Getting Unstuck + Infusing Daily Doses of Joy with Peter Walters

On this episode, we talk to Peter Walters about the power of a mindful practice, including yoga and meditation, and how starting small and simple is key.

march 1st, 2022

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

  • 4:13 It was like the more I did [yoga], the more layers were being peeled away of, who I was and who I thought I was. And it continues to get richer every, every practice really.
  • 8:30 Yoga and meditation and so many of these practices are really enormous, valuable tools to help us come to the uncertainty and the unknown moments of life that will be earth shattering and shaking and painful and distressing.
  • 10:42  I’m seeing tons of people struggling with stress, of just being on computers all day, and anxiety about showing up like this and not being used to seeing people in person, and depression for feeling isolated and lonely. And I felt that myself, you know, and the one saving grace for me and I think a lot of students that I get to support, is having a regular daily practice of self inquiry, whether that’s through meditation, through mindful walking, through yoga asana, through, you know, a fitness class. But it’s just to show up regularly, in community with other people that you get to see. 
  • 11:47 I love yoga practice because it’s always here and it’s always available. You don’t need to get all sweaty. You don’t need to put on a yoga costume. You know, you can just move and breathe with intentionality and we can switch from fight or flight to rest and reset. 
  • 13:47 If you win the morning, you can win the day. So, the very first thing I do and I always try to suggest people do is like, it’s so silly, but make your bed. You know, start with a positive, simple action that anybody can do…it takes all of 20 seconds to just put the cover over that you feel like, okay, I took one positive, intentional step to make my space and my mind feel organized. 
  • 17:10 It can be hugely simple. And I want to really reinforce that. Like, it does not need to be a complicated process or practice to sit, breathe, close your eyes for a moment. That’s it. 
  • 18:50 The practices that I teach are timeless and they’ve been, they’ve been happening for thousands of years. And they’ve always been there and they always will be here, you know, and they’ll be remixed by the modern practitioner and teacher, but, in the end, it’s just like whenever you’re ready to pick them up, they’re here. You know, we all know that if we sit and breathe, we’ll feel better.
  • 19:27 We set ourselves up for failure by front-loading everything to create this perfect idealized version of ourselves, you know? Once all this is complete, then I’ll be done. But, the truth is…start really small, two minutes a day. And if you can do that for a week at a few minutes of sitting, movement, anything with intention with presence is a practice. And that could be mindfully walking, mindfully eating, mindfully doing the dishes, you know, it’s just bringing full presence into whatever it is that you need to do.
  • 20:04 That’s why I say the practice begins on the cushion or on the yoga mat. And then, if you’re doing it right, it follows you out into your life. Everywhere you go.
  • 20:28 I don’t think we should take what the internet is saying [or] is being more loud about as the thing we should be doing, you know? I think the practices that are worthwhile are timeless and we just need to do them. We all know what they are. We all know that if we eat the apple over the buttery sugary thing, we’ll feel better, you know? So I think we all know what to do. It’s just doing it. It’s having the courage to pick the right option. 
  • 23:32 So I keep on circling back [to] how do I want to live out my days? You know, what could I do with my remaining breaths that feel significant and feel important and feel of service to other people? You know, I can live for me all my life. And I think we come to realize that’s not very satisfying and fulfilling. You know, once you’ve made the money and done that, you’re kind of like, okay, well, what now? That’s an empty trap. 
  • 24:04 The spiritual teachers, the wisdom holders that came before us keep pointing to being of service when you don’t know what to do, help somebody else.
  • 24:41 When we can’t find the well of self motivation to uplift ourselves, I just look and say, how can I serve you? That’s always been my tool to feel better, is just get out of my own way, get out of my own head, get out of my own narrative and drama and try to support somebody I care about.
  • 25:30 It’s a sneak attack. We think helping somebody else is for them, but the truth is it’s really for us, maybe more than it is for the other person. I think it’s okay to be selfish in that, realizing that as much as I’m giving this to you, it’s equally giving back to me.
  • 27:24 So what’s important to me is just to keep diving in, you know, like you think you reach a layer with your partner or with a friend of connection and understanding, and then you say, no, no, no, clear that away. Let’s go deeper. 
  • 27:17 One more thing [that] is really important to me is to keep setting down my stories and assumptions about myself, about life, about other people, about the political party I don’t agree with. It’s just to keep being a total beginner, to keep emptying myself, to keep letting go of all my associations of who I am or what my name is, what my gender is and what I like and what I don’t like and just keep letting go, which is to say, keep accepting the moment as it arrives for me. And that’s been such a cool, powerful, practice. Because you go into every moment being like, okay, well what’s, what am I going to learn here? 
  • 29:02 We come into everything with our big backpack full of stuff, like, these are my opinions, these are my beliefs and, and we’re closed off to other possibilities, you know? So just to arrive at each moment as empty as possible, almost childlike, big eyes and ready to learn and to be wrong and to have our minds changed.

Dear Mind, You Matter is brought to you by NOBU, a new mental health and wellness app. To download NOBU, visit the app store or Google Play

This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Ashley Tate, and Nicole LaNeve. For more information or if you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit

Show Contributors

Peter Walters

Peter Walters is a student of life and a teacher of yoga. He teaches classes online and in person, and also leads retreats and teaches at festivals around the world. His practices can be found on Audible, Headspace and Nobu. In his free time Peter loves mountain biking, teaching yoga to incarcerated individuals at San Quentin Prison, adventuring with his dog, Huckleberry and exploring the world!