Second Spring, Death Meditation, 10 Saboteurs, and The Pandemic as a Wake-Up Call (Ep. 06 Jo Davis)
In this episode of We Interview Coaches I had a fun conversation with Coach Jo Davis about:
The concept of a woman's "second spring"
Biological versus psychological age
The pandemic as a wakeup call
Death meditation and mortality
10 types of "saboteurs" and childhood belief systems
Connecting to the wisdom of our bodies
Jo Davis is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach who specializes in serving women in their 50s and 60s, who are approaching what she calls a “Second Spring”.
***Video transcript follows***
00:00:00 Mike Pietrzak: Hey everyone, I'm coach Mike Pietrzak, and I'm on a mission to help you become your potential. Today I'm welcoming Certified Professional Co-active Coach, Jo Davis, who specializes in serving women in their fifties and who are approaching what she calls a "second spring". And you know, for many women in mid-life this is a time of great renewal and rebirth and I'm excited for our conversation because we both believe the great coaching starts with a look at our mindset, especially the beliefs that are holding us back. So, Jo, thanks for joining me.
00:00:30 Jo Davis: Thanks, thanks for having me.
00:00:33 Mike Pietrzak: I do remember my mother's own second spring, it was the time when my brother and I we left the nest. My parents were divorcing and I wish she had some one like you for support, because I vividly remember that it was a challenging time for her. Can you tell us more about this concept of the second spring?
00:00:49 Jo Davis: Sure, so second spring actually comes from traditional Chinese medicine and in traditional Chinese medicine they believe that when a woman, woman's childbearing, child-rearing years are coming to an end and we and we are going through menopause, that our energy or our Chi actually begins and move upward into our hearts and into our minds. And so we experience this sort of refreshed time of wisdom and energy, and it's actually a second spring for women. Actually where it comes from, it's an ancient concept.
00:01:28 Mike Pietrzak: Yes, it sounds like that's that's a time of a lot of enjoyment and excitement, but is this something that women go through as a matter of course, or is it something that needs to be sort of nurtured and helped to to come to the surface?
00:01:42 Jo Davis: I think everyone comes to it from a different place. I think some people move through it naturally and adapt to new times. I think some people need support and coaching and other things to. As you mentioned before, it is so much of so much, it is a mindset and I think there's too many, too many cultural influences that tell us women, me in my age, that we are just on the slow slide right of aging and down down to old age.
00:02:18 Mike Pietrzak: That's the message.
00:02:19 Jo Davis: But in fact, this era of fifties and sixties, where children are launched, we've had a long career, you know, service to our families, to our community, to our partners, to our careers, and so now it's like: what about me, it's time for me, and so then, what do I want and who am I? And so that can also be like really constricting and fearful, but also can be in a different mindset, very freeing.
00:02:51 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah!
00:02:52 Jo Davis: And open and energized. So I think it's helping people to make that shift you know from from one you know, limiting mindset to mindset of spaciousness and infinity and and possibility.
00:03:08 Mike Pietrzak: It's beautiful. I have seen other women in my family, you know, go through this this second spring and it's it's fun to watch what they get into and what they learn just now and having too many details, personal details. But I'm very proud of some of these people who are who are you know, into things that I never never would have imagine that they'd be interested in doing, and it's like it's almost like they're there's a parallel. It seems that you know when you go off to university as a young adult and the whole world is new again. Kind of like that feeling, and you know I read a quote the other day that you are most powerfully positioned to serve the person who you want work, in other words, Michael. I can best help someone who's struggling to build a business or overcome depression or heal from losses. In your case, would it be safe to assume that because you help women with their second or in their second springs that you've gone through your own?
00:04:01 Jo Davis: I would say I am in, I am going through it. I think that it's a work in progress for us all and I think that second Spring can, I think I could last in two and seventies. So I think it's it's sort of another developmental stage that we move through and so yeah, I am totally in it and I think I have been through some pieces of it. I think, for for women with that have had children, a big piece of it is when they are launched and move out and find partners and start their own adult lives. And so I think as women, and that's the one part that I feel like I've processed to some degree, both have two adult boys and they've both moved out and one still in university, once moved out west and pursuing his dreams. I think that part was hard at the beginning to accept that they just weren't we weren't in the same kind of relationship anymore, and I think with any transition like that there's there's a grieving process, there's letting go, then there's acceptance, you know, and then realizing that there's just there's a new. Like you know, this was, and now it's and I feel like I've moved through some of it and they just don't need me the same way they used to. But I mean I feel like I really, as a person, really what I want to say molded myself around their needs, like from the time they were born and you know, yeah, I mean I worked part-time I stayed at home, everything I did worked around their schedules, and so I just my identity. You know it gets really tied up, as it would with your children and what their needs are. So then, when they don't need it anymore, it's like it's so hard to me, feels like like who? Like then? Who who am? They don't need me like this is sad. There's the world's deep sadness right and then.
