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Client Showcase: Chris DiStasio

Chris first started training with us a few years ago after he saw a promo for Ripped Dads pop up on Instagram.

Chris was hesitant at first because he had tried other programs to no avail.

Yet, it was quickly apparent that Chris as in right place.  Chris is religious with his 5 AM workouts and is on a mission to be the strongest dad to his 3 daughters that he can possibly be.

Here is his experience in his own words:

I’m nearing two years into my journey at Newell Strength and I couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to join.  I began as a member of a Ripped Dads contest, which was a great immersion into Newell Strength bringing with it the added motivation and incentive of a competition.  Since then, I’ve continued to take advantage of the breadth of programming options available—from individualized training to MET class, and most recently Small Group Training.

For me, it’s important that when I step into the gym, I do not have to guess at the “right” thing to do.  At Newell Strength, having programming that easily scales to my abilities alongside an amazing group of trainers has been key to my progress.

The trainers and staff at Newell are second to none.  They are always there to provide expert guidance (or a spot) and (more than once) have been able to modify my programming to help me prepare for a specific activity.

A few things that have resonated with me at Newell Strength:

  • fitness/wellness is a journey that requires consistency and patience
  • it’s meaningful to set small goals—incremental changes become significant over time
  • working to become better at something today (than I was yesterday) is not only an attainable goal in the gym, but also one that translates well to other facets of life.

Training at Newell Strength has had a great positive impact on me and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking at transforming their approach to fitness.

 

Think differently – Kyle Newell

P.S-If you’ve been thinking about making a transformation like Chris did, all you have to do is go here: http://www.newellstrength.com/30-day-risk-free-trial/.  Also, you can inquire about the upcoming Ripped Dads contest that begins on July 5th by replying to this email.




This Can Lead to Blurred Lines

As life has gone on, I have gotten better and more swift at making decisions.

I am usually not one to hem and haw.

And if you know how your brain works, you will see that if you are always putting yourself in situations where you have to make a decision, you will have blurred lines of what is allowed and what isn’t.

When you are trying to transform your life, you need to have clear rules of discipline that you are going to live by, no matter what.

If you are trying to stick with diet strategy and are always giving into peer pressure and straying from your plan, its not will power, it’s simply that you don’t have hard and fast rules.

Habits and in this case, habit of thought, allows you to free up headspace because you don’t have to think about it any longer.

And a decision not made or constantly having to make them eat up an enormous amount of mental energy.

 

Think differently – Kyle Newell

P.S-If you’ve been having that voice in your head that keeps telling you it’s time to try something different in terms of your fitness, then you should check out what our 30-day trial is all about.  This is for you if you want to learn, be held accountable and add some spice to your fitness routine or heck, even just get started on one.  You can find out more about it here: http://www.newellstrength.com/30-day-risk-free-trial/




What Came First?

Last week, the Professor dropped another knowledge nugget in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class.

He was speaking of botanics and how the apple seed knows it wants to be an apple but it has to spring from the tree with roots.

The roots are the lifeblood of the apple.  If all goes well, the tree will grow and then an apple or quite a few will spring forward.

The apple seed has an infinite intelligence.

It’s okay to know the end result and work backwards, until you arrive at step 1, which is the apple seed taking root in the ground.

Everything can be used as a tool for your transformation if you choose it to be.

 

Think differently – Kyle Newell

P.S-If you’ve been having that voice in your head that keeps telling you it’s time to try something different in terms of your fitness, then you should check out what our 30-day trial is all about.  This is for you if you want to learn, be held accountable and add some spice to your fitness routine or heck, even just get started on one.  You can find out more about it here: http://www.newellstrength.com/30-day-risk-free-trial/




Stepping Over $100 Bills to Pick up Nickels

I remember when I first went out to Arizona to learn from the great Charles Poliquin.

It was at my BioSignature level 1 certification that I was exposed to the nitty gritty of nutrients, hormones and blood work.

