Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Tom Meyers: Futurize Yourself With Resilience In Body And Mind
I’m excited to have another episode with you. If you have been following us, we want to say thank you. Thank you for being a supporter of the show and if this is your first time being in the show, welcome. We are excited to have you and we appreciate you. I have a very unique and interesting individual with me that we’re going to be talking with. This guy is all about mindset. He works with people around their mind about how to better themselves by utilizing their mind. He’s an osteopath and more importantly, he has this new book that’s out called Futurize Yourself. We’re going to talk about this new book, how you can get this book in your hands, and what this book can do for you. Tom Meyers, welcome to the show. How are you doing?
Thank you, Rodney. Thank you for inviting me. It’s absolutely fantastic to have this opportunity talking to you and your audience. It feels amazing and really good.
We’re all delighted. We want to find out more about what it is that you do. It looks and sounds like you’re doing a great work in the world. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is that you do.
I help people on the mind level, but from a body perspective. I’m an osteopath, which means a manual therapist, a bit like a chiropractor, but we also do the soft tissues. We take things a bit slower for a chiropractor who tries to manipulate your back crack. We first analyze a little bit about how the soft tissues, the muscles, the articulations, the fascia, all of that works within your body to allow it to unwind, to reset it so that it is a bit more at ease. If necessary, we do a spinal alignment when it’s required, but sometimes it isn’t. When you allow the body to relax, when you allow the body to be aligned, it also has an effect on the mind.
It also has an effect on behavior. It’s a bit like when people are stressed and they all can’t stop when they want to fight and flight. They’re a little bit angrier, more intolerant and their thinking is not so straight. They have a dream. They want to achieve things, but they don’t have clarity in their minds. I help them first to calm the body down because when you help the body to be in a calm state, it starts changing the mind. Blood flow, for example, changes parts of your brain, like the prefrontal cortex, that part where you start to be able to reflect but also to the back to have the insights. When all of that is a bit clearer, nourished, then we can think better.
Many people now in the fast-changing stressful world where we have to perform, the body is not necessarily following that pace. It starts to protect itself and that is not always helpful in making decisions. It’s a crammed brain and there is too much stuff in there. That’s why the mind shift that so many people want to do is a little bit more difficult. I always propose let’s calm the mind via the body perspective and then do some coaching on top of that if necessary.
I appreciate that because being someone who has accomplished a lot of goals and my goals are big, it requires a lot of mental effort. One of the things that I like to do before getting involved in any of the activity that is required on a day-to-day basis is to get present, bringing the mind and the body into alignment. I call it getting present and becoming more aware. Is that the same line of work that you’re talking about?
Yes, but here you’re doing it yourself because you’re probably already trained a little bit in that body-mind connection, like relaxing your body and being present within. For me, it’s like you work with the body. It’s not like a massage. It goes deeper into the tissues, but helping the body to completely unwind by touching certain points that I do for you. Taking the shoulders and trying to unwind the muscles from your sports background when you are all tensed up, your performance is influenced by that. If your body is in a state of fluidity in and in alignment but loose, then your performance would have been better. Injuries will be less if you were stressed on top of that you get a blow. Sometimes people find that they get more injuries because their body was not relaxed enough when they started. I help the body to relax profoundly not only from a neurological point of view or hormonal but also from the physical, from the muscles and the tensions that are inside.
Do you find that most of your patients come to you with an ailment or with some level of injury? You mentioned that you can prevent certain injuries from a mental standpoint. Are there things that we can do from a preventive standpoint? Do you work with patients in that manner as well?
Let’s say most people who are office workers come to me, they are those that work with the computer for about seven to eight hours a day. They feel like most of the time they have neck, shoulder, or lower back pain. Those are classical. It’s not necessarily that they had an injury from an accident or they’ve fallen. That happens also, but it’s less and they feel like they’re all stuck. They’ve been sitting behind the computer, the pressure from deadlines that they have to meet, maybe insecurity due to the fast-changing world and technology or they are not sure if their job is still there or not. Some people have Brexit on their minds here of, “What is going to happen, do I need to go back home?”
