503. True Soveriegnty: Shedding Victimhood & claiming freedom (All-Star Eclipse Panel Discussion)

Kelly Brogan

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Kelly Brogan, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the NY Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives; Own Your Self: The Surprising Path Beyond Depression, Anxiety, and Fatigue to Reclaiming Your Authenticity, Vitality, and Freedom; the children’s book, A Time For Rain; and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community Vital Life Project.

Dawn Lester is a researcher and writer. She is co-author of What Really Makes You Ill?: Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Disease Is Wrong, published in December 2019, as well as two books published in 2010 under the pen-name NoR. Her current research is focused on various topics that assist her in deepening her understanding of life, which she believes involves learning how to integrate our understanding of our true nature as consciousness with living our lives as free and uniquely individual men and women. She posts articles on various topics on her Substack.

Aubert is a father of three boys, mystic, somatic facilitator, community leader, and visionary co-founder of Sacred Sons, a movement of embodied masculinity that transforms the lives of men from the inside out. He is here to steward the remembrance of humanity’s birthright as sons and daughters of the Most High Creator, through deepening masculine and feminine unity in his work with men, women, couples, and groups.

Robinson Blanchard is a host and thought leader challenging the status quo of American culture. His insightful and witty commentary on current events brings levity and humor to the hard topics.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

At Confluence 2023, I had the pleasure of leading an all-star panel of visionary thought leaders – holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan, researcher and author Dawn Lester, mystic and somatic facilitator Aubert Bastiat, and host and comedian Robinson Blanchard.

I’m thrilled to share that thought-provoking and inspiring conversation with you today.

We explore how to overcome a victim mentality and reclaim our agency, compassion, connection, and personal freedom. We talk about how there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” – just what is,  going deep on the idea that everything in this world is a “maybe, we’ll see.” When we release our ego’s grip on us and embrace that mentality, we can find freedom, presence, and joy — knowing that everything is exactly how it’s meant to be right now.

We also dive into the dark shadow of activism, how to find forgiveness for those who have harmed us, and why we should focus on spreading love in our own sphere of influence instead of blaming others for our circumstances. Each thoughtful and intuitive guest shares personal stories and insights from their individual paths toward claiming sovereignty. You don’t want to miss this.

(04:07) Personal Responsibility as a Means To Overcome a Victim Perspective

(20:11) Finding Forgiveness for the Perpetrators of Harm

  • Why not be the bigger person?
  • What Family Constellation theory is
  • Taking responsibility for infidelity
  • Receiving and experiencing divine grace

(36:27) When Apologizing Becomes Pathological

  • Internal Family Systems work
  • The root of over apologizing and unnecessary sorries

(41:29) Is Activism Bypassing Personal Responsibility?

(52:09) Examining the Intent Behind Activism

  • Activism as an expression of insecurities
  • Robinson’s perspective on doing what’s right on Earth
  • Dawn’s take on sparking creativity vs. telling people what to do

(57:41)  Everything in the World Is Our Co-Creation

  • Aubert’s belief that everything we are moving through is perfection unfolding
  • Shedding the idea that we need to achieve a utopian world
  • Honoring each person’s free will

(01:01:08)  Lensing Our Experience Through Our Unique Perception

  • Ramana Maharshi
  • How the world we see is based on a projection of our consciousness

(01:02:47)   Is It All Happening for a Reason?

(01:11:03)   Spreading Love in Your Sphere of Influence

  • Why difficult circumstances help us alchemize the lead into gold
  • Composting darkness and bringing out light  
  • How challenges present opportunities to develop our learning and understanding

(01:19:34)    Is God Trying To Punish Us or Make Us Better?

  • Robinson’s perspective on how everything is by God’s design
  • The truths we learned from COVID

(01:22:09)    How a Dog Bite Led to Luke’s Salvation

  • Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox
  • How a brutal dog bite led Luke to seek treatment for addiction  
  • Luke’s journey to finding prayer
  • Surrendering the ego-centered perspective

[00:00:00] Luke: Thanks. Hello, everybody. How we doing this Texas evening? As we get settled, I'd like to take a moment and settle into an even deeper place. And I'll invite you to put both of your hands in the center of your chest right on your heart and just take a couple of deep easy breaths into that area. And notice, if you will, that something other than just you is generating the bump that you feel in there.

[00:00:48] And perhaps express inside a moment of gratitude for the unseen hand that's putting that energy in your body and giving you life. And think of a moment in your past wherein you were with someone for whom you hold a deep unconditional love and just feel that in your body, all of that love.

[00:01:32] And if you could turn your hand into a mirror, reflect that love that you feel and that you felt for the other and just radiate it back to yourself. And remember that that love you feel for them is the same love that you feel for yourself because you are them. Let's take another deep breath and just exhale any and all stress, excitement, anxiety out of your bod, and give yourself a little shake. Shake your booty. Thank you.

[00:02:16] Man, it's cool to see all of you folks, all the diehards that are still here on Sunday evening. When you're doing the thing at the end of a thing, you never know who's going to be around. I'm like, goddamn, cool, man. So we'll be talking about how to not be a victim of shedding. No, I'm just kidding. I would like to know, though, if anyone's got any protocols. No joke. Oh Lord, man, what a crazy ass world we live in? What a time to be alive? Could we just take in the magnitude of this moment in history?

[00:02:51] Humankind has never, ever, ever experienced the things that we're experiencing now in the most positive sense, on one side, and also sometimes in the most confusing and at the very worst, terrifying. It's just a wild time to be alive. I don't have to tell you guys that, but within this room is a collective consciousness of people who are unified by the value of freedom and by the value of love and personal responsibility.

[00:03:27] We got ourselves here. We're doing the thing. We could be sitting at home freaking out on Telegram, which is probably what I'd be doing at least some of the day. I know, Kelly's like, stop. Get off. You're still looking at Telegram? I have a Telegram channel. I have to. Lots of doom scrolling. So I'm just really pleased to be here, and just sending all of you love and appreciation for being the folks in the world that are going to create the future that we want, and that we deserve, that is our birthright.

[00:03:56] So thank you. I honor you. And you all four beautiful souls, let's get down. I want to know how one can apply personal responsibility in their life as a means by which to evade the sense of being victimized. What can we each do in our own lives? Even when the external world might very much look like we're being victimized. And I'll start with you, Kelly, since you're sitting close to me.

[00:04:38] Kelly: A seven-hour workshop on this subject. I love this subject. And there's a rubric that I've been working with. I don't know if this might be helpful. So I like alliteration. So I use this rubric, feel it, face it, free it. And the phrase that you can remember is, enter through the upset. So when you feel upset, that's pretty easy to identify, you're going to enter.

[00:05:08] You're not going to go out on Telegram and sort the world out in the way that only you know how. You're going to enter through the upset. And the first commitment that you have to yourself, which at least, for me, and remains, I would say, the most difficult practice that I engage is committing to simply feel the sensations.

[00:05:32] So you can set a timer for 30 seconds to start, maybe even 20, and you literally just stop what you're doing. So let's say you get the shitty email. You scroll, and you see the triggering thing, or you're with your partner, and he does the thing, and you feel your somatic sequence. You feel that clenching your chest and the heat up your neck, or whatever it is, in your body.

[00:05:58] You're going to stop everything. And for 20 seconds, 30 seconds, you're just going to track and be with the sensation. No story. You're not journaling. It's not that kind of party. So you're just going to be with the sensation, and you're just going to commit to care enough to attend to it. So the masculine gift within each of us, I think is attention.

