16 Of The Most Respected Mindfulness Teachers Of Modern Day

16 Of The Most Respected Mindfulness Teachers Of Modern Day

Although Mindfulness is, and always has been a part of the ancient lessons of Buddhist as well as other eastern and native religions, meditation and mindfulness are experiencing their second coming in the present day modern era. The re-emergence of this traditional practice is due in large part to the vast array of incredible teachers who have either come or returned to the western world to share the knowledge they’ve acquired through years and sometimes even decades of studying in the south eastern nations of our planet. From Dr. Deepak Chopra, to sound healers and Tibetan monk’s, today we are gifted with some of the best spiritual teachers the world has ever seen. Though the many highly respected Guru’s of the east are never to be forgotten on this list, here is a list of 16 of the most well respected mindfulness and meditation teachers in the western world. These individuals are thought leaders, and have paved the way for the rest of society to follow along in their footsteps.

Pema Chodron

Who is Pema Chodron?

Born in New York City in 1936, Pema Chodron is widely known as one of the first American women to become an ordained nun of Tibetan Buddhism. Currently leading as the headteacher at the Gampo Alley meditation center in Nova Scotia Canada, she is well renowned for leading several of the world’s most well-respected mindfulness education centers. She is the former leader at the global Shambhala Meditation organization while having also written a collection of incredibly influential books on the topic of Buddhist philosophy in the west. She possesses an undying passion for Buddhist meditation that turns to learn with her into a unique and transformative experience. With powerful lessons paired with discipline and perspective, she is one of the most influential meditation teachers of the modern era. To learn more about Pema, visit her online at the link to her foundation below.

https://pemachodronfoundation.org/

Click The Image Below To Browse Pema Chodron‘s Most Popular Books

Ram Dass aka Richard Alpert

Who is Ram Dass?

Ram Dass is the ex Harvard psychologist turned psychedelic science advocate, turned mindfulness and spiritual teacher who altered society for millions of people around the world throughout the last many decades. Originally pursuing high levels of education along the traditional path of western intellectuals, Ram Dass was initially a research psychologist at Harvard University where he stumbled across the wide range of mental-emotional benefits correlating to the use of psychedelic substances in therapy. According to him, the experiences he had while trying out these substances himself were the eventual catalyst for the spiritual awakening that eventually led him to India. Studying with his Guru, Maharajji was when his most noted transformation took place. Following his initial years in India, Richard Alpert re-emerged as the mindfulness and spiritual teacher currently known as Ram Dass. Since that time Ram Dass has been the educator responsible for bringing the lessons of Maharajji to millions of Americans. His books and lessons have been bought, followed and worshipped for their relatability across the western world. To learn more about Ram Dass, watch the new Netflix documentary about his last years called Ram Dass: Going Home, or visit the website for his organization below.

RamDass.org

Click The Image Below To Check Out Ram Dass‘ Most Famous Book; Be Here Now

Deepak Chopra

Who is Deepak Chopra?

For many westerners who are interested in or practicing mindfulness, Deepak Chopra is quite likely one of the first people you will come across. This modern doctor, author, and spiritual teacher has quickly become one of the most established meditation teachers globally with a collection of written works, documentaries, celebrity talk show appearances, and meditation centers to back up his impressive credentials. This man is one of the most influential ambassadors for alternative medicine in the west, having helped what is quite likely millions of people approach and resolve their health challenges utilizing holistic mind-body modalities for medicine. Deepak is most well known for his content around health and wellness, though his presence in the world of meditation is as well established as any of the other modern teachers. To learn more about Deepak Chopra visit his website below. Here you will find content, news, events, courses, meditations and more.

https://www.deepakchopra.com/

Click The Image Below To Check Out Deepak Chopra‘s Most Popular Books.

Sara Auster

Who is Sara Auster?

As perhaps the leading voice in the western world when it comes to the masterful art of sound therapy, Sara Auster is one of the many women leading powerful and transformational mindfulness lessons in the modern era. Based in New York, she has traveled around the globe performing and teaching the many lessons of Buddhism and meditation. Having been featured by countless publications including The New York Times and Time Magazine Sara is as established as sound healers come. Sara’s interest in sound-based healing and therapy was originally sparked by a severe back injury that inhibited her blooming music career in New York at the young age of 23. Throughout that experience as well as the long recovery that followed, she found tremendous relief through the uniquely therapeutic vibrations from the marble bowls used. The relief she found through this experience inspired her to bring this underserved method to the masses. To learn more about Sara visit her online at her website.

https://saraauster.com/

Click The Image Below To Browse Sara Auster‘s Most Popular Books.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Who is Jon Kabat-Zinn?

As the man who many regard is the person who has made the largest contributions toward the scientific research of the ancient art of meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of today’s most important mindfulness educators. He is the author of some of the most influential modern literature on mindfulness, meditation, and the subconscious mind. As the founder behind Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR) he has been widely considered to be one of the forefathers of the integration of mindfulness with care and treatment of mental health. In addition to his works on psychology and research, Jon Kabat-Zinn is a widely known meditation teacher with courses, training, and books on techniques and perspectives on the wide array of mindfulness approaches available. Although on the date that this is published he is resting at a hefty 74 years old, you can be sure that he is still teaching and training people and professionals on his learnings even to this day. To learn more about Jon Kabat-Zinn visit his Wikipedia page below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Kabat-Zinn

Click The Image Below To Browse Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s Most Popular Book: Full Living Catastrophe.

Jack Kornfield

Who is Jack Kornfield?

As a former Buddhist monk, Jack Kornfield re-entered western society as a psychologist, a profession that has enabled him to bridge the gap between modern psychology and the transformative lessons, distinctions, and practices of the ancient philosophy of Buddhism. Jack first came across meditation in Thailand, where he first ventured as part of his experience working with the peace corps. Jack is a co-founder of the famous Insight Meditation Society with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein. Since that time, he has also co-founded The Spirit Rock Meditation Centre in Woodacre, California. To learn more about Jack Kornfield, read one of his many highly rated and best-selling books, or check out his website at the link below.

JackKornfield.com

Click The Image Below To Check Out Jack Kornfield‘s Most Popular Book: A Path With Heart.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Who is Thich Nhat Hanh?

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Thien Buddhist Monk. Having published well over one hundred books, this man has become one of the world’s most influential spiritual and meditation teachers. The lessons within his teachings and books range from vegetarianism to stillness and encompass a wide range of relevant patterns we are seeing in the world today. Born way back in 1926, this man was ordained as a Bhikku in 1951, a decade before many of even touched down on this earth. Thich has taught at conferences as well as educational institutions, even spending a large chunk of his life as a teacher of comparative religion at Princeton University in the U.S. Since his time, this man has returned home to Vietnam where he continues to teach and spread his lessons around the globe. He is known most for his part in the peace movement alongside his many works on mindfulness. To learn more about Thich, visit him online at the website for Plum Village, an organization founded by him several decades ago. 

About Thich Nhat Hanh

Click The Image Below To Browse The Many Books from Thich Nhat Hanh Most Popular Book On Amazon: Peace In Every Step.

Kristin Neff

Who is Kristin Neff?

Kristin Neff is a professor and educator on the practice of self-compassion within mindfulness. As an intellectual at large, she is most well known for her work in linking the evidence of meditations benefits when it comes to improvements in self-compassion. She is credited with the creation of a sliding scale of self-compassion, consisting of 26 units on the first scale and 12 on the next. These scales are designed to identify where someone sits, along with methods they may follow to slide into an improved area of self-love and awareness. Inherently, her work pertains largely to the practice of meditation, and she has since become renowned as an influential meditation educator across America. To learn more about Kristin Neff at her website below.

self-compassion.org

Click The Image Below To Check Out Kristin Neff’s Most Popular Book; The Proven Power Of Being Kind To Yourself: Self Compassion.

Eckhart Tolle

Who is Eckhart Tolle?

For myself as well as countless other meditation teachers in my social network, Eckhart Tolle was the cause of our introduction to the world of mindfulness and ego observation on the whole. His books are commonly known as the most popular modern pieces of literature on mindfulness, helping thousands of people wake up to the reality that thoughts are nothing more than what we make of them. For myself, The Power of Now was the first book I ever picked up on modern spirituality, the human ego, consciousness, and thoughtlessness on a whole. It was a book that truly changed my life and provided me with a newfound clarity I have never imagined prior. Originally born in Germany, this new york times bestselling author now resides in Vancouver, Canada where he continues to engage in further writing, speaking engagements, and spiritual retreats. This man truly has a gift at expressing thoughts so esoteric in nature that many of us would be hard-pressed to explain them on our own. Though his concepts are at times quite deep, they are consistently powerful distinctions with the power to shift anybody’s mindset, no matter how rigid they may be. For anybody interested in learning more about Eckhart, I would recommend reading his two most popular books: The Power of Now and A New Earth. These reads are timeline altering and after close to a decade since first coming across them, I continue to regard them as some of the best pieces I have ever consumed.

EckhartTolle.com

Click The Image Below To Check Out Eckhart Tolle‘s Most Popular Book: The Power Of Now.

Emily Fletcher

Who is Emily Fletcher?

As the founder of Ziva Meditation and the recent author of her new book Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance, Emily Fletcher is a recent addition to the top meditation teachers list. After her recent publication, her name has launched into the front row of renowned mindfulness coaches. What sets her apart from most of the other meditation teachers you are likely to come across is the ethos behind her message; that meditation is actually a tool for high performance. This is the core theme of her lessons and written works. Both of these include a reference to a large number of scientific articles that emphasize the science behind her approach. For type A individuals like myself, Emily’s style is both relatable and enjoyable. Not only do her lessons bring calm to the mind of high performers, but she is also very careful to quote the science to back it all up. Her approach is not unique, but her angle certainly may be. Emily was the reason I boosted my practice to meditate for longer sits each and every day. Her lessons were captivating and educational and they definitely piqued my interest in a very unique way. For anybody looking to learn more about Emily, visit her website below.

ZivaMeditation.com/About/

Click The Image Below To Check Out Emily Fletcher‘s New And Amazing Book, Stress Less Accomplish More: Meditation For Extraordinary Performance.

Satya Narayan Goenka

Who is Satya Narayan Goenka?

Perhaps one of the most important people in the worldwide expansion of mindfulness and meditation beyond its roots in Asia is Satya Narayan Goenka. Many of today’s most influential teachers tote their spiritual awakening as being the result of a 5 to 10-day silent meditation retreat. In particular, Vipassana retreats, where lessons focus on this tried and true method of finding a special form of stillness rooted in focused awareness. Though this man may have not spent as much of his time in the public eye, he is perhaps the indirect catalyst for an enormous degree of the meditation education available in western nations today. To learn more about Satya Narayan Goenka visit his website or the information pages for his retreats at the link below.

https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/about/goenka

Click The Image Below To Browse Satya Narayan Goenka’s Most Popular Reads Available On Amazon.

Sharon Salzberg

Who is Sharon Salzberg?

Sharon Salzberg is a best selling author and perhaps one of the most famous and well known spiritual teachers in the west. Born in 1952, Sharon has been one of the moguls paving the way for this eastern practice in North America, more specifically, New York City. After years of study from Asian meditation masters, Sharon eventually returned home, bringing her newfound expertise along with her. Though she teaches a wide range of lessons and has published many written works on the topic at large, much of her work takes focus on the specific Vipassana meditation techniques and their origins in Theravada Buddhism. In addition to all of this, Sharon is one of the well-respected founders of the ‘Insight Meditation Society’ near alongside the likes of Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. 

SharonSalzberg.com

Click The Image Below To Browse The Written Works From Sharon Salzberg Available On Amazon.

Andy Puddicombe

Who is Andy Puddicombe?

For anybody who may not know his name yet, Andy Puddicombe is the voice behind the world-famous Headspace Meditation App. As a former Buddhist monk having trained all across southeast Asia, Andy returned home to once again pursue a western-like in the UK before founding Headspace with his business partner Rich Pierson. What started as a small idea has since turned into one of the most popular apps on the planet, taking the world by storm and introducing the calming effect of meditation to millions of users across the planet. Since first launching the app, Andy has become an influential author and speaker on the topic of mindfulness, continuing to share his passion for meditation with the greater world around him. In my experience, Andy is one of the most relatable meditation teachers to learn from while still retaining enormous amounts of expertise and high-level meditation training. To learn more about Andy, visit his page on the Headspace website where you can watch his Ted Talk and learn a little more about him along the way.

https://www.headspace.com/andy-puddicombe

Click The Image Below To Browse Andy Puddicombe’s Published Books Available At Amazon.

Susan Piver

Who is Susan Piver?

Susan Piver is an American meditation teacher most well known for her written works on mindfulness with the New York Times, as well as a hefty list of public appearances including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tyra Banks Show, CNN and more. As a student of traditional Buddhism since 1995, Susan has become one of the most well-known hosts of workshops and retreats, speaking around the globe on a wide array of topics regarding personal development, mental health, meditation, spirituality, and Buddhist philosophy. More recently, Susan has launched a new initiative called The Open Heart Project where she teachers lessons online, generating a massive community of followers. To learn more about Susan, her projects and her events, visit her website online at the link below.

SusanPiver.com

Click The Image Below To Browse Susan Piver’s Books Available On Amazon.

Jeff Warren

Who is Jeff Warren?

Although possibly not yet a household name as far as meditation teachers go, Jeff Warren is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best (not that it’s a contest) meditation teachers I have ever stumbled across. As a Toronto local, Jeff first became renowned in his hometown as one of the leading meditation teachers province- and likely even, countrywide. Jeff is most well known for his books and workshops with Dan Harris, the rambunctious media personality and self-proclaimed “guy who had a nervous breakdown on national tv”. Dan and Jeff are the men behind the 10% Happier app and the Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics book. Dan remains the ambassador of the project, while Jeff teaches the mindfulness education portion of their curriculum. In addition to this project, Jeff is highly renowned for his Toronto based weekly meditation meetup known as The Consciousness Explorers Club. I’ve actually been a regular visitor of this group for the better part of the year, and have found it to be one of the most enjoyable communities I have ever meditated with. They are a welcoming group made up of a smorgasbord of different types of people coming together for one common cause, to calm and observe their mind through meditation. To learn more about Jeff visit his website below. 

JeffWarren.org

Click The Link Below To Check Out Jeff Warren’s Book In Partnership With Dan Harris: Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics.

Michael Beckwith

Who is Michael Beckwith?

Far from a traditional teacher, Michael Beckwith is a spiritual teacher for much more than the aspect of meditation. Although mindfulness and meditation are core elements of his lessons, Michael is a thought minister with more than 8,000 members in his congregation, known as the Agape International Spiritual Center, founded in Beverly Hills California. This man is renowned for his unique view on spirituality, religion, and mindset. His lessons encompass many of those from formal religious literature, with a mix of both new and ancient spirituality. Reviews of his ceremonies range from life-changing to enlightening. If you ever do have a chance to visit a congregation of his in person, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better so-called ‘church’ experience elsewhere. To learn more about Michael, visit his website below.

MichaelBeckwith.com

Click The Image Below To Browse Michael Beckwith‘s Most Popular Books.

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Renounce Everything & Access Your Intuitive Power With Augustto Javier

Renounce Everything & Access Your Intuitive Power With Augustto Javier

In this episode, I had an incredible conversation with my new and good friend Augustto Javier. Augustto is well known in both the mindfulness and movement community throughout Toronto for his work with Mindset Brain Gym where he has taught and hosted a wide range of meditation and community events. More recently he has launched an incredibly popular alcohol-free nightlife series in Toronto called Urban Mystics. It is both a community and a movement around the appreciation of connection and community through music, parties, and celebration, free from the compulsive need to drink copious amounts of alcohol. From what I have witnessed so far, these events are amazing and feature well-known music artists as well as performances, breathwork, meditation sessions and a whole host of activities and healthy offerings to replace the liquor. Over the next year, he will be hosting a wide range of retreats and events to definitely stay tuned on what he is doing. Follow him @creativegeneralists on Instagram to stay tuned on the updates.