It became apparent to me that perhaps the reason I wasn’t as lean as I thought I should have been or the reason my testosterone had always tested low was because I was deficient in zinc or magnesium.

Surely that had to be it.

Looking back on it, I was stepping over $100 bills to pick up nickels.  It would have been wiser on my part to look at the big rocks of sleep, eating enough and taking some time off.

In today’s episode of Unlocking Your Inner Strength, I discuss key mistakes that people make in their fat loss efforts in terms of stepping over $100 bills.  You can take a listen here: http://kylenewell.com/inner-strength-podcast/

 

Think differently – Kyle Newell

P.S-If you’ve been having that voice in your head that keeps telling you it’s time to try something different in terms of your fitness, then you should check out what our 30-day trial is all about.  This is for you if you want to learn, be held accountable and add some spice to your fitness routine or heck, even just get started on one.  You can find out more about it here: http://www.newellstrength.com/30-day-risk-free-trial/




The Benefits of For-give-ness

 

I vividly recall a recess in second grade when a kid named Jeremy sucker punched me right in my lip.

 

I was bleeding but I didn’t react.  Instead, when the aid came over I told her it wasn’t his fault, I wasn’t hurt and we were just playing.

 

I chose to forgive him in that moment.  I could have sought my revenge and plotted to jam a spork in his side, but I didn’t.

 

Most people go through life holding on to so many grudges and qualms that they can’t see the fact they are living in the past, not experiencing the present moment.

 

As always, I put my Mind Map lenses on every chance I get to examine human nature and how it is unfolding in my life.

 

The human brain doesn’t like open loops.  I’ve discussed before about how the brain will hyper focus on open loops until they closed (this is how To Be Continued….works).

 

When we fail to forgive an event or person, we are shackling ourselves to the past.  We are keeping an open loop so to speak.  That loop is open because we’ve refused to allow it to die because of the very grudge we are holding in our heart.

 

So, you have this instance in which brings up bad memories, yet you, yourself perpetuates it.  Once you forgive, you close the loop and your brain can focus in the here and now.

 

A Coach once told me that forgiveness is really about ‘thank you for giving me this opportunity to grow’.  Wow!  It still impacts me the same way every time I hear it.

 

Being upset and angry isn’t going to help you grow your world.

 

Forgiveness means ‘giving forward’.  You can’t move forward if you are chained to a memory.  And really, lets break that down a little further.

 

A memory is just a figment of your imagination, just like the future is a figment of your imagination.  To our brains, time doesn’t exist, it’s just a theoretical concept.

 

Every minute that goes by that you don’t forgive is another minute that you are giving to the energy of recreating those lower energy levels of emotion that you experienced in very moment.

 

I personally take the time to do ‘the work’ every morning about one situation that needs my attention and forgiveness.  This falls under my ‘Family’ category of the F-5 system since if I don’t’ clear my head of the lower energy fields of holding anger and hurt then it affects my family directly.

 

As I always say, do the opposite of what most people are doing and you’ll be on the right path most of the time (99%).

 

Struggle in life is going to happen, suffering is optional.  Forgive those in your life that need to be forgiven and give yourself that gift.




I Can Really Bring Out the Weird In People

Two weeks ago, the men’s group from Newell Strength went out for a bite to eat.

And at the table, in the course of riveting conversation, one of the guys says, ‘Man, you can really bring the weird out in people’.

I chuckled as did all the others.

It was one of the greatest compliments anyone could give me.  By being weird and not hiding it, I hope that others can let their guard down too.

How exciting and interesting is life if you are only surrounded by a bunch of zombies and robots, people that are always trying to ride the road of vanilla?

The theme for this year is not to be more than you are, just BE all that you already are.

If you’re ready to have a Mind Map about your weirdness, just reply with ‘weird’ and I’ll be glad to give you a session.

