1) Check out meditation videos by Forrest Knutson on YouTube:
2) The Magnesium Soak! Visit LivingTheGoodLifeNaturally.com and use coupon code LTH for our listener discount.
3) Check out Ashley's Free Your Anxiety Course!
Get Eliot's books and listen to his podcasts here:
In this episode, Eliot Marshall shares with us ways on how he deals with his anxiety. He tells us martial arts has helped him to stay calm in the very worst moments of his life and how teaching martial arts while having anxiety saved his life by giving the most of what he could for his students.
[0:00] Intro: Hello true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast.
Today we have a wonderful guest. You are going to love Eliot Marshall. He’s such a genuine soul with a beautiful voice and I just love his heart. I know you will love his stories and his passion and compassion today listening to this wonderful interview. Interestingly enough, he asked me, I asked him to give us some homework and he asked me for some homework. So, I want to make sure that you know about these three resources that I shared with him.
One is for mediation, I know it’s a really big buzzword and we can just break it down and make it really simple. So many people find that meditation is helpful to them. So if you want to experience the benefits of meditation but you don’t know where to start, I recommend a free resource. Someone I’ve had on the show before who’s actually a really close friend of mine, his name is Forrest Knutson. You can find him on YouTube by searching Forrest Knutson. His website is thatyogiguy. He teaches. He’s made so many great videos and he teaches how to meditate in a very easy way. He utilizes neurofeedback and neuroscience. So he’s all about the science around what happens to the brain when we quiet the mind and also what happens to the nervous system taking us out of the stress response, which is very helpful if we’re looking to decrease the physical effects of anxiety and also decrease anxiety itself. So I recommend that as a resource.
The next thing I really recommend for anyone who’s experiencing problems with sleep or problems with anxiety or panic attacks is soaking in magnesium. If you’re a first-time listener, I have several interviews about this talking about the science behind magnesium. You can go to my website learntruehealth.com, type in magnesium and listen to my episodes about the magnesium soak. We actually absorb grams of magnesium when we do this soak. It is through livingthegoodlifenaturally.com and we were given a coupon code LTH, as in Learn True Health, to receive the listener discount. So go to livingthegoodlifenaturally.com, type in the coupon code LTH and get the jug of magnesium soak. Listen to the episode first so you understand all the benefits and how to soak in it. Our body actually absorbs grams of this magnesium and people, we have hundreds of listeners shared that they have better sleep, significantly less anxiety and that they have a greater sense of well-being. It really does make a difference especially when we’re magnesium deficient.
The third I recommend, I teach an entire course, it’s an entire month-long course, on eliminating anxiety and all the neurolinguistic programming tools that will allow you and empower you to no longer have anxiety. You can go to my website learntruehealth.com and in the menu click on in the Anxiety there. You’ll see more information about it. I really recommend my course for anyone who wants to significantly reduce stress, anxiety, panic attacks, worry or if you just are really interested in personal growth and you want more tools on your tool belt. It is a fantastic course. I make it affordable for everyone to be able to learn these tools in such a way that it will empower them.
So those are my three recommendations for people who want to decrease stress and anxiety in their life. Check those out. Enjoy today’s show. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you for sharing this episode with those you care about especially those who you know have some issues with anxiety, with worry, with depression. We can get together as a community and support each other. That’s what we need to do. No man is an island. We need to get together and support each other and do that by sharing episodes that’ll help each other and sharing what has helped us. Letting our friends and family know that we’re struggling too and we’re there for them. The more that we put down our guard and be vulnerable with each other and we share with each other that we care for one another, the more we can make a difference in this world. Recently, data from the CDC that was published shows that the suicide rate for generation z, this is the generation between the ages of 10 and 24 years old, has increased by 56% percent between the years 2007 and 2017. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for generation z. This is a major epidemic. We need to do something right now. The only way we can make differences as individuals. So as individuals, all of us together can support each other by sharing this episode with those we care about and using the tools that Eliot teaches today. Just being there for each other, just reaching out to those we love and letting them know that we’re a should that they have and letting them know that we want to hear them and listen to them and that they’re heard. Also letting them know that we’re struggling too. Just that amount of communication could save someone’s life. So that’s why I’m so honored to be able to publish this episode today because my hope is that we can spread this message and turn this ripple into a tidal wave and help as many people as possible to learn true health.
Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 387.
[06:13] Ashley James: I’m so excited for today’s guest. We have with us Eliot Marshall who has an amazing story. What I love is he’s here to teach us how to find our power. As I’ve said on the show before health, a lot of times we look at physical health but health is not always just physical. Our mental and our emotional body and our energetic body all play a role in creating our physical health. We need to be able to create that inner power, that inner motivation, that inner strength, we need to cultivate that so that we can go out and do the things that support our life, our health physically but also our joy in our life. Eliot, it’s such a pleasure to have you here today.
[06:55] Eliot Marshall: Thanks, Ashley. Thanks for having me on. I could not agree with what you said more.
[07:00] Ashley James: Absolutely. Now your website is Eliotmarshall.com. Of course links to everything you do, it’s going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast learntruehealth.com. Eliot, you’ve got two podcasts that you do. You wrote a book. You own six gyms. You’re a professional fighter. It’s just like the list goes on and on and on.
[07:23] Eliot Marshall: I had a massive breakdown four years ago. I had a massive, what I like to call spiritual mental breakdown/spiritual awakening. I wasn’t paying attention to those things that were so important.
[07:36] Ashley James: We’re definitely going to dive in to your story. It sounds like you found your power though.
[07:41] Eliot Marshall: Yes. You know, I’m still gathering it. I don’t believe in ever reaching the top of the mountain.
[07:49] Ashley James: We’re never done, right?
[07:50] Eliot Marshall: We’re never done. The day I stop grinding is the day that they put the dirt on me. That grind might change. I don’t know what it’s going to look like that whenever –
[08:01] Ashley James: Yes. You get to the pearly gates and Jesus is like, “Alright, put you to work.”
[08:09] Eliot Marshall: Whoever it is up there, you know. Whatever it is. I’m never too concerned. I used to be super concerned with it. Now, I’m not concerned with it at all, I believe that we’re experiencing both heaven and hell while we are alive. So, I’m not sure what happens to me after I die. I guess I don’t even really care. I do care about what I do while I’m here on this earth.
[08:39] Ashley James: What a beautiful dichotomy to hold in your mind the idea that we’re going through heaven and hell at the same time. That we can learn and grow and utilize both experiences or both perspectives to help propel us forward and help others as well. I think we find really true joy when we reach out and help others. Our ego drops away. We’re in the now. We’re totally in that moment. You love helping people too. That’s why my podcast is Learn True Health. It’s not like achieve true health and then you’re done. It’s Learn True Health and keep learning and keep learning and keep learning. So, we’re going to learn from you today, Eliot. I’d love for you to start by sharing your story. What happened in your life that lead you to be such a wise soul?
[09:26] Eliot Marshall: I’ll start with I was born to an African-American dad who grew up very, very poor and White-Jewish mother whose parents, my grandparents, survived the concentration camps. So, I had a very interesting upbringing. We lived in this really small town. You know those towns where like they know when the kid’s born that he’s going to be the quarterback of a high school football team and a homecoming king? Like everybody knows that. That’s my town. I didn’t fit in very well. Looking back on it, it worked out great for me. In it, it sucked. So then, I would say grandparents, my mom’s parents had a huge, they had a very huge influence on my life. I saw them three times a week. There was a common thing. That common thing was Hitler will be coming again. I didn’t know that it was difficult. I didn’t know the effects that all of that had on me. It obviously played a role.
[10:45] Ashley James: Did you feel persecuted or ostracized for?
[10:49] Eliot Marshall: Yes. I had no friends. I had two friends my whole growing up, maybe three. That was pretty much the extent of it.
[10:58] Ashley James: That lack of acceptance must have really played into the belief that Hitler was coming back for you as a child growing up. That fear, you didn’t feel accepted by your community. If you’re community is already rejecting you then that fear that the holocaust is going to happen again was really real for you, really palpable.
[11:15] Eliot Marshall: Yes. There whole life was set for it to happen again. When they died, my sister lives in that currently, when my grandmother died at the time we went downstairs, it was 2000 and there was sugar and flour and stuff from 1979. We were ready. We were definitely ready.
[11:42] Ashley James: My aunt was a prepper back in the 70s. Until the day she passed away, she did the same thing. She filled her entire basement with canned goods. I understand that. I didn’t understand at the time but then I started to get. That’s a reality.
[12:02] Eliot Marshall: It’s a reality. Look man. We stole. I remember crawling in farms, because I lived in South Jersey where there’s a lot of farms, at night and going to get cucumbers. We didn’t need to steal. There was no necessity for us to steal. That’s just how they survived, my grandparents, right. Like okay, well let’s go. We didn’t steal massive things. We stole 10 cucumbers, which I’m not condoning it. I’m not saying that this was right or anything like that but that was the mentality. That was the concentration camp mentality. You have to survive. For me, I think it’s kind of what triggered my anxiety because I was always like, “Well man, what am I surviving from? It seems pretty good. I’m never hungry. Why should we be scared?” It triggered this from my life, like this. Like what’s coming down the pipe. Then it came a couple of times as an older. The first time I was 19 years old. It was pretty bad. The second time I was 21 and it was bad.
[13:22] Ashley James: When you say it was bad, were these events or were these panic attacks?
[13:26] Eliot Marshall: Yes. Acute anxiety episodes that lasted for about six to nine months. Then, up until this point you’ll never know what’s coming. Up until this point, my worst one was in 2016. It was, that was my dance with the devil. That was my dance with the devil.
[13:51] Ashley James: Were they provoked like something happened that triggered it or just out of nowhere, you’re like sitting at home eating dinner and then boom?
[13:58] Eliot Marshall: This last one, in 2016, I just got back from 2 weeks in Maui and my life was perfect. My businesses, I had two at the time, they were successful. I had a great wife. I had a great house. I had two great kids. I’m by no means like a gazillionaire but I didn’t, like if I want something I could do it. We’re not talking like Bugattis and private jets, right. We’re talking like normal everyday people stuff. If I wanted to go out to a nice dinner I wouldn’t even think about like what to save. I’ve none of that going on, nothing. My kids are healthy, my wife’s healthy, everything’s perfect. Literally two weeks in Hawaii, comeback jetlagged and that’s what did it. Just a little jetlag and then I didn’t sleep for five days. Maybe let’s just say somewhere between four and eight hours of sleep in five days.
[14:55] Ashley James: Sounds like it’s related to your stress response.
[14:57] Eliot Marshall: Yes. Probably. I mean at this time when I go back and look at it, I was consumed with looking at the numbers at work. How many members we had. I was consumed.
[15:15] Ashley James: You have a degree in math, right?
[15:17] Eliot Marshall: Yes. I have a degree in math but don’t ask me any hard questions coz I got punched in the head for a living for 10 years. So that’s always part of it, right? I’m like, “Man, is this the CTE?” because I couldn’t tell you how many, I mean concussion every day. I got punched in the head twice a week every week from 2005 until 2011. I’m not talking about punching the head by a five-year-old. I’m talking about punch in the head by 250-260 pound man.
[15:53] Ashley James: Your neurological wiring growing up was this fear that the third world war is about to happen, the holocaust is about to happen again. Then you have like a million concussions. So there might be some little bit of brain injury that you’re healing from.
[16:16] Eliot Marshall: You know, my brain looks good on MRI. Like obviously I’m not stupid. So I was always making sure if things like that. I had a brain MRI, I don’t know two years ago, my brain looks good. The real problems are what you can’t see on an MRI.
[16:31] Ashley James: Right, because that’s structural. The structure of the brain isn’t really how the brain works.
[16:36] Eliot Marshall: Like Aaron Hernandez, when he died it was the worst case of CTE that they’d ever seen. A lot of people think the guy’s a terrible human being but I mean how much can we blame him?
