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  • The Urban Monk: Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success, Happiness, and Peace
  • Pedram Shojai
  • Anglais
  • 21 February 2018
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Pedram Shojai ✓ 2 Summary

The Urban Monk: Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success, Happiness, and Peace

Deal It sucks Maybe you can bang through your thirties but then you hit a wall and your body goes on strike Once our hormones are off we gain weight drag around with fatigue and take a hit in the bedroomsorry sorry give me a minuteOf course there are drugs we can take for all of these issues but the root is often bad energy economics stemming from our adrenal burn rate The drugs often have side effects and the underlying problem tends to persistTaking a Hit to the BrainPossibly the worst on the list of things that happen when we re chronically stressed is the cutting off of bloodflow to the prefrontal cortex This is the part of our brains that separates us from the monkeys It helps us carry out abstract thinking problem solving higher cognition and higher moral reasoning It s the part of the brain that helps with the negation of impulses This area is called the third eye in the ancient traditions and should be cultivated and cherished The problem is that the body s switching system knows that this part of the brain is not needed to scramble up a tree as a rhino is charging so it diverts blood and energy to the hindbrain which helps with instant reflexive behavior Again the body s impulse is get me out of here or tear through that guy who s trying to take my stuffOn the off chance that you encounter a lion in Chicago that s pretty handy It also helps you to dive to a curb when a taxi doesn t see you crossing but chronic misallocation of energy to the fight or flight brain keeps us reactive distrustful less empathic and unable to make long term thoughtful decisions Higher moral reasoning is what really made us what we are Religion ethics honor and self awareness all come from this good gray matter and our inability to use it is a tragedy Most people live in survival mode and can relate It is also a reason why so many people do things that harm them despite knowing better We know that smoking isn t good for us but many still do it We understand that the pie is fattening yet we eat it anyway We tell ourselves that our exes are trouble yet we find ourselves calling them again Without good access to the prefrontal cortex we re not using the part of our brains that empowers us to suppress impulses that harm our bodies Living in chronic stress keeps us locked out of this area of our brains and drives us to beimpulsive and unawareRSONAL JOURNEYSWhen I came back from the Himalayas I decided to take on the health care crisis with my exuberant energy and charged sense of mission I thought that I could fix a broken system from within so I started a medical group and uickly grew it to three offices We were featured in journals for our innovations in complementary medicine and were getting cool accolades but I knew it was bullshit Essentially my training was in the prevention and prediction of disease and here I was in a business model that reuired me to wait for someone to break and come in with a diagnosable illness I kept trying to find work arounds within this messy system and constantly dealt with insurance companies holding our money There was an immense amount of stress and it really put my meditation skills to the testPedram offers a fresh and uniue perspective on life in the modern world He truly is an Urban Monk and his friendly style takes us all along for the ride If you deal with stress time constraints and the challenges of a busy life this book is a must read Sara Gottfried MD author of New York Times bestseller The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset DietWe know that the healthcare crisis in the West can t be fixed by pills Lifestyle is the key The Urban Monk elegantly lays out a balanced way of life that can not only bring us back to health but help us relax and smile while we do it I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to get healthy in our fast paced world Mark Hyman MD Director Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine author of the New York Times bestseller The Blood Sugar SolutionKnowing that meditation is good for us isn t enough We need to practice it in our daily lives to actually benefit from it The Urban Monk is a treasure with many practical lifestyle hacks that can help you be happier and healthier Daniel G Amen MD Founder Amen Clinics and author of Change Your Brain Change Your LifeCombining modern Western medicine and ancient Eastern wisdom Dr Pedram Shojai s cutting edge easy to implement program helps you burn fat boost energy and optimize your life to become an urban monk even in the most stressed out environment Can t recommend this one enough JJ Virgin New York Times best selling author The Virgin Diet and The Virgin Diet CookbookWritten with page turning verve this book integrates ancient Taoist wisdom and modern brain science to offer hundreds of practical ways to feel better and do better right now Funny direct and honest Pedram Shojai feels like a trusted friend and teacher offering a full package of skillful means Rick Hanson PhD author of Hardwiring Happiness The New Brain Science of Contentment Calm and ConfidencePedram Shojai will heal your soul and kick your ass all the way to enlightenment Dave Asprey author of the New York Times bestseller The Bulletproof Die

