5 WAYS TRAVEL MAKES YOU SMARTER

A 2016 study from the University of Geneva found that chimpanzees who travel further on a daily basis showed more innovation and creativity and used a wider variety of tools to acquire food than their more sedentary counterparts. "Our results show that travel fosters tool use in wild chimpanzees and it may also have been a driving force in early technological evolution by humans," says Dr Thibaud Gruber.

Since we share 99% of our DNA with chimps, it begs the question...

Does travel make humans smarter?

Here are 5 ways that travel does indeed make you smarter (and the data to back it up):


1. Better Work Performance
A 2015 study showed that those who simply looked at a photo of nature for 40 seconds displayed significant boosts in sub-corticol arousal and corticol attention control (compared to those that looked at picture of a bare concrete roof), which led to drastically improved performance on their next task. Imagine the compound effect of what actually traveling to a nature-filled destination would do to the brain.


2. Extended Brain Power
The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies recently found that retired people who travel have 75 percent higher rates of mental stimulation, and 82 percent have an increased ability to “get things done,” versus 57 percent of those who don’t travel.


3. Job Success
According to a study conducted by William W. Maddux, associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD (an international graduate school of business), individuals who take time to travel and engage with new communities will have a higher number of job offers thanks to their multicultural learnings.


4. Boosted Problem Solving Ability
Another study showed that problem-solving performance increased by 50% after subjects spent four days immersed in nature


5. Expanded Creativity
An Indiana University study separated participants into two groups and told each group to come up with as many modes of transportation for college students either living in Indiana or at a study abroad program in Greece. Participants who performed the task for the students in Greece came up with a third more transportation methods than those performing the task for students in Indiana, and the transportation methods they came up with were significantly more original. Simply mentioning a foreign land made them think more creatively, without so much as leaving the room.

 

This last one clearly indicates that many of the cognitive and creative benefits we get from travel don’t require physical travel at all. If we can convince the mind, through techniques like priming, that we’re having a multicultural experience, it will act with greater awareness and creativity.


 

So what do you think?  Has travel increased your intelligence or awareness in any meaningful/measurable way?  Drop me a line below and let me know.

Again, you don't have to take two weeks off or spend tons of money to reap the benefits of this phenomenon.  You could schedule regular walks through a park on your lunch break, spend a weekend in a neighboring city, plan your next international trip...the possibilities are endless - keep going!
 


DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

PS.  I'm inviting YOU to the Location Reveal Party for the DEEPER Retreat 2020 on November 15 at 7pm in York, PA!  We went to Iceland in 2018, the Swiss Alps in 2019, and we'll be announcing the location for 2020 at this event.  You'll get $100 off the retreat price just by attending, so maybe sure to RSVP here.

HOW TO FIND MORE PURPOSE

Research shows that beyond a salary of $83,000, any further income has diminishing and incremental impact on one's happiness.

If money isn't the ultimate driver towards a fulfilled life, then what is?

There's an ever growing body of research that shows that purpose is the most important factor in finding contentment. Purpose-driven people are 4x more likely to be deeply engaged at work, earn higher income and have a higher net worth, and on average live seven years longer.

If this is true, then how can one find purpose?

Unfortunately simply searching externally for purpose won't get you far. As with most events in life, you won't find something on the outside until you first source it from within.

In other words, start with yourself. And more specifically, start with your body.

There's a magic that happens when you are in the practice of moving your body with purpose, infusing mindfulness into every action you take. You start to learn how the universe works, through the framework of your body, which is a microcosm of the universe itself. And when you are more in tune with universal truth and your role in it, you move closer to your ultimate purpose.

This is the philosophy behind the DEEPER Yoga Studio, which opens this weekend. No mindless flow. No flailing your body through time and space because of randomly composed sequences and thoughtless teaching. DEEPER Yoga is the serious and exhilarating study/practice of mindful, purpose-driven movement as the first step towards helping you live a purpose-driven life.

If you're in York, PA this weekend, join us for the opening of the DEEPER Yoga Studio. There will be yoga, live music performances, and more. Space is limited so make sure to RSVP here.

The answers are within. Just keep going,

DEEPER
Andrew Abaria

DEEPER VIBRATIONS

Last month I had the opportunity to give a PechaKucha talk.


If you don’t know what PechaKucha is, it’s a night of live presentations from people in artistic and creative fields. There are more than 1,000 cities worldwide that participate in these organized speeches and is very similar to a TedTalk.

However, what makes PechaKucha special is its format: each speaker presents a 20 picture slideshow of his or her creative work and has 20 seconds to per slide to talk about the process and/or inspiration behind each image.

