412. States of Consciousness: The Key to Freedom Solocast (Paleo f(x) 2022 Keynote Speech)

Luke Storey

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

If you missed out on Paleo f(x), here’s my complete talk at the event, where I discuss everything from the power of intentional present moment awareness as a gateway to higher states of consciousness, how rising above the mind’s polarized judgment can transmute suffering and limitation into spiritual and emotional sovereignty, accepting the world as it is, and accessing the most potent force in the universe: unconditional love.

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.

Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas was an absolute blast, but don’t worry if you weren’t able to make it. Not only have several of my past and future guests been plucked from the lineup of speakers and attendees there, but you can stream my full keynote speech right here.

This is a live, real, and raw recording of the talk I presented at the event. It’s a very heart-centered conversation between me and the audience. We covered a number of topics, including the power of intentional present moment awareness as a gateway to higher states of consciousness, how rising above the mind’s polarized judgment can transmute suffering and limitation into spiritual and emotional sovereignty, accepting the world as it is, and accessing the most potent force in the universe: unconditional love.

04:10 — An Exercise in Consciousness

  • Accessing consciousness within ourselves and outside of ourselves
  • Expressing from a place of love
  • Being in love with all reality

23:52 — The Utopia We All Have Access To

  • Practice removes us from the need for perfection
  • How our wants often distract us from what we need and block what’s present
  • Acknowledging what’s there
  • Letting go of attachment
  • Creating our own reality

44:09 — My Evolving Purpose

  • Why I believe in this body
  • The world as it is meant to be
  • Doing the shadow work
  • Changing our lens on life
  • Where to focus your energy

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

Luke Storey: [00:00:02] I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you.

Good times. Good morning. How are we? I could barely see you guys. I feel like I'm getting my morning sun in. So, here we are Sunday morning, call this one the Gospel of Luke, for those religious folks out there. How many people in the room - I'm just curious. Just so I can kind of read the audience and know where to go with this - have ever heard of who I am? And it's no fault if you haven't? Okay, cool. So, a few people are familiar. You know, when you walk in a room cold and no one in the room has ever heard of you, it's a little bit different approach than if some people are familiar. So, those that are, what's up? How are you doing? Those that aren't, nice to meet you.

I think what I'd like to do this morning is a bit of an experiment. Are you guys up for an experiment? Non-invasive, of course. I think pretty safe. I was backstage right before we started and they said, "Okay. We've got your presentation. It's the seven slides." And I was like, "What? I didn't turn in a presentation." So, luckily, we just have this and not something that is going to surprise me.

But, you know, when I give talks, sometimes I give it a bit of thought and really create a framework, and then sort of play with that and follow it to a greater or lesser degree. But as I was feeling into this weekend, I just felt more spontaneous and I thought, what is really going to serve the people who are here, you know, especially on a Sunday morning after a long weekend? And my favorite thing to explore really is consciousness and how we can use and access consciousness within ourselves and outside of ourselves to actually create the reality that we want.

And in today's strange and supremely bizarre world, I think, at least in my lifetime, culturally speaking, as we find ourselves as a species in a really precarious place, is probably more pertinent than ever that we each develop agency over our experience. Because the tide of our culture and our human experience is really strong at the moment. And it's so easy to be swayed into one direction or the other.

And, oftentimes, due to the pervasive sort of collective field of anxiety and fear that we've been living in for the past couple of years, even with the strong spiritual practice and a strong heart and mind and a tuned up body, it's very difficult to not get pulled into that collective and to maintain a sense of, not only hope or optimism, but faith and confidence that all is well and all will be well. Because to outer appearances, it really looks like we're going to hell in a handbasket sometimes.

And so, how do we live in the world, be of service in the world, make a contribution in the world, and do so in an authentic way? You know, to shake someone's hand, to give someone a hug, to give someone a smile, to share a true expression of who we are and the love that we embody without faking it. How do we really own that and embody that? Does that sound like an interesting starting point?

Let's go ahead and start. I know you guys, you did some kind of sound experience this morning for those that were in the room. I walked by and heard a [sound]. I thought that's a good sign. But I'd like to kind of just invigorate us and then we'll just kind of drop in, and settle in, and get into our hearts.

