Philippa Wilkin: The Transformational Power of the Breath (HEx Podcast #21)

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Transformational Breath is a type of conscious connected breathing. It’s a breathing awareness practice, and it’s also a breath control practice. Essentially we breathe in what I’d describe as a conscious rhythmic way where we don’t pause in-between the inhale and the exhale. So we breathe in one continuous loop. And this type of breathing […]

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Podcast 186 | Birthday Gifts

By Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus ·

In this episode of The Minimalists Podcast, Joshua and Ryan talk about birthday gifts, gifting experiences, their favorite consumables to give as gifts, and when it’s appropriate to give physical gifts, and they answer the following questions:

  • How do I set the appropriate expectations with my loved ones regarding the kinds of presents I prefer to gift?
  • What are the most tactful methods for requesting specific gifts or no gifts at all?
  • What does the ideal minimalist birthday party entail?

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Apple Podcasts · Spotify · Google Play · Soundcloud · MP3

Minimal Maxims

Joshua & Ryan’s pithy, shareable, less-than-140-character responses. Find more quotes from The Minimalists at

  • “A kind person is the best kind of person.” —Joshua Fields Millburn
  • “The best gift is the joy of less.” —Joshua Fields Millburn
  • “Worry less about how something looks—worry more about how it makes you feel.” —Ryan Nicodemus

Mentioned in This Episode

The post Podcast 186 | Birthday Gifts appeared first on The Minimalists.

So I just discovered that I’m a perfectionist. Literally 5 minutes ago.

I only saw an Instagram story on the feed of my cherished Brooke White (if you don’t follow her, you ought to, she is a soul sister in the truest sense of this phrase ) and she was talking about her struggle with procrastination and time management, along with the deeply rooted cause behind it. The origin essentially being perfectionism and putting off participating in lifestyle if you believe you can’t do it flawlessly. Really, ACTUALLY setting your own damn life off since you’re feeling you can’t do it. There was one quote that she pulled from Brooke Castillo’s Life Coach School podcast on rejection which said,”Procrastinators are fearful men and women.” I understood that and I thought, omg that’s freaking me. I have never identified as a perfectionist but balls that were sacred am I a die-hard procrastinator. I’ve used procrastination since grade school for a self preservation strategy, trying to irrationally avoid decision, and rejection for as long as humanly possible. That self preservation tactic also bled into my tendency toward being a people-pleaser. So far, that it almost destroyed me years back, I discovered that there were individuals. I began writing to please themand subsequently, the soul of my writing became unrecognizable while I gradually, every day, betrayed myself.

“Individuals pleasers are liars”, says Brooke Castillo and her reality bombs. When you don’t saying you like something. Saying you are ok with something whenever you aren’t. I had been so excellent at lying. When I let myself to be, I’m still good at it. Like a muscle . I brought this damage in my connection with my mom when I set my self-imposed need to please and avoid potential rejection, over my desire to speak my truth. And it had been only when my reality was so overpowering, so insistent, even bubbling over into my nightly dreams, I had been forced to face and speak it, and also the relationship was sent on its way around repair and healing.

Perfection. Procrastination. Self Preservation. Back at the heyday of blogging, I was invited several times to speak on panels at different conferences. This is not a brag. At that time that I was horrified. In a moment of panicked white-knuckling, at first, I said , and eventually, I would find a way that was back-doored to say no. I didn’t trust myself to talk out loudly not to a room filled with individuals. I didn’t expect them not to judge me, maybe not deny me. Nevertheless this invite to talk, and also to become stronger than I had been in that instant, wasn’t eliminated delayed.

I am currently, in the first stages of never being scared of myself. When I say the early stages, I’m speaking like a year and a half here. I’m daily, hourly, digging deep on my why. And I am, for the very first time, expecting myself to vocally talk in front of those I adore ( um, you). Yet confidence and the wisdom which I really do have something to express , is racing neck and neck with my fear I won’t say it enough. I’m in the middle of launching a podcast, while I feel, deep down into my bones, this is a portion of my function at the moment, I am in the same instant, combatting negative self talk in my capacity to execute it with the elegance and ease others. The term”other people” is not a mirror to see oneself, but damn if I don’t use it as one.

