330. Everything is Love (Even the Things You Hate): Finding Peace Beyond Bypass w/ Preston Smiles

Preston Smiles

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.

Transformational leader and speaker, Preston Smiles, teaches me about the true meaning of love and how it manifests itself in everything around us.

Self-prayed Conscious businessman, father, husband, experiential speaker, and author of "Love Louder: 33 Ways to Amplify Your Life" (published by Simon & Schuster), Preston Smiles is a force to be reckoned with on the personal growth scene.

Leading cutting edge workshops all over the world with his equally powerful wife, Alexi, winning awards like Millennial Mentor of the Year, gracing the cover of Inspired Coach Magazine, Preston Smiles is on fire, like his HUGE personality. Mr Smiles has been featured on some of the biggest podcasts and media platforms in the world, such as Impact Theory and School of Greatness along with touching the hearts and souls of thousands of people daily through his provocative social media videos and writings. As Jack Canfield and Michael Beckwith have said, Preston is unstoppable!

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.

Preston Smiles brings a relentless force of love wherever he lands. Today, it’s here on the podcast, spitballing on this beautiful thing called life from my new home of Austin.

We delve into conscious parenting, freedom, and the fluid definition of love, which he believes is expressed through all actions (even those we deem to be ‘evil’). His refreshing energy is very much grounded in celebrating, or rather just accepting the ‘nowness’ of life, trusting the benevolence of the Universe, and knowing that all roads lead to the same place.

I can’t wait for you to hear the power of his words.

12:20 —Kids As Teachers

  • How inner-child work plays out during parenthood
  • Breaking ancestral cycles in parenting style 
  • Intuitive parenting
  • The importance of being a present father
  • Celebrating the healthy masculine 

37:52 — Freedom As a Value

  • Presence as freedom
  • Unpacking the four aspects of being human
  • Deciding our reality

53:40 — Surrendered Action

  • Heart, body, and soul alignment
  • Feeling the fear and never failing

01:04:53 —  What is Love? 

  • How all humans operate from their version of love
  • Affecting positive change in the world
  • Trauma as a weapon for transformation
  • Why you need more nature and ‘Joy Alarms’ in your life

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00]Luke Storey:  I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Preston Smiles, here we are in Austin, Texas.

[00:00:25]Preston Smiles:  Let's go.

[00:00:26]Luke Storey:  Yes, the first time we met was the other day at your house, Christmas party, kids everywhere, amazing group of people. And Alyson had known you, was aware of you, and turn me on to your stuff a while ago, but I didn't know that you'd moved out here. And so, we got the invite from Christine, let's go to Preston's house, I was like, oh, that's the dude.

[00:00:46]Preston Smiles:  That's the dude. 

[00:00:47]Luke Storey:  Yeah. So, it's like so many amazing folks from both coasts, New York and LA, and everywhere in between have converged on this amazing city. It's such a special time right now here. And being in your home was no exception, so thank you for inviting us in, and hanging out with your beautiful wife and children. And like watching what the family vibe looks like in a conscious Austin community.

[00:01:15]Preston Smiles:  You mean chaos. Organized chaos. 

[00:01:20]Luke Storey:  No, it's cool. I was watching you with your little boy. The oldest one, not the twins, but the third.

[00:01:26]Preston Smiles:  Kingston.

[00:01:27]Luke Storey:  Kingston, yeah, I was watching you with Kingston and it's just cool. It's a cool moment, just watching the family vibe. 

[00:01:31]Preston Smiles:  It's the best thing ever, man. I say this all the time, like those of us who are in the work, you go do workshops, you do this thing, you get this certification, you do this plant medicine, you do this, you do that. There is nothing more transformative than, A, a conscious relationship, and then when you add children into that, bro, that's the greatest workshop on the planet. 

[00:01:51] And I am extremely grateful that I get the opportunity to guide, and also be guided by these beautiful light beings, and to notice my wounded ego, and the hurt little boy that shows up in these spaces. And to be able to heal that in community, this chosen community called my wife and my children, and then also the greater community, people like yourselves, that we find each other to give each other the medicine that we've been looking for.

[00:02:31]Luke Storey:  I was led a couple of years ago to really explore this concept of the inner child, which I had kind of discounted, if I ever had one. So, I was like, ah, that's some weak ass shit, like inner child. Like grow up, man up, do this. But I was guided in a couple of ceremony experiences to really go in and get to know that little boy and the different iterations of that boy.

[00:03:00] And I think the biggest takeaway was that that little boy is still present now, which is really wild to really come to a visceral understanding of that, and that there's also an adult in the room, being as close as I can get to my higher self in this moment as this 50-year-old man. And I was talking to Kyle about this earlier, and I'm not taking credit for it because it was inspiration, but a really great metaphor came in, and it was those Russian dolls, right? 

[00:03:28]Preston Smiles:  Every time. 

[00:03:28]Luke Storey:  So, it's like here we are, adult males in Austin, Texas, and we see the outer shell of the Russian doll. And without some deep introspection, we think that all of those other layers of the smaller, and smaller, and smaller Russian dolls are gone because that was the past and we're not that person anymore. But we are, in a sense, really the wholly integrated collective of all of those dolls or all of those versions. And so, I want to know what it's like to have those different-sized Russian dolls in your three kids reflected back to those iterations of who you were that are still within you.

[00:04:08]Preston Smiles:  Ask that one more time.

[00:04:11]Luke Storey:  Okay. You're a grown man right now, but within you are probably three off with the Russian doll shit. But within you is every version of you, teenage rebels, maybe traumatized seven-year-old, totally pure crystalline three, four-year-old, like every version of you is still present in you, even though you're experiencing as the you. So, what teachings are you finding at the levels your kids are presenting?

[00:04:41]Preston Smiles:  Got it.

[00:04:41]Luke Storey:  You know what I mean? Like where are you being taken back to your innocence or your wounds? How are your kids your teachers right now?

[00:04:48]Preston Smiles:  1,000%. One, and I'll start with my oldest son, his name is Kingston Ra. And Kingston, he's so amazing because he's in this stage, he's about to be three years old and he's in that stage where he's just testing everything. Like if I say, hey—like just short story, the other day, because I wake up really early so that my wife can sleep. And so, between 4:00 and 5:00, I'm up every single day and have been for basically three years.

[00:05:20] And so, the other day, I have one of the twins, Zahara, and we're out, and it's about 4:30, and Kingston hears us out in the living room. And so, he starts screaming like, out, I want out, out. So, I go get him, and I'm changing Zahara, and I recognize that she has a blowout poop, right? So, this is not a regular poop. Those you with kids, you know what I'm talking about. This is not a regular poop. This is the type of poop that's like on their chest, right? So, I'm changing her. It's next level. 

[00:05:54]Luke Storey:  I don't know if I'm ready for this, man. Not the story, the experience.

[00:05:57]Preston Smiles:  Yes. It's so next level. So, I'm changing her, and Kingston's there, and he's next to me, and he wants attention at that moment. And I recognize, oh, she has poop like on her stomach, and she's so happy to see me that she's like sort of gyrating, and then she grabs her own vagina, which has poop all over it at this point. So, now, she has poop on her hands, and I'm trying to hold her legs, wipe her. And I take the diaper and I sit it off to the side. 

