Host: Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness Podcast, where we talk to wellness professionals from around the world to gain their insights into healthier living. I’m your host Wes Malik. Our Guest Today is Garrett Daun. He is a Radical Undoing consultant and a personal evolution trainer. He’s also the host of the Art of NGF Podcast and the CEO of Command Z, Academy of Mutant Evolution. What does he actually do? Let’s ask Garrett and welcome him to the show. Garrett, Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness Podcast. How are you doing today?
Garrett: I’m doing great, Wes. Thank you for having me on the show.
Host: So, tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do?
Garrett: Well, I do something called Radical Undoing, which is a form of breathing and bodywork. It’s funny – every time those words leave my mouth I hear all the preconceptions people must have, and at the same time, I think how innocuous it sounds. Especially for someone who hasn’t spent much time laying down, breathing, and really being present with their body. But in this case, I think the term, Radical Undoing, does do itself justice because both words imply something rather intense, something rather profound and hopefully something effective. So, the core premise is to break apart the chronic tensions in the body, which subsequently breaks apart the tense and armored ways of thinking that cause people to build lives that they are truly not satisfied with, and hoping they’re trying to escape from at all times. So, I do that and I include with that a bunch of forms of creative expression, a little bit of business coaching. My core principle for my own life and for my clients and for everyone that I work with or come in contact with is to honor the free and spontaneous flow of life force. First, within the individual, because if it’s not flowing within the individual, then all else is essentially lost. And then to honor that in all my decisions or in whatever help I’m giving a person or a situation, to honor the free and spontaneous flow of life force.
Host: If I understand correctly, Radical Undoing starts with the process of breathing? Is it different breathing? How radical is it?
Garrett: Well, there’s a form, there’s a lot of different exercises that go along with it. Daily exercises that would compose of a morning routine and then, things that you use as a remedy at first, so if you notice some tension in the shoulders, there’s a tool you can use for that, at that moment. People often use the term, 'emotional baggage', but they don’t necessarily know what they mean by that. That’s both a form of carrying the body and presenting the body, as well as the tension patterns in the face. So if I left and had an argument with someone, had a business meeting earlier today and then I come to do this interview…
Garrett: You might see on my face, the residue from that argument. Even though you might not notice it consciously…
Garrett: We’re all fully aware of, at least unconsciously, the body language and of the tension patterns of the face of all the people around us. However, we are mostly lost in our own thoughts about what other people must be thinking about us, or imagining future catastrophes, or reminiscing, or regretting something about the past. So we’re lost in fantasy. So we’re not aware of the body language and the presence of ourselves or about other people. So, Radical Undoing breaks that cycle, stops the fake suffering on what’s going on in the mind. It breaks apart the chronic tension patterns in the body, so quickly that the mind can’t keep up with it, disturbs homeostasis, you know, that’s a strange and important point. The brain monitors the average amount of tension that you normally carry and it becomes familiar with that. And then it, if you relax below that level of tension in the brain while reasserting it, you can get back to normality.
Host: Meaning, that it will create tension to get back to a normal level that you’re accustomed to?
Garrett: Yes, yes exactly. And similarly, you will create those states in the mind where you’re kind of mildly afraid all the time, or panicked, or upset, or sad or whatever it is. And we all know that sort of caricature, stereotype people that embody sadness or that embody anger or that embody panic. It’s much more difficult when you have that running in the background all the time.
Garrett: Do you even notice it? So, the Undoing breaks that apart faster than the brain can keep up with. So in order to conserve brain energy, if instead of reasserting the tension which takes a lot of effort, it remaps its own image of the body at a lower rate of tension. So every time you do a full Radical Undoing session or some of the small exercises which I’ll share with you today, the brain reassesses the body at a lower rate of tension. So you have a few accumulative effects overtime, as well as instant effects of relief and relaxation. And then of course training the neocortex, the human part of your brain, and sending a message through the emotional parts of the brain through the brain stem parts of the brain, so that you increase your anxiety and frustration tolerance, meaning you can be feeling a lot of emotion, feeling a lot of intensity and yet can still stay on task. You can still complete your mission whatever that might be.