Additionally within those early stages of never being scared of myself… officially known as,”come in my bro part 1, 2 and 3″… I am diving into the realm of creating classes instead, and everything I expect to be a deeply satisfying, new way to create a daggum alive on these internets. And you also know what is the strangest? Perfectionism. That is what’s the dumbest. I know my purpose, I know my motive, (let you Alison’s Brand Workshop for that, it was my literal emergency hotline) I understand exactly what I want to do, and I am stunted, and annoyed by my impulse to gratify the toxin of perfection. I allow fear of judgement back in. Fear of rejection. And I am not down with this.

So here is my truth. I am going to talk it today.
Not anymore.

“Maximal” Episodes

From Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus ·

This month, February 2019, The Minimalists Podcast will take off the month. But we listed four experimental “Maximal” episodes for The Minimalist Private Podcast, including talks about joy and depression, products and branding, and “The Life-Tidying Magic of Gentrification,” where we present our thoughts on Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up and, um, gentrification. You can listen to The Minimalists Private Podcast on Patreon.

Don’t worry, however! The Minimalists Podcast–the favorite, public variant you enjoy–will go back in March with brand new episodes, new guests, along with a slightly new arrangement. Plus, each week we’re planning to record a totally different long-form “Maximal” event for The Minimalists Personal Injury ; these longer episodes will give us the freedom to dive deep to difficult conversations. If you subscribe to our personal podcast on Patreon, you’ll receive a personal RSS link so that it plays in your podcast app. You’ll also have access to our complete catalogue of more than 100 personal podcast episodes.

Why listing our new “Maximal” episodes on Patreon? Two reasons.

There are a number of topics we would like to discuss semi-privately in front of a little, compassionate group of people–conversations we would have just with friends. We want to have the ability to think out loud in front of a small group of individuals that are willing to give us the leeway to neglect and develop, to change our thoughts. We need to have the ability to talk without any fear of judgment or public ridicule about our insecurities, our family lives, our struggles, our relationships, our feelings, and our flawed customs. We consider Patreon is the best place for people to delve into these sensitive issues, difficult talks, along with ceaseless shenanigans.

Second, Patreon is your simplest method for individuals to fund our podcast and also maintain it 100% advertisement-free. Our show is 100% listener-funded — thanks to this proportion of men and women who encourage our series, because we refuse to clutter our popular podcast with advertisements. Enables us to pay for gear, studio space, a podcast manufacturer, and a filmmaker, and it is going to enable us to get some cash.

Clearly, money isn’t the reason we capture our podcast. We now ’ d simply load it with rake and advertisements in revenue if it was. But, of course, there’s s nothing wrong with earning money, and we believe the most honest manner is to give people the option to support our show.

Please notice: If you can not manage to be a Patreon subscriber, do not fret and we don’t expect the series to be supported by you . That’s why people ’ll continue to generate other creations, essays, videos, and podcasts you’ll be able to enjoy at no cost. And for some of you that opt to support our work , thank you. We love it.

–Joshua & Ryan

P.S. Do you like just a small play? Well, we re introducing a new segment: “About . ” Each week during our “Maximal” episode, we’ll read about a recent event that ties directly or indirectly to minimalism. We ll then share our opinions, and since we both have different points of viewpolitically, spiritually, emotionally–we now all ’ll debate many of the topics. But best friends are permitted to fight?

P.P.S. Here’s what patrons are referring to our new personal podcast episodes so far:

The post “Maximal” Episodes appeared first on The Minimalists.

One Simple Way to Improve Your Confidence

One Simple Way to Improve Your Confidence

During that awkward phase of high school when you are just as confused by what your math teacher says as what your hormones are telling you, my life shifted dramatically by the most dreaded experience for all school age children — I changed schools.

