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Fostering the Interconnectivity of Spirituality and Wellness – with Jason & Colleen Wachob

Guest Interview

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Hello beautiful souls! I’m excited to share my discussion with Jason and Colleen Wachob (founders of the MindBodyGreen blog, authors of The Joy of Well-being) as they share the insights they’ve gained on their spiritual and wellness journeys. Jason introduces his realization that every facet of our being is interconnected – mind, body, and soul. Meanwhile, Colleen encourages us to embrace our authentic selves amidst the overwhelming influx of information. They also leave us with quick takeaways on breathing, sleep, and a digital detox that can help you transform your life for the better. 

To learn more about the Wachobs and their work:
Their book The Joy of Well-being is sold at all major book retailers


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Julie Jancius (01:43): Welcome back to the Angels and Awakening Podcast. I’m your host and author Julie Jancius and friends we have on special guests today. I’m not really sure, like, I don’t normally get nervous in interviews, but I have just followed Jason and Coleen Wachob up since they really started the MindBodyGreen blog. And I’m just so excited. I’m like bursting out of my shell today. Thank you so much for being here.

Jason Wachob (02:15): Well, you’re very kind. Thank you so much. It’s an honor to be with you. We’re very flattered.

Coleen Wachob: Thank you.

Julie Jancius (02:22): And friends, if you don’t know, the MINDBODY Green blog is really this resource for how to live. How to live right. I started subscribing way back when Elle was just born. And you guys are like spiritual health journalists that have interviewed and talked to everybody. And you put together this amazing book based on the research that you’ve both done, the people that you’ve talked to over the years. It’s called The Joy of Well Being a Practical Guide to a Happy, Healthy and Long Life. And uh, we’ll put all the information in the show notes. But I just want to start with this question. So I know this is a lot to summarize, but what has been the most profound, life-changing information of just the work that you’ve done and where it’s brought you in your personal journeys?

Jason Wachob (03:16): If I were to summarize, it’s all connected. Mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and environmental well being. That’s why MINDBODY Green is one word and not three.

Coleen Wachob (03:25) : It’s all connected. And we both have very profound personal stories that created these inflection points in our life. I had a near catastrophic pulmonary embolism with showers of clots in my lungs. And one of our biggest wishes in writing this book and intentions is that we can help people listen to the whispers in their body, whether it’s a physical body, whether it’s a nervous system, so that they don’t have to get to that breakdown moment to have a breakthrough. And that’s my hope for so many of us who are listening or reading is that we can just better listen to those signs and signals from our body when our life is perhaps off calibration so that we can get it back into equilibrium.

Julie Jancius (04:09) : Yeah, I know, like, further on in the book, you touch on this, but true or false, you can heal your life.

Jason Wachob: True. Spoken like Louise Hay.

Coleen Wachob: True. Uh, yeah.

Coleen Wachob: Right.

Julie Jancius: How is this truth?

Coleen Wachob (04:22) : One of the hardest things in this whole journey of health? We give you the eight pillars in the joy of Well Being that we think can have a very profound impact on kind of how you live. But the hardest work is connecting with your authentic self. And in the book, we talk about being the CEO of your own health and well being and kind of however you take on that responsibility, however you choose to call it, that feels authentic to you, is ultimately the person who has this wonderful symphony of, uh, information out there. And we have a cacophony of information on social media, pros and cons. We all have access to so much information now, and it’s almost an overload. But how do you take all of this and then truly let the information, your intuition, your own understanding of your physical body be your own guide on your healing journey? 

(05:14) And I think so many of us, when we are at one of those low points, are looking for the very prescriptive do this, then do that, then do this. And having been on kind of like two profound healing journeys in my own life, it doesn’t exist. It ultimately has to come from within. And being connected and understanding, kind of like that responsibility that you have over your healing, I think is really the hardest part when you’re living really disconnected. There are some people who have lived a life connected, and that’s not a hard or profound thing. But for me, that was the hardest part, was getting in touch. And when people say, listen to your body, you’re like, what does that mean?

