Session 1: Introducing The Conscious Leaders Development Forum

Consciousness refers to the state of being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings. The more aware we are, the more we can consciously influence our thoughts and feelings and help others. But here’s the challenge: How do we put what we learn about consciousness into practice? This first session dives deep into this topic.

Video Transcript

Dr. A: Welcome everybody. As we have people come in, we’re glad to have you. This is going to be fun today. This is our first Conscious Leaders Forum. I’m very excited about having you guys join us today. We’ll get going in a couple of minutes.

So, welcome everybody. We’ll start in one minute, we’ll just give a chance for everybody to  come in. We are very excited about this. This is going to be our first Conscious Leaders Forum. We plan on doing these on the first Tuesday of each month. Hopefully, everybody’s having a good week so far.

We’re kind of experimenting with this and we’ll talk a minute about what a forum is, but we want to do this in an interactive way, depending on how many people join us. For now, because we’re using the webinar, in order to ask a question, you’ll have to raise your hand and at the end, we’ll do a Q&A. 

I’m going to do a small presentation to lead off the theme today. about consciousness. If you have any questions on a specific slide I’m talking about, because I want this to be interactive, that’s when you raise your hand. 

Make notes as you’re going through and at the end of the presentation part, we’ll open up for questions. But if you have a specific question on one of the slides I’m talking about, raise your hand and Rachel will unmute you and you’ll be able to come on and visually interact with me. Because when we’re talking about consciousness, being able to talk to each other is  really important. So, if everybody’s ready, we’ll go ahead and get going here.

[00:02:14] Basically, what is a forum? A forum is a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged. I’m really excited today because when I’m in groups of people, the questions that come out are amazing because we all have our own advantage point or viewpoint in our own perspective of how we live in the world. 

And how we view things, how we perceive them, our level of consciousness, our childhood experiences, everything enters into that. We’ve coined the term “on our own planet”. And being on our own planet, it’s important especially as we grow as leaders, to be able to communicate. Not just with ourselves, by showing up as a leader, but also when we’re communicating relationally to others. 

This is going to be more of a personal consciousness. It’ll relate to your ability to lead whether you’re in our business or in another business. The idea here is to create a forum where people that want to work on themselves and grow have an opportunity to interact in an interactive form.

The first ones are kind of like our beta test. We’re going to see what works, what doesn’t work and we’ll modify as we go. We’ll always want suggestions, so if you think of ideas about how we can make this more interactive or make it better, that’s what it’s all about. Because in becoming a highly conscious person, one of the important things is feedback.

With that, why are we here? Hopefully to continue to evolve your level of consciousness and if you have the life book, you can go back into the early 20 elements and read more about consciousness and the levels of consciousness. It’s our perspective of how we see the world, and the world around us is volatile. This is called VUCAVolatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. The world has gotten pretty nuts out there and the only way we can ensure our continued well-being– And that’s kind of my shtick as the critical care physician and now, helping people create health and well-being is how we can create the flexibility and resilience to adapt to the changing conditions. Because here’s a fact, it’s brutal, but it’s the truth — today is the slowest rate of change there will ever be. The world is accelerating. Every day, new stuff is coming out and our ability to adapt to that is real. We’re really struggling. We’re not being taught this in school. We weren’t taught it in school. Very few people really understand it, and so we’re looking to create this forum as a place where people can come and learn more.

Now, this is not psychotherapy. I’m not giving therapy. I’m simply hoping to have better understanding in knowledge and better practical tools to help work on going to the mental gym to work on these key areas of psychological flexibility. 

And then, the third part is to get to  a higher level, so we can adapt and be flexible to the changes occurring.

There’s two key processes in human development. When we were little kids, we’re in wonder and we’re curious, we’re out on the playground, we’re in the pool with our friends and the world was one big curious place. We’re happy almost all the time until we get tired and cranky. We want to learn everything and we’re open to curiosity. We don’t even have to know why we want to know. We just want to know everything. 

And then, we’re told by the time we’re five, 50,000 times “no”, and we start getting put in this box, a box of social order that really takes away some of that edge. And around five or six years old when we haven’t developed our prefrontal cortex, we may be told things like we’re stupid or we’re not worthy. It doesn’t matter what it is, we take everything in and we can start to create things inside of us, and we start repressing things.

It’s important to understand that the two key things as an adult are to wake up and to grow up. What I mean by waking up is the delusion of control and power. We seem to think in our egos, that if we can control the outside world, and have our own worldview and if  we can fit everything into that world view, it will allow us to suddenly be okay. And it just isn’t true. And in order to grow up, it’s necessary to own up to those parts of our nature that we dislike so we can reintegrate ourselves.

When I grew up, my father was in the air force and every three years, we would move, and because we moved, obviously, I didn’t want to lose my friends because I had created great friendships, but there were also things that I did at that point in my life that I could learn from and then I could go and start a new in a new place. 

So what we’re talking about when we say “growing up”, it’s that on average, I talk about this in the life book, but by the time we’re 14, we have the skill sets to be able to get a job, go through school, and live our life with just that amount of consciousness. But what we don’t realize is that the world is changing and if we’re not becoming more flexible, we’re going to be in trouble.

If we evolve to the point where we’re actually growing up, we can then lead better. We can show up as a leader better because if we don’t evolve as a species, we’re going to end up like the dinosaurs.

The whole idea of what we’re talking about in expanding your consciousness is expanding your window of tolerance. We want to be at a point where we’re expanding our window of tolerance. And what I mean by that is when we’re not rigid, when we’re not reactive, our tolerance is being able to become more flexible. 

If we’re too rigid, we think the world’s got to be a certain way and we’re going to find more frustration as the world changes because the world is continuing to move on. If we’re too reactive to everything going on, we’ll be in a chaotic state. Either way, it’s very stressful. It’s going to lead to poor health and well-being. It’s like being in the middle. 

