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Q & A with Mark Divine

By December 14, 2021 No Comments

Today, Commander Divine is joined by his friend Amy Jurkowitz, who reads listener questions posted to the @realmarkdivine Instagram account. Mark shares his perspective on important issues from breathwork and self-awareness, to dealing with toxic teammates and bullies.

Key Takeaways:

Q: How do you turn the volume down on the demotivating voice in your head? @summa_der_hamma

A: Our thoughts do not define who we are—Mark explains how to observe our thoughts without judgment, allowing us to eventually disidentify from these thoughts. We become empowered when we realize that we are not our thoughts, just the person thinking them. 

Q: What training is most effective for crucible events? @be_unbeatable_

A: Training for crucible events starts with the why—you must first have a clear vision of why you are undertaking this challenge. You will need to draw on that vision to keep going. Training itself involves doing work that is extremely uncomfortable. Run with a weighted vest. Drag things. Push things. Do slow pull-ups and pull-ups with weight. The most important skill to develop is durability. It takes about nine months to a year to train for these incredibly intense events. 

Q: As a leader, how do you deal with a hostile/toxic team member? @acedaddyjohnson

A: Working with difficult people is inevitable. It is important to call in a troublesome team member gently, but firmly. Sometimes they are unaware that their behavior is toxic. They should be given detailed criticism about their unacceptable behavior and the expectations of all team members. If they are unable to meet these expectations, it is important that they be removed from the team to keep the team healthy and focused on the mission.  

Q: Any tips or advice for breathing? @charlesb_1503

A: Best practices for breathing are, “low and slow”There are many types of breath training and awareness. For most people, simply breathing in through the nose, slowly to a count of five, and exhaling to a count of five is the best place to start. Just don’t forget to focus on the low, which is using your diaphragm and breathing deep into your belly.

Q: How to stand up to bullies? @nccfitsharma 

A: It’s important to realize that bullies are wounded individuals suffering from low self-esteem. The first method of dealing with bullies is to ignore them and not feed the negative energy. If this doesn’t work, try showering them in unconditional love. If the first two methods do not end the bullying, it is important to stand up to a bully. Sometimes we may need to enlist the help of others, but never back down to a bully or they will continue to victimize you.

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Mark Divine  0:03  

Hey, welcome to the show. I’m Mark Divine and this is the unbeatable mind show. On this show, we discover and dive in and discuss just what makes the world’s most inspirational, compassionate and resilient leaders so fearless. We talk in depth to people from all walks of life, such as martial arts grandmasters, meditative monks, CEOs, military leaders, Stoic philosophers, and proud survivors, and more. Each episode turns our guests experiences into actionable insights that you can learn from following us to lead a life filled with compassion and courage. We’re coming to the new year. With that comes a new launch for my brand, Mark Divine. mid January is our target date. To change the name of the podcast to the Mark Divine show, we continue to have incredible guests on the show giving us all a glimpse of their stories, insights, leadership, prowess, and resilience. Also, I’m excited to announce the launch of a new weekly newsletter called divine inspiration. Every week, we’ll send out a short read on what has inspired us, ranging from the serious to the uplifting to the entertaining. And lastly, you’ll see a new site at Mark Divine calm, bringing us a powerful new branding across all my platforms. I’m super excited about what’s ahead. And I’m happy to have you on the journey with me. Today, we’re gonna do something a bit differently. We put a bulletin out on Instagram at real Mark Divine, and ask our followers to send in questions that they wanted me to answer. We received a ton, all of them really good. So thanks for that. Thanks for sending them in. Today, we’re going to answer as many as we have time for and my friend Amy is going to help me out today. Here we go. Amy, how you doing? All right. How you doing, Mark? Yeah, I’m good. Thanks for doing this. Sure. I’ve always wanted to have a co host, by the way.


Amy Jurkowitz  1:48  

Well, you got one for today.


Mark Divine  1:49  

We got one today. Yeah. And we got


Amy Jurkowitz  1:51  

some great questions that came in and so many, it was hard to choose which one? So we’re just gonna go through a few of these. Here’s our first question. And it’s from somebody with the handle at Summa der hammer. And I don’t know if this is a woman or a man. But the question is, how do you turn the volume down on the demotivating voice in your head,


