How higher purpose accelerates personal transformation

“Fully alive and deeply committed is a risky business. Once you strip away the platitudes, a life of passion and purpose will always cost, as T. S. Eliot reminds us, ‘Not less than everything.’”

- Steven Kotler

The power of "why?"

Before I jumped on a call with a marketing expert Colin Scotland to tackle the *exhilarating* topic of marketing automation, I would have bet a lot of money that nothing much would come of it other than a few practical ideas to help scale my company. 

I knew nothing about Colin but given his marketing expertise, I assumed he’d be a wheeling-and-dealing type, trying to pitch me on some overpriced coaching package.

But so far from the stereotypical sales guy I’d imagined, I encountered a humble, kind, and soulful man who seemed genuinely interested in making a human connection and helping me. 

Colin kept asking me this really annoying question: “Why?” Why did I want to scale my business? Why was I working so hard to improve our systems and processes? 

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"Yeah yeah," I thought

I know why I do what I do. But despite years of feeling fulfilled with my therapeutic work and deeply rooted in my calling to it, there was still something missing. 

The “Why” question felt like an annoying gnat swarming around me incessantly no matter how frantically I tried to swat it away. Why was I doing all this?

While therapy was powerful and meaningful work, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world beyond my therapeutic practice, but didn’t know how. 

For years I’d secretly fantasize about putting my efforts toward eradicating world hunger. I’d read Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save, in which he demonstrated that we could feed the entire global population if everyone living above the poverty line donated 1% of their income. 

One percent. That’s so completely doable.

But starting a non-profit of my own seemed like too much to take on with my existing business. What skills did I have that could make a meaningful difference in the world on a global scale? 

After many years of being told global issues were intractable, I had given up on big dreams, deeming them the grandiose and naive fantasies of youth and resigning myself to the contented but yearning self. Helping people as a therapist was enough, wasn’t it?

“Everything has to point toward your ‘Why’––to your North Star,” Colin told me. “And your North Star is where your skills and passions intersect with your life’s purpose.” 

The moment he said that, everything seemed to shatter and materialize at once. I suddenly realized the motivation for expanding my business for the last few years really boiled down making more money

I cringed. I knew that was not who I was nor wanted to be. I was out of integrity.

I wondered, what had happened to the idealistic grad student so many years ago who lobbied for Permanent Supportive Housing policies, who wrote poetry to raise money for clean water wells with, and lent what little money I had at the time to support women’s education and business through microfinance with Kiva? When did my focus shift? 

Reawaken your soul and your sense of awe.

Join us for a transformational retreat designed to cultivate awe, beauty, and present moment awareness.

Your north star

As a result of believing I couldn’t make a real difference, I’d let the excitement of business expansion eclipse my deep desire to help the world. 

In one way, the realization felt like a dagger to the chest. But mostly it felt like freedom. 

I’d been racking my brain for so many years to figure out how I could make a difference in the world when the answer was right in front of me all along. 

Suddenly, it was so clear. I could see exactly how every aspect of my life could be oriented toward my North Star: facilitating individual and collective healing, empowerment, and awakening in service of social change and the eradication of global poverty. 

I didn’t need to start a non-profit or spend years developing an entirely new skill set to help the world. I could use my existing skills, resources, and platform to promote social causes, change collective agreements around global equity, and empower individuals to heal and awaken in service of something greater than themselves.

As I began to inform myself more, I came to a staggering realization: for the first time in history we have the resources, infrastructure, and technology to eradicate poverty. 

If we learn to leverage our existing skills, educate others, and band together to donate 1% strategically to the “Best Charities”, we can end poverty “like a disease.” According to research, the impact of donating to those goes up to 1,000 times farther than most other charities. 

In other words, a donation of $5 to any one of those initiatives is worth $5,000 in terms of impact elsewhere. So where you give your money is actually more important than how much you give. 

Reawaken your soul and your sense of awe.

Join us for a transformational retreat designed to cultivate awe, beauty, and present moment awareness.

My new awareness

My new awareness lit a fire under me like I’ve never experienced before. Within a year, I increased My LA Therapy’s revenue by a third and we started to give 10% of our profits to the most effective charities. 

I began to work diligently to expand my platform to promote and donate to organizations like the Against Malaria Foundation, which is one of the charities that has one of the lowest costs per life saved. 

I launched a new aspect of my company to guide others in the process of scaling their businesses in service of higher purpose and social change, developed a holistic framework called Emergence Theory to use as a roadmap to guide people through the process of individual and collective awakening, and began leading international retreats to teach others how to heal, awaken, and unlock their higher purpose in service of personal and social transformation. 

And all because Colin asked me, “Why?”

This is how higher purpose has the potential to accelerate personal transformation, financial abundance, and global impact. And the science bears this out too.

According to peak performance and flow neuroscience research, serving something beyond ourselves generates creativity, innovation, and a deep sense of meaning. We cannot achieve ultimate performance without a higher purpose. 

Psychology research has arrived at similar conclusions: true self-actualization is impossible without integrating some element of service for others

This is one of the paradoxes of being human. We cannot fully live out our highest individual purpose without putting something above ourselves. 

Reclaiming Soulful Living Retreat

Join us for a transformational retreat designed to cultivate awe, beauty, and presence.

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We are not separate. What serves the collective serves us individually. And social change is the inevitable result of genuine individual healing and awakening. 