00:06:09 Mike Pietrzak: 20 years: it's a long time to build an identity based on that of mom or dad, or whatever it is.
00:06:17 Jo Davis: Yeah, same for dad's for sure.
00:06:19 Mike Pietrzak: And I think it happens almost imperceptibly over time. It happens below you're you're conscious awareness, but you do. You do decide. I am this type of person, like for me it's been haunchbone, it's been world traveler, it's been now it's dad. It's now. It's happening slowly and suddenly and it really gets. It gets in there over time. It's like wow. Things are really changing fast and for me I'm actually turning 40 in December, and for me it's this milestone has been a little bit of a wake up call. You know it usually is when you hit a birthday with a zero at the end, and it's not just because I've great more gray hair every day, but I'm excited, but I'm also struggling to come to terms with just how fast life is. I imagine that aging is a prevalent theme in many of your clients. Lives mention grieving. I think you know for me it's a grieving process. I'm not on my knees hurt a little bit more than they used to something like that. What do you tell your client about aging? And yeah, it's definitely something that I'm interested. So where wat you say?
00:07:22 Jo Davis: Well, I think I don't necessarily tell them much about aging. I suppose II listen to how they're feeling about aging and then coached them from where they are. So I think people have. Everyone has a very different approach to that and a different feeling about aging. Think it's important to know what is it and were aging? Our bodies are aging, our minds are aging, but our experience is building and our wisdom is building and and we can still feel, and that sort of part of the second spring is in this body of mine is 57-year old body. Recently I feel fit, energized, I'm healthy, like I don't feel old.
00:08:17 Mike Pietrzak: So how late birthday, by the way!
00:08:19 Jo Davis: Thank you, and also my almost 95-year old mother says she talks about the old ladies, right, the old ones, in their place where she lives. So she said.
00:08:31 Mike Pietrzak: Bitter herself one of those.
00:08:33 Jo Davis: Well, I will lie through 94, so you know you might be one of them. She said I don't feel old up here, I feel.
00:08:44 Mike Pietrzak: She raised a very interesting perspective there, because there is your biological age, how many years you've actually gone around the sun and then there's your. You're almost like your psychological mental. I don't know what what is it is it is it how, how well you've taken care of yourself? Or is it is it a decision to say constantly live at at the age of 20?
00:09:05 Jo Davis: No.
00:09:06 Mike Pietrzak: For something.
00:09:08 Jo Davis: That's a really good question. I think it's important, like I've noticed, it's really important to pay attention to your way, more important to pay attention to the physical health stuff when you get a bit older, because, yeah, you really like you, really feel it more so making sure you're exercising, making sure you're eating healthy, getting enough sleep, like all those things we know. But I think, as your age like, you really notice when you don't do it, when you're sort of not taking care of yourself, but when you're younger, like you, just kind of whatever you just.
00:09:40 Mike Pietrzak: When you're young, it's it's like you don't have to work for that great chiselled body, but I'm actually someone who who works out quite a lot I love, I love my weight lifting.
00:09:51 Jo Davis: No.
00:09:53 Mike Pietrzak: It's a bit of a temple for me. You go and you, you're just, you're in quiet, sacred space and you do your thing and the whole world goes goes away. But you know I would consider myself in quite quite good health, but recently I've definitely been getting a lack of sleep from, you know, having a one and a.
00:10:08 Jo Davis: Four.
00:10:09 Mike Pietrzak: Pushing hard and maybe not eating the best, maybe having one or two extra glasses of wine in the evening, and you know I am feeling that add up. I still don't feel 40, I feel like I'm somewhere in my early thirties. I think, yeah, it is interesting to me that the whole your actual driver's license age doesn't have a lot to do with your, your mental conception of your age, which I love.
