Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 1 / 3

Taking a Daily Vacation

I’ve only been in Bali five days and I already feel blissed out and on vacation.

I’ve had four massages, two meditation sessions, one surf lesson, two yoga lessons and a 4.5 hour pampering session!

And I TOTALLY needed this, because the last month or two has been pretty cray-cray.

As you may remember in my previous episode called Changing Plans, there’s been quite a few plans that have been changed, including now owning a lifestyle property and getting a puppy for my birthday.

Yes! My lovely man Josh has gone ahead and put a deposit on a white German Shepherd. So when I get back to New Zealand on April 5th, it’s going to be all go – moving into the house, getting it furnished, setting up our new base and waiting on the puppy.

I was content to go hard out on the organizing, planning, doing and making shit happen on all fronts, because I knew I’d be having this relax time in Bali, and of course my upcoming business sabbatical starting April 1st.

If you’ve never been to Bali, let me just tell you this island has a very special energy to it. It’s renowned for being a vortex of feminine energy.

So for females in particular, when you’re here you have this sense of being grounded, feeling strong, sensual and in your feminine power.

Everywhere you look there are lush trees, green rice fields, beautiful flowers street dogs, friendly Balinese people smiling, scooters whizzing by, yoga studios, cute cafes, healthy juices galore and many relaxed looking foreigners who are whiling their days away doing not a lot of anything much.

Which is why Bali is the perfect island to come and unwind, de stress and lose yourself, or find yourself depending on what you’re here to do.

But obviously we don’t all have the opportunity to buggar off to Bali when we feel like it do we?

So it got me thinking: Why can’t we have a mini vacation each and every day to get some of the same affects of a longer vacation?

Why do we have to book in holidays months, and for some people, years in advance? Why all this waiting when we have the power and ability to take a break right now?

In a Huffington Post article by Jill Ferguson she lists the benefits of vacations as:

  • Reduces stress – as I can attest to, vacations help shrink stress and anxiety while boosting the mental and physical health of you and the entire family, if you happen to be vacationing with them.
  • Helps your heart stay healthy – no really. In a 20-year study, researchers found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations per year.
  • Improves your mental health (especially if it’s longer than 2 weeks) because you’re less tense, have higher energy levels and more positive emotions, fewer negative feelings and less depression.
  • Improves your relationships because families or couples who vacation together undergo shared experiences, communication and togetherness, escape and relaxation and experiential learning, all of which contribute positively to well-being and to relationships.

You may have heard me talk about taking a mid week weekend. I mean why wait for the weekend to experience one, but what about a daily vacation? That’s a novel thought right?

I dug into this idea with my dear friend Jaime Masters, of Eventual Millionaire fame, who’s with me here in Bali.

We planned this holiday in late 2016 when she found out she got asked to speak in the Philippines,  just before my Freedom Mastermind Retreat I hold in Bali each year.

So this was our window of time to fly into Bali at the same time and enjoy 9 days together. And we are doing that extremely well.

Jaime is a single mother of two with an extremely successful and busy coaching and mastermind business (she also took this cool photo of me writing my next book).

She’s also a self prescribed geek when it comes to maximizing time efficiency and more recently bio hacking  – do it yourself biology optimization, so to speak.

Or as Jaime puts it – how to be a badass.

So here’s our jam session on how to optimize your day and also how to take mini vacations through a variety of suggested activities we do, and that we also think should be on your list.


Natalie:
So this is exciting! We are recording this in our lovely little room in Ketut’s Place in Bali in Ubud and there’s thunder and lightning happening and rain. This is cool.

I am sitting on the bed as you do, with my girl, Jaime Masters and we’ve been talking a lot over the last couple of days about treating yourself because yesterday we had a four and a half hour pamper session!

Thanks to Jaime, an early birthday present and it was amazing.

And I was like, “Why don’t we do this all the time?” and then I think actually if you did that all the time you’d just be in bliss zone and you wouldn’t get anything done.

Jaime: I think it can get boring after a little while.

Natalie: Yeah, but it was pretty amazing. Like we had several massages, we had a facial; we had pedicures, manicures, head massage, hair treatment, body scrub. And I was in and out of states of bliss, in an out of state of sleeping, dreaming, imagining, ideating. It’s beautiful.

But what I want to just chat to you about, because I think you are really good at this with your full-time roster of amazing clients that you coach over at Eventual Millionaire and your business and your full time podcast where you are interviewing millionaires all the time. I mean you have one of the busiest schedules I know off plus you are a mom, full-time mom.

So do you want to just share a couple of the ways you treat yourself throughout the day because I think you do this really well.

Jaime: So first of all anybody that says that they don’t have time, means that they don’t want to. There is a great quote about that by Lao Tzu.

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” ― Lao Tzu

So out of everybody I know, I am extremely busy. We need that time because we go crazy and nutso and when you get on that roll you are not efficient or effective in anything you do.

So lessons learned from me sort of going a little insane, to children, and to my business and everything else has led me to actually taking the time in between.

Even 15 minutes of going, “Ah! This is just for me and I don’t have to do anything else.”

So we talked about meditation before and I definitely do meditate a lot. Sometimes in small spurts.

Like I literally was just meditating for fifteen minutes while you were on the phone just now, because I feel like it gives me a deeper state of relaxation.  I do that throughout the day quite often even at home in-between calls.

But just trying to take that time where you can actually shut off whatever you’re crazy entrepreneur brain is saying and go, “Okay this is time that I don’t actually have to think about that”, because otherwise we will.

Our brain will just keep going forever and ever and ever. And so trying to pull those pieces out as best as you can, you know what I mean?

Natalie: And I think we started discussing this from the minute I landed in Bali and I think you did too.

We’ve both come off some pretty hectic schedules, me with house buying and packing up and book writing and helping my mom move and you with speaking in the Philippines, and having to do all the work around that as well.

I think we both got to Bali and we are just like, ‘ahhhhhhh’ and I just noticed instantly how my mind just quietened and I’ve done more yoga and massage in the last two days than I had probably in the last months.

