The Beginner’s Mind: Podcast Episode #001

    What is The Beginner’s Mind? It’s all about letting go of preconceive notions that we have about ourselves and that others may have of us, and giving ourselves full permission to suck. It’s the notion that approaching something as a true beginner paradoxically sets the stage for greater progress then if we were to approach the same activity with the mentality that says, “I have to be a pro, or an expert”or just “take this seriously.” Those thoughts can be stifling, limiting. Nothing crushes childlike curiosity more that an adult sense of obligation, and preservation of appearance as …

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On Having Fun and The Flip Side of Health

I thought I’d start off the New Year with this post about the important (but often overlooked) role that FUN plays in performance, health and life. Up until a few years ago, I always focused on getting healthy or improving my health so I could have more fun. Then at some point, I’m not exactly sure when, I realized that my level of health was already sufficient enough to do any number of the activities (surf, travel, paddle, camp) that I really enjoyed. And I had and still have great fun doing them. Still, I found myself hungering for something. …

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Let Go: How and Why To Make Space in Your Life

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark… ― Agnes De Mille It may be my selection bias or maybe it’s just because I live in New York, but I believe we’ve become OBSESSED with productivity and control. I myself have spent countless hours (and probably dollars) acquiring, learning and implementing elaborate systems for getting things done. Or creating “optimal” structures that oftentimes …

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What I’ve Learned: Reflections back on 2015

Ed Loh is an explorer of life’s greater questions. Of almost everyone he meets, Ed asks “What have you learned?” – So Ed, here’s what I’ve learned: We live in a universe of constant change. People come and go. So do jobs, finances, and all material goods. What matters most is not what we have, or even what we do with it – it’s how we are; our state of being. Are we happy? Are we uplifted? Do we uplift others by simply being ourselves? We’ve seen good friends pass in 2015. Locations change and careers transition. Amid life’s challenges, …

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How to Reclaim Your Life (10% at a time)

You didn’t sleep. You’ve been on the move. You’ve given so much to your work, family, friends, and daily routines. You wake up each morning, check your browsers, check your email, your facebook feed. You do your due diligence. Comment. Like. You keep up to date on current affairs. Forty in your inbox. Six new invitations. You spend time responding, money consuming, energy working, brain power thinking. You recoup it on the weekends, or so you try. Socializing, sleeping in, dancing with stars and staring out windows. Another year goes by. Nothing has changed. So you invest in a therapist …

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On Living with Impermanence

Recent events in Paris have acted as further potent reminders of our fragility, uncertainty and impermanence on this earth. What do we do with our time here? How do we persist in the face of such chaos? This post simply summons wisdom from the following quotes I’ve collected over the years and found to be most profound in addressing feelings of uncertainty. If you have any quotes to add, please do so in the comments below… Quote #1 from – The Epic of Gilgamesh – A powerful reminder to make the absolute most of what little we have and to show up …

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Be the Person Your Dog thinks You Are

Be the person your dog thinks you are… The first time I heard this was last year from Dr. Joe Dispenza at the Quantum Medicine conference. Joe is a person who has completely re-wired his brain and rebuilt his spine after shattering his back in a bike/car collision. He did this using the power of focussed intent and he has the scientific data to back it all up. His books, You are the Placebo as well as Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself lay it all out plain and simple and provide many similar NLP methodologies I wrote about in …

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The Power of the Pause: Why you must slow down in “critical situations”

This is a topic I’ve been wanting to tackle for a long time. It’s so freaking simple that I debated whether or not it even warrants a post. But last night as I sat down to dinner with a friend, we began talking about this feeling of “inner urgency.” And that wasn’t the first time. Almost every friend I’ve spoken to recently has expressed this same feeling. Some are launching startups while others are working steady jobs. But what came up consistently was an insatiable feeling of rushing toward accomplishment or producing some result. I know I’ve felt this way …

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Ben Ahrens on Uplifting Vitality, Self-Optimization & Sustainable High-Performance

In a recent interview, I had the pleasure of joining Alex Charfen of CHARFEN and identifier of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT). In this interview, we discuss the role of vitality in healing, recovery and life at large. Vitality, as I’ve come to define it as “the capacity to create”, is the most valuable and at the same time underappreciated resource most entrepreneurs possess. My aim is to fix that. Check out this fun interview: EP.25: Ben Ahrens Shifted the Paradigm of Medicine and Health with One Deep Breath0 Sep 24, 2015 – show notes: Ben Ahrens began his entrepreneurial …

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One Windy Morning

Wind howling out the window. Trees bending like straws in a breeze. Bushes growl and scratch at the walls. But inside all is calm. Cold air blasts thatchings, seeping seemingly through the inner walls. Summer has set. Calm turned to chaos. But inside all is calm. Chills overtake the surface of the skin. The ears hear howling; the eyes see white-caps. The mind thinks thoughts; fearful thoughts of nature and impermanence. But inside there is love. One windy morning is a short poem about impermanence inspired by friends who have recently departed. May it remind us that hurt and sorrow …

