How to Create Community and Reach Life Goals with Jeff Krasno [Episode #827]
This week’s topic is: How to Create Community and Reach Life Goals with Jeff Krasno
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Jeff Krasno, who is the co-founder & Executive Chairman of Wanderlust and CEO and co-founder of Commune, an online course platform featuring the world’s great teachers and thought leaders. Listen in as Jeff shares his thoughts on creating community, managing thoughts of judgment, creating a healthy container for connection, and so much more!
Unhealthy boundaries and how to course correct…
How to manage thoughts of judgment and annoyances in others…
Creating a healthy container for connection…
Letting go of emotional trauma…
About Jeff Krasno
In 2018, Jeff founded Commune Media, an online learning platform for personal and societal well-being. As CEO & Chairman, Jeff focuses on business development and talent relationships. Jeff also hosts the Commune podcast, interviewing a wide variety of luminaries from Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson to Matthew McConaughey and Russell Brand. Jeff pens a weekly essay exploring spirituality, culture and politics that is distributed to over one million people.
Jeff is also the co-creator of Wanderlust, a global series of wellness events. In 2016, he was selected by Oprah Winfrey to be part of the SuperSoul100 as one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs. In 1995, Jeff married his college sweetheart, Schuyler Grant. They live in Los Angeles and have three daughters.
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Kimberly: 00:01 Namaste loves and welcome back to our Monday interview show where I’m so excited to have back on our podcast, Jeff Krasno, who is not only a dear friend of mine, he’s the co-founder and executive chairman of Wanderlust, the ginormous yoga festivals, which are in 14 countries around the world. And he’s also the co-founder of Commune, an online course platform featuring the world’s great teachers and thought leaders. And I’m grateful to say that I have also launched a course with Commune on creating Beauty from the inside out. And Jeff is such a brilliant thinker and one of the things we focus on today is his brilliance in creating community and moving his personal goals, what he wants to create in life into physical manifestation. You can see from these amazing things he’s created, he has been able to bring them into life and also bring so many other people along with him, which we will talk about today.
Fan of the Week
01:10 I also want to give a special shout out to our amazing fan of the week, jdjejson, who writes, Kimberly, thank you for being a blessing for so many of us. You are helping to uncover our true potential so we too can be a beacon of light and love in this world. Thank you so much jdjejson for your amazing words. I send you so much love and I am so grateful for you being in our community. It really is our intention with the show to support you. So please be sure to check out all our offerings over a my sauna.com, including a place where you can submit questions for our Thursday q and a show. So all that being said, I’m so excited to introduce once again my dear friend Jeff Krasno.
Interview with Jeff Krasno
Kimberly: 00:06:13 One of the things that I wanted to bring up to you, Jeff, what did you hear on the spot? Is everybody now is talking about community. We know it’s really important to feel a sense of belonging. We’re part of this collective community. We want more intimate community, but it’s not always easy for people to find. It’s not always easy for people to create. As humans, we’re so complex and actually more and more keeps emerging about trauma. I did another show this morning about trauma. There’s all these trauma experts now, and this idea that we can feel separate, we feel triggered by other humans. And I’ll say that one thing I’ve known about you, and I’ve experienced it being with you many occasions, many different people, is that you have really high emotional intelligence. You have this ability to just bring people together. You’ve created wanderlust, you’ve created commune, and these are powerful skills. And they’re not as easy as taking an accounting class or something. There’s something about out melding with others that I don’t even know if you can. You’re so humble that if you can really speak to that, that just has come naturally to you. I know you mentioned you would do music concerts in college.
Jeff: 00:07:44 Yeah. It’s funny. I mean, wouldn’t it be nifty if I had the equivalent of a continuous glucose monitor for my emotional intelligence? I know it’s a little off today.
Kimberly: 00:07:55 You could teach a course on that. I’m serious. Getting along with others, creating community.
Jeff: 00:08:00 Yeah. Well, I suppose if there is a thread that weaves through the fabric of my entire life, it’s been around fostering community, I guess, or creating a container for community to flourish. And I will say a lot of it is baked in to what I might frame as sort of the trauma inducing events of my childhood, where kind of my biggest flaw, my Achilles heel became in some ways my superpower. And that was as a kid, I was living overseas with my parents who were moving around every six months or so all over Europe
Kimberly: 00:08:50 Military?
Jeff: 00:08:51 No, my dad was a Fulbright professor, so he was getting grants at universities. And then we ended up moving to Brazil for three years. And he ran the Ford Foundation there and was somewhat responsible for bringing Sesame Street to Brazil in Portuguese. That was my claim to fame when I lived there. But yeah, we were bopping around to a new country, often a new language. We lived in Spain as well. I was a very chubby kid. And so all of this sort of paracetic to and fro in combination with sort of my bulging belly that would drift over the sides of my genes and cause my inner thighs be thread bear and whatnot, contributed to a very kind of difficult childhood. You were teased, I was teased, mercilessly, and of course all a child wants to do is to belong. Yes. Or at that juncture fit in.
00:10:06 And I didn’t really couldn’t gr at the age of five. The difference between fitting in and belonging fitting in is essentially a desire to be in connection, so much so that you’re willing to sacrifice your authentic self. And Gabor was up just tap Pango a few months ago. And I remember one thing that he said that really landed with me, which was that humans, especially children, will always sacrifice their authenticity for belonging. And I was like, whew, man, you just pegged me as a kid. And so I was always people pleasing. I was always trying to do everything I can, using every arrow in the quiver to create connection to a sense of belonging. I have some very, very unfortunate or so I would say stories of great misfortune that are quite humorous. Well, we can maybe save them for another time. But things that happened to me that were very, they’re sort of funny in retrospect, but they were very scarring.