So why don’t we roll through, like kind of spit-fire out some of our favorite at home mini vacations we take during a pretty busy working day?

Jaime: Okay so for me, I have a routine at the beginning. I literally wake up before my kids wake up now, 5:30am in the morning. I am not a morning person as much as Hal Elrod told me to wake up in the morning.

I was like, “No I don’t think so.” It’s literally only been the last four months or so.

Beforehand I would meditate right after I brought them to school, but I realized that it wasn’t quite enough for me and I kept feeling like I had too much to do throughout the day when the kids are at school so I moved it.

And so far so good. I’m going strong but I am not a morning person!

Natalie: Thunder. If you have any of this, this is real Bali in the background. Just making it real.

Jaime:  That was number one, so that was an evolution in my process. I have been meditating for a very long time and I was never like, “I have to meditate every day.”

It’s just I wanted to, I wanted to. It is something that I pull out.

I also do probably five to fifteen minutes in between whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or brain dead.

So when I do a lot, I batch everything and so whenever I do client calls, sometimes I’m like, “How can my brain stop functioning like it should?” and being in states of flow are way more productive in general, so I try and figure out ways.

There’s a good book called Stealing Fire, it talks about hacking into the flow state that I was telling you a little bit about.

What can we do that makes us feel so much better that we can come back and hit the ground running instead of just feeling horrid and crazy?

Just what we were talking about this before too, like all day long nutso.

And so I’ll do that, I have a pool in the back sometimes when it’s nice out, I’ll go jump in the pool and
reassess things, especially during the day when I’m actually working on stuff.

At night time I’ll definitely go, “This is my time! I am going to have a bubble bath. I am going to do whatever I can possibly do to turn that piece off”.

Because we don’t make a conscious effort in general to turn it off.

Natalie: A bubble bath is so good. I am looking forward to potentially buying a spa and having a spa pool for night time relaxation.

I like the idea of a sauna, whether you go to one or have one at your place. Often gyms have a sauna so just even ten minutes sweating it out and just being present with your body is pretty amazing.

Other things are just dropping into fifteen, twenty, or a thirty minute yoga session during the day, and I love starting with five minutes of downward dog because it ultimately ends up being a lot more, and just giving yourself that space.

Also, when I have a dog which I am getting soon! I would just have cuddle time with my dog. I’d literally have a play time, go outside, throw the Frisbee, throw the ball, play.

You’ve got kids around you, you’d grab them, play.

Jaime: That’s a funny thing. So sometimes I’m so back-to-back I like walking into the mailbox it’s like my time. I literally go, “Okay I need some sun. I am going to go walk outside”, because I literally only have like five minutes, like literally I am so scheduled.

No matter what the time is, it doesn’t matter I think it’s the intention behind it that makes a huge difference.

Because sometimes you can play with your dog and be like, “Oh that still didn’t really help.”

Natalie: Throw the phone away for a minute.

Jaime: As hard as it is.

Natalie: Get back to nature. Sometimes just actually being outside and getting sun on your face is a really beautiful thing and just tune into the sounds around you.

Jaime: I go and I lay in my backyard. I have the pool and I will go and lay on the bed and feel like, because we have an outdoor bed, just sit there for five minutes and not even have to do a meditation or anything like that, but just sort of soak in the sun.

Natalie:  The Vitamin D.

Jaime:  Sometimes I need that big time. And then being able to sort of go; “Now I reset. Now I can go back in”. Very helpful.

Natalie:  We should caveat this with the fact that you are very efficient with your time. So it’s not like you ever say, “I am really busy.”

You are fulfilled. You are busy but I as you said you batch things.

Do you want to maybe talk people through kind of your working week so that… they do hear that you have time off, and time out and you are really good at, oh we didn’t even mention it, you get regular massages? So do I but you get them every single week, yeah?

Jaime:  Oh yeah.

Natalie:  I think if you can you should even if it’s half an hour.

Jaime: Well this is the thing I kept going, “Oh I don’t have the time because I have kids and I can’t… when can I get a massage when I don’t have them. We’ll I have to work during the school hours”. All that craziness goes on in your head.

Let me just say, everybody can solve every problem pretty much.

So my massage person comes in at their bed time, my kids go to bed, massage person comes in and I literally go to sleep right afterwards.

Natalie: They come to your house?

Jaime: They come to my house. It’s not anymore expensive either. And they will do it like nine o’clock at night which is insane.

Natalie:  And then you just go to sleep?

Jaime:  I just go to sleep. It’s like the best ever. It’s amazing but it’s because I am so scheduled and so intentional with my time.

Because this is the thing too, it’s not like I don’t take a time off with the kids, it’s that I have to be super effective whenever I am doing whatever I am doing.

I have a lot of things going on so a typical schedule for me ,and I make my clients do all this too.

I call it the master’s schedule:

  • Mondays are meeting days, back to back meetings like literally, with my masterminds, with my personal scrum from my team.
  • Tuesdays are coaching days.
  • Wednesdays, every other Wednesday is an interview so either back to back millionaire interviews or back to back me doing interviews on other people’s podcast and then the rest of the week is free.

So it’s ‘working free’ so within the time my kids are in school which they get out at three thirty. Then I have open space that I can actually fill in advance because I am one of those people.

But usually when I have the kiddos I’m done at three and then I don’t work again unless it’s like a crazy launch and I have to make an exception.

It’s me like going for a walk with the kids or I try and get some of  the more special, relaxing kind of time with them. Not that I don’t have to do homework, not that I don’t have to do all the other stuff, but it’s just trying to have that space within the confinement.

