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Episode #108: (Part 1) You Can't Escape Your Shadow - with Connor Beaton

Connor Beaton speaks from the heart, believing that people shift when they’re presented with stories, not statistical data. He has shared the stage with the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk & Lewis Howes, delivered talks for Apple and TEDx.

He has a no-BS attitude coupled with compassionate understanding of our own human limitations.

In 2014, he founded ManTalks, a community for men looking to expand and deepen their sense of self-awareness.

If you’re ready and willing to go deep, smash through your challenges, and be held accountable for unleashing the hidden potential within you, then this guy may just be the coach for you…There’s a reason they call him the “Bullshit Pressure Washer”.

We discuss in the episode:

  • Shadow work 
  • How to set boundaries around a need with out making our partner feel that’s it an Ultimatum
  • Why to avoid debating 
  • How to get to a place where we aren’t being taken advantage of and being manipulated by our partner OR aren’t taking advantage and manipulating our partner 
  • “Happy wife happy life” & codependency 
  • How Men can meet their edge in a healthy way

Book recommendations: 

  • The wisdom of insecurity by Alan Watts
  • Awareness by Anthony de Mello 

Connect with Connor:


Intro music: @toneroyal 

See for privacy information.

Listen on spotify

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Majic Hour Episode #108 Transcription

00;00;00;00 – 00;00;12;14

jump into this this idea that I actually read in your bio that you refer to yourself as the man who tried to escape his shadow, Jay Love.

00;00;12;16 – 00;00;27;25

So maybe you can tell us a little bit about how you came to being a shadow worker. I think our audience by now has a pretty good idea of what shadow work is. We’ve talked about it a lot. We talked about it with your wife. So then go back and listen to that. We don’t need the groundwork there, but just on how you got into that.

00;00;27;27 – 00;01;01;06

Yeah, I mean, I think like many men, I got into it by hitting rock bottom and I think for a lot of guys and our modern culture where we lack a sense of initiation into a more mature version of masculinity or a more mature version of being a man, we are looking for these initiations to kind of prove to us that we are mature, that we’re responsible, that we’re trustworthy, not with not just within relationships, but within the relationship to ourselves.

00;01;01;08 – 00;01;19;09

And a lot of guys feel like they can’t trust themselves and that was me. I didn’t feel like I could trust myself. I had, you know, grown up within sometimes an abusive environment there. There was a lot of confusion about where I fit in within my family system. And, you know, on the outside, I looked like I had a great life.

00;01;19;09 – 00;01;35;23

You know, I rode a motorcycle, I st race day, I stunted my bike. I had a good career. I was traveling the world. I had a great relationship. I really loved the woman that I was with. But behind the scenes, I was I was hiding a lot in my life. I was lying about a lot. I was unfaithful.

00;01;35;26 – 00;02;05;17

There was a lot of infidelity. There was a lot of addictive behaviors with alcohol and pornography. And so there was sort of like this There is this hidden man, you know, that no one really knew about the women that I did. I didn’t know my friends didn’t know, my family didn’t know. And I couldn’t resolve the the the sort of pain between those two parts of me, the two men that sort of resided within me, the one that I showed people and the one they hid from people.

00;02;05;20 – 00;02;36;05

And eventually that hidden part came out because, you know, I was found out by my girlfriend at the time, found out that I was being unfaithful. And, you know, the relationship fell apart. My career started to fall apart. I was questioning everything about who I was and what I was doing and the direction I was taking myself. And, you know, looking back, I realized that I wanted that I actually was pulling myself towards this rock bottom because I didn’t know how to deal with this hidden part of me.

00;02;36;05 – 00;02;56;18

And I hated that I had it. I hated that I was out of integrity. I felt out of control. And for a lot of men, we they often feel the same way when they’re hiding things that they feel out of control of, whether it’s, you know, drinking or financial stuff or health stuff or, you know, pornography or stuff in their relationship.

00;02;56;20 – 00;03;29;08

They they dislike that. They want to be able to have everything sort of out in the open and be transparent because there’s a certain strength that comes along with that. And so that, you know, long story short, life fell apart. I started to rebuild. I spent two and a half years working with a mentor of mine who was versed in union psychology and who taught me a lot about the shadow and taught me about NLP and cognitive behavioral therapy and Buddhism and Zen and just a whole bunch of different components, healing modalities.

00;03;29;10 – 00;03;47;07

And I started to rebuild my life. And when I did that, I started to connect with other men in my life. And as I started to tell them my story, as I started to share with them, you know, how I basically fucked my life up and ended up living in the back of my car for a couple of weeks.

00;03;47;10 – 00;04;06;22

The men in my life started to come back to me and say, Actually, I’ve been struggling too, You know, I’ve been dealing with depression, I’ve been struggling with anxiety. The business that I have, that I’ve been talking about as being so successful is on the brink of bankruptcy. In the marriage that I have, that I talk about being so great is I’m actually really struggling.

00;04;06;22 – 00;04;26;24

We haven’t had sex in a year. And so I started to hear the truth about other men’s lives, and it came to a head in a conversation with one of my close friends where I told them, you know, how I’d been struggling and what I’d been hiding and what what had actually been going on in my life. And this was a man who I was really close with, like we were really close friends.

00;04;26;27 – 00;04;42;16

And he proceeded to tell me that he had tried to commit suicide a month and a half before. He tried to hang himself. And it was such a jarring moment where I was like, I know everything about you. I know the type of scotch you like to drink. I know the TV shows you like the music you like to listen to.

00;04;42;22 – 00;05;03;20

Like, I thought I knew who you were, but I didn’t know arguably the most important part of your life, which is that you’ve been struggling and you thought you needed to hide that from me. And I thought I needed to hide my my shit from you. And that’s not how I want to live my life. And that’s not how I want to continue to engage with other men in my life.

00;05;03;23 – 00;05;25;19

And so I started to see it as a real issue. And so it was sort of like a call to action for me. First to do something about that for myself so that I could develop different caliber and quality of relationships with men in my life where I could talk to them about anything, where I could say I’m struggling in my relationship, or things aren’t as good in my business as I’ve been saying.

00;05;25;19 – 00;05;44;09

And like I could use some support, I could use some some help. And actually fixing these problems. And I started to develop those kind of relationships. And that put me on this path of eventually developing man talks, which is now a like an international men’s mental health company. So yeah, that’s the that’s the long and the short of it.

00;05;44;12 – 00;06;07;21

Amazing, amazing stuff. And it actually brings to mind this question that’s kind of a personal question side note here, because of being, you know, we’re podcasting here, you’ve been podcasting for a long time now and you’ve been in that limelight and you’ve been sharing your story vulnerably. And I know for myself, you know, like sharing my own story vulnerably here has been a new, newer thing for me.

00;06;07;21 – 00;06;26;11

And it, you know, took bravery and all the things Bernie Brown talks about, you know, or whoever. But I wonder if there is a place where you feel like because you’ve built a men’s group where people can come and do this work in a safe space, how do you decide when is a good place or where is a good place?

00;06;26;11 – 00;06;48;08

Like, you know, here we are on a podcast, It’s very public to talk about things that are super vulnerable and does it ever come with this? Like sometimes this you give too much information about yourself. It can be too heavy for the person who is receiving it because of the space that it was delivered in. And then it becomes actually a responsibility that you’re handing over to them in a way.

00;06;48;14 – 00;07;29;04

And it can be unfair if that makes sense. Does that come up for you ever? Not necessarily. Maybe I’ll give some context. So, you know, I sort of abide by the general rule that I don’t share things that I haven’t I haven’t processed, I haven’t digested. I have an integrated into my into my being. Right. And so I don’t necessarily talk about things that I’m still I mean, I might share things I’m still working through, but I generally, you know, like my wife and I just had a child and there were there were certain parts about that that I’m not going to disclose yet because we’re still working through it as a couple.

00;07;29;04 – 00;08;00;17

We’re still coming to terms with it and coming to grips with that. Now, the parts that do feel amicable for me to share and be open about and it still requires vulnerability and courage, right? I think Brené Brown said vulnerability can’t exist without courage. So those those parts, I think we have a response ability to to integrate the pain and the frustrations and the suffering and the anger and the grief around those experiences.

00;08;00;17 – 00;08;22;23

So I waited for years to talk about that moment of my rock bottom. I waited for years, and I did a tremendous amount of work so that I could get up in front of people and talk about it from a place of not handing over to them. The need to try and resolve anything with me, because that’s not their responsibility.

00;08;23;00 – 00;08;50;02

And I think what generally happens in today’s world where everyone shit is online, everyone’s story is online, People are trying to process their break ups and their divorces and their miscarriages and their cancer and whatever else it is online with other people. And there are some of those things that they should be going through with themselves, with their friends, you know, with their therapists, with their men’s or women’s group.

00;08;50;02 – 00;09;17;27

And and then eventually, when it has a certain degree of healing, then they can bring it out to the world. I think the line for me is if you’re bringing it out into the world to try and heal it, it’s too soon, right? There is such a thing as sharing too soon. And usually that’s the line is that you have an integrated or fully understood it and you’re trying to share it as a means of getting that integration, of getting the acceptance.

00;09;17;27 – 00;09;41;22

It’s like if you have to accept it at first and you need other people to accept it for you, you’re putting the onus of responsibility of your pain on others. And it’s part of the challenge that that is happening. I think within the sort of, you know, personal development self-help industry today. So I really take time to digest the things that happen in my life and try and embody them.

00;09;41;25 – 00;10;00;29

Yeah, yeah, that makes sense that it’s like taking the place of integration at times. Yeah, well, it’s like a spiritual bypass. Like I, I’m holding this ugly thing and I don’t want to do all the work. So here, I take it you’re take it. I’m asking for help, but really, I’m not going to do anything with it. I’m not going to take responsibility for it.

00;10;01;02 – 00;10;18;06

Yeah, well, and that’s, that’s part of our shadow, right? We have a collective shadow and a social shadow. But I think on an individual level, you know, the shadow, one of the shadows favorite games to play is to project itself on to other people. Right? And so that’s one of the ways that we start to see our shadow.

00;10;18;06 – 00;10;39;23

One is through how we are reactive, but to how we’re projecting it on to other people and trying to get other people to take care of it for us, trying to get other people to attend to it, you know, how many times have you been in an argument or conflict in a relationship and you’re like, you know, you’re pissed off inside, You’re like, angry inside, and the other person’s like, you’re angry.

00;10;39;23 – 00;11;04;20

You’re like, I’m not angry. You’re angry, right? You’re just jotting that shit off onto your partner and you’re like, No, it’s not me. But we do that with our own. We do that with our own pain in many ways. And we have this, you know, however we want to describe the beautiful, chaotic medium of social media that we can now sort of dump our unconscious contents into.

