Session 13: Understanding Your Psyche: Where Thoughts and Emotions Collide

Put your lab coat on! In this session, we talk about what happens when your emotions and thoughts collide.

Video Transcript

Dr. A: All right everybody, welcome to our Conscious Leaders Forum. Very excited about today, we’re going to have a great one. We’ll give about a minute, we’re at 11:59, about a minute for everybody to settle in. We’re going to have a lot of fun today, get a lot of questions answered and move on our journey to Consciousness— pretty excited about that. So, hope everybody had a nice weekend. This is the first Tuesday of the month and that means today we’re doing our forum. Today we’re going to talk about a very important piece of our lives. It’s our personality! It’s actually our psyche and what I want to do by the end of this call, or the zoom, is really have you dialled into understanding how your thoughts and your emotions work together. To build your personal mind and basically, it’s where all the stuff happens. Sometimes it’s not so much fun in there and we all have that, and the psyche is very different because it’s non-physical.

We’ll talk about that. We’ll talk about how the thoughts— and we’re going to focus today on the emotions and how all this stuff inside of us, kind of separating it out. Starting to put on your lab coat and dissect it so you can start to really understand how this works because if we can learn how and be aware how our mind works everything opens up for us and once we become the Dominant Force in our life, we can build equanimity and that word is kind of an interesting word, most people don’t truly understand. By the end of this call, you will.

So with that, let’s go ahead and get started and again this is a forum and it’s designed that way specifically so I could really interact with you. This is about understanding how our mind works, not in a theoretical, not from an ivory tower but actually in real life. These are real life situations that are happening to you. There are ways you can work on that. We know we want to get in better shape— by the way, our physical health influences our brain health and our brain health influences our mental health and our mental health is influenced by understanding how our mind works, how our psyche works, how the world works, how we’re conscious, and our thoughts and our emotions work. So first of all, get into an exercise program, make sure you’re working out at least 150 hours a week or something strenuous, something that allows you— as long as, of course, you check with your doctor— and because it helps keep you healthy, it helps keep your mental energy, helps clean out— kind of washes the amyloid out of your brain. So I just want to say that as a position and of course many of you are great advocates of the Habits of Health.

We talk a lot about ultra health, brain health within the Habits of Health Transformational System, but this is a place for you to ask questions. So with that, it’s really important that we become aware as the witness and I’ve said this since we started these calls, but it’s important to realize you are not your thoughts and you are not your emotions, or your feelings. You are the observer of those things and the more you become aware and able to separate and move back, and we like to call it the “Seat of Consciousness,” it’s being able to look back and see our thoughts and our emotions, because once we’re self-aware then we can manage. Now we can start to put ourselves in position to really thrive and no matter what happens— and life is going to happen— we can handle it.

We’ve talked a lot so far in these forums about thoughts. We’re going to talk more today about emotions. So putting on your lab jacket is important. Think about it, how do I now explore something that I kind of just took for granted? I’m probably mindlessly going through my days just reacting to everything in front of me. How do I become aware of this? How do I start to control it? How do I put myself in position to be able to be the master of my life, rather than the world and how do I respond to it being the master? We should be aware. We should study the conscious world around us and we do— you know I’m a scientist, a physician, and I studied science. I love studying nature and zoology and so I learned a lot about the creatures outside, but in medical school, and even in my residencies and fellowships, we didn’t learn much about how the mind works and so it’s really important, I think it’s the most important, in my 20 years of really leading this movement to help better health and wellbeing.

It’s been about physical health, but now I’m moving more into this because this is what can determine the difference. If you keep using the same thoughts and the same experiences from your past, you’re not going to create much of a difference in your future. So what we’re learning is how to make a difference. To change your perceptions. Start to command your thoughts and your feelings so they’re in service of you rather than you being in service of them. Also becoming aware. Putting on your lab coat for both your emotions, as well as your thoughts. So, we’re going to talk about that and how your psyche works.

So, your psyche basically, are your thoughts and emotions together forming your personal self or your psyche. The psyche is non-physical. You can be standing right next to someone and they can have a world of things going on in their mind and their emotions and you may not be aware of them at all because they’re non-physical and it’s hard for us to really study it. Only recently in interpersonal neurobiology, we’re starting to look at scans and blood flow and started to see electrical activity. We’ll show some of that today, talk about the coherence between our emotions, and our heart, and our brain, and how those things influence each other, and why sometimes you have a great golfer all of a sudden just clutches because they lose their coherence. Their emotions start welling up, there’s fear usually, and then something changes and then their physical ability— which is incredible— is now disrupted. Well, that happens to us every day in our lives and so the more we can look at our thoughts and our emotions and understand how they work together.

So, your thoughts, when we think of our thoughts we think of our head, right? Because it’s in your brain and your mind is basically focused on from the neurological activity, your brain. How our thoughts are perceived to us are either through visuals, we visualize thoughts or we verbalize our thoughts, and we’ve talked a lot about the voice in your head and we’ll continue to because it’s a big one and it takes a while to really understand as well as start to control that and put that in the right focus. The voice in your head is mostly stuff you’re just making up and with thoughts, you can create specific objects. Unlike thoughts, your emotions come from your heart. You feel your emotions. Emotions and feelings are the same. Basically, your emotions are released, they’re vibrations and they create feelings and we feel these feelings and the feelings, unlike the objects of thoughts, they’re basically more waves or think of them as clouds. Clouds in the sky moving by. Who are waves of energy, and basically it comes from here [gestures to chest] and it moves, you can see in the diagram [referring to slides on screen], it moves itself up, but basically this is our heart. This is the emotions and they’re always present.

We don’t normally notice them until they change and usually, it’s a pretty radical change like, you know, you’re feeling really good and let’s say you’re falling in love and then you’re significant other does something that just upsets you. You feel— you actually, literally feel that change in energy or you’re doing well on— you’re taking a test and then you get to a question and the question you don’t quite understand and you feel that energy change, anxiety coming up, which is a form of fear, and basically it disrupts us and so it’s really important that we understand that self-awareness of our emotions is just, if not more important than being aware of the thoughts in our head. And again: witnessing, standing back and witnessing.

