I have an awesome and beautiful podcast for you today from Dr. Elisha Goldstein—founder of the Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles, CA, along with his wife, co-founder Stefanie.

They do incredible work there and this interview was one of the best discussions I’ve had for this show—and it will stop all us distracted, multitasking, text binging, social media addicted modern humans in our tracks and rock our world! 

We all know the dangers and drawbacks of hyper-connectivity and distractibility, and our diminishing focus and mindfulness in hectic modern life, but we seem to be collectively shrugging our shoulders, complaining a bit here and there, and carrying on, glued to our devices. My visit with Dr. Goldstein had a deep impact on me, because he explained beautifully how our repeated use of technology gets integrated into habit. We have engaged in “intentional practice and repeated it until it becomes automatic–until it becomes habit.”

We often talk about habit-forming in a positive context, but what about undesirable, stress-producing behaviors that have become habits to our detriment? We know that humans are wired to respond with a dopamine burst to novel stimulation in our environment; in primal times it was a rustling in the bushes, today it’s the ding of text message. Dr. Goldstein explains that he too loves technology and while it can improve our lives in many ways, we have to be mindful and disciplined in our use of technology. In this episode, we discuss the difficulty of transforming to a new way of being because of the powerful force of habits and Dr. Goldstein explains how we can take control and experience more happiness and peace in daily life through three simple steps. Remember, habit retraining requires repetition and endurance.

Dr. Goldstein has written books like Uncovering Happiness, The NOW Effect, Mindfulness Meditation, MSBR Every Day stands for (mindfulness based stress reduction). He operates the Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles with his wife Stefanie. They offer an awesome six-month intensive online Course in Mindful Living with expert guidance and group support. Slow down, relax, and listen carefully to this show.


Practicing mindfulness has brought tremendous peace to many who desperately need escape from the stresses of today’s life. [00:43]

We are constantly pulled in many directions. [04:36]

Hyperconnectivity can become a habit and therefore hard to control. [12:17]

If you stop to rest or meditate, you might be inspiring the folks around you to take a break too. [16:08]

Our behaviors are contagious to other people. [19:21]

Learn to take note of when your body is bracing. [24:25]

It is helpful to have some disciplined activity, especially first thing in the morning. [28:35]

Peeling an orange changed Dr. Goldstein’s life. [33:34]

The brain is always on the lookout for issues that can cause problems.  [36:04]

Blame is often misdirected when we have uncomfortable emotion. [38:20]

Learn to really pay attention to yourself and others. [41:50]

We are addicted to stimulation. There is surprising power of waiting/boredom.  Imagine if you mastered restlessness and anxiety.  [46:47]

When you are relaxed, you are more open to inspiration. [51:55]

Learn to forgive yourself for not doing something that you had intended to do. [54:02]



  • All we have to do to create a habit is to intentionally practice and repeat something and it becomes automatic.” – Elisha Goldstein
  • “The idea that we are separate from each other is an optical delusion of consciousness.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Between stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space lies our power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankel
  • “A habit is an intentional practice that your repeat until it becomes automatic.” – Brian MacAndrews


We appreciate all feedback, and questions for Q&A shows, emailed to podcast@bradventures.com. If you have a moment, please share an episode you like with a quick text message, or leave a review on your podcast app. Thank you!

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B.Rad Podcast:

Brad (00:00:00):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Elisha (00:00:38):
Your actions are way greater than what you think they are, and that’s why.

Brad (00:00:43):
Hey, listeners, I have an awesome and beautiful podcast for you from Dr. Elisha Goldstein, founder of the Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles, California. His wife Stephanie, co-founder, they are doing some incredible work there. And this guy just hit me up out of the blue was sort of a email pitch. We fielded so many of these, Hey, wanna get on your podcast? Yeah. Yeah. I noticed he was in LA and I like to do podcasts in person to make that connection. So I said, Hey, why not? Didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t have a lot of preparation going. I was squeezing him into a busy day with a couple other podcast appointments of people that I go after and target and know and have an association with. So I just showed up a little late, sorry, Elisha, into his beautiful center.

Brad (00:01:33):
And we went into one of the best discussions I have had in recent memory. And I think this guy is gonna change my life, man. As he delivered his message in such a clear and impassioned manner, I felt like he was talking directly to me, which he was. ’cause we were sitting across the table. But man, this guy hit me in the ribs, man, and was twisting the knife around. And it was such an awakening to realize our habitual use of technology that has become an addiction. We’re all familiar with this and we talk about it and complain about it, but it’s because we’ve created a habit and we talk so often about creating positive habits. Like, Hey, Brad Kearns. I jump in cold water every morning. It’s so awesome. It’s become a habit. I don’t even complain or cringe at the water. I go in there and do my breathing, but then again, I reach for my phone.

Brad (00:02:23):
Oh, guess what? I turned off all my notifications. Big deal. Because I still reach for it habitually. It’s an automatic behavior. Same with keeping the email window open and engaging throughout the day with email, when in another window I’m trying to focus on a peak performance cognitive task. Like write an article or do research for a book or contribute something tremendous to the world, rather than just clear my inbox. Whew, this guy hit me hard man with a big smile and a warm and open, you know, acceptance that one of the steps in healing is to accept that you’re not perfect and move on and try again rather than self-flagellate and complain about it and commiserate with other people. I’m telling you, this podcast is gonna blow your mind. We jumped it up the lineup because at the end, he gave a little pitch for his course that begins in September on a certain date and runs to December.

Brad (00:03:19):
I’m like, all right, man, you just jumped the line up. Not only ’cause you brought a beautiful A game, but because you have this intensive six month guided course in mindfulness. So, wow. Take a look at the website. Think about it could change your life. What an honor and a privilege to sit with Dr. Elisha Goldstein. Enjoy the show about mindful living and breaking our habituation to technology. And also forget about the technology. What about our anxious thoughts and our racing mind, and all these things that we complain about in everyday life, and how good it will feel to take charge of your life again and make some positive changes. Here’s how we got step-by-step approach, along with the beautiful commentary, Dr. Goldstein, bringing the A game.

Brad (00:04:05):
Dr. Elisha Goldstein, the Center for Mindfulness here in West Los Angeles. So excited to join you. And we have some, we have some important stuff to talk about, man, ’cause we got, we got issues today in modern world. I’m concerned about my own tendency for distractibility and hyperconnectivity, which seems to be the opposite of mindfulness, which is your game and what you’re helping people with here. So tell me how we can manage the challenges of high tech, modern life. We’ll go from there.

Elisha (00:04:36):
Okay. Well, you know, that’s a, that’s a great question, Brad. And also probably the, the question of our time. I would say, um, everybody, almost everyone I would say is struggling right now with feeling overconnected and sort of obsessive compulsive with being pulled towards their tech and distracted. You know, the number one thing that actually helps us, I think kind of get on the road of achieving success peak for peak performance is really starting to focus on honing attention again. Like how do you hone focus, uh, you know, how do you start to, um, what’s the keys to the ability to begin to attend to what matters again? ’cause right now we fall into this place of being fooled by what seems to be urgent notification, something popping up, you know, on our phone. Um, or you actually, we don’t even need a notification anymore.

