Hello, Numerologist fans. Welcome back to another episode of the Numerologist Podcast with me, Rose. Now, if you don’t recognize today’s guest’s name, I’m willing to bet that you’ve probably heard his voice, especially if you’ve ever listened to a guided meditation on YouTube.

Jason Stephenson is the creator of one of the most popular meditation channels on YouTube. His sleep meditation music channel has nearly 2 million subscribers and his videos have nearly half a billion views. Jason’s passion for helping people sleep better, reduce anxiety, and release self-doubt are major themes of his videos, and I’m so delighted to chat to him today. Please join me in welcoming Jason to the podcast.

Listen below or on your favorite platform…

   

Here’s what we discuss:

  • Why meditation is so important
  • How you can meditate (even if you’re bad at it!)
  • Your questions answered

Show Links

  • Your Free Numerology Report – video.numerologist.com
  • Jason’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ILoveJuicyShow
  • Get Jason’s Free Meditation: www.jasonstephenson.net

 

 


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Full Transcript

Rose:                                   Now you’ve amassed sort of nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers, and you’re really well known in the sleep meditation realms and you’ve actually guided me to sleep a fair few times. So I just wanted to get an understanding about how you actually got into this. Where did it all start for you?

Jason Stephenson…:          Oh, well, that’s such a huge question. Well, I guess two components to that, Rose, the first one being that when did meditation come into my life. And, basically, it really sort of got… I got deeper into it probably about 15, 17 years ago now, and I signed up for a 10-day Buddhist monastic retreat and it was a strict monastic retreat, no talking for 10 days, two meals a day, hair shaved off, robes, the full works. And that, that was a pivotal point, a life-changing, one of those life-changing moments because at the time I’d come out of abusing alcohol and drugs and my life was a little bit of a mess. I went into that, and so there was a lot of stuff I had to deal with, a lot of crap that was coming to the surface.

And so I found that that meditation retreat helped me no end, literally changed me within those 10 days. I didn’t go back into meditation, but just sort of spasmodically, but it wasn’t until it was almost like this calling. I started a YouTube channel to help promote a website that I was building. And I had no idea. I put up one guided meditation for children and I put up a relaxation music track, and then nothing happened for six months, eight months and I didn’t think much of it. And then all of a sudden, one video took off. And then I realized, people said, “Oh, do you do meditation for adults?” And I said, “Well, no, but why not? Let’s give this a go.” And that’s how it kind of all began. And it just over the last 10 years, it’s just snowballing.

Rose:                                   What took you down and doing meditation for kids as a first look into YouTube?

Jason Stephenson…:          Yeah. Good question that one. I think because of my rough time. I really wanted to bring it home to kids to believe in themselves from a young age and to not be swayed by what happens outside, what names we’re called, and what goes on. I was bullied a bit at school and it had an effect on my self-esteem, and things just sort of got messy. So I really wanted to get into the kids’ minds so I did these I am affirmations in word and song for children so that they’ve got a greater chance of belief in themselves to kick their lives off. That was my reasoning behind all of that.

Rose:                                   Well, that’s a good reason as ever, isn’t it? That’s a really beautiful way to go. Now, how important is that… I’m kind of going into a bit of a tangent here, but how important is that self-belief in children and in adults?

Jason Stephenso…:          Oh my goodness. It’s really so important. It’s pivotal to all different aspects of our lives and whether that be relationships, and financial, and career, and health, if we don’t have that belief, well, number one, we can go off the rails and then we’ve got nothing because I went off the rails into poor, poor health. I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2005. And it’s because of not looking after myself, and not caring for myself, and for other people. And so, my life just spiraled out of control. And if we don’t care for ourselves, if we don’t have that self-belief in ourselves, then our lives are open to crash and burn in all different ways.

Rose:                                   So let’s talk about how important meditation is in that whole realm, in that self-belief, in looking after ourselves. Can you tell me about how meditation, I suppose, helped you and then how it sort of helps us on a greater level in a general sense?