So, for those of you that are feeling cold, I want to invite you to do something called Breath of Fire. Which entails putting your arms up at an angle about like this and press the tips of your fingers into the palms of your hands and kind of straighten out, so you're not, like, curling your hands over, but kind of really extending your hands and your arms straight, your elbows straight, kind of tuck your shoulder blades back into your back, get your spine as erect as you can, and then you're going to extend your thumbs straight out like antennas.

And then, we're going to proceed to do is we're going to vigorously and safely, depending on your level of lung fitness, breathe in and out through our nose. So, it looks a little something like this or sounds a little something like this. Got that down? Okay. So, we're going to close our eyes. And as you have your arms up there, I want you to focus all of your energy and attention, everything in you, heart, mind, body, spirit to the dead center of your forehead. And imagine that that breath is kind of pulsing right in the center of your forehead.

And we're going to go just for unquantifiable period of time until it feels like we're ready to stop. And then, when we're ready to stop, we're going to take a deep breath in, open your palms, and you're going to join your thumbs together. Now, your eyes are going to be closed so you might miss, but really see if you can just intuitively know where your thumbs are going to meet. And then, you're going to hold that in and kind of hold this retention in your spine, tuck your ribs down, and just hold that.

And put all of the pressure from your lower body, your abdomen, your pelvic floor, and just raise that up into your head. And you're just going to hold that as long as it feels comfortable and to the point that you're not going to fall over in your chair. Okay? And don't worry about getting it perfectly. It's an exercise.

So, again, arms straight, shoulder blades tucked, thumbs straight. Kind of stiffen your whole upper body and we'll go for it for a couple of minutes here. Really pump your belly. That's where you're going to get the power from using your abdominal muscles. Keep going a few more breaths while you guys have at it.

And then, we're going to take that deep inhale, open your hands, point your fingers to the ceiling, put your thumbs together, hold, contract your pelvic floor, your abdomen, tuck your ribs, hold that pressure and that energy to the very center of your brain, the center of your skull. And when you feel complete, just release your arms and release your breath. And what we've done there is we've just really moved the energy systems of the body.

I was looking at the description of my presentation, you know, which is always required when you do a talk. And then, I never know what it is sometimes until the day of, and I was like, "Oh, okay. That's what we're doing."

But speaking about practices that are applicable that you can take away - and I'm sure many of you have different breathwork practices and things like that, knowing we're in Austin and we're at Paleo f(x) - that one, to me, that's an old school yogic breath tradition. Very popular in the Kundalini yoga practice. And that's my go-to. I mean, I've tried so many different types of breathwork and slow breathing, fast breathing, the Wim Hof, all the things. And to me, that's the one.

I'm going into a meeting and I'm nervous and I'm in the elevator, and whether or not people in there might have an impact on whether or not I'm going to do that could freak some people out. But if I'm alone, that's the one I do. That's the one I do before I come out here. It's just incredibly energizing, but also centering at the same time. And it just has a really profound effect on your nervous system. So, I like to kind of prime a group with a little of that and just kind of shake it off a little bit, you know, just kind of get loose in your body.

And then, I'd like to walk us through another brief exercise wherein we can really get into our heart centers. You know, there's means by which you can share information at the level of the intellect which can be really valuable for certain goals and certain purposes.

And then, there's a way that you can share information through the language of the heart. And the language of the heart is kind of my specialty. I'm a heart-based person and use my intellect sparingly because I find that when I relied too much on that part of my being, that life becomes very complicated. Hi, David. And one of the ways that I find I can get back into simplicity of purpose is by really getting into my heart which, to me, is really the center of who we are. You know, it's the physical manifestation of perhaps where our soul lives.

And I believe in my own subjective experience that if more of us humans on the planet were operating from this energy center, rather than the wanting and the pushing away of the solar plexus, the desire and survival base nature of this area here, and however that manifests for you, or even living up in the analytical mind and trying to figure reality out which, of course, at a certain point is futile. If we can really center into our hearts, and be guided by our hearts, and really live within our hearts, that is the ultimate soul GPS. That is where we make our decisions from.

You know, you hear trust your gut, listen to your gut, And, oftentimes, there is sort of a resonance here when you're trying to discern a direction which is going to serve the highest good. And you do get a gut feeling. But I think what's even more powerful, perhaps, depending on the situation, is, where is my heart guiding me? Where is my heart leading me? What does my heart want to do? You know, that's the connection to my soul. That's the higher part of oneself that's communicating to you through the body. This path, that path, this path. What is the path of the heart?