 


How to take a quick daily vacation

Alright hopefully you have some firm ideas on how to take a daily mini vacation. To recap:

  • Short bursts of exercise – dance, walk to the mailbox, dip in the pool, play with your dog, drop down and do yoga.
  • Treat yo self – have a massage or a sauna, at home or book it in at your local.
  • Read a book – jump in a hammock, laze on your bed, lie on the floor, curl up in the couch, throw your phone away and disconnect the internet for 30 mins…then enjoy your fave book.
  • Pleasure yourself – did I really just say that? Heck yeah I did. Have a quickie, grab your fave sex toy and take a moment to…you know…have some fun. Or grab your partner and kiss them passionately. It releases endorphins which are feel good hormones and everyone needs those – plus you do that stuff on vacation right? So this IS a mini vacation.
  • Meditation – refer to episode 2 – Mind Your Mindfulness for a 1 minute one!  They say meditation can be better than sleep and sometimes sex. So I think it’s time to really take this one seriously.

So on a couple of the previous episodes I’ve been talking about meditation especially on episode 2 called Mind Your Mindfulness. And I have to say that I think we’ve only just scratched the surface on this and I am going to be doing a lot more work around this.

But having chatted to Jaime over the last couple of days intensely around her her meditation practice, I’ve seen this different side to it so I think I’ve always sat on the surface going, “What if I could just get five or ten or fifteen minutes a day?”.

I know the benefits of meditation but I wanted to bring Jaime back because she’s just sort of open my mind and blown my mind with the routine and the practice and the intention behind her meditation and how much is that impacting everything else.

So I haven’t seen Jaime for a year and a half and this time around seeing her I turned up and I was like, “Oh my gosh! You are just more like grounded.”

So here’s a conversation we had about her meditation.

Natalie: So who is this Joe Dispenza guy that you keep going on about?

Jaime: Okay so I’ve been meditating for a really really long time and then I became a disciple. The reason why I found Joe is because I’d injured my foot and he wrote a book called “You Are the Placebo” and I didn’t want to have foot surgery.

That’s the thing it was for the problem-solution piece of it. I’d always meditated. I didn’t even know his whole thing was about meditation.

Natalie: How did you find him?

Jaime: My best friend gave me the book. Because she had been following him for awhile. But I was just trying to solve whatever the heck that thing was. I didn’t know how deep he goes into meditation about how your body can change itself. And so it makes sense with, You Are the Placebo, but I never linked meditation and that before which was really awesome.

Because before I thought it was, “I am a crazy, business entrepreneur that needs to get everything out of her head and feel okay” because otherwise I might have anxiety or whatever the pieces are. That’s why I’d meditated before.

And then I found this thing and I was like, “Oh there’s so much more to it than that!”

Natalie: And they are self-guided aren’t they? Which I like because It’s quite hard to just sit and not have thoughts.  In fact, it’s near impossible.

Even the monks after many decades of practice don’t’ do it super well but they are far better than us. And I think I’d like to be like walking down the beach listening to meditation and then there you were, I was having a surf lesson and you were walking down the beach listening to a self-guided meditation.

One where Joe got you to like ground your feet into the sand at one point, stop and just be. So I love the sound of that. Because I love walking and I like being active while meditating.

What happens in that meditation?

Jaime: So that one’s really interesting. Joe has a bazillion different types of meditation. Some were shorter. This one’s an hour and fifteen minutes. Some of our friends are like, “Oh surfing is so like that”.

It was funny when I was walking, thankfully eyes open for quite a bit, I was looking at some of the surfers and  just thinking about how amazing that is too.

There’s a quite a few different pieces to his types of meditation. And so one is a big breathing aspect and then walking, where he doesn’t have you do that because you look weird.

But what he does as you start walking, he has you start envisioning your future and then walking as your future self.

And imagining whatever happened that you want to have happened in the future as if it was a memory of the past.

So you are walking and he is like talking about how to think of this and think of that, and as you are walking you feel amazing, on top of the world type of person.

And then he has you stop and just close your eyes and imagine the feelings that you would feel: gratitude, joy – whatever those things are or affirmations are.

And since your body’s been energized by walking it makes you really feel the emotions. And then you walk again.

And it levels up the emotional side of it. Levels up the feeling of, “Oh my gosh! This is what I’ll feel like in the future.”

Right, that confidence, whatever those pieces are. And so you are sort of stepping into what that is and it makes a lot more believable.

So as an entrepreneur I feel like, “Oh I want to speak on a stage at TEDx in front of a thousand people.”

I was chatting with somebody when I spoke in the Philippines, she’s like, “I love crowds of 10,000 to 15,000 people.” And I was like, “Hmmmm. I haven’t done that before. 10,000 people that’s a lot of people. Wow, Okay great!”

She said, “The energy is just insane.”

And so then I started going, “Let’s imagine what that would look like. I’m sure I can do it”.

And so in the walking meditation, I started bringing in some of those pieces. So when you start bringing in the pieces as if it already happened, especially the science behind meditation, it actually does.

Have you heard the piano player thing? They had a study where:

  • Some people actually play the piano in a certain number of hours per day for a specific song.
  • Another one just did the finger exercises with no piano.
  • And then the other ones meditated on it.

So the people would actually meditate on it. They never touched the piano, and they actually were just as good as the other people.

Natalie: When they finally went to play the piano?

Jaime: Yes which is insane.

Natalie: I’ve heard a few studies around stuff just re-visioning exercise on that.

Jaime: Yes. It gets your body in certain state. It’s really interesting to see the studies because we are placebos by the way, right?

So we affect our thoughts and everything affects everything.

And I think entrepreneurs need to get this better and better and better.

It’s not just clearing your brain it’s all those thoughts that we think, that determine what we actually take action on, what we actually do.

All those beliefs or whatever you want to say whether they are subconscious or not.

When you start flushing those out, and you start imagining yourself…..

I’ve had a friend who hated speaking and then he did like a hundred different speaking gigs all in a row just to get over the fear and to get really good at it.

Well, you do a 100 of them and you’ll get really good at it!

Imagine meditating on it a hundred days in a row instead of actually having to go do it. And again there might be a little bit of twinge when you do the first one but it’s going to feel so much more natural even just the visualization of it.

And I’ve interviewed a ton of millionaires, 400 and something millionaires, so many of them bring up visioning, it’s insane.

