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January 4, 2024 28 mins

Step into the sun in 2024! Jana is talking to Dr. Harry Cohen about why you should try to live “heliotropic”… but what does that mean?? 

Dr. Cohen shares life changing tips on how to guard yourself against negative energy, and how to change your own perspective to become a more positive person. 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Wind Down with Janet Kramer and I'm Heart Radio podcast.
All right, this Thursday Therapy. We have a doctor Harry
Cohen coming on and I'm really excited. He's got a
book called Be the Sun Not the Salt. Let's get
him on. And then there's a word called heliotropic. Not
really sure what that is, so let's get him on
and we'll find out what it is. Hi, Janna, Hi,

how are you good? I think the last time we
were supposed to talk, you had something rather I had
a baby. I think right, you had a baby. Yeah.
It was either that or I know I had to
cancel a few because I was having some postpartum Like
how are you now? Oh my, now, you're so sweet
for asking. I am. Yeah, I'm good, I feel I

feel good. The emotions have obviously been all over the place.
Do you have kids? I have two thirty two year
old twin boys. Okay, So was postpartum a thing back then? Yeah?
With your wife like it? Did they talk about it
at all? Or was it? It was it was a
show because it was a section and we were new
to parenting and twins and it was it was very,

very different. Most of it was just a fog of
trying to deal with two little boys, two little babies.
But you did it. Yeah, I'm sure they're they're good.
You know. It's it's a journey, Yeah, it is. So
how old is what's your story? So? I have an

eight year old almost eight year old daughter, and then
I have a five year old son and now a
let's see when this airs. So today as we're recording,
we're five days before Christmas and he is five weeks so,
you know, it's it's one of those things where I
was just out of it with my five year old,

and so it's kind of restarting back up again and again.
The hormones started really sensitive. I wasper sensitive, and then
all of a sudden, I think last week I started
to just get really agitated, and I'm like, I don't
even know why I'm agitated. I just am agitated at
everything that moves. So I like went to my therapist
and I'm like, I'm so, I'm like, I'm normally high strung,

but I'm on like I've taken high strung pills and
I don't know how to like calm my nervous system down,
you know. And it was one of those where I'm like,
I just feel like I'm going to explode, and anyone
I go to, I'm like a wrecking ball of just
like aggression, and I'm like, I don't like, I'm like,
I don't want to be this way good good. So

we're trying to figure it out, but have you it's
I think it's again just trying to figure out where why, Like, Okay,
I know it's the the emotions and the hormones regulating.
I also think I again, I love, I'm so happy,

and I love obviously my baby and all the things.
But I think a piece of that aggression felt like
I was trapped again, like oh my gosh, everything is
around yet again, I'm you know, the schedule and feedings
and naps, and I don't have help yet, so I
just felt very I think trapped is the best word
I can think of when I was trying to explain

it to her. And I don't ever like the feeling
of feeling trapped. I get anxious, I lash out. So
that's where I'm just trying to. Now go, Okay, let
me find things that are good for me that I
can go do so I don't feel trapped. Did your
therapist help you. She's the best. I love her, but
I'm always open to which is why i have this

segment because I'm always open to learning. More So, I
have no idea what our agenda is. I'm happy to
do therapy with you if you like, but I mean, hey,
we can have a little dose of this and a
little dose of that, because I want to talk about
your book too, and I need to know if you're
a Michigan fan since you went to Michigan. Duh, okay,
thank you okay, because I'm like, I know some people

that go to you know, U of m are like, no, no, no,
I live in I mean, I have two front row
seats and two second row seats. If you ever want
to do even don't even say that without because I'm like,
I will take you up on that offer. That's one
offer I would take. Clear, I don't say anything that
I don't mean. And when I say I have two
front row and two second row and I give them away,

I don't generally don't go to the games. I give
them away because the experience for people who've never been
to the Big House. Front row is different and second
row is pretty nice. And and I'm happy to do
that I went to restaurant in town, you know, dinners
on me plus two front row seats, plus an experience
at the Big House. It's easy for me to do so.

I've never been to a game ever. So so take
someone whose mind would be blown and you know, and
we'll organize it and schedule it a web. Pick a
good weather month because it's different, Yeah, you know in October. Well,
gret I love this podcast. This podcast has started out amazing.

