On this weeks episode, Mika is sharing eight specific things that she learned from her recent wellness retreat.
A few weeks ago, Russ surprised Mika on Valentine’s Day by planning a trip for her to spend a weekend at Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort in Tucson, Arizona.
This wasn’t just a weekend getaway, though. This was a two-day wellness retreat, where Mika could disconnect from her everyday life and focus entirely on relaxation and self-care.
She returned home feeling completely rejuvenated, energized, and excited to share some of the powerful things that she discovered.
On today’s podcast, you’ll hear all about that trip, as well as eight specific life lessons, reminders, and practical tips that Mika learned on her wellness retreat.
In this episode, you will learn:
• Why Russ decided to give Mika this gift.
• How our judgments can hold us back.
• Tips for eliminating distractions and getting into a flow state.
• How taking time for yourself can lead to life-changing results.
Mentioned in this episode:
• Russ Perry on Instagram
• Mika Perry on Instagram
• The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
• The Russ Perry Show
• Canyon Ranch in Tucson AZ
• Becoming by Michelle Obama
• Tibetan Singing Bowls
• Local Guide : Scottsdale – MikaPerry.com
• Chess, The Ultimate Tactics and Strategy Guide
• Rap or Go To The League by 2 Chainz
• Costco – Sockeye Salmon
• Calm Meditation App
• Binaural Beats
• True Food Kitchen
• Deep Work by Cal Newport
• The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for this show? Send us an email at Hello@GoodtoBeHomePodcast.com!
Russ Perry: I’m Russ Perry.
Mika Perry: And I’m Mika Perry. And you’re listening to Good To Be Home.
Russ Perry: Good To Be Home is a weekly exploration of entrepreneurship, family, marriage, sobriety and how we balance our business and life.
Mika Perry: From our family to yours, thanks for joining us and welcome to our home.
Russ Perry: Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Good To Be Home. I’m your co-host, Russ Perry.
Mika Perry: And I am your other co-host, Mika Perry.
Russ Perry: Today we’re gonna be actually talking about, Mika, your experience doing something alone.
Mika Perry: Yes. So I was sent away.
Russ Perry: Like shipped away.
Mika Perry: Shipped away on a weekend away. And by weekend, I mean a long weekend. It was three nights away by myself on a wellness retreat. And this was a Valentine’s Day gift from my wonderful husband, Russ Perry. Why did you do that for me?
Russ Perry: Uh, you want the real reason? Or the …
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Russ Perry: Well, okay. So …
Mika Perry: Okay, what was, what’s the surface reason?
Russ Perry: Because I love you.
Mika Perry: Okay. What’s the real reason?
Russ Perry: I love you more when we have space. Like you get your space. You don’t ever get space.
Mika Perry: Okay.
Russ Perry: Like you’re more loving to me when you’ve been gone for a while.
Mika Perry: But that doesn’t happen very often.
Russ Perry: It doesn’t.
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Russ Perry: So I tried to engineer that, in a sense.
Mika Perry: Okay, so I feel like that comes off as saying like …
Russ Perry: Well, here’s the thing. Let’s, I don’t want to get in too much, but I get so many chances to be away on my own, whether it’s work trips, the trip to get my tattoo, like all sorts of things. And I really do appreciate and I love you guys so much. It does, like that distance makes the heart grow fonder, or whatever the saying in. You never get that. So I honestly tried to engineer a trip for you so that you could have your own space and whatever. I was really nervous, to be honest, about what would happen on this trip. Whether you would like it. Whether you wouldn’t like it. Whether the hotel was good or not. There was a lot of unknowns. Let’s just say it was a success.
Mika Perry: It was one of the best weekends of my life.
Russ Perry: Yeah, and really in all seriousness, you deserve that. You’re always, always doing everything with us and me and covering for me and doing everything, so I was trying to give you a gift. But there was selfish motivations in that I was betting on you coming back super recharged and like …
Mika Perry: For you.
Russ Perry: Yeah, right.
Mika Perry: You know what, I think that’s fine. Like that’s a valid reason. Well, thank you for doing that for me. It was really unexpected. It was a total surprise. You had asked me about can you ranch before. Oh, and by the way, that’s where I was sent to.
Russ Perry: Well, let’s not get into it too much. Let’s jump back over to our regularly scheduled intro. Our reading, listening, eating, loving list which you can find a way to subscribe to this. Mika sends out updates monthly as well as weekly on episode show notes, things like that. Just go to GoodToBeHomepodcast.com. Put in your electronic mail address and you will be hearing from Mika soon.
Russ Perry: Mika, take us away.
Mika Perry: Okay. For reading, I am currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. So good.
Russ Perry: Really?
Mika Perry: Mm-hmm. So I-
Russ Perry: What’s her deal?
Mika Perry: What’s her deal?
Russ Perry: Like story.
