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SPARKS IN ACTION Podcast with Donna Sherman

SPARKS IN ACTION Podcast with Donna Sherman

By Donna Sherman
Sparks In Action is an uplifting antidote to your daily news feed. SIA will uplift and inspire you by introducing you to everyday people who are doing whatever they do with great love and, in doing so, add to our collective well-being. Some episodes are short and sweet. Some a little longer. On occasion I will offer some tools and practices for living life with increased presence and skill. Many good things will happen here.Listen and join us in celebrating each other and the wondrous world we live in. for more info.
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Meet Sy Montgomery: Award Winning Author who is "equal part scientist and poet".
Sy Montgomerys' love for our natural world, and all the creatures in it, has taken her on soul enlarging adventures to distant areas of the earth where she takes readers on deep dives  into the mystery and wonder of the minds and behaviors of fascinating- and wildly intelligent- creatures such as pacific octopuses, hawks, pigs, dogs, amazonian pink river dolphins, tigers, tarantulas and more. Sy's prose is gorgeous with detail and fierce with truth.  She explores the sacred in the natural world and from it, learns to"love like a God.' Listen and be inspired. Read her books and embark on an adventure that will enlarge your heart, feed your mind and light up your wonder and curiosity.
May 11, 2022
"We are stardust, we are golden..." And, of course we forget.
In this episode I read words from the late, great astrophysicist/astronomer Carl Sagan and then invite you into a short inquiry about living our very human lives while also being part of the ever-changing immensity and interdependence of this wild universe. Sound heavy? It's not. Listen and check it out.
May 03, 2022
A short poem from me to you
I wrote this one way back in 2000. "Wild life, life lived wild..."  Let's celebrate it!
March 21, 2022
Meet Hunter Noack: Democratizing Music by Bringing Classical Music to Accessible Stunning Landscapes
Hunter is a classically trained pianist who is devoted to democratizing music by replacing the concert hall with stunning landscapes and making these music experiences affordable and multi-sensory.  Hunter and his crew place a 9 foot Steinway piano on a flatbed truck and give people the experience of being in a landscape with a live soundtrack where they can move, explore and take in the beauty of our natural wonders.This episode has the added bonus of Hunter playing us in at the start and playing us out at the end. Listen to the very end so you don't miss him playing some Chopin!(There are a few moments here and there in the podcast when our zoom connection got wonky but they only last a few seconds; besides, Sparks In Action is not about perfection. All episodes are unedited.) You can reach Hunter and learn more about him, his work and his schedule at
February 19, 2022
Mind/Body Refresh and Reset
I heard your requests so here you are: I started this guided practice thinking it would be about 10 minutes but it turned out to be nineteen. This  is designed for mid -day or anytime you begin to feel brain fog, eye strain, mind overdrive or simply want a guided reset. You can follow this while seated at your desk or lying on the floor. As always, if you have questions or want to reach out visit my site at
February 04, 2022
Meet 6 year old Lisa and her newly coined term: "Imaginationish"
After a few of us created a story that involved time travel, George Washington, a blue flying horse and a run in with a T Rex I asked Lisa this question this question:  " What's the best thing about being a child?" Here is her response.
January 31, 2022
Meet Donna. Yes, this time somebody interviews me.
