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30 Days Of:

 

Follow me as I experiment on myself, 30 days at a time.

New rituals. New routines. New mindset practices. New diet and exercise programs. New whatever the hell else I think of…30 days at a time.

This series is about doing hardcore inner work to find the strategies and formulas that work best for me. I’ll be posting updates throughout each month.

The first part of this series is going to be: 30 Days of Meditation. Yes I know some months have 31 days. But “30 Days of” just has a better ring to it.

 

 

30 Days Of: Money Mindset

For the month of January, my “30 Days Of” mission was Money Mindset. 

I’ve long suspected (ok what I really mean is I have flat out known for sure) that I didn’t have the healthiest relationship with money. 

Full discosure: I’ve always found a way to make it, but was awful at keeping it. 

I had all kinds of unhealthy thoughts about money, which came from childhood. And when it came to being smart and tracking my money, I was the worst. 

Now, it’s difficult to track results here.

It’s kind of like working out – you can workout for a month and maybe see some results, but you have to continue doing it to really see hard core changes. 

So here’s what I did for the month of January: 

-Repeated a daily mantra

Any time I found myself drifting into any kind of negative thought patterns or just felt like doing it. My mantra was “I easily make more than $250,000 a year”. 

I liked adding the word “easily”. So I wasn’t sending signals to myself that to reach my next money goal, it would entail me working twice as hard or working way more.

I also purposefully added the “more than”, so I wasn’t telling myself THAT was the ultimate number. 

-Daily review of my finances

A BIG part of doing this for me was looking at my finances every day. That meant logging into my bank statement, for all of my accounts, and going over everything. Carefully. Intentionally. 

I would look at my statements, and then would also journal about what I was feeling.

This sounds simple, and maybe most people do that, but not me. I have extremely strong resistance towards doing this, because money is a major source of stress for me.

I tend to just ignore it, and live by the “I’ll just find a way to make more” philosophy….not healthy. 

The problem? When I would log into my account, I would put myself in a shitty state.

I felt awful. Stressed. And I knew this wasn’t going to do anything positive for me at all. 

Solution? 

I started listening to funny music while I looked at my statements. 

Initially, I used the theme from the Smurfs! Haha. Because who can be stressed with that playing in your ears on a loop? 

After doing that for a couple of days, I found something I liked better – the theme from the Benny Hill Show. I challenge you to listen to this and not feel silly and  instantly put in a better mood!

After doing this really for only a few days, the negative charge I felt looking at my finances was totally gone. Seriously. Evaporated. 

Shocked at how fast that happened. Super cool.

My next move, was to find a way to go from neutral, to feeling awesome. 

So I just started listening to kick ass music that made me feel great. I did that and after a couple of days I felt totally empowered looking at my finances. 

It was really that fast. 

-Daily money mindset mediation

For my morning meditations, the majority of the 30 days I listen to a 30 minute Kelly Howell guided money meditation. If you don’t know Kelly Howell, I highly recommend her. I have a bunch of her stuff. 

Her site is here: www.brainsync.com 

-Subliminal programming while sleeping

I also would go to sleep listening to one of her subliminal money audios on a loop. I used the “Sleep Sheep” sleep headphones you see in the pic above. 

Did I feel goofy going to sleep with these things on? Yup.

Did I care? Hell no!

What would usually wind up happening is, I’d fall asleep, and then wake up at some point in the middle of the night and take the headphones off. But I think I was getting a couple of hours of subliminal programming done before I’d wake up. 

(Here’s a totally non-affiliate link if you want to check those headphones out on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/AcousticSheep-SleepPhones-Classic-Headphones-Medium/dp/B0046H8ZHS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486671207&sr=8-1&keywords=sleepphones)

DUDE STOP TALKING…WHAT WERE THE RESULTS???

Like I said, difficult to track. I had a very good month money-wise. Was it a result of all this? Who knows. 

I also have gone from procrastination to 1,000mph full steam ahead on my first group coaching program: S.E.L.F. Strategies for an Extraordinary Life.

This is something I’ve wanted to do forever. But now it is full go and I already have a bunch of people signed up to go through the pilot version of the course!