00;11;04;27 – 00;11;26;08

And if we’re not careful, what we’re what we end up doing is creating a sort of codependency with the people that follow us, and we create a sort of enmeshment with the people that are in our communities and we sort of bring things to them too soon as a means of trying to get some sort of acceptance and validation that maybe we haven’t found internally.

00;11;26;08 – 00;11;47;29

So yeah, yeah. What would you say in a lot of our questions are about relationships here, but in relationship or, or with anybody, if we’re in a heated conversation, what would be like the first thing we can? Or one of the main things we can ask ourselves to try to figure out if we’re projecting or not. Yeah.

00;11;47;29 – 00;12;20;04

So I think first off, what I normally tell people is we underestimate and undervalue the, the strength that can be yielded and wielded from having rules of engagement within conflict. So most couples where they go awry is that they enter into a relationship, they start dating, things are going really well. They’re in the honeymoon phase, they’re having maybe lots of sex and they’re talking all the time and good nights and good mornings and all that’s going well.

00;12;20;11 – 00;12;42;24

And then conflict starts to come in. But they’ve never actually talked about how do you engage in conflict, What do you do? What’s your stick? You know, like when conflict arises, what do you do? Do you shut down? Do you explodes, you get anxious and sort of like text bomb, like what actually happens? And so one of the things that I would recommend is create rules of engagement within conflict.

00;12;42;24 – 00;13;06;15

What’s okay and what’s not okay. What are non-negotiables for you? And then as a couple, call yourself out, know yourself well enough to be able to say, Here’s probably what I’m going to do when we get into conflict. So when Vienna and I started dating, we we did a version of this where I was like, look, when we get into conflict, two things you need to know.

00;13;06;15 – 00;13;27;03

One, I grew up in a household where there was a lot of conflict, and so I have a tendency to want to avoid it. And how I will avoid it is by either escalating things very quickly or cutting you down and shutting you out. And so those are the two ways that I’m going to do it. And then if I feel like that’s not working, I’m going to go into jackhammer mode.

00;13;27;03 – 00;13;50;00

And she calls it the jackhammer. And I’m basically going to just try and drive my point home over and over and over and over and over again. And that’s not about you. That’s me projecting my worry, my fear, my insecurity onto you. And so when that happens, just say, I feel like you jackhammering me, and it’ll be a sign for me that maybe I’ve entered into this space of unhealthy communication.

00;13;50;02 – 00;14;21;06

So but again, that requires a couple to set some of those rules of engagement, right? My friends Sarah and Alex did that at their wedding ceremony in front of everybody. They had shadow vows of wedding vows. Yeah. And he brought up non negotiable of. We also wanted to talk to you about how to set boundaries and relationships around a need without making it feel without making our partner feel like it’s an ultimatum.

00;14;21;09 – 00;14;57;17

I mean, it’s a tricky it’s a tricky one. You know, I think a lot of people in modern relationships, you know, we bring so much of our attachment style into relationships. And so if you grew up in a household where how you learned how to attach to a parent was by negating or neglecting your own needs and sacrificing those needs to get your parents attention, you’re likely going to repeat that pattern in the relationship, so you’re likely not going to want to set boundaries.

00;14;57;19 – 00;15;20;08

So one of the big things that I always talk about is that, you know, you are two entities coming into the third body of the relationship. We we often pretend like the relationship isn’t this sort of separate entity that’s being created through the process of us coming together. And I like to use the word rather than boundaries. I like to use the word structure.

00;15;20;15 – 00;15;43;16

We’re creating structure within the relationship. Some people are going to have an adverse effect to even the idea of a boundary right? Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do. Right? Or you’re trying to force me to act like you. So I like to use the word structure. What structure do you need for yourself as an individual in order to feel safe?

00;15;43;19 – 00;16;06;09

What structure do you need for yourself as an individual, as a sovereign individual, coming into the creation of the third body of the relationship in order to create intimacy, sexual freedom? You know, When was the last time you asked yourself, What structure do I need in my relationship to have sexual fucking freedom? What a beautiful question to ask.

00;16;06;09 – 00;16;39;25

Not what boundary, right? Because then all of a sudden it becomes about control and witness. I’m like that. Yeah. And we as human beings, we love control. Any time that we can be in control or, or relinquish our control entirely is such a it’s like the, the it’s just like this, this alluring song that we love to move towards, that we love to listen to and dance to because we get to pretend like we have power in that moment.

00;16;39;27 – 00;17;05;11

And I usually say where where we are desiring or needing control. We are out of power. We’re looking for it, but we don’t have it. So how do you or what do you need in terms of structure that might mean that like, for example, when Vienna and I were dating, she could have said, I have a boundary that you need to text me every night before bed because we were doing long distance.

00;17;05;11 – 00;17;25;23

So I was on the other side of the country, Right? I’m in Vancouver, she’s in New York. She could have said, I have a boundary that you need to text me every night before bed. Now, that probably wouldn’t have landed very well for me, right? Get out of it. Like you’re trying to control me. You’re trying to tell me what I need to do in order to be in relationship with you, rather than what really works for me.

00;17;25;26 – 00;17;45;08

What really allows me to feel taken care of and give me healthy structure in a relationship is if we if you just message me good night before you go to bed and I’ll message you when I get up in the morning. Right. Okay. I can actually fulfill on that structure. And so I think that it’s about the language that we use, right?

00;17;45;08 – 00;18;10;24

The language that we use is the technology of our intimacy. It’s the vehicle of our intimacy. So if we sat that sounds like nonviolent communication. Yeah, in a way, yeah. Yeah. And if we’re using if we’re using language that doesn’t work, then we’re going to create results that we don’t like. So I would just say, answer those questions for yourself.

00;18;10;24 – 00;18;37;21

What structure do I need in order to have healthy communication and what structure do I need for sexual freedom? What structure do I need to feel connected? What structure do I need in order for intimacy to be present? Some of those questions are going to help you elicit behaviors, behavioral patterns, modes of communication that you can then sit down with your partner and say, Does this feel good for you?

00;18;37;21 – 00;19;09;27

Is this workable for you? Is this structure workable for you? Or how would you change the structure? And for a lot of men, that’s going to land for them, right? If you tell a man, here’s my here’s my boundary, he might have a very visceral reaction to that. And same with some women. Right? But if you say, hey, does this structure feel good in terms of our communication, that’s a very different form of of entering into a conversation that that they might be more receptive to and that they may understand on a different level.

00;19;10;00 – 00;19;35;02

So that’s what I would say. If you want to set boundaries, look at the structure that you’re actually wanting to create within the relationship, because boundaries create walls, structure creates the foundation. When we’re looking at building the structure, we are actually doing it together rather than I’m setting this boundary for you to you on you. And then we need the other person’s buy in, which can sometimes create a natural barrier.

00;19;35;09 – 00;20;09;09

Whereas if we’re building structure, we’re doing it cohesively as a unit. So like I want to build the structure of our relationship with you. Are you on board with that? If they’re not, probably maybe you want to get out of there because they’re not bought into the same thing. But yeah, yeah, I love that. Mercedes and I are speaking at Terry Kohl’s boundary, a little online event tonight, but and we’ve interviewed her and if I’m being completely honest, the word boundary and anytime I’ve set a boundary, I’ve always felt very bossy while doing it.

00;20;09;09 – 00;20;33;22

I’ve always felt very like coming on strong. But structure feels first of all, I love structure. So structure feels for me very soft and that might be because I’ve had such a hard time setting boundaries. It’s something that I’ve had to work on. And as a kid I had no structure. So I, I’ve like thrived in structure now.

00;20;33;22 – 00;21;02;24

So that may be where that comes from. But I wanted to ask maybe if you could elaborate on what you mean by sexual freedom and what what structure may look like there for a couple. Okay. Yeah. I just want to say one thing before sometimes. Sometimes there are moments where it is a boundary right? Where we can literally say like, that’s, that’s a boundary for me.

00;21;02;26 – 00;21;26;11

That’s a, that’s a wall. That’s actually a hard No, that doesn’t, that’s not workable for me And that’s where I feel boundaries can come in to really, just like you’re bumping up against something that isn’t actually workable for me in this relationship. So I just wanted to sort of yeah, and just to interject on that, I’d say that whether it’s bound, you know, you’re almost using boundary is ultimatum in that sense, right?

00;21;26;11 – 00;21;52;10

Where you’re just like, this is the way this is my need. And it is. Yeah. Yeah. And for me, you know, it’s a matter of like coming from okay, takes some time with it. Obviously consider it for a while before you come with something to that firm. But once you’ve considered it is a reasonable request to ask in a relationship and all that and then you can come and say, you know, this is what I need from you.

00;21;52;11 – 00;22;14;01

It is not really a negotiation at this point. You know, we’ve tried to negotiate here and there and whatever and here we are. And this is my core bottom line need. So it is an ultimatum. So I guess I mean, I guess that would mean that ultimatums are okay when you have done the work to make sure it’s not you just trying to be power power hungry or something, Right.

00;22;14;01 – 00;22;35;13

Yeah. I usually like to say that, like boundaries define the extremities of the relationship and the structure makes up the actual architecture. So the structure makes up the communication and the intimacy. And you know what? What your future looks like together and the boundaries are like, here are the non-negotiables that when we cross it, we exit the relationship.

00;22;35;13 – 00;23;02;05

We actually step outside of the edges of how I define a relationship. And so that way it gives a little bit more coherence. But to to get back to your question around sexual freedom, I think it’s first maybe important to talk about intimacy and what intimacy actually is. And so that the etymology I’m going to get a little nerdy here, but the etymology, the etymology of intimacy comes from the Latin word intimacy.

00;23;02;07 – 00;23;44;25

And intimacy means in into into me, I see basically inner most. Right. So when you translate intimacy into English, it means innermost. And so the Greeks actually believed that intimacy was about understanding your own inner architecture. First it was about going within to our deepest depths and degrees to be able to extract and elicit and understand what it is that we actually wanted, desired, feared, were insecure about, craved, and then to be able to pull that out and share that with another with them doing the same thing.

00;23;44;28 – 00;24;08;01

Now this is in an ideal case, okay? This is this is sort of like the best case scenario, right? But most of us are dealing with a lot of a lot of stuff, you know, narratives around our bodies, narratives around, you know, what’s okay for a man to to do or not do or how he’s supposed to act sexually in the bedroom.

00;24;08;04 – 00;24;33;26

And same with the woman, right? What’s okay for her to do or not do or how she’s supposed to act, etc.? And so in order for us to find a quality of sexual freedom, we need to be able to go in or most we need to be able to understand what is it that I am desiring, that I’m seeking, that I’m craving in order to liberate me?

