From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/patrick-laurie-gentempo-parenting-podcast/
[00:00:46] Podcast Sponsors
[00:06:00] Guest Intro
[00:09:35] Gentempo family and their morning routine
[00:18:40] Unique Parenting Approach: Premises, Values, and Purpose
[00:22:23] Rules for Parenting
[00:29:13] The importance of family rituals
[00:34:49] The education premise
[00:36:14] Podcast Sponsors
[00:38:59] cont. The education premise
[00:54:05] Why the Gentempo kids have to read Atlas Shrugged?
[00:58:07] The meditation practices – how to get kids involved
[01:03:07] Excerpt from the book: Don’t subjugate your inner knowing to external experts who don’t know you, your values, or your child
[01:14:25] End of Podcast
[01:10:46] Elements of Vitality
[01:08:57] Closing the Podcast
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Patrick: I encourage all people think, use your own mind, your own judgment. But, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from other people, you can’t improve on your life or your parenting by learning from other people, but never subjugate your own views or your own values because some expert told you that you should do it a different way.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Alright, what’s the problem with wine today? Wine is highly processed just like our food. I like wine just the same as you probably do. I drink a glass of wine almost every evening. But, here’s the problem. Three giant wine companies sell over 50% of the wine in the U.S. Over 76 additives are currently legally approved for use in winemaking. We’re talking dyes, thickeners, and GMO yeast. The top 20 wines sold in the U.S. contain very high levels of sugar and alcohol. And so, basically, we’re drinking poison a lot of times. That’s why you wake up and have a headache and you feel blah. I can drink, I don’t do it, but I can drink two or three glasses of the type of wine that I actually drink. It’s organic and biodynamic. It’s sugar-free. It’s low alcohol. It’s lab tested for purity. It’s grown on small family farms. It’s keto-approved. It’s paleo-approved. It’s got free shipping right to my door. It’s called Dry Farm Wines. It’s the best natural wine out there. They’ve got access to 55,000 acres of organic vineyards.
Alright. So, a lot of these come from Europe where there’s healthy soil and dynamic biodiversity using natural wine farming. They work with 600 small family farmers sourcing from over 600 these small family growers all who make their wine by hand using things like regenerative farming, avoiding machinery. Dry Farm Wines even helps to teach them a lot of the tactics that make for better wine. They save a billion gallons of water with this wine because you don’t have to pour a bunch of water on wine. That makes it sweet and juicy. And, we want our wine to be antioxidant, rich, and tannic. And, that’s the way these Dry Farm Wines are.
So, I call them Dry Farm. They don’t use much water, so it’s better for the planet. Less than 1/10 of 1% of the world’s wines are grown to the standards of Dry Farm. But, they pick them out for you. They cut out all of the work for you. And so, you know guilt free when that box arrives, every single one has been screened. They got free shipping, straight to your door, free of charge, 100% happiness. That means any bottle you don’t like, they’ll replace it or they’ll refund it. And, better yet, they’re going to give any of my listeners an extra bottle of Dry Farm Wines in their first box for a penny. Yup, 1 penny, because alcohol they can’t sell for free. But, here’s what you do, you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/DryFarmWines. That’s BenGreenfieldLife.com/DryFarmWines, and that’s all you need to get started with your Dry Farm Wines adventure today. Drink the same wine I do. BenGreenfieldLife.com/DryFarmWines.
Magnesium. I love it. I actually pop six a night of this Magnesium Breakthrough stuff because it’s got all the different forms of magnesium that are out there. Alright, so let me give you a list. Okay, if you’re irritable or anxious, if you struggle with insomnia, if you get muscle cramps or twitches, if you have high blood pressure, if you’re sometimes constipated, those are all symptoms of magnesium deficiency, and just a few of them because magnesium is involved in over 600 biochemical reactions in your body.
This Magnesium Breakthrough stuff that I use replaces magnesium because it uses seven different forms. Most companies don’t do that. So, your body can actually use and absorb all the different kinds of magnesium, and you get in the best of all the best kinds of magnesium. A lot of supplements use the cheap kinds that your body can’t use or absorb. Not this Breakthrough stuff. And, what they’re going to do is a Black Friday special. From November 21st to November 29th, you get Magnesium Breakthrough, but they’re going to add in all of the other BiOptimizer’s best-in-class products with a 25% discount. That’s pretty huge.
So, for that Black Friday special, you go to BiOptimizers.com/Ben and use code Ben10. That gets you 25% off of any order Ben10 at BiOptimizers.com/Ben. And, if you go starting November 21st all the way up to November 29th, you’ll be able to take advantage of that exclusive Black Friday offer with that 25% discount on the whole shebang, the whole catalog. Check it out. BiOptimizers.com/Ben, BiOptimizers.com/Ben.
So, back in 2016, I was backstage at a conference. I had this exhausting 24-hour schedule ahead of me, and one of my friends came up to me and held his hand, and offered me this so-called smart drug like that movie “Limitless.” It was like this nootropic blend of a whole bunch of different ingredients. I’m not that smart, so I swallowed them all. I probably should have asked more questions, but fortunately, things turned out pretty well. As a matter of fact, over the next 24 hours, I felt I had taken Modafinil or something like that, but with none of the edgy, jittery side effects and I slept just fine. So, task crushing, mind sharpening. It just fueled my brain. It felt like for the next 48 hours, again, even though I wasn’t up all night. It wasn’t like a central nervous system stimulant. It turns out they brought this stuff to market about a year later and it’s called Qualia Mind, Qualia Mind. It’s 28 different high purity, vegan, non-GMO ingredients that provide you with some of the best mental performance fuel on the planet: clarity, focus, willpower, mood. Very, very good stuff. It’s like brain food.
So, you get 50% off of this stuff right now, and if you use my code, an extra 15% on top of that. So, you go to Neurohacker.com/Ben, N-E-U-R-O-HACKER.com/Ben and use code BGF, it’ll get you an extra 15% off, so you can start experiencing what the best brain fuel on Earth can do for you.
Well, folks, I’m pretty stoked about today’s show because I have some of my dear friends on the call with me. This couple is actually featured in my upcoming “Boundless Parenting” book because, well, gosh, I mean, you’re going to hear about something that I was first impressed with when I met them. And, that was this concept that they described to me as we were chatting about childhood and habits and comings and goings as parents and they’re talking about this thing called a wakeup lounge. And, I was just like, “Oh, my gosh, this is so cool.” And, I still do something like it today with my family in terms of you may have heard, if you’re listening in, how I will wake up and I’ll burn incense and I’ll put on some nice music, and then I’ll call the boys down and we’ll sit, we’ll meditate and we’ll talk and we’ll hug and we sing a song together and sometimes dance as a family. Well, I got a lot of the ideas for that from the couple who you are about to hear me interview.
Their names are Patrick and Laurie Gentempo. And, Patrick, you may have seen him around before. He gets out there on a lot of videos. He’s the host of several documentaries that you may have seen, but he’s known as kind of a philosopher/entrepreneur. He’s the cofounder and the host for a company called Revealed Films, which is the company that produces these docuseries like gosh, “Psychedelics Revealed,” “COVID Revealed,” “Christ Revealed,” and a whole bunch of other ones that I’ll link to in the shownotes if you want to check those out. He’s also a practicing chiropractor. I’ve been adjusted by him at his home before, and he’s not only a talented chiropractic doctor, but he has also gone so far as to give testimony to Congress and to the White House Commission on complementary and alternative medicine. He has a TEDx talk called “Unleashing the Power of Philosophy.” And, he’s just a man after my own heart, a really, great guy. And, I would say one of the few people that outshines him, of course, is his significant other, Laurie, which I’m sorry, Patrick, it always happens to me. People think I’m cool, then they meet my wife.
Patrick: Yeah. They say the truth hurts, but in this case, it doesn’t.
Ben: That’s right. That’s right. So, Laurie is kind of Patrick’s partner in crime. She’s the cofounder of Action Potential Holdings where she helps guide and cocreate projects that align with her values, that impact the world. And, she’s the director of the Gentempo Family Foundation, which is a nonprofit devoted to personal and global healing. She has in the past been pretty involved with the Dispenza and the Dispenza meditation retreats, and we’ll get a chance to talk about how they, well, meditation into their parenting as well. So, a ton that we can talk about. And remember, they’re featured in the book. So, if you guys are like, “Gosh, we barely even felt like the surface got scratched on what the Gentempos do and how they raise their kids,” don’t worry, they’re in the book. It’ll be at BoundlessParentingBook.com, so you can take a deep, deep dive into Patrick and Laurie if you just want to stalk them even more after you hear this episode.
All of the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Gentempo, G-E-N-T-E-M-P-O. BenGreenfieldLife.com/Gentempo. Patrick and Laurie, welcome.
Patrick: Thanks for having us.
