When we’re looking outside for something to be changed for us to be alright, it’s not going to work. We are one of eight billion people on the planet and life outside of us isn’t going to tailor itself for us. So we’ve got to work on the inside. In this session, we focus on your questions. What are you working on?
Dr. A: Well, hello everybody and welcome to our monthly call on consciousness, on being a conscious leader of ourselves. Very excited. We’ll give a minute or so for everybody to come on board. I hope everybody’s having a great beginning of February and you know, as I start off today I’m really thinking about it, we’re one month into our revolution around the sun. As we know, each year takes a year to go all the way around the sun and as we sit here, I’m in beautiful Vail, Colorado. I’m actually at my buddy, who’s the ski instructor, at his house and getting ready to go out after this call. We’re starting late. It’s my last day here, starting late today because this is extremely important for me to reach out to all you fine folks and work together on increasing our ability to truly become the Dominant Force in our own life.
So with that, today the talk is about prioritizing in 2023. You know it starts off in the beginning of the year and we have goals and New Year’s resolutions, takes about 32 days for most people to quit the habits they started to change their life and so what we want to do is make sure that as partners together in this journey called consciousness, that we’re continually working together and you have a place to come to ask your questions and be part of this movement to become the Dominant Force in our own life and actually take back the victim mentality which is so prevalent around the world and really creates responsibility for ourselves. Bringing the locus of control back in.
So, yes, stuff’s gonna happen. Stuff’s going to happen this year in your life, but for us to be able to respond to it in a way where we determine the outcome and continue to move towards organizing our life around what matters and how we do that. So my question to you all, and this is going to be a very short talk today, I’m only going to do a couple minutes because I really want to open up. Every time we do the forum we have more questions than we have time for so I wanted to make sure, you’re a month into the new year, and I want to make sure that you have an opportunity to, things you’re working on, questions you have. The voice in your head, any of those things that you’re dealing with right now, that you’re working on. But let’s make sure we have enough time to answer those questions.
So, why take this journey to higher consciousness? Well, if you look at it— well, first of all let me just go over for those who are first-time viewers, a forum is a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged and this is on us talking about becoming more aware, becoming aware of our surroundings, becoming the witness consciousness, where we actually are looking at our thoughts and our feelings and the things around us and we’re learning how to be at the center of that. Not allowed to take us down the rabbit hole and get us emotionally into one of those cognitive emotive loops. What I mean by that is where we start thinking about something and we’re feeling something and it creates these negative feedback loops, which can affect all parts of your health.
I’m a strong advocate, I wrote Dr. A’s Habits of Health to help people take back command of their habits and really build new habits they can move them forward and as I’ve gone through this area of consciousness, this is really where it all starts because when we’re looking outside for something to be changed for us to be all right it’s not going to work. You know, we are one of eight billion people on the planet and life outside of us isn’t just going to tailor itself to be just for us. So we’ve got to work on the inside. How we respond to the things that happen to us, whether it’s an external stimulus to our five senses or whether it’s thoughts we’re having or feelings we’re having. How do we learn to become emotionally stable, build the stamina and the agility to be able to build emotional literacy and really take back and understand why we think the way we think and how we can improve that? So that’s what this forum is about.
So as I’m talking here, start thinking about things you’d like to ask me because we’re going to spend, as I mentioned, most of the hour doing that. So is your focus, I talked about this last month, but I want to bring it up because it’s so critical. Is your focus on improving your inside world or your outside world? As I mentioned, we have very little control over our outside world but we have a tremendous amount of control in our inside world. So what results do we get by focusing on changing our outside world? Well, most people stay the same because, you know, a broken clock is right or correct twice a day. Otherwise, it really isn’t and so if we spend all our time trying to change the outside world you’ll find it will be frustrating beyond our means, we’ll suffer mentally and even though we may make some progress in our job or in our life, in some ways we’ll still struggle, and sleep, talking about the Habits of Health, sleep is a critical part. I really believe it’s the key parameter to really, really recovering every day and when we go to lay our head down on the pillow and we’re having these feedback loops, these cognitive emotive loops that actually don’t allow us to do what we want to do and really keep us focused on it, we don’t get to sleep and have a good night’s sleep. Then it all starts there.
The second is few are ready to move and hopefully you’re one of those. You’re on this call today, the Zoom today, because you really want to move and with that, it is difficult to become the Dominant Force in your life because it requires you to build things that we are negatively programmed to respond to. You know the world has a negative bias to it. It was there 10,000 years ago because it was so important for us to see any potential threat and respond to it from an emotional standpoint. To get the heck out of the way. You know, the four F’s. Either freeze, flight, fight, or faint, right? Those four parameters, how our body responded to protect us in a world that was pretty dysfunctional from the standpoint of threat. Well, today our threats are mostly perceived threats. They’re not real.
So it’s important for us to start to understand how that works and mostly the locus of control is outside. It actually puts them in position where they’re blaming someone else, they’re blaming the world, they’re blaming their worldview, they’re not actually internalizing and doing what’s necessary. So what we’re going to talk about today is internal stability and external equilibrium. What we call equanimity is being able to see that things happen in the world, we’re not blind to them, we know things are happening around us, but we’re able to handle it. I like to say it’s like water on a duck’s back, it can roll off. We can address it and then we can move on and not disrupt ourselves. You know, many people, something happens and they’re disrupted for a long period of time and when we’re disrupted and we’re emotionally charged like that we can’t use this beautiful prefrontal cortex. This area in the front that we’re the only organism on the planet that has. It’s the ability for us to actually see and witness what we’re seeing in terms of our thoughts and our feelings.
So with that, I really want to open up for questions now, Rachel, you got any good questions? Or any questions? Just to start with.
Rachel: Yes, we do. Shawnna, can you come off mute and on camera?
Dr. A: Hey, Shawnna.
Shawnna: Hi, Dr. A. Thank you, Rachel. Dr. A, I’ve been working a lot on like micro content creation and my question is, how can we share, you know, in our private practices with, and just in the community in general, how micro content creation and working on that intention can spread the word of our mission at a faster rate and help our clients evolve into empowerment at a faster pace?
