The Key to Thinking Faster Through Deep Embodiment

The Key to Thinking Faster with Deep Embodiment

Deep Embodiment is the Fast Track to Hypofrontality.

How to move your thoughts from your head to your body through deep embodiment which puts you into an altered state known as hypofrontality, allowing you to tap into your most creative, productive, and efficient self without causing burning out.

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Paul Desmond Adams: [00:00:00] One of the fastest ways for you to get into a flow state is through a physical connection to what you're doing. If you're writing a speech, that's gonna be difficult. If you're writing a book, that's gonna be difficult. If you're coding, that may be difficult. Deep embodiment physically is an external trigger to flow.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:00:17] And we're talk about how you can take advantage of that, where you can disconnect from everything that's happening around you and within you and you can just reach that place, a flow, that effortless performance.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:00:30] It's all in this episode of The Key.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:00:33] You're listening to the key. My name is Paul Desmond Adams. I'm a national radio personality, digital media consultant and performance and productivity coach. I'm joined by my co-host, John Hawkins Jr. He's a licensed psychotherapist and peak performance strategist. This show is about achieving peak performance by employing the practical resources around you, releasing the natural potential within you, and accessing the infinite power beyond you. We hope this episode is the key to unlocking your maximum potential.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:01:11] All right, John, let's jump into this deep embodiment, getting that physical connection to what we're doing, even if what we're doing is not physical. How do we do that?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:01:19] We've talked ad nauseum about the importance of accessing flow states for your spirituality, your performance, your relationships. I mean, in all context, it'll unlock the highest potential you'll ever have as a human. So there's three that are external, three that are internal, ten are social.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:01:38] We're gonna get to all these things, and one's creative.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:01:40] and does that come from Stephen Kotler's research or is that Csíkszentmihályi's?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:01:46] I think that's Csíkszentmihályi. Kotler's done some things to elaborate on some of his stuff and, you know, really work individually him and his, I think the co-founder, Jamie Wheal's, his name. They started a thing called the Flow Genome Project. It's kind of a cool thing to you can go on there and you can get a flow profile rating. So it's a quick quiz and there's four dominant flow profiles, which means the way you access flow the strongest and most frequently. It can can be bits of all four. And it'll give you a primary category, a subcategory. So for me, my main category of how I get the highest flow states is what's called a hard charger. And then my subcategory's, deep thinker. So getting, you know, flow is about being in the now, being immersed totally in the now. And nothing will probably fast track that more than this third of the three external flow triggers. Deep embodiment.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:02:38] Really quick, You can go there. Great site, go there. Fill out the survey and figure out what your triggers are.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:02:47] So it's great and there's some things we can give you too, with what to do with that. Yeah, that we'll talk about. It's like a fun little quiz, it's not like, you know, super complicated or anything like that, but it is research based. They've got some good resources on the site. There's some more articles. That's what they do their main focus on. I think now they've expanded that into some other altered states of consciousness, which is what flow is, too. Yeah.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:03:08] With what happens in your brain like we've talked about in this flow specific episodes and then neurochemically, how it is a tremendously altered state of conscious on a bunch of fronts. So to be, you know flow follows focus, you got to be here now in the moment. And it really, you know, in my work as a psychotherapist or if I'm doing performance coaching, this is one of the big crossover places because people are very disembodied, you know, in the West we're very, you know, we give cognition the primary focus. And so there's good parts of that.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:03:41] But I can tell you, working with people, the first thing I have to do is get them connected to their body, because in therapy, the goal is to access some of these blocked emotions, different things that we've had to dissociate from in order to heal or unlock our potential, we've got to get connected to that energy. Let it move through our body, release or, you know, expand in positive ways that energizes us, that unleashes positive effective action. So the first step is to get people connected in that, you know, when I ask them what they're feeling, their body typically would look at me like I got three heads. Have no idea what I'm talking about.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:04:15] I feel fine in my body that a good thing.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:04:18] They always give me a thought. Yeah, or they shake their head.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:04:21] I feel pretty good.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:04:22] Yeah, they shake their head. Nothing. Right. Right. And so I said, well, you'd be dead so we have another issue to deal with. You're always experiencing something, or I've never, one time in thousands of people, I've never met one person who initially can tell you what they're feeling. Every single person will either tell you a thought or to tell you what they're not feeling. I don't feel anxious. I don't feel this. I don't feel that, right? I'm like, well, I don't care what you don't feel, what do you feel?

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:04:52] Right. That's a struggle. I know it was for me to and I hope, as you're listening on this, that you pause and make note of that because it's key to understanding that and just, you know, I find I do that a lot as I'll do morning breathing exercises and then when I'm finished breathing, I'll just feel. What am I feeling? I'm feeling something somewhere. And then, like you always say, just allowing that to be there and be aware of it, not guide it, not prompt it, not suppress it. Yeah, just be aware of it.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:05:19] And it's again, going back to like mindfulness meditation. It is the essence of simplicity. Everybody over complicates the hell out of it. But I mean, I'll give examples. I'll say, okay, as we're talking right now, I can feel an itch on the back of the right side of my head. I feel a little warm in my face? This is what I'm asking. There's nothing that's relevant or irrelevant.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:05:42] So if you look at like processing speed so the primitive parts of the brain are faster for survival reasons. So before we even get to performance, I was using the example with you of let's say, you know, everyone's but I had that experience where you almost got a car wreck or you did or somebody swerved in front of you on the interstate. And before you could even think your body reacted, you swerved, you're out. You know, you get the pins, needles. But there was no conscious thought. There was just action. Yeah. I mean, unless you go into a freeze-state or something, you're just going to react. And, you know, in a way that's quick. You don't have time to think.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:06:15] When this happens with the physical, is that a trigger to that subconscious taking over then? Otherwise you have to consciously shift to your subconscious? Is that right?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:06:26] Yeah. I mean, it's again, it's rapid because it's survival based. So, if you ever been running or walking and you see something out of the corner of your eye and you jump. Right. And it turns out to be a stick. But initially it's like that might be a snake. You don't even think it's if you jumped and then you looked as that a snake or a stick. Because it's adaptive. If I sit there and try to slowly figure out what is that over there is that a... I could've been bitten already.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:06:51] So I guess the better way of saying that is it's not about... because we talk about letting go and allowing the subconscious to take over. Yeah. So it's it's not about letting go. It's getting that pulled away from you.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:07:03] So now, you know, the example I use, it's very simple. Most people are going to understand this is learning how to type. So when I had, you know, learned how to type, I used my explicit system, explicit memory of memorizing the letters on the keyboards, the ESDF and the J or whatever and the semicolon. Right. Is very conscious. And then I'm practicing. This would  should be like that struggle phase. You know, that we're gonna get into. And then it starts to move into my implicit system with enough repetition. My brain is doing that pattern recognition, linking, chunking, and eventually I start to get a point where it starts to pick up speed as I stop thinking about it. Right. So now if I'd just let go, I can probably type like 900 words a minute. If I stop and think about what I'm doing. It probably drops to like 30.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:07:52] Yeah. That's why I always drop grammar when I'm just typing and then go back later and I figure all that out and make sure that works.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:07:58] Yeah. So just go. It's the same thing like so if you're looking at... I mean everything from what I do like coaching or therapy with people to athletic performance to computer programming. Once you've put in that work and you've developed a skill set and it's gotten imprinted in your implicit system, what they call procedural memory. You know, it becomes like this automatic thing. If I use Dobb and start to evaluate and think about what I'm doing, it'll just shut the whole thing down. Yeah. You get caught in your head, you get... so especially when you're talking about a performance, whether it's like dance, music, you know, I'm also a musician so I remember playing live in front people for years. And, you know, I could be in rehearsal or, you know, at a warehouse, my house and you're just having fun jam and letting go and you're just like, you get in that zone, right? You get in some of those flow states, you get in front of a crowd of people and you start thinking. You know, the first couple of songs are like, oh, don't make a mistake. Right? You know, like you get... And so it slows everything down and it just enables you to perform as well as you could until you can get past that state and just let go again and trust that I've got, you know, the abilities, the muscle memory, all that kind of stuff that just take over and do it by feel.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:09:12] Being on the radio for years and years I found that to be true as well. When I talk about recording versus being live. Yeah, you may be know that with music as well. If I'm recording something and I mentally know that I'm recording it, I'm processing it all cognitively, I'm all doing all that. We do it when we do this podcast. The intro of this episode I tried five times, but if we were live, there's something that happens within me where it just flows, for lack of a better term. And that's what this is all about. I forgot what it was like when I first started on the air. I was very conscious. "Did I say that right? How should I say this?" Once you've done it for a while and you have that deliberate practice and the experience all that then live is awesome because there's risk and all those things. That's awesome that that's flow!

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:10:03] Yeah, like when I, you know, again, have a social connection, one of the flow profiles is a crowd pleaser. So it's not like people pleaser, but it's like you really like to work in teams and you get energized by the group. So I remember some of my professional career. I mean, there's some really powerful one on one work. I mean, I can think of countless incidents, but some of my most intense like flow experiences were running groups. And so I would have a group and if it was just going, well, it's like I can... I'm so present. I'm not even thinking I can feel everyone in the room. It's just stuff is coming to me. You know, like you're very embodied. It's like you can, you know, feel the reactions my bodies have and what people are saying or how they're feeling. I mean, you could just feel it. So there's this thing called group flow that you get the whole group... And I've been in groups where the whole group is in flow. I would say it's more powerful than the individual flow for me. So it's getting into the groove of that. So if you're disconnected and you're very in your head, they can say you have a career that is a very cognitive career. You know, I might be working with a business person or... so they're often like very in their head. And so when they move out of that context, they have a really hard time in how they interact or perform in other context because they don't know how to move. So I'm telling you, there is so much happening that we're missing out on that's going on in the body emotionally, information you're picking up on energy, things that will come into your conscious awareness as you let go and get out of the way. So any practice that you engage in that creates this consistent sense of being present, embodied... You know, we're gonna get into that a minute. I mean, these things really facilitate and help. You know, like we were saying, everything.... If you have like a car wreck or you're paddling into an 80 foot wave or dropping down a thousand foot cliff to, you know, ski or snowboard, poof, like it puts you in your body quick. It's like I'm going to die, if I'm not present right if I'm thinking.... That's why people love, you know, surfing, things like that. Like, cause it really wha... I don't have? I just can't think about other stuff. I have to be present. It's a great feeling to be in the now in the moment, you know, doing things, not even thinking loss of self-consciousness. All the stuff we talk about of why, you know, accessing flow states is so important. But then there's these other things like. So it's, you know, in my marathon training I've been doing. One of things we're gonna talk about second is... there's different flow meditations that I use from a guy name Wilson Meloncelli. I think he's of Irish descent and he's got an accent. It's kind of cool. But, you know, he's he was an MMA fighter. He was in special operations in some military thing, I think, in Ireland.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:12:45] So I like some of his short three minute meditations about flow and they really get you embodied, you're really tracking what you're feeling in your body. And so what I use them for, like let's say when I run in 15, 18, 20 miles, even though I'm doing all these things to try to get myself in a flow state, sometimes, you know, it's not a danger or things like that. So it's my head can drift, I can kind of zone out, which sometimes is good and other times it pulls me out the moment and I start feeling fatigued again. So what I use these meditations for... Like here refers to them as weapons, is that get back in the moment and back in my body. So I'll go in my mind... One of those ones I did around attention or intention or belief because it has this real embodied component to it. It enabled me to kind of like focus on my body again and pull me back into the moment. You start getting up to those distances. Let's say you're like two miles out and you start dreaming of being done already and then and now you're getting more fatigued again. You're like, oh, like I in the zone and now I'm like, oh, two more miles an hour. So when I use those to bring myself back into now and focus on just my rhythm of running feeling my body and it kind of gets me back in the place I want to be.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:13:55] So what are some things that I could do? What are those meditations? What are they doing to me chemically? Neurologically (same thing)? What's happening inside of me and how do I turn that on?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:14:06] Well, I would say as a practice, I mean, things like mindfulness meditation where you're tracking and making the focal point parts of your body. Martial arts with movement, yoga, those flow meditations that I use. You know, just being present, being focused and intentional. You know, some of the clients I'll have start out, 'I want you to just spend this week (like might be the first week or first session or two they see me) and I'll say I want you to just check in throughout the day of what am I feeling in my body?" You know, if I'm eating an amazing, you know, sandwich or dinner, like, what does it feel like? If I'm upset, where do I feel that energy in my body" If I'm happy, where do I feel that energy and how long can I stay with it? You know, so you start to notice and you're just really starting to orient that way.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:14:52] Yeah. Mindfulness meditation, that's gonna be the practice you're going to do that's going to raise your awareness of what's happening inside of you, what you're feeling, because you've been intentional about it. So when you've got to turn that on to get into a flow state is going to be a lot easier for you. You've done it a lot.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:15:06] Yeah, you're kind of more used to being... And you'll notice the impact in your relationships are kind of slowing down a little bit. You know, everybody talks about, you know, oh yeah, I believe meditation is great for you, but nobody does it. So there's an article on our website if you want to check that out. It's called "why is meditation so hard?" that I wrote that really gives some guidance and help to break through some of the blocks that most people have to meditation because I'll try it or try it out. Right. And they'll say "Yeah, I read an article about all the benefits. I agree one-hundred percent" but no... Very few people do it consistently. And in that article I talk about why and how to overcome those blocks.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:15:38] Fantastic. Why is meditation so difficult? We'll link to it in this show. You can get the show notes for this episode by going to We'll put a link to that article. You can also find out all the information we're sharing in this episode as well. That'll help. I know with mindfulness meditation, when I first started it, it helped me a lot with my conversation. Because, you may have noticed, John, I can get a little distracted sometimes. I'm noticing, I see people walk by things. I'm like, "well, who's that? Is that clown? No, there's a dog." But when I started practicing meditation, I was able to become more mindful of what you were saying and less distracted. Now, I still have that issue. I still notice everything. But it helped me switch that on at any given time. The more you do it, the more you can switch that on.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:16:26] One things I like about these slow meditations is. I mean, there be you know, we're very mindful component to them is. So an example would be, you know, walking through using one of the ones I used from him, it would be OK. Think of it time and again. You know, if we did one of these or could do it in a much different voice and cadence and all that kind of stuff.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:16:43] Would you start talking really slowly and really soft with some bells or something? A bowl or singing bowls.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:16:47] Sound like Barry White or something.So you would structure it like, okay, think of a time that you had, you know, a high level of attention that you were just very present. Your attention was focused. Think of what that felt like. Remember how you felt in your body. And now the progression would go into, as you think of that right now, notice what you feel in your body. Notice where that energy is now. Just really focus and observe that energy, watch how it moves and expands in your body or what parts it goes to. What else, where your mind goes. And you really feel into that. You know, and you do that over the course of those few minutes until you can really feel the energy. And then, you know, you slowly kind of come back.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:17:37] What's happening to you inside? Because this is very similar to what you do with your coaching clients, even with therapy clients and addiction recovery, all the things and so much comes back to this. So what you and I did when you worked through a lot of this with me. What's happening when that's happening, when you're doing that meditation, you're out... You you do this during your run?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:17:55] Yeah. So like when I'm starting to get fatigued, I can tell I'm not present, I'm thinking a bunch of stuff as I'll use them to bring me back into the moment. So let's say for me, like it takes me... if I'm going to do a long run like fifteen to twenty miles or something like that, you know, I'll get the first three to four usually are kind of rough because when you're running that distance, even if I stretch, you're still kind of tight and sore from all the training.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:18:21] Yeah.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:18:22] Eventually I'll really warm up. And then by using these other flow triggers like... there's different ways I will incorporate risk. I'll do different routes every time I run to create that rich environment like novelty, complexity, uncertainty, always the outside I could never imagine 50 miles on a treadmill. So then, you know, I'll be in the zone where it's like, okay, all of a sudden things click, all the pain is gone. I'm like floatin, you know, and runners high's different than flow and flow is much more powerful. But I'll really start to get in that zone where I feel just invincible and like I could run 50 miles, you know? But let's say I get to mile 13, 14, 15, and, you know, I got stress going on my life for some financial issue. And I start to think about that stuff again. And all of a sudden I could feel like I'm not feeling invincible anymore. I'm starting to feel fatigued. And I notice it and I'm like, okay, I've got to get myself present again, get back into my body, get out of my head. You know, just start to feel my rhythm of running. And like, bring me back into that zone that I was just in before I started drifting away from it, you know.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:19:31] What's happening like... because you said if I start to detach from the present moment and I think about something I got to do with a rental property or something. Right. I'm dealing with that. What's happening inside of me and why is that detrimental to my performance?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:19:46] Well, what's happening in those cases is you're getting... We talk about the neurochemistry of flow. and the dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins and anthimides, serotonin, is you can start to get pulled back into fight or flight, which is the norepinephrine and cortisone and epinephrine, adrenaline,.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:20:02] Stress hormones.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:20:03] Yes. Now it's like getting you back into that. You know, which is the entry point into peak performance and flow. But you can, you know, drift back into that. Now other things that you do that you don't have time to think so much, you know, you don't get pulled into that as easily, cause you just have to be present. Some things where your head can start to wander and all that kind of stuff. You know, like one of the episodes, I can't remember, we did where there was a study on elite swimmers versus amateur swimmers and how they would get that feeling at the beginning that the amateurs would interpret as anxiety and want to get rid of and find strategies to like calm it. The elites were like, OK, they welcomed it. They wanted it because it really filled their body with energy. And they saw it as like, okay, like it's getting me like woohooo. You know, until they jumped in a pool and started kind of getting into the rhythm of what they do.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:20:54] So there is, again, adrenaline going through your system. When you're talking about interpersonal relationships, spirituality, some of these other things where you'd be trying to, you know, optimize it or get into a flow state; if you track that energy... So your brain and your nervous system basically is two things, energy and information moving around. And so different parts of your brain allow you to become aware of different, you know, experiences or, you know, sensory input. So as you're just tracking that, it starts to take you places. So let's say if I notice, ok, I'm sitting, you know, having coffee with someone, I'm working with a client. It's an emotional connection. And I'm noticing how I'm being affected by them.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:21:40] You're physically being affected by them?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:21:42] Physically. Right. I can feel... Let's say I feel a tremendous amount of sadness as they're telling me their story and I feel all this empathy and compassion for them and it makes you want to go into some form of action, whether that's just continue to make space for them and listen or share with them how, you know, as I hear you say that, I just weight all over my chest. I'm thinking of what you went through was just tremendously sad for me, now hearing your story, you know, or appreciation, like, you know, energy builds inside me. I'm so in tune with that cause I'm doing it all day, every day. But I'm just so appreciative right now of your courage and sharing that with me or I'm so grateful. It means so much to me. Your gratitude. You just expressed right, and it's the energy inside of us who pulls you in to do those things to express love and gratitude or admiration.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:22:34] If we're in tune with them, you're in tune with it. I think we'll all miss that a lot. I know I do.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:22:39] Yeah, like when I'm working with couples or a group of people just aren't oriented towards it. So let's say I one of the people in the relationship starts to have a very powerful emotional experience. The other one just gabbin' away, they don't even notice. And I'll have to just intervene slowly and say, "Can we just stop for one second? Somethings really important is happening here right now. And they aren't even tuned into it. Right. You're just not used to orienting... No one's really ever taught them that or showed them that. And so most of my clients if they work with me long enough, they're just like man, like, I just never knew. I never knew all these emotions existed or like how I'm being affected by people, makes you know, the way they want to express things to others like love and gratitude. I mean, they're just. And so in a performance situation, like, let's say if I'm speaking in front of a crowd.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:23:31] Perfect. Yeah.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:23:34] I get that initial excitement, little edginess where I'm like, OK, you know, it's getting me all jacked up.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:23:41] What we all anxiety like we're we're nervous.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:23:43] But it's the same release. It's how you interpret it.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:23:46] Right. Right.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:23:47] So then I'm like, okay, I'm pumped. Then it really just takes over at some point where. OK. That first minute I'm talking and I'm getting loose.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:23:56] But hold on, because I want to make sure I don't miss this because I do this. And I do feel that. And I have learned... What I always told myself is that anxiety is just my desire to do well. And so I have to allow that.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:24:07] You can just allow it. Like I'm seeing, it probably on a bit of both, you know, like a little bit of like, a little edge there to it, but also some excitement, because I know if I'm going to speak about something I'm passionate about, I really feel like I have value to give people and I'm just like I can't wait to deliver it to him.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:24:25] Once I get going I mean, I'm just feeling the energy like I can feel it in my upper body just... And it starts to just go. Now I'm not thinking anymore. I'm pulling all kinds of stuff and connections. If I stop and try to evaluate myself, it's "oooooo". It inhibits it. But I know if I get to a point, I know that energy is just going to take over and I'm gonna start to go into that state where it's just like... I don't even... I could care less. I don't care if I stumble with my word or... It's just meaningless to me. I'm just like, I'm in the zone, like I just want to give, give, give. Like, I'm like I'm connecting with people. I can see their responses and it's just this powerful feeling. And it's, you know, that's what a flow state would feel like where you're speaking and you start to drop into that zone. Yep. Yeah. You know, you're just linking things and I'm creating things I've never said before, in the moment. Yeah. And you're just like letting it happen, right?

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:25:15] Speaking is a great example when you think about risk and environment, rich environment usually in group of people you're watching, there's all these different faces and eyeballs.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:25:24] So you got all three right there.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:25:26] And of course, we all have a fear of public speaking because of the massive risk that we perceive with this. I love this. This is so perfect for understanding what flow is for somebody like me where that's what I do or speaking on the radio or speaking publicly. I think most of us tried it. I think we make the mistake of feeling that embodiment physically and trying to shake it off instead of allowing that to exist and allowing that to pull us into that flow state.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:25:54] Yeah, so some of it's attribution, the meaning you put on it. Where I'm saying, OK, see that? Sorta like my chest is tight, my heart's a little racy. So what I want you to do to do your best to just... That's what it is. It's tightness in my chest and my heart speeds up a little bit. It doesn't mean anything.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:26:12] Don't attach it to some other...

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:26:13] Don't attach a meaning to it. So again, it's something we work on. I'm not saying people just can do that immediately. I'm said it's... all it's happening right now is your adrenals have just released adrenaline into your bloodstream. That's all it is.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:26:26] Thank you, perfect. Yes.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:26:28] So we're just gonna get curious with that and watch it, observe how it moves in your body and see if it takes your mind anywhere in the future, the past, and`the present. Like if things come to you, we're going to sit with that together and we're gonna track and observe it.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:26:44] But I can do this before I walk up on a stage. I could do that or I just... A lot of times we all go on a rebounder and bounce or they're trying to burn off all their energy and just use it up, consume it, because it's a fear thing. It's a fight or flight.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:26:56] And yeah, I mean, and you're talking to somebody who's to have horrific speech anxiety, myself. So now when I get up, I can... what I love to do because I've accumulated so much information, being the nerd that I am. I just have an outline. I never have a scripted speech. You know, and I like to get up there and I like to put myself in a situation where I don't know what's going to happen. So I need that risk. Okay, I'm gonna speak in front of two, three hundred people. And I know what I'm gonna talk about I don't know exactly how I'm going to talk about it. What the links are going to be and I'm just going to jump in and get going and I'm gonna start feeling the room and I'm going to start noticing how people what they're responding to, what's coming out of me in reaction to them and add some. It'll just take over at some point. It's just like... All those factors, like we just talk about not just drop... at some point I'll make this turn and that's that flow thing where it goes from that fight or flight to you get... you know, you have to trust, like OK, I've put in so much work accumulating this information and the experience I have that if I just let go and trust that you can feel this room, you can vibe to it. Stuff will start to come to you. Then you get that nitrous oxide release, which is flushes all the corazon, calm you down and then everything goes up. All those nerve transmitters we we talked about.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:28:17] Where does that happen, that nitrous oxide release? Does that happen in the moment as you're going into a flow state? Is it pre-flow is it once you're in flow?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:28:25] So it's it's the doorway in. It's a transition from the fight-or-flight into the full-blown flow. There's four phases of flow. There's struggle which where you're acquiring skills, you're putting in that effort. Then there's release. So that's what we're talking about right now. So a lot of people can't get out the struggle. They can't get out of their head. They've got too many emotional blocks. Their too critiquing their performance. Right. They just get a cortisol loop. Then the release will drop you into full-blown flow and then there's the recovery phase. Like I said, we're gonna do episodes on all these. But for me, so like using that as an example, like when I had the speech anxiety, I could never get out of the cortisol loop. It was just all a struggle. And I'm up there so self-conscious. I'm nervous. I can't get past that, you know? And when I was really working out of that... You know, I had to do work around what we're just talking about, the meaning I was putting on that. So I had to normalize, like it's OK to be a little nervous before you speak in front of a couple hundred people. Right? It's normal. Right. And so I would do things strategically like, get the audience involved or have, you know, maybe I would script the first minute. Just something that I didn't have to think so much. Right. Get me going. Until I knew I felt comfortable in my body. Relaxed. Now I'm like taken over, you know.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:29:41] Yeah. Yeah. Exactly right. But I think that's a key there that that you you've got to realize this is normal. Don't try to get rid of this. This is part of it.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:29:49] Part of it. So a lot of it's the meaning you place on it. Right. And you've given yourself some ways... so that if you look at all kinds of stories around business people and athletes and stuff, of how, let's say a team is struggling and the guys like, you know what, we're all going to go out for beers tonight or play miniature golf or something, You know, like just get them out of their head, get them loose, and then they come back in like crush it the next day.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:30:12] Right. Yeah.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:30:13] So this would be, you know, release doesn't have to just happen in a moment, but could be a process like taking the whole team out for, you know, video games and pizza or something silly. Right. It just gets people to relax. Yeah. You know, like Joe Montana with that. Like how great he was at that. That famous story where they were down with like a minute and some left at the (I can't which Super Bowl it was), they were playing the Bengals in Miami, it was like 1989 I think and... you know he's, I don't know how many, eighty yards out or something and he gets in the huddle and the teams all tense and he's like, hits the guy next to him and he's like "Hey that's John Candy over there. Did you see in the front row? That was John Candy."

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:30:50] Yeah I remember you saying this. Yes.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:30:51] Yeah. And they all look at him like, "Well okay. I guess Joe's not worried like I guess we got this." and they just drove the whole field and scored the winning touchdown.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:30:58] That was so great because that did allow everybody to release that. Like, just allow that, like, oh, hey, it's okay. We're all here together. And we're feeling the same anxiety and the apprehension and it's OK.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:31:10] We've got the game plan. We've put in the work.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:31:13] I think the big thing that most of us do is is try to shake off all of these great flow triggers. We try to make them more subdued.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:31:20] Eliminate risk.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:31:21] Eliminate risk and minimize...

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:31:24] Overthink it.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:31:24] ...your environment.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:31:25] Get in a routine.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:31:27] Yeah, More routine. A predictable environment. So we're doing that. And then with the deep embodiment we're trying to detach ourselves or like you say, dissociate. Yeah.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:31:38] This is another, you know, neuroscience reason why playing it safe, you will never achieve your potential.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:31:44] Can we end on that?

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:31:45] We could.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:31:46] I like that because playing it safe will keep you from reaching your potential. I love it. And then next episode we're gonna talk about letting go. That paradox of control as some call it, but just letting go where we know physically, as you said, when that car cuts you off, you're letting go. Whether you like it or not, because you're just going to react instinctively. Yeah, but when you're doing this intentionally before you get on that stage to speak, letting go and allowing yourself to go into that flow state.

John Hawkins Jr.: [00:32:15] And part of that is understanding the science behind it to say like, okay, I've said this before, your brain, your conscious mind or explicit system can process roughly around 120 bits of information at a time. Your subcortical brain, the implicit system, billions at a time. So what's the bigger creative resource? Right. So then it's... you can't skip putting in the work, right? If you put in the work and you know you've done it, find a way to get loose, get embodied. Notice what you're feeling, get in the present moment and get up there and let go. And just let that all that training you've done and the work you've put in, whether it's research for your project or company or presentation or whatever it is and just let go and and tune into that, you know, because if you get caught in your head, you'll never achieve what you could achieve intellectually, creatively.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:33:05] Save it for the next episode. The episode coming up next is 35 and we'll talk about that release thing. We're going to do that in the next episode, just in case you were wondering.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:33:14] And so make sure you subscribe because you're going to catch that about how to let go when you feel all this stuff. Thanks, John, so much.

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:33:21] Hey, there's some resources at You can get a little print out that'll make this real easy for you to understand and kind of keep in front of you. Maybe put together something for yourself so that you know, "hey, man, this good. This is okay. Let's not get rid of this. Let's allow it. And let's just move into flow state." It's all at

Paul Desmond Adams: [00:33:43] And that's it. We're done. Next one, all about letting go. I hope you're with us for that. If you love this show, please rate it and review it. Subscribe, of course. But then beyond that, rate it and review it wherever you listen to podcasts, in Apple Podcast or Google Podcast, wherever it is. And we appreciate you.

One of the fastest ways for you to get into a flow state is through a deep physical connection to what you’re doing. This is a major flow hack that will help you disconnect from all the distractions around you so you can reach that effortless place of flow and peak performance.

Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Most people are not connected to their bodies. Meaning, we’re not taking the time to feel what’s happening within our body. Oftentimes this is because we’re so busy trying to get to the next “thing” we never stop to find out what’s happening inside.

In order to increase the amount of information you're processing you must switch off your EXplicit mind and turn on your IMplicit mind. This is best done when you're fully engaged in physical activity. 

When you become deeply connected with your physical state, you allow your subconscious mind to take over which can process 200,000,000 times the information your conscious mind can handle. It’s that much faster. Is it any wonder a flow state produces our very highest peak performance levels?

Your subconscious or implicit mind processes 200,000,000 times more information than your conscious or explicit mind.


When You're Typing You Become Engaged With Your Body

Typing something on a keyboard is a great example of how this hack works to help you get into flow faster. The moment you begin to think about what keys need to be pressed in order to type what you’re writing, you’ll slow down tremendously.

Check-In with your body throughout your day. If you’re eating, pause for a moment and think about what you’re physically feeling. You can do this while you’re walking into your office, home, or even the grocery store.

Speed Up Your MInd

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