-winning University professor and positive psychology researcher whose work on hope has been recognized internationally. Her books, workshops, and webinars blend the wisdom of the past with powerful strategies from contemporary psychology and neuroscience to help us meet the challenges of our time with greater courage, creativity, and hope.

Diane has a master's degree in counseling and is credentialed as a Positive Psychology coach with the International Coaching Federation. She's also a lecturer and fellow of the Positive Psychology Guild in the UK. Please enjoy my conversation with Diane Dreher.

Wendy: Diane, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Diane: Well, thank you for having me.

Wendy: You have a new edition of one, of your books coming out soon, the Tao of Inner Peace.

Diane: That's correct. A new edition coming out for, the hard copy and the new audiobook just came out a few weeks ago in 2022. And it's because, sadly enough, we definitely need new visions of peace for ourselves and our time.

Wendy: Absolutely. So, before we get into the subject of your book, and it's actually more of a workbook, I'd love to learn a little bit more about you. How did you find yourself walking down the Taoist path?

Diane: Well, I've been interested in Eastern philosophy since I was about ten years old. My father was an Air Force colonel, and we were stationed in the Philippine Islands, where, uh, we had an opening to all kinds of Asian art, philosophy, Chinese food. My father, um, brought back art from Tokyo and Hong Kong, and I absolutely fell in love with Chinese brush paintings and the whole Asian way of simplicity, focus, meditation.

As a ten year old, I didn't really study Eastern philosophy. I began doing that and meditation when I was in college and found myself studying yoga, taking yoga, and then ultimately teaching yoga at the East West Center for the Healing Arts here in Northern California.

And it seems to be my life's journey to try to make a bridge between east and west, which is what I attempt to do in the Tao of Inner Peace to bring Taoist principles into our lives as a way of seeing things more inclusively and making wiser choices for ourselves and our time.

Wendy: I'm trying to imagine what a ten year old would be attracted to. Can you remember back to that time when you found yourself intrigued?

Diane: Yeah. We had lived in the continental United States until then, and we had mango and papaya trees and palm trees growing in our yard in the Philippines. Our windows of our house were made out of seashells, and we had a person named Baltimore, of all things, who was Filipino, who came to be working in our house, and he would slide across the floor with a coconut husk to polish the floor.
Everything was different, everything was new. It was a place to explore. And I just fell in love with nature, with all of these different kinds of scenes. And with Asian art. I tried to paint, like, Chinese brush painting, a ten year old version, and would paint pictures of the landscapes that I saw when my father was stationed back in Missouri, in Grandview, Missouri, my art class. I was painting a picture of a palm tree, and all the other kids in the class laughed at me and said, Diane doesn't know how to draw a tree. All the branches are coming out of the top. And the teacher said, no, there are places in the world where trees do grow like that.

And I realized that there's no one way to draw a tree. There's no one way to be that. It's a combination of many, many possibilities. And I think living in the Philippines for two years and seeing the vision of the east, which was different from what I was used to in the Midwest, really opened up my mind.

Wendy: It's truly been a lifelong path then.

Diane: Absolutely.

Wendy: So I'm going to ask you just a small question. How would you describe Taoism? just for folks who heard about it, but maybe don't really understand, maybe confuse it with Buddhism. How, would you describe Taoism?

Diane: Okay, well, Taoism - Lao Tzu, who is an ancient, wise master, wrote the Tao Te Ching over 25 centuries ago during a time called the Warring States Period in ancient China, when the world as he knew it was falling apart. And so he found consolation in nature, walking through the woods, seeing the lessons that he found in a mountain stream realizing that water is gentle and nurturing the source of all life, and yet with perseverance, can cut through solid rock, but soft can be strong. He learned about bamboo that bends with the wind and doesn't break, and the wisdom of the changing seasons, the reconciliation of opposites, yin and yang, day and night, mountain and valley.