I would think that all the mindset work had a lot to do with that.

I’ve been listening to these abundance meditations and bombarding my subconscious with subliminal abundance audios while sleeping…plus repeating “I easily make more than $250,000 a year” non-stop…so I guess maybe this is my brain’s way of saying “OK – well, let’s figure out how to get this done!” 

TAKEAWAYS 

I really dug this. I am going to continue with a lot of it. Being on top of my shit money-wise is something most people are taught when they’re kids (I think?).  It’s something I must continue. 

I really love the subliminal audios as well, and will continue that. 

I’m also going to continue using mantras. After the previous months “I Love Myself”, I really see the benefit in just blitzing my subconscious. The best part of this process is, I spend SO much less time in a day caught up in negative thought patterns/loops. 

What about you? Have you worked on money mindset? What did you do and how did it work out for you?

6

30 Days Of “I Love Myself”

For my 2nd month of “30 Days Of”, I decided to choose something to address negative self-talk, and I guess my own negativity in general. 

When it comes to that voice in your head, I’ve realized that I spend an obnoxious amount of time and energy obsessing over nonsense.

Things that might happen. Things I could have done differently. All the things I’m not doing. Sometimes it seems like a never-ending loop of bullshit, and there’s no way that any of it helps me in any way. 

How much better could my life be if I learned to cut all of that out (or at the very least, drastically reduce it)?

My monthly mission was to tell myself “I Love Myself” a minimum of 90,000 times.

I know, that sounds insane. But read on…(if you want to skip the background and get right to the results, just scroll below to the blue text).

I read “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter a couple of years ago, and was blown away by a statistic he quoted:

During the first eighteen years of our lives, if we grew up in fairly average, reasonably positive homes, we were told “No!” or what we could not do, more than 148,000 times! If you were a little more fortunate, you may have been told “No!” only 100,000 times, or 50,000- however many, it was considerably more negative programming than any of us needs”.

Personally, I’m willing to bet these numbers are WAYYYYY on the low side.

He goes on to state that “leading behavioral researchers have told us that as much as seventy-seven percent of everything we think is negative, counterproductive, and works against us”. 

Just take a second and think about that shit. Those are mind boggling numbers. 

But when I thought about it, I wasn’t surprised. From the time we’re babies we’re bombarded with negativity. It’s not only hearing “No!” from our parents and loved ones.

It’s newspapers, magazines, billboards, commercials, anything/everything online- all reminding us what we don’t have and what we should strive for.

Who we aren’t and who we should be. 

Mind you, this is just the shit from the outside. It’s been my experience both with myself and my clients, that what we do to ourselves internally is FAR worse

I think our hyper-connected online world makes it even easier to get sucked down into the negativity vortex. It’s the easiest thing in the world to check out our Facebook or Instagram feeds and start comparing ourselves to others right?

Now, I’m not blaming my (or your) negativity on anything or anyone other than myself. Neither should you. To put blame elsewhere leads to classic victim mentality, and puts you in a position of not having control over it to fix it… 

…so back to my “30 Days Of” for December. 

I had just finished reading a book called “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” by Kamal Ravikant. I highly recommend it. The premise of the book is simple. Here are my cliff notes:

Dude goes through terrible depression. He decides to do something about it by repeating to himself (out loud and internally) “I Love Myself” over and over and over again like a maniac. Eventually the dude is happy, writes a book about his journey, he lives happily ever after. The End. 

That’s why I chose “I Love Myself”. I figured what better mantra to bombard myself with that that, right? 

HOW THE HELL DID YOU PICK THE NUMBER 90,000?!?!

Here’s how I settled on 90,000:

Before I started, I downloaded an app called “Tally Counter”. Super simple. No bells or whistles. Just a simple app for my iPhone where I could keep my thumb on the button and click to keep track. 

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I went about my life for the first few days using the counter and keeping track of a lot of the things I do daily (working out, walking in the city, taking a bus, taking a shower, etc), and 3,000x a day seemed to be an easy number to hit. 

(No, I didn’t actually use the app in the shower)

CAN I SEE HOW SOME OF YOUR NUMBERS BROKE DOWN?