Laurie: Thank you.
Patrick: And incidentally, just for a quick clarification, we’ll work on friends and family, but I don’t formally have a chiropractic practice anymore, so nobody should be trying to find out where to see me.
Ben: Everybody’s just trying to set down the phone now as they were dialing or I suppose googling “Patrick Gentempo, chiro, where to try?”
Okay, so I already alluded to this, so we’ll just jump right in because honestly, this was super intriguing to me and I want to hear about your kids and where they’re at right now because I know they’re grown up. But, just a quick introduction of where you’re at in terms of how many kids you have, how old they are, and what they do. And then, jump straight into that idea of the wakeup lounge just because that was the first thing when I was talking with you guys about parenting, I was like, “Holy cow, this is amazing.” So, go ahead.
Patrick: We have a total of three kids. Our oldest, 25, is from a previous marriage for me but was part of our raising him since, yeah, he was a young child. And, we also have a 21-year-old. At the time, it was 21-year-old girl and an 18-year-old boy. As far as the Wakeup Lounge is concerned, that’s really Laurie’s concept. She’s the one who thought about that, created that, and developed it into our family’s life. So, I’m going to let her talk about that.
Laurie: Yeah, it’s funny because what inspired it was this feeling of dread morning after morning, after hurrying the kids to grab projects, lunches, homework, get in the car, race to school and drop them off. And then, as soon as I got out of the car, I would feel this moment of sadness, like it was wasted. And then, I’m watching them walk into the school with all these kids ready to face the world, and I just felt like, “Gosh, they don’t seem set up right.”
Ben: You mean some kind of a touch point early in the day?
Laurie: Yeah. like their hearts are full, they’re ready, they’re strong, they’re feeling confident instead of survival mode, survival mode versus a coherent energy about them.
Patrick: Yeah, it’s a physiologic — what’s their physiologic disposition? Are they in defense physiology because you kind of pop out of bed last minute and racing to get everything together and get out the door and get to school? Or, when entrepreneurs learn this, they talk about when the morning, when the day. So, that’s even more especially true for children.
Ben: Yeah, I agree. And, like I mentioned, it’s something that we thrive on now at our house that morning coming together and it’s almost like a bookend. We have our morning coming together that involves all of us sitting on the floor doing our spiritual disciplines journal, chatting about what’s coming up in the day. Often, we sing a song. Sometimes if I feel the energy needs a little bit of a boost, I’ll put on anywhere from 8- to 10-minute long. You typically like a spiritual, kind of like a churchy song, like clap your hands, praise the Lord and we’ll be dancing around the kitchen table. And then, in the evening after dinner, after we’ve cleaned up and kind of gotten ready for bed, we do something similar in the evening. We gather, we meditate. It also involves conversations about the day and what to expect, et cetera. But, I’d love to hear a little bit more details about what your guys actually looked like, like what you do with your kids when you get them up in the morning for that touch point.
Laurie: It’s similar to what you described. For me, I always light incense because for me, there’s a morning ritual I have that I bless my home with my energy. And, I light that incense with intention that we’re all blessed for that day. We turn on the appropriate soft-toned music. We light the fire. And then, when everyone gathers, we kind of just get cozy and sit around, and actually we don’t do this as much anymore. I’ll get into that. But then, I would take a special drink order like it’s a matcha or a chai or whatever they’re having. So, it makes it more like they’re kind of ordering up too at the lounge.
And then, some mornings, it’s not a lot of talking. The whole point of it for us is quiet really and just easing into the day, not driving a process or anything like that. But, I do remember times we would talk about affirmations and start to create those for them or help them create their own. So, it’s a great time for that. As far as best practices go, it doesn’t need to be necessarily more than 30 minutes, it’s a matter of just getting up earlier, getting things ready earlier, and then just allowing that 30 minutes or more what’s become for us. Now, it’s just Patrick and I mostly in the lounge now. Our 18-year-old is still there, but Patrick and I like to sit there for almost two hours some mornings. But, that’s kind of the basics.
Ben: You mean, when you sit there for two hours, are you talking or you’re just sipping tea?
Laurie: We are. It’s actually become more ceremonial for us. We’re doing some breathwork together as a couple. It depends on what’s going on in our life. Sometimes that’s kind of a quiet time too and sometimes there’s things we’re talking through. Mostly, it’s spiritual philosophy time for us together.
Ben: Yeah. It’s almost like, I think you described it in the book, as creating an environment of peace and harmony. And, to me, it feels like the kids when they wake up, they really begin to depend on that and rely upon it and just feel very special. I’m sure a lot of people listening have experienced Christmas morning with the footy pajamas and the stockings and maybe the hot chocolate and the smell of peppermint or whatever else. But, just imagine that every morning. What if you were a kid and you could wake up every morning and you knew that when you went downstairs or upstairs or wherever the family gathered in the morning, they could be like that? It’s just magical.
Patrick: What I like about it is that it anchors in a bias, meaning that I think our bodies anticipate the day, our bodies anticipate what life is going to be or what it might bring us. And, once you have a bias of waking up in the morning and easing into the day in this way, which is in my mind really a spiritual practice. The days that that doesn’t happen, you crave going back to this as compared to getting addicted to the chemicals of stress every morning and waking up. And then, when suddenly you have a peaceful morning, you’re almost going through withdrawal wondering. “What’s wrong, how come I’m not feeling the tension of the morning that I should be feeling typically?” And, we don’t have to get into. I think everybody would know that’s listening to this the health implications of that long-term, the biological implications of what happens to a body when it biases one way versus the other as when it habituates that.
One of our premises around this is the importance of environments and how environments can shape you, shape your life, shape your experience of life, and then shape also your interactions with other people, in this case your family. So, with Laurie, I mean, even when we travel, she goes into a hotel room, the first thing the incense is out, candles. Probably shouldn’t say that because you’re not allowed to really light this stuff in hotel rooms. When you create an environment, you can change everything. And, that’s what this does. There’s a ritual for our family.
Ben: Yeah. It’s funny you say about the hotels because since we started doing this with our kids, I mean, you guys know like I travel a lot and a lot of times I’m traveling solo. Now, when I go into a hotel, I intentionally, one of the first things I do is start to set it up for the next morning so that I know when I wake up, and a lot of times I’ve got a devotional or something I travel with and I sit cross-legged on the floor of the hotel, but I travel now with incense sticks, with essential oil. I don’t necessarily burn sage and smoke out the hotel room, but I’ve taken this routine on the road. And again, not even when my family is with me just solo and there’s something about waking up. It’s just as though you were primal human, I don’t know, sleeping in a cave and you hear the birdsong and the sun shining through the cave. And, it’s almost like this sacred time in the morning that presents itself to you that if you’re willing to resist the phones and jumping right into the fray and the work and the school and everything else that you guys saw that your kids were getting exposed to and you drop them off at school and they hadn’t had this in the morning, it sets up this beautiful, beautiful way to start the day. And, I would imagine you’d agree with me, perhaps most importantly, you’re teaching your kids when you adopt a practice like this to actually prioritize their spirits and their souls and their bodies and their mind before they jump into the business of the day.
Patrick: Totally, 100%. And now, your two of the three kids are out of the house, so it’s interesting to watch when they go out on their own as young adults, where that leads, and the impact it has. And, you can definitely see how they’re setting up their lives on their own as adults and the impact this has had or the positive impact that this has had.
Laurie: Yeah. Like our daughter just moved into an apartment with her boyfriend last year and sure enough, I didn’t say a word or ask or anything but just going to look at their apartment, she had the incense, the candles, all the things so it was cool.
Patrick: Nice. Just don’t tell my kids about the drink thing because we didn’t start doing that and that they’re super foodies and they’re going to be ordering orange mocha frappuccinos with cinnamon sprinkles on top and they’re just going to add another 20 minutes to our wake-up mornings.
Ben: So, the Wakeup Lounge is I know one part of several of kind of the what I would say the traditions and the habits and the rituals and routines that really leapt out to me from your chapter in the book. And, I’d like to talk about a few others, but I actually want to backpedal a little bit because one of the things that really made an impression upon me when I was reading about your unique parenting approach was you had three main things. And, I don’t know if this is influenced by your background in philosophy or whatever, Patrick, but you list premises, values, and purpose. Premises, values and purposes. Is that being the compass that guided you over your parenting years? Well, I’d love to hear about all three of them, whichever one you’d choose as the highest priority to put first. But, tell me more about the premises, the values, and the purpose.
Patrick: Well, the three are actually related to each other. And, you’re right, it comes from my work as a call me a practical philosopher or applied philosopher where I use the branches of philosophy to sort through my thinking and understanding and then try to create a noncontradictory or congruent way to approach whatever it is in life. So, whether it’s a business, whether it’s our parenting, whether it’s our health and fitness, you name any category of life and we have premises, values, and purpose that surround it.
