Sept. 17, 2020

Finding Happiness in a Pandemic with Karen McGregor

Finding Happiness in a Pandemic with Karen McGregor

Americans are unhappier than we’ve been in a long time. We're grappling with the fear, grief, and other emotions that characterize our response to COVID-19. It feels like we’re heading into another “Great Depression”—literally. So, is it...

Americans are unhappier than we’ve been in a long time. We're grappling with the fear, grief, and other emotions that characterize our response to COVID-19. It feels like we’re heading into another “Great Depression”—literally.

So, is it possible to be happy in a pandemic?

Even in a world where misery has gone viral, we can train our minds to be happy. However, it’s going to take work. For help with that, we talk this week with Karen McGregor. She's the author of The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs.

McGregor is something of a happiness expert. In fact, her TEDx Talk on the subject has been viewed by over a million people.

Thanks to COVID-19, everyone is short on happiness these days. But Karen McGregor says we can train our minds to reclaim happiness by overriding the brain’s tendency to resist change.

We also mentioned that September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. If you need help you can start here.


Jeremy: [00:00:00] This is the Fit Mess with Zach and Jeremy under smoke-filled skies and in the midst of a pandemic, this is the fit Mess. Thanks so much for listening to the show. We appreciate you being there. We’ve got a great one for you this week. Sort of following on the heels of an episode, we did a couple of weeks ago talking about coaching, mentorship.

We’re going to get into how you can sort of look inward and find the guide within to help you find the answers to some of the biggest challenges that so many of us are facing right now. I know it’s been a rough couple of days, uh, for both for Zach and for myself. And so definitely a timely episode for everything that’s been going on lately.

Zach: [00:00:37] All right. So, Jeremy, how are you feeling? 

Jeremy: [00:00:39] You know, it’s a little rough today. The timing of this show is perfect for me as usual. Uh, we have a fascinating conversation coming up in just a few minutes with our guest, Karen McGregor. She’s the author of the Dow of influence, but. It’s been a rough couple of days.

I think it was Saturday that I, I was, I was pretty depressed and it followed, um, you know, I live in Seattle and the entire state of Washington is covered in smoke right now. So it was bad enough that we couldn’t go outside because we were all gonna die from the Corona virus. But now we can’t go outside, even in our own yards where we’ve we’ve set up things to get outside and enjoy our yard. Now we can’t do that because we can’t breathe the smoke. So we are literally like locked in our house because we can’t breathe the toxic air. This followed a night whear, um, as the, the smoke was rolling in, I left my house for the first time in five days, and I tried to go buy an air filter to clean out the air in my house and to keep us safe for a few days.

And just the whole experience was a nightmare. I I’m just, I’m driving down the street. There are kids out riding their bikes, which normally would be a lovely thing, but they’re not wearing any masks of any kind. They’re just out there being exposed to these horrible toxins that are going to destroy their lungs.

There’s, you know, I’m driving down the street, there’s prostitutes walking up and down the street. Also again, no masks. So being really unsafe on lots of levels, every store I go to completely sold out of filters. Despite what it says online, despite what they say on the phone. So, so that was sort of the trigger that, that outing was the trigger that was like, the world is, is on fire and nobody’s acting like anything’s different.

And, and that just spiraled. I went to bed, I woke up just down. I just felt trapped in my house. I couldn’t, I still can’t go outside. It’s it’s this horrible feeling of. You know, there’s so much insecurity about the election that’s going on. The air is toxic. There are viruses that are out to kill us all.

It just feels like the world’s burning and there’s nothing I can do. And there’s no escape. I can’t drive to the beach. I can’t get away from it. 

Zach: [00:02:45] And you can’t even change your air filter. 

Jeremy: [00:02:47] Luckily, I have a neighbor that, that hooked us up. She had one that, that I borrowed, but ah, um, but, but the, the tipping point was that I went, okay.

I I’m, there is suffering. There is, there is chaos. There’s tragedy, time to turn inward. If I, if I really need to escape, turn inward, find peace in the moment, find the opportunity that is here. And so I started meditating trying to find peace in the moment. And all I found was the world is burning. I’m surrounded by Ash.

There’s. I’m not okay in this moment. Normally I can take any given moment and go, you’re fine. You’re sitting in a chair in a warm house. You have food, you know, you have a job, you have steady income. Things are going to be fine. But in that moment, the world was burning. There’s a pandemic at my front door and the, you know, the future of the nation is, uh, is up for grabs.

So it just, it was, I couldn’t find a peace, even in my refuge, my, my one place where I go, when I need to find peace, I only found darkness and chaos. 