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What Matters Most

what matters most

It’s so simple yet so elusive. I thought I had it figured out; the thing of greatest value and what it is that matters most. Vitality, of course! Without vitality (aka, life force, energy or the capacity to do our work on this planet) what else really matters? Sure money is important and so is time. But we all know that money without time has no value. Just as we may now assume that money + time without vitality ultimately has no use. But is there something else? Something who’s value is even more fundamental such that in it’s absence, even …

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Change Your Attitude – The Power of Choice

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’d never been so close to death, or so I felt. We’d been hiking for 3 days with no food and little water. Five hours ago the muscles up the back of my legs and base of my spine were cramping in spasm but now there was little energy for them to even attempt self-preservation, let alone power my staggering footsteps further up the mountain.   I veered off the rocky path and collapsed into a heap, panting, sweating and freezing at the same time as the early spring sun set off the …

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Don’t Chase Happiness, Chase “Hell Yes!”

Let’s talk business for a sec. This business of “being happy”, aka the notion that our primary goal in life should be, to be supremely happy in all situations and at all times. (Just now, after I wrote that second sentence, I popped it into google out of curiosity and here is the first thing I found.) As a culture we hold this notion that business, wealth, success (and sometimes secrets) will guide us to happiness. We hold the precept that happiness is the goal. We’ve made a terrible mistake. Happiness is not the goal but the measure of success. It’s …

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The Art of Equanimity: Finding Calm In Chaos

 e·qua·nim·i·ty ˌēkwəˈnimitē,ˌekwə-/ noun mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. This word continues to take on new meaning for me. It first entered my lexicon in the fall of 2007 when I attended an intro to meditation class at the Tibet House on west 15th street. Everyone was going on about the virtue of equanimity and ways it could be practiced, and I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. Years later, I’d begin to understand…  Some time, but not long ago, I found myself in a frenzy of turmoil, as the compounding losses of …

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Making Tea & Cookies

I swore after college that I’d never take another writing class as long as I lived… Some promises, perhaps, are better off broken. We’ll see…  This past Tuesday evening I found myself willingly sitting amid a classroom of writers in a YMCA Literary Arts, creative non-fiction class. Listening as my classmates read their work, it struck me how we all use the same words to form such distinct impressions. Below is my first assignment. Its’ message is simply this: We all start out with the same raw ingredients in life, be they words, concepts, or even tangible goods, to some degree. …

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How We Make Progress in Work and Life

Author, psychologist, and Silicon valley leadership expert Gustavo Rabin  says: There are three things in life that better well work, in order for your life to work well… And they are: Your relationship to your work Your relationship to others, and Your relationship to yourself Many books have been written on all subjects in each category so I will not delve into psychology here. What will be most advantageous and get us to the point, will be the simple identification of the one universal roadblock that stands in the way of all personal, professional, and relational progress: Doubt. – Everyone …

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How to Achieve Balance: by Accepting There’s No Such Thing

  At a glance it appears  she’s done it. She has reached a “balance point” that prevents her from falling, but a closer look with a keener eye will reveal that what we think of as balance is actually achieved by a continuous series of self-corrective movements, each aimed at bringing the subject back to center. If you were to watch the gymnast up close,  you could see that the muscles in her shoulders work constantly as she subtly shifts her weight forward and backward, side to side, to find and regain her center. Random little event after event will …

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6 Lessons Surfing, Survival School & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Taught Me about Saving

    Number one rule of Wall Street. Nobody, I don’t care if you’re Warren Buffet or if you’re Jimmy Buffet, nobody knows if a stock is gonna go up, down, sideways or in fucking circles, least of all stock brokers – Mark Hanna  from Wolf of Wall Street For eight years I had an entire shelf-space devoted to heap of personal finance books I never bothered to read. That is until I recently took a one day speed-reading course at Columbia University (which actually did work) and read them all in rapid succession only to discover the same underlying principles life …

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Plugging Into Your Hard-wired Happiness

The following presentation by Srikumar S. Rao, Ph.D was filmed in May of 2009 and made it’s way to the homepage of Ted.com on March 7th of 2010 where it has since been viewed nearly 500,000 times! The contents of this talk are universal, timeless, and absolutely true…. “Life is short. And uncertain. It is like a drop of water skittering around on a lotus leaf. You never know when it will drop off the edge and disappear. So each day is far too precious to waste. And each day that you are not radiantly alive and brimming with cheer …

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Who Am I? What’s My Deal? and, Why “The Limitless Self”?

Greetings! In this, my premier post on the new site, I’d like to take the opportunity to explain what is meant by The Limitless Self, how the concept arose, and say what I hope to accomplish through my writing here. But first, a little background on who I am: My name is Ben Ahrens and I’m the author of these posts. I’m deeply involved in the world of health and physical fitness – as a Practitioner of Holistic Health, a Sports Nutritionist, and Personal Trainer specializing in Corrective Exercise and Performance Enhancement. I wrote a health column for a newspaper …

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