Mindfully Masculine: Personal Growth and Mental Health for Men

"Self-Care for Men"

December 03, 2023 Mindfully Masculine Media LLC | Charles & Dan Episode 107
Mindfully Masculine: Personal Growth and Mental Health for Men
"Self-Care for Men"
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we address final thoughts on "Atomic Attraction", and move on to the first part of "Self-Care for Men: How To Look Good and Feel Great" by Garrett Munce.

We'll open with defining the term "self-care", and go on to discuss the first component: a meditation practice--including your options, and all the benefits you'll experience.

Full episode also available on YouTube.

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Speaker 1:

Good afternoon, sir. How are you? Good afternoon, dan. I'm doing well, thank you. How are you? I'm great, great. Yeah, it's going to be a busy weekend Because Because tonight you're taking me to dinner for my birthday.

Speaker 2:

I'm excited for that. I want to put some meat in my mouth, love it my favorite thing to do, same same I.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're going to my favorite steakhouse in town, which is Shula's, down at the Walt Disney World Dolphin.

Speaker 1:

I went there for the first time for a work function. The company I worked for was a consulting firm for credit unions and community banks and they hosted a like convention every year for their clients, and the year that I went it was at the Dolphin or the Swan, I don't remember which, and I didn't have a lot of interaction with the clients. I was their internal network administrator. But the guy who was my boss was the guy who ran the networking technology kind of practice for the consulting company. So he knew, you know, whenever a new bank set up and they needed somebody to come in to set up their windows network and their Citrix, citrix servers and farm and all that stuff, this company would, would do that. And so while I didn't do consulting for that company, I reported to the guy who ran the consulting practice for networking and I was there for whatever reason, I think, to work on somebody's laptop or something, and they were hosting a client dinner at Shula's and my boss was like Charles, why don't you come along? You might, you might enjoy this.

Speaker 2:

That's great. That's that's awesome. He was awesome.

Speaker 1:

He was the best boss, I think, that I've probably ever worked for other than myself. So, yeah, he invited me to come along to that dinner and, yeah, it was all. It was basically all the clients, all the consultants order whatever you want, and he was putting on his Amex and getting the points and, you know, then expensive it to the company and had my first bottle of wine. Well, I didn't have the whole bottle, but I had my first glass of a wine I believe I shared with you, a Merlot called Markham. Yeah, yeah, okay, yeah, that was the first time I had it. It was his favorite wine.

Speaker 1:

He ordered it for. He ordered multiple bottles for the table and I was like man, this is really good. And it was like at Publix, I think it was like a 22 or 23. It was not a very expensive bottle of wine but it was delicious. That's excellent. And I'd had my first one there and I think that night I had I think it was a weekend night so Shula's had prime rib. Okay, and that's the only prime rib I'd ever had where you could eat every bite of it, like before they. Before they brought it out to you all the grizzle and fat was trimmed off of it and you could eat every bite of it without having a bunch of fat.

Speaker 2:

Work to do on that prime rib.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it was nice. I never had. I never had prime rib like that. I'd only gotten prime rib at, you know, I wouldn't say like golden rib, Like golden corral level places, but pretty much like you know, like cheap steak houses where there was, you know, like an outback or something like that where you had a lot of work to do, to prime rib if you didn't like chewing on the fat. And yeah, it was the first really really good prime rib that I'd had. And I went back a few years ago to take my clients on a dinner and we went to Shula's and I got that prime rib again and it was just as good.

Speaker 2:

As I remember, it was that Shula's, or was it different? It was that exact shoe. Okay, that exact shoe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, nice. And the decor is all you know dark wood and pictures of football players from the 1962 Dolphin.

Speaker 2:

It works for me because I grew up a Dolphins fan and Don Shula was my favorite coach and it's at the Dolphin, so you know, it's it kind of it works for me as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love that place. I'm happy to go with it. They bring the menu out of football and they bring you all the cuts of meat you can look at, and I don't think I'll do dessert there, if you're still up for hitting Disney Springs for dessert. You were just at Disney Springs. Did you get any sweets while you were there? I did not. No, I'm.

Speaker 2:

I've been strictito.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so yeah. I don't know if I'm going to be that strict tonight.

Speaker 2:

It's your birthday, dude, I'm going to have that pistachio cream puff from Go nuts from Amoretz Bakery.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to have that. I don't know that I'll eat the whole thing, but I'm going to have some of it. And yeah, well, it looks so good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Or the birthday cake cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, listen man, one meal, one or two meals of eating wherever the want is not going to ruin your progress of anything. I think mentally and, you know, even hormonally, I think it's going to be beneficial.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, one day back on scrambled eggs and chicken and keto chow.