Mika Perry: An incredible story. She’s from Chicago. The book is separated into three sections. And I love that organization. First part is called Becoming Me, and that’s the section I’m in. The others, I think like Becoming the First Lady and then the last is like Life After Being the First Lady. So I’m currently just learning about her childhood and how she was raised by her parents and her family. Without going into specifics, it’s just really inspiring and has given me insight as a mother, too. Like the impact of parenting on a child because what her parents did set her up for success. And partly was just her being that way. She’s a driven, smart, very intellectual woman, and still is. Has always been. But given advantages and her parents did everything for their kids.
Russ Perry: I have a quick question. If you were to go to SoulCycle and then a day shopping in New York City with Michelle Obama or Martha Stewart, who would you pick?
Mika Perry: Michelle Obama.
Russ Perry: You would? Okay.
Mika Perry: Yeah, I would.
Russ Perry: Continue.
Mika Perry: Okay. For listening, I hope that happens. I’ll take either.
Russ Perry: Wouldn’t that be cool?
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Russ Perry: SoulCycle with Michelle.
Mika Perry: Michelle Obama. Okay. Listening, I’m listening to my new gadget called the Tibetan Singing Bowl.
Russ Perry: It’s a gadget?
Mika Perry: No, it’s not. It’s like a trillions of years old, I don’t know, relic. Not a relic. I don’t even know what it’s called.
Russ Perry: Artifact.
Mika Perry: Artifact. An instrument, actually. It’s like a bowl that you hit and it goes gong, or makes sounds.
Russ Perry: The note C to be specific.
Mika Perry: And I chose that one. So I picked this up during my wellness retreat. They had it at the store. It had been used in my yoga classes. And to be honest, when I heard it, it brought me back to being in Japan because I grew up around temples. And that sound of like a gong-type, not a big bong, but like a really soft, gently like meditation reminder. Really just like, I like that sound. It brought me back to a certain point in time in my life.
Mika Perry: So I got this and I’ve been letting the kids play with it, too. But you can use the little thing that it comes with, the stick, the mallet, and move it around and create this vibration and it sounds like it’s singing. So that’s why they call it a Tibetan Singing Bowl. And I’d heard of it before because there’s tracks that you can listen to on meditation apps with the [inaudible] Tibetan Singing Bowl but I’d never seen one in person. So I’m not Buddhist or Tibetan, whatever, but it’s a beautiful instrument and a beautiful sound.
Russ Perry: That’s very cool.
Mika Perry: Yeah. Okay. Eating. I have been eating the kale salad from Flower Child. It’s my second day. I had it last night at an event and I got it again for lunch today. It’s actually what I always order at Flower Child. And I recently put out a guide to Scottsdale, if you wanna go to my blog, MikaPerry.com. It’s a local’s guide to Scottsdale. In that I mention Flower Child and this kale salad as being my go-to order. It’s so good.
Russ Perry: Which is also the same kale salad at True Foods?
Mika Perry: Nope. Totally different. Totally different.
Russ Perry: Okay. Whoa.
Mika Perry: But as I was … I know. As I was writing this guide for each restaurant I mentioned what I like to order. I realized is like love the kale salad here. Kale salad here’s the best. I love the Nicoise salad here. Chopped salad. So apparently I’m just going around town eating salads.
Russ Perry: Kale, yeah.
Mika Perry: Loving Pilates on the reformer. So on my trip, which I’ll go into detail here in this episode, I tried Pilates but on the reformer. Russ, have you heard of Pilates? Do you know what I’m talking about, at all?
Russ Perry: Yes.
Mika Perry: You do. Good.
Russ Perry: ‘Cause they have a contraption sometimes in the lobby of the gym. At the village.
Mika Perry: Okay, yeah. You’re right, to show people what it is? Good. Well I guess it worked, ’cause now you know what it is.
Russ Perry: I don’t know, I can’t imagine [inaudible] body on it.
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Russ Perry: Looks complicated.
Mika Perry: That’s what I thought, too, but it’s super simple. And at the same time I thought that the reformer Pilates would be complicated. I thought it would be too easy and I’m like this is not a workout. You need to lift some barbells and some free weights. That’s a workout. No. It was awesome. And I am really going to try to pursue some classes, because I think it really does help with your posture and lengthening your muscles a bit. And I just, with my body type, have thought that I could never achieve that kind of long, lean look. But I’m gonna try to.
Russ Perry: Good for you.
Mika Perry: Thanks.
Russ Perry: Your list is really indicative of recently going to wellness retreat.
Mika Perry: Yes, I know.
Russ Perry: All right. So what am I reading? I’m reading Chess, the Ultimate Tactics and Strategy Guide.
Mika Perry: Is this because [Reese 00:08:18]?
Russ Perry: I’m hedging my bets against our six-year-old, Reese, learning chess. I don’t what her to get better than me. So I’ve started to read strategy books, and it’s very hard, ’cause I don’t know the coordinate system that she’s learning actually. She just had a little test on it.
Russ Perry: What am I listening to, Mika? Believe it or not, 2 Chainz has a new album out, Rap or Go to the Big League. And I just earlier was playing you one of the singles, 2 Dollar Bill.