[00:06:21] You're going to offer that masculine gift to your feminine. You're going to offer your attention to your sensations. There are all sorts of ways you could engage that feeling. You can dance it out. You can punch it out. You can do all sorts of creative things. But I actually think if you just commit to prioritizing feeling it, you've come a long way.

[00:06:43] And then in the face it, there is the play of mirroring. So this is where shadow work comes in. This is where inquiry comes in. So what is the meaning making here? What am I saying about what I'm upset about? He just never thinks about me. He's so self-centered, and he just really is ultimately, I don't know, maybe he's a narcissist.

[00:07:12] And you're going to consider the possibility that this upset is introducing you to this disavowed and rejected part of yourself that holds the same qualities. One of the things that really triggers me often is incompetence, when people don't do something that I could do better.

[00:07:32] I often think I know how to do something better, even when I have zero expertise, and I actually don't, I have the feeling I could help somebody do something better than they're doing it. So if I'm triggered by somebody else's inefficiency or incompetence, often that's an opportunity for me to consider the possibility that I have not given myself permission to be incompetent in this life, and for good reason, because I've been conditioned to believe that I would be punished, or there would be consequences, and that that dimension of me is not welcome.

[00:08:00] So I have to curate this performative version of Kelly. And it gets really exhausting. So if I have the opportunity to meet that incompetent, lazy, stupid, inefficient part of me and consider interacting with her for a moment, then my whole experience of this shitty dynamic or this interaction with this person who's upsetting me becomes a portal to myself.

[00:08:26] And then there's free it. And I've worked with women in the space in the past two years. We teach each other how to make art out of our pain. So I went through a window where I was experiencing a lot of shame around the feedback that I was getting about my choice to share my journey and, I don't know, dance in a bikini on a pole on Instagram, whatever.

[00:08:55] And I realized there were a lot of comments that gave me that big upset in my body. And I felt a lot of shame, like I'd made a big mistake. I'd embarrassed myself. But I wanted to retaliate. And I wanted to tell these women why I was right for doing what I'm doing and why they're so small-minded and repressed, and they just don't get it.

[00:09:20] And here I'm going to school them on how to be a woman. And so at a particularly peak troll wave, I decided that rather than journaling my upset or writing-- I never really engage on Instagram like that, but writing this retaliatory piece, even in my mind, or even being with the part of me that agrees with them.

[00:09:46] Because nothing ever upsets us unless we ultimately and fundamentally agree with the person who's saying the critical thing. So being with the part of me that agrees with them that I've made a mistake and I'm not womaning right. What I decided to do was make a little video. I told you this yesterday. Make it a little funny.

[00:10:04] And I recorded a funny video where I'm pole dancing. And then I get boos from the audience, but I found like a boo sound that I could put on this video. And then I get off the pole, and I get my clipboard out, and I'm going to take notes on how everyone thinks I should be.

[00:10:20] Okay. So I want to know. What do you think I should be doing? What do you think I should be doing? Tell me. Tell me what I'm doing wrong. And so I'm taking all the notes. And then by the end of the video, I'm in a burka. And I got a white coat on, and I got my glasses on, my hair back, and I got tape over my mouth, and I'm on my computer.

[00:10:34] So it's just the absurdity of our sense that we ever have a chance of remaining in a state of approval with regard to others' perspectives. And really playing with it. How can you free it? How can you make art out of it? How can you dance your shame? How can you turn it into a parody? How can you express it in a way that is different from the I hate this? I can't believe this is happening to me. Why am I in this pattern again? Victim story. So that arc, I find, for me, is a very helpful framework.

[00:11:16] Luke: Beautiful. What about you, Robinson? Personal responsibility as a means by which to overcome a victim perspective.

[00:11:23] Robinson: I like what she said about not getting offended. That's a big one. But I want to take responsibility for everything, me personally, so I just make everything my fault. I don't give anybody else my power. So for example, a couple of weeks ago, I was getting a nail in the same tire four weeks in a row, and I was convinced that somebody was trying to sabotage my driving every day.

[00:11:46] But then I realized I must be doing something because if I make it about somebody else, I'm going to be overly cautious, overly paranoid, and I'm just walking around. So I said, I must be doing something wrong. Guess what? I made sure to monitor everywhere I parked and everywhere I went. And guess what? No more nails.

[00:12:04] And so to me, I just make everything my fault because I want to be in control. I don't want to give my power away to anybody. So if something happens to me, it's not on somebody else. It's on me because it's how I respond to it. And so I've learned through life that if I get offended by something, it's true.

[00:12:21] And then I also learned that every critique about me is going to be true at some point in my life. So I can't even get mad when somebody's saying something because they either saw it in the past, or saw it in the present, or might see it in the future. So I just think not being offensive and taking ownership of, first of all, I'm not perfect. So at the end of the day, if you get a nail in your tire, just monitor where you go, and watch where you park, and I guarantee, the nails will stop.

[00:12:47] Luke: Watch where you park. Great metaphor for life in general. Inspect your parking spot before you pull in. It could be applied in a lot of different situations. What about you, Albert?

[00:12:58] Aubert: Yeah, for me, I feel like it's a reorienting around what is, accepting that whatever is happening is happening for me. And even if it might seem like I'm being victimized by life in some way, I perpetuated this chain of energy, and it's coming back to me in some way. So even if it feels like I'm being abused or this shouldn't be happening, I got to reorient around, okay, now this is happening for me. This is what is. I'm not going to deny reality. It's happening.

[00:13:31] And so what is in this experience for me to help me evolve as a consciousness, as a soul, not as a separate identity that can be offended by life, but as that intrinsic part of me that's here to evolve beyond my separate self, my selfhood. And so just allowing it to be grist for the mill of my own evolution and taking responsibility for it. Even if it seems like it's completely unrelated to me, yeah, to really humble myself.

[00:14:05] Humility, for me. Because there's a big part of my younger life where I did feel like a victim, and I made it all about me. And in that, I wasn't able to laugh at myself. Everything was such an offense. But coming back to the four agreements. Don't take anything personally. So to be able to take a step back and say, okay, what's the goal here for me? How is this trying to help me evolve? And it's been wonderful. Yeah.

[00:14:36] Luke: How about you, Dawn?

[00:14:39] Dawn: I'll say something different. As I was saying this morning, our language, the words that we use to be aware without having to be, ooh, I mustn't say this, and I should say that. And again, that's the whole idea of what you are supposed to do, should do. It's to really just be present with the language and to be curious about what you're doing, to really sit with the words you're using and think, okay, that's okay.

[00:15:12] There's nothing wrong. And again, this is the whole concept with health system, or the so-called health, the medical system, that we're given labels, and you've got this, and it's bad, and it's wrong, and there's something you've got to do about something. And it's always the idea that you've got to change something.

[00:15:33] Now that's not to say that we can have different experiences, but the idea we've got to change something means there's something wrong with where you are at the moment. And again, like I said this morning, everything will be all right, to sit with that of concept of why wait for it will be all right? That suggests that there's something wrong with our now.

[00:15:57] And not to just sit there and just be so finicky about, oh, I've got to be careful what I say. It's to be with the language you use, and also how you feel about the words that you're using and how you sit with that. And if you feel that you're using language that makes you feel like a victim, sit with that and, again, not beat yourself up and think, what am I trying to tell myself?

