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    Articles | mindset

    A lesson in self-awareness

    By David (Jacko) Jackson

    The podcast LIVE event was something that I personally enjoyed. I’ve always loved learning, back at school and through university I was learning new things all the time but for many of us as adults it doesn’t just fall on your lap each day like when you’re at school. Instead you have to seek it out – and that we did!

    Having 12 amazing guests to learn from all day made the Podcast LIVE energising for me. Learning from other experts in their fields is always such a privilege but bringing them all together on the same day and learning from each of the different angles of health, fitness and training was special.

    From first impressions we might think that there isn’t that much tying the different guests and their specialities together; what’s handstands got to do with functional medicine or juggling got to do with nasal breathing or your mobility got to do with cold ice immersion for example?

    These are all topics and themes discussed by the different guests. And, I have to say, one thing I loved when we brought the line up of guests together was the diversity.

    Where else would you find all of these topics discussed under ‘one roof’?

    The diversity to me was clear and, other than the fact they were all previous guests on the School of Calisthenics Podcast, I didn’t actually think there was that much tying them all together. But as the sessions went on throughout the day and as I reflected on the conversations, a common theme that underpinned all started to rise to the top.

    What was that common theme?

    The importance of self awareness. Knowing one’s self better. Giving yourself time to explore and reflect; what motivates you, what energises you and what makes you feel good and happy.

    I love this message!

    On reflection, it makes complete sense. We are speaking and learning from these people in the hope we’ll be able to learn, take action and make positive changes to our training, habits and lives. Making changes doesn’t start with having the right information to make those changes. No. It starts with the awareness that you need to make a change.

    So the fact that so many guests mentioned the importance of self awareness is actually no surprise, even though initially I’d not preempted it as a theme for the day.

    Time to reflect

    In order to improve or heighten our self-awareness, it’s important to give yourself some time for reflection. The Podcast LIVE event certainly prompted me to do this and I hope it did for you too – if not, then maybe take a moment now to reflect on some of your goals; why you do what you do, as well as any of the prompts from the guests interviews available from our Podcast Live page – here.

    Key sessions that made me reflect personally

     1. How am I moving?

    Richie Norton made it a fundamental part of his movement practise. Making a connection between you and your body. Your mind, your breath, your muscles and your thoughts. Giving yourself time to really ‘feel’ and understand your body was a key principle of his movement philosophy that I really have taken on board.

    Have you reflected on how you move? How you want to move? How aware of your body you are when you move?

    These are just a few of the questions I’ve asked myself after the session with Richie Norton – see video below.

     

     

    2. How am I feeling?

    The session with Dr Sally Bell made me focus on how I was feeling. A live question from a listener prompted me to share an issue I have sleeping around sometimes waking up in the early hours (between 3am and 5am). She said it’s likely one of two things. Either you’re waking up because you’re hungry or because your brain is still thinking and processing thoughts from the day which happens due to a lack of stress management throughout the day.

    It’s currently on my radar as I’m reading a book called ‘Rest’ which explains that if you don’t give your unconscious mind some time during the day (rest) to be able to process your thoughts in the ‘background’ because you’re so busy and stressed all day then chances are the only time it gets to do that is at night when you’ll start coming up with all the answers to the day’s problems. If you’re anything like me, that’s exactly what I wake up with; solutions to problems or thoughts and ideas about things I could do.

    Working on my stress management during the day with specific periods of rest is one of ‘work ons’ for better overall health, but specifically for better sleep as well as thyroid function (T4 / T3 conversion) which I’ve had tested and need to improve – but that’s a whole other blog post for another day.

     

     

    3. Challenge what you hate!

    This was a big one from Brian Keane that I didn’t see coming. I knew he’d done some crazy ultra marathon challenge across the Artic and Sahara desert but I assumed (I’m sure you did too) that it was because he likes challenges and likes running – but no!

    Yes, he likes a challenge, but what was shocking (and really challenged me) was that he said he hated running. That was exactly why he chose those challenges. To do things he hates. To get comfortable with being uncomfortable. So that when things in life come to challenge you, you’re better prepared to tackle them.

    I loved that idea! Although, it challenged me… slightly scared me and, to be honest, I’m still thinking of the things I want to try and do that I hate.

    What things could you challenge yourself to do that would stretch and develop your character and resilience?

     

     

    4. Stop forgetting to tape your mouth at night!

    This was a very simple one. A simple reminder. I’ve got Patrick McKeown’s book ‘Oxygen Advantage’ I’ve recommended it to so many friends (gave it to my Dad for his birthday). I love it. It’s changed the way I’ll breath forever. I’m all in.

    However, I hope you can relate, we all still forget things we love and need a reminder. When I first taped my mouth at night to encourage nasal breathing, as Patrick outlines in the book, it made such a difference to the quality of my sleep just like he says it would. But recently, I’ve been forgetting and simply just need to get back to it.

    Not thought about how or why you breathe? Do you breathe through your nose or mouth normally?

    Find out why it could be the most important thing for your health that you change in the interview with Patrick McKeown from Oxygen Advantage in the video below.

     

     

    I hope you found these insights interesting and prompted you to stop and reflect on yourself. Whether or not my personal take away messages resonate with you is not the point. You taking time out to reflect is the key take-away. Use the interviews with the guests to plug into key areas that interest you. Reflect. Then take action.

    Check out the Podcast Live page here for a full list of guests and the video interviews

    Thanks again for reading. I’d love to hear back from you on what your key take-away messages where from the Podcast Live event and any actions you’ve taken since. Drop me an email with your reflection to david@schoolofcalisthenics.com.

    Jacko

     

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