Jason Stephenso…:          Yeah. Meditation helped me enormously. I ended up going through a period of time where I was suffering anxiety. I didn’t even know what anxiety was and panic attacks and never had anything like this before. And so I was seeing a counselor at the time and she said to me, “Have you heard of meditation?” I said, “Yes, I have.” I remember connecting with it at first when I was 16. My mum took me to a meditation class and it lit something inside me. So it always stayed with me, the benefits of that peace that I felt after that class. And so, what this meditation practice done and the use of affirmations, using affirmations as a mantra whilst I was meditating helped me to connect to my breathing, which was so important, especially during anxiety and panic attacks which sometimes I would get anywhere out in the street.

And then I would just go over in my mind, “Okay. Stop. Breathe. Let’s just breathe. Just taking in those slow breaths.” And it was almost like a meditation on the go wherever I was if I had those panic attacks in the street, trying to get back to my car. Just stop and breathe. And it would help me through those really difficult times, so and ended up becoming a part of my life probably after 2005, 2006, 2007, I began to do it on a regular basis. I began to use it as a part of my routine. And it was like a… I guess it was like a part of… Well, it was self-love for myself. It was giving myself time to connect, to ground myself. And then, so guess what happened? Anxiety and panic attacks stopped. All just began to fade away.

And I’ve never had one of those in 16, 17 years now, and don’t intend to have another one because I’m looking after myself now.

Rose:                                   That’s amazing.

Jason Stephenso…:          So, on the greater whole, meditation is so important and so important for professionals as well because, as you may know, I’m a CEO myself and so I’m busy. There’s lots of projects on the go. And it’s very important for me to maintain this state of equilibrium, and meditation does that. It gives us this opportunity to ground ourselves each morning and each night before sleep, which is another beautiful time that meditation helps people because we can begin to let go of the day, that we don’t carry it to bed with us. We can just go, “Okay, here I am right now in bed, and it’s time to release. It’s time to let go of all that stuff that I’ve been carrying with me today.” Yeah.

Rose:                                   Absolutely. From what you just said there, it actually it brings me to my next question, but it kind of involves what I was actually going to ask you. My question was all about how to meditate because we often think to ourselves, “Okay, we know what meditation is,” but do we really know what meditation is? Do we really know how to meditate? And from what you’ve just said there, this seems like there’s two ways to do that. There’s the sit down and the traditional grounding yourself. But there’s those daily techniques and tactics that you can take with you throughout your day, isn’t there?

Jason Stephenso…:          Yes. Yes. Well, the one that I normally focus on is the one that I know best, and that I use is mindfulness meditation. And the beauty of mindfulness meditation is you can have your… I think Jon Kabat-Zinn, who brought mindfulness to the West, he talks about having your formal practice of meditation, of sitting. And that’s very important to have the… And even if it’s 5 minutes a day, 5 or 10 minutes a day of just sitting and focusing on the breath. And so every time the mind is wandering, which it does and it’s perfectly okay, that’s normal, many people want to give up meditation because they say, “Oh, I can’t meditate. My mind’s been going crazy. It doesn’t silence.” And I say, “That’s perfect. That means you’re doing meditation well,” because what you’re doing is you’re recognizing your thoughts are going crazy and they’re going crazy all the time.

But when we begin to be aware of them and we just allow them to be, we allow them to come and go. We put out that welcome mat for the thoughts. Our only job then is to recognize the thought, to acknowledge the thought, and just go, “Yeah, there’s a thought. There’s one there,” and then just to simply return our focus to our breath again, and again, and again. And when we practice that, when we practice that sitting in mindfulness, what then begins to happen is it begins to then spill over into all our areas of our lives so we can be mindful anywhere. We can be walking down, we can be waiting at the bank, and then just instead of zoning out, tuning out, we can tune in. We can just go, “Okay, I’m here now.” You might be getting angry or frustrated, recognize that, and then just begin to shift your focus to your breathing and let that go.