Russ Perry: (singing)
Russ Perry: Which is featuring Lil Wayne and English-40, which English-40 is one of my favorite all-time Oakland rappers. The beat is fantastic, by DJ Mustard. It’s just a really, really classic 2 Chainz beat. Good to roll down the windows and cruise around on.
Russ Perry: What am I eating? I put salmon, salmon, so much damn salmon. You were out of town last weekend, so I just made a big thing of salmon and that’s, literally, I’ve eaten it every day since. It’s not bad, but I’m really thinking about mixing it up for next week. However, it is a fantastic food prep hack is to get a big thing of salmon from Costco. I didn’t have a recipe. I just put olive oil, salt and pepper on it and threw it in the oven at like 425 for a while and it was fine.
Mika Perry: Where did you get that inspiration?
Russ Perry: I don’t know. Pinterest.
Mika Perry: I put that in my meal prep blog post.
Russ Perry: Mika does it every week. I just absorb it. But for, I didn’t look at the recipe.
Mika Perry: So the thing is there is no recipe. So it’s like how do you do it? And it’s exactly as you described it.
Russ Perry: Yeah. So what I do, though, is I put foil down on the tray so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Mika Perry: I do too.
Russ Perry: Okay. Anyway. What am I loving? I love the app StockX, which warning, warning, warning, if you’re a husband and you are into Nike’s, don’t get this app because you will become addicted. Effectively it is a marketplace for shoes. You can also buy [inaudible] watches and luxury items. But I get all of my Nike’s on this app, if you will, and it’s very much like a eBay kind of thing where you can post a bid of a shoe. Like I like the shoe. I’m willing to pay $100. And if someone’s willing to sell their pair, you match and then it gets shipped to your house. Pretty much all of the Nike’s I have, have come from this app StockX.
Mika Perry: That’s nice. I like your shoes.
Russ Perry: I leveled up the game quite a bit.
Mika Perry: You have.
Russ Perry: Actually, coming up in May at the event, I don’t know if we’re gonna talk about it or not, is the designer of the woman who’s designed all my custom shoes.
Mika Perry: So FYI.
Russ Perry: FYI. We’ll talk more about that in a later episode. I wanna get in, Mika, to the revelations, inspirations and insights of your weekend away. Where to being?
Mika Perry: Where to begin.
Russ Perry: Can I, wait, can I tell about what it was like for me, real quick?
Mika Perry: Sure.
Russ Perry: Really hard. Like seriously. Like one thing I would recommend in the future is, for myself, is to make sure there’s no dance competitions the weekend I’m sending you away, because I was in the [inaudible] of that. But man, I appreciated you quite a bit, being gone.
Mika Perry: With me being gone and having to do everything.
Russ Perry: Oh yeah. It’s like so many messes to clean up. All the time.
Mika Perry: I’m so glad you’re saying this, and I hope if you’re a mom-
Russ Perry: I’m not joking, either.
Mika Perry: I know. Constantly-
Russ Perry: It’s crazy always.
Mika Perry: They’re exploding. Kids are exploding everywhere.
Russ Perry: It’s like they’re leaking clutter.
Mika Perry: That’s a great way to put it.
Russ Perry: Wherever they go, they leak it out.
Mika Perry: You know what, I would be lying if I didn’t hope, before I went on this trip, I was like, “I hope Russ realizes how messy the kids are and how much I clean all the time.”
Russ Perry: Right.
Mika Perry: So now you know. Okay. So I am really glad I went on this surprise trip. And over the three nights, four days that I was at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, I learned a thing or two. And in fact, I have narrowed it down to eight things I learned from my weekend away. This is a list of kind of like life lessons or reminders for myself as well as practical new things that I learned by going to a entire, sprawling property focused entirely on wellness. And that is totally my jam, and so, Russ, you knew that. It was, actually, did you see it on my Christmas list? My wish list that I posted on the blog?
Russ Perry: No.
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Russ Perry: I don’t remember.
Mika Perry: I screenshot a picture of people doing yoga at Canyon Ranch and I said I wanted that. So you know me well.
Russ Perry: Well, I just know. I just know.
Mika Perry: You do. So here are the eight things I learned from this experience. First, number one. Don’t be judgemental. This was a reminder for me, because as I started to look up information about Canyon Ranch … so Canyon Ranch has been around forever. In fact, I think they were the original wellness resort ever, before wellness was even mainstream, even as fraction. And from what I understand from the guests that I’ve talked to there, is that they’re like yeah, the last time I was here was in the 80s, and they used to have very strict regimented caloric intake and very much more structured. And now it’s a little bit looser. But it’s always been very focused on health and healing.
Russ Perry: And a lot of celebrities have been there.
Mika Perry: Totally. My massage therapist was telling me about when Oprah came and she got a Thai massage there. That’s kind of what put Canyon Ranch on the map. Also Doctor Weil, who runs True Food, our favorite restaurant, he made the menu there and he’s a well-known wellness expert. He lives in Tucson and has advised on Canyon Ranch and helped there as well.
