person, meditate, meditation, tips, breath, conscious intention, remember, celebrate, wanders, mind, distractions, consciousness, meditator, coaching sessions, intention, amplifies, emotionally, free throws, practice, understand
Mark Pirtle, John Lund
John Lund 00:02
Welcome to the fifth session of MYB2BCOACH’s Five Tips. Today, I'm excited to have Mark Pirtle from Skillfully Aware. Mark is a trusted person I've used to learn how to meditate, how meditation helps me in my business, and I thought it'd be really exciting to have him on our Five Tips session. Mark, why don't you tell us a little bit about what you do and then share your five tips with the audience.
Mark Pirtle 00:28
Great. Hi, John. Thanks for having me on. I feel very privileged to share this information with your audience. I try to cut through all the BS and help people understand what their consciousness is, how to work with it, and most important, how to influence it so person can find a purpose, serve a purpose larger than themselves. And I do that through online programming, individual coaching sessions, and I just came out with a documentary film called “Is Your Story Making You Sick”. I'm writing the companion book to that right now. So that's, that's what I do in the world. And I'm excited to share the five tips.
John Lund 01:12
Great, let's get going.
Mark Pirtle 01:14
Okay. Well, the first tip is, know what meditation is. And the five aspects of beginning practice. I often hear people say, I don't [or] I can't meditate. Well, that's because they don't know what meditation is. So let me go through what meditation actually is. Alright, so when you're beginning a meditation practice, the first thing that a person has to do is set a conscious intention and a conscious intention for a beginning meditator is this ‘I am going to focus on my breath’ or any other object that a person focuses on, you can focus on really anything, anything outside of yourself: a sight, a sound, a feeling, a thought. But the traditional thing is the breath. And so I'm gonna focus on the breath, and try to limit the time that my mind wanders. Now that intention sets up everything that follows. And what follows for a beginning meditator almost immediately is they're gonna forget the breath. And you can't not forget the breath if you haven't created the brain architecture to hold your attention still. What you have to know is you're not in control of your attention. So you will forget the breath. And then immediately after that, your mind will start to wander now, but because you set this constant conscious intention, your subconscious will notice “Ah, I am not following the breath right now” and that is an automatic corrective mechanism is called remembering. Now most people, when they remember, they negatively reinforced that moment. They say to themselves, “Damn, I forgot the breath.” That is not what you need to do. When you remember the breath, you have to celebrate. You have to rejoice, I did it. And then immediately set another strong intention and replace your attention on the breath. Now, if you do those five things, no matter how much your mind wanders during that 5, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, however long you meditate, you are meditating. That's what meditation is. So you should never say I can't meditate. Alright, that's the first tip.
Alright. Now, the second tip is to understand that meditation is never urgent. It will never be urgent, but it will always be important. It's just like exercise. It's just like eating right. It's just like growing yourself and developing yourself as a human being, or growing your business. If you want to be the best person that you can be, you need to meditate because you can't understand your consciousness and all of the subtle aspects of thinking and feeling that turn into patterns that keep you stuck, because we all have our little neuroses. You won't be able to see those unless you learn how to meditate. Alright, you'll be talking to someone else on someone else's couch for a long time, until you learn how to become your own best therapist. Alright, so that's my second tip. Meditation is never urgent, but it's always important. So schedule it in your day.
Alright, the third tip. Never, ever say I can't meditate. And I've mentioned this already. You have to celebrate remembering, you have to celebrate the times that you get it right. And then when you do, you might actually get excited about shortening that time between the forgetting, the mind wandering, and the remembering. Your goal is to shorten that amount of time and the more you play that video game in your head, “I'm going to try to shorten this time”, the quicker you'll remember and the sooner you'll reach this first milestone where you're no longer a beginner anymore. Where you can hold your attention on an attentional target, like the breath and not forget it for over 12 minutes. Okay, you're a different person if you can do that, emotionally, intellectually.
