508. Authenticity & Perspective: Change the world you see by changing the person you be (AMA w/Luke)

Bailey Richardson

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.

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.

In the spirit of the eclipse season, we’re talking about transitions, those within ourselves and the collective. In this AMA episode with my brilliant cohort Bailey, we dive deep on what it means to live authentically and thrive in your purpose.

I reflect on my own journey, from my ego-driven motives in the music industry to trying to fit in superficially in the fashion world. I’ve since found my calling as a storyteller, but I am continually refining my purpose. Bailey and I talk about how I’m transitioning from focusing on physical health toward the metaphysical realm. Somewhat paradoxically, I get vulnerable about the ways I’ve hidden from being vulnerable in the past.

We also explore the drastic shifts happening in the collective, and how focusing on the outward can distract us from, more important, inner work. We talk about ways to confront the ego, escape the prison of self-centeredness, and deal with the deluge of fear porn and doom scrolling in today’s world.

We close on a hopeful note, though, reiterating our faith in humanity. We trust that God’s got our backs. If you need a reminder of your own power and capacity to love, you won’t want to miss this one.

(02:34) Living Inauthentically vs. Living Below Our Potential

  • How ego-driven motivation can corrupt your creativity
  • Luke’s early journey in his music career

(07:34) What Can We Learn From Trolls?

  • Luke’s experience with a recent reader email
  • Assessing critiques and observing our triggers
  • Confronting the critique of being too sales-ey
  • The value in taking authentic feedback to heart

(14:29) Escaping the Prison of Self-Centeredness

  • The inauthenticity of dressing for others
  • How Luke released self-consciousness in how he dresses
  • Luke’s experience trying to fit in in the fashion industry

(24:09) Luke’s Journey To Refine His Purpose

  • How Luke inadvertently pigeon-holed his brand in physical health
  • Playing it safe by talking about the physical realm vs. more vulnerable topics
  • The greatest feeling in the world

(32:01) Getting To Know God Is Getting To Know Truth

(40:37) Luke’s Relationship to Fitness

(45:20) Drawing Boundaries Between Our Personal Lives & the Collective

  • Drastic shifts in the world right now
  • Balancing staying up to date in the collective vs. protecting our limbic systems
  • Confronting negativity bias
  • Being focused outward is a defense mechanism for going inward

(57:00) Addiction To Fear Porn

  • Riding the tiger of addictions
  • The paradoxical way to make yourself a positive force in the world

(01:05:10) Is the Ego Your Boss?

  • The relationship between the true self, the higher self, and the ego
  • Trying to heal the collective vs. working to heal ourselves
  • How your perception informs how you interface with the world
  • Leaning into the mystery and the unfolding

(01:11:10) Having Faith in the Evolution Of Humanity

  • Why humanity is in its own process of hitting rock bottom
  • Being a participant in what we want vs. an adversary of what we don’t
  • Having trust that God’s got us

Luke Storey: [00:00:29] All right, here we are. Another AMA episode with Bailey, number 508. You'll find the show notes and all the links to anything we talk about at lukestorey.com/508. What's happening, Bailey Richardson? Welcome back to town. Welcome back to Texas.

Bailey Richardson: [00:00:47] Happy to be here.

Luke Storey: [00:00:48] Yeah, it's always fun when we sit down and have a chat.

Bailey Richardson: [00:00:50] Yeah. Yeah, I love being here in person.

Luke Storey: [00:00:54] I do too. I do too. I like doing all of them in person. In a perfect world, they would be exclusively live. Something about the photonic exchange of energy that-- of course, in the quantum realm, when you're online with someone, you're still connected, right?

Bailey Richardson: [00:01:14] Yeah. It's draining to only be able to see you through the screen.

Luke Storey: [00:01:19] I agree.

Bailey Richardson: [00:01:20] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:01:20] The one-dimensional version of people.

Bailey Richardson: [00:01:24] Yeah. I'm enjoying Austin.

Luke Storey: [00:01:27] Yeah, I bet.

Bailey Richardson: [00:01:28] It's nice to be here, and just hanging out with you and Jamie, another one of our team members and--

Luke Storey: [00:01:35] Yeah, Jared. Shout out to Jared.

Bailey Richardson: [00:01:40] The best.

Luke Storey: [00:01:41] Jared's our Jamie.

Bailey Richardson: [00:01:44] That's right. It used to be me for a little bit.

Luke Storey: [00:01:47] Yeah, yeah. We've had a number of different Jamie roles over the years. So what do you want to talk about? I have no idea. And that's always my favorite. It gives me a little anticipation because I'm always thinking, am I going to know the answers to the things our listeners have submitted to us and stuff? So I'm all yours.

Bailey Richardson: [00:02:07] So in the spirit of the eclipse season that just started, we're going to talk about transitions, big transitions, and moving from a state of-- on our last episode we talked about coming out of an inauthentic version of ourselves and blossoming into our true selves. And I think today we'll be able to talk about going from that state of living authentically, moving from there into a state of really thriving and meeting our full potential.

Luke Storey: [00:02:45] Awesome. Love it. It's a great piggyback.

Bailey Richardson: [00:02:48] Cool. My first question will be, can you talk about the difference between living inauthentically and living below our full potential?

Luke Storey: [00:03:00] Yeah, I think they go hand in hand. If we're operating in the world from a false construct of who we are, it's likely that almost everything we do is going to be imbued with some degree of falsehood, right?

Bailey Richardson: [00:03:26] Mm-hmm.

Luke Storey: [00:03:26] And so looking back on my own life, thinking about the mission that I have in the world now, of which you're a part, you're enlisted on the mission of sharing transformative information with the world. This is essentially why I'm here, telling stories. It's like when someone is named Joe Shoemaker and their great, great, great, great granddad was a shoemaker.  

Someone in my lineage must have been a storyteller because I like telling stories, and I like hearing stories. And I just love the art of communication. But when I was more driven by insecurities, I sought creative ventures and work that fueled that false identity because I didn't know who I was.

