Unapologetically BOLD: I'm not sorry for....
Being a Mindful Man with Jon Macaskill
January 4, 2021
What are your thoughts on mediation and mindfulness? Being in the wellness and safety industry, we have heard everything from it is amazing to it is for hippies. Even having a group claim it is trying to turn them to a certain religion.... so why can something have so many definitions attached to it, yet have mountains of research showing its effectiveness with dealing with stress? Welcome, Jon Macaskill who's debunking many of the myths and speaks about how these practices helped him with being a Navy Seal as well as the people he services at Veteran's PATH.
What are your thoughts on mediation and mindfulness? 

Being in the wellness and safety industry, we have heard everything from it is amazing to it is for hippies. Even having a group claim it is trying to turn them to a certain religion.... so why can something have so many definitions attached to it, yet have mountains of research showing its effectiveness with dealing with stress? 

Welcome, Jon Macaskill who's debunking many of the myths and speaks about how these practices helped him with being a Navy Seal as well as the people he services at Veteran's PATH. 

About the guest:
Jon Macaskill (muh-KAS-kill) is a retired Navy SEAL Commander turned mindfulness and meditation teacher. He was born in South Africa and moved with his parents and 4 siblings to the US when he was 7. He grew up in Ruston, Louisiana where he was an avid track and cross country runner.

After graduating high school, he served briefly as an enlisted
sailor in the Navy before receiving an appointment to the US
Naval Academy. He has his BS in Mathematics and MS in
Operations Research.

Jon has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, off the coast of Somalia, and in Panama. He serves as the Deputy Executive Director for Veteran’s PATH, a nonprofit organization that works to introduce meditation and mindfulness to veterans to bring them a sense of Peace, Acceptance, Transformation and Honor.

He also now runs his own consulting company, Macaskill Consulting, LLC, bringing mindfulness and meditation to high performing teams to aid in dealing with stress, anxiety and depression all while increasing focus, creativity, and productivity.

Jon’s wife, Beka, also served in the Navy and is now a civilian Orthopedic Physician Assistant. Together, they are the proud parents of two small children and recently after spending 6 months in an RV, have settled as a family in Colorado Springs.

[00:00:02] spk_1: this is This show is brought to you by Safety FM. Welcome to unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If you are a person that is tired of apologizing for being you, you know the human part of you that sometimes feels like it has to be different at home versus work versus play. The human side that just wants to be hot, humble, open and transparent about your wants, desires and uniqueness. If you answered yes, this is for you. Join me, Emily Elrod as I dive into conversations with Amazing Guest. About what? That you're not sorry for And creative and loving ways Let's get started. Hello, everybody. Welcome to another unapologetically bold I'm not sorry for And I am beyond blessed today tohave my new friend with me. John. Welcome.

[00:01:04] spk_0: Hey, Emily. Thanks so much for having me. I really like that intro set up. I'm gonna have to copy that down the down the road, but super happy to be here and excited for the conversation. See, I'm excited to see where this road goes.

[00:01:17] spk_1: I love and you're such an amazing, dynamic person. So I'm so excited for the audience to get to hear you and get to learn from you because you in a good in a good sense, you are different. And that's what I love love about you. And your difference is that you are unapologetically bold about who you are. So so people that don't know who you are. Can you just give them a little background about who John is?

[00:01:46] spk_0: Sure, I'll be happy to. So actually just retired from the Navy. Uh, let's see, where are we at the end of October? Now also, I just retired beginning of August, so at some point, I'm gonna have to start saying I retired and not just retired, but I'm tired of the beginning of August after 24 years, most of which was spent in the Navy SEAL teams, uh, graduated from the Naval Academy with a degree in mathematics, went out to seal training, did my time in the seal teams, and and then, in the last three or four years of my Navy career, I started getting very passionate about mindfulness and meditation, and that's what I'm doing now. I'm the deputy executive director for the nonprofit called Veterans Path, where we teach mindfulness meditation to veterans and transitioning service members.

[00:02:39] spk_1: I love it. And I think that really actually flows into what you're not sorry for. So I just love to go ahead and hop on into that. So, John, can you tell the world what you are no longer apologizing for?

[00:02:54] spk_0: Yeah. I am not sorry for being a mindful man, and I'm sure we're gonna get into what that means. But I am not sorry for that, for sure.

