Expand Your Place Part 2: Meditation
In the first-ever sequel to the Russ Perry Show, Russ expands on the idea of expanding your place from episode 13. Instead this time, the conversation is all about how meditation can expand your (mental) place.
There are many misconceptions about the practice of meditation. It’s not about eliminating thoughts from your mind, rather it’s about not getting attached to certain thoughts. When you practice meditation, you’re training your brain to be able to focus and maintain that focus over long periods of time.
Russ explains how important meditation has been to his success and encourages you to try it for yourself. Join the conversation below!
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Each week we release an Action Guide filled with relevant exercises from the latest Russ Perry Show episode to help you expand in all core areas of your life: body, being, balance, and business.
This week’s Action Guide will help guide you through your first meditation session. Download it below to expand your (mental) space!
BONUS: No need to take notes – we transcribed the episode for you!
– Da-da-daaa! Welcome, everybody. You are tuned in, or watching on replay, for a very special sequel edition of the Russ Perry Show. Yes, that’s right, we’re doing our very first ever sequel on a topic we talked about a couple of episodes ago, and that is Expand Your Place, Part Two. So, if you have — I’m about to sneeze, geeze — come on, what do you do, this is a live show, ladies and gentlemen, so that does happen.
So if you have not watched Expand Your Place, Part One, go back and watch it, because we’re gonna be expanding on the topic of why you need to expand where you operate, and how you operate. And in the first episode, we talked about your physical space, but in today’s episode, we’re talking about your mind. So sit back, relax, I welcome you to another episode of the Russ Perry Show.
– [Intro] Let’s go! Every week, discover new ways to increase your performance across the core four areas of life. Body, being, balance, and business. Welcome to the Russ Perry Show.
Alright, and we are back here with the Russ Perry Show, and today we are talking about a continued conversation around expanding your place. Now before we get into it, I want to share a quick story. A story of myself this morning. This morning, when I was working out, I went over to a friend and coach, a good friend of the company, and also a coach, Luke Kayyem’s house, he does a little special drill workout that I sometimes get invited to when I can get up early enough, and we did our weightlifting workout, and then we went into meditation.
That’s right, I meditated after my weightlifting workout. Now, this was an interesting new type of meditation, in which I was breathing very heavily, as well as practicing different types of breath management techniques, in terms of holding my breath, expelling my breath, moving it around my body in a certain way. And all of this from the outsider’s point of view probably looked a bit ridiculous at like 5:45 in the morning.
But the reason that I did this wasn’t to look ridiculous, was that so I could train another area of my body, and that is my mind. So for those of you have no idea what meditation is, let’s just start there.
When you hear meditation, and you’re not familiar with it, you might what my wife thought originally, back in the day, that it’s some kind of religious thing. Oh, you hear about monks meditating, or you know, it’s like, I’m gonna go in the mountains, and meditate. Which is true, to a certain extent. Many religious organizations use meditation as part of their rituals and ceremonies. But at the end of the day, all meditation is, is exercising your mind.
Now you might say, “Russ, why the hell would I need to exercise my brain”? Like, it just works, right? I move my hand, and it moves. I think of what I want to say, the words coming out of my mouth, and they work. But the problem is, there’s multiple layers of our consciousness, and multiple layers of us to be able to access the power of our mind. And the biggest handicap we have in society today is our distract — is the distractions that we have.
A point in case, I’m journaling this morning, doing this thing called the stack, I’ve mentioned it a bunch on the show, maybe I’ll teach it one day, it’s basically a guided journaling process, to process thoughts and process a challenge that you’re having, or something that’s happened to you. And I’m getting into the stack, and literally today, the stack is on me being distracted. And as I am writing about me being distracted, like I black out, and before I know it, I’m on Instagram on my phone. Like, I kid you not.
Here I am, frustrated about being distracted, writing about being distracted, and then all of a sudden, I’m being distracted. I’m on Instagram. And this is, like, one of a hundred examples that I have throughout the day, of ways that our mind is just being bombarded with other people, brands, technology, clients, children, husbands, wives, spouses, whatever. And they’re pulling us from the focus that we must have in order to create anything great.
And so what meditation, at the very basic core understanding of what it is, it is gaining control over a distracted mind. Why would that be valuable? So you can focus and create cool stuff. You’re never going to be able to write a blog post or create a report, or put together that thing, or even to a show like this, if halfway through the show, I’m — Oh, hey, what’s goin’ on, what’re you gonna have for lunch?
– [Colton] I forgot my lunch.
– You forgot your lunch? Oh shoot, we’re doin’ a show, right? Distraction kills us, and it happens time and time and time again. So what meditation allows you to do is it allows you to have a better control of when it is time to focus, and the ability to maintain focus. And to maintain control of your thoughts.