So in the beginning-- in the beginning, there was the word. In the beginning, I really as a kid, I really identified with music, just hearing Jimi Hendrix for the first time, and Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. Hearing those records at my uncle's house, I just knew that that moved me, and there was something that I wanted to do with that.

But as I got older, I somehow got the idea that in order to play in a rock and roll band you had to be a child prodigy and start playing piano or guitar when you were 4 or 5 years old, and that you had to be really gifted, and that was the only way you could make it.  

Because, of course, the people that I was wanting to emulate, my heroes, were unique and really gifted. And then, when I was a teenager, I discovered punk rock and then realized that you didn't really have to be talented. You just had to have attitude. It was a different type of talent, right?

Bailey Richardson: [00:05:19] Yeah, yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:05:20] So I think my love of music and my wanting to be a musician and moving to Hollywood was really born from an innocent and authentic place. But because at that time in my life I had such low self-esteem and such a disconnect with my authentic self or my higher self, all of my ventures in that regard fell flat in terms of the optimal outcome or my dream because there was so much egoic motivation in that, in the sense of what other people thought of me.

How other people perceived me was so pertinent to how I viewed myself. So I wasn't really self-referential in the value that I placed on myself. The value was placed on what other people's feedback was.

Bailey Richardson: [00:06:19] Right. You weren't being moved from within.

Luke Storey: [00:06:22] Yeah. My self-identity and my self-worth was based on the perception of other people. And so just using that as my first creative venture, and the first thing I ever attempted to have as a career, which I did have a career at it for about 15 years. I just didn't happen to get paid much over the course of that career.  

I would look at it now as more of a hobby, even though I spent so much time and energy playing in a zillion bands and practicing all the time and doing all those things, going on tours, and making records, and all that. But there was a corruption in that creativity and in the output because so much of the motive was based on-- if you trace it back to that wounded little boy and the trauma I had experienced and the shame I felt around being an addict and an alcoholic. And so there was an overcompensation.

So I don't know if that's the sole reason that I wasn't as successful as I wanted to be, but I think when you have a level of commitment to your life path, and at that time playing music professionally was my desired life path, I think it gets polluted if there are underlying issues that haven't been resolved because they're going to manifest as some performative reward-based paradigm.

Bailey Richardson: [00:07:44] Yeah. And a validation mechanism.

Luke Storey: [00:07:49] Exactly. Exactly. It's just like I got that funny email from a listener. I think his name was Tom. I hope Tom is listening because this email made my day. Did I send you that?

Bailey Richardson: [00:08:03]  I don't recall.

Luke Storey: [00:08:03] Okay. I wish I had it to read,

Bailey Richardson: [00:08:05] Was it nice and--

Luke Storey: [00:08:06] No, no, he's trolling me.

Bailey Richardson: [00:08:10] Oh.

Luke Storey: [00:08:11] It said something to the effect, like, I'm a new listener of your podcast, and I watched this video. I don't even know what episode it was. And he said, looking at the pants you wear in your interviews, there's no way I could ever take anything you've ever said or will say seriously. You look like a 12-year-old girl sipping cocoa, gossiping with her friends.  

And I answered his email. I was like, you know what? That's a really good feedback. You're totally right. I'm just going to own it. I like to wear pajamas. What can I say? Today I'm looking a little more respectable maybe I take--

Bailey Richardson: [00:08:44] Y'all don't like cocoa?

Luke Storey: [00:08:45] The point there being, a, there's a huge lesson in that because I could have been triggered. And sometimes I am more triggered by people when their feedback really hits close to home and hits a nerve. With that, maybe I could have taken it personally, but it said more about Tom's state of mind, that he's listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube video, puts that down, finds my website, goes to the contact page, and sends me a superficial critique about the way I dress.

Bailey Richardson: [00:09:12] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:09:13] But there's a lesson in that. It did bristle me a little bit, but then I looked inward and asked the question, is there any truth in his critique? And that's not for him, but it's for me. And that's why I emailed him back and said, That's hilarious. You made my day. You're so right. I do dress ridiculously for a 52-year-old guy, almost 53, maybe by the time this comes out. And so I sent him a funny email back, and then he answered back and--

Bailey Richardson: [00:09:48] Really?

Luke Storey: [00:09:49] Yeah, yeah. And said something, I forget, even funnier. But I basically told him like, I appreciate you tuning in once, and hope he find a podcaster that dresses more appropriately that you enjoy. And best of luck. And I really meant it. But the point that I'm getting to there is a micro lesson in observing our triggers and just asking ourself if there are any truth in them, which actually, side note, when I moved to Texas and was renovating this house that's now doubling as our studio, hopefully for not very long-- having all this shit in the house sometimes is a little cumbersome.

I had a tremendous financial burden that I had taken on of buying the house and renovating the house. And anyone that's renovated a house knows you go 5X what you think your budget is. And there was just a lot of financial burden. And I remember getting a message from someone at that time, or maybe even a couple, to the effect of, I used to think you were cool, and now you've turned into one of those influencers, which I hate that word. One of those influencers is just all about pushing products. And you're so salesy.  

So my initial defensive response internally would be like, do you expect me to work for free? Do you know how many hours I put into researching my guest? How many hours it takes to produce these podcasts? Paying a whole team of people to make sure that it is of the highest quality, and timely. And consistent.

And that whole like, well, do you want me to work for free? Why don't you send me a few grand a month to pay my team? Then what am I supposed to eat-- all of those things. Because I think a lot of people don't understand that a content creator like myself, I can't have a job--

Bailey Richardson: [00:11:34] Of course.

Luke Storey: [00:11:35] And also do this. This is my job. So how I support this, as people probably have figured out by now, is we have ads on the podcast, and then there's social media promotions for brands that I use and really trust. And I know that I have integrity in anything I promote, and I won't promote anything-- you know. You're the one that manages the brand deals. People send me something. If it's not clean, if it's not effective, if it's boring, then I just say no, and I don't take the money.

Bailey Richardson: [00:12:01] And everybody wins.

Luke Storey: [00:12:03] 100%.

Bailey Richardson: [00:12:03] The brand is excited, the listeners are excited, and we're excited too. There's a great energy exchange there.