Alright, now next is meditate like a pro every single day, even if it's just for five minutes. So when I say meditate like a pro, sit down and set that strong conscious intention and bring to mind all potential distractions because you're going to sit down with distractions. So bring them to mind ahead of time and say “When I think about, you know, my business, I'm gonna think and I think about the cash flow, I think about the relationship with my kids”, like whatever is hot for you emotionally during that time, think about it ahead of time, set it aside. Meditate like a pro, go right back to the breath. Because every one of those things is just a distraction, you can set it aside and that will help you psycho-emotionally deal with a lot of the distractions that tend to pick at us during the day. If you as a meditator, recognize distractions, set it aside you'll become psycho-emotionally more balanced when you get off the cushion.
Okay, and in this is my fifth tip, intention is everything. If you don't set an intention, the next moment is going to be unscripted. You're potentially living in a lot of chaos if you don't set intentions. Alright, so those were my five tips, John.
John Lund 07:10
Those are great tips.
So I work with a lot of business owners, business owners are always hectic. Tell me a little bit more about how you feel meditation helps business owners.
Well, consciousness or a person's mind is fundamental to everything a person does. And so, this gets back to sort of my elevator pitch, you know. What I try to do is, is strip out all of the dogma and the superstition and really get to a fact based understanding of what consciousness is, how it works, and how to influence it. You're never going to have control over your consciousness, but you can influence it. And if you don't influence it all the patterns that have scripted themselves inside of you, they're the ones that are going to be running, driving the bus, and can take you places you don't want to go. And we all have, like I said, we all have our little neuroses and rough edges to polish. Learning how to meditate, understanding consciousness, how it works, and how to influence it is the way to become your own best therapist. And I also will say, meditation will not take the place of a wise and kind person in your life. We can't fully grow and develop outside of relationships to others. And so, always seek out someone who understands a little bit more about a particular problem you're trying to solve. And if that is meditation, or mindfulness or becoming more attuned to yourself, and relate to yourself, others in the world in a more skillful way. Find that person is and interact with that person, but then you have to do the work on your own to because that person can't do the work for you.
John Lund 09:11
I get it. And then I think celebration can sometimes be tough for driven people, they just want to be, you know, perfect. They really want to thrive. Again, when it comes to celebrating that you forgot that can come across as a little bit odd. What's the reasoning behind that?
Okay, so let me use an analogy then. So if I'm a basketball player, and I am practicing my free throws. The free throw isn't the end goal, right. The end goal is if I'm standing at the line at the end of the game, and there's no time left on the clock. I gotta hit my free throws. Now if you make a free throw in practice, and you're like shit, cuz maybe it bounced around the rim. It goes in your like, damn. And every time you make your free throw you negatively reinforced that moment. You're not going to progress. When you're on a meditation cushion and you remember your breath, that's when you're hitting your free throw. You have to say, “Yes, I did it”. Because that's going to fortify you, that's going to that's going to give you the sense of a person who's progressing. If you negatively reinforced if what you're focused on is the negative “My mind was wandering”. You're amplifying the negative in your life. If instead you shift your focus onto “I just got it right, I just remembered”. Now you're focused on the positivity and that's going to carry you through it that's going to help you be a better meditator, a better person because focusing on negatives just amplifies our patterns and our craziness.
John Lund 11:03
That's so true, it is important to focus on the positive and celebrate wins. We as strategy coaches and sales coaches, we want people to get out there and try and celebrate getting it there and just always be improving over time. That's part of the practice that we do. So that's exciting. I want to thank you so much for sharing your five tips today with us. They're powerful tips and meaningful tips. And so I appreciate that, appreciate all you've always done for me. Good to see you again, Mark.
Well, it's a pleasure to share and, and I appreciate you and our relationship and yeah, very grateful. So thanks, John.
John Lund 11:45
Thank you. Have a good day.
Okay, bye John.