• Understanding Your Thoughts and Emotions During this Pandemic

    Are you finding your emotions and thoughts all over the place due to the pandemic? Many jobs have been lost, normal liberties have been stripped and we are lingering in uncertainty!  Allison Douglas Guerrero received her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in trauma studies from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Tune in and learn how achieving whole health can only occur after one accounts for the functioning of the mind, body and spirit in conjunction.

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • Tools to cope with periods of grief
    • How to relieve negative emotions you or the people closest to you may be dealing with daily
    • How the mind, body and spirit work together to achieve whole health
  • Color Your World

    Have you ever thought about how the colors you are around everyday can affect you? Do you believe that the colors you eat, wear, drink, or surround yourself with can change how you’re feeling or how you act?  Betsy Karp is a health and wellness counselor, who also uses color theory to educate others on how the colors we surround ourselves with affect our emotions and how we live our everyday lives. She has certifications from Columbia University Teachers College, The Institute of Integrative Nutrition in Health Counseling, and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Tune in and learn how color can help you live your life alive.

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • How colors affect our emotions
    • How color can heal your spirit, attitude, and mindset
    • Asking yourself what emotion you need more of every day and how color can fix that void
  • Letting Go of the Old and Letting the New Transform You

    Jen Mavros is a socially conscious, creative entrepreneur, who has devoted her life to being a loving force and a guiding voice for positive change. She is the hostess of one of the top ranked Spiritual podcasts, The Jen Mavros Show, as well as the creator of Loving Business Forward and Loving Humanity Forward movements. Do you feel like you were meant for something different but you’re scared of what the unknown holds? Are you ready to let the “old” go and let the “new” transform you? Don’t miss out on expanding yourself and awakening your spirit.  

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • Stepping into new seasons of your life
    • Following the fire inside you
    • What it takes to shift your life in a different direction
  • Learning to Listen to Your Body

    Have you ever wondered how your health and your wellness go hand-in-hand?  Dr. Deb Zepf is the founder and president of Wholistic College of Quantum Wellness and an educator specializing in Aromatic Medicine. Her private practice, Holistic Herbal Health, is located in Parker, CO where she serves people both locally and globally. Dr. Zepf leads her clients to a path of restoring the body back to its natural balance through Herbal, Holistic, and Energetic medicine. She believes that with the proper environment created and supported, the human body can heal itself. Listen in to better understand why your decisions for your health and wellness truly matter!

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • The importance of our healthy bodies
    • Our language we speak to ourselves
    • Our spiritual relationships
  • Can We Stop Fear?

    Have you ever been scared, really scared?  Are there things that you are constantly in fear of?  Have you ever thought about your mind and gut connection?  Earle Hall is a two-time TEDx speaker, whose research focuses on neuroscience, human behavior, purpose, and personal health.  He is a Canadian Veteran Officer and an internationally recognized entrepreneur, visionary and innovator in several fields of technology.  Listen in to hear how being open and taking care of yourself can help you lead a more fulfilled life!

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • The science behind the connection between mind, body and soul
    • The importance of discipline
    • How clean eating affects your body’s ability to connect with mind and spirit
  • How Feng Shui Can Help You Live Alive

    Does your environment scream chaos or peace and harmony?  Do you feel like you’re keeping a good rhythm or do you feel stuck?  Kim Julen is a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, International Feng Shui Guild Red Ribbon Practitioner and Certified Angel Card Reader.  Kim has a passion for helping others create a life and a business filled with ease, daily magic, and joy!  Tune in and learn how to observe and change the environments around you, so you can “find your Fiji” too.

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • What is Feng Shui
    • How Feng Shui can change your life
    • The impact our environment has on how we feel
  • Let Go of Old Belief Systems (BS) and Create the Life of Your Dreams

    Is life always testing your limits? Are you tired of feeling dark and negative energy around you when all you want is to find fulfillment?  Kathy Williams went from being a starving ballerina literally and only making $213 a week to teaching around the world, living in Hawaii, parenting, and playing in an abundantly, joyful life. Tune in to stop your limiting beliefs and finally get out of your own way!

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • What it means to be more self aware
    • Tools to increase self awareness
    • Recognizing the gifts in your life
  • Becoming an Observer of Your Own Life

    On today’s episode of the Living Alive Show, I’m chatting with Bradford Glass. He has inspired courageous professionals, leaders and their teams to challenge conventional thinking and to take a stand for living with authenticity and freedom. He recently released his book ‘Living Authentically”. In this episode, we take a look at Bradford’s journey to living his life alive and the steps he took to turn inward and listen to his true self.

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • Following the voice of our true self
    • Becoming Curious
    • How monks changed Brad’s life

    Can’t listen? Here’s the transcript: 

    Autumn:
    Welcome to The Living Alive podcast. I’m Autumn Shields, a master connect coach, speaker, author and serial entrepreneur. And most importantly, your hostess, your to help you live your life alive. See, I believe we all have the ability to feel and be guided by life’s nudges to live on purpose. So I’m inviting you to take this journey with me. Rather you were here just wanting to dip your toe in the water and see what this is all about. Or maybe you are ready to dive deep. Thank you for joining us on today’s episode. On this show, you’ll hear powerful life-changing stories from thought leaders of all walks of life that are stirring things up. We will guide you on living your life fully alive. How to identify the nudges and I live in a healthy lifestyle actually makes a difference. So get ready to be inspired, challenged, and connected because it’s your time to make a splash.

    Autumn:
    Have you ever felt like you were living someone else’s life or lately, have you felt that nudge to live a more authentic life? Well today, I hope you’re ready to dive deep because that is exactly what our next guest loves to do. For over 40 years. He’s inspired courageous professionals, leaders and their teams to challenge conventional thinking and to take a stand for living with authenticity and freedom. Instead, he has served many roles as a captain in the US air force, an engineer, a coach, and now author of his newly published book “Living Authentically in a World that would rather you didn’t”. I’m excited for you to join our conversation with Brad Glass. So welcome to the show. And why don’t you just go ahead and introduce yourself and then we’re just gonna start in.

    Brad:
    Thanks, autumn and thanks for having me. I’m Brad. I live on Cape Cod and I guess my life story up until at least the last 10 years or so was, I call it a very long tradition that somebody else made up, which means I went along with all the lessons that I learned early in life, which is part of the story most of us follow. And it was probably 10, 15 years ago that I woke up and realized that I was eating well, but I was starving, I guess is the way I put it. And I loved the work I was doing, but it is, it didn’t do anything for me. And I started to look more deeply and I found inside me the idea that what I had been doing my whole life separate from, whether it was managing computer software or being an air force officer or leading nature tours or whatever, then what I was really doing was asking questions.

    And the idea was to help people create more space, generate more creative genius and more possibility. So the whole idea about asking good questions as a way to open up space is kind of the definition of coaching. And so coaching found me, but it turned out that was my truth and I’ve just followed that path for the last 15 years or so, largely unaware of where it would lead. But just knowing that as long as I was expressing what was my truth, that it would lead somewhere meaningful to me and two others that turns out. So that’s kind of the snippet. I mean, the resume is a good resume, but it doesn’t mean anything.

    Autumn:
    Absolutely. And I love that you always use you. It’s fun how we met, but you use the word path and pathways a lot and I love that because I’m super visual and I love that. It, to me, it’s like a journey. And not only have you lived that and you now help others do that and that’s so great is when you do your own work and then you’re able to help other people along with it. I love how we were introduced. I was working on interviewing people that were really living their life alive, since I had just released that book and I was really curious about what other people’s definition was like that in their path and their journey to that. And I was introduced to Brad actually through my life partner who said you have to meet this guy.

    Not only has he changed his life, he’s so passionate about helping others and then we got to meet when you were visiting Maui and I was living there. We just had such a great conversation about living alive and what that really means. So I would like to back you way up to that resume where you were living life, you know, 10, 15, 20 years ago, 30 years ago. And just like you said, you were loving what you are doing. So I feel like there’s so many people out there that love what they’re doing. So what is really the difference? When did you feel that there was that awakening? Was it a process? Was it one thing that happened? Like one specific thing that happened to you? What was that switch? Because I feel like a lot of people just live their life and their, it’s a good life. But what’s the difference when you talk about coming alive or becoming conscious? What does that mean?

    Brad:
    Well I think there was a lot of ways to discover your true path. I mean, one, some kind of cataclysmic event that just thrusts you into undue context, if you will. And you know, that can be a life-changing event, even a disease. I mean, who knows. Mine was more on a glomeration of small changes and there were lots of things that happened. I mean, I did everything wrong from the big perspective, but I was following all the lessons that I learned early in life thinking that that was what life should be. But we’re all taught what life should be, but that’s not the way life really is. So we set ourselves up for a fight with life from the very beginning. So the early part of my life, I was a manager in the computer software industry and I spent most of it trying to wrestle life to the ground and it became exhausting.

    I had been divorced a few times. I was doing well at work, but it was stressful and overwhelming. And I woke up one morning and I realized that I hated computers and I hated software, but I love going to work and I had to figure out what that was. And about that same time when work was pretty difficult I guess for me I had an organization development manager on my staff and he made me set aside a morning to spend with him and I couldn’t imagine that I was too busy doing stuff to have a morning. But I relented. And long story short, cause the whole story is in my book, he took me to visit the monks at a the Trappist Monastery in Spencer, Massachusetts that the people that make the jams and the jellies and now ales, but he knew Father Robert who ran the place and we spent a morning amongst the monks and their conversation just blew me away because they were talking about things like quantum science and consciousness and that kind of thing.

    And I could do the science conversation, but I’d never thought of it in terms of how it applied to the framework of our lives and our consciousness. So in one morning, it planted a seed that actually changed the entire direction of my life. I just started to listen a new way, I guess what I did in terms of the work was to use my engineer mind to look inward and to try to figure out what was going on for me because it was a complete mystery to me at that time. My whole world was, was shaken up with that one conversation, but I had to figure out what was going on. Wow. So that became the seed that they kind of germinated. It took a long time to germinate. It’s kind of like those packets of bristlecone pine seeds with a joke directions on them that say plant and whatever, and then wait 400 years, you know. So it was one of those. But it’s been an interesting journey since then. It’s really just been a journey of awareness. I was clueless the whole time I was fighting so hard.

