Tag Archives: Health

The HeartMath Solution: The Heartmath Institute’s Revolutionary Program for Engaging the Power of the Heart’s Intelligence by Doc Lew Childre, Howard Martin, Donna Beech

Summary
  1. Our heart has an intelligence which impacts our physical/mental/emotional health more than most people realize. This book will teach you how to harness the power of the heart to potentially help you make better decisions, better control your emotions, increase personal productivity, slow down aging, enhance creativity, and many more positive benefits
Key Takeaways
  1. Why the heart and the HeartMath Solution?
    1. Our theory is that the heart links us to a higher intelligence through an intuitive domain where spirit and humanness merge. We can develop the perceptual capacity as we learn to do with stages and philosophers have asked us to do for ages simply listen to and follow the wisdom of the heart. Heart intelligence is truly emotional intelligence and we’ve concluded that intelligence and intuition are heightened when we learn to listen more deeply to our own heart
    2. Too often the relationship of our thoughts and emotions and how they effect physical change is ignored
    3. Health is a delicate balance of rhythm, while disease (“dis-ease”) results from dis-rhythm
    4. The heart is at the core of our body and at the core of how we think and feel. The solution is derived from realizing that the heart is both a physical object, a rhythmic organ, and love itself
    5. By practicing the HeartMath solution, you’ll be able to clearly see when you’re in stress. Then you can use Freeze-Frame to determine your best course of action. But even once you have intuitive clarity on what to do, you may still experience residues of uncomfortable or perplexing feelings. When those residues clog the system, you need to apply Cut-Thru, shifting your emotional state so that you’re not only thinking better but also feeling better. Both intelligence and intuition are heightened when we learn to listen more deeply to our own hearts
    6. Activating heart intelligence + managing the mind + managing the emotions = energy efficiency, increased coherence, enhanced awareness, and greater productivity.
    7. A primary goal of the HeartMath Solution is to increase coherence, bringing us to a state of optimal efficiency. Stress creates incoherence in our system, so increasing coherence necessitates reducing stress.
    8. The goal of HeartMath is to help you learn to generate emotional and mental coherence deliberately – on demand – so that ultimately you spend more of your day at this optimal, regenerative level of energy efficiency
  2. 10 key techniques and tools that govern the HeartMath solution
    1. Acknowledge your heart intelligence and its importance for making choices big and small
    2. Reduce stress and live more often in a state of coherence
    3. Learn and apply Freeze Frame which creates a balance between the two branches of the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic and parasympathetic
    4. Accumulate energy assets and decreased energy deficits
    5. Activate core heart feelings such as love compassion courage patients sincerity forgiveness appreciation care and more
    6. Manage your emotions
    7. Care but don’t overcare – when we care too much, it turns into anxiety, worry, insecurity
    8. Learn and apply Cut-Thru – a method to help you stop experiencing emotions that create incoherence and energy deficits
    9. Do heart Lock-Ins – amplifies the power of your heart. Quieting the mind and sustaining a solid connection with the heart – locking into its power – adds buoyancy and regenerative energy to your entire system. it also makes it easier to stay in contact with your heart intelligence and its intuitive messages amidst your daily activities
    10. Actualize what you know – applying all these tools to your daily life
  3. Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
    1. Our emotional states are reflected best in our heart rhythms, as seen in HRV measurements. HRV is defined as a measurement of beat-to-beat changes in the heart rate. Loss of variability is actually a sign of disease and a strong predictor of future health problems. In essence, HRV is a measure of the flexibility of our heart and nervous system, and as such reflects our health and fitness. It also allows us to listen in on and interpret ongoing, two-way conversations between our heart and our brain and is an important measurement to how well we’re balancing our lives mentally and emotionally. Disharmony in our heart rhythms leads to inefficiency and increased stress on the heart and other organs, while harmonious rhythms are more efficient and less stressful to the body’s systems. Our heart rhythms affect the brain’s ability to process information, make decisions, and solve problems, and experience and express creativity.
    2. Head is great at pattern recognition but it can easily get locked into set patterns. Getting locked into this closed mindset can often hurt us and cut off our creativity. The intelligence of the heart, on the other hand, processes information in a less linear, more intuitive and direct way. The heart isn’t only open to new possibilities, it actively scans for them, ever seeking new, intuitive understanding. The head “knows” but the heart “understands”
    3. The head often leads us into rationalizing and conceptualizing an issue instead of actualizing what the heart already knows and has communicated. When we react to life from the head without joining forces with the heart, our single-mindedness often leads us into childish, inelegant behavior that we’re ashamed of. If, on the other hand, we get the head in sync with the heart, we have the power of their teamwork on our side and can make the changes we know we ought to make
    4. The lower heart refers to those feelings that are colored by the attachments and conditions placed on them by the mind. Conditional love is a good example. The higher heart is more allowing. It doesn’t hedge or barter. Authenticity is its own reward for the higher heart. But it takes emotional maturity to manifest the heart’s qualities with consistency
    5. When we learn to manage our emotions long enough to stop and shift our attention to the quieter message of the heart, we can gain a wider perspective on any situation, often saving ourselves from hurt, frustration, and pain
  4. Entrainment
    1. The heart is the strongest biological oscillator in the human system and therefore, the rest of the body’s systems are pulled into entrainment with the hearty’s rhythms. The heart communicates with the rest of the body in three ways: neurologically (nerve impulses), biochemically (hormones and neurotransmitters), and biophysically (pressure waves). However, there may be a fourth way – energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). The heart’s EMF is the most powerful produced by the body, it not only permeates every cell in the body but also radiates outside of us; it can be measured up to 8-10 feet away with sensitive detectors called magnetometers. It not only affects our own brains and bodies but can also be registered by the people around us. When your body is in entrainment, its major systems work in harmony. Your biological systems operate at higher efficiency because of that harmony, and as a result you think and feel better
    2. When we get the head in sync with the heart, the power of both works for us and we can make changes that we know we ought to make
    3. Can develop their ability to maintain entrainment by sustaining sincere, heart-focused states such as appreciation and love
  5. Freeze-Frame
    1. A technique to increase and improve the communication between your heart and mind while reducing stress. It is invaluable for managing thoughts to prevent the needless depletion of energy. Because this technique increases mental clarity, it will help you make sound decisions, even in what would formerly have been highly stressful situations
    2. It is important to monitor our inner thoughts and feelings. Some of it adds energy, while others deplete it. Understanding energy assets and deficits provides a key to accessing your heart intelligence. Core heart feelings such as appreciation, non-judgment, and forgiveness increase energy assets and eliminate many deficits.
    3. We can look at life as a high-speed movie. We get so caught up in the momentum of the story that we forge that it’s made up of individual moments. From one minute to the next, we having an astonishing range of thoughts, emotions, and experiences. So, Freeze-Frame enhances your power to stop your reaction to the move of life at any moment. It allows you to get a clearer perspective on what’s happening in a single frame and allows you to edit the next frame from a point of balance and understanding. It can be done anytime, anywhere, whenever you want to stop stress in its tracks and get quick intuitive access. Setting daily alarms and reminders can be helpful
    4. You must learn to entrain your biological systems to your heart. This allows in access to new information and a shift in perfection. By shifting focus toward your heart and away from whatever problem you face, you divert energy from your perception of the problem. When you consciously act from a point of heart balance, you connect more naturally with what real self – not your reactive self – wants to think or do. Listening to your heart isn’t hard, but attuning to its inner signals is different for everyone and often takes a little practice
    5. Don’t underestimate the power of neutral. The ability to find neutral, and stay put there until your heart shows you clearly what to do, is a sign of balance and maturity. The neutral state is a conduit for objectivity in the moment
    6. The 5-step process creates a harmonious relationship between the head and the heart
      1. Recognize the stressful feeling and Freeze-Frame it. Take a time out
      2. Make a sincere effort to shift your focus away from the racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. Pretend you’re breathing through your heart to help focus your energy in this area. Keep your focus there for ten seconds or more
      3. Recall a positive, fun feeling or time you’ve had in life and try to experience it
      4. Now, using your intuition, common sense, and sincerity, ask your heart, what would be a more efficient response to the situation, one that would minimize future stress?
      5. Listen to what your heart says in answer to your question. It’s an effective way to put your reactive mind and emotions in check and an in-house source of common sense solutions
    7. When to practice
      1. At transition points (from home to work or work to home) so that you are fully present in the moment
      2. Before conversations
      3. Any time communication is going off-track
      4. At the beginning of the day – set the tone for positive activity, calibrate your system for a coherent day, clear mental and emotional cobwebs
      5. At the end of the day, to feel positive completion of the day and ensure a good night’s sleep
  6. Coherence
    1. The state that makes the difference between a book light and a laser beam. Inner coherence is a benchmark of intelligence and a cornerstone of effective living.
    2. When a system is coherent, virtually no energy is wasted, because all its components are operating in harmony. When every system in your body is aligned, your personal power is at its peak. Learning to cultivate that rewarding state of coherence enhances our ability to adapt, to flex, and to innovate. It allows us to rapidly get back to a feeling of balance and poise after stressful events and to improve communication, health, and overall well-being. A balanced heart and agile mind create access to innate intelligence and an enhanced capacity for greater internal coherence – the optimal state of being
    3. An age of rising complexity, speed, distractions is taking away from our ability to be in coherence so, those who are able to, have a greater advantage than ever before. New research has found that what creates more stress for people than any other is having to shift concepts, intentions, and focus to too many different tasks, many times an hour.
    4. Lack of coherence affects our vision, listening ability, reaction time, mental clarity, feeling states, and sensitivity.
