526. Keeping It Real w/ Teal Swan: Shadow Work, Spiritual Integration & the Power of Authenticity

Teal Swan

March 5, 2024

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.

Today’s guest is Teal Swan, a New Thought Leader with a large social media presence, international speaker, and best-selling author. We pull back the curtain on the realms of mental health, spirituality, and the transformative power of confronting personal trauma.

Teal Swan is a New Thought Leader with a large social media presence and following, as well as an international speaker and best-selling author, most known for her unique perspectives on topics like mental health, relationships, and spirituality. She has over a decade of experience working with people from all walks of life, and has created her own method for trauma healing, The Completion Process, which promotes life improvement by addressing trauma to put ourselves back together again.

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.

If you’re as into the pursuit of self-development, healing, and spirituality as I am, you’ve probably heard of Teal Swan – a New Thought Leader in the spiritual community with a passion and purpose for helping people transmute their trauma into a tool for self-acceptance and love. 

She’s also an international speaker, best-selling author, and is celebrated for her refreshingly direct insights into mental health, relationships, and spirituality. Visit lukestorey.com/ancestralhealing to save 30% off Teal's Ancestral Healing Course.

I've been eager to chat with Teal Swan for a while now, and this conversation does not disappoint as we go deep on some of my favorite topics.

Teal articulates what makes her so different from other female spiritual teachers and how her haters help her stay in alignment with her soul’s purpose before we discuss the impact of social media and technology on genuine connectivity, Teal's unique challenges as a spiritual guide, and her strategies for dealing with the criticism and hate she too often encounters. 

We also explore the new age of feminism (yes, touching on That recent movie) and the importance of balancing both masculine and feminine energies in our society. She gives beautiful insight into the role of the ego, cultivating observer awareness, and healthy ways to integrate our ego. 

Near and dear to my heart and healing journey, we discuss the deep-seated causes of addiction, the limitations in conventional approaches to sobriety, and the transformative potential of shamanic and plant medicines in addiction recovery. Additionally, we delve into the importance of understanding our ancestry, breaking generational cycles and tending to our inner child. 

I’m excited for you to hear Teal Swan’s authenticity, self-awareness, and the challenges she’s constantly overcoming to live in her dharma in this episode. Let it be a reminder to embrace yourself, and others, with love and kindness.

(00:01:56) Confronting Social Media’s Role in Loneliness & Disconnection 

  • Teal’s energetic read on Austin, TX
  • Commentary on the Costa Rican “pura vida” lifestyle
  • Defining loneliness and how it affects the collective 
  • How social media and technology can help/hinder connectivity 
  • Perceived popularity vs. connection, intimacy and community
  • Younger generations’ aversion to challenges 
  • Dealing with virtue signaling and performativity online 

(00:17:49) How Teal Navigates Criticism & Negativity 

  • Why she gets more criticism compared to other spiritual teachers
  • What makes Teal different from other female spiritual teachers
  • How her haters help her stay in alignment 
  • The drive to fulfill her dharma in this life

(00:38:14) Embracing Our Shadows & Profound Self-Love Work

  • Orienting ourselves as a species on our collective spiritual path 
  • The polarity of self-healing and narcissism 
  • Interfacing with different timestamps of your life and working with your inner child
  • How Teal helps people dive deeper into understanding their full selves 
  • Understanding the ego and cultivating a witness observer perspective 
  • Watch: Idiocracy (2006)
  • Why you can’t get rid of ego and how to integrate it 

(00:58:58) Exploring the Root of Addiction & Alternative Healing Methods

  • What drives alcoholism and drug addiction? 
  • Alternative ideas of what sobriety is and how to achieve it
  • Why historical models of sobriety aren’t successful and can even be dysfunctional
  • Why are shamanic and plant medicines so effective for change?
  • Luke’s experience with sobriety and the 12 step principles 

(01:08:13) Illuminating the Risks & Rewards of Plant Medicine

  • Safely using plant medicine for addiction recovery
  • How to reach greater states of consciousness with/without plant medicine 
  • Teal’s relationship with plant medicine
  • Recognizing risks of shamanic medicines
  • Protection against nonphysical forces
  • How plant medicine has helped others understand her gifts 

(01:26:32) Where the New Age of Feminism Falls Short

  • Our POV on the messaging of the Barbie movie
  • Deciphering the new wave of feminism 
  • Creating a society that accommodates both masculine and feminine 
  • How masculine/feminine energies complement each other for the greater good
  • Luke’s theory on toxic masculinity 

(01:38:01) Breaking Cycles & Changing Our Ancestral Lineage

  • Changing or expanding the trajectory of our family line 
  • Your ancestors can provide context and clarity for your own life
  • A vision of Luke’s birth and how that impacted him
  • What leads to attachment issues and a lack of connection?
  • Family opinions of the work she’s doing 

(01:57:29) Identifying Integrity in Spiritual Teachers

[00:00:05] Luke: How's Texas been?

[00:00:07] Teal: Yeah. It's been different than when I was here last. Obviously, I do energetic reads on the places that I land in Austin. I find much changed since I was here before COVID.

[00:00:20] Luke: When were you here before? What year?

[00:00:24] Teal: I don't even know what year. It would've been probably like eight or nine years ago maybe.

[00:00:28] Luke: Oh, okay.

[00:00:30] Teal: Yeah.

[00:00:30] Luke: What's your take on the energy here and the people here?

[00:00:34] Teal: Well, I would've said that like before COVID hit, this was like where all the weirdos from the rest of Texas came to try to escape the rest of Texas. So it was like this epicenter of misunderstood misfits with all the dysfunction and all the almost beauty that that brings. Now though, it's like post COVID, everybody is in their own little worlds, and it's being compounded by the fact that California has now invaded Texas, I see.

[00:01:05] Luke: Yeah, a lot of Texaphonians here.

[00:01:07] Teal: It's the Texian. I get off the airplane, and it's like an ocean of these very young, very ambitious, almost Wolf of Wall Street tech entrepreneurs. And I'm like, what? This is not what you're expecting to see when you get off of the plane to Austin, Texas. So it's like this mashup now of-- it's like the emo hipster crowd clashes and collides with this business California world.

[00:01:37] Luke: Yeah, yeah. I've observed something interesting here, and I noticed this when we first moved here in the beginning of '21. There's, for lack of a better way to describe it, an attractor field. And I think it was partially due to Convid activities in the world where people like myself were feeling like we needed to escape where we lived.

[00:02:02] But even apart from that, there's a certain frequency of person here, socially, politically, that's unique to this place, even though they come from other places, a certain frequency of people. And there's, of course, great things about all of us and some things that are less than great.

[00:02:23] But I was really actually encouraged when we moved here because there were so many like-minded, just open-minded people, just freaks from all over, like myself, where it's very easy to make a lot of friends. There's a really strong sense of community. But after the kind of lockdown stuff started to subside, groups have become much more siloed, not in a negative, cliquey, exclusive, way or anything like that.

[00:02:52] But when I moved here, it was just like, there's house parties every other-- yeah, just people were really getting together because it was more free here. And people were hunkering down and really solidifying community. And now I'm like, where did all those people go? They're still here. They've just found their little friend and family units and settled down a little bit. But there's a lot of really great people here doing great things in the world. So I enjoy it.

[00:03:18] Teal: Good.

[00:03:19] Luke: Yeah. So you live sometimes in Costa Rica and sometimes near Park City, Utah.

[00:03:25] Teal: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:26] Luke: Yeah. How do you find things have changed in either of those places over the past couple of years?

[00:03:33] Teal: In Utah? Park City also got invaded by California. I don't really notice the culture changing at all. It's ironic that your perception of Austin is what it is because I have a similar perception of Park City, where it's like the people who were drawn to move there already vibed with what Park City was before. As far as Costa Rica, it's right back to what it was. It's like you can't impose a new lifestyle on the Costa Rican people. You try, and then they're like, no, thank you.

[00:04:07] Luke: Right, right. There's a muscle memory to the culture there, and they're going to revert back to-- what is it? The vida? What's the saying, the Costa Rica saying?

[00:04:17] Teal: Pura Vida.

[00:04:18] Luke: Pura Vida. Yeah.

[00:04:19] Teal: I hate that saying.

[00:04:20] Luke: Yeah. Pure life.

[00:04:21] Teal: I hate that saying.

[00:04:22] Luke: Well, anything that's on a lot of bumper stickers and baseball caps is eventually going to lose its oomph.

[00:04:28] Teal: Can I tell you why it has no oomph in Costa Rican culture? Because the rest of the world has misinterpreted that meaning. So when the Costa Rican people use that term, Pura Vida, it basically means, oh, well. So here, sounds beautiful because at face value, it's like, pure life.

[00:04:48] You develop a native association when you own a place there is because anything bad that happens, Pura Vida. You're stuck in a line for five and a half hours. Pura Vida. Your dog gets run over. Pura Vida. Your wife gets killed. Pura Vida. You lost your legs. It just got amputated. Pura Vida. It's like almost that thing when the people say, when you're super traumatized. Oh man.

[00:05:14] Luke: So it could be translated as, eh, whatever.

[00:05:16] Teal: Yeah, that's life.

[00:05:19] Luke: Right, right.

[00:05:20] Teal: It's a very passive culture. So what's hard about that saying for people who are not part of that culture is that even in situations where the people down there could reasonably do something through their own actions to improve something, they just, eh.

[00:05:38] Luke: Funny. I'm writing a book right now, and the theme overall is loneliness. And it's something that I've had an ongoing relationship throughout my life and tried in various ways, some of them more successful than others, to solve. And I think that right now in the world, especially over the past few years, it was a problem before, but I think right now it's becoming clear to me that a huge part of our challenge as a species is separation and feeling whether we are physically alone, proximity wise, or just feeling alone. So I was wondering what your take is. How would you define loneliness, and how do you think that affects us as a collective?

[00:06:32] Teal: I would define loneliness as the perception of separation. You already used the word. Loneliness is a human epidemic right now. It is across the globe. Of course, you've got epicenters where that epidemic is much worse than other places. I think the western world is particularly damaged by it.

[00:06:52] But I would also say that you experience different flavors of loneliness depending on where you are in the world. Here in the Western world where there's this absolute obsession with independence, there's a certain flavor of loneliness to that, almost like, don't lean on anyone, don't depend on anyone.

[00:07:08] All the resources you have come from within. Then you go over to the Eastern world and it's like there's so much enmeshment to that culture and to the families and that culture that they're basically choking your identity out to the degree you have to let go of yourself in order to maintain those social ties. And you're essentially a tool of your parents or the tool of whatever the people around you need. And so you are never seen, you are never heard, you are never felt. It's a totally different feeling, different breed and brand of loneliness.

[00:07:43] Luke: How do you think our foe connectivity in terms of technology and social media either helps or hinders separation?

[00:07:57] Teal: I think that social media has the capacity to connect us as long as we don't leave it to technology, and that's what I see happening. So like most things, you've got this incredible positive potential and to the same degrees you've got that incredible positive potential, you've got this incredible negative potential, and it's really in our hands, which one of those realities we manifest or bring about.

[00:08:21] So what scares the crap out of me is that I'm watching people walk down this negative road with technology where instead of using it as a means for increasing connectivity, it's like, actually, we're going to make it so that our only relationships that we have happen on this technological platform, not really taking into account other human needs for contact, comfort, how different, very different it is to have an in-person experience with somebody versus 5,000 miles away over the screen.

[00:08:50] And we don't really understand that our brains, of course, cannot catch up with what it is that we have created. Our biology does not catch up as fast as we would hope that it would. So biologically, when we are on a screen, like so many of us are, our brain is registering that we've accomplished things we have not actually accomplished, that we've done things we haven't actually done, seen places we haven't actually seen, connected with people we have never even met, really.

[00:09:23] So what scares the crap out of me is that, and I'm seeing this as being this grounds for humanity to be really, really, really easily controlled as well in very scary ways. We're becoming a very passive race, if you want the honest truth. That scares me because then more power is given over to the people who are in in these active, almost more control-type positions.

[00:09:48] So if you've got an entire demographic of people who wake up in the morning-- and there's a sense in all people of a need for some kind of an accomplishment. We want to do something with our life. But if that need to do something is satisfied by putting our opinion out there with a like or a dislike, and now our energy's bleeding out into doom scrolling and liking and disliking, and that's our new level of accomplishment, we're shortcutting our own progress.

[00:10:16] Luke: Right. Yeah. It's like a stifling of actual potential. Something I've looked at with the social media relationship to loneliness too, is this idea of popularity or perceived popularity substituting for connection, and intimacy, and community. It's like you would look at someone, say on Instagram, that has a million followers and think, oh wow. They have it made. They're surrounded by so many people that love them. And they could literally be sitting in a hotel room somewhere by themselves with depression and suicidal ideation. They feel so alone, but from the outside, you would never guess that. So it can be so isolating in that way.