So, when we became parents, it was clear to me that we needed to take this approach towards life and apply it to our parenting. And, it was quite revelatory as far as when you start to sit down and sort these things out saying, “What are my premises? What do I believe? What am I operating from? What are my values when it comes to this particular subject? And, what’s my purpose?” And, there is a little bit of a sequence to this but those three things are related.
Ben: Okay. So, when you say the word premises, I’m kind of like nodding my head like I kind of sort of know what that is. But, how would you define premise, and what were some of the main premises that you guys woven your parenting?
Patrick: So, a premise is a belief element that is driving your choices and actions whether you know it or not. We all have them, and they come mostly from our mothers, fathers, teachers, and preachers. Yeah, we’ve picked them up along the way unwittingly. And, for the vast majority of people, they don’t take the time to really consciously either choose their premises or assess their premises. And, they can be very debilitating. Like you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t be something you’re not. I mean, there’s so many things we’ve heard along the way that get integrated into our subconscious that are driving us and we don’t even know that they’re there. So, it’s important, I think, to become consciously aware of what premises or views of reality that you hold and once they’re identified to make sure that you’re living consistently with them.
Some of them are, like I said, things that you maybe you picked up in a book, maybe things you picked up from a mentor. One of our first premises came from my mentor, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, who was Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir, which is what got me into philosophy. And, I don’t know if this was his original thought, but he was the one who gave it to me. He said, “No child was ever made good by telling them how bad they are.” It just struck me as a truth, a fundamental truth, and we decided that we were going to consciously parent based on that particular premise. And, there’s other ones that we can get into if you want me to share them.
Ben: So, one was, “No child was ever made good by telling them how bad they are.” And, that that makes sense. I assume that you’re talking about focusing on the positive and highlighting the good decisions that they make in life rather than them beating them up for the bad decisions. But, yeah, you had, I think, more than half a dozen different premises. And, I’d love to hear a few of the others that I suppose you would, I don’t know, like Jordan Peterson has his 12 rules for life. Are these kind of your guys’ little rules for parenting?
Patrick: Yeah, these are the premises. These are our view of reality saying these are truths when it comes to parenting that we need to be aware of. And yeah, so similar to what you’re saying about Jordan Peterson.
I’ll just do a quick lightning round-up. One of the best things parents can do for their children is love each other. And, the quick riff on that, and Laurie was really the champion of this is that a lot of times parents will lose their relationship for the kids. They divide and conquer, they get busy. And, next thing you know, their relationship really isn’t very connected, very deep, very nurturing, very loving. And so, we consciously had accused time away from our kids to continue to connect, making sure date nights were a ritual every week and several other practices that would support that particular premise.
Ben: Yeah. And, I might interrupt you as you go through a few of these premises, but I think another really important part of that. And, I didn’t witness this so much in my own parents, I just assumed that everything was okay and actually my parents got divorced later on in life when I was a teenager. And, I found out then that going on behind the scenes, they just never really had much in the way of dates and one-on-one time. And, there wasn’t a lot of public displays of affection to us kids or anything like that. We just always assume mom and dad are mom and dad and they’re in love with each other and having a great time.
And now, my wife and I, the same as it sounds like you guys did, we intentionally make sure that our kids see us nuzzling each other, kissing, going on dates, doing all the things that people deeply in love do. And, I think it does display the essences of a good relationship, but I think also kind of like that Wakeup Lounge like the kids just feel as though they’re safe because their parents are in love, their parents are in union, their parents are bonded. They feel they have a little bit more of a rock and a fortress to depend upon.
Laurie: That’s true. And, you really can’t fake this. So, it’s like you can’t fake it. So, the best advice here is really put your relationship as a priority and work on it if it’s troubled.
Patrick: Yeah. The next premise is similar to what we’re saying is children learn more by example than by words. And, I think it’s just very important that they’re always watching you, they’re always learning, always seeing you know what you do and you can try to tell them that they need to work out, they need to be in shape, they need to eat, healthy, whatever might be. But, when they see you doing it and that’s their entire experience on an ongoing basis, I believe that that ingrains even more as far as what kind of thoughts and behaviors are anchored into them. So, we try to lead by example as parents. And, that was something that we’re very conscious of.
Ben: Yeah. You know what’s crazy, by the way, Patrick, is I went through and ran some stats on some of the repetitive themes, some of the common threads throughout this book, and this concept. And, I knew these parents hadn’t necessarily all talked to each other and schemed this out. This concept of “More is caught than taught,” that phrase is actually used by three different parenting couples who I don’t think even knew each other was repeated. It was 70% of the parents in the book at some point said, “Essentially, your kids watch you and they pay more attention to what you do than what you say.” I think one of the best examples of this is just the phone or screen time or whatever. Let’s say we’re at a dinner with another family and I’m kind of doing that, like glance at your phone underneath the table, kind of down by your chair type of thing and I see that sideways glance for my kids, I know that all they’re thinking is, “Oh, wait, Dad tells us to be fully present, engaging conversation and make eye contact, but it’s okay for me to be looking at my phone during a dinner out with friends.”
Patrick: That’s a perfect example of what we’re seeing here. And, there’s a deeper root to that Nathaniel Branden would teach. And, this is where you have contradictions in this whole concept of contradictions can lead to destruction. It’s like if you sit with your kid and you tell them, “Hey, listen, Johnny, you always should tell the truth. You shouldn’t lie. It’s not good character to lie,” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And then, 10 minutes later, there’s somebody at the door that’s looking for you and the kid answers the door and says, “Oh, so and so is here,” or somebody calls on the phone, “So and so is here,” and the response to the parent is, “Tell him I’m not here.” Telling the kid to lie for you after you just told them that they’re supposed to have integrity and not do that. So, there’s thousands of examples of that, but I can tell you that kids, especially in the younger ages, maybe don’t point contradictions in their parent’s behavior or lack of integrity, but they are for sure seeing it and it’s leaving an impression.
Laurie: And, it actually goes just a little bit deeper than that with mirror neurons, so their bodies have cells that are actually mirroring everything we’re doing all the time.
Ben: Yeah, that’s a really good point. And, I mean another example would be exercise. Like I will assign my kids workouts. I don’t necessarily do all their workouts with them, but, man, oh, man, when they see me heading out the door to the gym, I know that they’re not thinking, “Dad told me I need to do 100 pushups today. But, look at him sitting around not move.” So, anytime I have the opportunity, even if it’s just like a Pomodoro break, because I’ll stop after half hour work and do 100 jumping jacks. I will literally walk out my office because I work from home, go upstairs, go by their room, by the hallway, by their room, do the 100 jumping jacks, and then in a loud voice announce something like, “Hey, I’m doing my Pomodoro break” and then I’ll go back downstairs just because I know that that goes way farther than me telling them to stop every once in a while, do some push-ups during your homeschooling guys.
Patrick: Yeah. And, I think that’s a great practice to not only think that it’s important that you do it but to put it on display when it’s practical to do so so they could see it. I think that’s great.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, I know another one of your premises was how a child starts their day is critical which we obviously just establish with that Wakeup Lounge, for example.
But, what about the family rituals one? That was another one that stood out to me.
Patrick: I could tell you and I don’t know, everybody said different place in their parenting. Again, we’re getting close to being empty nesters. But, what I can tell you is that these rituals stick, meaning they, at this age as young adults, still talk about and want to engage in the rituals. For example, I grew up in an Italian household, Italian family, Italian, so we had Italian Sunday. And so, the smells in the house of the sauce cooking, there’s this whole thing that comes together where the kids have their whole life been immersed in that ritual. And then, when we lived around parents, relatives, et cetera, we’d gather with other Italians that we’re related to and have these Sunday experiences which I had when I was a kid. So, we brought that into the household. Still, they come over for Sunday, Italian dinner. We still get together. There’s a music playlist that we have. And, it’s just one example of a ritual that bonds them or anchors them to a happy childhood. And, I have to tell you that the greatest opportunity that an adult has to be happy is having a happy childhood.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And honestly, that whole concept, this was another common thread. It wasn’t necessarily every week, but some kind of dinner gathering on a regular basis. I mean, in our house it’s basically besides tonight, Wednesday nights on the day we’re recording this, which is the night my sons go to youth group, and my wife and I stay home and play Scrabble, which is a fantastic ritual, we have these glorious family dinners every night. And, I think I’ve talked with you guys about this before, but that it comes up over and over again. I think what you kind of mentioned, and this has come up a couple times regarding even something as seemingly insignificant as the smell and the aroma of food. And, that being tied via the olfactory receptors into this sense of belongingness and love and that whole concept of you guys know when you walk into Grandma’s house and all of a sudden you smell whatever, and my grandma was Italian too, Patrick, she’ll appreciate this, eggplant parmesan or some fantastic Italian meal that she’s cooking up, it’s a lot more than just smelling the food and salivating. It’s like these emotions that wash over you from years and years of Grandma and giving her a hug and feeling that belonging in her home. And so, food goes a long, long ways. Again, it seems kind of silly and insignificant, but as far as something that kids love to gather around and as a way to make life special for a kid growing up, that concept of some type of dinner gathering I think is just as important as that morning Wakeup Lounge.