    5. It’s a vicious cycle: stress destroys coherence, and incoherence causes stress. Chronic stress is one of the most prevalent and dangerous situations today and affects every part of our health and psyche. The brain doesn’t know between real threat and perceived threat so the physical and emotional reaction is the same. Indulging anger is harmful in more ways than one. So, if we can’t express it or repress it, what do we do? The answer is to recognize the anger but choose to respond to the situation differently.
    6. The solution to stress management lies in how we perceive the stressors in our lives. It’s not really the events that cause stress; it’s how we perceive those events. Improving the communication between the heart and brain helps one achieve coherence. By paying attention to our perceptions and reactions, we can eliminate the chronic stress that seeps through our bodies like a slow poison. Learning how to alter our standard stress reactions by perceiving life’s events from a place of intuition, balance, poise, and flexibility require a major shift – through a shift from head to heart
    7. Heart + Head = Coherence
      1. The brain is not the sole source of intelligence. We can realize that it’s a  remarkable partner to the heart, not its master
  7. Energy efficiency
    1. Mental and emotional diets determine our overall energy levels, health, and well-being to a far greater extent than most people realize. Every thought, feeling, no matter how big or small, impacts our inner energy reserves
    2. Life is an energy economy game. Each day ask yourself, “Are my energy expenditures (actions, reactions, thoughts, and feelings) productive or nonproductive? During the course of my day, have I accumulated more stress or more peace?
    3. Keeping an asset/deficit sheet for a few days will give you a clear picture of your energy account
    4. Consciously evoking core heart feelings nourishes our bodies at every level
    5. Learning to “just say no” to emotional reactions isn’t repression. Saying no means not engaging the frustration, anger, judgement, or blame. Without engagement, you won’t have anything to repress
    6. By using your heart as a compass, you can see more clearly which direction to go to stop self-defeating behavior. If you take just one mental or emotional habit that really bothers or drains you and apply heart intelligence to it, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your life
  8. Power Tools of the Heart
    1. Sincerity is the generator that brings core heart feelings such as appreciation and forgiveness into coherence and gives them power. By coming into coherence, we learn to take our emotions from a light bulb to a laser beam, applying them with focused intention and consistency. Sincerity is essential, it motivates our heart and aligns our true intentions.
    2. Power Tool 1: Appreciation
      1. Appreciation is a blend of thankfulness, admiration, approval, and gratitude
      2. It is magnetic and highly energizing, helping to bring you into coherence and entrainment
      3. Opening your heart is like putting a wide-angle lens on the camera of your perception. Suddenly, more of the world comes into view
    3. Power Tool 2: Non-judgment
      1. Judgments create stress and incoherence, and these limit the full range of our intelligence. Yet we’re socially conditioned to judge
      2. One of the most important things to note about the downside of judgment is that the person judging is the one who’s hurt the most
      3. Making a mistake and then judging yourself harshly is simply adding fuel to the fire
      4. The heart can give you the awareness needed to become more neutral, letting things unfold. That’s what non-judgment is all about. It allows you to be aware of your opinions but always be open to new thoughts, actions, ideas, people, etc.
      5. When you find yourself in strong judgment, use the Freeze-Frame technique to get neutral and find a more balanced, intuitive perspective
    4. Power Tool 3: Forgiveness
      1. You don’t forgive others for their sake, but for yours. Forgiveness is simply the most energy-efficient option you face, and the only one that will foster health and well-being
      2. The incoherence that results from holding on to resentments and unforgiving attitudes keeps you from being aligned with your true self and blocks you from your next level of quality life experience
      3. Forgiving yourself is often the hardest part but also the most important. Compromised forgiveness means that somehow the effort was incomplete. That lack of completion can mean the difference between a breakthrough into a completely new and different life experience and the same old patterns repeating themselves.
    5. Fulfillment is based on two elements: awareness and performance. Self-development comes from the increased awareness of where you are right now and learning what is needed in order to grow. And self-expression is how you perform, what you do about it
  9. Management of emotions
    1. Emotion = energy in motion. It’s the feeling sensation and physiological reaction that make a specific emotion positive or negative, and it’s our thoughts about it that give it meaning.
    2. Emotional energy works at a higher speed than the speed of thought because your feeling world operates at a higher level than your mind. We evaluate everything emotionally as we perceive it. We think about it afterwards
    3. Heart coherence helps balance our emotional state. It aligns head and heart to facilitate higher brain function, which appears to create a direct link to intuition or super-high-speed intelligence. Intuition bypasses mental analysis and gives us direct perception independent of any reasoning process. Intuition gives us clarity on how to direct and manage our feelings before we invest emotional energy into them
    4. Emotions in themselves aren’t really intelligent but have an organizing intelligence behind them. How we organize our thoughts and emotions and what we do with them reflect our intelligence. When we let our unmanaged thoughts dictate how we respond emotionally, we’re asking for trouble
    5. A benchmark of new emotional management lies in realizing that our past can no longer be blamed for our actions in the present
    6. Biochemistry affects our emotional responses, but our emotions affect our biochemistry in turn as well. Biochemicals are actually the physiological correlates of emotions
    7. Emotional intelligence implies the ability to self-regulate our moods, control our impulses, delay gratification, persist despite frustration, and motivate ourselves. When we’re equipped with these strengths, the twists and turns of life don’t get us down. We roll with them
    8. There are two major mind-sets that quickly compromise efforts at emotional management: justification and principle. These mind-sets trap your emotional energy in hurt, blame, fear, disappointment, betrayal, regret, remorse, and/or guilt, which create cumulative drain and deficits in your system. Any rationalization of deficit emotions traps our emotional energy in hurt, blame, fear, disappointment, betrayal, regret, remorse, or guilt
    9. Taking the significance out of issues and events is second nature to adults dealing with kids but we don’t tend to offer that same help to ourselves. The problem is that when we ignore one deficit emotion and refuse to take the significance out even after we’re aware of it, the emotional depletion builds, undermining our progress in other areas
    10. One of the main keys to emotional management is learning to quickly arrest a draining or deficit emotion and generate an attitude shift from a place of deep heart maturity. To reclaim the energy out of a deficit emotion, we have to take out the significance we’ve assigned to it. To take the significance out, we first make an effort to back off; then the heart can open up.
    11. Emotions liquefied become flow, and mind aligned with heart becomes intuition
  10. Care and Overcare
    1. Care is a powerful motivator. It inspires and gently reassures us. Care feels good – whether we’re giving it or receiving it. Care provides a conduit for your spirit’s expression in the midst of human existence. The more you truly care, the more you’ll come to know of yourself and others
    2. When we cross the line into overcare, our original caring is tainted by stress. It then becomes self-defeating, because it compromises our available energy to perform
    3. Perfectionism, over-attachment, projection of thoughts/mental images about the future, worry, anxiety, insecurity, expectations, comparisons are all manifestations of overcare
    4. Signals from the heart let you know when your care has become overcare, if you’re willing to listen. Every time you eliminate an overcare, the relief is tremendous, and you store away power that makes fighting overcare easier the next time
  11. Cut-Thru
    1. The purpose of Cut-Thru is to help people recognize and reprogram the subconscious emotional memory paths that, through long-term reinforcement, influence our perception, color our day-to-day thoughts and feelings, and condition our responses to future situations. Cut-Thru is for more deeply ingrained emotional issues than Freeze-Frame can help you resolve
    2. Cut-Thru facilitates emotional coherence and allows you to transform emotions you don’t want into new, regenerative feelings. And it does so without resorting to rationalization or repression
    3. Use Cut-Thru to shift out of emotions that are draining your energy, regain emotional balance, and eliminate long-standing emotional issues
    4. Managing emotions with Cut-Thru requires that you first recognize how you’re feeling. Breathing through the heart and solar plexus helps you anchor your emotions. Assuming objectivity leads to emotional maturity
    5. Cut-Thru helps you build your self-motivation, emotional capabilities, empathy, and you’ll begin to move through life at the most efficient speed possible – the speed of balance
    6. The 6 Steps of Cut-Thru
      1. Be aware of how you feel about the issue at hand
      2. Focus on the heart and solar plexus – breathe love and appreciation through this area for ten seconds or more to help anchor your attention there
      3. Assume objectivity about the feeling or issue – as if it were someone else’s problem
      4. Rest in neutral – in your rational, mature heart
      5. Soak and relax any disturbed or perplexing feelings in the compassion of the heart, dissolving the significance a little at a time. Take your time doing this step; there’s no time limit. Remember, it’s not the problem that causes energy drain as much as the significance you assign the problem
      6. After extracting as much significance as you can, from your deep heart sincerely ask for appropriate guidance or insight. If you don’t get an answer, find something to appreciate for a while. Appreciation of anything often facilitates intuitive clarity on issues you’ve been working on
  12. Heart Lock-In
    1. This technique helps you discover that you have your own internal source of regeneration. Quieting the mind and sustaining a solid connection with the heart – locking into its power – adds buoyancy and regenerative energy to your entire system. The more your core heart feelings come into play, the more you realize how much can be gained from a loving, open-hearted perspective. It helps with coherence, entrainment, improves immune functions, helping with mental, physical, and emotional health
  13. HeartMath in school and at home
    1. Heart Lock-In can be done with your children at the start of family time, quality time, or before dinner or bed
    2. Having kids do Freeze-Frame or Cut-Thru helps them calm emotions, better communicate, gain mental clarity, gain wider perspective and better understand what they’re feeling and why. Fostering emotional management from the heart may be one of the greatest gifts you can give children
    3. When emotions run high at school or during sports, performing these same techniques will have similar positive effects
What I got out of it
  1. Some really helpful tips and shows the power of coherence, HRV, entrainment, breathing properly, the power of neutrality. A physical, minimum effective dose to get many (not nearly all!) of the benefits associated with meditation.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