Sure. Here ya’ go (in totally random order, and all numbers are approximate):

  1. Walking from my co-working space I use 4-5 times a week, back to my apartment = 500x 
  2. I found out if I just put 5 minutes on a timer, I could say “I Love Myself” 367 times on average. If I did that 5x a day, that’s 1,835x right there.
  3. At the gym when doing cardio on the Elliptical: 116x per minute when on easy setting (I do interval training). and 110x when on hard. 
  4. walking a typical NYC block: = 42x 
  5. walking across a typical NYC avenue (some avenues are way longer than others): = 100x 
  6. Walking to catch a bus from my apartment to Waterside Plaza: = 394x 

So you can see that 3,000y a day wasn’t some ridiculous number to reach. I didn’t get insane with the counting either.

As long as I knew the numbers were close enough to be reasonably accurate, that was more than good enough for me. So if I counted 156x, but the real number was 152x, or 161x, who cares? It was close enough for me to get an idea. 

We have a lot of crazy shit bouncing around in our heads. Day in, day out, 24/7/365. And for most people, the majority of what goes on in there is negative. 

When I really thought about it, all that self-inflected negativity is really a form of abuse. And I wanted to put an end to it, or at least cut a huge percentage of it out of my life. 

It reminded me of something I read years ago about pro athletes. See, they did a study and learned that pro athletes have way less thoughts in general per day than you or I do. By a huge margin.

That’s because they’ve trained not only their bodies, but their minds. They spend way less time in a day than you or I do thinking about negative garbage and nonsense, because they have to worry about hitting a 92mph slider in front of 40,000 people that night with a few million people watching on TV. 

So they are obsessing over some of the same positive/constructive thoughts over and over and over again. 

Were You Saying This Out Loud or In Your Head? Was It Weird?

Mostly in my head. And it really wasn’t actually. I would get into a very zen kind of rhythm with it. 

Walking on the street would be left foot “I love”, right foot “myself”. Left foot “I love”, right foot “myself”. Repeat. 

Running on the treadmill it was a steady “I-love-my-self” as I ran. 

What Were Your Biggest Takeaways/A-Ha’s? 

There were quite a few. One of the most impactful for me, was the fact that I wound up naturally defaulting to it when I’d find myself thinking about negative nonsense.

Once a negativity loop started, that cycle of worrying abut things that may never happen, I would just start repeating “I Love Myself”. So the result was way less time getting caught up in all that garbage. I was still allowing my brain to get caught in a loop, but instead of the usual bad stuff, it was replaced with “I Love Myself”, and that has to be healthier right? 

I also found that when I repeated it enough, say once I got passed 1,000x for the day, I’d wind up happy. Nothing else changed, other than the fact I had told myself “I Love Myself” 1,000x already and it wasn’t even 10AM. 

I also became much more patient. If something happened in the course of my day that I didn’t like or didn’t agree with, that’s ok, because I Love Myself. 

So? Did You Hit 90,000? 

I think so. Yeah I mean, I feel like I must have gone well passed it. There were very few days I missed, and even on the days I “missed”, I’m sure I wound up saying it a bunch. 

Will You Continue To Do This? 

In some shape or form yes, 100%. I may choose a different theme every month, or maybe keep several mantras on hand and use them as needed. But I think having a simple-to-use but powerful tool like this is a huge asset. 

Say you wanted to be a more confident person for example. I just showed you how easy it is to repeat something to yourself 90,000x in a month. What if you repeated something like “I am confident at all times” to yourself? 

What if you didn’t just do it for a month like I did, but did it for an entire year? 

90,000x/month x 12 = 1,080,000x/year

Now I am no Tony Robbins, but I have to think that there is a massive benefit to telling yourself you are a confident person over a million times a year. 

Thanks for reading! I already think you’re the most awesome person in the world, but if you shared this I’d totally consider us best friends for life. 

And please let me know if you’ve done anything similar to this? And what your takeaways were. If you haven’t, is this something you could commit to doing for one month? 

30 Days of Meditation

It’s all in your mind right?

I decided to start my “30 Days Of” series with meditation.

