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Welcome to episode #80 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Jane Tornatore, a therapist and personal coach. Her hobbies include swimming and reading fantasy novels.

Top Talking Points

  • The importance of gratitude practice and how to improve your experience with it.
  • Having small moments of quiet meditation throughout the day to help yourself relax.
  • Changing the way you think about goals to create a healthier mentality for completing them.

Connect With Jane at everydaylove.me/bodytest

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Thank you for listening to this episode of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with Jane, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and please leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Ryan  

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20-minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morning upgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we featured casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey, Jane, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Jane  

I’m great, Ryan. Thank you. And I’m delighted to be here.

Ryan  

I’m excited to talk with you. We had a nice chat before recording. Now we’re live. So let’s start off by telling everyone you know, my audience of Morning Upgraders who you are, what you do for a living and then some of your hobbies.

Jane 

I’m Dr. Jane Tornatore and I’m a therapist and a coach and a speaker. And actually, honestly one of my hobbies is self-growth and personal development. I’ve done it for over 25 years. I love it. And it’s a geeky thing to do. But I love it. I also love reading fantasy novels of like, you know, magic and good winning over evil. And I love probably more than anything else swimming in the ocean. I’ll swim in any water but the ocean. It’s the best.

Ryan 

And we were talking before we start recording about how you love using some previous guests Bella she mentioned the rebounder, which is like a personal trampoline that you jump up on, jump up and down on for exercise and you’re saying you do the same thing. 

Jane 

Oh, every day. I only do it for 10 minutes a day. And I can tell you, I’m 59 years old and my muscles are actually firmer now than before I started using it for 10 minutes a day. It’s weird how effective it is. I’m just like an evangelist for the rebounder, especially seller sizer. They’re awesome.

Ryan 

Sounds like a lot. I mean, honestly, 10 minutes. I mean, I’ve been on trampolines before. I’m thinking about doing that continuously for 10 minutes. 

Jane

Yeah, that’s a lot of work. Plus, one of my things in life, and I’m doing it more and more is bringing more fun to my life. And do you remember when you were a kid and you would jump up and down on the bed and your parents would say Stop jumping on the bed, but we jumped on it because it was so fun? So now we get to do it for real anytime we want, if you will actually you can still jump on your bed, but it’s more fun on the rebounder. Yeah. And you’re helping your heart at the same time. 

Ryan

Exactly. 

Jane

Yep, Win. Win, win win.

Ryan 

I usually start off with morning routines. But you mentioned happiness. So let’s just kind of let’s uh go right there to start happiness. You know, what does that mean to you? What’s your definition of happiness? How do you feed your happiness and fulfillment?

Jane

Awesome. So I’m a perfectionist. So when I think about happiness, I think I have to be happy all the time. And I’m, I’m failing if I’m not. So I always with any personal growth stuff, I always Morfitt to make it mine to get rid of my perfectionist tendencies. So instead of happiness, I go for contentment and a sense of inner peace and calm. Because it’s a perfectionist. I’ve one of my innate habits is to believe that I’m never doing enough. I’m never good enough. There’s always more I should be doing that kind of, you know, a silly message that I learned. And so feeling like it’s enough. And oh, this moment, I can be calm at this moment. This moment is enough, I can be allowing what’s happening at this moment. So that whatever’s happening around me whether there’s chaos or calm, I can have a chance to add having that inner calm. So for me, I made happiness dependent on external circumstances, which, if they’ve met, I can be happy. But for inner peace and calm, those can be met, regardless of what’s happening outside, which is not to say, if there’s chaos outside, it’s super easy for me to get into the calm. But it just means that it that is more available to me. And more sustainable than happiness. So that’s how I’ve morphed that concept.

Ryan 

Yeah, like that view of it like contentment, I’ve actually thought about changing the question a little bit. Because to be to think it’s realistic to be happy all the time. I think that’s not realistic. But I think having like that inner peace and that that inner gratitude and contentment, where you’re just like, things are good. I’m feeling content and feeling inner peace, as you mentioned. I think that’s achievable. Most days.

Jane 

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And I love that you’re mentioning gratitude. And I know you’ve mentioned it with past guests too. I’ve got a little different slant on that as a perfectionist so part of my Morning Routine. And right before I go to bed, you know, the morning and nighttime are the most powerful times to set our mindset really. So before I even get out of bed, I used to do a list of things I was grateful for. But as a perfectionist, I kept saying, really, you’re mentioning your cat, again, give something else or that’s a boring thing of another thing, or that’s too small, or that’s whatever I would critique my list. And so it would take me out of gratitude. So what I decided was to feel gratitude in my body. So I would something take something I always feel grateful for. And I would literally feel the physical sensation that was produced in my body. So I can reduce that at any time. And it has an extra bonus. Because I’m a major brain geek, of when we’re feeling something, it activates more neurons in our brain. So literally more neurons are firing with gratitude or whatever thought or thing we’re wanting to create. We’re using more of our brains to do it. So we’ve got more of our brain to bring it back when we’re focusing on bringing it back. Does that make sense?