Jason Wachob (05:55): So we do believe in that information is empowerment. And you need to be the CEO of your own healthcare. And to do so, you need to be educated. But I also think we think you need to be aware and you need to be open. That sometimes healing may occur via a surgery or a medication or maybe a supplement or maybe meditation or breath work or prayer or walking or the gym. And we tend to live in a world where a lot of people have a view that, uh, I’ll never touch one of these things I just mentioned. I will take any medication, but I’m not going to step foot in the gym, or I’ll spend every day in the gym but won’t touch medication, or I won’t do– And like all these things, I think having the openness and awareness that all of these things can work, none of them are perfect. And it’s alchemy and ultimately, you know what’s best for you. But it all starts with education and realizing that it is all connected.

Julie Jancius (06:53): All right, I’ve got two thoughts that I kind of want to merge together here for a next question. There’s so much out there, and obviously, spirituality is not a fad, right? Like, this is who we are as souls first and foremost. But is there a worry or concern that there’s so much information out there, so much for people to try? And oftentimes– I had a daughter who was sick when she was first born, and we were just in and out of the hospital constantly. And it was like every new doctor that we came upon, there was hope. And could this be the person who has the information that’s going to save our kiddo? Are people looking for that one pill, that one magic thing that’s just going to change them? Where do we stop that mindset and really see it as a journey, not just a destination?

Coleen Wachob (07:45): Yeah, I mean, that was a big part of why we didn’t call the book The Joy of Wellness and because we wanted to shift the conversation to a world that is more about the journey that is full of, uh, weathering the inevitable highs and lows that life will bring us. And when we look at wellness right now, we do see a lot of people who are looking for that magic pill. And then on the other sides of the spectrum, we see they tend to be affluent, biohacking males who are trying super health forward things. We have some of that going on in wellness with people trying the latest Lymphatic facial, whatever it may be. But I think a lot of these keys to living a well lived life, they don’t have to be expensive, they don’t have to take a lot of time, because none of us have time and resources. And really focusing it more about the journey than reaching an optimization or being in peak wellness, then everything’s fine. We know that life is going to have ups and downs and how do we better prepare, uh, our bodies and minds to weather the inevitable storms that come our way?

Julie Jancius (08:57): I love that. So you talk about this in the book, too, but I’m wondering if you could share it with our listeners. What does it mean to the both of you to live a good life?

Jason Wachob (09:07): So I think for me, it’s a couple of things. And this definitely changed after having children. First and foremost, I want to be a good dad. I’m not perfect. I’m trying. Sometimes those moments are challenging, specifically when you have children who don’t want to sleep. And I’ll leave it at that. Uh, every parent’s experience that, uh, so First and foremost, I want to be a good dad, want to be a good husband, partner, son. It’s family first and then serving our purpose. How are we serving God? How are we living our lives? Are we? Yes. I have personal goals. Like, I want to be more fit and have healthy levels of cardiovascular health because that’s something that runs in my family, and there’s the individual component. But I think it’s definitely changed with children and that I think we’re more focused on them and being good parents and thinking about the world that they’re going to have to live on a lot longer than us and what we’re doing. And so how do we become– and I think we’ve always been mission driven because you don’t start a company like MindBodyGreen without a greater purpose. So we’re blessed with purpose. And I think it’s really that m.

Coleen Wachob (10:17): Sorry, I thought you were done. Um, but I think it’s such an important question. And we borrow a lot from Arthur Brooks here in the book, and he coins the phrase this personal mission statement. And we love that idea because we do help it think it helps you better conceptualize what is a good life. And that’s the hardest thing, right? My definition of a good life might be someone else’s nightmare. And also realizing that as we grow, as we evolve, as we go through the seasons and decades of life, our definition of a good life is going to change. So how do we check in with that personal mission statement and ask ourselves some of the key questions which we go through in the joy of well being? And one of the most fundamental of them is what is it that brings you joy? And there were definitely times in my life if you were to ask me that, I don’t think I would give you a very good response. Maybe it was getting drinks after work, which is great. I love socializing with colleagues, but if that’s the only joy in life, it’s probably missing some other key ingredients. Are you doing things that marry what you love with what you’re good at? And that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be in your job. I think we put a lot of pressure on people to think your job is where you find your purpose. Could be after work, volunteering on the weekends. It could be through your kids. And is it about achieving or is it about finding joy and helping others? 