00;24;33;26 – 00;25;11;26

In a sense, what am I wanting to experience and explore with another person sexually? Maybe that’s different positions. Maybe that’s being tied up. Maybe exploring fantasies or fetishes or whatever it is to be able to extract that information and then to be able to say, okay, in order for me to bring this forward to my partner, because, you know, if somebody has a certain fantasy about it being dominated in a very specific way, it can be really confronting to say, I want you to do X, Y, and Z to me, you know, I want you to tie me up in this way and say these things to me and do these things to me.

00;25;11;28 – 00;25;37;00

That is incredibly vulnerable. Or to be on the other side to say, I want to dominate you in this way, That still takes a tremendous amount of courage because we have looked down on and there’s a sort of cultural wound with the the dominator culture. And so for us to stand in that position and say, I want to be dominant, I want to explore some of these fantasies is quite confronting.

00;25;37;03 – 00;25;59;28

So first we have to know what is it that I want to explore? What is it that I want to experience? And a very simple way of doing that is by asking yourself the question, What is it that I want to experience and feel with my partner during sex? Just one word, right? So like, what’s one word? Would you how would you both feel around closeness?

00;26;00;05 – 00;26;32;11

Like closeness. Okay, so closeness, Jade. God. Okay. Yeah. God, it’s great. Love. Yeah. Access. Perfect. Yeah. Yeah. So. So Divinity in a way. God in a way, Right. Closeness. So then you can say, Well, if I want to feel God in, in sexual connection with my partner, what structure do I need in order to fully let go or to fully surrender or to create the experience of me being able to connect with God in that moment?

00;26;32;13 – 00;26;59;08

Because there’s a very specific kind of security, safety and structure that you need. I would imagine if I was working with you and your partner that you would need in order to feel that there’s also certain kind of structure within the physical connection. So what kind of structure do you need physically in order to experience that? Maybe you need him to hold you a certain way or take you in a certain way or look at you in a certain way in order to connect you to that feeling.

00;26;59;11 – 00;27;17;03

So the first thing is we have to get very clear on what we want to feel. The next thing is we have to know what structure we need in order for that to be possible, in order for that to unfold. So those those are the the things that would just lay out for people to start with. I won’t necessarily go much further than that.

00;27;17;05 – 00;28;00;19

Yeah. And the clothes off about the topic of boundaries as well. I read something on your social about something around setting boundaries doesn’t necessarily mean isn’t about being right. And your caption was amazing on that. But I didn’t know if you could maybe close off the topic of boundaries with just that maybe elaboration on that topic. We I mean, I think we’ve we’ve largely confused in our modern culture the, the intersection between providing ourselves with what we need, leading ourselves, protecting ourselves with being right.

00;28;00;22 – 00;28;22;11

We’ve associated those two things together. So rather than saying I am creating the structure or setting this boundary because it’s what I need for from a place of security or safety, or it’s what I need in order for intimacy to be possible, or it’s what I need in order for me to thrive. We our ego gets in the way.

00;28;22;14 – 00;28;43;21

Our ego becomes attached to the outcome. I’m setting this boundary because I want to be right. So in a lot of relationships, one of the most damaging things that we can do is to aim for victory above all else. This is a very masculine quality and I see a lot of men doing it. I see a lot of women doing it.

00;28;43;24 – 00;29;17;00

And so we we start to use all of this sort of pathological language, right? This psycho analytical language as a means of one upmanship of like, I’ve read the books and I have the language, and so I’m going to set this boundary with you. But what we’re actually doing behind that is I am creating a space where I’m right, you’re wrong, I’m victorious, you lose and I get to stay in an invulnerable power position.

00;29;17;03 – 00;29;41;01

I get to stay in control so I never have to relinquish control. I never get my needs truly met. And I get to continue to be disappointed in what’s happening in our relationship. And it and it is it dissolves and erodes the intimacy. Because for many people, this power dynamic or control dynamic, as I would say, exists within a lot of their relationships.

00;29;41;01 – 00;30;04;29

Like, why are my relationships working? I date these guys. They’re all really nice, they’re great guys. But, you know, it doesn’t seem never seems to work. And I don’t understand why. It’s like, well, it’s because in some ways you’re using this, you’re using boundaries, you’re using this tool as a means of being a wall. And this is why I like structure versus boundaries.

00;30;05;01 – 00;30;27;20

So notice if your ego’s in the way notice if you’re trying to be victorious over connection, are you proud? Are you prioritizing being right over being happy? Right? This like the cliché saying you can either be right or you can be happy. And in some ways, when it comes to relationships, it’s true. You can either be victorious or you can create intimacy, right?

00;30;27;20 – 00;30;51;28

For some relationships, you can be victorious and have a lot of sex and you can have a lot of power, dynamic based sex, but you’re likely going to be missing that intimacy component. And when we are when we are trying to use boundaries as a means of being right, we are legitimately just sitting in a in vulnerable position.

00;30;52;04 – 00;31;12;22

And it’s hard for us to realize that. And so we also need to have a partner that we can that we can sort of put ourselves in the position of coming off of our pedestal, of rightness. And that’s for men and women alike. We all love being right because it provides safety. We all love it. And so we we have to come off of it.

00;31;12;24 – 00;31;46;28

And, you know, this is something that my wife and I have experienced because we both like being right. And we’re both very smart people and we both have massive personalities and we both have pretty big egos. And so so I’m speaking from from a very real place of experiencing what it’s like for me to check my own ego and realize that sometimes I’m setting boundaries and trying to implement control as a means of being invulnerable and just winning, winning an argument, winning a battle and and continuing to sort of be in competition with the partner.

00;31;47;00 – 00;32;15;23

That’s really good. And it reminded me of something else that you said. When it comes to being right, you said something like Debating is the modern man’s version of mental masturbation. It’s like the ego jerking itself off. Yeah, I use descriptive language, apparently. Yeah, it’s very visual. Yeah. I mean, yeah, the ego. The ego likes to reinforce itself.

00;32;15;23 – 00;32;40;14

And when we feel insecure, we men and women are like just a human thing. When we feel insecure, we want to reinforce our sense of perceived strength and so we can use debate as a means of, again, staying in a position of invulnerability. You never have to be invulnerable when you’re competing with someone. You never have to be.

00;32;40;21 – 00;33;01;28

You never have to be vulnerable. Sorry. When you’re competing with someone, you never have to really engage in true intimacy. When you’re debating somebody because you can dehumanize either person. And culturally, this is what a lot of relationships have devolved into, is that we don’t know how to re humanize our partners, right? I just want to let that sink in.

00;33;01;28 – 00;33;30;10

So many people are in relationships and the biggest problem that they have is that as soon as conflict comes up, they dehumanize their partner, they make them other, they objectify them in in a very real way. And that objectification then justifies them yelling, calling them names, shaming them, you projecting on to them being aggressive, shutting them out, ghosting them, I mean, any number of things.

00;33;30;13 – 00;34;04;29

And we can cut ourselves off from just being empathetic and actually connecting to our own internal experience. So that’s all I would say is, is we as individuals need to lead ourselves more effectively. It’s our responsibility when we make our partners responsible for our sense of wholeness, happiness, kindness, sexual satisfaction. We’re in a losing game because we have turned them into an object of something that we’ve we’ve tasked them with something like, I expect you to make me happy.

00;34;05;05 – 00;34;28;01

I expect you to make me come a certain way. You know, it’s like, well, okay, you know, it’s like that’s that’s a very challenging space to be in. And maybe it’s fun for a while and, you know, maybe there’s a place for that in the relationship. Of course. But but as as a as a foundation for a relationship, it is a recipe for disaster.

00;34;28;02 – 00;35;00;22

Dehumanization of our partner is a recipe for disaster. And that’s where the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Come on, come in. And. Yeah, yeah. Or it’s like the opposite of making ourselves responsible for their happiness. Where you posted about that saying Happy wife, happy life, being like a pretty much a codependency saying and I, you know, to be completely honest, I like to that thing because I love the honesty.

00;35;00;22 – 00;35;25;13

I was happy as she got, you know, run the show pretty much and get off the couch and all that stuff. So it didn’t occur to me that anything was wrong with that until I saw your post. And then I was like, Yeah, that’s true, but I don’t want to I don’t want to agree with it. And the saying that also that it reminded me of was how many men say in front of the children, if Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

00;35;25;13 – 00;36;00;20

Or if Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy or whatever. The saying is. And how it, you know, can affect their mindset into thinking in this codependent way. But I’m curious why those sayings are so popular. boy. Well, that’s that’s like that’s a big question. I think I’ll try and condense it down to who, you know, we as men have in some ways done ourselves a disservice and done women a disservice by trying to be the purveyors of your experience.

00;36;00;22 – 00;36;23;10

We we let our ego get so far out of hand that we pretended for a period of time that we knew what was best for you, that we knew it was better for you than you do. And we stopped listening to the wisdom of the feminine, not just within you. It happened within us. First, we cut ourselves off from the wisdom of the feminine within.

00;36;23;12 – 00;36;46;08

We stopped listening to our intuition. We overindexed the rational mind, the masculine qualities of our psyche and of our identity. And we and we extracted anything from our soul that we that we quantified or qualified as feminine. And then and then said, But I know what’s best for you. And, and, and I can create that for you. Right?

00;36;46;08 – 00;37;06;05

Our egos got so out of hand that it was like, I can I can provide everything for you. You never need to worry. You never need to have any wants or any desires. I can figure it out, right? It’s like the masculine desire to solve every fucking problem in the universe, to know every every ounce of information is part of the masculine desire.

00;37;06;07 – 00;37;51;07

But it’s the musician. Yeah, right. Yeah, Yeah. It’s. It’s the dark side of the. The magician, right? The shadow of the magician. Because the true magician realizes that the beauty of the universe is in its mystery, which, which is a huge part of, of that shamanic tradition. Right. Is that you can’t possibly know everything So I know that’s sort of a very grand way of doing it, but it’s if I just bring it back down into the individual, it’s that we as men have disqualified the feminine attributes within ourselves and seen them as weaknesses rather than contributors to our capacity to be strong men in the world.

00;37;51;09 – 00;38;16;18

And that’s what an embodied man looks like. It’s not somebody who is only masculine, but someone who is able to connect to the feminine attributes within him and have them contribute to his masculine qualities and to his ability to be of service, to himself, to his family, to his partner, to his kids, to his society, his community, his, you know, his work environment.

00;38;16;20 – 00;38;36;20

And for those for him to literally bring himself out into the world, not just certain parts of him. You know, I think there’s a great quote by Einstein. It’s one of my absolute favorites. He said that the rational mind is a faithful servant and the intuitive mind is a sacred gift. And we have created a culture that honors the servant, has forgotten the gift.