00:11:29 And so I just was using the tools I had to do the very, very best I could as a child to make a connection. So much so that I tend to adopt the accent of anyone that I’m with still unconsciously sort of in this dance of connection. And if you actually listen to some of my podcast episodes, my kids and Skylar are mortified, but I’ll be interviewing Matthew McConaughey and I’ll be like, okay, here I am today with Matthew McConaughey. Oh my God, for Wim Hof. If you go back and listen to the Wim Hof episode, I said, okay, whim. Now you’ve got to tell me what it’s like to get into the ice. Or Russell, how we do Russell nonstop. I basically became sort of had some sort of strange received pronunciation, British accent for anytime I was with him. And in a way I can kind of point fun at myself and say, well, you should just be confident with who you really are.
00:12:41 But I do think that it was sort of like a vestige of this incredible adaptive capability to connect with people and so much that sort of came to a head. I remember when I first really realized that I started doing this, I was in, this is so embarrassing. I was in New York living, I lived in New York for a very long time. My kids were young. I got them into a cab, and I noticed that the cabbie, the taxi driver was Jamaican or presumably Jamaican because he had just dreadlocks everywhere. And I said to him, took me up town Mark.
Kimberly: 00:13:23 Oh no.
Jeff: 00:13:25 And he looked at me like, you’re sorry, white ass.
Kimberly: 00:13:29 Yeah. He’s like, white man, what are you talking about? Go back to, and your kids were like,
Jeff: 00:13:34 My kids were like, oh my god, dad. So these are some of the more humorous symptoms of it. But I think that more seriously, I so valued connection that I brought it with me like a rock sack through my life. And the things that I ended up doing were essentially around
Kimberly: 00:14:01 Connection,
Jeff: 00:14:02 Fostering connection.
Kimberly: 00:14:04 But on the other side of that, did you find yourself getting drained, losing yourself, having unhealthy boundaries, learning how to recorrect if you were going over too much?
Unhealthy boundaries and how to course correct
Jeff: 00:14:16 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, people pleasing is
Jeff: 00:14:22 It is exhausting. And now very, very concomitant with disease. I mean, Gabor’s, whole recent book, the Myth of Normal has significant sections on this where he’s studies the prevalence of certain chronic diseases in association with people-pleasing.
Kimberly: 00:14:44 Wow.
Jeff: 00:14:45 Yeah. And you can imagine why, I mean, we don’t need to do sort a physiological mechanistic breakdown here, but if you are always in a state of people pleasing, always in a sort of aggravated or agitated state,
Kimberly: 00:15:01 Hyper
Jeff: 00:15:02 Alert, hyper alert, always over-concerned with how other people view you, that is going to essentially put you in a sympathetic overload
Kimberly: 00:15:12 State, all always in fight the time flight.
Jeff: 00:15:14 And so we know all the downstream hormonal effects of that. We don’t really necessarily have to go into that, but I could tell you how being in a state of fight or flight stimulate steroid hormones from your adrenal gland that are going to raise your glucose’s, going to send them, and then all of a sudden you’ve got insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance, I should say. And then that’s upstream from diabetes and all these other things. So the connections are there to be made. And indeed, three years ago I was diagnosed with prediabetes.
Kimberly: 00:15:44 Wow.
Jeff: 00:15:46 And then that really is what propelled me towards my current health junket.
Kimberly: 00:15:53 Yes. Which I’d love to hear about in just a moment. But back to this for now, where it stands today, you notice there’s people pleasing. You notice there’s connection. I’ve wondered this, Jeff, I’m going to ask you here. It just doesn’t seem to me, but I want to ask you directly, if you judge people, you don’t seem to get annoyed. I’ve worked a lot on myself judgment and judging others saying, oh, that’s a different path or a different journey. Sometimes people will trigger me and I notice it and I see ’em within myself. But I’ve seen you with such different people and you have this wide variety of people you work with and on your courses, do you judge? Do people annoy you?
How to manage thoughts of judgment and annoyance in others
Jeff: 00:16:39 Sure. Yeah. I mean, if I said no, my kids would roll their eyes,
Kimberly: 00:16:47 Keep you honest,
Jeff: 00:16:48 And they would keep me honest. Well, listen, I have an awareness of my own judgment more or less when I judge people. And I try to be mindful of that. Of course. As someone who cared so much about being judged, I have a tremendous amount of, I guess I would say emotional intelligence or empathy or compassion to judging others. And we’ve all had relationships in our lives that are difficult. And I’ve had, when my parents had an awful acrimonious divorce that took 10 years and replete with Kramer versus Kramer, like court cases and all this kind of stuff. And I beared a lot of resentment around that for a very long time. And then at some point I just said, oh man, my parents were just doing the best they could with the faculties and the resources that they had, and I just have to let go because that judgment of them, that was really the ember that I was holding in my own head.
00:18:11 And of course, when you do that, you’re the one getting burned, so just let go. But it’s hard because humans are unique as a species in so far that we care so much about ethics. We judge through the lens of morality all the time. I remember it was a couple of years ago, there was a Muslim late teenager, or maybe he was in his twenties, and he went into a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado with a semi-automatic gun and started opening fire and killed, I don’t remember how many people, but eight people. Eight or 10 people was just an travesty, just tragic in every aspect. The very same day, there was a tornado in the southeast that came hurtling through a town and killed. I remembered 12 or 14 people, and they were both tragic, but one got, obviously the mass shooting got so much more coverage press coverage than the tornado. And it’s because we lop a moral judgment on top of that. Whereas that is awful. That is bad. That is morally bereft where the tornado is like, oh, well, we couldn’t really have done anything about that. That doesn’t really represent any sort of transgression that we can put our thumb on.