The term that I like to use that was developed by Barrett several years ago is we want to have “internal stability in external equilibrium”. This is a highly conscious state. This is a state where whatever the world throws at us, we’re able to take it in, make adjustments, and be able to make the choices that move us forward and allow us to not get turned sideways by the events of the world.

The external equilibrium is that with our world, we’re able to work relationally with other people in a state that keeps us out of the drama triangle, and keeps us in a state of creativity, of co-creation, and being able to work with other people. That internal stability is where we’re going to start.

The question I had and labeled is “what is that voice inside my head?” You know, that mental dialogue inside your head that never stops. What is it saying? How much of what it’s saying is true? How much of it is important? And it’s not you. If you’re hearing it talking to you, obviously, it’s not you, correct? It’s actually something else, so it’s very important that we realize that.

Most of life will unfold according to forces that are far outside our control, and I wanted to use this next slide as an example because it shows that your thoughts don’t have much impact. They really have impact on just you, because if you look at the slide, this was the luckiest person in the world that day because you can see where the boulder bounced off the side of the mountain, flipped over and missed the truck. And no matter what his thoughts were or how careful he was driving, things are happening in the world and we just don’t have control of them. And for whatever reason, we think all that mental talk inside is giving us control because we get nervous. We have fear, desire based energy. 

It’s like a tea kettle inside that starts building up inside of us, like you could be angry at someone. Think how many times you’re telling them off before you actually see them. This is where our human transformational technology — stop, challenge and choose —comes in. Because while you’re having this dialogue inside and that inner voice is talking to you and saying “yep, how dare they do this” and dah, dah, dah. 

If you can stop that process, stand away from it, and look and see that thought process is not you. You got upset about something, which is just an emotion. It’s not you and now you’re feeding it. And when you feed it, you go into it. And once you’re in it, you can’t see objectively, so it’s important to be able to sense and say “oh wait let me stop. I’m feeling really anxious. Let me challenge why I’m feeling this way and why don’t I choose an outcome”, so you don’t destroy or damage your relationship.

That’s part of what I’m talking about when I say working on reintegrating ourselves. Growing up and actually becoming more able to deal with situations from a different place, a place of creativity. That voice is narrating the world for us. And why do we need that voice? If we look at the beautiful dogwoods in Washington DC and you say, “Gosh, this is absolutely gorgeous” your mind, and your pure awareness sees that perfectly. 

You don’t need to describe it but if you do describe it, then we start bringing meaning to it and when events occur, we tie into them. Let’s say you see a yellow Mustang that looks like one your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend drove 6 years ago. So, you have this gorgeous car going by and suddenly now, your day’s been ruined because it brought up a thought from the past of something you repressed where you were upset because you broke up with someone, and then it just takes over.

So, we do the narration because it makes us feel more comfortable with the world we live in. It brings balance. It puts us in a position where we suddenly feel more comfortable because we feel it. Even if it’s anger or negative emotion, we still feel this thought, this cognitive emotive loop.

So basically, if you look at this, you can see everything is brought in and it comes in as factual in reality, as a pure videotape, but we make meaning to it. And then interpretation creates a narration that makes you feel more comfortable, and that’s why that voice is going inside your head all the time, and it continues and continues and continues.

So, how well do you know your inner roommate? The only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself. We spend so much time thinking about ourselves. “I” who is always talking inside will never be content. There’s always a problem with something, there’s always something going on.

The solution is really to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality. The reality is, you are not those thoughts. You are not those feelings. You are the witness of those feelings just like you are with any other thoughts, feelings or anything that happens. And you have your persona. You have your personality inside of you and that personality has occurred over the years depending on how you were brought up, your mentors, your parents, your education, your schools, the social environment you were in. All those things matter. 

But with those inner disturbances it’s important to remain objective. Because as soon as you start getting sucked down the rabbit hole with feelings or thoughts or emotions, you’re no longer objective. You’re no longer able to really manage it. You’ll never get rid of your problems inside by changing the outside world. It has to come from within, I think that’s really important for us to realize.

Let’s look at  some examples, because you might wonder what I am talking about. Well, did you take a shower this morning? While you’re in the shower, it seems like that voice is inside of you. It’s like having a roommate and if you’re listening to it, they’re there all the time and they’re talking to you and it’s just non-stop in the shower.

A shower is meant for us to clean our body, to wash our hair, to get ready for the day. And during that period because we’re isolated, we’re not exposed to any distractions, and suddenly, we have this inner dialogue going on and it’s talking about all things. It could be anything – “what am I gonna have for breakfast?”, “boy I can’t believe I’ve got to meet with my boss today”. It goes on and on and on.

Or you have the one where you left the house and then you think, “God did I leave the stove on?” And it can ruin your whole day. Now obviously, if you left the stove on, you want to go back and make a change or call up and have someone check it for you. But beyond that, if we just think about it, it can ruin our whole day. It can make us less productive and —it’s not us. It’s simply something that we’re doing inside. I’m going to tell you a story. I mentioned this story, but I think it’s a good one.

So a guy is at work. He’s an executive and he gets a note in the afternoon to come see his boss. So basically, he’s busy in a meeting, he finishes the meeting. He goes down and his boss is gone. And he thinks, “Oh gosh, I’m starting to wonder ‘did I do something wrong?’”. And so then, he drives home and on the way home, he’s thinking more and more about it. 

By Friday night, he’s out and he’s having dinner with his wife and his kids. He’s not even there. He’s thinking, “God what did I do?” By Saturday, it’s turned into, “I’m probably going to get fired”. By Sunday, he tries to get a hold of his boss, but can’t get a hold of him. He gets up on Monday morning an hour and a half earlier, goes in thinking, “I’m fired”. Gets in, never been in that early, gets there, goes into his office, he waits for his boss. He sees his boss come in and immediately goes down. And his boss goes, “Oh, I had two tickets to the Lakers that I wanted to give you.” And all that was made up, just created three days of suffering and misery, all made up by the voice in the head.

