The Path Back to True Self with Martha Beck
Hey buddy, what's up? Chase? Welcome to another episode of the chase Jarvis live show here on Creative Live, you know the show, this is where I sit down with amazing humans and I do everything I can to unpack their brain with the goal of helping you live your dreams in career, in hobby and in life. My guest today is the one and only Martha Beck. Now, if you're not familiar with Martha's work, you're in for a treat in this episode and if you are then this is going to be like, we're going to pull back the layers of the onion and get to her latest philosophy uh and the title of her new book, The Way of integrity. And if you don't know what integrity means, it's not about being good. In the classic definition. In the Martha beck world integrity means feeling whole. So if you have ever felt less than whole, felt like a part of you was doing something for someone else where you weren't being true to yourself. Where the prescribed path, whether that's from your parents, your career counselors...
, your peer group, if that ever felt out of whack, it was dissonance in what the world was saying and what you were feeling in your heart and your soul. This episode is for you now uh for those of you that don't know, I want to give you a little bit of background. Martha Beck is the best selling author, life coach and speaker. Oprah called her one of the smartest women she knows he's written a number of best selling books. I have uh referred to her work often in my personal journey and I know that you're going to get a ton of value so I'm gonna get out of the way, be ready for a ride. We're talking, this woman goes to Harvard, I'm I'll let her tell it because her words are better than mine. But what a journey she has been on and this conversation is going to be a treat, I promise I'll make out of the way and leave with Martha beck. Mhm Mhm No Martha, thank you so much for being on the show. I want to welcome you. Thanks a lot. Oh my gosh, Chase is such an honor to be here. I was, I confessed to the listeners and watchers out there that right before we started recording I was sharing with you that your books and teachings have been a fixture in my household for I mean, I don't know, I don't know if I could say decades, but certainly a long time and so it's a treat to have you on the show. I think I was sharing a finding your way book that I've got of yours, but you know, dog eared pages and this has been lugged around europe was in my, my bag going back and forth between Seattle and san Francisco for a couple of years. Um thank you so much because I listen to your podcasts and I look at your photos and everything and I think I wrote that book about him, but I had no idea you'd read it. Well, I know one of the things that I'm excited to have you on the show for today, among many others is your new book, which comes out, I think we're gonna try and drop it the same week and our our posse of listeners are very good at helping authors move units and so that's a part of what we want to cover today in the new book is the way of integrity finding the path to your true self. But I want to start at the start. I want to go way back because your spiritual journey, as I understand it has been, it's a long arc and and uh this work, you know, a lot of people are not, a lot of people are called to it and yet you seem to be so such a natural in this space. And I'm wondering how you got here. What were some of the early um indications that this was a path that was meant for you? Well, I was born into a very fundamentalist religious scene. So I was born to a very mormon family in the mormon Ist town in the mormon Ist state in the Union. I'll let you guess what that is. Um, and and raised, you know, before social media before. I mean there wasn't, we didn't even have a T. V. So I was just told all these odd religious things you know every righteous man gets his own planet. I was like I don't know okay I'm five, what do I know? But it all sounded really odd and and but it was so persistent that it gave me this kind of obsessive hunger to know what was true and what wasn't and it's sort of faded as I sort of I got to be a an adolescent and I started pursuing high achievement in secular culture. And then I went off to college and got really really out of that became very materialist sort of atheist actually kind of agnostic. I didn't know what I believed except I wanted everyone to like me that's good, it is better to look good than to feel good. And then I think the breaking point was when I was halfway through my third Harvard degree and um I had a daughter, I got married, had a daughter, and then I had a second pregnancy, and it was very strange, like from the beginning of the pregnancy, I started having sort of paranormal experiences, being able to see what was happening in distant places. And it was very weird, and then about six months into the pregnancy, I was, the baby was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and so I was facing this question of, do I want to terminate the pregnancy? And I only have two weeks to decide, um and I'm very pro choice politically, but my, everything in my body, everything in my heart, everything in my intuition was saying, no, there's something, something's been happening throughout this whole experience and it hasn't been fun, all kinds of things went wrong, and this is devastating, and people are telling you if you don't terminate the pregnancy, if you keep this baby, you'll be throwing away your life. And I looked around at the life that I had and I'd been at Harvard since I was 17, I looked around at all the people who were doing so well and I thought they don't seem very happy. And then um I started to ask the question, can someone with Down syndrome be happy? And the answer was yes, unequivocally. So, I started to think, what is the nature of the life I want to bring into the world give, It's not that I don't want to have a baby, what kind of baby is acceptable. And I realized that if it's just intellect and achievement, that's a very cold, hard world, and it was not making me happy. And so I sort of I did, I threw my life away, turned out that life sucked. And I went into a kind of exploration where I would believe anything. I was willing to go anywhere. Lepre cons bring them on, I don't care, I'll keep like, instead of not believing anything until it's proven true, I decided I can't really prove anything true. So I'm going to accept and open myself to anything until I'm pretty darn sure it's not true. And that's just through the whole world wide open to me. It's been a strange story ever since. Well, this openness and that's part of what originally attracted