pomegranate, fruit, bowl

Every Day Peace Podcast: 72 Reasons to be Vegan and How to Move Your Life in the Right Direction

With our Guests Kathy Freston & Loree Bischoff

Dr. Dravon James:  Hello and welcome to the show. I am Dr. Dravon James and This is Every Day Peace. I am super excited to have you here with me today as we explore the concept of living a life of PEACE,  everyday. Peace Defined as: Wholeness, Completeness, nothing missing, nothing broken, TOTALITY! Can you even imagine?  Right now. No matter what’s  going on in your life situation, right now, that you are whole you are complete. There really is nothing missing. You really are whole, right now. Just go ahead and inhale on that, just hold that peace in for just a second. And then, take a deep complete exhale from the belly- through the mouth.And YES!  It is possible for you to have peace everyday. Knowing that, YES you deserve everyday peace and Yes everyday peace is possible. We work together on this show to bring you the guest to partner with you, as you create your life of peace everyday! And as our listeners know our anthem for 2021 is: WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? 

As Every Day Peace-makers know we have everything we need right here, right now to be our best selves. Right now in this very moment.   I announced this theme in our very first show of the year as a reminder that we can be our best selves everyday! There’s always a reason to delay working on ourselves: Our jobs, our family obligations, school work, you know… the pandemic.There’s a thousand reasons that we can have for not working on ourselves. But on this show we encourage the exploration of SELF. And the journey BACK to everyday peace, regardless of what is happening in the external environment. 

Now, speaking of what are you waiting for?  For a long time we were talking about the brand new revised Dr.Dravon James website. Well, I am here to tell you that is no longer a wait. Right now the website is up, our new website Drdravonjames.com is up, it includes prior shows, words of wisdom and encouragement, excerpts from my book Freedom is Your Birthright, contact information, our free course. You name it, it’s on there. The website is just wonderful! I’m so proud of the job that was done on that website. And I would love it, if you have not gone to visit the new website, www.drdravonjames.com to please visit today! And return often as the site is constantly being updated, we’re adding new materials to it. I encourage you to bookmark the site so you can visit frequently. 

If you’ve missed any of our shows for this year, you can listen to them by subscribing to Dr. Dravon James Every Day Peace podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher or you can listen to them on  www.unityonlineradio.org . And that is our news and it brings us right  to the Every Day Peace moment of our show. And we have discussed that Every Day Peace is a pathway for what I call the pyramid for improved health, wealth and relationships. Today we have two wonderful guests that are both advocates of living a healthy lifestyle as a foundation for a successful life. I am really excited to talk to our guests today to bring their information into your life. But before we move forward with that, I want to just try to go back in time, to our first show of the year. We lucky to have the acclaimed speaker and radio personality Vincent Jenna on the show. And Vicent shared some really interesting information with us about New Year’s resolutions. He let us know that at least 90% of the time, New Year’s resolutions fail. We don’t see them out to completion.  We acknowledge that we need to set goals differently, if we want to see a better outcome. And that’s not just at New Year’s, that’s anytime. We need to set the goals differently If we want to increase our chances of hitting the mark! Other guests we’ve had on the show have also echoed this same thought. We can hit the mark if we set our goals wisely. There is that tendency for us to  look at what we do want in life. And we believe that looking at what we don’t want will bring us closer to what we do want.  You know what I mean, and we’ll say, “Oh I dont wait to weigh an extra ten pounds.” And we’ll focus on the fact that we don’t want to weigh an extra 10lbs or what you. Oh, I don’t want to continue to have to work late hours at work and keep focusing on that and keep drawing more of that into our lives. And what we’ve learned, is that when we change our focus to what we do want, we increase our likelihood of achieving that goal.  Knowing that our life moves in the direction of our most dominant thought. So just that simple switch. You know,of changing the way we think about the situation. Changing it to my focus on what I do want, not on what I don’t want. So as we move forward, keeping that in mind as you move through your day and move through your life, simple changes. You know, it’s good to set goals but how we look into the future is most important. Looking towards what we want and not what we don’t want. And that is our Every Day Peace moment. 

And that brings us to our first guest, Kathy Freston, is author, speaker and strong advocate for a plant based diet. Kathy teaches about the benefits of a Vegan diet. Everything from saving money, better and even improved sex life. Kathy’s book is titled: 72 Reasons to be a Vegan. Welcome to the show Kathy!


Kathy Freston: Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here! 


