The Journey To Mindfulness As A Man | Sean Grabowski On The Naked & Wandering Podcast

Written By Sean Grabowski

A passionate ambassador, educator and student of mindfulness and meditation. Advocate for unique experiences and life long learning.

February 20, 2020

In this episode of The Mindful Steward Podcast, I share a conversion originally posted on The Naked and Wandering Podcast. In this conversation I had the chance to do one of the things I love doing most, being a guest on someone else’s show, talking mindfulness, meditation, mindset training and resilience. I share my perspectives on what it means to be truly masculine in a healthy way, to be truly self-aware, and all the very real benefits of bringing these two qualities to our lives as men of all ages living in the modern era.

The Naked and Wandering Podcast is a show on yoga, entrepreneurship, life’s challenges, life’s triumphs, and the life of the icon herself, Lauren Rudick.

As we discuss in the episode, I first met Lauren nearly 5 years ago while living in a small surf town called Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. We surfed daily, did yoga (with her) often, ate delicious food and spend precious time with some really special people. For myself personally, that trip was incredibly eye open and I credit the shift in worldly perspective I gained with changing the trajectory of my life. In more recent times, I’ve become an enormous advocate for creating and fostering a space in the world of meditation and mindfulness for men. Men live in a world where oftentimes, emotions are hidden, self-expression is disguised, feelings & self-awareness are labeled as a weakness. Each of these issues is far from the way powerful, respectful, impactful men live. Each of these issues is perpetuating a generation of men who are unsatisfied and disconnected from the people and communities that matter to them most. Of course, I don’t mean to say this is a problem for everyone, but these are challenges many men face and I am happy to speak for men in promoting more mindful masculinity in the world. It’s what we all truly want and need, for us, and for the people in our lives. In this episode, Lauren and I dive deep on this topic and many others than I’m sure if you have made it this far in the paragraph, you will most certainly enjoy hearing.

Visit Lauren Rudick’s Website HERE.

For visitors who prefer the written word, please find the episode transcription below:

Sean Grabowski:

Hey there, mindful steward listeners, hope everyone is having a wonderful day. I am posting this new episode in a little bit of a different way than normal. So this is actually an episode from a different podcast that I was a guest on recently. It’s called the naked wandering podcast. It is hosted by Lauren Rudick, who’s a well-renowned yoga instructor. She runs her treats all around the world and has quite a presence online. So if you haven’t heard of her, look her up. She’s on Instagram. Her website I think is LaurenRudick.com. Her podcast is on all podcast platforms. Again, it’s called the naked and wandering podcast. And in this episode we talked about a whole bunch of different topics, but mostly she wanted to have me share my story of how I got into mindfulness and what it’s like being a very normal guy who got into this stuff and is really involved in it and finds a lot of value in it. And I share my story. I share all about that and we dive into a lot of the different topics that I think have really inspired me to implement these things in my life and the reasoning behind all of it because you know, I am a really rational, logical thinking person just like a lot of guys are. We come from a very rational based approach and yeah, I think a lot of people find that as a block or a barrier to entry to this kind of topic, but it really does not have to be, the information is vast. So yeah, go ahead, check it out. Let me know what you think of it. And as always, give this podcast a subscribe or a rating if you are enjoying it, that helps me get it in front of more people and get the algorithm to like me even more so I’m not gonna lie about that. That’s something that helps me help the podcast and I have free guided meditations on my website. If you do want to sign up for my newsletter.

Lauren Rudick:

Welcome to the naked and wandering podcast. I’m your host Lauren Rudick. This podcast is all about showing up exactly as you are in the world with nothing to hide, baring it all and figuring it out as we go along. I will be sharing with you my successes, trials, triumphs and tribulations and everything I’m learning as I journey through life as a successful international yoga teacher, entrepreneur, social media influencer, yoga school owner, and world traveler. I’m so glad you’re here.

Lauren Rudick:

Hey everyone. Welcome to the podcast today. I have guest with me. It’s my friend Sean Grabowski and I’m really excited to sit here and chat with him. Hey Sean. Hey, so you’re my first guest on this podcast. Oh wait, yeah, I realize that I’m really stoked. So I feel you can introduce yourself better than I can introduce you. I’ll give a brief intro to are and then you can tell people what you want them to know about you. So Sean and I met what like five years ago in Costa Rica. We were neighbors. He was my backyard neighbor and we basically surfed every day together and became buddies and went on a crazy trip and Panama where everything went wrong. But it was hilarious. And ever since then we’ve kept in touch here and there. And now, recently you have a podcast and I was gas on your podcast and now I have a podcast and you are a guest on my podcast. All right, so Sean, do you want to tell us about yourself?

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, sure. I don’t really know how to describe myself. Yeah, so right now I’m, I live in Toronto. I work in advertising here and yeah, I have a podcast around mindfulness and meditation, so I don’t even think I was really as interested in that stuff back when I met you, you were obviously in the yoga space back then, so you were way more involved in that stuff than I was, but yeah, I think I just got really interested in that space. I don’t really know how I personally define myself. I think I define myself as a creative person. I like to define myself, who’s trying to be as much of a free thinker as I possibly can. What does that mean? I think we live in a world that really kind of programs you to think a certain way, to think that you need to have a certain kind of job, to be happy. You need to have a certain kind of relationship to be happy. And I grew up, basically, I attribute this to snowboarding, but I grew up in kind of the snowboarding world. I guess as an athlete at a certain point in time, and I just met a lot of people who lived really alternative lifestyles and it just opened me up to the possibilities that the world really can be however you want it to be for yourself. So I’ve tried to kind of adopt that mentality in every area of my life. I guess that kind of translates into my career and what I’m trying to create out of that next, what I’m doing here at Toronto. My podcast, the kind of people who I have on my podcast, I have a lot of entrepreneurs like yourself because I think those are the kinds of people who do a lot of that (free-thinking). And yeah. You know, I love, I love staying active. I love being healthy and taking care of myself mentally and physically. That’s where the mindfulness and meditation stuff comes in. And I love being creative. So like I, I write a lot and…

Lauren Rudick:

I didn’t know that about you.

Sean Grabowski:

You didn’t know that about me?

Lauren Rudick:

I know that you like journal, but I don’t really think about guys like men as people who like sit down and journal. Like I know there are those dudes that do that. I’m like, I can’t imagine you’re like going to the park and sitting under a tree and like writing in your journal for two hours.

Sean Grabowski:

I do this all the time. All the time.

Lauren Rudick:

Are you wearing high top converse and like you bicycle there, skinny jeans.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, totally. You didn’t see my high top converse, and bike on the way in??

Lauren Rudick:

Well I don’t know, you have roommates…

Sean Grabowski:

Well, I mean, I know that’s kind of my look anyways. Even even before I lived in Toronto, but I got here and everyone in my neighborhood looks like that, so. Yeah. But yeah, I mean that’s where I kind of love my podcast and the stuff that I’ve been writing about and I guess being a man with a mindfulness website and I mean, it’s not huge, but somewhat of a decent presence on different writing platforms where I’ve shared content before and I just, I think it’s a really, it’s something that is going to happen is this is a space that’s going to be opening up for men because it’s good for people to be in touch with the thoughts that they’re thinking, you know, outlining the things that they want for themselves in their life. You know, when you keep those intentions top of mind, that’s how you create those for yourself. And there’s kind of this – I’m not going to say it’s a problem, but there’s this tendency of, I guess it’s just a modern society thing and it’s kind of just the way that men have always been socialized to think that it’s kind of a feminine thing to do all of those things.