me to your work, is this sort of these this allowance for things that we don't understand. And I think you talk about it in terms of magic for example, and that conceptually and just being open and willing to um go against convention and again from the the not saying I can know you personally, but knowing you through your work this there's there is an undercurrent of what culture says and what is and what is true for us. And there's a dissonance between those two things and you think you have captured that in your work and you with that awareness with a capital A but there's also an awareness for the people who watch and listen to the show that there's a gap between where they are and where they want to be. They've been told by their, you know, their career counselors, their spouses, their parents, their grandparents, and what's hard for this is hard around this is these are people that care very deeply about you, that you're doing it the wrong way, that you can't you can't be or become the thing you want to be in the world because of all of these reasons and that you have done such a masterful job of finding resonance where there is dissonance culturally, what is at the root of your wisdom here? How how have you been able to reconcile this in a world that is struggling to reconcile it? I think I just have a very low tolerance for suffering. Like I really believe that we're all born with an intuitive inherent nature that wants certain things in your life is such an example, what little I know of you, You were headed for med school, right? Like do that thing, all of the things that were approved by everybody approved things. And then according to the story, I read your grandfather left you a bunch of photography equipment. And then, I mean, what was, sorry to turn the tables, but what did that feel like for you? Well, it felt like um the curiosity, the it felt like a hall pass. I feel like a permission slip to actually veer or step off the cultural norm for just long enough to get a whiff of something that was different than what was prescribed. And it was that with the scent, it's sort of like when something's cooking in the kitchen, you and you want to learn more and there was there was a harmony in what I would say, my heart head, heart connection of when I started sort of pulling on this thread or walking towards the kitchen or the way I talk about it in my book is stepping onto the path is things began to feel effortless and I know from your book is what it feels like to be in integrity. But I mean exactly what you you're so you turn the tables on me, which is fair like you have been on a journey, did you know this when you started, when you left that path from Harvard when you decided to have the child or was and and did you magically arrive? Or was this a series of peeling back layers of an onion? Well, when I look back it was, it was happening from the beginning. I talk in this book about the difference between nature and culture. So you put the two on the ends of a spectrum and we're all born true to our nature. Every animal is and we are the only animals so far as I know that can go that can work against its own nature. To the point where we will walk into cannons. We will live lives of private hell just to please other people. And that's culture. Culture, meaning every every Terence McKenna says, whenever you have two people in a room, culture is the third guest at the table. It's the pressure to conform and social primates and primates with very high ability to imagine things we've taken, leaving our nature behind to a point that no other animal has ever taken so far as we know. Maybe there was a dinosaur back there, but they're done. But what happens when we pull away from our nature is that are the I divide the meaning making systems of the psyche of the self into four. And this goes along with many wisdom traditions around the world, by the way, um Spirit heart, mind, body. And we usually, especially in our culture, we're very enslaved to mind in Asia. There is a saying that the mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. And we have put in mind at the very center of our entire cultural paradigm and to follow what we mentally believed to be approved of. We will abandon our heart, our body and our soul, in fact completely deny the existence of the soul and ignore the body. As Sir ken Robinson said, we see the body as a mechanism to take our heads to meetings and it's just, we can be so torn to ribbons. So when I look back, I think By the time I was five, I remember thinking I'm here to participate in a change in the way human beings think. And it wasn't something that anyone told me. I remember I was sitting in my bedroom and I just thought, oh yeah, that I better get to work and, and it was just sort of there in the background, this assumption. And then, um, when I started to leave my nature further and further behind to try to climb higher and higher in the social pyramid and in my pyramid, it was intellectualism and academia. I got more and more unhappy. And when I was 18, I started developing mysterious auto immune illnesses that nearly killed me. I was in chronic pain for years. Had my kids in the middle of that had this second child who was cognitively disabled. So now I've got a sick body, a different child, um, and a life that's still desperately trying to achieve the cultural norm. And I just finally, the suffering got so intense that I said, I can't, I can't do this. I'm going to let go of all the cultural rules and I'm going to see what happens when I land somewhere else, which to me sounds a little bit like what you did. There is kind of a breaking point where you go, all right, I'm just not going to hang on. And I when I let go, I just felt I didn't expect to land anywhere. But as you said, when we do that, there is something and I don't I don't believe in magic. I believe in science, but I believe there's a whole lot. Science doesn't know when you let go of your cultural paradigms and you fall into your true nature, miraculous things start to happen. And that from my early 20s on was like that was something I was obsessed with. Yeah, I probably should have said magical rather than magic. You know, this is not the same, but that's this this this miracles when you start to look for them. Rather than expect them to the point you made earlier. Um, expect that they don't exist and rely on the world to prove it to you. What if you what if you flipped your script on that? Yeah, I remember, I think it was in, you know, your true north around North Star around um this idea that the first, the first phase is meltdown and I'm wondering if that, I'm guessing that takes many forms. Um but right now