I initially met Augustto at a weekend retreat north of Toronto in Muskoka, well known to be one of the most naturally beautiful places to relax in North America, and certainly the best available for most people in Ontario. At this retreat, we connected on a wide range of topics and I knew immediately that this episode was immediately and subtly in the works. This episode is the first in what I am sure will be many more to come. Most importantly, Augustto and I share a common passion for both mindfulness, meditation, as well as the mostly forgotten art of understanding of proper, healthy masculinity. Contrary to what many of us are told, this is an incredibly important topic in today’s world, especially for the youngest generation of men growing up in North America. Just as most women truly need that connection with their feminine side, men need the same, though we are often told this is not ok. We are taught that this desire for masculine purpose is ‘toxic’ in numerous ways, which in reality, is kilometers from the truth. Masculinity is inherently good. It is purposeful, supportive, all the while remaining strong and reliable. Masculinity in and of itself is not toxic or negative. Bad men in the past, have no place in defining what this means for the rest of us, and they won’t. Spirituality, meditation, mindfulness, self-awareness, connection, whatever you want to call it is not so farfetched as we seem to believe. It is well known and documented that nearly every society on earth before us as well as a massive portion of existing societies regard these practices as essential and purposeful. Coincidence is not real, there was and is a purpose and a reason and an understanding and a shared consciousness shared by these people. Just maybe, there is more going on in this world than meets the eye. Just maybe, these people know something more. Just maybe the ‘esoteric’ we like to perceive as a phenomenon are the ‘norm’, and we are the ones with something backward. Are we happy, are we connected? is life the way it ought to be? We have certainly proven that our modern lifestyle does contain all the answers to life’s questions and trivialities, so we have no place in shutting down the world of possible realities that just may exist on the other side of what meets the eye. This is especially true in a world where science has already proven that there are roughly 6 dimensions that as humans, we are unable to perceive. With this discovery as a central theme of our passion-filled fireside chat, Augustto dive into a set of our favorite topics. Cutting this episode down from 4 hours to 2 was incredibly difficult, but I think this one will be filled with all the juicy goodness any open-minded person can handle for now.

Enjoy the episode!

As a side note, Augustto and I will also be sharing a set of men’s mindfulness & community evenings in downtown Toronto in the months to come (which will depend on the length and timing of our current Quarantine situation). If you would like to stay tuned on when and where these will be happening, the best way to do so will be to subscribe to my newsletter where I will be sharing all of the updates around my business, events & content. These events will include lessons from incredible men from around the province, as well as great opportunities to hone your practice within a community of like-minded individuals.

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I Erased My Anxiety With Mindfulness: Here’s How

I Erased My Anxiety With Mindfulness: Here’s How

Although the current version of myself would hardly indicate such, I have always been one of those people who has discretely battled anxiety for most of my life. For years, it had a major say in the actions I took and held me back from my true potential in ways I certainly would have never realized until breaking free. In many ways, it was this struggle with anxiety that initially exposed me to the unique and incredibly helpful world of mindfulness and meditation. To some it all up, I was sick of allowing my anxiety to control how I felt, control how I acted and control what I was capable of. I knew there were people out there fighting their way free of this mental trap, and once I found them they led me exactly where I needed to go. Nearly each and every one of them was, and still are firm believers in mindfulness as a lifestyle practice, and, on my own timeline, I certainly learned why. Mindfulness and meditation have truly abolished 99% of my anxiety. Although there was more at play than simply inducting a few new practices into my daily routine, the contribution this approach has made for me is simply unmeasurable and what I want is to share my advice and my experience with others who may be going through the exact same thing. 

Although I personally have found a great deal of stillness and progress in this form of self-work, I will absolutely acknowledge the personal nature of the experience of anxiety. Each and every one of us experiences life in our own way. And thus, each and every one of us has our own way of approaching, combatting and overcoming our personal demons.

If I had to sum it up as briefly as possible, the practice of mindfulness boils down to a few key principles: 

  1. Listening to our thoughts and feelings objectively before reacting to them. This allows us to then respond accordingly, free from an emotional and irrational reaction.
  2. Working through our experiences, feelings, and thoughts. We do this so that we can bring more understanding into our lives, in the form of self-awareness, and external awareness. Awareness then brings understanding, intention, and possibilities.
  3. Acceptance of the present moment. The world simply is the way it is. In this practice, we can be present to what is so, accepting that the need for control is nothing more than a conscious choice to be anxious. Control will always be nothing more than an illusion.

When it comes to achieving these three concepts, there are a variety of methods available. We can engage in sport to find that flow state of pure presence to the moment. We can dive into contemplation with people around us to work through experiences and better understand our view of the world. For myself personally, I have explored many ways of achieving these three elements, including and not limited to meditation, journaling, running, extreme sports and group gatherings. I learned about each of my approaches through research, and have reviewed them based on experience. All in all, the combination I chose completely erased the vast majority of anxiety from my life, symptoms and all. Because of how effective these tools were for myself personally, I’ve shared the list of practices that were the most powerful for me in the next section of this article.

This is my list of the tools I have found to be the most impactful when enhancing and healing my mental health.

Meditation

This practice is first and foremost on my list of mindfulness techniques, and for good reason. Truly disciplined and regular meditation practice is a life-changing habit. Exercising the art of consciously observing our thoughts without allowing them to take a hold of our emotional, physical or rational response is powerful. It allows us to approach life from a solid, reliable and consistent emotional place. It allows us to respond before we react. And it allows us to strengthen our resilience to stress while we are at it. In more recent years, the science behind meditation has joined the argument behind it in a very convincing way. Meditation strengthens the grey matter within our brain, cuts stress dramatically and enhancing cognitive capabilities. Considering stress is among the largest contributors to disease as a whole, this is some pretty decisive evidence in favour of sitting for a vow of silence at least once a day. For myself personally, starting and ending my day with meditation has allowed me to virtually dissolve stress in my life and avoid letting my monkey mind take over throughout the day. Not to mention, it’d a pretty peaceful way to start your daily grind. The state I pick up in the morning tends to stick with me all day, and I certainly notice when I go without.

Journalling

So often in life, we collect thoughts, feelings, and emotions without truly understanding what they are, or what they mean to us. This is where a journalling practice makes its contributions. Journalling as an exercise of self-awareness allows us to process the information we would normally allow to collect in our minds. It provides an opportunity to cut through the clutter of our experience and comprehend our emotions, our dreams, and really anything else we want or need to give some thought. Throwing thoughts on a piece of paper has a surprising ability to place us gently back in alignment with who we are. For myself personally, journaling has helped me lay out how I feel about the moments I am experiencing. It has helped me to see the consistencies in the way I look at things, allowing me to layout my value system with precise accuracy. And of course, it has helped me stir some more intentionality into the actions and the thoughts I choose to embrace in my life. It really is pretty amazing what each and every one of us is capable of when we step away from the auto-pilot way of living we are so used to.

Affirmations

Contrary to what many people may understand about them, the vast majority of our human thoughts are nothing more than habitual. At some point in our life, we experienced something, and then something else, and then something else. At each of these experiences, we chose to think a certain way. By the third or fourth time, that way of thinking is part of our programming. It is part of our subconscious response. This is why negative thoughts grasp us before negative moments even occur. It may be a wild concept to anybody first hearing this, but we CAN choose our thoughts. We CAN consciously add new programming to our mind’s automatic response. How do we do this? Affirmations. Affirmations train your mind on what to think, what to believe, and what to create as a feeling on the default level. If we make a very conscious and very consistent effort to tell ourselves the things we want to feel, we will start to feel more of them. Practice telling yourself how much you love who you are. Practice telling yourself you are confident. Practice telling yourself you are capable. If you practice the way the affirmations feel, and you daily for 50-100 days, you will almost certainly and inarguably experience drastic changes in your thoughts. For myself personally, I read my affirmations every night, every morning and sometimes, even more often. I have completely revamped my way of thinking for the better and the results are obvious. The birthplace of action is thought. If you want more results from the outer world, you need to start by working on your inner world.

Taking Breaks

I know this element will not apply to everybody, but if you are anything like myself, this one will pay itself back in dividends. For anybody out there who struggles with the same thing as myself, I have a common tendency to get all caught up in what I produce. My self worth becomes indiscriminately intertwined with my ability to create results and progress. When I stop for a moment, I feel guilty. I fill my mind with all the possibilities I am missing out on creating. I fall into the trap of attaching my value to some external means of validation, and that kind of mindset is not helping anybody be less anxious in their lives. Taking breaks is a very important aspect of mindfulness, and particularly for the self-work necessary when overcoming anxiety. Just like our legs need some rest after running a marathon, our minds need time to unwind, regenerate and recuperate. Not only is this necessary on a hormonal level, but it is necessary on a thought level. A major part of general anxiety that keeps it alive and well, is our habit of feeding unhealthy thoughts. The goal here is to give ourselves a break from those and break the habit once in a while. A healthy body needs rest and so does a healthy mind. Practice bringing more balance into your life. Work and relaxation need to come together in some sort of equilibrium for us to be at our best, and each of us has our own unique threshold for this. Take some time to unwind, and most importantly be happy about it. You deserve some time off, and you can rest easy knowing you will be even better when you return.

Taking Ownership

In complete honesty, modern society is not as great for this as many of us may think. Here in North America, we really do live in an era where much of society teaches us to cast the responsibility for the circumstances of our lives elsewhere. Our agency for creation is truly our largest and most real tool. The only difference between us and self-made millionaires with thriving relationships is that they simply chose to be that way. If you want an outstanding life, you need to apply yourself, because the universe likely has no plan on tossing you a lottery ticket down the line. Much of what anxiety inherently is, is the fear for the future. The fear that we will not be able to be alright. The fear that we will be incapable of influencing the outcomes of our lives. When I was at the darkest and likely weakest point of my life, a lightbulb finally turned on in my mind. I realized that I would feel better about the future if I simply made the future better. I knew that creating a comfortable future would provide my mind at least some form of ease, and it did. It was at that moment that I began working on a brand new career for myself, and I haven’t turned back once. It is never easy at the beginning, but applying myself has helped me feel more confident in what I am capable of as an individual. It has helped me embrace the future, knowing that I can rely on who I am, that I will always step up to take care of myself. And it has helped me rest my mind better in the present, knowing that I am indeed living more comfortably than I was before. Discipline and accomplishment are perhaps two of the greatest mental skills we can have.

Expanding My Comfort Zone

As I mentioned in the last paragraph, a dominating aspect of anxiety is an inherent fear of the future, and fear for situations we are uncomfortable with. With this in consideration, there are few ways to slowly diminish anxiety than to simply expand what it is that we are comfortable with. For myself personally, this was easier said than done, and I eased my way into this process. During the initial stages, I rarely took large steps, but I did take them consistently. I shared more articles, I shared more feelings. I said hi to more people. I smiled at more people. I became more vulnerable to the people in my life. I tried new things. I went for the things I wanted. As one might expect, these habits eventually became normal, and they are certainly no longer as scary as they once were. Expanded comfort has created expanded opportunities, expanded my sense of calm, and has truly helped me see my world in terms of possibilities instead of limitations. I’ve since come to realize that discomfort is the answer to all true expansion. Seeking discomfort creates more comfort for us on a whole. It’s a simple but powerful philosophy that has changed the lives of many.

Simplifying My Life

Lastly, there is a hidden power in simplicity, especially when it comes to our mind. When our minds are full of clutter, they are inefficient, and they operate poorly. A scattered life and a scattered mind often come hand in hand. One powerful way to bring more ease to our mental experience of the world, it so simplifies our experience of the world. So often we fall victim to the belief that busy is better. This is far from the truth. Cutting back on my commitments, or at least managing them more simply had provided me with a truly significant amount of relief. I’ve become a scheduling pro and a minimalism expert. I’ve found that the fewer things I own, the fewer thoughts I need to think about them. The fewer thoughts I need to think about them, the more stillness I am able to experience. I am still a high producing individual, only now I do it strategically. I still enjoy nice things, only now I consume very consciously. Without managing the stimulation in our lives, the reality is that we simply become a product of our environment. De-stimulating and turning inward is powerful. 

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.

– Mary Hemingway

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness or meditation, consider subscribing to my newsletter. In doing so you will receive an ebook on journaling prompts, an ebook about how to start implementing mindfulness in your life and multiple full length guided meditations from renowned meditation coach Michelle Pound. I also have a podcast on Mindfulness which you can listen to on Itunes, Spotify, and all other platforms.

How To Bring Stillness To Your Life, And Why You Should

How To Bring Stillness To Your Life, And Why You Should

In a world that is constantly vying for our attention, that very thing has come to be our greatest resource. It’s what advertisers want. It’s what TV wants. It’s what our employers want. It’s what our friends, family, and partners want. While using this precious resource for good cause has a utility in and of itself, do we really want to give every last ounce of it away? How much is too much? How can we manage this outflow to make sure there is an equally abundant inflow to keep us vibrant, healthy and aligned? I’ve recently gone through a stage of complete overstimulation that forced me to step back and contemplate these very questions myself. My personal answer and suggestion, as shared by many others before me is simple: stillness.

What I would like to propose here, is that just maybe, the true answers to our problems often lie less in the act of doing and quite literally, in the doing of nothing at all. In stillness, we pause the inflow of information from the world, providing the opportunity to truly process the experience we are having. It allows for a moment of listening when we can hear what our intuition is telling us, to hear how we truly feel about the circumstances in our life. In more esoteric terms, it gives us a chance to be who we truly are, and see how our outer reality reflects this. In a world that bombards us with stimulation from all angles, contemplation, reflection, and true solitude are certainly more important than ever. Without these moments for nobody but ourselves, we are vulnerable to the world around us. We become a product of our environment, instead of a product of our intentions and dreams. We are indeed able to create whatever reality we decide upon in life, but only if we are in a frame of mind that is capable of doing so. This is the true power of inner stillness.

“That space between your ears—that’s yours. You don’t just have to control what gets in, you also have to control what goes on in there. You have to protect it from yourself, from your own thoughts. Not with sheer force, but rather with a kind of gentle, persistent sweeping. Be the librarian that says “Shhh!” to the rowdy kids, or tells the jerk on his phone to please take it outside. Because the mind is an important and sacred place. Keep it clean and clear.”  – Ryan Holiday, Stillness Is The Key

So, with all of these benefits and considerations in mind, how is it that we bring stillness into our lives? One thing to consider, is that there is no simple answer to this question. Each and every one of us will have our own means of experiencing the stillness that is uniquely our own. With a true intention of doing so, we can find the form of ‘pause’ that is right for each of us. This pause is whatever provides you with a moment of silence, while simultaneously giving you a chance to contemplate, reflect, and find clarity.

For those who may want a few more ideas on things they can do to bring more stillness into their lives, here are some of my favourite suggestions for anybody seeking a moment of silence for all the right reasons:

Journalling

Taking some alone time to journal is quite possibly the perfect example of stillness. In doing so, we give ourselves the opportunity to process our experiences through the written form. We can take account of the events of our life, journal through our desires, goals, and plans, or we can simply write for the pleasure of it. Sometimes, the whole point of this time is to simply be with ourselves, accepting whatever it is we are experiencing without resistance. I for one use journalling as a processing tool, often overlooking the power that lies in simply writing for the stillness of it. Sometimes an escape from all the processing is what we all really need to regain touch with our inner identity.

