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Episode # 487   Dawa Tarchin Phillips - How To Use Mindfulness To Erase Negative Habits

About The Episode:

Does your mind control you? Or do you control your mind? On this exciting episode of The Inspiration Show, Dawa Tarchin Phillips, a Mindful Leadership expert, author and senior meditation teacher, explores this topic and shares groundbreaking insights on how to curb self-defeating habits. During the show, you’ll discover why the term “Mindfulness” has become so popular recently, Dawa’s interesting definition of mindfulness, and how to use mindfulness to erase negative habits and gain deep control over your mind.

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION

Episode # 487 Dawa Tarchin Phillips - How To Use Mindfulness To Erase Negative Habits

NL: Hi everyone. My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show. I have a very special guest with me this month that’s going to be talking about mindfulness, prosperity, how to change habits, and basically how we can really improve our lives and help to make 2017 an incredible year for all of us. But before I get into introducing my guest today and all of his story and content that he has to share, I just want to remind you that if you are watching this Inspiration Show on YouTube, don't forget to click the link under after the show so that you can take my 30-second quiz to figure out what is blocking you from success so we can clear that for you and get your 2017 to be more amazing than ever. And of course, if you're watching this online, don’t forget to leave your email, so we can send you the Manifesting With The Masters video e-course. So please welcome my guest today, Mr. Dawa Tarchin Phillips. How are you Dawa?

 

DP: Good, Hi Natalie. It’s good to join you. Hi, happy new year!

 

NL: Yes, same to you, same to you. Now like I said, we have more of a spiritual slant on what we're going to be talking about today, but what I love about what we’ll talk about is how spirituality actually permeates and works in cohesion with all of our other things, like how we want to change habits to create prosperity, and all those conscious kind of activities which is so cool. But before we get into all that, why don't you just share a little bit about your story and how you got into doing this amazing work.

 

DP: Well, myself, mindfulness and awareness training has been one of the most transformative practices and discoveries in my life since my early twenties. I've been practicing now for about 25 years myself, and it’s really allowed me to understand where I’m coming from, why I'm here, and where I'm going, and why that matters. And I think those are questions that a lot of people are having increasingly, given the fact that we live in such turbulent times where it is so unclear just by looking around you to figure out what to use as a guiding system for a happy, successful, meaningful life. So there's a switch that's happening where people are paying attention a little bit more about what's inside of them and how what's inside of them can be part of a guiding system that will help them direct themselves towards a life that actually to them personally feels fulfilling, meaningful and impactful. And so mindfulness is getting a lot of attention for two reasons: 1. because it's actually an evidence-based practice. I am Director of Education at a research center here in UC Santa Barbara, that we've founded and where we are actually looking into these contemplative approaches and looking what is the science behind them, and how in fact do these practices help us change habits, release limiting beliefs, adapt successful perspectives, and worldviews, and mindsets, and paradigms that actually can lead us into a different reality; into the experience of a different life altogether, where we experience a world that works more often than not. And so from my perspective and in my experience, mindfulness and awareness practices are key because the tools that we have to change our lives are our thoughts, our attitudes, what we imagine, our words and our actions. And so without exceptions, these five tools happen in the present moment, and if we're not here, we actually give up all control over our life and all our capacity to self-direct and to change things.

 

NL: Now and I love how you talking about the science - we also in the Mind Movies community work with Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Jeffrey Fannin where we are brain-mapping people as they’re watching Mind Movies and visualizing and meditating and so forth. There is a lot of science now that shows how these concepts that we talk about when it comes to mindfulness or Law of Attraction or whatever that is, how we can measure what's physiologically happening, but then also measure what's happening and the results that are happening in the world around us. For a lot of people I know that if they can just - okay, I was talking to a girlfriend last night - it's like if I can just get people to look the way that they normally look at something and shift so they're looking just over here, and looking at something a little bit with a different perspective, it can make such a massive difference to the results they have in their lives. How easy is it for us to shift our thoughts or shift our habits like that?

 

DP: Well, a habit is an interesting thing that basically consists of three elements. There’s the queue that initiates the habit, then there's the behavior, and then there's the reward that we get from the habit. And because we're getting the reward consistently from certain habits, then we get addicted to those habits and we have a hard time changing them even though we don't like the results. And so different methods actually have evolved -- many of the mindfulness-based -- that allow us to transform our habits. And there's ways that they can be done where we either focus on the queue and we are looking at how can we change our awareness of the trigger and create more space, more options, more choices around the trigger; how we can shift behavior or how we can reallocate the reward that we're getting. I’ll give you an example: Let's say, for example, I have the habit to get angry every time somebody disagrees with me, and the reward I get from that is I feel more powerful, I feel more in control.  But the result that I get actually is that my relationships deteriorate and I have less and less influence and less and less respect. So even though I like the reward, it's not producing the results I want in the world. And so one way that a leader can change that is we can recognize that we can get a sense of feeling powerful and in control also in a different way by, for example, being in charge of our emotions, being able to use our words skillfully and to respond to a situation effectively.  And so I'm getting the same result, I'm feeling powerful and in control, but I’m getting that from a different habit, from a different behavior. While before I was getting that reward from getting angry, now I'm getting that reward from responding skillfully. And when I change that, I am actually able to change the habit quite rapidly because I’m still getting the same reward, I have the same trigger, but I’m choosing a different behavior to get the same reward. And that behavior then can be more in alignment with the long-term result that I'm actually trying to achieve.

