Friday, January 24, 2020

Guest Interview: Emily Fletcher of Ziva Meditation | THRR013

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This episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Kettle and Fire. Kettle & Fire makes the first USDA approved, shelf stable bone broth made with grass fed AND finished beef bones and organic pasture raised chicken bones. They are committed to making healthy food accessible to as many people as possible. Check them out at and use code HEALTHYREBELLION for 15% off.

Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)

Watch the podcast video here


Show Notes:

News topic du jour:


This episode we have special guest Emily Fletcher. Emily Fletcher is the founder of Ziva Meditation and the leading expert in meditation for extraordinary performance. Her book Stress Less, Accomplish More debuted at #7 out of all books on Amazon.

The New York Times, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Vogue and ABC News have all featured Emily’s work. She’s been named one of the top 100 women in wellness to watch, has taught more than 20,000 students around the world and has spoken on meditation for performance at Apple, Google, Harvard Business School and Barclays Bank. Ziva graduates include Oscar, Grammy, Tony & Emmy award winners, NBA players, Navy SEALs, Fortune 500 CEOs and busy parents

The Ziva Technique is a powerful trifecta of mindfulness, meditation and manifesting designed to unlock your full potential. It’s benefits include decreased stress, deeper sleep, improved immune function and extraordinary performance.

I and my wife both use Ziva Meditation, and it has been life changing.



Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with the bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. Welcome to the Healthy Rebellion Radio.

Nicki: The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary, or fitness change.

Robb: Folks, welcome back to another edition of the Healthy Rebellion Radio. I haven’t watched it yet. I will eventually I’ll be on autopilot and this will be a back from the dead paleo solution at some point.

Nicki: Yeah. I have faith.

Robb: Thank you.

Nicki: I think I’ll make it.

Robb: Awesome.

Nicki: How are you doing today Hubs?

Robb: Hanging in there. Hanging in there.

Nicki: You did a tanning booth session today?

Robb: I did. I got both a massage and tanning booth session, so I was a pretty good on self care. Yes.

Nicki: Excellent. We haven’t had a good track record on that, so that’s something we’re working on.

Robb: Absolutely.

Nicki: Yeah.

Robb: Trying to set a good example within the Healthy Rebellion Reset, so yup. I’m trying to do the shit that I’m on the hook for just like everybody else.

Nicki: Walking the walk.

Robb: Walking the walk, talking the talk, all that stuff. Yup.

Nicki: I guess, Robb, I should probably say happy birthday.

Robb: Thank you. Thank you. One …

Nicki: I mean, it’s not your birthday today, but when this episode airs it will be your birthday. Everybody listening on Friday the 24th can say have a little collective happy birthday that goes out into the ether for you.

Robb: Awesome. Thank you. Thank you. One day closer to expiration, but that’s okay.

Nicki: Hey, you’re …

Robb: Or maybe I’m aging in reverse as my news topic to do or may allude, so who knows.

Nicki: That’s a perfect transition. Why don’t you just jump into the news topic today?

Robb: You want me to go there?

Nicki: Yeah.

Robb: Okay. The article is called the Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging and Disease. This is by Mark Mattson’s group and Mattson is pretty famous for, man, the really rigorous fasting research that’s been done to date both in human and animal trials. It’s a great paper.

Robb: The link that I provide you, you have to sign it. It’s New England Journal of Medicine. You can sign up as a free subscriber and get three of their articles a month and so you can access this one. There’s a little bit of rigmarole involved with it. The quick little piece on it is evidence is accumulating that eating in a six hour and fasting for 18 hours can trigger a metabolic switch from glucose based to ketone based energy, with increased stress resistance, increased longevity and a decreased incidence of diseases including cancer and obesity.

Robb: Pretty interesting. I’m digging into the paper right now. I’m about halfway through it, but it’s definitely worth folks checking that out. I think it’s interesting that the primary benefits cited are a shift away from glucose centric metabolism towards ketone centric metabolism, which there’s all kinds of gnashing of teeth and bitching and moaning about all this stuff, but that’s kind of where the rubber hits the fucking road.

Robb: It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eat a ketogenic diet to garner these benefits, but it is damn intriguing that it appears that you have to have at least some element of that ketogenic state going on either via caloric restriction or intermittent fasting or your macronutrient ratios to be able to get this effect. Then, if we recall some of the studies that have been done recently out of UC Davis in mice admittedly, but a non-calorie restricted ketogenic diet ended up in enhancing both longevity and health span in those mice by about 15 to 20%. Nontrivial increase in human terms that would be about 14 years, so not bad. Interesting paper. We have that link for the show notes.

Nicki: That’s right. Okay. This episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Kettle and Fire. Kettle and Fire makes the first USDA approved shelf-stable bone broth made with grass-fed and finished beef bones and organic pasture-raised chicken bones. Kettle and Fire bone broth is quick and convenient. It’s keto and paleo-friendly Whole30 Approved non-GMO and comes in many delicious sippable flavors.

Nicki: In fact, Robb, lately we’ve been using a lot of their coconut curry and lime flavor broth.

Robb: It’s awesome as a standalone. What I’ve been doing is taking some frozen shrimp and maybe a little bit of veggies, either mixed veggies or some broccoli.

Nicki: Or even just whatever we have left over from the night before.

Robb: Or, whatever leftover I’ll dice it up, throw it in there. It’s amazing. We’ve had that for breakfast more than a few times of late. Yeah.

Robb: It’s kind of funny. We had a little stash of that and we were looking at it and we’re like, “Are you going to use it? Are you going to use it?” Then, we finally cracked it open, and then we plow in through it.

Nicki: Now we’re addicted. It’s really good stuff. If you’re looking for a non-frozen organic bone broth, look no further than Kettle and Fire. While it’s great to make your own, sometimes, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Kettle and Fire is the perfect high quality premade product without any preservatives or additives. Go to and use code Healthy Rebellion for 15% off your order.

Nicki: Okay. Robb, this episode is the first one of its kind in the Healthy Rebellion Radio. This is one of our guest expert interviews that we do in the Healthy Rebellion community. We’ve been doing exclusive monthly guest video interviews with some really amazing people and decided that this stuff is too good to not push out and share with our larger audience.

Nicki: You all will only get the audio because the video and community chat about the interview is only for members. That said, this interview and this guest will not disappoint. Who is our guest today? Robbie?

Robb: A person that likely saved our lives, marriage and the sanity. Emily Fletcher, the founder of Ziva Meditation.

Nicki: As you’ll hear in the interview, and as Robb just alluded to, Emily’s work both her book, Stress Less, Accomplish More and her online course zivaONLINE truly have transformed our lives.

Robb: People say that all the time.

Nicki: It sounds trite, but this is no joke. We’ve mentioned her work in previous Q&A responses when people have written in about different things where there’s a stress situation. We’ve mentioned Emily and Ziva. Many of you who’ve listened have sent us an email or posted something on Instagram and saying that you bought her book after listening to the Q and A and began doing the meditation practice and saw some benefits and that’s super cool.

Nicki: Emily is just an amazing human. She has an incredible gift for making meditation accessible and doable for all of us. In fact, she emphasizes over and over that her style of meditation is not for people who want to become a monk. It’s for people who have everyday busy lives, need to perform.

Robb: A primary point that she makes is that she doesn’t want you to get good at meditation. She wants meditation to make you good at life. It’s true the way that she does it.