(11:35) So those are some of the prompts that I think are valuable and useful to help people cultivate this idea of what a good life is. And it kind of goes back to what we were talking about in the last question. The hardest part is you have to define it yourself and it evolves and changes. And if you don’t continue to check in with yourself, one, uh, of the very few silver linings of the past couple of years is I think it did give people so much time for self reflection and for thinking of, okay, does this environment still serve me? Does this city still serve me? So that people did take those narrow moments in time to make big changes, to help them get closer to a better life.

Julie Jancius: Yeah. You talk about and I had never heard this until your book, but the Hedonic Principle, I wondered if you could explain that to people and how they can stop running from one want or desire to the next.

Jason Wachob (12:22): Look, I think the Hedonic treadmill is very real. I think we’ve all been there. Uh, there’s this thing, and you want this thing, and you say, oh, I’ll be X or Y once I get this thing, usually like, I’ll be happier. I just want this thing and everything Will be better, whether it’s a house Or a car or an achievement or what have you. And what research shows is it doesn’t work. This is a hard one because I think it’s in your face specifically today in social media, instagram is pretty bad. And I think we like the idea of just really trying to focus internally on what really brings you joy and get to the why. Why do you really want that thing? Or what are you looking to achieve? I think ultimately, we’re all searching for happiness, but to kind of drill down into the why, the intention, why do you want to get more fit? Well, for me, it’s like I want to be around, want to be around for my kids or grandkids, and there are certain things I need to do. But then also, my kids are young now. Well, I don’t want to work all the time about being around for my kids when I’m an absentee dad right now. And so you start to think about where you are in time and what’s really important and really drilling down with what’s the intention, what’s your why?

Julie Jancius (13:30): Yeah, you use a couple of words in that chapter, too. You talk about the happiness 401 and diversifying your happiness portfolio. And I was like, these two are just genius. These– amazing talk about those two things, happiness 401K.

Coleen Wachob (13:48): Overall, it’s just this mindset of we, um, spend so much time thinking about our business KPIs, our financial KPIs, how do we start making those same deposits into the things that are going to bring us joy with the same amount of mind share as we do our business or our finances?

Jason Wachob: And what we found and the research is strong here is the better approach Is to find happiness in the mundane. Uh, the joy of that great cup of coffee, or the walk in the park, or the kiss from your child. When you get used to the big thing, the big celebration, the big party, the car, the big thing, you almost become numb to the little things and sets you up. You see all these people who are very wealthy and having midlife crises. We see it all the time. It’s like that’s become they’re on that treadmill, and they’re not making via the 401K like these little deposits. It compounds over time. And I think that’s problematic. And again, no judgment. I see how it happens.

Coleen Wachob: Yeah. And how do we get back to that? What is it that brings you joy?

Julie Jancius (14:54): Well, and there’s an element of joy that’s just savoring, right? Like, just savoring the moment when it comes to the work that you’ve done in your lives and the work that we’re trying to do here on the podcast, there’s an element of, uh, just working with so many different creative, channelers people who are doing just so much work within this world. And I think it’s easy for us, maybe, to see clear as spiritual journalists that you could be doing all of the things, quote, unquote, right, and still feel moments of down or sadness throughout your day. And that not every moment is this high, magnificent, joy filled moment, but people who aren’t living their lives doing this work. And they might see it from this perspective of, well, what am I doing wrong? But when you’re working with all the experts, you see you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s very, very clear. How can people accept that more within their own lives? That you could be doing everything right, you could try all of the things, you could do all of the stuff, but you’re still not going to be happy. 24/7

Jason Wachob (16:03): Well, one thing they should know ss we know a lot of the experts, and a lot of them aren’t happy. And also a lot of them have their own flaws. And if you talk to them one on one, they’ll admit it. And so I think there is this expectation, unfortunately, set by social media, that everyone’s living a shiny, happy life. Twenty four, seven, and that’s completely unrealistic. I think some of our advice for discourse online is, I think, holds true to the self. Be curious, why is this happening? Be empathetic and be compassionate. And I think that’s a good rule for communicating on, uh, social media, but also a good rule for how we treat ourselves.