[00:11:05] Teal: Oh, it's intensely isolating. Yeah. And we're also not putting out there an accurate image of the reality that we live in. You mentioned with the popularity versus essentially feeling deep levels of isolation. But what people are putting out there online is not a true representation of what life is actually like.

[00:11:21] You've got people, say in the spiritual field, who are more in the yoga side of the spectrum who are selling the concept of this beautiful potential life that a person can have, there's none of this in between that anybody's seeing. They're not seeing the hours that it takes to set up lighting for that shot or all of the arguments that took place about maybe placement of products in that scene and maybe the arguments that took place about when they should actually shoot.

[00:11:53] And that's just related to the job itself, not what's happening in this tertiary way with their relationships in general. And yet you get that one shot, which is with the sunset, and ah. Everybody who looks at that says, oh, I can have that life. And they have no idea that what they're looking at is not a representation of what the person's life is like at all.

[00:12:17] And so what I'm watching also is that it's creating this very false expectation, especially in younger generations, as to what it takes to succeed and also what to expect out of life. And I'm definitely watching where challenge used to be this very normal element of succeeding. You'd be met with a challenge.

[00:12:38] You have to work through that challenge. That challenge makes you more of a master at whatever your craft is or whatever your aim is. And now I'm watching, especially the younger generations, Gen Z, especially right now, where they get met with a challenge and they have no relationship to challenge because there's not what they're seeing anywhere around them.

[00:12:56] And so it's like, oh, why me? I guess I'm not supposed to do that. And it's just immediate give-up. We could probably sit here and do just one episode or maybe an entire series on just this because we're navigating new territory. None of us have ever lived in this type of world before.

[00:13:14] It makes it scary for those of us that have children. It's like, what the hell am I supposed to tell this kid? He's growing up in a world I don't understand. This is going to be nothing like what my world was like. Just like my world is literally nothing like my parents. But that was not actually the case for generations before this.

[00:13:31] Ever since the invention of the internet, it's like, oh, now the knowledge is tripling so fast. Everything's changing so fast. What do you have to share with your children? I'm going to say a hell of a lot still. However, it's very difficult to give the right advice if you can't even relate to the world they live in.

[00:13:50] Luke: There's also, in the realm of virtual life, the fact that it's much easier to get a sense of significance without actually having to give the performance that truly earns it.

[00:14:08] Teal: Totally true. Oh, don't get me started. Oh.

[00:14:11] Luke: With virtue signaling and all this, you don't actually have to be virtuous. You just have to send out the signals of virtue. And I noticed this phenomenon. It's a really weird psychological thing, and maybe you have something to say on it. Say I'll post, a clip from this interview and you'll say something that's taken in that clip, or I'll say something in a talk I do or something.

[00:14:33] And then you have, what a friend of mine calls on Twitter, reply guys, where you have someone come in and like basically argue with whatever you're saying and give their counterpoint and their expertise. And it's such a thinly veiled attempt to gain a little moment of significance.

[00:14:53] It's not actually there to make a contribution. It's there to take away from what's being presented to give that person a little boost. Like, ah, I said my thing and I don't agree, and what I say is the right way. But they haven't actually done anything. They're not setting up for a podcast and flying around the world and doing their retreats. I don't think they are. At least many of them are just sitting there on the toilet, telling you how their point of view is superior to yours. It's a weird thing. How do you deal with that? Or what do you think that is?

[00:15:24] Teal: Well, every person wants to feel a sense of significance. So when the low-hanging fruit is presented, most people will go for that rather than aiming towards actual significance. Usually, this stems from the feeling that a person does not actually have within them anything that is of significance.

[00:15:41] So underneath those individuals is a deep psychology of shame. Doesn't make it any less obnoxious or sometimes any less painful for those that can really sense this horse. But I deal with more than my fair share of this in my career.

[00:15:56] Luke: Yeah, I've noticed that. What do you think it is about you and your work that-- obviously, there are literally millions of people that love your work and benefit from your work. You're immensely popular as a spiritual teacher, but it's been interesting for me to watch you over the years because I've been aware of you for a long time.

[00:16:17] I've been trying to get you on my podcast. You probably don't know, but for many years, when I first found you, I was like, oh, this person's really interesting. We got to have a chat. But it's strange to me that you get so much shit because I look at other spiritual teachers that I have had on the show, Byron Katie, Sharon Salzberg, Gabby Bernstein, Marianne Williamson.

[00:16:39] I'm sure they're getting trolled in some ways that maybe I don't notice, but for some reason, who you are in the world is very upsetting to a certain demographic. And I'm just like, what is the problem? In preparation, even for this conversation, I've revisited a bunch of your teachings and videos and podcasts and stuff, and I'm like, I can't find holes in any of it based on my paradigm of understanding. Maybe I'm delusional and these trolls are seeing something I don't see, but I'm like, what is she saying that is so problematic to people? I literally don't get it.

[00:17:15] Teal: It's not what I'm saying. So I will say that there's a few, not very much, but there's a few things that I say that are quite subversive for certain demographics. But that's not the real problem. The real problem that people have is with me as a character, and it's specifically around power.

[00:17:35] Power is not tolerated well in this world, period. Power is not tolerated at all when it comes from a female. And power is something that I have in spades and have always had in many ways. So let me explain. I'll break it down, and I could probably do a better job if I had the time to sit down and write a list, but okay. So personal power is like this felt sense of a person being able to bring in a lot of soul force into their being. That's something that you would see even when I was very little.

[00:18:08] So if you went and talked to my mother right now, she would say, the second that Teal was born, I always felt like she had more power than me, and it was like she just took over the room. I have a lot of soul force. Now, that's coming more from my essence. That's one item of power.

[00:18:23] Second item of power, able to see things that are not normal for other people to see. Now, it doesn't really matter whether somebody believes in that or doesn't believe in that. You've got somebody who's saying, essentially, I can see things you don't see. More power. That's number two.

[00:18:38] Number three, intellect. Not something that people want or expect from females usually. If you'll watch, especially other female teachers, the level of intellect that I am demonstrating is at a much higher level. It's something that you would hear usually from male spiritual teachers who are very heady in the way that they're breaking down concepts.

[00:19:02] Intellect is power. Beauty. That's something which created the witch hunts. Why? Because the churches made an enemy out of arousal, because it leads to social problems. Because they did that, men felt out of control of their libidos. What were they out of control to? These very beautiful women.

[00:19:22] So we've had the witch hunts forever because of this, and it's not like that mentality has gone away. So I could probably keep going with this, even down to my oration skills, which are very abnormal for a female. If you took my voice and you gave it to a specialist and said, break down the way that this person talks, the way I talk is not normal for a female. It carries a lot of weight.

[00:19:52] So what you have is this plethora of PowerPoint. So when a person gets in front of me and they feel that, they're like, ugh. So one of the things I'm triggering in people is their relationship to power. And more than that, their relationship to power in a female. Now we can add in my content, which is highly confronting, shall we say.

[00:20:17] And that's not actually normal, most especially for spiritual teachers, "that are female". Because so many of the women that are in this field, they're not actually talking about controversial stuff. They're not actually confronting the ego to this degree. They may have a process that you can go through to work on you, but it's very like-- or it's very much about love, and the things that people are like, it's acceptable if a female talks about that kind of stuff.

[00:20:45] Now you've got me who's coming out with a jack hammer against the human ego, basically, where rather than like, well, it's your opinion. It's not like you can do what you want. I'm not really playing this pacification game that other women are taught to play. And because of that, I'll come out in a video and be like, I just did this yesterday.

[00:21:07] I released a video, which was like, just so you know, the majority of relationships where you see longevity, they're maintaining their longevity specifically through dysfunction.  So I'm triggering the ego in that way also. So all of these markers, a person sees that, especially in a female, and goes, that makes me uncomfortable that I don't like that.

[00:21:27] I want to shut that down. That's going to cause problems. And what that has done with me is it's put me in a position where I can teach the same thing that, say, 20 other spiritual teachers teach. Why? Because it's the truth. I'm the one who's going to get dragged to the ground for it because they perceive that I'm the one who could cause the most trouble with it.

[00:21:46] Luke: Yeah, that makes sense. And I guess that explains why I have a hard time seeing what the problem is. It's just like, if the teaching is legit, the teaching is legit. But I guess I'm someone who's just looking for truth, and I don't really have an attachment in terms of where it comes from.

[00:22:03] Teal: Most people have a deep attachment to where it comes from.

[00:22:05] Luke: I just want an affirmation that my intuition and wisdom I've acquired in my life are validated by hearing it reiterated or hearing it said in a different way or even something new that I hadn't thought about.

[00:22:18] I don't know. It's hard to put myself in that mindset, I guess, which is why it's so mysterious to me. But thank you for illustrating that. That all makes perfect sense. So when it comes to you continuing to do the work that you do in the world, what do you deal with personally? How do you reconcile--

[00:22:40] Teal: What do I do?

[00:22:41] Luke: With negative energy? For me, I'm much lesser known than you are, and I would say I don't get too much shit, even though I'm outrageous sometimes in the things I talk about in my perspective on things. When I do, I think I've learned to just see the person who's attacking or attempting to attack.

[00:23:09] It's like I really just see their pain, and I almost feel sympathy for them or compassion for them, and just like, oh man, imagine what that person has going on in their head. There were years in my life where I was so full of rage and just so toxic mentally, and that's how I treated people because that's how I treated myself.

[00:23:28] So when I see someone who's going on the attack, for me, there's a boundary. I just block them, or delete them, or whatever. And I don't engage with them. But I don't take it personally. I just think, wow, this person is fucked in the head. It's like, God bless them. I've been there. I understand.

[00:23:45] And I really do sincerely send them blessings and love, but I'm not going to have anything to do with them because they can't be in my sandbox. They're too volatile and crazy, and I just hope they find their way. So that's my thing, is block, ignore. I call it bless and block, where, no hard feelings, but we're not in a conversation anymore. How does that negative energy or those attacks affect you personally, and how do you defend yourself against them so that they don't interfere with the power that you're cultivating to fulfill your mission here?

[00:24:22] Teal: This is a very complicated answer because I have a lot of people in place that act as buffers for me. That being said, with the amount of hate I get, there is no possible way for them to block me well enough. So a large part of my life is about dealing with these energies.

[00:24:37] In fact, the people who are for me are profoundly silent comparatively, which always interests me because people assume that with somebody who, like you said, has as much popularity in the world as I have "enjoyed". People are like, your ego's probably the size of Texas. And I'm like, you don't even know.

[00:24:57] I spend the vast majority of my day dealing with people who are against me, not for me. So I'm going to say it's probably been the most difficult aspect of my life since stepping into this line of work. But it's not like I was loved before this. My ability to withstand this kind of pressure was forged in the fires of my childhood where I grew up in a very dysfunctional home, honestly, where I was not well liked.

[00:25:29] I had an active antagonistic parent, and then outside of that, I had nobody else outside the home to connect to because I was raised in a 95% Mormon town. They were very anti us, especially anti me. So I wasn't liked, nor are you liked by the way, when you were growing up as a beautiful female because the women in your life hate you.

[00:25:55] So I'm not new to this is the answer to that. Outside of that, how I deal with it when it gets through is through dissecting it. I've learned how to use what they're saying about me to try to look as deeply as I can and whether they're perceiving something that I don't see about myself, really genuinely questioning it rather than just negating whatever it is that they're saying.

[00:26:24] Obviously, there's some people that are just completely in their projections and they don't even know the reality of what's going on. However, I actually feel like despite it being super painful, my haters have made me 10 times better at my job because they tend to see potential dangers and potential shadows before I do even.

[00:26:51] So I spend a lot of my time considering what it is that they're saying, considering whether it's true or not, considering whether that is an element within me, and things like this, in order to keep myself more and more and more in alignment. And it's not a fun process. I can't sit here in the chair and tell you like, oh, it's great because I just use them for my own expansion.

[00:27:16] It's definitely not that feeling. It feels like you're getting ripped apart every day. But at the same time, I feel like it's made me much more approachable and much safer as a teacher and a leader

[00:27:30] Luke: I think there is a lot of value in that inquiry when there's something that comes your way in the form of a critique. And of course there's a defensiveness that we experience because nobody likes to be called out for anything, and we have a reflex that, well, that can't be true. Fuck you.

[00:27:50] It's like, don't attack me. But I think there's something really healthy. And I do this sometimes, and again, the level of shit that I get is so far less than you because I'm lesser known and maybe trigger people less even. But I do that sometimes where, say, somebody leaves some sort of a comment and they're being critical in some way.