And so, what I'd like to do is invite you to just place your hands over your chest, in the center of your chest and your heart right here for a moment. And I'd invite you to close your eyes. And take a moment to bring to mind someone in your life that you deeply love. The first person that comes to mind living in their body presently or not. Hold that person in your mind. And if you can, resurrect a moment you shared with that person with whom you share a deep love. And reflect on the feeling inside your body that you experience or experienced in the presence of that person.

And amplify and examine those qualities in that person that you cherish, that you value. What it is about that person that brings forth that love from within you. A celebration of that person that you love. And really feel it in your body. Really feel it in your heart. Feel the warmth in your heart. Feel the beat of your heart. Feel the energy that emits from your heart.

I'm thinking of my mom. If I thought of my wife, I'd start crying too much and I wouldn't be able to talk. Sometimes you can't pick the number one because the love is so overwhelming and debilitating that it renders you incapacitated. When you have a grasp on that love and that person, I'd like you to put a mirror on your hands and reflect that love back to yourself.

And take a moment to give yourself some praise for what you've endured, for what you've overcome, for the lower parts of your nature that you've been able to surmount, compassion and forgiveness for those parts of yourself that still need work. I want to let you know that if you're a human on this planet at this point in time, that you are a brave soul. And to just really acknowledge the fortitude with which you traverse your earthly life.

Because the souls that aren't at that stage of evolution are probably home watching soap operas or football or something. The fact that you're here to better yourself, to explore, to expand, to create the life you want says so much about who you are, not in a qualitative sense of a better or worse or a higher or lower, but just a celebration of, "Wow, man, I'm here. I'm doing this life." 

And to know that that love that we have when we're in love, when we love a family member, our friend, our beloved, our partner, spouse, it's not that we're in love or that we have love for that person. It's perhaps that we're just experiencing, and expressing, and cherishing a field of love that is, in fact, impersonal. Perhaps we're not in love with something or someone. Perhaps we're just in love. And those people in our lives with whom we share that field of love give us a greater opportunity to express what is already there within our hearts.

And if we can learn to operate from that space, from that energy field, we can, with practice, learn how to be in love with all reality. Even those parts of reality that our mind, our intellect, our egos determined should be some way other than they are. It's a surrendered state of being. And out of that surrendered state of being, we have the opportunity to take actions based on that unconditional, pervasive, infinite field of love, the soul GPS.

Now, give yourself one more huge blast of love to oneself and take a deep breath. Hold that air in and apply some pressure and some energy to your heart center, and then let it go with a sigh. Well, that feels pretty good, at least to me.

You know, imagine if in the face of conflict we were able to develop a practice wherein we could call forth that energy, call forth that feeling, call forth that truth within us. And I'm sure some of you do. Some of you have. Some days are better than others. That's what's great about a practice. The practice releases you from the expectation of perfection.

You call it a practice of yoga or you're practicing violin, you're practicing piano, you're practicing something, meaning that you're applying it in your life over and over again, hoping for and acknowledging incremental changes in your ability. An increase in your capacity to respond from that place. 

And out of all of the things, at a place like Paleo f(x) - in my life, those of you that know me, I mean, I'm really quite obsessed with experimentation and the various ways to optimize the human experience - if you really look at what the end goal is from your endeavors, whether that's a physical fitness routine, or taking different supplements, or doing red light therapy, or whatever it is that you do, recreational activities, all these people out here paddleboarding, it's like, "What are we really looking for?" Making money, building security, having a home, a career, making a name for oneself, building a brand, having a company, all of these things that we put our energy into at times become sort of a distraction. 

It's like we're going for this thing in front of us, this sense of accomplishment, this yang kind of getting, wanting, achieving, accomplishing. But if you really look at what's in the other side of that, what is that thing going to get us? If I lose that 20 pounds, if I make that extra ten grand this year, if I find the perfect partner - which maybe doesn't exist. I feel like mine's pretty perfect, but I'm probably not to her - what's on the other side of that that we're really looking for, I think, is that feeling that some of us just experienced or that at least we were reaching for and feeling into. You know, that's the end game. That's the end goal. That's the why beyond the what that we're doing.

And perhaps there's a shortcut through all of the activity, through all of the striving, all of the achieving, even spiritual achievement. I mean, what are we meditating for? Why are we doing a practice of prayer, reading spiritual literature, going to see spiritual teachers, going on retreats? It's what's on the other side of that that we're looking for. And the irony is that those things that we're looking for, which are the end result of our actions, are actually already present here. 