Coleen Wachob (16:42): And I think it is about life is hard. There’s joyful times of it, and there’s really hard, stressful times. And we have to keep that, uh, connection to the something bigger and the spiritual side of the why, of why we’re doing all of these hard things. And I think it’s one of our favorite pillars in the joy of well being because it forces us to get outside of the self and our own struggle. And one of the experts we reference within the book is Dr. Lisa Miller, who had this fascinating work. She’s actually based here in Miami, and then she works at Columbia  University as well. When that the mother and child were high in spirituality, the child was 80% more protected against depression. And extra layer of this was it wasn’t just during childhood. That effect helped protect the child when they grew into an adult and throughout the adult years. And of course, we can kind of replace mother with father, caretaker, grandparent figure. But it’s this idea that we have to embrace the bigger why and the something bigger. And she has such a generous definition of spirituality, where it can be religion, it can be nature, it can be volunteering, a walk in the woods. But how do we kind of step back from all this and get to the why?

Jason Wachob (17:57): And I think sometimes with the why I found this challenging is sometimes there’s a why and you’re praying and, you’re know, what’s the lesson here? What’s the takeaway? What’s the journey? What’s the silver lining? And something I stole from Joel Osteen is sometimes you have to put things in the, I don’t know, drawer and close it. Because we’ve had things in our lives. Some of them have had happy endings and some of them haven’t. And that’s hard to do when you’re on this journey, because you’re always searching, like, what’s the meaning? What’s the purpose? What’s the lesson? How can I grow from this? And sometimes there’s no good answer. Sometimes you just kind of have to lock it away. And that’s difficult.

Julie Jancius (18:35): I love that. That’s a great explanation. We’ve had Dr. Lisa Miller over on here and on the kids podcast a couple of times. She’s fabulous. You talk about in your book that spirituality can really impact your health. How can it?

Jason Wachob (18:51): I think it’s this idea. This is where connection and purpose are interconnected. I think this is a big one, but I’ll segue to one of my favorite studies, the Roseto study, which is in the book. And this is about connection, but it’s like a cousin of spirituality and have, like, a belief in something else. So Roseto was this small town in rural Pennsylvania in the 1950s. 1950s is when heart disease arrives in America except for Roseto, men under 65 had  half the incidence of the nation, and men under 55, no heart disease absent. So they’re like, what are these people doing? This is amazing. Are they keto? Are they vegan? Are they doing NAD injections? And obviously, those things didn’t exist when they took, uh, a deeper look. These people were extraordinarily connected, at least before I go there. They were doing all the wrong things in terms of diet. They were eating meatballs, pasta, uh, drinking, smoking, everything, basically, you shouldn’t do. But when they took a deeper look, because that obviously wasn’t the answer. These people had tremendous purpose. They were spiritual. Their connections were unbelievable. Multigenerational living was paramount. All the partying was done in the context of celebrations and parades. These were just the most spiritual connected, happiest group of people and were essentially immune to heart disease, even though they were doing all these terrible things from, like, a diet perspective. And then in the 1960s, the community broke up, people started to move away, and then heart disease caught up at the national average. And I think that study is just– I think we talk a lot about nutrition and exercise, and they are foundational, and a lot of Dan Buetner’s great work on, um, Blue Zones will show the same thing. Like, spirituality is just core to your well being. If you’re not connected, if you don’t have a spiritual practice, you are just not well. Like if you want to live a longer life, the data is clear – Spirituality is a critical component.

Julie Jancius: Yeah. Isn’t it something like, people live eight years longer if they have that purpose?

Coleen Wachob (20:52): There’s, you know, some great research in the book that we reference from Marta Zaraska that shows– we talk so much about nutrition and movement in health and well being. And don’t get us wrong, those are foundational things that are important. But she references– Zoraska– these studies where exercise lowers your mortality risk by 20% to 40%. Having a good diet is more or less the same at 30%. But remarkably, being in a romantic relationship, having friends and being connected to your community can lower your mortality rate by 45%. So when people are truly looking for those needle movers, it does come back to– Connection is a cousin of spirituality in so many ways, and that’s the place to really focus.

