/, The Nonprofit Exchange Archive/How We Can Win At Life Through Meditation with Ellie Shoja

How We Can Win At Life Through Meditation with Ellie Shoja

Watch the Interview

Bringing Meditation Into Schools, Companies, and Large Organizations with Ellie Shoja

Ellie ShojaEllie Shoja is an award-winning Writer, Producer, and Motivational Speaker. She is the founder of Peace Unleashed, a personal transformation company that focuses on helping individuals and groups level up holistically. The Peace Unleashed philosophy is rooted in the understanding that teams are more efficient and companies more productive when individual members attain a level of internal peace and groundedness that remains unshaken by life events.

 

There is a reason many high-profile individuals and thought leaders of our time from every industry are advocating meditation. It’s not an accident that many companies from Apple and Google to the FBI are encouraging their employees to participate in meditation.

The benefits we receive by meditating even for a few minutes per day are many and result in surprising side effects such as improved communication skills, increased productivity, the ability to make connections more easily and solve problems more efficiently, improved sleep, and even the ability to replace old habits with new ones with more ease.

There is no doubt that the simple act of meditation can literally change a person’s life for the better, yet most people don’t meditate. The greatest objections we receive about meditation include statements such as, “My brain is not made for that,” “I can’t stop my thoughts,” and “I don’t have time to sit and do nothing.”

The fact is that meditation does not require a quieting of the mind though it can result in that, and it is also far from a passive activity. Meditation is the simple and active observation of the mind. Once we become aware of the the fact that we are thinking our thoughts, our thoughts stop thinking us. And in that lies our true power as a human being. When we retrain ourselves to recognize that we are thinking, we then can identify which thoughts are not serving us and replace them with thoughts that do serve our greater good.

This is what meditation does. It is a focusing of the mind and a training of the mind, so that we can live actively rather than reactively.

Links:

Website: peaceunleashed.com
Unleash Your Peace Podcast
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unleash-your-peace/id1414183580?mt=2



Peace Unleashed Blog https://peaceunleashed.com/blog/
Peace Unleashed Instagram
 https://www.instagram.com/peaceunleashed/

 

Read the Interview

Hugh Ballou: Hey folks, it’s The Nonprofit Exchange. This is Hugh Ballou. I am in Charleston, West Virginia today. Russell, you’re still in Colorado, aren’t you?

Russell Dennis: Right here. Still in sunny Aurora, Colorado.

Hugh: We’ve had some cold weather, but it is 72 and sunny today here in Charleston. This is the number one tourist destination in the country, they tell me. So I am actually seeing some of that Southern seafood they have down here.

We have a distinguished guest today. Because I’m mobile, I’m going to let you take the lead today. This is going to be a very interesting version of The Nonprofit Exchange. Russell, why don’t you let our guest introduce herself?

Russell: Today we have a very exciting guest. She is the CEO of Embold Media and host of the Peace Unleashed podcast. Ellie, greetings, thank you for joining us. Why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about yourself today.

Ellie Shoja: I will definitely do that. First of all, thank you guys so much for having me on. I know, Hugh, you have been traveling, so I appreciate Russell, you are just nothing but sunshine. You are just so wonderful. I enjoy every conversation we’ve had. Thanks so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure to be here. I’m very excited to contribute whatever I can.

I am a serial entrepreneur. I started my first business when I was 19 years old. I have a media company called Embold Media. Maybe three years ago, I recruited a couple friends of mine to start meditations. With everything going on in the world, if you want peace outside, you have to find peace within. That is the way to world peace is through our individual hearts. We started creating meditation courses. We started hosting meditation parties in LA. If you’re interested, get on the email list. It’s a dinner party with meditation thrown in the middle of it.

Last year, I started an Instagram account called Peace Unleashed. It was simply for the purpose of inspiring people, reminding them they are perfect and wonderful and unconditionally loved and individualized in physical form. I sent daily reminders out called love notes. The account started with no followers, and it has now over 3,000 followers right now. The popularity of that, and the questions I was receiving led me to start doing Instagram Lives to answer questions about how to attain internal peace. How do you maneuver through this contrast and this chaos? How do you tap into unconditional love when there is so much reason to block that love? I started answering the questions on Instagram Live. That evolved into a podcast called Unleash Your Peace, in which I simply talk about the different aspects of the internal world and how to do all of those things: how to find inner peace.