I was not woo-woo at all and I started going down this road and interviewing millionaires and I’m like, “How come everybody keeps talking about this?”.

Because I really wanted to know and so then I started looking at the science behind it all. And then I’m like, “There’s something to this”, because I am a sciency kind of gal and then I’ve started implementing and doing it.

It has literally changed so many things and what I can see is possible moving forward.

Natalie: You mentioned that it’s helped you, one being all grounded and not even noticed that visibly in you. You said your skin is glowing. You think you looked younger like not aging. What are some of the other benefits?

Jaime: There’s a whole thing on epigenetics which if you read any of Joe’s books. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson talks about epigenetics – our bodies and what we feel basically.

Because this is the thing, I don’t think people really understand, and again the science is very very new behind all this. It hasn’t really come out to the general population. If I say epigenetics, people are more like,  “I don’t have a clue what that is”.

But your DNA actually can turn on and off based on your environment. And so it’s not all like you were born like this and now we are like that forever, it’s what you ingest, what you are doing, what you are thinking that all affects your body, which makes logical sense when you think about it.

We are not emotionless robots. All the pieces and parts really make a difference.

You’ve seen the president go from looking really really young beforehand and how the heck did he age so much in such a short period of time? Like the stress and everything.

And so it really affects your body. So you can do it in the opposite direction also. How can we change that?

Natalie: I was telling you about Josh’s friend Rohan, his father from England who’s been doing transcendental meditation for something like forty five years or more.

I haven’t met him and I really want to meet him. I told you that right?

Because he is late 70s and he looks like he is in his 40s. He gets up at five a.m every morning. He does one to two hours of transcendental meditation with the music and all the vibrations and everything.

And he is apparently just super focused and onto it. He doesn’t need much sleep. Just incredibly aware and has energy all day and that youth, that vitality and that absolute solidness around what he does and who he is.

He’s absolutely precise and clear on who he is and what energy he gives off. So that fascinates me.

It does make me feel, yes you could change your state and you can change your entire DNA makeup.

By the way, did you know that when you get sunburnt you are changing the DNA? There’s a whole science behind it which you’d love.

When you get sunburnt, your cells are exploding and we have billions of cells right, but they are exploding and each little explosion is shifting and changing your DNA. So overtime you can actually change your DNA of your body.

Jaime: Good way or bad way?

Natalie: I don’t think sunburn is obviously good for you at all, but it’s just more the point that scientists have seen that you are actually changing your DNA through that. So there must be other ways of changing your DNA.

Jaime: When you look up epigenetics and you’ll see some of those pieces because it’s insane to read some of the studies on this. I didn’t realize this. I’m like, “Man!”.

It is one of those things where it’s such a new science so it seems a little woo-woo to people. It is with any sort of newer science.

Natalie: I know scientists needs the data and the facts but also I just want to see it’s working.

Jaime: This is what I do, I’m like, “Well I’ll test it and If I like it, I’ll keep doing it and if I don’t like it, then I won’t.”

But there’s a lot of Charletons that are like, “Oh you do this thing and it’s amazing!”.

So that’s what we have to be careful of, but to me I’ll test anything and if I like it and I see results then I’ll continue.

I care about the smarts and logic. And so meditation has allowed me to tap in way more and not just be a ‘running around like trying to do everything head wise’, but actually tapping into all parts of your body.

I never thought that your gut or intuition was a big deal until, again I heard so many millionaires going, “I went with my gut” and I’m like, “Wait! There’s no real science behind that.”

I’ll put a spreadsheet together so I can look at all the facts, this is why I am so science based because I need something to make a decision. I would almost never go with my gut.

Natalie: Gut every time.

Jaime: See… but to me I didn’t get the point of gut. I thought that that wasn’t logic.

When you read like the book, Blink and we realize how amazing we are as human beings.

We can make an assessment on something without even necessarily knowing the facts and data.

Like that book was very eye opening to me because I was like, “Oh, maybe I do know more than logic will tell me and research and data.”

And so realizing that, along with everything else tapping into that. You can shut yourself off big time. Most people do. Most of the clients that I talk to I ask “What’s your gut saying?”

They are like “I don’t know.”

Natalie: Oh really? I do it all the time. The only time that I haven’t sometimes is travelling, because I listen to my gut and instinct all the time in travelling. “Don’t go down there” or actually “Don’t take that bus”.

Jaime: What does that feel like? Where? How do you do that?

Natalie: Literally like a strong sensation to not go ahead and buy that ticket.  Where? It’s a good point. You do actually feel it in your stomach and then I feel like it just triggers straight away to your brain with a no. I have voice in my head going, “That’s not a wise idea.” It’s really crazy and I just listen to it all the time.

Jaime: I had heard this one place, and I have not verified sources but, what’s interesting is they were saying that it’s actually your heart that is making a lot of these decisions, and then going to either your stomach and then your brain and so it triggers all of them right? We sometimes think it’s our brain first.

Natalie: It’s literally like a decision and sometimes your body will stop. Sometimes your body will stop walking like ‘you are not going to go down there, Natalie’. It’s the fight-or-flight response that I feel kicks in and that is triggered by your immune system and/or your nervous system, so I guess your heart is the thing that’s beating.

Jaime: We just don’t know very much about our bodies though. Like it’s kind of sad.

I am trying to teach my children like, “Okay. Where do you feel that in your body?” so that they can become more in tune because I never was.

I was like, what is that feeling? I would never go with my gut in general.

So knowing and being able to say, “This actually works.”

I needed all the data from all the millionaires like, “Wait, you’ve went with your gut and that worked? Wow! Interesting.”

It would be really interesting to ask which ones typically go with their gut and which ones don’t.

Natalie: And where do you feel that in your body – that’s an interesting question to ask anybody. Going on a bit of tangent here but asking ‘how do you feel’ and see what people’s responses are, because if you ask a very pragmatic logic based person, they will go, “I am blah blah blah.”

Jaime: Okay so this is my best friend,  she had to ask me every single day. She goes, “How do you feel?” and I’d say, “Good” and she’d go, “Good is not a feeling.”