    Autumn:
    So from that perspective, as a younger person, what insight or advice or wisdom would you maybe give somebody that’s younger, maybe just starting off or in their career and just kind of are, maybe they’re aware their wheels are spinning, but there’s more?

    Brad:
    I might be wrong on this, but I think that we have to get to a place where we get it, that our wheels are spinning before we’re open to an alternative cause we think we’re right and we too, that’s the way we power our lives. We have to believe in ourselves. And even if that is a false self, we still have to believe in it. So I think we need some kind of crisis or stress or overwhelm or some run-in with a limitation in order to get it. I think at that point, the thing is that the way I look at it is we have voices in our head and we all have voices in our head and they’re running 24/7. If you think you don’t have voices in your head, stop thinking for a minute.

    It’s pretty hopeless. There’s always something going on. I should do this. What if they say this: I have too much to do. I can’t have this conversation. I don’t know all these stories that are running around in our heads, but 90% of the voices in our heads are stories of old lessons and tapes that don’t mean at the end thing. And the voice in our head that matters is the voice of our true self. And when you get to the point when you realize that life has become a struggle, you can finally get it. That the struggle is a result of following all of the thinking that was poured into you by other people. And when you can grasp that concept. My experience is you can’t get that when you’re fighting so hard with life because you believe the fight is real. But when you finally get the, it could be your thinking, then you can start looking inside. And the process is so simple as just outrageous. I mean, if we’d learned to listen to our truth from age one wouldn’t be like this. But we learned to listen to everybody else’s truth. And the only thing you have to do to change your whole life is to become aware of how your thinking is hijacked your mind.

    Autumn:
    That’s a great perspective.

    Brad:
    It’s not easy, but it’s simple. It’s deceptively simple. it’s simple in the sense that a six-year-old can do it, but deceptive in the sense that everything we’ve learned since we were six tells us not to.

    Autumn:
    So what are some of the tools? If I’m like, I want to do this, I want to start thinking instead of just listening and being programmed?

    Brad:
    Well, the first thing is to let go of all of the skills that we think we need in order to live life the hard way. The biggest example is trying to be, if you’re trying, it’s not a problem that you need to solve. It’s a signal that you’re off track.

    There’s no trying at all in this. You don’t have to try to change the way you think. You don’t have to try to change life. You don’t have to try to change other people. You just start noticing stuff.

    Autumn:
    Be curious.

    Brad:
    Yeah. Become curious. And what you’re doing is you’re, you’re becoming an observer of your life in addition to being a participant in it. Which is participant runs down the street with a drama you observe her, stops, watches the drama and says, gee, isn’t this curious? I wonder what’s going on? That tool changed a lot for me.

    And it’s so awkward because when in any part of our life were we ever told to stop what we’re doing and go introspect?

    Autumn:
    I feel like I’ve just been running down the street plan apartment. We’ve been so busy playing apart and focusing on a part and trying to do our best job at the part. It made me realize that there are other ways to do it than just play the part.

    Brad:
    Yeah. But until we get to that point, we think the part is what life’s all about and we’re so busy fighting with it that we can’t imagine stopping. We can’t imagine looking inside ourselves. We see it as a complete waste of time. And that’s the biggest obstacle to all this because the work is not difficult. Any of us can take 10 minutes and replay conversations we’ve had over the course of the day. It just ask, I wonder what I was thinking? I wonder what was going on for me then? What was my real intention? What did I think I wanted and what I really want? But we can’t even imagine that that’s worthwhile. So the biggest obstacle to it all is that our, one of the rules we learn in life is to not question the rules. So we don’t, we’d all look. So we miss out on everything. That’s true for us because we were looking in the wrong places.

    Autumn:
    And just like you said, it’s 10 minutes of simple. It’s simple, not easy, but it’s simple. But that 10 minutes, I feel like for most of us it’s just as easy to fill that 10 minutes with noise to turn on the TV to sit there and scroll through Instagram or Facebook or to listen to what everyone else is saying and just continue with the noise throughout the day instead of just setting. I know for me and a lot of Americans at least were brought up to do, do, do, do. And if I’m not doing something, like I’m wasting my time. Why would I just sit her 10 minutes and sit and do what? Like what do I need to be doing? And I remember reading books about being and you’re not really being, cause you’re reading and just learning what that is to be and during that time of being is to think. And the first thing I think about is to do lists and the voices continued. The voices continued. So just to be observant of that and what am I thinking about and what am I feeling? And that 10 minutes changed everything as soon as I started doing that. So that’s a great tool. Thank you for sharing that.

    Brad:
    Yeah, I’d say it absolutely changes everything we know at the beginning of that was the long story because I’m convinced that the organization development manager that made me take this morning was trying to turn me from a human doing it to a human being. And I didn’t get that distinction at the time. But yeah, I mean we want to keep doing because that’s what we’re taught. We can’t imagine that stopping doing can be helpful.

    Autumn:
    Yes. Helpful. Beneficial. And it can be productive. Actually be productive. That turns out it’s the path to freedom really is we have freedom of living in your own life. I love asking, you know when I first asked you what does living in life live and there’s a path of understanding that so

    Brad:
    Well we can’t imagine that we’re living somebody else’s path because we’re working so hard at it and we’re fighting as hard as we can fight with stress for overwhelmed, frustrated or not satisfied, but we’re convinced that we’re winning or that we can win, but we can’t because we’re not living our own path. We’re following somebody else’s.

    Autumn:
    As this started germinating for you, when did you start noticing that there was a feeling of freedom? Like what did that feel like to you? When were those moments that you notice that or notice something was different?

    Brad:
    That’s great because it wasn’t a moment. That’s the thing. We were so used to having everything be cause and effect. I drop a pan on the floor and it makes a noise. I make something and I can see the result. But I read somewhere that this work is more like tending a garden than it is building a house. When you build a house, it’s a plan, you buy vital materials, you hire the help and you make the house and it’s done. They’re doing skills. But when you tend to garden, you don’t make roses grow, you nurture conditions to allow them to grow, but they grow just fine on their own.

    Autumn:
    What a great analogy. Yes.

    Brad:
    Perspective on life is more like we want to pull up the roses to see how they’re doing and that’s the doing skills. So the idea is to stop doing and replace the doing skills. Like with things like, no, they’re still skills, but they’re being skills awareness. So you notice stuff and you don’t miss anything. Patients to know that the answer is there, but it’s not there. Like solving a math problem, trust that it all comes together somehow. So I think you asked me how that was for me and I lost track of my thought on that. What was the question you asked me just a minute ago?

    Autumn:
    Well, just when you started noticing your thoughts were changing and that feeling of freedom started coming along,

    Brad:
    Right. So it wasn’t a moment when I noticed that freedom came along. It was a diffuse awareness that I woke up one day and I felt like I was doing things differently. Or I’d wake up a different day or I stop in the middle of something and realize, Hey, I never did it this way before. This is easy. This is fun. So it was like a wave of diffuse moments that were completely disconnected in the sense of traditional cause and effect from anything that I had done.

    Autumn:
    And that’s gotta be exciting.

    Brad:
    It is. But it’s not the same cause and effect, like in a science experiment. And that’s the part that’s difficult. And me being trained as an engineer and a science guy, it was hard for me to do that. But when the practices create these aha moments that just show up seemingly out of nowhere, that’s when you know you’re on the right track.

    Autumn:
    I love that it’s called a practice. I love that word practice because it’s practice. It’s something we do all the time. It’s practice and it’s a journey. It’s not something we just do and done and check off the list.

    Brad:
    Well, it’s written this way in the book I think, but, practice, I compared it to learning how to ski. I mean, if you want to learn how to ski, you don’t get to the Olympics by reading books on skiing. You get to the Olympics by coming down the mountain and the mountain teaches you to ski in a way. And I think that’s really crucial because again, we’ll go back to the doing skills and we want it all to happen. We want the cause and effect thing. But it’s the awareness that comes from the practice creates change.

    Autumn:
    I mean as your getting excited and noticing thoughts and you’re noticing behavior. When did it switch for you that you have a message for others that are just can stay inside of you anymore and you knew that you had to share with others.

    Brad:
    That’s good. Because about the same time as the monk story, the same guy who took me to the monks hired a coach. I still know him. He still runs a great coaching school. He’s amazing. But back in his early days, he came to visit and he was there to help me. Become more of a human being, I guess is what it, what it would be now. But he said something to me that was another one of those germinate in five or 10 years things. But I never forgot what he said. Word for word. And I think this is the answer to your question, but he said, “Brad, you need to use your intellectual horsepower not to get it right, but to help other people get it right.” And it was so cool. I mean the word stuck with me, for 20 years now, this was back in the 1980s, so 30 years. It took me a long time before I did anything with that. But those words came back to me over and over and over again. Every time something in life inspired to make me learn something new and I wanted that. I wanted other people to get it right. That was my biggest dream. But I had learned to be such a perfectionist that I couldn’t release that I had to do it myself. So all those paths kind of converged and became the path.

    Autumn:
    Yeah. And so you made the jump, you made the jump from having that science mind and going to work every day to creating a life of being an entrepreneur and helping other people. What was that jump like for you?

    Brad:
    It was fun. The most fun part of that journey was releasing the need to know everything. That’s so hard. I have been in prison for 30 adult years of having to know everything. I mean that was the game. I mean, I’ve joked about it, but I remember coming home from school once and high school with a math test with a 97 on it. And the only comment I got from my dad was, where are the other three points go? Go find them. Okay. So I had learned pretty heavily to get it right. But the freedom came when I could say, I don’t know. Okay. I don’t know. Or what do you think? Or let’s figure it out together. Or I don’t know how, what can we bring from other experiences? We’ve had to figure this one out

    Autumn:
    So hard from that engineering mind and that science mind to go into this thing where people say this as, Ooh, it sounds woo woo. It sounds like it’s a whole bunch of talk, but what it really is, is I want to touch it. So going from the answers to try and to get to a place where you’re at now of helping other people and creating a life for yourself, doing it.

