Wellness Revolutionaries | The 7 Dimensions of Wellness with Alessandro Giannetti
The Wellness Revolutionaries podcast interviews the inspiring men and women who are building a culture of wellness in America. In this inaugural episode, host Blake Beltram, who is a co-founder and evangelist at Mindbody, interviews Alessandro Giannetti, a healer and the founder of Guided Light Healing. Beltram and Giannetti set the stage for this podcast series by explaining the seven dimensions of wellness, which include the physical, spiritual, occupational, environmental, emotional, intellectual, and social dimensions.
- Intro to The Wellness Revolutionaries podcast [00:55]
- Interview with Alessandro Giannetti [09:31]
- The Physical Dimension [13:49]
- The Spiritual Dimension [15:58]
- The Occupational Dimension [21:00]
- The Environmental Dimension [24:55]
- The Emotional Dimension [28:13]
- The Intellectual Dimension [36:22]
- The Social Dimension [38:28]
- Closing Statements [42:07]
- An Inconvenient Truth
- An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
- Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
- Stuart Smalley
[00:00:02] (Blake) Everyone talks about changing the world as if it's something outside themselves. But the wellness revolutionary I talked to today says there's only one way people can solve the world's problems.
[00:00:13] (Alessandro) I think the solution is putting the time into them fixing themselves, getting away from the dependencies that exist in the world. And going, everything I need, I can give to myself. And I choose to give it to myself and I'm going to prove it with actions. And if we just did that, you would be blown away by the world change.
[00:00:55] (Blake) Welcome to Wellness Revolutionaries. This is the podcast that shines a light on the leaders of the Wellness Revolution.
[00:01:03] I am talking about the inspiring women and men focused on building a culture of wellness in America. I'm Blake Beltram, Mindbody co-founder and evangelist, and your host to our guide, and companion on this journey toward a healthier, happier us. Why should you care about this podcast? Why should I care about this podcast? Why should we both spend our time with each other here?
[00:01:27] Well, there's a very good reason for that. I want you to hear me out. I'm extremely enthusiastic about this because I've had a front row seat for the last 20 years to what I refer to as the wellness revolution. And it's incredibly exciting what I've seen going on there. But simultaneously, we're in the midst of the worst wellness crisis in modern human history. Think about this. We've never been healthier, and we've never been unhealthier, at the exact same time.
I think this is so fascinating, in terms of the wellness crisis. You know what this list looks like: opioids, obesity, childhood obesity, early onset diabetes, mental health issues, depression, rising suicide rates, the loneliness epidemic, digital distraction. The list goes on and on. Just about everywhere you look, you see human beings either at war with one another, or at war with themselves. And it can be extremely debilitating and depressing. Just looking at how bad things are in a lot of ways in this extreme wellness crisis that we're facing.
But as I said, the flip side to that—and what I want to really focus on in this podcast—is what's going right. And how we are evolving in terms of our wellness and how this wellness revolution just continues to gain momentum and gain steam.
I've seen it firsthand. The boutique wellness boom is just one example of it. Remember, 20 years ago, there was not a yoga studio or fitness or bar or Pilate's or CrossFit box on every street, like there are in most cities and towns in America now. And it's phenomenal, the growth in that industry. We've never seen easier and greater access to healthy foods, to organic foods, to supplements, to personal development resources. So, many of us are healthier than ever. But this divide is real, and in many ways, the truth is, it's drawn along socioeconomic lines. But I feel like collectively we're in the midst of making a choice of which direction we're going to go.
We're trying to evolve as a species, but simultaneously we're devolving. We're collectively making a choice here, and this is why I think this conversation is so worthwhile.
[00:03:45] I want to look at what's going on in the area of the wellness revolution by talking to the people that are leading the revolution. And I want to frame this through the seven dimensions of wellness. It's not just the physical dimension. It's the emotional dimension. It's the spiritual dimension. It's the intellectual dimension. It's the occupational dimension. It's the social dimension, the environmental dimension. All of these things are interconnected. And if you're out of balance in any one, or two, or three of those dimensions, then there's a really good chance that your health and your happiness are going to be a little bit off.
So it's time that we really started looking at wellness through all of these dimensions, because ultimately this wellness revolution that we talk about is not something that's going to be won in a single monolithic battle. This isn't like pushing a big win or loss button. This isn't a battle that's taking place on a field in a set amount of time. It's really about billions of very individual battles that are waged over time in the hearts, minds, and souls of each one of us—and that includes you.
[00:04:52] You are casting your vote by the way you choose to live your life. Are you adding weight to the wellness crisis? Or are you adding fuel to the wellness revolution? That's what this really breaks down to. It comes down to the choices that you make. It comes down to the choices that I make. And believe me, I do not come at this from the perspective of: I'm an expert on this. I come at this from the perspective that I am an expert student at this. I have been very invested in my own personal evolution, my own spiritual evolution, in my entire adult life. And I'll be honest with you. I've had some real challenges in that arena. In fact, I've been through probably the most difficult period of my life in the last six months. I've been through my own dark night of the soul. And I'm just now coming out of it. It's been rough. You know, when I was right in the depths of it, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain took their lives. And I'm not the kind of person that would ever take my own life, but I certainly understand what it feels like to wake up in the morning and ask yourself: What is the point of this? You know what am I doing here. And I know I'm not alone in that.
