Using Breathwork Meditation As a Personal Growth Tool

Ava Johanna Breathwork Mediation

The way that we use, breathwork, with, meditation,  is as a tool to really settle our bodies, when we’re in a heightened stress response or feeling really tight and closed off.  Breathwork,  allows us to settle into a space of openness and receptivity so much faster.  When we’re sitting in stillness and, meditation, you can feel the moving energy up and out of the body.

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Bio

Ava Johanna is the founder and visionary behind The Academy of Breath, international breathwork and meditation school, focused on making these ancient embodiment practices household tools across the globe. Ava’s mission is to bridge the gap between modern neuroscience and mysticism so breathwork and meditation are made accessible to everyone from high-level executives to stay-at-home parents.

Yet, Ava’s present-day reality – running a half a million-dollar breathwork and meditation empire, while giving back 10% of profits to marginalized communities and do-good organizations – is the polar opposite to her teenage experience. At the age of sixteen, Ava was homeless. Her rise to fulfillment, entrepreneurial success with The Academy of Breath, and claiming a mission that serves all, makes her the living embodiment of perseverance, healing, and wellness.

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 How Ava became a breathwork teacher

Ava: I grew up in a very affluent area. I was born in Santa Monica, California, one of the boroughs  in LA and moved about second or third grade to Ventura County Calabasas Westlake area. I always give the example of Calabasas is where the Kardashians live. My family was  middle class, but a lot of my friends had lots of money. And so by the time my mom separated from my stepdad which I’m still so proud of her to this day for doing that,  we are unable to pay for the basic basic needs, like a roof over our head, food on the table.  

My little sister is nine years younger than me and has autism and after she was diagnosed with autism, my mom did everything in her power to support her and to be near her. Unfortunately, my mom wasn’t even able to get a full time job or a regular job because my sister needed to be on call for my sister. She’s her primary caretaker so the only option really for her at that point was to work at the school. Being in close proximity to my sister and you know, really makes her life revolve around my sister.  

My mom’s car was repossessed, she would go to the church every other weekend, the Food Bank and pick up groceries for us and we spent a little over a year between couch surfing on friends’ couches, families, couches, neighbors. And after about a year and a half my mom finally was able to scrounge up enough money to get us our own apartment and it was this dingy dark little apartment, but it was ours. And throughout that whole experience, I really am grateful that I was surrounded by so much wealth because it showed me that there was another way. 

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I feel so deeply for communities where it’s only poverty because sometimes that can create this identification of this is all that there will ever be for me. And so I’m grateful that I got to see two different sides of circumstance so that I could say, this is the direction I want to go. That experience created this deep hustle mentality within me of continuing to climb and climb and climb until I felt safe.

And it wasn’t until the past few years that as my business started becoming more and more successful, I realized that there was no dollar amount that would ever make me feel safe and safety was an inside job that I had to create within myself. And that’s really where, breathwork and meditation, have had the biggest impact on my life, is learning how to create safety within myself.

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Using meditation as a personal development tool

Myrna: That’s a powerful story. I love that, because I was born poor in Guyana, but I had a very rich godfather who also showed me the other side.  How did you learn, meditation?

Ava: So I was working in a corporate job at the time I worked at this agency in San Diego in the marketing department and was so stressed out, it was a startup.  I was working anywhere between like eight to 10 hours every day.  I was in before the boss out after the boss and literally had dreams about my work. I was no fun to be around. A girlfriend invited me to a, yoga,  class for, personal development, and, stress relief, and the, yoga instructor, taught me, how to use  breathwork,  and, meditation. as, personal growth, tools. 

I remember being in a, breathwork meditation, class for the first time,  just dripping in sweat and feeling so good.  And so from there I  became a little obsessed about, breathwork meditation. So I enrolled in, yoga,  teacher training about six months later.  And a lot of anger would come up in training, which is now I know just repressed emotions leaving my body, but my first weekend in our, yoga, teacher training, we had someone come in and do a full, breathwork,  session with us. It was Wim Hof, which is a more modern take on older ancient practices that stem from the Himalayas. 

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Find you bliss with breathwork meditation

I remember leaving class that day and just calling my friend and letting her know oh my goodness. This feels incredible, I found my bliss. So from that point forward, I aggressively trained in, breathwork meditation. I saw that there were a lot of amazing things coming from teacher training and also a lot of gaps that could be filled in order to support people that had these missions.  And so that’s really where the inspiration for the Academy of Breath came from. 

Myrna: What is the neuroscience behind, breathwork meditation, that makes you feel so blissful?

Ava: I like approaching the science from two different angles. I love the mysticism behind, breathwork. I love the spiritual approach to it and I also love the science. So in the same way that if you are with a group of individuals and you’re all singing together. This energy that you can feel this, this opening that’s happening that is almost intangible to describe with words, but you can feel that heightened level of bliss. There’s that kind of element of, breathwork, that comes up. 