Speaker 2:

Unless you're hitting that target trail mix like a handful every day, that's true. That could start to get in the way.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that. Yeah, because when we decide that's like 1600 calories per bag or something like that, it was pretty high.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's surprising when you actually sit down and do some math with some of the some of the food that we're eating.

Speaker 1:

It's yeah, and yeah, it adds up like a bag of trail mix is where what I should be at for a calorie goal for an entire day, where it's so crazy that some food has so much more than you think and then some food has so much less than you think like an extra large egg is what? Between 70 and 80 calories, I think. Yeah, I think that, wow, eggs are so they're so rich in meaty and stuff.

Speaker 2:

But Well, right Now, a lot of times the way we eat those eggs, right, yeah, we're adding, we're adding butter, we're adding cheese and an omelet, we're adding all this other stuff, and then that really maybe a little side of bacon before you know it. The calories can definitely add up, for sure, on that, but it's also a lot about the satiety too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, Eggs are good for yeah.

Speaker 1:

My breakfast the last few days because I ran out of sausage. I haven't gone to the grocery store yet. Yeah, so I'm just doing half dozen eggs and with one tablespoon of butter and nothing else salt and pepper and that's it. And I eat that early-ish in the morning and I'm set to one or two in the afternoon, and so, yeah, and I think that's coming out to it's around 500, 600 calories, Mm-hmm. And so if I can, if I can make that last all day and then just have a dinner, then I'm done eating and that's the thing for me to lose weight. But it doesn't always go that way every day.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, we talked before on the podcast. We, you know, we've got some goal or you have some goal, we both have some goals. But, yeah, what do we? Let's get this out in the public here, let's for some accountability. Let's give us, let's have a date, by when and how much weight you want to be at. So that, all right, today's the last day of November. It is the last day of November because we had some goals for the birthday and we did, and we got and we didn't take any. Well, you did take a picture, but it wasn't the one that you were looking for.

Speaker 1:

Exactly where I wanted to get for my birthday. Correct I can see some of my upper abs, but not my lower ones, and you know what? That's no progress, though, man. Oh, it's a huge progress. It's absolutely progress. I'm happy without weight.

Speaker 2:

Right, and so let's take credit for that and then realize, okay, look, you know we're going to adjust.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but by the end of the year I think I should probably be around pretty close to 150 if I want to be absolutely certain that I'll see what I want to see in the mirror. All right, and so yeah, that's 10 or 11 pounds.

Speaker 2:

Number 31st yeah.

Speaker 1:

All right, I think I can get close. But again, my main goal is not the number on the scale, it's what I see in the mirror. Correct, yeah, and I think as low as I got was around 157.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And it wasn't good enough. So there's a few pounds. Maybe five would be enough, I don't know. I don't know if it'd be more than that or not, but I got some work to do to be willing to take a picture. I did find the shirt that I want for picture day, though. Okay, you know we talked about, I think, just posing for a picture with your shirt off. You kind of look like a douche, and so I think the look of an unbuttoned shirt, for whatever reason, even though you're showing basically the same amount of skin, it looks less douchey. So that's what I'm going to do.

Speaker 2:

I mean listen, here's the thing is, you could also just take these progress picks for yourself.

Speaker 1:

That's true, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And. I might not share them anyway, but it's still douchey Right, but at the same time, though, you can look back on it and go okay yeah this is I'm happy with the way I look, and you just need a little pick me up when you're not feeling good about stuff, that's true Really.

Speaker 1:

On the same thing with like, hey, this is possible, if you apply yourself, you can do this.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, or I achieved this Right and it's like, okay, you know, and whatever is. You know, eating at you a little bit doesn't hurt so much anymore. And same thing with past accomplishments at X of mine was really nice, you know. She listed out a bunch of things that I accomplished in my life when I was struggling a little bit to start a new project or do something that I hadn't done before, getting out of my comfort zone. And just you know, I'm just you know, I'm just.

Speaker 2:

You know, when I feel down on myself like I can't do it, I would just review this and I had it right in my kitchen here and you just listen out on my whiteboard and I just take a glance and be like, wow, I forgot. There's so many things that we've all done in our lives that we're actually pretty proud of that. We're impressive that we just forget about they're not top of mind. So to have that easily available is absolutely priceless and I don't leverage that idea enough. The funny thing is we have these great ideas on the podcast and sometimes it just I forget about it and I don't implement them, but sometimes I get some great ones with you here. So I'm gonna change as part of my new New Year's resolution that I'm starting right now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I like that, and I had a guy at my Implement some of these things. I had a guy at my men's group last night talk about the value he's been getting out of his gratitude journaling. And I bought a gratitude journal for men not too long ago and I just haven't put a single word in it yet and I'm gonna make a practice of. I think the thought that I had last night when I was hearing him talk was, before I leave the house for the day, I'm gonna just toss it right in the middle of my bed, and so You're practically tripping over it, exactly so that I'm gonna Good idea Before I go to bed for the night.