Laurie: Yeah. And, there’s another one we would do, which was we eat family dinners for us basically every night except if we were on our date or we were having dinner with friends, which we were pretty picky about with that because of family time. But, just having a day of the week where the kids could choose what to have or where to go Monday night and you just rotate that choice between each kid because it involves them more in the experience.
Patrick: Yeah, they had their favorite restaurants. Monday nights was we all go out to dinner as a family and they’d argue over where they wanted to go, “I want to go here,” “I want to go there.” So finally, we just said we’re going to rotate the decision, every Monday it’s the next person’s turn to choose. And, they still remember that from when they were young kids that how fun it was to go out Mondays and whose turn was it to pick the restaurant. So, these things seem sort of inconsequential or maybe cute or trite, but the reality is they’ve got long lingering effects on these kids into adulthood.
Ben: Regarding the dinners, did you guys ever do the one-on-ones? What I mean by that is like we’ll schedule times during the month. Well, we’re really doing once a month now because we have some family dates out and about on this town, but once a month, I’ll take one son to one restaurant and Jessa will take the other son to another restaurant or sometimes we’ll both go to the same restaurant but I’ll call ahead and request tables in separate areas of the restaurant so we do these one-on-one dates because the conversations with the kids are way different one-on-one versus when they’re with their other siblings. But, did you guys do much in terms of the one-on-one time?
Patrick: We actually definitely did it as a rhythm in our life. Yes, so it was another of those rituals. But, we still do it. I mean, at this point, even —
Laurie: More important now than ever.
Patrick: Yeah. And, very meaningful. So, yeah, when my kids were little kids, we’d take them out to dinner like a daddy-daughter date. And, sometimes it was a whole day with one kid just spending the day. And, fortunately, as an entrepreneur, I had a lot of control over my schedule so I had the flexibility to say I’m booking out Wednesday and I’m going into the city with my daughter for the day.
Laurie: And, sometimes it was a trip for a couple days.
Patrick: Of course, a million-dollar question I got to ask you guys since you’re ahead of me with a 24-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 17-year-old that are you still paying for the meals, or do the kids break out the credit card now?
Laurie: Well, they offer too. We let them pay coffee and tea and things like that, but not usually dinners. Not yet.
Patrick: Yeah. Wait, they actually do offer, but at this point, it’s still the tradition I’m taking them out and we sit. And, I’m sure there’s going to be a shift at some point where they’re taking me out.
Laurie: But, they do take Grandma out. They’re allowed to pay for Grandma’s meals.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Alright. So, this next premise may rabbit hole a little bit I sense. But, you have one about education. Tell me the education premise.
Patrick: We traveled a lot. So, we have a few premises around this, but what we came to the conclusion this one is that the most important education a child gets is outside of school not inside of it. And, yes, we’re Maverick thinkers in many respects, and this is one of the areas, but our point of view is that institutionalized education doesn’t really set kids up for success for the most part. You can certainly name exceptions, but if they’re going to be fully aware, fully conscious, fully actualized humans and adults, we felt the best education that we could give them was outside of schools. The schools where they went to learn the basic stuff, but we took them around the world; different cultures, different languages, different foods, different things they see visually, and start to learn about the world as a whole and then can start to contemplate with their place and it might be.
Laurie: We would align that with what they would be learning in school so that was helpful or a language they were learning. We would also make sure that we would give them some money like local money and give them the opportunity to exchange money. And, that’s an entryway into the conversations about the economy or money or whatever’s happening in that place.
What mattress do I sleep on? Well, I’m picky. I’m very picky. I wanted a mattress that blocks EMF, that increases deep sleep cycles based on my actual measurements, that actively cools my body even if I can’t use one of those fancy bed top cooling thingamajigs, accelerates recovery, something my wife likes and I like, something that doesn’t off-gas a bunch of chemicals, something that is designed using your health in mind and nothing else, no fancy bells or whistles or Wi-Fi or gadgets or springs or anything.
Okay, this is like sleeping on the most natural surface imaginable. They’ve even done what’s called dark film microscopy on people’s blood cells when they sleep on this mattress and actually allows your blood cells, your freaking blood cells, to return to a natural free-flowing state that allows your bloodstream to optimize the oxygen flowing through your body, improves your body’s nighttime recovery cycle, improves your sleep quality.
Sleep is so important to me. You know that. I’m super picky. I don’t just sleep on stuff because people give it to me, I sleep on stuff because I do the research. And, this mattress is top of the top. Essentia. E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A, you go to myessentia, M-Y-E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A, myessentia.com/BenGreenfield. Use code BENVIP. That’ll get you an additional $100 off your Essentia mattress. So, myessentia.com/BenGreenfield and use code BENVIP.
Let’s talk about your gut. Is it super, super duper? Well, if it’s not, then I got to tell you about this stuff. It’s called Supergut. They recently sent me a bunch, and what it is designed to do is nourish the healthy bacteria in your small intestine but without giving you crazy gas and stuff like a lot of this fiber does. So, it’s a resistant starch fiber mix. It’s this clean vegan gut health booster. In one placebo-controlled trial, Supergut’s Resistant Starch Shakes were proven to reduce hemoglobin A1C, which is your blood sugar by 0.7% in 12 weeks. That’s actually pretty significant. The resistant starch fiber mix lower blood sugar 22 to 42% two hours after a meal. It’s not a secret that having fiber with the meal will lower your blood sugar, but this stuff blows the other fiber mixes out of the water. Comes in packets. You have one packet of Supergut balancing fiber to your morning coffee or your smoothie that gives you 8 freaking grams of prebiotic fiber to your entire morning routine. That’s significant. Prebiotics are food for the good bacteria in your gut.
So, go to supergut.com/Ben and use code BEN20 for 20% off your first purchase of Supergut, gut-balancing fiber mix. That’s supergut.com/Ben and use code BEN20.
Now, when I interviewed our mutual friends, Jon and Missy Butcher, they talked about how their kids went to public school. And, I think Missy had to go in and make special requests to be able to pull the kids out during times when they normally would have been required to be in school to get the family out to travel. And eventually, I think she actually had pretty good blessing for most of the school, the teachers, and the principals to be able to do that because they saw how their kids were evolving so much from that travel. Were you guys kids public schooled and you kind of run in the same thing?
Laurie: Yeah, that’s correct about Missy. We’ve been friends with them for, gosh, our daughters, our sons are two weeks apart, so 20 years, whatever.
Patrick: A lot of our world travel was with them.
Ben: Oh, wow.
Laurie: Yeah, I learned a lot from Missy in terms of how to go about that. And, it was easier once we moved to Park City because somehow they’re wired differently here than New Jersey, but it’s an issue. It’s a real issue and they don’t take kindly to it. But, I think ultimately in the end, the kids ended up not wanting to be in school anyway so we had to shift completely out of the school system.
Patrick: Our basic history on this is that we’ve done private schools, we’ve done public schools, and we’ve done homeschool. We did it all. And, it’s kind of like there’s a season for everything and there was a time when we weren’t really feeling great about the public schools. So, we put them into rather expensive private schools and they spent some years there, but then we felt like, “Okay, that wasn’t quite right for them” and we moved and we moved to Park City and the different school systems. We put them in public school here. But, my friend Richard Rossi said something because we were really laboring over, “Do we homeschool now?” They basically called, and this was I think the Butcher kids instigated this in our kids because we just got back from Australia. They’re like, “Hey, we want to go to Freedom University,” meaning homeschool, which was FU for short.
Ben: I’ve never heard that before. That’s great.
Laurie: That’s where our kids have a degree from.
Patrick: Our kids are graduates of FU.
Ben: Oh, my gosh, I’m going to tell my kids that tonight at dinner by the way.
Patrick: So anyway, what happened was and we were kind of laboring because yeah, of course, a parent sweats this one saying, “Geez, if my kids come out of school and then can they go to college? Does it limit their choices? And, if we homeschool them,” et cetera, et cetera. But, our gut, our instincts were telling us, I’m looking at what’s happening to them and it’s adverse, it’s not supportive.
And, Richard Rossi who’s a friend of mine, an entrepreneur, who does big education programs for high-performing high school kids and gets them on varying career tracks, and I said, “Let me give him a call.” And, I’m thinking he’s kind of more conservative traditional. And, when I called him up and said, “We’re kind of weighing this decision out and pulling the kids back out, they’re in high school in eighth grade. I think my daughter was a sophomore, my youngest son was eighth grade, my oldest was already in college at that point.