[00:06:27] And now, I'm grabbing wipes and trying to wipe everything. Sorry about that. And I'm trying to wipe everything as fast as I possibly can. And Kingston notices this and he decides that he wants to step on the diaper. I want to step on diaper. I said, buddy, do not do that. He looked at me. He looked at the diaper. He walked over to it, and went [making sounds] and splattered the diaper. Bro, when I say I wanted to drop kick him in the face in that moment, but I could only laugh.

[00:07:01] It literally made me laugh so hard, because I was like, wow, this dude is so untroubled. He's so in his body, so pure, so connected to his own truth that he was able to, in that moment, make a decision that he was going to step on it no matter what. And I grew up afraid of my parents, specifically my mom, I love her so much. I love her dearly. But my mom was raised in a spare the rod, spoil the child. This is a Bible verse that is used to harm children unconsciously that happens especially in the Black community.

[00:07:39] And so, my mom had this whole conversation about making sure that I did not end up like her dad and like my dad. And so, she beat the aspects of the masculine that she did not like out of me by domination. And so, noticing my child not have that, and like, yes, the anger came up for me, but more, it was the joy, the joy of knowing that I have broken the cycle that I have. I'm raising a little boy that is making autonomous decisions without the traumatized consciousness in there, that paradigm of, I'm going to be punched if I do this, right? 

[00:08:23] Now, of course, we discipline him and there's consequences. After I left, I literally folded her up really quickly, and I picked him up, and I said, hey, buddy, now, you're in trouble, and here's why. Daddy asked you not to do it and you did it anyway. And I understand that you wanted to do that. But now, I'm going to have to put you in timeout. So, we're going to go over here. No, no timeout, no timeout. Deep breath in, breathe into the bottom of your belly. 

[00:08:50] Okay. No, no timeout. Deep breath in, I showed him. [Making sounds] I did it again. [Making sounds] I caught it on the third one. Deep breath in. Sat him in his little bed, gave him a timeout, went and took care of Zahara. And so, there are so many stories like that, but that's just one way that I get to sort of recognize when/where I was traumatized and how, and to see the healing happen through him, and for me to be able—because there's only one living generation, right?

[00:09:27] We talk about millennials, and baby boomers, and X, Y and Z. It's just now, right? Just isness. And every generation is passing the baton. So, my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather passed me the baton and same thing with great grandmothers on both sides. And so, what my job is, is to evolve the species, evolve the family name to take where my mom got us, my dad got us, and take it to another level. And in these little moments like that is when I get to see that I am actually doing that.

[00:10:00]Luke Storey:  That's beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. I feel like we could just keep going with more of those and make that the whole episode.

[00:10:07]Preston Smiles:  I know, bro.

[00:10:08]Luke Storey:  No. I think because I have not had the kid experience and it's kind of the stage of life that I'm emerging into now, albeit a little later than some folks might, probably earlier than others, I'm always wanting to learn what I'm going through, and the audience that listens or watches the show inadvertently is going to go along for the ride. So, like five years ago when I started, I'd be having a conversation with the functional medicine doctor, and like, so, what do you think about when you see this in the labs? 

[00:10:37] How do we get the lead out? And that was valid, if not, important. Then, when I got the lead out, onto the next one. And then, there's been all these iterations of depth, I think, which I'm willing to go and take whoever wants to listen along with. And so, I'm just really finding this sweet spot with the parenting piece. And this is totally not anywhere I was going to go. I do have notes that are otherwise, but let's just go there. 

[00:11:01] In the situation which we find ourselves now or we're experiencing and have agreed to such dramatic contrast, duality between those who are free, are aware of their freedom, those who seek to be free, that are aware that on some level, they are not, and those that due to their lack of experience of love or empathy, seek to control, and subjugate, and exploit the rest of us. They just want to do their thing, right? Speaking of the powers that be, those evil powers, right? And it seems as though, right now, humanity is in a prime position to bring in some souls that are ready to do big quantum leaps.

[00:11:43] And I'm very interested in participating in that. And so, a lot of the shows I've done have been around, I did an epic show around birth trauma that was extremely controversial because it flew in the face of all conventional and Western medical wisdom in terms of the safe and healthy way to have babies and a way to give them the most autonomy in their journey here. And so, I'm like pushing some pretty wild boundaries in terms of pre-parenthood, prepping to bring this vessel, or prepping your vessel to bring these spirits in. And then, now, I'm kind of at, alright, so we're covering some of that, what the hell do we do when they get here?

[00:12:22]Preston Smiles:  Real talk. 

[00:12:23]Luke Storey:  You know what I mean?

[00:12:24]Preston Smiles:  Yes.

[00:12:24]Luke Storey:  In all of the stages. And I think that's what started to unfold today. And in so doing, it's not only about them, but about our own individual growth and healing that's present. And in my relationships, so much of the growth now at this stage, thank you, Lord, comes from just a deeper expression of vulnerability, intimacy, and love, and there's such a healing and expansion in that versus repeating childhood trauma narratives over and over again, and learning by that means of relationship, not that one is better than the other. Okay. I'm totally going off on a tangent here. We get back to you, the important guest here.

[00:13:03]Preston Smiles:  No, this is how we roll.

[00:13:05]Luke Storey:  I'm just riffing with you and it's kind of the nature of a lot of these Austin shows, have been very much more conversational than they have like, okay, Preston, where were you born? What's your mission like? Like we'll get there. But as a parent, I'm in awe at what you're experiencing and learning, especially being in the field with you and your family, as I said. So, I think these conversations are super, super important right now for conscious parents.

[00:13:27] So, I'm going to zip that up and ask you a legitimate question that's answerable. And that is, where do you learn how to parent? How did you know not to shame poop stomp in that moment, even though you felt a bit of that well up? What gave you the insight to give him a firm timeout, even though you were kind of laughing at it? Not just you guys just rolling the poop and laugh together, like where are you getting the intuition to make what you believe to be in that moment a decision for the highest good?

[00:14:00]Preston Smiles:  Yes. So, you hit the nail on the head when you said intuition because that's essentially what it is. In the Western world, we have been sold an idea about what right and wrong is across the board. And right, in my opinion, is the most dangerous drug on the planet. Wanting to be right, thinking one is right is one of the things, in my opinion, that has destroyed families and destroyed countries. It literally is just not great, in my opinion. It's not effective. 

[00:14:38] So, I enter conversations, period, from maybe, we'll see. And we'll see, and maybe, and let's find out is how I'm learning to parent, because oftentimes, right? So, this pure being comes into the world, and then life happens, and we cannot block our children, nor ourselves, nor our friends, nor our family from the lessons they came here to experience, right? That's the conundrum. That's the cosmic joke, is you want to save everybody from the lessons, and yet you can't, and yet I can't.

[00:15:20] We have become these control freaks that are trying to figure out ways to be perfect, right? And my whole world is high intention, low attachment, progress over perfection. I'm going to find out and I'm aware that some of the trauma that I experienced as a child is still a part of the dance that I do in this skin suit called Preston, right? We'd be fooling ourselves to think that, oh, I've healed that. Maybe.

[00:16:02] Maybe, or maybe it's dormant until you have a seven-year-old who is autistic, and your wife thinks that it should be this, and you think it should be that, or maybe until X, Y, and Z. Like this idea that we have figured it out and we can go [making sounds] take a hit of something, and then, oh, now, I'm enlightened. Yes, and. That's the game I play. Let's find out. So, I am aware that some of the biggest traumas that I've experienced in my life have made me pull over here. And so, the game is not balance because I don't believe in balance, and that's a whole another—we can debate about that.