So the Tao Te Ching reveals the wisdom of nature, the wisdom of living systems, the patterns of energy within and around us, and calls upon us to expand our awareness, to not just think in terms of one thing or another, but to see the larger patterns that we're part of. Does that make sense?

Wendy: Absolutely, yes. Is it animistic, would you say?

Diane: That is an interesting question. I don't think that Lao Tzu believe that the divine was present in every living thing, but I do believe that he felt that every living thing was part of the one, the Tao, the allness.

Wendy: Okay, so that would be different. Yes. Instead of each aspect of nature, having its own intelligence, its own consciousness, for lack of a better way of describing it. It's all a unified force.

Diane: Right. Exactly. The Tao says that the dow is the one. From the one come yin and yang, sunlight and shadow the forms of all creation, so that everything that exists is part of the oneness.

Wendy: Did you ever study martial arts?

Diane: Oh, of course. I trained in the martial art of Aikido, which for me, is the most Taoist of all martial arts. Because when someone comes to attack us, me, I would step off the line, take a deep breath, and then blend with the energies of the attackers and send the attacker off in a somersault so that he usually there were some women who trained, but most of the people who were attackers were men.

And it was fantastic because we used our energies. We blended with the energies of those coming at us. We resolved conflict without going into combat, but by going in some kind of swirling, um, motion. It's almost like a dance of energies. It's very exhilarating.

Wendy: I would love to see you right now take your opponent and throw them into a somersault! I think that would be amazing to watch.

Diane: It is amazing to experience because I would throw people who weighed twice as much as I do because their energy they'd be coming with this energy. And all I would have to do would be to step off the line, blend, and then send their energies rolling off into a somersault. Their own attack would propel them.

Wendy: Exactly. So if somebody's coming at you, all of their weight, they're off center. And so it sounds like you're watching that motion and you're going with that motion and helping your opponent continue that motion past you. So that they end up on their ass in some way.

Diane: In a sense, yes. We used a mat when we trained which was padded so they didn't get hurt, right?

Wendy: Of course. Yes.

Diane: And there are a number of centering exercises, that I put in my book, which from Aikido, which is to breathe when we feel ourselves stressed or under attack, to pause, take a deep breath into our hara, which is the, area, two inches below the navel, the center of power, according to Aikido. And bend our knees and be relaxed. And from that stance, we can move any and we're totally centered.

I used to use that stance when I was a department chair at Santa Clara University, when I would face conflicts and confusion. I didn't throw my colleagues or the dean. But speaking, we get off the line of conflict. We don't let it attack us directly. We can just step off the line, get centered, and then we can respond with wisdom.

Wendy: Beautiful. Yes. It's cool that a lot of martial arts can be applied beyond the fighting ring. I took Shaolin kung fu and Tai Chi for some years. And a lot of what you're describing of Aikido is similar to Tai Chi, which, come to find out, Tai Chi is one of the more lethal martial arts. But I guess it takes decades to be able to cultivate the energy, to be able to throw a Tai Chi strike and do the kind of damage these Tai Chi masters allegedly can do.

But a lot of the fighting was similar to what you're describing. The fighting style was basically you're looking at the micro movements, of your opponent and kind of capitalizing on those movements and then throwing your opponent off so that they're not centered anymore. It sounds very similar.

Diane: That's fantastic.

Wendy: So the metaphor, though, of being centered, is that a big philosophy in the Tao? Not just when you're facing someone who is being aggressive with you physically, but is that kind of the premise of finding that inner peace is finding that center?

Diane: Yes, absolutely. And in, terms of all the stress we've been encountering lately with covet, with major changes, uh, in our lives, in our world, our economy, um, and now the heartbreaking conflict in Ukraine, there's a lot of stress around us, and the doubt affirms that we can respond wisely and create greater peace around us only when we can be centered and create greater peace within us.

And there are many studies in neuroscience that show what happens to us when we're stressed. Our hearts beat faster, our blood pressure rises, our muscles tense up, our immune system and digestive systems shut down, and our higher brain centers are offline so that we can respond to an emergency, to a threat. And that works when we need to jump out of the way of a speeding car.

