Getting Balanced with Dr. Marissa Pei

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced


This is episode number 11, Getting Balanced with Dr. Marissa. She has been one of the most impactful, influential people that I’ve met, especially over these last six months. I don’t think anybody’s come in and in such a short amount of time, been able to make such big changes within me, really helping me create certain breakthroughs. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been this high achiever, wound really tight. I’ve got these big goals, these big dreams, these big plans. It’s just go, go, go. It’s like getting into the Major Leagues. I look around and I’m like, “Is this all there is?” when I finally got here. I’m even more stressed now. It’s more stressful to stay there. I look back on this journey to get here and I was like, “Did I even enjoy any of it?” When I found myself making those same type of mistakes, going on creating my businesses with my family and all these little things, I was doing the same things. Dr. Marissa, she definitely came in and she shined her flashlight and showed the imbalances in my life and helped me to slow down; be a little kinder, be a little more loving, and be a little more patient with myself. What it really has done is it made me be even more full force, made me be even more productive. Now, I’m enjoying the journey. I’m living life in balance.

One of the big arguments that we had on the beach, I remember, in our big old intensive breakthrough day was I was arguing with her, “I’m not about moderation, I believe in going all force, full out, it’s full force.” She had to show me that’s not what she’s talking about. Living in balance, I could be full force in the moment but I had to take the time to be nurturing and be loving to other parts of who I am. It was an amazing gift that she has given me. I hope to be able to take a small piece of that and give it on to other people in the coaching that I do. As well as hopefully that through this podcast, a light will be shined on certain aspects of your life that could use a little more intention, a little more watering, and a little more productive, fulfilling, happier, loving life, living full force.

Without any further ado, I want to call up Dr. Marissa Pei to the plate. We will see you guys on the other side.

Listen to the podcast here:

Getting Balanced with Dr. Marissa Pei

Here we are on the other side with Dr. Marissa Pei. The beautiful, the brilliant, the amazing, Dr. Marissa. Welcome to the Full Force Show.

With an introduction like that, I’ll come on every day.

We are so excited to have you on. The work that we’ve done together and the growth that you’ve helped me, I’m excited not only to talk about some of that stuff but also to learn more about you. I feel like our conversations in the past, we’ve spent a lot of time together in a little bit of time, it seems like. But the conversation is always about me in those situations. I’m excited to ask you some questions, learn more about you, and maybe have you elaborate on some of the other things that you’ve taught me in the past as well too. How are you doing? Are you ready? Are you excited for this?

I’m ready. I’m pumped. I’m ready to go full force with Jason Botts.

The first question that I want to ask you, I’ve been saving this question specifically for you, and that is, if you had to call and leave a voicemail for someone that you didn’t know, how would you describe who you were and what you do exactly?

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: I am happy 88% of the time, and 12% is just for contrast.

That’s a good question. Hi. You don’t know me, but you’re going to get to know me now. Let me just put it very simply. I am a precious child of a friendly universe who knows how loving, loved, and lovable you are. You have a unique place on the planet, and it is my job to hold the flashlight until you can see the gloriousness that you are. That’s the kind of work that I get to play in, both in my private life balance coaching sessions. Then I get to do that on a very global scale as an on-air personality through a talk radio show that I do three times a week, broadcasting out of Hollywood, California.

If that isn’t enough, because juice my life, I get to also go into corporations as an organizational psychologist, that’s what my PhD is in, and help companies realize the “more joy, less stress” state that they can be in so that everyone doesn’t go to work just to get a paycheck, but they actually go because there’s meaning and emotional and financial rewards for what they do. In a nutshell, I am your personal advocate to live, love, laugh, and learn. When I get to be a beneficial presence on the planet, I am happy. I am happy 88% of the time, and 12% is just for contrast.

I wanted you to maybe take a moment to explain that happiness 88%, because that’s something I’ve never actually heard you speak a lot. I get the idea of it but I want to hear you share the meaning of that.

I started doing this a couple of years ago and I just love the reaction I get. Every time you meet someone, whether you know them or not, everybody says, “How are you?” Either someone goes, “I’m okay or I’m fine” which means I’m effed up, irrational, neurotic, and emotional. Or “You really don’t want to know.” All of those answers are really not intentional. They are reactive. They are not meaningful. So I started saying, “How are you?” and I would say, “Happy.” They would be like, “Happy, that’s an interesting answer or that’s a good answer.” The more I said it, the better I felt. Then people started going, “What are you happy about?” I would say, “Honestly, I’m happy about life because happiness is a choice.” Then people would go, “Yeah.” I took that and went, let’s look at happiness. Am I happy all the time? Is my goal to be happy all the time? What is happiness anyway? What is the secret of happiness? I love when the Dalai Lama was asked, “What is the secret of happiness?” He said, “If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.” Coming from the Dalai Lama, I thought that was just precious.

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: 88% happy allows for 12% contrast for both your own feelings and how you deal with other people.

Back to my answer, happiness is a state of being that we have way more control over than we think. I decided that my life was going to be about feeling happy, choosing happy, and promoting happiness to more people because you can be 100% happy when you’re dead. When we move to wherever we’re going, we’re happy all the time. But on the planet, we are living and having this moving and grooving human experience right now, we need some not happy so that we have the contrast to feel happy. That’s why I say 88%. Eight is also a lucky number in Mandarin. It’s a homonym for good fortune. I’m all about a stacking the deck for good fortune and prosperity and abundance. That’s why I say 88% happy. It’s a majority goal. It helps people who are perfectionists get a handle on their perfectionism so it’s not 100%. It allows for 12% contrast for both your own feelings and how you deal with other people so you’re not so self-critical and critical of others, expecting them to be perfect. The 88 has really worked wonders, both for myself and other people.

