The Mind-Body Morning Ritual

Win the morning, win the day. There’s a reason for our growing obsession with morning routines and rituals. They work. Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” — Richard Whately I’m no stranger to ritual and routines. In addition to having researched and written about the neuroscience of routines from a medical perspective, I’ve also experimented extensively with routine variations ranging from the very complex to the bare basic elements needed for lasting behavioral change. What I want to share today, is a distillation of the distillate. The basic building blocks, or philosopher’s stone from which you …

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Pucker up Butter Cup: The Trojan Horsification of Coffee

Can you remind me why we’re putting goat colostrum in our coffee again?   I’ll come right out and say it – I’m in LOVE with coffee. I love buying it, brewing it, smelling it, and the feeling I get when I (regularly) dink too much of it. I’ve read every book on the history of coffee and coffee house culture, taken a barista workshop, and own 12 types of coffee makers ranging from the simple trendy AeroPress to the shiny handmade vintage Italian La Pavoni manual espresso machine. I even made an online course on alternative brewing methodologies [true …

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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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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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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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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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The Automated Morning Routine: Making the Most of Your Least Productive Times

Let’s get one thing straight here… I am NOT a morning person. If left to my own lack of devices, I would lay in bed for several hours before frittering away the rest of the morning while trying to decide how to best begin the day. It’s nothing to do with laziness, I profess to myself – my brain simply runs on Pacific Standard Time, despite having lived in New York for most my life. So what can a guy do to transform what can only be seen as a massive black hole of wasted time, into something more useful, …

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The Power of “NO”

  “NO” – Perhaps the most powerful scene in any movie I can think of to date is that ending of the first Matrix: Keanu Reeves’ iconic character, Neo, has been gradually coming to terms with his own power, performing, literally, otherworldly feats of strength throughout the film. Then finally, while a swarm of bullets is streamlining toward his head, in a single act of total Self-realization (Self with a capital S) he extends, his arm out in front of him and says: “NO” –  And there goes the neighborhood; bullets freeze in mid air, the walls begin to flex …

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How to Use Procrastination to Foster Productivity

Six months ago I made a fascinating discovery – I’m a procrastinator… but that’s not all. The fascinating part was that, if properly structured, my innate procrastinating tendencies could be redirected and applied to: 1) Fixing my sleep, and 2) Increasing productivity 5x We’ll get to how in a second, but first a bit of back-story – I’d been a poor sleeper my entire life. For as long as I can remember I’d suffered form “onset insomnia” (difficulty falling asleep) – It took some doing but resolved itself with some basic sleep highgene techniques (cutting out caffeine, sleeping in a …

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THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – PART III: Extreme Healing and The Absurd Reality of Spontaneous Recovery

The medical world has been taken by storm in the last decade with this concept of neuroplasticity. It says that the brain is not a static structure, as previously conceived, but is rather pliable – like plastic; capable of adapting both functional (synaptic) and structural (dendritic) changes, as visibly seen on PET scans and FMRIs. In truth, it is not just our brains that are plastic, but as you are learning – it is our entire reality… Continued from THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – Part II: How to Increase Your Strength by 22% Without Moving A Muscle! and THE EXTREME …

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THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – Part II: How to Increase Your Strength by 22% Without Moving A Muscle!

Continued from previous post.  Mind Over Muscle As Dr. Norman Doidge, author of the New York Times best seller, The Brain That Changes Itself, recounts: “from a neuroscientific point of view, imagining an act and doing it are not as different as they sound.” – This ties in nicely with a favorite quote of mine from Maxwell Maltz who says that,“the human body cannot tell the difference between something real and that which is vividly imagined.” We know from PET scans and studies using FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) that a gymnast will activate the same neurons whether she is …

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THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – PART I: How to Change Your Life, by Changing Your Mind (The Neuroscience of How Thinking Makes It So)

What follows in this three-part-post is a collection of examples, the implications of which not only open new doors for achieving potential, but completely negate the concept of Cartesian Dualism once and for all. Some of these stories might seem bizarre, others, down right impossible. But I’ve done the research and you can check it out too. The data is real. What you choose to do with this knowledge is up to you. At the very least, my intention with these posts is to get you thinking of the possibilities…  What if you could: – Increase physical strength without moving …

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