Nina Purewal, Clint Murphy
Clint Murphy 00:00
Nina, thanks for joining me today where I’d love to start with you is if you can give our readers a bit of a bio about yourself. Before we dive into your book, Let that Sh*t Go.
Nina Purewal 00:14
I certainly can. I got into mindfulness, ancient wisdom, meditation, actually, in the mid 90s, I went through an unexpected tragedy, I really was searching for answers. From there, tried to follow the herd and follow that path, got my degree in business, had a great career in sales and marketing hit kind of a peak point of stress, through the corporate grind, wanted to do something drastic. So I took a year sabbatical, went and lived in an ashram or a monastery for a year completely unplugged. Came back that year, and realize there is so much about ancient wisdom to share with the corporate environment, or with anyone dealing with high anxiety, stress, initial depression thoughts. It was 2011 when I came back, so not many people were talking about mindfulness and meditation at that time. So went back into corporate, and eventually, a few years later started my business Pure Minds, where I do corporate workshops and workshops for communities on how to let things go, how to get yourself out of the way. I’m also a published author, as you said, for the book, Let that Shit Go. And here we are today, I’m six years into my my business. I love what I do. I think there’s so much power in ancient wisdom and finding that peace and getting grounded through mindfulness and meditation. And I’m here to share it with the world and learn myself because it’s a continued journey.
Clint Murphy 01:45
Excellent, I love it. And where I’d like to start in the book is the idea of the pursuit of happiness, because we always see people searching for it, striving for it, not recognizing that it’s inside us. It’s a choice that we can make. And as you say, it’s our true nature. We just have to reveal it to ourselves. What does that search for happiness look like? And how do people look inside versus looking outside?
Nina Purewal 02:17
Yeah, I love that question. And typically, people do look for happiness in two places. One is in the external in that house, and that relationship in that vacation, and that phone, and those things bring us happiness, but they also bring us frustration, and worry, and anger and fear. And the second place we look for happiness is in the future, when I get that promotion, when I find that partner, when I have those kids, when I can travel the world. So all of those things, as I said, bring happiness, but it’s temporary happiness, how do we find that permanent happiness, and everybody who tells me, you know, I’m on a search to find happiness, I always say you don’t have to search for it, it’s already there. So ancient wisdom talks about how our true nature is happiness. If you think of yourself as an infant, or a child, or if you know, children in your life, they’re inherently happy, right? They cry for very practical reasons, if they’re tired, or they’re hungry, but they’re inherently happy. And somewhere along the way, something a parent said, or our aunt said, or family member, or a teacher or coach said something that bring brought on all these challenging emotions. And that established itself in tween hood, and then a teen hood. And now we’re fully functioning adults looking for happiness on the external and validation on the external when it’s already part of our true nature. So the real path is not searching for it outside, knowing it’s inside, but getting all the shit out of the way. So we can actually experience that happiness.
Clint Murphy 03:47
That’s a very important part you mentioned there is is us with our children, as parents, how can we modify our behaviors from how we traditionally may do that so we can help condition our children to search outcomes outside of themselves a little bit less?
Nina Purewal 04:10
Actually, I think it’s the reverse. I think we can actually learn from our children at that age. Right? I think they will stop at a fire hydrant and be in awe. I know you did a podcast on being in awe. You know, they can look at a cloud and say, oh my gosh, that looks like a heart. They are in the moment. They are present. They are inherently mindful. So I think if we can kind of learn that from them versus all the expectations, you know, there’s so much pressure on kids, karate, piano, basketball, that, you know, we tend to inspire that external thinking. So I think if we can actually learn from them at that young age, it’s so empowering for us to them kind of feed that back to them and then to us
Clint Murphy 04:50
And what we’re wanting to learn is this idea of being present and you also talk about being one, not on autopilot, and two, an observer of our own minds, what does that look like for our listeners? And how are we looking for these negative thought patterns when we’re observing?
Nina Purewal 05:13
Yeah, so we talk in the book about two parts of the mind, there’s the chatty mind. And this is the mind, we are so often associated with, we think, on average, 60,000 thoughts a day. And we are aware of less than 1% of them. So the chatty mind is constantly going, you know, as I say, to some people, treat your mind like a child, it’s literally like this out of control toddler all over the place. So treat it like a child even give it a name. So we can create some distance from our thoughts, because so many of us think we are our thoughts, but we’re so much more than our thoughts. So how do we do that? We lean into the other part of our mind, which we refer to as the observing mind. The observing mind simply observes what the chatty mind is doing. It doesn’t judge it, it doesn’t try to solve for those thoughts. It just says, Hey, good, you’re worrying about work a little too much. Thinking about money, you know, often, you’re really stressed about this relationship, it just simply observes, and it can get you out of that space. Because once you start going down the rabbit hole, right, then then it’s kind of over and the first half of the book is awareness, once we can be aware of the thoughts, then we can actually do something about it. Otherwise, it’s all happening subconsciously.
Clint Murphy 06:26
When I first started this exercise, I believe it was the most significant change in my life, for sure, was that ability to not shut off but moderate and listen to and say, Oh, funny little chatty mind. I think I called mine my monkey mind. And I would just say, okay, like, You’re being silly. Now I’m gonna, I’m gonna just let you go. But it was this idea of thought auditing was a tool that I used with it, which is a CBT tool, as I understand it. And you talk about the idea of mind, and visualizations, which reminded me a fair bit of that, what does that look like for our listener as a way to get what’s in there, onto the page so that they can then say, well, wait, that’s not true. Because most of what that chatty mind is throwing at us his negative, recurring thought patterns.
Nina Purewal 07:29
Exactly. So 80% of our thoughts, according to studies are said to be negative, negative, or self deprecating. And I love what you said in the beginning, it’s not about resisting the thought, let the thought come in, you know, don’t resist it, because when we resist it, we end up suppressing and repressing. Let it come in, acknowledge it, and then let it go. And I think that’s how and there’s different ways, this path is so personal. So there’s different ways of how to let that thought go. But acknowledging it’s there in the first place, and then doing something about it. So you talked about the mind dump. And that is just taking a few minutes, and writing it down, getting it all out of your head, because it’s akin to having a grocery list right in your head. So I gotta get apples, oranges, bananas, crackers, and cheese, right, and it’s going over and over in your head, apples, oranges, bananas, crackers, cheese, apples, oranges, and the second we write it down, what happens, we don’t need to think about it, it’s in our little purse, or, you know, our little fanny pack, because that’s what’s cool now. And we go grocery shopping, and it’s there, right. And this in the same way, a mind dump, just lets you get it from your head, onto paper and out of your system. And when when people mind dump, I often encourage don’t judge don’t overthink, you know, swear, come out as naturally as possible. So you’re getting it all out of your system. And then there’s a release that happens where it’s no longer kind of overwhelmingly sitting in your head, and it’s on paper. So there’s different ways to release those thoughts, to move through them different techniques and meditation or using mindfulness to kind of acknowledge the thought, and then let it go.
Clint Murphy 07:37
And do you ever and in my mindfulness classes, I’ve gotten a little trouble for doing this. But do you ever have them on the one side of the page, you’re writing down here’s the thought I keep having. On the other side of the page, you’re writing down, here’s a more logical thought that could be the answer. And then I’ll come back 5-10 minutes later and look at the thoughts I was having. And what’s probably more logical. And an example that I give to a lot of married couples is your partner asks you to load the dishwasher. And your initial thought is they think I’m lazy and hate me. And you write that down and then you write down more logical, they’re probably tired, they cooked dinner, they just want some help…whatever the reason is, and you come back five minutes later, and you’re like, well, that’s probably more logical than they think I’m lazy and hate me. Do you ever do that as part of the mind dump?
Nina Purewal 10:00
That is one of my Crux exercises when I talk about self smack talk or even impostor syndrome is let’s understand first, what these thoughts are that you’re thinking. Because as I said, it often happens on a very subconscious level, we don’t even realize we’re not thinking, I’m not good enough for this job, I’m not good enough for this relationship, happens very subconsciously. So when you write it down, you actually see. And this is why I do workshops, and not keynotes, because it’s so subtle, it’s a great way to internalize the information. So when people write down their negative thoughts, they are often pretty shocked. I had no idea I was even thinking, these thoughts. And then we go through a process of evaluating each one actually, for the first thing I say is, think about someone who unconditionally loves you, and they look at this list and say, That’s bang on, you are definitely not good enough for your job, you are not attractive at all, you need to lose some weight, you know, oh, no, they would look at this. I don’t, the world does not see you this way. So we are so much harder on ourselves than how the world sees us. So then we take go through the process of taking each thought, and pretending we’re in a court of law. And let’s build a defense case against why this thought is not true. Like, if I’m not good enough for my job, well, you just got a promotion, you work for one of the largest accounting firms in the world, you just got kudos for a project that you just did. And you start to rationally see who you really are, when you go through that process. So it’s so important to take those steps, and the mind will still think that thought, because we’ve been thinking it for 20, 30, 40, 50 years, right? So the mind might think that thought, but the more you work on it, that thought is going to trigger, you come up a lot less, and when it comes up, it’s going to trigger you a lot less, you’ll be able to tackle it, it won’t affect you as much. So it’s this real process of neuroplasticity of taking these grooves that have been built in for so many years, and rewiring your brain to start thinking of yourself differently.