Think differently – Kyle Newell

 

P.S-Whenever you’re ready here are 3 more ways we can help you transform your life, lose weight and gain bundles of energy:

1- Check out this podcast I did on Resistance (any time you are trying to improve your life, you will face this!)

http://unlockingyourinnerstrength.libsyn.com/uyis001-resistance-is-a-bitch

2-     Perhaps you’d just like to increase your mental game.  In that case, you can check out our Time Mastery Manual (the information in here will create ‘new’ time for you and give you the ultimate freedom in life) http://kylenewell.com/time

 

  1. Risk-free 30-Day Jumpstart. If you’ve simply seen enough of our members experience incredible results and you’re ready to get started with us, the 30 Day Jumpstart is the perfect fit. You’ll get the full Newell Strength Experience that’s designed to get you on the path to a longer, healthier and happier life, we’re ready to help you! Simply shoot devon@newellstrength.com an email with the subject: ‘jumpstart’.



How to lift a mental fog




Old Man Look at My Life

Old Man Look at My Life

I remember two years ago when I wrote an essay about Newell Strength in 60 years.

It was actually Christmas eve as I was writing it and I had to stop after every damn sentence to gather myself.

A few weeks later we had our staff holiday party and I shared with the team bits and pieces of what I had written and again, emotion overcame me.

I used to think showing my emotions was a sign of weakness, now I know it’s a sign of inner strength.

Nevertheless, when I wrote that piece about going into Newell Strength for one final workout when I was well into my 90’s, not a person in there knowing me from Adam, it was a flash-forward about life and the special memories and connections we make with others on a daily basis.

Life is precious, you know that, but YOU, like me, forget that sometimes.

Devon took this picture of me and Brax the other morning when I slept on the recliner with him as he was running a high fever.

I have been toying around with this idea of my Old Man article for a few weeks and this picture cemented it for me. Enjoy…

Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

Braxton, you are a lot like me. Except you are better. I am proud of the man you have become. My life transformed when you came into our world. I think back to when I could still pick you up and hold you. You are still figuring things out and that’s normal. I want you to know that you are a great person and you have the potential to inspire the world. You are like me in that you want the best for people and yet, you struggle with how to accomplish that mission. You are like me, only you have completed my weaknesses.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty-four
and there’s so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Braxton, you are only 24 and you feel like you should have ‘made it’ already. Don’t worry, I am 59 and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, fully. You have endless possibilities in front of you. The world is your oyster. You are going to be one of the greatest leaders ever to walk the earth, I believe that in my heart and soul. You are beginning to realize that heaven and hell are an in apart because paradise arises within YOU, inside your mind. The ‘two’ that you live with are the angels of fear and love. Always choose love, it will never steer you wrong.

Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things
that don’t get lost.
Like a coin that won’t get tossed
Rolling home to you.

Braxton, there’s that word LOVE again. Love can live forever and impact the world forever. Yes, you will have many relationships in life but they will ALL come to an end sooner or later. In the end, it will be just YOU and the trail of love that you blazed. Me and your mom will one day be gone but our love for you will never die. Your girlfriends, your brothers and sisters, your wife, they will all one day be gone too. Yet, your children and their children will always be able to draw strength from the LOVE you gave. Your love will never BE lost. It is the home of your spirit.

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that’s true.

Braxton, you are a lot like me, only infinitely greater. And that’s what all parents want for their children. The greatest enemy you will ever face is the angel of fear. When you face it, walk through it. Put a knife into fear’s heart and scream a scream of victory at the top of your longs. That’s what I know you WILL do. Mom and my love for you will live on forever. We all need love in this life but I want you to remember that your ability to love will be limited by how much love you have for yourself. My life changed the day I literally told myself I loved WHO I was, out on that beach in So Cal. When relationships end, the love will not.

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town.
Doesn’t mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.