Luke Storey: [00:12:11] I agree. It's a triple win. But anyways, so the couple messages that came in were critiquing me for being so salesy and slimy. And so I remember, of course, at first being defensive and feeling like, f you. How dare you. But then I looked at it, and they were right.

I had ramped up my promotions because I was under some financial pressure and was like, okay, I can't just-- when I was back in LA, my expenses were much lower, and so I didn't really have to put that much effort into making money from doing what I do. So they were right. And I really took that feedback to heart, and I scaled it back a little bit. I was like, okay, I don't want to be that guy.

So that was another great lesson and just something to throw in there as an aside, kind of off-topic. But it is relevant to authenticity and doing things in the world that you feel proud of and about which you have true passion, and having a mission, and all of that. So along the way, even when you find your mission that is truly aligned with your purpose here, and sometimes your purpose evolves and changes throughout your life, I don't know that my purpose is going to involve having a podcast until I'm 80 or whatever.

But along the way, we do get inputs. And sometimes they are just an attack from someone who's in a lot of pain and is trying to ease their pain by putting you into a pain-body experience. But even when someone is projecting their own issues onto you, there is often some degree of truth in that, and there's an immense value in that because it will show you if you're open enough and can resist the temptation of being defensive or going back on the offense and attacking them back, there is a lot of value in taking that feedback and rooting out any areas in which you are being inauthentic and not aligned with your true self. So those are a couple of examples.

But there's one more thing, back to the original point, which was how one chooses to adorn themselves, how you dress. For the first few decades of my life, I wore clothing based on how I wanted other people to perceive me. So I want you to look at me and go like, that guy is the coolest rocker I've ever seen in my life. And I was so self-conscious.

I was thinking about this as I was working on my book, and self-consciousness is a part of that. And I catch myself doing this at times now, but thankfully, through just meditation and self-awareness, I actually notice when I'm doing it. Say I'm, I don't know, at an event and I'm thinking, oh, does my shirt look okay, or is my hair crooked or whatever?

But I used to live my life in a prison. Everywhere I went, I was so self-centered, meaning all of my attention was focused on myself. I had no energy left to actually be giving or transmitting. I was so rapacious and such an energy suck to the environment that going to the grocery store, or going to the DMV, anywhere I went, I felt like everyone in my immediate surroundings was staring at me, spending all of their attention on me and picking me apart.

And so everything, everywhere, in all times, was a performance. Getting dressed and thinking, where am I going? Who am I going to be with? I want to make sure I fit in, so I'm going to wear this shirt and these pants, and throw on this hat, and whatever.  

And so there is, of course, some validity in creative expression. And each of us telegraph to people in our culture, to what tribe we belong to. You might wear a suit and a tie because you want to telegraph that you're a business person. You might have dreads because you want to telegraph you're in that tribe, and so on.

So there is something to be said about self-expression and dressing your body how you want to dress. It's not a good or bad, right or wrong. It's not a duality. But to the point of that guy's critique, I contemplated that and, why do I wear the clothes I wear? And I'm sure there's some of that telegraphing of saying, hey, this is the kind of person I am so I can find my tribe. There's a primal thing in the costumes that we wear.

But at this point in my life, because I've arrived at a place of a greater authenticity and a greater acceptance and love of myself, I wear the kooky pants that offended that guy just because I like them. I look down at my body and go, oh, those are cool. I like my tie-dyed sweats or whatever. And I also just like to be comfortable.  

But at that time earlier in my life, for example, when I was Mr., I don't know what I was, 60s rock and roll or kind of, this is in the mid-2000, there is no way I could have rolled down to the corner store wearing shorts and flip-flops and a t-shirt or something. Absolutely not. I could not be seen anywhere in anything that was less than impressive, that didn't make what I at least thought people would be turning their head, going, oh my God, who's  that guy? He looks really cool.

Bailey Richardson: [00:17:52] Sending a specific signal.

Luke Storey: [00:17:54] Yeah. And then at a certain point, as I started to work on myself, I would notice maybe I would go to the gym, and rather than going home and then putting on my Superman versus Clark Kent cool costume and then going to the next place, I found myself just rolling to the next place in my sweaty gym clothes and feeling free in that.  

And I started to notice, oh, wow, I'm changing a little bit. I'm actually becoming a little less attached to other people's perceptions and the self-worth and self-valuation that I derive from what they think of me. So sometimes I think the changes that go on within us are reflected by our outward appearance, and they're not so much motivated by that.

And there's a real freedom in just being who you are. We'll get to your next question, but there was a next phase wherein somehow I guess just good fortune, luck, fate, karma, destiny, I got a job working for a fashion stylist, and one of our first jobs was working for Aerosmith, who was one of my all-time favorite bands as a kid, and even every once in a while now if I can handle loud guitars. Mostly just listen to mantras these days.

But anyway, still respect to Aerosmith. And got a job working for them. And then long story short, that blossomed into a 17-year career working in the fashion industry, mostly with musicians, dressing rock stars. So at night, I would try to be a rock star, and then my day job was dressing people that had actually succeeded in achieving that goal.

But the whole time I was in that industry, I was trying to fit in and be one of those fashion people because I knew I wasn't. It wasn't my calling, and I couldn't quite figure that out. It was the only way I knew how to make a living. I didn't finish any kind of school.  

I didn't have any other trade skills. I was totally unqualified to do anything. All I'd ever done is be a waiter and sold drugs, to be honest. So that was my resume. Dealt drugs for this decade, and was a waiter for this decade kind of thing, or both at the same time in many cases.

But just looking back on serving one's purpose and doing something that you find to be meaningful in the world, which doesn't have to even be a career-- it could be being a parent or anything that you're doing. Because we're always doing something all the time, and it's a matter of, do we feel that what we're doing in the world is making a true contribution, and is it something that is coming from our heart?

Is it something that we feel, I don't know if proud of is the right word, but something for which we feel gratitude and feel motivated by a higher purpose than just making money, just trading hours of our day for a certain number of dollars so that we can be in our base survival way of life.