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We don t really get into rest and digest mode enough to balance these systems out so we stay wound upChronic stress is a killerRobert has mini life or death moments every time a client threatens to cancel or a judge throws out a case His wife came home with a fancy purse the other day and it turned his stomach How much did that cost These modern stressors are basically death by a thousand cuts Our abstract concept of money or currency is tied to our very survival and triggers the same circuitry It messes with us and stresses us out Money is tight and deep down that means something that our bodies understand viscerally Low levels of cortisol release over a sustained period of time have terrible conseuences for the body You can say that Robert lives in sympathetic overdrive and has forgotten how to switch back over and chill out With the body constantly cutting bloodflow to vital systems here s some of the predictable falloutRestricting Energy to the Immune SystemA body that s under constant stress is like a country at war and all the money troops and resources are being sent to the front lines stressful fight or flight pathways Who s left to police the streets How do you deal with local gangs and terror cells You can t They sneak in take hold and then manifest as disease By the time you call back troops from the front lines the damage is done and you need to spend muchenergy to fix itThe problem is not one of poor design The human immune system is amazing It is an elaborate universe that helps us recognize objects that don t belong in our bodies and get rid of them When things are running smoothly it is a marvel to witness the precision and efficiency of our immune system But most people in the modern world are suffering from the conseuences of compromised immunity The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC attributes stress as the cause of percent of chronic disease This is huge Robert is doomed to get some nasty chronic disease once his system gets weak enough It is just a matter of timeThe problem is Robert s lifeEvery day Robert unwittingly does things that draw resources away from his immune system and make itdifficult for his body to maintain balance After some time things will break and he will get sickCutting Energy to the Digestive System and Internal OrgansWhen the body gets a signal telling it that a lion is coming it draws blood from the viscera internal organs and drives it to the muscles that can hopefully help us survive the attack When this happens the organs take a hit Bloodflow is diminished to the organs as it is shunted to the big get me the hell out of here muscles This cuts the energy and nutrients delivered to the vital organs Think of it like a wartime economy There s no money left for school books street repair or food stampsWhen the digestive tract gets energy pulled from it regularly we start to see issues with poor absorption nutrient deficiencies constipation or loose stools indigestion bloating fatigue and eventually leaky gut syndrome I ll explain this later in the book Rest and digest is where we heal but what happens when we don t allow ourselves to go there Look around you There s a trillion dollar healthcare industry that makes money off of chronic diseases that stem from poor lifestyle and uncontrolled stressCausing a Blood Sugar Roller CoasterWhen cortisol levels go up all sorts of things happen As mentioned earlier bloodflow is directed to the get me the hell out of here muscles but there s also a huge impact on blood sugarCortisol is like a credit cardIn a crisis situation the body needs energy immediately so cortisol is like swiping a card to get instant gratification It helps the body to draw energy from our glycogen reserves in the liver for our immediate needs but that has some serious conseuences As blood sugar initially surges the pancreas senses this and releases insulin to grab this sugar and shuttle it into the cells This is all good except when things start to fall off the tracks After years of being on this cortisol energy roller coaster the insulin spike often overshoots the sugar energy release which then triggers us to get hungry and cravesugar or carbs in order to balance it out This can manifest in moodiness irritability headaches and general fatigue it often leaves us reaching for some coffee to bail us out of an energy lull Maybe that muffin will helpWe ll discuss the role of adrenaline in this craziness later in the sleep chapterMost people have so many ups and downs with this that they feel like they re spent by midday Tuesday and are already dreaming of the weekendWreaking Havoc on the Endocrine SystemI ve had dozens of elite athletes come to my clinic and secretly admit that they can t get erections any Cortisol is often the reason why These athletes burn out their adrenals with chronic elevated stress and it eventually draws on their testosterone estrogen DHEA and several other hormonal pathways Robbing Peter to pay Paul seems to be the way of our modern era and it is surely reflected in our bodies Today guys like our friend Robert borrow energy from tomorrow to get through today but they don t look at the interest rate on that kind of

Summary The Urban Monk: Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success, Happiness, and Peace