Using our existing skills, platforms, and communities in a way that serves something greater than ourselves is something we are all capable of simply by orienting our endeavors in such a way that it serves a greater mission. 

That is why I’ve been inspired to curate a once-in-a-lifetime experience centered around reclaiming your “why” by cultivating soulful living, awe, and present moment awareness.

Reawaken your soul and your sense of awe.

Join us for a transformational retreat designed to cultivate awe, beauty, and present moment awareness.

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Tulum, Mexico - April 10-15

This week on Waking Up, Colin and I reconnected to discuss higher purpose, presence, spirituality, and the freedom to let down our walls and reawaken childlike play and wonder. 

Colin is one of the kindest people I know—not to mention a marketing automation wizard, so definitely check out his website if you’re interested in expanding your business. 

Check out our conversation here:

Listen to this podcast on:

[Music] welcome to on living my name is Brooke
Sproul and today I have Colin Scotland joining me Colin has been a mentor of
mine both in business and it really evolved into more of a spiritual uh
partnership and and mentorship and just just through our shared kind of connection and what evolved in in our
process and one of the things that struck me most about Colin the moment I met him was his kindness and I expected
to jump on this super salesy high pressure call and he was just so gracious and so kind and so generous
with his time and his expertise and it really modeled for me a new paradigm for
marketing this like just genuine position disposition of service and uh
I’ve just been so grateful for all the ways that Colin has helped me both personally and professional so Colin
welcome thank you so much what a delightful introduction thank you Brooke I’m
honored yeah tell us a little bit about yourself and your background before we get into things oh where to start hey so
I’m I grew up in Liverpool England and uh spent my youth on the market stalls of Liverpool with
my dad uh that was how he earned his living and that was a that was a fun
experience I can tell you watching how the market Traders kind of get the get
people to to buy things off the stall and like you know scratching a living really but it was it was interesting it
was an education and something that kind of shaped who I who I am today from that
very early age and that like that was the Genesis of my interest in
like buying how we buy things you know these guys would be sat on an empty stall no way to pay
their rent and they would like shout and make signs and do all kinds of wacky things to get people interested and you
know it was just a it was a real fast became the beginnings of a real Fascination for me and that was really
where my interest in all of the whole marketing sphere started hmm and when we
first jumped on our call you asked me why why are you doing what you’re doing why do you you know why do you want to
scale why do you want to um why do you have these Ambitions and it kind of stopped me in my tracks this was several
years ago now and I was like I don’t know why well like why like you know why
am I doing this you know I don’t I’m not just trying to make more money I’m not just you know and it really kind of sent
me into a little bit of an existential spiral where I began to really rethink a
lot of what I was doing and why and that was the Genesis for my truest North which we recently launched and
um just kind of this new desire to be in service I mean I’ve always had the
desire to be in service but to really think purposely about how can I be in greatest service of the world so I’m
going to turn the question around on you and ask you what’s what’s your why Colin oh what a wonderful question
so I think mine is really simple and it it is
I’ll tell you through a story right so for a number of years I’ve practiced Jujitsu the martial art of Jiu Jitsu and
I was teaching a class probably eight years ago or so now with
this young guy and we pick people up and throw them down on the ground right for those that don’t know and um this young
kid he just wasn’t getting the move right he wasn’t he just wasn’t doing it he was trying to put his body in the right place and I was like move your
left leg no no your other left leg right it was like bumbling through the move just couldn’t get it getting really
frustrated with himself and um I was guiding him and helping him and he he did this throw and it was beautiful it
like like lifted the guy up dropped him down on the floor and he was he came up from that move and his eyes there was a
light in his eyes Brooke and in that moment he changed he kind of he’s it was
like he came alive and I could see in his eyes this just this brightness this
newness of wow I can do that and you know I came
away from that class feeling great that I’d like not not great that I’d taught him how to do this move but more of a
something that stuck with me it was like that light in people’s eyes when they go
and do that you know and that was something in that like it was like a
light bulb moment for me and it just really connected with me with the thing
that I feel like I’m here to do and that is to help people to kind of have that light in their eyes and go
right right that’s so beautiful and I love I love that story and I think that
was a lot of my experience with you too like oh wow I can actually do these things there’s actually you know and it
was both the kind of philosophical and spiritual inquiry but it was coupled with practical skills to implement right
and that’s that’s part of the way that’s that’s part of the empowerment is we need both the kind of Spiritual
Awakening component but we also need these you know skills and principles for
implementation and execution and that that’s one of the reasons why working with you has been so rich and and
meaningful for me um and you know I’m curious too I guess
I’m reflecting on um something I think about a lot is how
business can be spiritual so I’m wondering if you have any thoughts or anything to share on that because as I
mentioned that’s really been my experience with you and I I think you’ve said that’s been an experience that you’ve had with a lot of your clients
and you know I had no idea you were a spiritual guy I was enrolled in your nurture sequence and you know I I didn’t
realize that we had that in common so it was really interesting how that emerged and how you find people halfway across
the globe and if it feels really orchestrated so do you have a sense of you know how you see business as
spiritual I think everything is spiritual
whether we see it or we realize it or not everything is energy Everything is
Everything is making an interaction in The Invisible that we’re not we’re not cognizant of
all the time and so we’re seeing glimpses these invisible forces that are at play in the
world and yet we are presented with this material Physical Realm that is
just a tiny fraction of what it means to exist what it means to be alive and so