Mark Divine  2:13  

right. So a thought pops in your head and you think that you created the thought, but it might be the same thought you had yesterday, in the day before the day before. And estimates are that we have like 60,000 of these thoughts a day. And 80% of them are the same thoughts, these patterns that occur in our lives, and someone says something, and, you know, this pattern kind of emerges. It’s like a script, or someone that comes into your life. And that script emerges, or you’ve just got your patterns throughout the day. And so we just kind of repeat these patterns day in and day out. It’s like Groundhog Day. And we’re completely merged, thinking, Oh, these thoughts are who I am, because I’m having these thoughts. And you don’t recognize that these patterns have been kind of planted there. Some deliberately, like consumer marketing, and which you know, Amy, I know you know a lot about there’s deliberate planning of that to the repetition of brands and the repetition of consumer marketing messaging. And also, every little domain has this version of it, whoever controls the narrative controls, the individual or the population that hasn’t done the work of self awareness to be able to separate their identity from their thoughts. If our thoughts are demotivated, and we’re merged with them, then you have no chance of separating from those or turning the volume down in those demotivating thoughts. You were literally asleep to them. So the training practice of mindful awareness is to basically slow down and literally stop what you’re doing. And to simply examine the thoughts from the perspective of the observer. Now the first level of this, we’ll call them creating a metacognitive kind of partition in your brain. If you imagine your brain I’m not talking about the whole mind now. But your brain being like a computer, there are some elements of it that have like, metaphorically, computer like qualities. Now you can take the computer of your brain, and you can split it into two different hard drives. And it actually is, so you had the left hemisphere, which is the thinker and analyzer, and then the right hemisphere hard drive, which is the contextual awareness, which you can then set up shop as the observer. And this takes a little bit of practice, but it’s not that hard to do. So when you begin this practice of thinking about your thinking, that’s what we’re doing. We’re setting up shop in the right hemisphere, the right hard drive, and we’re saying, okay, here I am. Now, I’m going to look over there to lefty, and I’m going to say what thoughts are rising right now? What thoughts are Am I having right now? Or what emotions are rising? What emotions Am I having, and you develop the skill to create some space between the thoughts and the emotions? And that’s really powerful because two things happen one, with that space, you can now have a pause between the arising of the thought and your reaction to it, both internal or external, you know, for instance of an anger thought arises. And typically that reaction is to lash out. Now you have some space because you’re observing it from right hemisphere and you’re saying, Oh, well, there’s that anger because Joe just said something really mean to me, and normally I would lash out at them either verbally or with my fingers. even. And now, because I’m watching it from a little bit of distance, I can actually insert a pause, and then that pause, I have a choice. And I can choose a different reaction or non reaction to do nothing, and just watch it and wait for this energy to pass. So that’s the first thing that happens. The second thing that happens, Amy is you over time, this doesn’t take too long, you know, a few months of really dedicated practice, you begin to dis identify with the thoughts entirely, and you start to recognize, wait a minute, this part of me that’s witnessing or observing here is the real me and those thoughts are actually they’re just thoughts. They’re not me. And so you stop identifying with your thoughts. And I think that’s probably the number one tool or trick, if you will, to turn down the volume on negative thoughts is to stop identifying with them, and to create some space between them. And then, you know, literally, you can almost look at a knob and you can turn it up or down however you want. This is how to really manage emotions, right? Cuz you’re gonna have emotions, there’s no emotionless human being unless they’ve completely suppressed it. And they’re walking around like a zombie. And a lot of people have that going on. But even the Dalai Lama has negative emotions arise, he’s just separated from he doesn’t identify with them, and he doesn’t react to them, it just lets them pass on the metaphor. That’s really nice. For this one, there’s two that I love. One is when you develop this skill, you kind of like the mountain and your thoughts and emotions are like clouds just passing by in the sky, you’re just observing them. And you’re immovable, like a mountain is immovable, no matter how loud they are, they’re not affecting you. And so you get to decide how you’re going to respond to those thoughts and emotions. And the other one, which is even nicer, I think is, your mind becomes like, the depth of the ocean. And the thoughts and emotions that you have every day are just the ripple, you know, the waves on the top of the ocean. And you’re observing them from that depth, and that depth is calm, it’s peaceful, you have a lot of equanimity down there, and you’re not gripped in the storm. Even if there’s a massive hurricane going on up there. It’s still just calm where you are, you’re not attached to all that. And you’re not identifying with that hurricane. So you get to turn it down and manage things much more effectively. With that perspective.


Amy Jurkowitz  7:03  

You’re so deep. I mean, I always call that demotivating voice, my inner critic, and I name that inner critic, Ethel. And I’m like, Oh, come here, you’re gone. Get out of here.


Mark Divine  7:15  

Well, you know, that is an important tool to manage negativity in real time. And unbeatable mind, we have a process that we call, it’s an acronymi WORM. And this works. So you’ve created this metacognitive split, you’re very smart woman. So you’re able to observe when Ethel arises. And then what you basically say is, oh, I’ve observed Ethel and she’s being negative right now. And so you’re basically directing Ethel to sit down and shut up, right? You’re not welcome here. And right now, in this situation. The funny thing about your brain is when you tell it to do something, it complies. But as you’ve noticed, probably Amy is Ethel tends to want to come back again. And again, because she’s been trained to do that. And so you got to keep doing this process. So this is only a temporary band aid. And so the longer term processes do the deep self awareness and to create that more deeper observational witnessing quality, where Ethel might poke her head, but she’s not getting any energy at all. Because the thing about the witness interdict redirect, that’s the worm and the Maintain process. When you shout at Ethel to get out of the way, you’re giving ethyl energy. But when you’re witnessing Ethel, and she’s there, and you don’t give her any energy, eventually, she just dries up and goes away because she’s not getting fed. And you’re not giving that energy to her. The way we would say this and unbeatable mind as we witness whatever it is coming up. And if we don’t want it, if it’s negative, if it’s destructive, if it’s distracting, and you’re trying to focus, you interdict it with a powerful statement like you have. And then you redirect it to that which you want to focus on or you need to focus on whether it’s your meditation practice, or writing or whatever it is you’re doing, and you maintain that focus. With a soft mantra. A soft mantra is just a little script that runs in the back of your head, which is designed to keep you focused on what it is you need to focus on. So we call it the worm process, witness interdict, redirect and maintain that is the club, the blunt instrument we use to maintain attention control and focus. And as I mentioned, the longer term growth tool is to become mindfully aware and completely separate from your thoughts and emotions. So that you’re not giving them any energy unless you want to, right and so then you give the positive things energy to reinforce those in your life and you don’t give the negative things any energy at all. In which case, they just kind of go away over time.


Amy Jurkowitz  9:38  

Okay, so I’m not going to give Ethyl any more energy.


Mark Divine  9:40  

Don’t get that done yet. All right,


Amy Jurkowitz  9:43  

we’re going to go on to a question that’s not quite as intense on the mind, but it definitely is on the body. This is from somebody it’s at B underscore unbeatable, and this person asks, he or she must love what we do. What training is most effective for crucible events. And you might want to just shout out what exactly the crucible events are.