    Brad:
    It’s just fascinating to see what happens when you can let go of preconceived notions and with awareness, you start becoming aware of that you’re letting go of preconceived notions, which is more fun because now you can do it on purpose. I mean, now I can say, I don’t know, and have that be one of the most fun things that I can say to anybody. I don’t know. I don’t know that between that and just seeing everything in life is entertainment. I made a release of all judgment. I mean, we learned the blame game. We learned to blame everything outside of ourselves because we’ve learned historically, at least in this country, to focus on the external world instead of ourselves. And when the external world doesn’t comply, which is always, we blame other people.

    Autumn:
    Yeah. You can’t turn on a TV right now and hear a whole bunch of blaming going on. It’s all blame, everything. It’s all blame.

    Brad:
    But I’ve just completely replaced that. It’s all entertainment. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine doing this 20 years ago, but I honestly can drive on the highway and have somebody cut me off and I don’t react anymore. All I do is slow down so I don’t hit him, but I don’t react. And there used to be a time when I take it personally, I get angry, you know, and because I live in Massachusetts, I passed them and slam on my brakes, but I don’t do that anymore. And it’s freeing cause I’m not stressed, I’m challenged because I love what I do and I still have music left to play. But the challenge is not the same as a feudal sense of stress and overwhelm.

    Autumn:
    Yes. Well said. And then from when you noticed you were living a certain way and then you decided, I want to start sharing this with other people. I feel like sometimes when we go on our own pack, I mean it’s like in us, I’m gonna have so much excitement about this, realizing there’s a different way to live. There is a life of freedom. There’s a better way to interact. There’s a happier way. There’s a way that their health can get out of your less stressful, your relationships and more enriched. So that’s coming in boiling up inside of you and then tell me about the jump and you just decided, yeah, I’m going to start being a coach and help other people.

    Brad:
    Well it was funny because in the corporate world, there’s an org chart. Everything has to be an org chart from the top down and all that kind of stuff. But I realized that in addition to the org chart there was also a thing that I now call the emotional org chart. And wherever I went in the corporate world, I was near the top of the emotional org chart. I didn’t do it on purpose, I didn’t try to do anything. Well, my observation was that people from my own organization and other organizations used to come from me for counsel advice perspective because they knew they could get the real deal without corporate speak, without all of the frosting and the protocol and policy and all that kind of stuff. And they appreciated that. And I realized that was part of the coaching thing too. So when I left the software world, I was already doing what I was doing. I mean, it was a jump, but it wasn’t a leap, it was, the image I have and you’ll appreciate this with a Maui connection that what I was doing the last few years in the software world was like surfing. You know, I’m riding the wave and when the wave breaks, I pick up my board and walk and just keep going.

    Autumn: 
    And that’s what’s great about identifying those gifts like you were already, people are already calling on you for specific gifts, not just a job description, but you kind of evolved as a person that people were seeking out the specific gifts. So you were able to identify them, which is so awesome that and we can identify our gifts. We don’t have to be like anybody else. You don’t have to be like the guy that are left or the right or above us or below us, but we can actually just identify their gifts, start to shine in that area and that arena and then you just find different platforms for the fit, your lifestyle and what you want to do to be able to go share those giftings. And to me that’s another definition of living your life alive is where you can take your unique giftings, all of your brightness and take your broadness into the world because there’s people waiting for it.

    And I always feel like if there’s something inside of you that’s kind of boiling up, whatever we want to call it for you, we’ll just call it Bradness that is supposed to come up and into the world. Imagine holding that in like how long could you have held that in and not shared it? Your unique fifteens with the world and look at the clients’ lives that have been touched because your Bradness came out and just like you said, it’s not something to brag on or you know, you think it’s you’re higher or lower or right or left or right or wrong over anybody else. It’s just your Bradness, just all of your way of experience and wisdom and that you’re able to help people in this way and that you did it and you followed that, I call it a nudge. You follow that nudge to go be your Bradness. Are there times you are scared to step into that place?

    Brad:
    Well, I was totally scared. I mean, I’d never done anything on my own before. I always had a company to back me up. I got away with a lot of stuff cause I was good at what I did and you know, people left me alone. So that was easy. So perhaps the hardest part was realizing that my calling had a public face and I didn’t. I’m an introvert and introverts do really well in software because they get left alone to go do whatever they want to do because it’s a creative pursuit and you know, there’s aloneness involved in that. But so it was, it was hard for me to have a public face.

    Autumn:
    Yeah. And your name’s on this now. Not only this it is out of the world.

    Brad:
    I know, I know, but the thing is that the Bradness, I love the term, but what’s unique about all of us is always, always, always, and it has always been inside us and it’s nudging, to use your term, is nudging at us all the time. The problem most of us have, and I did for 30 years is we don’t listen to it, but it’s always talking to us. It’s always inviting us. It’s a source of energy. This always asking us to live out its message, to live out its truth. It’s holding the path open in front of us, inviting us to walk it and we don’t. That’s the part that’s tough.

    Autumn:
    What do you think is the main reason you’ve seen your clients or you’ve seen other people’s lives that they don’t, but they just ignore that knowing, that nudge inside of them?

    Brad:
    Because we’re taught not to, we’re taught to focus on the outside world. I mean, we think that thinking that’s in our minds is our own thinking, but it’s not, it’s a very long made up by other people. Which is the way I introduced myself at the beginning because that was true for me. So my book in many ways is my story and I realized that in a way it’s an extended brochure and in a way it’s my living authentically to do that because if that’s not true, if what’s written in there isn’t true for me that I have no right to a written. But that was inside me. That book has been inside me for years and years and years. Probably before I even knew it consciously. That book has probably been inviting me to write it for how long? I don’t know. But the point is that all of us have that something unique that’s inviting us. I mean, you look at people in history figures that we hold in high regard in history, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Einstein, whatever. I mean they have the same 24 hours in the day that we have. The thing that made them different was they were so clear on what their path looked like that nothing got in their way. Talk about energy.

    Autumn:
    Yes. It’s just a lot of people you see when people have that clarity and that focus on and just knowing who they are and they just go for it.

    Brad:
    Well, if you think of your energy every day is being a bucket full of water, they could pour the entire bucket full into what they cared about and most in this planet and the picture that always comes to my mind when I talk to clients or even look at the early days in my own life is that we fill a bucket with water every day by sleeping and eating. And that’s our energy supply for the day. And then we go around and punch holes in the bucket and all the water drains out. And we don’t have anything left to give to the reason that we’re here on this planet in a way it’s a sad way to live, to watch other people do it. Yeah it is. But my thing isn’t to try to make anybody change. It’s to offer light for the journey, keep the torch lit on the path to help people find their own way. And that’s really the focus of my coaching, the focus of the book and the thing I love most in life.

    Autumn:
    Awesome. Well I cannot wait to listen to this episode again cause I’ve been sitting here like try not to like reach up and take notes. There are so many pros that you passed on that I’ll go back and listen to and actually take notes, cause I wanted to be present during the interview, but I’m so excited to listen to this and finish this book and it’s a very thought-provoking book. And where can people find you or interact with you and find your book?

    Brad:
    It’s available on my website roadnottaken.com. There are several places on the homepage that will point you to the story of the book and the purchase page. That’s the only place you can buy it. Unless you live on Cape Cod, you can buy it in the bookstore right around the corner from me. But it’s available on the website. It’s a book that’s not meant to be read on cruise control. It’s a field guide. It’s written as a field guide, which means you pick it up, you study a piece, you carry it with you, you take it as a companion for the journey. You come back and you refer to it. And the, the change that you experience is like the change I’ve experienced in my life. It’s a slow agglomeration of details. But you pick up a little bit each time.

    Autumn:
    I love that. Yes. And I’m actually a quick reader. I can dive in a book. And this one I just, like you said, I did take it in pieces and slow and it’s very thought-provoking and I’d much rather take it along on a journey and visit it and understand it and think about different things and be reflective with it. So what a gift. I’m so glad that this came out of you. Finally, people always ask me how long it took you to write a book. And I think that’s such an odd question. Like, did I start on January 2nd? And I don’t know, like to me it was just always in you at some level and comes out and I was telling about if it’s in you, make sure it comes out of you because that’s there to bless other people. So thank you for blessing us with this book. Thank you for this time on this interview. And any last thought that you would like to live with about living an authentic life?

    Brad:
    I think I’d like to close with three quotes if I can, because three of my favorite quotes, one of them is from Mark Twain, and it kind of talks to the struggle part of the journey and opens the path to change. And the quote is, “it’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” And it turns out that most of what we know for sure just ain’t so, so that’s the beginning of the journey. The second part of the journey is a quote from Thoreau, which is about purposefully looking and noticing and growing your awareness. And the quote is, “let us spend one day as deliberately as nature and not be thrown off track by every nutshell and mosquito wing that falls on the rails.”

    Autumn:
    I love that is one of my favorite writers and I have not heard that quote.

    Brad:
    Yeah, I love, I love that one. And the last is from the prophet by Kahlil Gibran. And it’s about the process of change being the result of self-reflection and growing personal awareness. And it’s “the veil that clouds your eyes will be lifted by the hands that wove it.” So three kind of deep quotes. One of them funny, one of them pretty serious. But to me those kind of encapsulate the journey.

    Autumn:
    Yes. And I’d love that you addressed the struggle that there is a struggle in this. You know, a lot of times people just focus on the good part of living in life alive and the freedom and lifestyle that you learned to create for yourself in a happiness that there’s struggle along the way and there is that understanding of right and wrong and letting go of so many things and thought processes and you’re not lifting the veil. Now any of us can do that anytime. So it’s so empowering that we have that opportunity to be able to do that for our own lives. And we don’t have to wait around for anybody else to do it. That we have the power to live our life alive. So thank you. You’re such a blessing every time I get to talk to you and I know I’ll be seeing you in Florida soon. So looking forward to that. Thanks again for just being you. I love Bradness I’m going to keep using that things for you and you being your Bradness. So have a great time and stay warm at this winter and I loo forward to seeing you soon. Thank you Brad for being you.