It's rough, you know. Like the first line of the book, The Road Less Traveled, life is difficult. And we're all trying to figure it out. Sometimes we're nailing it. Sometimes we're failing it. So I plan on being very open about that, and sharing the wins and the losses and the struggles and the victories in my own healing journey. And I think it's more productive to really be open and honest about this stuff, so we can all learn from it. And I'm going to ask my guests to be open and honest about their journeys, as well.
[00:06:29] Let's get real about this and let's get real about all of these dimensions so that we can really start to find some solutions together. So we can support each other in this, because friends, we’re making a choice. And I honestly believe that our very survival could depend on the collective choice that we're making here. Are we going to evolve to something that's more compassionate? That's more cooperative? That's more loving? That's more sustainable? Or are we going to go down a road of devolution, of crisis, of unhealthiness that leads, ultimately, to a society where we're at war with each other? I'm not sure that we as a species can take that. I'm not sure that our planet can take that. We may destroy each other. We may destroy our very habitat if we continue down that unhealthy road.
I think this is critical and I feel called to do everything in my power to add fuel to this wellness revolution. That's why I'm fired up about it. It's why I'm passionate about it. It’s why I'm going to spend my time here, and I'm going to ask you to spend a little bit of your time with me on this journey. And I'm going to call in the leaders of this revolution. I'm going to ask what they're doing globally, and personally as well.
[00:07:36] It's time for us to invest in a culture of wellness in America. Let me say that to you again: a culture of wellness in America. Just imagine that.
So this podcast is about planting that flag. It's about telling that story, and it's about assembling the leaders of this movement so that we can affect real change. You know, there are people out there doing phenomenal things, working tirelessly within this movement right now. I call them wellness revolutionaries, and I personally think they're real heroes. And I'm going to introduce you to the best of them here on this podcast. They work in one or more of the seven dimensions.
[00:08:21] And I want to articulate a little bit more specifically what I mean what we mean when we talk about the seven dimensions of wellness. So I've invited Alessandro Giannetti, who is a phenomenal healer that I've been lucky enough to get to know. He's the founder of Guided Light Healing. He has over 30 years of experience in the Healing Arts, which means this is somebody who's worked in these seven dimensions on a daily basis. He's worked with numerous high-profile clients in the entertainment and music industry. He's also worked with CEOs, with business leaders, and he has a forthcoming Penguin book on this very topic. What I like about the conversation you're about to hear with Alessandro is how he approaches those seven dimensions of wellness I talked about. And when I talked to him, what I learned is what these dimensions really mean to me on the micro level. And how I can make choices in them that are going to make a difference in my life. So let's jump into the conversation with Alessandro Giannetti, and double click on the seven dimensions of wellness.
[00:09:31] (Blake) We are here with Alessandro Giannetti. Hello, Alessandro.
(Alessandro) How's it going?
(Blake) It's going fantastic. Excited to talk to you today. This is the first episode of this podcast.
(Alessandro) I know. I've been looking forward to this for some time now.
(Blake) The reason I asked you to join me on this first episode is that we're going to be talking a lot about the seven dimensions of wellness, as we refer to them on this podcast, and the people that are leaders in those dimensions. And when you and I were having a private conversation, you immediately started talking about those seven dimensions and the light bulb went off for me that this would be a great person to help us set the framework for what this podcast is going to be about.
So happy to have you here. And just to set the stage, we are sitting on a wood floor—a bamboo floor—in RPM Fitness Studio in Studio City, California, in Los Angeles. And Guided Light Healing, which you're the founder of, operates out of RPM Fitness, as well. I might add that RPM fitness is Mindbody client number three, and the owner is wife number one.
But I just took a meditation class, just before we turned on the microphones, here in this very space with one of the people who is part of the Guided Light Healing, Sarah.
[00:10:44] (Alessandro) Phenomenal class, and this is a phenomenal space. It has an energy and a life to it that you won't find anywhere else, and this is why this space is so important.
[00:10:50] (Blake) It does have a special quality, doesn't it. I can feel the difference just energetically between this room and the other room we were thinking about recording. And the address here is 4444. So I don't know if there's any of that, but we are sitting on the little meditation chairs on the floor.
[00:11:05] (Blake) So, to jump into the seven dimensions of wellness here, I know these dimensions can be sliced different ways, by different people, in different organizations. And I know you slice them a little bit differently than we do. And we'll get into that. But just to go through them quickly. There's the physical dimension, of course, that we all know. And that's about a body that works. And there is the emotional dimension, the intellectual dimension of wellness. The social dimension, which includes our connection with others, including our intimate relationships, friends, family, coworkers. The Environmental Dimension, harmony with our surroundings. The occupational dimension, about having work or vocation that fulfills us. The spiritual dimension, where we look for and hopefully find purpose and meaning.
So that's the way we break down the seven dimensions. And I would just love for you to go through each of those with us, and give us a little bit of an overview of how you define those dimensions. How they are important on the individual level. And maybe you can help us take it out to the societal level, as well.
