Jeffrey Van Dyk

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S: Hey Jeffrey, it’s great to have you on the show.

J: Stephan, it’s good to be here. Thank you.

S: First of all, I think it’s important that our listeners understand a little bit about you and how you got to be where you’re at now required a big transformation on your part. You had a breakthrough and were able to then follow your passion and create your own destiny.

J: I would say breakthrough, breakthrough, breakthrough. I don’t know if it’s one particular one or a series. Sometimes I feel like you have to chip away at the dam a bit until the water actually starts flowing. First is the trickle, then a little bit more, then a bit more, then really starts flowing. Feels a bit like that in my experience.

S: Yeah. Tell us about these breakthroughs.

J: I got into personal development in my early 20s. One of my best friends in college, we’re just working ourselves to the bone, working the night shift at a hotel, going to school all day, sleeping four hours a day, got illness after illness after illness until she finally got cancer. I stumbled into mind-body medicine stuff. I remember reading Bernie Siegel’s Love, Medicine and Miracles back when probably I was 21 or so. It started to open up a new way of seeing the world that made more sense to me than my staunchly religious upbringing did. I kept going down that path. I worked with a spiritual teacher for many years. In fact, somebody I still work with today. When I was 33 I think, I was working at Microsoft, knew it wasn’t the place for me anymore. I felt really lost, didn’t know where to turn. Went on a date with somebody who used to coach, had started restaurant, and it fascinated me. The discussion we had this one day, this coach asked him, “How are people going to feel in your restaurant? What kind of conversations are they going to have? If they leave and talk about it the next day, what sorts of things might they say?” From there, went into building the physicality of this place, the manifestation of this idea. Great, what’s the price for it? What’s the décor? What’s the location in the city? Really built that restaurant from the inside out. It’s a restaurant called Destino in San Francisco. It’s still going strong today, some 15 years later. That, I think, has been the guiding light for me, really building your life, building your business from the inside out. It’s really a foundation of a lot of the work I do today, even though it was years later until I saw the connection.

S: Right. When you say from the inside out, you’re saying connect to your calling, your unique gifts, and your spiritual purpose to figure out what your outer strategy and career should look like?

J: Yeah. I would say it’s two fold. Absolutely, a lot of my work is about helping people get really clear about what is there to do in this world. What is this calling? All of my clients all feel a deep call on their lives. That’s the word most of them would use. That’s definitely one part of it. But the other part I look at is their preparation and training program for your calling, which is actually your life’s biggest challenges, your core wounds. A lot of what I look at is how we develop as humans, and what’s the path we’ve had to go on to build the muscle, to build the skill, to be prepared to actually answer that call. When I started personal development, I was at battle with myself. I had the good parts of myself and the bad parts of myself. All of my work was an endeavor to try to scrub out the bad bits and exalt the good bits. Lo and behold, guess what, that created more of a battle. I always thought, “If I can do that,” and I have this image of me being fully baked. “Oh it’s baked. So we can take in the evidence and serve it to the world now.” That once I’m fully baked, then gosh, I can bring my gifts to the world. I was really scared to show people the places that I felt broken and felt like I was still trying to figure it out and still struggling. After I went into the world of coaching, I met a guy named Tim Kelley who became my mentor. We’re still good friends today. Through his work, he did life purpose work, a really fascinating form of life purpose work where you connect with something outside of your psyche that could know your purpose and tell it to you under the right conditions. He calls that your trusted source. A source that you would trust to know your purpose and tell it to you. But part of what I learned in his work is the different part of the psyche that are committed to not knowing the purpose, and how do we work with the parts that are against forward motion, and against expansion. How do we create collaboration with all the different parts of the psyche to move ahead and become more and more whole in the process. I learned active imagination, this form of journaling where you journal back and forth the different parts of your psyche, like your inner sceptic, or your critic, or your inner judge, or your inner image consultant. I started to feel a level of peace I had never felt in my life.

S: That sounds so cool. I’ve never heard of this before. Active imagination, when you communicate with your inner judge, your inner image consultant, your inner critic, and everything. How exactly does that work?