Here in Belgium, in Brussels especially, there are a lot of international people coming from everywhere in the world working and some of them can stay. Some of them have to go back. It’s more of that life pressure, life trauma, or the life changes that are having an effect on their body. I help them to release but also now when people come and say, “I’m a bit muddled up. I can’t see straight anymore,” I always work on the body first to help them. This is what the typical patient is, somebody who is an office worker who has a lot of stress on them, what is called psychosocial stress or work pressure stress and helping them to deal with that better. When it stays on, it will also affect their performance. They get more stressed because they’re not performing well anymore.
In a case of a middle manager, for example. A middle manager with a lot of staff around them, they have to be on the ball. They have to be in the game. They have to be thinking about lots of things. You might’ve experienced the same thing if you’re very stressed. Your focus and thinking becomes a bit smaller. You can’t think as wide anymore. Some of them come to me and say, “Tom, I feel that my worldview is a bit narrow. I have this project that I need to finish, and I want to have some mind reset or free the body to cope with the challenges that I’m facing at the moment.” It’s something that I’ve never heard of before even in my training. Thanks to the patients that come in for physical ailments, we have improvements in a cognitive level, in behavior. They’re less stressed and more focused, “I can make better decisions. I have more time.” Somebody told me they had more time after my session. I thought, “How can you have more time after a session?” That is the experience that people have. I wanted to understand. I always call it like a research remain that is needed to be born, needed to wake and needed to express itself in that particular way.When you allow the body to relax, when you allow the body to be aligned, it also has an effect on the mind. Click To Tweet
You mentioned technology and the fact that it’s changing so rapidly. It’s changing at a pace we’ve never seen before in terms of speed, scope and complexity. What do you think is the best practice? How do we prepare for a world that’s changing so fast?
It’s definitely stress management, managing your stress levels, and becoming resilient. This is the key to everything. There are different levels of it. The scope, complexity, and uncertainty all go up exponentially very fast while we human beings, on an evolutionary level, is a very slow process. You suddenly see that we live by, that our environment is changing, but we are not changing so much. That difference is a conflict that causes the body to go into a stress response. What can you do about it? First, start to understand that this is happening. Go and look in your environment to see, “How this is going to affect my job. What can I do today to help me get new skills or something like that in the future?” It’s also about finding what’s my potential. Everybody is unique. Everybody has a certain potential within them that’s like a treasure sometimes needs to be discovered. It also needs to be used for something good.
For example, we need to reskill, we need to learn new things because the environment is changing and certain jobs will not be there any more, like a taxi driver. The likelihood that he will not have a job anymore in five, ten years’ time is very high, so what is he going to do? He needs to reskill himself with something that is close to his heart, his health and well-being. If you’re doing something that is outside of your capacity, you’re always going to have more strain onto your body. You’re always going to have more things that are difficult. You don’t enjoy it as much anymore. You become more depressed and life is not going and not flowing as well anymore. All these things run, and one has to think about it.
We can do that now to predict in a way how we are going to navigate these changes that are ahead of us. I say particularly navigate because they come, they will be there, and we have to steer ourselves in a way that we can follow the path that is laid out by technology. On a physical level, it’s all about helping you to calm, helping you to center. Your practice in the morning, the body-mind alignment, it’s so essential that when a stressor comes up that you feel centered and resilient. It’s not because you’re doing it that I’m saying it, resilience training and coaching people into resilience. It is one of the fundamentals to cope, be healthy and thrive in a fast-changing world.
When we hear that word resilient, a lot of people may associate that with grit, grind, and hard work, never giving up, endurance. That’s part of the equation. I don’t want to negate those things, that’s important. The underlying layer of all that, the fundamental, the framework, the foundation of resilience, is calmness. I can attest to that, being someone who’s had to practice resilience in the face of extreme adversity for a significant amount of time. I get people telling me all the time, “You’re so calm.” The people are telling me, “You’re too cool.” The reason why I can be so resilient and have so much endurance is that of calmness and clarity. Calmness does bring clarity. I love what Bob Proctor says, as he gets older, he doesn’t necessarily slow down. He speeds up but he calms down. The calmness allows him to be sharper, faster, quicker and more aware. That is resilience.