So, in the process of unfolding into the totality of who and what you are as a human spirit here on Earth, it's not so much a going out and getting, or a learning, or achieving. Perhaps it's just pushing aside of the things that are blocking us from what's already present. And the same could be said in our pursuit for a relationship with the higher power, God, Divinity.

You know, many times in my life I felt alone and isolated from whatever it is that created me and created this world. And that there's a striving, and a searching, and a seeking, like, "Oh, it's out there somewhere." It's in that person. It's in that achievement. It's in this practice, in this book, in this PMF Machine, whatever. 

Maybe, just maybe, it's not that I need to find this spiritual experience that's going to bring me the peace that I know or hope is at the end of all these endeavors. Perhaps it's just acknowledging what's already there. Really taking the time as we just did. I mean, that's just one of many ways. I'm sure you have ways in your practices that you're able to tap in. But perhaps in any moment, we could explore and acknowledge the divinity within ourselves.

And in my life, personally, subjectively, the more I can operate from the perspective that I'm not separate from creation, creator, God, I'm not separate from you, that I am, in fact, just a single point of consciousness expressing itself as a persona that they called Luke Storey sitting here on a stage at Paleo f(x). If I can begin to kind of expand my open awareness and be aware that I am actually part of the fabric of not only reality, but the fabric of consciousness. And that what I'm looking for has already been found. 

One of my teachers once told me when I expressed to him that I was having a really difficult time in my prayer and meditation practice and feeling God, you know, it's like God's with me and then it leaves. And he said, "Luke, if you can't find God, guess who moved?" It's not that spirit leaves me or is unavailable. It's just that I get clouded by my own perceptions and my own attachments, whether it be to a belief system or to a person, to a title, to a certain peak experience. It's in letting go of those attachment sometimes and just acknowledging the presence of what already exists.

Like, imagine on a cloudy day, like we have in Austin this morning or at least when I got here. I noticed since I moved here, I don't know, there's a thing they have here called weather. I'm from Los Angeles, we don't really have weather. We have sun, sun, sun every day. But this morning I go out and it's cloudy. And it would appear if you were to just use the intellect alone, you would look outside and say, "All I see is clouds. Therefore, the sun doesn't exist." When, in fact, we know that the sun is always present. It's just a matter of whether or not clouds are obscuring our view.

And in seeking a spiritual experience, it's no different. The field of consciousness, that field of love that we explored for a moment is always there, always available. The clouds are numerous. The clouds of self-righteousness, indignation, intellectual spinning, past and future tripping, aversion to things that we want to avoid because they're painful or uncomfortable, addictions, attachments, attraction to those things which we believe are going to bring us pleasure. You know, all of the kind of earthly pursuits that are coded into our animal human ape bodies are oftentimes the thing that's actually preventing us from having a rich and meaningful experience of life.

And over the past two years, I've explored within myself at times - I mean, this is really kind of about current events. I'm not really naming the things that are going on because we all know what I'm talking about. The world is seemingly upside down - I've observed within myself, for example, a sense of guilt when I've been happier successful. Because I know many people have been so harmed and limited by the events that have transpired over the past two plus years.

I've found myself trapped in existential threat and anxiety that the powers that be are finally encroaching to the point of no return. And that the country that I live in is going to devolve into communism and mass death. I mean, this is where my mind goes, right? And that's not necessarily an unrealistic contemplation if you explore history and the way things go.

But if I really step out of any of that and just acknowledge where I am in the stillness of the present moment, I actually have the choice to live in a reality based utopia. I mean, really, the utopia that we seek through all of these practices, all of the things is already present. Profound peace, profound love, compassion, understanding, success by whatever metric one measures their own success, it's always available.

What's preventing us from having the experience is all of the emotional and mental trauma pattern blocks that start to obscure our vision and our view, and feed us through our intellect information to the contrary. It's like we trick ourselves into being angry or afraid because there's a certain juice that the ego gets out of that. There's a certain pleasure in resentment. You know what I mean?

Like, say, someone wrongs you or you perceive that they've wronged you. There's a part of oneself, the higher self, that can maybe just like touch forgiveness and understanding, empathy to kind of see where that person is coming from. To perhaps look at oneself and observe the fact that you've often in the past behaved in a similar manner. But then, there's this pole, this draw, toward that resentment. There's a certain morbid pleasure that one can juice out of just hating or seeking revenge.