Dr. A: Well, that’s a great question. So, what are you doing? Let’s turn this around for a minute. Since you’re such an avid partner in this journey to consciousness, tell me what you’re doing.
Shawnna: Well, I’m working with an energy healer and in that process, it has really unlayered a lot for me on getting in touch with my younger self and just going back and loving where those triggers have happened, and through that process, it’s evolved a lot of cons— it evolved me out of a lot of concepts and into a lot of growth and I find that oftentimes I’m talking that what I feel is a higher level than where my clients are. So going back through the process of content creation into a simple pace of what do I want more of? Right? I want more joy, I want more happiness, I want more growth, and I want to help my clients and business partners create the same. So it’s kind of like slowing down to speed up and what I’m learning, because I’m so excited, just like when I started OPTAVIA just to yell from the mountaintops like, come join me and in that process, it’s really fearful for people. So there’s a lot of resistance. There’s a lot of fear and I want to help others find their North Star, whether through relationship and friendship, preferably with OPTAVIA and with our mission and our teams and that’s what I’m doing.
Dr. A: Yeah. No, I love that, Shawnna, and here’s the thing, the first part is, you’re an evolved practitioner and many people on the call are just getting started. So the first thing to realize is our motivation has a hierarchy which creates sustainability and the lowest is fear. Fear is not sustainable. It’s not sustainable as a motivation it gets people to do things because they’re worried about their health, their family, or their finances. The next level is extrinsic motivation. It’s being motivated by getting, usually, money or some kind of benefit from it but that also isn’t sustainable. It really starts at intrinsic motivation. That’s the first level, where we create sustainability. I mean that for those of you who haven’t heard me talk about that before. Intrinsic motivation is literally something you love, you love doing, something you want to become good at, and something you want to share with others and you know, right now, I’m staying, as I mentioned, at my ski instructor’s house with him and you know, we have, in the evening when we go out to eat, we have intense conversation.
He is intensely passionate about skiing. He doesn’t need to ski, doesn’t ski to make the money. He has done his investments, he’s a good businessman, but there’s a passion there and I have to tell you in skiing, I grew up, I never skied as a kid. As an adult, I skied maybe once a year with friends. Never had a ski lesson and about 10 years ago, I was up here a little over 10 years ago, I was up here in Vail with one of my kid’s friend’s family and I met my ski instructor and I couldn’t stay anywhere near them and the thing I knew is my kids were young then. They’d been in ski lessons since they were two when they were in diapers, and I knew they were going to be good skiers and one thing I didn’t want was at this time in my life, is my girls go, “Okay, Dad, see you tonight. Let me have your credit card, we’re gonna go out and ski all day,” you know, I want to be able to ski with them and I’ve been able to accomplish that because I had intrinsic motivation. I was passionate about learning how to ski. I basically wanted to get better and I wanted to share it with others and you know when we’re on the ski lifts and stuff or with friends and stuff you know Bill and I will have conversations and I can actually help share it because I have taken the time to learn that.
[00:11:08] That’s the same thing with our lives. We have to realize, that slide I showed you, of whether the inside world or the outside world. We have a tendency to think we can change the world to fit what we want and I have to tell you, right now it is absolutely never going to happen and if you think by getting certain things you’re going to be happy, all the things you’re talking about Shawnna, you know, taking the time, it’s not going to happen. What happens is learning inside to develop yourself to build a resiliency, to build psychological flexibility, and to start that in baby steps. So one of the things, as you know, I created Stop. Challenge. and Choose., and it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t have to be— you know when you talk to somebody— just like you said, when you first became a coach, you were screaming from the treetops and you want to help everybody. The people walking by, you want to grab them all because you knew you could help them, but until they are awakened. And the other two levels that are higher than intrinsic motivation are fun and agape love. It’s actually spending the time having fun, where your relationship with them as you’re helping them, you’re having fun with them. You’re making it fun, it’s not serious.
I mean what we’re doing is very serious because it can change your destiny, but have fun with them and then let them see how much you care about them and that you’re not trying to change them from any standpoint, to try to get them to be anybody, you want to awaken them and that’s really if you look at the evolution of consciousness it starts with self-awareness. Start to understand that you’re not your thoughts, you’re not your feelings, and you’re certainly aren’t the world around you. Basically, that starts there and then self-regulation. It’s so that in these trigger points— So Stop. Challenge and Choose., about as easy as you can get when you start feeling— you know, you’re walking down you had dinner with your spouse or significant other on your way and you had a great time and you’re walking outside, and again I use the analogy of the yellow Mustang going by, and you see that Mustang and also you don’t even know why, but all of a sudden you feel this icky sauce inside, and your mood changes, and your spouse is going, ”What’s going on?” Right? Because they have no idea what’s going on in here [gestures to head]. You don’t display that. All they’ll see is your face change, your emotions have changed, and you’re no longer smiling, you’re kind of frowning, and so understanding that you’re triggered by all that stored trauma.
So, as you’re healing yourself, Shawnna, it’s that stored trauma addressing it, letting it come up and no longer pushing it. It’s like coiled springs, right? A coiled spring that goes down in inside of you creates energy and any trigger, doesn’t matter what it is, we project and then it comes back up and what we do is we push it back down. The first— the beginning of the journey in Stop. Challenge. Choose., is when you feel that icky sauce, and usually we feel it in our jaw if we’re angry, we feel it in our throat if we’re scared, or in our gut, in our heart area, and when we start feeling that— you’ve triggered something from all that childhood experience. Somewhere in that childhood, all this stuff happened and as we were really young, we didn’t have the ability to process it. We felt it and we basically, you know, if our parents told us when we were five that we were stupid we believed it. We didn’t know any better.