    Brad:
    Thank you for having me. I’m really grateful and this has been fun. So take care and I look forward to seeing you soon too. Thank you. Bye bye.

    Autumn:
    Thank you for joining us and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. And remember, good friends don’t keep great messages to themselves, so keep the ripples moving and share this episode with your friends. Also, wherever you listen to podcasts, please take a moment to review or download this episode, but I would love to connect with you regardless of where you’re at on your journey. Maybe you’re feeling like you can’t set sail or maybe you’re out there rocking the open seas. Go to autumnshields.com or on social and say hello. If you would like a complementary coaching session, all you have to do is click on let’s connect and let me know three things that you would like to get out of the conversation and we will make it happen. So make today the day you decide to live your life alive and leave room for the unimaginable. It’s when till next time, keep following the nudges.

  • Surviving the Columbine Tragedy to Teaching Value

    On this episode of The Living Alive Show, I’m speaking with Craig Scott. Craig is a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting. Since that tragic day, Craig has dedicated his life to making a difference in schools sharing his and his sister’s story. In this interview, I get to talk to Craig about the importance of kids feeling value and how we can create a ripple effect from showing kindness. We also talk about how important it is for kids to have emotional resilience and realize that, despite what other kids may say, they are in charge of their emotions and response.

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • The importance of our youth feeling value
    • Craig’s experience in the Columbine shooting
    • Starting a train reaction of kindness
    • Building emotional resilience

    Can’t listen? Here’s the transcript: 

    Autumn:

    Welcome to the Living Alive Podcast. I’m Autumn Shields, a master connect coach, speaker, author and serial entrepreneur. And most importantly, your hostess, your to help you live your life alive. See, I believe we all have the ability to feel and be guided by life’s nudges to live on purpose. So I’m inviting you to take this journey with me. Rather you were here just wanting to dip your toe in the water and see what this is all about. Or maybe you are ready to dive deep. Thank you for joining us on today’s episode. On this show, you’ll hear powerful life-changing stories from thought leaders of all walks of life that are stirring things up. We will guide you on living your life fully alive. How to identify the nudges and I live in a healthy lifestyle actually makes a difference. So get ready to be inspired, challenged, and connected because it’s your time to make a splash on this show as we talk about and focus on living your life alive

    Autumn:

    Have you ever wondered how people who have experienced extreme trauma or abuse in their life find and get back to a place of living their life fully alive, or maybe you’ve experienced trauma or abuse in your life or know someone else who has and maybe are struggling to get past the things that come along with that like sadness, grief, loss, anger, forgiveness. Well, today I want you to know it is possible to live your life alive.

    Today’s episode, you’re going to hear that although life may never be the same after that incident or incidences, you can find joy and purpose. As I served as a victim advocate for almost 15 years helping crime victims in Colorado and I was a first responder to Columbine, I witnessed not only the impact that crime had on individuals, but it’s aftermath and I observed why or maybe what it was, how some people can take their pain, grow through it, move through it, and actually come out on the other side and turn it into helping others.

    Autumn:
    Our guest today is an amazing example of just that he is a survivor of Columbine high school shooting. He was in the most intense scene in the library where 10 students lost their life. He watched as his two friends were both gunned down on each side of him. He later learned that his sister Rachel Joy Scott was the first student to be killed. Since then, he has found his way from being a victim to dedicating his life and making a difference in schools by sharing his and his sister’s story. In his 20 years of working in schools, he has to over a million people. He was appointed to a presidential panel on school safety and he’s an ongoing go-to expert for media interviews, especially after school shooting incidences. He’s been featured on over a thousand television and radio interviews and participated in over 50 documentaries. He started hundreds of ongoing clubs in schools that help create a more positive culture for students and to me, most importantly, his presentations have helped to stop hundreds of documented suicides as well as several school shootings.

    He’s not only found his way through his pain because of that traumatic event that day. He has found his calling. Please join me in the conversation with Craig Scott. Welcome to the show, Craig.

    Craig:
    Thank you so much for having me on.

    Autumn:
    Yeah, thank you for taking time. I know we both just have a short amount of time, but I’m so glad we were able to connect today and get this message out to so many more people. So our paths crossed over 20 years ago. Unfortunately during the Columbine shooting, my role at the time I was serving as a victim advocate coordinator helping crime victims and obviously responding to Columbine was one of the first school shootings of that magnitude. And as a community, not only as a school and families and community in the world, you know, forever was changed that day. And since our paths have crossed as you were a student and Columbine and lost your sister Rachel to the shooters. What’s been awesome about social media is I’ve been able to follow your path and over the last 20 years watching you, what you’ve done with that tragedy, not only in your own life but to so many others.

    And you know, this podcast is about helping other people live alive and what you’ve been through. As a victim advocate, I saw so many people go through tragic things and everybody deals with things in different ways and what you’ve done is just amazing because of the difference you’re making in the lives of literally millions of kids. And so I’m so excited for you to share today what you’re doing with Value Up. And I know you’ve spoken over to a million students and you’ve been speaking for over 20 years, so I would just love for you to share your insight with the youth today about what you’re seeing with the youth, what you’re experiencing at the school and what this program Value Up is all about.

    Craig:
    Absolutely. It’s been my calling, ever since I survived that day. I was in this scene of the most intense shooting in the library, the school library, and had two friends killed next to me and then losing my sister. I just felt like I had to make the most of my life and because my friends died next to me, my sister didn’t make it. And so I’m kind of like a soldier that comes back from war that leaves friends behind, and sometimes those soldiers want to make their life count even more. And that’s kinda how I felt. I also felt that I had a lot of support and I had a lot of people that reached out to me and I got counseling and I started to focus on some good things that helped me heal. And so I’ve been speaking since I was a senior in high school, which was 20 years ago. And so it’s been an amazing journey to see what I’ve seen in schools and be a part of making such an impact.

    Autumn:
    Yes. Thank you. And thank you for all that you’ve done. And so I know you worked with Rachel’s Challenge. And for those of you that don’t know Rachel’s Challenge, you can look that up, which has been an amazing organization and touch so many and then recently moved and created a program called Value Up. So can you talk about that program and then really what you see with the youth today?

    Craig:
    Okay. So I think that we’ve kind of moved away as a country from one operating system to another. We used to have a viewpoint in our country of kind of that we were made in the image of God. That we were, that every person had this incredible high intrinsic value. We all had inalienable rights. The Declaration of Independence talked about the pursuit of happiness. That we all have this, as Americans, that everyone had value, whether someone was poor, whether someone was rich, that everyone’s life has meaning and value. And the last years the rate of suicide has more than doubled and it has gone from the third causes of death among people to bumping up to number two, which is a big deal. And a lot of, and it might be the last 10 years, I might be saying that wrong. But it’s been a huge increase. And, I think that what I’ve seen with kids that I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of kids over the years that have had these kinds of thoughts of taking their life is that they don’t feel like they have purpose and they don’t believe that they have value. And so one of the why I named my program Value Up,

    Because Dylan Klebold, who was one of the shooters at Columbine, his mom wrote a book and she said in her book that we valued him, but he didn’t believe he had value. And it just popped out up to me to name my organization Value Up. And so I have a key core message. And that is that you have incredible intrinsic value. It’s not based on what you look like. It’s not based on what other people say about you. It’s not even based on your history and the things that you’ve done. It’s kind of like that you are this gold and nothing could ever take that value out. And how you express your value to others, whether you make that value of use to others is up to you. Your value might lie dormant to other people, but it’s always there.

    It always exists when a person believes this about themselves, when they believe that no matter what, that they’re valuable. It really is a game-changer because we choose things that are a lot based on who we think we are. We choose things based off our identity. And so I share a program that psychologically sounds very inspiring. I share my story. I share and do a lot of things for Value Up. I do assemblies for schools. I start clubs in schools that become a positive force for co positive cultural change in the school. I do teacher trainings and professional development. And then I do community events and parent events. I’m scheduled to go out to Parkland and a few weeks and I’m meeting with all the siblings of all the kids that lost siblings at Parkland because I was down there and I met with a kid that lost his brother. And, his brother Nick, and he was in an adjacent room. And so I felt like I was talking to my 16 year old self because he was in a room where people were killed. He lost friends and then an adjacent room has his brother who was killed. And that’s kinda like my story. I was in the library with friends that were killed next to me. And then right outside the school library, my sister was killed, so I was just pouring out to him. So there’s a lot that I do. So my main message is that you have incredible value. The other messages are dealing with valuing others. And I share my sister’s story a lot with that, how she stepped out and compassion to show kindness to other people.

    One month before she was killed, she wrote a challenge to her generation and an essay she wrote started talking about starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. And she said: I have this theory that of one person would go out of their way to show compassion. Then it will start a chain reaction to the same. And people will never know how far a little bit of kindness can go. And she ends her essay by saying, you just may start a chain reaction. And so I give the challenge to people and to young people, step out and compassion to start a chain reaction. You’re going to start a chain reaction no matter what with your words and actions on others. Is it going to be a positive or negative one that’s up to you. The amazing thing about that is at the same time that she was writing this essay, challenging her generation to step out and show compassion and start a chain reaction of kindness.

    The shooters at Columbine were making a videotape. This is one month before the shooting and their parents’ basement talking about their plans and what they wanted to do. At the very end of the video, one of them picked up a gun and pointed it at the camera and he said, we need a kickstart, an effing revolution. We need to get a chain reaction going here. And he was talking about starting a chain reaction to school shootings in our country. And they actually have done that to a degree. So they were talking about their plans and what they wanted to do in this video and wanting to start a chain reaction to school shootings. So I talk to kids about valuing others and using my sister’s writings and things that she did. How she reached out to a kid who had disabilities in school, how he was having thoughts of taking his own life.