Mika Perry: So anyways, it’s a very reputable, wonderful place. A lot of people have heard of it but haven’t been there, myself included. Even though I’m from Tucson, never went there. And as I lay there in bed one night, looking up Canyon Ranch on TripAdvisor, ’cause I always want to know what the rooms look like, what the amenities are, what does the lobby look like. I’m very visually, like that’s important to me.
Russ Perry: Specifically, you taught me this, go to TripAdvisor, go to the user photos. ‘Cause it’s like the real photos.
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Russ Perry: Not the doctored up ones.
Mika Perry: Exactly. Not the marketing photos for the property. So as I started to take a deep dive into Canyon Ranch, it was, I’d say, rustic. And …
Russ Perry: You could just say it, like goofy southwest.
Mika Perry: Like it looked like a nursing home. And then I was starting to read the reviews and you can just tell they’re written by much older people. So I started panicking. And here’s where my judgment came in, because I’ve been to really nice resort properties that look really pretty. I emailed you and basically asked like-
Russ Perry: Like two nights before you were supposed to leave, you asked if you could change the location.
Mika Perry: It’s like, do you think I could go to Marival or even Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, which I have been to that one. And you said zero percent.
Russ Perry: You were like what percent chance could I go to Marival or Dove Mountain. I said zero percent.
Mika Perry: So I was letting outward appearances affect my opinion of it. So this continued as I drove by myself down to Tucson, listening to podcasts. I was super excited. My suitcase was perfectly packed. I’ve never just packed for me like that. It’s always the kids, always the family, making sure everything is … a lot of times we have someone watching the kids so it’s making sure they’re all set for school. It’s just like me and myself only.
Russ Perry: You just laughed, yeah.
Mika Perry: I just laughed, and it was so great. But then, as I was rolling into the property and then I started pulling up to the gate, I was having judgy feelings. I was like, oh this looks so old. And then I rolled in and it’s very southwest. I get checked into my room. I will mention that they are remodeling the entire property and making it much more contemporary. It’s beautiful. I saw some of the remodels that they are doing. But it hadn’t happened yet.
Russ Perry: You even said the restaurant looked like Applebee’s.
Mika Perry: Yeah. Well, that’s what the reviews were saying, that it was like Applebee’s. But they had remodeled the restaurant.
Russ Perry: Oh good.
Mika Perry: So anyway, I went in with this big judgment, like judging a book by its cover. And turned out to be the most knowledgeable staff, caring people. An incredible vibe of the place. Very restful. Really, really restful. So my lesson there is don’t judge.
Mika Perry: My second lesson is something I saw, and you know when you check in to a hotel and they have kind of like a looped promo thing going on the TV, usually they have that on when you walk in into your room. So this was going through Canyon Ranch and what they believe in and all these things. One of the doctors there, because they have healingness experts. They have doctors on staff. They have, I mean, every single kind of wellness expert. Metaphysical experts. Yoga instructors. Everything. Think of it like color experts. Handwriting experts.
Mika Perry: But one of the experts was using this analogy of how you come to Canyon Ranch and the state of our mind in this day and age is like a snow globe. And he had a snow globe and he shook it. It was like a flurry. He’s like, that’s what your mind is, especially when you come here. And then as you heal and process and focus and what we wanna do is rest those snowflakes. It did a fast forward video image of the snow settling at the bottom of the snow globe. He’s like, and that’s where you achieve clarity. You can see things clearly. I was like, that is like a really good analogy that is so simple.
Russ Perry: Love that.
Mika Perry: I’ve never heard before.
Russ Perry: And a snow globe won’t shake unless you shake it.
Mika Perry: True. So you-
Russ Perry: Like we’re responsible for that chaos.
Mika Perry: That’s a really good additional point. So I’ve now kept that kind of in my mind as a visual analogy of the state of our being, the state of our mind and our lives, even. All the commitments that we have and the things we bring into our life. It’s just like snowflakes flurrying around us. If we let that go and keep shaking that up, you’re not going to be able to see things clearly.
Russ Perry: Yeah, which is also odd, ’cause you always buy [inaudible] snow globes when you travel. Paige likes to shatter them.
Mika Perry: So my tradition is to bring back a snow globe from all the airports that we go to when we travel without the kids. I always bring back a snow globe for Reese. Recently have been searching out plastic snow globes more, because poor Reese, her little sister, Paige, would take them and shatter them. So she has about half of the snow globes I’ve ever bought her at this point.
Mika Perry: But yeah, the fact that that never came up for me as an analogy, as an example, is … I was like oh wow. It’s so simple.