What a generous offer. Thank you. I really a curiosity
is one of the qualities that makes someone heliotropic. Gradit okay,
and that's what I wanted to When I was reading
your breakdown, I started to find myself googling, like, what
is heliotopic? I didn't even I've never even heard that
word before. Well, the world will when when we've done

our work, the world will know what it means to
be heliotropic. They'll know what it means to be the
sun and not the salt. It's not complicated. It is
why a plant tilts towards the sun. The sun is
a source of energy, which is why the plant is
drawn to it. And it turns out that human beings
are drawn to heliotropic people, people who provide that source

of energy for them, which is positive, nurturing, good energy,
and it comes in the form of virtuous behaviors. This
is empirical. So when people are kind and generous and
compassionate and authentic and vulnerable and real and all the
qualities that we love about humans, we're drawn to them
like the plant is drawn to the sun. Therefore, we

want to surround ourselves with people like that. We want
to be like that, and it's nurturing and good for
the world period. Conversely, don't be a dick, don't be rude, disrespectful, unkind,
lash out all the ways that human beings can be
nasty to one another. Don't do that. It's salt on
the roots. So in a nutshell, that's this whole mindset,

which is, wait a minute, what you just did. I'm
lashing out. That's not my best self, that's not who
I want to be. Good. That salt on other people's
roots makes them feel horrible, makes you feel horrible too.
I want to be the good person that I know
that I am great. Be that way. Find your way
back to that way of being. It's not complicated me

being generous to you is easy. You know, when you
give somebody a buck, you know, you give tip a
server or something, you're being generous. It's easy. I can
be generous. Anybody can be. I'm not looking for a metal.
I'm just saying that practicing the virtuous behaviors that we
love about humans makes us feel good in the world.
Feel good, right, you know? I mean I completely agree

with that. And so the book that you wrote is
it do you talk a lot? I mean obviously that
the helio how do you say heliotropic? Yeah, helio? True?
That is that? Is that a new words? Did you
come up with that? Word? Is that has always been there?
I'm like, why why am I just hearing it now?
Because I've heard all the other phrases and words. I know.

Professor Kim Cameron, he wrote one of the endorsements on
the back. We've done a podcast with people who are
heliotropic who want to be better people. He was one
of our first guests and he coined the expression. And
he's a Ross Business School, Michigan Business School professor, and
he researched positive energizers and corporations and what is it
about these people that make corporations more successful these leaders.

It's what he coined the expression heliotropic positive energizer. So
I stole it from him with his blessing and popularizing
it in the form of be the sun. Be like
the sun as opposed to the salt. So that's where
it comes from. But if you look up heliotropic, if
you know chet gpt it or Wikipedia, it'll describe qualities

of sunlight uplifting. Why do you think most people go
to the salt of people as opposed to There's a

lot of reasons for it. We're wired and geared to
see the glass half empty. When a branch snaps in
the forest, we don't think it's a good thing. So
there's a natural inherent bias to go to the negative.
The negative stings long, stings and last longer. However, cultural

phenomenon and pep phenomenon and people can make us more negative.
Media is terrible, you know, if it leads, it leads
people like to gossip, people like to talk about others'
flaws and faults, and that's again human nature. So we
have to guard against the tendency, the human tendency to

do things that are of the negative. And that's all why,
because it's human nature, because it's easier because the cultural
norms around us. Because people like to bitch, people like
to complain, people like to talk about other people, people
like to point out flaws. You can see it in
other people. You need to notice it when you're getting
all cranky. Wait a minute, this what's going on here.

It's a natural tendency like gravity. You know, if you
put a lot of food in front of somebody, they're
gonna overeat. You know, we got bad habits and good habits.
You have to, you know, work on being you know
better habitual person, good person. Don't make it complicated. The
whole thing Jenna about this is don't over overthink this,

Just do the next right thing. After you screw up
to your credit, you recognized you were being cranky and
you said this ain't me. I got to go get help.
What I would say to you is, don't complicate it.
Do the next right thing for yourself or someone else.
They're interchangeable. If you need to take a break, take
a break. If you need to get some help, get

some help. If you need to you know, wind down,
wind get it, get it. Yeah, But I mean that
in the don't make it hard for anyone or anybody else,
like the tiniest things. And you said I was generous
and kind. That's very nice. It's not that hard to
be generous and kind. Here's what I just recently learned,

which is, you know what the hard part about this?
There isn't any There's no hard part about this. None
not hard to be a nice person. It's not hard
to take a break. It's not hard to you know,
you made a boo boo. Yes it is, No, it isn't.
You know what I mean? You noticed it in a heartbeat.