00;38;36;22 – 00;39;07;13

So we honor the rational, rational mind in our very masculine oriented culture. But we forgot to to really honor the gift, which is the intuition. And so as men begin to develop that intuition, what they realize is, you know what it is that you need best. Actually, I can never know whether that’s you as my wife, as my partner, as you know, my parent, my friend.

00;39;07;15 – 00;39;34;00

I can never really know. I might think that I know, but that’s just an illusion. That’s that’s just pretend. That’s just my ego wanting to get itself off, be righteous and feel special. Right? We live in a cult of specialness in our in our society. And so when we can start to let that part go, we can humble ourselves within our capacity to say, Your happiness is yours.

00;39;34;06 – 00;40;06;02

I can influence it and I can impact it as your partner. Certainly because I’m a miserable fuck, I’m probably not going to be very happy to be around. It’s going to impact your mood, but I am not responsible for I do not control and I certainly do not own your state, your experience, your happiness and in embedded in that saying happy wife, happy life is is the belief that I own your experience as my wife and that I am fully responsible for it.

00;40;06;02 – 00;40;25;15

So if you’re not happy, whose fault is it? It’s mine. And then I get to be the victim and I got the victim puke all over our relationship and. Be the wrong, be the bad guy, and be resentful. And I do everything for you and you know, you’re still never have blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we get to play the victim.

00;40;25;17 – 00;40;41;14

So it’s a it’s a bit of a it’s a hard thing, especially for men to come into contact with because it’s a it’s a wake up call that’s good. Mercedes, your microphone’s off.

00;40;41;16 – 00;41;11;10

Sorry about that. Really great stuff, though. O’Connor feels like, you know, in an almost I want to like, bring all of this together that we’ve been talking about here in and ask you to give us some tangible tools. I think you’re right. God asked this to A to be able to call ourselves out when we’re doing that codependent pattern that you’re talking about here or when we’re, you know, trying to be right and trying to win, and that’s creating a war instead of connection with our partner.

00;41;11;12 – 00;41;43;11

And, you know, we’re getting into that mode of cherry picking in order to be right. You know, in getting defensive. And so how do we what are tangible tools we can actually use from this discussion with you? Take it forward from here. Yeah. We’ll move from the existential and actionable. That’s good. That’s good. You could just put that at the beginning of the podcast if you don’t want any existential relationship conversations to get to the goods.

00;41;43;13 – 00;42;09;02

Okay, so let’s talk tangible. So the first thing that you can do, one of the best things you can do is begin to understand your reactivity. Where do you become reactive? So reactivity, as I define it, is an unconscious reaction to stimulus. So your partner says something and you automatically react with anger. With aggression, you shut down, you become passive aggressive.

00;42;09;04 – 00;42;42;01

That’s reactivity. That reactivity is there to first off, it’s a neon sign point sign pointing to your shadow. So your reactivity is indicating that you are consciously not responding anymore. You are reacting from fear, insecurity, pain, worry, inferiority, some combination of that. So the first thing that you need to do is spend an entire month, an entire month, beginning to notice your reactivity.

00;42;42;03 – 00;43;02;28

When does it show up? Where does it show up? With whom does it show up the most? Why does it show up? What triggers it? Right. So is there certain that your partner says or does is there you know, when you when you try and initiate sex and he or she is, you know, sort of interested but not interested and all of a sudden you blow a gasket, right?

00;43;02;28 – 00;43;22;18

You like lose your shit and yell or shut down. You’re like, fine, fuck it, I don’t want it anyway, or whatever the case may be. That reactivity get to know it intimately because it is the saboteur of your intimacy. It is the sabotage of your relationships. So get to know your reactivity and I gave you some very specific pieces.

00;43;22;25 – 00;43;43;19

Spend a month with it. Notice that and finally ask the people in your life when you get reactive. That’s almost a better one than if you really want to know. Yeah, if you really want to know, go ask your partner. Go ask your siblings. Go ask your friends. Go ask your family. Say, when do you think that I get reactive?

00;43;43;19 – 00;44;08;18

When does it seem like I get hijacked emotionally, mentally, physically? And they will tell you and then listen and begin to inquire with what that feels familiar to. Because that has origins in your past, that has origins in your family system and your upbringing and and maybe in your past relationships specifically where you’ve been abandoned or neglected. So reactivity is number one.

00;44;08;20 – 00;44;43;06

The second thing that I would say is begin to autocorrect. So auto correction, as I’m referring to adhere is begin to notice the behavior, the whether it’s communication, whether it’s structure, whether it’s intimacy, begin to auto correct the behavior that you no longer wish to exert or put out into your relationship. So, for example, if you know that you’re avoiding hard conversations with your partner, catch yourself in the moment of that avoidance, too.

00;44;43;06 – 00;45;01;07

Like, I’m avoiding this conversation. I know, I know I want to have it, but I’m avoiding this conversation. Auto Correct. Maybe the first part is you text your friend and you say, I’m avoiding this conversation right now. I just need to label. I need to say it out loud that I’m avoiding this conversation. Okay, Well, what would be the next step from there?

00;45;01;09 – 00;45;27;23

Maybe the next step from there is that you go and tell your partner and you actually say, Well, I’m avoiding a hard conversation with you. I’m avoiding broaching this conversation with you, because the story I’m telling myself is that you’re going to X or what’s going to happen is Y. So begin to auto correct the behavior that think or know is in some ways keeping you from connecting and engaging with your partner.

00;45;27;26 – 00;45;50;00

I think that’s one of the one of the biggest of the story I’m telling myself feels like it’s really key there, too. I wish there is like an auto correct button that I could buy and install. Yeah, well, I think that brings me to the last piece, which is start to identify the skills that maybe you haven’t developed within your relationship to make them successful.

00;45;50;02 – 00;46;11;13

We aren’t all, most of us, I don’t think any of us really are given the entire skill set for healthy relationships. Maybe some of us have secure attachments and we grew up in an environment with secure attachments. Maybe some of us know how to have confronting conversations, and that’s great. Maybe some of us know how to communicate what we want sexually.

00;46;11;15 – 00;46;35;15

But most people have not been given the full tool set. So the best thing that you can do for yourself is to identify what skills in my relationship. Setting boundaries is a skill. Communicating what you want sexually is a skill being that being vulnerable is a skill, right? All of these things are skills in a relationship that we can actually learn and cultivate.

00;46;35;17 – 00;47;02;15

And some sometimes best thing we can do for ourselves if we really want to make progress, is to identify what skill we’ve we actually know we haven’t developed. And a good way to do that is by looking back at your previous relationships and saying what was actually missing on my side, not on the other person, but what did I contribute to the relationship to, to cause the erosion, the breakdown of the relationship and what skill might that be?

00;47;02;22 – 00;47;23;17

And then you can implement that. You can implement the training and the development of that skill. Yeah, I feel I have the skills that you listed, but I know the skill that I am lacking that is detrimental for relationships is being a conflict buster like I my I give my boyfriend all the credit when it comes to he’s always the one that comes to me to solve the conflict.

00;47;23;18 – 00;47;47;25

I never go to him and I it sounds like pride, but I genuinely, genuinely feel like I don’t have that skill. And I’ve learned so much from watching him do it and I am working on moving from anciently attached. He’s defensive here attached, but when I was with an avoidant, I was the conflict buster, you know, because I was the anxious he would be and I was always activated by him.

00;47;47;25 – 00;48;19;27

So it’s interesting that now that I’m with a secure, it seems like all of a sudden I don’t know how to be the conflict buster. You know, it’s how it switches like that is interesting what do you what do you get out of being in that space? What does it keep you from being rejected? Like if I try to go conflict, I guess maybe because in the Void and I was always rejected, maybe I’m used to that response that now I’m, you know, went through that for four years that now it’s like so much of what I’m used to I expect it.

00;48;19;27 – 00;48;43;12

But I know that I know that my partner would not reject me. He would love if I would be the conflict buster. Well, in in some ways, you get to stay in control because, you know, you get to stay in this power position because you know that he’s going to come to you. And I think that there’s probably some form of healing in that, because before you were always the one that had to run to the avoidant and try and convince them.

00;48;43;15 – 00;49;07;18

So now you’re getting the worthiness. So now you get to be in that in that power position. So I think the the leveling out of that for you, the healing of that anxious attachment for use to be the one that in some cases starts to lean into that discomfort of humbling yourself in some ways and reminding yourself by doing it that it’s actually okay that you’re safe in that dynamic.

00;49;07;21 – 00;49;47;01

Because what I what I heard you say is that, you know, that he’s secure and that he can receive that from you. But I think that in some ways you’re almost like putting him through penance for what your past partner did. Yeah, for sure. So maybe a conversation on that part after our call today with him. So actually, to really tie into what Jane just asked, you know, maybe just make it a question, so too, for all of us to hear the answer to in it as well, is why is it that we go from, you know, like Jane’s talking about there, she’s with this avoidant or let’s just call it an unsafe relationship for

00;49;47;01 – 00;50;10;03

someone who’s not familiar with all the attachment styles and you’re in this unsafe relationship and you’re really trying to make things work. You know, you’re trying so hard because it’s so unsafe. You’re just scrambling, especially, you know, as an anxious person or whatever. You’re you’re scrambling to make things work. And then later down the line, you’re in a safe relationship and you you start relaxing in it.

00;50;10;03 – 00;50;30;22

You know, you have it’s almost like you’re relaxing too much now and you are going from this one extreme to the next in different relationships, kind of like little ping pong ball. So how do we get to a place where we aren’t either being taken advantage of or being manipulated by our partner or aren’t taking advantage of and manipulating our partner?

00;50;30;25 – 00;51;03;17

Like on the flip side of that, like how do we get more centered? And why do we ping pong like that? Because we’re just not doing our shadow work, you know, looking at our shit. Yeah. I mean, so there’s sort of, there’s a few different pieces to this, but I think, you know, the, the to answer your last question first, it’s we do that in some ways we ping pong back and forth because we are we think that the healing comes by opposition, right.

00;51;03;19 – 00;51;25;20

So we think that if we experience being taken advantage of and this isn’t a conscious process, right? This is a very unconscious pattern. And it’s because in many ways your pain has its own intelligence, your wounding has its own intelligence. But we’re largely not aware of our pain and wounding. We try and disconnect from it often. And so we were in a relationship, were wounded in it.

00;51;25;20 – 00;51;41;24

We get cheated on or, you know, we’re with this avoidant person and they ghost us continually. And and, you know, we’re constantly chasing after them and pursuing them and we’re like, this is fucking painful and this sucks. And then the relationship ends, you know, inevitably they leave us because they’re like, You’re too needy and I can’t deal with this anymore.