But man, looking back, maybe it's sad or just shocking that I did something for so long that, on one level, I knew wasn't really my calling and all of the posturing that was necessary for me to try to fit into that industry and I just never did. I never did.

I was a straight guy that was a rock and roller in Hollywood, and I was very much a minority in my industry there. Always trying to be one of the cool kids in that industry, and I don't think I ever was. I never was because it wasn't where I belonged.

Bailey Richardson: [00:21:44] Yeah. it sounds to me like you were telling stories through your own clothing, and then you found this career where you were telling stories through dressing other people. So it's like you were getting closer to where you were supposed to be, but it was just maybe a distorted communication method for you. And now you're telling stories in a way that really works for you. And maybe there's a place that's even closer to your true calling or true potential and even more clear story for you to tell.

Luke Storey: [00:22:24] It's very insightful. Yeah. And through all of those endeavors, I think that they were suited toward my personality type. I'm a wildly creative person. I have tons of ideas. I love visual arts. I'm really driven by aesthetics and really affected by the energy of the way things look. And I just love art, and music, and all of that.

Some people are more driven by data, math, science. We're just born with a propensity toward different interests. And so I don't ever mean to shit on those endeavors as they were just totally ego or something. There was a lot of creativity in that, but as I started to discover who I really am, it became clear that if I was going to feel more fulfilled and have work that didn't feel like work as much, I was going to have to do something in the realm of wellness, which I guess would be a broad category in which we work now.  

Because all of those years that I was working in music and fashion, and all of that, in my spare time, I was going off to health conferences, and going to meditation retreats, and Kundalini yoga classes, and then teacher training. Nothing in my spare time was devoted to anything that had to do with my career.

And then, in 2016, when I started this podcast, it was a huge leap of faith to see if I could actually eke out a living doing what I'm doing. But even within that, to your point, even when one finds their purpose, there's still a lot of refining the purpose to find the work that's truly meaningful.

And we'll be launching a new website soon that will be much more representative, I think, of what I do, but because the podcast and some of the other work that I've done outside of-- like public speaking, is driven by working with wellness brands, a lot of the public-facing things that people see me do on social media and so on are related to physical health, and the word that I refuse to use, biohacking. So I haven't come up with a better replacement, if anyone's listening.

Biohacking still sounds a little mechanistic and dominionist in terms of one's relationship to your body. I don't think my body is something to be hacked. I think it's something to be nourished, and supported, and loved. But when I launched my current brand of me, self brand, I pigeonholed myself inadvertently in that category because that's how I paid my bills. And so that's part of it.

But another thing I've discovered through going inward is that the things that really fill my heart have to do with reaching people on a deeper level than pointing them in the right direction to fix their mitochondria, or hormones, or whatever, right?

Bailey Richardson: [00:25:42] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:25:42] The physical vitality is really important if you're on a spiritual path, but to me, the spiritual path, and the work of the soul, and one's dharma is by far the most important. And many people don't know me for that because of the reason I just explained. But there's also something to be said in terms of just authenticity and how that matches with what you do in the world.

It's much safer for me to sit around and talk about red light therapy and ice baths than it is to really dive into mental health, trauma recovery, addiction recovery, spirituality, non-duality, meditation. These are more vulnerable areas to talk about publicly.

And so unless it's a podcast like this wherein I'm being interviewed, or when I do talks, I'm always leaning into something more in the metaphysical realm than the physical if I'm given the choice to do so by whoever's paying me to come speak.

But there's a mechanism of hiding and playing it safe just talking about the physical realm, and physical health, and biohacking,, and all that. It's not vulnerable at all to share information about that. It's much more vulnerable, for example, to publicly talk about my past with addiction and the ways in which I've overcome it, and childhood trauma and those things that are deeply personal but also very useful for other people who have struggled with those issues or are still in the midst of struggling with them.

And something that I have noticed in my own expression professionally is I don't find as much fulfillment in helping people get physically healthy. Although that's nice. Someone might send me an email or I meet someone in an event, they say, oh my God, I started applying all these things you've talked about in the physical health realm, and I've overcome this issue, and that issue, and yada yada.

It feels good to be able to make a contribution, but for the first 20 years of my sobriety or so, and even now to some degree, I work directly with alcoholics and addicts who sought to get sober or were sober. And so there was a lot of one-on-one mentorship and whatnot. And that was a part of my daily life.

Multiple people per day, I'd be on the phone with them for many hours, hanging out with them, spending time, hosting group meetings at my house. And had a squad of guys and really seeing their lives transform as a result of their effort to apply spiritual principles and really heal themselves emotionally and spiritually.

There is nothing that feels, for me, as great as that, just sharing the ways in which I've deepened my faith in a higher power, and how that has transformed every aspect of my life. And just sharing that with someone who is newer on the path and is just lost, like I was once totally lost and in so much pain.

Bailey Richardson: [00:29:00] New to the guidance.

Luke Storey: [00:29:00] Yeah. But the way my life is situated now, there's just less space. I have a family, and a home, and a career, and I don't have hours a day to sit on the phone with individual guys and help guide them into their sobriety, but it has left a void in my life.

And so one thing that I'm intending to do, and I'm doing more and more, is talking about the deeper issues and covering more of the metaphysical than the physical because, a, I think that's the most transformative place to start for people, and, b, it's what I personally get the most fulfillment from.

It's great if someone said, oh my God, I don't have acne anymore. I cleared my eczema or whatever because I did all these bio acts. That's cool. But when someone's like, I was an atheist, and now I have a faith in God in some small part because of the things you share, and the people you interview, and talks I do, and things like that, that really hits home because I know out of my own experience that, man, when you start to really connect to a personal god, a higher power in your life, that's where you start to really get to know yourself and discover those parts of you that are out of integrity and that lack authenticity.  

It's like getting to know God is getting to know truth. And the more you get to know God, the more you get to know about truth universally, including the truth about yourself. And the more we're aligned with our own truth, the clearer is our path to contributing our best selves to the world in terms of the work we do, and the families we raise, and how we interface with-- the rest of humanity is so dependent on that relationship with God and the relationship with ourselves. It affects everything, even things that we don't think it's touching.