Because I have this corporate background and entrepreneurial background, I do a lot of talks and webinars, bringing this spirituality into companies, going to schools and talking at schools. I found that this is a really big passion of mine because I had a lot of chaos growing up. It took me a long time to find peace within myself. Just being able to share all of that, how I was able to do it and how I have been helping others do that for years, this has been pretty much a highlight of my life. I think this is what I am here on this planet for.

Russell: You know, there seems to be a lot of conflict in society today. You turn on the TV. You see people at odds. You see people who have and who do not have. Are we starting to see a movement toward finding something a little deeper? People are dissatisfied at their work. A lot of nonprofit leaders are really up against it. They are having some difficulty with funding. Some changes to the tax law have potentially changed the giving environment. With nonprofit, and we call it for-purpose businesses, there is a lot of burnout. Not only are people facing keeping their organizations going, but they are also dealing with real human problems that they see out there. They have seen a lot of conflict. Is there a movement toward that in the business world and in other places toward really finding some sort of deeper meaning or some sort of way to take care of themselves, find more meaning in their work and to get along with others?

Ellie: Yes, absolutely. Right now, we are at an exciting time. It’s easy to overlook that. When you look around first of all, we live in a science fiction world. I am speaking to you through this tiny device. That is essentially a computer. The three of us are in completely different areas. The people watching from all over the world. This is science fiction we live in. If you go back 100 years even, it would be unfathomable what we’re doing here right now. It’s very easy to forget how exciting this time is.

The other thing that’s really easy to forget is the macro mimics the micro. If we look at the micro, we know that any breakthrough we have on an individual level, any time we have achieved anything on an individual level, any time we have expanded on an individual level, it has come as a result of contrast. I don’t call it conflict; I call it contrast because that’s all it is. All of the things that make us feel chaotic and confused and upset and frustrated, all of those are questions. All of them are challenges. Guess what? We cannot have answers without questions. We can’t have solutions without problems, without challenges. We should actually be thankful that we are facing all of these questions, that we are faced with problems we can actually solve. Without those, there would be no expansion. Can you imagine, Russell, living in a world where all of your needs are taken care of all the time? Everybody looks the same, acts the same, thinks the same. There is no need for language at that point because we are just communicating by being, by our knowledge. It’s this wonderful, euphoric place. I’m sure it’s beautiful over there. But there is never any need to create anything.

I think if we shift our perspective and look at all of the contrast we are experiencing as opportunity for expansion, opportunity for creation, something quite magical happens. Then we are not looking at people who are creating conflict or contrast within our lives as this enemy who is trying to ruin our lives. We see them as spiritual leaders who are helping us expand. I am a sci-fi person. Some of the best science fiction movies of all time are the ones before CGI, before there were all these amazing solutions for making things very realistic because the directors were faced with a problem. How do you communicate this fantastical concept in a compelling and real way? When you have tough questions, you just come up with better answers. My heart totally goes out for every business owner, every nonprofit owner because we are trying to make impact, and we are trying to make this world a better place. But if you switch your thinking around and say these challenges are happening not to screw me, not to mess with me, but to make my solution that much better.

Hugh: Ellie, you’re just amazing. I have been traveling, and we were late getting on, but we have been listening to you on Facebook. I wanted to rally around and give them a quick explanation of yourself and then give it back to Russell because he has a really good line of questioning. Give them an update of who Ellie is. How do you say your last name?

Ellie: Shoja. I am a writer. I am a producer. I am a serial entrepreneur. I am a public motivational speaker, an author. I was talking a moment ago about how I have been starting businesses since I was 19 years old. It’s a disease at this point. Just like all serial entrepreneurs, I can’t sit still. Recently, in the past couple of years, I have been using that background to create solutions for people to find inner peace.