But for most of the stressors that we have in our lives, that stress reaction actually hampers us. We cannot make wise decisions when our higher brain centers are offline and we're just overwhelmed by the stress reaction. So, with the wisdom of the Tao, many, many centuries old, the Tao says that those who maintain their center, those who return to center, will prevail, have wise action, which is what we need these days.

Wendy: Just a little bit. Yes. How would you describe the Tao person? How do they carry themselves?

Diane: Oh, wow. What a great question. A Tao person respects his or her own nature, or shall I say, Tao persons respect their own nature. They are authentic. They are in touch with their feelings, their bodies, the energies within and around them so that they are aware. I suppose, to go to a Buddhist frame of reference, a Tao person is mindful of our own energy. We know what we need at a particular time. We're not divided. We are holistic. We're integrated. And because we're aware of our own energies, we can be more aware of the energies around us. A lot of people run around with their feelings, trying to lead them one way and their inner critic saying they should be doing something else. And then, there can be no center. I mean, we're off center when we're feeling division within ourselves. Tao person is not divided. The Tao person has a sense of oneness.

Wendy: That sounds dreamy, right? To go through your life like that.

I've come to the conclusion and maybe you'll disagree with this, I don't know. We human beings are 95% to 99% unconscious when we're awake that were just creatures of habit thinking and believing and reacting in the same ways over and over and over again.

And it sounds like the Tao is the medicine for that awareness. But I think one of the tricky parts, especially for we Westerners, is how do you become aware of stuff that you're not aware of? Especially when we're talking about all these patterns that you're mentioning.

One of the big ones we'll get back to is the statement you were making a little while ago around stress. It's like I don't think we have any clue how much stress we're carrying in our bodies until you have maybe an opportunity to have an absence of that stress, to see the contrast. But it's a big challenge. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Diane: It's a big challenge. Our culture is imbalanced. So how to live a balanced, centered life in an imbalanced world? Our culture, Western culture, the only culture that I've really lived in as an adult it's very yang busy, busy, busy, noisy, go all the time activity. Much of that activity is mindless. Activity is habit.

And what's happened lately with COVID is that a lot of people have been thrust out of their mindless routines by social distancing, by remote work, by changes in their world so that they spend, more time alone. They have to, they can't commute to work anymore. It was otherwise get up, drink coffee, commute to work, work, do the reverse, going home, be exhausted, check, your electronic devices and go to sleep and do it all the same way. The next day, uh, that routine has been broken and we've had a chance to get in touch with what our culture lacks the most, which is yin time to reflect the woo way, the empty, space which is absolutely essential for any balanced life.

And we have to, I think, take advantage of what we've learned during this COVID isolation. A lot of people have quit their jobs because they were just doing them out of habit and they realized that these jobs did not feed their souls. These jobs did not mean anything to them. So that when habits are broken, there's an empty space.

There's a beautiful quote from the Tao that talks about framed doors and windows for a house. It's the empty space that makes the difference. The importance of what is there is because of what is not there the yin time. So for those of us who are living habitually routinely and mindlessly, we need to have spaces of woo way of doing nothing of yen in our days. Which can mean taking a walk around the neighborhood and looking up at the sky, which can mean beginning and ending our days with meditation, doing something that is not part of the habitual, doing this of life because otherwise we are not in touch with who we are and with the oneness that we're part of.

Wendy: Well said. How important do you think readiness is if someone's going to embark on an inward journey like this?

Diane: That reminds me, I got a PhD in English Literature from UCLA and Hamlet at one point said the readiness is all. I would believe that that's really important because if we're not ready, we're not really fully present with what we're doing. We're doing it because we think we should, which we're pressured by externals or by the inner critic or by something. Instead of saying, this is what I need, I ask my coaching clients and people who come to my Tao workshops to just pause in the middle of a busy day and ask how do I feel, what do I need and what can I do right now so that we're not on autopilot all the time? I think that's really, really important.