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00:10:34 Jo Davis: Yes, completely again.
00:10:36 Mike Pietrzak: How do you maintain that that usefulness?
00:10:39 Jo Davis: Well, I think you just if you have right now and 40 have the the mental view of yourself as a year-old that that kind of mindset just carries on, feel 57. Whatever that means, I feel maybe 4035. You know I look at myself and I see the results of being 57 in my face, my body. But I don't like my attitude and my approach to life and I don't think it's changed much. I think it's just part of my temperament and I think those are the things that just carry on.
00:11:20 Mike Pietrzak: Yes, wonderful!
00:11:24 Jo Davis: Let's talk.
00:11:25 Mike Pietrzak: The pandemic, because I know that we discussed this little bit before and we both agree that it's a bit of a bit of a wake up call and almost like there's there's silver linings. It's caused a lot of people to positive changes in their lives. So tell me what's the silver lining for you have COVID and and how is that playing out in your coaching work?
00:11:47 Jo Davis: So just, you know, silver linings, for short, for some people, but I think that we've had. We've all lived through one pandemic. However, people have experienced it very differently. Some people have had incredible hardship, incredible change in their life, a lot of tragedy, a lot of, you know, laying off of work and all sorts of things. So I think people have had different experiences in the pandemic. So I feel very privileged to have walked through it relatively unscathed. Yes, and that is our privilege right. So however, I would say the silver lining is that I think people have become more reflective and have sort of face down this sort of this fear of death and there's fear all around us. And said it puts you in kind of a stark, like. What's important to me, it becomes, it comes to the surface and so servile cancer in my forties, and it's sort of it's sort of like that because when it was really scary everything just came into really sharp focus like this is important. This isn't I know what my properties are, I know what the most important things are. In my life as my children and my family it was just like so crystal clear and I think to some degree I think the pandemic has done that for people that we really are clear. What's important, like our relationships or connections? Are, you know? The need to be with other people like this isolation that we've experienced has really made us realize how important the social connections are in being actually physically present.
00:13:42 Mike Pietrzak: I've found that as well, that it's a really good dose of perspective, you know, because so many things have been taken away.
00:13:48 Jo Davis: From.
00:13:49 Mike Pietrzak: You start to realize I was taking those for granted. I didn't intend to, but.
00:13:54 Jo Davis: Had been.
00:13:55 Mike Pietrzak: When I'm able to do those things again, see those people again, I'm going to appreciate it much, much more. You know I'm reading a book. One of my favorite books is Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de St. Exupery, and he's got this one story. But when he was crash-landed in the Sahara with his co-pilot and they were there for I think, three or four days without water, and they found an orange in the in the plane after the two, and it was like manna from Heaven. It was like, you know, just a normal orange, but for them it was like the best, the most intense joy that they had in their lives in some respects. And so it is funny how, when something's taken away from you, you start to appreciate it more. And you mention death too, I mean, which is the ultimate taking away of everything you have. A lot of people find that morbid to talk about it and depressing and know I actually believe that there is a lot of value in facing it down and and.
00:14:47 Jo Davis: King.
00:14:48 Mike Pietrzak: You know what? What am I going to want to say on my deathbed? What am I going to want my my eulogy to to sound like you ever you ever think about that, that you know maybe there's some some positive that comes from reflecting on our immortality.
00:15:02 Jo Davis: Yes, have you ever done a death meditation?
00:15:05 Mike Pietrzak: No, I haven't heard of that one.
00:15:07 Jo Davis: Well, if you like, I'll send one to you.
00:15:10 Mike Pietrzak: How does that work?
00:15:12 Jo Davis: Now it can be triggering for people. So just take it with a grain of salt, so it's it's it's a guided meditation that someone will take you through. I have never done it with someone, I've just experienced it and it takes you through your death and dying. Put you in your coffin. You're imagining all this in this guiding meditation and so on you. It's profound and it's not depressing, but it can be very triggering for people. But it wasn't for me, it was all right. So when you come, come too, when you come to present, it's okay but felt like a real experience. And so what can I take from that? Like what's important? What do I want? My life is finite. I'm only here like I'm 57. I have maybe 35 more good years. Like what? What do I want? It's not going.