J: It’s a form of journaling that actually Carl Jung developed to dialogue with aspects of his unconscious. When you do it in a written form, it looks like a written play or script. If you ever read a play, Romeo, Rome’s lines. Juliet calling, Juliet’s lines. Romeo calling, his response. Goes back and forth. And if you think about it, we all have different parts of our psyches. If you go to dinner, and you’re offered a dessert menu, there’s often two different voices happening. The voice that says, “Oh no, I got to watch my waistline.” The other voice that says, “Give me the chocolate.” It’s like, “Which one’s going to win out?” We do that in all sorts of areas of our lives. When it comes to our big calling, what I know about our calling is that they ask so much of us. Your calling will always ask you to become the fullest, most powerful, most expanded version of yourself. To do that, often times you have to say yes to things that maybe your family, or your community wouldn’t want, maybe you have to bring a message to the world that you’re scared that people aren’t going to want to hear. I’ve worked with people who really know, like, “If I do this, I don’t think my marriage is going to survive, because my marriage is built on me being codependent and being a caretaker.” If I actually grow and develop, gosh, some of the old ways that I have compensated and coped with living in this world come into question. I might rock the boat, people might not like it. There are the parts that want to answer the calling because it feels true and compelling in your soul, and the parts that don’t want to be because of all the potential ramifications of doing so. Makes sense?

S: Yup. Keep going.

J: One of the tools I use in my own life, and I teach my clients, to try to create to more of a sense of synergy and inner collaboration rather than which part is going to win out in this epic battle inside of your own head, is active imagination. If it’s a voice that’s concerned with being judged. What are people going to think about this thing I feel called to do? Is anybody going to want it? Are they going to like it? We probably have two things going on in your psyche. We have the part that wants to and the part that is concerned that if you do it you’re going to be judged and ostracised, so it doesn’t want to. One of the things you can do is open a word doc or a journal and just put your name, write if this is me, it’s Jeffrey calling, “Hi. Can I talk with the part that’s scared of being judged?” And just label the other part scared of being judged. It says, “Yes, I’m here.” “Jeffrey calling, great. What are your fears? What are your concerns?” Part calling and have it rattle off its fears and concerns. What’s interesting is it sounds maybe a little funny when you think about doing this, however, this is already happening in your psyche, in the background. You’re having this inner dialogue all the time. I’m a singer, I think about this way. Often times when it’s just happening in our head, it’s happening along with all the other voices in this big choir or cacophony called your psyche. This is a way of having one voice step out as a soloist to have a dialogue directly with that voice and actually hear, “What do you need? What are you scared of? What would you need in order to feel safe? What would you need or are there any conditions we can put in place for me to move ahead and ensure more of that safety and be aware of some of the concerns you have.” You start to listen to what the fears, the doubts, the worries, the concerns are of a particular part of your psyche. You start to listen to what does this part of your psyche need to feel safe and to actually support you in moving forward rather than sabotage you. Often times what you’ll find is that the concerns the parts have are legitimate. Oh, yeah. This part’s saying I’m not sure there’s a market for this. I’m concerned that if I move out and quit my job and start a new life on this calling that nobody’s going to buy. That’s a legitimate concern and a concern that should actually be addressed where you do some market research and actually do some testing of an idea before you throw away your high paying career and try to make it on your own. It’s really just a simple way of building more relationship with different parts of yourself and especially if we’re talking about doing it in a relationship through calling, it’s about creating more synergy and alignment towards the future you want to build.

S: Very cool. You said earlier that you can still feel broken and yet you can follow your destiny, you can follow your calling. One of the big problems that many people have is not feeling worthy. How does somebody address that? Because I think this will self-sabotage if they don’t believe that they deserve that success or they deserve that level of income or they deserve that level of fame or whatever, it is the side benefit of following your calling.