00;51;41;27 – 00;52;02;24

And then we find ourselves in another relationship. And what do we say to ourselves between those two relationships? I’m never going to do that again. I never going to do that. I’m never going to put myself in that position again. WOOP Pendulum swings to the other side, right? And suddenly we find ourselves in a position with this needy, clingy person that’s constantly attacks bombing us and coming after us.

00;52;02;24 – 00;52;25;04

And we’re like, And part of us is like, this feels amazing. I am so safe. I’m so safe. I’m not doing that thing that got me hurt before. Good on me. Pat on the back. Here we go. Right. A couple months go by and all of a sudden that person is agitating us and we find ourselves doing the same behavior that that previous partner did to us before.

00;52;25;06 – 00;52;52;05

And so the, you know, the real answer to all this is that we allow other people to abandon and neglect us because we are abandoning and neglecting ourselves. And it’s the hard it’s the hard truth that we generally don’t want to see in the moment when we’re allowing somebody else to treat us like that. It’s because on some level we believe that that’s what we deserve.

00;52;52;08 – 00;53;20;23

And often it’s a it’s a reflection of our relationship to ourself. The original relationship. Obviously, you have your origin relationships with your parents and your, you know, your family system. But the real relationship that always shows up in every single relationship you will ever have in your life is your relationship with yourself. And so if that relationship isn’t right, first, the rest are going to struggle, the rest are going to be challenging.

00;53;20;26 – 00;53;49;17

Because the truth is, is that everywhere you go, there you are in every relationship. It is a manifestation of how you are showing up. And so if you’re showing up in a relationship with somebody who is mistreating you and you’ve allowed that to happen for years or in past relationships, it’s because of the relationship with yourself that you think on some level that that’s what you deserve and that’s a very hard thing for some of us to face, because sometimes we realize that.

00;53;49;19 – 00;54;21;22

But then rather than working to heal that, that truth and integrate that pain, we use that as an opportunity to shit on ourselves and self-deprecating and and shame ourselves even more. And we use it to shame, spiral. I’m so worthless, of course, that a And so the the real answer is that, you know, as I go back to the that comments about intimacy being intimacy you know innermost is that the first and last relationship that we need to have is with ourselves.

00;54;21;25 – 00;55;06;17

And to understand to understand the ways in which we justify mistreating ourselves, because those are likely the ways that we justify the either the mistreatment of others or the the mistreatment of others towards us. It’s almost always a reflection of some some part of our inner relationship that hasn’t become fully functional. You know, we haven’t developed that relationship with the masculine within us, with the with the yang within us, or the animus within us, as young would say, or we haven’t developed the relationship with the anima, with the feminine, with the yin.

00;55;06;19 – 00;55;28;13

And and so we need to cultivate some component of that. And, and and so relationship ups are really a mirror. And what’s, what’s dysfunctional in our relationships is a mirror for something that’s often dysfunctional in us. And it’s a it’s a confronting thing because then you’re like, but I’m in a really dysfunctional relationship, or like all of my relationships have been challenging.

00;55;28;13 – 00;55;57;22

It’s like all of That’s Me is like, Yeah, we are pretty much. Yeah. So we just have to come into contact with that slowly, right? So go back to those actionable things that we talked about before and, and start to implement some of those pieces. And the, you know, the real I think the real thing, as much as it’s sort of cliche in some ways, is that we have to learn some quality of self-love and this term gets thrown around like nobody’s business online.

00;55;57;22 – 00;56;20;29

I mean, it’s just like grotesque to me. But I think that if I could reframe self-love, it would simply be self-acceptance that we have to learn how to accept ourselves in our fullness as much as we possibly can, which requires us to learn how to forgive ourselves for things that we’ve done or things that we’ve allowed or things that have happened to us.

00;56;21;02 – 00;56;45;05

It means that we have to learn to integrate parts of ourselves, that we may be see as threatening or damaging or hostile, or we dislike it, you know, like that inner critic, that voice inside that’s constantly going and criticizing us. And it’s contemptuous. Most people just want to kill that part off rather than learn how to be with that part and learn how to build a relationship with it.

00;56;45;07 – 00;57;15;19

So, yeah, so that’s that’s what I would say is that a lot of this comes back to how do you develop a quality of and sovereignty within yourself Because when you have, then you won’t allow certain things to show up in your life, specifically in your relationship. Like, yeah, I’ll just, I’ll leave that there. Yeah. There’s so much obviously to, to go off of from there and that answered so many questions I didn’t even ask.

00;57;15;21 – 00;57;40;03

Well there’s that piece you’re talking about integration work, which is such a big you know, it’s just I mean you could just go on for you’re going to do it your whole life if you dedicate yourself to it. And we hope everybody does it. We’re helping people through a lot of that now with our workshop. But that piece you said, let me see about how to it wasn’t the how to do the integration work.

00;57;40;03 – 00;58;08;26

It was something about, darn, I lost it, guys. But there was something that was so beautiful that I wanted you to give us some sort of tangible way to start even attempting the pendulum swinging with. I don’t know. Yeah. Can you speak to the integration piece? Can be helpful for some people because that’s I get that question all the time of like, what is integration like, What does that even mean?

00;58;08;26 – 00;58;35;14

How do I integrate things? And in many ways, integration is, is a process of acceptance and not just the kind of acceptance that happens. I’m like, okay, I accept that that happens. No, acceptance is a verb. It is an ongoing experience that we have to choose over and over and over and over and over again. So for example, maybe you were in a beautiful relationship.

00;58;35;14 – 00;58;50;21

You love the other person, They broke up with you. You didn’t want the relationship to end. Acceptance isn’t just on like a Saturday afternoon after a yoga class where you have like, All right, I already accepted that person doesn’t want to be with me. You haven’t dealt with the anger and the frustration and the grief of the loss of the relationship.

00;58;50;28 – 00;59;17;00

Acceptance is a verb that you have to continue to show up to, to navigate through the emotional ramifications of what has taken place. So this is integration and embodiment for me are the same things, and embodiment is a process of being able to digest things intellectually and emotionally into body, to be able to say, okay, I’m feeling grief right now.

00;59;17;00 – 00;59;40;25

I feel sadness for the end of that relationship. Good. Be with that grief, be with that sadness, space for it. It doesn’t have to consume you. It doesn’t have to be your entire persona. But you do have to learn how to accept the wisdom of that grief. Work through you. You rejecting that grief, you rejecting that sadness or that anger is going to perpetuate it.

00;59;40;25 – 01;00;07;24

It is going to continue to build that anger and that resentment which you’re going to bring into another relationship. So embodiment is about being present to the actual experience, taking in your body. And the simplest way to do that is by in some ways starting to work with and heal and recalibrate your nervous system. To know what’s happening in your body is to know it’s happening in your nervous system.

01;00;07;24 – 01;00;39;23

Your nervous system is this beautiful architecture that that really is the conduit to the outer world, right? To everything that you experience externally in your relationships happens through your nervous system. And so there’s very basic things that you can start to learn. For example, you need to start to pay attention to when you quote unquote upregulate within a relationship, an upregulation simply means that you move into a stress response within your relationship.

01;00;39;23 – 01;01;01;03

You move into fight or flight freeze or fawn. And when you do that, you’re hijacked and you start to you need to start to know, excuse me, what does that feel like in my body when I’m regulating, when I’m anxious? What does it feel like? Where do I experience that? What’s actually triggering that? What is my body trying to tell me?

01;01;01;06 – 01;01;22;25

How Do I actually invite that experience in in a way where I can learn how to be with that and communicate that it’s there and communicate what maybe I might need structurally in the relationship in order to ease that anxiety, not making it the other person’s responsibility, but to be able to say this is what’s happening within me.

01;01;22;27 – 01;01;45;16

And so that’s just a little a little piece. I could probably go further into the nervous system and the role that it plays. But in many ways, when conflict is running rampant in our relationship and we’re going through the same conflicts, cycles, cycles over and over again, right? Like have either of you been in a relationship where you have the same argument over and over again with your partner and you’re like, this frickin argument again?

01;01;45;16 – 01;02;07;25

Like, we’ve had this 100 times? Yes, that is a response pattern that is in bedded into your nervous system that likely didn’t start with that person. It might be exacerbated by that person, but it’s a response pattern from your nervous system that is likely been born in your family system or in a past relationship that was abusive or, you know, where you got hurt in some way.

01;02;07;25 – 01;02;43;07

And because you didn’t learn how to an experience and process that experience, it’s showing up again and again in the relationship. So getting into the body, feeling into our nervous system, feeling into what we’re experiencing is an incredibly important part. And again, I think that we undervalue the not only the importance of that, but the liberation and the freedom that can happen when we’re able to say, I can feel my nervous system of regulating like I know when it’s happening for me because I’m very in my body.

01;02;43;07 – 01;03;13;21

I know what’s going on in there. And I spent a lot of time cultivating a relationship with my body, which took a long time because I know I beat the shit out of my body for a long time. I misused it, you know, drugs, alcohol, food, etc. And sometimes that journey is is a is a very powerful one for us to start to reconnect to our physical form and understand that there’s wisdom of our nervous system, of wisdom of the body that’s trying to communicate with us.

01;03;13;24 – 01;03;34;11

Yeah, I love that. You must have just intuitively been sensing what I was going ask in there where I could, you know, are stumbling because it really was about that self-acceptance piece and how to sit with the actual feeling sense. And that was what I was wondering is do you have a maybe even like a practice that you used to?

01;03;34;13 – 01;03;54;00

Because, like, it’s freaking scary when you just sit with yourself and you haven’t done that, especially you’re doing this the first time or something. So is there something you can give us there? Yeah, a few things. One, I created this practice called the Fire Meditation, which basically meant like when I was feeling the most heat in my body, like I would be angry.

01;03;54;02 – 01;04;18;05

That’s when I would force myself to sit for at least 2 minutes to three or 5 minutes. And I would just sit with no distraction, no music, no nothing. And I would and I would allow myself to feel like what is happening in my body right? And I would feel into the energy. I would feel into like my hands wanting to punch through walls, my feet wanting to run the fire that would happen in my chest.

01;04;18;07 – 01;04;42;04

And what I started to learn was that a lot of my emotional responses had a very specific motion. So like anger, for example, I found this to be true for a lot of men. Most men, in fact, anger. For me, I started to realize that anger moves up the body and into the head. And what I realized was that when the anger like if the anger was underneath my collarbone, I was probably okay.

01;04;42;04 – 01;05;00;19

If it was still in my chest, I was like, I still in control. I was still able to communicate from a very conscious place. But as soon as that anger got up in my head, I was hijacked. I was gone. Like there was no it wasn’t. It wasn’t conscious, you know, Conner speaking anymore. It was reactive, angry, aggressive, hostile.