Jason Wachob (21:40): And then if you look at the loneliness epidemic, 24% of young adults under the age of 30 are lonely. One in seven men don’t have a single friend. One in ten women don’t have a single friend. So why is this so bad? There was a study out of BYU that looked at premature mortality around loneliness and compared it to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and lacking real social connection. Being lonely is twice as worse as having six drinks a day. That’s 42 drinks a week. Three times as worse as being inactive physically and four times as worse as being obese. And so, wow, being lonely is four times as worse as being obese. 42 drinks a week, twice as worse. I think the proof is in the pudding. We need to be connected. We need a purpose.

Julie Jancius: Yeah. And I think you say somewhere in the book, if you don’t have community, make your own community.

Coleen Wachob (22:33): Yeah. And I think there has to be, again, an intention around all of it. And one of the things as adults, we recognize and realize is it’s really hard to make friends. You have to reach out. You have to be intentional about it. It’s not like maybe growing up in school or college where wow, there’s all these great people and it’s really easy. It’s particularly hard on men. And one recent Wall Street Journal article that I loved was showing how women are treating getting together IRL as, uh, like a new KPI in their life, putting it into the calendar and being thoughtful around it. If you don’t know where to start. It kind of goes back to that question of what is it that brings you joy? Oftentimes when there’s shared interests, communities, whether it be art or pickleball or volunteering, you’re probably going to find your people and your tribe amongst this shared values.

Julie Jancius (24:44): Which is so fascinating because Spirit’s been channeling through this idea building network of spiritual women around the world. So we just put it out there and we had 250 people raise their hand and we’ve been forming these spiritual communities. We’ve got them over in Spain, Germany, the UK. Ireland, Australia, New Zealand. Yeah, it’s really, really fun. So you can actually build your own communities and it’s working.

When it comes to the work that you’ve done too, you just have such insight into. Well, I’ll start here. Coleen, I think you say in the book that you have to have like a BS meter when it comes to all of the different people who are out there because some are charlatans and some are really trying to do the work. How do you both– because you encounter so many different people, what is that BS monitor within yourself that you so.

Coleen Wachob (25:45): You know to answer that question? It’s somewhat in the way in which we close the book, which is with the words of Bruce Lee, where we really encourage people– The only thing that we’re rigid about is being flexible. So when you see someone who’s speaking in absolutes using the words, I only do this, this always works. Those absolutes without the right amount of context, without the example, are usually a flag. And in The Joy of Well Being, you reference this Harvard study where people, as they move away in the US from organized religion, are putting that same sense of tribalism into their well being routines. And the way in which the algorithms work, which Jason can elaborate on, it incentivizes people to be very narrow and to have a really strong belief. Even if the science that evolves may question it. That’s not the message that people are portraying. So whenever you see someone who’s a little too rigid in their belief, it’s a black.

Jason Wachob (26:43): And I think curiosity approaching any conversation with curiosity, empathy and compassion is key. But to build off of what Coleen said, I think whenever the opinions are so strong and they don’t reference data, or they don’t take into consideration like bio individuality because we’re all unique, those tend to be flags. I think over the course of over a decade, we built up kind of these muscles where it’s an instinct. This person’s good over here, maybe stretching over there also. That’s a problem. People tend to stretch outside of their field. They may be really good and best in the world at this one thing, but, uh, confidence builds and they start to maybe veer out to other issues they’re not as strong on. And they still have the same level of confidence. I think people’s same level of confidence on everything. That’s a flag. You always want to hear people maybe, well, I’m not an expert on this, or I think, or maybe but, uh, everything is spoken with the same level of confidence. Those are tough. But the bigger problem in media is we reward extremes. 

(27:45) Wharton did a study of the New York Times most emailed list, essentially like the most widely read articles in the world. And they classified them by emotion to see if there were any patterns. And the top three emotions were anxiety. On anger. Anger was number one. Anger increased virality by 34%. In other words, if someone were to read an article and that article caused them to be angry, it was more likely to be read. We don’t think The New York Times is unique. This is media. This is instagram, if you think about it, I’ll ask your listeners, I bet everyone could think of something to piss off everyone on their feed right now. We could all do it within seconds. But if, you know, how do you create awe? I need to really inspire someone. That requires a lot more thought and effort and it rewards extremes. I think having a very nuanced, balanced, compassionate, empathetic point of view doesn’t really get the attention. And so if you’re someone out there who’s trying to build your brand or a business. Unfortunately, it pays to incite anger and to have an extreme point of view. And not back off from it. We’re very polarized, and we’re hopeful the world will change here.