Wendy: It's crazy important. I was just thinking that the readiness factor. I think it's super important for anything, right? It seems like an obvious thing. But then, there are some of us who maybe are in our heads ready where we think we're ready. And then we'll pursue a path, maybe meditation or maybe attend a Tao workshop with you or do something like that.

But then it ends up being this sort of uncomfortable experience where they feel like they are not good at it and they fail. And then at that point have a bad association with doing that kind of work and maybe we'll avoid it. I wonder if it's a tricky thing to think you're ready?

I'm a longtime psychotherapist and I have an alternative shamanic healing practice and there are some folks who seem genuinely… they say they want this change, but what I notice is that they don't necessarily have the motivation behind it so that they won't stick to whatever the discipline is that they would need to incorporate into their lives in order to make these changes. Do you have any suggestions for someone who might be struggling in that way? It's just another small question.

Diane: Certainly if we could answer that question, we'd have a different world. I think there are a lot of people whose heads and hearts are going in opposite directions and our heads, as you said, are telling us, Oh, I should do this. Yes, I think I'm ready to change my life. And there are all kinds of things going on in the heart that says, wait a minute, this is scary. I don't know if I'm ready for this or the situation I'm in, even though it's abusive, is familiar because that's what I grew up with. And to reach outside of my so called comfort zone, which in such a case would be uncomfortable since it's abusive, is scary. So, uh, that's why the Tao emphasizes being in touch with the inner space, having the end time to really get to know what we're feeling and to connect our hearts with our heads. In Chinese, the character sheen, or heart, also means mind. It's heart, mind it's one. But in Western culture, these two are very far apart a lot of the time.

Wendy: Yes, they are.

Diane: Another Tao lesson, I suppose, is that wonderful quote a tree that grows from one small seed can be larger than your embrace. Building over nine stories high begins with a handful of earth and the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step to start slowly, not to jump into any kind of major change, which can be scary, but take a small step and see how it feels, you know, one step at a time. It sounds like the Tao was anticipating the twelve step program.

Wendy: Absolutely. Is that kind of how you designed your book? Like taking those small steps? It seems like it's based on my reading of it, but I didn't know if that's what you intended.

Diane: Yes, absolutely. Right on target. Wendy. The first part of the book is about, uh, kind of getting in touch with ourselves and recognizing some of the lessons of Tao. And it's all about inner peace. And as the book goes on, it grows from finding greater peace within us to creating greater peace around us. Working in our neighborhoods, working to improve the environment in very many ways, working to resolve conflict by combining yin and yang, by listening to people, by finding common ground. But we can't do that until we've found a sense of harmony within ourselves.

Wendy: Harmony seems like it's just vital to me. It's almost palpable. Now, I don't know what you would say, but it seems like there is disharmony. There's so much dissonance everywhere. It sounds like a refuge to turn inward and try to find some peace and quiet from the external noise.

Diane: Absolutely. And it's the best thing we can do to try to create greater harmony around us. Jon Kabat-Zinn came to my, university a number of years ago and gave this wonderful talk about mindfulness. And a student stood up and said, don't you think it's rather self indulgent to spend time meditating when there's so many problems in the world? And Jon Kabat-Zinn took a deep mindful breath and then said, when I go to the Boston Symphony, I notice that the musicians always tune their instruments before they begin to play together. And I see my practice every morning as tuning my instrument so that I can make more harmony.

Wendy: Sounds like he was prepared for that question.

Diane: You know, he's probably gotten that question mark.

Wendy: Yeah, absolutely. I was just going to make a joke about the idea of trying to find a cave somewhere to go find that piece. But you can find that cave within is the point. Right?

Diane: Yes. And that we need to we need to find that harmony within ourselves. And it takes practice. Like practicing a musical instrument. I play the piano. I can't make harmony unless I practice well, the same kind of thing. It's a daily practice that a person who follows the Tao or a person who follows Buddhist practices continues to practice throughout a lifetime because we need to be strengthening that ability to be able to cope with the chaos around us.