00:16:09 Mike Pietrzak: Yes, and you know, hitting 40 realised, probably about about halfway.
00:16:13 Jo Davis: No.
00:16:14 Mike Pietrzak: Think it's becoming more more urgent as a rarity, but at the same time trying to slow down and be more patient.
00:16:20 Jo Davis: Stop.
00:16:21 Mike Pietrzak: Having the quality of my life to be such a hectic, anxious face, you know, actually get more quality out of life rather than than quantity, because you know 80 years of terrible life is not much of a life at all. It's you want. Rather, have you know 20 years of fantastic, exceptional life? I don't know how many people agree with that, but.
00:16:43 Jo Davis: Well then, but you know, like the experience of the slowing down and the savouring and the enjoyment. If that be one, then that's great.
00:16:54 Mike Pietrzak: That is, I'm trying to consciously build a lot more. I call in my calendar. They're green blocks. Green spaces are absence of work, so it's time with my daughter. It's time for me solo, it's it's the gym, its meditation and things like that. So my goal, I guess in my week, is to have the maximum or the optimal amount of green space in my calendar. I'm working on that. I'm sure most people working.
00:17:20 Jo Davis: I love, I love the colour you chose for that.
00:17:23 Mike Pietrzak: Go go live live life and joy.
00:17:26 Jo Davis: You're coming.
00:17:28 Mike Pietrzak: And you know, speaking of the way we think about life, I know that you work a lot with your clients belief system, and the last time we talked you introduced me to this idea of these ten types of saboteurs. Tell us what's a saboteur, and maybe you give an example of one or two of those.
00:17:44 Jo Davis: Well, can you see that? Can you see this book here?
00:17:49 Mike Pietrzak: Yes, I know that book.
00:17:51 Jo Davis: So this work on Salvator comes from the Shame and this book is called Positive Intelligence and I took his programme last year and basically what he's saying is that our we have a lot of negative voices in our, in our heads and he kind of breaks them down into kind of archetypes. So we have the controller, we have the perfectionist, we have the hypervigilant, we have the victim. So there's nine of these, and then these are called your accomplice avators, but the overall master savages the judge.
00:18:32 Mike Pietrzak: I was going to say that's one of my vices: judgment, very productive and helpful.
00:18:39 Jo Davis: So we have everyone, has this master judge. All of us do, and in fact it's not just inside our heads, it's in our culture. We have cultural judges. Our, our western culture in North America is so judgmental.
00:18:57 Mike Pietrzak: Oh!
00:18:58 Jo Davis: And I don't know what the roots of that is. Maybe puritanism, who knows? But we have a very judgmental, evaluative, assessment oriented culture. Like you get a high mark, you're a winner right. So I think school or education system really has inculcated.
00:19:17 Mike Pietrzak: From the beginning, find your way up a hierarchy.
00:19:21 Jo Davis: That's good, that's what you supposed to do. They're your winner right. So if you're not so, this this judgment culture and this judgment we then have inside us, that we do to ourselves, he says, is a mindset.
00:19:35 Mike Pietrzak: Right.
00:19:36 Jo Davis: Sabato, and so the idea is to catch yourself in that judgmental line set. You catch yourself well, I've learned to do it mostly, but it's working progress. So are you having a thought and it's a judgmental thought, or didn't do that right, or this is going to be terrible. You know, whatever it is that's negative. So you just the first step released just to catch yourself up. That's a judge. So that takes some work and some time to become aware of the clause inside your head. Like when you hear this, that means it's your judge right. So the beginning part is just the the catching of yourself being judgmental, which takes quite a while. And then, once we become familiar with this thinking pattern, the judge. We can then say: how do you respond to that, how to respond to the judges, to say: what have I learning? What are the gifts here? What can I? What can I learn from this, this judging situation, and then?
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00:20:55 Mike Pietrzak: Treating the judgmental thoughts as simple messengers.
00:20:59 Jo Davis: Exactly.
00:21:01 Mike Pietrzak: Leveraging those in order to change.
00:21:04 Jo Davis: Exactly, and then how do you respond to that? How can we, how can we respond to treatment into more of a positive thing for ourselves to learn? And I think then that that's sort of. It's all about brain science. So we know that you know the neurons that fire together, wire together. So we have these well travelled traverse patterns in our brain, patterns of thought, patterns of negative thought. Oh yeah, and they're deep right. So in order to change them like this is a well-traveled path. So if we want to make a new path and create more numeral connections, it's more like you know. Bushwack, like we're walking through a forest when we're trying to make a new path. You do it often enough, the path becomes clear, we go down the path and then it becomes unconscious that you don't think about it anymore. So I don't.