Elisha (00:05:31):
In fact, one of the hacks that that’s out there, you know, with our phones is to turn off all notifications, right? Turn off all notifications except for key notifications. So we’re not pulled towards our phone. But what happens is, but a lot of people is, it’s all internalized right now. So the programming is really there and it’s intense. So our brain works off memories and it sees something in our environment, or it has some kind of emotion. It pulls in our, goes into the, into the past to say, what is this and how do I deal with it? And then it kind of spits out a perception and action after that. And so what happens is we get now pulled towards our tech or distractibility just by the mere programming. We don’t actually even need the environment anymore. We’ve kind of internalized that,

Brad (00:06:14):
Right? This is genetic hard wiring that we are wired to respond to novel stimuli in the environment. In the old days in life or death, survival times, it was ’cause there was a rustling in the bushes that we needed to be attentive to. And now it’s the ding, we get the dopamine hit from the text message and try as we might, we’re still, we’re still pulled to it.

Elisha (00:06:38):
You know, another thing to consider is it’s not even just the dopamine hit, it’s not the the need for stimulation, although, ’cause we’re, we are addicted to stimulation. That’s, that’s no question. We’ve been programmed, you know, in that way as well. But part of it’s our underlying anxiety that we created in our culture now. Oh, so, so we need to, it’s more that we need to relieve the anxiety. So, you know, you’ve heard these terms, FOMO, fear of messing out, or FOKO fear of keeping up, right? And so it’s, well,

Brad (00:07:02):
I haven’t heard the second one. Wait, what is that?

Elisha (00:07:04):

Brad (00:07:05):
Oh, FO Q

Elisha (00:07:07):
Exactly. <laugh> <laugh>. And so, hey, where have

Brad (00:07:10):
You been? You’re late again. you.

Elisha (00:07:13):
You gotta keep up. Fear

Brad (00:07:15):
Of keeping up.

Elisha (00:07:16):
Yeah. Oh

Brad (00:07:17):
My Goodness.

Elisha (00:07:17):
And that’s sometimes more driving than the FOKO because now in this 24 7 world we’ve lived in for quite a while now. Yeah. you know, the all we have to do to create a habit is intentionally practice and repeat something over time it becomes automatic, right? We don’t need to pay attention anymore. So, um, the brain does that, you know, it, it’s practice and repeats. We create this habit and then it says, okay, you know, it kind of taps you and says, you don’t need to pay attention. You don’t need to be conscious about this anymore. I’ll just do this for you automatically. And so now we are automatically, and then this kind of pool of 24 7 being on. And again, just kind of being pulled towards distraction. How many people do you know now? I mean, you could kind of survey parents, you can survey anyone and say, how often do you just singularly attend to something right now when you wash the dishes?

Elisha (00:08:06):
Do you wash the dishes? Are you washing the dishes while doing something else? While you’re working out? Are you on the treadmill while watching TV, while watching sports or CNN or something? Or are you just working out like, um, we we’re constantly pulled in many directions, and so we just trained this in our minds. Now we’ve trained this ability to just pull ourselves towards distraction. And then our culture kind of pulls us in that direction as well. Our environment. You see everyone else doing it. So the brain says, oh, monkey see, monkey do. That’s what I’ll do.

Brad (00:08:34):
Yeah. Well, the social media app makers have very smart people spending hours and hours figuring out ways to, to prey upon these tendencies that we have. And so they draw you in. One of the, one of the examples was that if you’re there to do a tidy little task on Facebook, such as delete your account, the process of deleting your account is laborious because they know that you might be gonna get lazy and give up, or same thing with accepting a friend. Um, you are presented with, uh, options to consider another couple dozen, uh, choices and decisions to accept, accept friends. And that’s done purposefully to continue to have you engage more time with the application.

Elisha (00:09:19):
Yeah. And so this is, you, you, you, I think you hit the nail on the head when, and people are starting to realize this, and this has been out in the news more, you know, think of the past year, these confessions that have come out by, you know, all these confessions. Yeah, yeah. They sort of confessions, right? Yeah. And their confessions. And the interesting thing about, about, you know, creating this to creating technology in order to hook us. And so now we, we are a programmed culture at this point, but then you get those same people who say, you ask them, okay, well what do you, what’s your rules with your kids? You know, when it comes to the tech that you created, I don’t, I don’t let them go on it, you know? And, and I’m a pro tech person. Like, I love technology.

Elisha (00:09:54):
I was the guy in my graduate school first year, you know, who was the only one sitting there with a laptop, you know, in a circle. And people were kind of looking at me, kind of funny. I went to a kind of an alternative graduate school. But, and so I love technology and I’ve to say in my own life, I’ve, I’m constantly being curious about, you know, my own relationship with technology. And you know, how I can kind of optimize it to get some freedom. I mean, I do, I do interesting experiments which people here might kind of consider, which is, you know, just kinda leaving, and this is sound, which I’m crazy in this day and age, right? To just leave your tech at home for, you know, I don’t know, a few hours or a day or something like that.

Elisha (00:10:33):
And just see what you notice and what you, what you start to see is maybe at times there’s this bracing that happens in the body like you, those phantom vibrations that can happen as well. But I, what I notice in my life is I, I start to relax a whole lot more. It’s really interesting. Like, my body physically responds to me not having some distance. And that’s not to say that now we need to create distance from technology. No. We just need to kind of optimize our relationship to it. They’re in the world’s wisdoms traditions for thousands of years. There’s been like a day of Sabbath, right? I just a day off is what they’re saying. You know, just take a day off and, you know, what would it be like, I’d just kind of be curious about what would it be like if everyone took a day off just once a week from their tech? And, um, and see what you noticed and just as an, as just an experiment and just see what you notice,

Brad (00:11:22):
Right? And the idea of everyone doing it, then you’re not missing out. Then you don’t have FOMO anymore. It’s like when you’re in Spain and the stores are closed from two 30 to four 15 all over the place, then there’s no, there there’s no advantage. But I think what happened here in this fast-paced culture is someone realized that, um, they can get a huge advantage if they opened their store on Sunday and then all hell broke loose. And now here we are with, you know, the 24 7

Elisha (00:11:51):
<laugh>. That’s exactly

Brad (00:11:52):
It. And so one person taking, I don’t know, like I gotta ask you, like, I take time away from my email to go have fun and hang out on the boat one day and go for a hike, you know, detachment from my normal life. And then I come back and I’m slammed and overwhelmed. And it’s almost like it compromises some of the value of the vacation. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, because no one else stopped with me. They just piled it on.

Elisha (00:12:17):
Yeah, exactly. But, you know, and at the same time that’s, there’s this, there’s this, this thought that I can’t take that time away because it’s gonna be this, again, this folk, folk, you kind of coming up, right? <laugh>, because when you get back, it’s gonna be this mountain of stuff. So people put these little reminders in there and that these responders in their email basically saying like, I’m taking, I mean, what would this be like actually even so for people take time when people take time away. Some, some people put out reminders that say, I’m gonna be away for this many days, any emails that you’re sending, I’m not gonna look it over. Um, if this is important, I’m coming back on this day and send me the email, you know, when I come back, right? So they’re not coming back to a mountain of, or if this is important, you know, and you, you know where to get me. If you know who you know or something like that. You know

Brad (00:13:01):
Who you are. You

Elisha (00:13:01):
Know who you are. You know, if you know my number, you can kinda get me or something like that. Yeah. That’s another way of doing that. And I’d be curious, again, we’re just kind of breaking through what we think is possible, because again, we’re programmed sort of into a box with, with our relationship with tech. And so we can ask ourselves, you know, what would it be like to send a reminder, put an auto reminder, and I’m mean a responder, sorry. And our email, if I’m popping out for three hours saying, if you’re sending this for the next three hours, I’m not gonna be, you know, looking over these emails. If this is important, contact me after this time.