J: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I definitely felt this way a long time and I worked with lots of clients who’re like, “I’m not ready because of X, Y, or Z.” My experience is not so much like if I don’t feel worthy, often times in a relationship to something like that, we do one of two things. We may actually do a mixture then we inflate and deflate. We fall into our worthlessness, “Nobody’s ever going to want me. I’m never going to make it. This is never going to happen.” That’s the diminishment or the moving into deflation, and we inflate. “I’m going to prove it, damn it. I’m going to pull myself off the bootstraps. I’m going to prove that worthless part of me to be untrue and I’m going to make it, damn it.” Really, what it is is just a battle. It’s, “I’m worthless. No, I’m not. I’m worthless. No, I’m not.” Part of what is at the foundation of my work is actually coming into contact with the things we don’t want to touch. This example, it’s a feeling of worthlessness. So much of what we often do in personal development is actually trying to go into courses, and read books, and go to seminars to embrace the parts we like and try to scrub out the parts we don’t. “I’m going to, once and for all, feel like I’m worthy. I’m not going to feel that worthlessness anymore.” In my experience, when we actually have liberation, we actually have freedom, it’s because we’ve been willing to actually touch our worthlessness or whatever the wound is, whatever that thing is that we can’t be with or struggle with. Rather than staying in the battle, staying in the battle, staying in the battle, staying in the battle. We can actually turn towards it. For example you can actually talk with the part of you that holds the belief ‘I’m worthless’ and just listen to it. Stephan, here’s how you think about our core wounds. I think at the foundation of our wounding is a fundamental belief we adopt as a result of our wounding experiences. The kernel of the wound is what I call an identity based belief we adopt for survival purposes that are the soul levels fundamentally and true. For example, if you’ve been working your butt off to get an A, you’ve been studying, studying, studying as a kid, and your parents have really been trying to work with you to get that A on the report card. Finally, the day comes and they get the report card, lo and behold, you did it. You got an A. You’re so proud of yourself, you’re so happy and you go home just a lady who cannot wait to share this news with your parents and get their love, and get their praise, and get their admiration. And you walk in the door, and they brush you off. “That’s great, that’s great. Thank you. Go to your room.” You’re sitting in a room, you don’t know what just happened. Why aren’t they thrilled? Why didn’t they praise me? Why aren’t they celebrating and loving me up? We are meaning making machines, so we must answer that question. Why is this happening? Because at the root, all wounding experiences are fundamentally confusing. They do not make sense. We have to fill in the blank, “Why is this happening?” We can’t bite the hand that feeds us from an evolutionary standpoint. We can’t blame mom and dad. We end up blaming ourselves. “Oh, I must not be good enough. I must be unworthy. I must be unlovable. I must be too much. I must be unwanted.” Whatever the case might be, “I’m worthless.” It sets up an epic battle for the next part of our life, in our own hero’s journeys. It’s me against this belief. We do a couple things in response to these beliefs. We try to prove them to be untrue, and we try to bury them. If you have a worthlessness wound, you’re going to try everything in your damn power to be worthy, to be worthwhile, to have value. It’s very common for me, I see it in industries actually, in the financial services industry, a lot of people have a worthlessness wound. What do they do? They unconsciously go out to try to create value. When I work with hyper successes type triple As, often times they have a wound around being a failure. They never got the praise they needed and wanted. “I must be a failure,” is the belief. “Gosh, darn it, I will prove that I’m not a failure. If I’m the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, gosh, then I’m certainly not a failure. If I do this or do that, I will not be a failure.” It’s funny when I work with these people and I’m like, “Oh, this is a failure wound.” They go, “No! It can’t possibly be a failure wound. Look at everything I’ve done. I’m not a failure.” I said, “Yeah. What wound, what belief if you’re pushing against it would inspire you to work so damn hard for success?” And then it hits them, “Holy cow. I have spent my entire life fighting against that belief and trying not to be a failure. That’s been a dominant focus of my life, and I didn’t even realize it.”

S: Would this be what you would call a wound driven operating system?

J: Yes. Yup.

S: Your whole life is driven by and patterned around this wound of you didn’t get praised when you were expecting it from your parents when you came home with the report card.

J: Right. That’s just one example.

S: Whatever the wound is.

J: The experiences, frankly in my experience, don’t matter so much. It’s the belief we adopt in response to the experiences. You look at your siblings who experience the same thing, and one has a predisposition to a certain wound pattern and they make up beliefs about that experience that makes them into a wounding experience. And for the other sibling, water reducts back, it just didn’t really touch them in that way. Other things did for them because they have a different wound pattern they’re working through in this lifetime. But for you, certain things were wounding because of I think your predisposition to certain wounding patterns. If I go really far down the rabbit hole, and people don’t have to believe this part, certainly, or frankly anything I say. I tend to think that as souls, we come into this life wanting to be available for a certain calling, wanting to do a certain thing in this life. In order to do that, we need a certain training and development program which is what your wounds are, and therefore, we’re predisposed to seeing life through a certain lens. When certain things happen, we can’t help but interpret them through that lens and it creates these beliefs, whatever the pattern is around let’s say worthlessness, “Oh. I’m worthless. People don’t love me. I’m no good.” Next experience happens. “See, there it is again. It’s confirmed. I’m worthless. People don’t love me. I’m no  good.” It happens over and over and over again, ‘til that becomes the dominant pattern you’re working through in this life. Each wound has what I would call a holy expression. Worthlessness is somebody whose soul is on a journey towards inherent value. At a soul level, they wanted to know what inherent value was so deeply. How do we know anything without knowing its opposite? We only really know something when we also know what’s opposite. If I really wanted to learn what experiencing true value was like, would it make sense that I would adopt and take on a worthlessness pattern?

S: Yeah. That pattern serves us to tune our reticular activating system so our brain is always on alert for when that situation or that issue appears.

J: Absolutely, absolutely. In the first half of life, we seek to get the thing we need externally. If I just do enough of this, then certainly it’ll be confirmed I’m not worthless, I have value. If I just do this in the world, then it will be confirmed, I’m valuable. And of course, the spiritual journey says, “You’re never going to get that out there. Nobody can do that for you.” Classic midlife crisis is when we go, “Oh crap, it’s not working. I’m not getting the nutrients I need for my soul by an external expression. I guess I have to find this value inside of myself.”

