#32 - How to Unblock Yourself

We all have things that block us from accessing our deepest energy source.

They’re memories, thoughts, emotions that are memorized in our bodies and trapped inside.

It’s like when you have a hose, and somewhere along the way, the hose gets bent.

When there’s a bend (block), water (energy) can’t flow. This happens to all of us.

When you have a lot of blocks, you can’t even tell because it’s become the norm for you.

I have been working through blocks this entire year. I am still working through them and I’m sure there are other blocks I haven’t even identified yet.

Regrets about a past relationship, limiting beliefs about my capabilities, pessimistic outlooks on my worthiness as a human, sadness about not receiving love from someone I care deeply about (this block I recognized recently).

If you want to access your deepest source of energy, and tap into an energetic state you might not even be able to conceptualize yet, you need to work through the blocks in your life.

While meditation can help with some blocks, some blocks you may need professional help on. Some of my biggest breakthroughs have come from the work I did with my spiritual guide (in preparation for my vision quest) and my therapist.

If you can accept that you have blocks, you’re already making huge progress.

If you can identify a block you have, you’re even further on the way.

What habitual negative thoughts arise for you? These can be good clues to start your investigation.

This work isn’t always pretty. I would compare it to cleaning your mouth if you had decided to stop brushing your teeth for a year.

The first parts about the cleaning would be uncomfortable. But that clean smile waiting for you on the other side is far better than letting those cavities become even worse.

Don’t shy away from the work. Open up to the work, even if it’s just dipping your toes in.

Doing the work on yourself is the best investment you can make because it will allow you to unlock more happiness and create more desirable outcomes in your future.

Love the work!

Love,

Chip


#31 - How to Think Bigger

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

It’s a powerful question, and it’s one I think we should all be asking more.

Most of the times we get held back by our fears. We think about the bad things that might happen. We think about all the reasons that we won’t succeed.

These thoughts and beliefs then drive our behavior. We end up playing small, and we totally miss out on the opportunity to PLAY BIG and live life to the fullest.

You don’t have to make a drastic life change in order to start playing big. You just have to start think differently.

Change your thinking and the rest will take care of itself.

So, what would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Chew on it.

Love,

Chip


#30 - State of Being is Everything

No matter what you want in life, one thing will get you there.

Your state of being.

Your state of being is the way you are carrying yourself at any given moment. It is a combination of the thoughts in your head and the feelings in your body.

And you have MASSIVE potential to influence it.

How do I influence my state of being?

You change your thoughts (mind) or change your energetic state (body).

Changing your thoughts can be as simple as you realizing your thinking angry thoughts, and shifting to gratitude.

Changing your body can be as simple as adjusting your posture to take on a more alert posture.

These things are important, because your state of being leads to the outcomes you create.

You’re ability to get the job done, whether that job is meeting someone new, giving a presentation, solving a problem, parenting, listening..Whatever the job is, your state is everything.

Your state drives your behavior. Think about it. Imagine you’re about to give a presentation and your state of being is one of fear. How different would that be from presenting in a state of joy?

Night and day. And so it goes with everything you do in life. The states you are in on a day to day basis are determining who you become and what you achieve.

Your state right now, tonight, tomorrow, the next day, and every day going forward will determine your future.

Prioritize your state it is possible for you to cultivate peak states completely on your own! If you learn how to do this, you unlock the power to create whatever outcomes you want in life.

What state are you in right now? Come up with a word for it.

What state do you want to move towards right now, and what action can you take to help facilitate that?

Do that and you’ll be one step closer to the dream reality you desire.

Love,

Chip

#29 - How to Increase Joy

It took me 25 years to realize the secret to unlocking joy.

Surprisingly, it was the simplest answer I could have ever thought of.

The secret is to slow down.

For most of my life I’ve been a do-more kind of guy. It’s the behavior I learned growing up. I’m now working every day to balance that out, because the do-more attitude is a stressful lifestyle.

Whether it was doing more shots, eating more food, talking to more girls, the theme has always been there in my life.

The sad part about that is why I was living that mentality. It came from an inherent dissatisfaction with the way things were at any given moment.

Not feeling great at a party (used to have really bad social anxiety)? Let’s take another shot.

Not feeling emotionally balanced? Let’s eat as much food as possible to avoid those feelings.

Not comfortable with myself or my romantic life? Let’s keep looking outwards, trying to meet different girls, in hopes that I will find someone who would make me feel good.

But the truth is, the good feelings aren’t outside. They’re inside, waiting to be unlocked.

This leads me to my point.

Two skills that will lead you to find more joy are to 1) develop the skill of uncovering joy and 2) develop the skill of hardwiring joy into your brain.

Uncovering Joy

The reason it’s called uncovering joy is because joy is already there inside you, it’s just covered up. The key to uncovering it is to remove all the barriers that keep you from joy: stress, suppressed emotions, and most importantly a lack of slowing down.

If you slow down enough, joy will arise. That’s what happens in meditation. You sit still for long enough and things in your body start to lift off of you. Stress dissipates. Suppressed emotions come up and are able to leave (yes, they must be felt in order for them to leave).

The key here is that by becoming more still, you create the potential for joy to arise.

Hardwiring joy into your Brain

A second key component to experiencing more joy is to be intentional about cultivating joy. You have to WANT joy to arise, and you have to be intentional about creating the conditions for it to happen!

If you’re not intentional about it, you’re rolling the dice.

By creating the conditions in your life to cultivate joy consistently, such as a meditation practice where you focus on gratitude, over time you’ll experience more joy.