[16:50] Ashley James: Right. It’s the same for people who have a mental health condition. You can’t hold something against someone who’s schizophrenic or bipolar. They’re going through something. So, we have to take that into account and hold empathy and forgiveness. So what happened then? So after your last biggest in 2016, your biggest breakdown, how did you recover?
[17:22] Eliot Marshall: I realized that the way out was in.
[17:26] Ashley: I love that.
[17:27] Eliot Marshall: I’m going to try my very best not to sound super conceited here. For my schools, I’m the one that’s made it the farthest. I’ve won almost everything else there is to win. I made it to the UFC, which is like the crown jewel. If there’s a crown jewel for martial arts it’s did you fight in the UFC? I was not a champion but that’s like a marker that most people, almost no one gets to have especially 10 years ago. I’ve competed in everything. I’ve won. So people are like looking at me like, “Okay. That’s the mark.” I was just real honest with people. I was like, “Look, yeah I might be your mark but don’t worry, I struggle too just like you guys. So I’m going to be okay. I have great friends that help me. I have all of the tools necessary to get this done. I just want all of you to know,” and I said this in front of the class one day. I like pulled everyone in right in the middle of my hell. I said, “I want all of you to know that if this is for you too, if this is what’s going on, you’re not alone. You’re not alone. We’ll all get through this together because that’s what we do as a community. We lean on people and we’re strong for ourselves and for others as well.”
[18:59] Ashley James: Did anyone come forward and say-?
[19:02] Eliot Marshall: Yes, a bunch. I’m like a professional therapist now, Ashley.
[19:09] Ashley James: I love that.
[19:11] Eliot Marshall: That’s what got me to write my book and start this podcast that I have. My original podcast called the Gospel of Fire. The book is by the same title. So yes, that’s what got me to do all of it was my, I won’t even say my path to overcoming because I don’t believe in overcoming. I just believe in the moment, right now because this is all we’ve got.
[19:37] Ashley James: You know if more people were to stand up and say to their friends or their community, “I’m going through depression and I want to let you know. Let’s get through this together. If anyone else is going through depression, let’s talk about it or suicidal thoughts or anxiety or fear. If we were to instead of all be locked away in our houses, you know if you look at neighborhoods today –
[20:05] Eliot Marshall: On our cellphones.
[20:05] Ashley James: Right, we’re all locked away on our cellphones.
[20:08] Eliot Marshall: In our houses on our cellphones.
[20:10] Ashley James: Right, right. We’re so isolated. We’ve really created a society in the last generation that’s very isolated. The best thing for mental health is to do it as a community. I did this really amazing interview with this guy who travel around the world to study these techniques that are actually working at helping end addiction and helping end like mental health issues like depression and people who –
[20:44] Eliot Marshall: What’s his name?
[20:47] Ashley James: I will remember.
[20:49] Eliot Marshall: Is it Johann Hari?
[20:50] Ashley James: Yes.
[20:53] Eliot Marshall: I’m trying to get him on my podcast because he wrote those two books are amazing.
[20:57] Ashley James: His books are amazing. Yes, I had Johann on. It’s funny because he was like –
[21:01] Eliot Marshall: So his book the one Lost Connections and that’s about anxiety and depression, right? The other –
[21:07] Ashley James: I had him on the show right as his second book came out. So we talked about both of them.
[21:10] Eliot Marshall: That was Lost Connections.
[21:10] Ashley James: Right, we talked about both of them.
[21:12] Eliot Marshall: I hit him up. He’s writing a third book right now. He’s like, “Give me six months and I’ll do it.”
[21:19] Ashley James: Sweet. Well, he’s a great guest. I’ll vouch for you.
[21:23] Eliot Marshall: Yes. I love his books.
[21:25] Ashley James: He shares his stories.
[21:29] Eliot Marshall: Chasing the Scream because that was the one about addiction. So, Chasing the Scream is about addiction and then Lost Connection was the one about anxiety and depression. My favorite part of that book was the apple. Did you read the book, Lost Connections, did you read it?
[21:44] Ashley James: No. I did the interview.
[21:47] Eliot Marshall: He tells this story where he’s in, I don’t know, Indonesia or somewhere. He gets sick. He eats this apple and he gets sick like really, really sick. They didn’t know that it was the apple yet. So, he’s telling the story and he’s vomiting everywhere. He barely stayed alive. He’s finally in the hospital. He’s like, “Can you please just give me something for this?” They’re like, “No, we can’t because we don’t know what’s wrong yet. We need your nausea so we can help you.” Sometimes, we need our anxiety. I need my anxiety so that it can help me. It can point me in the direction that I need to go to find my power.
[22:29] Ashley James: Yes, because if you keep going down a path, like focusing on what you don’t want to have happen in the future, the anxiety gets worse and worse and worse. So like, okay I’m going down the wrong path. Let me start going down the right path.
[22:40] Eliot Marshall: Or you could drink it away, right?
[22:43] Ashley James: Sorry?
[22:43] Eliot Marshall: We can drink it away with alcohol. We can drug use it away with a whole lot of things, right. Then all we know, I think we both know that what happens is it comes back and it just keeps coming back a little worse and a little worse and a little worse.
[22:59] Ashley James: Yeah. He shared some stories about people who, when they got together as a community to support each other that their depression went down significantly. That even people who were, you know contemplating suicide stop contemplating suicide. The idea that bringing together community to support each other does so much for mental health. Things just simple like volunteering. Doesn’t have to be, it could be any kind of volunteering. It could be any kind of volunteering like volunteering at a cat shelter or a dog shelter or volunteering in a soup kitchen or whatever kind of volunteering. The fact that you, they say that the number one thing if you’re depressed, go volunteer. Be part of a community. People start to care about each other and help each other. That they just show unanimously people have less depression and less suicide. Less of being trapped inside yourself when you do things like get into community and volunteer.
[23:59] Eliot Marshall: That was my whole goal of my book. First one. So I was introduced to this lady. Her name is Erin Weed, she’s amazing. She does public speaking. I thought I was going to do the whole public speaking route. She does this thing called the Dig. She finds one word that describes you. My one word is power. So that’s why Find Your Power. But what we got to, she was like, “Man, I really don’t know if the speaking route is your way yet because 1) you curse a lot. But I think you’re amazing. And your people.” I’ve been pretty good so far. What are we, 20 minute, 30 minutes in and I haven’t done it.
[24:40] Ashley James: You’re doing a really good job. You caught yourself. There is an s word. You almost said it. I was like, smooth.
[24:48] Eliot Marshall: Yes. My wife says this about me, I’m like a fungus. I just grow on people. So, that’s why she was like, “Look, you need to start a podcast so people could get to know you. You need to write this book.” The company, she gave me this company. Man, they charge $25,000. $25,000 to write this book. I’m sitting there thinking. I’m like damn it, $25,000, that’s a lot of cash. How do you get an ROI in $25,000 for a book? Because I got to split with Amazon and this and that, right? I’m not Johann Hari. I’m not a New York Times bestseller already and all this stuff. Then I had to rethink it. I had a moment where I was like, man, what if I write just the most amazing book. What will make it so amazing is that one person will contact me and say that I saved their life. If that happen, if one person just hit me up on I I’d have Instagram or Twitter, wherever and said, “Yo, dude. I was getting ready to check it out and you made me not.” I was like, damn, I’d have to write another one then because a life is for sure worth $25,000.
[26:02] Ashley James: So did you do it with them? Did you spend $25,000?
[26:04] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. I did it. My ROI is ridiculous. Because I had gotten more than one. My ROI has been ridiculous.
[26:14] Ashley James: So you really helped save people with your book.
[26:17] Eliot Marshall: Yeah and like the whole, we found this why in the academies that I own, you know. We had this, it’s just nobody ever has to be alone. I know I teach martial arts. I teach this violent thing. I have UFC fighters. We’re trying to beat each other up. That’s what the goal of the whole thing is on the outside, on the outside. But man, what it really teaches you, what Brazilian jiu-jitsu really[y teaches you. Do you know anything about it?
[26:46] Ashley James: I studied martial arts when I was a teenager and the early 20s.
[26:51] Eliot Marshall: Okay. So, what it does, so Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling art where we submit each other with joint locks. The whole position is controlled. Like a joint manipulation of a major joint like your knee or your elbow and chokes, strangulations. We get to practice at full speed because when you lock my arm out straight I can be like, “Oh man, that thing’s not going to go any straighter.” So I tap. Right? So I’m trusting you with my life and you’re doing the same for me. The choke is the same. The better you get, you get to learn how to like be in this submission holds and kind of deal with like, “So, I’m getting choked and I feel this. This is very uncomfortable but I just have to stay really calm. Because I know that freaking out is not going to get me out. So the calmer I stay right now the better I’ll be able to process how to deal with this arm around my neck. It’s not all the way locked in. Like I could still breathe and blood is still flowing through my brain. I’m okay.” How do I stay okay? But those moments. That’s really hard. It’s super hard. It takes a long time how to stay calm in that moment of being strangled. That’s what martial arts and specifically Brazilian jiu-jitsu is teaching us in my opinion is it teaches us how to stay calm in the very, very worst moments that our life is going to bring on us.
[28:19] Ashley James: Well, because your body perceives a choke hold as a threat. It wants to go into fight or flight to try to save your life. But being in fight or flight shuns the blood away from logic centers of your brain. So now you’re not, hopefully have some kind of muscle going but you really don’t have clarity of mind when you’re in fight or flight.
[28:42] Eliot Marshall: Well, everyone goes into fight or flight in the beginning. If you came into a jiu-jitsu class today, I put my arm around your neck and you’re going to be like, “Oh, God.” You’re going to freak out. Everyone just goes bananas for the first couple of years when they’re getting choked. Then they tap. You go and you start again. That’s the beauty of it though is it goes through like this human lifecycle. Like you’re born, you get to live and fight. That’s the fight and then man you die. You get choked out. Then you get to live again. Then you get to be reborn. You get to try it again. You get to try a little different this time. Like, “Okay, this time I’m going to do this.” You can see whether it works or it doesn’t work. But it’s really safe because you put your partner’s taking care of you. Like I said, his life is in your hands and your life is in hers. So, it doesn’t matter. You build this insane trust with somebody else because you have to do this really hard thing, beating each other up. But you have to do it safely. Because most of my students are not trying to be champions. We have schools littered with somebody who goes to work all day and then has two and a half kids and a white picket fence, right? Like the average American. That’s who we teach. Yeah, we have phenomenal champions as well, but who we teach is, like who we really teach, is you, Ashley. Are you married?
[30:11] Ashley James: Yes.
[30:12] Eliot Marshall: And your husband and your kids. That’s who we teach. You have zero goals of being champion. But for some reason, you keep walking in. You keep doing this really weird thing like Fight Club.
[30:24] Ashley James: You create a community. I loved my martial art family. It was so cool. We’d go out to dinner together after most workouts and hang out and huge amount of bonding. You really, really start to care for these people because you’re right. You’re putting your life in their hands. They’re putting their life in yours. You develop trust really quickly. There’s a great amount of respect. Did you start to notice, like when you dived into this community, that you were getting emotional healing from being part of a community that was so accepting of you and helped you to drop your guard?