We don’t need to hold on to that. We’re just beginning to add mindfulness as a part of our life wherever we are. We’re taking in so much more. We can see things that we haven’t seen before. And quite often, many people probably aware of this that when we travel from point A to point B in the car, and we’ve done it so many times, and we go on autopilot, and we often just have no idea of what just happened between point A and point B. We arrive at point B and we’re like, “Oh, we’re here.” We’ve missed our entire journey through mindlessness, but if we can just be mindful. Maybe take another route. Just take a different route for a change or see things that you haven’t seen before. And that’s the beauty of mindfulness because what are we doing?

We’re living life 100% instead of 50 or 60%. And I get it. I’m not saying that we can be mindful all the time. That’s an impossibility. We can’t. We’re not a Zen monk that’s been practicing this for years and years and years on a mountain. Right? We’re living our lives. But we can just begin to… Even if we capture 5% more of our lives, just 5% tuning in more to ourselves, to others, we can begin to listen more intently so it helps to heal relationships because you begin to give more. You’re present more.

Rose:                                   Absolutely. And I think that’s a really important point because we are all getting busier and busier every day. The thoughts in our minds are just running a hundred miles an hour and it actually brings me to a question that we got from our audience. I was going to leave these till the end, but this kind of brought it up. One of them asked, “What can I do if I’m bad at meditating?” And that’s kind of brings me to what you were just saying. So what would you say to that person?

Jason Stephenso…:          Oh, I’d just say, “Here’s the thing. If you are meditating, then it’s not bad. That’s your belief. You’re not wrong. You’re actually, you’re beautifully right. You are doing the most… You are giving yourself the most beautiful gift that is simply that bad at meditating is an absolute, it’s like a myth.” So whoever you are, can I just say that keep meditating and just, even if it’s that five minutes and there’s no bad. Can I tell you something? I’ve been doing meditation for years now, certainly the last 10 years, quite on a regular process. I can still go into a meditation session where for 15 minutes there’s constant thoughts. But here’s the deal. The only deal, the difference is, is I don’t see that as bad. And I recognize that okay, today there a lot of thoughts and that’s okay. Right where I’m at, it’s perfectly okay. And if you can just accept that to you and say that to yourself that wow, a lot of thoughts going on there, and that’s okay because that’s where I’m at now. And that’s perfect.

Rose:                                   That’s a really great message, and it just proves that it’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

Jason Stephenso…:          Yes. Yes.

Rose:                                   Absolutely. Now, I’m just going to go back to your YouTube channel because you actually release a new video every week. And I want to know how you come up with so much content and what’s your process for sort of delivering a new meditation each week?

Jason Stephenso…:          Yes. I’m lucky now. I have a team of people. Before it was not so that way. I tell you how it all begins is I first come up with the concepts and so I begin. I outline concept after… I might spend a day working on concepts of five meditations in a row. So I get those out all clear. I now send them off to a beautiful lady that’s been working with me probably now for three or four years. She’s a very clever, intelligent, and a writer who seems to know my soul now. When I give her a concept and when she sends back the… her words, it’s almost like she has tapped into my mind now and she’s writing the exact words. So when I speak now, it’s like it’s now happening. It’s from my soul.

It’s like we’re both sort of connected somehow together. So, that’s how it all starts. The writing starts first. Then I come up with the concept of the video and now I’m very fortunate now to have editors that even edit out my mistakes. And that took me a while, I’m going to tell you, that took me a while to hand that over because I felt there’s a part of when you make mistakes on recordings and you think, “Oh, I don’t want people to hear that.” And so it took me a while letting go of the ego and to say, “Okay. Hand it over. It’s okay.”

Rose:                                   Yeah, absolutely. And before the call, you were actually telling me that you’ve been working on a really big project for about a year now. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Jason Stephenso…:          Yeah. We’ve been working on this project probably since February last year, and it was meant to be launched last year. But these things take time, and they take a lot of time and especially when you’re building from scratch, and it involves meditation. It involves and getting to sleep but with an empowered mind because people are having trouble sleeping. But also, what we decided with this project is to empower the mind before sleep and upon awakening. And so this is a project that it will be launched very, very soon, a online project. And so, we’re inviting anyone that if you want to come along for the ride, we’ll be announcing it, I’ll be announcing it on my emails. And if anyone’s interested, you can sign up for that. You just go to www.jasonstephenson.net, and basically, just sign up and we offer a free guided sleep meditation first. But we’ll be launching this in about one month’s time. So, very excited to offer this out to the world.

