482. Spiritual Bypassing vs. Practicing Acceptance & Surrender AMA w/Luke

Bailey Richardson

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

In this Friday AMA episode with my producer and partner in crime, Bailey, I share my latest insights and advice for practicing acceptance of reality and surrendering to what we cannot change in order to keep our peace and align with the highest good. 

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.

This is an Ask Me Anything with my producer and partner in crime, Bailey Richardson, wherein I'll be answering common questions we get from listeners like you. In this episode, we focus on two questions which ultimately center around practicing acceptance of reality and surrendering to what we cannot change in order to keep our peace and align with the larger plan guiding us towards the highest good. 

First, we explore the question… How can I know if I'm practicing acceptance for what is or falling into spiritual bypass? I share a couple recent experiences with grief, loss, trauma, and my addiction recovery journey that have taught me how to hold space for myself and others to process difficult emotions, why it’s so important to do so without judgment, and the long-term negative effects of avoiding them.

We also dive into the question… How do you balance the understanding that we create our own reality with living a healthy life in this toxic world of EMFs, poisonous food, and poisonous products?

It’s an ongoing practice for me to recognize the harm being done in the world and collect tools for combating them while also acknowledging my mortality. I share what I use and do to protect myself from toxins and chemicals, but also talk about how I’ve balanced having awareness without falling into paranoia or a doom-and-gloom outlook.

In both scenarios, I share the tools, practices, places, and people that have helped me navigate these complex issues with the hope that my perspective provides some solace to you in your journey. 

00:00:00 — Discerning Between Practicing Acceptance & Spiritual Bypassing

  • Recognizing if you or your circumstance needs to change
  • Examples from recent experiences where Luke has grappled with this question
  • Processing emotions and grief
  • Accepting reality: what you can and cannot change
  • Facing darkness in the world with love and light

00:00:00 — Tools For Change: Surrendering to Reality & Healing Trauma

  • How the body keeps the score of traumas
  • Reparenting yourself and understanding survival mode
  • Modalities, places, and systems to help you face and process unhealed trauma
  • Exploring the link between addiction and trauma
  • The importance of having a community that can hold space for your process
  • Increasing your capacity to surrender and accept reality
  • Having faith that things will work out for the highest good

00:00:00 — How To Live A Healthy Life In A Toxic World

Cultivating relationships based on shared values

[00:00:00] Luke: To relinquish my argument with reality, that's what acceptance is to me. It's to stop arguing with Reality.

[00:00:08] Bailey: That's good.

[00:00:10] Luke: There is a reality. There's a way things go in life, and we have our preferences. Our preferences are based on our conditioning, uh, our past experiences, our traumas, our capacity to handle, um, unexpected events, our personality type, if we're more introverted, extroverted. There's so many different, um, contributing factors, but the main thing that's universal is, am I fighting a reality that I can't change in my mind? 

All right, you guys. Welcome to Episode 482. This is an Ask Me Anything with my partner in crime, Bailey Richardson, wherein I'll be answering some common questions we get from listeners like you. Make sure to tune in next week with Laughing Dragon, where we talk about the magic world of Amanita muscaria mushrooms. You definitely don't want to miss that. And with that, let's go ahead and jump right in.

[00:01:13] Bailey: All right. Hey, Luke.

[00:01:14] Luke: Hey, Bailey. Good to see you. I love when we're on a remote, uh, Zoom call and we're not having an important work meeting. This is way more fun.

[00:01:24] Bailey: This is more fun. Just hanging out.

[00:01:26] Luke: Yeah. Why can't we just do this every day? No more meetings. Only podcast recordings.

[00:01:31] Bailey: Hey, I'm okay with that. Um, you want to jump right into it?

[00:01:38] Luke: Let's do this. What do you got for me? It's always a nice surprise when we do these episodes and you come at me with some questions out of left field. Way more fun, by the way, than me trying to prepare it, and also has a better chance of me getting out of the way and just answering things more spontaneously and hopefully authentically.

[00:01:57] Bailey: I like the spontaneity too because the fact that you don't want to know it far ahead of time, I get to just go with my gut the day of recording. And I think that's the best way for me to choose.

[00:02:10] Luke: Me too.

[00:02:12] Bailey: So, um, I would like to know, how can I know if I'm practicing acceptance for what is or falling into spiritual bypass?

[00:02:24] Luke: That is a great question, and one for which I don't know that there's an accurate, factual answer, because it's so nuanced and so dependent on the specifics of each situation. But the principle of spiritual bypassing is, uh, deeply important to me, as is the principle of acceptance. And so I think to start out, I'll talk about acceptance and what that means to me and how that principle has assisted me in my life in so many ways and continues to do so on daily basis.

So I think I'll start off by talking about acceptance, and then we can get into the spiritual bypassing. And when I talk about acceptance, generally, I'm talking about accepting things that one cannot change. And the interesting thing about acceptance is that sometimes we arrive at a place where we're up against something that we don't prefer and we think that we just need to accept it. However, sometimes I'm faced with the situation that I'm trying to accept, but what I need to accept is that that situation is unacceptable.

It gets into the last episode we did on boundaries. So let's say I'm in relation to someone in business or, uh, personally, and their behavior continues to cause me grief. One side of that would be, well, I'll just accept this person for who they are, practice diplomacy and kindness, and just let them be messy and try to not let it affect me. In some cases, I might be able to be resilient enough or have the right posture of a boundary where that person isn't getting so close into my emotional world where their dysfunction, or chaos, or distortion is going to affect me.

But sometimes, some situations, and some people, are just not good for me, and that's when I arrive at a scenario where what I need to accept is not the situation. I need to accept that I don't have the capacity to accept it, or that it's actually not healthy for me to accept it, which is a form of spiritual bypassing in and of itself, right?

[00:04:52] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:53] Luke: I'm in a relationship with someone or, um, a work arrangement or something of that nature, and it's causing me, uh, to have an unmanageable emotional or thought life. I'm ruminating, I'm resentful, I'm just in conflict, and I can't seem to resolve it. And in those cases, sometimes I just have to accept humbly my limitations and just go, man, I really want to be able to be in this interaction and show up as my best self, but I just lack the capacity to do so. And so I just can't accept it. 

Um, this was something I dealt with, um, more so when I was living in California, um, toward the beginning of the pandemic, but a little bit here in Texas when I moved here, when I would go to downtown Austin, which at the time was much more authoritarian than the outskirts where I live. Um, so say I was going into Whole Foods, and I never wore a mask. And so there were a couple occasions where the staff would chase me around the store, literally.

At one point, I had three or four people chasing me to the cheese fridge. You know what I mean? I'm like, what is wrong with you people? And I would get so pissed off, not at them, because they're just mindless bots that have been brainwashed or coerced into that behavior by their employer because they need to feed their family. Who knows what their story was? 

And I would try to accept it and just go, well, I guess this is just the way it is if I want a grocery shop. And so I just need to calm down and just accept this, just be in peace with this scenario. And I found that it was just so opposed to my values and what I felt to be right and true that I could not accept it. And so I stopped going to Whole Foods. Problem solved. 

So what I had to accept was that, man, it's really convenient to be able to dip into Whole Foods and get a plate of canola oil after the salad bar. Just kidding? I call it Canola Foods, by the way. I mean, God bless them. They have better options than many grocery stores. So I'm grateful for them. But man, they're heavy on the seed oils over in that piece. 

Um, so I had to accept like, wow, here's the convenience, a quality problem, first world problem. I'm going to just have to let this go and find other means by which I can procure food that's somewhat healthy. So that was the situation where I tried to accept it, went there a few times, and just found it wasn't good for my mental or emotional health to be continuing to volunteer myself into that level of conflict.

So that's the first part, is that sometimes as well-intentioned as we are, we either cannot or should not accept something the way it is. So usually, when one is faced with a problem, which I would, um, contextualize as a dilemma, it's like to do something or not to do something is usually the problem.

The answer generally falls into three categories. I need to change the situation. And those situations usually involve other people, and it's very difficult to change other people. So that's usually not a viable option. But in some cases, I might be able to have an open and honest conversation with someone and actually change the dynamic of our interaction, or do something to affect change. Um, so option 1 is change the situation. Option 2 is to change myself and see that the trouble I'm having with this given experience is because of the way I'm holding it. It's based on my perspective.

I always just give real time examples and the first thing that comes to mind. So yesterday, um, on every other Tuesday, we're fortunate enough to have other people come clean our home because it's not the greatest use of my time. I could be doing something else that generates more revenue than I would save by paying myself to clean the house, which is my metric of how I decide to do things or not do things.

If I can pay someone else $250 to spend three hours of my house, I could probably go spend that same amount of time and make $300, or whatever it is. A little side piece there. Uh, side lesson rather. Side piece is a whole other thing we won't get into. I don't recommend it. Don't recommend side pieces. I love monogamy. Sorry, I'm having fun today. 