[31:08] Eliot Marshall: So, I didn’t notice it until later. You know, I really didn’t notice it until one of my students passed away to be honest with you. He passed away. It was at the end of my stint, of my acute nine months. Let’s say, it was much greater. It was down the road. I didn’t cry yet. I hadn’t cried. I was sad but I didn’t cry. He was poor, his very poor. Their family was poor. They couldn’t afford to like give him a service or anything. So we brought them out to Colorado, because they weren’t from here. We, at the school, we just paid for everything, right. Like plane tickets, we just took care of it. So, I had to say something. I had to give a eulogy. I absolutely lost it standing up there. I was baffling, crying, sobbing buffoon. What I realized was that man, over the last two years that my students saved my life. Because I was like, “Come on man, you got to show up to teach your class. You got to show up. When you go teach that class, it’s got to be the best class possible.” Like every class has to be amazing. That was my goal through the day. That’s how I got through the day. Then just more people showed up for me, more people showed up for me. I was trying to give the most that I could. Just by them coming, they gave me the greatest gift that they could ever give me. So, they saved my life. I didn’t really realize it until like that moment, standing up there. I was sobbing. His mom was there, my students, a bunch of my students. I was a mess. I was a mess. But that’s when I realized that all we have to do is give. If we just give, even in the worst times, even in the hardest times, that’s when you got to give the most. Just give. Give to other people. What comes back to you is going to be so stupidly much better. You can’t, I don’t even know how to explain it. Like I don’t even know how to explain it.
[33:42] Ashley James: Well, you showed up for them. You kept putting, you kept getting up every day, getting out of bed, putting on your clothes. That was your motivation to keep going, right? In the hard times, was making sure that you brought your everything to the lessons that you’re teaching them. But if you didn’t have your students there for you, you weren’t having a reason to live at that point, right?
[34:09] Eliot Marshall: Right, yeah. Look, I had a great wife and kids but like they were like the root of my anxiety. Mine is all around sleep. So, I freak out with the sleep. So I was like, man I’m not going to sleep and then when I don’t sleep I’m going to go crazy. Renee is only going to put up with this for so long and then she’s going to leave me and then she’s going to take the kids. But then I’m going to go more crazy. Then I could just play this circle in my head. It was awful. Like I said, it doesn’t go away. It gets quieter but it doesn’t ever go away from me. So, I couldn’t lean on my family. That sucked, right? Because normally that’s what you do. You lean on your family and I couldn’t do that. Because they were like, the one thing my oldest would do, I think he didn’t understand it. I don’t think he knew at the time. But right when we were tucking them into bed, I would get into bed with him, I would like lay down. Sometimes I’d be like losing it. Maybe he could feel it, he would just like put his hand on my back. That always helped a little. He’s like my mini me, you know. I had to, for the most part, lean on something other than my family, my at home family. I had to really lean on my students. My mom and dad lived and my sister, they lived in New Jersey so I could lean on them a little bit. I wasn’t worried. They weren’t part of the anxiety. A lot of therapy. I go to therapy every week. Still, to this day, every week I go talk to my therapist.
[35:56] Ashley James: That is so healthy. I think e most well-adjusted people go to therapy. The old paradigm is, you know, therapy is for crazy people. It’s just like, you know what, therapy is for people who want to be mentally strong. I have a friend who said this. I guess she’s a millennial, she’s like an older millennial. But she said this on Facebook, she said, so she’s a chef. She’s a personal chef in Seattle so she like caters to people. One customer will be paleo, the next one will be vegan, the next one will be raw vegan, the next one’s like I don’t care, I just want to do delicious, the next one’s calorie restricted, the next one’s allergic to garlic. I mean it’s just like the list goes on and on. So, she has to like balance in her mind.
[36:38] Eliot Marshall: I hate this by the way. Starbucks is who did this to us. Okay.
[36:44] Ashley James: She has to balance in her mind all these different diets and really caters to their taste. Maybe one doesn’t like Indian and the other one does. So, she’s really good at that. She has a daughter who’s about four and a wonderful boyfriend. She also has a horrible commute because Seattle has really bad traffic. She really seems like she got her stuff together. She said this on Facebook the other day, “If you think I’ve got my stuff together, I wouldn’t have my stuff together for the three times a week I go to therapy.” She’s like, “There’s nothing wrong with me mentally and we need to break away in society from this idea that we go to therapy when there’s something wrong.” You go to therapy to make sure that you can keep it together. She says that that’s how she maintains an incredibly successful business and she’s an amazing mom, an amazing girlfriend. She’s got everything together because she goes to therapy three times a week. She says she would’ve exploded and probably killed everyone by now if it wasn’t for the fact that she goes to therapy. So I just, I love that. That idea that you find the type of therapy, you find the type of therapist that really jives with you and you do it because it allows you to stay sane.
[37:55] Eliot Marshall: This is how I like to put therapy. This is my best analogy. You brush your teeth every day, twice a day?
[38:01] Ashley James: I’d hope so.
[38:03] Eliot Marshall: Why?
[38:04] Ashley James: So my teeth don’t rot out of my head.
[38:07] Eliot Marshall: Okay. So if you ever get to the point where your teeth are rotting out of your head, is brushing your teeth going to do anything?
[38:12] Ashley James: No. You got to go to the dentist at the point.
[38:14] Eliot Marshall: You have to go take these drastic measures, right? You have to take these drastic measures. You’re in crisis. How about you just brush your teeth every day and I probably could guarantee you that that won’t happen.
[38:26] Ashley James: Right.
[38:27] Eliot Marshall: I go to therapy like I brush my teeth. So I can stay out of crisis.
[38:33] Ashley James: What kind of therapy because there’s so many different kinds? You know what kind you work with?
[38:38] Eliot Marshall: We did a lot of CBT. Now, cognitive behavioral therapy. Now, look for me, I just need a verbal vomit to be honest with you. Because I have a lot of people that lean on me. We have seven schools. We’re about to open our seventh school. They’re all run by my best friends. Every single one of them. I don’t do –
[39:03] Ashley James: To be the boss of your best friends can be kind of stressful.
[39:07] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. So, I’m not really the boss. I’m kind of the boss but we have like a CEO and CFO. We’re charging, we charge. We don’t do this like most martial arts schools. Like every single one of my students knows that if they need something that I’ll be there. I hope they know. If they don’t know, I hope they listen to this podcast and they know that. Well that pressure, that’s a lot of pressure. So I have go talk about that. I have to go get my feelings, how I’m feeling out. I can’t hold it in because I know what happens when I hold it in. When I hold it in, I can just play this loop in my, I caught myself again, I can play this loop in my head. Just go and go and I’ll be, you know. I can start in the North Pole and I’ll end in the South Pole and that is awful.
[40:03] Ashley James: So when you sit down and you just get to verbal vomit all the stuff that’s in your head out, after you get it all out and while you’re talking, because I bet the therapist doesn’t really say much. Do you start to really hear the patterns and hear your own limiting decision and hear. You’re like, “Oh, wow. That’s where I’m coming from. That’s interesting.” You’re practically doing your own therapy.
[40:31] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. I do a lot of my own therapy. But I need her. I can’t do it, all right, I’m sure I could. But I love her and we only talk once a week. We do not, I don’t get coffee with her. Nothing. I don’t even know when birthday is and she probably doesn’t even remember when mine is. That’s perfect. Right? That is absolutely perfect. I don’t want it differently because it will ruin what we have. Sometimes we’ll be going and then she’ll go like, “Oh, that doesn’t make, can you sake that again please?” I’m like, here we go.
[41:10] Ashley James: That’s awesome. So she’s kind of like a coach in a way?
[41:12] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. She’s a coach. She‘s this 70-year-old lady. I don’t want to talk to a dude. If I need to tale to a dude, I’m going to call one of my friends. I tried a duded and it just didn’t work. I was like, man, I’m not telling you anything. No, no. I’ll sit here and do this hour because I’m paying for it but it’s going to be the last time we talk. I just, for some reason, the book that I wrote, I need a lady. They get it out of me the best. I don’t know what it is.
[41:43] Ashley James: Well, as long as they get it out of you. It sounds like one of the key, so far what I’ve derived is, to find your power, involve community and get therapy. Does that sound about right?
[41:58] Eliot Marshall: Yes. That sounds about right. But we’re going to take a hard left turn here if you want. Everything in my life that happens to me is my fault. You can’t be a victim. Extreme ownership. You can’t be a victim. Extreme ownership. Like Jocko Willink book, Extreme Ownership, is amazing. Everything in my life is my fault and then I have it tattooed in my arm in Greek because it was first said in Greek. The impediment of action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way, Marcus Aurelius. The obstacle is the way. So, if it’s hard, amazing.
[42:40] Ashley James: I was in a lot of landmark education classes. Have you ever heard of them?
[42:48] Eliot Marshall: No.
[42:49] Ashley James: They started back in 60s. They called themselves Est and then they transformed and called themselves landmark. There are personal growth and development classes all around the world. That’s one of the first things they focus on is being a cause in your world, being responsible for your world. Not that it’s your fault. So, this beautiful woman, she’s like 6’ tall. Gorgeous African-American, long hair, always wears these amazing suits that just like, she’s always so beautiful. She stood there. I was at a talk, a landmark education talk in Atlanta, Georgia. She stood there in front of hundreds, hundreds of people and she said, “I take responsibility for the Holocaust. I take responsibility for slavery.” People are like, what? This is charged. What are you talking about? She’s like, “Just hold on. If I am responsible for who I am in the matter, then it does not have power over me.” I get to dictate how my life goes. It has no power over me.
[44:06] Eliot Marshall: Nobody has my day, Ashley. It’s mine and nobody else’s. So, I like to listen to a lot of people. One of the people I like to listen to is ET, Eric Thomas, motivational speaker, black guy. He’s like, “Man, you’re damn right I’m an African-American man in America. You’re damn right there’s racism.’’ He’s like, “My dad left when I was a kid. I didn’t graduate high school and my mom did everything she can but she was a crack addict. So what? So what? It’s on me man. It’s on me. Of course that’s not fair.” Now, on the flip side of that, those of are who are fortunate has to do everything we can to help the less fortunate. So, I play this dichotomy. It takes, I’m glad you do long podcasts because if I just hit one side of, people are like, “Oh man that guy sucks.” It’s your fault then no. It is my job to sprinkle, I’m going to steal on Obama line here, to sprinkle as much luck dust on as many people as I possibly can. However, when I’m talking to that individual person, my job is to be like, “No, this is on you.”
[45:29] Ashley James: You’re not a victim of your circumstances.
[45:30] Eliot Marshall: You’re not a victim of your circumstances. You can’t control your circumstances. The only thing you’ve got is you. If you want to sit here and mope and cry and everything else and it’s not my fault. Man, if it’s not your fault, if it’s someone else’s fault, you’re screwed because you can’t control other people. I can’t get my wife, could you imagine for you to try to be like, you know what’s your husband’s name Ashley?
[45:59] Ashley James: Duffy.
[46:00] Eliot Marshall: Duffy. It’s amazing. I’m going to try to get Duffy to not be mad at me ever. You would either go to the loony bin, right? You would either go to the loony bin or you’re just screwed. How could you possibly do that? Man, what if Duffy wrecked the car, his mom died, something else happen and you come home and you were supposed to clean the kitchen. The day went to crap. You didn’t know. He didn’t know. The kitchen, the house is destroyed. You’re not home. He walks in. He’s mad at you. Could you imagine? Not of that was your control over that day and you’re going to try to control Duffy? Come on. You’re screwed if you want to deal with other people. It’s on you. It’s on you. You’re not a victim.
[46:56] Ashley James: It’s what we do in that moment. So your husband’s angry, it’s what we do in that moment. Do we play the victim? Because that’s not going to solve any problems at all. Do we divert lame? That’s not going to solve any problems at all. But listening and taking ownership and say, “Okay, now what? Now what can we do to solve this problem. Let’s work on it together.”