You said, I'm being all all, I'm lashing out. The
minute you lashed out, you said, wait a minute, that's
not how I want to be. Something's up. You're right,
figure it out and knock it off, which you did.
And I asked you it was your therapist helpful because
you know I was a therapist, and I know sometimes
I can be helpful sometimes not. The goal is to

be helpful, you know. Other, what other tangible tip could
you say? Because I think when I heard you say
the glass half empty, I do go that way most
times where I and I'm learning and trying to flip
that to go no, I'm gonna this next year or
this year is going to be very fulfilling, it's going

to be a great year. It's going to be a
successful year. Instead of going, well, I haven't gotten that
role yet, or you know, it's where I just I
go to that kind of pessimistic been in this for
a long time, like rotation, don't go first of all,
don't go into a full year. Do it today, do
it the next minute, do the next hour. Do it

in this conversation. The minute you hear yourself go into
the you know, go to the dark side, say wait
a minute, I just I just noticed that. Oh yeah,
I don't need to do that. And from shift your
minds and your mindset from get to to got to
mm hmm instead of I'm sorry, got to to get to?

You say, oh I did I meant to say get
to God? Got to to get to I made mistake?
So what you know what I mean? Like, oh I
gotta go to work? No, no, no, I get to
go to work. Oh it didn't happen. Oh well, So
when you hear yourself go negative, let your negativity be
your best friend. When you wanted the practical tip, the

minute you go dark the minute you go to your
dark about Oh, I remember that guy Harry said that.
Let it be a little reminder, like a little dude, dude,
you got this, Thank you, You're welcome. So the negativity
is your friend because you can shift it in a
split second. Oh I just said that. I just said
I got to No, wait a minute, I mean, where

are your kids right now? Where's the little baby who's
watching the baby baby's napping? This is nap hour? Oh beautiful. Yeah,
so I schedule things, you know, to make sure. Okay,
where's the five five year old is actually with their
dad today? Beautiful? Yeah, so this quiet, beautiful respite and
the baby's sleeping. As soon as that baby cries. If

you feel yourself go oh no, okay, if you heard
yourself go oh no, it's a he or sheet, it's
a boy. But I just felt myself get and this
is just what happened their day. When I was recording
an audition, I'm in this. It's his nap time. I'm
recording for auditioning for what probably one of the biggest
movies I've ever auditioned for. I hear him crying, and

I'm like, no, I immediately I'm like no, no, no no, no,
like you have to go back to like and I'm
stressing out and then I just go straight into that
panic aggression stress out mode. Yeah, hold on a second.
So let's just use as an example that is going
to happen. That is going to happen a million times.
So when it does, this isn't your first rodeo. Oh man,
the body's going to do its thing. The body will

do its thing. You're not going to stop the body
from reacting. You know, they say, don't get nervous. Everybody
gets nervous. You fled is to let the channel, lets
that by thely reaction, reframe it in your mind. I'm
going to get the butterflies to fly information not gonna
not have butterflies. It's like, oh boy, all right, let's
go rock and roll. Use yourself talk, say I got this,

not my first rodeo. Whatever words you can use to say, Hey,
I'm a mom. If they don't want me as a mom,
too bad, I'm good. I got this self talk. You know,
take a breath, take take another one, take three, say
out loud, I hope you don't mind that. My baby's well,

my heart's to thumping because my baby just cried. I
hope you don't just be vulnerable and gutsy and throw
yourself into your work and your role and to your
you know, your life and let the chips fall where
they may. You can control what you can control. You
can't control anything else. If they don't want you, to
screw it, you'll get another role and another role. That's

the nature of this business. They're gonna say yes, they're
going to say no. They're gonna say yes, they're gonna
say no, we don't care, which is where I think
I've become a little half empty. Two is the just
then amounts of rejection and the the uh you know,
the social media and the bully, all those things become.

But now I again, once I turned forty and once
it's like there's there's a shift and going, Okay, this
life is too short. You got it, it's to ever have.
And that's the same thing with my ex. I hated
his guts for at least well for a long time,
but when we even got divorced, I mean I was
I just had I just every morning I woke up

and I just I hated him. And now I'm like
that was such a disservice to myself because good now
and now we're great, we have a great relationship. Everything
is used because I'm like, I'd rather be friends. I
don't want why why would I hate him? It's I
don't want that energy in my body. I don't I
don't want it for the kids. It's just look, see,
this is what I mean by doing the next right
thing is beautiful. You can use every single success in