Clint Murphy 12:03
And what’s important there is you highlighted the idea that we want to picture someone who loves us unconditionally, instead of recognizing that the person that needs to love us unconditionally is ourselves. Which brings up the next part where you talk about the idea of self love. And I love to be line that Tanya Porter said to you, which was if you don’t love yourself unconditionally, you won’t have the capacity to love others unconditionally. And it reminded me of the concept of if you have an empty cup, you can’t fill other people’s cups. And then a chapter later, I read that so as I guess I had the right metaphor at the right time. So, you know, for our listeners who haven’t heard about your empty cup and fill your cup first, what are we talking about there? And why is it so important on their journey to let shit go?
Nina Purewal 13:06
I love that. And Tanya Porter was a fantastic meditation teacher I had when she first said that to me, I kind of thought, that’s not true. I love so many people unconditionally. But I know I could do with some more love. And the more I reflected on it, I did go to that cup analogy of if we’re running on empty, our love is going to come from a place of exhaustion, of obligation of expectation. It’s not, it’s going to come from a place of having to get love not wanting to give love. So when our cup is full, when we take time to do things for ourselves, when we evaluate what’s going on in here, and we’re kinder and more compassionate to ourself, we’re filling our cup, and then we want our love to come from a place of runneth over. So it’s natural, and not from a place of oh my gosh, I have to do this for my kid, I gotta do this for my partner, you know, you’re already full. And I say this to parents all the time, you know, you’re doing everything for your kids. And at the end of the day, then I can put my feet up and have that glass of wine or relax and watch Netflix, why not before grocery shopping, take half an hour, go to coffee shop, read a book, fill your cup a little, and you’re gonna come back a better version of yourself more calm, more wanting to give that love than coming from a place of emptiness and exhaustion all the time.
Clint Murphy 14:23
And when you talk about that emptiness and exhaustion, some of the listeners are going to say, well, you know, that’s nice, but you guys have all the time in the world, which may not be true. How if I’m stressed and I’m overwhelmed, I don’t have time for that. How does the idea that they can do a software reset? Or they can use the power of rest? How does that help them with what we’re talking about?
Nina Purewal 14:50
Yeah, so a couple things there. One is that there’s this whole concept of self care and self care Sundays and going to the golf course and you know a day at the spa, time with your friends. And all of that is so important when it comes to filling your cup. But the crux of self love, the crux of self care and compassion is actually all up here. And this is why I love mindfulness, it’s all in the mind, how can we start talking to ourselves nicely, maybe we don’t have to do anything, maybe we just have to start our day by saying some affirmations. Or, hey, you know what, I am a really great parent, and I’m planning an amazing day not Oh, my gosh, I have to do this, I have to do that. So changing the mindset can be a really empowering way. And the reason why the rest is so important or taking that 20 minutes or half an hour, is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, because our sympathetic nervous system is constantly activated, which, you know, people who’ve studied yoga or heard of this, this concept, it was for when we were cave people, and you’re being chased by the saber toothed Tiger and our lives were threatened. So our parents are sympathetic nervous system would, would activate and we’ve actually become superhuman versions of ourselves, our muscles strengthen, our hunger suppresses blood actually moves away from our skin. So if we get scratched, we’re not bleeding. I mean, the body is so brilliant. But what’s happening in today’s world is that’s being activated through email, through an argument with our partners, through work stress. So we’re always in this mode, where our sympathetic nervous system is activated. So rest and relaxation, doing something you love, strumming the guitar, going for a walk, taking that art class, that all activates the parasympathetic nervous system, puts our system into a relaxed state. And then we’re more calm, or showing up as better versions of ourselves and whatnot, there’s there’s a whole trickle effect to things that happen. That’s why I say resting is productive, because we live in a society where it’s like, going, keep going, keep going. In other words, we’re not productive, we’re not going to achieve, well, guess what I tell all these executives, that company, you’re going to be more efficient, you’re going to be more productive, you’re going to be more focused, you’re going to be better at decision making. If you actually take the time to not check your email at night and put yourself in that mode, and you rest and you wake up a lot more clear. That’s another way to fill your cup.
Clint Murphy 17:05
And do you have, let’s say you have only five minutes or 10 minutes between meetings, you have a you’re having a back to back day, do you have a routine or a simple habit that you engage in, that lets you get that parasympathetic reset?
Nina Purewal 17:24
For me it is, you know, my meditation practice, but mindfulness is in the every day. And a couple things to do when you’re feeling it and you have five minutes is I mean, I know what so overstated, but take a couple of really deep breaths. And I say really deep breaths, because it’s so you know, everyone says, oh, take a couple of breaths, we’ve forgotten how to breathe, we breathe from our chest level. And when we really if you look at infants, they’re breathing from your diaphragm. So learning a couple of really deep breaths and, and the more shallow your breathing is the more quote unquote negative the emotion is right? The more anger or worry, panic, the more shallow or breathing is. So we need to take up breathing deep, taking a couple of deep breaths. The grounding technique is great as well this people use this for you know, panic attacks or anxiety attacks, leaning into your senses. acutely, what am I seeing, what am I feeling? What am I hearing? What am I touching. And that gets you into the present moment and a really fun other technique. And I know it’s a little a little out there. But when I came back from the monastery, the ashram I was walking corporate. And one of the monks, you know, was visiting Toronto, and I said to him, you know, being in the redwoods and being present, and studying mindfulness and meditation is one thing. I’m in the real world. Now. I’ve got, you know, financial stress, I’ve got family stress, I’ve got work stress, how do you actually be present in all of this? And he gave me a very simple and practical answer. He said, start by saying out loud what you’re doing. So he said, let’s say you’re doing the dishes, your dialogue is going to sound like this. Now I’m putting soap on this sponge. Now I’m making circular motions on the spot. Now I’m rinsing this pot. Now I’m putting it on the drying rack and the chatty mind will run off, you know, maybe 30 times in 15 minutes. And we just use the observing mind to bring it back and bring it back and train ourselves on how to get present. So for feeling all this anxiety and anxiousness, just try to spend the next two minutes being fully present. And because so often, we are physically doing something like cooking or laundry or working or sitting in a meeting. And mentally we’re somewhere else. So if we can just connect the two and be present where we are physically, a great way to do that is to talk it out. So taking a couple deep breaths, using the grounding technique, speaking out loud with your, with what you’re doing meditation. And this path is really, really personal. So you really have to lean in and be aware and intuitive to what works for you.
Clint Murphy 19:48
And we really want to have the listeners focus on some key things there. The idea of of mindfulness and I usually say paying attention to the present moment on purpose without judgment. That’s the goal. And meditation, a lot of people get excited about the meditation and they will, I’ve got to become an expert meditator. It’s like, well wait a second, we want you to become an expert, mindfulness person. And meditation is one of the tools that is going to allow you to exercise that mindfulness muscle. And as you talked about that ability to just keep bringing the awareness back, it’s going to wander, bring it back, it’s going to wander, bring it back. What are some of the meditation concepts or ideas that you would give the listener early on their journey that will help them adopt that level of mindfulness we want them to have to be able to let shit go?
Nina Purewal 20:51
Great question. And meditation is like going to the gym for your mind. Yes, the mindfulness is in the every day, the meditation is going to the gym, and it is constantly active. I mean, we, you know, we work, let’s say, we work to get that six pack at the gym, when we work six months to get there. You can’t just stop going, six months and stay, it’s active, we got to keep going. So meditation is, you know, the time we’re taking to really observe the mind because nothing else is going on. So we’re acutely aware of what’s going on here. So for beginners, I’m going to not talk about strategies, I’m going to talk about meditation myth, because there are a lot of hang ups around meditation. And one of the biggest things I get as Nina, I can’t meditate, why? My thoughts don’t stop.
Clint Murphy 21:37
Yeah, they never, never will.