    And how she had a big impact on him to other things that she did. My last core challenges, choose things that match your value at once. You know, your insurance, like value. It’s not egotistical. It’s not that I’m better than other people, it’s just I am incredible. I am wonderful. The brain that we’ve been given is the most amazing machine ever created. I have kids that come up to me that don’t think they have value. And I’m like, and I, sometimes I do things, I show them their fingertips and I say, you know, there are companies that have spent millions of dollars creating prosthetic limbs and they could spend $1 billion and not do the intricate things that your fingertips can do.

    I tell them, I’ve been on movie sets, cause that’s my other world. I’d work on movies and we’re on sets. We have lenses that are 80,000, 90,000, $100,000, and I can’t come close to doing what the human eye can do. And then I tap on their temple. I’m like, now you think about your brain and the power that this machine has. So when somebody really believes in their intrinsic value, they believe in themselves, they believe that they have the potential to do great things. It makes them choose better things. It gives them hope when they feel like they have that, that value.

    Autumn:
    Yes. Wow. I love when you were talking about the chain reaction that Rachel wanted to start and just looking at the other side of that, that the flip side of that, that rather it’s, you know, somebody makes bad choices when they don’t see value in themselves. And I love that you named it Value Up after reading that book that it just came full circle. But you know, you’re going to the core of what will really, really make an impact in helping these kids not only know that they have value, but rather they’re struggling with whatever, to know that they have value and when they’re contemplating suicide or they’re contemplating hurting somebody else and if they’re not enough to be able to really focus in on that value and to have them not only experience that and learn that, but to really hold onto it to when they have struggles in their life after school and as we age, even as adults, to really hone in on that value.

    And I love that you said chain reaction on the show. We talk a lot about the ripple effect and that’s why I wanted you on to share is because what you’ve gone through and the impacted you’re making, it’s not just the millions of kids you spoke to in the hundreds of kids you’ve worked with, outside of those assemblies is that it’s the ripple effect from what those kids experience in our own lives. Because just like you said, if it affects that one person, every single choice has that ripple effect. And what you’re doing is not just to those hundreds of kids and thousands of kids. It ripples and ripples and ripples and it’s so important. So, so thankful for the work you’re doing. And I encourage the listeners to really hone in on just like you said, words of kindness, all the way to saying and reaching out to someone or recognizing that there’s a problem and that we all can make a difference.

    Craig:
    You know, Autumn, I share my sister’s story and give the challenge of kindness and compassion and how we treat other people says so much about who we are. But I’ve seen a need with educators across the country that we’ve been pretty good in schools about talking about how we treat others. Actually, Columbine really launched the anti-bullying and a lot of the social-emotional learning stuff that’s happening in schools and there’s been a lot of emphasis on that. What I’m hearing from educators though is something else that’s really needed amongst young people today. And I see it very clearly and not only do I talk about believing in this intrinsic value, but I also talk about how when I share my story and all the negative emotions that I had to deal with and PTSD and just a lot of my struggle and anger and dealing with things, I talk about how you can take certain negative emotions and neurologically translate them and to positive emotions. You can take anger and turn it into determination. You can take sadness and turn it into appreciation for life, fear into courage and anxiety into excitement. And there’s actually a lot of the same, some of the same things with your body that you feel, like with anxiety, your body actually feels the same way. It’s just your state of mind. If you change what you believe about the situation it changes how you feel.

    One of the big things that I’m hearing from educators across the country is a need for what they’re calling emotional resiliency. Because yes, it’s important to treat others with kindness, but if someone doesn’t treat you with that kindness, if someone is leaving you out or someone does say something wrong to you, something racist to you, something that’s judged you, something that’s put you down. What’s important to know is that we are still responsible for our emotions at that point and if we don’t take responsibility, if we say you did this to me, then we put all the power in that person and we have to get that person to change for us to change, for me to be happy, I have to get you to change. And that’s against all great teachings in philosophies and that true happiness has to come from within us first.

    True contentment comes from within and then go and then goes out. So one of the things that I really teach and sharing my story in this presentation and trainings that I do at schools is I talk about emotional resiliency. And I talk about that in-between what happens to you in life and your response and science, they would call it the stimulus and response, is in the middle is what you think is your paradigm. How you see the world, everything that happens to you between what happens to you and what you do. And you know, somebody says something mean to you and you feel angry or you feel sad, it just automatically happens. I go from, something happening to me from A to C. but the truth is there’s always, even if it’s a short time or a moment, in the middle is B.

    Because if somebody says something very mean to me, in between is B, I can actually choose, do I believe that person? Somebody says something really hurtful or negative. Can I see through that and realize, Oh, that’s that person’s insecurity or that person’s need to put me down because they’re insecure about themselves and a lot of bullies are actually narcissistic and even the word bullying is getting really overplayed in education today. Everything’s becoming bullying. And so a great question to ask. If someone says, well, I’m getting bullied. Says what happened? Tell me what happened. And if they explained to you what happened, sometimes you find out it’s not bullying. It’s not somebody that’s really malicious towards someone putting them down on a regular basis. Just is the story.

    Autumn:
    Whatever happens in life, it’s how we frame the story. And I love that you’re diving deeper with the students because it isn’t just enough to tell everybody to be nice because we step into the real world. Rather we’re students or we are adults and bad things happen and people are hurtful towards each other. And it’s how we frame the story and how we’re going to respond to that. So I’m so glad the educators are being able to communicate that with you and you can just dive a lot deeper.

    Craig:
    Yeah, I’m dealing with a lot of mental health issues when I’m speaking. I talk about how to help people and find meaning through that, how to break free from your past, not be totally identified. I talked about forgiveness for a couple of years. I hated the shooters. I was filled with so much anger. Every time I saw them on the news, I would get filled with so much hate. I ended up taking that out on my family and the people I was close to. And then I met a man from Africa who was this man I spent a lot of time with and I came to find out his story. He was always filled with so much joy. He is saying these beautiful Zulu songs a lot. But one day I told him my story and he listened.

    And then he told me his, and he told me how he came home one day in South Africa to find his entire village had been slaughtered by another tribe. And it was during the Apartheid. When tribes were killing other tribes, very violent time in South Africa. And he came home to find 17 members of his family had been killed. And he told me forgiveness is like setting a prisoner free and finding out that prisoner is you, and when he told me this story about losing everybody that he loved, I didn’t understand at first how he could be so filled with joy, but he’s come to a place of contentment that when bad things happen, yes they’re going to affect us emotionally. But if they’re affecting us emotionally, 10, 20 years down the road that we become victims of our past, we haven’t learned how to let go.

    And that’s what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is a letting go. It’s usually a lot of times more for the person forgiving them that’s being forgiven. And it’s a freeing and it’s a freeing of your past that I’m no longer going to hold on to this. And there’s a lot of things that I talk about. I talk about things I dealt with, things that kids are dealing with today. Social media, social anxiety, suicidal thinking. I even talk about sexuality to a small degree, does your value apply there? In a culture today where we really have tried to promote kindness, not bullying and not putting other people down. That’s been very good. But on the flip side of that coin is if you are not treated right, you still are responsible for your thoughts and your emotions, no one else can be.

    So if you are getting mistreated, it’s like, that’s why I hate the whole thinking of if you’re bullied at school, you know, the possibilities to come is to do a school shooting and after Columbine that became a part of American psyche and teen psyche and is a very, very wrong thinking. We have to eradicate that. But that’s not okay. Culturally we’ve eradicated lots of paradigms that we’ve had as a culture. You know, at one point smoking was, everyone did it, now we made it in our society that it’s unhealthy and wrong. We have to get rid of the paradigm that if you’re picked on or bullied that you can go kill people. And that’s a horrible injustice.

    And so, building this emotional resiliency is really key. Being emotionally tough, being able to, when life mistreats you or people mistreat you, which everyone has to deal with to a degree, knowing how to deal with that. Can you take that anger and turn it into determination? Can you see through somebody’s words and realize, this has nothing to do with me. This is all about this person, they treat everybody this way. They have problems in their life. Maybe they’ve never been shown love. Maybe they have bad role models or abuse at home or whatever the case is. We have to believe in our own value and their value and see it through the lens of how am I going to choose to see this? Am I going to give them the power and let them put me down? Because the truth is, people can try to put you down but they can only do so with your permission.

    Autumn:
    It is just so awesome that this paradigm shift is happening and that we are diving deeper on that. You’re part of that paradigm shift that we can’t control our external environment. Rather just like you said, somebody comes from abuse or they’re not loved or we can’t change that, but regardless if our environment is positive or we do have that support.

    Craig:
    The other flip side of that is that once I find my value, nobody can take that away either. So if my circumstances change, what’s so great about that is honing in on that value in going deeper. I get to hold on to that. I get to own that. And there’s so much power in that.

    And for me, you know, part of that comes through my faith, but it doesn’t have to be a faith-based thing. I think it’s, I’ve read the psychology about how what we think about ourselves is so important. So even if it’s not a faith thing, but for me it is part of my faith. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made and I also view myself as being one of my life mottoes is I’m God’s kid, that I see myself as being a son of God. Jesus said that he was the first of many sons. And so I see myself with that identity as well. So I always believe the value, even when I’ve done the worst things in my life, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, mistakes, people, if they knew the real me on my worst day, they wouldn’t see me the same way, but it doesn’t change how God sees me or it doesn’t change my value.

    Now, if you aren’t of that faith, then it’s just important to see it from a psychological point of view that how you see yourself, based on what you think your identity is. You will choose things based and match that identity. So if you think you’re worthless, if you think you’re a loser, then it’s OK. If you do things that hurt your body, it’s okay if you have negative influences in your life because you’re a piece of garbage. But if you believe I have great potential, no matter what, no matter where I come from, no matter what I look like, no matter what other people say about me. I have an incredible tool. This mind that’s been given to me, this brain that I have. And if you believe that about yourself, then you start saying no to negative influences and you start saying yes to the positive influences and things that can further you as a person, further your leadership, further your growth.

    So how we see what happens to us, how will we see ourselves, and how we see others is really what I dive into in my presentations and my trainings. And then if you are a person that you view anything that comes into your life as an opportunity to grow, I know that sounds cliche, but, if you see problems in your life, most people want to self medicate and run away, but instead you see them as opportunities to grow and deepen yourself. Then nothing that can happen to you. If bad things happen. It doesn’t steal your joy. It doesn’t steal your peace. Yeah, it’ll rock you. Things are gonna rock you. And there’s always a time for emotion. You know, anger, sadness, grief, even fear, anxiety, there’s always a time for emotion.