Meditation

Meditation is perhaps the ultimate act of stillness. This activity is in its very essence, the art of focus on the present, ignoring all the considerations and chatter of our nagging monkey mind. Taking time to unwind, focus within and experience the moment at play, is an activity and a practice with far-reaching benefits. Not only does this ritual provide clarity and stillness in the moment, but it also enhances the capacity of our mind to bring this state of mindfulness to all aspects of our lives. Long term meditators have an enhanced brain capacity for focus, calm and clear thinking that they bring to every interaction and challenge. It is literally a workout for the mind with the added benefit of providing a much-needed escape from the bombardment of external stimulation.

Exercise

Although movement, in general, can provide stillness in its own way, I believe there is nothing that can replace the power of exercise. Working out releases endorphins, hormones, and proteins that have the ability to enhance our ability to learn, while freeing our mind from anxiety and mental clutter. Not only does it keep our minds sharp and youthful, but it also keeps our bodies strong and fit. The inherent connection between mind and body is certainly undeniable, and a very real aspect of mental maintenance comes with physical exercise. Taking these moments to care for and connect with our body can provide our minds with a much-needed moment of pure presence. In this moment of exertion, our focus is internal, and can certainly be a valuable form of stillness.

Creation

Working on any form of self-expression that we are truly passionate about at our very core is an amazing form of stillness. For myself personally, I achieve are a rare state of flow when I am recording or editing a podcast, writing an article, or working on any form of personal creative project. As long as the creative activity is something I truly enjoy, I find myself able to completely detach from the external reality that surrounds me, focusing on the project at hand. This form of expression keeps us connected to who we are, what we enjoy and what we want for ourselves. At the very least, it is often quite meditative and helps us train our minds for creativity and self-expression in other areas of our lives as well. Find what makes you tick, and do more of that. This is what intuition truly means, and it really is quite simple.

Adventure

Get the heck out of your comfort zone. See new things, meet new people, and collect some new and unique experiences. Adventures are something that puts us in the moment, simply because we have to be. When our brains and bodies are absorbing newness, they are sharp, aware and they are like a sponge, forming new neural pathways with each passing event. For myself, this is one major reason why travel has become a passion, or moreover an addiction of mine. Adventures allow us to see how we feel about new things. They allow us to understand the automatic responses that come up in new situations, which we can then contemplate, going ever the more deep in thought and awareness. Stillness comes in many shapes and forms, and living in the true present moment without any form of judgment or comparison is certainly one of these forms. Give this a try and you just may be surprised what you learn about yourself when placed in a situation that is either new or intimidating. It is here where our comfort zone truly expands, and this where unattached experiences takes place.

Family & Friends

This may not be the case for everyone, but for myself, my people are very grounding. They remind me who I am, what I care about and that I can kick back, have some laughs and enjoy any moment. When I take a day off to truly reconnect with friends and family, I find myself charged up for life with a gusto I don’t find many other places. Taking these moments to simply be where I am, with whoever I am with, allows me to enjoy some of the purest presence I know, free from contemplation, planning or organizing. If you haven’t found your people yet, simply set this as an intention for your life. From this place, you can find opportunities that will connect you with them. You will know they are the right ones if they ground you the way my people ground me. Always cherish your family and your friends because those people and your relationships with them are what life is truly about. Aside from our interactions with others, we are basically just walking meat bodies hanging out on a giant rock.

Read A Book

There is truly no better way to utilize the mind while simultaneously giving it a very real break. Reading can inform us, relax us or simply provide a momentary state of detachment. In many ways, reading is quite a meditative practice. For one, it slows the stimulation we allow into our minds. When we read we are tightening this stimuli filter, focusing on the words we are reading instead of what our friend Natalie posted on her Instagram story, or the broken coffee machine at the office. A secondary benefit of this is that a physical book is a really great break from the digital realm. So much of what we do in modern life relies on phones, computers, and technology. There has never been a better time to turn off the phone and pick up a physical paperback book. Diving into a great story is an age-old way of bringing some stillness into a busy routine. Taking these moments for ourselves have, and always will be important.

Spend A Day Alone

This is the art of the “me day”. We live in a world that tells us in so many ways, how we need to be. That we need to be with a partner, that we need to be with friends, or that we need to be successful to be valuable. We are inherently valuable at any moment when we are simply being ourselves, and this requires neither rules, expectations or external validation. We spend so much time doing things with the expectations of others in mind that we often forget what our own value systems truly are. We lose touch with what our inner guidance system is telling us. Self-days are one way we can remind ourselves of what we want, what we like, how we want to live. The premise here is planning a day where we do exactly what we would do if nobody else had a say in the matter. This is an exercise in individuality, stillness, and intuition. Do what YOU want to do, and do what feels right.

Find Yourself Some Nature

This is perhaps the oldest form of stillness known to mankind as a whole. We came from nature, and we will always get back to nature. Get outside, get near some trees, some water or something green. Nature has a calming effect on the mind that is irreplaceable. As humans, we often forget our direct connection to the natural world around us. We are part of it, and it is part of us. We came from this land, and we are evolved to be at peace in its presence. If you live in a big city like myself, this may be moderately more difficult, but you will likely come to cherish your parks more than you ever have before. Touch the grass, touch the trees and absorb their beauty. Be chill, be calm, be still. Enjoy the soothing experience nature provides, and be grateful for every moment of it. If we don’t learn to appreciate it, this could very well one day be gone.

“What do we want more of in life? That’s the question. It’s not accomplishments. It’s not popularity. It’s moments when we feel like we are enough. More presence. More clarity. More insight. More truth. More stillness.”Ryan Holiday, Stillness Is The Key

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How To Start Meditating: A Beginners Guide

How To Start Meditating: A Beginners Guide

Meditation has recently entered the realm of going mainstream. In recent years, this ancient practice has begun to re-enter the spotlight, and for good reason. The proven benefits continue to pile onto a growing list. Following modern science’s newfound understanding of what exactly it is that meditation does for the mind, we are seeing high performers and truth-seekers alike diving into the practice with open arms. For myself personally, I have found incredible relief from stress and anxiety by simply adding meditation into my daily routine as a form of morning and sometimes afternoon ritual. I’ve come to see the practice as a form of mental hygiene that is not only a responsive cure for momentary stress but a proactive tool to enhance the minds ability to overcome or handle high-pressure situations at any given point in time. This ability has helped me remain level headed in my workplace, my relationships and my creative projects, and has helped me gain more clarity on my personal experience of the world.

“YOU SHOULD SIT IN MEDITATION FOR 20 MINUTES A DAY; UNLESS YOU’RE TOO BUSY, THEN YOU SHOULD SIT FOR AN HOUR.” — Old Zen Saying

Needless to say, meditation is a method of achieving a whole new level of calm and consciousness in any one person’s life. Both of which are qualities that allow us to function with more emotional and rational maturity in our professional lives, personal relationships and whatever other possibilities we choose to create in our world. Not to mention, the relief from anxiety and depression that comes along as part of the package. However, with all of this considered, how do you start meditating? And what can they expect while learning how? In this article, we are going to dive into what meditation is, how it is done, and some of the most common questions new meditators ask when first starting their practice.

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not necessarily the act of remaining thoughtless, it is the practice of honing one’s focus. In the process of taking undistracted time and moments throughout the day to focus in on the sensations of our body, the sensation of our breath or any desired emotions we would like to experience more of, we are actively sharpening our blade of focus. In taking time to hone in on the feelings and experiences that place us in the present, we are actively ignoring the endless chatter that is an inherent aspect of the human mind. Meditation is the simple practice of catching ourselves whenever we lose this focus, bringing our focus back to whatever our anchor of choice may be, whether we have selected the breath, the sensations of our body, or a subset of emotions. Even the most experienced meditators experience prevalent and constant moments of distraction. With time, you will see that focus is a skill, and meditation is one way to enhance this ability for the sake of all aspects of our lives. The belief that proper meditation involves having a perfectly clear mind is simply a myth. Dedicating a few moments to simply experience, acknowledge, and focus on the moment is all we need to bring more stillness into our life. 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I MEDITATE?

This is one of the most common questions asked by individuals when first starting meditation. I believe the following old zen quote says it best: “you should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day; unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour”. When it comes to routine, it took me a few years of meditating before I realized the true power of implementing one. Although meditation is powerful as a tool to alter your state in any given moment, it’s true power lies in daily practice. Daily practice strengthens the physiology of the mind, enhancing our ability to process information, remain resilient against stress, and think creatively. In Emily Fletcher’s book: Stress Less Accomplish More: Meditation For Extraordinary Performance, she outlines the scientific benefits of a meditation routine consisting of 15 minutes twice a day. As she puts it, by using 2% (30 minutes) of our day to meditate, we get much more out of all the remaining 98%. From my experience, this is absolutely true. Meditating daily has improved my sleep and therefore my energy, my work life, completely relieved my anxiety, and improved my relationships. The mental resilience it fosters through both practice and the creation of a new positive habit is truly priceless. Thoughts are indeed the building blocks of action, and they are most certainly another form of habit. In learning to control and improve them, we improve all areas of our lives. Just like brushing your teeth, meditation is hygiene for the mind.

WHAT IS THE SCIENCE BEHIND MEDITATION?

Though the age-old practice has been utilized for thousands of years, the real science behind meditation is only beginning to fully emerge alongside new learnings about the mind. The benefits of meditation have been proven time and time again, reasserting the need to bring this practice to the public sphere. The proven benefits include resiliency to stress, strengthened attention, improvements to mental health, enhanced quality of sleep, lengthening of the telomeres in DNA meaning a longer lifespan, improved productivity and multitasking, memory recall and emotional regulation & self-control. Put simply, meditation is a workout for your mind. In the same way, your muscles grow with weight training, mindfulness strengthens the cortical walls and grey matter of the brain. All of this serves to enhance cognitive resilience in a variety of ways. At the very least, we know the body functions optimally when it is free from stress. This is indeed the baseline for much of these added benefits.

HOW DO I START MEDITATING?

Starting meditation will initially feel quite strange, that is the truth. With time this feeling will almost certainly shift to a sense of enjoyment and relaxation. I would recommend downloading or listening to guided meditations on YouTube to begin. There are also several great meditation apps where you can access a wide variety of high quality guided sessions. For myself, I followed guided meditations between 10–25 minutes in length for the first year of my practice. By taking this approach, you are able to begin by simply focusing on the voice of the teacher, following directions as they come. These recordings generally guide you on breathing pattern, visualization of imagery, or acknowledgment of physical sensations within your body. Their voice becomes your anchor, and you can simply return to their words with each moment of distraction or thought. This process functions as an excellent foundation for eventually replacing the voice in a recording with your own anchor of choice once you are ready to amplify your practice. Relax your musculature, take a deep breath and focus on the moment at hand. The art of connecting yourself back to the present amidst wavering distractions is a skill and a process. This in and of itself is perhaps the most impactful lesson of meditation. There is, after all, nothing that exists outside of the eternal present moment. Being right here, and right now, is what life is all about. Instead of thinking, planning, and organizing about life, let’s meditate, and BE about life.

“THE THING ABOUT MEDITATION IS: YOU BECOME MORE AND MORE YOU” — David Lynch

In the highly stimulating world of modern-day society, mindfulness and meditation prime our mind for presence, happiness, and performance. In time, most longterm meditators rank their practice as one of the most important aspects of their day, and many would tell you openly that it has changed their life for the better. From enhanced mental processing to the simple state of peace and calm it allows us to operate within, meditation is sure to bring a sense of ease to anybody who is truly willing to give it a chance. For myself personally, meditation is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It has changed the way I approach challenges, the way I approach my relationships and it has changed my results in nearly everything I do. Rational thinking and reduced stress have brought stillness to my life and effectiveness in my actions. If you are new to meditating or are interested in giving it a shot, I recommend starting slow, with a routine that is right for you. As the old proverb says, it is the slow and the steady who win the race, and you will surely gain a lot of insights along the way.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy this episode of my podcast where I dive into how exactly to start meditating. I explain the common misconception about the practice, how it’s done, as well as a few of the benefits it has on both our bodies and brains.

Listen To My Podcast On Itunes Here

Listen To My Podcast On SoundCloud Here

Listen To My Podcast On Spotify Here

For those who prefer digesting content via the written word, please find the transcription of this podcast episode just below:

All righty. Thank you for tuning into this episode. My name is Sean Grabowski. This is The Mindful Steward podcast. I started a website called the mindful steward years ago, and it’s all about meditation and mindfulness, and I know a lot of you have probably already heard some of my other episodes, but I talk about meditation here and there. I ask a lot of my guests about it. A lot of them meditate. It’s something that I’ve been seeing more and more among just creatives and people who are really free thinking, especially through having the opportunity to interview a lot of them. But I have had this website for a long time and in all honesty, I haven’t been meditating for years, but it wasn’t until, I don’t know, maybe eight months ago when I set up a very serious routine of meditating daily, and I meditate every single morning. I meditate again at some point in the evening, often through the day. Generally I would say I meditate probably between 30 and 45 minutes a day. Sometimes if I really want to relax, I will meditate for an hour. It’s a really amazing way to start your day. If you spend a good half hour really slowing down your brain and just taking it all in, it kind of puts you in that state for the rest of the entire day. And you’d be surprised how powerful your mind is when it doesn’t react and it just can respond to everything accordingly. And just living with those characteristics has done amazing things for my life and it has completely rid me of anxiety. And uh, I’m hesitant to use the word depression, but you know, I used to have ups and downs that I really just don’t experience very much anymore at all. And that literally stopped when I started meditating every day doing this routine.

It started from a book I read from Emily Fletcher called Stress Less Accomplish More. And it was all about how meditation is a tool of high performers and why exactly that is. And she goes through a huge amount of household names of people who have openly said that they meditate every single day and they have a routine. And then she goes into the science of how it improves your mind. And it’s just absolutely mind blowing. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but meditation is exploding at the moment. Um, it’s one of the fastest growing Google terms along with mindfulness. And you know, I would say that that is because for the first time ever, our logical thinking society is receiving the opportunity to learn about the science behind all of these things. And it’s quite interesting to, to notice that this practice that is thousands of years old has a very scientific benefit. Because clearly, way back in the day when these ancient societies were doing this, unless they were scientifically advanced and actually could measure these things in the brain, you know, there’s a lot of speculation around that conversation these days. But unless that was the case, then they probably just intuitively figured this out on their own where they meditated and were just so in tune with their bodies and their minds that they could see and they could experience the benefits and just recognize, Oh, this is a good thing and we should do more of this. Um, you know, there’s a lot of even thought that the modern interpretation of what prayer is is actually another form of meditation. And anyways, before I get too far off topic, I just want to talk about a very basic thing here and just put out a quick little episode about how to meditate. Because I think that a lot of the interpretation of what meditation is by most people I talk to haven’t read it or aren’t actively practicing it or have been taught it is very misleading. And I can understand why because from an outsider’s perspective, you get the impression that meditation is totally clearing your mind. And if you’re not doing that, then you’re not doing it right. And that is just actually not the case. There are expert meditators and they don’t have clear minds when they meditate and they will say this, and these are monks who have been doing this for 10 years straight in a monastery somewhere. And that is just the reality. The whole process of meditation is just accepting that you’re a human being and thoughts are going to come and go. But it’s kind of a practice of just allowing those thoughts to happen and not letting them mean anything. So, what most people do, especially the beginner meditators, which is almost everyone, including myself, you know, it takes years to become advanced, but meditation is just the art of focus. And it does not mean that you are doing it incorrectly. When you lose focus, it’s just the art of catching yourself and bringing yourself back to focus. And we do that by choosing an anchor. Many people choose the breath as the anchor, so it’s not just that you’re breathing, it’s either that you’re doing circular motions of breath, where it’s five seconds in, five seconds out, and you’re focusing on that count. And every time you lose focus on that count, you just say, Oh, I’m thinking again. And then you go back. You just label the thinking immediately and then you go back to the breath. What I like to do is think about the sensations of the breath, what the air feels like going through my nostrils, what my chest feels like going up and down. And there are many different ways that you can emphasize this focus. A lot of people do sensory, just sensations of the body where they will think about the sensations on the bottom of their feet, on the soles, on the, on the tops of their feet and their big toe, on their ankle, the calf, the thigh, their hips, what it feels like sitting down, what does the, whatever they’re sitting down on feel like. And they’ll just go through their body.