Consequently, as you experience it more and become more familiar with it, you start to hardwire joy into your brain. Then, just like magic, your brain starts to create it more often!

Gradually, with practice, you can change your brain to experience more joy and less of those uncomfortable states.

It’s a wonderful cycle once you get the train moving in the right direction.

What does your joy practice look like? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Love,

Chip


#28 - How to Access Your Blessings

Why do you focus on the past and future so much, when there are so many blessings available in the present moment?

You do it because it’s a habit you’ve built up throughout your life. Don’t worry, we all have this habit to some degree.

The unfortunate part about this is that this habit that it is causing you to miss a lot of goodness that’s available to you right here and now.

Although you are always living in the present, the past and future are also important aspects of your life. You need all three to function in the world you live in.

There’s a balance to how much time you should spend in the future, past, and present. All 3 are important but you should try to manage them appropriately. By managing them well, you will gain newfound access to the blessings of the present moment, which is where the richest treasures of all are hidden.

The most effective tool you can use to tap into these blessings is awareness. Awareness is the key to realizing the gifts that are happening to you in each moment.

It requires awareness of both body and mind. There is a harmonious balance that needs to exist between the two if you’re to notice and feel your blessings.

Most people miss all the blessings of the present, because they are lost in their minds. Most people are completely out of touch with both their bodies and the present moment.

With all this mind, focus, most people lack a harmonious balance between the the body and mind. You need to use your mind to make plans and set a timeline and goals, but the timeline you set for yourself doesn’t always work with what your body is asking for.

Most of the time, you override your body’s signals because you aren’t wanting to experience what the body is feeling in the present. You want to resist the fatigue, the pain, the sadness, the loneliness, whatever it is you want to avoid.

Rather than getting mad at yourself for not being able to go at the pace you envisioned for yourself, for not having achieved your relationship goals, for not having achieved your business targets, etc., stop and take a moment to turn into the blessings of the present moment.

After years of going through this cycle of resisting my body’s signals, and then finally experiencing what it feels like to start paying attention to them, I can tell you that listening to and respecting the body’s signals creates a way more enjoyable life.

When you start doing it, you start to tune back into the rhythm your body is trying to put you into with the universe. We resist it because it goes against our plans sometimes, but the funny thing is that the plan you body has for you is actually one of great peace and happiness.

Your body is literally trying to work for you to create an amazing present moment. When you can relax, and give the body what it needs, all the blessings of the present start becoming readily available to you.

At the end of your life, your whole experience will have been a series of moments of right now. It’s the only opportunity you ever have to live. As enticing as the future is to think about, you never get there.

The present is all you’ll ever have. Don’t let it slip by you!

Love,

Chip


#27 - How to Break a Habit

What’s one habit you would like to change?

If you haven’t thought about this yet, now wouldn't be a bad time. After all, it is New Years Resolution season..

Think about it for a second.

We all have things we want to do less of. Whether it’s eating, social media, anger outbursts, stressing, etc. that you want to do less of, doing it will require some work. But with some simple strategies, you can make it easier on yourself.

First, you need to attach a sense of purpose to why you want to change your behavior. As Simon Sinek states, the “why” is more important than the “what”.

So, as a first step, write down why you want to change (or at least think through it if you won’t write it - but heads up writing will be more effective for 99% of people).

Second, be mindful about when your tendencies for this habitual behavior are arising.

Part of that is to identify the things that trigger you to want to engage in the behavior you want to change.

The habit I’m currently trying to break is my psychological desire for caffeine. Caffeine is really fun for me, so doing this is hard. My brain has a very positive association with it.

But for a couple reasons, I don’t want to depend on it. So in order to break the habit, I’m going to have to do a lot of conceptualizing why I want to break it (i.e. getting it instilled in my brain the side effects like stress, nervousness, dehydration).

Then, when the craving arises, I can think about all the negative associations I have to it.

Then, I’m not just using willpower to resist the craving. I’m using my brain to kill the craving by thinking about all the negative aspects of it.

Think about what you want to change, then write down why. If you’re really bold, write it on a piece of paper and carry it in your wallet. Pull it out when you’re on the verge of collapse.

Happy Resolution Season,

Chip

PS - if you’re really serious about trying to build/break habits and want to learn more, read Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit.


#26 - How to Respond to Triggers

No matter who you are, you have triggers.

By triggers I mean things, people, places, thoughts, etc. that take you out of the moment and trigger you to go into a state of extreme emotion.

When you get triggered, your body and your emotional brain (your limbic system) have literally shut off your logical brain (your prefrontal cortex).

The part of your brain that can help you make a thought-out choice (prefrontal cortex) is no longer in control. Your limbic brain has taken over, and it’s sending all kinds of new chemicals into your body to prepare your body to fight a foe or run away from danger.

This is called an amygdala hijack. The amygdala is the part of your brain that controls the limbic system. It’s the oldest part of our brain, commonly called the “monkey brain”.

The amygdala knows how to do 3 things: fight, flight or freeze. So when your amygdala is in control of your behavior, you’re pretty limited in what you’re able to do.

You’ve essentially gone from being a 21st century logical thinking human to being a prehistoric primordial ape. Good luck making good decisions.

In these situations, rather than try to operate with your emotionally triggered brain, sometimes it’s best to remove yourself from a situation.

Today, I was triggered by someone I know saying something to me that really rubbed me the wrong way. When I tried to tell this person how rude I thought they were speaking to me, I was totally shut down.