[00:16:29] I think that the planet obviously balances itself. But when we're talking about household or regular people, balance is a covert secret word for, how do I control? Right? So, I'm not seeking balance, I'm seeking weaponry. I'm seeking to be a weapon for God's love. And that means that I can choose at any point what's needed and necessary for that specific thing, knowing that it's not right, it's just what I can pull from in the tapestry of this beautiful thing that I've chosen called Preston in this skin suit. I don't know if that makes sense. 

[00:17:35]Luke Storey:  Makes perfect sense. Apart from you being intuitively guided at any given moment at what the optimal decision and outcome might be when you're interacting with these little beings that are coming in to remember who they are is they're also like listening to podcasts on conscious parenting, reading books about how to do the birth this way, and is there that like the 3D-

[00:18:02]Preston Smiles:  My wife does that stuff too. My wife does that. We have spent many years in the bush in Tanzania and a little bit in Uganda, and I have traveled to India and been there for a month by myself, and been to places where they are a little more connected to how we used to raise children. And so, seeing how they parent, and then also noticing how I was parented, noticing how like I grew up in this sort of Dennis the Menace neighborhood that we turned into a war zone.

[00:18:51] And right now, one of my friends is in jail probably for the next 20 years. These are people who grew up right around the corner from me. His dad was a doctor. And my other friend lives on the streets. His name is Elliot. Beautiful human. He's been shot. He's been stabbed. He's been to jail multiple times. He has like six kids. We all grew up in the same neighborhood. But the difference between me and them was I had a present dad and they didn't. 

[00:19:23] That's the only thing I can find. And I had discipline, some of it, unhealthy, depending on who's looking at it, and a lot of it, really healthy and beautiful with consequences and things of that nature. And so, when I look at like, okay, well, there's like eight of us who were about the same age, all grew up in the same neighborhood, houses from each other, and why am I in the position that I'm in? Why am I an entrepreneur who can live all over the world, and X, Y, and Z? And the only thing I can sort of trace it back to is that.

[00:20:02] I mentioned this a little earlier and I want to touch on it some more. The feminine, and when I say feminine, I mean, like actual women have been, in general, deeply harmed by men. And I don't have an answer to this, but there's something I've noticed, right? Because I also do men's work. I have this group called Man Cave. And so, I've been spending years, and years, and years with men and also women, and I work with both. And then, I notice what happens in me. And I mentioned this earlier, a lot of moms unconsciously try to beat out the parts of the masculine that hurt them. 

[00:20:56]Luke Storey:  Oh, man. That's deep, dude. That's good. 

[00:20:59]Preston Smiles:  That ends up producing this nice guy, fucking neutered. 

[00:21:07]Luke Storey:  The spineless Beta. 

[00:21:08]Preston Smiles:  Weakling. Yes. And then, that beautiful human who was raised by this mom, who every time his wild man showed up, she said, no, that's wrong, that's bad, and she tried to get rid of it because she was cheated on, she was raped, she was harmed by the masculine. That thing to me is where the biggest work is for us because we spend—and of course, this is changing, right? Because Dad used to go off, and be gone for hours, and hours, and hours, and moms used to stay at home. And now, the pendulum's swinging and it's changing, but that is something, I think, that we all get to collectively look at and ask ourselves, how was I affected by that?

[00:21:54]Luke Storey:  As men, you mean? 

[00:21:55]Preston Smiles:  As men and just women as well.

[00:21:58]Luke Storey:  Right. There's a book I read years ago called The War Against Boys, if you've heard of it. And it's more about not so much the individual family, but the collective as a society, and especially the education system, how healthy masculinity is being bred out of males through, you can't compete in sports, don't play with toy guns, all this political correctness kind of infiltrating into that. And it's a wormhole we can go down. But it's interesting in my life because I had very polarized parental experiences. 

[00:22:36] I had a dad who was a super rugged guy from Colorado, hunting, fishing, man's man, rodeo star, stock car racer, Marlboro man, just tough as nails, and a little too tough a lot of the time for my taste. We're cool now. We're going to Joe Dispenza in a few days together. Like all is well and it's all served its purpose, but that was the model that I was given for like manhood, a bit out of balance, speaking of balance. And then, mom really instilled in me beautiful values of love, and compassion, and tolerance.

[00:23:13] And she was raised in the '60s in Berkeley. And like when I was a kid, for example, just to give you an idea of my mom, I could drop F bombs all day long. I lived oftentimes in areas with a lot of Latinos. And in school, you pick up words as a kid. You don't really know what they mean. It just kind of you're burning someone. You're like cutting someone down. I remember I would impress my friends when they came over because I could be like, what the fuck, mom? 

[00:23:39] Where's the sandwiches? And my friends would be waiting for me to get smacked. And I was like, no, we're cool. But if I was like, yeah, and this beaner at school today did this and that. Like done, cancel, oh, you're done. Like full grounding, full end of story, all friends go home, not allowed. So, beautiful things in terms of progressivism, and just inclusivity, and just high-level compassionate intelligence. And at the same time, I was allowed to go kind of play and be wild.

[00:24:10] But if I came home with the big-ass buck knife that my dad gave me, or a BB gun, or bring snakes that I got into the house, there was a stop on some of those things. So, I wouldn't say that my masculinity was stifled, but it was not allowed to be in its full expression. And my model for that was a little bit extreme. And I always want to respect people's anonymity, but I can intuit some of my mom's experiences with males and with the masculine might not have been preferable to her.

[00:24:45] And so, I'm sure that I was one of those kids that experienced some of that. And it was really painful to come into adolescence, early adulthood being extremely feminine in energy and very creative. And that's such a beautiful energy to have now and I really embrace that part of myself, but, man, it was a long, hard road to learn how to cultivate healthy, masculine energy. So, I commend you as a father and as someone working with men, because just putting men out of the conversation because men are bad, that ain't the answer.

[00:25:21] That's not the way home. The way home is in us learning about the subtle energies within us and learning how to play with them. And now, I don't want to say the word balance because you're like balance sucks, but I can't think of a better way, to find congruence perhaps within that dance. And in my life, it's really fun to observe how I can be in my feminine like right now. And I'm just being on fluid, and I'm tapping into the ethers, and really in that space, and it's such a sweet space, but I can't stay there all the time or I fall off, then like I'm kind of grossing out Alyson.

[00:25:56] She's like, wow. Like she needs me to hold space in a specific way at times, and I need to be able to identify when that is, what that feels like, what that looks like, and how to do so in a way that still maintains that heart and compassion that hasn't lost the love. So, thank you for that. Thank you for that. I haven't had someone articulate the journey of a boy in that way. So, with your little boy, for example, what do you encourage within him that could be deemed, for lack of a better term, healthy masculinity or a full expression of his boyness without holding that back? 

[00:26:33]Preston Smiles:  Yeah, man, kind of everything. Like he found his dick really early and he would go to work on that thing. And I remember being shamed for that and having a secret code word, your boo boo, and it's like, no, that's your dick. And yes, when you do that, it gets hard. And like, yeah, that can feel good, buddy. Go for it, right? Just let's not necessarily do it while we're standing in line at the grocery store, but like it's your dick. Go for it.

[00:27:06]Luke Storey:  Your kid's going to listen to this as a 16-year-old, be like, oh, my God, I'm mortified.

[00:27:10]Preston Smiles:  Yeah, for sure. For sure. First of all, my son's very particular. I have two of them. So, we have ten-month-old twins, and then we have an almost three-year-old. And not that I believe too much in this stuff, but he's an Aquarius, I'm a Leo. These are polar opposites on the chart or whatever, but similar energies, and they're big, and they're strong. And you grew up sensitive and creative, and I was like the opposite.