It’s really important to understand that if we’re going to change ourselves, we need to be able to observe what it is we’re changing and we need to fire that inner roommate because it’s keeping us from being successful.

Who are we? This is the third part and this is the part I’m going to finish with. Who are we? Am I the one who sees when I see, who hears when I hear. Who am I? Are you your name? Do people say “I’m Dr. A” Well great! That’s your name but would you be the same? And it goes on and on and on.

But the reality is, who we are is simply the awareness we have. All that other stuff is just things that we observe, things we see. We’re inside seeing these things, let me give you an example: 

If you saw a puppy sitting out in the field and you were watching it, you’d probably have joy and you’d feel warmth and maybe love. Then all of a sudden, behind you, you hear a rattle. You would immediately go from feeling good to suddenly, what would you have? You’d have immense fear. You’d have fear occurring and that fear could overwhelm you. 

And actually in this case, if that was the rattlesnake behind you, hearing and fearing and jumping away from it might have saved your life. And that was the original intention 10,000 years ago or even today if you’re out in the woods or something, to protect you.

But beyond that fear is something that needs to dissipate. In the case of a rattlesnake, you have an adrenaline rush, you jump, you move out of the way and you run or fight or freeze or fall. You could even faint depending on what mechanism is the most likely to save you and that’s built into our hard wiring.

But beyond that, to continue that fear could create a fear of snakes moving forward, and that is something made up in your head. You’re now saying, “Okay, I’m fearful, I’m not going to the woods anymore” and suddenly, you have this inner voice changing everything.

Here’s the deal, that dog is not you. When you observe it, it’s a form just like that snake wasn’t you and the fear you’re feeling isn’t you. It’s simply something that happened that you want to feel all the way through.

The last thing before we open it up for Q&A’s, I just want you guys to understand the whole idea is that you are this awareness, and the more we come from that perspective the better we are.

So, our thoughts are pretty close to us but they’re actually not us. Our feelings and emotions are a little further away but they’re still not us. And the third thing is the external world that we can observe. As I look out the window here and look at the beautiful ocean, that world is just the same as my emotions. So, today I was hoping that this would be a nice way to interact, that is just a thought I’m having and a feeling I’m having, just like the ocean is the ocean. They’re not part of us. 

Who we are is this incredible thing of consciousness and this is the start of opening up some thought processes for you.  We can remove ourselves from our thoughts, our feelings — And when I mean from our feelings, I don’t mean you don’t feel your feelings. You feel your feelings, you identify them, and you let them pass through because it only takes about 90 seconds for them to go through, and then you can go on with your day. It’s when we hold this stuff inside and create these thought-feeling loops that start to overwhelm us.

The idea here is to set you up for internal stability, being in a position where you can take control and command of yourself in the world you live in. And the external equilibrium is being able to help you interact with others in a more meaningful way.

That’s basically it for the overview and now, I want to open it up for questions. Rachel, do we have any questions?

Rachel: Yes, hold on one second. Okay, Dr. A, we have a question. How connected to inner equilibrium is the idea of eating cleaner, eating low glycemic and on plan?

Dr. A: The brain is the physical organ that allows us to be aware, our neurological system. And the more we take care of our brain, the clearer we think. It’s a great question and the question in essence is the more we eat healthy— we eat antioxidants, we don’t eat a lot of red meat, we eat healthy fish full of omega-3s, low glycemic which stabilizes the blood chemistry of the brain so it can function. It doesn’t like large shifts. It’s a very very highly active energy source. It uses a lot of oxygen and a lot of fuel, a lot of glucose so with that, it needs to be stable. 

When we have high glycemic meals, we increase it. The insulin goes up that’s why we get the cravings. So absolutely, the first thing you can do is the easiest thing– Well, I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest if you’ve been eating hot fudge sundaes and eating at McDonald’s. But one of the first things you can do to help and there’s a great section on the altar health sections within the book about protecting our brain and the things that can help us protect our brain. 

But yeah, our brain allows you to think clearly. Same thing with exercise. We know that if you exercise in the morning, you get 12 hours of increased lucidity, better cognitive processes, better memory. So everything you can do to protect your body, specifically also helps your brain. Hopefully, that’s helpful.

And by the way, Rachel, can people actually come on and ask questions? Can they physically come on?

Rachel: Yes, I’m gonna have Stacy Pendergrass come on. One second, we will make her a panelist. All right, Stacy, are you there? Do you want to come off mute and on video and ask your question?

Stacy: Hi, Dr. A.

Dr. A: Hey. How are you?

Stacy: Good, thank you. I have a problem stopping in the moment, in “stop, challenge and choose” and I would love to hear some suggestions on how to stop in that moment. I also was actually going to submit another question that I can ask a little bit.

Dr. A: You can ask after this one. That’s a great question and it’s actually happening before you even realize it’s happening. Everything in consciousness development is about self-awareness, so your body is actually giving you signs. It could be something in your throat, it could feel a pressure in your chest, a queasiness in your stomach, tenseness in your jaw. All of those things are early precursors. And what you want to do is recognize that something’s off, that’s what I mean by internal stability. 

If you’re internally stable, you may get a little blitz of a sign but you become so cognitive of it, you’re able to adjust it before you drift down below the line and go ballistic. So as soon as you sense it, you want to stop. Stop what you’re doing, re-orientate, ask yourself “what am I feeling?”, and then explore that and sense it out because it’s usually one of five feelings. Right? It could be a variation, but there’s really five things. 

It’s either you’re angry, you’re fearful, you’re sad, you’re joyful or you have that creative passion or energy to do something creative. It’s usually one of those five things and as soon as you sense that, you want to stop. And then you want to challenge “why am I feeling this way?”, because there’s usually a reason. You may not know it because you have this huge subconscious area that’s got all the experiences of your life and you’re not going to know all of those things. You can’t possibly remember all of them. 