Nicki: Exactly. Whether you’re a mom, an executive, an athlete, a business owner, a student, I think, if you’re a human who’s ever feel stress this is for you. Please listen with ears wide open and implement what she shares. We do have an FYI because at the end of this interview, she guides us through a meditation. If you are listening to this while you’re driving a car or riding a bike or operating any other sort of …

Robb: Big machinery.

Nicki: Big machinery.

Robb: A tanker that’s carrying millions of gallons of diesel fuel.

Nicki: Or doing anything where you need to be focused and not in a meditative state, please push pause when you get to that part and do the meditation once you are in a safe …

Robb: I’m glad you remember to add that. I’ve forgotten about that.

Nicki: … reasonable place to do it. Without further ado, enjoy this interview with Emily.

Robb: Hey, Emily.

Nicki: Emily.

Emily: Hello.

Nicki: Hi.

Robb: How are you?

Nicki: Disconnecting my headphones. Excellent.

Robb: I was just in New York yesterday.

Emily: Hi.

Robb: Hi.

Emily: Hello? How’s it going?

Robb: Good.

Nicki: Good. How are you?

Robb: How are you?

Emily: Really good. I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me on. What a delight.

Nicki: We are absolutely thrilled. I think our audience is as well. I feel like about a third of the people in our community …

Robb: At least.

Nicki: At least have read your book or done zivaONLINE and so they’re super pumped about today.

Robb: Yeah. Then, the other two thirds are super curious because we all just blabber on it like idiots about how awesome you are.

Emily: Oh man. I was just in the kitchen and talking to my husband and he is so excited. He doesn’t get excited about much that I do, but he was like, “Aw man, this is big deal. Are you nervous?” We’re both fans. It’s rare that my husband gets excited, so thank you.

Nicki: Awesome.

Emily: We both read the Paleo Solution years and years ago. Then, even the book Everyday Paleo you wrote the forward to.

Robb: Yeah.

Emily: That’s the only cookbook that I use.

Robb: Very cool.

Emily: Yeah. I’m really thrilled to be here.

Robb: Awesome.

Nicki: That’s awesome.

Emily: Also before we dive in, people aren’t watching this right now, correct?

Nicki: It’s live streaming into our community. Yes, people are watching it now.

Emily: People are on it right now. Amazing. Hi, everyone.

Nicki: As we said, I think a good chunk of our folks know about you and have either read your book or done ZivaONLINE. For those who don’t know your story, would you mind sharing just a little bit about how you came to be the meditation goddess of the modern times?

Emily: I’m putting that on my website by the way. Meditation goddess of the modern times. Yeah. The quick version is that I was on Broadway for 10 years, which is its own kind of high stress, high demand job. My job was to understudy three of the lead roles. That was my last job in a chorus line. You’re basically living in constant fight or flight. You never know which character you’re going to play. That anxiety led to insomnia, couldn’t sleep through the night for 18 months. I start going gray at 26.

Emily: I was getting sick and injured. It was confusing why I was living my dream on Broadway, doing the thing that I’d wanted to do since I was a child. I had climbed the Mount Everest and I was miserable. I kept asking people, what are you doing? What are you doing? This woman sitting next to me in the dressing room had a harder job than I did, but she was crushing it. She said, “I meditate.” I probably rolled my eyes and I was like, “Oh god, one of you.” Yeah, I was like, “I got to go. I’ve got some texting to do.”

Emily: Then, I was text messaging even a thing then probably. Then, anyway, long story short, I found meditation on my first day of my first course. I was in a different state of consciousness that I had ever been in. I liked it. That night, I slept through the night for the first time in 18 months and every night since. That was 11 years ago. I am 40 now. I have two gray hairs. I was legitimately going gray in my twenties. I didn’t get sick for eight and a half years.

Emily: I used to get sick four to five times a year. Then, I started enjoying my job again. I just thought, why does everybody not do this? I left Broadway, I went to India, I started what became a three-year training process to be a teacher. Then, since graduating, I started Ziva meditation. We have a brick and mortar in New York, but we also started the world’s first online meditation training, which I’m very proud of. It’s now called ZivaONLINE. We just hit 10,000 students of that iteration where I have 20,000 students around the world.

Nicki: That’s awesome.

Emily: I just found out the book has sold 50,000 copies, my book, Stress Less, Accomplish More came out February.

Nicki: Yeah.

Emily: Yeah. It’s been a fun road.

Nicki: That is so, so great.

Robb: Your work has changed our lives. How did you …

Nicki: It was somebody’s Instagram feed. I was just scrolling and I saw a picture of your book and read the caption and for whatever reason, at that point in our life, we had a lot going on. I was like, okay, this is kind of calling to me, so I ordered it, started reading it. It was April 1st and Robb was doing a lot, was under a lot of pressure and we were bickering and I’m like, “Babe, here’s this book. Don’t even bother reading the first part. Just do these four pages in the middle like you need it now.” He read those four pages and …

Robb: It was basically like the meditation equivalent of a guy in a heart attack and needing an AED shock. It was like, now, yeah, crash cart now. Within two days, my sleep was profoundly different. I think I was so broken that the first couple of days doing the meditation I went to … I don’t know where fiddle, like I was out on another plane somewhere and it’s interesting over the course of time. I know you make the case, don’t try to chase that kind of altered state. I would go through the coming to your senses deal. It was a little psychedelic feeling like the way that I would change and just work drive into that.

Robb: I guess I’m stumbling around kind of a question like is that just because I was so broken and I had so much stuff unpacked and now I’m maybe a little bit more of a baseline that it’s still clearly like I’m addicted to it. If I don’t get it, the boat sits in, I feel it, I miss it when I’m in it I want to protect it with knives and guns and axes.

Robb: It’s different than those first say like week. That first week I feel like it was literally like a lifeline being thrown to me. Do you have any thoughts around what was happening there?

Emily: I do. I think meditation in the beginning for people is very different from meditation three, four or five months in. A lot of people think, “The more I meditate, the easier it will be for me to clear my mind,” or, “I’ll be able to access those states once I get good at meditation.” It’s almost the opposite that happens.

Emily: In the beginning, I don’t think you were broken, I don’t love the word broken. You might have had some stress in your nervous system, but broken to me suggests not changeable, immutable and that’s just never the case. However, most of us are dealing with a bit of a sleep deprivation, a bit of a sleep debt. A lot of us, if sleep is the most restful form of rest that we have, then a lot of us are very tired.

Emily: In the beginning, once you find a technique that is designed for people like us and not for monks, the whole point of it and the whole point of us using a mantra is that it goes in and it de-excites the nervous system. It helps you to access these more subtle states of consciousness. You’re actually creating order in the cells in the body by this process of de-excitation. In the beginning, that can be very propel profound because you’re going from very, very amped, very stressed to some other state of consciousness.

Emily: It’s very easy to get addicted to that feeling or chasing that because this is validated. If you go from stress to chilling, it’s like I’m the best meditator in the land. Then, what happens over time is that as the right and left hemispheres of the brain starts to integrate, as you decrease the stress from your waking state, you don’t need as much rest in your meditation state. These states of consciousness start to blend.

Emily: Here you are in your waking state, here you are in meditation doesn’t feel all that different, doesn’t feel all that validating. This is why I’m always saying we meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation. Because if you’re chasing that change of consciousness, it’s like, “Go do Ayahuasca, go smoke some pot, go to LSD.” There’s lots of things you can do to have a change in consciousness very dramatically and quickly, but that’s not why we meditate.