Dr. Dravon James: Oh we’re excited to be here! And I am so excited for you to talk about one of my favorite topics, alternative diets that  help us to move our lives in the direction that we want to go into. So, I like to start at the very beginning. So how does one make a transition to Veganism? It seems like a huge leap from an animal based diet. 


Kathy Freston: Well, I love what you’re talking about. Putting your mind in the place of peace and the dominant thoughts going there. Well I was a writer,I still am a writer but I was writing uh, on becoming more and more conscious and awake in our lives. And I was talking about spirituality and relationships doing service meditation, things like that. Uhm,bring, having purposeful work and I realized at some point that what I had not really looked deeply at was the food that I was eating and that’s something that I do three times a day. And I was pretty much unconscious about it. And I started feeling like, OKAY Kathy you a hypocrite and you are not, you’re talking about waking up and being aware and I, you’re completely unaware of where your food comes from. So I, uh  was playing with my dog one day and I uh, this sort of was in the back of my mind. And I, she was on her back and she was just sort of, you know, I was rubbing her belly and her little legs were going up and I could tell how happy she was  and was like, I just thought to myself: Gosh, I love this dog so much. I love animals. And this little voice inside of me said, well if you love animals so much why are you eating them? 

Ah, the voice of consciousness. So I thought oh, oh my gosh this is really inconvenient and I uhm I started picturing her (And don’t worry, I am not going to give any traumatizing images of anything.) I started picturing her as if she were a farm animal food in the slaughter line. What would she be going through? I know my dog so well. I know when she’s nervous. I know when she’s happy. I know when she’s, you know, upset. I know when she’s not feeling well. And so, I could picture her in a slaughter-house and the line moving toward her. And I just knew how terrified she would be. What her body would be going through. I would go to any length to save my dog from ending up in a faite like that. And I thought to myself, well if I would go to any length to save my dog, why do I so easily eat a pig? Or a cow? Or a chicken? You know, there’s really no difference, except for I know my dog and I don’t know that pig. And there just as lovely. You know, all animals are created by the same force that created me so there just as lovely and so if I knew these other individuals I wouldn’t want them to go through that faite either. So I, I  decided at that moment I wanted to be someone who didn’t eat animal stuff and being from the south. When I grew up eating nothing but animal stuff and into my adult years and you I thought, this is going to be challenging. Because this is all I know. But I decided, you know what, I’m just going to lean into it. Because that, that  kind of peace is what I wanted in my life. That kind of living in a way that was uhm, true to my values.  My internal values being kindness, mercy uh, being a responsible start on this planet. That was a line with having a peaceful diet that did not include eating animals because of what they go through. So that’s uh, and over the course of about a year and a half I leaned into and I gradually became completely vegan. 


Dr. Dravon James: Wow. That’s a very impactful story and I love that it’s all generated from love. So what do you think about people who may not be that. So I love the fact that you have 72 reasons because you’re the whole  reason what externally focused. You wanted to create a better existence for animals on the planet; not to be pursued as food. And that’s beautiful. But what do you say to people that say, you know what, I feel that they’re here for that reason. 


Kathy Freston: Yes, yes. Totally. There are a lot of people.


Dr. Dravon James: Uh huh.You please go ahead.


Kathy Freston: Yes there are a lot of people who do think that well. You know, you’re right.  Not everybody has empathy for animals and not everybody believes that they, they have souls or anything like that, you know. And I completely respect everyone’s beliefs and you know that why, we wrote these 72 reasons. Because you know, some people will be interested in animals. Because that was the way that I came through but some people are interested in lowering their blood pressure. Or lowering their cholesterol or losing weight or their interest in eating in a way that does not create climate change. So we have all kinds or reasons in here and you know its, the each, each reason is about a page not may a page and half. No reason takes up more than a page and a half and so you can kind of bob around to what you might be interested in or what is motivating to you. 

Dr. Dravon James: Oh I love that! So suppose a person is interested, that says, you know what? I’m interested and I’d like to try. What are some types for an individual actually transitioning? How do you actually do actually transition? What I heard from people  who and who have not transitioned from meat to veganism  but have transition to becoming a vegetarian and what they have told me is that they have to really go through test part where they were really over doing it with carbs so cut out wheat but then they became this big consumer of carbs. So they didn’t get the health benefits they thought they were going to get. Because they were overloading on carbs. So,you know, what’s the safest way to transition. 