Braxton, it feels like only yesterday that this picture was taken. I would love to live that moment over and over again. To look into those baby eyes of yours, the innocence, the pure joy. Always keep that with you, it’s a rare gift in an adult. Wherever you go in life, there you are. You can explore, you can go out and find yourself, but the hidden treasure is in your heart. The things of the material world will fall away, one by one. Moments like you laying on me are special, cherish them. Every minute is a blessing but once every so often you will KNOW when you are in one of those life long memories, a snap shot that is branded on your heart. We are proud of you no matter what.

I’ve been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But I’m all alone at last.
Rolling home to you.

Braxton, I’ve won some in life and lost some. I loved winning but I hated losing. That is the spirit of a competitor. Before you know it, you will be writing a letter to your son, only he too, will carry on the legacy. He will BE better than YOU and that is the best gift you could ever give. You are like me in that you draw inner strength from being alone, from sitting down by the river. Know thyself, know where you can connect to God and go there often. If you don’t go within, you will go without. Be comfortable Being alone, its one of the best places in the world to BE. When you can be alone with yourself, it means you truly love yourself.

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that’s true.

Braxton, I know you are a lot like me, only you are better. Our spirits came into contact for a reason and we don’t yet the know the full impact of our spirits teaming up, but I do know its for something great. I would one day, in another realm, another life time, hope to find a spirit as strong as yours but you see, spirits, our souls are like finger prints, unique and never duplicated. Mom and I will look down your legacy from the skies above one day and have a smile on our faces. The physical world is fleeting. Your love and spirt will live on into infinity. Remember the impact that your words and actions have on others. Someone is always looking up to you and watching you. I am sorry for the times I acted in a way that came from a place other than love. Be better than I was.

Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

Braxton, yes you are. Only you are better. Continue to bring your ‘light’ to other people’s darkness. The world needs a man like YOU. You are a lot like me, only better.




The Horrible Diet and Horrible Training Plan

Yes, I am going to recommend horrible programs for you to follow.  Horrible, according to your doctor and the mainstream that is.

I remember when I really grew my coaching wings.  I was sick and tired of following the dogmatic approach of body part training and conventional dieting.  I was bored mentally and I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted.  I knew there was a better way, but I didn’t know how.

That was when I entered college back in 1999.  I had some semblance of where I was heading but didn’t have an exact route.  It was a process of trial and error for sure.

I would head to the university fitness center and follow my full body program from the first book on training that I ever read, Big Beyond Belief by Leo Costa and the legendary Tom Platz.  I had actually ordered that out of a bodybuilding magazine, I doubt many millennials even know what mail order means, lol!

That program alone got me strong, very strong.  And it started to make a lot of my fellow co-eds ask questions as to why I was training squat and bench on the same day and why my workouts were so short compared to other people and on and on.

I tried to explain with my novice knowledge that training was more about the nervous system and stress response than it was about focusing on the external variables.  Most people either under trained or spent way too long in the gym and not enough time sleeping and recovering.  I remember distinctly from that book the A.R.E principle.  It stated that the alarm response was first initiated in the nervous system.

That is what happens when we train. This is then followed by the resistance phase in which the body adapts to the meet the demands of the new stress you are placing upon it.  This is where it will get stronger, grow bigger muscles and lose body fat if you allow it to.

But, if you aren’t managing yourself properly, you will enter the exhaustion phase.  I’ll admit that very few people push themselves this hard in their training to even sniff this zone.  This is called overtraining.  However, most people put themselves there by having out of control stress levels and not enough rest and fun in their lives.  I don’t want to go too far down that rabbit hole here but do know that it is all a matter of the nervous system.

My training philosophy was born, which I will get back to in a second.

Nutrition on the other hand?  Well, let’s just say that I wanted to get big and muscular and fast!  I ate damn near 4-5K calories per day and it wasn’t long before I was big and fat!  I even remember riding down the street on my bike (I used to ride everywhere around campus) and someone yelled out a car window, ‘Lose some weight!’.  Hmmm…I thought, that’s weird and a bit obnoxious.