[00:27:41] I was just a destroyer, just like bikes, and rocks, and spray painting, and like [making sound] just like my whole childhood was that. And I knew it wasn't safe at home. So, at home, I was an angel, sweetheart, aware, conscious, two powerful women who would dominate me. So, I was an out-of-the-way kid, I mean, because we adapt. We adapt. If your parents are super stressed out, you become an out-of-the-way kid. If your parents are checked out, you become a clown, oh, let me get more attention, no, do this.

[00:28:17]Luke Storey:  This is good. 

[00:28:17]Preston Smiles:  Right?

[00:28:18]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:28:19]Preston Smiles:  So, depending on what your caregiver is, the child adapts to reach towards the sun, a.k.a. the love that they can never get enough of. And so, I recognize that my son is a very particular type of kid. He's risk-averse. Like most kids at two years old are jumping off the curbs and doing crazy stuff. He looks at that curb, and he's like, I could get hurt, I'm going to go slow. And he's super artistic. And so, I just encourage whatever his thing is.

[00:28:48] There is a movement called unschooling or that's what they do. It's like whatever your kid's thing is, roll with that and teach from that canvas. And so, I don't try to make him into what I want him to be. Somebody asked the other day, they were like, what if he's in the ballet? I'd be like, well, that wouldn't be awesome for me, however if he was in that ballet, we would roll with it, right? But do I personally want my son to be in the ballet? No, I don't. 

[00:29:18]Luke Storey:  Yeah, because to a degree as a parent, you can elect to adopt the passion that they inherently gravitate toward. I think that's an interesting thing about kids, perhaps karmically or something. When I was a kid, like I was drawn toward catching snakes, and lizards, and turtles. Like I was obsessed most of my childhood. That's all I really cared about. All I want to do, why that? Like what instilled that in me? It's always a mystery to me versus the other kids who just nerds out and reads books all day, and just won't go outside or something. You know what I mean? 

[00:29:49]Preston Smiles:  Bro, so trippy, man. It's so trippy.

[00:29:53]Luke Storey:  Where do I want to go with this? What's your definition of freedom as a value? 

[00:30:02]Preston Smiles:  Presence. Presence. I was coaching a group earlier today, maybe two or three hours ago, we were speaking about this particular thing. And I was sharing that what imprisons us also points to our freedom. So, the very thing that we are most afraid of, or that we've made up stories about, or that we find ourselves immersed in is the thing that points to the freedom. And so, for me, I've lived my life searching those things out. Okay. What does my ego not want to look at? Just a short story. 2014, I was making $32,000 a year. I just met Alexi, my now wife, and I was crystal clear, this is my wife. I was living in my mom's downstairs extra room.

[00:30:51]Luke Storey:  Where was this? 

[00:30:52]Preston Smiles:  Harbor City, California.

[00:30:54]Luke Storey:  Okay.

[00:30:54]Preston Smiles:  Yeah, just outside of LA. 

[00:30:57]Luke Storey:  Is that down by Long Beach or something?

[00:30:58]Preston Smiles:  Yes, exactly. I grew up in the South Bay. Carson, San Pedro, Harbor City, Torrance, all those things. So, I'm living my mom's extra room. I'm not making much money, but I have something that's handwritten on my soul. Like I know I'm here to do something to support humanity in raising their vibration and finding personal freedom, because I call myself a personal freedom coach, personal freedom and embodiment coach or facilitator. True freedom is outside of circumstances, right? 

[00:31:37] So, a lot of you say, I want to be financially free. That's an oxymoron. You cannot be financially free. You can have financial independence. But freedom is an inside job. We all know people who've had millions, and millions, and millions of dollars who kill themselves or commit slow suicides because they were never actually free. External circumstances, I say this all the time in my workshops, I won, I won, and I'm winning when I wake up. And when I say, right hand move, right hand moves. I won and I am winning when I can look over to another being, and say, that person loves me and I love that person.

[00:32:22] I won and I'm winning when I can walk to the refrigerator, put on a jacket, and know that all my basic needs are met. Everything else is a cherry on top. Now, 2014, $32,000 dollars. That year, I made a decision. My ego, up until that point, I was a coach facilitator, all the things, broke, right? And broke financially. I had a million dollar consciousness, but I wasn't willing to look at certain things. So, I said, okay, this is the thing. You never want to look at the numbers. You don't want to look at the business. You don't want to look at the gift of making your services a vehicle for somebody else's breakthrough, right? 

[00:33:12]Luke Storey:  An interjection here real quick. Do you think that that's part of the spiritual teacher, stigma, where like if you're in it for the money or not authentic? 

[00:33:21]Preston Smiles:  Correct. So, what I had to come to recognize was, is that God has never separated itself. So, it doesn't stop at a border or it doesn't stop at money. Money is listening. God is a yes. It's always a yes. There's only one power. How we use the power, Gandhi used the power, Hitler used the power, one power, not two. One God, not two. That's it. So, the isness. I can make a choice about how I'm going to use this isness, how I'm going to use this energy.

[00:33:50] And I made a decision about it that was so crystal clear about this woman being my wife and about what we were here to build together. And that year, I made $150,000, the most anybody in my family had ever made, right? That seems like chump change to some of you guys, but for me, it was ginormous. The next year, I made three. The next year, I made six. The next year, I made a million. And I haven't stopped, bro. And I'm saying that that's just one aspect. It's one thing. I've decided that I was going to play with the things of life, right?

[00:34:29] All of this will be trash or somebody else will own it one day. And so, while I'm here, since everything is a cherry on top, I've already won, right? Knowing that spirit can only do for me what it can do through me, I'm going to choose freedom now and watch as the universe matches that. Does it mean I don't work? Of course, I work my ass off, but I create my own weather. A lot of people want the work to give them the inspiration and I bring the inspiration to my work. And to me, long story short, but all of that encompasses what freedom means to me.

[00:35:12]Luke Storey:  Oh, man, I had took every ounce of discipline to not interject a question within that answer. There's so much stuff there. So beautiful, the making a decision. That's the one. There are dreams of, I'm going to manifest this, I'm going to manifest that, right? I'm going to go here, I'm going to go there. I'm going to change this about my life, about myself. I mean, I'm thinking back of all the myriad of those opportunities that I've had and the times when a quantum shift, a tectonic shift has taken place, the times in which a firm decision was made, like, nope, I'm done, this is changing, but at the core, core, core. 

[00:35:59] And what's funny about that is when those changes have ensued, there was no conscious knowledge of how that change was to transpire when the decision was made. It's as if the decision created the knowhow and the map, the directions, the GPS. It's like, right turn, left turn, boom, boom, talk to them, talk to them, then [making sounds] an expansive time elapses, and you're like, I used to be there, and now, I'm here. How the fuck did that happen? How it happened was a decision. I love that you bring that into your teaching.

[00:36:35] The next thing is, I've heard you talk about this and I was like, oh, dude gets it, and this is the principle of neutrality. Can you unpack that? Because I think of the work of someone like Byron Katie, where you're always questioning your own narrative. It's that instantaneous observer of one's opinions, preferences, et cetera. And I think there's a lot of freedom in that. I think this is like, oh, that's the gate, that's one of the main gateways into interpersonal freedom. So, unpack your piece on neutrality.