Summary
  1. An incredible in depth look at sleep, the research behind it, and its vast array of benefits – mentally, emotionally, physically
Key Takeaways
  1. 12 Healthy sleep habits tips
    1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule – setting an alarm an hour before bedtime to know when to start winding down is often helpful
      1. A consistent bed time and wake time is really important. You would think that if you normally sleep 8 hours and cut off 2 hours in the morning, that you’re losing 25%, right? Nope – because of sleep cycles and their timing, you could be losing around 60-90% of vital REM sleep
    2. Get 30 minutes of exercise per day but not 2-3 hours before bed
    3. Avoid big dinners and drinking too many liquids before sleep
    4. Avoid alcohol before sleep
    5. Avoid caffeine and nicotine
    6. Avoid medicines which delay or disrupt your sleep
    7. Relax for at least 30 minutes without too many lights or stimulation for at least a half hour before bed
    8. Take a hot bath before bed as this helps your core body temperature drop letting you fall sleep faster and get deeper sleep
    9. Don’t take naps after 3 PM
      1. A long night sleep with a 30 to 60 minute nap in the afternoon seems to be the ideal scenario that our ancestors formed and that we should try to follow if possible
    10. Have a dark, cold (between 65 and 68°F) and technology free bedroom
    11. Get enough sunlight at the right times – try to get at least half an hour out of direct sunlight a day and emphasize it in the morning and try to avoid it as much as possible in the evenings with sunglasses and by staying inside
    12. Don’t lie in bed awake – if you’re having trouble falling asleep or feel anxious get out of bed and do something relaxing but don’t just lie there
  2. 2/3 of adults don’t get enough sleep and this has horrible physical, mental and emotional health detriments.  It is one of the four core human drives along with needing to eat, drink, and reproduce and it is found across the entire animal kingdom. Although this would lead us to believe it is extremely important, sleep has been neglected for a long time and most people put it off and take the point of view that they’ll sleep when they’re dead and this will only get them there that much quicker
  3. There appears to be no major organ or physical or emotional function which does not benefit from deep sleep and which does not get harmed by lack of sleep. It helps with memory, learning, making rational decisions, being emotionally stable, helping us maintain weight, boosting our immune system, consolidating memories, giving the brain a “virtual reality” space to play out ideas and memories and put them into long-term storage. Sleep helps consolidate memories and put them into long-term storage but by also thinking about which memories you want to save before you go to bed you could increase their clarity even further
  4. Melatonin is the night time hormone which gets released to tell the body to start preparing for sleep. Sleep pressure is caused by adenosine and it is the second portion of why we get sleepy but caffeine and other stimulants block it which is why they help us feel more awake
  5. The suprachiasmatic nucleus controls the circadian rhythms of our bodies which in turn controls hormones, appetite, when we want to sleep, body temperature and much more
  6. It is a genetic predisposition and not a choice whether we are morning or late night people
  7. 3 easy questions to determine if you’re sleep deprived: Do you wake up without an alarm? Could you fall asleep by 11am? Could you function at a high level without caffeine?
  8. Caffeine has a longer half life than most people realize: a cup at lunch could still be affecting you by bedtime so that you don’t get as deep of a sleep as you otherwise would
  9. Sleep is Mother Nature’s best attempt at contra-death
  10. There is no replacement for proper sleep – not caffeine, not willpower, not brief naps, nothing
  11. Sleep is a unifying feature of the animal kingdom found across all birds and mammals although the time and specifics change quite dramatically
  12. The author argues that REM sleep is one of the most important things that has shaped us evolutionarily and helps us with our complex socio-cultural and emotional signals that we have to deal with as being part of a complex society.  And, equally as important, REM sleep seems to help with creativity and these two factors help to humans get on top of the world hierarchy extremely quickly
  13. Sleep not only helps consolidate memories but also helps incorporate skills such as music, sports, movement, and other things. Pianists often find that after practicing for a day that they can wake up the next morning play the new tune perfectly
  14. 10 consecutive days of seven hours of sleep impairs you as much as going a full day without sleep
  15. The brain cannot accurately assess how sleep deprived it is when it is sleep deprived
  16. REM sleep and dreaming are necessary for emotional healing to take place after difficult or traumatic events
  17. When lacking sleep, we revert to a more primordial reactive state where we don’t consider the broad picture, the true context, or the people we are dealing with and it is partially responsible for when you just “snap”
  18. Lack of dreaming distorts your ability to recognize faces and facial patterns confusing friendly gestures for menacing ones and making you more jumpy and aggressive
  19. Dreaming helps you problem solve and become more creative and some people have tried to control this aspect through lucid dreaming to help them in their work, lives, or business (and sometimes successfully so!).
  20. It is sleep and dreaming which helps you connect disparately connected facts, it is the difference between knowledge and wisdom
  21. Snooze buttons are terrible for our health as they jolt us out of sleep not once like an alarm does but several different times
  22. Teenagers’ circadian rhythm‘s are shifted later in the day and there has been great success with schools who experimented with later start times. Teenagers starting at 8 AM would be similar to most adults having to get up and get ready at around 3 AM. There are many pragmatic reasons why this is difficult to do but the it has shown that by shifting start times later there is a 70% reduction in teen traffic mortality rates.
  23. Another side-effect of lacking sleep may be ADHD. Young kids who are sleep deprived show many similar symptoms which are associated with ADHD and may be part of the reason why this diagnosis has become so much more common in modern times. Many students aren’t actually hyper active but merely lacking sleep
  24. For businesses he recommends setting up some sort of incentive system to get people to sleep more. He recommends using a sleep credit system where total hours of sleep and sleep continuity are measured in the rewards are either financial or extra time off and vacations
What I got out of it
  1. Incredible data backing up and reinforcing how important sleep is. The 12 sleep tips alone made this worthwhile

Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon by Joe Dispenza

Summary
  1. “This book will show you how to accept your future dream as your current reality and to do so in a way that your body believes is happening “now.” You can discover how to set into motion a cascade of emotional and physiological processes that reflect your new reality. The neurons in your brain, the sensory neurites in your heart, and the chemistry in your body all harmonize to mirror the new thinking, and the quantum possibilities of life are rearranged to replace the unwanted circumstances of your past with the new circumstances that you’ve accepted as the present. The hope is that this book provides a roadmap for how to achieve some of these transcendental experiences yourself.”
Key Takeaways
  1. We are not linear beings living linear lives but dimensional beings living dimensional lives
  2. It takes a clear intent (coherent brain) and an elevated emotion (a coherent heart (to begin to change a persons biology from living in the last to living in the future. That combination of mind and body – of thoughts and feelings – also seems to influence matter. And that’s how you create reality
  3. All frequencies carry information, including the electromagnetism our bodies give off
  4. There are several energy centers within the body with their own chemistries, hormones, and brains and can be influenced to be more balanced and integrated. Learning how to shift from outer to inner focus (beta to alpha waves) is key to being able to program the autonomic nervous system
  5. The more you understand the science and reasoning behind these meditations and practices, the easier you’ll be able to accept and give into them
  6. There is a future you – a you who already exists in the eternal present moment – who is actually calling himself to the more familiar you who is reading this book. And that future you is more loving, more evolved, more conscious, more present, more kind, more exuberant, more mindful, more willful, more connected, more supernatural, and more whole. That is who is waiting for you to change your energy to match his or her energy on a daily basis so you can find that future you – who actually exists in the eternal now. And the only way you can create a new life, heal your body, or change your predictable future is to get beyond yourself. It takes practice to live in the present moment rather than the predictable future or familiar past
  7. The quantum world, the fifth dimension, is not available through normal senses but only when we’re totally present can we transcend and reach this space where all potential futures are available to you. The quantum of unified field is an invisible field of energy and information – or you could say a field of intelligence or consciousness – that exists beyond space and time. Nothing physical or material exists there. It’s beyond anything you can perceive with your senses. This unified field of energy and information is what governs all the laws of nature. Dispenza thinks of the quantum field as energy which is self-organizing intelligence. The quantum field is filled with infinite amounts of energy vibrating beyond the physical world of matter and beyond our senses – invisible waves of energy available for us to use in creation
  8. The brain thinks but the heart knows. The heart is the center of oneness, wholeness and unity consciousness
  9. Physiologically, stress is akin to fighting for survival. No organism can live in this space for extended periods of time but in today’s world, many humans are at a low level of stress at all times. All energy is sent to deal with external threats and there is nothing left for internal growth and repair, compromising the immune system. But, with proper focus, meditation and breathing techniques, you can teach your brain and body what your ideal future state will feel like ahead of the actual experience. Your brain and body does not know the difference between the real event and the one you imagine and emotionally embrace. You can pull your present self into the future by having this intention crystal clear in your mind and body
  10. Emotions are the chemical consequences (or feedback) of past experiences. The stronger the emotional quotient from any event – good or bad – the stronger the change in our internal chemistry. An experience becomes imprinted on the neural circuitry, and the emotion is then stored in the body – and that’s how our past becomes our biology
  11. It is difficult and takes time but have to completely surrender, get out of the way and let go of wanting any specific outcome and simply open up to possibility
  12. First have to master the concept of the present moment: the eternal now. Have to transcend the physical world and your identity and even time itself in order to turn possibility into reality. You have to get out of your own way, transcend the memory of yourself as an identity and allow something greater than you, something mystical, to take over.
  13. Mind is the brain in action. Your brain is a product of the past; a living record of everything you have learned and experienced up to the present
  14. Becoming aware of your thoughts is so important because thoughts influence feelings which influence behavior which influence life in a virtuous or negative cycle
  15. Changing up your routine and trying new things forces you to be more present and aware because you have to be in the moment and can’t go on autopilot. If not in the present moment, you’re probably in a program (habit). There is no room for the unknown in a predictable life. The unknown is unfamiliar, uncertain – but it’s also exciting because it occurs in ways you cannot expect or anticipate
    1. Something I need to incorporate more of: getting out of habits and routines (even though I feel they’re positive) to allow more space for the unknown and spontaneous to enter my life. Need energy to create an unknown experience in a new timeline if want to change something
  16. Think of emotion as energy in motion, they are the chemical residues of experiences. Brain creates electrical charges through neurons and when these thoughts create chemical neurons that result in an emotion, those feelings create a magnetic charge. These merge to create an electromagnetic field equal to your state of being. Only way to change our lives is to change our energy – to change the electromagnetic field we are constantly broadcasting. In other words, to change our state of being, we have to change how we think and how we feel. What you put your attention on and mentally rehearse over and over again not only becomes who you are from a biological perspective, it also determines your future. An internal focus rather than external (inside body rather than imagining seeing self as though in a movie) had much more profound effects in muscle growth visualizing practices. Shows the power thought alone can have on the body. You have to think greater than how you feel to make any real, lasting changes
    1. Honor this by taking an internal view and comparing self to previous self rather than others
  17. Now know that it’s not the gene that creates disease but both the external and internal environments that program our genes to create the disease.
  18. Experiences enrich the brain. Possessions fracture it’s energy, focus and attention. When outer world objects such as people, problems, social media, etc. take so much of your attention and energy, there is little left for you to put on your inner world of thoughts and feelings. What you own eventually comes to own you – becoming a victim of your life rather than the creator of your life. Too many outside distractions gets your brain to fire out of order and to work inefficiently and out of sync. When your brain is incoherent, you get incoherent. How much of your energy is taken up by possessions, fear, greed, envy, etc. that could otherwise be put to creating a new destiny? This is a shift from somebody to no body, from something to no thing, from being somewhere to being no where, from being in linear time to being in no time. The different compartments that were once subdivided now start to unify and move toward a coherent, whole-brain state – where your brain can synchronize, organize and integrate. The brain then can slow down and connect with our autonomic nervous system, healing the body as our consciousness merges with its consciousness.
  19. Goal of meditation is to create a reality from a world beyond your senses that’s defined not by your body as the mind but by you as the mind. So as you become aware of the program, you keep settling your body down into the present moment. The body wants to return to the familiar past because it wants to engage in a predictable future, but you keep settling it back down. Each time you overcome those automatic thoughts and habits, your will becomes greater than your program, you are reconditioning your body to a new mind. The hardest part of every war is the last battle. Push through this final stage to reach the unknown where all possibilities await
  20. Just like an electron appears when we observe it but when we don’t it is a wave (possibility), focusing on our life gets you the known and by getting past this,being in the eternal present, and focusing on the unknown, turns your life into possibility. The longer you can linger in that field of infinite possibilities, without putting your attention on your body, on things, or on people, places, and time, the longer you invest your energy into the unknown, the more you are going to create a new experience or new possibilities in your life. It’s the law. Need clear intention and elevated emotion – creating an electromagnetic signature that is equal to your state of being. You will literally tune in to the energy of a new future and the unified field will help endorse your creation
  21. Paradox: The unknown has never let me down. Difficult, but surrender to it
  22. These meditations will help you get in syntropy (opposite of entropy) by being aware and able to tune into higher energy frequencies
  23. Meditate by using both convergent (narrow) focus and divergent (open, broad) focus by putting awareness to different parts of the body as well as the space surrounding the body, bringing you into coherence. Focusing on no thing, focusing on information rather than matter, allows your brain waves to slow down and move from beta to alpha – sensing and feeling rather than thinking. This allows you to move into the seat of your body’s operating system, the ANS, and work in a more holistic fashion
  24. Energy centers have their own biological make up, glands, hormones, chemicals and individual mini brains. They help us in different ways and bringing attention to them brings energy to them – ka, pituitary, pineal, thyroid, heart, adrenal, digestive and pancreatic, sexual (chakras). Getting that circuit flowing the way it was designed to is the whole point of doing the Blessing of the Energy Centers meditation – we bless each of these centers so we can get stuck energy flowing again. When our consciousness is not evolving, neither is our energy
  25. Coherence is an orderly expression of frequency
  26. The viral electromagnetic field of light we emit is who we really are. When we are stressed, our body consumer too much energy from this light field and our body can’t grow and repair. This leads to disease or imbalance. Can repair this through a more balanced lifestyle
  27. Energy Centers meditation
    1. Focus on each of the seven chakras and then the space around the chakras, while in a state of elevated emotion such as love or joy or gratitude
    2. Start at first center (perineum), focus on it and then the space around it and bless it for the greatest good. Do this for all 7 centers and once get to the eighth (above head) bless it with gratitude. Raise the frequency on every step and then lie down for 15 minutes to let your body integrate it all
  28. The breath is a way to pull the mind out of the body. You will be using your body as an instrument of consciousness to ascend your energy – turning those survival emotions into creative emotions. As you free your body from the chains of the past and liberate this energy, you have available energy to do the uncommon – to achieve the supernatural. By unlocking the energy locked in the first three centers and shifting them up the body, you will regain the natural, healthy electromagnetic state you need to be in to live optimally
  29. Breath work: flex perineum, lower and upper abs, breathe through the nose and feel the energy running up your spine to your brain. Follow the breath up to the top of your head, hold your breathe for 10 seconds while keeping your muscles flexed, increasing the pressure inside your spinal cord and column. Exhale and relax your muscles. Do this for 3-10 breaths. This accelerates the upward movement of the cerebrospinal fluid, creating inductance and building up your electromagnetic field, unlocking huge amounts of ‘survival’ energy into divine or creative energy. This is not a passive process and takes huge amounts of will and intention and it is key to consistently feel elevated emotions, greater than what you and your body are used to feeling. The body will slowly catch on and catch up.
  30. By getting our heart into coherence, we can access our heart’s intelligence and intuition which has many emotional and physiological benefits. Coherence begins with the steady, coherent drumbeat if the heart through cultivating, practicing and sustaining elevated emotions such as gratitude, inspiration, appreciation and more. The heart center is the union of our lower three animal centers and our upper three divine centers. Heart coherence helps with brain coherence and homeostasis, all necessary to function optimally
  31. Heart is an auto rhythmic organ, the heartbeat is self initiated from within rather than from the brain. Gives out multiples more electromagnetism than the brain and more information passes from heart to brain than from brain to heart
  32. Heart rate variability measured environmental and physiological challenges as reflected by the variation of the heart’s beat to beat intervals. It measures the flexibility of our heart and nervous system which reflects our health and fitness as well as how well we are balancing our mental and emotional lives. Having a moderate level of variability is healthy and indicative of an ability to adapt and deal with challenges
  33. The chemicals released which lead to feelings and emotions last for about 90-120 seconds. Anything after that is self-induced and perpetuated
  34. Coherent heart can amplify the energy of the brain by 50-300x. By focusing on our heart and emotions, the hearts beating serves as an amplifier, increasing the synchronization between the heart and brain and creates coherence not only in the physical organs but also in the electromagnetic field surrounding our body. Very clear connection between the quality of our heart’s rhythm and our overall health
  35. We are only suggestible to the thoughts that equal our emotional state
  36. Heart lock in meditation – breathe through your heart center and chest for about ten minutes. Once you couple that with elevated emotions, send it beyond your body and marry it with your intention. This will help your heart go into a coherent state
  37. Uses kaleidoscopes to induce trance and open up people to be suggestible to mystical state. Plays these videos before the mind movies for this reason
  38. Mind movies (words, phrases, images, videos, songs of the future you want) help set clear intentions of the future you want to create, program unconscious and conscious mind into that new future, changing brain and body biologically to look like future has already happened, and paid with music to recondition body and mind to remember new future. watch first thing in morning or before bed as you’re most open at these times. This helps make your future as real and three dimensional as possible. By bringing in every sense, we make it real even before it actually happens. Recommends doing the kaleidoscope and mind movies together for about a month and to have several (wellness, health, work…)
  39. The standing and walking meditations are meant to keep your intention and energy up throughout the day
  40. Day to day life is Newtonian and thought of in terms of space-time where space is infinite but in the quantum world it is time-space and time is infinite. We travel through this world in terms of space as there is no future and no past
  41. The more whole you feel the less lack you experience, and therefore the less you want. How can you want, or live in lack, when you feel whole? If there is less lack, there is less of the need to create from duality, polarity, and separation. How can you want when you’re whole? When you create from wholeness you feel like you already have it. There is no longer wanting, trying, wishing, forcing, predicting, fighting, or hoping – after all, hope is a beggar. When you create from a state of wholeness, there are only knowing and observing. This is the key to manifesting reality: being connected, not separate
  42. Simply by placing your attention on the unified field – as you become of aware of it, notice it, experience it, feel it, interact with it, and stay present with that moment after moment – it shows up and unfolds in your reality on a daily basis. How does it show up and unfold? As unknowns: serendipities, synchronicities, opportunities, coincidences, being in the right place at the right time, and moments filled with awe
  43. The discipline is to:
    1. Allow your consciousness to merge with a greater consciousness
    2. Surrender deeper into intelligent love
    3. Trust in the unknown
    4. Continuously surrender some aspect of the limited self to join the greater self
    5. Lose yourself in nothing to become everything
    6. Relax into an infinite deep-sea of coherent energy
    7. Keep unfolding deeper and deeper into oneness
    8. Continuously let go of control
    9. Feel greater and greater degrees of wholeness
    10. As a consciousness, moment by moment become aware, pay attention to, experience, be present with, and feel more and more of this unified field all around you – without returning your awareness back to three dimensional reality
  44. Melatonin is thought to be very important for these transcendental experiences and production of melatonin is highest between 1-4am and is why this is the best time to have transcendental moments through meditation
  45. The pineal gland can tune into the electromagnetic field and convert and descramble this information into something meaningful. There are 4 steps needed to activate the gland: exert internal pressure on it to create electrical impulses and then an electromagnetic field through the flex breathing discussed earlier; the increased speed of the cerebrospinal fluid gets the gland to release some powerful melatonin; this aroused your mind and relaxes your body and allows you to pick up on signals from the unified field
  46. What we are training for is greater levels of wholeness, oneness, love, and higher consciousness. An elevation in consciousness is accompanied with an elevation in awareness and perception, raising and heightening your senses
  47. True leadership never needs confirmation from others. It just requires a clear vision and a change in energy – that is, a new state of being – that is sustained long enough and executed with a strong enough will that it causes others to raise their own energy and become inspired to do the same. Once they do raise themselves from their own limited state of being to a new energy, they see the same future that their leader sees. There is power in numbers.
  48. When someone is truly engaged in change, they are less likely to talk about it and more prone to demonstrate it. They are working on living it.
What I got out of it
  1. Have to change your energy before you change anything in your life, have to live today as if that future state you want has already happened, several different times of meditation and breathing techniques (energy centers meditation), importance of brain/heart coherence, need clear intention and elevated emotion – creating an electromagnetic signature that is equal to your state of being. You will literally tune in to the energy of a new future and the unified field will help endorse your creation, key to manifesting your reality is to be connected and not separate, elevation of consciousness is accompanied with an elevation in awareness and perception, where you put your awareness is where you put your energy

