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Archive Monthly Archives: December 2017

Return of Soul

So, I officially relaunched the Quantum Health, Healing, and Happiness Podcast, otherwise known as QH3 (Q-H CUBED). You can listen to the announcement ->>HERE<<- if you’d like. 

I’d launched this show back in 2012 to explore the work of folks pushing the envelope in holistic healing. An emerging field some call Quantum healing.  But I ended up falling in love with the art of podcasting! I loved everything about it, soup to nuts, from the technology to the marketing. I am creative soul, but for some reason didn’t see this coming. It hadn’t expected it, but I’d gotten my first glimpse into my opportunity in the media world.

At that point I was serving as a faculty member at a small university called The Graduate Institute.

It was a nontraditional role, more of a mentorship than a professorship, and the school was filled with atypical routes of study, such as Consciousness Studies, Ecotherapy, and Integrative Health and Healing. I’d been working in an agency settings as a therapist for a few years and knew it would not be enough. I’d felt limited, as therapy is not healing and I’d been growing as healer for years. There’s alot of barriers to work around in traditional therapy settings. I’m also eternally curious. So when I discovered the Institute I made a plan and to get myself in the door. When I put my mind to something I tend to deliver. Within a few weeks I was on the faculty staff. What’s funny is I’d by driving past the institute for years, while working at agency just a few miles down the road. It was an adventurous structure, resembling a Frank Loyd Wright kind of thing, but I’d never looked into it. I figured it was some far out architecture firm or office space. It was a good illustration of the principle that great opportunities are often hide in plain sight.  So I was totally flabbergasted with I saw the names attached, as I’d been following some of their work for years, people like Carolynn Myss, Bernie Seigel, Rupert Sheldrake, and Brian Luke Seaward. I knew I had to be there. 

So with most passion projects, my time there ended up being both challenging and rewarding. I was balancing a private practice, mostly full-time employment at a treatment center, as well as an ambitious research project on the side. The research was inspired by Rupert Sheldrake’s work, and a Psychologist practicing out of Argosy University named John Klimo. It began as an innocent investigation into what was happening with channeling, but evolved into something much bigger. I basically was knocked out by the quality of information coming through, and it the end my colleague and I ended up developing a process that resembled Gary Weiss’s past life regression work, somewhat. Except we had a trauma release process tossed in. My colleague and I called it “threading.” I’ll likely write more about that experience later in this blog.

So being at the Grad Institute turned out to be incredibly valuable. I got to spread my wings as a facilitator, teacher, and researcher, and also got to share the stage with some of these greats I mentioned. Not only was I expanding my skill-set, I was growing and testing my abilities alongside these leaders in the field. I gained a alotl of confidence there, as many of my deeper instincts about service and healing was validated by people I respected. I couldn’t have gotten that level of confirmation anywhere else. 

Eventually I transitioned out the institute and moved into a demanding professional role with less freedom. I then dropped the QH3 podcast.  After years working as a working faciltator in a corporate setting, I made a plan to exit and launch my own brand. This process was years in the making. When I finally launched I started production on a show that I thought would be better suited for mainstream consumption. This turned out to be a huge assumption, and I learned a ton about marketing your message in the first 6 months. I was antiquated with the fact that life liked to provide reminders when I chose to stray too far from my healing path. So I ran into more than a few brick walls in the first year. Or so it seemed.

The big aha came during and after my son was hospitalized due to the rapid onset of RSV and Pneumonia. That was a major soul shaker, but adding to the difficulty was my revisiting the realities of today’s medical system.  I am infinitely grateful for what we can do with modern medicine, and the progress that science grants us.  But hospital. I was reminded that there’s still I plenty of work to do. So, I decided right then I’d do my part to help keep the conversation about holistic health and healing going. As I see it, there’s always room for more soul in science. So that’s the story why QH3 is now live.

For those of you interested in interviews, I just finished up the video intro for my interview with Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. I was lucky enough to share some time with him in Mexico while co-facilitating a wonderful excursion for clients. It’s a short interview with some fun storytelling thrown in. While editing I was reminded of how powerful a family tradition can be when shared. 50 years or so ago Miguel’s father took a huge leap by sharing the wisdom of the Toltecs with the world. Which by the way, wasn’t well received by the Toltec community. But thanks to his courage, the world was changed. I find it fascinating that Miguel is now teaching a system of thinking that’s as equally relevant today as it was almost 6,000 years ago! It’s simply magical, and a great illustration of the timelessness of true wisdom. Wisdom, to me, seems the science of all sciences. It’s principles predate the best of what we see in culture. It seems our modern sciences are confirming more of that each day, but there’s still some catching up to do. It points to the fact that “truth” has a life of its own. And that our culture is hungry for more than information and ideas, we’re drowning in those. We hunger for wisdom within the marketplace. So I found myself inspired, and very excited about the direction I’m heading with my brand. I know there’s a place to bring soul to the science of achievement.  People seem to want it, and this seems the right time and place.