So every other Tuesday, Alyson and I plan, they're going to get here around 1:00 or 2 o'clock. We check the app, and we always try to bail before they get here because it's just chaos with all the vacuum cleaners, and all the people, and it's just frankly awkward. I don't really know them. It's not the same people every time. I just don't want to be here. I just want to come home and have a clean house. 

So yesterday, I was finishing up some work, and I pushed it a little too far, past the deadline, and then they come in, and I found myself annoyed by the fact that they were here. And that would be a situation where it's not that I have to change what they're doing, it's that I have to change my entitled, spoiled ass, irritable attitude and go into the reality of the situation, which is, I am so fortunate to finally, at 52 years old, own my own home.

Well, the bank owns most of it. I own a little of it, if we want to get down to the nitty gritty of it. I'm so fortunate that I have the means by which I can pay other people to come do something for us that I really don't like doing. I really strongly dislike cleaning the house, especially anything related to dishes.

So my attitude needed to change. Wow, here's two people that are coming into our house to be of service to us. It's not like I had a problem with them. I'm just annoyed because I'm in a hurry, and I'm just stressed out and rushing around, and I just have this mental attachment to getting out of the house before they come.

So what I needed to accept was that it wasn't the situation that needed to change. It was me that needed to change. And it was just the small attitude adjustment. It's just talking to myself, self-regulating, saying, Luke, let's look at the reality of this. Stop being a brat, finish your work, say hello to the crew with kindness and appreciation, get in the car, and go when you can go. 

So I either change the situation, I change myself, or I stop or leave the situation, which is the part I was talking about before where I accept that it's unacceptable. So say every other Tuesday, I just can't help myself from being upset. I can't get out of the house, and this little thing annoys me.

And this is just a silly example. It could be anything, and it could be something even much more meaningful or substantial. If I can't change the situation, and I can't change my relationship to that situation, then I might have to leave. I might have to just stop it because it's causing my mind and emotions to become dysregulated and dysfunctional. So in that case, the decision would be, you know what, I don't want to do it, but I can't find a better way to do this, so I'm cleaning my own house.

[00:12:15] Bailey: Mm-hmm. 

[00:12:16] Luke: And you could apply that to any situation. So it's change the situation, change myself, or leave, stop, whatever it is that I'm doing. I find that in most cases, it's the middle choice that is going to provide a solution that is most beneficial to all parties involved. It usually has to do with me changing my attitude about something, changing the thoughts that I'm having about it, reframing it, getting a different perspective. And most things in life are dependent on that level of acceptance. 

It's like you're driving, uh, somewhere, and you've set your GPS, and you're going to arrive right on time, and then there's a freaking oil spill or something. There's an accident on your road, and now you're late. That could cause someone to have a really crappy day for the rest of the day because they have an attachment to that. And then the thoughts that come up are resenting reality for what it is, when reality is just being reality. So in that situation, it would be practice of acceptance.

And again, these are superficial examples, but the same principle applies with being prematurely delayed on a road trip than it would to any of the geopolitical issues in the world or familial problems. Um, at the time of this recording, um, a close relative of, uh, two people I love dearly is transitioning out of her body and might even be gone at the time of this recording.

And it's a terribly sad situation. It's somewhat unexpected. It doesn't look like there are any options left at this point. So I can either resent that reality and fight that as being the case, or I can just accept that within myself and be willing to feel whatever feelings I need to feel and make time for them.

So that brings us into the spiritual bypassing part. Can I just accept that people die, and sometimes those people die, uh, in a timeline that is not of my choosing, which is probably every death? It's not the perfect circumstances that I would've put together if I was orchestrating the world and who comes and goes when.

So yeah, I can accept that this is the way this is. I can do my best to offer support, but what would be very unhealthy is for me to be in denial of any feelings that would come up around that. And I was talking to, um, these couple of people two days ago and doing my best to console them and just offer any insights that, uh, were present in me at the time.

And just a very heartfelt, loving conversation. And I became very emotional. I started, I don't know if channeling might be a strong word, but there were some sentiments and, I think, some wisdom that were coming through me that needed to be said that I felt could be helpful. And as I was sharing that, I got really emotional, and I don't like to be emotional.

I don't like to cry or feel feelings. I just want to be happy all the time. So I'm learning over time to let go of my judgment of what is a positive feeling and a negative feeling. Maybe a feeling is just a feeling, and maybe the grief that I was preemptively feeling, the compassion, the sympathy that I was having for my loved ones who are more directly going through this experience of loss.

And so bypassing would be stuffing it down, wanting to be a man, not wanting to cry, rationalizing the feelings I'm having, just saying, well, this is just how life is, and just bulldozing my way through that instead, because I've learned this the hard way over the years. I allowed myself to be a little embarrassed as I started to become emotional, and I'm crying.

I'm having a hard time getting these words out, and I knew that there was healing for me, and I think it's possible for the people on the other end of the call as well because now we're in authenticity. This is an honest experience of what I'm feeling. And what I'm saying is really coming from the heart, and it's coming from a place of deep, unconditional love.

And so did I want to be having those feelings on a Monday afternoon at 4 o'clock sitting in my backyard? No. I want to be jumping on the trampoline, and get in the ice bath, and give my wife a hug, and playing with the dog, or doing anything else that I like to do outdoors. But the moment called for sincere presence, and it called for me to be open to the processing of the grief and other feelings that were coming up at the time. 

The thing is, in the body's somatic experience of emotions, whether they be emotions of joy or emotions of grief, doesn't forget. It has to be processed at some time or another. So to be in denial of those feelings, to push those feelings down, to numb those feelings out, would only cause those feelings to gain more energy and more momentum and likely come out in unrelated and inappropriate ways at the wrong time.

The right time to feel those feelings was on the phone with those guys that I deeply love. That was my time to feel those feelings. And if I had sensed that it was not tactful to share my feelings with them at that time because they were having their feelings, then yeah, I would've withheld, and got off the phone, and processed after the call.

But it was part of a unifying healing experience, I think, for the three of us. And so I observed within myself, wow, these are some strong feelings of sadness, and grief, and pain. And knowing what I know, I was informed by that and allowed myself to feel those feelings. And the healing that took place between the three of us and within me allowed me then to move on with my day with an acceptance of that reality that didn't negate the feelings associated with that reality.

Paradoxically, if I were to repress or suppress, whether consciously or unconsciously, feelings that needed to be experienced and expressed, I would not only be spiritually bypassing, but I would negate my ability to truly accept that situation. In other words, to relinquish my argument with reality. That's what acceptance is to me. It's to stop arguing with Reality.

[00:19:38] Bailey: That's good.

[00:19:40] Luke: There is a reality. There's a way things go in life, and we have our preferences. Our preferences are based on our conditioning, uh, our past experiences, our traumas, our capacity to handle, um, unexpected events, our personality type, if we're more introverted, extroverted. There's so many different, um, contributing factors, but the main thing that's universal is, am I fighting a reality that I can't change in my mind? 

Am I using the intellect, or rather, the intellect using me to say, this is right? That's wrong. It should be this way, not that way. And so acceptance is a really powerful principle when it comes to expressing some humility and just knowing like, hey, okay, I see this situation as being wrong. I don't want it to be this way, but I'm not omniscient and all-knowing, so I don't what this really means on the other side of it. 

How many times in our lives have we gone through something that seemed like it was the worst possible scenario that could have been bestowed onto us? And then after some time passes, in hindsight, we look back and go, oh my God, that was the best thing ever. Getting fired from a job that you thought you loved, and then you start your own business. Or you go through a divorce, and it's heartbreaking, and you're terrorized by the experience, and then five years later, you're married to the right person for you at that time, and so on and so on.

It's really easy for us to retroactively look and see, ah, there was a plan. Reality had something in store for me. Consciousness knew better than I knew at the time. But what's wonderful about the principle of acceptance is that we can begin to learn to open our minds to all possibilities, even when we're feeling those feelings, without the argument going on in the mind.

So when I'm talking to those people on the phone and they're in the process of a tremendous loss and a very sad loss, there can exist both a willingness to face whatever feelings come up and also a resistance to believing the mind when it says, this is wrong. It should be another way. This shouldn't be happening.

How do I know what should be happening? I have no idea. I have thoughts about it, I have feelings about it, I have my opinions, but do I really know? It's like, look at the past three years. I mean, there's a huge part of me that says what we have gone through as a collective species is terrible, and it's the worst thing I've witnessed in my lifetime.

Just such harm to the populace on such a grand scale in so many ways, physically, psychologically, mentally, financially. I mean, what has happened to us has been, I would say, horrible, and yet, I can't place myself in a timeline five years from now when I say, oh, that was actually the best thing ever because look what has happened. 

So many people have now awakened to their truth, and are starting to place less dependency on the State, and are starting to become more sovereign and free thinking, and all of the things that we do see happening now. The rise of independent media like the one that we're creating right now, and just so many people questioning assumptions that they've carried their entire lives.

And that questioning is a result of so many false narratives crumbling before our eyes. And you have even moderate people who are probably leaning towards status, um, views who are now starting to question, huh, is it really wise to trust the most genocidal organization? I mean, just world government in general, all over the world. Historically, the most genocidal, um, it's not a system, but just, um--

[00:23:58] Bailey: Institution.

