What is true spirituality?

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”

- Carl Jung

It’s trendy to be "spiritual."

Let’s face it. It’s trendy to be “spiritual.”

And while I’m glad we’re experiencing a cultural renaissance surrounding new and non-dogmatic ways to relate to the innate mystery of existence, we have to be increasingly vigilant around what kinds of spiritual ideas and people we allow into our lives.

Our spiritual lives should not feel separate from or be at odds with our bodies and minds. On the contrary, authentic spirituality transcends and includes every element of our humanity.

Engaging in spirituality that attempts to suppress elements of humanity is a form of denial. This is referred to as “spiritual bypassing.”

True spirituality integrates our humanity

As more and more people experience the life-changing benefits of altered states of consciousness, increasingly we find people who have profound spiritual experiences without doing the requisite shadow work to support and integrate these experiences in ways that are sustainable and embodied.

Profound spiritual experiences absent of rigorous self-examination and deep psychological work can lead to hubris.

As Plato said, “If we forget our transcendence, we become playthings of the gods. If we forget our finitude, we believe ourselves to be gods.”

More and more, I’m encountering folks who (typically as a result of regular psychedelic use) fail to appropriately acknowledge their limitations and finitude.

They wrongly see pain, trauma, and difficult emotions as enemies of spiritual consciousness.

A spirituality that cannot fully integrate our humanity is not true spirituality at all: it’s a kind of grandiose narcissism.

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The power of spirituality

A robust spirituality must afford us with the capacity to be truly present to what we encounter in our bodies, minds, and hearts.

The power of spirituality is not an obliteration of our humanity, it is a way of relating to our humanity that allows us to transcend our ordinary limitations and ways of being.

This is only sustainable to the extent that we have practices that allow us to integrate our shadow and continually make the unconscious conscious.

To the extent that we do not do so, our unconscious forces will be acted out against our will.

As Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

That is why I’ve been inspired to curate a once-in-a-lifetime experience centered around reclaiming soulful living by reawakening awe and cultivating true spirituality.

Effective therapy can change your life.

At My LA Therapy, our mission is to help you become more empowered, awake, and alive.

On this week’s episode of Waking Up, I had the absolute privilege of sitting down with Zen meditation teacher, author, and poet Henry Shukman.

We discuss topics such as the similarities and differences between spirituality and psychology, non-dual awareness and the ego, parallels between Internal Family Systems Therapy and mindfulness, Henry’s spontaneous awakening experience, spiritual bypass, and what it means to have an authentic relationship to spirituality.

Henry is one of those people who deeply embodies kindness and presence, and is also very open about his own struggles and difficulties. He’s exactly the kind of person I love to learn from, because it’s clear that he is truly walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

I hope you’ll enjoy getting to learn from him as much as I did.

Listen to this podcast on:


I just I just kind of disappeared and became part of the whole universe I knew


that that’s what I’d always been and it was it was a kind of infinite healing it


was it was indescribably beautiful and clearly you know without doubt I knew


like the most important thing that had ever happened to me to the point where I could have died that night and known


that my life was fulfilled [Music]


foreign [Music] up with Brook sprawl my guest today is


the wonderful Henry shookman Henry welcome thanks so much for having me it’s great to be with you yeah so lovely to connect


with you we have quite a bit in common from spirituality and meditation to poetry and psychology so I have a


feeling we’ll have a very rich conversation today so talk about your background with meditation and


spirituality I know you had kind of a spontaneous Awakening experience would you like to share about that when I was