Kathy Freston: Well, first I would say, there’s different types of carbs. There’s carbohydrates that we think of as the enemy like, uh, you know cupcakes and you know, white pasta and white bread and french fries and bagels and cookies and cakes and, you know.  They’re definitely carbs that are not our friends but then there’s complex-carbs are the stuff of life. You know, its what our bodies need, what our body and brain evolved on. It’s what feeds our brain, we need complex-carbs to survive and everything we need is pretty much complex carbs. So you know, that’s whole grains, beans, like lentils or,brown rice barley or rye, seeds like quinoa. You know, a lot of people think quinoa is a grain but it’s actually a seed. Which is highly, highly protein packed and uh, and vegetables and fruits and you those are all complex-carbs. Those are the good ones, the really good ones. And so, I was saying so far as getting rid of the bad stuff, I’m a big believer in crowding out not cutting out. So you know, when I went vegan I didn’t just say. You know, I’m just gonna not eat meat any more. Because that would just make me want to eat meat. (laughing) You know, you go on a diet, you can’t wait for the diet to be over you know? It’s like, you cut out something and that’s the thing you want the most. And so, I like crowding things out. And so, I’ll say, I can have whatever I want but first I’m going to have this stuff. I’m just going to try this.  And so, for instance like, I love. You know once a week I have burrito and taco night. So instead of having a beef burrito I’m gonna have a black bean burrito instead and I’m gonna have the guacamole and I’m gonna have salsa. I’m gonna have all the fun stuff. And I’m just gonna crowd out the beef with some black beans. So I can still enjoy my burrito, but I’m just gonna have switched out the protein. So I believe, I like switching things out and then I don’t feel like I’m at a loss. And so, today there’s so many great switches and it’s better to have whole foods. So, like real beans and grains and vegetables but sometimes we want a burger and now there’s so many great burgers out there that are plant based and made without any animals. There’s the beyond burger, the Impossible burger you know, there’s all kinds of protein out there where you can feel like you’re getting the traditional foods that you grew up loving. So we don’t feel like we’re missing anything.  And once we sort of turn to those transitional foods we’re like oh okay, I’m not really missing anything. I can still have a pizza but the pizza is going to be with soy cheese or almond cheese and you know it’s gonna be with veggie sausage instead of pork sausage. So I’m gonna still get to feel like I’m eating pizza but I’m going to eat it with non-animal protein instead. 


Dr. Dravon James: And I love that, I love that term, that was going to be my next question that we talk about crowding out instead of cutting out. It’s so important to not feel like you’re missing out on something or you’re being denied something. Because you know, you’re right. This goes back to focusing differently. Because you’re right when you’re told you cant have something, it becomes the thing that I must have. (chuckle)


Kathy Freston: (Laughing) Exactly, Exactly.


Dr. Dravon James: Yeah I like it, I like it a lot. And well it occurs to me that I’ve just introduced two terms and I feel it’s important for our listeners to know. Because we’re talking about becoming a vegan but there is a difference between being a vegan and being a vegetarian. Can you elaborate on both of those. 


Kathy Freston: Oh absolutely, so vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat the flesh of an animal. So they’re not gonna have chicken, they’re not gonna have fish. Uh they’re not gonna pork or beef but they would have milk or the fluid or eggs which are the chickens. Someone who is vegan doesn’t eat anything at all from an animal and the reasons are because well there’s a bunch of reasons. Well, eggs, eggs are basically full of uh saturated fat and cholesterol. One egg has as much cholesterol as an 8oz. Steak but on an ethical level uhm, the, you know, egg laying hens are some of the, they have some of the worst living conditions of any animals on the planet. The way they are raised to produce these eggs and the living conditions are just heinous and just as soon as they stop producing rapidly they are slaughtered and used for dog food. Same with dairy, you know. Back in the day when  we saw the farmer and they were going out and getting the daily bucket of milk. Its just not like that anymore. They’re milked in these horrible machines in factory farms. Day after day ending on concrete. They get terrible infections known as mastitis, which are very terrible and uhm when they, the milking process, there’s lots of blood and pus in it because of these conditions. And the cow has to be impregnated constantly because that’s how they produce milk. You know, they’re just like humans. You know, a woman gets pregnant and has the baby and then she produces milk for that baby. Well,  the baby is the calf. If the calf is born a male. They are not useful to the dairy industry. They get carted off and they become veal. That ‘s why the veal industry started because of the surplus male calf that weren’t able to be used in the dairy industry. And so, you know. They are raised and slaughtered in a terrible way. You know, they’re little babies and they are kept in these terrible crates. But the females, still the calves are dragged away from their mommas which is a horrible horrible thing to witness because  the mommas are miserable. You know they bang their heads, the bellow for days they’re missing their calf. It’s just a very said process and then as soon as the calf is done producing milk, you know shes worn out after about 5 years. Day after day after day, standing on concrete. She is then carted off to be slaughtered to become hamburger meat.  And up to 100 cows, dairy cows may be in one regular hamburger. 