Speaker 1:

It's like I have to move it in order to get into the bed, and this morning I ordered a multi-pack of these little they're little sticky loopholes that you can put like on the inside of a book that you can then slide, put a pen through the loop. Oh nice, and so I used it for my bullet journals and stuff like that. I added one to my gratitude journal this morning before I left the house, so now the pen is always attached to the gratitude journal. The gratitude journal will be in the middle of the bed, and so, before I go to sleep, there's no reason, I mean, I will have to decide not to do it at this point. Yeah, in order to, I'm gonna have to do it. So, yeah, that's the latest implementation. All right, we finally got through atomic attraction and, oh my gosh, it felt like we were on that book forever.

Speaker 2:

Well, it didn't help that we had to record the last episode Three times. Three fucking times, that's true. Yeah, so it was just. The universe was just like nope, not done yet, nope not done yet.

Speaker 1:

I know and it's out there now it's the last episode and again it was I think we both conserved that book a bit of a mixed bag. I liked the early stuff better than the late stuff. I liked the you know almost the superficial stuff about what you can do for your attitude and your style at the very beginning, before you are even trying to go and talk to a girl. What are the things you can do that work in your favor. Yeah, that stuff I liked and I agreed with it was the stuff you know after you're in the relationship. Then I was just like I don't like where this guy's coming from or where it feels like this guy's coming from. I can't say for sure, but I, yeah, what it felt like was kind of creepy and that was for me.

Speaker 2:

That was good, because that now stops me from ever thinking that this is a good option or that's a good option.

Speaker 2:

The things that he brought up in some of those later chapters which we see a lot of, those in TV and movies, and when we're growing up, things that we may have tried ourselves or seen people do and seeing it on paper and looking at it and talking through what a bad idea some of these things are with you and the potential consequences of those really made me feel more mindful, so that if a similar situation comes up, that's the last thing that I'm going to choose to do. So that's the value I got out of it. It's more of a friendly reminder, cautionary tale. Cautionary tale of where our mind can go when we're not feeling the best and our emotions are running a little bit hot.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would say yeah, that's. I've seen that in my own life that insecure men love a caper or a scheme. And I feel like that's what, that before the end of that book he was selling a lot of capers and schemes and drumming up drama. I feel oh that's yeah.

Speaker 1:

I feel like that's something that some producers of a reality show would tell their couples that they're taping to do and if you can get to the point where you can honestly say I would rather be alone than jump through these kinds of hoops to keep a girl, then you're instantly on the path to finding and spending your time with higher quality girls. If you're willing to say no, no, I'd rather be alone than have to do this kind of stuff, then you will find yourself either alone and happy or with a healthy woman and happy. But yeah, if you have to resort to those kinds of tactics to keep a girl in your life, that's not a girl you want in your life.

Speaker 2:

And one of my other takeaways was that if you are resorting to these tactics, you are becoming the person that you're gonna attract. So now you're gonna be attracting a woman who Plays games Plays these games Absolutely, who responds to these things? And another healthy reminder that when I wanna spend some time doing something, it should be to make myself a better person to attract and keep the person that I wanna have in my life. Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so enough.

Speaker 1:

We closed the book on that book and now we're off to Self Care for Men by Garrett Munce or Muncie, I don't know how it's pronounced exactly.

Speaker 1:

It looks like Munce, like Dunce with an M, and you and I have hit the first few chapters of this ourselves and we're going to start talking about them and what we found and what we think of it.

Speaker 1:

So I guess the first way to kind of set the table here is what does the author think self care is and are we on board with that or are we not? He kind of defines it as self care is doing stuff that makes you feel good, where that seems fairly accurate but maybe a little short-sighted, because some of the stuff that I would almost consider level two self care, like the hard stuff, the stuff that really makes a difference, like I mean, for some men, you know, going to therapy, going to rehab, going to 12 step, cutting certain family members out of your life, I mean I consider all those things to be self care, but I would say that's a level two self care that we're not gonna really cover in this book. This book is more of the level one stuff that most of us can figure out a way to do fairly easily but those level two self care things they don't feel good.