And that triggered me.

Luckily, the other person shut down the conversation before we kept going. That’s a good thing because we were both in an emotionally agitated state.

My whole body was vibrating, and I felt a lot of anger, which rarely happens to me.

Rather than stay in the situation, I removed myself. I went to a different place. I journaled what I was feeling and thought about how I wanted to respond and then meditated for 30 minutes to calm myself down.

After 30 minutes of meditation, I could feel my state going back to a calm place. I used a compassion meditation to wish this person well.

I almost started laughing at myself for how silly it was that I was angry over something small.

As it would have it, this person ended up coming up to me later and we had a talk about what happened. We had an amazing conversation, talked through things that had been building emotional tension between us, and walked away in a better place.

It turns out this person originally shut down the conversation because they knew they were getting triggered. Even though it came off as rude, it was a smarter choice than allowing the conversation to escalate in a way that would trigger a regrettable action.

Thus, in this scenario, both this person and I used mindfulness to avoid letting triggers escalate into more heated emotional states.

Mindfulness helps you recognize your triggers coming on. It can save you from reacting in a way you later forget.

Sometimes, you should remove yourself when you recognize you’re being triggered. Sometimes, creating space is better than letting your emotions take over. Giving yourself time to calm down can help you access your prefrontal cortex and make a good decision.

It’s good to know your triggers. It can help you to recognize them before you experience an amygdala hijack.

We all have triggers. What are yours?

Love,

Chip

#25 - A Tip on Emotional Eating

When you get stressed, or experience an uncomfortable emotion, the natural desire is to want to avoid it.

You don’t want to feel things like agitation, stress, loneliness, or any other emotion that makes you feel unhappy.

As a result, when these emotions arise, we do whatever we can to resist them. We distract ourselves in some way.

That is why so many people eat when they feel uncomfortable emotions. The same hold true with drinking, but for this post we’ll focus on eating.

For many many years I was doing emotional eating without even realizing it. I just did it. I developed the behavior over the first 18 years of my life.

Since coming to the realization that I was emotionally eating, I’ve been working to curb that habit. I’ve been working particularly hard during this past year.

I moved out to San Francisco and took on a new job, and this new job caused me a ton of stress. That’s when my stress eating tendency revealed itself to me again. I was experiencing what I would call extreme job stress on a day to day basis, and it quickly revealed my stress eating habit.

This type of reaction to emotions is causing a lot of problems in the world. It’s causing a lot of obesity and bad health. When people feel crappy, they reach for a quick hit of dopamine (that’s one of the brain chemicals food triggers your brain to produce).

If you want to cultivate a healthier relationship with using food to alleviate emotions, start with learning mindfulness.

Mindfulness helps you develop self-awareness, and when you improve your self awareness you get better at noticing what’s going on in your body.

In short, you develop the capacity to realize you’re feeling an uncomfortable emotion before you reach for the food.

So for starters, just start paying attention to the behavior you are habitually reverting to when you’re feeling an uncomfortable emotion.

Then, in an instance where you’ve caught yourself about to respond to an emotion with eating, replace the act of eating with some other action that you make up.

Today, I noticed myself about to eat out of boredom at work. I literally had the orange in my hand. But I had just eaten almonds 40 minutes earlier, and I really wasn’t hungry.

So I replaced the eating with taking a walk around the office and doing a few pull ups. That’s a pretty solid trade!

Once you replace your habitual action with your new one, reward yourself after you do the new behavior.

If you, instead of just grabbing a snack, take a walk, maybe try rewarding yourself with a snack after your walk.

Unless you reward your brain for engaging in a new action, it won’t stick.

You have the power to change your relationship with food, and it starts with self-awareness. Your self-awareness isn’t going to develop on it’s own, either, so get to work on your mindfulness practice!

Love,

Chip


#24 - Live Like You Were Dying

How would you live today if you knew you only had 2 months to live?

I was asked this question today, and it rocked my world.

Why?

It’s not just because of how much I love that Tim McGraw song.

It’s because I believe it. And until today, I hadn’t thought about it in awhile. The fragility of life is an important thing to remember, but it’s so easy to let it fly under the radar.

While we all know in theory that our lives, or the lives of our loved ones, could end at any second, few people actually live as if that’s truly the case. I’ll be the first to admit that many days I’m in that bucket.  

That’s why it’s so shocking when something bad happens to someone close to you. It hits you by surprise, and it hurts.

It can also wake you up in an INSTANT.

That’s what happened to me when Darrik Flahive died on November 15, 2011.

Derrik was one of my teammates on the Colby College Men’s lacrosse team. I was a freshman and he was a junior.

Derrik was studying abroad the fall semester of his Junior year when I was a freshman. As a result, I never got the chance to meet him. All I heard were stories of who he was and the impact that he had on people’s lives.

And for some reason, his life story stuck with me. At the time, I was in a state of deep suffering. I was struggling with anxiety and depression, and I felt lost in a haze of unfulfillment.

When I heard the news about Darrik, the haze cleared in an instant. Because in that instant, I recognized that all the thinking I was doing about life didn’t even matter. I realized that life could end at any instant, and the weight of that hit me hard.

Derrik’s death hit me with one of those “live like you were dying” messages square in the face. I started reading Derrik’s favorite book, The Power of Now, and everything started to make more sense.

I realized that my problems were coming not from life, but from my head. I realized that I could actually work on my mind to stop creating so many false problems.

Most importantly, I realized that time was running out at every instant. So I felt a tremendous desire to figure it out quick.