So, click  ->>INTERVIEW<<– and you’ll be whisked to the QH3 Youtube page. You can watch the interview there.   

Alright, that’s the end of this spin.

Stay soulful citizens!

Here’s a link to my interviews with world-renowned healer Don Miguel Ruiz Jr and Shaman Jon Rassmussen if you want to check them out. I also tossed in the Youtube video of my chat with Miguel. I hope you enjoy!  

The Master Plan.

Ok, so this is going to be a post about learning to listen to life’s subtle and not so subtle messages on the path to purpose. And why I now think things like master plans are bullshit. 

So this past week I’ve faced some stuff. While I’ve been busily building and revising and my “master plan,” life continues doing what it does best. Teach. And whip up challenges. Powerful ones.

The latest?…

My son Gus just got of the ICU. I actually began writing this post from the hospital’s Starbucks.  A week ago he caught a bug from school, and then as story often goes with kids, almost immediately he got popped with something worse. Next thing we know we’re at the hospital staring at a diagnosis Pneumonia and RSV – a dreaded respiratory virus that tends to hit kids with Down Syndrome hard.

And he got hit hard. 

When we checked in he just couldn’t breath. It was terrifying. At one point, when things were sketchy, he shot straight up in bed and said, “tunnel.” I’ve never heard him say that word before, nor did I know he even knew it. I about had a heart attack. Outside I may have looked calm, but inside I’m doing cartwheels and thinking, “do not go towards the f$&! light! Not yet!”

So, yeah. Nothing like life’s hardest moments to get you thinking. And this situation had me doing loads of it – especially on what I thought I knew about life.

Turns out I didn’t know nearly enough to see this crisis coming. Definitely not in my plans. 

Interestingly, I’d been reflecting on the practicality of things like life plans the week before Gus got sick. I’d come across and old journal where I’d been reflecting on one of the more difficult talks I had with a spiritual mentor. She’d taken the liberty to dissect my habit of planning. While I’m a big picture guy and not very good at planning, I’m always looking for ways to improve.

So paraphrasing a bit, she said, “Life is about learning to let go. Things go much easier this way. We create things like plans because we believe they can keep us safe. But plans can not.”

I remember not being impressed with her statement at all. First off, I felt like this statement was just wrong. It seemed to me that humanity was built on the backs on the world’s best planners. Imagine Rome being built without a plan, or Civil Rights happening without the genius oversight of Martin Luther King. Or Steve Jobs winging it. I mean, how the hell would we have gotten to the moon without a solid plan? So I reacted, inwardly of course, not being courageous enough to rebuke her outright. I thought, “If I don’t plan, what am I left with?!” I could actually answer that: I’d be stuck with the stinking unknown. I saw plans like torches we carried into the night. And isn’t it helpful to have light when it’s dark outside and you don’t know where you’re going? 

Curiously, I found myself chewing on my mentor’s feedback while I was knee deep in my son’s medical crisis.

I remember staring into his swollen blue eyes as he lay in that hospital bed.  I was suffering over this issue and wondered, “how will I ever be able to keep him safe? Or my family? Or me?” This only got worse when I thought of the financial hopscotch I was playing as business owner. So there in that stuffy ICU room with bells and buzzers buzzing, I went round and around. I was totally demoralized. I’m not sure how I got there, but I had an insight. I realized my mentor wasn’t criticizing planning. She was inviting me to reflect on the nature of true safety.  

What becomes painfully obvious when you’re a parent stuck considering the mortality of your child, is how helpless you truly are. While I could influence certain things, I had no control over the ultimate outcome.  As a healer and therapist I saw this situation play out all the time. A person can do all the “right” things, but still not get a good result. But my familiarity with the issue didn’t make it easier to swallow.  As a father I found it horrifying. Here I was totally powerless at a time when my son needed me the most. And as my son’s health spiraled out of control, the more I spiraled too. So, there tiptoeing Christmas, I was revisited by the ghost of a very inconvenient truth. Life is bigger than all of us. And I could clearly see that no matter how thorough or well I executed my plans they would always play second fiddle to life’s Master Plan; if you can call the unpredictability of life such a thing.  And I choose too. 

