32: Finding Strength in Struggle – A Warrior’s Perspective with Dr. Theresa Larson

Beautiful things don’t come without some suffering. -Dalai Lama

What happens after an injury, loss, or major change? How do you adapt to this new normal state? How do you find strength in the face of adversity? How do you accept this new change without always wishing to be like before?  My guest, Dr. Theresa Larson, helps me answer these questions. She says our minds are a war zone and adaptation will occur no matter what, but there is a choice to to optimally adapt or maladapt.  

Dr. Larson (DPT) is a mom, wife, sister, friend, and TEDx Speaker who happens to be a former Marine Corps Engineer Officer, combat veteran, and professional softball player.  While that sounds like a resume of a strong person, it was the other moments where she developed her strength. Dr. T made it through the death of her mother at the age of 10, the loss of her father, and learned to suffer skillfully while battling an internal war with bulimia in the middle of an actual war.  It’s here she learned strength, positive adaption, and her call to help others.

You see, her greatest strength isn’t in which she has done. Her greatest strength was in asking for help.  Our stories are unique, but the struggle is universal.  The mission of this episode is to deliver info to people who need it.  To those who have gone through loss, trauma, or a major change in their life and needs to find their new normal again, this episode is dedicated to you.

Get Up Strong,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: The Butterfly

4:40  Where does your weakness come from?

Can you measure strength? Cellular level and the mind.

12:30  Knowing yourself as a person vs athlete

13:50  Early lessons in strength.  A lesson from mom when she knew she was not going to go on:  

Life is unfair Theresa, and life has to go on.  I’m going to die, but your life has to go on and blossom.

27:20  Is strength teachable?

29:30  Battling an internal battle (bulimia) in the middle of an actual war.

Forgiveness doesn’t change your past, but it opens up your future. 

On the convoy, when am I going to next throw up.

46:54  No one is going to hold your hand. Life goes on.  I need to make those choices and stick up for myself, against myself.  My mind is a war zone.

47:20  TED Talk:  What is a Warrior?  What made me a warrior was not that fact that I was at war, or a professional athlete. It was the fact that I asked for help.

55:36  Ownership and healing yourself 

59:40  What is your why?  Physics of the why.

1:06:13  Your first step in regulating your emotions is stabilizing your attention. You can stabilize your attention by bringing it right into your breath and stilling your mind. -SM

1:15:30 The Mind Trigger

1:17:30  Adaptive Athletes – Fitness, Breath work, Community – Ways to recover your strength

1:18:50  LOVE Principles: Lead yourself first, Oxygen (breathe), Vulnerability, Elasticity (you can change)

What are you doing for the world?  A practice in gratitude through service reflection. 

1:42:58  State and Liberty: Code “STRENGTH” for 15%

Dr. Theresa Larson’s Podcast:

My New Normal

WEBSITES:

DrTheresaLarson.com movement-rx.com TheSisuWay.com

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@movementrx  @drtheresalarson @1scottmcgee @TheSisuWay

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_

10: Traver Boehm – Strength Reborn

Traver Boehm is a man of the heart. He is a primal man, a sensitive man, and a Man Uncivilized. Traver is a man that was completely broken by life, and decided to skillfully use the pain as rocket fuel for growth.  It is that pain that rebuilt a life dedicated to service. That service is vital to our current state of thought in regards to what it means to be a man.

This episode aims to challenge your way of thinking, and open your mind to the action of surrender, ownership, and forgiveness. We talk about service, choosing strength, soulful crying, surrendering hate and regret, creating space to think, finding gratitude, “seeing” in darkness, finding yourself, the 21st Century Man, and helping guide others like a lighthouse in a storm.  It’s okay to feel.  Vulnerability is Strength. I am full of pride and gratitude for Traver and this episode. This may be one of the most important ones I do. Because of Traver, we are One Day Stronger. 

Get Up Strong,

Scott McGee

No Man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.” -Seneca

Below are show notes, quotes, links, & more info discussed in the episode:

Intro: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

3:47  So who were you?  Unfigured Out. Something was deeply missing. I was half born. 

5:21  Beautiful Death – Knowing Thyself – Temet Nosce

8:51  What moments woke you up?  “Hang on”

11:10  Meditation – Go sit down and be with yourself

12:50  Utah – Month in the Wilderness. (Boulder Outdoor Survival School)  – Discussion and lesson about forgiveness.

22:00  Service “My life would not have been ripped to shreds to be be rebuilt in a way that would be self-servicing. I am dedicated to service.”

22:40  Driven by pain or driven by love? “Pain is the catalyst that got me here.”