Eat Fat, Get Thin by Dr. Mark Hyman

Summary
  1. Dr. Hyman details very convincing evidence on why eating the right types of fats is the healthiest, most satisfying and most sustainable way to live a long and healthy life. Provides a great 21 day program to jump start your metabolism, lose weight, reverse chronic health problems, improve sleep and clarity of mind (recipes, supplements and other tips)
Key Takeaways
  1. Food is not just a source of energy or calories, food is information. It contains instructions that affect every biological function of your body
  2. Simply eating less and exercising more almost always fails in the long term as it puts the body in “starvation mode” which is unsustainable. Eating a diet high in healthy fats helps you lose weight without effort and feel satisfied the entire time which is what makes it so sustainable
  3. The quality of our diet is paramount – real, whole, fresh, unadulterated foods. Eating these real, nutrient dense foods help you lose weight without effort but also give you more energy and clarity without ever craving sweets, carbs or other junk food
  4. The importance of sleep along with this diet cannot be overstated. A minimum of 7-8 hours per night is vital for a healthy body and mind. If you’re used to sleeping less, force yourself to stay in bed for 7-8 hours. Your mind and body will soon learn that it is allowed to sleep and will use the opportunity to catch up on its “sleep debt”
  5. Biggest source of abnormal cholesterol is not fat but sugar
  6. Eating healthy fats helps prevent brain aging, dementia, diabetes, seizures, depression, autism, trauma, inflammation and helps improve sleep, clarity of mind, energy, mood
  7. The cornerstones of a full life are good food, movement, relaxation (de-stressing) and sleep. The last two may be the most important for a healthy, full life
  8. Healthy foods
    1. Non starchy veggies (unlimited) – broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, Brussels sprouts
    2. Nuts and seeds – almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (avoid peanuts)
    3. Great fats – olives / olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocado / avocado oil, nuts and seeds
    4. Fish – salmon, sardines, anchovies
    5. Meat – grass-fed beef, lamb, bison
    6. Poultry – pasture raised poultry and eggs
    7. Dairy – grass-fed butter (avoid milk, cream, etc.)
    8. Fruit – moderate amounts of low glycemic fruit (berries are great)
    9. Beverages – water (at least 8 glasses per day), green tea, 1-2 cups black coffee (no sugar or artificial sweeteners)
  9. Avoid
    1. Sugar in all its forms – soda, juice, other drinks
    2. Artificial sweeteners
    3. Refined carbs – white bread
    4. Vegetable oils – canola, corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower
    5. Avoid chemicals and pesticides (by choosing organic)
    6. Dairy (besides grass fed butter)
    7. Gluten, flour and grains
    8. Alcohol – max 1 glass of wine at night
    9. Beans
    10. Processed foods of any kind (bacon, salami, hot dogs)
  10. Provides a 21 day program to jump start your metabolism, lose weight, reverse chronic health problems, improve sleep and clarity of mind
    1. Don’t worry about how much you eat during the program, rather what you eat
  11. Supplements
    1. High quality multivitamin and multi mineral
    2. 2g fish oil
    3. 2,000 IU vitamin D3
    4. 300mg L-Carnitine twice per day
    5. 30mg coenzyme Q10 twice per day
    6. 20 billion CFU Probiotics
    7. 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (MCT even better)
    8. 2-5 g PGX fiber
  12. Other tips
    1. Keep a regular sleep schedule with about 7-8 hours total sleep
    2. Avoid screens within 30 minutes of sleep
    3. Relax through long walks, deep breathing, massage, steam or sauna
    4. 30 minutes per day of light to moderate exercise
What I got out of it
  1. Good and convincing read on why eating the right types of fats along with a lot of vegetables, healthy proteins and limitied/no sugar is essential for a healthy, long and balanced life
Resources – check out his website which has a ton of great recipes, PDFs and more