19 I had yeah this thing happened out of nowhere where


I just uh my ordinary sense of things just fell away I was looking at the


light of the Sun in late afternoon on the water and I I just um now stone cold


sober and uh it really never barely hadn’t been in my life you know and had


basically you know occasionally drank some beer as a teenager and stuff smoked some hash but no nothing beyond that and


no kind of really no interest in anything esoteric or mystical or


spiritual and suddenly I just was uh I just I just kind of disappeared and


became part of the whole universe and um I knew that that’s what I’d always


been and it was it was a kind of infinite healing it was it was


indescribably beautiful and clearly you know without doubt I knew


like the most important thing that had ever happened to me to the point where I could have died that night and known


that my life was fulfilled and and I um actually you know you know what in the


way of things I didn’t die and and life went on and I had a blissful few weeks


and then I went home I was I’d been away from Far From Home on a gap year when


when this thing happened and when I got home almost immediately I was really


kind of hammered by all the unexamined childhood trauma that


I’d lived with which was you know mostly about two things a very difficult


domestic situation you know with um well with parental and stuff and


secondly another chronic um rather severe skin condition throughout my childhood and and which


which had become free of while I was away and so I came home and suddenly you


know all the unfelt um feelings of my childhood that I’d


sort of managed to compartmentalize so I could kind of function when I was a kid


um I was so open that all of it just sort of swamped me and I had no


significant resources for dealing with it and I was completely overwhelmed and went into


a kind of deep despair which which I kind of lived I sort of kind of lived


with for a few years and then and then actually that’s when I started to meditate I in my early 20s


I think I was actually 24 I started meditating and that was the the way that


my sort of healing Journey really began because it it’s really fairly soon after


I started meditating regularly um I realized that I was something was


off I wasn’t happy and there hadn’t been for a long time and that I could do something about it and I I started doing


I started you know I started getting into therapy so how do you see the difference between spirituality and


psychology that’s such a great question the difference between psychology and spirituality I mean of course you know


they can mean a lot of different things and um undoubtedly there’s a whole lot of


overlap and in a certain way I mean I feel my journey has been and continues


to be absolutely about both of them and um I would say maybe it’s just sort of


almost for the sake of convenience that sort of in my understanding you know spirituality is


is can Encompass um for one thing non-dual experience it can


Encompass what we call Awakening which is where you know our sense of self


isn’t sort of improved tended cultivated developed it simply is seen through it’s


seen the it’s always been an illusion and and we discover that when that


illusion is no longer kind of hooking us or capturing us


we’re we’re actually part of a great whole that is


everything and it’s you know it’s an incredible Discovery to make and I do


think it’s a discovery meaning that it’s kind of real because


um I I believe and there’s a lot of Neuroscience these days and other kinds of Investigation supporting you know the


sort of contention that the sense of self as we normally experience it as stable and fixed and


separate from all else is actually a kind of Illusion


but leaving that aside I also think it’s it’s it’s kind of terrible not to tend


our self I think we must I mean I certainly I’ve had to bring you know


learn to bring a loving welcoming attention and awareness to


what I feel I am so that the sense of self that I can still plug into can


still experience is is cared for so you say I don’t really I


mean some people you know hardcore non-dual folks would say


I’m wrong there isn’t a self just ignore it you know kind of thing but to whatever extent you’re getting caught by


things and having intense negative emotion that’s just the extent to which


you’re still hooked by this thing that you’ve got to get unhooked from but I actually


I mean I think they may be right I don’t know but um and I said I must say I’ve had


periods of time when I might have even said that myself but I I really don’t


see it that way now I feel we we’ve got to a well-rounded kind of um unless I’d


say wholesome and sort of integrated um spirituality actually must include


psychological tending as well and I I sort of feel um


I don’t really want to lean on one side and exclude the other


yeah familiar with Ken Wilbur’s work at all yes some of it I’ve read oh man he’s


great I’ve I’ve Loved I haven’t read a whole lot but I’ve read bits in pieces I


mean man that whole pre-trans fallacy thing is brilliant she’s talking to John verbiki about that


last week I think we could dive into a little bit


but there’s a few different things I wanted to touch on from what you shared you know Ken Wilbur talks about


transcending and including so it feels you know at the higher levels of development we don’t simply go to the


next level and then disown the previous level that’s not an authentic developmental process and that’s not a


sustainable developmental process to the extent that I’ve done that you know kind of working with my own say narcissism


it’s like there was a time when I was like oh I’m not a narcissist but all those people are narcissists and now this is dangerous and now this is this


part of me is bad now I’ve disowned it now it’s you know kind of cut off in some way and of course then I found that