00:20:02 But of course, they were both tragic and we assume that this killer had some degree of free will to do what he did. And because of that, we judge, we put a moral judgment on that person and saying, well, they could have done something different and they didn’t, so they now must pay the retributive price. There’s a punishment that goes along with that. And yeah, I mean obviously you need to protect people from folks that are unstable and might shoot people, but I really started to think, when did this guy have free will? When was his choice? And when you start to really unwind that, I think you begin to judge less. You begin to sort of stop knee jerk reaction, labeling things
Kimberly: 00:21:10 As good and bad. These kinds of people, these extreme examples, which are great. We see judging people, you did this, the moral, the morals come out. But then there’s little micro judgements in a conversation like, oh, that person’s annoying. Or They’re unconscious. Or unconscious or they don’t know. And again, back to your ability to be really centered enough to hold the space, you’re around so many different kinds of people all the time. Right? These retreats, when you were doing wanderlust, when you’re doing commune or how did, or maybe you’re one of those people that didn’t, like you said, because of your upbringing, you didn’t have a lot of triggers. My triggers are different because I experienced more neglect. So my triggers are like, oh, you don’t see me. You don’t understand me. That’ll come forward that I’ve been working to heal. But with you, it’s really powerful to be stable and not have these what seem like you don’t seem to have these annoyances with all different kinds of people. So is that something you’ve worked on?
Tools for managing micro judgements
Jeff: 00:22:22 Yeah, I mean, I think it’s part of being centered quite literally.
Kimberly: 00:22:28 Yes,
Jeff: 00:22:29 You can’t really blow me down. I’m like a weebo wobble,
Kimberly: 00:22:33 Right? You have your center here. People come and go. They say what they say,
Jeff: 00:22:37 What is it? Seven times down, eight times up, such as life. And I’m certainly not immune to being annoyed, but I think there is, again, I think it’s partially due to the trials and tribulations of my upbringing that I’m very aware of how people are feeling at any time. And there’s this calibration that’s happening. I’m taking in all the periphery and I’m like, okay, that person might be slightly uncomfortable in this situation. Maybe we’ll do this here. We’ll bring this topic up. But that person needs to feel involved. And there’s kind of like this algorithm that’s just ticking away in order to try to make people feel comfortable and at ease.
Kimberly: 00:23:34 Yes. Empath, you’re very empathetic. You can feel
Jeff: 00:23:40 Yeah, I think so. And I move on.
Kimberly: 00:23:45 Yeah, you just say whatever pretty quickly. I love that
Jeff: 00:23:49 You’re there. You’re completely connected, and then you move on. It’s actually been tricky. I started leading these retreats with Schuyler.
Kimberly: 00:23:58 Oh yes. How was that leading it with your wife?
Jeff shares his experience leading retreats with his wife Schuyler
Jeff: 00:24:04 We have separate lanes and that makes it work. She leads yoga and it’s wonderful. And people have a spiritual sweat. And I just kind of blather on and try to make people laugh and cry mostly cry a little bit. We don’t know why we cry. We don’t know why we laugh, and I don’t remember. Oh, yes. Because then we’ll do, and when you’ve led many retreats and seminars and whatnot, and we always do a opening circle and a closing circle. So the opening circle, we just create a space for people to be vulnerable and to tell us why they’re there. And it’s so heavy. It’s so beautiful and raw, and just the stories intense. I dunno. We did one recently, and there was a single mother from Houston, a black woman who had been sold into sexual slavery by her own mother, molested by her own mother, was in a homeless shelter, ended up working at that homeless shelter, had two kids, has been sort of on a roller coaster of being depressed and suicidal, and now trying to break the cycles of violence in her family. And there she is, just sharing this with,
Kimberly: 00:25:35 Wow,
Jeff: 00:25:36 30 strangers. I mean, you don’t stay strangers for too long in that
Kimberly: 00:25:41 Context. Showing up. Yeah.
Jeff: 00:25:43 Yeah. There was this other, and then across the room, I don’t actually go, this is actually a good technique, little tip for anyone running a retreat. Don’t go around the circle in sequential order.
Kimberly: 00:25:57 Everybody’s thinking about what to That’s exactly
Jeff: 00:26:00 Right. And they’re not present.
Kimberly: 00:26:01 It’s not as fresh.
Jeff: 00:26:02 So what I do is I say, write your name down on a piece of paper and your spirit vegetable.
Kimberly: 00:26:09 I love
Jeff: 00:26:10 It. So I’m Jeff Sprouts often. I don’t know who you’d be. You’d be Kimberly. What’s your favorite
Jeff: 00:26:17 Kale. That’d be good. And so then I put it in a hat, and then we just pick out of the hat. So no, I mean, yeah, people know that they’ve got to go at some point, but no one’s like, oh, I’m going next. I’m not here.
Kimberly: 00:26:29 That is brilliant. Because of that.
Jeff: 00:26:32 And people always have a good laugh because it’ll be like Zena zucchini or something. I’d be like, alright, so we’re going not around the circle. And then there’s this total hippie Grateful Dead dude who works at a soup kitchen who’s a diabetic, and he’s there to figure out how to reverse his insulin resistance and whatnot. And he’s sharing. And there’s a woman from Siberia who lost both of her parents before she was 10, somehow made it to Canada. There was another woman from Cameroon.
Kimberly: 00:27:16 This is all in one in the last retreat. Yeah.
Jeff: 00:27:19 Wow. I mean, I’m doing these and I’m like, oh, it’s all going to be like Julie from Santa Barbara and Lycra. It’s not at all that way. And that’s great. Julie from Santa Barbara and Lycra is completely welcome, but you know what I mean. It’s super diverse. This woman from Cameroon came over by herself as a teenager, put herself through nursing school and is a nurse in Minnesota. Minnesota. And they’re all here and she’s heavy. She’s trying to deal with weight issues and how it’s kind of a tug of war between physical issues and their psychological issues, whatnot. So then we have this completely immersive experience for two and a half days. We’re getting these people in the ice bath who would be like, oh, fucking hell, I’ll never get in an ice. Okay, whatever. And
Kimberly: 00:28:18 We’re like, wow. That’s the power of the group. The community cheering you
Jeff: 00:28:23 On. Cheering you on. Exactly. And whatever we’re doing all sorts of protocols, healthy food and movement, reconnecting with nature, rewilding, et cetera, get everyone doing pull-ups and squatting and going barefoot and all that stuff. And then by the end, we go back around the circle and people have this transformation. And it wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t in community. It’s the accountability, it’s the trust, it’s the spurring on. And this is starting to have real clinical data. Like Mark Hyman. He treats two groups. He treats diabetics kind of one-on-one individually and other ones in groups. And the people in the groups have a five x rate of recovery over the individuals.