01;05;00;19 – 01;05;29;21

Connor And no, no good deed came out of that space. So the fire meditation is a great one. When you’re feeling grief, when you’re feeling sadness, when you’re feeling anger or aggression or hostility, to go and sit in silence for a few minutes, put your hands on your body. Begin to breathe and use the breath. The breath is I hate the word, but the breath is like a hack to get back into your nervous system.

01;05;29;23 – 01;05;51;25

So the second tool that I’ll give you is the box breath. And I use many, many, many types of breathing styles. My my degree is a music I used to sing, classical music. I used to sing opera. And so I traveled. I did a lot of time learning how to use the breath learning how to how the body actually uses breath, practicing different Buddhist traditions.

01;05;51;28 – 01;06;20;02

And the box breath is just inhale for four. Hold four, four, exhale four, four, hold for four. So a count of four, right? So you can do 4 seconds and then hold and then exhale for four and then hold and you hold for four. And if you do that for 4 minutes, research shows scientifically that it resets your autonomic nervous system.

01;06;20;04 – 01;06;53;14

And your autonomic nervous system has two parts. Your parasympathetic and your sympathetic and your sympathetic nervous system is like the gas pedal. That’s the part responsible for fight, flight or freeze. And your parasympathetic is like the brake pedal. And that’s the part that helps you move back into calm. So 4 minutes of that breath can help reset your autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic, from the gas pedal, from the fight flight or freeze back down into parasympathetic so you can move back into a space of calm and relaxation within four or 5 minutes.

01;06;53;16 – 01;07;17;15

Now, is it easy to do Absolutely fucking not. And it’s so hard. It’s especially if you’re angry, all you want to do is like, So what I usually recommend to guys is like, do 20 burpees and then sit down for to 5 minutes, you know, get your body going. If you’re feeling a lot of fire and rage, you know, go hit your punching bag for 10 minutes or do some push ups or whatever it is.

01;07;17;15 – 01;07;42;01

Then set, use the box breath, reset the nervous system and feel into the body. So those are just two tactical things that I’ll give you that can help you to be with those very intense emotions, because we need to start to learn how to be those intense emotions. Now, for people with trauma, it can be a little bit more challenging, right?

01;07;42;01 – 01;08;07;05

If you have acute trauma and acute trauma is being triggered, then it’s a little bit different. You might want to use more like sensory based things like some people have an elastic band around their wrist and snap that to kind of bring them back into a a sensory space. But again, the box breath is a beautiful one. I’m gonna give you one more breath to use, but the box breath has been used for a long time.

01;08;07;08 – 01;08;28;28

People, Navy SEALs, people from the military in the Army who have PTSD to reset their nervous system. So the breath is one of the single most powerful tools that most of us do not know how to use. But it is the access point to your nervous system. So the last one I’m going to give you is one that I’ve that I’ve used for a very long time.

01;08;28;28 – 01;08;44;26

It’s called I call it the straw breath. I don’t know if it actually has a different name than that. I don’t know anybody else that uses that, but it’s literally like you’re drinking air through a straw and you want the inhale to be 2 to 3 times longer than the exhale. And the exhale is just like a sigh.

01;08;44;27 – 01;09;16;26

And the exhale is meant to like when you let it out, it’s just like you’re letting all the tension out of your entire body. So and just do that for four or 5 minutes. And if you can do that for four or 5 minutes, again, what happens is that will start to reduce your heart rate. And over over a couple of minutes, it’ll very quickly bring your heart rate down.

01;09;16;26 – 01;09;44;16

If you’re elevated, you’re in a stress response, you’re in an anxious response, especially that straw breath can really help lower your heart rate, bring it back to a state of homeostasis, and then you’ll be able to think, feel back into the body and the. Can I give you one more? That’s probably please, this. Then the last one that I love to give couples is you can do it clothed, you can do it, you know, half naked, you can do it fully naked.

01;09;44;16 – 01;10;09;17

It’s however you want to do it is sit forehead to forehead and you can you can sit facing each other first and just do some eye contact. Look into each other’s left eye, preferably, and just breathe for, let’s say, 10 to 15 breaths and just connect with one another and see if you can notice anything. The other person’s I see if you can notice any emotions, right?

01;10;09;19 – 01;10;33;16

The eyes of the gateway to the soul, but specifically the the gateway to emotions. And so when I have people do this, what I always find to be astounding is how many people afterwards just sitting for 15, 20 breaths with their partner, looking them in the eye, say, I don’t know or I can’t think of the last time that we just looked at each other that I felt so connected to you.

01;10;33;17 – 01;10;58;00

Just within the span of 45 seconds. So do that first and then set forehead to forehead, arms around one another. And the guys are going put their hands. You’re both going to put your hands on the back of each other’s rib cage and guys will follow. If if it’s a heterosexual relationship, men are going to follow the woman’s breath because women have smaller lung capacities.

01;10;58;03 – 01;11;16;25

And so if the woman tries to follow, the guy can be uncomfortable. And so men are going to follow the women if it’s guys together that doesn’t matter. You can follow one another. If it’s women together, it doesn’t matter. You can follow one another. But guys are going to follow the woman’s breath and you’re just going breathe together for 20 to 30 breaths.

01;11;16;28 – 01;11;47;15

And what happens is, after about 20 to 25 breaths, your heart rates will begin to synchronize. And so your actual pulse will begin to come into coherence together. So if you have had a stressful day or if you’ve had a stressful couple of days and the kids are running wild or you felt disconnected from your partner, this is one of the simplest, easiest ways to reconnect physically from birth, from a physiological, and bring some coherence back into your body.

01;11;47;17 – 01;12;14;14

Too many people, I think, are trying to pathologize their relationships. We spend so much time talking about what’s happening and what’s not right and what’s not working when sometimes all that we need is literal physical reconnection to let some of that stuff go. So sit forehead too far ahead, hold one another, breathe for at least 30, maybe 40 breaths and let heart rates synchronize.

01;12;14;14 – 01;12;30;10

Let you let let each other find some coherence. So I’ll just leave that one there for the boyfriends. Let me through that a couple of times, followed by the best sex ever. So you must have gotten that from you. And at first it was like like you said, it was a little weird. Like the forehead. The forehead, like the first time.

01;12;30;10 – 01;13;08;17

But after experiencing what came, it was always very exciting to do again in the box breathing. I’ve known her for a long time, but I didn’t know the extreme benefits of that complex. PTSD is something that I’ve been struggling with for a huge part of my life, so I’m really thankful to hear that the benefits of that. Yeah, what stuck out to me was giving permission to men especially, but just generally people to burn off some of that energy before even trying to settle down into a place where you can even think about doing the breathing thing.

01;13;08;17 – 01;13;22;14

Because yeah, I can see, you know, for so many people, women and men experience it differently. Like men, it might be more of like rage wanting to hit something. And that is for women as well sometimes as well. But and for women, we get into this. We’re too busy to like slow down and figure this out right now.

01;13;22;14 – 01;13;42;04

You know, we have all these things. We’ve got this long list of whatever we’re doing. And so that all that energy, though, whether it’s just you’re going to disguise it as being busyness, energy or it or it’s rage, you know, whatever you see it as, give it a burn off, we go outside and sprint. I love that girls and do some burpees or whatever it is and then come back and do the breathing and get in touch with the feelings.

01;13;42;04 – 01;14;11;19

And that was key. I love that. Thanks for that. We do have one more question before the Lightning round, the ending of the show. If you time. Do you have fun? Yeah. About men meeting their edge. Yeah. So Jade basically said it there, but I just want to know really, you know, we talk about edge meeting or like getting beyond your edge with men or whoever is listening here who might have read, like, the way of the superior man, Right?

01;14;11;19 – 01;14;33;10

David Data The same thing where we want to find our edge and then push past it in order to grow and expand. So we understand that idea. But what it maybe you can discuss with us how men can meet their edge in a healthy way because I know this can get most and or like risking their life so, which I think there is some of that needed to some degree.

01;14;33;10 – 01;14;53;11

Like there has to be that on the line when you’re a father and well, I don’t know if that will. I mean, I will forever push my edge even as a dad like I know a good saying with my with my new son, who was only like nine weeks old, which I got from a mentor of mine, He said, I’ll I would take a bullet for my kids.

01;14;53;11 – 01;15;22;20

I would die for my kids, but I’ll never live for them. And I think that stays very true for. Me You know, part of part of our role, I believe, as as fathers is, you know, a lot of the research shows that our role as fathers is to be not risk avoidant, but actually risk Grantor’s, you know, to be able to to encourage our kids in some ways to take small, smart risks, you know, not dumb risks, like don’t go jump off that cliff or try and jump off the bridge.

01;15;22;20 – 01;15;51;21

But but to take some small risks as a as a means of knowing, again, the edge of the structure, where are the edges of the parameters. And so is the question why do men like to push their edge or how how can they push their edge in a way that is healthy for them? Because sometimes also pushing your edge can turn into an addiction to sadist like adrenaline addiction almost.

01;15;51;21 – 01;16;27;13

Yeah. Yeah. So there are many forms of how we deal with trauma and there are many forms of how we deal with our wounds and our pain. And so many men who are seeking sometimes these very extreme versions of pushing their edge. It’s because they are they’re centralizing their wounding. They’re trying to figure out what to do with the energy of pain within them that they’ve repressed.

01;16;27;15 – 01;17;02;04

And that pain is driving them to pursue more dangerous, more excessive experiences that maybe will bring them into contact with a kind of experience that will push them past the edge and cause them to experience the the space of enough ness, Like that’s enough. You know, there’s no more outside of that. So that’s a part of it. There’s a spiritual part of it, I think where some men are trying to test God in a way they don’t have a relationship with anything spiritually, which is fine.

01;17;02;04 – 01;17;24;04

There’s, you know, if you if you’re an atheist, it’s totally fine. Doesn’t matter. But for for many guys, they’re trying to find form of spiritual intervention. And it’s almost like a means of testing the universe or life or God or whatever label you want to put on that as as a means of being like, Come stop me, prevent me from doing this, I fucking dare you.

01;17;24;06 – 01;17;56;09

And again, it comes from often times that pain within that they that they haven’t been able to connect to, but it’s sort of pushing them outside of their comfort zone and into the world in a way that that hopefully will lead them to an understanding of of why that thing happened, why that abuse happened or that trauma happened or that neglect or that abandonment or whatever, whatever it is that they’re trying to unconsciously digest or process.

01;17;56;11 – 01;18;20;15

So that’s generally why a lot of men seek these very dangerous edges, like I have no desire for that anymore, but I understand it because I did it and I did it was I had a thousand CC motorcycle and it you know, it did 320 kilometers an hour. And I tested to see how fast it would go on multiple occasions, as often as I could.

