I love the feeling of being ‘on form’, of hitting peak performance and getting those dopamine hits. Do you feel this? There are so many ways of being ‘on form’.
For example, I’ve just cooked dinner for my community with a made up recipe – it was a fabulous meal. Result!
I was a fell runner in my younger days, running in the wild over long distances, daily, for many years. I found the running exhilarating and demanding, challenging and enlivening.
I was also a dedicated Ashtanga Vinyasa practitioner, practising with dedication six days a week, up to the beginning of the fourth series for a total of 12 years. I was also travelling the world and teaching and sharing the beauty of a strong and intelligent approach to practice. It felt so good.
And I’ve experienced a number of big injuries that destroyed my practice, injuries that prevented me even walking properly, injuries that I had to heal over time. I had to discover intelligent movement as medicine, and apply this with total will-power and positive belief.
I am also fully involved in the lives of my young children – anyone who has children knows how demanding this is. When they are little there is the lack of sleep – and that is just the beginning of the demand!
I’ve started, ran and lost businesses.
I’ve been financially sound and in the past, homeless and bankrupt.
What I am saying is that I have experienced the vicissitudes, ups, downs, the many and various demands of life.
Whether you are a high achiever in business, maybe getting a fab new startup going, or if you are a parent looking after young children, and in fact, anyone in the modern world of powerful informational demand and covid complexity – we are all expected to be ‘on form’ continuously.
But here’s the biggie – our biology doesn’t work like that.
Unless we engage in high level training, humans work well in short to medium bursts of activity, where we might hit peak performance, a kind of personal best (or not), before we have to rest and recuperate.
To be a champion in whatever we do in the contemporary world, we need to train our biology and our neurology, to study our system and learn how it handles the challenges and stresses, and then we must learn how to properly relax. None of these are given, we really do have to learn them.
We have to study how our energy levels work and how our energy cycles operate, to study our minds and how our minds can make us champion performers at what we do best, or bring us crashing into downward spirals of distress.
I was doing some filming with Stig Severinson of Breatheology, (and multiple world and guiness world record fame for his free diving), he is super-human! We were filming fascially sound yoga type movements. The room was hot, we had limited time to get it all done and we wanted these films in the bag, as it were.
Well, we did it. About 80 short films, one take every time. We smashed it, as they say. Now that is sustainable, under pressure peak performance!
So how do you do it? How do you crack on, push through and meet demand – without burning out and feeling exhausted and depleted?
How is it possible to achieve not just peak performance, but sustainable peak performance?
These are strong, healthy and positive questions to ask.
Many people don’t just enjoy a coffee, they abuse coffee to get going, and to work through the day. This way of getting addicted to the bean ends up just depleting energy.
For some, adrenaline keeps them going – pumping up the intensity and demand, and like jumping off a cliff face, they ride on the fast rollercoaster of adrenaline (epinephrine) buzz.
But you will have to keep going higher and faster to get this to work. Cortisol (the stress hormone) starts to kick in, which you can ride on for a while before it too, leads to complete exhaustion and burnout.
Stress affects sleep. Many people will seemingly get by on a few hours of sleep. There may be a need to take sleeping pills, too – but either way, the quality of sleep is poor, and it means you wake up feeling groggy.
Then the coffee comes calling, or perhaps even pharmaceuticals – after all, there are deadlines to meet! But lack of sleep means lack of dreams, creativity declines and emotional processing gets tricky, so we need a way to come down too. Maybe Valium to add to the mix?
Then there is cocaine to take us out of the numb state we live in, it helps us feel powerful and alive. Then there is alcohol to shut off our thoughts and bring us down.
Our diet also goes to pot as we sugar binge and either eat too much junk or get indigestion and stomach ache and struggle to eat at all.
These are all recipes for exhaustion and unhappiness. And our body and brain does not get the nourishment it needs and deserves. And how does all of this affect relationships?
Crash and total burn out is a powerful cocktail and revolves around two key issues. The first is not understanding how we actually work, the weave of body, mind and life-energy. The second is not listening to our body and seeking to override our biology with exogenous substances.
So how can we find peak performance that is truly sustainable, and therefore nourishing?
The answer is three-fold.
- We have to learn how our body and mind work together as a seamless web of living experience.
- We have to learn how to listen to this seamless web.
- We have to train this seamless web, body and mind together, in a disciplined and intelligent way, systematically over time. That’s right, it takes time and dedicated practice.
So like a champion athlete, and we all need these skills in the modern world, we factor in daily training and periods of relaxation, we learn how to rest well and use recuperation as a part of an overall strategy of staying ‘on form’, top of the game and achieving whatever our purpose or mission is.
One of the key elements to explore is how we do flow, find flow and sustain flow?
How do we get into the brain state where time is effortless, where either things drop into place, or if they dont we stay clear, and we don’t dive headlong into distress?
How do we get into the state where ‘we are what we do’ as Stig says?
How do we land in a state of awareness where all the needs and demands of the body, mind and our relationships are well heard and well met and we are sustainably ‘on form’?
This is what you have to find out for yourself, but people like me can help you to do this, because I have learnt skill-sets over decades that through deep body-based experience, have found to work, and that scientific evidence is now also proving to work!
What are these things?
Conscious breath practices that calm, focus, transform, energise and keep us in Flow.
Body practices of Flow, such as my Nagas practice and embodied awareness practices that help us deeply tune in and listen to the body.
Body practices of strength and mobility to build fitness and resilience.
Understanding the mind and finding ways of diving deep into meditative depth and mind training, so we can remain free of the otherwise incessant chatter of mind, focus well and stay positive.
These are three of the four limbs of the Embody Evolution method:-
- Conscious Breathwork
- Embodied Awareness
- Mind Mastery and Meditative Depth
Sustainability is crucial, so as we learn to breathe well, move well, listen well, think well, believe well, focus well, meditate well, eat well, sleep well and dream well, we find sustainability that then allows us not just to hit peak performance but to keep in Flow, and to shine as we do it.
Stay well and stay in Flow.
I can show you the tools that you can start to use to transform your life for the better, and be the champion you really can be, find and live your purpose and live it sustainably and well.
I want this for you.
We want it for ourselves.
The more people living powerfully, well, on form, on purpose and making a difference, then the better this world gets – in Stigs words, ‘One Breath at a Time’.
There is a good reason conscious breathwork is becoming the next huge wave to take over the world, because it works, and as I say, it really is ‘The Magic Key’.
What we are doing is linking this to the other power tools for Flow to make it exponentially effective.
Please come and find out for yourself. There are a wonderful selection of online courses you can invest in, or come and take the 30-day free trial for my Embody Evolution membership, where you’ll get access to two weekly live sessions and much more. Come and explore!