00:29:21 So it’s powerful. And it’s not just in the soft tissue. It’s like there’s this whole emerging study of sociogenomics now, which is just like by being in each other’s presence, there is an epigenetic mechanism or phenomenon happening such that certain genes are turned on and others are silenced, et cetera, just by the fact that we are communicating together and connecting together. Now, that could be hormonal, there could be a whole bunch of other blood chemistry elements to why that is. But over and over we see that those who are thriving with the greatest longevity, or we touched briefly on the blue zones before we started. The signature of the blue zones is community.
Kimberly: 00:30:12 Yes. Belonging. A lot of them are in faith-based groups. A lot of them have their extended family around them. A lot of them have their friends, I forget what the term is in Okinawa groups where they have their little posse of four or five. They contribute to each other emotionally and financially.
Jeff: 00:30:33 It’s so cool. And then I did a little monologue maybe a month or two ago on loneliness and the epidemic of loneliness in the United States. We don’t have to get into the roots of loneliness, but there’s all of this data now, there’s two scientists at B Y U that published this study that claims that loneliness is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
Kimberly: 00:31:07 In terms of all
Jeff: 00:31:08 Cause mortality.
Kimberly: 00:31:10 That was in mentioned in the blues zone. Oh, was it? Which is quite shocking. And I will say this, we’re talking about community, Jeff and loneliness. Sometimes people are in a community and they say, I’m going to sign up for this, but they can still feel disconnected. So one thing that, and you mentioned this circle at the beginning and really creating this container is setting this tone, setting this energy for the openness, kindness, whatever it is. Have you ever defined that? Because I feel that when I go to a commune dinner, which I do, and I’ve loved doing the course with you guys, feels uplifting, feels easeful. Yeah. If you would say three words for creating that really healthy, healthy health inducing community, or however, it doesn’t have to be three words. That could be how you’re way of setting
Creating a healthy container for connection
Jeff: 00:32:08 Three
Kimberly: 00:32:08 Words, setting the energy for it.
Jeff: 00:32:10 So it’s funny because I remember asking Skyler about this. Skyler’s, my long suffering betrothed. For those who aren’t aware, we’ve been together for 35
Kimberly: 00:32:22 Years, who has also been a guest on here. We will link to that in the show notes.
Jeff: 00:32:28 I’m sorry. Yeah. That anyone would have to listen to her. No, I’m kidding.
Jeff: 00:32:36 So she was the director and owner of a number of yoga studios in New York. She called them community enterprises. Kula was the
Kimberly: 00:32:46 Name of them. Yes. We were Coolies. I was a Cooley for a little
Jeff: 00:32:49 Bit. And in Sanskrit, that means intentional community. And I was asking her, I think I interviewed her for my podcast, and I said, I was sort of soft balling some questions to her. I was like, what are the essential components for fostering community? And I was expecting like, oh, well, vulnerability and trust and stuff like that. All true. She said one thing that was not expected. She said continuity. I was like, Hmm, that’s interesting. I’d never put my thumb on that particularly, but particularly in the shaah or in a sangha, the idea that you can come back to a place again and again.
Kimberly: 00:33:35 Count on it.
Jeff: 00:33:36 And count on it. Exactly. And you might not know everybody’s name in the room or who’s sweating over there on that mat, but you’ve seen them before. And there’s a great letting go in that. There’s a great feeling of ease that emerges. And with that ease, I think it’s like you take off the armor and you become vulnerable in that way. And that’s the key to connection.
Kimberly: 00:34:05 Wow. That was unexpected. I thought you were going to say this. Kindness, everybody, which is true as well.
Jeff: 00:34:13 Yeah. Well, I 100% am indebted to Skyler for that answer. And we don’t have a lot of continuity in the structures and systems of our life these days, especially as it pertains to community. Obviously there’s been sort of the erosion of interest in Abrahamic religions that for a very long time provided that church community. So that’s not there as much. There’s obviously technology that expedites the delivery of every last whim and desire to your home. You never have to go anywhere. You don’t go to the grocery or the farmer’s market or other places where you might find that community. So society, western, modern western society has in the name of ease and convenience, created tremendous disesase through all of these technologies. And by sanctifying the individual over the collective.
Kimberly: 00:35:28 And also segueing a little bit, I’m also really interested in your health journey and your health choices today because you are around all these different teachers, all these courses, everyone that you interview on your podcast as well. For me, it’s gotten really simple, Jeff, even more simple than I started. Whereas I see a lot of people in the greater health space getting more complex with their formulas for eating and what they’re measuring. And I feel like I’m like this steady mule that’s been on this path of intuitive eating. And I don’t measure things and I eat very simply and very naturally. But I see a lot of different ideas and philosophies out there. And I know at a certain point you were plant-based, and I know you eat a little fish now, but can you share a little bit about your daily routine, how you make choices about what to eat, how you eat and exercise and so on?