You mentioned promoting happiness, is that specifically referring to the work that you do? Or is that something others can do as well?

Everybody, everybody can promote happiness. I’ll tell you, if you’re happy, let your face know. There are so many people who are so unhappy and then they try to sell you something or teach you something and they wonder why they fall on their face. It’s because they don’t feel it in themselves and on themselves. In particular though, people who work with me are my number one happiness promoters. You are an agent for happiness as soon as you work with me. That’s you, that’s your number one hack now because you work with me. I believe that we all start happy. We all start more than 88% happy. Go watch a child at the age of two, three, everywhere all the way up to ten, something happens around ten. Up until ten, there’s no self-consciousness. They go after desire and feeling good and doing good and being good and helping and playing and joy-filled.

That is our natural state. Something happens around ten where we begin to believe that we’re not good enough, that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re unworthy, that we have to perform in order to get the goodies, that we have to say something or do something in order to be deserving of happiness. That’s where we start going down this path that ends up with many people living this American nightmare where, “I did what I thought I was supposed to do.  I went to school, got a job, got married, had kids, bought a house, have a nice car, go on vacations, and I’m miserable. I’m not happy. What happened? You promised that I would live happily ever after if I married the prince. Not only am I not happy but the prince absconded with one of the ugly stepsisters. Now I’m alone. I have health issues and my house is upside down mortgaged and my stock just fell.”

All the rules that were supposed to bring us happiness have fallen into a dark hole. What people don’t understand is that gospel was BS. It was a belief system that led us to this place where the majority of Americans right now are not happy. They are feeling afraid. They’re worried. They’re concerned. They turn on the news and between, “Oh my God, we’re going to hell in a hand basket,” to, “Oh my God, we’re never going to get ahead” and the hopelessness and the apathy. They begin to turn to outside things to try to find that happiness. Most of the time, it is drugs; either prescription or recreational, because they don’t like who they are. They don’t like what life is offering. They don’t like their interactions with other people. This is where we are. Welcome to the American nightmare.

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: If they could just stop and return to the truth of who they are, then the solution becomes clear.

What people don’t realize is if they could just stop and return to the truth of who they are and choose to believe things about themselves and others that make them feel better, then the solution becomes clear. Your case is very common, where people have done a lot in life and they should be happy and they just don’t understand why they’re not happy. I don’t have a degree in Clinical Psychology because one, I don’t have the patience. I discovered that we don’t have to spend the rest of our lives going once a week to someone and complaining about our lives and do that and stay in that rut. You can literally clean out some of the BS in your life, in your mind, in your emotions, in your body, and find and choose happiness. We did that eight hours on the beach. Honestly, you’re my first one, that’s because you’re special. You’ve really grabbed a hold because you were ready. In eight hours, we were able to dig out the roots that kept you from being happy; first with yourself and then with everything around you, person, place, and thing. We can do that because fundamentally, we know we’re here on Earth to enjoy and be in joy.

Depending on the amount of crap that you picked up either from a dysfunctional family, seven out of ten come from dysfunctional homes, that’s a valid statistic, even though the 42.7% of statistics are made up on the spot. Oprah says it’s eight out of ten people are in that statistic, and they do call me the Asian Oprah. I will validate that it’s true. If you say that you can only be okay if you have a healthy home, then you’re screwed because if you’re in the majority, that’s not going to happen. You keep sabotaging yourself because these BS belief systems that are core now as a habit in you keep you from being in that joy. What we did on the beach was go to those roots, dig them out. We dug out the shit-ake and then we planted the seeds of truth about who you are and then we took the shit-ake and put it back in its fertilizer to grow who you really are.

Every single person on the planet, every 7.3 billion of us, if we really, really get all of the BS that the news feeds you or that the wealthy feeds you or that you’ve been taught by teachers that you have to be a doctor or a lawyer in order to be successful or you need to have this standard to be successful or you need to choose early what you’re supposed to do and once you choose that thing you can’t change it. All of that BS will keep you in a place of unhappiness, will keep you in a place of feeling like there is no hope for me because I had a bad beginning and I’m never going to catch up. All of that keeps us from being the loving, loved, and lovable people we all are, with unique gifts, talents, and abilities that are ours only to find and hone and do what you want to do. You’re doing what you want to do that you’ve always known you wanted to do. Using all that has happened, good, bad, and ugly in your life, to help people and feel good at the same time and make a lot of money, because money is an energy that all of us can use to continue to grow and expand.

We talked about the work that we did together on the beach, it definitely was an amazing experience for me. I laughed some, I cried some. I did some Tai Chi. It was quite a unique experience. I know definitely really honestly that American nightmare phrase that you used. I know the big keys for me was balance and self-criticism were two huge parts of it. What does balance mean to you?

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: Having what you want and wanting what you have. Being who you are and loving yourself 88% of the time.

Having what you want and wanting what you have. Being who you are and loving yourself 88% of the time. Finding the mill between thinking that you’re a piece of shit-ake and thinking you are full of shit-ake, you are pretty good shit-ake. That’s balance; finding the middle as a balance-centered place. I’m not talking about even keel. This is one of the biggest BS’s, is that you don’t want to be a drama queen. You want to just be even. But most people now take drugs to even themselves out to the point where when they’re happy, they can’t feel it because they’re so evened out. That’s all these anti-this and anti-that. We don’t even know how we feel anymore. It is so sad watching people, “I’m so depressed and I can’t get out of it.” Then, “Are you taking anti-depressants?” “Yes.” “Are you out of it?” “No.”

