The Urban Monk

2020 exposed many areas in our supply chain where resources were finite, and showed us what could happen should we start to run low on any such resource.

We saw it with masks, Boba for tea, toilet paper, bicycles…

And gas, oil, and coal.

Two big problems have been facing our commitment to green energy.

The first is how to manage enormous industrial travel. The second is what to do about the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on transforming energy the world doesn’t want anymore.

Those jobs have worsened in their guarantees. The people who work for them have…

The Urban Monk

Psychologists have already begun writing about an interesting byproduct phenomenon of the coronavirus global quarantine…

People all over the world found that they still didn’t learn how to basket-weave, practice calligraphy, and become flawless minimalist interior designers even though they got the time at home they always thought was the magic bullet.

(Amazing if you did, though! Very impressive.)

There are several prevailing theories regarding our energy shortage… One is that we collectively experienced a trauma response, which resulted in a state of energy paralysis.

Or simply put, we were too drained to perform our daily functions, let alone take…

The Urban Monk

We’ve talked about some of the spiritual, emotional, and mental effects this last year has had on all of us.

Especially in terms of staying connected to the rhythm wave of our lives instead of losing the thread and desperately stroking to catch up to it.

Having your routine rocked can make it difficult to feel energized when you’re supposed to, and likewise to wind down when it’s time.

And after this last year? Being able to wind down is particularly important…

You see, stress weakens the immune system.

And a fully functioning immune system is more important now than…

The Urban Monk

Hopefully, if working from home is an option in your life, you’ve been able to do it!

2020’s containment measures sought to protect the 8 billion human beings living on the planet from the virus we’re all familiar with.

But the practical effect on the daily lives of those engaged in social distancing was a complete uprooting of routine, personal equilibrium, and the rhythm of life.

It’s important to maintain a sense of order while the things we can’t control seem to be free-falling – even as the world seems to be blooming once again.

For lots of people, one…

The Urban Monk

Have you ever wondered why it feels so good to cross something off of your list?

There’s a psychological principle, known as the “Zeigarnik effect,” named for its discoveress Bluma Zeigarnik, that comes close to addressing why.

You see, we tend to remember things we need to do better than things we’ve already done.

So even if you’ve crossed four of five items off the list, your brain focuses on the one you have left.

Meaning if you have a physical list, with items written and crossed through when finished, the brain can rest easier once it’s reminded: “Hey. Buddy…

The Urban Monk

If the last book you read to completion was a manual, or a high school book report assignment on The Invisible Man, you’re one in four Americans.

You see, 27% of adults in America have not read a book in the last year, according to the Pew Research Center.

So the thought of solving that problem by trying to read more might sound crazy…

But here’s the situation: we have now spent more time indoors than most of us ever have in our lives.

And even as that may be changing, many people have been shocked to discover that they’re…

The Urban Monk

Artists make up less than 2% of the workforce.

And because of the framework through which we view “careers”, that percentage makes sense.

To be considered part of the workforce as an artist, you must make your living by art. In the Western world, “being an artist” often doesn’t make a whole lot of fiscal sense.

That means that there’s a huge population of people who don’t participate in art. Our society values production, side hustles — using your spare time to earn more capital, buff up your resume, learn marketable skills.

Without a background in art, practicing creativity can…

The Urban Monk

Nobody could afford coconut oil during the war in the 1940s.

Although it had been used in European and American, not to mention Caribbean and Filipino, cooking for centuries, Americans lost their access to it, except at exorbitant prices.

(If you’re wondering, that’s how soy was able to get such a foothold in our eating practices.)

When coconut oil reentered the market, the national food and health authorities had turned on it — they claimed it was basically lard. Coconut oil is 93% saturated fat, and during the 1950s, there wasn’t a dirtier curse word in the medical community.


The Urban Monk

When the world gets a little crazy, I turn to the practice of Qi Gong to help center my mind, body, and spirit.

You’ve probably heard the term Qi Gong and may not know what it is or what it does.

I want to share some insights into how this practice can help you focus inward when everything around you feels like it’s out of control.

Let’s start with the meaning of the two words.

Qi (pronounced “Chee”) can be translated as “life force”, “energy”, or “vital breath”.

Gong (pronounced “Kung”) is more of a general term meaning “work” or…

The Urban Monk

A diet is a diet is a diet, right?

Sort of…

A diet is just the class and kind of food that makes up your daily consumption roster. So even if you eat nothing but cookies and chips, that’s a diet.

And the heart of the word “diet” is the same heart of “intuitive eating.”

It’s what you eat, dictated by what your body tells you to eat.

We think about food about 200 times a day.

But we make far fewer than 200 decisions about eating.

That dissonance may be the crux of the overeating/undereating crisis — the number…

Pedram Shojai

NY Times Best Selling Author, filmmaker, and founder of

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