But what you can do is have control over your consciousness and the state of consciousness is becoming aware in that moment. You’re becoming aware, so stop doing everything, unless you’re driving a car or something. But as long as you’re safe, stop, really focus on that, do that and become the observer. You are the observer and then you’ve got the subject. 

The subject is an emotion, a thought, a connection, a comparative reality. And before it takes you down into the drama triangle, before it wrestles you away and pulls you down that gaping hole, which most of it by the way is stuff from the past. As we’re learning. Like right now you’re asking questions you’re open, curious and want to grow. As you’re learning those things then stuff is going to bubble up because you’re going to have something that keys off and you’re not even going to know why, but it’ll start bubbling up.

If you think of it this way, you’ve got this huge container that’s you, that’s acquired and it could have been when you were five, it could have been last week. Things happen, and what we do is rather than fully sense, express and feel them, we repress them and so they’re down inside there and they’re below the water line. So, the idea here is to use each one of those as an opportunity. It’s almost like you’re going on a cleanse. Right? You’re actually starting to clean out all the garbage that’s inside you. And each one of these are opportunities when you start. So it’s not even bad that you’re feeling it, you’re actually getting connected to understand how your awareness is going to become the dominant factor. Does that make sense? 

Stacy: That makes sense, thank you.

Dr. A: Yeah. What’s the other question?

Stacy: My other question, the “five in one” is designed to work fantastically when you are perfectly on program, and myself as well as some of my clients struggle with the idea of perfectionism, that if you can’t do it perfectly, why bother. And it’s one of those internal things that we work through. But I wondered if you have some suggestions when someone struggles with perfectionism and they are just wanting to give up as soon as they’re kicked out of that burn. What would you suggest to those people?

Dr. A: Yeah, so that was what I talked about. Who am I? Basically, you are this awareness and beyond that, all that other stuff is made up. You’re making all that stuff up, including “I need to be perfect”. That’s a story that we learn when we’re growing up, because of fear of failure and rejection or because our parents were afraid to disappoint our parents and it doesn’t matter. If you get the flu, does it matter where you got the flu? No, you have the flu, right? All of us have some degree of that.

But here’s the real issue. What are we looking to accomplish if we focus on leading from the future that we want, right? If we want to create optimal health and well-being, that’s what you need to focus on, knowing that we are humans. If we were robotics maybe or AI maybe, but we’re humans and we are not going to do things perfectly. 

In fact, perfectionism is actually a fault, which is  a great way to look at it. It’s a fault. So if it’s a fault, then that’s something that I want to remove from myself because it’s holding me back.

It’s what we mean when we talk about upper limit problems. We’ve got things that never allow us to be fully free, and it’s about being in our comfort zone. So we have this fear for perfectionism, we want to stay in our comfort zone and we will not. It’s the difference between Carol Deck talking about a growth and a fixed mindset.

Perfection is a fixed mindset. Things have to be a certain way. “I have to do things a certain way or they don’t work”. I can tell you that reaching optimal health and well-being is not a straight line. It is a path that will require multiple levels of change. And that’s why I spend so much time on the mind because you can reach a healthy way, but if you haven’t changed in here, you still think you’re a heavy person.

Stacy: Yes.

Dr. A: Right?

Stacy: Yes.

Dr. A: So, if that’s true, that doesn’t work, that heavy person will then want to go back to equilibrium. Their equilibrium would be an overweight or obese person again. It’s really important that if you state, “I’m a perfectionist”, okay great. How is that serving you? Because it’s not at all.

Stacy: Right.

Dr. A: Okay, so that’s the whole thing, asking “do you want to create optimal?” And I always start with that question because if that’s true, all these other things are secondary to that.

Stacy: Right, absolutely. Thank you. 

Dr. A: That makes sense?

Stacy: Yeah. Thank you.

Dr. A: And here’s the other thing, if you’ve got your life book and you go out and someone next to you has escargot or something that you loved in the past and you really want it and you have it, you are a human being. Something that you crave, you love. You’re sitting there, you’ve had a glass of wine, your inhibitory neurons are down, and you make a choice that’s not necessarily on the trajectory of your long-term commitment. You say, “You know what, no. Why did I do that? I had two glasses of wine or three glasses of wine. I should have just had one, so next time, I’m not going to do that”.

The other thing you do is the next morning when you get up, “I happen to eat the brownie”, but bottom line is you have a healthy feeling and you’re back on track again. Now, you’re right, if you don’t do it perfectly, you’re going to come out of the fat burn sometimes, but learn from the experiences. 

When you say “I’m a perfectionist, why even do it?”, you’re making it about you. You’re allowing that inner voice to have command and the inner voice is your ego. It’s your desire. It’s a desire to make the world comfortable for you and so it’s saying, “why even bother with this thing? I didn’t like it. It was causing me not to be able to eat the things I want. Let’s just go eat the things we want. Let’s gain our weight back and then let’s just be back in our comfort zone sucking our thumb with our blankie”.

Bottom line is that when it comes down to it, it’s nonsensical. That voice inside being able to create that separation, that balance where you move back and now those thoughts will be close to you because they are close to you, but they’re not you. Those feelings that you have like shame and guilt, they’re not you. They’re simply something you brought meaning to, which in the past brought you comfort and it’s not serving you now. And then obviously, the external things, the world around you is further away. But know that all those things are not you. You are pure awareness that you have control of. You just gotta stop, challenge and choose, use it over and over and you’ll start to see separation and eventually you’ll start laughing. “I needed to be a perfectionist”, that was your ego telling you. That’s not you. You actually want to be healthy.

Stacy: Yes.

Dr. A: Cool?

Stacy: Thank you so much.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. You can cry, go ahead.

Stacy: [Laughing].  

Dr. A: Why are you crying? Tell me why you’re crying. What does it feel like?