Host: All through these exercises that you teach to people?
Garrett: Yes, yes indeed. Now, it does take a lot of practice.
Garrett: But it’s less effort than you are already making to stay tense. That’s what most people don’t get. They’re spending 60 to 70% of their calories.
Garrett: I don’t like mystical terms so I try to keep it in the physical.
Garrett: But life force, meaning the amount of energy you have to do things during the day.
Garrett: If you don’t have the energy left, you can’t lift a heavy box for example. It’s that simple. So if you’re burning 60 to 70% of the calories that you intake on staying tense, it’s not as obvious as if I squeeze my fist or something like that, but it’s the little tensions through the face…
Garrett: …through the shoulders, through the chest, through the belly, especially the belly…
Garrett: …hips, pelvis, legs, and so on. So the body has to burn energy to contract those muscles constantly throughout the day. So you make a small effort to break those tension patterns and then you receive back all of that energy that was formerly dedicated to keeping you tense and upset.
Host: Usually people complain of knots in their shoulders, you know, and they’ll go get a massage for it. Do these breathing exercises in the Radical Undoing… does it help that kind of pain?
Garrett: It does. And it does so somewhat instantly, depending on, you know the person, specific person’s condition. I can’t say, you know if they’ve been hunched over their whole life and then they start doing the exercises that they’ll feel some relief, but they also become aware of the pain that has dropped out of their awareness. In massage, they call that breaking the pain cycle, meaning you’re going to have to feel it before it starts to get better. You know, there’s chronic back pain people have, they will…The body will let you know, “Okay. You’re doing something wrong, you’re sitting all day or you’re sitting the wrong way. Here’s some pain”. But the body also knows you have to function and still go to work, so it’ll drop that pain out of awareness, but it doesn’t mean the situation has been corrected. As soon as you start to relax, you become aware of it again and that’s when most people will take pills or get a massage or do some other kind of activity to avoid dealing with what the body is communicating. (laughing)
Host: That’s true. You know, the first thought never goes to maybe slowing down and, you know, focusing on yourself. It’s always something external. I need to take something, I need to do something, somebody needs to, you know, needs to go to a chiropractor or something like that. It’s always external, it’s not within.
Host: And if I’m getting you correctly, it starts within.
Garrett: It does. It really does. For me the process went from, I had externalized a sense of a battle so I became one of those…When I was much younger I became a protester and trying to fight civilization, fight the government, whatever. And at some point, the absurdity of that battle dawned on me and I realized…And the teacher that I had made a specific comment about at one point. Did he say, which of your parents was the fascist? And I was like, “Whoa!”, and it was the perfect moment for that.
Garrett: And I realized, “Okay. This is some internal battle that I’ve pushed outside, to not deal with just being present, just feeling what it is to actually be alive and dealing with any existential pains that come along with that rather than running away from them”. So for me, it was that, it was turning inside to find that, say inner peace, cannot be reliant on external circumstances or it’s not peace. It’s just a temporary state that can be manipulated and easily destruct. So inner peace has to be something that can be relatively permanent if regardless of circumstances. So that, led me on a quest through all this madness, you know, everything you can possibly imagine, and luckily sooner than later I found the Radical Undoing work and then made a very serious effort out of it. And loved it so much that I essentially made it into my life, helping people with this specific very fascinating work.
Host: I need to talk more about that with you but we’ll continue that later.
Host: No person is an island. No one lives in their own bubble. You always have to interact in the world and the world can be overwhelming. And many times, sometimes, multiple times, during even a couple of hours or even throughout the day there is a lot of stuff going on physically, mentally. But let’s talk about that in just several minutes. I was hoping, that you could share the breathing exercises that you share with your clients on how to, you know, get rid of that tension or all the chaos inside of us.
Garrett: Yes. Let’s do two exercises now together and people who are listening can do these along with us. I’ll give very clear and easy instructions and then if anybody wants more details, this stuff is out there on my YouTube, you can find me on Facebook. I’m pretty personable, I enjoy meeting people before I decide to work with them or not and I put out a lot of materials.