Since then I’ve completely turned around my life. I went from being an insecure and unhappy teenager to a confident and extremely fulfilled young 25 year old who finds joy in every single day.

You, too, have the power to change. You’re perfect the way you are, but you have a lot of room to grow and increase your fulfillment. I really hope you decide to do it!

Time is precious, and you’re here on this earth to live your best life. Feeling mediocre is not what you’re here for.

You’re here to thrive, so take up an interest in waking up to your potential to do that.

Being present in life is key. It’s what we’re here to do. The more present you are, the more you can experience all it has to offer.

Life’s greatest treasure isn’t off in some distant future. It’s available to you at any moment. Your ability to experience the best of what life has to offer comes from your ability to be present.

This treasure is what people often start to tap into when they find out their life, or the life of a loved one, could be cut short.

But you don’t have to wait for bad news to come before changing your life. You just need to learn how to be present. When you learn how to be present, which is a skill, you can decide to live like you were dying.

By cultivating skills in mindfulness and emotional intelligence, you gain power to decide your level of presence as well as the emotions you feel. But you have to develop these skills.

Until you spend time developing them, the unconscious mind will remain in control of how present you are and what emotions you feel.

So, if you want to live like you were dying, decide to start living in the moment. It’s the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the people you come into contact with.

Don’t wait to start living. Don’t settle for a mind-dominated reality. Start developing your ability to be present today.

It’s time to start living like you were dying!

Love,

Chip


#23 - Body Intelligence

Go with your gut. 

It’s an expression that gets tossed around a lot. But what does it really mean?  

It means paying attention to the internal signals your body is sending you. These signals are known as the Body’s intelligence. 

Your body and brain are interrrelated. Your thoughts are mixed in with your feelings, and vice versa.

Sometimes, the answer you’re looking for isn’t going to be in your head. Sometimes logic isn’t the tool you need to use.

Sometimes you need to use the logic of the body, which knows your truest desires better than your brain (which tries to create them for itself). 

Tune into your body today. See what you can feel. See what signals your body is sending you. You might just find the answer you’re looking for! 

Love, 

Chip

#22 - Are You Distracting Yourself?

Sometimes, when you’re feeling crappy, the hardest thing to do is to slow down and pay attention to what that feels like.

It’s like cleaning a cut after a bad fall. Cleaning the dirt and rocks out, and putting on neosporin, doesn’t feel nice. But you do it because the alternative, a wound that heals badly or becomes infected, is much worse.

You can think about your internal states in the same way. When you’re in a state of suffering, it’s like you’ve been wounded.

And the only way to heal yourself is to take care of it.

Sometimes, slowing down and paying attention to your emotions is the cure that you’re unsuccessfully seeking in your distraction techniques. Common distractions include food, sex, drugs, and social media to name a few. But there are many more distractions than just those, some of which you might not even realize when you’re doing them.

Distraction techniques distract you from feeling that which wants to be felt. They do not heal. The painful truth is that until you really experience that emotion fully, it’s not going to go away. It will literally live inside you, as an unexpressed feeling.

If you never effectively deal with your emotions, and you constantly distract yourself, those emotional states you’re trying to avoid will sadly grow to become a part of your personality.

That’s how some people grow to become resentful, angry, selfish, etc. kinds of people. They aren’t born that way. Babies aren’t born resentful. Being resentful is something people learn as they go through life (almost always unconsciously).

It’s not just resentment, either. This is the case with all emotions. The person you become, which is your presence, depends on the quality of your internal states. Over time, the feelings your experience day to day become the person that you are.

The good news it that it works both ways. Over time, if you cultivate positive internal states on a daily basis, you can become a generous, light, happy, etc. kind of person.

You’re going to become someone no matter what you decide to do. If you want the person you become to have different emotional experiences than you currently do (i.e. more grateful, generous, joyful, happy, etc.), that is totally possible. It just requires you to do the work.

You’re building your future self with the emotional states you carry today. If you want to arrive at a destination, it’s helpful to reverse-engineer it.

What kind of emotional state do you want to wake up in every day in 5 years?

Start working on becoming that person today by cultivating those states you want to feel. It doesn’t need to be a massive life shift, you can start making progress by cultivating a positive state for as little as a minute every day. Over time, it adds up.

Don’t wait to see you you become like it’s a game of roulette. Decide who you want to be, then make it happen.

Love,

Chip


#21 - How to Slow Down

If you’re a doer - like me - slowing down is difficult.

In our day and age, it’s one of the hardest things to do.

We’ve got phones, social media, computers, cars, planes, etc. that keep us busy checking things, making plans, going places.

These are all great things to do, in moderation.

The problem arises when you are doing these things in compulsion. When you are doing more simply because there is more to do.

I’ve got a secret: there will always be more to do. You can never do it all. If you try, you will likely find yourself feeling overwhelmed on a consistent basis.

Feeling overwhelmed is not a good feeling, so if you tend to experience that, the solution to a happier lifestyle might just be doing less, not more.

I spent the first 24ish years of my life on this planet obsessed with doing more. What I found was that it was truly a hamster wheel, and that the satisfaction that came from doing more was never long lasting fulfillment.

Finally, just this last year, I realized that for me the trick to finding fulfillment was not doing more all the time. It was doing less when I was overwhelmed.

As I started to explore doing less sometimes, joy started arising spontaneously. When you stop to slow down, you start noticing all the little things that make like the wonderful experience that it is.