[47:20] Eliot Marshall: I was going to say, I don’t love my wife for all the good times I have with her. Like man, do you know how many good times, and I’m not talking about sex, you know how many good times I have with so many people? I have so many good times. You love them for the awful ones. Like the three in the morning, both kids vomiting. Like mad at each other. Nobody’s doing what we want to do. Then the morning comes and everyone’s still sitting there. That’s where like the sword is forged, you know. The love is forged in those moments. It’s not forged when you’re out at the best dinner ever and you’re walking holding hands at the beach and madly in love. Man, no way. I mean, sure that’s great, but that’s not when that. The sword is just molded in this hard, hard steel. In my opinion, that’s not when that happens. If you’re single, for all the single people out there right now, man, if you’re dating somebody for a week and they’re like, “Yo, let’s go to Hawaii on this amazing vacation.” You’re going to say, yes but you don’t love them, right? You don’t love them yet. So why do you love people? You love them for the hard times and that they’re there for you, the community, the connection, right? You know. So I have six rules for my kids. This is my second book, the Six Rules of Life for you and your Kids. The last rule, rule number six is we ride or die. If my brother goes down, then I go down. That’s what real love is.
[49:10] Ashley James: So you don’t let tattle tailing in the house I bet? You get your kids to help each other.
[49:16] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. I don’t listen to it, but obviously they’re children. So, it doesn’t affect the decisions that I’m going to make with what happens next. No way. Their job is to love each other more than they love me and their mom. That’s how I want it. Because they’re going to most likely and hopefully outlive both of us. That relationship has to be stronger than the one that they rely on us for. I know, right now, they rely on us for a lot. But they can’t so hard because they have to take care of each other. They do. It’s really amazing. It’s really sweet, you know. My kids were just at a birthday party, a sleepover. My 6-year-old, I have a 9 and a 6-year-old, my 6-year-old it was his first time that he was sleeping at somebody else’s house and it wasn’t the neighbor right across the street. So he thinks the neighbors across the street I mean. So we have this 1950s relationship with them. We don’t knock on each other’s doors like if I need eggs, I don’t ask for eggs. I just walk in the house, go in their refrigerator, grab some eggs. If they’re not home, I have the code to their door. I’ll unlock it and get the eggs. I won’t even have to tell them. It’s vice versa. Everything’s the same. So this was the first sleepover where it wasn’t that family. So basically his second family. He had a little trouble and his brother was there. The way it went down is he got into bed with his brother and they just slept together. His brother took care of him. All of his brother’s friends were there because it was his brother’s friend’s birthday. So, there were like seven kids there, eight kids. All of my eldest son’s age. The reason my youngest son was there was because the birthday boy has a brother who’s their age and they wanted him to be occupied and not be in his brother’s way. So it worked out perfectly but then come sleep time, he’s never slept anywhere else before especially not away from his mom and dad and especially not where his not very comfortable. They know the rule, rule number six man. They take care of each other. They have to take care of each other.
[51:40] Ashley James: That’s awesome. So we got to take care of each other but we need to take that responsibility. I like that dichotomy again. We’re 100% accountable for everything that happens in our life and we need to help those who are struggling. We need to build community. I was just thinking, I have a friend who was born with intense dyslexia. He wasn’t diagnosed just because of the time of when he was born. I think he’s about 50 now. He went through school as intense dyslexic but he was not diagnosed until two years after graduating high school. His mom is an art teacher. So his mom helped him to pour in his creative outlet into things because he had a hard time reading and writing. Of course, getting through high school not being able to learn to read and write is very, very hurt. I’m just thinking like, someone who, like you use the example of a man who is African-American whose dad left whose mom was a crack person and had a lot of crap happen. It’s like, he’s like his not of a victim of circumstances. Yes, there’s definitely bias against me, the racial bias, bias around my upbringing, right? Then my friend over here who is extreme dyslexic. Both scenarios, they could have said that they’re a victim of education system. They’re a victim of the government. They’re a victim of societies’ bias against them. They could’ve bought in the victim hood and not made a life for themselves. But they both just worked even harder than everyone else in order to grab the joy and the life that they want. You know what? They’re probably happier because it was probably harder for them and it makes it even sweeter. That’s like, where going to come back to that idea that we’re in heaven and hell at the same time. Because when you don’t have to work for something to earn it, that doesn’t actually bring happiness.
[54:06] Eliot Marshall: No, it brings nothing.
[54:06] Ashley James: It brings nothing. But when you have to work your butt off to get something that brings you the most joy ever. So, yeah, we have to work our butts off. No one has it all. It’s like someone might be a certain race but the other person has a learning disability or the other person has a physical disability. Like everyone’s got something going on. Someone has, you know, bipolar. Everyone has something. Everyone has their hell. Everyone does. It doesn’t make racism right. It’s not right. That’s how we as a community need to help.
[54:46] Eliot Marshall: And we don’t. Sorry, go ahead. You go. I just thought about something.
[54:50] Ashley James: I was just saying that we need to, we obviously as individuals need to help as many people as possible, right? Because if we don’t want a world where there’s racism anymore, then we need to be that example as individuals to help that. But everyone is going through their own personal hell. Everyone has their demons they are facing. Everyone has their struggles, right? So, if we own it and then we plug in to community and help other people and other people help us, I love that idea. Taking ownership but at the same time helping other people because we need to help. Everyone has an imbalance that they’re dealing with.
[55:32] Eliot Marshall: We don’t need to compare. Mine doesn’t have to be worse than yours. Yours doesn’t have to be worse than mine. We don’t need to do this. We are where we are. Your hell is hell right now. My hell is, I don’t need to be well, let me tell you. Let me tell you about mine was. That’s unnecessary. The last little part here I think that helps me go through my life with this dichotomy is I don’t believe in the self-made man or that term is something man or a woman. It doesn’t exist.
[56:10] Ashley James: Because it took more than one person?
[56:13] Eliot Marshall: Man. So, I mean, for example this guy Eric Thomas. He’s like the number two. He’s an amazing motivational speaker. Did he invent the internet? Because that’s what made him be able to do it. It’s the internet.
[56:33] Ashley James: Right. So someone who’s a famous author, like he didn’t invent books. Tony Robbins didn’t invent infomercials.
[56:42] Eliot Marshall: No. Did you invent the author? Did you invent the printing press? No. Because that’s what did it. Without the printing press your author, your amazing writing skills, out the window. How many millions of people, billions of people came before you who tell way better stories in a way better way but there is no such this as the printing press? But now, while you‘re alive, there’s this printing. All of a sudden you did it on your own? Come on.
[57:09] Ashley James: I love that because we often will look at these people who have really made it. They made it. Like Tony Robbins has made it. He’s like a billionaire. He has made it. He’s helped so many people. You look at him and you’re like, “I could never do that.” But that’s like the little voice.
[57:26] Eliot Marshall: Yes, yes. That might be right. Hold on. You might not be able to be Tony Robbins. You know what I’m not? I’m not Lebron James. I’m not 6’8”. I am not a physical specimen that Lebron James is. That might be what I am. That’s okay. That’s okay. But there’s something that I could be Lebron Jamesesque at. I could be amazing at something. That’s what we have to realize. We’ve got to stop this comparison. Like, man I want to be like Mike. Yeah, me too. I want to be like Mike my whole life. But it didn’t work out. So what? So what? I’m going to be better than Mike at what I do. I’m going to be amazing at Eliot. That’s what I’m going to do. I hope that my amazing at Eliot shows everyone else who’s a fat Jewish black kid growing up with no friends. I hope everyone that sees that can go, “Oh man, I could be amazing too.” Because I don’t believe personally, I don’t know we might differ here, I don’t believe in free will. I believe we are a product of our chemical makeup and our life experience. We can’t touch our chemical makeup. So, there’s medicines and things that we could do to do that. But that is what it is. However, my job is to touch people’s life experience.
[58:55] Ashley James: I’m curious. Can you explain what do you mean by we don’t have free will?
[59:02] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. So, it comes down to things like choice. We make choices all the time. Every day we make a choice. Am I going to have apple juice or orange juice, bla bla bla? Can you think of a movie for me?
[59:16] Ashley James: The Game Changers.
[59:18] Eliot Marshall: Think of another one.
[59:19] Ashley James: Rambo.
[59:20] Eliot Marshall: Okay. So, why did you think of the Game Changers?
[59:23] Ashley James: Because I was just telling my doctor about it today.
[59:27] Eliot Marshall: Okay. So, you already had that conversation.
[59:28] Ashley James: Yup.
[59:29] Eliot Marshall: Then why did you think about Rambo?
[59:31] Ashley James: I guess because the Game Changer is about a bunch of athletes and Rambo is also a muscular guy.
[59:37] Eliot Marshall: Right. So, all on the same realm.
[59:39] Ashley James: Yup.
[59:39] Eliot Marshall: Why did you make that choice? Did we free to make that choice or did it just pop in your head?
[59:45] Ashley James: I mean, I know a lot of movies. I do. But those two popped in my head.
[59:49] Eliot Marshall: It just popped and you can’t even explain to me why.
[59:51] Ashley James: I can’t, no.
[59:53] Eliot Marshall: Were you free or did it just happen?
[59:55] Ashley James: I think it just happened.
[59:57] Eliot Marshall: So, at what choices that we make in our life do all of a sudden does this innate you take over and start making that choice?
[1:00:06] Ashley James: Well, I think consciously when I catch myself –
[1:00:13] Eliot Marshall: I couldn’t have asked you a simple conscious question.
[1:00:17] Ashley James: When I have to really consciously go, okay, this is a healthier choice for me to make. So, if I’m in the kitchen.
[1:00:25] Eliot Marshall: Sometimes you eat ice cream don’t you?
[1:00:28] Ashley James: Yeah. Because I go, okay. We’ll just do it. But it’s plant based, there’s no dairy in it because that would hurt. But yeah.
[1:00:40] Eliot Marshall: Are you a Buddhist?
[1:00:43] Ashley James: No. I’m allergic to dairy and I’m plant-based.
[1:00:47] Eliot Marshall: Right. But still, the choice, it’s really this really weird thing. Like I said, we make choices all the time but if you could –
[1:01:02] Ashley James: But who’s making the choice? Who’s making it, right? Like what’s the –
[1:01:06] Eliot Marshall: We are. We definitely are. We definitely are making that choice but we couldn’t make another choice in the moment is what no free will means to me. Because of our chemical makeup and our past experience. That’s what lets me do the whole no blame no credit thing.
[1:01:21] Ashley James: Well, you’re also stopping yourself from shaming yourself or holding on to guilt.
[1:01:29] Eliot Marshall: Shaming myself and/or others. Even like the Murderer. It helps me have a little empathy for the murderer because if I can say, ‘man, if my life was that life, that’s where I’d end up too.’ I’m not better than that guy. Now, it will be really hard for me to get there right now. It will be really hard for me to be poor and broke and homeless right now, currently. That would take some major screw ups. Is screw up a curse word?
[1:01:56] Ashley James: No.
[1:01:58] Eliot Marshall: Okay. Nice. Okay. That would take some major screw ups on my part. This would take me years to bring me to mess this up bad currently. But man, let’s rewind 20 years. Let’s go put myself in the veteran, Vietnam veteran or the Iraq veteran or the whatever war veteran. Let me live his life and let me kill some kids, possibly, and then see where I go. But we don’t like to think like that. We like to think like, no man. This you could probably handle that but we’re not talking about this you. We’re talking about a different you. A totally different you. So, that what allows me to have a lot of empathy and try to be like, “You know what, I’m not better than anyone.” At the same time, no one’s better than me.
[1:02:54] Ashley James: There’s a principle in neurolinguistic programming that everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have available.
[1:03:06] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. You think anybody wants to be a crack addict? I know what I’m going to do today. I’m going to wake up and become a crack head. No one has ever said that. A lot of people smoke crack unfortunately, right? A lot of people smoke crack and do terrible awful things and make terrible awful decisions. They’re doing the best they can at the moment.
[1:03:40] Ashley James: What’s the advice you have for people who really want to turn their life around for people who have just come to the conclusion that the direction they’re going is not the right one for them? They see themselves going down that really dark path.