[00:23:59] Luke: Institution. There you go. That's the word I'm looking for. You have moderate people going, huh, well, let's look at their track record. Not good. Not good at all. Governments worldwide is the number one cause of death, has been for thousands of years. And so I can look at the way I'm living my life in the past three years and go, oh my God, they're out to get us. This is horrible. The news is fake. Everything's fake. We're being mind controlled and hypnotized with all of this negativity and fear. Yet at the same time, I can have acceptance for the way things are and still be proactive about the world and the life that I would like to see.

Because if I'm honest with myself, I really don't know if this has been the worst three years or the best three years ever, because I don't know the future. So balancing the level of acceptance I have. Okay. I'm just going worldwide now. There is a large category of things that I have no input into that I have no power to affect change.

I can't really, as one person, affect political policy. I can't, um, stop the planes flying over my house, spraying aluminum and God knows what else all over us, people down here. But what I can change is how I relate to people when I go out in the world. I can change my attitude. I can change the way I carry myself. I can change the degree of kindness and love with which I treat people, strangers and otherwise. It's like I can change my attitude, and also face the reality of darkness. 

I love this question. There's so much to it because it's like, acceptance works best when it's not bypassing the truth. So if I look at the past three years, I go, okay, yeah, some really dark stuff has happened and continues to happen on an ongoing basis. Every time you look at your social media or, uh, whatever newsfeed you're on, I mean, there's a new catastrophe every day, and then it just disappears in the newsfeed. In three days, it's gone, right?

[00:26:18] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:26:18] Luke: It's like, how many things have happened in the past two weeks? Everything is quickening now. So yeah, I can feel any fear that I have. I can feel sadness for my fellow humanity that are, um, experiencing suffering as a result of everything going on in the world. I can acknowledge that and not bypass it, and I can also accept the parts of it that I can change and the parts of it that I can't change.

When I zero in on like, okay, I can't do anything about this on a large scale, as one human, but I can do something about it in my day-to-day life, as I go out into the world and I interact with people, I can do something about it by sharing what I'm sharing with you now on this podcast. Maybe someone will hear this and go, oh shit. I've really been running from uncomfortable feelings, and bypassing, and just trying to be love and light.

To get to the love and light, one has to go through the dark night of the soul, and there's not just one. I'm here to tell you there's many dark nights of the soul in the human experience. Being a human is freaking hard, especially if you're on a spiritual path and you're seeking self-realization, or enlightenment, or whatever you term becoming awake to the truth of who you are and the nature of reality. 

When you start to really face reality, it's very tempting to bypass and just go straight to the love and light, but it's important to pass through the portals of our feeling experience, and then we can arrive at a place of true acceptance because we have more discernment, and clarity, and self-honesty about what we can accept and what we can't accept.

[00:28:05] Bailey: I think the emotional piece is such a big one. There are plenty of spiritual teachers who say, resistance will hold you back always. You have to go through the thing in order to actually come out on the other side of it. And when we deny our emotions, it can be very unconscious, but we don't want to feel the bad feelings, and just the denial of that emotion is a denial of the truth. 

It's not necessarily a logical or intellectual denial of the truth like, we know, obviously, that thing happened, or that person died, but not going through the emotional experience, it's like our body doesn't believe it, or we don't actually integrate the truth of that event if we don't allow ourselves to feel it all the way through.

[00:29:02] Luke: Absolutely. Yeah. Feeling is believing. We can trick ourselves into all sorts of different justifications, but if the body hasn't been given the space and the opportunity to safely shake out it's feelings, it's trauma, it's not going anywhere. That's the thing. I mean, in all those years, uh, thankfully, many years ago, during which I was, uh, deeply addicted to drugs and alcohol, the entire reason I anesthetized myself was because I was terrified to feel what I was feeling.

Things from my childhood, traumas, abuse, neglect, abandonment, all those things that so many of us humans have the honor of experiencing and hopefully learning from. But then there was also compounded shame and harm too, because of all the chaos and drama that I created in my own life. 

So it's like in the world of addiction, it's not only the original OG pain that we're trying to hold at bay, and deny. And talk about spiritual bypassing, I mean, using drugs, alcohol, social media, pornography, sugar, whatever your poison is, codependency, addictive relationships, sex, all the things. That's the ultimate spiritual bypass. Because it's like, man, that shit doesn't bother me. I'm cool.

[00:30:33] Bailey: A physical bypass too.

[00:30:35] Luke: Yeah, yeah. The thing is, the body keeps the score. If somebody's never been an addict, let's just say numbing out and just bypassing. It's like there's a broken down car on the road, and rather than stopping and going, oh, let me look at the bumper and let me just really dive into this experience, bypassing is like, I don't see it, I don't see it, and just going around it and pretending like there's not a wreck that's happened in your life. That's the best analogy that comes to mind. 

So any numbing or addiction is not just negating the uncomfortable feelings, but it's compounding the uncomfortable feelings, and it's festering, and it's getting worse over time. That's the thing. The body keeps the score where it doesn't forget, nor does the mind. And in this context, thinking of the mind not as the mind of consciousness, but the physical brain. The physical brain remembers trauma. And if it's not faced squarely, and there's a number of different ways to do that, it's going to fester over time, and then start to percolate and bubble to the surface and come out in ways that are, in many cases, unconscious and highly dysfunctional.

[00:32:01] Bailey: And give you more opportunities to do the right thing and feel through it, right?

[00:32:07] Luke: Yeah. Yeah. There's, um, one example that was just so clear to me to see how the neural pathways work, how when you are in danger or you've been hurt, the brain is programmed and predisposed to remember it, as is your body. And so when a future scenario is similar to the original injury, which could be emotional or physical, the body and emotions will respond inappropriately to the current perceived threat because of the scar in the mind. 

Many years ago, in, I think it was 2017, I was in Costa Rica for my first, uh, series of ayahuasca ceremonies. And on the last day, before we flew home, we had had ceremony the night before, and everyone's feeling great, and we had a free day, so we, um, decided to go find a beach. And we had a local guy who had his car there, and he was with us during the ceremony. Really sweet guy.

And so he is like, oh, I know the best beach. We'll avoid all the tourists. It's going to be great. We'll go down there and just relax and integrate. We get in the car, and we've been up all night drinking copious amounts of ayahuasca. In hindsight, getting in a car with someone who had also been participating in that experience is probably not the most prudent decision.

But we get in the car, and we're packed into this little car, and, uh, we make it about a 100 yards, and the road curves to the left. I mean, it's not a curvy dangerous road. It's on flat ground. And he just didn't turn and just drove off the side of the road to the right in this leftward leaning curb.

And we weren't going terribly fast, but the car flipped over, and we're upside down, and there's broken glass, and some people are cut up. And I saw it happening in slow motion. It was just like, I don't know why I just couldn't go, dude, and grab the wheel, or like, where are you going? It's like I couldn't believe that he was doing it. It just didn't compute to my conscious mind because, of course, you just-- 

[00:34:26] Bailey: You're still tripping.

[00:34:28] Luke: Yeah. And when you look at road, you never assume someone's going to ignore the way the road's going and just not turn the steering wheel. It's pretty easy just to go like that, right?

[00:34:36] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:34:36] Luke: So we flip over, and, um, at the time, wasn't particularly, uh, that scary to me because I'm just totally blissed out, and it wasn't a violent wreck. It's just a slow-motion rollover thing. And a couple of people were a little cut up and shaken up. But I had my faculties about me enough to help people out of the car and show up in that way and just make sure that everyone was safe and felt safe, and I felt good about myself. Felt nice to be able to do that.

And the people, uh, for whom I offered that support were grateful, and we all stuck together, and it was a nice little bonding experience. And I went, wow, thank God that wasn't worse. Fast forward to the past few years, anytime I'm the passenger in a car, which is rare because I prefer to be the driver, and we come up to a place in the road where the road curves to the left, I brace myself,

[00:35:33] Bailey: Uh-huh.

[00:35:35] Luke: And I've noticed that it gets less frequent as time goes on, but every once in a while, it's still there. And so an example of bypassing would be like, no, I didn't just feel that when we turned left. No. Nothing going on. What I do is I look to the right where I'm afraid the car is going to go, I take a deep breath, and I just allow myself to feel that moment. 

And I think from doing that dozens and dozens of times, it's gotten to the point now where it's much more rare that I have that sensation. And what that is is the mind and the body going, ooh, this is the part when your eyes see the road turning this way. This is the part where we die, right?

[00:36:23] Bailey: Right.

[00:36:24] Luke: And so even though it's not logical, we're not going fast, the person with whom I'm driving is sober, of sound mind, a great driver, and there's no rational need for concern, yet the body goes, yeah, but last time. We just better warn you, just in case.

[00:36:40] Bailey: I remember this.

[00:36:41] Luke: Yeah.

