557 Pragito Dove:
I always say, if you want therapy, become an entrepreneur. Because all the ups and downs, twists and turns, will surely trigger any deep-seated feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt and fear. Our success depends on releasing these subconscious wounds.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who is a global authority on Expressive Meditation – helping CEOs, leaders and entrepreneurs align their mindset to allow more peace, time, and financial freedom.
Pragito Dove is also an internationally recognized Author, with her new book Lunchtime Enlightenment now topping the Amazon bestseller charts, as well as a Hypnotherapist, Coach and Speaker.
I can’t wait to introduce you to Pragito! First…
Pragito Dove says Expressive Meditation changed her life. When she discovered her husband was cheating on as a new mom, it triggered deep anger and fear she’d suppressed since childhood – and knew in her despair she had to make a change. Pragito and her then 6-month-old son found it in India when she travelled there to learn this transformational meditation technique.
Fast forward 20 some years, and Pragito is a global authority and the founder of the #1 Expressive Meditation Training School in N. America. Pragito helps entrepreneurs, leaders, and CEO’s change their money blueprint, recondition their minds for automatic abundance, and use Spiritual Laws to create real world success. Pragito has shared the stage with such luminaries as John Gray (author of Mars-Venus #1 bestsellers) and Panache Desai.
Today we talk about the power of meditation, why happiness is found along the journey, not the destination – and why the biggest block women entrepreneurs face is a subconscious belief of unworthiness. First…
Pragito Dove says the biggest block for women entrepreneurs is a subconscious unworthiness – which tends to manifest itself in myriad ways: People pleasing, undercharging or overdelivering for your services, ignoring your selfcare, or putting yourself last in a long, long list of to-do’s.
Today she shares why it’s vital we seek our success within ourselves by releasing any subconscious beliefs – how to do it – plus why investing in your personal growth will get you further and faster in business than anything else.
Let’s put on our wings with the inspiring Pragito Dove.
Melinda Wittstock: Pragito, welcome to Wings.
Pragito Dove: Well, thank you for having me, Melinda. I’m delighted to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, I’m delighted to have you too, because meditation has been a transformational part of my success as an entrepreneur. As I’ve stepped more and more into that, I’ve found that my businesses have just been much more in flow and life just generally is much easier. What was the spark that led you to meditation?
Pragito Dove: Well, it started really when my son was born and that’s when I realized, as I looked into his beautiful blue eyes, that I was a mess. I had had a very challenging childhood and I had stuffed down all my anger, my pain and my fear, and just decided to live in my head. And of course, that wasn’t … Well, it was a great solution in that it got me through my childhood and through college. But after that, I realized that especially on an emotional level, I was just all over the place.
So I realized when he was born, that if I didn’t do something about it, I would transmit all that emotional turmoil, mental stress, and I also had a lot of physical stress, I would just transmit that all to him because as you know, we transmit what we are and then we’d have another person who was a complete mess on the planet. So I decided I had to do something about it. And I heard about enlightened master called Osho, who lived in Pune in India and did all the regular type of meditation that everybody knows. But he also had created a series of expressive meditation techniques.
And this is what worked for me. So I got my son. In the meantime of all of that mess, when I was six months pregnant, I found out my husband was having an affair. So basically my life completely fell apart except, and I love this phrase, out of chaos stars are born. And it was like I needed everything to fall apart in order to follow my heart and soul. And I got my son in the divorce. I took my son with me. By this time he was 14 months old. Yeah. 14 months old. And we went to Osho’s meditation resort in India.
And that’s where the transformation started because when I was doing these expressive techniques, like the laughter and tears, the jibberish, the dancing, the humming, the dynamic, I was able to dump out in the context of a meditation technique, all of my emotional turmoil, all of my mental clutter, and also release a huge amount of stress from my physical body so that I found myself, my authentic self, I found inner piece, I found my creativity and my joy and my laughter and my happiness. It was quite extraordinary what happened to me.
And then I came back to the States and realized that actually my life purpose was to share the benefits of meditation and especially these expressive meditation techniques to millions of people worldwide. And that has been my purpose of a sense.
Melinda Wittstock: Isn’t it interesting that the answers are always within us?
Pragito Dove: Yes. They are.
