29: The Four Agreements – A Guide to Personal Freedom, Happiness, and Love

Your mind is your best weapon.

The mind is a battlefield, and we are all warriors. We are in a war for independence, for the right to use our own mind and break free.  We are strong enough to break free from our own mental cage, like a rope tied to an elephant’s leg. The journey starts with our awareness.  Awareness leads to choice. From choice comes the strength for action.  We have the ability to discriminate and focus only on which we choose to perceive. This is called attention.  We have been taught a certain way for a long time, but we can make agreements with ourselves to improve who we are, how we behave, and the results we want to achieve. We can discover our inner fire and learn to live with intention, arête, and impeccability: To break free from the rope.  This episode on The Four Agreements will show you how to do that.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz shows us the self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.  I pair this book with The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus.  The messages in these books are thousands of years apart, yet they parallel and intertwine with grace in how they face challenges of everyday life.

You need a strong will to adopt the Four Agreements, but Strength is a Choice.  If you can adopt these agreements, the growth will be self-empowering. You will be the master of your own peace. Your self-awareness will recalibrate your ability to self-regulate. You are the captain of your soul.  It is my hope that this episode helps show you how powerful you are.

Get Up Strong,

Scott McGee

Here are the Four Agreements. Tune in to hear them discussed and expanded on.

The First Agreement – Be Impeccable with Your Word

The Second Agreement – Don’t Take Anything Personally

The Third Agreement – Don’t Make Assumptions

The Fourth Agreement – Always Do Your Best

LINKS:

Don Miguel Ruiz The Four Agreements book

The Sisu Way

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Scott McGee The Sisu Way Don Miguel Ruiz

IF YOU APPRECIATE THE SHOW, PLEASE CONSIDER LEAVING AN iTUNES REVIEW. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION.

28: The Way to Breathe – The Oxygen Advantage with Patrick McKeown

The breath is the bridge between the mind and the body.

This episode with international best-selling author of The Oxygen Advantage® and master breath instructor, Patrick McKeown, will change the way you think about breathing.  How do you increase health, performance, resilience, mindfulness, fitness, and train the brain to be focused while lowering stress?  You follow the breath through your nose. But it’s more than that. Mastering your breath is the path to finding peace and potential, and this episode is the roadmap.

In our culture, we prioritize health and fitness with an emphasis and education on hydration and nutrition.  But, we can last days and weeks respectively with out either of those. It is air/oxygen, that we wouldn’t last minutes without. Without functional breathing, we do not have functional movement. But what is functional breathing? How can we most efficiently breath oxygen from the atmosphere and get it into the cells of our bodies? Why does that process matter to the health of our minds and bodies?

We answer all these questions and more.  Patrick and his breath work has not only forever changed the way I breath, but also the way I teach my kids about breathing.  I never thought I would be the one taping my mouth closed at night, but with an open mind I realized that it was my own mental boulder that was blocking my path. I am completely grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to sit down, face to face, with Patrick for this episode.  His knowledge, passion, and humility on this topic is fascinating.  Remember I warned you, you will forever be changed after this one!

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

SHOW NOTES AND TOPICS:

Intro: The Obstacle in our Path

5:30  Why is light breathing and nasal breathing not common knowledge?  Breathing less is more.

7:55  Advice to teenager: Find the job you absolutely love to do.

Your profession is not what brings home your pay. Your profession is what you were put on this earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling. -Vincent Van Gogh.

Looking at sleep to change resilience.

13:00 THE BREATH – How you breathe and how much you breathe matters.

Why do people end up chronic over breathing through the mouth?

16:35  If you mouth breath during the day or during sleep, you’re likely to gas out too soon during physical exercise, your mind is likely to be agitated, and your sleep is affected. 

20:18  How do you train the brain to be focused? You follow the breath. 

21:08  The Oxygen (Carbon Dioxide) Paradox and the Bohr Effect

How do you increase CO2?  You slow down your breathing. Don’t over exhale your CO2.