Focusing on the sensations, and this seems quite small, but in focusing on something such as this, you’re actively not focusing on the chatter in the back of your mind. And we live in such an overstimulating society that most of the things that we utilize are designed with psychology in mind to catch your attention and stimulate your brain and have reward loops, even checking your emails, checking Facebook notifications. Most technology in general is doing this and it almost creates a habit of needing stimulation. It also creates a habit of always listening to the chatter in the back of your mind because the chatter is what’s telling you, Oh, do this. Oh am I worried that person’s not going to message me back? Oh, am I worried I’m going to get fired at work? Whatever it is. In those times, what we are doing is we are listening to the chatter in our brain instead of listening to the decisions and listening to our intentions for what we want that day to be. So thoughts are habits. Bad thoughts are habits too. That’s where affirmations come in. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them. It’s where you wake up in the morning, you say the positive things that you want to feel, even if you don’t feel them. It’s part of reprogramming your thoughts, but I’m not going to go too much into that. That could have a whole separate episode on its own and I will probably do a separate episode about NLP, neuro linguistic programming, but essentially in training our minds to meditate and just focus on the present and just ignore something that we don’t want to be paying attention to, allows us to take those abilities into all other areas of our life and, sure, it just becomes a habit of thought where when you’re at work, you have a problem to solve. It just becomes what’s so. You become very profoundly related to reality instead of profoundly related to the thoughts in the back of your mind and the worries and that is powerful. That’s super, super powerful. That’s why people like Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, huge names have said that the foundation of their career success is meditation and you know everyone has their different practices. I’m not saying that this is for everyone, but I’m saying this works for me, works for a lot of people. It’s scientifically proven to thicken the gray matter in your brain, to allow your brain to be more plastic and create pathways quicker. There’s a reason it’s exploding right now and it’s because the science is very, very real. So that is a very simple guideline of meditation. You know, it’s about taking a few minutes, practicing the focus and getting on with your day and it just is what it is and it isn’t. What is it? If you have a really distracted meditation that day, that is just what happened. It just is what it is, and then maybe the next day you’ll have a different one, but in time you become better at this, you become better at focusing, you become better at ignoring mental chatter and that is where the true power of all of this lies. So thank you for tuning in. While we are on topic, I have free guided meditations on my website. I have a couple of little eBooks about journaling and mindfulness. The guided meditations are actually led by my friend Michelle Point who I have an episode with, she’s a premier executive coach and meditation teacher and they’re recorded by my friend Max who I have an episode with who is a professional music producer. Um, so they’re pretty awesome and they’re free. If you want to sign up for the newsletter, I’m not going to spam anyone, I’m just going to send out meditation resources. I’m just trying to grow a cool community where I can share the information about all of this as the industry continues to explode. So that is this entire rant of mine. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you do share your thoughts about this episode somewhere. If you have any ratings, help me get this podcast in front of more people, so please do rate it. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day.

Jordan Candlish On Morning Routines, Spiritual Resilience And The Benefits Of Meditative Practice

Jordan Candlish On Morning Routines, Spiritual Resilience And The Benefits Of Meditative Practice

Jordan Candlish is a mindfulness ambassador, life success & fulfillment coach and honestly just a really interesting guy to have a conversation with. I met Jordan at Mindset Braingym, one of Canada’s premier meditation studios where he works to teach corporations, individuals and groups the science and the practice of meditation. As the scientific benefits of meditation continue to rise to the surface more and more, the need for, and benefit of this sort of practice is sliding further into the realm of the mainstream. Although originally from Perth, Australia, Jordan has made a name for himself among the mindfulness and mediation communities of Toronto Ontario through the wide range of events, speeches, and gatherings he is a part of organizing. Originally working as a corporate accountant for global management consultancy Deloitte, Jordan has since parted ways with the rigidity of the corporate ecosystem in search of something a little more fulfilling. Of course, this is a personal choice, and each and every one of us defines it differently. In his coaching business, Jordan helps young professionals find purpose and meaning in order to bring fulfillment into their own lives. Whether this means changing careers or starting a new initiative at work, he helps them find out what that truly means to them. In this episode, Jordan and I discuss the importance of a great morning routine along with the benefits we both have experienced in doing so. We also explain some of the science behind why meditation is good for the human mind. Dive in and learn how spiritual resiliency can help you create the life of your dreams.

Listen On iTunes Here.

Learn more about Jordan by visiting his website at State-Shifters.com

Visit Jordan on Instagram @stateshifters

Read the transcript of my podcast with Jordan below:

Sean Grabowski:

Hello everyone. Thanks for tuning into this new episode of the mindful steward podcast. So I just finished recording a new episode with my friend Jordan Candlish. I recently met him at mindset brain gym, which is a new meditation studio here in Toronto. They’re doing some really cool things, probably one of the leading basically industry leaders in Canada as far as meditation goes. I would definitely recommend checking them out if you are in the GTA. But he is a coach. He has a podcast of a zone and quite a great Instagram profile where he shares a lot of different insights. You can follow him there or on LinkedIn. I think he’s probably on every platform. But despite the fact that he is Australian, he has become quite a large mindfulness ambassador here in the GTA and Toronto. So he runs a lot of retreats. He’s very involved with planning corporate meditation gigs for the meditation studio and just overall he’s quite well read and you know, has a lot of good insight into how to live a healthy lifestyle in terms of both mind and body. So I’ve been wanting to record an episode with him quite a lot for quite a long time. I think him and I are on very similar wavelengths in terms of the kinds of content we like to put out there and the things that we like to learn about and dive into as topics. And I’m honestly really happy about how the episode turned out. I think it’s a pretty great privilege to be able to have these conversations with other men as kind of the masculine realm becomes more and more open to discussing these topics. So before I talk for too long here, I’m just going to remind everyone I have some really awesome guided meditations I’m about to send out to my newsletter or sorry, to my list of everyone who is subscribing. So I recorded those professionally with Michelle Pound. She’s a meditation coach who I’ve had a previous episode with as well. If you are someone who likes meditation or guided meditations, those are going to be top notch. So feel free to subscribe to get your hands on those as soon as I send them out. All right. Without further ado, I will get this episode started. Thank you for tuning in.

Sean Grabowski:

For me that is one that comes and goes in waves. Like sometimes I’m so productive and I can just bang out so many things for a few months. And then it’s also priorities. Like sometimes my priorities change and they come and go. This isn’t really my job. So that is a huge factor. You sometimes things in my professional life or.

Jordan Candlish:

it’s going to take a pretty sense isn’t it?

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. Or my, my personal life kind of they beat out creative projects essentially, which like obviously makes perfect sense. Totally man. Yeah.

Jordan Candlish:

It’s cool to have this little song and this side hustle. It’s a passion project man. Oh yeah. Cool.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah man, this is like honestly, as much as it’s just been a fun project for me up until recently where I’m, I guess now I’m kind of getting freelance leads through it, like, like bleeds benefits or the benefits of this side project are very apparent to my life. He stays. So it’s becoming more of that kind of a, I think that’s contributing to my life. But yeah, like just practicing conversations I feel like has helped me so much. When I first got to that job that I’m at right now, I wasn’t doing the podcast thing and I would end up in conversations with, you know, I don’t have like a super intense job, but I’m a marketing manager for, I’ve got an agency managing clients and their accounts. So I would go in there and I’d be dealing with like 50 year old marketing executives in insurance companies like big dogs who are making big money and they walk in, they’re wearing like a sick suit and I’m wearing a plaid button up. But, and I didn’t know like how to converse with them super well and this is like helped me so much.

Jordan Candlish:

Likewise. Yeah, likewise. Just questions, how to ask good questions. Yeah, exact same man. So podcasting is definitely, it’s, I would say anyone, everyone should do it. Theres no reason not to, get on the podcasting game. It gives you an interviewing skills is like every single time you meet someone your thank you, you can interview them, get knowledge from this is one question along, lock the answers you need. Like.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. So having good conversations that really connect you with people. It’s like a skill. It’s a huge skill and it will help you in every area of your life.

Jordan Candlish:

That’s it. Yeah. So right now we’re going to get a tremendous amount of value out of this because I can understand you learn from you. You get to learn from me and my journey. It’s like it makes sense man. Doors open up when you just saw having these conversations with people.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. Big time man. Yeah. Respective. Cool. Well I’m might go a little closer to the mic if you want. [inaudible] How’s that? Is that good? Oh yeah, that’s perfect. Sick. All right, so I guess I’ll introduce you now. I’m going to probably keep that whole part in there. I like to just keep it flowing. But yeah, I mean I met you just a couple months ago. I can’t remember what class I was getting out of, but I think it was a whim, Hoff breathwork class at mindset brain gym, which if anybody who listens, who’s listening to this hasn’t really checked it out. That place is awesome. I really enjoyed it. Lot of cool classes, but I came out of there and I wasn’t really talking to you, but I heard you kind of in a discussion with another guy and you brought up microdosing and I was like, that’s when I kind of interjected. I was like, great, I can get in on the conversation. Yeah. I’m like, that is such a fascinating topic to me. And I’m obviously like I do microdose and it has made me so much sharper in a lot of different, you know, scenarios. So I love that conversation. I think that’s the next wave of, you know, how marijuana just became legal in Canada and that is the next wave. But yeah, and then, I mean, I haven’t really had a chance to actually connect with you until just recently, but I think we have a lot of different topics. Like that we are very, you know, contemplate of guys and a lot of things in common in that area. So there’s a lot of things that, we could probably, I bet we could record, we could have recorded a podcast like just outside when we’re kind of chatting and catching up and we could probably do like hours of this. But yeah, I think there’s a few things that you have a lot to talk about and they kind of define what you’re doing for work right now and you know, what you’re doing here in Canada as an Australian and, Yeah. So I guess I’ll let you kind of introduce yourself and however you want to describe what you’re up to now, but definitely your story. If you want to talk about that and kind of fill us all in, I’m kind of how you ended up where you are today.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah, for sure. Man, thanks so much for having me on your podcast. It’s an absolute privilege and an honor. So, yeah, again, very grateful. This is awesome to be in your space and sharing a great conversation. So thank you. But yeah, my story basically began probably about three years ago. I’d just come back from my last semester, which I studied abroad here in Canada, which is sort of how I’ve wound up back here. I finished my business degree here in Canada and I met my girlfriend at the time. So I studied accounting and finance at school and after I completed my last semester abroad here, I had my graduate job already set up. So I basically already knew I had a job and I came home and you know, basically went straight into full time work coming off the back of this amazing experience traveling through North America and just meeting amazing people. Then went into my first year, I was a tech graduate tax accountant at Deloitte, one of the largest financial service firms in the world. And it was not long into that kind of period of starting full time work where I started to question things, I just felt very disconnected from the work that I was doing and what my passions were outside of work. And for me it was just this nagging feeling of like emptiness and just feeling like I had more to give. At the end of my day, I would come home just really drained and empty and I was like, this can’t be it man. Like I have some, there’s more in me that needs to come out. Like this isn’t, there’s something not right here. And I remember speaking, looking around at the people around me and thinking, is anyone else feeling like this as well? Like chatting to the grads in my group and people were feeling the same that I was the one that just, I couldn’t accept it. And that was one day I remember that like something just like instead of complaining about it instead of just like settling this like mediocre life, I was like, I got to figure out how to find happiness and fulfillment because I could not like picture my life staying like that. You know, I looked at the partners and the people above me and I didn’t look at it. They didn’t look that happy. It was pretty stressed out. They were working crazy hours. So I, that’s where I began. I started listening to podcasts. Now I started the Tim Ferriss podcast and literally just went back to fucking number one and went all the way through his podcasts leads and more. And as you know, Tim Ferriss brings on lots of different guests, high performance from why different range of fields. And I began just like dissecting and applying all the different things that these people were saying because they were successful. They seem to be fulfilled. And I admire the impact that we’re having. So while I was working and doing these mundane jobs, I was one headphone in fucking podcasts, three podcasts a day, and just applying this stuff again, waking up early, began to meditating, began doing yoga, began journaling, started a website and a blog where I started sharing everything I was going through. And as, as things progressed, my energy started to change. As these new habits came into my life, I started to become a different person, right? And it was really when I discovered Eckhart Tolle and a lot of these Wayne Dyer and a lot of these spiritual leaders were, and I realized that nothing external from me had to change for me to be able to cultivate happiness, fulfillment and joy in the present moment. And you know, I connected with the present moment. I started to generate these elevated emotional States, you know, through spending time in nature, becoming grateful for things. I did have trading expectation for appreciation. I was in a totally different energy state man and I would show up to work, just happy, just, just happy to be there, happy to be alive. And people started picking up on that and my life really just like completely shifted. And because I was living by this stuff, like I was just listening to Eckhart Tolle on the way to work and just felt so peaceful and just like I had a very joyful place because I was connected with my heart. And then he almost was almost there for two years and I knew the time was right because I already knew I was just like content. And happy and I knew I wanted to take that leap of faith and get out of my comfort zone and follow this passion that I had for just sharing this with the world, man, sharing, helping people connect with that place, that authentic place within them where they are, then you can create a life based upon that and so many people were disconnected from that. And that’s my mission is to help people rediscover that true authentic place in your heart that is waiting to be found. And then you create your dream life from that. It’s not created from the head thinking you need to fucking earn money to keep other people happy or to acquire something. And then it’s brought me back out to Canada and that’s sort of where I’ve worked here for almost two years at a healing clinic for the first 12 months where I was learning about different healing modalities. Frequency, technology and cool. How people can self heal. And that was for the first 12 months. And then the, then obviously I went across the mindset brain gym where I helped them out with a corporate stuff and I teach meditation there and it’s just been a wild journey man. Now I coach and help people on the side as well who are looking to find that lack of, I just said find that calling, find that spark and unlock the greatness within them. So that’s sort of the, the long, long slash short story today to get me here.

Sean Grabowski:

Perfect. Oh man, you worded that so well. Yeah. That’s funny that you got into Tim Ferriss and Eckhart Tolle. Yeah. Were those the first two Creators that you got into?