Melinda Wittstock: Our focus as a society is so much on the external. All the destinations we have to get to thinking that the destination or the milestone will bring us happiness. So you see all kinds of entrepreneurs in particular thinking, oh, when I get to a million dollars in revenue, I’m going to be happy. And then they get there and they’re not happy.
And I mean, it starts this horrible kind of crisis where we’re not actually enjoying our lives. So talk to me a little bit about the process that you take your clients through to allow them to get into that kind of realization that really everything, all their success is driven from what’s going on inside them.
Pragito Dove: Yes. I’m also a hypnotherapist. I work with people with coaching and hypnotherapy a therapy privately. And then I do meditation trainings. And pretty much all my clients are entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs. What I help them with, for example, with the hypnotherapy is we take a journey into the subconscious to see what are their beliefs, what are decisions they made way back that are hindering them now?
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. A lot of those decisions are made when we’re really young children. And I mean, we don’t even have a frontal lobe at that point, right?
Pragito Dove: Yes. Yes, exactly.
Melinda Wittstock: Means something about ourselves. I mean, there’s millions of these kinds of thoughts and decisions and whatnot to unpack.
Pragito Dove: Yes, there are. I’ve been doing this for over 23 years. And what I have found there is a common theme and one of them is unworthiness and an inability to accept oneself the way you are and who you are because, and this happened to me and I think it seems to happen to a lot of people, we learn when we’re very small that we don’t matter, that what we have to say doesn’t matter, that our thoughts don’t matter, that who we are … And we’re like, you mentioned, we’re told all these should’s. You should be doing this. You should be doing that.
For example, one of my clients, she was terrified of being found doing nothing because her father would come in and say, “What are you doing? Nothing? Well, then go and clean the windows or go and do this or go and do that.” So we grow up with this inability to know who we truly are. And it’s not just from our home situation, but also in school and the whole culture is that we learn that to be really successful you got to make a lot of money and live in a great big luxury house and maybe have a couple of boats or something.
And there’s professions that are considered more successful, like maybe an attorney or a doctor or something like that. And for women entrepreneurs, for sure, it’s making a lot of money and having a lot of influence. So we’re told that’s what success is. And just as you mentioned, you can get to six figures and then seven figures and then you’re like, oh, this is not what I thought it was going to be. Because you’re still in this driven mode.
And this happens to a lot of people, I find, when they achieve those kinds of goals and they haven’t paid any attention to their inner state of peace and joy and happiness and found their inner wisdom and their true creativity, then there’s always this feeling of dissatisfaction. And we see it everywhere. Some people with a lot of money, they commit suicide, or some people with a huge amount of fame and money, they commit suicide because they’re finding that isn’t it.
And there’s nothing wrong with those achievements. Those achievements are fantastic. It’s just that you cannot ignore your inner self, your heart and your soul.
Melinda Wittstock: The unworthiness is a really a pervasive issue, particularly for women.
Pragito Dove: I think so. Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean, because we’re taught to be pleasing everyone at all times. We tend to put ourselves last. And so that manifests in all sorts of different ways, like just ignoring our own self-care, but often in business, it manifests into things like not asking for the sale or like underpricing our offerings and all sorts of things.
Pragito Dove: Yes. Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: What are some of the ways that you can tell that somebody is just not valuing themselves?
Pragito Dove: Oh, well, underpricing for sure. And giving away too much for free. And just not going after higher level clients, not thinking that people would actually pay a lot more for their services, if that’s what they asked for, because you kind of get stuck in this … When I look back at my journey and the journey of many of my clients, you get stuck at this sort of glass ceiling of, okay, so I’ve got so much income, I’m okay here. But then you have to expand yourself out because you want to reach people who can pay those higher fees because if-
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, go ahead.
