[Transcript] – How & Why To Change Your Name, Why You Should Meditate Right After You Get Out Of Bed, Principles Of Healthy Flourishing & More With Joseph Anew (Formerly Known As Joe DiStefano) and Emilía Rún.

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Transcripts

From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/joseph-anew-emilia-run-podcast/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:52] Podcast Sponsors

[00:03:45] Guest and Podcast Intro

[00:05:12] Joseph Anew's morning routine and why it's the cornerstone of a healthy day

[00:28:20] Who is Joseph Anew and his wife Emilia?

[00:30:34] Why Joe DiStefano changed his name to Joseph Anew

[00:42:23] Last names can define career paths and identify your path in life

[00:48:00] What does Anew mean and why Joe to Joseph?

[00:53:23] What does Emilia think about the name change and Joseph's journey?

[00:59:25] Did Joseph go through a legal status change, and is there more to it than just announcing a new name?

[01:03:35] Podcast Sponsors

[01:08:38] The reason behind the podcast name change from Stacked to Intuitive Warrior

[01:11:14] The benefits of meditating first thing in the morning

[01:14:59] RUNGA – The Gathering

[01:22:37] With the idea of eudaimonia, why is it that more people do not incorporate these practices into their everyday routines?

[01:25:47] What can people expect in a typical day at RUNGA?

[01:31:35] Do people get their own hotel and show up each day?

[01:33:01] How to register for RUNGA

[01:39:19] Wrap Up

[01:42:11] Upcoming Events

[01:42:32] Careers

[01:46:13] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Emilia:  Our intention has always been to empower. And really, we've had this recipe that's incredibly effective that we keep tinkering with, we keep changing things just to try to have more and more of an impact with every passing event. But essentially, we like to think of the human as a plant. And, our mission really is to create the conditions for the human to really flourish, to really thrive.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

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Alright, so the podcast you're about to hear is with my buddy and his wife. So, he's formerly known as Joe DiStefano. He's totally changed his name. His name is now Joseph Anew. We talked about that on the podcast, so if that's a big for you, just stay tuned. Anyways though, we spent a lot of time talking about the meaning of one's name, how it can help to identify you and your path in life. We talk a lot about a special event that Joe hosts in Austin, Texas called RUNGA, and we even talk about some parenting concepts and spirituality concepts, et cetera. But, Joe also is a real wealth of knowledge when it comes to just daily optimization; how we live our days, so how we live our life. I believe the saying goes something like that. And, Joe's really got a great grasp on how to optimize your morning routine. I've learned a lot from him in that regard. He was gracious enough to actually take up my offer to answer a question that I asked him, actually, after we had the show. And, that question was related to what he's doing now that are big wins in his morning routine.

So, before the actual interview starts, you're going to hear from Joe and he's going to walk you through his morning routine. I think you'll get a lot out of it, and then we'll move on to the actual interview with Joseph, I should say, and his wife Emilia. So, tune in and I hope you enjoy this one. All the shownotes are going to be a BenGreenfieldLife.com/TheGathering.

Joseph:  Hey, Ben. Yeah, I've been a big believer in morning routines for a long time. And, I know you are big on that as well and it really is sort of the cornerstone of a healthy day. And, I know you've talked about on the podcast probably before, I know I have on mine, it's the healthy user bias. So, it's when people start taking a green juice smoothie and they credit that with so much of their success when in fact that anchor was actually just the thing that got them to either stop doing things that were severely detracting from their health or start doing a host of things like drinking more water, going to the gym more frequently, or exercising harder, or all of these things that we can do, maybe tracking their sleep at the same time. 

And so, a lot of times, it's just about finding those anchors, and it's less, maybe the green juice and more, just that healthy user bias and that anchoring us into this more healthy existence. And, I think we make decisions throughout our days in sort of resonance with how we view ourselves. So, this sort of explains why if somebody is sad, they're going to sit on the couch eating Oreos because they're in this place of maybe some self-loathing or whatever you want to call it, just this sadness. And, we are attracted to foods, activities, people that are resonating or that match our internal environment.

And, I think the morning routine gives us having just a concrete reliable morning routine that's realistic for us, and I'll get into in a second just how my morning routine took a hit obviously throughout pregnancy with my wife and the birth of my son and COVID and being in a foreign country. It took me quite a while to really get my morning routine back, but I think that's just life and that's the importance of not trying to create a morning routine that doesn't fit your lifestyle or that you're not truly connected with and embodying. And, I know we're going to talk about this concept later in the show. But, in terms of the core elements of my morning routine that I think might be useful for your listeners, I can really sum up mine in three terms. Number one is powering up. Number two is double dipping. And, number three is bucketing.

And, when I think powering up, when I think about powering up, it's about how can I enter my day I should say with the maximal amount of personal power, how can my morning routine not detract from my personal power. And, sneak peak, the key to that is really running and hiding from your cell phone and your e-mail, and pretty much all tech for the first hour at a minimum. And, if you can blow that out to two hours, more power to you. 

But, I think the other piece of this that honestly having a child has really taught me is how does my morning routine not take any of my willpower? I like to think of willpower as a muscle. And, I think this is a lot of what we see even in the higher ends of fitness, working with a lot of professional athletes over the years. People think that diet and nutrition as an example are sort of not the same thing. If I run far enough, if I run hard enough, if I burn enough calories, I deserve the pizza when in fact it's almost that workout, that fitness routine took so much of your willpower that you don't have any left to make wiser nutritional decisions. Or, just the example I just used with somebody that's on the couch feeling depressed, your physiology is a little beat down. Some of these workouts are just way too hard and the body is either craving comfort or just extremely dense sources of calories that can only be met with pizza and ice cream, cheeseburgers, and French fries, which are all among the top 10 sources of calories in the United States of America today, which is pretty scary.

So, when it comes to powering up, as I mentioned, avoiding cell phone, avoiding emails, avoiding anything that can detract from your energy because when we wake up in the morning, we have a clean slate. Our brain waves and our hormones, they're on our side. And, I think the real key to this, and to ensure that your morning routine truly does get you off to the right start, then I know there's always a balance as well with sleep, and we can talk about that. And, I think the quick answer on sleep is you got to do this maybe overtime. So, in other words, if currently, you're going to bed at midnight that it might not be the week to begin the 5:00 a.m. club, but I think over time, if you set the intention to get up earlier and earlier, and if you get up with an alarm and hopefully it's some sort of more natural waking device, you can ratchet yourself earlier by 20- to 30-minute intervals over time as you also bring your bedtime earlier so that it's not so abrupt then you're not losing hours of sleep necessarily in order to power up because that seems oxymoronic. But, it is a decision oftentimes. Am I going to be better off? At least for me, am I going to be better off with seven hours of sleep and an hour of inner work that I'll talk about in one minute? Or, am I going to be better off with eight hours of sleep? And honestly, almost always, I choose the seven to seven and a half hours because I just have reaped the benefits so greatly to a solid morning routine. But, if it's seven hours or eight hours when either way I'm going to roll out of bed and just start chugging coffee, then that's a different decision perhaps.

So, when it comes to powering up, it's all about how do I connect myself with my purpose? How do I create meaning in this day? And so, for me, my morning routine really revolves around I literally roll out of bed, drag myself out of bed if I have to, I drink a glass of water. And, often if it's early, usually it's around 5:00 a.m., I Frankenstein my way up to my sauna. That's my ritual space. I have my prayer flags up. I have different things in there that make me maximally comfortable and also get my mind in that space.

So, just a quick tangent, I noticed a phenomenon when around the time when my son was born and I noticed that it was easier when I would either travel or, as you know Ben, we more or less got stranded in Europe for a year during COVID and just had to make some really crazy decisions knowing that lockdowns were coming and borders were closing and wanting to be around family when our son was born. So, it was wild that things like cold showers get easier when you are not at home. Things like cold showers, a lot of people have no problem taking a cold shower in a hotel room when they travel, but when they're home, they can't do it. 

And, the reason is we associate different spaces with different emotions and feelings. And so, if I take a nice hot soothing, relaxing hot shower 10 times a week in my shower, then yeah, when I walk into that ritual space, it's going to be very challenging to make it uncomfortable because my mind and body and spirit are so associated with having a higher level of comfort in that space. So, as it relates to meditation, I think meditating consistently in the same space, ideally some sort of ritual closed space, I use a sauna space sauna, which is a little tent. And, it works perfectly for me. And, as I mentioned, I've got prayer flags, I've got things I can sense that I can have in there with me. I have stones. I have all sorts of stuff in there that help keep me grounded in my intention. So, I think that's key as well as knowing where you go. And, this gets into reducing the willpower. Don't leave it up to chance. Don't have to decide where in your house you're going to meditate today. Have it be the same space every single day. We really want to make the routine mindless. And, that's Ben, the evolution for me. I used to really complicate my workouts as an example, and I used to consider my morning fasted workout to workout, but now I don't. Now, I look at all of this as just a lifestyle hack. Now, it's all about getting me into my power.

And, I'll explain the difference between a power-up workout and a workout because I think it's important. So, my personal day begins, I get myself into my ritual space, I meditate anywhere from 30 minutes, sometimes all the way up to two hours depending on how early I get up and how much I value that. And, I think there's always a decision as well when you start really getting into stillness and silence, it's always trying to determine how long is the amount of time that you need and at what point are you detracting from potentially another element of a potential morning routine or of your health and wellness journey. Is it sort of like a law of diminishing returns? And so, ultimately you want to stay in meditation until you find the present moment. Until that mind is in a place that you can feel comfortable with and you've cleared a lot of that mental chatter. And, I do believe that the morning, and we can talk about this later on the podcast, the morning is any other time. So, in other words, it might take you two hours to find the present moment if you try to meditate at 3:00 p.m. after lunch and after a lot of work, and when you've been staring into a screen all day. But, you might find that same present moment in 25 or 30 minutes first thing in the morning.