 

NL: Yeah.

 

DP: There's a lot of research that shows that mindfulness is very effective in helping us change our habits.

 

NL: Yeah and I know that mindfulness has been a very well-used word lately. I see it popping up a lot; when we’re talking about leadership or when we’re talking about children or when we’re talking about how to go about our day. I know we've spoken before about what your definition of mindfulness is.  Could you share that with us now?

 

DP: Happy to. Yes, so I’m CEO of a company called Empowerment Holdings. We focus on mindful leadership and then through the work that I do in the academia, we focus on mindfulness in education. And we really have a vision to make these tools accessible to all children and youth, and also to all people of influence and people in highly leveraged roles, let’s say, that their change can affect a lot of other people's lives within our lifetime. The way that we want to define mindfulness is as a present moment awareness or a focused attention that can be directed at will according to the capacity and the interest in the choice-fullness of the practitioner. So we all have the ability to be present. We know from research and from science that we are distracted usually on average thirty to fifty percent of the time of our waking day, which means our minds wander. Our minds wander and they drift from different, from topic to topic, from thought to thought, from perception to perception. And if we're not aware of that ongoing activity, we may consider that we don't actually have a choice in that - that what happens in our mind is not something we can take control over. But it's either one of two things, either our mind controls us or we begin to control our mind. Now if we choose to control our mind, we learn that we can let go of thoughts that once we become aware that we have become distracted, we can bring our mind back to an object of focus. And an object of our attention is something that we call an anchor in mindfulness, which can be anything from a simple act of breathing to the physical sensation of being present, or of walking or sitting or being engaged in conversation. It just means that we have something that actually anchors us, that connects us to the present moment. And whenever we engage in that way, when we release thoughts in order to return our attention to the present, we cultivate the habit of open awareness or non-centered open present moment awareness. And there's a great quality that belongs to that awareness both in terms of cognitive flexibility but also in terms of cognitive efficiency. Most of the time, people are preoccupied in their minds. They jump from thought to thought, from narrative to narrative, from storyline to storyline and that gets exhausting. When we cultivate mindfulness in this way, that when we actually learn how to consciously and choicefully let go and return to this present moment, we get access to a second state, which is what we call an open-creative state which ideas and thoughts and feelings can manifest without necessarily being able to dominate our state of well-being or our ability to function. And so that becomes actually a very effective leadership tool because leadership is all about relationship and how we actually can show up in relationships.

 

NL: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I do the same thing. I try every 90 minutes, to take a break, otherwise I will be in front of my computer all day. And then I'll do something, like something mundane, like unpacking the dishwasher but I’ll make sure that what I'm doing is I'm just focused on that one thing: putting them in and just focusing on that one thing so it kind of helps me to get back into the present moment and I get centered again, rather thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to get these emails sent or I’ve got this list to do’, and you know so it gets me back to that center. So it helps me navigate to my day much more effectively. But what are some of the other benefits people can experience from practicing mindfulness?

 

DP: Well, there’s a long list of scientifically validated benefits. That are, some of them are like I said cognitive - whether it's our working memory, capacity or intelligence, some are emotional - our ability to recover from negative emotional states or our ability to actually cultivate positive emotional states, some are physiological - just our ability to restore other stasis which is the state of physiological balance and health and vigor that gets restored once we reduce stress in our lives and some are organizational benefits - that say how we were able to show up in relationships, how we are able to set up our work life, how we’re able to set up our family life, how we’re able to set up our relationship with our spouses or our friends. So there’s a number of benefits that come from that have all now been validated. Over the last 25 years, scientific research in mindfulness actually has multiplied a thousand fold. So every year now, over a thousand studies are being published on the scientific benefits of mindfulness and meditative techniques, and there's a reason for that, the reason is that actually these tools, as simple as they are, they improve people's experience. They allow them to stay more focused and actually get better results in life, but they also restore well-being like when you said you know, I focus on one thing and suddenly I begin to reconnect with my own life, with my own presence, with the things I see around me, a sense of beauty a sense of aliveness, a sense of connection, and it's so simple and it doesn't cost anything.