What are all of those internal tools you need to live your best life yet? I had a very unconventional weird traumatic upbringing. It took me a while to find peace, to find groundedness, to find all of these concepts that I share. This way of looking at the world where nothing is ever going wrong, everything is always working out for me. Now that I have found it, I feel very much compelled to share it with as many people as possible so that others can find peace.

Hugh: Where are you talking from?

Ellie: I am talking from beautiful sunny southern California, Los Angeles.

Hugh: Russell, I am going to throw it back to you. Thank you for your good questions.

Russell: Thank you. Meditation creates transformation in the lives of people. I don’t know that people always reach for meditation. They might think of it as a religious practice or not really think of it in terms of practicalities. Talk a little bit about why it’s practical in any organization setting, whether that is a for-profit or nonprofit, how can these tools in a practical way help people take care of themselves and transform the dynamic within an organization?

Ellie: Excellent question, Russell. Such an important question as well. A lot of people have a misconception about what meditation is. You think of meditation as some monk sitting on top of a mountain and transcending this world. That is one aspect of meditation. That is one way of practicing meditation. Meditation is not as you said a religious practice at all. It’s not even that much in the spiritual practice to be honest with you. There is a lot of spirituality that comes in through meditation, but it’s not even that. What is then meditation? To understand the impact of meditation, we have to understand one very important thing about the way we live. That is that we have thoughts. Thoughts are things. When you have a thought, any time you want to create something, first you create a thought, and then you create It in the real world. The problem is as wonderful and useful as thoughts are, a lot of times, for most people, for 99% of people, their thoughts are running their lives. People are not in charge of their thoughts. While our thoughts can really help us create the world that we want, most of the time, the way we use thoughts is in a very self-destructive way. We let our thoughts create a reality by default.

What do I mean by that? A thought pops in your head. You start a project, and the thought pops in your head, What if this doesn’t work? Who am I to talk about this? I am never going to be able to finish that. It’s just a thought. But the problem is if I just entertain that thought, or if I think that thought is something real and has any kind of grounding in reality, guess what? I am never going to finish any projects. I am never going to do anything with my life that is worthwhile. What meditation does is allow us to step back and realize that first of all, we are the thinker of that thought. I become aware that I am thinking at all. Then meditation helps train our mind to release the thoughts that are not serving us so that we can replace those thoughts with ones that do serve us.

Russell: We talk a little bit about both the conscious and the unconscious mind and a lot of the chatter that goes on. The subconscious mind drives the bus in a lot of ways because we don’t have to think about taking time to breathe. We don’t have to think about a lot of things that just are handed over to our subconscious, our body functions and so on. Underneath, the subconscious has a lot of creative power. It’s working there. With meditation, my misconception of meditation began early with this notion that at some point, something changes in some type of way. What I am finding now in putting it into practice is that it’s there to help you understand your mind and put your mind into practice. With a lot of people, especially now with all the stimulation coming in, we are a short attention span society. I think that has an impact on how calm each of us are as individuals. Meditation can help quiet the mind, but why is it important for people to take the time to quiet their minds, especially with silence? We are so used to being overstimulated that silence is something that is overlooked.

Ellie: Excellent question. Where does inspiration come from? The human being is essentially two parts. You have the physical human who is your body, all the quantitative aspects of who you are. Your identity that you have created, your physical experience here in this physical world. All of that is the human side of you. Then there is a much bigger part of you where essentially inspiration comes from, where your joy comes from, all of the qualitative things that you can’t fully explain unless you feel them. That is your beingness. That is the nonphysical part of you. The human being, when we operate at our highest potential, it’s when we close the gap between the two selves, between the physical self and the nonphysical self. What meditation does is it allows you to do that. Your brain, your mind speaks the language of the human. It quantifies everything. It explains everything. It creates theories and numbers and descriptions in order to explain and teach. However, those things that you can’t explain, that you can’t teach, things like inspiration or where ideas come from, and the feeling of joy and connectedness, clarity, how do you explain clarity. You know when you are experiencing it, but can you teach someone to have clarity? You can’t. It’s qualitative. Where does that come from? That comes through your heart. Your inner being communicates to you through information that is not given to you by your brain. It’s given to you through your heart. What then happens is you receive that information and you translate it with your mind into ideas that make sense to you in your world.