Julie Jancius (28:50): Yeah, hopeful over here as well when it comes to– I think it’s dr. David Hawkins has a part, an opening in one of his books where he says, you could have tried all of these things. And he just keeps rambling on for, like, four pages. This and this and this and this. Is there any fear that you both have that people will get frustrated with the wellness community, the spiritual community? Okay, I’ve tried all these things. It’s not working for me. I still have this disconnect. I’m still sad at moments in my life and throw it all away.

Coleen Wachob: Yeah, I think it’s happening.

Jason Wachob: So why behind the book? I think, look, the big objections to our world, people say, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the financial resources, and I don’t know if it’s going to work. Is there real science here? We’re in this business, and this is our life’s work, our mission, our purpose. And we started to feel the same way. And we have access to everybody. And where the space has evolved in such a positive way is that so many of the practices, protocols, and modalities actually point to low or no cost practices, minimal time, and their science. We talk about this book like, the 80 20. We’re confident because we are individuals, and if you want to dial it up a notch, it will require more time and resources. But we can get you 80% there. We’ve seen everything. Just, like, bring it back to the Basics, and we can get you there Because we totally get it. There’s way too much noise. No one has the time or resources to do all of the stuff.

Coleen Wachob (30:27): Yeah. And one of our friends, nutritionist JJ. Virgin, says you have to bake the cake before you can think about the frosting. And that kind of is a good parallel for our conversation right now of, like, the cake is all the fundamentals, the eight pillars, the things that are really just how we should live. And the frosting is everything that gets a lot of air time on social media. Uh, tools. Some of them might be valid. And sometimes I love a little frosting in my life, don’t get me wrong. But when you’re not in this world and you kind of haven’t thought enough about the fundamentals or had the time to incorporate them, it gets all the airplay, and it’s not the most effective. So I share the frustration. Totally get it.

Jason Wachob: That’s a big why behind the book.

Julie Jancius (31:10): Yeah, I love it. So I know that you go through and if people purchase the book, they can really understand that 80%, but if you could give them some quick takeaways of, here’s what’s going to get you to that 80%. What would that be?

Jason Wachob: So we start with breath. Uh, and that was intentional. We’re doing it all the time. If we’re not, we have a problem. And most of us are doing it wrong. And we breathe 17 to 30,000 times a day and we’re doing it wrong in that we’re mouth breathing. We should be breathing through our nose. And the downstream effects are incredible. Everything from supporting your immune system, filtering out the bad stuff, to being great for cardiovascular health. There are downstream effects for sleep and then anxiety. So many of us suffer from anxiety. When you’re breathing through your nose, you’re activating your parasympathetic nervous system, your rest and digest. That actually has real world implications for people who are anxious. So that’s a huge one.

Coleen Wachob (32:01): Yeah, I mean, I put sleep right up there and I’m so grateful that sleep is part of the well being conversation and that we’re no longer glamorizing kind of, oh, I just slept for 3 hours last night. It’s such a fundamental part of well being. If you don’t have vegetables for a couple of weeks, if you miss the gym or walking, you’re going to be okay. But if you don’t sleep for a week, you could end up really unable to survive, never mind thrive. And there are some fundamentals of being thoughtful around your caffeine, curfew or the time at which you sunset caffeine, keeping a room cold 65 degrees, being mindful of the effect of social media. And then there’s also this bigger process for the body. One of our sleep experts in the book, Dr. Michael Bruce, says your body knows how to sleep, you just have to get out of its way. And when you’re in the midst of a horrific sleep cycle, those words are very frustrating. But they very much ring true of how do we get back to the natural rhythm of rising and waking. Great study done in 2017 at Boulder that put people back camping and had them rise with the sun and set with the sun as well. And they were able to reset their natural melatonin within just a couple of days. So how do we be thoughtful around these things, but not to a point where it creates too much anxiety, where we take the joy out of everything? So one of the things we’re very honest about in the book is that even though every sleep expert would tell you not to do it, we love watching TV in bed. It brings us a lot of joy. You can’t let the fear and anxiety around sleep get to a place where it sucks the joy out of it too.