[00:16:24] Because all our experiences are for us to learn something from and to really sit with trying to get an idea of what we're learning. And if it doesn't come to you, that's fine. Take some time out and maybe sleep on it, and something will come to you the next morning.

[00:16:43] So you can get this concept of just losing out, limiting beliefs. As I was saying this morning about limiting beliefs, they really can manifest all kinds of experiences. And to recognize those experiences may be related to some limiting ideas about who you are, what you are, and you think-- just sit with it and think, okay, maybe I need to have a look at something just to be more aware, as I say, of the words you're using, and just to be with it, just to see how you feel.

[00:17:17] And be kind to yourself, love yourself, think, oh, this is a great journey. This has been a fantastic weekend and a fantastic journey of being together. And I think that's the other point of being with people you feel safe and comfortable with means you don't have to be on your guard. And I think being on your guard puts you in a tense situation. And then that may well be reflected back to you.

[00:17:45] So again, it's being kind to yourself, loving yourself, and then your experiences will feel a little bit different. And again, that doesn't mean that it's all going to be plain sailing because something else will present itself, and you'll have a new experience. And to recognize them as experiences rather than, I've done something wrong. And again, that puts you back into the victim. If you think you've done something wrong, you think you're a victim.

[00:18:14] Luke: Boom. Love it. All right. So many of us throughout our lives have probably had situations in which we felt victimized and then applied some self-honesty at some point later and accepted the truth that our behavior, our decisions, put us in a position to be harmed, speaking of that responsibility. And in my own life, I would say most of the times, I've had something to do with it based on my own selfish motives, or ignorance, or lack of discernment, etc.

[00:18:46] However, there are situations, particularly, I think, in childhood, where we are in a pretty black-and-white situation of being victimized through no fault of our own, how do we find, in those situations, reconciliation and even forgiveness for the perpetrators of harm? Anyone who feels excited about that question can jump in.

[00:19:15] Robinson: I'll just say in every situation, somebody has to be the bigger person. And I learned that dealing with my father. My father wasn't who he's supposed to be in my life for many years. And then later on in my life, he changed his life. And so I realized that I couldn't treat him how he treated me all those years because once I was older, you feel like you're in the parent position, I guess.

[00:19:46] And you look at him as a child because he told me about his life and what he went through. And so I had sympathy and empathy, whereas before, I had a lot of resentment. My dad used to come to my games drunk, making a scene, just embarrassing, just doing everything after he's done it on purpose, like, dude, stop doing it.

[00:20:06] Every time I had something, he was showing up. I'm supporting you. No, you're not. You're embarrassing me. But when I got older, I realized that-- I'll tell you, my father called me up one day, and he was crying. And he was crying because I wouldn't talk to him. I was giving him the silent treatment. As a child, I realized, when I got my feelings hurt, I would give the silent treatment.

[00:20:30] I did it to my mom. It crushed her. I did it to my father, and it crushed him. And I realized that that's a power that I have over people that love me. And so how do I use that power? Do I abuse it, or do I not use it because it's hurting people I love? Even if I'm justified in giving a silent treatment, even if I've been done wrong, I know that that silent treatment hurts them more than what they're doing hurts me. And so to me, somebody has to be the bigger person, so why not me?

[00:21:05] Luke: That one resonated. All right.

[00:21:11] Kelly: I love this question. I'm a big fan of family constellation. How many people have done family constellation before? Okay, so go on to Google, or Presearch, or whatever you use, and find it in your area, because there absolutely will be one. It's not some special spiritual ceremony. And explore the opportunity to see yourself in your perpetrators.

[00:21:40] So in family constellation, a lot of the theory is that there are exiles in your system. And an exile could be like a grandfather that cheated on your grandmother and then the whole family disowned him. Or it could be a perpetrator. Let's say a babysitter molested you and your sister and you and your sister have held the energy of this bad person throughout your entire life. That's an exile.

[00:22:09] These exiles are a part of your system. An aborted baby is a part of your system. So there are all sorts of energetic entities that have to be organized back into your system. And part of the process of doing so is to look in the eyes of a representative of your perpetrator and say, literally, and feel it, I see myself in you.

[00:22:40] I've literally done this exercise with the pro vax community. I've sat with a representative of mandatory injections, let's say, and I will say, honestly, it's not that difficult for me because I was that person. So I'm rejecting that part of me. And if I can see myself in the perpetrator, in the abuser, in the one who did that to me, even as a child, then I can not only reclaim agency, compassion, connection, but I welcome that person into the system into which they already belong.

[00:23:17] So the power in that is immense. And I'll just say one word about adult versions of victimization. And one of the most powerful ones, which is infidelity. I used to really reject TikTok. I was all about my activism and thought it was a source of all evil and whatever. And in softening a lot of my rejections, I'm on TikTok now, and I absolutely love it. I like actually love it.

[00:23:49] And I scroll it and feel way better about humanity, and I get inspired by baby and cat videos and sexy, exotic dancers. And it's just amazing. I feel better about humans when I spend five minutes on TikTok. So that's the preface. But I'm too old for it. I'm not the target audience, but I had one viral video on TikTok, and I got a million views, and I was like, oh my God.

[00:24:12] And it was a whiteboard video that I did on the topic of infidelity because I tell a story about how I had this experience in Austin of being hit on, let's say, by two very married men. And it was just like I was spending time moving around Austin, and it just happened twice, and it was notable.

[00:24:35] And I actually don't get hit on very often, and so it was notable. And I also had a friend who's going through her husband's infidelity. And I had this opportunity to really look at-- because when I had this experience with these two dudes, I really started to feel for their women.

[00:24:57] I was like, ooh, this sucks for their women, that they're out here wedding band on giving me their card or whatever. And then I was exploring the situation that my girlfriend was going through and recognizing the co-creative process that we are a match for or that we are co creating with our worst experiences of the horrible shit that's happened to us.

[00:25:25] In this situation, and I can speak only really to man-woman relationships from experience. I talked about how it's my belief, not everybody agrees, as usual, that when a woman loses respect for her man, for whatever reason, he's not taking care of himself. He's not on his mission.

[00:25:51] He's otherwise sloppy in his energy. When she loses respect for him, which could be even from the beginning of the relationship-- so overtly, she's choosing him, but really, she's not. Then he will source that respect, which is an essential currency, in my opinion, from woman to man, from other women. And it may be sexual. It may be platonic. It may be collegial. But he's going to source that from other women.

[00:26:26] And she may feel, ultimately, if she catches him or whatever, that he's done this horrible thing. But I prefer to believe that women have immense power, and that we plant a seed for these horrible things that happen to us, and that there is an opportunity then to maintain awareness of your role in a marriage, let's say, and your role to commit your enthusiastic energy to your man's reputation to make, as my teacher says, him bigger, to make every man bigger, actually.

[00:27:02] And so that perspective, while it's a tough pill to swallow, obviously, if you've just as a woman experienced infidelity, it also is how you take responsibility. It's how you remain in that sovereign place of understanding. I co-created the conditions for this to occur. So it's a symptom.

[00:27:22] It's a symptom of a dynamic. It's not something horrible that's happened to me. And we can apply that vigilant lens of, how is it that I planted the seeds for this seemingly horrible thing to befall my life? It's a practice, and it's a way to remain resilient around sometimes these cosmic two by fours that can come our way, right?