[00:36:42] Bailey: Well, and like you said, it's not only the time. It's that awareness, when it's happening, to notice it and actually go through it. I have the same thing with a different car accident. And it's like, just because you feel it over and over, I don't think it really goes away. It's only if you really pay attention to it and allow it to move through you.

[00:37:05] Luke: Yeah, exactly. And also honor the human operating system.

[00:37:10] Bailey: Be grateful for it, right?

[00:37:11] Luke: Yeah. Thank our body. Thank the mind and say, I appreciate your assistance here, but what's happening now is not the same thing that happened five years ago. So let's just take it easy. You're safe. I mean, this is all happening in microseconds. It's not like I have to stare and talk myself down off a cliff for 20 minutes on the car ride. It's an instantaneous, just, whew. There's that little thing. Breathe, feel it, allow it to be there, gratitude, move on, and it's gone. Sometimes the examples I give are more superficial, and sometimes they're deeper and there's more to them.

So in this case, I can share something that's more vulnerable and intimate that might be more meaningful to people. When I was a kid, uh, all through my childhood, I had a primary caregiver who was, uh, extremely angry, and had a very difficult time managing their emotions, and was often terrifying, and very threatening, and verbally abusive to me. 

And so as a small kid, being very impressionable, and this is why our childhoods are so important, why different approaches to therapy and psychedelics and all the different things we can do to really get into the subconscious and heal this stuff is so important. So this went on for years and years, and my response to that was to freeze. In the fight, flight, or freeze response, mine was just, become invisible and freeze. Don't talk. Don't make any sudden moves, and just hope that this storm blows over. 

So here I am, an adult man in relationships with different people, friendships, business, romantic relationships, and this has gotten much, much better because of so much healing work for, God, 25 years now I've been doing around this stuff and other things that, uh, I experienced as a kid.

But I still find, to this day, even with all of the work I've done, that when I am in a situation wherein I'm facing any conflict, my initial response is still to recoil. Thankfully, there's enough of a witness-observer presence in my day-to-day life that I actually notice when I'm having that sensation.

And so in that situation, spiritual bypassing would be pretending I didn't just feel threatened and l want to disappear into the couch, is to go, wow, there's that little boy that got wounded. You're safe right now. You're a grown ass man right here, Luke. Take a couple deep breaths and have the conversation. It's like it's that simple. 

Except that the acceptance would be like, oh, I accept my chest just got a little tight. I find myself breathing shorter. So I accept that. I also accept that this situation is in my experience right now and that I need to be in communication with this person, and it's a little bit tense. I can accept that, and then I can show up and actually face it, and retrain my subconscious, and retrain my body, mind that I'm safe, that it's okay to disagree with people. It's okay to advocate for oneself. It's okay to ask a question of someone, even if you think their response might be, uh, a bit barbed and abrasive.

It's like, confrontation is not going to kill me, and it's actually not even going to hurt me as long as I remain self-aware and fiercely present to the experience going on in my body. And over time, I'm able to build a sense of trust and safety within myself where I'm able to face those without having to really go through any process.

It's just hardwired into my being that I can just be myself, and I don't have to be afraid. Nobody's going to scream at me, or abuse me, or hit me, or any of the things that, um, might have happened when I was a kid. This part of it is, um, something that some people refer to as reparenting.

And it's a really important part of getting over spiritual bypassing and facing the understanding that every version of us that's ever existed in this lifetime, from being a new newborn infants to the age we are now, still exists in our experience and in our body. So it's not like there was a different little Luke that was six years old that was mistreated, and then he's gone, so that doesn't really matter. 

That's bypassing him. No, that six-year-old is still in my body, in my experience right now. All those versions of myself are still here and present. And so I can have a relationship with all of those different versions of myself as I am right now, just like a Russian doll. I think it's called a babushka doll or something like that.

And you have the Russian doll, and it's about yay big for those watching the video, and you're like, oh, I'm going to take off the top. And then there's another one inside, and another one inside, and inside, and so on, until you get down to a tiny little Russian doll. Well, that's you as your infant. We're all Russian dolls.

We all have all of these layers in our experience, and they all need love, and they all need support. They all need acknowledgement. Bypassing is when I say I'm fine. I got this. I'm not scared. No one's going to hurt me. No, man. We're all sensitive beings. We all have emotions. Some people more than others. Some people have more of a fight response. I've often wished I had more of that. There's like, why don't I just kick everyone's ass? It's like that just-- 

[00:43:08] Bailey: I know that feeling.

[00:43:10] Luke: It just wasn't my personality. I have friends and family members that their nervous system response is fight, attack, and they're the ones that end up in jail for battery charges and shit like that, which I've never been. I was a fast runner. Fast runner, and someone really good at freezing and just deescalating, like that Homer Simpson meme where he disappears into the bushes. That's my MO.

And so I think that nature provides us with whatever personality traits are the best adaptations for our survival. And becoming educated and aware about what your survival tactics are helps you find more balance. So for me, being more confrontational, more proactive, standing up for myself, even though it feels like I'm overshooting the mark sometimes by a really, uh, huge margin, I'm actually probably right in a balanced response.

And someone who is more of the fight response, who tones it down and thinks, I'm probably toning this down way too much, is probably about in the middle ground. So it's like self-awareness. Know thyself, and face feelings as they come up. Understand when it's appropriate to just totally fold and accept something and to surrender to whatever's happening. 

When something needs to change, having the wisdom to know that I can change it, like it says in the Serenity Prayer. And the Serenity Prayer, I love, because it says, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference, to accept something that I can't change, the power to change something I can, and then to know the difference in that I can't change this and I can't accept this.

And then I have to change myself, and my own reactions and responses, and the way that I'm framing my reality, the judgments and thoughts that I'm having about it. And this is the way of peace. And I'll just close this with this and then leave it up to you for anything else you want to say or ask on this topic.

But I just want to highly encourage people to find a valid, safe way to heal the harm you've endured in your past, because it's not going anywhere on its own. And no matter how much we try to bypass the darkness we've experienced, it's always going to be there festering in the background and negatively impacting our lives and the lives of people with whom we relate.

So whether that's EMDR therapy, cognitive therapy, talk therapy, primal screen therapy, going on emotional retreats like the Hoffman process, um, that I did years ago and did a podcast about it. Uh, there's a place in, um, Nashville called Onsite, which is an emotional wellness retreat of sorts that was really beneficial.

And of course, uh, I've been very vocal about the progress I've made through the intentional use of plant medicines and psychedelics, which for me, this is just for me, has enabled me to get to the root of, especially the harms that I endured during childhood. And not only get to them, but really fearlessly feel them.

And, um, at times, it's been terrifying. And, uh, somehow I've been able to have the support to show up and do that. And so I find that my life and my decisions are much less informed by those unhealed parts of myself than they ever have been before. And it's a process. It's like I spent the first 26 years of-- this is just my story, the first 26 years of my life in suffering, being hurt and hurting other people. In the past 26, I've been undoing the first 26. You know what I mean?

[00:47:12] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:47:13] Luke: It's like that's the ratio, and that's harsh to accept. It's like, shit, I'm still working out stuff from when I was five years old, and I'm 52 now. But that's because I've seen the light. I've seen what happens in my life when I'm not willing to face the pain, and not willing to walk through it fearlessly, and not willing to, with discernment, find people with whom I feel safe and have trust to get in there and work on those things, whether it's a therapist, or a shaman, or a meditation teacher, whoever it is. 

Every person's going to have their own different teachers and healers that they align with during their lives. Um, it's really difficult to do any of this work on your own. Just sit there with a journal and go, I'm going to feel all this. You need a psychological framework and some facilitation or system that is methodically going back and facing those things without being retraumatized.

I mean, I won't talk publicly about the details of my childhood on my podcast, but I've talked about the abuse I endured and things like that. And, uh, I can sit with people for whom I have a high level of trust and a feeling of safety, and I can talk about the most minute details of the most horrific abuse that I endured as a kid, and I have no emotional charge around it. 

And it's not because I'm unwilling to face it. It's because I've felt it so much that there's no more feeling there to have. The first half of my life was all about spiritual bypassing and denial that those experiences had really scarred me to the degree that they had. And I couldn't talk about it. I didn't want to look at it. I couldn't face it. I didn't want to think about it. It's just like, no, I'm putting that away. 

And the means by which I chose to do so, or attempted to do so, was through drug addiction, that not only didn't work but also caused me and so many other people in my life so much additional trauma and pain. It's like the way I'm living my life was just to negate and suppress that pain that had to come out eventually, but in the process, made so much more of it. I mean, that's the tragedy of addiction. But as I said earlier, that's also the tragedy of just numbing out and not feeling feelings that are not preferable, that are uncomfortable.

The only way around our feelings is through them. And so it's just a matter of finding a safe space with safe people with whom we can process and heal that stuff and become free. I mean, that's what this podcast is all about, is becoming free of the limitations in your body, the freedom to explore your spirituality, your relationship with your higher power, however that looks. It's freedom from your mind. To be the witness-observer of the phenomenon of thought that's taking place throughout your day and not believing what you think.

[00:50:24] Bailey: Mm. 