I can’t really explain this through my words, but you must experience it, in order to really feel what I’m talking about. So, with, breathwork, what I found was that, through this practice, I could feel my body softening and opening and calling almost all aspects of myself to the present moment where I was no longer time traveling between what had happened in the past or my anxiety and worrying predictions of what was happening in the future. 

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The neuroscience behind breathwork meditation

Now, that’s not necessarily something that we can prove with science, but that is something that you experience when you’re practicing various, breathwork, techniques whether it be a calming technique that’s really slowing the body down, slowing the, nervous system, down or more energizing techniques that’s actually creating more of a movement and momentum within yourself. 

You can experience that type of surrender, that type of fullness or oneness with all of these different, breathwork, practices and quite quickly as well.  You can do three rounds within two to three minutes and start to feel that sense of relief. Which is really powerful. And then on the other side of it when we look at the science behind, breathwork meditation. 

  In the same way that singing turns on the, vagus nerve, which is responsible for your, parasympathetic,  response in the body. Breathwork, as well turns on the, parasympathetic response. 

So basically, the way that I explain it is that the, vagus nerve, is like pumping the brakes on your stress response or, sympathetic nervous system.  We’re not necessarily humming or vibrating the vocal cords to activate the, vagus nerve, but there’s different practices like for example a, box breath, or equal ratio breath where the, parasympathetic  nervous system, is being activated through slowing down your breath and essentially telling your body and telling your, nervous system.

It’s safe for me to relax, it’s safe to let go. And when we’re doing that, we’re releasing happy chemicals throughout the body like, dopamine, and, serotonin, which are all those feel good hormones, and so that’s where the bliss comes. 

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Meditation stimulates the nervous system

Myrna: I told you,  I learn something new every time I interview someone. I’ve never heard that you can relax your, vagus nerve, by singing. I understand now why some, meditations,  do the chanting. I myself do the, box breath,  with my, meditation, where you inhale for four,  hold for 4 and then exhale for 5. 

Ava: Most people don’t realize that our breath can be used as medicine. So when someone goes into a really advanced, breathwork, practice,  like a Wim Hof practice,  all of those practices are amazing. They all serve their purpose. However, if we’re working with somebody who struggles with PTSD or struggles with anxiety or struggles with depression, we want to be really clear about what, breathwork, practices we are using and the equal ratio breath or the, box breath, or the style that you had mentioned. 

So when I teach it, I teach 5-5-5-5,  box breath.  You can absolutely elongate the exhale, because it does help with the, vagus nerve, being stimulated. But that’s like the easiest practice for anybody to start with to reacquaint themselves with their, breath. To reestablish a relationship with their breath where they’re more mindful about when they’re breathing, because we know that anything that we do in the 10 minutes that we’re sitting down, or five minutes that we’re sitting down, we’re going to become more aware of in the rest of the time during our day when we’re awake. 

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Using the box breath with breathwork meditation

So that’s a really, really simple place to start breathing in through your nose for four or five, holding at the top for four or five, scaling for four or five, and then we also hold at the bottom for four or five and that’s a way to just strengthen the lungs as well. And the way that is easiest to remember is just an equal basic breathing. So that’s how I explained it to individuals who this helps them. 

Myrna: Okay, so you’re saying that’s the simplest, breathwork, . Give us a complicated one.

Ava: Being able to increase your body temperature is a pretty epic tool to have, especially when you’re feeling a little chilly. And I think more than anything, it’s understanding the breath, and the role that the breath plays on the autonomic nervous system.  It is like the heart beating; it is the immune system. It’s our hormones releasing from the body.

It’s our digestion, our breath is directly connected to our, autonomic nervous system. And so we can do about that as a way to again move out of that, fight or flight response, where we’re just dumping acidic chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline on our body into a, parasympathetic response. 

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A breathwork technique to reduce hot flashes

Yes, there is actually a really great practice that is so funny. My mom came with me for my bachelorette party a couple years ago and it was so hot and we were walking back from the party to the Airbnb we were staying, and she just got so overheated and she had to sit down.   I was like, Mom, you got to do this, breathwork, practice with me to cool you down.  It works within five minutes.  It’s really simple, you curl your tongue like a funnel and inhale through it.  And for anyone who can’t curl their tongue up,  you’ll just breathe through the teeth. 

Myrna: Can you use, breathwork,  to connect to our, higher power?  Because when you go into stillness, you connect with your, higher power, you connect with God. So how do you teach your clients to use, breathwork, to connect to the, higher power, or their higher self?

Myrna: Yeah, that’s such a beautiful question. And to be honest, this is where I get them the most like space to explore on their own because I truly believe that we all have a unique relationship to a, higher power, of our own understanding. And so you know, as an example, I know that in a lot of communities, the word of God can trigger them based on religious upbringing. For me, I love the word God if that’s my understanding of the, higher power, but I know other people like the word, universe, or my, higher self, or whatever it might be.

And so I need to change the language because I know that God created the, universe.   All those things are just means the same, super consciousness. There is a bunch of labels. 