01;18;20;15 – 01;18;43;03

I would run from the cops, I would stunt it, I would st race it, you know, tear through the streets just endlessly and part of that was because I really was trying to figure something out internally. And there was a part of me that wanted to sort of see like how far can I push the boundary before something or someone intervenes and stops me.

01;18;43;09 – 01;19;04;23

And it’s a form of adolescent masculinity that is out of control because it’s never been initiated into that more mature masculine. And so it’s a part of us as men, and this is maybe really important that is trying to meet death, and that might seem esoteric or existential in a way. But what’s happening is that when we as men are initiated, we meet death.

01;19;04;23 – 01;19;31;29

If you look at every single male initiation process, it involves some form of encounter with death, some form of an understanding that death is very real. And so for for many men, they negate or pretend like that fact isn’t true. And so they’re sort of pushing that to be like, where are you death? Like, where are you? So that’s I’ll leave that there.

01;19;31;29 – 01;19;55;06

How we how we actually can pursue a more integrated embodied version of pushing our edge is by being ruthlessly curious about what we are capable of. What am I capable of as a man or as a woman? But we’re talking about men. What am I capable of as a man? What am I capable of physically? What am I capable of intellectually?

01;19;55;09 – 01;20;32;14

What am I capable of sexually with in my relationship or just relationally? What am I capable of within my friendships, within my society and in that pursuit, we can begin to see what our edge is. Because for me, the edge is about the the the very end of our capacities, the very edge of our capabilities. Right? The like the last burpee that you can possibly get out or, you know, the like how much you can put on the bench press or on the squat rack in, you know, on the one, on the one squat or the one bench press.

01;20;32;14 – 01;21;00;29

So you’re just trying to see how much can I actually left or you know, how, how much time can I shave off of the, you know, off of the racetrack or whatever the example is? And so really, for men, meeting our edge in a healthy way is about not running away for something, not running towards something, but about our own capacities as a man in the different areas of our life.

01;21;01;01 – 01;21;27;02

Because the edge is shows the parameters between what’s known and the mysterious and the . And for us as men, what’s beautiful about meeting our edge is that it puts us oftentimes into a space of awe and wonderment because we meet the mysterious, we meet the sort of numinous space existence, and we can be like, Wow, that’s incredible.

01;21;27;02 – 01;21;49;09

I don’t know what’s beyond that. I don’t know even how to go beyond that. I don’t know how to push myself any further than that. But holy fuck, what a journey it was to just get here to this place in my life. To to have honed this capacity and this skill set is such a endeavor and journey. And so that’s how we as men can, can undertake that.

01;21;49;11 – 01;22;10;27

But I would say that it it often cannot done in ignorance of our pain. It cannot be done because of our pain and it cannot certainly be done in ignorance of our pain. We have to do that with our pain, our, our, our suffering in some way in so that we are we are cultivating some form of relationship with our pain.

01;22;10;29 – 01;22;39;18

Like I’m writing a book right now? And it’s for men. And the very first line of the book is a man’s work begins in pain. That is where every man’s journey begins. And if he if he ignores it, his pain will find him. And that’s why so many men are seeking these very massive, you know, sort of reckless experiences, because looking for the rock bottom so that they can begin that journey with their pain, but they can kick started now by actually addressing it.

01;22;39;24 – 01;23;07;27

Yeah, that’s so huge. It makes me think of a you brought up Jung and the idea of the daimon, you know, this part of you that’s calling you to go and seek it, seek it out. Essentially it’s your soul’s journey and your purpose. And that’s a really it feels like there’s that’s almost you’re almost describing purpose when you’re describing like how you go about this journey and just touching that presence of God, you know, and being able to.

01;23;07;29 – 01;23;25;21

And then you’re like, yeah, this life did make sense because I got to do all I got to see that in myself. I can’t wait for your book to come out. I know Mercedes and I were ring girls for years together before we had a podcast and that just made me think about how some people turn that into their career.

01;23;25;23 – 01;23;52;09

And I dated quite a few fighters as well. And when I would ask them like, Well, what would you do if you weren’t a fighter? I kid you not every one of them said a professional bull rider. So I’m like, it’s like they, say, you know, they were really after counseling. Yeah. And I almost like, wish we could play this little section of the podcast in the fight venue before, you know, whatever next big McGregor fight or something and just watch everybody’s there’s been reactions.

01;23;52;15 – 01;24;12;03

It’s funny I like I just posted a little meme on my Instagram today and it was like it was like women are what guys really want, you know, something about like what guys ultimately want is like just discussing the complaining. The guys just want sex. Then it was like what guys actually want. And there was just a picture of a UFC fighter with with the championship belt.

01;24;12;03 – 01;24;38;19

Yeah, I was like, Well, we actually want is just the title, you know, we just want to still get well and, and some, you know, some guys that is a huge part of their persona. It’s their identity, you know. And so and so to pursue anything other than the sort of fringes and the extremes, it seems counter to their nature, you know, So that might actually be a very intrinsic part of their nature.

01;24;38;19 – 01;25;03;10

And that’s not bad or wrong. It simply means that they need to learn how to curate a of responsibility with it, a bit of understanding with it, because in truth, I mean, men pushing their edges in extreme ways has done some incredible things for humanity. Yeah. You know, like in all seriousness and all realness. And so there is a function to it, there is a purpose to it.

01;25;03;12 – 01;25;23;22

However, there are many men who are not pursuing that edge in those extreme experiences out of a very conscious place. It’s from an unconscious avoidance. And so that’s the that’s the distinction is that we need to be aware of. Am I trying to avoid something in my try to avoid my pain? Am I trying to prove something to somebody?

01;25;23;24 – 01;25;41;24

You know, is this extreme sports just a big fuck you to my dad or a big fuck you to my mom? Or is this actually something that, like I live and breathe? This is legitimately in my veins. I want to go and punch in the face for a living because I want to see what I’m capable of physically.

01;25;41;24 – 01;26;09;09

Can I be the strongest, the fastest, most hard hitting man on the planet? Can I do that? And, you know, it’s it’s it’s a very interesting endeavor, but. Well, yeah, we about there. Yeah. And And it’s like, you see all the beautiful ways. Like you said, it’s, it’s moved us along and then the other ways where and for some reason like what comes to mind is almost like a porn addiction where it’s like, we want to see more.

01;26;09;09 – 01;26;27;24

We want to see the worst possible thing, you know, like getting to these grotesque things. And it’s it’s also an edge. Yeah. Like, how much can I be turned on by, you know, like, what can I get into as far as my depths go and my shadows go there? And it is a sense of trying to find our our edge and we can make that criminal or not, you know?

01;26;27;24 – 01;26;53;21

But it’s fascinating. Well, you know, again, I think that there’s. Right. That’s like sexualizing the wounding, right. So if we that’s where a lot of you know, not to like young people as young because everybody has certain things. But but you know, a lot of a lot of people, they sexualize their pain. And so rather than knowing what to do with it, their pain takes over and it becomes a fantasy or a fetish.

01;26;53;24 – 01;27;25;24

And they look for experiences where they can, where they can relive or reenact or re-experience that pain. In some way, usually in an unconscious way. And again, it’s not right or wrong. It’s it’s just what’s happening And whether or not we want that to be our experience. But I did want to share one one last call because I feel like it’s applicable and it’s by it’s Carl Jung again, where he said, If you ever have the rare opportunity to speak with the devil, do not do not forget to confront him.

01;27;25;24 – 01;27;55;17

In all seriousness, he is your devil. After all. The devil is the adversary. The devil is the adversary of your own. Other standpoint, he tests you and sets a stone in your path where you least want it. So that’s. That’s from Carl Jung’s Red book, where he he talked about a dream, where he actually met the devil. And he talks about the elusiveness of the devil and how he knew that there was something sort of malevolent and and dark about this figure that he was interacting with.

01;27;55;20 – 01;28;30;11

But there was almost like this excitement about getting the opportunity to speak with his version of, his own devil. And I think that for many of us as men, we have been taught that there’s strength in suppression, that there’s strength and avoidance, and it robs us of the of the of the opportunity to meet our own devil, right to meet our own darkness, to understand our own shadow, which brings a more complete understanding of of our existence and gives us more meaning in life and helps us understand why we’re here and what we’re supposed to do.

01;28;30;11 – 01;29;00;05

And all of those pieces. And so but, but we’ve been taught to avoid some of those parts that there’s something wrong with us if we start to explore them. But it is an essential aspect of of men’s maturation. yeah. So many people are so afraid though, when they meet that devil, that the devil possess them. Yeah, I like external like Tom, you know, before starting men’s work, one of his nervousness around how much work I do is he thought he told me I was going to become Darth Vader.

01;29;00;05 – 01;29;15;15

Or how like Darth Vader was like, always trying to be like, I’ve not seen the movie, but he, like, grows and grows and grows. And then, I don’t know, he becomes Darth Vader. But I told him I hadn’t seen the movie, but I was like, No, because I’m in my heart. But I know that was his big nervousness.

01;29;15;15 – 01;29;36;08

Is that like it can possess you? Yeah, I think that’s a nervousness for a lot of people. Is evil thing. And also from my personal experience, I got way too high once and you’ll know why. This is the last time I ever got high after I tell the story. But I basically met my devil in there and we sword fight, which is interesting.

01;29;36;08 – 01;30;06;29

I don’t know how to say or fight. I have never fenced in my life and it was at the time I hadn’t I wasn’t in any of this work. I wasn’t doing any of own work. But it was so frightening for me. It felt like this use of this drug, for instance, was a portal to turning on essentially the demons, you know, inside of me or however you want to look at it when you’re not thinking about it as it lives inside of you, then you just say, I’m not going to do this thing anymore because it causes demons to attack me.

01;30;06;29 – 01;30;33;28

Right? And that’s the way to look at it from an external sense. Coming at you in life is happening to you. Right? But I have a much different sense of obviously explored my own psyche quite a bit, and then a lot of my own shadow organ met these parts of my shadows, you know, my devils and been able to recognize that, like that was my own demons, my own dragons that I was attempting to slay in a very sloppy way in this situation.

01;30;34;00 – 01;30;57;13

But now I have tools to be able to not slay them even, but to just invite them in as part of me and finally integrate them in a way that’s like, we can do this together. Because actually I need you sometimes, you know, I need you to come online and speak through me when I need that that type of defensiveness or whatever it is that I need in order to protect myself.

01;30;57;16 – 01;31;22;06

So it’s just really beautiful to be to have this kind of like full circle and this conversation with you that brings that that really full circle for me as well. And so far it’s been I mean, it’s spirit. It’s like that’s that’s a spiritual experience in its own way. It’s it’s maybe not the, the like light and love and doves and rainbows that we normally think of as spiritual experience.