your life to propel you to the next one, and
every single failure to go, oh good, I mean that
story is just beautiful. What you transmuted relationship with your ex.
Do that fifty thousand more times as best you can.
You just told me this beautiful success story of you
and your ex. Yes, do more of that. When you

get rejected, you go, you know, I handle that rejection
pretty well. Good for you. At least I got an audition.
At least I got a shot. Some people don't get
an audition. You've got an audition and they rejected you.
Rock and roll. I I want you to have that self.
I want you to be your best friend, coach on
your shoulder, talking to yourself, getting yourself back in the

arena every single Yeah, and I love that, and that's
definitely what I'm going to bring into this new year.
And I guess the question too, aram that is, what
how do you do that when the other person doesn't
want to meet you there? If there's someone that you
want to have, you know, a not that kind of relationship,
or you don't want that negativity, if you're how can

you how can you meet there? If that person doesn't
want that back? You all go up, walk away, welcome.
You can't change. Look, you've got three little ones and
they're all different. You can't make them a certain way.
You try your ber right. I want people cup what
you're doing with your book though, is I'm almost like, guys, well,
we don't have to be angry at each other. Let's
all get along and we don't have to be friends.
But can we at least have like, you know, cordial

Well you can say that out loud. Do whatever works.
In other words, there's not a formula to a successful life,
although I do believe this is the formula I eat.
The more we I am heliotropic, my life goes great
when I get angry. I'm full of it. When I'm
you know, some kind of working up a froth about irritation.

You know, you were three minutes late for this podcast.
Took me about thirty two seconds to go get off
at Harry. And that's one of my things, which is
it never ends. So your job is to be the
most magnificent human being you can be, and that's a
full time job. And other people will be moved by that.

If people aren't operating to your liking, well are you
operating to your own liking? If you could say yeah, yeah, yeah,
then let them be who they are. You don't have
to hang out with them, for sure. I think it's
just more hard to see so many people so angry
in this world. That's where I just get frustrated. I'm like,
why do you have to be so angry? Because they

are whatever, lost in their own mental marass of stupidity.
And I say that with compassion. You've been stupid. Look
at you. You were angry at your ex and then
you untangled it from your own inner web. Nothing changed.
He's the same guy, and yet you just untangled whatever

web you had, whatever words and rationalizations you had for
what a no goodneck y was that you got out of.
They'll figure it out too. And if you can be
helpful to them with a hand on their shoulder or
some kind of wisdom, then they'll untangle from their anger.
But you see people who are angry and you go,
oh my god, I used to be angry at my ex.

Let me see if I can be helpful and untangle
him or from their stupidity. Not in the judgmental you're
better than them, but there but for the grace of God,
go I. You just said you were a knucklehead with him.
Now you're not power to you girl? Is that why

you wrote this book? To help people, you know, getting
to that heliotropic state. Yep, it's for me. It's not
for I mean, this is my job for the rest
of my life until I croak, and as many people
in the world if they could get this, Oh my god.
You mean it's as simple as that. Yes, well, yeah,
but what about what about nothing? I got a chapter

in there, do it anyway? There's a million reasons why
it's hard to be helio be heliotropic anyway. I stole
that from mother Teresa. And you know what I mean,
it's not do good anyway, be good anyway? Yeah, but
what about when they're what Yeah, you be generous anyway.
What about when people take advantage of you? Yeah, that's okay,
you know what, I'm okay with that. I'm going to

go to my grave feeling really good about being a
good person. And I can be a better person. And
you can still be a good person and having boundaries too.
You don't want people to walk all over you to
definitionally being a good person a good person. No, no,
you can't. You can't. You can't come in the house,
not with those shoes. I'm a very good person, which
means you stay outside with those mney shoes. Where do

you go? Not heliotropic in your life? Because I'm curious
as I get irritated, what's your biggest thing? Like? Yeah,
what you say? You got irritated with? What? Yeah? You
were late for my podcast. I'm a guest. I'm organizing
my late life to do this podcast. I had to
put my baby down. Excuse me, I have every right

you have my life. No, no, but here I am.
You're putting your baby down way more important than me.
You know, Well, it's a schedule for one. That's an
small irritation. It's tiny, But I'm ten times better than
I used to be Jenna. That's when I'm saying it
out loud, I'm poking fun at myself. I used to
be way worse. This work has made me a better person.

I get irritated way less. You asked me, what are
my biggest I think when people don't care, when people
are dishonest, when people are are mean and nasty and
disrespectful and unkind, and it does shock me. And they're
in my ecosystem, They're in my world somehow, And how
did I wind up with this person in my life?