And this is one I've worked with a lot in the past couple of years because it's been so easy to vilify who I determined to be the bad guys in this melodrama called COVID. I mean, I see him on the Telegram Channels, "Ha, ha, ha, ha." You know, imagine thinking of yourself, like I do some of the time, as a pretty spiritually grounded person, longtime meditator. I believe in love and all the things we just explored. What is it within me that wants to see that person torn apart very slowly and die a torturous death? Because there's a certain pleasure in that.

And so, perhaps the love that I have and the understanding for the human experience and the full spectrum of what we might in a dualistic way, call an evil person versus a holy person, perhaps within that, the only difference is my particular vantage point in how I'm viewing that, and the emotional charge, the emotional juice, or the way in which I'm feeding off that feeling. And the same could be said of any - I don't want to say a negative emotion, because I don't think they're negative and positive. They just have a different result.

But imagine - I say imagine a lot because even when I achieve a certain level of understanding, it's not always persistent. Sometimes you get it and you go, "Ah." I can perhaps forgive the trespasses of some of the worst offenders, while not condoning their behavior. And still standing up for what's true and what's right. And standing for the principle of justice. You know, there might be a moment where you can kind of put yourself in someone's shoes and see one of these seemingly demonic oligarchs as a child that was abused, a child that was indoctrinated, a child that was brainwashed into their way of thinking.

And to find a true compassion for them, yet at the same time standing for what you believe to be right. In other words, there's maybe a way to live in today's world where you can stand for something without having to stand against something else. It's like standing for truth, standing for love, for compassion, for empathy, for fairness, for justice, for freedom, for sovereignty without being against the other.

If we fall into the temptation of fighting and resisting, that which we don't desire to experience in our lives, we've just joined the dance. We've just entered into that lower field that we're standing above, or so we think, judging and determining that it should be different.

What if we were just able to invigorate and charge ourselves with what we want? And this is my constant mantra to self because I look at what's going on in the world and I think, "Oh. We've got to change this. We've got to change that." We would live in this celestial utopia of a planet if everyone would just behave the way that I determine they should behave, world leaders, politicians, the medical system, the financial system, the education system, all of the systems that have been created.

There's a way of living that I'm discovering piecemeal, little by little, where when I find myself being pulled by the desire to try to control those things outside of myself that are out of my control in an effort to change my inner experience, I can just reflect back and go back here and change my inner experience, change the lens through which I am experiencing the outer world. And the funny magic about that is that when I'm able to change that lens, the world actually seems to change.

A micro example of that would be, you get a really poor night's sleep and you had an argument with your spouse the night before. You couldn't sleep. You're in fight or flight. Your nervous system's got you. And you wake up late. You stub your toe. You're out of coffee you didn't realize it. You know, all the things, all those little kind of human annoyances happen. And so, you leave the house just irritated, aggravated, impatient. And you find that each human being that you interact with that day is a total asshole. Do you ever have that experience? You go to the bank, you're like, "Really? You got eight teller stations and one is open. Wow."

It's just the mind is set in the gear of just pinpointing and fine tuning everything that's wrong with the world. And you find that each person that you're sort of gravitationally pulled toward is also sharing that same experience. But perhaps it's the energy that I'm emanating, the perspective, the lens that I've taken on that day is actually bringing out the lens in other people that I'm having experiences with that's evoking that same energy within them. And it's really like creating one's own reality. And we think of that usually in a positive sense, like, "I'm going to create my own reality. I'm going to think positive."

But what I think is even maybe more interesting and useful is being aware of those times where I'm creating the reality that I don't want because I've fallen unconscious. I've fallen asleep. And I've forgotten that I am, in fact, the architect of my reality. And I've played with this for 25 years.

And when I first started to kind of piece a little of this together through the help of people like me talking about it, and I do experiments where I'm in that state and I think, "All right. Even if I have to fake it, because I'm not really there, I'm not in a place of love and a place of serenity, I'm going to fake it. And I'm going to go into Whole Foods and they tell me to put on a mask." You know, rather than just sending vitriol and hate to that person who's just following orders, I'm actually just going to smile hugely, even though they can't see it. And I'm going to try to show my smile with my eyes and just exude happiness.