And, he said, “Well, first of all, I congratulate you for even considering it and thinking about it. Second, I didn’t homeschool my kids for a couple of years,” which I was shocked when I heard that, he said, “But third, here’s how I make the decision. The most important thing a kid needs to develop in their life is self-confidence. And, the question you have to answer is, when they go to school every day, is there self-confidence being built or is it being destroyed? And, if their self-confidence is built because they thrive in that type of an educational environment and can perform well, then great, they’re in the place. If they can’t perform well in that particular,” my daughter’s dyslexic, my son’s got pretty serious ADD, they learn differently. “So, if their self-confidence is getting injured by showing up to school every day, then take them out.” And, it was that conversation where we said, “That’s it, they’re going to FU. They’re out.” So, we homeschool them for those final years of their education. And, I’m certain that it was a really good decision.
Ben: Hey, is Richard Rossi ever written a book that you would recommend on education or anything else? Because I’m not that familiar with him, but if people wanted to learn more about Richard, what would be the best way to do that?
Patrick: No, I don’t think he’s written a book. His company is called Da Vinci Education, I believe.
Patrick: And, like I said, Laurie and I have been there, we helped him. So, they have 5,000 kids in a room, he’s got Nobel laureates and all these amazing high-level academic and scholarly people that are there to present to these kids. It’s a very impressive thing. And, for these kids, it’s perfect because these are the kids who get 4.0 scores and 3.8 scores as far as their GPAs are applying to Ivy League schools and so on. But, my kids simply just were not academics, they’re brilliant. Our premise around this is that every person has some genius in them. It’s discovering what that genius is. That’s the trick. And, what’s important and for our kids, academic prowess is not their genius but they have other forms of genius that are very impressive. And, it’s just a matter of fostering that and not getting their self-confidence destroyed because you’re trying to make them learn in a way that’s not equipped for them.
Ben: When you say other forms of genius, you mean art?
Laurie: No, genius in terms of what is their passion, their gift for the world, what were they born to do that they’re good at.
Patrick: Their superpower in essence. What is something that they have uncommonly great ability at doing. My daughter is an artist. She’s a singer/songwriter and she’s extraordinarily gifted in that respect. But, she’s not going to be gifted if you throw her in a calculus class.
Ben: Yeah, that’s kind of what I meant. Basically, kids who are wired up for maybe art, creativity, et cetera, who may not be academic, who may not thrive with the university-based education, it seems there’s almost that stereotype that, yeah, you’re going to be able to make art and your job’s going to be flipping burgers to actually make money that type of thing.
Patrick: Yeah. And, that’s my definition of hell.
Laurie: I mean, you really have to reverse the entire equation or program that has been written for children. This is what you do. You go to school. You become what you’re going to do to make money to go out into the world. And, it’s like, “No, start first with what are they passionate about, what do they like, what are they good at,” and then reverse engineer the whole thing.
Patrick: This is where we go back to philosophy and premises. Our premise is that every human being has special gifts and every human being has a purpose in this world. And, usually, a good clue to what that purpose is is what are you good at? God wouldn’t give you a purpose and make you not good at it. So, where your strengths lie typically is where that innate purpose resides. And, the goal and the work is to uncover that, figure out what that is, find it and then develop it and then go put your gift into the world. And, that’s the way that you earn your living not doing something that destroys your spirit every single day.
Ben: Yeah, that makes sense. There’s actually a really good book by the way. One of the better books on purpose and passion and marrying that with some type of a career or service to the world is called “Ikigai 2.0.” I found it as this really cool free downloadable workbook on a website I follow called Sloww, sloww.co, S-L-O-W-W.co. So, if anybody who’s listening and they want kind of a systematic way, I took my sons through it over the course of about six weeks, this idea of identifying what is your passionate about and we took some skills finding tests and things like that.
So, that’s a great resource for that, but when it comes to the commercialization or I suppose the boots on the ground, well, how do I actually feed myself using this skill? My sons, they’re really creative artists, they’re not very entrepreneurial and driven like I am in that respect. And, that’s something that’s kind of been difficult for me is trying to help them visualize, “Okay, how are you going to take these amazing artistic skills that you have in painting and writing fiction and creating art and actually somehow monetize that?” Case in point, just yesterday, they were working on their threadless account. Speaking of Jon Butcher, again, he introduced them to this website called Threadless where you can take your art and begin to make everything from skateboards to shoes, to posters, to coffee mugs, et cetera, out of it. But, for you guys, it sounds like you had artistic children. I guess, it’s kind of a selfish question, how did you foster them actually thinking about how they were going to, I guess more or less, this sounds kind of gimmicky but make money out of their art, I guess is what I’m asking?
Patrick: I think there’s an understanding and a sort of attention that life presents when you’re faced with saying I have to become self-responsible, I have to learn to make money, take care of myself, not be dependent on other people. And simultaneously, I have to find my passion and see if I can translate that passion into the way that I make money. And, there’s phases of that. And, sometimes kids get it younger, sometimes it takes a long time. So, if I just ran the table here in our kids real quick, the 25-year-old has a degree from college in finance and economics, dual major. He has a passion about stock analysis and he’s really good at it. He sounds that and something that he doesn’t have to be encouraged to think about. He can help himself. So, what did he do? Well, he can’t come out of college and suddenly get a job as an analyst and support himself, but he’s working at a bank so he’s kind of working in the industry. And, in the meantime, he works on his Instagram account, friendly stock picks and he gets on there and this is where he gets to express his passion. And, little by little as he gets better at it, learns it more, et cetera, I think eventually it will become his way of supporting himself in life. But, in the meantime, he’s got a job that’s sort of relevant but not directly his passion and is developing how to make a living in his passion.
My daughter, she found something I think was great. So, she’s a singer/songwriter, extraordinarily gifted. I mean, the songs that she’s been writing since she was in her 12, 13 years old are still I think phenomenal songs. And, we help support that by having musical instruments around and the ability to record and so on and getting her into a studio and creating music. But, she can’t support herself on that, but she has another passion which I think probably came from us a little bit, which is coffee. And, she is a really highly trained barista. She loves working with coffee, explaining coffee, enters competitions as a barista for latte art, and all that kind of stuff. So, she’s paying her bills, making a living, completely independent of us by working as a barista, and continues to pursue her music. So, she knows that music is her life and career, but coffee is something that she has a passion around.
In the meantime, our 18-year-old, homeschooled, just finished his homeschool high school, he’s got a passion right now. He’s kind of searching it out, but his main thing was that he thinks he’s interested in the markets and in trading. And, rather than paying college tuition, we put him into a day trading course which he’s actually in right now. He loves it. He’s up every morning. He’s spinning on. He’s learning to day trade. He’s actually trading small amounts right now to get his sea legs. And, right now, that’s the direction he’s headed. He’s 18, that could change obviously. But, right now, that’s what he’s learning and what he’s passionate about. So, it’s fortunate if at younger ages you can figure that out. Some people maybe don’t figure that out until they’re in their 30s.
Laurie: But, what’s critical is the frame that you raise them in that frame to ask the question, “How do you want to live your life?” And, they see us and the way they live and they are now recognizing as they become adults. Wow, you guys really love your life and you, you’re good at what you do. And so, they’re interested in that. So, from a young age, just keeping engaged in what they’re good at, what they’re passionate about, and having them start to build their day in their life around how they want to feel what are the kinds of things that they can do that bring that good feeling and visualizing, visualizing a future that brings them the life and the job opportunities that they want to step into.
Ben: Yeah. And, related to your daughter, Antoinette’s love for coffee, I mean she’s always going to have a job if she knows how to make magic with the most popular drug on the face of the planet.
Laurie: Talking about opening a coffee shop because of that. So, yeah.
Ben: It is kind of funny because that’s exactly what my son’s talk about. I grew up with a dad as a gourmet coffee roaster. My brother and my dad used to go to the barista competitions where you flip the espresso. Anyways though, so I’m intimately familiar with the love for coffee. And, it’s a big thing in our house too. And, my sons, one of the things they’ve listed that they’re super interested in doing is opening up an art studio/coffee shop. So, I wouldn’t mind that I have a place to hang out in my happy place.
Patrick: Exactly. And incidentally, you wonder how much influence you have. I love music. I love rock and roll. It’s a passion of mine. And, passion is one thing, but I’m really not that talented. I mean, we have guitars and amps and piano and drums, everything in this house. They always have, you just set up. So now, it has to be a hobby because it’s not a God-giving gift I have, it’s just something I enjoy doing that I’m not particularly good at. But, my daughter, on the other hand, sitting in my lap when I play piano with her on my lap and sing your songs to her, she has a gift. So, for her, it’s turned into a career.