Lauren Rudick:

Well, I just kind of made that assumption and I’m in the mindful space, you know, like what do you write about when you journal? Like do you write about your feelings? Do you write about, do you have prompts? Like do you know what I mean? When I do journaling workshops with women primarily or even in teacher trainings with women and men, when we do journaling prompts, like it really is a lot about feelings and the men I’ve worked with struggle with that because one of the, the men in our teacher training said it, he, he was like, you know, women and girls are asked how they feel all the time. Girls are constantly asked about their feelings. And so from a young age, girls are in touch with their feelings, aware of their feelings, and they have the vocabulary to express their feelings. And he was like, as a guy growing up, like I’m always told, you know, boys don’t cry or you know, dudes don’t show a lot of emotion or like don’t be a pussy. And he was like, I, it’s not even that I can’t identify my feelings because firstly sometimes I cannot even identify my feelings. Like I can’t put a label on the difference between anger, frustration, upset. And he also said like, even if I could kind of distinguish between them, I don’t think I have the vocabulary to talk about it.

Sean Grabowski:

Mm, interesting. Yeah, I mean, I can totally relate to that because that is how guys are brought up. And for myself personally, I grew up in a household where my father was a lot like that. He was raised, my dad wasn’t the worst for that. He’s actually become quite a big softee ever since marrying his new wife. She’s the best for kind of doing that to him. But yeah, he was raised by a Polish war of that who very much like no emotions. Those things were not, he could hardly apologize, you know, he was that kind of a man. Almost like an old fashion, stoic kind of masculine figure and [deep breath]. Yeah. And I think I truly got, like I got into all of this stuff through being a very logical thinking man. I didn’t get into this stuff through, you know, going outside of kind of the way that guys typically think about things. Like I think I was listening to podcasts about high performers, literally like Tim Ferris podcast, listening to a lot of content for people of that nature and the vet industry. And there’s men who are just like perfect, like models of masculinity. They’re are guys who are like successful, happy, have great marriages, leaders in their communities and they would all talk about journaling and meditation and mindfulness and being in touch with their emotions and stuff.

Lauren Rudick:

It’s true. They do. Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. It’s, it’s a, it’s a characteristic of high achievers to be aware of that cause how are you supposed to be that solid presence for people around you if you can’t figure out what’s going on for yourself? So yeah, that’s what opened me up to it, you know?

Lauren Rudick:

And so I’m going to go back to that question. Like, what do you write about in your journal if you don’t mind sharing?

Sean Grabowski:

Oh I kind of skipped over that.

Lauren Rudick:

Just for, you know, the men who are listening and I know I have quite a few male followers who are like just dipping their toes into the mindfulness fear and some of them secret and some of them are following me because it’s like, Oh, here’s a girl in a bikini on Instagram. And they send me messages like, I came here because you’re a girl in a bikini on Instagram, but I stay for what you write. But they’ll send it to me in like private messages. You know, sometimes they don’t want to comment or like admit that the mindfulness presence is part of their journey now.

Sean Grabowski:

And then the treats them.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

And I get that, you know, I, I’ve been there where you don’t even really want to tell your friends that you’re into that sort of thing.

Lauren Rudick:

Meditating as a secret.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. It’s like that’s very real. Like I used to go through that and I’ve just, through creating content, I’ve just become, I just don’t care anymore. Like I find I find a lot of power in just being vulnerable and sharing those things that I, I like to do those because those are things I like doing. You know, some people have other hobbies.

Lauren Rudick:

That’s such a beautiful thing for you to say as a man. Like you find a lot of power in being vulnerable.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. It’s so true, you know?

Lauren Rudick:

Okay. So what do you write about in your journal? I mean, you don’t have to share the details of what you write in it, but like what kinds of things would you write about?

Sean Grabowski:

Oh, for sure. So I am very intrigued by this notion that your subconscious mind kind of controls your reality, because your actions and your thoughts, they’re all kind of coming from your subconscious beliefs way deep in your head. So, you know, if you, let’s just pick a classic guy scenario. If you meet a girl who you think is awesome and you want to ask her out, you might basically have a subconscious belief that you’re not good enough to ask her out. These things happen for guys too. You know, guys have doubts just like girls do.

Lauren Rudick:

I know you’ve told me these things and I just still like don’t believe it because I think as a woman I always feel like guys are so much more confident and they were like, it’s easier for them to ask girls out and they’re not afraid of rejection like we are. They’re not afraid of getting their feelings hurt. It doesn’t the same way, which I know is silly and I should be more open minded than this, but again, like you’re saying, your subconscious really like dictates your reality and subconsciously this is what I’ve been taught. I think you and I had a similar upbringing in a way like came from conservative families, not very emotional fathers, sort of. There’s a very specific path that you can take. And then both of us sort of had these epiphanies when we went traveling and saw that there’s other lifestyles out there that you can live and these people aren’t losers. Like they’re happy and cool and successful in their own way. And there’s many different paths to success and many different paths to happiness. I think we both discovered that sort of in the same age of our lives, but even still like my subconscious beliefs in my upbringing kind of still dictate sometimes those judgments.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. Right. And it’s so important to to understand that Hey we are not our thoughts. So that’s one of the biggest things that I try and include in my journaling process and also that you can through repetition and through affirmations and kind of… like, thoughts are habits and you can like journaling kind of the thoughts that you would like to be thinking instead of the ones that you are thinking. That’s my process.

Lauren Rudick:

So you journal what you want to be thinking, like affirmations.

Sean Grabowski:

Essentially like I will look knowledge. Yeah. If I’m having a good day then I just kind of skipped this part but I might acknowledge the way I’m feeling if it’s not really in alignment with how I want to be feeling and just accept it, you know, cause it is what it is. But you can’t really change the way something is in that moment. It just is that way. And then I will go into a whole bunch of things that I’m grateful for because if you do that every single day and you journal things you’re grateful for, and then maybe after that you go into things that you are just really loving about your life at that specific point of time. And then just literally don’t frame it as if I want this, I want that. But frame it as if you’re excited for the future because these are the things you’re going to have and these are the things you’re going to create. Those are all just, it’s just positivity and if you can just journal that kind of stuff all the time, your default thoughts slowly will become more and more close to just positivity.

Lauren Rudick:

And this has been scientifically proven. I’ve mentioned this before, an episode, but there’s a, an episode actually Oprah’s podcast. Have you ever listened to Oprah’s podcast?

Sean Grabowski:

Only once, but I know like a lot of my mindfulness friends love her podcasts.

Lauren Rudick:

Some episodes are better than others, like any podcast, but she has one with this Harvard researcher who studies happiness. It’s like in the first or second season, maybe second season. And they did this study where they wanted to see if you can change how happy someone is just with simple mindfulness practices. Now all of us have, they call it a baseline level of happiness. So some people as you know are like naturally happier than other people and some people are more pessimistic naturally and some people are more optimistic naturally. And this is sort of how they, they’ve scaled the baseline was like, are you naturally more optimistic, pessimistic and what the scale of that is and you know, how do you look at your life? Do you see it as lessons and blessings or are you victimizing yourself or all these kinds of things. Anyway, so they, they did this study and it was like a double blind study where they took a bunch of people and every day for 30 days the people who are in the study had to set a timer for two minutes and think about things they were grateful for, for two minutes every single day for 30 days. And then they did MRIs before and after of their brains like brain scans. And then they…maybe cat scans. I don’t know, the ones that show brainwaves. They did scans and then they also like ask questionnaires, you know, to show people’s like levels of happiness. And what they found was that every single person who did the study showed increases in their happiness levels in 30 days just from practicing gratitude for two minutes. But wait, they even showed that the people who started the study as low level pessimists, so naturally they’re on the low end of the spectrum of pessimism had risen in 30 days to low level optimists. So even their default way of thinking had changed. Like whereas normally they’d see the negative and they were at the extreme, far low end of seeing the most negative, had now started to see the positive. And honestly I can vouch for that because gratitude, gratefulness has changed my life. Like I’m someone to be honest, who is not naturally that happy. Like I had to work on my happiness and, people don’t talk about this enough. Like happiness is a choice and happiness is, is work. It doesn’t just happen to you. We have to happen to happiness.