Nina Purewal 21:41
Meditating for 17 years, I don’t think I will. I know I have never had a meditation where I haven’t had 10, or 100, or 1000 thoughts just come through, that is part of the chatty mind, it’s going to do that. So what do we do with these thoughts, we don’t resist them, we allow them to come in. And then we let them go on a beautiful visualization. I know it’s a little cheesy, but it’s to pretend you know, we’re the ever present sky. And the thoughts are like little clouds just going by. So when they come in, and sometimes I picture them in little clouds, or you can say you’re the depths of the ocean. And your thoughts are just waves, you know, coming from you back into the ocean. So these beautiful visualizations are all nature based, right? Because it came from 10,000 years ago. So that’s one big myth. The other is not, don’t judge your practice. There’s no such thing as an experienced meditator as a good or bad meditation, it’s between you and you. Like you said earlier, the only person we’re going to live the rest of our lives with is ourselves. So we need to get intimate with ourselves. Right. So don’t judge the practice the fact that you’ve sat and meditated, and sometimes the thoughts will be overwhelming, because it’s something we’ve suppressed for so long. And so finally, when we’re sitting quiet, when our mind at all comes up, and that’s a good thing, because we’re realizing you can’t let shit go unless you bring it to surface. So sometimes those meditations are good. There’s no such thing as a bad meditation. And then this whole notion that we have to sit for half an hour, and be quiet, and we’re going to feel totally zen, then take away the pressure of it, do what comes natural, maybe you start with a minute, a day for a week. And then the next week, you go to two minutes a day, make it something that makes you feel peace, not something you have to add to your to do list. So you know, those are three ways and kind of myths, I want to just address with meditation that anybody can do it. It’s a personal practice. And then on the flip side, what you can do, there are so many apps, there’s so much on Spotify. Do what works for you, maybe it’s nature sounds, maybe it’s mantra meditation, maybe it is silence, maybe it’s listening to really calming music, maybe it’s a guided meditation. And that is going to evolve. If I think of my meditation practice, every few years it evolves to something else or changes. So lean in and we don’t listen in, we’re so focused on the external, we don’t listen inwards to our intuition what feels good. So if that podcast worked for 95% of the population, maybe it doesn’t work for you. And that’s okay, lean inwards and find that peace through modalities that work for you.
Clint Murphy 24:15
Insight Timer is one that has free and paid options that I’m always a big fan of for people because it has just such a wide array of choices for people. And for you, Nina, at this stage, is there any minimum effective daily dose that you found for yourself? As long as I’m getting this much in, I’m staying in the place I want to be in mindfully?
Nina Purewal 24:43
It’s an interesting question. And I try not I don’t want to say a number because I feel like if it’s 30 minutes, okay, that’s the goal. There’s no goal. You know, sometimes I’ll have 45 minute meditation, and my mind will be super active and it’s the constant observing my timing, observing my timing, and sometimes I’ll have a five minute meditation. And I’ll get right into it and have very few thoughts. And you know, and you’ll notice that the space between your thoughts will become, you know, larger with time. But every day depends on what’s going on in your personal life, what stresses are coming up. So it’s not about the time I would say it’s how you feel coming out of that meditation, whether it’s five minutes, or 45 minutes.
Clint Murphy 25:25
And one of the powerful tricks of meditation ties to an area of acceptance that I want to dive into with you. And it’s the idea that we can’t control what happens to us in life. But we can control how we react to what’s what happens. And Viktor Frankl talks about it as the gap between the stimulus and the response. And that’s where the magic happens. Which to your point, just now I find meditation is one of the tools that can help us increase that gap between the stimulus and response. And as a prompt for this one, I wanted to read you a part of the script of your book, Where were you, write: Remember, our lives are made of little moments that all add up. If we choose to make each one of them awesome, by shifting our mood and accepting what’s in front of us. Well, that can add up to a pretty stellar life. Can you cover that one in for the readers or listeners?
Nina Purewal 26:34
Definitely. So you know, the tragedy that I went through at 16 is I you know, I lost my dad and my brother very unexpectedly. And my favorite quote, at that time, was life is 10%, what you make it and 90% how you take it, right, so we can’t control so much of what happens to us. And that’s obviously the most extreme example of losing someone or being diagnosed with your own illness. But I think we have a very false sense over what we have control over in life. And at minimum, what we can control is our attitude is how we’re approaching it, how we’re handling what has come at us. And, you know, I had a monk say to me once every time because I encourage my clients, when you have thoughts of things you can’t control, put it in a bucket of, I can’t control this, and have a bucket of what I can control. And I say you know if you can control even 1%, go for it. But if it’s really something you can’t control, like the weather, the weather on vacation, or the pandemic or you know, external circumstances, inflation we’re all experiencing, put it in that can’t control bucket. And this monk said to me, every time you think a thought about something that you can’t control, it’s a dead thought. It’s a dead thought. It’s not propelling you forward in any way, it’s not driving your efficiency, it’s not driving your focus, it’s your focus, if anything, it’s actually draining your energy to keep thinking about and often these 2, 3am thoughts are of things, we can’t control that person, that situation. So if we put in the can’t control block, it doesn’t mean we’re not going to have feelings about it. We can have feelings about it, we can be angry, mad, sad, but we can’t do anything about it. And that inherent knowing helps us shift focus on let’s focus on what we can control. And as I said, at minimum, we control how we can control how we’re reacting to something.
Clint Murphy 28:28
If you take that even to a bit of a broader societal level, a lot of people can get so stressed and locked down and almost to the point of paralysis, because they’re always thinking at that macro level of climate change, and human needs here or this issue there. And they let it paralyze them, because they’re the like, it’s such a challenge for humankind. How can bringing that down to the micro and saying, well, here’s what I can do that I can control, I can not drive a gasoline powered car, I can do x I can do Y how do we go from the macro to the micro so it’s combining that that awareness but tying that into the what I can control to get out of that paralysis.
Nina Purewal 29:30
I think it’s about awareness first, how much time we’re spending in that as you call the macro space and acknowledging that, okay, there is nothing I can do about the fact that we are where we are today. Humankind has got us here and focusing on what are the changes that I can make. What can I start doing about this, like you said, you know, maybe taking the bus more, you know, joining a community program when we’re comes to inspiring what to do about climate change? What are the actions? Okay, this is happening. Yes, it’s worrisome. It’s anxiety, you know, inducing, but there it is, it just is there is nothing we can do about it, given where we are, but what we can do about it is, you know, actively try to work on things to address climate change. And if we spend our energy on that, instead of the worry, imagine the difference of the impact we can have to ourselves and to the world.
Clint Murphy 30:35
Yes. And the area of acceptance, you had so much wonderful ways that people can work on our tools that they could use, and it’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the art of surrender, which may sound odd to the listener. Wait, how are we accepting by surrendering? What does that look like?
Nina Purewal 31:00
Surrender is incredibly empowering. And surrender is when we we are truly in the flow of things. We are truly in the moment. We don’t have a) we don’t label things that come to us as good or bad. They just are, you know, okay, I’m faced with this situation. Let’s not waste energy on oh my gosh, how did this happen? Why did it happen? Maybe I should have done this differently. Coulda, shoulda woulda, you know, we’re just focusing. Right? There’s so much good to share what we’re just simply focusing on, it happened. Okay, accept it. Let’s figure out how to move through this. And even as we figure out how to move through it surrendering to how it unfolds. And you know, I work with a lot of executives who are like, How can I not focus on the future and I get it, I worked in marketing for many years in sales, you know, we did brand plans 2-5-10 years out, we need to focus on, we need to plan for the future when things happen. But the surrender comes in letting go of that plan. Hey, this is where I want my business to go for the next 2-5-10 years. And then let go and see how things unfold. Right? We all planned for 2020. And that became an absolute shitshow. Right. So that was we had no choice but to surrender. But if we don’t come from that place of this is happening to me, this is happening for me, instead, we’re at a place where we’re at ease with it, and we’re going to stay to flow with it, we’re not trying to force it because that’s where all the energy waste, we’re trying to force it to be something else. So surrender is when we can just accept what’s happening. Make a plan, be practical about it. I’m a very a type practical person, but then let go and then adjust accordingly. You know, just allowing that flow, you know, let that shit go and then let that shit flow.
Clint Murphy 32:56
And so many different ways we can take that. The area that I’d love to dive in, because you talked about and we both chuckled with the coulda, shoulda, woulda in so fuck the shoulds is something I can get behind. You know, we recently had Trisha Huffman on the show, who wrote F the Shoulds, Do the Wants, can you tell our listeners what the shoulds are and why we want to f the shifts?