01;31;22;06 – 01;31;41;10

But in many ways we do have the you know, we do have those components living within us. And so to come into contact with them is is a wonderful experience, although it can be quite disorienting. And there is the chance of, you know, if not done in the right way or, you know, if not tended to, we can move into that space of psychosis.

01;31;41;10 – 01;32;05;02

Right. We Can move into. It’s a very interesting thing. Right, though. It’s there’s a very fine line between sanity and shamanism and that that fine line is usually schizophrenia. Right. And so we can move into into that shamanic space. But, you know, it sounds like you had a kind of spiritual experience. And did somebody when somebody when you had the time like that.

01;32;05;02 – 01;32;30;04

Yeah. Did somebody win the fight or how did that fight end? No, I got I needed to distract myself. It it was so frightening, you know, to be in this inner body experience, I’ll call it, because it was really internal, you know, I wasn’t having a vision outside. It was. Like when I close my eyes, I could see the thing happening as a vision, but I didn’t have the tools, of course, But I also didn’t have a shaman or someone sitting with me.

01;32;30;04 – 01;32;57;09

You know, just my own recreational thing. And I wasn’t going into it with any intention of having a spiritual experience. So I 1% agree. And and by the way, anyone listening, I’m not recommending getting so high that you meet your own devil. Yeah, I think I would have maybe been possessed or had re traumatization at those times that I met my own devil.

01;32;57;09 – 01;33;18;22

Had I not had a safe container with a shaman or a mental health expert, or even if I was doing it on my own and in my own setting, just someone who I could go to for support. So I think that’s where there’s that big difference of that devil being able to possess you and you being able to just see yourself in that devil.

01;33;18;22 – 01;33;45;04

And I won’t say conquer it, but what you said, it’s you. I think is it ties into what we were talking about before, about meeting your edge. You have to know in some ways we have to really be honest and truthful with ourselves. A in a in a sort of radical honesty or like a truthful honesty way to say, again, what is the structure that I need in order to explore my edge?

01;33;45;04 – 01;34;04;15

Maybe or somebody who’s okay to drop five grams of mushrooms at home on the floor, you know, with an audio track and go for a ride. But maybe the thought of that sends you even just the thought of that gives you a massive amount of anxiety. Great. Then your edge is to have somebody within that experience with you, right?

01;34;04;15 – 01;34;29;19

To ensure when you are going to meet the the sort of, you know, darker part of you, the shadow within you, that it’s not something that’s going to consume you right. I mean, the perfect example is like Fight Club. You have the narrator’s character who creates that Tyler Durden and Brad Pitt’s character. You create his shadow literally gets externalized and he has a psychotic break and he creates that movie that way.

01;34;29;25 – 01;34;59;06

Yeah, he creates this whole other character. And it’s literally his shadow. It’s the it’s the physical embodiment of manifestation of his shadow. And so, you know, we have when we are dealing with facing our own darkness and understanding our pain and beginning to do some of this deeper work. We have a we have a responsibility to do it in a in a manner that is to allow us to produce the most fruitful results.

01;34;59;09 – 01;35;23;01

You know, because you’re in some ways you’re playing with fire. Right. And I think McKenna would have said something along those lines. Right? You’re playing with fire, and so you best learn how to wield or work with fire so that you don’t get consumed by it, because that is a very likely possible possibility, right? Maybe not likely, but it is possible.

01;35;23;04 – 01;35;55;14

And so we have a responsibility, whether it’s psychedelics, whether it’s shadow work, whether it’s, you know, smoking, DMT or whatever it is in a ceremonial perspective to find places and spaces where you can do those things and feel safe and nurtured and taken care of. And that’s the same with therapy, like stop fucking going to therapists that you don’t trust and you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on or whatever how much money it is, and go see them every single week and you don’t actually open up to them.

01;35;55;17 – 01;36;13;02

You know, I see people all the time. I’ve worked with people that have come to me and like in the first two sessions. So like I got more out of this than the therapist that I worked with for five years. And it’s like, What were you doing? Like, I think that one of the questions you ask in men’s group than he had with his therapist in years also.

01;36;13;05 – 01;36;31;26

So and I don’t know that it’s that he didn’t trust or I think that it may have been the work that you’ve put in maybe I’m not sure but you’re a man. That’s a huge thing. Huge thing. Yeah. Yeah. That reverence, though, of whatever therapeutic you’re going to enter, whether plant medicine or otherwise is so important for sure.

01;36;31;28 – 01;36;56;25

All right. You are once again, beautiful time with us. Thank you. And I want to just jump through our Lightning Round questions with you real quickly. So first off, if you could ask if you could hug your younger self right now, what would you say?

01;36;56;27 – 01;37;13;24

Let’s go play in the garden. Let’s go. Let’s go dig up the garden. I used to play in the garden the time. how old were you? man. I mean, probably like two until I was 12. I would just go play in the dirt. Like, that’s this school. Play in the dirt. That’s probably what it would be.

01;37;13;24 – 01;37;42;09

Let’s just get down into our underwear and go dig around the dirt. Yeah, that sounds like my son. If you could have the whole world read one book, which would it be? probably. Probably The Wisdom of Insecurities by Alan Watts or Awareness by Anthony DeMello. It’s a toss up between the two wisdom of Insecurities. Or what was the second one?

01;37;42;11 – 01;38;19;23

Awareness. Awareness. Anthony Dumelo Anthony No, I haven’t heard of that one. If you could whisper one phrase to everyone on the planet, what would it be? There’s no one phrase but the dial that’s called the Dow is not the Dow. I just heard that saying, like, two days ago, that felt for a second. I was like, where did me are and how can people connect with you and get involved in the work that you do?

01;38;19;25 – 01;38;49;25

Probably the easiest way is just through Instagram. I’m on Instagram all the time. It’s out man talks, and then just through the website man talks dot com or Connor Beaton dot com, those are, those are the best avenues to come and check me out. Yeah. And again you can join his men’s group from anywhere because it’s on a virtual I’m not sure what your setting is but yeah yeah virtual so and then thank you so much for spending so much time with us.

01;38;49;25 – 01;39;09;00

I know you have a nine week old so this was a lot to ask from you, but we’ll turn it into two episodes and it’ll be such a blessing. We’ve done over 100 episodes and this is probably in my top five favorites and I can better mentor for my boyfriend. So thank you so much for all the work that you do.

01;39;09;02 – 01;39;38;06

Thank you. Thanks so much for having me and such great questions. I appreciate it. Yeah, Thank you. Thanks for being a light. Well, we will. All right. He’s awesome. Yeah, he’s amazing. I knew he would be, but he more amazing than I expected. Yes. So for his patience with us. Really. Wait. But we want to do this thing.

01;39;38;06 – 01;40;02;07

We needed to. Yeah, He was very patient with us. You know, you could tell that it wasn’t bothering him so much that we had, you know, probably every time he thought the show was coming to an end, we had a new topic to talk about. Welcome to the Magic. Out to our Now what is your magic trick today?

01;40;02;10 – 01;40;28;05

my magic. Okay, so this is coming from the account I love. I think you follow her as well. Brett Frank on Instagram and this one is where she says, Regulate your nervous system by using your name instead of I. So, you know, most of us, we have thoughts like, why did I say that? Why did I think that?

01;40;28;05 – 01;40;56;19

Why did I do that? I’m so stressed. I’m so overwhelmed right. And she says that when we use the AI word to talk to ourselves, we tend to blend our our stressors. Like we tend to, like, blend with our stressors, we literally become them in a sense. And that can make matters worse. So instead, she says, to use your name if you can, or pronouns or the word you when you talk to yourself.

01;40;56;22 – 01;41;19;13

And that would actually create space so that you can pause and respond rather immediately react. So when you’re identifying with the stressor, with the word AI, you’re getting into that reactionary state. That’s just doesn’t give you any space to have responsible response. So using your name. So for instance, it would be like Mercedes, this is me talking to myself here.

01;41;19;15 – 01;41;49;23

Mercedes, I notice you just said blah, blah, blah, whatever it is, or there’s a part inside me. She’s thinking that that’s so obviously. See how it’s like creating, right? Or Hi, I notice you just did blank whatever it is. Or Mercedes, I know you’re stressed, blah, blah, blah. And or Wow, she’s really overwhelmed talking to myself, right? She’s really overwhelmed, whatever my pronoun is.

01;41;49;26 – 01;42;20;28

And my pronoun is she. So that gives you that kind of obvious space enough to to allow you the distance to look at it almost like you’re you’re in a way this identifying with the stressor completely, which kind of sounds like you have multiple personality disorder. But if you listen a podcast long enough, you probably know that we kind of put you we always ask you to do that and separate yourself from the different parts of your psyche so you can look at them more responsibly.

01;42;21;00 – 01;42;45;13

And so that is obviously going to feel a little bit weird while you’re doing it. So know that that is going to be a strange practice at first, but it’s really a trick to replace that. The voice that this relentless inner critic with a compassionate inner parent so that we can then begin re parenting ourselves. And she also gives a disclaimer.

01;42;45;13 – 01;43;13;17

She says some people use third person language to distance selves from their fuckery. Like, I didn’t do it, she did it. Or she says, Yeah, that’s a good example. I didn’t do it. She didn’t like who did it. So no, that’s that’s not what this is about. This is about the ways in which you parent yourself and have the inner conversation in a way that can be more responsible instead of reactive.

01;43;13;17 – 01;43;39;06

So you’re not always being that inner critic. And, you know, like what Connor was saying today, you’re not always sabotaging yourself and talking down to yourself instead of giving yourself that self-love. And then, moreover, the self-acceptance you need in order to actually make meaningful change. That’s my magic. What’s yours today? Jade Mine minus from Connor. And it’s questions to help you access the shadow.

01;43;39;08 – 01;44;12;12

So basically how to come into contact with our unconscious parts. And there’s just six questions that you can use for journaling, or you can just answer them, you know, as you hear them, they are what do I reject? How do I hide? What boundaries do I set and why? How do I show up in relationships? Where do I feel like I’m not good enough?

01;44;12;14 – 01;44;35;05

And lastly, where do I feel that I’m unlovable? So those are six questions you can ask to access your shadow. Cool. I like that. All right, Magic lover, thank you so much for tuning in and taking this journey with us. If this episode held some magic for you, please share it with your friends and family. This would mean so much to us.

01;44;35;05 – 01;44;55;00

And don’t forget to join us on her Instagram page at the magic hour and let us know what your favorite episodes have been so far. We appreciate all of your feedback and would love to know what’s lighting you up. Yes, ma’am. And we released a new episode every Monday so you can catch us again next week or go listen to some of our past episodes in our podcast library.

01;44;55;02 – 01;45;03;21

We’ll meet you there. Until then, be allowed.