To be clear - I’m still a type A doer doing my very best to maximize my life experiences every day. That’s why I’m up at 5am every day. I like that lifestyle.

The difference is, I’m now blending these two worlds of doing as much in life as I possibly can while also doing less when my body is telling me to slow down. I recommend you do the same if you want to maximize your fulfillment in life.

In order to do less, I recommend three steps:

1) Become aware of how much you’re doing

2) Become familiar with what it feels like to be overwhelmed

3) Whenever you notice yourself feeling overwhelmed, connect with your breath

Here’s why these 3 steps make sense.

First, you must recognize how fast you’re going if you want to find your optimal speed. If you live your best life at 65 MPH, it’s good to recognize when you’re going 85MPH.

Second, the more familiar you become with what it feels like to be overwhelmed, the more quickly you will be able to recognize it when it starts to happen. In this, as you sharpen your overwhelm radar detection skills, you develop the opportunity to “nip it in the bud” before your overwhelm gets, well, overwhelming.

Third, the trick is to connect with the breath because that brings you back to the present moment. Part of what contributes to overwhelm is shallow breathing, which limits the oxygen your brain/body is getting. When you connect with your breath, expand your breathing to get more oxygen flowing, and let these be relaxing breaths. Don’t stress about breathing correctly, just breathe in a way that feels good for you.

If you’re new to the practice, I recommend focusing on the first step. Just start with awareness. Awareness is the key to unlocking the other steps.

As you go about your day today, I invite you to find at least one moment to slow down, even if just for a few breaths. It just might change your day for the better!

Love,

Chip

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    #20 - How to Create Your Future

    In every moment, you are creating your future.

    Your brain is hard-wired to predict the future, and subconsciously it makes predictions based on your past experiences.

    These predictions are critical to your life, because the things your brain predicts are typically the outcomes you create in real life.

    Most people aren’t making their predictions consciously.

    Most of the extremely successful people, however, are making their predictions consciously.

    This is where the power of visualization comes in. You hear athletes like Michael Phelps talk about the importance of visualization in their success.

    It’s the same idea with Martin Luther King, who had a dream that wasn’t based on past experiences, but a future he envisioned.

    My journey with learning this has been from being completely unconscious in my brain’s predictions to now visualizing the outcomes that I want every single day.

    I’ll give you an example.

    Yesterday I was at a SantaCon party in San Francisco. It was a new crowd of people for me, so everyone was new. At one point I had a great conversation with a smart and beautiful girl and, being single right now, I was curious to get to know her more. After our short conversation, I was hoping to talk to her more later at the party.

    I walked into the kitchen later and she was with a group of her girl friends. I was curious to see what her friends were like so I could get a better sense of what type of person she was, but I felt nervous to hop into the conversation.

    I felt nervous because I was scared they didn’t want me to join the conversation. In the back of my mind, without me even realizing it, my mind had already been predicting future outcomes. And the outcome that was the most important for my brain was the prediction that these girls didn’t want me to join the conversation.

    This prediction was based on my past experiences. My brain was, without my knowing it, going through its backlog of all the times I’d felt nervous and walked up to new people. It was remembering, particularly, those painful experiences where it hadn’t gone well. And, since the brain is wired to protect us from harm, my brain started sending me signals “DON’T DO IT!!! THIS WILL BE PAINFUL!! THEY WON’T RECEIVE YOU KINDLY!!”

    Remember the other thing I said, which was that our brain makes our predictions based on past experiences? What that means is that with every experience you have, in the back of your mind you are hard wiring beliefs about yourself.

    So over the years I had developed some beliefs that people didn’t always want me to join conversations sometimes. Sometimes that’s true, sometimes that’s not. But having a belief that it’s true certainly doesn’t help you to be awesome in life. They can keep you small.

    In those moments leading up to joining the conversation, where I was lost in my negative predicting mode, I felt small. I felt like I was in a shell.

    And then I realized that the way I was feeling was all based on a prediction.

    Smiling at realizing what my brain was doing, I stopped that prediction train dead in its tracks and started a new one. I started visualizing myself joining the conversation and having this group of girls absolutely love it. To clarify, this entire visualization process only took a couple seconds. It wasn’t like I sat down, closed my eyes, and started meditating. It was completely in the moment and on the go.

    In an instant, I felt my energy change. I quickly then hopped into the conversation, and it was from a place of excitement! The conversation went great, and I was welcomed in. When you live from a place of positive energy and excitement, people generally want to be around you. Furthermore, when you’re coming in from a place of positive energy and self-confidence, it doesn’t matter what other people think about you anymore. You’re on your own level, and you get to control how you feel. You start caring less what other people think about you.

    Yesterday’s positive experience is very different from other past experiences, where, feeling small in that negative prediction, I’ve decided to join a conversation anyways without realizing I was walking in predicting failure. Consequently, I would come in with low energy, and the subconscious prediction that those people didn’t want me there.

    And remember what I said earlier? Those predictions we have typically manifest in reality. So most of those times I was pushing my fears and walking into a scary situation, but with a subconscious negative prediction of outcome, I would go on to create that outcome.

    So the key is to start visualizing how you want things to go. And to do it frequently.

    As Dr Joe Dispenza puts it in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself  “if we focus on an intended future event and then plan how we will prepare or behave, there will be a moment when we are so clear and focused on that possible future that the thoughts we are thinking will begin to become the experience itself. Once the thought becomes the experience, its end product is an emotion. When we begin to experience the emotion of that event ahead of its possible occurrence, the body (as the unconscious mind) begins to respond as though the event is unfolding”.