So, for me, after I leave my ritual space, after my meditation every other day, so I have a sort of alternating routine, I will get into my — I'm fortunate and blessed with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in my home. I'm really focused on my cognitive health because I have a lot of concussions in my childhood. And, that's an element of my health that I've really decided to prioritize because I am trying to stay way ahead of any potential declines or any issues I could have relating to those concussions. And so, I'm very blessed to have a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in my house. And so, after my after my sauna, every other day, I'll jump in that HBOT and I'll do a little extra breath work. So, in my sauna, it's more meditation and stillness, and maybe really quiet silent breathing. And then, when I go into the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, that's when I'll do maybe a more intense breathwork session.

After that, I come downstairs. Lately, I've just been doing for the last bunch of months, just like an instant coffee of sorts because I don't want to waste any time, I don't want to detract, I want to get right into my routine. And, the next stop is my garage, which is where I have my fan bike. And, I'll do 30 minutes on the bike every single day. And, this helps us get, it's like punching the clock. So, our bodies, our physiology need a minimum of 150 minutes a week of what I call MAF cardio, which is Phil Maffetone method, which is around 180 minus your age. A heart rate of 180 minus your age is the max aerobic power. It's also to me sort of the peak nasal breathing intensity. And, I know you've talked about on the show, Ben, about nasal breathing and the difference between mouth breathing and nasal breathing and the health benefits of nasal breathing both to the cardiovascular respiratory system as well as the sexual function. And, there's so many other pieces of the puzzle there that nasal breathing supports. And so, entering this bike and realizing that we're punching the clock for that 150 minutes a week of low-level moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise and nasal breathing is key because you may have a “workout” later in the day that could be your hard interval training, it could be a metcon, it could be a mixed modal thing. But, this is just you basically powering up your system.

And so, when I do 30 minutes on the bike, typically I allow the intensity to sort of govern itself. So, in other words, you'll notice if you start pedaling when you first get on the bike, you're going to be at a lower RPM and obviously every five to 10 minutes, you're naturally going to be able to pedal faster as your body and circulation catch up with you. It takes at least five minutes for the aerobic system to catch on in most people. So, what you'll find is, and if you're going to do 30 minutes, I typically personally set a goal of about 300 calories in 30 minutes, but I'll explain in a minute how that fluctuates. And so, in my first 10 minutes, I might burn 80 or 90 calories. Second 10 minutes, it'll be 100, 110. And then, my last 10 minutes, it'll be the highest caloric burn per 10 minutes. And, at the end of 30 minutes is usually around 300, but I'm also kind to myself sometimes. And, I don't necessarily stress about the total calories, and I really go with the intention is I'm doing this every single day. So, I'd rather go 20% easy on myself and make sure I'm going to be here tomorrow. I never want to risk going at an intensity that could detract or leave me with any soreness in my legs because that's not the purpose of this. This is just my powering up. This is like priming the pump, right?

And then, after the bike, I do some stretching and I'll do those typically involving my vibration platform, which I am really big on. I think you got to have either a vibe plate or a trampoline in your house. Something to get the lymph moving. And then, every other day, so this sort of piggybacks, the HBOT. So, I do the HBOT and then every other day, I'll do 100 kettlebell swings. And again, there could be a workout later in the day that you consider your exercise or your workout. These hundred swings are just to really prime the pump and really hit the musculature that are most vital to longevity, which are the hips. And, I think reducing willpower drain, I don't modify the exercise. So, it's always 30 minutes on the bike. I always have the intention of burning around 300 calories. It's always kettlebell swings. I always have the intention of doing 100, whether it's 10 sets of 10, five sets of 20, whatever it may be. And, I always also swing a bell that's about 30% of my body weight, which for me is usually the 20-kilo bell. And, during my workouts, I usually use a 24. So, you can see that this morning routine and lifestyle hack is more about, again, powering up.

And, as you can probably hear in my stories, which is the second principle of a fantastic morning routine in my opinion outside of really focusing on powering you up without reducing any of your willpower. But, the other important thing is double dipping where you can. So, I meditate in my red-light sauna. I do my breath work in the hyperbaric chamber. I ride my bike and it's in the garage, so I pop the garage door. And now, I'm getting my morning sun on maximal sun-exposed skin. My neighbors think I'm crazy, but a lot of times I'm just in my underwear getting full morning sun while I'm doing that 30 minutes. And, I'm then stretching on the vibe plate. So, you're double-dipping everywhere and again reducing the variables that fluctuate from day-to-day outside of maybe your alternating day routines. But, if I complicated the kettlebell swings and today it's going to be a few presses in there, you can do that, but of course, I want this to be a punch-the-clock mindless morning routine that I can do with a blindfold on. Because it's just my powering, it's just my warm-up activity, it's just what I'm doing for my health to check some boxes off to take control of my day. And, I do believe. And, when you look at the research on say the 150 minutes of cardio per week, which would be 30 minutes, five days a week and we can of course do at seven, but that's sort of the American Heart Association's minimum for health and for maintaining a healthy weight and for honestly emotional health. So, 30 minutes of cardio on most days of the week is actually just as effective as antidepressant, anti-anxiety drugs.

So, there's a lot of research around that particular number, 150 minutes a week, which is why I chose it and it's why I kind of speak to it so often even though if you're doing it six days a week, you're obviously a little bit higher. And, if you're doing it seven, you're even higher still, and that's fantastic. And again, because we're in this space, we're in the health and wellness arena, we're enthusiasts, we're checking that box and we're punching that clock and we're not even counting it as our exercise. So, we're hitting the minimum before we even have our coffee in the morning. And, that's just what we do to get our mind in the right place. And then, we can of course pile on as much intensity later and as much specific goals as we'd like. And, that would be your marathon training or if you're training for a kettlebell challenge or your training is much more specific. So, double dipping is key because you're getting more out of every single element that you're doing. And again, you can do it blindfolded and it doesn't take any willpower. You're not really following a checklist because after you do this for a couple of weeks, it's so automatic. And again, it really does hinge. And, most of this, you can start to see if my son typically wakes up between 7:00 and 7:30, then you can do the math. You're going to need minimum of one hour of the house to yourself with no cell phone, et cetera, unless you're using it for music and you're in your cycling, which is fantastic. But, it's amazing what you can do with a single hour before everyone else gets up.

And then, the third really critical element that really we can't forget about, it's really bucketing our days and sort of from a high level. For me, like Wednesdays and Saturdays are my kindness days. So, those are the days. I give myself two days a week where I'm a little extra kind to myself. So, on those days, I might sleep an extra 30 minutes. I may allow myself to really come up short on the bike that day. Again, kind of with that mindset I'm doing this every single day. So, if today I only hit 250 calories, it's like, well, tomorrow maybe I'll hit 330. And, that actually often happens. And, just from the recovery cycles that you've been through in your own training, that sometimes you see these super compensations after a tough day. You may move coffee up in the rotation. You may reduce or extend your meditation, but the key on a kindness day where you're being a little easier on yourself is you don't skip anything. So, you check the box as you punch the clock, still there's no judgment around it, you're just going through it a little more casually, and to kind of counter this in my own personal life, if Wednesdays are my kindness days, Mondays and Thursdays are the days that I make sure I hit everything. I get up sometimes even earlier than the other days. I make sure I hit my 300 calories or more on the bike. So, I tend to be a little bit harder on myself on Mondays, first day of the week, and Thursdays where it's the final push of the week. And then, I have those kindness days.

And then, the last thing that I think is really important as well is having a flex day, which is often Sunday. And, that's where you may skip some things, you may just be extra kind. Sometimes I'll wake up, I'll sleep in a little bit on Sunday and then my quote meditation might be playing in my kid's sandbox with him for an hour with tractors really present and really just connected with him. And, that might be my practice for Sunday. So, you kind of have these buckets of different days which are just your intention that you take into those days. And, I really believe that when you have that intention, it really impacts your mood and your energy, and the light that you take into the day. So, on Monday when you really hit the bike hard and you made sure to hit the marks and you're going to take a higher level of focus into that day. And, on your kindness day, you're going to be more likely to gravitate things into your field that are more in alignment with that. So, you can start to really get a nice almost seasonality to your week. And, I've really found that it's a vital component so that we don't feel every day is the same, and yesterday and tomorrow aren't identical. And, there's always a slightly different energy, a slightly different intensity or intention to each day even if it's subtle. And, I've noticed that that just has really had a profound impact on my life. And, once your family starts to understand, at least from my experience, the routine that you're on, it's also really cool when on your kindness days and as an example, it might be the day that you quit work early and you take an early day to take your family out to a special dinner. Same with the flex day on Sunday. So, there's also this balance that organically weaves into a morning routine like this where your whole world starts to be shaped around this very specific routine.

And, of course, the last thing I'll say is these positive power up emotionally uplifting activities that you do first thing in the morning, your hours become days, your days become weeks, your weeks become months, your months become years. And so, these absolutely have the power to change literally your entire worldview and personality as you start to really anchor yourself into your, well, self with a morning routine like this that really puts a lot back, powers you up and helps you bucket your life. So, that's how I handle my mornings. And, even with kids, sure it was easier when I was a single guy, but being a happy married man and a father, it still works because it's really only 60 to 90 minutes and it's just a matter of getting that alarm clock set. So, that's my morning routine, Ben.

Ben: Alright, folks, I have somebody joining me on the show today for what I think is a threepeat appearance on my podcast, although I could be wrong. I don't do that well keeping track of score. But he is not only one of my dear friends, he has coached me in the past for everything from kettlebell fitness to Spartan Racing. He himself has a podcast called the Immersive Warrior. And, he hosts what I would say is one of my favorite events of the year, an immersive, typically about a three-day long event called RUNGA where you go and get trained by wellness experts from all over the globe, and eat amazing meals, and get access to all these cutting-edge biohacking and antiaging tools, and do meditation and cold baths and workouts and tons of other little surprises thrown in here and there. And, it's absolutely a great time.

His wife Emelia also is a big part of that event. She's also one of my wife's friends. And, my wife, Jessa and Emelia teach these wonderful cooking and nourishing food classes at the same event. But anyways, you might know my guest as Joe DiStefano, which is his name at least on the past several podcasts. However, a lot has changed since I've last spoken with Joe, and he even has a new name. And, that's obviously a very big deal that we're going to be talking about on today's show. So, he is a wealth of knowledge. He's a man after my own heart in terms of just health optimization, spiritual optimization, mind optimization. This is the very first time that I'm not only interviewing Joe or Joseph, as he's now known, but also his wife, Emelia. So, welcome to the show, Joseph and Emelia.