Zach: [00:03:51] Wow. That’s pretty shitty, man. 

Jeremy: [00:03:54] It’s a bad Saturday. I don’t recommend it. 

Zach: [00:03:57] You couldn’t have done that on like a Wednesday and called in sick. 

Jeremy: [00:03:59] That would have been a better use of my time, really, for being honest.

Um, so yeah, so it was tough. I struggled and I know you had kind of a rough Saturday yourself. We, we chatted about it a bit off mic. 

Zach: [00:04:13] Yeah, mine was a little bit different. I think mine was. Um, so I’m still doing these, um, NAD supplements, IV drips. And this was the day after I did a really big dose, um, three weeks after my initial doses.

And. It can have that impact on you to like, kind of wipe you out. It was, it was a really interesting feeling, cause I, I felt depression like I haven’t felt in like 10 or 15 years. 

Jeremy: [00:04:40] Right. And you’re, you’re normally the anxious one. I’m the depressed one. So you got, you got a taste of what it’s like in my mind for a little bit on Saturday.

Zach: [00:04:46] Yeah. But all I wanted to do was like, I kept, like, I kept getting out of bed to go do something and like getting downstairs and going, well, this is all bullshit. Yeah. Like life. Yeah, bullshit. And went back upstairs and laid down and it lasted a day and the next day it was gone. But, um, it was kind of weird.

Like my anxiety had gone away and my constant buzz, my constant motivation that my anxiety provides was gone and I laid in bed all day. 

Jeremy: [00:05:15] Yeah. 

Zach: [00:05:15] It was really weird. 

Jeremy: [00:05:17] Yeah. It’s, it’s a, it’s a dark place when, when all the, the drive and motivation that normally makes you function. It’s just gotten when, like, literally you get up off the couch to like, just, you’re just driven.

Like I just have to move my body and you go, and like my default go to the kitchen. What’s what is there to eat. And even, even there you look in the cupboard, you look in the fridge and you’re like, none of this is even, what am I doing here? I’m going to go back to the couch. Like there’s, there’s just nothing that motivates you to work toward anything positive when you’re, when you’re in that space.

It’s, it’s really difficult. 

Zach: [00:05:55] Yeah. I mean, I’ve had, I’ve had bouts of depression over the last 10 years, but nothing quite like that. It was a really, really good reminder as to why I’ve put in practice all of the things that I do to keep myself healthy, because it, it was a, it was a general feeling of hopelessness all day.

And that’s really scary cause I’m not there generally. 

Jeremy: [00:06:17] Yeah. Yeah. The hopelessness, it was, that was it. Like when I came out of that meditation, I just was like, Normally I can, I can find enough calm to attach myself to some sort of hope and I just, I couldn’t find it. Um, and even now, you know, we’re a few days removed from that.

I’ve, there’s always like this hangover. It takes a few days to shake it off. And so I’m, I’m sort of at the tail end of it. Uh, which is why I can function enough to record this because my default would be where’s the darkest room I can be in with and, and remove myself from being other people’s problems.

So that being said, I’m feeling much better now. Thanks for asking. 

Zach: [00:06:56] Um, you’re wearing, you’re wearing a Snoopy t-shirt so, 

Jeremy: [00:06:59] yeah, but I’ve been wearing this for like three days, so it’s not as, it’s not as good as it seems. No. So it’s a good healing mechanism. Yeah. Plus the stench that I’ve created keeps everyone away from me.

So I get myself some space. So many valuable tools that we have to offer here on the, on this show get real stinky, and that keeps everyone away. 

Zach: [00:07:22] Or you just, when you’re wearing your mask and you’re out in public, you just cough, cough a few times. People just run. 

That’s fantastic. 

Jeremy: [00:07:31] Um, but. To, to the, the point of this discussion.

Um, there are a lot of things that you can do to, to fight off this kind of suffering. Um, clearly I have not been implementing them strongly enough in, in recent days, which is why this is a terrific time to revisit this interview. We did just a few days ago with, uh, author Karen McGregor. She is the author of the Tao of influence.

She has a fascinating story about, uh, basically just going from, from school teacher. Uh, battling depression, battling demons, like the rest of us to really finding her calling, um, and becoming a voice for people like us, we’re trying to find our way on a more meaningful and more fulfilling journey.

Karen: [00:08:23] Well, I think like many people, um, I started as a school teacher and really passionate and excited and whatnot. Um, and you know, there’s these soul callings. There’s these urgings. That we all get. And mine was very much a, a deep spiritual calling to, to still teach, but to do it in a different way, you know, and I found myself going through a divorce.