[00:28:10] Even though it's uncomfortable, I find there's a lot of value in asking myself, was there any truth to that? And I find, I don't want to say most of the time, but maybe half the time there is some truth to what they're saying. I remember a couple of years ago when I first moved to Texas. We bought this house, and I was under a lot of financial strain.

[00:28:29] It was just bleeding cash, and I needed money at that time. And so I consciously ramped up my promotions. I worked with all these brands, and so I'm posting more on social media and running more promos on my podcast, and a few comments came my way, like, wow, you're so salesy now and stuff.

[00:28:48] And of course my initial thought is like, fuck you. You think I'm supposed to do this work for free? What do I do? Go have a full-time job and then be a podcaster in my part, all those defenses. And then after a couple of them came in, I looked at myself, and I was like, you know what? They're right.

[00:29:05] I got a little desperate, and I started going a little heavier on the promos because I just needed money in this tight spot I was in. And not that there's anything wrong with selling things or needing more money, but the point was that their critique wasn't actually inaccurate. They noticed something that wasn't in fact true.

[00:29:21] Teal: Yeah.

[00:29:22] Luke: Did it make my character any less so? No. It's just like, okay, in this period of these three months, I need to make some extra cash, so I'm going to go a little harder. But then it taught me that even when it's something that's a little less superficial of a critique-- that was pretty superficial-- it's not really going to hurt my feelings if I take that to heart and ends up being true.

[00:29:43] But if there's something else that's closer to the bone that comes in, maybe I could take that and actually work with that, as you described., it's a really uncomfortable but powerful tool.

[00:29:54] Teal: Even the salesy thing, I've noticed even these surfacey things, when they give critiques, it's like, okay, well, I'm getting called right now to be in a much more conscious relationship to this. Would I be able to sit in front of this person not just as a defense, but as I genuinely have questioned this enough that I would believe in this to be like, yes, it is salesy, and this is why? So am I like, wait a minute, I'm out of integrity with myself. So even those business decisions, a lot of business decisions we make are based off of this type of critique that we're constantly getting.

[00:30:25] Luke: Well, you seem to be pretty lighthearted about it all.

[00:30:30] Teal: No.

[00:30:31] Luke: You're not?

[00:30:31] Teal: No. No, but it's not what they say. Now, I wish that somebody had come to me in the beginning and had told me that this is not just going to be about what they say, because that's the crap that people feed you when you first get into this, before you really make a serious name for yourself.

[00:30:49] They're like, well, it's just noise. Let people talk. It's not about the talking. It's about the fact that there are people out there who would rather see you dead. It's about the fact that I have to have a security detail now. It's about the fact that people are calling the police office where I lived, sending them over to my house.

[00:31:05] It's about the fact that they can organize 1,000 people to tank my reviews in a single day on a book I release. It's the fact that whenever I announce a venue, I have to do it at last minute because if I don't, they will call that venue 100 at a time and scare the crap out of the owner of that venue to the point where they drop me the day before I have to be there for an event. It's not about what they say, it's that they can absolutely ruin your life. And they will try.

[00:31:33] Luke: Wow. It's so crazy.

[00:31:36] Teal: Yeah. Oh, and most people don't know what to do with me because this is unheard of in the spiritual field.

[00:31:40] Luke: Do you ever think about just, I don't know, sitting in the mountains and just writing books and not doing all the other work that you do? That's what would come to mind. I was like, well, how can I still get my message out without putting myself in such a vulnerable position where I'm just getting such an influx of negativity.

[00:31:59] Teal: Yes, I think about it. I think about opening a pie shop. That's what it always is for me. It's like if I'm talking about what causes no pressure, it's baking pies with lots and lots of animals. My problem is when you're a dancer, you can't not dance.

[00:32:19] Luke: Right.

[00:32:20] Teal: And in that same vein, I am undeniably what I am in this life, and there has been no mistake since the minute I got into this, regardless of how hot the water got. It's been like a, I can toy with the idea, but at the end of the day, I can't undo the essence that is me. I can't undo what it is that I do so naturally. I can't do anything else.

[00:32:42] And that is this job. I am deeply miserable when I'm not doing this. And not because I can't find joy in baking pies, but because it's like, what is meant to come through me and what I intended before even coming here is being thwarted by my own actions, and I can't be in a state of alignment then. It's a little bit interesting.

[00:33:04] It's like when you have a purpose that is as intense as mine, it feels like you wrote the story of your life beforehand and you have no option but to walk down the notes of that page, no matter whether it leads you to death or not. I understand a lot of these leaders who have been murdered in the past. I understand them intensely because I've had that same feeling.

[00:33:27] It's this knowing I'm flying into the sun, regardless of whether it kills me, and I know that's exactly what I intended. Do I have the bravery to do it? What was it? It's like Jesus had this moment in the garden. I think that people have told me about where he was like, seriously, I'm going fucking do this. I've had a lot of those moments over the course of this career so far, and I don't think that that has ended. I think it will continue. I'll continue to have those moments. I very much feel like I'm being moved by something that is about 1,000 times larger than just me.

[00:34:00] Luke: Yeah. That's a good sign that one has really found their dharma. It's like in a sense, you don't really have a choice because to choose to not fulfill, say your destiny, is going to be more painful than whatever you face marching toward it.

[00:34:22] Teal: Exactly. Great guys. I put myself in a lose-lose.

[00:34:27] Luke: Yeah, yeah. Or a win-win. So we're in a really interesting time now. It's hard for me to zoom out on where we are in the realm of people on a spiritual path, spiritual teachers, self-help, therapy. Sometimes I'm able to zoom out and go, wow, there's a lot of people very interested in this that didn't seem to before. I'm thinking back, I don't know, in the late '90s when I got sober and started reading spiritual books and trying to find God because I was so lost.

[00:35:03] And I remember hearing concepts out of Eastern mysticism that you are not your mind. And there's this thing called the ego, and you got to really watch out for it, just basic fundamental stuff. But no one my age really knew about it except me and my little friends that were going to see speakers and obsessed about this stuff.

[00:35:23] And then I keep progressing over 25, 26, 27 years. And now it's a little harder to be objective. But it seems like, especially young people are really into spirituality in a way that they weren't before. And people are working with plant medicines and psychedelics and everyone's doing breath work, and people are trauma aware.

[00:35:47] And there's this renaissance of people working on themselves, which I think is largely positive, although sometimes it comes off a bit vapid and maybe superficial and inauthentic, whatever. There's still enough people that I think are sincere that's a net positive.

[00:36:04] But one thing that I observe about it, and this has been true for me too, is in the process of self-healing and coming to a place of self-love and acceptance, there's a slippery slope between self-obsession and narcissism. As someone who really commits to healing themselves and waking up.

[00:36:29] And so there's a slippery slope intersection between learning to love myself and then on the shadow side, being obsessed with myself and my problems and working on myself and my trauma and my-- you know what I mean? I don't know if there's a question there, but I guess the question is, what is your perspective of where we are as a subculture now?

[00:36:51] The culture of which you're a part, people that follow your work, people that listen to this podcast, we're all going, hopefully for the same thing, but it's also about living your life, not just isolating yourself in your room and working on yourself and working on yourself year after year and not actually manifesting what you've built and sharing it with the world.

[00:37:15] Teal: There's so much in that question.

[00:37:17] Luke: I'm horrible at asking questions sometimes because I pack in 75 questions in one diatribe and then leave it up to you to pick it apart, to say something in response. Let me say it more simply. What's the defining factor between self-love in a healthy way, and self-obsession, and narcissism on the shadow side?

[00:37:39] Teal: They have legitimately nothing to do with each other.

[00:37:41] Luke: Okay, here we go.

[00:37:42] Teal: So it's the perception that they have something to do with each other that's the problem. In a vibrational sense, and we're going to try to unpack this so that it makes more sense in a practical way, they are as different as the two sides of the Grand Canyon. Why? Self-obsession is generated and motivated by deep levels of pain.

[00:38:02] People only become self-obsessed and locked in their own little universe trying to heal in the way that you're describing when there is so much deep pain there that you quite literally can't focus on other people. So it's that deep, deep pain which needs to be healed.

[00:38:21] And I'm not going to say that the majority of people have the right tools for doing so. In fact, many of the tools that are offered by the self-help industry are taking people in the exact opposite direction from the direction that would actually heal them.

[00:38:33] And that's also not to say there's some place in the picture of healing wounds that has to do with learning to consider others and things like that. But what's important to understand is that that self-obsession comes from deep, deep wounding, deep, deep pain, a suffering on a level that it's quite ineffable.

[00:38:53] All the way on the over side of here we've got like self-love, which is nothing more than the practice of taking parts of the self as part of the self instead of rejecting, denying, and disowning them. So what that means is we act in a way and step forward in a way that is to pull parts of ourself that we have pushed away closer and learning to care take them instead of play zero sum games with them.

[00:39:17] This is what the process, the internal process, we could call integration. So you could say that focusing on and doing healing work with aspects that are deeply in pain could be a self-loving act. But there's nothing inherent in the practice of self-love that turns into self-obsession.

[00:39:38] Quite the opposite in fact, because self-love naturally takes you to a place where the only way to go forward as a being is to recognize oneself as including these non-physical aspects. Well, uh-oh. Now you get into that level of reality and suddenly you get into the awareness of oneness.

[00:40:00] Now suddenly there's no such thing as self and other. And when you're suddenly confronted with that, it's no longer the consideration of other. Considering other people is the consideration of self. And so self-love naturally progresses, period. The end. Naturally progresses towards loving others.

[00:40:25] Luke: What you just described, I think is what helps me be tolerant toward people that I perceive to be attacking me out of their own pain. That's just another branch of the tree that is us that is just turning against itself unknowingly. It doesn't mean I'm going to put up with it, but I don't have to find fault with it. It's just that person's in their process.

[00:40:53] Something that trips me out about life and the journey of, as you said, embracing these parts of ourselves that are maybe uncomfortable or dark and integrating that into our being, something that has really been a huge lesson for me when dealing with my childhood trauma and things like that.

[00:41:19] And this has happened primarily in medicine experiences where time and space have a completely different relationship. And speaking of Costa Rica, I think it was the first round of ayahuasca ceremonies that I did in Costa Rica a few years ago.

[00:41:34] And I was working on some really deep pain around my childhood and just learning how to love those parts of myself and that little boy who had those experiences, and I was shown that, and this will make perfect sense to you, and I just want you to maybe expand on this in your own experience, say the five-year-old version of me that experienced this trauma.

[00:41:57] I had always looked at it like in space and time that that little boy doesn't exist anymore, that was 1975. So it's so beautiful and so powerful. It was so transformative just to get this in my body. I realized that like Russian dolls, that that five-year-old is 100% still here present now in this moment. And so in order to love the totality of oneself in all your expressions, it's not necessary to travel in time because there actually is no time between 1975 and right now. It's one long eternal now.

[00:42:39] And so that's what I've been working with for the years since. That was probably in 2017, of just realizing on a cellular level, that every version of me that I've ever been, at least in this lifetime, from the moment I was born until the 53-year-old guy sitting here now that we're all here present.

[00:42:57] And that gives me a lot of bandwidth to experience acceptance and love of myself, the things about myself that I enjoy, and especially the things that I don't. So what's your perspective on the inner child, the different versions of ourself throughout the course of one incarnation? How do you teach, or how do you personally interface with those different timestamps of your life?

[00:43:24] Teal: I treat them as parts of the consciousness. The majority of the time when I'm working on the level that you're describing, I like to think of these like internal Siamese twins. So we may be sharing one body. I love that you used the Russian doll analogy. It was gorgeous. You got a big smile out of me on that one, because it's true.

[00:43:42] Luke: That's true. You start unpacking, you to realize they're all still there.

[00:43:45] Teal: Yeah. So I've been addressing this like Siamese twins, where you've got all these different aspects of self. Whether we're looking at an aspect of self that is assigned to a previous "time period", or whether you're dealing with a protector aspect within the psychology system, or whether you're just dealing with a part who has a specific behavior that's driving you crazy or that you really would like to draw more from-- I'm having people direct access those aspects themselves so as to learn more from them specifically so as to facilitate a getting along with or a peace between these aspects.

[00:44:25] But there's in peace, this very deep need for the caretaking of all aspects of the self. Of course, you can't care take something accurately unless you understand it, right? If I don't know a lot about goats, I'm going to be going out front with the house that we're in right now. I'm going to be going out front and like trying to feed them something like jelly beans.

[00:44:43] So there's a lot of emphasis that I put on people understanding themselves at a very deep, profound level. To be understood is different than guessing at themselves. When you're no longer guessing at what it is you're doing and you're really taking that time to isolate out an aspect of self and dive into it as deeply as you possibly can, so as to extract as much understanding out of that part as you possibly can.