[00:50:24] Luke: That's what this whole game is about, is becoming free, and acceptance is a huge part of that. But acceptance, on a deep level, is stymied by bypassing because we're deluding ourselves that we're over something when we're really not. We just don't want to feel it, and so we're pretending like we're over it and going straight to the love and light.

And the last, last thing I'll say on this is there is a lot of power in the love and light. And so much can be transmuted with love. But if we skip over the steps in between, which is really examining the flaws in our makeup, the flaws in our character, ways in which we behave inappropriately, ways in which we harm other people, making atonement and amends for the people we've harmed in our lives, and so many of these principles, uh, are rooted in the 12 steps.

Um, and that's why they're so effective in helping so many people with various addictions. It's because we are facing and acknowledging the truth about ourselves. We're cleaning up the wreckage of our past, and we're finding ways, numerous ways, as I've talked about here, to heal those things which caused our suffering and the suffering of others in our lives throughout our lifetimes.

So we have to. We don't have to do anything, but we're invited to really face the pain, to feel the heat. And sometimes the healing of that does take place with love, but I know, from personal experiences, that numbing, being addicted, uh, negating negative experiences, pretending like they don't exist, uh, being around toxic people and making excuses for them because you have a codependency going, I mean, there's so many ways that human beings can avoid really feeling and healing what needs to be healed, and I'm telling you, man, from personal experience, it's going to come up eventually. So why not deal with it now?

[00:52:23] Bailey: Well, I think that safe people piece is such a big one because in my mind, or in my experience, I guess, the re-traumatization is so much easier when you're trying to work through something, and, um, maybe you're doing that with somebody who doesn't understand you or can't see you, or maybe they don't have the type of acceptance that is required to move through things.

It's a world of difference to be moving through things like that with people who do understand and who have the ability to sit in that space with you and bring the love into it. Like you were talking about your conversation with your friends, there are a lot of people who, someone might bring up the hurt that they're feeling or the situation that they're going through and be met by someone trying to bypass it, trying to ignore those feelings.

And even though we might know in our heart or we might know in our mind that that's not the right way to do it, it's easy to unconsciously follow other people's lead. I do this a lot. I don't want to make other people feel uncomfortable. I feel bad for the feelings that I have. So then I just keep them inside because I feel like I don't want to be a burden on them. 

I don't want them to have to feel these feelings just because I do, so I keep them inside. And having people around you who are excited to go into that space with you to help you feel the feelings and help you process them, and they have the capacity and the capability to take them on themselves, it's exponentially helpful.

[00:54:17] Luke: Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up. It's set and setting, and knowing not only the people with whom it's appropriate to share those parts of yourself and process, but also the timing. So when I was on that phone call a couple days ago, I remained aware that this wasn't about me, and my feelings, and my experience.

So when my feelings came up and I chose to face them, I only brought them up to the degree to which I thought it would be helpful to the people I was talking to. And actually, it's funny. I was encouraging them to be fiercely present throughout this experience of grief, but only to the capacity they were able to do so and still show up and handle business, which they were-- we're talking about hospitals, and hospice, and end of life.

[00:55:15] Bailey: Yeah. 

[00:55:15] Luke: You can't just always fall apart and feel your feelings there. And it's also not appropriate, to your point, based on the other people who are present and their ability to hold that right. You don't want to just vomit all of your stuff on people that are holding their own stuff or aren't skilled at holding space for you.

So when my friends called me, they trust my degree of space holding, that they could be real with me and share what was going on, and that I deeply care, and that I'm only going to try to be helpful, and I'm certainly not going to do anything that's going to, um, add to the difficulty, hopefully. It's like I could provide some insights as an objective observer who's not so directly involved in the loss that they're experiencing, but my advice, overall, to them was, don't fucking bypass this.

You have a golden opportunity to really face the heaviest of heavies right now. So do what you got to do to keep your shit together and show up for the people in your family and friends that are present with you in this experience. It's not the time to probably fall apart, but if you don't feel and remain present to what you're experiencing now, you're going to be facing it later on, and it's going to hurt a lot worse. 

And to not have any regrets about withholding love, or withholding feelings, or withholding anything you want to say to someone who's on their way out of this earth plane. It's like now's your shot. So it was a deeply healing conversation that was imbued with acceptance. This is the reality, a, and also let's extract as much depth and healing out of this experience as is possible based on our internal capacity to do so and the capacity and fairness to the other people that are directly involved.

This is the opportunity we have to, um, earn wisdom, to discover fundamental truths in the human experience and to apply them. To actually apply knowledge. It's the difference between reading a book and getting an intellectual understanding of something, or reading a book and getting an understanding and then putting it into real-time practice in life.

And it's the real-time practice that's integration, that's becoming whole, that's removing parts of myself that are false beliefs, feelings, the way I do things, the way I think about things that aren't in alignment with principles, with morals, with truth, to systematically rid myself of what's not the real me, essentially, and to practice things that I learned that are going to help me become a more complete and whole, functional, healthy person who's able to make a contribution to my fellow man and fellow woo man. It's all about wisdom. It's extracting wisdom from our life experiences, and no wisdom is gained through bypassing.

[00:58:40] Bailey: Right.

[00:58:40] Luke: Except the wisdom that this shit hurts a lot more three years later, when I finally open up that crypt and unearthed those skeletons, well, oh shit, this is way worse than it was when it first happened. But I'm so glad you brought in the point of not only people with whom we feel safe and doing this work, but also people who are experienced either professionally or in their own lives.

This is where having mentors that are older, that have more life experience, that have seen more water under their bridge that we can go to. God bless people that are younger than me, but if I'm really going through something, I'm probably not going to call my 23-year-old homie because we have some things in common and have fun together.

I'm going to call my dad, who's almost 80, or my mom, or whoever it is that are my elders, a spiritual teacher, um, a shaman, someone who I sense has some life figured out beyond what I've figured out. Those are the people that I'm going to go to seek counsel. Not newbies that are still working on the shit that I figured out 10 years ago.

[00:59:51] Bailey: The ones that have the wisdom, that have put in the practice.

[00:59:54] Luke: Exactly. Yeah. The people that have the knowledge and have applied that knowledge. And none of us are perfect. And there's also something to be said, as maybe you're the 23-year-old and your 16-year-old friend is coming to you for counsel, is also, um, acknowledging our limitations as space holders, knowing when we can and can't hold safe space. 

I mean, there's times in my interpersonal relationships where I have my own shit going on and somebody needs support, and I have to be humble enough to say, God, I really care about you and I really want to support you through this issue that you're having, but I literally just don't have the capacity today. I'm maxed out. And so I'm going to have to put a pin in this, and let's see how it goes tomorrow. And if I can help you, then I will.

[01:00:48] Bailey: That's big awareness right there.

[01:00:51] Luke: Yeah. It's putting on your own life preserver first. In the 12 steps, they say you, you can't transmit something that you haven't got. So it's like if Bailey, you go, hey, Luke, can I borrow $20, and I only have $10? As much as I want to give you $20, I can't. All I have is 10. And I probably need a couple bucks, so maybe I can accept that you get five, or maybe none.

I have to not people please and go, you know what, I don't have it right now. I love you, and I want to support you, but it's just I need to take a breath, um, and make sure that I have the capacity to be there for you in a way that's productive, in a way that really helps you to feel held. 

And this gets into the people that have the fixer mentality, that use fixing other people's problems as a way to avoid facing their own problems, which is another very common way of bypassing. And it's really common for people who are coaches, and counselors, and people that have, um, arranged their lives to be in a position of service because they do have wisdom and love to share. But there's also a trap in that of not facing your own stuff by running around fixing everyone else's.

I mean, there's so many nuances to this. Anything that comes to mind that I think would be helpful to people, I want to share because I've made so many mistakes in my life. I've been so lost and dysfunctional for so long, and I've worked so hard for all of this second half of my life to undo the damage done early on and learn how to be a healthier, happy person on all levels.

Yeah, there's so many nuanced elements of how to do the game, and we're always learning. Every day, I learn something new about myself and how I operate in the world. And you can't expect yourself to ever be perfect, because if you were, you wouldn't need to be here in a body on earth anymore. You would be in some celestial realm, and you're now a guardian angel for people back here on the physical plane. I don't know. 

But I always think if you're still here, there's still something to work on. There's still some karma to undo or some, uh, beneficial karma to gain. Um, so that's what keeps life interesting to me, I think, is acknowledging when there's progress that's been made, and thanking myself and all the people, uh, who've helped me make that progress, and knowing like, cool, figured a lot out, but there's still a lot of work to do.

[01:03:30] Bailey: It's like it gets deeper. The deeper we go, the deeper it gets. There's always more practice to do.

[01:03:39] Luke: Yeah, as long as--

[01:03:40] Bailey: And so much more is revealed to us as we do it.

[01:03:43] Luke: You're not kidding. And also our capacity for acceptance of the things we can't change also grows. That's something that I've really become aware of in my life. I would say, probably the main foundational principle of my life is surrender, is just trusting God, letting go. Let go, let God. I don't know what the plan is.