Wendy: So then when one of your coaching clients is struggling with the discipline part, how do you usually advise them?

Diane: When my coaching clients are struggling with the discipline part, it usually means that there is an imbalance, but there's a part of themselves that's pushing the rest of them. Do this now. Write this book, finish this class, finish your dissertation, whatever it is. And we can't get that far with just brute willpower. Our willpower gets exhausted.

There's research that shows that the person has been working out and doing willpower and passes a donut shop. The temptations are too great. The willpower is exhausted. So that to get beyond simple willpower to getting in touch with again our hearts, our feelings, our motivations. I have my clients these days identify what I call spiritual vitamins, which are experiences of joy and energizing, experiences that they have. And for one client, it's visiting art galleries. For another, it's listening to favorite music. For another client, it's painting. This have nothing to do with the discipline that goal is trying to accomplish.

But yet their spiritual vitamins give them vitality and bring them a sense of sinneredness and peace. And, um, I think that's not unusual. During World War II, Winston Churchill would paint landscapes, and he had a lot to do as prime minister during the Battle of Britain to get in touch with the beauty of art and with the beauty of nature. And nature connecting with nature is a major spiritual vitamin for a lot of people.

Wendy: It is the best medicine. I think it sounds like what you're suggesting is encouraging people to do things that speak to them rather than trying to force themselves to do a practice that doesn't speak to them.

Diane: That's right.

Wendy: What a novel idea!

Diane: They won't continue doing something that doesn't mean that doesn't speak to them. They'll do it for a while and then their batteries run down and they say, well, that's that. But if it's something that they find meaning, enjoy, and something that energizes them, something that recharges them, they'll keep doing it.

Wendy: Right. What if they say it's eating a dozen donuts when they walk by that donut shop?
Diane: I've never had a client actually say that!

Wendy: I don't think they would say it out loud. I don't think they would admit, like, okay, well, one of my spiritual vitamins is a dozen glazed donuts.

Diane: Then another spiritual vitamin would have to be a daily workout where they ran.

Wendy: I, was just going to say, yeah, several dozen pushups.

Diane: Right. Yin and yang. they'd have to balance the one extreme with the other extreme and then just sort of say, what is there that you find so enjoyable and energizing about those doughnuts? because there are some people who associate food with love because of their childhood. You probably know this more than I do, being a therapist. How else can they find that love, that sense of self compassion, perhaps, that, they need?

Wendy: Yeah, that's, a great way to look at why we might turn to food for comfort. But I love the idea of not only asking what it does for us, but also trying to find the balance to that. What's the other side of that? If you're going to do that, how can you balance that practice out? So getting back to what you were saying earlier in our conversation, the importance of finding balance and being centered yeah, definitely.

Diane: Usually when we're going in one extreme or go from one extreme to the other, we're out of balance. We're erratic. I had a friend in college who had a closet full of clothes which were all different sizes because her weight would fluctuate zigzag up and down depending upon her moods. When she was depressed, she would eat a lot, and then she would be more depressed, and then she would eat more, and she'd have to wear the clothes at one end of the closet, and then she'd get on a diet instead of that kind of zigzag is not really balanced to find what it is that's going on underneath all of that, that's causing that rapid zigzagging.

Wendy: So this is a little different direction. I don't even know if this is the direction you would want to go in, but I'm curious, what is the Tao philosophy on health? Are there aspects of the philosophy that suggest that disharmony can lead to illness?

Diane: Oh, yeah. Chinese medicine. And I have a friend who's an acupuncturist, practices Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine essentially says that when you are imbalanced, when your chi is not balanced, when the meridians are out of balance, then you get sick. So traditionally, people would go to herbalis to get tested, and they'd say, oh, your spleen meridian is out of balance. And so you need to do this acupuncture or take these herbs or something to prevent a disease. The idea is that medicine is supposed to keep us healthy, that healing arts are to keep us healthy, not to be paramedics that come in and fix things once we've gone to an increase.