Resilience is when something happens, you rebound. You have something coming, an emotion or you have a job failing, a job that has been laid off, that means you have some pressure coming onto you. You have to cope and deal with that and rebound from it to become whole and better afterward. This is exactly what is also in the body. When the body is stressed, you get more pressure and suddenly, it does not move anymore. You’re stuck. You can be stuck in your mind; you can be stuck in a physical realm. What I do is I help the body and from it, I need to find that key to open it up. Resilience is that when you are able to be calm, flexible, and dynamic, but able to come and rebound from things that come. It’s wonderful. This is what you want in life. You want that flexibility. You’re going to be able to go from here to there. That is the best way I can describe resilience.
I also do this with kids. Sometimes kids come and mommy is taking the kids to see the osteopath, “What is he going to do? He’s such a strange guy.” I explain before her this model, my work and what I wanted to achieve for them. I play with them a little bit beforehand so that there is a bond between us and more trust. It’s a bit of fun and games. Resilience can be a physical trauma, an emotion, or an aggression. It can be so many other things and each form has a way to rebound from. Sometimes it’s a bit hard, but the potential within us and you’re an example for what you can do when you put your mind to it, is enormous. We’re diminishing that with technology. Everything is done for us, everything has to be easy and quick. Some things take time. When you give the time, it’s an amazing experience. You feel more fulfilled, you feel more whole, you feel happier, and more resilient. You feel like you’re holding your life even if you don’t have much money or you don’t have lots in your life, but you’ll feel great.
Regardless of the technology that’s happening right now, that is a factor, but the purpose of human beings here on earth aside from being connected to God, honoring God and be in that spiritual conduit with God, self-expression is really the purpose of human beings here. I want to get into this conversation with you because I want to know what you think about it.
I call it self-actualization. If you look at the Pyramid of Maslow, on the bottom you have the basic needs. On top of that is security, then relationship, self-esteem and on the top of that self-actualization. It is indeed developing oneself to one’s highest potential, becoming who you were born to be. That is one of the key treasures that human beings need to find no matter how the environment changes. It’s about the key, because technology is facing with humanity. Who are we and what is our place in this universe? This is so key that when you find what your heart beats for, then, you’ll also be more resilient if you’re following that path and acting upon it. You might be the greatest writer in the world, but if you sit on a chair for a week, I know what’s going to happen. Not much.
There is a great video and one of the actors is saying, “It’s great to have a dream. Have a vision and visualize, ‘This is what I’m going to do,’ then go and eat a sandwich.” It’s Jim Carey and Oprah Winfrey. It’s not to be forgotten that somebody’s written, “From only a king can dream Versailles or can dream a kingdom.” First, you have to find potential within you and say, “For what can this potential be?” I find that difficult to understand for many people. One, they have dreams. If they say, “If I can dream it, I can be it. If I can imagine it, I can become it.” Is that really so? If that is a dream or an imagination that is not within your birthright pattern from your heart, then it might be something very difficult to achieve, more difficult with lots more resistance, and then your resilience will go down. You’ll probably get more stress, and I described it in my book as well. My body is made out of trillions of cells, but if my skin cell was saying, “No, I want to be a heart cell. I’m going to migrate.”
What’s going to happen is that cell, which in its DNA has all the potential to be a heart cell, it goes and migrates and be a heart cell as it is, but it’s never going to sustain the stressors that the heart’s putting on it. It’s not made for it. Every single cell around it is going to be unhappy because it’s a weak link. It probably has a lot of stress and will die very quickly. If you’re thinking about self-actualization as about what am I? What is my purpose? What is my role? What is the role that God has given me and that I need to find to fulfill in my life and give back to society because that’s who we are? We are living in a society with lots of people around and each person has a purpose. The garbage man has a purpose, the one that is making sure that they have water to drink or that I can take a shower, all these people are essential. They might be perfectly positioned to do that job. I admire them and thank them for doing it. I can give thanks to so many people and do what I do now.
The key is finding that. How does one discover what that deep-rooted DNA pattern is in terms of what it is supposed to actualize? What it is supposed to express? How do they make that determination?
