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S3 E3 – Managing Through Self-Doubt with Erin Evans

JP August 24, 2021

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This week in The Biz Dojo, we’re joined by Erin Evans – yogi, coach, podcaster and super-mom.

We chat about self-doubt, the concept of “purpose over passion”, and how we often undermine our own excellence and power through self-doubt. We also go deep on the influence of rap, and our own coaching styles (as well as why “niches are for quiches”)


people, aaron, podcast, life, purpose, beginner, listening, dojo, mind, seth, mom, coach, thought, person, parents, accident, conversation, moment, jp, feel


Voiceover, Erin Evans, JP Gaston, Seth Anderson

JP Gaston  00:00

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Voiceover  00:46

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JP Gaston  01:14

So a couple weeks ago, Declan just playing around, we were running around, and then we stop, no, no more playing like that. No more roughhousing. No more, he’s standing at the back door. Just stand in there. See something he wants takes one step goes down chipped tooth, like a really bad chip

Seth Anderson  01:34

that happened to wind in when he was about that age. Not It was a bathtub incident. But that that’s, that’s a significant trauma for a young lad. Well, and

JP Gaston  01:43

it happened to my sister too. That’s weird. There’s so much chip to thing around me tooth chipping tooth chipping, do you think, there we go. He’s missing like half his teeth. Like it was a good, it was not like a little, you know, corner piece or anything like he took a chunk. And we get referred. And we had to remove the teeth. In the conversation that we had, I found that I really wasn’t, I really wasn’t listening to my wife about about what what were what we need to do with the teeth removal because there’s some choices that we have to make as far as like, drugs, and you know, those sorts of things. Just he’s got to be a little bit looped for it, or he’s gonna remember it all those sorts of things. And I had, like, in my head, I had already made my decision about what was good and what wasn’t my wife being a science teacher, you know, has her own thoughts and opinions. But I found that I wasn’t, I wasn’t really listening. And so we ended the conversation, you know, naturally ended the conversation, I walked away and I reflected on it. And I realized I was like I was not giving that the attention that I needed to give it. I wasn’t really hearing what my wife was saying I wasn’t I just had made my assumptions and and off I went so I opened the conversation again. We had a really good chat and actually changed my opinion on what we need to what we need to do for his for his teeth in the drug induction. Papoose cocoon that they put babies in when they’re doing this sort of thing, which is really weird. could probably be a whole episode on its own if we explored that, but

Seth Anderson  03:24

I, we’ve had a lot of dental stuff over the years. So we could have a whole episode on it.

JP Gaston  03:31

But it may have just made me realize, like, I often practice the things we talk about when it comes to listening and leaving space and the importance of like, dead air for a podcast not so great. For for a conversation, especially those sorts of conversations really important. And I, as much as I practice it regularly, in that moment, I found that I didn’t, and going back and having the conversation just like it really meant so much. It helped us get to what we wanted to do it just it really opened the door. And it was a it was a moment of clarity for me for sure.

Seth Anderson  04:12

Yeah, that’s a great story. And I think resonates with me on multiple fronts,

JP Gaston  04:18

not just the tooth friends,

Seth Anderson  04:19

not just the tooth front. I do think I do think there’s a there’s a connection to how we show up. And then, you know, in terms of presence, like are you fully present and what does that even mean? Right? Because, you know, that can easily become one of those buzzwords like Oh, be present all the time. And that’s an exceedingly difficult thing to do. In today’s world, right when multitasking thinking about something else your phone buzzes stuff phone.

JP Gaston  04:48

Yeah, that literally is intended to interrupt whatever you’re doing during the day with buzzing Exactly. So

Seth Anderson  04:53

you know, having totally uninterrupted conversation. Somebody has become this like unicorn almost. That’s, that’s how we show up, I guess for the podcast every time like, there’s no interruptions, there’s no looking at your phone, there’s no like that we have this, I’m gonna say it’s like an unspoken team norms, as it were. And you know, when we’re recording when we’re planning when we’re doing, we’re all in like, we’re fully present, and we’re doing it. And I think, you know, when you think about this episode, that that we’re enjoying right now with Aaron, we talked a lot about communication, both the verbal side, which obviously everyone’s familiar with, but also some of the nonverbal cues are some of the some of the things that come up, that we project that we don’t even realize that maybe that we’re projecting, or that we’re putting out in the world, based on previous habits, you know, whatever. And I think, you know, what your story reminds me of, is just, when you’re in those situations where there’s a lot going on a trauma, or an injury, or something that’s happened to your child, you can kind of jump to sort of fight or flight and you’re like, already make up your mind. And to ground yourself and, and, and breathe and be open to new information and, and have that two way dialogue with your wife, the doctor, etc. can be a really difficult thing to actually do in the moment.

JP Gaston  06:22

what’s crazy is his appointments, not for like a month, like the doctor is clearly not concerned about it short term, like it’s gonna be fine. He’s had it for a couple of weeks at this point. So why was my brain so quick to make a decision that’s like, hey, this has got to, you know, in the next five minutes, we have to have a decision. This is the world’s going to explode if you don’t have your mind made up. Like, it’s, it’s crazy how quickly we make up our mind about things that in the moment don’t like the decision doesn’t need to be made right now.

Seth Anderson  06:52

Yeah, and what goes into that decision making process and never reminds me of this concept. It’s not really a concept, I guess, but the reaction versus response, because an event like that will trigger a reaction. And that’ll be, you know, based on your experiences, your biases, your you know, all that stuff, kind of you will automatically come up with a reaction. But then how do you take a step back, take a breath before you come up with your response. Because if your reaction informs your response, I think you end up in the position that you were just talking about versus sort of taking a step back, getting as much information as you can. And to your point, like you got five weeks to come up with that what why are you so quick to just boom, I need to make a decision right now

JP Gaston  07:37

well, and look like I think our listeners know this, I spend a lot of time thinking on writing about discovering bias, the psychology behind the decisions, we make the psychology of leadership, like that’s totally my jam. And yet there I was, in the moment, impacted by all of those things that I constantly tried to overcome and help others overcome. And it was just, it all came together for me like, you know, 10 minutes later, after I had made that decision that needed to be made in the next five minutes. 10 minutes later, I really sat back and thought about it. And it just, it’s crazy how quickly our mind makes decisions, and how hard it is for us to overcome those decisions and to just sit back and listen to others and let that decision be changed. For you know, often for the better. But the information from others that we receive in those moments of just listening can really help you make a better decision for yourself or, in this case for others.