I wasn’t sure how they knew from a drive by that I was overweight, after all I wasn’t morbidly obese (260 pounds).  And then I looked down in shame and noticed that my back tire, although not flat, was very much compressed and looking flat underneath my weight.

That was my first clue that there was much more to the old calorie in vs. calorie expended debate that had become common knowledge.  I started reading and then reading some more.  I even remember that by the time I was a senior I had developed my own philosophy on re-feeding and cheat meals.  I compiled all my findings and personal experience and set up an appointment with my nutrition professor.

Man, you would have thought that I had two heads the way this dude looked at my.  I quickly realized that he didn’t know jack sh** and that I was going to have to discover and implement this stuff myself.  To say I was ahead of the curve by the time I was a senior at UD would be an understatement.

And then, I graduated and began my internship with Rutgers Football strength and conditioning.  I had still had my full body philosophy of training but I did mix some bodybuilding methods in there when I wanted to really pack on muscle.  I learned a great deal that summer from JB (my first mentor).  The pace those players trained at and the weights they were lifting were insane.  I would eat meals with the team and dudes that were shredded would be throwing a half a stick of butter in their oatmeal along with 6 whole eggs.  I couldn’t believe it.

Back to the drawing board.  That was when it sank in that food was a drug and diet was more a function of what was going on in the internal, biochemical and hormonal environment into which the food entered had a much bigger impact than counting calories.  Yup, food’s effects on the human body were more about the nervous system than anything else.  As a later mentor, Dax Moy, told me: it’s not what you eat but rather whom you are when you eat it.

I continued to develop a blend of philosophies to come up with my own training and nutrition principles.  And they have continued to evolve to this very day and yes, they are horrible according to most doctors.  Yet, I would put my blood work ‘returns’ (much like you should ask for a tax return of a financial advisor before hiring them) against any doctor and I know I would come out on top.

‘Yes, Kyle, but what are these things you speak of?!’  Don’t worry my good friend, I was about to get to that.

For nutrition, here are my principles with a brief, very brief explanation for space’s sake:

  • You should practice eating less often along with practicing intermittent fasting. This means I eat twice per day and I don’t eat before 16 hours past my last meal, usually somewhere between noon and 2 pm.  This allows for much greater insulin sensitivity (better fat loss, and better able to bullet proof yourself against diseaseà insulin is responsible for a lot of inflammation in our bodies).  Forget all that B.S that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that you have to eat 6 small meals per day.  I call the B.S that they are rooted in.
  • Second, eat predominantly organic, grass fed sources of protein and fat. Yes, fat!  Cholesterol is the precursor to all sex-hormone production.  Too many men are walking around with bitch-tits and testosterone levels equal with that of a eunuch.  Now, if you are eating fat sources not from things like organic fed foods, then that is a different story and for a different time.  In addition, get your good poly-unsaturated fats from things like organic olive oil and avocados.  Fat is great for hormone production; protein is great for muscle repair and they are both very filling.  I eat what I want, when I want if they fit into these categories and as long as my fasting period is over.  Yes, you can have carbs, and even cheat days but again, let’s stick t the basics here and now.

For training:

  • Cardio as you’ve been told to do it is garbage and a BIG waste of time! Most doctors don’t have a clue about training, so let me educate you and them for a brief minute.  The muscular system drives the cardiovascular system, not the other way around.  So the more muscle you activate, the more cardiovascular output and stress you get, which makes the heart stronger.  How do you do this?  You train for peripheral heart action which means head to toe things like a pushup into a squat pattern.  Take your grandmother’s idea of yesteryear that stated you had to train a body part such as chest, rest two minutes, chat a little bit and then after that waste of an hour is done, you had to spend 30 minutes on a hamster wheel and throw that shit out the window into a trash dumpster and set it on fire!
  • You HAVE to lift weights! I am adamant about this.  Yes, you can run and ride your bike but those things will not make you a stronger body.  They will not grow much muscle if any and the slow long distance types of exercise actually raise cortisol levels (one of our main stress hormones).  And those forms of exercise do nothing to stimulate bone strength.  Yes, I’ll admit, I do those things here and there and they are excellent for brain health but not for being a strong S.O.B.  I don’t care if you are man or woman, you need to get the body stronger and gain some muscle, they are your fountain of youth.  Strength is the foundation for all of your other physical qualities.  Train with weights, train for the aim of getting out of breath and train full body.  No, you will not hurt yourself if you go about this in a smart way and if you aren’t sure what a smart way is, then hire a coach to teach you.