I know my limitations, and I trust that there is a benevolent force of good and love that is orchestrating this universe in which we live. And if the foundation of my life is surrender and trust to that power, then the acceptance of these little mellow dramas in my life is much easier because there's a fundamental foundation of acceptance in my life that I'm just in surrender all the time.

And the only time I feel uncomfortable is when I start to take my will back and get into resistance, and attachment, and thinking that I have some control. There's very little in one's life that you truly have control over, and most of it has to do with your perspective. So the acceptance is really a byproduct of having a surrendered life and a surrendered point of view.

Then accepting things that are relatively insignificant, like stop traffic, missed flights, premature breakup, I always say a letter from the IRS. That's one that I always get annoyed by because I've just dismissed the entire premise of a ruling class, uh, who extorts money from its citizens. It's a whole other podcast there. But there's things that I don't like, and I'm still able to accept them because I've surrendered the foundation of my life.

[01:05:38] Bailey: And it requires so much less effort the more we do that. With all the practices that we have, with the meditation, and the awareness, and doing it over and over again every day, I noticed that it's very easy for me to accept things now, like someone cutting me off in traffic. Maybe I would have had to actually be conscious of surrendering to that in the past, but now that's easy. And so one day, the bigger things will be easy too.

[01:06:13] Luke: Yeah, it is. When you practice something, you get better at it, right?

[01:06:17] Bailey: Right.

[01:06:17] Luke: It's like you sit down at the piano and somebody shows you a couple chords, and it's impossibly difficult at first and--

[01:06:23] Bailey: To have to put your whole mind, and body, and everything into it.

[01:06:27] Luke: Exactly. And I like the example of driving. I've used that a lot. It's like, when you're driving, you're not using your conscious mind to go, okay, so the right foot goes on the gas, and then, wait, this isn't automatic, so I'm going to hit the brake with my right-- you're not thinking about it. You just start the damn thing up and just go on your merry way.

[01:06:48] Bailey: You might drive for 25 minutes and be like, whoa, how did I get here?

[01:06:51] Luke: And that's, to your point, exactly like acceptance. You just find yourself in increasingly less resistance to the irritants of life. Just things. Your computer crashes, you're in the middle of a document, it didn't save, and whatever. It's like those little things, you build up the muscle of acceptance.

And then when it comes to the big things that really matter, like someone passing, or your business folding, or fake pandemics, whatever happens to come into your experience, there's an underlying acceptance because you practice on all those little things. You've been lifting the lightweights. And then it comes time for the big deadlift, it's like, oh shit, that's not as hard because been practicing for a few years.

[01:07:37] Bailey: And one more thing I'll say is that the whole, um, you were talking about the pandemic and the-- 

[01:07:45] Luke: Wait, the what? 

[01:07:49] Bailey: Oops. Um, the way that it's hard to see sometimes when you're in the thick of the situation, it's hard to put yourself three years in the future to say, oh, well this is why that was good that it happened. I do notice that, maybe for the last 10 years, I've been practicing this, and now I'm at the point where when something bad happens, intellectually, I know that it's going to be for good. Maybe, emotionally, I have those doubts, and I feel the sadness, and I'm scared, like, how is this going to work out? And I try to mentally wrap my head around it, and that gets tough, but there's a remembrance that it's going to be for good, because it always is.

[01:08:36] Luke: Yeah. The trust.

[01:08:38] Bailey: So then you look for those pieces. You know that they're there. I remember when we were locked down, I was like, hmm, what is this doing that's good for society? Are people waking up? People are, um, appreciating connection more than they did before because you don't know what you have till it's gone, um, things like that. I was able to look for them in the moment, and I think that came with the practice.

[01:09:10] Luke: Absolutely. Yeah. Not having to let a lot of time elapse before you see the lesson and see how the universe is conspiring for your good.

[01:09:21] Bailey: Exactly.

[01:09:23] Luke: And not your demise. It's a really important point. It's so true. I think, in my life, that's definitely been the case too. It's like when you're getting to know someone and you're developing trust. You have to see how they behave in different situations over a period of time. And then over some time, they become safely predictable, and you know that they live by a certain moral code or whatever it is that you require in order to trust someone. And this is the same thing, but it's trusting in God. You have to see over and over again. It's like, okay, I'm not alone in a hostile universe, on a rock spinning through space.

[01:10:07] Bailey: Right.

[01:10:08] Luke: This is all for my benefit, and it's all deliberate. It's all being orchestrated, and there is a benevolent force that knows better than I do what serves the highest good for all, and that highest good for all is inclusive of little old me. And I start to trust that over time, that the world is conspiring in my favor regardless of how it looks in my immediate purview. 

It's like I look at my life right now, there's chaos, and this is happening, and that's happening, yeah, but let's give it a little time. Let's trust into that, and then look back in three months, in three years, in 30 years, and we'll likely see, ah, thank God I just leaned into that and trusted because everything worked out just as it was supposed to.

[01:10:59] Bailey: That's faith, right?

[01:11:02] Luke: I guess that's what they call it, Bailey. Yeah. Well, that's a great, uh, thing to point out. That's the difference between belief and faith. For me, if I believe in something, let's just say, do I believe in God? It's almost, uh, like, well, I believe that it exists. I think that it's a possibility, but faith is not only believing it exists. It's knowing that it's for good and that it's taking care of me. That it's got me.

It's not that far of a reach, believing in something. It's like when somebody tells you a story, you could believe them, but there could still be some reservations in your gut about the validity of the story. But when you have faith in the story, when you trust in the story, you believe that to be factual and based on what actually happened.

[01:11:57] Bailey: And it's the highest. The other things I believe that are occurring in my life, I have faith that even though I am seeing these things play out this way and it doesn't seem like they're in my highest good, I have faith that above them, they are.

[01:12:21] Luke: Yeah.

[01:12:22] Bailey: Good stuff.

[01:12:23] Luke: Hot damn. What's your next question?

[01:12:27] Bailey: You want to go there?

[01:12:28] Luke: Yeah, I'll try to do it quick. I know you guys listening-- it's funny. We've learned over time that it's not even an AMA or a Q&A. It's really like, let's just riff on a topic that's relevant, uh, to the listeners and, uh, one that we see coming up a lot. Um, but I think at first we're like, yeah, give me five or 10 questions. And that's a two-hour podcast. But the next one, I'll exercise some restraint and see if we can get it in there, just so we have two in this episode.

[01:13:01] Bailey: Okay. We've got, how do you balance the understanding that we create our own reality with living a healthy life in this toxic world of EMFs, poisonous food, and poisonous products?

[01:13:16] Luke: Oh, man, this is so good. Yeah, this goes back to the episode, I don't have the number in front of me, but, uh, we'll see if we can put in the show notes with Bruce Lipton, the author of The Biology of Belief, and this is so tricky and nuanced. It's also aligned with the work of Joe Dispenza. He's maybe even a more relevant, um, person to bring in. But The Biology of Belief book essentially talks about epigenetics and that we can change our health and everything about our lives by the thoughts we have and the beliefs that we hold to be true. 

But you take Joe Dispenza's work, at his retreats, uh, at which I've been present, I think, three times, there are people there who are healing themselves of "incurable physical conditions", and it has nothing or little to do with them changing their lifestyle. They're doing so based on the coherence that they create in their mind and in their heart and from tapping into a field of infinite potential.

So is it provable that your thoughts and feelings can heal you and keep you safe, physically fit and thriving? Absolutely. Is it also provable that things like EMFs, and fluoride in the water, and chemtrails in the sky going into your lungs cause harm to biological systems? Yes. So in my personal life, I'm always walking this razor's edge of educating myself and other people about the threats that exist against us, like the ones I just mentioned, the physical assaults, chemical assaults, and otherwise, hedging our bets in as sane and fearless way as is possible to create a lifestyle that is as free from exposure as is possible without becoming totally paranoid and neurotic. 

I'm speaking from experience in the paranoid and neurotic. Uh, what that looks like in my life is driving down the freeway and seeing six 5G towers coalescing above me as I'm in my car, staring up at them at first, like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas when he is high on Coke and the black helicopters are chasing him, or so he perceives them to be.

I look up, my first response is, oh my God, these things are killing me. I'm being radiated with 5G right now. That may or may not be true. I think it is true, but I also know that the fear response in my body, the adrenaline and cortisol that those thoughts are creating is causing perhaps as much damage as the EMFs themselves. 

So do I just pretend like the cell towers aren't there and just ignore them? No, because there's precautions I can take. I have my Leela Bloc in the car. I have a Blushield thing. I have a Somavedic thing in the car. I have the Quantum Upgrade service on my car. I've done everything I can to exert my little minute level of control, and that's all I can do.

I've made my car as EMF-safe as possible. So when I go into that cell tower and I have that awareness that I'm afraid that I'm being harmed, whether or not that's true is irrelevant because, I mean, let's just admit we are maybe a little less so because I have all these hacks installed in my car, but my number one priority is to see that and to know that I'm safe. To go back to that trust that we just discussed. To go back to that faith that the world is designed the way it is for a reason.