the realization that in a small way how you show up in the world the intention
you set before you even take an action that has such a powerful impact on
your experience in the day but also your influence on others as you move through
the day so to try and just be all matter of fact about things without an
acknowledgment of the spiritual I think is just leaving so much undone
yeah how more than what right I mean there’s so there’s such an emphasis on
achievement outcome productivity at the end and how do we bring ourselves back
into a more Soulful and present way of relating with our lives with our goals
even I mean I’ve been kind of in constant conversation with these goals and dreams and so motivated and inspired
and how do I stay really really present and grounded and grateful and kind in
that Pursuit I think there’s a way that we can really find this optimal balance where the future is energizing us but
it’s not taking us away we’re not waiting for this future time when you know oh I’m going to be happy we’re
actually inspired in the present by our North Star while still being fully awake
and embodied in our values and that was one of the questions I came to this call
with because one of the things I really admire in you and in general is as I
said before your kindness and so I’m curious what practices what you know what can what can we do to cultivate
that you know how to how do how did you develop that and and what guidance can you offer me in terms of cultivating my
own kindness so it’s not it’s not an easy thing right
there’s a I love that saying by uh Buddha before Enlightenment chopping wood
fetching water after Enlightenment chopping wood fetching water right so there’s a like you mentioned before
there’s a a practical like a practice element a doing but also a being as well
and I think having a having a
grounding in that being element the feeling the emotion the connectedness to
the now that’s something that runs alongside a practice I find so
look I’m still learning this stuff like all of us right it’s a journey and so some days one helps the other so without
the practice the being is altered without the being the practice Falls away and so you have it’s like a dance
between the two and I think you have to have a a practical discipline
to meditate to journal to practice gratitude and affirmations and do all of
these things that gets you like you said into the emotion of the goal and state
keeps you connected to the goal but not in a way that’s like abstract I I don’t
I consider myself a very spiritual person but I don’t see myself as a
I guess I don’t know like um a spiritual Guru in that sense I feel like for me it
has to be practical I have to be able to get up every day and live live and be this this person that that I’m striving
to be to be and to become you know and so it has to be that balance between what
we do in every single moment and how we remain connected in that
does that make sense absolutely and and so mindfulness gratitude uh Jiu Jitsu
does that is that one of the practices you wouldn’t believe yeah how connected that makes you to your body you know
that’s like a that there isn’t time when somebody’s trying to choke you out there or break you around there isn’t there
just isn’t time to kind of have this head chatter that says hey Colin who do you think you are what do you think
you’re doing you know well it’s really interesting that you brought that up because you’re the
second person whose kindness really struck me right off the bat and this
other person who I’m also having on the show John verakee also mentioned that he practices Jiu Jitsu so there must be
something to this uh to this practice I think there’s a there’s endless list of
things that you can do the bottom line is feeling a connectedness to the body because in reality we are not the body
we are not the mind you know we are the the witness Consciousness the seat of
self the higher self however you want to describe it right we are something aside from each of those
and through the connectedness of the body and the mind and that that place of
witness Consciousness that sits behind and above all of those that’s where you
find that place of of being
in a in a Stillness it’s a it’s a place that isn’t
bothered by all of the chatter it’s a place that isn’t just constantly carried away by this
feeling of that and oh will she like me and Willie like Willy like that and and
you just you just allow you know those things are still there but you’re in a
in a different place where you’re able to just kind of just see and respond to the thing that’s in
front of you which is this this moment right now what Eckhart Tolle talks about and the power of now right this this
moment in front of you is the only one that you’ve got it’s the only one that matters and so when you’re able to
through that practice stay connected and stay focused and stay in this moment all
of a sudden it feels different so now the feeling of connectedness to what
you’re trying to do and be and Achieve is almost effortless that’s what they talk about be effortless effort right
it’s it’s not something that you need to strive for in striving for it you miss
it and that’s the difficulty I think a lot of people have is and it’s something I struggle with a lot is sometimes you
get caught up in practice I’m trying to be this and I’m trying to be that and I’m trying to do that and often it
misses the mark you know and that yes there’s just a need at a certain point for surrender and just allowance like
here I am right now and that’s all part of it that’s all part of what I am called to be present with and allowed to
move through me and then trust that in that allowance we will shift you know
one of the practices that’s really helped me to awaken more to uh greater
sense of presence and that kind of magic that happens in the present moment is
just slowing down I just you know and and I I mean I’m still you know kind of
productive inspired a lot and doing a lot of things but I stopped kind of booking myself Florida ceiling I started
to create space between appointments space between commitments and I found
that just giving myself that room to breathe even if I wasn’t necessarily taking that time to formally meditate I
just wasn’t in that constant state of I need to get there I need to be here I need to oh I need to eat lunch I need to
it was like it allowed for just the the space for me to open my eyes a little bit and just kind of savor each moment
and there was a lot of there’s been a lot of magic and kind of new Consciousness just in the kind of
slowing down and allowing and seeing myself not so much as I am the conductor
who needs to have it or the captain who needs to have it all figured out and is is make calling all the shots but rather
a conduit where I’m just allowing life to move through me and surrendering and accepting you know I mean gosh there are
times when you know I am not my body and my mind and my energy are not cooperating and you know I want to be I
want to be inspired I want to be energetic I want to be kind and I’m just grumpy and and tired and fatigued and