[00:37:08]Preston Smiles:  Okay. So, eight years ago, I was studying to be a practitioner, and then I was going to go on to be a reverend under Michael Beckwith and that whole crew. And we were reading The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes. And there was a line in this book, and I don't know if you ever had this experience where you just read one line and it just like rocks you to your core. Ernest Holmes said to get your questions answered and your answers questioned.

[00:37:42] And just that, it hit me so deep, because most of humanity types into Google, why am I so fat? Why am I so ugly? Why is the world so terrible? Why are we controlled? And Google has to answer. God has to answer. It will give you what you ask for. But that's where most people stop. They do not question the answer, right? And so, I began to question everything that wasn't of course for me and make a new decision about who I was going to present as if I believe that God is infinite. 

[00:38:21] There's no place where it stops. Omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. And I am an expression of it. And it always says yes, only one answer from God. If I believe that, then now, I can be the Picasso of my life. I can make decisions. Now, I'm going to break this down. There are four aspects of what it means to be human. We are biological beings. We are linguistic beings, which means we build worlds with our languages, which is why we say speak what you seek until you see what you said. 

[00:39:03] We are social and historical beings, which means we were born into beliefs and interpretations. We were born into beliefs and interpretations. So, I had to look at and ask myself what beliefs and interpretations that I have been born into that no longer are effective. Not right, not wrong, but no longer are effective for what I am calling in, because the universe only says yes, God only says yes, so I can choose how I'm going to experience all roads lead to the same place. Now, here, with body, without body. Here now. 

[00:39:41] Without body [making sound] timeline hopping. With body, yeah, Preston, Black guy, X, Y, and Z, right? Still yes. So, for me, I am constantly looking. And the fourth, for those of you saying, what's the fourth? We are quantum beings. So, biological beings, linguistic beings, social and historical beings, and quantum beings. I'm playing with all four, and asking myself, what's true for me now? What's the highest choice I can make in this now moment knowing that I cannot ever, ever be off-purpose? 

[00:40:25] To me, that's one of the biggest misconceptions that people operate from on our planet, that we have one purpose. That's true and not true. Our one purpose is to reflect and reveal the cosmos in the way that only we can. Everything else is the journey. We have one purpose, yes, and many missions. And those missions change with a need-to-know basis like you were talking about.

[00:40:50]Luke Storey:  That's cool, yeah.

[00:40:51]Preston Smiles:  So, I don't know if I answered your question, bro, but that needed to come through. 

[00:40:56]Luke Storey:  In many, many ways, you did. 

[00:41:00]Preston Smiles:  What's your truth about that?

[00:41:02]Luke Storey:  I go back to a book that was extremely meaningful for many, many years of my life. It's a big blue book. It's called Alcoholics Anonymous. Doesn't have a cover. You take the cover off, it's very anonymous. It's just a blue book. But that book is so packed with truth. And when I heard your teaching on neutrality, of not having a fixed position or opinion on where you find your current reality, in that book, it talks about how God had done something for us as problem drinkers that we couldn't do for ourselves. 

[00:41:37] And in my case, said a prayer, poof, problem gone. I mean, there was a lot more that went into it, but that's the crux of it. And then, the book goes on to say that because we had had the surrender experience, we were placed in a position of neutrality. We no longer had to fight the drink. Now, if you take the context of the teachings of that book, and the 12 steps, and just remove the word alcohol, it applies to anything with which we struggle, or become attached, or addicted to, right? 

[00:42:03] So, in that surrender, I'm placed in a position of neutrality where I'm given the opportunity to not color or judge any particular point of experience that I'm walking through. In Shakespeare's terminology, this would be, there is no such thing as good or bad, only thinking makes it so. So, it's in the science of mind, the Beckwith stuff, like all that Emmet Fox. It's like in that lane, there was a period there of those teachings in the '20s, '30s, into the '40s, Napoleon Hill, like the early kind of Christian Scientist that would merge into the space, in a way, just to give historical relevance. 

[00:42:46] But I think the takeaway in all of that is that our reality is what we decided to be and that from any vantage point along a linear time space journey, anything that happens, car got impounded, divorce happened, loved one died, got cancer. I mean, we've all had our things, right? We're like, this is the worst thing that happened to anyone ever, how could God forsaken me? Those moments. Literally in every moment, what's happening to us is based on where it fits on our scale, right? 

[00:43:23] And so, my question in that is how does one live in a position of non-judgment, and neutrality, and expansive open mindedness where all possibilities are considered, yet at the same time, have discernment, right? So, there's judgment and discernment. How do we stay in a position of neutrality and surrender, and not just lay on our back while a truck rolls over us? I guess it's like I'm looking for that surrendered action. 

[00:43:53]Preston Smiles:  Here it goes. Threefold beings. Body, mind, soul. We are at our most powerful when all three are aligned. I'm sure in your lifetime and I can speak for myself, you've had that moment where your body was like, yes, we are going to have sex with that woman right there. And then your mind said, no, bro, probably shouldn't do that. 

[00:44:19]Luke Storey:  I'm familiar.

[00:44:19]Preston Smiles:  Yes, exactly. And your soul was like, I'll love you no matter what or whatever the case may be. For me, I tune in. And okay, so what's happening here? Right? Because there's three centers of intelligence, head, heart, gut, right? Oftentimes, people try to logically figure things out, and the heart emits a frequency as well, and the gut wisdom, right? There's so much there. And so, I just allow myself to tune in, and ask, what is my body? What is my heart? 

[00:44:53] What is my soul? What is it trying to lead me towards, knowing that? And that's the caveat for me, knowing that I cannot fail, right? Entering any conversation from I cannot fail makes me deeply powerful. It literally takes away the, what's the word? It's not that it takes away the fear, right? Because I'm still in this skin suit, right? I chose to be human on this planet at this time in human history. And I choose to stay alive in this skin suit for as long as I humanly can because I enjoy parenting my children and I'm looking forward to being like deep friends with them later on in life. 

[00:45:43] I have a desire. And so, there is fear that enters the space, however, and I tell my clients this all the time, if you took it all the way, right? Took it all the way, I'd cry for a few days, maybe a few weeks. And then, one day. I'd get back up. That's it. And I'd do it all over again. So, the idea that it needs to be millions, I am, at some point, going to write a book called Three Hundred Thousandaire because this idea that you need to be a millionaire in order to be worthy or whatever the case may be is absolute bull crap. 

[00:46:15] Because you know and I know that there's people who make millions, but they don't keep much. And there's people who make 600,000 and they keep 400,000. They make more than the person who made two million and only kept 200,000, right? So, which is it? And this is not about those numbers, but for me, I tune in and I do my best to allow the body, mind, and the soul to be having the same conversation. If they are not having the conversation together, then I do what they teach in the Vedas, which is to sit in it until it's charming, sit in it until you know, be still and know that I am God, go within or you go without. 

[00:47:17] I sit, I pause, I allow, right? I think it is sort of the fast-paced thing that happens on our planet and it's not needed, right? One of the best things anybody could do is just pause and listen. What's here? And do I choose what's here? Do I still choose it because it's here, which means I chose it at some level? Right? The resistance of what's here shouldn't be, everybody's fucked when they play that game. What's here should not be. I'm now saying, hey, God, hey, isness, hey, universe, hey, Jesus, hey, Buddha, hey, Allah, you messed up. You messed up because what's he shouldn't be. 