I found, you know, I was, it was very difficult parenting my children. And, uh, and I realized that a lot of that came from a deeper, um, longing for something I knew was missing. You know, I knew there was something, but I didn’t know what that was. And so I was looking as many of us do externally, even in this time of pandemic, you know, we, we often look externally for the answers instead of looking internally to see what’s going on.

And so that journey started when my father passed away. And, uh, you know, like many of us, when we go through the loss of someone we love, we start to question more deeply, what really matters. And so I came across, The Tao Ching, which is a 4,000 year old beautiful wisdom text that, um, it’s actually considered one of the wisest, um, texts ever written, ever written and was just 81 on short verses, but it really supported me and knowing, you know, uh, what is really important.

What’s the deeper path here that I need to look at, what am I missing? And so those, those answers started to fill in for me and over time, I started my own business. I’ve had a business called speaker success formula for 10 years. Um, I’ve I really feel like I’m, I’m on the journey. I’m on my path. And I think a lot of the troubles that I had with my relationships, with my kids, with my marriage, um, you know, much of that now has been what I call a flow ease now there’s not so much struggle. No, there’s not that drama and chaos anymore. So with COVID being so, so much drama, so much chaos around the world. Um, I think that, you know, the book I’ve written is really a timely message for people to look deeply within and see how they can you have that internal fulfills element and piece.

Jeremy: [00:11:01] You mentioned looking outside for firm for fulfillment, I’ve spent most of my life looking for a mentor, looking for somebody to show me the path, show me the way. And so often the ones that are the most effective are the ones that teach me to listen to myself. And that I find that when I can find moments of quiet, that inner voice often is the best guide and has the better advice than anyone on the outside, because someone on the outside.

Has their own biases and their own beliefs and their own experience. And so it’s easy to dismiss even the best advice, but when it comes from inside, I find that that’s the stuff that really puts me on the right path. Is that, does that sound familiar? Is that similar to what your experience was? 

Karen: [00:11:44] Yeah, very much so, you know, I was very, always in my head and I always thought that I could solve any problem from my head because I considered myself to be smart.

I laugh now, you know, um, at, at the thought of that, because really the deepest wisdom. Is within and so that was also a, you know, a significant part of my book was to have the courage to talk about inner guidance, you know, in the world that I’m in, uh, in teaching people to speak and to, to, um, you know, to have a message on stage that really rocks the stage.

Um, it’s, it’s very easy to go into the technical and go into what to do and not to do. Um, but when I, when I was writing my book, I really found that the deeper reasons for why people can express on stage. And this goes for all of us, the deeper reasons why we have the energy we have, why we can shift the world with what we, what we offer.

Is not always the system and the how to it’s it’s also, are we listening to our deeper guidance because we could be really great at something and be miserable inside, or we could have, you know, what seems like the perfect relationship. And yet we’re suffering deeply inside because we’re not listening to ourselves.

So, absolutely. Um, I feel like what the two of you are doing, um, is so important because for, especially I think for men too, I feel like so many men have been taught, not yet to listen to their deeper calling to their deeper inner voice. And, um, And, you know, and for, for whatever reason throughout history, it’s been more acceptable for women and to do that, um, but not for men.

And so I, I find that this is a very special time during the pandemic where men are really going deep within like some of the, the greatest, uh, speakers that I, that I’m friends with. You know, they’re known all around the world and they’re really starting to question themselves. And what, what is it that I want, you know, what is it that I really want?

So I think it’s absolutely critical the inner guidance to tune in and tap into that. 

Zach: [00:14:20] Wow. Um, I’m just listening to talk. It was making me reflect on the last 10 years of my life and in the, you know, I was raised to be, you know, be a man I’m using big air quotes here. Um, you know, if I get a scratch, you know, just get up and rub dirt on it and it’s, that’s not who I am. Um, and I had to fight against that my whole life. And I’m really sensitive. I’m very sensitive and emotional. And it was in the last 10 years where I really started to realize I needed to embrace that side of myself and be vulnerable, talk about my feelings, talk about my emotions. And that’s when the growth really started to happen for me, but it was never a switch. It wasn’t a, yesterday I was the image of what a man needs to be in today. I’m vulnerable. It was, it was a process. It took a few years for me to get there. And I’m interested to hear your perspective on that switch for people. Right? How, how do you go from, you know, looking outward to all the things that are outside of your control to turning your eyes around and looking inside it doesn’t happen overnight.

It takes time. So I’m just curious what your perspective is on that and how that you’ve seen that happen for people and what the aha moment has been for some people. 