and you know that’s all part of the allowance I think and the you know the thing that we have to cultivate and
surrender is okay I don’t get it you know I don’t get why I’m feeling like this and you know how can I bring
kindness to myself and I think as we do it allows us to to create more kindness
and patience with others I mean I think for me my flaws more than anything have taught me about kindness and compassion
and how much nicer is it when you’re able even when the energy is not there and you don’t feel it when you lean in
to that because it’s it’s anti-everything that we’re programmed with isn’t it it’s against what our
conditioning tells us you know when when the propensity is to be busy and get
busy with busy things the last thing we think about as being a valid thing is to
stop and breathe and take a breath and yet it’s the most important thing
that we can do that’s the that’s the the difficulty isn’t it but the the difference when you practice that that
loving kindness to self first and foremost then that that’s what makes the
difference in how you show up in the world um
you were sharing really really speaks to what I find when I’m
when I don’t surrender is this sort of coercive and warlike relationship with
myself where I’m constantly kind of pressuring um
uh struggling uh forcing you know you’ve got you know shaming and I find that is
just so draining and counterproductive it doesn’t actually achieve the thing that we think it does to engage with
ourselves that way we think that kind of pressure and shame motivates us but it actually depletes us of the resourcing
of the energy of the inspiration that we’re actually trying to find and so that’s where it’s like that that
surrender is so critical to um to re-energizing restoring uh
replenishing our our reserves and we forget that we I don’t know where this
comes from but our culture has this a lot of emphasis on Willpower and kind of
top-down uh very um you know aggressive kind of how we
relate to ourselves and there’s actually a lot of research that the concept of willpower is really not valid at all
there’s no actual Empirical research for it and yet we all have this kind of myth that we can just logic our way and will
power our way and if we were just mentally stronger and actually I find that the strength and the energy emerges
in the allowance of not being so strong and energetic all the time and then when
we when we bow to that the energy naturally kind of comes back online when
it’s ready and that’s again kind of what the everything is spiritual it’s like this kind of day-to-day dance with life
with our own energies with our own bodies with our own minds with the circumstances of Our Lives how do we
kind of just allow and and stop being so coercive and what’s the relationship
between kind of agency and surrender because of course there are more moments
where we want to bring agency into you know our lives we want to be purposeful and mindful and intentional but that’s
not quite the same thing as this sort of coercive uh thing that happens it’s it’s
like knowing when is the right tool to use absolutely and I think
in that you have to recognize the universal law of Rhythm that’s at play through everything there is a time and a
season under heaven a time to live a time to die and I think in that within
the bounds of that Rhythm that universal law of Rhythm you have to accept that at
the moment the sun is in the sky and the Moon is not you have to accept that it’s the season of of this or it’s the season
of that and that’s the hardest part because we refuse to accept it’s like
going outside in the morning sun and waving your fist at the Sun and kind of saying why are you not the moon why is
it not dark right now that’s the futility of what we do to ourselves really because we’re trying to fight
against this natural Rhythm that is the universe unfolding in front of us and it
is what it is and will always be what it is no matter how hard we wave our fists no matter how hard we protest it will
always be the way that it will now within that within the bounds of that of
course there is we have agency we have our expression of who we are and that’s
where that’s where the fun I think that’s where it’s fun because within the within the bounds of the universal laws
you can play that’s what you’re here for you know there’s that saying that the
Earth is a place that souls go to evolve that’s what we’re here to do that’s what it means to grow spiritually in
Awakening and to experience the fullness the richness that is in front of you but
within the bounds of the law you know within the bounds of that Rhythm and going with that flow
yeah that dance with life yeah it’s so nice it’s like that’s the that’s the
whole like purpose of this of this short dance that we get to play out on on Earth in this physical body it’s it’s
you just got so much richness in front of you and if you just accept the Rhythm
for the Rhythm you know because people die and people get ill and things happen and nothing is good nor bad they’re just
things that happen and all of these things happen to us in different measures to different degrees and it’s
just things that happen you know we have to just flow with it flow with it yeah and I call that well one principle
that I use in that dance is what I call the reflection principle the idea that every moment every element
of Our Lives is actually here to teach us something even our problems all the things that we see as external are
actually reflections of the internal I think you actually were the first one to share the quote with me as within so
without As Above So Below you know that old I think that’s a hermetic kind of saying
um and what you originally were talking about reminds me of what I call the Paradox of control which is this idea
that the more we strive to control things the more out of control we feel and the more we surrender and allow and
accept the more empowered we feel and it’s quite it’s quite surprising and it’s a hard one lesson that I think we
all have to encounter at some point and there’s a beautiful quote by um Marcus
Aurelius the um impediment to action advances action the obstacle therefore is the way and
how beautiful is it that everything that’s put in front of us is a gift no matter how we interpret it is our choice
right but everything is a gift like you just said everything whether whether we deem it a label it a failure whether we
label it a success or anything and everything in between they’re all pathways
to growth everything is here everything is put in front of you
so that you can grow yeah it’s so amazing when you wake up to
the orchestration in things and you begin to see that and that’s not for me at least a constant state but the more I
Surrender the more I begin to see that everything in my life even the things that have felt painful problematic you
know things that I thought oh this is terrible I’ll never recover have ultimately been in service
um and I think that’s just such a beautiful thing when you begin to witness that and that’s really what
allows us to start to cultivate faith is when we you know are able to
