30: See Love with Ruben Rojas, Artist & Co-Founder of Beautify Earth

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. – Camille Pissarro, painter

Ruben Rojas, knows what it means to take beautiful intention and turn it into soul moving action.  To choose love over fear.  He is the co-founder of Beautify Earth, a social impact entrepreneur, and world-class artist that uses the urban landscape as his canvas to inspire others through his murals. To view the world through the lens of love.  That line right there: To view the world through the lens of love, to SEE with gratitude and LOVE… is one of the main reasons I wanted to do this episode with Ruben.  My intention was to make this episode a piece of art that will help open some eyes and and hearts.  To free ourselves from the self imposed addiction to suffering. To SEE beautiful things in humble places.  Sometimes, you just have to look up at a wall.  

It is my hope, that we tug some heart strings and help people begin with gratitude so they can choose to be postive, kind, and thoughtful.  Love is the way.  

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Into:  Love and Be Loved

Martin Luthor King Jr – Loving Your Enemies

12:00  Navigating out of darkness and into a place of love.  Being aware of ego.

15:28  “If I shift how I view something, I can change my trajectory. We are the sum of the choices we make”

20:00 Strength and courage though vulnerability

22:45  Infinite love artwork – black on black

26:00  Forgiveness, Love, and Fear – We operate out of fear or love.

Exercise: Physical feeling or first kiss vs altercation

29:44  Relationship story showing love or fear based responses.

“Violence isn’t strong enough.”  Don’t defend.  Choose love.

How?  Take a moment. Go to your breath.  Be mindful.  Your self-awareness leads to self-regulation.

39:30  What does love and gratitude look like across the world? Traveling 

“People that have nothing and they will give you everything.”

48:00  The street art that reaches souls.

What does the art do for you? “We are all mirrors to each other.”

54:00  See Love

55:00*  “There is so much beauty out there. I hope people understand that they can see that stuff, and see it in the most humble places. Once you have that vision you become super powerful and thats where gratitude grows.” -SM

56:00  Feb. 13th DiscoverLa.com – Ruben’s art exhibit – No Ordinary Love

57:00  How to deal with negative perceptions and staying positive

58:40  Painting with elephants for the LA Zoo.

1:01:25  The Prison Project – ForGive : Forgiven

If you lack the power of forgiveness, you lack the power of love.

1:10:50  Your why is what you apply force from.  It is your ground.

What is your why?  Beautify Earth is on a world peace mission. 

1:16:00  End ugly wall syndrome – A goal of Beautify Earth

1:20:00  Begin with Gratitude 

1:21:16*  Who will you be?

The choice is yours…

LINKS:

RubenRojas.com  BeautifyEarth.org  

TheSisuWay.com

DiscoverLA.com – Link to Ruben’s art show on 2/13 in Los Angeles

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@rubenrojas    @beautifyearth    @1scottmcgee   @thesisuway

Ruben’s poems:  @loveruben_

19: Adaptive Athlete Lil Misty Diaz – Spina Beautiful

 

Lil Misty Diaz is a force of light that has grown out of darkness.  This darkness began with being born with Spina Bifida (birth defect affecting the spinal cord). Followed by 28 operations by middle school (not including exploratory surgeries) and compounded by medications, isolation, depression, loneliness, and 3 suicide attempts.  But like a lotus flower, she rose from the dust to bloom out of the darkness.

Through the power of gratitude and service, Misty’s ability has grown stronger than her disability. It has been a process. One in which her only goal was to simply feel better.  This process has grown into her ability to complete over 200 races including obstacle races, half-marathons, 5-10-15k runs, 24 hour, Spartan and Red Bull races. She even holds state records in the bench press.

It has been said that it’s not your disability that defines you.  It’s your ability.  Strength is a choice.  The only disability in life is a bad attitude, and Lil Misty has decided to live her life of service by helping as many people as she can.  She has inspired people all over the world, from all walks of life, including myself. 

This is her story, and I’m honored to present it to you.

Scott

Show Notes:

Your Will Is Always Within Your Power – Epictetus

The Sisu Way Poster

6:20  What is Spina Bifida? 

11:00  Cast Life.  Fighting since Day 1.

12:30  The term disability vs Adaptive Athlete

14:50  The races

16:17  What was Misty’s childhood like?

26:16  What can you do for a kid who is struggling?

27:20  Teenage years. The difficulties and the decision to choose a DNR.

30:20  2nd person ever to use a cell saver

31:20  The most painful surgery – Tethered Cord Syndrome

37:00  Depression – Loneliness – Suicide    Beautifully Broken

Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today. -James Dean

49:20  What woke you up?

53:30  “I felt free”

59:00  Acceptance – Free from morphine fog.  Senses woke up.

