How many of us feel a deep nudging to step forward and truly begin living the life we want to live? If so, cultivating a deeper awareness and awakening within oneself is needed. If we want to embody healthy choices in our lives without having to struggle against old habits, we must realize that habits do not have power over us.
It is possible to be free from chronic and dysfunctional patterns that diminish the physical and mental/emotional quality of our life.
Introducing Dave Fresilli – Private Wellness. For more than fifteen years Holistic Health Practitioner Dave Fresilli has worked with individuals in helping them achieve and maintain their health and fitness goals. Dave’s unique approach and complete dedication to his clients creates a deeper awareness and awakening through mentoring each client’s ability to heal and enjoy a higher level of health and wellness.
In today’s interview I speak with Dave about his work and his own life path of holistic health and fitness.
Dave, thank you very much for speaking with us today. Let’s jump right into our interview. You describe yourself as a health and wellness mentor, not a coach. Tell us about the distinction you make, and why?
Hello Shields, and everyone reading. I would like to say that as you are reading along take the moments as they come to you and when there is a intuitive feeling to go deeper into what is being said, pause, be still, and allow whatever sense is pulling you in, to exist completely. See where it takes you. Don’t think, don’t try to figure it out, this is just the mind. Just be still. When it feels done, continue on with your reading.
You see, so much of the time we just skim over the surface of what is being experienced so that we can get to the next experience. In doing so we miss what is right in front of us because the focus is getting to the next and then the next. I call this Skipping Stones On Water. We just grab the intellectual gist of something and move on, so it never actually integrates into our being. This is a reason why we hunger for so much information, but are never satiated. We have a constant hunger to find a new way of doing something, (the latest and greatest), instead of going deeper below the surface of what we already know.
For example, working with clients many times they mention that health and fitness needs to be exciting and fun and distracting, and always something new.
Yet, honestly folks, there are only so many variations on a push-up, or pull-up, squat, etc. Still plenty of variety, but somehow even this doesn’t satisfy the need for more. Why? Because the person is only skipping the stone on the surface of the exercise. There is little to no desire to go deeper into all the attributes it offers.
For myself this is part of the difference between a coach and mentor. In my experience most coaches are no longer living the lifestyle they are presenting to clients. A coach is someone who knows how to do, and achieved a high level of accomplishment in his or her arena, but is not doing it anymore. Still outstanding in what they do, and I take nothing away from them and their abilities. This is just my way of differentiating without judgment. A mentor then for me is a living example. They are walking their talk. What they ask of their clients they themselves live as a lifestyle.
I know the challenges my clients face each and every day when it come to living a life of health and wellness, because I am doing it myself. This gives me the unique position of present firsthand experience with all they are and will face. I believe in being the example, and because I am living it, clients cannot say, “You don’t understand what I am dealing with”. This also allows a great deal of empathy and compassion through which to guide them.
I like what you are saying and really hear the difference. As a mentor, what are some other ways you go above and beyond to support your clients?
Understanding the mind and how it likes to insist on being right is the cause of our challenges and suffering. It is obvious to me when clients aren’t doing the work because they are lost in their own old habits and stories. This is when deeper mentoring is applied so clients become skilled at recognizing these patterns of dysfunction.
When someone isn’t doing the work, most well meaning people would say, “you just have to have willpower, you have to stay motivated, find another reason to make it important”. However, this will only be temporary at best, because the old beliefs are still in place.
Part of mentoring is continuous pointing until the client realizes what is going on and getting them to the place of being brave enough to walk away from their dysfunctional habits, fears and attachments.
Most importantly, the best I can do as a mentor is to always be the best example and expression of health, fitness, and wellbeing.
It is then undeniable to a client when they say, “What does it take?” They see me doing exactly what I am asking of them.
We have all heard Gandhi’s quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. I know the potential each client / each one of you reading has, and so I live that same potential.
This is not about being perfect, you are already perfect no matter what your expression. It is about letting go of everything that is holding you back from recognizing your full potential of health and wellness.
Dave, your own life story and training are truly extraordinary. How do you see that has given you unique insights with which to connect and relate to your clients?
Unique insight only comes from personal experience. There are many experiences, however in keeping with health and wellness, this will be of most value. As most may know from previous articles and posts, I dealt with chronic health issues from infancy through my mid twenties. A severe gut dysbiosis from being on formula, that was never addressed, caused havoc in the form of ADHD, severe allergies, chronic diarrhea, lack of nutritional absorption, constant fatigue, learning disabilities due to the inability to focus, social anxiety, all contributing to a very poor self-image. Many of you reading may have children suffering with some or most of the same. Maybe even you yourself.
By the time I was hitting puberty I had already accepted a belief that I was doomed to a life of mediocrity. My biggest fear was I would never be more than a gas station attendant, never find love, and be chronically ill. Any hopes and dreams of pursuing my dreams of being an adventurer or athlete would succumb to this fear. Yet the fear was so intense that it drove me to somehow find a way to break free. College held the answer for this freedom. If I could get into and graduate from college my life would be saved. There was only one problem. I had proven to myself time and time again I was dumb. I could barely get through school each year with C’s and D’s. My friends were all getting A’s and B’s, so I must be dumb. I took a test signifying my interests and what would be a good course to pursue as a career. Due to my love of nature, mine fell under agriculture, landscaping, and forestry. A guidance counselor helped me to realize I loved the outdoors and forestry would be a wonderful fit.