become conscious of in advance like oh here I am in another moment where I
think there’s no you know possible Redemptive element to this experience and we go okay okay God okay Universe
okay you know um I know you’re teaching me something here I’m gonna trust you I’m gonna I I’m
I know there’s something on the other side of this and and that’s the kind of concept death and rebirth you know in
the Bible Paul says I Die daily and I think that’s just such a beautiful metaphor for you know just the constant
putting laying on the altar all of the things that all of you know the things that we identify with our ego are
um you know our sort of worldly aims that aren’t really in alignment with our true values and then just constantly
recalibrating and iterating and you know how do I how do I keep um in on the path facing toward my North
Star how do I embody my values well kind of going after the thing that I feel
called to in the world yeah and that’s where the balance between Enlightenment chopping wood
fetching water right it’s the same it’s the same thing you’re constantly trying to find that that that middle way what
latsu calls the way right the the Dow it’s the it’s that that that place of balance that is Elusive and actually
doesn’t exist and that’s part of the dance you’ve got to constantly play with that because no matter how how many
enlightened experiences you may have or may not have had or experienced it’s not actually about that it’s about
your ability to remain in this moment right now that’s in front of you the moment where we took a pause a few
minutes back that moment’s gone and will never be repeated again this moment right now
this is the one that we’re in and this is the one that we have to respond and react to and we will always
not respond in the way that we expected we will always trip up we will always
find ourselves failing and falling and not meeting the standards that we set ourselves it’s the nature of the Mind
the mind will always pull us back and tell us that we’re not good enough or we’re not doing enough or we haven’t
been productive enough and I think that’s the that’s the daily challenge for us is to be consistent in our
approach to that and consistency really is the key and then look it’s one thing saying this but then somebody dies or
you have a severe a severe trauma or something happens that’s like big man
then it’s difficult not to fall off the wagon so to speak you know and things just kind of change but that in itself
is the gift in 2013 Brooke I um
I had a business that was running multiple seven figures a year in Revenue I had more money than I could spend I
was like doing really well in business 2013 that business went bust and I lost
everything that I owned in the world and we had the saddest part about all of that wasn’t losing all of the material
things I had it was the 30 people that I employed whose families and children no
longer had an income right that was that that was the hardest thing to bear when I when that first happened to me I
felt so traumatized and so so much of a failure I never thought I’d ever get over it it
felt like it was like a grief to me because I I loved running that business and in the aftermath of that now eight
nine years on from the fact that was actually one of the best things that ever happened in my life
because through that through the fires of that that the aftermath
I actually became awake I realized I’ve I’ve got feelings I think what are these
funny things that have been stuff that have been pushing away all of these years you know what is this and and that
actually was the starting path to what you would call like being self-aware being awake being alive and and only
because of that failure that was labeled as a failure was I able to be the man I
am today yeah it’s beautiful you know death feels
sometimes like a necessary precondition of rebirth you know and it’s in the
moment you don’t see it you don’t know what’s ahead of you um you you only go oh I’m in pain I’m
decimated I’m destroyed and um it’s it’s so incredible though when
we are open to the lessons of life when we have that mindset that invites
inquiry what opens up in that it’s like that that decimation is the seeds of
this new um I’m just thinking multiple metaphors here Garden building you know this kind
of this new new based New Creation new self that emerges From the Ashes you
know and I think for me I just that’s that’s the image for me that is most
Salient most representative of my experience of spirituality it’s just that oh die again Diane be reborn again
you know in in little and big ways I mean that was a a really huge and emblematic experience that you had
um of that but then there’s just the daily daily version and I think you know it comes back from me to character and
integrity because I think that we we have to be fully committed to a process
of opening ourselves up colliding with life and being willing to be changed by
the encounter and when our character is poised in that way we can trust in the
orchestration we can trust that everything is in our highest good but
when we are not you know oriented in that way we can’t see what life is
offering us and that’s why I think the metaphor of Awakening is so you know
apropos because it’s like it’s always been there the gifts have always been there the
the treasures that life is offering us are always right in front of us and it’s
just learning to wake up learning to pull the wool from our eyes learning to
see the thing that’s there that’s the beauty of our interactions with other human beings
you see the light the brightness the life the spirit the soul the essence
of who that other human being is but all of us are clouded we’re all like
a bit murky a bit Dusty we’ve got like wrappings on we’ve got like a bit of mud
on us you know we’re like well we’re just a little bit we’re wrapped in this body and we’ve got all of these things going on that just make things a little
murky you know we don’t see the Brilliance the pure Brilliance and the light that is inside at each one of us
and so often when you are able to see it in somebody else or reflect it
back to somebody else with their words or a kindness or a gesture or something
what what you’re you’re not giving anything to that person in reality what’s happening is a little piece of
that murkiness a little piece of that mask that thing that’s covering the
brightness that’s covering who they are in essence it’s just breaking away and
then all of a sudden they shine brighter you shine brighter as a result you know and that like that I spoke about in that
young boy’s eyes when I was teaching in that Jiu Jitsu throw that wasn’t me that was him realizing
how special and beautiful and wonderful he is and that’s that’s what we’re talking about right now it’s recognizing
that in ourselves and in others and in doing so we all get to shine brighter
you know it’s that indra’s indra’s net have you heard that that whole concept
of of we are all these beautiful jewels in Infinity you know stretched out to
Infinity The Brighter each one of us shines the brighter the whole web you