It's like if you wake up and have a deep meditation set and some contemplative reading of spiritual material, whatever your version of prayer is, and you really center yourself and connect yourself to what is real and all that is good, and give yourself some love, and then you go fill up at the gas station and go in to buy a pack of gum, you're going to have a different interaction with the person behind the counter, not based on what you do, not based on what you say, but based on who you are in that moment.

Your energy, the degree of love that you have for yourself, the settling of your nervous system is going to respond to that person's nervous system. And there's always a higher order of attractor field from lower consciousness to higher consciousness. Higher consciousness has more of a magnetic pull.

And so if one is really working on themselves and developing themselves spiritually, you find that you don't really need to do anything in the world or say anything. It's just your energy. It's your access to love. It's your higher consciousness. And then you go into the gas station, and maybe it's a smile or just an open-hearted exchange, here you go. Thank you. Here's my credit card. And you walk out.

Now that person has been imbued with that frequency. And then the next customer that comes in that's maybe experiencing a lower frequency in that moment is going to be affected. And then they pull out and fill their car up and drive off, and maybe they wave someone in front of them in traffic, and that person gives them a wave and smile. This is how we change the world. Not that the world needs to be changed. I think it's perfect the way it is.

If the purpose of the world is burning karma, negative karma from our past, and earning karmic merit that we carry with us in the future, if the purpose of the world is that, it's a perfect world because it has a strata of possibilities for us in which to do so.  

So that's what I'm deriving the most fulfillment from, is just continuing my own spiritual work and hopefully inspiring some other people to do that because there's such a contagious, reverberating effect of that type of work. And to a lesser degree, when you're healthy physically and you're vital, you're also just a more kind person and are likely to have a more positive impact on the people in your life.

But a lot of the physical healing comes from dealing with your trauma and dealing with the underlying issues that are in the nonphysical realm. A lot of physical problems are not based on what you eat, and how you're sleeping, and doing everything right, and taking all the supplements. I don't think you can really be physical healthy if you have deep and meaningful emotional wounds, and a spiritual disconnect, or some pathology of atheism.

There's a lot of people that have chronic illness that can't get over it, even though they're doing everything right on the physical realm. And they're just going to every modality and every specialist and doing all the testing and applying everything that's good for you, and they still don't heal. And so there's a lot of power in that, as witnessed in the Joe Dispenza retreats.

I don't know what the people are doing in their personal lives in terms of what they eat and if they move and get sun, and sleep, and all those things, but you see people come in in a wheelchair or freaking blind. There's some really miraculous things that happen, and all they're doing is tapping into consciousness.  

They're going into the field, like you do in his meditations, and to the quantum field, the realm of all possibilities, and they're learning how to connect themselves there. And as a result, they're getting to know who and what they really are.

And through the process of refinement, displacing those parts of themselves, whether they're thoughts, feelings, or actions which are less true to their divine order as a human being. So it's not an either-or. It's a both. But for me, the real work is in spirituality, just to broadly frame it. And that's where we really learn who we really are, by learning who we aren't.

Bailey Richardson: [00:35:36] I think it's common. The path that I took, there was a wake-up call that happened to me physically. I was forced to heal myself because I couldn't live that way anymore, with pain and just not taking care of myself. And there were injuries and things like that.

But it's like you're brought into it through the body, and then you heal the body, and then you're like, oh, there's more in here. It becomes more and more subtle, and that is the path to spirituality for many people. So totally makes sense for you to be growing in this way, and your people are growing with you.

Luke Storey: [00:36:22] Yeah. We're all growing. Literally, physically, a few months ago, I was drinking all this raw milk and stuff. Yeah.

Bailey Richardson: [00:36:33] Oh, growing. Growing in size.

Luke Storey: [00:36:35] I popped on the scale one day. I was like, damn, you're growing a lot, but not in the way you want to. It's funny. It's funny I haven't had any trolls with that. I remember back in the day when David Wolfe was really the go-to health guy, and people used to troll the hell out of him because he wasn't super fit.  

He was a health expert and health leader. And I remember seeing just some vicious comments on his social media and stuff like that. So yeah, it's funny. I don't know. I think there's people that are into physical health that are interested to a lesser or greater degree in the fitness side of it, right?

Bailey Richardson: [00:37:17] Sure.

Luke Storey: [00:37:17] It's important. Movement's important, but I've just never been a big fitness guy.

Bailey Richardson: [00:37:20] When you said that you went to the gym, I was a little, I don't think I've ever heard you say that before.

Luke Storey: [00:37:25] Well, my brothers Andy and Cody were gym rats, especially Cody, and then he created his own gym in LA for many years, Storey Fitness, and it was a functional movement gym. I think he was a little ahead of the game. He was into functional movement before anyone knew what it was. I mean, he still made a living, but he didn't scale and make a franchise or anything like that. He eventually just was like, I don't want to run this business anymore.  

But yeah, my brothers would drag me to the gym. I guess I was in my late 30s or something, in my early 40s. I hated it. I hate gyms. God bless people that go to the gym. The off-gassing, the egos, the blue light, the Wi-Fi. I can't think of many places that I would rather not be than the gym. It's maybe second only to, I don't know, going in to see the IRS or a divorce attorney or something. So I have my little workouts I do in the yard out here.

Bailey Richardson: [00:38:22] Great.

Luke Storey: [00:38:22] One thing I will say for the gym is if you drive your ass to the gym, you're not going to go in there for ten minutes and be like, eh, that was good enough. Chances are you're probably going to have a good workout. that's one thing. I'm not trying to discourage people from going to the gym. I'm just being honest.

But when I go out in the backyard and work out with my X3 bar and my Bellicon rebounder and do an ice bath, do a couple laps in the pool, and throw the kettle bell around, if I'm honest, that's a 15-minute experience. If I get on the CAROL bike with the level O2, oxygen, contrast training, and stuff, it's so hard for me to get-- that's 20 minutes. And it takes everything, every ounce of willpower I have to go do that, which I haven't done in quite a while.