Yes, they sound horrible and I am sure snowflakes all over the world would run for cover if they were told this by their college professors.  Good thing I’m not their college professors.  As always, if you do the opposite of what the ‘herd’ does in life, you will usually be much better off.  It’s no different when it comes to your health and fitness.  Get after it!




An Amazing Way to Meditate

I remember the year.  It was 2010 and I was running around like a giraffe with its head cut off.

Newell Strength was starting to really grow some legs, Devon and I were getting more serious, I was a full-time physical education teacher and I was completing my Master’s Degree at an accelerated rate.

I am not one to become overwhelmed easily.  I have what you would call a very high ‘allostatic load’.  An allostatic load is how much stress an organism can handle before it boils over so to speak.  When we boil over, we enter the exhaustion phase of the stress response.

If you reach that stage, and if you are reading this and living on the planet Earth, I can be assured that you have, you will enter a freeze mode.  Freeze mode is the go to ‘f’ out of the three f’s of the sympathetic nervous system: freeze  à flight  à fight.  Think of freeze mode as a depression; It’s like you are trying to move in quicksand, the wheels are going but no forward progress is being made.

By the way, I will be giving you dribs and drabs of nervous system and brain lessons throughout these articles because I am a firm believer that if you know how you operate, you can combine that with the why you do what you do to live a better and more clear life.

Getting back to the story at hand.  I entered my then principal’s office to vent to him.  We always had a close relationship and still get coffee together every month.

I had a list sketched out on an unlined piece of yellow paper with all the things coming up that had deadlines that I still had to complete.  I had allowed myself to become too overwhelmed which is the opposite of happy for me.

He told me to slow down and take a breath, which I did.  And you know what?  I felt better almost instantly.  Yup, by taking a few deep breaths and slowing down, I could literally feel the level of overwhelm go from an 8/10 to a 5/10.

The stuff on my list still had to get done, but by slowing down I was able to create a clear plan of action and a pecking order of which thing would be done first, second and so on.  The brain cannot multi-task despite all the posers out there that claim there are great at multi-tasking.

What really happens when we try to multi-task is that we have to put the brakes on our thought, let it come to a complete stop and then switch tracks to the new thing we are multi-tasking with.  It may seamless and quick, but and this a big BUTT: it takes a tremendous amount of energy to switch tasks like this, which will leave you for less efficient than you could be, which is ironic because we think when we multi-task that we are being more efficient.

Think of this way; if you were to go out and run 100 meters straight, it won’t be too, too hard.  For some people, it would be pretty damn easy.  That is how your brain functions when it is focused on one task and one task only.  Now, let’s suppose I told you that you had to run 100 meters again, but this time it was going to be broken up into 25 yard splits.  This means that you would run 25 yards, put the brakes on, run back and then repeat that cycle one more time.

Anyone that has run shuttle before will tell you that this second option is way more difficult and taxing on the body.  Metabolically speaking, stop and start activities use a tremendous amount of energy (there is a fat loss lesson here too).  The deceleration, change of direction and then acceleration are very, very difficult as it is with the brain too.

Back to clarity.  A lack of clarity on what you are doing and where you are heading is a big threat trigger for the brain.  The brain is nothing more than a pattern recognition machine which means it prefers prediction + response and repeat.  A clear ranking of priorities will work wonders on your daily tasks and goals.