First of all, let’s just stop taking the anti-depressants if it’s not working and you’re getting side effects that make you not be able to perform in the bedroom, which is another added depressor. Then you need a pill to get it up and then that has side effects to make you even more depressed, let’s get out of that cycle. Stop taking the pill. After you take the pill, let’s get in touch with how you’re really feeling. “How do you really feel today?” “Actually, I’m feeling like shit-ake today because my insignificant other just left me. I don’t want to feel the pain so that’s why I’m medicating.” It’s like, “We’ve got to feel the pain. We’ve got to feel the pain fully and thoroughly and then we can let it go.” When you feel good, you get to feel good fully and completely.

If you can picture this, emotions are not linear. You can’t just say, “I’m not going to feel sad anymore.” It’s like a dumbwaiter. You know how the dumbwaiter doors close? The top one comes down, the bottom one comes up. Think about the spectrum of emotions you have. On the top part, above sea level, what are some positive feelings you have? Happiness, joy, exhilaration, orgasmic, fun, peace, satisfaction, those are all positive emotions. Now think of the ones below sea level: sadness, depression, anger, envy. Those are ones that you’re told, “You can’t feel that, you shouldn’t feel that.” When you chop off the bottom, you chop off the top. If you’re a human being and you don’t want to feel any of those negative emotions, basically you’re closing the dumbwaiter door so that you’ve got a spectrum of, “How are you feeling?” “I’m okay.” Because you can’t feel anything else. One of the traps that people get into in, “Why am I not happy?” you’re not happy because you’re not feeling who you are and the myriad and the beauty and the full spectrum of who you are.

Am I saying that you should be a drama queen and go up and down and up and down? No, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t feel, but balance it out. That’s what balance is. Balance is feeling all that’s good and feeling all that’s not good. That’s being alive. That’s balance. Balance is about being alive. It’s not about balance is even keel. It’s not even keel. Balance is feeling fully alive and celebrating life because we just don’t know for sure what’s going to happen when we leave. We don’t know for sure from where we came from. All we know for sure is that we have this time where we get to taste, touch, feel, see, hear, and express the fullness of life. Let’s do it.

The importance of feeling what you’re feeling, you have that relationship that ends or someone passes and you go through and allow yourself to feel sadness, hurt, pain, whatever it is. When do I need to choose to be happy?

When you get tired of being unhappy. Let me just clarify this, I’m not saying that there aren’t people who should not be taking some kind of medication. When I was in my undergrad of Clinical Psychology, the percentage was 0.02% of the population were clinically depressed. Those were the people where definitely the synapses aren’t working and you need the medication to reorder things chemically and electronically in the brain. Now, the statistic is one out of four Americans is on some kind of antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anti-something. That’s 25%. You don’t go from 0.02 to 25% in less than a generation and tell me that that isn’t a symptom of people getting stuck in whatever they’re feeling. I can’t tell you, “You should feel for 6.2 weeks, you can feel sad when your lover leaves you.” I’m not saying that at all. There’s no formula in this. It is personal. Let’s say someone does leave you suddenly. Let’s say a tragedy happens and someone’s taken from you suddenly. People go through that. There’s a lot of that going on in the news now. It happened in my little town of Seal Beach with the Seal Beach Salon shootings in 2011, and it was a tough time. You can’t go into one day and say, “I cried today so tomorrow I’m going to be fine.” No, that’s silly.

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: When something happens to you and you’re feeling unhappy, my suggestion is to feel unhappy.

However, there are people who have lost someone and ten years later they’re still grieving to a point where they’re sitting in bed, eating bon bons, covers over their head, and can’t seem to get out of that. I shouldn’t say ten years, maybe a year. They start taking antidepressants because the doctors give that out so easily. They get into that cycle where they don’t know how they’re feeling. When something happens to you and you’re feeling unhappy, my suggestion is to feel unhappy. If I’m on stage and suddenly I feel sad because I miss my dad, that’s probably not the time to be crying while I’m on stage speaking. But I will talk to myself and say, “Sarah,” which is the name of my sad one, “We’re going to visit this when we get home and we’re going to take a bubble bath and we’re going to remember all the things that we miss about Dad.”

That is a healthy way to process sadness. Or call someone who knows that I’m safe and I’ll cry on their shoulder. Or I’ll purposely go to a sad movie and allow myself to be sad. When it becomes a habit is when it becomes dangerous because it robs you of the present moment of life. When you get stuck in the habit of bemoaning or blaming or shaming or being in that place of anger or loss or resentment and it becomes a habit, then we have a problem. Being unhappy in that 12% of the time is a good thing. It’s supposed to be that way. But staying there and marinating and ruminating past the 12% is when you rob yourself.

One of my favorite questions I always ask on the show, especially with athletes, for so long this was always a big focus of mine. When things aren’t going well in my performances, how do I get myself back on track? How do I get myself in that hot streak again? Asking you the same thing, if someone is in a bad habit, a bad pattern of being unhappy, how do they get themselves back on track, building that momentum of being happy again?