know everybody benefits were all interconnected the interconnectedness of all things so when when you bring
happiness and joy and gratitude into the into the world through your energy and
your intent I benefit as a result of that even though we’re other sides of
the globe when we talk and I see your smile we I I feel you in a very real way
it’s not it’s not like I don’t know how to describe it even it’s it’s Indescribable but it’s
tangible and I think when you’re able to connect to that connectedness by
realizing you know we’re all just we’re all just doing the best that we can do we’re all just here on this journey oh
wow ah becomes easy does it becomes easy
because you’re like shining makes my life shine brighter that’s what it means
to have purpose you’re not you know when you’re in service of others you’re literally helping them to see wow what
I’ve got this I’ve got this bright light inside of me whoa what and you can see
it and you see me and you recognize that wow what a gift you give people when you
when you serve them in that way you don’t do anything there’s nothing that isn’t already there
that light is already there it’s just about uncovering it and allowing it to shine oh
hmm I love what you said and so many different things came up as you were
speaking one was just this paradigm shift that I think we’re all being
invited to In This Moment from a scarcity kind of winner take all you
know me argue mentality to a an abundance more for me is more for you is
more for us you know the more that we all benefit the more we all benefit and
so you know one of the things that I feel strongly about is changing that
Paradigm and inviting people because the the Paradigm exists because of our
projections because we engage with it it it needn’t exist in reality
um it only exists because we we’re all playing that game and we can choose to play a different game we can choose to
play the infinite game and I think that that’s really you know how do we change
Collective Consciousness how do we how do we all really see and understand
that the that the finite game is a construct and that it’s not real it only
exists it’s the Matrix it only exists because we’re all saying it exists and we’re all acting like it exists and
we’re all playing that game and how do we really start to play a different game
together collectively in action and in mind and in you know Spirit it starts
with you because you have to evolve your Consciousness to a place of actually
realizing that you know I came across a wonderful term called sunder a number of years back the the
and it changed how I looked in the eyes of everybody I ever meet and it has done
ever since this idea that everybody is a human being with feelings
with thoughts with desires with hopes with dreams with all of these wonderful
things and experiences wrapped around who they are and just the reverence of
that makes you see people in different lights you know and I think if you work
on self enough to have that realization that we are all interconnected that your
pain is my pain My Love Is Your Love and the more that we share the more that we
lean in to that energy of abundance rather than scarcity like you mentioned then
goodness flows from that magic happens on on the invisible rather than the
material so the invisible is what dictates the material and the more that we put our energy and intention into the
positive in The Invisible the more that that then breaks through into the material into the Matrix right the more
we’re able to break into that material and it’s it is a like you said it is a construct it’s not real it’s part of
that um what they call Maya that delusion that we all exist in and people that
haven’t had that experience yet they exist in a state of like Maya of
delusion for that business that I ran when
bust I was in a state of Maya I was chasing money I was trying to be a
multi-millionaire you know that was the only thing that drove me if you just spoke to me about spirituality back then I would have been like what are you even
talking about what is that right I wasn’t I was just wasn’t ready at that
at that moment in my life and so we have to appreciate that
everybody has we start we started our conversation with the universe a lot of Rhythm right
so everything there is a time and a season and that beautiful saying when
the student is ready the teacher will appear and so if we see somebody that is
shouting hate and talking uh completely in in Maya right not not aware that’s
it’s the timing thing you know it doesn’t mean that that person may not be wow one of the most spiritually Advanced
people in by the end of their lifetime we’ve just met them in a snapshot a moment where they’re dealing with the
thing that’s in front of them in the best possible way that they can and you know no matter what’s in front of you if
we breathe love and compassion into it ah boy does think do things change
I heard that when asked when Mother Teresa was asked you know how do you serve the world uh how do you know how
do you change the world she said go home and love your family nice nice and that’s it that’s the work
right the work is is so deeply individual to be in greatest service of
the collective we have to start in our own minds and hearts we cannot
doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect before we serve the world of course not of course we serve the world you know in
our imperfection but the idea that you know the changes out there is part of
the problem when we assume sort of an ultimate position of responsibility
um I think that is what opens up our Consciousness to do the greatest amount
of collective change so it’s it’s a bit paradoxical perhaps in that Collective
Awakening requires us as individuals to wake up and transform our Consciousness
and it’s so simple but it’s so deep and so uh profound and so so complex in
another way right like it’s it’s we we complicate it it’s it’s actually not
very complicated it’s not it’s not that lovely that lovely misquoted Gandhi that
says that be the change that you want to see in the world it starts and ends with you you can literally change the world
just by changing the way that you speak to yourself the way that you show up the way that you hold yourself the way that
you um incessantly pull yourself down and don’t share love and compassion for self
it all starts and ends there when you can do that genuinely
then instantly and it immediately spills out into your interactions with others
because you you love yourself how many times do we tell ourselves i i i wrestle with this all the time
Brooke oh you you can’t do that nobody nobody wants to hear what you’ve got to say who do you think you are Colin you
know and that these These Little Things They come up they creep they niggle away at you all the time and I think that’s where the practice
comes in just to reset and and just find that place of of power of of love and
compassion for self so that you can do those things anyway you know it reminds me of that Wayne
Dyer quote when you change the way you look at things the things you look at changed and you said to me a long time