[00:45:10] The whole picture that you had in your mind of that aspect of you changes. It's not possible to fully understand something and be in resistant to it. You literally can't do it. Anybody who did a real good documentary will tell you that. They'll be like, well, I got into this and I absolutely hated this, but I was interested, and now I can't feel the same way.

[00:45:25] Yeah, you're not going to be able to feel the same way about these parts of yourself when you actually put the time into understanding them. By virtue of understanding them, you know better how to take care of yourself. So it's like that's the first step towards really profound self-love work. And this is what interests me far better than just the surface self-love stuff, which I'm not going to say it doesn't have its place.

[00:45:45] I teach it myself. Go get a glass of water. Focus your loving intention into the water, drink the water. Makes sense, right? But the real deep self-love work happens when you are looking at aspects of yourself that are vulnerable, happens when you're looking at aspects of yourself that are causing real problems that you might have the tendency to vilify and you're putting so much time into understanding those aspects of yourself so as to respond to them in a way that is caretaking and accommodating of them, so you're ending this internal zero-sum game.

[00:46:20] Also, there's another benefit to this, which is that when we have this practice of going into and out of, and into and out of these different aspects of ourselves, what you call these Russian dolls, you're actually developing a sense of self that transcends or is outside of-- I don't even want to say transcends because it's got this implication that it's better than. It is outside the ego. It's outside of identity.

[00:46:46] So this is really the spiritual practice, which I like the very best. Why? Because it puts you in the observer self. You have to acknowledge I am all of these parts, and so I'm not a single one of these parts. And so I am at the same time all of them and none of them. That's integration. That's I'm able to be in witness consciousness without rejection of the ego. The ego's now part of me.

[00:47:10] Luke: Well, I'm glad you brought that up because I had some other questions about that. I think early in my journey-- and I think it was because my entry point into growth and spirituality was addiction and getting sober. And so in that paradigm, there's a lot of emphasis on understanding the ego because it's the enemy of sobriety. Because the ego's the thing that gives you defiance, and denial, and all the things that make--

[00:47:45] Teal: You're making my blood boil already.

[00:47:46] Luke: Make people relapse. Good. And maybe it was just my interpretation, but my initial relationship with ego was something that needed to be smashed, something that needed to be obliterated. You need to get rid of it, so then what's left is the real you. And what was missing I think was what you just described of actually cultivating that witness observer perspective and accepting it and honoring it as its rightful place.

[00:48:17] And also the acceptance that it's not something that you'll ever get rid of as long as you're in a body because you still have instincts and needs, and the ego's job is to help you fulfill them. So is it not just a matter of building a right relationship with ego so that it's not the leading energy that is just dragging you around without any awareness of what it's up to?

[00:48:41] Teal: Yeah. You can let it lead when it makes sense to let it lead. It's not your interpretation. The reason that my blood is boiling is because this is exactly where people have gone with this teaching on the ego for thousands of years. We're coming out of a phase of idiocy in the spiritual field.

[00:48:58] Luke: I have to go watch that movie again. Is that what that movie's called?

[00:49:01] Teal: No, Idiocracy.

[00:49:02] Luke: Idiocracy, yeah. I need to watch that movie again now that you reminded me of it.

[00:49:07] Teal: No, in the spiritual field, we are afflicted with many illnesses. And one of those illnesses is the rejection and the denying, and the suppressing, and the getting rid of ego, not understanding that there is no enlightenment without Mara. There's no enlightenment with that ego. It's not possible.

[00:49:24] There's no awakening. There's no self-awareness. There is nothing. It is an absolutely necessary aspect of this entire picture. And not only that, the human ego is profoundly beautiful. Each ego is an art piece. So unless we are able to integrate the ego, we are up shit creek without a ladder.

[00:49:42] Luke: Well, do you think that one of the downsides of that negation of the ego and that belief that it's bad or wrong and something we need to get rid of, even though that's impossible while you're alive, at least that's the way I see it, it seems that that's actually creating a breeding ground for shadowy stuff in the denial of it?

[00:50:04] Teal: Yes.

[00:50:05] Luke: Wherein if we just can start to build a relationship with it and have that witness perspective, then that's how it's kept in check and able to do its job that it was designed to do. Right?

[00:50:17] Teal: You want me to do a back flip for you an hour later?

[00:50:19] Luke: Yeah, do one.

[00:50:20] Teal: Okay. I'm sorry. You're just like, I don't need to add to this. This is like speaking poetry to my soul. This is what I'm hoping that people understand.

[00:50:30] Luke: Cool. Well, it's my own lived experience of having tried to wrestle with that part of myself for the first few years of my journey and realizing like, wow, I'm really getting nowhere from this tactic of vilifying that part of myself. I think what made it start to land for me was actually just seeing-- maybe I could get your perspective on this.

[00:50:51] The way I see the ego is a psychological conjoined twin that is energetic in its nature, whose job is to ensure that the physical body stays alive. And how it does that is through impulses of the instincts that help me procreate, eat, find shelter, defend myself against enemies, etc.

[00:51:14] And so it's actually just doing its job like if you had a junkyard and you tied up a really mean dog in the junkyard, there's nothing wrong with the dog. It just needs to be tied up. And if it is, it'll do its job and no one will come steal your shit. Does that make sense to you?

[00:51:29] Teal: It does, but it's a less symbiotic vision than I have.

[00:51:31] Luke: Okay.

[00:51:32] Teal: Okay. So we can go back and forth on the way we see the ego. The way that I see the ego is like a stained-glass window. The way that the light essentially, which is more your non-physical self, shines through the temporal is like the way that that light shines through a stained-glass window. And we could make that stained glass window more or less appealing based off of the adaptations that we have in our temporal life.

[00:51:56] So when I am referring to the ego, it's anything related to your temporal current incarnation. Some of those things are things like instincts. Others of those things are things like aptitudes. All of the beautiful things we love about somebody is part of the ego too, and we refuse to accept that. What makes you you versus me? Me, that's all ego. The fact that you have this incredible talent for, say, fashion design, that's something that's part of your ego. So to get rid of your ego is to get rid of that.

[00:52:27] Luke: So you're tying it more in relationship with the persona, and that the persona, of course, includes aptitudes, and talents, and gifts, and things like that.

[00:52:50] Teal: And aversion.

[00:52:41] Luke: Right, right. Yeah. Do you think more people are caught up in attraction or aversion?

[00:52:50] Teal: Aversion.

[00:52:51] Luke: Yeah. More people are running from something that's painful than trying to get something that's going to bring them relief or pleasure.

[00:52:59] Teal: Right now we're trapped in aversion as a species. I relate to it. Why? Because we have created a world that is profoundly unhealthy for us all. Most of us are in pain so much it makes sense that we're running from it, hypersensitized.

[00:53:16] Luke: What do you think about addiction, drug addiction, alcoholism? Why does it grab people in such a profound way? And why does so many people fail at escaping its clutches?

[00:53:30] Teal: Because of dysfunctional social systems. All right, let me give you a picture of addiction. Addiction cannot exist outside of the context of a dysfunctional social system. Humans have very specific needs from a social system. When they don't get those needs met, they are in pain. One of those needs that they have in social system is that when they are in pain, they have somebody who's with them to work through that pain.

[00:53:57] A person who develops addiction does not have somebody to do that. So they have a social system that is causing pain either through things that are being directly done or things that are not being done. And when they're in that pain, there is nobody to help them with it. So they're alone and in pain. And because of this, they have no resources with which to get out of pain.

[00:54:20] Now, if somebody doesn't have resources, get out of pain, escapism is where you go to. So addiction comes in like a rescue mechanism to get a person out of the torment that they're in when they feel like they can't change any of the circumstances to either meet their needs or to remove them from a painful stimulus.

[00:54:41] Luke: One thing that's interesting to me about addiction as someone who has a PhD in it--

[00:54:49] Teal: You do?

[00:54:50] Luke: I know, a street PhD, a lot of experience with being addicted to a lot of different things. And something I find fascinating about it in, in the past few years-- it's almost coming up on-- wow. In a few days, it'll be 27 years since I was set free. And it was literally the only proof I needed that God exists, was the fact that that happened to me.

[00:55:12] It's a long story, but it was grace, grace and surrender, that allowed that to take place. But the question is around this, when I got sober, and I guess still probably to most people, the prevalent idea was that, aide from the things you mentioned are just underlying issues, and disconnection, and unresolved trauma, and all that, but to actually get clean and sober, complete abstinence is how you do that.

[00:55:40] And this was my experience because I would try to quit one problematic substance, and maybe I could be off it for a little while, but if I did another one, then I'd end up doing them all again. And so eventually what worked for me was, as difficult as it was, and terrifying as it was, I just quit every single mind-altering chemical except for coffee and cigarettes, like most guys in a meeting, in a basement church would do.

[00:56:07] And that went on for 22 years. And I made a lot of progress. And then at some point I started hearing about people who had problems with addiction like I did to that degree, who never went to a rehab and a 12-step program and followed the abstinence model, but went and sat with Iboga or Ayahuasca, smoked Bufo, and were struck sober and never went to any program and adopted any kind of steps or anything.

[00:56:35] And that was so intriguing to me because it was so counter to the historical reference that we have of like, what is sobriety and what is not, and how you can achieve it. So after much deliberation, I ventured forth, and it's been successful in every way for me. And I have a much more free relationship with mind-altering substances than I ever did.

[00:56:59] I just have different boundaries with different molecules, I guess you could say. There's just things I don't touch because it could be problematic. And there's things that I do that are just absolutely beneficial in so many ways. What has been your observation in all the tens of thousands or millions of people that you work with? Have you seen people have success with addiction following the traditional models of rehab, 12-step groups? Have you seen people use plant medicines and psychedelics?

[00:57:27] Teal: We should stop with the traditional models. No, it is a terrible, terrible prognosis when people are going through those models. I deeply disagree with them. And let's not even get into the dark side of addiction rehab centers and the constant cycle that they tend to like to keep you in.

[00:57:48] I would literally encourage anybody who's not willing to go down these really alternative routes, never put yourself or anyone in an addiction center that does not work with the entire family as a required protocol. So that's the first and foremost thing because yeah, there's no way to go back into a dysfunctional system and to maintain what has happened and only been made possible outside of that system.

[00:58:15] Luke: Well, it's funny you say that because on the show, Intervention, I don't know if you've ever watched that, they'll have a problematic addict in the center of family, the whole rest of the family, if they're not already sick with codependency and all the things, they'll get sick just from having an addict in the family. What they do on that show is if they spot anyone else that's sick, they make them go to codependent rehab or they send everyone to rehab in the whole. And I'm like, that is so smart. So anyway, carry on.

[00:58:42] Teal: Okay, so outside of that, it is non-traditional models which I have seen do the very most right now. Obviously, when we're bringing people straight into the pain that they're actually trying to rescue themselves out of through the addiction, that it does incredible work. It's my preferred method, however. I really don't have words for the amount that shamanic medicines have the capacity to do for people who are struggling with addictions, especially Iboga.

[00:59:12] Obviously, there's upsides and downsides to these different methods, but plant medicines, as we would call them, shamanic medicines that are on the more psychedelic end of the scale, they're reaching people at a dimensional level, which is so far beyond the temporal that it is impossible to create changes at that level without creating drastic changes on the temporal level, unless of course, somebody is using those medicines as a mode of escapism, which--

[00:59:40] Luke: Terrible idea. I do not recommend it.

[00:59:43] Teal: Ah, yeah. Don't recommend it either.

[00:59:44] Luke: Yeah.

[00:59:45] Teal: Yeah. But shamanic medicines aren't nice to you. For people who are struggling with addictions and are using it to get away from something, the most likely scenario is that those medicines are going to drag you straight into whatever it is that you're avoiding. Of course, they're going to provide you with some kind of experience, and that experience is going to be deeply and profoundly healing.

[01:00:08] Luke: Well, to the 12 steps--

[01:00:10] Teal: Oh, no.

[01:00:10] Luke: No, no, we got to go into this. This is good. It's great because we have a different perspective, I think, because of my subjective experience. So my experience was tons of trauma as a kid, a lot of access to drugs, perfect recipe to create a really dysfunctional drug addict.

[01:00:34] In my addiction I had no access to reality. And so the spiritual principles of the 12 steps, these universal timeless principles, were how I began to create a model of the world that makes sense to me, and also to start to build some sense of character and integrity within myself, self-honesty, willingness, surrender, open-mindedness, making amends, self-inquiry, inventory, prayer, meditation.