everywhere around me and it didn’t feel safe and then when I was able to go back and kind of get to know that part and


find empathy for that part as just the little girl who’s just struggling and didn’t get enough you know didn’t feel


self-worth and needed to get a sense of self from the outside world as I was able to find just compassion for that


all of a sudden other people with those traits didn’t feel threatening and I was able to transcend it in a more authentic


and grounded way where it’s still a part of me I’m not trying to get rid of it it’s no longer dangerous or a threat and


so it does feel like there’s a necessity to you know not simply transcend but


also to include the lower levels of development and you know there’s a lot


of you know there are people in the spiritual Community who have reached a kind of Awakened State of Consciousness


without doing the accordant spiritual work and that’s where we see all of these kind of cult leaders who are very


corrupt as they have these very mystical um I mean I I’ve never encountered you


know firsthand these kind of leaders who have actual Powers I don’t know if you


have I’d be very curious but I’ve heard stories like Michael Singer talks about you know certain experiences he’s had


with gurus who have you know the ability to kind of I don’t even know I I don’t


even know that I could describe it but in some way move energy or heal or you know kind of


um cultivate these certain States and I don’t know if I fully believe in that but I’m I’m I hear that there are people


like that who have these at least magnetic presences you know they’re just captivating they’re embodied they they


exude unconditional love but then there’s like the oceans of the world where they they have those traits and


then there’s all of this corruption and all of this exploitation and so that’s where this apology piece is so important


to integrate the shadow so it’s it’s interesting because I’ve always had the assumption that if you’re enlightened in


that sense if you reach that level of Awakening that you aren’t prey to the


psychological vices and the ego temptation but what I’m recognizing is in some ways they’re separate and in


other ways I think spirituality can be a natural kind of um expression of the Continuum of you


know like psychological development but in some ways you know they can be


separated um and and but as you say I think that


finding the wholeness and it is the the kind of truly enlightened State requires


us a level of integrity and Shadow integration there’s a way in which


people aren’t truly Reckoning with the Shadow and the pain and the trauma and


spirituality can be used as a way to gloss over that and I would argue that’s not a healthy relationship with


spirituality um you know it sounds like you would agree with that by and large I totally


agree with everything you said but then I think of like one of my teachers in particular who’s a zen teacher in the UK


I write about him in my book actually and he’s God he you know he’s just such a kind


man and he was is so deeply enlightened and so unassuming and you know hardly


anybody kind of knows about him you know he’s very quiet under the radar he’d he’d be he’d


been a lawyer he retired and and then ran to Charities for


severely disabled people and towards them and he he you know he really


he hadn’t done a whole lot of psychological work he may have done a bit here and there but it wasn’t like he


was somebody who come through tons of therapy and was really well versed in it um but he he just uh


exuded peace and love in a very sort of humble unassuming kind of way


and lived this very humble um simple life of service that you know


and I really um so somehow I think he probably


the language has sort of hadied down all this Shadow integration of the Shadow I don’t know because I always think of


like in the realm of spiritualities there’s always sort of caveats and exceptions and sort of so I think it’s


very hard to say anything categorical in this realm like I mean I’ve known people who you know they just had one powerful


Awakening experience and it just sort of melted their life like a hot knife through butter in the most beautiful way


and you know I’m meeting them 25 years later and they’re they’re still sort of


radiant and quiet and it just you know and and leading exactly


a life that sort of suited them there was great peace around them and and you


know and not not in positions of of authority like teaching people or anything like that just just quietly


embodying a spiritual


experience that they’d had that just sort of they’d allowed to gently kind of


radiate through their being more and more I think and again who weren’t


particularly I mean dare I say a sort of sophisticated in the language of psychology or even spirituality and yet


worth it you know of course there could be a little bit of projection here too but seem to


reside in a kind of I don’t know radiant warm loving way that you could feel


around I don’t know I’m just saying it’s not it’s not I don’t know I’m hesitant


about you know kind of legislating how it must be because it’s such a weird realm I


agree with you and I think not everyone is as neurotic as everyone else not everyone has the same degree of trauma


as other people so there are I think for some of us like my path because I’m high in eroticism and have you know some