Dr. Dravon: Wow. right.


Kathy Freston: They are ground up and jumbled together. So, that’s where hamburgers come from, sadly. So you know that’s where this comes from. Someone that’s vegan is just going to opt out of all animal foods both for some health reason and for ethical reasons. And the difference, you know, I also use 2 terms on the cover of the book:  72 reasons to be vegan,  you know, why plant-based? Why now? And Vegan you know, we used the word vegan and we use the word plant-based because for plant base its usually for people who are coming into it for health reasons. You know they want to lose weight, they want to get stronger. They want to reverse type 2 diabetes and they want to lower their blood pressure. They’re plant based, they’re not thinking about the animals you know, climate change; all of that. But if you’re someone who goes vegan, you’re probably someone who’s interested in the spiritual side of it. The animal consciousness part of it. You’re interested in keeping the land clean, the water clean, the air clean. All of that. And have more of the body-mind-soul component you know, where plant-based is I’m just concerned with my health. 


Dr. Dravon: Right and well, either way, either way what I hear is that there’s something for everyone in this lifestyle. So if you’re going plant-based and you’re looking to improve a health condition, this is actually one of the fastest ways to do that through diet. Right, because a lot of our healing, right. I remember years ago, a lot of our healing comes through our diet and as well as a lot of our sickness. Comes through our diet. 

Kathy Freston: Right, right, totally right.


Dr.Dravon James: We’re in this space where we get to choose you know. Do we want a diet that is going along the path towards our goal? You know, It’s so interesting  that earlier today I was doing an interview and I was talking about leadership and I mentioned one of the ways we can become a leader is in reaching our goals with our diet and with the food choices we’re making leading us on the pathway towards our goals. I think one of the fastest ways to get to a health goal is through diet. So you mention weight gain,  I mean weight loss, weight gain  through eating animal protein. What are some of the other health benefits that we could list off. We know of course, as you said, if we cut down on fat we could reduce our cholesterol but, you had some other interesting things that you said people could benefit from, from going plant-based or vegan-style.


Kathy Freston: Ah, Oh yea. Absolutely. Well within  a few weeks you can reverse type 2 diabetes. Uhm you can lower your blood pressure within a month. Uhm, you can reverse heart disease in a fairly good amount of time if you do a healthy whole food plant-based diet. And altogether vegans live longer. That’s because healthy, you know, unprocessed plant-based foods are free of cholesterol. They have much lower saturated fats, they’re very high in fiber and complex carbohydrates- the food carbohydrates. And because of that, vegans have lower blood pressure, less cancer, less heart disease and diabetes, they also have a healthy heart and microbiome and when you have a healthy microbiome, gut-microbiome. That is the thing that keeps your whole body healthy. When your microbiome is off that’s where you have the system-wide inflammation. And inflammation causes all kinds of problems in the body. So, when you’re avoiding those animal products, you’re actually bringing your body into balance and so you’re living a longer time. They say, studies show that healthy vegans tend to live about a decade longer than their meat eating cohorts.


Dr. Dravon James: Wow, that’s significant! That healthy-gut. We hear so much about inflammation and all this uhm the horror of things that are happening. Uhm, gluten allergies because of an unhealthy gut. But we’ve had Kathy Freston as our guest today. Talking about 72 Reasons to become a Vegan. Thank you so much for being on our show today.


Kathy Freston: Thank you so much for having me. I love talking.




Dr. Dravon James: Welcome back! I’m Dr. Dravon James and this is Every Day Peace. Our special guest for this half of the show Lori Bisoff. She is an author, a performance coach, an advocate for holistic nutrition and the host of,  Weird talking ships podcast. Welcome to the show Lori.


Loree Bischoff: Thank you Dr. Dravon! I’m really excited to be here.


Dr. Dravon James: Oh, I am so excited to have you. In fact, I am so excited for our topic today. We were talking a little bit during the break about Feelings versus a state of being and just our overall impact on our life. 