[00:12:01] (Alessandro) Great, I'm more than happy to.
(Blake) I'd love to jump in. Do you see these in any kind of a logical order? Is there logical order to them? Or are they so interconnected that you don't really see them as a one-through-seven.
[00:12:11] (Alessandro) They are completely connected. This is actually, something very similar to this, is the template to a balanced life. And we do it at Guided Light Healing, we scale this down to a very individual basis. And what happens is, a lot of people will tend to favor and neglect certain other areas. And one of the things that you'll find is that if one of the areas are super deficient, it's going to impact and bring about obstacles and hardship in the areas that you actually care about.
So I love, for so many reasons, that you guys chose this type of template, format, because it can be scaled out on a global level and all the way down to an individual level.
[00:12:49] So to answer your question though, I think all of them are important. It's where you're most lacking, is what you want to put the focus on, so that you can bring about a level of balance and harmony. I think, on a global level and on an individual level.
[00:13:04] (Blake) That makes sense. So if, for example, environmental isn't something that I think about too much. But I'm privileged. I live in the richest country in the world and one of the richest states in the country, and so on. But where people have to think about clean air and clean water, you know, in places like Flint, Michigan, where they can't drink the water out of the tap, and so on, then that becomes a priority at that point.
[00:13:24] (Alessandro) Absolutely. And you'll find that when you take care of your body, your ability to handle circumstance and obstacles goes much better because you’re on a full tank of gas versus if you come off of two hours of sleep, and had the kids yelling the night before, got into a fight with your partner—your ability to deal with those circumstances is going to be sufficiently less.
[00:13:46] (Blake) I always think of the physical dimension first, because if I'm not getting adequate sleep, if I’m not eating right, if I'm not getting cardio, I feel like I don't even have gas in the tank. The car's not going anywhere.
[00:13:56] (Alessandro) And that's exactly right. So physical, I would break down into three quick areas. I would break down physical into indulgence—taking advantage of the five senses in life. Giving yourself what you need—food, exercise. And pushing yourself with healthy obstacles on a weekly basis is what will constitute a very balanced physical life.
(Blake) So challenging yourself, meaning, are you talking about working out?
(Alessandro) So setting little goals that really don't matter. But the idea is, we have two very important core human emotions. One is the need to always be growing. And if you don't satisfy and work on that need, that's going to bring about depression. It's going to bring about a lack of wanting to get things done. Procrastination.
[00:14:39] So if you can set up little healthy challenges every week, physically— physical things, like rock climbing and doing a harder set of hand and foot placements. If you can set up little things and accomplish this, it brings such a buzz to the rest of your life.
[00:14:53] (Blake) Now we're in California, so you know, we tend to maybe live in a little bit of a vacuum here. Things like that aren't always accessible to the people that are living in Chicago or in other places, and there's also a bit of a socioeconomic divide here. So I would imagine, that advice that you're giving, there's really a spectrum of wellness, in terms of who you're talking to and where they live and what their environment is. [00:15:14][20.7]
[00:15:14] (Alessandro) It's something you can scale down to wherever a person is. They can set up challenges that they want to be a long-distance runner, and they want to beat their time every week, and they want to run a little bit further. They could jump online. They could get some advice. They can watch some YouTube videos, and the ability to make whatever physical activity, that is in your area, yours. There just has to be a bit of a want to do it. And then, it starts that healthy game of the goals, achieving. And then going, OK, I get a little more homework to do this week before I can hit this goal.
[00:15:44] (Blake) I watched Mission Impossible the other night. My heart was racing the whole time. I think I felt like I was doing cardio for at least half of that movie. Does that count as a cardio workout?
[00:15:53] (Alessandro)You know, anything that gets the blood moving.
[00:15:58] (Blake) OK, what's the next dimension you’d like to go into?
(Alessandro) I think spiritual. I've found a really interesting thing over the years, that as long as you have a belief system, your vitality—the brightness of your spirit, your soul, your energy—can reach 100 percent.
[00:16:12] What I would say is, no matter what your belief system is, connect to something. Because it is the same thing as having a cell phone, that you can’t expect to never have to charge in your life. If you don't ever plug that thing into the wall, so it can talk to its power source and draw from them, it's eventually going to run out of batteries.
[00:16:31] (Blake) So, in your view, does that have to be a belief in some sort of higher power? I don't want to alienate all of the atheists here.
(Alessandro) Atheists, I find that they haven't found their language. I find that most atheists aren't even actually atheists, that they do feel like they come from something. They are part of something. There is a balance. There is a harmony. The idea is that there is a bigger picture, and nobody knows for sure what the bigger picture is. But the idea that you connect to something, and whether it's an idea that everything exists in balance, and in science, or any of the abundant thought processes out there. But the idea is, if you can connect to something, if you can say you are part of something, what it does is essentially, it fills up your battery in a way that is irreplaceable.
[00:17:17] (Blake) So spiritual doesn't necessarily have to be religious, or affiliated with a particular bent of spirituality?