stuff that I’ve had to work through in terms of my own trauma um I had to do that work it was it was


inevitable you know for me to survive and to be able to integrate anything


authentically spiritually but you’re right there are some folks who they have these Awakening experiences and it


perhaps doesn’t require that same level of Reckoning and and I don’t feel skeptical of that when people are deeply


embodying love and kindness and you’re not seeing any of the kind of red flags


in terms of corruption then you know I don’t feel skeptical about that the people I feel skeptical about are people


who are over emphasizing that everything is love and light and that there’s not there’s no space for Shadows so for


example I uh had a friend a kind of new friend a few years ago who I really


liked and and um really connected with and she was very spiritual and I was going through


something where I um I had a stalker and this stalker was like threatening me and


and saying they were gonna you know come to my house and I was really afraid and


then I didn’t feel like I was getting the support that I needed for my family and I was telling my friend about it and


she said something about me playing the victim and I was so angry I was like


excuse me I’m being victimized currently I’m terrified I don’t feel asleep in my


home and you’re gonna say you know just put positive energy in the universe and don’t play the victim like I expressed


you know I hurt and I tried to work it through and she didn’t have any interest in you know kind of recognizing where I


was at that I was in pain and and and that I needed kind of just holding in that and so I think there’s and that now


if I’m 10 years later I’m still just stewing and victim event mentality and


and blaming and feeling powerless if that’s a theme in my life where I’m I’m engaging with the world from that place


I think there’s a proper invitation to step out of that and different ways to look and frame your experience but when


you’re in the midst of of acutely being you know of an acute trauma to be told that you’re playing a victim just feels


really antithetical to what I would consider authentic spirituality those


are more than people that I feel um skeptical of as folks who are just


you know oh just positive thinking all the way down you know there’s no room


for anything other than that and I just I just don’t I think that I’m robust and


um authentic spirituality has to Encompass everything that that doesn’t mean every person has to be doing deep


Shadow work to be awakened but I think a truly enlightened person has the space


to hold people at different phases in their process you know otherwise I I


don’t know if I trust you you know yeah no I I totally agree and I think um


having you know the a kind of flexibility in our in our spiritual


practice you know that that can totally Embrace pain trauma when necessary


whether our own or that that of people we meet is I I


couldn’t agree more it’s totally healthy and it’s I I think you know you get especially in spiritual communities


you’ll get sort of that spiritual communities that work on transcending


self you know they’ll you know they’ll have implicit sort of hierarchies based


on how they can do on how much somebody has tried is free of self you know so that


anytime someone says pain oh you’re just you’re just being hooked Again by yourself I mean I I agree that can be


really counterproductive and unhelpful and even sort of cruel and abusive in worst case scenario and so I I I like


the idea of a you know if we’re gonna if we’re gonna Venture into spirituality


that has got to be kindness first really and it’s got to be compassion kindness


and and inclusiveness I I think you said that beautifully earlier the way I see it actually these days in my mind


there’s a there’s an old um rather kind of little known Chinese


Buddhist document that about practice you know that that says this is from the I think


it’s from the late fifth century in China so it’s pretty early you know for Chinese Buddhism which only starts about


second century BC uh sorry CE and um it says something


like um the path of practice is like a cart track which has two ruts


you know one for each wheel of the card one rut is mindfulness and the other ra


is Awakening so they make this sort of distinction between mindfulness meaning the practice


of gradual tending cultivating developing healing the human psyche and


then Awakening as you know Awakening to what they call the


way in Chinese Buddhism meaning sort of the way of all things the


arising of everything as one as empty as appearance or whatever you know and what


we awaken to an Awakening sort of thing but they’re saying you’ve got to always have both


uh wheel ruts of the track I love that I I live by that now actually so I I you


know I I can I can say quality at certain point in my training in in actually in Zen I went through a deeper


kind of experience that really didn’t leave me for 12 years and then and then


I had some traumatic stuff go on and in my life the people actually have


somebody very very close to me and um it it uh you know really it that experience


that experience which I’ve been living very naturally and easily and just this sense of everything always being arising