Jeff’s daily routine and choices on eating and exercise
Jeff: 00:36:28 Yeah. Well, picking up on that last bit, I firmly believe that chronic disease is rooted in chronic ease. It is the, what I call the big max, the modern American conveniences. And that have created a misalignment between our culture, the way we live, our lifestyle, and our adaptive advantages, our evolutionary biology. And so for me, health is aligning or realigning with my biology. So I was engineered to endure a little bit of scarcity. The body was engineered that way because that’s the way we lived for tens of thousands of years. Fortunately, the winter promised a spring, and the spring promised a summer, and the summer promised a harvest. And that was lovely. But nature wanted us to be fat in the fall because it knew. And we knew that there was a fallow season coming. So I’m a faster, not because I want to necessarily count how many hours I can go without food or whatever, but it aligns with my evolutionary biology. I wake up with the sun. I get outside almost immediately every day. That’s the way our ancestors, our hunter gatherer ancestors lived. And there’s all these mechanisms associated with that. You get blue light into the
Kimberly: 00:38:06 Iris. Yes. Inferior
Jeff: 00:38:07 Part of your retina and all this kind of stuff. And that triggers your circadian clock. And
Kimberly: 00:38:12 When you say you get outside, you go for a walk or
Jeff: 00:38:14 You exercise. I mostly just go out onto the patio and sit there and watch my cat bound around or have a little open eye or half litted meditation.
Kimberly: 00:38:25 And that’s before you have any sort of hot beverage
Jeff: 00:38:27 Or sometimes I’ll take some tea out there, but kind of mellow. Yeah.
Kimberly: 00:38:32 No caffeine.
Jeff: 00:38:33 No caffeine yet. I do drink quite a bit of caffeine. Not quite a bit,
Kimberly: 00:38:37 But not first thing. Yeah, not first thing.
Jeff: 00:38:40 And then, listen, I’m so fortunate enough to have the means to do what I live the way that I do. But I am a consistent ritualistic sauna taker. So I have a sauna
Kimberly: 00:39:00 That, is it infrared or dry?
Jeff: 00:39:02 It’s dry, which I love. I love the heat. And then I have a cold outdoor shower right next to it. So that’ll be my next bit of my morning routine. And then I’ll break fast always after a cold shower. And I could get into that, but I’ll get into some other time. But that is a very specific thing that I do.
Kimberly: 00:39:30 So this is all happening near sunrise?
Jeff: 00:39:33 Yeah. This is kind of extending out now a bit. I won’t generally break fast till 10 30 or something,
Kimberly: 00:39:41 But when you’re getting up, your general wake up time is by alarm or just with your natural body,
Jeff: 00:39:47 Mostly around six. But you have children
Kimberly: 00:39:51 Too. They have
Jeff: 00:39:52 To get to school and whatnot. So that’s a part of it.
00:39:59 And then I’ll exercise every day in some fashion. I’ve gotten way more into resistance training than I’ve ever been. And I just learned more about the role of muscle in the body as a kind of metabolic tool. So it’s a wonderful glucose sink. So being pre-diabetic, building lean muscle was key to regulating my blood glucose. So that was one of the things. And I’m 52 and you lose about 10% of your muscle mass every decade. So I want to be strong and throw my kids and my grandkids up in the air, and I don’t want to fall. I want to be able to be vibrant and vital. And when you look at all the data around sarcopenia and elderly people falling and breaking hips, I mean this, it leads almost directly to mortality.
Kimberly: 00:41:11 It’s crazy that direct to correlation, the numbers, if you fall, you’re this many times more likely to go down that path to dying.
Jeff: 00:41:20 So I do a hundred pullups a day. A
Kimberly: 00:41:23 Hundred?
Jeff: 00:41:25 Yeah, a hundred pull-ups a day.
Kimberly: 00:41:27 Come on.
Jeff: 00:41:28 Yeah. When I drink and I’m hungover, I have extra penance to pay. I do 200. That keeps me not drinking so much.
Kimberly: 00:41:37 I cannot believe you can do that many.
Jeff: 00:41:41 Yeah. I mean obviously not a one set, but across five or six sets, I usually do 20, 18, 16.
Kimberly: 00:41:46 That is incredible.
Jeff: 00:41:48 And I’ll do a hundred pushups. That’s pretty easy. And a hundred. I have this core exercise, which is pretty intense too. And anyway, so those are kind of my non-negotiables. And then I walk with Dear Skyler quite a bit. So we’ll walk in the neighborhood always generally uphills and things like that. Also very part of the blue zone routine is like defying.
Kimberly: 00:42:15 That’s my routine gravity.
Jeff: 00:42:18 And then I’m still an avid tennis player, and I’m sort of trying to punch above my weight, so to speak. And so I’m playing with these beastly ex division one athletes who are in their early thirties, and I’m holding my own
Kimberly: 00:42:36 Cardio. Amazing.
Jeff: 00:42:37 So then that’s kind of my zone five bit, my high intensity bit. And then I try to do a little bit of stability, flexibility work every couple times a week,
Kimberly: 00:42:50 Like some yoga, some stretching.
Jeff: 00:42:53 Sometimes they’re just holding poses, some balance work, doing more squatting. Wow, squatting is a trip. It’s hard.
Kimberly: 00:43:03 I got to get more into that. Did you saw my husband’s gym is quite intense. He’s very into weights. He’s very into working out. And I’ve done it a few times. I know it’s good for my bones. I’ve never been much of a gym person, but I do walk in the hills, but I will. And I used
Jeff: 00:43:23 To. You had to carry a lot of babies
Kimberly: 00:43:24 Around. Yeah, exactly. I’m carrying Moses still, who’s three now. But I know the benefits. We hear about these things sometimes it takes a minute to integrate, but having more upper body strength is definitely on my list.
Jeff: 00:43:36 Yeah, it’s fun. Now. I actually look around everywhere I am, try to find little moldings or tree branches where I can do
Kimberly: 00:43:44 Wow. Well, there’s plenty here on our land. Tons. Yeah. And tell me about your diet a little bit, because you and I were talking about in this world of allness, there’s people now that are issuing vegetables completely and no fiber, the full carnivore, and then there’s all different
Jeff: 00:44:07 Levels. It would be a year long conversation if we really did it Well, little
Kimberly: 00:44:14 Bits. Yeah.