Lori Wynters interviewed me and here's the conversation. When you hear some pauses don't  think anything is off with your audio,  we allow for a few seconds of silence when silence was the honest space between questions or responses.   I interviewed Lori on an earlier episode of SIA so check it out. The early Sparks In Action videos (before it became a podcast) I mention in the interview can be found by searching for Sparks In Action on You Tube. You will find three videos titled: Women Who Walk Their Talk Stellar Wonder Take Me to the River
December 24, 2021
Meet Kim & Allen: Creating Scientific Diplomacy with Israeli and Palestinian Students
Allen Taylor, PHD and Kim Kronenberg, MPH have created an inspiring and uplifting program called STEP-GTP: Science Training Encouraging Peace- Graduate Training Program. This visionary program pairs Palestinian and Israeli Graduate Students so they can do scientific work and research together with the  aim of "reintroducing Israelis and Palestinians to each other" and cultivating enduring professional relationships built on respect and trust.  For information visit You can contact Kim or Allen at
November 14, 2021
Turn A Desire into Action and Reality: A Three Minute Invitation
You know how the still small voice within ( or the loud nudging voice from within) is telling you that there is a specific goal or behavior change you deeply want/need to weave into your daily life? Take three minutes and listen to how the "Want It & Do It" series I am offering can help you move steadily from desire to action. No hype, just a lot of effective tools and steady support. Please contact me with any questions about content or registration at or via my site
November 04, 2021
Meet Jimmy Buff: Radio Broadcasting meets Community Activism
Jimmy shares his rich history in the world of radio and how his path led him to where he is now at the the vibrant, non- commercial Radio Kingston in Kingston, NY.  Radio Kingston (WKNY 1490 AM /107.9 FM) breaks the boundaries of commercial radio and creates a vital and diverse platform for the exchange of information, ideas, inspiration, story telling and community actions with the goal of creating a more  "just and equitable Kingston". To learn more:
October 27, 2021
"Wait": Another gem from Jason
The wisdom of non-reactivity and patience in 12 seconds.
October 26, 2021
Meet Jason: 36 seconds of 9 year old wisdom
Out of the mouths of kiddos... Listen and hear a pearl of wisdom about accepting the goodness and the difficult. All I asked was: "What do you think we grown ups need to know?" This is what he said.
October 26, 2021
2 minute quick lift
If your tank feels empty and you need some juice, here is a stream of good sparks from me to you.
August 28, 2021
23 minutes of deeply restorative guided relaxation with Donna
Whoever you are, wherever you are in this world, this is for you. I've received requests that I create a guided relaxation episode on this podcast so here it is. There is a lot I can say about the profoundly restorative guided relaxation that is Yoga Nidra but it's better for you to directly experience the therapeutic value; so, I suggest you carve out the 23 minutes when the timing works for you. If you want more information about Yoga Nidra in general, or my recordings from 2017 in particular, you can visit my website where you will find a "Guided Relaxation Recording" option on the menu bar. There are direct links for downloading my digital recordings from Amazon and the iTunes store.  If you like CDs, I can get one to you. If you have questions or want to contact me there is a contact page on my website: I wish you ever deepening peace and vibrant health.
August 17, 2021
4 steps to help you rotate your attention- away from your worrying or ruminative mind- into a more open state of being
Here are a few things you can do either first thing in the morning or anytime of day when you find you are falling into the rabbit hole of familiar worry, anxiety, rumination, irritation or any problematic/ habitual mind/body loops. We all know these all too familiar states all too well;  if we choose to work with them we can begin to move beyond them. Like the old adage: "You have to name it to tame it". These deceptively simple steps are designed to help you  name it, deliberately  drop into your body via somatic awareness and in doing so, summon your innate calming (body) and quieting (mind)  mechanisms to step up and escort you into a more refreshed, open state.  Experiment with it and let me know if it helps.
August 17, 2021
Wake Up,Drink Water,Walk & Work Better!
Three (deceptively) simple- and easy to integrate- practices I gleaned from listening to Dr. Andrew Huberman, Neurobiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information I mention is discussed in great scientific detail in episode #28 of the "Huberman Lab" podcast. I do not know, nor have I ever met, Dr. Huberman. I listen to many science-based podcasts and simply want to share good information, that could add to your health and overall well-being, with you.
August 12, 2021
Meet Irv Sherman: Three (unplanned) minutes of truth from my (almost) 90 year old dad on Father's Day
A wise elder, bereaved yet grateful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, father-in-law, uncle and friend spontaneously speaks into my phone on Fathers Day.  We love you Dad.
June 21, 2021
Meet Marc Shaiman: Composer/Lyricist/Musician & Human Extraordinaire
Marc, a world renown, composer/lyricist/arranger and performer who works in films, musical theater and television ( along with his co-lyricist Scott Wittman) has received a Tony, a Grammy, an Emmy and seven Oscar nominations. We cover a range of subjects from how the language of music and lyric can evoke deep emotions in both adults and children and how humor, and joy, create bridges between us. Marc, in his honest and unassuming way, reflects on his many years in the world of theater and the process of giving  air to the essential creative flow of composing/writing while also honoring the necessary progressions that the world of musical theater is undergoing.  Listen to the very end and you might just hear a some piano improv....
