Mindset

135: The Bliss Engine with Jim Blake (aka Daddy-O!)

135: The Bliss Engine with Jim Blake (aka Daddy-O!)

We have a verrrry special guest this week in honor of his big birthday month, and that’s my dad—Jim Blake!

He happened to be in town visiting on a day that I was participating in Podcast Row, an all-day podcasting extravaganza at Stand-up New York. My first guest had a last-minute emergency and had to bow out, so with no notice I pulled my dad onto the main stage and interviewed him about his books, his music, his creative process, and what he calls “mouth management.” We had so much fun!

If you've enjoyed either of my two books it's in large part thanks to his expert editing, content discussions, and ongoing inspiration—so I can’t wait for you to get to know him better through this week’s episode :)

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/135.

Enjoying the show? Pivot Podcast is listener supported—consider becoming a Pivot Insider and you’ll get access to a private monthly Q&A call where you can ask me anything—the next one is on my birthday, October 9—shout-out to my fellow Libras!

129: Penney & Jenny Show—Why Do We Hesitate to Be Much More of Ourselves?

129: Penney & Jenny Show—Why Do We Hesitate to Be Much More of Ourselves?

Why do we hesitate when it comes to being more of ourselves? In this episode, which happens to be released on Penney’s birthday (woohoo!) we discuss why we fears and limitations that hold us back from our fullest expression.

In this conversation, we talk about the cultural pressure to fit in, self-entertainment as spiritual practice, setting big goals and going too big or too small, willingness to be a “misfit,” why transparency attracts more joyful friendships, and what’s behind comparison to others—how noticing a quality in someone else means that you have that quality somewhere within you. 

View full show notes from this episode at http://pivotmethod.com/129.

Enjoying the podcast and want to support the show? Become a Pivot Insider and get access to Jenny’s Monthly Q&A call—the next one is coming right up on August 14!

Have a question related to this episode, or any in our Penney & Jenny series? Ask away here in a quick voice note. We look forward to rolling all of your questions together and creating a listener Q&A show soon :) Read the full transcript here.

125: Penney & Jenny Show — Discriminating Truth, Just-Rightness, and Making "Good Choices"

125: Penney & Jenny Show — Discriminating Truth, Just-Rightness, and Making "Good Choices"

Penney and I are back in action, with the 9th (!) installment of our Penney & Jenny show. If you missed last week’s episode (#124) on liminal space and embracing the in-between, check it out here.

This is installment is all about discriminating truth, just rightness, and making good choices. How do you trust your truth and anxiety signals? How do you know when it's time to Pivot? What's the difference between authenticity, honesty, and humility versus hiding, avoidance, and apathy? 

As poet David Whyte says, some beautiful questions need to be lived. We explore how the body is the first level of knowing in the physical world, and how we can better trust and tune into our bodies to know if something is true or not.

124: Penney & Jenny Show — Embracing Liminal Space (the In-Between)

124: Penney & Jenny Show — Embracing Liminal Space (the In-Between)

Penney and I are back in action, with the 8th (!!) installment of our Penney & Jenny show. This week we dive into why it can be so difficult to embrace liminal space, also known as a transitional state of “in-between.”

Penney equates the liminal space to the time when a caterpillar has created and entered the cocoon, but has not transitioned into a butterfly. It is the space in which we are given the chance to rest, reset, and recharge before moving into the next phase. It sounds lovely when put that way, so why do we often want to rush the process?

Tune into this episode to learn all about why hindering the liminal state is like fighting a tidal wave, and why taking the time to stop is so important to your life, brain, and success.

For full show notes, visit ;. Have a question related to this episode, or any in our Penney & Jenny series? Ask away here, in a quick voice note. We look forward to rolling all of your questions together and creating a listener Q&A show soon :)

Pivot Podcast is listener supported: Contribute as a Pivot Insider and you’ll get access to a private monthly Q&A with Jenny, with access to the recordings in case you can’t make it live.

121: Raise Your Game (and Ditch Compare-and-Despair) with Alan Stein Jr.

121: Raise Your Game (and Ditch Compare-and-Despair) with Alan Stein Jr.

Nobody knows the daily grind of competition and mental game better than athletes and coaches. Today I’m thrilled to share a conversation with basketball and performance coach Alan Stein Jr. on how we can apply these hard-fought principles to building better businesses.

Alan first blew me away with his networking skills — he joined a private group we’re both part of and quickly became an integral member, after I’d been mostly wall-flowering as the hidden introvert that I am. We talk about his strategies for building relationships and ditching unhelpful compare-and-despair for mindsets that are far more helpful and empowering.