Joseph:  Thank you so much, Ben. What a beautiful intro. It's so glad to be here.

Emilia:  Yeah. I think you're very grateful to be here.

Ben:  I always practice my introductions a lot in front of the mirror. While I flex and do my hair.

Alright, so I think that before we just get going with everything that I want to talk to you about because I even tuned into your podcast a few times this week, Joseph, just so I could hear the latest and the greatest that you're up to. And, I even have a few questions from that, but I want to know about the name change, first of all, because I mean there's a lot going on. Not only do you have a new son or relatively new son since the last time that we talked, but you've changed your names. So, fill me in, what's going on here?

Joseph: Yeah, Ben. Well, thank you so much and this is really the maiden voyage. This is really the first interview that I've done since the change. And so, I'm grateful for you and kind of setting me a sail here. And, I think it really boils down to this idea of personal power. And, I've found this topic of personal power very interesting for a long time. Years and years ago, I started doing like Tony Robbins programs and things like that. And, more recently, I've really been into what blocks our power and how do we sustain that feeling and how do we walk and talk in our highest truth in our strength and just free of as many limiting beliefs and as much fear as absolutely possible. 

And, this latest sort of phase of my life that I'm so grateful for really was spawned by the death of my father and the birth of my son coming just a few years apart. And, that sent me on a bit of a roller coaster, especially one that sort of was directed inward. Any man who loses his father, it's almost like it doesn't even matter almost the depth of that relationship, whether your father is your best friend or not, in some other cases, it leaves a really big hole and you lose a lot of your masculine backbone in a lot of cases. And, I think that as this interest of personal power was already within me realizing that hole was being filled by him, and I didn't think it was, I thought I was already on my own two feet, but it really created an interesting place in my own self to really explore. And then, of course with the birth of my son, Leon Thor, I knew I needed to develop into my highest self, my absolute strongest being I possibly could. And, he has sent me on a journey. And, that was really the sort of start to it. And, I can dive a little deeper or throw you the ball back.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, I've always known you as Joe DiStefano. I assumed it was maybe Italian or something. I know you're living in Boston when I first met you. I'm just curious, the transition from Joe DiStefano to Joseph Anew, how did you actually choose like the first and the last name?

Joseph:  Great question, Ben. And, I'll say that was a really interesting piece of this is as you know for the last decade, I've been going by JoeDi.

Ben:  Yeah, Coach JoeDi. It's like your social media handles and everything.

Joseph:  Exactly. And, I spent almost 10 years teaching people how to climb ropes and jump over walls. And, JoeDi really became my identity. And, I want to get into identity because I think it's just so darn interesting. But, when my father passed, it was really interesting. It's this idea of when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And, I was getting coffee with a friend and he was explaining that he hired a coach, and this coach really dove into a lot of areas I wanted to dive into as well. And so, I had him connect me and it was a guy named Arnold Patent. And, Arnold, I don't know if he's still coaching. He was over 90 years old when I was working with him in 2018. But, what was so crazy to me is that one of the first things he said to me, he almost chuckled when I said I'd go by JoeDi and he said, “You have no idea how much power you're losing in that name. You have no idea how much of your identity you're not owning. And, that ownership and standing in that power is going to be the key to your success.” 

And so, he was coaching me in a lot of different areas. And, I thought that was really, really wild. And, as you know, like a lot of times when we learn something new, especially about ourselves, it takes some time. You got to really sit with it. It's like I remember when I first went to a Paul Chek seminar in 2007, and it was like every year another 10% to that seminar came true for me. I thought he was nuts for saying “You shouldn't sleep in front of the TV back then.” And so, he planted that seed and it's really kind of blossomed. And, I think that may be going into sort of names, in general, might be helpful and then I can get into kind of the path that I took.

Ben:  You mean, names in general in terms of how they define our character or our path in life?

Joseph:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, I guess if we look at last names first, I think last names are really interesting. And, I think for many, they can of course carry a lot of strength, pride, heritage, tradition. It's very healthy to be proud of your roots and where you come from, but I think for many others, it's sort of just this thing that got passed down. And, there's not a real story behind it. And, I think it's when we look at names specifically, and I think this varies from culture to culture around the world, but my wife, Emelia, who's on the phone with us right now, she's Icelandic. And, in Iceland, a lot of people are probably most familiar maybe with some of the CrossFit athletes like Catherine David's daughter.

Ben:  Yeah. Or, they all sound like Viking last names, Thor's daughter, obviously, the female descendants of whatever, Thor or Doris, whoever that is. So, yeah, I'm certainly familiar.

Joseph: Well, the really interesting thing about that Ben is that those names are unique to that individual. So, David's daughter, Catherine David's daughter, that implies that her dad, not some dad in the distant past, not great, great, great, great, great, grandfather, but her dad is David. And, if she were to have a brother, his last name would actually be unique to him as well. His last name would be David's son. So, she's David's daughter and he's David's son and I think —

Ben:  Okay. So, wait, wait. So, if her last name is David's daughter and her dad's name is David, what her dad's last name be?

Joseph:  Her dad's last name would be his father's first name son.

Ben:  Okay, got you.

Joseph:  So, David's father would be, we'll say, Thor's son or something like that —

Ben:  Right. So, it's very dynamic. It changes from generation to generation.

Joseph:  It changes exactly. And so, your last name in Iceland, and it's a small population up there, it tells the story of who you are and helps people understand who you're related to, where you come from. And, when we look at so many names today in America and the U.K. and Europe, including my former last name, but names like McDonald, that actually is son of Donald. So, it came from the same place. I guess no one told Iceland, but it comes from that same type of tradition. And so, even now a lot of females are walking around with the last name that actually means Donald's son because it was just this thing that was passed down. 

And so, I found that to be really curious, but the other funny thing about names and the thing that really got my wheels turning in this area is that so many other common names like Shepherd, Smith, these names were taken and assumed based on what that family or person was doing in the world. So, Smith were often blacksmiths. Taylors were often tailors. Shepherds were typically sheep herders. Greenfield, you might have been a landowner.

Ben:  Well, actually what's funny just a slight rabbit hole here is my grandfather changed his last name due to what I believe and I don't want to want to speak too much to the family history here, I'm sure my dad or my aunt or somebody might correct me, but he had a falling out with his father, I believe, whose last name was Romalia and changed his last name to Greenfield but took that last name based on, I believe, at another relationship in the family with the last name Greenfield. So, I actually have a last name changed pretty early on just two generations back from Romalia to Greenfield. Do you think the Greenfield would have been like farmers or something like that like that last name?

Joseph:  I think so, Ben. And, I want to get into a phenomenon called implicit egotism in a little while, because it's a really exciting topic. And, I'm sure we'll get to it in just a second. So, as I was kind of exploring this and not even with the thought that I might change my name, but just out of curiosity, I started to think about that, wow, so way, way, way back in the day, especially names like Smith, they were to tell the story of what you are here to contribute, what you do for the people in your community. And so, that was cool. And, I guess I'll go into implicit egotism a little bit right now. But, when we look at that —

Ben:  Yeah, I've never heard that before, by the way.

Joseph:  So, it's this phenomenon where we identify with certain elements of ourselves, especially our names. It's one of the most strong markers of our identity. Our first name is our person, and our last name is either our family or what we're here to do. And, there's a phenomenon where you gravitate or magnetically attract or are attracted to things that resemble or you could easily identify with your identity. So, in modern research, I'll say like Smiths as an example, they were blacksmiths for generations and generations. And, even today, years after, generations later, they still on subjective surveys consider themselves regardless of their physical fitness, regardless of their body stature, regardless of their size. The last name Smith has a strength to it that these people subjectively assume, I guess, is the word that they are slightly stronger than average. They're more capable physically. And, I find that interesting. And, I think that research study compared Smiths to Taylors, and they found that Taylors really didn't have that. They did not consider themselves to be specimens or anything.

As I dug deeper, you start to see some really wild stuff like there's an abnormal number of dentists named Dennis. There are an abnormal number of people named Florence in Florida. There's an abnormal number of Callahans in Calgary. There's this wild thing, and it actually transcends our name. It's really anything associated with identity. If you're born in February, you're statistically more likely to live on 2nd Street than somebody that's not born in February. So, I started to dig into this stuff and it was just like, “Wow, what am I pulling in? What am I subconsciously attracting into my life, into my field that relates to the identity that I carry and how I see myself?” And, that was the real journey.

Ben:  Wow. Okay, so the last name obviously appears can define some things you might not even think about like career choices or the way that you think about, in the case of Smith versus Taylor, your toughness or a whole range of different things. So, you obviously must have thought a lot about what you wanted to change your name to. So, tell me about that.

Joseph:  Yeah. And, I think that as I started to explore this for myself, and the funny thing too, Ben was I took a little bit of a different approach. I really sort of sat in meditation and asked and didn't get an answer for quite some time. It's a humongous —

Ben:  What's that look like for you to sit in meditation and ask? I think a lot of people might wonder what that actually goes like.

Joseph:  Yeah. Well, I have my sauna space that I've kind of converted. It's like my little tent upstairs and I sit in there every single morning, and I typically begin with a question. And, I think that questions, they create more brain activity and usher in more ideas than answers or concepts do. So, I love asking a question. I love starting a day that I know I have a lot to do with how can I maximize my focus today and not really search for the answer, just see what sort of floats in. And honestly, sometimes I don't get a great answer, sometimes I don't have an aha moment every single day, but I sit with it and I stay with it. And, the name thing was more of like this. I think first. I think there's this process that it takes a lot of opening before you start getting a lot of answers. So, in other words, when you even have the thought of changing your name, there's a lot of things that keep you from even wanting to go there. You don't want to disappoint people that are attached to you. You've got a million views on YouTube. There's a lot that sort of keep you stuck. And, this is true of even people in fitness programs, and they don't want to be the crazy health freak at work that brings a salad when everyone else is having cake. So, there's a lot of this stuff outside of us.