“Great! I feel great!”, she said, “That’s not a feeling.”

I didn’t have the words to express it. I literally had one of those little cards that said all the emotions on it. But I couldn’t find the nuances between the emotions because I didn’t think it was a big deal. Like what does it matter?

Natalie: And it does matter.

Jaime: It totally does now I know. I am teaching my children this.

So tapping into intuition or tapping into your gut is an example.

I don’t know what that felt like. I was like, “Huh! Nope. I got nothing.”

The little nuances in anxiety or the little nuances in joy, the little nuances in things that I just never paid attention to. And yet we can be so much more expressive as human beings if you actually know that.

I had beforehand thought, “If I just negate all the bad emotions and only felt the good ones, I’ll be happy in my world”. I mean you know in entrepreneurship too, it doesn’t work that way. Shit happens.

Natalie: It’s a rollercoaster.

Jaime: Exactly. You have to mitigate all of it and sometimes the crappy stuff is teaching you the most and you have to be okay with those emotions because if you try and negate that you won’t take the risks, even calculated risks.

You just won’t make the steps towards that because you are so scared of negative emotions. It’s an interesting thing.

Natalie: I think a lot of people live in the state of, “I’m okay. I’m okay. So I am not going to show any emotions.”

 

And you asking me the other day, “Do you feel that you tapped into that? Are you emotional?”

I have my moments around my Dad because I was quite surprised that I wasn’t more upset or just really in that state, but I do think it’s because I focused on celebrating his life.

It doesn’t mean I think I shut down my feelings. Like I will have my moments where I’ll just cry.

As I told you I am big sook at the movies. I’ll just have waterworks in movies. I feel like that a lot around animals and nature.

I don’t worry so much or sweat the small stuff, but I often think about global issues or environment or inhumane treatment of animals or people.

And that stuff gets me really emotional, but I think there are so many people who are walking through life instead taking drugs to numb themselves.

Jaime: But that’s the point right?

You Are the Placebo”is all about that you don’t need to rely on what we think.

One of the reasons why we take a placebo and think it will work is because people have told us that it will work.

If a doctor or someone of high authority goes, “This will work for you.” Even if it numbs you like crazy, you are like, “Oh then half of it’s probably the placebo effect and the pills don’t even work.”

So it’s one of those things where us knowing ourselves – if you are the type, ‘I am emotional in these sort of ways’ and ‘I don’t need to like make myself be emotional in other ways either’, but knowing yourself better makes a huge difference.

So if you do get sick or whatever, trying to pay attention to what those emotions were within it and then solving that instead of going after like, “I just need more alcohol” or “I need more drugs”.

Like when I injured my neck they gave me Hydrocodone and I’m like, “That’s a lot!”.

It’s a narcotic. They gave me a lot of pills. I was kind of surprised. They gave me like three sets of pills.

Natalie: The United States scares me with what they give out. It’s such a pill based society.

Jaime: And I was like, “So how do I fix it though?”. It’s one thing to numb the pain and I am okay with pain, I can handle a lot of pain, but how do I fix it? Nobody really went down that path which sucks.

Natalie: It does. Western medicine is very much like immediate solution where as I love the Eastern philosophy around preventing it before it’s even happened.

Jaime: Yes, but the thing is, I agree a thousand percent, but because we’ve already gone past that point.

So again this is the Western world, but we are sold that we can have everything right now, and this is why meditation is so important too. Because we are moving at a constant pace especially entrepreneurs. We are problem solvers and we wanted the problem solved yesterday, not today.

And so a pill, sure! Faster, easier, more efficient.

Natalie: The headache was just from the hours of pampering and all the detox.

And when I was in that yoga class, that restorative yoga, which I loved, I was having trouble with the hamstring pose. Sinking into that pose though I was feeling the pain and I wanted to come out of it, because we had to hold it for five minutes.

And that’s when she said, “If you are challenged by this pose, you probably have issues with control, because the control that you put into your everyday life will manifest itself  into basically your hamstrings.”

So the tightening there is the constant control or tension. And I think in intrinsically you know that but whenever we are holding any source of tension or pain or even love, it manifests itself in your body.

Jaime: So that’s the whole point of Joe Dispenza, the whole point completely.

He was a doctor and he actually cut his spinal cord. It was crazy – he couldn’t walk and he didn’t want to have surgery. And all the doctors are like, “So you have to have surgery to fix this”, and he was, “I am not going to do it.”

He meditated. And people were like, “Okay, you meditated your spinal healing. That’s a little insane.”

Natalie: Had he done meditation before?

Jaime: I don’t remember. I think he must have done something. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be like, “Oh I am going to try meditation and see if this works.”

He was a chiropractor so he knew the body really really well but what is interesting, like you were saying, is being able to have whatever is existing in our body usually is for a reason.

And unfortunately because we are problem solvers and we want to fix this so fast we just take the pill and go, “That will be okay.”

But more and more instances of cancer, more and more instances of crazy stuff and we are going, “What’s wrong?”.

Well yeah it’s probably food and stuff like that too, but there are so many things that we don’t understand that us taking care of ourselves, like you said the Eastern side of things, could have probably been prevented, but now we are at this tipping point where we can’t see the forest for the trees anymore.

And so that’s why it’s great that he wrote the book called, You Are the Placebo because there’s literally everybody going, “I have a problem. I need a solution.” And so being able to show people, “Oh by the way, this could help this.”

Natalie: I was going to say, it sounds ironic, but I am about to say we have to take control or more importantly, we have to take responsibility because things are not going to get better.

  • We are going to have more and more technology.
  • We’ll be more and more connected.
  • We are going to have more and more devices.
  • We are going to have more multi-tasking.
  • We are going to have more and more things in our life that are causing us to live our lives in a totally different way where we don’t have peace, quiet, nature, reflection, timeout, thinking time, quiet time.

And so we just have to, and that’s why I am so proud of you because you are making time, because you love it, every morning to do your meditation.