I knew if I was to regain any sense of sanity in this situation I had to let go of the delusion that I could control anything. The outcome was beyond me. And it was equally beyond the professionals working with him too. As trained experts they certainly had better odds at making a difference, more influence, but ultimately they had no more control over the outcome than I did. The outcome just hung like some mysterious mist of possibility just beyond our reach. No matter how much we desired and worked towards a positive outcome, we’d have to ride the situation out.  

So I after a few more cerebral spins, I realized if I wanted to create a real sense of safety, I’d best not base it in the hope for a positive outcome. Or in faith either, as I do believe and have faith in the good of all things.  While I do believe they are the wisest investments, especially in times of crisis, neither could offer me the level of security I needed. My son could die, and our relationship could go away.

Eventually I allowed myself to look beyond the outcome.  And I realized that the magic existed in not having control of his life. The truth was I didn’t need control or a guarantee.  All I needed was love.  My promise to never stop loving my son was enough to keep us connected, and foerver.  It’s hard to explain, but in that moment I finally understood that love was a sacred bond, a promise and the surest guarantee of safety I’d ever get.

 

To me this seemed like a miracle to me! How is it that a force as powerful as love was entirely within my control and life wasn’t?… 

While this situation was not one I’d choose to relive, I’d gotten a powerful insight. I could see that love is a gift that transcends all obstacles, barriers, and time.  So like my mentor may have been suggesting; a plan can’t guarantee safety. Only love can.  And while I knew this, intellectually, my understanding kind of shifted from understanding to knowing.  I now knew my relationship with my son was forever safe.

I’m reminded of a familiar bible verse from my childhood, 

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. -Corinthians 13:13

Now that I’m back to my life, I’ve had to take a much deeper look at how I’m allowing love to inform all areas of my life. Including my business.  I realized I’d sacrificed a large portion of my work as a healer in my efforts to build and launch my brand, for almost a year now. And while I’ve been missing that connection to people and the work, I’ve for some reason been playing down my role as a healer in my brand.  I have reasons, of course, but it’s really been because of fear.  So, in 2018 I’ve decided I’m going to allow my healing work to take center stage in my brand, alongside my other work.  And I’m going to allow myself to reopen my relationships there.  If I want love to flow freely, I can’t hide. 

So for those of you that are wondering about the status of my son. Gus has been discharged and appears to be on his way to a full recovery. Man are we grateful. Here’s Gus enjoying a hula hooping Santa on Christmas Day. 

 

Here’s an episode that features my interview with thought leader and TEDX’r Marcus Aurelius Anderson. He talks about his journey back from paralysis, which is powerful talk about the road back to health. I’ve also included the video for good measure!  

Blend and The End

This week has been all about change. And “blending.” 

 
What’s that?…

In my interview with Thriving Collective CEO Cameron Brown, he talked about this cool concept. It’s the idea that the sum of all our experiences and the skills that emerge make us impossible to replicate. The art, he says, comes in finding ways to successfully blend and share it with the world. You do that, he says, and then you can create a only you can fill.

Seems reasonable enough, right?

Coincidentally, I played with this same idea on my show, but called it “Value X.”  (Check out the 00 Episode) The quality, as I saw it, was the sum and soup of our lives that makes us unique. I made it the key driver behind alot of my questions early on. My hope was that by having guests go there listeners would start taking credit for their uniqueness too. 

Why I am telling you this?… Ok, I have to bring you to now to bring this concept full circle. 

So plainly put, I’ve been struggling as an entrepreneur. I’ve gone months without a break, 16 hour days, and crammed in mini yoga sessions between energy drinks at the office. So I decided taking some time off would be wise.

And so that’s what I did. Just a couple days of magic with the family.  While in the midst of it I had an aha moment. I’d come up for air, finally, and had a chance to take a good look around -metaphorically. I realized I’d had a vision to start with.  And when I’d tracked my progress it seemed like I was way off track from that original vision. And by that I mean with my show and brand. With the Pioneers of Insight podcast, my first production, I’d hoped to plug people into the powerful wisdom that comes from surviving the “extraordinary” experiences. You know, real gut-wrenching, soul-twisting adversity, which I believed is magical and scales. But I concluded I hadn’t delivered on that concept.