Loree Bischoff: Right, right. 


Dr. Dravon James: I just want to share this real quick. Our first commentary during the break I was talking about, we’re so happy to see that the world and the nation. Well at least here in Maryland where I am. We got the COVID Vaccine moving along quite nicely and I’m happy to see that things are improving. But then, I’m heading home to get to my shows and then there’s traffic every where.And it was such a good thing to see people moving about and it was my choice to view it that way. We have the choice on our perspective on things, right. Because the other way to view was, I have 10 minutes to go live and I mean (light chuckle) before I go on. But I kept my focus. Go ahead.


Loree Bischoff: Right and that’s the part right there. You kept your focus. Because you’re like errr- I’m watching the clock. So I’ve got to be three by a certain time. So you know, although your thoughts may be wanting to get away from you a little bit, and get a bit panicky that you may or may not make it. But you, you have the practice of reeling the thoughts back in so that we dont let them change the state of being that you need to be in when you do. You know, arrive at your destination. I mean, I think  that part of that is maybe semantics but maybe, I think that when you look at it the way we’re going to talk about it in a moment here. It really helps you to differentiate between feelings and emotions. That’s one thing and then a state of being. That’s a whole other thing. You know and I think that most people who are at peace and who are even experiencing success as defined by them. Their own version of success. No matter what the outer circumstances are they have certain things that they do. Now I think two of those things are uhm, really important for keeping them in a certain state. One of them is, they have a gratitude process and I think that when we have a gratitude practice and this goes back to something you said that, you said at the top of the show. Which was about managing uh, our dominant thoughts. You know. When we change our dominant thoughts we change how we feel which means we change our state of being. So, when we have a feeling of being grateful. That’s like one thing but when you have gratitude, that’s a different thing. So just look, let’s lay it out like this: You can DO  being grateful like it may attached to things. Like, I’m grateful for my job. I’m grateful for my spouse or my house. I’m grateful for food. You’re being grateful for something or someone- which is awesome. It’s the feeling of being grateful and thankful but when those things are disrupted or removed or taken away from your life. Then there goes the feeling of being grateful or thankfulness. Right because it was attached to those things or those people. So here’s the thing that is semantic, that’s different. GRATITUDE- is not really a feeling it’s more of a state of being or the emotions, they come and they go. They eb and they flow. But a state, I like to say a state has weight. It’s the mindset that you operate from; it’s the foundation. So that even though you may have some unpleasant feelings or some things may go; leave your life. You may have some loss of some sort. But you still live and have your being in this state of gratitude. And I think that phrase that we’ve probably heard a million times, an attitude of gratitude. It really expresses it perfectly, right. Because when we live in a state of gratitude it’s not really attached to anything that you have or don’t have. Or a person you have in your life or don’t have. It’s tied to your mindset about life overall about your life. About your role or your place in it. So, looking at this.

Dr. Dravon James: Oh I love that. 


Lori Bisoff: Yeah, Yeah, and I think I like to make that exact comparison with Happy versus happiness. You can come back around and say the same thing. Happy is like feeling happy about something. It’s an emotion, and like all emotions it comes and goes. Feeling happy is usually contingent on something outside of us. 


Dr. Dravon: Right, I like to say that HAPPY has to do with something that is HAPPENING. 


Loree Bischoff: Right, Right. Yeah it’s something we agree  with or we’re excited about. And whatever that thing is, it’s making us feel happy. And when whatever that is goes away, so does that happy feeling. Right? But it’s a feeling again like sadness or anger or frustration -those are all feelings and emotions. Again we go then over to a state that’s your state of being, it’s your state that you live a nd you experience our feelings within that state. So, for an extreme example let’s say that you are someone who lives in a state of happiness. That doesn’t mean that you don’t feel sad. IF you lose someone, for example, maybe there is a death of someone you care about. You still feel sad, you’re still going to grieve. But you’re doing those, those are the feelings within your state of happiness. You’re still overall a happy person. You just may be experiencing the feelings for a  period of time, you know what I mean. It’s different than if you’re a person that like lives in a state of depression and just maybe you experience a happy feeling on a rare occasion. You see the difference?


Dr. Dravon: Right, and I think when you say it like that way people can really get it. Because we all know people that are uhm, more, who are living in this…maybe let’s say a state of depression. And then something grand happens in their life and they have this spark of happiness but their overall take on life. And I’m not talking about clinical depression but their whole state in life is an overall depressive, more blues-like outlook on life. 