CHAPTER Stress How Do I Dodge the Bullets Robert is from the school of old He was brought up in an era when there were three choices in life for young men be a doctor a lawyer or an engineer He studied law knowing it would be a stable job with good security Long hard hours of study bar exam hour workweeks lots of coffee and dealing with difficult people were all bumps on his road to success He fought and worked his way up the ladder and is now a junior partner in a pretty good firm The days are still long and the stress is ridiculous He s definitely got less hairHis wife stopped working after their second child was born so he now shoulders the entire financial burden for his familyHe lives in a pretty nice house in a good neighborhood They have a pool and a Jacuzzi he hasn t been in since last year They own a time share condo that they stress about getting to Health insurance prices go up each year and his youngest kid has asthma and some crazy food allergies all of which cost money and time and createchallenges around the house Even with a part time nanny there seems to be no sleep to be had and their last vacation to Maui wastrouble than it was worth He came back exhausted and dejectedRobert s life is filled with stress Although he has a roof over his head cars and plenty of food deep down he s terrified He knows he can t keep up at this pace He feels like he s going to fall on his face one day but he can t After all they all depend on him He drinks coffee goes to the gym takes some multivitamins and gets an occasional massage but all the while his mind is filled with the pressures of keeping it all goingA good lawyer needs to drive a LexusGood parents send their kids to private schoolGymnastics and piano lessons are a mustThe other parents are shipping their kids off to some fancy summer camp Of course we re inThe joy is gone The stress has tipped the scale and he s constantly trying to keep his chin up His dad taught him that real men never give up they fight the good fight for their family and never show any weakness He watches the morning news while eating his cereal with the kids He feels like an absentee dad who didn t really see them grow up and he mourns this fact Robert feels the weakness is gaining momentum and he is terrified that he s going to lose the battle After all with all the stuff he s constantly throwing money at they barely have any savings and if he stopped working they d be in real trouble within a few months His life insurance would pay out a decent amount if he keeled over and a couple of times already he s thought about it and this scared the hell out of himRobert is stuck His adrenals are running on empty and there s no end in sight He can t see the way out and each day a silent desperation builds in the shadows of his psyche a plight for the very survival of his family Robert keeps fighting but his doctor has warned that his blood pressure is getting too high The stakes are high and so are his numbers What s a man to do THE PROBLEMIn a way we all share Robert s problem Our bodies developed and evolved over millions of years in response to some predictable stressors in our environment Fight or flight is a beautiful system that helped us stay alive in a dangerous world filled with predators and scarcity It evolved to help us get out of life threatening situations by optimizing our metabolism to ramp up into crisis mode When we re in danger our cortisol and or adrenaline levels surge to help divert bloodflow to the big muscles that will help us fight an opponent or flee from a predator These are stress hormones that have top down control over several systems in our bodies and slight fluctuations in their levels move dials all over the place They work in conjunction with an elegant switching mechanism in our nervous system Our sympathetic nervous system drives the fight or flight reactions and uickly helps triage energy to where we need it in times of crisis The opposite side of this switch is the parasympathetic nervous system which can be considered the rest and digest mode where the body is free to heal break down foods and carry out detoxification and excretion In times of danger the body is designed to elegantly pull bloodflow from the internal organs immune system and parts of the brain that are associated with high cognition and drive that blood into the uadriceps so we can run like hell if we need to It s great stuff when the shit hits the fan but let s peel back Robert s life and see why this is bad news for a modern lawyerRobert s stress is not from an acute incident Sure occasionally the car in the next lane swerves over and gets his heart rate and middle finger up but that s not what s killing him It is the chronic stress A wild impala in Africa doesn t think about the what if scenarios of a lion charging He eats cruises around has plenty of sex and if a threat shows up he runs for it If he survives he shakes it out and goes back to his business Not us We keep replaying the event in our minds bind it to emotions and visualize it running in different ways we don t drop it The impala has moved on but we re in therapy still talking about it or worse still bottling it up

About the Author: Pedram Shojai

En tant u’auteur connu certains de ses livres fascinent les lecteurs comme dans le livre The Urban Monk Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success Happiness and Peaceui est l’un des lecteurs les plus recherchés Pedram Shojai auteurs dans le monde