And you can observe the transmutation of someone else's energy field, prior to you interacting with them, was coming from a place of contraction, apparently. You kind of read their body language, their field, and you're like, "Okay. They're really uptight." It's a really beautiful game to see, not in an effort to control someone, but just to find the malleability of reality and consciousness to actually change one's state and observe the change within the person who is seemingly separate from you to kind of quantum entangle them.

To go up to the person at the DMV that is apparently having a really bad day. Because you've been watching them and the 20 people in front of you in line and they're just like, "Ah." And you just walk up and, like, blast them with this ridiculous amount of positivity and love, and just to see if you can break them out of it, not because you want to change them, but because you want to change yourself. You want to become a master of your own experience. You want to make the DMV your personal Disneyland - or Disneyland would be a bad example - groomers. Some of you got that joke.

But you want to create this utopian society. What if the utopian society that we seek and that we see the antithesis of in our experience now, what if that is actually just a changing of the lens? What if it's just like - you know, that name of the guy? I forget what movie it's from, but he's got the sunglasses. Sure, some of you have seen it. He looks at something that looks totally different with his glasses on or off. You know, what if it was just a matter of changing our lens and changing our perspective. And then, changing our perspective, the outer manifestation of reality in all of the things that happen to us, for us, with us, on a day to day basis actually starts to change.

In my view - this is my own personal purpose mission that I've uncovered through all of my explorations into myself - the purpose of incarnating as a human, let's just take for granted that we're all a soul or a spirit that has come into this earthly material dimension in the form of a body for a purpose, whether you believe that or not. If you believe that you're just a piece of meat, you're born, you die, that's fine, too. But just as a thought exploration, if we're a soul and we're incarnated into a body, into an embryo, a fetus, we're born. We're an infant. We've become a kid. We start to grow.

If the purpose of human life and Earth itself is evolution of our soul, if it's the perfect school, if it's Earth school, if we're here to have the opportunity to evolve, to learn, to grow, to undo karma, to evolve into a higher version of ourselves or even a higher being, energetic being, perhaps on other realms when we pass on, maybe there's other celestial realms they call heaven or whatever you call it, wherein we don't have a body anymore. We've discarded the need to have the human experience because we've evolved so much through our lifetimes.

To me, nothing makes sense except that the world on which we find ourselves serves one purpose and one purpose alone. And that purpose is to evolve. For each of us to have an individual expression of God or consciousness. And we're able to, as sort of fingers of the hands of God, come here and have the experience of growing and evolving. 

If that is the case - and I don't know that to be the case, it's what has always felt right to me - then the world we see with all of its apparent flaws and the duality of depraved evil on one side and angelic sainthood on the other, the world as it is for that purpose is absolutely perfect exactly how it is.

What if there's nothing that needs to change about the world? What if it's the perfect school for human souls to drop into and have round after round of evolving? So, there's nothing out there to change because the world is just placed perfectly how it is through all the epics of time. You know, all of the famine, all of the Viking hordes, the raping, and the pillaging, the wars, the disease, all of the suffering that we see, if that's actually here on purpose, because it's the fullest expression of consciousness, there's such a massive, infinite bandwidth of choices for us through our three will. But rather than trying to change the externals of what I see in the world, I focus on the evolution of myself and of my soul.

And as I just described moments ago with that experiment of going out and not trying to change the world necessarily, but just changing my own energy and observing how the world and the people in it respond to me differently, just as a game of sort of playing with reality, having a malleable reality where you can kind of go, "Oh, let me change my perspective." Even within that practice is this surrender to the idea of the world being as it's supposed to be.

And that the action that will probably have the highest impact, let's say I have a secret desire to change the world, but I'm going to kind of go along with the idea that I'll just surrender the world as it is, it's highly likely that my impact on the world coming from a place of that understanding of unconditional love, and acceptance, and surrendering into the totality of this experience we call life, that if I'm operating in the world traveling through space and time here on Earth, that I'm actually going to change things in a more profound way by not trying to change them, and just going within and really doing the work on myself.

Which could include, for example, excavating those things within myself that are blocking me from presenting as a more awakened, more enlightened version of myself, shadow work, really taking time to explore the trauma that I've experienced, the trauma that others have endured through my choices and behavior, making amends, clearing the karma for harms that I've inflicted on other people. To really go into that. To go into the depths of shame, the depths of self-loathing, the depths of my fears. Those parts of myself that I'd be tempted to mask through busyness or achievements or addictions. Those things that we're running from. We find ourselves running from things, and often we don't even know what it is we're running from. There's kind of an anxiety hellhound on our trail, right? There's just, like, got to stay busy.