Knowing that it’s a choice. The easiest thing is find a better feeling thought. You’ll remember we did this. I had you write down all of the things that go through your mind that make you feel like a piece of shit-ake. We all have them. We all have these phrases that someone gave to us and told us or taught us that stick in our heads, and we play it over and over and over like a broken record. It will bring us down automatically. We have to be cognizant of what those are. Here’s a big tool that you’ll remember. It’s a balance tool. It’s called talking to yourself. I know, conventional psychology says, “If there are voices in your head, there’s something wrong with you.” I’m telling you right now that there are voices in your head, everybody has voices in their head. People call it monkey brain, chatter, 50,000 thoughts that go through on an hourly basis or a minute by minute basis if you’re an overachiever like me. We have to be very aware and cognizant of the thoughts that are keeping us in that bad place.

The number one person in my head that keeps me in bad feeling thoughts is my critic. My critic can do a number on me every single day. I love these sayings, “My mind is like a dangerous neighborhood. You don’t want to go in there alone.” That’s the critic talking. In order to get out of it, you have to first recognize it and be aware of it. That’s psychology 101. I actually name her. My critic’s name is Rose. Why is it Rose? Guess whose name was Rose, my momma. My mom was a tiger mom. Let me tell you, yes, I’m Chinese, and she could give the Tiger Mom author a run for her money. My mom is not like that most of the time. Now she’s super mellowed out, but I still have an internalized critic named Rose, doesn’t need my mom to say anything. She’ll beat me up. She’s the one that says, “You should’ve done that. You shouldn’t have done that. You should’ve known better. Everybody was right when they said you wouldn’t amount to anything. You can’t get anything right. Why do you even try? You can’t do it.” That voice will take me down if I let it drive my life car.

One of the practices is to call your critic. Don’t throw her out of the car. You don’t want her to get her run over because your critic actually helped you as a child. She kept you safe. She kept you from running across the street and getting flattened by another car. She had a role to protect you, especially if you grew up in an abusive home. Critics were really good at getting you to not die. Because if you really succumbed to the abuse that you were given, you probably would want to take yourself out. The critic had a very strong role in protecting you from damage. I’d say at least 60% of the people I work with didn’t have an abusive past or didn’t have a childhood trauma. They just had normal loving parents. Somehow we still have that critic. We have to make friends with the critic, we name the critic, and then we say things like this, “Thank you, Rose, for that criticism. I’ve heard it before. You’ve got to be super tired of yelling at me. You have to be exhausted. I’m going to give you an all-expenses paid vacation and have you sit down in the passenger seat and take a load off. Thank you very much. You can come back and we can talk about this when there are some new data. For right now, we’ve talked this issue ad nauseam. I want to vomit, and I know you are tired, so just sit down and then we’ll talk about this later.”

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: The ability for you to take control of the thought you’re thinking is step one.

The ability for you to take control of the thought you’re thinking is step one. The way you do that is by naming who’s talking. Name your critic, you have a conversation, you make friends with them, and then you have them sit down. The other person who keeps you down and keeps you in a place of non-productivity, non-joy, non-happiness, is the brat. Everybody’s got a brat. Everybody who’s ever been in a situation where everything’s going good and then you sabotage yourself, that was the brat who sabotaged you. The brat’s the voice that says, “Who are you to tell me what to do? I’m not perfect, are you? Leave me alone. If I look like you, I’d be miserable too. You don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t ask you for your opinion. I don’t care.” That’s the brat. That brat will also drive you off of the road if it is in charge of what you’re doing. Those two characters will keep you depressed, will keep you in resentment, will keep you in blame, will keep you stagnant, will keep you going down the rabbit hole, will keep you even to the point of you just want to check out because you cannot find the balance. That’s why we call it balance.

Who do you talk to? You find your internal balance-centered you. Everybody’s got one of those too. That’s the voice that makes you happy. That’s the voice that says, “Darling, this too shall pass. You missed the kick. You missed the three-pointer. You missed the dash. You missed the time trial. It’s okay. Everything is going to be okay. This too shall pass. Next time, it will be better. We know now what we need to work on a little more. But it’s okay, darling, it really is okay. You are fundamentally a really good person. Let me remind you of some of the things that you’ve done that you can smile at. Remember the time when you helped this kid and he really needed a hand up? I’m here for you that way. I love you. I know who you really are. You’re more than that missed kick. That doesn’t define who you are.” You grow the balance-centered part of you that gives you the love and the respect and the approval that you keep wanting from other people.

Critics look to everyone else and they use it as ammunition, “You may have gotten a compliment but remember that guy that criticized you? Remember the teacher that said you wouldn’t amount to anything? Remember the guy that rode by you in the bike and called you ugly? That’s who you are.” The critic is going to bring all of the bad criticisms that you’ve suffered through and put them up in your face because it likes power. All the brat is going to do is to blame and not take responsibility. The balance-centered holds the hands of both of them and says, “Calm down. We want more out of this life than to be constantly put down or constantly putting other people down. I want balance. I want us to get along. I want to be happy and I know you do too. We’re going to help each other do that. It’s going to be okay.” That’s how you get back on your feet. That’s how you bring the love back. That’s how you find the love you’ve been always looking for, emanating from you.

The Balance-Centered Jason, which I love because there’s been a few times where you refer to me as BCJ, which is hilarious because that’s the exact opposite of my initials. After doing that process, I was living life exactly the opposite of what I’ve always done. The results had been enjoyable. By the way, I would describe you as the sweetest, nicest, little thing, but you do a really great brat.

Her name is Agnes, by the way. There was a movie that struck me, that’s why I found it. Agnes of God, that’s what it was. She’s a powerful one. I get to play with her too because the upside of Agnes is she’s the one that loves to have fun. She’s the one that races sailboats. She’s the one that loves to play Mahjong. She’s the one that likes to go gamble in Vegas. She’s the one that likes to beat your butt in any game actually.

I know you love saying, “the ocean of abundance.” What does that mean to you?