I’m trained as a chef, so kitchen work. I used to work in hotels, in restaurants as a waiter, as a sommelier in luxury hotels on Queen Elizabeth II, which is a huge cruise ship. It was very renowned at that time. I came back to Belgium after meandering around the world for eight years and my friend said, “Why don’t you start a gourmet deli?” When I had been away for eight years, he had set up a successful gourmet deli and I thought, “That’s great.” Here you are, you don’t have a job, here is something you can do. We had the same training. He was a friend who was going to help me. He had a BMW car, a motorbike, a great wife, kids, a big house and I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have anything on a platter. After setting up the shop two months later, I was so depressed, and life hasn’t always given me the favors. It was sometimes very difficult. I thought, “If this is what all life is about, then I don’t want it.” All these hits and misses that one has, it seems to be more misses and longer than the short lift hits. I can’t believe that life is that, every time battling and against the odds and for now and then a sparkle of joy. I got down the drain and I was resolute to, “I’m going to step out. I don’t want this. It’s been enough.” I quit.We are giving away some of our responsibility to technology but it's not solving the problem. Click To Tweet
I was sent to a life coach at that time, which was rare. Now life coaches are popular but about the year 2000, this didn’t exist. This lady did some great work with me and gave me a homework. The story is three questions saved my life and gave me insight into my potential, purpose, and meaning in my life. If you narrow it down, it is what do you admire in others? I used to say, “Everybody’s better than me. I’m good for nothing. Nobody can be proud of me. My business is failing.” People have been telling me that I was good for nothing and I was a failure. I proved it to them by my shop was failing. I felt I’ve proven it to them that indeed they were right. Why do you look up at people, Tom? Describe to me what you see in them that you think, “I wish I was like that.” You’re not looking at the BMW and not that the car, but looking at the potential, the talent that that person has. If you look at that, it’s likely the treasure within you that needs to be nurtured. It’s something that you need to discover and start to implement into your life.
For me, it was communication. We talk a lot now. I’m a speaker, an author and all of that. When I was at that time, 29, I was shy. I didn’t have anything to say and the best jokes came five days later. My friends were on the spot. They were walking dictionaries and I couldn’t follow it. I just smiled and indeed five days later, I would have a response to a joke that they were saying. That communication they had was something that I had to find and nurture. The second question was, why do people come to you? What do they admire in you? You have you and your friends, why do they come to you and not your friends? What do you resonate? What do you send out as a message to the world? It’s also from that work came the teaching and the therapy. People were asking me to explain things or when I put my hands on people they didn’t want me to go.
Some of my friends when I did that said, “Leave me alone.” When I did that, when I put my hands on somebody’s shoulders, my thumb started automatically massaging and I didn’t have to do anything. I was not trained for that. It was a natural thing, so I wrote that down. The third question is what have you done where you’ll think, “If I do this for the rest of my life, I would be happy?” If you have these flowing moments where you were doing something for a long time, time seems to pass and you were more energized afterward than before. You combine these things. For me, it was communication, teaching, research, therapy, travel, and movement.
In my shop, I had proven to never close yourself in four walls for six days at that time forever. That was not me. I’ve been traveling around the world before and suddenly had blocked myself into a box that was mind-bogglingly depressing. I want all the audience to find their talents and their potential by answering these three simple questions. The next step comes, when you put these things together, what can this be in the future? What do I have to have in my life? How would a day, a week look like when I have these things nurtured?
I had a shop that was failing, I had no idea about therapy at that time, and I never even dreamt of being one. I wrote down, “If that is my talent, then I’m a therapist who developed his own approach, has written a book about it, and is asked to travel around the world to give presentations and workshops.” These were the five words included into a lifestyle, not knowing which therapy, not knowing which book, not knowing where in the world, it didn’t matter. It was just this concept and I’ve been following this for years now. Every single thing I’ve written down has come through with the book.
Congratulations on the book and your career because that’s beautiful. I can imagine that the audience may be thinking, “How do I take those steps?” A lot of times it’s traditionally when they have those five things and see clearly what they want to do, but how do I do it? Do I go to school? Do I get a life coach? There are so many unknowns in terms of personal development or what needs to happen next. What happens is people revert back to the most certain, easiest and most secure thing and that may be a job that they don’t like. That may be something that’s outside of what’s truly in their heart. Let’s face it, they have to pay bills. They have to support a family. What’s your response to that if someone is filled that way?
