From Stress To Success

By Patricia Canole | Photography by Ann Landstrom

Have you ever wondered why living a successful life may also make you feel more stressed? This happened to James Gray Robinson, a third-generation trial attorney specializing in family law and civil litigation for 27 years in North Carolina. Burned out, he quit in 2004 and spent the next 19 years doing extensive research and innovative training to help others facing burnout and personal crises. He studied with recognized spiritual healers and leaders and is certified in dozens of recognized effective modalities. Today, Robinson guides hundreds of private clients with his wellness, transformation, and success strategies.

ave you ever wondered why living a successful life may also make you feel more stressed? This happened to James Gray Robinson, a third-generation trial attorney specializing in family law and civil litigation for 27 years in North Carolina. Burned out, he quit in 2004 and spent the next 19 years doing extensive research and innovative training to help others facing burnout and personal crises. He studied with recognized spiritual healers and leaders and is certified in dozens of recognized effective modalities. Today, Robinson guides hundreds of private clients with his wellness, transformation, and success strategies.

The pioneer has also published articles in professional journals and frequently speaks on avoiding burnout, depression, and addiction. Robinson regularly teaches how to create success and happiness while releasing stress and negativity. He aims to empower everyone to claim their brilliance to awaken their excellence fully. Robinson’s dedication will always be to help those struggling with anxiety and burnout by guiding them to a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Many studies have shown the damage an overactive nervous system can have on the human body. Although this system helps us respond to stressful situations and provides our body with adrenaline and cortisol to face those situations, it can also cause many health issues. Whether it be cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, or depression, many studies have explored the negative consequences of an overactive nervous system.

His coaching program, called the Shift, is a one-on-one session that helps clients discover the hidden reasons behind their obstacles. In just a few hours, Robinson initiates a deep self-evaluation process that involves exploring your personal history and offering two additional sessions where various healing modalities are applied.

Besides the Shift program, Robinson offers the Solution for addressing doubts and fears, while the Change Your Mind package and Vision Session provide new perspectives and self-evaluations for future or current obstacles. 

We recently spoke with James Gray Robinson to learn more about brain hacking and achieving a complete life.  

Tell us about your backstory and how it brought you to this career path in healing?
As a boy, I often read Le Morte d’Arthur (the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table). The tales of Merlin, knights, and chivalry struck a chord in my soul, and I fantasized about doing magic, being a knight, and doing good for the people. As I got older, I never forgot the notion of being able to use energy to help others. 

I never wanted to be a lawyer, but because I loved my parents, who insisted I do so, I became a lawyer. I was the third generation in my family to practice law. I wanted to be an Outward-Bound counselor. Living outdoors and helping troubled children find themselves in nature was another dream of mine.

I was successful at practicing law and was highly rated by my peers. I won numerous awards and was often asked to teach Continuing Legal Education courses. I was even asked to produce a movie for the State Bar on ethics, which was very popular.

However, I was hiding a secret. The millions of dollars I earned did not compensate for the stress I felt doing something I hated. Eventually, the stress wore me out, and I had a nervous breakdown. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I was going through my second divorce; I felt unappreciated and unsupported. 

I quit my trial practice and went on a spiritual journey to find out what happened to me. In 2004, we didn’t know much about burnout. I was under the care of a psychologist, and it didn’t help. I wanted to know why my brain sabotaged me if I was so successful. I came to know three internationally known spiritual healers over time and learned many things about the human spirit and using energy to alter reality.

Along the way, I have had five near death experiences. Those experiences connected me to the spiritual energy I discovered, allowing me to heal others. Living with spiritual leaders helped me hone those skills to the extent that I traveled the world conducting healing clinics. I witnessed hundreds of people recover from various diseases and injuries in South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Australia. I am truly blessed.  

What is the Autonomic Nervous System? Share with us the process of Brain Hacking. Provide a few examples of how someone can use Brain Hacking to impact their day-to-day life and reality?
Over millions of years, the brain has evolved from just a couple of cells regulating other cells into the complex organ we have today. From an evolutionary standpoint, the oldest part of the brain is the Autonomic Nervous System, which is in the brain stem and medulla. It regulates our body and organs without us having to use conscious thought.

There are two aspects of the Autonomic Nervous System: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. These have two completely difference effects on the body. The Sympathetic Nervous System is the fight or flight response. I call it the Warrior and when activated, the body pumps adrenalin and cortisol into our body to make us faster and stronger. All available energy goes to the muscles while our digestion, frontal lobe, and breathing shut down.  

Conversely, the Parasympathetic Nervous System is the feel-safe response. I call this the Guru. It causes the body to produce melatonin, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. We relax and can be happy. We can dream, plan, fall in love, connect, and communicate. Civilization was created when the Guru was activated.

Initially, tens of thousands of years ago we could survive because the Warrior would engage instantly when we perceived a threat from a predator or an enemy. Slow people didn’t survive. The people who instantly reacted to stress did survive. Today we don’t have predators springing out to kill us. However, the Autonomic Nervous System did not evolve as fast as our society’s evolution so it can’t tell the difference between a physical threat and other kinds of threats. Threats like financial difficulties, divorce, angry customers, bosses, and personal trauma can cause our Warrior to engage. 

The Warrior is very detrimental to our health. It should turn off after the danger is gone. However, with today’s stressors it can stay activated for years. The long-term effects of adrenalin and cortisol are well documented. Our immune system is compromised; we gain weight, make poor decisions, and create increased stress. 