Host: Okay, good
Garrett: So it’s all out there. We will introduce these exercises and you can experience it and then, it will give us some raw data to actually discuss together.
Garrett: So the first exercise, I’d like to call, a simple twist of Face. I’m giving a little bit of homage to the Bob Dylan song, a Simple Twist of Fate.
Garrett: And also doing this exercise, which is essentially face stretching, can cause a simple twist in your own fate, meaning you’re not going to be carrying around the emotional baggage that is stored in the facial muscles. What that means in practical reality is that you will no longer be projecting whatever your internal state happens to be onto other people. You’ll be more neutral and from there, you will then be receiving and aware that you’re receiving whatever is going on for the people around you.
Garrett: And that may sound innocuous, but essentially the most aware person in the room, the most present person in the room, is the most in control in the room. It doesn’t mean in control of other people necessarily, but it means in control of themselves, aware of what they’re mission is, and then able to actually make moves to accomplish that mission and even able to help other people feel or return to their sense of presence and power. So in essence, if you are present, relaxed, and neutral in your life and your body, and self-become an open invitation to other people on the body level tolls, so relax. And I notice that, just through a lot of work, first with individuals and then with groups, I would notice when one person could go very, very deep…
Garrett: …the group would automatically go that deep.
Host: So it’s like contagious?
Garrett: It is contagious, yes. Doesn’t mean that everyone would take the invitation, just like with a party.
Garrett: Some people are addicted to fetishizing their traumas, fetishizing their problems and that’s something that they will continue to cling to and suffer with. But at least they received the invitation.
Garrett: Better than if they have none.
Garrett: So, without further description, for now, I’ll explain the exercises and we’ll do it. So, it’s really simple but there are some keys to keep in mind. You want to move every muscle in your face, slowly and with a lot of intensity. It’s going to feel funny to most people listening, maybe to you as well, to do it at first. And that’s important to notice that feeling because our identity is wrapped up in the way our facial muscles are contacted on a continuous basis. So we want to destroy that and come back to being aware and rather than putting on a show.
Garrett: So you’re going to stretch and move all the muscles of your face. I’ll do it along with everyone else as well. You’re going to include the forehead, the eyebrows, eyes in all different directions, the cheeks, the nostrils, the lips, the tongue, and the jaw.
Garrett: So we twist and move everything and use a lot of intensity and slow down a little bit. So it’s going to be very deliberate and use some force. And then at the same time, breathe deeply into your belly and to your chest and let all the breath out. So you want to keep the awareness on breathing.
Host: It’s a little difficult to do at the same time contorting your face and breathing.
Garrett: Yes. Now, this is the first time you’re doing it.
Garrett: It might have been the same thing if you’re doing bench presses. At first, it’s hard to…
Garrett: …to exercise properly and breathe properly, but over time it becomes easier and easier.
Host: A quick description of what Garrett and I are doing right now, is raising our eyebrows and looking towards the ceiling without moving our face up, of course. Opening our mouth very wide, moving our tongues left and right outside, making contorted faces towards the right, raising our cheek, closing our eyes, to the left now and simultaneously trying to breathe. I’m trying to talk and breathe at the same time. (laughing) And making faces like eating a sour lemon. All of a sudden you’re shocked. This is the kind of faces Garrett and I…I’m making them too. (laughing) Okay, left and right, moving the jaw left and right.
Garrett: Yes, and remember, keep a lot of attention and intensity in the face. So just tense the muscles in the face while you move it. So you’re making almost an isometric contraction that you move against. Does that make sense?
Host: It makes sense. And it looks like kind of the faces that the Hulk makes in the Avengers movie. The Hulk movies.
Garrett: Ahhh! That’s an interesting reference if you go back to the original Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno…
Garrett: …Hulk. The original premise of that character, the scientist wants to figure out and become in control of human emotion and then, of course, the experiment goes awry and he loses control by separating that rage from himself.
Host: You know, I’m really feeling something right here on my temples, on my cheeks. They kind of loosen up.