Stacy: Because I have been in this cycle of beating myself up and it gets worse and worse and worse. And though all of those emotions that came with this cycle of eating and the reason that I came to this program, they come back and it just becomes this cycle. I eat again because I feel worse and again and again. And I try to get out of this cycle and it just seems so impossible some days. That’s why I coach so I can stay in this, so that I can help other people and work through this. But some days, it just seems so hard.

Dr. A: It is hard. Remember how- I mean, I won’t say exactly, but you’re how old around? Don’t tell me exactly.

Stacy: 31. 

Dr. A: Okay, so you’ve had 30 years to be a certain way, right? Those are a lot of long-term habits. Those are a lot of terms that you did a lot of thinking, a lot of that voice in your head conversation.

By the way, I want to be really clear. 99.9 percent of that stuff, that the voice in the head is telling you, is completely biased. It’s not true. I used the longer example of the boss and the executive. Think about it like this, let’s say you’re dating and you have a girlfriend. And the bottom line is she didn’t answer you today and so you’re upset and you’re thinking, “gosh why doesn’t she just care about me?” In that 30 minutes, that voice in your head has made up the cubiasi syndrome. You know whatever that thing was from star trek.

Bottom line is every scenario, everything that was wrong, could have been wrong. And then finally, you get a hold of her and she actually says, “Oh I wasn’t answering you honey because this is our one-year anniversary and I was creating a party for you tonight” and you didn’t even remember it was your first year anniversary together. You think about it and now it’s “oh God I love her so much, she’s so great”.

That voice in your head just went and did a 360. It just betrayed her and created a bunch of stuff that wasn’t true. Stacy, that stuff in there is not true. And I’m glad you’re getting emotional because you know what’s happening? You’re starting to sense there is a way out, and that is just observation. These things are not you. They don’t define you. They’re not part of you. They’re simply patterns in your brain that you’ve had for a long time and you’ve now rejected.

By coaching others, it makes you more aware. It puts you in the place and if you have to every hour, stop and sense “where am I breathing from? Am I breathing from up here? Shallow? Or am I breathing deep? If I’m breathing shallow, I’m in a state of fear. I’m in a state of this anxiety. I’m letting the past or the future get in the way and I’m not in the present”.

All you have to do is take a couple deep breaths, let it go, re-center, look and say “I am not any of those things”. You’re not. You are a young woman at the start of your career with a great company that you’re working with, it’s going to give you what you want.

By the way, if you need to, go get help. It doesn’t matter. If you need help, go get help. It doesn’t make you look bad. You are simply open, curious and want to grow. And if you need it, great, go get it, don’t beat yourself up because the bottom line is feedback is the breakfast of champions. It allows us to move.

Feedback from yourself – that’s why stop, challenge and choose is important and that’s why we can move forward because we create that separation from our thoughts, our feelings and actually the world. We are separate from those things.

By the way, trying to change the outside world doesn’t fix any of that stuff in here. Because you know what? That voice in there will have another problem in the next 20 minutes. It’s just the way it is. And to recognize and move from it, that’s how you start building internal stability which allows you to be more proficient at building external equilibrium with the people around you.

Stacy: Absolutely.

Dr. A: Cool?

Stacy: And the work that I’ve done through TLDP and through the support of this community has helped me get to a spot where I didn’t seek help.

Dr. A: Good and here’s the point, we’re not going away. This is a family, a community of people who have made the decision, raised their hand that we want to create optimal health and well-being for ourselves, and then reach out and help others.

The whole principle behind the 12-step program is the last step which is reaching out and helping others. That’s what helps define what we do and that’s what we do, we help people at a time when the world is nuts, it’s crazy.

By the way, that roommate inside, if that was a person, and that’s actually a good way to think about it. That voice, turn it into a person, turn it into someone. And then you know what you’re going to do? You’re not going to spend a day with that person. If that was a friend and they talked to you like that, you would fire them.

Stacy: [Laughing].

Dr. A: You’d get rid of them, right?

Stacy: Yeah.

Dr. A: So fire.

Stacy: Absolutely. Thank you so much.

Dr. A: Good luck.

Stacy: Thank you.

Dr. A: Thanks for what you’re doing to help us. Okay. Do we have any more, Rachel?  

Rachel: Yes, we do. Mark, can you come off mute camera? 

Mark: Trying to. Am I there?

Dr. A: Hey Mark!

Mark: Hey, good morning Dr. Anderson. Good morning Rachel. Thanks for having me on. How’s everybody doing this fine morning?  

Dr. A: Good.

Mark: Well, you kind of struck a chord with me. I needed to get on this forum and talk to you a little bit, a little testimonial about me. I’m actually a doctor of chiropractic and I’m on medical leave right now. I had a hip replacement a couple weeks ago. I’m doing fine, but I did use it as a segway to get out of an extremely toxic work environment, so the goal is to not go back there. 

I’ve been doing a lot of work with workers’ compensation patients and I’m really tired of working in a system where people are rewarded for not getting well. My current fiancé, we’re getting married January 8th, introduced me to this program and I’ve really taken a good look at the program, Lockstock and Beryl started coaching people.

And I guess my biggest question for you is, I have this problem where my brain is my best friend and it’s also my worst enemy. It gets in the way. As a doctor, I interact with patients all day long. I see a lot of patients. I’ve been a chiropractor for over 20 years and then I get into this new form where I can actually make a difference with people and help people and I almost freeze.

What struck a chord with me for example, when the boss has something to ask you and forgets the Lakers tickets. My worst question out there is I need to talk to you later and then I make up this huge story, this huge scenario. That’s one of my biggest concerns and fears that I have to deal with myself. And also, when I’m trying to work with clients and get health assessments, a lot of times, somebody reaches out for a health assessment and I almost freeze and I almost don’t want to contact them to do that health assessment. Because I guess maybe call it fear of rejection. They’re going to reject me in the program and we’ve all had it happen. 