I had the privilege of talking about DEEPER Vibrations, a service I'll be providing at my soon to be opening DEEPER Yoga Studio in York, PA (RSVP here for the Grand Opening on October 11).

https://www.facebook.com/events/3030475416969407/

What is DEEPER Vibrations? DEEPER Vibrations is a music and meditation experience designed to help you get into the creative "flow state". Clients sign up for an individual and customized sound bath, and through the transformative power of sound, walk away 20 minutes later, a more creative and inspired person.

To learn more, watch this recording of my talk (it's actually a great resource if you're curious about how I combined my passions for yoga and music and created the parent brand DEEPER)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvU0apZJxIQ

DEEPER's mission is to provide experiences to help transform people into their most creative and brilliant selves. If you're still reading this, that means people like you! So thanks for reading - I hope these monthly messages help encourage you to be adventurous, stay creative, and above else to keep going.

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

HOW TO ACHIEVE CREATIVE GENIUS

Most people think creative genius is reserved for the artistic elite - those born with special "creativity" genes. And while there certainly are idiot savants who have perfect pitch and a photographic memory that end up performing at Carnegie Hall, the vast majority of creative pioneers become who they are because one main important factor: hard work. A prime example? The father of bebop jazz - Charlie Parker.

Bebop is characterized by its fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and advanced harmonies - which was an extreme departure from the more danceable, swing style jazz (think Frank Sinatra big band music). Parker was a blazingly fast virtuoso that introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including passing chords, altered chords, and chord substitutions.

Charlie Parker admits to having practiced up to 15 hours a day during his teen years, and 8 hours every day after that.

It is said that he popularized the term "woodshedding" which means to practice intensely. (Legend has it that a drum cymbal was thrown at Parker after a jam session because he played so poorly and then Parker went into complete isolation for the next few years to practice in an actual woodshed.)

What can we learn from this?

If Charlie Parker needed to practice for hours each day to realize his creative genius, then creative greatness is accessible to us all. But it will require countless hours of meticulous practice and mindful self-analysis to manifest that greatness.

The DEEPER Blog is committed to helping people like you discover their most creative and brilliant selves and I'd be remiss not to emphasize this point one more time. To be excellent at anything that involves a body/mind connection, you’ve got to rehearse relentlessly, constantly practice mindful movement, and remain steadfastly patient. Great things take time.

A strand of creative genius exists within you friend and it’s up to you to work hard and be disciplined enough to unlock it.

You can do it. Keep going,

DEEPER
Andrew Abaria

YOU ARE A VISITOR

You are a visitor.

Your life might seem permanent - your house, your job, your family and friends, your body - but the truth is that it’s all temporary. At some point you will have to leave everything behind. Whether it's in 8 days or 80 years each of us must at some point say goodbye to this world. Nothing in life is guaranteed except for our exit. You, me, the people around you - sooner or later - we all will have to go. We are all visitors.

Because we can't change this outcome, the most important questions become these:

What are you going to do with your remaining time here? Are you moving towards the life you want, or moving away from it? Are you living your life like a visitor?

IMG_3485.jpg

This week I’m running the DEEPER Retreat in Mürren Switzerland, sharing personal development exercises I’ve created that revolve around this truth that we are all visitors. As my students enjoy the outward thrills of the Swiss Alps, I hope they also have an equally magical, inward journey of deep introspection to help them move closer to a more meaningful, fulfilled life.

You may not be here on retreat with us but you can ask yourself the same questions:

What will I do with my remaining time here? Am I moving towards the life I want, or moving away from it? Am I living my life like a visitor?

Reflect on all of this and I promise it will change your day: You might end up calling a family member, leaving work early to work out, or watching tonight’s sunset. You don’t have to go on an international personal development retreat to start making small changes to your life right now.

Whatever happens, I hope that this reminder that you are a visitor leads you to a higher, more true version of yourself - and that it inspires you to keep going.


DEEPER
Andrew Abaria

* To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here.

WHAT IS YOUR HIGHEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD?

Over the last year I've shared with you DEEPER, my personal brand dedicated to helping you become your most creative and brilliant self. And while I’ve had the privilege of doing many DEEPER projects all around the world - world tours with my music albums, philanthropy work in Asia, and personal development retreats in Europe - I’ve realized that the brand needs to be anchored in one distinct service that is clearly understood and consistently available to the public.

Most brands start out this way - doing test runs of different products/experiences and then focusing on one as their main contribution in the marketplace.  Amazon opened business in 1995 and only sold books.  Virgin started as a chain of record stores.  At one point, all Apple was known for was computers.  

And so, this fall in downtown York, PA I will be opening the DEEPER Yoga Studio: yoga and meditation for creative minds

This is a major decision for me and comes from months of wrestling with this question: 

“Because my time and energy is limited, what is the highest contribution I can give to the world?”