Brad (00:13:33):
Yeah. You get those, like Tim Ferris talks about his batching of emails, and then the little responder says, sorry, I only check emails in the morning and in the evening. So you’ll have to wait. And it’s some, some of it’s a little haughty and you wonder if the person’s actually doing what they say they’re doing or they’re just projecting this, this image of productivity and, and greater discipline. So that, that’s tricky too. But, yeah, I would like to figure out a strategy to kind of overcome. And I, I think, um, what you said about the habit forming, um, that, that’s, that hit me pretty hard because if, if we’ve made this a habit, this hyperconnectivity, it’s, it’s literally out of our control because it’s a habit. We just reach for our phone and we look and we look at and see if any text, I turned off all my notifications on my phone. Oh, congratulations, Brad. But guess what, how many times do I reach for today? Probably a crap ton of times looking to see if I have any texts. ’cause I know the thing’s not gonna ding if I have any texts, <laugh>. So it’s like, I almost defeated the purpose. I get like a C minus instead of an A plus for turning off notifications. ’cause we’re still addicted to the connection,

Elisha (00:14:43):
The stimulation, we’re addicted to stimulation. And that, that goes to the point of, it’s not so much the notification anymore. I mean, there are a lot, lot of like great hacks that are coming out. Like, turn your phone into gray scale. I did that, that didn’t seem to make an impact for me. But the, but or turn off all your notifications or, you know, these different things. But the reality is, again, when it comes to habits, habits are things that are internalized. Our brain is wired to survive, right? It’s not wired to be happy. It doesn’t matter whether we’re happy or not. It doesn’t care. We’re wired to survive because if we don’t survive, we don’t have any chance of being happy anyway. If we’re happy we don’t survive. What’s the point? So, um, so it’s constantly checking to make sure we are okay.

Elisha (00:15:24):
So there’s a part of our brain actually that’s, that’s, that’s just monitoring how we’re doing to keep us into balance. And if there’s like an imbalance that’s going on, let’s say an anxiety that’s happening, an underlying anxiety, it says, um, uh, or a thought comes up, Hey, you might be missing something. Then what it’s going to do is it’s going to create that thought is gonna create, and feeling’s gonna create an action. And that action’s gonna be to check. Mm. So you don’t need the notification anymore. That program’s already happened. So all that says is, oh my God, I’ve really been programmed, it’s internalized. Now. I’m doing this without the notifications, you know, at this point. So that’s why when I say like, and it might be haughty to say, you know, sudden auto responder to say, I’m gonna be gone for, or if you’re on social media, you know, Facebook, I’m not checking this for a day.

Elisha (00:16:08):
You know, basically, hopefully what you’re doing to some people, some people will be pissed off. Like, what do you mean you’re not checking this for a day? You’re not part of our culture. You’re breaking free outta our culture, but, you know, be that rogue person because you might actually be inspiring some people too. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> like, think of it on that coin. Sometimes I lead courses into the workplace and, you know, people are on their cubicles. And we’re, I I do a lot of work with specific types of, uh, understanding stress and certain meditations that help support people, you know, with, with balance, emotional balance with, uh, peak performance, stuff like that. And some people say I don’t feel comfortable closing my eyes and doing this meditation. ’cause some people are gonna think like, what are they doing just resting or sleeping or, you know, that kind of thing.

Elisha (00:16:50):
And I say to them, like, consider this for a second. Is it possible that you actually might be inspiring some of the people around you to take a break or take some time to themselves, you know, for a moment? And you might actually be supporting people. So just hold that in mind while we now engage this practice. Something like that. So we’re, we’re kind of saying breaking free from what our mind says, the initial judgment, the snap judgment of this is not okay to say, well, what if it was okay or what else would happen? And what are some other alternatives that might happen if I did this thing, if I broke from the convention that’s here right now, if I broke from the Matrix, you know, that we’re in,

Brad (00:17:26):
Arianna Huffington with her promoting of sleep. She takes a, when she was head of Huffington Post, she would leave her curtains in her, the glass windows to her office, she’d leave the curtains open and go take a nap so that people could see her taking a nap. And that was an accepted part of the workplace culture there with a do not disturb sign on the door. Right? Like, Hey, taking a nap looks like you’re taking a nap. No, it was like a purposeful thing to like show that the leader was on nap time. And therefore, I mean, what, what a great message to send is if you have that chance as a leader, but even as a random person closing your eyes at your desk and they see you doing that a few times a day, they can ask questions and starts to pick up some momentum.

Elisha (00:18:10):
Yeah. Maybe more of our leaders <laugh> should be doing that. Oh, for sure. Because they, they set an example of shifting our implicit biases of what’s okay and what’s not okay. Yeah, I mean, Albert, Albert Einstein, you know, had this quote that had been attributed to him that said, you know, and I’ll maybe butcher this, but this is in my word. But, uh, you know, that, that, this idea that we are separate from each other is an optical delusion of consciousness. What, what that means is, and if you get down to the quantum physics of it, you know, with what we’re starting to find is, you know, we’re mostly made of space, you know, and there’s kind of this energy flowing between, you know, people here. And so, you know, when you, when your actions or your thoughts or the way you are, you know, influences the people around you. And you see people like, um, researchers like Nicholas Christus and James Fowler at UC San Diego. And, and there’s another university, um, who took, uh, um, research from this study called the Framingham Study, which was measuring heart disease. And what they found was for over 50 year, 50 year longitudinal study, when they took the data from that, and they said, well, um, let’s, let’s see what happens when we look at relationships. And initially they did it around obesity and they found that you might know this study, the

Brad (00:19:20):
Clusters of obesity,

Elisha (00:19:22):
Uhhuh <affirmative>. Yeah. That obesity is contagious up to three degrees. You know, so you see, you see your friend, you know, eating a particular way. So you go, okay, you give kind of permission to eat a particular way or not exercise and you know, this type of thing back and forth three degrees. So then they took that same study and that same data and did it for happiness, and they did it for loneliness. And they found the same outcome that happiness, positive emotions and let general level of life satisfaction is also contagious up to three degrees. And so is loneliness contagious up to three degrees. And so it’s really interesting when we consider that, when you say Ariana Huffington is sitting there in her, you know, I know that the Huffington Post apparently was also famous for just having, um, what did they have? They had, um, free

Brad (00:20:05):

Elisha (00:20:06):
No, like in, within their, within their office space, they had areas to sleep basically. Oh. Areas to rest

Brad (00:20:11):
Pods. Like Google’s building these sleep pods now really fancy like spaceship. You just close the door and you’re in this pod.

Elisha (00:20:17):
I’ve seen some of that’s amazing. And so, and so, um, you know, we, we can also begin to, with our own actions and behaviors, um, taking time out or paying attention to one person and listening to them, rather than that just being healthy first and health, helping us relax. We also are, our actions are contagious up to three degrees. And behavioral contagion is a really well researched area now at the same time. Um, and there’s a ton of research around our behaviors. Influence are contagious to other people.

Brad (00:20:47):
Wow. I mean, we, we sense these, or we believe these in a casual manner that going out with, uh, these two friends, they’re kind of negative. They’re kind of downers. You feel drained when you, when you leave the engagement. But, now we have the science backing this up saying, you, you hang around people who are negative attitude. It’s gonna, it’s gonna push into you.

Elisha (00:21:08):
Yeah, absolutely. There was a, there was a study done years ago by a guy named Antonio Demasio out in University of Southern California that, and, or, and, and well, and actually some others prior to that, that showed that, you know, when you’re looking at a monkey picking up a peanut, putting it to its mouth, the part of your brain that’s involved with taking your arm and and doing the same thing lights up.