    But, that time should have a time period on it. It should have a time limit on it. And each person might be a little different, but it shouldn’t be decades. And I’d meet people that are reliving their hurts from 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and they’re locked in their past. And I didn’t want to be that. I didn’t want to be a victim. Being a victim to me is saying basically this terrible thing that happened to me is now going to disable me the rest of my life in some way or fashion. And instead I want to teach people, teach kids that the things that happened to you, the worst thing that happens to you can, if you deal with it the right way and you view it the right way, it can actually become your greatest strength.

    My greatest purpose in my life has come out of my worst tragedy and my deepest pain. But from that has come the most beautiful calling and purpose in my life and that is getting to do this work that I do through Value Up.

    Autumn:
    Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story and not only your story, it’s who you’ve become through your story and who you’ve chosen to become through your story. And thank you for sharing about forgiveness and faith and your calling and such a great example to be there for others because I know when this happened to you, you didn’t have a lot of examples and people there for you and the students at that time and for you to be able to create a story that’s inspirational and that you can get to the other side of this for the students that are going through this now unfortunately.

    But I’m so thankful that you’re there for other students and I’m so thankful that you’re diving into a paradigm shift about really helping kids grab on to that value because I do believe it’s going to make a huge, huge difference. So thank you Craig. And for those people that want to learn more about Value Up, how can they look that up? Of course, I’ll have it in the show notes, but how can people get in touch with you?

    Craig:
    Well, my website is valueup.org. If someone’s interested in my speaking, I speak in schools mostly churches, conferences. I do some work with detention centers. I’ve spoken in prisons, juvenile detention centers. I’m actually doing some work, mental health work and speaking to groups in homeless shelters out in Seattle this year. But most of my work is in schools and I speak all the way from elementary through college.

    I have an elementary program that educators love, elementary educators love. And then my middle school and high school programs are very different obviously. But if they want information they can go to valueup.org. If they’re interested in me, they can email the person that’s in charge of my bookings. And her name is Debbie Philips, and they can email her debbiedebbie@value-up.org. So debbie@value-up.org. I, used to have 80, 90 trips on the road with my father’s program, Rachel’s Challenge, which is an amazing program. Last couple of years starting off my own, so I’m not quite as booked cause people don’t know I’m out there as much. So I really feel my purpose when I’m out there helping youth. So please, if you’re interested, reach out. Thanks for having me on Autumn.

    Autumn:
    Yes, Craig, thank you so much for all the work that you’re doing out there. We know it’s tiring and it’s a lot of work traveling and working with kids, but I know it’s making a huge difference. So thank you for being you and I appreciate your time.

    Thank you for joining us and I hope you enjoy today’s show. And remember, good friends don’t keep great messages to themselves, so keep the ripples moving and share this episode with your friends. Also, wherever you listen to podcasts, please take a moment to review or download this episode. I would love to connect with you regardless of where you’re at on your journey. Maybe you’re feeling like you can’t set sell or maybe you’re out there rock in the open seas. Find me at followthenudges.com or on social and say hello. If you would like a complimentary coaching session, all you have to do is click on let’s connect. And let me know three things that you would like to get out of the conversation, and we will make it happen. So make today the day you decide to live your life alive and leave room for the unimaginable. So until next time, keep following the nudges.

  • Learning What Matters Most

    On the first episode of the Living Alive Show, I’m speaking with Paul Dolman. Paul is an author, podcaster, professional musician, has founded an entertainment company and worked as a film producer in Hollywood. On today’s episode, Paul walks us through different tools that allowed him to move from a broken to a fixed place. We talk about what it looks like and sounds like when the Universe reaches out to send us a message and the importance of allowing those messages to come through.

    Here’s what we discussed in today’s episode:

    • What does grace look like
    • Tools to bring you from a broken to a fixed place
    • Listening to the universe
    • Different versions of success

    Can’t listen? Here’s the transcript:

    Autumn:
    Welcome to the Living Alive podcast. I’m Autumn Shields, a master connect coach, speaker, author and serial entrepreneur. And most importantly, your hostess, your to help you live your life alive. See, I believe we all have the ability to feel and be guided by life’s nudges to live on purpose. So I’m inviting you to take this journey with me, whether you were here just wanting to dip your toe in the water and see what this is all about, or maybe you are ready to dive deep. Thank you for joining us on today’s episode. On this show, you’ll hear powerful life changing stories from thought leaders of all walks of life that are stirring things up. We will guide you on living your life fully alive. How to identify the nudges and why live in a healthy lifestyle actually makes a difference. So get ready to be inspired, challenged, and connected because it’s your time to make a splash on today’s episode. You get to have a conversation with a man that helped inspire the show.

    Autumn:
    So he encouraged me to use my voice and he will help you find and use yours too. He urged me to express the way I’ve learned to live my life. I fall in what I call these things, the nudges, so I thought it was only appropriate to kick off the show by introducing you to him. He is the host of a podcast called What Matters Most and he also wrote the highly successful book Hitchhiking with Larry David. He has gone from being a professional musician, starting an entertainment company and being a film producer in Hollywood to now live in a life completely by design. He lives his life alive by living in grace and gratitude. I can’t wait for you to join me in a conversation with Paul Dolman. Paul, thank you so much for being here today.

    Paul:
    Oh, thanks for including me and I’m so inspired to be with you and also a shout out to you when you said you wanted to create a podcast. You’ve gone and done it once again. Like I remember back in Maui our days you were going to write a book and you did, way to fall through. That’s one of your fortes.

    Autumn:
    Well, thank you. I was actually thinking about that day today when we met, I must’ve been five years ago now. And I remember meeting you and then meeting you for coffee and just enjoying the conversation. And I remember you telling me that you just had this feeling of like, my throat chakra was stuck and then I had more to say to the world and I thought that was so odd that a stranger would just say this to me and look, a book came out and now you and I are sitting on this podcast and having this conversation. So how much fun is that?

    Paul:
    I love it. And you have a good memory like I do. I do remember that. We met in Willie Nelson’s bar in and we did have coffee among other adventures later, but that does sound like me being brutally, lovingly honest. But I saw so much light in you and I’m glad that you’ve decided to let it out the world needs.

    Autumn:
    Thank you. And then I remember you saying, well, let’s go meditate together. And I was just tiptoeing into meditation. I was like, this is so weird to just like hop across the street to a park and go meditate with some guy I barely knew and I remember you just on a journey and it definitely opened up so much for me and I’ve used meditation so much as a tool in my life as I know you have and we can dive in deeper a little bit with that. But I just thought this is so weird and you know, I didn’t know who you were, but it’s awesome that I can call you friend now and we’ve seen each other now. We’re both in Florida, so that’s fun. I know we’ve hung out on Martha’s Vineyard, our adventures continue.

    Paul:
    Maui was amazing. It was so beautiful. I remember going up to the Memorial center with you. It’s important to meditate. I think that’s the single most life changing thing I’ve ever decided to incorporate in my existence.

    Autumn:
    Well good because I’m definitely going to dive in and ask you a little bit more about things that have helped you along your journey. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation because of course I get to listen to you on your amazing show, What Matters Most, which is an amazing podcast. I’ve been able to listen to that for years, so I feel like I get to hear you all the time. It’s just, we don’t always get to connect and have these conversations. I’m super excited to just have this time today.

    Paul:
    Let’s do it. Let’s bring some light here.

    Autumn:
    So when I think about Paul, and I call it Paulinus of who you are, when just being around you as a human, you are a person that I believe that not only lives their life alive, but you truly, when I am around you, are an awe and wonder and of this world and everything around you. And you just hang out in this place of gratitude and it’s always energizing. It’s always amazing to be around you. We can be sitting there having coffee and you look at something and you’re just like, Oh my gosh, look at that. And you just go off into this place of gratitude and wonder of the world. It can be something so small or big, but you just live with that light and you live in that space. Has that always been the case for you?

    Paul:
    Thank you for that. That’s very kind and I wish I could say it always has been, but I’ve experienced a vivid and profound contrast. I think we come in as children, so awake and beautiful and perfect. And then society has all these systems and rules. Our parents, who I had the two of the finest parents who could have done their best, but the world tends to shut you down. It’s kind of barbaric. It’s not life affirming, it’s not opening. We’ve been sort of corralled into a drone like existence, so we could run the machines, which I guess was needed at one time or it’s part of the challenge of being here. So I fell asleep. I did profound sorrow and sadness and why am I here periods, but luckily through grace, I began to find my way back. But what’s beautiful about contrast in the circle of life, which is endless circles, I wouldn’t have known how beautiful it is to be in this state and I am in it right now if I hadn’t experienced the opposite.

    Paul:
    So I see it all as perfect now and is enriching to both sides. I still feel profound sadness. I got incredibly angry yesterday when some crazy tech issue happened for about 10 minutes and then it blew through like a storm front and then it was so clear after and so peaceful. I’ve learned to embrace being uncomfortable and feelings that are really hard as same way. It’s easy to embrace ecstasy, joy, total connection, although some people have a harder time with that for issues of maybe worthiness or other issues. But it’s been a process. It’s an eternal never ending process. And in this life it’s a linear process. And like anything, if I take care of a lot of little things, I’ve started to notice and realize they add up to a very good experience of being alive. And that doesn’t always mean pleasant, but just alive, aware, open, flowing, grateful and hopefully kind and with a yes to life. Like when you asked me to do this, I always say yes.

    Autumn:
    And when you said that out of those other places that you’ve been that have not been so pleasant, you said grace was one of the things. What is that? Grace for yourself? Grace from somewhere else, someone else? What does that grace look like for you?

