Bulletproof Coach Training: A Review
In October, I had the incredible opportunity to go to the Bulletproof Coach Training Workshop in Pasadena, California. Dr. Mark Atkinson and Dave Asprey (CEO of Bulletproof) helped 160 high performers from across the globe learn how to upgrade our minds and bodies.
What is Bulletproof?
Bulletproof (adj.): The state of high performance, resilience and vibrant health where your body, mind, and life work together in unison, providing performance beyond what you’d expect.
Biohacking (verb, noun): To use system thinking, science, biology, and self-experimentation to take control of and upgrade your body, mind, and your life.
The art and science of becoming superhuman
I am grateful that I will be one of the first to complete the Bulletproof Coach Training. I will be Certified Bulletproof Coaches in less than 9 months!
Incorporating the Bulletproof lifestyle has helped me…
- Have more energy and brain power, allowing me to improve as a student
- Lose body fat and help my clients do the same
- Feel more focused and present in my daily life
More about the Bulletproof Coach Training Workshop
The workshop was two fun-filled days of personal transformation. My biggest take-away: The way you show up in daily life matters. We have 3 ways we can live… We can live in our Head, Heart, or Hara. Read on to see what state of consciousness you’re choosing to live in. I’ll also explain a few exercises you could try to access a mental state that’s more beneficial for your productivity and well-being.
When you’re “in your head” you might be having a good old “think” for a constructive purpose (i.e. writing a paper). But for most of us, we spend our “Head” time sabotaging ourselves with clouded judgment and made-up stories about why we’re not good enough.
For example, I have clung to the idea that achievement can only come from struggle and self-sacrifice. This does not have to be true. When you are able to live from your Heart and/or Hara, you can experience a concept Dr. Mark calls “effortless effectiveness.” It sounds wacky and woo-woo, but stay with me! You’ll learn more about effortless effectiveness in the “Hara-Based Living” section.
What stories and limiting beliefs have you created your identity around? How have these stories and limiting beliefs served you or worked against you?
Typically, when we’re in our “head” state of mind, we try to avoid discomfort and distract ourselves with external things (food, shopping, TV, video games). We become incredibly vulnerable to the environment around us.
Technique to Overcome Head-Based Living: Thought Diffusion
If you don’t want your limiting thoughts and beliefs to suck the life out of you, consider incorporating “Thought Diffusion.” This exercise helps you see your thoughts as what they are (passing sensations, plain old words), instead of what you’re making them out to be (facts, part of your identity).
Step 1: Select a thought that’s weighing you down. Make it a short sentence like “I’m X.”
Step 2: Close your eyes, breathe, and give this thought your full attention.
Step 3: Recite the thought out loud slowly (pausing between each word) as many times as you need to. Try singing the thought, saying it in silly voices, and changing your speaking pace.
Did you notice yourself disconnecting from the thought? Did you smile to yourself? Do you feel silly about taking the thought so seriously? If you still feel deeply attached to the thought, consider these cognitive diffusion exercises:
Let me know your favorite exercise in the comments below!
Living from your Heart allows you to connect with others on a deeper level and feel a great sense of love and gratitude. You give your mind a break and stop forcing it to figure everything out.
Technique to Overcome Head-Based Living: Thought Diffusion
If you’re in the mood to restore your energy and give your brain a break, you can enter Heart-based consciousness through this appreciation meditation.
Step 1: Close your eyes, breathe, and feel the space in and around your chest/heart area.
Step 2: Think of a time when someone did something kind or loving for you. Another option is to picture someone or something you love. For me, I think of my cat, Henry. ☺ I imagine his little chubby chocolate-colored paws, his purr, and his sweet little face. Immediately, I feel a sense of presence and calmness.
Step 3: Hold onto that moment or image and breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes.
Step 4: Ask yourself, “How can I show the same appreciation and love I just experienced towards others and myself today?”
In martial arts, Hara is defined as one’s power center in the lower belly. It’s the core of your very being. When you live from your Hara, you enter a state of effortless effectiveness. Why? Because you’re present. You are absorbed in the moment and meeting the needs of that moment. True presence changes your experience of the world. Instead of looking at life through the clouds of judgment, limiting beliefs, and stories you tell yourself, you’re able to see the world clearly and in an emotionally stable state. When the environment around you is chaotic, you are able to stay still and calm. Presence allows you to be more powerful in your daily work.
Still don’t believe me? Let’s have a look at this photo the right.