Host: I’m not exaggerating. I feel a physical change in my face. I’ve never done this before. This is amazing! (laughing)
Garrett: And so this one you want to do every morning when you wake up. It will just break apart any residue from the dreams
Garrett: From the day before. You do it for five full minutes. We’ll do, let’s say, one more minute just so you can get a real good anchoring of it this time. Again, remember the tongue can go out all different directions and you can make funny noises if that helps, do it in a mirror sometimes.
Host: I hope I’m doing it right
Garrett: Yes. You go a little slower and add more tension, kind of like flexing my muscles in my arms and moving against the contractions. So try to really, yes, tensing the whole face and then moving against the tension. Alright (funny noises) 30 more seconds or so. Okay. And then after each exercise, just stop. Let the jaw hang loose and open, which will also feel funny since society teaches us to keep it tense. Let it hang loose and open. Take a breath, maybe close your eyes, and just feel the effects of the exercise.
Host: I have an intense forehead and because of that I have two lines in the top of my nose and the bridge.
Host: And I have three lines in my forehead, and that’s because I do this all the time. I’m focused and tense and now after doing that exercise, this part of my face is actually kind of relaxed.
Garrett: Yes. It’s visibly loosened up a little bit
Garrett: And you can also even tap across the forehead, So you take, you know, your four fingers and just tap across a little bit. (tapping sounds) You can even raise up those lines. I have the same lines.
Host: Yes. There you go
Garrett: I have a similar quest through life, you know.
Host: (laughing) Yes.
Garrett: But if you want to seek you won’t do that. Yes, you can tap across and let it all relax. And I notice already. (Inhales) I feel my chest (exhales), my belly and I feel a sense of fun, a little bit of celebration just…
Garrett:…coming up in me. Whereas, when we started I had a more sense of seriousness, just getting a little heavy.
Garrett: And now, you know, come back to the present.
Host: I feel a physical difference, too. And anyone who’s listening, I urge you to try it. It’s a great exercise and I’ve never done it before, it’s the first time. I’ll try it again tomorrow in the morning. With this exercise along with this, the breathing I didn’t do it properly, of course, I have to do with the breathing and I did it too fast
Garrett: That’s an important point you make. What’s more important than…There’s no way to do it perfectly in the beginning and that’s a good thing because the process is what’s important. So you first, you were not aware of the exercise, now you’re aware. See, you have this tool right in front of you all the time, your face.
Garrett: Which can bring you relief. It can help you get through an overwhelming emotional state. It can change your mood, it can ripple out into the people you’re communicating in a positive way. Now you’re aware of it, so you went from unaware to aware. Now we get a little more refined, and you go from unaware that you’re not breathing to aware that you’re not breathing. Now you can do something about it so then you start breathing. So say you had to remind yourself to breathe twenty times during it
Garrett: Most people who have been trained by the school to think twenty times in a row, but in reality, you actually become aware, so something you were not aware of twenty times in a row. So, this is essentially forging new pathways in your brain to be more aware of what’s going on in the body at the same time is teaching the body how to handle the tension and stress and moods that are coming out of it. So later it becomes automatic. The first second you start doing the face rest, the body will remember all the other times you practiced it and it will start to relax everything, more and more deeply; “Oh and It’s okay, it’s just one of those moods, it’s just one of those emotions, it’s just one of those thoughts. No big deal”.
Host: Right. Do these exercises extend to other parts of the body or the whole body as well?
Garrett: Oh yes! Yes, yes, yes. So there’s, you know, these are ones you can do every day and I’m giving you just the bread and butter, the ones that are going to keep delivering forever.
Garrett: Now the more you do, the more results you’ll receive back and more presence, more power, more powerful you will be. And, let’s say, there’s a hundred or two hundred different warm-ups. Like I can include, in a live person workshops, we might have people do a full stretching, bodyweight conditioning routine and then do the face, the shoulders. There’s one called the flops, some laughing breaths.