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Using Breathwork meditation  to access your higher self

Ava: So the way that I use, breathwork, in with, meditation, is that using, breathwork, first as a tool to really settle our bodies so that again, we’re out of that heightened stress response or feeling really tight and closed off.  Breathwork,  allows us to settle into a space of openness and receptivity so much faster.  When we’re sitting in stillness and, meditation and you feel that moving energy up and out of the body.

Sometimes that energy might be before in the form of recurring thoughts. that might be something that happened yesterday, something that you have to check off of your to do list etc. we can use, breathwork, as a way to move that energy up and out of the body so that we’ve actually created enough of a slowing down within the mind. so that when you are meditating, it’s so much easier for you to hear your own inner voice or the voice of God or the voice of source in the practice itself.

And so usually what I will do for someone who’s like just started, guide them into, breathwork. Then once they’re in, meditation, bring them through a list of things that they’re grateful for, so that they’re really dropping their, heart space,  and then guide them into some sort of, prayer. That, prayer, might be just like asking a certain question of something that they desire guidance around or  wanting to communicate with God. 

 And then just allowing myself and, breathwork meditation, to be the subject. I think the two practices go together so perfectly and you know, the lens of, yoga, the eight limbs of, yoga, conjures eight limbs of, yoga. Breathwork, comes before, meditation, as a way to prepare the body to sit for longer periods of time so that you can experience God. 

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The Academy of Breath

Myrna: How can we connect with you and learn, breathwork meditation, an these wonderful things that you’re teaching. 

Ava: Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to share. So the Academy of breath offers an eight week online, breathwork, and, meditation, certification program. This is really meant for anybody who is interested in incorporating, breathwork, and, meditation, into their work that they do. We’ve had  high school teachers go through, therapists go through, we have coaches, yoga teachers, massage therapists, so really anybody who would want to expand their core offering using, breathwork, and, meditation, or wants to become a replica, meditation teacher.

We created this program to really guide you through how to facilitate nine different record practices, three different styles of, meditation, as well as bonus modules and bonus support on how to build a business around it. Again, as I mentioned, when I went through all these trainings, I thought there were phenomenal aspects of the trainings that were more spiritual based or the trainings that were more like science based, but no one really approached like the business side of things either.

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PTWWN TV – Using Breathwork as a Tool For Personal Growth 

I think that’s where a lot of teacher trainings fall short is that you give them all of these tools, but then they’re like, I don’t know what to do with this. And so we really work on that aspect of it as well. If that’s something that feels a little bit too, too much or too advanced for those of you that are listening and maybe you’re brand new to, breathwork, and, meditation, we also have a six modules for some practice course called backward, where you will learn over the course of six modules how to develop your own personal, breathwork meditation, practice, to help amplify your creativity, your intuition, lower stress levels, and become more present.

And so we really wanted to create a more accessible way for people to learn, breathwork, and, meditation, that might not necessarily be ready to go into a full teacher training. And you can find details for all of that at www.Academyofbreath.org/programs. 

Additional Resources

Using Mindfulness And Breathwork To Heal After Tragedy

 

7 reasons Mindfulness Meditation can Grow your Business

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

How to Raise Your Consciousness And Create Miracles

Dr Mark Mincolla Miracles

You can’t make, miracles, in your material self, they don’t exist there. If you take the time to foster an energetic connection between your, higher self, and your consciousness  you will access the way of, miracles.

My guest today is Dr Mark Mincolla, PhD Nutritional Therapist and Quantum Energy Healer and author of the book The Way of Miracles: Accessing Your Superconsciousness

Download the podcast here: 

https://pdcn.co/e/https://chrt.fm/track/897G7/www.buzzsprout.com/1761155/9713515-how-to-raise-your-consciousness-and-create-miracles.mp3?download=true

Bio

Mark Mincolla PhD is a Nutritional Therapist and Quantum Energy Healer who has transformed the lives of more than 60,000 patients over the last 35 years. Dr. Mincolla has authored 7 international best-selling books, and has appeared on Dr Oz, Better TV, WFXT FOX25 Boston, KCBS in Los Angeles, along with numerous national TV & radio show, and in regional and national magazines.

His latest book The Way of Miracles: Accessing Your Super consciousness is an adventure for the body, mind and spirit that begins with the premise that miracles don’t randomly happen—we create them!  In The Way of Miracles, Dr. Mincolla shares experiences, documented research, and exercises that he provides his patients and uses himself to raise consciousness in order to cultivate the ability to heal and create miracles that have a lasting effect.

Dr. Mark, my first question here is can you share your journey to understanding the, superconscious, and, miracles? I understand from your bio that you were able to cure yourself of a life-threatening illness?

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Introduction to the Way of Miracles

Dr Mark: About five years ago, I made a connection with a wonderful producer from New York; a great film producer who actually produced a film called “The way of Miracles”.

Christina and I became very committed to the idea of trying to get together a terrific film – a game changing movie. We actually thought about a lot of the patients that I’ve worked with and some of the remarkable experiences that I’ve had with healing recoveries. I had one woman who had a brain tumor (the size of a tennis ball) and it was in her frontal lobe, they removed it surgically and grew back two months later.  She decided not to go for a second brain surgery.  I just can’t go through brain surgery again, impossible.