ago when you smile the world smiles back at you you know that back to that reflection principle this this thing
that happens where we we really are co-creating reality like how as you said how you show up in the world how we show
up in the world really dictates how other people show up in response to us so we actually have so much more power
than we believe that we do because we don’t necessarily know how to heal
ourselves and how to relate differently so we don’t have an experience of co-creating reality until we can do some
very deep healing deprogramming you know shifting our self-limiting core beliefs
um really Reckoning with the traumas that have have shaped this way of seeing the world this old Paradigm the finite
game and I I think that you know it’s so powerful though when you start to feel
like in some ways well at the same time you’re in a state of surrender you’re
also feel you start to feel more like the architect of your own destiny and
it’s quite it’s quite profound at least for me living for so many years feeling
so deeply disempowered so deeply in pain so deeply confused by you know why it
was that I was showing up in a way that wasn’t being received because I my heart was always service my heart was always
loved my heart was always you know wanting to connect with people but for so many years until I did my own healing
work and therapy I just didn’t realize how many unconscious defenses
were dictating the way that I was showing up and the way that other people were responding I wasn’t aware of these
things and so I was just constantly perplexed and then the world seemed like a cruel place but as I began to kind of
unearth um you know my truer Essence and heal I
began to really co-create new experiences and it’s so striking how for
so many years it was like I can’t find any good people Los Angeles is such a superficial place people don’t share my
values and now it’s it feels like everywhere I turn I’m having these incredible spiritual conversations
meeting beautiful kind people and it’s not a coincidence it’s really kind of
the the fruit that you yield you know when you do this work it’s like it comes
to harvest but it often takes many years and it happens and fits and starts you know it’s not linear
it’s not linear it’s like it’s like traveling up a mountain and imagine a a conical Mountain we walk
around the mountain at the Foothills and we’re traversing up and down and up and down and moving our way around and up
the mountain and we see a village across to the side of us and then we carry on our journey and a little while later we
see the same Village and we think what are we doing we’ve passed this Village we are
going backwards here we’re not progressing what’s going on and we’re not realizing that we’re traveling
around the mountain we’re seeing the village the same Village the same Vista from different perspectives so that’s
the journey that’s the essence of the journey we’re traveling up the mountain and we’re making upwards progress but it
never feels like it or it rarely feels like it occasionally we’ll get a glimpse of a glorious sunset or something that
makes us stop in our tracks I get I go running early in the morning and often I can’t tell you the amount of times but
where I’ve literally stopped and had a tear rolling down my eyes at the sky Sky it just makes me realize you know
how lucky I am to be studying this this place and witnessing this beauty that’s
unfolding in front of me occasionally we get moments like that but for the most part we’re going well I’ve been here
before this I’m going backwards I’m going down the mountain here why aren’t why why aren’t I at the top you know
um but if we if we view it as that that continuous traversing around and around the mountain and we see the same things
from different elevations that for me is a real a real nice way to be acceptant
of what we’re seeing and what we’re experiencing In This Moment sometimes we have to go down to go up and that’s okay
that’s okay it’s okay yeah it’s all part of it it’s all part
of you know sometimes those the ways that we go down deep in us you
know and they expand our ability to be with our own emotional experience our
own flawed humanity and therefore to serve others and connect with others and so those wounds that we carry the wound
is where the light comes in right it would be too easy just to push be too
easy to push them away wouldn’t it and push them down push them away lean away from them and ignore them but when you
do that when you’re brave enough and you’re courageous enough to do that that hard thing what a great blessing that is
because that’s like you say that’s when that’s when those things peel away and the essence the Brilliance behind it is
allowed to shine through that’s what they mean when they say the obstacle is the way those things those resistances
those things that you’re feeling they are the pathway whether we choose to
lean in because it’s uncomfortable or not that’s that’s the journey isn’t it that’s the journey we’re all on look at
the difference you just mentioned there about having done that work on that healing that internal work how different
the conversations are how different the physical world is for you as a result of doing the work
that’s all there is to it for any one of us and you know what makes it so
special for every single soul that you meet are those wounds those scars those
things that make you you because they’re not bad things that we need to get rid of that’s who you are
you are that person that has had that experience that no other Soul on the
planet in the whole 13.8 billion years or whatever that we’ve the planets existed and all of the years ahead of us
that the planet will exist no other soul that has ever had the experiences that you’ve had nor ever will in exactly the
same mix in exactly the same moment at exactly the same time wow what a gift that is for you you know
to to love and embrace who you are what’s and all right I say to my clients
our goal is to become the truest expression of self not to be their expression his expression her expression
our own truest expression of self unashamedly unapologetically and that
really is the journey that we’re on isn’t it it’s just that striving to be me hmm
it’s really about recovering or coming back into contact with our own
preciousness our own childlike Wonder our own play you know our own kind of
unfettered um you know expression there’s and
that’s you know that is really deep though I mean it’s really profound I I
love spending time with my niece because I feel like I have permission and it’s not a conscious permission it’s like
this unconscious permission to be silly to be dumb to play to you know move in
in crazy ways to make weird noises to to imagine you know to to not be so logical
to not be so curated um to not have to be so perfect it’s so relieving and I recognize that you know
that um sense that I don’t have permission normally is self-imposed it’s not real
I’m I’m bringing it into things I’m I’ve I’ve internalized it and now I’m
projecting it um and when I spend time with her it invites me into this childlike play that