Of all the things that I’ve described and what I’ve imagined, it took me eighteen years. It’s not about arriving, it’s about the journey. It’s about experiencing it. I had to do menial jobs, data inputs. I did work for other people, administration, to pay the bills. I had to retrain while I was doing my osteopathic training, which is a five-year training. I worked and learned. I had to say no to many engagements. My friends were partying and I was studying, but that’s the life I chose and put into action. First, make sure that your basic needs are met, but make sure that you also implement time for you. If you need a coach, take a coach because of these three questions, I discussed them with my coach. In principle, I’ve only seen her three times for two hours. That was all. I didn’t need more than that. Afterward, I did it all by myself.
I saw when I focused on these things, suddenly the things came to me. When the hand was given, I knew to take that hand or not because I knew where I was going. If somebody said, “Tom, would you like to do this with me? If it was not going to my purpose or my goal, I’ll say, “No.” If life became difficult, sometimes it becomes strenuous then I would think, “Am I still going where I need to go or have I deviated from my path?” I could make a conscious choice to say, “I’ve deviated. I’m again realizing somebody else’s dream. I’m not made to realize somebody else’s dream, I’m here to realize my own, so I could refocus myself.” Sometimes that takes a bit of time, but I realigned myself with my goal, and things started to flow again.
Once you know what your potential is, what you have within is the first key. Nobody can do it for you. You can have some help, you can need some help, but you need to discover it. Life is something that has a responsibility, a responsibility we all have for ourselves. Technology is handing us many things and we are giving away some of our responsibility to technology but it’s not solving the problem. It’s something we have to reclaim, and we have to do it. When you do something, you achieve something by your own force, by your own power. That’s very powerful.
Self-actualization is a responsibility, is that a fair statement?
It is a responsibility.
If you’re not experiencing self-actualization, then it’s your own fault?
I believe it is, but I’m going to be very careful. I live in Brussels, in a very secure environment. I hope and think it’s for everybody, but I don’t live somebody else’s life either. It’s yes, but then you have people that are living in misery or on the street, who started living in impoverished environments. Who is it, for them? I think it is, but I’m weighing my words carefully because I don’t want to upset people or something like that. We also see that people, even if they are living in an impoverished environment and grew up in that, they can achieve great things by setting their minds to it. Starting from the age of about eighteen and a little bit up, it is a personal responsibility from what your life is going to look like.You can achieve great things by setting your mind to it. Click To Tweet
I appreciate that you’re still inclusive because you’re not applying this responsibility or the information to a certain group of people. You’re casting the net wide and including everyone in. We’re recognizing that not everyone has the same opportunity or are in the same environment that’s conducive to self-actualization. That’s beautiful that you are able to do that, I commend you for that. Thank you for doing that. I’m sure you’ve been through some tough times and some experiences. There is a lot of endurance. I was in a wheelchair for eighteen years. You and I have different stories, but I experienced a lot of tough times. You found the self-actualization that you wanted to bring as you were cultivating all that when times get tough, what kept you going?
The first question that always came up is, “Am I still following my dream? Am I still following the therapist, as a private practice has developed his own approach, who’s written a book about it and who is asked around the world to give presentations and workshops? Am I still working towards that goal?” Those were the first questions to ask. If I deviated from that, then I knew why. If I was still going that direction, I know now and already some years that that is meant for me to grow as well. If there is resistance and you’re on your path, you need that resistance to grow, to push the boundaries. It’s the same thing as the body. Sometimes you need a little bit of a virus to create antibodies, to have a higher immune system for that problem. This thing that’s inside there which is called the brain, it’s like a muscle. It needs stimulation to grow. If you don’t stimulate it, it becomes weaker and your resilience goes down. The more that you are gaming, the more that you’re not calculating, not learning languages, that everything is pre-digested for you, your brain becomes less structured, less dense.
It’s neuro-scientifically proven and this is very important. Try to get enough sleep. Make sure that you have enough nutrients within you that you eat balanced enough. Get some body treatments. My training as an osteopath, I was treated very often by my college students. Also massages, I did some training in that, so my body was always being treated. I continued doing that on a regular basis to help my body grow with me because the physical level needs to be helped to cope with the upgrades that I get. I call it an upgrade when things become tough and I need to learn something from my experience that I help my body to deal with that.