Why is meditation important then? Because it quiets that mind so you drop out of the thinking brain, and when you drop out of the thinking brain, you open up space. In that space, you open yourself up. The door opens up for inspiration to enter you. This is why we have our best ideas or we have our Aha moments in the shower or on the toilet or when you are waking up in the middle of the night. When your mind is quiet, that is when you have those Aha moments, and you know the solution to something you have been grappling with for a long time. We can create that openness, that quietness, that space of just inspiration by learning how to quiet the mind actively.

A lot of people think that you just sit there and close your eyes. What a waste of time. But meditation is not passive at all. You sit there. You close your eyes. By the way, you can meditate with your eyes open, but you limit the stimuli going in when you close your eyes. We want to limit stimuli as much as possible. You close your eyes. You bring your focus onto one thing. That is of your choosing. I call that the home base. Your home base can be your breath going in and out of your nose. That is one of my favorites because I take my breath everywhere I go. Your home base doesn’t have to be your breath. It can be the trickle of a waterfall, the hum of an air conditioner, music. You can put on some meditative music and focus on that. The whole idea is you choose a home base, and you bring your attention to that home base. Now that you have chosen your home base, when a thought comes, you catch yourself, I am thinking about what happened in third grade, and you become aware that you just thought that thought. What do you do? You consciously and actively release that thought, and you bring your attention back to home base.

Does it matter if you are meditating two minutes or twenty minutes or two hours? No, it doesn’t. The only difference it makes is you have more opportunities to practice bringing your attention back to your home base if you are meditating longer. That is like doing two pushups versus 20 pushups. You will get stronger faster if you do 20 pushups, but two pushups will still help your body become stronger. That’s all it is. We just quiet the mind. We become aware that we are thinking. We release the thought. Why is that important? It connects us to that heart space. It connects us to that place where inspiration comes from. And guess what? When you meditate, when you get good at it, then when you are in a stressful situation, you are in a meeting and you don’t know what to do, you don’t have to step out of the meting. You simply have to bring your attention back to your home base. Take a couple breaths in while you are in that meeting, and drop out of that racing monkey brain. The solution and answers come to you a lot faster. This is why people who meditate are more efficient and productive. They have better solutions. They see the bigger picture more clearly. They have more clarity. They feel more grounded. Their relationships are better because they can communicate more clearly. There is so many incredible side effects to meditating that we don’t even realize.

Hugh: Ellie, what you don’t realize yet is we have just become acquainted here, is that part of the philosophy that Russell and I help people master is working on self. Studying some of the great religions, there is a discipline of monks meditating, Buddhist or Christian or whatever, there is a deep meditation that is part of their self-knowledge. But it is also part of our leadership discipline. It’s part of equipping ourselves. As you tell the story, you have obviously gotten to a place where you have mastered it at a certain level. I’m sure there is another level you want to go to. For those of us who have not even gotten that far, give us a little encouragement. This wasn’t an instant thing for you. I imagine there was a time where you really struggled to find what you’re talking about, to be centered, to be comfortable in meditation.

And the monkey brain. Boy is that descriptive. How did you deal with that and overcome that? One of the things that Russell and I encounter with entrepreneurs is they are always busy with activity. It’s so unproductive. There are so many activities they cancel each other out. As you are talking about it, there is a passion. As you share your journey, I’m sure it wasn’t an instant success, how did you overcome that to get to the next place? Give us some encouragement.

Ellie: Hugh, that is such a huge question. I’ll see where the answers want to come from. I have alluded to it. I had an unconventional, traumatic childhood. The reason I’m so okay with all this chaos happening around us is because I know that contrast is going to allow us to grow and expand as individuals and also as a society, as a global consciousness. I know that because this is true on the micro level in my life. By the time I was 12, I wanted to kill myself. I had such a traumatic experience that I decided there is no God because a God that allows children to suffer as I had cannot exist. I had severe nervous ticks. I had severe anger issues. I wanted to be done with this life. For a long time, I lived in that place of complete turmoil and chaos.