(Alessandro) It could be a healthy love for live beings, respect for animals, a respect for insects. And it could just be a healthy balance and understanding that we are all a part of something. And we all have to keep this place in balance. There are so many different forms. And one of the things I say, is as long as it isn't bringing limitation in your life, and it's only pushing you to expand and enhance your life, then great. Whatever the belief system that you can root to and find, each person is different, and each person should have their own. Something that is very unique to them.
[00:17:57] (Blake) And ultimately, isn't it really about how we behave? And how we treat each other. I find that, sometimes I see us arguing about what thoughts are going through our head, or what thoughts each of us are attached to. But really, when it comes down to behaviors, I know people that aren't necessarily religious or spiritual, but their behaviors are very loving and very connected to their friends, to their family, to their community. So you know, does it really matter what's going on in their head, versus what's going on the head of somebody who considers himself religious? [00:18:22][23.0]
[00:18:23] (Alessandro) It's more of a balance and it's more of a beautiful exchange. We're not here by ourselves. And it's finding some sort of harmony with the world. I think that should be at the core of everything that exists out there.
[00:18:34] (Blake) This is such a tricky dimension, isn't it? I can feel myself getting a little bit nervous as I'm imagining how people are hearing this. And they go, “Oh my gosh, we're alienating the atheists. Now we're pissing off the religious people, you know.” So it's a sensitive topic, because really hard lines can be drawn and divisions can come as a result.
[00:18:55] (Alessandro) And that's what we need to get away from, is people and judgments. Is the idea that I'm doing it right and you're doing it wrong.
[00:19:01] (Blake) How do we get away from that? Because this is the idea behind the wellness revolution. This isn't about, there's our side, and your side. As long as there are sides, we're all kind of losing. So how do we define this? And how do we utilize this dimension, and in a way to unite and to bring people together, and to not divide?
[00:19:18] (Alessandro) The first thing is to realize, there is no one size fits all. When we realize that there are 7.8 billion people on the planet, and there could be 7.8 billion solutions for each of the people on the planet—when we allow each other to gravitate to, and organically follow our heart pole to something, nobody else should judge that. Nobody else has a right to judge that. And the truth is, when we fall to judgment, it's not that we're actually judging the other person. It's actually that we're having an issue within ourselves that is imbalanced. And we're seeing that imbalance in somebody else, and this is one of the things I think the world needs to understand and learn on a global level. It's not what people say to you that matters. It's what you say to people that matters. Because that is a reflection of what's going on within yourself.
[00:20:05] So, for everyone who's listening, find what works for you. Find what puts a smile on your face, and makes you feel balanced. And if your body isn't physically ill, you're probably doing things really well. And the byproduct is balance, and if you have balance in your life and happiness, stick to what you're doing. And whether you call it atheist, because there is no better explanation of what your belief system is, and you think you're the only one on the planet. If it works for you, that's exactly what it's all about.
(Blake) So that's the spiritual dimension. Can you give it to me in a sentence or two?
[00:20:36] (Alessandro) In a sentence, it is connecting with your, what I would call, higher self. The part of you that knows and has all the answers, and that came here to, in some very positive way, impact the lives and the environment of the planet. That's what I would consider spiritual. [00:20:50][14.3]
[00:20:51] (Blake) Great, thank you. So we've covered the physical dimension, the spiritual dimension, what's next?
(Alessandro) Occupational, I think, is a huge one.
(Blake) And you said before we started recording that you call this vocational.
[00:21:01] (Alessandro) Yeah, vocational. Because vocation in Latin means calling. And I've seen a lot with private clients over the years and students, that a person might be super focused on a job, but their heart isn't in it. Their soul isn't in it. And being focused on this job.
(Blake) Really? I've never heard of that.
(Alessandro) Never! I mean, it’s a new concept, right?
(Blake) That happens to people? They do work that’s actually not fulfilling?
(Alessandro) One or two people I've come across. So, with that being said, I've seen how that can completely drain and suck the life out of all these other areas. So what I've narrowed it down to, is what I call the soul pull, the calling.
[00:21:42] The thing that is very deep within all of us, that we have natural gifts and talents for, and we have a love just to learn more, understand more about it, to experiment and to do things with it, for vocational.
We all have this need to—it is a very deep, emotional need to contribute to the world, somehow. Every single person on this planet—nobody is exempt from this.
And if you don't feel like you're somehow contributing to, at least one life outside of your own, this is where people fall into depression. So my idea of a vocation, and what has defined the level of success people reach is, if you have an idea that genuinely has come about to change at least one person's life, that is what I will call a vocation. This is something each and every single one of us are called on the planet to do.
So vocation for me is the idea of how you're giving back. How you're changing lives in the world, and it is one of the secrets to why I've been able to change so many lives when I can connect people with their soul pull, and the knowing of how they're changing. At least one life, consciously, because it feels good. That is where I find the most remarkable lives come from, is from that idea.
[00:22:49] (Blake) I think most people understand at least the concept of purpose and meaning when it comes to their work. Living it and actually executing it can be a different story, and it's difficult for a lot of us.
[00:22:58] (Alessandro) It's hard for most of us because there is a bit of—call it a hypnosis that goes on. Our parents let us live our own lives, and they don't influence us very much until about the age of 9 years old, and then they start to say, alright, you've got to start thinking about college. You have to get better grades, and you're gonna go to school for this, and I don't want you living on my couch.