Meet Rod, one of the doctors leading the Bulletproof Coach Training Program. The black blanket he’s standing on represents limiting fears, beliefs, and stories he’s told himself or stories others have told him throughout his life. He’s never stepped off of this blanket because these beliefs have served him for quite some time. The blindfold represents how Rod sees the world… through his clouded judgment of thoughts and beliefs. He may be “blind” to all that he’s capable of. He is not primed to be the best he can be because he has some repressed issues and memories weighing him down… This can be represented by the beach balls in the photo. The more he tries to push the beach balls down (a.k.a. his repressed issues) and ignore his needs, the more the beach balls bounce up and present themselves in his daily life. With all these distractions, Rod is not set up to reach his full potential. Instead, he continues to eat junk food (the chips in his hand), stay within his comfort bubble, and live a life of struggle.
If Rod was willing to face his limiting thoughts, open his heart, and practice presence, the photo may look very different.
Techniques to Live from Presence and your Hara
By now, you are probably intrigued about this Hara state I speak of. So how do you access it? Unfortunately, there’s no black and white rulebook on how to be present. BUT there are many activities you can try that could help you be more present in your daily life. Let’s explore two of my favorites…
Technique 1: Mindful Eating
(Directions come from www.MindfulnessDiet.com)
Step 1: Find a small piece of food, such as a piece of dark chocolate or a berry.
Step 2: Begin by exploring this little piece of food, using as many of your senses as possible. Look at the food. Notice its texture. Notice its color.
Step 3: Close your eyes and explore the food with your sense of touch. What does this food feel like? Is it hard or soft? Grainy or sticky? Moist or dry? You’re not being asked to think, but just notice your experience, using one sense at a time. This is what it means to eat mindfully.
Step 4: Before you eat, explore this food with your sense of smell. What do you notice?
Step 5: Begin eating. No matter how small the bite of food you have, take at least two bites to finish it. Take your first bite. Please chew very slowly, noticing the actual sensory experience of chewing and tasting. Remember, you don’t need to think about your food to experience it. You might want to close your eyes for a moment to focus on the sensations of chewing and tasting, before continuing. Notice the texture of the food; the way it feels in your mouth. Notice if the intensity of its flavor changes, moment to moment. Take about 20 more seconds to very slowly finish this first bite of food, being aware of the simple sensations of chewing and tasting.
Step 6: Take your second and last bite. As before, chew very slowly, while paying close attention to the actual sensory experience of eating: the sensations and movements of chewing, the flavor of the food as it changes, and the sensations of swallowing. Just pay attention, moment by moment.
“The liberating power of mindfulness takes deeper effect when you begin to pay mindful attention to your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations, all of which lead us to eat. Mindfulness (awareness) is the foundation that many people have been missing for overcoming stress.” –Mindfulnessdiet.com
Technique 2: Body Awareness Scan
Step 1: Start in a comfortable standing, seated, or laying down position.
Step 2: Close your eyes. Focus your attention on your head. Say to yourself silently “I am aware of air flowing in and out of my nose (as you say this breath in and out of your nose).”
Step 3: Send your attention and breath to your heart. “I am aware of sensations and feelings in and around my heart (as you say this, breath in and out of your heart area, whilst noticing what you are feeling/sensing in and around your heart).”
Step 4: Send your attention to your belly. “I am aware of sensations and feelings in and around my belly.” As you say this, breath in and out of your abdomen while noticing what you are feeling in and around your belly.
Step 5: Notice your legs. “I am aware of sensations and feelings in and around my legs.” As you say this, breath in and out, while noticing what you are feeling in and around your legs.
Step 6: Notice your entire body. “I am aware of my whole body.” As you say this, breath in and out of your entire body. Notice what you are feeling throughout your body.
Step 7: “I expand as Calm Presence.” As you say this, feel and imagine these energies pouring out of you into the world around you.
Step 8: Then take three breaths in and out and savor what you are feeling.
*All of the statements above can be said to yourself silently.
This exercise came directly from the Bulletproof Coach Training Program.
When you wake up every morning, notice which of the three states you’re in (Head, Heart, or Hara). Do you wake up and immediately put your blindfold on… constantly thinking, stressing, and struggling? OR do you wake up to the present moment, feeling what it feels like to be in your body going about your daily activities with effortless effectiveness.
Let’s face it… we need all 3 states of consciousness to be functional human beings. However, the more Hara moments you can experience, the better. When you are fully present during your meal, meeting, conversation, workout, or any other activity, you’ll find that it’s much more enjoyable. Your creativity, decision-making, and performance will improve if you make presence (Hara-based living) a daily practice.