Change in the Shadow of Terror

Surviving 9/11 and Finding Meaning

Kushal Choksi survived 9/11 and found his purpose.Sometimes, success comes from being at the right place at the right time.  Sometimes, tragedy comes from being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  But what happens when you are at the right place at the wrong time?

For Kushal  Choksi, it saved his life.  It was September 11, 2001.  Kushal was running late, and rushing to get to a meeting in the World Trade Towers.  He was racing through the mezzanine when a horrific impact jarred him and threw the world into chaos.  What had happened?  What should they do?

Some people were frozen in place.  Others were fleeing the building.  Still others were simply trying to get back to their day, oblivious to the danger that was mounting.  Choksi headed for the door, but was met by a security guard who was imploring people to return to the building.  Given the debris raining down, that made some sense.

But before he could turn, another voice and a strong hand on his shoulder said, “No, get out!”  Kushal did.  That decision saved his life.

And that day completely reordered Choksi’s life.  He was lost for some time after.  What seemed like the recipe for success was floundering.  It was not just about being wealthy and powerful.  Somehow, the “American Dream” no longer seemed the goal.

What then?

After much seeking, Kushal found his way forward with new tools for dealing with his anxiety and fears.  And that led him to another path of success.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, as we approach the 20th anniversary of that horrific attack, I had a chance to sit down with Kushal and talk about meaning, purpose, breath, and mindfulness.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Kushal Choksi’s Website
Amazon Link to Kushal’s book, On A Wing And A Prayer
Free of Fear Series
Breathe
Order, Disorder, Reorder

Do You Believe Your Thoughts?

DontBelieveThinkThose thoughts, they get us into trouble, don’t they?

We keep looking for that thing that will make us happy. We think we know. We think that thing, that person, that place, that paycheck, position, etc., etc., will finally do it.

Until we get it, get there, have that relationship, or whatever… only to find that it didn’t quite work.

Oh, sure, we might be happy for a brief time. But not the way we thought. That “shiny new object” just didn’t do it. And back to the drawing board we go.

Mostly because we keep thinking that that thing “out there” is going to do it.

Notice that “happy” and “happen” share a root.  Something out there needs to happen in order for us to be happy.

Which is not the path to happiness.  No matter what your thoughts are telling you.

In this podcast episode, I discuss why our thoughts trick us, and what to do instead.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Thoughts are Thoughts
Meaning 
Making An Impact
Happiness?

From “If” to “Is”

Why “If” keeps you stuck… and how to shift

Are you stuck in the “If’s” of life:  What if, If only, Only if?  Shift to Is.. What ISAt the beginning of my career, I was a hospital chaplain.  One of my tasks was to help people accept what was going on… to accept the diagnosis, the outcome of an accident or tragedy, to accept the changes.  Interestingly, many times, it seemed that those wanting the person to “accept” were really looking for resignation.  Kind of giving up.

I think our understanding of acceptance has expanded since then.  But that doesn’t make it any easier.

You see, we all want some “alternate reality,” some different space where things didn’t, aren’t, or won’t happen.  Where we get to choose to undo/redo, or not do what we don’t like.  The alternate reality where things happened or happen or will happen differently.

Except they don’t.  They happened as they did.  They are happening as they are.  And they will happen as they will.

Yes, we have some control about what we do in this moment, and what we will do to move toward the next.  But not enough to create our alternate reality where we get to choose everything (we do get to choose our own response, though).

There are 3 “If’s” we play out in our mind.  One shift matters, if we want to thrive.  The shift to “Is.”

I unpack what that is about and talk about how we can make the shift in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Grief
When to Act, How to Accept
Is the Present Perfect?
Book:  The Thrive Principles

How to Be FREE

One day, I was watching some videos (you know how that rabbit hole works) that led me to a video on this interesting sport.  I love water sports, and am frequently daydreaming this time of year about being in warm water.