Sean Grabowski:

For sure. For sure. You know, you have to create happiness from within yourself.

Lauren Rudick:

And those journaling practices that you just mentioned are amazing. Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

I mean I think last time you were here you saw my affirmation board. Oh yeah, I was here and this look that I’m sitting that stuff down because of the renovations that are going on. But yeah, you know, I look at, I look at affirmations every day for a little while. I was listening to self recorded affirmations of me just saying them and I had them on my iPhone. I would listen to them every morning when I walked to the bus stop. That I think is the most powerful way to do it.

Lauren Rudick:

Your own voice in your own head.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. That’s pretty special. Yeah. That I think is a, is a light pack as far as affirmations go. Cause it’s, it’s different when you hear your own voice doing it. But yeah. Just to go back to it. You know, you, you really just, I, I’ve read a lot about human habits and I’ve just kind of come to realize that we are still just kind of animals in the animal kingdom. You know, like we are literally governed by our habits. So the best way to make any change in your life is to make a, create a habit that will make that change. And to be happy is to just kind of make the habit of basically choosing to be happy and choosing to think on the bright side.

Lauren Rudick:

Talking about affirmations, like I moved to Kingston like two years ago now, but I’ve only actually been there for like five months. And every time people ask me like, how’s Kingston? I’m like, Oh, I love it. It’s so beautiful. And I love my home there. But like socially it’s lame and I don’t really have friends there and like, Oh, socially, like I can’t, I haven’t met great people and I’m creating this reality where I don’t have friends. And I even caught myself on several occasions seeing to the friends I have in Kingston, like, Oh, Kingston’s totally great. And I would stay if I had friends. Like when I’m with a friend, that’s such a terrible thing to do, you know, like, Oh, how’d I make that person feel? And I was like, okay, I’ve got to get out of my own Headspace here. So I actually took a post it note and I wrote on it. I have great friends in Kingston, underlined great twice and like I made it nice and whatever. I put this post it note on the door to my bathroom. So I literally see it every single day, many times a day. And it’s probably been there for two or three weeks. And in my head now I’m like, I’m such great friends. And Kingston, like good friends again, isn’t it? And then the other day I went to the spa with a bunch of my girlfriends there. And on the way back I actually said it a lot and I was like, this is great. This is my first girls trip in Kingston with friends. I have such great friends here. I literally changed that reality and I feel happier there now.

Sean Grabowski:

It’s pretty incredible eh. And the one thing is like it takes work and it’s not easy, you know. I was kind of telling you about some of the things that have been going on in my head lately and to be completely honest, ever since there’s a few things that I did. I started meditating every single morning. I did the Landmark Curriculum. And yeah, I guess other than that It’s just my, the mindfulness, like basically journaling and affirmations that I’ve been doing for like a couple of years now. But ever since kind of all of those three came together, I haven’t had many downtimes. I haven’t felt that down. It’s probably the most like positive I felt consistently for like eight months or so.

Lauren Rudick:

What were the three? Journaling, meditation and landmark and the landmark curriculum. I’m going to ask you about landmark in a minute.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, sure. But yeah, when those kind of came together I felt really good for a long time and last week I was feeling quite confused with a few different things and up until like yesterday probably I was just going through this kind of darker phase, but it still was kind of, it was still very different from any of the ones I think I’ve had in the past where I would actually feel really bummed out. And this time all I did is I just focused more on journaling, focused more on my affirmations, focused more on time for myself and just I was able to recognize like this is just a few days of this, it’s going to pass.

Lauren Rudick:

Beautiful. And that’s when you realize like your lows are not as low and when you are low you’re kinder to yourself.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah.

Lauren Rudick:

That’s also a nice part of it. Like your self talk is kinder and then that idea too of like, okay, well I’m in this low right now. That’s okay. I know what’s going to pass. It’s like you don’t get so in it, you don’t get stuck in it as much. Even I had, we had talked on the phone a couple of weeks ago and I’ve also been in a period of a bit of a low and it was really hard for me to admit it and I started slowly telling some close friends like I’m in a low phase and this is what I’m struggling with and these are the the steps that I’m taking to try to feel better. And I told you that and you were like, Oh, you’re really feeling low eh. And I was like, yeah, and you’re like, I hope you get out of it soon. Or something like that. And just saying it out loud and you just mirroring that back to me like, Oh, you’re feeling low but with zero judgment and like a compassionate sound in your voice. It made me feel like, Oh, I think I’m doing the right thing by reaching out to friends and I must be starting to feel better because I’m not hiding this. I’m not ashamed anymore of like feeling unhappy. And I think that’s also part of it where we’re almost conditioned to be happy. Like we’re always supposed to look happy on the outside and have it all in. Just like admitting like, you know, I’m not feeling the best right now. And it’s not a complaining thing. It’s like taking ownership of your feelings. It’s very empowering because I didn’t call you to complain about what I’m going through or why I’m feeling a certain way. It was just like, this is how this is where I’m at. And you were like, I see you. And then I got off that call and I was like, I’m going to be fine. And I have friends who love me and support me.

Sean Grabowski:

And its grounding right. To talk to people about things. Cause it kind of brings you back to just the real world. Just what is happening in reality. I’m not feeling well. Sean’s my friend and I’m talking to him the phone you know, I’m going home. My dog Tanto is there. Like it really grounds you. That’s what I find. And…

Lauren Rudick:

And the honesty was honestly refreshing because I was afraid to say that to you and we don’t talk that much and when we do talk it’s so much catching up to do. And so I’m like, Oh, I just want to say all these great things and tell them how well I’m doing and Oh, this is what’s going on in my life and I’m traveling here and there doing this and this project. And I was like, no, I’m just going to tell you I’m feeling low and I’m struggling. And you didn’t hang up.

Sean Grabowski:

No. Yeah, I wouldn’t hang up. You’re being authentic with me. Like

Lauren Rudick:

I, you know, I was actually afraid to like tell you, I was afraid to tell all my friends how I was feeling and every single person, I think you were the first person I share a little bit of what I was going through with every single person who, and you open up that space for me to feel safe sharing with other people. And all of them sort of had the same reaction like, Oh, I’m really sorry you’re feeling this way. And like keep talking. No one’s hanging up on you and no one’s giving up on you because I didn’t call you to complain. I didn’t call you to vent or bitch. I’m just like, this is the reality of where I’m at. And that accountability is something, I think that’s what comes with a lot of the mindfulness stuff is like taking responsibility and accountability for your own feelings and not asking other people to try to change them. Just asking them to sit next to you while you’re going through it.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. Oh man, I totally forgot what I was going to say, but I mean, one thing that I really realized through the landmark curriculum was basically every single person goes through things, you know, so it’s not like, it’s not weird that you are or were going through a stage of that, like that of your own, you know, like I’ve been through stages like that of my own, my siblings have, like, I know a lot of my friends have, like this is something like everyone goes through.

Lauren Rudick:

I think it’s hard when you know you’re in the mindfulness sphere and I’m a yoga teacher and I have this social media following and it’s like I’m supposed to be this pillar of gratitude and feeling blessed and this beautiful life that I portray on Instagram that I was like literally ashamed to say like I’m not feeling happy right now and I’m working on it, but I almost don’t want to admit it to the world because almost, I almost felt like my job is to be like a beacon of happiness.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. You know, this is something that I feel like kind of fits in here, but I should probably send you this video later. But there’s a podcast called impact theory and there’s a Joe Dispenza episode.