Given your limit of time and resources, what is the highest contribution you can give to the world? Whether your pursuit is one of creative entrepreneurship, spirituality, travel, or health and wellness - all the things that DEEPER stands for - know that it's only through the process of figuring out your highest contribution that you can truly grow into your most creative and brilliant self (and inspire others to do the same).

See you soon at the DEEPER Yoga Studio.


Keep going,

DEEPER
Andrew Abaria

P.S. There is one room left at the 2019 DEEPER Retreat: Mürren, Switzerland, where you will have an opportunity to figure out your highest contribution to the world.  That spot is yours if you want it!  We leave in less than 4 weeks!!

* To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here

ADOPTING A "WIN" MINDSET

Larry Gelwix coached the Highland High School rugby team to an astonishing 418 regular season wins and just 10 losses during his 36 year reign.  The athletic program won 20 national championships with Larry at the helm and was the inspiration behind the 2008 film Forever Strong.  When asked about his secret to success, Larry often comments, "'We always win".

“Win” doesn’t mean win as in the commonly used verb.  “Win” is an acronym he’s created which stands for “What’s Important Now”.

Larry requires the “What’s Important Now” mindset during all trainings and competitions.  His athletes know that instead of getting caught up in the mistakes of the previous play or worrying if they will win or lose the match, they must instead focus their energy on the one action that will move them most efficiently towards their ideal result.  WIN is a high level decision making strategy that encourages a focus on the self (what can be controlled) vs. a focus on the other (what can’t be controlled) .

Most of you reading this aren’t competitive rugby players, so how does this message apply to you?  Well, if you’re a goal-driven person like me but find yourself spending lots of time ruminating on past mistakes, worrying about how others are “crushing it” and you aren’t, or mentally preparing for the next meeting while “present” in the current meeting, "WIN" might help you to become more productive and present. 

Is the action I am choosing to do right now the best option (out of the myriad choices) to get the best possible result?

Sit with that for a bit – you can only do ONE thing in any moment in time and YOU get to chose what to do.  Are you setting yourself up for optimal success through the one action you've chosen in this moment?

I hope that “What’s Important Now” can be a mantra you use to remind yourself of your ability to shape the future outcome you want.  The path of self improvement never ends so keep practicing, enjoy the ride, and just keep going.


DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

For DEEPER Reading, check out: Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. As a lululemon ambassador I was given the gift of this book, and it’s definitely worth the read. Essentialism goes into much greater detail about the importance of choosing the right actions (and saying no to everything else) to help you transform you into the person you want to be.

* To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here.

3 THOUGHTS TO HELP YOU BOUNCE BACK FROM REJECTION

It's easy to see that wins create momentum towards your goals. It's much harder to see that rejection is also a necessary part of that path too.  Here are three thoughts to help you bounce back from rejection and keep you energized and moving towards success:

1) Rejection is inevitable.  

Failure, setbacks, and rejection must happen on the road to success.  If all of your attempts always end in success, green lights, and acceptance from others, you're probably not really pushing your limits and putting yourself out there.  You're playing it safe.  Many of the most talented and successful people we admire have experienced intense/numerous rejections: J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" was rejected by 12 different publishers, Steven Spielberg got rejected by USC film school three times, and Steve Jobs got fired from Apple - a company he founded.

2) Learning to deal with rejection is a non-negotiable skill. 

Because rejection will happen, adopting the attitude of "I must learn how to overcome rejection" is crucial.  So start looking at rejection as an opportunity to develop a muscle that needs to get stronger as successes build.  The more successful you become, the bigger your goals become, the harder it will be to endure each successive rejection.

3) There are only two ways to move forwards post-rejection. 

Rejection ultimately means that the company, institution, or person that didn't accept you saw something missing - a gap between what they were looking for in a candidate and what they evaluated in you.  And so there are only two ways to move forwards after rejection: 1) You either agree that you were missing that important component and get to work on filling the gap or 2) You don’t agree with the assessment and look to other opportunities and partnerships where what you have to offer can be seen and valued.  There is no third option.


If you're still reading this, my guess is that you're a creative person with big goals for expressing yourself and making a significant impact in the world.  Stay focused on the outcomes you want, despite the rejection you encounter, and don't let setback derail you from manifesting your dreams.  Success may be just around the corner once you move through rejection more gracefully and learn to embrace it.


DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

* To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here.
** For more inspiration, make sure to follow me on FB and Insta!

VERBERIZE YOUR TO-DO LIST

I've noticed a pattern:  When my to do list starts to get stagnant - certain items keep getting buried under newer and newer to do’s - it's not because I don't have time in my schedule to get things done, or that I forget to look at the list.  The phenomenon is this: whenever I visit my to-do list, I gloss over the words and then consciously and willingly choose to not do the work! 

Sound familiar?