So I decided to seek out some other alternative methods of healing her brain tumor. I worked with her, putting a very strict anti-inflammatory diet, including a strong concentration of natural supplements. We did a lot of positive mental work as well – a lot of, meditative prayer, and things like that. Over the course of five months the tumor vanished.

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The miracle cure for cancer

The good news is, now she’s been cancer free for nine years. That’s the kind of story that we’ve set out to create and produce. In the way of, miracles, we actually have a number of different end stage cancer patients, neurodegenerative, conditions like people with Parkinson’s and things like that. We had truly amazing, miracles, and turnarounds. No question about it, we just let the patients tell their stories.

We just let them essentially connect with the audience and to tell the audience what their personal experience was with, miracles.

In the middle of this process, I was bit by a lime tick and it infected me with, Neuroborreliosis, and the bacteria crippled me. I couldn’t walk. I was unable to walk for two weeks. I was unable to move. I was paralyzed for two weeks.

Neuroborreliosis, is a disorder of the central nervous system. A neurological manifestation of, Lyme disease, neuroborreliosis, is caused by a systemic infection of spirochetes of the genus Borrelia.

In the hospital they told me they weren’t sure I’d ever recover from that. They said, “we are not confident that you can beat this thing. It was a pretty nasty disease,  but the real day that will live with me for the rest of my life was the 2nd of July, 2018.

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Paralysis the miracle of survival

I was not able to walk at that point, so when I fell on the bathroom floor and hit my head, I couldn’t get up.  I was on the bathroom floor for 14 hours, paralyzed and unable to move. I basically had to wait 14 hours for someone to come in and just discover me. During that period of time, I went through deep spiritual work, not knowing that I’d ever walk again.

In fact, while I was on that bathroom floor, I couldn’t move anything. I couldn’t move my fingers, couldn’t move my head, couldn’t move anything. I knocked over a bunch of bathroom cleaners and I was inhaling and swallowing them because I couldn’t even move my head out of the way. Couldn’t move any muscles at all. I was paralyzed from the neck down.

Long story short, 14 hours later, I was discovered and rescued. During that period of rescue, I went to the hospital for several days and went to rehab for several weeks. There was a great burning question within me that, “Would I ever be able to move again”?  Nobody knew the answer to that.  I had to decide would I be willing to live the rest of my life from a wheelchair?”

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Deciding to Live

I decided I was ready to live regardless of what kind of hand I was dealt. I was prepared to live paralyzed and to continue to write books. I could write books in a wheelchair and continue to do lectures. I could do lectures in a wheelchair and still continue to inspire people.

The long story short again, I went into some deep therapeutic protocols. I took a number of different, powerful herbs that I was familiar with. My diet was an absolutely perfect, anti-inflammatory diet, including a number of different nutritional supplements. I took a little silver and high concentration of herbs that were very powerful against, Lyme disease. Slowly and gradually over a period of time, I got better and now I’m basically fully functional again and back in the saddle.

Myrna: That is such a powerful story. A couple of things I want to circle back is when you fell into the bathroom floor, did the fall make you paralyzed or you fell paralyzed?

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Dr Mark: I had, neurological borrelia, that causes paralysis motion. The, Lyme disease,  caused that, but I think the shock of falling and hitting my head didn’t help. The film was just released two weeks ago. People can actually view the film by going to wayofmiracles.com. I was ready to present, miracle stories, from patients, I didn’t know  that I was going to be telling my own, miracle story.

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Accessing your superconscious for miracles

Myrna: Your book is “The way of Miracles: Accessing your Super Consciousness”. When you were healing yourself, I know you talked being a, nutritional therapist, and you talked about supplements. Can you tell us how the, superconscious, or accessing your, super consciousness, (which is also called your, soul,) and  saying that you’re a, soul, and you want to connect to your, soul. Can you share that experience for our listeners who don’t understand that?

Dr Mark: I think for starters in my fifth book. The fifth book I wrote is entitled “Whole Health”. There’s a section that I wrote about identifying your “I”. We used the word “I” 500 times a day. It’s a spiritual identity crisis because we tend to think that the “I” is a material self. It’s a personality, it’s an ego, it’s a physical cellular tissue-based organ-based self, but we’re so much more than that. I say that we’ve become victims of an identity crisis or spiritual identity crisis.

What I ask the readers to do in the book “The way of Miracles”, is to go to the nearest mirror look and look in the mirror, look in your own eyes in the center of your eyes, don’t take your eyes off the center of your eyes for 10 straight full minutes. You’ll start to find that you’re getting in touch with the essence of your being.

Miracles come from the spirit

There’s no personality there, there’s no ego there, there’s no material nature there, but you can feel the presence of your, energy, there – your, soul, your essence, your core, your, spirit,  etc. I think that the objective is to tap into and get used to feeling that beautiful essence of self pure, energy.