That's kind of my method. I was a former addict and an alcoholic for a very long time at a really young age. And, thankfully, through really an act of providence, I was able to overcome that and escape that 25 years ago. And so, I am very familiar with running away from those things that I don't want to face.

And I found over the course of the first few years in that journey that I would just find other things to run away with that were kind of on the approved list, sex, eating, work, spending money, feeling guilty about spending the money, spending more money that I don't have, to erase the feelings of guilt and shame about the money that I spent. You know, all of these other types of negative patterns. Acting out sexually, entering into totally inappropriate and dysfunctional relationships.

All of these means by which to try to avoid those things deep down within myself that were uncomfortable and, at times, really painful to face and look at. And those things within ourselves that remain unaddressed, that remain unfazed are the clouds that block our purview of the sun's radiance. Those things within ourselves are the things that cause us to feel as if there's no purpose. As if the idea of a loving, benevolent God or creator is a fantasy.

Because the lens through which we're viewing an experience in our life is obscured by those things within ourselves that we've been unable to or unwilling to face and to heal. It's through the eye of the storm. And, of course, through the proper channels and with the proper guidance and assistance but by facing those elements of ourselves, the darkness within ourselves, the negativity within ourselves, the pain within ourselves, the judgments, the addictions.

By facing and, over time, evolving through those, we find that our experience is much less colored by those subconscious filters. And then, you know, the things that I'm sharing with you now, the idea of making reality malleable, and playing with it, and creating the life that you want, and all of these things that sound kind of positive thinking, you know, just go out in the world with a smile and everyone will smile back, it's not that.

It's let's rid ourselves, unburden ourselves of all of those things within ourselves that are preventing us from actually experiencing what's already here, which is a perfect world. A perfect world created for our own individual and collective evolution. And give us the opportunity to actually be wise in our decisions about what it is that we can and cannot change.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. One of the most beautiful, profound and simple prayers. There are things that I can change. There are things that I can't change. How do I know the difference? Through grace, through the answer to that prayer of being guided through one's heart, one's gut, one's intuition. Where to focus one's energy when I'm fighting a futile battle with reality trying to mold the world and the people in my relationships to be how I want them to be or how I perceive them as supposed to be. To continue to go inward and excavate those things within myself that are blocking me from having the ability to do that.

And that's, I think, the term that we hear spiritual bypass. Some of you may or may not be familiar with that. I mean, it probably has different meanings to different people. But in my life, as paradoxical as it is, the things that have brought me the most joy are really going back and methodically facing and healing those parts of myself that prevent me from being who and what I really am. 

Dissolving and breaking those patterns, those neural pathways that cause me to keep doing that damn thing over and over again even though it doesn't work, to making poor decisions, to having relationships that are ultimately deleterious to each party's well-being. Those things that are causing me to fail in my life in various ways and as a result, giving me a really grim perspective on the human experience and our prospects of actually moving forward as a collective, as a worldwide society in unison with any degree of harmony, and understanding, and love, and fairness, and all those things that I think most of us really want.

So, the journey to changing the world is really in changing ourselves. You know, it's in the change of perspective. It's in the exploration of unconditional love, not for a person, although it could manifest in the form of person to person. But what if we could have an unconditional love for all of reality and all of the experiences that we have?

I mean, I look back on severely traumatic experiences I had as a child, for example, that really harmed me on so many levels and really set my life on a trajectory of self-destruction. And at this stage in the journey, I truly have an unconditional love for those experiences. And I don't even know that I would change any of those experiences because they were all necessary as part of my development and my evolution. So, I might like who I am today having had the idyllic childhood devoid of any trauma.

But I don't know. I know that the person that I am today, I'm learning to like more and more. You know, the fact that I can just sit on a stage in front of a few people and feel really comfortable in my body, and feel connected to all of you, and to feel authentic. I don't need you to like me or agree with me or cheer for me. I don't need your approval, at least in any inflated way beyond just your average human need for safety and tribe. You know, if you guys were trying to kill me, that would be a different story.

But, you know, just to be comfortable in my skin, to be comfortable in my body has so much to do with just loving the experience of life without placing conditions and attachments onto it as being the way that I perceive it should have been, or should be, or should be in the future. And then, I'll sit back from my place of judgment, "Okay. Now, I approve of life. Now, I approve of myself, or you, or of the world." Removing all conditions to the experience of loving the reality that we've been graced with and given here, and cultivating that gratitude for the good, the bad, and the ugly that I've experienced in life.