And I let them in or something? And so that's
hard for me, Like how did I create a lot
for this person? This is in my world? But I
really work at that of not being irritated. And when
I get irritated, because give us again some little nuggets

for us to take away with that, because you've given
us a lot. Okay, So I say, what else from
the book? I see it? I mean, okay, So every
chapter in that book is a reminder to me. Oh right,
I can. I can take the high road. There's a
chapter take the road. There's chapter smile and move on.
When I get irritated, take a breath, smile, smile, but

just too big a smile and move on. Smiling literally
changes you, okay, you know, be your own best friend,
be your own son. You know that's a tiny eat.
By the way, each chapter is one page. What does
that mean? It means take care of yourself. I do
a lot of personal hygiene. I eat well, exercise, I

get outside, I spend time with loved ones. I am
my own son. I watch myself talk. I watch the
words that I say to myself, Harry, You're such an idiot,
you idiot? What what was that? I'm rattling them off
because there's so many and they're interchangeably good. If I
hear myself saying you idiot, because I'll say that, like,

what's that? I'm not? You know, I just need a mistake, right,
And so I love my ability to up my own
game by seeing my flaws as ooh, those are teachers.
Every obstacle is a teacher, every turd fest, every probect.

I can't say that, I mean, I shouldn't say that,
but no, I love no. I love that. I always
say that. It's like every everything. I love sometimes making
the mistakes because I get great lessons from those. Those
are the greatest lessons that's the whole idea, Jenna. You
just answered it like, oh that, let that mistake teach me.
What was the lessons? First grade? Second grade? I got
to repeat it? Did I not learn? How about rushing?

How about rushing? Look, I'm at three million mile delta,
I'm a permanent diamond, and I still rush to the airport. Like,
what is up with that? I think this is the
year we'll see that I don't rush. I mean, how
stupid is that? Rushing? That's dumbest dumb, you know, not
dressing properly, not being Oh I got one for this year.

I read it. I got so many piles of debris
that are just messes, and I allow messes to gobble
up my precious energy so I can clean up my
messes or not make them, you know what I'm talking about. Yeah,
And so I love this work because it's simple. I

read a lot, and I forget most everything I read,
but I can remember be the sun. Not to be kind, Jane.
I want you to spread this to the world. I
want you to be uplifting to yourself mostly really kind
to yourself, no matter what you got through the little
nerds to take care of plus yourself four nerds, four

little nerds to take care of. I want you to
be so compassionate for giving and loving to the four
of you that your life is forever immediately transformed. That
this podcast just sticks with you like a virus that
never leaves a healthy virus. You're immune from getting bummed out.

But your buddy, I love that you're bummed out in
this lasts I don't know a minute, Okay, yeah, I
mean it's a good reminder for everyone to go into
the new year to be the Sun not the Salt.
And I just I love that, and again I just
want like for me again, this year is all about
just shedding that energy of letting other people's hatefulness come

into my sacred space. And so I think again that's
a great reminder, be the Sun not the salt. And
that'll be kind of my mantra for the year. And
I hope it's everyone else's that's listening. So thank you.
And where can our listeners find you? You can find
me on Be the Sun Not the Salt, on your
favorite wherever you find podcasts, Be the Sun Not the Salt.

As a website, we try and keep fresh with new stuff.
But we're going to do podcasts of guests who can
tell stories about how this has helped them. I love
that you want to be a podcast guest. All you
got to be is a good person with a story
to tell, and how Be the Sun Not the Salt
has helped you. So whenever you're ready, if you want

to be a guest, and you say, you know this
really helped me. In twenty twenty three, I met this guy,
I read this book, saw this thing, and it's been
so much My life has been so much better. That
story will help a bunch of people, Janna, So find
us on where you find podcasts Be the Sun Not
the Salt, pick up the book, give it out as

a gift. Mostly practice being that way. And that's my
mission and for myself and for you. And I'm not
kidding about that offer for front row seats at the
Big Oh. I'm going to have my peeps get your info.
So thank you. Will definitely take you up on that.

I really appreciate it. But seriously, thank you, and thanks
for coming on. And I'll see you in Detroit soon, okay.
I'll talk to you soon, okay, And I'll be a
guest on your podcast and I'll be three minutes early.
All right, So how's that. But you have to have
a story to tell about how this really helped. I will.
I will for sure it already has. Thank you, all right,
Bye bye,
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