Rose:                                   It sounds very exciting. And I’ll put the link in the show notes so make sure you go and check that out.

Jason Stephenso…:          Thank you.

Rose:                                   So let’s talk about sleep a bit more because from your YouTube channel and from, obviously, this big project you’ve been talking about, sleep is a very important part of the whole meditation game. Can you tell me a bit more about how meditation helps people go to sleep, stays asleep, and wake up refreshed?

Jason Stephenso…:          So, here’s what happened. When I was doing the YouTube meditations, I wasn’t focusing on meditations before sleep, initially. I was focusing on meditations for so many different things, but what was coming back is I found that people were meditating before sleep, and then they were saying to me, “Wow. You’re not going to believe this. I haven’t slept properly for days, and your meditation helped me to sleep.” And that’s when I realized, I thought, “My goodness. There seems to be this huge calling out there that people are having trouble sleeping. And so this is maybe something I can do.” I use this and I need this myself, meditation before. This is when I meditate. I meditate in the mornings as well, but my main meditation time is prior to sleep because what goes on is we take the whole day with us.

We tend to carry all our past thoughts and past events with us. And even, of course, if we’ve got concerns of tomorrow or thoughts of anxiousness coming up about a particular event in the future, we’re taking that to sleep with us as well. And this is why people are having trouble sleeping is because there’s so much on our minds. And another point, I guess, is here is the fact that we are using our phones which have the blue screens this emit this light that it takes away sleep from us. It’s literally killing off our melatonin as we’re watching these screens. And people find that scrolling on the phone before sleep is a great way to calm themselves down. It actually works in the reverse because just looking at that screen, it’s sending signals to the brain to stay awake, and sometimes even bringing cortisol, the stress hormone it’s sometimes called, into our bloodstream and into our body.

And so it’s keeping us awake. It’s working in the reverse. So, of course, if you’re listening to my meditation on the phone, just turn your phone down. Don’t [inaudible] the screen, right.

Rose:                                   Good tip.

Jason Stephenso…:          But that’s what’s happening. We’re carrying so much with us. And meditation is a beautiful way to go to sleep and just to let go and to be present. And what you find is if you’re focusing on your breathing whilst you begin to go to sleep and just keep drawing it back, just keep drawing it back, drawing it back to the breath, no matter where the thoughts are, eventually you get to places where there’s moments, and it might only be moments, but there’s just moments of no thought until you then think, “Oh, I’ve just had no thoughts.” Then you’re thinking again, but they’re beautiful spaces to be at. And they can increase as the more we meditate.

Rose:                                   Absolutely. And it has a knock-on effect, doesn’t it, that good sleep has a knock-on effect of making you feel good throughout the day, which breeds good sleep the next night as well.

Jason Stephenso…:          Absolutely. Absolutely. And, of course, yes, and if we don’t have those good sleeps, then yes, the knock-on effect it works in the reverse. So you might be cranky during the day, and you haven’t got the energy, and you can’t focus and concentrate. But yeah, wake up with that great sleep and you can even do even before you go to sleep and you can meditate on this is set an intention for the next day. Just take some time and set an intention. It might be just putting your hand on your heart and just saying, “Tomorrow, I’m going to walk with confidence,” or, “Tomorrow, I’m going into that meeting, and I’m going to give love to all those people that listen to me.” Or if we just set an intention, we’ll be so amazed at the power of that and the vibration that that sets up for our next day.

Rose:                                   Yeah. And that sort of reminds me that it’s all about small steps, isn’t it? You don’t have to say, “Okay, I’m going to meditate now and I have to commit to an hour a day,” and that kind of thing. It’s just the small things that really count.