Seth Anderson  08:38

So I think again, if you’re willing, maybe take a moment and reflect on the last time you changed your mind. What information Did you receive or what mind state were you in that you were willing to receive new information and actually change your mind? Welcome to The Biz Dojo This week, we’re joined by Aaron Evans. Aaron, welcome to the dojo. Thank you so much for having me. Oh, we’re super excited to have you. For folks at home. Aaron, you run a yoga practice out of Banff. You’re also a podcaster a mom, all kinds of amazing things that you’re up to but just curious, how would you introduce yourself? What? What are the top of mind things that you would share with our listeners?

Erin Evans  09:39

Okay, I would say I am 50% Yogi. I’d say I’m a 20% prairie girl. I’d say I’m 20% 30 rap music and I would say I’m a 10% coach for folks that want to get after life and go bigger. I don’t know if that’s up to 100 but

Seth Anderson  09:59

close enough I was not expecting the dirty rap music but i’m uh that resonates with me that’s that’s very much at least 10% of my life as

JP Gaston  10:06

well, this interview may go a totally different direction now that Seth has that knowledge.

Seth Anderson  10:12

So, you know, I know that you’ve been in the podcast game, I think pretty much the same amount of time that we’ve been in it. What inspired you to go down that road, as you know, one of the platforms or avenues for you to you know, share your your yoga journey, your coaching, just curious, what got you into that. And for folks at home, that’s actually how I came across you, as you were a guest on a fellow Calgary podcast, the second app pack podcast, and then sort of stumbled on your podcast, and I was really inspired by some of your stuff. So just kind of starting out there. What What inspired you to, to start podcasting.

Erin Evans  10:45

So I think I am a deep thinker. I love to pontificate on what’s happening in the world, and where people are at with their mental health, where they feel stuck. What inspires them, and I run yoga, teacher training. So I speak a lot for a living, and I love to speak. And I’m motivated to create a ripple of change in the world through casting spells with our words, I find there are so many people near to me that are really inspiring. And yeah, I wanted the world to see what was happening in my community,

Seth Anderson  11:22

what have you learned about yourself on that leg of your journey? Because you know, like you said, You’re a coach, you’re a yogi, you’re used to speaking a whole lot, you know, when you throw a mic up in front of yourself for that first few times, and you have to start kind of delivering that content or putting that content out in the world. I know for me and JP it was it sounds a lot easier than then maybe it was what have you learned about yourself as you’ve kind of dove into that whole space,

Erin Evans  11:46

that my impulsivity might be my greatest gift? Because I’m wasn’t concerned about perfectionism. Whereas a lot of my guests would come on and say, could you edit that out and change that? And could we shoot it again, and it’s not about perfectionism, it’s about action. And I look back on some of the podcasts I did, and they’re kind of embarrassing, but it’s still me. And that was me. Six months ago, a year ago,

JP Gaston  12:14

it’s funny how your quality standards change, like you start out, and you’re just so excited to get podcasting. And then you get into season three. And you really start, you really start thinking about those polished edges.

Erin Evans  12:27

Absolutely. And to ask good questions that get people on guarded immediately, because for a lot of my guests, they’re talking about losing 100 pounds, losing the use of their legs, this is a really intimate, vulnerable things. So I want them to feel safe with me immediately. So we can go deep. And I’ve definitely missed the mark. And I’m maybe I’m getting better at creating a safe space for people to go deep quickly.

JP Gaston  12:57

Do you find that now that you’ve been doing the podcast and you’ve had that level of communication with people? Do you find that it’s transferred into your yoga practice at all? Where you’re helping people open up there as well?

Erin Evans  13:08

That’s a really good question. I believe that it is allowing me to touch lives beyond a physical form. So I’m I’m able to enter different realms of my community, but I don’t know if it’s impacted what I do on the mat or in the studio.

Seth Anderson  13:26

But I think you know, the concept we’re touching on there around creating safe spaces is really something that I’m, I’m gonna say fascinated with or really been tapping into over the last little while. Is there any secret sauce that you’ve uncovered in terms of, you know, the the method or the tangible how you create those safe spaces, whether it be podcasts, yoga studio, at home, whatever Do you have you figured out from from your perspective, or what works for you in terms of creating those safe spaces?

Erin Evans  13:56

Yes, immediately, I leave my stuff at the door. Immediately, I leave my story, my agenda at the door. I allow this person to be the star of their show. And I immediately want them to know that I’ve got their back. And I’ve done that my entire life, whether it’s a stranger at the grocery store, or a new kid at school that just arrived but it’s like unclogging my heart from feeling insecure, or are they judging me so that I can actually meet them heart to heart? I think it’s through eye contact. I think it’s through the way you use intonation in the voice. But I think it’s just a genuine deep love for the person in front of me.

JP Gaston  14:45

In recent podcasts. You’ve talked about communication, you hit on a few, a few items there regarding communication, how much of that I guess I’ll say coaching experience is that non verbal communication from yourself and then also helping the other person understand their own nonverbal communication.

Erin Evans  15:01

Already I can read, both of you are tremendously organized, I can tell that you are beyond the level of Look at me, it’s not a fight for attention, I can tell by the way you’re dressed, I can tell by the background in your space, how you hold your body. So I know already, if you and I were doing a coaching thing, or you and I were communicating, we can talk about bigger things, because you’re above the nitty gritty mess, distraction that most folks live in. So I pick it up on the way people speak, the clothing, they wear, what their house looks like. And it’s so much beyond what we say, because so often what we say is not what we mean, I mentioned that in the podcast about this social lubricant of me saying what I think Seth wants me to say. So I think it’s just being like, hyper aware of the nonverbal communication that happens all the time, body language, eye movements,

JP Gaston  16:12

I think a lot of, especially when you talk to leaders, and I’ll say, you know, entry level mid level leaders, they communicate messages, they don’t necessarily understand the importance of the sort of nonverbal cues that happen, is there something that you do to help people see that they can read those cues or help them be able to read them?