Lauren Rudick:

You’ve told me about this before.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, Joe Dispenza is one of the first people who’s kind of relating all of this subconscious mind programming back to scientific, the scientific kind of method. So people are taking them seriously. Cause usually it’s…

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah, it’s like come mumbo jumbo.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. As much as I love all of this stuff and I have seen it impact my own life and a lot of people around me, usually it’s just like some guy at a meditation studio tell talking about this. This guy’s like a guy who used, who has like two PhDs used to be a chiropractor. Like it’s just, there’s credibility there, you know, so he, so people, the world takes them seriously, but he talks about all of this reprogramming your mind and what not, you know, working on your own happiness and how to kind of foster that from within yourself. But he says very bluntly at in every speech he ever does that it takes work. You have to realize this is going to take work. And the one example he throws out there that – I’ve listened to this podcast probably 10 times, like I go back to it every couple months because I feel like this is stuff I want to drill in and remember forever. But, the last time I listened to, it was the first time I picked up on this, but he said even in clinical trials for the placebo effect for totally unrelated things like for illnesses for like ligament problems, like whatever it might be, the placebo effect is very real. Everyone knows that. Everyone in science knows that, but the placebo effect doesn’t just pop up automatically. It happens over like two to three months of people taking the pill and their subconscious mind going, Oh this pill is working and they take the pill the next day and they go, yeah, I’m taking this pill. Like I’m getting healthier and this subconscious mind just does its work over like 30 to 90 days. So it’s like, yes, you can do this work, but you have to understand you’re going to feel shitty sometimes, but you still have to pull out your journal and do the positivity journaling. You still have to do the affirmations because it’s literally a long process before your mind switches over its default methods.

Lauren Rudick:

So well said. I want to say two things actually. First of all, that study I was telling you about when they did like brain scans, again of those people in the study, they had increased levels of dopamine and serotonin. Their brain chemicals literally changed. So again, like the scientific proof is there. And just on that note about what you were saying about the Joe Dispenza podcast is, I was talking to my therapist and I’ve shared many times on this podcast that I think therapy is amazing. Like mental health is part of your overall health and if you’re not feeling okay, reach out or sometimes if you’re feeling fine, reach out. I have, sort of a, a habit, like a routine, I guess that I will reach out to therapy every six months just like you go to the doctor to get a physical. Every year I’m going to go and get a mental checkup with other vests, like every six months or so, even when I’m feeling great, it’s like I want to check in and I want to talk to them about sustaining this feeling. Anyway, so I was talking to my therapist and you know, I’ve sort of been in this lower phase and I said to her like, I don’t understand, I’m doing everything. I was like, I’m doing the gratitude and I’m doing the meditating every day and I’ve joined a fitness class and I’ve joined a dance class and I’m going out and trying to make plans and keeping myself busy. Why aren’t I feeling better yet? Like I’m doing everything. And she’s like, exactly, Lauren, you’re doing stop doing. She’s like, what about the part about sitting and letting it percolate? Like you are doing all the work and now you have to take the time for it to marinate. And I was like, Oh right. Percolate, marinate. You know when you, when you make coffee, it needs time to percolate. Literally, tea. I’m a tea drinker. Like it needs time to steep and it’s like, yeah, I’m doing all the things. I’ve made the tea and now I have to wait for the flavors to enhance before I’m going to drink it.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, right. And it’s so easy to get caught up in action and not just kind of like just accepting the slow but consistent progress that is happening. You know, I definitely struggle with that quite a bit. And I think being in the city, I came here with a utility, you know, I came here to accelerate my career and learn a lot and…

Lauren Rudick:

You can say shit.

Sean Grabowski:

Haha okay, I didn’t know. Okay. Good to know. Yeah. But yeah, so I get very caught up in like action, action, action, do this course do that. Say yes to every opportunity at work. Right. And this is a little off the top off topic from what we were just talking about. But I get so obsessively1 caught up and into doing that I stop. I have, I often struggle in this city to just step back and just kind of observe and just like see what is happening and just fully it kind of experience it. Cause that is part of every process for me right now in this example. That’s part of learning is just kind of being there and experiencing the growth and the new things that you’re being exposed to and just being present.

Lauren Rudick:

We’re human beings, not human doings. Right? We forget that. By the way, spoiler alert. This podcast episode is going to be called the journey to mindfulness with Sean Grabowski. It didn’t tell you that going in to it. By the way Sean, I gave Sean zero zero prep.

Sean Grabowski:

Which is good!

Lauren Rudick:

I do want to ask you about landmark because I know it’s been so influential in your life, but before I ask you about that, I want to ask you like how did you get into mindfulness because you’re a snowboarder, surfer dude living in Toronto. How does that happen?

Sean Grabowski:

That is a very good question. I think there’s a lot of different elements of my life that kind of happened to open my mind to this kind of stuff. One of them I will say is having friends like yourself who I was just seeing this stuff all the time. Right? Seeing the kind of things you guys are posting and the thing, the projects you’re working on.

Lauren Rudick:

You actually read and follow the things? Thank you.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, well I’m definitely seeing what you’re doing. I might not be following every little thing and they’re reading like everything you’re posting but so yeah, I’m like that was one. So I was obviously aware of the space, which I would say at number one.

Lauren Rudick:

I actually just kind of assumed that my friends don’t read my posts that when they, I know they do and they, they respond sometimes. But like I sometimes assume that my friends don’t like read necessarily my posts or follow up because it’s like my job. Right. It’s part of work for me and like I have no idea what you do at work every day. So I just figured like, Oh, you have no idea.

Sean Grabowski:

Fair enough.

Lauren Rudick:

Thank you.

Sean Grabowski:

Look, we’re connected on social platforms. Like I’m sure I see your social media, you won’t see my work cause I’m doing stuff for other companies. But…

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah, no, but I do see like what you post in your social media, of course you see that I post online, I just say no, I don’t think about it. It’s like work.

Sean Grabowski:

It’s like it’s your job too. But yeah.

Lauren Rudick:

That’s, thank you for following being part of the space.

Sean Grabowski:

No problem. So that’s probably one. Another one I think is literally just, I was going through some shit.

Sean Grabowski:

Mmm. And every time I kind of was going through those stages, those points in my life, I found a lot of comfort in mindfulness and it kind of helped me get through those things. And then, yeah, the third I’ll say is kind of what I was mentioning earlier on in the episode, is that, I…you know, I’m very fascinated that what, what is the difference between, I dunno, an ordinary person who is unsatisfied and these people who have very fulfilling lives. What is the difference between these high performing people who have it all but they’re not just like workaholics who are rich. They’re like happy people. Like, both people do exist who have it all. And a lot of those people, they attribute mindfulness to be a huge contribution to their ability to kind of be resilient mentally and they’re just aware. When you’re very self aware, you choose things that you know are right for you, you choose careers you know are right for you that actually excite you. You also are very aware of where you are. You’re realistic. Like you’re very pro, you’re well very related to reality. You’re like, this is where I am, this is where I would need to go. How do, what are the steps in between there because they’re so in tune with their position in life. So yeah, the third is literally just like high performance habits. Just me studying high performance habits from other people. You know, like I said, I’m a thinker, I’m very much up in my head, which is I’m not going to label it as a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing. It really helps me in a lot of situations. It helps me like progress in my work pretty quickly and whatnot. But it’s also my downfall sometimes. But you know, I’m constantly researching things like this and just trying to find answers. And I just found mindfulness to be, to answer a lot of things and help me in a lot of ways. And I also just find it so intriguing that there’s guys like me and I really see myself as just a normal guy. I honestly see myself as just like a normal masculine dude, you know, I’m a straight guy in this space and it’s, it’s for some reason very rare. So I’m very intrigued by that, that I’m one of the only guys I meet who are writing and sharing content of this nature. And I think it’s a cool opportunity for me to kind of just be open about it. Because I get a lot of cool feedback about this stuff from people. I think a lot of people are opening their mind to it.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah. And I think you are a really great example because you are like a super masculine guy and, yeah. You’re really into mindfulness and it’s, you almost have a take on it. That’s, I don’t want to say like unique, but it’s, well, I mean you need to talk about the word word, but it’s, it’s a perspective that is refreshing for someone like me who’s always around women in mindfulness, you know, there’s, there’s a very particular way I think that my community, which is, you know, 85% women, let’s say like my yoga, my immediate yoga community, I mean that talks about mindfulness versus the way you express it. And I love listening to your podcast. It’s in the show notes by the way, but it’s called The Mindful Steward. I love listening to your podcast because you do get a lot of really masculine men on your podcast and you get them to think deeply about why they made the choices they have and how they’re starting to learn about mindfulness. I remember you had a really good episode with a, this guy who was a videographer. I think it makes music videos. It’s one of your first episodes.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh, okay. Yeah. With Chris. Chris Evans. Yeah. And he’s a good friend of mine.

Lauren Rudick:

You started talking about relationships and the two of you were just talking about relationships in a way that I haven’t heard guys talk about relationships candidly like that before. And I was like, Oh, men talk about this too. Yeah, right. But like honestly not a lot of men do. Like I’m not even, I’m just, in all honesty, I have become so intrigued and just having good conversations, like good, deep, authentic conversations with people that I will talk like that just with strangers now. Like I’ll go to a party where I don’t really know anyone and that’s just the kind of conversation I end up in because for some reason I steer it that way. Cause that’s what I like talking about. So I like go deep with people. And that’s one of the things that like I hear all the time is either from the girls and the women who were there, they’re like, wow I didn’t really, it’s interesting hearing this perspective from you guys, or it’s guys kind of talking about it and they like find it… it’s like a rare opportunity for them to just open up and be real about it too. Because it’s like yeah the masculine space is kind of an interesting one cause it’s a lot of like, trying to show up how you’re supposed to instead of trying to show up how you, and I mean I know a lot of women say that that is what it’s like for them as well.

Sean Grabowski:

But we have permission to talk about our feelings and you don’t, and we can show who we are as who we are with our like best friends and our sisters. But I think men can even do that with their brothers or best friends or dads. I have a friend and I think he’s just starting to tickle the surface of being curious about mindfulness. He’s a new friend and when I talk, and I’m the same way, like I stir the conversation into that kind of world, and I can tell he’s like a little bit intrigued but also like kind of shy about it And I share very openly about it and probably very loudly. And [deep breath] I asked him something like, Oh well just talk about this kind of stuff with your friends sometimes. And he’s like, no. He’s like, honestly like my guy friends do not go deep when we talk. We don’t really talk about anything.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, it’s a very real thing with guys where like they will avoid at all costs going deep.

Lauren Rudick:

Even with other guys?

Sean Grabowski:

Oh yeah.

Lauren Rudick:

So surprising.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh yeah. And I mean that, I mean that’s maybe part of it for me is, I feel like I relate things back to this in every episode, so I’m going to do it again. But I grew up like playing hockey, playing soccer in a suburb in London, Ontario.

Lauren Rudick:

Super Canadian.

Sean Grabowski:

Canadian, on the edge of the city. Like, basically half the kids in my high school were country kids that are farmers. Like it was like the most Canadian kind of scenario. And, and then I got obsessed with snowboarding just cause I happen to live beside a ski Hill and this is not a skiing, snowboarding city.

Lauren Rudick:

Thats how you got into snowboarding? I had no idea.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. I just happened to move like, right. Really close to the scale, like my backyard basically backed on to the forest beside it and then I’m suddenly engulfed in the sport that I was doing really well in. And suddenly I’m like traveling around Ontario for contests and stuff. And my whole world became, instead of like the people in my surrounding community kind of becoming my influences. My influences were the snowboard community, which was spread out across the whole country. And like I said, they’re just really…it’s way different than the, I dunno, the community of local soccer teams and hockey teams living the same way their parents lived. And a lot of my friends group moved and bought houses in that same suburb. And I don’t see myself ever living there again. That’s just one example. But yeah, just I, I have been fortunate to be exposed to a lot of people who have now become all my best friends, including Andy and Chris, who was that videographer and these guys are all like the kind of people who I’ve grown up being close friends with and they are very atypical. You know, they’re doing really, really living outside the box. And I’ve had the…

Lauren Rudick:

Outside of our box though.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah.

Lauren Rudick:

I think that’s something that we need to make clear. It’s outside of our box. Like when I talked to my parents and they, they’ve told me like, Oh I have this alternative lifestyle and I’m like nothing about my personal lifestyle seems that exotic or weird to me. Like I travel for work just like my cousin who’s in medical sales travels for work and like I also desire like a husband and to share my life with a partner just like my sisters are married to their husbands and share their lives with their partners. Like that to me is totally my, my value system has not differed or diverted that much from the values I was raised with. It’s just like I want to carve out my own path and I can’t imagine doing anything else. And what makes me happy is like traveling and teaching yoga, but it’s still like a job and I just happened to travel for that job. Just like lots of people travel for their jobs. It doesn’t see me cause I like for me.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, I know that’s such a good point. And it is. It’s normal for them. They’ve just always been doing that kind of thing. Yeah. But they like having abnormal conversations or conversations though most people would find out normal. Like me and Andy, we go deep every time we see each other.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah same.

Sean Grabowski:

So most of my friends have kind of generally almost always been like that. So I’ve been, I’ve just been fortunate to be surrounded with great people.

Lauren Rudick:

Let me just interject for a second because people aren’t gonna know who Andy is. So Andy is, you call him Andy. I call him Andrew. He’s our common friend. He was your roommate in Costa Rica. So also my backyard neighbor. And he also came on that trip with us to Panama. And yeah, I mean you are two of the people I’ve stayed in touch with and Andy also, it’s so weird for me to call Andy. Andrew. Andrew I think was in sanitary stuff for two more seasons. Oh yeah. He’s been back many more times, many more times. So we saw each other a lot when I was living there. And yeah, it’s true. Like he is someone that completely carved out his own path, marches to the beat of his own drum. Even his manner of speaking as like a little bit funny for most people. Like I remember I would say like, Oh how long were you in town for? And he’d be like 27 and a half days instead of like a month, you know, 27 and half days.

Sean Grabowski:

Like he’s a unique.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah, he’s really unique and he’s a very talented, they are for, and I feel the same way, like he is willing to just get into it and go deep. Like, Hey, how are you doing? And then you can just from there go right into something. Right into something. And yeah, I’m having him on the podcast as well. Ah, spoiler alter, shoot surprise.

Sean Grabowski:

Haha whatever, get people excited cause that’ll be an awesome episode.

Lauren Rudick:

It’s going to be a really cool episode and I hope he’s not listening to this. Andrew block your, I want his episode to be about, I’m trying to cut the words I want. His episode will be about carving out your own unique path because he’s really done it.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh man he’s incredible at that.

Lauren Rudick:

And finding your purpose. Yeah. I want to talk to him a lot about South Sudan also. So he’ll talk about, you know, finding his cause.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh he’s so passionate about that stuff.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah, I know. Amazing. And we’ll, we’ll save that for him to talk about that. Yeah, I mean I think we’re really fortunate that we’ve been exposed to people like that. Right?