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
The reality is, everything is so incredibly abundant. The ocean is an example of it.

The ocean of abundance is a belief system that I choose to remind me and balance out all of the bad news in the world. If you listen to the news or watch the news or look at the headlines, which I don’t do very often, 99% of the time, it will show you how bad the world is, how there’s not enough of this. It’s the worst parts of life and the worst parts of people and how there’s not enough of anything and how there’s loss, lack, and limitation everywhere you look. When the reality is, everything is so incredibly abundant. The ocean is an example of it. The grains of sand are an example of it. The snowflakes are an example, the grass, the leaves. All of those are examples of limitless and unique well-being. It’s a great example how 7.3 billion of us have unique skills and abilities, just like every grain of sand doesn’t look the same, they have unique look, feel, and texture. Every drop of water in the ocean of abundance has uniqueness and a beauty and a wonder. It’s a reminder.

It’s a reminder that everything that you’re hearing in the media, which one of my teachers, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, calls a weapon of mass distraction, that’s the media. It’s all BS. It’s a belief system that helps keep people afraid. When they’re afraid, they’re more likely to be influenced. What are they influencing you to do? What is the media selling? The media is selling fear. What does fear from other countries do? It supplies money and coffers for war. That’s what fear is. All the bad stuff that’s happening that is reported on the news is to get us to be in fear so that we will approve of anything that is war-related. Because we have to kill, shoot, maim, wipe out anything that is going to attack us, because we’re the only important people on the planet. That’s BS.

I put everything I can in front of me as an example of the truth. The truth is, we don’t control breath. We just take a breath. Thank God. We don’t run out. Everybody’s breathing. We do what we can to make the planet a better place. But we’re not going to do it by continuing to fight each other. We are not going to do it by continuing to talk about what’s wrong, by having a war against this, war against drugs, war against another country. That’s not how we’re going to make it a better place. We make it a better place by finding what is good, what is working and focus on that, because the law of attraction says, “What you focus on comes back bigger.” If we focus on what’s wrong, guess what, we’re going to see more examples of wrong. But if we focus on what is going well, “What’s right with me? What am I good at? What do I like about myself?” Then I can go, “I’m pretty good shit-ake.” Then I get to go, “What’s good about Jason? What’s good about the person I just passed in the street? What’s good about my teacher? What’s good about my student? What’s good about my friend?” That breeds more good. “What’s good about the drivers on the freeway?” That one I keep working on. It builds.

If you follow me on Facebook, it’s crazy. I know it is a direct result of my discipline or my “blisscipline” as my big brother, Michael, says. It’s a direct result of continuing to highlight all the good in my life. The more good there is, the more that comes. The more I say how things are going right in our country, the better it gets. We are going through hell right now. I got to interview Halle Berry and I asked her what her life motto was, on the red carpet recently after the Grammy’s, and she said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” That’s exactly it. If we focus on the hell, then we get more hell. What we’re seeing right now and what’s going on in our country is a direct result of bad habits that Americans have had in the last five years of continuing to focus and complain about what is wrong with the world.

Every single piece of what’s happening is what we’re attracting, because we create our reality. I believe that. That is a belief system that’s BS that I’ve chosen because that way I know I have more power than people think they do. If every single person joined my 21 Day Fast from Complaining with Dr. Marissa, which I have an app that was made by teenagers, you can get it on all the Google Play and all that. If every single person who listened to my show, who is out there that is listening to this podcast, stopped complaining as a habit, we would see an incredible turnaround in this country. We would see an incredible turnaround in how we relate to everyone around. There’s so much good.

Isn’t it wonderful that technology now allows us to connect with so many people? Isn’t it wonderful that even if you don’t like Trump right now, we are more aware of how we have power in voting and legislation? Isn’t it wonderful how there’s more food and water on the planet than there are starving children and there’s more education than there are uneducated people? Isn’t it wonderful that every single day, we get a chance to be creative in how we can make the planet a better place? Isn’t it wonderful that we are unlimited now in the way we express our gifts and talents? You don’t need a producer. You can just record yourself, go on YouTube, and become an overnight sensation.

Isn’t it wonderful that there are so many forums that you can write whatever you want? You can choose to write something that’s life affirming or you can choose to complain on Facebook and see how many fingers you get of people who actually agree with the complaining that you’re doing. Do you really want that? No. We have so much right now that it’s unbelievable and incredible. Because I see it, I get more. There’s the challenge to you. You want better in your life? First you start by being aware of what’s not working in your life and you let go of those. Then you focus on what you’re good at and then you build on that and then you begin to communicate all that good and then it comes back around.

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: It’s always this or better. We just have to be patient with seeing how that all plays out.

There are people just like you who want to join in. We just had that discussion with you Jason, how there’s a momentum that comes that people are ready to get on the good, positive bandwagon. We’re tired. There’s even good that comes out of this place that we are. There’s always a reason. We may not understand it. We may not like it. But a year knows what a day doesn’t. Anytime shit-ake happens to you, I have adopted this practice from another one of my teachers, Edwin Gaines, who says when shit hits the fan, I say, “I can’t wait to see what good comes out of this.” It’s fun because it will come back. Even a car accident or even a loss or even a robbery or even a lost job, I don’t know how many of my clients, they hate their job and then they complain when they lose it. It’s like, “Wait a minute.” Same with a relationship, they hate their insignificant other and then their significant other goes and cheats on them and forces them to split and then they meet the person of their dreams or they have a great time dating monogamously or polyamorously. I don’t know, whatever it is, it’s always better. It’s always this or better. We just have to be patient with seeing how that all plays out.