Speaker 2:

No, and I think the reason they're level two is because you need to have a level of self worth that the level one stuff he talks about helps you build.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I agree, and so now your identity is that of somebody that I care about myself. I care about the way I look, I care about the way I present myself in the world and because of that now you can start to identify. After doing some of these simple things, you can start to identify the other unhealthier things that are also. Your. Family are really standing out now, which might be unhealthy relationships and those are sometimes really difficult to cut, like you said. I mean especially if they're family. Marriage, friends are one thing, but family it's a whole nother ball of wax or going to therapy, because now it's a commitment and it's expensive and you need to have some good results out of that. But if you have enough self-esteem which you can build up from this level, one stuff it is worth that investment, it is worth to do the difficult things for you because you believe that you're worth it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that's really we did talk about in the last book how, as a man, a scarcity mindset just leads to you making bad decisions and having bad relationships. And one of the ways you can attack that scarcity mindset is we've talked about affirmation, believable affirmations and things like that but I think the most valuable way to move from a mindset of scarcity to abundance is with your daily actions. Convince yourself hey, I'm somebody worth doing things for Good things, difficult things, I'm worth somebody doing these things for. And you gotta start by doing it yourself. And yeah, so we'll go through this book and again I'll throw out the names of the parts of this book here Mind, wellness, body, face, hair, spirit and space, and so we're just gonna go through and cover as many of them as we can get through in a reasonable amount of time for an episode, and then we will stop and pick up wherever we leave off.

Speaker 1:

So one thing he says in the introduction is that self-care is a very common, very popular idea and phrase right now, but for the most part it seems to be owned by women in modern Western society and it doesn't need to be.

Speaker 1:

There shouldn't be. The concept of self-care should not be limited to any particular group or gender or class or sexual orientation or anything like that. Everybody should be concerned about doing good things for themselves, to be their best, and men have a particular habit of neglecting these kinds of things because we're too busy doing other things for other goals, like one of the things that Andrew Farabee points out in his dating handbook is so many guys have this out of control career ambition where they spend so much time focused on their career because they think that it's going to deliver them the life that they want, the mate that they want, the children that they want, the house that they want, but they're not able to achieve or enjoy any of those things because they're so busy working on the career that they think is going to give them those things.

Speaker 2:

And the sad thing is that the issue with that is at the very beginning. They're flawed in their thinking in terms of having this career equals a guaranteed spouse or job or house or lifestyle, and while that's part of it, it's naive to think just by focusing on that you're going to have all those other things, and so that takes some humility and also being realizing that you don't have all the information and that you need to kind of go back to square one and go okay, wait a minute. If I want to have the spouse of my dreams, the lifestyle of my dreams, the family life of my dreams, what else is involved besides my career in order to make that happen? What does that day to day look like?

Speaker 2:

And that's not an easy answer, and there's a lot that gets involved with that, and so I think it's important to, as you're doing these self-care things, you might get tastes of that a little bit. You might get some ideas in terms of what a healthy relationship looks like, because I'm now grounded and centered and I'm meditating or I'm journaling and I'm being my best self. So I'm now going to attract my perfect partner or the partner that I want to have, or I'm able to shut out what's going on with work and focus on what my kids are doing and I can actually spend some quality time with them. I'm not just present in the same room while I'm looking on my phone and they're playing their games. I'm actually engaging with them and I'm spending that quality time. Even though it might be less in terms of the number, the actual quality is higher and that's gonna make a better relationship, I believe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and even thinking back to some of not necessarily the content of the last book, but the discussions you and I had around that book, you don't really find a lot of women that would say what really attracted me to a man or what kept me in love with a man for decades was his high pressure 80 hour a week job. No, we don't hear that. No, I've never heard that. But I do know first hand through my own social circles. I do know it's kind of a meme or a cliche, but the idea of the starving artist.

Speaker 1:

I know a lot of guys who are either musicians or artists, who don't make a lot of money but have a fun, contented, challenging career as an artist and a really great girlfriend or partner that supports them through that, and they've never been rich and they will probably never be rich, but they have the career that they want and they spend their time on it and they have the family life that they want as well, because they're following their passion, not following some arbitrary goal line that they've driven about. Once I have this much in my Roth IRA, then I'll be able to enjoy life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think the critical part there is not to say that creative types are going to have better relationships, because we've seen people they have their own challenges for sure.

Speaker 2:

Well, because I think anybody can get obsessed with anything that they're excited about, right? So some people get obsessed with video games. They play video games all the time. Some people. If you're an artist and all you wanna do is paint, I mean you're still not gonna be able to have a good relationship because you're spending all your time painting. I think the key is figuring out how to bring that passion and that energy and share that with the people in your life, your friends and your family, and figure out what that balance is. So, even if you are like a born stockbroker versus a sculptor-, right.

Speaker 1:

You know you can get obsessed-.

Speaker 2:

Either way Right.

Speaker 1:

At the cost of your relationships for sure Right, yeah, but I would just say broadly, when you consider our audience and you consider men in 2023, america, the most likely mistake to make is once I see this number on my balance sheet, then I'll be able to enjoy life. For sure, for sure. And that's a trap that I found myself in earlier in my life not certainly not now. I mean today. I have a mostly low pressure job, with bouts of high pressure when things go wrong, but pretty much every day I wake up and do what I wanna do and have the amount of fun, and I've got a work-life balance that I'm very comfortable with and, having lived both ways, I like this better. Yeah, for sure, by a lot.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I worked in corporate. I worked for corporate America and some big companies when I first graduated college and I had to be at a certain place at a certain time and do certain things that I didn't necessarily think were valuable but other people did. And then I left in 2005 and started my own company or helped start another company, just a real small mom and pop shop. Again, the financial security wasn't there, but the flexibility of time and location is, and that's. I will never go back to working for somebody else again. I will figure out how to make money if I have to.