Some people think meditation is eliminating thoughts, and this is a big, big misinterpretation of what meditation is. As I’ve studied meditation, which I’ve done for the past few years, it is not about eliminating the thoughts but not allowing the thoughts to control you.
So if right now I’m talking to you on the camera, and I’m thinking about what Colton’s gonna eat for lunch today, because he forgot it, maybe we need to get him some food, I’m concerned about him, he’s now running the show, like that thought could come into my mind, but instead of getting caught up and preoccupied with it, I just let it flow through, and I continue focused on what I am currently doing, which is communicating and delivering content to you.
So when we start meditating, it is literally sitting down, and letting these thoughts come, and practicing the ability to not hook onto one of those thoughts and let it carry us away. If you’ve ever had this happen to you, it is literally, like I said earlier this morn — or, earlier in the show, about being on Instagram, you’re doing one thing, and then all of a sudden, you’re on Wikipedia, looking up, like, the event horizon of a black hole. Like what does that mean, that’s so cool, and you’re like how did I get here? You let a thought carry you away down a path, versus thinking, hey maybe, like, I don’t know why I thought of black holes and event horizons, they’re very interesting. Actually, when I was a child, one of the most horrific, scary movies I ever saw was the movie Event Horizon. Ever see that movie, Colton?
– [Colton] Mmmm hmmm.
– Pretty freaky, right? Yeah, it’s about a spaceship that goes, like, to hell and back, and comes back haunted. Anyway, so, see? There, I was, like, getting distracted. That’s a point in case, I need to control my thoughts here.
So what we do is we allow our thoughts to come to us, but we don’t allow them to carry away. And there’s lots of ways to practice this, there’s lots of ways to get into different kinds of meditation, whether it’s guided meditation, whether it’s meditating in silence, whether it’s something like Transcendental Meditation, but we’re not gonna get into that today.
We’re gonna actually come back to the topic that we’re gonna have, pull up my tablet here, and we’re gonna come back to the topic that we talked about last week. Now if you remember — or two weeks ago or so — the first conversation about expanding our place was that when we expand our area, our foundation, where we work, where we operate, is it allows us to create more.
If I’m working inside this box, and this is me, this is literally how much room I have to create. I don’t have a lot of room. However, if I take the same size, let’s see if I can do this live here, and I move this here, almost, I missed some of the arrows, that’s alright, well now, look how much more space that I have. In some areas I have almost two more lengths, in other areas, I might not have as much length.
So when we expand our physical space like we talked about in a previous episode, we’re allowed to create, we have more room to create, both physically and mentally. When we expand our mind through the practice of meditation, we’re doing the exact same thing. But instead of allowing ourselves to just simply sit there, and try to not have thoughts come in, we’re allowing thoughts and things to move into our peripheral, into our consciousness, but then we’re also allowing them to move right out.
And we’re not allowing the thoughts of what Colton’s gonna eat for lunch, or the fact that I’ve gotta run soon after the show, and go do some photography work, or I’m hosting dinner tonight — a lot of food things — I’m hosting dinner tonight with our guests, we have some guests in town from the Philippines.
So, like, all of these things are important, but if I am allowing my thoughts to move on through my consciousness and my awareness, then I can continue to stay focused at hand. So meditation is literally training for your brain. You sit down, and the way I like to guide anyone into starting meditation is you simply use an app. The best app that I’ve used, and I get no compensation for referring this, is Headspace. Headspace comes with a free 10-day trial, that you can choose, I’m gonna meditate for two minutes, I’m gonna meditate for five minutes, I’m gonna meditate for twenty minutes, whatever it might be.
And the greatest part about Headspace is it’s part guided, part self-directed. So when I say self-directed, I mean you’re literally just by yourself. And so Headspace is, like foolproof. It literally tells you exactly how to do it, walks you through, you know, managing your thoughts, how to sit, where to sit, the room you should be in, and you can start moving the needle through a 10-day process of starting to meditate.
Now, a funny story about my wife again, Mika, when I first started meditating, and she thought this was religious. She was like, “Russ, we are not, like, Buddhist. Why are you meditating? This is crazy”. And I kept doing it, and I kept doing it, and I kept doing it. Because it expanded my mental capacity, it expanded my ability to handle things.
Things that would normally frustrate me, and get me all up in, like, a tight ball, I could just let go, and I can process correctly, versus allowing the emotions that come up during something. Now, this is — when we allow something to stay within our consciousness, it, A, it’s too close to us. We’re like, if this is something frustrating here, it’s no longer Colton’s lunch, this is now a tax IRS letter that we got, if it’s right there in our face, I just got the letter — this is not a letter — but, I just got it, and I’m frustrated, and I’m thinking about it, what could it be? I don’t know, gosh, I’ve gotta get to it, there’s no way we can correctly handle and deal with this.