How Not to Die by Michael Greger

Summary
  1. Great resource on what foods to eat more of and avoid and how to minimize risks of certain diseases.
Key Takeaways
  1. First part is about how to minimize risks of most common diseases like heart failure, cancer, etc. Great resource if any of these illnesses are relevant to you
  2. Beans
    1. Black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini, chickpeas, edamame, peas, kidney, lentil, miso, pinto, tempeh
    2. 3 Servings
  3. Berries
    1. Acai, barberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, goji, raspberries, strawberries
    2. 1 Serving
  4. Other Fruits
    1. Apples, avocados, bananas, dates, figs, lemons, limes, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates
    2. 3 servings
  5. Cruciferous Veggies
    1. Arugula, box choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, mustard greens, radishes, turnip greens, watercress, spinach, swiss chard (avoid alfalfa sprouts)
    2. 1 serving
  6. Other Veggies
    1. Artichokes, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, onions, purple potatoes, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini
    2. 1 serving
  7. Flaxseeds
    1. Golden or brown (milled)
    2. 1 serving
  8. Nuts and Seeds
    1. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts, hemp, macadamia, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (walnuts especially)
    2. 1 serving
  9. Herbs and Spices
    1. Allspice, barberries, basil, bay leaves, cardamom, chili powder, cilantro, cinnamon (ceylon), cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill, garlic, ginger, horseradish, lemon grass, marjoram, mustard powder, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, peppermint, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme, turmeric, vanilla (1/4 teaspoon turmeric per day at least)
    2. 1 serving
  10. Whole Grains
    1. Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, popcorn, quinoa, rye, teff, whole wheat pasta, wild rice
    2. 3 servings
  11. Beverages
    1. Black tea, chai tea, vanilla chamomile tea, coffee, earl gray tea, green tea, hot chocolate, jasmine tea, lemon balm tea, matcha tea, almond blossom oolong tea, peppermint tea, rooibos tea, water, white tea
    2. 5 servings
  12. Exercise
    1. Biking, dancing, skiing, hiking, juggling, trampoline, basketball, tennis, swimming, yoga
    2. 1 time per day – 40-90 minutes
  13. Supplements
    1. 2, 500mcg Vitamin B12 at least once per week
    2. 2,000 IU Vitamin D3 per day
    3. Iodine rich foods (seafood, sea vegetables, dark green vegetables, nori,
    4. 250 mg pollutant free long chain omega 3’s daily (algae)
What I got out of it
  1. Extremely thorough book, good tips on nutrition, supplements, lifestyle. Gives a very thorough account on what to do specifically for certain diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes, cancer, etc. If you or a loved one suffer from any of these, definitely take a closer look at this book.

One Spirit Medicine: Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness by Alberto Villoldo

Summary
  1. One Spirit Medicine helps restore mental, physics, emotional and spiritual well being through vision quest, diet, nutrition and stress management
Key Takeaways
  1. Spirit is the invisible world where we are all one and interconnected
    1. Disease comes from imbalance between spirit and harmony
  2. LEF – Luminous Energy Field, an aura that we all give us and is made up of our ancestors, diet, trauma, diseases, thoughts, beliefs and more. The link between the visible and invisible world we all inhabit
  3. Gut is second brain and extremely important to take care of it
  4. Must detox gut, body, brain before can upgrade
    1. Avoid GMOs, corn, soy, grains, sugar
    2. Fasting, even just 6pm to noon the next day, intermittent fasting) helps a lot
    3. Autophagy – cell death, the recycling of cell waste is so important and can speed up the process through exercise, fasts, diet, detox and eating enough phytonutrients
    4. Recommends 1 day of fasting every 3-4 weeks
  5. Become “prey” once we fear something
    1. Fear is the deadliest emotion as it blinds us to love and opportunities
    2. Beliefs cause stress and fear, not people or situations
  6. In today’s world, over stimulation leads to an over active fight/flight response
    1. Must build in times of complete relaxation. Every hour, day, week, month and year take some time out to just reflect and be grateful
    2. Importance of day dreaming cannot be over exaggerated
  7. Lessening fear of death opens you up to love and to better handle life, see the big picture
  8. Personal myths, the limiting stories we tell ourselves, are omnipresent and play a much bigger role in our lives than we realize. They shape our beliefs, values and thoughts which end up shaping our lives
  9. Death is simply a transition from our “particle” (local) to “wave” (omnipresent) state
  10. Medicine Wheel
    1. South = serpent = life force = instincts. Afraid of change, being vulnerable
      1. Don’t be tethered or blinded by the past or because of other’s perceptions of you.
      2. “Male or female, when we finally let go of who we think we’re supposed to be and shed our fear of disapproval, we open our eyes to the new opportunities we encounter. We’re no longer afraid to be curious, to ask questions, to take risks.”
    2. West = Jaguar = Divine Feminine. Confrontation, acceptance and welcoming of death
      1. Inner confidence, balance and power leads to “defeating” death by ensuring continuity of consciousness (knowing our nature is outside of time)
      2. Complexity and harmony lead to health (heart rate variability)
      3. Acceptance of death leads to a fuller life as we know how fleeting and precious our time on this Earth is
      4. “It takes courage to stay with fear and breathe into the emotion rather than run away from it or try to subdue it. But when courage becomes bravado, it can be our undoing…”
      5. Initiation of death is a lifelong process
    3. North = way of the sage = stillness, which comes from stopping of desires
      1. Stillness is not an end in itself but allows us to see entire nature of creation, the bigger picture in all our lives
      2. “…reality is an illusion, albeit one we are jointly re-creating in every instant…We come to realize that the universe mirrors back to us perfectly our beliefs, our intentions, our sincerity. What is is the product of the map of reality you carry inside you. If you want to change your experience, you need to change the map.”
      3. Only when still can we extract the universe’s wisdom
      4. Allows us to rise above ourselves and time to clearly see the results of ours and other’s beliefs and actions
      5. Non-action often takes more strength/maturity than action
      6. Find stillness in the pause between breaths
    4. East = Eagle = journey of the visionary, rebirth
      1. Ability to see big picture while simultaneously zooming in on important details
      2. Appreciate each moment in all its wonder – every second is sacred
      3. “I” is not separate from anyone or anything as we are all one, united
      4. All collectively dreaming together. Accepting this gives you power as you realize you can change it
      5. Once you meet future you, what you want to become, you can embody those qualities today and take a step to realizing that future reality
      6. 4 noble truths – there is suffering, attachment/desires cause suffering, giving up attachment (even to life) eliminates suffering, follow the 8 fold path
      7. Must lose your self to find your self
      8. Man a paradox – infinitely small yet infinitely vast. Nothing, yet everything
      9. Can’t fight demons, must welcome them or they will simply persist
    5. Vision quest the last step of the journey
      1. Sit in a natural setting, sitting with the elements and put your body under mild physiological stress through fasting
      2. Purpose is to discover in the wilderness that you are a citizen of the earth, a child of nature, at one with all creation
      3. Fast to awaken the body’s self-repair systems and stimulate production of stem cells in the brain and every organ in your body
What I got out of it
  1. Spiritual read which goes over the importance of a good, balanced diet, nutrition, fasting, managing stress, taking breaks, finding stillness, accepting and realizing we are all one

Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health and Life by Ben Greenfield