Why? Not sure. Astral projection and levitation seem cool, and I was fairly certain I could achieve both of those things in 30 days (I fell a little short). 

No…it sounded like a good place to start, and it’s something that’s always interested me. 

I’ve dabbled in it before. And I guess you could consider what I did for the 30 days kind of/sort of dabbling as well. 

But this was a more of an intentional dabbling…if that makes sense…(it doesn’t). 

But ANYHOW- 

Here are my notes from my 30 days of mediation. At the end of this post I included a summary. Kind of a “what have I learned” from the whole experience. What I liked and what I didn’t like etc. 

Here goes…

Day 1 / November 1st / AM: 8:33AM – 8:43 AM

I did 10 minutes sitting up straight with legs crossed on my couch.

I concentrated on my breathing. Long deep inhales and exhales. Maybe 4 seconds each one. Had a few itches and thought “are you supposed to scratch itches when you’re meditating or ignore them”?

Yeah…I totally scratched them ? 

Had a bunch of seemingly random thoughts cross my mind and tried to just let them come on go without dwelling on them at all. 

Day 1 (pt 2) 8:15 PM – 8:25 PM 

(NOTE: I initially started doing 2x a day, but dialed that back to 1x a day as I went on). 

Have only really meditated in the AM before, so this was different. Much different vibe after a full day of working/stress etc.

Focusing on my breath and was thinking “Untangle” on the inhale, and “Release” on exhale. Trying to rid my body of the feeling of being tense due to a super busy day. Was harder than it was in the AM.

I kept wondering when the 10 minutes would be up. Kept wanting to look at the clock. Don’t look! Don’t look! I kept telling myself…I never checked. But that 10 minutes felt 10x longer than this AM. 

Day 2 / November 2nd / 9:29AM – 9:39AM

Late start. Actually woke up sick. Can’t breathe through my nose so just worked with what I had.

Actually started feeling nauseous, so the whole “30 days of” is being tested pretty much immediately. Which I look at as a positive. Do you want to do this or not? Work through it.

Repeated the words (internally) Inhale “open” / exhale “release”. Open to the universe. Consciousness. What have you.

Release of the stress in my body. Wherever it may be.

Open and release. 

Will try to do much earlier tomorrow

Day 2 (pt 2) 7:05PM – 7:15 PM

Felt better so it was easier. Very relaxing. 

Note to self: DON’T leave windows open. Way too much noise outside. 

Day 3 / November 3rd / 7:50AM-8AM

Very easy and comfortable today. Just focused on “relax, open, receive” 

Day 4 / November 4th / 8:06AM-8:16AM

Just spent the last 75 minutes going through day job emails and am feeling super frustrated and angry.

Using this session as a tool to let all of that go. Will focus on “letting go”. Which seems to come up a lot for me.

Focused on an ice blue light going through the top of my head and slowly down thru my whole body. Relaxing each part as it worked it’s way down. 

From the top of my head. Eyes. Ears. Cheeks and jaw (where I keep a lot of tension). All the way down to my toes. 

Because I went In feeling like I “was” stressed. Stress isn’t something we get. It’s something we DO. 

I feel a little better after. Ten minutes went by extremely fast. 

Maybe because I spent a lot of it trying to relax my whole body part by part.

Day 4 (pt 2) / 8:07PM-8:17PM

Had a realization. When I get urges, like “ Oh my God I’m soooo hungry I have to cut this short and go eat”, or “Argh I have an itch”, just because the urge is there doesn’t mean it needs to be acted on. I don’t have to do anything. Just BE.

Pretty cool. 

Day 5 / November 5th

Totally forgot to meditate today. I am a total failure at life!!!

Haha. Nah…oh well, shit happens.….going forward I need to treat a Saturday like a weekday. The day just seemed to get away from me. But I did manage to do 5 minutes at 8:50PM. Was very rushed and out of sorts so I am not really counting this. 

Day 6  / November 6th / 7:23AM-7:33 AM

Got an earlier start than yesterday. Nothing really to report. Really felt just kind of meh. Couldn’t get into it.