[00:03:04] spk_1: And that's I just Yeah. Go ahead. Let's hop on into that one. Where did that first come from? When was your first memory that you're like, mindfulness? Um, what is this? And why should I even deal with it

[00:03:21] spk_0: for sure? Uh, so in the field teams, I had some ups and downs and I was having some, uh, mental health challenges, if you will. And I was being medicated by the Navy. The Navy had me on various forms of anti anxiety and antidepressant medications, and I think they helped with the anxiety that helped with the Depression. But those pills also took the life out of me. They took the ups out of life, so I was just kind of this numb shell of who I had been in the past, and at the same time I was seeing some counselors to address the the lack of a better term right now. The demons that were that I was facing in my life and one of the counselors recommended mindfulness and meditation to me, To be completely honest, I kind of laughed at, kind of blew it off because in my mind that's preconceived notion that I had of mindfulness and meditation, that it is one that it was kind of a snake oil, that it didn't really work. And then the second piece was that it wasn't done by people like myself. I was for hippies and monks on Do Not that I have anything against them, But I was, you know, a 6 ft 2 £215 maybe seal who, and I'll be completely honest. I kind of thought that I was too tough for that kind of stuff. Uh, but then he convinced me that there there were some benefits to it by showing me the science physiology behind it, much of which we've discussed in the past and then showed me some very high performing individuals that practice it. Well, they're practicing it. Maybe I should give it a try. And so in all honesty, my initial memory of mindfulness was one off. That's for the loonies and then the the other side of things. Waas. I initially got into it for performance enhancement when he told initially, he told me initially that it was or addressing, um, depression and stress, but that's when I kind of blew him off. But then when he said, you know what, this is gonna make you a better leader is going to make you more focused at work. Um, then I was like, Okay, well, now eso the part products where it helped me with my stress, anxiety and depression I came off all medication and now I feel like meditation with the t, not medication with the sea has really changed my life and quite honestly saved my life.

[00:06:06] spk_1: I love that so much because ironies, I don't even know if you know this. That my stories very similar in that aspect dealing with demons, they gave me medication. I hated how I felt. I was sick again. That numbness. And I'm like, Okay, mine was How do I own myself. So this is not owning me because I'm a control freak. And so from that aspect, the first time that meditation came up, I'm like, Oh, that's against my religion You know, that was like, What's kind of like I am a Southern Baptist and we don't touch that. And the funny thing is, once I actually looked into it, it's nothing like that. It really does not. And is that hippies and month culture that sometimes go with it. So and the reason why I love that you do it even more is because you're a Navy seal whenever they walk in like you're the cool kid, like your quarterback, you're the head cheerleader like that's what you are and you're talking about things, and I know that a part of owning ourselves is we don't want people to do things based off of influence or severe of influence or because it's the cool kid. But this one I'm okay with, because it allows people to see that it is a game changer, and I do. I do believe whenever you get into understanding how it works for you and how it can work for you in the way that you can do it. It is a game changer. So I think that's my next question for you is you hear people talk about mindfulness one. What is your definition of being a mindful man? I guess we might need to start there.

[00:07:50] spk_0: Sure. So, uh, my definition of being mindful, man or just a mindful person Eyes is just being in the present. No, not worrying about the past or trying to change the future, but just being very aware of the present moment, both the emotional and the physical aspect of it, and then not judging that President um and then the Michael Mann piece to it. I do like thio kind of point out that piece because so many of the mindfulness and meditation teachers that I've met have been women and and in the mail kind of culture through the tosic toxic masculinity side of things. Um, bon again have that same preconceived notion that I had before is that it's It's for the soft for the week of parts for the weak minded, and it's actually completely opposite that. It's It's for the strong. For those who are willing to confront and deal with some of those inner demons instead of just suppressing them, pushing them down in the basement, they actually confront and process them, and it takes a lot of courage to do that. Um, so for the men who are watching and listening to your show, I highly encourage them. Take a step toward mindfulness, even though it has that that connotation, that it may be a week off,

[00:09:24] spk_1: and that's that's true. It's a misnomer is a stigma that comes with it, just like mental health as well. I call it mental fitness, and it's like, Okay, I'm like, just like you work your physical body. You need to work this one upstairs because guess what? That's where everything stems from. Your thoughts lead to your feelings, which leaves your actions, and over time that becomes behavior. But and I think that's the cool part about mindfulness, and what you are talking about is what my definition is. It's awareness with love. And for me, love is to be patient, kind, honest, understanding, not boasting a bill. Well, it's not to get angry with ourselves. It's to be again apologetically bold about who we are and bringing awareness to it. Is this a valid point? Should I look at it? And so how has that helped for the people like this is still voodoo. We don't touch it from the performance side of it because it is a game changer in performance whenever you can. Awareness, especially with leadership, talk about maybe a story that you have, or an experience that you've had with the performance side of mindfulness and meditation.