Mark Divine  10:06  

Sure, thanks be unbeatable. Sure I know you are. So crucible, it’s like a cauldron where you put in metal that has one form, and then you cook it, you boil it under intense pressure and heat. And then through the process of alchemy, it comes out as another form. It’s transformed. And crucible training is a similar thing, where, you know, this is something that we innovated at SEAL Fit, but it came out of military Special Ops training, like hell week into crucible experience, you know, all of BUDS training, our basic underwater demolition SEAL training is but hell week in particulars where the heat gets really turned up, six days non stop training around the clock with about three to four hours of sleep on Thursday. That’s it. And so the heats really turned up and the process of transformation is occurring throughout the week. And then student goes into the front end, it gets cooked and comes out the other end as a different person transformation. So our crucible experience we call Kokoro is 50 hours in duration. Now, if you’ve never prepared for something like Kokoro, then it’s going to be extremely challenging to get through it. Because it’s designed with a few unique attributes. One is the primary focus is on physical toughness and mental resiliency. And so it doesn’t really matter how good of an athlete you are, helps to be a very good athlete, but it doesn’t really matter. We’ve had extreme athletes of all types fail in the event, bodybuilders fail. And so it’s a specific type of training that’s both mental, emotional and physical around durability, which I’m going to come back to that really is powerful. So you’ll fail because it’s not about the physical. It’s about what you do when you do certain things, and how that forges your mind and your resiliency. The second thing is, it really is about the team, that we set it up so that no individual can just do it alone as a lone ranger, right, it’s very different than like, Go ruck selection, or even special forces or delta selection, where it’s all individual. And you may never speak to another human being for the whole thing. SEAL teams are called teams for a reason. And so our crucible events are very much about your ability to be an outstanding teammate to provide help to ask for help, especially if you’re going to injure yourself or you’re in a position where you’re going to hold the team back. And these are skills that are natural for a lot of people believe it or not, I mean, we live in a very individualistic culture here in the West, we’re taught to go it alone, we’re taught to tough it out. And if you’re in a sport that doesn’t really promote teamwork, and you come into a crucible, it can be very challenging. So that’s one of the most profound experiences also is that people end up learning this. And if they’re opening up to the team, then they’re also opening their hearts that are teammates into developing this intense bond, this intense connection and reliance on the team to get through the event together. And once people kind of click into that experience, which usually takes about 24 hours, then you get these extraordinary experiences of Team flow and support and develop lifelong bonded connections. Now, how do we best trained for this was a question right, Amy? That’s right. The training, in my perspective requires a focus on what we call the five mountains probably don’t need all five months, five months of unbuild mind our physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and spiritual, we use the term Kokoro for spiritual, which means merging your heart and mind and your actions. But at a minimum, you should be training in a way that is physical, mental, emotional, and around the fifth one be Kokoro run knowing exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. So that could also be considered spiritual. The first of those is the why. So we should always start there. Like Simon Sinek said in his great TED Talk in book, it starts with why we’ve had a lot of students who just wanted to go to Kokoro Camp to prove that they were the toughest people in the world are tougher than others. And they didn’t make it because their Why was pretty weak. And then recognize they were up against world class instructors who could recognize that the ego is involved here. And then they find a way to make sure that the ego trips itself up. And that’s part of their job to bring the best level of loving service to that individual they can. And what better lesson than to recognize that if you lead with ego, then you’ll fail. But if you have a y that you’re a mom, and you want to be the strongest, most trustworthy and powerful example for your two young daughters or sons, man, that’s a powerful why. And we’ve had plenty of moms come through the Kokoro Camp and endure 50 hours of the most brutal training on the planet. Because that was their why they were not going to let their kids down no matter what crisis came in or what happened. They were going to be there for their kids. So that’s the first part of the training is to really recognize the why and then anytime you approach a training evolution in preparation for Kokoro, which for most people should be a minimum of nine months long. Athletes who are military athletes or have been doing really ruggedized, things may be shorter. But for most people, we found nine months to two years of training. And that’s because of the physical durability that needs to be built, you want to start with why and then every time you do a training evolution, because these are going to be challenging in and of themselves, you’re going to bring that Y to it right, you’re going to bring some version of that Y and you’re going to test it, you’re gonna make sure that your y is the right way, and that’s gonna hold up under the crucible flames. So then let’s shoot to the beginning. Next, you got to take care of the physical fundamentals, you have to run and you’re gonna have to run with load. So what does that look like most people don’t run with load, don’t run with a weight vest on, they don’t run with holding something over their head or something on their shoulder. But you will, if you’re a Navy Seal, and you will, if you’re going to one of our crucible events, so begin to develop the structure to be able to run with something above your head, or on your chest or in your arms, or dragging something or pushing something because you’re going to end up doing that. And you don’t want to have a gear spring and socket or something break because you’re not used to running under load. The same thing with walking under load. This one thing to go out for a nice walk in the park, it’s another thing to walk with 70 pounds on your back for 15 miles, or 40 pounds on your back whatever it’s going to be or walking for miles carrying a stretcher with a human being. And that’s hard, hard work. So you’re gonna want to start to training with what we call these austere tools, where you’re putting your body in these awkward positions with weight on your back or in your arms, or over your head and doing things that under normal circumstances are extremely uncomfortable. And when you do them in training, guess what, they’re extremely uncomfortable. But you get comfortable with that discomfort. In this process, the most important physical conditioning skills to develop his durability, to be able to go the distance without breaking. It’s not strength, like we don’t care how much you can deadlift at Kokoro Camp, we’re not going to break out the barbells and do a deadlift competition, no care how fast you can do pull ups, I can CrossFit. In fact, you won’t do pullets fast, you will do strict dead hang pull ups, you will not do kipping pull ups because they’re bad for you. Right, they’re going to lead to injury. And so there’s a lot of things that you may have been doing that you’re not going to want to do. And there’s things that you haven’t been doing that you’re going to want to do, you’re going to want to do a lot of strict pull ups, and you want to do pull ups with a weight on your back, like a weight vest, or a backpack, you’re gonna want to move in load both walking, and running. And you’re gonna want to do that with clothes on. I mean clothes, you just always have clothes on but you want to do with pants on. You want something worse and worse.