Sean Grabowski:

Definitely. And you know, one of my points of gratitude and for example in my journal is like I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by so many amazing people who are doing inspiring things. And like you really are the, some of the people who you allow to influence you. Like it’s kind of like that old saying, they sometimes teach you at school that you become like the five people you spend the most time with, and it’s so real you know, and not everyone has the opportunity to just fall into a group of really inspiring people like Andy and you and people who are doing crazy things. So that’s one thing I’m incredibly grateful for.

Lauren Rudick:

And I don’t think I fell into a group of friends like that either. Like I chose it once I realized like you have a choice of who you hang out with and those people are highly influential on your life. I really went out and sought out people who I found inspiring and also because I travel a lot to be fully transparent, it’s really easy for me to lose touch with people who I feel like I’ve grown out of or moved on from or who are not influencing me in a way that I think is positive. It’s really easy to lose touch. And so I kind of do that sometimes.

Sean Grabowski:

I get that. That’s one thing that I sometimes feel a little bit guilty about, but I dunno, it’s kind of an indication that I’m just doing my own thing, which I do like, but I am one of those friends who I could like love a friend so much and be like so far away and just not messaging them for like a year. And I’m just that guy who I have never lost any of my respect and appreciation and like admiration for that friend. But I’m just so in my own thing, whenever I’m doing something that I don’t like really reach out to my old friends like all the time.

Lauren Rudick:

I don’t either. But sometimes you do see those old friends and you realize you’re on different paths and it doesn’t mean it’s negative. Yeah, of course. I mean you and I hadn’t talked for three years until you were like, Hey, do you want to be on my podcast? And I was like, yeah, come, come visit. And you came, you came and visited me and I was like, Oh yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

And now i’ve seen you a few times since then.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah, and we get along really well. I know. It’s so great. I love it for podcasting now we should be like a joint podcast excuse to hang out more. But also I think was nice to see about you and Andrew, and I’m going to put myself in this and like toot my own horn here, but we grew up in like pretty quote-unquote normal circumstances. I mean not normal for, I don’t want to say normal like what’s normal. But we grew up in kind of typical Canadian suburban middle class upbringings and, I think it’s exciting for other people who also come from that space or who are in that space right now to see like you can break away and, and you can do other things and still maintain those connections and those friendships and maintain those values, but in your own way. And also I say this a lot in this space too. If your dream is to get married and have a couple of kids and a dog and live in the suburbs, like that’s amazing. I honor that. Follow that dream.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, seriously. I know like it’s not that that is bad, you know, I actually kind of want that at some point. I just don’t want it here in particular. I wanted like maybe in Vancouver or somewhere else, but yeah, like, we all just have our own different vision of that sort of thing.

Lauren Rudick:

My sister lives, you know, in a suburb in Montreal with two kids, a boy and a girl and a dog and a husband and she’s thrilled about it and she’s living her dream.

Sean Grabowski:

So that’s it. Right? As long as you’re living in a way that’s really authentic to you, then you’re set.

Lauren Rudick:

And happiness and mindfulness doesn’t mean that you’re becoming an entrepreneur or doing something different from everybody else. You know, growing past the people you went to kindergarten with or starting a mindfulness website, like it doesn’t have to be that it, it just means working on yourself every day and doing those things like you’re talking about like meditating, journaling, gratitude. You can do those and still live the exact same cozy, comfortable life you’ve always been living. You don’t have to change anything about your job or your immediate surroundings to enjoy the benefits.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, for sure. Right. And you know, everyone will have different things. For me, like I was kind of mentioning or alluding to earlier, it’s like I have no problem with like the grind. I’m very good at that. Very good at going and going and going and writing articles and like I always have like 50 ideas on my idea notepad. But for me mindfulness is, is like – I use mindfulness to slow me down and, and get comfortable and chill and appreciate where I’m at. Some people I thought you meant the Toronto grind. No, I don’t. I also love the grind. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. No, I just, I just meant in general, like the grind of just productivity. Whereas a lot of people kind of use mindfulness to- they are very chill, they’re comfortable and they’re happy and they’re very like enjoying where they’re at. And they G they use mindfulness as a tool to kind of push them to do those, those upper, different…

Lauren Rudick:

Open the creative space.

Sean Grabowski:

And the creating and the writing of it, the grind, you know? Yeah. I’m the same. Like I have to use meditation to chill. Yeah. I start my day every morning with 10 minutes at least of meditating and I’m like, okay, now I can talk a little bit more slowly today and walk with a little bit more purpose.

Lauren Rudick:

So I’m going to take a, a jump and ask you a little bit of landmark training because it’s been really influential for you. I’m hoping to do it in December because you’ve talked so highly about it and because a lot of famous people who we know in the mindfulness spirit sphere, excuse me, have done it like Tony Robbins came from landmark. I think Tim Ferris did it too.

Sean Grabowski:

Oh, I’m sure he did.

Lauren Rudick:

Many people, there’s such an enormous list of high achievers who’ve done landmark, but I want to ask you a little bit about it. So what is landmark?

Sean Grabowski:

Okay, yeah. Ooh, leaving it open. So I’ll just quickly talk about like how I got into it. And it’s, you know, exactly kind of what you were saying is I just kept hearing about it from people who, you know, I, I try and take advice from people who have the lifestyles that I would want to have and there’s this consistent theme of people recommending landmark and the opportunity arose and a friend of mine just kind of said, Hey, I have a, a guest night. Do you want to come? So I went and I haven’t really looked back since I’m about to finish the last, the fourth course of the whole curriculum.

Lauren Rudick:

It was a guest night. What does that mean?

Sean Grabowski:

So they kind of, they just, you go to a guest night of someone else’s landmark course and you kind of get exposed to what it’s about and you can kind of decide whether you want to do it for yourself, but essentially landmark. Oh, it’s an interesting, it’s a very hard thing to describe. It’s one of those things you almost got to experience because everyone gets something different out of it. What it has been for me and what it is for most people. So there are a few different courses in it. The first one is the landmark forum and then there’s a seminar and the advanced course. The next one I’m doing is a leadership course, but basically you learn kind of a framework of how do I identify thoughts and patterns of your in your thinking. I like to honestly describe it as mindfulness, basically in layman’s terms, for somebody who might be a little more closed off to hearing about things in a, maybe a more spiritual way or using yogic terminology or anything like that, it’s, it’s essentially using Buddhist Zen mindfulness principles of how do you identify your thoughts so that you can ignore them because really you don’t have to let your thoughts dictate your actions. You can kind of label them and go, this thought is coming from a story that I tell myself, And it’s not actually what happened. Something happened and then this is the story that I have created about that event. And you know that that’s kind of what the first course is all based around. But what the first one for me was basically a course where you get over everything in your past, and I’m not going to say that you get over it that exact moment, but I had so much resistance to like broken relationships in my past and failures in my past that I, I think unknowingly a lot of us do this, but you go into your next relationship or your next endeavor and it’s kind of like- figuratively speaking, it’s almost like you’re walking, but you have like weights attached to chains, like hanging from your legs and you’re dragging these feelings from your old experiences into the new one. And what it has been for me, it’s been a tool to kind of detach from my own bullshit, and actually get complete with it and say, this is what happened. I’m accepting it all and that’s fine. You know, I’m finally going to go into a relationship and not be scared about getting hurt again because of the, you know girl who I dated who kind of scarred me in that way in the past or, or the, you know, the business pursuit that I’ve been wanting to do. But I’ve been basically self-sabotaging because of self doubts because due to a failure I had several years ago that was kind of related to that. So it kind of helps you take away everything in your past because when you’re going into those things, or new situations with the filter of your previous experiences, you basically have in the past, in front of you. It’s almost like you’re looking through the lens of your, your shitty experiences at everything in the future, when actually that should be behind you and you should be literally looking at possibilities instead of like being like, okay, I’m going to try and I’ve got all these boundaries cause I don’t want to put myself in those scary scenarios again cause they hurt back in the day. So in a way it’s basically like emotional healing so that you can get on with your life and then it’s a whole framework of tools that make you powerful and impactful in your life. You know, it’s really hard to describe. I think one of the best things to kind of sum it up is like they talk about, or what I kind of have have learned is like, integrity and authenticity can really be the some of the keys to living powerfully in your life. And what I mean by that is, this is kind of a topic that we’ve been touching on a little bit, but being authentic. You know, that kind can relate to the whole thought that men kind of hold back from being their true selves a lot of the time because they don’t want to share certain things or they don’t want to acknowledge that they feel a certain way. That’s you being inauthentic with yourself. All that is ever going to do is block you in certain ways. You know, people who are really passionate about their work, they have chosen work that is truly authentic to themselves. Let’s say you work in a bank in a finance department, but you actually just love design and art. You would be happier in an artistic career. You know, you’d be happier doing that. That is you being authentic with yourself. So it kind of goes back to that notion of, of just being real with everyone around you, you know? And then the integrity part is, if you say you’re going to do something, do it. And really make an exercise out of being an integris individual. And you know, it’s like, if it’s very simple, but if you say you’re going to be at a meeting at 7:30, be at that meeting at seven 30 or be early, don’t ever be late. And that’s fine if you’re late, it just is what it is. But by living in that kind of a way, like those are like slow and small, subtle improvements. But if you’re on time for everything and you do everything that you’re going to say, and if you’re not going to be able to do it, you communicate that and hold your integrity instead of just kind of skirting around it being like, Oh man, I might be late, but I’m just gonna like show up five minutes late and hopefully they aren’t mad. Just just hold your integrity in every scenario because that stuff will come back in full circle. People are going to appreciate you more. You’re going to have more authentic relationships, people are going to trust you. You’re going to be able to connect with people and goals and dreams way more powerfully by living in that way. These are literally just a few of the lessons that I’ve learned through landmark. I have found it incredibly powerful. My ability to make an impact in my work, and I don’t think I was telling you, I probably have the first legitimately healthy in, in essentially every way relationship that I’ve had in a long time has popped up right after I started doing landmark stuff. My relationships with my family and friends, have improved. I’ve just found it to be like incredibly powerful. So that’s a long spiel, but I really don’t know how to describe it.

Lauren Rudick:

That was a really good spiel.

Sean Grabowski:

I hope it painted the picture like decently well.

Lauren Rudick:

I’m curious, is it like speeches? Is it group work? Is it homework? Is it charts to fill out?

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, so there’s like a veil of secrecy. It’s a mix of all of those things. Okay. It is a psychological process. It was designed by a psychologist and you go in there and you share things with the people beside you. There will be somebody leading something and saying, Hey, you know, this is kind of a, you know, this is something that you tell yourself in di scenarios. Like it’s called a racket. It’s when you’re unhappy, about something someone else is doing. This is just one small example. And they’ll say, you know, talk to the person beside you and talk about some rackets you have in your life. And then there’ll be a little homework assignments where they say, go home and write out these goals that you have. Something like that. And then there’s people sharing up on the mic and being coached, like literally almost like life coaching up at the front. So it’s a mix of all of them. You know, it’s some kind of psychological process that really gets- it drills in all of this personal development stuff that you read in books. It’s almost like a weekend that finally smacks it into your brain.

Lauren Rudick:

It’s like reprogramming your brain to the mindset you’ve been seeking.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, exactly. Like I’ve read so many personal development books and they have only the really, I get little tidbits, you know, I get some information that really helps, but this is like fully immersive. This is like you, you’re not sitting on the sidelines reading a book anymore. You’re like in a seminar doing the work with a whole group of people holding you accountable to do the work with a real coach who’s helped thousands of people change their turn, their lives around, whatever it is. Yeah. It’s like it’s a special place. It’s just like a special experience.

Lauren Rudick:

I’m excited to try it. Yeah. I’m excited for you to be to be honest. You know, it’s one of those things where I have recommended it to, we touched on a little bit of these things at teacher trainings, like the accountability, the honest, like radical honesty, truth telling, support, journaling. But I’m curious about landmark to really hear how they do it in a non yoga setting with a lot of people that are, you know, type A, sort of in the corporate world.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, yeah. You know.

Lauren Rudick:

It’s a mindfulness, like you said, mindfulness for people who are not exposed to it in the same way.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, exactly. You know, that you’ll find when you go in there, it’s, it’s a, it’s a group of like 200 people or something. All walks of life, right? Like I’m talking to every single walk of life and you’ll, you really realize like everyone is going through this human experience together and everyone’s going through the same stuff. But, but yeah, it it really breaks it down into frameworks. They don’t kind of talk about the feelings as much, but they like label everything so that when you’re thinking a thought you can go, Oh, this is this, and it’s getting in the way of me again.

Lauren Rudick:

But maybe that’s a good thing. You know, a lot of the mindfulness world, or at least the yoga world, it’s a lot about feelings. Maybe it’s a good thing to objectify them and not objectify Oh yeah. Maybe like, to be objective about them. Not objectifying your feelings?

Sean Grabowski:

Uhm, maybe I guess you could word it that way, but yeah, I think it is. They, they really give you mental tools. It’s, it’s like a mental toolbox and, and yeah, like some of the programs are a few weeks long, so you end up going in there, you develop the habit, you talk about how your weeks are going and yeah. So you have like a support system while you’re going through all of that as well.

Lauren Rudick:

Nice. Do you ever find it lonely being a guy in the mindfulness sphere? Like a masculine sort of straight guy from the suburbs, you know, like you said, it’s not common amongst your guy friends and…

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, that’s a good question. I don’t, I really don’t. I, I do this stuff for me, so I guess a lot of it is done in solitude. You know, I do my meditation here in this nook.

Lauren Rudick:

It’s a good nook.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, it’s a great meditation nook and I do my journaling alone. It’s more the sharing of thoughts that I have to reach out a little bit more. And you know what, in all honesty, maybe when I lived in London I just, I was craving a little more exposure to this community because London’s a much smaller city. There’s a lot less of this around. Toronto is a massive city. There’s a community for anything here. That’s true. And I spent a lot of time with friends who are quite involved in this space. People who are coaches for a living or who are work at meditation studios. I’ve met, I’ve got to meet a lot of people here, so I definitely get my fix. So it’s hard for me to say if I w I could be lonely if I didn’t have it. Maybe now that I’ve experienced it here, I probably would be. I, I do enjoy having those opportunities to connect with people to talk about these sorts of things. People who are equally as deep as I am, like years deep. Cause you have the opportunity to talk to a lot of people who just want, want to get real and have a real conversation. But you don’t come across as many people who have like done all the work, read all the books, have been really contemplating this stuff for years. So I really do appreciate those conversations. Conversations. I would miss those if I was in a smaller city or something like that.

Lauren Rudick:

I miss it sometimes in Kingston because I don’t have that community so established yet. I’m like starting to, but you know, I really have to seek it out. But that’s why I spend a lot of time calling people like you on the phone or you know, other friends to have those big conversations. And you know, I have a dog so I walk at least twice a day for half an hour and I just pop in headphones and make a phone call on it. It does fill that a bit.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, you got to find your ways, you know? Yeah.

Lauren Rudick:

Sean this has been such a cool conversation. Thanks for being so open.