[00:10:38] spk_0: So I mean, the list is really endless. But I'll tell you one is I would never go on a show like this because I would have anxiety about getting on a show, talking to somebody without having some type of script set aside that I read, or at least have to reference that. That's one thing that I no longer feel any kind of need to dio. I feel very comfortable in my skin. I feel very comfortable in talking about my experiences of my life, sharing those life experiences with others, Um, but really, where I started to notice, the biggest difference was about two months into regular meditation and practicing mindfulness e. I want to get into the differences in the overlap between those two years. But about two months into practicing, I started to feel the difference. But then somebody else came up to me and they're like, Hey, what are you doing differently? Because it seems like you're more focused at work. It seems like you're more productive. It seems like you're able to get more done in less time. And that's when I was like, What am I doing? Oh, like more. I'm practicing mindfulness and meditation, so I'm actually able to focus on my tasks. I don't sit down from my computer and get distracted by my email. My calendar. I go cast by task instead of trying to multitask what I found. That trying to multi task is also a misnomer. It's not possible to do Really. What you're doing is breaking each task into little fragment and you're getting through each fragment end of the day. If you look at your task list, what have you actually got done? You're not not getting that much done and arm in between those kind of switching between tasks that adds up and actually ends up taking more time in your day. So my performance improved in that I was more focused, more productive. But then I was also less stressed When somebody came to me with the task in the past. How I perceived that asked was a threat, Bond. That's how a lot of us perceived tasks. We we assign it, um, you know, work that comes with it and a deadline and our course all shoots up, uh, go into the red and our amygdala, the fight or flight. And I know you have other terms for that, the fight or flight. And I think you had, like, four or 55 flight freeze E forget what the other pieces are that you have to it. But bottom line, that part of our brain takes over, and we perceive that as a threat. Oh, yeah, we react. Is that respond? But what I was doing, I was I was realizing that every time I had a task or or deadline, I was able to rationally through think through that, process it and respond rather than react. So that's where my my kind of performance improved on then the byproducts where there as well again, coming back full circle to that stress and anxiety and depression that went away. But the other piece, uh waas I was mawr involved in my life and my life was richer So I have two little kids at a time. When I first started this, I had one. My daughter was six months old and I was getting up in the middle of the night. You know, when When my wife wasn't we were kind of switching duties, and I was feeding my daughter this bottle and I was as I was in the middle of the night, feeding her with this bottle. I was like, thinking about Okay, what's my to do list tomorrow? What's my to do list tomorrow or, you know, what did I screw up yesterday? Whatever. And I was finding that up, not paying attention to this beautiful miracle that was right there. And then I would put her too bad, and I would go lay down in bed. And now I've spun myself up and I will never get back to sleep. And after practicing regularly what I noticed Waas. When I was feeding my daughter in the middle of the night, I wasn't spinning myself up. I wasn't thinking about the past or the future but rather paying attention to the little sounds that she was making when she was drink bottle. You know, when she's reaching up and grabbing my hand, all these little things sounds like, Wow, this is I've been missing this, have you know, I've been doing it, but I haven't been paying attention, and then I would be able to go back to sleep after beating her. And that's why that's maybe not a performance enhancement. But a life enhancement that I got from from practicing mindfulness meditation is that it made me enjoy the experiences of this thing called Life so much more.