Here's a quick fix I learned from the great Marie Forleo to help clear out items stuck in the abyss of the every growing to dos:

Verberize your to do list

What does this mean?

Add verbs to every item on your to do list.

Instead of: 
1. Workbook
2. Contract review
3. Newsletter


Notate this instead:
1. Write one paragraph for book
2. Send Kate revisions to 2nd page of the contract
3. Complete first draft of newsletter


(Yes, those are actual entries from my to do list, and this month's newsletter got done because I wrote down a verb) 

One final note: as you verberize your list, ALSO make sure to write down action items that are broken down into multiple, easy to achieve steps.  Writing down "Complete first draft of newsletter", "Revise newsletter" and "Send out newsletter" while seemingly tedious, is much more encouraging and success-inducing than "Compose newsletter and send it out".

Have fun verberizing and keep going.

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

* To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here.
** There are a few spots left for the DEEPER Retreat this summer in Mürren, Switzerland from June 30 to July 6. Sign up here!

1,000 GALLONS OF WATER

For years I thought that the ultimate goal in life was this: to fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being.⁣⁣

So for a full decade I faithfully pursued my passions - music, yoga, travel, spirituality - and became a working creative in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles.  This journey ultimately transformed me into an international film festival award winner, touring keyboardist, and world traveling yoga instructor.  

But over the last few years I've come to this conclusion:

An even more fulfilling path takes place when you pursue the highest version of yourself AND help others to become their best too.

This quickly became the philosophy I embedded into all my training programs, retreats, and creative endeavors - the pursuit of both inward and outward excellence - with my first focus being "Iceland".  

In 2018 I released an ambient music album "Iceland", as a sonic souvenir to the personal development retreat I lead in Reykjavik earlier that year.  I intentionally toured yoga studios around the world - from Kentucky to Sweden, Manhattan to Brussels - selling albums, playing the music as I taught flow classes to generate tour revenue, and collecting philanthropic donations - with the purpose of not just promoting my name and brand, but helping a school without running water in the Philippines. 

You can be both self-serving and world-serving.

Last week I delivered a 1,000 gallon water tank to students at Calavera Elementary in Naga City, Cebu.

And the adventure continues.  The next retreat I'll be leading takes place this July in Mürren, Switzerland, and I'm starting production for my next album, aptly titled "Mürren".  

I plan to hold retreats and to release corresponding music albums for many years to come. And as I continue to pursue the highest, most truthful expression of myself (while helping others in the process) I hope that it inspires you to do the same. It’s not an easy quest to seek the truth within, but the world needs you to keep going.


DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

P.S. The DEEPER Retreat 2019 just sold out!  But we've successfully added one more housing unit that can hold 6 more people. Click here to read more about the retreat and reserve your spot today. 

*** To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here

THE IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON I LEARNED IN AN UBER RIDE

Happy 2019!!

A quick story to inspire you as you start moving towards your goals for the year:

A few months ago I was waiting for an Uber in Los Angeles. They’re usually pretty quick in LA but for some reason this one seemed to take forever. A few minutes before the driver was scheduled to get me, he cancels the trip. Annoyed, I call another Uber, and just before that driver arrives, she cancels as well.  I do it a third time...and another cancel!

I wasn’t in a rush to get to my destination, but I was definitely frustrated. Finally 25 minutes later, I successfully connect with the fourth Uber driver - a friendly guy with a charming accent. I hop in his car and after the standard greeting he asks me:

"Hey, I’m new to the US. Can I practice speaking with you?  I want to get better at my English."

Of course I said yes and we chatted away the entire trip.

I realized in that car ride an important lesson that I remind myself of almost everyday:

I am part of a bigger whole.

The universe has a larger purpose than just fulfilling my needs; there is something greater than me that I am meant to support and be a part of too.

As you work hard to make 2019 all that you want it to be, know that the unexpected twists and turns sometimes happen not because the universe is against you reaching your goals, but so that you have the opportunity to help others achieve their goals.

So be fiercely determined to get what you want  AND realize deeply that you are a part of something bigger than yourself.  Do both in equal magnitude. It’s the balance of the two that will help you this year to make more meaningful connections and really experience life.


DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

*** To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here.

4 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU FIND MORE PASSION IN YOUR WORK

Greetings from Sweden!  

Stockholm Pic.JPG

I’m here for the European leg of my Iceland album tour.  I just finished a listening party/flow class class at Urban OM in Stockholm and will be traveling to Eskilstuna tomorrow to do a mini Yoga Masterminds teacher training.  I'll finally end in Brussels, Belgium for another listening party tour stop at BYP.

Here are the top 2 questions people ask me when they find out about this trip:
1) Does this tour pay for itself?
2) How did you make this happen?