But my friend, that is not what I really wanted to cover in this first section of the inaugural ULYIS newsletter.  What I really wanted to cover is the most effective and simplest way to meditate that have ever come across.  And yes, it starts with the breathing that my principal had instructed me to do in his office.

All meditations as far as I know involve the breath.  Yogis have been teaching this for thousands of years.  To become parasympathetic (the opposing part of the nervous system to the fight or flight response), you need to be in a relaxed state.  We can accomplish this through our body by stimulating the vagal nerve.

When talking about breathing, this can only be done through a long exhale through the mouth, and yes, it does not get stimulated if we do a long exhale through the nose.  You should always perform your meditation breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.  When you do this, you are going to want to the belly to rise (NOT The chest).  Chest breathing and ‘belly’ breathing have opposing effects on the stress response as well.

Ok, now that I have explained the breathing to you, what is this simple meditation method I speak of?

I simply go outside (near water if I can find it, lucky for me we live on a creek and are a stone’s throw away from a river), start my breathing and scan my senses.  By that I mean, I will spend a minute or two on noticing what I see; the colors, the birds, the grass, anything really.

Next, I focus on what I can hear including the animals, the wind, distant cars, planes, water flowing or anything else that happens to be in my environment.  I then go on to do the same thing with feel, smell and taste.

Admittedly taste can be a difficult one but you can focus in on the mouth, the saliva, teeth and any taste that you imagine your environment would have if it did have a taste.

This whole thing can be done in as little as 5 minutes, if you spent one minute on each of the five senses.  You will feel your blood pressure drop and a sense of calm come over you.

Let me explain; the breathing relaxes the tone of the nervous system and being in nature connects with the mammal brain, the second layer of the brain if you will.  The mammal brain needs connection and emotion to become fully activated, both of which you will accomplish any time you are out in nature and you focus in on it.  From what I have seen throughout my coaching career is that most people lack any type of deep mammalian connection (one of the reasons that dogs are so wonderful!).

Yes, I know people are married with kids and on and on, but I am telling you, they do not connect on the level they should nearly enough.  Most people are just trying to make it through the day and human connection is really an after-thought.  And most people, when they do happen to be outside in nature, are glued to their smart phone.  Their phone is smart but they are becoming more stupid by the minute (I’ll cover this brain science in April’s issue).

Most people do not focus on their spiritual connection at all.  They know that it is important but they simply don’t make the time for it because it’s the old thing of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.  When we cannot see material results, we are usually apt to brush it off.

Yes, people go to church, but most (not all), go because they believe it will check the box of spirituality and out of a sense of guilt (judgment is very powerful).

I went on a string of weeks from that point forward where I would go out to a local pond and sit there or stand there for up to an hour just taking in my environment.  I would also go to that same park at night and just sit on a bench and stare up at the stars.  I found that after about 20 minutes, my mind went into a full state of ‘alpha’ which left me feeling high and euphoric.

I don’t always create the pocket of time to do these lengthy sessions anymore, but I do make sure I do some form of it.  In fact, just yesterday, I spent 10 minutes sitting out front scanning my senses.

We all become overwhelmed and we all think that meditation is a great idea.  But when people hear the very word meditation they think of something that will require will power and a ton of extra time, which none of us really has.  The brain will not form a habit around something that requires will power and if we think of something that causes us to go into threat, like finding an extra 20 or 30 minutes in the day, we simply will not do ‘it’ either.

Here are your assignments for the spirit before next issue:

  • Learn how to belly breath properly. Place one hand on your belly to make sure it is rising.  This can be done standing, sitting or lying down.
  • On your lunch break or around lunch time, if you do not have a regular break, I want you to go out and scan the sense at least twice per week for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Sound simple enough?  Good.  We will build upon that next month.  Peace.