[Best Of] Rebirth: On Fear, Flow, Love and Magic with Kamal Ravikant

[Best Of] Rebirth: On Fear, Flow, Love and Magic with Kamal Ravikant

As I get up to speed in my first semester at Union, I’m re-launching a few of my favorite podcast episodes from four years of archives: I hope you enjoy some of these oldies but goodies, particularly if you missed them the first time around! Here’s a conversation I loved from January 2017 with Kamal Ravikant :)

What lies on the other side of our fear? According to Kamal Ravikant, magic. "That's the promise of the heart," he writes in an early chapter of his wonderful new book, Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart. This is one of my all-time favorite Pivot Podcast conversations: Kamal inspires courage in vulnerability, living with an open heart, and road-tested practices on loving yourself and living your truth. Every moment of talking with him was a delight, and I hope you enjoy this week's conversation on life's biggest topics as much as I did! 

115: "People are People" — Exploring Neurodiversity with Mark Rufino

115: "People are People" — Exploring Neurodiversity with Mark Rufino

Mark Rufino is a social worker and audio engineer, who works with adults with developmental disabilities and their families. However, even the term "developmental disability" or "intellectual disability" is becoming a misnomer. Mark is part of a growing movement of people who believe it's time we upgrade our old way of thinking "that we need to fix you to fit into our society."

The term neurodiversity is growing in popularity, and implies that there is no “normal” way of thinking and “autistic” way of thinking, for example; we are all wired to do different things. I think you'll love this conversation around exploring what's behind behavior, Mark's emphasis on deeper listening (in surprising and novel ways), and his reference to a book that states "the opposite of anxiety is not calm, it’s trust.”

114: Illuminating Invisible Privilege with Karen Pittelman (and Why She Gave Away Her $3 Million Trust At 24)

114: Illuminating Invisible Privilege with Karen Pittelman (and Why She Gave Away Her $3 Million Trust At 24)

This is one of my favorite interviews, and a conversation that is crucial for understanding and revealing the hidden influences that shape many of our views on society, wealth and power. I have heard terms like white privilege (which applies to me), but I hadn't thought to look into the notion of invisible privilege until earlier this year. You may think it doesn't apply to you (as I used to), especially if you're not in the "Top 1%."

But as a recent Atlantic article revealed, The 9.9 Percent is the New American Aristocracy, privilege is something that affects more of us than we might immediately self-identify with, particularly for many who see themselves as part of the "middle class." (A necessary note: some of you may be in the Top 1%—and you're welcome here!—and some of you may be struggling to get by, and  you're welcome here too).

After hearing it thrown around quite a bit in social change circles, I got curious. What does invisible privilege really mean? How does it affect me, and others like me? And how does it relate to broader social change? I'm so grateful for Karen Pittleman, who answers these questions with kindness, compassion, and clarity in this week's conversation. I can't wait for you to hear her story of giving away a $3 million trust fund when she turned 24 years old (now she's given over $13 million to activist-led funds), and her input on how we can all work together to redistribute wealth and power as we work toward a more just society.  

112: Whose Voice is in Your Head? Perfection Detox Round Two with Petra Kolber

112: Whose Voice is in Your Head? Perfection Detox Round Two with Petra Kolber

I am beyond lucky to have the brilliant Petra Kolber as one of my best friends in New York City, and just delighted to celebrate her book launch this week!! It's been a long journey, and one that forced her to confront the very message of her book: overcoming the inner critic and imposter syndrome because "the world needs your voice, not your perfect silence."

As I wrote in the show notes for our first Pivot Podcast interview in January 2017, Petra just radiates joy and truly walks her talk. When she enters a room, it lights all the way up with her positivity, passion for life and joie de vivre.

But that doesn't mean she hasn't wrestled with her own dragons, particularly around perfectionism (as have so many of us). Coming from decades in the fitness industry, Petra struggled with the pressure to be perfect in looks, body, business, and beyond. 

As a two-time cancer survivor, she is passionate about waking people up to the precious gift of time. Her mission is to inspire people to move more and to fear less, so they can stretch their dreams, strengthen their courage muscle, and build an inspired life full of joy and gratitude. In this follow-up show we explore her book publishing process ups and downs, moving past the mirror, the platinum rule (a favorite new concept!) of self-compassion, and much more. 

99: My Morning Routine—How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired with Benjamin Spall

99: My Morning Routine—How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired with Benjamin Spall

Although many of us aspire to rewarding morning routines (and enjoy geeking out on the best of what others come up with), on some days just getting out of bed is a victory. To this end, one of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander's new book, My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired, comes from Ana Marie Cox, a political columnist and culture critic.