 

NL: Exactly.  And now, I mean especially now that we’re going into a new year, you know you look at last year and go, Whoa! That went past so fast! And you know we always seem to have that the years are always going faster. Or you can get to the end of the day, and go, ‘I was really like flat out all day and I don't remember anything.’ But I think by dropping back into doing this, even if it's every couple of hours or every three hours, just doing something to help you drop back into the essence of who we are and being more conscious about our day and seeing the meaning in it, and I think when we see the meaning and the understanding of what we know, what we are experiencing, it really helps to bring more joy if anything else, to our life and to our days.

 

DP: Yeah and we can make joy a choice, you know. Often times people think that they are struggling or miserable because they have to be. But in fact, once we become present, we can actually notice that we have choices. We have choice in the way that we think about things, we have choice in the way that we cultivate attitudes and emotional states and emotional responses to events. And so part of the benefit of this choice of mindfulness is that it actually brings more choice into our life so that we can choose joy.

 

NL: Yeah.

 

DP: Rather than finding it occasionally.

 

NL: Yeah and choose how we respond to different situations and like you were saying before, we can either choose to be angry or we can make this other choice and this is what mindfulness helps us do, like really choose if this is something that I don't like, then what is it that I do like and then even just taking a breath before that moment shows up, at giving ourselves a moment to make a choice on how we choose to show up in that moment which I think is super powerful.

 

DP: To add one thing…

 

NL: Yeah, go ahead.

 

DP:  We know that underlying all of our behavior is consciousness and the awareness that we have and the choices we make within that awareness, and the results that we see in the world come from the behavior. But behavior is rooted in consciousness and I think what a lot of people don't realize is that they are completely free to cultivate different states of consciousness. They don't need permission from anyone, no one can keep them from changing their state of mind if they want to, it is ultimate freedom. And so I think a lot of people are just beginning to grasp that this is something revolutionary that will affect all areas of society as this understanding begins to spread throughout the world.

 

NL: Yeah. I know that you're doing a lot of work with children and with leaders of industry and corporations, but I know that you have a global summit coming up that I wanted to just touch on just before we go because you have put together some incredible thought leaders, and like I said, people from all different walks of life. So tell us a little bit about why you put the summit together and what people can expect if they join.

 

DP: Yes, the event is taking place from March 1st to March 10th. It's an event that I'm co-founding with Eric Forbes who actually is one of the founders of the Mindful Leadership Summit in Washington DC that happens every year. And this is the first global mindful leadership online training event that's ever been put on and it's called The Mindful Leadership Online Training Conference. It's happening from March 1st to March 10th, and as part of the conference, over 25 of the world's leading mindfulness experts, mindfulness teachers, mindful leaders, and also researchers and educators in this field, actually are coming together to share their wisdom, share their expertise and also share their personal stories about how they've come in contact with these transformative tools, how they've empowered themselves with these tools, and how they are operating from a different paradigm, from a different sense of personal empowerment and emotional and also social clarity, and how they're able to have an impact in the world using these tools. We have US congressmen participating. We have some of the top online entrepreneurs and online marketers, who’ve adopted mindfulness practices participating, but we also have some of the top meditation teachers in the world. So it's going to be an exciting summit. And the wonderful thing about doing it online is that actually people from around the world will be able to join it and will be able to hear these stories and learn these tools and have important takeaways to improve the results in their own lives.

 

NL: And that is so exciting and guys for you to register for this event - if you're watching this online, all you need to do is click the banner to the side of this video and it will take you straight through to Dawa’s page so that you can register for that event. And obviously if you're watching this on the app, you can actually click the banner underneath and it's free to register right, Dawa?

 

DP: It is completely free to register and you can experience all the content of the summit for free. Now if you like to own the content to work with it on your own time, there's an ability to purchase all the content, all the videos, all the transcripts, all the audios, all the bonuses, but as our guest, you can go through the entire experience and actually consume and benefit from all the content completely for free.

 

NL: Awesome, awesome. Thank you, Dawa for joining us, and like I said guys, just click on the banner to the side underneath, so you can register for that event for free. It is a mind-expanding experience and like Dawa has said, he’s brought so many different types of people together to be able to really talk about their experience of how mindfulness shows up in their business, in their life that you can also apply yourself. So thanks again, Dawa for joining us. It is always a pleasure talking to you darling.

 

DP: Yes, the promise you're not going to be the same after you watch this summit. I promise you that.


NL: So guys, I encourage you to share this video, you can do that by clicking the Facebook and Twitter share buttons on this page. Don't forget after you watch the show and after you've registered for Dawa’s tele-summit, make sure that you take the 30-second quiz, if you're watching this on YouTube so we can clear those blocks that are holding you back. And if you're watching this online, make sure you leave your email so we can send you the Manifesting With The Masters video e-course. Until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously, and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.

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