LoveYourBrain Influencers


Trevor Hall - Musician

Raised on an island in South Carolina, singer/songwriter Trevor Hall realized at a young age that music was more than just a passion - it was, rather, his life’s art. At sixteen, he recorded his first album, soon after which he left South Carolina for Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. There he studied classical guitar and was also introduced to the practices of yoga and meditation, which would greatly influence his life and his music.

Hall’s music, a blend of roots and folk music with hints of inspiration from India, has led him to a series of sold-out tours and collaborations with artists such as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, Xavier Rudd and Nahko & Medicine for the People.

Trevor Hall's Chapter of the Forest (2014) and KALA (2015), debuted at #3 and #2 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart respectively. He is currently touring around the US and Australia. While on tour, Hall collects donations to support children’s education in India.

Hall’s latest album, The Fruitful Darkness, became the #1 Kickstarter Music campaign of 2017 (#30 of all time out of 53,000 Music projects) and is being released in three song installments on specific lunar ☾ dates, culminating in a 14-song deluxe edition release, June 1st 2018.

January 2018 will also see the debut of the single/video, “What I Know” directed by Emmy Award Winning director, Dan Huiting (Bon Iver)

 

 

share an experience that motivates you to share the loveyourbrain message

My wife's sister, Christen O'Donnell, passed away at an early age from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Sharing the Love Your Brain message provides me with the blessing of honoring her life and her spirit. I am extremely grateful to Kevin and Adam and everyone else at Love Your Brain for providing this platform and opportunity. It has been a beautiful journey to see how much Love Your Brain has grown and taken on a life and energy of its own.

What does love your brain mean to you?

For me, The Love Your Brain message goes beyond the subject of TBI. It's message extends to all people regardless of their class, gender, race, or spiritual orientation. We all have a brain and it is our duty to take care of it. What we think effects our environment around us as well as the world at large. Love is the strongest medicine. It is more powerful than electricity. By loving our brain, we love everyone and everything, including ourselves. It is truly a universal message.

How do you love your brain?

I love my brain by practicing yoga and meditation which helps me clear my head and focus my mind. I love my brain by trying to eat strong and healthy foods. Most importantly, I love my brain by laughing at myself on a regular basis


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Ed Cunningham - ESPN Football Analyst

Ed Cunningham played in the NFL for Arizona and Seattle and was a graduate of the University of Washington and member of the Huskies' national championship football team. He produced the Academy Award winning documentary UNDEFEATED, as well as THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS – the Sports Illustrated movie of the year. Ed also worked in live radio and TV for over twenty years as an on-air sports reporter and commentator, finishing his career at ESPN and ABC covering college football.

 

Share an experience that motivates you to share the loveyourbrain message

With two young sons interested in skateboarding, I am shocked how many skaters we see…especially in Southern California, where I live…with no helmets on. I let it motivate me as a parent to stay vigilant - if you are moving fast on any wheels, you wear a helmet.

What does love your brain mean to you?

Think brain first when choosing activities and also monitoring the play of two young, physical kids. Common sense goes a long way and there is always a way to modify or choose things that are fun without risk of major injury, brain or otherwise.

How do you love your brain?

I start with being aware and thinking ‘head down’ safety first…while I’m driving, when I’m jogging next to a child on their scooter, etc…because we do so much that puts us at risk of injury, and it is worth my time to be present and mindful whenever heads or bodies are vulnerable.


KATE DURIE - Yoga Teacher 

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In 2011, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) shattered Kate’s world – ending a successful career in the corporate world and altering nearly every aspect of her life, beyond recognition. She had a choice; she could either break, or break wide open. Kate chose to embrace life as the most brutal and brilliant teacher of all, to break wide open, and answer the call. Kate believes injury, illness, pain and loss are some of the most unexpected of these life teachers; yet hold the deepest wisdom and possibility for our lives. When our world shatters – we are handed an opportunity to choose which pieces to pick up, which to leave behind, which pieces to learn from, and which pieces to grow, develop and transform. Discovering Yoga & Meditation after her TBI was the catalyst for this shift in perspective, and became a pivotal healing tool on her journey forward. It didn’t take long to realize, she was being called to share these unexpected gifts, teachings, and tools! Kate set forth on her next chapter to deepen her yoga and meditation practice, completed multiple teacher trainings, as well as ongoing self-study, and is now a devoted yoga teacher in her community. Core to Kate’s offerings is a message of love, a practice of love - to cultivate a life lived, on purpose and with purpose. One breath, one moment, and one intentional choice at a time.