Erin Evans  16:34

I’m big on filler words, and verbal tics. So in my when I’m teaching people to be teachers, the SOS maybes likes, you know, I don’t know, do you get it? Right? Those are the things I tried to excavate when when folks are learning how to speak, I’ll often call them out on that. space. Silence, being okay. to not know what to say immediately, I’ve already noticed, all speak and both of you take a pause, before you answer so I can tell that you’re with me. And through my coaching practice, one of the coolest things is you truly are just listening, you’re not directing or leading a conversation, you’re truly allowing the person in front of you to talk through whatever’s happening in their lives. And I used to think as a coach or a teacher, I needed to fix it, or help or give advice. And that’s actually not at all helpful.

Seth Anderson  17:40

One of the things that you’ve talked about in your podcast is, you know, through your coaching is helping people tap into their inner wisdom, which, you know, I don’t know that there’s any other way to effectively coach someone, ultimately, you can see anything you want, and someone else and but if they don’t see it for themselves, they don’t experience it, if they don’t believe it, you know, it’s gonna be pretty tough to have that manifest and anything tangible or real. On the note of communication, I think one thing I’ve noticed, through my coaching and coaching of others, is, you know, I have this habit of saying, and I’ve noticed a lot of other people say that say this, this term of Does that make sense? It was in one coaching session that I was, I was in with my coach, and I realized this need within me to seek sort of external validation. So sort of, you end up you get, you get, you get into that safe space, you get vulnerable, you open up, and then it’s like, you say something, and it’s like, oh, my God, I this person might think I’m crazy. So now I need to like, get a little bit of external validation that they don’t think I’m crazy, and that it makes sense to them. The reason I tell this story, I guess, is, you know, at some point, I realized, it doesn’t actually matter if it makes sense to them. What matters is that it makes sense to me. And if it makes sense to you, then, you know, you can kind of flip the conversation to be like, does that resonate with you? Is there something I’m missing? Like you can have a totally different conversation instead of seeking external validation? So, you know, to me that that’s a sort of an example of a I don’t know if it’s a nonverbal cue, but a way that we communicate with our subconscious or bias that we don’t even realize we’re doing and just wondering, is there anything that you experience with your clients or with yourself where you’re like, ah, like, I’m actually doing a thing that I didn’t realize I was doing. And, and, and just sort of learn from that.

Erin Evans  19:26

What I love about what you just said, is you’re paying a coach, and then you’re saying, does that make sense? Like, do you like me? Do you love me? And yet we’re paying for their services? Of course that that makes sense. Of course, they’ve got your back. Yeah. Oftentimes, people will be apologetic when they get into the weeds, or when they’re emotional. I had a client the other day say, Oh, I’m so sorry. This is depressing. And I’m I’m in for it. I let let’s move through this Martin. Marking. marks so that we can get you above it. So I know for myself to that that urge to people, please I want my coach my therapist, my doctor to like me, but why? And so that’s been a huge turning point for me is what do you want? Aaron? What do you need out of this? Because Seth, Seth wants to support you. That’s been probably the biggest thing I’ve picked up on and, and the self deprecating talk we use almost to undermine our excellence, and our power,

JP Gaston  20:34

you would never talk to someone, the way you talk to yourself is what I have learned in every coaching session I’ve ever had, either for myself or with others, is our internal voice is the worst

Erin Evans  20:46

this morning I spilt water and I was like you an idiot? What just off topic? Do you have a niche that you coach the both of you?

JP Gaston  20:58

Humans? That’s That’s it? Yeah, we’re really specific.

Seth Anderson  21:08

I actually propose that topic because to my coach, because I do feel like, you know, I’ve coached in sports, I’ve coached executives and leaders. And, you know, I do feel like if I had a niche, it’s probably with with athletes up and coming around mindset in particular. And when my coach said to me, knishes are for caches. Apparently, that’s a quote from Steve Chandler, who’s a pretty revered coach. And so that that got me thinking, like, I don’t know that I have a niche, per se. And you know, I don’t know if it’s quite as broad as JP. But I think for me, the people I want to work with are really people who are up and coming leaders who want to lead, maybe they don’t, they don’t realize that they have the, the skills or the abilities yet, and I want to help them, them find it and see it. So those are sort of my ideal clients. And it could be in sports, it could be in business, it could be in life. I’m open to anything, but it’s really just people who want to go on that self discovery journey, tap into that inner wisdom, I want to create the space for them and help them get there.

JP Gaston  22:17

Yeah, I mean, in all seriousness, it’s probably similar for me. And I think the the one thing I would add, and Seth would probably add this to as he starts thinking about it more and more right now. But people, people who are not just up and coming, but people who are stuck, because they can’t unlock that part of their brain that lets them take those next steps. I think that’s the experience that I’ve had personally is is taking the time to really sit and understand yourself to to unlock whatever is blocking you from taking that next step in leadership, if you’ve, if you’ve already done a few things along the way.

Seth Anderson  22:49

One of the things that you mentioned one of the many things you’ve mentioned in your podcast that resonated with me, Aaron, was this concept of purpose over passion. And I just wanted to kind of pick your brain on that topic a little bit more, because, you know, I think it was one of your most recent podcasts where you talked about that, and just sort of how passion, you know, can sort of ebb and flow. But if you have a purpose and like a core reason or belief for why you’re doing something, you know that that’s more powerful, and just kind of wanted to get your thoughts on that and share with our listeners, you know, where that concept comes from.