there's someone whose listening, someone who's watching, someone who's gonna run somewhere sitting on a park bench and they are feeling exactly what you're describing, Their feeling this, this dissonance between who they are and what culture thinks they are. There's there's this break in the integrity between who they represent themselves publicly and what they feel privately. Let's just, I would ask for you to speak to that person right now and what's if you could just be with them for a moment, what would you tell them? The first thing I do is sit down with them and I'd say there is no such thing as time, relax, there is no hurry. There is no hurry. If we're rushing, we're just rushing to the grave. So here we are. Let's not think forward from right now. But instead let's look at the full span of what you're experiencing in this moment. What is your body feeling? I always start with the body because that's what is most disowned by the culture. And yet it's always talking to us when I give speeches out of covid time. Well sometimes stop in the middle of his speech and say, is everyone comfortable? And they're like, yeah, I'll be like really seriously, are you comfortable? And be like yes. And then I'll say if you were at home alone right now, how many of you would be in the position that you're in at this moment? And no one raises a hand and I say why not? And it takes them like five minutes to realize they're not comfortable. So, and the discomfort is not the problem. The problem is that they have so tuned out their own biology that they can run it through a cultural filter that says, I have to be sitting upright on a straight back chair. So given that this is tolerable and they think they're comfortable. So the first thing I'd say to the person on the benches, relax and feel the discomfort wherever it is in the body. And as you tune into that, then you'll start to feel emotion. Now, most of us at this point, run, um Blaise pascal says, the reason for all our misery is that we are unable to sit quietly alone in a room. Because when you sit quietly alone in a room and your mind starts to relax and the body comes online, and then the emotions come online. you may learn that your life is not what it's meant to be. You may realize very starkly at that moment, oh my God, I'm in the wrong relationship or the wrong job or um I really am gonna die someday, that kind of thing. And that moment is what I call a catalytic event following that, as you said, there's a, there's a cycle of four stages that people go through and I like to compare it to what a caterpillar does. So the caterpillar, they get to a state called Full Fed where they're as big as they're ever going to get. And then I always like to think about what are they thinking the day they decided to metamorphose, like they're just like I've been eating my whole life, but now I'm going to make a smell sleeping bag out of my saliva and go in there forever. Like what are they thinking? So they go in there, we don't know what they're thinking, but people think they just go in there and like grow legs and wings. They don't, they dissolve into a liquid so the first stage of a real change in anyone's life and like Covid did this for all of us, it pushed us all, it was a catalytic event that hit every human on earth. And what happens then is not that you get yourself together and start flying, you fall apart completely and our culture says that's a bad thing. And I would say to the person on the bench, lean into it, it's okay, you're not happy enough to want to be this way forever. And if you can let go and let yourself be nothing for a while, it will trigger the mechanisms that are meant to give you wings and you don't even have to do it. Just relax into this and let nature do its work and you will come out of this a completely different being and it's going to be wonderful. You you made a leap that that was my follow up question was aren't we in this time right now where you see so much um racial injustice, economic strife, political uh problems and I don't think I'm alone in saying if you look around, if this is not sort of a re shuffling or liquefying to use the caterpillar uh example, the next phase is also around dreaming right? It's about what is it that you want to be or become? So keep talking to the person who stopped and is listening right now. So once you've really fallen apart and in Asia they call this ego death and the money goes into the cave and lets his mind go away and becomes they say you're the face you had before your mother and father were born, you become complete nothingness. And then in the case of a caterpillar, this triggers the activation of uh imago cells and these cells have the instructions to take the liquid that is in the cocoon and reassemble it into a butterfly and in our own personal lives. The way we experience that is that we're just sort of plastered by the way, the way you fall apart is the grieving process. It's not fun, but the only way out is through and you go through this cycle of resistance, denial, bargaining, grief, anger, acceptance. And once that's complete, one day you wake up and you think I have a new idea and I don't know you've you've recreated yourself so many times. Like this podcast is not what I would, the med school thing to the photography thing that's like odd. Then there's okay now he's a world famous photographer. He's going to start a podcast. Like talk about reinvention. Where does everyone feels those flickers of the new life coming in the same way, but most people are trained not to pay attention. What does it feel like to you? Like when the flicker of the new thing comes? What does it feel like I want to answer this? Very truthfully. Let me think for a second. What does it actually feel like? It feels at first like, um, a little light in the darkness and then it feels scary and then it feels um intellectual for a second. The scary part is, the mind takes over and tells me all the reasons that it's hard and difficult and before we haven't done it. And then I go back to the muscle that I feel like I was lucky enough to develop, which is a muscle around trusting my ability to land on my feet to figure it out to not know all of the steps, but just to know the first two and to take those that is so cool. I've never heard referred to as a muscle. I immediately identify with what you're saying. And just in in regard to the latest book I wrote, what you're talking about is your integrity, which doesn't mean like sunday school stuff. It means to be one thing whole and that's why airplanes can fly because they're in structural integrity. It's not because they're good and we should pat them on the head. It's just integrity