25:37  Light Breathing Exercise – and why it lowers stress and raises performance

35:00 Wim Hof breathing, box breathing, and “deep breathing”.

Wim Hof Method vs. The Oxygen Advantage

43:38  What I do is breath holding to change the brains sensitivity to CO2. I purposefully and deliberately increase CO2 in the blood. We hold the breath to increase CO2 in the blood to change the brains reaction to CO2. We reduce the sensitivity of the body to carbon dioxide and that translates to improved physical fitness. 

46:15  Diaphragmatic and nasal breathing – If you don’t have functional breathing, you don’t have functional movement. 

52:15  Combat/Warrior/Box breathing – Focus the mind through the breath.

54:14  The BOLT Score – Body Oxygen Level Test

1:02:40  The mechanical structures involved in breathing

Why mouth breathing isn’t as healthy as nasal breathing. 

Oxyhemoglobin Dissassociation Curve (OCD)

1:25:10  Breathing Masks

1:28:30  Nasal breathing and Taping your mouth closed at night.  Why, how, benefits, etc. 

1:36:30  Nose Unblocking Exercise. How to get rid of a stuffy nose naturally. 

1:42:30  The Mindful Warrior – Breath work, meditation, mindfulness – Finding the Zone

The mind dictates our quality of life. Thinking is a disease or a cure. 

Mastering your breath is the path to finding peace. -Scott McGee

LINKS TO WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA

oxygenadvantage.com    https://thesisuway.com/

@oxygenadvantage @TheSisuWay @1scottmcgee

The Oxygen Advantage book

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

21: Andy Petranek – Stepping Up through a Beginner’s Mind

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” — Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki

Andy Petranek couples curiosity and enthusiasm and applies it to learn new perspectives for a better way.  He is an early adopter, coach, athlete, entrepreneur, family man, and a life-explorer who travels with a sense of humor. He loves to work on developing and improving himself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but more importantly he strives to help others do the same. He lives his life based on the words of his grandfather, “Never stop learning. Never stop growing.” 

I open the show with a lesson on Shoshin.  Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. 

What is most fascinating about Andy is his curious mind and his ability to choose strength. These themes are evident when we take a step back and observe from a different perspective. From this framework, we take a look at some of the events that have lead Andy to become the father that he is and his ability to change lives for the better across the world through The Whole Life Challenge.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

Show Notes:

2:20  Shoshin – Lesson in a Beginners Mind. 

6:10  Spoon Challenge – See it for the first time with a curious mind.

11:20  Perspective Chair Challenge

13:30  Opening question on purpose and emotion

17:25  85 year-old self Challenge

21:00  Musical background and the life bowling analogy

29:10  Trumpet player to Marine – What was he looking for?

34:20  Outdoor Eco Challenge races – Lost for 36 hours, learning, and pushing himself

“Trust your compass”

52:40  Learning a new skill like unicycling.

56:15  The 10-Minute training to overcome weaknesses.

1:04:10  Back Tucks and what you can learn about life through them.

1:07:48  CrossFit History

1:15:13  How do I have a better impact on the wellness of my clients? Beginning of The Whole Life Challenge

1:22:11  “Its the transformation of humans. Its working on virtues. Its developing peoples courage and commitment and testing their resolve. Being in the game of life, rather than thinking of winning or losing.”

You have the power to change your life for the better.

1:26:00  We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, it’s a habit.

Virtues are formed in a man by doing the right actions.

1:27:28  The 7 Daily Habits

1:33:30  Awaken with Gratitude

1:37:20  Fatherhood, post-it notes

1:44:55  Lessons learned from The Andy Petranek Podcast

“You’re taking curiosity, enthusiasm and applying to people to learn new perspectives for a better way.”

1:54:25  Stepping Up – Newsletter

2:04:20  Fitness – Movement is a Gift

Links and Social Media:

AndyPetranek.com  WholeLifeChallenge.com   TheSisuWay.com

@andypetranek  @wholelifechallenge  @TheSisuWay  @1ScottMcGee

The shin box for opening the hips

Oxygen Advantage