 

 

Share an experience that motivates you to share the loveyourbrain message.

After my TBI I felt so alone. So lost. So broken. So confused. So isolated. So helpless. So overwhelmed. So hopeless. So afraid. So angry. So uninformed. So disconnected.

At the rehab hospital, I was (unexpectedly) introduced to meditation, and then got permission to leave campus and take a few yoga classes, as they were not part of the rehab curriculum. This surprised even me, as I was not a yogi or meditator before the accident, quite the opposite in fact. To make a very long story short, after practicing yoga and meditation for a couple months, I started to feel a shift and heal in new and unexpected ways. Yoga & meditation also provided this sense of community and connection; with myself and others. At the time, I could barely explain what was happening, but it felt profound, almost magic.

I started imagining how incredible it would be if there was a program especially tailored for the TBI community!? Wondering why this doesn’t exist?! I knew there was magic in these practices. Magic in connection. Magic in awareness, presence, loving kindness. Magic in stillness, silence, and slowing down. Magic in mindful movement and breath. Magic in re-integrating mind, body, heart, spirit, soul … the whole... of me.

And I knew this wasn’t unique to me – this could help an entire community. And so the journey began. It was not an easy one. But it was (it is) worth it! Every single day.

Becoming a yoga teacher to fulfill this dream, and then finding LoveYourBrain and bringing it to Canada, was as close to a real life miracle as it gets. What I experienced on the yoga mat, on the meditation cushion, in community, IS the LoveYourBrain message. I am so honoured to share this message with the Ottawa community, to share this program with my TBI community … knowing I (we) are wrapped in the arms of the LoveYourBrain community. Together we can.

What does love your brain mean to you?

Possibility. Life.

What inspires me to devote so much of my time in service to LoveYourBrain, and to sharing yoga, meditation, and all aspects of the “Capital Y Yoga” journey is how deeply empowering these practices can be. These tools are ultimately about LOVE. When we make the choice to love our brain - to love our self, our LIFE, from the inside out … anything is possible. This is where it all begins. We have to start here. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. And this goes for every single one of us, brain injured our not. My injury helped wake me up; my TBI became my great teacher. This message of loving your brain stands on three strong pillars: Connect, Educate, Empower. To embark on this healing journey, to awaken and live our lives on purpose and with purpose, and to feel good from the inside out while we’re doing it … we need connection and support, we need awareness, knowledge and education, and we need tools to empower us to take our healing … our well-being, our life, into our own hands. To me, LoveYourBrain is the catalyst for this possibility to come to life for each and every one of us. It’s an unfolding, a practice, and I’m devoted to keep showing up to practice, every single day...

How do you love your brain?

So many ways! Years of learning, cultivating strategies and practices. And I’m still learning! But one of my #1 brain-love strategies = Cocooning.

This is a practice of creating intentional pauses and white space – through pacing, adapting and accepting. It’s a practice of love.

When I left the rehab hospital (ahem, nearly 7 years ago), the running joke was that “pace” is not a 4-letter word. I was learning to accept vs. resist the practice of pacing, I was learning to adapt to my new life, and accept what my brain needed to heal and function at it’s best.

Prior to my TBI, I was a type-A, over achiever, workaholic type personality and struggled with anything that resembled slowing down, resting or being quiet. I needed to change my relationship to the very things I used to resist, the very things that felt like punishment.

Cocooning is what I now affectionately call the practice of creating this intentional pause of white space, being in a quiet space, and honouring rest throughout my day/week; to love my brain. Cocooning often means: no screens, no noise, minimal cognitive use (talking/reading/thinking/planning, etc). Sometimes I close my eyes, simply breathe, and soften all the edges, anything that has a net neutral or net positive effect on my brain (aka on pain, energy, fog, overwhelm, etc). Sometimes 15-20 minutes makes all the difference in the world. Sometimes my brain needs multiple hours. The more consistent I am in pacing, listening, and honouring my brain’s needs proactively, the less catch-up I have to do. Yoga and meditation are key tools in cultivating this practice. It’s become a sacred reset, cultivated through mindful loving awareness and accountability - one breath, one moment, one intentional choice at a time.


Mark McMorris

 

Share an experience that motivates you to share the loveyourbrain message.

I was in a life threatening accident this past spring where it could have very easily been taken away from me... I really appreciate the life I live and the brain I have more then ever.

What does love your brain mean to you?

Love your brain means everything to me. It’s our best tool:)

How do you love your brain?

I love my brain through trying to always protect it at any chance I get!