In my mid-20s, my ex-boyfriend, who then became my ex-husband, he gave me a book. He gave me The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This book was my introduction into the self. I read this book. I wept through the pages of this book. It allowed me to connect with myself on a much deeper level. It was the first step into this avenue, this new path of spirituality. It took me another ten years to really start implementing and learning and finding peace within myself to the point that I felt like I’m completely peaceful individual. But then I went through a divorce. I destroyed my marriage really royally to the point that I couldn’t understand. It made me realize there are still things underneath that I hadn’t been addressing.

That led me into what you are talking about, Russell, which is the subconscious mind. We internalize things that really don’t serve us. Beliefs and wounds that don’t serve us. When you think about some things in your subconscious mind, and I don’t have control over it, how do you change something you don’t have control over? Something I have actually learned is that everything that is in your subconscious mind, you put it there consciously. It’s not like it happened accidentally because all beliefs and all wounds, they are simply thoughts that you have thought a lot. When you think a thought over and over and over and over, what happens is your brain is going to say, “Well, this thought is very important to you. It must be true. Therefore, let me package it and shove it underneath somewhere in the back where you don’t have to worry about it. It will be programming that will run all the time. You don’t have to keep calling on that.” It turns into a subconscious belief. I had certain subconscious beliefs that were getting in the way of me having the kinds of relationships I wanted. How do you change that? At some point, those subconscious beliefs were conscious thoughts. You change it by having conscious thoughts that are different. You have to change it on a conscious level. That started the second leg of my internal exploration.

That has been my journey. It’s going in. We’re going inward. Identifying these wounds, these beliefs. When I identify them, that’s discrediting them first of all. That is not true. What do I want to believe instead? Replacing them consciously until you get there.

Hugh, you mentioned something that is really quite something that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with, which is you have to work hard and be busy. There is a subconscious belief there that says, “Hey, if you’re not hustling, you won’t get anywhere. If you’re not working really hard all the time, 16-18 hours a day, then you’re not going to make your dreams come true.” But you can discredit that just by looking at the people who work super hard and they don’t have anything. How many entrepreneurs do you know who work their bums off and they still have struggles? On the other side, how many entrepreneurs do you know who have achieved incredible success, and they don’t work nearly as hard as you think they should be working? They work just a few hours a day. They go on vacation all the time. Everything seems to happen. What is the difference between them? The difference is that subconscious belief. If you have that kind of subconscious belief that says, “Hey, I have to hustle all the time. I have to work, work, work in order to get what I want,” and it’s not working, discrediting that belief is step one. What you would rather believe is step two. Success comes to me with ease. That is a much more productive belief. All the cooperative components always line up at the exact right time that I need them. That is a much better belief than I have to work really hard and fight for every tiny piece I receive.

Hugh: Russell, it comes to my mind when she is talking about this that down the road from me in Virginia is the Napoleon Hill Foundation. Napoleon Hill uses different terms and parameters for describing what you are describing. We are feeding our subconscious with our conscious thoughts. The subconscious has to take it. There is this thing about spirituality. How does that relate to us running a generic nonprofit or business? Russell has got some good questions for you, I’m sure. Throwing it back to him.

Russell: What we’re talking about is taking care of our minds. Here are the two things I find with meditation. The first, I came to this belief erroneously, is a lot of people think this is a very difficult thing that takes many years of practice to master. Because it’s that difficult. The second thing is it is extremely time-consuming. They won’t necessarily take time to look at that. Talk a little bit about why it’s not quite as difficult as it might seem, and why putting it to use, even for a very brief period of time, can be useful. What makes it practical? Why would a nonprofit leader or anyone take a few minutes to try to master this?

Ellie: Great question. By the way, Hugh, I love Napoleon Hill. That guy has been such an inspiration for me over the years.

