218 Laugh, Learn and Awaken With JP Sears

May 22, 2017

JP Sears is a deeply spiritual thought leader with an intense sense of humor. You may have experienced his mindful comedy if you’ve seen any of his viral videos focusing on essential oils, the joys of being gluten intolerant, being vegan, the wonderful uses of coconut oil and more. According to his book, ‘How To Be Ultra Spiritual’, we’re taught that he was sent to our planet by God-fearing atheists to create videos to share hidden secrets only being revealed now, after the passing of centuries of time. I am thrilled and delighted to welcome JP Sears to the Mindfulness Mode podcast.

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Effect on Emotions

  • Mindfulness has allowed me to embrace [my emotions] more.
  • I don't know that my emotions have changed from mindfulness, but my relationship to my emotions has changed for the more intimate.
  • For the first couple of decades of my life, I was mostly numb. So much was going on under the surface that I was unaware of it rationally. Also emotionally I was unaware of my emotional realities.
  • Mindfulness helps me acknowledge what is, and I think the old Zen path of contentment; accepting things as they are without the need to change that and without the need for them to be otherwise.
  • I'm not perfect, I'm clumsy at best, but it's [mindfulness is] a nice help.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • Oftentimes I'll have a post-it note [on my desk] that just says breathe.
  • I think breathing is a fascinating biofeedback tool. It tells us what's going on in our body but what's more important it tells us what's going on in our mind and maybe even in our relationship to what's beyond our mind.
  • When I notice my breathing being shallow, caught up, I'm taking things too seriously, I'm getting stressed out. That's my mindfulness cue to become more mindful.
  • Becoming mindful of my lack of mindfulness is a powerful step to becoming more mindful at core levels so noticing shallow breathing. I feel it in my neck. It's just so obvious when we just remind ourselves to look for it so breathing helps me become mindful of my lack of mindfulness.

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Bullying Story

  • I think bullying is severe abuse disguised as 'just the way it is'.  We're looking to free kids and honestly adults too, but looking to free kids from this sort of silent secrecy that we consent to where it's like I am trapped by bullying and I can't tell on anybody because that means I'll be bullied more.
  • Kids need a way out. Life is too short to not be free.
  • Telling a child, well, just be yourself and don't worry about it; that's amazing advice but functionally useless.
  • Children need more help because this is a real issue present day. It would just be a joy if, in a short amount of time, we just wake up and this is not an issue anymore, find something else to spend your time on. That would be amazing.
  • I did have experience with bullying. As a kid I wasn't constantly picked on by any means, I won't pretend that was my case but there were definitely times when I was being bullied and this feels crummy.
  • The biggest one that stands out was, I was on the football team in the first year of high school.
  • It was my freshman year and before school started we were in the weight room and one of the older guys just started belittling me.
  • Honestly, I went into a shell for the next two years. I didn't really comprehend that I was going into a shell because I felt so much shame. I wanted to avoid being shamed like this again.
  • I couldn't recognize that at the time, but now that I look back it's like, wow, I did that.
  • I was living in an avoidance posture which [caused me to] become way more introverted than I actually am. Way less outgoing than I actually am.
  • In other words avoiding being authentic. Did I avoid some future bullying reoccurrences? Maybe, but what it really cost me was being myself and probably making connections with a lot of other people.
  • Then also there were times, not often, but certainly some times, that stick out in my mind where I was acting bullying out on other people.
  • At those times I would use humor to hurt people. It's sometimes easy to do that. The easiest laughs are always the cheapest and most hurtful.
  • Because everybody's laughing, sometimes even the person I'm hurting is laughing. It's easy to, in the moment, convince myself that we're just having fun. It's like, no. Looking back I can realize, I'm acting out a sense of power over this person to compensate for how powerless I feel inside.
  • I think any time someone is bullying someone else, it is a hurt person trying to hurt someone else so that they can have a temporary sense of escaping their hurt.
  • Psychologically, if I can make you the hurt one, Bruce, then for a short amount of time, I believe that you're the hurt one, so I'm not the hurt one. I don't have hurt because, look how much you're hurting.
  • Honestly, the times that that would happen, I developed so much shame about that, that I hurt someone else, that it taught me not to do that. I think there is such a thing as healthy shame.
  • Healthy shame [is when it] feels so crummy to do this that painful shame is a great teacher to not do that crummy thing again.
  • It helps teach us to do it a better way. Shaming people has taught me not to shame people. It's really taught me well; the power of how to use humor to help, not harm. How to use humor to acknowledge and heal pain and accept it, rather than project pain, which is to reject pain and trying to get away from it inside.