June 08, 2021
Meet Lisa Glick: Thriving with a BiPolar Brain
Listen and meet someone who speaks candidly about living a rich and full life with a brain that works differently. Lisa had a long career in the public school system as a musical educator, singer and choral director while being a mother, an ultra runner and outdoor enthusiast. During our conversation Lisa shares her truth with remarkable honesty while also sharing how she made a deliberate choice to drop her fear of being judged and misunderstood so she could live with unapologetic bold passion. 
June 05, 2021
Meet Liz Levine: Bringing essential humanity to medical professionals and patients
Liz Levine, MD, is an internist and hospitalist at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, NY. We talk about how she brings her medical expertise, her humanity and her wisdom to both her patients and her fellow health care providers. Liz is devoted to supporting fellow medical professionals in their process of drawing on their humanity while helping them resource tools that will help them negotiate the tricky territory of being a health care provider. We talk how both patients and medical professionals can be in their respective roles while also sharing their essential humanity (I share a bit about my cancer experience) and Liz offers some specific tools as examples of how she brings her desire to help "heal the healers" into her everyday work.
May 25, 2021
Drop Into Sleep: 10 Minutes of Soothing Guided Relaxation to Prepare You for Sleep
The recorded night noise that accompanies the first two minutes of this recording drops off by the 3rd minute.  I wish you restorative sleep. ~~ Donna
May 23, 2021
Meet Joe Concra: Artist, Visionary and Co-Founder of Kingston's O Positive Festival
In 2010 artists and health care professionals joined forces to create an innovate, joyful and effective way of offering health care to uninsured or underinsured artists. Through the exchange of art, music and health care the wildly successful O Positive (O+) Festival was born in Kingston, NY.  The model of the 0+ Festival has been recreated across the country. Listen to Joe speak passionately about the vision and generosity that went into creating this festival and how the festival not only provides an exchange of arts and health care but also nourishes communities by empowering them to take control of their collective well being.  The next O Positive Festival will take place on October 8,9 & 10 of 2020. For information visit
May 18, 2021
Meet Lori Wynters: On Grieving, Joy and Connection
Lori is a psychologist, university professor and rabbinically trained chaplain. In this lively episode we talk about grieving as a natural and necessary part of a full life, how we can allow ourselves to experience loss and vulnerability without shame and ways in which we can purposefully create connection with others. We also talk about how joy, love and wonder are part of the same life- affirming experience as loss and sadness and we address  how we can be with ourselves and others in their joys, sorrows and the overall bigness of experience that is life is.
May 11, 2021
Meet Lieutenant Karen Pignataro: Journeying from Art Historian, to Innkeeper to Firefighter
Meet Karen who literally fights dangerous sparks while serving her community with fierce and loving devotion. Karen, the manger of a busy Inn in Woodstock NY, joined the Woodstock fire department at the age of 52 and since then, has become an interior firefighter, an EMT and a lieutenant. We talk about the interesting path that led Karen to join the fire department, what the training entails, why she does what she does and what the world of volunteer fire fighting looks like. Approximately 70 % of all fire fighters serve their community on a volunteer basis! 
April 16, 2021
Turning Arrows Into Olive Branches
My short take and how to lessen the divide between us and have respectful conversations.
April 09, 2021
Meet Charlie Gadol: Medical Pathology Meets Cleaning Up Environmental Pathology
What do you get when you mix the field of medical pathology with the love of, and care for, our natural world? You get Charlie Gadol! Charlie is an engaged and generous citizen who walks his talk with sincere humility and positive actions. Full disclosure: Charlie is my husband.Click play and join our conversation.
April 09, 2021
WHY you need to invite the Sparks In Action podcast into your life.
I'm not selling anything. My goal is to restore your faith in humanity and ignite your inspiration. Quite the deal!
April 04, 2021
Introduction to Sparks In Action
Sparks In Action is an uplifting antidote to your daily news feed. This podcast will inspire you by introducing you to ordinary, unassuming citizens who are doing great things to add to our collective well-being.   Join us in celebrating each other and our wondrous world. Full length episodes will begin in mid April 2021.
April 01, 2021