    Paul:
    Hmm, that’s a beautiful question. Well, and what I love about the realm of grace is the paradox. It’s everywhere and it’s within, and you might say grace is luck or synchronicity. I think those are elements of grace, but for me, the grace of God, grace of spirit, grace of source, these are phonetics. Obviously that doesn’t really touch the essence of infinite love or intelligence. But I look at myself as one of the most fortunate souls ever. One because I exist and then I hit the life lottery. I had loving parents who stayed together 71 years. I grew up in America at a time where I didn’t have to go to a war. This morning, I turned on the faucet and clean water came out and I took a hot shower. I had something to eat yesterday while I was driving a car. I drove past people who were chilly at a bus stop who did not have that opportunity.

    Paul:
    My list of blessing is are endless. A lot of it beyond my control. I was born healthy. I see handicapped people all the time beyond my linear control, but grace came in more ways. There were outwardly to sorta interrupt my path when I was having a hard time. I discovered Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers on PBS. I never watch TV. I happened to be reading something in the LA times that morning. I was living in LA at the time and Beverly Hills and you can be unhappy in Beverly Hills. I found out and I watched that series and it was life changing and then someone gave me a book, The Road Less Traveled or another book. Someone said, I’ve been thinking about meditating, and then someone said, do you want to meditate or do yoga? I started to do that. And then I was in Nashville and I was introduced to this wonderful energy healer, Bonnie Johnson.

    Paul:
    And then I started to go once a week and I felt like she put Humpty Dumpty back together again, energetically, spiritually. I climbed back, I climbed all the way back and my brokenness, and I’m still broken, but I’m pieced together in a beautiful way. There’s that Japanese word I can’t think of, but when pottery breaks, that’s priceless or whatever. They put it back together and they seal it with gold. And I think if we embrace our brokenness and do the healing, cause we’re all traumatized, then those areas can be golden. And our heart cracks open and then it’s larger. It’s like a crater from a meteorite and then all this water forms in it and the water can be love. So that’s what grace meant for me in a million lucky breaks. I wrote a book called Hitchhiking with Larry David became a huge hit.

    Paul:
    I was out hitchhiking in Martha’s Vineyard, trying to get over a heartbreaking break up with this girl named Miracle, real last name. And Larry David picked me up hitchhiking and we ended up having this incredible conversation. He drove me across the Island. And then from that conversation and subsequent adventures, I had a dream that was an awakened dream state. And the universe suggested I write a book called Hitchhiking with Larry David. And so I woke up, remembered it, wrote down the title, and then that happened. There’s been millions of experiences like that. It doesn’t have to be with someone well known or turn into a hip book or whatever. There’s just so much grace all the time. 24/7 s if I can get my linear egoic mind out of the way now and again, I not only witness it, I experience it and then I follow it and I’ll get to that later because I have a several techniques, cause I know you’re looking for some tools for people. And by the way, early disclaimer, there are infinite ways. Mine is just another way. It’s not a better way. So take what you can, if anything. And I hope that it helps.

    Autumn:
    Yes, thank you. What a beautiful picture of what grace is about being put back together. I think we have to accept it, you know? And for you to realize that you needed to accept it and embrace it and now share it, race is a big thing to start. And then you talked about the proactive things,

    Autumn:
    things that you started to take part in that maybe they seemed a little strange at first or why you were introduced to this person but accepted and started going on your journey. Any other tools that just kind of stand out at that place where you were really saying, you know what, I’m broken. I need to be put back together. What other things helped you

    Paul:
    At that time? Hmm. Well, and there’s some of the same tools I use now. One is, and I mentioned a minute ago, I do not watch television because it’s mostly garbage. I don’t know how people watch most of the shit that’s on there. That’s not to say there aren’t some good shows or I love a good movie, but the advertising for God’s sakes, can you imagine someone in your house every four or five minutes asking you to buy a car or take drugs or put on a new perfume? You’d call the cops or you jump out a window at least. Right? So insane. So I limit what comes into my mind, to my beautiful mind and everything. So I limit that kind of garbage. I learned that the better and the cleaner I ate, I felt better. Go figure. If I eat less sugar or no sugar, I feel better.

    Paul:
    If I cut down on dairy or drink no dairy, I feel better. I barely ever eat red meat unless my body says I need red meat. So I feel better. And whatever I eat, I try to bless it, because there was a couple billion people that don’t have any food, which is tragic considering we have more than enough, which is a strange place to be. And so there’s that. I try to exercise almost every day. I love to move my body. I learned that I love to be near the ocean, so I live a few blocks from the beach and I walk on the beach a lot, which opens up the wonder. I’m extremely careful with who I hang out with. I’m not a martyr. I don’t do things out of obligation just because so-and-so might not like this or that I give, but I have healthy boundaries.

    Paul:
    I don’t want to be around people that dragged me down hopelessly and negative in a spiral that never changes. Uh, what else do I do? I read a lot. I love to read. I’m insanely curious. I move through the world to make eye contact. I talk to strangers, I lift people up. I look to give first rather than to get, I try to just stay open and all of these things. I’ll tell you if you do these 22 things and to add a 23rd I open my day with a gratitude list in my mind and heart and then I try to close it with that. As I fall asleep, I just start giving thanks like I will later. For this interaction or the fact that you cared enough to ask. I did a my own podcast a few hours ago, so it’s a lot of little things.

    Paul:
    We’re looking for the grand gesture, the magic pill. There’s no such thing. And what happens is a lot of little things can add up to a beautiful and a million things go into all of a sudden somebody going, Oh look, overnight success and whatever success is. That’s another thing, I define success for myself. If I’m present, I’m loving and I’m at peace and I have more than enough. I’m wildly successful. If I did something kind today that I didn’t have to do, I’m successful. If I just lived through the day without pain, I’m successful. So I’m not trying to get more followers or more money. I just trying to be here and be a positive presence.

    Autumn:
    Yes, which you are. And you have expressed who you are and the places you’ve been in your other books, which are, so I’ve read all of them and they’re awesome. If you guys want to check them out, we’ll definitely put it in the show notes to get you to his website and experience all of his books because they’re about life and fun and pain and everything that is just, life. We all have ups and downs and yes, some of us are blessed in other ways and where we live and who we’re brought up with, but at the end, I think so many things are external. Like it’s so great that we get to live by the ocean and that’s what’s important to us. Maybe not somebody else, but I see people do this all the time or they just seek that external value, external relationship, external money, external job.

    Autumn:
    Like I will be happy when…Like it’s easy for you to be happy because you get to live by the ocean or Oh, you get to work for yourself or Oh, you just had a hit book or Oh and there’s all this focus on external. And I remember when I was living in Hawaii, learning that those externals things that we can’t control, most of them we can choose maybe where we live or the relationships we’re in and a lot of life is choice, but the real work has to be done internally because I can control how I interact with all of those things outside of my choices that I get and how awesome is that that I have control over that I don’t like to not have control, but I get to have that control and a lot of that control is that grace and gratitude. Bringing those things in internally and completely interacting with the world and such a drastically different way and the way we tell the stories, the way we interact, the way we see the world. It’s like putting on brand new glasses when we can really incorporate that grace and gratitude into our beans as a focus. Not just an idea.

    Paul:
    You can’t say it better than that. And you touched on a couple of very key points. And one of my secrets is, which is not a secret since I say it whenever anyone is kind enough to ask, is I have come to realize without any doubt 100% sure that there is nothing in the world externally that can happen, that I can achieve, acquire, or accumulate that will in any way increase, in essence, the value of who I really am. Nothing. I could have all of that and have these experiences, but I’m already whole. I’m already complete. I already am an aspect of the whole universe, which is unimaginable even to me. And in a bit of irony, even to the universe, it doesn’t know what it is. It’s a mystery to itself. So given that it takes the pressure off, if Oprah called after you and said, Hey, we want to do a series of shows, I love What Matters Most.

    Paul:
    Come out, we’ll do this, we’ll do that. Well, wow. And then somebody else called back and said, she changed her mind. Ah, nothing happened. Or even if it happens, I may go rushing towards it. And find out a year and a half in. I liked my life a lot better before, but I had an experience. And if Paul McCartney wants to come on the show, great, but then the day goes on and then we bury someone we love or our knee hurts or we’re a day older or we look at the sorrows of the world and our heartbreaks every day because we can’t seem to figure it out. So there is no external thing. So I try to judge it not by what I feel would enhance me. Since that’s a lie that you see on TV and in every magazine ad, that’s a brainwashing thing. So you can throw that out if you have enough awareness.

    Paul:
    I look to see what would be fun, what would be inspiring, what’s something different I could do that would be interesting to me. I’m curious about that. Maybe I’ll go live in Copenhagen for a month or so and see what that’s like. I might get there and after a week think, alright, maybe not a month, maybe eight days or I might stay three months. Then I might go to Norway or, who knows, but I’m just curious and what I like to do and other secret, it is in a sacred, I am constantly asking infinite intelligence. What does it want me to do next? What wants to come through me? Not this puny little Paul mind, ego limited form guy. Nah, I think he doesn’t know. As better as infinite intelligence, I’m going to go out on a limb on that one. And so what do you want me to do next?

    Paul:
    Why do you have a burrito? Oh, okay. Yeah. I’m hungry. Or fly to LA, fly to New York, stay home, make a right at the next street and go see so-and-so. I just listened. That’s all. What do you want me to do next? I don’t need the big plan.

    Autumn:
    When you listen Paul, what does that look like? So for somebody that doesn’t have that connection or understanding, is it like an app? You get emails? How are you listening? I wish it was that easy. I’m just going to email just a minute.

    Paul:
    Yeah. Really. You get this chip, the government puts in you and then what happens? Uh, no, don’t do that, whatever you do. You said someone that doesn’t have that connection. Here’s another thing, we all have it. If we ever had a device and it did some cool thing that you didn’t know, so they didn’t activate it.

    It didn’t slide the icon left or right or turn a button, that’s the story of my life. Technology and I have a strange dance that like Superman and kryptonite, but so everybody has that connection. But here’s a funny thing. People say, I don’t hear, I don’t get it. I don’t get that. Okay. Are you listening? Did you ask, are you ever quiet? Is it ever silent? When’s the last time you were alone with yourself without checking some device or with some noise to allow the time to connect? I will say this, the universe, which is so infant beautiful and loving, it does tend to whisper. Now it will drop a safe out of a building onto your head. If it’s giving you 72 warnings and you still haven’t got it. I’m trying. I’ve learned the lesson to the cautionary aspects early, less suffering.