So it's only natural that some people in the physical wellness and biohacking space are going to get shit if they're not super fit because some of us just aren't really motivated by that. If I was still in my old self where my whole sense of self was based on feedback from other people, I probably have a six-pack right now.

Bailey Richardson: [00:39:32] Right.

Luke Storey: [00:39:33] I just don't care enough about optics to be super fit. But when I jumped on the scale a couple months ago, whenever it was, and I was 200 pounds or something, I'm like, what? You don't notice it when it's you.

Bailey Richardson: [00:39:47] It's little by little.

Luke Storey: [00:39:49] Yeah. I don't know. You get dressed, maybe I look in the mirror for a second just to make sure everything's on straight, but I'm not sitting there examining myself. But yeah, I did start to grow a little in the wrong way and had to turn that around.

Bailey Richardson: [00:40:02] Yeah, I can see your jaw much more now.

Luke Storey: [00:40:05] Yeah. Looking at photos from a few months ago, I'm like, oh shit. Yeah, that's a little puffy.

Bailey Richardson: [00:40:10] Whoops.

Luke Storey: [00:40:10] A little Puff Daddy.

Bailey Richardson: [00:40:14] So where I want to take this now is there's a lot going on around us in society that seems to be-- we're getting this feeling, and I've heard this from a lot of people-- that big things are coming. Things are about to shift, or we're in the midst of a shift, and it's speeding up, and it's getting more intense, and it's getting bigger. And I'm feeling that in my own individual life too, because we're a microcosm, right? So it's happening out there, and then it's also happening in here.

And I think it's hard sometimes to differentiate between these shifts that are happening outside of us. And the collective, either stagnation or transition period that we're in, it can be hard to differentiate between that and what's going on in our personal life, and what we've created for ourselves. So maybe you could talk about how to feel into ourselves and be able to draw that boundary, or at least identify it between our own personal lives and the collective shifts that are happening.

Luke Storey: [00:41:39] Oh, man, that's a great question. Yeah, we are on a bullet train as a collective, man. I can't even grasp what's happening on the planet right now. The shift in humanity, it's so interesting and unprecedented. Literally, where we are right now and what's happening in the world has never happened before.

And if you think about, I don't know, maybe pre-Industrial Revolution or go back a little further, pre-Agriculture, shit was the same for humans for eons. We're hunter-gatherer people cruising around. Maybe there's a little conflict here and there over some territory, maybe a regime, or after agriculture, regime would rise up.

It's the Mayans, or the Persians, or whoever, and then people are staying in one place, growing food. And so now there's resources there that need to be protected. And so now you need a police force and a military, and you need leaders, and kings, and queens, and things like that. So it went a little bit haywire there.

And there were some changes that still took thousands of years to transpire, maybe a 15,000-year period. But before that, humans were living on the land with nature, with the animals, with abundant resources, and probably having some skirmishes here and there based on their animal nature of wanting to find territory or who knows what.  

Fast forward to now, what's happening geopolitically, environmentally, culturally, socially, we have never ever before seen so many drastic changes. That said, looking at the past three or four years of madness, I do this thought experiment sometimes.  

If I had no access to the media, no television, no internet, and I was just living my life, nothing would have changed for me in the past four years objectively with the exception of going into a few stores a few times and going on a few airplanes in which someone presuming a position of authority, presuming position of authority, told me, sir, you have to put this diaper on your face. And if you don't do it, you're not coming in or on. And that was different.

So that's something objectively you could say, okay, something changed. But in reality, in my day-to-day life, again, any inputs from the outside world, literally nothing has changed. Nothing is different. It's an interesting thought experiment. So why do I feel different? Well, I feel different, and when I say different, generally less hopeful and in some fear about what the future holds as the powers that be tighten their stranglehold on humanity, the controllers, I like to call them.

Why do I feel differently, and why am I experiencing anxiety about the future for us as a collective, or me, for an individual? The degree of anxiety I feel about that is based solely on the amount of time I spend on what's happening out there in the world. Why do I want to know what's going on in the collective?

Well, there is a natural instinct to want to have awareness about what's going on with the other members of the tribe. And since we aren't in tribes of 50 or 60 people, my tribe is billions of people that I can access on the internet. I can see what's going on in different countries, and different timelines, and different cultures, and different conflicts, and wins, and losses, and wars, and peace, and anything and everything that's out there. It's like a smorgasbord of activity and news.  

So we want to know the news. We want to know what's happening. So I think there's a healthy desire to want to know what's going on in the world and not just live in our own silo of spiritual bypass and think, if it hasn't affected me, I don't care, like my experience. Imagining my experience with having no access to media is just like, my life's cool. My wife's good. My friends are good. What's the problem? Just keep moving forward.

But we do want to know what's going on. And at the same time, because we have this area of our brain called the limbic system, which is there to record threats and injuries and keep track of them subconsciously so that if we're faced with a similar scenario in the future, our system will be activated and be able to make the appropriate moves to keep us safe. That's what we commonly call being triggered.  

It's like we're not triggered by the thing in front of us. We're triggered because, at some point in the past, we were hurt, and our brain recorded that and is now going, hmm, hmm, this looks similar. Let's have the same response that we had or should have had last time in this situation, even though it's not actually the same. You're totally safe. You're just being tricked into thinking that you're not.

So the downside of staying up-to-date on the collective is that the limbic system has a mechanism by which it can become addicted to bad news, the negativity bias. The brain's doing what it's supposed to do to keep us safe. It's doing pattern recognition.

So I open up my phone and look at something on social media, and I'm like, oh, not safe. Not safe. They're coming for us. We're doomed. Because at some point in the past, there was something that looked similar to that in which I was harmed or feared I was going to be harmed. And there's an addictive nature to cortisol and adrenaline, which is what happens when your limbic system gets activated.

It's like when you find yourself in a near-miss car accident or an argument with your family member, or spouse, or something. It's like you're just filled with fire. And we claim to not enjoy that feeling, but there's a part of us that feeds off of that energy.

And if we've lived our entire lives in a fight-or-flight response because we haven't healed our nervous system and we have issues from the past that are just festering within our subconscious that we have been unwilling or unable to address and heal, we're going to be more likely to be addicted to recreating that drama within ourselves.