Jordan Candlish:

Oh man there were so many like Tim was definitely the first podcast that I sunk my teeth into. And then through like Lewis Howes, who also brings on a lot of guests I love, I loved just hearing about the way other successful people live their life and applying the things that they said they did. And over time I really just like Gathered all these different practices and tools and I just noticed the correlations, like they all meditated, they all got up early, they all had like a solid morning routine. They all ate healthy food. Like I started biohacking, so I was reading Dave Asprey and the Bulletproof diet and you know, the Bulletproof podcast I, that was another one I went all in on and really by a half my body so that I was like optimizing my energy. So like optimizing my sleep up the ways it minds in the way I exercised the fruit. Like I started eating ketones, so high fat foods where I was like, my mind started thriving because I was doing intermittent fasting and having Bulletproof coffee in the mornings. I was just like, shit, lighting up with energy and I just had so much to give because of that. And yeah, it all just combined and yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

That’s awesome man. Well I was going to say like, it’s so true that it all starts in nutrition. You know, I do have a lot of friends who, it’s kind of interesting when you start creating this content, people do come to you with questions a lot more. Yeah. That’s a phenomenon that’s been happening to me quite a bit more ever since I created this podcast. So maybe about a year now. Yeah, but that’s always the first step. It’s just so obvious like your mindset. We’re all just, you know, our bodies are totally fueled by what we’re putting in it. But yeah. To go back to like the Tim Ferriss stuff that you were talking about or just kind of the content creators, you were crushing basically. It’s so interesting with those kinds of people because I got really into that too. For me it was Eckert Tolle. The power of now, I read that book really randomly. I just kind of came across it. It was a highly rated book. I read it and that really opened my mind. And that was right at the point when I had just finished university and I was in the middle of a bank job. Kind of similar to your story.

Jordan Candlish:

Did someone gift it to you or did you just feel, feel an inclination to pick it up?

Sean Grabowski:

Totally an inclination. I think we’ll realistic, you know…

Jordan Candlish:

In a book store like would you just like pick it up?

Sean Grabowski:

No, no actually my aunt bought me a Cobo and she gave me a gift card with it to buy a couple books too. And I was just cruising the bookstore and I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that I hated my job, you know? So I would wake up every day and be, been stoked about what I was about to do.

Sean Grabowski:

So one day, one evening, I’m just cruising through books and this book about finding more purpose and understanding and you know, just connecting to that, those kinds of meanings and your life pops up and obviously they caught my attention for a reason. That was kind of my intro to all of this content. But those people on Tim Ferris, like they are crushing it. You know, they are like CEOs and big dogs, but they are totally fulfilled. You know, there’s, it’s like something different about them from the typical definition of success. Yeah. Like success. We were having this discussion outside. But yeah, I mean there’s so many different angles you can kind of look at it from. But I had a pretty similar journey to you. I’ve talked about on so many other episodes that I’m not gonna like dive into the whole thing. I’ll just fill you in after. But like for me it’s a little bit different where I think I, basically I grew up doing quite well as a snowboarder in high school. I grew up right beside a ski Hill was totally engulfed in that world of like competing. And in that world you meet a lot of people who are already kind of alternative thinkers. There are people who don’t really listen to the status quo of what society kind of tells you what to do. And then I went to university and then I got a bank job. So I kind of did it the other way around where I was living in this world where it’s just people following their passion, following their purpose every day. Every ounce of energy in their mind goes towards that, you know? And I was totally like that. I couldn’t even describe how obsessed I was and then I want to do a bank job and I kind of realized very quick like, this is not going to work for me. You know, I’ve already experienced this like really cool form of connection where I’m, my life revolves around something that I absolutely love and I kind of realized like, I need that I need to create a life where that’s what it’s all about, even though it’s not going to be snowboarding anymore. I did tear my ACL and it kind of, the whole snowboarding thing changed. Yeah. But yeah. Mmm. Yeah. That was really my, for me it was that approach and this is, I feel like this is something that I’ve described for a while just based on your reaction. I told you outside, this is like something I want to share on the podcast, but yeah. So after that time I took a few years for myself to really just have fun and travel and kind of experiment with writing and just doing my own thing. And then I had a quite a slow start to my career. I think I’ve made up for lost time quite well, but Mmm. You know, a lot of people see me as though I kind of spent most of my twenties just having fun. Yeah. And especially my parents and my parents are super loving, but as any parent would, you know, they want the best for you, so they would, they’re always going to wish that you might even more or whatnot. But oftentimes, you know, like I’m a 28 year old guy, so a lot of my friends who went right into their career right after university stuck with it. They’re doing quite well. They have homes, they have some of them have a lot of things going on. And I catch my parents kind of comparing me to them once in awhile. I think they’ve stopped really since they see what I’m doing nowadays. But yeah, and my response has always been that, you know, sure I like took a few years for myself, but the way I look at it, I’ve just dodged a midlife crisis because I’ve guaranteed that I’m going in the right path right from the start and I’ve guaranteed that I have the right way of looking at all of these, these aspects of my life so that I’m always going to be content with them. You know? And I think that’s just a huge thing for me is like you mentioned nonconformity earlier when we were chatting and I think that’s a huge thing is yeah, especially in Toronto where, where we live right now. Like there’s a lot of just the flow of how people live their life. It’s like you finish school, you got a job, you do this, you do that.

Jordan Candlish:

I’ve noticed that firsthand coming out here as someone who’s not from Canada, you know, come out to Toronto and, clearly the path here, everyone, you know, you could, you could rewind everything back to values. Like, what do you value in life and that really dictates the type of life you have and that really determines your metrics of success out here. Everyone values education. So everyone goes to school and I and I now it’s like, it’s just normal. I was like, Oh I’ve got a degree in this and this and this and then everyone’s just working at bars. I’m not actually doing anything with it. So it’s like, okay, so like why, like why are you going to school to get an education? Like are you just doing it because that’s what you’ve been told. That’s what it seems like parents. Just that the parents value education so the kids think they have to go to school cause it’s just better even question it. And like to me like to me that doesn’t make any sense to me because like why would you go to school and spend all this money on something that you don’t even use? Like, shouldn’t you, like, shouldn’t you value figuring out what makes you unique so that when you do go out and start doing like going to school or start learning a skill, do you know why you’re doing it? Most people don’t even know why they’re doing stuff, man. Oh yeah. You know what I mean? Like go to work. Yeah. They don’t even know like what makes them happy. They think it’s money that makes it happy. It’s not money. Yeah. Oh yes. The feeling that you get when you buy something or it’s the feeling that you get when you are on a holiday, but like you don’t actually need the holiday or the fucking car or something to feel those feelings. You actually have access to them all the time. I close my eyes and do my meditation practice and I cultivate those feelings. So I cultivate the feelings of gratitude, love, joy, appreciation, and these are things that we’re all chasing, but we actually have access to them already. So the way I see life is like the minute you flip the game of life on its head and you live from the inside out. Instead of going from the outside in and thinking, I need to off in this and forget This, acquire that, become this, you can put, you realize that your happiness is within you and realizing that you can literally go anywhere and do anything because you’re tapped in, you’re tapped into your happiness, tapped into fulfillment. It was such a powerful realization for me, man. And then that was like, I ended my speech, I just did a speech a couple of weeks ago. I ended the speech with a quote and it said, “there’s no way to go and there’s nothing to do. Realizing this, we can go anywhere and do anything”. And to me that was the essence of what I realized what I was at my corporate job. I was like, right, I’ve got access to the happiness and fulfillment, joy, love. It’s in me. There’s nowhere to go. Like it’s all right here right now. This is it. There’s nothing to do. There’s nowhere to go. You’ve got it all within you. You are enlightened, enlightenment is now. There’s nothing to be achieved, nothing to do, nothing to get you realize that you go, wow, now I can fucking do anything.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh man.

Jordan Candlish:

You know what I mean?

Sean Grabowski:

I love that. Yeah, that makes me think of something. I was a, I have a lot of friends who live in Vancouver probably because of growing up in the snowboard kind of world. A lot of people end up out there in the mountains. Yeah. But I was out there visiting them and no being out there just for me in all honesty, I was going to move to Vancouver before I moved to Toronto and I don’t regret this, but I had a lot of friends at the time in Vancouver because my goal, was really to get my career established and I like to enjoy my life and you know, do things that are more connected to who I actually feel that I am. Then moving to a city just for the purpose of a career. But I did that and I don’t really regret it now, but I had a lot of friends when I was going to move to Vancouver who were kind of telling me, Hey, you know, it’s really hard to get started here. I’m moving back to Ontario to get started in Toronto. Yeah. and I, and that was something that scared me from going there and I moved here. And I think I really forgot that that was where I wanted to be. And I went out there and everyone had that mentality, that mentality that you’re kind of just describing. All my friends out there, you know, they are living their lives. They’re like so passionate about every minute they get home from work, they’re all stoked to go mountain biking with their dog. And then they’re all stoked because they’re going surfing the next weekend and camping. And that’s what their life revolves around. And I felt so much more at home there than I do here. In all honesty, I still want to be out there. I’m kind of scheming my escape. I don’t, I don’t know. Like, I do love Toronto and I’m, I’m not going to leave on a whim. I’m going to absorb it all. But they, they kind of had that mentality as well. And I remember my one buddy who I was staying with just saying, why is that? What, where is everyone rushing to? Oh, he literally said that and I just kind of there and pondered. I was like, where am I rushing to man?

Jordan Candlish:

It’s the lesson, dude. I haven’t moved out so I’m going to first go here. These are the lessons that I’m like really trying to figure out and learn and while I’ve been hearing in Toronto is this like mentality of like this everything so fast paced, everything needs to get done quickly. Everyone’s like, get to the next thing, do the next thing. You get swept up in it and you missed. Yeah. We, you miss the essence of like life, which is just to appreciate this moment. There isn’t like, there’s no future moment that’s going to give you any more fulfillment than what you already have. You know what I mean? Yet, but we rushing around. And when you do that, which I’m noticing myself is you miss, you miss these beautiful things and the simplest stuff like a tree are you seeing in the park and just like slowing down. I was, I found it really difficult to just sit down and have a read because it’s like I can’t remember the last fucking time and read a book. Like I think I don’t have the time to read a book, but like in reality like if you don’t have time to sit down and read for 10 minutes, like you don’t have a life.

Sean Grabowski:

Seriously. Yeah dude, you saw that bookshelf or it’s like right beside you. I’ve read all those books probably in the last four years. I’ve been in Toronto for 14 months. I’ve read half a book since I moved here. I crush audio books cause I’m zipping around.

Jordan Candlish:

Same dude.

Sean Grabowski:

But if it’s not the same like you don’t detach and really slow down and absorb it and take it in.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah, yeah. Damn relo. Yeah, it’s, it’s whack. It’s whack. Paint the city feeling that. Cause I, I just went through books like crazy back in Australia cause everything’s slowed down. There’s more nature I was more connected to. Yeah. It’s just that inner stillness that I didn’t feel like I was rushing. That was my rush. Everyone’s kind of, it’s a collective energy as well, you know, when you’re in a big city ever on.

Sean Grabowski:

Yes. Swept up in that. So.

Jordan Candlish:

Absolutely. And it’s good at times, you know.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. But you know what, I’m just kind of thinking about this right now, but I think if you can cultivate that mindset and that kind of presence through mindfulness and the work that you’re doing here, which I have similar routines to that too. You know, I wake up and meditate every day. Mmm. Those things have been massive for me. Like I will ask you about your routine and stuff. I want to save that for a bit later. But yeah, like if you can do that here, you can do that anywhere. I think [inaudible] which is almost like a good lesson, it’s like this is like your mastery being a craft. You’re here where it’s actually hard.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah bro it’s a lot like a spiritual warrior in there, like hate of the storm in the eye of the storm. Can you maintain that connectedness? Can you still say grounded incented? And this is the eye of the storm. Like there’s distractions everywhere. Like you having your attention being pulled around everywhere. The ones who can master the OD, like staying true to themselves and in a city that’s full of distractions, you’re trying to be pulled in different directions. That’s a spiritual warrior in my opinion. It’s a Daily daily practice. It’s daily practice. And then I, I believe it takes advanced advanced spiritual practices, whereas back home I was just like, fuck yoga on the beach, connected home suite, back up in alignment here. It’s like, you know, I’m like doing fucking breath work. I’m doing all kinds of different stuff to just find ways of just like switching off of mind. Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

And I mean, that’s a thing. It’s not only that you have more escapes there, it’s like you only have so much brain power in a given day. Mm. I think you can cultivate more. There were a lot of different ways through like elevating your energy through diet and biohacking. That’s obviously completely real, but okay. Like you don’t want to, how do I word this? Don’t want to… I mean it’s just hard to kind of step your sub step aside and like pull yourself together to kind of counteract eight hours of intensity with a little hour of relaxation. Yeah, right, right. It’s quite an art form and it’s in itself.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah. If you, if everyone’s driven to like it’s create, everyone’s creating things here, which is dope, which is why I love the vibe of Toronto. I love the vibe of big cities. It’s like things are happening quickly. They’ve been created quickly. Businesses, ideas. Like if you have an idea, like you can find the right people to bring the ideas like pretty damn quick. So if you can start to refine that creation process where you fine tuned your energy so that you can bring an idea of up there into your physical reality super fast. Like to me that’s, yeah, that’s pretty damn cool. That’s where lights, where businesses are growing and expanding really quickly when they’re around people who have tuned their energy to the point where it’s like they’re, they’re productive, they’re effective at what they do. It gets, it gets toxic or dysfunctional when it’s like people are making a lot of money in a job they don’t enjoy. So all that money gets dumped into alcohol and you know, entertainment, drugs, you know, like just media, like, escapes. Which is also what this city’s built off. Oh, I see. I go into bars, man. This just, the news is on all the time in Australia. It’s not like that bro. We go into bars and it’s, there’s no TVs. It’s like you sit down and have beer and you have a chat. Here’s how I come to a bond. Like fucking distracted by all this. Like the music so loud, the so many TVs with the news on or like sports, all distractions. Yeah. Would keep you just brainwashed and sucked into the like the programming. So it’s like, yeah, it’s, it’s a fine balance. You can see two sides to it. Like, I love the idea of like things being created quickly and being around like minded people. But at the same time there’s a lot of people who are just unhappy and then they’re just swept up in this like collective unconsciousness that’s just being fed by media, distractions, sports, everything.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh definitely. I agree. I really love Toronto in particular. It’s the biggest city I’ve ever lived in, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to. But yeah, because people think big here. You know, I’m from a fairly small city and people don’t think big and I have a fe friends who definitely are doing some pretty cool things. I spend a lot of time with them because, I’ve just become good friends with them cause I think we’re on the same wavelength. But yeah, it’s also just that you want to keep people around you who influence you in positive ways. So those people are really good influences on my life. But coming here I felt so free. You can always like just chatting with you. Like, we’re just connecting, you’re talking about some cool projects that you’re kind of visualizing. And I have friends who are starting apps and friends who are, you know, I met a guy who, who owns this giant app as well the other day. Like this stuff isn’t everyday occurrence in this city, which is so cool. It’s awesome. I love it. Yeah. Yeah, I get that as well. And so we have the same for me from Perth Western Australia like a small city. It’s like you don’t, you know, you don’t cross paths with like people who are like, have these grandiose ideas. I guess it’s dope. I like that. Yeah. Yeah. It’s quite cool. But I mean, at the same time it’s so easy to get sucked in. Mmm. One thing that I was talking about on, I recorded a little episode just a couple of nights ago and posted it. The second solo episode I’ve ever posted just kind of felt like it. Yeah. But yeah, just about overstimulation. It’s a topic I really love. Discussing, and you know, I’m super into psychology so it’s not just the kind of practices of how you can step out of that yourself. But the psychology of what’s actually going on inside your brain physically and being overstimulated. Instead of having all this activity in your brain. I went and looked it up cause I kind of always fumbling over the direct science of it on the episode. But yeah, you know, a healthy brain has like, you obviously know this stuff super well. Like have you heard of hypofrontality? Yeah, I’ve heard that. Yeah. It’s like that’s what living in these places where you never take time to slow down and you’re very distracted by like the next kind of flashy thing. People think, Oh it’s just a lifestyle. It’s like no, that’s literally shaping your brain to be different. And I shouldn’t say these people like I’ve been there and I’m sure living here, I’m just constantly there’s a battle going on at some of my cortex, but it pull’s like all year energy to the front of your brain, which like makes you way less able to just be a rational decision maker too. Right? Like that stuff. I mean you obviously are talking about this and you’re in your work with the corporate stuff. That’s a huge reason that I think that meditation and mindfulness is going to be an enormous part of workplaces. I just, it’s already happening in New York and LA. It’s going to happen here. You’re obviously part of the movement, but I see that being like a very big thing.