There’s this radio show called, Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It. One of the best titles I’ve ever heard. How did the show get started? How long has it been going? Just give us the rundown of this beautiful thing.

I just celebrated my 250-show mark, which is 250 consecutive weeks on the air. I just had Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island on again, cohosting. She’s a five-peat guest and a friend. I just love the way that I’ve had the most amazing guests from Marianne Williamson to Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, to Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, to Don Miguel Ruiz, bestselling author of The Four Agreements, to Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, to Fran Drescher. To some really inspiring people like Frederick who got his arms cut off in the Rwandan Genocide and is now using his experiences to build a rehabilitation center for others like him, to go to school and teach kids. It’s just the most fun thing that I get to do. That’s not true. There’s no line between my work and play anymore. 88% of the things I do, I absolutely love, love, love.

When I call it the ocean of abundance you know that I’m a spiritual person. I’m not religious, just so there’s a qualification. I did grow up a Fundamental Baptist, which I call the precursor to Atheism because you grow up with a very angry God who needs anger management classes. I’m not dissing religion; I think religion is beautiful. It’s a way for people to connect with a power greater than themselves. That’s all spirituality is, is a personal relationship with something outside of themselves and you get to make it anything you want.

For me, I made it something that I feel like I can be so embraced and wrapped in a warm blanket of worthiness. That is my higher power. I call it my UPS man, my universal power source that delivers every morning when I pray and meditate on the beach. It’s so great because UPS trucks drive by all the time so I’m constantly reminded that I’m in a good place. I plug into that energy field, because we’re all energy, and that’s the inspiration that comes to me now very often. Five years ago, I was woken up at 4:30 in the morning with an inspiration and the voice said radio. I said, “Radio? Are you kidding me?” I’d heard that voice a couple of times before so I wasn’t scared by the voice, because I know that that’s the voice of my UPS man. Although, I had an aura picture taken and I have the violets and the yellow, which is very spiritual connected to love and all that, then I have dark blue by my ears and I asked them what that was and they said, “That means you’re audio clarinet. That means you hear the voice of whatever that is that’s outside of yourself.” Then they go, “But do you notice those little white patches?” I’m like, “What’s that?” They go, “You hear the voice but you don’t always listen.” There’s a gap in there.

The voice said, “Radio.” And I went, “Radio?” “Radio.” I go, “Radio? I’ve never in a million years ever thought of doing radio.” “Radio.” “Are you sure?” Then I looked at the clock and I went, “It’s 4:30 in the morning, can we talk about this later?” “Radio.” “Fine, fine,” my brat. I take my brat and my critic and the balance-centered Dr. Marissa goes to the computer, sits down and for 44 minutes, sits and just types and I’m just inspired and out comes the name of the show, Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa. I have a guest list down. I’ve had every single person on my guest list, except the Dalai Lama. I’m still holding out hope for that. I know it’s going to happen. I don’t know when. Then a business plan for the show and a manifesto for the show and a process for the show and a format. Everything just came out of my fingers on to the keyboard, on to the computer. I sent it to myself and then the next day, I swear, I got a message from an old client who said, “I’m playing with being on the radio. I have a podcast/radio blog, would you be my guest?” That was the next day. That was 4:30 in the morning, the next morning like 10 in the morning. I’m like, “That’s kind of weird.” I said, “Sure.” A couple of days later, I get on with her like I’m on with you and basically talk for an entire hour by myself, which is what I’m doing now. The voice said, “See. You can do this.” I went, “I guess I can do this.”

That was that, and then a week later, I was signed with Global Voice Broadcasting, which then turned into UBN, Universal Broadcasting Network, which turned into syndication with CNBC News Radio which turned into syndication with iHeartRadio. Now the numbers are, it’s a guesstimate, but I am over a quarter million listeners in over 100 countries. I’m so grateful. Last year, I won the 2016 Podcast of the Year Top Ten Award in Health category out of 440,000 podcast shows, and 100 million downloads. Hope and happiness is catchy. I’m so grateful for that because that’s what I get to do. That’s how I get to play, is doing what I did with you on the beach, taking it to another level where I get to splatter hope and happiness on a larger group of people. Those people, some come to work with me, I take them on retreat to Sedona where it’s like healing by the ocean because there’s vortexes and you can do things fast. It’s turned into this giant thing that I never ever thought was part of my plan, but it’s obviously part of the plan. I’m so grateful for it. I actually have cameras in the studio, so it is TV/radio. You can go on YouTube.

What are the things that are really important to you about this show? When you have all these wide array of guests and you’re talking about hope and happiness.

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: There are so many ways to hope and happiness.

There are so many ways to hope and happiness. I’m actually in process of publishing my next book and it’s called The Eight Ways to Happiness, because there are so many people who want happiness but they’re all in different places. There’s a chapter from loneliness. There’s a chapter from shame. There’s a chapter from regret. There’s a chapter from hatred. There’s a chapter from perfectionism. There are many ways into happiness and there are so many ways in which people are not happy. My topics are things like, how do you get to happiness in the bedroom? I have a series called Sexual Healing with Dr. Marissa every last week of the month. Especially women, when I heard the statistic that up to 85% women fake orgasms in the bedroom, that to me tells me that they’re not happy. There’s something going on there. I became really interested and now have guests that speak to improving the quality of your orgasms, as well as introverts in love. If you’re an introvert, how do you maneuver in the dating world?