is what works and what you're feeling there. That muscle, we've been trained away from it. And for the reason being that if we start to trust that muscle in us that says, I know what I am becoming and I will become not just one butterfly, but different iterations of myself. And I will go against my culture, my family, culture, my friendship, culture, my work, culture, whatever it is, my national or ethnic culture. And um, I can do this. That is the most dangerous thing you can say to any social system. And I believe that's for example, that's why you got the Black Lives Matter thing rising up during covid because everyone had to sit quietly alone in a room for a while. And the truth started to rise. And there was a certain group of people that said we have been oppressed for centuries and it is no longer acceptable. That's got to go. And there's no precedent for justice being established in that area. But there is that feeling, you know dr King's dream, where did that come from that dream? It had to come from something internal and possibly numinous or like otherworldly. It had to come from truth with a capital T. And so you're landing in that personally huge groups of us are finding that muscle collectively and it is faith exactly as you said, it is faith and trust in that. That allows us to leave cultural forms that aren't working not for us, not for anyone and go into something beautiful. But in this scheming and dreaming stage stage, it all happens inside. So both the first stage I call it square one the square of death and rebirth and then the second which is the square of scheming and dreaming. They happen inside your own head, heart, soul. And then after you thought for a while you can take it out on the road. So tell me more about your process. Like you have a brilliant idea and then you didn't just get catapulted to world famous success. How did you get through square three? Which is the square where you actually get go from the ideal world to the real world? Well, first of all, this is so fun to be in conversation with you about this because I read your work and watch to dissect so many other people not to be on the receiving end of this dissection when we're talking about your book about integrity. Um uh let's see, I find that that dreaming and scheming phase is a there is a truth like a beacon of truth. That if I have pretended that it's something besides that beacon of truth. I have struggled to go into the real world when I have when I have trusted that beacon of truth and it's something that I love that I feel passionate about. I feel connected to. I feel I feel like bubbles up inside me. That makes the work. I can't say effortless because I put a ton of effort into it. But it feels like I'm doing the right thing, which again, I know from this is integrity. This is the oneness I think that you're talking about and that action starts to feel like it's in sync with who I am rather than um, the times where I have, you know, had performative roles in my life or you know, done things against my will or you know, pretending that I wanted to go to medical school when it was just something that was socially acceptable. So is that is what is what I'm describing there? Do you feel like that's an analog for integrity for for oneness? Is that why it's easy? It's not even an analog? It is the thing itself, you're talking about living in integrity and when I love that you used language that was both emotional and physical. You talked about bubbling, you talked about passion. Bubbling is a physical thing with and so many of your pictures have bubbles on that and passion is something you feel in the heart. Then you said some more things that made me think that's really he's going on soul. He's imagining what's never been and then you bring your intellect to it. All four of those systems are aligned and you're so into the wholeness of yourself that you are then able to be your nature despite your culture, which not only improves your life but improves the culture itself. Like this whole book now, it's based around Dante's Divine Comedy because that's an obvious self help thing. But it is No, no, it's a but this is your brilliance. Martha's is like layering those two things together is just, that's to me, pure genius, but sorry, keep going. You know, I'm like 18, I'm like, helped me learn to be happy, I'm reading anything I can the divine comedy. It never occurred to me to read it academically. I read it as self help and it works. So why not? Um, but he went through an experience like that where he fell apart and he struggled and he came back and he writes about it metaphorically in the Divine comedy and as he comes into complete integrity with himself. It's exactly what you described. There's a period of intense effort but driven, he says, if I didn't, I had so much passion, I had so much desire to go up toward paradise that I developed. I grew wings and he's not sure how it happens. But somehow he gets to be this other this other being who's dropped all of his cultural associations and at that point he starts drifting upward into paradise and all kinds of magical things started happening. I thought that was just metaphorical, Let me tell you something. It actually happens and chase your life is kind of, it's one of those wonderful things I can point to and say, look, it works, look at him, he's doing it well this I want to paint a picture that's real. Like there were to say it works. I didn't feel like it was working at all kinds of different stages along the way. And I say that to make to to sort of help people feel included in this process that this is that it sometimes it feels difficult, it feels hard and what when I refer to it as a muscle because once you've gone through that once or twice you start to recognize this as a pattern. And when you realize it's a pattern, you can look back and connect some of the dots and saying great, how did it play out when I doubled down on the thing and it truly felt was in my heart, Oh it worked. And how did it feel when you you you sort of lean back or shied away from the thing? Oh it was a total disaster. And these are this is true with relationships, this is true career path. This was true for me in in friendships, physical health, finding us everything. Yeah, Well I want to talk about integrity because right now there are people who like there's in the book, you talk about an unlearning and I feel like that was the hardest. And to be fair, I am white, I am male. I am born in America. I have basically every privilege. I mean I was lower middle class, but I've basically ticked all of the privileged boxes and unlearning lessons from culture was what I would say was the hardest