Jason Stephenso…:          Yes, yes. Yeah. Absolutely. If you please, that’s the thing. Even if you haven’t done much of it before, start with one minute, and then go up to two minutes the next day, then three minutes the next day, and get to five minutes and stay on that for a while, then move up to 10 minutes. That’s the whole thing, we sometimes think, “Oh, meditation. Oh, I haven’t got time for that.” We use that as an excuse. We can sit there for five minutes, just five minutes earlier we get up, or five minutes before bed, we sit up in bed and just be. Can I just say sometimes drop the word meditation because sometimes meditation brings up these connotations that we have to be something or we have to achieve something, whereas if we just say, “Okay. I’m just going to sit here right now and just be, just be where I’m at, just myself and my breath,” and we let go of all expectations and all outcomes, and that can be quite peaceful too.

Rose:                                   Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great point because you’re right. Meditation does bring about this thought that it’s a process that somebody has to go through. And, again, it’s that commitment, but reframing it, and again, it’s about perspective. So yeah. I love that way of thinking about it.

Jason Stephenso…:          Yes. Yes.

Rose:                                   Now, what we’re going to do is we got a few questions from our community and we have touched on a few of the topics that they’ve talked about, but I’m going to ask them to you anyway. So let’s have a look. The first question that we got was do I need any tools to effectively meditate?

Jason Stephenso…:          There a few tools. You don’t need any tools, but there are a few tools that you might want to choose. And one, being in particular, if you haven’t got a place to sit, you can sit in an upright chair, of course. You can sit any way, and you can even lie down. I use a meditation cushion and it’s like a flat little, quite a firm cushion, and so it lifts your bum off the ground and you can sit there cross-legged. You don’t have to be in the Lotus position, but it just makes things easier. So a meditation cushion is great. But, honestly, you don’t need any tools. You can do it in silence. You can use guided meditations online if you choose, which sometimes can be good when we’re beginning.

Rose:                                   Yeah. And actually, I do have a question about beginners and meditating. So the question is I’ve never meditate. Where should I begin? I’ve never meditated, sorry. Where should I begin?

Jason Stephenso…:          I would probably suggest a guided meditation to begin with online. And there are, literally, there’s millions of meditations.

Rose:                                   And we’ll link to your YouTube channel there, Jason, as well.

Jason Stephenso…:          You can check out my channel. And I actually have, there’s one that I have called a beginner’s meditation, and it’s 15 minutes, I believe, guided. And that one is just a general rundown and it’s a beautiful, straightforward meditation. Might be a great place to start.

Rose:                                   Yeah, that’s a great tip. The next question is sometimes I feel anxious during the day, but I’m so busy. What can I do to feel better quickly?

Jason Stephenso…:          I can recommend that at these points in time is if you catch yourself in those moments, discipline yourself to say, “Right now, I’m just going to focus on my breath.” If you can get away from the particular situation and just find a quiet corner, even better. But I recognize that sometimes we can’t and that is where breathing, and deep breathing, especially if we’re really beginning to feel anxious, and breathing in through the nose and sending that breath down to the deep down to the diaphragm, to the belly area helps, and blowing it out, blowing the initial breaths out, really releasing it. So breathing in, just say, “Peace,” letting go of tension. And you can use that anywhere. Anywhere.

Rose:                                   Yeah. And from personal experience, I know that breathwork is so powerful. I had a baby last year and I used meditation, and breathwork, and hypnobirthing to actually go into labor and that kind of thing. And it was so, so powerful and profound, and I learned a whole new way of breathing because it’s not just normal breathing the way you think, is it?

Jason Stephenso…:          That’s right. That’s right. And I guess I was blessed to learn a lot of… I learned diaphragmatic breathing. I used to sing for many, many, many years. And so I sort of kind of… But it’s a natural process of breathing. It’s how we breathe as babies. You see the baby’s little stomach rise and fall. But we lose that along the way, and especially when we’re carrying stress and tension, we tend to breathe shallow from the shoulders. The chest and shoulders move. But if we can just be aware of that and send that breath all the way down and then bring it back up, that will help, really.

Rose:                                   Absolutely. Now, this question’s about physical health because we’ve talked a lot about mental health and anxiety and those kinds of things. Can meditation help me lose weight and with other physical health aspects too?