    In layman's terms, as you start to very clearly perceive an outcome you want to happen, your brain starts to experience the emotions associated with that desired outcome. Your energy starts moving towards making this outcome happen.

    Your thoughts and beliefs, combined with your predictions, create your vibe. Be conscious about what you are thinking, and predict the outcomes you want to happen. Don’t focus on the things you don’t want to happen, because you will be subconsciously manifesting them.

    Think wisely. You’re creating your future in every moment!

    Love,
    Chip



    #19 - Comfortable with Discomfort

    Feeling uncomfortable isn’t a bad feeling. But it is a common one.

    When it comes up, it doesn’t feel good. So what do you do? You probably try to avoid it as best you can.

    I’m currently at a hip hop concert for a work event. The warm up DJ is on, and I’m completely out of my element. New music, new crowd. I’m uncomfortable. I was avoiding it for awhile by eating food (dried mango while I was helping prepare the cocktails in the kitchen).

    But I see that discomfort. I saw it earlier and decided to eat to find comfort on purpose. So the point isn’t that you or me should try to be perfect, it’s just that we should try to be aware and do our best.

    I’m deciding to stop avoiding discomfort with food (although that dried mango was delicious) and just chill on the dance floor and feel out the vibes of the music, the crowd, and also myself.

    We’re hardwired to want to avoid discomfort, and so most of the time we do. Whether it’s social media, alcohol, netflix, etc., we all have our discomfort vice (mine these days is eating).

    Don’t always run away from your discomfort. Sometimes it’s good to just be present with it

    Sometimes, if you just stay still in the midst of discomfort, the weight of that discomfort goes away.

    That once scary situation doesn’t scare you anymore. It might even become fun for you!

    Hope you have fun in your discomfort today!

    Love,

    Chip

    # 18 - Knocked Conscious

    Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

    I was once. It was in lacrosse game my junior year of high school. I got totally concussed.

    Plenty of people get knocked unconscious throughout life. Far fewer people experience the opposite.

    Getting knocked conscious.

    In order to get knocked conscious, you must first be unconscious. That’s not usually problem, as the majority of the human race is living unconsciously.

    What do you mean by that?

    I mean that the majority of the people in the world are unaware of the mental and emotional states they are living in every single day. When you’re unaware of your mental and emotional state, more often that not you are in a state of suffering.

    This is because your thoughts create your experience of reality. Your thoughts create the emotions you experience, and the emotions you experience are the feelings that you have. Thus, your thoughts determine how good or bad you feel.

    When you’re unconscious, you’re not noticing your thoughts and emotions. Rather than creating the thoughts and emotions you want, they’re happening to you. It’s like you’re being taken for a ride. You are not the driver. Your thoughts are happening unconsciously, and therefore so are your emotions.

    When you aren’t the driver, you’re not in control over how you feel and how you react to the world.

    Everyone has some control, but few people have a level of control bordering on mastery. That’s because getting to that point requires many hours of training the mind, and few people know how or are interested in doing this.

    As a result, the majority of people experience an enormous amount of suffering, much more than is necessary. I myself used to be in that bucket. Every day was a roller coaster ride, and my quality of life depended on things outside of my control.

    Then I got knocked conscious.

    Unfortunately, it took the death of a teammate on my college lacrosse team at Colby for me to come to this point. Derrik Flahive passed away in the fall of my freshman year, and that experience knocked me conscious.

    Reflecting on the life of Derrik, who was very much someone who lived in the now, I was intrigued to learn more about how he had done this. I picked up a book he often talked about called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. At the same time, I started seeing a counselor at school who taught me meditation.

    The combination of those two things knocked me conscious very quickly.

    For the first time in my life I came to understand what the present moment was. Eckhart’s words spoke to me on a deeper level than I ever had experienced before. Here’s an example:

    “Are you worried? Doe you have many “what if” thoughts? You are identified with your mind, which is projecting itself into an imaginary future situation and creating fear. There is no way that you can cope with such a situation, because it doesn’t exists. It’s a mental phantom. You can stop this health and life-corroding insanity simply by acknowledging the present moment. Become aware of your breathing. Feel the air flowing in and out of your body. Feel your inner energy field. All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life - as opposed to imaginary mind projections - is this moment.

    The Power of Now helped me see that the problems I was focused on in my life weren’t real problems. They were projections of future events or ruminations over past occurrences. The present moment itself was actually free of problems. And by tapping into the present, I woke up (momentarily of course) for the first time in my life.

    That’s how you get knocked conscious. You deeply experience the present moment. That’s all you need to do. Realize its importance, and then experience it.

    It sounds simple, but it’s hard to do. I still struggle with this, which is why I’m now re-reading this book again. After not having these concepts top of mind for awhile, I’m re-discovering that experience of getting knocked conscious again by becoming extremely present. It’s difficult, but really enjoyable. It’s nice way to go through the holiday season, which on many other years has flown by without me being present for it.

    So, if you’re interested in getting knocked conscious, I recommend taking Eckhart’s advice and tuning into The Power of Now (Heres a YOUTUBE LINK TO THE ENTIRE AUDIOBOOK, if you don’t mind his goofy voice).

    Do something for a few minutes each day to help yourself focus on the present moment. Pay attention to your breath. Take your time with your food. Listen carefully to your favorite song. Just do something while being intentional about being present.