Brad (00:21:30):

Elisha (00:21:30):
So you see some of the neuroscience behind it. You see some of the behavioral contagion around it. So we really are, there really is this, this sense of interconnection. And so I’d just say, consider this for a second, is that whatever you do for yourself that’s around your own health and wellbeing, whether it’s around your distractibility and trying to hone your attention, you know, to be able to focus on what matters intentionally start training that you’re not just doing that for yourself. You’re doing that for the people you spend most of your time with. Wow. You’re doing that for the ripple effects of their friends and friends and friends. And so what your actions are way greater than what you think they are. And that’s why that’s some of the science about why everything you do matters.

Brad (00:22:10):
I’m thinking of the, uh, either good example or bad example I said for my kids or out with my girlfriend, if both people have their phones, it’s gonna go, we’re gonna go back and forth disengaging. Um, ’cause I don’t want to be bored, so I’m gonna pull my phone out if someone’s on their phone. And, how to transcend that would be kinda, I guess you, you, you work on yourself and, and set an example in all ways and have your, have your disciplined use of technology and then, you know, it’s likely that’ll rub off with people around you.

Elisha (00:22:44):
We can think of it like that. I mean, the number one thing really to do, like, Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist in Holocaust survival. You’re familiar with him, who, he has a great quote that’s been attributed to him that said, between stimulus and response, there’s a space. And that space lies our power to choose our response. And our response lies our growth and our freedom. And so really the first step to be able to step into that space and get more familiar with it between the stimulus and response. ’cause the stimulus, the space is like tiny at the moment. It can be quick sometimes. Yeah. It’s not even there. It’s like bump

Brad (00:23:16):
Bump, Hey you, you just cut me off.

Elisha (00:23:18):
Yeah. Or, or there’s my phone. Lemme pick it up and check. Right. Even though I just checked it 15 seconds ago. Uhhuh <affirmative>, I think that the, the statistic right now is the average person is on their phone 11 hours a day or something like that. I

Brad (00:23:28):
Saw that. Yeah. The kids, um, they were referencing the number of text messages the average teenager sends is mind-blowing. Yeah.

Elisha (00:23:37):
Yeah. And it’s in, it’s stressful to be interacting that much as brain overload. Yeah. Um, but so the number thing, one thing we can do as a precursor to support us and to widening that space is really to learn how to actively relax our nervous systems. Hmm. And you know, one way of a very simple way of doing that, like that anyone can do anywhere, anytime without taking like 30 minutes out to sit and do a meditation is to,

Brad (00:24:00):
or go get a massage or something?

Elisha (00:24:02):
Is to just be on the lookout. It’s very simple. This is one of the first things I teach people in this six-month immersion online course called a course of mindful living is look beyond the lookout. Where in your regular life you are, your body is bracing. So where is your body tensing?

Elisha (00:24:25):
Because your body, your body is now holding the patterning of, and the programming, the automatic programming. And so where is it bracing? ’cause that’s telling you that you are stressed in that moment. And so if you’re stressed, you’re gonna kind of make more mistakes typically. I mean, a little bit of stress is okay, a lot of stress. That’s where we get into trouble. Right. And so if your body is bracing, the first step is to actively soften your body. If you do this like, let’s say three times a day, you just do it three times a day. And this, again, this takes no time out actively. Or, or maybe there’s tension in your shoulder. You notice it’s really intense. And so you actively choose to just stretch that area to open it a little bit. You’re gonna notice some big changes.

Elisha (00:25:06):
You’re gonna be a little bit more aware in your day. You’re gonna start widening that space between stimulus and response to be more open to the choices and possibilities that are there for you in the moment. Like, oh, do I need really need to check this again after I checked it 15, 30 seconds ago? Um, or am I, do I do I wanna pay attention to my kid who’s trying to talk to me right now? Or my partner who’s trying to like, talk to me right now te telling me something really emotional that’s an important part of their day, you know, or whatever it is. You’ll get better at paying attention to what matters. And that’s the, in order to hone our attention, the first step is learning how to relax our, really relax our bodies.

Brad (00:25:41):
So noticing those times when you’re bracing going, oh, there I go bracing. I guess I do that in traffic a lot. Or on a, on tough conversations on the phone or something.

Elisha (00:25:52):
Some people do that the moment they wake up in the morning, their body is bracing from the alarm. They, if they have kids in the house or a partner or tough conversation, it’s right there in the morning. Some bad news in the morning, whatever it is. Oh yeah. The anticipation of the traffic and getting out on time. The email, the mountain of emails sometimes when you think you’re having fun and getting soothing through, check through, flipping through the variety of apps, really kind of check in with yourself and see how your body’s doing in that moment. Mm. Your body might be kind of stressed trying to get out that, you know, 10 line text that you’re trying to kind of beat out before you have to go somewhere else or whatever.

Brad (00:26:32):
Before the light changes.

Elisha (00:26:34):
Before the light, exactly. Yeah. So, you know, we just check in. Your body’s keeping score a bit and it’s kind of telling you, you know, how you’re, how you’re doing, that you’re in a way that your thoughts may not realize, uh, in that moment. And the first step is to just actively act. First of all, what you start noticing as you’re doing it is it’s enjoyable. You start really enjoying relaxing your body. Your car rides are better <laugh>, your relationships are better. Um, you feel better in your life when you’re more relaxed. It’s our natural state to feel kind of more calm and balanced. We just happen to live in a very frenetic world that really activates our nervous systems in major ways right now.

Brad (00:27:14):
Hmm. Then we, then we crash and burn and are fried at the end of the, uh,

Elisha (00:27:18):
Adrenals high

Brad (00:27:20):
Stimulation day.

Elisha (00:27:20):
Oh, totally. Heck are we, are we really meant to be this stimulated? It’s just a good question to ask. And maybe that’s just too abstract actually. Am I meant, am I, am I okay being this stimulated? Is the question like, check in with yourself, like to how do I feel throughout the day? Is it feel good to be this stimulated throughout the day? Or do I need more moments of actively kinda balancing, relaxing my body, relaxing my mind? Inevitably that’ll help us focus more. That’s the step two to focus more on what matters.

Brad (00:27:51):
Yeah. I notice, um, getting older, I can’t do it anymore. You know, I can’t stay without interruption in front of a computer screen for four straight hours or six straight hours. Or maybe 20 years ago I could because I just had more juice in the tank. So I guess that’s one of the good things about growing old, is I need that downtime. And I notice these times in my day where I just have to sit there for a couple minutes and, you know, this probably never occurred to me back when I was a kid just running around, but we didn’t have the technology either. So maybe I’m just trying to recalibrate to something that’s natural. Are you big on, uh, morning routines? ’cause I, I’ve talked a lot on the podcast and I’m big enthusiast of cold therapy and I start my day jumping into the cold tub.

Brad (00:28:35):
And I feel like it’s a great meditative experience because the water’s so cold. I have to focus on breathing in order to not, you know, succumb to the cold and spend the, the proper amount of time in there. But the, the main benefit I’ve noticed that that’s sort of less tangible is that I know that my day starts with this trip down to outside, into the tank. And it’s sort of a ritual just like pouring coffee, but it’s something that I’m in control of and it shows that I have discipline and focus to be able to jump into the water. ’cause it’s, it’s kind of cold.