[00:23:16] You're 35 years old, so you better get a job that pays money. And we start to get all these influences on the things that were organic, that we were pulled toward up until the age of 9 years old. That gets put on the back-burner because you have to do the responsible thing. You have to go down the right road and do the right thing. When, truth be told, if you study the masters—the Da Vincis, the Thomas Edisons, and all the greats—none of them went the road that everyone else is traveling. What they did was they connected organically to what they did in their youth, and they somehow brought their youth into what they were doing in those parts of their life. And it forever changed the world.
[00:23:53] (Blake) So, if you were to sum that up, I would imagine it would be finding and following your soul pull.
[00:23:57] (Alessandro) Yeah, I would say following your soul pull, and finding out how you can be of service to at least one life or more in the world.
[00:24:05] (Blake) There's a lot we could get into. We could easily spend a couple of episodes just on that and how to develop the ears to really hear that call when it comes. Boy, that's the trick.
[00:24:14] (Alessandro) It's a game-changer, too, when a really interesting thing has happened in the world. In the past 20 years, you've seen a shift of people who can have very successful businesses because they're talented at something, but not loving what they're doing. And a very interesting thing has happened in the last two or three years. You’re not going to see any businesses pop up that aren't connected to that genuine love. The universe, right now, is shutting down those things. It's an older energy. The planet's vibration has gone up, and because of that, that older way of thinking and doing things isn't going to work anymore. So the new money has got to be connected to that concept.
[00:24:51] Love that. OK, what's next? We've been through physical, spiritual, occupational.
[00:24:55] (Alessandro) Let's jump into environment. I think that's a big one that people miss.
(Blake) Our definition of environmental is connection to your surroundings, and that can be anywhere from your desktop at work, to the environment in your living room, in your bedroom, to your community, which ultimately impacts the planet. So we take that from the micro, all the way out to the macro. Is that the same way you think at or look at the environmental dimension of wellness?
[00:25:17] (Alessandro) Absolutely. Think of environment as the slide projector walls. Think of yourself as a slide projector. And there's that little light bulb that is shining through your eyes. And whatever slide you put in there, whatever your tint is, things are beautiful. Things are this, things are that. I struggle with loving myself enough. Whatever you're putting in that slide projector, your immediate outside world is going to project.
(Blake) You've just given your age away. You know what a slide projector is. I know there are some younger people listening, what is a light bulb and a slide projector? What is he talking about? We need to upgrade this reference, Alessandro. Can you equate this to an iPad in some way? Or Twitter? Or Instagram?
[00:25:59] (Alessandro) Let me think of a good way to put this. Basically, it is the idea that there is an image—what exists on the inside will end up on the outside. And I'll have to think of a better reference because I've run into this a lot with my classes, when I start talking about older TV shows, or the radio dials on a radio with the little red pen that slides up and down.
(Blake) No analog references.
(Alessandro) None. I think with the environment, because it is a window of what is going on internally, we need to have a beautiful balance and a healthy respect, love for the environment. Because science would say we're all connected. Spirituality says we're all connected. And it's not about just worrying about your vibration and keeping it high and staying in a good place. If the vibration of your surroundings aren't in a good place, I hate to break it to people, we're not going to be here in another few thousand years if we don't start focusing on the environment.
(00:26:55) (Blake) What does that actually mean? Because I think a lot of people know that and you watch An Inconvenient Truth, or an Inconvenient Truth, Two. And yes, but then you wake up the next day, and you don't necessarily know what to do different, you know.
[00:27:03] So how does environmental play out at the micro level, at the individual level?
(Alessandro) How we treat the environment is basically how it treats us, and if we put energy into a clean space, that clean space is going to allow our brains to be nice and clear thinking.
So it's understanding that everything that is around us, impacts us. And if we connect it all in that way, a person walking outside and seeing garbage on the side of the street is going to realize that is, somehow, affecting their thought process. And they're going, “Wow. Some jerk left this stuff on the side of the road. Or some careless person did this.” And what they don't realize is, that jerk will start to cycle and go through your brain throughout the day. And now, in the interactions with people, there might be 5% or even 2% of your brain that is still hung up on that, and it's causing you to not be able to be present, not to be able to leave a great impression with somebody new.
[00:27:56] (Blake) So that's interesting to me, because we're in the environmental dimension. But I feel it's morphing over into the emotional dimension. So let's take this over now from the environmental, which is just about awareness of your surroundings and healthy surroundings. And aware that what happens with you, and your immediate environment, ultimately has an impact on the planet.
(Blake) And now you're saying that your emotional wellness is actually connected to that and how you interact with your environment. [00:28:19][23.8]
[00:28:20] (Alessandro) Yeah, a lot of the greats, if you read a lot of biographies, and you talk to the ones who have really figured out the human existence and built amazing beautiful things that have elevated the world, a lot of people have said that if you master your emotions, you master life. If you can't master your emotions, with regard to finances, you'll never have a mastery over it. If you can't master your emotions with regard to a relationship, you're going to make bad, quick decisions. And instead of listening and taking in what a person is telling you, you may be quick to jump at the person and chew their head off. And now you've just destroyed a relationship and caused something that can't be repaired.