00:22:01 Mike Pietrzak: That is well, it makes a lot of sense. You know from from a logical perspective. You know things that are simple are not always easy to do, of course, and so for me, for example, I definitely struggle with anger, and this, as you know, a recent thing still investigating this with the help of my own coach, which has been wonderful because what she's doing for me is is every week helping me to get better at catching myself identifying the triggers at an earlier and earlier stage, even if that's a matter of microseconds. And and once you're right, once you do see these things, you can change them. You can't really change a problem if you don't see it, if you don't.
00:22:39 Jo Davis: That's why.
00:22:40 Mike Pietrzak: And so that is very, very healthful, but I'm finding it's very. It's a very slow process, very tedious process. There's no, I'm looking for, you know, a tool or a hack or something, and I'm not even sure that exists. I think the only way through this is simply to be more aware. Is that what you found as well?
00:22:59 Jo Davis: Man, it's practice acts, practice practice!
00:23:03 Mike Pietrzak: Have any tools or practices?
00:23:04 Jo Davis: Well, I use sure that stuff for sure, like there's an assessment you can take and it's free online, and you get this. You answer a bunch of questions and you get your two accomplices, avatars, so they explain how how you go. They all come in childhood, in response to how what you're living through. It's not your fault, it's just your survival. Brain reads these ways of cooking to cope. So here you are as an adult, though, and they're not necessarily needed anymore.
00:23:40 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, interesting that you mention childhood, because I'm you know. I've always known intellectually that a lot of our personalities formed in those early years, but I'm seeing it a lot more clearly as coach, more more.
00:23:54 Jo Davis: Clients.
00:23:55 Mike Pietrzak: I'm seeing how much of their current belief systems are limiting. Beliefs, their their fears, their personalities and my own were really formed in that those those early years, you know, even before the age of five and now that I'm a dad, even more more evidence to this, this phenomenon I'm seeing. You know that every little thing I do is is replicated or repeated by my daughter, and so I have to be very careful there there's a new one on me. Only give her very healthful, positive. You know illustrations, I suppose, are demonstrations and I know that I'm going to make mistakes. I'm probably made a 1000 of them already and she's only a few months. So how do you mean we can't go back, obviously, to our childhood and fix up, but you can do the mental work to go back and uncover these things. Do you have a technique or or strategy you like to use to go back into childhood experiences to rewire?
00:24:51 Jo Davis: Well, I think of it not so much as going back to those experiences, but kind of understanding how they have manifested in me as an adult. You know, and now, what can I do to to become aware of those negative thought patterns and just use that a lot o what am I learning or just simply, ah, that's a judge. Let it go more often now I'm just finding myself letting it go because the more I tell myself a story about this, this negative thing, and, as Green Brown says, this is the story I'm writing about this, I'm inventing this story about what this means. This is simply a thought, it's all.
00:25:39 Mike Pietrzak: Terms, in some cases a shady first draft.
00:25:43 Jo Davis: It's it's just a thought, and now I can have another thought about it, so I'm going to just simply let that one go and not create a whole story around what this means, because all it is is me putting meaning onto this situation where it doesn't even exist. I'm just great.
00:26:04 Mike Pietrzak: It's almost like what we're talking about here is the field of self-awareness and you know it's kind of a mushy concept, but I'm finding out it's more and more important, you know.
00:26:14 Jo Davis: Almost.
00:26:16 Mike Pietrzak: Wisdom is an elusive concept, but almost to build wisdom in your life, to to start asking the questions of yourself internally. You know there's a lot of people chasing money and fame and, et cetera et cetera, on the external. Or maybe you know my wife needs to chain. My parents need to change and and I'm realizing more and more that that's almost what is it. There's no value in doing that, because you can try to change your external world as much as you want. If you don't change the internal stuff, nothing will change your and to change the internal, of course, you need to know what's going on inside there. How do you, how do you build self-awareness just just an easy, small question for you.
00:26:58 Jo Davis: I'm a fairly significant meditation practice.