I think when you take the time to do that, you overcome the identity crisis that I talked about, because you become familiar with and connected to the eternal self – the eternal being within your being, within yourself that is limitless and it’s a, miracle, maker. – The whole premise of the book is that there’s two ‘selves’ – a material self and a, spiritual self.

You can’t make, miracles, in your material self, they don’t exist there. If you take the time to foster an energetic connection between your, higher self, and your core (which I say between your heart and your, soul) you will access the way of, miracles.

When you meditate, you enter into your, soul, but if you meditate with your heart, you give emotional connection to your spiritual nature. When you render emotional connection to your spiritual nature, you access, miracles.

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Emotion is highly charged (it’s electrical, it’s energy). When you take the time to combine the electrical charge of your emotional being with your, soul, that’s when you reach the limitless nature of unconditional perfection; that’s when you can actually create, miracles, make miracles, help people with, miracles, and revolutionize your life experience.

Connecting with your soul daily

Myrna: When you go and look in the mirror for 10 minutes and you feel your essence, you feel your, spirit, you feel your, non-physical entity, what do you do next?

Dr Mark: You do it routinely for one thing. You don’t just do it once, you do it daily. It’s like a, meditation, exercise.  It’s like an exercise that brings you closer to your true self and gets you in touch with your true identity.

Myrna: I like the part about the, miracles. You said that we can create, miracles, when we access the, super consciousness. We’re talking here about getting in touch with our, soul, but there must be another layer in order to create the, miracles.

Dr Mark: The objective is to get out of the part of you that’s limited to step out, step beyond the part of you that is materially bound by its limitation. It’s not about, miracles, it’s about survival.

Transform Your Mind PTWWN TV
Transform Your Mind PTWWN TV

Using the super conscious to become limitless

You move to occupy the core of your, limitless, self. That’s the part that I think renders are capable of creating, miracles. Miracles, exist on that plane and your potential to make them happen exists in that plane. If you want to perform, miracles, or live a life of, miracles, you got to go to where the, miracles, are (you got to go to your, soul, your, higher self, and your higher being).

Myrna: Now, let’s talk about your book. Your book is “The way of Miracles: Accessing your Super Consciousness”. What would you like readers to walk away with after reading your book?

Dr Mark: A lot of our pain and suffering comes from the fact that we’re not whole.  People are always looking for wellness;  vitamins, nutritional stuff (that’s exercise) but those are all good things, but you cannot be well unless you’re whole.

Miracles from wholeness

So, wellness begins with wholeness and I think the idea of identifying with your whole self and getting in touch with the fact that you’re capable of, miracles.  The book is about spiritual identity crisis and it encourages people. It gives people exercises at the end of each chapter like the mirror exercise.  It teaches the readers how to get in touch with their own core.

The mission of this book is to say, there are, miracles, happening every day In our world.  We see a lot of them, but that’s largely because we’re tuned into the fact that those, miracles, operate in a very deep place within ourselves. If we operate from that deeper place (and not operate from our shallow zones), you’ll make more, miracles, than you can ever imagine. I think that you’d overcome the identity problem.

You need to accept and embrace the fact that you’re a powerful being. You’re a, soul, you’re an eternal, soul. You’re so much more than a personality with limitations, you’re a soul without limitation. That’s what you are and you live forever.

Conclusion

Everybody has been telling us for the longest, while we’re, limitless. That we are not limited to this body, but very few people are able to tap into that, super conscious. People can check out my work at markmincolla.com.

We are a non-physical, we’re dual personalities (where we’re non-physical as well as physical). The physical is limited, the physical is the personality.  Once we tap into our, super consciousness, our, soul, our, spirit, we become a, multi-sensory, person and not a personality. Once you do all these different things, then you can access the space of, miracles.

Myrna: I will definitely start doing that mirror exercise looking into my eyes which would be looking into my, soul, for 10 Minutes.

Thanks for downloading and supporting the Transform Your Mind podcast.  If you have not done so already, please rate and review us on iTunes.

Additional Resources

How to Access God Through Worship

 

Entrepreneurship: Tips for Women Battling Mental Illness

Entrepreneurship - Tips for mental illness

Entrepreneurship, is the process of setting up a business. For, entrepreneurs, battling, mental illness, controlling their, emotions, is their superpowers, when it comes to building a business of our dreams.

My guest today is Scout Sobel. She is the author of the “Emotional Entrepreneur” and we are going to be having a very interesting conversation today on, mental health, specifically the, mental health, of entrepreneurs.  As you consider, entrepreneurship,  you need to understand how our, emotions, guide you in everyday life.

Download and Listen to the full interview here:

https://pdcn.co/e/https://chrt.fm/track/897G7/www.buzzsprout.com/1761155/9479167-entrepreneurship-tips-for-women-battling-mental-illness.mp3?download=true

Bio

Scout experienced her first depressive episode at the age of 14 and was formally diagnosed with, bipolar disorder, at the age of 20. Living with a, mental illness, brought an onslaught of symptoms: anxiety, hypomania, depression, catatonia, psychosis, and, suicidal ideation.