[00:15:16] spk_1: And I think the cool part of that from the science behind of it is when you're starting to cherish it. And in that moment of cherishing it, you get to feel that feeling of cherish instead of going to the ladder of missing right well lost. And that's what I've found too many times. And actually, the funny thing is is that me and my kids have this conversation the other day, and it stemmed from which, of course, they're six and nine, so I didn't talk about it, but it stemmed from somebody talking about suicide and from the suicide. What if somebody is talking about it? Um, thinking about committing suicide or doing the act of suicide that you tell them what you what you will miss from them. But I'm like that za reactive approach. In my opinion, yes, it's it. Once you're to that point, it still can't have it still has valid. But for me, why don't we start saying what we cherish now as a preventative approach to say, Oh, I cherish this moment I cherish. I told my kids this morning. I cherish that we have this storm, that we have trees down everywhere. But the reason why I cherish it is because this is what makes me sound so redneck. My chicken outside was getting attacked by a hawk. And if I had not stayed here, my son had not convinced me to stay here last night. We would not have our baby chicks. Most of them would actually be dead. And I would have missed my chicks. You know, it's something so simple, but I called my kids. I was like, That is a moment. I'm going to note it. I cherish that. I weathered a storm. That was crazy. I didn't want to deal with it. I heard the booms and bangs and everything we have power out. Everything was going crazy, but I found a moment to cherish. And I think that's the important thing with mindfulness that is miss a lot of time whenever people think of it. And it may be the ah part of us that having people on like you speaking about the actual life effects of it that bring it to another level. Yeah, I don't know who would not want to miss that moment of your kid, you know,

[00:17:31] spk_0: Right? I mean, that's just an anecdotal example, right? I mean, that's since that's not my daughter is almost four. There's There's times when you know I'm out there playing with her, which, if I hadn't found mindfulness and meditation one. I may not be here completely honest. Um, if I if I was here, but I hadn't found it, I may not be enjoying times of the playground with her, or I mean, and now I have a son and I may not be enjoying their interactions. I mean, when they play together and I just sit and watch and enjoy that. And then outside of the family, I mean, which is beautiful to me. But that works. I find that I'm happier at work than I was before. Like I feel a sense of accomplishment, a sense of, um, camaraderie that lost. And now I've got that back. And it's really that that piece is present in all my walks of life. Now s so much again, happier and healthier and that I am experiencing a richer life than than I was before. But going back to your cherished piece, I don't know if you know Brian Marren and Greg Williams. They have a podcast called The Left of Greg podcast, and I was on Brian's a former Marine, and he had lost a friend recently, um, and to to suicide. And he had taken that as a message to him that he needed to call his friends or regularly. What he started doing is when they have birthdays, rather than sending them attacks and saying, Hey, happy birthday or calling them into saying the plan Happy birthday, which is great. But now he calls them, And if you get them or you get the voicemail, he leaves them a message and says, Hey, this is what I love about you on I think that's huge. That's a game changer. If you're able to express to people what it is, your charity, what it is you cherish about them, that that changes their brains physiologically way talked about dopamine and oxytocin when we spoke weeks ago, and how powerful those chemicals are and how much there is a need those on does just simple cherish statements or phone calls like that that can literally save lives.

[00:20:00] spk_1: Oh, and the importance of it even now, more than ever, in my opinion, especially with Cove, especially with us going into the winter months seasonal effective disorder like there's so many things that are popping up that are environments already gonna fight against us compound that with election there's gonna be a lot that is coming at us, but we get to own ourselves instead of letting the world on us. And that's what I talked about awareness with love. And I think that's where I want to transition into what is mindfulness versus meditation versus you hear gratitude you here I talk about trigger recognition. All of these have different things that are a part of mindfulness. But I think it's good Thio bring them down for people that don't know what it iss.