00:27:01 Mike Pietrzak: Oh yes!
00:27:02 Jo Davis: And I follow a writer called Philip Sheppard. I don't know if you know him. Look him up, he's he's a Canadian and he teaches something called the embodiment process. So he his philosophy is that we are so in our heads as a culture and that we, we have lost the connection with our wholeness, the head like the head and the body connection, and so our bodies hold so much wisdom. But we we leave untopped where we believe it's you know, it's just a mechanism for carrying around our heads. Really there's so much in our heart, in our gut that gives us information, wisdom, intuition, and so I've started. You know, probably in the last year. I took this course last last winter and just coming into awareness of the this deep wisdom and presence inside your body can be. So you get your head out of it because your head is where the judges right. So if you can come into present with your body and there's there's a presence inside your body that's different than your head.
00:28:21 Mike Pietrzak: Access? That? Is it through meditation, or is it something else?
00:28:25 Jo Davis: It starts with the breath and he teaches. He teaches some interesting breathing techniques that really help you, slows down everything, because when you just focus on your breathing, all the thoughts just kind of go out and just becomes unawareness of breathing in and breathing out. And that's I start all my coaching sessions with this work, and people of all the just rushed in from something and they're sitting down. They're coming for the coach and the like.
00:28:56 Mike Pietrzak: I might borrow that.
00:28:58 Jo Davis: Breathing and getting in touch with where you are in your seat and your feet on the floor and just coming into present with us here.
00:29:09 Mike Pietrzak: I really like that idea because I noticed a lot of my clients do come from other meetings or they're they're in the middle of their day or something, or they've come up a long, long work day and you can tell that they are overwhelmed, their stress, have anxiety. I noticed that in those cases the coaching work is not as easy if the client is not as receptive, and so I think I'm going to going to borrow that from you to to start with a little setting the setting state.
00:29:37 Jo Davis: Yeah, first, and the first step is for you to do that prior to the coaching.
00:29:42 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, I mean I have my own little little routine that I do you know at the start of every coaching call. Before the coaching call I do my little bit of Tony Robbins priming, which is a form of meditation, and I say: you know, please give me the strength, the wisdom, the compassion, the kindness, the love, the intelligence to to help this. Let me be an actually listener and let me know when to listen and when to speak. When I do speak, let me know what what it is I can say for this person's highest good, and please let us reach a breakthrough, some kind.
00:30:08 Jo Davis: And and.
00:30:09 Mike Pietrzak: Fine, that's really helpful for me, but I think they that component of adding it on the client side as well. That's that's going to be powerful. So thanks for that.
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00:30:18 Jo Davis: Not everybody is super open to that, but I think if you sort of introduce it when you're doing your, when you're designing your alliance with your client, just say: how do you feel about, you know, just coming into some breathing exercise, some coming, I mean you don't have to call, call whatever you want, just to come into calm presence. And every one that I have, you know, used this now at the beginning, always appreciates it and then they start, you know, using it in their own life sometimes.
00:30:49 Mike Pietrzak: And that's powerful now when, when they don't need you anymore, it's like, okay, you've taught them the skills. It's almost like that proverb about, you know, to teach and fish versus giving them fish. I'd like that idea of setting the clean up for success even after they're they're finished with you.
00:31:04 Jo Davis: He was.
00:31:08 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, I know I had a bunch of other questions lined up for you, but is there anything on your side that you want?
00:31:13 Jo Davis: Let's talk about.
00:31:14 Mike Pietrzak: I mean we can go in whatever direction we like actually know. What I do want to ask you is: how did you come to meditation?
00:31:21 Jo Davis: What?
00:31:22 Mike Pietrzak: Meditation? How did you find it? What made you practice meditation?
00:31:27 Jo Davis: That's a good. That's a good question. It's a good story. When I was my early twenties, my brother and my sister-in-law became practitioners of transcendental meditation, and so when I was 21 I was initiated, Tom and I started then and I've been a practitioner. How long is that? 21 to 57? You know over the years it went in and out of. I mean it hasn't been a smooth, you know II kind of lost it in the years when I got it back and then I've always had to have that as a base and explored different kinds of meditation along the way as well. And the breathing, the breathing meditation, is really powerful, I found, but that has really, you know, been the basis for my meditation practice.