Here are my responses:

1) Yes, all my travel and accommodation gets paid through my services on this tour.
2) Here's the answer/focus of this month's DEEPER blog entry:

I’ve spent my entire adult life exploring my passions - travel, yoga, personal development, music - with the intention of creating specialized business opportunities at the intersection of those spaces.  This Iceland album - an EP of ambient, yoga friendly music - including its corresponding tour (traveling to different studios and playing the music as I teach inversions) is what I strategically crafted as an honest answer to these four questions:

What am I passionate about?
What am I actually good at?
What would someone pay me for?
What does the world need more of?

An authentic and tactical answer that is the same for each of the four questions is what makes opportunities like a two week international album tour happen.  

What lies at the intersection of all four questions, for you?

Answering these questions ostensibly might seem easy, but it will take a lot of introspection and creative thinking to come up with an idea that is a true convergence point - not to mention tons of trial and error to arrive at something that actually works and that you like doing.  But it's worth it: you'll eventually get to do what you love (or many things you love) and get paid for it.  

So take five minutes right now and ask yourself: What am I really passionate about...What am I actually good at...etc.

The answer that intersects all four questions is waiting for you to discover it. And so are we.

Get creative and dive in.

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

*** To get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox each month, click here

THE CAVE YOU FEAR TO ENTER HOLDS THE TREASURE YOU SEEK

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

I've seen this aphorism many times in the last few weeks, and so I would be remiss not to write about this Joseph Campbell quote in this month's DEEPER blog.

First, let's be clear about what this statement means: In order to discover the treasure - to transform into the most magnificent version of you -  you will have to walk into the cave you fear.  You will have to do the work you don’t want to do. No one else but you.

Here’s my personal interpretation of this: no one is coming to rescue you.  No one is going to make you write that business plan.  No one is going to tell you to stop smoking or to loose those 30 pounds.  No one will magically fix your relationship.  There is no hero in the story of your life but you.  I'm not saying that there aren't going to be characters that you'll meet along the way that can help, but what I’m saying is that it is ultimately YOU who will have to walk into that scary and dark cave alone.  

No one is coming to rescue you.  Only you can do the work.  

The good news is…YOU are the hero! And here’s a three-part plan to help you begin the hero's journey:

1) Start now - Stop thinking that there will be a perfect, magical moment to begin walking into that cave. Transformation is like a waking a sleeping lion - it will always be terrifying and you will never want to do it. But you can do it. Start now.  

2) Do the real work - (Creatives are notorious for this one!) Don't confuse posting this quote on Instagram or sharing it with your friends post-yoga class for going into the cave.  You might feel inspired by reading this post, but please don't conflate intellectual expression with action.  Action will lead to transformation, not thought.

3) Take a small step in - Don't be so concerned with getting to the treasure.  Instead focus on moving toward it, one valiant step at a time.  If you want to start your own business, take out a piece of paper and write down three things you can do in this hour to help you move forwards.  If you want to live healthier, lay out your gym clothes on top of your alarm clock the night before.  Take small steps in, and do this consistently and persistently.

Here's the thing - I can't promise that you'll get to your treasure at the end of this week, month, year, or even ten years.  But I can promise you this - as long as you’re committed to being in that cave, taking continuous steps in the direction of your greatest potential, it's the journey into the cave that will transform you more so than the treasure.

It really is the path, not the destination.  So take a deep breath and start your journey.  The cave you’ve been waiting to enter is waiting for you to go in.

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

P.S. Sign up here to get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox the first Monday of every month!

THE 5/25 RULE

One of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett, lives by the 5/25 rule.

What is the 5/25 rule?  Instead of me just describing the general principle, let’s apply it directly to YOU!  Ready? 

Write down the top 25 things that you want to accomplish in the near future.  Keep nothing off the table - learning a new language, starting a new business, playing a new musical instrumentThen, rank these items in order of importance and circle the top 5 that are most important to you.  Prioritizing your goals will be harder than listing them, but try your best.

Now look at your list. You probably agree that your top five will require a majority of your energy and focus - you placed these at the top because they most significant to you.  

So the question now is…what do you do with the remaining 20?

Because you probably find numbers 6-25 to be somewhat important, my guess is that you’d probably want to work on these 20 items intermittently while you chip away at accomplishing your top 5.

But Buffett suggests you do something different: Avoid the bottom 20 at all costs until the top 5 goals have fully manifested.

The logic behind this? There's a time limitation to what you can accomplish, meaning every one of your possible future outcomes includes a set of goals that you won’t be able achieve because there simply isn’t enough time to get everything done. So the million dollar question is this: which specific permutation of accomplishments do you commit to right now, the one that will make you the most happy and fulfilled? Buffett’s answer: the set where you manifest your top 5.