Karen: [00:15:42] Yes. Thank you. Well, fortunately for me, it was a big wake up call. One day when I had an experience that was very powerful of the heart of, uh, hearing guidance and also feeling it very, very powerfully.

But for a lot of people who don’t have that experience, they often question is what I’m hearing inside real. Is what I’m hearing inside the real me is it just made up. And so I think that Zach, um, one of the things we have to come to terms with is, um, do we believe strongly enough that we are being guided?

Um, do we really believe that? And I think that’s where it all starts is a really firm desire to Inegrate that belief daily into our daily life. Um, a lot of ’em. I know the, a course in miracles. It’s a, it’s a, another wisdom text they often say, um, you know, to get up in the morning and ask yourself or ask, you know, for guidance and just ask the question, what would you have me do today?

What would you have me say today? Um, and I think that’s a beautiful for question to ask, because if you do it every day, it’s almost as if you’re giving up all of your self-proclaimed efforts to do this and that, and just really focused on, I believe at every moment in time I’m being supported and guided here.

So let me take a few minutes every morning, just to really focused on that. So that’s one thing for sure. The other thing, um, and I write about this a lot in my book is how we become attached to a very attached to a certain pattern and ways of being that create particular thoughts. Um, and of course, as both of, you know, cause you’ve, you’ve, you’ve studied this so much is, um, when we’re young and we, and, and we have our, we want to have our needs met.

Basically, this is a very short version of what I talk about in the book, but. Um, we want to have our needs met and when we don’t have those needs met, we make up that there’s something wrong with us. And each of us based on our, uh, scenario at home and what we make that mean, uh, try to continue to get our needs met in, um, from then on, in unhealthy ways.

So as an example, somebody might decide, you know, what? My home is so unstable and so chaotic that I from now on, I’m going to control. Every aspect of my life. 

Jeremy: [00:18:45] You’re you’re so in my head right now, this is this I it’s one of those things I know better, but it is a thing that I deal with constantly with two little kids and a wife and dogs and all the things it’s that like, I want things this way, however, that is impossible given this situation.

And it’s, it’s incredible, but the more that I can step back and let go, and just allow. And that’s, it’s not like being passive and like not having a voice, not having a place for yourself in the family, but, but figuring out kind of how you can help steer the boat down the river, rather than trying to steer it up the river, that, that, that sense of letting go really creates so much more peace.

Whenever I can have the clarity to acknowledge it. 

Karen: [00:19:34] Yeah. And, and what, what I talk about is that power patterns, Jeremy, that we get into, you know, one, one is very clear for me as well. I’m very much I can, I can take control and tell everybody what to do and how to do it quite easily. Um, but the, the key is once you identify your patterns is very easy from then on to catch yourself the minute that you think it or say it.

But if we never identify it, it’s so much harder to go about our day being conscious of how we’re showing up in the world. And so another example is, is withdrawing. So people who withdraw, they might be called shy when they’re younger. Often those are, as Zach was saying earlier, those are our sensitive children who, um, Quite often in their, in their youth

there’s something that, that happens that causes them to say, I prefer not to engage in this. Right. And, and quite often it is. Yeah, because they’re sensitive and they, the it’s just for them in that moment, the best decision they can make. And so that decision continues on in their life where as an example, they might have something very important to contribute, but they’ll stand back or they might have, uh, you know, there might be a networking situation or they’re in a board room where they have probably the best ideas.

They might be the brightest person in the room, and they’re not going to say anything. So these are all things that we all, um, have to be aware of. That we have created as a result of that original wound. And so what I, what I just say is watch your thoughts and allow them to release, as you said, Jeremy release, release release.

Yeah. But you have to practice this, that, and you have to identify. So it’s easier for me now. Um, to identify myself, Oh, there’s the controller starting up again. Okay. Can I just breathe here and allow that thought or whatever? I said, just let it go and not to hang on to it and get further, you know, triggered by the situations.

Zach: [00:22:08] Definitely. That’s that’s so interesting how you, how you put that.  I was having some of the conversations with my wife, um, who I met when I was. 23, I think. And she was the first person who ever really encouraged me to say my ideas out loud up until then I would hold them back thinking that it was going to be dumb or they would be judged inappropriately.

And amazingly enough, she encouraged me to say my ideas out loud and I started to get promotions at work and they paid me more and I just remember coming home all the time, going, can you believe this? They’re paying me more money. Something’s not right here. Like this, this just isn’t, this isn’t happening the way it should be happening.

If they knew the truth, they wouldn’t be doing this, but then it escalated. And I got a little cocky. I think the ego  came in 10 years later and I actually had to check myself and keep some of my opinions to myself and keep that voice down a little. 