Emily: We meditate for this eradication of the backlog of stresses. We meditate so that we can blend the hemispheres of our brain, so that we can bring that calm, quiet, inner contentedness of the meditation with us into our waking state. The price that we pay for that is the over time, the waking states has to permeate the meditation state. It’s not an either or phenomenon. It starts to be more like and.

Robb: Okay. That makes a ton of sense. Again, we’re just going to sing your praises here for a little bit. I’ve tried everything in this area, like I know Sam Paris, Sam Harris, we’ve talked to a number of times, tried his stuff, didn’t stick, tried everything and it just wasn’t the thing. Your approach is so simple. It’s so interesting because I’m clearly like a science geek, the only reason why Nicki married me is at Chico State. When we were there, there were five women for every one guy. My rest record was non-significant. She was stuck. I don’t get out a lot.

Robb: I’ve just tinkered with everything. There was just something about both the blend of the really pinpoint practicality, like no, man, do this, this and this. Do ABC and then XYZ is going to happen. Don’t make it up on your own. Do what I tell you to do. Then, here’s some explanation both from a cognitive neuroscience perspective and then also a little bit of hippy chakra balancing type stuff too.

Emily: Sprinkled on top.

Robb: Just sprinkled in. For me, it was perfect. It has been interesting to check out our community, which are also pretty well educated folks kind of geeked out on health and wellness. Your message has just resonated with folks profoundly. It’s been really, really incredible.

Nicki: Absolutely. I would love for you though, because so many people do use different apps. I know people are using like Muse headband things and there’s all kinds of timers and stuff. I would love for you to explain how Ziva is different, what makes it unique and …

Robb: Because it absolutely is.

Nicki: It is so different from what a lot of people do.

Emily: Yeah. It’s interesting because when I started teaching eight, nine years ago, it was like a bunch of monks and me. I had a very different meditation, like marketing challenge of differentiating what I did from what monks did. When I first started teaching, I was the accessible one. It’s like you can either move to the cave and be someone’s disciple for five years or you can do this thing that’s made for us.

Emily: Now I have a different challenge because every 58 million people have meditation apps on their phones, but only one million paid users, which is interesting to me. There’s 57 million people out there looking for a meditation practice that works for them. Now, people think that meditation is whatever the free app is on their phone or whatever the hundreds of millions of guided videos are on YouTube.

Emily: Where I think we all need some education around this is that what most people are calling meditation is what I would call mindfulness, which is the art of bringing your awareness into the present moment. Mindfulness is beautiful and powerful and necessary in this day and age when we’ve all become bulimic of the brain. There’s so much inflow happening all the time that we need these practice moments of let me come here, let me come now. Let me feel the water over my hands while I’m washing dishes. Let me forest bathe. Let me be super present when I’m surfing.

Emily: All the things that people are calling meditation. Exercise is my meditation. Cooking is my meditation. What they’re saying is those things bring me presence. I am conscious when I’m doing those things. I’m in the present moment. Beautiful.

Emily: We use mindfulness as the appetizer of the Ziva technique to the main course of meditation. The type of meditation that I teach is not based on something that was made for monks. It was made for people like us, people with busy minds and busy lives. This is really one of the biggest distinctions because even Headspace, even though it’s so user friendly and there’s the fun animations, it was developed by a former monk. Jay Shetty, one of the biggest personal brands in the world was a monk. We fetishized monks a little bit in our society.

Emily: I also think that because people like us, people with busy minds and busy lives, are trying to do what was originally designed for monks as their meditation. This is why everybody thinks it’s hard. This is why everybody feels like a meditation failure because they’re trying to clear their minds. They’re trying to do a style that was not made for us.

Emily: The thing about Ziva is that even though it’s very simple, it’s very powerful. We utilize these tools to go in and give your body this deep healing rest, rest that’s somewhere between two to five times deeper than sleep. We know that because the metabolic rate decreases, heart rate slows and body temperature cools. It’s the equivalent of taking a supercharged power nap, but without the sleep hangover on the other side. The cool benefit of that, basically, a power nap that you’re taking is not only are you more awake on the other side, but when you give your body this rest, it knows how to heal itself.

Emily: One of the things that it’s healing itself from is stress not only from today, which is what mindfulness is good at, dealing with your stress in the now. This type of meditation that I teach at Ziva is actually healing your stress from the past. All that stuff that has left imprints on our cells, imprints in our brain, imprints even in our epigenetics, the stuff that we’ve inherited for the past seven generations. That’s what this style of meditation is going in and healing.

Emily: What I find to be the real kicker on that is that that is the thing that gives you an ROI. If you’re just dealing with your stress and the now that’s a state change. That’s like taking an aspirin when you have a headache. It’s masking the symptom. Better than drinking tequila but not ultimately dealing with the root cause, right? If you want to handle why are you having headaches? Why are you feeling fatigued? Why do you have insomnia? Why do you have autoimmune issues? Why is your recovery time not what you want it to be? Then, we have to go after the root cause, which is the stress from our past.

Emily: Really, it’s like you’re not spending 15 minutes, you’re investing 15 minutes because the time that you’re going to get back is exponential. That’s really the kicker is that I’m not guiding you through, I don’t want people to be dependent on me or an app you. Everyone’s like, “Please make an app.” I’m like, “No.” Never say never. My intention is not to have an addiction model. I don’t want people to be tethered to their phone in order to meditate.

Emily: Yes, I utilize technology to give people the keys to the car and the driving instructions, but it’s designed to make you self-sufficient to that once you graduate from the course or once you finish reading the book, you don’t need me anymore. You can do it on a plane or on a train, on a bus or with your kids screaming in the next room.

Robb: It’s interesting. I really feel like we have always tried to create a non-dependency type relationship with the folks that we serve. If they can go be a chief and then they outgrow us, then we did our job amazingly well. Then, if they hang out for the community and we have fun and it’s still providing value, then that’s awesome. I wonder if that’s maybe where our gears really match because I didn’t really think about it.

Robb: You really do like you empower people so that it’s like, “Hey, throw me the book, turn off the computer, go do it.”

Nicki: I love that you don’t need a phone. You don’t need a timer. It doesn’t matter if it’s loud. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect little cushion to sit in a beautiful room with decorations. You can literally do it anywhere. That’s the part that I think is so empowering.

Emily: Yeah. Then, something I neglected to say is that, what the Ziva technique is the trifecta of mindfulness, meditation, and manifesting. Just to succinctly recap that, mindfulness is very good at dealing with your stress in the now like a state change. The meditation is very good at getting rid of your stress from the past, which is creating a trait change. Then, the manifesting is giving people the tools to consciously create a life they love, to deal with their dreams for the future.

Emily: What I found is that the combination of meditation and manifesting is so much more powerful than either one alone. Because you can meditate all day, but if you’re not clear about what it is you want, it’s very hard for nature to give you the thing. Conversely, you could be manifesting all day, but if your body is riddled with stress, you don’t believe that you deserve your desires. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Robb: Can I diverge into my medical school art class?

Emily: Yeah sure.

Robb: You might find this interesting. It may be and you’re like, “Okay, those guys are nuts.” We’ll try this way.

Robb: First year in medical school and we had this kind of art class thing going on. Basically, the instructor, she sat us down. She’s like, “Okay, I want you to envision something and then build it. It doesn’t have to be good, but just try to picture something, whether it’s a cap or a flower or whatever.” She came back around a little bit after that and she was like, “Okay, this is interesting, so what are you envisioning?” I’m like, “I’m just liking these colors and this and that.”