Mika Perry: Number three. Meditation without guidance. For the past three years I have been using an app called Calm. It does any kind of meditation you want, but I’ve just been doing the daily apps. It guides you through it. So you put on headphones and you listen to someone talk. This is the first time I have done meditation without someone guiding me. I went to a meditation class twice a day while I was there at Canyon Ranch. Once in the morning, a centering meditation, and then at nighttime they had another meditation. And I was so excited. It started at 8:00 so I set my alarm for 7:00. Got there and this beautiful sanctuary, is what they call it, really simple room with beautiful windows overlooking the mountains and the desert.
Mika Perry: I had a wonderful guide who had this booming, quiet, like I know that sounds like opposing, but this gentle booming sound of his voice, and led us in a meditation. I’ve never experienced such deep calmness of my mind than in that meditation, at least in a meditation-like setting or practice. It was just awesome. I also have never meditated a single session that long. Each one was 30 minutes. It was a 30-minute [inaudible] meditation.
Russ Perry: Oh wow, yeah.
Mika Perry: ‘Cause my app meditations were always like 10 minutes.
Russ Perry: Why do you think you were able to? What it just like you had to, or?
Mika Perry: Both, yes. The fact that I had to. He did a little bit of guidance. Out of all the twice-daily sessions I did I think his had the most guidance. But another note here about judgment is that I still went in a little bit like know what kind of weird avenue we’re gonna go down on this meditation. Are we going to get into like chanting and things I don’t really, like I’m in to. But it was amazing for me because he chose to quote Psalms. He quoted a Psalm and he instructed us to, when we breathe in, we say “Be still.” And when you breathe out, in your mind say, “And know that I am God.”
Mika Perry: For me as a Christian, that was amazing that a psalm was part of this meditation practice. So it was another reminder of me, like don’t judge. Be open to what it could be for you. I think a lot of people, especially maybe Christians or people of other faith, may look at meditation in a … it’s part of a religion that is not them. And that’s true. There is very religious meditation, but there’s also meditation that’s more just like mindfulness practice. And an exercise for your brain. It has to do with brain science.
Mika Perry: So meditation without a guide. Using that Tibetan Singing Bowl and the gong sound to signal and end your meditation. That’s the reason why I bought it. So that I could use sound like that, not words, to help me in my meditation.
Russ Perry: So a funny story about bowls and gongs. The first time we went to Japan, I was able to go meditate at a monastery way up in the mountains with your uncle, who is Japanese and lives in Japan. This was like we drove to the end of the road on a mountain. Got out. Hiked up more on the mountain. Did this half day meditation/tea ceremony and all this. Throughout they had the gong. I was like, wow. I mean same for you. It was so spiritual and just the sound and the resonance and the tone and they would do it throughout. Afterwards I, what’s the title, a priest or a monk or-
Mika Perry: Monk.
Russ Perry: Monk. I asked the monk, “What is that for? What does that represent, that chime, that sound?” And he was like, “To know when to stop.” [inaudible] goes like, “That’s it?” “Yeah.” [inaudible] know when to stop or start.
Mika Perry: There’s no metaphysical [crosstalk]
Russ Perry: Waiting for some real deep explanation. And he was just like, “That’s it.”
Mika Perry: That’s it.
Russ Perry: And in English too. He spoke English. So it wasn’t even like translated to Japanese.
Mika Perry: That’s so funny. Well, that’s funny because the fourth thing I learned on this trip is sound healing. So I’ve mentioned here on the podcast before that I listened to something called binaural beats and it uses sound waves and going into two different ears, like with headphones on, to encourage your brain waves to go into a different state and promote relaxation. It’s not magic or anything. It’s actual physical science.
Mika Perry: So at this wellness retreat on the weekend, I went on the last night to this thing called crystal singing bowls. So since I had already heard these sounds in meditation, in the yoga classes I took at Canyon Ranch, I saw that on the schedule. I’ll mention that they put out … I don’t think I’ve showed you yet, Russ, the booklet of classes and offerings. They publish this booklet weekly and it’s insane. I think someone said at one point there was 700 things you can do.
Russ Perry: Wow.
Mika Perry: At one point at Canyon Ranch. Like at any time of day there’s 700 choices you have of things to do. So in the booklet they have a place to write your daily schedule. So I looked ahead, of course. I got down with a highlighter. I asked them for a highlighter and wrote everything down. The last night they had crystal singing bowls.
Mika Perry: I like crystals in the fact that they’re pretty. Do I believe that they have metaphysical powers that are gonna alter our lives? No. But I believe that the world was made by God and there’s a reason for it, if not to observe and just say, “Wow. How pretty.” Or maybe they do have some sort of effect or something that we just don’t comprehend as humans. I don’t know. I’m not going to worship a crystal. But who knows. I’m not, I don’t know everything about the earth and what’s here.
Mika Perry: So you sit down. We went back to the sanctuary. There were these twinkly lights around these beautiful clear bowls made of different elements, like quartz and tourmaline and all these things. There’s a lady there, really nice lady, and this is what she does. She does concerts with these, but she was explaining how sound healing and sound therapy, actually, like sound waves permeate our bodies and can have an effect on healing people’s vertigo and imbalances in the body. It has actual moving physical effect on like-
Russ Perry: Well, sound is movement of air.