S: What do you call the opposite of a wound driven operating system then where you’re just trapped in these patterns instead of seeing the holy gift in each of those wounds?

J: Just to reiterate, with a wound driven operating system, the wound driven operating system is built on reactivity to the foundation of beliefs in our psyche, these wound based beliefs. We touch them, hot potato! We react. If you think about a nuclear reactor, reactivity is a very powerful fuel. If you also think about reactivity, you’re always moving in reverse. It’s like trying to steer your whole life in reverse in your car. You can do it, it’s not very efficient or effective though. When you actually neutralize the reactivity to that belief, “Oh yeah, I can touch my worthlessness and I don’t particularly have to react to it, it’s fine.” Now we start to be available to something else. If we’re not motivated and driven away from something, how do we motivate our lives? What’s the replacement for that motivation? In my experience, it’s your soul’s innate desire. What do I want? Not like ego cravings, or I want, I want, I want, but at a soul level, what do I actually want? What feeds me? What brings me alive? What utilizes my innate gifts? Desire is aimed towards motivator. We move from reverse to actually looking straight ahead in life. I call that a purpose driven operating system, when you’re motivated by what you want and maybe even more broadly, what the universe wants for you and through you which we might call your calling. When you can actually move from reactivity of your wound, when that actually just isn’t a player in your life anymore, then you’re freed up to connect really deeply to what you actually want, what you actually want to provide in this world, what service you want to bring. Yeah, that’s what I call a purpose driven operating system.

S: Yeah. So cool. I can really relate to this. I have been studying Kabbalah for several years now. One of the things that comes to mind from the Kabbalistic teachings when you’re talking about reactivity is something called the proactive formula which helps you to not react and instead find a proactive solution because if we’re reactive, we’re in this robotic consciousness, we’re on autopilot and not in an awareness consciousness. This proactive formula, I don’t know if you’ve heard this before.

J: No, I haven’t.

S: Okay. It’s really cool. It’s a four or five step process here. The very first step in this is to pause. Notice that you’re being reactive and to pause. That gives you the space to do something different than your robotic autopilot mode would do. Step two is to recognize that the real enemy isn’t the person that triggered you, that touched on your wound, but the enemy is within, it’s internal, it’s your opponent. Your inner opponent. In fact they refer to Satan as the opponent. It’s not this entity out there trying to lure you into being evil but instead it’s just right between your two ears. It’s inside of you. That’s step two, to recognize the opponent as the true enemy and your reactivity, not the person you’re in conflict with. Then step three is to realize that the situation is brought to you by the light, by the creator, by your higher power, by the universe, as a gift which very much falls in line with what you were saying. These wounds are holy gifts that are brought to you to help you to see in a more meaningful, powerful way where the opportunities are and where the value is or whatever it is that you’re needing to see. That step three is to realize the situation is coming from the light. And then step four is to connect with the creator, your higher power, and ask for a proactive solution. Rather than trying to always come up with it on your own, you can just connect. Get the solution, get the answer, get the next step from your higher power. And then step five, just take that proactive action.

J: Take that action.

S: Pretty cool. I even have this in my wallet. I committed it to memory so I was able to rattle it off without pulling out the piece of paper that’s in my wallet. But it’s really, really handy to incorporate that into your consciousness.

J: I thank you for sharing that. Thank you for sharing that. I have something I want to share in a little bit but first I want to just say step three, I think, is the juggernaut, that one. Because that’s usually where we get stuck. We notice we’re triggered, we recognize the enemy, and then what do we do? We usually try to just battle the enemy. It’s alright, now I’m just going to fight myself. We all know how self-sabotage turns out. Reiterate the third step once again.

S: Yeah. To realize that the situation was brought to you by the light.