I have guests also that come to talk about how to eliminate female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone. There are so many ways where people feel hopeless and unhappy. Every guest speaks to how we can get to, is it nutrition? Is it your health? I have guests there for weight loss. I have guests there for relationships, improving your relationship, because that’s a definite influencer of hope and happiness. Where are you in your relationships? I have people there on job and career. I had a psychic lawyer on there. I have so many ways. I have people who are experts, five sex languages. I want to bring people who can give you some expertise that you can try in order for you to improve your happiness factor up to 88%. What my show is not is a place for angry rhetoric and gossip and scandal and there’s no K words allowed on the show. No Kardashian talk at all, because I want you to focus on your own reality show. This is your show. This is your life. The past is history, the future is a mystery, the present moment is a gift. Let’s open it.

I’ve got two last questions for you. What is in store for your future? Make this a slash question because I’m actually curious for myself too. Your idea about setting goals and creating this future for yourself, at the same time knowing that anything could happen, that’s okay. What is in store for the future? At the same time, how do you set goals for yourself?

I’m an overachiever. You’re an overachiever. The other names for that is perfectionist and control freak. We want to, “I want this. I want this.” The balance once again is you have dreams, you have aspirations. It’s good to have a dream. Another tidbit from Michael Bernard Beckwith is we suffer from IDD, Intention Deficit Disorder. So many of us are hopeless and apathetic, we stop dreaming. There’s nothing more because what I thought was it is not it and there’s nothing else. We have to get back to this place of, “What is my dream? What do I want?” I have a friend who has, not an answering machine, but a questioning machine. When you call her it says, “Who are you and what do you want?” Those are questions that you should be asking on a monthly basis. You just stop, you go to the beach and you sit and you say, “Who am I? What do I want?” I would love to see my show even on a broader platform. Does that mean TV? Maybe. Does that mean another syndication? I don’t know. This is where I have the desire. I want to be a beneficial presence on the planet. I want to have fun with what I’m doing. I want to feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives. I want something that’s meaningful. I love being in the creative flow of things. I want to be inspired and I want to be inspiring. There’s my vision. You notice how I can do that in many different avenues, whether it’s speaking or teaching or on the radio or on TV, it doesn’t matter as long as that’s my goal. The avenue is another story.

If I say in contrast, “I want this number of listeners by this time. I want the bottom line budget to be this. I want to have this amount of money to put in the bank.” Those are goals that keep me out of my joy. They have nothing to do with my joy. The joy for me is I want a show that makes enough money to keep it on the air. I want a show that makes enough money to expand and bring more people in. I want a show maybe that I can highlight more and more. I’m not saying that money isn’t good. Who am I to say what number’s a good number of listeners? There are people out there who are spewing crap on the airwaves who have a lot of listeners. I don’t want to be like them. I don’t want that kind of an audience. He’s free to have those. It’s very clear. There’s a spiritual principle around this. It’s the difference between “I want a tomato plant or I want a strawberry patch” and say, “I want a strawberry patch.” Not saying, “I want sixteen strawberries. I want four stalks. I want the leaves to have seven points.” That’s the difference. I want a field of flowers. I don’t care what flowers they are. I want a field. I want an ocean teeming with marine life. Do I want dolphins? Absolutely, I love dolphins. Do I want whales? Absolutely, I love whales. I love puffer fish. But outside of that, I’m happy with the number of them, where they hang out, I don’t care.

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: I get to be in joy every day, because I have this expectation. I love watching my own life unfold.

Here’s where I get to be in joy every day, because I have this expectation. I love watching my own life unfold. Because if I said, “I want this,” I’d be focused on, “If that didn’t happen, I can’t be happy.” But now I have this, “I can’ wait to see what happens.” Everything that’s happening is way beyond what I could have ever imagined. If I had said, “My success is I’m going to have an article published in a magazine. Until I get that, I’m not going to be happy.” I would rob myself of the deliciousness of the path that I’ve been on, which by the way, I just got an interview published in the Inc Magazine, a couple of days ago because I accidentally met someone who was a writer for them at a conference where I was teaching and we just hit it off. Next thing I know, he’s got me splashed all over Inc Magazine and said that I’m so good that I just submitted an article. I’m going to be writing for the magazine. If we can all get to that place of general positive expectation and regard for life, then our lives become a magnificent drama that unfolds the best possible way, way beyond what we could imagine.

I do have one other thing. Because I’m sitting here, I’ve got my 52 pick me up cards. Before we even got on and connected, I already pulled one out. Do I have to read that one? Can I do another one?

You can do any one you want.

I’m going to read it. “Are you leading with your blind spot?” Let me just read it out for our audience. “When we push past pain down into the crevices of our mind and soul, like a garbage disposal compressor panel, the emotional garbage turns into toxic gas that we aren’t aware we are leaking. But those around us smell it. ‘I am not angry’ is my favorite example of self-unawareness. Are you leaking gas? If people tend to leave you alone, you might want to watch for leaks.”

You picked that card because it summarizes everything we’ve talked about. That we are robbing ourselves of aliveness and effectiveness because we’re not aware of how we have pressed past pain down so far that when you press garbage down, it liquefies. If you press the liquid, it gasifies. So many of us are walking around leaking that gas and wondering why nobody wants to be friends with us. They can smell the gas but you can’t. I’m not saying that you’re leaking gas, but you were probably choking on your own gases yourself because you knew that you weren’t happy but you didn’t know how to get out of it. That’s what leading with your blind spot is. You’re unaware of how you can get out of where you are. That’s my specialty. That’s why you asked for this. You were asking strongly enough help, that that’s why we ended up sitting together and that’s why you ended up coming to the beach. That’s why you are magnificently now owning and sharing your gifts with the planet and embracing all that you are. You unblocked all those things that were getting in your way from your critic and your brat, and all the ways in which you didn’t see the glorious human being that you absolutely are.