And, I think in my experience from the time I initially considered this or began to “Oh, it was years before I actually began to get any answers.” And, I think if we think about things like ready, fire, aim, excuse me, ready, aim, fire, you spend the most time in ready and aim. And, I think that a lot of people make the mistake of maybe firing first, but I spent a lot of time in ready and aim. And, as I began to ask more questions, they got more specific. And so, the questions became, how could I use my name to reinforce my purpose for myself to give my son a name that will know that he can always start again, he can always start at zero, there's never a bad time to begin something new. How could I tell the world, even subconsciously what I'm here to do without them even knowing me? And, as I started to ask those questions, this name came up, Ben, and it was probably a year at least of certainty, and I used a lot of muscle testing on it. And, you're probably familiar with muscle testing.

Ben:  Yeah. And, what did that look like for you?

Joseph:  So, I really wanted to obviously, as people are listening, I wanted to sanity check this as much as possible. And, back when part of my story is when I was younger, I had a really horrific head injury, fractured my skull, had surgery on my brain. And, when I was sort of having some issues relating to post-concussion stuff, I got really close with a couple of docs in Boston. One of them is Dr. Peter Percuoco and the other one's name is Dr. John Markazi. And, these two guys are just, I mean they have a forever place in my heart. They're just magical men. They're so smart. And, they both used it and Markazi used it a lot. And, I started to get really intrigued, like, “How come you can tell me to smell something and I get stronger? How come you can put something in my hand, you can have me think a thought and it will either make me weak or make me strong?” 

And, the amazing thing about what I believe today is sort of our means of communication with our higher self is that our bodies are not meant to tell a lie. We're not supposed to lie. And, I think that probably has some roots in community and tribalism. You find a stash of bananas. You're not supposed to keep them for yourself, you're supposed to share them, and you're supposed to speak the truth. So, the idea with muscle testing and it's a great book on this called “Power vs Force” that I'm sure you've stumbled on to.

Ben:  Yeah. So, that's a David Hawkins, yeah?

Joseph:  Yeah. And, that book for folks that think they sound maybe a little woo-woo or whatever, read that book. It's really great. So, I would have Emelia test me in a lot of different ways. You'll dig this, Ben. I would hang from a pull-up bar and tell myself lies and tell myself truths and see what made me stronger and see what made me weaker. And, over the course of a year, I got affirmed in this name again and again and again. I never had a day of weakness with it. It just always made me stronger. And so, after a while, I just had to take the plunge, and I'm 37, my kid's 2 years old. It's like, if not now, when? You only live once.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Okay.

So, what does Anew actually mean and why did you go from Joe to Joseph?

Joseph:  Anew is transformation I identified through my professional career. As you mentioned, I've been working with people for a long time. I started sit and push fitness, I like to call it, and then evolved and started doing more functional training, and then CrossFit, the wave came in and I managed to franchise of gyms. And then, I got really into obstacle racing and spent almost a decade at Spartan Race. And, what I sort of pulled out of the last 20 years of my life is that I love being a part of transformation. I love it and it's ultimately my calling. And, when I look at what I could say created but Emelia is really taken to the next level with RUNGA, I started to see that that's what we're doing there as well. In fact, we got feedback from the last bunch of RUNGA events, really post-COVID RUNGA events. We've done three now and people say, people say, “Wow, I can just really be myself.” And, I started to say, “Wow, we're really creating a space of transformation.” And, that's ultimately whether I've been working with Hollywood celebrities or professional runners or average Joes, it's always been about transformation for me.

So, when I started to look at this name, Anew, what it means to me is it's a symbol of my own personal transformation. It's my higher self-speaking to my human ego self that gets upset sometimes. It's my higher self talking to my son telling him what I would tell him in the event that someday I'm not there. And, it's the world having a clue as to what I do and a means of me communicating to the world what I'm here to do for a lot of people as many people as I can touch during my life. So, the first name is, of course, your first name, a lot of people don't have much to do with it. And, I think that I've met just a number of people recently that have changed their first name. And, our parents do their best. They take a guess, but I think there's so many outside influences. Like names that are popular on TV at that era or, there's a lot of things. There's a lot of degrees of freedom or room for things to maybe go wrong.

So, I think analyzing your first name is an important thing if you suspect that maybe you're not identified. If you're not really feeling power from your name, then it's an interesting subject and well to dive into. For me, Arnold telling me. So, Arnold Patent‘s work is amazing. He wrote a bunch of books. He's almost 100 years old now. But, he was like the Joe Dispenza before, Joe Dispenza. And, I think he was on Oprah in the early '90s. And, he's got a few principles, one of them is the “Universal Principles” and he has another one called “The Family Story.” He's got some really great books. But, his concept can ultimately be boiled down to, “You are born abundant, you are born joyful, you are born free and happy.” And, the human experience creates wounds. And, it's our job over the course of our lifetime to first accumulate those wounds and then heal them and get back to that abundant joyful self that we were born as. And, when we look at those wounds or things that identify us, limiting beliefs specifically or I guess the journey that we're all on, he believes that we are all powerful, we all have what could be called prana, chi, qi, kion, right? We all have this amazing life force within us. And, the only thing blocking us are these limits on our power. And again, most of those are wounds. But, when you're walking around and you're given such, in my opinion, a beautiful name Joseph, it's a symphony, it's got power, it's got strength, it's got a biblical tie, it's got a lot to it to cut that down to Joe is an area that he was pretty insistent was limiting me in my life. And, the longer I sat with it, especially wanting to make an example for my son and knowing that it's now or never, I decided to step back into it and let myself be a test and hopefully maybe an inspiration for some others because it is a challenging ride, Ben.

Ben:  Yeah.

Joseph:  I won't joke. It's challenging.

Ben:  Yeah. I watched my sister go through this because she changed her name Natalie into Angel Greenfield. She's a musical performing artist. And so, that's not only her stage name. Now, if you want to call it a stage name, but also just her literal first name, like she no longer goes by Natalie. I've always kind of wondered, like if I changed my name to my full name Benjamin and started going by Benjamin Greenfield if it would influence anything from wealth to success to mindset. For example, I've looked into the name, and apparently, the wealthiest name that exists is Benjamin if you look at the actual income or something like that. Not that I necessarily think life is all about finances or wealth, but it's interesting as a thought exercise to just think about the way that you're named, and whether a shortcut name or nickname might actually be influencing your day-to-day life. It is interesting to think about.

Now, Emelia, what do you think of all of this? Are you now going by the last name Anew? Did you think Joe was just out of his mind when he decided to do this? Or, where are you at with all this?

Emilia:  That's a great question. Well, first of all, I should say when we got married, we sort of eloped. So, we got married in our front yard in Venice.

Joseph:  Very local elope.

Emilia:  Oh, yeah. We had three friends. So, we didn't have our family and I never changed my name to DiStefano. And, I think that in my head I always thought that I would take his last name when we had a real wedding and brought all our families together and kind of save that, yes, have that be something sacred, another initiation down the line to look forward to. So, it's interesting because I still have the last name that I was born with. And, when Joseph came home one day and I think, I don't know where you were, you were just thinking about it and you decided to tell me about this crazy idea that you had and you have been sitting with for a while. And surprisingly, I wasn't that shocked, so I don't know. So, it's a lot about us, our relationship. I kind of just —

Joseph:  Most supportive wife ever, Ben. It's unbelievable.

Ben:  Yeah. No, trust me, I know. Anytime I do something weird, it takes a lot for my wife to be shocked because she's used to quite a bit of craziness, obviously.

Emilia:  Well, I remember initially he said to me, you can sit with it and if there's a certain way you'd want to spell it or something else that feels good to you, we can talk about it. But, I could just see, I could just sense how in his heart this was what he wanted that this was really important to him. And, I could feel like he told me how strong it made him feel, like he told me about the process, how it kept coming back up for him. So, who am I really to say no or to limit that at all? I think I'm just happy for him that he's in this place and really tapping into that personal power.

Ben:  Has it actually changed? And, Emilia, you may have noticed this in Joseph or Joe you can speak to this yourself, but has it actually changed the way that you go about your day-to-day existence? Having gone from Joe DiStefano to Joseph Anew just as far as anything that you've noticed has changed thus far because it's obviously a pretty new thing, I think, in the past couple months that this has happened.

Emilia:  Yeah. And, he can speak to this for sure a little better than I. but, as a witness, I would just say that there's definitely a pride that's very healthy and perhaps more of a lighthearted energy also maybe because there's a meaning and then it strikes up conversation with people. And, I definitely think that there's been a little bit of a shift. And, maybe it's more subtle but at least for me as a witness, it feels really good.

Joseph:  Yeah. And, I think I'm really excited right now because I feel I have a renewed permission to really truly go all in on myself and truly setting examples for my son and the people I work with. And, it's really kept me anchored. And, I think I really look at this, and I delayed for a long time just because I know the name. I don't worry about it, but I know that a lot of people can see obviously that it's a name that I discovered or that I decided on. I didn't change it to Smith. So, I knew it was bold and that meant I needed to sit with it for a long time. Again, it's like ready, aim, and aim was the longest one and then I went back to ready, and then finally I decided to fire. 

But, what really put me over the edge was maybe six or eight months ago I read Rom Das's biography. And, Rom Das, he was Richard Alpert. He was a professor at Harvard and he went to India and began spending a lot of time in meditation and with his guru in India. And, his guru named him Ram Dass, which means messenger of god. And, when I was hearing Ram Dass and I started, I was kind of in this place of thinking about this when I was going through his biography. And, when he came home from India, and Richard was now Rom Dass, I was like, “People must have thought he was nuts.” But, as I started to read and I've consumed hours of Ram Dass at this point, his podcast that they've created with all of his old lectures and things is phenomenal, I started to realize that he struggled like everyone. He has his vices, he has his weaknesses, he has his things, he has to work through just like everybody. And, I believe that the name is what really kept him anchored to his purpose.

So, if he was Richard Alpert, I think there was probably a real challenging phase when he got home as I mentioned, and changed over all his credit cards or whatever. There's that phase. But, as his career blossomed and his purpose became clear and his mission became larger and larger, I believe that name likely kept him truly anchored feet on the ground during challenging times. And, that was really actually what put me over the edge because I said I want that. I have a son, the world is challenging, the world is also very progressive right now. And so, there's no better time to make a major change. This is my own inner monologue, but really Ram Dass's journey really was the thing that put me over the edge because I said, wow, so he knew his purpose, he was aimed and he was ready to fire. But, just in case life got in the way, just in case things got tough, he had the name as a backbone and it's a source of his kingship, it's a source of his strength. And, that's actually what really put me over the edge was that biography.