J: Yeah. Whatever is in the way, is the way. If the situation is showing up, it must be a gift. Years ago, Stephan, I got this message very clearly that is really a foundation of all my work and it’s the most simple statement which is, “There are no problems to be solved just more truth to be revealed.” That all problems are fragmented expression of a whole complete divine truth. The way I think about it is this, [00:30:41] he says, imagine there’s a big sandy beach like the ones we have in LA, Santa Monica, and there’s a buried treasure somewhere in that beach. If you didn’t have a map to the buried treasure and there is no flag in the sand showing you where the treasure was, you can dig for years and never find that treasure. But fortunately for us, we have flags in the sand pointing the way to where that treasure is, where more truth wants to be revealed. Those flags are our life’s problems. “Oh my God, I feel worthless again. I went in this date. The person said they were going to call me back, they didn’t call me back. I feel like such a heel to have gotten my hopes up. Nobody wants me, I’m so worthless.” Even if there’s other parts of your psyche that know that’s BS, there’s still a part of your psyche that saying it. The step three was brought to me by the light. Or in my words, whatever is in the way is the way. There are no problems to be solved, there’s just more truth to be revealed. And in that case, instead of walking over and taking a bat to the flag, “Damn you, flag! I hate that you’re here. You’re obstructing the view of the ocean.” Instead we go, “Oh, thank you. You’re pointing the way.” You just lift the flag up, set it out, dig and find this truth. The deeper truth is always going to be about your inherent value. If that’s what the treasure’s about, if the flag is worthlessness, the treasure’s always going to be more learning about your value. I love that, “Oh it was brought to me by the light. This is a gift. This is a gift. I might not be able to see the gift yet, might be buried, but it’s a gift.”

S: It might be, as my wife Orion says, “Might be a gift but with the bow on the bottom.”

J: I love that. I need to borrow that.

S: Yup.

J: That’s so good. That’s so good. I have a tool I use with my clients called Somatic Presencing which is a really simple process people can use anywhere, anytime to receive the gift. It’s simply this. Step one, you notice when you’re triggered. This might be in a board meeting, boardroom meeting, the boss’s boss is there and says something, and it just triggers your stuff. “Oh my gosh. He thinks I’m stupid.” And maybe you have a wound around being a stupid idiot and you always feel like a fraud. Even though of course you have two PhDs because you’ve tried to compensate with not being stupid. Your stupid wounds gets triggered. For some people, that can take them out for the rest of the board meeting, maybe even for the rest of the day because after the board meeting they’re like, “Oh my god. I wasn’t present. I didn’t add any real value.” On and on you can go with your psyche. We’ve all done this. But if we have a way to receive the gift in the moment, we can actually do our personal development work in real time. Not off in ashram, not off at some meditation treat. We can actually do it right then and there. The first step is notice some trigger, “Oh, there is my stupid wound.” The second step is to notice where it lives in your body. I invite anybody listening, if you think about something that’s up for you right now, or something you’ve experienced recently, just recollect that and fall along in this process. Notice what the trigger is. Notice where it lives in your body and just place your hand there. Third step is to feel the emotion and breathe, to feel whatever the emotions are and notice that you can breathe at the same time. You’re doing two things at once. What ends up happening is you just feel the emotions as fully as possible and notice that you’re breathing as you’re telling the psyche these emotions, they might not be enjoyable, aren’t killing me. They aren’t the kind of threat I thought they were. You’re actually rewiring your neural net in terms of the fight, flight, or freeze, and your safety response to your wounds, “Oh, it’s actually safe to feel this. Huh. Wow. Who knew?” Feel the emotions as fully as possible and notice that you’re breathing at the same time, and do that as long as you can hold the emotions, which is usually just a minute or two. After that you just can’t retain the emotions usually. The fourth step then is to say to the part of you that was triggered, “I’m here. I’ve got you. What do you need?” Just listen. “What do you need? What do you need to say to me? What do you need from me? What do you need?” Show up to yourself. Show up to this part that’s triggered, because it’s the part that’s been disowned, it’s the part that’s lost, the part that’s alone. If you can just show up to it and say, “I’m here. I got you.” Allow this part of you to feel held and to listen. That’s the fourth step. The fifth step is to move ahead giving this part of you what it needs. Simple as that. You can do this, you can just tune out for a minute in a boardroom meeting, this will take a minute, two minutes max, to go through this whole process. If you’re at work somewhere and you just need to go to the restroom and do some meta presencing for two minutes, you can do that. It can be done anywhere, anytime, in real time. I’ll tell you, there’s times when I feel stuck writing copy. I need to get this email out and I’m writing copy and I feel stuck, and I’m just trying to bang it out and I just stopped and I feel a part of me that’s trying to bang it out, and I feel a part that’s frustrated, and I feel the emotions and I breathe, I tell it I’m here, I ask it what it needs, and invariably it drops me more deeply into my heart and in that place I can connect more deeply with my audience and the copy comes more easily.

S: Wow. And it’s more powerful copy, I’m sure.

J: Yeah. Those emails are the ones people always write back into my support team. “Oh my God, that touched me so deeply.”

S: I love that. It’s so amazing, that Somatic Presencing process. It’s like a nice adjunct to the proactive formula, to both.

J: Absolutely. If you did Somatic Presencing, and then recognized this was a gift from the divine, and ask the divine for proactive solution, after you’ve done some of this integrating around your wound, wow, that’s a beautiful process.