So, pure energy flow. When we’re in reson, when you’re walking on the beach, when you’re having dinner with someone you care about, you’re watching a TV show that you love that makes you feel good, you feel this coherence. If you look at, you’ll see this [referring to a slide on screen], you’ll see that on the left side, bottom line, everything is resonating. The whole body, the physiology, the emotional energy, the thought process, the cognitive part, they’re all in resonance, but just like that we can trigger something and we go out of sync and it disrupts everything your physiology. I’m wearing a device now that measures how I sleep, during the day— my activities, and it’s amazing to look at how your physiology is so important and how you feel about your wellbeing, and that’s what I’m all about.

I’m spending the rest of my life helping people take control, become the Dominant Force and help with their wellbeing, because when we feel well, our whole physiology, our anatomy, everything works much better. We put ourselves in a better position. We interact better with each other and it’s actually, literally what we want. So, the “aha” moment for you here is emotion is generated when our core energy hits a blockage and produces a negative feeling. So think of it this way, you have a pure energy state. Basically, your inflow, something hits, something triggers you. Basically, a blockage that interrupts that flow, we’ll look at that again going back to the river analogy and then it causes a negative thought and it changes, you could, you know, you can be out for dinner and leave and just had a wonderful dinner with friends or with family or with your spouse and you’re walking down the street and again, I’ve used this before, but a yellow Mustang goes by that suddenly— you may not even remember it— reminds you of in high school, what your boyfriend or girlfriend had, and you ended up breaking up and there’s a bad feeling and you repressed that and all of a sudden, like that, that blockage stimulates and changes that coherent wave energy and causes the disruption and so you’ve see me show it before [referring to a slide on screen]. Normally when we’re calm and in flow there would be no rocks in that river, it would just be flowing through, flowing through your day or your evening, but the rocks are stored trauma.

They are our “stuff” and that creates eddies in our mind and once that happens, it creates cognitive emotive loops and we all know this, some thought we have triggers this emotionally. We feel fear, we feel anger, we feel— we might even feel joy, it doesn’t matter what it is, bottom line is sadness or creative energy and those energy states are basically triggered by the thoughts and then the thoughts trigger the emotional part, the feelings, and then the feelings, and it creates this loop and all of us have had evenings when we lay down on our pillow and had some thought. Something that triggered us, on our mind, in our thoughts, creating the feelings, and we can’t get to sleep because it takes over. It hijacks you and you’re no longer in control. You’re no longer the witness of your thoughts and your feelings, you are now in there, you’re actually going down the rapids, in the rapids and when you’re in there, you’re triggering your emotional state. Your Olympic part of your brain, your Labrador brain, and once you’re emotionally like that then basically you can’t get out. You can’t get out, and you can’t manage it.

So you have to remove yourself and we’re going to talk about that in a minute, but just to give an example, you know when you’re— if you’ve had kids when they were little and you’re teaching them how to read, bottom line is they’re sitting in there and they’re doing okay and then they make a mistake and they get frustrated, and then they make another and right then you should give them a kiss, hug them good night because once the limbic brain, the emotional brain, has taken over, that loop— bottom line is they can’t learn anymore. They’re now in a reactive state. It’s closed. It’s wanting to be right and they get frustrated and you might as well just stop.

Well, the same thing here. We want to be able to navigate where we get triggered by one of our stored traumas. We want to be able to stop. So, how do we do that? Well, your work starts with don’t go down the rabbit hole! Where you start to drift below the line. We talk about the Drama Triangle and how we get emotional. We become a victim, or villain, or the hero, and when we feel that starting to happen, we want to what? We want to Stop., I built this technology 15 years ago. We want to Stop., what we’re doing, sense — feel that feeling. Feel it all the way through. Challenge why we’re feeling that way and then Choose an outcome that moves us forward to what really is more important to us and think of it as this, you want to get out and observe, and the way— the only way— you’re going to get out is to Stop. I love to you know, I like to use if I’m in a meeting and I’m being triggered I always like to take a drink of water, you know, usually, it’s a water bottle.So it gives you time to undo the top, take a drink, and sense, how my feeling? Has the wave gone by or is it still there? If it has, drink another. Take a couple more moments to feel that. Do a nice, deep exhale, which kind of releases that energy, that negative energy that’s there. That fear, that anger, whatever it is. Let it go and just observe because if you don’t, you’re going to get triggered, and you’re going to have a bad outcome and what we don’t want is we don’t want our thoughts or our feelings controlling our life and not our health or our wellbeing.

So you can look at this [refers to a slide on screen], it’s actually looking at heart rate during frustration and you can see the lack of resonance that’s occurring and then you shift to appreciation. Appreciate for the moment. Relax and don’t do anything don’t repress, don’t repress it, just sense it. Stop., feel. Challenge., yourself and then Choose an outcome once that wave has gone by. Basically, there’s a lot of people on death row because of not taking that. They knew they were triggered, but rather than stop, they let that emotion take them over and they did something terrible. I mean that’s the extreme example, but even the little things we do every day when we’re triggered can affect ourselves in a negative fashion.

So, create the calm flow in a present state. The other part, the more important part, is really to work on your own health. To be in great health and have great relational health. To be able to build the team you want. Be able to become the leader, the conscious leader, that you want to become. The transformational leader requires us to get in a calm state. It’s getting back to coherence and how we do that is when we start to drift, we want to shift back and have that release and relax. Also, all that stuff over the years, all that— our garbage, our stuff— that’s all been pushed down is affecting our ability to be coherent and we want to now use these, remember we’re putting on our lab jacket, we want to use this time to start releasing that stuff and you’ll find very shortly that stuff that used to trigger you, won’t trigger you anymore, because now you’re taking control and you’re starting to become the master and the Dominant Force in your own life.

So equanimity, basically, is when you have resonance. It’s what I’ve been talking about for several years. It’s basically when you have resonance, where things are going to happen, you’re aware of them, you’re not putting your head in the sand, but you’re aware of them, but you’re addressing them in a way so when things happen you respond in a way that you determine the outcome, and the outcome then becomes one of flow versus reactivity. So, so important, and as we increase our state of consciousness and we look at actually the world and in general electromagnetic energy these are flow states that are in the world that are so critical, and in resonance— you know, I was a lifeguard in college and medical school and I would go to the beach and I would watch couples with their kids come down to the beach and basically they would be chaos, right? Towels everywhere and toys and kids kicking sand and everybody yelling at each other, you’ve all seen the drill. I’d watch it every day. By the end of the day, just the influence of being in nature, being connected to that electromagnetic resonance of being connected back to the things that really matter, we’d watch those families calm. It would get quiet and towards the end of the day the kids would be asleep and the family would be relaxing. They’d be holding hands as they went to their car. It’s pretty cool.