Robb: She’s like, “No, no, no. What are you envisioning?” I started getting prickly and I’m like, well, you know, I mean. This woman got in my kitchen so profoundly, like I stomped out of the class, threw the stuff down. I was like, fucking idiot. This is 20 years ago almost. I have been amazing at like, you drop me in the middle of Siberia with no resources and you come back in a year and I will have built a community and have stuff going.

Robb: If you ask me, “Robb, what do you want to be in two months or three years?” It’s like.

Nicki: This has been a challenge ever since we’ve known each other. Because anytime I brought up anything that Tony Robbins or anybody that talks about manifesting thing …

Robb: I would get prickly.

Nicki: Yeah. Because in your mind it’s like, “You just sit around and wishing for this thing and it’s going to show up.”

Robb: What it was is I was completely unable to do it. I mean zero capacity to sit down and just say, “What’s something that I love? I like that in my life. Is it possible, what are my actionable steps?”

Robb: It’s interesting, even on that manifesting side, through manifesting master class. We’ve been working our way through that and that too is amazing. I’m just curious like what do you think happened in that scenario? Because I can actually sit down and I have some really important work I’m trying to do. Our goal with the Healthy Rebellion is to liberate a million people out of the sick care system. That is no small thing. If we fall short by 90%, we will have still made a massive impact.

Robb: I’m actually able to think about, yeah, I want to do this because I love it and here’s my actionable stuff. What happened to me in that process? Why did I go from literally like Sonny Bono skiing through trees, like no plan, just don’t hit a tree to actually being able to say this is the path I want. This is what I want to do. I’m going to do it. I can’t describe. Huge change. I’m less of a dick now too.

Emily: Yeah. That’s really my goal.

Nicki: I confirm.

Emily: Okay, so I think you just answered your own question is that for a lot of people manifesting is very challenging because we’ve been in fight or flight for so long. We’ve been in survival mode for so long, which is why you could be dropped in the middle of Siberia and thrive. It’s why you could be skiing down the trees and not hit any of them. It’s that present moment, fight or flight survival.

Emily: For so many of us, that had to be a very developed tool to make it through our childhood or make it through our 20s or whatever situations we were in, which for oftentimes people like us and healers, it’s like that’s what gave us our superpowers is thriving through those adverse experiences. They have the very things that gave us our superpowers end up creating our limiting beliefs and it stifles what we believe is possible.

Emily: For a lot of high achievers and high performers, they scoff at the very mention of manifesting because it sounds hippy dippy. They think like, “You just want me to secret my dreams? You want me to just like get high and make a vision board?” I mean, fun times. The answer is no. It’s not about just sitting back and being fatalistic. It’s about owning your 50% of the puzzle and trusting nature to do its 50% of the puzzle.

Emily: I think that so often, we fall out of balance in one direction or the other. We either become control freaks. We try to do it all ourselves. Or, we become laissez faire. It’s like, “I put it on my vision board so I don’t need to apply for the job.” The reality is nature gave us 50-50. It’s like 50% individuality and 50% totality.

Emily: For me, the manifesting it’s not changing what’s on your to do list, you just have to do your work. It’s communicating to nature how and what you would like nature to deliver. I like to anthropomorphize this a little bit and think about nature, capital and nature. You could fill in universe, God, collected consciousness, whatever term you like to use for that. I like to think about it as a kind of benevolent parent.

Emily: It’s like I have a son now and it’s really taught me so much about manifesting because I see him. If I know what he wants, I’m like, please have the blueberries. You’re like, “Yes, I would love to take you to the playground,” but he can’t speak English right now. It’s very hard for me to discern what it is that he wants. I’m just constantly hovering like what? Just say what you want, use your words, use your signs. When he says it like, “Mama, milk, hug playground.” I’m like, “Happy to deliver.”

Emily: It’s what we’re doing in manifesting is learning how to place the order with the cosmic waitress at the cosmic restaurant. Then, conversely, learning how to surrender, learning how to trust what I like to call pronoia, which is the opposite of paranoia. Pronoia, this belief that nature is constantly conspiring to deliver our desires.

Robb: I had never heard.

Nicki: Yeah, I like that.

Robb: That’s amazing, huh?

Emily: Yeah, pronoia.

Nicki: That’s awesome. One of the biggest, whenever we talk about meditation to friends or it comes up in conversation, people would be like, oh yeah, either they push back or they’re doing it already, which is great. When I talk about Ziva and I mentioned that it’s a two-time a day meditation, that’s when it’s like, “No, I would never have time to do it two times a day.”

Nicki: I’d love for you to speak why it’s important to do it twice and just give folks that extra motivation. I think you used the term art math in your book and how you explain why the two times per day is so important.

Emily: Sure. I’ll explain the RMF because I think it’s a cool, it’s an analogy if you will. If you think about, you wake up on Monday morning, you pick up 10 units of stress, you go to sleep Monday nights, sleep burns away seven units of stress. You’ve picked up 10, sleep burns way seven, you wake up on Tuesday and you’re starting your day with three. Pick up 10 on Tuesday, sleep away seven start Wednesday with six, nine, 12 and most of us have just been piling up stresses for decades.

Emily: This is what leads to Harvard medical school saying that stress is responsible for 90% of all doctor’s visits. It’s why scientists are calling stress the black plague of our century. The good news is this is not an incurable illness. We have a cure it’s called meditation. We all just think we’re too busy to do it. Here’s the math on why you’re not too busy. Here’s the math on twice a day meditation.

Emily: You pick up 10, you meditate Monday morning, that burns away three. Meditate Monday afternoon, that burns away three. You’ve picked up 10, meditation has now eradicated six. You only have four left. Go to sleep Monday night, sleep burns away seven. You wake up on Tuesday and now you’re at negative three. Pick up 10, burn off 13 with the sleep and the meditation. On Wednesday, you’re at negative six, negative nine, negative 12.

Emily: We just keep doing this bit by bit meditation by meditation until we’ve gotten through the entire backlog of stresses we’ve ever accumulated. How long does that process take? About 7 to 10 years. Most people are like, “Excuse me, I was looking for the 15-day program.” Do you sell an upgrade or something?

Emily: Like I mentioned earlier, you could go take a bunch of Ayahuasca or a bunch of acid, like there’s things you can do to usher yourself into very high states of consciousness. The trick is when you come back to sobriety, now you have to pay the piper. Eventually, you’re going to have to do the work. You could take steroids and get big, but if you want to get strong, you have to lift heavy things. If you want to usher yourself into higher states of consciousness, you have to eradicate the stress in your body.

Emily: This is what I hear more often than I would like. I’ll check in with folks, “Hey, how’s it going?” They’re like, “Good, I’m meditating every day. I’m doing it in the morning that morning when it’s easy, but that second one is tough for me, because I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but I’m actually the busiest person in the land. I just can’t get to that second meditation.”

Emily: Here’s the math on once a day. You pick up 10 units of stress. You meditate Monday morning because that’s easy. You forgot to schedule it into your calendar like you would a call with your lawyer and you skip the second one. You picked up 10 meditation burns away three. You sleep away seven you wake up on Tuesday and now you’re at zero. Pick up 10 burn off 10, zero. Pick up 10 burn off 10, zero. Pick up 10 burn off 10, zero. Now you’re in a holding pattern. Now you’re in a maintenance program. Just like with physical fitness, maintenance is not the program.

