Momentum Podcast: 444
Wayne Dyer and Walking
by Alex Charfen
I've wanted to share this story for so long. Over 10 years ago I met one of my heroes, Wayne Dyer. The story of how we met is crazy and I'm so grateful for our meeting. Wayne taught me a totally different way to work out and showed me how to get out of fight or flight mode on a daily basis.
If you're willing to listen I can't wait to tell you the strategies I learned that have been absolute game changers for me. Walking and hydration are two of the simplest keystone habits to put into your life to make it easier. If you feel like you could be doing a little bit better with these things, go to getthristynow.com
Create more body and mind connection in your life than you ever thought possible.
Full Audio Transcript
Over 10 years ago, I got to meet one of my heroes, Wayne Dyer. The story is crazy, and I know I've alluded to it on a few podcasts episodes.
Well, today I'm going to share the whole story and how Wayne Dyer completely changed how I work out and got me out of fight or flight on a daily basis.
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum. So we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just day dreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.
I think for a long time I've wanted to share this Wayne Dyer story, how I finally ended up meeting and shaking hands with Wayne and spending some time with him. It's a wild story. So this goes ... And if you are willing to listen, I'm also gonna share with you a paradigm shift, that scene and being around Wayne Dyer caused in my life, and it has permanently changed the way that I work out. It's gotten me out of fight or flight, it's lowered the cortisol levels in my body. Get this, it's lowered my body fat percentage, help me sleep better and feel better. So I'll share that with you in just a bit. But first let me share with you the story of how I met Wayne Dyer.
In order to share the story about Wayne Dyer, I have to go back to when I was about eight or nine years old. I was a little kid. I was at a garage sale with my mom where, when I was younger my parents did not have a lot of money and I got most of my clothes secondhand from garage sales. I got most of my stuff secondhand from garage sales. That's where we got most everything. And there was a weekend where we went to a garage sale and I remember it was a pretty nice house and that there was a nice sports car in the garage and there was a guy sitting outside with like an eight foot long folding tables sending behind it. And I remember walking around his stuff and seeing like really nice, really cool stuff and going through his things. I thought like, "Man, I want to have suits like that some day." And he was selling like nice high end goods.
And I came across this box that had, it just had $100, and it was a box full of motivational CDs and, not CDs. I'll be honest with you, it was box full of motivational cassette tapes. If you don't know what that is, go look up cassette tapes on Wikipedia. It was before CDs and before MP3s. That's we used to give out audio. He had cassette tapes, and I remember the cassette tapes, so is Anthony Robins, Bandler and Grinder, the original NLP guys, and then two audio sets from Wayne Dyer. One of them was the Awakened Life.
And I remember at the garage sale begging my mom to buy this box for me. I'm like, "Mom, I need this box." These tapes sets are usually two or $300 each. There's like five of them in here. This is worth over a thousand dollars like, and I knew there was no way my mom was ever going to spend $100 on this. For perspective our budget on a weekly basis, going to garage sales was like $10, we were buying things that were a quarter or 50 cents and on any given weekend I might be able to spend a dollar or two. Two dollars was a lot. I might be able to spend a dollar. And so asking for something that was $100, it was a complete 100% pipe dream. And as a kid I knew that, but I didn't know how not to argue and not how not to ask. I wanted these tape sets so bad.
I had read some of the descriptions on them, and I just wanted to take them home. And I remember just begging my mom for it and as I was talking to her, the guy who was running the garage sale got up from behind his table, walked over to the box, picked it up and handed it to me and said, "Kid, you can have this as long as you promise to listen to all of it, you need this more than anybody I've ever seen." And I remember getting tears in my eyes. I was eight or nine years old and thinking, "Oh my gosh, this is the most incredible thing anybody's ever given me." And my mom said something like, "Oh, you don't have to do that to him." And I remember thinking to myself, "Yes, he does. Stop talking. Don't say anything, don't make this turn around. Don't take this away." And he turned to my mom and said something like, "Your son needs those tapes and if he's willing to listen to 'em, I'm willing to give 'em to him."
And so she said, okay. And we left. And it was like the greatest day of my life. I remember like shaking in the backseat going home, wanting to listen to these tapes. And I listened to Wayne Dyer talk about intention and talk about living an awakened life. And I was like nine years old. I was already awkward in school. After I got loaded up with Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Bandler and Grinder. I was super awkward in school. The teacher wants to talk about prepositional phrases, and I'm like, "Hey, what's your intention here? It was pretty weird.
But those tapes changed my life and Wayne Dyer without ever knowing it became one of my closest friends in the world. Because when I listened to him, I listened to somebody I'm related to, I listened to somebody I felt understood me. I listened to somebody who was making a massive contribution in my life and literally changing my life. Well flash forward over 20 years. Cadey and I we're living in south Florida, in Boca Raton, I was doing Bikram yoga on a daily basis. I made this commitment one year, over 10 years ago, and before Reagan was born where I was going to do Bikram from yoga every day for a year.