Her perception of her life weighed down on her so poignantly that she dropped out of college, could not hold a job or internship, was hospitalized, experimented with medleys of prescription medication, and went through two outpatient programs.

One day her husband (then boyfriend) looked at her lovingly and said, “I don’t care if you’re depressed. If you are depressed and hopeful, I can be in this relationship. If you are depressed and hopeless, I can’t do this with you.” 

Book Emotional Entrepreneur

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Podfriend Transform Your Mind Podcast
Podfriend Transform Your Mind Podcast

That was the moment her life changed. She started infusing her life with hope and began to take radical responsibility for her emotional state. And after intense, self-development, work – support groups, holistic healing modalities, prayer, routines, and physical wellness, she found, entrepreneurship. Through, entrepreneurship, she learned to unconditionally love her life through the pain, challenges, and celebrations. She learned that she wanted to be here.

Today, Scout is the Founder and CEO of Scout’s Agency, a female-focused PR agency that specializes in getting women as guests on, podcasts.

Her debut book, The Emotional Entrepreneur, provides the, mindset, and, emotional tools, she learned from managing her, mental illness, that have helped her succeed in business and, entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship and mental illness

Myrna: I want to start off with something you say in your book “The Emotional Entrepreneur”, you said that our, emotions, are our guiding superpowers when it comes, entrepreneurship, and building a business of our dreams. How did your, emotions, guide you to become an, entrepreneur?

Scout: Very shortly after I was diagnosed with, bipolar disorder, my husband said those sentences that changed my life and I started infusing hope into my days. Which beautifully led me to faith through that process of showing up to support groups, writing gratitude lists etc. My gratitude list and my journal, every single morning reading every self-help book Barnes and Noble had to offer.

I was sitting with my friend at a coffee shop and we were looking through an Indie magazine (I love fashion magazines). I just looked at her and I asked do you want to start a magazine with me? She said yes, let’s do it. We were going to print it at Kinko’s and pass it out to our friends for free. This was going to be a borderline arts and crafts project.

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Transform your Mind Podcast Index
Transform your Mind Podcast Index

What does it mean to be an Entrepreneur

Suddenly, something in my mind just flipped and immediately I went home. I got the Instagram handle, I searched for printers in the area and then set up five appointments with all the best printers in 50 mile vicinity. I went to see them and then they quoted me ten thousand dollars. I said to myself, ‘I have to find ten thousand dollars’.

Then, I started a kick starter campaign and fast forward, our second issue was picked up by national distributor and sold in newsstands across the country. I was 22 at the time.

The third issue had musician Halsey on the cover and I woke up to an email from Barnes and Noble asking if they could distribute my magazine as well.

So, in that three-issue process of, entrepreneurship, and  running that magazine, I went from the girl that had to pull herself out of bed, to becoming an, entrepreneur, who was in charge of everything. It was like walking through quicksand.   I couldn’t deal with responsibility. I became the girl that over functioned. I became the girl that went the extra mile in such a short time.

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Transform Your Mind Podcast Player FM
Transform Your Mind Podcast Player FM

Becoming an Entrepreneur

I found out that, entrepreneurship, was two things that I felt:

  1. Entrepreneurship, has the same highs and lows as, bipolar disorder.  My mind could really understand the emotional pattern behind it.
  2. I was unable to show up for the responsibilities in my life, because I always had a psychiatrist note that could excuse me.  I didn’t have to go to friend’s birthday party because I had a, mental illness.  All my friends would understand or try to understand etc.

I really used my, mental illness, as a, crutch, to avoid responsibility and avoid showing up in my life in the ways that I really needed to, but when it came to, entrepreneurship, there was no note a psychiatrist could write out because I couldn’t tap out of it .

If I tapped out, the whole thing would fall apart, so it was almost this contradictory paradox.  I had to have all the responsibility on my shoulders in order for me to show up, I had to be completely present in every aspect.   So, I found in the beginning of, entrepreneurship, that I showed up because I had the freedom to create what I wanted to create and I couldn’t call in sick, that didn’t work anymore.

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Myrna: I also believe that, happiness, is working towards a goal and there is no better goal than when you’re working for yourself and you’re trying to grow your business as an, entrepreneur.  I also like your confession that you were using the doctor’s notes as a cop-out in life.

A lot of people do that, they lead with their illnesses. It doesn’t even have to be, mental illness, it could be a physical illness and they lead with that. Oh! I can’t do this because of this, mental illness, it’s a cop-out because we know being in the inspirational space, that people overcome challenges all the time.

They defy odds and do amazing things with no hands and no legs.

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Transform Your Mind Podcast Pandora
Transform Your Mind Podcast Pandora

Are you addicted to your mental illness

Scout: I think it’s important. I don’t know if it’s touched upon enough and it’s something I say that can ruffle feathers or maybe trigger some people. I was addicted to my, depression. My, depression, my anxiety and my, mental illness, while it kept me in such distress and pain and chaos and crying fits and, anxiety attacks.