Day 7 / November 7th / 8:12 AM to 8:22 AM

Did it sitting up in my bed today. Wait that sounds wrong…

…or maybe it sounds right hahah.

Lauren was away for first week of the month, but is back now, so no more meditating on the couch in the AM. Unless I want to meditate with an audience (no thank you please). 

Was more comfortable for sure. Noticing I can get into it very fast now. I get very deeply relaxed very quickly. 

Alas, I still can’t levitate ? 

Day 8 / November 8th / 8:27AM to 8:37AM

Another morning where I was already highly stressed out before meditating.

Had a great early morning. Up at 4:40AM. Gym. Home. Voted. Walked the dog. Got coffee.

Feeling great…until I opened my emails. Led to massive stress. I found myself really looking forward to the session. Was a welcome break and served as a reset button for the rest of my day. 

REALLY like being able to reset my day/mindset at any point by taking 10 minutes to close my eyes and just breathe. Very cool. 

Day 8 / November 8th (pt 2) /6:24PM – 6:35 PM 

In bedroom. Really liking this now. Again very deep fast. Felt my body get very heavy. For some reason I kept thinking of Thanos from Marvel? Yeah, that makes zero sense. 

Day 9 / November 9th

Ugh. Kill me. I won’t use this space to be political, but lets just say it was a really bad day for me.

Stayed up until almost 4AM watching election coverage.  

This is exactly why I SHOULD have meditated. But didn’t. Dropped the ball. 

Day 10 / November 10th / 8:00AM-8:10 AM

Skipped day 9.  Looking back I probably should have meditated yesterday as it was a great opportunity to test it out in a time of crisis. Things were mentally all screwed up for me, so it would have been cool to see what would have happened if I meditated. Opportunity lost, but that ok.

Today was good. Relaxing. I needed a break from my head and all the events of the last two days.

Day 11 / November 11th / 9:26AM-9:36 AM 

Today I tried listening to Tibetan Gongs and Bells. Didn’t like it. But like the idea of doing this with some kind of monotonous sounds or music. Maybe Tibetan chanting?

Day 12 / November 12th / 7:27AM-7:37 AM

Getting Better at letting thoughts come and just discarding them without dwelling on them.

Day 13 November 13th / 1:10PM – 1:22 PM 

Did with Tibetan chants this time. Really didn’t connect with me as much as I thought it would have.

My mind was extremely scattered. Mostly darker thoughts. I think I will do these as Kelly Howell guided meditations from now on. 

Day 14 / November 14th / 8:57AM-9:07AM

Did ten minutes and forgot to log what I did.

But I also listened to Kundalini instructions for next time (I purchased a guided meditation from Kelly Howell called “Awakening Kundalini”. The instructions were mostly background on what Kundalini is, as well as three different breathing techniques: Ocean Breath, Breath of Fire, and the Root Lock).

Ocean Breathing is an even, steady breathing. Inhale and exhale at the same tempo with no holding of the breath. You should make almost a hissing noise when doing it, from your throat being slightly tensed. It’s super relaxing to breathe rhythmically like that. 

Breath of Fire is nuts. It’s a very rapid inhale/exhale done through the nose. Supposed be done at (I think) three inhale/exhales per second. Really expand your stomach on the inhale, and contract it on the exhale. Like a bellows. I have trouble doing it for more than 60 seconds at a time. 

When you do it you can literally feel electricity in your body. It’s amazingly invigorating. 

The Root Lock is breathing in deeply, tightening your sphincter and lower abdomen (lock), exhale, then “release the lock”. 

Tomorrow I am going to do longer/guided 30 minute meditations. 

Day 14 / November 14th (pt 2)/ 6:37PM-6:47PM

Also did a quick ten minutes at night.

Day 15 / November 15th / forgot to log the time, but it was 30 minutes. 

Did the awakening kundalini guided meditation. Wow. 30 min went by faster than the 10 minute sessions. I went fairly deep here.

For the first time I was able to actually see something with my eyes closed. I saw a glimmer of outer space. And a lizard looking back at me. WTF right? It was very fleeting, but cool. 

Felt great. Like I went somewhere or began to explore something. 