[1:03:52] Eliot Marshall: Amazing, good for you. Yes. Amazing. So, now we can start. Now we can actually start to do something. Because you’re saying, I want something different. Until you say that, nothing’s going to change. I mean everyone, probably everyone listening if it’s adults, knows somebody or maybe is that person who is an addict, right? How much talking to an addict can you do to get them to change? Nothing.
[1:04:25] Ashley: They have to be ready.
[1:04:28] Eliot Marshall: They have to want it. I know sometimes they go, ‘oh man, that’s rock bottom,’ and then nope. We don’t l know what rock bottom looks like. But once you see it, once you are lucky enough, and I said lucky enough, to get a glimpse that you want something different for your life. Now we can do it. In my opinion, the way it’s done, is with mindfulness. We have to learn to be in the moment. We have to just be still and be in the moment. The way I do that is with meditation. I meditate every day. That’s where I start. That’s what I recommend for everyone to start when somebody asks me for some help is I say, “Hey, let’s try this mediation thing.”
1:05:15] Ashley James: How did you learn to meditate?
[1:05:17] Eliot Marshall: So, religions never worked for me. It may never. I hope I’m going to come off like I’m going to bash religion here because I don’t want to. The whole sin thing doesn’t make sense in my mind. It doesn’t make sense to me. Like I was born. So you’re telling me I was born terrible? In my opinion, if you tie it back, it always ties back to some even or something that 10,000 years ago, five, whenever you choose the religion and the event that happened. Man why is that messing with me? Why am I paying that price? Do I do things wrong? Of course I do things wrong. So, the traditional Christianity and Judaism and Islam, they just don’t work for me because I can’t rationalize it out. Sometimes, the eastern religions, they go a little better for me in my head. Not so much the religion of them but the practice of them. Because you lose the self especially in Buddhism. How do we lose the self? We start losing the self by realizing literally just one single moment. I’ve been able to realize moments in my life a couple of times like where I’ve had just this, so when you fight professionally, when you walk into that cage and that cage door gets locked, there’s only you and another dude in there. You’re not thinking about anything else. Dinner is not going through that head. Nothing. My children are not going through my head. My wife and my mom, nothing. Then there’s even just more stillness. I can remember the very last fight that I had. My nickname’s the fire marshal. Then my coach, he will just call me as fire marshal. He sat down on the stool. I was probably, it was either I was tired or I was losing one round a piece. He looks at me and he goes, “All right fire marshal, we all know that this could be it for you right here.” I mean we’re in the middle of chaos. It’s chaos. A fight is just chaos. Literally, if that person were to kick my head off, they would do it, right? I just remember this piece came over me. This absolute calmness. I went out and I had the best round of my life against the best opponent I ever fought. [Inaudible] It was just this amazingness. I never got to do it again because that was my last fight. So, those moments. If we can start to realize them a little more, how do we recreate that? You recreate that by focusing on your breath, by realizing that all we have is right now and just digging deeper and deeper into that.
[1:08:43] Ashley James: I love it. That was so cool. One of my best friends is a master create yoga teacher. Create yoga is not the stretchy kind of yoga. It’s the stretch your mind kind of yoga. I’m going to hook you guys up. I’ve had him on the show before. He’s coming on again. His name is Forrest Knutson. He figured out. He lived in a monastery for several years. He was a monk. He’s been meditating since he was a teenager. He grew up in Idaho and he felt like, well everyone was drinking beer and driving trucks, he was meditating. He did not fit in. So he escaped to California and lived in a monastery for many years as a monk. He figured out a way of using biofeedback to go deeper into meditation and to go actually get into those data waves and stuff like that. So he’s all into the science of how to maximize mediation. I think that you guys would really get along. Actually, you might want to have him on your show actually. He’s so, I mean he’s meditating his entire life. What you described is really non-threatening for people who have never meditated. Okay, I’m just going to breathe and focus on the now and get that all that I have is right now. Okay. I’m just going to breathe and be in the now.
[1:10:05] Eliot Marshall: You can’t mess it up. If you sit there for 10 minutes, you did it. Yes, your thoughts go all over here and there, wherever. Yes, sure. Okay. A little stillness in your d ay. I’m reading Ryan Holiday’s new book Stillness. It’s amazing. Just have some stillness every day where you just sit there and breathe. Because our days are chaos. We’ve done this to ourselves. Society has done this. You said you have two kids. How old are your kids.
[1:10:39] Ashley James: Oh, I have one.
[1:10:41] Eliot Marshall: One, I’m sorry.
[1:10:42] Ashley James: She’s four and a half.
[1:10:42] Eliot Marshall: Four and a half. Like you’re here, you’re there, your husband, your job, your podcast, your this, your that, right? Then your phone rings, that damn cellphone. Because it never leaves you alone or did you choose to have it never leave you alone. Because you actually respond. I do the same thing. I’m as guilty as everyone. I choose to respond. One of the best things I ever did was turn that damn thing on silent. I’m not a slave to it as much. Every bit it makes like beep, beep. What’s that. Oh, a notification. Oh, Instagram. Oh, Facebook. Oh, my email. Oh, this. Oh, that. We try to say these stuff in the name of protection and security. The kids are at school so I have to have my phone on. Man, our parents didn’t have cellphone. Somehow, when I got sick at school, they found my parents. My parents came and got me. I was never stuck at school for days upon days. We do all of this in the name of security. It’s just not true. There’s not more child abductions now than there was before. So why do you have to track your kid on the cellphone?
[1:12:11] Ashley James: Did you find that your anxiety went up when you find yourself at the peak of phone notifications?
[1:12:21] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. I had to turn my phone off. Yeah, I had to stop screen time. I get 6 o’clock at night, the phone had to be done. I mean, I can do it now, I do better with it now. It doesn’t bother me as much. I didn’t have my phone on silent so every single time that thing beeped there was something for me to respond to. It’s not true. It’s just not true. Can you imagine 20 years ago? How old are you, Ashley?
[1:13:01] Ashley James: I’m going to be, I’m 39 1/2.
[1:13:03] Eliot Marshall: We’re the same age. When’s your birthday?
[1:13:05] Ashley James: March 7, 1980.
[1:13:05] Eliot Marshall: I’m July 7, 1980. Look it up. We’re like almost exact dates. A 7th. So we’re the same age, right? When you are 15 years old and somebody left the house, where did they go? They just disappeared in the ether, right.
[1:13:26] Ashley James: We just managed to find each other.
[1:13:30] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. But somehow it all works out. Mom came back with groceries and dad put them away.
[1:13:41] Ashley James: Life without cellphones was fantastic. It was weird. Every time we drive somewhere, I’m like, how did we get places without gps? I don’t remember. I don’t remember. But I remember driving to addresses that I’d never been to. How did we get there? How did we know how to get to places?
[1:13:59] Eliot Marshall: I try to do it now. As soon as I drive to a place, so I do a couple times with the gps when I go places. Then I turn the gps off and go, ‘okay, I’m going to try to remember things’ like you remember things. You should be like, okay dude. So you’re going to get to my house. After you take that left you’re going to take the third right. It’s going to be by the Shell station. You had to like do this. That’s exactly how we did it especially when we were kids and we were riding bikes.
[1:14:26] Ashley James: It’s like a whole skill that we don’t have anymore.
[1:14:31] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. It’s a whole skill. That’s important to keep. Look, I don’t want to just hate on social media and cellphones because it gives us the connection that we need. You and I, we couldn’t be doing this or have scheduled this or anything without social media and things like I’ll call. Because I call this social media and email is social media in my opinion. So, it’s not all terrible. But we need to have this balance. There has to be a little ying and yang. No victims but everything is your fault, but you got to help somebody.
[1:15:08] Ashley James: I love it. I love the constant dichotomy is great. It actually, you have to have higher thinking. You have to have developed higher mental thinking to be able to hold two opposing thoughts at once.
[1:15:22] Eliot Marshall: Because they oppose. They definitely oppose. I’m a math major. For me I think this is why getting to the religion a little bit. When it never worked there comes a point where the thought can’t be opposed. That has to just be true. That doesn’t work for me. Because everything in my life is falsifiable
[1:15:49] Ashley James: Question everything.
[1:15:53] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. Question it but you could prove it wrong to me. I wouldn’t die in the single one of my beliefs. I could be so wrong.
[1:16:03] Ashley James: Yes. You’re willing to be wrong. You’re willing to change your mind. I love that. I was so hardcore keto I don’t know three ago. Like this is the best diet in the world. I can’t believe it. A few months later, I’m like, this is really bad. What was I thinking? To be able to go, you know what, there’s some diets are really good for some people at that one point in their lives and then three months later it might be like a poisonous diet for them or a different person. It’s about finding the right diet for the right time for the needs of the person. But not buying into any dogma and so being willing to be wrong. Like I love that you say don’t die for your beliefs. Oh my gosh, people do that all the time.
[1:16:54] Eliot Marshall: Not a single one. Not to get political. I’m not going to judge you at all based on this question but are you pro-life or pro-choice?
[1:17:01] Ashley James: That’s a really, really hard question. It’s something that I’ve grappled with for a really long time. I thought when I was a teenager that I was 100% pro-life. Then I found out after my mom died my dad, the night my mom died my dad sat me down. Why he waited until she died I guess it was her wish. He said, “Do you know that you would have been an abortion? If I wasn’t pro-life…” I was like, what? My dad said to me, your mom never wanted you to know. I said to her, “No. We’re going to get married.” He completely stopped being a bachelor. He lived such a party lifestyle and he said, I love this unborn child in you and I’m going to raise her or him, because they didn’t know. He was just so, he loved life. My dad has passed since but he loved life so much and he loved people so much. He was so firm that life is so precious. That really laid an impact on me. I’m like, yeah. I can’t impose my will on anyone. So for me it’s like my body. Life is precious. I can only say pro-life in my womb because that’s the only womb I control. I wouldn’t impose on anyone else.
[1:18:27] Eliot Marshall: So the only reason I ask is because so many people, let’s just say, ‘okay, I’m pro-life but then I know that you would be pro second amendment. Then you would be pro this or pro that or against this or against that. Because we are so divided.
[1:18:46] Ashley James: Right. The second someone is pro guns. That must mean they’re this, that must mean they’re that.
[1:18:51] Eliot Marshall: That must mean they’re pro-life. If you’re pro-gun you’re pro-life. That is such crap. That is total crap that this is where we are.
[1:19:03] Ashley James: The reason why they created a two-party system, if you look at it, it’s to keep people fighting each other. If you keep the masses fighting each other they will not rise together.
[1:19:14] Eliot Marshall: Right. Because you think the other side is so terrible. If you voted for Donald Trump you are such an awful person. I can’t even be friends with you anymore. If you voted for Hilary, oh my God, her emails. We just hate each other. We just absolutely hate. Man, the day I lose a friend because of who they vote for, I have a huge problem. I have a huge problem. I’m not friends with anybody because of who they vote for.
[1:19:51] Ashley James: There was a time when I was in high school, this was in Canada, so socialized medicine –
[1:19:56] Eliot Marshall: I thought so. I thought so.
[1:20:00] Ashley James: House about. I don’t see anymore. So when I first moved here, my coworkers beat the eh out of me within one week. Every time I said eh they’d go turn on me and go b, c, d. About a week after that, it’s a habit for us to say eh. Anyways, I don’t say eh, I can’t shake the house or the about. So in Canada, I was really proud that I wasn’t afraid of shots, getting any vaccines. So I’d be the first in line. In high school, they didn’t need our parents’ permission, I got like the hep b, hep c whatever. I got a bunch of those vaccines. I got a bunch of whatever. A flu shot weren’t really big then. They were just starting to come in but I was super proud of getting them. I was first in line. I would pull up my sleeve. Yeah. Give me extra. Give me more. Give me three vaccines. Come on. I’m not afraid. I love shots. I was so pro that. Then I started to learn more and more and more about pharmaceuticals. Now, I look back, I was a completely different person than what I am now. My beliefs system, thank God I didn’t hold on to a belief system just for the idea that it was part of my identity because I have the exact opposite beliefs that I did when I was a teenager.