I know, right? We should do a naked car that would be amazing.


Amy Jurkowitz  17:39  

The Naked part isn’t the hard part. It’s the lifting and the walking and the heavy.


Mark Divine  17:45  

Are you getting excited? No. Well, I’ll tell you what, people listening to this, who get excited by this kind of stuff, you know who you are. There’s nothing more rewarding than graduating Kokoro with 40% of a class who started and with new friends for life and having done some really, really hard stuff. Because human beings we thrive on challenge and we grow through hardship. And this is basically curated hardship, we have a saying that you bring the challenge to you, then you avoid it later on. So by training for Kokoro. And during Kokoro, not only do you make any other challenge in life seem easy, and you got all these incredible skills, but a lot of challenges that may have come to you because they are kind of in your karmic lineup. You just avoid them because you went to it instead of waiting for it to come to you. And that’s really motivating for a lot of people’s really motivating for me as well. I mean, that’s one of the core reasons why to train really hard in life is because a you need to be ready to serve if someone else gets into a challenging situation. So you got to be the person that is like, Okay, let’s go, let’s go help this person off the cliff that they just drove over. You’re not going to be sitting there with your iPhone filming it. Like all the other knuckleheads, you’re going to go take care of business. And Kokoro gives you that kind of strength. And we had one student of Kokoro, who was a superintendent of a school who literally stopped a first person shooter incident, months after Kokoro. He called me up and he said he never would have happened if he hadn’t been to Korea and learned that he can actually be really strong under intense pressure and take care of business and not to just cower like culture or even though authorities were telling him to do it. The authorities have said to him, maybe you know, if you hear there’s someone in your school with a gun, you lock all doors and you call 911. And he said, You know what, if I do that people will die. And so instead of doing that, because he went to our training, he literally just got out of his office ran down to the room where the report was and the guy had not pulled his gun yet, but he was sitting at his desk with a duffel bag and he walked up the desk, grabbed the duffel bag, grabbed the guy by the collar and dragged him out of the room. By this time he had another person with him and the guy had weapons in his bag and in his trunk. So he completely floored in the first person shooter instance incredible story. I could go on and on but the physical training is Probably the second. And then through the physical training, ideally, you’re going to have a coach, you’re going to engage with a SEAL Fit coach, or Annville mind coach or your local coach who understands how to do this. And they’re going to start teaching you the mental and emotional skills, the mental skills that we teach, we call the Big Four and teach you box breathing or breath control training. And then something we’ve already talked about how to develop a positive mental attitude. And we use mantras for this forced internal dialogue, we teach them that wi RM process. So you want to use those in your training. Anytime something gets hard, you basically say screw it, I got this easy day piece of cake who you hate, that’s one of my mantras, and you interdict the negative, oh, boy, I don’t know if I can do this, I’m suffering, you know, maybe I’ll quit and you just interdict that and say, No way, I got this. And we’re gonna move forward. And so you teach yourself and you practice with your teammates, this positive dialogue of mutual support and can do instead of can’t do. And then the third thing is that imagery. And so we practice imagery, especially associated with our y. So we create a vision for what we are like, and what victory looks like and what the wind looks like. And then we always remember that we bring that back up. That’s the way that we connect with the why that I was talking about this through the image of what that looks like you as a strong mom or father or whatever your Y is. And then also we teach to train both in the run up, as well as in the event itself to just focus on one small task at a time, we call those micro goals, to just do the workout. And if the workout is an eight hour grind, then just do the first hour, just get through the first hour, you know, and if you’re an hour six, and it’s too much, just to get through our six, then just get through the next 15 minutes. So chunk everything down. And this teaches you presence and really focus on just the most important task right in front of you, without worrying about the totality of what’s still ahead of you. And this way, you get really present and you get into a flow state, and then suddenly the whole thing is over.


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Amy Jurkowitz  24:14  

Okay, well for those of us who can’t like maybe even step foot near the Kokoro. You mentioned breathing. And I laugh because whenever you and I are talking, I can hear you doing your box breathing. And I often have to tell you to stop because I can’t focus when I hear you doing your breathing. That’s your problem not mine is my problem. We got a great question from at Charles B underscore 1503. And the question is, what are your thoughts on the Wim Hof Method, his breathing method? And do you have any tips or advice for breathing?