[00:20:50] spk_0: Yeah, well, the way I picture it is is a band diagram on. For those who don't remember what band diagrams are, it's basically the circles that have little overlapping pieces. I'm a math major, so I know it out on the diagrams. But anyway, mindfulness you can picture one circle is mindfulness and the other circles meditation. And then there's some overlap between the two. You can be mindful in having a conversation right now. Emily, I'm trying to be as Mike was. I can in listening to what it is you're saying, rather than trying to formulate a response right off the bat, which so many of us do in our lives is we have a conversation, and then afterwards you like, What did the other person say? Uh, I don't remember much because I was trying to formulate my response. You can eat mindfully, and that's a beautiful thing to do. I mean, if you sit down to a meal and you take your time, you smell the you know, the aromas of the food. You see the textures, and actually, once you put that food into your mouth, enjoy the taste and you just take your time for a meal, that coming back to living a richer life that is gonna make your life richer. One, because you're gonna enjoy the meals to taking that time to actually be mindful, actually literally rewire your brain and then set you up for success throughout the rest of day. But anyway, so you could do mindfulness without meditating a bunch of conversations and being mindful about your eating, being mindful about driving on the highway actually paying attention. That's what mindfulness is paying attention situational awareness to the here and now. Meditation is when you sit down or not. Not literally. Sit down. But you set aside some time, and you're very intentional about taking that time to meditate. Whether it's transcendental meditation, whether it's mindfulness meditation, whether it's yoga, Nedra, whether it's any type of meditation, there's lots of the overlap between the two is mindfulness meditation. That's where you sit down to meditate, and you are mindful of your bodily experiences of your emotional experiences. So one of the ones that I do quite often. It's just finding the anchor of my breath. That's something always gonna have with you as long as your life and you can you really focus on the physical sensations of breathing? Focus on the feeling of the air, passing your nostrils as you breathe in focusing on the feeling of your lungs expanding in your belly in your chest, focusing on the reverse as you breathe out. And you just do that two or three times. And that could really change how you are reacting. Responding by tapping into your parasympathetic nervous system rather than your sympathetic nervous system, you could bring down your respiratory rate. Bring down your heart rate, bring down uh, hear, hear all your bodily reactions that typical to stress. So one of the things that I do when I speak with somebody about mindfulness and meditation is I try to start by stressing, which is kind of counterintuitive, but I asked them, Hey, I want you to think about the stressors that you have going on in your life. And as you're doing that, notice the physical reactions that you're having. A lot of people say, Well, I feel my hands are sweating. Feel my heart rate increasing. Feel my forehead started. Thio, tighten up, jaw starting type. I'm like, Okay, those that that right there is being You're paying attention to what's happening with your body and then I Then I have them Just take we nice controlled breath and pay attention to that breath Mhm and then happened. Take another check on where they are and it's dramatic. You can actually see somebody's forehead like getting less tense. You know, the jaw may not be on, and it's a it's pretty wild. Just that three breaths. And you can do that anytime, Anywhere. You do it on the road if you get, you know, cut off by by somebody and you're like your instant reaction is to call them names and chase them down and have some mad road rage. But instead of doing that, take a couple of yes, and you may be expressed some compassion towards that person. Who knows why they may be acting erratically. Maybe they just had a very bad day. Maybe they're trying to get to a hospital because they're having a kid, you know, flipping them a finger. Eso so yeah, it's It's pretty wild when you can invite into your life when you start bringing these practices into your life. Uh, probably one imagine tangent there, but hopefully I covered the difference.

[00:25:27] spk_1: No, you did. And what comes to mind for me is this is how I'm in south and how I got my illness. I do the wellness. You know this and the viewers know this as well. So wellness safety practices. But the first one I'm like, you know, snipers use this, right. I'm like, box breed and, uh, talk box breathing. And I actually help people with their hunting strategies and because how they get jittery, you know, And then we could throw that into sports And how people what I joke with some of the baseball players is like at home play. You want to have your home state like homo Stasis, like you want to be at your calm, your in the principal again. You are owning yourself. And that's the difference That I see between mindfulness and meditation is meditation is almost what I call like wisdom. It's knowledge and action. You're putting an action towards it and you're feeling how it feels and So for people, they're thinking like, Oh, this is weird still, and this may like breathing I'll say for me, my meditation time is also my prayer time. And for myself, it is a way for me to call myself and to control my thoughts and being mindful as well as meditating on a certain task at hand. Because what I found is a lot of time for me. I'm gonna over thinker. It shoots and it goes, and it's like, Come back task at hand, like task at hand and filling those feelings and feeling those emotions. And here's the cool thing to is whenever you tap into what meditation could give it your practicing it. And so when that person that walks in the room that you can't handle, they owned you. They literally owned your physiology. They literally took you over and you didn't even know it. But now you dio and and now you know, again, I talk about trigger recognitions. That's a big thing that I'm on on. What are these triggers? What are these things that you're being mindful of? But also putting the practice on to know what it feels like to even be at your home state. And so for you, I want you to talk about an experience whenever you have seen like this come together in a beautiful state. I know we talked about your daughter, but is there another time that you can think about that was like, Yes, I am a mindful man, and I am glad here is Juan.

