🥋 The Power of Misogi: Create Challenges for Growth

Aug 26, 2023

Read time: 6 mins 


In this week’s dose, we explore a monk’s tip for more presence, my challenging misogi, and how to handle doubt when it arises. 


🗣 Quote of the Week:

"The shields we build to protect ourselves can sometimes become the very barriers that keep us from living authentically.” -

The deep connection we seek to feel with the world around us starts with building a deeper connection with ourselves.


🥋 My Misogi: BJJ World Championships 

This week, we finished our “comp” training in preparation for the Jiu Jitsu World Championships (for the 30+ age group) next weekend in Las Vegas.

I don’t compete much and to be honest, I’m still on the fence if I even LIKE competing - it scares the shit out of me.

But when I do it, it’s because I know how much I grow as a HUMAN during each competition.

There’s something about facing off against someone in a ring surrounded by cheering teammates that brings a new level of growth out of you.

Especially if that someone is trying to choke you out...

In the book Comfort Crisis, the author discusses misogi - a made-up challenge intended to discover what you can put yourself through both mentally & spiritually to become a better human.

“Misogis can show you that you had this latent potential you didn’t realize, and that you can go further than you ever believed. When you put yourself in a challenging environment where you have a good chance of failing, lots of fears fade and things start moving,”

- Dr. Marcus Elliot, a Harvard-trained physician and owner of P3 Peak Performance Project.

Elliot says misogis, if created correctly, should have about a 50% chance of success (or less). They SHOULD be hard.

They should TEST you and push you mentally & physically.

So as I prepare to face off against 61 competitors next weekend, I’ve found peace in realizing it has nothing to do with winning a medal or proving that I can compete at a high level.

This is just my misogi.

And don’t get it twisted, I WANT to win... but that’s not why I’m doing it.

I train in the 6am class at an academy called Atos, and my professor, Rolando, just placed 3rd at the World Championships in June.

And the owner of our academy, Andre Galvão, is a 15X world champ (across 3 federations) and a living legend in the sport.

Yesterday morning, Ro spoke about having DOUBTS heading into a competition…

“We all have doubts. Me, Andre, (and 2 other world champs). Doubts are normal.”

Don't fear having doubts. Embrace them.

It reminded me of what I coach my guys on all the time…

Resistance leads to suffering, we must embrace and accept all parts of ourselves to truly grow.

Doubt is simply a human reaction. Totally normal and not to be dismissed.

Our power comes with our capacity to sit with that feeling, get curious about it, and love the part of us that feels doubt regardless.

And now it doesn’t control us (this is true for ANY feeling btw).

THIS is the opportunity within misogi. 

To learn to embrace the parts of us that we typically resist or BURY in order to elevate to the next level of our human development. 

I woke up at 5am, drank my creatine + electrolytes, made the 25-minute drive to the academy, trained for 90 minutes, and drove home in sweaty rashguards.

I have butterflies, doubt, and so much joy that I still get to COMPETE in a sport even at 34 1/2 years old - something I thought I’d never do again after college baseball.

And although I’m not backpacking in the Alaskan wilderness hunting caribou for a month, I’m confident that I have less than a 50% chance of success and will be tested to the MAX, both mentally & physically.


Let’s do this.


🧘‍♂️  Mind-Body Mastery: 15 Seconds To Presence 

I often hear from the men I work with that they aren’t as present as they’d like to be with their loved ones. 


Maybe they’re playing with their kids after work, but their mind is fixated on the proposal they have to send out to a prospect. 


Or they’re eating dinner with their partner, but all they can think about is the Slack message from their boss they need to respond to. 


This lack of control of our OWN attention & presence drives up stress, damages relationships, and robs of us enjoying what we work so hard to enjoy.


Here’s ONE simple tip I learned from a monk to help with anxiety and bring you back into the present moment.  


I call it the 15-Second Game. 


At various times throughout the day take 15 seconds to just NOTICE. 


Notice how the air feels going in and out of your lungs.

Notice all the different sensations on your skin and simply what they feel like.


Bring your awareness to the lighting & scent around you.


See what you can notice by tuning INTO your body and your surroundings.


Boom, 15 seconds. That’s it, then get on with your day.


I’ve been practicing every day 10-15x per day and freaking love it so far. 


I keep a sticky note on my computer screen and a note on my lock screen that says “15”.


Let me know how it goes!


Tim 🖤

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