[01:01:11] They're not principles that are unique to the 12-step teaching, but they're really powerful. And if you start to apply them to your life, they affect change. And for me, that change was profound enough that I was able to remain sober. But what they didn't do was get to the underlying trauma to heal that.

[01:01:32] And so as a sober person for a long time, even though I made a lot of progress, I was still extremely dysfunctional in different areas of my life because I was still acting out traumas that couldn't be touched by that type of work.

[01:01:45] Teal: Yeah, exactly.

[01:01:46] Luke: So it's like for me it was a starting point, took me 22 years, and I was like, wow, I'm really stuck. And no matter how many times I read these same books over again, or how many times I go through this process, I'm still stuck in certain ways. And the plant medicines for me, because of the reasons you mentioned of the inner dimensional no time space access point that they can deliver, was able to go to a much deeper level and heal things that were keeping me stuck.

[01:02:17] Teal: We don't have a different opinion.

[01:02:19] Luke: Okay.

[01:02:20] Teal: It's just that you're celebrating because of your experience with the 12-step something that I can't personally celebrate because of the fact that it makes people as stuck as it sets them free after a while.

[01:02:30] Luke: Got it. Okay. The interesting thing that I started to unpack when I took the plunge in sobriety and started working with plant medicines, I started to look into the history of AA, which I was already a big buff on. And I'd heard this, but I really did some further research and found that the whole premise of the 12-steps is based on the co-founder Bill Wilson having this profound spiritual experience.

[01:02:59] It's known as the white light experience. He was in a treatment center detoxing from alcohol. He describes it as the whole room turned white. There was this wind of God blew through the room, and the dude was struck sober. It's really trippy. And so the purpose of the 12 steps is to try to recreate over time that type of experience, where people can have this direct conscious contact, this relationship with a higher power that renders you sober because you have that relationship and that's what tethers you to peace and serenity.

[01:03:32] The interesting thing about it is, because I also wanted to be ready to, I don't know, defend my case, if people are like, well, you're supposed to be sober, you're working with psychedelics, in the research I found that when Bill Wilson had that experience, they had given him a plant medicine called belladonna in treatment, which is what they'd used for DTs.

[01:03:53] Luke: So it was a day or two after they had administered this plant medicine to him that he had this experience that birthed AA ultimately. It's crazy. Then later in the 60s, he worked with Aldous Huxley and used LSD therapeutically. And it was so effective on his depression that he still had it 22, 25 years sober.

[01:04:15] He was still totally messed up that he wanted to bring LSD into Alcoholics Anonymous, and that fellow elders were not having it for obvious reasons. But I can't help but think like, where would the recovery movement be now if in the 1960s they had adopted that deeper level of healing.

[01:04:37] And so it makes sense that now we're finding these subsets of people like myself that have had issues with addiction and are in recovery who are also finding tremendous healing using these experiences that recreate that white light experience. Right?

[01:04:54] Teal: Yeah, yeah.

[01:04:55] Luke: If you do 5-MeO-DMT, I don't know what else you could call that but a white light experience. There's no experience on earth that I've ever had that has brought me closer to the understanding that there is a God and that it is a loving God, and that it's omnipresent and omni potent, and that that's all there is in any of this. It's like that's where you're trying to get to when you use drugs to kill the pain. It's just a really ineffective way to get there.

[01:05:23] There's too many detours along the way into the dark realms. So I don't know if there's a question in that. I'm just unpacking it. Does that make sense to you, that what is ultimately going to free someone from addiction is an exalted state or experience that allows them to connect with themselves and with God?

[01:05:48] Teal: Not always.

[01:05:49] Luke: What else is it?

[01:05:57] Teal: The thing is there's nothing in what you said that I disagree with, nothing. It's just that you can work somebody through these deep levels of addiction regardless of what substance it is that they have chosen. You can work them into a space of sobriety quite quickly by recognizing that the aspects that are going for medicines are protecting. They're protectors.

[01:06:22] Once they see that and they go towards whatever that protector is protecting, and they start to care, take that aspect in different ways, develop different tools for doing so, you don't need a transcendental experience to get them off of any type of thing that they're addicted to because there's no longer the need for the tool. Do I feel like ultimately the progression of human consciousness should be towards recognizing essentially this larger picture of reality? Absolutely, I do. Does it need to have a place in the picture of sobriety? Not, actually. Does it usually play some role within the picture of sobriety? Yes.

[01:07:00] Luke: Cool.

[01:07:02] Teal: It's almost like there's lots of these roads that you can use to get to, if somebody's looking for sobriety, to sobriety. The only thing I'm really concerned with is when the methods that somebody is using is holding them back in some way. Now, there are people who walk down the path of shamanic medicines and that very path becomes what holds them back. Their only way of accessing transcendental states of consciousness is through some external plant that in and of itself is a trapping, right?

[01:07:35] Luke: Right.

[01:07:36] Teal: With a 12-step program, there's a higher power than you. Okay, well, guess what? That entire concept can hold you back. It can get to a point where you need to recognize yourself as a fragment of the greater universe. And in fact, a great many people are slipping into more powerlessness because of that particular teaching and keeping it like, oh, I just need to turn it over to God. God's going to do everything for me.

[01:07:59] There's an infantile version of consciousness. And so that very thing can be what holds them back. So it's like inherent in whatever we're doing, there are all these pitfalls that you can fall into. My only concern is that people are not doing that. Of course, my issue is that most of my career is spent with people who have fallen into those pitfalls, and I'm spending most of my time trying to extract people from them, right? Yeah.

[01:08:24] Luke: If you want to speak to it, what has been your personal relationship with plant medicines, shamanic medicines?

[01:08:35] Teal: Very deep relationship. Obviously, the major goal for anybody is to be able to reach these states of consciousness with nothing in between you and these states of consciousness. So that's definitely more appealing. They're something which I will definitely take in if they're something which will essentially assist like a teacher.

[01:08:55] So mostly you'll see me going towards those types of things either if I feel very called in a moment for some reason, or if I am very, very stuck and feel like I need wisdom that is beyond what I currently access. I have a lot of respect for these types of consciousness. Human beings are a little bit narky with our attitude towards things.

[01:09:16] We think that we're the dominant species, but there are some other species which are about 1,000 times more intelligent than us, and about 1,000 times more tapped into universal truth. So obviously I would like to go interact with those species when I'm myself stuck. So I have great respect for them.

[01:09:33] Do I think they're being abused right now? Yes, I do, but at least I'm doing triple back flips here about the fact that the younger generations are going to open us up to this thing where I feel like it's going to benefit people, absolutely. In such a deep way, I have a laundry list, let's say, of people who are in charge right now who I wish would partake in them.

[01:09:57] Luke: Yeah.

[01:09:58] Teal: Yeah. Kind of dreaming about stuff being slipped into their coffee.

[01:10:02] Luke: Total. There's this great meme I found a couple of years ago, and it's like a military helicopter flying with all this dust coming out the back of and in the dust, it said DMT and headed to DC. I think about that too.

[01:10:16] Teal: Yeah, it's definitely something that crossed my mind.

[01:10:17] Luke: I think in the '60s, there were attempts at people putting LSD in the water supply in different places to help facilitate that awakening. But yeah, it's interesting in that realm. It definitely is for sure a double-edged sword. You spoke to people misusing those substances, and who's to say what's the proper or misuse of it? I guess it's subjective.

[01:10:41] But the thing I've noticed that's been surprising to me is that I had this naivete around facilitators, shaman, people that are really immersed in that world that I just took for granted that they would be trustworthy and of moral character because the experiences I've had have shown me my shadow self so painfully and abruptly that it forced me to be a much more moral person.

[01:11:10] I'm a much cleaner person in all of my affairs as a result of those experiences, hands down, because there's no hiding from myself. And so it took me a couple years to realize like, wow, somebody can be very dysfunctional and dark and still participating in a lot of ceremonies and being part of that world.

[01:11:28] And it was a really a rude awakening for me in terms of just my own emotional maturity and understanding. How can someone possibly work with a really powerful plant medicine and still be blind at the end of that experience? I don't understand that.

[01:11:44] Teal: You still have the free will of interpretation.

[01:11:47] Luke: Okay. So you come out of it and just be like, oh, that was nothing? The things I saw weren't real.

[01:11:53] Teal: You reframe everything. They're still an element of interpretation whenever anybody goes through a journey like that. How deep they let it into the construct of their personal ego definitely varies. I have noticed. And if people walk in with a particular coping mechanism that is deeply ingrained and is still serving them, the likelihood is they're going to maintain that coping mechanism.

[01:12:15] Usually a person has to be at the point where they're fully done with something in order to go on to these medicines and have them confront you and to let that penetrate your being. A lot of the shamans who are really out of alignment. They're not going onto the medicine with that intention.

[01:12:32] They're not at a place where they're so sick of themselves and so sick of their life that they're like, just hit me with it. There's different reasons and different motivations for them going towards those medicines, and that definitely dictates what happens within that journey.

[01:12:45] But I myself have witnessed several times where people have gone on to medicines and it's very clear from when they're in, and you could even have conversations with them when they're in it. And it's like what they're saying afterwards when their conscious mind comes into play is very different than what they were saying or writing when they were in the journey itself. So it's almost like it's being filtered back through the ego that's like, oh, well, I know that I saw that, but let's find a new way to describe it is I saw.

[01:13:14] Luke: Right.

[01:13:15] Teal: Yeah.

[01:13:15] Luke: And what about the risks of opening up those dimensions to other benevolent energies?

[01:13:25] Teal: Oh, it's a big risk. This is one of the reasons why I feel like setting and choosing a person who is part of these things is so important. It's one of the reasons why I don't believe in recreational use of shamanic medicines at all, because you're interacting with these different dimensional fields that open up the door in a very big way for a lot of non-physical forces, which people cannot perceive, quite frankly.

[01:13:51] So if they can't even perceive them, how are they going to be able to account for them? So choosing obviously very well about the place that you're doing things in and about the person who's holding the space when you're going through a process like that is very, very important. Scares a crap out of me that we're toying with this. Really good shamans are going to hold the space on a non-physical level as well.

[01:14:13] They're going to be tapped in enough on that level to be able to do so. Not only that, very, very good shamans, a lot of them have developed the capacity to enter into other people's journey without the medicine. A great many of them will take it so that they are able to join other people and keep tabs on where people are at all times.

[01:14:32] If people have an issue with what it costs to pay a shaman, a lot of people do. They're like, I don't want to spend that money. No, you got to spend that money. Why? Because that's exactly what you're paying them for. You're paying them to keep an eye on you on a non-physical level, and make sure that there's none of these entities that are entering in to cause havoc in that moment. And if I asked you how much is that worth? Most people would be like, okay, yeah, yeah. Let's go.

[01:14:53] Luke: How much is your soul worth?

[01:14:54] Teal: Yeah. Let's go to the place where I can really guarantee that the people have their crap together.

[01:14:59] Luke: 100%.

[01:15:00] Teal: Those people are going to have a very good protocol for the way that you need to do things beforehand. It's not going to be just, yeah, come over on Saturday, man, and we're going to do this. It's not going to look like that. Everything's going to be very intentional. And so is there guidance of what needs to happen with you? And so is there picking of the place with which to do this work? Yeah.

[01:15:23] Luke: So you had spiritual gifts when you were a kid that you were aware of. You've spoken about how there were some challenges with that, of being in an environment, in a culture where that wasn't welcomed or understood. When you started working with plant medicines, did any of that reconcile?

[01:15:44] Because I don't know, I get the sense that you would feel like, oh, I'm home. Did it start to make more sense to you because you're now, I don't know, in community and in situations wherein your gifts are more clearly understood by you or the people with whom you're sharing space?

[01:16:04] Teal: For me, medicines are probably received very differently than they are for other people. From talking to people, I gather that what I'm looking at on a normal daily basis would be comparable to what somebody would see if they took a whole lot to DMT. It was just all day long.

[01:16:22] So what changed for me is that when people were doing these medicines, they were suddenly perceiving a world that I have my foot in all day, every day, and was very much alone with because when I was sharing the kind of things I was proceeding in a room, it was a very different reaction that I was getting from the majority of people.

[01:16:40] It was like, what do you mean there are all these shapes? What do you mean by shapes and colors? Than somebody would do Ayahuasca or something, come off, and be like, oh my gosh, everything, the fractals and everything. And I'm like, ah, yeah, that's how I see things.

[01:16:53] So I did feel a greater sense of connection with other people and less of a sense of loneliness. What it is is that when I'm on these medicines, obviously I'm going on very deep journeys, but I'm able to get a relationship with the consciousness of the plant itself, which is the majority of why I'm engaging with these things, because they're very profound teachers that have very interesting perspectives.