00:32:27 Mike Pietrzak: So, is that what you practice daily? Is it? Is it breathing meditation? How long do you usually met?
00:32:34 Jo Davis: Often will practice, which is not what I always do, but it's 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night. Mantra. So you sit in a quiet place and you repeat your mantra and your body just transcends. Your breathing decreases, your blood pressure goes down, you come into a very relaxed state. If you're tired, you often fall asleep.
00:32:56 Mike Pietrzak: Yes.
00:32:57 Jo Davis: And yeah, you just you come to a very kind of quiet, deep place in your body. That's the only way I can kind of describe it and it's very.
00:33:06 Mike Pietrzak: I know what you mean. Call meditation one of my.
00:33:10 Jo Davis: National habit.
00:33:11 Mike Pietrzak: You know few habits that all of my other activities rest.
00:33:15 Jo Davis: Top.
00:33:15 Mike Pietrzak: Like exercise and meditation is probably the the practice for me. I found meditation 19 through through one of these book, an American Lama and sort of practicing a little bit, enjoyed it. It felt like it was providing me benefits. And then I remember going home from university was 19 and I got one from university and siting at the kitchen table with my mom and dad. And I remember we were about to get into a fight, which was our normal standard habit right. It was like clockwork after 30 minutes of being home from university were having an argument about something.
00:33:47 Jo Davis: Right.
00:33:48 Mike Pietrzak: But I do remember in that in that phase, after I started meditating, that I didn't I disengaged. I wasn't interested in continuing that anymore. I was very aware of what was happening and I think for me that's the best thing that meditation gives me.
00:33:59 Jo Davis: At that.
00:34:00 Mike Pietrzak: Constant awareness. It's not just you know in the moment practising that you get the benefit, it's it's something that I really translates to all of your life, and so now I've been meditating tents a day for, for since I was 19 and I kind of fell off the wagon when I had a daughter. Right, because it's very hard in the morning to to sit quietly and and find a space when you know there's breakfast that needs to be made in divers to be changed, et cetera, and so I've recommitted to that practice in the last few weeks and I noticed a shift in my, my attitude again, my mood and my energy would all go so far as to say that that meditation saved my life. I was in a very bad place a decade ago with depression and you know not not working, trying to start as a writer, having very bad habits, sleeping in late, staying until five in the morning, going on drinking, and you know it was meditation that pulled me out of it. I found a wonderful book by Jon Kabat-Zinn, you know him.
00:34:55 Jo Davis: An idea.
00:34:56 Mike Pietrzak: He's just, he's amazing. He's one of these.
00:34:58 Jo Davis: Most like.
00:34:59 Mike Pietrzak: I would, I would say expert but almost like an elder of the mindfulness world, I suppose, at least in the literature, and he has his book called the Mindful Way through Depression, and it helped me to see that thoughts are not reality. You can see, you can see thoughts as passing clouds. The clouds move, sometimes it's storms and and they don't carry meaning, they just they're clouds. They they're moving by same same with thoughts, same with emotion. It's it's a wonderful way to approach life when you can see.
00:35:31 Jo Davis: Yeah, I love that image of it's on a cloud and it's just passing by.
00:35:36 Mike Pietrzak: Great!
00:35:37 Jo Davis: It's a funeral, no attachment.
00:35:41 Mike Pietrzak: And again, simple concept, but hard to put that in the something that another thing that helps me is an image of actually the way someone described meditation to me was your think it might be jones in. You're sitting on the bank of a river and you're watching the flow of the water go by and from time to time you fall in and you get carried down the river. Meditation is really just pulling yourself out of the water, sitting back on the bank and watching the stream again. The thought stream is the metaphor right. I love to describe meditation that exactly what what, what the practice is for me. So yeah, it's been very, you're healthful, sure, I guess both of us.
00:36:23 Jo Davis: Yeah, and I think that concept of becoming the observer, and I think, as you've practised meditation, it doesn't happen right away, because we're not trained to observe our thoughts, observe our feelings, detach from like we are. We think that's what we are, but then the meditation kind of, and that's what did for me too. You become the observer of those things. So you realize this is not all that stuff, isn't me, that's these are passing things, not not going to attach to them. I'm just here as the observer of those things, and when we become the observer, it takes the charge out of it right.