Robb: Boring.

Emily: It’s boring and …

Robb: Like no sense of progress. Yeah.

Emily: Yeah. Then, if you don’t feel any sense of progress or you’re making any strides, you’re going to quit. If you’re just maintaining on your physical fitness, that’s a fast track to being weaker than when you started.

Robb: Right.

Emily: What I try to really hit home for folks is that twice a day is not 2X better. It is exponentially better. It’s like doing cardio and lifting weights. Otherwise, you’re just like drinking a Coke and getting on a treadmill. It’s like calories in, calories out, which I know was an old model. For any of us, if we’re not seeing a real return on investment, we’re going to quit. That’s why there’s 57 million people who have downloaded a free app and aren’t using it, because it’s like they did it for 10 minutes they felt okay, but they’re not seeing any real life changing benefits, so I don’t have time for that.

Emily: None of us have time to spend. None of us have time to waste. All of us have time to invest. If we’re going to get more time back in our day, if we’re going to be more productive, if we’re going to need less sleep, if we’re going to improve our sleep latency, if we’re going to improve our immune system, if we’re going to increase our sex drive, our parking karma, reverse our body age by 15 years. These are all the things that have been scientifically proven to happen when you start a regular practice.

Robb: You could make the case then that possibly one of the reasons why I have stuck with it, we have stuck with it, is that even though it’s 15 more minutes, it’s 30 minutes total, the 15-minute investment would stall out. You won’t have a sense of progress and so you’re going to bail on it. Whereas with the two 15-minute blocks, there’s constant forward momentum, constant forward progress. You get that little dopamine hit from the fact that you’re like, “Man, I’m feeling better.” You notice it because you got a couple of travel days where it’s like, “Okay, the second one just didn’t happen.”

Robb: It’s like you’re grateful for the one in the morning, but you’re really missing the second one. I mean, it’s interesting like if you’re going to get the full benefit, you really need to invest in the two a day. Otherwise, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot to some point.

Emily: Yeah. Or, you’re just treading water. Ultimately, after time, you’re going to feel like you’re failing because your life is not really getting that much better. Then, it is you’re spending not investing that time, which I would call wasting. Look, none of us are going to do anything for very long that we feel like we’re failing that. We always want to feel like we’re progressing and that it’s worth investing our most valuable resource, which is our time.

Emily: I think it takes an extraordinary amount of discipline to do once a day. I think it’s actually easier to do twice a day because you become more productive. Your to-do list used to take you five hours, starts to take you three. You used to need eight or nine hours of sleep and wake up feeling exhausted. You start to need more like seven or eight and you wake up feeling refreshed.

Emily: I mean, think about sick days. How much time do you lose when you’re sick? What about losing your temper on your loved one or not being patient with your kids or stupid mistakes that you make at 5:00 the afternoon when your brain checked out by 3:00 p.m. If you had meditated, how many less mistakes would you be making? How much more intuitive would you be on the dating apps? How much better business you could be making?

Emily: We’re not even clocking how much time stress is costing us. That’s something that I have people do on the front end is I actually have them clock how much stress is costing them financially. I want them to look at the last six months of their life. How much money have they spent on alcohol, pot, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, doctor’s visits, pain meds, therapy, supplements, all this stuff.

Emily: Then say, okay, what if you just need less of all of that? You’re going to be at cheaper date, you’re going to need less alcohol, you will need less supplements, you will need less therapy, your sleep will be more efficient. It’s not magic. It’s not even for six months. It’s like you have these tools for the rest of your life. Once you start to do the math on that of what stress is costing me financially and in time, then this becomes a no brainer. It’s just we’re not doing the right math.

Nicki: Is there ever a case for anybody to do more? Yeah. Three a day? Like if they’re going through it like a super stressful period in their life and they need that math to really kick in to high gear?

Emily: Yeah. That would actually be on the travel days. When you’re strapped to a chair and you can’t go to the bathroom and you can’t be on your phone and there’s no entertainment, that’s when you want to meditate more. Anytime you’re flying, if you’re pregnant, if you’re sick or if you’re not sleeping. Anytime you’re under an increase in physical demand, you could throw like a marathon or a surgery. Anytime your body is really needing to recover, you could do more but you wouldn’t want to increase if it’s your wedding week or you just started a new job or your in-laws are in town.

Emily: That’s when you actually want to be religious about the twice a day. Then, when you’re under an increase in physical demand, you can increase the practice.

Robb: Got you. If you were to do more, is it more beneficial to do more of the 15-minute sessions or? I find frequently that like internally I can recognize when I’m at 15 minutes pretty easy. Oftentimes, I’m like I’m doing 30 minutes, 20 to 30 minutes. I just go longer. Is it kind of a wash like so long as you’re doing more it’s better? Or, do you have any sense of like the longer investments provide a little more benefit or is it the more frequent exposure if you were to divvy up 45 minutes of your day one way or the other?

Emily: I would say it would depend on what the demand is. If you’re pregnant, you can meditate as much as you want, as long as you want. You can’t meditate too much when you’re pregnant. It’s such a huge demand on the body. With flying, I recommend one extra meditation for every five hours of travel. If you’re sick per se, then you could just, if your body wanted to go over 45 minutes or an hour, you could just let it go.

Emily: In your case, if the body is just innocently and spontaneously wanting to go a little bit longer and that’s happening on a regular basis, that could be a product of two things. One, your nervous system is pretty pure. You’ve spent a lifetime purifying your physiology and your body is just already kind of like closer to that state. Provided that you’re not having any intense catharsis or emotional purging, then I feel okay with you adapting it and listening to your body. For most people though, I say follow the program because there’s three different ways that people can learn.

Emily: People can learn through the book. They can learn through ZivaONLINE or they can learn live face-to-face with me. Based on which of those you’re doing, there’s different mantras and there’s different timelines. I created those on purpose. I’d say that the live is kind of like the Maserati of meditation. Those are the most powerful mantras. We go for 20 minutes and it’s just like going in and cleaning house.

Emily: Then, the online course is a little bit gentler. It’s like an adorable Toyota. It’s fast, efficient, it’s going to get you there. It’s not a Maserati. Then, the book is even gentler and that’s kind of like the best buy. All roads lead to Rome. Okay. It’s just how powerful the mantra is, is usually how long the body wants to sit in the meditation.

Emily: For the book and the online, it’s 15 minutes twice a day versus the live is 20. For occasionally, and you I would call you’re an edge case for sure. If the body’s going a little bit longer innocently, fine to listen to that.

Robb: Okay. Okay.

Nicki: When you do that, when you explain the art math and you talk about alleviating these units of stress that we’ve accumulated through our lives, and then you think about our children, how would you recommend or when would you recommend teaching meditation to children so that they don’t maybe accumulate all of the stress that we all did growing up.

Emily: Yeah. Thank you for asking that. I’m very happy to report that our big project for 2020 is Ziva Kids.

Robb: Wow.

Nicki: I’m so excited.

Emily: We just started development on it now. I’m not a child psychologist. I don’t specialize in teaching kids. I’m really seeking out help and support from the best in the business. Because I really want to do it well. We’re going to have different modules for different age groups, but at least 80% of the training is going to be for the parents.

Emily: The things I can tell you now that I feel pretty certain about is that the more you clean your own house, the less stress your kids are going to be. Our stress is directly impacting our kids. Kids are narcissists. They have to deify us, right? Because they need us to survive so we have to be kind of perfect and holy in their eyes.