[01:17:20] And by partaking in them, it's like you're sitting in the room with a teacher. And yeah, I loved that. I love that. But it's not like that was too much different from what I'm experiencing on a day-to-day basis. I more feel like these medicines are bringing people into my world for once.

[01:17:43] Luke: Well, that's the sense that I get in those experiences, is actually a more clear understanding of reality. It's like more real there than it is here. Not that this dimension isn't real, it's just you realize that the dimension, the 3D dimension that we're in is real, but it's just not the only one. It's like a narrow spectrum of bandwidth.

[01:18:07] Teal: It's super narrow. That's what I'm saying. Yeah, exactly. It's like the frequency that is feeding into this and is creating this time space reality is literally like this thin veneer over all these other aspects of reality. It's the tip of the iceberg, is the understatement of this entry. So yeah, even this right now is making me feel less alone. See.

[01:18:28] Luke: Cool.

[01:18:28] Teal: it's like most people are completely plugged in here. So if I'm going to these other places, I am not able to take anyone there that I know from here.

[01:18:37] Luke: Mm-hmm.

[01:18:39] Teal: I'm interacting with all these beings, and all these life forms, and all these experiences that are there, but there's usually no crossover. So it feels like I'm in Barbie land most of the time.

[01:18:51] Luke: That's hilarious. I made the mistake of watching that Barbie movie a couple of weeks ago. It's embarrassing to admit that I was really bored, and I was like, it looks like almost psychedelic and fantasy maybe just visually it'll be interesting. And I was like, wow. I just really killed two hours of my life with a lot of propaganda.

[01:19:12] It was a very strange messaging. I couldn't figure out if it was post-feminist or what was happening. At the end, I was like, I just got imprinted with something. I'm not sure exactly what, but it definitely wasn't--

[01:19:26] Teal: You got imprinted by women are confused, and go ahead and step more into that confusion and decide whatever you want to be, regardless of whether it's male or female, and men, we don't need you anymore.

[01:19:38] Luke: Right. That's what it was. Yeah. It's interesting. I was interviewing a feminist once, and I was off the cuff. Asked her if she was aware that the CIA were intimately involved in the '60s wave of feminism and that admittedly, part of it was to break up the family and to produce another taxpayer in the family, and she was totally unaware of any of that. I'm like, you think by now everyone would've unpacked that, right?

[01:20:12] Teal: Yeah.

[01:20:13] Luke: Maybe you could speak to that because there's obviously been inequality and a patriarchal system throughout recorded history. And so the pendulum's way over here. There's an imbalance. Females are being subjugated and abused, and so that's not right.

[01:20:30] We have to fix that. And then through whatever forces, whether it was the CIA or just the inertia of society maturing, then the pendulum swung, the way I see it as a man at least, swung really far the other way to where the answer that was offered was that you don't need men. All men are bad. And that in order to beat them, you become them and negate what it means to be a woman. It's sort of--

[01:20:59] Teal: 100%. It's the exact opposite.

[01:21:03] Luke: So what's your take on that as a woman?

[01:21:05] Teal: It's the exact opposite of feminism. It's anti-man and anti-woman is what it is. It's complete direct attack on gender in its entirety, on polarity, in its entirety. You're killing both black and white. It is so tragic, and it's messy. Why? Because of everything you've just described. You've got all of these elements going into the movement, like the feminist movement, that are very real for people. Otherwise, you wouldn't see so many people signing up to it.

[01:21:40] The idea of you can go ahead and make a living for yourself rather than depend on this complete a-hole who doesn't really consider your best interest at all, and this level of dependency is keeping you in a horribly abusive situation. It's really appealing then to be like, no, I can do this, and I'm going to.

[01:21:57] I'm taking my power back basically, at the same time as you've got influences like, well, maybe we should get extra money. Let's make it so that the women have to work too, at the same time as you've got women who have been looking at, the only example they've had of power is men, and so of course that's what they're trying to emulate.

[01:22:14] And by virtue of trying to emulate that, they have disconnected themselves from feminine power entirely. Don't even know what it means. When I say what's feminine power, women usually list out masculine traits, and I'm like, oh God. So what we've got is this complete cluster of a mess, which we need to sort through now.

[01:22:33] But it's very important to understand that where we are as a society right now is we're anti-woman, anti-man. There should be no men that exist. There should be no women that exist. We're not going to recognize polarity anymore, and that's real sad. When I'm doing these interviews or talking on stage, I love to bring people into the awareness that masculine and feminine are like two different elements. Why are we wasting our time comparing them? They are literally nothing alike.

[01:23:02] We need to be creating a society that accommodates for both elements. Both these elements have very different qualities, very different powers, very different needs. So what we're looking to do is build a society that accommodates for those differences because we have such a deep reverence for those differences and recognize the need for those differences. Right now we're just trying to get rid of everything.

[01:23:25] Luke: Homogenize everything. Yeah.

[01:23:27] Teal: Get ready for the largest fertility crisis that we've ever seen. Get ready for it. It's going to be--

[01:23:32] Luke: Well, it is crazy too because when those energies, regardless of whether they're embodied in a male or female body, but the synergy and the combined power of those working together is literally what moves humanity forward.

[01:23:48] Teal: Exactly. It's a magnetic force as well.

[01:23:50] Luke: So it's like it causes to negate both of them, or either of them causes regression in our progress. It's maddening.

[01:24:00] Teal: Yes, it is. I love that your heart rate's going up on this one too.

[01:24:03] Luke: Oh, no, it's infuriating. And I think also because for the first time in my life, in the relationship I'm in now, I have a tangible experience of how things work when those energies are identified and cultivated within us as individuals and us in our relationship. It's just like there's no problem with anything because there's a mutual understanding, right?

[01:24:32] Teal: Exactly. And then the reason that women started to balk at this is not because we disliked male traits, is because men were not really considering the best interest of the females that were essentially in their care. If men had been fully in all of their masculine traits with the consideration aspect, you would not have seen any of this.

[01:24:53] So really, that's what I'm helping men do, step as deeply into their masculine traits as they possibly can, and deeply cultivate positive ownership. When that happens, the female goes into a state of surrender, which literally is one of the most powerful things you'll ever watch in your life. It's super gorgeous.

[01:25:12] Luke: It is, it is. It's so interesting too. I think a lot of women, just because they've been miseducated, don't even have a grasp on the power within the feminine that they possess at any given moment. It's dormant. As a man, I can say it's that power, that energy of the feminine is the thing that makes you willing to take a bullet, or build a bridge, or ad infinitum, all the things that men are good at.

[01:25:51] Teal: Yes.

[01:25:52] Luke: And should be good at, and that society needs us for us to feel needed. For me, for myself to feel needed for what I can bring to the table only brings out more of the best in me and makes me more, I don't know, benign in terms of impact. I don't know if benign is the right word, but definitely less harmful and a net positive.

[01:26:18] Teal: Yeah.

[01:26:19] Luke: And that's like all I really need just to be told, I need you. And it's like that thing when a woman's could open the pickle jar herself, and she's like, oh, I'll throw a bone to hubby. Honey, would you open this for me? It's like, even if we know she could do it and she just asked us to do it, it feels so good.

[01:26:35] And then what does that inspire in us? Got any more pickle jars around here that need opening? It's like the ultimate superpower. And we're just sitting here guys and ladies listening. We're just sitting here waiting to be needed to bring forth our best qualities

[01:26:51] Teal: And yet the message you're getting right now is we don't need you.

[01:26:54] Luke: Yeah. It's in society at large, yeah. And not only that, we don't need you, but you don't even deserve to be here, and you're wrong. You shouldn't exist because you're toxic masculinity.

[01:27:06] Teal: Yeah.

[01:27:06] Luke: Which obviously exists, but it's funny. Let me get your take on this. When I think about what the general perception of, say this idea of toxic masculinity, I see a man who's punching holes in drywall, who's getting in road rage fights, who's abusing his spouse, who's violent, has no control of their emotions. When I see a man who's losing his shit and can't control his emotions in a healthy, stoic container, I see a man who's actually completely gone estrogenic and feminine.

[01:27:42] Teal: Really?

[01:27:43] Luke: Yeah. I think that's what people are calling toxic masculinity, is a guy who's actually not in his masculinity because he can't keep his shit contained. What do you think of that?

[01:27:53] Teal: I'm going to have to think about it. I'm not going to be able to give you an immediate answer because I've never thought about it through that lens. When I'm talking about toxic masculinity, usually what I'm talking about is we take an innately masculine trait, something like action.

[01:28:06] And we look to the negative expression of that trait. So the negative expression of a trait like action would be force. Okay, so force is a toxic masculine trait. But you've got a compelling idea there. I'd like to think about that.

[01:28:22] Luke: It's a theory. Get back to me when you unpack it. Something I-- it's actually a thread I was going to go down when we were in the plant medicine realm, was in relation to the Russian dolls, but taking the Russian dolls back through your ancestry. And I think because our subjective experiences of our lives are largely, unless we have gifts like you have and others have where they can experience different lifetimes and things like that.

[01:28:54] But we think of our subjective personal experience in our life as separated from our ancestors that came before us, and they're gone and what happened to them doesn't matter. So could you give me a perspective on that, that it's all one continuum and how we can create a punctuation mark in our healing and awakening to actually change the trajectory of our family line?

[01:29:21] Teal: Before we came into this particular incarnation, we were looking at all these different potential parents that were going to vibrationally satisfy what it is that we were looking for in this life. Of course, karma plays a role in this, but we're going to leave that out for the present moment. So I want you to imagine that you're sitting there with this capacity to perceive all of that line that potentially extends from mom and all of that line that potentially extends from dad.

[01:29:47] Because you're not just looking at one parent or one parental connection. Most people, if I was going to throw at an average, are looking at about anywhere between four and 60 potential parents for whatever experience that they want to have on earth. Part of the recipe of what you're looking for are those traits that are running through lines.

[01:30:08] So you put so much energy and emphasis into what family lines you are going to come into and at what time. You are, by coming into this specific life, inheriting all of that. You're not just coming in being like, oh, this is going to be a one-off life. You're literally saying, I'm going to join my consciousness with that stream that is still going.

[01:30:30] So literally, the first person who is in your line, let's pretend there's a first. The first person who is in your line is still alive. That person is still alive in you. So when you are looking at things in terms of ancestry, it reads like a being who has been living for a very long time, and there are aspects of that consciousness that pop in and out of existence, those being individuals, of course.

[01:30:54] So you are literally-- assuming you don't have kids yet-- you are the farthest point in the progression of the consciousness of that family line. It's literally an organism. It will look like that on a nonphysical level. So everything you do in your life is essentially the expansion path for your family, and it doesn't matter whether you're adopted, doesn't matter whether you don't like your family, you cannot divorce them.

[01:31:21] It's not possible. It's what you chose into. And you chose into this not only to pull those very strong elements of mastery and talent through you because you knew that that would assist your particular choice for this life, whether it is a career you were meant to have or something that you were meant to do usually is what people are choosing based off of.

[01:31:47] You also wanted to take those detrimental patterns, which are themselves running through that family line and alter them so as to essentially progress the family more, more, better, better, further, further. You're really up an alley of one of my favorite things to look at ever. You can see that I'm like perked right up on this concept.

[01:32:08] Luke: I love it.

[01:32:09] Teal: This is one of my favorite things to look at in the universe. Of course, it overwhelms people. Why? Because you possess every memory of every ancestor that has ever come before you. It is inside your body. This is living history. This is not just a story about something that happened once. This is literally that still embodied and still alive.

[01:32:30] Luke: Well, it's an intergenerational Russian dolls, right?

[01:32:33] Teal: Yeah.

[01:32:33] Luke: It's like your great, great, great, great, great, great, great is down in the center of that doll ad infinitum.

[01:32:38] Teal: Yes. And it's part of you.

[01:32:39] Luke: But we only see this as like, oh, this is me and my life, and they're not part of this experience. They're all part of us.

[01:32:46] Teal: Yeah, and that's part of the ego.

[01:32:48] Luke: Right. You know what's cool about it too? I find that it helps me feel less victimized by the dysfunction of my family.

[01:33:02] Teal: Why? Because you can see it running through multiple generations.

[01:33:05] Luke: Yeah, yeah. And also the fact that you mentioned that I actually chose the circumstances of this whole game because it afforded me, this is the way I see it at least, it afforded me the perfect template to do what I wanted to do here for myself and also for them.

[01:33:24] Teal: Yes.

[01:33:26] Luke: And I know that for sure in my family, and some members of my family have come on board with this. But there's definitely a transition point when I found myself and got on this path that my family line went like, and totally split in an opposite direction of dysfunction, and sickness, and sadness, and suffering.