Cox says, "When you come up with a morning routine, understand that you’re undertaking it in order to do something good for yourself, not to meet some stranger’s standard of productivity."

With that in mind, I invite you to this week's conversation with Ben where we discuss common themes across morning routines, and how to take some pressure off of trying to meet impossibly high Inner Critic Morning Routine Police expectations. I'm also honored to be featured in My Morning Routine, with a subtitle for my chapter that made me chuckle: "When your evening routine starts at 3:00 in the afternoon." Listen in to find out what I do with all that wind-down time :) 

98: Defying the Odds: Jason Wang's Pivot from Prison to Helping Others Transform Their Hustle

98: Defying the Odds: Jason Wang's Pivot from Prison to Helping Others Transform Their Hustle

Jason Wang knows a thing or two about being an underdog. Growing up as an only child of two immigrant parents living through poverty and abuse, he knows all too well the challenges of overcoming obstacles to transform generational legacies of poverty, crime, and violence.

I had the great pleasure of meeting him earlier this year at a mentoring night for Defy Ventures, an organization that teaches entrepreneurship to men and women with criminal histories to help "transform their hustle." (Find a volunteer opportunity near you here!) Jason's radiance, joy and contagious positive energy blew me away. And then I heard his powerful comeback story and knew I had to share it with all of you. But first, a little context about what brought me to that mentoring night . . . 

In the years since Pivot launched, I have developed a strong desire to work with those who aren’t fortunate enough to pivot by choice, or who are perhaps embarking upon one of the greatest pivot opportunities of their lives: rebuilding after poverty, homelessness, and prison.

Earlier this year, I blazed through Defy founder Catherine Hoke’s book, A Second Chance, with an urgency that I couldn’t explain. Simultaneously, I read books on addiction, ADD, and the mind-body stress-disease connection by Dr. Gabor Mate. Next I sought out further reading on our incredibly broken criminal justice system, and read dozens of stories of people who had been wronged or disadvantaged because of their race and economic circumstances in runaway bestsellers like Just Mercy, The Other Wes Moore, The New Jim Crow, and Hillbilly Elegy. I read about Father Gregory Boyle’s inspiring work to employ and empower former gang members in downtown Los Angeles in Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir.

Many, if not all, of the people described within the pages experienced unthinkable trauma as children. Drugs and criminal activity were not the problem, they were their attempted solution to the pain of disconnection. Their stories made me cry, and cracked my heart open in a thousand new places. Stories of intense physical, mental, and emotional abuse. One parent’s form of childcare for her son? Putting him in the dryer until she was ready to let him out again. Another’s involved asking her six-year-old to “just kill [himself] already,” for being such a burden, before dropping him off at an orphanage saying she had no clue whose child this was. Or like Jason whose father tried to kill him three times before he was ten years old. 

As the authors above illuminate, many of these people never had a true first chance at life, let alone a second. Father Boyle describes as “a compassion that stands in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than in judgment at how they carry it.” It is with this reverence for the resilience of these incredible souls that I bring you Jason's story, and hopefully many more like it moving forward.  

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/defy-jason-wang. Enjoying the show? Make my week by donating just $1 and episode at Patreon.com/pivot.

94: Second Chance at Life After Kidney Donation — with Keith McArthur

94: Second Chance at Life After Kidney Donation — with Keith McArthur

On a sunny, spring day in 2016 doctors told Keith McArthur his kidneys were about to fail.  Over the next 12 months they continued to break down, no longer able to filter toxins. Poisons built up in his body and brain. He began to feel sick and tired and confused.

After a life-saving transplant from one of his sisters, and despite being a lifelong skeptic, Keith began "ingesting every self-help resource [he] could get [his] hands on." No longer convinced they were all "written by charlatans and mansplainers," he began a journey to discover how to truly live.

As he writes in his new book, 18 Steps to Own Your Life: Simple Powers for a Healthier, Happier You“It’s not like I was unhappy before…but something was missing. Like most of us, I never really learned how to be human. No really. So, I made a decision to learn the skills I needed to finally own my life.”

In this conversation, we cover Keith's powerful story and insights about life before and after almost dying from kidney failure, lessons from raising a child with severe mental and physical disabilities, how he listens to his body's signals more after the operation, and what it means to "permit the pivot."