So there’s all this junk down there and all you want to do— you don’t want to fix it, you just want to release it, and so Stop. Challenge. Choose., rather than having that trigger where your boss yells at you and you get mad and then you go eat a whole thing of M&M’s. Instead, you allow that to go. You process it. That takes about 90 seconds and then you— and that’s what the Stop is, you challenge why you’re feeling that and then you choose the outcome and current, this may be an indicator, one step that you are not working in the right place. You need to be working somewhere else and it may be an indicator that I need to think of but in the moment the last thing you want to do is yell at your boss or do something that puts you in harm’s way. You want to become the Dominant Force and so that’s how that happens. Does that make sense?
Shawnna: Yeah. Thank you so much. And it’s just, it’s fine-tuning it, right? Like fine-tuning [crosstalk 00:14:58]
Dr. A: Yeah.
Shawnna: Our heart and our openness to be able to meet them where they’re at, and I want to be able to share that and sometimes I just get so excited so thank you.
Dr. A: No, you get excited. Yeah, but the thing is, remember this, remember this is so important, you’re working against everybody’s personal mind. Okay? Their personal mind is what you define or all the experiences of your life up to now and the personal mind wants to be right. You know, it wants to be right. It’s got a job to do and when you start becoming filter free and you actually just pay attention and then sense what it is and let it come up and it will free you. Your personal mind doesn’t want that. It wants to always put the filter on and make the world the way you want the world to be. That’s the biggest thing we can do for ourselves and what will happen is, after a while you start laughing at the stuff that used to trigger you because you realize that it’s not real. It’s something from the past that you projected onto the future and it starts with first working with your clients and with people that you’re helping. Works with them just becoming aware. They don’t even have to—they just want to— they don’t even have to try to do anything with it at first just identify. You know, there’s only five major emotions and everything is you know parts of that, fractals of that, and one of those emotions— just identify the emotion and then basically start there and people start realizing, wow I’m feeling this and it’s really not helping me and I want to release it. So, thank you for all your help, I really appreciate it.
Shawnna: Thank you so much.
Dr. A: Okay, who else we got, Rach?
Rachel: All right. We have Margie. Margie, can you come on camera?
Dr. A: Hey, Margie.
Margie: Hey, Dr. A.
Dr. A: I love that smile!
Margie: Yeah, thank you! I like your smile too. I just want to say thank you for this forum of conscious leadership and between this and TLDP, I have just grown so much. I never wanted to be on a Zoom and look, I’m here with you today!
Dr. A: Awesome. Well, I’m glad you’re here too.
Margie: And before being introduced to this mindset work I was very complacent with my weight and my life and living life unconsciously and I found myself in bed last night just with these thoughts of my kids, dealing with my sister who doesn’t really want to take care of our mom anymore, which by the way, I had a one-on-one conversation with her yesterday and I was able to take deep breaths and take a sip of water. But laying there in bed I was like, okay these thoughts, I just need to put them aside and be present and I am trying to sleep. Am I doing this right, Dr. A?
Dr. A: Well, I mean I love what you’re saying. Yeah, obviously there’s the underlying structure of your sleep environment, right? So let’s just address your particular question, try looking to have better sleep. Before we get into the mind part, let’s just talk about— yeah in the Habits of Health, I spent a whole chapter going over, what are the conditions. You want a cool room, you want 68 or lower, you want to make sure it’s dark, you want to make sure there’s no sound or you create a background sound through a sound machine or something. You want to, in preparation to go into an abductive sleep, basically, a great thing to do is take a hot bath because melatonin is released. When we cool down it releases melatonin, which obviously helps decrease the latency to go into sleep. So all these things you can do structurally, which don’t require any of this work yet. You want to create the underline— and turning off blue light, any blue light, at least an hour before sleep, right? Doing a little meditation. Whatever feels good to you. Okay.
As far as when stuff comes into your brain, a great thing to do is have a mantra. I mean I have the same thing. I have seen lots of stuff going on in my life and there’s times when there’s things that, you know, because you’ve been so busy during the day it seems like that’s the quiet time to process. By the way, you want to do it before then, in fact, it’s good to really kind of get into that sleep mode, just chilling. Listen to good music, you know, things that are chilling music. Beta and Theta wave sounds and all that keeps prepping you. You don’t want to get on your phone. You don’t want to be on a computer, you shouldn’t even watch TV really, because they’re all not helpful, but in terms of this— when you start feeling one of those thoughts basically go into your mantra. Mantra is just one word that you repeat over and over. What it does is it takes your cognition, your brain, and it focuses on one specific thing.
It doesn’t get rid of everything because you’re not fully meditating, but it gets you into one thing. So just repeat that and when it tries to back up, and then go back to talking about your family, just stay with it, right? You know, obviously, you’ve heard the one counting sheep. Counting sheep is like a mantra but it doesn’t have to be sheep, it can be whatever, and then the other thing is if you get into a cognitive emotive loop in the middle of the night, bottom line, it’s better to get up and take a couple moments in the dark, don’t turn on any light, and then just kind of let it settle down and then focus on again, one thing that keeps you out of that loop and then you’ll start sensing that. You’ll feel the tiredness come back on you and then get back in bed.
[00:20:22] The other thing is make sure you’re not overheating because once you get hot, like I know, and actually my friend Dan Bell taught me this, when you go to a hotel usually they put those quilts on the bed and your either freezing with just the sheet or you’re over hot or heating up, so I basically take it and ask them for a blanket, you know I ask housekeeping for a light blanket to put on. So it’s important to take care of the structural things, but the best way is to do a mantra and just complete— or if you prefer put on, like I have music that’s basically meditation music where I put that on and put my headset on, and just listen to something that creates those beta, theta waves so that you can get sleepy again. So does that make sense?
Margie: Oh, very much. Thank you so much. I love the mantra. That’s something I’m going to do [crosstalk 00:21:22].
Dr. A: Yeah and the other thing, just along those lines since we’re talking about this, when you start having those, the other thing you can do is if you’re having a negative thought, exchange it for something that’s positive. I’m not talking about positive thinking. I’m just saying take it and frame it a different way. Like if there’s something, say, okay, on the other side because I’ve done such a good job of not getting triggered this is helping that relationship, right? You remember it takes two to do this. If you’re down here they can do all this but they’re not going to get anywhere and eventually they’ll stop doing it. So the best way is by example.