Loree Bischoff: Yeah, Yeah, more negative.


Dr. Dravon James: Yes more negative, and I love that you said: when you think of state you think of weight. I love that! Yeah because I think, this is the perspective of which you come to life with. Or approach life. Like if you’re a person who has gratitude that being in the state, That’s what you’re saying. Being grateful is just a feeling. Gratitude is the state of which you exist in. In state you will experience the entire realm, rainbow or emotions. But your baseline, your baseline. 


Loree Bischoff: Right! 

Dr. Dravon James:  Your outlook on life.the foundation of what you’re is this gratitude.  so  you know, you’ll have all these regular emotions but your baseline is there. And I think you’re more likely in that, let me know if you agree, in this. But I think you’re more likely, if that is your state, to have resiliency. You see, things happen but you’re able to get back to your foundational state, more quickly.  And there’s no rush on it but you’re able to rebound or be resilient. 


Loree Bischoff: Totally,yea because you,  because you not being in that state is actually unnatural for you. And so when that’s  your set  point or your baseline that’s how you move throughout the world. When you’re state of being isn’t that happiness state or that state of gratitude when you hit a speed bump or something happens that sort of throws you off course… You know you need to… You know we need to experience things with a range of emotions. You know, we’re humans. You  know, that’s what we do. You know but we don’t stay there. We then move through it and we process and we heal or we recover. You know whatever’s required based on the situation and then like you said we’re resilient. We bounce back- we come back from it and we, and we don’t fold us like a house of cards. You know what I mean? So…


Dr. Dravon James: Exactly.


Loree Bischoff: And that’s the place we were want to be and that’s the place where we know when we’re in that state that we’ve practiced. Because really you have to practice to get there, there’s an art to it. And it boils down to being able to manage the thoughts that you dwell on. Which again, goes back to what you were saying earlier. Thinking very consciously rather than unconsciously and managing those thoughts but we know that, okay, I’ve I’ve you know. In my own way I been in this sort of feeling of sadness, or frustration, or blues, or stress, or whatever it is when your natural state of being is one of gratitude and happiness, you want to get back there. Because you know that’s where you thrive. You know that where you belong. 


Dr. Dravon James:   Right so let me ask you how would a person, well let’s suppose we have a listen right now whose like: Eureka! I got it! There is this state of being and then there are these feelings and emotions and really trying to figure out, what is my baseline state of being? How would you know? How can you assess yourself to determine where you are? 


Loree Bischoff: That’s a great question! Uh and I think if you’re willing to sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself. Number one, and look in the mirror that’s one way and literally ask yourself. Have a conversation with yourself, asking quality questions. Like on a scale of 1-10 , on a scale of 1-10. How do I normally feel like on any given day? Like one being awful and you know, 10 being ecstatic! Where do I fall in that range? Am I 2, am I a 5, am I an 8? And you can literally just, you could measure yourself over the course of 30 days. You can have a little chart and you can literally go well – How did I feel today? You know 1-10 circle a number and keep track. And you can break that down into different categories. How do I feel about myself today? How do I feel about my maybe it’s my job, maybe its my relationship. So, you know, those important categories in your life, you can break them down. You can literally set up a scale on a piece of paper , I mean and write, write a number and then at the end of 30-days you can go wow my average for how do I feel about myself is only like  a 4 or maybe your average is an 8. And that will give you an indication it’ll help you become more aware. Because you know a lot of the times there’s a lack of awareness.  Because we’re habitual, we just get into habituated ways of moving through our days and you know how we feel. And you know we get used to  certain set points and sometimes we don’t even realize that until we actually pay a lot of attention to it so that’s a  really simple way for somebody  to do a little assessment and determine where they rate themselves in different areas of their lives on a scale of 1-10. And if you are low in, or even if you’re not at a 10. If you feel like there’s actually room for me to up level. I could feel better, how do I do that

? That’s something we circle back to the process then of becoming a master of your thinking and managing the thoughts that we dwell on. Because we know, its not about the thoughts that just fleet through our mind, we have about a bajillion thoughts fleeting through our mind all day. You know; every waking moment. It’s the thoughts that you find yourself dwelling on. You’re living in that state of  mind all the time. We, you know what I mean? Those are the ones, that are creating a certain emotion and that is going to determine the state that your find yourself in most of the time. So we have to practice managing our thoughts and directing our thoughts toward something that is in the state that we would like to be in. ANd so, gratitude is one practice that helps us with learning how to manage our thoughts. Because when we shift our thoughts over to what is good what we are grateful for. What you love in your life, what’s good in your life. Whatever it is, you are  training your brain to focus on the good things and the positive things. Then you can change the meaning of the things that you have negative  thoughts about. Because there are things that you are attaching meaning to that are negative and you have the choice to go, maybe I can apply a different choice to this thing that I keep dwelling on. That always makes me feel crappy or negative or angry. Apply a different meaning to it. The new meaning means  you must have a new thought.