    I’m allergic to suffering. So anyone can listen. Find a way, be still for 15 minutes and take out a journal. Light a candle. Close your eyes and just sit still. I hear a lot of people, I used to bullshit like this too. Oh, everything is a meditation. I walk around. Yeah, but when my eyes are open, my five senses are on overdrive because it’s also amazing. So just sit still. Turn the phones off. Find 15 minutes, 15 fucking minutes. You have 23 hours and 45 minutes to give to the world in your mind. Take 15 sacred minutes and just sit in silence and then keep a journal. Pay attention to your dreams. Eat cleaner food. Don’t watch crap before you go to sleep. Take a walk. Call up a friend. Notice things, start taking pictures, whether in your mind or with a camera.

    Slow down and listen. I guarantee you’ll hear something that way. Some people hear a voice, some people see things, numbers, they write in messages. For me, it’s like I hear it even though it’s not my ears, although I’ve had that happen on occasion. It’s just like a inner knowing, go here, do this, do that. Go. And I have to say sometimes it’s like, Oh, but I don’t want to do that. But then if I listen, it works.

    Autumn:

    I usually say, you have the wrong number. What’s your second choice?

    Paul:
    That’s right. Somehow I was in Martha’s Vineyard. It was glorious. And I asked as I do all the time, what do you want me to do next? And it was like, go to New York city. And I’m like, no, I don’t want to go to New York city.

    I don’t like the city. And the vineyard is paradise. But then I got a call from these people there, it was the climate change week and Gretta was going to be there and all these other folks. Do you want to come down and be a part of these meetings? And I thought, shit, yes, click no. And I went and it was wonderful and then I came back. Here we go with contrast again. It was such a vivid contrast and the heavenly Martha’s Vineyard. It was a shock at first. I liked it. Then I couldn’t wait to leave and when I got back the vineyard had never tasted so sweet or seem so steel.

    Autumn:
    Okay. Yes. Isn’t that fun to play with? So I love that you have acknowledged and have given other people permission and know that there’s nothing special about people that are guided by nudges or are living their life alive. It is literally just learning tools to be quiet and finding that connection. I love that analogy about a phone because every time somebody shows me something on my phone, I’m like, I’ve had that the whole time? Like you’re kidding me! I just made my whole life so much easier knowing that one little trick on my phone and it’s the same thing. I love that analogy that you gave about that connection. It’s there for everybody.

    Paul:
    Yeah. Make sure the ringer is on and that you’re available for it. And there’s nothing special about me that isn’t special that anyone listening and honestly I’m no better than the common house fly or the galaxy out there. It’s all just different versions of the same thing. A Jesus who was a lot smarter than me, he said, and you shall do greater thing. I mean that’s an avatar and all these beings did who were special, who we usually end up killing but then, like Martin Luther King, we put their name on boulevards or churches, we get rid of them first cause they’re radicals and they’re scary. But the key is all of them showed the same thing that it’s available to anybody if we tap into it. You just got to say yes and have the courage to be who you really are and not what you think everyone else wants or what the world wants. That’s your big brave step there. Just go be, you don’t hurt anybody but just be the authentic you. Authenticity is worth its weight in gold because you will sleep like a rock at night.

    Paul:
    And that 15 minutes a day is so great because part of my morning routine, I have a very stringent morning routine that helps me in my day. And of course it starts with meditation and prayer time, but I clock out 15 minutes a day to learn something new. Tech wise I liked easier or different programs I’m interacting with every day so I get better at them and just to think that I’m willing to do that for programs and technology that 15 minutes, cause I know it’ll make my life easier. But that 15 minutes of meditation sometimes seems tough to do and it’s the same thing. It’s just makes life so much clearer and not necessarily easier.

    Autumn:
    Just like you said, sometimes you don’t want to take that trip to New York, but it’s not an easier thing. It’s a clearer, it brings purpose. It brings that passion to the forefront. So really quick, I wanted to step backwards for a second. When you brought up value, I didn’t realize how I actually attributed value to my own name or life or person this last year and it was a big lesson for me. When you think about when you were in your 20s and 30s and producing in Hollywood and as a musician doing different things, how did you place your value on yourself then?

    Paul:
    Well, that’s a good question. I was mostly unhappy even though I was a super duper achiever and I remembered at one point in my late twenties I achieved a monumental task and the joy lasted about 25 minutes. And then I wasn’t happy again and I started to think I might have to jump off a rooftop because I see the games the way the mind is rigged right now. My software, this is going to be a long, long ride. I don’t know if I’m up for it. Everything was externally derived and achievement oriented and I think that’s part of being. I see people still trying to make something of the cells. You’re going to have to have to do that. You have to earn enough money to exist, but you can earn a lot less if you don’t buy a lot of stupid things.

    You don’t need the latest, greatest shiny, stupid thing. You can save a lot of money. And then that buys freedom and time, which is the only thing you have limits on. So I went through the phase and I was successful by the world’s standards, America standards. I started an entertainment company in Nashville from nothing. And of course the first few months it generated $0 million and was a catastrophe because it’s a great idea. It just didn’t generate any money. Companies are not long for this world that way. But then I got to go in and I played the role of successful guy. And got the big black BMW and had a Rolex in Armani suits and that was important in that world. And then at some point my soul just said, nah, I’m out.

    Paul:
    There was a one-year discussion between the personality and the soul negotiation. Really it was the personality trying to stall and then at some point the soul said, either we wind this down or I wind you down. And I knew what it meant. It wasn’t going to be fun. So rather than get cancer, I decided to get out of the entertainment industry and the beautiful God said, Hey, you can always go back. Just try it. And in a bit of great irony, because infinite intelligence knows once I was out, I got to tell you Autumn, I didn’t miss it for a minute. Ever. Not a minute did I miss showing up. I know I missed the money, but not really. I’ve never gone hungry. If anything, I should skip a few meals, a couple pounds overweight and now you couldn’t pay me anything to go back to run a music thing or whatever. There’s no amount of money. There’s number, it’s completely flipped. Every once in awhile I’ll have that voice in my head, what if something bad happens? All of a sudden it throws me a scenario. What if we had zero money and we had live on the streets. I don’t let her do that in the middle of the night. But it’s like, stop it, you’re just playing. What if something bad happens? Right now we have enough and hopefully we’ll always have enough.

    Unless we don’t. Isn’t that fun to live in that place of I have enough, versus living in fear all the time that something bad is going to happen or I don’t have enough. I’m just completely fear-based.

    It’s so crazy. There’s a tiger out there, right there in the reeds, that’s that part of the brain trying to keep us alive. And I realized when that, what if we run out of money guy. He woke me up a couple of times years ago. Thank God it’s been a while. And he had us living in a box behind the Wal-Mart. And I said, but wait a minute, and this is when I had a lot more money. I said, what are you? Are you not sin? Of course it is. So I reset those. I said, you wake me up If we ever get below $10,000 cause I really do want to know then maybe we’re going to have to do something that we don’t want, but hopefully not. That’s bad English. We’d have to inspire something that brought in more coupons. There was a better way to say it, which will always happen. So after I set the presets and save, it only woke me up one other time and I said, Oh my God, are we below 10? And it said, Oh yes, sorry. And it never bothered me again. So check your presets.

    That’s true. Why those presets for each person? It’s crazy to think what those presets are, but we can set them for whatever we think we need to feel safe with. And it’s so funny. It’s money. I know money. I have a great mentor and she always says, money’s not everything. It’s just right up there with oxygen. You don’t think you need it really until you’re out of it. And then it feels like you don’t have oxygen. But that preset is so different for each one of us.

    Well, too much or too little of anything is a bad scene. I know people that have billions who are not happy any more than you are. And then you need a balance; you need to have enough food, enough this and that. I think the number’s like $80,000. They did all these studies and he started getting in the upper reaches and it really creates a lot of problems. It’ll isolate you from others and ultimately if you have a lot, the best thing to do with it is to just try to put it in the flow and do good things. It can be a great force for good. Unfortunately, ours is a hoarding culture. We celebrate hoarding and I just read the other day that 23 billionaires in the world own as much as half the world’s population. That’s why the world is a mess. Hoarding. Got it backwards. It’s sad. Maybe we’ll get it. Maybe we won’t. We’ll say, Oh, of just being able to not only have choices for your own life and those that you know you love, but to throw it into the flow of things that you find are important to you and make the world a better place. So much fun.

    Autumn:
    I am so appreciative of this time and all of your wisdom and experience. And again, for those of you that would like to connect with Paul and hear his amazingness more, please look up his podcast, What Matters Most. It’s a lot of fun, some great, amazing guests on there. And of course his amazing books that are, I have them all on my shelf and you know, that’s a big deal because I travel a lot and I live all over the place and it’s my books that I always have a hard time giving up or leaving behind. So I’m always bringing boxes of books, which is hilarious or shipping them, but they are important to me so I love them. But thank you Paul so much for your time today and I look forward to seeing you sometime in Florida this winter.

    Paul:
    Yeah, and hopefully in the vineyard too. I really enjoyed this. You asked excellent questions that I’m excited to see another area of your life blossom.

    Autumn:
    Awesome. Thank you so much Paul. Have an awesome day.

    Autumn:
    Thank you for joining us and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. And remember, good friends don’t keep great messages to themselves. So keep the ripples moving and share this episode with your friends. Also, wherever you listen to podcasts, please take a moment to review or download this episode. I would love to connect with you. Regardless of where you’re at on your journey. Maybe you’re feeling like you can’t set sell, or maybe you’re out there rock in the open seas. Find me at autumnshields.com or on social and say hello. If you would like a complimentary coaching session, all you have to do is click on, let’s connect and let me know three things that you would like to get out of the conversation and we will make it happen. So make today the day you decide to live your life alive and leave room for the unimaginable. So until next time, keep following the nudges.