Speaker 2:

Just having that flexibility that's priceless, Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, if a corporate IT organization came to me again and said we'll give you a million dollars a year To dig a ditch.

Speaker 2:

I remember that was your. That's your right, yeah.

Speaker 1:

To dig a ditch and tomorrow you come back and fill it in and then you dig it the next day and then fill it in.

Speaker 1:

That's how I look at those kinds of jobs now, and I'm not shitting on those jobs or telling people they shouldn't have those jobs, because some people that works for them and I've learned that it doesn't work for me and I would much rather make less money. If I have the flexibility and the life that I want, then have a lot of extra money that I don't need to buy a bunch of stuff that I don't need, then being yeah, I like my life the way it is now, and when it comes to dating and relationships, it's clear to me that I have to have a partner that is okay with that, otherwise it's not gonna work out. Like if I had a partner with tastes or a mindset that was like no, no, we need the kind of budget that only you could get by taking on a bunch more clients in your own business or going to work for somebody else. Like then it's not gonna work out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but there's plenty of people who don't need that right, so there's somebody out there for everybody. I really believe that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and if there's not, that's because you still have work to do. I mean, if you're in a position where I can't find anybody, then either you need to adjust what you're looking for or you need to adjust what you are.

Speaker 2:

I was exactly. I was just gonna say that I feel, looking back in my life, when I wasn't attracting the person that or I wasn't in the relationship that I wanted to be in. Most of the time it was because I wasn't the person that I was looking for, like I wasn't investing in myself, and I think that's really the key. I think all of us should be looking in the mirror first. If you're not in a happy relationship, look in the mirror and see hey, what I date myself is that. Do I check my own boxes that I've got for somebody else, or am I even close?

Speaker 1:

I think it would be rare for a man to be in a position where he says am I in a happy relationship? No, I'm not. Would my partner say she's in a happy relationship? Oh yeah, 100%. She would say she's completely content, she loves everything about the relationship, but the guy's miserable. I don't think it works that way Right, because the way you're feeling about the relationship is probably related to what you're bringing to the relationship Absolutely, and I think it's important to take that level of accountability and ownership.

Speaker 2:

Or just lower your expectations, then Right. I mean, if you're not willing to put the work in, then you lower your standards.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the saddest people I know are ones who are unhappy and not willing to change the level of investment that they're making in either their relationship or their physical health or their mental health or whatever, Like I'm miserable but I'm not going to do anything about it, and that's a tough place to be.

Speaker 2:

And the thing, too, is you don't need to be. Unfortunately, with social media and TV and I'm totally guilty of this too you see somebody who's at the end state where you want to be, and that seems so far away.

Speaker 1:

And a lot of times I was just telling a friend that that's what I try to put out there. I try to make it look like I'm at that end state so that my friends who are not single and who do have children they can look at my Instagram and be like man Charles really looks like he's living it up. He's like spoiler I'm not, but I like it. I like for it to look that way.

Speaker 2:

And that's fine. But what happens then is sometimes I'll talk myself out of even taking one step forward Exactly Right, because I'm like, oh, I'll never be there.

Speaker 1:

I'll never be there, yes, 100%.

Speaker 2:

But we've got to remember the same thing with affirmations you can't say something that is so far out there that you don't believe it. Same thing with self-improvement stuff. And that's what's great about this book it's little step-by-step stuff that you can do really easily, really quickly, with a very low investment of time and energy and money.

Speaker 1:

So yes, in fact, in the first chapter, this will be the cheapest one that we look at, because meditation is free, and even guided meditation like the kind that I am extremely partial to. So I do exclusively guided mindfulness meditation, one of his definitions of what is meditation. Well, it's when you clear your mind. Well, some of it is, but mindfulness is not that.

Speaker 2:

I've never been able to clear my mind.

Speaker 1:

Nor have I.

Speaker 2:

I thought that's what it was for many years. Me too Same, and that's why I was just like how do these people do?

Speaker 1:

it Even more hostily. What a waste of time. Why would I want to do that? I mean, that was the attitude I had, interesting the idea of just sitting around with no thoughts in my head. Why would I waste my time with that? There's no benefit to that.

Speaker 2:

Logically, I couldn't come to terms with that. I'm like that's impossible, Right, Unless I'm sleeping and then I'm not aware that's not meditating.