And in so doing, gaining the ability to change perspective on a challenging experience while in the midst of it, rather than having to allow time to pass, and then to look back and go, "Oh, I see why I lost that job. I see why that divorce happened." And then, you know, gleaning the lessons from that down the road.

It's really beautiful to be in the middle of something extremely painful and uncomfortable and go, "This hurts. I'm going to let it hurt. I'm going to feel all of this. And I'm going to find the lesson in it as I'm actually finding my way through it." It's a much faster way to progress, because we don't have to kind of become unconscious and go to sleep and just fight our way and trudge our way through our problems, but rather transmute those problems into opportunities in the midst of the challenge. And that's fun, man. That's fun.

This past year for me, you know, I have nothing to do with the world, but just quality problems that I've had this year with buying my first home and renovating it, and got married and, all kinds of big great things happening, but extreme levels of stress and busyness and responsibility beyond what I would ever think I had the capacity to hold or carry in any way whatsoever. And all throughout this year, I've had to constantly remind myself and retrain myself, what is there to learn? What is there to learn? How can I evolve out of this experience today?

I lost a bunch of money. I got screwed over. You know, just anything you can imagine that could go wrong in the experience of renovating a house, I mean, just as a concrete, real life example. And finding myself feeling victimized, finding myself wanting to seek revenge, kill people in my mind, take them to court, make them pay, make them suffer as I'm suffering. You know, wanting people to join in and feel sorry for me, wanting attention, all these things I observed within myself periodically throughout the experience.

Yet, knowing that there's still this true north that's always there. However far I deviate off the spectrum of that compass, there's always that true north, which is I have the opportunity to change my perspective of this experience. And in that changing of perspective, there's so much gold. There's so much growth. There's so much evolution. And that I can take those nuggets of experience and wisdom in that moment of struggle and sometimes even those moments of pain, be feeling that pain, and know there's value in this experience if I choose to extract the value beyond just the value of the egoic pleasure of being victimized once again, "They did it to me again." Or even worse and probably more common, "I did it again."

You know, an unconditional forgiveness for oneself and for the folly of our fellow humans. And within that forgiveness comes the ability to stand up for oneself. Because that is the place of integrity, the place of wholeness, the place of boundaries, the place of having a voice, speaking up for oneself comes from that unconditional understanding and unconditional surrender.

Surrendering into the next action, not surrendering into non-action. Surrendering into the truth, the higher truth, the highest, most wise path forward, the next phone call, the next text, the next move, the next word, the next thought or emotion that I'm going to choose to energize and make something of.

So, at this point in my personal journey, which is really all I'm sharing, man. I'm sharing my heart. I'm sharing my mind, my experience. These are the things, these are the tools, the ways in which I'm learning to play with my experience to derive more value out of it and to alleviate the suffering in my experience.

I think the true measure of success for me is how much suffering decreases in my life on a day to day basis. And as a byproduct and a repercussion of that alleviation of suffering allows me to show up fully as who I am. The best parts of myself. You know, to say, "Hey, man. Have a good day to someone" and really mean it, or to ask someone how they're doing it and actually sit and listen and care.

I can't do that when I'm locked into that perspective that life is a struggle, that life is difficult, that life is suffering. What if life is just perfect? And sometimes it's very uncomfortable and there's perfection in the discomfort because there's something to gain from that discomfort. It's not for naught. It serves a purpose if I assign purpose and assign meaning to it.

I was going to leave ten minutes for questions, and I left one minute and 21 seconds. Does anyone in the audience have one comment or question you'd like to share before we wrap up? Going, going, gone. Well, that's a good sign. That means perhaps somebody's mind and, hopefully, heart is full and you're in some contemplation.

I want to let you guys know I really appreciate your kind attention, your generosity in giving me space to explore these things within myself. And I truly bless each and every one of you. And I hope that something was shared today that you found to be a benefit, that perhaps you can leave here today from this conference and contemplate later and perhaps apply in your life. Or maybe you were just reignited or in remembrance of something you already knew but perhaps forgot about, "Oh, yeah. I remember that truth, that principle. And I'm going to put that back to work."

So, thank you so much for having me today and and for listening and for allowing me just to share my heart with you. I really appreciate it.



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