Summary

  1. Greenfield lays out a detailed training regiment section, recovery section, nutrition section, lifestyle section, brain section, and conclusion which ties it all together
Key Takeaways
  1. Provides extremely detailed diets, supplement recommendations, workout regiments, etc for vegans, plant based, old, young, female, male. (I cannot include all the detail in these regiments so if these highlights pique your interest, I recommend reading the book)
  2. Extreme long distance endurance sports can lead to heart issues
  3. Beyondtrainingbook.com for extra resources
  4. Doesn’t really believe in the different training zones and that they each burn a unique fuel source
  5. Discusses how to test yourself to figure out your personal zones
  6. Much more beneficial to spend most training time below threshold and a small portion much above – HIIT or polarized training
  7. Over speed / under speed, EMS, restricted / hypoxia, cold thermogenesis, passive / active heat training, isometric (super slow) training, compression gear, upbeat music (180 bpm music), binaural beats (Thomson CDs), mind alive light therapy, grease the wheel (specific and Frequent exercise, Tsatsouline) good training regiments
  8. Recommends 0.3-0.7 gram protein per pound
  9. Recommended supplements – creative, carnitine, citraline, beta alinine, amino acids (master amino pattern), concentrated greens (super greens as a meal replacement)
  10. Power = fast strength. Works nervous system more than muscles, fine tunes strength
  11. Explosive plyometric movements such as death jumps or single leg hops very effective for power (minimum ground contact time)
  12. Best supplements for nervous system production include omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, choline, green tea extract and complex b vitamins
  13. Mobility so important and Active Release Therapy, dynamic stretching and traction are great way to improve mobility
  14. Bone broth, ginger, fish, glucosamine sulfate and antioxidants help mobility from a nutrition standpoint
  15. Balance very important for efficiency and avoiding injury. Avoid EMF, minimalist footwear, balance on one leg
  16. Vision gym helps train eyes for better balance
  17. Very easy to overtrain if doing intense exercises. Allow 36 hours to truly recover and avoid plateaus
  18. Rest wise a great tool to track which phase of exhaustion and recovery you are in
  19. Diminishing returns and often damage done after 90 minutes of exercise
  20. Top stress management techniques – deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, Yoga, tai chi, coherence, hobby outside of exercise and normal routine, and sleep
  21. Ideally get 7.5-9 hours of sleep plus a 20-60 minute nap per day
  22. Sleep supplements – potassium citrate, MCT oil, somnydra, apple cider vinegar with honey and water, REM caps by Hammer, inner peace caps, tyrosine + 5HTP
  23. Jet lag hacks – grounding, exercise, melatonin, no caffeine
  24. Doesn’t recommend fretting about calories once you have an idea of how much you eat. For the average athlete he recommends a diet of 20% carbs, 65% fats and 15% protein
  25. A big proponent of the ketogenic diet (body burns fat instead of carbs). This takes some time for the body to get used to but leads to great health, energy, focus. If want to try the ketogenic diet, aim for a diet of 80-90% fat calories, 10-15% protein and 5-10% carbs (eaten at night)
  26. Gut discomfort has some main contributors – gluten, fodmap (foods which leave a lot of residue in the gut such as garlic, onion, fruit with high fructose, beans, wheat, dairy), low enzyme activity, insufficient gut bacteria, too much gut bacteria, yeast/fungus/parasites
  27. Should detox once per year at least – eat clean, avoid stress, sauna, sublingual glutathione spray, greens supplement (chlorella and spirulina), activated charcoal, avoid alcohol, 3 day fasts
  28. Reduce hangover – electrolytes (unsweetened coconut water), cystine, curcumin, bone broth
  29. Avoid before a race – fodmap foods (wheat, dairy, high fermenting foods like apples and pears), excessive caffeine (more than ~ 150mg), artificial sweeteners, high amounts of fiber, heavy foods like sweet potatoes
  30. Eat before a workout or race – blended and juiced foods, moderate caffeine (.5mg per lb or about 1 small cup of coffee), some carbs (like 100g or 2 cups of white rice with some sea salt and MCT), fats (like MCT, coconut oil/butter), hydrolyzed whey protein or bone broth (something easier to absorb that steak/eggs)
  31. Eat during a race – moderate amounts of slow release carbs with easy to digest fats (super starch and MCT/coconut oil), easy to digest protein (hydrolyzed when protein or collagen) and avoid refined sugars, fodmaps,
  32. Good resources – mountain rose herbs, magnetic clay, upgraded self, nutiva coconut products, Amazon prime for bulk food items (sardines, coconut oil, nori wraps)
  33. Lifestyle hacks
    1. Detox home of mold, fungus, EMF (mop surfaces, vacuum with hepa filter, dehumidifier, oscillating fan, toxins in carpeting, ceramic tiles ideal, EHAP mold tests, coca pulse test to see which foods are hurting you, “how to bio hack a home” by Greenfield, Zapped booked, airplane mode on phones, biomat sleep pad, hara pad, lessemf.com, excessive fluoride in water can be removed with reverse osmosis filters, structured water filter, shower head filter (KDF)
    2. Vtamin c / d / e  and antioxidants help with excessive chlorine, choose natural house cleaners and detergents (lemon, baking soda and white vinegar – mountain rose herbs and earth easy great resources), limit use of plastic bottles, metal exposure (dentists biggest exposure and can remove with binding through iodine, magnesium, chlorella, metal free spray), radiation (recover quicker with magnesium, omega 3, iodine), cosmetics (dirty dozen of cosmetics, toothpaste, soap)
  34. Most time saving workouts – quick workouts, workout indoors, minimize offseason training, have a simple home gym, workout alone, super slow weight training, bike to work, include the family in workouts, cross train with friends and family, “greasing the groove” (do something often but never too intense, i.e., 5 pullups every time you walk by the pull up bar)
  35. Productivity tips – use “bucket” days instead of to-do lists (only do a certain activity on a given day), eliminate tv, no newspaper or news, eat simply, outsource (craigslist, fancy hands, elance, 99 designs, task rabbit, hoot suite), chunk emails and don’t give away address too often, “push” only email on phone, remove distractions, learn how to say no, avoid snacking, aggregate content, doing the toughest thing first, clear mind by outsourcing your brain (Evernote, buckets, etc.)
  36. Brain tips – avoid sensory overload, fix your gut, eat more high quality fats (MCT, omega 3, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil), restore neurotransmitter imbalances, fix HPA issues (hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands) by destressing, avoiding excessive exercise, decrease inflammation (curcumin a potent anti inflammatory), increase sleep length and quality
  37. Brain hacks – nootropics (vitamin D but daily sunlight can’t be beaten, vitamin K2, fatty acids, MCT oils, caffeine (100 mg or about 1 cup coffee), l-phenyl alinine, creatine, carnitine, Alpha lipoid acid, huperzine), light therapy (limit blue light in the evening, morning sun exposure, binaurals, transcranial direct current stimulation, pulse electromagnetic frequency (PEMF – earth pulse for example), neurofeedback (upgraded self brain trainer, journey to the wild divine game, em wave 2), brain aerobics (sudoku, crossword, must have novelty and variety), chewing gum (peppermint), aerobic exercise, music (listening and learning),
  38. 10 rules for becoming an ancestral athlete – change your lens (health vs. performance of any new exercise, supplement, diet, etc.), be uncomfortable (many things in life benefit from volatility and pain), be comfortable (make sure to rest and recover), work (constant movement is essential – long walks, pull up bars in office, etc.), optimize fertility, eat natural foods, detox a couple times per year, use new tech and science to your benefit, keep a clear head (doing one thing at a time and do a great job, the first time), worry less
What I got out of it
  1. Extremely detailed read on how to train, eat, rest, recover and reach your potential. There was way too much to cover in this book and if you’re interested in serious training, recovery, nutrition, etc. this book is definitely worth reading in its entirety

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

Summary

  1. Rich Roll tells his inspiring story of lazy, overweight, addicted into an all vegan and ultra marathon lifestyle
Key Takeaways
  1. Rich Roll was a very overweight 40 year old who transformed himself with marathon training and a vegan diet
  2. 7 day juice cleanse that Rich used to start his transformation found here
  3. Rich became a very good swimmer and had his choice of schools, eventually ending up at Stanford. He soon found that alcohol alleviated a lot of his social angst and consumed way too much.
  4. He went to law school and partied too much, as he did in college and big city life was not conducive to him being sober. He somehow made it through, got a good job and was engaged but his alcoholism soon took away his marriage and job. He went to AA and eventually rehab, changing career from entertainment litigation to starting his own entertainment law firm, eventually finding his supportive and amazing wife along the way.
  5. Rich wasn’t able to get into an Ironman initially so he set his sights even higher, an Ultraman. He trained professionally for the first time in his life and ended up having tremendous success although he was one of the few amateurs in this field
  6. While training, had a really bad accident but decided to keep his dream alive. Security is a cop out. Embrace the fear and unknown
  7. The rest of the book describes his incredible struggle of doing 5 ironman length races in a week. Amazing determination
  8. Book ends with his tips on nutrition, recipes and more. Obviously plant based, but also no gluten or dairy and has recommendations for which plants and fats to load up on
What I got out of it
  1. People can do much more than they think they can. When you feel like you can’t do any more, you’re likely only 40% there. Keep pushing. He also does a good job of advocating his “plant power” lifestyle but asks you to experiment for yourself and do what makes you feel good. I’m a big fan of this as I don’t believe there typically is a “one size fits all” for diet, nutrition, lifestyle, etc.

