26: Mary Beth LaRue – Creating Room for Embracing Vulnerability & Love

We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. – Pema Chödrön

Mary Beth Larue’s professional passion is teaching yoga, meditation, mentoring and writing. She is the co-founder of the movement, Rock Your Bliss.  But it’s her soulful journey as a foster mom that has exposed her to wholehearted love and presence. For the past eleven months, she and her husband (7: Matt Aporta – Fostering Love) have fostered-to-adopt a beautiful little baby boy. They have opened themselves to the continually changing, dynamic nature of of vulnerability with a brutally exposed open and full heart. They have accepted that 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.

Mary Beth is not who she is because she fosters. She fosters because of who she is.  Through the darkness, she has learned to focus on the light. She has learned to hold herself accountable for her thoughts, because they create her reality.  She has conversations full of possibilities, love and vulnerability. Her focus is on the now. Owning our story is hard, but not as difficult as running from it.  That strength, that vulnerability, privilege,and love, is what this episode is about.

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: Pema Chodron – When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times.

6:40  How to slow down. The moment is enough.

13:00  How to shine light on yourself in the darkness.

14:00  Relationship with Social Media – Perspective

27:00  What to do when starting to feel down.

29:03*  Holding myself accountable for thoughts that I’m thinking and whats coming out of my mouth because its creating my whole reality. I get to have conversations full of possibilities. Where as before I was having conversations with a giant stop sign.

29:47  A warrior is skilled in action and non-action. Vulnerability is Strength. The strength to allow yourself to feel.

35:00  The identity and transition in becoming a mom.

Fostering Baby A

47:00  Seeking the light in the face of loss.

48:53*  I’m different now because we’re willing to put ourselves in the fire. I want my heart to be all used up. I want ever inch of my heart and my spirit to have been used and grown and transformed because whats the point otherwise.

We get the privilege of making an impact in a child’s life, but mainly get the privilege of this child making a massive impact in our life.

58:20  How to become more self-aware so you can self-regulate.

1:07:50  Grief and Emotion is love. How to learn from kids.

1:14:20  Solitude is a super power. Micro Meditation.

1:18:00  The Yoga Room

1:22:30  Meditation and Breath work – It makes you kinder.

Mantras: Be fully present. Feel your heart. Engage in the next moment without any agenda.

1:35:03  What has yoga taught you? Being present. Finding peace in the chaos.

1:41:26  A letter from her husband. Gratitude, Intention, Love

LINKS:

MaryBethLarue.com     RockYourBlissMovement.com    TheSisuWay.com

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@marybethlarue  @rockyourbliss  @1scottmcgee  @TheSisuWay

25: Lindsey K. Mathews – A Peaceful Warrior Empowering Women through Love

Dr. Lindsey K. Mathews bio says she is a doctor of chiropractic, birth doula, NLP practitioner, strength and conditioning coach, and creator of the rockstar movement, BIRTHFIT! Beyond her extraordinary titles, Lindsey views every obstacle as an opportunity. She is a resilient woman in pursuit of truth, reflection, growth, and connection. Simply put, Lindsey is a peaceful warrior on a trailblazing mission to spread love.

Through the lens of friendship, exploration, and mutual respect, we discuss the trials we endure that introduces us to our strengths. We acknowledge that even at rock bottom, nobody is coming to save you.  You have the ability to see that the universe isn’t doing something to you. It’s doing something for you.  You have the ability to live a happy life through gratitude and service, you just may need a little guidance. When asked what she wanted to be remembered by, Lindsey said: To educate and empower women, so they have the tools to transition though any obstacle in life. It’s my goal that this episodes helps.

Strength is a Choice.

Humbly,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Opening: Rupi Kaur – Milk and Honey

Who are you and what are you capable of?

A peaceful warrior that’s on a mission to spread love.

6:46  What does the term “warrior” mean to you?

12:20  The trials we endure that strengthen our character.

16:40  Rock bottom and where Lindsey draws strength.

21:09  Nobody is going to save you. You have to save yourself.

22:46  The universe is not doing anything to me. It’s doing something for me.

23:27  The milestone moments:

Asthma and near death lesson, knee tear, medical mission to Africa.

35:03  Advice to the younger self going through abuse. You are worth it.

Most everything is either an act of love or a cry for love.

45:50  Bias, perspective, blindspots, and seeking to understand.

52:00  How a torn knee can shift a young women’s life. Identity cracks.

1:04:40  Medical Mission Trip. Lesson in touch and service.

1:11:35  Traffic is a test of character. Plan and use the obstacle as an opportunity.

1:13:50*  BIRTHFIT – What is it doing for you?

1:16:36*  All humans seek the happy life but confuse the means…How do you live a happy and fulfilling life?  Gratitude and Service

Challenge: As a negative thought pops up, immediately replace it with three thoughts of gratitude.

1:20:50  How can you be a good person?  Know yourself and do the right thing.

1:26:10  If you want to make this world a better place, continue to do work on yourself.  Make yourself better than you were yesterday. -LKM

1:29:50  Female role models. What would you say to the 12 year-old girls (and boys) out there?

