Work better, sleep better, and just be better…

Friday’s Fashion + Fitness. 16th edition! “Know that no one is capable of making you upset without your consent.”


I loved the panda. I also love these wise words from a new friend, “Know that no one is capable of making you upset without your consent.” I’m going to go ahead and put it out there – I think mindful meditation is the new yoga. Maybe I’m even a little late to the game. Time identified a mindful revolution back in January 2014.


Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you need meditation to clear your mind. In fact, the practice of mediation isn’t about clearing your mind at all. It’s more about just starting to notice what is exactly going on up there.


And as promised, I’ve reflected on the yoga retreat. We went a little deeper into mindful meditation. I’m sharing my favorite learnings from three of our speakers. Hopefully, you’ll connect with at least one of these stories, and get as into this as I am.

ea2cb651-cf85-4972-9b34-aa73f769ddc6Elezar Aslan showed us that mindful meditation can make you better at your job. In one study, 1 group meditated 3x a week for 3 weeks. The other group went about their normal lives. When given a business dilemma to solve at the end of 3 weeks, the meditating group came to the right decision 78% of the time, while the control group was right just 42% of the time (about half as often). The group that had meditated was able to see past personal biases. At work, we often overestimate the power of our head and underestimate the power of our heart. Meditation can help you separate the emotion of a decision from the actual decision. Sometimes, even after you’ve spent 80 hours on a new strategy or project, the best thing for the company is to drop it all together. That’s pretty tough to do if you let the emotion from your hard work guide you. If you’re not so into the data though, let Steve Jobs be an example. He swore by it.


Cory Muscara shared that the reason he stuck with meditation initially was because it helped him sleep. In college, he was waking up 20 to 30 times a night. He didn’t like the groggy side effects of sleep meds. His girlfriend at the time, Brooke, was into meditating, so he gave it a try. Mostly to impress her. But he found that after just a few weeks, he was only waking up 2 or 3 times throughout the night. At the time, he wasn’t as concerned with reaching a higher sense of well-being. He just wanted to sleep. So, he stuck with it. But he did say one thing that has stayed on my mind. He realized that he couldn’t keep waiting for all the puzzle pieces of his life around him to fit together. It’s important to be centered and fulfilled regardless of what’s going on around you. After college, he went much deeper into the practice and spent 6 months in silence in Burma, meditating for 14 hours a day. I’m not saying you need to go that far – I’m certainly not! Definitely do check out these great longer meditations though.


Due Quach found a way to reduce the toxic stress in her life. She experienced early childhood trauma. She explained that these types of events can change your brain in a way that might not come out until adolescence. Her family immigrated to the US. But once she got to college, she started to experience overwhelming emotions. She couldn’t adjust to the new environment. She didn’t feel like she fit in at home anymore either. Counseling was just making it worse. She kept reliving her early childhood memories instead of moving on. So she took her health into her own hands. After doing extensive research on meditation and becoming a certified yoga teacher, she explained our brain in three levels:

Brain 1.0 – Self-preservation. We’re born with this level. If something chases you, you run. The problem now is, we’re not faced with life-threatening situations all that often. But this state still gets activated, and cortisol (the stress hormone) pumps throughout our body. Too much cortisol depresses your immune system and slows down digestion. You have to learn to turn this trigger off when you don’t need it.
Brain 2.0 – Pleasure and Acquisition. This part of the brain starts to grow more in middle school. You become aware of where you fit in a social hierarchy. And you start chasing carrots. Maybe you bought clothes at Abercrombie to get cool points. When you stay at this level, you’re always chasing something. But once you get it, you need to chase something else.
Brain 3.0 – Well-being and Mastery. Here’s where we want to be. Here, we’re living in harmony. This part of the brain doesn’t even fully mature until you’re in your mid-twenties. In 3.0, you want to collaborate, innovate.
According to Due, when we are hijacked by Brain 1.0 and 2.0, our behaviors may undermine our long-term goals and well-being. Shifting into Brain 3.0 enables us to think straight, create, and collaborate. Find out more about how she’s helping others with her Calm Clarity program.



Blue Gulls Scarf – $86. Nothing feels more zen than summer beaches and seagulls. Click on picture for more details!


White patch pocket button down – $132. So soft and one step closer to being so relaxed. Click on picture for more details!

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