[1:21:24] Eliot Marshall: If I die thinking what I think right now, oh my God. Let’s just say I got to 80, if I die thinking what I think right now in 40 years, what a waste of time. What a waste of time. That means I learned nothing. It means I read no books. It means I did no study. It means I did no self-exploration. I did no growth. If I die like this, if this is where I end. Man, what a waste of time.
[1:21:56] Ashley James: I love that attitude. It’s like, ‘challenge me, challenge my belief system. Let me expand my mind.’
[1:22:04] Eliot Marshall: Please. So jiu-jitsu for me, that’s my rule number one is, me and my kids, have to jiu-jitsu because it’s ever changing. The way that you have to deal with it is ever changing. You get a live response, like in the moment. You get showed how wrong you are all the time. You have to adjust to that person. Oh, did that wrong, oh did that wrong. If you bat, when I say bat if you’re successful at 25% of the moves that you try in jiu-jitsu then you’re amazing, you’re a world champion because you’re just wrong all the time. But you get good at being wrong. You get good at adjusting. You get good at not caring about, who cares because all I do is mess up. It’s what I do better than everything else in the whole world is mess up.
[1:23:01] Ashley James: That is so cool. That concept of like if you’re actually getting it right 25% of the time you’re like a world champion. So there’s a lot of like getting it wrong and that’s okay because that’s actually good because you’re learning from each instance. I know so many people who are afraid to cook in the kitchen, are afraid to really expand their palette because you know, what comes down to it, they were never comfortable failing in the kitchen. They burnt something once, their spouse didn’t like what they cooked or whatever. It’s like this mental block.
[1:23:37] Eliot Marshall: Then they might tie their identity to it.
[1:23:39] Ashley James: Right. I’m not a cook. I’m not good at cooking.
[1:23:41] Eliot Marshall: Then they tie their ego to it. Their ego gets in the way. But if there is no self and there is no ego then how could get in the way? Right? How can it get in the way? So, if we can work on this then we can just be outside of it a little bit then maybe, possibly we can learn how to cook. Because come on, make a meal and you’re telling me you’ve never had a bad meal before. We’ve all eaten at McDonald’s.
[1:24:06] Ashley James: I was never afraid to burn things in the kitchen. I was never afraid to mess up. I was like six or seven years old, my grandmother was teaching me how to cook. She was a German Polish background so she’d perogies and shortbread cookies and this amazing chicken soup. I just loved making things in the kitchen. You know, I burnt so many things. That was just part of the process. My friends love, love eating at my place because I cook really, really healthy delicious food. But I just don’t have a fear of failure because I always am pushing the edge of the limits of what I can do. My husband’s like, “You experiment too much.” Because there’s a potential, there’s always like that fear factor. He’s looking at me, about to put the fork in his mouth, is this going to be bad, is this going to be good? I don’t know. Because when it’s good, it’s really good but I’ll serve anything even if it’s bad. So it’s just he does not know what he’s getting. I experiment. Just last night, we were over at our friend’s house. He was like, “You’re food is always good.” He looks at me. You experiment too much. I’m like, ‘That’s because Naomi only serves you the success stories. She doesn’t serve the failures.” Naomi’s like looks at him and goes, “Yeah.” We fail in the kitchen so we can learn how to make stuff better. That’s just how we succeed. But we don’t see them as failures. It’s like science and it’s an experiment. Then we go, ‘oh, less garlic, less thyme next time.’ I’m going to just do this next time or I need to set the temperature at this. It just becomes this continues ebb and flow of learning and growing the culinary skills.
[1:25:49] Eliot Marshall: There’s a saying in business. Hire slow, fire fast. That’s what you have to do because you have to realize your failure then let it go, right? I hired the wrong person, now am I going to hold on to this? Because now, again it’s going to be me who failed because I hired that person. It’s going to be me who failed because I burnt the food or I did this or I did that. Again, this all comes back to you and your ego and yourself. If we can get rid of this idea, if we can just lose this idea because we know that our ego is the enemy, then, that’s another Ryan Holiday book sorry. I steal everything, nothing is original. Somebody did it better.
[1:26:36] Ashley James: You should. Because you package it better.
[1:26:42] Eliot Marshall: I work on my spiel. I’m even doing it without cursing, look. I’ve never done this before.
[1:26:48] Ashley James: You’re doing amazing. You need to like hit the road. You need a whole show.
[1:26:56] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. We’ll get there. It’s okay. It really is okay that we fail. It’s the most amazing thing that we can do is we can fail because it’s just like courage. Courage is not, not being afraid. Courage, here comes one of my rules again, rule number four is being afraid and still doing it.
[1:27:21] Ashley James: It’s owning your fear.
[1:27:22] Eliot Marshall: It’s saying yes, I’m afraid. But you know what it’s not going to do? It’s not going to stop me. Failure is the same. Of course I’m going to fail. Man, there was this one time we were doing this thing for one of the schools. We spent $26,572.00, I remember the exact amount. It took nine months for them to build it out and then implement it. You know how fast we realized it sucked and wasn’t for us?
[1:27:53] Ashley James: I don’t know.
[1:27:54] Eliot Marshall: One week. One week. They were sitting there looking at each other going, damn it. But it’s not for us. It’s not who we are. It’s not our culture. It was so bad for us that we could see it. We had to let it go. Almost $30,000. But what would’ve been worse is just try to shove that crap down our people’s throats. What would’ve been worse is to put that out into the ether and put that out into the public so people could see that this is what we’re doing and this is how we are. That would’ve been worse because that would’ve compromised my soul.
[1:28:41] Ashley James: Or to have not taken any action in the beginning. If not done it for fear that it wouldn’t work out. Then always sit there wondering, what if I had?
[1:28:54] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. Wish I would have. What if and wish I would have are two words that I won’t say back to back.
[1:29:08] Ashley James: Unless you’re saying I won’t say them.
[1:29:09] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. But I won’t go, ‘what if this happens, what if the sun doesn’t come up tomorrow?’ All the evidence says that it will but there is this possibility. Now, am I going to live my life as what if the sun won’t come up? No, and wish I would have? I’m going to grind until the day I die.
[1:29:29] Ashley James: Awesome. It does take that conscious effort to catch yourself and go, “Oh, there I am shooting myself. Now I’m going to choose a healthier thought process.” It takes time to rewire the brain. The neuroplasticity of rewiring that brain. It does take that repetition of catching ourselves when we’re shooting ourselves and go, ‘all right, new way of being. New way of thinking.’
[1:29:56] Eliot Marshall: So there’s this competition called ADCC. It is the Olympics for grappling, for jiu-jitsu. I’ve been trying to get into this, you have to qualify or get invited, and I’ve been trying to get into this since I was 21 years old. It was the only thing in my professional career that didn’t accomplish. I got into everything else like I said. Man, this year I got in. I got an invite. At this old man age, I was the oldest guy in the whole competition. Look, there was no dreams of winning. The people that win these are 20, right? It’s like the Olympics. They dedicate their whole lives to this that I don’t dedicate. They train like I work. I train like they might actually work. If I get two hours in a day, that’s amazing. I can’t do that every day but they do. Now what got me good enough for me to be able to qualify is peace of mind. Like a different thought of how to compete. So, anyway, I get in and I have a two-time champ in the first round. It’s invite only. It’s 16 people per division. Only happens once every two years. It’s literally the Olympics. I was like, ‘you know what, I’m going to try this move right away. I’m going to sit down and I’m going to boom, I’m going to try to hit this move immediately. It’s a high risk, high reward move. I didn’t do it for the reward of it. I did it for the risk because I knew it was going to get this idea that I had to be perfect in the match out of my head right away. Immediately. I mean, look, I guess if I pulled it off I’d be on a highlight reel for the rest of my life pulling it off. I was also taking this risk that I was going to be on a highlight reel messing it up for the rest of my life. Where we landed was somewhere in the middle, more towards the bad end. It went very poorly for me. Then I’ve had to recover. I had to work my way out. Look, I didn’t win. But it got me out of the idea of I have to be perfect. Because I went into that and I was like, ‘you know what, I’m going to kill or be killed. I’m really going to go for it.’ Because I don’t want to have a boring match. I don’t want to have a match where like – right?
[1:32:32] Ashley James: You didn’t play it safe.
[1:32:33] Eliot Marshall: Yeah. If I get killed, even at the end I was like, ‘I’m losing right now.’ I was down on points. I was like, ‘I could stay right here,’ and you never want to get finished, right? That’s when you always have to tap. That always sucks. It messes with your ego. In the moment, I was like, ’okay, here I go. I’m going to take this risk.’ Because the only way that I could actually possibly still win is to now take this next major risk of possibly getting finished. I happen. I got finished because the guy’s amazing. He’s a multiple, he’s like a 5-time, 6-time world champion. So, it is what it is. I’m 40, right? But I was super proud of myself for keeping the kill or be killed mentality all the way through the match. I blew it immediately. I didn’t go ten seconds without an absolute epic fail. Then it had no bearing in the match. I recovered to the point where it was mutual again. The score still stayed 0-0. So, yeah. Fine.
[1:33:42] Ashley James: That is so sweet. I love recovery stories. I love it.
[1:33:47] Eliot Marshall: That’s what we have to do.
[1:33:48] Ashley James: Shaking it off and like mentally recovering is a skill. Like how quickly can I bounce back? Another landmark forum experience after my mom died¸ I went and retook landmark forum which is like their foundation weekend course. That’s the course where they have you get that I’m the cause of everything in my world. People are fighting it. They’re like, ‘what about rape?’ they’re bringing out all the really, really dark stuff. By the end of the course they get it. That it’s taking responsibility so that nothing else have power over you. Then when you’re in that mentally position, you position yourself as being responsible for everything in your world. Then you are at cause in your moment. Every moment you’re at cause creating your world. So a victim of rape is no longer a victim of rape. They’re being a cause in their world. They get to decide how they move forward with their life and not allow that act that happened to them to continue to affect them years later. They’re going to seek healing.
[1:35:02] Eliot Marshall: How long are you going to take that person rape you?
[1:35:04] Ashley James: Exactly. It’s not condoning it. It’s bad. It’s horrible. It’s wrong. They should all be castrated. Seriously, maximum penalty. The person who had it happened to them, they have the power to become empowered. To find their power, right? So, anyways, that’s like the first step in the forum. So, it’s a freaking heavy weekend. I went. I would drove all the way to Montreal with a few of my friends. One of the oldest forum –
[1:35:37] Eliot Marshall: Where in Canada are you from?