00:37:11 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, absolutely right, it's such a powerful realization when you have it, that I'm not my thoughts. The thoughts are simply a tool that I have as a conscious human being. But you know I am. I am something else, something greater, and you know you can call that a soul or or you can call it something else. You know that the Hindus have different terminology for the Buddhists as well. Yeah, once you whence you see that I'm I'm observing those thoughts. I am behind those and always has a whole hours and hours of audio lecture about this, this concept and how? How? How many watchers are there behind the watcher and what not? It was an enlightening concept for me to realize that. Hey, I don't need to take things so seriously. Yeah, good, and I know that you are a great collector of quotes. Is there one that comes to mind at this particular moment that you like?
00:38:02 Jo Davis: Yes, in fact it was one that I wrote about in my most recent log. Maybe you found it there. So it's a woman. Her name is Emily Mcdowell and she's an american writer and this quote it really. When I found it, it really sort of encapsulated how I feel about coaching.
00:38:31 Mike Pietrzak: Yes.
00:38:32 Jo Davis: So it goes like this: finding yourself is not really how it works. You are a ten dollar bill and last winter's coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people's opinions and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. Finding yourself is actually returning to yourself: an unlearning an excavation, a remembering of who you were before the world got its hands-on you.
00:39:08 Mike Pietrzak: That's that's wonderful.
00:39:10 Jo Davis: Emily Mcdonald.
00:39:13 Mike Pietrzak: It's great. I'll have to look into her.
00:39:16 Jo Davis: Yeah, and that's how I feel about coaching. I mean maybe that's a nice way to end the conversation, if that's where you want to end it, but that I hold people already, naturally creative, resourceful and whole, and that is my my coach training, and I think as much as we think we're were flawed and imperfect, and of course we are, but that underneath it all that stuff happened to us in life. I mean we didn't does a baby come into the world? You know how does a baby come into the world? You held your baby. Is that is that baby?
00:39:53 Mike Pietrzak: I think perfect.
00:39:55 Jo Davis: So we don't judge that baby like the baby just is who she is, and so I think we're under all that, all those layers of judge from our culture, from our parents, from our employers, from our world. But underneath we are whole. The process of uncovering that and accepting who we are is is a really profound experience. The coaching can bring us to that and it's life altering.
00:40:27 Mike Pietrzak: I completely agree with you. I tell my clients that I don't have the answers for you. They're all inside of you and my job is you bring them to the surface, and I've been reading for years. You know wisdom from from the Buddhist tradition tradition and and I feel like they're getting at the same thing, that enlightenment is not something that go to keep climbing up the ladder and finding at the top of the ladder, but it's something that that happens when you realize that nothing is yet everything is perfect as it is. I don't quite, I don't quite understand it yet, but I'm getting. I'm getting closer. I think maybe maybe maybe saying that is pushing me further away. Who knows? But I like that idea that there's nothing to be done. There's nowhere to go, there's nothing to strive for. It's all. It's all right there. It's perfect as it is.
00:41:19 Jo Davis: Yeah, and I think I think something that I came to, maybe in my forties around your age, is that you know we're not who we are.
00:41:32 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah!
00:41:36 Jo Davis: Okay, just to be who you are.
00:41:39 Mike Pietrzak: Written.
00:41:40 Jo Davis: It is what it is, and not only is it is what it is, but it's wonderful.
00:41:47 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, it really is. It really is.
00:41:49 Jo Davis: That is.
00:41:51 Mike Pietrzak: That's a wonderful note and sentiment. To to leave it on is the nothing else you want to share with us before we go.
00:41:59 Jo Davis: Except, you know, if people are interested in my coaching, if they're interested in chatting to me about?
00:42:04 Mike Pietrzak: Can we find you online?
00:42:06 Jo Davis: Yeah, jodaviscoaching.com.
00:42:08 Mike Pietrzak: Jodaviscoaching.com, great!
00:42:10 Jo Davis: I have a programme coming up shortly. Actually, if people are interested, it's a five part workshop series for women in their second spring and to that coming up.
00:42:22 Mike Pietrzak: Well, we'll do what we can to get the word out, so thanks so much. I really appreciate our conversation as usual and have an amazing day.
00:42:32 Jo Davis: Yeah, you too, lots of fun. Thanks, Mike. Take care!
00:42:35 Mike Pietrzak: Thanks a lot.
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