Prime Hall and Don Tran of Deep End Fitness.I have no idea how that led to this video, but it was a team playing this weird underwater game of hockey/ultimate frisbee/survival thing.  It was the Underwater Torpedo League.

Underwater Torpedo was invented by two former special ops guys.  They used it to help training clients get better at breath holding and calm under stress.  But it sure looked like a blast of a time!  I filed it under “I’d love to do that!”

Fast-forward and I met these two guys.  Turns out they do more than just train some people.  They actually train professional athletes on a regular basis, including MMA, NFL, and even pro surfers.

Prime Hall and Don Tran are the guys behind the game.  But they are also performance coaches outside the pool.  They work with people about performing in life, using their F.R.E.E. Your Mind protocol.  Through their coaching, they help people reduce stress, perform better, and become better versions of themselves.

In this episode, Don and Prime discuss their protocol with me, so that you can make shifts toward higher performance in all of your pursuits.

RELATED RESOURCES
FREE Your Mind Info Website
Underwater Torpedo League Website
What Is Stress?
How To Deal With Stress
 

Merry Stressness and Happy Blue Year!

Merry Stress-ness and Happy Holi-daze! Dealing with holiday stress this Christmas season.And just like that, the Holiday season is upon us! All the hustle and bustle. All the events. All the demands… in the midst of a time that you want to be enjoyable, meaningful, and manageable!

Why the stress?

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss the causes of holiday stress. But more importantly, I cover the ways to cope with holiday stress.

Don’t let stress rob you of the deeper meanings and connections of this holiday season.

RELATED RESOURCES
Why We Stress
5 Ways to Shift from Stressful to Restful
Deepening the  Holidays
Book:  Thrive Principles

Stuck In Loops

RunningLoopsLike a broken record… or an endless audio loop.  Those thoughts that just keep turning in your mind.  Okay, in MY mind.  But I bet it happens to you, too.

Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that I get up to 2 emails.  One is complimentary, thanking me for resources, books, podcasts… things like that.  Then there is another email, critical and harsh, telling me how useless my info was.

I read them both and head off to walk my dog.

Do you think I ponder that kind one?  Or keep looping back to that unkind one?

Yep, you guessed it.  And I bet you guessed it because it happens to you, too.

And that thought… it isn’t just a passing thought.  No.  I find my body tense up, the anger/hurt churning in my gut.

The other day, I was out for my morning walk with my sidekick, Ziggy (our silver lab).  We were about half-way through and I realized my palms were sweaty, tightly gripping the leash (which is a waist leash, so I don’t even need to be holding it!).  My chest is tight, my stomach is tight.  I ask myself, “why am I ready for a fight?”  Nothing had happened.

Nothing.

Except a thought I was having… not just having… looping.  It was about an experience that happened 3 decades ago.  One I don’t typically think about.  But today, it popped in my head and I was stuck in a loop.  Looping on an old thought that was making me feel a certain way in the present.

I dropped back and followed my own little routine when I find myself looping.

You can’t stop the loops from starting.  But you can decide how long you run the loops.

Let’s talk about how to stop those pesky loops.  Podcast below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Thoughts are Thoughts
Anxiety and Thought
Dealing with Depression
Living In The Present
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living

Is the Present Perfect?

Is the present perfect?  Yes.  Find out how in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.My client was telling me about lots of struggles, difficult times, and a few positive moments.  I noted, as I have many times with many clients, “It sounds like your present is perfect.”

She went silent.  I was silent.  But I could see her processing and struggling with my words.  I sat quietly.

She finally erupted: “Perfect?!? How can you say that?  After all the stuff I told you… how can you tell me that things are perfect?”

I told her, “I didn’t say great.  I didn’t say it was how you wanted them to be.  Only that the present is perfect.”

In that moment, I could see her gears turning… but she still couldn’t make sense of what I was saying.

How can things feel upside-down and inside-out, and be perfect?

“Perfect” does not mean preferred.  It means something is complete.  A perfectly cooked steak is complete. It is cooked to a certain level.  But also consider a “perfect storm,” the perfect combination of  circumstances that mean the storm is more powerful than when those circumstances don’t combine.