Erin Evans  23:23

passion to me is hormonal, it is enthusiastic and energetic. It is fast paced, it’s I want it now it’s this big vision of who I’m going to be. I think it can be pretty self centered. And I think with all that being said, it’s more of an adrenaline cortisol thing, where his purpose is the long game. It is focused on the other it’s focused on on changing the world through whatever you work in a flower shop, a hospital purpose is about grace and poise and it’s not attached to the result. I think passion so often is I’m doing this because I’ll get x be it fame, fortune, whatever I think purpose is a life daily on on point, the way we eat our breakfast the way we communicate with our children, the way we make love it’s moment to moment it is it’s attached to the heart. And I think in a lot of spiritual teachings, it’s like you have a right to your action, but not your actions fruit. So never act for for the fruit act for the action alone. And that’s where I’m, I’m a real big proponent of mastery. It’s not performance. That’s kind of where it all comes from is the difference between living for a performance or living for mastery is that performance is like look at me I’ve done so well. mastery is like I want to learn more. I want to be better for no other reason than to live better.

Seth Anderson  25:04

I have noticed, you know, recently, I like to ask this question to people when I start working with them, whether it’s formally or informally, you know, who are you and what do you want? And I find people get really uncomfortable with that question like, I don’t know, like, and then they start rambling, or they don’t really know what to say. And then they for they flip it back on you to kind of say, Well, what what do you what would you say? And it’s, I find it’s a really interesting dynamic. And maybe the better question now that I’m sitting here thinking about it is, you know, what is your purpose? And, and so I guess, for the listeners, and folks who maybe struggle with that question, or have never really thought about how they would answer that question, how would you describe your purpose? Aaron? Like, what? Who are you? And what do you want? Set a better way? What is your purpose in life,

Erin Evans  25:49

I want people to fall in love with themselves. I want people to feel this, like the star of their own life. I want people to feel confident, and I want them to know that I see them. And I think that is my gift. And I think that’s always been what I’m naturally inclined to do. I want people to think deeply about their actions and their habits. I want people to make an impact. And you know that I had this car accident, my son and I were really badly hurt. And it’s always been a passion of mine. But since that moment, truly life or death experiences, they change you forever. And now it’s more clear than ever, that we’re so lucky that we get breath. And if we have legs that work, we’re even luckier and yeah, I want people to really live a good life. Myself, I want to continue to grow. I want to challenge myself doubt my fear, my insecurity, I want to stop operating from the shitstorm that happened in the past. I want to be super present. I want to love hard I want to make people laugh. That’s me in a nutshell. I think

JP Gaston  27:05

that’s a that’s a pretty solid purpose.

Seth Anderson  27:07

Sounds like a good infographic. That’s that’s my, that’s my spot of the show where I bring that up.

JP Gaston  27:13

Once a show, Seth comes up with an infographic.

Seth Anderson  27:16

Yeah, I think we’ve had a couple episodes where people have just, you know, had like a 123 step of you know, how they approach something. I think most recently, the episode we recorded with Alicia and grace on, they’re both on the Canadian national team for skeleton and bobsled racing. And grace walked us through how before a race, she does the box breathing method, and sort of the three things she does to prepare to go to get in her ice missile and go 130 kilometers an hour, which is crazy. So we just kind of tried to take some of those things and and package them in a way that will resonate with our listeners and people and in an infographic. So yeah, you sharing your purpose. I think really our goal here is to inspire people. And I feel like if you can’t come up with your own version of what you just said, it doesn’t have to be anything like what you said, but your own version of your purpose and who you are. And you know why you get up in the morning, it’s pretty tough to move forward in in a meaningful way. And so if we can package that up in a way that resonates with people and helps them maybe think about something they’ve never thought of that’s that’s one of the things we want to do.

JP Gaston  28:24

And it sounds easy, but it’s not an easy task to actually come up with that. Like I’ve sat and thought about it long and hard numerous times about my own purpose. And and, you know, since Seth and I have been doing this podcast, we’ve talked about it a number of times, not only our own purposes, but you know, what is the purpose of our podcast? What is like, what are we trying to accomplish, and it is not an easy task. So actually sitting down and getting rid of the distractions and thinking about it, I believe is super important. And it really helps center you on where you want to go,

Erin Evans  28:52

and how beautiful you just start to culated the difference between path passion and purpose. Purpose is step by step day by day did that work? How did that How did that work? How can we make it better? And that’s what you’re doing on a on a sounds like a daily or a bi weekly basis that check in like, Am I aligned? Have I fallen from grace? Are we on the same page?

JP Gaston  29:15

Absolutely. And I think the other thing people have a tendency to forget is that purpose can change. It’s okay. You can you can have your purpose set and you feel like you’re heading in one direction and if you’re not heading in that direction, and you sit and think about it, it’s okay to change that purpose.

Erin Evans  29:29

All the way and we’re ever evolving right like JP Are you a parent?

JP Gaston  29:34

I am I I got sleep last night but I’m actually I’m usually a full fledged fer not getting sleep.

Erin Evans  29:42

About JP Seth, Aaron, pre children. Think about us in university High School and then now like our Dharma, our mission, our purpose it is always shifting our skills are ever shifting. I heard it once if you don’t know your your purpose, fine. Do what you’re passionate about find like six passions, and then see where they intersect crossover to try to find something that you can really dig your teeth into.

Seth Anderson  30:11

This helps me have me reflecting a little bit on pre family, Seth and post family stuff. And it’s there’s a lot to unpack there. But you also mentioned, your car accident, traumatic life experience. And one of the things we want to also do this season in particular is talking about mindset, overcoming challenges, and share with people some real stories in that vein, I know for me, you know, if I think about traumatic life events, my stepdad passed away when he was 38, in a work accident, and the result of of that event, basically shaped my entire life, and developed a lot of, I’m going to say bad habits, and maybe didn’t necessarily surround myself with the best people and, and, and sort of went down this path that led to me waking up, I’m going to say waking up one morning, but that’s that’s sort of generalizing a bit and looking in the mirror, and not even really knowing who I was what I wanted, severely overweight, you know, on the verge of divorce, we’ll call it and, you know, the only goal I ever really had in my life was to be a great dad, and just sort of this awakening that I wasn’t doing that. Because if you’re not taking care of yourself, you know, if you don’t care about yourself enough to exercise, take care of your mental health, you know, surround yourself with the right people follow your purpose, etc. It’s pretty hard to lead by example, and be a great parent. So, you know, I had this awakening and this realization that I needed to make some changes and went down that road. And then I’m just wondering, from your perspective, you have this moment where you almost die basically, with your child, I can’t imagine what goes through your head. And as you’re going through that. And then on the other side of that did what isn’t important in your life or your purpose? Did it change? Did it? Did you make a different decision on your life path from that, based on that? Or were there other factors at play at that time?