And there are human beings on the planet who value their own financial security more than they value the wellbeing of their fellow humanity. Tech companies, wireless technology, etc. Monsanto, a great example of that. And some of them also just do it for fun because they're overtaken by negativity and lack the capacity for love and empathy.

There are people on the planet, psychopaths, sociopaths, that literally don't care if they harm people, and there are vast swaths of people in positions of power and influence that actually enjoy the suffering that they cause other people. So I'll just take all that in, in that moment, and go, those fuckers. 

Am I safe? Yeah. Am I as safe as I can possibly be? Yeah. My other choice is don't drive around. Get everything delivered, and go live in the woods in a giant Faraday cage, and hide out. I'm not willing to do that. Sometimes I want to drive around. I want to see people. I want to have experiences. So I take responsibility.

I'm the one that decided to get on this road. Nobody forced me to do it. I'm here. There's a cell tower, probably not great, but in the big picture, in the great scheme of things, am I safe? 100%. Because guess what? One thing is absolutely guaranteed, and that is I'm going to leave this body at some point.

[01:19:10] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[01:19:11] Luke: And it's probably not going to be because I'm too healthy. 

[01:19:14] Bailey: Yeah.

[01:19:16] Luke: The number one side effect of living is death. So the more I can reconcile that, then I can hedge my bets and say, well, okay, I know I'm going to die. It's unlikely that it'll be in a preferable manner, because what is? I mean, everyone wants to just peacefully die in your sleep. How often does that happen? I don't know, but it's probably exceedingly rare in comparison to people, especially in the United States, becoming ill and going through a hospital. And if the hospital doesn't kill you, you end up in hospice, and you eventually check out. 

So it's acknowledging and accepting my own mortality, knowing that I've changed any part of this equation that I can. I'm doing my best to not eat and drink poisons. I don't have Wi-Fi in my house. I take as many practical measures as I can to be healthy and happy in my body. And the results of that effort are up to consciousness. I'm only about the performance that I can give, the decisions that I can make. I have no control over the outcome. And the more I can really accept that to the depth of my being, the more peace I have about all of the threats in the world.

There's only so much I can do. I mean, how many supplements can you take? People come to my house, they're like, but you take a lot of supplements. I open the cabinet. No food. You know what I'm saying? It's like one little pantry over here for the food, and a little bit in the refrigerator, and my main cabinets, where a normal person would keep dishes or food, is all my super foods, and supplements, and potions, and all the weird shit that I talk about on the show all the time.

I know that I can take all of that stuff, and I'm still going to die. Maybe I'll die a little happier, a little healthier. I would prefer to not die of an avoidable degenerative disease, with as little suffering as possible, but I'm not in control of any of that. So I can take a few supplements, make my smoothie, do my red light thing, jump in the ice bath, take a sauna, exercise a little bit, love on my wife, love on our dog, love on our cat, be as kind to you working in my company as I can, and just be the best person I could be, and know that the results of all of that have nothing to do with me.

So you hedge your bets, you become educated, you become aware of the things that are threatening in the world, and you do your best to avoid them. And what you can't avoid, you just let it go. It just is what it is. It's where we are. And maybe not in this lifetime, but in one of the lifetimes to follow on this world or another world, we could incarnate into a world that doesn't include sociopaths and psychopaths that poison the environment, and nature, and animals, and humans, and are hell bent on the destruction of Mother Earth, which many of them are unfortunately.

Maybe it's not unfortunate. Maybe it's part of the process of maturation of the human race and our evolution of consciousness. And I believe it is because, if you look back, there were times when murderous hordes just traveled around the planet and just raped and slaughtered people just for the fun of it, on a large scale.

[01:22:41] Bailey: Right.

[01:22:42] Luke: Then there was an evolution in consciousness over hundreds or thousands of years, and those same people figured out, why are we killing all these people when we could enslave them? And thus the practice of slavery was born. I'm not making light of slavery, especially the slavery that took place in the United States or anywhere where it's still taking place. I'm illustrating the point that over vast eons of time, human consciousness does evolve in an upward trajectory. So is slavery, uh, valid and humane? Absolutely not. I don't condone it one bit.

I would never participate in it, support it in any way knowingly, but it is a step up from rape and murder. So then what's the step up from physical slavery? Well, it's technological slavery, which is what we live in now. And if anyone doubts that, try to say something controversial on social media or on television, or don't pay your taxes for a couple years and see what happens.

[01:23:48] Bailey: And mental slavery.

[01:23:50] Luke: Yeah, yeah. All of the propaganda, and mind control, and mass formation, hypnosis and psychosis. So you could look at where we are now and say, oh my God, the world is controlled by all of these dark forces, and all of these benevolent, maniacal totalitarians that either enjoy harming the planet, and the people, and animals, and plants on it, or they don't care because of their own selfish interests. 

There will be a time, I promise you, or I hope at least. I don't want to say, I hope. I have faith that this is the case, looking at our history. It might be a couple hundred years. It might be many thousands of years. If we all make it, we'll look back and go, oh my God. Remember when all of society around the world was in a technocratic slave system?

And we'll look back and go, oh my God, thank God things aren't like that now. And then there'll be a version of that then, that is, universally of higher consciousness, but there will still be a duality. Maybe a duality that's just less contrasted. Maybe it's like your neighbor came and pulled one of your carrots instead of robbing your house or something. They'll be a relative--

[01:25:05] Bailey: That sounds pretty good. 

[01:25:06] Luke: Yeah. There'll be a relative level of unconsciousness relevant to higher levels of consciousness when we achieve our true nature, which is angelic, and pure, and nothing but the expression of love. So I'm not bypassing the darkness in the world now, but I'm also cognizant of the fact that things have been much darker in the past in different ways and that overall, for a long period of time, there is an upward trajectory of consciousness.

And so what do I do about that? What can I control? Absolutely fucking zero except my own level of consciousness, my own time put into prayer, time put into meditation, time put into loving people, to creating content that I hope is inspirational and informative for people like what we're doing right now. Just giving my heart to the world and hoping for the best.

And on the physical level, pertinent to this question, taking whatever steps and precautions I can to be physically vital and free of disease and to live a long, healthy, happy, prosperous life, knowing that tomorrow I could step out of this house and get hit by the mail truck. It's unknown. The future is unknown, but am I going to go live under a cell tower and drink fluoridated water all day? No. I'm going to make educated decisions, and do the best I can with what I can control, and accept those things about life that I cannot control. 

[01:26:44] Bailey: Sounds pretty similar to the first--

[01:26:49] Luke: Yeah. I mean, it's no accident that you work with me in this company. I think it's important not only for companies but all relationships. Like you were saying, knowing when people are safe, it's really important to find our tribe of like-minded people. I'm sure you and I think about many things differently. We have different preferences. We like different movies, and different food, and whatever, to go on vacation to different places. You like the snow. I hate the snow, whatever. Superficially, that's just preferences and compatibility in relationships.

But what's important in any organization, whether it be a family or, in our case, a work organization, our little bare-bones team of four now, uh, plus a few people on the sidelines, is that we share core values. The things that really matter at the end of the day matter to both of us. In my relationship with Alyson, there's all kinds of shit. We don't like the same TV shows. Um, I mean, she tolerates mine, but I can't watch most of hers. Just superficiality. She likes to go to bed really early. I like to go to bed really-- whatever.

[01:28:02] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[01:28:03] Luke: But fundamentally, both of our lives are committed to God, period. That's it.

[01:28:08] Bailey: Right. 

[01:28:09] Luke: And so any differences remain superficial and relatively meaningless as long as we honor those differences and preferences in one another as our inherent, sovereign, innate right to be the unique expression of consciousness that we each are. So for us to work in cohesion in this organization, the podcast, and all of the other work that we're doing in the world, it doesn't really matter if we even like each other.

 I mean, we do like each other, obviously. We vibe. We've always gotten along great, but that's actually the least important part when it comes down to it. What makes us be able to work in cooperation and be productive together is that we're both doing this work that we do for the same reason, and that is to awaken ourselves and anyone else who wants to listen to the true nature of reality and the true nature of who and what they are. And that's the mission. And so anything else is just like, eh, details that you can work out.

[01:29:16] Bailey: It's the foundation that everything else can grow on.

[01:29:19] Luke: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. If the concrete is poured in a way that everyone agrees on, you can build a tiki hut, you can build a modern glass and steel container home. You can do anything you want as long as the thing's not slipping away or you're both departing in divergent directions. You have to both be going in the same direction in terms of the end goal, but the paths you take don't necessarily have to run parallel the entire time. It's like the rudder of your ship is set due East, you're both going East. How you get there? Not that important as long as you are both going in the same direction, which you and I, uh, so far have been.

[01:30:02] Bailey: Yeah. Sometimes it's even good to stray from the path a little bit. You get to see the new stuff or the new way.

[01:30:09] Luke: Yeah, totally. Good to open your mind. I mean, that's been the case in my relationship with Alyson. There's all sorts of things that are new in her awareness as a result of knowing and living with me, and vice versa. I walk around the house talking to our house plants, for real. When I water the plants, I talk to them. I pet them.