Mika Perry: Exactly. So it’s almost like a massage into your body to iron out the kinks that you have going on, almost.
Russ Perry: Well, and this is something to think about, too. Think of how much sound triggers emotions. And it affects you that way. I mean, we’re not gonna obviously solve this, but-
Mika Perry: You know what I just thought is like radiation therapy. That’s wavelengths, right? Radiation. So anyway, if anything it was just a pretty sound.
Russ Perry: You were being irradiated by crystals.
Mika Perry: Well, she believed that there was healing powers to them. I was like, well, I don’t know. But I think this is just gonna be a nice relaxing time. And it really was. Again, it was just cool to try something new.
Russ Perry: Right. That’s [crosstalk]
Mika Perry: Yeah, it was really neat. So now that I, when I see something like that, I was like oh yeah, I’ve experienced that before.
Russ Perry: And the healing benefit of being relaxed, maybe that’s the bottom line here.
Mika Perry: I think it is.
Russ Perry: You were able to [inaudible] really be in that state.
Mika Perry: It really is. So yeah, there were a lot of tools for me to relax.
Mika Perry: My fifth item here has several prongs to it. But it is the lesson that we have to eliminate distractions to get into flow. Now in this weekend, I finished reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. This is a book that, Russ, you loved. You read a long time ago. But it’s essentially how to succeed in a distracted world. How to do deep, meaningful work in a distracted world. I was reading this while I was eliminating a lot of distraction. It was like two-fold benefit of me reading this book, because I was almost like practicing exactly what it was talking about as I was reading this book.
Russ Perry: Like a live case study.
Mika Perry: Kind of. Yeah. And I brought up the topic of flow, which was actually a term coined by a Russian psychologist or physicist, I’m not sure. But we talk about, oh get into flow. Well it really is a state of mindset. You can only achieve flow inside of deep work after you have forcefully unshaken that snow globe, basically. You’ve stopped shaking your life. And what’s really cool is that I went into this weekend, and I think you had a little bit of this idea too, is that I would have this time away, not just to relax but work on some work that I needed to do. Some personal projects that I needed undivided attention in front of a computer for, for an extended period of time.
Mika Perry: As I was going thru the weekend, I was feeling a little bit guilty that I hadn’t done any of that, but then also conflicted, ’cause I thought I can do that another time. When can I be here with the ability to take these classes and work out for two, three hours with yoga and go to meditation and sit by myself and read this book, Deep Work, that I had been trying to read forever and try to finish. But I couldn’t end my distracted world. So as I was feeling guilty, by the pool, sitting in the jacuzzi …
Russ Perry: So much guilt.
Mika Perry: I said, “You know what, okay, I’m gonna go back to the room and clean up and I am going to just see what I can do in maybe, I don’t know. I’m gonna sit down and see what I can hammer out.” And this was something that I had a lot of resistance towards, because long story short, basically, it’s something that’s super meaningful to me but I wanna do it right. But I said, “I’m gonna set that aside and do it.” And I did it. I finished it in under an hour.
Russ Perry: How long had you been putting this off? Months?
Mika Perry: Months. Yeah. And I got into, I clicked immediately. And that’s a thing that this book, Deep Work, talks about is making it easier for you to click into state of deep work. Because I had spent all this time, now this was like day three, I was able to click into deep flow mode to create this project really fast. Really, really fast.
Russ Perry: I love it.
Mika Perry: It was like, I ended and I was like, what just happened? That’s how I felt like. Did I just blackout? I can’t believe this is done. I was so proud of myself.
Mika Perry: Number six. Now I not only read the book Deep Work, I also reread/finished parts, reread the whole thing of The War of Art, which I had mentioned on a previous episode.
Russ Perry: By Steven Pressfield, correct?
Mika Perry: Yep. Yes. It is a lot about how to overcome resistance in your life. First identify that we all have so much resistance in our life coming from our ego, and that in ourself it is where we can step into our good work. What we’re meant to do. Our purpose. And as I was reading this book, towards the end, it got really deep and almost spiritual. Actually not almost. It did get spiritual. Talked about higher realm of God, of angels with us, and it was pretty powerful. It was talking about, if you’re a woman, having a child in you and this amazing potential. Also the fact that that child has, they are who they are before they’re even born. It said if you’re a parent, you know that your child came out with a personality. They are who they are.
Mika Perry: And that we sometimes say like oh you can be anything you wanna be. Well actually, no. You can’t. You have a certain purpose and destiny and certain traits and qualities that make you who you are. You actually can’t be everything you want to be. And that’s a blessing, because that focuses your intent and purpose in life.
Mika Perry: So as I was reading this, I was just like overcome on this feeling of being a mom and the things that have been bothering me as a mother. And it has been impatience with my children, which leads to yelling at the kids. And that’s something I’ve talked about on this podcast before. I think many mothers listening can relate to where it’s just like kids can be frustrating. While I was gone, did you get frustrated with the kids?