Erin Evans  32:14

First of all, I’m so glad you decided to wake up. And yeah, you know, your life could have gone a very different direction. Yeah, so the, the accident did it change me. I mean, my my reverence for life or my, my gratitude for my ability to be here right now in this body. It was it became more more clear to me that I was very fortunate. There is a shaman that I listened to. And he says there comes a point in everyone’s life where they have to fight for their life. And he calls it the predator. He says the predator wants you to play small, the predator wants you to shut down. And any it the predator shows up when you’re trying to extend the boundaries of your life. And it says, Seth, you can’t you’re not that smart. You’re kind of fat. You’re nobody likes you. Anyway, so he talks about this reverence for life, we have to fight for it. And I think my accident, I was under the impression that I had to do it all alone, that it was all on me and that I had to, you know, hustle to make my dreams come true. It was also the moment that I was in like this, this tumultuous, ridiculous relationship. And it was a big moment where I was like, Nah, that’s not working anymore. I have to cut those ties. And the angels and people that appeared after the accident, like I couldn’t walk my kids to school, I tore my hamstring. My single mom, I broke my right arm. I couldn’t make him lunch. I had a severe head trauma. He had glass in his head in his face. So I needed people like really couldn’t do it on my own. It was like the dead of winter. And so I the people that showed up and me asking for help was major. So he said you won’t wait bear again. And I was like, hell no. Hell no, that is not my reality. I refused for that to be my reality. Anyway, and so within a couple months, I was weight bearing and mostly full mobility of my arm. So yeah, it’s like it’s like use my language but fight for this body because it’s the only house you’ll ever have. And I refuse to live in a body that doesn’t let me do what I love to do.

Seth Anderson  34:38

What was harder the overcoming your personal traumas and injuries or supporting your son through his in that event?

Erin Evans  34:49

Oh my god the guilt you know, Dad guilt, it’s a thing. It’s a real live thing. I felt so guilty when they were taking me away from the accident and I was on like, a stretcher. And the I was like cross-eyed it couldn’t see that taken Mika away in an ambulance to the Children’s Hospital. And the social worker came over and I’m like, Oh, of course she’s here. She’s gonna take my kid, because I don’t deserve to be a mom. You know, like, I hit black guys, I didn’t purposely get into an accident. So the mom guilt was tremendous. But the they say in, I forget what the book is, the body heals No. Anyway, there’s a book about trauma. And it says that a child only carries trauma if the parents behave in a way that teaches them that that is traumatic. So at the hospital, they were very clear. They’re like, he needs to go back to school right away, he cracked his skull from his ear to his the tip of his head can cast stitches on his face. But his body like the jaws of life, Tim out, he had one bruise on his shoulder. So it’s, it’s crazy. The cops showed up and was like, how many fatalities and we were relatively Okay, considering what had happened. But the mom guilt was horrific for a while. But I have to say like, my ex husband was such a hero. We both treated it like it wasn’t that big of a deal. And you know, I would cry, and I would do my thing alone, and with my mom and with my therapist, and then for my son, we would play games. And we would laugh, but it’s almost bizarre because he said to me, shortly after the accident, Mom, we were spinning and flipping, and we got a second chance. And then he was, I don’t know, six at the time. And then he’d be like, Batman and Robin don’t love each other like it would it was just such a fleeting comment that he never said again, but I’m like, Oh my God, we did get a second chance. So that honestly dealing with the guilt of hurting my kid was the biggest

Seth Anderson  37:00

was it before or after that, that you went all in on being a yogi or I guess 50% as you described earlier, but when did that occur?

Erin Evans  37:12

Interestingly enough Eckhart Tolle Li, you might you probably know him, he calls it the pain body. So I was working in human resources, my parents were like, get a pension and a real job. And you know, and get a haircut and whatever. So I was working in in the real world. And I desperately wanted to be a yogi. So I was teaching a couple classes, but I knew to be what I wanted to be 10,000 hours, whatever a Master, I couldn’t be dipping my toe in the water. But I was so worried about what my parents might think that I still tried to juggle it. And then I had a scrambling accident on Mountain Parkway here in Banff. And I was sitting there broken arm broken front, two stitches, another head injury, and I was like, you get one shot. And if you really want to pursue this yoga thing, you got to do it, because you could die in that office. And there’s nothing wrong with office work. But for me, it is not my call. So that was the moment when I was like, I’m going to do this, I’m going to make way less money. And there’s no promise of of anything. But it was the ultimate faith faith in in like what I love

Seth Anderson  38:23

when you when you look back at that era, and that was making that decision and weighing all the options. And you know, considering the what your parents thought or what society might think are all the things that we’ve been conditioned to believe that we need to do IE, get a job with benefits and pension, etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. And Neil JP and I have followed that script to a tee as well. What advice would you would you have, you know, being where you are now, if you were to go back and talk to that version of Aaron, who was was going through that, that process?

Erin Evans  38:54

Aaron, you are such a badass, if anyone can do it, it’s you, you are going to stumble and you are going to encounter things that you don’t even think you can process or digest. But you got this and this is written in your bones like this. This is you. This is you.

JP Gaston  39:13

I feel like that’s a conversation a lot of people yeah, if they would take the risk, if they would take the step and try, you know, a couple of years from now they would, they would have a similar conversation with their older self or their younger self, their younger self. They would say, you know, I don’t I don’t know what your what you were so scared of that obstacle. Like, sure it was an obstacle, but you’re so much bigger and better than that.