It kept me in my comfort zone, it kept me in the predictable, it kept me in what my body was used to. So, in many ways, it held me back from my healing because it said “no, that freedom out there, that’s unknown – (we don’t know what’s going to happen over there).

Let’s just stay in the pain so we can predict what’s happening, we know how this is going to go. It prevented me and allowed me not go through my formative early 20s not assuming responsibility for my emotional state.

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Transform your Mind Spotify Podcast
Download on Spotify

Taking responsibility for mental illness

So my, mental illness, was very real and tangible, and loves to visit me at times when I would prefer it not to.

There was a lot of moments and I think most of my suffering came from the fact that I allowed myself to play the victim.  I blamed the cards that I was dealt on my despair and suffering. The minute I realized and took responsibility and accepted that these were the cards that I was dealt, I started to use my emotional landscape as my superpower.

Today, ten years after being diagnosed with, bipolar disorder, and  16 years after having my first depressive episode, I feel wildly safe in my, emotions.

I think they are my biggest teachers, mentors and guides. They have helped me with, entrepreneurship. They are the reasons I am successful with Scott’s Agency. I also started recognizing that when I got into, entrepreneurship, this game was a, personal development, game. It wasn’t a play, it wasn’t a market strategy (those are all parts of it) but at the end of the day, successful, entrepreneurs, are successful because of their emotional strength and their, mindset.

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Transform Your Mind iHeart Radio
iHeart Radio

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur

I saw that so many women who had the resources, the education, the access to funds, are not getting into the game of their dreams because of self-doubt, because of fear and anxiety. That’s when I woke up. My, bipolar disorder, primed me to walk through emotional hell, to gather the strength and the tools that I could then apply to living out my purpose (which is running Scouts Agency, writing books etc).

So, once I realized that it was the emotional landscape that was holding us all back from success, that’s when the light bulb went off in my brain.

Myrna: Yes, it’s true our, emotions, dictate the quality of our lives which is basically why I named this show “Transform your Mind to transform your life” because if you believe that you can, you can. And if you have this, crutch, that says you were born poor or you were born black or you were born with a, mental illness, or you were born with whatever, crutch, that you want to tell yourself, that prevents you from moving forward, and your life is not going to be transformed.

Scout: Everyone can find a, crutch, no matter who they are, no matter if their life is technically great on paper or technically really unfortunate circumstances, we can all easily rely on a, crutch.

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Entrepreneurship and the emotional ride of uncertainty

Myrna: How can, entrepreneurs, handle the emotional rollercoaster and what kind of, mindset shifts, that they need in order to become a successful, entrepreneur? You talked about your purpose and the fact that your, bipolar disorder, with your highs and lows allowed you to have the emotional strength to become an, entrepreneur.

Let’s talk about the, entrepreneur, that is doing everything. What kind of advice would you give to that, entrepreneur, (female) let’s say that wants to start a magazine or a hair salon or something and has to deal with all the aspects of, entrepreneurship, and the uncertainty?

Scout:  First cultivate the belief that you’re safe in your, emotions, and then unconditionally accept that uncomfortable, emotions, are highly part of this game and that you will survive them.

That you are safe in your, emotions, and that you can reduce the suffering above the pain. What I mean by that is if you can limit the, anxiety, about the, anxiety, or the sadness about the, depression, we can work with the root cause.  Uncomfortable, emotions, and really understand what it’s trying to tell us, that makes you an, entrepreneur.

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Transform Your Mind Amazon
Transform Your Mind Amazon

Don’t expect entrepreneurship to be fun

So, before you jump into the game, understand that you’re going to be juggling all the hats.

  • You’re going to be the customer service expert,
  • The graphic designer,
  • You’re going to be the social media manager
  • The sales manager.
  • The website designer

All these roles that you have to figure out.  On top of that you’re going to have to walk through the uncomfortable discomfort that comes with that responsibility. So, know and accept that’s part of the game.

It’s really suiting up and really pulling in from your personal power and strength. It’s not expecting that, entrepreneurship, is going to be easy, fun and glamorous.  That you’re always in alignment, you’re flowing with creative ideas and your courses are selling out with six figure launches automatically etc. The fires will come more often than the successes.

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Transform Your Mind Luminary podcast
Transform Your Mind Luminary podcast

Entrepreneurship is living from the end

Myrna: As a Lifecoach, I understand what you’re trying to say, but it’s a very hard pill to swallow, because people go into, entrepreneurship, with the dream of riches and wealth and they don’t necessarily go into it thinking of the fires. They understand it’s hard work, but it’s very hard to smile and say I’m going to walk through the fire.  Tony Robbins, make you do the fire walk and I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s setting you up for that you can walk through the fire and not get burnt.

I follow Dwayne Dwyer and he talks about, living from the end. So let’s say that you become an, entrepreneur, for a certain end purpose or end game.  When you’re walking through the fire, if you can see that end then it will give you the strength in order to not chuck it in and to move forward.

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Book Social media 101

Entrepreneurs need to prioritize their mental health

You said that every, entrepreneur, should prioritize their, mental health, but not every, entrepreneur, is going to have, depression, or, bipolar disorder. However, mental health, covers a gamut of things.  So what’s your advice on that?