I had one just the other day. They say well, “I know this program is over $400 so I don’t even want to talk to you,” so I’m working with some of that. I am processing a little bit at a time but I mean you’re the expert. You’re our main leader here and I look forward to as much advice as I can get from you and my mentorship as well. Danielle [unintelligible 00:40:40], is a great mentor and leader for me. My fiancé is a great leader. I like to hear differences of opinions and I figured I had a perfect time to speak with you directly.

Dr. A: Awesome Mark, thank you, I appreciate that. I appreciate all your hard work. Basically, what talking about in essence is that voice in your head that you’re discussing with, isn’t you. It’s really that simple and you’re obviously not just intelligent but you work with people all the time, so you hear people and all the things that are wrong in their lives. and that most of the stuff that’s wrong in their life–

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t physical things wrong with people but I’m saying that most of the things that are wrong with us, is that voice in our head. It’s the need to be right, to prove that you’re right. The thing is, it changes sides. That voice in your head changes sides. It’ll go from this is good to being bad in a second if it decides.

The most important thing is based on reality. Reality is when we’re able to separate and deal with the world as the world sits without having to make stuff up because we make stories up about everything. We bring meaning to everything.

In your case, you have helped so many people within the chiropractic profession and now you’re in a situation where you have the opportunity to help people, and you really like it, but you’re conflicted because you still have that part of you that was traditionally in medicine reacting to what was going on and now your helping these people.

The bottom line is you don’t have to fix any of those things. All you need to do is, in the moment, become aware. So, if you are getting ready to do a health assessment and you’re getting a little anxious, that’s because that inner voice is making it about you. It doesn’t want you doing that. It wants you to go back to the world where it was in control as a chiropractor, doing all this stuff in a certain way, and you were the boss and it was in control.

Remember, the ego wants to be in control, and suddenly when you’re talking to a potential client, they come to you as a chiropractor because their hip is killing them or their neck is killing them and they’re probably not spending money. It’s probably their insurance and if it is because it hurts so bad, they’re willing to pay money and you feel very comfortable in your skin when they come in. You don’t even think about money.

But when you have someone that could say no because of money or could say no because of something else, there’s a fear of rejection because you don’t think you’re good enough. And your ego is saying now “you’re not that good at this Mark, you’re a chiropractor.” And it’s battling with you because it doesn’t want to change.

Remember all growth comes from getting out of our comfort zone, so that’s what the voice is doing to you. It’s just simply talking to you. Here’s the deal, if the person says no or you mess up on the health assessment, what you do is what you said, you talk to yourself and I do it all the time.

I’ll say “okay, what could I have done better there? What parts could I have done better?” And if you’re working with your mentor or you have the opportunity because the client does say yes, ask them, “hey how could I have been better?”, that’s being open to grow.

The more we become facile with that, the more all this anxiety will go away because you’re having a battle. You’re having a discussion with that inner voice, then that inner voice is not there to serve you. It’s there to serve itself and what it wants to do is make the world a certain way and you’ve been defined for 20 years as a chiropractor, and it doesn’t want any nonsense when you’re actually helping people and doing what you really want to do.

Mark: It’s a constant battle every day.

Dr. A: So don’t have the battle. Remember, it is your persona. It’s all the stuff that you have from experiential part and it’s confused now with current reality, and it’s trying to make current reality something different than what it is. When you’re talking to the person that spoke about the $400, they don’t understand how incredible this program is. Because if you think about it, I always say, do you eat if someone asks “is it expensive?’ and if they say “no,” they don’t eat, then yeah it’s going to cost you a little bit of money. 

But if you eat, we’re going to become your grocer, you’re going to get this transformational system for one time less than 50 bucks. I’m gonna coach you for free. It’s the best deal on the planet and that’s what I feel. They’re saying it’s too expensive because they don’t see the value, so my curiosity immediately comes alive because I know it’s the best $400 you could spend in your life. If you actually apply it and let your ego go and be coachable and teachable, you can learn so much from this.

I always say that Optavia is an experience that can help everyone. Not necessarily what they may have come in for, but things in your life will give you a different perspective, a different vantage point, different tools in order to awaken that person to a potentially better way of living, better health and well-being.

You’ve got all the good. You know it inside. Stop battling with your voice inside your head because that voice is kind of like Scrooge, right? 

Mark: Yeah.

Dr. A: That’s the doctor of the past. You’re now the doctor of the future. By the way, that’s one of my favorite things. I remember reading it right when I started. Edison said a long time ago. He said “the doctor for the future will use no medicines.”

Mark: Oh no, that’s in chiropractic, we agree 100%.

Dr. A: Exactly and I haven’t used medicines in 20 years and I was a critical care physician. I used a lot of them [crosstalk 00:46:22].

Mark: Oh, no, no, great. I want to say I appreciate you. I appreciate everybody here, my mentorship, everybody. 20 years ago when I started chiropractic, I was looking for Optavia. I had no idea what it was and here I am, a late comer later in life, but better late than never and this is in line with my philosophy about how I feel with people, with life and you were a critical care doctor, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

You want to see people be more preventative instead of being reactive when they’re having a trouble, any kind of a problem. We want to work with people ahead of time. Unfortunately, as a chiropractor, pain is a huge motivator. A lot of people don’t come in because they want to be preventative, they come in when they’re hurting and you know how that works?

Dr. A: Yeah but now you got in optivis and now you have a profession to help with that. And here’s the other thing, Mark, I want to just give you a great compliment. To be vulnerable enough to come on as a physician, you’re already beating your ego, okay.

Mark: [Laughing].

Dr. A: Because if you were fully ego driven you would never do that. Remember, every sign that you’re making progress, okay. You’re doing great, and I [crosstalk 00:47:32].

Mark: My fiancé’s on here and she’s glad to hear you say that because I think physicians in general do have a little ego and [crosstalk].