Jaime: One I didn’t love it. I couldn’t sit for five minutes. I used to lay down because I couldn’t sit up. So I couldn’t sit up for that long and I hated the five minutes every single time.

It’s just very much an evolutionary process. That being said I learned my own process.

A lot of clients are resistant because they are entrepreneurs and logical and my brain is way too crazy, “I can’t do it Jaime”. I was like, “I have the same crazy brain you do. I have ADD literally”.

And so when we are looking at, “Okay what can you do as a first step?” We talked about five minutes of headspace.

Headspace is great, Calm app is great, just to sort of slowly get into that and then I have people come back and they are like, “Oh that felt a little better.”

And then what is that next step and what is that next step.. I did this as part of the evolutionary process to try to make meditation efficient.

I would get all the crap out of my head so that way I could feel like I could be more clear. David Allen’s Getting Things Done, getting everything out of your head.

So I would do that piece along with having these inspired thoughts of, “Oh you know what I should do and this”.

Natalie: You’d actually literally go sit down or lie down to meditate but then you’d have “bing bing bing” thoughts. So you’d actually then stop the meditation?

Jaime: I wouldn’t actually stop the meditation. It’s really kind of funny I had an eye pillow on and I’d literally have a journal right next to me and I’d scribble.

It’s just like a twenty, thirty minute meditation, it wasn’t a lot because I would only do the first piece like this. I would literally just go, “Oh!” and write those changes of launch plans or the ideas that I had.

And then I would be clear and be a lot better.

So it’s still guided meditation but this is what I have my clients do because in general they are like,” I can’t make it stop.”

You know what makes it stop? Write all that crap down. And because David Allen talks about this with Getting Things Done, if it’s still in your head it will keep reminding you. It will keep bringing it up.


So there you have it. This topic of Personal Freedom here on the Quest for Freedom Podcast continues to come back to freedom of the mind in so many respects.

I know I will continue to delve deeper into this. In the next episode I’ll be discussing personal freedom from a place of less stuff weighing you down – as in decluttering.

You can also sign up to get fresh, hip and timely email updates when I release a new episode. Or you can simply subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Google Play and make my day – and hopefully make yours.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 1 / 8

Mind Your Mindfulness

So my first Quest for 2017 is around Personal Freedom – specifically mindfulness.

What the heck is mindfulness you may ask? Well I asked myself and the answer I came up with was it’s all about being present, and making conscious and enlightened choices.

Don’t get me wrong I’m no zen buddhist, I’m in no way enlightened and I’m still struggling to even remember to meditate each day using my HeadSpace app, let alone doing it.

But I just really want to dive deep into this and learn so much more about it, as I feel it’s the missing piece to achieving mindset freedom.

I do believe freedom is an attitude and a mindset.

So I want to discover how to tap into that no matter what my environment or set of circumstances. Because if I can do that, then I can help others to do the same and my quest for freedom will have more meaning.

This is probably a good time to bring back the Oracle I promised you from Episode 1.

I’ve never consulted an Oracle before, and the lovely Tracey, from Suburban Psychic, actually approached me after being in my community for years, reading my blog and watching my videos, and offered me a complimentary session.

The thing is, she did this by way of a comment on my YouTube video which I only found a few weeks ago when re-engaging with my channel.

Luckily she responded straight away and we set up a time to make it happen.

So what does an Oracle session look like? Well Tracey was super warm and friendly and the right level of woo-woo to practicality. She essentially pulls from things that speak to her during our session – such as books, and takes meaning from those.

What you’re about to hear is around 7 minutes in after she’d pulled a book called Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity

She opened the book at page 95…..

And she says, “a great deepening can occur in the dark like from the midst of falling to pieces because the pieces reassemble, new pieces materialize and old bits can be discarded or reshaped and I think that’s the process that you are going through. You let the walls down, the guards go home, the makeup falls off and your like your softest little self.”

So I guess that’s what this year is all about for me. In some ways the loss could be attributed to letting go of my business, as I go on my business sabbatical, to make way for more of Natalie to come out, and to explore my inner world as much as my outer.

Which is what has led me to this first quest on personal freedom, and the focus of today’s episode on mindfulness.

I first turned to this great blog post, that came into my inbox just at the right time, from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits who’s been, in his own words, ‘sporadically practicing mindfulness for 10 years’.

In 2016 he changed it up and really committed to it with amazing results.

Caveat, this has been on my mind (no pun intended) for two or more years now but 2017 is the year I’m going to cultivate mindfulness.

Here are a few good, no great reasons according to Leo:

  • You learn to be awake to the present moment more, and lost in the daydream of your thoughts less.
  • You begin to see your mental patterns that affect everything you do, and thus begin to free yourself of those patterns.
  • You learn to be frustrated less, and let go more. And smile more.
  • You learn to be better at compassion, equanimity, love, contentment.
  • You learn to be better at not procrastinating, and better at building better habits.

He goes on to say:

“I could go on about better mental and physical health, better relationships, less fear … but the reasons I’ve given are strong enough. It’s important stuff.

I’ll read out my fave from his blog post:

Commit to sitting daily for a month.

Leo suggests sitting everyday for a month. Tell people about it, set reminders on your phone and calendar, put a note somewhere you won’t miss it, and keep the meditation short — just 2-5 minutes to start with, until you become more regular. This is the foundational practice for being more mindful, so make a big commitment to sitting.

Find a group.

If you can find a meditation group in your area to sit with once a week, that’s ideal. It doesn’t matter much what kind of group it is (Zen, Tibetan, Vipassana, etc.), just meet with them and meditate however you like when you’re on the cushion. If you can’t find a group in your area, find a group that meets online. This commitment to a group deepens the practice. I’m certainly looking out for that here in Wellington and there are plenty going on. Now to commit. Meetup.com is probably a great place too.

Actually before I go on. I want to pause here at meditation. And go deeper into it…you with me?

What are the benefits of meditation?

