I (Yashar) first met Steve Beattie while I was attending a Wim Hof Method workshop he was instructing. I was drawn to his passion for the mind-body relationship, and the various tools he uses to help people develop this relationship. Steve is a Fascial Stretch Therapist, Wim Hof Method Instructor, and a Wilderness Guide.
After years of working as a Wilderness Guide, Steve decided to move back to Toronto. He soon discovered that living in the city had a profoundly negative effect on the mind and body. Steve, wanted to do something about this, so he created Breathing In Nature to help his clients get back in touch with their primal selves. His programs are designed to assist individuals in strengthening their bodies, and clearing and focusing their minds.
I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions about his life + work:
What is your superpower, and how do you use it?
I am the Bartender. I actually was a bartender many, many years ago. But the Bartender is someone people open up to and confide in. My clients need to open up to me so that I can help them – whether it’s goal setting, healing or mindfulness.
What is your driving force, why do you do what you do?
I have always thought that we have a responsibility to make the world a better place. We can do that on many different levels – local to global. But I feel a deep need to help people on a personal level. I began my journey into the Wim How Method because of an inflammatory problem I was dealing with. Over the past few years I have discovered the benefits of the method to my mental and emotional well-being. Through the breathing, cold, and meditation, my mind has become clear and focused. I want everyone to feel as good as I do.
How do you measure the impact of your work?
When I change a mind. If someone tells me they think differently now, then I was successful.
How do you believe your work connects you to others?
Everyone has ‘something’, some sort of baggage, me included. When we draw on our own experiences to relate to someone else’s pain, we make a very strong connection. All the work I have ever been drawn to has that element.
Why do you think it is important to fail?
I used to be so scared to fail. It’s only been in the past 10 years or so that I have realized that failing is growing. A colleague gave me the book Mind Set, by Carol Dweck. It confirmed many changes I was making for myself, but also guided me towards a growth mindset in all aspects of my life. I believe it was Edison who said ‘I didn’t fail. I found 99 ways it didn’t work’. I have finally found what works for me.
How do you use your body + movement to optimize your thinking?
Our motor cortex and neocortex are right next to each other. When we stimulate the motor cortex through movement, we also stimulate the neocortex. SCIENCE! But also, movement feels good. Our hypothalamus rewards us for moving around by squirting some dopamine into our system and we build an association with feeling good and thinking. Oh wait, that’s SCIENCE too!
Move – Feel Good – Think – Reward with Movement – Feel Good. It’s a vicious cycle!
How do you use your space to enhance your performance + creativity?
I live in 800 sq. ft. with my wife and child, so space is at a premium – we only have what we need. I have a small space on the balcony where I can swing my kettle bells and do some movement. Inside, our home is set up so that it’s all a beautiful inspiring space. But my real space is outside. Being in Nature automatically inspires creativity and drives performance. After a long hike, when my body falls into the rhythm of the world around me, my path reveals itself before me.
What do you do when you need to MINDSHIFT?
I Stop, Drop, and Breathe. I stop what I’m doing, Drop into the moment and Breathe. Take 5 seconds to take a breath. Take 5 breaths. Take 5 minutes to breathe. I follow that up with movement. I have all the grace of a middle aged man, but I get down on the floor and do a combination of primal movements, animal flow, and some asanas.