Strength is a Choice – Get outside comfort zone

1:03:20  Motivating and inspiring others

1:05:17  Biggest accomplishment (so far)

1:09:00  “It’s not how you win.  It’s how you lose.” -Louis Zamperini

Liz  #LizFreel  Coached Liz to State Division Bench Press Record, but together added value to each others life.

1:17:09  Mantras for others.   “Turtle speed is still a speed as long as you’re  consistently moving forward and helping others along the way.”

1:19:48  When someone thinks of Misty Diaz:  What do you want them to remember you by? 

1:31:10  What does it mean to inspire people in the Spartan Races?

Links:

lilmistydiaz.com  @lilmistydiaz  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

TheSisuWay.com      LilMisty.com

14: Marcus Kowal – Life is a Moment

The Sisu Way: Strength and Determination in the face of adversity. Persistence. Hope. Grit. A unbeatable mindset full of courage, tenacity, resilience, willpower and triumph. An unconquerable soul….  This description, this definition, describes my guest Marcus Kowal. 

Marcus is a martial arts coach, gym owner and professional fighter that specializes in kickboxing, boxing, BJJ, and MMA. But as Victor Frankl says:

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances: but only by lack of meaning and purpose. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of human freedoms – to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way.” 

Marcus and his wife have gone through something no parent ever should. The death of a child. They lost their 15 month old son, Liam, to a drunk driver. However his death does not define them, nor is it the end of their love. Liam, the people’s protector, has saved lives through organ donation and his legacy continues to make an impact in the social culture around drunk driving through awareness and education. 

Marcus is someone I look up to and have respected for a long time. He is someone I would walk with to face demons.  In the face of life’s worst loss, Marcus chose to fight. He is a father…He is a fighter…and when a man knows where he is going…. the whole world steps aside.   

I am completely humbled and grateful to Marcus for taking the time to be on The Sisu Way.  I would also like to thank the listeners for your time and support.  I sincerely appreciate you listening to this episode.  I humbly request that you take a moment to click through the links below, and help join the fight.  I believe that Liam did not die in vain. He continues to save and inspire, and there is something we can all do to help.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott McGee

 

SHOW NOTES:

1:57  What is sisu? Discussion about the opener.

4:38  “Because of our son, there will be a change.”  Discussion about writing.

9:00  Don’t wait. Do that thing now. Why write the book, Life is a Moment. For self, son, and others.

12:50  9/3/16 – The moment no one should go through.

19:30  “It feels like life stops. What you love more than life itself has been taken from you, and how are you going to go on? I decided that we were going to find our way back to happiness.”

27:00  The background between Marcus/Liam and Scott/Connor. Respect, life guilt, honor, responsibility. How Liam inspires and motivates Scott.

How Liam’s Green Frog become the logo for the foundation and the symbol for this fight.

33:35  What is a hero? What is the greatest courage? The courage to suffer.

35:30  Therapy – Vulnerability is Strength – Surrender to help – True strength 

40:20  Ego is an enemy.  Mindset under pressure.

43:00  How can we combat drunk driving?  A discussion on the culture of driving under the influence.

51:41   “Its not a question of if we’re going to do it. We are going to do it. Don’t know how long its going to take but I wont stop until we get there.  Now I know I’m fighting for the right thing. I’m told all the time you’re up against giants, you’re up against Washington and Lobbyists. I don’t care, they’ve never been up [against] someone like me. They are fighting for revenue. I’m fighting for my sons legacy.”

Continue reading

11: Christmas Abbot – Pressure is a Privilege

Christmas Abbott is an author, athlete, CrossFit gym owner, girl boss, former pit crew member, entrepreneur, branding/marketing expert, speaker, and model …but these titles DON’T define her. It’s her courage, spunk, guts, and her gumption that make her a relentless human. It is these qualities coupled with her heart, that will fuel her greatest title ever… Mom.

In this episode we talk about one of Christmas’ darkest years, how she is grateful for tragedy, the collateral beauty associated with it, what helps her recover emotionally, and her pregnancy. 2018 is serving to be a transformative year, as Christmas is using her vulnerability, struggle, fire, and heart to not only empower others, but to prepare for the best thing she will do with her life, and that is to be a mother.

I am honored to hear (and share) the news and super proud of her. I hope you enjoy this side of the one and only, Christmas Abbott. 

Show Notes:

“Stopped being impressed by things, and started being impressed by people that were happy. People that made other people feel good.” – Scott

4:00  Who are you? “Work in progress. A human who wants to leave a beautiful footprint.

8:00  1996 Sister’s car accident when Christmas was 13 – Darkest years of life, as was 2017.