Jordan Candlish:

Oh yeah. Big companies are picking up on it, man. [inaudible] There’s enough research out there now to show it like what it does to the brain. Like we, we know that the brain physically changes like neuroplasticity. The brain is physically changing when you meditate. So like to me that’s, that’s, that’s insane. Like neuroplasticity is that the whole idea that your brain is malleable, like you literally. Like you said, turn on different parts of the brain and start to like shake different areas, grow different areas like you know, meditation shows that like your, the, the cortical thickness of your hippocampus gets bigger. Like, like you said, for decision making. Like that’s okay. It baffles me to think that people are still, I’m not aware of how powerful meditation is and if you’re trying to be a high performer, if you’re trying to live better, if you’re trying to be happier, like wow, it’s something you gotta be doing it like straight up. Like in whatever form of meditation, you have some form of mindfulness where you are starting to engage that part of the brain and grow that. It’s just like, yeah, to me it’s a yes, it’s a, no pun intended, no brainer. You gotta you gotta be doing it.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. Seriously. What kind of, when you’re going into organizations and talking about these things, what are the main, like what is the science that you’re discussing with them? Yeah. So like we definitely hit on the science because they, you know, cause like these, these people want to hear, want to hear that. You’ve got to quantify everything.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah, you do. I mean a lot of it’s down to like the whole idea of like that neurons that fire together wire together, right? So as you start to meditate more, you’re going to start to fire these new pathways in the brain. Like synapses are going to be firing in new areas that you haven’t done before. So the first time you do it, it’s like, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be really difficult to sit down and close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath or on your body or something. And as you start to do that more, you’re creating this pathway in the brain where it’s going to get easier because these synapses are firing together. And as they get stronger, you become better at meditating because that part of your brain is getting stronger. You’re like, you’re literally doing a mental bicep kill every time you bring your attention back to the moment. You know what I mean? So yeah, just grounding this stuff in a way that’s easy to understand. For the everyday person. I say everyday person meaning like a corporate nine to fiver, you know, may cause mainly men are the ones who struggle the most with like wrapping their heads around. The whole idea of meditating. If you can ground this stuff in like practicality. Instead of using loaded words, which you know, I, I still do cause I you know, I’m in the personal development space, but at the same time now it’s using the right words and the corporate space so that we can speak to these people because it’s so important that they, they start to adopt these things as well because if they start making better decisions, they start becoming more conscious, then we’re going to have more conscious businesses. We’re going to have more conscious people in higher positions making decisions are gonna impact. You know,` the economy. Right. So like I want this to be like across the board. So yeah, the science is important. And then, you know, we talk a lot about like what meditation is not the only thing you need to adopt. Right? Like I said before, it’s like diet, it’s exercise, it’s sleeping, right? It’s, it’s, you know, all these things go hand in hand. Having routines, practices, habits, and make sure that you’re at your top of your game. Like if you’re meditating but you’re not eating right, you’re not sleeping well. Like, I’m sorry, meditation isn’t going to help you. You know what I mean? Oh, it’s everything. Everything is asked to work hand in hand.

Sean Grabowski:

It’s part of a holistic approach, really.

Jordan Candlish:

Big time, big time. So that’s my, that’s really where I’m, I push it because I, that’s where I come from. I come from the corporate world and that’s my, my whole time at my job completely changed when I adopt adopted these practices and habits. Routines. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, it’s the key.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh, man. I mean, for myself personally, I do know who Emily Fletcher is. Yeah. Okay. She’s super rad. Yeah. Yeah, I listened to her on a podcast. It was on the Aubrey Marcus podcast. And then I’ve watched it cause you know, when people release a book, they do multiple podcasts in the, in the space. Yeah. So I listened to her all her episodes and it’s pretty much for repeating the same kind of thing. She obviously has like a specific message she’s trying to get across or, yeah. She I think is one of the best people I’ve come across because, you know, I’ve heard about meditation a lot and I have been meditating for a couple of years, but I think it was when I listened to her podcast when I kind of realized, Whoa, this is what happens to your brain when you do it every day, literally like makes your brain better, stronger, just like if you’re doing bicep curls for your arm. Same, just like the metaphor you used. And I started meditating every single day. Like religiously from that point. It might even have been before the Aubrey Marcus one came out, but that was about like seven months ago, six or seven months ago. And man there are a few different things that have been going on. Like I have been doing landmark, which is incredible as well. Yeah. Those courses have changed my life, but yeah I swear meditation has been in the top three things I’ve ever done for myself. We’ll start meditating every day and you know, like it’s changed the way that I’m able to approach stressful moments. I feel like everyday stress, like if I’m in my car and somebody seriously cuts me off, you know, that used to really rattle me. Now still, that happens and I might feel a little bit of annoyance, but I don’t feel like the real stress of it. Like I don’t know if this is just me becoming more content of a person, but I swear I haven’t had a big stress attack in six months. That’s amazing, man. Like, I don’t know about you, but that, that is something that I, I feel like I used to let stress get to me quite a lot. And that’s maybe what brought me to mindfulness in the first place. But yeah, that landmark not watching porn. That’s a big one for guys. That has been huge too. Those are huge things for me.

Jordan Candlish:

I cut that out awhile ago as well. Okay. Yeah. It was something that just just didn’t align with, yeah. Well I def, I feel like it’s a lot of, it’s in the mind a little bit. You know, you’re creating stories and again, I found this to be a distraction. Yeah. Well I removed a lots of distractions, like bad habits that I had. Through being exposed to a lot of television and video games, phone, social media. I just like just did decluttering, just I went through and cleaned up back when I was back home. Yeah, just stop. I stopped exposing my mind to a lot of the programming that was coming in. Like I switch off the radio and listen to the radio in the car anymore It was like, well, I’m just isn’t a podcast or silence. Yeah, I miss my car. I like actually being out here, but you know, just sometimes a nice car ride can be a great way to clear the mind instead of having the fucking radio all the time being we’re being programmed constantly.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh man, I love that you’re using that example. Yeah. Like today, I rarely do this but you know, I’m quite mindful about the way that I’m interacting with the world most times. But I do generally love to crush content. I feel like it’s this weird accomplishment every time I crush a new podcast because I’m just learning things so fast by doing that. And today I was going for a little stroll at lunch over near mindset. That’s where my office is and yeah, I caught myself just automatically plugging my headphones in and getting ready to listen to music, music or a podcast and I realized I don’t even want to be listening to it. What would be really nice is to just go for a stroll and just chill and kind of take in the sun on my face and the sounds and like look at people and I just rolled my headphones up and put them in my pocket. I never do that, but it’s really like that’s something I’ve been doing more and more lately. Same kind of thing. Like just turning off the music when I go to my go for a ride or something because it’s really just like a subconscious need in the back of my head. Just kind of poking me, telling me I need to listen to music, you know? Where does that come from?

Jordan Candlish:

What is that constant need for stimulation? Being in the side of the mind always needs to be stimulated.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah.

Jordan Candlish:

Why can’t we just like sit here?

Sean Grabowski:

It’s an addiction.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s like, it’s like the phone, the phone always makes it worse. I noticed that in all the time. I’m always checking shit like why? It was like we need to be stimulated like I, and it’s. It’s that we can’t sit still. It’s being in a city man. It’s like the many, so many distractions has like fucked up our attention span. Oh yeah. So we just like constant still all the time always. I’m like check something, you know, listen to music. If you notice the next time you go out you are constantly being stimulated. Oh yeah. Yeah. I feel like I’ve become very sensitive to stimulation, which is making me kind of question it all in the first place right now at least.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah. Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

Cool. so you obviously have a pretty good routine by the sounds of it.

Jordan Candlish:

It’s pretty good. Yeah. To adapt it. Obviously coming out to Toronto and living in the city, but I feel like I’ve got it back into a really solid place. Okay, cool.

Sean Grabowski:

What is your routine like what are the, what are those kinds of staples of your everyday?

Jordan Candlish:

Everyday and I do, you know, like I, I’ve Monroe Robin Sharma, he has the 5:00 AM club. He has the monger sword, Ferrari as in big books. He came out a book recently called the 5:00 AM club. It’s really like is starting to really take the world by storm. Everyone’s jumping on board with it. And I was always an early riser back in Australia. I always got up early, like it was just, again, it goes back to what the successful people would do and everyone’s seem to [inaudible] be the most effective in the mornings and that I’ve realized it’s totally dependent on the individual. It depends on who you are, like what works for you. Some people perform better late at night and that’s fine, but I like mornings because it’s. It gives me that space when no one else is awake and I can do my inner work and I, an ideal morning for me is I could 5:00 am Well, I will. First thing I do is I go out and have some water and stretch, do some yoga, just move the body. You get the blood flowing and then I’ll sit down and do some journaling. I have the awesome mindset journal that I do every single morning or I’ll do my gratitude. Yeah, yeah. I write down my mission statement, write down like what my goals are for the day. And then just whatever’s on my mind, just get, get things off my mind and then then I’m going straight into my meditation practice, which is ranges between like an hour to an hour and a half. Or I’ll do, I do Joe Dispenza’s meditations or I’ll just have a simple Vipassana practice. And I’ve been doing that for three, three, four years now. The one hour, one hour a day and, and then I’ll either get up and go to the gym, just move, like run for 10 minutes just to get the blood flowing or I’ll just jump in a cold shower and just, yeah, freshen up, clean myself and clean my mind. So I like to expose myself to some form of discomfort early in the morning. You know, if you can throw in your, your, your run, get, get discomfort, get uncomfortable and then jump in your cold shower, your two forms of discomfort where you’ve woken the body up, you work in the mind up, you’ve had your mindfulness practice. Like to me that is like the essence of a perfect start to a morning. Then I’ll jump into some sort of, some form of creative work, whether it’s prep, prepare a social media post or prepare something for my online course or do something that’s creative and I start to stimulate that part of my brain and something that I’m passionate about. You start to infuse a really awesome energy into your day. And to me that’s where basically by 9:00 AM your, you’re good to go. You’ve like ticked off a lot of the boxes that like give you that sense of purpose and fulfillment. So yeah, that’s an ideal day for me. Like up early in an Intuit.

Sean Grabowski:

Amazing.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah, man. And then I’ll, I’ll, I’ll do, I love like going to work out around lunchtime. I’ll do my weight training around lunchtime. And I mix it up and I’ll do different workouts and my exercise is such a wicked way of being in the city, a wicked way of just getting the mind through the body. You can switch off the mind, like just like intense exercise. Then I change up like high intensity training? I do like Muy Thai, I do Barry’s Bootcamp, which is like a high intensity like running. Yeah, I love that. And yeah, that’s, that’s really it man. A lot of it’s exercise movement, mindfulness do yoga as well.

Sean Grabowski:

So cool. Crazy.

Jordan Candlish:

Like I you’re sounding pretty similar I’m assuming.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. I mean I’m not killing it with the mornings quite that much. So is it like almost your bedtime right now or what?

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah, no, not yet. Usually like 10, 10:30. But that’s the, that’s the thing, man. You have to be mindful of the 5:00 AM club. It’s like if you opt later, you can’t sacrifice sleep like I’ve done. I’ve really made that mistake before in the past. Like sleep is like, it should be the foundation of everything. And sleep really starts the evening of [inaudible]. Like what are you eating before you go to bed? What are you exposing your mind to before you go to bed? Are you eating lots of sugar because it’s going to affect your sleep? Are you around bright lights? Like all these things affect the quality of your sleep, which then affects the quality of your day. So it starts the night of like getting myself into a good place where I can get a good six to six and a half hours sleep, good quality. It’s quality, not quantity is such a powerful realization and it’s like you can sleep for eight hours, but if it’s fucking shit, quality sleep, it’s, you’re going to wake up feeling tired, which is the case for most people. So sleep hacking was a really big thing for me.

Sean Grabowski:

Have you heard of a why we sleep by Mike Walker, that book?

Jordan Candlish:

I have, but I haven’t read it. Okay. Is it worth a read?

Sean Grabowski:

Oh man, it’s amazing. It’s all about the science of what’s going on in all the different parts of your body when you are sleeping and when you aren’t getting enough. And it kind of compares it all and it will seriously freak anyone out who’s not getting enough sleep. That’s what it did for me. I’ve been aware of sleeping important, but like I said, I up until I think I kind of got into meditating to relax myself before sleep. But still sleep has always, for many years it’s been like a weak point of mine. But in general, like I have a hard time laying down, turning my mind off and resting. So it’s almost like I would, I would avoid it. I would do things all night until the last minute. Cause I knew that I would go and struggle to sleep anyway. And since I really got into meditation and well when I really got fully committed to meditation and I started meditating twice a day, every single day, my sleeping problems disappeared. And that wasn’t all that long ago, you know, it was within this year. So in that time, that’s when my mornings have started improving. So it’s still a little new for me. But, oh man, it’s amazing. Like waking up. I haven’t been able to fit as much as you have in, cause I’m still kind of enjoying just the fact that I’m sleeping at night. But like being able to wake up and meditate and journal and sometimes I even watch an episode on Gaia. I don’t know if you’re on Gaia. I’m super into it.segment. Oh man they have such good content. Yeah. Mmm. And then I’ll go and make my lunch for the day and then I bike to work.

Jordan Candlish:

Oh yeah nice, I bike to work as well.

Sean Grabowski:

But, so that’s basically my routine right now. But I go to, I go to the gym at lunch, you know, I run like two or like three to four times a week. I eat very, you know, I’m, I live a very healthy lifestyle. It’s just spread out throughout the day. I’m slowly getting more and more of it chunked down into the morning cause I, yeah. I feel amazing. Like these days when I want to have proper mornings. I think that is one of the keys. Yeah. Big time pizza. Good morning routine. Absolutely. Key.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah. The key to success. Oh yeah. Big time.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. I mean, and that’s something that I’ve read for years, but I’ve never been able to put into practice, you know, first things first I had to get the sleep thing sorted out.

Jordan Candlish:

Yeah. Yeah. So any other like things you use to help with your sleep? Like what do you sleep hacking? Like what do you use?

Sean Grabowski:

So I take magnesium as well.

Jordan Candlish:

Cool, cool. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that approach, but I’ve been on the magnesium, I used to take it orally, but now I use the spray.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh really?

Jordan Candlish:

It absorbs a lot better in the skin because oral magnesium you don’t absorb most of it. So spray, you know, I think you can get one called calm your spray, you just spray it on.

Sean Grabowski:

Interesting. I’m going to have to look into that. Yeah. Well yeah, I do that. I do take Omega 3 throughout the day. Really. All the supplement thing I do is like, for my mind, I do feel calmer in my mind when I’m taking Omega 3 I buy like a pretty strong one. Yeah, I mean, I turn off, I try and get off all my screens quite early. I spend, lately I’ve been spending an hour just in my room before I go to bed meditating. I journal a little bit and then again, I just chill or I read, I’ve been finally starting to read again. 90% of that reading that I said that I’ve done like has happened in the last few months.

Jordan Candlish:

Wow.

Sean Grabowski:

And that has really helped me calm it down. Like you just have to start chilling out well before the time you’re going to go to sleep. I always used to try and find ways around that. You don’t have blue light glasses. I’ve got the flux app on my computer to like dim the blue lights. You’re still on a computer waking up your brain. Sure, it’s not shooting lights in your eyeballs, but you’re still like just keeping yourself like very, very in tune with whatever’s happening on your computer.