Hugh: There is a lot to learn. I find going back and reading even his basic Laws of Attraction or the first book he wrote, Think and Grow Rich, reading them again and underlining it with different colors, you use different things different times. Getting that clarity of thinking, his #1, you read Chapter 2 every day, having a definitive purpose, having a mastermind group, but also having that clarity of thought that you are centered every day is what he learned from the 500 leaders he interviewed in his lifetime. I have seen his typewriter, seen where he lives, seen his desk. It’s incredible to think about all the people he touched. I am a Paul Harris fellow in rotary. He worked with Paul Harris. That is amazing. Russ, I’m going to let you answer Russ’s question.

Ellie: Sounds good. I read Napoleon’s Laws of Success. What an incredibly interesting and fun man.

To answer your question, Russell, it’s not time-consuming. Yes, those objections do exist. Those are the most popular questions I get. I’m not doing it right. I don’t have the time for that. They go on Facebook for 20 minutes. I did a talk at Cognizant about mindfulness. After we talked about all the benefits of meditation, I was talking about here are some ways you can incorporate it into your day every day. My kind of fun way of showing how easy it is. I said, “You can have the mid-day quickie.” You can literally set your timer for 60 seconds and focus on your breath for 60 seconds. Anybody can do that. These are all consultants. They are very busy. I said, “You can take your mid-day quickie on the toilet if you want to.” All of that is to say that it doesn’t have to be this big production. You don’t have to set time aside and play music and light some candles and turn it into some big production. If you want to do a pushup, you would just drop and do one right now. If you wanted to, during commercial break, you could do 10 squats. It doesn’t have to be a production. You don’t have to go to the gym and put on your workout gear. You can just get up and do something. The same with meditation. You literally, if you are feeling confused, if you are feeling overwhelmed, especially if you feel like you don’t have the time to do anything, a lot of times what happens, just physiologically, what is happening is you are entering a fight or flight state. Your breath is shallow. Your blood is not circulating in your body. If you just simply take 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and just take really deep breaths during that time and count your breath, five breaths in, eight breaths out, count that, for 60 seconds, I guarantee you you will come out of that minute with a lot more clarity.

I do want to make a point about this breath where the exhale is longer than the inhale. The reason you do that is because your body, when it’s naturally in a place of complete relaxation and calm and clarity, your exhales are naturally longer than your inhales. If you consciously extend your exhales and you consciously extend the inhales and make the exhales slower than the inhales, you send your body this message that I am relaxed, I have clarity, I am calm. You drop out of that monkey brain. It makes it a lot easier to get out of that anxiety.

Hugh: I love that monkey brain thing. I will share with you to your point about not having to light candles, running is a meditative exercise for me. Without the stimulus earphones. It’s just being in God’s nature and letting whatever happens and not programming my mind to be doing something specific. I have limited amount of success with that. Your encouragement here is making me want to go back and do more of that.

Ellie: You bring such an important point up, Hugh. You can be doing anything that you’re doing. If you bring your attention into the present moment. Something we haven’t talked about is how meditation shrinks time. It literally shrinks time. If you’re not thinking about what happened 10 years ago or what will happen next week in that meeting, you’re shrinking time. What is the benefit? When there is less time, vibration rises. This is physics. This is quantum physics telling you this. I’m not telling you this. We’re finding evidence of why meditation makes you feel better in physics itself. Whenever we shrink time, your vibration naturally rises. As you know, all of your emotions have some kind of vibrational signature. They vibrate at different frequencies. When you are in a point of shame and guilt for example, you’re vibrating at 20-30 hertz. That is very low. If you are in a place of clarity and love and compassion, those are high vibration emotions. You’re vibrating at over 500 hertz. You’re becoming less physical as you feel better. It is a physiological to our advantage to feel better, to feel hopeful rather than anxious.

One way we do that is we literally shrink time. Any time we shrink time, vibration rises. That is why people who meditate age slower. They just do. At the top of the mountain, there is more time than there is at the base of the mountain. People at the base age slower. You age faster when you are at the top. That goes into- I love science fiction and quantum physics. Fascinating stuff.