[00:48:07]Luke Storey:  So good, so timely considering the conversation we had before we recorded, and I'm sure by the time this episode comes out, I might have told this story or we might be past this part in the story. But obviously, we're out here in Austin looking for home. We dig it, dig you, all the people, we're in, done. Mission like critical, let's make this happen or allow this to happen. And we're looking for houses. Bad time to look for houses. I mean, again, there's a judgment, bad, possibly not the optimal time to look for houses. 

[00:48:37] And there's not a lot of inventory, relatively speaking, to when there would be at other times in the year, et cetera. So, we're kind of like, hmm, and we want to make this move and we have a timeline that we have in mind loan-wise, all the 3D shit. And then, we find this house, and we're like, we think it's a go, like it's the most go out of any of the four that we've looked at or something because we haven't able to look at many due to the reasons you just described, and we're feeling into it. 

[00:49:03] And then, I get an email right before we recorded from the owner of the house I leased back in LA and she gives me 30 days' notice. She's like, sorry, we're giving you 30 days, we have to move into the house you're living in, to remodel their big house or whatever. And I'm just like, well, I've looked at Alyson, I'm just like, this is so perfect. It's so perfect. So, that is because I have built a little bit of that neutrality of two, a one thing happens, an email says X, Y, Z. One reality is, how could they do this to me? 

[00:49:42] What a bitch? God hates me. We're so fucked now. Now, we got to hurry. What are we going to do with the money, the moving truck? Like we're going to Joe Dispenza, then we're going to Cuixmala. This is just the worst thing to ever happen, right? That judgment saying bad. Event, bad. Mark that red. And getting a little bit better at the sweet spot of like, oh, this is interesting. It's just interesting. Okay. It's just interesting. And then, the other trap is like, this is good, this is the best thing to happen. 

[00:50:13] Let's move, let's do this. It's like, no, I'm not going to make a decision based on what the intellect thinks and it's a limited perspective of what something is classified as and what the chain of events or decision is going to be around the finality of that judgment, right? So, in that dance of interesting, there's infinite potentiality, because now, from one linear perspective, we're under pressure, but are we really? Because there's a million ways that can unfold. Put your shit in storage. Don't move. Move it out here. Put in storage. Rent a place. Buy a place, don't buy place. 

[00:50:50] It's like we're actually not locked into anything if one can surrender one's attachment to their opinion on it, right? I mean, talk about freedom? Like, whoa, now, we're really kind of dancing with reality here. We're Cirque du Soleil, like flipping around, swinging around, making some more graceful moves rather than not clumsy, fear-based, foreseen, controlling thing that I'm pretty damn good at, at this point. So, yeah. And then, anyway, what I was getting to is then we're like, Preston, check out the listing. What do you think? And you tapped into the place you just described, I can only assume, body, mind, spirit. You're like, dope house, do this.

[00:51:30]Preston Smiles:  Yes, it was instant. 

[00:51:32]Luke Storey:  And that was so good for us because we're still in the, well, what if, what if, eh, thing. 

[00:51:38]Preston Smiles:  Bro, that house is epic. If it's yours, awesome. It it's not-

[00:51:43]Luke Storey:  And wouldn't it be funny if by the time this comes out, I'm like recording the intro for this going, yeah, you guys, you're going to hear about an hour in, we talk about this house, we live here now, which is very possible. And if we don't, we're going to live somewhere else, and I'm going to go, thank God, I didn't say no to God. Thank God, I said, maybe, let's see, right? 

[00:52:02]Preston Smiles:  Yes.

[00:52:02]Luke Storey:  Beautiful teachings.

[00:52:04]Preston Smiles:  Huge.

[00:52:04]Luke Storey:  So, a lot of your work is about the celebration and expression of love, embracing love. Okay. And in my current worldview, when we look at the things in the world that we might want to change, take social issues, or racism, financial issues, societal, education system, medical system, political system, all the systems, all the isness of the human experience, many people with their hearts in the right place, from my perspective, come at those systems they wish to change by fighting against them. My perspective on all of these things is, if there is a problem somewhere, it's that there is a lack of love there. 

[00:52:52] Okay. And this is like when all of this racial stuff kind of exploded, it took me a minute to really like, whoa, this is very delicate. This is delicate. I ain't touching this shit for a minute, honestly. Like I'm not popping off just because like I'm supposed to say something. That's just the thing that comes to mind right now. So, I had to feel into it. I'm like, no matter what way I feel into any of these problems, the COVID thing, which I just completely think is a complete scam and just about every way, and we don't have time to get into that, I've done a lot of shows on it. 

[00:53:21] And God bless anyone whose family is sick of anything, flu, call it whatever you want, I really earnestly believe that, mean that. But I look at any problem like that, and I'm like, okay, so you have evil people over here doing bad shit. What's the problem? Lack of love. You have police doing this thing. What's the problem? Lack of love. So, the obvious and really elementary solution to a problem based in lack of love is more love, unconditional love. 

[00:53:53] And at the same time, that runs the risk of spiritual bypass and not asking hard questions, having difficult conversations around, okay, love might be the answer, let's agree on that, but we also have to acknowledge the elephant in the room that there's a serious problem here. And I don't know that I've ever been able to reconcile what that is because I'm just brought back to, okay, yeah, there's a problem. I admit it. What's the solution? I'm just like so solution-oriented. So, in your work and from your perspective, how can we acknowledge a problem-

[00:54:32]Preston Smiles:  I got it, bro.

[00:54:33]Luke Storey:  Okay. You know how I'm going with this? 

[00:54:34]Preston Smiles:  I got it.

[00:54:35]Luke Storey:  I don't know if I'm able to articulate it, but it's one that fascinates me, and I think I'm finding my way through it.

[00:54:40]Preston Smiles:  Yeah, I'm going to say something that's-

[00:54:41]Luke Storey:  But I want to open this up as a real, honest dialogue.

[00:54:46]Preston Smiles:  What I'm going to say is probably going to be very controversial for a lot of people, so I'm just caveating that now. So, I want to start by a broad stroke of what I believe love is. 

[00:55:02]Luke Storey:  Oh, this is going to be good.

[00:55:06]Preston Smiles:  And maybe not. Love is what we're breathing right now. Love is, and we can't be separate from it. Love and God for me are the same things. I've had the good fortune of watching people die bloody deaths, brains on ground, holding human dying, and recognizing that this was a person inside of this thing four minutes ago. Now, five minutes, no person in there. So, was that, speaking to Amelia Sterental, Amelia, if you're here, thank you for the opportunity of holding you and being with you as you died—I wouldn't even say died, as you transitioned. 

[00:56:18] Amelia, this is the last time it happened, New York City, she gets hit by cab, flies in the air, lands on her brain, and she struggles and fights for her life as she dies, while I'm holding her feet, praying over her, and a nurse and a doctor are there, and everybody else doesn't want to look because her brains are splattered on the ground. Amelia was not in there anymore. And I'm sure that if she could write the script on how she passed away, it wouldn't be on Mother's Day in New York on some grimy ass street outside of Saks Fifth Ave. 

[00:56:58] Sure. However, that's what happened, and that was still love and still God. So, when I say love is all there is, was, and ever will be, that encompasses the ants murdering each other, the horses kicking each other in the face, the gorillas ripping their fucking babies apart, it encompasses everything. So, when we say or when you said, more love, my rebuttal to that is the protests were love. The people who made it, chose to be violent against the violence, that was love too. 

[00:57:55] Everybody does everything from their version of love. The people who hung my ancestors from trees believed that they were loving America, they were loving their family by destroying these heathens who are not fully men. When they drug Emmett Till on the back of a truck, and cut off his dick, and burned him, they believe that they were doing it for their country. They weren't wrong, they weren't right either, because God doesn't separate itself, it just says yes. 

