Since starting BodyMindLife in 2002 Phil Goodwin always sensed that he was working towards his  purpose, but like most of us, he’s encountered the full spectrum of obstacles, self-doubt and transition.

Here, Phil reflects on his ‘moment of no return’ and shares 16 lifehacks to harnessing the very best version of yourself.

Coming to terms with my purpose was a transformation for me. My epiphany happened and BOOM. That was it. I realised that the more I followed my purpose the more energy I had.

BodyMindLife is a direct reflection of this but I had to make significant life adjustments to step into this state.

Over time, my purpose has become stronger and now it is super clear. With all my heart and soul I am hear to help, support, inspire, motivate and move people towards transformation – to be the best version of themselves.

My experiences also taught me that  you teach most what you need to learn and at times that has been a challenge as the ebbs and flows of life take hold.

I have been very involved with yoga and “spirituality” for the best part of the last 17 years. I have been lucky enough to be able to observe myself through the lens of yoga since my early 30’s.

Like all people my journey has been up and down and a constant evolution and sometimes (a perceived) regression as I strive to build my ability to overcome habits and patterns that hold me back from being who I can be.

However, as so often happens, some of the seemingly worst experiences of my life (in that moment) turned out to be the miracles 🙂

I am extremely interested in personal power, how we create it, how we waste it or how we don’t realise we have it! I am particularly interested in the ability to have someone overcome their inner psychology – the habitual self or way of being – in order to become who and what they really want to be. And that to me really is the meaning of “being the best version of yourself”

Along the pathway I have been connected to some extraordinary teachers and mentors. I have learnt hard lessons often twice or more. I have explored yoga, in fact that has been my business and passion for the past 15 years. I have studied Yoga, Taoism, aspects of traditional Chinese medicine, nutrition, functional movement, theosophical teachings, anatomy, Kabbalistic teachings and have been on a constant quest to discover my own truth, purpose and existence.

My life prior to yoga was trading the financial markets for an international bank. I loved and thrived on the intensity and pressure but that came at a cost. My wellbeing. I felt lost and disillusioned in life by the time I was 30.

Now in my my mid-40s and with a two year old daughter and wife Ferique (who is as much an inspiration to me as well as being a BIG part of the vision) my feelings are intensifying, there is an energy and passion that I have not experienced before and it is exciting to feel that passion.

One thing I know for sure is that I am inherently lazy. My practice of yoga really progressed through working out how I can make the postures and breathing easier. I am a big fan of 20% effort for 80% results. I have naturally become curious about human potential on a physical and mental level and any “lifehacks” that makes my life easier – from technology to health I try it and if it works I adopt it.

In my 20’s and 30’s I took so much for granted.

Life can change very quickly I like to think about what I can do right now that will make a big difference in the future.

Here are some of my learnings:

1. Practice Yoga or Pilates: as a discipline for your mind and for building strength, stability and flexibility. On one level yoga is about conscious movement. By moving your body into postures that create sensation,  we begin to understand that working at the edge of discomfort (with the right attitude and practices) we can move through that barrier to a new level of ease. In essence we begin to understand patterns of thought and the development of awareness.  These are the essence of living a more satisfying and happy life.

Its good to move your body, like anything it atrophies if not used. Yoga, when practiced safely, is the finest modality to effectively and efficiently strengthen and improve flexibility and coordination.

For core stabilisation and strength there is nothing better than reformer Pilates. Yoga and Pilates are a whole body workout.

Most importantly they highlight our resistances, and in that moment its our choice to have the courage to confront and move through the resistance or avoid it. Yoga is a wonderful metaphor for life.

2. Meditate: how you think directly relates to the quality of your life. The mind is everything. Understand the nature of your thoughts. Are they predominantly positive or negative? . Why do you make the decisions that you do? That’s your psychology. The good news is you can change your thoughts and beliefs if that serves you. Meditation enables contemplation and creates  SPACE in this non stop life. It is only when we create space in our life (thoughts) that something new can come through us.

It has been said that the magic of life is in the space between your thoughts. That’s well worth pondering. You have 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day at least 90% are repetitive. Meditation is an essential tool to finding peace and harmony in daily life.

3. Keep your body in the best shape possible: exercise, good nutrition and hydration practices. Your body and brain is a science lab.  If the chemical mix is imbalanced your emotions, mood, attitude, motivation – everything – suffers. Hydration is most important and with food quality declining, supplementation for most is essential.  And it is super important to do Cardio work – especially yogi people. Feel your heart rate increase – going for a fast swim or beach sprint are my favorites.

4.Keep track of your life: Write a Journal. I am a serial measurer – I love the quantified self! This includes recording my feelings and how I react to situations and learn from them. I start everyday considering what I am grateful for, what would make today great and a daily affirmation…and that’s before I hit my business list which starts with 2 core objectives that I must complete today.

5. Breathe  As you  a consistent yoga practice will teach you, your breath has the power to transform your physiology. Adjusting my breath to counter spikes in emotion has become a nearly automatic response. A yoga practice make you super aware of how you either respond or react in life. Before the action be conscious of your breath to see if you’re in or out of balance. Breathing fully and enabling your lungs to do their job –  oxygenation of the blood is vital for health and wellbeing.

6. Do Energetic work : While this is a little ‘woo woo’ for some, when it comes down to it understanding how you manage your self, your energy is a secret to life.  Emotions are energy in motion. Learning how to express your emotions and manage your energy appropriately is a masterful tactic to learn. Along the journey of life when you begin to pay attention you begin to “see”  the circumstances, people and habits that deplete you conversely you can also feel when you receive energy from living your life in a way that supports you can assist you in making the right lifestyle choices that ultimately lead you toward well being.

7.Don’t think of circumstances in terms of good or bad. Things are as they are. These are experiences to learn and grow from.This changes the way you relate to life.

8. Feed your vision of a better self Change occurs when desire for change is greater than the resistance. Its only at this point in time that you can overcome habitual patterns and begin the process of positive change.

9. Observe the 80–20 rule. As a rule most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes. Apply this rule to your life. Learn to focus on the small number of things that create the largest positive change in business and your life. Remembering that time is your most valuable asset, (especially as you get older:) look at where you focus most of your time and energy. For most people this shift in focus is transformational.

These next three are borrowed from Adam Robinson who was interviewed by Tim Ferris recently.

These are my morning mantra

10. Fun, enthusiasm and delight in everything you do.

11. Really connect with everyone I encounter

12. Dig deep and lean into each moment expecting miracles and magic

and the 4 Toltec Agreements:

13. Be impeccable with your word

14. Don’t take things personally

15. Don’t make assumptions

16. Always do your best

I’ve been working with these principles to effect change in my life. Change is about becoming aware. To be able to “see” and shift through habits that do not serve you requires energy, vitality…and a little professional help.

BodyMindLife is about empowering people to transform through education. When people are informed and have a desire to change anything in their life, they can make better lifestyle decisions.

If you feel you need to realign and shift your energy come and visit our newest addition BodyMindBeing – a wellness centre with a difference.

Specifically geared towards helping others shift gears, VRAI Health (VRAI means true) merges cutting edge science, state of the art HOT (Far Infrared Sauna), COLD (Whole Body Cryotherapy) and OXYGEN (Hyperbaric Oxygen) therapies, ancient healing techniques and contemporary health and wellness modalities to bring you an extensive menu of treatments that enhance, soothe, heal and relax – your body, your mind and your whole being…

Stop by our centres in Surry Hills and Redfern as I would love to meet you and support you to be the best version of yourself.

Namaste !

Phil

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Phil Goodwin Founder, Chief Fun Officer, Facilitator Teacher Training, Yoga and Meditation Teacher

As the Founder of BodyMindLife, Phil has a passion for people, yoga, inspired leadership, community and business. Phil found yoga and meditation after 10 years of trading financial markets and knows first hand of its transformative effects from high-stress environments.

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