Wendy: Well, yeah, I'm feeling like a pretty giant idiot right now because, of course, acupuncture and Chinese medicine would be affiliated with Taoism. What was I thinking when I asked that question? I guess I saw them as totally separate. That's my Western mind, I guess.

Diane: Oh, well, no, that's understandable because, we think of medicine over here and philosophy over there, but Taoism is holistic, which is not something, that we Westerners are used to thinking about. Try it.

My herbalist friend says, okay, you need to eat more of whatever it is food to counteract. You've got imbalanced yin or imbalanced, uh, yang or something like that. And to be in harmony with the seasons, because the seasons themselves have their own energies, our diet, our exercise. So there's a lot there. I don't talk about Chinese herbs in my book, but Taoism is very much a part of that.

Wendy: Okay. What actually prompted my question was that universally, in the shamanic world, in the shamanic realm, disharmony is one of the causes of illness, either mental or physical imbalances, as well as fear and what they would call soul loss.

So I was just wondering if there was a similar kind of thread. But of course, it would be Chinese medicine. Yes.

Diane: Yeah. Ayurvedic medicine is also like shamanic medicine in that regard. Isn't that interesting that Western medicine has become so specialized that if you have a certain issue, you need to go to a certain kind of doctor specialist, a podiatrist for your foot, but something else for your heart, a cardiologist, or something else for lungs and whatever, skin dermatology. Whereas in these Eastern traditions, which are much more in keeping with the principles of nature, it's all one. It's all interrelated.

Wendy: Yeah. Western medicine definitely has a more materialistic approach to looking at symptomology. So I want to get back to what you were saying before around harmony. Can you describe what harmonious action is?

Diane: Harmonious action would be a combination of opposites within us, the yin and the Yang. So, heart in mind, I am one with what I am doing right now in my mind, in my heart, individually.

But harmonious action also involves Taoist conflict resolution, which means that if we have a conflict with somebody else, instead of thinking, oh, which is what our stress reaction makes us do, either or all or nothing, win or lose, there are only two choices your way or my way. If we've got a conflict, that is very simple, simplistic, and perhaps simple minded, because there's an infinite number of, uh, possibilities here in our universe. But very often, when people get into conflict, they can't find harmony because their egos are saying they're fearful of losing, and they see it as either all or nothing. And if you get what you want, then I'm going to lose, which is ridiculous.

Example when I was in college, working my way through the University of California, Riverside, I was a junior in college and my boyfriend proposed to me one night under the stars. It was very romantic. He said, Will you marry me? He was a senior and he was going to be graduating in a few weeks. And I said, Oh, yes. And he said, Good. Now that we've gotten that cleared up, you can drop out of school and work so that I can go to grad school. And I looked at him and he said, why can't we both go to grad school? And he said, you're being selfish. And he broke up with me that night. That was a real shock to my system. But it was all or nothing, either or, win or lose situation.

Whereas people have stayed together as couples, both gotten jobs and both gone to graduate school. I knew some when I was in grad school. And it doesn't have to be either or. So Dallas conflict resolutions involves listening to your own needs, asking, what do I need? What do I really need? Not what do I want, what my ego says, but what do I really, truly need here? And then listening to the other person. What does that person need? And then finding some way that your needs overlap and common ground. And then building on that common ground building bridge of understanding, taking one step and then another. And it works. I learned this from an international conflict resolution facilitator, Dudley Weeks, who is absolutely wonderful, whose Unconflict resolution throughout this country and the world. And he brings divided groups together, has them listen to each other with respect, using a lot of Carl Rogers active listening. And ultimately, they find common ground. it works. Instead of shaming and blaming, the Tao says people seek solutions. The ignorant only cast blame.
Wendy: I like that.
Diane: Yeah, it's easy to blame somebody else for the problem, but that doesn't solve the problem. And attacking the other person doesn't solve the problem. Working together as what Dudley calls conflict partners in a partnership process does solve the problem. And I tried this one time when I was department chair. I heard all this noise and one of my colleagues was shrieking and upset with the administrative assistant who was yelling back at her, what's going on? They had a problem, obviously a conflict. And I just finished reading Dudley's book at that point. We later invited him to campus to give workshops on his process. And I said, No, I have no idea what to do. I'll try Dudley's technique. So I got one colleague aside and said, what's going on? What do you need? Well, I needed this for my class, and I told so and so. I'll call her Marilyn. That was not her name... to do it for me, and she didn't do it. And now I don't have it for my class. Marilyn said I had no idea that she wanted it today and it's not her fault. She should have done. And I said, Okay, fine. What do you need? What do you need? So what they decided was they needed to have a clear procedure for asking for work to be done with the time that it needed to be done by. So together they worked, they shared needs, they took a step and they created this form that people could fill out saying, I need 30 xerox copies of this exam by such and such a date, such and such a time. And then they became friends on top of it. I was dressed.