Mark Divine  24:50  

Yeah, thanks, Charles is a great question first before I answer that I do want to say for you Amy and everyone else out there who had that reaction like wow, Kokoro seems really too much For me, it sounds cool, but it’s not for me. We do have a six hour version of it. So that’s better. We have a 612 24 hour version. So we’ll sign you up for that. And how about that. Alright, so back to Wim Hof. I’ve met Wim Hof on a podcast that I did with him. He’s pretty intense guy. And when I get off the podcast, I pause and reflected on it. And then I brought up my recorder again, and I recorded a warning for people. I think breath training is extraordinarily powerful. You’re moving a ton of energy. You’re basically breathing, lifeforce. And so the most powerful breath training is just to slow your breath down, and gently inhale and exhale through the nostrils and pay attention to that, you want to transform your life to start there, slowly inhale to kind of five, slowly exhale to the kind of five to where you can barely hear your breath. So I’m going to work on that one minute, because you can hear me still. Now, I’ll come back to box breathing. And that practice right there, which I call tactical breathing, but or it’s just breath awareness. Wim Hof has taken a Tibetan breathing practice to couple of actually, one that we call it warrior breathing, which is this intense hypoxic breathing, like our hyperventilating, you’re getting more volume in than you need. And this will have very sympathetic nervous system, kind of qualities to it. Like you’re ramping yourself up, you’re amping yourself up, you’re getting ready to fight, you’re triggering that sympathetic nervous system, which is dumping hormones into your body, and you’re gonna get kind of high from it. And then he’s holding the breath. Now, anytime you hold your breath, you know, you can practice right now. So if you breathe three or four times deeply through your nose, and then hold your breath, there’s a certain quality to breath holds, whether it’s an inhale, hold, or an exhale, hold, it clears your mind, there’s this existential quality to it, like, wow, you know, I’m not breathing right now. And whatever was happening before, kind of goes away. And so breath holds are really, really nice. And now if you hyperventilate, for 20 rounds of breathing, and then hold your breath, or 50 rounds of breathing and hold your breath, you know, you’re gonna have tons of oxygen in your system, and you’re gonna be able to hold your breath for a long time, and it’s going to have this kind of neat quality to it. You might have emotional experiences, you might feel like flow or kind of a spiritual quality to it. And so it feels special, you might have some insights, and all that’s good. So so far, this sounds pretty good, right? But the challenge is, most people are already jacked up in a sympathetic state. They’re constantly in fight or flight. And so if you are always in fight or flight, and you’re always late for work, or you’re always got too many commitments, and you’re stressed, because you got too many obligations, or too much to do between kids in school and work and this and that, then the last thing you need is a breathing practices in a jack up your sympathetic nervous system even more, what you need is downregulation breathing, which is what I talked about breathing slowly into your nose and out through your nose to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system rest and digest to calm and bleed off stress, you don’t need to jack it up. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, you’re moving a lot of energy and a lot of the energy is mental energy. But your brain uses 40% of the energy your body. And when we breathe, it’s more than just oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and some trace elements that you’re breathing in its life force, it’s electricity. And that affects your mind. Breath training from the perspective of Eastern traditions, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism is like the primary tool for mental development for training the mind using the breath. And so with Wim Hof my senses and I validated this with other expert breath, teachers, you’re moving tremendous amount of energy and someone who might have a mental imbalance, which is a hell of a lot of people in our society, especially in these COVID times, you could really, really cause some damage to people like you could send them over the deep end over a period of months if this is their daily practice. So I don’t recommend Wim Hof as a daily practice for anybody. I don’t recommend it for anybody who might have emotional challenges. They’re dealing with anxiety or depression or anything like that. Any kind of emotional mental challenge. It’s contra indicative, don’t do it. If you are a trained athlete or military special operator, then Wim Hof can be a nice practice to do once in a while I wouldn’t do more than two, three times a week, then I’m not even addressing the cold water treatment of Wim Hof. I think that’s a slightly different thing. I’m just talking about the breathing. The cold water treatment for Wim Hof is fine. I’d love to see more research on it. But that’s kind of a different thing. The good part of what he’s done is he’s brought breath training into the mainstream and got a lot of other people interested in teaching breathwork and I know a few of those people now who got into breathwork because of Wim Hof and now are saying very similar things that I’m saying is it like okay, that’s one tool in the toolbox. It’s not an everyday thing and Let’s be thoughtful about who we teach when we teach what we teach, because breath training, you know, just like meditation, it really depends upon who the person is, where they are on their life, what stage age, you know what developmental stage and what their physical and mental emotional condition. And so a really, really good coach who’s using breathwork will assess all these aspects in an individual and be like, okay, so you’re a freakin Navy Seal, then we’re going to teach you box breathing. And then we’re going to give you the Wim Hof Method to use a couple times a week to clear your mind and to really get ready for battle. Boom, awesome. If you’re, you know, 63 year old CEO, who has been grinding 12 hour days, then I’m not going to lead with Wim Hof, I’m going to lead with breath awareness, just slow their breath down to six cycles per minute, which is five count and five count out through the nose, and teach them how to breathe low into the lungs, meaning they’re using their diaphragm, they’re using the full lung capacity, and to slow it down. So we call it low and slow and quiet. You don’t need to take in more oxygen. And this kind of last thing I’ll say is a lot of people are over breathers if you breathe through your mouth too much. Or if you breathe too frequently, the average person breathes like 14 to 20 times per minute, then what happens that over breathing leads to a degradation or decrease of carbon dioxide in your system. Because you’re just exhaling too much that carbon dioxide imbalance leads to other challenges, right other problems, right, we’re not getting the oxygen delivered to our blood, especially if your mouth breathing, you’re not getting the nitrous oxide, that breathing through your nose releases, which helps deliver the oxygen to your cells. And you’re really it’s like the opposite of hypoxia, you’re having an imbalanced carbon dioxide will lead to almost a toxicity in your blood, and your plasma, which then will cause some other health issues. So breathing, getting breathing back into balance, and getting the oxygen carbon dioxide into the right balance is really the first step for most people. I could teach a four day class. And so


Amy Jurkowitz  32:05  

I think you definitely could


Mark Divine  32:08  

really important,


Amy Jurkowitz  32:09  

it is important. And you’ve called me just even with your voice. So we have a few more questions here. Let’s just gonna move a little bit from Ace at ACE daddy Johnson. The question is, as a leader, how do you deal with a hostile or toxic team member?