[01:33:48] It's just like shit changed. So hopefully, we can have a kid and that will be a further manifestation of that. But my little brother just had a kid. He's on the path. His kid is going to have a totally different-- we all have our traumas, but not in the way that we had in the past.

[01:34:06] And going back through my family, and I think you've talked about this too as a tool, is actually research researching your ancestry, which is something I've interviewed my parents and recorded. I've interviewed them on video and had it transcribed because I want to know about my great-aunt, whatever, that was raped and husband was a vet of this war. I'm putting all those pieces together to try to create a composite so that I know what direction I want to go to take our lineage toward wholeness.

[01:34:39] Teal: Oh, you're killing me today. This is like the best news ever.

[01:34:43] Luke: What's your take on that? And some people obviously, you mentioned, are adopted. Some people are going to have access to less or more information. My mom knows much more about her side of the family than my dad knows about his, for example. But still worthwhile as a venture to find out whatever you can and start to piece it together, right?

[01:35:02] Teal: You'd be surprised how much you can find if you decide to act like a CIA agent or an FBI agent and decide you're going to go after the information and not just limit yourself to your family. There are people all over the world who have the information you're looking for.

[01:35:15] It's about where might that be? It's about being really proactive about hunting it down. And this is like an Easter egg hunt where you pick up any one of those Easter eggs, which is what a bit of information. And it's like absolutely mind-blowing. This might be a bit of information that changes your entire narrative about yourself and the people you thought you knew.

[01:35:36] This bit of information is super horrifying, and oh my gosh, I can see that aspect in myself. Oh, that's where I got it from. Now what do I do with this? Another bit of information is like, oh my gosh, I feel so much pride almost. And it will definitely give you a sense of the specialness of human life I'll tell you that. It's really good for people who are struggling with a sense of meaning in their individual lives to understand just how much effort went into the creation of you. It is mind-blowing. It's millisecond interactions that either happened or didn't happen add up to you either being here or not being here.

[01:36:16] And all of these struggles that all these people went through and now you're here living this type of life, and it's like to take your life for granted is to turn around and flip them all off. Even people who are deeply disconnected from incredibly dysfunctional families who they hate when they find out this information, not just about the people they had interaction with, but the people before them stretching back through time, it creates this kind of, oh my gosh, I'm the one carrying the baton.

[01:36:46] Luke: Right.

[01:36:49] Teal: What did my great-grandfather die and live for? No pressure, but I think I'm probably not going to be playing as many video games.

[01:36:57] Luke: Right, right. Yeah. And also the gratitude piece. Because I think we're just myopic and entitled at times. Well, this is my life. I want what I want, but we don't think about what it took for us to get here, as you described. That's really interesting. Yeah, I love that. What value in the same way do you think learning about our birth has, the actual traumas that we might've experienced during birth, and so on?

[01:37:29] Teal: I don't have as much passion for that just because of the plethora of information and juicy stuff that's in ancestry. Do I think that it's very important? Yes, I do. You stepped off of the non-physical plane into this temporal reality with one of those primary experiences being your birth experience, and it shapes all kinds of things, your attitude towards life, your attitude towards people. There's so much that happens interrelationally in that those first few minutes right after birth, of course, we're messing that completely up in the Western world that that can be to blame for a whole lot of relationship dysfunction.

[01:38:05] People don't even realize that. There's all kinds of structural things that happen in birth that aren't even corrected for some people all the way through their entire life. Go talk to a chiropractor. So the birth experience is a very poignant experience that I feel like people would do well to revisit, traumas that would be very important to heal. Through doing so, you can shift your entire relationship with life.

[01:38:33] Luke: I used to be a classic love avoidant, I think is what they call it. Just incapable of intimacy, very walled-boundary protected, non-committal in relationships, and things like that. And just accepted that that's the way I was broken, and I'm just never going to have that thing that people have in terms of connecting.

[01:38:58] And through a sequence of events, I saw my birth, and what I saw was that I was born and then briefly introduced to my mother and then taken away to this other room and thrown in an incubator. And I texted my mom the next day after having that vision, and I was like, ah, this weird vision in an ayahuasca journey.

[01:39:28] And told her the story and she was like, yeah, that's exactly what happened. And I was like, okay, what does that mean? Anyway, long story short, what I deduced from that was that I experienced that as an abandonment and as a disconnection, and it literally colored my entire life. Huge piece of information that I could have missed.

[01:39:51] I could have just gone through life with this invisible barrier between me and other people. Speaking back to loneliness, it's part of that model that I'm working on at the moment. That's why I asked about birth, because I don't know. My life would've been much different and more limited, I think, had I not discovered that Rosetta Stone of Information.

[01:40:12] And many people probably know things like that about their birth and they just are insignificant and they don't really think to look at it or find the deeper meaning or how it might have impacted them. For me, it set me up for everything. I even took it this far. I don't know this to be true, but it's something I'm playing with, is that because I didn't get that initial bonding and had that sense of separation, that it could have marked me as vulnerable to predation later.

[01:40:52] Teal: That's me.

[01:40:53] Luke: Really?

[01:40:53] Teal: Yeah.

[01:40:56] Luke: Elaborate.

[01:40:57] Teal: So when I was born, my mother had a third degree tear, so I was not even introduced. I was pulled out via vacuum extraction and then immediately removed to a room for several hours because they had to sew her up and everything before they brought me back. They now understand that when they do that, the bonding chemicals between a mother and a daughter cannot happen.

[01:41:19] And my mother and I have had a difficult relationship forever. It was really rough between us. And attachment issues, up the wazoo in relationships. So I'm definitely walking proof of all of that.

[01:41:37] Luke: Wow. Interesting. And have you looked at the possible relationship between broadcasting that imprint to perpetrators and abusers and them energetically sensing that you're vulnerable because you don't have that connection, paternal connection?

[01:41:54] Teal: That's exactly the doorway that was capitalized on. Of course, I had that doorway both with my mother and my father. There was a lack of, my dad more so because it was a function of the upbringing he had where this kind of connection, this warm fuzzy connection does not exist in his family line at all.

[01:42:14] It is gone. It's like the kids are born. They're handed to wet nurses. They're shipped off to boarding schools. And he's very disengaged, which is the way that he interacts with his children. And with my mother, it's a lot more complicated story. But of course, our birth experience that we had together was a big part of this.

[01:42:31] There was a colossal gap between me and my family, and it was capitalized on by a predator who was in the local area. And that man ended up ultimately destroying my life for the period of 13 years and longer because the story of this type of abuse doesn't end when you get away from them. That's like just the beginning.

[01:42:52] Luke: Oh man. Yeah.

[01:42:54] Teal: But yeah, he saw that there was no connection and that that was what he was going to exploit, and absolutely did a very good job of doing so.

[01:43:01] Luke: Yeah, yeah.

[01:43:01] Teal: And the lack of connection accounts for a lot of why my parents didn't understand what was going on. They were not attuned enough. They knew something was wrong with me, but--

[01:43:14] Luke: What do your parents think about the work you do now?

[01:43:18] Teal: It's more complicated now than it used to be when I first got into this line of work and was honest with the public about the childhood I went through. Of course, my mother took it as a personal attack, and my parents' lives were turned upside down by all of this because, obviously, it went crazy on the news in the local town where I grew up. It was like the biggest news that ever happened to them.

[01:43:40] And slowly they just started losing all kinds of friends. And there was nobody who was willing to really step in with my life or to their lives and be like, all right, this is serious stuff. Let's go in. Let's dive in. Basically, they were like, I don't want to deal with this. This is a level of reality we don't want to confront. We don't want to look at the world in this way.

[01:43:59] And so they got abandoned by all kinds of people. They had to move out of the town, and I was blamed for that. It was like, what are you doing to us? Why is this necessary to throw us out to the public? It was almost like, what did I do in my past life to deserve a daughter who is not only a public figure, but an author who writes about how crappy her childhood was.

[01:44:20] For a long time, I think still, they suffer a lot of pain with it. They've never been to see a single show that I've done. I think they're very afraid. It's like they feel like the public enemies essentially. Because I'm not standing up here being like, oh, my parents were absolutely wonderful.

[01:44:41] I'm more painting a picture of like, these are the ways in which each one of them were wonderful, and these are the ways in which it messed my life up. But there's been so many years now that they've been reading through all of the messages from people who were like, I wouldn't be alive if it weren't for your material.

[01:44:58] And my mom really loves the self-love stuff, and she loves to stick her fingers in it. So I'll get these messages sometimes where she's in those forms and she's like, do you know that there's a guy that's taking your course who is 70 years old? And she's got stories about it. So I think now they're starting to understand that this is not a personal agenda that I have against them, that there's a bigger reason for me doing this. And so now I feel like it's turned to a kind of pride, but a kind of shame-stained pride for what I'm doing.

[01:45:33] Luke: What's your son's relationship with your work?

[01:45:38] Teal: He's never known anything else. I'd say that it's good. I've been framing when I go away on work trips, like I'm on right now, that this is because I want to help people, and this is how I'm helping people. And he's not blind. He sees it. He's walking with me in the streets sometimes when people come up to me and break down in tears and are like, oh my gosh.

[01:46:03] And so I feel like he's got a sense of pride that not only is mommy this significant, but also mommy helps people. And you'll hear him say that. His school has said that. That's what he says at school. So I think his relationship to my work right now is feeling good about the fact that I do this work.

[01:46:26] But he has, of course, suffered from this. But there's a lot of buffering I've done for the ways that he suffers from this. A lot of conversations with schools, especially when the press goes wildly against me, releasing sketchy stuff where the parents start to worry. He's never had a sleepover in his life, primarily because parents don't trust me.

[01:46:49] But if I'm reading all the stuff that's written about me on the internet, I don't trust me either. I'm telling a lot of the people in my community, I'm like, this hurts so bad, not only for me, but to know why he's going to have these types of experiences and even more so when kids are able to get on the internet themself and confront him on who his mom really is, which I'm really not looking forward to.

[01:47:11] But at the same time, I'm looking at these people, and I'm like, I don't know what would scare me more, if parents would read this stuff and let their kids come around me, or read this stuff and decide their kids can't come around me. Because it's bad. I'm more afraid for what it's going to be like as he grows older, honestly.

[01:47:27] Of course, I've got him in a school where there's a lot of children of famous people, and so an element of all of their lives is dealing with public backlash, and people trying to use them to get to the parent, and all of these weird dynamics that most kids don't get to deal with. And because he is in a school that understands those dynamics so well already, and he's in a school where they're trying to create as normal of a child as possible, it's been, thankfully, not a nightmare so far.

[01:47:54] Luke: Cool. Something that has been interesting to me over the years is this phenomenon of the fallen guru. I've always been, since I was probably eight or nine, really enamored with Indian gurus, and mystics, and things like that. I was really impressed by cities. When humans have these supernatural abilities, and I think integris teachers that have those abilities probably only use them to just throw someone a crumb to be like, this is the real shit.

[01:48:26] And then some of them exploit those and then become fraudulent eventually. But what I was going into earlier that I had to mature in terms of not just taking for granted because someone's worked with psychedelics a lot, that they have integrity and are trustworthy. It's the same thing with spiritual teachers that might have very valid teachings that ring true and help people, but at some point maybe they were pure and then they become corrupted by their power or influence or money, and then they start doing shady shit.

[01:48:58] And they fall. They fall from grace. How do I want to say this? What would you recommend for people in terms of trusting the integrity of a teacher and someone's teachings. Because there are so many people out there that seem to have valid information, but also at some point, whether they started out out of integrity or they fall out of integrity, become dangerous and exploitive people. What's your barometer for going that's the real deal or not?

[01:49:34] Teal: Well, I think that it should be a more complex picture than the one that I can paint right here this quickly, not having a lot of time to really sit and think of it. So I'm going to throw out some things though that are low-hanging fruit that are important.

[01:49:50] When you're gauging a person who's in some a leadership position, especially within the spiritual field, this should be somebody who can readily talk about what their dark sides are. I don't even want to call them shadows because shadows is what you're not aware of.

[01:50:06] This is a person who should have a handle on their negative aspects. They should be able to tell you what they are, be able to tell you what they're doing about them. This goes in alignment, of course, with the concept of integration of the ego. If you're in the spiritual field, you need to be on top of your ego. That means you fucking have one. You don't get to say, oh, well I'm past that now.

[01:50:30] Luke: That's scary. If somebody starts saying, I don't have an ego anymore. If you're still in a body and you think you don't have any ego left, you're dangerous. That's the way I look at it.

[01:50:39] Teal: It's a good way to look at it. Yeah. Okay. So that's one element of it. The other element is I feel like somebody who is really in a space of integrity is somebody who's eating their own medicine in a very aggressive way. If somebody is selling something to you, whether it's an idea or something else, they better be eating, sleeping, and breathing the very thing which it is that they are selling.