Jeff: 00:44:15 So you’ve got to have whole foods fiber rich diet where you get enough protein. Those are kind of the non-negotiables for me. So fiber rich that feeds the gut, feeds your gut bacteria. It also slows all of the absorption of macronutrients into your bloodstream. So if you’re going to have that glass of wine, have a handful of almonds or walnuts before, because that will create this little nice little gooey lattice work in your spa intestine and slow down the absorption of all of that glucose. So fiber. And then the insoluble fiber obviously goes through and gives nice little shape to your poops. Yes. And then you want your veggies because all of the phytochemicals and polyphenols, Kimberly: 00:45:08 The colors,
Jeff: 00:45:09 The colors, the colors are actually directly representative of all of the micronutrients. And so eat the rainbow. I mean, I’ve heard that forever, but it’s true.
Kimberly: 00:45:20 It’s true. And Dr. B I know our mutual friend always talks about 30 how important variety is. He said, start counting your vegetables because sometimes it’s easy to get in that rut of just having the same three
Jeff: 00:45:35 Absolutely.
Kimberly: 00:45:35 In your fridge.
Jeff: 00:45:36 That his book Fiber field was definitely, that was the light bulb bite that went off for me, which is this whole idea of superfood. Yeah, it’s great algae or whatever, but superfood sometimes pulls you over into this kind of monocropping of your food supply. And what you really want is, like you said, diversity. So I think what he advised and what I’ve tried to take to heart is 30 different kinds of vegetables per week
Kimberly: 00:46:06 And just seeing what’s fresh, what’s seasonal, what’s local.
Jeff: 00:46:10 Correct. Totally. And then, I mean, protein is key. So the thing about weight, weight is really an energy balance equation. There’s a whole thermodynamics part of it. Calories in, calories out. Sure. That’s true to some degree. And all calories are not created equal. Also true. There’s a lot to pull apart there. But essentially, if you’re not burning the energy that you’re consuming through food and you’re storing it as fat, eventually you’re going to get heavy. And so what you’re trying to do is achieve this nice little energy balance where you’re storing just enough to have the round of energy warehouse for a rainy day, but you sort of calorie restrict while also eating enough protein. Because protein is, I mean, we think of protein as just like for muscle. We eat a hamburger and it imaginally magically appears on your bicep. But no, and obviously there’s plenty of protein to be had in all vegetable sources. It’s a little trickier from a bioavailability perspective because the protein in vegetables is generally because of the fiber. Sometimes you cannot separate it as much. So it’s not quite as bioavailable as eating whatever, a steak or a piece of salmon or something like that. That being said, if you pay any degree of attention to it, you can get plenty of protein from plants.
Kimberly: 00:47:51 And also taking digestive enzymes before which helps the proteins. That’s true, is something that we’ve always recommended. That’s true. So Luna, digestive enzymes for that reason to extract,
Jeff: 00:48:03 To extract
Kimberly: 00:48:04 Assimilate better,
Jeff: 00:48:06 Because when you’re eating mushrooms or quinoa or salmon or whatever, there is any protein source, you’re metabolizing that kind of in your gut. So essentially you’re breaking down those longer amino acid chains into these little dye peptides and tripeptides, et cetera, such that then your body can use them to create all of the other things. Yes. Muscle tissue for sure. That’s mostly leucine and the branch chain amino acids. But we tend to cubbyhole protein as muscle. But all your neurotransmitters, your enzymes, your peptide hormones, insulin, glucagon, this is all proteins. Hemoglobin is a protein. We have 200,000, maybe 300,000 proteins that are required to make this vehicle function here. And that’s all coming from these amino acid building blocks.
Kimberly: 00:49:09 And some are recycled in the body, and it is important to get adequate protein, but sometimes, as we know, people take it to the extreme, take it and have their quadruple protein shakes.
Jeff: 00:49:22 So this is the thing, and this is why it is bio individual too. This is why everyone needs to get curious about how their or organism works. I mean, there are a lot of doctors now. Peter Atia just came out this book out Lib, it’s very popular. He’s 1.2 grams of protein per pound. So I weigh 150, let’s just say 160 pounds, make it easy. Even if I got a gram of protein per pound, 160 grams of protein per day. I mean, that’s not simple. I basically need to be like,
Kimberly: 00:50:02 That’s way more than what the people in the blue zones are eating. And one thing I’ll say about his philosophy, he does recommend that everybody goes on statins, which I thought is quite interesting.
Jeff: 00:50:14 Yeah. Well, not everyone, but he has a less adversarial relationship with statins than I think many other doctors that I know.
Kimberly: 00:50:24 Yeah, I thought I heard him say that on a podcast. You may have said it. Anyways, yes. We have to take all these different bits of information and see, like you said, what’s right for each of us.
Jeff: 00:50:35 And this is the great experiment. We get to be in our own Petri dish. We get to be an end of one experiment on ourselves
Kimberly: 00:50:43 And see, keep tuning in. How does this feel to me? How is my energy? How’s my digestion going? Also, how is my lightness, my feeling of peace, enjoy. So many people are bogged down by all these, I mean, it’s like the chicken before the egg. They’re stressed out about what to eat, then they’re stressed out in general. And how many people do we know that let go of something emotionally and then they lose so much weight?
Letting go of emotional trauma
Jeff: 00:51:10 Yeah. Do you know Byron Katie? You know who she’s Oh
Kimberly: 00:51:13 Yes. She’s come on the podcast as
Jeff: 00:51:15 Well. Oh, wonderful. She’s a butterfly on earth. She doesn’t really, well, it’s aptt to what I’m about to say because she’s a very fast walker. Have you ever walked with her a very, I have
Kimberly: 00:51:28 Not walked with
Jeff: 00:51:28 Her. She has a very rapid gate, really, because she barely touches the ground when she walks and she has that spirit to her that is so light. So I went out to lunch with her once in Oja. There’s a lovely little place downtown called, is that where
Kimberly: 00:51:44 She
Jeff: 00:51:44 Lives? She lives in, yeah. She has a wonderful little church up there right on the corner. And I’m like, I’m out with Byron Katie for lunch. I am not going to waste this opportunity with small talk. So I went right in. I was like, okay, so Katie, can you explain to me what enlightenment is? And all gurus, she took an inestimable amount of time to answer the question and then answered it with a question. Very guru style.