Jordan Candlish:

Big time. Big time.

Sean Grabowski:

Cool man. Well that’s almost 50 minutes. I think that’s a pretty sick point to end it on.

Jordan Candlish:

That flew by man. Yeah, it’s a, it’s been, again, it’s just great to be able to chat with another male who is on this path as well. Man. And I had a podcast this morning with another lad from the UK and it was like, to me it’s, it’s a sign that like as us lads assigning to talk more about this as we’re starting to gain more into interpersonal development, as we start to look at our emotions and stuff to clear away a lot of these, the, the emotional trauma that lots of people don’t acknowledge it, which is where a lot of the, you know, a lot of the dysfunction, society’s coming from unacknowledged emotional trauma. And as men we seem to master that up. Through distractions that we’ve spoken about and it’s great to see another, like you doing this kind of work, trying to better themselves, trying to go within and find out how they can be in better human. Because ultimately when we do that, we impact other people just through who we are, you know, not through what we’re doing. It’s like who we are as a person. Yeah, respect that and respect that you are sharing this content with the world. It’s, it’s really awesome.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. Thanks man. I love that feedback. Because honestly, one of the goals that I’ve kind of realized I want to put on this podcast and this show is to be a male in this space. I personally got into this and have been more open about it, you realize there’s a lot of the strong, powerful men in this world. I don’t mean powerful. Yeah. I feel like that’s not the right word, but imagine that in the best of senses, meaningful, important people like yeah, they’re the people who are very aligned with, with their community and their connection and their purpose and there’s just not enough of this in this, the sphere of masculinity. So I think you’re doing the same thing. It’s really cool to obviously have chats with guys like you and there’s going to be a lot more of these kinds of things happening in the next few years as this stuff keeps growing, you have it all. So yeah. Thanks again for joining man.

Jordan Candlish:

Thank you man. Pleasure sharing this journey with you.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, I’m sure we’ll do another episode sometime for sure.

Overstimulation As An Epidemic: How Mindfulness Helps The Mind

Overstimulation As An Epidemic: How Mindfulness Helps The Mind

Over the last three years, mindfulness and meditation have ranked in the top three most quickly growing search terms on Google. There are many reasons for this, but the obvious one is that this phenomenon is real. Even more real is the research-based evidence backing its benefits. With that being said, it’s less than coincidental that this trend is simultaneously appearing right as the first world is entering a somewhat moderate crisis of overstimulation. A crisis resulting in record-breaking levels of anxiety, depression, add, adhd, you name it, the list goes on. Most of which have proven to be either directly or indirectly linked to overstimulation in the brain. But how, in a world so penetrated by advertising, technology and mental gymnastics, do we step aside and manage all the input we absorb on a daily basis? Well, this is where we go back to the beginning of this paragraph. We become more mindful of how we allow our surroundings to shape our own state of being. We find new (or really old, like meditation) ways to strengthen our neural networks. We become conscious of who we are, what we are looking for, and take the time to listen to what our body and mind tell us about this path. In this episode I take a few minutes to rant about my thoughts on the world of overstimulation, glazing over some bits of information I’ve come across on my adventures into this topic, and what I’ve been doing to manage this input in a healthy way.

Michelle Pound On Mindfulness At Work, Shifting Your Self Worth & Creating Your Dream Life.

Michelle Pound On Mindfulness At Work, Shifting Your Self Worth & Creating Your Dream Life.

In this episode, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Michelle Pound, a meditation and mindfulness consultant, reiki practitioner, yoga instructor, and health coach. Michelle works with companies to cultivate and maintain good mental health and thriving work environments through meditation and mindfulness. We discussed the benefits of having a work culture that supports employees’ overall well-being and the impact a personal practice makes in our lives. We also chat about the importance self-worth plays in transforming your life.

You can learn more about Michelle by following her

Instagram @MichellePound

Website www.MichellePound.com

Originally Posted On iTunes

You can find the transcript of our conversation below:

Sean Grabowski:

Hey everybody. Thank you for tuning into the 15th episode of the mindful steward podcast today. I just finished recording an episode with Michelle pound. If you haven’t heard of her yet. She’s a corporate meditation coach in Toronto. She also won the class pass instructor of the year for anyone who it’s from the city and has heard about the class pass program. Um, she used to teach at Lagree and now she teaches yoga. She does a Reiki and she still does meditation, uh, guided meditations on the side, but as well she’s starting a business where she goes into organizations and helps them implement mindfulness practices and strategies and teaches them about the benefits that that can have in their workplace. So most of this episode is about that sort of thing. She kind of talks about the benefits, some of the research, um, and we dive into how meditation and mindfulness has affected us. Okay. And just some of the other things that are related to that industry. And uh, the conversation goes down an interesting path. Uh, I think you’ll enjoy it if you’re into that kind of thing in the first place. But I just wanted to let everyone know, I have been talking about it for a while that I was going to release meditation resources. So I was actually recording those meditations with Michelle. So right now I’m giving away, she’s also giving it away on her website. If you want to subscribe there. Um, I believe it’s Michellpound.com, but I’ll put the link in the bio. Yeah. And uh, but I’m also giving away a guided meditation from her. It turned out really awesome. It’s honestly a really, it’s a really good meditation if you do want to get a hold of that. And I’m also giving away a couple of little eBooks that I’ve created, so, um, you can sign up online. It’s on my website and without further ado, I’ll get this episode started. I hope you enjoy it.

Sean Grabowski:

So recently you have started focusing on a new business of yours doing corporate mindfulness types type of stuff. Yeah. Um, did you want to talk about that a little bit more?

Michelle Pound:

Yeah, for sure. Um, so I work with companies and organizations to implement different meditation and mindfulness techniques to really just empower employees from all levels, usually starting from the top down just so that they can really create happier, healthier work environments. So what I kind of was noticing having worked in the corporate world for a number of years is just a huge level of imbalance. People feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed and anxious. And one thing that I was able to kind of do for myself through meditation is kind of shift all of those feelings and really just be able to focus on and now in the present. And what that did for me from a productivity standpoint, really incredible. I was really able to focus on what exactly it was I was doing, stop procrastinating, really just excelling. Um, and then from there opened my ability to communicate with my colleagues and clients to kind of have a perspective where I was a little more zoomed out, a little more of an observer and didn’t have to react to anything that was said, but kind of really just listen. And that also just really inspired a lot of creativity where I didn’t feel blocked, I felt open and I just saw that kind of translating to the people around me.

Sean Grabowski:

Cool. So at the time, where were you working when you we’re noticing that kind of thing.

Michelle Pound:

Um, so I was working for a company called indeed labs and I worked in eCommerce and was a digital and social media manager and just kind of saw that we were like a small team and we all had really different communication styles and I’m just kind of being able to observe what was going around me and wanting to kind of change things and not be reactive was kind of what propelled me to start moving in that direction of mindfulness.

Sean Grabowski:

Awesome. Uhmm. Yeah, I know for myself personally, I found that, I mean meditation has so many different benefits. All the things you kind of listed I would say the biggest realization for myself is that it kind of snaps you out of just autopilot thinking and just the autopilot mind in general, which is when you feel stressed, you just feel stressed. And that’s the only thing you’re thinking about. And once you start meditating, you feel stress and you observe it and you think about why am I feeling stress? And you start to look at kind of the Mmm. The roots of all those things. And it just teaches you how to really control it because you understand the source of everything.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah. Well our minds are constantly wandering. I would say probably about 50% of the time we are not focused and we’re kind of shifting in this pattern between the past and then the future. And it’s really just hard for us to kind of stay focused on the moment, which creates a lot of unhappiness, a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress. And that translates, you know, not only in work but all kinds of areas of our lives. And so when you learn to kind of cultivate and practice mindfulness and bringing it back to the moment, there’s so many different benefits from physical to emotional to mental, you know, you can really quickly reduce your stress levels just by taking a moment, taking a breath and resetting before you answer, before you write an email, before you go to your next meeting. And that’s really incredible benefit you can see right away. Um, it also just really helps to improve your kind of work and interpersonal relationships. If you’re a little bit more mindful and you can look at things from the perspective outside of yourself, um, and kind of taking that other person’s perspective or just really listened to what they’re saying. Um, so often we are just waiting to respond and speak what we want to say versus actually absorbing what the person is saying to us. So mindfulness really kind of helps on that level. And then from mental benefit, you know, you’re kind of able to improve, um, problem solving and your ability to stay on task. You’re able to kind of see things a little more creatively. And objectively.

Sean Grabowski:

So when it comes to the research on that, I know you were mentioning via email that there’s a lot of different studies about how that affects the workplace. This is all new to me. So.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah, there’s been a lot of research recently just kind of looking at, you know, what mindfulness does for the brain in general and how that kind of helps with your neural pathways. It, it gives you kind of more sense of calm, it reduces stress levels. Um, there’s a lot of scientific studies that show the, the importance of having a mental break. Yeah. Think about when you go on a vacation and you come back and you feel rested or [inaudible], you know, if you take him 40 minutes before kind of timeout and then come back to something, you kind of have fresh eyes. So we’re kind of in this culture where we’re expected to work these really insane hours and we’re burning out and we feel so unbalanced and you’re seeing so much sickness and disease and there’s just so much power too. Allowing your mind to pause, to break and [inaudible]. There’s various studies from the top schools in the world to top researchers from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, that are really speaking to this in the power of just pausing.

Sean Grabowski:

Cool. I know in my office we have a meditation room literally in my corner of the floor. Okay. I mean, I work at a company that’s fairly progressive with that kind of thing. Definitely really progressive as far as the world of business goes. I think the Toronto, at least in general, has that a quality, but nobody ever goes in that room, never. Mm. So I think it’s a really cool thing. What you’re doing is kind of, yeah. Trying to promote awareness of how’s that going to actually help people, um, and get through the day. I feel like I could even use it sometimes. Like I have a different approach. I was telling you, like, I, when I need a break, I’ll go and just like journal for like one or two pages and it just, for some reason, for me, that calms my mind so much. I don’t even know if it’s because I programmed it to make me feel that way or what um, I think there’s such a big benefit of like taking those little breaks at work, but actually making them, making really good use of them, by meditating in a powerful way.

Michelle Pound:

So what is kind of the conversation around the mindfulness room or the meditation room with your company?

Sean Grabowski:

Okay. There’s really no conversation. We’ve been told that it’s there, you can go in it whenever you want. Mmm. And that’s it.

Michelle Pound:

So I think that’s kind of probably why maybe there’s lack of use of that room is it’s one thing to have a meditation room and it’s another thing to be a mindful business or a mindful company. And it’s really looking at, you know, why do you have these things? Why are you implementing mindfulness? And if your employees don’t understand and if that’s not a core value or a principle that you preach, it’s going to be a disconnect. And in this case, an empty meditation room. And so that’s kind of what I also saw there was in bit of an issue of looking at you, the fact that there is an issue and that people have stress and there’s issues with mental health and stress leave. But just saying, Hey, here’s a meditation room and not, you know, doing something proactive for your employees, isn’t it really cultivating a mindful business. And so when I work with different companies and organizations, that’s kind of the number one thing that I do is it’s not just me going in and leading a guided meditation because while that is great for those 15 to 20 minutes, it’s more about what are your employees going to do when I leave. And so what are the tools and tactics that we can create together to implement into your organization as a whole that this is top of mind always. Not just for that one session.

Sean Grabowski:

So it’s more about teaching the actual habits and how to maintain that mindful lifestyle. Mmm. And meditate regularly.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah, I mean a daily practice is so essential and you know, when you think of a business and when they talk about their core values and their visions and investing in their people, well what does that actually look like? And so yeah, creating a culture of mindfulness that is completely infused throughout your company, people will be able to feel that. There’ll be able to be attracted to that and it will kind of surface all throughout your business, not just a room. [inaudible].

Sean Grabowski:

Cool. Yeah, I mean I totally agree. I think Mmm. I really started taking meditation more seriously when a lot of the YouTube I think there’s a lot of, okay YouTube people who are some of the more influential sources of information in my life and it’s just people who are really interested in their own development and they’re always experimenting with different things and making little videos about how it works and the things that they really like and just teaching all the different angles of it. And they all started claiming and all their videos meditate. That was the one thing I would say that everyone needs to be doing is meditating. And then I read a book again a little bit later, I forget what it was called. Yeah. Mmm. Okay. You talked about the practices of, of some of the top performing CEOs Mmm. In the world of business and just looked at the similarities of all of them. And I was surprised by this, but one of the similarities was they all have a practice of mindfulness. They all meditate or do something along those lines every single day. And the other one was the they have cold showers in the morning. And I think the other one was, uh, a morning routine. Most of the time, the morning routine was all of those things. It was cold shower, meditate, and then get on and then like a healthy breakfast or whatever else. So, I mean, I think it’s like a little bit of a life hack that some people have figured out and soon people like you, I think the world is really starting to become awakened to it, but it’s, we don’t have to necessarily pop pills or do all these different things to feel better. You can really take control of your own state of mind.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah, I mean I think it’s really important to kind of bring the dialogue back around to the individual and to their salads and knowing that they don’t have to look to these external sources, but they have that ability to empower themselves from within. And meditation is just one of those tools to do that where you’re really taking a second to pause and tune into that moment that you’re in and just reflect on your breath, on your, what you’re feeling, being connected to your body and just allowing that mind to kind of relax and release. And from there you can kind of get clarity. Um, you know, we have thousands of thoughts a day and 90% of our thoughts aren’t even real. They’re just stories that we create. And it’s based on our kind of unique filter that we have of the world and how we see things and then we can impose that on other people. So we, when we kind of take a second, we get quiet and we’re not giving every single thought power. Um, that in itself is so rewarding and it allows you to kind of start staying small and not getting so bogged down with all of these kind of ideas or distractions. And I think that’s why like some of the world’s leading minds in business are. avid meditators, you know, everyone from Rupert Murdoch to Oprah Winfrey to Russell Simmons and Arianna Huffington all talk about how important it is to kind of have this meditation practice. And it works on so many different levels because you can really just step away. And that in itself to me is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself the time to just pause. do you think that we live in an overstimulating world right now?

Michelle Pound:

100% I mean half the time when people are having conversations or are with each other in general, they’re not present. They’re checking Instagram or they’re thinking about the email they have to send or they forgot to turn off the oven or something and people just can’t be in the moment. It’s always like, what’s around me? What’s next? And it’s really hard just to stay focused.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. I have a few things to say about a few things you’ve said in the last couple of minutes, but one thing that I’ve, I’ve heard I read a lot of content around these topics, so what I hear one stat, I don’t think that much of it, but when I hear it over and over again, it starts to really stick with me, especially if I’m hearing it from different sources. And one thing I’ve heard a few times now is that 80 to 90% of your thoughts in a day on an average day or just the same thoughts from the day before. So it goes to show that your thoughts are a habit. They really are thinking negatively. It’s more of a habit than it is anything. meditation. I think that’s where some of the most powerful aspects of it is. You become to tone down those automatic thoughts, just come to you out of pure habit. Um, but I think when it comes to overstimulation, uh, like our brains are not evolved to live in a world where we see like a hundred flashy ads every minute we walk down the street and things like that. We’re not, I mean, some people like to argue that, but from what I’ve read, it takes over 10,000 years for the human body to evolve a new trait or to you know, adapt an actual evolved characteristic. So, um, no, like we’re not evolved for that. You can get used to it. You can learn how to deal with things. Mmm. And I think that’s why meditation is so important now because our world is just going to become more and more like that. Yeah. Maybe like 50 years ago when things were honestly a lot more simple. Like let’s say before the TV was invented, the most stimulating thing was the radio. Maybe going to like a show, like a play. Mmm. That’d be the most stimulating thing you would experience or a sports game. So was meditation as important back then? Maybe not. Well like right now we live in a pretty crazy time.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah. 100% and even to think about, you know, when you, we were a kids and what we would do is, you know, some of those things are obsolete, like going a block Buster are just simple things of walking outside in nature. And there’s a lot of kind of fear in culture right now and a lot of isolation where, you know, we’re kind of in this world where we’re more social than ever. We’re more connected from an online perspective. But when people are in the presence of other pupils, sometimes they don’t even know how to act. People don’t make eye contact. Or if they do, they immediately look away and they’re shifting their energy. If things aren’t posted on social media, did it really happen? And so it’s a really interesting time. And those kind of basic human elements of the having a feeling of connectedness are kind of shifting away. And that translates, you know, of course from work to personal relationships and really, meditation kind of brings you back to that simplicity. And you know, maybe they didn’t have those things 50 years ago, but then maybe people were sitting with themselves a bit more and journaling or reading physical books or going on meditative walks. And so it was kind of a different practice of mindfulness and it’s interesting that now we literally have to make time to go inward. It’s not something that we’re comfortable doing because we are so stimulated all the time that we feel as though if we’re not doing a million things, then we’re not being productive when sometimes the most productive thing we could ever do is to be still.