Elisha (00:29:09):
You have a cold tank and you’re, I

Brad (00:29:11):
Have a chest freezer. So you listeners that haven’t heard me pound this down your throat to date. You go on YouTube and, uh, search for Brad Kearn’s chest freezer cold therapy. So you have a big chest freezer, the top opening, like you put meat in. Yeah. And I fill it with water. I plug it in on a timer, not all the time, otherwise it’d be a big block of ice. Right. Uhhuh <affirmative>. So it goes for two, three hours a day and the water’s about 38 degrees. So you open up the lid, you unplug it, of course, and you jump in and you have a ready made, icy cold river like the fins did in the winter, and then running back to their sauna. And you could do contrast therapy where you go back and forth from the tub to a sauna to a jacuzzi and it’s very relaxing. But every morning you

Elisha (00:29:51):
Do it, I to get myself one of those that’s actually, oh great.

Brad (00:29:53):
You’ll be completely, it’ll change your life. It’s so fun. And of course there’s hormonal and, uh, cognitive benefits, blood circulation, all those physical benefits you get from exposure to cold, like what they’re doing in the cryotherapy chambers, uhhuh. But to me that stuff’s great. But I’m also feeling like I’m a person that maybe needs that structure and that pattern where this is part of my day along with morning exercises. So I do the exercises, I jump in the tub and that pair, which doesn’t take a long time, so I know I can do it every day. It’s doable. But it seems to maybe predict success later on with managing my email inbox when I should be writing a, you know, distinct cognitive focus period.

Elisha (00:30:36):
Yeah. You know what, that, that’s a, I think that’s a great example of something that, that people feel like is doable in the morning if they have kind of a cold tank that they can have, because they could just go jump out there.

Brad (00:30:45):
Cold shower is fine too. Cold shower is

Elisha (00:30:47):
Fine too.

Brad (00:30:47):
You know, something that’s a disciplined, uh, and, and, uh, mindful, you know, health practice that this is what I do.

Elisha (00:30:53):
Yeah. I, I have no doubt in my mind that doing what you think is beneficial and healthy to your body right in the morning when you wake up, sets up your day in a successful way. ’cause you already feel like at the very least of it, aside from whatever it’s doing to you physically, you are sending yourself the message right in the morning that I care enough about myself to take care of myself. So you’re, you’re sending this idea of like confidence and self-care. Like, you know that, that right in the morning for me, um, my kids wake me up like at, I don’t know, five 30 in the morning, six in the morning, healthy kids,

Brad (00:31:30):

Elisha (00:31:31):
<laugh>, they’re, they’re up or what, what, or my animal, it could be one of them. So the morning is a little bit harder for me, although I, I totally believe in that. Like, personally. So for me, what I have to do is I have to intersperse it throughout the day. And so I make sure that, you know, my day is, you know, is kind of flexible. Whether it’s doing multiple short meditations in the day. And again, people have, you know, kind of a misnomer about like meditation is that it has to be some 20, 30 minute practice an hour or something like that. Because a lot of the traditional, a lot of the traditions teach, like, you should be doing like two 20 minute, two 30 minute, two 45 minute practices, you know, throughout the day to really get the benefit of it. But really again, what you’re trying to do is create a habit, a certain habit of mind.

Elisha (00:32:10):
So again, intentional practice of repetition creates that. So if you can kind of find yourself with five minutes in the day or 10 minutes or something. And again, this could be in a replacement of a different routine that’s more auto automatic for you, like checking your email for 10 minutes as an example. Right. So just kinda swapping one of those out for an opportunity to kind of settle in and just be aware of your body and notice where the tensing is and just softening your body and just taking a few deep breaths. That’s incredible practice to do.

Brad (00:32:45):
Dr. Elisha Goldstein says it’s okay to do a five minute mini meditation. Oh, are you too busy for that? I don’t think so. The two times 30 minutes a day to sit quietly and think of nothing, but you’re, you’re breathing. That’s a tough challenge, man. But a mini meditation of five minutes with thumbs up from the doctor, go for it. Do it. That’s beautiful. Yeah. Instead of your, I don’t know, you could replace a cigarette break. That might be a good, good swap right there

Elisha (00:33:09):
Too. You can make it totally, you can make something totally informal. Again, if one of the bene, one of the ideas is to hone your attention, um, you could, if you, if you have the ability to make breakfast and just focus on making breakfast. Oh yeah.

Brad (00:33:22):
On your, on your information there, the bio biographical info, there was something about a tomato that changed your life. Is that an

Elisha (00:33:30):
Orange? Yeah, an orange.

Brad (00:33:32):
Your peeling and eating the orange. What was that all

Elisha (00:33:34):
About? Oh man. Well, okay, so this was a time in my life where I was working hard and playing a whole lot harder, abusing my mind and body with tons of drugs and alcohol. It was a really intense time. And, I took a month away and I was in the corporate world and I took a month away and to this kind of, this retreat. And this guy introduced me to, and I was stressed and I was, you know, also had a lot of emotions. And so this guy introduced me to an orange. He introduced me to, he said, Hey, this orange is hairy. And I’m like, <laugh>, no. He said, introduce me to an orange. And he said, you know, hey, just try this out. Like, just trust me. Like just, you know, take this as an experiment. Play with this, you know, just follow my instruction here.

Elisha (00:34:13):
And he said, hold this orange. And he said, what do you see when you’re holding this orange? And I say, well, it’s orange. It’s a, it’s round. I don’t know. It has some dimples in it. And he goes, okay, now just follow my instruction. He said, now just smell it. Now. Don’t tell me. Just have me come to my senses one by one as like a single tasking type of experience, hearing it, smelling it, and beginning to unpeel it. And as I did that for the first time, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, except maybe some in some slow motion video, I saw the zest pop out, you know, from the actual peel of the orange. And as I, as I did that and peeled it away, he said, well, what do you see? And I started seeing the membranes of the orange and the different colors.

Elisha (00:34:48):
And then, so I was kind of bringing my senses to it, my full attention to this experience. And then as I peeled the orange away and eventually put it in my mouth, he said, now just bite through it and see if you can be aware of where the taste is on your tongue. Like, where does your tongue pick up taste? And I kind of tasted it. And the juice was starting to flow. And, and quite literally, it was the most amazing orange, most flavorful orange I’d ever tasted in my entire life. And it made me real. And my, and he said, well, how do you feel? I said, I feel relaxed. I feel good. And it made me realize that it’s not like meals as an example. It’s not the food. And it, it’s really my relationship with it and how I’m, how I’m paying attention to it.

Elisha (00:35:28):
Sometimes that brings out the wonderful experience and even the flavors that are there, my enjoyment. And if we can be aware of more moments of enjoyment in our day and we can allow ourselves to just kind of linger in them. ’cause they’re all there. We’re just not attending to them. We’re more attending to all the things we’ve been talking about here. What would be different in our days, weeks, and months ahead, if we were more aware of the, joyful moments that are out there, um, what would that do for our physiology? What would that do for us mentally? What would that do for our happiness? And would it inspire others to do the same?

Brad (00:36:04):
I would argue that it would, and instead, where a lot of times in arguing conflict space, and I noticed that the most heartbreaking thing to me is when you’re arguing about something that would be, by all accounts, be perceived as wonderful. So, the couple is arguing about which hotel to stay on their vacation. It’s like, really? Wait a second. You’re taking a vacation, you’re going to a nice place. And then you’re bickering about a nuance of this, um, you know, this opportunity that’s, you, you could be arguing about getting evicted from your apartment. Right? I mean, that, that might be a more understandable time to, to engage and have the stress and the emotions come up. But, you know, no matter how, no matter how we’re doing, even if everything’s great and my kids are healthy, that’s, you know, that’s, that’s high on my list of things that I am, you know, wouldn’t want to complain about. Or, that there’s something else we’re gonna find to, to occupy our, our high stress pattern.