Karen: [00:23:14] Well, you know, it’s wonderful to go from, from one extreme to another, to find our balance.

That’s what the data is all about is, you know, how do we find that, that beautiful flow and balance where our ego is not rearing its ugly head, but it’s actually, we’re just. In the flow of our gifts really on, on the planet. 

Jeremy: [00:23:38] Well, let’s talk about your book. And, uh, particularly in, in the times we live in, these are powerful lessons that a lot of folks can, can apply to sort of find some of that piece and start letting go and, and sort of allowing, because.

When it comes to a pandemic, there’s not a whole lot that most of us can do about it. Other than the, the simple tips that were given to, to stay safe. But there’s not a lot that we can do to correct it. We can’t, I don’t have the ability to solve COVID right. So I’ve got to wear my mask. I’ve got to wash my hands, but there’s some deeper work that we can do.

And I think your book can help with that. So tell us a little bit about the book and sort of why it’s important in this current time. 

Karen: [00:24:17] Sure. Well, it’s called the Tao of influence for a reason and we talked about some of the Taoist principles and the wisdom behind that. Um, but what I do is I merge it with the idea that.

We, if, if we follow those principles, if we are aware, if we come back into balance and I actually show people how to do that, then we can influence the world. Because I think a lot of books that have been written about influence are about trying to get something from someone. And that’s it’s, this is a very different book.

It’s not about trying to get something from someone, you know, it’s really about, can we, uh, who desire to create positive change on the planet become the person that is able to do that. And yes, there’s all sorts of systems and all sorts of steps you can take to do that, but as both of you say, which I absolutely love, uh, that inner world and that inner work is the most important step

and most people miss it. You know, so, so for me, the four pillars that I write about in the book is, first of all, how are you navigating eating your power and really understanding that all pure power comes from love. All distorted power is fear. And so how do we get back to that? So I’m very practical in that explanation of, you know, understanding it, but also how do we get back to it?

The second is presence. And I think both of you are such beautiful examples of how we can come back to being fully present, because honestly, I think the world is deeply lacking presence right now, we are so concerned about the future as we should be, but we’re not living here right now with our neighbors, with, with our community, with our family and being really, um, in this moment, because really one of my mentors said, everyone thinks forever is a long time, but forever has nothing to do with time.

It’s actually being present to the moment, which isn’t time-based. And so, uh, so that’s important. And then I also talk about purpose. Like we, we were talking about in the beginning of this call, How do we get back into our purpose? Not just our individual purpose, but helping other people, you know, like if we see that someone is just suffering because they’re not doing that thing that they’re meant to do on this earth to actually support them, to help them.

I think so many corporations, we have the wrong people in doing the wrong things and they are suffering from a very. Deep place. So that’s another thing. And then the last is potential and I have a very soft, soft, soft spot in my heart for, um, a different way of looking at potential. Um, I always say that the greatest potential comes from our deepest

soul’s calling to manifest that it’s, it’s not so much potential from let’s get as much done as Paul. Okay.

And, and I, I went to Italy. I was blessed to go to Italy last summer and I remember. Uh, Jeremy and Zach, I remember thinking when I saw the David Michelangelo’s the David. I remember thinking if we could all be creating things, things from that place of undying passion for something, you know, he worked on that statue for three years nonstop day and night with.

With no money, no food, just carving this, this beautiful statue. And so, um, I’m not suggesting that we go hungry, but I am suggesting that we’ve lost our deeper passion that creates, um, beautiful things in the world, you know? So, um, anyway, so those are the four pillars. And I highly suggest if people are looking at being change-makers that they start to develop themselves in those, in those four areas.

And that’s really what my book is all about. 

Jeremy: [00:29:00] I think the thing I love about your story is that you were a school teacher and you found this path and you’re doing this now you will listen to yourself and you found this other path. I know for me, If I, if I’m having a conversation with me 10 years ago, I don’t recognize this guy.

And this guy seems impossible to become, it sounds like this just laundry list of you got to eat this and work this hard and chain and sit and meditate. And just this list. That’s ridiculous when you write it down, but they all happened. Step-by-step it. Wasn’t something that I took on as a, to do list. It was, Oh, that sounds interesting.

I’ll try that. So, For someone who is trying to find their purpose, trying to find their potential, they don’t know where to begin because they’re feeding the kids and getting them off to now digital school and just swamped. How, how do you make that shift? How do you find the time? To listen to yourself.