thing for me to do. So, you know, not what if you're not in if you didn't win the the privileged lottery, like I did, how much harder would it be to unlearn these things and just just put this unlearning in context. It's harder and it's easier when you're less privileged. So what happens and I just want to go back to don? T for a minute, what we have to do is he finds himself completely adrift in a place he doesn't recognize where he's very terrified and things are not good. And then he has to go through hell, literally hell, the inferno, and then he gets to climb up and have all those fabulous experiences in paradise. And every time we want to break with an aspect of our culture and become a new aspect of ourselves, it's that same feeling I'm lost. This isn't working. Oh boy, Here we go through hell. But I remember going through it before and then you have to climb this mountain called purgatory, which is literally cleansing away anything that's not integrity. Then you'll be fine. Now you are so unusual because you were born into what I call the man cage. Um and I use that because max faber, the first great sociologist in the 1960s century, talked about how people who were in this privileged material, wealth driven culture, we're simply going to be pushed further and further towards being machines that make money until their souls were dead. And he called it the iron cage of rationalism. And when I look at what's going on in our national culture of global culture, people who are born relatively privileged are really inside that cage. There's no reason to leave it. The whole cage, it works for you, or it looks like it works for you because it gives you power, wealth and status, which are the things we think will make us happy. And this is something Dante talks about to how we can try and try and it won't make us happy. Now if you're female, if you're a person of color, if you're trans or whatever, the system is going to make you suffer more sooner, and what that means is that you start questioning sooner and you start rattling the bars of the cage and saying, I want out sooner. And you start realizing this is not fair. This is not right. You know, I will give my life to say something better has to happen. And so it's easier in some ways to become independent of the machine if you're less privileged, if you're more privileged, the very trappings of privileged lock around you like an iron cage and the men that I've coached so many of them, Jason just sat when I used to see people one by one. They just sit there and try not to cry for a whole hour because they didn't see a way out. They didn't understand why they weren't happy. They saw no way out and their lives looked perfect. And that in some ways is the worst trap you can land in. You do such a good job of using your own life and you're talking about your personal quest for integrity as the mechanism for illustrating what the process, because we're talking about, we're talking about a process, right? It's whether it's the Dante's journey or the hero's journey or like we're talking about a process and I'm wondering if you've helped unpack me, I'm wondering you can use some examples from your own life of going through this you did a little bit earlier with um, you know, the reconciliation of the recognition of your time at Harvard and deciding to have a child and but if you, you know, maybe back out a little bit expanded rapidly, talk us through some of the how this has worked for you. Maybe some examples of how it worked and maybe somewhere it didn't because it sounds like I want to just make sure that people in the world know that all this stuff isn't just like a little script that you can just read and follow, share a couple examples from your own life with the goal of helping as many people relate as possible. I kind of believe in destiny. I don't think we're born with an absolute destiny, but I do believe in general life mission and I seem to have been born with a destiny of being culturally unacceptable. So I grew up, a very intellectual girl in mormonism, went to Harvard, had a baby with an intellectual disability. Then I was so traumatized by the fact that everyone thought I'd made the wrong decision that I moved back to my hometown of Provo Utah, the most mormon place on earth because I knew they wouldn't question my decision with the pregnancy and I tried to fit in with the locals there and I tried to be good to the people that I've known in childhood only to discover that I really, truly did not believe in mormonism. Well, this meant that I was now the most I was in mormon culture. Leaving the religion is the single worst sin you can commit. It's worse than murder. And not only that, but as I was struggling with that, I started having flashbacks really violent, intrusive flashbacks of being sexually abused as a child by my father who was a big cheese in the church. And I realized as a sociologist that that the abuse of girls and women is pretty rampant among people who are in these old mormon families that had polygamous backgrounds and everything, that it just is an odd psychological legacy. So, um Then I left, I left my when I was 29, I decided I was not going to tell a single life for an entire year. I took this as a new year's resolution because I couldn't figure out how to get my feet on the ground with all these different cultural pressures and I just, I knew I needed something solid to stand on. So I decided not to tell a single lie. The whole year I was 29, I kept that resolution. And during that year I lost um My family of origin first, my religion and my family of origin, all my friends that I've had before, the age of 17 or 18. Um my industry, my job, my career as it was going at the time, my marriage, my home, my basically everything. And began to feel truly whole for the first time in my life, like it had to just shred and then I was like, okay, I get it. Um when I feel bound to culture and it's not working, I will throw myself into the fire. I will, I will trust this process. Absolutely. Oh yeah. And then I realized I was gay. So here's what I like to say. I went to Harvard to have a baby with a cognitive disability that I went to Utah to become a lesbian and people ask me for advice. They pay me for it. It's just weird. But that's, I think that's fascinating because that is the, that if that is what finding like peace, if you have to do that, like then and when we know the other stuff deep, deep, deep down, the other stuff is, does not work. It doesn't, it doesn't surprise me for a second that we turn to you to help us. I have to say burn every bridge but love, which is the same as truth. Just burn everything that isn't really you and your life will