This belief of being supremely devoted to your top 5 is in alignment with Pareto's law, which states that 20% of your actions generate 80% of the benefit you receive in life.

So what are your top 5 goals? Do you have any hesitations about ignoring your bottom 20? Let me know in the comments below.

Working hard isn't enough to create the future you want.  You also have to be intentional and strategic with your actions given that time and energy is limited.  So see what happens - give the 5/25 rule a try and dive in.


DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

P.S. Sign up here to get these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox the first Monday of every month!

WHEN YOUR STRENGTH BECOMES A WEAKNESS

We all know what happens when we focus too much on the needs of others.  Staying too long at a family event or listening to a friend vent for multiple hours can leave us feeling completely zapped and not our best selves.

Interestingly enough, the same outcome happens when we focus too much on our own needs.  This narrow viewpoint often leads to low energy and depression when we don't land that extra client or book that important gig.

And while you might feel like nothing is wrong with being too "supportive" or "driven", it's the equal engagement of both skills that will prevent your strength from becoming a weakness.

For example, you might consider yourself an expert at being "supportive" and "adaptable" to the needs of others, but how "supportive" are you really if you only tend to the needs of family or coworkers, and never stand up for your own?  How is it a strength when you come home snappy or resentful for being too giving?

Additionally, you might take pride in self-identifying as a "go-getter", but how truly "driven" are you if you can't identify the needs of others and don't have solutions to any problems beyond your own?  Isn't it a weakness when your view of the world becomes more and more myopic as you become more and more burnt out?

This concept of being equally flexible to the needs of others, and strong in your own is one of the main tenants I'm excited to teach this October, as I launch my 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher training, Yoga Masterminds.  We will learn how to be exemplary in flexibility (expansion of energy away from the self) and equally outstanding in strength (contraction of energy towards the self) in our poses on the mat, and more importantly in how we navigate through life off the mat.  

And this is the reason why 100% of proceeds from the sale of my new ambient music album "Iceland" this year will go towards providing clean water and school supplies for teachers and students at Calavera Elementary in Cebu, the Philippines.  This ambient music album can't simply end with creating benefit for those in my immediate world: it must somehow give life to others, beyond my world.  Equal giving and receiving has become the foundation of my personal brand, and its message is infused into every product or experience I create. 

Now back to YOU - we all naturally fall on one end of the spectrum or the other: Is your natural disposition to focus more on the needs of others or more on your own?  Is there a practice you engage in such as yoga that teaches you the importance of mastering both altruism and self care?  Drop me a line below and let me know.

Stay committed to the path of self discovery AND to discovering the paths of others.  By doing so, your strengths won't become weaknesses: instead your strengths will multiply.   The world, both within and beyond, can only grow when compassionate and strong people like you see the work ahead and are determined to dive in. 


DEEPER, 
Andrew Abaria
 

School Supplies 3.JPG
School Supplies 5.JPG
School Supplies 4.JPG

P.S. Join me at these East Coast album release party/flow classes where all "Iceland" album sales will go towards helping students, like the kids featured above, reach their full potential:

9/7 Lancaster, PA - Lululemon Lancaster (sponsored by Lululemon)
9/13 Owensboro, KY - The Yoga Loft
9/21 New York City, NY - Equinox Sports Club (sponsored by Equinox)

UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL

I led a personal development and yoga retreat in Iceland this past May and the experience was nothing short of life changing.  Our days were filled with both outward adventures in vast and beautiful nature, and inward moments of deep intrapersonal reflection.

Iceland Pic 1.jpg
Iceland Pic 3.jpg
Iceland Pic 2.jpg

This experience helped me to more clearly see the boundless potential within me as well as the boundless potential within others. And so I felt compelled to compose a set of songs that could inspire anyone to tap into this same magical state of balanced inner and outer awareness. I wanted to compose something that could help people feel more connected, breathe deeper, and most importantly get into "flow".  

What is flow?  It's that powerful feeling when you're totally immersed in the intensity and wonder of whatever it is you're doing - midnight driving, studying for a test, walking through nature, practicing yoga.  It’s what happens when you’re equally aware of the divinity in both the inner and outer world. Flow is being present.

And so I created Iceland - the album. 

Icleand album front.jpg

My deepest hope is that "Iceland" inspires you to become more present - present to your own unlocked potential and present to how you can unlock the potential of others.  Why?  Because your ability to connect to the greatness within is only as powerful as your ability to activate the greatness in others.

And that’s why proceeds from all album sales this year will go directly towards purchasing clean drinking water and school supplies for students at Calavera Elementary in Naga, Cebu in the Philippines.  Talking about the theory of human potential is meaningless without the actual physical practice of it.