Speaker 1:

Right, and we've talked about meditation and mindfulness many times on this podcast, and the way that I always try to sell it to my friends and people I care about, and our listeners is mindfulness. Meditation is a workout for your attention. The way that you are able to make your attention stronger, where you can spend time concentrating on the things you want and not waste time concentrating on the things you don't want, is through mindfulness meditation. It's a muscle that you work out and you go either longer or deeper. It's a progression, just like lifting weights is Either you're going to up your number of reps or you're going to up the number of pounds on the bar. And in the case of mindfulness meditation, you're either going to have longer sessions or you're going to try to go deeper in your sessions, to the point where it gets easier and easier and you get better and better at directing your attention to the thing you want your attention directed to, at the exclusion of everything else that you don't.

Speaker 1:

And for mindfulness, the way I do it it's always your breath. You focus on your breath and then, as you're focusing on your breath and your monkey mind starts popping thoughts into your head you notice those thoughts. You say I just had a thought about X. And then you say and now I'm going to go back to thinking about my breath, and you're not hard on yourself, you don't insult yourself, you don't feel disappointed with yourself, you're just like oh, I noticed that.

Speaker 1:

Now I'm going back to the breath and the lack of judgment part is difficult because you're like I'm spending this five or 10 or 15 minutes meditating and all I'm doing is noticing all these random thoughts on all these random things, and so not beating yourself up for wasting your time is extremely difficult in the beginning. But I just I mentioned that this particular self-care practice is free because, number one, just about every good meditation app that you can find in the Google Store or on the App Store with Apple, it has a certain level that's free that you can use before they charge you. And then my favorite one, waking up by Sam Harris with his. You just send him an email that says, hey, I love your app, but I can't afford it, and he'll say you get it for free. Wow, yeah for him.

Speaker 1:

He just gives it, that's great yeah for people who can't afford his app, he just gives it to them for free. All you have to do is send an email to infoatsamharisorg and say I love your app, but I can't afford it right now, and he says no problem, you can just have it.

Speaker 2:

That's great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I agree, the guy puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to his ethics.

Speaker 2:

Two things that I have discovered that have helped me with what you've just described with the guided meditation in terms of feeling a little judgmental and guilty about spending so much time on these other thoughts before coming back to your breath is that the Practice of thinking through those thoughts actually provides a sense of relief, because now they're less likely to be running through your mind during the day when you're doing other things and if they are, it's not going to be as intense, and that's what I've noticed. So you are actually giving yourself that stress relief and by having those thoughts while you are meditating instead of while you're trying to do other things. So I think there's benefits there. So that makes me feel less guilty because I'm actually feel like I'm doing something and getting some value out of it. And the second thing is that by practicing and getting better and better at the meditation, increasing the amount of time that you're doing it, practicing coming back and noticing different things, that actually helps you during the day when you're trying to focus on things. So you are training your brain to be able to zone in and focus on one thing at a time, as well as block out distractions. And everything I mean everybody and everything wants are a time and attention. So if you're able to, while we're going through life, just focus on one thing at a time, chances are you're going to do it better, you're going to do it more efficiently and you're going to enjoy it a little bit more, and you're going to do it in a way that you're less stressed. So the benefits of it's not just well.

Speaker 2:

Why am I doing this? Because when I first started doing this, I'm like why would I just want to focus for five to 20 minutes on my breath? Like what do I get out of that? Right, what's it for me? But it's the time outside of the meditation where you've now honed that skill set and you're using that on a daily basis. Yeah, the other piece that I liked with guided is, instead of that kind of balances, a little bit that monkey mind. So if it's always coming back to the breath, sometimes that can I know. I spend too much time or I feel like it's too much time thinking about other things. I've had some guided meditations where they walk you through sensations of your body.

Speaker 2:

So maybe they walk you through different body parts. Hey, are your toes cold? Are they tingling? Are they warm? Yeah, that's true.

Speaker 1:

And then waking up does that too.

Speaker 2:

Move your you know, move up to your knees. What do you feel in your knees now? Your butt, do you feel the weight of your body against the cushion that you're sitting on? And just walking through your body is just another way instead of doing the breath. That's just another method that I saw, that I've used, that I like.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's true, he does mention in some of the guided meditations on waking up. He'll talk about noticing the feeling of your butt or your legs in the chair or your arms sitting on the arms of your chair that you're sitting on, or let's see, what else does he talk about? With your eyes closed, you know, looking at your visual field, because even when your eyes are closed, it's not really nothing you still see. You know some sort of like shimmery blackness and just noticing those things that you, you know, when you just blink your eyes you never notice. Oh, there's still some light coming through and I can still kind of see some motion through my eyelids and just, yeah, switching it up sometimes where he has you focus on those things can be valuable because it does help you, you know, not just focus on your breath exclusively. Now, you've had some experience with TM right Transcendental Meditation I have. I know that a lot of the celebrities either comed, mostly a lot of comedians, I guess that have.