Jason Stephenson…:          I think it can be a component to weight loss. This comes back in, we can commit this to sleep in a way as well because if we’re not getting good sleep, then we have the potential to put on weight. Our body just goes into dysfunction mode. So, in some aspects, if we meditate before bed, if we sleep better, then it helps with lots of things about in regards to weight. Also, I actually have a weight-loss meditation, so it has affirmations in it so because it’s a mindset. A lot of it’s to do with the mind. Now, in regards to exercise, absolutely we need that physical exercise as well. And I’m only saying this because I’ve recently fallen off the wagon in regards to getting exercise again. And now I’m beginning again, and I’m getting the benefits again. I’m feeling the benefits of being more alive and energized and so, meditation is a component that we can use, amongst other things. I hope that helps.

Rose:                                   Yeah, absolutely. And it’s interesting you mention about exercise there as well because there are a lot of sort of… I haven’t got a specific question from a specific person, but there was a lot of questions around exercise and meditation and specifically, yoga. Do you work with yoga at all or you got any tips for people who are doing yoga and want to combine it with meditation?

Jason Stephenso…:          Oh, I just say, “If you’re doing yoga, keep doing it,” because I’ve done yoga on and off, and on and off, and right now I’m living in a small country town. There’s no sort of lessons out here, although online of course we’ve got, there’s so many people. I can recommend someone if I may. I know Yoga With Adriene is on YouTube and what a beautiful soul, and a beautiful way she has to help us with yoga. I know that every time I’ve done yoga, when I’ve done it, it’s been amazing. It’s something that I’m going to pick up again, I’m sure. Yes.

Rose:                                   Absolutely. Well, yeah. And it forces you to kind of do that breathwork as well, doesn’t it? And I think the whole practice is that relaxing and almost meditative state anyway. I think, and this is probably something that you can probably tell me about because we were talking before about professionals and how important meditation is for professionals. And I think more and more meditation is becoming less of a… I suppose it’s got less stereotypes about it now. I suppose yoga is something that is more of an accepted form of meditation for those who don’t specifically want to say that they’re doing meditation. What do you think?

Jason Stephenso…:          There’s truth in that.

Rose:                                   Yeah.

Jason Stephenso…:          Absolutely. It’s like yoga is, I guess, a lot more mainstream and a lot more yoga classes are happening out there in the world, whereas meditation groups are not as… Although I’m sure things are beginning to change now. And I think even mindfulness has coming into schools now, which is a beautiful thing. When I hear that, I just go, “Oh, wow. That is so beautiful.”

Rose:                                   Absolutely.

Jason Stephenso…:          So yeah. I think things are just beginning to change now with the meditation concept and especially for professionals. I mean, companies like Google are bringing… I’ve done a few talks with Google and they’re bringing meditation into their employees. So, it’s reaching far and wide.

Rose:                                   Absolutely. That’s great. What else? What other questions do we have? How often should I meditate?

Jason Stephenso…:          If you can do it, I say to do it daily. But one thing I want to make very clear here is that if you don’t do it for a particular day, or two days, or three days, please don’t beat yourself up about it. That’s a meditation within itself, not to beat yourself up about it, just to be aware of that. And if there’s any anxiousness that comes up like, “Oh,” or upset that you haven’t meditated, be aware of that. Turn that into the meditation itself because I’ve fallen off the cart many times over the years, and I’m aware of that and that’s okay when I don’t do the meditation on that particular day and I just go, “Okay, there we go. That’s okay. We’ll start again tomorrow.” I say to do it, if you can do it twice a day, all the better, but if you can do it once a day, 5 minutes, 10 minutes a day. You are setting yourself up for so much more presence and you’re giving yourself a beautiful gift. Just once a day.

Rose:                                   Well, I think that’s a nice place to end, Jason. Thank you so much for joining me and, like I say, I’ll put a link to your YouTube channel and also to your free guided sleep meditation that people can access and wait for your exciting announcement to come along. So thank you.

Jason Stephenso…:          Thank you.

Rose:                                   Thank you once again.

Jason Stephenso…:          Thank you, Rose.

 

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