If you've read this far, my guess is that you are also fascinated by the unlocking of human potential.  If so, what activities are you engaging in to realize your own potential?  What are you doing to help realize the potential of others?  Drop a line below and let me know.

Iceland comes out on all digital retailers on September 5, 2018.

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

PS. The Iceland album world tour begins later this month!  Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to stay tuned in!

THEORY VS. PRACTICE

When you're trying to learn a new skill and find yourself frustrated with your progress, it may be because there's an imbalance of theory and practice.

What is theory, what is practice, and why is the balance of these two important?

Theory is intellectual - it's an intangible system of thoughts that explains how something works.  Theory is purely mind based.  Practice on the other hand has to do with the body. Practice is when you take action, using your body in some capacity, to bring a cerebral concept to life.

More often than not, when we're in learning mode and not progressing, it's because we're engaging in too much theory and not enough practice.

Why?  Because theory only exists in the mind.  And while you might feel like you’re accomplishing a lot by listening to theory, it’s all just intellectual gymnastics - you're not actually materializing anything into the world.  Tangible results only happen through action - when knowledge gets applied externally, in some physical way beyond the mind.  In other words, knowing something intellectually is very different than actually being able to do it.

Imagine if Will Power, the winner of this year's Indy 500, told you a top 10 list of things that helped him to win the race this year.  Yeah, you'd have insightful tips that would help someone become a world class auto racer, but simply acquiring that information doesn't do anything If anything, with this new knowledge you could potentially delude yourself into thinking that you're qualified to be an international racing champion!  

Now, if you were able to pair Will Power's lecture side by side with EXPERIENCE - applying his tips as while you were sitting in the driver's seat, wearing the suit, leaning in on every turn - only then would you begin the process of creating real improvement for yourself.

I know this all sounds obvious, but really ask yourself this...

"Am I spending most of my time consuming information, or am I also equally and simultaneously engaging in a strategic action plan that activates this new information?"  

You can improve.  You can transform.  You can transform the world.  But you've got to make sure theory is always accompanied side by side with intelligent practice.  So turn off the lecture, roll up your sleeves, and get your body moving.  Now's the time to dig in.

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

PS. Use this link to send this message to a friend you care about

PPS. Click here if you want these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox the first Monday of every month!

LET GO

What does the phrase "let go" mean to you?

When you’ve given it your all
and you’ve done everything that you can do,
in that moment of stillness
when you feel like you’ve got nothing left
you might think that it was all a waste
that you’ve lost your way.
But actually you’re where you need to be
right here, right now.
And the final step is to now let go.

Not because you’ve given up
or that you’re not strong enough.
Let go because there is something
more powerful than you
that can finally do the work once you’ve gotten out of the way.
This energy can accomplish more than you could ever imagine,
but it can only flow if you completely trust and let go.
— Andrew Abaria

Effective letting go is part of a process - a process that begins with structure, discipline, and hard work. Ask any accomplished ballerina en pointe or jazz guitarist - you can't accomplish great things by only “trusting in the universe” and “letting go”.  Years (and for most of us, decades) of strategic and focused action are required before we can actually "let go".  Otherwise, what are you letting go of - being underprepared and perhaps lazy??

Once you’ve done THE WORK, the choice to let go becomes a sacred act - of allowing something greater than you move YOU to the next stage of evolution.  You see this when an Olympic athlete takes a deep breath before a final round competition or when a mother sees her kid off to college.  You experience this in the sweet moments of savasana after a difficult asana class.  Because without the work, "letting go" and "trusting in the universe" become just weightless, anti-spiritual directives where you expect the universe to do great things for you when you haven't done your part in the symbiotic relationship.

What does letting go mean for you? Are there actions you need to take before you can successfully let go?  Drop me a line below and let me know. 

The development of the universe depends on critically thinking, aware, and solidly spiritual people like you to stay curious about the marvelous path we all are on.  The world needs YOU to truly dive in. 

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria


PS. Use this link to send this message to someone that needs to hear it! 

PPS. Click here if you want these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox the first Monday of every month!

SELF-CARE

Self-care is one of the biggest buzzwords these days.  While its history stems from a medical concept from the 1970's, that later morphed into a political act via the continuing civil and women's rights movements, self-care is now becoming an expected social practice for most hip Americans.

The Pew Research Center found that in 2015, millennials were willing to spend more on self-care than any other generation before them, and have spent 2x more on self-care strategies than baby boomers.

With so many young people engaging in this phenomena of self-care, and thus creating the norms for present and future standard ways of living, I think it's worth asking: What exactly is self-care?

The obvious answer would be “to take care of one's self”, but when I look at this snapshot of today's top #selfcare pics on Instagram, I'm left a little confused.  How does avocado toast, expensive make up, and essential oils equate to self-care?