My mother and I visited a private technical school in New York State to see about entrance. After looking at the transcripts the dean looked at my mother and said, “there is no way Dave can do the amount of math that is required for this program.”
I was crushed. Any hope I had of freedom was now lost. With a little more probing my mother asked if there was anything that could be done. The dean stated, “if Dave gets straight A’s for the rest of his junior and senior year in algebra and trigonometry he will be accepted.” This was an even bigger blow because I knew I wasn’t capable of doing that, each report card was proof of that.
On the six-hour drive home I was lost in deep depression. All hopes and dreams of living a life beyond my prison were lost to me. I just wasn’t capable of breaking free.
My mother with all the compassion and wisdom to tell the truth she knew about me, said, “David do you really want this?” “Yes mom I do but I can’t…” “David, if you truly want this you are going to have to fight for it. I know you can do this if you truly want it. I will ask your math teacher to help.”
My mother reported back a few days later that indeed my teacher Mr. Landers agreed to help tutor me everyday after school for thirty minutes, however if I missed one day he would stop the tutoring.
My only thought was, my God, I would have to give up my life for the next year and a half to do this. No more fun, no more friends, or T.V., and constant homework. There is no way I am giving all this up just to try and fail.
But something said, if you don’t really give it all you have, you’ll regret it, at least you will know one way or the other. So, I started with Mr. Landers. He sat me down and asked me to show him how to solve an equation. I didn’t even know where to start. I tried and failed on the first simplest of steps. He realized I didn’t even know the basics of solving the equation.
He took me through step-by-step and then had me do it. We repeated it several times until I could do it perfectly. This went on until I graduated and was accepted into college where I blossomed into a ferocious student of learning.
That first day with Mr. Landers he said something that changed my belief in myself. To this day his next words open my heart to the potential within, he looked at me and said “David, Its so simple it slippery”. I was so convinced I couldn’t do it, that it stopped me from being able to do it.
From this new found realization that I/we have limitless potential and all that is needed is letting go of our own concepts of who we think we are, I overcame chronic health issues doctors couldn’t heal, started my own business, traveled a good portion of the world, lived in the wilderness, achieved two degrees and numerous certifications, and have lived a lifestyle of health and wellness for over twenty years.
I say to you all reading, this so-called life of ours, It’s so simple it’s slippery. We create all the obstacles and resistance and suffering that seemingly makes it hard. If you desire health and wellness, embody the simple steps, and then get out of the way, the rest is done for you.
This is my unique insight I mentor clients to realize for themselves.
Paired with your own personal experience, you have an extensive array of training and education.
Oh my gosh, most importantly the seven years of training at the Chek Institute as a Holistic Health Practitioner is the pinnacle of my education and practical experience. I believe I am one of only fifteen level IV practitioners in the U.S. and the only one in the Northwest. I have so many other credentials as a Personal Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, BASI Pilates, and have had continuous studies in personal and business development, Zazen, nutrition, Yoga, Advaita Vedanta, religions and mythologies.
I really admire that you have prevailed through your own hardships and come out the other side stronger. This is unique, and I imagine, an invaluable experience you can share with your clients.
A mentor will share the experiences of moving towards and away from the goal along the path of life. Yes, any path can be perceived as hard, yet even this is coming from the self-image. Life is neither hard nor easy, life is life. It is only our perceptions that attribute the judgments of good, bad, easy, or hard.
I use to feel I must have a personal mission to share and express my passion for health and wellness, however, now I let life take care of life. For me this means attention is placed on the inner True Self, and getting out of the way. Through this, those who come to work with me are already in a place of knowing they want something more even if they are scared. They are ready to break free from the old habits and excuses and really change.
For the past 5.5 years now you have run your practice out of a large training center located near the YMCA. You have now made the transition to a more intimate setting.
Working with clients is always evolving to be more simple and effective. I enjoyed the large space we were in and yet intuitively I felt it needed to be in a smaller, simpler, and more private location, away from downtown. I realized what I wanted to create as an atmosphere could be developed at the property I live on. It is a quieter, more tranquil space. When that came into awareness I stood back and just allowed it to manifest in whatever form it moved into. I now have a beautiful studio attached to the home I am in, with a large hillside to develop for client training outside, in a private neighborhood. It is perfect. The clients love it also.
Dave, can you please give us a full overview of the services you are providing?
Very simply I offer:
• One to One Health and Wellness Mentoring. This includes stretching, exercise, post rehabilitation, nutrition, and lifestyle protocols. Clients work with me for a minimum of 12 months, once a week.
I also offer:
• The Easy Health Formula™ a six-week online course.