Ben:  Now, do you have to actually go to have your legal status change as well when it comes to changing your name like this? Logistically, did you have to go through some of that? I'm just asking because people are listening and maybe they're interested in doing this. Is there more than just announcing to the world, “Hey, this is my new name”?

Joseph:  Yeah. And, a lot of people ask if most people are like, “Okay, cool. Are you really doing it? Is it a real thing? Are you going to have your credit cards and your license changed?” And, the answer is yes. And, that process speaking of timing, it actually got a lot easier post-COVID. So now, there's only very important or real pressing court dates. I learned this in the system is that most people changing their name or they've committed a crime or they're on the front page of the newspaper. And so, if you don't check any of those boxes, it's a really quite easy process. I did need to go down to the clerk and just do a couple of quick things, had to sign a couple of documents. But, unlike before COVID, there was really no crazy court date, it wasn't a lot of work, it was actually just time and money to begin that process. And then, once you get the letters from the judge that are signed, you can just take those to the DMV and send them to the social security office and you start that process. And, each step of that journey is four to ten weeks or more. But, it's a slower process but it's really not that cumbersome to be honest.

Emilia:  I was just thinking about my kundalini experience because a lot of people are given spiritual names in that tradition. And, I was given a spiritual name as well a few years into my practice. And, it's interesting because I'm just thinking about it as you're speaking, I don't think that the people who were going by their spiritual name, especially in our community, I don't think anybody actually changed their name, they changed it on Facebook and Instagram and then everyone knew to address them by that name. I don't believe anyone that I know changed it legally or at least there was no discussion about it. So, even in those traditions where maybe you don't want to take that step to change it legally, I still think there's a lot of power in a name that's given to you. I remember my name was or is, I suppose, Priya Shanti, which I believe means beloved peace, beloved peace. And, I remember especially when it was first given to me and it felt really special. And, I remember just meditating on it, it became a mantra. And, I never actually went by that, a bunch of my friends kept trying to make it a thing.

Joseph:  You had parentheses on your Facebook for a while.

Emilia:  I did.

Ben:  In kundalini tradition, a lot of my listeners might not be that familiar with kundalini yoga or the kundalini practice, who chooses this spiritual name for you?

Emilia:  So, Yogi Bhajan when he was around, they have a center in Espanola in New Mexico where his house was and there's still that community there. They run the 3H0 organization, and I believe it means happy, holly, I can't remember what this last H is. But, the 3HO, happy, holy, something else.

Joseph:  Hippie.

Ben:  That will work. Happy holy hippies.

Emilia:  That would be very accurate. Well, he assigned a person to make these names. And, I know that there is some name being some sort of system. And, when you apply for a spiritual name, you speak to them. I believe if I remember correctly, it was about seven or eight years ago at this point. But, I remember writing a letter and just talking about my experience with the practice how much my life has changed, how big of a part of my life the practice is. So, you kind of feel like you just want to pour your heart out, you want them to see how important is this to you so that they put a lot of intention and love and thought behind assigning your spiritual name. So, it feels very reciprocal when you receive your name because you know that you put a lot of energy into maybe proving yourself a little bit, and then it feels really personal. There's a lot of power, it's empowering.

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Yeah. And, you also, at the same time, Joe, changed the name your podcast. Was that intentional or was that just coincidental that your podcast changed from, I think, it was Stacked before and now it's Immersive Warrior?

Joseph:  Yeah, Intuitive Warrior.

Ben:  Oh, Intuitive Warrior. Okay.

Joseph:  That was also intentional. Again, it's sort of I want, I'm going all in on myself right now and I'm trying to create all these sort of tentacles from my mission to align and to both tell a story and also keep me connected. And, Stacked was based on a teaching that I began in fitness, it was really my fitness identity, and I want to really get into intuition and strength and transformation. And so, that's where Intuitive Warrior came from and was born from. And, I'll also mention that getting back a little bit to kundalini yoga when Emilia and I met, I think you were already Priya Shanti, and she steeped me in it and we were pretty devout for a number of years. 

And, kundalini yoga says that when you want to transform any part of your life, you need to employ the power of a thunderbolt. What they mean by that is you need sound and vibration and so much of kundalini. I mean, we've probably done these mantras which are similar to any transcendental mantra type practice. I mean, we've probably done a lot of these fate blossoming protection, fearlessness, mantras. We've probably done them thousands of times. And, I'm curious as to the impact that had on this decision. But, I love that the teachings say that you need the power of a thunderbolt because transformation really doesn't happen overnight. And, when you start to think about mantra and sound and the healing potential of everything from gongs to a lot of the things we do at RUNGA, of course, and that's why we're doing them, it's very incredible. And, as I began to look at that implicit egotism and how do I magnetically attract things that are connected to my identity in some way, and the answer might be in the, I think there's 82 or 83 acupuncture points on the roof of the mouth. And, when you start to stimulate your mouth through these mantras and, of course, this gets into affirmations in the morning and putting vibrations into the universe, I'm beginning to suspect a lot of that is it's been around for 5,000 years for a reason is my guess, Ben.

Ben:  That leads me, and this might seem a weird segue, but like I mentioned, I listened to your podcast in a few recent episodes, one thing really stood out to me and it's related to something you just mentioned about meditation in the morning, I usually get up and I'll stretch and do some breathwork, make some coffee, go about the day. And, maybe an hour and a half or so after I get up, I'm finally sitting down to do my prayer and my meditation, things like that. The few times that I've just wandered downstairs and sat down on a cushion in the living room and started meditating, it seems a lot better even though I haven't really fully changed my habit of doing a bunch of stuff before I meditate. You said in a recent podcast that there's a big advantage to just doing it first thing like first, first thing. Can you explain that?

Joseph:  Absolutely, Ben. And, this is also kundalini practice. Emelia and I's first argument as a couple was about this actually. So, there's a practice in kundalini called sadhana, and this is common in a lot of yoga traditions but you get up two and a half hours before the sun rises. And, I believe that the reason is that the brainwave state that exists at that time, the chemical state with the interactions between chemicals like melatonin that are still floating around your brain —

Ben:  Wait, wait, wait, can I slow you down for a sec? You said you get up two and a half hours after the sun rises?

Joseph:  Before the sun rises.

Ben:  Before the sun. Okay, got it. That makes better sense. I was going to say it sounds kind of lazy.

Emilia:  It's called the Amrit Vela.

Ben:  Okay.

Joseph:  Emilia used to make us get up at 3:30 in the morning and drive to the yoga studio for sadhana. It was wild. And now, I do my best on most days of the week. I've kind of got my days bucketed, so I have certain days of the week that I'll let myself sleep as late as I can but I have other days of the week that I get up at 5:00 and get immediately into my ritual space. So, sadhana is it's getting up two and a half hours before the sun rises. And, my intuition tells me that the brainwave stayed at that time where you just forced yourself out of bed, you haven't looked at your cell phone. It's not 3 o'clock in the afternoon when you've got so much on your mind, you're in this sort of in-between brainwave state. And, I believe that's far more conducive for a productive meditation than after you've put a bunch of things in your head. And, I also suspect that from a spiritual perspective and this gets into maybe some of John Lieurance‘s teachings, which I know you've had John on the podcast just around melatonin.

Ben:  Yeah, interviewed him yesterday actually.

Joseph:  Oh, really?

Ben:  Yeah.

Joseph:  I'm so curious about the chemical state as well in addition to the brainwave state and what potential may lie or what the yogis over the last couple of thousand years have really figured out as it relates to mystical experience or depth of meditation.

Ben:  Yeah, I'm certainly sure that there's a lot of GABA like the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA still floating around in there and the excitatory neurotransmitters like norepinephrine or dopamine. Haven't really had a chance to surge into the bloodstream quite so readily. So, yeah, it's really interesting though. It actually is something I've really been trying to start doing, just get up and put on hold all those racing thoughts or that desire to optimize the body first and just go straight into meditation. I'm actually planning on moving my meditation cushion up by my bed just to make sure I don't even step foot into anything else before I launch in.

Now, at RUNGA, you guys obviously do, you do the meditation in the morning. I think a lot of people might have heard or other podcasts might be familiar with this RUNGA thing. But, the last time that I interviewed you, it was a little bit different. People would show up, most of them would stay on site. It rotated in different spots around the globe and the structure of the event was a little bit different. I think that for people who might be interested in this gathering and the next one's taking place in Austin, Texas this October. I'll put all the info in the shownotes. You can find them at BenGreenfieldLife.com/TheGathering. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/TheGathering. 

You guys have changed up some other things as well. And, I don't want this to be a giant commercial for RUNGA as much as I would like to hear a little bit about the reasoning behind some of the different things that you've added there and some of the stuff that you think is most important when it comes to health optimization and why because there's also I mean, you got hyperbaric and you have these electrical devices and the different injections and IVs and peptides, but then you have the outdoor practices and the ice baths. So, talk to me about some of the most important changes.

Emilia:  Yeah, absolutely. And, you're right, we have had a lot of changes over the years. And, I can tell you a little bit more about our philosophy because RUNGA is really this recipe. So, our intention has always been to empower just like Joseph described. And really, we've had this recipe that's incredibly effective that we keep tinkering with, we keep changing things just to try to have more and more of an impact with every passing event. And, we can definitely talk more about that and break down all the elements and everything that goes into that. But essentially, we like to think of the human as a plant. And, our mission really is to create the conditions for the human to really flourish, to really thrive.

Ben:  When you say the human as a plant are you, are you talking Rudolf Steiner type of stuff where you would eat the roots of a plant to nourish your internal environment or some of the leaves for cardiovascular and venous performance, things along those lines? I think it's called anthroposophy, something like that with Rudolf Steiner.