Russ Perry: Nope.
Mika Perry: Really?
Russ Perry: Really.
Mika Perry: Oh. Well it was only three days.
Russ Perry: Yeah. I mean, I was prepped for it. It was kinda like the opposite of a vacation, but I was planning. I was ready. I, maybe day four. On day three I was like excited to get everyone to school. Mika’s coming home tonight.
Mika Perry: But I just, in reading this I just had this revelation that I have been facing resistance with my kids in wanting them to be a certain way. Like have manners. Do this on time. Make sure this is done. All these-
Russ Perry: Eat this food.
Mika Perry: … eat this food. And being really harsh with them on that. Coming from a good place. It was like, you know what, I need to be like the nicest person they know in their life. And I think part of it was coming from reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. Just that, the women that encouraged her. Not like came down on her. And I felt like, I need to be, I want my kids, when they are, when I’m gone, to say, “My mom was the nicest, kindest person to me. The most uplifting person.”
Mika Perry: When I had that thought, I was like, I wrote it down. I took out my notebook and I wrote it down just in a paragraph. Said I need to just be nicer to my kids.
Russ Perry: How do you do that?
Mika Perry: Be conscious about it. After I came back-
Russ Perry: Make a plan for it.
Mika Perry: Make a plan of just consistently reminding myself in that split second, and that’s what happens with when you feel like you’re getting frustrated and you’re yelling at your kids is like that. The emotion overcomes your logic and your heart.
Russ Perry: Maybe that bowl chime could be your reminder. No joke, I’m serious.
Mika Perry: No, yeah. You’re right. But that was a really big take-away for me in that I think this whole weekend, if there’s one thing, maybe, that I was meant to realize.
Russ Perry: I mean, that right there is why, maybe, you … I thought about this trip and, I mean, nothing specific, but everything happens for a reason. That insight alone is a life-changing insight that you would have never had.
Mika Perry: I may or may not have.
Russ Perry: But you would not have that …
Mika Perry: Clarity.
Russ Perry: In the mix of it all. I mean, there’s like a meta, I think, theme to this whole episode, which is take time for yourself because of these kinds of moments. That’s the kind of moment you’re hoping to discover, but you’re never gonna have an opportunity for it if you’re always in the chaos.
Mika Perry: Well, that brings me to my seventh point, which is the importance of a grand gesture. That is from Calvin Newport’s book, Deep Work, that you need to go away and have this grand gesture to produce good, meaningful work or benefit from results. Good results. And it gave the example of the author of Harry Potter …
Russ Perry: J. K. Rowling.
Mika Perry: Yes. I always wanna say E. K. Rowling. I don’t know why.
Russ Perry: EKG.
Mika Perry: So she was having a hard time finishing this last book of Harry Potter and had all this pressure to finish, and went away on a weekend to get it done. It was just like a change of scenery, being somewhere different. A lot of philosophers and writers, especially, will go away to do this. To make something happen. I think it’s such an important thing to do without guilt, now that I’ve done it, for anyone. Anyone to do it. And I think it’s so important that we should do an entire episode of this, sometime, on the importance of a grand gesture. Because Russ, I know you have a story of a big grand gesture you’ve taken before.
Russ Perry: Several.
Mika Perry: Several. I was going to say. So I don’t wanna get too deep into it. But basically, without guilt set aside some time for you to physically get away and have this grand gesture of I am going to leave so that I can blank. Relax. Unclutter my mind. Work on this project. Write this book. Whatever. And I think I need to know, just achieve relaxation is an important goal in itself. If you’re not a business owner or you’re not writing a book or you’re not this like, you know, you don’t have a project. You don’t have to.
Mika Perry: Finally, number eight. The importance of routines. I was reminded of the importance of routines on this trip, because what I did is I took all of my routine musts. Right? So I took my wellness tower with all the supplements. I took my diffuser. As soon as I got there, I unpacked everything. I set everything up. I lined up my oils. I had my face stuff. I got my ice in the ice bucket so I could ice my face. I had my PJs. I had … I didn’t take an alarm clock, but I did plug in my phone away from the bed. So I put it on a desk. So instead of looking at my phone, I read Becoming. And I purposefully did my heavy reading of Cal Newport and The War of Art during the day. Then at nighttime I wound down by reading Becoming.
Mika Perry: On the mornings when I thought, I was like oh man, I’m, this is such a great moment for me to just sleep in. I don’t have the kids here. But I really wanted to go to the meditation classes. It was like super cold in the room and I didn’t wanna get out. I had my Canyon Ranch robe that was so cozy. But I was like I know I need to get up and get started on the day. Stepping into my routines, I even took my teabags and my tumbler and filled that up. They had a mini-fridge so the night before I put my tea in there. Like it was, I made like-
Russ Perry: I am real impressed.
Mika Perry: Yeah. I did all that.
Russ Perry: Did you have a whole suitcase for your routine things?