11:13  2017 A dark year. Learned what made of and the bigger picture

13:01  Near death experience – Mortar round in Iraq

Experience in Iraq as a female

14:10  Looks a strength or a weakness? 

16:37  Health is Wealth – Broken Foot

2017  Broke up with finance – friend OD’d – Depression – Broken foot

19:15  Big Brother TV show – Human Experiment

23:10  What helped her recover emotionally.  Service. Vulnerability. Struggle.

Vulnerability is Strength

“Saving lives saves lives.”

26:20  Connection and therapy through social media

27:07 Caterpillar or butterfly?

“Life is awesome, but first I’m going to make you strong.” -Scott

28:40  Gratitude

Whats hurting you?  Word for this year is, “Transformative”.

31:00  Slice of life that “normal people” are protected from.

32:30  Nar-Anon – support group – community that understood demons

34:00  How to be honest with yourself.

38:20  How to figure of what your Why is.

38:53  Christmas is pregnant – Her greatest role is yet to come.

41:40  “I’m pregnant

“This is the best thing I will do in my life.”

47:00  Slow Down Challenge – Pay Attention

51:46  Grateful for Tragedy – Collateral Beauty

56:00  Get Up Strong – Live and Love on Purpose – Empowering Kids

1:03:20  Loving your body during pregnancy

1:13:13  Living the life that you Love

1:14:50 Social Media as a journal

 

Social Media:

@christmasabbott, @canutrition, @badassbodydiet 

@1scottmcgee, @TheSisuWay   TheSisuWay.com

Links and References:

Beyonce – I Was Here

How to reach Christmas: info@christmasabbott.com

Badass Life Book

Christmas Abbott Nutrition (CAN) Online Nutrition Platform

Amazing Video: Alexander Tsiaras explaining human development from conception to birth

Badass Body Diet Book

 

“I hope your day gets better.”

9: Lindsey Valenzuela – Strength to Give

Lindsey Valenzuela is someone you may identify as a CrossFit Games Athlete, but Lindsey is more than that. She is a powerhouse of emotion, passion, strength, and love that has had a renewed sense of purpose since the birth of her son.  Lindsey has inspired generations of men, women, and children to “Lift Like Lindsey”, to find their strength through vulnerability, and that its okay to show your emotions. She isn’t defined by her victories or loss’s, what matters is what kind of human being she has become. 

In this episode we talk about having belief in your ability to work for what you want, successes and failures in CrossFit, letting pain resonate and moving on, being true to yourself, legacies, becoming a mom, giving back, perspective on growth, what its like to be married to a law enforcement officer, and where she draws strength from.  I am lucky to record this episode with Lindsey, surrounded by loved ones, because she is like a little sister to me. This is a also a special episode to me because we learn to not only Lift Like Lindsey, but to have a Heart Like Lindsey.   

Show Notes: 

Be Strong when you are weak, Brave when you are scared, & Humble when you are Victorious. – Michelle Moschetti.

1:03  What is Autumo?  It is Latin for “I Believe.”  A motto and way of living that has guided Lindsey.

2:30  The “why” for this episode.

6:50  Believe in your ability to work for what you want.

11:53 “Take whats yours.” –Coach Kellee Roesel.  If you want something, but willing to go work for it.

13:10  “It doesn’t matter about victories or loses. It matters about what kind of human being you have become.”

13:34  2014 CrossFit experience and lessons learned from “failing” to make the CrossFit Games. 

18:12 How silly does not making the Games look now?

19:23  Victories, defeats, letting pain resonate with you, and learning to move on.

21:30  Vulnerability is a sign of Strength.

24:30  Lindsey’s honesty about her pregnancy

35:17  Titles? How does Lindsey identify herself? Vulnerability, passion, and emotions. 

38:45  Being true to yourself in the face of adversity. Being a role model.

44:15  Ability to make others feel good. Strength to Give.  Strength is more than a muscle. 

At just 10-months-old, Fritz was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Disorder, a fatal genetic disorder leading to progressive muscle degeneration. It’s incurable though physical therapy can help re-build weak muscles, but living beyond 30 is rare. Fritz’s parents started a non-profit to raise awareness and help fund research for a cure. **Lindsey’s gym did a fundraiser to help support the family.  You can help by clinking the link below**

“Live on Purpose” – Scott

56:35  What do you want your legacy to be?

“Get Up Strong.” – Scott

58:50  What message would you want to leave for your son to find in 20 years?

“I didn’t really start living until he was born.” – LV

1:02:53  What its like to be married to a law enforcement officer and how does that affect parenting.

1:19:30  Where draw biggest strength from.

“He shows me what it means to make hard times simple.” – LV on her son. 