Research shows that meditation and other relaxation techniques can help reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors and have been shown to help with anxiety and depression. Plus, they help us to stay centered and calm, shift our mental perception and change our reactions to varying situations, as well as allow us to connect with our inner wisdom.

Infact Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley, and the awesome book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Termshas this to say about the benefits of meditation, that might surprise you

“As of 2015, some 1500 studies have been done that show that meditation improves just about every dimension of your being from your longevity to the way you feel and look to your creative potential, to how you function as a CEO, the ability to make an impact in the world, to even how you connect with your spouse, your kids, how you do in bed and how you age. All of us should be doing it but yet we don’t and for good reason; it’s tough, it’s complex, it gets boring. And with so many varieties and types, how do you even know where to begin? Plus it’s challenging, I mean staying focus, not falling asleep, clearing your mind, not getting bored out of your mind. Meditation can be tough but still remember, a 1500 studies and when you get it, it changes you. It makes you a whole new you. I believe every men, women and child should be meditating every single day. “

And I agree. I just haven’t figured out the art of how to do that yet, so that it fits with me and my lifestyle.

And that’s probably because I’ve been focusing more on an older style type of meditation, not the modern day type. Vishen explains further:

“Monastic meditation is what originated in the east thousands of years ago. It’s about clearing your mind, focusing on mantra, that’s a beautiful spiritual practice but if you are trying this out in the modern world, it’s not going to be easy nor maybe the best form of meditation for you. Monks many years ago could afford to disappear from society and meditate for hours. They had no family, no kids, no whats app messages or game of thrones reruns but in the modern world we need a different type of meditation. Not one about clearing your mind off, finding places of absolute silence, but a type that actually can help you elevate yourself not just spiritually but in your ability to function in the real world. To be better at your career, to improve your health, to improve your love and sex life, to boost your creativity if you are in a artistic profession, to boost your ability to connect with others. This style exists.”

So looks like I’m going on a quest to learn this second style and share with you how that goes.

What is my Hero name?

In episode 1 I talked about what a quest is because it’s the podcast name Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom, your freedom.

I asked people to give me names that they thought were appropriate that I could use in this season, Season 1, as my hero’s name.

And I don’t really feel like a hero right now, but the point is I am the person going on this quest for you and I am going to be undertaking all these silly experiments and all the things that kind of make this special, so I figured how about having a name, and there were so many awesome comments in Episode 1.

First off, thank you for listening in and coming across to that episode. I haven’t seen so many comments in ages.

There some really cool answers in the comments, like Martin Hughes who suggested Libertas.

According to Wikipedia : “Liber’s associations with wine, inebriation, uninhibited freedom and the subversion of the powerful made him a close equivalent to the Greek god Dionysus, who was Romanised as Bacchus”

You know what they say “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom”.

Now I am not a beer drinker myself so I am going to rule that one out but great though.

However Samantha Thomas also said that Libertas is the Goddess of Freedom.. or maybe I shouldn’t rule it out so quickly.

Athena from Dan Flower cause he suggested that she is wise, courageous and inspirational. Thank you Dan! I am not quite Athena yet.

Jake Woehlke said Vipassana. In the Buddhist tradition that means to look into something with clarity. More specifically, it means to have a clear insight into the true nature of things. Which is pretty much what I am doing he says.

But the one that I ended up choosing was this one from Oddgeir Engdal who lives in Trondheim, Norway. He said Verdandi is one of the three “norns” of fate in Norse mythology. Her sisters are Urda and Skuld.

Verdandi is the keeper of what is, meaning which is occurring in this moment. She teaches us to accept the present, to live in the moment, to design and live a life free from the constraints of both what has been (Urda) and what will be (Skuld). Verdandi is a real freedom fighter.

So there were so many great suggestions but I am going with Verdandi.

So back to meditation.

Meditation for busy people

Yet if you’re like me you probably think you should be clearing your mind and thinking about nothing all the time.

I like that Emily Fletcher (an expert that Mindvalley turns to for meditation) tells us that’s not the case at all. Here’s a small snippet from her Awesomeness Fest Talk.

“We don’t talk too much about meditation and sex in the same sentence of the same conversation because I think that secretly we think, “Well I shouldn’t be thinking about sex while meditating”.

First off we think we shouldn’t be having thoughts at ALL when we are meditating. Now the number one misconception about meditation is that we think that we should be able to give our minds a command to stop which is totally impossible.

The mind thinks involuntarily, just like the heart beats involuntarily ,and so judging ourselves at how good we are at meditation based on how good we are at stopping our minds from thinking is always going to make us feel like we are failing, and then we are going to stop.

So if we think secretly, certainly we shouldn’t be thinking about sex right? And in our meditation, even about sex or even getting aroused like, “Oh oh, I am going to get in trouble.” Right?

Because we sort of have deified this meditation practice, we think that it should be like holy and if I am meditating I’m just thinking about monks or enlightenment, or robes or caves or something. And I don’t really know how you think about enlightenment.

I think enlightenment happens as a byproduct of you getting rid of stress in your body and coming back to your true authentic full potential. In India there are two sort of branches of meditation. There is a style of meditation that is made for monks and there was a style of meditation that was made for people like us, people with busy minds and busy lives.

Obviously there are thousands of different styles but they sort of come from either style that was made for monks or a style that was made for what we call householders. And this was news to me when I first started learning about meditation because  I thought, whatever monks are practicing it must be like super powerful, they must be like vibrating or levitating or something because they are monks.

But actually it’s the other way around. If you have a job and kids and stuff to do, you have less time in your day with which to meditate so you actually need to get in a really clean house so that when you come out of that meditation you have more bliss, fulfillment and joy to give to the people, places and things around you.”

And to complete my round up of research and learning to date, here’s a little segway into a conversation with Karen, whose 30 Day Clean Living Challenge I’ve been doing for almost 4 weeks and it’s hands down amazing.

Want to learn more about that go to nataliesisson.com/clean for a free upcoming workshop.

I’ll just give you a moment while you go ahead click that link and get signed up….