And how do you trust that voice? Because I’ve battled depression my entire life too. And both voices can get real loud. There’s one that says that I’m just worthless sack. And the other that says there’s nothing I can’t do. And they love to fight. And it’s really hard to choose which one is, is the right voice.

Sometimes. So how do people start to find that purpose, that potential and how do they trust the voice? That’s guiding them to make their decisions. 

Karen: [00:30:30] So before I get into this, um, for anyone who wants to take this further, my website, Karen . They can read about it.

Lots of free resources. I have a YouTube channel, all of that, but the short version for what you said is, do, can you make space within your day? Whether that means getting up early or staying up late, even an extra 30 minutes, um, is really, really vital because, uh, you know, back in my grandma’s day, you know, people, people made time to go for walks.

They made time to garden, and those were the activities, those simple activities that actually allowed them to reflect and to, to be in their own sacred space, which we have lost, you know? And so I think, uh, again, it’s a, it’s a passionate desire for that commitment because we can all say, well, that sounds like a good idea, but until you feel the desire strongly enough, it probably won’t happen.

So, um, you know, if anyone’s listening today and thinking, Oh, I’ve had enough, I need that space. That could be one way. Another way is. Are there times in which you could do it, where you are in between things, you know, like maybe waiting in line somewhere instead of reading your texts. Can you just go silent, go within yourself?

It doesn’t have to be a really long time. The other thing is around the voices in your head because everybody, I know Jeremy, he’s been talking about the two voices right now it’s just common. So I would love to address this by saying. Um, don’t believe either voice. And this is very unusual, but I’m going to say this because if you believe one voice and say, yeah, I only am going to think positive thoughts from now on.

Then your other side will rear its ugly head and really, we start to compete with the, like the one. So if you look at all thoughts, As outside of you as not part of you, but simply a thought, it doesn’t identify you, it doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person or a lazy person or a productive person, or a successful person or unsuccessful is simply a thought.

And I know for me, this has been the most helpful because, the the, the more famous I got, the more, you know, the more money I had in my bank account. It was all an identifier for me. Oh, I’m this now. Oh, people see me as this now and honest to goodness. I think my next book will be about identity because it’s such a powerful driver for so many people.

That’s why they’re miserable during COVID because they’re saying to themselves, I don’t know what my identity is anymore. Well, what if we could just let go of both sides and not feed either identity? 

Jeremy: [00:33:59] That is so interesting because so much that it is different from what I hear a lot, because so often people will say the negative voices, the ones that tell you how horrible you are, that’s all coming from a place of fear, but the ones that are positive are from a place of love.

Um, and even hearing you describe it, that makes perfect sense because so much of what set me on the right path has been more of a feeling than a thought. It’s been this, just this, just knowing for lack of a better word, like just knowing that’s the thing that I’m supposed to be doing. That that’s the next step I’m supposed to take.

That’s the person I’m supposed to talk to about this? Um, And so you’re right. It is because I tell my kids this all the time to let their thoughts go and not hang on to them and to really lead with their heart and to feel, and that will set them on the right path. Um, so it’s interesting to hear that because so often people try to just dismiss the negative and just say, Oh, just focus on the positive, because that’s the truth.

Karen: [00:35:01] Yeah. You know, I remember on my 52nd birthday, just a few months ago, um, everybody had something kind to say about me and they all I wanted to share, which was beautiful. And it, it really was, but it left me feeling really empty at the end of the night. And I thought, what is going on? Why, why can’t I feel happy?

And. Joyful and, you know, receive the appreciation. And what I realized from a deeper level was wow, that all fed my ego and in the past it would have been just another, um, form of adding to my positive identity. Do you know what I’m saying? And so it’s wonderful to get those. I’m not suggesting that we don’t give them.

I think praise is super important and, and you know, it, it goes a long way, but it also can get us stuck on a perceived identity, which I’m not sure is always helpful. It is sometimes, but sometimes it can get us into trouble. 

Jeremy: [00:36:09] Definitely. 

Zach: [00:36:10] I’m really glad that you said all that it, um, About probably six years ago, my identity was completely wrapped up in what I did for work.

And it was, I was my job. I was very good at it. And I got compliments all the time, how good I was at it. And I decided to take, make a change. I took a risk and took a different job. That was not the same job and my identity disappeared overnight. And that was. One of the most depressing and toughest times I’ve ever gone through, because my, who I was, was gone just overnight gone.

And I had to, this was when I took up yoga and went and became a yoga teacher. And I started exploring all these other things and looking inside. And that was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me was to get rid of my identity overnight because I had to go find myself. And it was a, it was a tough journey at first, but it was a wonderful journey.