Thanks to the infinite wisdom of the local school board and their new school zoning policy, I was required to change to a new high school as a freshman. The standard adjustment period from elementary to high school was made exponentially more unenjoyable by the fact that my new school had an entirely new social demographic.

I went from the average awkward teenager to one who was so scared of just being looked at as he got off the bus that my entire body would break out in sweat. Forget talking to girls — walking through the halls at recess was difficult enough. All those eyes looking at me!

My family and friends encouraged me to be “more confident. This is perhaps the worst advice you can give to someone who is border-lining on social anxiety disorder.

In retrospect I know their intentions were good, although their advice was just terrible. Did they just expect me to turn on the confidence switch in my head? Oh oops, I forgot to turn that on.

The process took a long time, and actually the only thing that built up my confidence systematically was athletics, especially wrestling and martial arts.

It wasn’t so much the coaching but rather the physical challenge. The better I got, the more my confidence grew and slowly expanded into totally unrelated realms. It was almost as if once I knew I was good at something, I knew I was good enough to talk with everyone.

What Most Of Us Get Wrong About Confidence

Telling someone to be confident is like telling someone to be happy.

Happiness cannot be pursued directly, and if it is, the results will almost certainly be both quickly forgotten and disappointing. Instead it is a byproduct of losing yourself in some pursuit, moment, sensation or idea.

Confidence is like happiness — it cannot be pursued. Rather it is a product of a life-changing process or experience.

There is a basic formula to create lasting confidence.

Being Scared of Something + Resolving To Do It + Doing It = Confidence

Inspirational quotes, pop psychology and self-affirmations are just temporary confidence boosts. Although they may make you feel good, they lack the fundamental base. They are like temporary Band-Aids.

Maybe you wanted to hear some secret formula, but like most things in life, the foundations of great beginnings are often deceptively simple. Only when we look from far away do they look complicated and inaccessible.

Challenge is the mortar used to build the foundation of confidence. We build confidence one success at a time. Perhaps this is the perennial lure of self-help — it provides an external source to lay that first foundation of confidence for self-development and growth.

This idea is echoed in childhood, where good parenting instills an illusionary sense of confidence. The “Wow. Honey you are so great” comment serves to build children’s confidence. However to lather such specious compliments on an adult comes across as fake and disingenuous.

What to Tell Someone Lacking In Confidence

Instead of telling them they are intrinsically great and amazing, instead offer them a challenge. They may not take it, but you have done your part. You can’t force confidence upon anyone.

Only a transformative experience can affect someone into creating LASTING change. Any challenge, regardless of how insubstantial it may seem, is the water and sunlight needed for the seed of confidence to grow.

There are no losers — as westerners we are so preoccupied with success that we often forget just taking on a personal challenge is transformative enough. Regardless of the outcome, taking on some sort of task and completing it shows one that he or she is capable.

I’ve been a high school teacher for the last eight years. I must admit, I’ve given up on the idea of inspiring change simply through giving life advice. Instead I offer challenges.

The students who lack confidence, I build them up. I start small. I empower them to create confidence for themselves. All the while I stand on the sidelines watching them build themselves up one challenge at a time.

The Unstoppable Confidence Plan

Remember the three steps for building confidence. Think Simple Right?

  1. Pick something you are scared of.
  1. Commit to doing it and follow through.
  1. Become more confident as a result.

Sounds too simple? The beauty of simplicity is that it’s the underlying factor in the greatest achievements. It’s the water that slowly wears away the rocks or the steady hand that builds a masterpiece. Simple formulas can create uncommonly great things.

The next time someone is lacking confidence and they feel they can’t continue on or don’t know how to, don’t just lather them with well-intentioned, you-can-do-it comments.

Instead, offer them a challenge.

Do you have areas where your confidence is low? What would you like to be more confident about? Drop a comment below and let us know.

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