Kimberly: 00:52:21 I know particularly her work is questions. That’s
Jeff: 00:52:24 True. So it was very like Zen koan. And she’s like, well, Jeffrey, what makes you feel light? And I was like, oh, well, when I have a nice crisp butter lettuce salad or something like that, when I’m in connection and a dynamic conversation with somebody, or sometimes if I’ve taken a brisk walk and I’m just had a good night’s sleep, she’s like, all right, that’s enough. She’s like, okay, calm down. And you got that. And then she’s like, well, what makes you feel heavy? And I said, oh, well, when I overeat or I’m suffering from bout of insomnia, or when I’m at loggerheads or in a row with someone in my family or a friend, she’s like, okay. She’s like, Jeff, you don’t have to be, don’t have be. The Buddha Enlightenment is simply doing the things that make you feel light.
Kimberly: 00:53:35 Wow.
Jeff: 00:53:37 I was like, oh, that’s so simple. She’s like, you’re right.
Kimberly: 00:53:41 It’s much simpler. But how many times do we do the things that make us feel congested again? We go into it even though we know it’s not going to help the lightness.
Jeff: 00:53:51 Who is it? Suzuki, some great Buddhist, or I think it was Zen Scholar. He said, enlightenment is just regular life, but just two inches off the ground. I think this comes back to the more subjective measurements of what it is to be, well, I’m into the objective measurements too. I wear some of the devices and I was like, oh, what I can measure, I can improve. I like that. I idea. But in the end, all of that, what really matters is how do you feel? And that’s where the more subjective measurements of wellbeing come into play and being vibrant, being light on your feet.
Kimberly: 00:54:39 And the intuition, it’s funny because Willa Med came on the podcast who’s the founder of Whoop, who his whole life is this device and measuring H R V. And then he said, and yet still, my best ideas always come in the shower when I’m away from everything. I need to really listen to my heart. He’s really came on here and talked about the subjective, the space for the creative away from all the quantitative analysis. Because sometimes if we just listen to all that, we can get confused. We can lose our heart. And what is good for us saying, oh, well, this is what the charts say, or this is who’s following this diet? This doctor wrote this book. I need to follow it to a T. And then we move away.
Jeff: 00:55:25 Yeah. I think people get into, they rely on their Aura Ring app to let them know whether or not they got a good night’s sleep.
Kimberly: 00:55:36 Yes. Instead of feeling, how do I
Jeff: 00:55:38 Feel? Exactly. But I think you refine this instinct over time. Well,
Kimberly: 00:55:48 You have to be able to hear it as well and know the difference.
Jeff: 00:55:54 Yeah. It reminds me of, well, we’ve often exchanged little tidbits on the Dao, right? Love.
Kimberly: 00:56:03 And we used to send each other our favorite verses,
Jeff: 00:56:07 So which is the te and the Dao de is sometimes translated as virtue. But the Chinese had a completely different understanding of what virtue than the modern West. We tend to associate virtue with ethics. But the Chinese didn’t see it that way at all. They saw virtue as more related to the notion of being a virtuoso, of being in nature’s stream, but being so aware of its current that you can apply the rudder just so to essentially leverage nature’s power. And this is, I think when you become very intuitively aligned with your own organism about how your body works, you have death, you have virtue.
Kimberly: 00:57:11 Amazing. This Dao for me, Jeff, it keeps deepening and kind of shaping as I change in my life. And sometimes we kind of, or I don’t say hide. I go behind these quotes and I’ll say, oh yeah, do nothing and nothing gets undone. Just don’t say anything here. But now I’m in this phase of really healthy boundaries. And this idea, love is courageous and you can say anything, but if it really comes from your heart and love, and sometimes that’s brought forward some direct confrontations, but not nothing out of meanness or anything, but just saying, Hey, I don’t really think this is working, whether it’s some project or whatever, and say it’s just a bit uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel like it’s the right thing, but it’s coming. It’s still from the doubt. It’s still coming from this deeper place. Whereas before, it’s sort of this idea of avoidance, which I think drains a lot of energy. And there’d be a lot of, oh, I don’t want to say anything here. I’m just going to be nice. And being nice isn’t in your full heart, in your power. Do you know what I’m saying?
Jeff: 00:58:22 Yes. And there’s a polite way to be confrontational or a
Kimberly: 00:58:27 Compassionate way completely in your heart, but saying, Hey, this frees me in. It frees you. This is situation. There’s something that needs to be addressed or moved away from. Yeah. Do you struggle with avoidance? Are you good at confrontation?
Jeff: 00:58:45 Yeah. I mean, we used to call it, it was like a pathology related to sweeping things under the rug.
Kimberly: 00:58:53 Oh. So this is an interesting topic.
Jeff: 00:58:57 And I would find that sometimes I would sweep things under the rug, and I would find that they just disappeared by when I went back to them. I could just kind of, oh, yeah, I, why hold a grudge on that one? Just blow it out. Yes. Let it go. Best to just sweep that away. So sometimes it works for me. But of course, just in the same way that you don’t somatically process a trauma, if you don’t move, if you don’t express something, it becomes a resentment. It becomes sort of scars over and it becomes kind of numb. And you don’t want that. You want to be able, particularly with the people that you really care about, you want to have that, remember the little cans with the string between them. You should be able to communicate
Kimberly: 00:59:58 That way.
Jeff: 00:59:59 You want to have that, want to have that string of honesty between two cans.