Coherence by Alan Watkins

Summary
  1. Knowledge about human relationships, biology, brain, adult development, behavior, human system, emotional intelligence, medicine, evolution, physics, signal processing, sports psychology all help improve management and performance by better understanding what influences performance. Enlightened Leadership – all behaviors, decisions, thoughts are integrated (coherence)
Key Takeaways
  1. Best way to understand results is to understand behavior and the internal and external influences on behavior
    1. Physiology – Emotion – Feeling – Thinking – Behavior – Results
    2. Feeling wins over thinking every time; physiology trumps emotion
  2. Learning how to change quality of signals in our system can help deliver brilliance every day (Enlightened Leadership)
  3. Best results come when you are positive and motivated
  4. Coherence = Flow = Stable Variability (robust)
  5. Physiological coherence leads to emotional coherence leads to cognitive coherence leads to behavioral coherence
  6. Coherent leaders – integrity, vast interpersonal flexibility (understand what makes people tick) and behavioral flexibility
  7. Individual people must keep evolving if organization is to improve
  8. 3 Stages of evolution – emergence, differentiation, integration
    1. Differentiation – you must be clear and specific in your plans, goals, etc.
  9. Must be a burning platform for change – question everything you do (eliminate if find only do it because it was done yesterday)
  10. 2 key stages in human development – waking up (lose dualism of power and control) and growing up (maturity)
  11. 6 dimensions of EQ – self-awareness, resilience, attention (internal motivation), social intuition (empathy), sensitivity to context, outlook (optimism/pessimism)
  12. Energy management over time management!
  13. Heart rate variability (HRV) very important (flexibility, antifragility) – more is better; emotional self-management, exercise (yoga) omega 3, breathing skills all help improve it
  14. The heart is the most powerful signal generator in the body and can even affect others (entrainment)
    1. Use to create physiological coherence which gives more energy
  15. Mind does not dominate body, there is a constant dialogue between the two; they become one (integrative medicine)
  16. HRV determines ability to respond to challenges
  17. Must schedule periods of recuperation (pair with The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working)
  18. Energy bank – the idea of keeping track of energy “deposits and withdrawals” (things which give or take energy away from you)
  19. Chaotic breathing leads to loss of energy
  20. Be dynamically responsive instead of reactive (breath = stability = entrainment)
  21. 12 aspects of breath – rhythmicity (steady in and out); smoothness; focus on heart; speed of breaths; pattern (ratio of in/out); volume; depth; entrainment; resistance; mechanics; flow patterns (air around body); special techniques (vipassana, buteyko)
  22. Mismanaged emotion often a root cause of ill health (3 E’s – emotion, eat, exercise)
  23. Level of personal control related to health
  24. Not event but how you react / deal with it that matters
  25. Emotion is integration of all physiological signals; feeling is the awareness and recognition that signal comes from the body (observation of emotion)
  26. Only 2 inborn fears – falling and loud noises
  27. Conditioning system inaccurate because designed for survival, not sophistication
  28. Huge number of our decisions are based on emotion, not reason. Emotional awareness therefore greatly improves decision-making
  29. Challenge for men is lack of emotional awareness, for women it may be lack of control of emotions
  30. Emotional mastery leads to clearer thinking, better ability to learn
    1. Must induce an appropriate emotional state to best learn (calm, positive and motivated)
  31. All decisions essentially made by feelings and then justified by logic
  32. Thin slicing – ability to detect patterns based on narrow slices of experience
    1. Intuition can’t be trusted without emotional coherence
  33. Good leaders use emotion because that’s what motivates people
  34. Best leaders best at dealing with change
  35. Heart’s electromagnetic field radiates up to 50 feet away! – leader’s presence truly can be felt in a large room
    1. Negative state of mind casts chaotic energy whereas positivity casts clean and organized energy
  36. Enjoyment and quality of life comes from experiences, not things
  37. Happiness is a habit
  38. Only genuinely sustainable motivation is intrinsic
  39. The self, consciousness, and emotion evolved together and tied to each other
  40. Intelligence is simply awareness
    1. Only 2 opposing emotional states – love and fear
    2. Most people’s emotional lexicon / palette very limited (becoming better versed and more nuanced in how you define each feeling allows you to become more self-aware
    3. Must be aware but also be able to label individual emotions (access and then action)
  41. Emotional MASTERY
    1. Sit comfortably and BREATHE (focus on heart)
    2. Simply notice what emotion exists in your body
    3. Label what you think best captures it
    4. Explore the features of the emotion in your own body – location, size, color, sound, temperature, intensity
    5. How does the emotion move through your body
    6. Does the emotion have any special features?
  42. Enhance habits / rituals with a positive emotion
    1. Landscaping – determine where in routine can get most practice per buck
  43. Need emotional intelligence, literacy and self-management
  44. Memories stored like holograms
    1. Coherence, BREATHE leads to perfect hologram which can make you better and more clearly recall what we know
  45. 10 levels of consciousness
    1. Shadow work – working on aspects of ourselves that are not easy to see, address and heal
    2. Level 6 – cease to be a victim, don’t let others control your emotions, complete ownership of all aspects of self
    3. Level 7 – selflessness, loving empathy without criticism
    4. Level 9 – pre-awareness,n no observer and object, just one union; time false, space infinite and everything connected; no duality – all simply is, cease to have preferences
  46. Happiness truly a life of service
  47. 9 internal phenomena which influence thinking, behavior, etc
    1. Values – feeling defined by a principle
    2. Belief – thought powered by emotion
    3. Attitude – collection of values / beliefs and which influences thoughts, behavior, perspective
    4. Culture – collective attitude of the group
  48. Cognitive coherence lies in increasing perceptual awareness
    1. SHIFT – stop and shift attention to your heart; breathe through this area of your chest to induce positive emotion, feel it through your body; turn your brain back on and notice insights
  49. Enlightened leadership emerges with coherence across all critical and internal areas (physiology, emotion, cognitive, maturity, values / Behavior, networks, impact)
  50. The purpose of doing everything is to generate better results
  51. Long-term, consistent, brilliant behavior requires us to be in tune with what we think, feel and the amount of energy we have
  52. Must understand root causes of what leads to better performance
  53. Correcting behavior doesn’t lead to success, only stops failure (must introduce new behaviors)
  54. Obsession with results has lead to a widespread erosion of humanity
  55. Must understand appropriate pressure needed for peak performance for self and others
    1. Narrow the focus and clarify as much as possible
    2. Early detection of underperformance crucial
      1. Loss of perception, self esteem, increased irritability, ill health all good indicators
  56. Best leaders move seamlessly through 4 quadrants – I, IT (short-term), IT (long-term), WE
  57. Few leaders think about how they think, their weaknesses, brand, leaderships qualities and therefore have little self-awareness
  58. Maturity is key to be a great leader – differentiation between knowledge and wisdom
  59. True leaders aim to strip away illusions and see deeper realities – able to integrate knowledge and wisdom, more holistic view, no preconceived answers, continuously try to flush out hidden assumptions
  60. Vision – picture of the future you’re aiming for
  61. Ambition – how big / impactful you want to be
  62. Purpose – emotional statement to drive engagement and differentiate yourself
  63. Strategy – how to get ot vision, ambition and purpose
  64. Governance – process for making better, more efficient decisions and better accountability and alignment
  65. 12 performance enhancing behaviors
    1. Imagine – gathering info, forming concepts, conceptual flexing
    2. Involve – empathetic connecting, facilitating interaction, developing people
    3. Implement – being proactive, continuous improvement, building customer value
    4. Ignite – influencing others, building confidence, communicating clearly
    5. Knowing where you stand is vital
  66. Understanding personal purpose is vital
  67. Job – Career – Calling
    1. What would you do for free? What comes effortlessly to you?
  68. Appreciation and forgiveness of self and others is key
  69. To be the best leader you can be you must make personal connections, understand other’s motives, be consistent and know how to best work with different working styles
  70. Ultimate goal – influence and ability to foster deep, influential relationships
  71. Relationships tend to fail because of either poor communication or low levels of trust
    1. Effective communication has two basic aspects – transmission and reception
    2. 3 levels of communication -what people say, what people think or feel and most deeply, what people mean
  72. Making others feel heard is extremely motivating
  73. Trust givers trust people automatically where trust earners must make others prove themselves first
  74. TRUST – taking responsibility for understanding other people’s traits
  75. Internal coherence lays foundation for extraordinary performance and also to develop deeper and longer lasting relationships (ultimate prize in life
  76. Leaders must be able to transform their personal leadership qualities, real development and the corporate culture
  77. When hiring, look at what the business needs and if necessary, bring someone in and train them rather than trying to fit the role to the person
  78. Use MAP to get at the true meaning of what people say. Move attention to body and breathe, appreciate the speaker, play back the underlying meaning
  79. Watkins is the founder of Holacracy – Tony Hsieh recently implemented at Zappos
    1. Clarify purpose; clarify all decision making forums; define limit of authority; define reporting process, establish clear accountability; create new roles; assign new accountabilities to new roles; establish new policies or changes to existing policies; define ways of working within teams
What I got out of it
  1. Being self-aware is absolutely vital and focusing on the different areas (physiology, emotion, cognitive, maturity, values / Behavior, networks, impact) is key. Must be healthy before can focus on emotions, cognition…

The Egoscue Method by Pete Egoscue

Summary
  1. Pete Egoscue argues that modern man has so many dysfunctions due to lack of motion. With his breakdown of dysfunctions in Condition I, II, III or DLux (excellent), you can quickly diagnose yourself and start the exercises he prescribes. He argues that these regiments will help get to the root of the problem and often avoid costly and ultimately ineffective surgery
Key Takeaways
  1. Lack of motion leads to dysfunction
  2. Categorization of dysfunctions into 4 conditions helps him determine which exercises you should be doing
What I got out of it
  1. An interesting read and I agree with many of his points. I will start doing the exercises for Condition I, which is the category I feel I fall into (slightly everted feet, a pronounced S shape curve in my back