Mark Divine  32:25  

Oh, boy, kick them off your team. Now even a little bit more serious here. But I’m kind of serious like in the SEAL teams, we wouldn’t allow a toxic member. If the person can’t remediate their toxicity, then they shouldn’t be on the team. And most performance environments will give you the option, you’ll have the ability to at least surface this issue. I highly recommend that whatever team you’re on that you set up a process for frank conversations in the seals, we call that the debrief. So when you debrief a project your debrief a product launch, debrief, anything that has a bracket to it, it could even be a week, you know, we’re starting to do these two weeks sprints, and we’re going to debrief every sprint, all those debriefs like in the SEAL teams, you make it so that you can talk about the process. And you can talk about what inhibited the process whether it was really good and weather didn’t work so well. And what about it, that didn’t work so well. And part of that could be the attitude of the teammates. And so you talk about it in the sense that this process really was very, very unproductive or didn’t work well, because of this attitude that we have amongst either one or more of the teammates. And so you make it about the process, not the person. So sometimes that person is not aware that they’re toxic. And because of political, correct society, everyone’s dancing around the king with no pants and not telling them that they’re toxic. And so how are they supposed to know? So this goes back to, you know, let’s look for the good in people. And let’s give them an opportunity to remediate to fix it. So sometimes we just have to point it out. And people say, you know, Hey, what is really hard to deal with your energy, you’re coming off as negative and toxic? And they’ll be like, No, I’m not and said, Yes, you are. And here’s how it affects me, or here’s why the way you said what you said, affected me negatively. And so you begin a practice of helping people take responsibility for how they show up energetically, and for how they perceive the words that they deliver as landing. So most people, they don’t take any responsibility for how their words land, they just diarrhea of the mouth, blah, blah, blah. And they might be dropping grenades all over the place and are completely close. But it’s unset team environment, like you cannot let that happen. Or else the team will just degrade to the lowest common denominator and the team will become toxic. So you have to have a way to point that out to an individual without completely turning them off if you want them on the team and if you think they’re coachable. So we’ll start with that position that they are coachable and you want them on the team. So the debrief process allows you to point out that that’s not working for the team, that time toxicity, that attitude in whatever form, you have to be very specific so that they can take remedial action. And then you can get there by and get them to agree that, oh, I guess this is real. And to be fair, sometimes this has to happen in a private coaching session, or needs to be elevated to a coach who can work with that, or the CEO or the boss who can work with them. And then that individual, if they’re open to this feedback, will start to work on it. And then part of that might be, at least tell me when I do that, please tell me if what I’m saying isn’t landing? Well, because I need to know, that’s the highest level. So if an individual is growth oriented growth mindset, they’re going to be willing to take that kind of feedback in real time, that’s the most valuable. Or it might be in a weekly coaching session where like you did pretty good. But you know what, on Tuesday, in the meeting, you dropped another grenade. Oh, shoot, really. And it sounded like this. And this is a way you could have responded that have been much more effective. By the way, these skills we talked about earlier for self regulating your inner dialogue, and feeding the courage, Wolf, they’re all really important. So what we do is we teach those to people, so they can work them on an individual level, and then the team works on them together as a team. So that now becomes a group process. And when I say to someone in a team meeting, hey, let’s feed the courage, Wolf. That’s not gonna fly in this meeting that negative attitude, then everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about.


Amy Jurkowitz  36:21  

We have another great question from at NCC fit Sharma. And they asked, How do you stand up to bullies? What if that person is a bully, they’re toxic, and they’re a bully than what?


Mark Divine  36:32  

Well, sometimes bullies either don’t know they’re bullies. Or they’re bullies because their self esteem has been crushed. At a very young age, in childhood trauma, that’s usually the situation. Now, that doesn’t mean that you go to say, hey, the only reason you’re a bully is because you have childhood trauma, they’re likely to punch you. So you don’t do that, right. But the only way to really deal with a bully is there’s twofold one is you completely ignore them and avoid them. Or you just shower nothing but unconditional love and forgiveness. And they’re completely unmasked. This, look at this kind of metaphysically or energetically and bully, it feels less than right, there’s a big hole in them, right, because they’ve got something missing from childhood. And so they’re going to push, because they don’t feel whole, they’re going to push people to try to get a response, which gives them a little temporary hit. Like they’re important. And so if a bully pushes you, I don’t mean physically because that’s, you know, obviously, that’s a different situation. That’s like playground stuff. But a bully in a work environment pushes you and you respond to it, then you’re giving them exactly what they want. What’s popping in my head is an old saying from the Buddha, like if someone gives you a gift, and you don’t receive it, then to whom does it belong. So if the bully gives you a gift of some negative abuse, and you don’t receive it, to whom does it belong, that belongs to him or her. And so that doesn’t feel good to them, right? They’re like, Oh, unless of this, that person didn’t receive it. It’s a very, very advanced skill. And it’s just essentially maintaining complete equanimity, and a state of open hearted love and forgiveness in spite of who you’re dealing with. Remember, Amy, we talked once about yoga sutra number 1.33, right, which happens to be one of my favorites. And it goes something like this be happy for the successful people, be compassionate toward those that are unfortunate, appreciate those who are doing good or the virtuous, and then either deal with or forgive the rest. And the rest includes bullies and toxic people and evil people. Ideally, we’d be able to ignore those people, right, because they just exist, they’re always going to exist, and you don’t want to be spending any mental energy on them. But if you’re working with a bully, or someone’s bullying your kid, you can’t ignore that, you’ve got to do something. And if what I’ve talked about already, which is a higher order way of dealing with it isn’t going to work. And I have to admit, it probably won’t, in a lot of cases or most cases, then you either find a way to remove yourself or your kid from that bully or get the bully removed. Because this is a serious issue, especially when it comes to kids. Any bullying should be pointed out immediately and have the authorities deal with it because it’s very, very toxic and be very destructive. I mean, we’re talking about a lifetime of trauma, if an individual is in a relationship that is bullying, whether it’s online or in real life, and that’s going to have to be dealt with later on through therapy or through some sort of intervention. So bullying is a serious issue that gets swept under the rug a lot that needs to be dealt with, like head on. And what I found is bullies are sheep’s in wolf’s clothing. And once you expose them don’t take any of their shit. Then they move on. Ideally, you’ll get them to see that they’re a bully or help them to see that a bully and to change your behavior. But at least in your situation, whoever’s being bullied you know, if you stand up to him, his first approach you would love and just ignoring it. But if that doesn’t work, then you got to stand up to him and you Do the stand up do it yourself or with a friend, or with a boss or someone who can help you out or, and the bully will take his ball and go elsewhere. Or even better if this bully can’t be remediated and has no remorse and is going to keep bullying then you get him out of the team or the organization. Help them go somewhere else. It’s a great question. Thank you for asking that.