Nina Purewal 33:22
are constantly shitting on ourselves, okay, there are so many shoulds that we adhere to, from a very young age, they actually start with our upbringing, right? You should you should win this tournament, you should get an A, you should get into this universe. And then, you know, we adapt that. And it’s gotten so much worse with social media. I mean, it starts with, you know, family, and then it goes into our social circle, and everyone’s having a kid, you should have a kid too, everyone’s buying a house, you should have a house too, everyone’s making this, this amount, this brocket you should be making six figures too. And we start kind of, you know, hearing this, and then we hear it from the media, you see what the media is doing. And then social media is the worst because everyone is putting their top 2% of highlight reel, you know, and if we’re comparing ourselves to people on social media and everybody’s best life, we’re not comparing ourselves to anyone who actually exist that way. Because who’s posting the nasty, you know, partner arguments, we’re getting it no one’s like, oh my god, we’re gonna but no, they’re posting the beautiful family vacations on the sexy date nights. And so we’re constantly feeling like we should Oh, our lives aren’t up to par. We should be doing this. We should be doing that. And so you know, I got asked once in a podcast, how do you know if it’s a should that you should go for? And the answer is very simple. You have to do some introspection again. Intuition, go inward. That’s why it’s so important to have a relationship with yourself. Is the should important to you. Maybe all your friends do have a house but you want to rent for the rest of your life. You feel like that’s most, you know, financially. I don’t know if you’d agree with that. But you know, that’s most financially sound for you. So, you know, if that’s what’s important to you, then let go of the should and let go of what everybody else is doing and do, maybe you don’t want kids, maybe you want to travel the world, lean into that. So letting go of all the shoulds that were adhering to even now I think back I go, why did I go into business, because everyone else was doing it, and I shouldn’t do and I should get that big career in sales and marketing, you know, but I mean, I loved my work at the time, but now I love my work. You know, I was leaving, and I was doing what I should be doing according to society. So really evaluating when, and we know, we know, because we can feel it inside when we are, you know, going into work. And it’s like, I am not feeling this. And I had a monk say to me in California, as long as you’re walking a path, that’s not meant for you, you’re gonna be walking with a rock in your shoe. Ah, right. So came back from the ashram and I thought, I’m gonna get rid of all of these rocks in my shoe. And of course, there’s a practical application for that. I’m not saying we can all follow our hearts and make millions of dollars like we can we can get there. There’s a practical application in the interim, but let go of all these pressures that were worth shoulding ourselves about, and lean into what’s what’s important for us. And it’s so incredibly empowering when we let go of the noise.
Clint Murphy 36:31
Absolutely. And I’ve been on the journey that you’re talking about from business, I’ve probably been doing that for about 23 years now. And I think there’s a finite amount of time that I can continue to walk with the rock in my shoes. Before I am doing full time, what I believe I was put here to do and enjoy and to your point love, which is largely what we’re doing right now and writing and mindfulness. And there’s so much more. But anyway, we’ll we’ll skip that. One of the things that I loved that you talked about there was this idea of people’s front of stage self is one of our past guests referred to it and we never get to see the backstage. I’ve labeled that myself now. And we’ll keep using it till everybody does the Kardashian effect. And I say that, and I’ll always repeat not because I have anything against the Kardashians, I love what they’ve done. They’ve done a very good job. But it feels to me that they were one of the first groups to take that front of stage concept in such a way and level to monetize it. And to show people always, here’s the best of life, not recognizing what that does is tell people what they should want what they could have. 99.8% of us will never have that. And so it creates that loop of I’m not doing enough. I’m not good enough. And you talk about this with the idea of tech Zen. So one is we don’t see the true stories, two is we’re always hunting that dopamine addiction. Did I get enough likes? Did I get enough retweets? Did people share my story? And so what is a tech Zen and how does it help us with the issues of the Kardashian?
Nina Purewal 38:40
There’s so much to that question. There’s so many, you know, tech zen, and it’s a whole chapter. So there are so many different things we can do. And really, it’s all about creating boundaries. Because, you know, our addiction to tech is what gets us into this mess in the first place. And with the Kardashian piece I like to flip the switch, especially for and I know, you know, this is a podcast and this can air worldwide, especially for us, you know, privileged people in North America who have access to food, shelter, water, you know, the executive workshops, I do the corporate workshops I do. I mean, I read a stat that said if you have 70,000 US dollars in cash or assets, you live in the top 1% of the world. Okay, so it’s like 99% of the world is looking at you as the Kardashian. Yeah. But do we see that? No, we see the the Ferraris and Lamborghinis and mansions and well guess what, 99% of the world is looking at you in your four bedroom home or couch and TV or access to water or toilet or …going wow, I wish I had that. So sitting in that and then you know to layer on the tech piece. We are so hyper connected these days. And it’s driving depression. It’s driving anxiety. It’s driving low efficiency rates, it’s driving comparison, like you said, We’re never feeling up to snuff. So, you know, it’s so important if we’re going to be on social media, be very protective of your feed. Follow people who inspire you, positivity is a big one. You know, there’s, I mean, anyone can look like anything online. It’s ridiculous. The filters, you know, that people use these days, you’re not even looking at someone’s face who’s actually real, you know. So follow authentic accounts, follow accounts that inspire you, follow accounts that you learn from, that you feel educated from, that you’re naturally inspired by, as I said, So, if we follow a lot of the stuff that makes us not feel good, it’s going to suddenly impact us unless we’re aware. And this is what the youth, you know, the youth sometimes can’t do, don’t have that discernment, right? So be aware of if I follow Kim Kardashian, and I’m following her because I want some business tips or I’m following, not because I think her life is realistic for me and making me feel like constant ship because I don’t have what she has, right? Because that is quite unattainable. So I think, you know, creating boundaries and knowing when you’re getting we talked in the book about the tech hangover. Yeah. When you’re scrolling, and you’re getting to that point, because it’s akin to like opening a bag of chips, right? Like, you never just have the five tips that you promise yourself, you’re gonna like before, you know, you’re feeling the crumbs at the bottom. Same with social media, we’re scrolling and suddenly, we’re so tired of the phones like falling on our face from you know, lying in bed and scrolling. So no one we’re hitting that hangover part. Again, awareness, you know, instead of subconsciously just scrolling. Be aware. This is starting to not make me feel good. Or you know what this account every time I see a post, it actually makes me feel not good enough or that I should be more like this person. Unfollow. And to be honest, we also talk about unfollow people in real life.
Clint Murphy 41:53
Nina Purewal 41:55
It’s okay to follow people in real life love, actually. And I think in the pandemic, we experienced this right, because we had all this isolation in Canada, we had like six lockdowns or something. So we had all this isolation. And now people are starting to get together last few years get together, those big group dinners, and suddenly are like, I don’t really feel like hanging out with this group. Like they don’t actually make me feel good about. Listen to that. So surround yourself in tech, in real life, with what uplifts you, not what drains you and make you feel like you makes you feel like you should be something that you’re not naturally.
Clint Murphy 42:32
And something you said there really resonates because I’m in Vancouver, Canada with you. So had a lot of lockdown similar to you did, you might have actually got out sooner than we did. But what it allowed was a bit of reset of priorities, in what I mean there is no kids activities, can’t visit family, can’t spend time with friends. All of a sudden, what you could do was well, what do I really want to do with my life? How do I want to spend my time? What activities do I want to engage in? And then when COVID went away, although technically, we had a couple of people with COVID at work over the last two weeks. So it’s not fully gone? Yeah, it’s not as material. So when COVID went away, a lot of people just went right back to what they were doing pre COVID instead of taking that second to be aware and say, Well, what did I learn from the COVID exercise? About how I want to approach my life? So that’s taking the awareness you’re talking about? And how do I continue to do those things that I realized I love and what does that mean? I need to cut out. So similar to tech, what are those boundaries I need to put in place in real life? And people maybe I need to cut out? What does that look like for you? Is that a shift that you made coming out of COVID, back to reality?
Nina Purewal 44:10
Absolutely and this is what happened to me in the ashram as well back in 2000. So I saw that same pattern happen to everyone, you know, so I completely disconnected I had you know, I was very addicted to work and my Blackberry or Crackberry as they called it at the time. So I said no tech, I have no access to the internet this year. I have no access to, you know, friends, people what’s going on, I just want to go inwards. And it was actually really cool. I told my friends if you want to get a hold of me write me a letter. And I sent and received 150 handwritten letters that year. It was incredible way to just get away from tech. So that you know I kind of went through that once but I think that is such a beautiful silver lining of COVID is that we got the opportunity to go inwards because we had no choice and coming out of that. Yes, I did change a lot in terms of what I was allowing in my life, I also did a 20 week trauma healing program in that time. So there was a lot of shifting going on of, you know, the people pleasing and the wounds that I was healing. So yeah, I came out of that. And I did let go of some, you know, very long 20 years friendships, I did stop surrounding myself with things and people and social events that I felt obligated to go through to, you know, as a chronic people pleaser. So I was in everything, doing everything for everyone. So I really did come out of COVID and shift, you know, what’s actually really important to me, and what are all the other things I’m doing that I’m doing them for society, because everyone else is doing them, but they’re not really feeding my soul, they’re not really fueling my fire. And when you do that, you go into self, and there’s so much more space to do you. And when you do just you, and you’re not, you know, influenced by all this, you’re more empowered, you’re more comfortable in your own skin, you care less about what everyone’s thinking and saying, you’re living from a much more authentic place. So I think it’s an important evaluation. And I hope people did kind of pause and take the minute and not just jump back into that crazy busy life. Because it’s not too late, you can still do that, you can still say, Hey, does my kid really need to be in four things? Can we take away to do I really need to meet up with this friend group every Friday, maybe we can do it once a month, you know, what are the things we’re adhering to that or just making and again, lean in when you’re driving or walking to that place, you can feel it, you’re either really, or when someone calls. You either are super excited that they called her like, oh, fuck, you know, listen to that, then, you know, and go inwards. And that’s a gift of the of the pandemic. And we can still continue to do that and evaluate what’s adding to our life and what’s draining us and start to remove some of the drains, we can have energy to focus on this and watch how it enhances your life. It’s incredible.
Clint Murphy 47:03
It’s beautiful and the other thing, or the direction I’d love to pivot coming off of that is how people can use perspective to help them see their life and what they want. And something that you wrote that I thought was wonderful on this was when you’re looking at life through a big picture lens, you see your stress levels, take a big step back too. You think about everything you’re grateful for and boom, life isn’t so bad at all. It’s actually fucking amazing. Now your stress level of eight or nine starts to feel more like a four or five. That’s a perspective change in action. What does that look like?
Nina Purewal 47:48
Yeah, so in the book, we talked about the micro perspective and the macro perspective. And in between all that is building a shit ton of resiliency, the more we can get to the macro. So if you think of a funnel, we’re in the micro and it’s not our fault. It’s just the way our brain works. It’s the way society works. We wake up in the morning, and we’re in our little macro bubble, I gotta get back to these emails, I have to make lunch for so and so I got to find matching socks, I gotta shower, I gotta do this. And we forget all of the millions of things that we could be grateful for. And that’s where the stress starts to ensue in the micro. And so I love mindfulness, because it doesn’t require you to do anything. It just requires you just shift the lens and the kind of thoughts that you’re having. So if we have more macro level thoughts, if we go to the bathroom to brush our teeth and turn on the tap, and we’re stressing about work, instead, we go to the bathroom, and we turn on the tap and go, Well, I can turn on a tap and water will come out. You know, I’ve been to Ghana, Africa, where I seen kids walk two kilometers for that bucket. We have a bath. Oh my gosh, I’m so stressed. What are you talking about? Turn on the water? How many kilometers would I have to walk in another village or country to get this? Like, we don’t think those thoughts. Being alive? Yes. You know, I watched this TED talk by Sadhguru. He’s incredible monk. And he. He said once one of the biggest things we take for granted in life is our own mortality. And it’s not meant to instill fear, or it’s just to be grateful. He said, If we just wake up in the morning, that is the greatest miracle we could ask for. And if the four or five people we love the most wake up what a blessing. But we don’t think that way. And he said, you know, on average 150,000 People won’t wake up tomorrow. And of course, I went and googled it. And yes, 151,000 is is the daily mortality rate. So when we just even open our eyes in the morning, instead of picking up our phones and I scroll, scroll, scroll, just have 30 seconds, I’m alive. I’m healthy, I got my family. And that’s putting your head into the macro. We open up our laptops instead of oh my gosh, I have email, wow, I have a laptop, I have a company that pays me this much money to do what I do, you know, I’m able to afford that. I mean, there’s so many other thoughts that we can lean into instead of the micro. So if we assume more thoughts of the macro, suddenly, the micro stress doesn’t feel so stressful. And I think because I’ve gone through a lot of loss in my life, you know, I tend to have that, okay, I’m alive. Like, it’s really hard for me to get super stressed out, unless it’s something really extreme. Because at the end of the day, I’m alive, I got my family. Okay, so what this project is due now a week earlier, or, okay, I have a little bit of extra workload, okay, my, you know, my kid got hurt or something. Everything is in perspective. And when we have that macro perspective, we can become so much more resilient, because the little things don’t throw us off, we can kind of shrug them off and be like, Okay, well guess what all of this is in mind, food, shelter, water, we got to, we got to inspire more of that kind of thinking.
Clint Murphy 51:09
And that’s the power you talk about of zooming out. And looking at the big picture, the other one that I thought was relevant, especially as it relates to the conversation we just had about social media and never feeling good enough, is the idea of remembering. You’re probably at a point today that at some point in your life, you wished you were at. And how can we take stock of that to remember, well, wait a second, I personally, if you told me growing up, small city boy picture, you know, Bolton, or New Caledon where you live, and now living in the big city with a family nice house making my like, I never would have conceived that I would be where I am today. So how can we use that as a tool to help us with our perspective exercise?
Nina Purewal 52:04
Yes. And by the way, you live a very inspired life, very inspired by reading your bio, and all the things that you’ve accomplished and all that. You keep learning. It’s just, it was incredible. So keep doing what you’re doing. You know, think that we need to, you know, spend more time celebrating, and I tell this to my corporate clients, because it’s like you work on the project. It launches in two years. By the time it launches. You’re like, yeah, Yay, I’m on to the next one. How often are we pausing to celebrate what we have accomplished? And yeah, 10 year and I say to people, think of yourself 10 years ago, and all the work that you did to get to this point, whether it was you know, get a degree or the job or pursue that passion? Are you pausing to say, Wow, I’m here? Not often, because as I said, you know, happiness often lives in the future. When I get this one, I get that, oh, well, guess what, 10 years ago, you were wishing for today, when I have that house, when I have that family, when I have, and you’re here. But now you’re on to when I’m financially free when I…. And those are important goals to have. I’m not saying don’t have those goals, but pause to celebrate where you’ve gotten to and appreciate and allow yourself to take that in sometimes like when we struggle with anxiety or depression or you know, all of these, the mental health stuff, and we don’t need a clinical diagnosis. Sometimes I think we all have depressive thoughts or anxious thoughts. You know, we’re not allowing ourselves to feel joy, there’s a little bit of fear. And second, I feel joy, it means I’ve actually accomplished something, and I feel it and it was like we fear that could get taken away at any moment. So it’s so important to when we have those moments. And we celebrate all the time, you know, for my daughter goes from a blue belt to you know, a brown belt in karate. And we’ll go out for dinner and we’ll all get fun drinks and we’ll cheers, we’re so proud of you. It took you six months to do that. And you know not when you get to your black belt, how long is it going to take? You know, we tend to, you know win the tournament how you play your solo. You had an awesome game, oh my gosh, you score 12 of the team’s 80 points. Good for you. Let’s celebrate that, you know, and it’s not to create coddled kids or anything are but even to ourselves, we get a break project is launched at work that we’ve been working on for so long. And we’re so enthralled in all the other projects we’re working on that are midway, we can’t see the one that actually took off that we’d been spending all this so when you know I tell executives, celebrate with your team. Are you celebrating enough when you get the wins, and you’re not always on to the next. So sitting in that celebration is important. It’s important and it takes away from the 80, you know the 80% of the negative thoughts and it focuses on like you know what you have and it’s not meant to turn you into this big egoistic like I’ve done it’s just we don’t operate that way. We don’t take enough time to pause and celebrate. So that’s important to do.
Clint Murphy 54:57
And you see that a lot or I see that a lot with high performers who never seem to take that pause that breath and say, Wait a second, we’ve done some pretty cool shit. Like we’ve hit milestones we’ve we’ve achieved financial targets we’ve had our best year ever. So always, well, this year is not enough. Or why not this in? How does that burn out? Oh, the people around us or on our team or even ourselves?
Nina Purewal 55:33
Yeah, and I want to emphasize the high performer piece, high performers will get the performance review back and hear 99 things about how incredible they are. And one thing that they need to improve on, some constructive feedback, because that has to happen in performance reviews. And they will just hone in and magnify that one thing coming out of that meeting, right? Instead of being like, holy shit, my boss just said 99 things about what I did do well. So what is that doing to you? It’s exhausting you, it’s inspiring that not good enough thinking. We’re not spending the moment saying I achieved all of this. And then that’s putting the pressure on your team, that’s putting, you know, subconsciously, that could be affecting your family. Because you come home, you’re like, man, they said that this is one thing that I just didn’t get right … and you’re not telling your partner of the 99 other thing that I said, right, there’s like negative energy, you’re just like, sitting in that. So if we can, you know, take the constructive criticism and do something about it, for sure. But also give ourselves a little pat on the back and celebrate as a team, that, hey, we just accomplished this. It just, it sets a different tone. And it puts everyone into a different mental space, that they’re not always trying to achieve something and catch up that you are a high performer, and you’ve been tagged as a high performer, and allow yourself to sit in that and congratulate yourself for being there. And then yeah, let’s work on that one thing. But you know what, give yourself the gift of appreciating that and being proud of yourself for that.
Clint Murphy 57:11
I love that. And now I’m going to shift us to authenticity. For a lot of young people when they come to us and ask well, how do I grow on social? And how do I do one of the things we talk about is will be authentically you. And you write: There is no one else on this planet who is meant to do what you are here to do. There really is only one magical you. That was actually very Dr. Seuss like, like your intellect, your personality, your favorite foods, your temperament, your passions, your very essence is yours alone, different from any of the other 7.6 billion humans on the planet. You might have parents, siblings, friends who are similar to you, but no one is exactly the same. This is of course obvious, and yet it’s something we consciously don’t think about on a day to day basis. But there is great power and embracing everything that’s different about ourselves right down to the way we sneeze or how we hold our pen. Can you color that one in for our listeners?
Nina Purewal 58:22
Yes, absolutely. Especially in the corporate environment, that’s where I do a lot of my work is there’s so much conformity. There’s so much conformity, everybody wants to be like someone else, abide by these behaviors. And it’s so important to lean into us. And when we lean into us, even sometimes a perceived weakness, I’ll give you an example. I had someone reporting to me, and she was an HSP, she was a highly sensitive person. And that was seen as a negative and all the other roles that she worked in, because you know, you’re too emotional at work, and you cry. And that. And she ended up being my my go to because she was so intuitive to our clients. She was the one person I never had to come back from the meeting be like, can you look into this and look into it. And look, she already knew, Okay, I’ve already looked into that. And they said this and they mentioned that super into it. So that was her superpower. And sometimes we perceive our superpowers as weaknesses. So we hide them, and we suppress them and let’s not be emotional and let’s conform like everybody else. And then we don’t have the gifts we’re not embracing our gifts. And so you know coloring that in means being true to who we are, being authentic. And I think Gen Z actually does this really, really well. They’re quite unapologetic about who they are in what they wear and you know, all the things that are coming out like you know, sexual fluidity, you know, how they show up, what they say. So I think we can kind of learn something, you know from that, but you know, there is only one you. And when we lean into what’s important to us, what do we value, you know, what makes us tick, what sets our soul on fire. Forget the rest of the world, we’re living from a truly authentic place. And that’s where we can truly inspire, we cannot inspire from a place where our head and heart and soul are not aligned. You know, when we’re trying to inspire from that place, there’s, there’s that rock in the shoe. Nice. So when we’re more ourselves, we can lean into that. And slowly and slowly get comfortable in our own skin being truly who we are.
Clint Murphy 1:00:37
And when someone has let themselves go from that. So they they’ve gone through life, and, and it’s draining to do, but they’re masking who they really are. And they’re not showing up authentically, what are one or two things that you suggest to them as ways to step into that authenticity?
Nina Purewal 1:00:59
That’s a great question. And I lived in that place for a really long time, where I was showing up inauthentically, I was showing up at the party being the happiest person there, but probably the saddest, or, you know, showing up, you know, at work. And this is exactly when I wanted knowing I actually had another mission, you know, so a couple of things we can do to really lean into that authenticity is, is again, doing the work and going inwards, and finding out what is important to us, what makes us tick, and start to look at your life and evaluate where that gap is. You know, here are all the things I’m doing right now, here’s the job I have, here’s the passions I engage in, here’s my friend circle. But here’s who I really am. And here’s who I really want to be, well, where are the gaps there, and where are you being inauthentic. And you don’t have to make this a big career change or anything. It can be as simple as you’re not speaking up. You know, you’re sitting in the boardroom. And even though you disagree with 80% of the room, you’re not saying it. And so little things like speak your truth, Maggie Kuhn, she was an advocate of senior citizens, and she said speak your truth, even if it makes your voice shake. It’s not always it’s a very, very challenging process to go from conformity to living an authentic life. But start by doing it in small ways. At Christmas dinner, someone says something that, you know, is inappropriate or throws you off, because then what happens then we leave that dinner and to three o’clock in the morning, we have the best response. Email it to them. Exactly. Getting yourself inside. And that’s taking up so much energy and mindspace. Right. So if we just say the damn thing, you know, it’s we’re being true to ourselves. So having a voice, speaking up, letting go of the shoulds, understanding what that gap is, there’s so many micro ways to own your authenticity. Another big one is letting go of how you’re perceived. When we conform. Everybody, everyone good is that and I almost I almost walked away from the book deal, because I learned all this amazing stuff from all these incredible sacred monks and ancient wisdom. Gotten here now, I’m putting swearing on it. So you know, but it was my personality, I worked in sales, I have a potty mouth, but I’m very spiritual. And I have that fight me too. So the book was so inherently me, I was so afraid of people were going to completely feel like I disrespected you know, there was all this chatter in my head. Right? So you know, for yourself, you know who you really are, and letting go of the perception. And we have this example, or I talked about this example, in my corporate workshops of imagine there’s a tree, and there’s 20 photographers around the tree and everyone has to submit a picture. Well, someone’s going to take a picture of the, you know, the bird’s eye view, someone’s going to take a picture of just the trunk, maybe a leaf, a flower of root, the tree in totality, a little bird sitting on the tree, right? And everyone’s gonna have these 20 pictures of the tree. Well guess what? That tree is you and those photographers are all the people around you and how they perceive you. And they are perceiving you through their own lens. You might trigger someone because your sense of humor reminds them of their annoying Aunt, you know, someone might have an affinity towards you because hey, you talk like they’re best friend. So who’s right and who’s wrong? There is no right and wrong. Everyone’s entitled to their lens and their experience and their conditioning. But it’s their conditioning that they’re looking at you through. So it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you perceive yourself. And if you’re happy with yourself and you’re comfortable in your own skin. And so there’s so many ways to lean into the authentic peace and let go of all this chatter around us that takes away from you know who we really are.
Clint Murphy 1:05:04
And so much of that is us in the, the spotlight effect is, I believe what we call it where we think everybody’s always thinking of us when in reality, they’re living their own life, and we’re maybe maybe an extra in the film of their life. And while you were saying, you know, everyone’s perspectives, and some might like this, some might not like that. What jumped in my head was the line that I believe was from your husband was, Oh, someone shot Gandhi. Yeah. So So what is where that comes from? How did that give you the perspective to be like, oh, yeah, okay.
Nina Purewal 1:05:44
That was a life changing moment for me. Because I don’t even remember that I said that. But we were at the ashram together. And my mom was there, too. It’s a beautiful experience. And so we were, you know, every Monday, every morning, we’d go for these, we’d have six o’clock meditation class, and then seven o’clock lecture, and then eight o’clock, we’d be free for a few hours. So we’d go on these beautiful hikes like in the redwoods. And I was, you know, and they say, you know, you can go off to the mountain, but your mind is going to follow you. So of course, I’m in this Ashram and this beautiful environment, and my mind is still focused on I was talking about someone who I was trying to get to like me, you know, I don’t know why she doesn’t like me. And I’ve tried doing this. And I’ve written her letters, and I’ve had heart hurts with her. And I’ve done this for her kids. And I don’t understand, you know, and he turns to me, and he says, Nina, someone shot Gandhi. And I’m, like, looked at him, what are you even paying attention to what I’m saying. And he was and his perspective was, look at the person that Gandhi was, he fought for through non violence for freedom for an entire nation, and he is still revered and voted today. But someone didn’t like him enough to take his life to shoot him. So if someone is not going to like Gandhi, certainly someone is not going to like you. And it was just this huge aha moment, and almost this relief, that oh, my gosh, not everybody has to like me, not everybody has to approve of me. Not everybody has to give me a validation checkmark or a light. Yeah. And that’s okay. You know, let’s get comfortable with some people are going to love and embrace what we do. And some people are going to judge what we do, and some people are not going to like what we do, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is, are we loving what we’re doing? Are we liking what we’re doing? Are we loving ourselves through this process, because there is going to be someone that’s going to shit on us, whether it’s, again, it’s their own conditioning, maybe they’re triggered by us, maybe they, you know, didn’t follow their passion path, and they’re triggered, or there’s a number of reasons, but it doesn’t matter why. Because we’re never going to know why you please this person, and then this person is not going to like you. It’s just there’s no end to it. You cannot please everybody, not everybody’s gonna be like, Oh, that person is so on point, you know, so as long as we are rooted in who we are, and we just let go of how it all lands, you know, and with social, you know, you talk about social media, you know, when we post, post and then surrender, let go yes, number of likes, you might get five likes, you might get 50 comments, like some of the most unexpected things, I’ll get tons of comments. And then sometimes I’ll make a frickin reel that’ll take me an hour and a half to make, I’ll get like 20 likes, you know, so you don’t know what’s going to land but create the content. You know, I posted this just the other day is for content creators are so much pressure to post every single day or three times a day or follow the rule that yeah, okay, find that there are rules against it, the post because you authentically feel you want to share that message. And now I say even if it lands with one person, and that was the motivation for my book, even if it impacts one person’s life, and something shifts in them, it’s worth it that is so powerful to me more than any type of financial gain or anything is the impact and post with that intent too. If you change one person or shift one person, it doesn’t matter if you get the 299 other likes, you’ve done something and you’ve shifted the world in a little little itty bitty way and the validation starts to go away because you’re like, you know what, that’s something from my heart and soul that I wanted to share that helped me and whether everybody likes it or takes it and sometimes it will be in my dance and they won’t even like it someone in my dance. Okay, wow, that was so powerful. At least you can light the damn thing but you know, I know you know, it’s having an impact and it doesn’t matter to me the quantity anymore. I just post now from a very authentic place and it’s gonna land or it’s gonna land.
Clint Murphy 1:09:51
I love that. And Nina, the one area of the book we haven’t talked about and we can go as deep or not as you want is forgiveness. And you wrote from such a vulnerable place, and as a father of a 15 year old boy and 12 year old next week, they both have their their birthday or in the next two weeks reading that was so hard to comprehend. My heart, really, you know, I’m even getting emotional thinking about it now cried for you and what you and your mother went through. And I think the time in the ashram was a time for both of you that allowed some healing, and some forgiveness, and you talk about it as 20 years where you just buried it. And all of a sudden, you had the power to find freedom, through forgiveness. And you’ve mentioned a couple times that you had the tragedy in your life. And you go into a lot of detail in the book. I don’t know how much you’re comfortable. Yeah, for both speaking to, but how did you find that forgiveness for what you both went through in your lives?
Nina Purewal 1:11:09
Yeah, well, first of all, thank you for your kindness and your compassion, and you know, your heart thoughts, I really appreciate it and I am comfortable talking about it, I mean I put it in the book. And it was hard to be that vulnerable. But again, I went back to if this is going to impact someone, or change someone or shift their mentality, then it’s all worth it. So I am very open about, you know, my, my tragedies in my past. And so I did lose my brother and dad at 16 to a murder suicide. My mom wanting to leave, you know, it was a very toxic and abusive marriage for my dad towards my mom. So it took her 22 years to finally give him divorce papers, a lot of taboo in Indian culture around divorce and leaving your partner. And when she finally did, he went quite neurotic, and that the ultimate, you know, result of all of that was losing them to a murder suicide. And all the detectives on the case actually told me his plan was to take me as well. So another reason why I wake up every day, and I’m like, I’m just lucky to be alive, because that was the universe’s plan for me. And it was very, very coincidental how I happen to not be homeless. That’s a whole story in itself. So I suppressed and repressed as I said, I did a bit of you know, I did visit my guidance counselor’s office a lot. I went to the season center for grieving children, which I do a lot of volunteer work now peer to peer support group. They’re phenomenal and amazing. But I it was too much. I was 16. Right. So I was a year younger than your son. And it’s already awkward and hard enough being a teenager, and I just I went to business school, I had a great career. And I suppressed it all, it was too much for me to to handle and then came back from the ashram. And then my mom got sick. My mom was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s. And she passed away, you know, two years to her diagnosis. And that was absolute heartbreak. And I thought, okay, and now I’ve lost my entire family. And the grief was so prevalent, because when my mom died, it all the stuff came back from my dad and brother that I hadn’t really dealt with. And it suddenly hit me that because when it came up, it was those fresh and even almost 20 years laters it was like anger, and resentment, and, you know, hurt, you know, towards my dad, and all of it came back and I thought, I’m feeling all of these things. And it’s impacting me, he’s dead and gone. This anger and it’s that whole quote of you. Anger is like a ball of fire. It’s gonna burn your hand first before you throw it. So I realized I am holding on to all this hurt and pain and anger. And I am not free from this. And my only way out, I realized was to forgive him was to forgive him and it’s not black and white was to go through the journey of letting go of that, because it was only impacting me and it was only having this trickle effect to my life. So I went through a two year process of reading about forgiveness, watching TED talks on forgiveness, listening to podcasts are forgiven because again, this is all this journey is so personal. I can’t tell you how to forgive someone and it’s forgiveness slash acceptance. And it’s not about forgiving the act. Yeah. When it comes to trauma, I’m really careful. You know, you don’t have to forgive the person that abused you or hurt you unnecessarily. You don’t have to sorry, you don’t have to. Right, they’re wrong. But forgiving will allow you to open your heart and let go of all that resentment and anger toward because that person’s gone. They’re gone, living their life. They’re doing their thing. They might not even be here but you’re affected by it still. So how do you move through that and for me, it was a process of review Goodness, we have many tips in the book. But the way I went through it was through empathy was through really understanding how we got to that place. And wow, you must have been really this was the 90s. So nobody talks about mental health. Yeah, you were either in normal or you’re in a psychiatric ward. That’s kind of, you know, there wasn’t really, if you had a psychologist, but even then in the 90s was like, Whoa, you know, there was so much stigma, right? Like, oh, yeah, it was very secretive, like you have a psychologist what’s going on. So you never got help. He never got help. And who knows how long those mental health issues were, you know, where they started and how they bubbled up. And I had to go through a process of really understanding him and thinking, you know, now being a mother, it’s like, you must have been in a really fucked up place mentally to have done what you have done and holy crap I feel for you. You know, and it took me long, sometimes it’s even hard for me to say because my love him too right, like it’s, it’s a very polarizing place to be. But oh, my gosh, when I got to that place, it was like the weight, I stopped holding on to so much. And I, you know, my sister in law had said to me, energetically, it’s like, we all have this drawer. And we can only fit so much in the drawer. So if we’re holding on to the old tchotchkes we picked up from Florida, there are collecting dust, that are not serving us, that are weighing us down. There is no room for anything new. And when I went through that process, and I, you know, my mom passed away when I was pregnant. So I had my daughter, I was a new mom, but I was also healing and went through that process. And, and sure enough, once I worked to let go of all that, the book deal landed in my lap, like I got asked to write like, Who is that is such a blessed, you know, like, I got asked by HarperCollins to read, I started my business, there’s just so much more space for me to do me. And, and again, it’s not black and white. So I’m like, I forgiven him. And I’m, you know, there’s still that lingering piece, and then we’re human, and that’s okay. And I’m embracing that. But forgiveness is freedom. And it’s so empowering to forgive and move past all the hurt and the pain for you not for the other person, the person could not be in your life anymore. It’s for you. It’s not about you know, there’s this thing about forgiveness, oh, I have to have a talk with them. And then we’ll rekindle our relationship doesn’t have to be that way. They could not be in your life, and you can forgive them and let go.
Clint Murphy 1:17:31
And I think that’s a really key distinction, right there is, we’re not saying this forgiveness exercise is for the person you’re forgiving. This forgiveness exercise is for you to simply give yourself the freedom of not carrying that weight forever.
Nina Purewal 1:17:52
Exactly. It is all about you. And when you realize that, because sometimes it’s very triggering to say, Oh, forgive someone who hurt you. But if you make it about you, it’s not it’s not triggering, it’s about your healing. It’s not about them. They don’t even need to know that you’re doing this.
Clint Murphy 1:18:08
Yeah, you don’t have to reach out to them. And they may to your point, they may not even be here. And if they are, you don’t have to give them a call and say I forgive you. It’s just mentally mentally letting it go.
Nina Purewal 1:18:19
Right. You don’t need to contact your ex from high school.
Clint Murphy 1:18:28
Yeah, maybe don’t do that. Maybe. Don’t say at RIT. At our advice. Do you have time, Nina for a final four wrap up questions all the time for you? Yes. What is one book that you’ve read that’s had a massive impact on your life?
Nina Purewal 1:18:49
Too many to name. I’m going to talk about a recent example. And that is Dr. Joe Dispenza. wrote a book called Becoming Supernatural. Oh, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Dr. Joe Dispenza. Yes. Brilliant. And He’s an avid meditator. And he’s a big believer in neuroplasticity. And this is what I love. There’s so much science behind mindfulness and meditation right now. He’s done MRI scans of the brain. He sees what happens in the brain. It’s a very kind of, if you’re a data geek like me, and you like science, and you like fact, it’s a great one. It has shifted my meditation practice quite dramatically. It talks a lot about manifestation about intention setting, basically supernatural.
Clint Murphy 1:19:30
I wrote an article about the law of attraction today and it wasn’t overwhelmingly positive.
Nina Purewal 1:19:36
Okay, interesting. Add this to your what did you say, 950 books that you’ve read? Yeah. I would love to hear your, your thoughts. And I know there is some and I hate using this term, but woowoo there is some woowoo in the law of attraction, but there’s science. There is science behind it. So that has been a really, really impactful read I’d say that In the last couple of years of the power of thought. The law of attraction, it’s about the power of thought you’re gonna put out there, I’m never going to do, I’m never gonna be able to do that, oh, that’s what you’re gonna manifest. That’s that sort of thing. This is what I see for myself, this is what I want. And intention setting takes it even a step further, you know, 10 years from now, what do I want? There’s power and thought, that’s really what it comes down to.
Clint Murphy 1:20:25
And I’ll be clear for the listeners. Because Because I actually do all of these things. I have 10 year plans, I say affirmations daily. I think where I challenge a lot of the concept of the law of attraction, is it actually does say in it, that you have to take the action. It’s not just the manifesting. And so really emphasizing the second half of the word and capitalizing action. So manifest, visualize, dream board. Now go get that shit done.
Nina Purewal 1:21:03
I love that, that’s funny, because I had a conversation, you know, with with an entrepreneur, she was looking for some advice. And we came up with a saying, and she made me a t shirt was hilarious. And you don’t want it today. But hustle and trust. Yes, yes. And trust, right. Like, do the work. Yeah, you can’t just sit there on a beat and manifest.
Clint Murphy 1:21:24
It’s not just gonna come to you.
Nina Purewal 1:21:27
You know, like, yeah, you got it, there’s a part of it. That is, you know, your action. And there’s a part of it that is, you know, the universal law and thing and the law of attraction for that, but yeah, you gotta do a bit of a both, and then you let go. And then also, you know, from the hustle standpoint, takes away a lot of the stress, because somebody’s like, hustle, hustle, and they’re trying to achieve, hustle. And then, like, I didn’t know where my business was gonna go. I gave myself one year, I was like, I’m gonna give it one year, I had two clients. If it doesn’t work out, I’m gonna go back to corporate. Well, six years later, 50 clients later, you know, a book. I mean, I didn’t know, I never I never wanted to be an author. Okay, I failed high school English. Probably because all the trauma. Yeah, I went from a straight A student. But I mean, you don’t know how that’s gonna manifest when you trust but do the hustle, let go. But you got to do the hustle. I agree with that.
Clint Murphy 1:22:18
And what’s on your shelf right now? What are you reading the enjoying at the moment?
Nina Purewal 1:22:22
I am reading a lot of books actually on if you’re really truly transparent on Tantra. On meditation, I’m trying to really enhance my practice right now I kind of dabble in, in a lot of different you know, there’s so many facets to me where, you know, there’s sometimes it’s business stuff. So I’ll have a few books going on at a time. But you know, growth, I really resonated with you, when I read your bio around, I want to keep growing, I want to keep learning and not just to get to the space. So a lot of what I read or the you know, educational stuff I get involved in is like, how do I continue to learn?
Clint Murphy 1:22:59
And I’m always reminded of because the listener might say, Well, wait, he’s always wanting to grow. But I thought we said we’re supposed to recognize we’re good enough. And there was a line I heard once from a visiting monk who said to the students, remember beautiful and perfect as you are, and you can be better. And so it’s that, that yeah, I’m enough. I’m good. I’m great today, and I can be better. So it’s just always recognizing and I was thinking in that line last night actually, how as a as a parent, we need to be a little better with that with with our kids. Because to your point, we’re always focusing on winning the game or hey, you got a tournament this weekend. You got to play this way instead of just saying you know, hey, so I’m proud of the proud of the man you’re becoming today. And you can always be better but I’m proud of you right now. Right so it sticks out.
Nina Purewal 1:23:59
I gotta be better. I just want to emphasize shouldn’t come from pressure. Should come from inspiration.
Clint Murphy 1:24:04
Yes, yes. From the more I fill my cup, the more I learn, the more I grow, the more I can share with the rest of the world, the more I can help other people and being that conduit is definitely definitely the goal. And Nina, what is something that you’ve spent less than $1,000 on in the last year that you’ve said, you know, I wish I’d bought this a little bit sooner.
Nina Purewal 1:24:27
Wow. Spent a less than $1,000 on Oh, that’s a great question. I’m having a hard time not very much of a shopper and a buyer because I’m so inwards.
Clint Murphy 1:24:40
So meditation cushions.
Nina Purewal 1:24:43
I was just gonna say that. You literally read my I literally was gonna say my new meditation cushions. That freaks me out or see the power of but I’m telling you energy. You totally are, you’re very present by the way you are very present. But yeah, I was gonna say my new my new meditation anything to enhance, you know my practice or things. They don’t cost a lot of money. That’s why I love this path.
Clint Murphy 1:25:12
Yeah. Also it’s so social media, I saw that there was a website I was on, I think it was Instagram probably. And it showed these images of these beautiful Japanese wood meditation tools, if you will. So for like kneeling and a little table and I was they were so beautiful. And I was like, oh, I want to and then I was like, but these are so expensive, like, all I need to do is sit on the ground. So I didn’t buy them. But I remember my son look at it looking at them and be like, Oh, those are so, so nice dad. And I think he might have said, but do you need them? Just use a pillow? Yeah, no, I don’t son.
Nina Purewal 1:25:57
I don’t need them. But I have to say posture is important. I meditate. That’s Yes, your butt is slightly elevated. So your spine is not curled. Because when we sit on the floor of the spine, so having that very good posture, not to put pressure on the posture, but just the more constrained your back is comfortably straight, the easier the airflow is in and out. So so that is an important practice. The other thing I would say was my What do you call them? Like the holders when you’re a content creator? And you can put your cell phone in?
Clint Murphy 1:26:25
Yeah. Yeah, so you’re not? Yeah, I try to keep my phone away from me. Yeah, I try to I try to do as much as possible the most of my content creation I do on the laptop, use different tools to post it. And then and then as much as possible, stay away from the phone, although not very good at it. So a last question for you What is in your life, something that you’ve done for growth, whether it’s a habit change, a behavior change, or or a mindset shift that’s had an oversized impact on your life?
Nina Purewal 1:27:06
Great question and is Chapter One of my book, which is awareness. I lived in a place of repression, suppression, toxic positivity, spiritual bypassing, I know, I say I was into spirituality in the 90s. But I didn’t address I kind of use that as a crutch, and the whole good vibes only, everything’s gonna be fine. It’s all gonna be okay. You know, I didn’t actually go inwards and evaluate the heaviness, my drawer that was so incredibly stuffed with things. So the awareness that I brought to self, and going on that inwards journey has by far been the MO and continues to be, like I said, I just did that 20 week trauma healing program, because I saw the crime scene and I’m 25 years later still traumatized by it can’t, you know, have a hard time seeing blood scenes and move it, you know, I have to move through that. So the constant work of going inwards and evaluating and becoming very aware of what’s in there, because as I said, in that line in the book, you cannot let shit go unless you bring the ship to surface and it’s painful, and it’s hard sometimes. But is it ever empowering and relieving when we’re able to look at it? And then let it go.
Clint Murphy 1:28:21
That’s beautiful. Nina, we went pretty deep and wide. And there’s so much more for the listeners go get the book. There’s so many more beautiful lessons for them to pick up. But is there anything specific that you can think of that we didn’t cover that you want to make sure you get across to the listners?
Nina Purewal 1:28:39
Yeah, I think this journey is so personal. And you know what’s right for you. The power of your intuition, the power of that whole 8 billion people in the world but there is only one you. Lean in you know, and I know we talked about this, but I just want to reiterate, stop looking externally for all the validation for the should. Go inwards we are so there’s so much power in that so lean in heal yourself from the inside out, not through all these external you know, get by in the house for whatever you’re doing. You know, retail therapy, whatever you’re doing outside to fix it. It’s a band aid until you actually go inwards.
Clint Murphy 1:29:19
Love it and where can our listeners find you?
Nina Purewal 1:29:21
NinaPurewal.com I picked my poison with social media. So I saw you’re you know, on Twitter, I’m not on Twitter, I’m on Instagram or I’m on LinkedIn. I tiktoked three times now and I just can’t but my website you can find you know how to get your hands on the book, corporate workshops. I do stuff with kids. I do stuff in grieving, but NinaPurewal.com
Clint Murphy 1:29:42
Perfect and we will get all that in the show notes. Thank you for joining me today. It was great conversation
Nina Purewal 1:29:47
Thank you for much for that wonderful conversation. I so appreciate it.