When we meditate, and we allow more control of our thoughts, OK, I get this tax bill, now I’m able to gain some distance of it, both literally and metaphorically, I open it up, see what’s goin’ on, make some moves, call my CPA, whatever it is I need to do.
So when I first started doin’ this, my wife was like, what are you doing this is crazy. And we were in California, in 2016 we were renting a house on Dana Point for the summer, and all of a sudden I couldn’t find my wife anywhere. I was like, where’s Mika? I asked the kids, have you seen mom? Where’s she at? And we had this cute little backyard, this, like really nice grass and a little jacuzzi by the beach, and I can’t find her anywhere in the house, it’s not a big house, and I go back and I see her out back, sneaking meditation. She was secretly meditating.
And it turns out, the same thing she found with meditation was that it allowed her to create that space mentally. So when the chaos of being a mom, and traveling, and being away from home and navigating the kids, and all that came into her world, instead of getting hung up on anything specific, it flowed through her, she could get some space, and now she could objectively make a move, and make a decision.
Now the irony of expansion and growth, and I’ll wrap this conversation up here, as we’ve talked about before, is as you grow, your world becomes more complex. And so if this is Russ Perry circa 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, I’ll put this in dots, ’cause we’re just gettin’ rollin’, the game that I’m always continuing to play, and I teach my clients, and we just are after all the time inside Design Pickle and everything, is this game of expansion. I want to become bigger, and I want to become more than I was yesterday. Not because I’m greedy, not because I have some sort of I want to take over the world mentality, but because the more that I create, and the more that I produce, that means that the more value I’m putting back into this world.
The 2015 version of Russ Perry only created this much value. A small amount, versus the 2016 version, versus the 2017 version. But as this expansion game happens, what also happens? Demands on us. Demands on myself, and my time. Demands on my family, demands from my children. They’re literally, my children are literally expanding before my eyes, they’re growing. And what they need is becoming more complex. And, I’m able to handle it, because I’m mentally expanding my capacity of my brain. I’m pushing the outer limits of what I can keep track of, of how long I can keep focused, of what I can create in an hour.
In an hour now, I can write a pretty good blog post. The 2015 version of me, I couldn’t stay focused for that long, it would take me an entire week to write a blog post. Now I’m not writing blog posts as much as I’d like to, however, I know I have the expanded capabilities of it, because of my practice of meditation.
So when you sit back if you’ve been following my story for any amount of time, and you’re kinda like, Russ, how have you expanded, how’ve you doubled your business every year, how’ve you increased your lifestyle, and grown, and maintained more complexities? Now we have Design Pickle, I have private coaching, I have the book, we have products within Design Pickle we’re launching, I, you know, have team members, we’re hosting things, I’m speaking, all this stuff. How do I keep track of all of that? It doesn’t feel like it’s more, because my mental bandwidth and my ability to keep track of it, how I’ve expanded the place between my ears, has all come down to meditation.
So again, how do you start meditating? What’s the right way to meditate? How many minutes should you meditate? Should you do Transcendental Meditation? Should you do Headspace, should you do the app Calm? Should you go to a Buddhist Retreat? I don’t really care, it’s not important. All I care about is that you’re meditating.
So where you need to start is just to start. Two minutes, start with two minutes if you’re not doing it at all. If you’re doing five minutes, move it up to six minutes, or ten minutes. Always be expanding yourself. No different than if I’m doing bicep curls, you know, at 25, 35, 45 pounds, if I just stay at 45 pounds, I will plateau. I will never grow, I will never get any stronger. Same goes with meditation. If you’re doing five minutes a day, go to ten minutes a day. If you’re doing nothing, go to five minutes a day.
And I love the Headspace app, it’s a good calm, chill app. Again, and it’s free too, you can try it out. And know why you’re doing this has nothing to do with religion, has nothing to do with spirituality. You can include that for sure, but it has everything to do with expanding your place, the most important place that you have. And that is in between your ears, a.k.a. your brain.
So that’s your little value bomb today for the Russ Perry Show. Thank you so much, and if you’re not subscribed to the show, get subscribed. We send out stuff from time to time, including show notes. There’s gonna be an action guide here to evaluate kind of the steps of meditation, and to get you into that, more of a practical guide for you.
You can get all of that at DesignPickle.com/show as well as getting signed up for updates from me personally on new episodes as well as action guides, and everything else in between. So we’ll see you next time, same time, same place, for the Russ Perry Show, thanks a lot, and have a fantastic week.
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