And so when I look out at the world and the things going on in the collective, it's not that what I'm seeing is scaring me or making me angry, it's that I'm scaring myself and making myself angry because of the way I hold it, because of the way I perceive it, and because of the way my nervous system responds to it. Which is why if I had no access to the outside world for the past few years, my life would look exactly the same.

What bothers me is when I give my energy and my attention to the outside world, and specifically those things that I judge as being some way other than they should be based on my perception, and specifically the things in the world that I, as an individual, have no power to change.

And oftentimes, the things that we end up investing our energy into are specifically the things that we have no power to change, because there's a part of us that knows if we get on that hamster wheel, it's going to be a beautiful distraction from changing the things within ourselves that are dying to be addressed. So there's an activism bypassing.

It's like getting so caught up in the outer world under the guise that we care. And there is a part of us that cares about humanity, of course, unless we're a sociopath or psychopath. Most of us, I think listening to this, and I know you and I and Jared here, we deeply care about humanity, and the environment, and all of the things outside of our personal experience.

But there's also a drug in that that's very addictive because being focused so outwardly is a great defense mechanism from facing those things within ourselves. And I see this on Twitter. I guess they call it X now. I'm just going to keep calling it Twitter. I think that was a better name. X? Come on.

Bailey Richardson: [00:51:10] I think people still call it Twitter.

Luke Storey: [00:51:11] So one of my addictions-- I was actually looking at this in my meditation today. I was listening to one of the Joe Dispenza, and he's like, who's the person you don't want to be any more today? What are you going to catch yourself when you're falling into old patterns? And I was like, Twitter. That's my thing.

What I'm describing is my own experience. And so there's a part of me that's addicted to all of the bad news on Twitter. And all the bad news on Twitter, by the way, are things that I have zero chance of influencing whatsoever-- world events, wars, all of this. Yet there's a part of me that can't resist just looking on there to see what's going on because my limbic system is like, cool, keep feeding us because we want to know what to be afraid of or who to be pissed at.

Bailey Richardson: [00:51:56] Fear porn.

Luke Storey: [00:51:56] Yeah, fear porn. Exactly. Yeah. Maybe one of the most addictive things that's not a drug is porn. And because it excites our nervous system and we get this flood of neurotransmitters, and hormones, and all this stuff makes us feel different than we felt before we sat down to do it. And the same is true of doomscrolling and fear porn. It's something that we can use as a distraction from facing our inner experience and how we feel in this moment.

And if there are things in our life that we want to avoid dealing with, a difficult conversation, a change in our career, a change in our relationship, painful memories from our past that we're trying to tamp down with drugs, and alcohol, and sugar, and smoking, and pornography, it fits within that category.

So it's a bit of a tricky one because there is something natural about wanting to know what's going on in the world. In addiction recovery, they have this term called riding the tiger, which is things like sex, food, debting, these other gambling, these other types of addictions, wherein complete abstinence is not as possible as it is with, okay, I was an alcoholic. I quit drinking. Therefore, it's easy in a sense.

The decision is difficult, and the work to get there takes a lot of work, and surrender, and all of that, but I either drink alcohol or I don't. Personally, I don't drink any alcohol, never going to ever again, God willing. But if you're, say, addicted to food, you can't just stop eating food unless you learn how to become a breatharian or something. So then it gets a little tricky.

I'm going to eat this food, but not sugar or whatever. That's riding the tiger. And same with sex. We're sexual beings. We're meant to have sex. That's why we're here, because a bunch of people had sex before we were here. Our parents had sex, as gross as that is to think about sometimes. I think it's less gross as you get older, but when you're a teenager, you're like, ew, when you learn what sex is, and you're like, you two did that? Disgusting. But that would be an example of riding the tiger.

If you're in a relationship, or even if you're not, you're dating, sexuality is part of your experience. So it's unrealistic to totally repress that part of yourself and just say, I'm never going to be sexually aroused or do anything about it if I am forever, be a renunciate or celibate forever. Not that practical and doesn't work for most people.

So with news, and media, and having a grasp on what's going on in the world, it's a riding the tiger kind of situation, and there's not a pat answer to it. But what I can say in my own life is the less aware I am of what's going on in the world, and this is a massive paradox, the more fortified and stable I am in my own emotional body and my own nervous system, and the more grounded I can remain spiritually, which ironically and paradoxically makes me a net positive on the world at large.

When I'm really focused on doing my own inner work and my meditation, my prayers, service work, hugs, fortifying myself with touch and human connection, and all of those things that are so vital, great sleep, really focus on my sleep, all of those things, the more I focus on that, not in a self-centered way, but with the purpose of having enough energy in my reserves to actually be able to contribute that energy to the collective, not necessarily by doing, but again, going back to the gas station, by being.  

If I can really be in my power, in my highest expression of self, that reverberation does more for the collective than any Twitter doomscrolling could ever do, being a keyboard warrior or an activist warrior on the street with a sign. This is just my story. If that's how people want to fight the man, go for it.

I just know that when I'm more involved in my own consciousness, I feel better. I'm more relaxed. I think more clearly. I make decisions that are more based on reciprocity than they are on animal-based instincts survival because I'm not in fight or flight. So I feel like I have the safety in my field so that I can interface with the collective in a way that is cognizant of what I can give more than what I'm getting. So it's a really interesting thing that I'm always wrestling with.

And by no means do I have this figured out because when we're done, I'll probably go refresh Twitter and be like, what are they doing now? I'm working on it. We all have our vices. Thankfully, I've gotten rid of some of the more destructive ones in my life. Actually, I didn't get rid of them, but I surrendered them, and God removed them. Some of them with finality, and some of them by piecemeal, little by little. And the little by little would be me and the degree of attention and emotional investment I give to what is happening outside of myself in the world.

And it's a really difficult thing for the ego to submit to because the ego is all about survival, and it would rather fight to the death than surrender. And I'm sure there are people listening, like, what? So you don't go out and try to change the world? If that's you, I'll invite you to explore what part of you that is because the ego is a part of us. It's not us. It's something that we, over time, hopefully, learn how to integrate and build a healthier relationship with. There's no getting rid of it. If you're still in a body, you still have an ego.