Speaker 2:

It's interesting, it's true. Yeah, a lot of comedians do that. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

What was it like for you? That's the one where you like I haven't looked. There's probably some guy on YouTube who says here's exactly what you need to know about Transcendental Meditation without having to pay for it. Yeah, but the kind of official way to learn about it is to have somebody who's like a certified coach teach you right, absolutely, yeah, okay.

Speaker 2:

And so that's what I did. I paid for that. You go for three sessions, something like that, and they talk about the history of Were they one-on-one or small group.

Speaker 2:

They were small group, okay, they were small group. It was like four or five of us, gotcha, and then, yeah, and you sit with the teacher and you watch some videos and it's a lot of. There is some history of Indian and Hinduism where it started from, but some of these concepts were created by a teacher who came from India when he was in this country the Maharishi Maharshi.

Speaker 1:

The Maharishi, yes.

Speaker 2:

Yep.

Speaker 1:

I just like saying the word yes.

Speaker 2:

And it's a mouthful. So there's a lot of videos that he had from the 70s, when he first started, when he started this country, talking and teaching and just some of these concepts, and I found myself, while I'm watching these videos, actually kind of being hypnotized a little bit, a little bit like into a zone between his voice and the things he's talking about. So you go to a few of these sessions with the teacher and then he gives you privately your mantra and it's based on, I believe, like your age and your sex and things like that, and so there's a bunch of different and it's basically just a sound. And there's some things that I read online that certain sounds are linked to certain Frequency, certain gods or certain like Hindu gods, and then sometimes it's certain things that you want to happen to you a little bit. So I think, but again, that's, you're not given any of that information. It's just like, hey, here's a sound, just repeat it every you know how often you want for like 20 minutes to yourself.

Speaker 1:

Now, when you're given that word, do you immediately just go on Google and look it up and try to figure out what it means? Oh, I did, After all. Right what the guy thought of you based on what word he gave you.

Speaker 2:

Right, and that's where I found it was really based on your age and what sex you are.

Speaker 1:

Okay, but I assume these are all non-English words, right, correct, yeah.

Speaker 2:

These aren't like normal words. I don't even think they're Indian words. These are just combinations of sounds, yeah and yeah, you can Google and they'll show you all the different combinations based on your age and stuff like that, which to me was interesting, because when you're given this mantra, you're one age. But, like as you, if you keep using it and I haven't found out, like, do you need to change the mantra because now you're a different age?

Speaker 1:

I don't think so, but yeah, they would probably say there's something more metaphysical about it than that.

Speaker 2:

But whether there is or not, and the practice is 20 minutes twice a day, once in the morning and then once in the afternoon. You basically sit with your eyes closed and the idea is you're just kind of saying this to yourself and it's the same thing as your breath is. Your monkey mind will go, start thinking about other things and then when you remember, you just come back to sing the mantra to yourself Gotcha, and what was good was practicing with him a few times, with my teacher a few times. You get very comfortable doing it and I found myself being able to do it in a noisy airport, so I'll be sitting and waiting for my flight and there's announcements going on or whatever. You just close your eyes and you still feel that a lot of deep rest. And that's the reason why I went, because I was kind of getting tired in the afternoons. But by doing the practice for 20 minutes instead of taking a nap, sometimes I felt more rested after doing that meditation Then go to sleep Than actually taking a nap.

Speaker 2:

And they've done some brain studies where they've hooked people up to different machines and they've seen that the two halves of your brain when you are doing this TM meditation actually sync up and they're able to like measure that they are able to communicate, I guess in a little bit of a different way, or I'm not sure exactly what they mean by sync up, but through that they've also measured your blood pressure and heart rate and all those things improve. He mentioned there's a benefit to all meditation, to all meditation, and they've shown some videos to us when we went through, because the TM also has a lot of group classes that you can go to and like weekend retreats and things where you dig in a little bit deeper. The other thing that's interesting is they've got like this refresher so you can call up your teacher like months after you've learned your meditation and your mantra and you sit with the teacher and he kind of walks you through a couple of things about you just relaxing and saying the mantra. And I swear to God, man, every time I've done it for like two weeks, when I've done my own meditation after doing a like a refresher or recharge, I'm more rested, I'm go deeper, I'm more rested and whatever you want to believe, man, whenever I walked into that guy's house it was like I was walking into a cloud.

Speaker 2:

I was already. It was like I had smoked something and I was high and I just walked in and immediately just relaxed and things felt a little like heavier or whatever and I was just like in the zone just sitting in this chair across from him. There was something there. There was something there. Maybe he's pumping something through his air conditioning system.

Speaker 2:

I don't know but it was significant, it was noticeable, it was noticeable, it was noticeable Interesting.