But, coffee also being coffee geeks, we have a whole setup, we fresh grind every morning, we source beans from all over the world. We do that whole thing. And, that’s a part of that morning lounge, that Wakeup Lounge, that’s a part of the ceremony that gets the lounge started. Not that we’d give it to our kids when they’re young, but for us and we made them other drinks. So, you never know how much that wears off and they just find the passion or how much of it was innate in them. I don’t know.
Patrick: My other two kids are indifferent to coffee mostly, but my daughter found a love of it. So, it’s just finding what that is.
Ben: Yeah. And, I seem to recall you and I, I’m pretty sure that we broke out the band at a random restaurant in Park City one evening where there was a piano and a guitar. And, I remember when I visited your house once, I was like.
Patrick: Yeah. That was actually a lot of fun. And, I was actually extraordinarily impressed with your guitar playing in sync.
Ben: I’m working on it. I’m working on it. I know we were just in Nashville. I’m actually heading back down to Nashville to cut an album pretty soon in the praise and worship music genre. So, I’m still working on it.
Okay. So, another question related to education. You had your kids, I don’t know if all of them, maybe it was just one of them, but you had them read “Atlas Shrugged,” which is over a thousand pages, I think. I’ve never read the whole thing, but tell me why on earth you would have had your kid read “Atlas Shrugged.”
Patrick: Yeah, it’s 1,100-page book. It was published in 1957. It is still in publication today after all these years. Most people look at kind of as they almost wonder if Rand, Ayn Rand, the author was some type of a clairvoyant. And no, she just knew how to think and understood premises and how they’d play out. And, Reader’s Digest, in their survey, found that it was the second most influential book in the world after the Bible. Number one was the Bible, number two was “Atlas Shrugged” ironically. And, I’ve read it probably at least 11 times over the years. And, the reason is that to me it is a breathtaking extraordinary view of the application of philosophy in life and what that can do to the world as far as how individuals live their life, what happens in society, et cetera, it is just this epic novel that once you read it and understand it, they call it philosofiction where it’s a fictional story where philosophy is expressed, it’s just an achievement to finish that book. And, it’s a book that has had the biggest impact on me. As a matter of fact, when Laurie and I met, I gave her a copy to read and it was almost my vetting process. I wanted to see how she responded to the book and that would tell me if we were right for each other. And, turned out rather well.
So, I figured forth for my wife would work for my kids too. No, just kidding. But, it’s an achievement to finish that book and actually understand or digest it. And so, I just said, “Hey, I’m going to put a prize on this. If you can read the book and then pass an oral exam with me, you get 500 bucks. And so, our oldest kid had done that, read it, we’ve had a conversation and it really helped shape his thinking and gave him confidence in his thinking. My daughter has started. She’s not through it all yet. And, my 18-year-old, I think he’ll get in gear at some point with it also. So, I don’t force them to read it, but I try to incentivize them to do so. And, by doing so, I think you can have a massively positive impact on her life.
Ben: Quick practical question. The oral exam that you mentioned in the book. And, I know you also gave that $500 award, but I’m constantly going through a book with my sons. What we do is I assign a book for the month and we tend to do one to two chapters each night before dinner. So, every night, we gather, the whole family knows, 7:00 p.m., we’re in the kitchen. At that point, the people who have been assigned to a certain dish at dinner during our morning gathering actually have already kind of started into their dish and prepared it. But then, at 7:00, we meet to review the chapter or chapters of the book that we’re going through as a family. Typically, it’s a 5 to 10-minute discussion. And then, for the bigger books that I know are super meaningful, what I’ll have at the end of the month is a paid book report where they can have the discussions with that in the evening. But then, if they complete the book report at the end of the month, they’ll typically get paid. Usually, it’s $100, $200 around in that range.
When you’re doing something like an oral exam with your kids, you just kind of like asking questions about what they read in the book, or did you have any type of formal structure to the way that you have them do an oral exam about the book?
Patrick: Yeah. And, I use the term exam, it’s not like I’m grading at the end, it just basically tells me, did they read it? Number one. And, number two, did they capture the essence of what was communicated? So, it’s just a discussion which I have them mostly read. I’ll prompt with questions. So, it’s more an oral interview. I’m interviewing them about the book and I want to see if they understood it, if they could communicate it. And, if they did, then I know they read it and they did what they were supposed to do.
Ben: Yeah, okay. Got it.
There were a couple other premises that you list that appear within the book and I’m going to leave people with a little bit of a cliffhanger as far as a few of the additional premises because I would be remiss not to bring up the topic of meditation during the time that we have. I know Laurie that you’ve been pretty involved with Dr. Joe Dispenza, and I’m curious how you guys wove that or other forms of meditation into your parenting.
Laurie: You’re correct that that’s my background. And, I think it began with ourself. It always begins with us personally. So, Patrick and I each building our own meditation practice was key. My son even reminded me of a time that he got really angry when he was really little and told me he was going to go run away. And then, he came back to see if I was upset or whatever. And, I was in my room meditating which just made me laugh. And, it’s a solid way as a parent to keep sanity other than red wine, which we called patience in a bottle. But, it’s really how we build our whole life.
We build our whole life now around the principles we’ve learned through meditation. And, specifically, Joe Dispenza is one of our favorites in terms of really creating the space in the mind, soul, body, to have the coherent brain and heart to live your life from. So, bringing that into parenting meant and has meant we become the person who is centered and can listen to them and can be natural and the way that we are as a human so that they can observe that and have this beautiful relationship as they get older. We have teenagers who don’t want us to leave town still. They want to hang out with us all the time. Our teenage years weren’t a stress. And, as they become young adults, I can say I love my relationship with each kid and I think it’s based in the fact that meditation has been such a huge part of our life.
Ben: Now, when it comes to the practicalities of meditation, I’m kind of curious how you actually do that. Did you take your kids to an actual retreat after which they’d keep on practicing certain elements of what they learned there on a daily basis? Or, did you have some other approach?
Laurie: Yeah, yeah. So, in this case, we did do a seven-day week-long Dispenza meditation retreat, which at the time I was working at or volunteering, whatever you want to call it, assisting. And, my kids came with me, we all went as a family. So, actually my daughter’s done more than one, but yeah, that’s how you do it. In our case, they came to the event, they had the experience and we’re in the energy of it. And, that seven days for our daughter especially was transformative because she was able to. And, I think it was in a very specific walking meditation that he had them doing that she was able to really see her future as a singer. And, she saw some of her issues with anxiety were able to come up. There was a great beautiful space between her and her anxiety, and she could see that she could make choices in her life around this. And, there were many other things she got. But, in our case, it was that and then also just teaching them how to bring that practice into their life. So, our daughter does meditate. I can’t say that our sons do. I think our oldest has definitely tried and trying. And, the 18-year-old not so much but he is really working on manifesting in his mindset and starting his day the right way. So, we’re getting there.
Ben: Now, as far as the Joe Dispenza retreats. If people were interested in bringing one of their kids to something like that, is there an age range that you think is appropriate?
Laurie: He does a specific kid’s event. Everything’s on his website. So, the kid’s event I think is really highly recommended. In terms of the week-long, I’ve seen young kids there, gosh, I think seven or eight. I mean, as long as they can sit still, listen, pay attention, and do meditation, they can go. And, I’ve seen these kids out on the walking meditations with their headphones on and I’m in tears seeing their commitment to walking through this with a thousand other adults. It’s beautiful. And, he honors, he really honors children.
Ben: That’s really cool. I’ve been interested in taking my wife to one. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about taking my sons, but it’s kind of on my radar. I wanted to go to one ever since you guys been telling me about them, but maybe I’ll just make it a family event. I don’t know. You think that’d be appropriate to bring Jessa and my sons who are 14 now?
Laurie: Absolutely. Because Ben, you come home as a family. Transformation happens because it’s seven days long. You can’t not leave a different person.
Laurie: And so, if you’re changed, that’s one thing and that’s great, but to have the whole family go in and come home with that energy between you, it’s beautiful.
Ben: Okay, cool. I’m adding that to the list. I always take notes about calls to action, post podcasts. I always wind up every week interviewing a few people a week with a whole checklist of stuff to look into. So, thank you.
I was kind of remiss to ask this question. It’s probably the last thing I’m going to cover with you guys. But, there is a part of the book where you say, “Don’t subjugate your inner knowing to external experts who don’t know you, your values, or your child.” The reason I was a little bit nervous to bring this up was because obviously we’re talking about a book on parenting in which you’re reading about external experts who don’t know you, your values, or your child, and trying to get information from them. So, tell me about that and if there was a specific scenario or example from your own parenting in which that really fleshed itself out.