And I can’t imagine like being in that spot or maybe my identity would go away overnight again, and COVID is happening at the same time. That would be incredibly difficult. So thank you for saying that. I, if you do. If your next book is going to be about identity, I will buy a copy before it ever comes out.

Karen: [00:37:46] Thank you. I think it’s just so vital for all of us right now. You know, we are going through transition, whether it is a career transition or a relationship transition, or just coping with, you know, the social transition and, and the different ways of connecting everything is. So different. So I do believe identity is a big, big part of, um, You know where we’re shaken up.

And so I hope you know, that these concepts that we’ve talked about today, that people can just think about them, but also be assured you know, that we’re all in this boat together and that if we use some of these concepts on a daily basis that we’ve been talking about today, that they can actually come through with fulfillment and grace and joy.

Jeremy: [00:38:50] Alright. That was Karen McGregor. She is the author of the Tao of influence. You can get a copy of that book by visiting our website.  thefitmess com. And also quickly want to mention, uh, this episode brought to you by the athletic brewing company. I happen to be they’ve they, they released this, uh, the cerveza. I’m sure I’m sending that wrong, uh, Athletica, which I’ve been very curious about because to make a lighter flavor, beer, like a, like a Corona style, uh, beer as a nonalcoholic one, that seems like a challenge to me that that seems very difficult to do.

And I’ve got to say.

They nailed it. I don’t know how they do it. These guys are magicians with a nonalcoholic beer. This stuff is amazing. Uh, so thank you to athletic brewing company for sponsoring us again, more information about them and links to buy their beers on our website, So, so thank you to them.

Speaking of athletic, you mentioned that we were, we were talking a moment moments ago before we started recording the show about how you actually got into workout today. You haven’t, you haven’t been doing that for awhile. 

Zach: [00:39:54] I got to work out in today and one yesterday at light one yesterday to test my ankle because I did something nasty to it.

I don’t think I sprained it, but I. It might’ve been a light spring. Right, right. Um, but I couldn’t do anything with my ankle and like, I couldn’t jump, I couldn’t walk. I was on vacation, limping all over the place. Like, I’m the guy who walks everywhere on vacation. I couldn’t go a hundred yards without sitting down.

It was, it was pretty painful. Um, so Hey, I was on vacation, so I’m not going to work out on vacation, you know, Um, but I’d gone a week cause my ankle got hurt. Uh, and then I was on vacation and then we were back for a week and my ankle was still going. So I did a light light, uh Shaunt T workout yesterday.

Actually I did insanity max 30, but I did the modifier, which is really tough. Cause I did try and jump a few times. That’s brutal. Um, I did that and it was okay. So, and then I checked with the CrossFit schedule was for today and, uh, it was, it’s bring a friend week. Okay. So they don’t want, you know, they want the goal is to get new customers.

Right. So don’t put out these crushing workouts. So it was a kind of a lighter workout, which was really good. 

Jeremy: [00:41:10] And was that  in person in the gym. 

Zach: [00:41:14] Yeah. So gyms are open here now, right? Um, yeah. My gym has been open for a couple of months now, but they set up a whole rig in the parking lot and you’re like 10 feet away from everyone.

But today was actually interesting because they, the coach challenged everyone to do the workout with your mask on. Oh. Which was, you know, there was a couple of moments where like, if I was breathing in through my nose, my, my mask actually clogged my nostrils but if I just breathe through my mouth, I’m a mouth breather anyway.

So yeah. You know, drag my knuckles and all too, I could breathe just fine. And a mask while I was working out, it was a little warm, but it was okay. But that has been super helpful. 

Jeremy: [00:41:54] That’s the thing about the mask is that it really doesn’t limit your oxygen. Like it’s, it’s almost immeasurable the amount of oxygen that it limits.

It’s just that warm air that feels horrible. Like I I’m I’m with everyone that hates it. Don’t get me wrong. It’s sucks. But it’s really just because it’s warm. That’s the problem that everyone has that has, that everyone has with it. 

Zach: [00:42:12] Yeah, but by around the 45th, sit up though. I totally forgot about the mask.

Jeremy: [00:42:17] Oh, interesting. 

Zach: [00:42:18] It was the least of my concerns 

Jeremy: [00:42:20] that’s funny. 

I, so speaking of working out that I know is something that has been really weighing me down lately because, you know, I broke my toe. We talked about that a little bit on the last show. So some of my foot is wrecked. Um, can’t really do much with it.

And then I’m walking funny, which is causing like my hips to, to compensate so then I’m sore. I got this rib that slipped out of place that I’ve been trying to knock back into place that hurts. Like, I mean, I’m just, I’m just a mess and I need to be moving my body to get this energy out, but also to strengthen my body, to make these stupid things, stop getting in the way.