[1:35:38] Ashley James: I’m from Toronto. Yeah. I’m from North York. One of the oldest forum leaders who have been doing it for like 30 years, I asked him. I’m like, ‘You know, I just lost my mom a few months ago and I’m really depressed. I’m grieving really heavily and I want to, I just couldn’t get out of this loop. I want to make sure I’m grieving healthfully.’ He told me a story. He goes, ‘You know, I was leading a landmark forum,’ he was leading this class for hundreds of people. It was a really big class. They only had like 15-minute break. So he comes out and it’s his break and he’s drinking some water or something. He gets a phone call and his brother had just died of a heart attack. His mind just starts going off. He goes, ‘I thought about our last phone call. I can’t remember if I said I love you or not. I didn’t say I love you. We had a fight. It just started vicious cycle over and over again.’ He started feeling guilty and shame and blaming and agree. His mind was just messed up like anyone would be to get the news that their brother had died. He only had 15 minutes to recover and go back on stage because the lives of these people are at stake, right? They’re all there to get a transformation for their life. He can’t just check out mentally. So he had to like seriously have a moment just like you did where it’s like he had to recover. So he caught himself. This is what really hit me is that even the healthiest people in the world, the healthiest people in the world still would catch the cold once in a while. But it’s how fast their body heals. It’s how fast their body gets over it. So they might have a fever, go to bed with sniffles and wake up the next day and be totally fine. Whereas the average person is in bed for a week or two, right? It’s not that we’re invaluable. It’s not that you get so good at personal growth that you never fail or never slip up. It’s how fast you recover. So he share the story of how he was able to recover from that. He said to himself, he just got in touch with what so, with reality. What is real in the now? He said to himself, ‘I miss him. I love him. I’m sad,’ about his brother. I can’t remember his brother’s name. He’s like, “I miss Tom. I love him. I’m sad. I miss him. I love him. I’m sad.’ Any other thought was not what so, it wasn’t real. It was a made up story. He didn’t know I loved him or it’s my fault. I should’ve done this. I should’ve done that. All of that was just tripping him up. But if had just gotten in touch with the what so, what so is I miss him, I love him, I’m sad. That’s what kept him present in the moment. Then he recovered. Then he got back on stage and he led an amazing weekend for those people. Some people might say he wasn’t grieving healthfully or he was like shoving it down. He wasn’t ignoring his feelings. He was owning them. He wasn’t pushing them away. He is in them. He went through them just like you said, go through it. He went through it. He owned. He recovered. He said, eventually the sadness went away. Then he just said, ‘I miss him, I love him.’ He said, ‘he’s gone. I miss him. I love him. I’m sad. He’s gone. I miss him. I love him. I’m sad.’ Then eventually it was, ‘he’s gone. I miss him. I love him.’ That really helped me with my grieving because it’s like, yeah I had so much going on in my head about blaming myself. I mean my mom died of cancer. I was 22 years old and yeti felt like it was my fault or I could’ve done so. If only I had done this. If only I had done that, right? So I had to own what so and then really get all that stuff that’s not so is not real and stop holding it against myself. I love that your story shows that in the most intense situation. You chose to do something completely ballsy and you’re totally okay that it messed up because you recovered really quickly mentally and it’s all mental, right? Because your game is in your head. So you mentally recovered and you physically recovered and then you like shook it off and you kept fighting.
[1:40:06] Eliot Marshall: So for me, we have to practice, right? We have to practice for when the big moments come. Like when your mom dies and your brother dies. Because let me tell you, you know when it’s not a big moment? Who the world champion is. What’s your favorite sport?
[1:40:25] Ashley James: Hockey?
[1:40:27] Eliot Marshall: Hockey, who won the Stanley cup in 2011?
[1:40:30] Ashley James: Oh geez, I have no idea. I’m not great.
[1:40:33] Eliot Marshall: Hold on. I love jiu-jitsu. I love jiu-jitsu. Guess what, I don’t remember who the world champion was either. Okay. Because how can it actually matter? If we don’t know who the very, very, if we have to Google who the very, very best was at said activity in that year, at that moment, then it can’t really actually matter. So what is the point of this? The point of this is for me to go out there and practice being in the moment. So even if I would’ve won that match it still wouldn’t have mattered because what’s going to matter is my kids going to need me at some point. My kids going to need me maybe on my worst day. When my mom dies or something and I’m going to have to show up. I still going to have to show up. So that’s the practice that I’m doing. These tough moments that I choose to put myself in, come on. You think somebody cares who wins a barely legal street night on a Saturday night? No. Nobody cares. Because if they did they would remember them all but we sure do remember the times when we really needed somebody. So those are the moments I’m practicing for. Those are the moments that I’m always practicing for. That’s why I choose to do really hard stuff. I like hard stuff. I like working out really intensely. I know about the physical benefits. Yes. I like the mental benefit.
[1:42:08] Ashley James: I actually got to hang out with Marilu Henner a few times. She’s an actress. She was in Taxi. She was on the Apprentice. I thought she was really good on the Apprentice. She has this crazy ability that she has photographic memory but you can tell her what happened on May 7, 1982. She will tell you everything that happened, or you could say to her if you’ve met her a few times, tell me every date we ever like every period in time we ever met each other. She just remembers dates and what happened on each day. She’s a really cool public speaker. We had an opportunity to hear her a few times. We were actually in Cancun with her at one point. She has this thing where she says, ‘Choose your heart.’ She has a whole spiel obviously that comes with it. But the point is choose your heart. Don’t sit there and worry about stuff and try to stay safe and try to keep comfortable, right? Because the more we try to stay safe and keep comfortable the more uncomfortable and unsafe we’ll be down the road.
[1:43:32] Eliot Marshall: God, it’s so terrible. It’s so terrible what we do though, right? It goes back to our kids. You know, all the stuff we do to make our kids safe.
[1:43:40] Ashley James: Then we’re just making them unsafe because we’re making them so naïve and so sheltered.
[1:43:45] Eliot Marshall: So sheltered. I read this great book. It’s called the Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt. It’s got this amazing line in it. ‘Are you preparing your kid for the road or are you preparing it the road for your kid?’ We know we can’t prepare the road for the kid because we don’t know what the road looks like. You can’t prepare it. It’s impossible. So you have to prepare the child. You have to prepare the child and you. Where we blow this is that our kids’ failures are our failures. That their sucking at soccer is us or their bad great at school. So what did we do? We stopped keeping score and we stopped giving them grades. You’re child’s four, I don’t know how many sports she plays yet or if she’s into them. But let me tell you, the no scoreboard thing is terrible. It’s awful. You should see what happens. Because we have to options with the no scoreboard thing. If we don’t want to keep score, then we also have to teach our kid not to count. Because if they can count, they’re going to keep score. Since there’s not a board that says the score, they scream the score out. God forbid it’s a blowout. ‘It’s 42-2.’ Because they’re counting. If the actual 42-2 is just right on the board, they wouldn’t count.
[1:45:22] Ashley James: And rob it in each other’s faces?
[1:45:24] Eliot Marshall: No. it seems like they’re robbing it in each other’s faces when they’re screaming 42-2 but they’re not. They’re just counting. They’re just counting. It seems that they’re bragging but they’re six and they’re five so you practice what you’re learning, right? You’re learning how to count and stuff in school so that’s what you’re doing. Now, look. If you just put the scoreboard up there, they wouldn’t do it. It wouldn’t seem like bragging. They wouldn’t be screaming at each other. None of this would be going on. We could actually talk to our kids about, ‘hey Canan,’ that’s my oldest, ‘this is how you deal with winning by that much. Hey Canan, when you’re on the other side of 42-2, I know that feels really bad. So now we’ve got some chances that we can make. So we can either quit and give up or we can try to learn how to play basketball better. Now look, I won’t even say quitting and giving up isn’t your thing because maybe you have two left hands and you can’t dribble and athletics is just not right for you. Maybe art is or maybe this is. But let’s go find what you’re great at. That’s okay. I’m find with it. We’re not quitting this season. You chose to play basketball so we’re sticking out. I get it. Not for you man. So, I know I loved basketball but that’s okay that you don’t. What are we going to do for you to be amazing? This has nothing to do with me.’ So all of this prepare your kid for the road stuff it’s all back on us. We just can’t handle our kids sucking.
[1:47:04] Ashley James: It’s robbing them of how learning through failure. It’s robbing them.
[1:47:11] Eliot Marshall: Have you learned any other way?
[1:47:13] Ashley James: No. I do not learn from success. I learn from failure and then I tweak and I go, ‘oh that worked. Okay, keep doing that.’
[1:47:20] Eliot Marshall: How’d your child learn how to walk?
[1:47:21] Ashley James: Right. A lot of wobbly.
[1:47:23] Eliot Marshall: He just failed. A lot of wobbly, right? It does this rock thing. It does shoulder to shoulder, on its back and then it can roll over. That took a couple of months. Then he or she does this thing where they start to get up on their hands and knees and they slip out. Then they do this thing where they get up on their hands and feet and they rock back and forth like they’re getting ready to crawl. They do that for a couple of weeks, right? This was my two anyway. Then they crawl and then they fall over. Then they get back up. Then they start to pick themselves up on objects like on couches. This is where things get really bad because now they’re about to be mobile. You can’t just put them down anymore. They won’t be in the same spot when you get back. Then they start crawling or walking along a couch. Then they get really brave. They get really, really brave. They let go of the couch and then what happens? They fall. It doesn’t stop them. Somewhere along the line we do something to them that stops them with their learning that they think that this doing poorly is really, really bad. It’s just not. It’s just a lesson. Man, sometimes you got to say, ‘Hey Johnny, that wasn’t good.’ You cannot say, ‘Johnny, that wasn’t good,’ and then walk away from them. You have to say, ‘Johnny, that’s not good. I’m going to be here with you until we figure out either how to make it good or how to change directions. But I’m not leaving you. I’ll never leave you. So let’s do this. Which one?’
[1:49:08] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. Own failure. Be excite about it so we can learn it. Learn from it and grow from it and be willing to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones to be okay with the failure. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s like that is the most joy you’re going to get. I played softball and our team came in dead last. I mean I don’t think we won any games. I look back at that so fondly. I had so much fun. We just tried our hardest, you know. We weren’t crying. We weren’t butt hurt. We were hitting the balls as much as we could and running as fast as we could. We just really sucked and that’s okay. I look back on the times I played softball and I had so much fun. I noticed I was a bit better at the end of the season, right? If we probably kept going year after year we would’ve improved. It’s okay. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to burn something in the kitchen. It’s okay to not be able to run the marathon.
[1:50:27] Eliot Marshall: Then there’s Tiger Woods, right. There’s Tiger Woods who had an overbearing dad who pushed him into this. I’m reading this chapters in Stillness. His dad was intense. There’s a Tiger Woods chapter. I mean his dad in his swing while he was swinging he would through change at him and hit him with things. He called him a little n word. ‘You little n word.’ He made Tiger into this stone cold killer that Tiger Woods became. But it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough. Tiger is probably the best golfer that’s ever played. He’s for sure made the most money and what happened? It just fell apart. It fell apart. How did he get it back? Because he just got it back in the masters this year, right. He went a decade without winning a major. What changed? He changed. He started to love people. He started to love the crowd. He used to hate the crowd. Hate them. Hated the other players on tour because that’s what his dad made him into being. Then he saw how wrong it was. He reconciled with his ex-wife. I don’t mean reconciled like they’re back together. They’re not back together. They’re able to co-parent, which is what’s more important than that, right? That’s the biggest thing that that guy has to fix. That relationship with his ex-wife so that they could actually be good parents together. Because there’s going to be times, who’s going to be at the graduation? Mommy or daddy? Man, that’s awful for a child. That’s what he fixed. I mean this story to me is one of the most amazing stories there is. Then he was able to come back. He was able to do what he did at the masters. Look at what it did for us. It’s the first time since September, since 9/11, right? Since 2001 that every single person watching something agreed. On Sunday, everyone wanted Tiger to win. That’s what was amazing. Because damn, we love a success story. We love the success story of Tiger. But man, do we love even more to watch someone fall and then rise again. That’s the Jesus story. We love it. We eat it up. We love to watch it come true, He couldn’t have done that without totally breaking himself down. That’s what he have to do. Then look what it did for us. It was amazing. People that don’t even like golf were sitting in bars watching Tiger Woods cheered like they’ve been cheering for him since 1997. Because it’s amazing. It gave you some hope that as a 40-year-old that you could reinvent yourself. That it’s not over.
[1:53:59] Ashley James: Brilliant. It’s never over.
[1:54:02] Eliot Marshall: It’s over when the dirt comes on top. My eyes closed.
[1:54:08] Ashley James: When they put you in the ground, then it’s over.