But we can’t be in that state if we’re in our personal mind. If we’re so involved in how we’re perceiving the world and the world’s got to be a certain way, we are totally out of resonance and by the way, you know, a broken clock or watch is right twice a day. So, when everything in the world is in resonance if the world has to be a certain way, then sometimes it’ll be in resonance, but it’ll be very occasionally and as you move through the different parts of your life, as things change and things you could do, you can’t do unless you’re in resonance. Basically, you’re going to get more and more frustrated and that’s what this is all about. It’s about working on our mind.

So again, you’ve seen me show the slide a thousand times, but it’s about internal stability. We’re now inside of this— again, whatever happens, we can handle it and then our exposure to the outside world, specifically our relationships, because our relationships are our human connection and right now, if you look at the world in human connection they are getting an F-minus in terms of their score, and what we’re about is changing that and your growth will change everyone around you. I promise you that. So, think of it this way: we have all these mountains, these huge rocks around us but we want to work on ourselves and we have full control over that. We can become the Dominant Force in our life and calm the waters of our mind and move forward observing our thoughts, and feelings, having control over them, and I guarantee, your life will improve and the life of the people around you. Your role as a parent, as a friend, as a coach, a leader, will all get better.

So, with that, hopefully, that’s helpful. Let’s open up the questions. Rachel, what do we got today?

Rachel: All right. First up we have Shelly. Shelly, can you come on camera and unmute yourself?

Dr. A: Hi, Shelly.

Shelly: I am not technically very good, so, anyway.

Dr. A: Okay, wait. We’re gonna stop there. We’re gonna stop right there.

Shelly: Oh, I know what you’re going [crosstalk 00:17:40]

Dr. A: Well, how does that matter?

Shelly: It doesn’t.

Dr. A: Okay, thank you. So, let’s just not qualify ourselves and put ourselves down.

Shelly: Yeah.

Dr. A: We’re so mean to ourselves. Would you say that to your friend that is struggling with their phone?

Shelly: No.

Dr. A: No. Okay, so stop saying it to yourself.

Shelly: Okay. [smiling]

Dr. A: We’re starting right. Offer let’s get to work. [smiling]

Shelly: Yes. Yes. So, well, first of all, thank you doesn’t even cut it, but thank you. I am, as someone who has struggled with their weight for 18 years, saw 15 doctors trying to figure out how. I’m just so appreciative that I have an answer. So I appreciate that. My question is, and I wrote it down because this is kind of coming up a lot with coaching. Stop. Challenge. Choose., it is a wonderful technique when you do it and we have many clients, especially those that are just starting. They have trouble utilizing this because their subconscious has taken over and they just start eating or binging and they don’t really think of Stop. Challenge. Choose., until sort of after the event. So, my question to you is, do you have any specific techniques to help put yourself in a conscious state when triggered? So you can utilize the Stop. Challenge. Choose.? 

Dr. A: Well, here’s the thing, if we’re on automatic, and most of the time we are, the voice in our head is always talking to us. If we’re in that space, just like you were, you know, you said that a thousand times and I’m probably the first person to challenge you, hey, don’t talk about yourself like that, you know, it’s not helpful. So that’s an automatic state you’re in and so they’re in automatic states. So, two things. Two things are important, the first when they start on their health journey and they’re starting to get healthier and lose some weight. It’s really important that you’re working with them to make them cognizant of how they’re feeling, right? Because they’re going to feel better. They’re going to have more energy. People say, “oh, did you get your hair cut?” It doesn’t matter what it is but for the first time in a negative loop and by the way, our default mechanism is negative. We talk to 33 people about something negative, three people about something positive. That is our hard wire from ten thousand years ago because it protected us because threats were all around and so that was our normal bias. In the world, we’re in today that is being substantiated and self-reinforced by everything because the world is in a massive reactive state. So the most important thing in your relationship of working with them is say— show them by your action, there’s a better way. And the better way is that understand what Stop. Challenge. and Choose., is, because if they don’t understand what it is— what it simply is, is a way to stop the loop of stimulus response.

So, a spinal animal, a reactive animal that doesn’t have the brain that we have, the human brain, basically responds. So if you see a crab on the beach and you get near and touch it— boom!— it responds, right? Instantaneously. In fact before you, probably before it even had any kind of thought. That’s how we have a tendency to react and so someone that struggled with the weight they’ve used eating as a comfort, a compensatory mechanism, and a comfort mechanism, to help them respond to it. To give them a little bit of instant pleasure when they’re feeling wrong.

Okay, stopping, by having them realize that your emotions are taking over. Having them actually learn just to feel. Just to feel the feeling and the feeling will come up, I call it the icky sauce because everybody knows what that means. We all get that icky sauce, right? We’re in a meeting, someone says something about us and we start getting upset or we start feeling embarrassed or we start—  it doesn’t matter what it is, but we start feeling— again, what I was showing today, that beautiful coherence stops, and fragments, and it causes turmoil, it causes eddies, and spray, and that spray is the first indicator. Right when it starts, it’s the first thing that happens before you’re even aware of it. You start feeling the tightness in your throat and your eyes, your jaw, your chest, your gut and that’s the part you want to work with them with. You just want them starting to find it and not even deal with it just be aware of it. Be aware that they’re feeling something because most people aren’t aware and most people confuse their thoughts and their feelings.

They’re very separate things. One’s in here [Dr. A gestures to the front of his head], in the prefrontal cortex, the other is in the limit area of your brain. They’re very different areas of the brain but we kind of bunch it all together and so we can’t dissect it. That’s where you start with them and what you say to them is, listen, you’re feeling better. You’ve lost some weight. You’re really proud of that. The mechanism outside of you. Okay? Whatever you’re doing, the things you’re doing with them and using the tools, are not the long-term solutions. The long-term solutions are all inside of you. So, what we’re doing is, hey I know it’s hard. It’s hard to stop doing something you’ve been doing forever and you’ve been reacting to, so all I want you to do to start with is when you start feeling that icky sauce just stop. Stop. Take a breath and just be with yourself for a couple minutes. Make it that simple for them and don’t try to fix it. Don’t even challenge yourself in the beginning, just stop and identify what the emotion— it’s one of five emotions. I mean there are variations of them it’s either fear, it’s anger, it’s sadness, it’s joy, or it’s that creative process, kind of the sexual creative abundance that kind of tingling that goes out in our body when we’re really elated. It’s one of those five things.