[00:28:59] One of the things that human beings have going for us, that no other animal does on the planet, is that animals, when you take into account adding time into their decisions, it usually means the end of their existence. If an animal waits too long on a field with a predator, that predator is going to get them. And it goes for all animals. But, the thing that is remarkable with human beings, is when we started 6 million years ago, what science says on the planet, we had no business making it as far as we did. We were barely five foot tall. We were sitting on these fields and we didn't have, and we didn’t have claws, we didn't have anything to ensure our survival. But what we did was, we had this ability to think and it only gets better with time.
[00:29:43] So with us, when we are in a situation and we can start to analyze something, we come up with better solutions. We have the ability to predict, to step inside what the predator's brain is thinking. What his actions are going to do. And we figured out how to survive. So for us, when we don't just react to a situation, and we are emotionally stable and calm, and we take a few seconds, the decision we make 10 seconds later is a decision that is completely different from the knee jerk reaction of fight or flight—I have to rip this person’s head off; he’s offended me.
[00:30:14] (Blake) And this is connected to our brain chemistry, right? We're talking about literally acting out of our amygdala, our fight-or-flight, freeze brain, versus acting out of our prefrontal cortex, which is our executive brain.
[00:30:24] (Alessandro) That's exactly right. And if we take that into account, when we start adding a little time into things, and we realize time is one of the things that has allowed us to reach these high levels of success. That's why we have books like The Outliers, and theories that if you spend 8,000 to 10,000 hours on something, you become a master.
[00:30:42] (Blake) To me, this is really the dimension of all of the dimensions, the emotional. Because in my view, perception is 100% of reality, and we're emotional beings, and what we think we can all agree on is that we want to be happy. We want to be healthy. We want to be happy. So if I'm happy and I'm joyful, that's an emotional state of being. So if my emotional dimension is doing really well, aren't I doing really well?
(Alessandro) It's going to spill over into everything.
(Blake) And if it's not doing well, and we see this all over the place, we know—now the jury’s in. No amount of money, no amount of fame, no amount of fortune really makes a difference, if that emotional dimension is out of whack. And we witnessed this earlier in the year with suicides—Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, for example. We thought they had everything, and yet obviously that emotional dimension was really not functioning well for them. Isn't this the dimension where we live or die, so to speak?
[00:31:32] (Alessandro) Absolutely. And it's one of the core foundations at Guided Light Healing and with my private practice, is we work on getting somebody to the strongest and most incredible emotional place, first. If you're not in a strong emotional place, you're not going to be a good teacher. You're not going to be channeling ideas, to change the world. And putting other people first, we need to realize that our emotional level is the key to a full gas tank. And on a full gas tank, we can drive forever as human beings.
[00:32:02] (Blake) And self talk is in this dimension, as well. I read a great book, where he talks about that little voice that we all have in our head as being, like, your roommate. And that we all have this sort of annoying roommate in our head. And if it was a roommate, we wouldn't want to live with that person very long, for one thing. And for another thing, we would stop believing them after a while because they've told us so many things that really turned out to be untrue and incorrect. And yet, that roommate sort of speaks up. And we tend to continue to listen and validate what that thing is saying. So self talk, in that sort of voice that we have in our head, is really important in all of this when it comes to wellness, isn't it?
[00:32:36] (Alessandro) It's huge. How you see yourself is how the world is going to see you. That's been one of the secrets that I've used over all these years in creating success. If you doubt yourself, and you have a critical voice in your head that is constantly saying you're not good enough—you didn't do this right, you didn't have this at this time and place that you should have—I guarantee you're going to have one or more critical people in your life who are going to say the same exact tape-recording that is going on in your head.
[00:33:04] And this is the thing that we all need to realize, we were taught to focus on what's wrong because you can fix it. But focusing on what's wrong energetically and on a metaphysical level is one of the sole causes of all the issues we're having in life. And that's one of the first things that I work with people to do. If we can change around that voice, to get it to a voice of a very loving parent or a very loving coach. I see lives turn around within a matter of days to weeks. I have seen careers and raises happen within a matter of weeks, just by getting a handle and flipping around that negative voice in the head, and that horrible roommate.
[00:33:39] (Blake) So important. I think this is a dimension that we really need to collectively spend a lot more time thinking about and talking about. We talk about corporate wellness, you know, at my company. And when companies give people resources to go join the gym or do these physical activities or eat better, that's fantastic. But ultimately, in my opinion, somebody reaches for the healthy or the unhealthy choice based on their emotional life, first and foremost. And that can be a downward spiral or an upward spiral.
[00:34:05] (Alessandro) You're 100 percent right on that, and that's it. I don't spend time with my clients correcting their diets and correcting their good and bad habits and the actions. I know that if I can get them to a really good emotional place, our inner compass is going to pull us to the things that are going to make our life better. If you're not in a destructive place, and you're in a place of building yourself and growing, you’re going to crave foods that are healthier for you and maybe don't come in a box, or just are considered cardboard foods by a lot of health groups.