Emily: If we’re stressed, they’re going to take that personally. They’re going to think, “Mommy is a goddess. There’s nothing wrong with her. If she’s stressed, it must be my fault.” “Daddy is angry and he’s perfect. If he’s mad, something’s wrong with me.” They internalize not only their own stress but also ours. There’s an interesting study out of Yale that was treating kids with anxiety disorders and they didn’t treat the kids at all. They only treated the parents and they had significant improvement in the kid’s anxiety levels.

Emily: Step one of Ziva Kids is going to be, “Hey, parents, giddy up, you got to clean your own house.” Let’s celebrate those successes knowing that you meditating is already such a massive gift to your children and not only because you’re decreasing your own stress, but that they’re starting to see that you are taking responsibility for your own mental health.

Emily: If you’re crabby one day and you didn’t meditate, they’re like, “Mommy is mean, maybe she needs to meditate,” or, “Daddy is a lot more fun after he meditates.” Rather than taking that personally, they see that it’s a practice. It’s something you can work on like anything else. I would say, if you wanted to, in the meantime, while we’re developing Ziva Kids, I’d say anywhere around like five or six-ish, you could start to include them in it.

Emily: From the time they can speak English, I would tell them that you’re meditating. Mommy is going to meditate, daddy’s going to meditate. Then, once they understand English, you could say, “I’m training to be a Jedi, so please don’t interrupt mommy’s meditation right now.”

Robb: That is exactly the language I used with Zoe was, “Hey, you remember Star Wars?” She like, “Yeah.” I’m like, “Meditation is the closest thing to developing Jedi powers that exist.” She was like, “Really?” Yeah, yeah. I carry some cachet in our house. Yeah.

Emily: Good. If Star Wars doesn’t carry cachet in your house, maybe it’s My Little Pony or Care Bear stare, whatever your kids would understand. You’re going to have rainbows shooting out of you once you meditate. You don’t want to lie, but just whatever makes it accessible for the kids. Then, I would say include them in it. If you’re meditating, maybe just give them a book or have some activity that they really enjoy and meditate while they can see you versus locking yourself away in a room so that it doesn’t become this thing that you’re like, “Mommy is taking herself away from me in order to meditate.”

Emily: It’s something that they see and it becomes less foreign. I used to see it as a superpower like, this is a way for me to go inside. Books about meditation are great because then they start to see like, “This is something that people do.” They can start to develop their own. It’s way easy for kids to meditate than us. My kid’s course is only an hour and a half because I can teach them much faster than I can teach adults.

Emily: The other thing that I would say, you could share perhaps the mantra from the book, but oftentimes kids, and I do not recommend this for adults, but sometimes kids will cognize their own mantra. They will have a word or something that is like a settling sound that resonates for them. The other thing with kids is that we don’t want to be so disciplined. It’s not like we have to do it every day, twice a day, and you have to do it before school. Just teach them the way in and let them figure out when they want to use it. They’ll surprise you.

Nicki: That’s huge.

Robb: Our youngest has sat with you many times. Yeah. She’ll ride …

Nicki: She’ll sit there most of the time and I just tell her like, when you’re done, you just get up and go. Then I’ll come out.

Emily: How old is she?

Nicki: She’s five. She’s five.

Emily: Great. I have bettered brag for just a second. My son is 17 months old. I don’t actually meditate around him very much because he’s a baby essentially. I’m able to meditate if my mom is here, if my nanny is here. I have been doing it in seclusion thus far. The other day, I was with him and I could tell he was ready for a nap, but he was fighting it. I just put him in his crib and then there was a couch right next to his crib and he was crying, crying, crying and reaching for me.

Emily: Finally, I just picked him up and I sat him in my lap in the dark and I just meditated. He had a book and he was kind of looking at his book for a while and finally he just put the book down and he started sucking his thumb and he just sat in my lap at 17 months old. He was there for like 15 minutes. He was kind of a little sleepy, but that might be a nice time to do it as well. Maybe sing them a few songs. You meditate while they sit in your lap just as a way to introduce it to them.

Robb: Okay.

Nicki: Yeah, I think your kid’s program is going to be an amazing service too.

Emily: I’m so excited about it.

Nicki: Think about all the stress that kids are under. I mean you mentioned like if there’s stress in the household, but I mean just going to school and the bullying that’s going on and just our …

Emily: Social media and school shootings.

Nicki: … they’re going up in an environment that’s crazy. It’s relative to even where when we grew up with just the demands on them in their schedules and all that. I think it’s a really important thing. I’m excited for that. Let’s see, what else do we have here?

Robb: I think we may be touched on it a little bit, the number one tip for someone starting to meditate. I would go out on a limb and say do the two a day, like by hook or by crook. Would that maybe be the number one? I mean clearly, do it, but then if you’re going to do it, do the two day because it’s almost setting yourself up for failure to not really commit to that and just make it happen.

Emily: Yeah. I think that once you have a practice and once you have some training, I do think that you’re right. Twice a day is easier than once a day. However, my number one tip for people looking to get started is to treat it like a skill. You would not expect yourself to speak Japanese without ever taking a Japanese class. You wouldn’t expect yourself to learn how to tap dance on day one. You would take a class.

Emily: Just because meditation is simple does not mean you should magically already know how to do it. This is your brain that we’re talking about. If you’re not going to take the time to invest in your brain, which is ultimately printing every single cell in your body, what else are you spending your time on? This thing is making every single decision in your life. Let’s give it the respect that it demands and deserves.

Emily: I’d say, treat it like a skill. If people think I’m a ding-dong, fine. Find a teacher that you trust and respect and commit the time and the energy to learn a skill. Then, you’ll know it’s working for you if your life is getting better. You’ll know it’s the right one for you if you’re seeing a return on investment. Then, if that’s happening, then follow the program. In this case, yes, it’s twice a day.

Emily: Then, the other big piece is, and we’re way off number one tip now, but the other big piece is thoughts are not the enemy of meditation, effort is. The mind thinks involuntarily, just like the heartbeats involuntarily. The only reason people think they need to clear their mind during meditation is they’re basing it on monastic types of meditation. We just have to reframe that old paradigm.

Nicki: That was such a big takeaway for me in the book. Your analogy with your thought, be like a hostess at a party, not the bouncer. You’re not kicking the thoughts out of your head. Just let them come and then just turn away from them or turn towards the mantra. That’s a really powerful visual for …

Robb: One good little rule of thumb, so it had to be like super delineated to work. Yeah. Again, not to like just gush overly but in the last seven months, we bought a house, sold a house, moved 2000 miles away, started homeschooling completely re-pivoted our whole business thing in such a way that we weren’t really sure if anybody was going to show up. We’re going to continue doing what we were doing, starting to build a new social network. We had lived in Reno for almost 10 years and her dad lives there. We have great social connections.

Robb: The long and short of it is that I would make the case that we’ve like … if you rank those life stressors, short of like someone dying, we had a ton of them in back to back and on top of each other and it sucked. I would prefer it not to be that way, but we handled it far better than we handled our life when we were in a relatively low stress environment.

Nicki: Several times, we were like, “Thank God, we’re meditating. This would be unbearable.”