Pragito Dove: Because if you’re hanging around in the field like scarcity crowd or people say, “Well, I can’t really afford. Oh gosh, that’s so expensive.” And that level of consciousness, you’re not going to get that because none of those people are going to sign up for your higher fees. So you also have to start to put yourself in front of higher level women who are successful and do need your services and have the money to pay for it.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, sometimes, yes, there’s a kind of a mirror or a flip side of this, that a woman who undervalues herself and is being, say sold a service by another woman who does value herself, there can sometimes be a judgment or something in there … Oh, wait. No, I’m just going to ask this question slightly differently. It’s interesting how this mirror is out though, because a lot of women are really afraid to invest in themselves-
Pragito Dove: Well, that’s the key. That’s the key. You have to invest in yourself. And I think it was about, what was it? 12, 14 years ago, it was the first time I invested a huge amount of money in myself with a multimillionaire because I was absolutely sick of where I was at financially. And I just couldn’t. I was just going around in a circle, not getting anywhere. And I decided to invest with this person because they were at where I wanted to be at. So I knew they knew how to get there and it was very interesting because I had to pay a huge amount of money just to sign up.
But just in the signing up, what I did was I was telling the universe and I was telling myself that I believed in myself enough to invest all this money in myself, to raise my vibrational level, to raise myself up to the level of this multimillionaire. And it worked because when you invest in yourself, and I see it with my clients, especially when they sign up for my big packages, they are demonstrating to themselves and to the universe, I am worth this. I am worth spending all this money on myself.
And then of course, once you’ve been through that process yourself, you understand that other people, you understand what your clients are going through and you see who are the ones that choose the big packages or who are the ones, “Oh, well, I can’t really afford it. That’s an awful lot of money.” And that sort of weeds people out.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, the biggest single mistake that I see a lot of women make in business is not hiring or not hiring soon enough or being so stressed about, “Oh my goodness, how am I going to pay for this person.” And they see the person that’s actually going to grow their business as an expense rather than an investment.
Pragito Dove: Yes. Yes, exactly. I think women entrepreneurs definitely need a coach and I think they definitely need to hire plenty of help. And something I have learned too. And I remember one of my mentors said, “You have to hire people before you need them.” Because then when you go to that next level, and then suddenly you’ve got all this lot more business, which is what you’ve been wanting in the first place, you’ve got to have the staff already in place who know what they’re doing.
Yeah, I’ve learned all these lessons myself and it certainly pays off because you’re demonstrating that intuitively you have within you the wisdom and the knowledge to offer people, which is a very high value. And also, when I think back on, well, the whole trip to India … Well, I went on several trips to India, actually in the end to study meditation. And then all the work that I put into study the hypnotherapy training. And then all the personal work I do on myself with the self care and always having a coach and always seeing how I can improve. See, I’ve invested all that in myself, which makes what I offer a very high value. When you look at it from that point of view, then you deserve those higher fees.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. On my own journey what’s been interesting in doing a lot of tech startups, where you have to raise money. And a lot of women in that kind of investment scenario, when you need to take an angel or venture capital money for a big scaling kind of disruptive sort of business and you need that capital to succeed. Often women go into this and I know this was my approach in the early days, unconsciously, was that you think somehow those people are doing you a favor.
So you’re kind of there in a way with a begging bowl. And when the actual reality is you as the entrepreneur are creating an opportunity for them to make a lot of money as a result of your work and your ingenuity and your innovation and all the value that you bring to the table. And when that dynamic changes within you, suddenly investors feel more comfortable about giving you the money to go do what you want, but you’re actually giving them an opportunity. Say someone puts a million dollars into your business, their expectation is, well, let’s see, am I going to take $10 million out?
So you’re giving them the opportunity to make a lot of money for doing really nothing. I mean, they’re giving you the money, but it’s based on your work and your value. So that’s an interesting one. And that’s been a real journey for me, to change that dynamic around. And as I have, I’ve found it much easier to raise money.
Pragito Dove: Yes. And that comes to self-confidence, doesn’t it? And self-confidence is confiding in oneself, trusting in oneself and your own abilities to come through with whatever you’re telling these investors you’re going to do that, that you know you will do it, that you have the skills, the expertise, the knowledge, and the wisdom to pull it off. And that also ties in, I have found, with receiving, the ability to receive. And I was actually taught-
Melinda Wittstock: That’s such a profound point. Women have such a hard time receiving, even compliments. You give someone a compliment and they say, “Oh.” And they kind of diss you.
Pragito Dove: Yes. Yes. Yes. And I was talking to one of my clients the other day, who is a very, very successful professional person, but she has some certain money issues where the money comes in and then it just seems to disappear. She makes a lot of money, but then it’s like she has holes in her bucket where it disappears. And I said, “One of the things is you have to expand your chest and your shoulders because we receive through the lungs, through the breathing.” That’s how we receive love and air. And when you think about it, there’s a wealth of air available to us, the universe isn’t stingy.