be incredible. But you will potentially lose everything you presently value. I like to say, it will give you everything you wanted. It will give you everything that will make you happy, Everything that will make you wealthy, everything that will bring you love, everything that will make your ideal world and it will cost you absolutely everything else. Those are the stakes in your book. There are some questions that we can ask ourselves and I'm wondering if you can share some of those questions because that person who's listening right now, they are hooked. They stopped whatever they were doing. Now, they're sitting on the couch every uh, you know, staring at the, at the wall or they're still on that bench. Or they're walking a little slower because we've struck a chord. And now let's help them connect with this integrity. What are some questions that they can ask themselves in this moment that we've got their attention? It's so, so simple and I really like you to use a little um of a therapeutic school called internal family systems where you divide yourself into parts. So wherever you are take the part of you that's like listening to this podcast and everything, then take out any part of you that feels um something moving inside you. When you hear this something, it may be an ache. It may be a joy. It may be a sting, but it's a sensation and take that part of yourself and move it like to a different chair in the room or another seat on the bus or whatever. And then look at this part of yourself, Look at it from the perspective of a self that is outside of time and outside of suffering. It's just pure awareness and compassion and ask this self of yours the suffering self, what are you feeling? What hurts? What doesn't hurt? What do you know that you're afraid to know? What do you, what are you afraid? Other people will know about you if you were to follow your heart's desires, what are you afraid would happen? And as you start, I don't even know if these are the questions you're talking about? Yeah. You know, am I feeling what I really feel? You know, am I letting myself know that? Yeah, true. Ultimately, Yeah, I I really believe that a life of integrity and it sounds so selfish to us in this culture is no what you really know, feel what you really feel, do what you really want and say what you really mean? And people say, well, if I did that, I just robbed banks all day. I'm like, not if you stopped not if you really knew what you're feeling and what you're um, knowing at a deep, deep level I've worked with, I test these things on like convicted murderers and you know, psychopaths and they all have the same thing. If they really ask what's going on inside, they end up in a place that at least the people I've talked to, where they, there's the desire to do harm is much less than the desire to realize one's own truth, which has always been Evelyn always, you mentioned working with socio and psychopaths and at the other end of the spectrum, I don't know if this is the right spectrum to draw, but you've, you've coached so many of the world's top performers and you know, you were regular in Oprah sphere and I'm wondering at, at, at, at our base level, are the problems the same? They just manifest differently. And what have you learned from a life? You know, that spans work with such a diverse population. Yeah, it's interesting. It's like the more you gain, the, the credentials and the awards and the approbation of society, the harder and faster your life is moving forward. So it's like, um, somebody who's sitting on a bench now who just graduated from college and doesn't know what to really do. It might be sort of tootling along going 40 miles an hour on a road somewhere with his life where you, having done everything you've done are now driving an 18 wheeler at 80 miles an hour down a freeway. Like your life has a lot of power to it. What that means is that if you go astray, if you leave your integrity, it won't just be like, oh, I cross the media and I'm going to pull back on the road. It will be like you'll take out a building. So no matter how much we gain in terms of success in the culture, all we get is more intense versions of the same stressors that bothered us when we were powerless, right? It just, it goes with us unless we choose to walk away from cultural pressures into our integrity. Other than that, you just get harder and faster punishment when you go wrong, harder and faster punishment. Hey, that's the title of my next book bestseller in the making. Uh, I want to go back to the root, this concept of integrity and what are some simple things that one knows or one can know when it's working? Because is it, is it mine? Is it body? Is it? You start with the body, But we never really got to complete that thought. What does it feel like? Because again the same person and I've been this person, I'm saying that person a little bit to relieve the burden of owning this myself. But the person who's on the park bench who stopped their run to listen to this conversation with um we talked about the feelings that it feels when you're in integrity. But what are some of the other Signs and signals? The interesting thing I talk in the book about a friend I had who was a hardcore junkie on the streets of New York for 20 years, then got clean and sober for 20 years and then died shortly after I met her actually a couple of years. And um what she would always say is she's have run 1000 hustles in my life and I realized pretty much everyone is always running the hustle. I did it for heroin. Other people are doing it for praise or for money or for love. And she said there are all the hustles are the same. They're all flimsy because they don't have truth in them. Once you start telling the absolute truth about your life, you come into harmony with reality and so you don't have to build your life anymore. You are resting it on a solid foundation. And she used to say at the end of the day only the truth has legs. Nothing else is left standing. And after she died, I got a tattoo on my right ankle that says only the truth has legs. And no matter what you're trying, it will start to create suffering and unease. You'll get uneasy and then you'll get disturbed and then you'll get distressed and then you might have a crisis because part of you that is born to find integrity will never stop saying, come this way, come over here, come over here and the further you get away from it, the more you suffer. So once you start to get into harmony of what you, what you feel in your body, what you feel in your mind, what you feel in your soul and what you know, sorry I said, feel in your mind, body, heart, soul mind. Once those all come together, the