Erin Evans  39:37

And that’s, I think what I mean about 30% like 30 rap music is I love like, let’s say Nicki Minaj and she’s just like, I’m the queen and I make all the money and you all bow down to me and not that it’s like that, but it’s this confidence. And it’s not about being the best, but it’s like you should try to do what you love. If you love it, and you’re are willing to be purposeful and put the time in and one foot next foot. I’m yet to encounter something that’s not possible

Seth Anderson  40:08

to this is where we connect JP, I think on the first podcast we ever did. We talked about people who inspired us. And I mentioned little Wayne, because it was there’s a few reasons but one of the reasons is he gets in the booth and he just freestyles everything. He never writes down a lyric. And I just not that all of his content, or all of his raps are amazing, but like to just get in a booth and one take and come up with the stuff that he comes up with off the top of his head. And you know, he does a lot of this while him and Nicki Minaj are pretty tight. Like, I don’t know, it’s inspiring to me the way that someone could do that. And, you know, when I think about JP and I with this podcast, that’s part of what we aim to do. Like we don’t spend a lot of time rehearsing and writing scripts and trying to you know, over manufacture it, you know, we talked about this off the top, like we’re not after perfection, we just want to get in and have some fun and hopefully people people gravitate towards it and enjoy it. But there’s, there’s so many people that are out there across all industries and that that’s part of you know, what we’re trying to show as well. You can find inspiration anywhere. So I love that you brought that up.

Erin Evans  41:17

And the one thing you kind of touched on ish is what someone called coined FOMO fear of other people’s opinions. And little Wayne and Nikki are like, I’m the queen kiss my ring is so much money. Like they don’t care what we think they’re not worried that we’re like, they have too much money. Why are they still abundant? Why? Why don’t I have that they’re just like, I hope this inspires you.

JP Gaston  41:42

It’s It’s funny how he shows, we form opinions on you know, people who do have money, don’t flaunt it, often are giving back in many, many ways. And we are all over them. But the people who are just flaunting that they have money. We’re like, yeah, good work. So true. I wonder what that’s all about. I could be a whole nother episode.

Seth Anderson  42:02

I’m sure that could be

JP Gaston  42:04

excited. He’s like, we get to do sort of a wrap. Let’s do.

Seth Anderson  42:09

I’ve been teaching my son and I don’t know, people might not agree with this. But I’ve been teaching him a solid course and m&m analogy, driving back and forth the basketball. And, you know, on the surface, I think a lot of people would think Mmm, like some of his shock rap and like some of the more, you know, there’s there’s certainly songs that I’m not showing him, but there’s actually some significant depth. And if I think about influence to my life, I listened to every single Eminem song, like, a million times growing up, and I learned a lot from them. And, you know, you talked about resilience and overcoming challenges. And, and you know, what, I don’t know if this is a topic we want to get into. But you know, you think about parenting. I didn’t have a lot of influences on that front. There’s a lot of divorce in my family, a lot of dysfunction, a lot of challenges. One of the constants. If I if I think I would have thought about this is, you know, m&m, being there for his daughter no matter what, you know, and in my situation, that wasn’t the case with my father. And you know, there’s certainly things that happened in that realm. And I didn’t necessarily have an anchor and in terms of fatherly figures and the things that he rapped about and how much he cared about his daughter and how nobody would ever, you know, even if he hated or had the worst relationship with his wife, nothing could take his daughter away from him. And honestly, that was foundational for me in my parenting style, and I don’t know I don’t know how we ended up here but I just felt like I needed to share that.

Erin Evans  43:43

Oh, I think it should be a bumper sticker like I am a great dad because of m&m Look, it’s an interesting thought. But I hear you.

JP Gaston  43:52

I need to listen to more. Mmm.

Seth Anderson  43:54

There’s a lot there’s a lot there. Anyway, I digress.

Voiceover  44:08

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JD Lewis, I think I still host the morning show from five until 10am on CJAY 92 unless they fired me in which case this is all invalid but you’re listening to The Biz Dojo podcast.

Seth Anderson  44:54

So one of the things we’re doing this this season Aaron is on the recommendation of my mom. We are in corporate Some listener questions. And so most of them have been coming from my mom.

JP Gaston  45:07

Then the best questions from us.

Seth Anderson  45:12

We have a, we have a question here from Mama Seth, and it is Aaron, completely changing your life course is a huge decision. We often struggle to make choices for our own well being and also balance what’s right for our family. Was there ever a time where you had a conflict of choices between yourself and your family? And how did you navigate that?

Erin Evans  45:34

The one thing that pops up is I run international training. So I take a group of Yogi’s away somewhere in the world, and I’m there for a month, and I’m working 10 hour days to teach them to become teachers. I’m about to leave for India, my boy is to at the time, he comes down with a crazy high fever, we have to take him to the hospital. This is the night before I leave for India, I’ve got 17 students that have already flown or are flying. I’m like sitting in the hospital holding this little boy’s hand, he’s heating up, they’re doing all these things. And it was a real question of like, what do you do? I knew that he would be okay. But I also had these 17 people waiting for me across the planet. So I called in my mom and I said, like, what do you think I should do here? I’m in a pickle. And she said, Well, you can’t stay, he will be okay. And I can fly out. So my mom ended up flying out from Saskatchewan to help my husband at the time. And I left for India. But like, again, mom guilt. And I think it was just like, knowing that he would be okay, but sticking to my commitments. And I think as a parent, like especially JP, you said, Oh, I slept tonight, when you’re a parent, and you have to show up as your best self and you’re not well rested. That’s really challenging. My practice is at the heart of my life. And my son knows that everyone knows that. So I arranged my schedule so that I can be on my yoga mat before I have to face the day. And that’s this selfish choice. But I know that it makes me a better mom, it makes me a better person. And that is a risk I’m willing to take.

JP Gaston  47:21

I can’t wake up in the morning. I think that’s my struggle. I know like a lot of a lot of people, we talk to you talking about how important the morning is to you them. For me, it’s the opposite, which I mean, it works out well with my wife who happens to be more of a morning person. So we have I’ll call it split shifts, much like Seth and I, we have split shifts for the podcast, my wife and I have split shifts for for good coverage. But I find when I do sleep when I do, even if it’s you know, 2am to 10am, instead of midnight to eight or 10 to six or whatever it happens to be, I am just like, I’m a totally different person. And I don’t feel like I’m necessarily doing anything different. I just I think I interpret the world differently. I experience the world differently. And then I project that differently.

Erin Evans  48:10

And all neuroscientists and bio hackers, I love endurance sports, all of them say sleep is the you could do anything you want. Take all the supplements, train as hard as you want. That sleep is is the most important.