So breathe it in and get used to receiving. And what happens is, then your whole chest area starts to expand your shoulders go back. And you start to get into the feeling state because receiving is a feeling state. It’s not mental. See, only about 5% of us is in the mind. 95% of us is in the subconscious. And that is our feeling state. And what happens to a lot of people is they receive a huge sum of money, but then the mind comes in because the mind is fear-based and says things like, “Well, who do you think you are getting all the money and you don’t deserve that and you’re not good enough,” and so on. And then they stop caving and contracting and the chest contracts.
So you can start with the body. And just as you said, pay attention to compliments and just say, “Thank you.” I’ve taught my clients all you say is, “Thank you.” And breathe it in. You don’t say anything else. You don’t say, “Oh, this old thing, I’ve got this at just the secondhand store.” No, you just say, “Thank you.” And that’s it. With compliments, with gifts, receive them. And also if, if you’re on the receiving end of a gift, the greatest joy you can give the person giving you the gift is that you receive it.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. Because there’s such joy in giving. So women are really good at giving.
Pragito Dove: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Right?
Pragito Dove: Not at receiving.
Melinda Wittstock: And not at receiving. And the two go hand in hand, they have to be in balance.
Pragito Dove: They do. And that’s a big part of my teaching. And meditation, of course, is receiving. Because when we are in the present moment, when we’re in a state of meditation, we’re aligned with the universe. We’re aligned with existence and the divine. And we are able to receive because there is so much love and there is so much positivity and support coming to us from the universe. The universe wants us to be successful, wants us to be happy, wants us to be abundant and is just dying to shower us with all kinds of good things.
So we have to be open to receive it. And this is what miracles are. Miracles can happen at any moment where you get an email or a phone call or somebody knocks at the door and says, “Hey, this came for you or you won this prize or here’s a fabulous new client.” We really want to stay connected to the divine and the universe to stay open to receiving all the goodness that the universe just cannot wait to share upon us.
And stop thinking, because the mind is very small, the mind is very limited, because it only has past events and past conditioning to go on. So when we start expanding, that’s where the mind freaks out because the mind is trying to take care of us and protect us. So it sort of has good intentions in a way, but of course, we want to break through our glass ceilings and we want to be controlling and becoming even more of who we are. That’s how we grow and expand.
One of very powerful technique, which you might know is witnessing the mind, learning to become a witness of the mind so that you don’t get caught up into believing the thoughts that passes across the screen of the mind, because thoughts are not real. Thoughts are shadows. Just like when you walk down the street on a sunny day and you see your shadow, shadows and not real. Thoughts are not real.
Melinda Wittstock: But the shadows, however, allow us to see the light. When you’re actually looking at the shadows-
Pragito Dove: Oh, I see what you mean, the contrast.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. The contrast allows you to see the light.
Pragito Dove: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Because every gift that we have has a shadow aspect and being aware … I mean, I-
Pragito Dove: So that’s the key-
Melinda Wittstock: What I’ve learned in my practice is-
Pragito Dove: The awareness.
Melinda Wittstock: … [crosstalk 00:25:32] actually be aware of the shadows, accept them because we have shadows. Accepting ourselves means we have to accept our shadows as well, but trans-
Pragito Dove: True. True. It’s the awareness that is the key. Awareness.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That’s it. I mean, learning how to be present. I mean, I often talk about this in the context of we can be human doings or we can be human beings. In the end it becomes elegantly simple. I mean, who are we being? Who are we being to, to achieve the things that we want to achieve? Who are we being to attract what we want into our lives? And the more conscious, and the more aware the more present we are, the more empowered we are to make those choices rather than being dragged around by what you call these shadows or thoughts inside our head, that internal bully that just keeps us trapped in place and keeps us in an endless to do list and continues to keep us trapped in the I’m not enough. I mean, it becomes so circular.
Pragito Dove: Well, yes it is. And I mean, the ultimate freedom is freedom from the mind.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. And, and it’s an interesting one, for some people, don’t you find? I mean, I know this was your experience. It was also mine. Things had to get so bad.