Sean Grabowski:

No, thanks for having me. I love these conversations.

Lauren Rudick:

Me too. Didn’t expect this direction and no idea where this was going. I think we did a good job. Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

Great. Yeah. Cool. Great. Thanks for having me. As a, as a guest, as the first guest I, I’m honored.

Lauren Rudick:

Do you have anything you want to say to close? Like do you have an outro?

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, I mean I could give a little bit of an outro, but you know, in, in all of this kind of journey that I guess journey, I can call it that, that I’ve experienced with diving into this information, you know, doing different courses and seminars and, and having a awesome opportunity to share a lot of awesome conversations in this world. I think the one thing I would like, I just want really- I think I’ve been thinking about what my purpose is with all this stuff lately, funny enough, after I recorded that podcast episode with Andrew, his dad reached out and said, I really want to give you this book and it’s called The Purpose Driven Life. And I haven’t even opened a page, but I spent a lot of time in the last week or so, just literally looking at my ceiling thinking, what is my purpose of all this stuff? Beause I find a lot of joy in this mindfulness stuff. I love it. And it’s almost like I literally was a young, younger guy who lacked a lot of confidence and that showed in all areas of my life. You know, I just really did not have anything that I- I just was so unsatisfied and not very happy and… I’ve turned all of that around. Like I feel quite good about what I’ve been able to create and it all came about through this work. And I just really think that there’s a message to share with everyone that everyone can do this sort of stuff. Like I’m really just a completely normal person. Yeah. If you can put in the work and get your head in the right space by like putting the work in to get your head there and your thoughts there, like you can really like shoot for bigger things and just create possibilities in your life instead of looking at your life as if there’s limits everywhere. Cause looking at, looking at the world in a way as if we can have it all is just a choice, you know? And that’s, that’s really what separates people who are doing it big from people who aren’t. They just choose to live that way. So that was kind of a deep one. But that’s kind of what I love about this stuff is like this is, everyone has the greatness inside of the them.

Lauren Rudick:

Sean you are so inspiring. Yeah, that was amazing.

Sean Grabowski:

Thanks. I don’t know how I came up with that, but that’s been on my mind a lot lately.

Lauren Rudick:

You’re just channeling it. It’s just coming through you.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, I mean apparently.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah, no, that was incredibly inspiring and you know, it’s really exciting to catch up again versus, you know, when we met, I think when we met, we were both like two insecure kids, kind of just partying in Costa Rica and figuring it out. I mean, I was still into yoga back then and teaching, but it was like really, I mean, it’s five or six years ago, you know, I was kind of like a baby in it. And just honestly to, to catch up with you again and like see how grounded you are and how much you’ve grown. And it’s really setting to me like I’ve always really respected you and really loved you as a person and to see how like enriched your life is now and how we can really like have these deep, deep conversations just like excites the shit out of me. Thanks for being in my life.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, no, I value your friendship a lot and then I’m pumped that we can create episodes like this and just like dive into it.

Lauren Rudick:

It’s so sweet. Oh, it’s fun. You said something, but you told me you don’t remember saying it to me, but you said something to me that changed my life. And that moment is like when I knew I wanted to be your friend forever or I wanted you to be my, I wanted to be, I wanted to have you in my life forever. Because yeah, you said something that just Triggered a thought process in me and triggered a new way of thinking and behaving in my life that I just so appreciated. It was when we were traveling in Panama. And I actually have a picture of you right after you said it because I, it was such an aha moment for me that I snapped a photo and in the picture you’re on your white Mac book on your laptop and you’re wearing like my headband, like my hot pink headband. And it was when we were in Panama and we had ended up on the wrong side of the country after being fucked over by a couple of taxi drivers and then taking the bus in their own place and then we crossed that sketchy ass border. Remember how sketched that border was? That was like the worst. I mean like we, it was really scary. I don’t know how we managed it. It was like basically the Darien gap. It was so scary. And I remember Andy had that big board bag that his dad and him made that had like wheels on it, like fashion, like trolley, like old ladies who go to, it’s like the supermarket and they’re like grocery trolleys. They had like those wheels on it.

Sean Grabowski:

And it broke. So he was just dragging it or something.

Lauren Rudick:

No we had to carry it. We were, we had like if there was like a hundred pounds on camera equipment in that thing and you and I somehow were like carrying it with our backpacks and the boards cause he had another surfboard. I mean it was ridiculous. And then, yeah, just like everything about getting to that place just went wrong and we… I don’t remember where we were. We were somewhere sitting. Maybe we’d stayed in a hotel or something that night. Anyway, we were in like the lobby of some place and you were looking up on the computer of like how to get to where we needed to go. And I looked at you and I was like, Sean, you’re amazing. Like everything has gone wrong and you’ve just been calm, cool and collected this whole time and you haven’t lost her shit once and you didn’t even look up from your, from your laptop. And you’re like, yeah. Well I realized a little while ago that emotional maturity as a choice. That statement literally changed my life. That was like, Whoa. Emotional maturity is a choice.

Sean Grabowski:

Haha. Oh man. Yeah. I remember you told me that like a year ago when I interviewed you and I didn’t remember just now when you brought that up. I didn’t remember what it was that I said, but I remembered that there was something.

Lauren Rudick:

That’s what it was. It changed my life because it really made me think before I react, like, wait a minute, I have a choice here of how I’m about to react.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah. It’s so real. I honestly don’t know how I came up with that back then that you were like, what, 23 yeah, something like that. We were little kids or babies talk about channeling. Like back then I was probably just channeling that for sure.

Lauren Rudick:

You’re still channeling, you’re doing it. Yeah.

Sean Grabowski:

But now I feel like I’m so aware of what that means.

Lauren Rudick:

Well, you’ve done the work right, and you’re continuing to do the work. I don’t like to say we’ve done the work. It’s like we’re, we’re in it. We’ve committed to a life of working on it.

Sean Grabowski:

And it’s not a thing that ever ends, you know? Because you’re, you’re just experiencing new things, new challenges. It’s ongoing.

Lauren Rudick:

That’s kind of what I love about it too, is, you know, the more you learn, the more you realize how vast the ocean of wisdom is. It’s like the more you learn, you’re like, Oh, I’m just a drop in the full ocean. I know Rumi says you are not a drop in the ocean. You’re the entire ocean in a drop, but it’s kind of both. It’s like, Oh, I’m just a little, I’ve just added another droplet in this ocean of wisdom. But at the same time, like when you get saturated in that ocean, like right when a droplet falls into the ocean, it becomes part of the whole ocean. And like when you’re channeling, you are that ocean. But every time we learn a little bit, it’s like, Oh yeah, you’re just that little drop.

Sean Grabowski:

I like that. I’ve definitely heard that before. I haven’t put that much thought into it, but.

Lauren Rudick:

Oh, now you should do another outro. No, I’m kidding.

Sean Grabowski:

Yeah, I have to leave it at that. That is the best outro I’ve got. Outro.

Lauren Rudick:

That was amazing. I mean, thank you so much for being here. I’m so grateful.

Sean Grabowski:

Again, thanks for having me. I’m happy to do this. I love these conversations.

Lauren Rudick:

Yeah. Sweet. All right, signing off. Hey everyone, you are welcome. Thank you so much for joining me today. Don’t forget that every week we give away a totally free copy of my best selling eCourse. Turn your life upside down, turn your life upside down. It’s all about living your passions, going for your dreams, and learning how to do handstands. All you have to do is screenshot you listening to this podcast on your phone and put it on your Instagram stories and tag me at Lauren Radix so I can see it for your entry to win. Turn your life upside down, and if you liked what you heard today, please subscribe rate and review this podcast.

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