S: Yeah. When you were saying step four is to feel the emotions, really feel them fully and to breathe through it, that reminded me of something I learned from the monks in India, at Oneness University at the Oneness Temple, they explained to let the tiger devour you. Which is very similar to what you were saying earlier about turning towards your wound instead of trying to run away from it. Let the tiger devour you. Let that negative feeling of fear or frustration or anger or whatever, just feel it fully.

J: Yeah. I want to share a little story around letting the tiger devour you. I’ve been doing this work I do around leadership development, spiritual development, and marketing for about a decade now. I left Microsoft in 2006. I partnered with a number of people as I’d gone through my career and did very well. Couple of years ago, starting 2012, I started working with this guy, Mat Simon, and at some point about 1 ½ year in, he asked me to be CEO of the company. Before that, I was just head of training which is a bit more where my genius lives. I fought him, like, “No, no, no.” Finally I said yes. What I didn’t recognize, and frankly I don’t think he recognized either is that he really wanted me to run the company the way he would’ve run it. He wanted to go off and do something else. I’m not him. Surprise, surprise. Frankly, I sucked at running this company. I just was no good at it. I felt so helpless and hopeless. I just felt like I was in the pit of the well and didn’t know how to get out. Something miraculous happened. I had a speaking gig in Melbourne and I have another colleague who was in Sydney. He’s like, “Mate, come stay with me.” He had this gorgeous home on Sydney Harbour with a guest house literally at the water. The guesthouse happened to also be his office. I stayed with him. His name is Taki Moore.

S: I know Taki. He’s a good friend.

J: You know Taki. Alright, Taki and I are dear buds. He had this drafting table and he had this big thing of butcher’s paper and he would pull it over the drafting table, take a Sharpie, draw a square, draw some stuff in it, take his cell phone out, take a photo, text it somewhere and do this again. Pull more paper over, draw another square, take another photo. I’m like, “Taki, what are you doing?” He said, “Oh, I’m making a PowerPoint deck.” I’m like, “What?” He’s like, “Yeah.” This is a very gifted internet marketer and he was like, “Yeah, I hate computers. So I draw the slides with my sharpie, I take a photo, I send it to my designer. The designer puts it all in the PowerPoint and makes a deck for me.” This blew me away. It never occurred to me that someone could be in their genius and so frankly in their sovereignty of not fighting the genius. Like, “Yeah, I hate computers. I’m no good at it, I like to draw. I’m just going to draw and structure my business around my genius.” It was that moment, in that boathouse, that I recognized, “Oh my God, I’m so far away from my giftedness. No wonder I feel so helpless and hopeless and alone.” I came back to America, told Max, “Hey, I can’t do this anymore.” Eventually, we parted ways, very amicably. That was really the beginning of me just being in my own brand, developing my own company, doing my own work. For years, people would see me co-teaching with people. They come up to me and say, “Jeffrey, we just want you. We’re just here for you. The other person’s fine but we’re just here for you.” The other person may have had their tribe that said the same thing. But my people just wanted me and I wasn’t able to answer, I wasn’t able to show up to that because I had a wound that said people don’t really want what I have. I was avoiding helplessness for so long and I didn’t even know it. It was allowing the helplessness to devour me, allowing that tiger to just wash over me and to fully, fully be in my pit of helplessness that actually liberated me from it. Now it’s like yeah, I run my own business, and I have a pretty big team, and we’re doing great work. Yeah, there’s times I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but it’s not something I have to avoid anymore because I let that tiger devour me. There’s still other tigers I’m in the midst of letting devour me. That piece of like, “Fight it, fight it, fight it.” Finally let it devour you, it’s the scariest damn thing in world. Because to your psyche, it feels like you’re going to die. I don’t know if I’m even going to make it through this. I don’t know who I’m going to be on the other side of this. But if you can do it, if you can have that courage and sometimes it’s just bit by bit. Like in Somatic Presencing when I just ask you to feel the emotion, just feel them. And notice that you’re not dying. By noticing that you’re actually able to breathe in and out while you’re feeling the emotions. It’s this subtle way, this micro experience of bite by bite eating the thing or letting the tiger devour you, how are you going to look at it, it’s “Oh, this thing I’ve been avoiding, this thing I’ve been pushing away, this thing I’ve been struggling with, can I actually turn towards it?”

S: This reminds me when you see things that you are pushing away and avoiding and procrastinating, that can reveal the path forward too. It’s something that you know, “I really should be doing this.” I’ve been procrastinating getting back on TV because I had all these TV appearances last year. I have 11 of them and then I took a many month hiatus. Orion and I got married in December.

J: Congratulations.