out of out of this Wonder a mystery you know it’s always present for me actually I mean maybe not absolutely always but I


could always access it anytime but actually after 12 years something happened that changed it and I


couldn’t access it and actually I didn’t want to I wanted to just be totally


grounded in my human heart and helping the best I could and and I needed to


help my own heart as well as you know the hearts of those immediately


around me but I feel it seems like it must be wise to always be open to new


growth and development and yeah and if there’s a model of you


know you can hit a real Awakening and there’s no going back in a certain way


does that close the door on you know New Growth so maybe it doesn’t


have to but perhaps it can you know it feels like with any Mastery there are


layers and dimensions that you gradually step into and awaken and flush out and


you know things that at the beginning you don’t even see because you’re not even awake enough to have a vision for


what those might be so it just sounds like you’re stepping into a new phase of your Mastery and it looks a little


different but you’re integrating new aspects of your Humanity into your spiritual practice and that sounds


really rich and um kind of deep so


well let’s hope so I wouldn’t call it my master it’s more like my studentship I suppose you know or Mike just my


learning my learning you know it’s one thing well I do say one of the nice things about having a real serious


spiritual practice is it makes you a lifelong learner which I think is a really good thing to


be like in and it you know of course there’s so many different traditions and the one that I’m most deeply versed in


Zen it’s not particularly popular these days but it has some really good things in it one of which is it’s got this map


known as the ox herding pictures it’s like 10 pictures that set out this kind


of map of spirituality and you know the third one is is is having an Awakening


experience and the fourth one is kind of uh integrating Awakening in our in our


daily life and but then at a certain point we’re supposed to just forget about Awakening all together and just


lead a normal life without any hint of Awakening in it you know but but they


say it’s rather hard to get there but but that’s the aspiration to kind of folded it back into the soil


you know what’s the thing where’s then the


yeah yeah we’ve that would be very relevant exactly before then or before the beginning in Zen or something a


mountain is a mountain during Zen a mountain is not a mountain after Zen a mountain is again a mountain


yeah there’s something about the hero’s journey in that you know like ordinary


mind kind of confrontation with the unknown Awakening


um shift in perception of what the world is and then returning home with this


newfound dimensionality of Awakened awareness in ordinary life and ordinary


reality yes yes and I think it’s you know it’s interesting for me having had


some very profound kind of Awakening experiences there is a part of me that


kind of has a little bit of a perfectionism like I’m supposed to always be walking in both worlds you


know simultaneously so in my ordinary life always be awake to all this dimensionality and and other kinds of


ways of seeing and relating with the world mystically and you know perhaps there’s you know time and a place for


that um but in so many Traditions it seems like the remembering is essential and in


some ways the forgetting is part of remembering do you have any thoughts on that


wait when you say remembering just let me just get clear what do you what are you referencing by that I’m thinking


about the the Hindu conception of you know we’re all basically I I don’t know


if I’ll be able to articulate this properly but my understanding is you know the Hindu concept is that God


um in his limitlessness uh kind of got bored there was nothing for him to do


and so he had to gradually begin to play hide and seek with himself by limiting his own powers and awareness and he had


to go go further and further as time went on to forget that he was God to


play this game with himself and then come back to remembering and so we have


in these Awakening experiences these oh this kind of remembering of our infinite


nature are you know Consciousness that is universal um and that that’s you know in some ways


built into the game yes gochi gochikochi yeah I would say it


very much like that I think there is a as as far as like sort of a


spiritual perfectionism or something you know I I actually feel quite sure that there is there


there is a sort of a something that can happen where we it’s it’s not that we stay in some