[00:58:41] So, my view is that all of nature, the trees outside of this window are fighting for the sunlight. All of nature is violent and all of that still produces transmutation. So, when there is a global or local issue that gets faced, right? Because a lot of people came to me during that time, and said, we just need to change that X, Y, and Z. Yes. And how we get there is this route, this route, this route, this route, this route, and that one. And just because you see 2,000 people peacefully protesting, but the media shows you the 14 people who are doing the opposite or the fake rioters who were police officers inciting the thing, whatever that is, the bricks that are dropped off in every neighborhood, right? 

[00:59:45] Like all of that. It doesn't mean that that's not a part of the solution. Does that make sense? It's all a part of the solution. Going back to all roads lead to the same place. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will this utopia that we believe we're building. Even when we get there, there will be violence. Even when we get there, people will still be hit by cars. Even when we get there, little kids will have diseases and die early. I sat in an ayahuasca ceremony six, seven years ago, it was the last one I did. And I set the intention to know myself as God, whoo, what an intention. It was the last time I'll set that intention.

[01:00:28]Luke Storey:  Hey, careful with that one. 

[01:00:29]Preston Smiles:  Bro, it was beautiful. And then, at one point, it just turned. It just turned and it was literally the most excruciating thing I have ever experienced, just pure mayhem. And towards the end, it started to take my breath away, and I could feel like, oh, you're about to not breathe anymore. And it said, if you want out, tap out now, and I went, boom, boom, and I tapped out. And [making sound] and I was back, fully back. And I say that to say there's no way to not be operating from love. 

[01:01:11] And I know that may be deeply controversial for a lot of people. I have the sneaking suspicion that when we find our way on the other side of these skin suits and we recognize that we are pure beingness able to shoot anywhere we want to, we'll go, oh, that was just one piece because life has no opposite. Life can only be lifing. And whether we see it or we don't, it's still lifing. I'll leave that there for now.

[01:01:48]Luke Storey:  That's great. I love that. I guess it's really kind of a non-dualistic viewpoint on the duality that we're in. It's like keeping that same perspective and it kind of ties into that neutrality, too. I think the difficulty for some is that, how do I say this in a way that's delicate and that also makes sense? I think when people experience what they perceive to be wrongdoing or injustice, they have a God-given desire to make it right and fix it. But at the same time, our reality in our world is really only what we projected to be. So, one might have a sincere desire to change the world, ah, the world shouldn't be this way, we shouldn't have the evil that you described and all these things. So, I'm going to set out and I'm going to change the world. 

[01:02:49] But without the knowledge that the world you see is only a projection of your perception of it, isn't that an attempt at change futile? So, how can one then effect positive change out there in the world when it seems to me that, really, the only way to affect the positive change you want to see in the world is to really go deeply within and really start to examine oneself and to cultivate the revelation of the God within you to cultivate the revelation of the love that is already there, that is all that's there. So, when I said, yeah, erroneously, we just need to infuse more love, more love. The problem is not that there's no love that we can take it from here and put it there, it's that we need to, within ourselves, remove the blocks from that experience of love.

[01:03:41]Preston Smiles:  Real talk. And the vehicle. The vehicle. Going back to, I'm going to change the world, your complaint is your mission. What you complain about is your mission. So, that mission gets the person going so that they can walk themselves back home. And we're always coming back home to the self. I completely agree with you. I don't know if most people understand that. This is just like I'm headed back home, back to the heart. Because ultimately, for me, life is meaningless. 

[01:04:24] It's just whatever I say it is. Whatever fight I have, whatever thing I'm going after, that's just to get me going. It's to get me in this process, so it's not boring. And yes, does it matter? Yes. Will it transmute, and change, and shift the landscape of our planet? Yes. And when it's all said and done, there's only God and it can't separate itself. So, when I'm fully trusting in that, magic. When I'm not, and trust me, there are many times where I'm not, I fall into the angst. Am I clear that being an afro amazing man comes with a whole set of things? 

[01:05:10] Including people crossing streets, and clenching their purses, and talking shit, and mob mentality, I've had all of it happen. I've been kicked, and spit on, and called a nigger, and a monkey multiple times. I've been humiliated by mobs of weak ass White men, for sure. And I know that they had to be hurting to do that. I knew it. So, what do I do with that? Point it back? I need to hurt all the White man who hurt me. 

[01:05:46] They were already hurting. I chose this skin suit, I chose this so that I could experience the highest heights of joy, right? Because somebody, do it for me, explain left without giving me an understanding of what right is. Explain hot without letting me know what cold is. Explain, let's call it, joy without giving me an experience of something opposite to that, seemingly opposite to that. Called it in. So, I'll ride the wave. I'll ride the wave like everybody else rides the wave. I chose this one this time like this. It's awesome.

[01:06:32] Do you get the sense that, in addition to choosing the circumstance in which we arrive in terms of who are parents are, lineage, ancestry, all of that carry down trauma and whatever gender level of pigment that we choose because we know that's going to indicate to a degree, we kind of know the path there, you know what I mean? Like you're born in the middle of the tundra somewhere in Alaska, your life experiences in Eskimo is going to be different than your kid born in Japan in the '40s. 

[01:07:10] All that, right? But I've had to really, I don't know if grapple is the right word, but let's say courageously explore some of the experiences of my life in which I was victimized. I mean, there's no other way to say it, really, even though I don't feel like a victim now in hindsight and having done such exploration, but there were definitely experiences that have been traumatic and painful in which I was harmed and I had really no conscious part in playing that out. So, there's other situations where I was being a selfish dick, and I wanted something, I got in the cookie jar, and I got my ass beat by whatever experience. 

[01:07:46] That's one thing. But I'm not talking about, you're a little kid, you're chilling, and someone fucks with you deeply, right? As an adult, I've been able to contextualize that as, oh, it's all part of this journey and this dance, but I've never been able to get to the point where I felt like I called that in, in any way. What's your perspective on that? I guess it's a karmic question. Like we're choosing to come in a certain way at a certain time, but then isn't it a little bit of a gamble, it's exactly how that's going to play out? Right? 

[01:08:19] Yes.

[01:08:20]Luke Storey:  So, you could have been a born a Black kid wherever you're born and had a completely different experience. Maybe you live somewhere where people are totally accepting of you and you never had to experience that. Did you choose all of it? Did I choose all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, or did I just choose the starting point? 

[01:08:34]Preston Smiles:  For me, it's more empowering because I've also had a similar experience as a child with a family friend locking the door and turning the lights up. And I don't remember all of it, but I remember, I know that that's affected my intimacy with other men and allowing men to be my friend. So, this is a thing that I've been working on for years because of what happened when I was like 10, right? And many other experiences, too. Like, bro, I almost died at 25 because I gave myself a heart condition, because I was so stressed out from the life that I had been living. 

[01:09:13] But just to answer your question, it's deeply empowering for me to believe that I chose it all. Because then, no one else has my power. I chose it all. And within, let's call it my hand, right? Within my hand is a million paths, and I keep saying this, all roads lead to the same place. And every time I get to a fork in the road, no matter which way I go, this way or that way, I'm still going to end up right there, which is here and now. So, okay. Does the five-year-old ask consciously, I would like to be molested by my uncle?