[01:51:03] And great many people don't do that. It should be somebody who's open to questioning. Now, that doesn't mean that they're going to be fine with you slamming them, which a lot of people misinterpret this. They think that somebody who's in the spiritual field should just be able to maintain non-reactivity no matter what you do to them.

[01:51:20] And that is not the case. There are a great, many incredible spiritual teachers that will get very angry at you and should based off of the way that you're behaving. However, when somebody is genuinely questioning, even questioning them themselves, there should be a receptive attitude and a willingness to go back and forth on that. And there should be some element of self-reflectivity that is demonstrated. I don't know else.

[01:51:48] Luke: What are you working on yourself right now?

[01:51:54] Teal: Well, a lot of things actually. I think the primary thing right now that I'm working on is around needs. On this one hand, I've got all of these expectations within, especially the spiritual field. People who know a lot about this type of subject, there's definitely an expectation that people in my position have a life that looks a certain way and a personality that looks a certain way.

[01:52:26] And I'm seeing a lot of elements of self-rejection actually that have taken place over the course of my life that I haven't really recognized as rejection that are becoming very obvious to me now. I'm in a space where I'm having to make big changes in my personal life regarding what types of relationships I'm going to sign up for and go directly for that I didn't let myself go directly for before based off of wanting to essentially become almost like the image that people are expecting and needing from me, rather than paying attention to my actual needs.

[01:53:00] So why this is really, really powerful is that, especially in the spiritual field for the people who are really wanting to transcend their ego, human needs, whether they be sexual needs, or emotional needs, or whatever else, there's almost this push to transcend them into not admit that you need them.

[01:53:16] Have I fallen into that pit? Yes, definitely. And right now I'm working to break myself out of that with both sexual needs, and emotional needs, and physical needs. A lot of the ways that I need to uniquely live my life will create backlash for sure, especially in this age of feminism.

[01:53:37] I'm going to be going towards relationships that in a personal way look a lot more like domination and submission, to be quite honest with you. I need that in order to balance my femininity out. But will the majority of people who want to see masculine example of a feminine leader like to see that? They're not going to like this.

[01:53:59] Luke: I'm looking forward to it.

[01:54:00] Teal: Well, to get there, I'm having to confront all of these aspects of myself that are like--

[01:54:05] Luke: Well, it's interesting that you bring that up because what came to mind for me was the rampant abuse in the Catholic church, for example, when you have clergy that are repressing natural parts of their humanity to the point where they become warped and even to the fallen guru kind of thing.

[01:54:21] I don't know if Osho was doing bad. All of them eventually have some shit that comes out about them. Not all of them, most of them. And it often has to do with what's deemed to be inappropriate exploitation of their followers or sexual deviance or whatever. And it seems to be that, as you mentioned, a negative part of oneself versus a shadow is that seen or not seen. It seems the parts of us that we repress eventually come out in subversive, harmful ways, just by the fact that we're not honoring that as part of our humanity.

[01:54:56] Teal: Exactly. And that's what I notice about myself in relationships. I have these very intrinsic needs for exactly the dynamic I'm looking for in a relationship. And rather than even admit that those are what they are, in a very straightforward way, not pieces, bits, and pieces here and there and to go directly for that is very different than what I have been doing, which is like, oh, I'm going to look for a man who exhibits some of these traits that I might want.

[01:55:23] And then it's not intentionally been manipulative, but it is manipulative. Been trying to lead men into this dynamic that I'm wanting rather than really walk out the gate and be like this, regardless of how embarrassing it may seem, is literally what I'm looking for.

[01:55:40] And find a guy who's like, ah, that's interesting, because the exact opposite of that relationship is exactly what I'm looking for. So that will be a very exciting little journey to go down. But in that same vein, there's actually something that I didn't think of before when you asked me this question about the gurus and this fallen guru dynamic, which is that in guru worship, there's a deep regression in people to an infantile state.

[01:56:07] So when somebody is in guru worship, they're wanting to regress to a position, usually because of not being able to get their infant needs met. They're regressing to a place where they get to let go of all responsibility and be in this unconditional love, unconditional guidance dynamic that infants are in with the parent that they need to be able to trust and potentially couldn't trust.

[01:56:29] You can know that you can trust basically a guru when you don't see them playing into that by creating more and more of those types of dependencies, more and more of that type of infantile state, and instead you see them leading a person in the direction of growing up and out of that. That doesn't mean that a guru should be like, no, no, no, don't do that, because actually it's coming from a space of deep wounding.

[01:56:56] It's just that gradually what you'll see in alignment spiritual leaders doing is they'll be like, okay, here's a way to step out of that infancy state and to, here's a little bit of responsibility. Here's a little bit more power. And you'll see them gradually leading somebody up to a place in a position where they themselves are the ones who are able to access these states of being.

[01:57:17] They're not dependent on the leader in order to get whatever it is that they're getting. So it'll more be like, oh, I really like this person because I'm nourished by them. Without this person, I don't know what to even do with my life, or without this person, I have no way to access the divine.

[01:57:34] Luke: So true. I'm glad you brought that up. It seems like too, in that classic stereotypical model of guru and student, that if a teacher does have true power and is able to exude that salve of love, a love field that we find to be so intoxicating, we just want to be around that field.

[01:58:04] It seems to me what happens sometimes is that the day devotee personalizes that field of love, where it's not just a ambiguous universal love, but it becomes an attraction. And then if the guru isn't wise enough, then they catch onto that, that it's being personalized to them, from them to the devotee.

[01:58:26] And then you get in all these weird dynamics because maybe all parties aren't just realizing we're just in a field of love. Be careful. It feels really fucking good to everyone. Let's not warp it into something else. It seems like that. Because I've felt that too, not like in a sexual way, but just, God, I just want to throw my whole life away in the presence of a master. Because it's like nothing else matters. I'm just going to follow this person. And it's like, it's not the person, it's the field--

[01:58:54] Teal: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:58:55] Luke: That is really impressing me. But if I don't have that awareness, then I'm going to start to attribute the field to that individual and there goes my power. Because then I need to be in their presence to feel that.

[01:59:07] Teal: Yeah. And for anybody who say part of why they entered into the spiritual field is because of a lack of significance, that type of adoration definitely fills a void. I feel like most people have to get that it doesn't matter what your purpose is, trauma plays a role in your purpose.

[01:59:28] So none of us are getting into any field regardless of what that field is with a pure slate. So one of the main things we need to be on top of, if we're in this position, especially of leadership within any field, is to understand the shadows that are driving us towards our specific profession. Because it's those shadows which are definitely going to be exploited and magnified and get us in a lot of trouble.

[01:59:47] Luke: Right?

[01:59:49] Teal: Yeah.

[01:59:50] Luke: How fun. I feel I could talk to you forever. We've got 15 minutes until you guys are tail light.

[01:59:54] Teal: Okay.

[01:59:55] Luke: So I regret to wrap it up because I got 75 more things to talk to you about. So we'll save it for next time. I'm going to hit you with one last question. Who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life or your work that you'd like to share with us?

[02:00:12] Teal: I read this book. I'm actually not a reader, funny enough. I'm always doing so many other things. I don't really read a lot, but I did read this book that is called After The Ecstasy, The Laundry, where there is this concept of before enlightenment, it's chop wood, carry water.

[02:00:30] After enlightenment, it's chop wood carry water, but it's the quality of the experience post awakening, shall we say. That changes. And I love that. I love that. It's something that will be with me forever just because it's such an accurate reflection of what we are going for, which are not these super transcendental states.

[02:00:55] It's a different quality of doing something as mundane as washing dishes. I was so lucky as to see the speech given by Osho. It's called the Fuck Speech. I think it's the best spiritual speech ever given in history.

[02:01:10] Luke: Really?

[02:01:12] Teal: I absolutely love it. I'm like, it really bothers me when people don't understand the brilliance of it. I've showed it to a million people, and so many people are like, oh, that's cool. I'm like, you don't get it. That's not just cool. It's the best spiritual speech ever given.

[02:01:25] Well, basically, in this speech, he's trying to get rid of the resistance that people have to all kinds of things of a temporal nature. It's what I loved him the most for. Not to say that I understand his teachings in depth enough to be able to tell you exactly who he was as a being, what he was after.

[02:01:45] What I'm telling you, what he was an absolute master of was being one of the first teachers in history that was like, don't you dare reject your temporal self. So he had had people in his groups that were almost resisting the carnal nature of what it was that he was teaching, including swearing. And so he did this entire speech on how amazing the word fuck is.

[02:02:09] Luke: I got to see that.

[02:02:10] Teal: It is like I was dying when I first saw that. So when you ask that question, that second thing that comes to mind.

[02:02:16] Luke: What do you think about that with language? I've noticed some of my most influential teachers, at least in their public personas, never swore, David Hawkins being one of them. And I've listened to, I don't know, 10,000 of hours of his lectures. I think once he said shit. But I know he wasn't a really pious guy.

[02:02:39] He was a very real guy. So I would guess in his personal life he probably swore, but for some reason he chose not to and in a public setting. And I never had the opportunity to ask him. But my guess would be that he didn't want to throw anything out there that could be divisive or have someone miss the forest for the trees kind of thing.

[02:03:04] That's just my wild guess. I've dropped a couple of f-bombs here, and every time I do it, I'm like, oh, don't do that, Luke. And it's not a moral thing, but I have had, over the years, because I used to swear much more because it's just how I talk, but people have left comments about this podcast saying, oh, I wish you would swear less because I like to listen with my kids in the car.

[02:03:24] And I'm like, oh man, that's tough. You know? because I would love for kids to hear some of this, and not all of it, but some of this information. So I try to refrain from that. But sometimes I think there are just certain feelings that you're trying to convey that just can't be conveyed any other way that I struggle with What's your take on that? Obviously, like Osho, like, fuck.

[02:03:46] Teal: You're talking to the wrong person.

[02:03:48] Luke: Yeah.

[02:03:49] Teal: Yeah. I absolutely love swear words. I love it when people use them. What I see it doing to the emotional centers and what I see it doing to their capacity to express themselves and what I see it even what it's doing to tissues, I absolutely love it. So when people are like, a hard stop on that because language matters, I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. It definitely has its place. I was a professional athlete, so it was like, there's no way you're going to get away from that way of speaking.

[02:04:18] Luke: Right.

[02:04:18] Teal: Because it's like every other word. Yeah, I definitely have a different feeling towards swearing than a lot of people do.

[02:04:26] Luke: I'm all for expressing your truth. I think I've looked at it just every word has an energy, and its energy is also somewhat contingent on the intentionality behind the word.

[02:04:42] Teal: Exactly. Yeah.

[02:04:43] Luke: So a fuck you is different than I stub my toe, oh, fuck.

[02:04:47] Teal: I know. Yeah. You're going to love this speech. Oh my God, I'm so excited.

[02:04:51] Luke: All right, good. Do you have a third one?

[02:04:53] Teal: Okay. Yeah. Let me think about this.

[02:04:55] Luke: And we'll put that in what she's talking about here in the show notes along with all of Teal's work and links at lukestorey.com/teal, T-E-A-L.

[02:05:03] Teal: I would actually say that the other teacher that I could say had a lot of impact on me was a dog that I had in my childhood. I know this sounds really funny because usually when you ask somebody about a teacher, they're going to talk to you about an actual teacher or somebody who's in that type of a position.

[02:05:26] But when you are on this path of awakening, you will understand quite quickly that everything in existence is your teacher, literally everything, whether it's a bird over here, a stick over here, a person you're sitting next to over here, object. So the picture of learning goes far beyond those that we classically consider teachers.

[02:05:46] And that dog is the one that taught unconditionality to me. Honestly, if I did not have that dog in my existence, who is offering that type of vibration to me, I think that I would've become a very terrifying person because the human relationships around me in my childhood were a living nightmare.

[02:06:07] And there's only one way to survive that type of nightmare, and that's to become a nightmare yourself, to disconnect, to not practice trust, not care about building trust, to live your life in a narcissistic bubble, playing zero-sum games. And that dog is the reason that I didn't.

[02:06:25] Luke: Beautiful. I love it. I agree 100%. My dog saved my life. People ask me, oh, was she a rescue? I go, no. I was the rescue, for real. I'm not even kidding. Really opened my heart. So I relate to that. Well, thank you so much. It's been a blast, a long time in the making to have this conversation. Everything I could have hoped for. Super fun. I love the work you're doing. You got great energy. You're an awesome woman. Thank you for being you.

[02:06:48] Teal: It's been good to be here. Thank you.

[02:06:49] Luke: I appreciate it.


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