In this episode Mo and Alix discuss the importance of lifting heavy weight and how/when to incorporate into your training plan. Whether you are an endurance athlete or just trying to be health conscience and reduce your risk of bone loss and strength as you age, EVERYONE needs to lift heavy occasionally. Contrary to popular belief, lifting heavy, when done correctly WILL NOT make you big…
Also, Mo goes into deeper review of the Muse mediation headband. Learn how you can take your meditation and mindfulness practice to the next level.
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After many meditation sessions, guided, repeating mantras, and some with sound only for a year now I thought I had a pretty solid grasp on “being present” and focusing on my breath, a visualization, or something similar. Then I discovered the Muse Brain Sensing Meditation Headband; you can check them out at www.choosemuse.com. I called their headquarters for more information and spoke to one of their representatives for about 15 minutes.
I was intrigued by the ability to quantify our ability to focus on a single thing, such as breath. When wearing the muse headband during a meditation it can detect when your brain begins to lose focus and your mind begins to wander. It then gives you instant feedback based on what you are listening to. For example, if I am meditating and listening to ocean waves on the muse app, the water sounds calm like small waves washing onto the shore. When I lose focus on my breath the smooth calm waves become louder like crashing waves, nothing violent that or excessively loud, but enough to bring your attention back to your breath. After each session the Muse app gives you a diagram comparing the time during the session that your mind was calm, neutral, or active (see photo above). Your goal is to increase your calm time and reduce your active time. The ability to remain focused on a subject/object/etc. is crucial to maximize your ability to visualize during meditation. For me, I thought I was able to remain focused, but turns out my mind begins to lose focus each time I exhaled. It was quiet interesting and really made me think about how to remain focused. This has actually helped me stay focused during daily tasks. It’s pretty cool.
Using the Muse headband just before working on an important project/assignment as a busy adult, on a paper or studies if you are a student, or even prior to exams can help you retain a calm focused mind. I recently saw a news segment about meditation where a 5thgrader would meditate prior to a test to help her stay calm and focused. I think incorporating the Muse headband could help increase focus and a sense of calm presence even more. If you practice meditation or even if you are thinking of beginning a meditation practice, which you should J, I encourage you to give the Muse headband a try. In our fast paced, over-stimulated, multi-tasking on top of other multi-tasking world, having the ability to calm our mind and thoughts and truly be present for just a few minutes a day could be just what you, I, we need.
“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflection on experience” – John Dewey
As I have mentioned in previous posts about learning from failures and facing obstacles head on, it is important in your breathing and visualization practice that you reflect on those times. Reflect on what you could have acted, responded, or chose better and learn from that moment. Also, reflect back on the good choices that you made during times of stress, doubt, or conflict and log those moments into your mental memory bank so that you can refer back to them when needed.
Reflecting back to a time or situation where you made a better choice, response, etc. and really reliving those moments can have a profound impact on your ability to make better choices in the future. Let’s say for example you had to deal with a client, co-worker, boss, friend, or relative that was challenging and negative. Reflecting back to a time where you were able to remain calm and respond vs. react to diffuse the situation, you can mentally prepare yourself for the next encounter with a similar situation with this person. As doubt, anxiety, or even fear creep into your mind before the next meeting, reflect back on your win and say to yourself, “I was able to control this situation before, that means I have the power to do it again.” Then go into the meeting confident and mentally prepared.
Daily reflection is also important and can help you not only with clients, but also with life itself. It is quite easy to do and can be done at the beginning and end of each day. Here is how it works:
At the beginning of each day ask yourself these questions…
When doubt, fear, worry, or anxiety become present today I will:
Two positive things I will do today are:
I will be mindful of my reactions/responses by:
At the end of each day answer these questions…
Today I was able to control my fears, doubts, worries, and/or anxiety by:
Things I could have done better/responded better to were:
Tomorrow will be a great day because:
I encourage you to get a notebook and write out each question from above along with your answers. Do it daily and in doing so, you are creating a reflection journal as well as creating your own roadmap to success. Look back, learn, succeed.
This week’s mindfulness echo’s last week’s post on “Look Within”. Too often, especially in the digital age, we let our happiness be determined by “likes”. We glare at photo-shopped images comparing our bodies to others, and we let other people’s opinions impact OUR attitude and mood for the day. All of these have one thing in common. They steal our happiness, our self-confidence, our self-worth, and our joy.
In the meditation from last week we are guided to not seek approval from outside sources, rather, look within yourself to find your happiness, what makes you unique, and THAT is what you should focus on. There are also those out in the world, fire starters, who thrive on getting a “reaction” out of you. These people are thieves of your joy. If left alone, they have no power, but they poke and poke waiting for the moment you break and reply/react. You have just given them power. Think for a moment about the last time something you read or heard got you all fired up. Now think of how you then acted towards other people thereafter. Were you kind and patient, or were you short and potentially rude?
The same rule applies in traffic, where we all tend to lose it from time to time. Nothing gets under our skin more than the person that cuts us off in traffic. This is where your mindfulness practice is put to the test. We think that this jerk cut us off on purpose, and maybe he/she did, but maybe they are rushing to help someone, get to the hospital, make it to an important meeting on time and they simply didn’t see you. Maybe they did see you and they feel bad for cutting you off but don’t have time, or know how to say sorry/thanks/oops in that spit second. Whatever the case may be, don’t let traffic or people in traffic steal your joy. Again, there are folks on the road that like to “poke the bear”, however, it is up to you whether or not you react. Instead of getting angry and letting them know they are number one with that special digit, create a picture of patience and say to yourself and them, “I hope you get where you are going safely and everything is alright”. Then smile and wave. Try it, and I assure you, that you will feel a sense of happiness and peace instead of anger, and you will go through your day a bit more confident in your ability to stay calm and be happy.
In this episode Miles and I chat with our friend Beni Gifford. We start the show as we always do, wanting to not just learn about training and racing, but really dive into what makes our guests tick, and boy did we learn a lot! Beni opens up, enlightens us, and shares some diamonds, not pearls, of wisdom that you absolutely must hear!
You will here and learn:
How to use the “why” technique for things you want or how you want to become, perform, etc.
How Beni uses meditation and one of the best/funniest mantras I’ve ever heard to get through hard races
How he has made difficult choices and not followed the status quo of what he “should be doing” in order to follow his own unique path to happiness in life
How to prevent conflict with co-workers, family, & friends with the “call out at point easy” technique
Why it is so important to chase your dreams
His greatest OCR influences and heroes
How he views his body as a Ferrari and how he uses nutrition to fuel the machine!
Why he thinks “NO WAN” will beat Hunter McIntyre on the Skull Buster
The reemergence of his alter ego “Antonio”
and a LOT MORE!! Seriously you will walk away from this episode inspired