Margie: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Dr. A: You’re welcome. All right, Rach, what do we got?
Rachel: All right, we have Rick and Marj.
Dr. A: Hey, there’s Rick and Marj. Hi guys.
Marj: Hi, Dr. A. How you doing?
Dr. A: You look like you’re in a gingerbread house!
Rick: We are [laughing].
Marj: We are! We’re in Durango, Colorado and an old 1883.
Dr. A: Yeah, I could tell! It looks like one of those, it’s really cool.
Marj: Yeah, it really is cool. You should see the intercom system that’s just a little cord you pull out of the wall and scream and scream into a little belly.
Dr. A: I love that because one of the things, you’ve heard me say this before, but you know as we look, and this really applies to where you are now, we think that technology in some ways is just amazing, right? We kind of look back with a telescope to see where we were and where we are now the gain. And you can look back at the environment you’re in, it’s quaint, it brings up nostalgia, creates those great feelings inside of growing up, you know, with your grandparents and stuff and then, on the other hand, you love to get home to your modern place on the beach.
Marj: To my Alexa.
Dr. A: There you go. Exactly. I just hope, I always wondered about Alexa. Is she listening all the time? [everyone is laughing].
Marj: Well, she is if you don’t turn her off. I just read a whole article on that, but anyways we would not be here in Durango, Colorado— first we want to start in gratitude and say thank you. We are here because our fifth child is giving birth to his first with his wife, and our fifth grandchild, and because of OPTAVIA we were able to pick up and just relocate for the next three months. So, we’re actually going to be living here for three months, which we could not have done 16 years ago before OPTAVIA [crosstalk 00:23:44]
Dr. A: Wow. That’s so cool.
Marj: And part of the journey is what we’re here for which is conscious leadership. Had we not learned how to become conscious leaders, and just were transactional, we both agree, we probably would not be here because we would not have known how to grow the organization the way you have taught us to grow it, by becoming better human beings and better leaders ourselves. So with that, you’ve answered a lot of the questions that we first had but I’m going to ask them again because it helps to hear it seven times. So as we grow our OPTAVIA organizations, how important is it that we learn to become conscious leaders and why? And having been through TLDP for all of them, five years, who we were then is not who we are now and we could share with you why it was important for us, we want to hear from you why it’s so important because you brought it to us and reiterated to us and also give an example of how to apply it. You did get some filter-free, SCC, awareness, identity, release, give another, even a scenario of how you apply it because it is essential to running an organization.
Dr. A: Yeah, now those are great questions, Marj and thank you for your partnership and I love it when people take serious this journey and that’s— you know, I talk about— started off by talking about prioritizing in 2023 and it’s the most important thing. It’s great to— well, first of all, if we’re in a survival mode, we need to get out of the survival mode. In other words, if we can’t pay our bills, I mean there’s certain basic things that we have to have, right? But beyond that so many people are looking for, again, extrinsic motivated things like money, or fame, or fortune, in order to make them happy and it’s never, there’s never enough. If you’re wealthy, you never can have enough money. If you’re into fame, look at actors, as they get older, and they don’t get the great roles, if they can’t continue to get better and better roles, then they suffer. The same thing with attractiveness, you look at the models on Fifth Avenue, you know, they’re beautiful, beautiful incredible human beings in terms of their aesthetics and yet they go and have plastic surgery because you can’t get enough.
So the first thing is realizing that the journey inside is what allows you to truly give people— you know, you’ve heard me say since the beginning, become the Dominant Force in your life and 95% of the world is in the Drama Triangle. They’re in that victim mentality, they think the world is happening to them. They’re looking to blame each other. All you have to do is go on any news station and you see everybody pointing, and it’s contagious. People start thinking that’s the way to be and because they get an adrenaline rush from it they literally thrive on it and that stress, it’s all so debilitating to our bodies and certainly to our brains. When we’re stressed we release cortisol. Cortisol over time is basically neurotoxic. It actually depletes and changes our memory, can create everything including cognitive decline over time. Just from that, the stress, the release of those hormones, affects our heart hard, it affects our cardiovascular system, affects atherosclerosis, creates diabetes.
I mean, I’ve started saying about a decade ago when I finally got to the point where I understood. It’s not about obesity or diabetes. It’s basically about not being able to manage our behavior through our cognition. In essence, our thoughts, the cognitive decline from our thoughts, is the most debilitating thing that kills us. It creates all those secondary things, where a body no longer— I mean it’s that important. So, with that, it’s a leading cause of emotionless management. It’s the leading cause of death. That’s why in this year, 2023, for everybody, whether they’re part of our organization or not, that’s why I’m dedicating this work to helping all those that want to raise their hand. Whether they want to become part of our organization or just work on themselves. I want to help people get healthy because so many people are suffering.
I was just talking yesterday to a father who was talking about managing his kids. Just in school. I mean my daughter teaches third grade and they, because of COVID and not having relational health, they’re in such a mess. So this work is really, really important and if you ask why it’s so important as we build our teams is because we are coaches and as coaches the most important thing we can give to people— actually if you want to, it’s if they can learn just SCC. Stop. Challenge. and Choose., they can change everything. Most people don’t know that they actually have control over what they do. We have control over 3 things: our perception, our choices or our decisions, and our behavior. Those are the only three things we have control over and if we have a perception of the way the world should be and we think it has to be that way, we’re going to struggle our whole life.
It doesn’t matter how many material things you have. You’re going to struggle. So it’s important to go on this inner journey. This journey of agape love to yourself. Loving and caring about yourself. I mean, I live alone. I have a full life with lots of great relationships, but I love being with myself and it’s not narcissistic at all. It’s just that to have the time to explore and go on this journey. A good friend of mine, Jim Dethmer who you guys know and is going to be actually at one of our events coming up, which is kind of cool, is we have amazing talks and part of the time he spends is up in Michigan, in his cabin and I do some of that on the beach. I go have time with myself where I’m not trying to deny reality or what’s going on, I’m actually open to how to become open, curious, and grow.
