Danica Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of racing. Since her retirement in 2018, Patrick has become a business owner, an entrepreneur, and an inspirational speaker. Her business ventures include a clothing line, a book deal, and a winery in Napa Valley.
She is the host of the podcast Pretty Intense, which aims to help people become their best selves. Patrick joins Jay Shetty to dive into her incredible success, how her journey is evolving, and how to build healthy rituals and happiness habits.
Nature is deeply connected to Patrick’s spiritual journey, and she challenges anyone to take a walk in nature and feel worse.
“Even when you look at a dead tree, you're like, ‘Wow, it's winter, and that tree doesn't even care. It's dead, it's gonna come back to life,’” Partick explains. “It makes you think, ‘Why can't I be more like a tree?’ I think that's kind of the magic of nature. We want to be like nature subconsciously and be able to lose our leaves and not care, be able to die and be reborn, be able to grow freely, finding the light. Trees manage to weave their way on up to just find a little bit of light at the top. It's a big analogy for what we're all aspiring for.”
The Vedas have a twenty-four gurus section that explains how we can benefit from elements in nature, like trees, animals, flowers, plants, and rivers. There is also a term called biomimicry, which means you emulate nature in your life.
“We were told that letting go was like a snake shedding its skin, like it's not this forced,” explains Jay Shetty. “You don't have to break yourself. You just slither out of what you don't want to be in any more.”
“We often talk about this paradox of moving so fast in life that we miss these beautiful things,” Jay Shetty shares.
Life in the fast lane at 200 mph made it easy to miss the beautiful things that surrounded Patrick, but she takes the time to explore nature and be part of it with her meditation and yoga. This interaction in nature allows her to connect with herself on a deeper level. This connection fostered a shift in Patrick, and she realized the space she was in was no longer comfortable for her.
“I stopped resonating with the sort of moods I was experiencing around me,” Patrick tells Jay Shetty. “The vibe everyone had was like a cutthroat angry nature. Just through a rise in my own frequency by being in nature and doing more things that are in that sort of realm, I just wasn't as happy anymore. In that last season of my career, I let it go. I was open to continuing on if something made sense and happened, but I wasn't forcing it, or running from it. I was just sort of in the middle, in that neutral ground of allowing. When it didn't come through, I let it go, and thought, ‘It's not for me anymore.’”
Jay Shetty credits nature in the success of his work and tells Patrick that when he leads visualization meditations with clients, so many experience their most relaxing visualization in nature.
Spirituality looks different for everyone. For Patrick, it is one thing in her life that is not destination-oriented. While she admits most of her life is about goals and how things will turn out in her life, spirituality is something where she is fully present in the moment and takes each step as it feels right. Her focus is not on a goal or how it will end up.
Patrick did not grow up going to church but is not bothered by it. The lack of church in her early years kept her scope open and she could focus on the intention of having a space dedicated to loving herself and the people in her life.
“I've gone to all kinds of churches in my life,” Patrick tells Jay Shetty. “I became a Catholic at one point in my life and went to that church. Then I went to a Baptist church. Then I didn't go to any church. I remember I always used to say, I could be just as spiritual and religious at home. It doesn't take a building to make it happen.”
Patrick found a cart in an antique store in North Carolina that she used as a place to put the things that are important to her. As she incorporated her eye pillow and lavender spray, this cart migrated into her meditation area. Meditation and yoga are constants in Patrick’s daily routine. Finding stillness is the key to getting present so you can notice the signs and feelings of yourself and others in your world to help you navigate where you are going.
Jay Shetty learned a quote in the ashram that helped to move the monks away from the achievement mentality. The spiritual journey is received, not achieved.
“What it means is that the spiritual journey is revealed to you,” Jay Shetty shares with Patrick. “It's not something that you can say ‘I've got it now and I bottled it up and here it is. Look at my medal or trophy.’”
Routines and Habits
Your morning routines can set the mood for the day. Starting with negatives leaves you trying to get back to a positive space for the rest of the day. One routine that Patrick changed is her morning news watching. She used to start the day with the news, coffee, and some breakfast. She realized there is discomfort when you change a pattern you are used to doing. Instead of watching the news, she started to watch positive, uplifting YouTube videos to start her day.