Dr. Dravon James: I want to take a moment with that one, because I think that’s so important. I think a lot of people- we’ve talk a lot about it on this show and on many other shows. We’ve talked a lot about having an attitude of gratitude and really that will begin to shape your life – I know, I talk a lot about having an act of gratitude post card that I keep and write on every morning.  And keeping that  with me throughout the day. Because you know our day, we go through – we cycle. We go through high on the mountain top and low in the valley sometimes and we need to have something that we can harken back to,to bring us back to a baseline.But I love, so I love that. Gratitude is the answer to so many things. This changing the meaning  that we give to certain thoughts and circumstances- which is what I told you about with the traffic today,right? 


Loree Bischoff: Right 


Dr.Dravon James: Understanding that, that is so powerful. And I talk about that in my book and I know you do in yours as well. I talk about that to let people know that we have the power to do that. We give the meaning to everything that occurs in our life. And Loree you may remember this show; I definitely remember it from when I was a kid. Dragnet and he would always say, “Only the facts Ma’am.” And I would run around saying that all the time, “ Just the facts, only the fact Ma’am.” Right but the facts are the fact but they don’t mean anything without the meaning that we attribute to them. So I love the idea that we get to be so creative and say yes these are the facts.  You know, I was stuck in this horrendous traffic and this is what that means to me. 


Loree Bischoff: Right

Dr.Dravon James: Right, so this is what that traffic  means to me. With practice and it does take practice but I was able to look at this traffic and say this means that I am living in a state beginning to become healed. People are getting vaccinated. People are feeling more courageous and getting  back to outdoors and all of this and so, I get happy and think whoa this is a big change from this time last year. Right, we can do that with every part of our life. 


Loree Bischoff: Right. Yeah, exactly. And that’s such a great example too because we all experience getting stuck in traffic or getting stuck behind that slow driver that you just can’t get around and he is just cramping your style big time, right. 


Dr.Dravon James: Right!


Loree Bischoff:  And so That is a great example to practice what, how could I make this mean something that serves me, that empowers me, that means that could be good instead of something that frustrates me or stresses me out. So by doing that we change the thought we change the feeling we change the state. It’s a beautiful process; it just takes practice and everyone has the freedom to be able to implement this. 


Dr. Dravon James: Yes and here is the thing too, that I love about it even more. If I didn’t we do that and the whole process is so organic that it allows us to take full benefit of the emotion. 


Loree Bischoff: Yes you’re right!


Dr. Dravon James: We’re not denying any emotion, we’re not suppressing any emotion. We’re saying, I feel this about this but here’s just another way to look at it. So you give yourself the complete range of being open to what’s happening now but not allowing that emotion to drive your life in the opposite direction of your goals, right. If you’re goal is to be in the, have the state of being that is gratitude, then you don’t drive your life in the opposite direction of that. You say okay, I acknowledge I am feeling one of these emotions and okay thats great. I am able to feel my emotions how, how wonderful is that? That, that, that’s even great. We have the ability to feel these emotions. We have, we’re not powerless over  these emotions. They just cannot whoop us back and forth. 


Loree Bischoff: Right, right, it’s like we say you can either let it use you and ruin your day. And blame someone else. Or use it and you can manipulate it. You can become the master of it. And shape your day and how you feel and shape your space.


Dr. Dravon James: Oh yea, I love, I love it. I hope people are realizing…..I absolutely love it. It’s so empowering! When we realize how powerful we are life changes. Life changes, it really does and you realize you sort of have this bring it on kind of thing. 