Ryan 

Yeah, I love gratitude practice, I think is such a simple, but the powerful exercise I make my kids do before they go to bed. I do it every morning as part of my morning routine. So do you meditate? I do. The reason I’m asking. I want to learn more about how you meditate. But I’ve been playing around with so I use Insight Timer. It’s a free app, though. There’s a paid version too. But they’ve got these guided meditations. And there’s one on gratitude practice. So I don’t know how to say it’s guided meditations. It is guided meditation, it’s also visualization because they’re making you visualize things like a light in your heart with gratitude and how you feel. So it made me think of, you know, what you just said, with your, with your morning practice of feeling gratitude. There’s a minute there’s guided meditations for those that are interested in listening just that help with that whole gratitude process.

Jane 

Yeah, I think the more senses we can use with any practice, the more it lights up our brain. So the more we’re wiring it in, I would wager to say that it leaves this point in my personal knowledge in life. In practice, I’ve seen my gratitude practice as the most powerful thing I do. Because it one, it builds the neural pathways, and it gets our conscious and our subconscious mind to focus on what we already have in our life that we’re grateful for, we were always going to have stuff that Oh, I wish I had that, oh, I wish, if this were here, I’d be so happy. But we forget to put our focus on what is already here that is so delightful. And our life really is what we focus on. If I’m focusing on what I’m missing, my life is just missing all sorts of crap. But if I’m focusing on causes look at that, like when the pandemic first started, I would look out and look at the birds. And I was so delighted with the birds because I live alone. And I thought this is not gonna be a pretty picture. But the birds were just so delightful to listen to, and these little beings flying all over. And so I immediately had that sense of peace and calm, even though I along with everybody else in the world, didn’t know what was going to happen. So gratitude, cheese, if there’s one thing I would leave your listeners with, and you do this really well, and the ones I’ve heard you is gratitude, feel grateful for even the smallest things, and it does with enough practice, change how we view our life.

Ryan

You know, you’re speaking to believers, so you know what to sell me on it. Like, as I’m recording this, I gotta home office. And I’m looking at the window to the front of my house and there are the leaves are starting to fall down. So it’s really nice looking and things like that, like things like I, wouldn’t have normally picked up before I started doing the gratitude practice. I noticed things differently now, and it’s taken a little while to get to that point. But I’m there and it’s I noticed things a little I’ve noticed things, simple things like that, that before would have just gone unnoticed.

Jane  

Right. And that’s because you’re training your brain to do it. You’re training your brain to look at what you find delightful, and what you’re grateful for. So your subconscious is running the program and looking for stuff and going Hey, Ryan, look at that. Hey, Ryan, look at Delete. I mean, he’s just you are literally programming your brain to look for that. It’s brilliant, nicely done.

Ryan 

So grab your practice, it’s a pillar habit. Any other habits you have that you can share with us?

Jane  

Well, there’s that rebounder that is delightful. Just makes me so happy. Especially as life gets busy again, I find that taking five minutes of quiet time is so important to me because there’s so much input now, with all the information we could gather. I could be having information coming at me 24/7 But that’s actually not good for our brain and having those little moments of time where you’re just like no stimulus and you’re just you with yourself, maybe noticing your thoughts, maybe noticing your breathing, maybe noticing the bird sound, it creates a sense of spaciousness. I mean, like, it’s weird. If I can take five minutes, no matter how busy we are, we can always have five minutes. But if I take them in the middle of my day, somewhere, my whole day has more moments of feeling spacious, in it. It’s one of that multiplier kinds of practices like gratitude.

Ryan

You schedule it? Like, what does that look like? Do you have a certain time of day you do that? Or is it more just like, it comes to your mind and you take the five minutes of silence?

Jane 

Well, I’ve learned to schedule it because for me, if I don’t do it, I, if I don’t schedule it, I don’t do it, just how my brain works. So I take a break in between clients, and I would have lunch, and then I’ll do five or 10 minutes of just laying down flat with no stimulation. And that’s an addition to my meditation practice every day.

Ryan  

You seem very tuned into your feelings, obviously, so you’ve been doing personal growth for a long time. I’m just curious. This is a very personal question, the meaning of life to you, and what is the meaning of life?

Jane 

It’s going to be a big answer. And it’s one that I’m living into. Because you know, as a perfectionist, I want to be, I want to be perfect now. But this one, I can’t be perfect. Now, I do a little like an opening prayer, or mantra or something when I open my practice for the day. And I always ask that my words, thoughts, and actions speak for the highest good for all. Because that’s really what I want. I want whatever I do, and this is not going to be clear, I’m not 100% on this, I would like to be like 51%. But I want my words to be kind. I want my actions to be clear, kind, and helpful, yet with boundaries. So I really want whatever I do to make the world a better place.