S: Thank you. It’s now been one year. We took time to prepare for the wedding and stuff, so I stopped doing my TV appearances in the fall last year, and then I never got back into it. I was procrastinating getting back into it because it felt so darn uncomfortable. I’m super comfortable being on stage, presenting in front of even thousands of people, no problem with that. But being on live TV freaks me out still. I’ve been procrastinating that. But that really was my path to get back on TV because I have this vision, this calling to have a book about personal development and doing a reboot on your life and I want it to be New York Times Best Seller, I want it to be talked about on TV, big shows like Good Morning America, and Today’s show, so I need to be a guest as the author on those shows. They’re not going to have you if you haven’t been on TV before or if it’s been years since you’ve been on TV so I needed to get back in the game.

J: Here’s something I invite you to look at if you’re willing to play for a second. I just did a big event, I do a big event every year called Called to Lead because all of my people are called to lead. A lot of them are frankly reluctant leaders at first. Nobody I serve is like, “I want to be a leader.” It’s, “No, “I’m called to be a leader. Damn it.” Each time I do a big event, there’s always an organic theme that seems to erupt or merge in the room. First time I did a big event, it was Wave Your Freak Flag. It was embracing your difference, that was the theme. This time, it was about coming out, it was about visibility, and it was about exposure. I felt it was so timely because so many people that are called to lead, that have been reluctant leaders, they’ve been hiding in the wings create a vacuum for frankly more wounded people to step forward and have their egos be fed and call it leadership. It really felt timely like, yeah, it is time to have these changes and see some messengers step forward and be really visible. And of course that visibility calls into question visibility wounds and gosh, what’s going to be exposed? What’s going to be touched? What’s perhaps going to be revealed that feels scary to have that be seen? I’m curious. Stephan, I do a fair amount of speaking. I know when you’re on stage as a speaker, you control it, you’re the one that wrote your keynote. It’s a one way dialogue, you’re speaking to the audience. But when you’re on TV and being interviewed, first of all, you’re not up on stage removed from the audience. If you’ve ever been on a TV set, it’s quite intimate. But with millions of eyeballs on you from these cameras and you don’t control the conversation quite as much. I’m curious for you, when you feel into that fear, that terror maybe even, what feels like it’s going to be touched or exposed?

S: I’ll tell you what feels most uncomfortable about it, about being on TV versus being on stage. On stage, I feel this unconscious competence. I went from unconscious incompetence, I was terrible as a public speaker in the early days. It was bad. I just kept at it, kept at it, kept at it. I’ve done thousands of speaking gigs. “Repetition is the mother of skills,” Tony Robbins says. I just kept going and I got better and a lot better, and a lot, lot better. I feel very masterful on stage.

J: Yup.

S: Piece of cake. I could just get on stage and riff about something, no PowerPoint deck, just give me a topic.

J: Wind me up, let you go.

S: Now, on TV, I don’t feel that mastery, that there’s all the stuff that I don’t really know yet or it’s just not part of my unconscious competence. For example, you have to sit on the lapels of your suit coat, to pull it down in the back to make it not look bunched up in the front. There are 101 different things like that that you have to keep in mind. Like, “Oh, I have to know which side is the host going to be on. Did they put my microphone on the correct lapel? Which side of my suit so that I’m facing towards the person and the microphone is on that side.” There are 101 different little details like that and I need to just not sound rehearsed but have been well rehearsed beforehand.

J: TV like sound bites.

S: Lots of energy because TV flattens your energy.

J: Let me ask you this, the fear is if I don’t have these things dialled in in that unconscious competence you now have on stage, if I don’t have that, the fear is that what might happen?

S: That I’ll screw it up on live TV.

J: And if you screwed up on live TV, what does that make you? What does that mean about you? What’s the interpretation? That’ll prove that I’m…

S: Not competent, not successful, not an expert. I won’t look good. I know that’s ego. The ego is not where I want to live. I want to live in my soul, in my spirit, the ego driven stuff is a distraction.

J: Let’s just stay with this for another moment. If you aren’t an expert, and you don’t have your stuff together, and you don’t look good, what people see is that you are what?

S: I had this idea that I’m maybe suffering from Impostor Syndrome because I had another guest on, Elissa Fisher Harris, we talked a lot about Impostor Syndrome and Comparative Success Syndrome, which is a close cousin to Impostor Syndrome. I’m like, “Yeah, I think I probably have that.” I think it has to do with being an impostor or not, being looked down upon.