It was funny how it all worked out between you and I as well because the day we first met, I had about 90 minutes of sleep. Usually under any situation, I can act like everything’s okay, unless I get tired. If I get tired, I get super emotional. I had very, very little sleep on the day that I was meeting you, running into you, and it all just came out. We agreed to do that on the beach intensive and then that day, I fly all the way out to California, late night flight, got delayed several hours, landed in LA at 1, drove to the wrong city, to the wrong hotel, had to drive back up to Long Beach or something, got to bed 3 or 4 in the morning, up early with you, and the same thing. I was exhausted where emotionally I couldn’t hold myself together if my life depended on it. It was just a beautiful blessing how it all worked out.

FFL 11 | Getting Balanced
Getting Balanced: Tears are the disinfectants that keep your heart soft.

I love it when my clients cry. I consider that a goal because then I know I’ve touched the heart. I know the heart is open. Tears are the disinfectants that keep your heart soft. There’s no such thing as accidents. Everything happens for our divine and best good. You were just ready for it. I’m so glad that you opened yourself up to go with it. Talk about accidents, there’s 52 completely separate teachings and it’s called 52-Card Pick Me Up: Stacking the Deck for Life Balance with Dr. Marissa. You can get them on my website, or I’m only plugging them because all proceeds from those cards goes to my peace work around the planet. I’m going to India this year actually to get an award and to speak. Also, wherever I go, I also go teach places that can’t afford me and the money that comes from my Balance products goes towards that.

Anyway, those cards were written because I had two girlfriends cancel on me. I had a free trip to the Bahamas. I had a week in a resort. I had two girlfriends consecutively cancel on me on a free vacation. I go, “Am I that unlikeable? Have I got that much gas that I can’t even get a girlfriend to go on a trip with me to the Bahamas?” What happened was, when I got there and I was by myself and I woke up that first morning, all 52 downloaded. That whole trip was the express purpose that I didn’t know, but my UPS man knew, that he was going to deliver all 52 of those. I wrote the whole time by the beach. It was not work. It was so fun writing all of those out. Please do get them and spread them around. They’re not mine, they were downloaded. They’re messages for everyone to feel good about themselves and about life by looking at where they contribute to their own unhappiness.

Where else can people find you or get in contact with you?

Please do go to my Dr. Marissa fan page on Facebook and give me a thumbs up. You can subscribe on YouTube, please, thank you. If you’d like to leave a comment, make it nice, thank you. You can subscribe to me on iTunes as well. Please do get the app. The app is really cute because my daughter and another teenager made it. It’s only $0.99. Again, that $0.99 goes to my peace work around the planet. Wouldn’t it be great if everybody you knew didn’t complain? It’s a very powerful little tool. I would love if you got that. Please do join me in Sedona. I go once a year and I take a small group of women predominantly, but I’m waiting for you to go, Jason. We just go to the vortexes and I teach you still and moving meditation along with the other balance tools. It will change your life. Those weekends are just like the beach intensive. If you want to do what Jason did and come and work with me on the beach for eight hours, I promise you, you will change your life. That’s that. It’s an investment. These are all investments in you, because you’re worth it.

Thank you so much for honoring us, being on the show today.

My blessing.

For our audience, I hope you enjoyed. For everyone else, feel free to reach out to me. Until next time, aim high, swing hard, smile often, and live full force. Bye.

Important Links


Guest Bio

FFL 11 | Getting BalancedIntroducing Marissa Pei, Ph.D. an Inspirational Speaker lecturing and teaching world-wide on Life Balance and How to be Happy 88% of the time, TV Commentator on Discovery and Learning Channel specials, ABC, FOX and KTLA/KUSI/CW6 on Relationships, Tragedy and Hope, On-Air Personality with a popular talk radio show “Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa” on the Universal Broadcasting Network in Hollywood, syndicated on CNBC News Radio KCAA AM 1050 FM 102.3 FM 106.5 and nationally on IHeartRadio.

Dr. Marissa is also a Consulting Psychologist for Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, Cedars-Sinai, AT&T, Mattel, Toyota and Bank of America for the past 25+ years for Leadership Development/Executive Coaching, Strategic Planning, Teamwork, Valuing Diversity all culminating in More Joy, Less Stress and More Success at Work. She is also a published bestselling Author, Life Balance Coach, Singer/Songwriter, and Global Thought Leader with her 21 Day Fast from Complaining and Peacework around the Planet.

Her moniker ‘the Asian Oprah’ began because of her many past Oprah guests on her successful talk radio show, along with winning the 2014 Asian Heritage Award, Business Person of the Year Lotus Award and 2012 Asian Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Her awards continue with the 2016 Top 10 Podcast of the Year Award from a field of 440 thousand shows and 100 million downloads, and being named to the 2016 OC500 List which highlights 500 of the most Influential People from a field of 3.5 million in Orange County California. Finally, Dr. Marissa races sailboats and raises 2 teenage girls as a single mom for fun. It’s obvious her life motto is ‘Don’t Die Wondering!’

1 thought on “Getting Balanced with Dr. Marissa Pei

  1. Wow, I am so proud of the work you have done with my flashlight!! It’s Life Balance clients like you that help me fulfill Emerson’s definition of success…’to laugh often and much…to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived…that is success’. I am welling up with happy tears right now…reading your blog and our interview and remembering that argument on the beach…LOVE IT!!

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