Seth Anderson  48:24

Another listener question from Margaret. Aaron, was listening to one of your podcasts and you mentioned that listening requires your full attention. But what if you’re not particularly interested in what the other person has to say? How do you appear interested and willing to understand and help that person?

Erin Evans  48:45

So I might ask Margaret, why she’s not interested. And if this is a hierarchy thing, like we tend to place levels of importance on the person in front of us, let’s say Nicki Minaj was in front of me, I would like waiting for a pin to drop. And if my mom was in front of me, I’d be like, Oh, god, this again, okay, okay. Okay. I would say Margaret, teachers are everywhere. And perhaps ask questions that gets you engaged. Find your similarity between that person and what you might learn from their experience. In some cases, it might be I’m too busy for this. I’m sorry, I’ve got to go to the grocery store. That might be an exit strategy. But but really try to make that person feel like the star of their own show and ask questions that get you excited.

Seth Anderson  49:38

One tip, just to build on that that I got from my coach was, and I know you just recently did a pod about this, Aaron, the difference between listening to respond and actually listening. And one of the tips he gave me and I’ve actually found it particularly effective in all of my interactions is is just listen to the words that the person is saying Then ask questions about the thing that you least understand about what they said. I found that particularly helped even with my with my son, he loves to talk about videogames. So he’ll talk about fortnight at nauseum. And I was kind of at the point where I was like I like I don’t like, when we go on a walk, like we’re only talking about fortnight for 20 minutes, because like, I can’t do an hour straight about fortnight. But I actually flipped my thinking on that a little bit, because I just started asking him questions about the things that I didn’t understand. And it honestly led to some of the most interesting conversations Tim and I have ever had. And it was just a little Jedi mind trick. So I would offer that as another way to sort of immerse yourself be present, and then just ask about the things that don’t make sense to you, or that you least understand.

JP Gaston  50:47

I think the other thing, just so that we have three ads here. The other thing for that is important is you know, when you’re when you’re having those conversations, it’s not just a waste of your time, if you’re not paying attention and being thoughtful, it’s a waste of like, nobody is benefiting from the conversation. And you’re not able to multitask. humans cannot multitask, you are uni tasking really, really quickly when you’re switching between things, which is also not good to any of the things that you’re switching between. But really consider that, you know, if you’re feeling like it’s wasting your time, you’re also wasting their time. It’s okay to stop conversations and and say, Hey, where are we going with this? What are we going to do with this? What are the next steps? Because I think far too often people just listen for the sake of letting people talk rather than listening to understand and listening to work together with them another infographic, another infographic.

Seth Anderson  51:41

Aaron, I feel like I have so many other things I’d love to cover with you. But one of the couple more things here for before we end the show. The beginner’s mind, I think this is a really interesting concept. I know you talked about it again, on one of your podcasts. What is the beginner’s mind? And you know, if someone is looking to start something new or venture into the unknown, what what advice or guidance would you have for, for that person?

Erin Evans  52:12

The beginner’s mind is this Buddhist philosophy of an open, eager mind that lacks preconceived notions. So a beginner’s mind is beautiful. In a beginner, it’s even more beautiful and an expert. a beginner sees possibility and an expert knows the answers. a beginner’s mind is this idea that we want to cultivate the I don’t know, let’s see mind, the mystery, the magic of life. And it’s a beginner doesn’t know the answers. Again, they’re not attached to the results. They’re there to learn, they stumble, they might get a little bit embarrassed. The cool thing about a beginner I don’t know if you’ve done anything new in the last little while. I’ve recently started mountain biking, and it’s kind of cute. Like, I get to see little baby Aaron. And she’s like, oh, gosh, like I’m gonna hold my brakes. And, oh, this is scary a walk. It’s kind of sweet. And so the beginner’s mind is to be engaged and receptive with what’s in front of you. Again, it’s more easy when you are a beginner. It’s more challenging when you’ve done something for a while. And when you gentlemen were talking about always checking in with your purpose, your direction, you’re doing that that’s the beginner’s mind. It’s it’s like in Buddhism, they love delt they, like really want you to question things, but not skepticism. So an expert has skepticism like I don’t know, if I trust you, you got to prove it to me. Where is like, doubt is like, I’m interested, I’m engaged. I wonder if this fits my my mo my life? Yeah, I think that’s all I’d say about the beginner’s mind is get excited, you don’t know the ending of your story.

JP Gaston  54:01

It makes me think we were talking to grace and Alisha, on the on the start of this season about some of the things that we were doing and actually mountain biking came up for me. There’s some nice pads near my house. And it makes me think I, you know, I took the path. And I and I went down the path. And then I didn’t think about having to come up the path. And I think like, for me, that’s what that’s what beginner’s mind is it’s like the excitement, the intrigue, like getting on the bike and just going and doing it. Whereas if I was an expert, I probably would have sat at home and said, I’m not going down that path because I gotta come back. I know as as an expert in mountain biking, I know that there is a vertical return after downhill all the way out. So we’re not going to do that because it’s too much work. So it forced me to experience something different. Not a good point about not really knowing what you’re in for,

Seth Anderson  54:49

you mentioned, doubt and managing that and I know I had messaged you a few weeks back and you had done a pod about that. Then nine, then it gets nine obstacles. And one of them was was managing through self doubt. And I think everybody goes through it, whether it’s career, life, sport, whatever the case might be. And any, any tips or tricks? Or how do you manage through those moments when when you’re having self doubt?