Garrett: You know, the whole host of different ones, and then we’ll do the laydown sessions. So that’s something you do once or twice a week. You lay down in a specific breathing position, get the breath going in and out of the mouth, make sure the belly and chest are participating and every breath sounds like (exhale sound) and then relax, let all the breath out. So every breath is like its own exercise you know. (exhale sound) You let it all go. And then we synchronize body movement in with the breathing. So it might be in while you’re lying down, like be on the inhale, the eyes are open wide and then (exhale sound). Eyes are closed down tight throughout the exhale, the “AHHHH” sound becomes a trigger for that letting go, for that relaxation
Garrett: Or with the shoulders, for example, the next exercise I’ll show you when we say “AHHHH” will thrust the shoulders down. So later on, all you have to do is take a breath in the middle of the day, you’ll find you’re getting hypnotized in some kind of conversation you don’t like
Garrett: You’ll become aware of it and you’ll go (exhale sound) and all the built-in effects of doing all this work and practicing the breathing will come flowing through you automatically.
Host: Brilliant! I need to see more of this. You mention you’re on YouTube and you share a lot of stuff. Is there a specific website?
Garrett: Yes, there is. There’s radicalundoing.com and there I recommend just get on the email list. It’s going to be the best because I send out stuff almost every day, whether it's an exercise or some kind of concept, something about grounding or panic or anxiety or self-mastery. You know, we start out getting relief. Most people need some kind of relief. They’re overwhelmed, they’re burned out whatever it is. And we work with investors and business owners usually.
Garrett: And then also some creative types of artists, musicians. But people who have some amount of time, freedom, if they dedicate to this, they’re going to get faster and better results. So I like to work with, I work with most people who come my way, but that’s my favorite – folks out in the world and the impact that I have on them spreads out to a greater number of people.
Host: That’s radicalundoing.com. Do you make YouTube videos? You know, of the exercises?
Garrett: I do, yes. There’s youtube.com/c/Radicalundoings and if you go, I think the playlist tab, there’s a good selection. You can just dive in right away, you can try those stuff.
Garrett: And then also, on Facebook, I made a group. It’s kind of tucked away but it’s the Command Z Academy for Mutant Evolution and Training. If you type command Z Academy, you’ll find it. Just a little play on sort of the X-men First Class kind of like an idea where people are becoming aware like, “Something’s different about me. Something’s missing in life but I don’t know what is it”. Well, this is what it is. It’s your body and these tools that no one ever taught you about how to navigate life as an embodied individual instead of as a disembodied phantom being directed by ridiculous thoughts and emotions. This means you can be controlled by anyone who's more aware than you if your life is guided by emotions and thoughts.
Host: So, no person is an island and it’s very hard to live in a bubble all by yourself. You’re exposed to lots of stuff and the world is just getting faster, quicker, larger, and more connected by the second.
Host: I don’t mean to say that even if you’re, you know, working from home or you’re in quarantine even, it’s not like you’re isolated at home. You’re still in touch, in contact with the world, with the outside world. And for a lot of people, it can get overwhelming to a certain degree, to a small degree, to very large degrees and can have very severe impacts on people. You know, very very harmful effects all the way up to the worst that we can think of. And you say that the world has become kind of like a mental hospital, but you have a way. You can escape it. How can we escape it?