Transcendent state but the thing that differentiates the transcended state from an ordinary State can drop away I


know that can happen and it it can get knocked out like um like I don’t know what would be like a window pane or


something and and we we’re just no longer um


we no longer feel that sort of a quote-unquote or Transcendence state is


different from a most ordinary state that that can happen and then it’s the most amazing thing because then we’re


it’s just normal it’s just absolutely ordinary but what ordinary is


is endlessly sort of soaks the heart in a kind of love in a just ordinary and to


me that’s that’s getting well it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a it’s as


far as I’ve gone and I and to to live there is very possible I I know that


from personal experience and it’s so beautiful this it’s uh but it still doesn’t mean that there isn’t there


can’t be psychological things that come up and little of course blind spots and


little um you know patterns that we get caught in that can all still happen I and I’m


sure there are people who go beyond all that because a lot of people report that there’s a phase in uh


spiritual practice where they’ve kind of seen it and then they’re back to this you know neurotic self and then they see


it again and they’re sort of flipping back and forth between something that seems more awakened and


something that seems more I don’t know what do we call it non-awakened you know but actually and


I’m in a course I’m very familiar with that myself and as a yeah again I talk about that a lot in my book but a point


can happen where that Duality between sort of Awakened and very much not


awakened actually that can drop away


and it it’s not like it then means we’re in some totally mind-blowing you know


blissed out Transcendent state or something it’s actually it’s not that it’s called better than that it’s just


ordinary but but somehow so whole and so peacefully


total or something it’s it’s it’s a that’s to me that’s that’s the


that’s one of the great great fruits of doing it that’s when we’re really starting to integrate it actually I think


yeah it reminds me of that uh quote by Yates the world is full of magic things


patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper and uh oh oh that’s wonderful oh


loneliness is sort of a hidden portal into the Divine and that part of the


difficulty with accessing that state of peaceful magic of the ordinary daily is


just that we move so quickly and I think I I often wonder about the relationship


between nervous system regulation and enlightenment because my sense is that just getting


our systems calm is what wakes us up to these this other dimension of being


that’s beautifully put I totally agree I mean that that’s I guess why so many of


these Traditions have all this emphasis on being still and quiet and settling down


yes and you’re absolutely right oh man beautiful yeah one of the things I’ve


found in my practice is that you know I would try to like insert meditation or


mindfulness or different practices in my overly programmed schedule and I didn’t


have this breakthrough I was like oh like the slowness has to be there needs


to be a bird’s eye you know component to this where I need to actually create space in my life metaphorically to


breathe as well as you know specific times of practice and of course the goal


is to practice mindfulness and and these states in our daily in every moment of


our day and at the same time you know just like if you’re learning a sport you need practice periods to really focus


those skills in order to then you know more naturally have that muscle memory to play properly if you need those


practice periods because we can’t efficiently integrate mindfulness uh


into our day unless we can practice it efficiently in isolation and isolated


periods and so I’ve often kind of fallen into thinking like oh I’m just going to be more mindful in my daily life and


there are little things I can do that help but if I don’t have those practice periods that are highly focused I find


it doesn’t take and it doesn’t integrate as easily it’s so easy to kind of just forget


yeah I can totally relate to that and I think another piece for me is like when the momentum has kind of taken over you


know and I’m actually kind of rushing inwardly as well as outwardly without recognizing it


um I suppose for me the you know the mindfulness piece then is to just


be cognizant of this momentum in my body you know and not try to stop it but just


be cognizant of it and feel it and feel there’s usually some pain in there actually there’s usually some little


twist of distress and little maybe a little knot of distress and to feel that


and to be kind to it and kind of bring I suppose a kind of loving awareness to


it um can make all the difference so it doesn’t it actually sort of


I guess I’m just I’m I’m really reinforcing and agreeing with you and just I’m adding this other thing that I


find really helpful which is like okay it’s not like I’ve got to totally slow down now Henry you know it’s more like


okay let’s just let’s just know what’s actually going on and yeah I may need to I may need to


stop physically be still for a moment to get a chance to actually


know what that is and then but then just to find yeah there’s this there’s this uh


yeah kind of like a momentum in my body you know like a flywheel or something wants to keep turning and uh I very much


relate to that yeah yeah and it makes me think of you know


if the way that you were speaking about you know just getting to know this part and we don’t have to you know slow it


down necessarily it’s just bringing kindness and awareness it reminds me of some of the work I’m doing in ifs right


now where you know we presume that every part of us has a positive intention and


there are no bad parts of us they all serve a purpose um and by getting to know them by