I think is really um it’s so precious it’s so life-filling
and I think that that really as we deepen spiritually that’s where we find
ourselves is in more and more play definitely definitely playful curiosity
that childlike curiosity for life it’s Wonder that’s awe that’s the place
that’s the energy where imagination lives that’s where creativity lives that’s where the connectedness to All
Things exists and so the more that you’re able to lean into that man that
really is the key who says the dog can’t bark while you’re recording a podcast who says like life has to unfold the way
that it does life unfolds in the most beautiful way that it ever could do and
it felt unfolds exactly as it should and so allowing that unfolding and then playing within that whoa with
curiousness with like wow you know with gay abandon and there’s there’s no this
is the the the whole thing of of our growth through childhood into maturity
as an adult is that we lose the connectedness to that a lot don’t we we become we put layers on we put masks on
when I’m in church I must sit like this and behave like that and when I’m sat in a courtroom I’m going to do this you
know and we have all of these learned behaviors and ways of being and uh social norms and all of these different
programmings that form the Paradigm of who we are so how wonderful it is to
connect why music’s so powerful and stories are so powerful because we’re able just to
let go for a Time when we let go it’s we just we we’re
there we’re there instantly we’re in that place that we all go through our lives just finding glimpses of in a
sunset in a moment in a shared moment you know glimpses we’re seeing glimpses Paul said we see
um we see just Reflections me elements through a mirrored glass almost of of of
what it means and what what actually is really there and so you know that’s that’s just part of the process when you
can feel that playfulness ah there’s nothing like it when you’re just laughing so hard and you’re dancing with
your niece man what a great feeling what a great feeling that’s what it means to
be alive and that’s part of that’s part of our challenge is to is to
spend time in those moments but to strive to be that who we who we truly
are you know and we’re not we’re not these stuffy very righteous you know
people who are go through life doing all of these things in the way that we’re supposed to do them you know it’s like
you you’ve got to be you and playfulness wow what a powerful way to tap into that
Imagining the dance you know we’ve been using the metaphor of the dance dancing with life and
I walk my dog every morning and um there are people who are part of a program called Chrysalis which is kind
of a homeless rehabilitation program and they pick up trash and they wear these orange you know
um vests and there’s this morning that this guy was picking up trash he had his
his cart you know with a wheeled trash can and like a trash picker up or
whatever those are called and he was literally dancing he was literally dancing as he picked up trash and I
wow that for me is like if you can if you can dance while you
pick up trash you’ve got something figured out I almost wanted to stop him I hope I see him again I really did I’d
like to to stop him and maybe interview him maybe maybe learn a little bit more about his Secrets yeah what’s your
secret what’s your secret but you’re right look I was in the gym the other day and there was this lady in
the gym she had these big headphones on like I’m wearing now and she was um doing these things with the weights and
she put the weights down and I couldn’t help but I was running on the treadmill I couldn’t help but like be caught by
her because she was just she was must have been I don’t know what she was she was in she was in in the moment and she
was just dancing away from the weights over to this place where they do the the yoga and the cool downs and she was just
like she was just lost in that moment in that moment just like the guy that you’re talking about there she was like
nodding her head and shaking and and it was it was beautiful to see because there was Zero inhibition it was just
pure joy of life and wow wow I wish I could be that free Brook
right it’s it’s so interesting how we put these self-imposed limitations even
though on ourselves even though when we see others it just wakes us up it brings us to life it brings us joy and yet we
go oh no I can’t I can’t do that I you know I can’t be so free I can’t express in that way I need permission
um you know and it’s just such an invitation though of wait a second who
who are you performing for and who are you hiding from like you know like that’s all just made up that’s all just
an idea you have in your head like nobody cares and even if they do who cares you know like even if someone is
judging you that’s more about them than it is about you absolutely and so it’s
that’s the that’s the journey that we’re all on isn’t it that’s the journey that we continue to be on I’m dancing man I
mean I I’ve consider myself quite a creative expressive guy but dancing that’s like I would be like some robotic
guy I’m not a dancer I’ve I’ve got zero Rhythm you know I’m like Dreadful
but just the the ability to let go of inhibitions and
express and explore in whatever creative creative mode works for you wow there’s
such power in that such power well I’m noticing that we’re coming to the end of our time here I’m so grateful
that we were able to connect today it’s wonderful to see you and thank you so much for joining me absolute pleasure
Brooke absolute pleasure love love the conversation that’s one of the most
interesting and expressive things that we can do is to share the experience that we’re having because in in that
your your making an impression you’re making an impact you’re putting energy out into the world that can change
people’s lives through the change that you see in yourself what a gift I don’t want the
conversation to end it’s like that this is why we’re here this is exactly why we’re here
yeah it’s that emergent magic that happens that that neither of us can
fully source as individuals separately but this thing happens in conversation in the dance in that co-creation that is
larger than the sum of its parts and that’s a really beautiful place to end and I hope we can do it again
thank you so much [Music]

Writer Bio

My LA Therapy - Brooke Sprowl (slider)

Brooke Sprowl is the Founder of My LA Therapy, a concierge therapy practice. With 15 years of clinical experience as an individual, couples, and family therapist, she is trained in a wide-range of approaches, from evidence-based therapy practices to peak performance and flow neuroscience techniques. Brooke is also the host of the podcast, Waking Up with Brooke Sprowl. She is passionate about writing, cognitive science, philosophy, integrity, spirituality, effective altruism, personal and collective healing, and curating luxury, transformational retreat experiences for people who are committed to self-discovery and using their unique gifts in service of the world.

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