Scout: When I wrote the ‘Emotional Entrepreneur’, it was really not for the mentally ill. I think the beauty of the conversation about, mental illness, that it is coming to the forefront in the last few years.  When I was diagnosed 10 years ago, no one is talking about, mental illness. Now the conversation is beautifully being opened. In the conversation about, mental illness, being open, the conversation about everyone’s daily, mental health, is being opened and that’s really the people I want to talk to.

All of my messages are not for those who struggle with, mental illness, it’s for those who have, mental health, which is all of us. I think, for too long we’ve been told that if we don’t have a, mental illness, then there’s nothing we get to prioritize. When our experience here on earth is based on how we relate to our, emotions, and many times we act in spite of our, emotions, when our, higher self, knows better or our, higher self, would have had a different plan for us.

Google Podcast Transform Your Mind
Google Podcast Transform Your Mind

Mental health is not only for people diagnosed with mental illness

So, if you’re an, entrepreneur, and you are listening and you’re like; ‘well, I’m going to go through fires, I’m going to go through ups and downs, I’m going to have to figure out whatever messed up our product or makes a client unhappy. Now, I got to figure out how to make payroll and all of those things you might as well emotionally feel safe during that process because your business is going to soar if you are emotionally sound and strong within.

Myrna: I’m glad you’re saying that, mental health, is not necessary for people that have been diagnosed with, mental illness, but it’s very important to keep your, mental health, strong.

One of the things that I love about your bio is that you talk about your prescription medication for the people that have been diagnosed with, mental illness. Can you share your journey?

Deezer Transform Your Mind Podcast
Deezer Transform Your Mind Podcast

Prescription medication for mental illness

Scout: This month celebrates one year of being, psychiatry medication, free and I don’t say that to promote the stigma or to promote anyone to go off their medication. I simply say because, psychiatry medication, got me to a point where I was able to go off them and then flourish in my life. Though, there were a lot of dark moments with me and my trial and error for medication.

If anyone is listening to this, and he’s considering, psychiatry medication, for a, mental illness, diagnosis or, mental health, diagnosis, and he’s feeling ashamed around that, I really invite you to end that shame and that stigma. There are times in our lives where we need to take things to physically and mentally treat our illnesses, our bodies, our spirits and souls etc. I never felt shame around taking the, psychiatric medication.

I really invite you to not passively wait for, psychiatry medication, to come save your mental state, but to really recognize that it’s just a little boost and the rest you really have to show up for. The idea that, psychiatry medication, is going to heal you completely, for me was very helpful because I wasn’t just passively playing the victim and waiting for something else to take over me and heal me. Medication really does a very small percentage of your healing for you.

Psychiatry medication is just the launching pad to healing

Psychiatry medication, can provide that launching pad, but really get ready for yourself to show up for you. I would say to really be your own advocate in the psychiatry office, ask about the symptoms, ask about what’s coming off the medication, ask about the withdrawals, do I have to ease off for two months?

I say this because I was put on a, psychiatry medication, where I was not given the correct information about the withdrawals and it was a really traumatic experience for me. So, it’s really good to ask about the side effects.

The Emotional Entrepreneur

Myrna: Can you tell us about your book “The Emotional Entrepreneur”? You said it was not written for people that have been diagnosed specifically with, mental illness, but to help people prioritize, mental health.  I like that play on words. What do you want the readers to walk away after reading your book?

Scout: The Emotional Entrepreneur is really the emotional guidebook for, entrepreneurship. If you are someone who wants to start an agency, a podcast, a product based business, a life coaching, career etc; you might be purchasing books on how to manage clients. You might even be purchasing books on how to hit six figures, you might be purchasing books on how to close more sales, deals, how to brand your website etc, this book is the emotional part of all of that. This is going to be your guidebook towards navigating fear, combating impostor syndrome and enjoying yourself along the way.

By celebrating small wins and believing in yourself, it’s going to help you reframe your relationship to your, anxiety, as you get started. It’s going to make you understand that, entrepreneurship, and starting your own business is the biggest personal development game, and you get to be emotionally supported in that.

Transform your mind PTWWN TV
PTWWN TV

Conclusion

Myrna: How can readers connect with you on social media or get a copy of your book?

Scout: You can follow me on Instagram ‘@scoutsobel’, that’s the best place to connect with me. In my bio, there are links to Scout’s Agency, my podcast and you can buy the book there. You can as well get the book on Amazon when you search for “The Emotional Entrepreneur by Scott Sobel”.

Myrna: One of my biggest takeaways about, depression, was reading the book; “The Work” by Byron Katie. I mean I have never actually heard of a, depression, like she went through.  She said that she was so depressed that she had to put herself in a halfway house, and she laid on the floor and couldn’t get up and couldn’t move until one day she decided to change her inner dialogue and change her mindset.

Thank you guys all supporting the Transform Your Mind podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes if you found this content inspirational.

Additional Resources

Understanding Mental Illness – My Bipolar Life