I see them as sentient living beings that are imbued with consciousness, for example. That's just one of the many gifts I've received from just being around someone who operates in the world like that. And it wasn't like she had to tell me to do that. I just have learned from, uh, and have been informed by her orientation to life and to reality. 

So yeah. I watch as she's in the backyard doing her ceremonies and rituals, or whatever it is, and I look at that, and I go, that's cool. I'm going to try that. And then I'm in the house watering the plants, and talking to them, and giving them love. It just feels better. I don't know if it works. I don't know if they hear me, but I like it. That's all that counts. And I likely wouldn't have developed that habit had I not been exposed to the way she goes, the route that she takes when she heads due East.

[01:31:23] Bailey: Yeah. That's sweet. Well, I think we did a pretty good job today.

[01:31:29] Luke: There we go. Bailey. Yeah, we reeled it in. We didn't go two or three hours. I like to keep the AMAs 90 minutes max. I don't know how much people can, uh, handle not listening to a podcast guest, but people have requested these episodes, and they seem to enjoy them.

[01:31:46] Bailey: Good.

[01:31:47] Luke: So I'm happy to do it. It's always fun for me just to catch up with you. If we were just hanging out, I'd be talking less, and you'd be talking more, of course, uh, hopefully on a good day. But this is what we'd be talking about anyway. When we shoot the shit in between our work meetings and things like that, we're talking about life, the life that matters, and that everything else is just the commercial breaks in life. It's like, okay, we got to work. There's details to this, but what really matters is just sharing ideas and your heart with people. 

So I love doing these with you, and it's so much more fun just hanging out with you than the way that I used to do them, the solo cast, where I'd sit here and stare at my computer for 90 minutes. Oh my God. That was so laborious.

[01:32:40] Bailey: Yeah.

[01:32:40] Luke: Way less fun, so thank you.

[01:32:42] Bailey: You're welcome. Thank you for having me. I love doing these.

[01:32:45] Luke: Yeah, I'm glad you do.

[01:32:46] Bailey: I definitely moved through a threshold of nervousness and just unfamiliarity with doing them. Today felt different.

[01:32:57] Luke: Good. Yeah. I mean, anytime you do anything new, it takes a minute to fill those shoes. If you're not someone who's done a lot of public speaking or been very active on social media and putting yourself out in the world, I'm sure it's a little nerve-wracking. It was even for me in the beginning when I first started doing this. 

Um, well, it's more when Instagram Lives and stuff came out where you could talk to your phone and thousands of people would hear. I was super cringe and super embarrassed. And then I think after-- that was more when I was in fashion. I learned how to do that. And then when I started my podcast in 2016, which by the way, the anniversary of this is, uh, on the 16th of June, which this will have already-- yeah. When does this one come out? It comes out after that. 

[01:33:50] Bailey: Yes.

[01:33:50] Luke: So when people are hearing this, a week ago, happy birthday to the Life Stylist.

[01:33:55] Bailey: Yay. 

[01:33:55] Luke: However many years that is. I always say eight years, but then I looked at the calendar the other day, and I was like, wait, is that seven years? I still can't figure it out.

[01:34:02] Bailey: 2016 until now would be seven.

[01:34:05] Luke: I always say eight. That's hilarious. Oh my God. Usually time goes faster than you think. In this case, slower.

[01:34:12] Bailey: Maybe you started before you launched it, so that counts.

[01:34:16] Luke: Yeah, I did record--

[01:34:16] Bailey: Well, you did.

[01:34:17] Luke: Before that. Yeah. But anyway, what I was saying was, um, to your point of just feeling your comfortability level, um, when I first started doing IG Lives, I mean, I'd be so mortified. It was super cringe, and then I just hit-- and even doing the podcast, especially the solo shows, I would just be so self-conscious and things, and then I just hit some threshold or a tipping point. I'm just like, ah, I just literally don't care. The amount of work it takes to try to present yourself as presentable is just exhausting. So I'm getting better at just being myself. And some people will like that self and others less so, and that's great. They'll find someone else to listen to.

[01:34:57] Bailey: I think part of it was probably, what is this, our fourth episode or something like that?

[01:35:02] Luke: I think so, yeah.

[01:35:03] Bailey: And so it's like, uh, we've done this four times now, and nothing has really significantly changed in my life, so probably shouldn't be putting so much energy into worrying about it.

[01:35:16] Luke: Totally, totally. Well, it's been fun for me, and I'll remind everyone to, uh, come back and join us on Tuesday for number 483 with Laughing Dragon. And straight up you guys, if you're ever going to listen to any Life Stylist's episode, next week's show is definitely one you want to hear. It is a trip. And by then, I think we'll probably have our new format starting to roll out, which, uh, we'll get feedback from listeners.

I started listening recently to Rick Rubin's podcast, Tetragrammaton, and his show starts like this, a little funny music, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. And then two people are just in the middle of a conversation. And I'm like, oh my God, this is amazing. No intro, and all this shit in the beginning. He just starts talking. And I was like, could I do that? And Bailey and I were talking about this before we recorded, and we're like, I don't know, let's try it. So by the time Tuesday's show with Laughing Dragon comes out, it literally might just be like, I'm Laughing Dragon, and this is the Life Stylist Podcast, and two dudes start talking about these crazy mushrooms. We'll see how it goes. I'm excited. 

[01:36:27] Bailey: Me too. 

[01:36:27] Luke: As a listener of so many podcasts for so many years now, I mean, I listen to them constantly. I don't need the intro. I can look at the podcast app if I want to see the bullet points and get the gist of the conversation, or oftentimes, the title just informs me. I was looking at, um, Ben Greenfield's podcast last night on my app, and I went through the last three episodes, and I was like, eh, I'm not interested in those topics, so I didn't listen to them. Next week, I'll probably look at just the title of the show and be like, ooh, I want to hear this. And I don't care what happens in the beginning. I just want to hear two people having a conversation.

[01:37:00] Bailey: Like I admitted to you earlier, I used to actually skip the entire intro. I knew that it was about seven minutes long because I would skip exactly that amount of time. But also, I like being surprised by the interview.

[01:37:15] Luke: That's cool. Well, we'll see. And I don't take that personally. Some podcasts I listen to the intros, and some I don't. It depends. The ones that have a lot of ads in the beginning, I skip those. And that's one reason we stop putting ads in the beginning of our show. It's just annoying. I'm getting the conversation, and I don't mind if there's an ad in the middle because I'm already in it, and it's only going to be a minute and whatever, but in the beginning, when it's like, and this episode is brought to you by so-and-so and so-and-so, and it's 10 minutes, I'm like, eh, skip, skip, skip, skip 30, skip 30, skip 30.

[01:37:47] Bailey: Yeah. Skip 30.

[01:37:47] Luke: Oh yeah. So we'll experiment with that new format and get some feedback. If anyone's listening to the end of this one, as we wrap this up, uh, let us know. When we start doing it this new way, uh, if you dig it, let us know. If you don't dig it, let us know. We're trying to serve the audience as best we can, and I'm sure in some cases, I'll have to say a little bit of something in the beginning of the show if it's necessary. So every once in a while, I might do that, but we're going to try now and just kick it off and see how it goes.

[01:38:17] Bailey: Cool.

[01:38:18] Luke: All right, Bailey, great to see. 

[01:38:19] Bailey: You too. 

[01:38:21] Luke: And, uh, I'll catch you on our next Zoom meeting that won't be recorded and published.

[01:38:25] Bailey: Oh, okay.

[01:38:26] Luke: And thank you so much for your, uh, tremendous contribution to the work we do here. I'm always so, so grateful for you and your enthusiasm and, um, varied skillset, and I'm just so happy that you're still on board, and hope that you're happy too, because I don't know what would happen if you weren't around.

[01:38:46] Bailey: I'm so happy.

[01:38:47] Luke: I think about that sometimes. I'm like, holy shit. If Bailey just was like, hey, I'm moving to Greece, bye, literally, I don't know what I do. Everything would just fall apart, at least temporarily.

[01:38:59] Bailey: It's a great place for me. I'm so happy here. And, uh, yeah, it's funny, while we were just recording this, I was like, oh my gosh, remember when you didn't even know Luke, and you just listened to the podcast, and now you're on it? Crazy. Amazing.

[01:39:18] Luke: I love it. I love it. And during that time, and I don't remember your backstory specifically, but you might have been listening to that podcast going, man, my life sucks. My job sucks. What the fuck? You know what I mean? Like we were saying earlier, you didn't know in a few months-- you just sent an email, and I happened to get it and liked what you had to say. And then now you're in a job that you enjoy.

[01:39:41] Bailey: Yeah. 

[01:39:42] Luke: You just never know.

[01:39:44] Bailey: Mm-hmm. All right. Thank you, Luke.

[01:39:47] Luke: All right. Until we meet again, Bailey. Peace out.

[01:39:49] Bailey: Okay. Bye-bye.


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