Garrett: Well, there are three core steps that influence everything and the ways that I communicate about life and about the body and about this work. And those three steps are essentially your tool kit for escaping this mental hospital, and I’ve written a lot and done some presentation about how it became a mental hospital. You know, so we don’t have to go into that here but it has a lot to do with the last hundred or so years of psychiatry and psychology and the terminology that they used, but then has become part of popular culture. So that instead of becoming aware, “Okay, I have some sense of sensation in my belly”, we instantly put a label on it that has a negative valance. You know, like electrons has positive or negative valance. Words have a positive or negative valance. So we get trained from a very young age to call a specific category of sensation around the belly or the throat, anxiety. When in reality, there are a million different things that, that word could be referencing and those are bodily events that are neither positive nor negative. Unless, of course, there’s some, you know, medical disaster happening. But generally, the body event calls that people are trained to call it anxiety is actually just a neutral body event. You might find it uncomfortable in one situation say, in meeting women or something like this, but you might find it exciting on a roller coaster because you like roller coasters but it’s a similar feeling. So we end up getting trained to put a negative term or terms with a negative valance of on a bunch of our bodily experiences. If you read someone like Rainer Maria Rilke, the German poet, he talks about sadness moving through him and that well he would sit with it. He would know it was there but he wouldn’t know what its purpose was until it had left and then he saw what had changed about him. So he, of course, he didn’t recourse to social media or computers or TV or any of these things to help him run away from it. So he would sit with it and when he’s finished he would write. And so he wasn’t trained to interpret that in a positive or negative way. He simply saw it as a very powerful bodily event that was moving through him. And in so doing it he was able to teach other people. This is in Letters to a Young Poet. Just hang on one second I’m actually digging into the book, its excellent, but…
Garrett: He was advising another poet about how to handle these experiences in life. So, this mental institution of the planet that we lived in is full of people who’ve been trained to, as I said earlier, to fetishize their past traumas, their past experiences that they’ve judged as negative or painful or overwhelming. So much so that they’ve become identified with those traumas and they parade them around and tell everyone else about them and you can see and feel that coming through them to a greater and lesser degree. So to escape this situation wherein we’ve all become the mental patients and the doctors are trying to help our fellow mental patients…
Garrett: …or to commiserate with each other, which you’ll see men and women filling the bars around the world, commiserating about the same thing for decades at a time. So to escape that, you got to do these three steps and act these three steps in your life. And the first, the very first one is to Come Back Home to the Body. To come home to the body. Now, as I say that I’m sure that you, Wes, and anyone listening, even if you don’t necessarily understand it on an intellectual level, there’s something that feels good in relieving, just about the idea itself. Is that true?
Host: It is.
Garrett: Yes. Come Back Home to the Body.
Garrett: It feels like arriving somewhere after a long road trip or a long time away, like “Oh! Right” like I said it, I can feel what it means and hopefully those listening can also feel that. So Come Back Home to the Body. Without that, all is lost. As I said earlier, you’re thrown this way and that by whims and emotions and thoughts and then the drives of the other people around you. So your life would be just an absolute mess and you’ll always be trying to clean up the next mess while the future one is being created in front of you.
Garrett: So you got to get that ground back under your feet and of course it’s a very useful concept to think of the body as the unconscious mind. Since this thing that we’re carrying around, we don’t even notice it until it’s in pain, generally. So the Radical Undoing process brings you back home to the body, without having to have pain or distraction first, in a relatively pleasurable and intense way. Then the second step, once you’ve actually come back home to the body, which is relatively an easy thing to do even though it seems difficult to the mind. The mind wants to overcomplicate everything and it reads all the books and then it starts creating expectations. But it’s pretty simple, you do the face stretching and you do your shoulders, you do some breathing every day and you’ll make it there. The second step, just to End The Fake Suffering of the Mind. I like to call it like fake suffering to trigger people, number one.
Host: Okay (laughing)
Garrett: And then number two, it’s a good trigger to pull. And number two, because it’s differentiated from pain.
Garrett: Pain is something, “Okay, If I get shot in the leg, that’s sucks!”, but it’s a thing I can deal with.
Garrett: I can go to the doctor, I can read a manual, I can do something about it, I can get the bullet out of there and start the healing process. But suffering is endless and people keep creating it and recreating it and recreating it. They can be relieving an event from ten years ago and still create the tense body state that they learned to create when they first experience that event. So they are bringing that event to life over and over again in the body. So you come back home to the body, then you end the fake suffering of the mind. And one of the simplest and not easy but simple ways to do that is to just sit still and I call it the Fake Meditation, to differentiate it from all the real meditations out there where people think that they’re doing something wrong
Garrett: Including another battle in their minds. So the fake meditation, essentially when you wake up in the morning, sit still, sit up straight, sit still, breathe as your face relaxes, and just notice the thoughts and notice the body at the same time. If you happen to get overwhelmed by the thought, okay, that was today’s fake meditation. If you happened to not be overwhelmed by the thought that was today’s fake meditation. You have a bunch of emotions, that was today’s fake meditation. So, whatever happens, is the process.