As you do the mind-body in the morning, I very often do my breathing exercises while I’m working. I can do that. I can focus on my patients while I’m concentrating on my breathing and calming myself within as well. That’s very important too, and I’m used to doing that combination. I’m doing something and I’m helping myself. I’m doing something that I started to be more calm and mindful within me. When the going gets tough, one, am I still going to my dream? Two, am I taking care of my body? Be there and stay centered. Give it what it needs, give it the rest it needs. Maybe you need a break. Start listening to the signs that you need to understand and then take it step by step or talk to somebody. Sometimes it’s great to have a conversation about it.
I’ve heard the word recovery come up so much when we’re being resilient. A major key component of resilience is recovery and the massages, the breathing, the components. A lot of times we’ll go do work. I love how you bring balance to that. There are so many things that we can do to recover the massages, the breathing, the alignment. You talked about the resistance and how the resistance is necessary. Isn’t that a paradigm shift, a different approach that most of us take when it comes to resistance? We complain, we bicker, we’re uncomfortable, we don’t like it. Having the understanding, that resistance is part of the process. Without resistance, you can’t become, without resistance you can’t grow. When you go to a gym and you want to physically increase your strength on your body, you put resistance on the body. You don’t even have to ask to go to the gym. Life has a way of putting you in the gym so that you can grow emotionally, mentally, spiritually and intellectually in all areas.
Resistance is great. It’s productive when you know where you’re going. If you don’t know where you’re going and you have a lot of resistance, then at the end of your life you said, “Maybe I should have taken another path because it’s been a battle uphill all the time. I thought I was going for my dream.” Maybe that dream was not the one you were supposed to be realizing your potential light in a different one and you missed the boat. You’ve learned your lesson and hopefully, in that last moment, you can reflect on that. I want you to prevent that it’s on your last day and that you can enjoy now. Be on the path of becoming who you were born to be. Becoming is living that because if you think about Maslow’s self-actualization beyond that becomes self-transcendence.
There is one level beyond that that I want you to achieve. You have achieved that already because what you’re doing is sharing your experience, so you have self-actualization. You’ve become who you were meant to be and now it’s about contributing that to the world, to society, to make it a better place. You’re transcending that and that is what we both do. It’s a wonderful place to be, but it has taken a lot of time, effort, resistance and tough days to overcome. I’m grateful for every single one of them now because it has made me stronger. It has made me the person who I’ve become, who I’m happy to be.
Where can people find your book and how can they contact you?
The best way is to go to www.FuturizeYourself.com. You can find my book and some more explanations about me. It’s also on Amazon or Kindle. On Amazon, it’s a black and white version, not the colored version of the book. It’s a big difference if you get it from my website. I will gladly send it to you, no problem at all. It’s a personal story of how these three questions saved me. While writing that concept of technology and the future, imagine how do you see yourself in ten years’ time? I was thinking, “The world is changing. The technology is changing as its sole purpose.” I’ve written down my good reflections and everything that came through my mind. I’ve also added as a chapter what I’ve researched on that topic. I said, “We have to think about these things,” and that is why Futurize Yourself is helping you to be ready for a fast-changing world and to thrive within that whatever changes or not.
If people want to know about my work as an osteopath and a body-centered stress coach, they can always go to MeyersTom.com. These two websites, all the information is there.
It’s been a pleasure having you on the show, Tom. You’ve been a wealth of information. I’ve learned some things about an osteopath. I didn’t even realize that was a real thing and that existed. Thank you for that and for your insight about resilience. Thank you for being on the show.
Thank you for inviting me, Rodney. It was a great interview. We had lots of laughs, learning and sharing our experiences. This is what we do, this is what we want. We want the future to look brighter and better. We want all to thrive and some people are struggling, so I’m happy to share that with your audience that it is possible. Put your mind to it. Find a bit of a formula that works for you and become the best navigator of the changes that are coming your way. Good luck to them all. If they want to know more, go to the website or even send me an email and say, “Tom, I want to have some more information.” You can also go to Facebook, @FuturizeYourself. If people want to connect with me there, please do.
Thank you for joining us once again, and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook. Our Facebook community, Game Changer Mentality Transformation Community, there’s lots of good information there and a great community for support. We would love to have you in the community. Until next time. You have greatness within you.
- Futurize Yourself
- Tom Meyers
- @FuturizeYourself – Facebook
- Game Changer Mentality Transformation Community – Facebook
About Tom Meyers