Julie Jancius: Amazing. When it comes to the future and kind of looking at where we’re headed as a collective, what would you like to see us do? And what are the pitfalls you’d like to see us avoid?

Coleen Wachob (33:48): I’m so grateful that this conversation around connection is becoming more prominent. There is a massive mental health epidemic right now. And when you look at all of the markers of well being, even with all this wellness, we’re not doing well, right? It’s a 400 billion dollar industry growing 5% a year. Only 12% of us would say that we’re really happy right now, which is the lowest since people have been tracking that statistic. So I’m so happy that this conversation around connection, around community is getting more airtime. Jason and I wish that there was just as much of a focus on social connection influencers as there are fitness and nutrition influencers. So I’m really grateful that this conversation is getting center stage. And I think that this focus on getting back to the basics, getting back to the fundamentals, that’s going to be the big needle movers in getting us to a place where we’re living to your earlier questions- a good life.

Julie Jancius: When it comes to that, so many of us, and we talk about this, but Spirit is saying to ask you guys in particular because you’ve got some insight, there’s so much to do as entrepreneurs, you can be on your phones all day long because it’s so interconnected that way. What hacks or tricks do you use to really stay offline and really either focus, get what you need done, or just center yourself and be in your own energy?

Coleen Wachob: I think first we have to realize that we are all at varying levels of addiction with our phones. And there are some people who can turn it off, there are some people who can’t. And for me, I know that it’s a source of stress, so I have to sleep with my phone in a different room. And I think we just all need to be aware of kind of what our relationship with our phone is like and have those honest self conversations and then being intentional about creating space and experiences that don’t involve a phone and actually restrict it. 

So, I love playing pickleball. It’s great, it’s fun. I know everyone who plays Pickleball is a little too obsessed with pickleball these days and there’s lots of funny memes about that. So you can’t play pickleball with your phone. I love it. And how do you find whatever it is that brings you joy, that also enables you to disconnect? I love going to the beach with my girls. Again. I can’t be in the water with my phone. And I think about that a lot of like how much am I enjoying this more because it doesn’t involve my phone? And I know I get joy and pleasure from both pickleball and the beach. And also like the secondary benefit of not having my phone.

Jason Wachob: I do a couple of things. One, in the heat of the moment where I’m upset about something, I try to create space between the stimulus and the response. As human beings, we have that ability to create space. Other species do not and I found that the greater the space between stimulus and response, the better response for me. And I think that’s always a work in progress that helps with the everyday anxiety. Running a business, prayer, meditation, breath work. My go to is nasal breathing to kind of calm me down. I’ll often check my heart rate to see I kind of know where it is, where it should be. If I’m sitting, if it starts to spike, I’ll be like, okay, I’m getting a little worked up here. Walking. We think walking is like the most underrated exercise for cognitive, cardiovascular health. We should all be walking more. It is just so underrated. If I don’t get 10,000 steps, I’m a grumpy dinosaur. Our belief is work it into your day. We have a Role less than five flights. We take the stairs, do calls, walking, do a zoom walking. If you can always be moving, you don’t necessarily have to say, I’m going to carve out 2 hours and get my steps in. Just try to always be moving. And those are the practices. And I like going to the gym and working out. I don’t go for more than 30 minutes. Usually I’m quick, but I need to get something in. And I try to break up my day, but I try to always be in motion.

Julie Jancius: Yeah, well, that’s a good point too. You know all of the things because you’ve interviewed all of the experts. When it comes to your personal lives, is it the same every single day? You’re like, okay, here’s my checklist. I’m doing this, this, and this. Or is it different for you every day? You just tune in and this is what my body, this is what my mind, this is what my spirit needs right here, right now.

Coleen Wachob: It really comes down to life stage. And because of the life stage that we’re at as entrepreneurs and parents, we just don’t have that ability to kind of pre program how the day is going to run between getting kids to school. The morning is pretty much off limits, and so a lot of it is dependent on kind of what our body needs and what the space in the day allows for. But I think the idea of an elaborate morning routine is not feasible with so many life stages, which is why we really gravitate towards the words of integration. And how does this become something that’s integrated into your daily life and not this extra thing that we have to calendar and schedule and look, I look forward to being at the life stage when I can go back to hour and a half yoga classes and can do all the things. It’s just not my reality, and I’m not angry about it right now or upset. It just has to be a little bit more efficient and a little bit more integrated to make sure that I stay well.