[00:28:03] spk_0: Oh, narrowing it down to 11 more experience, uh, that I'm probably gonna have a little bit of difficulty doing. Um, yeah, I'll tell you, just to get rapidly personal here. But in in just conversations with my wife, um, you know, require too learning the skills of practicing meditation and mindfulness. There were times when I would So now e am apologetic for that. Apologetic about being my plan. But I am apologetic for bien, not mine. In the past, and in conversations with my wife conversation, some of my friends, I would not only work to formulate a response to what it was, they were saying that I would even go further in that I would we tune out and think about things that we're all my to do list. I think the things that were stressing me out. Um, and and now I pay a lot more attention to my beautiful bride. Mhm. I think that has changed our relationship. I know it has changed our relationship for the better. Mm hmm. Obviously better. Andi, that trickles down through my life in that I feel better about my relationship at home. Feel better going in tow work that carries forward in my attitude at work have better relationships at work and the day I feel better about work a home and it's just this cycle. So I don't know if I could put in in, you know, one experience. I think it's just how it's changed my experience of life, how holy different. My perspective is totally different than it Waas 34 years ago.

[00:30:17] spk_1: Oh, and what I hear on that, too, is cherish. You even said that about your wife in one of our notes. Just I know that you have love and gratitude and she is your world, and I love that like that is so amazing to hear people speak so openly about how much they care in there. Instead of being mindless about something, they're being mindful and again I think my thing that I keep coming to is that cherishing that caring and how it can get you to the next level because e joke with my husband, Happy wife, Happy life. But that's that's the same. But the thing is, is a happy marriage or a happy relationship, especially the people that can own you and know how to twist the knife. The easiest to say the things in a list of the responses is you don't practice some of these things. It can really go south

[00:31:20] spk_0: quick, I think our toxic And then, you know, one relationship turns toxic, and that has profound effects. E I mean, we talked about before you hit the court on this show. We talked about the connections and how how those those connections lead to other relationships with other people. Well, the the inverse is true. To assume 11 relationship in that kind of change turns toxic, that whole change and fall apart, And, uh, the most important relationship that you could foster, at least here in this world side of things not not talking about are spiritually relationships. But our worldly relationship is the relationship with your son And if that starts to get toxic, the rest of your world becomes toxic. You can you can protect against that. I mean, there's a whole litany of ways that you object against that, but one of the big pieces, by being present in a relationship that that comes from being like

[00:32:26] spk_1: Oh, yes. And I will tell you on this journey no matter if you're entrepreneur, if you're a leader, if you have kids, no matter what it is there, you may get plans and you may get told things. But it never goes the way that even if you have a step by step instruction. So all that to say is what I learned in these past 2.5 year or almost two years of owning my business. And this is what I tell every entrepreneur. Now make sure you're right at home. You gotta be right at home because if you want to lead others, you gotta lead at the house first. And that's that's my opinion on it, because that's whenever me and my husband, I'm like, Whoa, we're doing great work. But I'm gonna be great with you. And if if that's not happening. Other things will not happen well had Tigress on that subject.

[00:33:21] spk_0: But can I just jump in with 11? Peace. There's is absolutely You need to be right at home, right? But it's it's not just fostering that relationship with your significant other. I just met. I just said that it was That was a big piece of it, but it's also taking care of yourself. If you're not taking care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, all the different aspects that make you who you are, then you're not only doing yourself a disservice, but you're doing your family, your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues is purpose because you're not able to present the best you mhm. It's much like and I've used this in the past. But this much like the analogy or the metaphor when you get onto a plane to tell you, Hey, you know, if we have a loss of oxygen, the mask will drop down. Put your mask on first because if you pass out, you're not gonna be able to take care of your kids, right? That's if you're not taking care of yourself. You're not gonna be able to take care of your relationships with your others, whether your significant other, whether it's your colleagues at work, whatever got to start taking care of yourself that enables you to take care of.

[00:34:36] spk_1: Yes, you can't love others if you don't love yourself first, and you can't lead others if you don't love yourself first. And I think that's very important and also the science behind that, just to put a little note that sleep, fold, mood and movement are all mutually reinforcing of one another. And so how these all impact our body and how we care for ourselves, how we love ourselves, how we feel rewarded. Our stress levels all come together in addressing the mindfulness and even the meditation part of it. And I think this is a key thing that I do not want. Thio, leave this without saying thio and getting your input. You didn't get where you are in a day, so people starting mindfulness and meditation or like this ain't working for May because it was not a quick fix. It did not here the world in a day, talk to those people for me for a second.