Elisha (00:37:05):
Well, ’cause our brain’s always in the lookout for what the problem might be. I Yeah.

Brad (00:37:09):
You know, it’s survival.

Elisha (00:37:10):
Yeah. Yeah. And then it’ll look into the past to see like, how do I measure up and, and fix this problem? And then it might say, what are the, what are the potential issues that this problem might cause? And so we think of the worst case scenario that could

Brad (00:37:21):
Possibly be there. Okay.

Elisha (00:37:22):
That triggers our nervous system and says, oh my God, this is a potential worst case scenario. And so we start kind of going into fight or flight or freeze mode now with our nervous system. And then what that does is again, skews our perception and says, what I need to do is really soothe myself, so I’m gonna go check this right now. And we reach for our phone because that’s a habit soothing us. ’cause that’s the habit. That’s the habit. And so our body, our we didn’t think to do that. Our body just knew to do that in the same way. It knows how when a, a bowl of soup is in front of us to grab the spoon and bring it to our mouth without thinking about it. Now we do the same thing with certain unhealthy soothing techniques that really only amplify our stress, may soothe us temporarily, but amplify our stress. And so we have to be

Brad (00:38:02):
Able to, I guess that’s a drug, alcohol, text message, uh, obsessive checking. These are all going in that temporary soothing Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, we’re doing stupid shit for a reason. Yeah. So I guess it’s that we’re getting temporary, temporary payoff, but then winding down into a bad pattern.

Elisha (00:38:19):
Yeah. And, and the question is what temporary bad payoff? And then what happens after that? Yeah. We might, if we have a partner who says like, why are you checking your phone? So, or something like that, he starts feeling a little shame, like, something’s wrong with me. And then you start, you know, you’re uncomfortable with that shame. So you lash out at them and you say like, well, I’m not, you know, I can’t handle this. And so we, we kind of blurt it out. I think it was, um, uh, Brene Brown who had a really great, uh, definition of blame when she said, it’s just an uncomfortable emotion that you just kind of like need to expel in some way. When you have an uncomfortable emotion, you expel it, so you blame it onto somebody else. And I thought that was a brilliant explanation. And so that’s how we get in trouble in our relationships too. <laugh>, uh,

Brad (00:38:58):
Venting. Right? You open up the vent. It’s a, it’s a great word, word choice. And so you’re just, you’re just blowing off that, that that hot steam that arrived from some other, maybe an interaction that was independent of who you’re venting to,

Elisha (00:39:14):
You know, venting at the expense of somebody else. Right. You know, like putting it on them versus like, I’m just so stressed, I just gotta tell you all about it. It’s more of like, and it’s your fault. Yeah.

Brad (00:39:23):
At the same time. Yeah. Different, I mean, venting is healthy when you have that, uh, uh, partnered to commiserate with and you know that you’re getting their total support and so you’re gonna complain about something that happened and get validation and all that great stuff, but when you’re venting in that negative way, yeah, that’s tough. I apologize on the, on the air to, to, to Mia Moore. ’cause I identify a couple times where I vented and sort of was redirecting stress that came from another area. It’s a horrible practice and it’s super common. And we also kind of there’s some level of acceptance where, oh, you just had a bad day. That’s why you came in and kicked the dog. And like, that dog didn’t deserve to be kicked. And, you know, there’s no, there’s no excuse for it. Right?

Elisha (00:40:09):
Yeah. And there well, there, there is that excuse

Brad (00:40:12):
For it. There’s no justification for it.

Elisha (00:40:14):
Yeah. And, and, but what we would say is, and this is important for everyone to understand when it comes to relationships, um, we, again, are our brain again, is, is is wired to program things and to make them automatic. And so we have certain patterns we’ve created with our partners and our relationships that are just automatic. They, they react a certain way. We react that way. You know, we don’t, again, we don’t need to pay attention anymore because we’ve gotten used to these people. Our brain has frozen that we could do ticks

Brad (00:40:41):
Message while we’re arguing and that Oh, totally.

Elisha (00:40:44):
Exactly. Got

Brad (00:40:45):

Elisha (00:40:46):
And so the first step is really to be on the lookout again, in, in your relationship, where are you bracing? Um, and then by doing that, the very moment you notice that you’ve stepped into that space between stimulus and response, you’ve had a moment of mindfulness, I would say.

Brad (00:41:00):
So congratulations for noticing. You’re being an asshole again. There you are. For real. Right there. Yeah.

Elisha (00:41:04):
Yeah. Okay. And so then you soften your body, and then in that moment of awareness, you can choose like, well, how do I wanna pay attention? How do I wanna relate to this person right now? Maybe I wanna be curious about their experience versus telling them how I think their experience should be, or what I’m, you know, what I think the right way is. And in doing that, you create this opportunity to break outta the matrix again and create a moment of connection instead of moment of disconnection. Disconnection is like a feeling of imbalance. It’s a feeling of unhappiness. When we feel connected, we feel more balanced, we feel more happy. And so in our relationships, we wanna move towards like, okay, well what, what’s something I’m doing right now that can kind of create connection? And in order to do that, we need awareness. We need to pay attention. So we need to again, start training our ability to attend. And the first step there is learning how to relax

Brad (00:41:47):
The first step. So what’s the second step?

Elisha (00:41:50):
The second step is now attending, attending to, so now it’s like, I’m relaxing. Now what do I wanna pay attention to? Uhhuh <affirmative>. So now I’m starting to kind of tend for a little bit longer. Like again, we can, we can train our attention, we can start training our attention, our retraining, our attention in our life from the programming of the distraction and the distractibility we’ve been experiencing. That’s, that’s enhancing our stress by just paying attention to one thing at a time, just for a period of time. Just singletasking instead of multitasking. That’s it. Just like,

Brad (00:42:19):
Just as training the orange is a perfect example of something to do, do your work on.

Elisha (00:42:25):
Yeah. I was, I was actually hired not long ago by a company Sunkist

Brad (00:42:29):
Oranges. That

Elisha (00:42:31):
Would be good. This show was sponsored by, you’ll see me in the commercial with Big Smile. Oh yeah. Orange in, in the middle of my mouth. But by a beverage company that was asking me, does meditation and tasting this beverage have anything in common? Is there any connection there? I said, well, as long as it’s tasting it. Sure. Absolutely. And so I led a whole bunch of people in tasting, you know, this beverage in a particular wing could bring in their senses to it. Yeah. So you could do something called meta tasting. And so, you know, so the play off that, play off that word. And so we can, we can kind of bring our attention to singletasking with anything, whether it’s tasting food or a drink, or whether it’s washing the dishes, or whether it’s walking, or whether it’s listening to our, our partners or our friends, or whether in a business meeting instead of, and this is a huge crime in, in business right now, where there’s business meetings that can last like 2, 4, 6 hours and people are sitting there on their phones, like kind of answering emails and doing stuff like that.

Elisha (00:43:21):
But, what’s happening is the in the inefficiency is huge because they’re not actually paying attention to the meeting. And also what they’re training their brain in doing again, is multitasking and distractibility. And so if they just kind of put it down, soften their body, what they’d find is they’re more relaxed and they actually can, and they’re actually training their mind and they’re integrating and taking in more of what’s happening in the, with their partner, with their friend, with the meeting they’re making, they’re creating a feeling of connection, which is healthy and associated with happiness and wellbeing. And so yeah, we can connect with ourselves, we can connect with others. The first step is relaxing the nervous system, learning how to pay attention, just practicing paying attention on purpose.