Loree Bischoff: Yeah, yeah! (excitingly)


Dr.Dravon James: Not that you’re wanting bad stuff but… (light chuckle)


Loree Bischoff: Yeah, you know whatever it takes because you feel like whatever it takes. If you have to get into a warrior mentality to be like okay I am going to master these emotions (light laugh) That helps you start to get into the practice, then by all means. Use the tools that help you, that are given to you. But really once we become a master of our emotions, it’s not that we don’t feel them. It just means, we’re able to be the master of them so they’re not running the show and we’re not a slave to them. We’re the master of our emotions. 


Dr.Dravon James: So beautiful, so we’re talking about how to achieve our state of being that is desired and we talked about having an attitude of gratitude and we talked about uhm catching the meaning to the thoughts. Is there anything else that we can do?     


Lori Bischoff: Well, I think that sometimes it may be hard for some people to go: you know what, my life has gone down the toilet, I mean especially lately. A lot of bad have happened and it might be really hard for them to latch on to something to be grateful for when all they can see is things, you know- loss and stress, or whatever. So, you know what, as long as you’re alive and breathing you can find something. You just have to find something that is true for you and hang onto and then slowly build on that. For example, one of the things that I love to do is every morning, when I wake up I literally, I sit up and before I begin my prayer or my meditation time or whatever I am going to do. Or my spiritual reading, I , I go thanking for breathing me. Life is breathing me. I actually have this. Everyone that is alive that is in a state of gratitude, life is breathing you. You don’t even have to think about it. You  could be unconscious and sleeping and it’s doing it for you. And I just find that to be the most miraculous thing. I can, I can manipulate my breath if I want  consciously. You know I can change my breathing pace or do whatever but if I’m not thinking about it. Which most of us aren’t, most of the time. There’s this miraculous thing doing it for you and that’s one thing that anyone can start with. Wow I’m being breathed by something greater than myself. That’s a great thing to start.


Dr. Dravon James: Ah, yeah. That just gave me like this wonderful visual too. It’s Like the great mother where, the universe or what have you or however you want to label it but, it’s actually breathing us. And then gives us this great freedom to regulate the breath as we choose to but, the great mother but that was the feeling that I had. That came over me as you were talking about that.  That you are actually breathing me and that gives me and from that, that loving experience. I can do whatever I want with that breath you’re not going to deny it to me. You’re going to keep doing it over and over again and I get to be free with it and use it as I will. It’s so comforting and I do agree, for people who are experiencing trauma. We know that life teaches us that its difficult if nothing else. We’re out there in the middle of something, coming out of something or heading into something. And I tell you that phrase used to make me just quake in my boots when I was younger but I realize now that through all that, that it is our  state of being that is being that is being developed. It’s every experience is an opportunity for us to harken back to the truth. And to honor the fact that we get to hold on to the state of being It. the state of being itself helps us move to a higher level of consciousness as we circle life, the cycles of life. 


Lori Bischoff: Yes


Dr. Dravon James:   And if we’re holding onto that foundational belief. So it’s just phenomenal. 


Lori Bischoff: Yes, Uh huh.


Dr. Dravon James: Now as we’re talking about our feelings our emotions; what are we thinking about for people who have emotions  , as I was talking about earlier who let their emotions…. They sort of ruminate on things they get into these emotional patterns and something will happen and then will harken back to the horrible things that have happened. Is there some practice that these individuals can do to sort of help them release this energy and sort of move into a more positive use of their energy?


Lori Bischoff: Yea, I think that there’s you know…Yea I think in addition to what we just talked about I think that one of the things that we can do another thing is making sure that you’re not blaming others for others. So it’s really making sure that you’re not in this. Because when you’re blaming, when you lack you have negative feelings, you’re stressed or depressed, or you’re frustrated or you know; whatever your feelings are. If you’re blaming others for feeling that way you really disempowered yourself, because now you are basically saying well all of these other people, or person that situation that they were involved in with me has control over me. You’re allowing it. And so when we blame even if somebody is at fault or was at fault. If we hold on to that it will consume. You know the situation will continue to have control over us. You know, you can have the freedom that you desire when you keep dwelling on it. Especially if you keep yourself in a victim mindset about it. It’s a mindset.


Dr. Dravon James: You know, I have to agree. Responsibility, taking  responsibility puts you back in the driver seat and that’s what Every Day Peace is about. 


Loree Bischoff: Yes.


Dr. Dravon James: Every Day Peace is about owning our power. Walking in our power. This is Dr. Dravon James. I absolutely love you. We’ll talk next week. Thanks to our wonderful guest Loree Bischoff!


Lori Bischoff: Thank you.                                                                  

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