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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Morning Mobilization Routine

Here is a basic seriese of mobilization exercises you can do each morning to: Awaken the nervous system, Map activation pathways Increase flow of blood,  oxygen and nutrients throughout the body If Motion = Life, then Stagnation = Death. Just look at the water quality of a flowing stream vs that of stagnant pond. The human body is no different. Whether we’re addressing it on the level of bio-energy, biochemistry, molecules or emotions – flow and movement is the natural state that will always lead to better wellbeing. Description Sleep is a time of inactivity. While key parasympathetic actions (digestions, …

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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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Is the Internet Making Us Dumber?: Prognosis Negative

I recently jumped back into wordpress after a hiatus and discovered some surprising new features. Namely, the readability analysis.  This addition to the Yoast plugin crawls your content for sentence structure and essentially prompts you, via realtime feedback in the editor panel, how to improve your post’s readability. (The current readability for this post thus far states, “needs improvement” and is ranked: frowny face):  Suggestions offered include: Flesch Reading Ease: The copy scores 45 in the test, which is considered difficult to read. Try to make shorter sentences, using less difficult words to improve readability. Transition words: Only 20% of the …

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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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How to Catch the Ultimate Ride (in surfing and in life): A lesson in discernment

Yes! Another surfing post! Sort of… In my recent post on the power of taking a pause, I used surfing as a proxy to convey the value of slowing down in “critical situations.” Now I’d like to share another insight that came from my beloved sea. Although this post deconstructs the act of surfing, I believe the process can be replicated to expedite improvement for virtually any desired outcome. One question that I always find myself asking when striving to make tangible improvements in any aspect of my life (physical, mental or beyond) is, “what’s the most important thing?” – There’s …

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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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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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Outsourcing Motivation: The End of Discipline

Want to get better at upholding personal commitments? (rhetorical question) – Try outsourcing them… Brought to you from the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, and the gurus of Behavior Design; in order to accomplish any goal, we need to have the following three things: 1) Ability – the physical capacity to carry out the task or tasks that will result in our intended outcome 2) Motivation – an incentive that outweighs the cost of acting. And, we need to have what they call: 3) A “Hot-trigger” – this is our call to action… Short story:  Thursday, March 22rd, 2012 – 10:00am…  “Leave …

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The Art of Doing Less (and Accomplishing More)

I felt like starting this one off with something funny, and this clip get’s me every time! The following post is inspired by my friend Ari Meisel – founder of LessDoing.com   Two things happened in the past three weeks that have profoundly influenced my sanity in a very positive way: 1) I went on a weekend-long silent meditation retreat after what had been one of the most chaotic, productive, engaging yet mind-scrambling months of my life, and 2) I attended Ari Meisel’s skillshare class in Soho, New York. The details of my schedule that lead to such catalysts are …

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Don’t Miss the Boat!

I first came across the following poem while visiting the very scenic Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, back in May. – It reminds me how important it is to remain “tuned in” – not distracted by external influence, during any time of great decision:   Missing the Boat by Naomi Shihab-Nye It is not so much that the boat passed and you failed to notice it. It is more like the boat stopping directly outside your bedroom window, the captain blowing the signal-horn, the band playing a rousing march. The boat shouted, waving bright flags, its silver hull blinding in …

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