It's a matter of the hierarchical relationship between the true self, the higher self, and the ego. Is the ego your employee or employer? And sometimes we oscillate between the two. On any given day, I'm sure there's times when my ego is more out front, and then I start bumping into things, and it becomes uncomfortable, and I lovingly put it back in its place.  

But it's the ego aspect of our personality that wants us to use the external world and our grandiose ideas about the way it should be and how we're going to make a contribution to changing it according to our subjective perception that uses that work out there in the collective as an escape from doing the inner work that is much more difficult.

And despite appearances to the contrary, the superficial appearances ultimately do a greater service to the world out there than us putting our fist up and sticking it to the man.

Bailey Richardson: [00:59:41] And how much more of an impact can we have on the things within us? We can actually take action and make changes almost immediately and affect the whole, whereas when we go out there and try to change all that and it's not rooted within our own being, it can be futile, I think.

Luke Storey: [01:00:05] Yeah. And that said, for some people, they find their dharma in creating an organization that cleans up our waterways or takes care of orphan children. You know what I mean? It's not like you don't do good.

Bailey Richardson: [01:00:24] Yeah. And it's not black and white or one or the other.

Luke Storey: [01:00:27] And it's very individual. But I know for sure, based on my own experience, that there is a trap to be aware of, and that is in using our work out there as an escape from the work that we need to be doing. Anything. You can use watching too much TV. You can use being too spiritual as a bypass. The love and lie, like, everything's great. I'm just happy. And meanwhile, you and your parents don't talk to each other because you haven't healed those wounds or you haven't forgiven someone by whom you were victimized.  

There are so many permutations of how this plays out. I'm always sharing and owning my own experience. So if I talk about some pathology of the ego, it's because I've been there and have either worked my way out of that particular level of understanding and habituation, or it's something that I'm seeing in the future that I need to work on more.  

I'm never telling people what to do or not to do, but I do know that the world that I see in the collective, it's impossible for me to see the world as it truly is. I can only see it through the prism of my personal perception.  

So if I see the world as perfect and forever evolving and in a great place and one that's safe-- sure, we have some problems, but ultimately all people are good, and we go through the vicissitudes of humanity's experience, from war and famine to peace and development and innovation. And we go through all of these cycles, all of these epochs. If I see the world like that, truly, then that's how the world is.

And if I see the world as a purgatorial realm of good versus evil and a stark duality, then that's what I get. And if I see the world like that and I think that that's all the world is, because my perception tells me so, then I'm going to interface with the world from the point of wrong, right, black, white, good, bad, and so on. And there's much more gray area in the human experience than I think we often realize.

So I like to lean more into the gray area and into the mystery and into the unfolding and having, on a good day, the humility to know that even though where we are as a collective might seem really grim right now, I can't forecast five years from now, 10 years from now, 20, 400, 500, 1,000 years from now where we're going to be as a result of the dark ages that we've seen over the past few years, for example.

And we'll wrap it up because I know we're out of time. If I go based solely on my perception and my limbic system right now, I would tell you that some energetic force has overtaken the planet and superimposed a false matrix of control, coercion, violence, and exploitation over the entire population.

Regardless of what country you find yourself in, what culture, what race, there is a ruling class that has amassed unimaginable levels of power and wealth, and for some reason, they seem to be devoid of love, empathy, and compassion, and only seek to exploit and subjugate humanity and see themselves as superior to the rest of us. And they are a dark, dark force.

So I could see the world as that right now, and I don't think that's too far off really. If you really zoom out and look at history, it's different faces, different people in positions of power, but it's the same energy-- territorial, warring.

Bailey Richardson: [01:04:58] Power.

Luke Storey: [01:04:59] Genocidal, homicidal, psychopaths, pedophiles, psychos, devil worshipers. I don't know what they are, but they seem to be out to destroy humanity and destroy the planet at the same time. Yet, at the same time, just like when I look back at my own life in the microcosm, if you would have talked to me when I was 25-years-old and I was in the absolute depths of despair, hopelessness, shame in my addiction, my worldview at that time would have been absolutely hopeless and without a future.

But when I look back now, I see me reaching that low point in my life as the best thing that ever happened to me. But then I couldn't see what was on the other side of that. So if we zoom out on the collective right now, from the perspective I just shared, it can be quite dark and hopeless.  

But that's only because we can't see the revolution that's likely coming, and the awakening that is emerging, and the surrender of us to our higher selves and to our true empowerment and sovereignty, and the value of each individual life over the proposed value of the collective, the greater good, all of that.

So it's like humanity is in our own process of hitting bottom because we've been addicted to outsourcing our power to a mythological hallucination called authority. So I think we're in a good place, but it's scary as hell sometimes.

And all we can do is just have faith that the evolution of the human spirit and the evolution of the human species is right where it's supposed to be and to find anything within ourselves that is in need of attention, that is in need of healing and love, so that we can be a participant in what we want rather than an adversary of what we don't want. Because by being an adversary of what we don't want, that system, that matrix, we're only fueling it with the energy that it uses for its sole sustenance, and that energy is fear.

So the game is being as aware as you can be about the goings on in the world about you while wearing it like a loose garment and not taking ourselves or the human experience at large that seriously, because everything is also very temporary and the place we find ourselves in now is going to be over very soon, and it'll look like something very different.

One human lifetime is such a blink of an eye. We're only here for a millisecond. It's not even a snap of the fingers in terms of the number of lifetimes we have this experience. So the one we're in right now, let's make it count.

Bailey Richardson: [01:08:15] Yeah. Our little spark. You have me tearing up because, oh, I just love the mystery so much. When you can find that trust, you can really settle into it. And it gets really scary, but God's got us.

Luke Storey: [01:08:34] God's got us. That'd be a good name for this episode.

Bailey Richardson: [01:08:38] Oh, there we go.

Luke Storey: [01:08:38] All right. Thanks for another great conversation, Bailey.

Bailey Richardson: [01:08:40] Thank you, Luke.


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