Sean Grabowski:

Uhmm take a few moments for ourselves.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah. Isn’t that a luxury Sophia? Lesser doing these days.

Sean Grabowski:

Honestly, it’s pretty wild that that is, can be seen as a luxury but I love that you brought up connections there. Connecting with other people. Mmm. I read a book recently called, yeah. Oh, I forget who it was by some guy named Johann something and it was called lost connections, the underlying causes of anxiety and depression. Mmm. And it’s a book from like two years ago, this guy went around the world talking to the leading researchers on anxiety and depression. And there’s a lot of different factors, but in a nutshell, the biggest contributors, two Mmm. To those disorders. And those kinds of feelings are lack of connection with other people around you. And that means true connection, you know, like laughing around a bonfire with your friends and you’re like literally sharing moments that you’re going to remember as opposed to like, I dunno, just some, something where you’re not fully present, you know? Mmm. And community having like a healthy community around you. And that’s why when you look at, you know, it’s something we’ve heard time and time again, but you know, you look up people who live in huts in, I dunno, Papa new Guinea or something and they literally live off coconuts and mangoes and they’re like super poor. They can’t afford anything. They have to grow everything they survive off. Mmm. They’re happy. They’re like really happy communities because they’re like their whole day, every minute of their day is filled with community and connection with other people. Yeah. And it’s so simple. Their lives.

Michelle Pound:

I think that community is fundamental to human life. When you think about human history and how we’re so tribal by nature, you know, from being hunters and gatherers to living and communities and people contributing in different way. It’s so important and it’s how we’ve always thrived and connected. And so with kind of evolution and just the way the world is now, um, there’s a lot of isolation and that 100% creates kind of anxiety and, and separation and stress and people. And we see all these kinds of new mood disorders are these different things coming out and it just is so interesting because if we really kind of take things back and simplify, you know, what does happiness mean? It means connection and just feeling love, feeling value. Um, there’s so much power in just having a conversation with someone, just having physical touch with somebody. And we’ve come to kind of this place in the world where we’re so busy trying to look good to other people. Um, and consumerism and materialism and comparisons, comparing ourselves to other people that were really so disconnected about just connecting.

Sean Grabowski:

So I was, I remember I was telling you last time we were talking. Um, but like I’m from a city much smaller than Toronto and I’ve only lived here for less than a year. And I mean I love Toronto. I’m having a lot of fun here. I’m enjoying it for everything it can provide. I’m feeding off the energy of the city in a lot of different ways. But one thing that I point out just cause I notice it so much is like where I’m from, it’s still one, it’s like the 10th biggest city in Canada. It’s a London, Ontario. And when you walk past people, everyone kind of like, you look at people, even if you don’t talk to them, everyone looks at each other. There’s a lot of hellos exchanged. Things like that are very normal. And I get it. It’s a huge city. There’s too many people. But I make a point of saying hi to people a lot here just to just half of it is to gauge their reaction. Cause I live on a pretty quiet street here and people will be out there walking their dog and there’ll be just me and them on the whole street. Then I’ll say hi to them and they’ll be thrown off. It’s like, I find, I mean it’s just a big city, you know, there’s a lot of stimulation and there’s a lot of people and I find that you can get lost in the lack of connection with other people. Like we’re all just everyone, we’re all just people here doing our own thing, trying to live our lives, you know?

Michelle Pound:

Yeah. It’s so interesting. Um, one thing that I will notice is if I make eye contact with somebody, especially if it’s on a street car or a state, as soon as you make eye contact with somebody, they look away. And actually right before I came here, I was getting coffee and I saw the cashier. I was kind of tuned out and gazing out while I walked up and said, I just said, Oh, what are you looking at? And then we just started to have a conversation and the other cashier came in. We kind of talked about how people don’t make eye contact with each other and people don’t say how, Hey, how are you right away? It’s just about what do we want to, what do we want to get from this situation? And um, again, I think it’s, uh, looking at ourselves as individuals and the individual needs versus looking at ourselves a collective as a community. Um, if someone isn’t someone that we know in our immediate group of friends or family, we create a distinction of us versus them. And when we kind of are able to break down that barriers, kind of magical things can happen where we have conversations or we learn things from somebody that we never know. And in the end, we really can just see that we’re all the same. We all kind of have the same struggles, the same kind of hopes and dreams. And so it’s a matter of making that point to say hello and to keep doing it, even if it feels uncomfortable for the other person, because that really should be the norm, not walking around in isolation.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, absolutely. Um, when I first moved here, that was one of the things that I kind of had to adjust to, mostly when I’m taking transit to work. And I, that would be the same anywhere, to be honest, like people or just doing their own thing, you know, on their commute. It’s almost like a time to relax before you get to work and have to talk to people and do stuff all day. So I get it. Um, but for months, I just kind of, well actually I bike to work almost all summer. I don’t know why I’m even saying that, but when winter hit and I first started taking the subway to my office, um, I found it almost weird. Like I’d be looking around, I would see somebody who had something that I almost wanted to ask them about. Just something that made me curious. But I would say to myself, you know what? No one talks to anyone here. It’d be weird if I said something to them and then a few weeks, like not a few, like a few weeks into winter, my commuting season, I guess I decided to just say hi to people every time I have any curiosity and it’s almost become a goal now where I’m like, all right, I’m going to have to talk to at least a couple people every day on the way to, on my commute. Even if it’s just like a little, a little comment, like something funny happens and I just like look over to someone and say something and I’m just barely doing, doing the bare minimum of communicating with people, but I’m the only one doing it, which is so crazy to me.

Michelle Pound:

How does it feel when you’re kind of having these exchanges with strangers?

Sean Grabowski:

Oh, it feels awesome because everyone’s caught off guard I think. I think everyone actually likes it. Everyone likes it a lot.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah. I like it a lot.

Sean Grabowski:

It also feels good, like overcoming that fear of talking to strangers for no reason also, you know?

Michelle Pound:

Yeah. I mean I think we all are just kind of scared of each other, which is kind of funny to think about and you know, so much can happen by just being kind saying hello could be really the most kind thing you do to because we don’t know what each other is going through and it’s such simple acts of kindness that kind of really allow the world to shift all around us. Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

Have you ever heard of the word Sonder? No, let’s talk about it. Okay, so I love this word. I like want to write a bunch of stuff around just this one word. Okay. It’s not even a dictionary word, but it’s one of those terms. It’s being used a lot. I don’t know people are using it, but it’s not an official word yet. I’ve like looked it up and everything, but Sonder is like the sudden realization that every person around you is dealing with things and has a life equally as complex as your own. And it’s such an interesting idea when you’re like walking down the street and you see people and normally you just look at them and you’re like, Oh that’s an old guy. Or that’s an, that’s a, I know that’s, Oh no, a guy in a suit or something. But then you actually look at them and try and picture what their life is like. Cause it’s probably we have just as many crazy complex thoughts that they’re trying to figure out in their own mind. Exactly as many as you do. No.

Michelle Pound:

Yeah, 100% very cool kind of word. I’ve definitely, you know, felt what that word encompass is and kind of having curiosity about other people I think is so important. And to kind of take your world outside of yourself for a moment and you know, we always heard the term of see yourself in someone else’s shoes but okay, actually do that. It really just opens you up on so many more levels. You can be more compassionate, more empathetic, and also less lonely knowing that, you know, as a collective we experienced so much pain but also so much joy as well. And so sharing that with other people is really kind of what makes life worth living. [inaudible].

Sean Grabowski:

So I’m going to change the topic, but before I leave the general meditation, mindfulness specific realm of this conversation, um, I was just going to ask you like what, what is your approach with what you’re doing with your business? So are you basically trying to go into companies and run seminars or you try to go in and kind of train the employees or train the HR people on how to bring about a mindfulness culture?

Michelle Pound:

Yes. So it kind of varies depending on who I’m working with, but there’s kind of three main things that I do. So there’s workshops that are based around the principle of mindfulness and then meditation. Um, and those are kind of more of an hour to an hour and a half depending on what the time looks like. And that’s kind of like a little taster of here’s some things that you can do, usually three easy steps to implement into your organization and see benefits right away. Yeah. And then I kind of do more in depth work, which would be more longer trainings in that could be anything from half a day to an eight week program to longer depending on what the organization is looking for. And that’s really to kind of make overall organizational change where you know, when companies say they really want to invest in their people, this is kind of them really speaking their truth and starting that change from the top and really embodying that and funneling it down on all levels of the organization so that it truly becomes, a mindful work environment. And then there’s just the component of meditation where you know, there’s curiosity of what exactly is meditation and how does it work and can we do this? And so then just working and doing a guided meditation and opening up the door of curiosity and possibility for people in the workplace.

Sean Grabowski:

Cool. Yeah, and I mean we recorded them a little meditation a couple of weeks ago that I’m giving away my website. Is that the one you’re giving away on your website?

Michelle Pound:

I’m giving away on my website too.

Sean Grabowski:

Okay, awesome. And it turned out super awesome. I was honestly, I mean I knew that you did this professionally anyways, but I was really impressed with how well it turned out. So if anyone is an HR manager or is looking for this kind of thing in their office, I would definitely recommend Michelle. Okay, so I’m gonna start my question off with a little quote cause I feel like this is just such a good way to word it, but this is a quote from a book that I’ve been listening to.

Sean Grabowski:

I have the audio book. Um, I was telling you about it, but it’s called Reality Transurfing by the Vadim Zeland and he’s an old astrophysicist from Russia and all his stuff is translated, which just as a side note, it’s, I find it really interesting that all these physicists turn into really spiritual people through their studies. I find that so intriguing. Like you look at Albert Einstein and a lot of other, a lot of other people. Um, and they start talking about the law of attraction and all these weird esoteric things. Um, there was one guy, I can’t even remember his name, but he was like the leading physicist in all of England for like for years. He ran like all their programs for research. And his statement at his retirement was after all these years in this industry, I’ve come to the firm realization that there is a God, there are these really weird rules to our universe that I just can’t understand. And anyways, that’s just an intro to this little quote. But the quote is, do not be fooled by the thought that things could have, could not have turned out any differently. That is a form of self justification that allows us to continue operating in the same form, never working to change our thoughts or actions. It’s another notion of looking outside ourselves for validation instead of forcing to look within and observe. I think that’s the one I want it to read. So, so this is one thing that I find really interesting because I find you to be a really spiritual person, and I’ve met a lot of really spiritual people in the last few years, but there’s this, there’s almost two types of spiritual people who I talk to a lot. And there are a lot of people who Mmm. They look at the world as if the, if they think the right things, then the, the universe is just going to happen to them. You know, they don’t believe that they have any control over it. It’s this really kind of passive way of backing off and being like, I’ll just let things happen how they’re supposed to. And then there’s other people who they believe in it, all of the spiritual Mmm beliefs, but they’re out there like getting, getting shit done and like doing a lot of really cool stuff. And when something isn’t there, is it really turning out maybe how they want it to turn out? It doesn’t mean that they back off, but they typically do something about it. Mmm. So I wanted to ask you, because you’re a really spiritual person, but you’re doing a lot of different stuff and you’re making a lot of cool things happen for you. So, um, all like you’re a go getter from what I see, you wake up, Oh like 5:00 AM or whatever, or at least you were going super early classes and then I’m working all day on your new business and whatnot. So what is your take on that polarity of perspectives?

Michelle Pound:

Yeah, I mean for me, I think when it comes down to spirituality, there’s no right or wrong, what I would say, what kind of might differentiate is really comes down to self worth. And so sometimes when we say we’re one thing, we might feel we’re actually not worthy of that thing. And that creates a really strong disconnect. And then that kind of comes through with why something isn’t manifesting for you or turning out the way that you would like it to. And so, you know, being a mindfulness and meditation instructor and being around a lot of spiritually in tune people. Um, one thing that I would say is there’s kind of some weird energy around money or abundance and um, this kind of belief that, um, you know, money is the root of all evil or you can’t be spiritual and be really successful. But that’s definitely not true. I think money is an energy and it’s reflective of how you feel about yourself and what you’re worthy of. And if you are going and bringing a complete change to people’s lives through your presence, your energy, what you’re teaching, where you’re giving in the world, then you should be rewarded for that. And also when it comes to kind of being in action, your life should be about what you want to create for yourself. And you are 100% responsible for creating the life that you want to live. You know, life kind of doesn’t happen to you. It happens through you. And so what is it that you actually really want to create? And if you want a big beautiful life, then you’re going to have to take control and create that for yourself. And it can look so different depending on where you are in your life. I think life is a constant spiral and we’re always kind of evolving. There’s always periods of contraction, but if you really want something, the most incredible thing is you can make it happen. Our entire world is full of people’s dreams come true. It’s because they had the courage to go out and pursue them.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. I think that looking at that exact perspective in a really practical way too, just for my own, my own, uh, experience. Um, you also, when you start doing things to better yourself, you become more comfortable with the thought of the good things that those bring to you. Like it’s such a simple thought, but it’s just like, did you have to have just enough discipline to get yourself started? Cause once you get yourself started, you’ll get motivated based off that and then suddenly you’ll acquire all these new skills and then you’ll feel confident in those skills. And it’s just like, it does take a bit of discipline, but…

Michelle Pound:

Yeah, it’s kind of like anything, right? I say like mindfulness is like a muscle and you have to do it every single day. You don’t have to do it for an hour a day, but at least like commit to a minute and you build up resilience over time. And so, you know, like a, you probably are not going to be in the NBA if you practice basketball for one hour a week. But if you commit to it every single day, um, amazing things will happen. And so being mindful is, you know, really developing that resilience, that skillset that allows you to grow and expand in so many ways. And what is guaranteed is kind of now, tomorrow isn’t a guarantee and we always kind of take that for granted. So if you could do something for a few minutes every day to change your life, what you, and if you’re not, why.

Sean Grabowski:

So when it comes to all the cool things that you’re doing right now, where can people find you or connect with you?

Michelle Pound:

Yes. So you can find me on Instagram at Michelle pound, or you can connect with me at my website, which is, uh, Michelle pan.com. And by me there connect with me, shoot me an email or a DM. I always love talking to new people and helping them on this journey of mindfulness.

Sean Grabowski:

Awesome. Cool. Well thanks for taking the time to do this episode.

Michelle Pound:

Thank you for having me.