Have them just identify that and then sit with it. Stop. We’re there, and that in itself will start bringing— the human mind is really intuitive and once they start sensing and feeling that, wow, it opens up and then all of a sudden they see in that circumstance where normally they would eat when their boss yelled at them they would have eaten a candy bar, instead they went to the water fountain. So you give them options. You give them alternatives so that when they’re stopping and they’re feeling it, then something they can do. Take some deep breaths, change your posture, go for a walk, walk out of the room and say, “excuse me I have to go to the restroom,” go to the water fountain, anything that interrupts that cycle and what they’ll see in the first couple weeks is that they do have control. They do have sense, but it starts with awareness.

Shelly: Thank you.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Okay, who’s next?

Rachel: All right, next up we have Timmy. Timmy, can you come on camera and unmute yourself?

Dr. A: Hey, Timmy.

Timmy: Hey, Dr. A. How you doing?

Dr. A: Good.

Timmy: One, I want to say thank you. This program’s changed my life. Optavia helped me lose 80 pounds and helped me become the better husband and father for my family and so I’m excited to share that I’m having a second baby in April. A baby boy. [crosstalk 00:24:34]

Dr. A: Congratulations, that’s awesome.

Timmy: And so my question is, so you kind of touched on it on the last question, but what can I do if I notice the same emotions continually showing up at a certain time or with a certain individual and I don’t want to feel this? I work really hard at being aware and being present, and feeling, and drinking, and Stop. Challenge. Choose. I don’t take it lightly and I see the benefit and it still shows up, you know, and instead of trying to fix it, just trying to stay aware, but is it with the lab coat on? Do I go away from it or… what do I do?

Dr. A: Yeah, that’s a great question. That’s a great question and first of all congratulations for working, doing this work, this work is easy, but it’s something people haven’t done before so it’s very foreign to them, you know, so it’s getting used to feeling comfortable with your uncomfortableness because all that stuff you have inside of you, the reason why it’s down inside of there because you didn’t want to deal with it when it first happened. You just didn’t, either didn’t have the resources or you just didn’t want to deal with it so you repressed it, okay? So understand that. When you’re having an issue with someone else, bottom line, that’s actually a projection. So there’s two ways to look— either you withhold in the relationship, you withdraw, and then you project those feelings back onto that person or you reveal what you’re feeling. You connect with them and you own your stuff, does that make sense?

So that’s a very different way of thinking about it. So if someone triggers you it’s not about them, it’s not about them at all, Timmy. It’s about you. Think about that and the whole idea and one of the key elements is taking radical responsibility for yourself and that means for everything— the feelings you’re having, that person isn’t giving you the feelings, you’re giving you those feelings and that’s okay, but if you really want to move on and it sounds like you really do, is basically ask yourself, “what inside of me am I projecting on that other person?” And identify it. Be okay with it. Don’t try to change it initially, just identify what is this bringing up inside of me that’s making me feel like this. What can I do to do that deep work? To basically remove that? Because once you do that, they won’t have any effect on you. I mean I know this, you know, one of The Four Agreements from I don’t know, five thousand years ago, with the I think it was the Aztecs or the Mayans or something, one of their leaders talked about, “don’t take anything personal,” because it’s not about you.

If someone shoots you in the head, it’s not about you. It’s gonna hurt and it’s gonna affect you, but it’s about them. It’s not about you. So just making that shift rather than—  because what it sounds like you’re doing, you’re growing and you’re learning some of these things, and you’re able to deal with them but when someone triggers you, what you’re doing still is you’re still repressing it. You’re putting it back down and just being quiet or trying not to engage. That’s okay, but it’ll continue for the— so I’ll give you an example, maybe this will make sense for you. So if a couple gets divorced, and let’s just say the wife gets pissed off every time she thinks about the husband. They didn’t really get divorced, right? They’re still connected because she’s still focused on what he did to her in the past or what he didn’t do, or how he ruined her life, and so they’re still connected. That stored trauma that she has is still there, and they haven’t removed it. So it’s still affecting her daily, or every time he triggers her. Anything, you know, it could be he didn’t pay a bill. 

To fully remove, to build equanimity, to get back the calmness. I’m not saying you don’t have to deal with financial things and stuff like that but they— once you divorce, and that’s over, your love for yourself and caring is what matters. It’s basically being there for yourself and removing beyond. This person no longer is part of me and I’m not gonna let them bother me because they’re out of my life. If you leave them still in there, then you’re not divorced.

So just like in this relationship that triggers you, it’s triggering you because you have unfinished business. Stuff up in you— and you know what? The beauty is, put on your lab jacket, eat the obstacle like an energy bar and basically figure it out. Figure it out and, you know what? They’ll never affect you again. I had a couple of relationships in my family that were one time were like that. Now every time I’m with them I have no feelings other than love for them. They are what they are. They’re on the track, they’re doing what they need to do. I’m not judging them. I basically relate to them as being part of my family and I’m good. And what’s happened is, the relationship with them is dramatically better because I’m not going like this anymore [bumping fists together]. I’m right here and they can do anything they want here and we have cordial, wonderful times together. Fully present for each other and one of them is very old and bottom line, I don’t know how long they’re going to be here and I can say that I healed that relationship because I did the work. So, go do the work. All right?

Timmy: Thank you.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Yeah. Okay, who’s next?

Rachel: All right next up we have Ruthanne. Ruthanne, can you come on camera and unmute yourself?

Ruthanne: It’s saying I can’t start my video because the host has stopped it.

Rachel: Oh, okay.

Dr. A: The host has stopped it? 

[all are laughing. Crosstalk 00:30:15]

Dr. A: Bad host. Bad host. Bad host. [laughing]

Ruthanne: Hi, Dr. A. I just have to echo everyone else, I cannot tell you how much— how grateful I am for you and your leadership, and tying, and pioneering into this new frontier of really, mindset. I mean there’s so much gold here and what I want to say is this is an area I really, really want to go into more as a coach. So much so that I’ve actually went outside of Optavia and got a certification in mindset coaching and I just completed that about a month ago and I’m looking for ways to bring that into my Optavia coaching and I’m just curious to hear from you, how do you see Optavia coaches being able to use some of this mindset work with the way the current coach model is working or has been set up? How do you see that going?