How to identify an emotion without suppression.

1:39:36  What do you want to be remembered by? 

Educate and empower women so that they have the tools to transition through any obstacle in their life.

Closing:  Rupi Kaur – Bring Your Hammer and Fists

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@birthfit   @lindsey_k_mathews   @1scottmcgee   @thesisuway

LINKS:

birthfit.com  thesisuway.com

REFERENCES:

Mindset – Carol Dweck

The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

23: Author Ryan Munsey – Awareness Creates Choice

How do you create an unbeatable mind that provides the fortitude, grit, sisu, invictus, and mental toughness to overcome adversity? How do you positively alter your mental state? This is the episode that answers those questions. 

The goal of this episode is to bring awareness on how we make decisions and how we take action and responsibility for our lives in an intentional way.  Self-awareness is something we can develop.  This awareness is what creates choice.

My guest is Ryan Munsey, author of the book, F*ck Your Feelings.  Ryan is an artful scientist who has the drive, curiosity, and compassion to explore the  reason of why some people succeed and others do not.  He is also a high performance consultant, speaker, and host of the podcast, The Better Human Project.  We discuss how to master your mind, accomplish your goals, and become a better human while being rooted in gratitude and lifted by awareness.

Show Notes:

Invictus

Moments – You are writing you’re own eulogy. When you’re gone, People will think and speak of you in the way that you live your life. We have the ability to shape how that conversation goes by the way that we move through the world.  Those moments are a choice.

7:16  Line in the sand – What are you going to do?

15:20  Who are you and what does it mean to be a good human?

18:34  You can control your Attitude and Effort.

19:50  Your life is perfectly designed for the results that you are getting.

23:15  How do you measure success? Hint: It shouldn’t be extrinsic.

Chris Dancy – We don’t know how to measure what we value so we begin to value what we measure.

The Rocking Chair Test – Health, Happiness, Performance

28:00   Can you measure happiness?  Heart Rate Variability

31:18  The 85 year-old Challenge.  Memento Mori

Appreciation not Expectation.

36:00  How do we positively affect our mental states? How the brain makes a decision.

44:20 95% of our decisions are based on how we feel in any given moment.

Feelings – a mental experience of a physiological state.  If we change our physiology we can change our feelings.

46:30  Limbic System – emotional ego driven teenager – feelings – the now

Prefrontal Cortex – the sage. – awareness

58:50  What is the vagus nerve and how does it affect you?

Emotional Resiliency – Bandwith

1:10:35  How to stay relaxed in traffic.

1:12:00  Wim Hof Method

Breathwork – how to stimulate your vagus nerve and why its important to exhale longer than inhale.

Cold Exposure – Stay parasympathetic in an environment that normally makes you sympathetic.

1:19:00 What you can do right now to improve mental resilience and toughness.

Developing grit though: Cold showers – look towards the sky and focus on the breath.

Be kind, be rooted in gratitude turn off defense mechanisms, etc.

Posture – Don’t sit or stand like a victim.

1:39:05 Playing – Don’t be the reason you stop playing.

2:03:08  The 360 sphere – Do not be out of round

Links:

F*ck Your Feelings – By Ryan Munsey

RyanMunsey.com for signed copy

Check out Ryan’s podcast: The Better Human Project

Instagram: @ryanmunsey_  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

TheSisuWay.com

The Sisu Way Team for Whole Life Challenge

22: Kenny Kane – A Path of Joy, Suffering, & Effort.

 

The Sisu Way is defined as strength and determination in the face of adversity. Persistence. Hope. GRIT. An unbeatable mindset full of courage, tenacity, resilience, willpower, triumph, and an unconquerable soul. They say the finest souls are those who gulped pain and avoided making others taste it.  Well ladies and gentlemen, that is my brother and esteemed guest, Kenny Kane. 

Kenny Kane is lighthouse to many of us, but even lighthouses have shadows.  If strength is a product of suffering and struggle, then Kenny is by far one of the strongest people I know.  He has faced a massive amount emotional trauma and death packed on top of each other.  He was force fed a beautifully violent lesson in the balance of life and death.  In the face of this much pain and chaos, how do you do the most good?  How can we use our resources to be in service to something greater than ourselves?

If there is a lesson I have learned from late world-class Coach Marion Kane Elston through her son Kenny, it is you have to be willing to get up strong each and every time without complaint.  You have to put in the effort and open yourself up to the experience, or the time won’t come.

This episode was an honor for me record, but the real honor was the vulnerable and heartfelt conversation.  Kenny is one of the best humans I know. I’m proud to call him my friend and a mentor.  This episode is dedicated to the Kane family.

Get Up Strong.

Humbly,

Scott McGee

Show Notes:

Three Marbles – W.E. Peterson

5:00  Oak Park LA Bio and intro

10:44 Introduction to hosting podcasts

14:00 First Question – There is no elegant answer.  It’s complicated. It’s a journey.