And so I was, even when we traveled, I found yoga studios. I did tons of research. I made sure that I was going to do it every single day. I didn't actually pull it off at a 365 days. I made it to yoga classes 363, I miss to. But in the middle of this year where I was going to have a yoga class every day, there was a massive hurricane in south Florida, like crazy massive hurricane. We had to load everything up, and we drove to Orlando. We escaped south Florida to Orlando. And so we drive up to central Florida. I used to live there, we got a hotel room, and I immediately had to figure out where I was going to do Bikram Yoga. I started scrambling around and figure out there was a yoga studio so that I could go to yoga that afternoon. Cadey and I, we checked into the hotel, dumped all our stuff ... When you're packing for a hurricane, nothing's perfect. I think we went and had to go buy socks or something like that.
And then we went and did yoga at this Bikram yoga Studio and afterwards I was in the locker room changing, Bikram is hot yoga, so you're doing it at like 115, 120 degree room. You sweat so much, your towel looks like it was dipped in water. And so I went into the locker room, rinsed off, I was putting my clothes on and from behind me I heard this incredible voice, and I thought like, "Holy cow, I know that voice." And I turned around, and I looked and I remember staring at this guy who only had a pair of boxer shorts on, and I said, "You're Wayne Dyer." And he goes, "You're right Alex, how you doing?"
And I remember thinking, how the heck did Wayne Dyer know my name, like what is going on? And I said, "Hi, how do you know my name?" And he kind of laughed, and he said, "Alex, we've been doing yoga together in Boca Raton for the last three months. I usually stand right behind you or somewhere in the back row, but I've been in your class, I mean you go a lot. I've been in classes with you a couple of times a week for the last three or four months." And I remember thinking, how crazy is it that I'd been so focused and so self conscious, let's be honest, that's what it really was in these yoga classes. I was so self conscious that I hadn't noticed Wayne Dyer was working out right behind me. He lived in Boca and so he had been in my classes. He even knew my name.
And I remember saying, "I can't believe that ..." I said, "You don't understand. You're one of my childhood heroes. I listened to an Awakened Life when I was nine years old." I started like explaining to him what the tape set meant to me and how much it had changed my life. And so here I am in a locker room, Wayne Dyer's in his boxer shorts. I'm telling him how important he is to me. I'm having this huge emotional moment. And then I realized like, "Hey, I'm in a locker room. I should probably chill this out." And I said, and I was like, "I'm gonna get dressed, but I'd love talk to you for a minute." I got dressed, he got dressed, we went outside.
We were walking out of the Yoga studio and Cadey was there. I introduced him to Cadey and he said to us, "Hey, I'm doing this big event at the Orlando Convention Center. Why don't you guys just come over tomorrow? It's 11 o'clock. I'd love to have you there. Just come as my guests." And we're like, "That's great. We would love to, we're up here, we ran away from the hurricane. We don't really have a lot to do." So it's on, we have a date with Wayne Dyer.
The next morning we're going to be his guest at this event, and we left the yoga studio. It was probably five minutes later that I turned to Cadey and I'm like, "What are we going to do tomorrow when we go to the Convention Center? How are they going to actually know that we're Wayne Dyer's guests? How does this work?" And she's like, "I have no idea." And I said, "Do you still want to go?" She's like, "Yeah." So we went to the Convention Center the next day. The Orlando Convention Center is massive.
There's sometimes 20 or 30 conventions going or conferences going on. We asked where Wayne Dyer was. We got pointed in the right direction. We went over to the room where Wayne Dyer was going to be speaking, and we found somebody in a uniform and I walked up to him and said, "I've got this weird situation. Yesterday I was in a yoga class and Wayne Dyer was there, and he told us to come." And the woman was, "Oh, give me a second, go talk to this person." And we got pointed to one of Wayne's personal assistants, and we walked up to her and I repeated that. I said, "Yesterday we were in a yoga class, Wayne told us, Dr. Dyer said we should come here and be his guests." And she's like, "Oh great, this happens all the time, here follow me."
And I followed her to the front row of the event, like literally the front row. We were placed in the front row around Wayne's family, and the people who knew him. And we sat there, and we watched him present. And it was incredible. And I remember he walked down in bare feet. He did, he talked about the stuff he normally talks about but then for some reason that day he went long on walking. He started talking about how much walking does for the soul and what it does for the physiology and how important it is.
And I want you to know something. When he first started talking about walking, this was back when I was doing Bikram yoga, hot yoga. I was lifting weights. I was getting up and running a few miles three or four times a week. I was doing everything hard. I was pushing myself. I was tough. I was going to be a man. I was going to work out in a way that was aggressive and show who I was. And I was sitting there and as soon as he started talking about walking, I was like, "Walking is for kids, walking's for babies, walking's for old people. Why would I walk?"