[01:09:59] No. However, when that five-year-old is standing on the stage, and it's now 35, and helping millions of people who've been molested by their uncle break through, does that same person say, wow, I get it, I get what God was doing, I get what the universe was doing, I get what my higher, higher, higher self was doing when it chose this particular path. Because look what I get to do and be with other humans, look what depths, and compassion, and empathy I get to extract, and pull, and pull from because I've had that experience. 

[01:10:48] Bro, I've always been intense, but because I have had some of the experiences we've been talking about, my coaching, I'm a monster in facilitation and in coaching. Bro, because I've been down some roads. Would I like to take those roads away and just be this pure, crystalline being who've never had anything happen? I don't know if I would trade it. Those things sucked. And I don't think I would trade it. I chose my dad. And my dad chose his choices and those things fucked me up. 

[01:11:27] But who's the me that it fucked up? That's the question I get to sit in, did it really or did it give me direction? Did the dude love me? Yes. Was he doing the best that he could with the tools and consciousness he had available? Yes. Am I doing the best that I can? Can I stop myself? Can I not fuck my kids up? No, I'm going to fuck my kids up. Hmm, okay. Well, is that potentially true for everybody who's ever raised a kid? Yeah, I'm going to fuck the kids up. So, yeah, just roll with it.

[01:12:07]Luke Storey:  I think there's a lot of power in taking responsibility. I think that's that dividing line between seeing yourself as a victim of circumstance, and if not taking responsibility for the nuances of the journey and each of those points in which one might have been perceived to be victimized, but in that you agreed to the big mission and however that might play out. That makes a lot of sense to me. I can get behind that. In other words, at some point, there was a soul contract saying, I don't care how we get over there, I'm going over there. And if we have to go through some shit, cool. And that shit might be being molested. 

[01:12:44] And I'm not encouraging that as a path, but for me, it's funny you mention that particular age, an event that really was like the ultimate [making sound] tweak, turning point where shit just went way off the rails and is probably still off the rails at 50 years old in some ways as a result of that. But same here. I mean, I think if you went back in that moment like, Luke, you cannot walk in that room right now [making sound] as it weird as it sounds, as much as I don't want to believe it, I would probably have the same experience because I like who I am right now. And there's no telling who I might have ended up being had I not walked through all those fires, and stomped on all those hot coals, and just like kept the grind going, good, bad, or indifferent. 

[01:13:34]Preston Smiles:  Bro, my father, beautiful man. My whole life, I always wanted for him what I'm doing now. I remember being 13, it's like, if this dude would just like read, and digest, and then go, like I wanted for him something, but that wasn't his life path and it wasn't until probably 30. No, 27. We had a fight at 75. That was the first time where I was like, oh. Like he may die still like doing the regular guy thing. He may die still saying like bitches ain't shit. Like fuck, that's interesting. My dad was awesome and he was running essentially a prostitution ring out of his apartment that I was paying for. When he died last year while I was at Burning Man, and he knew that if he smoked cigarettes, he could die because he had COPD, and he smoked anyway. 

[01:14:49] He did it anyway. After having multiple conversations, where I said, I need you to be alive because I want my kids to know their granddad, and that dude still smoked cigarettes. I wanted something for him that was not his life path, and what I'm saying and what I'm pointing to is what you just said. Without some of those things, you wouldn't have sought out, searched out, and looked from 50,000 feet in the air of what's happening. My dad never made that choice. And God bless his soul because some of the choices he did make gifted me with the opportunity to to do it. I get to live out what he didn't. And my sons will get to do the same. They'll take it to a whole another level.

[01:15:47]Luke Storey:  I think that's something so interesting about our generation, I don't know what age you are, but we're kind of close-ish, so many people I know are the chain breakers in the family lineage, the family dynamic of trauma cycles and karmic loops, and like [making sounds] over and over again. It's like I know so many people that are like, no, buck stops here. There's a new trajectory now in this DNA thread and we're going in a different direction. It's really, really incredible to be a participant in that and a witness in that. And as I said, I don't have kids yet, but I'm making my own ripples in my own way.

[01:16:28]Preston Smiles:  You have kids already. They're just not here in the physical.

[01:16:31]Luke Storey:  There you go. There you go. Yeah. And even with my younger brothers, it's just like they're on different paths. It's not the same exact path, but we contextualize our life experience in a very similar way. And I know when and if they have kids, new game. New game. It's not the old thing anymore. It's a new game. And for that, I have hope, and reverence, and also still, I understand, you mentioned utopia, that we don't want to be there really any way, you know what I mean? Because it's like the contrast of duality is what gives its life the richness. And as you described, without that hot, then you can't experience cold and all of that. 

[01:17:14] So, it's actually a really sweet lane to be in where you're very committed to evolution and merging with God, but also accepting of and appreciative of the gift of duality and contrast, and knowing that, yeah, we're on this steady trajectory upward in consciousness and there's all these little baby dips on the way, but we are the ones, man, that are choosing to be like, no, cool, we're down with the evolution, we're down with the contrast. And even though we don't think utopia is the end goal, we're going to facilitate more utopian energies, and more harmony, and more love into this plane. And I'm very grateful to get to know you today and to participate in like, oh, such a sweet dance of expression, and sharing of ideas and consciousness. So, thank you so much.

[01:18:08]Preston Smiles:  Oh, yeah, man, I appreciate you. Thank you for saying yes. Thank you for stepping forward. Thank you for being a leader. Thank you for opening your heart. Thank you for expansion. Thank you for all of it, bro. It's a big deal. And dudes oftentimes don't tell each other that and like really mean it. I'm proud of you. Even though you're older than me, I'm proud of you. I'm so grateful that you decided to be the best version of you. So big. Look how many people get to benefit from the choice you made. 

[01:18:42] You will never see the end of your giving, ever. It's so expansive. It's actually wild when you think about it. And so, thank you from the bottom of my heart and thank every single one of you who is listening, or watching, or has been on this ride with us because it's informed by your energy as well. We don't just do this thing right here. We have a global mind, right? It's called the internet. But the people on the other side of these cameras are the global heart and that's what we're experiencing right now. So, appreciate you, man.

[01:19:19]Luke Storey:  Who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your work that you might recommend to the audience?

[01:19:26]Preston Smiles:  Nature, number one. Spend more time outside, shoes off. I have my students do something called a social sabbatical, where they take 30 minutes to an hour once a week with no journals, no phones, no nothing, just beingness and listening outside. That's one. Number two, yeah, I'm going to do this differently because I'm a rebel. Number two, I have something that I've been having my students do for a while called joy alarms, where you set three or four alarms in your phone. And every time those alarms go off, you literally burst into the biggest version of joy you can possibly do, literally recalibrating your nervous system to that thing. We are patterns in a space, and so we can create new patterns of joy. That's number two. Number three, get your questions answered and your answers questioned. Those are the three. 

[01:20:35]Luke Storey:  Love it. Deep. Where can people find you on social media, websites, et cetera?

[01:20:40]Preston Smiles:  @PrestonSmiles, prestonsmiles.com, kaboomcoaching.com if you're a coach and you want some support. But just @PrestonSmiles, find me anywhere. I love you guys. And if you don't find me, it's been awesome, like really cool.

[01:20:53]Luke Storey:  Likewise. Thank you. Thanks for coming out. Thanks for making the time. I know we're close to New Year's. You got the three kids, the wife, it's not probably that easy to pull yourself away, so thank you for taking the time with us today.

[01:21:04]Preston Smiles:  100%, man, appreciate you brother, for sure.



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