    Love,

    Chip


    # 17 - Slow Down Everyone, You're Moving Too Fast

    “Slow down everyone, you’re moving too fast” - Jack Johnson, Inaudible Melodies

    Most of our problems come from this simple fact: we’re all moving too fast.

    This was one my biggest personal realizations of 2018. I’d been looking outside myself, going a thousand miles an hour, trying to find this “thing” that was happiness and I could sometimes taste it in moments but never hold onto it. The moments where I could taste it were often in meditation.

    My fascination with meditation contrasts with my natural wiring to never stop. I come by it naturally, as my Dad likes to move a million miles an hour. That’s why he was a rock climber, a ski patrolman, an adventurer, and a successful businessman. He, like many others, finds stillness in the purity of an adrenaline-filled moments like closing a deal or helicopter skiing in knee deep powder.

    Since going slow was never his speed, as I grew up, it didn’t become mine. I developed a success-driven mentality fueled by doing, and I pretty much avoided stillness.

    The thing is, that’s not my nature. All the doing was bringing me accomplishments and momentary satisfaction, but not inner peace.

    That’s why I fell in love with meditation right away when I first started 7 years ago. It forced me to sit and do nothing. The practice gave me a structure that forced me to become present with my thoughts.

    Since then, I’ve been meditating almost every day. While I was finding increasing levels of calmness and inner peace, for the most part my life still felt overly rushed. Mixed in with moments and even days of deep peace. But it was elusive, and I longed to know the key. Then, earlier this year, I had a revelation.

    It was on a vision quest of Native American style. I prepared for 5 months leading up to it with my spiritual guide, and then spent 2 days deep in the wilderness. It was intense. It involved fasting and many miles of wandering. It was done in a very systematic way. It was raw, scary, exhilarating, and it taught me more than I’ve learned in any other experience. Don’t try this on your own by the way - it’s important to have a spiritual guide to help you through the preparation and follow up process.

    Anyways, at one point on that vision question I sat for 8 hours in meditation. In that sitting, I found a deep stillness. A stillness like I had never found before. It was the most peaceful thing I’ve ever felt. I was so in tune with myself and with nature. It wasn’t magic, it was just me being completely present. And it felt amazing.

    That’s when I realized that everything I ever wanted was right in front of my eyes the whole time. I had just been going too fast to realize it.

    Since coming back, that stillness has gradually faded, and this week I realized that I’d moved pretty far away from it. Despite a solid daily meditation practice, it’s hard to cultivate that deep, lasting joy when you work a corporate job and live in a bustling city. But with a little focus and energy, you can cultivate more peace even in your busy life.

    There is a deep stillness inside you and it is right under your nose, you are simply moving too fast to recognize it.

    A huge part of life, in my opinion, is learning how to find that peace. Our lives will flash before us before we know it, and the whole point will have been to enjoy the ride.
    So please, slow down sometimes.

    When you slow down and tune into the present moment, good things start to happen.

    You stop thinking so much, and you start noticing things.

    The tension in your body releases.

    Life becomes more fun.

    You feel lighter.

    Doesn’t that sound nice during the Holidays?

    If you want to slow down, I’ve got 2 simple tips for you.

    First, try to build a meditation habit into your day. Even if it’s only a few minutes. It will help you develop the ability to slow down on command.

    Second, try to notice the feeling of your feet as you walk throughout your day. See if you can feel your toes. By tuning into the sensations in your feet, you’ll be less tuned into the chatter in your head.

    If you want to learn other strategies for slowing down, I’ll give you 30 minutes of my time to help you come up with a plan at absolutely no cost (you can even book a time on my website). It’d be my greatest joy to talk with you about the path to inner peace.

    Slowing down now,

    Chip


    # 16 - Meditate

    Life is busy, hectic, and unpredictable. As a result, it’s easy to get caught up in your head. There’s so much that happened, so much going on, and so much to think about in the future. It’s endless the number of things that can occupy the mind.

    The thing is, when you’re spending all your time ruminating over, doing, and planning things, you seldom are taking the time you need to connect with yourself in the present moment.

    In every single moment, your body is sending you signals for what it needs to feel free. Yur natural states when you came into the world were calm and joyful. The reason why you lost these ways of being over life is because you learned other ways of being.

    You learn to be worried. You learn to be future-focused. You learn to be anxious.

    Conversely, the good news is that you can un-learn your ways of being.

    You can learn new ways of being. You can learn how to be calmer. You can learn how to find inner peace.

    You have to change your brain. You have to exercise that muscle day by day. It takes work, but you can do it.

    You don’t need to make any drastic life changes. It can be as simple as 1 minute a day to start.

    Meditate. If you want to read more about it first, go HERE.

    Sending you all the encouragement and love in my power. I’m pulling for you!

    Love,

    Chip

     

    #15 - Overcome Your Mind

    Inside of you, there is a life that wants to be lived. It’s something you can’t control. You’re naturally drawn to things, and your body is constantly telling you what those things are.

    But the mind, the all-powerful mind, stops you dead in your tracks from doing what excites you.

    The mind, seeing the risks of the situation, tells you that it’s a bad idea. It tells you that you shouldn’t do it. That the risks are too big.

    Over time, you start to build up mental patterns that lead your brain to override your gut. This seems to be the case all too often in society today. People are disconnected from their bodies. People are totally in their heads.

    Although the mind is a great tool that you depend on, being in your head 24/7 is not a good thing. The mind works in the realm of reality. But the thing about the mind’s perception of reality is, it’s only made up of your experiences. Your mind tells you that you can’t do things, when in reality, it’s entirely possible. Because you haven’t done it yet, the mind tells you that you could never do it.