[00:27:48] Aubert: Lovely. Yeah, that's beautiful articulation. For me, it requires awareness to recognize that we're all doing the best we can give the experiences that we've had in life. Feeling like a victim at a certain point does serve our evolutionary path. It served me for a time to be angry about being victimized, and having that anger and propelling me forward to find answers, to seek out resolution to feeling victimized, that life was unfair somehow.

[00:28:25] But then coming to the point to recognize that I can only go so far on my own. That we do need each other in this process of our unfolding. And for me, being met with compassion, finding myself into healing work, feeling victimized by my father's absence, and the stories that my mom was saying that my father's a horrible person. He's just selfish, that's why he left our family. Adopting her view of him, and he was absent from my life in and out from five to 11.

[00:28:57] And then they had a huge falling out at 11 and really left a vacuum in my life, and feeling that void and feeling like a victim in some ways, but in my anger towards him and my judgment and condemnation of him and the man that I thought he was, adopting my mother's view of him, that led me on my own path of seeking out, of looking for surrogate father figures, of being victimized by them in varying ways, and finally coming to a point where I was just so hurt that I had nowhere else to go but into the grief, into the pain of it.

[00:29:41] And it was in grieving and following that thread of grief and just allowing myself to grieve that it created some spaciousness for me to see the light and feel the light in different ways. And it came down to a fundamental reorientation of living in a void, of living in a random universe where everything just happens randomly, to being met with the love of the creator, to being met by unconditional divine love when I was at my worst, at the bottom.

[00:30:11] And in that experience of receiving and experiencing that divine grace, when I felt so worthless, and hopeless, and that life had no meaning, and it was just an awful shit show, coming to that point of receiving that grace and being met by God, it put the onus back upon me to now take responsibility for life because in my worldview now, I knew that God was real.

[00:30:40] God's perfect. There are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason, literally, a very specific reason. And so if I'm a co-creator in this, and my thoughts are powerful, I have to take responsibility for how they come back to me. And so anything that's coming back to me, I get to reckon with and say, okay, this is something that I set in motion, maybe in a past life or maybe this life, but I get to meet this and allow it to grow me.

[00:31:06] Following that thread led me to people who were able to hold a compassionate space for me, that compassionate witness, to really grieve even deeper. It just kept going deeper. I was like, I thought I already dealt with this stuff. But meeting my mentor, who was able to really hold that healthy father archetype, to allow me to be that wounded little boy that felt abandoned by his dad and unloved by his father, to cry those tears, and to be met by the love of my mentor, to see his eyes of love beaming back at me as I was grieving, receiving this letter from my father.

[00:31:42] My father never apologized for anything he did. He didn't have the capacity to. He's just stunted, but it came through another avenue. That healing came through another avenue as my awareness grew and as I allowed myself to receive. And so I feel like it's essential that we open ourselves up to asking for help.

[00:32:03] And for a long time, I thought I could do it all alone. Even after I found God, God found me, I thought I could do it all alone. But this is a spiral path. And so at a certain point in the spiral, I felt safe enough to receive. And in that receiving, I was able to go even deeper into the grief.

[00:32:24] And so I feel like once we're able to reckon with these deep childhood wounds, it comes back to our origin in this lifetime, and maybe even beyond, but to hold that little boy, that little girl, to have that spaciousness within us where we can really open up to receive the love that's all around us, that's within us and all around us. And it will come. It'll come. It came for me, and it'll come for all of us so long as we're open to receive. So yeah, compassion, awareness, receptivity, and humility.

[00:32:59] Luke: Do you have anything to add to that, Dawn?

[00:33:01] Dawn: It's interesting that the two guys have had issues with their father because I had an issue with my mother. Without going into detail, I have an older sister who at three years old, apparently, was wonderful for the first three years of her life, and she changed on the day I was born. My mother told me this a couple of times, actually, and that left me with, obviously, a wound and thinking it was my fault that my sister was horrible because she was a bit of a bully. But we are very different, and I knew I couldn't react, respond.

[00:33:42] There was a lot of anger in the house, and again, I knew somehow that it was wrong, when you're angry, just to fire it out at somebody else. At the same time, I felt hurt. And I didn't know what to do with it, but I knew I can't be angry. So it left me with a space of loss of respect for my mother because of what she's told me. Your mother's supposed to love you.

[00:34:10] Again, with where she was always putting the blame out to someone else. Nothing was ever her fault. So all these ideas, I was sitting with and holding for years, a very, very long time, and still feeling, I suppose, resentful towards her. And it took me a very long time, because, as a child, I was quite often on my own and feeling very sad, very upset, very unloved, very alone.

[00:34:42] And now the modalities that are available for looking deeply inside is internal family systems. IFS parts work. And going through some sessions allowed me to go back and heal how I felt. And also, to recognize that I can learn something from how my mother was. I could have sat there and remained a victim of whatever she said, and take the blame, and sit with it, and go, oh, yes, it's my fault.

[00:35:15] I did actually spend a lot of times many, many years saying sorry. And people get like, why are you saying sorry? It's like, oh, sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Because obviously, I had this imprint that I was supposed to be sorry for having been born, for existing, yes. I think I still do it occasionally, maybe.

[00:35:36] It's not quite the same thing, but these ideas can be so, so deeply embedded that you can just feel this victim. You can feel that there's something. And when you learn that it wasn't my fault but also not to then shunt the blame, oh, that was my mother's fault. She did something horrible to me. So make her responsible.

[00:35:59] So it's, again, seeing it in a different way to just, okay, I've learned from that, so it's about learning how I am. It's not about how anybody else was, that my sister was a bully. My mother never took the blame for it, never took responsibility, I should say. So it's really looking at that and thinking, how can I learn from that? What can I do with that? How can I respond to that in a way that is, as Blanchard said, being responsible, take the responsible way through how you feel.

[00:36:37] So it's a path. It's a journey. Somebody once said, oh, I'm a work in progress. We're all a work in progress, and that's great because there's always something to learn, which for me is really exciting. It's like, yeah, loads more to learn, so let's keep learning. And like I was saying, with our language and how we feel, it's the blame responsibility.

[00:37:00] Again, responsibility can sound like a burden. And it's not if you see it from the right perspective. So just be aware. And again, be kind, and love yourself, and know how you interact with people. And you might say something that I wish I hadn't said that, and then just be aware and just change it slightly. But again, this blame and responsibility, being aware of the difference, and how you feel about it and what you do about it.

[00:37:30] Luke: I love that you touched on the unnecessary sorries. A friend of mine calls it pathological accommodation. And it's a British thing, though. I don't know you know that.

[00:37:41] Dawn: Sorry.

[00:37:41] Luke: It's a British thing too. I've done it. We're all guilty, but I've noticed that with some of my British friends and traveling, there's, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm like, what's the guy-- you're all right. So I'm glad you touched on that. And I also wanted to ask you, Kelly. It begs the curiosity. Did both the married guys approach you as a pair?

[00:38:00] Kelly: As a pair? No, it's two separate incidents.

[00:38:01] Luke: Oh, okay. That's why I was picturing two guys coming up to you at the bar, hey, we're both married. You want to do the thing? That's the way my mind works, I'm sorry. I apologize unnecessarily, there I go. So all four of you were talking about, I think as a theme, looking within and doing some deep work. In the theme of responsibility and self-introspection. And it got me thinking about this habit that many of us have had at different times of spiritual bypassing, where we just jump right to the love and light level and feign bliss, when underneath there's still all of these core wounds percolating.