And, I’m hoping to your point about the book and our chapter at least is that we’re giving ideas and suggestions. In other words, we’re saying it’s important to have premises. We’re not telling you what your premises should be, we’re saying it’s important to have values but we’re not telling you what values you should have. And, to me, the whole point is with education and raising children so on is our premise around this is we want to teach them how to think not what to think. That’s what I think this is really about. There are so many self-styled experts out there who have agendas. I mean, I’m horrified quite frankly with some of the things I’m seeing today and some school boards how they get together. They have an agenda for these children.
And, there’s a battle right now between saying, Are these students to be brought up by the state? Are they to be brought up by the parents? And, are the parents supposed to have the influence over how these kids are brought up?” There’s fundamental principles, philosophical principles at play here that are serious and significant. And, one of the things that I get concerned about is when a parent substitutes their own judgment, their own innate connection and instinct that they have for their child to an expert, and I feel the same way incidentally about going to a doctor, it’s like you have to know we have a health philosophy, a certain way we approach things.
So, we know when we’re getting recommendations that are consistent with our philosophy or they’re in contradiction to our philosophy. It doesn’t mean we don’t need help or support. It doesn’t mean that we’re not looking for it, but I’ve got to start with who are we? What are our values? That’s why it goes all the way back, if I know our values our purpose, and our premises, now I can read a book like your book Ben on this, I can go through it and I can see the things that I relate to that would be supportive and help me and advance me in my agenda as a parent. And, I can also look at the old things and say, “That one’s not for me.” It doesn’t mean they’re bad, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong, it’s just not for me. And, this is this is critical.
So, we need ideas, we need stimulation, we need books, we need collective wisdom of people who have had experiences, have applied what they’ve done in their life, and now can share their success and failures. Incidentally, I many times learn a lot more from people’s failures than their successes. So, they can share all that. And then, I can take from that, but I am the responsible party. I don’t subjugate my judgment for somebody else’s. That’s what it means to be self-responsible. So, you can tell I’m a bit passionate about that as a particular point of view. I encourage all people think, use your own mind, your own judgment, but it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from other people, you can’t improve on your life or your parenting by learning from other people, but never subjugate your own views or your own values because some expert told you that you should do it a different way.
Laurie: And, I would only add to that feel. Think and feel. Feel your own intuition as a person and teach your kid to feel their intuition. It’s what’s natural. How does nature occur around us? Look outside, there’s no straight lines in nature. How does a tree lose its leaves? It’s just trusting a little bit, the process of being a human, and really being able to use your heart to guide you in decisions and not becoming a program.
Ben: Yeah, it’s interesting because this book has advice obviously from 30 different parents. And, parents do different things from a nutrition standpoint, from a sleep standpoint, from a discipline standpoint, from an education standpoint, for travel. You name it. But, what I’ve been telling people as I’m getting close to releasing this book is just read it, pick from the best of the best, sit with what resonates with you because if you try to pick up every last parent’s habits and weave them all into your own parenting routine, A, you’re going to have no time left in the day, and B, you’re going to be pulling your hair out trying to squeeze in, I don’t know, Brian Johnson, Liver King’s morning kettlebell workout that he does with his kids and to Joe De Sena‘s wrestler coming over to train your kids at 4:00 a.m. in the morning to the Gentempo’s Wakeup Lounge. You can’t do it all, but you want to choose the stuff that resonates with you and then definitely read the common threads. Because in the common threads, you come across a lot of the stuff that so much your guys’ premises, more is caught than taught, prioritize family dinners, schedule one-on-one dates and make them intentional, be present at the dinner table, et cetera, et cetera.
There are certain things kind of like nutrition, it’s like, no matter what diet and all these blue zone hot spots and areas of centenarians that you look at, there are common threads like you eat together, typically almost no vegetable oils, very low levels of starches and added sugars, food that’s as close to nature as possible, some type of tea or coffee or highly tannic or polyphenol-rich drink consumed on a daily basis. So, it’s no matter whether you’re following the macronutrient ratios or whatever else, there’s certain key threads that you follow. And so, if you approach your parenting recipe, your parenting cookbook like that, then I think it’s a really good way to go.
And, you guys contributed a great deal of wisdom to this book, so I guess I just want to end by saying thank you for your contribution. And, I can’t wait to unleash your wisdom upon the world here.
Laurie: Thanks, Ben. I’m really glad you’re doing this because I think it’s overwhelming to be a parent. And, I think we have to watch out for perfectionism and trying to have perfect kids and us be perfect parents, it’s just not realistic. So, I think it’s great, your style and approach for doing this. And, thanks for having us.
Patrick: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of important topics that you cover. And, I don’t know that there’s a more important topic than parenting. The responsibility, hey, if we screw up our own lives, it’s one thing. But, if we screw up the lives of other people, that becomes a problem. And, people who are willing to engage in and take seriously the concept of parenting. But, at the same time, have a lot of fun. It should be the most fun thing you ever do in your life quite frankly. But, understand that it is important.
And, I have to say that I didn’t have the opportunity. There were books on parenting, some things we had references to, but nobody put together something comprehensive like this that didn’t come from an academic, an ivory tower scholar. But literally, real parents in the real world living it every day, I think this book is going to be revelatory and should have a massively positive impact. So, number one, thank you for including us. And, number two, congratulations, it’s quite an epic effort you put into this.
Ben: Awesome. Well, the shownotes for today are at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Gentempo,G-E-N-T-E-M-P-O. So, BenGreenfieldLife.com/Gentempo. The book is at BoundlessParentingBook.com. Patrick, Laurie, thanks so much for coming on the show.
Patrick: Thanks for having us.
Ben: Alright, folks. I’m Ben Greenfield along with Patrick and Laurie Gentempo from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Have an amazing week.
Alright, this is cool, but you want to pay attention because it’s coming up right around the corner on Friday, December 2nd. You’re going to get a chance to join me and some really powerful healing physicians down in Sarasota, Florida. This is a live event. It goes from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I’ll be there, my friend, and a brilliant former podcast guest, The Doctor Strange of Medicine, Dr. John Lieurance is going to be there, HBOT USA, Dr. Jason and Melissa Sonners are going to be there with their Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Brian Richards of SaunaSpace, Harry Paul, one of John’s friends who I recently met who’s also an amazing healer for an event that’s super unique. It’s all based around the elements: earth, fire, air, and water, with a ton of treatments and technologies and modalities, and very unique biohacks that you’re going to get exposed to during the entire event.
Basically, what I mean by that is when it comes to air, you’re going to learn about hyperbaric oxygen, and ozone, and air filtration, everything you need to know to upgrade your air. When it comes to earth, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, earthing, grounding, a host of other ways that you can use the power of the planet to enhance your health, your sleep, your recovery, your muscle gain, your fat loss, a lot more water. You’ll learn about proper water filtration, how to upgrade your water, hydrogenated water, structured water, basically soup to nuts, everything you need to know about water and how to apply it in your home and your office and your life. And then, finally fire, is a fun one. Lots of cryotherapy, a little bit of ice too, breathwork, inner fire practices, a ton of stuff when it comes to introducing the element of fire into your life.
So, this event is super unique. John and I have been working on it behind the scenes and it has come together amazingly. There’s even a VIP experience. If you sign up for the VIP experience, you could come two days early or stay a few days after the event, and basically, you will get all the medical protocols customized by Dr. John and his staff if you claim one of those 10 VIP spots. That’ll include IV methylene blue, laser treatments, John’s really unique bliss release, which is basically an endonasal adjustment, which is essentially a chiropractic adjustment through your nose for your entire skull, which if you’ve had TBI or concussion or allergies or things like that in the past, it totally reboots that entire system. There’s going to also be ozone treatments, Myers’ IV cocktails, exosome treatments, IV laser, access to a CVAC machine. And, John’s entire facility is going to be at your beck and call if you got one of the VIP tickets.
And then, we’re also probably going to have a little bit of a party later on in the evening after this event. The whole thing is going to be a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming full-on cutting-edge of biohacking experience. And, I’m just now letting the world know about it so spots are going to fill up pretty fast. Space is limited, but if you want to get in now, here’s how. You go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Elements-Event. That’s BenGreenfieldLife.com/Elements-Event. It’s in Sarasota, Florida. Again, it’s all-day Friday, December 2nd. I would come in early and stay after. If you just want to try out all the crazy modalities there. I don’t know how fast those VIP tickets are going to sell out, but either way, this thing is going to be absolutely amazing. I just can’t wait, like I’m pinching myself, can’t wait to be on the plane to head down there and do this. So, check it out, BenGreenfieldLife/Elements-Event. And, I’ll see you there, I hope.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I’ve been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I’m up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
Their parenting habits were incredibly unique, including a “Wakeup Lounge”, during which their kids would get up in the morning, come into the family room, sit in a comfy chair or couch with a warm blanket with a log on the fire, meditative music on in the background, incense burning, and a warm drink in hand. It’s an environment of peace and harmony where they start the day together. Sometimes they’ll talk about the day. Sometimes they’re quiet and just chill together. This goes on for 20-40 minutes, passing from sleep to the waking state, ready to start the day from a harmonious proactive state as compared to jolting into action and flying out the door with stress.