Garrett: So in doing, you will start to realize, and it’s not something you can realize by me saying it, but you’ll start to realize yourself. Number one, we have no idea where the thoughts are coming from., they’re not our own. They’re not something that we are creating generally. And then second, that they actually have no power over us, unless we believe them and give them precedence over our direct experience. So, if I’m sitting here in this room, there’s no war happening outside.
Garrett: No threat to my person and yet I can be tense and afraid. Because I’m believing some thought about what’s going on. So if I just realized. “Oh! That thought is not true” and actually none of these thoughts are true, I’m brought back home again to the body, aware of what’s going on, with actually happenings around me and within me and I can know and discern the difference between what the mind says is going on and then what’s actually happening. So that’s the process over time. You just sit still in the morning, every night before bed, let the thoughts happen, be aware of them, and doubt every thought. And then slowly that will chip away and then it will start to happen automatically everywhere you go. You’ll notice, “Oh! I’m getting all tense here. I’m feeling the shoulders are coming up. There are some thoughts about this police car behind me”, but nothing’s going on, you’re not doing anything wrong. This is fine, then you’ll just relax and you’ll be in charge and know what it is your actually there to do. I’m here to drive to the store right now, not to freak out about something
Host: Basically, so keeping your meditation, or keeping the fake meditation open-ended, not going toward a specific purpose that I have to achieve something, but rather just focus on the mind and the body and what comes, whatever comes, comes. That’s fake meditation, that’s the meditation.
Garrett: That was your practice for that day.
Host: Yes. Awesome
Garrett: You, essentially as you are, is the, are the practice.
Garrett: You as you have become the practice.
Host: I like the, I like the sense that it’s open-ended because usually, you know if I’m told to meditate, I’m thinking there must be a specific achievement that I’m supposed to get to.
Garrett: Yes, exactly.
Host: And leaving it open-ended, leaving the outcome whatever the outcome may be, kinds of puts me at ease.
Garrett: Exactly. It puts you at ease immediately. And, you know, I see why it happens and how it happened the meditation thing, people had to sell, you know, training and all that but a lot of times it comes from gurus or practitioners who either don’t know better and are just repeating what they learn or who do know better and are conscious charlatans. And there is a place for conscious charlatans, but it’s not in this particular realm, not in the realm of meditation. It will be in a realm of cold reading and, but that’s a whole another can of worms. But, this is fascinating. I want to leave that a little note for the one or two people out there who run with it. But, yeah. So it comes from people who want to create a continuity program for meditation. Meaning, to present a guru, he says there’s a way to not ever think, to stop your thoughts, and that you’ll get there in twenty years if you keep practicing and do whatever he says. Like a said he can be unconscious of in the fact that’s not true or he can be conscious of it. And it doesn’t really matter because what the effect is that people now creating a new battle and spread their mind where they think they are bad or wrong for not stopping the thoughts.
Garrett: And often they will create a community of seekers where they’re lying to each other, “Oh! I had a really great one today. I stop the thoughts, you know”. And everyone else will have to agree and they kind of stay a part of that seeker identity. So, wherein an essence, what I’m doing Is I’ll destroy the seeker identity which is a good thing. Because if you’re seeking and you want to find, you what to find what it is, you were originally after. So the fake meditation, you, yourself are the meditation. There’s no way to do it wrong except by not doing it at all. And then no expectations, just, whatever happens, happens. And at least to the third step or the third facet of what I like call The Jewel of Transcendence. So you just come home to the body and the fake suffering of the mind and then finally those two things will allow you to discern on your own that life is an open-ended adventure. And by adventure, I mean you do not know what’s going to happen next. We never know what’s going to happen next. And by seeing it that way, by knowing deeply in yourself that the truth of that, you will also know that you are a pioneer on the frontier of an experience that no one else has ever had. And you’re on the bleeding edge of that frontier at all times. I’m on the bleeding edge of that frontier of myself right now and as are you, Wes. We forget that we create what I call the “Tomb of Familiarity” in our life. Where it all looks the same, so we’re not aware that we are aging, growing, and possibly dying. But the mountain climber knows that death is lurking, you know, behind every avalanche that’s about to happen and yes, he still persists up the mountain because he knows that it’s an adventure. And most people forgot that life is an adventure so the first challenge that hits them and they just give up and they sink into whatever they’re potential patterns and reactions to life for.