Pragito Dove: Yes. Yes. It sort of forced me into it.
Melinda Wittstock: So bad for this to happen. And like, what does it take for people to kind of wake up to this before it gets so bad?
Pragito Dove: Well, it does sometimes. Sometimes that’s the only way people … And some people never do. They just die unhappy and bitter, the same as when they started life.
Melinda Wittstock: Or they mask it with things like alcohol or substances or workaholism.
Pragito Dove: Yep. They do indeed.
Melinda Wittstock: The things that stop you from feeling rather than being in it. Because I’ve noticed in a lot of women that I have on this podcast, entrepreneurship is definitely a personal growth trajectory because-
Pragito Dove: Oh, for sure.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, there’s so many things beyond your control. There’s so many things that challenge you and you have a choice. If you really want to succeed, it basically puts you on this journey-
Pragito Dove: It does.
Melinda Wittstock: … to succeed in it. I mean, it really does. So there’s so many women who come on this podcast who have had amazing success, but you dig deep into it and almost in every case, there was some transformational moment or some intense, personal challenge of some kind that prompted them to find their true purpose, as you did, to start to dig deeper into whatever their modality was. But get deeper and deeper into understanding that it is actually a mindset or an internal game.
Pragito Dove: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, this is why I love working with entrepreneurs so much, because you are really forced into … Because we create our lives. So everything you create in your business is from you, because you’re the owner of the business. And if you’re not happy with … If you want to know what to do well, you just look at your life and look at your business. Okay, we need to improve things here or there. And so you have to go inside or find somebody to advise you, what can we do about this?
And I think pretty much all the time with entrepreneurs, it starts digging up our levels of worthiness or unworthiness, our fears, our doubts in ourselves. Those are the three things I found most common, is unworthiness doubt and fear, that are deep in the subconscious and need to be resolved and healed if we really want to expand and grow and be all we can be.
Melinda Wittstock: I couldn’t have said it better. I mean, the life of an entrepreneur is interesting because at any stage of your business, from startup through scale … At any stage, there are different challenges along the way that required different aspects of you. So it’s like a constant challenge. There are so many things pulling your attention in multiple directions. It can feel like chaos for a lot of people. And it’s easy to get spread too thin, particularly for women to try to do it all or thinking that they have to do it all to succeed.
You talk a lot about how to stay focused, even in the midst of that kind of chaos. And I’m talking just about the business, but when you add kids or like homeschool your kids during coronavirus, or your relationships or just all the things, what are some tips you have for people to just maintain that focus and the ability to prioritize things, the ability to get things to completion, without feeling like out of control and like overwhelmed?
Pragito Dove: Right. Well, I think one thing that’s very helpful is the way you start the day. Start the day with at least 5 or 10 minutes to just be with yourself and close your eyes and it’s very simple and just breathe and be with yourself. Because one of the principles that I teach all my clients and students is to stay connected with yourself throughout the day, because women have a tendency to sort of energetically leave their body and go over there to the other person and always trying to make it better for everybody else. And you want to keep your energy in your own body and keep your connection to yourself. And you can do very simple things, like throughout the day just stop for 30 seconds and take three deep breaths and remember yourself.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I’ve started to work in those pauses through the day as well. And they’re transformational, because if you just have your head in a computer the whole time and you don’t take these little mini breaks or you forget to breathe, you’re not … I mean, just simple case, you’re just not being as productive or as creative or connected.
Pragito Dove: Yes. And you have to remember the body because we get too much in the head, as you said. So the breathing helps the body. Or just step outside and breathe some fresh air and look at the sky, just take a five-minute break, go for a short walk. Do something, make yourself a tea or something, something that involves the body and not the mind. And then you can go back to your computer and back to the mental, but it’s really remembering the body. And that helps so much with … Because the more we are actually in our body and connected to our body and the body is relaxed, the more the mind … Excuse me, the more the mind will relax.
Melinda Wittstock: Pragito, I could talk to you for hours about all of this. This is wonderful. I want to make sure that people know how to find you and work with you.
Pragito Dove: Well, thank you. My website is www.discovermeditation.com and it’s all there.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Pragito Dove: Well, you’re so welcome, Melinda. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation.
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