89: Turning Pain Into Purpose: Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer on Kayaking the Grand Canyon, Climbing Everest and Building No Barriers

89: Turning Pain Into Purpose: Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer on Kayaking the Grand Canyon, Climbing Everest and Building No Barriers
"My father had been like a broom, constantly sweeping me out into the world, and my mother was like the dustpan gathering up the shattered pieces and rebuilding me, only to have my father sweep me out again."
—Eric Weihenmayer, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

This week's guest, Erik Weihenmayer, needs no introduction beyond his incredible life story and mission, and I cannot wait for you to meet him. Erik is an adventurer, author, activist and motivational speaker, who has also become a celebrated and accomplished athlete despite losing his vision at the age of 13. 

He was the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001, and completed the Seven Summits the following year, joining 150 mountaineers at the time who had accomplished that feat, but as the only climber who was blind. In 2005, he co-founded No Barriers, a nonprofit organization with the tagline, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” The organization helps others with diverse backgrounds and abilities attack challenges head on, problem solve, build winning teams, and serve others. In September 2014, Erik and blinded Navy veteran, Lonnie Bedwell, kayaked the entire 277-miles of the Grand Canyon, considered one of the most formidable whitewater venues in the world.

That’s the focus of his recent book, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon. In the foreword, Bob Woodruff said, “Erik is simply one of the most remarkable men I have ever met.” I agree, and not just for what he has accomplished, but for who he is—full of heart, soul and inspiring hustle. This episode is one you won't want to miss. 

87: Penney Interviews Jenny—We Are Souls: On Past Lives, Alignment Practices, Conscious Creation and Non-Icky Marketing and Manifestation

87: Penney Interviews Jenny—We Are Souls: On Past Lives, Alignment Practices, Conscious Creation and Non-Icky Marketing and Manifestation

We're back! Penney Peirce and I continue our ongoing series based on her vast spiritual oeuvre—this time with the microphone tables turned. She's interviewing me as we dive deeper into past lives, alignment practices, saying no to "sexy shoulds," clearing one's personal field to contribute to collective energy healing, marketing and manifesting in an authentic way, and so much more. Be sure to check out Penney's new book, Transparency: Seeing Through to Our Expanded Human Capacity, for which I was delighted and deeply honored to write the foreword :) 

This episode of the Pivot Podcast is the sixth in our series series together—the Penney & Jenny Show! Check out our previous conversations here: Transparency Part 1: What does your soul know?Transparency Part 2: Soul GroupsIntuition and Frequency, Dreams as a Doorway to 24-Hour Consciousness, and Perception: Navigating Our Non-Linear Universe.

81: Create, Serve, Receive, Be Prosperous: Soulful Business with Jeffrey Shaw

81: Create, Serve, Receive, Be Prosperous: Soulful Business with Jeffrey Shaw

I had such a blast talking with Jeffrey Shaw for this week’s episode. He has been running his own photography and coaching business for over 33 years, including a podcast called Creative Warriors to help heart-centered entrepreneurs create, serve and be prosperous. We talk about how Jeffrey went from overlooked to overbooked, how to find, connect and speak to your ideal customers, and the energetics of business—how to tune-in to your intuition to guide strategy and next steps. 

In Jeffrey’s own words, we are entering “The new renaissance—a time when artists, coaches, designers, authors, speakers and other purpose-driven entrepreneurs will run profitable businesses, be highly respected for their talents and free to express their work across a variety of mediums.” I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did :) 

78: How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t — With Andrea Owen

78: How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t — With Andrea Owen

"I stopped following, bypassing my inner critic, knowing full well the future of my total physical and mental health was not dependent on Ms. Bendy Six Pack Von Instagram."

—Andrea Owen, How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t

Although it seems like the holidays should be nothing but rosy and bright, filled with gratitude and good cheer, sometimes being back in our home of origin (with family, longtime friends, and/or in-laws) can send us into a personal growth regression machine. In past years I’ve caught myself reverting to my worst habits—whether it’s using the tone of voice of a high-schooler, layering on guilt for not being my best self, or not taking care of myself in the ways I know that i need in order to recharge and stay sane amidst the extraversion and people-immersion this time of year. 

So I purposefully scheduled this awesome episode with my good friend Andrea Owen for this exact week. A time when, despite your best intentions, you might find yourself falling into the familiar traps of perfectionism, people-pleasing, controlling, and about 10+ others that get in our way and make us feel like sh*t. I hope you enjoy this conversation and find as much relief in it as I did! 