Brad (00:44:02):
Dang. I’m also seeing the problem with the related problem of the 2, 4, 6 hour meeting. That’s boring as heck. Yeah. And so you’re compelled to whip out your phone. And I’m raising my hand, like I’m that guy. Like, I don’t like to be bored. Yeah. And I’m so happy to have my phone when I’m standing on the line at the bank because I then I don’t feel that frustration of wasting my day standing in line. ’cause I’m doing something, I’m catching up on email. But then you, you keep going down that path. And I can reference several times where I’ve been in a meeting and doing my own thing because the pace of the meeting wasn’t what I deemed to be productive. Or I was bored off my, you know, off my ass. So, um, then we’re, then we’re going into a bad pattern where we whip out the device anytime that we’re, we, we haven’t, you know, obtained the desired level of stimulus. Yeah.

Elisha (00:44:50):
We’ve probably, we’ve, we’ve just kind of done the program. I would argue that the, the meetings wouldn’t need to be foreign success, right. If people were paying attention. Right. That came much shorter.

Brad (00:44:57):
I mean, honestly, like if I’m in charge of the meeting and I see one person on their phone, that’s a great chance to, you know, recalibrate and say, Hey bud, do you wanna come up and, you know, should we do your presentation next? ’cause clearly you’re bored. I mean, that happened in third grade and we’ve forgotten about it. Now. I took my son to UCLA when he was in high school. He wanted to go to UCLA, he’s at UCLA now. And we, we went into a Greek classics class. We just busted into the room and there was a class going on, Hey, check this out, let’s go sit in the back. And there was two thirds of the kids had a device and even a laptop open doing other stuff. And they were scattered all over this large lecture room where they could have crammed into the first three rows.

Brad (00:45:39):
And the professor was going on with a slideshow and it was kind of boring, it was low energy. And I walk outta there. I’m like, here’s, here’s my thing. If I’m the professor, first of all I’m gonna say, here’s your choice. Bail, if you’re gonna use a device or come to the first three rows and I’m gonna rock your world and give you value added with a super funny, hilarious, memorable, fast moving lecture that’s gonna help you learn this stuff. ’cause when I went to college at UC Santa Barbara, I remember a handful of those professors, they would get standing ovations after their thing because we were so captivated by what they had to say Uhhuh. Yeah. And the way that they said it and the enthusiasm that they had. And then you go to other classes and they’re boring as heck and you’re whispering and passing notes and all that stuff. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s like, it’s on the professor for being that boring that some dude had to, he had a great snowboard video. It was right in his line of sight on his laptop, and this guy was shredding down, you know, the helicopter skiing. It’s not

Elisha (00:46:33):
Really, that’s way more stimulating. Yeah, yeah.

Brad (00:46:34):
It wasn’t a ski resort, it was just powder snowboarding in the Greek classics class at UCLA. But the whole thing, you know, was enlightening to me about how, how messed up we are on, on all directions.

Elisha (00:46:47):
Yeah. I would argue this, I wrote a blog quite a while ago called The Surprising Power of Waiting. And so, um, and the, and the intention there was, yes, we are addicted to stimulation. And so we feel bored. And as kids we’re kind of trained that you feel bored, go do something else. You know, figure it out. So sometimes I tell my kids, I go, dad, I’m bored. I’m like, you know, there’s a real power on boredom. It’s, you know, like, it’s good to get used to being bored sometimes, because, you know, the bored what’s underneath boredom is anxiety. It’s a restlessness. Like, I gotta be doing something else. This isn’t good enough. Right? Now I gotta do something. So imagine this. Imagine if you mastered restlessness and anxiety. Imagine if you create a mastery over restlessness and anxiety and restlessness. Anxiety no longer were a source of suffering.

Elisha (00:47:34):
Like, you can use stress again as a motivation. I don’t wanna get rid of stress. Stress, stress is really healthy. It’s part of being human. And at the same time, it has these, you know, after a certain amount of time, it has, you know, the, the, the results go down and down. And so depleting results. But if you weren’t controlled by anxiety, if restlessness no longer controlled you, but instead you can be aware of it and then choose what you wanted to do in the moment, you know, you would be way more grounded and balanced and focused and you would feel like a great sense of personal control, which is associated with feeling happy in life. So what’s the goal here? So is the goal, is the goal like, um, to keep, keep busy and engaged? Or is the goal to just feel good and feel happy and feel connected, you know, in this world, also productive and all of these things that we want like to be our in control of our lives, you know?

Elisha (00:48:29):
And so our emotions, the center part of our brain is the greatest filter for our thoughts and our actions. When we feel a particular, what we can have the same event happen to us. If we feel like really down and depressed or anxious, we’re gonna perceive it one way. If we feel like good, we just came into, like, Publisher’s Clearinghouse just paid us millions of dollars, and we had that same event that happened, it would like be water off a duck’s feathers, same event, depending how we’re feeling. So if we had mastery over our emotions, and we, we would feel great sense of control in our lives, and that would be the source of a very enduring happiness.

Brad (00:49:05):
So if I’m feeling restless in line at the bank, there you go. And I’m gonna put my phone away and just acknowledge my restless state and then do something about it, which could be noticing the artwork on the wall, the banker, or carrying a, starting a conversation out.

Elisha (00:49:21):
No, no. Here’s what I would do. Here’s what I would do. First you have to tell yourself, I’m not doing nothing right now. ’cause that’s the argument that’s coming to your mind. I don’t wanna waste my time like, I’m gonna check my phone. ’cause maybe I can, maybe I may be missing out on something or I can keep up with something. Right? Uh, to bring us back to where we started from, I’m not doing nothing. Actually, I’m training probably the most important, I’m creating the greatest sense of mental fitness right now by being aware of where the restlessness and discomfort is in my body, being curious about it. So connecting with myself. Remember connection as the foundation of feeling happy, And seeing if I can soften around it and see if I can kind of open around it a little bit. Take a deep breath, expand it, maybe like play with it, play with this feeling, and see if you can come into a place of feeling okay in that moment.

Elisha (00:50:13):
Because if you felt okay and good, like, okay, so then you can grab your phone or whatever, but do it from a place of consciousness and tension attention. Don’t do it from a place of impulse and compulsivity and obsession and stuff like that, right? That’s the first step you’re doing. You have the greatest opportunity. And I’m gonna get, we’re gonna get a lot of kickback on this from, what are you talking about? Nothing wrong with me on my phone. Um, that’s fine. So, but I would argue that, like, just consider this for a second. If you had mastery over your emotions, waiting gives you a great opportunity for emotions to arise, that restlessness, that anxiety, whatever, that discomfort, and see if you can identify where that lives in your body and be aware of it and soften around it, extend it, see if you can create mastery or around that.

Brad (00:50:58):
Yeah, I, reference many times in life. I’m sure you’ll have the same examples where you have some downtime and these incredible insights come to you. And I have this spiral notebook. I mean, I’m a writer and I have, my laptop is where I work, right? And I’m trying to do everything digitally. But once in a while, I’ll be sitting in the airplane gate. I’m not gonna get my laptop out ’cause I, I don’t want to bother for the 12 minutes. I’m waiting till they call my my row. But I’ll get the spiral notebook out and I’ll jot down some notes in a relaxed state knowing that I don’t have much time. So I’m not going for this four-hour binge where I’m gonna sit and be productive and have my coffee steaming off the desk like a real writer. No, I’m just going in and, and just feeling what’s coming out. And a lot of times that will represent the centerpiece and the most important insights that lead to many, many pages of a book. But they came out because I didn’t force it and I just was relaxed and letting it flow.