Dr. A: So, you know the first thing, and I created about five, six years ago with Helen Irwin. She came over to my house and we stayed in my office and we created the six leadership habits. So that’s a great format to use because obviously, you want to become a transformational leader and you want to have build a big organization and by the way, the balance of transactional and transformational is what we’re looking for because the more people you’re helping, the more successful you are, the more impact you have in obviously— congratulations on doing your personal work because you know, you’re working on mindset and learning more about yourself and that’s where it really starts, more than anything.

My goal is to create a wave of coaches that are conscious because that isn’t available and that is so attractive to the world. The world really needs more people that are conscious and just, I know that when I’m with my daughters and we’re with groups and we go to a football game or we’re hanging out, these college kids are so frustrated in their life. They feel mentally so off. They love to just sit down and love being around it and because, why? Because they’re starting to learn more about the tools and the things that are there to help them and they’re growing up in a time where everything is unsettled. Everything’s changing so rapidly. The world has become so technologically advanced and rapidly moving that they basically don’t have any grounding. So the same thing appeals to you as coaches, you want to first be it because by being it, you show that calmness, you know, showed the beautiful lake in the middle of the mountains.

We have these torturous mountains going on with the toxic world it’s being that calm in there. That’s the first part, just like in the first question. Bottom line is just allowing them to know there is a better way. You don’t have to be in a reactive state. That’s how this all got started. As a physician, you know, I was a critical care physician, I was really good at helping people, keep them from dying but I recognize that medicine was all based about reacting to disease, not helping people take control or command of their health. So all this work that we’re doing now, this work on our mind is opening up a frontier that isn’t just esoteric, done by people in Stanford, in interpersonal neurobiology labs, it’s available to all of us and that’s kind of my goal and that’s why the support— this forum is designed for everybody. Not just for people that are within our mission, but anybody that’s struggling or wants to learn to be more.

My goal is to get this out to 10, 15, 20,000 people. Through social media, virally, where people know they can come here and learn, and grow, and take control, because that’s how we’re going to get ourselves back to normalcy. It’s understanding like I showed relational health, treating ourselves with kindness versus the meanness and the [crosstalk 00:33:56] bulliness and the blame, and the victim, and all that stuff. The only way that’s going to change is to help people understand there’s a better way. A better way to feel and thrive. So that’s how we do it.

Ruthanne: I love that. I mean, what I like to— I don’t know— for a lack of a better word, I kind of brand myself. My brand of coaching. I’m one that dieted for the first half of my life even though I didn’t— I did have a weight issue but I had more of a self-worth issue, so a self-identity issue. Finally woke up to that around 2010 and my solution was to just stop dieting. Just stop all dieting, all restriction, and I learned a lot of really important mindset pieces during an eight year period but I gained another 50 pounds so there was something missing. Then I found Optavia. I married those two pieces together and obviously have continued on my mindset journey, but what I often find is a lot of people are just looking for the next diet and I so don’t want to be a diet coach. I so want to be a transformational leader that also has these great tools that will help them, you know? Yeah, if you’ve got weight to shed, if you need to create Healthy Habits we have that, but the frontier is here [points to her head]. This is the work [crosstalk 00:35:16]

Dr. A: Well, yeah and the if you look at the Habits of Health Transformational System, the mind is embodied in it, embedded in it, an important part of the tapestry and that’s been my journey, and so for this journey, basically— yeah, specifically it’s about creating health. It’s about the creative process [crosstalk 00:35:35]. Dieting is a reaction to a problem.

Ruthanne: Right.

Dr. A: And solving a problem doesn’t create anything, it just gets rid of something. You don’t want— in the case of weight management, which is the first basically structural MacroHabit, is all about management is about understanding and focusing on health because as we go through the trajectory of our life, if we don’t optimize ourselves we’re going to degradate because it’s just the way it is and so the bottom line is it’s all part— that’s why there’s six MacroHabits. They’re all critical. So focus on all six. Help your clients understand. Bring them along at their own pace. Remember, you only have to get one percent better every day. Stop doing one thing every day that’s hurting you and not leading you to the future you want and start doing one thing that is. That and alone, just in little micro bits creates the halo effect and points people in the right direction. So, thanks so much Ruthanne, great talking to you.

Ruthanne: Thanks, you too.

Dr A: Congratulations.

Ruthanne: Thanks.

Dr. A: Okay, Rach?

Rachel: All right, next up we have Carolyn. Carolyn, can you come on camera?

Carolyn: I can. Can you hear me?

[crosstalk 00:36:45]

Carolyn: Hey, Dr. A. Like everyone else, thank you so much for all you do, but also for all be being a great leader to create the great leaders that you’ve created that ripple out because you can’t do it all and so you’ve really created great leadership. I appreciate it. My question is kind of a combo, I know you’ve answered it somewhat but it always comes down, I love personal development. I’ve been through the book, I’ve been through the program. It’s changed my life in many ways. I’m such a better person today, obviously, we all are. We do the work and put it in, and really become conscious, but I have this nagging— I had a realization, I thought that if I did the work enough, read The Four Agreements, you know, Jim Dethmer’s book, “15 Conscious Leadership,” did all of the things. Studied every day, that all of these, caca feelings would calm down and that they would go away [laughing] and I don’t mean that life isn’t going to happen to me, but it just seems like especially lately, for some unknown reason they’ve gotten worse and it’s the feeling of not having the self-worth and all that, even though I do the work. Even though I’m conscious, I wake up with anxiety every single day and so I’ve used breath and walking, and things to just calm it down. Is there ever a point in life when you just get a handle on this brain of ours? So that you’re not feeling anxiety every single day? Does that ever happen or do I just learn to feel it all the way through? Live with it and move on, because I almost think, and this is not a good thought, that I’m a hypocrite, in helping others transform if I can’t get more of a control over my own brain.

Dr. A: All right. Are you ready for this? [crosstalk 00:38:47]

Carolyn: Yeah.

Dr. A: You’re not gonna like it. You ready?

Carolyn: Yeah.

Dr. A: Do I have permission to coach you?