Dr. A: Oh no! We have big egos. 

Mark: I’ve met a lot of great people, great people in medicine so far with Optavia and we do have a friend coach, a nurse practitioner. I’m working with her. Ego will not get out of her way to save her life, and so I kind of recognize this.

Dr. A: There’s a lot of mental suffering that goes with that, and so that you’re in the process of– You know what you’re doing? You’re reinventing yourself. The purity of why you went into chiropractic medicine, that idealism of helping people, now you can use this mechanism and help us change the world together, so really proud of you.

Mark: I can simply say thank you, Dr. Anderson. Thank you for giving us this gift. Thank you for everything that Optavia has done. I see nothing but pure potential with this and I look forward to the rest of my career as an Optavia coach.

Dr. A: Awesome.

Mark: Thank you.

Dr. A: I can’t wait to meet you buddy thanks.

Rachel: All right. Next up, we have Dana Worley. If you’ll come out now. 

Dr. A: Yeah, Dana come on down.

Rachel: Dana are you there? 

Dana: Hey there. Can you see me?

Dr. A: I see you a little, Dana Worley. There you go! 

Dana: Hey.

Dr. A: Hello.

Dana: My question to you, good morning, is we’re talking about internal stability, and if you can speak to creating internal stability with regard to your circle of friends and the people that you relate to in your life.

Dr. A: Okay, so if I understand the question, make sure I understand the question. You’re saying, you want to have internal stability when you’re interacting with the people in your life?

Dana: Right. And how it’s difficult to make changes in your circle when you’re working on your internal stability and your health journey.

Dr. A: Yeah, so you know, if you read in- I think it’s either element four or five about accomplices versus friends. Accomplices are trying to pull you back in the pot because they don’t want you to change, and friends are ones that support you, so that’s your surroundings.

Here’s the part about internal stability. It’s an inside job. The macro habit of surroundings is certainly there and what you can do is avoid people that are toxic. Take the toxic people out of your life, and obviously, you can’t do that with your family but you can isolate the time you spend with your family especially while you’re on the health journey.

In the meantime, internal stability is actually whatever comes in, so these people that haven’t changed as that input comes in, you now handle it and process it differently. You handle it from the standpoint of, “okay this is what always happens here and I understand that but, I’m on a journey to create health. I’ve chosen for myself to create health. I’m not going to let that person trigger me into the drama triangle. I’m not going to allow them,” whatever they say, whether it’s “you’re too skinny” or “come on, just this once have a drink with me” or “let’s have a hot fudge sundae” or “boy, let’s go to hooters and look at pretty young girls and eat buffalo wings.”

Those are all things you can just simply say no to. And what you can do is still maintain the relationship and say, “hey, listen if you want to, let’s go for a walk.” You can have more control in that environment. And if the person wants to take you to a place or to do something that you’ve decided during your health journey not to do, then you have the opportunity to say no.

And by saying no, you will feel so good. And do it in a polite way. Say “Sally, I understand you’re not ready to make this journey right now as my friend or my family member, if you love me, please let me go on this journey. I still love you to death. We can still do things together. I just have elected not to make those choices.”

In the meantime, daily, that’s why the app has, right from the beginning – stop, challenge and choose in it. The most important thing you can do is create a gap between stimulus and response. So, the old behaviors, those old patterns, like Stacy was talking about. We can actually stop those old patterns by creating that gap – that gap between something happening and responding to it. Something happening? You stop when you start feeling like we were talking about with Stacy. You stop, you challenge it and then you make a decision.

So, if someone says, “let’s go out on Friday to Buffalo Wing” or one of those places just saying “no, but I would love to go to a place where I can have a nice salad” and still enjoy your time together, so you have control over those things.

And here’s the last most important thing I can tell you, don’t try to change them, a person not wanting to change. You cannot change anyone else’s behavior. The only behavior you can change is yours, that’s where the metal gym is. The metal gym is working on that so that you’re no longer triggered by those things.

As long as you keep this little area up in the front here, this pre-free frontal cortex engaged, it will make the right decisions for you. If you go down into the drama triangle, start becoming emotional about something and not releasing that emotion and actually tying into it and building that cognitive motor loop, it will drag you into the emotion and then you’re no longer the witness. You’re not the observer anymore. You’re actually part of the scenario. You’re in the drama versus away from the drama and if the person gets upset, I mean I can tell you now from working on this for so many years, I can’t even watch the news on TV because those people are like little three-year-olds. They’re stomping their feet at each other and pointing their fingers.

It’s nonsensical but because the world’s got so caught up in that, most people are in that state and they feel alive because they’re emotional and their adrenaline is kicked in and they think that’s good that they feel alive when in essence, they’re killing themselves. Does that make sense?

Dana: Absolutely.

Dr. A: Oh awesome! Well, thank you. 

Dana: Thank you for your time.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Okay, we’ve got time for maybe one, maybe two questions depending on how long my answers are.

Rachel: All right. Candace can you come off camera?

Dr. A: Hey Candace!

Candace: Hey, Dr. A. How are you? 

Dr. A: I’m great.

Candace: Awesome. This has been so awesome. Thank you for doing this. So, Dr. A, I’m asking you more as a business leader of those who you have come to you and share. I’m overwhelmed.

My question to you would be what do you say when somebody’s sharing the idea of being overwhelmed? I imagine that’s from the thoughts that they’re creating in their head. What would your biggest piece of advice be if I were to come to you and say, Dr. A, I’m just so overwhelmed right now?

Dr. A: First of all, again, looking at it from reality, is where I would start. Because they may be overwhelmed, they may not have kept up with the skills. If you look at challenges versus skills as your business grows, you need to develop the skills to keep up with those challenges. And if you don’t, you’re going to feel overwhelmed. In fact, that’s the classic.