Balance “If your pain could speak to yourself, what would it say?”

25:44  Strength is a Choice. Comparing Down.

How do you get someone to choose strength?  Humility. Find Gratitude.

28:28  Surrender, Ownership, Forgiveness

30:00  Carrying Hate. How to surrender it?

32:00  Learning to Breathe  “Create Space”  How to meditate. Box breathing.

39:45  The Year to Live Project – 28 day Dark Retreat, 28 day survival course in Utah, volunteered in a hospice

42:00  How long did it take to journey inward while in an environment with no light or sound?

49:15 How do you see in complete darkness? Hallucinations

51:21  “If you are strong within then you can deal with anything without.”

52:52  Why spend time in a hospice? “It is a blackbelt in space holding.”

54:24  Standing in front of someone you love that is dying.

56:45  How do you deal with regret?

57:00  The 21st Century Man

1:02:30  Write

1:03:55  It’s ok to feel. Vulnerability is Strength.

1:07:45 What do you struggle with?  How to find a home.

1:10:35 Communities – Built on a universal struggle

1:11:55  Combat – Taking a throwing a punch – Man Uncivilized

TraverBoehm.com -email, text….. Reach out for help!!

How to teach kids Grit…. Get Up Strong

1:26:45   How can people in support roles help their Men?

Books:

Today I Rise – Traver’s Book

Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Dan Millman

Social Media:

@traverboehm, @1scottmcgee, @thesisuway 

Links:

Ted Talk – How to make Pain Your Guru

TraverBoehm.com

traver@traverboehm.com

http://www.traverboehm.com/category/year-to-live-project/

TheSisuWay.com

Please be sure to rate the show and give an honest heartfelt review of the show on iTunes. What you say matters, and it helps guide others who may be looking for a show like this.  I humbly thank you.

7: Matt Aporta – Fostering Love: A Story of a Family

Episode 7: Fostering Love with Matt Aporta is more than a story of what its like to foster-to-adopt a child.  It is a lesson and reminder that everyday is a gift and nothing is more powerful than love. Relationships can come and go in an instant. Nothing in life is guaranteed.  Love with a sense of urgency and live on purpose.

Fostering a child is the highest form of service. In the dictionary, service is defined as: the action of helping or doing work for someone. What act is greater than giving a child-in-need a family?  The opportunity to be loved beyond words, a safe environment, and the chance to thrive? 

People might be temporary in your life, but that is not in your control.  What is in your control is the deliberate and passionate love shared in the moment, everyday.  Nothing is guaranteed, regardless of the word (bio, adoptive, foster, step) that comes before parent. What is guaranteed is the love and dedication in the heart of my guest, Matt Aporta and his wife Mary Beth Larue. 

They have opened their heart to foster-to-adopt a newborn child, giving this soul a chance to thrive in the most loving environment.  In these moments, Matt and Mary Beth became what they were meant to be.  This is the story of a good man, who grew into a great dad, and a women who has never known a love like this or had a “purpose as deep as the sea and as vast as the sky.”

I hope you open your hearts and enjoy this story,

Scott

Matt’s Instagram: @matt_aporta

Mary Beth’s Instagram: @marybethlarue

Scott McGee’s: @1scottmcgee  @TheSisuWay

Nonprofit foster family, adoption, and advocacy agency: Extraordinary Families 

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.

Be the Light

The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies. My friends, we have followed the so-called practical way for too long a time now, and it has led inexorably to deeper confusion and chaos. -MLK Jr.

I wanted to write this piece because I know we have a chance. There is good in us, there is light that wants to connect. After my conversation with my friend Sal Masekela (WODcast Podcast 240 1:15 and 280 53:40) seeing the response from the listeners, it reinforced the my belief that we can do better.  I am in a unique position that allows me to use my experience for good.  We all are.  We just need to open ourselves up and actually listen to each other. I mean actually listen to understand, not just hear and wait to deliver your point.  That is “versus” and a selfish mentality that does not lead to empathy and growth.  I see sides that want to prove they are right.  It hurts when I see darkness where there should be light.  It’s time to set down that bag of judgement, anger, bitterness, and retaliation.  Love is lighter and lifts us all.

Matin Luther King did many sermons that have impact on society today.  The quote in the photo below is from a sermon he did at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1957.  The relevance of his words feel like they could have been easily said today. It deals with learning to love your adversaries. “Loving your enemies” was so basic to King and part of his basic philosophical and theological orientation—the whole idea of love, the whole philosophy of love. This applies not only to people, but to situations and circumstances.  If we were to ask King today Continue reading