Carolyn: Yeah.

Dr. A: Yeah. You haven’t let the caca go, you just buried it. Knowledge— knowing, doing, and becoming. And it’s okay you’re probably gonna cry here but here’s the thing, you don’t need to know anymore. You have— you’re still repressing all these things. You’re actually putting them back down in there. You’re like— they’re like coils. They’re like coils, Carolyn. They’re things that are inside you from your past. Your stored trauma. Things you have and you just got to start releasing them. So rather than, you know, when I say probably the most important thing for you to do is feel your feelings. Really sense your feelings and do it multiple times a day, and not look at the theory. Yeah, you’ve done the knowing, you know, it’s out there. You understand, but you haven’t got to the point where you really mastered it and so you’re just— and even what you just said, about you have to get to the point you just have to live with it. No, you don’t have to live with it. You don’t have to live with it.

Your ego, your personal mind wants to live it because that’s your [unclear]. It’s the way you’re familiar, you’re comfortable with that, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So I would ask you to do one thing, just start feeling your emotions, and when you feel that way, you’re feeling crappy and you’re beating yourself up, just Stop., and sense “What am I actually feeling here? Am I scared? Am I fearful? Am I angry?” You know, what is it? And basically, just let that emotion be. Don’t try to do anything to it, just let it be, and what you’re going to find is— and this is the part, I want you to report back to me in a couple months from doing this, the journey isn’t about anybody outside of you. The journey isn’t about your situation. It’s not about where you live, who your friends are, where you are in the business. None of that stuff matters. What matters is your relationship with you. So you know, there’s a little scared girl in there somewhere, right? And this isn’t that psychobabble, this is the way we all are.

You know, as we grow up, when we’re little we don’t have the ability to fully understand and we have emotional things that affect us so feel those feelings. It’s okay, and you know— by the way, it’s okay. Listen, if you need to, I mean this is not— we’re not talking about psychotherapy here, if you think you’re at a point where you need that then go get help, because there’s specialists that can help you. Especially if you have significant stored trauma or things like that. I mean, again, that’s way beyond— what I’m talking about is just becoming more aware of yourself and learning how to see your feelings, your emotions, and your thoughts, but bottom line you know that, and only you know that, but if it feels— hey go get help. It’s no different than going to the gym to have a trainer. Go get someone. But the one thing you can do in the meantime is just sense the feeling and don’t repress it. See, we have a tendency for them. We don’t like it and we get that icky sauce, we try to push it away and I bet you that’s what you’ve been doing, haven’t you?

Carolyn: Yeah, because I’m stronger than that. That’s my thought.

Dr. A: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, that’s not— that’s wrong. That’s you as a little girl saying, “I’m not gonna let this stuff bother me. I’m just gonna keep it in there,” and it’s still in there and so no, you’re not strong. Listen I’m a pretty damn strong guy and I basically deal with my emotions and sense and feel my emotions every day and I sense the little scared boy inside of me, okay? Don’t have that. The thing that you just said, that wasn’t you talking. That was your ego talking and trust me, I graduated first of my class from medical school, I have a big ego and getting mastery over it and having it no longer. My ego now is in service of my soul, no longer in my self-interest and that’s the key part for you is to realize it’s not helping you. The reason why you keep having that same stuff, it’s not growing, you’re letting your ego win your personal mind, win, and I’m saying it again, did you see what it says? Appreciation. Stop resisting. Be grateful and stop resisting. The key to this, if you really want to take it, I’m not saying it’s easy to do because that goes in there, since you’re a little girl, but the most easiest thing to do is stop resisting these feelings and actually fully experience them and they’ll start going away. They’ll start bubbling up, that heart coherence, your emotions. A flow of energy inside of you that we don’t spend much time in the U.S because we’re so tough and we’re so driven, but I have to tell you, of all the countries in the world I go to, the United States, I love our spirit, but we work our butts off, we’re so in our heads we— if you go to Italy, I love going to Italy, you know why? They sense and love life. They feel it. They express their feelings with each other, you know, the Italians and they’re feeling and their quality of life is that— I have to look at what number we are, but the quality of life in our country is driven by Cinderella and by basically Prince Charming and we’re supposed to be this certain way and it just ain’t so.

Carolyn: Thank you.

Dr. A: Yeah.

Carolyn: Thank you.

Dr. A: Do the work. All right? Let me know.

[both are crying]

Carolyn: Okay. Thank you.

Dr. A: Okay, who’s next?

Rachel: Okay, next up we have Katrina. Katrina, can you come on camera?

Dr. A: Hey, Katrina.

Katrina: Thank you for having us today, I love this conversation. I’m asking for my girlfriend, who just had to leave, and the question is actually around the actions of others. I know, and we know, that we can only control ourselves and our own behaviors and actions, however, her question is specific around her husband. She will be going on a road trip with him soon and he has tendencies of having road rage, where he gets angry with people, other drivers on the road and she wants to have a conversation with him or somehow address it with him without creating tension in the vehicle, like driving.

Dr. A: Good luck with that one. Good luck.

Katrina: Yeah!

Dr. A: Yeah.

Katrina: I’m out of ideas on what to offer.

Dr. A: Have her drive.

Katrina: Have her drive? Yeah, you know, that’s probably the best solution [crosstalk 00:45:09]

Dr. A: Or don’t drive with her. Bottom line, you can’t have a conversation— for someone that has that level of pent up stored trauma, anger, inside of them. That’s a process. That’s not going to happen— “oh, by the way, honey, today while you’re driving, I don’t want you to have that,” again, it’s stored stuff inside that’s affecting when he gets upset. It’s a world view, it’s the world should be a certain way, people should drive this certain way and they’re not doing it so I’m going to respond by making them do it, okay? That’s nothing— and by the way— that’s nothing you can tell her. So, the reality is, and it comes down to this, is the practicality of the safety. If she’s that concerned about potential safety then basically she needs to have a real conversation with him to say, “honey, I’m very worried… bothers me very much,” and “I just don’t want to…I don’t want to go. Let’s go a different way. Let’s go by train or bus,” or you know?

Katrina: Yeah, we did have that conversation around, is it a safety concern? And she said she’s less concerned about safety than she is of just his adrenaline, you know, his adrenaline going. His anxiety going, you know, him getting angry and she doesn’t like to see him hurting like that.