The idea of the Present Perfect, which sounds like grammar, comes from life coach, Thomas Leonard.  He noted that the Present Perfect is the fact that this moment perfectly reflects everthing that has come before, up until now.

Why does that matter?  We explore it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article on the Present Perfect
Importance of Acceptance
What Can You Control?
Accept or Act
My Books

7 Ways to Worry Less

7 ways to start worrying less immediately. Learn to deal with your worry thoughts and regain your life.Is worry robbing you of living?  Are you putting more energy into worry thoughts than you want to, leaving you less energy for where you want to spend your thoughts (and your life)?

Most people do. Worry is an aimless attempt to locate threats and mitigate them.  Why aimless?  Because worry can shift from topic to topic, issue to issue, person to person, without action or direction.

In the last Thriveology Podcast episode, I noted 6 truths about worrying. This was to provide a background understanding for taking action.  Action to reduce your worry.  Which, as promised, is the topic of this episode.

I cover 7 strategies that will help you reduce your worry (and wasted worry energy) and let you make a mental shift to more helpful thoughts.

If you worry, this episode is for you.  If you worry that you worry too much, this episode is definitely for you!  Tune in to learn how to reduce your worries — and deal with worries as they pop up.

RELATED RESOURCES
6 Truths about Worry
How To Stress Less
Dealing with Anxiety
Dealing with Depression
Thrive Principles Book
My Other Books

 

6 Truths About Worry

6 Truths About Worry.  How to worry less and live more.How much do you worry?  How often do you find yourself thinking about things that could go wrong?  Things that might happen to those you love?  Things that might happen to you?

Worry is a common issue for people.  And sadly, worry robs us of living.  It costs us lots of energy, and exposes us to fears over possible events — not actual events.

When we worry, we focus on the future, what could happen.  Which draws us away from what is happening.  What is happening in this moment, in actuality.

Unfortunately, for many, worry is a habit.  It happens almost automatically.  Worry robs people of sleep, of connection, and of presence.  Many people struggle to get to sleep, worried about what might happen.  Many people connect less, since they are worried about what might happen.  And people are less present, since they are focused on what might happen.

There are some truths to worry that we need to understand, if we are going to turn down the “worry dial.” These truths point to why people worry, why it is a waste, and how to begin shifting away from worry.

Listen below.  And in the next episode, I will share some strategies for worrying less.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Anxiety
The Beating Depression Series
The Less Fear Series
Thrive Principles Book

Finding Moments of Calm in Times of Chaos

David Dachinger and Tamara Green, how to find calm in chaotic times, using the Loving Meditations App.What a chaotic time we are in!  Even without a pandemic, it was already chaotic, what with politics and changes in society. Stir in a pandemic, and there is NO way to be calm.

Right?

Or maybe….

Maybe calm is not about what is happening around you, outside of you. Perhaps it comes from somewhere within you. Somewhere that knows you are separate from the external chaos.

Our internal response to a chaotic world can be chaos… or we might be able to find calm. Especially if we can separate our thoughts from the events and emotions. If we can find a space between what is happening and how we respond.  A space that is rooted in peace.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I have a chance to speak with David Dachinger and Tamara Green.  David is a firefighter and a Grammy nominated music composer (quite the contrast there!).  And Tamara is an author and licensed therapist.

When David was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (there IS no stage 5), his world shifted chaos from fighting fires to fighting cancer. He and Tamara realized that they needed to rally their resources to help in David’s health and healing. That included meditation and mindfulness. The resources they developed are now helping others to find calm in the midst of chaos.

Not a bad goal in today’s world, is it?

Listen below to hear their story and their method of bringing calm to the world through an app.

RELATED RESOURCES
LovingMeditations App
David and Tamara’s Website
Calming Your Thriving Body Episode
A Thriving Breath Episode
Coping with COVID Series
Thrive Principles Book