Wendy: It seems like a no brainer, right? Yeah, but I mean, we tell ourselves stories, right, that divide us. Why Marilyn was not doing her job. Maybe she took it personally or who knows? But there was probably something going on in her head and she got caught in that place. Instead of trying to find out from Maryland directly what's going on, where's our communication breakdown? Right. This idea, though, it seems so novel. Compromise and cooperation.

Diane: Well, it's interesting because cooperation doesn't necessarily need to be compromised, because in that situation, they both would win. They created something that would help them both, and nobody gave up any ground. We very often think the best way we can resolve conflict without turning it into combat is to compromise. And each side needs to give up something. Each partner can work on something, uh, building on common ground and come up with something better than either one of them could see by themselves. I think that too often in conflict, we get caught up, as you say, in our stories and in our egos. And the Tao says, do not dwell on your ego and you will discover your soul. That's what we need to do more of.

Wendy: Yeah, just a tad. That's beautiful. So are you actively working with folks? Are you just working locally? Do you work virtually with people?

Diane: I have an international coaching practice, so I work obviously virtually with a lot of clients who are on the other side of the planet. We use electronic connections when they work. But what I've found, I have clients. I have had clients in Asia, the Middle East, UK, western Europe, throughout the United States. Ultimately, we all need the same things, different visions of the same things, but security, peace, a sense of meaning and purpose. We need to sustain ourselves. We need community. We need joy and meaning in our lives.

Wendy: Yes, absolutely. So, of course, I would encourage folks to get your book, either the new edition of the Tao of Inner Peace, which is now also an audio format. Are you taking clients on? If someone was listening and interested in working with you?

Diane: Certainly. My website is www. And that site has all my books, and it has a link to my coaching website as well. They can send me an email. They can sign up for my Tao of Inner Peace newsletter, which, comes out with every season of the year. Not too often.
And again, www.

I do accept new coaching clients, and I have webinars in the UK with the Positive Psychology Guild, and we'll be doing more of that too.

Wendy: I'll include a link in the Show Notes to your website, and I want to thank you so much for coming. on the show and chatting with me.

Diane: Oh, thank you. It's been my pleasure. And I've learned a lot about shamanic practices and the convergence of these disciplines as well. It's all one, and we are one with a process to try to create greater peace in our world. Thank you very much, Wendy.

Wendy: Oh, our brains. Always getting in the way!

If you'd like to connect with Diane or learn more about her books, I've included a link to her website in the Show Notes.

As always, thank you so much for listening.

If you're enjoying Lucid Cafe, I hope you'll consider supporting the podcast in whatever way you can, maybe giving it a positive review. You could let others know about the show, or you can make a donation of any amount using the link in the Show Notes, or you can check out the offerings at the Lucid Path Etsy Shop.

It really does help. Plus, it lets me know you're out there… somewhere!
Well, that does it for this episode. I'll be back soon with the final episode episode of season four. It's a good one. Until next time…

Finding Inner Peace with Author Diane Dreher, PhD
Broadcast by