Dr. A: Yeah. Well, then he needs to get on this call and start listening.

Katrina: Yeah.

Dr. A: Yeah, but again it’s like everything else, you know unless someone’s ready— by the way, you said something in the very beginning I want to reiterate to everybody. You cannot change anyone’s behavior. Stop even trying. You can awaken them to the potential, to the benefits it can have for them because also we have are our perceptions, our choices, and our actions and our perceptions determine our choices and our actions. So to change his perception is going to require time and a desire. So, if he’s not willing to work on that right now, you remember you can only work on your own journey. You said the whole— you answered the question actually in the beginning, Katrina. You can’t help. So just like if someone’s, you know, morbidly obese until they’re ready to change all you can do is awaken them to the possibility and help support them. That’s it. I wish there was more. I wish I could go out and just go with the magic wand on somebody and help them build emotional agility, and literacy, and stamina, but it just ain’t so. That’s an inside job.

Katrina: Absolutely. Thank you.

Dr. A: All right.

Katrina: Appreciate you.

Dr. A: Okay. All right, who’s next?

Rachel: All right, next up we have Matt and Kristen.

Rachel: Or Kristen.

Kristen: Matt’s back here videotaping [crosstalk 00:47:55].

Matt: Hello!

Kristen: So perfect kind of segue into our question and— I just want to kind of go back with Carolyn, if you can read the chat, oh my gosh it was blowing up for you. That was such an amazing question that added so much value to everybody and Dr. A, your answer was just so good, but my question has to do with kind of awakening that intrinsic motivation and I want to just give you a little bit of a quick backstory. We just got back from Patty Glick’s house on a retreat. I know you knew that we were there and you know, it’s always so fun to see the shift in people when they really get involved with the community, right? They see this journey so different and that always, you know, as a business, that always warms my heart. I love seeing that in like the newer coaches that are involved with that. So I want to kind of take my question back to how would you suggest, or advise, or whatever— I’m not quite sure how to ask this question, to help others see what we truly have in our hands? To awaken them.

Dr. A: Yeah, well it’s got to be, you know, if you were in a room with a bunch of people, Kristen, and they took a picture. Oh, you too Matt, I know you’re there [Matt comes on screen] and you took a picture and they posted the picture outside, when you went outside in the hallway, where would you look?

Kristen: Outside?

Dr. A: No, no. In the picture I’m looking— listen, what I’m saying— I took a picture of everybody in the room, they posted the picture outside in the hallway and you could go look at it.

Matt: Themselves.

Dr. A: Yeah!

Kristen: Yeah.

Dr. A: Yeah, right. So it’s all about that. It’s not about the theoretical thing. It’s about basically, what’s life on their planet? What are they looking for? What’s important? What do they value most? And then basically show them how you can help them reach those goals. It’s that. It is that simple. That’s intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation, by definition, is something I’m passionate about. Something I want to get good at, and something I love so much I want to share with others. So, you’ve got to find something that they’re passionate about. That gets them up in the morning. You don’t need a lot of motivation when you value something highly and when I say value, I don’t mean value in terms of morals. I’m talking about value that it’s important to you. Find out what’s important to them and then show them how we can help them with that and there’s— by the way when it comes down to it and actually, at this level there’s nothing more important than becoming the witness, self-aware, being a witness of our thoughts and our feelings.

If you can become the dominant force in your life and build internal stability and external equilibrium you own the world. You have equanimity. You are going through your days in a state that most people don’t even know what it would be like. So that’s the goal and the goal is by really asking lots of questions and finding out what lights them up. Did you see the movie “Gladiator?”

Kristen: I have not.

Matt: Yes.

Dr. A: Okay, of course, he has [smiling] Well, in Gladiator— just I mean it’s an older movie, but it’s one of my favorites. It had Russell Crowe, was about the Romans and it was talking about the idea of community, of Rome— the power of Rome. Of this idea, this build, this idea of whole versus the chaos in the world and when Caesar was talking to Maximus, who’s the leader of the general, he basically, he’s talking about battle and stuff and then he— Caesar asked him about his family and he just lights up. He’s talking about going home, and the poplars, and the smell, and his young son with the horse, and you just see him light up. Find things that light people up and then they’re willing to work on them.

If they see it’s in their path, the vehicle to help them, then they’ll do it. Most people don’t see that. They don’t believe in it. The world is— they become so skeptical of the world, they miss that. So come with passion. Do you believe when you’re on this call with me that I’m here to help you?

Dr. A: Oh, one thousand percent.

Dr. A: That’s it. That’s all there is. It’s people really caring about each other and trying to help them. Not having an agenda of what they can do for you, but how can you help them. That’s what this is all about.

Kristen: Yeah.

Dr. A: Cool? 

Kristen: Awesome. Thank you.

Dr. A: All right, guys. Okay, we have eight minutes left. Probably time for one or two more questions.

Rachel: All right, next up we have Nina. Nina, can you come on camera?

Dr. A: Hi, Nina.

Nina: Hi, Dr. A. Nice to see you. So I’m muddling through this and it goes back to what you said about some family members that you have that you’re finding they’re older and how you’re, you know, relating with them, maybe and I guess my thought is an understanding about how not to be reactive and how to make choices. There are times when you’re with people who— in other words, to what degree do you work on not being reactive or choosing to limit your contact with people as opposed to saying this is a person who isn’t isn’t good for me to have in my life?

Dr. A: Yeah. Well, that’s basically your underlying structure. That’s your— how are you dealing with the idea of surroundings? So, here’s the deal on that, bottom line is if you want to plan for your— okay so the only thing you have control over is your thoughts, your feelings, your behavior, right? Your perceptions, your decisions, and your actions. That’s what you have control over. Nobody else. So you have to look at relational health in terms of, is that— well there’s two different parts. There’s friends and there’s family, okay? Bottom line is friends, if you have friends that are toxic, that are not— I always say this, lead from the future. Decide what you want for your life moving forward and surround yourself with people that you would have in that world. It’s as easy as that. If a person is different than that and you have a choice, but I’m not saying, hey you’re bad, because then you’re judging. You’re projecting. Just in your mind say— just like watching TV, I don’t watch the news channels. Any of them because they’re all toxic and they’re all in the Drama Triangle. 