So that’s kind of what I want to share, is it’s not something I’m teaching, like from an ivory tower, it’s something I’m practicing every day and I’m— even in my journey of learning to be a better skier, some of the things where I know that we skied some hairy stuff yesterday, I mean straight like this and there’s a part of me that has a little bit of fear but because I practice it and I have a great instructor I’m now at a point where I could do it and I actually skied the best I have in my whole life yesterday in deep, deep powder, and skied like in the movies, where— I mean, not like the crazy guys— but skiing the powder the way it’s supposed to be skied, first time I could ever do it at that level.
So I just want for you guys, if we were on that journey, and for everybody to convey, that we can change. It doesn’t matter what happened to you in the past, that 30 years ago your father yelled at you and made you upset. It doesn’t matter now when are you going to let go and realize that right now, we have the opportunity to change everything and move in a direction that allows us to truly, like you said, be happy, be fulfilled, as Shawnna was saying, being able to really enjoy the bliss of every day. Experiencing the full part of life without missing it, I mean how much of life do we miss because we’re upset with someone? Or somebody said something that triggered our ego? I mean all that stuff is just made up. It’s this need to be right and it happens so much and it’s so hard.
[00:30:47] So the thing I would add, versus just what we talked about so far, would be becoming self-aware. Being aware is— you feel it. Your physiology— It’s really called coherence. We have three levels of coherence we have our physiologic level, we have our cognitive or emotional level, and we have our cognitive level, and when all three of those are in harmony— you’ve had those days, you’ve had those days when you went around a corner on the mountains and there was a gorgeous sunset, or on the beach, and you sat there and you watched on the golf, right? And this incredible sun as it went down turned the beautiful orange and the sky was illuminated, where it looked like God was talking to you. I mean, you felt fully aligned. You weren’t thinking about, oh, God I got to be there, I got to be there. You were fully aligned in those three areas and so one of the ways you can work on that is when you start feeling that dysfunction, that icky sauce, is that you just stop and just fully feel it. What emotion am I feeling? And let that bubble up, and when it bubbles up it’s a catharsis. It’s actually taking this junk, this crap, this stored trauma, and it’s allowing it to no longer have an effect on you, and when that can happen, it changes everything.
That’s the most— the easiest thing to do is take a negative and put a positive in there. Like you’re driving in your car and it’s in a 35 mile and the guy in front is going 25, versus saying, gosh, now you can’t get around because there’s so much traffic, rather than getting upset about it say, “whoa, I’m going to have an extra,” because you structurally left 15 minutes early, so you didn’t create stress in your life, because you didn’t wait to the last minute, yeah a 15-minute wiggle room and you can say, “Oh great, I’m getting ready to go do a presentation now I can think more about it.” Or, “I have another 10 minutes to listen to that cool podcast that I love, that gets me feeling right,” or put on some incredible music that takes all the stress away and allows you to get focused. So you switch a negative to a positive.
Second thing is you basically use a mantra. You actually, like we talked about earlier, where you take something and you repeat it. What it does is, if you have 17 different things going on, it takes your brain, your focus, your awareness has the ability to become micro-focused, laser-focused, or it can be wide and intentional focus, or attention is what creates focus that allows us to perform at a high level. So the Mantra then gets you all that other stuff out of the way. Then the third is what I just talked about. It’s when we actually sense it all. Feel it all. Feel the emotions and let it free and it’s a journey, it’s not going to happen overnight. You didn’t store all that stuff in a day. You stored it over 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years and so it’s going to take some time, but each time you do that it helps a little bit. So hopefully that makes sense.
Rick: Yeah, it sure does. Are we good? [to Marj].
Marj: Yeah, no you’re unmuted [speaking to Rick].
Rick: Yeah, that’s so cool, Dr. A. You know, you said something a long time ago and I— and this really does make this make sense and what you said was that, as Optavians, people will recognize us everywhere we go and it’s not because we’re eating fuelings, it’s because of this right here. It’s the work we’re doing right now. This is what really separates us. You know, the world is going the opposite direction it seems. People are getting frustrated. They’re getting, you know, out of control in their mental status, whereas we’re really— this, what you’re doing with us and this is just making a difference. So [crosstalk 00:34:14]
Dr. A: It makes all the difference. I mean, to quote the Eastern philosophy, I always love this. Buddha said, “All life is suffering,” and the correlation to that is because of desire. We want the world to be a certain— and what he meant by that is we want the world to be a certain way and when it’s not that way we suffer and what we need to know and understand is inside, you know, and I like to go back to 99.99% of the universe is a void. There’s nothing in it and we have this brilliant blue ball. I mean I love it when they show the pictures from space. This brilliant blue ball. I mean look at the moon. There’s nothing on the moon but we have this brilliant blue ball that we, for whatever reason, are here and we get to experience in that and we’re only here, by the way, for a short period of time. In relation, the earth is 5 billion years old, right? We get to be here for, hopefully, if you practice the Habits of Health, for around 100 years and that’s a small, little time.
It’s not time to be deserving, that I deserve for the world to be better, no. It’s our time to be grateful. That’s what you did. You started off today and that gratitude, gratitude is so important. To realize that we— you know, I saw a skier a couple days ago that had no legs and he was skiing down, because again intrinsically motivated, he loves skiing, and he did whatever it took and to think that I have, when I get upset because my legs are tired, you know, what right do I even have to think that way? When there’s a guy that has no legs and is out there just tearing. In fact, I got to see him at the lift line and I slapped a high five and said, that’s amazing!
Marj: So true. So true. Dr. A, thank you. God bless.
Dr. A: You’re welcome. You’re welcome. Okay, Rach, who’s next?
Rachel: All right next up we have Becca. Becca, can you come on camera and unmute yourself?
Becca: There we go.
Dr. A: Hey, Becca!
Becca: Hi, Dr. A. Thank you for having this space.
Dr. A: Are you gonna start crying right now? I love it. Go for it. Go on, go for it. I’m crying too. I was just thinking about that skier, you know, it’s so grateful to. Talk to me. It’s okay.