Mika Perry: No, it didn’t take up that much room. But yeah, I had everything that I have at home. It wasn’t to recreate the comforts of home. It was to keep the momentum of life going. The wakefulness I get from my morning routines. The night routines that encourages more calm and settling down. I was able to more fully take advantage of being at Canyon Ranch.
Russ Perry: Right, ’cause those routines get you going in the day, but then you’re thrust into school, homework, business, writing. And this you get the routine ramp-up and then it’s like creation, openness.
Mika Perry: Yeah. I was just like a-
Russ Perry: Fill in the blank.
Mika Perry: Yeah. But it just really allowed me to maximize my time there without, in a non-stressful way. I was, I felt good.
Russ Perry: And you said, when you got back, you said that the forcing yourself through the resistance just to get out of the warm, cozy bed or going to the class when you could just chill by the pool all day was, you were so happy for afterwards. Like you were really pumped up for, you’re like, I’m so glad I did a lot of stuff.
Mika Perry: Yeah. And I-
Russ Perry: Those things.
Mika Perry: Yeah. So I did wanna mention, this is kind of like a bonus one here, is that resistance is found throughout the day. You will meet resistance hourly, even. And an example for me is that I would have my meditation class. Then on my schedule would be Pilates is next. And I’d feel like, oh, I don’t know if I wanna go to this. Or I’ve never done the private lesson. I don’t wanna go. And then I start to do and be so happy. Then I was like, okay, next hour, 11:00, is a yoga class. Do I really need to do this yoga class? I’m not sure. I go. It’s amazing. Aw, should I like hang out in the room or enjoy, go do lunch and make sure that I have lunch before I go do that. So I would go have lunch. Aw, do I really wanna go to this afternoon workout session? I’m not sure. Okay. And I go and it’s amazing.
Mika Perry: So it was like constantly this fear of doing something new or going and doing something that maybe would be uncomfortable for the time being. But then afterwards you feel so good. By the third day I was so sore, but I still went to intermediate yoga for an hour and a half and felt incredible after.
Russ Perry: Resistance didn’t even want you to go in the first place.
Mika Perry: Very true. Very true.
Russ Perry: There was so much that was pulling you away.
Mika Perry: So yeah, that, I mean, that also was just a big lesson to observe it. As you learn a meditation, to note it, to notice it happening. And then let it drift away.
Russ Perry: In my training in warrior, growth only comes through the hard things. Granted I’ve done different hard things than a weekend away, but-
Mika Perry: At Canyon Ranch.
Russ Perry: But you know, like not to [inaudible] it. It is a challenge to pull that off, to get the time, to find a way to coordinate your life, to unplug from the chaos and stuff. But on the other side of any new challenging thing, whether it’s a painfully physical challenge or just a new experience you’ve never done and are unsure about, is the space of growth.
Mika Perry: Yeah. So I was really just so appreciative and grateful for this time that I had. Again, it was one of the best weekends of my life. I am someone that I know that I recharge by being alone. So Russ, I’m really thankful for you recognizing that in me. You know, some people, extroverts especially, recharge by being with other people. I love all the people in my life. But sometimes I need to step away. This was like the biggest version of that I’ve ever had in my life. At least, you know, since I’ve become an adult, I would say.
Mika Perry: So thank you for that, Russ, and for giving that to me. For those listening, you don’t have to go to Canyon Ranch to do something like this for yourself, although I would highly recommend seeing if you can push and get a little uncomfortable and resistance and do something different and out of the norm like this.
Russ Perry: Right.
Mika Perry: And seek the areas and places you can physically go to where you can get some life back and joy back into your life and do things that you are interested in or have been wanting and longing to put into your life. So if you can go on a grand gesture like that, don’t have guilt for it. It does take coordination and planning ahead, but it can be done in many ways. And I would really encourage you to seek that.
Russ Perry: All right. Well, thanks for teaching me. I’m glad you had a good time. Anyway, thanks for listening everyone. You can get links to things we mentioned, past episodes, as well as sign up for email updates on new episodes and what we recommend in the podcast on our website, GoodToBeHomepodcast.com.
Mika Perry: And thank you guys for sharing this podcast with your friends and family. I get notifications all the time of people posting and stories. Today there were two of them talking about this podcast this morning of what it means to them. They’re enjoying it for organizing tips. Some are really connecting with the marriage struggles that we’ve had. And I think we purposefully try to include a lot of different topics on here so that it can be applied to a variety of people and a variety of situations. So thank you for sharing this, because that’s how our audience grows. That’s how we can continue this podcast here.
Mika Perry: If you have left a rating or review, we are so thankful. Thank you so much. And now if you haven’t left a review yet but you’ve been listening since the beginning, we would love for you to let us know what you’ve thought so far. We’re coming up on a year, here. If you’ve noticed any growth or change in the episodes, we’d love to know.
Russ Perry: Thanks again, everyone. We’ll see you next week.
Mika Perry: Bye.
Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good To Be Home.
Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.
Russ Perry: See you next time.