Ryan 

Does that come easy to you like in the moments of struggle when you’re trying to get it right? It’s not happening? Like what do you do? What’s your approach to handling it? I guess, any type of challenge? How do you approach challenges?

Jane  

That is such a fabulous question, Ryan. I’ve learned so much about self-compassion. And that’s as smart as a well, a therapist, you just learn compassion, if you don’t have compassion, you’re gonna like not going to be a good therapist. It was learning the self-compassion, though, that made me even a better therapist and coach, because I have these, like, I was listening to somebody and they were talking about we have these goals. And then we proceed to beat ourselves up because we haven’t met the goals yet. But she said, it’s like, if you decide you’re going to travel from New Jersey to San Francisco, and you get in the car, and you’re driving, and you’re filling up the gas, and you’re driving, and then you get to Colorado, and you’re like, why am I not in San Francisco yet? I’m supposed to be in San Francisco. My goal is San Francisco, I’ve been driving for days, why am I not. And that’s what we do. And we set these goals and then beat ourselves up for not being there. So I like to think of them as guideposts. Like, that’s how I would like to lead. That’s the light, which is leading me toward my best life on Earth. So I fail all the time. But I just actually I literally put my hand over my heart and say, you know, you’re okay, you are literally doing the best you can. I know you want to do better. And it’s important to practice, and you’re doing the best you can so keep at it. And so it’s that self-compassion, which really, oh my goodness, once I learned self-compassion, which was not until my 40s, honestly, my self-growth and my work in the world skyrocketed. Because I went with compassion versus beating myself up to meet that goal or start that habit or, you know, whatever, whatever I decided I wanted to do.

Ryan  

Yeah, it’s a really good point, you’re making jam because we all have goals, especially people listening to this podcast, they likely have goals. And sometimes can be tricky focusing on the end result you want. Because there’s that gap between where you are and where you want to be. And sometimes, especially when you’re starting out, that gap is pretty big, and it can get frustrating, but focusing on the steps that you need to take to get to the goal, not really worrying, not really worrying so much about the destination more about the steps that you need, or the actions that you need to take to get to the goal that’s in your control is the activities that you take to get to the end destination. I find that really helps us focus on the actions need to take and not necessarily Oh my like I’m like years away from getting this, accomplishing this goal.

Jane 

And then rewarding ourselves with each step or action. When we reward ourselves for taking action. Then it produces something called acetylcholine in our brain, which tells your brain Oh, do more of that. That’s important. The wire that and do more of that. So when we are expressing appreciation for ourselves or rewarding ourselves just by going a good job. We’re out Putting our brains be wired to do more of it. Then we’re like, oh, that goal that sucks. I feel awful when I make that goal. So I’m not going to do the goal. So we did the exact opposite.

Ryan  

Excellent. I’ve got one last question for you. And actually, this is the first time so far that I’ve ended up asking you about your morning routine. So getting crazy here on the Morning Upgrade podcast. The question, but so yeah, why don’t we end with you telling everyone, well, share your website, all that. But first, let’s talk about your morning routine, and then share how everyone can learn more about you.

Jane 

So I love that you’re doing this morning routine, because it is so important and setting up the rest of our day. So I wake up, and then before I even get out of bed, I focus on feeling gratitude. And then I send love to the world because the world needs it. And it makes me feel really good to do it. And then I get up and feed my cats. But then I make myself a cup of tea and I get back into bed, and I read something that I want to read. Mostly it’s about personal growth. Sometimes it’s poetry. Sometimes it’s when I get really wild, I’ll just read fiction just because it’s fun. But I read something for about half an hour. And then I get up and do my stretches. Because the older I get, the more I realize how symbolic what we choose to do is so stretching my body first thing in the morning, really feels symbolic of stretching myself, you know, to be bigger in the world. And then I jump on my rebounder and I say some affirmations that make me feel good to see them instead of ones that are like I should feel this way, but I don’t. So I’m like I work affirmations until I yeah, I love that one. And then I will say it is I’m jumping on the rebounder. So it’s a two for one.

Ryan 

It is a two-for-one because I don’t have a rebounder but I’d imagine that it’s hard to be in a bad mood jumping up and down on a trampoline combined with affirmations. 

Jane

Exactly. So one two punch. 

Ryan

Love that. Yeah. Well, this was great. Jane, time flew by I loved speaking with you. If the audience wants to connect with you, where should we send them?

Jane  

Oh, to my website www.everydaylove.me/bodytest because one of the things I’ve really come to realize is that our body gives us so much information, but that we were taught to ignore it because we spend so much time in our head. So I’ve got a great free thing there to help people tap into their body’s wisdom to make decision-making easier.

Ryan 

Excellent. We will link it up in the show notes. Yeah, this is great.

Jane  

Thank you, Ryan. I really really enjoyed it.

Ryan 

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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