Robb: Yup. We really wouldn’t have made it through. I just can’t gush. At some point, you gush so much when people are like, okay, this is bullshit. I’m going to check out. It’s totally life changing. I just wanted to mention something with our kids in the past, whenever they’ve gotten hurt, like, they tumble down the stairs or they crash a bike or something like that. My initial emotion is anger. I’m not mad at them, but I’m mad at the situation because I get scared and then I’m angry and it takes me a while to work through this stuff.

Nicki: Zoe slipped.

Robb: Zoe slipped. We have polished concrete floor.

Nicki: She totally slipped.

Robb: Just like feet up in the air, landed on her back and I shot up and I just scooped her up and cradled her. There was no anger. I tear up a little bit.

Nicki: No, it contrasted with when she was like just a little over a year old, just started walking and she slipped on the fireplace and knocked her tooth through her bottom lip. Yeah, that was the first time I think I had experienced that with you where you got really mad.

Robb: I wasn’t mad at her but I was just scared. My fear led to anger.

Emily: That was fight or flight thought.

Robb: Yeah. I’m on the fight, because I’m not a very good runner. I’d rather just die right there than try to run away, but. You noticed it, I was kind of noodling out like wow, that was a very different experience. She said, “You’re different. You handled that whole thing totally differently.” Even when we need to discipline the kids and stuff like that, I’m much more kind, much more thoughtful, not so like bitey with stuff. I’m still kind of a jerk and I hold their feet to the fire and there’s standards and everything but there’s a lot more love and connection there.

Robb: Whereas before, it was more of just like drill sergeant, like dictating stuff out and trying to make my life easy. The fact that I’ve meditated, my life is now easier so I don’t need to be a dick on the back end to try to get done what I think needs to be done.

Emily: Yes. Right on. Thank you for sharing that. It is the most beautiful testimonial because being more loving with your kids, what else is there? I’d say it’s more effective. It’s a better strategy. You’re going to get what you want more of.

Robb: Yeah, yeah. It’s been huge.

Nicki: Yup.

Emily: Bravo. Also, bravo to you guys for being brave enough to make all of those changes. Bravo to you for staying committed. It would’ve been very easy with every excuse in the book to not meditate. Yet, you recognize the importance of like everything else is changing. Let me tap into the thing, the only thing that is constant, which is ultimately the energy inside of us. That’s the only thing that’s unchangeable. I think in these times of turbulence, it’s easy to say, I’m moving or my kid is sick or whatever, but that’s when we need it the most. Thanks for being shining examples of that.

Robb: It was like somebody threw a rope over a cliff and we were hanging by a tree branch and it was like, that’s the one rope we got. I don’t know enlightened it was, it was just purely like survival …

Nicki: Again, to Emily’s initial point, we’ve learned that skill from her. We learned that tool. We could take it on in our life and apply it.

Robb: Emily, would you be willing to maybe walk us through the coming to your senses?

Emily: People are watching this live, so I was thinking it’d be really cool if we could just do some … I know you probably don’t want to do the full meditation because there’s a lot that needs to be taught and explained before with regards to the mantras and whatnot, but maybe like a little meditation or a little come to your senses.

Nicki: Yeah, I would love that. What would be the ideal length of time?

Emily: Let’s see.

Robb: We want to be respectful of your time.

Nicki: Yeah, I was planning on this only being an hour, we’ve got about 15 minutes.

Emily: Great. Okay. I’ll do like 10-ish and then we can leave some time for people to have Q and A or share their experience afterwards.

Nicki: Okay.

Robb: Can I get comfy now?

Emily: Please get comfy. For everybody watching, if you want to make sure your phone is on silent, close down your other tabs. Ideally, we want to have our back supported but our head free, so not in a lazy boy recliner, not cross-legged with nothing behind you, but ideally back supported and head free. We’re going to start with something called balancing breath because this is … I don’t think I teach this in the book, so it might be new for you guys. It’s a really good way to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain to go in and de-excite the nervous system.

Emily: It’s a great way to create a state change in the body. This will be preparing us for the come to your senses, which is one of the mindfulness tools that we use. Again, mindfulness is like the appetizer of the Ziva technique. The meditation, as you mentioned, it requires a bit more explanation. If you want the key to the car, you got to get the driving instructions. We will end with a little mini manifestation as well.

Emily: Let’s take our right hand. We’ll take our thumb and ideally our ring finger, if that’s uncomfortable, you can always use your pinky. Close your right nostril with your thumb. You might have to mirror me. Then, exhale through your left nostril. Good. Inhale through the left. Then, switching sides, closing your left nostril with your ring finger and exhaling through the right. Good. Inhaling through the right. Switching sides, closing your right nostril with your thumb and exhaling through the left.

Emily: Inhaling through the left, big delicious inhale into the belly. You can close your eyes if you haven’t already. When you get to the top of this inhale, take one more sip of air and floating there at the top for just a moment. Noticing that space between and then switching sides, closing your left nostril with your ring finger and exhaling through the right nostril all the way to empty.

Emily: When you get to the bottom of the exhale. Again, being brave enough to sit in that space between, moment in between the exhale and the inhale. Then, allowing that breath to fall into the lungs, fall into the belly. Taking a big delicious inhale through the right nostril. When you get to the top of the inhale, one more sip of air. Then, switching sides and letting it just fall out. Letting every muscle in your body soften as you surrender an exhale. Really good.

Emily: On this inhale, I invite you to imagine this breath and energy coming into the base of the spine. As you inhale, imagining this breath and energy traveling up the spine. When you get to the top of the inhale, switching sides and then imagine sending that breath and energy right out through the middle of your forehead. Beautiful. We’re starting to awaken our imagination on this next inhale, big, delicious inhale. Imagine the breath and energy coming into the base of the spine and as you fill your lungs, imagine that breath traveling up the spine.

Emily: When you get to the top of the inhale, switching sides and now exhaling and sending that breath and energy right out through the middle of your forehead. Good. You can continue this in your own time. The pattern is simply out in, switch, out in. With each inhale, you’re imagining the breath and energy coming into the base of the spine. With each exhale, you’re sending that creative energy that lives in the base of our spine. You’re sending that out into your day, into your life, into everything that you want to create and know that as we close the right and left nostrils, we’re helping to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Emily: As we breathe through only one nostril, we’re starting to de-excite the metabolic rate which is the rate with which the body consumes oxygen. We’re starting to slow everything down, turning our attention inward. Really good. We’ll do one more cycle. Biggest inhale you’ve taken all year. As you exhale, letting your brow soften, your jaw soften, your shoulders drop, your belly soften and giving yourself permission to arrive fully in your body. Right here, right now. At the end of your next exhale, you can keep your eyes closed and drop your hands into your lap.

Emily: We’ll move through a simple but powerful mindfulness exercise called come to your senses. Here, we’re going to use our five senses as a tool to bring ourselves into the body and into the right now. We’ll begin by listening for all the sounds we can detect. Noticing what’s the most prevalent sound I can hear right now, the prevalence of my voice. Perhaps there’s traffic or airplanes in the background. Perhaps you can hear the birds chirping outside.

Emily: This is an opportunity to not judge these sounds as good or bad to see them as distractions or enhancements. Instead, we’re pulling the lens of our awareness out and we’re starting to include everything that’s happening inside of this experience. Hearing the plane in the background where I am. Perhaps you can hear a siren far away. Just noticing what’s the most prevalent sound and what’s the most subtle. Even already we’re surrendering our agenda of what we think should be happening. We’re allowing the body and the environment to unfold in the way that it’s knows best. Really good.