I jumped on a call with her to I ask her more about meditation given it’s part of the challenge, and any tips she had for just getting started, given it’s the only part of the challenge that I have well and truly failed miserably on.

Me: “But the thing that I am sucking at is meditation and it’s not that I suck at it, I am physically not making time. What do you do because I know you have a hundreds of clients do this, what is some of your fun tips for just like know you can make this work and the benefits of it. I always read about the benefits and I’m like I should be doing this every single day.”

Karen: “Yup for sure. Well one of the things that really helps is to change how you think about it. Other times people think that they have to stand half an hour meditating or they’ve got to have the right space or environment. They kind of overthink what they need to do and you really need to just start small, especially if you are a first time meditator, it can be difficult to start including it into your routine.

So start small, literally start with 3 minutes. There are 3 minute recorded meditations you can use. Because what you want to do is try and build the habit first rather than try and go too hard too quickly. Even if you start with three minutes, three times a week and that feels doable for you, then you can build it from there. “

Here are some I googled and did in a row (9 mins total!):

3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation

The 3 Minute Mindfulness Meditation

3 Minute Mindful Breathing Meditation

Ok so hopefully that’s given you some impetus to make no more excuses and just give it a shot.

Now back to Leo, on other ways you can practice mindfulness.

Practice mindful eating.

Leo admits that he doesn’t practice this as much as he should. I’m going to admit I rarely do this.

As he says “ it’s a good example of how you can take something you already do every day, and use it as a meditation. Simply commit to doing nothing but eating — single-task instead of multitasking. As you eat each bite, pay attention to the food, the textures and flavors and colors. Notice when your mind wanders. Savor the food. Showering, brushing your teeth, washing your dishes, walking and sweeping are other good activities to use as meditation.”

That last part I can totally relate to.

In the last 2 weeks, since starting a 30 Day Clean Living Challenge (register for thee upcoming workshop), I’ve been brushing my teeth with intention, taking time to cleanse my face using this cool tool that massages your face for 2 mins and is kind of relaxing….and being super conscious about what foods I’m consuming, how my body feels, how my energy levels are…ok I’ve gone a bit off track from mindful eating, but it’s all related.

This next one is a biggy for me

Watch your frustration.

As an Aries my ruling part of my body is my head. I go head first into everything. If you’re into astrology my symbol is the ram – think headbutting everything, and impatience is our least virtuous value (I assure we do have many great qualities), but that ain’t one of them – aside for when you use it to get a shit load done.

Leo states: “When you get irritated, frustrated or angry … let it be a mindfulness bell! It is a great opportunity to drop out of your story, and notice how your body is feeling. What got you hooked? What story are you telling yourself? What is your mental pattern when you get hooked? What is the physical feeling in your body at this moment? Practice as much as you can!”

Practice yoga or mindful movement.

Yoga is moving meditation, and I highly recommend it. I often say I feel like a million dollars after doing yoga. So why the heck I don’t do it every day still stumps me.

I’ve been doing it a lot more recently and I feel strong, supple, powerful and stretched. I feel calmer, I breathe more deeply and I walk around in a much more peaceful state.

And while I discovered a yoga centre 60m from my apartment in Wellington, I use YogaGlo.com to practice through online classes anywhere ..anytime.

Leo suggests if you aren’t drawn to yoga, try walking or running or doing other exercise while trying to pay mindful attention to your body and breath. Either way, see it as an opportunity to meditate as you move.

And finally…

Journal & review regularly.

As a teenager from like age 14-19 I wrote in my diary every freaking day. Or if I missed an entry I could up the next day.

And I wrote screeds of rather useless babble about my day and my friends and school and relationships and things that don’t really seem of consequence now …but were important to me then.

And it used to calm me. Especially if a friend at school had decided that day to ignore me (I tell you Scorpio friends are so temperamental and mysterious)!

Back to Leo’s tip: “The best learning is deepened by reflecting what you’ve been learning about, reflecting on your obstacles and challenges, reflecting on what works and what doesn’t. You evolve your learning through reflecting. Journaling is a great tool for that — it helps you reflect in a mindful way.

Journal daily, weekly, or monthly, reviewing what you did the previous day (or week or month) and what you learned from it, and what your intentions are in the coming day, week or month.”

Thanks Leo. I personally love Penzu.com which is an online journal, as well as the Five Minute Journal – the real physical book, not the app. Here is a fun video I did about it and how to use it.

The point here is to pick a few of these and play. Practice and see what happens. Which is pretty much my motto for the entire Quest for Freedom!

I’d like you to take a moment and ask yourself:

What does mindfulness mean to you?

Where could you add in more mindfulness… work, eating, communicating with a partner?

How do you talk to yourself? Is your mind running you ragged or does it keep you focused and driven?

Just like everything in life, mastering our inner dialog takes practice.

So let’s do it right now, together shall we? Just a 30 second meditation that’s all I ask.

This one is from my dear friend Natalie MacNeil, who started SoulSeconds .com to provide meditation and mindfulness for busy people.

Here’s one from her site that’s a 10 Second Stillness Practice – if we can’t even find 10 seconds a day for ourselves then seriously, what hope do we have? Ok let’s go

Now that wasn’t so bad was it?

If you’d like, you can enter in your email to get fun, insightful and entertaining emails from me, where I’ll share snippets of wisdom I’m finding on my quest and the occasional enlightening or amusing VLOG (that’s a video blog).

I’ll surprise you by popping into your inbox from time to time. How often? Well I don’t know as for once I’m not sticking to a schedule.

Since when did a hero on a quest schedule their shit out? Come on….gimme a business sabbatical people!

Tracey is available at www.suburbanpsychic.com for Oracle Sessions – for those evolving souls who really want to be exposed to their blind spots!

People are more than welcome to head on over to makegroundforit.com – a 4-week online course (with an additional 12 months of group coaching) to provide the understanding and the tools they need to shift their mindset and register for the next intake.

Tune in to the next episode where I reveal the next part of personal freedom which is all around getting in the best shape of my life.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Pin It on Pinterest