internal experience is of a puzzle piece clicking into place like perfectly emotionally. It feels like peace. And it's so interesting. I've doesn't matter who you talked to, murderer, beggar billionaire. The one thing that I've found that makes everyone feel that most strongly is the statement I am meant to live in peace. When people say that everything goes click and that's like the lesson and once you're in peace, well two things happen. I talk about this uh integrity as a path to what asians would call enlightenment. I was chinese major as an undergraduate, spent some time in Asia and they talk about this awakening process. Now, Western scientists have looked at asian meditators and found that this enlightenment is a real measurable thing and they say it's not only measurable in the brain, but we are biologically predisposed to seek it. And what it does is it turns off our sense of being separate from the world. So our sense of self disappears into being everything. And the other thing it turns off is our our sense of control. So if you ask people what they want to lose least, they would say my sense of self and my sense of control. But when those two things go quiet and you surrender to peace, you go into a state of bliss in which things happen to you with improbable levels of joy and success. And that's what I mean by the magic. And again, I'm so glad to be talking to someone who's done it because I can just point to you and say ha, it really happens. Well you have, I've got my wife and I have a dear friend who has completed your coaching um and way finders. And I'm wondering if you can talk about some of the the approach, not just the teachings, but the approach to teaching because I think it provides, it might be a lens through which we get some really interesting concept context. So just, you know, there's a post that I was drawn to on your instagram, which is way finders have many labels, medicine people, shamans, mystics, healers. But today most way finders live among people who have no name for them. So paint a picture for us of way finders that live among us but have no name. Yeah. As a sociologist I went looking as part of some of my research forever ago I went looking at all the pre modern tribes and specifically what formed culture originally and culture always forms around someone who has a kind of, it was called charisma and that was not used in english until anthropologists and sociologists started using it to define people who have this connection to something in er and other that we've been talking about this whole time and in every group around the world there are these people and they have a cluster of characteristics. Typically they are um they're all kinds of things that we separate some artists that would be your on for that. Um psychologists, mystics, animal behaviorists, botanists, medicine, you know, healers, psychologists, they have this cluster of characteristics. And in every group there will be elders who have this and who will be called, whatever the that particular people calls them. There's no one word I chose way finders because it was a very unusual english word that sort of sort of put them in a pile. But in prehistory, every group of people had about 50 to 135 people in it. That meant that they always had some medicine people growing up. They also had some elders and they had some babies. So there was a fairly high recurrence of this cluster of characteristics in every known culture. And I thought they've got to still be happening. And I started looking for them. And it was related to that feeling I had when I was a young child, that there's something we've got to fix about the way people perceive the universe and the way they function in the world, the way we think there has to be a shift in consciousness if we're going to keep living in harmony with the earth and each other. And so I I ended up writing this book and I call it the way finders. And my premise is that you're born that way, quote lady gaga. Um I went to, I lived on the shore of California for a while and I looked at history To see what the original people there did, you know to pass the time for 6000 years before the Europeans got there. And it said they lived by storytelling by picture making, by weaving, fishing, hunting, gardening and I thought They lived for years doing things that we do on vacation. You know we go to spas to do that stuff but that's what we're naturally meant to do. And some of us are natural medicine people, but it doesn't mean doctors, although a lot of doctors do fit this, it just means you're away finder. And so I kind of look for those people and there's a sense of recognition that goes with it and they're always doing something really interesting and nothing like anyone else. And you seem to have been able to grab that with both hands early in your life. And I just hope that people out there listening are thinking uh huh that sounds really cool. And one more thing you talked a bit about unlearning before um in the doubt edging my favorite book of chinese wisdom, it says in the Pursuit of knowledge every day something is added in the pursuit of the way or of enlightenment every day. Something is dropped less and less. You have to force things until you arrive at non doing. When nothing is done, nothing remains undone. That's the wisdom of china coming through its way. Finders and all the way. Finders say the same thing in different languages. You let go of culture, you let go of what you're so attached to and what lives through that fire is pure magic. I love that. You're, you continue to bring the eastern and my wife is a meditation of my influence teachers trained into Ram Das and jack cornfield terry brock. And that's one of the reasons your books have been such a fixture in our, in our home. Um, this, this is such a foreign context for a westerner, like the idea of like, you know, trusting uh trusting the universe that everything is great. If you just like there's no we're in a constant tug of war, maybe this is a better one. You know, it sounds like what you're advocating is dropping the rope. And that to me, there's that same person. If you go back to the 22 year old, me terrified to drop the rope, I believed that my ability to pull hard on that rope was what had provided, you know, the things that were special to me and you know, achievement and the things that that you know, your articulated very clearly that this is not where the goods are at, but it violates such a deep, deep, deep and I'm maybe creating a false distinction between East and West. But just help me reconcile this. Help someone right now. Like, wait a minute I'm I got here because I pulled so hard on this rope and you're