We can do that by shrinking time, and how do we do that? You just become super present in whatever it is you are doing. If you are cooking, pay attention to how the onions are sizzling in the oil, what it smells like. The drops of water that are fogging up the lid. Whatever sensation, whatever is present in that moment. If you pay close attention to it and bring your attention into that present moment, where the past and the future don’t exist, you are in a meditative state. You will raise your vibration. You will feel better. You will have more clarity. Physics says it will be so, so it is so.

Russell: I belong to a Science of Mind Center for Spiritual Living. Part of our philosophy is, or the lion share of our philosophy is about making your mind your friend and having that connection to the outside. It is a personal journey. Meditation is a personal journey. You probably run across it because you talk to organizations who talk to you and say the atmosphere here is stressful, and we need to do something. The leader gets this. Maybe some of the people on the team don’t know what to make of this when the leader comes in and says, “I’ve got Ellie Shoja here. She is talking about meditation.” Why is it important for the company organization to encourage that meditation, to encourage the employees to get with this and help them distinguish what it is? It’s a practice. It’s not a religious or spiritual thing. It’s a practice. How do you make this, when you walk into an organization, how do you sell it?

Ellie: If the leader gets it, that’s a huge thing. There is a reason Apple and Google and Cognizant have meditation and mindfulness practices built into their companies. Their leadership gets it. This thing, this meditation, mindfulness, is very experiential. All you have to do is experience that level of clarity and have it subdue your stress and your anxiety and give you the solution more easily just one time for you to be able to understand the real benefits of it. If the leadership gets it, you’re 90% there. The leadership is going to find a way to implement it. But then my job becomes making helping the team understand the real benefits of it.

For me, it’s very important to talk about meditation in a more scientific way, to show why it works. It doesn’t work because it’s like this ethereal, magical thing that happens. On a physiological level, it actually does things to your body, to your mind, to your brain, to your heart, that help you find clarity. Science experiments show that when you are meditating, your heart goes into a more steady heartbeat. When you are meditating, your brain goes into a state where all of the parts of your brain communicate with each other a lot more cohesively. You go into brain cohesion. That is why you make those connections more easily. Science is telling us that. My job becomes making it so easy so fast. Such a small entry point for people that they get to start experiencing it just with 30-60 seconds of commitment at a time, and then when they do that, all it takes is for them to connect with that knowingness for a split second. Then they’re sold. They’re just making it part of our lives.

Russell: This has been engaging. We are almost at our close.

Hugh: I’m ready for our sponsor. Before we start with that, we have put up some links for Ellie’s website and her podcast and her blog and her Instagram. Those are on our website. Your wisdom vastly exceeds your linear years. This is deep stuff. Thank you for being here today.

*Sponsor message from United Methodist Cybercampus*

Ellie, what thought would you like to leave people with today?

Ellie: I want to piggyback on that quote that you shared about working on yourself more than working on your business. I can tell you that I have had five different businesses. I have learned a lot through failure, being an entrepreneur. I can tell you that if we spend just a fraction of the time that we spend on trying to get a new business on our mindset, on our internal environment, we would get so much more business. We would get so much farther ahead. I see that the biggest mistake entrepreneurs, leaders, nonprofit leaders make is they spend all of their time outside trying to be physical matter, bringing in physical experiences rather than transcending it, becoming nonphysical. The difference is like being inside the maze and going right and left trying to stumble your way to the solution to rising above the maze and flying over it. When we work on ourselves, every time we work on ourselves, on that internal environment, we rise up. We’re in a hot air balloon. We go higher and higher. Pretty soon, you will be above the maze and coast right over it.

Russell: Yes, thank you very much, Ellie. It’s been enlightening. I like to thank you for taking time to join us this week. Thank you differencemakers out there who are serving others. 2019 will be a good year for all of us here. The important thing is to take care of yourself. Meditation is a simple tool. Subscribe to Ellie’s podcast for some practical tools to help you. Continue to make impact. The better you are, the more people benefit because there are a lot of people who are relying on your work out there. We are blessed and grateful and ready to move society forward as nonprofit leaders.