15:30  Birth of son followed by death of mom

Challenges outpacing capabilities

21:55  Pillars of Good and Pillars of Strength have shadows

23:22  Most valuable currency – Ability to Connect

25:20  Leaving a Legacy – Kane Family

37:00  Story of Effort – If you don’t open yourself up to experience, the time wont come.

41:35  What is it about your mom that you would want your kids to know?  Her willingness to get up every single time without complaint. What it means to be a Kane. Grit.

41:15  Revisiting the struggle of life and death

51:20  History of stand up comedy career and intention

52:50  Where are you finding resilience while doing the most good?

53:30*  Purpose

57:30  12 more deaths over 14 more months – intense cadence

1:00:20  How do you do the most good when faced with only right and wrong answers?

Are your actions contributing to the joy of the world or the misery?

Sacrifice Rejected

1:08:00  Talia

1:12:50  Justine – The silent walk – The 7 year old leader

1:20:08  VUCA – The world is volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous

1:21:10  The wildfires – Original Oak Park

1:29:30  Navy Commander Schultze band reference of vision, reality, and truth.

1:43:00 The passing of the torch – Becoming the patriarch

1:46:26  Slow down to move fast. Grinding, enduring, grit, and the shadows.

1:48:40  Attention and purpose – profession and family

1:54:20  (extra credit) Social Media and mind control

1:59:20  Student/Magician named Tristan Harris – Attention Economy – impressions and screen time – Time Well Spent

2:28:40  Restoration through fitness, breath work, writing everyday, therapy, and patience. Being okay with the scars and path.

Links:

The Sisu Way Team for Whole Life Challenge

Body of Knowledge  Oak Park LA

TED Talk – Tristan Harris

kenny@oakparkla.com

The Sisu Way

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

13: Keep Swimming – An Episode on Grief

The most beautiful people are those that have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have still found their way out of the depths.

These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.    Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Grief comes in waves.  It can feel like you have been wrecked by wave after wave, all the while trying to cling onto some piece of the beautiful ship you used to and planned to have.  At first all you can do is try to stay afloat while sipping on air during the short stay on the surface. Eventually, maybe (just maybe) with the help of this podcast episode and what I want to share with you (because it was shared with me), you will learn that you can choose to function… and keep swimming

Life is not a guarantee nor is it a right.  We are here temporarily on this planet.  We are the lucky ones that get to experience the ride of life.  Parts of the ride can hurt, but those moments create character and strength.  Progress is made through holding up your shield, grabbing the shipwreck, confronting the painful events, looking at them squarely and facing the realities of loss, death, or disappointments. Be proud of the pain, feel the pain because you can, be proud of your scars.  Vulnerability is Strength.  Those scars, those strike marks are the battle wounds of life that make us who we are.  (That is why The Sisu Way logo has strike marks and scratches in it.)  We are the lucky ones who have the ability….the gift to hurt.

Here is the full post on Reddit by the user GSnow when asked for advice on how to deal with the grief and the loss of a loved one.  It helped me when I needed it, hopefully it helps you and/or someone you know:

[Serious] How do you cope with the passing of someone you are close to? from AskReddit

Get up strong,

Scott McGee

The Sisu Way

12: Olympian Lauren Gibbs – Happiness is a Choice

Lauren Gibbs is an American bobsledder who won a silver medal at the 2018 Olympic Games.  While that is a statement of fact, it does not define Lauren’s character. She is equal parts power, intelligence, intuition, respect, and drive. This makes her a champion of a human being. Our conversation is meant to show people that grit is learned. That you can choose to be happy. That anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard and are honest about deficiencies, and believe in their ability to choose.

Show notes:

8:30  What it feels like to be an Olympian.

12:05  College Coach Diane Short: “It was not a surprise at all. She never folded under pressure.”

Lauren says this was not true because she relied on natural talent. What does this mean now looking back.

Are most lessons through suffering and pain?

18:30  Lesson in asserting yourself

20:00  Business suit to Team USA suit – Staying in something you are not happy with.

Finding purpose

24:14  How does someone find what makes them happy?

Happiness is a choice.” – Lauren Gibbs

“Take opportunities and see them through.”

28:40  I understand what I want to do. Public speaking, leading the youth.

You actually have to work!

33:00  Do that thing you want to do. Time is not a right its a privilege.

36:00 Your authentic self.  Learning to work hard.

42:00  Training for bobsled and how to make the team.

45:10  Setting up to go for a bobsled run.

59:04  Fighting for gold.

1:04:00 Making Team USA and telling your parents.

1:08:27  Is grit learnable?

1:11:30  How to develop contentment with yourself.

1:15:58  Best lesson: “Be able to have open and honest conversations about your deficiencies.”

1:17:45  “You’ll you never be successful if its something that you can do different or better, then that means you have the opportunity to be better.”

1:20:44  Selfie with the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump. You don’t have to agree to be civil. Americans taking a selfie.

Social Media:

@lagibbs84, @1scottmcgee,   @TheSisuWay  TheSisuWay.com

Health is Wealth – Vulnerability is a Strength – Strength is a Choice

You are the Master of your Fate – You are the Captain of your Soul

Get Up Strong – Be Unconquerable

 

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