We’re gonna take a short break here from the Mark Divine show, to hear a short message from one of our partners. I’m excited to have today’s podcast brought to you by athletic greens, the health and wellness company that makes comprehensive daily nutrition. Super simple, one tasty scoop of their flagship product ag one, which I take daily contains 75 vitamins, minerals, and Whole Foods sourced ingredients, get that 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food source ingredients that’s incredible. Includes a multivitamin, multi mineral probiotics, a greens superfood blend, and more. And it’s just one scoop or one daily serving in a pack. That special blend of high quality bioavailable ingredients in the scoop works together to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet, sports your energy. Your focus aids with your gut health and digestion and gives you an overall healthier immune system can also effectively replace multiple pills or products with one healthy and delicious drink. I use it in my smoothie every day. And it has done away with a handful of the vitamins I used to take. They also evolved the product so as the research changes, they change the product which is really neat. They’ve evolved it and improved it over 53 times in the last decade. It’s lifestyle friendly, whether you’re keto paleo vegan, dairy free or gluten free, contains less than one gram of sugar no GMOs no nasty nothing. Join me in a lot of other performers are taking ownership of their daily health and focusing on the nutritional products they really need. In the simplest manner, that’s essential nutrition and ag one is part of that solution. To make it easy for you athletic greens is going to give you an immune supporting free one year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase of 81 If you visit athletic Ford slash unbeatable, again, simply go to athletic forward slash unbeatable to take control of your health and give ag one a try. And now back to the show.


Amy Jurkowitz  42:25  

We have one more question. This comes from at p Thompson. 34. And the question is does sitting in discomfort physically transfer to sitting in discomfort mentally and or emotionally?


Mark Divine  42:39  

All right, P Thompson. I think that might be Phil, thanks for the question. Let me paraphrase. He just does uncomfortable physical training, develop mental toughness, I think is what he was asking. Does it transfer over to being able to deal with discomfort mentally and emotionally? And the answer is yes, we have the saying in our SEAL Fit program that where the body leads, the mind follows. So you just think about this anytime if your body is weak and fatigued, you know you’ve gone through a really rough push, you know, maybe right now it’s kind of like finals week for a lot of people and they’re cranking out papers and get ready for exams, if you’re a student, that can be really physically exhausting. And, and so mentally, you’re going to feel fatigued. And then you’re going to have some negativity kind of pop up, like we talked about earlier. And you’re going to feel kind of mentally weak, but you still got to push through to the end, and then you kind of collapse for a few days recover a little bit. And then as your body starts to recover, guess what your mind starts to feel better. The attitudes, your mindset is another way of saying your attitude, your mindset. And the quality of thinking is incredibly connected to your physical being. So if you’re sleep deprived, guess what, you’re going to probably be anxious, you’re going to be grumpy, read negative, your attitude is going to suck. So if you’re chronically sleep deprived, guess what? You’re going to be chronically grumpy. And if you add improper fueling to sleep deprivation, now you got one to me and you’re going to energetically be so exhausted and burned out, you’re not going to be able to work out or have the motivation to work out. Now you’ve got a triple whammy. If you’re too tired or too fatigued or too negative and grumpy to train physically, because you’re eating poorly, because you’re sleeping poorly. Or vice versa. You’re sleeping poorly because you’re eating poorly. Then your attitude and your mindset is going to be way off. So let’s turn this around this putting yourself in physical discomfort affects your mind and emotions. Absolutely. So we discipline ourselves to train every day. And we have the saying until the training isn’t working out training is being very, very deliberate with how you’re training when you’re training, why you’re training and what your training but you’re going to train every day, whether it’s a walk a swim, bike, CrossFit workout, strength training, martial arts, yoga, dance, spontaneous movement, stretching whatever If you’re going to be training, that’s our protocol, unbeatable mind SEAL Fit and for me for my life, so you discipline yourself to train every day. And then the more trained you become, the more you want to eat well, right. And so you develop this kind of, okay, I’m going to eat well, because it’s supporting my training. And also, I feel really good. So you eat well. And because you’re training every day, and you’re eating well, you suddenly start sleeping better, and you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night. And then you start paying attention to the quality of that sleep, and then you turn sleep into a practice. So now your training is a practice, your eating is a practice in your sleep as a practice, and all of that suddenly, you start disciplining this and you got a coach holding you accountable. Within probably a month, you’re feeling dramatically better, your attitude is better, things seem a little brighter around you, you’re more positive, you’re able to focus more, you’re less fatigue you’re experiencing, not as big of a drop in the middle the day. And then after three months, you’re like holy cow, I’m way better than I even was back then. And now you turn into a persistent state of positive kind of energy. And that’s what then motivates you to start taking the next step into training the mind even further. Now, you start doing breath awareness and box breathing, practicing your positive internal dialogue, and with a mantra, interdicting and redirecting Ethem, whenever she rises, and really focusing on the imagery and starting to believe in yourself even more. And then guess what that work mentally leads to more positive emotional states, and you start to work on the emotional level. And guess what, then that leads back into a healthier body. Because your body is ultimately just energy. And if your mind is thinking with higher energy thoughts, then your body is going to be vibrating with higher energy vibrations, which means it’s going to be healthier. And so you begin to work on the health of the energy body, you see how all this starts to layer. And you know, within six months of the type of training we do at unbeatable mind, you’re just operating in a radically different level, physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically, and you start to get really clear about your why. Thanks, Phil, for that softball question. Yes, the body will affect the mind and the emotions when you put it in discomfort and you train it, and embrace the suck of that discomfort of physical training and makes you mentally stronger, more clear. And that’s got both a physiological and a psychological component to it, because your brain is healthier. And if your brain is healthier as an Oregon, then it’s going to be a more fit vessel for you to be able to think more clearly and with more positive thoughts. And then you actually, you get that positive feedback loop going, succeeding at challenging things of competition, worthy objectives in your physical training, to where you start to feel really good about yourself. And you’ve got that positive self talking to positive reinforcement, which then leads to more mental resiliency.