Becca: So you have taught me that I can have space for my emotions and more and more I’m letting them be released, obviously.
Dr. A: Doesn’t that feel good though?
Becca: It does.
Dr. A: Doesn’t it feel much better than holding it inside?
Dr. A: Okay, so that’s a very good thing. So don’t beat yourself up about it because, hey, I’m a big baby. I’m crying. Cry all the time. It’s okay. Everybody here’s— everybody put a big thumb up! They’re here for you.
Becca: I’m hoping, I’m allowing a lot of other people to start releasing too.
Dr. A: Yeah. Good.
Becca: Okay, so one of the big things when I started taking care of myself, I couldn’t even walk across the house without extreme pain and then slowly and slowly I started becoming, started seeing possibilities. Maybe I can do this, maybe I can do this, maybe I can do this, and then it became almost a moral obligation to get this in other people’s hands, you know, like I can’t keep this to myself, that would be selfish, but in doing so it’s brought up a lot of past. I have tried many different businesses trying to— or different ways, not even businesses, trying to gain that financial time and location freedom in our life to just be fully available and in this learning and learning to be fully available is actually up here [points to head] first and you’ve been going over all that, but when I get clear on goals, when I see that clear picture ahead and I get inspired by it and I start taking the action those first few days I can’t sleep because I’m so excited and then I get burnt out and I start becoming someone I don’t want to be and I, for the life of me cannot change this pattern. And I picked up some nuggets from what other people have said, but I feel like I’m letting a lot of people down because they know my vision.
Dr. A: Right. Okay, so let’s start with changing your language. You know, our emotional brain has no language. Our prefrontal cortex, our cognitive brain, our human brain has language and there’s a separation so what you say affects your emotions, but your emotions can’t respond to it, right? Because you can’t describe a feeling, really. You can kind of try to, but you really can’t describe it. So when you say “moral obligation,” you have no moral obligation. I’m going to stop you. Time out right there. The only thing you have an obligation to is yourself. Yourself. Remember that, remember that you can’t make anybody else do something and if you judge how you’re helping others on yourself know that all you can do is help awaken others and so it’s a self-journey. That’s why I talk about prioritizing 2023. It’s a journey of self-exploration. It starts there and so what you’re doing is you’re judging yourself. Okay?
[00:40:03] So you’re actually using your emotions to kind of take your identity and create a negative space for it and that’s not what you want to do. When you say, okay I want to help. I want to work on myself, then just do that and don’t be connected to the outcome. See, that’s the part, and that frustrates you and then you feel like you’re not worthy. You probably, somewhere in there, have a sense of lack of self-worth. I mean, it’s so common for so many of us, right? To have that, and again you are you and you are not your thoughts or your feelings. You need to really learn how to stand back and you know, in psychology, called the center of the witness— witness of conscience. As a conscious being, you are not your identity.
I wrote a book with Robert Fritz on identity and you are not— you know, your name, your name is Becca, but you are not your name, right? You are not that you’re a female. You are not— those are things that happen to be factual, but they’re not what identifies. What identifies you is this journey to consciousness, because once you can sit back and be aware of those thoughts, then you can look at them and say, “Okay, they’re not real,” because you know, I mean the bottom line is that voice in our head right isn’t real, it makes up stuff. It makes it with our personal mind. It creates this thing called our psyche and it messes with us all the time. So, stop trying to fight your psyche. Start becoming more aware and let it all go, because that’s why you get excited. You get fired up and then something happens that you see as being a negative to that, holding you back and you don’t feel worthy, and by the way, and again, I want to mention this here, I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m not a psychologist. I’m a practitioner of consciousness and health and I do know this.
I know the more we can move back and not be our thoughts and not be our feelings, the more we have control over our lives because now we can see life for the incredible joy it is. The things it gives us, and you’re on this journey and you’re making— I mean just, I’m watching your face as you absorb this and you’re almost getting ready to smile. When we first started you were basically crying. So I just want you to be aware how powerful what we’re talking about is as you kind of sense that and say— we all want our people around us to say, “Hey, you’re going to be alright.” Right? And we are. We’re going to be all right because if we focus on actually being aware around us, we become so appreciative and so full of gratitude that it doesn’t matter whether when you talk to someone they get it or they don’t get it. What matters is that you’re on your own journey. The journey to help others is really modeling that you model the behavior where people say, “wow, what are they drinking?” Right? It’s kind of like in Harry Met Sally, you know, “I’ll have whatever she had for lunch,” and it really starts there and I can just see you’re getting ready to smile for me, right? I know I can see it coming. Yeah. See how much better you feel?
Dr. A: Yeah because you’re not judging yourself. You’re not judging that I should be this and I should be that and my action doesn’t match my vision. That’s a bunch of crap. What matters is you’re becoming inside, in control of you and you’re not letting these thoughts or these feelings that basically, before you would connect to and think they were you and start saying, “I’m not worthy,” none of that is true. 43:32 What’s true is your journey to consciousness and you’re on your way, and when you start sensing that you need to, again, go back to the basics: Stop. Challenge., why am I feeling like this? And then Choose., what you want and the output you want is to become more and to be more at a point where you have the agility and psychological flexibility. No matter what’s happening on the outside, you can deal with it. You can handle it and move forward. That is your gift to yourself first. You’re not obligated to go out and share, you’re obligated— you’re not even obligated for that. You can stay in your misery if you want, I mean if you want to sit in a corner in our comfort zone, take our blankie and suck our thumb. That’s up to you. I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to give you a better option.
Dr. A: Makes sense?
Dr. A: Okay, so let’s work on that.
Becca: Okay. I will.
Dr. A: You’re welcome. All right. Okay. Who else?
Rachel: All right, next up we have Patty. Patty, can you come off mute?
Dr. A: Hey, Patty. How are you?
Patty: Hey. I’m so good. I’m good. I’m glad you’re having a great time skiing.
Dr. A: Thank you.