[00:38:48] And I've observed, and probably done it maybe unknowingly, that there's this other type of bypassing from that self-responsibility and that deep work, and that is the outward facing activism. And I got to say, I think the lefties are a little more guilty of this, the projection of wanting to change the people in the world and put a stop to what I believe based on my limited perception of what's wrong. Meanwhile, I can't even get along with my goddamn parents.

[00:39:21] Ram Dass used to say, if you think you're enlightened, go spend a week with your family. And then you find out really quick that you still have some work to do. So I don't know exactly what the question is. I just want to tease this out. How do you think activism can be used as a way to escape actually looking at yourself and focusing on fixing the world out there, and stopping the wrongs, and stopping the oppression? Meanwhile, inside of us is this powder keg of unhealed trauma, or issues, or patterns. You're excited by this, Kelly, go ahead.

[00:40:00] Kelly: Yeah. I call it the shadow of activism, and it really is a lot of what I've humbled myself around in the past two years because I think-- I'm not going to generalize. I'll speak for myself. My activism, my decade of crusading against the pharmaceutical industry that began with publishing a New York Times bestseller with an exploding pill on the cover, and it took out a two-million-dollar life insurance policy, and literally took my fucking sword out of its sheath, and ripped my clothes off, and was running on the battlefield, and I was like, I'm going to take these motherfuckers down by myself.

[00:40:40] And it was an energy that I thought was to benefit the world. I thought I was going to save every next woman from that prescription and every next child from that shot. And I recognized that over many years, that ultimately, and maybe this is true for all activists, I don't know, that my passion came from woundology, specifically, and that I was enacting a lot of my rage towards my parents through this very adolescent tantrum that I was having about how things are and how I demanded things to be different.

[00:41:26] And I expected that the system would change. And that's why I call it mommy medicine and daddy government. For me, those were the two parentified figures. As much as I could concern myself with what I call the anonymous victim-- so as an activist, you are necessarily concerned with people you don't know, with anonymous victims out there that you have decided you are in a privileged and important position to help rescue.

[00:41:59] And it's really funny because I remember when shit went down in Maui, I was scrolling TikTok, and I was seeing all these people talk about the truth, talk about what my colleagues and friends were talking about was going on there actually, the story behind the story. And I was joking with my friends like, oh my God, everybody figured out what was happening, and I didn't even need to tell them.

[00:42:23] Because I didn't tell anybody. How did they find out? But that's part of the narcissism of activism, is that you need to tell people. And that's where the victim consciousness of the rescuer-- everybody knows the triangle. The villain, the victim, and the rescuer. There's different terms. And when you are in your rescuer archetype of victim pathology, you imagine that somebody cannot figure it out without your help.

[00:42:54] And what you're doing is actually reifying their disempowerment. You are confirming and affirming their incompetence, their inability to manifest their own truth, to find meaning in their struggle. You decide that they need your information. And you're in this dynamic of defiance with not only systems but actually with what is.

[00:43:21] You're in passionate rejection. And that's what I soon discovered was erotic energy. How many activists do you know obsess about what who they hate is doing. Whether it's a Schwab, or a Gates, or whatever. Literally, they're just waiting for the moment to respond to what they are doing.

[00:43:45] It's very intimate relationship that you develop. And so a lot of your life force energy gets locked up. So after, I think it was around George Floyd time that I decided to roll up my sleeves and focus on myself, this war within, and to recognize that every time I felt right about how wronged we were or I was pointing a finger in blame, there was something I was condemning that I was already embodying.

[00:44:20] And even at the beginning of the plandemic, I looked around, like, how am I being an authoritarian tyrant? How am I that right now? And I found ways. I found ways. Even in telling my daughters to pick up shit in their room. When I imagine that I know better how somebody, including my own children, should be living their lives at a certain age-- I have teenagers-- but it's not my business how literally anybody else lives their life.

[00:44:49] And I don't know better. I don't know better that a mother should not vaccinate her child. I actually don't know better. It's not my business. And for me, that was a massive transition. And what it unlocked was organizing, and systematizing, and harmonizing the relationships in my life. Major changes came from this work, endings of marriages and friendships and restored dynamic with my own parents.

[00:45:20] And I got to a place where I could die and I've said all the things to all the people. And I was never in that position when I was in my activist-- I'm so glad you brought that up because right there's the love and light spiritual bypass and all of these gurus shilling for the vaccine and then talking about non-duality or whatever.

[00:45:43] But the activist shadow is, I think, what we really need to start talking about, because it's possible that we are participating in this grand loose ritual through our fight, through our-- Alec was talking about this-- participation in the partisan dynamics, and the taking of sides, and the insisting that things should be different, and follow me. I'll show you the way.

[00:46:10] Meanwhile, look at my life. You're like, should I really be telling you? So the shadow of this impulse to imagine that we are, any one of us, in a position to tell anybody else how to be living their life when they didn't ask-- it's one thing if somebody asks you for your perspective or opinion, but that's not what a lot of pundits like me have participated in.

[00:46:34] And I think that if we could look at that, we would find other creative ways to create that Bucky Fuller quote. It's like, you don't fight the system. You create a new one that renders the existing one obsolete. We would find new creative ways to claim our yes rather than fetishizing our no.

[00:46:55] Luke: Love it. You got anything Robinson?

[00:47:00] Robinson: That was beautiful. I would say that it's about intent. Why are you an activist? When people are in church, I ask them, why do you believe in God? To me, there shouldn't be an incentive of matches and streets of gold. It shouldn't be a heaven as an incentive. You should want to do what's right because it's the right thing to do.

[00:47:23] So when we get to activism, why are you an activist? And the question is, most of the time, it's dealing with your own insecurities. So I believe that all activism is really just telling the system, no. It's simple. It's not all this yelling and screaming. No, we're not going to do it and go home. So we know it's something else when people are yelling and screaming and making signs like it's a game. It's all this theater. At the end of the day, you do what's right.

[00:47:50] To me, this confluence event is better than any activism because it's proactive. People are creating alternate worlds than the one we see out there in the media and after all this foolishness. So to me, activism is just a nice way to beg. It's just an elaborate popular way to beg somebody for what? They're not going to do it since I'm not going to change. So what are you really doing? You're just getting your rocks off.

[00:48:13] You either want to be seen. You want to be heard, or you feel a certain way, and you're upset. At the end of the day, I measure everything on intent. And so I realize that I can't want to do what's right for some reward. I got to want to do what's right because it's the right thing to do, whether I get a reward or not, whether I get recognized. So guess what? And I tell people this all the time. You should want to do all this stuff on earth, even if you don't go to heaven.

[00:48:39] Because the purpose of it is to do what's right on the earth. It's not about you going to heaven. It's about how you're going to impact lives. So to me, heaven is the icing on the cake. You shouldn't even be focusing on that. And to me, most activism, like I said, is just an elaborate way to beg. And I just don't agree with it, but I'm not going to knock anybody that does it. I'm just going to simply say that intent matters. And to me doing what's right and, like somebody said, creating an alternate. To me, if you create something that's opposed to the system, the system can't exist.

[00:49:12] Luke: Boom. Love it. Either of you want to add to that? You two, in the middle there.