My first instinct was to search for where I’d gone wrong. Here’s what I came up with, and maybe you can relate if you’ve taken a risk to build something in your own lives;

  • I felt like I’d compromised.
    •   For me that meant bending my vision. Instead of having extraordinary stories to work with, I felt like I was using my skills to turn ordinary experiences into the extraordinary for my guests. 
  • I felt l’d got derailed by old insecurities and my fear of disappointing others.
    • I am not afraid of putting myself out there, so in the early running I managed to generate a good amount of interest.  Great people with cool missions and enterprises had tossed their hats in the ring right off the bat, folks like Johnny Bang Reilly, and  John Lee Dumas,  and Shannon Cason. When more folks stepped up I ran into a problem. I’m a recovering life-long people pleaser. I didn’t feel like I’d earned the credibility to turn anyone down. When I did consider it a voice showed up. Kinda nasty, and it said,”who the hell are you to turn these good folks down? They’re influencers and successful people with audiences, man. Get over yourself!” Some of you may be familiar with this voice, as it’s the internal dialog that get drummed up when old insecurities are triggered. This is a familiar phenomenon in success psychology, known as “Imposter Syndrome.” 

So, in coming up for air I had this oh shit moment.

I imagined myself on a bicycle going off trail and then quietly sailing off a cliff. So instead of celebrating what I’d accomplished I was beating myself up. I needed an adjustment. I concluded to make some changes while I could

It took a couple days to process my reaction when the real magic happened. 

I felt better when I realized the disappointment I was feeling was my own. Nobody else told me any changes were needed, or that I’d gone off track. The truth was I only received positive feedback. No huge wins yet , but only good signs thus far. So the show growing, I’d just ran into my expectations and insecurities again. 

In other words, the expectations zombies had awoke and were eating my brains.

The crappy part of experiences likes these is missing the chance to create momentum. Taking times to celebrate, honor, and nourish our heart, mind, body, and soul along the way is essential. Perhaps some of you can relate too this. So rather than let these expectations Zombies continue to snack on my brain, I took my accomplishments back. I revisited my journals and journey to launch this company. There were too many tiny miracles too count, so much had magically fallen into place with my efforts. I thought about how much I’d learned and the wonderful new relationships I created.  I leaped back into the world of possibility and realigned with my vision.

Shutting down fear allowed me to reconnect with the energy of a larger process. Growth.  I came back to earth, really. Processes like are beneficial, however, as these nourish the soul of life. No matter where we are, we can use reminders like these to turn things around. We just need to take use them to discover what’s going “right” vs what’s wrong. What’s wrong becomes the soil from which a healthy realization springs. So, I’d actually had to stop and thank the Zombies for the reminder to listen to my soul again. 

So, let me wrap this by giving you a sense of how I intend to infuse more soul into my brand as I move forward:

First, I’m retiring the Daily Insight blog. 

First off, it’s called the Daily Insight. While I somehow managed to crank out posts daily 6 months or so without killing myself, I’m letting that go. The day’s of getting into the office at 4:00 am to crank out a blog, and vlog too, that read by 50 or less are gone. Perhaps the word read here is an overstatement. “Thumbed” or “glimpsed” is probably more accurate.

I bought into a lot of crazy notions in the early running -when I’d separated soul from my ambitions.  Again, all of this is entirely my fault, as I stepped willing into the social marketing trap; I’d already developed the habit of trying to be everything to everyone, and social media feeds on this idea. But while coaching us to do it smartly, so it’s not obvious that’s what you’re doing. No blaming social media, I’d just fallen into a trap of a life long habit out of convenience. I’d chewed on this idea a bit in my interview with digital marketing disruptor Chris Kubbernus   Actually, it may have helped put the bug in my soup. It seems there’s a business of selling sales culture out there, and I’m happy to have learned that.  I refuse to go there. So, I’m readjusting my priorities pronto, focusing on quality over quantity, and putting my life, family, and soul back at the center where it belongs.   

From here on out I intend to lay down the light.  I’m a spiritual guy.  I care.  I’m creative and come at things through a soulful lens.  I have a family which I love and I eat tons of spicy vegan foods. I need to share all of that. So I’ve adjusted my mission statement to read; I create “Media for Soulful Citizens.” 

Overall, I hope I help bring art to adversity. Put the soul at the center of a larger conversation in media, and offer tools that help create continuity between our inner and outer lives.  I want to help inject the language of the heart into business and culture by writing and producing cool stories and features. Thankfully I’m in a position to do that. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.  

So, in my new blog and the reflections I’m sandwiching between podcast episodes called, “Meditations for Soulful Citizens,” I’ll be doing a little of all of that. Besides being a coach, therapist, and media producer, I’m a healer too. I’ve made some good friendships in the Integrative Health and Healing worlds, so it’ll look to continue those conversations through premiere storytelling podcasts and webinars. I’ll probably try to inject more information about conscious business into The Pioneers of Insight podcast. And I will look to develop new shows that feature stories about transformation and change. 

 

So, if you choose to follow along that’s what you’ll get.

Ok, hope to see you in the new blog!

Wishing you grace to fill your sails today and everyday!

-J