Erin Evans  55:21

Yeah. Before I say this, my teacher explains it in a really cool way. So the nine obstacles come from the yoga sutras. And he says that when the demigods those that didn’t make it to out of the world, when they see that you’re making progress, they throw down an obstacle to stop you. So it’s kind of cool to think of it like that, like, Oh, I’m actually making progress, because I’ve hit a roadblock. So we outsource our self esteem to our work, validation. And self esteem is sourced from self. Self Confidence translates as to confide in. So to confide in yourself to know that you’ve got all the answers. And self doubt is a feeling of uncertainty, hesitation, just a feeling of I don’t know if I can do this. And I would say the antidotes to it when I see it in my clients and myself, if I look on my past successes, like where have I felt this before? Or where have I overcome something that I thought I couldn’t do? Right now I’m reading a book and I am encountering every demon, that in my closet, every fear, every insecurity, every You are a loser, every voice of a person that didn’t like me, is coming up. So my big thing is, it goes back to that one step at a time. Like, why are you doing this, Aaron? Okay, you’re going to transform something within you don’t get attached to the results. I try to find validation from within, what did you do really well today? Like what are your wins? At the end of the day, I always ask my son like, what three awesome moments like top three things that happened today. And I do that with myself as well. So I would say self esteem and self doubt are kind of the opposite ends of the spectrum. And it’s to go back to the why. and if we talk about a meaningful, purposeful life, it’s that every day I want it to be outstanding, the best that it can be knowing there’s going to be days I feel sad and low. But again, like where where was I successful? Oh, I had a really healthy breakfast. That’s great. I went for a walk. Amazing. So I think it’s like accolades to self. Don’t compare yourself. The the metaphor of the trees, you know, like, they all bloom they grow at different times. And the other tree isn’t looking at the one with flowers saying like, Well, why didn’t I get flowers? Why haven’t I grown yet? So it’s like, we can watch one another and celebrate the success of another but we’re not on the same path. And our timing is different.

JP Gaston  58:09

It’s interesting what you said about roadblocks. Like you can’t, you can’t hit a roadblock if you’re not moving. Like if I think of, if I think of driving through Kamara and Banff. You can’t hit that next set of construction, if you’re not moving towards it. Like if you’re trying to get to that eventual destination. You know, you’re not going to have anything new in your way unless you’re moving forward. So that’s, that’s interesting. But how do you get like when you when you overcome a roadblock? And you know, there’s another one coming like, you know, that demigods gonna throw down another wall in your way? How do you get excited about that wall,

Erin Evans  58:44

almost like taking a step back. So sometimes in meditation, you’re like, sitting there, you’re like, throw a cord down into the earth and then panel, go to the upper corner of your room and look at Aaron’s sitting there, okay, pan out farther, go to the edges of bath, pan out even farther and go to the edges of the globe. Sometimes I almost detach myself, but I’m still engaged and involved. But it’s almost laughable. Like, I can see a little bit of humor in it. And that honestly, when I’m in that headspace, if I can just like pull back and watch, it’s more enjoyable. Like even if I think about like injury or accident or heartbreak, or parents getting older and sicker. You can’t control it. But you can control the way that you see it like you were saying your perspective. So I try to cultivate that. I don’t know, let’s see mine, and almost watch like it’s happening to someone else. I’m still engaged. But I’m not like, why me This sucks

JP Gaston  59:45

again, when I was when I was little. I say that but it probably happened last week too. And I’m no longer that little. But my mom always used to use a quote that I believe was Gandhi or you know, a paraphrase of Gandhi, which was, you know, there are two types of things. In the world, the things you can do something about, and you don’t have to worry about those because you can do something about them and then there’s the things you can’t do anything about and you don’t have to worry about those because there’s nothing you can do about them. So that kind of speaks to that for me as well.

Erin Evans  1:00:11

I love that that’s kind of like that. I think they they said Nelson Mandela said it and it’s that are no sorry, not Nelson Mandela, that serenity one, the alcohol economic anonymous, quote, give me the strength to change the things that can the courage to know the difference or whatever same idea.

Seth Anderson  1:00:30

Absolutely. Amazing. insights. Love the stories. Aaron, what, what are you doing for personal development right now? What are you working on? What? What are you feeding your mind with?

Erin Evans  1:00:42

So I’m taking this ancient yogic text that is only ever been dissected by scholars, so Sanskrit scholars, and really bright minds, and I’m rewriting it to be digestible for the everyday Yogi, everyday person. So I’m writing a book, and I am I work with a coach, I read a lot my yoga practice, I’m really into endurance sports and just like that pain cave of not wanting to go any further and what makes you want to, yeah, that’s, that’s where my intention and heart is. These days.

JP Gaston  1:01:18

I ran a marathon once. That was a horrible idea. horrible idea. But I wanted to check it off the bucket list. The thing that kept me going was this Calgary marathon belt buckle. I don’t think they give it out anymore. But they used to give us the metal used to be a belt buckle. And that was actually what kept me going for far too many hours on the road to go, how are you? just horrible. Just everything about it. Just I think it took me two weeks to recover. I gave myself eight weeks to train far too little time. But I was like a bucket list item. It looks like there’s one coming up in two months. Let’s let’s give it the beginner’s mind. I’m seeing a trend with you the horrible idea? Yeah, sometimes it’s to my detriment that is for sure.

Seth Anderson  1:02:01

On that note, Aaron, how can? How can people learn more about what you do? yoga coaching, etc? Where can people find out more,

Erin Evans  1:02:11

so the best way to to get a feel for who I am would likely be the podcast. And I always love new ideas of things people want me to riff about. So it’s the Aaron Evans podcast. I’m on Instagram at Aaron underscore Evans and I have a website Aaron Evans yoga, where you can find my musings photos, trainings, upcoming events. I also have a YouTube channel that has a ton of yoga videos if you’re interested in practicing with me

Seth Anderson  1:02:42

awesome. So what really appreciate you coming by today and and look forward to continuing to listen to your podcast and and hopefully collaborate more in the future.

Erin Evans  1:02:53

That sounds amazing. And I’m so honored because I know it’s a big deal when you choose someone to come on. So thank you for believing in me means a lot. most welcome. Thank you. You’re amazing. Good luck. That was amazing,

JP Gaston  1:03:04

sir. Thank you. Have a good day. Take care. Hey, thanks for listening to today’s episode.

Seth Anderson  1:03:10

If you liked what you heard today, and you’d like to tap into your inner wisdom, check us out on The Biz dojo.com, Instagram, LinkedIn

JP Gaston  1:03:19

or Facebook or send us a message for a free discovery session to coaching at The Biz dojo.com.

Seth Anderson  1:03:24

We hope to hear from you soon. See you next week.

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