J: Here is a place that very well maybe, and the place that I’m curious about is you’re smart, you’ve written tombs, big books, I’m sure you studied a lot, have degrees etc., there’s fortification of the mind, which again in our wound driven operating system, the value of the wound operating system is that actually drives us to do these things which builds our skill, builds the muscles. Good, glad you have all of that. My guess is that there’s something underneath that, if the drive to be smart and to know things and to be competent, is unconsciously a drive to have not something else not to be exposed. Some more vulnerable aspect, and for some people that’s feeling stupid. For other people it’s feeling not good enough. For other people, I’m an impostor. But even after impostor or failure, underneath impostor often is, “I’m a failure.” That’s the place I’d look is like what’s the tender bits underneath that. It’s like, “Oh crap. That would be exposed and that just feels scary.”

S: I guess the part that most made my skin crawl when you were talking there was the part about failure. My grandfather who is very abusive and raised me for a part of childhood liked to be very abusive with his words and he would accuse everybody of being a failure, especially my mother. He calls her a failure all the time. And she’d call him a failure, I call him a failure too. I think he probably called me a failure, but he was also very proud of my accomplishments. When I came home with straight As and stuff, he would be very proud of that.

J: Now, you’re not a failure.

S: It was very conditional.

J: Yeah. That’s great. You have what I call a life PhD in failure. Which of course means you also are on a quest around success in doing well. Beyond failure and success, failure and success is a doorway into something inside of yourself that I might call wholeness. I hear when you’re like, “Oh I don’t want to be run by my ego.” I don’t really call ego bad or good. I just look at what’s integrated and what’s unintegrated in ourselves. To me, whenever we touch our wounds, our wounds are just unintegrated aspects of ourselves. The place I would recommend you go is maybe do Somatic Presencing followed by the Kabbalistic Practice you mentioned around the failure. Do it in the morning before you go on set or when you’re in the green room and feeling nervousness. Feel the nervousness, allow you to feel what’s underneath that around being a failure, and having that be exposed, which is the fraud stuff. Here I’m a failure and I’m supposed to be a guest expert on TV. And feel the emotions and breathe, and then ask the divine, what’s the question you have? The fifth step?

S: The fifth step in the proactive formula?

J: Yes.

S: That one is just to take the proactive action.

J: Oh, what’s the fourth step?

S: Yes. To ask the question like, “What’s the proactive next step I should take?” Ask that of the divine.

J: Yeah. I would even invite what’s the more authentic belief about myself? Because the wounded belief is, “I’m a failure, and I can’t be failure because if I’m a failure I don’t get love.” What’s the deeper truth and maybe the proactive formula, what’s the next step I take in that deeper truth? Or as a reflection of that deeper truth? What’s the proactive formula there and then take that step. That’s an example of welcoming it in, “Oh the failure is welcome too.” And then, interview by interview by interview, you actually embrace more and more and more of yourself becoming more and more whole, or you become more sovereign, where you actually feel safer to reveal more of yourself which makes you more energetic and shiny which makes you even a better guest on TV.

S: That’s great. That was very profound. The whole exercise and all the stuff you said. I really resonated with what you just said, that the failure is welcome too. Wow. Profound stuff. Thank you so much.

J: It doesn’t have to lead the way, but it’s welcome too. It doesn’t have to drive the bus, but it is welcome too. Yes.

S: Because what you resist persists.

J: Absolutely.

S: Awesome. Thank you so, so much, Jeffrey. What a great way to end this episode with that powerful exercise. I appreciate you sharing that and all the other wisdom that you shared in this episode. If folks wanted to work with you, if they wanted to attend your next call to lead event or I know you have monthly events that are in Santa Monica, and that you also live stream on YouTube, which I’ve attended some and they’re fantastic, and you probably have coaching and things like that as well, how would folks work with you?

J: Yeah. That’s great, thank you. The easiest way is just to go to, my last name does not have an ‘e’ at the end. It’s and you can find most everything there. We’ll give you two other URLs for the monthly talks. Like you said, they’re in Santa Monica, and I live stream them globally, and the live stream is free. You can go to, register for those. Those are on the third Thursday of each month. We’re not doing one in December because of the craziness of the holidays but we’ll be back on track in January. And lastly, for those that really do have a big calling and want to know how to connect more deeply with their tribe who really needs their work to understand why they are the one to deliver it to that particular tribe and learn how to position it, and talk about it, and package it so that tribe responds, you can go to and there’s a webinar there where you can learn more about the work I do around seeing how the wounds prepared you to know a unique tribe and how to translate that connection between you and this tribe into effective marketing.

S: Perfect. Alright, thank you so much, Jeffrey. Thank you, listeners, now it’s time to take some action and apply this in your life. I would love to hear what your experiences applying the Somatic Presencing and these various other things, the proactive formula, etc., into your daily practices. Do let me know how that goes for you. We’ll catch you on the next episode of The Optimized Geek. This is your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.