Day 16 / November 16th / 8:52-AM – 9:22AM

Kundalini. Again I’m amazed how fast that goes by. Didn’t feel quite as deep as yesterday. Going to try the bedroom tomorrow where it’s darker

Day 17 / November 17th / 9:11AM-9:41 AM

Kundalini.

Much better in bedroom. Darker. Still amazed how fast 30 minutes goes by. 

Saw an Owl? Not clearly. But was pretty obvious to me it was an Owl.

Day 18 / November 18th / 9:30 AM – 10:00AM.

Kundalini. This time did it sitting in a chair as opposed to sitting on my couch or bed. No noticeable difference. Felt it was difficult to get too deep today for some reason.

Day 19 / November 19th / 6:06AM-6:16AM

Just ten minutes in bedroom. Still relaxing but still not very deep. There’s something about it I love for sure. Just not “ here” yet.

Day 20 / November 20th

Didn’t meditate today. 

Day 21/ November 21st / 9:31AM-9:44AM

Changed it up again today. From the book “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depended on It” (HIGHLY recommend):

Listened to music. Inhale “I love myself”. Exhale = whatever thoughts/feelings come up.

I wound up thinking inhale “I love myself”. Exhale “the universe loves me”. 

Pictured all the light in the universe pouring down in me through my head and then my entire body. 

First was listening to songs from the Inception soundtrack. Wasn’t feeling it at all. Switched to Passacaglia from Bear McCreary / Battlestar Galactica

Day 22 / November 22nd / 9:32AM-9:37AM

Only 5 minutes today. But did same as yesterday. The “I love myself” one with music.

Day 23 – 25 / November 23rd , 24th, 25th 

Big time oooops. I allowed Thanksgiving stuff to get in the way. Now I’ll defintely hurt my chances at levitation.

Day 26 / November 26th /6:52PM-7:04pm

Did an “I love myself” inhale and exhale. That was it. When thoughts came I pictured them detaching like a little red balloon.

Day 27 / November 27th / 6:03PM – 6:35PM

Kundalini mediation.

Did in bedroom in dark.I feel like I definitely go deeper when the room I am in is super dark. 

Day 28 / November 28th / 9:18AM – 9:28AM

“I love myself” inhale and exhale. That’s it. I like this as much as the longer ones. And really love the idea of reprogramming my brain with this repetition.

Day 29 / November 29th / 6:51pm- 7:04 pm 

Wow!!!

Ok, so I didn’t really want to do this at all today. But realizing tomorrow is the last of my 30 days, I felt like I had to. 

Bedroom. 

Did “I love myself” listening to Passacaglia/BSG again. First the version from the show. Then the all piano version.

Halfway through that I said fuck it. I really want to listen to Home Sweet Home right now. 

Song has been anchored into me for over 30 years. It always lights me up. 

“But Gregg, you can’t meditate to Motley Crue”! Says who?

I know. Its weird. But like I just mentioned, I said fuck it, let’s try. 

And the second those first piano chords came on, my soul lit up and smiled. I mean it- I felt it happen. 

The whole experience was ridiculously cool. I just felt totally still and enjoyed breathing with all this going on around me.

I felt like this totally calm being in the eye of a hurricane. It’s was soooo badass!!! I think I’m on to something with this. 

See? And I didn’t want to do it. Lesson here in doing things when you don’t “feel” like it. Sometimes, magic happens!!

Day 30 / November 30th / 6:57pm – 7:08 

Again tried this listening to whatever I wanted to. Session wasn’t that good though, because I think I was preoccupied with how I was going to write this post up etc.

TAKEAWAYS:

I really enjoyed this. I can absolutely see the benefit of meditating and I plan on incorporating it into my daily practice full time.

I loved being able to “reset” myself whenever I wanted to.

I feel like what I did was just barely scratch the surface here. So much more I can play around with. Different breathing techniques. Different guided meditations.

I felt good about the fact that I put no pressure on myself. If I missed a day (or days), so what. Just pick it up tomorrow and keep it going.

STATS:

Meditated 24 out of 30 days

Total time meditating: 388 minutes = 6.46 hours