Emilia:  That's so interesting. That's a great question. I'm not as familiar with Rudolf Steiner as I maybe should be and probably will be as Leon grows up. But actually, this idea came from Aristotle. So, this idea of the human as a plant, it became ingrained in me a few years even before I met Joseph and way before I was involved in RUNGA. And, I was studying law in London and I got really into Aristotle. I took a class with a man named Eric Heinze, it was called law justice and ethics. And, I actually had no idea that it was a class dedicated to Aristotle and specifically actually how we create justice; what policies, procedures, practices in society are conducive to justice in creating just humans. And, Aristotle didn't just believe the objective was to have humans that behaved in just waves ways that did just actions but they also had to enjoy doing them. It had to be ingrained in them.

So, this is relevant to us. It sounds currently maybe like it's not. But, if you're familiar with Aristotle, he had these substantive interests. And, these are the virtues of the just humans. So, he sought out to identify in part the procedural elements that would be the most conducive in producing humans with these qualities. So, for example, some of the virtues, there's bravery, there's generosity, there's truthfulness, and each of these he explains is a golden mean between two extremes. So, for example, truthfulness you want to be truthful when speaking about yourself but you don't want to be truthful in speaking about things that aren't yours to share. And, that's the mean, that's the golden mean between being boastful and being maybe self-deprecating. So, kind of get the picture, generous but not too generous, generous not stingy, those types of things. So, you actually when you're reading this, you kind of get the feeling you're reading one of the original self-help books, which is kind of funny. So, it's so old, right?

Ben:  And, what's it called again?

Emilia:  He had a few books. So, Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics,” I'm probably saying that wrong, and there was “Rhetoric” and “Politics.” So, those were the three that I researched the most and studied the most. But, you start to realize whatever you're reading from him really that justice is one thing. But, underneath it all, he's really talking about happiness and fulfillment. And, that's what his model of justice is concerned with. So, a just human with all these virtues is the natural result of humans growing in the right conditions in the fertile soil. So, in this metaphor with enough sunlight, the right amount of nutrients, the right amount of water, that the ultimate goal, the ultimate good actually is for humans to fulfill their potential.

There's this Greek word “eudaimonia.” Maybe you're familiar with it. There's really no word for it in English and a lot of times it's misconstrued, but it's best described as this sense of true happiness and fulfillment. And, it's not an emotion, it doesn't come and go.

Ben:  Yeah, it would be a state of flourishing, eudaimonia.

Emilia:  Yes, absolutely. So, that's what he was really concerned about the human becoming the most human, the human fulfilling his potential. And, he set out to identify the conditions most conducive to that, which is really actually what we've been concerned with with RUNGA as well to making the human the most human, bringing out the best in the human. So, this is such a powerful concept because for us, we believe health is our birthright and just like Joseph was talking about Arnold Patent believing that joy, abundance, happiness, these are our birthrights, these are our true nature, this is what our DNA can provide for and manifest. So, if grown under the perfect conditions, the human being is well. The human's highest nature is to be well.

Ben:  Yeah.

Emilia:  Yeah, that can be manifested through his environment habits nutrition. And so, this is what RUNGA has always been about.

Ben:  In terms of flourishing and being well, and this is something that I've learned from Joseph and experienced at RUNGA and also learned from you, Emilia, during some of the breath work and the movements that we do during kundalini. It seems no matter what practice you see the same general principles arise over and over again nourishing the spirit early in the day as we've just briefly alluded to with things like meditation and breathwork, subjecting the body to some elements of hormetic stress via things like fasted morning movement, ice baths rather early in the day or later on in the day, some type of sauna or heat exposure, lifting some type of unwieldy or heavy object, being out in the sunlight, being barefoot on the ground, nourishing the body with healthy food after a period of fasting has occurred, being with people, relationships, love, having some form of body awareness and paying attention to the little things that people sometimes neglect when they're lifting heavy weights like mobility or soft tissue integrity, fascial movement, et cetera.

And, it seems as though when you look at that idea of eudaimonia, that's the way that you guys, I don't know if you intentionally did this, but it seems like it's the way that RUNGA is structured. And, it doesn't mean that somebody has to go all the way to Texas in October to be able to do this stuff, it's just that immersive event just teaches you, I think, with a lot of other people without you feeling stupid how to actually start incorporating this stuff into your day-to-day routine. But, it seems so simple when you step back and look at it. What do you think it is or why do you think it is more people, and I realize people are busy, they have kids, they got work, they got a lot going on, but why do you think it is more people don't just do things like wake up, go outside barefoot, get a little sunlight, meditate, breathwork, weave in cold heat, heavy lifting, and mobility, and then being of people throughout the week? Where do you think the disconnect occurs?

Emilia:  Yeah, that's a great, great question. And, it's interesting because we know just from experience, it's not enough to have a checklist of things you know are healthy that you know are good for you. We know knowledge isn't all of it. There has to be. There's more to the story. So, actually, we can talk more about how we do this, but a large part of why our experiences are so impactful is because we're aligning people's hearts with their objectives. It's no longer aspirational, these things that you want to do or believe that you need to do to be the healthiest that you can be. And, really the recipe to be able to create that impact is in, like you said, this state of flourishment. And, how we create that is actually we see the community. If we look at the human as a plant, we see the community aspect as this fertile soil. And then, all the programming, all the teachings, all the therapies, maybe the nutrients and the sunlight and the water, we like to look at it that way. So, when it comes to healing and really tapping into a really vibrant state of health, we believe we have so much more in common people in general than we do differences despite different things that we have going on.

Simultaneously, we have fitness and yoga, and nutrients, and an open bar of peptides, and Quicksilver Scientific, and all these things, hyperbaric oxygen, PEMF. We have all these incredible healing modalities. But, what RUNGA really provides that can actually be overlooked if you're just sitting at home listening to this and maybe even you have some health challenges and you might be working with an integrative physician or functional medicine practitioner, something that can be really overlooked even in these functional approaches is our human need for connection and belonging. And, for us, this is really the fertile soil that holds everything. This is the space and then all the practices, all these things that can be really health-promoting. We pile those on top of this nourishing space. But, the nourishing space is really the differentiator between us and other events, and really provide something that a lot of people don't have in their daily lives.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.

So, the next one, The Gathering, you're calling it The Gathering, right?

Emilia:  It's back to just RUNGA.

Ben:  Okay. So, it's back to just RUNGA. Okay, got it. So, in terms of, and I know I told people to go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/TheGathering, and it is a gathering, so I'll leave it at that, but it's called RUNGA, what can people expect if they show up at the October event? What's a typical day look like?

Emilia:  Yes. That's a great question. I would love to talk a little bit about some of the principles that go into why we keep a small group, for example, because I think that's really important for people to know. You're not signing up. It's not a conference. You're not signing up for something that you could come, for example, alone. You don't have to sign up with a partner or group of friends and we have an application process, so people apply first of all and we want to hear their intentions, we want to know what makes them excited about the experience, what they think it'll provide for them. We also really want to get to know people's stories because people come in with so many different stories, and it's really a way for us to connect on a heart level and to try to envision these people in this space in this community so that we can really bring together a group that it's very intentional, it's very curated. Obviously, all the aspects of the experience are curated but so are the people.

So, Aristotle actually again, in the procedural elements that he identified as being conducive to the human becoming the most human. He said that a city-state apollos couldn't be too large. And, this is exactly what we've discovered too in our events that we're hosting 50 people, 50 guests for three full days. And, we have found that this is the perfect number really for everyone to feel at ease. The way that we structure our days and we can talk a little more about how we structure the activities and the cycles. But, the way that we do it, people are going to with that number of people get to know everyone really, really well. And, this is such an important aspect of the experience even just at the outset when you're thinking about applying and you really want to come, it's very unintimidating. And, I think that's an important part of it.

Joseph:  And, I'll just tack on to your question about the evolution from the early days when you and I were swinging kettlebells in Costa Rica and whitewater rafting. It really came from the feedback that we were getting. And, one of the pieces of feedback that really it honestly contributed to my own personal journey that we already went into, but people kept saying they can really just be themselves. They can really be themselves here. And, when they walk away, they have a tremendous amount of momentum, and the person that came in may be a little introverted left. And now, they're the ice bath gal on Instagram immediately, that we saw these amazing transformations. And so, we started to align the programming with creating those, biohacking those, hacking those, how do we create more of this, and how through our application process how do we bring in a precise person that we feel would be the greatest fit for that.

And, as it relates to the daily schedule, we have a lot of different activities. As you know, we blend these ancient traditions, the sound baths and the gongs and the meditation, kundalini yoga, with the latest and greatest whether it's hyperbaric oxygen or the Neubie device. And so, you're kind of getting this never-before blend of some of the most powerful ancient tools and latest tools, but specifically how we create this situation where people are truly embodying not only the practices but this new element of self, this new connection, getting them into their heart and making them feel safe is key but how we organize the days. There's multiple blocks and there could be two or three things happening at any given time. But, people go through an individual activity.

So, the first thing in the day might be a meditation where people really connect with themselves. And, from there, they go into some form of small group activity, and from there, in some form of large group activity, it could be lunch. And, when they go through those cycles, they probably unknowingly unconsciously go through those cycles about ten times in three days. And, what it does is every time they discover a new element of themselves, they get practice. 

And so, this gets back to my own personal journey. My first dabbling my toe in terms of after 36 years of being Joe, how do I step into being Joseph? Well, what I did was I went to a small group coaching event, and I told everybody I was Joseph, and I survived. And, everyone knows me as Joseph now. And so, it worked. And then, now I'm obviously going to the world with this, but on a smaller scale, we feel that that process that we take people through that what we call real-time integration really connects people with these practices. And, like I said, it's not a cognitive thing, it's not a knowledge thing, it's a heart thing, it's a connection, it's an embodiment. And, yeah, we're seeing people walk away with just tremendous momentum. And, that's sort of the theme that we're really trying to create more of through the various elements that we add, incorporate, or take away.

Ben:  Okay, got it.

Now, a few rapid-fire questions. It's in Austin, do people actually stay because it's on this big property if it's in the same place as it was this last time that I went? Do people actually stay there? Do they get their own hotel and show up each day?