telling me to set the rope down and there's no more talk of war that just reconcile that for us. As long as it's pulling you into joy into peace, I've got no argument with you whatsoever. It's interesting right at the beginning of the Divine Comedy Dante's lost in these woods and he sees a mountain that's bathed in sunlight, it's really beautiful and people are climbing it and he thinks that's the way out of my confusion and he starts climbing and he's so tired but he fights his way forward and then he starts running into wolves and bears and leopards and things and nothing works. He's feeling miserable, he's climbing as hard as he can. But things keep coming at him and they're always metaphor for emotion states in in the Divine Comedy itself. So if you're climbing and pulling on that rope and you're feeling joy and lightness and beauty then keep keep it up great. But if you're suffering and the higher you get on that mountain, the more you suffer and the harder you pull, the more you suffer. I've worked with people who are at the very top of the pyramid socially. I mean like really close to the very top and like one person perfect life, famous, wealthy, gorgeous everything was taking 200 OxyContin a day because the pain was so intense like that's how bad it is. So Dante goes all right, well that's not it. And then he goes back down into the forest and ends up going finding the gate of hell and it says abandon all Hope ye who enter here, which doesn't sound all that fun. But what it means is the caterpillar never makes it out alive. If you go the way of transformation, it's all going to burn, but you'll not only survive it, you'll come out of it with magic, you'll come out of it with brilliant new colors and wings and things you can do that. The caterpillar never even imagined possible. So if you're not enjoying the pool towards success, try letting it go, see what happens. I want to talk to you forever. I want to just hand crafted of the microphone there, I'm in, I'm, let's see, I want to, we've got a couple of planes in the air here and I want to land them and I want to go back to the title of the book again, the way of integrity because even you know, the subtitle is finding the path to your true self and I think there are a lot of people listening and now they're like, okay, I'm in. But the question I have is the way of integrity, even the word the way its prescriptive, right? Because it's like this is the and and I want I'm challenging you. I want you to to to throw rocks at my my question here or you know, explain and and my belief is that that the way is sort of in air quotes but talk to me about why you titled the book the way of integrity versus something else. I'll be full disclosure. I just wanted to call it integrity because integrity doesn't mean honesty. It means being one thing whole and undivided. I also wanted to call it undivided, but they didn't like that either. So we compromised on the way of integrity. A lot of people think it is a prescription away is a prescription for doing things and here it is and it's right and you have to do it to be happy. That's not how I mean this way. And I say in the book, it can mean either a path like this is the way or it can mean a method, a recipe, here's the recipe for happiness. It also, you know that I mentioned the dowdy jing tao is chinese for way and so that's my favorite book in the world and I am obsessed with it. So it chimed that for me too. If you think this is prescriptive, you'll find that's not what I'm talking about by way. I mean a path that is meant for your feet only it's not anyone else's trip to wholeness because no one else is you and there's a method. So if you're stuck, it will tell you the next step to move forward or the next thing to do to make what you want of your life. And so it's the opposite of actually the danger is always that you're going to come across as a pulpit pounder saying I know the way, but the content is that you abandon all other ways and you find the way that is only yours and then your undivided and good Lord, you're going to do things No one's ever seen before, I have to say thank you so much for being a guest on our show time. Just absolutely blew by. I wanted to be cognizant of I know you're in the process of launching your book, I want to say again, congratulations. I cannot recommend the book enough just to give it a little plug here. So you don't have to the way of integrity finding the path to your true self. Um it's out now, we're dropping this podcast the week that it drops and um are there some other cordons out in the world besides the book again, which is a must read. If this is resonated at all, of course, what people are going to do is they're gonna grab the book and then they're going to realize that they've got they want to pull on all of the threads that you have put in to give us some other, give us some other threads to pull on. Where else besides getting the book? How can people participate in your work? What would you recommend? Well, yeah, my whole my obsession is to create that shift in consciousness that takes us from suffering into joy. And I think potentially could help us build a better world. So everything I've done is basically about that if I do like marketing team has been doing ad, the ad has to try to move consciousness forward a little because I'm obsessed with it. So I'm not saying I'm a master of any kind. I'm I'm a humble student, but my website and everything connected to that, it will list the influences that have changed me the most, which are so many. I can't even list them here. Um, and I hope it will bounce you off into places like this podcast where you can see that the way finders are everywhere and that even though no two of us are going to the same place, we're all following the same process and yeah, whatever. Just google it. Just find your own path. I don't care what you do with mine, but it's not a mistake that Oprah called you one of the smartest women she's ever met and I've been so inspired by your work. It's touched so many in my life. And I wanted to say personally, thank you and congratulations on the book. Uh, and our community here are, uh, supporters and advocates and we'll do everything we can to get the word out. So thanks so much for being on the show. Really grateful to you for your life, your work, um, your ideas. I just, I'm a huge fan. It's been an absolute delight to talk to you all right now, signing off everybody you've got work to do if you're anything like me. Uh, I want to completely devour everything that we've just spent the last hour talking about, um, until next time I bid you do. Mm. Mm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Mm. Yeah.