[00:49:21] Dawn: Oh, okay, thank you. As people may know, the book that I co-authored came out in Christmas 2019, just before the nonsense, as I call it. So at the beginning, it was like, wow, we must get this information out to people. People need to know this. It's so important. And again, it's the, save the world.

[00:49:44] We've got to save people so that they know what's going on, so that they don't do this. And it wasn't from a, we know better. It was just, here's important information. Get it out, get it out. So again, it's a really important point with intent. The intent was to help people, but again, from what perspective because, did we know better? No, we'd had information.

[00:50:09] So over the past almost four years, I've certainly changed my approach to talking to people from not exactly pushing the book. Just to say, here's some information. Have a look at it. See what you think. Allow people to be the adults that they are and to choose whether they want to look at it, read it.

[00:50:34] It's fine. People say, oh, I've got your book. I haven't read it. That's fine. It's not like, oh, you should have read it. It's not for me to say what people should and shouldn't do. Again, with what Alec said about authority, is, when I was little, I never liked being told what to do.

[00:50:54] So what right do I have to tell somebody what to do when I don't like it if they're doing it to me? So again, it's your intent, your approach. We're sharing information, and each of you will take whatever the information that resonates, that feels, that is how you can use it, and it could be completely different.

[00:51:14] I think the idea is to spark ideas, spark creativity, not to say what to do or what not to do. Because then that suppresses creativity. So it's to open people to say, here's some information. And some people say, what about this? And they can add to the pool of information because that's what we are.

[00:51:36] We're all individual to add our own piece of the puzzle, even though we don't have a box cover. We don't know what the picture is supposed to look like. We know what it feels like that we are working towards, which is freedom. So if we want freedom, we have to allow others to be free to make their own choices.

[00:51:59] And that requires us to not tell people what to do. So again, it's that, not got to go out there and fight the man. It's just, okay. Because if you are doing that, then you're putting it out there, and there may be something within you may need to look at because you think you need to fight it. So again, it's just another aspect of what we think we're doing. And it's sharing information, and it's so much more empowering for everybody.

[00:52:28] Aubert: Thank you for that. Yeah. As we were all sharing and speaking to this, I just kept on feeling within that truth, the hermetic principle of as above, so below, as within, so without. From my orientation, being cells in the body of God, accepting that everything in the world right now, as fucked up as it looks, it's actually the highest perfection in our co-creation. This is all of our co-creation. We all have a part in it.

[00:53:08] And when I accept that this is the highest form of perfection that I get to experience right now, it's going to change. This is perfection unfolding. We get to go through such a short span of time on this earth in this body.

[00:53:27] And so zooming out helps me recognize that everybody's doing the best they can. Even activism serves its purpose for that person at that time. They had to move that energy. You had to go through your war against pharma. You had to go through that process to get to where you are now.

[00:53:45] And so I don't demonize it or look at it as a negative so much. It's just energy trying to shift energy. And even if it's fruitless in the end, it serves perhaps that individual's purpose of expressing and moving the energy and coming to that realization that, hey, it's actually an inside job.

[00:54:07] I got to come back to me. I got to take responsibility for my life. And so, yeah, I think it's a fundamental reorientation and just acceptance. This is what it is. And this is fucking great. We get to be here right now. And even though, in other parts of the world, there's a lot of intensity, a lot of conflict, it's always been like that. It's always been like that.

[00:54:31] And so for me, it was shedding the idea that we need to achieve this utopian world to be fulfilled and to feel like, oh, okay, now I can relax and be happy. No. I get to be happy now. I get to cultivate peace now. And I get to take responsibility to alchemize my own shadows instead of projecting them out into the world and saying, look at all those that are wrong-- other. It's all us.

[00:55:03] There is no other. At the end of the day, there is no other. And that's the deepest truth that these teachers like Yeshua came to show, that this is all a part of God. It all gets to be here because we have that free will. And when we honor each person's free will to do what they will, we can more clearly know what our responsibility is in this time, in this place.

[00:55:28] And from that place of inner stillness, from that place of inner clarity, we can create something beautiful, like we're all doing right now. We're all co-creating this experience. And so I think that activism has its place in people's evolution. And sometimes we need a boogeyman, or a demon, or a devil to push against so that we can grow and realize that we get to love that too.

[00:55:55] Luke: Right on. There's a quote that I can never remember exactly, but it's from Ramana Maharshi. And he said something to the effect of, don't bother trying to change the world because the world that you see doesn't even exist. Because we each lens our experience through our unique perception.

[00:56:20] That's why you could go to someone who is opposed to your world view, and they're as sure about their world view as you are about yours simply because the world they see is based on the projection of their consciousness. And that is such a powerful principle for me because I think I know what's right for the world all the time because I see the world as me.

[00:56:44] And the other piece of that, I think, in terms of the activism part is it seems that the great change makers in history achieved more change outwardly by who they were or who they became by what they said or did. It's just a really nuanced principle of activism. If you seek peace in the world and what you see is conflict, we're tempted to get into conflict to overcome the conflict.

[00:57:16] It's like, I fight fighters. We saw that in 2016. We hate the bigots. We hate the people that hate people. It's so futile. It's hard to reconcile, though, isn't it? Just, oh, so I just meditate and then I get the world I want? Yeah, kind of. Because your perception of it changes.

[00:57:34] Luke: So it's really fascinating. This brings me, actually, to another question about perception. I think many of us have had the experience wherein, let's take the nail and the tire. And we go to the store, we park, we come out, we got a flat tire. And then on the route, which we were going to use to get home, there was a pileup, and a bunch of people were injured, and a couple of people were killed.

[00:58:02] And we go, oh my God, thank God I got the nail in my tire. It's fairly immediate. And we have these things all the time. There's something that we want. There's a promotion we didn't get it, and then a better one comes along, that kind of thing. So I think it's pretty easy to see the less significant moments, but much more difficult to look in the long-term of the humanity's experience.

[00:58:27] Is there a positive outcome of World War II? We haven't had a world war since then. But if you're in the middle of World War II, you'd sound like a crazy person saying, oh, it's all good. It's all happening for a reason. It'll get better. And I think some of you have covered this, but how do we extend that wisdom out of the immediacy of the moment into the humility of knowing, hey man, we're just along for the ride.

[00:58:54] And in the course of the past few years, maybe the plandemic was the best thing that ever happened for us. I don't know. Who knows? It doesn't seem like it to me. People I know have died and not from a fake virus, but from the imposed solution to said fake virus. So I don't know if there's a question in there, if anyone wants to riff. If you're inspired, do your thing.

[00:59:19] Kelly: I love to talk. I love to talk. I'm sure a lot of you know that Chinese proverb. I have a massive enduring crush on Alan Watts, and he reads this Chinese proverb about the farmer. And it's essentially about what I refer to as the maybe principle, where it's like this shitty thing happens, and it turns out to be like the best thing ever, and then the best thing ever happens, and it turns out to be really shitty. Holding that curiosity and that-- that's why emotional mastery is the only imperative.

[00:59:59] For us to develop emotional mastery and to learn how to be with ourselves when we are feeling the things so that you can witness your experience, you can grow that consciousness, that awareness, and that Self can start to organize the parts of you that are acting up, and you're not going to blend with any given one of them.

[01:00:21] You are going to take wise, inspired action. That's why you meditate, change the world kind of a thing, because you can feel inside of yourself what it is that is the next best expression of your youness. And you can't do that when you get lost in the tornado of your feeling states. And I think that's true for all of us, but I think it's-- we were talking about this yesterday. Especially true for men.