I watch the news on paper on using Yahoo in the morning so I do know what’s going on but I’m just looking at the facts, not the editorialization. So I want to know what the facts are. That’s it, because those things trigger negativity and when you’re around it, your brain comes in. So, the same thing with people. Hang out with people that are in your desired future and with your family, basically, you have your family and you got to go see them at Thanksgiving or Christmas or at Hanukkah or whatever the holiday you have. One or two days with them max or a couple of very little— go into those, if they’re people that are toxic and basically don’t let them trigger you. You’re working on your growth. The only thing you have responsibility for is working on when something happens, how you respond to it determines the outcome. It takes two to fight, takes two to get mad, two to get sad, and the bottom line is, you’re in control of that and that’s how you manage it and for those people that are willing to grow with you and want to learn, but your job isn’t that, hey, here’s the “15 Commitments,” you need to start looking at those. That’s not your job. Your job is to manage you.

Nina: And then managing me. I might choose to minimize my contact.

Dr. A: Of course! Yeah, well, why would you— wait. Why would you hang out with people you don’t want to be around with? [crosstalk 00:55:56]

Nina: Well, in other words, choosing to not have let’s say— somebody who’s not in your immediate family— but somebody who’s in your extended family. Choosing not to…[pauses]

Dr. A: Listen, you don’t have to [crosstalk 00:56:12]. Here’s the deal, in life— our lives are so busy. Full of so many items that just by nature— bottom line is you can minimize your time to very, very little exposure. Right?

Nina: Yes.

Dr. A: So just do it. Don’t make it more than that. See what you’re doing is you’re drawing it into the cognitive mode of loop and you’re starting to feel feelings of it. Just do the things that move you forward. Remember your role in life is to become in service of your soul. To be able to be at a point, where you could be in service, and be harmony, equanimity within yourself and have great relational health. If you’ve got someone that’s totally dysfunctional, that basically doesn’t work, isn’t working on themselves, stop giving in energy at all to it. Just minimize it and because— be cordial. Don’t be disruptive, don’t judge, don’t project anything that you’re feeling. Just be cordial and move on, period.

Nina: How can I be cordial if I’m moving them out of my life?

Dr. A: No, no. You’re trying to— you’re making— you’re confusing what I’m saying. I’m saying, if you’re moving out of your life, just move them out of your life. Remember this, it’s by lack of exposure that you’ll move them out of your life, right?

Nina: Yes.

Dr. A: Okay, that’s it. That’s it. Don’t worry about it, just move them out of your life. Spend less time with them, spend no time if you can, you know, just basically be— so in other words, if you were going to do something, and I’m not going to get the details, but if you’re doing something, make sure on that day, that you have something else you’re doing that actually moves you forward to who you want to become. Just say I’m sorry, I’m doing this.

Nina: That clarifies it. 

Dr. A: Don’t make it personal. Don’t poke the bear. Just move away from the bear. If you’re not in the woods where the bear lives, the bear can’t affect you.

Nina: Thank you.

Dr. A: All right. Okay. All right. Thank you. Okay, one last question. We’ve got about three— well, do we have time for one short one, Rach?

Rachel: Yeah, I think so. Mary, are you still there? You can come off camera? There you are.

Mary: Hello, hello.

Dr. A: Hi, Mary. How are you?

Mary: I’m great. How are you?

Dr. A: I’m fantastic.

Mary: I just have to say real quick, I know everybody else did too, but I love you so much. The program has changed our family’s life. I look forward to these, I wish they were more often. So, my question is, what would be any consciousness homework you would have for us?

Dr. A: Okay, well that’s actually great because I’m gonna show you the last slide. Let me see if I can get back to this. Let me get— hold on a second, I got it. You can see this?

Mary: Yes.

Dr. A: Okay. So, yeah, the coming months we’re going to work on this. We’re going to start unpacking thoughts, emotions, and actually, this is a great way to start working on it. So, I’ve created a website, it has all the recordings in the forum, transcripts and each one of these I would spend time and go back and listen to them because they’re all what I love about the forum modality is you actually get to hear real life questions, and real life situations, and not just me talking, you know, as a physician, or as a leader in consciousness. So this is a great thing and the other thing which is really helpful, and I think it’d really be helpful for you, Mary, is basically start having people that want to take this journey with you. Have them get on this forum.

They don’t have to be part of your team. They don’t have to be clients or anything, just be friends, but have them come to this. I’m trying to turn this into a huge movement of people working together to help each other and there’s nothing more important rather than trying to go it alone is to be sharing this with people and so actually have your little groups where you’re working on it yourself and taking some of these. Like you can take these sessions and watch the session, and listen to it and then talk about it and talk about how you’re growing in there. So that’s the best way to do it. I’d rather have— reading books is okay and I’ll put up on, I’m building in the website some books I think are important to read, but I think more important than that is the practice and like when we had earlier, we had the one question was about, how do I get rid of the caca? You get rid of it by actually practicing.

This is all about self-awareness, self-management. I would watch the videos I just recorded in England earlier in the year. Videos on basically self-awareness on self-management, self-regulation and watch these and study them. There’s such gems and jewels in there and examples that the forum gives. That’s where we want to take this. I want to build that out into a robust site and you can help with that and also help by bringing people that you want to work on the journey with, like for instance for that husband that has road rage. Would be great if his wife, who listens to this and say, “hey, honey just watch this,” maybe, I mean if he wants to. Create a little dribble on him or make it so that she’s watching or listening to the recording when he’s there. That’s how we awaken people to there’s a better way. Does that make sense?

Mary: That’s awesome. Thank you.
Dr. A: You’re welcome. So basically, you can go to drwayneandersen.com, which is in its own portal and there’s a whole section and we’re going to move that out into a Conscious Leadership space fairly shortly, but I’m trying to nurture people that really awaken, we can’t help someone that’s not awakened, but if someone is awake and wants to work and there’s nothing more important you can do in your life, it will help you with your physical health, your mental health, your relational health, your career. These are skill sets we’re starting to learn that most people aren’t even aware exist. So, that’s how you help and that’s how we do it. All right? Okay, so with that, I want to thank everybody. We’re just over 102. I want to thank you guys so much and let’s go out and help the world become more aware, more conscious, and be kinder to each other. God bless. Thank you, guys.

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Habits of Health
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Dr.A’s Habits of Health second edition has been expanded, updated, and enhanced with the latest research and an evolved approach to finding health success in this chaotic world.