• Advanced Coaching – The Easy Health Formula™ satellite mentoring 6 months +
• Wellbeing -The Mastery Program™ 12 months +
(These are also adapted for corporate training)
Something I often hear you talking about is the inner game and the outer game of health. What do you mean by this?
The outer game consists of the actions you are taking on a daily basis. For instance, the exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle protocols that are designed for a client. The inner game however, is the key. If we don’t realize our potential by letting go of the past beliefs, little to nothing will be achieved. You will just fall back into the same old habits, or come up with new reasons why you can’t achieve you goals. The old adage that there is a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other is what we are taking about. You are in a constant battle of conflicting desires, one to get healthy, and the other to eat the pizza and drink the wine. One to do the exercises and the other to watch some T.V. because you are telling yourself you deserve it. The concepts you hold so dear are the ones causing your sabotaging and suffering.
Dave, a huge part of your job is all about asking the right questions so your clients can begin to embody a healthy lifestyle as second nature. Please say more.
You don’t know what you don’t know, so I asked questions to get a client to realize what is going on with them. It is only through self-discovery that a client then begins to embody a healthy lifestyle. They awaken to it at a deeper more intimate level.
Then it is integrated into who they believe themselves to be and becomes their second nature. They take it and make it their own.
A perfect example is most clients working with someone show up do what is told so they don’t have to think and the leave. Well there is no true embodiment this way. With my clients, they have to integrate with the protocols. They need to show they can do it on their own and teach me how to do it. One of my mentors Bob Proctors says, “you don’t really know something until you can teach someone to do it on their own.”
People who live a healthy lifestyle don’t think about it, it is just second nature to them. Just like anyone who is highly skilled at what they do. They make is look easy don’t they? It is because they have embodied it. They will even say it is easy.
Again it is the difference between skipping a stone across the water, and strapping a boulder in your arms and tying yourself up with chains and jumping into in a deep lake. Skipping stones means the mind will be satisfied with an intellectual understanding of health and wellness on a surface level, and stays on shore non-committed, while the other way is a full emersion with no choice but to realize the truth and break free from the chains and bondage of your concepts you hold so dear.
Can you tell us more about your intake process and how you go about selecting who you will work with?
We sit down together and have a consultation for about an hour so we can decide if it is a fit for you. I have the client go into as much detail as possible as to their condition(s), and I probed deeper to uncover other aspects and issues. Together we determine if the perspective client is really ready to get well and able to commit to our time together. I have to feel deeply that this client is ready to change their old habits, and they have to feel I am the mentor for them.
Dave, you have the expectation that you will not work with any clients for less than a year. Why is this?
The reason for this is because time and time again it has been proven that clients need that minimum amount of time to really integrate into a healthy lifestyle. The first six months or so for most people is a never-ending personal experience of teaching themselves that they can’t just sort of do it and get results. Most clients go through the phase of thinking, “maybe I can do it my way.” Clients need to be given time to adjust and let go of their conditioning.
In the past I would write out everything and explain why it needs to be done all the way down to the biochemistry of how the body is affected. It didn’t matter because the clients were still holding onto a trump card called “Yeah, but…” “Yeah, but I want to eat what I want, whenever I want, and not have to think about it,” or “Yeah, but why do I have to do this? None of my friend have to…” etc. And so they are learning it is a lifestyle, not just a couple days a week.
Many times clients have to stumble and fall over their own false efforts. Why is this?
This is as they say, human nature, however I would say it is ego’s nature. All anyone has to do is become quiet and sense the thoughts behind their false efforts. There will always be sense of “I don’t want to do this the right or optimum way, so I will just do it the way I want to give a false sense of accomplishment”.
In a more precise phrase something like “at least I can say I did it”.
What is the main goal you seek to achieve for your clients?
The embodiment of health and wellness as a lifestyle. I know when they achieve this not only do their lives changed for the better, but in doing so they change the lives of the people they love. They become the change in the world, and others recognize this and are changed.
Once it is within you, health and wellness is your second nature.
Dave, we all know many of the things we need to do to live a healthy life yet we are continually challenged. How can you help?
How can I say this so you aren’t just skipping stones? The only reason living a healthy life seems challenging is because you “think” living a healthy life seems challenging. Its so simple it’s slippery.
Secondly, it has been my experience that most of us don’t truly know how to live a healthy life. We just repeat what we have heard, and do not have the understanding of integrating it all into an individual program best for ourselves.
What does it mean when someone says you just have to eat better, exercise, and take care of yourself? This is as far as it goes for most folks.
The mind says well as long as I know what to do I can get to it later if I feel the need. There may be solace in knowing, but there is no lasting change.
What are your best words of advice for living a good life?
They are not my words, but those of my master. The one trying to live a good life is the one causing all the conflict. Why not “Let life live life” as my master would say. You just focus your attention on letting go of the concepts you hold so dear of yourself.
The mind will have something to say about this, however why follow that which is the cause of all your grief to begin with?
Finally, are there any last words or thoughts you would like to share with our readers?
Don’t spend this precious life experience Skipping Stones.
Dave Fresilli – Private Wellness