Kimberly: 01:00:04 You want to have the honesty. For me, it’s meant sometimes people stay in my company that aren’t really doing their job, and you don’t want to fire them or let them go. Drains that happen. And sometimes whatever situations change. And so part of that, and so I used to say, oh no, the Dao do nothing. Just let it all work out. But sometimes we do have to.
Jeff: 01:00:28 Yeah. But the thing, the Dao wwe, for example, not
Kimberly: 01:00:35 Forcing no resistance, no
Jeff: 01:00:37 Resistance, but that shouldn’t be necessarily confused with other passivity.
Kimberly: 01:00:42 Right.
Jeff: 01:00:43 It actually means being completely here completely now without over connection or over attachment to result.
Kimberly: 01:00:55 Exactly. Not analyzing,
Jeff: 01:00:58 But being here now in this moment and being able to connect with all, we are just animated information in search of connection. That’s kind of how I’ve distilled what being human is. So just to be right here, right now in that being like, oh my God, what a miracle that I’m this kind of amalgam of D n A and epigenetics and all of the knowledge I’ve been able to accrue from so many brilliant people. And that all of that information is animated for a blip of time and just a blip of time. And during that animation, I’m just constantly seeking connection. And then I will become animated at some juncture and nature will swoop in and gather up all of that information, and I will be subsumed back into this ocean like a wave is. And then nature will select for the best of me and pass it on. And someone else will become that delegated adaptability of the foundational intelligence of the universe. And I would’ve played a small part, just a link in that infinite chain. And that’s like the wonder and awe of being alive.
Kimberly: 01:02:18 So in time, Jeff, to sum up beautifully put in this time, this beautiful moment in time, it’s a tough way to surmise it, but your purpose, your guiding light, I think in Okinawa they say it’s, oh, I don’t want to butcher the word, but the reason you wake up in the morning, right? Yeah. Now you have commune, you have your beautiful daughters who are getting towards the flying away stage, out of the nest. You’ve created so many amazing community communities around you. What’s your purpose now, would you say?
Jeff’s purpose now
Jeff: 01:02:58 It’s funny because on one level, we use the word purpose to reflect a life of significance. We want our life to signify something. And so purpose gets held out there as meaning as equivalent to something meaningful. But it always seems like a goodie way out
Kimberly: 01:03:28 There in the Western way.
Jeff: 01:03:30 Yeah. It’s like, oh, if I do this and write these books and raise my children this, well then that will be a purposeful life someday. That will be a life of
Kimberly: 01:03:39 Significance.
Jeff: 01:03:41 Ego. So the Dao, this is a very aptt, talks about water as purposeless. It flows just to flow. The water in the river is not really going anywhere. It’s meant to go down into the ocean where it will be evaporated and come back up in snow on some crystal mountain side. And then that will melt in the spring, and that’ll code down back into the river. And then I’ll round and around, it’ll go. It just
Kimberly: 01:04:14 Is.
Jeff: 01:04:15 And so I think right now, and it is also funny, sorry, I meant to be concise, but that the moments that we feel great significance in our lives are the moments that we are absolutely immersed in some sort of collective enterprise or conversation or a project. So that’s one way. The other times we feel great sense of purpose and meaning in our lives as we’re lost in our work, we’re just immersed in it and time just melts away. But those experiences are not something out there. Those experiences are happening right here, right now, and such. So this word purpose, I think we need to untangle it from something kind of ineffably in the future and have it that maybe one’s purpose, maybe the significance of life is just being completely immersed in your work and in connection right here.
Kimberly: 01:05:25 Well, and that’s in complete alignment with what Yogananda would say, which is your purpose is to fully embody the true self That’s it. Every moment being here. And then secondarily, he talks about service life should chiefly be service, which could be embodying presence, embodying kindness, embodying love. Not this western idea of the achievements, but right here, this purpose of this moment. How present are we?
Jeff: 01:05:54 Yeah. What could be more philanthropic, particularly in this moment of human history, in the attention persuasion economy in which your attention is being vied for by every ping and dinging and marketer and product. What could be more philanthropic than giving someone the presence of your presence? That’s it. And I think if there’s anything that we can do moment to moment to enhance our lives is be present with the people around you.
Kimberly: 01:06:33 Beautiful. And then that will really change your life and everyone’s lives.
Jeff: 01:06:39 The purpose that the goodies become sort of self-evident when you do that. They just appear
Kimberly: 01:06:47 The things we’re looking for, the love, the connection, all the things we think, money you’re going to give us the bs, fame, all this stuff is really here. Connection
Jeff: 01:06:57 Heart. You can’t be happy in the future.
Kimberly: 01:06:59 That’s right.
Jeff: 01:07:02 Happiness is, what do they say the province of the ever. Now, you can’t be happy in the future.
Kimberly: 01:07:09 Wise words. That’s the quote for Jeff Krasno, thank you so much for being with us today, for sharing your heart and your wisdom, and there’s so much we could keep talking about. I’m sure I come back on anytime we’re neighbors.
Jeff: 01:07:23 Yeah. I so enjoy being with you, Kimberly. I always have. We’ve always had a very, our repartee is very special connection. I feel like I’m fencing, but in the best way. It’s just like Chacha
Kimberly: 01:07:39 Next time. I love to do a show actually about the Dao would be really cool.
Jeff: 01:07:43 No, that’d be great. Yeah.
Kimberly: 01:07:45 Amazing. Thank you so much, Jeff.
Kimberly: Alright, loves. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Jeff as much as I enjoyed talking to him. As always, please be sure to check out the show notes for more information on Jeff, including his website, one commune.com. You’ll also find the course in there that we did together called Beauty Inside Out, and be sure to check out the place where you can submit questions for our q and a show, other podcasts you think we would enjoy, which we’ll link to. So many articles are on there, amazing plant-based recipes, all properly food combined and elixirs and much, much more. We will be back here Thursday for our next q and a show, so till then, sending you so much love. Namaste.