[00:34:37] (Blake) I’ve noticed this on my own journey. You know, I completely transformed what I put in my body about two and a half years ago. And that was a result of my body just shutting down. I started having stomach issues, and it just got worse. I kept thinking I've got an iron stomach. It will go away. But it kept getting worse and worse until one day, it completely shut down. And I actually called Cynthia, whose business is where we are sitting right now—client number three, wife number one—and she's amazing at this stuff. She said, “OK, I'm going to help you.” And I said, “I'll do anything you tell me to do.” But I just can't. I literally felt like I was dying. I couldn't put anything in my body. I totally transformed the way I eat and the things that I put in my body and everything changed. And now people say, “Oh, how can you not eat this or eat that?” I have no desire to eat those things. It actually is kind of a disgusting thought to eat certain things that I used to live on. So we change. We make the change, as hard as it might be. And then it changes our relationship with those things, doesn't it.
[00:35:30] (Alessandro) I always tell people, it's so much harder to change things from the outside to affect the inside. If you can make a change at the core, if you can somehow shift your emotional core, then everything on the outside will just fall into place. And I've seen it happen tens of thousands of times. You're absolutely right on this.
Quick thing for the listeners. If you find that you're craving a lot of sweets—you have a sweet tooth—it means you're not getting enough indulgence. You are not experiencing enough good things in life. And it's a really cool correlation that if people start to realize, I want to shove my face in a cake right now, and then going, “Oh, I must be lacking somewhere in my life.” Something with the five senses—touch, taste, smell, or enjoyment, or athletics, or whatever it is—if you go and fill that area with this beautiful list you have, then you'll find that the cravings just go away.
[00:36:18] (Blake) I love the emotional dimension. That's one that we could definitely talk about for hours.
[00:36:22] Let's segue from the emotional dimension that we've just been talking about into intellectual. And now, we put hobbies in those kinds of things that you just talked about. We lump that into intellectual. Also, there's obviously intellectual stimulation, isn't there. And I guess you could also put our thoughts, which lead to our emotions in there. There's some bleed-over between intellectual and emotional there.
[00:36:41] (Alessandro) intellectual—we all have the saying that if you're not growing, you're dying. And intellectual is essentially that, at the core.
If, on a daily basis, we're not bringing in new information, if we are not challenging ourselves, what they found out scientifically was, if we don't set a new little mental challenge up everyday, what happens is certain parts of the brain are starting to die off. And this is what happens when we get into these careers—not vocations—but careers where we're doing something that we don't love. What happens is we stop growing, we stop pushing the envelope, we stop experimenting. We stop doing all these things. And what happens is, scientifically, they have proof for this now, that the brain starts to shut down in these areas. And you're actually undoing what we are designed to do.
And they've linked these studies to Alzheimer's and all these other sickness. So intellectual—what I recommend is that, if you're challenging yourself on a daily basis to learn something new, it emotionally affects you, too. If you're learning more, you feel more confident. You're feeling like you can walk and hold the conversation in any room. But if you feel like it's been 10 or 15 years since you've picked up a book, or looked at any good information, you're not going to feel like you're in a good enough emotional space to have friends, to have conversations, to push, to get a promotion at a job. Intellectual is such an important category that it allows us to have bigger ideas. It is a big part of the mastery that each of us are capable of.
[00:38:11] If we aren't on a daily basis pulling in new ingredients, we're not going to make something new that the world hasn't seen.
(Blake) So intellectual is about stimulating, about learning.
(Alessandro) I would say it is about learning and pushing the brain on a daily basis to be better and not worse.
[00:38:28] (Blake) So that takes us into the seventh dimension, which is social. And again, we lump intimate relationships in there. It's about connection with others. So it can be anywhere from intimate to family to co-workers to community.
[00:38:39] (Alessandro) And this is something that I find also can affect career. Because if you don't think you're great socially, if you don't think that people like you, it's going to affect your ability to get a raise, your ability to go out and get a job. Social, also, we say our friends become our family. And if you're lacking socially, who wants to be friends with the person who is chewing out somebody else? You're not walking into a room going, “Hey, I want to be their friend.” Right? If we're in a bad place, bad mood, you're not going to attract the people in your life who are going to be your support systems.
When we get to bad places, it's the advice from our friends, it is the advice from our teachers, socially, that bring us up. It's our connection to our family, that when we feel like our friends aren't around, that our family becomes our foundation and gets us through some really hard times.
So socially, it completely affects your vocation. It completely affects your emotional, which we talked about being one of the most important things. But it also gives us certainty in life that, when we have these friends we've known for 15, 20 years and can depend on, we can be stronger in the other areas of our life.
[00:39:45] (Blake) But what can I do in the social dimension if I feel like I'm not well in the social dimension of wellness? What can I do about it?
[00:39:53] (Alessandro) I love that you're asking this question. One of the things we talked about, that a roommate who stays up in your head, if you work on that roommate and you start to flip the dialogue—because a person who is having issues socially is going to have a broken record of, people don't like me, people don't think I'm funny, people think I'm annoying, and all the thousand-plus things that people come up with. The very first step in increasing and bringing about a social life is quieting that voice. If you can give it something to do and say, “You know, I'm going to spend five minutes every day saying good things about myself.” And being loving, encouraging, like a parent would to a kid.