Patty: You know, I wanted to ask you a question today that would be more focused towards some of the folks who may be new to your Zoom or new to consciousness and very often, times when we are starting conversations with clients or other folks about some of the changes they want to create in their life, we’ll hear comments and I don’t know if any of the folks on here can experience this if you’re new or working with others that are new, but they’ll say “Oh, I’ve done that self-help stuff before and it doesn’t work,” you know, these types of thoughts. Could you give, could you share some wisdom if maybe there was someone who’s new to the Zoom and new to the realm of consciousness or speaking to a younger coach who is just beginning to come into that realm themselves?
Dr. A: Yeah. Sure, agree, that’s a great question but so you know self-help is a pretty broad category [crosstalk 00:45:43]
Dr. A: And what I find mostly with self-help, not all, I mean there’s some really true practitioners, most people are trying to create their own philosophy on what makes you happy, fulfilled and honestly, everybody’s a snowflake. Everybody’s different and the key to really developing and growing personally is individual. We’re each different. We’re all like a snowflake, we’re all— have a fully different experience of life and I find that most self-help books, they have their secret sauce, right? Their thing, “you do this and you’re going to be okay,” well I mean, I think that’s a really low, very crude understanding of how the human mind works because the human mind is— everybody’s mind is different. Everybody has different thoughts and feelings. So the work that we’re doing is based on principles. It’s not based on, “I have, hey do this and you’re going to be fine,” and the work is actually based on how the brain works, how the mind works, how the— taking science, I mean being a scientist, as you are, and as a healthcare practitioner, understanding the mind, how the brain works, how the mind works, how our feelings work.
Looking into the work that’s been done for thousands of years, from the East, not connecting it to religion, but separating it from the actual principles, and the idea of energy and how energy flows and taking all those things, of exactly how these things work, and our advancement in neuro personal biology, is changed so much. We understand, we have MRIs, we have all the brain flows. We have the ability to actually, cognitively look at the hot areas in the brain. So we can take, you know, the Eastern work on mindfulness, for a couple thousand plus years, they’ve been around, you know as the older humans that studied this and then take it and connected to the Western science and together now we’re at a point where we use those principles to help people move forward and that journey, by the way, isn’t from somebody’s book. That journey is inside. We have everything inside of us to fulfill our potential and what we’ve done is in the modern world, especially with technology, we’ve isolated ourselves from ourselves.
We spend— the average kid growing up spends eight minutes outside. I mean they’re not connected. I know that you know, when we go skiing and actually my instructor was saying the other day because you know, you really love skiing. Yeah, I love skiing and I love the connections. Like when people talk about going for a walk and golfing, you know, I mean those that are really competitive and it’s all about their score, they’re stressed out and they’re at a different level, but just walking outside, whether it’s going for a walk in the country, in fact, the Asians, the Japanese have what they call “forest bathing,” and you go out into the forest and the different chemicals that are released from the trees actually help you with this connection to nature. I know my walks on the beach, you know, a busy, busy life and I know I miss them. I’m connecting to the mountains and when I go up and down and drive and look, I’m fully aware of what’s going on. I’m not sitting there in my inner mind. I’m actually looking and experiencing how majestic the Rocky Mountains are and then I was in Salt Lake City a couple days of meetings, in the Wasatch Range, I mean, they’re just incredible things that we’ve been gifted with, and then I know when I’m home, the walk on the beach, just watching the waves or sitting down and watching those waves, just methodically, that connection to nature is so important.
[00:49:13] So what we’re doing is actually connecting what we already have inside of us. I’m not trying to teach you any philosophy. Yeah, there’s some exercises and things we can do, but most of it is a journey of self-exploration and that’s really self-growth. When we’re open, curious and want to grow, when we can take our personal mind, which wants the world to be a certain way and has concepts of how the world should be, and we can move that to the side and fully experience. The joy of that for everyone is tremendous. It builds inner flow fulfillment. Involvement and it’s all great. So, for me, I’m just a practitioner that wants to share. That’s it.
Patty: And I love that, and I think too it goes back to one of the things that you’ve said from the very beginning is you know is somebody open and curious and are they in that teachable moment and you know, I think that one of the things that you’ve always taught me is how do we show up because we can’t— our job, our roll, you know, is not to get people to do things but rather when we show up and we model and they feel that energy and they feel that connection. So, yeah, thanks.
Dr. A: Yeah and just to add to that, Pat, because you’re a great practitioner, that is when I show that slide, I’ve showed forever internal stability, external equilibrium, what that is is our relationship because really, our relationship with fellow humans is the biggest joy in our life. I mean it’s the part that we feel that belongs. Goes back primordial to you know, 10,000 years ago in our tribe. Our little tribe, our nomadic tribe. It was so important, that connection, and we’ve kind of lost that and it’s been substituted. I mean, I love the Gator football and I love to go to the games, but it’s not the same. What we’re teaching people is that when you work on yourself inside and you actually become more aware, more open, and you have that internal stability, because things are going to happen to us. You know, we go from birth to death and along the way there’s life and life is intrinsically unstable. There’s a lot of things that happen, it’s just like when you buy a brand new car, it’s going to get scratched up, it’s going to get old, the paint’s going to get tarnished and so this thing that we bought to help ourselves is actually going to go. Life in general is going to happen to us, but in the middle of that all we have so many beautiful things.
If we become self-aware and we can manage that at a higher level, our role as coaches is to help clients actually understand that their journey to Optimal Health and wellbeing is an inside job. I mean the extra weight is there because something’s not right within their world and the more we can have them, as simple as, realize that fuelings are meant— food is meant to energize our body, it’s not meant to be a pleasurable thing. I mean having pleasure and going out for the right things, you know, 95% of our taste satisfaction comes in the first three bites. So if we can understand that and we manage that, you know, rather than on a Thanksgiving or Christmas, rather than say, “oh, I’m just gonna eat healthy,” no you love your grandmother’s pecan pie so make sure that you’ve eaten the right stuff, had a salad and the things that fill you up and then have three bites of that, right? Especially when you’re in your weight loss journey.