Emily: Now, ever so gently bring your awareness to your sense of touch. What’s the most prevalent tactile sensation happening in your body right now? Yeah. Can you feel the weight of your body against the chair? Can you feel your clothes against your skin? Perhaps the subtlety of the breath as it enters and exits the nostrils. Even if there’s pain in the body, how do we notice that as a prevalent sensation instead of judging it as a distraction from our agenda of enjoying the meditation. You may enjoy it. You may not. Either way, it’s fine. We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation. Just noticing the most prevalent and the most subtle tactile sensations.

Emily: Really good. Even with the eyes closed, I invite you to see what you’re seeing. Can you see the prevalence of the blackness? Perhaps you can see the light of the computer or the light of your window streaming through your eyelids. Are there colors dancing in your mind’s eye? Really good.

Emily: Now, we’ll bring our awareness to our sense of taste. Even though you’re not currently eating anything, noticing what’s the most prevalent taste sensation in your body right now? Can you taste your morning coffee or your lunch? Is it simply the absence of taste? You can’t get this right or wrong. These are simply tools to bring our awareness into the body and into the present moment.

Emily: Finally, smell what you’re smelling. Can you smell your own shampoo? If the windows are open, can you smell the breeze from the outside? Again, it might simply be the absence of smell. It’s through our five senses that we access our sixth sense of intuition. It’s through our five senses that we’re able to wake up our right brain, which is in charge of present moment awareness, and our bliss is always found right here, right now.

Emily: We’ll start to cycle through the five senses. Hear what you’re hearing. Feel what you’re feeling. See what you’re seeing. Taste what you’re tasting. Smell what you’re smelling. Eventually, we’ll move into a space where we’re neither chasing pleasure nor avoiding pain. Simply noticing them both as sensations. Hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting, and smelling. Really good.

Emily: From this phase of expanded awareness and acceptance of everything that’s going on, I invite you to think of three things that you’re most grateful for. It could be the fact that you have food to eat or a place to sleep or air to breathe. It doesn’t have to be big or profound. Simply asking the question, what am grateful for, is powerful enough to change the chemistry of your brain.

Emily: From this place of acceptance and gratitude, I invite you to think of one thing that you would love to manifest. Again, it doesn’t have to be big or small. You don’t have to go for your life’s mission. You could simply think about manifesting a great dinner with your family or how you want to feel tomorrow morning when you wake up. It’s just what one thing that you would love and probably the first thing that popped into your mind is a great one to play with for today.

Emily: Like you’re a little kid playing pretend, I invite you to imagine this dream, this manifestation, this idea as if it is your current reality. Imagining this dream unfolding all around you. You’re signing the contract, you’re saying yes, you’re walking into the home, whatever it is for you. Imagine it unfolding all around you. You could imagine what it looks like or what it sounds like, are people laughing or crying. Most importantly, when you think about this thing that you would love coming to fruition, what does that feel like?

Emily: Do you feel proud? Do you feel excited? Do you feel generous? Do you feel grateful? Taking a moment to breathe that sensation into every single cell in your body. As you exhale, letting go of anything that is not serving you or this dream. Trusting that your desires are divinely inspired, that nature has given you these desires and inside of them are the tools to make them manifest.

Emily: Reminding yourself that your happiness does not lie on the other side of the acquisition of this desire, but it is always here. It is always now. The joy in manifesting comes from assuming the feeling. It’s a gift that we’re giving ourselves so that we can get into the feeling space of our dreams right here, right now. One final time. Imagining this dream unfolding all around you, letting that bring a little smile to your face, even if you have to fake it till you make it and inhaling that smile into every single cell in your body.

Emily: As you exhale, letting go of anything that is not serving you or this dream. Really good. Giving yourself a big internal high five for tuning in today. A big internal high five for bravely going on this exercise, especially if it was your first time meditating and knowing that this or something better is already on the way to you and you wouldn’t even want it.

Emily: Starting to breathe some life into your hands, into your feet. In your own time, whenever you’re ready, we can start to slowly, gently open the eyes. Good job.

Robb: That was not bad.

Emily: I think I might’ve gotten a little bit more than 10 minutes. Whenever, I figured we were all feeling it.

Nicki: That was awesome. Thank you so, so much.

Robb: That was incredible. Thank you.

Nicki: Emily, we can’t thank you enough for taking the time and sharing your amazingness with our community. Yeah, I feel like what you’re doing is truly changing the world.

Robb: It’s changed our lives for sure. We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing were not for your work, so huge thank you. Yeah.

Emily: You guys, it feels good to hear that from anyone, but it certainly feels good to hear it from you guys. People who have had such a big impact on me and my husband and our health and our food. Because just like stress is impacting our cognitive ability, what we’re eating, how we’re moving, all of this, it all impacts our consciousness. Thank you for the work that you’re doing. I’m truly honored to play a role in it. Thank you for your enthusiasm in sharing this. So many people have joined the Ziva community thanks to you guys. I’m very grateful.

Robb: Awesome.

Nicki: Awesome.

Robb: How are we going to let folks know where to track Emily and all these thing?

Nicki: Yup. We can put links to all of her book and ZivaONLINE and manifesting. I cannot wait to share your kid’s program when it’s ready.

Robb: Yeah. When the kid’s program is ready, would you begin … once it’s going and all, you’re comfortable in the backside of that, would you mind coming back on and we can chat about that?

Emily: Yeah, it will be my pleasure. I would love to.

Robb: Okay. That would be awesome.

Emily: Yeah.

Robb: Great.

Nicki: Awesome. Thank you.

Emily: It’s my pleasure. Enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you for having me on.

Nicki: All right, you too. Bye.

Emily: Bye.

Nicki: That was amazing.

Robb: Do you need a smoke and a cup of coffee?

Nicki: I don’t know. I don’t know. Emily, she just never disappoints and just love her work. In fact, she also has a manifesting master class that she released a couple of months ago that I signed up for and it’s packed with great stuff too. Just love, love, love her work. Really, really glad and honored that she joined us for that interview and glad that we’re able to share that with you all. Hopefully that helps you in your life, in your journey.

Robb: Yup. If you are a member of the Healthy Rebellion, you had access to that first, but if you’re not, then you’ll get it a wee bit later. Yeah.

Nicki: You have the video and you saw it live and also, we had some really nice conversations about it and ongoing conversations actually about meditation. Yeah. A large number of folks are doing twice daily meditations and following Emily’s program pretty religiously. It’s really cool to see.

Nicki: Thanks for joining us. That’s a wrap on this episode. Please check out our show sponsor, Kettle and Fire. Go to and use code healthy rebellion for 15% off your order. Please share this episode. I know there’s got to be somebody in your life who could benefit from a little less stress. This is the perfect, perfect episode to share with them.

Robb: If you share this one, then they may think that we’re not crazy people. This could be a really nice one.

Nicki: It’s like the gateway episode.

Robb: It’s the gateway episode. Yeah. Emily will provide some credibility to cover for the neurosis and insanity that usually is dictated by us. Yeah.

Nicki: Then please rate and review the Healthy Rebellion Radio wherever you go for your podcasts. Finally, if you’d like to connect with some fellow health rebels, we’d love to have you join us inside the Healthy Rebellion community. Go to

Robb: Just really quickly on that, our goal is to liberate one million people from the sick care system. If you want to know what the heck that means and what’s involved with it, go check it out,

Nicki: We’ll see you inside.

Robb: Bye, wife.

Nicki: Bye, hubs.


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