[00:40:32] What you're going to find is, you're going to find that people are going to start to approach you on the street. You're going to find that people are going to actually, funny enough, repeat the same things that you said in your head. Or hopefully, out loud. If you're like me, you're like a person on Bluetooth in your car and you're constantly having good conversations about yourself, so that people see these good sides of you.
[00:40:52] (Blake) I'm good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. Stewart Smalley. I don’t know if you caught the reference there. It's funny because it does sound. I mean, it can obviously sound a little cheesy to people, but it's really important to our self-esteem.
[00:41:06] (Alessandro) It's funny. We have these things in the spiritual world called affirmations, which I've never been a huge fan of. What scientifically, though, is an incredible thing that we can all tap into are what I call programming statements.
They've done all this research over the years and they've talked to all these different types of groups who have the ability to study this, and what they found out is a belief is nothing more than something we have heard over and over and over again. So an activation statement is something that exists within your body, but is dormant. And if you can say it to yourself enough times, what's going to happen is, you change the story going on in the brain. And the body functions like a machine. It's not a machine, but it functions like a machine. And if you can change that image, you're going to find that you might be able to boost your potentials on the low end of 40%. You might find that you're 40% more witty, that you are 40% funnier, and all these other incredible gifts, if you just switch that.
(Blake) Well, we’re running toward the end of our time here, but thank you so much for laying out the seven dimensions for us.
[00:42:07] I love the way that you look at these dimensions. I love the way you articulate them and lay them out. I think this gives us a really nice framework for what this podcast is going to be about. And of course, I would like to take this big with you just before we wrap up here. I'm going to be bringing in people that I consider to be leaders in each of these dimensions and I'm going to ask them: What are you doing in this dimension to help fuel a cultural shift? Because we need a dramatic cultural shift. We need a cultural revolution to really turn the tide. There is a wellness crisis in our country. At the same time, there's this wellness revolution that's on the rise. And I want to talk to the revolutionaries and say, “Hey, how can we get more momentum toward this?” But as you think about that big picture, and how we turn the tide culturally, and you look at the list of the seven dimensions, I realize I'm asking you to oversimplify, but is there something that you see on this list that you would say, this is what we as a culture need to really pull out and what we're going to really need to nail, to facilitate this cultural revolution?
[00:43:03] (Alessandro) The very first thing we need to do is, people in general aren't in a good place. And until we get to a good place, we're not going to be beneficial to anyone else in the world. So I would say, at this stage of where we are with the planet and on the timeframe, I think that if people can get to a place of loving themselves, of being good to themselves, that is going to spark such an incredible movement for change. And it's something the world's not focusing in on and talking about at this moment. We're taught that, if you have kids, you put your kids first. And you put all these other people first. But we are where we are today because people neglect themselves.
So I think the very first step is for a person to achieve a level of balance within their own life, because when they are balanced, they're not going to fly off the handle at somebody. When they are balanced, they're going to connect with their heart pull, and they're going to come up with an idea that can change the world. So I think the solution is in people, right now. In putting the time into them fixing themselves, getting away from the dependencies that exist in the world, and going, everything I need, I can give to myself. And I choose to give to myself, and I'm going to prove it with actions.
And if we just did that, you would be blown away by the world change. You don't need things to do that. We fall into an idea that it's the things that make us happy. But happiness is nothing more than a mindset. Literally, in an instant, you can change and get to happiness, just by changing your focus. So that would be my recommendation.
[00:44:38] (Blake) We want to heal the world, we have to heal the individual.
(Alessandro) Absolutely right.
(Blake) Alessandro Giannetti, thank you so much for spending some time with me this afternoon. I really appreciate it, and thank you for the work that you do and for the good work that you're doing in the world.
[00:44:51] (Alessandro) It's my pleasure. And I wish you all the energy and success in the world with this. You, like me, we’re in the same place. We want to make a big change in the world. I see it in you, you’ll do it.
[00:45:01] (Blake) It's a pleasure to be on the journey with you.
(Alessandro) Thank you.
[00:45:15] (Blake) I really enjoyed that conversation with Alessandro Giannetti. I love the way he articulates the seven dimensions of wellness. How they interrelate with each other, and how important they are to the individual journey each of us is on, and the collective journey we are on together as we work toward building a culture of wellness in America.
[00:45:34] And that begins our journey together on this podcast.
[00:45:37] I am really looking forward to talking to the thought leaders, the movers and the shakers, the wellness revolutionaries that are leading this movement.
[00:45:48] I'm fired up. I'd like to thank Alessandro Giannetti of Guiding Light Healing—www.GuidedLightHealing.com is their website, for more information. And they are live-streaming classes from that website. So, check it out.
I'd also like to thank Cynthia and Karen Graham of RPM fitness in Studio City, www.rpmspin.com is their website, or you can find, book, and pay for their classes on the Mindbody app.
Thanks to Jonny Lang for his song, “Make It Move.” And last but certainly not least, I'd like to thank my producer, Brent Pearson. And of course, I appreciate you taking the time to listen.
I'm Blake Beltram. The revolution is on. I'll see you next time.
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