That is what happened to me. The Warrior was activated 24/7 due to the stress of doing what I hated, and the anxiety associated with practicing law. When the Warrior is activated too long, the body suffers, eventually burning out.

We can only control the Autonomic Nervous System with our conscious mind if we are trained to do so. The longer it stays on, the harder it is to turn it off. We must use reverse engineering to turn it off. Stress tends to feed on itself, so we must bypass the Autonomic Nervous System to turn on the Guru.  

I train executives, professionals, and people from all walks of life on how to turn off the Warrior and turn on the Guru. There are physical techniques that do this quickly and easily. The first technique is to smile. Smiling will activate our facial nerves which are connected to our cranial nerves. Cranial nerves are connected to our Vagus nerve, which connects the Autonomic Nervous System in the brain to our internal organs, such as our lungs, heart, digestive tract, diaphragm, liver, pancreas, and other organs critical for life. 

When we smile, we activate the Vagus nerve which research has shown is the connection between the brain and our internal organs. When the Warrior is activated, the Vagus nerve deregulates. When the Vagus nerve is activated, the Guru is activated.  

Another technique is singing or humming. The vocal cords are located next to the Vagus nerve, so singing or humming activates the Vagus nerve and, hence, the Guru. That is why we sing or hum when happy; it makes us feel good. This is also why spiritual people like to chant mantras aloud, to relax and clear their minds.  

When we smile or sing/hum regularly throughout the day, we activate the Guru. When we are happy, we have a different life experience than when we are stressed. When the Warrior is activated, we look for problems. When the Guru is started, we can find solutions.  

How does the brain secretly sabotage our lives?
When the Warrior is activated, our logical brain shuts down. We become angry, stressed, or afraid. We make bad decisions because our logic centers are impaired. When our fight or flight response is engaged, it is impossible to find solutions. We are in survival mode, every gender for itself. Adrenalin and cortisol compromise our immune system. Cortisol traps fat in our body and we become unhealthy.

Why do you believe that all professionals should be aware of the Autonomic Nervous System? You selected this topic for your TEDx Talk. How do you believe the education around the Autonomic Nervous System will impact professionals?
The most common complaint I hear from professionals is the amount of stress with which they must deal. They assume that difficulties at work or home cause stress. The Warrior’s response to day-to-day events causes stress. If people understood that it is the brain’s survival response and not the events we are witnessing, we can do something about it and control our stress. By utilizing the techniques, I teach, professionals can gain healthy perspectives of their work and life. By changing their views, they change their reality.

Tell us about your project: Beyond Physical Matter. How do you believe it will impact the world, and what do you hope this film contributes to society?
Beyond Physical Matter is a documentary exploring the latest technologies and techniques that expand our understanding of the human body, health, consciousness, growth, and well-being. We interview cutting edge scientists, healers, musicians, inventors, businesspeople and thought leaders to discover what is next in complementary medicine, healing, business, and well-being. 

Starring with me in the movie are Dr. Steven Schwartz (a visionary technology designer, sound alchemist, and regenerative medicine expert), Dr. Antoine Chevalier (an International Lecturer, published author, researcher, functional medicine practitioner and advisor to the White House since 2001), Jason Estes (a pioneer of quantum field technology), Dr. Milton Howard (a pioneer of the use of music in healing), and Dr, John Sachtouras (one of the most successful businessmen on the planet and a pioneer in network marketing) plus other thought leaders and personal growth experts.  

As a co-producer, along with Don and Melinda Bowers and others, this film breaks new ground by offering innovative technology to heal and optimize human potential. The Bowers have produced over 18 films. This film will catalyze new achievements in healing, wellness, lifestyle, and growth to take life to the next level of imagination and manifestation and expand the boundaries of what is possible for human achievement. It will empower its viewers to achieve success on all levels of endeavor.

If someone would like to collaborate with you, explain that process. How do they walk in, and how do they spend their time with you? My program, The Shift, can be accomplished face to face or remotely online. It is six hours long, with three two-hour sessions. The first session is an in-depth interview to determine the cause of the issues the client wants to be healed. The second session is a guided meditation that helps the client release negative blocks to healing. The client will receive a copy of this meditation to help them grow and heal. The third session involves the healing itself, based on a lifetime of training and experience. I am certified in over 30 modalities and personal growth techniques proven to heal illness and block personal success.  

What are the three things you wish you knew before starting this venture? I wish I had discovered the power of the brain before I burned out twenty years ago. Back then psychology and mental health experts did not fully understand the interplay between the brain and body from an emotional and mental health aspect. When I discovered the advances in neurobiology which allows for Brain Hacking, my life completely changed.

Also, I wish I knew how much this information needs to be shared and disseminated to people who are stressed and struggling with their careers, relationships and mental and emotional wellness. When people can master their brains through Brain Hacking, they can heal and achieve anything. 

What drives James Gray Robinson?
I have a burning desire to help others suffering mentally, emotionally, and physically. When I can help people heal their pain and suffering, I feel like Merlin the Wizard, who helped the legendary King Arthur bring peace and prosperity to their people. Through my healing and philanthropy, I have also helped thousands of people to a better life and expand their horizons.  

How do you relax?
I use the techniques which I teach to turn off the Warrior and turn on the Guru throughout the day. I also spend as much time with my beautiful and talented wife Linda Giangreco as possible, as well as my three Pomeranians—Squeak, Samson, and Scout. I exercise, play golf, read, and travel.  

Yes, my childhood dreams have come true!  

For more information on James Gray Robinson, visit jamesgrayrobinson.com