Speaker 1:

All right. So, yeah, I would encourage people to consider starting a meditation practice. All of the apps that you can download for free will start with a course that will teach you what you need to know and, yeah, I need to set a goal for myself to get back to that being a daily practice and I think I might start the good thing about, like I said, waking up headspace. Any of the apps that are 10% happier. They all have beginner courses where they first teach you and it starts with a very short meditation. You build yourself up.

Speaker 1:

So I've been away from it for a while and I'm gonna start tomorrow back with lesson number one and just work my way through the lessons and then after that, most of them will then have a daily meditation after you finish the introductory course. And sometimes that's where the paywall kind of starts, where you get a brand new meditation of 10 minutes or 20 minutes every single day. But I've been a subscriber to his for years and years, so I'm gonna start over tomorrow morning with number one, the first lesson, and then get back into the practice. Then our next episode is gonna be about acupuncture, which will be my first real challenge of not crapping on stuff I don't understand and because I already went through the chapter and had some issues with the nature of what is the nature of knowing something to be true, and where does the scientific method factor into things like acupuncture and the ability to reproduce and experience with a double blind controlled study?

Speaker 1:

And the fact that a bunch of people tell me they had acupuncture and it fixed their problem doesn't really mean a lot to me.

Speaker 2:

Have you looked to see if there are any double blind placebo controlled studies as it relates to acupuncture. I have not, but I'd be curious to see if there actually is some that show anything.

Speaker 1:

It's hard to do. I mean, how do you do a placebo study with sticking a needle in somebody? So that's the thing like how do we know the effectiveness of acupuncture versus somebody who thought they got acupuncture? Good point, you know what I mean? I've not seen anything like that because I don't know how that would even look. How do you?

Speaker 2:

Maybe they could put needles in the wrong spots. Somebody who doesn't know anything about acupuncture, right? And so you have it where they think like this meridian and this energy flow needs to be, and they put those needles in the appropriate spots, and then they put them in spots that are not supposed to fix that problem. So it might maybe fix something else, but it doesn't fit. Yeah, that's true.

Speaker 1:

I don't know, maybe that's flogging, but I'm just wondering. That is something that, yeah, I'd be curious to see if that has been addressed. But look, even if it hasn't. If it's working for people, I don't want them to stop something that's working for them just because I'm a skeptic.

Speaker 2:

I mean, this has been done in Chinese medicine for years, I mean hundreds of years, this is not a new thing. So I'd think that if it didn't work it would have been phased out.

Speaker 1:

no, yeah, but well, I mean again, it depends on.

Speaker 2:

Or are we talking a placebo effect? Is it a strong placebo effect If you've grown?

Speaker 1:

up in a culture where everybody says this is the way that you fix things with your body and yeah, I mean, I mean I'm gonna look into it for myself.

Speaker 2:

I'll give it a shot. I've got you know, my arm kind of falls asleep. Yeah, we talked about that in the last one. Yeah, and so, yeah, I'm gonna look into it.

Speaker 1:

The one thing he doesn't. The one caution he does mention is don't just go anywhere, because you know you are breaking the skin with these needles, so they need to be clean and if they're not, then bad things could. You know, staff lives on your skin, so when things go from outside your skin to inside your skin, you know that's when infections and things can happen. So you know, shower, that's number one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, definitely be clean, but look for certifications right, yeah, but I don't even know enough about the certifications to know what's. You know. It's like I remember back before I got married and I was shopping for engagement rings. It's like anybody can come out and say we certified diamonds, and it's like, okay, you know. I don't know what that means, but it's like I do know what a board certified MD is, but I don't know what a certified acupuncturist is and I don't know. You know, somebody could print off their certificate on their inkjet printer and say that they're certified and I would not really be able to argue with them. So I don't know. I would probably just trust Google Maps and see somebody that has a lot of positive reviews.

Speaker 2:

There's gotta be some sort of national boards or national Probably Organizations, that list One would think yeah, so we should maybe get on that and look at that yeah so we'll.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I'm happy to try it out. I'll see if I can find a good deal on a Groupon and it happens to be a place that seems legit, and then I'll let them stick some needles in me and see how it goes. Sounds good, all right, so that's what we got for next time. So I again I have to do some research before we record the next episode, or I have to keep my mouth shut about all the Skeptical. I think it is bullshit. So that won't make for a good podcast. If I'm like, I'll defer to Dan on this particular matter, because I didn't put my money where my mouth was. So there we are. Okay, thanks, dan. I will talk to you next time about acupuncture and whatever other topics we can get through, and we will work our way through the short book and then, hopefully the next few weeks we'll be sharing what we're gonna do for our next one. Sounds good, all right, talk to you later. Bye-bye.

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Exploring Atomic Attraction and Self Care
Finding Balance in Relationships and Career
Comparing Transcendental Meditation and Guided Meditation
Planning for the Next Podcast Episode