Jason Wachob: National Quitters Day at the gym this year was January 13. We lasted 13 days. Why? Well, if I were to venture a guest, I would say we set unrealistic expectations, and then life, work, family happens, and then we fall off the wagon. I also think that for many people, they don’t enjoy it. And if you don’t like doing something, you’re not probably going to do it. When push comes to shove, I don’t like running. The last time I ran was the last game I played in college and 25 years ago. If you see me running, call the police. I’m being chased. I’m in trouble. But I love walking, so I make walking part of my day. And to Colleen’s point, it’s about integration. It’s not about adding. And I think everyone should take an inventory of their lifestyle and find the things that are good for them, that bring them joy and integrate them into their life and have a foundation. Like, what are those non negotiable? Everyone’s got different non negotiables. For me, it’s walking. For someone else, it may be breath work or prayer. Make that part a, uh, non negotiable and try to fit it in throughout your day. We were big believers, too. Like, sometimes you can do a couple of minutes there, a couple of minutes there. When you’re busy with kids, family, it’s often impossible to carve out a 90 minutes block or hour block. Do the couple of minutes here and there. Build it into your commute, build it into your chores.There’s a way you can do it amazing.

Julie Jancius: When it comes to joy, and this is probably the first question I should have asked. What does joy feel like to you? How do you experience it?

Coleen Wachob: For me, it’s one of those states that you kind of know when you’re in it, when you lose track of time, when you get back to I look at the gigglingness that our girls have around certain activities and toys and practices where they’re just, like, in the zone and can’t be disturbed. What is it that where you kind of lose track of time, where you don’t want to look at your phone, and where you feel just this really pure emotion of happiness running through you.

Coleen Wachob: In the flow with deep contentment.

Julie Jancius: I got to tell you, as I was reading the book, and I’m in the process of writing my own book, so you know how you’re just in that state of, uh, channeling and getting these downloads of information, but something really came together with reading your book, where I thought to myself, this is how you find fulfillment. This is how you find fulfillment, and it’s not a destination. I think a lot of people think of fulfillment as this end all, be all. I’m just going to enjoy it when I’m in my elderly years. But if you really read through the book, fulfillment seems to me to be an emotion that you can feel in your everyday life. And it seems very closely tied to joy.

Coleen Wachob: I love that.

Jason Wachob: And again, we’re believers in the little things. I think when you start seeking for. Those big bang moments, you get on The Hedonic treadmill and I think you also become numb and you’re always searching for that next big adrenaline rush or next big thing. And I think ultimately that leads to unhappiness.

Julie Jancius: I think you’re so right. How do you get your girls to savor the little moments? Or what are you imparting to know?

Coleen Wachob: That’s definitely a work in progress. And we actually got to connect with Dr. Lisa Miller for coffee this morning. So you can we were asking her this. You can bet what we were asking her. It’s like, how do we let them, um, know about their special gifts that they have in the universe? How do we let them understand that they have the most abundance of love from their family, from their parents? And how do we make those lessons very paramount and that they have this group of, um, cheerleaders, whether it’s their teachers or their coaches, who are helping them bring out their special gifts to.

Jason Wachob: Paint a picture of what that looks like. Our four year old says, God is in my heart, just unprompted. And the six year old says, Why don’t I see God?

Coleen Wachob: So we have two very willing, strong willed young women who have very different worldviews.

Julie Jancius: I love it. That’s so beautiful. Will you tell everybody where they can find you, the book, your work, where they can sign up for, uh, the blog?

Jason Wachob: Sure. So the book is at every major retailer, and you can go to thejoyofwellbeing.com, uh you can find us on social media at Jasonwacab, at, uh, Colleen Wakab Wachob. And then you can go to MindBodyGreen.com or the Mindbodygreen podcast, which I host, but, uh, we’re everywhere.

Julie Jancius: I love it. Thank you so much for being here.

Coleen Wachob: Oh, this was so fun. Thank you so much.

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