[01:00:48] There's nothing that makes me feel less safe in the world as a woman than a hysterical man, a man who doesn't have a spine, who cannot be with his inner feeling state, who hasn't developed a practice of self-regulation. And we all require this. Trust me. Because the man in each of us is responsible for that. The masculine in each of us.

[01:01:09] But that opportunity to reflect with curiosity in the moment is like a psycho biological phenomenon. You have to have the somatic integrity to be able to reflect in that way. And sometimes it requires starting with lifestyle, and eating the right things, and detoxing, and going to bed at 9:00 PM for you to develop the capacity to hold yourself.

[01:01:36] But when you can, then you can find meaning almost immediately. And it's like a game. So I have Gen Z kids, and I was saying to you yesterday, I'm learning a whole new dialect. I'm trying to keep up and trying to be cool really hard, and there's a whole study, and I try to practice how to say, he's really uptight. They'll be like, he's giving up tight. Did you know that? That's how they talk.

[01:02:02] Luke: I did not know that. But now I do.

[01:02:04] Kelly: It's not even vibes. You don't say vibes anymore. You just say straight to the adjective. Okay, so I'm learning a whole thing. And one of the things that is in their vernacular is, you do it for the plot. Have you guys heard that? Oh my God. See, we're all out of touch. This is a problem.

[01:02:28] They're so creative. This generation, they get it. They get it. They get it. They literally get everything we're talking about that we're so excited we figured out at forty fucking five. They get it already at 10. And it's really amazing to witness. Anyway, so they say this phrase called do it for the plot.

[01:02:48] And it essentially means dissolving the meritocracy. It's not for the A plus on life. It's not so you get your shit on lock. It's so that you have an interesting life with an amazing story. And you're going to just love it for the story. You're going to do it for the plot. Should I take the job? I don't know. Do it for the plot.

[01:03:10] It takes all the pressure off of it, and all of that, like, I speak for myself, good girl phenomenology of like, oh, I hope this is consistent with my most attractive and admirable self. And I hope nobody sees my shitty, losery self. So it's happening. It's happening in the zeitgeist right now that people are understanding that there's a lightness we can bring, and it's not a bypass. It's that complementarity of being in the shit, being with it, having the capacity to hold it, and also finding that little glimmer that you can begin to delight in.

[01:03:56] Aubert: We become human diamonds through the pressure that we face. And we're able to push up against all these forces that seem hell-bent on destroying us, and having us believe that we are weak, and powerless, and nothing. And it's that paradox of being able to walk that line to know that, on one hand, we are nothing, and on the other hand, we're everything.

[01:04:32] And so coming to a point where we can recognize that if we can find the courage to face what is and accept what is, then we can find the inspiration to bring forward nourishment, inspiration, love for those around us. And that really does create that ripple effect that goes on forever. And so we have a choice as co-creators of what we want to purvey into the world.

[01:05:07] And so when we see mass media selling a narrative, and we know that that's a lie, or it's a partial truth, for me, it's like, I haven't really fed into the whole Palestine Israeli situation really at all, minimally. I haven't named it because I feel like there's a lot of doing out there. There's a lot of reactivity.

[01:05:33] And so the best thing I can do right now is to spread love in my sphere of influence and to really show up extra, to be a compassionate space of listening, of holding, of invitation. If people are feeling heavy because of what's happening thousands of miles away-- and I get it. There's people that are dying and that are hurting.

[01:05:58] Accepting that difficult circumstances in our life actually help us alchemize the lead into gold. It's this alchemy that we're a part of transforming the soul that we are into something more, and just using our will, our free will, to choose to take in that shit, that garbage, that death, that darkness, and fertilize it, compost it, and to bring light out.

[01:06:29] What a gift to be able to do that. But we can't do that if we're not resourced. And so I feel like it's so important for us to recognize that we really can't metabolize it all on our own, that we do need our creator. We need God in our heart. We need to be in like, I'm in my prayer every day, every day.

[01:06:49] And it's not just like, oh, I have my morning meditation. I'm praying throughout the day. When I snap back into it, my mind just going astray, I'm like, oh, come back to God. Come back to my breath. Come back to center. Resource myself. Connect to that light. And then I'm more able to be open to beautiful moments and synchronicities like I was at this table earlier.

[01:07:10] I was just sitting, and [Inaudible] was there, and we just started sharing about death, and life, and farming, and it just all connected in this beautiful way. And so simply allowing ourselves this space to grieve. I cried. I was crying right there. He was crying. We were all crying.

[01:07:32] And it was like, in that moment, we were just kindred spirits sharing our hearts. And I left feeling whole, more. I felt even more whole. And so, yeah, I'm recognizing that really difficult circumstances out there and really tough challenges actually allow us to rise up to meet it and become more, to become more resilient, to become more loving.

[01:07:58] And so when things are going really bad out there, what's underlying all of it is there's a whole lot of good that's going to emerge, and so you can trust that, hey, it looks really dark and bleak out there, and that's a really good sign. It's a really good sign. And to be willing to be a part of that goodness that's emerging, that's being birthed in all of our hearts throughout the world.

[01:08:21] There's a wave of love, and beautiful creativity, and power coming through. And I think this generations. This is going to take time. I might not live to see the golden age, but maybe my children's children will. And I'm here for that.

[01:08:38] Dawn: Ooh, tough act to follow. Starting from where you were saying, Luke, about meditate and feel okay, and then not to be worried about what's going on there, yes, this reality is also somewhere where we take action. So it's aligning your actions with how you feel. So to a certain extent, this COVID nonsense has been good. I don't know if that's the right word because obviously, with your experience, how you've just reflected back, there has been pain. There has been suffering.

[01:09:25] So to say it's good is not like, oh, it's good, and everything about it is good. What it has done is it has created an opportunity for us to really ramp up our learning and our ability to say, no, no, no, we've been complacent for too long. Time to really just shift how we see things, learn how to do things differently.

[01:09:53] So from that perspective, it's good. It's not the, everything about it is good. And in the same way as what's going on in the Middle East that's not good, there will be something good that we can learn from that situation. So it's not like it's all good in that context of how we say, oh, it's been good.

[01:10:17] It has allowed us to take the next step exponentially, and I don't think this would exist. In fact, I'm sure this wouldn't have existed had it not been for the COVID nonsense. So this is good. This is a good outcome from that, and we're still working our way. There's a, oh, that's okay. This has happened. It's good. End of story.

[01:10:46] It's a journey, and we're always developing our learning, our understanding, and seeing what we can do here. And that's the point of seeing what we can do, and to not be limited, not to feel, oh, something bad happened. Oh, it's something else. And, oh, what can we do? It can feel like a roller coaster.

[01:11:08] It's always to remember that even though you dip down, there's always that pull back up again. And to really connect with each other and know that we can help each other back up the other side. We might get rocked around, and it's not to be, oh, good, bad. Maybe good's not the right word. I don't know.

[01:11:29] Maybe it's been useful. Even that maybe not the right word. Again, we're struggling to find words for things that we don't necessarily have the language for. So it's to see what we can do with it, what action we can take, how we can really develop ourselves here in this physical reality as human beings and knowing that we have the capability, the ability.

[01:12:01] That's what's the good that's come out of it that we know we're learning who we are, what we are, and what we can do here, our purpose here. And we're really developing that. And I think that's expanding exponentially, really is moving. So that's the good that is coming out of it. It's not an end. It's how I see it.