The Gentempos also hosted Sunday Italian dinners for their children. The smells and rituals that surround this still impact them and their kids to this day and infuse them with joy and memories as it now does for their children who have entered adulthood.
They believe travel is the best education we can give our children and they have taken their own kids all over the world, based on the idea that experiencing other languages and cultures and landscapes broadens their thinking and actions and bonds a family through having those experiences together.
Beyond wake-up lounges, Italian dinners and travel, the Gentempo’s thrive on certain parenting premises, such as…
- No child was ever made good by telling them how bad they are.
- One of the best things parents can do for their children is love each other.
- Children learn more by example than by words.
- How a child starts their day is critical.
- Family rituals are a building block of a child’s adult life.
- The most important education a child gets is outside of school.
- Self-esteem and self-confidence are job one.
- Integrity must be consistently on display.
You get the idea. These are great parents, and we get into these concepts and many others on this podcast.
So who are the Gentempo’s?
Dr. Patrick Gentempo is known as the “Philosopher-Entrepreneur.” With his wife Laurie, he is the co-founder and CEO of Action Potential Holdings, Inc. He is also co-founder and Host for Revealed Films, Inc. a company that produces documentary series reaching millions of viewers worldwide. He has key-noted hundreds of presentations around the world and is the author of the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling book, Your Stand Is Your Brand.
Early in his career as a practicing chiropractor, he co-developed innovative diagnostic technologies and received multiple patents. As the CEO of his diagnostic technology company, he grew it to having over 8000 clients on 6 continents. As a healthcare activist, Dr. Gentempo has given testimony to Congress and to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine advocating for an array of healthcare issues.
Dr. Gentempo’s unique perspectives have captured worldwide attention. His TEDx talk, “Unleashing the Power of Philosophy”, received spirited accolades. His views have been published by Forbes.com, and he has appeared on numerous programs and podcasts. As Dr. Gentempo likes to say, “Everyone has a philosophy, the only question is whether they know it or not!” He lives with his family in Park City, Utah.
Laurie Gentempo, along with Patrick, is the is the co-founder of Action Potential Holdings, Inc. Through Action Potential Holdings, she helps guide and co-create projects that align with her values and have impact in the world. Laurie recently became a director of the Gentempo Family Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to various facets of personal and global healing. Laurie’s passions include meditation and creating a life she loves. She lives with her family in Park City, Utah.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-The Gentempo family and their morning routine…10:05
- 3 kids
- Laurie created and developed Wake-Up Lounge
- Win the morning, win the day
- Morning rush vs morning coming together
- Incense burning and blessing the home
- Music and fire
- Sitting together, ordering drinks like at a lounge
- Sometimes talking time, sometimes quiet time
- Doing breathwork as a couple, quiet time, and sometimes discussing spirituality
- The environment can shape your experience of life
- A ritual of creating an environment of peace and harmony
- Teaching the kids to prioritize their spirits, souls, and bodies before they jump into the day
-Unique Parenting Approach: Premises, Values, and Purpose…18:58
- Premises, values, and purpose are related to each other
- Patrick’s work as a practical philosopher
- Patrick uses the branches of philosophy to sort the thoughts out and create a congruent way to approach life
- Each category of life has premises, values, and purpose
- A premise is a belief element that is driving your choices and actions
- Integrated into our subconsciousness
- The importance of being consciously aware of them
- Having premises is a good approach towards life and parenting as well
- Asking yourself – What are my premises? What do I believe in? What are my values?
- Dr. Nathaniel Branden – Patrick’s mentor said “no child was ever made good by telling them how bad they are”
-Rules for Parenting…22:38
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan Peterson
- One of the best things parents can do for their children is to love each other
- Consciously make an effort to connect with your spouse – time away from kids, regular date nights
- Makes kids feel safe because their parents are bonded and in love
- Children learn more by example than by words
- Importance of living by example
- More is caught than thought
- Kids pay more attention to what you do than what you say
- Contradiction can lead to destruction
-The importance of family rituals…29:05
- Rituals anchor kids to a happy childhood
- Smells and aromas create emotions and wonderful memories
- Family gatherings, family dinners, one-on-one dates with kids
-The education premise…34:49
- The most important education is outside of school
- Institutionalized education, in general, does not really set kids up for success
- Exposing children to different countries, cultures, languages, learning about the world
- The Gentempo family experienced private schools, public schools, and homeschooling
- Is it good to homeschool?
- Every person has some genius in them – special gifts and a purpose in this world
- Genius refers to their passion, their potential, something they’re born with, their gift to the world
- It should be discovered and developed
- Podcast with Jon Butcher
- Ikigai 2.0
-How did you foster your children to make money out of their own art?…47:37
- How the Gentempos support their children
- 25 year old has a degree in College, finance and economics dual major, works as an analyst but is also working on stock photography for Instagram
- 21 year old daughter is into music but has a daytime job (barista); enters competition as a barista for latte art
- 18 year old son is into trading – instead of enrolling in College, they enrolled him in a day trade course
- From a young age, keeping engaged in what they’re good at, what they’re passionate about
- Letting them build their life around things they can do that bring them good feelings
- Visualizing a future that brings them the life they want and making plans to achieve it
-Why the Gentempo kids had to read Atlas Shrugged, the second most influential book after the Bible…54:06
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- A fictional story expressing the application of philosophy in life – “philosofiction”
- It’s an achievement to finish the book and actually understand and digest it
- If kids read the book and pass an oral exam, they get $500
- It helped shape their thinking, and gave them confidence in their thinking
-The meditation practice – how to get kids involved…58:05
- Joe Dispenza as an inspiration and guide
- Meditation as a solid way for parents to keep their sanity
- Meditation is all about creating your own space in the mind, soul, and body; to have a coherent brain and heart to live your life from
- A seven-day long Dispenza meditation retreat for the whole family
- They had the experience, and felt the energy of it, a chance to start practicing it themselves
- Teaching them how to bring that practice into their life
- Age appropriateness of the retreat
- Dr. Joe’s Week Long Advanced Retreats
-Excerpt from the book: Don’t subjugate your inner knowing to external experts who don’t know you, your values, or your child…01:03:07
- It’s important to have premises and values but one must find them on their own
- Teach kids how to think, not what to think
- It’s very concerning when parents substitute their own judgment and instinct with an expert’s judgement
- If we know our values, our purpose and our premises, we can read a book and take the best out of it
- Use your own mind and judgment but improve yourself learning from other people
- Think and feel, trust the intuition
- Choose the stuff that resonates with you
-And much more…
- Elements Of Vitality with Dr. John Lieurance, Ben Greenfield & Friends: December 2, 2022, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST.
Dr. John Lieurance & Ben Greenfield offer a rare experience to explore the elements of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water with unique treatments, technologies, modalities, and biohacks to represent the healing powers of each element individually. Learn more here.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
– Other Resources:
Dry Farm Wines: Dry Farm Wines is offering an extra bottle in your first box for a penny (because it’s alcohol, it can’t be free). See all the details and collect your wine at bengreenfieldlife.com/dryfarmwines.
BiOptimizers (Magnesium Breakthrough): The 7 essential forms of magnesium included in this full spectrum serving help you relax, unwind, and turn off your active brain after a long and stressful day so you can rest peacefully and wake up feeling refreshed, vibrant. and alert. Go to bioptimizers.com/ben and use code ben10 for 10% off any order.
Neurohacker: If you want to try the best brain fuel on earth, go to neurohacker.com/ben for Qualia Mind for up to 50% off right now, and use code BGF at checkout for an extra 15% off your first purchase. Start experiencing what Qualia Mind can do for YOUR mindset.
Essentia: Essentia organic mattresses are the only mattress to score best on eliminating all sleep-interrupting stimulants. Experience Essentia for yourself and save an additional $100 on your mattress purchase using code BENVIP at myessentia.com/bengreenfield.
Supergut: Supergut’s resistant starch fiber mix is a clean, vegan gut health booster that nourishes the healthy bacteria in your small intestine. Go to supergut.com/ben and use BEN20 for 20% off your first purchase of Supergut Gut Balancing Fiber Mix.
Elements of Vitality Event: Join me in Sarasota Florida, with Dr. John Lieurance on Friday, Dec 2 from 8:00-5:00 for a rare experience to explore the elements of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water with unique treatments, technologies, modalities, and biohacks to represent the healing powers of each element individually. Claim your spot today at bengreenfieldlife.com/elements-event.