Jay Shetty changed his habit of looking at his phone first thing in the morning when he wakes up.
“When I first trained myself to not look at my phone first in the morning, I would lock my devices outside in my car,” Jay Shetty tells Patrick. I would lock my laptop, my phone, all my devices outdoors so that I couldn't get up and go and grab it from the other room. I knew it was too hard. I was so hardwired to grab them.”
Post-It notes are how Jay Shetty starts his day now. Spiritual affirmations written in his handwriting grace his desk. When your day begins positively, you stop your mind from beginning the day with anxiety and worry, setting yourself up for a successful day.
Maybe there are areas in your life you would like to change, but you are unsure how to build better habits for yourself.
“It always just starts with yourself,” Patrick explains to Jay Shetty. “It starts with self-worth. You deserve the time to take an hour to workout or meditate or take an hour and a half to go to a yoga class. It starts with believing you deserve it.”
Patrick encourages everyone to figure out what things are easy for you to do and start building habits around those things.
It is a matter of testing the waters of a bunch of different things you can do that make you feel good,” Patrick shares. “Some people are going to love meditation. Some are going to love yoga. Some people are going to love a walk with their dog. There are so many different ways to connect with yourself to create practices and habits.”
Once you discover what you want to do, explore your why. Why did you choose those things? Did you pick them because you felt forced to, or do you love it and want to do it? Is it going to make you feel great and be something that you enjoy?
Just because you don't fit into one box that somebody is talking about doesn't mean that you can't do it. Find your why!
Growth and Pain
Patrick shares that she has never experienced growth without pain. Growth comes in all forms – new jobs, lost relationships, moves. Changes often come at the expense of losing one thing to gain another.
“It’s the idea that you're improving and you're expanding, but there is an aspect of you that has to let something else go,” shares Patrick.
The struggle is in the midst of the change. Letting go is hard to do, and when you can’t see the other side or know the outcome, change is hard to accept. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone, but you will never grow if you aren’t willing to change.
“When big things happen and the growing pains happen, and you come out the other side, and you realize it wasn't that bad. You end up somewhere better, ideally,” Jay Shetty expresses.
Patrick is a dreamer, so when the frequency of her career no longer matched the frequency of her spiritual life, it was easy for her to let go.
“I'd never had a problem with a sponsor before, but they left at the beginning of the year,” Patrick explains to Jay Shetty. “I had all these other projects going on, and a sponsor wasn't coming along. I was looking at all these things that were happening and realized when I go to the track, I’m not happy. I saw all these signs, synchronicities, and symptoms and decided this was not for me anymore. When I retired, I looked at it like a letting go, not quitting.”
It is a natural process for Patrick to think about what is next. She is a forward thinker, but it is hard when you are in an uncomfortable situation and don’t want to be there. You may start to seek out other ways to get out of that situation, but Patrick encourages you to change your focus back to perception because perception is reality.
Jay Shetty agrees his time in the corporate world taught him that he didn’t love that job, but he enjoyed aspects of the job. He used it to learn technology and connect with people.
“When you put your vision and your perception on to those things, all of a sudden, even something really meaningless, can start to feel meaningful, because you've started to notice the meaning in it,” Jay Shetty explains.
There are still times when you have to do things that you don’t love, but if you focus on the past, it starts to become your future. You need to let go, encourages Jay Shetty.
Letting go creates space in your world, in your emotions, and in your perception. You can’t change your direction if you are still holding tight to something in the past. You've got to make space in your world, in your emotions, and your perception because your perception becomes a reality.
“Often that's what creates more friction and tension is when you're desperately holding on to something that doesn't exist anymore,” shares Jay Shetty.
How you treat yourself is how you will allow others to treat you. Make yourself a priority. Choose yourself and your needs ahead of what others want.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode with Danica Patrick ON “How To Build Happiness Habits & Healthy Rituals” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.