Host: You’re absolutely right, we don’t know what’s coming around the corner and yet, you know, here I am making four-year plans, you know, plans for the family and the kids, do this, do that. But you don’t know what to expect. Anything could happen at any time. We forget that lesson.
Garrett: Yes. And it’s not something you could necessarily get just, again, by thinking about it. But it will happen if you start digging into this coming home to the body thing. Even just remembering that every day, scratching it into the mirror, and then doing something like the face stretches, the shoulder exercise. You know, there’s a playlist that’s called Self-Sense for stretch the face, elevate the shoulders, do the laughing breathe and then the after for the flops and those are on the YouTube playlist on the Radical Undoing channel.
Garrett: But doing those four every day, and these are great with kids, with the wife, with the family. Kids really get into the face stretch if you want especially. It’s a lot of fun and then they’ll teach them to not, be as tense as all the ridiculous adults they see every day. Let me give you one more exercise and then, I’ll have to go but I would love to connect and do this again sometime. This is really, really cool and I think we just began the conversation and people will get a lot out of it.
Host: This is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, please. Please continue. Let’s discover that exercise.
Garrett: Okay. This exercise I like to call Atlas Shrug, in reference to the Greek god. Forgive me if it's Roman but it’s one of the two.
Garrett: The god with the world on his shoulders.
Garrett: And so this exercise is to relieve, to throw the world off your shoulders. To not take on the responsibility for things that are not your responsibility which will then make it so you can take responsibility for what you need to be responsible for. So it’s very simple. It takes one minute, you can add more time if you want, but at least one minute. Do this after the face stretches every morning, every night. You raise the shoulders up toward your ears, make sure they’re not rolled back or rolled forward too much, and this is a dynamic exercise. You’re going to keep the shoulders up and continue pressing them up, just like if your pushing into the wall, you can keep pushing. You want to push the shoulders toward the ceiling continuously throughout the exercise. Now, the second key is to breathe into the belly, breathe into the chest the whole time. You’ll do this for one minute. And so anyone listening, you want to continue pulling the shoulders up. So never let it drop out of your awareness. Then you’ll be tense, maybe annoying, maybe warm, may be uncomfortable but just continue pushing the shoulders up (Inhale/Exhales). And notice, what we’re doing right now, we’re sending signals from the human part of our mind, the conscious mind, to the body to keep the shoulders up. The body doesn’t want to keep the shoulders up but it will keep them up because you’ve given them instruction and then you’re telling the body to keep breathing (breathing). So you see if you’re in an emotional state or if you’re in a mood then you do this, you’re actually teaching yourself that you can still do things, even when you have an intense mood. So keep them up a little bit longer, that’s been about a minute. So ideally you keep them pulled up really tight the whole time. Now we take a full inhalation, make a crazy face, hold the shoulders up even tighter, hold the breath really tight, supreme effort, and then 3 2 1, thrust them down and say “AAHHH”.
Host: Oh, wow! Oh, man! (laughing) That really pulls the tendons there, man! (laughing).
Host: Garrett, thank you so much for being on the Lifelong Wellness podcast. We do need to connect again. You’re at radicalundoing.com and the YouTube Channel as well. Thank you so much, for you know showing us those wonderful exercises. Hopefully, we can talk again.
Garrett: Yes, man! Try those out, give them at least a week, and do them. They’re going to be the most powerful when you don’t want to do them. After a week, your body will start reminding you when to do them and how that will work, just the last thing I’ll say, is you’ll become aware of how my shoulder is all tense and you’ll think “Ah! there is that shoulder exercise Garrett showed me”. That’s your body saying do the shoulder exercise.
Host: Right. Okay.
Garrett: It becomes your own, now, it’s your shoulders and you get to do it.
Host: Thanks very much, Garrett.
Garrett: Yes, man. It’s very great connecting with you. You seem like a great guy and thanks for having me on.
Tired of living in constang brain fog? Try our 14 day Quick Start Program here.