So I keep trying to imagine like, Oh, maybe I could do like a seated yoga thing. Maybe I could do something really simple. Um, but like, but like this is the dumb. The dumbest injuries happened to me. I sat on a chair that didn’t have very good padding for like the first few weeks of this current office configuration that I have.

And because of that, I managed to injure my tailbone. So even sitting down. Hurt. So I can’t even do like a seated yoga. This is bullshit. I’m, I’m just, I’m suffering in pain and I can’t use any of the tools that I usually use to get myself out. 

Zach: [00:43:35] You are a literal fitness. 

Jeremy: [00:43:37] I am literally a fitness right now.

Perfect. Perfect. 

Zach: [00:43:41] Now we both kind of are because again, my ankle is still a little wobbly. My, because of that same thing, as you like. I was walking in a weird way and compensating with my other leg and caused my other foot to hurt my hip hurt my knee hurt. It’s just ridiculous on top of the fact that we are getting old.

Jeremy: [00:44:01] Yeah. Well, there’s that? There’s that? Yeah. Um, speaking of yoga, we’re, we’re running out of time. We should mention quickly last week, you challenged yourself to make sure you got into more yoga. How’d that work out for you? 

Zach: [00:44:12] Really good. Um, I mean, that’s. Again, that’s my meditation. That’s my, it’s my happy place.

And on top of the fact that my whole body is really just got, you know, 40 plus years of gunk built up to the point where my shoulders, hips, and knees and everything doesn’t move quite as much as a normal person. Um, But if I don’t do yoga, it gets even worse. And then I go try and put a barbell over my head and I’m like, why isn’t my arm moving the way it’s supposed to, Oh, the barbells coming down on my head.

Oh shit. You know? 

Jeremy: [00:44:44] And then you got a whole new injury to slow you down. 

Zach: [00:44:47] Yeah, but no I’ve been doing really well. Um, it’s, it’s again, it’s my happy place. It’s where I need to go. It is my meditation. But you were going to do, you were going to focus on your meditation as well? 

Jeremy: [00:45:00] I was going to, and I did. I’ve been trying to get in at least a couple of minutes, like if the day is just so packed, I’ll try and just find moments, even if I’m just washing the dishes to really just be in the moment and wash that dish, like really just give it my full attention.

Um, so I got in several, uh, sessions like that, but like, like I mentioned, at the beginning of the show, um, I spent some dedicated time on Saturday and, uh, it’s the first time that it hasn’t gotten me out of, of whatever I was trying to get myself out of. So it was a big reality check and just shows that I still have a lot to learn about meditation and you know, every time I think I’ve, I’ve sort of got it.

You know, it’s, it’s one of those things where you’ve never got it. It’s, it’s a lifelong pursuit. So. One definitely worth, uh, worth pursuing and worth trying to do, because it does make a big difference. Most of the time. 

Zach: [00:45:50] 60% of the time, it works every time. 

Jeremy: [00:45:53] Thats 

Zach: [00:45:53] right. You 

Jeremy: [00:45:54] miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take her or something.

However, that expression goes. And so with that, we’re going to get out of here. Um, we want to quickly mention it as suicide prevention awareness month. That is why we’re focusing so much on sort of the spiritual, the mental health, the emotional health stuff, uh, for the next few interviews that we have lined up, uh, if you are someone that’s struggling and you do need help, there are tons of resources.

We’ll put links up on our website. Uh, if, if you find yourself needing that help, that, that you can’t get from your, um, your built in support network, if you have one. Uh, so you can find that there, and you can find links to our show where you can subscribe and sign up for our newsletter and follow us on all the various social media channels.

That’s all available at our website, uh, where we’ll also have a brand new episode in about a week at Thanks so much for listening. See you, everyone. We know this podcast is amazing and does not seem to lack anything, but we do need a legal disclaimer, Jeremy and Zach are not doctors. They do not play them on the internet.

And even if they did play them on the internet, they would be really bad at it. Please consult your physician prior to implementing any changes that you heard on this podcast. The listener assumes that Jeremy and Zach do not know what they are talking about and that you will do your own research on the topics talked about on this podcast.

Karen McGregorProfile Photo

Karen McGregor

Founder of the Speaker Success Formula

Karen McGregor is an inspirational speaker motivating leaders to be powerful influencers through the integration of ancient wisdom teachings. She is a chaos to calm expert and a strategist in mastering the inner mystic with the outer activist, Karen supports individuals and teams to produce lasting change from the inside out.