But it didn't go away. I listened to the rest of his presentation, was actually amazing. We hung out with him with his daughter, with his team. We spent a ton of time at the conference center. I really felt so privileged to be there that day. And then we left, and I just couldn't get over how much Dr. Dyer had talked about walking, about how much Wayne had talked about like this one exercise, how it's so life changing. And as we spent the next few days, what started happening in my mind was I started lining up like all the times I had read about or thought about or had investigated an entrepreneur. Then there was walking in their background like Nikola Tesla would go to bed after having walked around barefoot, would [inaudible] his toes because he felt it made it more creative. Einstein refused to wear shoes. Jobs would walk barefoot anytime he took a meeting that was going to be uncomfortable because he knew it helped them offload pressure and noise and more and more throughout history.
When I read about successful people, a huge part of what they did was walk and not wear shoes and be barefoot and feel the world around them. And so I started studying walking. I actually got crazy deep into walking and here's what I found. There are so many benefits to walking and this is why today I coach 100% of my clients to get up and go on a 20 minute primal walk every morning, whether you feel like you need to or not. And last week I was at the Funnel Hacking Live event in Nashville. We were at the Opry hotel, which is like this huge Conference Center hotel where you can like not leave for a week. And in Nashville it was torrential downpour flooding rains. So we didn't get out walking.
And I can tell you that last week the pressure and noise in my body went through the roof because I wasn't walking on a daily basis. I didn't get that same outdoor walk that I normally get. And if you're willing to get up in the morning and go on a 20 minute walk, I want you to understand the benefits it will give you. First bilateral stimulation of the body. When you walk, you actually offload pressure and noise the same way some therapies do. By walking we as humans actually offload the trauma that we have accumulated through the day, that very act of walking, just that bilateral stimulation. It's therapeutic for us. Doesn't it make sense that the organism we are, hunter, gatherer organisms, that throughout history would have had to walk constantly, that we also would take on tons of trauma throughout history, but walking it would let us release it. Every morning you get up and walk, and you're releasing that trauma.
Second, when you get up and walk, and you breathe in and out through your nose, if you breathe in slowly and then out through your nose as you walk, here's what happens. You actively convince your nervous system and your entire mind, your brain, your body, everything, that you are not in fight or flight. As entrepreneurs, as evolutionary hunters, we get into fight or flight all the time. In fact, most of us live in a preloaded state where we're on the verge of getting into fight or flight. If you're willing to get up and walk in the morning, you offload that tension, you offload that trauma, you convince your body you are not in fight or flight. What does that do for you? It increases awareness. It increases presence. It gets you into the room more. It gives you more capacity. It puts more gas in the tank so that you can be and do more of who you are.
Third, by getting up and walking every morning, you actually increase your energy levels that you have. I worked with a marathon runner who lives in England. He's a chiropractor and marathon runner. Worked with them for about a year. And when he first heard this suggestion, I'm walking, he was like, "Alex, I get up, and I run seven miles a morning on a bad morning. Why do I need to walk?" And so I had the conversation with them about getting out of fight or flight, bilateral stimulation, walking increase, helps you calm down and he started walking before he did his training runs
. Well. I got a call about six months later, and he had just had a personal record in the London marathon, and he attributed it to getting up and walking every morning including the morning of the marathon. Because he started that race, his body wasn't in fight or flight. He was more calm, more aware, more present, more able to be in the room. Walking is incredible, what it will do for you if you do it every morning.
There are so many other benefits. I'm going to share one more. As entrepreneurs, one of the things that happens to us is we get caught in the wrong hormonal situations in our bodies. We overclock, we push, we're aggressive. Rather than using dopamine and Serotonin, the chemicals that make us feel good, our bodies will use fibroid and adrenaline and cortisols to equal out all of the pushing forward and all of the aggression that we have in our lives. By getting up and walking, you can calm those things down. In fact, if you're willing to get up and walk 20 minutes every day, day after day, what you'll find is you'll get up one morning, you'll start walking, and five minutes in, you have a runner's high. That's dopamine, that's Serotonin, that's your body releasing the happy chemicals 'cause you're getting up and taking care of your body walking.
These strategies are a game changer. If you're willing to get up and walk every morning, you will see your presence and awareness go up. You will feel less triggered and reactive. You will see more opportunity in your life, and you will be more creative. It is an absolute game changer, and I'm glad that I was a privileged enough to run into Wayne Dyer that day and be able to sit in the front row, listen to him, and he left this great an impact on my life.
Walking is a keystone habit that will make everything else in your life easier. Another keystone habit that will make everything easier is hydration. If you feel like you're getting enough water, fantastic, but if you feel like you could be doing a little bit better, if you feel like you could instinctively drink more water if you didn't have to work at it, if it was easier, I want to help you. Go to getthirstynow.com we wrote a 10 day program that will help you do the following.
One, reawaken your natural thirst instinct. Two, drink more water than you ever thought possible. And three, create more energy and more connection and more body mind connection in your life than you ever thought possible with something as simple as water. Go to getthirstynow.com. Download our 10 day natural thirst challenge and do me a favor. Let me know how it goes.