[01:12:26] Luke: Beautiful take us home Robinson.

[01:12:32] Robinson: I guess the question is, is God trying to punish us, or is God trying to make us better? And I believe that everything that we go through, if God is truly controlling all of this and everything that's happening is to make us better, if you think about it, what gives a person the most fulfillment in life?

[01:12:52] If you ask anybody what gives them the most fulfillment, I guarantee is something outside of themselves or someone else. But guess what? That's God's design. So if that's God's design for us to be able to reach out to each other, then everything that's happening is to make us better to be able to do that because it's a great task, especially in this time that we're in right now with all of this propaganda, all these distractions. To me, the best thing to happen to the world, it's going to sound crazy, is this whole COVID thing.

[01:13:24] And I say that because it's like God opened up the seal of truth and let it out. Everybody had a chance to see everything. Now everybody can make a decision on how they want to proceed forward. Nobody can say they didn't know. Nobody can say they were duped. Everybody knows what's going on now. And to me, now you can actually see the true believers, the people that actually care, the people that actually are loving, the people that actually are good.

[01:13:51] We now can see them. Before, it was a facade. The people that really care, the people that really want to do God's work, we know it now because guess what? It's something at stake now. The tiger has some teeth. So now when we go out there and we want to help people, it comes at a cost. You might lose family.

[01:14:08] You might lose friends. You might lose your job. But to me, it's beautiful because now for the first time in my life, I get to prove what God's been pushing me to do this whole time. And that is to actually live out my purpose. So to me, it's a beautiful thing. And so I look at all my experiences now as ways to make me better to do God's will.

[01:14:36] Luke: What a beautiful note to end this portion of the evening on. Thank you all for sharing. It reminds me of-- I always say it's my favorite quote, and then there's another one that I say it's my favorite quote. So one of my favorite quotes by Shakespeare that I think I picked up in a book called Sermon on the Mount by Emmett Fox, a really beautiful book on metaphysics based on the teachings of Jesus.

[01:15:00] And the quote that he shares in there is that there is no such thing as good or bad. Only thinking makes it so. And that's so good. The ego hates that, though. It's like, whoa, whoa, whoa. That's a tough one for some of us to surrender into. And I also love, Kelly, as you mentioned, the Taoist parable about the farmer.

[01:15:24] And I try to say it all the time, and I forget parts of it, so I won't, but I'll close my portion of this with my own Taoist farmer parable. Speaking of things in hindsight where you thought it was good or bad and you had some judgment based on your perspective at that particular time stamp in your experience, back in the mid-'90s, I found myself terribly addicted to drugs and alcohol and was just in a really, really dark place, as we often are in that position.

[01:15:56] I was at a party one night, trying to party, drunk off my ass, high as hell, trying to numb the pain of being in my skin, and I was at my drug dealer's house, and he had two big Rottweilers. And I'm normally pretty cautious around dogs because I had an adversarial relationship with dogs as a kid. They always bit the shit out of me. But I was drunk, so therefore much more unconscious. And I was on the floor, and one of his big Rottweilers was next to me. And I went like this and started patting him on the butt.

[01:16:28] And he didn't like that one bit. And he whipped around and bit me right on the face. I still have scars right here from the chomp mark. Go to the doctor, get sewn up, emergency room, the whole thing. So would anyone in the room argue that that was a bad event? That's horrible. God, who would want that?

[01:16:47] A couple of weeks later, my dealer, being a kind-hearted guy that he was, calls me and says, hey, man, I found out I have renter's insurance, and it covers dog bites. So I want you to go get a lawyer, and sue us, and get some cash out of this. Shit. Okay. I didn't know that existed. So I proceed to get a lawyer.

[01:17:08] We go to litigation, whatever it was, and I was awarded. I made this case that like, I'm model, and all that stuff. And I don't think they really bought that part of it, but there was pain and suffering involved, so they awarded me $7,500, which to me was like $750,000 because I'm scraping together $4 every night for a rock of crack. You know what I mean?

[01:17:34] It's like, that's a lot of money. I'm just going to keep it real, by the way, in case you didn't notice. So I get this $7,500, and the timeline's tough, but probably in about two months, proceeded to spend all but $1,500 of it on heroin, which was my poison of choice at the moment. So that's pretty bad.

[01:18:00] We say, man, the dog bite was bad. Getting the money was good. Spending all the money on heroin was not only bad, but also really stupid. And when I got to the end of that funding, I found myself so terribly strung out and so destitute that I finally, after decades of drug abuse, surrendered to the fact that I needed help and that I didn't have within me the capacity to help myself. So I made a phone call.

[01:18:31] And I can never tell the story without crying, but it's really pertinent to the point at hand. I made a phone call to my mom, and she promptly got me checked into a treatment center, and I did what I was told, and the first thing I was told was that, a, we're not going to give you any meds, which was my first go to. Like, give me some Dilaudid or something.

[01:19:01] And they took my vitals and said, no, you don't qualify for medication, but what we have for you is this thing called prayer. It's like prayer, Dilaudid, not really. They're going to give me the same effect that I'm looking for, but they would not concede, and so I indeed went to my room, and all I did was pray my ass off, and I never really prayed in my life.

[01:19:21] I've never been to church. I didn't even know what, how you did it. I maybe saw it on TV. So I kneeled at my bed with my hands like this and thought, I guess this is what it looks like. And I just asked the God that I didn't believe in or even believe existed to give me salvation.

[01:19:47] And from that moment, almost 27 years later until this moment now, I have never once had a craving, or an inkling, or an idea to put into my body any substances that were problematic for me. And glory be to God. 99.999% of the credit goes to God, and the 0.00001% goes to me just finally submitting myself and my grandiose ego that I needed help and that it didn't seem like any human power was capable of that.

[01:20:32] And I tell that story because it's so crucial to this point, of our perception and where we see the events in the world and in our immediate lives based on where we are in the timeline. So the night that I'm dripping blood off my face because a Rottweiler tried to eat me for dinner, it would have been very difficult for you to convince me that this is going to serve your highest good eventually. Just hanging in there.

[01:20:57] And looking back, I thank that fucking dog all the time. And I think my own stupidity for smacking it on the ass. Who knows? Maybe I knew. Maybe I needed to be put down, so I encourage all of you to really pay attention to that last bit. It's so transformative, not only with what we have going on in the world but our interpersonal lives, to just stay in the curiosity.

[01:21:27] Maybe. Maybe not. Is it good? Is it bad? We shall see. Which is the point of that parable. It's a maybe. Everything's a maybe. Do I really know? No, I don't. I really don't know what's good for me, good for the world, and to surrender that egoic perspective that things should be some way other than they are. And maybe things-- everything-- is exactly the way it is meant to be right now. We shall see. So thank you, guys, for your kind attention.

[01:21:58] Kelly: What a way to end our time together here in this space. Thank you, Luke, again, for being here, for hosting this conversation. Thank you to our panelists. You're all wonderful. We appreciate you so much. One more round of applause, please. Thank you. And our time has come so close to an end, but Ryland and Mike have been working so hard to make the fire perfect for us and just the right amount of chairs around it. So I'm going to ask you to please just stand up from here, walk out to the fire so Ryland can ceremonially say goodbye to this wonderful weekend, and then we'll have a little bit of music. Thank you, guys.



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