listening by asking them questions by giving them the attention that they need they can integrate in a more balanced


fashion whereas if we ignore them or we try to make them go away um we we think they’re bad then they


become more extreme and there’s this kind of paradoxical nature to you know like the paradoxical theory of change is


the more we accept ourselves as we are the more we could change and so there’s that kind of Phenomenon with this is


like the more I go oh Brooke you need to slow down then I make myself bad I exhale that part of myself I create this


tension that what makes me want to keep going fast to avoid conflict so there’s


this kind of you know confounding process whereby we try to change ourselves and it actually Stokes the


fuel exactly problematic you know ways that things that we’re trying to avoid it’s sort of


like a an alcoholic a shame cycle they feel terrible about themselves so they


drink and then they drink and they feel worse about themselves so then they need to drink more you know that kind of it’s a similar phenomenon these these cycles


that we have of sort of self-rejection um that only feed more self-projection


more anxiety more conflict more disowned parts and splits that the problems that


we have in our lives and so the antidote rather is to welcome in these parts get to know them listen to them so that they


can integrate and and be part of our Board of advisors without calling


without any one part calling the shots in isolation and so I love how you know


ifs and mindfulness go really beautifully together because it’s just a systematic way of getting to know the


different parts of ourselves that’s almost just a a slight Twist on some of


the mindfulness practices where you’re actually speaking to these parts instead of just noticing them and I find that


really rich because I think that these parts do need to speak and we need to listen to them and that’s a part of what


helps us heal is really understanding all of the different you know unconscious parts of ourselves that


we’ve disowned and denied I I couldn’t agree more and I think it’s one of the most beautiful things


actually is when we um when we feel the pain of a part that


we don’t want to own and and welcome and then that shifts into loving it I think


that’s one of the most beautiful things and then and then the very pain becomes very beautiful you know it’s all about a


heart so we we’re recovering our more and more terrain and territory of our own heart


as as I feel it you know and I love ifs by the way it’s a great system it really


is I I feel yeah that’s beautiful recovering the terrain of our heart


reclaiming more and more territory ex broadening the expanse of our internal


Horizons and you know capacity of what we can hold uh as a really beautiful


note to end on thank you so much for your time it’s wonderful to be new and


connect I’m so grateful I love this conversation any final words that you’d like to share before we we say goodbye


well I want to thank you very much and I I you know it’s so great to talk with somebody like you Brooke who’s really


interested in exactly the same sort of area of human development and or areas


that I am it’s lovely to connect like that thank you so wonderful I feel like


will have many more conversations on the horizon we didn’t even get into poetry today so I kind of like a different


podcast on that well um thank you so so much Henry and I’ll we’ll do it again soon okay thank you so much




thank you

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Author Bio
My LA Therapy - Brooke Sprowl (slider)

Brooke Sprowl is an industry-leading expert and author in psychology, spirituality, and self-transformation. Her insights have featured in dozens of media outlets such as Huffington Post, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Spectrum One News, Mind Body Green, YourTango, and many more.

As the founder and CEO of My LA Therapy, she leads a team of 15 dedicated therapists and wellness professionals. Brooke has been a featured speaker at prominent universities and venues such as UCLA School of Public Affairs, USC, Loyola Marymount University, the Mark Taper Auditorium, and Highways Performance Gallery, to name a few. 

With a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Welfare with a Mental Health Specialization from UCLA, a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from USC, and certifications in peak performance and flow science from the Flow Research Collective, Brooke has helped hundreds of prominent leaders and CEO’s overcome anxiety, relationship difficulties, and trauma and reclaim a sense of purpose, vitality, and spiritual connection. 

With 15 years of experience in personal development and self-transformation as a therapist and coach, she has pioneered dozens of original concepts and frameworks to guide people in overcoming mental health challenges and awakening spiritually.

Brooke is the host of the podcast, Waking Up with Brooke Sprowl. She is passionate about writing, neuroscience, philosophy, integrity, poetry, spirituality, creativity, effective altruism, personal and collective healing, and curating luxury, transformational retreat experiences for high-achievers seeking spiritual connection.

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