Self care.PNG

If self-care is truly about inviting more restoration and healing into our lives, then here are three strategies to make sure your self-care practice doesn’t become an ego-infused practice of pampering.

1. Self-care is something you mindfully plan, it's not reactive.  When you have a bad day at work and then reactively say you'll do self-care later that night by getting a pint of your favorite ice cream and binge watching Netflix - that's not self-care.   Instead, consider alternatives like sticking to your new year's workout resolution or going to your weekly therapy session as better ways of actually caring for yourself.

2. Self-care makes you check in, not check out.  When you #treatyoself to new make up or another pair of jeans, does it help you to check in or check out? Does it focus more of your attention to what's happening on the outside or inside?  When we focus more on the outside, we avoid checking in which actually perpetuates the cycle of unhealthiness that makes us desperate for real forms of self-care!

3. Self-care isn’t always additive.  Many effective forms of self-care are about reduction and saying no: like not answering emails before bed, not taking calls when you’re with family, or not saying those terrible things you silently say to yourself (that you would never say to anyone else!).  Most self-care enthusiasts on social media don't want to admit this, but reduction is often the most important form of self-care.  Again, what I'm saying isn't sexy or visually worthy enough for your typical #selfcare Instagram post - but it's the #selfcaretruth.

Here’s the bottom line: self-care (like really taking care of yourself) is difficult work!  That’s a huge reason why we avoid doing it and side step the issue by doing deceptively feel good versions of pampering and hedonism instead. 

I know there's a fine line between self-care and self-indulgence so I want to hear from you - What are your self-care strategies?  What's the difference between self-care and faux self-care?  

Let's keep the conversation going and dive in,

DEEPER
Andrew Abaria

PS. Use this link to send this self-care message to someone that needs to hear it! 

PPS. Click here if you want these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox the first Monday of every every month!

MANIFESTATION

I was running 10 minutes late to my next appointment when my car started to break down in the middle of the 5 freeway in Los Angeles. It was scary but I quickly pulled over and thankfully two people rushed by to help push the car along the offramp to the side of the road.

After assessing the situation, my new friends told me that my battery was dead and that I needed jumper cables.  (Thank goodness because I don't know anything about cars!). They had to leave so I was left alone with this very important mission:

I needed to manifest jumper cables.

Right away my mindset shifted: everything around me became somehow related to these jumper cables. Across the street I saw a father pushing a baby stroller and thought - he has a kid and they must live close by, they probably have a mini van, and so he must have jumper cables in their car!

I excitedly asked him if he did, and while he didn't, I didn’t seem to care: I was focused on the next opportunity.  I then saw a college student walking her dog - again my mind went through the same creative logic sequence  - she's in college, meaning she’s old enough to drive - so she must have a car - and there will be the jumper cables!  Turns out she didn't have them either, but again this didn't stop me.  She did mention though that there was a convenience store around the corner and as I ran around the block, I brought with me the same mindset - I kept making everyone and everything I experienced somehow related to these elusive jumper cables.  

And while the store owner didn’t have what I wanted, she did direct me to a gas station two blocks away and it was there where after another failed attempt, someone who overheard my conversation, came up to me and handed me the jumper cables I needed to jump start my car.

In just over an hour, I manifested jumper cables.

Now you might think - wait a minute... Isn’t manifesting that woo woo thing where you chant OM 108 times in front of your Ganesha statue, light some incense, and then whatever you’ve been meditating on somehow magically appears on the night of the next full moon?

Here's the thing: I believe MANIFESTATION isn't some airy-fairy concept but that it happens through a confluence of these three factors:

1) crystal clear clarity as to what you want
2) focused actions that strategically move you towards your goal
3) relentless determination until you finally succeed

My experience on the 5 fwy taught me that when you want something bad enough and choose to perceive all external phenomena as a way to move closer to your goal, you create boundless opportunities to succeed.  The strangers through my adventure weren’t holding up signs saying “I have jumper cables” but I chose to see it that way.  And because of my incessant optimism and workist attitude, these people became allies in helping me to get to my goal.

Again, I call this process MANIFESTATION. (BTW I’m also not saying that  manifestation is an easy path to take or that results appear within minutes. But what I am saying is that the combination of clear intention, meaningful action, and unassailable determination will eventually get you to your desired end point.)

So now let's focus on YOUwhat is it that you deeply want?  If you can back up your desire with sheer will and strategic action, I promise that opportunities will become available to you that may not have noticed before. The universe is conspiring to help you, but in order to unlock the magic you’ve got to help yourself first.

So stop the mindless mantra and give manifestation a real try - follow the steps above and dive in.

DEEPER,
Andrew Abaria

PS. Use this link to send this message to a friend who needs to hear it.

PPS. Click here if you want these inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox the first Monday of every month!