Amy Jurkowitz  47:47  

Well, Mark, you’ve answered so many great questions. And you’ve motivated us in so many ways. We know we’re gonna breathe with intent. Do it as a practice to be in physical discomfort a little bit, right? A little not a Kokoro. Yeah, not necessarily.


Mark Divine  48:03  

But also, you know, there is a difference between integrating discomfort and disintegrating discomfort, integrating discomfort is training that’s going to lead to growth. And I don’t mean getting uncomfortable doing things that are going to lead to injury. You know, when I started CrossFit, I mean, I’ve got Rhabdo, practically every time I did 100, pull ups really fast. And I’m like, that was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t leading me to any kind of growth or physical development that was good. So just be thoughtful about how you train as well.


Amy Jurkowitz  48:30  

And to each person’s limit to, which is very different for everybody. But you know, this was wonderful. And thank you to all the incredible questions we had come in from from Instagram, really appreciate it. Really appreciate that. Thank you. Is there anything you want to just leave us all with that you might have come across this week, or just some piece of advice you can give us?


Mark Divine  48:52  

Sure? Well, it’s the holidays. What I’ve noticed, both of myself and a lot of people, Romney that people get really stressed on the holidays, it’s there’s a lot of fun. But you could tend to get a little burning the candle at both ends, right? You’re running around shopping, spending money that you don’t have, maybe there’s some drinking some parties going on. And there’s a lot of energy, family energy. And so this is a phenomenal time, right to insert that breath awareness practice that I talked about at the very beginning. Like really commit to it. Don’t just listen to me and be like, oh, yeah, that was interesting. That’s just something but like, build this into your life where anytime you start to feel that stress rise, because you’re running to the store, you get to target and you know the lines 100 miles long, whatever it is, you know what I’m talking about, just stop for a few moments and just slowly breathe into your nose and out through your nose and watch that breath and just feel gratitude for even having this opportunity to be in this incredible country. whatever country you’re in, to have the abundance we have to have the opportunity we have and also to be drawn to these teachings right to be different Mostly seems like there is an incredible amount to be grateful for. Let’s not let the holidays get us off track. And most people like let me just get to the holidays and I’ll get back on track in January, I think, Oh, get on track right now. Just use that pause and breathe through your nose. Slow five in, and five, count out. And just be grateful for everything you have. And have an incredible, incredible holiday everyone and Happy New Year and 2022 is going to be just epic. Trust me on that. It’s coming. gonna be awesome. Who Yeah, yeah. Well, that was awesome. What a ton of fun. Thank you all for your insightful questions. We’re gonna take this to a live format on YouTube or Instagram in 2022. And do this again, show notes and transcripts are on our site, Mark Divine calm. I met Mark Divine on Twitter. And at real Mark Divine on Instagram and Facebook. Or if you want to reach out, you can always hit me up on LinkedIn. Big thanks, as always, to Jason Sanderson. Our amazing producer, and Michele, who writes our show notes and transcripts, takes a village to put this podcast together. We’ll be moving to new platform in the New Year podcast one, we’re excited to work with them going forward. I continue to appreciate the reviews that we get for a show and please continue to share and give us the marks you think we deserve. If this episode, spurred some questions of your own, and send them my way, info at  Make sure you include your social media handle, and I’ll give you a shout out if I read your question. The world may seem challenging right now. We’re more divided than ever while facing numerous complex global situations, including an evolving pandemic climate change, automation’s impact on our economy, widespread depression, anxiety and apathy. That’s why I feel it’s so crucial to take care of ourselves first, to learn how to cultivate compassion and courage to learn the skills of nonviolent communication and conflict resolution. We need to build teams of individuals who thrive on the exchange of creative energy because that’s what it’s going to take to tackle these issues. But it starts with you. you cultivate these qualities in yourself first, so that you may become a light for others. Be unbeatable. See you next time. This is Mark Divine.


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