Joseph:  Yeah. So, there's a hotel nearby. It actually began this new program that worked tremendously well for us, began at our first event back from COVID, and a lot of people didn't want to stay on the premises. And, what we learned was it enabled us to actually offer a service that was superior. And so, now what we do is we have an amazing venue, it's a 7-acre property here in Austin, Texas, and we've got two hotels nearby. And so, people leave the property and go have their own time, their own space in their own hotel room, and then they come back in the morning and we run a shuttle to the hotel and bring them back each day. So, the event runs from around 8:00 a.m., and this year, in October, we're actually going to go a little bit later. We're going to do some activities. We're going to have more panels with experts like yourself in the evening. And then, we're going to top the day off with some breathwork under the stars. And, we're so excited about that. So, yeah, people gather, 50 of us, we gather at the property and people are four to nine minutes away at a hotel overnight.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, got it. And then, the total number of people is 50, right?

Joseph:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay. And, for people to register, I'll put a registration link at BenGreenfieldLife.com/TheGathering. This podcast is probably going to be coming out at some point during this month of August. About when does it typically fill up at least in your experience in previous years?

Joseph:  Yeah. So, it's about, what, half full right now. We've got a lot of applications, of course. When you drop a podcast, Ben, we usually get quite a few visits to our website.

Ben:  But, you curate this thing, you go through each application one by one and like interview people to see if they're fit. 

Joseph:  Yeah, absolutely.

Ben: So no weirdos show up. We're all weirdos actually.

Joseph:  Yeah. So, I get on the phone with a lot of the applicants, not every single one, but we've got an incredible team, we call them the Angels and they take care of people. Once they apply, they kind of get into the system. We chat with them via email. I'll get on the phone with them to really connect them with the experience. We love people to go all in on themselves at RUNGA. And so, we love to get on the phone and connect them with the experience before they arrive because then the first step, there's no slow build. You walk in the door and we are all in for three full days.

Emilia:  I wanted to add too just the sense of connection that people can really experience. I'm sure all of us have times in our lives where we've experienced really the joy and the purpose of really feeling a part of something greater than ourselves. So, some of us are lucky to have it in our jobs or can in some way sense that in the day-to-day. But, for others, we might just have memories or moments in life that really stand out where you felt that. Maybe you're in a play or a musical. And, that's actually one of my stories because when I first moved to Austin, I knew nobody and none of my immediate family in the states. And, it wasn't until I joined the law school musical, which is called assault and flattery that I actually was able to tap into that sense of belonging. And, I finally felt I was in the right place in my life. 

So, I wanted to communicate this idea that it's in us, this human need for belonging is in us and it's actually more than just a need. All these health things are one thing, but this is actually, like we say, the fertile soil. This is the foundation and it's a yearning so deep in our hearts. And, I truly believe it's the whole point of life to belong and connect with each other. And, you've probably spoken about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And, if you're listening, you're familiar with that. You might remember the physiological needs being at the bottom. So, it's air, water, food, and shelter. And then, there's safety needs, which is security, resources, health. And then, you have love and belonging. And, above that, there's self-esteem and self-actualization at the top.

And, what's so interesting about that is the idea behind that is the needs higher up can't be tended to until the lower needs have been satisfied for the most part. But actually, this is super interesting, even Maslow went back and corrected himself and he said that belonging, connection, compassion, community, these can all precede even the meeting of basic safety and physiological needs. And, frequently actually they do.

Joseph:  That was his deathbed insight, right?

Emilia:  It might have been.

Joseph:  It was towards the end of his.

Ben:  You mean, you can be poor and hungry and unprotected, and if you have a friend and you feel as though you're loving or being loved adequately, you can still have some amount of happiness and satisfaction?

Emilia:  Yeah. And, perhaps even a better example is you hear these stories and maybe even in movies that have been made about these awful things like tsunamis and earthquakes where people's basic needs are barely being met and there's so much suffering and yet these stories that you hear are often about these beautiful outpourings of love that are happening within the communities; people coming together and helping each other, sharing what they have when they themselves have so little too. So, it's in our nature, it's ingrained in us to love and connect with each other. 

And, as it relates to RUNGA and even this idea, we're all about biohacking, so we're like, “Well, how do we hack community?” Because clearly, belonging is so important. How do you hack that? But, keeping the group smallish is just one thing, but the whole, the intention behind everything is make people feel like they're at home. People can tap into that sense of belonging. And, as this is the fertile soil for the human, our impact is magnified way beyond what we could achieve if we had more people. Or, even if our intention was different and we didn't bring people back to their own personal experience. Having that real-time integration, that self small groups, communities cycling those activities, that allows us to bring people back home into their hearts.

Ben:  Yeah.

Emilia:  And, I love this quote by Maya Angelou, and I know it off by heart because I recited in meditation so many times. It's, “I long, as does every other human being, to feel at home wherever I find myself.”

Ben:  Cool. I like that.

Emilia:  That's really our philosophy.

Ben:  Yeah.

Emilia:  We can't hack it on our own. We can't. It's not one of those things that we can do in our own. And, Joseph, you were talking the other day, but we get hurt in community and we heal in community.

Ben:  Yeah.

Emilia:  We really need each other.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, I've certainly felt at home at all the events that I've done down there even though you're doing a bunch of weird stuff like peptide injections, and IVs, and kundalini. I think a lot of people show up just like —

Emilia:  They're just the cherries on top.

Ben:  Yeah. I kind of have no clue what they're getting into, but yeah, I think the community element of it is important and everybody just feels they fit in even if you walk in and you're kind of like, I don't know, throw a house party sometimes, somebody once commented, “Ben, when I come to one of your house dinner parties, there's no click, there's no necessarily a feeling of a tribe with a language per se as much as I feel I'm on the island of misfit toys with a bunch of random people who just despite being random and all thrown in this pot together are all super happy and thriving.” And, that's kind of the way that RUNGA feels.

I know we got to wrap up pretty soon, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to link to the other podcast because Joseph and I have certainly geeked out on biohacking, and ice bath, and kettlebells, and all sorts of the crazy stuff that you might encounter at RUNGA on other shows. I'll link to that. And, I know people might have their own questions about changing their name or family history or actualization through your actual moniker that you carry through life as well as perhaps questions about RUNGA. So, if you're listening in, you can leave all your comments and your questions and your feedback if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/TheGathering. And then, you're going to see me down there. Me and my wife, last time my sons came, they might be there again as well down there in October in Austin, Texas. You'll definitely be able to see us there.

And, the exact days again Joseph or Emelia? So, yeah, I almost just called you Joe. Did you hear that? Alright, what are the exact dates again?

Emilia:  The dates are October 13th to 15th.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, perfect. Perfect. Well, thanks so much for coming on, you guys, for sharing all this with us, for being vulnerable, and also Joseph, just for being inspirational in terms of listening to where it is that you were called to go and actually taking a big step and going there and doing a little bit of the hero's journey, especially when it comes to this name change. I'm excited about what God has planned for you here going forward.

Joseph:  Thank you so much, Ben. Yeah, I'm so excited. And, yeah, if anybody is going through a major change whether it's a name or whether it's a job or they want to start a new business, I'm here and I've gone through some cycles, and I've gone through a lot of these challenges recently. So, I would love to support any way I can because I know it's hard but necessary.

Emilia:  And, Ben, I wanted to say too I love you bringing in non-judgment as well and just to say to bring in one last way of looking at the human as a plant. It is the sense of non-judgment, right, because when you see a plant and if you're just walking in the forest, you just accept the plant. You realize that if he's leaning one way or a little short, you recognize that it didn't get enough sunlight or it didn't get enough water. So, Rom Dass actually says by practicing people as trees. And, this is really the philosophy as well that's embodied in RUNGA and that you're speaking about experiencing because it's this essence of non-judgment. We're accepting of anyone however they show up and we're not. Perfection isn't the standard.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, I agree. That's certainly been my experience there. And, I dig the vibe. So again, if you're listening in, I'll put all the links at BenGreenfieldLife.com/TheGathering. And, until next time, I'm Ben along with Joseph Anew, his wife Emilia signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com, have an amazing week.

So, there's two events coming up. You go to both of them. I'm going to go to both of them. Obviously, I'm going to fly to Texas, then fly over to Lexington. The Texas event called RUNGA is October 13th through the 15th. The Wild Health one is October 22nd. Go to both. I am obviously.

You can also check BenGreenfieldLife.com/Calendar for all of the events that I'll be teaching at this year. So, I hope see you there.

Are you ready to be empowered? A remote working career at Ben Greenfield Life is made for those who desire to live life to the fullest, those who explore and enjoy every nook and cranny of God's great creation, and those who want to discover how to achieve full optimization of mind, body, and spirit. Those that desire boundless energy to equip them to go and conquer every mountain they've been called to climb alongside a supportive community of fellow lovers of life who have a deep desire to make maximum impact with their lives, loving others fully and savoring every step of the journey with authenticity and curiosity. If you want that, then a remote working career at Ben Greenfield Life is for you.

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Adventure. At Ben Greenfield Life, we remain curious about life and are open to exploring it. We're bold and courageous in our own unique ways. We explore different ways to add adventure to our life and our work.

Authenticity. At Ben Greenfield Life, we respect each other's right to be our own unique selves. We expect the highest levels of radical honesty, integrity, and transparency from ourselves and each other. We're human. We make mistakes. We forgive and we seek to improve.

Joy. At Ben Greenfield Life, we celebrate in fun and creative ways; the accomplishments of ourselves, each other, our tribe and our company. We savor life by celebration, parties, laughter, drinking and eating with others, and exploring and savoring all of God's creation.

Finally, love. At Ben Greenfield Life, we're willing to sacrifice and go the extra mile to help our team and our tribe. We're good stewards of our spirit, mind, and body, and know that caring for ourselves is the first step towards being able to care for others. We embrace faith and our own internal belief systems to guide how we demonstrate love to ourselves and others. 

So, you can now become a part of this movement and join our remote team. Your decision to be here right now could be the start of joining us on this journey. There's a whole bunch of other great benefits to joining our remote team like medical, dental, and vision coverage, which is available to full-time employees; a gym fitness and phone stipend, continuing education support and reimbursement to facilitate growth and learning for employees in an area related to your current position or that may lead to promotional opportunities, an emphasis on volunteer projects in your community that Ben Greenfield Life will help support and give you resources for, a home office reimbursement to support you working remotely in a healthy way, and a fully remote team that comes together for an annual retreat to connect and grow our personal and professional relationships.

