Catalyst Spotlight: JJ Virgin on Dreaming of a World Where Meditation is an Integral Part of Healing
Name: JJ Virgin
Occupation: CNS, 4-time New York Times Bestselling Author, Fitness Hall Of Famer and 3-time Inc 5000 Founder of www.MindshareCollaborative.com.
Before Dr Joe, I considered myself to be a “meditation failure”. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I went through a transcendental meditation course and committed to twice a day meditations for a month but I felt like I was just sitting there thinking about all of the things I needed to get done rather than my mantra. I went to a week-long brain tracking program so I could learn and adjust in real time but I never managed to get out of my own busy brain. I told myself that this was just my normal. Sadly, my normal was also chronic shortness of breath that I had been dealing with for three decades.
What led you to meditation? It’s pretty miraculous that I decided to go to a Dr Joe weeklong retreat with that history but I was attracted to the science. I had listened to Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself and I was totally onboard with the principles. I signed up with a group of friends to attend the April 2021 Orlando event. I listened to the training in preparation but I didn’t do any of the meditations because I figured I didn’t need to since I was going to a meditation retreat (oops).
That first retreat opened me up to what was possible. Several of my group of friends had transformational experiences. I spent a lot of time breaking the habit of being myself (like the whole time) … but this time was different because I could feel the energy in the room. I had tangible proof of what was possible and I wanted to have what everyone else was having (cue Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally).
So I signed up for the June 2021 Weeklong in Cancun and my husband and I committed to meditating daily. Since I am an exercise physiologist by training, I likened this to taking my nervous system to the gym – I knew that I wouldn’t expect to see big results after a week at the gym, that consistency was key, so I committed to 6 months. I had no idea how the heck I would fit this into my very busy life, but I was committed to figuring it out.
How has meditation impacted your life? I wish I could say I had this big breakthrough in Cancun … I didn’t. But it also wasn’t the internal struggle of Orlando and I could feel something shifting, albeit subtly. So I signed up for the September Marco Island AFU. I figured if I always had an event on the calendar it would keep me focused – basically like meeting with a trainer every few months to assess your progress. By this time, my shortness of breath was gone. My tendency to be over reactive had softened – in fact my team said they basically have tracked my behavior before meditation and with meditation and they requested that I keep going!
I had the pleasure of attending a Dr Joe dinner at that event and I shared with Dr Joe that I had lost 5 pounds from meditating. This is pretty funny since I am a nutrition and fitness expert who writes weight loss books for a living. It’s important to note that I hadn’t changed anything except adding meditation. The impact this had on my cortisol was dramatic. Of course, the shift happened over time so I didn’t notice it until I saw that tangible proof. When I shared it with Dr Joe he laughed and said “yeah, it’s the NO Thing Diet…”
Why do you support InnerScience Research Fund? Besides my health business, I have another business: The Mindshare Collaborative. This is the premier community for health and wellness practitioners and businesses who are looking to increase their impact and income. As I was experiencing my own transformation and witnessing the amazing impact this was having, I knew I had to get involved. In 2012, my 16 year old son was in a near fatal accident in Palm Springs, California and he is alive today because of these principles. I had used them back then, I just didn’t realize I was doing it. I imagine a world where everyone knows about these tools and can apply them. I want to be a catalyst for this.
If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be? I dream of a world where Dr Joe’s work is an integral part of healing. A patient sees their practitioner and part of their “prescription” is daily Dr Joe meditations.
How do you help spread the word about InnerScience? I see this vision so clearly – our healthcare is in shambles and this is the path forward. Fortunately, I lead a large group of innovative, bold thinking, health practitioners. I realized after April 2021 that I could help by bringing this to them. They could be the start of this new model of true health care.
In October 2022, Dr Joe spoke at our Mindshare Leadership Summit. The room was riveted. Some of the attendees were already on board, but a large percentage of them didn’t know what was coming. This was their first exposure and is more important than ever, as we can’t change the world by continuing to indoctrinate the already indoctrinated. I watched a shift happen in that room. This is especially exciting as these are the practitioners who are out there speaking, doing podcasts, writing books and having a big impact so they are the ones who can help carry this message to the masses.
That evening, I presented Dr Joe with the Mindshare Lifetime Achievement award and then Dr. Hillari, Dr. Carla and I raised funds for ISSR. It was a highly successful, six-figure fundraiser which was exciting, but the real excitement is knowing that this opened up so many influential practitioners’ eyes to the power of this work.