Elisha (00:51:55):
Oh yeah, totally. Yeah. Well that’s where when you’re relaxed, you’re, you, you’re more open to inspiration,

Brad (00:52:00):
Um, uh, more open to inspiration. Yeah,

Elisha (00:52:02):
Sure. To being inspired by something. And I know someone who’s been writing blogs for 10 years and written five books, you know, that the, the stuff that it, it’s the best when I, and it’s always the best when it comes from me being inspired by something when I have to try and really force something out. It’s never my best writing. It’s never the most interesting thing. You know, I write and it’ll get the least likes, you know, that are out there unless I create some clever title or something like that. But they, but, but when I’m inspired, when it’s like, Ooh, this is it. Like, when you’re able to relax, soften into it, you’re inspired. A great meditation to do, by the way, if anyone’s interested in it, is just to do a like a just a regular breathing meditation where you soften your body.

Elisha (00:52:45):
You just allow yourself to be aware of, of your body naturally breathing. But keep a notebook next to you. And when a thought comes up to you, a creative thought, pop outta the practice and jot that thought down and then go back into it. Because when you allow yourself to go into a state of just kind of, let’s say just basic meditation, like that you’re dipping beneath the operating system a little bit, the programming that’s been, you know, kind of soft wired into you, I would say, um, you know, through just growing up in this world and culture. Um, and you’re dipping beneath that and beneath that, sometimes some really fertile ground, some really creative ideas, some really kind of inspiring things. And, and you don’t wanna, you don’t wanna necess. And in doing this practice, you want to, you wanna capture them and write and write them down and then bring it back. Some people would argue that, well, if they’re really that important, just kinda leave them there and they’ll come back to you or something. But I would say just capture them. Yeah, capture them. Write ’em down. Yeah.

Brad (00:53:39):
Let then, then you clear your head for further meditation. It could be

Elisha (00:53:43):
That, right? Yeah.

Brad (00:53:44):
So the step one is to actively relax. Notice the places where you’re bracing, and then step two is attend to it and, and train yourself to overcome this distractibility and multitasking tendencies and just relax into it. So is there step three, I

Elisha (00:54:02):
Say step three is, that when you, fall off the path <laugh>, and you find yourself not doing this stuff, even though you had the intention and commitment to do it, that you forgive yourself for the time gone by. So step three is forgive. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> forgive yourself for the time gone by. ’cause the past is a past, there’s nothing you could do about it. You can learn from it. So investigate like what you, why, why you fell off, like what happened, you get sick or did you just kind of forget about it and fell into different old patterning, stuff like that. And then just invite yourself to begin again. Because now you’re in that space between stimulus and response again. And you can just say, I’m present. I can just begin again. No big deal. I fell off the bike. I’m gonna get back on. And I would say the final step, step four is to just repeat step three indefinitely. And you know, then you’ll be right on your way to mastery.

Brad (00:54:51):
Wow. That’s really big in the diet, fitness, body transformation scene. And as we all know, the failure rate of dieting Oh yeah. Is 99%. But they think that that’s, um, overstated because people drop out. In other words, it’s uhhuh, you know, it’s not even, it’s, it’s not even 1% is not even that good. It’s worse than that. But, when you fail and f fall off the wagon, people just take that and they get discouraged, and so they have less resolve, less resiliency to continue. And so it’s like kind of a self-defeating thing, rather than saying, oh, you blew your diet, uh, this weekend at the at the state fair. Well, let’s start Monday. And for some reason that’s not sticking. Like, it seems obvious, but why do people, why can’t people get that forgiveness part?

Elisha (00:55:46):
There’s a middle step that’s important there, which is to investigate like, what happened? Like why did I eat that cake at the, you know, or the, you know, that apple fritter at the mm-Hmm. <affirmative> State Fair, whatever it might be, right?

Brad (00:55:58):
Because my diet was too stressful and I hated it in the first place, et cetera, et cetera.

Elisha (00:56:02):
I was highly stressed. Yeah. I was, I was riddled with negative thoughts and you know, I got caught in autopilot and I went to self-soothing. I just, you know, or you know, I just, I just didn’t a great

Brad (00:56:12):
Job. A quote machine, you know, that man, this stuff Brian, he’s the audio guy that pulls off. I mean, it’s like, you know what? The best one, like this is the best I’ve ever heard, described what a habit is. It’s an intentional practice that you repeat until it becomes automatic and then it becomes, unpro

Elisha (00:56:31):
Program. Yeah. Yeah. It becomes a program. Beautiful.

Brad (00:56:33):
Yeah. Yeah. I feel like you should be a recurring guest on the show. ’cause this stuff is just fabulous. I really appreciate your game here. So let’s maybe describe what you got going on here at the center or on your intensive online course for people.

Elisha (00:56:47):
Yeah. I would just say that the biggest thing is really this. You know, what, what I’ve found is in doing all the things that we’ve been talking about, um, is what’s hardest for people is the endurance part. To kind of make it last. You have to make a commitment. You have to practice and repeat something over a period of time to make it actually a habit. And, um, so I realized that the pl that people need time in order to create a habit. And the more complex the habit is really the more time we need. So that whole, like 28 days or 21 days to create a habit, that’s okay if you’re like just kind of drinking water or something as a habit, <laugh>, you know, something kind of simple. But if it’s like something more complex, you need more time. Oh, and then in order for, because of this optical delusion of separateness, you and I have been talking about, it actually takes like people who are, that you surround yourself with who are inspiring to you, that can make it easier if you had a tribe around you who were all doing the things that you wanted to do that would naturally lift you up and create, help you create motivation and permission to do this type of stuff.

Elisha (00:57:47):
So what I did is I created a six-month online immersion mentorship program. We called a coaching program called A Course in Mindful Living. And basically what happens is, um, in doing that, we’re trying to support people and doing exactly what you, you and I were talking about today. Helping them learn how to actively re uh, relax their nervous systems, helping them focus, helping them be more aware in their lives and the, and helping them learn how to self-soothe during the difficult times and feel more connected and balanced. And the, the payoff of that is we’re more in control of our lives. Um, we pay attention to what matters more, and inevitably we support a greater sense of resiliency and happiness in our lives. And that’s at home and at work. And so we integrate coaching throughout the program. So people are assigned a particular coach.

Elisha (00:58:30):
They have one-to-one a, one-to-one connection with, and a group connection with. And they have access to engaging these coaches regularly throughout the program. And they go through a really systematic six month program that’s surrounded by community. So the intention is that throughout the program, they connect with people. Um, locally, they can press a button and find people in their area if they want to, but they connect people connect with people, um, throughout the program, and they start to develop relationships with them. And even if they’re online relationships, um, the very touches they give to these people on a regular basis naturally starts to program this sense within their, their minds that they’re supportive and they have a community of inspiring people around them that helps support the commitment that they wanna make. And so that’s the, that’s a six month program. The next one, I think, um, registration, uh, starts September 24th. Um, and that

Brad (00:59:20):
Will be the next be doing it together. We do

Elisha (00:59:22):
It all together the whole time. So yeah, September 24th, and then the actual course begins October 15th.

Brad (00:59:28):
Oh my goodness. We’re have to put this podcast out. Uh, before that. We’re gonna, we’re gonna jump the line up. I

Elisha (00:59:33):
Guess I threw that, I guess I threw those dates out there. Yeah,

Brad (00:59:35):
Dr. Elisha Goldstein. Fabulous stuff. I’m, I’m going to, I’m gonna get a whole, a whole crew into the, into the course. This is great. This sounds exciting. Thank you so much for spending the time on the show, and I know you gotta go to your, your next mindful appointment. So glad to catch up to you. Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email, podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.



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