So, you can check out, BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers to see our current job openings and how to apply. I'd love to have you on the team. See you there.

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot. 

 

 

My friend Joseph Anew is the mastermind behind one of my all-time favorite immersive VIP wellness experiences on the face of the planet: RUNGA, happening again this year, October 13th-15th (click here to join me and my family there in Austin Texas for it!). 

But he's much more than that.

Not only has Joseph joined me in the past for episodes including:

But I've also appeared on his Intuitive Warrior podcast (previously called the Stacked podcast) on the episodes:

Joseph Anew is an international speaker, fitness expert, entrepreneur, and lifestyle coach. During his eight years as Head of Sport and Training at Spartan Race, Joseph worked full-time with professional endurance athletes and taught seminars worldwide. From there, Joseph went on to found RUNGA, an experiential lifestyle brand empowering individuals through highly effective and sustainable practices that fuel health, wellness, and performance.

As a coach of 18 years, his teachings focus on ingraining profound mindset shifts, giving guests the courage and the tools to align their actions with their objectives throughout daily life. After a traumatic brain injury, Joseph dedicated his life to finding health again, stopping at nothing to regain his full potential. Today, this experience shapes him as a coach and educator, and fuels his purpose for creating transformational experiences through RUNGA. Joseph believes that vibrant health is possible for everyone, and he embodies that truth in his own story of overcoming significant adversity. He shares his teachings and interviews inspiring guests on his podcast Intuitive Warrior.

Emilía Rún is a plant-based chef, Kundalini yoga teacher, and mindfulness meditation teacher. After law school, Emilía moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of working in food, the seeds for which were planted while working at a health food restaurant during her teenage years. Emilía quickly found herself making cakes for various raw food establishments, teaching cooking classes, and consulting with coffee shops and restaurants. In 2018, Emilía started her own private chef and cake business, quickly becoming known for her beautiful organic spreads and delicious raw desserts.

With nutrition as her primary focus, Emilía also credits yoga and meditation as pivotal to her healing from lifelong painful autoimmune disease. Since stumbling into a class at 18 years old, the teachings of Kundalini yoga, and later mindfulness, have allowed her to cultivate an unbroken connection to the heart, which serves as a compass in her daily life. Eventually becoming a teacher in both herself, Emilía has trained under Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Tej Kaur Khalsa, Krishna Kaur, and Siri Bahadur Khalsa.

At RUNGA, Joseph Anew leads workouts, kettlebell instruction, and mobility drills. But RUNGA goes far beyond fitness. If you join me at RUNGA in Austin, Texas, this October 13th-15th, you can spend three life-changing days treating your mind and body to organic chef-prepared meals, daily movement, and meditation, plus full access to the latest anti-aging biohacks and health-optimizing therapies, with a lively community of like-minded health-seekers.

With just fifty guests, the secluded property is the ideal setting for an intimate gathering with human connection at its core. Engineered to uplift and rejuvenate, enhance cellular health, and empower the mind-body connection, RUNGA is designed to provide equal parts support and empowerment to carry you on a brand new chapter of your wellness journey. It's the one event I make sure to attend every year. Click here to learn more or to apply today.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Joseph Anew’s morning routine and why it’s the cornerstone of a healthy day…5:13

  • Healthy user bias – often, it's just looking for that health anchor
  • A morning routine that's realistic and fits your lifestyle
  • Core elements of morning routine:
    1. Powering up
      • How can I start my day with the maximal amount of personal power?
      • Hiding from all tech that can detract from your energy
      • How does my morning routine not take away any of my willpower?
      • How do I connect with my purpose?
      • Glass of water
      • Meditating in a red light sauna (30 mins until I find my present moment)
      • Breathwork in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber every other day
      • 30 mins on the fan bike every day (MAF cardio) with peak nasal breathing while exposed to sunlight
      • Stretching
      • Vibration platform
      • 100 swings with a kettlebell every other day (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
    2. Double dipping
      • Combining 2-3 protocols and alternating daily routines
      • Breathwork in the hyperbaric chamber
      • Meditating in the sauna
      • Nasal breathing and sunlight exposure while on the fan bike
    3. Bucketing
      • Having kindness days where you quit work earlier, bring the family out to dinner
      • Training more casually but not skipping anything
      • Having a flex day; could skip some activities

-Who is Joseph Anew and his wife Emilía?…28:23

-Why Joe DiStefano changed his name to Joseph Anew…30:35

  • This is the first interview after the name change
  • The idea of personal power
  • Joe attended Tony Robbins‘ program and asked: 
    • What blocks our power, and how do we sustain that feeling?
    • How do we walk and talk in our highest truth in our strength and just have as many limiting beliefs and as much fear as absolutely possible?
  • Rollercoaster of emotions for Joe due to his father’s death and his son’s birth
  • Coach JoeDi
  • Arnold Patent, 90+-year-old coach, told Joe – “You have no idea how much power you're losing in that name”
  • For many, last names could carry strength, pride, heritage, tradition, roots
  • For others, it could just be passed down with no real story behind it
  • So many common last names were taken and assumed based on what that family or person was doing in the world
  • Implicit egotism – phenomenon where we identify with certain elements like our name

-Last names can define career paths and identify your path in life…42:23

  • Joseph spent a lot of time sitting in meditation on name change
  • Questions create more brain activity and usher in more ideas than answers
  • How could I use my name to reinforce my purpose for myself? To give my son a name that will know that he can always start again, he can always start at zero, there's never a bad time to begin something new
  • He even underwent a sanity check
  • Joe had a horrific head injury when he was young; a fractured skull, and had brain surgery
  • Power vs Force by David Hawkins

-What does Anew mean and why Joe to Joseph?…48:01

  • Spent almost a decade in obstacle racing
  • Joseph's wife Emilía and RUNGA
  • Anew – it's my higher self speaking to my human ego
  • Arnold Patent – his books boil down to “You are born abundant, You are born joyful, You are born free and happy”
    • Universal Principles
    • You Can Have It All by Arnold Patent 
    • The human experience creates wounds, and it's our job throughout our lifetime to first accumulate those wounds and then heal them and get back to that abundant, joyful self that we were born as
    • We all have this amazing life force within us; the only thing blocking us are limits on our power
  • Joseph has symphony, power, strength, and a biblical tie
  • Joe, cut down from Joseph, symbolized what was limiting him in his life

-What does Emilía think about the name change and Joseph's journey?…53:22 

  • She fully supported Joseph as she saw it was really in his heart
  • The improvements Emilía observed when Joseph changed his name
  • Rom Das/Richard Alpert’s biography and what led him to change his name
  • Being Ram Dass by Ram Dass
  • As Ram Dass's career prospered, his purpose became clear, and his mission became larger, his name likely kept him anchored during challenging times

-Did Joseph go through a legal status change, and is there more to it than just announcing a new name?…59:25

  • Credit cards and licenses needed to be changed
  • Got a lot easier post-Covid
  • The process just means time and money, going to the clerk to sign a few documents, and waiting for the signed letters from the judge
  • Emilía recalls her kundalini practice and the assigning of a new spiritual name
  • 3HO organization in Espanola in New Mexico

-The reason behind the podcast name change from Stacked to Intuitive Warrior…1:08:38 

  • Podcast name change was also intentional, to Intuitive Warrior
  • Trying to create all the tentacles for the mission to align
  • Stacked was Joe's fitness identity
  • Intuitive Warrior is about intuition, strength, and transformation
  • In kundalini, to transform any part of your life, you need to employ the power of a thunderbolt – sound and vibration
  • The roof of the mouth has 82 or 83 acupuncture points; stimulating the mouth via mantras 

-The benefits of meditating first thing in the morning…1:11:15

-RUNGA – The Gathering…1:15:00

  • RUNGA – The Gathering will be on October 13th-15th in Austin, Texas
  • The intention has always been to empower
  • Changes have been designed so that the events have more impact
  • “We think of the human as a plant, and the mission is to create the conditions for the human to really flourish, to really thrive”
  • Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy
  • Aristotle’s teachings inspired Emilía to see humans as plant
  • Eric Heinze
  • Aristotle’s Ethics
    • His model of justice is concerned with happiness and fulfillment
    • With Just Human, with all these virtues, the ultimate good is for humans to fulfill their potential
  • Eudaimonia – The human becoming the most human
  • The conditions most conducive to becoming the most human are also what RUNGA is all about; health is our birthright
  • What Ben learned at RUNGA is whatever the practices, the same principles are applied over and over:
    • Nourishing the spirit early in the day
    • Subjecting the body to some hormetic stress

-With the idea of eudaimonia, why is it that more people do not incorporate these practices into their everyday routines?…1:22:40

  • It's not enough to have a checklist of things to do that you know are healthy for you
  • A large part of why the RUNGA experience is so impactful is the aligning of people's hearts with their objectives
  • The recipe to creating that impact is in the state of flourishing
  • Looking at the human as the plant, the community aspect is seen as the fertile soil
  • The programming, teachings, and therapies are the nutrients, sunlight, and the water
  • Healing modalities at RUNGA
  • The human need for connection and belonging is also provided
  • The nourishing space is what differentiates RUNGA from other events

-What can people expect in a typical day at RUNGA?…1:25:47

  • Why just a small group of people? (RUNGA is not a conference)
  • The application process:
    • What are your intentions?
    • What makes you excited about the experience?
    • What do you think the experience will provide for you?
    • What are your stories?
  • Not only are all aspects of the experience curated, but also the people
  • Hosting 50 people for 3 days is the ideal scenario for people to feel at ease and get to know each other well
  • One feedback from previous events was that people could just be themselves
  • The daily activities blend ancient traditions (gongs, meditation) with the latest tools (hyperbaric oxygen and Neubie)
  • People go through individual activities, then small groups

-Do people get their own hotel and show up each day?…1:31:35

  • There is a hotel nearby
  • The venue is a 7-acre property, and people are shuttled to and from the venue to 2 hotels nearby

-How to register for RUNGA…1:33:01

Upcoming events:

Resources from this episode:

– Joseph Anew and Emilía Rún:

– Podcast:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Joseph Anew, Emilía Rún, or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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