The first thing is, are they open, curious and want to grow? Have they been learning? Are they going to the events? Are they getting on the calls? Are they working with their mentorship? Are they asking questions? Are they learning and you can see that they’re becoming a more proficient coach? Because everything all the way up to high performance conversations are skill sets that we have to learn over time.

The other part is have they stayed closed? defensive and not growing? Are they trying to use the same techniques they used with their first clients, now to work with their coaches and business coaches? Because that could be factual. It may be they actually are physically overwhelmed because they don’t have the bandwidth, the emotional– It could be emotional stability too like you said. 

Or is it fully emotional stability? Is it something they just don’t have the skill sets for, they’re not delegating? Or is it actually emotional? Is it inside and they’re beating themselves up. It’s important to distinguish between those two things. That’s the first thing.

If it is simply emotional and they’re just beating themselves up and taking it all, then it’s to compartmentalize it down into segments and pieces, so you can create some traction on it.

The most important way to track success is to measure it, so I would find out whether they are intrinsically motivated or are they using this as an excuse. In other words, if they’re not engaged now. You need to know that first.

Second of all, where they are in their business, are they delegating the things that they should be delegating and are they bringing people up or are they being what we would call a traditional hero coach doing everything? So that would be the second.

The third part would be from an emotional standpoint, how are they doing? Are they letting everything that happens affect them and turn them sideways? Are they working on that? Those are going to be the key parts of that. So someone may need full help in supporting their growth, being open, curious and wanting to grow, and become more skilled. With another person, it may be psychological completely, where they’re making it all about themselves and now they’ve overwhelmed themselves. That’s what needs to be distinguished toput them on the track that you think will help them.

I’m curious when I have somebody like that. I’m trying to find out what they actually mean by being overwhelmed. If they say, “well I have three new FIBCs that just came on board and they want to go FIBL and I’m only in FIBC,” then clearly they don’t have the skill sets.

If they’re saying, I have three coaches that came on board and they’re overwhelmed, then we know that it’s probably not that. It’s probably inside of their mind.

Candace: I love that. I love the breakdown between emotional stability or skill set.

Dr. A: Yeah, so it’s transactional versus transformational. It’s a variation on that theme because both of them are necessary and if you have someone that’s been a leader for a while, it’s really important for them to understand that.

Usually, it’s self-correcting because if they are overwhelmed and they’re not doing anything, then their business isn’t growing, so they shouldn’t be overwhelmed. But if it is that, then it’s important to help them with those skill sets.

Candace: Awesome thank you.

Dr. A: Awesome, all right. We are two minutes from being finished but I’ll take one more question.

Rachel: All right. Tutor, if you’ll come off camera please. 

Dr. A: And while we’re doing this last question, if everybody would put in their feedback on whether you like this, was it helpful? What would you like to see differently, what are other formats. Anything to help us make it better. So hey Tutor. How are you buddy?

Tutor: Real good, Doctor. It’s an honor to be here. I’ve met you twice believe it or not at the convention and it was at the concert. I was standing right next to you at the concert. It was so cool. I brought you some water and I thought, yeah it’s pretty hot and he’s not moving from that spot, so I went and got you some water. But I’m honored because you’re a very emotional guy and I’m a very emotional guy. And many times in a health assessment, I get emotional with my clients and I have no problem signing up clients. I have no problem.

But the biggest issue that I have is, how do you get their true why. How much time do you spend on getting their why out of them? Because that’s where I struggle.

Dr. A: Bottom line is it’s all about building a connection. It’s about building rapport. In the beginning, you’re a stranger and obviously you’ve got a nice affable face and you have a pleasant demeanor. But the reality is the world is a very scary, scaly place to most people, so you’re building rapport. As you build rapport, and that’s why the speed of trust is so critical.

The more quickly you create a consistent interaction through conversations with your client or with your coach, the more they will let down their guard and the more they’ll open up to you. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves and they’ll talk about anything, and then there’s others that are very repressed. And that’s the key.

The key is in any specific question, it’s through consistency, building and seeing. Remember, the two sides of competency obviously, the character side, your integrity and your intent which is to help people.

But on the other side, it’s also the capabilities and the results. If you are balancing both sides, you’ll build trust quicker and you’ll build credibility. You’ll build influence and you’ll build the ability to be an advocate and really help them find exactly what’s most important to them. Does that make sense?

Tutor: It does and I appreciate that. I will finish with this, the convention was something I’ve never experienced in my life. I’m 65 years old and that convention, I brought my wife with me, changed our lives.

Dr. A: Awesome.

Tutor: It changed our lives, so I just want to thank you for starting this whole journey and it’s made a big difference in my life. And I’m just so thankful that Chris Pettit brought me into this world of Optavia.

Dr. A: Awesome. Well, I appreciate that.

Dr. A: Thank you, and I want to say something. When you say you’re an emotional person, at one time, I played football, played sports and traditionally, guys don’t cry. Bottom line is, I just always sense that to feel your emotions fully, is one of the most important things in life.

And it’s not just to be happy all the time, it can be tears of sadness, of joy, of just experience, of awe. And all those things, the more we come in touch with them– Now, you don’t want to go off the hinge with a client you don’t know and just start turning into a big baby. But they’re gonna sense.

Remember, we sense emotion and feeling and compassion and empathy, they are some of the strongest things we have as fellow humans, and they’re sorely missing in the chaotic world we live in right now, so that’s a good thing. So Tutor, thanks and go get them.

Tutor: Thank you. Thank you, Dr, Anderson.

Dr. A: All right so we’re out of time. We’re one or two minutes over. Hopefully, this was helpful but give us our feedback, so we can continue to evolve and grow this.

For all of you that were on today, thank you for joining and let’s go out. And this week, work on remembering, you are not your thoughts, your feelings. You are the awareness of those things. You are yourself. Plan what you want to increase your health and well-being, and come with us and help us create a better world. Thanks, see ya.

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