74: Soul Groups: Transparency in Relationships with Penney Peirce

74: Soul Groups: Transparency in Relationships with Penney Peirce

“See yourself from the soul's point of view: flaws are just temporary mistakes of perception."
—Penney Peirce, Transparency

We're back at it, folks! There was so much juicy material from Penney Peirce's new book, Transparency: Seeing Through to Our Expanded Human Capacity, that we decided to dive in even deeper in a follow-up episode of the Pivot Podcast (if you haven't already, check out first part, Transparency Part 1: What does your soul know?

In this conversation, we talk about transparency as it relates to relationships: how does it help us connect with soul groups and soul mates? What happens when we're trying too hard or putting on a show just to gain approval? Why, if we're all part of a collective soul group, does it seem like there's so much chaos and violence in the world? What's it like to connect with a business or book community from a transparent/soul perspective rather than marketing shoulds? I absolutely loved hearing Penney's insights on all of the above, and I know you will too :) 

73: What's more important to you than perfection? With Jenny Blake

73: What's more important to you than perfection? With Jenny Blake

What is more important to you than perfection? This episode is coming to you unpolished and unedited . . . to prove a point to myself and my inner perfectionist.

I realized it had been a while since I did a solo show (one where there’s no guest), just me riffing on a topic that’s on my mind. And why not? Because my perfectionism monster started running the show! I worried that if conditions weren’t perfect, if I didn’t have my fancy mic while on the road for speaking gigs, or a perfect content outline, that I’d be better off not doing one. Pfft! So for this 30-minute show I just awkwardly shared from the heart ways I push past perfection when it starts blocking my life and creative work. 

69: Worrier's Guide to the End of the World with Torre DeRoche

69: Worrier's Guide to the End of the World with Torre DeRoche

Contrary to what she'd probably tell you herself, Torre DeRoche is one of the bravest people I know. When we first encountered each other online, she had just finished sailing the world for two years with her boyfriend at the time. Just the two of them . . . on the open seas . . . despite her deathly fear of sharks. I've been captivated by her story and her writing, under the moniker Fearful Adventurer, ever since, and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person for a meal in Chiang Mai when we crossed paths there in 2013. 

Fast forward a few years after that, and Torre found herself in a deep state of grief and loss. Her dad was dying of cancer, and her relationship of ten years was dissolving because of it. Her new book is the story of finding her way back to life — and this time without the worry that had plagued her since she was a child.

68: On the self-help taboo of staying inside your comfort zone—when and how to reach with Andy Molinsky

As Andy Molinksy writes in Reach, chances are if you've ever been interested in the topic of personal growth as it relates to risk, you've heard tropes like "life begins at the end of your comfort zone" and have encountered this meme-of-all-memes: 

comfort-zone-magic-happens.jpg

He says, "And then of course, there are the stories—successful and confident people who had the courage to go for it, and are now spokespeople for Comfort Zone, Inc., imploring us to do the same: Take the leap! Go for it! The only thing to fear is fear itself!" 

But what if, as someone asked me recently at the end of one of my keynotes, you're actually (gasp!) happy in your comfort zone? Do you always have to reach? I'm excited to unpack this question in this week's episode—Andy and I talk about when to reach outside of your comfort zone, how to build a risk portfolio, and common pitfalls that get in the way such as fear of what others will think, insecurities about our own competence, and resentment, or "Why do I have to do this in the first place?"

More About Andy Molinsky

AndyMolinsky.jpg

Andy Molinsky is a Professor at Brandeis University’s International Business School. Andy helps people develop the insights and courage necessary to act outside their personal and cultural comfort zones when doing important, but challenging, tasks in work and life. His work has been featured in HBR, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, NPR and Voice of America. Andy is the author of Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence and Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior Across Cultures and Not Lose Yourself in the Process
 

Topics We Cover

  • When is it okay to stay inside your comfort zone?

  • Managing your comfort vs. risk portfolio: when to reach and when to adjust so you don't enter your panic zone

  • Authenticity and remaining joyful in stepping outside our comfort zone

  • The vicious cycle of avoidance

  • The three C's to successful reaches: conviction, customization, and clarity

  • We tend to catastrophize stepping outside our comfort zone. Clarity helps ground our perspective

  • No matter the reach or their outcome, it is all a learning experience

  • Our reaches are also the ways we support people

Podcast: On the self-help taboo of staying inside your comfort zone—when and how to reach with Andy Molinsky

Listen below or on iTunesSoundCloudOvercastStitcher, or Google Play Music:

Check out other episodes of the Pivot Podcast here. Be sure to subscribe via iTunesAndroid or SoundCloud, and if you enjoy the show I would be very grateful for a rating and/or review! Sign-up for my weekly #PivotList newsletter to receive curated round-ups of what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and new tools I'm geeking out on.