[1:54:09] Eliot Marshall: It’s over you know. Until that point, we need to thank the people that came before us and live for the people that our coming with us. For me, I just did something that was really interesting. Like I said, my grandparents survived the holocaust but I’m not religious. If you ask me what I am, I’m Jewish because of them, because of their suffering. Last Wednesday was Yom Kippur and you’re supposed to fast on Yom Kippur. I’ve never fasted before. But man, I felt the need to fast and I’m going to fast every year on Yom Kippur until it ends and it’s for them. It’s to pass on my family’s tradition. I told this to all of my students, I told all my students on Tuesday night because it was Tuesday night to Wednesday night. I said, ‘look guys, I’m going to fast tomorrow because my grandparents survived the camps. What happened to my grandfather while in the camps, he swore that when Hitler came, I know we started with this, that his family was always going to get out. He was going to make it so that we would be okay. His blood would always be okay. That man saw everyone die. Like when the ghettos were raided, that was it. That was the last time he saw any of his family. He had nine brothers and sisters, a mom and dad, everything. That was done. That was the last. It was over. He then saw his wife die before him. His oldest child, my uncle died before he died. Then he died finally. So the blood that he didn’t see die was my mom and me and my sister. I can remember my whole life, he just wanted me to do something like financially secure. Do this, do this, right? Like so that I could be be my own boss. He fought me the whole way in this martial arts thing. I always said I was going to open my own martial arts school. He fought me the whole way. Then, when he was dying, I went and took my oldest son because my oldest son was a baby at the time and I took him to see him. So that he could see him before he died. He got to meet him. My wife took my baby and left. It was super obvious that this was going to be it. This was going to be the last time that I saw my grandfather. We started crying, my mom started crying. He looked to my mom and he said, “Just give him whatever he wants. Give him whatever he wants when he wants it.” So, he died with a little bit of money on him, look, just like a little bit. What it did was that my mom did it. My mom gave me that money and that’s what opened my first school to let me buy into that school. I don’t have anything in my life without that, without his sacrifice. Without his whatever it is that he did. So, I’m going too fast. I’m not fasting every year because I believe in any of that stuff. I’m fasting for them. Again, it comes back to people. Help people and pass it along. Because what he did for me, I can’t pay that back, right? I can’t pay that back. It goes back to everything that we were talking about, right? That terribleness of the concentration camps. What it lead to was this amazingness that I have with my jiu-jitsu schools. That’s what ended up saving my life, right? That’s what saved my life when it went dark for me. The awfulness. So, when we talk about the holocaust and things like that. We’re talking about ownership. He just said, ‘look, of course it’s not his fault.’ He’s going to make it so that nobody, his blood doesn’t ever have to deal with this again. Now I get to have this amazing thing that I have. This community of martial arts. It’s more than a community of martial arts. It’s a community of family where man, I get to employ my best friends. They don’t have jobs, they have careers. They have careers. They’re never going to go do anything else unless they want to. They’re going to be able to take care of their families, you know. That’s all because of this awful thing that was the holocaust. That’s why all of this happens. So, for me a little bit of suffering and a little bit of sitting back, realizing that one day a year, I can handle that.
[1:59:03] Ashley James: You said you can’t pay him back but you can pay it forward
[1:59:06] Eliot Marshall: The only thing I can do is try to make more people be as lucky as I was from that moment. Everyone that comes in contact with me, I just want them to be so lucky. I want them to be like, ‘God man, I’m going to find my power.’ Because look, from the holocaust to here. You can draw the line. You can draw the line of my family from one of the most awful things that’s ever happened in the history of the world to where we are today. To where I am today. It’s a straight line. You don’t even have to make a turn.
[1:59:43] Ashley James: I love it. That’s brilliant. Thank you so much Eliot Marshal for coming on the show today and sharing some sage, sage wisdom with us. It’s been a real pleasure hanging out with you today. You’ve given us a lot to chew on.
[2:00:02] Eliot Marshall: Just hey, you can do it. You can do it. If you’re one of the ones suffering, just know you’re not alone. If you’re not one of the ones suffering, go make someone’s life better. Just watch what happens. Don’t worry about your life. If you’re not suffering, then man, your life’s doing pretty good. So go make someone else’s life better and then now we’re talking. Thank you so much. I mean, I love this two-hour thing because we got to really talk.
[2:00:39] Ashley James: Yes. Awesome. It’s such a pleasure having you on the show Eliot. You’re welcome back anytime. This was great. Of course the links to everything Eliot Marshal does, his books and his podcasts are all going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast, learntruehealth.com. Eliot, is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview? Any final homework that you want to give us.
[2:00:56] Eliot Marshall: I would like you to give me some homework. Is that okay?
[2:01:00] Ashley James: Oh my gosh, I have homework for you. Are you ready it?
[2:01:02] Eliot Marshall: Yeah.
[2:01:03] Ashley James: I was going to do it when we’re done recording. I’m going to hook you up with my friend Forrest Knutson. His website is That Yogi Guy. He has a ton of videos on YouTube. Really entertaining because he wants to obviously people to actually watch them. So, he makes this entertaining videos teaching create yoga, which is again not stretchy yoga but like mind stretchy yoga. So, I’m going to hook you up with Forrest. You should chat with him. He loves teaching people how to make meditation even deeper and fast and even better at it. Then I’m going to put you in touch with some of my content for eliminating anxiety because these tools, these neurolinguistic programming tools are outstanding when it comes to just bending the mind so it focuses on what you want instead of what you don’t want to get to the root cause of anxiety. The last thing I was going to turn you on to, because a lot of people get really good results with this, I’m sure you take supplements and all that. Magnesium is the most important mineral in the body for everything. It has 1,800 processes, enzymatic processes they’ve figured out that the body needs magnesium for. So it’s more important than calcium but when we’re deficient in it, which a lot of people are, we actually can have physical anxiety and be in stress response easier. You talked about sleep. People who use this magnesium noticed better sleep, deeper, more restful sleep. So people who are deficient magnesium, I mean it’s over 200 symptoms of magnesium deficiency but sleep problems is one of them. Anxiety is another. So, it’s really hard to get enough magnesium orally because of how the gut works. It just goes out the other end really quickly. So, IV has been sort of the best way but no one’s going to go into a doctor’s office every week and like go get intravenous magnesium. That’s just not economical. The other way is this concentrated liquid from the Zechstein Sea in Scandinavia that contains not only magnesium in its most absorbable form for the body, but also other co-factors. So, you take this concentrate and you put it in a little water and put your feet in it. You soak for an hour and you could be like doing a podcast right now with your feet soaking. I always do it when I’m doing something else too. I’m in the desk or I soak when I’m in the sauna. It’s not like you’re sitting there going, ‘darn, I have to soak and I have nothing else to do.’ That doesn’t ever have to happen. You could always do it while you’re doing something.
[2:03:47] Eliot Marshall: We don’t live in that world anymore.
[2:03:48] Ashley James: We don’t live in that world, no. People have done, it’s thousands of people, have done the blood test called the magnesium RBC test where they their magnesium before and after 30 days soak challenge. Their magnesium goes up to healthy levels. So they’ve done all kinds of test on it. But it’s really, really cool. So, I’m going to hook you up with the magnesium soak that I love. 3, Bowen, who I’ve had on the show several times, created it after she was 78 pounds, having 30 seizures a day in a wheelchair. She tells her story. It’s really amazing. Magnesium was a major major part of her recovery. That’s why she created the company. The company she was sourcing from, they started their quality went down so she decided to make her own. So, she gets it from the Zechstein Sea. She sells it in liquid form, not in the flake. People go, ‘You could save money by using flakes.’ It’s not the same. They’ve chemically processed it. They’ve taken a lot of the co-factors out. It does not raise magnesium RBC levels the same. So people get a really, really positive difference. So, I’m going to hook you up with Kristen Bowen. Her website is livingthegoodlifenaturally.com. That’s a mouthful.
[2:05:00] Eliot Marshall: Now, it’s okay. I’m stoked too. I’m stoked
[2:05:02] Ashley James: Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com. The listeners get a discount, LTH, gets the discount. I’m going to make sure. I’m going to send an email and hook you up with Forrest and hook you up with Kristen Bowen. Then I’ll send you some links for the free you anxiety. I have some interviews where I teach some of my stuff. Anyone listening that wants to know for more information, Forrest Knutson who’s an amazing meditator. He’s thatyogiguy.com. The magnesium soak, I’m totally, totally obsessed with. I’ve been doing it over a year. My son for example, they’re hyper. They’re three years old, right. He was three years old at the time. He’d always fight us to go to sleep. He’s an Aries if you know astrology. He’s just like, he’s all about being in the now and being awake 24/7. We put him through the magnesium soak in his bath. It’s not like he knew. It’s a blind test. He didn’t know we put it in his bath. He started to tell us he was ready for bed. He’s like, ‘I’m ready. Could we go read some books? I’m ready for bed.’ We’re like, ‘what?’ So it really, really works. A lot of my listeners said it really helped. So, that’s livingthegoodlifenaturally.com, coupon code LTH. The third thins is on my website, learntruehealth.com there’s a tab at the top that says, Anxiety or Free Your Anxiety or you can type anxiety into the search bar. You can get all my episodes where I teach. Then I have a class. It’s only a few hundred dollars where I teach 21 lessons between 30 and 45 minutes long, 21 of them. It’s just like for a few hundred dollars. It’s everything I’ve taught since 2005 with all of my clients who have amazing success with eliminating anxiety. So, those are my three pieces of homework I’m going to send you some emails.
[2:06:53] Eliot Marshall: I appreciate it. I was going to ask for it. I wanted to bring it up that way. Yes, I do take Lexapro. I’m trying to come off of it. We talked about it beforehand. I’m just trying to come off of it just to see what the work that I’ve done over the last three years has been like. Just a test.
[2:07:12] Ashley James: Test yourself and go. How far have I come?
[2:07:15] Eliot Marshall: Maybe the Lexapro allows me to really go far. That’s okay too. I’m okay with going back on in I have to. So I’m kind of in the middle of it. It’s not the most comfortable thing because there are some definite side effects to it. I would like to still keep going for a little bit and keep challenging. We talked about it offline but I think it’s really important for people to know online too. You are not suffering alone. Whatever you do, there’s this huge stigma around SSRIs and things like that. If you need you need it.
[2:07:50] Ashley James: It’s better to be on it and be alive and be thriving than to not be on it and to like go somewhere very dark.
[2:08:00] Eliot Marshall: We only get one chance at this beautiful thing that we call life. Man, to go through it. Yes, I do love suffering, but to go through it truly suffering like fighting everyday just to be alive. That’s not living guys. So, if you need help, get help. Please, in whatever way you need to. Thank you for the homework. I appreciate that.
[2:08:26] Ashley James: Awesome. Well Eliot, it’s going to be fun having you on the show in a year or two. You can let us know the follow up. How has it been? I like doing that with guests where they come back and they share like, ‘all right. Well I got off that med and this is what happened then. Then I wrote my book.’ Whatever. You’re going to share the updates because we’re never done learning.
[2:08:48] Eliot Marshall: Maybe I won’t be off.
[2:08:49] Ashley James: Maybe you won’t be off.
[2:08:51] Eliot Marshall: Maybe I won’t be off. That would be okay too. There’s no attachment to that, right? Everyone’s truth isn’t the same. So it’s going to be okay either way.
[2:09:04] Ashley James: I want to hear the update to your continuous journey because you’re constantly striving to grow. So, that’s always going to be an adventure to have you back.
[2:09:13] Eliot Marshall: Are you on Instagram Ashley?
[2:09:14] Ashley James: @learntruehealth
[2:09:18] Eliot Marshall: @learntruehealth. I’m going to follow you in a second. Oh man, I really enjoyed this. Thank you very much.
[2:09:25] Ashley James: Awesome. Thank you. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show today and can’t wait to keep in touch with you and have you back on the show and have you share your continuous journey with us.
[2:09:38] Eliot Marshall: Sounds great Ashley. Have a great night.
[2:09:40] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business and support people in their success? Do you love helping people?
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The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday