#46: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifesting with Emily Fletcher
#46: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifesting with Emily Fletcher
Did you know that meditation can help cure insomnia, reverse the signs of aging and make you smarter? This week, we yap with Emily Fletcher, a well-known meditation guru who began her career on Broadway and now runs an innovative meditation company called Ziva Meditation. Ziva utilizes a powerful combination of mindfulness, meditation, and manifesting, and has been used to better the lives of over 20,000 people! Tune in to learn the biological the benefits of meditation like relieving stress, curing insomnia and reversing aging. And find out the difference between mindfulness and meditation, and how you can fit meditation into your modern day life.
#46: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifesting with Emily Fletcher
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Thanks in advance for your apple podcast review. You're listening to young and profiting podcast, a place where you can listen, learn and profit. I'm your host Halakhah. And today we're speaking with Emily Fletcher who began her career on
[00:01:00] Broadway, and now runs an innovative meditation company called Ziva meditation.
Ziva utilizes a powerful combination of mindfulness, meditation and manifesting, and it has been used to better the lives of over 20,000 people. And this episode, we'll discuss the benefits of meditation like relieving stress, curing insomnia, and reversing aging. The difference between mindfulness and meditation and how you can fit meditation into your modern day life.
Hey Emily, welcome toe young and profiting podcast. I'm so excited to have you
Emily Fletcher: on two things. Everybody wants to be right. Young and profiting.
Hala Taha: So Emily to give you an introduction to our listeners, you are really known to be a leading expert in meditation for high performance. And after researching and digging around about your background, I see that high performance is not the only performance that you're familiar.
Before all your success with Ziva, you are competing in
[00:02:00] beauty pageants, and you are even a Broadway performer for 10 years. So what were these experiences like on stage and how did it lead you to start Ziva?
Emily Fletcher: I love that you found out about, I was Florida's junior miss in 1997, which the everything in me dies.
When you say beauty pageants. So funny, cause it's really just semantics, but this was a scholarship program and it was it's the largest scholarship program for women besides sports in the U S and I just have to say that there's no bathing suit. There's no evening gown. And 25% of it is your test scores, 25% of it's your interview.
And, but anyway, yes, I was Florida's junior miss, and it paid for my college, which was really exciting. And it was competitive. When I went to nationals, it made me really raise my expectations and my standards for myself because the average GPA at America's junior, miss was 4.7. There was no kickers of the football teams and people who had plead, first chair at Clinton's inaugural
And so it was just, it was really cool because I was a big fish in a small pond in my hometown, and to go and get to see other. Other big fish was good for me at that age of 17 or 18. And then yes, I was on Broadway for 10 years, which was amazing and very competitive, but I did 42nd street, the producers, Chicago, a chorus line Chitty bang.
And it was. And I loved it, but I realized pretty early on that I was more interested in the happiness of pursuit than I was the pursuit of happiness. And, I did that for about 10 years and it wasn't until a chorus line, I found meditation and then my life really took a different direction and change.
Hala Taha: Yeah, let's talk about that story. I listened to other interviews you were on in podcast, and this really resonated with me. And I think it shared a really great lesson about stress and how meditation can actually help relieve stress. So can you tell the story about
[00:04:00] how stressed out you were and how you know, Broadway, even though it was your dream, it was actually aging you and stressing you out and how you ended up finding meditation as a solution.
Emily Fletcher: Sure. Like I said, my last Broadway show was a chorus line and my role was to understudy three of the leading characters. So that means when you show up to work at night, you have no idea which character you're going to play, or if you're even going to be on stage at all. And sometimes I would just be sitting in my dressing room, doing my taxes and someone would get on a loudspeaker and say, Emily Fletcher, we need you on stage.
And so I run down seven flights of stairs, address her, throws me in a costume and I'm onstage before I know which character I'm playing and. That constant state of fight or flight that constant state of anxiety just led to me having insomnia for about 18 months. I could not sleep through the night. I then started going gray in my late twenties.
I started getting sick and injured and it was very confusing why I was living my dream, why I was doing the thing I had wanted to do since I was a
[00:05:00] child, but I was miserable. And thankfully the woman sitting next to me in the dressing room. Yeah, understudying five of the leads, including Cassie. And this woman was crushing.
Every song, every dance, every bite of food, this woman ate was a celebration. And I was like, excuse me, what do you know that I don't know. And she said, I meditate to which I probably rolled my eyes and didn't believe her because this is 11 years. So it was not the neuroscience then that there is now. And so I just kept going gray, having insomnia and sucking at my job.
And then finally I was so embarrassed about my performance. I felt so far from the version of me that had moved to New York, believing I could do whatever I wanted to do that. I thought I have to try something. So I went along to this intro to meditation talk. I liked what I heard. I signed up for this four day course.
And on the first day of the first course, I was meditating, to be honest, I didn't know what that meant, but I was in a different state of consciousness than I'd ever been in. And I liked it. And then that night I slept through the night for the first time in 18 months. And I have
[00:06:00] every night since, and that was 11 years ago.
And then I stopped getting sick. I didn't get sick for eight and a half. I stopped going gray. I started enjoying my job again, and I thought, why does everyone not do this? So I left Broadway, went to India and started what became a three-year training process to teach. And then since graduating, I've taught over 20,000 people to meditate, we started the world's first online meditation training, which is now called Zeba online.
And then my book came out in February, which 45,000 people have gotten copies of, which is thrilling. And it's just been such a fun journey to be able to use this. Lifetime of experience and performance, but now translate it into something that is really quickly and profoundly helping others to perform at the top of their game.
Hala Taha: That's amazing. And I'm sure it was really hard to pick up and go to India for three years. To learn meditation, you trained your whole life to be dancer. And like, how did you get the courage to just
[00:07:00] leave that all behind and start something totally new? What was that
Emily Fletcher: like? To be honest, it sounds more dramatic and abrupt than it was.
It was more gradual than that. Like I was not in India that whole time. I trained for three years in the. Super-intense, but I was not in India the whole time. It was 18 hours a week of meditation. It was thousands of hours of apprenticing, hundreds of hours of transcribing books by hand and Sanskrit. But the first time I went to India, it was just for my own personal like education.
I just wanted to go to the source of the knowledge. I just want to deepen my practice. And it was when I was in India. That's when I knew I had to become a teacher. There was this crazy experience when we were like crossing a bridge on Dawn to meditate on the Ganges. And it was like time folded in on itself.
And a version of me from India, went back to a previous version of me and was like, Hey, you have to come here. So anyway, it was in India that I decided I would teach. But I just thought it would be later when I'm done acting when I'm done dancing, like leader.
[00:08:00] And so I came back and I actually moved to LA thinking.
I would switch industries and move into TV and film. And then it was my second day in LA that I ran into a teacher who I'd met in India. And so it just kept unfolding and unfolding. And then I moved to New York to be with my now husband. And all the while I'm thinking, oh, I'll act and teach meditation.
Like I'll keep acting and I'll keep teaching meditation. And then it became clearer and clearer where nature wanted to use me. Like my agents would be like, Hey Emily, we need more headshots and resumes. And I would be like yeah, no problem. And then three months would go by, I'd teach 300 people to meditate and I wouldn't have ever given them any headshots or resumes.
And so finally it just all came to a tipping point. Yeah. There was one week where I was in final callbacks to play Velma and the musical Chicago on Broadway. And then I was also opening up the east coast division of an acting school, the number one acting school in LA. And I was launching the world's first online meditation training all in one week.
And I was like, oh,
[00:09:00] nobody wins here. And that was a week. I called my agents and I was like, I love you guys so much, but this is not where my heart. Any more. And then I went all in on Ziva, so it took a few years for me to finally lovingly say goodbye to acting and thank God I was moving towards the positive and not away from the negative.
Like I was moving towards something that I loved more and not away from acting because I think had I done that I would have regretted it for the rest of my
Hala Taha: life. Yeah. I think that's so inspiring and so impressive. And I think a big lesson for everybody on the line listening is that sometimes, like when you're growing up, you have an idea of what you're going to do for the rest of your life.
And it's okay after, you try it out, you do it. If you want to pivot into something else, that's okay. And there's so many successful people who have changed careers later in life and who have became like extremely successful like yourself. So congratulate. Ziva is a very catchy name. I'm wondering, where did the name come from?
[00:10:00] So Ziva is a Sanskrit word. That means bliss. And it is a Hebrew name. That means one who is radiant or kind. And I remember when I. In my teacher training, meditating hours and hours a week. And I was on the phone once with my then boyfriend now, husband and I was starting my website. And even though I was still in teacher training, I wanted to get the wheels in motion for starting the company.
And I was like, I just have to decide on a name. And I was coming up with all these ridiculous names and he said, why don't you just make up a word? And I was like, I'm not making up a word. We'll look at Google Yahoo. These are just like saying. And I was like, no, I'm not doing that. And then in the middle of my meditation, I just had this epiphany.
I was like, ah, oh, I should use the Sanskrit word for bliss. And so then I went to the computer and I looked up song script for bliss. And it turns out there's 14 different words in Sanskrit for bliss, which I think is funny. Then I looked up Ziva that one's was stood out to me. And then I looked it up and I saw it was also a Hebrew name, a feminine name, which means radiance or kindness.
And I was like that's the one.
Hala Taha: Oh, that's so pretty. Let's get back to the benefits of meditation. So before you were saying that meditation cured your gray hair, so essentially it reversed your aging there's testimonials on your website that say that meditation is more effective for cancer than chemotherapy, and is even helping women over 50.
Pregnant. So that's pretty insane to hear that I had no idea that there was so much medical benefits from meditation. So can you tell us what meditation does for us on a biological level and on a cellular
Emily Fletcher: level? Sure. So meditation did help me to reverse my gray. I was going gray in my twenties. I'm 40 now.
And I. I have two gray hairs, but it was really going gray in my twenties. So it has slowed that down tremendously. And it's, we have lots and lots of Ziva babies popping up all over the place with lots of people over 40. However, I just want to clarify on the cancer piece is that I think what that testimony was meaning to communicate.
That meditation helped her to
[00:12:00] experience her cancer and helped her while she was going through chemotherapy. It helped her to recover from her chemo, but I don't want to, false advertise and say that meditation can be more effective than chemo. I don't think meditation will cure cancer, but I do think that meditation can help your immune system function as it was meant.
And so if your body has a chance of curing, we want to support the immune system. As much as we can. But a lot of people are using it to help combat the ill effects of cancer treatments. Yes. So what's happening. If we want to understand why meditation can help with all these physical things.
Cause a lot of people put it in the mental bucket, they think, oh, meditation is just like acute mental thing that I'll get around to when I have more time. But actually there's a huge host of physical benefits as well. And if we want to understand them, we have to understand what stress is doing to the body.
So if we were to cut back 10,000 years, they were hunting and gathering in the woods, a tiger jumps out with the intent to kill us. Then your body launches into a series of chemical reacts. So digestion floods with acid to shut down digestion because
[00:13:00] we can't afford to waste that energy digesting when we need to fight or flee from the tiger, that acid will then seep onto your skin so that you don't taste very good if you get bitten into, and it is that acidity on your skin, that prematurely ages us.
So if this is the young and profitable, broadcasts and nothing can change your chronological age, but meditation can reverse your biological age by somewhere between. 15 years. Wow. That's according to science from Tufts and wake forest university. And it really is. It's the eradication of that acidity on your skin that makes your skin more elastic.
And then the other thing that happens when that tiger jumps out at you is that your bladder and bowels evacuate. So you can be light on your feet. Your immune system goes to the back burner because who cares if you're going to get cancer, if you're about to be killed by a tiger, your vision will narrow your adrenaline and cortisol levels increase.
Which, we, with this point, we're pretty aware of what that cocktail of stress hormones are doing to us. But again, it's the equivalent of dumping acid in your brain and body all day. It just prematurely breaks
[00:14:00] everything down if it's chronic. So this series of fight or flight reactions, there's a very helpful if your demands are predators, but if your demands are in-laws or deadlines or red eye flights or.
Then the fight or flight thing has become maladaptive. It's now disallowing us from performing at the top of our game. It's making us not like each other. It's wreaking havoc on our bodies. And so what we want to do is we want to start meditating now within 30 to 45 seconds of you starting Ziva, the adrenaline and cortisol starts to clear from your brain and body, and you start flooding your brain and body with dopamine and serotonin, which are alkaline in nature.
So this is nice. Same reason you drink a green juice or eat a salad. It would be the same reason you'd want to meditate is that you want the body to be more alkaline in nature. And an alkaline body is more hospitable hosts for having a baby. It is better for healing, all disease. You start to
[00:15:00] decrease that chronic inflammation, which we know is the basis for all chronic disease.
And so it's pretty profound. The benefits that can happen from this. Yeah.
Hala Taha: And so how does stress play into all of this? It seems like your number one enemy for meditation or the thing that you're solving for really is carrying people's stress. So can you just explain how stress makes us, I think you say slow, stupid and sick.
Emily Fletcher: Yeah. So yeah, stress is making us stupid, sick and slow because we're wasting so much. Cycles preparing for that imaginary tiger attack. The thing is the human body hasn't evolved fast enough to catch up with modern day demands. Our demands and technology and medicine, it's all changing much faster than our biology can evolve.
And even though we have modern day demands. We're still having ancient stress reactions. The body, even though your kids are screaming in the next room, if you're
[00:16:00] overwhelmed, then your body is going to think it's preparing for a tiger. And then you lose your temper on your kids. And then you feel terrible about yourself.
Or you flip somebody off in traffic because you were just at your wit's end and then they rear-end your car. And then you're like, oh no, I have to go to the mechanic and that's going to cost me more money. And so like the fight or flight thing. It's just not relevant anymore. For most of our demands. If you get jumped in a back alleyway, please get stressed.
That's an appropriate time to get stressed. If you need to lift a car off of a baby, please get stressed. And it's not bad for us to get stressed. It's the staying stressed. That's killing us. It is this chronic low grade fight or flight that is making us stupid, sick and slow. And this is why by the way, people say exercise is my meditation or cooking is my meditation.
It's no. Exercise is called exercise and cooking is called cocaine. Definitely
Hala Taha: what I say
Emily Fletcher: now. Now the reason why people say that is that there's an exercise relaxes me cooking relaxes me, and that's fine, but the really
[00:17:00] important distinction here is that exercise is only good enough to handle your stress from today.
So your boss yells at you, you launch into fight or flight. You go to the gym, you get on the treadmill and you outrun the tiger or your kids freak out and do something. And then. Mad and you go to the gym and you box it out. So you're burning off today's stress chemicals, but where this is really fascinating is that.
Just have stress from today. We have a backlog of accumulated stresses from every single time we've ever launched into fight or flight and our whole lives. Okay. So every time you've ever been stressed, it's left a little open window on your brain computer. It's called a premature cognitive commitment or a PCC.
And by the time the average adult is 20. We have about 10 million of those open windows on our brain computer. And it is all those open windows, all those old stresses that's, what's slowing us down. That's, what's making us stupid and slow. And so what the meditation
[00:18:00] does is that, and specifically Ziva here is that we go in and we de excite the nervous system.
We create order in the body. You give your body rest. Five times deeper than sleep. And so then on the other side of this meditation, you're not only more awake, but because you've D excited your nervous system, you've created order in your cells and that lifetime of accumulated stresses that we have in our cellular.
And now we even know in our epigenetic memory, those things can start to come up and out. Those stresses start to leave the building, and it is the eradication of the backlog of stresses from our past. That's what makes us. That's what makes us fast. That's what makes us more intuitive, which is why meditators report getting more done in less time.
Hala Taha: Yeah, you make meditation sound so wonderful. I really want to get into it. So this getting rid of stress in the body, from my understanding that also helps improve your sleep, is that correct?
Emily Fletcher: Yes, 'cause. For a lot of us, we're using sleep as a form of stress
[00:19:00] release for most of us sleep is the most effective form of rest that we have.
When you give your body rest, it knows how to heal itself. So you lay down, you give your body a little bit of rest. Body starts healing itself from stresses. And then as the body starts releasing stresses, the mind is going to launch into activity, which is thought. And so you laid down, got a little bit of rest.
Your brain goes off to the races and then it's 6:00 AM. And you haven't slept a wink. That's what insomnia. And so what we do when we add meditation is we use the meditation as a time for stress release every day, twice a day. And then our bodies can use sleep as a time for sleep. So our sleep becomes more efficient.
We feel more rejuvenated and rested on the other side. And ultimately after a while, most people need less. That's
Hala Taha: very interesting. Let's talk about some other benefits. I think a little known fact is that meditation can improve sex. Is that correct?
Emily Fletcher: No, one's talking about it because they think meditation is for monks and they're like I shouldn't be thinking at
And they certainly shouldn't be thinking about sex because I should be monastic. If I want to meditate, but there's different types of meditation. Some. But Ziva is made for people like us, people with busy minds and busy lives and people who, maybe like having sex with people or making money and living in society.
And really this goes back to the same fight or flight tiger thing. If you're being attacked by a tiger, if your body is in danger, Your life is being threatened, then really what the body has to focus on is your own meat suit. Survival. It's not interested in procreation. It's not interested in next generations.
And so if you're in this chronic fight or flight thing, you always think there's a tiger looming over your shoulder. Procreation is going to go way to the back burner. Pleasure even will go way to the back burner, because your sense is dampen when you're. Because who wants to feel the tiger fangs as they, Pierce into your throat.
It's like your body will deaden and dampen your taste, your smell, your sight, all of that stuff changes when we're chronically stressed. And so what a lot of people report is when they start meditating, it's like it's
[00:21:00] wiping the stress away from their lens of perception and their senses get heightened.
I see things more clearly they taste more strongly. They smell more strongly. Their sense of touch becomes heightened. And because you're increasing your baseline level of bliss because your dopamine and serotonin levels raise just as your baseline, then it stands to reason that when you're engaging in pleasurable activity, That would also get more pleasurable.
You're also less tired because 40% of American cohabitating adults report that the number one reason they don't have as much sex as they want to is that they're too tired. And if meditation is giving you rest, that's five times deeper than sleep. And it only takes 15 minutes and it's like for 15 minute meditation, it's the equivalent of an hour long nap.
And so imagine taking an hour nap at five o'clock in the afternoon, is it more likely that you would have energy for sex when you come home? Like for most of us, the answer is yes.
Hala Taha: Yeah, that's so interesting. I'm sure you're motivating so many people who are listening to start meditating.
[00:22:00] That's very exciting.
I have to admit, and to be honest, I'm probably one of the only millennials left in 2019. Who's never really tried to meditate or I feel like I've never actually got it to work. And I feel like it's because I can now. Clear my head. I'm always thinking I'm always working. I have two jobs and I just feel like I have no time.
But listening to you and researching about what you do, I realize that I'm totally wrong and you don't need to clear your head. You don't need to have so much time. You said it's twice a day, 15 minutes a day. Let's talk about the misconceptions about meditation. What are some things that we should just get out the door?
So any of my listeners who are afraid like me, I've actually meditating and haven't really taken that step. What are the misconceptions that you just want to get out the door?
Emily Fletcher: Yeah. When you hit the nail on the head, you hit the top two and the first is I can't meditate because I can't clear my mind.
So the really good news here is that. Don't have to be able to magically clear your mind in order to get all of these benefits
[00:23:00] that I'm talking about. And I actually dedicated my whole book to anyone who has tried meditation and felt like a failure. You're not a failure. You just haven't been taught yet, or you haven't found a technique that's been designed for you.
So the good news here is that the mind thinks in voluntarily just like the heart. In voluntarily. So trying to give your brain a command to stop thinking is as impactful as trying to give your heart a command to stop beating it doesn't work. And yet this is the criteria by which everyone is judging themselves as to whether or not they can meditate.
And then they feel like they're failing and then they quit because none of us will do anything for very long that we feel like we're failing at. Step one, even if you're having thoughts, you're not a failure, but it is a skill. Okay. It does require some training. So a lot of people think they should just magically know how to meditate already, but you wouldn't just magically start speaking Japanese tomorrow or magically start tap dancing tomorrow.
Like you'd have to be taught those skills and same thing with meditation. It does require a technique that's designed for you
[00:24:00] and some training. And then to your second point about the time. Look, none of us have time to waste. Okay. Our time is our most valuable resource. A lot of people are working two jobs.
A lot of people have earned working parents, we're all busy and. If you are even spending your time on meditation versus investing your time in meditation, then I would say, you need to examine what techniques you're using, because again, none of us have time to waste or spend. So if I asked you to give away 15 precious minutes of your day, and you did not get more time, more productivity, more energy back then that's a waste in my book.
And that's what most people are doing. They're getting a free app because they're like, oh, meditation. So trendy and cool. Let me download this app. So I can be like one of the cool kids. They never invest any real time in learning how to do it. So they're spending 10, 15 minutes a day total on this thing that maybe they feel a little better on the other side, but it's not
[00:25:00] really providing significant return on investment.
They're not seeing significant changes in their cognitive or physical performance. And then it goes into. Cute category that I'll get around to when I have more time. And what I'm offering is that if you have a technique that is designed for you, and if you invest the time on the front end to learn how to do it properly, then you're going to see very quickly that you are investing your time in meditation.
And then the question becomes, are you willing to invest 2% of your time? Which is 15 minutes, twice a day. Are you willing to invest that so that the other 98% of your life can be more amazing so that your sleep can be more efficient so you can have better sex. So you can be more present with your kids so you can crush it at work so that you can achieve all the things that you want to achieve.
Yes. But more importantly, enjoy yourself along the way. And so really the only thing. Put out there is that if you're not getting a return on your investment for meditation, then you should consider changing techniques because they're not all created.
Hala Taha: Totally. But you hinted at something before, which is all like the rage around mindfulness and all the apps and the YouTube videos and the in-person domes.
You can go a 10 for this guided meditation. And I think there's like an issue out there where people are using mindfulness and meditation, really as synonyms when there two completely different things. So can you just explain to our listeners the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
Emily Fletcher: Sure. And thanks for highlighting this.
Now. I want to start by saying that I'm in the minority here. Okay. I'm beating my own drum on my own parade here, but I do think that it's important that we start to be specific with our vernacular as these techniques and tools are getting so popular. It's important that we know the differences between them, because even though almost everything we eat is called food, eating a cheeseburger is going to do a very different thing to your body than having a kale salad, right?
Like they're just different foods. And same with these mental techniques, they do different things to
[00:27:00] the body. And what we teach at Ziva, the Ziva technique is actually a trifecta of mindfulness, meditation and manifesting. The three M's. Okay. So it's not that one is better than the other, but they are different.
And so mindfulness, I would define as the art of bringing your awareness into the present moment. So the art of bringing your awareness into the present moment, and this is why people say cooking is my meditation. This is why people say I meditate when I'm walking in the woods. What they're saying is I'm present.
When I cook, I am being conscious when I walk in the woods, I am consciously bringing my awareness into the present moment, but I would say that those are mindful activities and they are perhaps meditative. But it's different than how I would define meditation, which is where you are accessing a verifiable fourth state of consciousness.
Different than waking, sleeping or dreaming where you're giving your body rest that's five times deeper than sleep and where you are de exciting your nervous system
[00:28:00] so that the lifetime of accumulated stresses construct to come up and out. So the simple framework here is that mindfulness is very good at dealing with your stress.
And then now. Like a state change versus meditation is very good at getting rid of your stress from the past, which is ultimately creating a trait change. It is changing your cells. It is healing your epigenetics. And I would argue that is really where the return on investment comes because yes, a state change is nice, but it's like taking an aspirin
when you have a headache, it's dealing with the symptom, whereas the meditation is going into the root cause. Why are you getting the headache to begin with? Where did this stress come from? Why are you feeling overwhelmed?
Hala Taha: That's so interesting. And it's so powerful because it really clicks that like mindfulness is a state change.
Meditation is a trait change. One is short-term. One is long-term. So obviously where do we want to invest our time in the long-term to actually help cure the root problem. So thanks for clearing that up. Let's talk about your Z technique. This is your meditation technique
[00:29:00] that you teach at Ziva. Like you mentioned, it's done 15 minutes a day, two times a day brings about deep healing.
Rest five times deeper than sleep. You have entire courses about this. You have a book called stress, less accomplish more. I encourage everyone to go out and buy that book and learn more about it. You make things very accessible for people in terms of the cost it is to learn meditation. So I think that's a really great thing that you're doing for the world, but let's talk about the Z technique.
I know you've written so much about it, but is there any way that you can tell us what it is at a high level? So we can start to understand what do you do actually, to do your Z technique?
Emily Fletcher: Sure. So just to frame it for us. So the Z technique, which I write about in the book is a kind of a gentler adaptation of the Ziva technique.
So there's three ways that people can learn. One is in the book, as you mentioned, stress less accomplish more. And then for people who like a little bit more guidance, they want a little bit more instruction, just a deeper understanding. Then there's the Ziva online, which is our 15 day online training.
And then I also teach
[00:30:00] live in New York and LA, and that course is two hours a day for four days. And in Ziva online and Ziva live, I'm teaching the full Ziva technique, which is the mindfulness meditation and manifesting. And then I just made it a little bit gentler for the book and that's by design because
this practice is not a toy. It's not a joke. It is the most powerful type of meditation I've ever found. And because you are healing a lifetime of old stuff, it can create a bit of a catharsis. There can be an initial phase of like emotional and physical detox that can happen in the brain and body.
And that's really my job to help people through it. And so the in-person is like the Maserati and the online is like a great Toyota. And then the book is an adorable Vesper. They're all going to get you there. It's just a matter of how fast you want to go and how much support can I give you as you're moving through that initial purging process.
But in all the book Ziva online or Ziva live, people do learn all three M's. And so what we start with is
[00:31:00] the mindfulness. And we use that almost as an appetizer, as a runway into that deep healing rest of meditation. And we use a really simple technique called come to your senses, which is where you're just using your five senses as a tool to ground yourself into the body, into the right now.
And then we move into the meditation portion, which is really where people need the most guidance, because it's so different from what we've been taught to think of as quote unquote meditation, like a lot of apps, the YouTube videos, the drop-in studios that you mentioned, most of them are teaching what I would call mindfulness.
And so it just takes me quite a while to teach people how to surrender, how to let go, how to be easier and lazier with the meditation portion. And then we move on to the manifesting and manifesting. It sounds hippy-dippy it sounds woo woo. It's really not. It is the world's highest performers are all doing this.
Olympic athletes are doing this. It's you consciously creating a life you love, it's you getting intentional
[00:32:00] about what you want your life to look like. And I'm always amazed at how infrequently most people are doing this asking questions. Like how much money do I want to make this year? What's my dream relationship look like, what is my dream?
Vacation look like what is my relationship with my body want to feel like? And what we do is that we use the sacred time after meditation to start to ask these questions, to start to imagine the dream as if it's happening now. And if there's a trick to manifesting, that's it. It's just imagining your dream as if it is your current reality.
And what I found is that the combination of meditation and manifesting is so much more powerful than either one alone.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So sticking on manifestation. I think a lot of people do this wrong. So I heard you saying in the past that people worship the state of the now when in fact they should really be thinking about the future state.
So can you talk about the correct way to manifest?
Emily Fletcher: So the thing I'm highlighting
[00:33:00] is that what a lot of us are worshiping is how far we have to go. We accidentally put our attention on the space between where we are and where we think we should be. And that is the definition of stress. When am I going to get that job?
When am I going to get a boyfriend? Why can't I lose this weight? And so then we're accidentally watering the weeds where what we want to be doing is watering the flowers. We want to put our attention on the things that we want to grow. And the trick to manifesting is imagining. So first of all, asking the question, what's one thing I would love and then listening for the answer.
And then in this sacred time at the end of the meditation going through and allowing that to be a fun, visceral five sensory experience versus, we think we're manifesting, we think we're praying, but we're secretly complaining and that takes a bit of training because the other thing that happens for folks is that they think, okay I'm imagining winning the Oscar, and I'm standing on stage and I'm giving my thank you speech.
But then the brain immediately goes
[00:34:00] to how am I going to win an Oscar? I've never even been in a movie yet. How am I going to win an Oscar when I don't even know anyone in Hollywood or we start to immediately solve for the how and the when, whereas our job is to be in the what and the why.
Hala Taha: Yeah. How does meditation keep us from dwelling in the past? And why is it so important to not dwell on the past?
Emily Fletcher: Meditation is taking your right brain to the gym and your right brain is in charge of right now. It is in charge of present moment. It's why you actually become more mindful as a by-product of meditation, because as you take that right brain to the gym everyday, twice a day, you can't help, but be more present, more conscious in the rest of your life.
And. We don't want to dwell on the past. I do think we have to look at it. We have to examine it. We have to be honest about it. We have to heal it. We have to bless it and thank it because without healing our trauma from the past, without really facing our shadows, without doing the meditation work and getting rid of those
[00:35:00] traumas, those stresses that have been stored in ourselves, then it's very hard to manifest because then you have a ton of limiting beliefs that you're not even aware of.
And you have to first become aware of them in order to heal them. And so, it's not about just ignoring the past and just trudging forward. It's about taking whatever time you need to really truly heal it, to forgive it so that you can have all of your faculties available to you in the present moment. And according to the Vedas, the present moment is the future in the making.
And so if we're wasting our cycles constantly reviewing the past, then we don't have as many cycles available to us for the right now. And the more present we are right now, again, the higher quality seeds we're planting for the future.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So this obviously sounds very appealing out there. I'm sure there's a lot of ex meditators that are listening.
A lot of people who have never meditated before. Are there any baby steps that you suggest to wean ourselves to start meditating? And is
[00:36:00] there an adoption period before meditation can become a habit?
Emily Fletcher: No, I think this is a bit of a misconception. I don't think you need to do anything to prepare. I would not recommend baby steps, honestly, at least for Ziva.
Okay. Because Ziva is meant to take you from zero to a hundred. Like you don't have to go get like X, Y, and Z before you start Ziva because it really is meant to start you from nothing. The caveat to that would be if you have very recent and very extreme trauma, like if someone is just coming off of a battlefield or if you're dealing with, schizophrenia or multiple, or like NPD, something versus there's a severe psychosis happening then perhaps I would say maybe wait on Ziva for a minute, get in therapy, start with some mindfulness.
If you're dealing with very very severe depression or recent trauma, but for the other 99% of us, I say, just start and by start, get training, do not expect yourself to magically, be
[00:37:00] able to sit down and close your eyes. That's what our parents used to do to us, to torture us or to be mean to us when we were not mean, but like to punish us, it's go sit in the corner
and sit there. It's not enjoyable if you don't know what you're doing. And so I really think the best step is to just find a teacher that you respect, find a technique that you feel like is designed for someone like you and not a monk, and then start the training. And then what you're going to see is that it all becomes quite innocent.
It all becomes quite enjoyable, but if you try and like muscle your way through and magically just figure out how to do it on your own. It's like throwing a five-year-old on a pool who doesn't know how to swim. Might they flounder their way into staying a float and might they be able to swim to the edge maybe, but they could also drown.
And so it's like, why not just start with swim lessons? It's so much easier.
Hala Taha: Yeah, I think that's great advice. So definitely recommend your book, your website. I personally, I'm going to try to sign up for the New York classes cause
[00:38:00] I'm in the city and I'm very excited. Honestly, I told my boyfriend, like we got a sign up, so hopefully that happens pretty soon.
So I'd like to begin to close out my show with some use cases, getting your tips for some real life scenarios that I came up with. Whether that's meditation or some other way that you think you can solve the problem. So use case number one, you're about to get on stage in front of thousands of people to give a speech.
How do you calm your nerves and get rid of stage fright?
Emily Fletcher: Yes. I just did this. I just spoke for my biggest crowd ever, it's 3,500 people in Toronto. And I was opening for Elizabeth Gilbert and Seth Godin and Lisa Nichols and my friend, Todd Herman. It was super fun, but also, nerve wracking and you want to do a great job.
And so what I do is I definitely meditate that morning. So I wake up and meditate first thing. And then right before I go onstage, I will do one or both of the following, something called balancing breath which is a really simple technique where you're closing the right and left
[00:39:00] nostrils, which helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
And I have a video of that @zivameditation.com. You can search for balancing breath, or if you get the book, it's one of the techniques I teach in the book, as far as our book bonuses. And then the other thing I'll do is power poses. And this I learned from, I think her name is Amy Cuddy who at presence, I will do power poses while also doing breath work.
And I used one of hers. I give her credit in the book, but I call it super power pose because you're just going to like igniting your superpowers and assuming the position of a superhero. But the one I like is where you're just like, wonder woman or Superman and arms on your hips, feet really wide. I will throw on a smile and then I'll do breath of fire, shoulders back, chest and heart open and do some of that breath work so that when I come on stage, I'm really energized, I'm open and available versus letting my body react to any fear that might be going on.
Hala Taha: Very cool. And I can vouch for power posing. I personally do that when I'm nervous before an interview, and it really helps to get you in the right
[00:40:00] head space. Thank you. So use case number two, you're about to go on an interview for your dream job. How do you show up as your best self?
Emily Fletcher: Same thing. I would still do balancing breath. I would still do power poses, beforehand, obviously, but then I think what I would also add to that would be in my meditation that morning in the manifesting section, I would imagine the interview going dream case magic wand scenario, that it's funny, engaging, kind. The conversation flows really elegantly, and that I'm imagining my dream case scenario so that when I get in the room, it's not the first time it's happened.
Hala Taha: Awesome. Use case number three, your friends seem to be able to fit everything in their day, but for you, you just seem too busy. You're too busy to go to the gym, too busy to take on that side hustle. You can't fit anything that you want to do in your schedule. How can meditation help combat this?
Emily Fletcher: Sounds like this person needs to meditate. So here's the thing I know it can
[00:41:00] seem totally incomprehensible the idea of going to the gym or changing your food or adding in meditation. But that is because most of us are so exhausted. We're so overwhelmed. We're allowing social media to run us. We're so addicted to our phones at any free time isn't
free because we're filling it with technology and screens, which is lessening the quality of our sleep. And then we're waking up not feeling rejuvenated. So I get that it's easy to get on that hamster wheel, but something has to give and what I've seen happen, thousands of times over I've taught 20,000 people to meditate.
And what I see happen is if you can just change one habit. If you can simply start meditating, it will make all the other habits so much easier. It will make your sleep better so that you feel less overwhelmed. You will start to be able to hear your priorities a little bit clearer. So you're not judging yourself based on everyone else's achievements.
You will start to find that you're able to get more done in less time. So that you have a little bit more time
[00:42:00] available to go to the gym. You will find that because you're not constantly in fight or flight, you're not reaching to as many survival foods or comfort foods that you're able to eat intuitively versus out of comfort.
And so it really step one is you got to get out of fight or flight because that chronic fatigue that chronic fight or flight is what's making us make all these terrible decisions.
Hala Taha: Yeah. Awesome. So I have a new tradition to end my show with this question. What is your secret to profiting in life?
Emily Fletcher: I guess we're in this case, we're defining profiting as a return on investment. So we're getting out more than we're putting in, or we're getting out more than we're spending. And I think that ultimately, if you have a tool that allows you to listen to your own intuition, Then life flows pretty elegantly that you always get more than you put in because you're not having to do it by yourself.
Most of us are so used to running through life like white
[00:43:00] knuckling, our dreams, and using only our left brain individuality. And what meditation does is that it allows you to start to use your right brain. So you're tapping into the collective consciousness. You're tapping into collective intelligence.
So your intuition starts to lead the way and life becomes so much easier and so much more enjoyable,
Hala Taha: Amazing. Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything that you do?
Emily Fletcher: So the easiest place is our website, Zivameditation.com, and that's Z like zebra. I V like Victor, a so Zivameditation.com and people can find the online course, our live courses, and the book are all listed there.
And then we're all over social media, just @Zivameditation. I think Instagram is probably our most fun platform.
Hala Taha: Cool. I had such a great time. I think our listeners are going to really enjoy this conversation. It's my first entire episode focused on meditation. I often touch on it here and there during interviews, but it's something that people really wanted to
[00:44:00] hear about and I can't wait to get it out.
So thank you so much for your time.
Emily Fletcher: Thank you so much for having me and congratulations on everything you've created. I knew you were helping a lot of folks.
Hala Taha: Thank you.
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