[00:35:31] spk_0: I was one of those people s so it took me about two months, But about two weeks after I started, I went back to that council who recommended to me. And I was like, Doc, this stuff is not working. And he talked to me on my level. The kind of dumb knuckle dragger level in his, like a Have you ever gone into the gym, worked out for two weeks and come out looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger? It's like No, of course not. Like what? Same thing. Can't work out your brain, work out your mind for two weeks and expected to change completely. It will change, but it's, you know, minuscule. But those minuscule changes add up to massive changes, much like going to the gym. It's not like you're gonna look in the mirror after every workout and say, Wow, look, I've changed dramatically. Minuscule change. But you do it for a couple of months. You're going to see those changes. It's all cumulative, and the same is in reverse. So you stop going to the gym you like. I didn't work out today. I don't Look, don't look too bad. Didn't work out for a week. Um, not too bad. I don't work for a couple months of Fox changes the same thing with mindfulness meditation. If you practice it regularly and then you stop those all those gains that you've made, all that rewiring, that you've made that Europe plasticity that you tapped into all those new neural pathways that you created, they they atrophy, didn't go straight back to where you were over time. Mhm. So two things. One. It takes work, but it's well worth it. Just like being healthy and being in shape is well worth it. Your brain being healthy and your brain being in shape. It's worth. And then two. It's worth maintaining because it drops off pretty quick if you don't maintain it.

[00:37:29] spk_1: Yeah, and it's for me. It's not about perfection is about progression, stepping into it every day, and I love to that. Earlier in the show you talked about at two months, you had somebody start noticing it for you. Irony at two months, typically, when people start noticing on your physical body, exactly and so that's very important. To note to that, you may see the changes or other people may not see the changes, and you know that you're doing this work, and it's still don't take validation from others That is huge onto it to maintain that momentum, that cycle to continue it on. So such an amazing conversation, John. So I have a two part last question. First part. Yet people are are apologizing for being a mindful man. They don't wanna talk about it they don't want so that they are doing soft things. What would you tell them?

[00:38:27] spk_0: Yeah, well, I will tell you that there are a lot more people doing this than you think are doing. And it's becoming much more widely accepted in Western culture because in all honesty, it's an ancient practice that warriors used to practice. And somewhere along the line it got changed into something that weak and soft people do. Eso Well, once, once I started opening up about practicing, I had a ton of people come up like Oh, yeah, I practiced, too, But I didn't want to admit it. I didn't want I want and I'm like, Why not? Why would you not want to bring something this powerful to others and share that? And since then, a lot of those people have shared it. Eso one realize that what you're doing is not something that you want to hide, something that just changed you for the better and something that you want to share and to more people are doing that than you realize. Not that that's not necessarily validation for doing something because a bunch of people are doing it. But it's just just have no, I have faith that you're not alone in this. So I think that's what I would like to say to those who are, uh, meditating in private, practicing mindfulness in private,

[00:39:42] spk_1: how love it. And then the final question is, where can people find you? How can they get a hold of you if there's like, Oh, you are my person. I need to, like, speak to this for human. How can they find you?

[00:39:55] spk_0: Yeah. Best ways on linked in I do have other social media keep that somewhat private on Facebook and instagram. But linked in John McCaskill, J o n last name is McCaskill M a c A s k i l l You can find me there. I believe I'm the only John McCaskill. They steal commander practicing mindfulness. Now, if you look for that you'll find me. I'm

[00:40:20] spk_1: pretty sure you are to love. And then for anybody I do. I cannot stop without talking about veterans path very quickly because I think it's a huge plug, too, for people that are listening to this because you are a nonprofit in my

[00:40:36] spk_0: correct correct. Yeah,

[00:40:38] spk_1: and so how could they reach out? Donate help with any of these causes that you

[00:40:42] spk_0: have So a veterans path p A. T H Pete's acceptance, transformation in honor. That's what path and our name comes from. But you can find us also on social media, but our website is veterans path dot org's, and you can donate at Veterans Path or forward slash Donate. And, uh, and that is how we survive. And how we do this we do, is through donations and fundraising grants. We are the ones, and we're nothing it to make money or in its changed change and say fine,

[00:41:14] spk_1: e love it. And also, just if anybody is like, oh, this is another charity. You also have a high rating as well as that they have been validated that they're actually doing what they're saying and the work that I get to see that you've done. I'm blessed beyond measure for you coming on the show. I'm blessed beyond measure that the impact they're making on the world continue to do it. And I just want to thank you for coming on and thank for all that have listened. I hope that you haven't amazing. And Blessed Day Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If this touch shoot anyway, please like and subscribe Alright and share with your friends as we continue the message of being unapologetically bold Bobby and hot humans who are humble, open and transparent. See you next time.