“Lift Like Lindsey. Heart Like Lindsey!”

Books talked about in the episode:

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Emotional Survival by Dr. Gilmartin

Websites:

AutumoCrossFit.com

Fritz and Friends   Please click to donate and learn more.

TheSisuWay.com

Social Media:

@liftlikelindsey, @1scottmcgee, @thesisuway, @autumocrossfit, @dro

8: Tait Fletcher – Humility is Growth

Tait Fletcher has a wide-ranging resume from addict, fighter, stuntman, entrepreneur, podcaster, actor, etc. but that is NOT why he is on the show.  Through adversity, he follows his passion that happens to give him those titles.  Through his brokenness, Tait curates a positive life for himself that empowers those around him.  He has the life experience and perspective that taught him that service leads to a fulfilling life. Tait’s number one rule is to lead a life of appreciation. THAT is why this unconquerable soul is on the show. As Tait says, humility is the ability to be taught. I am proud to call Tait a friend, but he is also a mentor, soul recalibrater, teacher, and standard holder.

I am humbled to have a soul to soul conversation with Tait about appreciation, gratitude, and growth that happened to be recorded for this special episode. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Stay strong,

Scott

Below are some show notes and references:

3:12  How do you curate a positive life and fall in love with that life? 

8:20  What legacy are you leaving? How can you be of service?  How can you be more useful to your community?

11:20  Humility is being teachable.

19:36  What is a virtuous man?

“What I think about matters. What I say matters. What my actions are matter.”

31:30  Dichotomy of thought. Positive thought hack. #thoughtdrunk

Replace with 2 positive thoughts, or 1 positive action

Change you Actions – Change your Thoughts

38:14 “If you want to learn. If you want to grow. Get rid of your defensiveness.”

47:15  (Homework) Have a conversation without saying anything. Just sit there and listen.

When you have a negative thought, follow it up with a positive action.

50:55  Advice from Eddie Bravo: #1 – “Be in appreciation all the time.

57:53  What do you struggle with? What is commitment?

1:05:00  How do you find strength to give all your outlets the opportunity they deserve?

1:10:30  Meditation – Restored – Changing Behavior

1:15:00  Kids?

1:26:16  Leadership

1:37:13 Acting Career – Connecting with people – Favorite scenes and memorable deaths

Tait’s websites:

Tait Fletcher, Pirate Life Radio, Caveman Coffee Co,

Social Media to follow:

@taitfletcher, @functionalcoach, Ryan Moody, Aubrey Marcus, Joe Rogan

Scott McGee, The Sisu Way

Things to read:

Claudette Colvin, Letter from Birmingham Jail

Eric Greitens, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

TheSisuWay.com

3: Strength to Love – MLK “Loving Your Enemies”

Episode 3: Strength to Love is about perspective. This episode stands to provide a different light on the finger pointing mentality we sometimes show, and instead, turn the light back on ourselves. We have the ability to chose strength, love, and forgiveness.  This leads to growth, not pain.  We are the master of our fate. We are the captain of our soul.

I open with the Man in the Arena, a speech by Theodore Roosevelt that hammered critics who look down upon people who are trying to make the world a better place.

One of those people was Martin Luther King Jr. He is someone I very much admire. His approach to dealing with hate and negativity is so simple yet very difficult. It starts with analyzing ourselves and forgiveness. We can show the strength to love by looking within. We can heal by actively and intently listening, taking accountability for ourselves, and learning to forgive. That includes forgiving ourselves. His sermon, Loving Your Enemies, is covered in the middle of the podcast.

I close out the episode by providing a way to stand up in the storm and have compassion for those that fail. I provide tenets I try to live by and a social media challenge.

The goal of this episode is to shine light on some of the dark thoughts we have and show you that it’s okay to put the heavy bag of resentment down. It’s time to surrender. Love is the Way.

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Books:

Strength to Love – Martin Luther King Jr.

Val Voboril – Our Wonder Woman

Val Voboril is the everyday woman with super-powered fitness.  She is a MOTHER, 4th Grade TEACHER, and a CROSSFIT athlete on the way to her 6th CrossFit Games.

But these titles do not define her. The quality of her character is also shown through her lesson in resilience, her sisu story, and how she came out of her dip which began in 2015.

At the 2015 CrossFit California Regional, Val struggled mentally and failed to qualify for the Games.  Her passion for competition that previously drove her to multiple successful competitions wasn’t there. Val, despite her almost super-human powers, had doubt in herself and felt the fear of disappointing others.  This is a place we have all been, but it’s not where we stay.  She thought about the kind of message she wanted to send to her daughter, her students, fans, and the community.

Her dad asked her: Continue reading

Resilience & Community