It’s just so important. Knowledge creates the ability to practice, which creates the ability to change. You know, when I first started writing, now 15 years ago, I wasn’t a writer, but every sentence I wrote and I made sure I wrote 250 to 500 words a day was a vote that I was becoming a writer and now I’ve got New York Times better best-selling books. Not that that’s why I did it. I did it because I know, just like this work, the more we’re in service of others, that’s the true fulfillment in life.
Patty: I love it. Great, thank you so much.
Dr. A: You’re welcome okay. We’ve got probably time for one more question.
Rachel: Okay, next up we have Susan.
Dr. A: Hi, Susan.
Susan: Hi, Dr. A. I’m so excited to be able to talk to you and I’ve had this burning question. I’m going to preface it first of all. I am so, so grateful for you and this whole program and how much I’ve learned and grown and been able to influence those around me, so you had talked about stored trauma a couple times ago and so I decided that I would face some of those traumas and somewhere from when I was a child and one of them I’m going to share, my Dad has since passed away, but when I was a little girl, probably around seven, my Dad pulled a gun on my mom and threatened to shoot her and I cried and begged my Dad not to shoot my mom and he turned to me and said there’s no guns in the bullet, I mean no bullets in the gun. Okay, I’m seven, okay. Oh, that really had an impression, right? That it didn’t matter, and so I had kind of forgotten about that.
As an adult, it came back to me and every time I thought about it I cried. So what I did was after hearing what you shared with us, I went back to that thought and really let myself feel it. I hugged that little girl. I hugged that Mom and I hugged that Dad because they were all hurting and I was fortunate that way before my Dad passed we had had a great relationship. So I just love my Dad and I’m grateful for everything that I got to experience with him. There are still some stored traumas that I haven’t figured out how to deal with. By the way, I use that same— I don’t know where I came up with it. It just worked for me. I did that on some other stored traumas, but I would like— do you have any other suggestions on how best to deal with those? Yes, I’ve been in therapy, years ago and I’m— I guess I’m not really open to it because I had so much of it, so. But I’m open to seeing what other ideas that you may have.
Dr. A: Yeah, that’s great and that’s wonderful because it would have been tragic if you let something from the past have it— never really got a chance to spend time and really get to know your dad, because we’re all doing the best we can at the time. We’re all based— we’re kind of a product of our environment and you know, I remember as a kid it was pretty common that your parents would you know call you stuff and we don’t do that anymore because we realize the implications of being told things, especially when we’re young, and to witness something like that, yeah, obviously that’s a pretty traumatic thing, and so that area is, that area in the brain that stores that. One of the things that I find is that the ability to, when that does come up, when something comes up, when one of those areas that does touch your stuff, and it does come up is just make sure that, if you can, I mean sometimes we can’t, but if we can when we’re starting to feel that difference, if we can just kind of sense and let it bubble up because it’s being blocked. It’s being blocked, usually by your heart. You don’t want to express, you don’t want to feel that suffering, so you push it back down. So when you find one of those, and I love what you did, you basically loved on yourself. You loved on them and understanding that forgiveness, appreciate and forgiveness is so important in this process because we have a tendency to then project, right? If we withdraw— if we withhold then we withdraw and then we project and what we want to do is we want to reveal, and we want to share, and we want to own it.
We want to own it to the point where we can share and just by sharing that experience now you’re open. I bet you there was— years ago, when you would never have said that, certainly not to a group of a thousand plus people, you wouldn’t have done it, so you are growing and I always want to make sure you know. Dan Sullivan wrote, well actually Hardy wrote the book, but they talk about the “gain in the gap,” the gain is, you’ve already started to master this in a pretty significant traumatic moment and you’ve come to understand that works, right? So the others are just finding out what is the awareness. It always starts with awareness. Awareness of why am I feeling? So something’s going to trigger one of those other traumatic events, that stored trauma, and when it happens it’s giving the pause and the ability to fully, as you said, experience it, and start feeling it and over time— it’s a process, it doesn’t happen overnight, but if you’re always open to that and we’re appreciative, and we look at it and say, “Okay, what in this,” rather than project like, “oh, God. They’re doing a bad thing,” or whatever, what in that is triggering me and how can I now process that and use it as an exploration tool.
It’s like putting on a lab jacket and goggles and doing a lab experiment, right? It’s an experiment. Every one of these obstacles is an experience for you to basically get into that stuff that we have inside of us and just free it. You’re not trying to fix it. You know, if you get the flu, does it matter where you got the flu? No. You got the flu. Right? So what we’re looking to do is, in you and your journey, is just to start expressing these things and the more they come up and they bubble up and the more you release them, over time you’ll become a master at it and there’s a thousand different things that’s happened during our life that were negative bias things, right? And the idea is that each time makes it easier to deal with the others. So rather than letting people trigger you, you’ll say, “Okay. What inside of me is being triggered?” And it’s probably something from the past and let it come up and bubble up and let me fully resolve it and all— you’re not trying to fix it. You’re just not resisting. Okay? So the two things in here, one is the stored trauma and it’s not resisting it. Stop resisting it. Let it fully flow up and be a scientist, like a lab. Put on your lab jacket and really explore. The other is no longer let you connect with things happening in your life now. If something’s happening right now that creates an emotion that’s a negative, don’t repress it. Allow it to come, because it takes about 90 seconds for that emotion to go away and once it goes away you’re fine. If you repress it, then you’re adding more stored trauma.
So the journey is dynamic. It involves doing both things. Involves not letting more stuff get stored and at the same time letting the stuff start bubbling up and the more you get attuned to that self-awareness of the emotions, why is this triggering me? The more opportunity you have to resolve those things and then you’re going to start finding that days become— less and less is going to bother you and you’re going to have more time, free time to be fully present in all the glorious things that are happening around you.
Susan: I love that. Thank you.
Dr. A: You’re welcome. Cool. All right, we’re exactly at time. It’s one o’clock, Eastern time. So I want to thank you guys for all your amazing questions and again this forum is for anyone. It doesn’t have to be somebody that’s your client or a coach, this is for anyone you know that might be helped by becoming part of our forum. So thank you, guys, so much. Have a wonderful day and I’m gonna go skiing! See you guys. Bye.