    Over time, if you only pay attention to the mind, it starts to take a toll because you start to believe these thoughts. You start to live within the boundaries of what your mind thinks is possible.

    This is an entirely different realm from what is truly possible.

    Don’t let your mind control the person you become. Master your mind. Once you do, you’ll open yourself up to unlocking unlimited potential.  

    #14 - Unlock Your Inner Peace

    Inner peace is not something that eludes you until you discover one key thing or meet that one special person.

    It’s not dependent on things outside yourself. Inner peace is waiting to be unlocked from within you.

    For better or worse, it is a long term game. The bad news is that the longer you wait, and the less you invest towards it, the less inner peace you will find. The good news is that there is a clear pathway you can follow to inner peace that, over time, will lead you to greater fulfillment.

    I know what it feels like to want the answer to it all right away. Back when I was in my early 20’s, I often felt the urge to drop everything and head to a monastery. I felt like by doing that I could alleviate all the pain I was experiencing and find true inner peace.

    I decided against that path, and I’m glad I did.

    While my situation wasn’t all that enjoyable, I realized that I was partially accountable because all the thinking I was doing about how much my situation sucked was just making things worse.

    My mind was taking a situation and making the worst out of it.

    In those moments, I was choosing to focus on all the things I didn’t like about my situation, as opposed to the things that were good.

    So I made a decision to start complaining less and appreciating more.

    This process requires two key steps. First, you have to notice where your thoughts are. You have to start catching yourself when you’re thinking unhappy thoughts. By doing this, you start to reduce the amount of extra suffering you’re inflicting on yourself.

    Secondly, you have to decide that’s not what you want to focus on. In that moment where you catch yourself, you have re-direct your attention to something else.

    I suggest two alternative areas to focus on when you catch your mind in the gutter: 1) focus on the present moment (the sounds/sights/tastes/smells/etc.) or 2) create a thought in your brain about something that you’re grateful for.

    When you do this, you’re not just doing a woo-woo activity to make yourself feel good. You’re re-wiring your brain’s neural pathways. If you do this exercise enough, over time, your brain will start to naturally focus on the present moment and gratitude more often without you having to do anything! It’s a beautiful thing, and it will make you happier.

    So, today I challenge you to observe your mind as you go throughout your day. When you catch it wandering, focus on either the present moment or on something that you’re grateful for.

    Love,

    Chip


    #13 - How to find joy during the Holidays

    My wise Mom often reminds me that “for a lot of people, the holidays aren’t a time of joy. For many, the holidays are a really tough time”.

    The holidays are a time full of expectations. There’s an expectation to be happy, to be surrounded by loved ones, and to be full of joy (just to name a few).

    What doesn’t get talked about as much are the challenges that come along with the holidays.

    Oftentimes these challenges sneak up on me. A couple things that often happen are stress around travel, stress around family disagreements, and stress from thinking about the past year and year ahead.

    Sometimes, these stressful situations can put a stain on the holidays. When your expectations are let down, that disappointment can keep you from finding joy in the little moments.

    And to me, that’s what the holidays are all about. Joy in the little moments.

    The holidays aren’t meant to be a time of continual joy and bliss. That’s just an expectation that goes along with them.

    The holidays aren’t meant to be 100% bliss because life isn’t 100% bliss. The holidays are just like any other day, so the approach to having a joyful holiday season is the same approach I’ll suggest for having a joyful life.

    Joy is an emotion that arises spontaneously when you’re living in the moment.

    Joy is the look on a child’s face when they see something that makes them laugh.

    The reason children is so joyful is because children are so present.

    It’s no surprise that children cry all the time. They’re just expressing their emotions as they come up. They wear their emotions on their sleeves. As we grow, we learn not to do this.

    And it’s a good thing we can control our emotions as adults. It helps society operate in a predictable way. The unfortunate thing is that as a side result, we also suppress the fun emotions like joy.

    So the trick to coming back to joy during the holiday season is to come back to where things started: being present in the moment.

    If you are able to be present in the moment during the holidays, joy will arise for you (provided you’re not dealing with abnormal circumstances).

    So how do you be in the moment?

    You have to pay attention! You have to be focused on what’s in front of your eyes. That brain of yours is calling for your attention 24/7, and being present means not being caught up in your head.

    Fortunately for you, the holidays are actually a great time to pay attention. There is an abundance of new sights, sounds, smells and tastes.

    The challenge for you then, is to notice all these sensations that are unique to the Holiday season.

    Instead of mindlessly walking past the Christmas lights, being present would mean really looking at the lights and noticing the way they sparkle.

    Instead of mindlessly walking past store fronts, being present would mean noticing all the intricacies of the Christmas themed store fronts.

    Instead of just hanging out in your living room on your phone, being present would mean taking a minute to really smell the Christmas tree.

    There are unlimited ways you can be present during the holiday season. The key, again, is to pay attention.

    Today and throughout the holidays, I invite you to try out this whole paying attention thing. Pay attention to as much as you can.

    This time of year only happens once a year, so regardless of how enjoyable it feels, I encourage you to really pay attention.

    You might just find that by paying attention, things become more enjoyable.

    If you’re interested to learn more about how to be present during the holidays, feel free to check out the coaching section on my website and set up your free consultion.

    It would be my greatest joy to talk with you and come up with a plan for how you can mindfully navigate the holidays.

    Happy Holidays my friend.

    Love,

    Chip