Ep.5 Anger, Alkohol and a mind that just drives you crazy interview w/ Nate Rifkin

Hello there,

Today’s interview is about deep rage experienced at a young age that turned into alcoholism and deep depression.

Not knowing who he really was and stumbling from one misstep to the other ending up in a complete crisis at a young age with no money, no hope, no one to support him…

Suicide…. is what he thought was the solution.

Listen to the incredible breakthrough that Nate experienced.

step by step.

Little by little he dug himself out of misery and is now living a life filled with love, success and joy.

voila his page:

Home

check out his book:

The Standing Meditation

with love

Aurora

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Transcript
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Hello, and welcome to the Borealis experience, I mean

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holster raw. And I’m very excited to be posting this

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interview for you here. Nate Rifkin grew up in a household

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that was really not loving and compassionate. and that in turn,

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turn him into a very angry child, and young person. And

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this anger, he carried around for so many years, also turned

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into depression, a full on depression, let’s say. And it

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went so far that he reached a point where he was really

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thinking of suicide and ending this miserable life he was

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living in. So Nate will not only share his story with you today,

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but he will also let us know about the tools, the big steps,

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the small steps that he took, in order to live a fulfilled life.

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He used to be very socially awkward. And as I said, at the

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beginning, angry, and now he met the woman of his dreams, and

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wrote a book. And it’s helping many more people out there who

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struggled with depression, anxiety, or even suicidal

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thoughts. Welcome to this show.

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Nate reskin.

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Oh, no, thank you, or Thank you for having me on. And yeah, I

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hope this story can really help inspire some people and give

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them some great direction. But the short version is, I was born

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into a family that was really devoid of any kind of love, or,

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like, my parents were not compassionate people, I was very

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angry child. And I didn’t really understand that this was kind of

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an emotionally abusive environment, I didn’t have any

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perspective. And as I got older, my anger got more and more

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turned inward. So I got more and more sad, I got more and more

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depressed. And as a teenager, which is socially awkward, which

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piled on, it just got worse and worse, because I was angry to

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begin with. And then I got more frustrated, which made me more

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socially awkward. And I, I didn’t really care much about

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school could could not get a date to save my life. But I

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figured if I could go to college, and move out of my town

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and move away from my family, move away from the people, I

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knew I could start over. And my first day at college, I realized

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how wrong I was because it didn’t matter how far I

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traveled, or if I surrounded myself with total strangers, new

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people, I was still myself, I was still carrying my inner

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baggage with me. So they, I didn’t really make any friends

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in college and my grades started to slip. And the only light in

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my life at that point was that I liked working out. I liked

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exercising and I thought maybe somehow I can be like an

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entrepreneur in some way, like own a gym, be a personal

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trainer, or produce products on health and fitness. Like how to

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products like how to work out. So I started thinking, I hate

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college. I’m hitting my life right now. And if I’m going to

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be a business owner of some kind, do I need a college

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degree? Maybe not. I don’t think anyone’s gonna ask for it. So I

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dropped I dropped that. And I said on my last day of it was

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three semesters in is my last day I still remember I said

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goodbye. I didn’t really nobody noticed I was gone. So in my

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early 20s, I moved into a condo in Boulder, Colorado, and I

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started you know, trying to actually did create a business

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selling fitness products online. with that. I actually partnered

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with my brother, he was like the face the business. He knew a lot

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about yoga and other forms of exercise. And I just kind of was

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behind the scenes handling everything. And I have a knack

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for writing. I had a knack for advertising but I was terrible.

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Everything else like I had no knowledge of how to like run a

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business or even just how to run my own personal finances. So I

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started maxing out my credit cards. And it just got worse and

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worse like the same downward spiral that happened like

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socially for me, it was now happening financially for me, so

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I was getting pretty scared. And just to get through the day I

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started drinking vodka every morning, like probably about a

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couple of shots of vodka in the morning mixed with like an

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energy drink. It wasn’t Red Bull. It was kind of like that.

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And that’s how he started every single day. And sometimes I

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think I had another one another drink in the afternoon, early

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afternoon. And my business started getting worse and worse,

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I started going into deeper and deeper debt. Things weren’t

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working out my brother and things weren’t working out

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anywhere else. And this was, while I was doing like, goal

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setting and visualizing my success, and all kinds of other

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stuff. Like affirmations. I even had a vision board. When if

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anyone ever came over to my condo, I like hid division for

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us, I was kind of embarrassed about that sort of thing. So I

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was in a rough spot. And this was like, like you said, this is

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right around when I started thinking about killing myself,

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because my thoughts would just loop and loop and loop and loop

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and I felt like such a loser. And I didn’t know what to do. I

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was so frustrated because everything that was supposed to

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work didn’t work. And I was really, really trying, I was

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really trying.

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Fortunately, I had someone who was kind of a quasi mentor, and

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he was he was teaching business. And I’d kind of go to his

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meetups quarterly with other people. And he was into a

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spiritual tradition called Taoism. And I didn’t, he didn’t

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really talk about it too much. But eventually He’s like, let me

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show you some meditations. And they’re really cool. And he

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talked about I was like, Look, I actually go, I go to China, and

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I learned these things. And these, these meditations go

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back, like 1000s of years, they’re very powerful. People

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would do them in like, become enlightened, or they meditate on

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the tops of mountains are in caves. And this like, is an

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interesting demand. Like, I was drawn to it. I was like, well,

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this is kind of cool. This isn’t like the usual, the usual kind

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of boring, just sitting, you know, sit on a cushion quieting

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your mind type stuff, because I wasn’t. I mean, I dabbled in

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spiritual stuff here and there, but I’m like, you know, show me

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the results. It’s I I’ve got my goals that I want to achieve.

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And it’s like, I’m not just drawn to this stuff, just

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because I’m, you know, drawn to it. I will I want there to be a

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result of some kind. Well, finally, with like, the Dallas

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spiritual path, my teachers like, Look, this is going to

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help you in the rest of your life. Just try out this one

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meditation. It’s super cool. It’s even, like rooted in

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martial arts. So and it was a meditation happy to be done

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standing up. So I was like, Alright, let me try. I started

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with 60 seconds per day. And a funny thing happened. I started

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to actually feel better about myself, like the thoughts that

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used to loop and loop. They started to like, and they’re all

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and then of course, it was self hatred. So these negative

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thoughts that started to go down, it starts late, it was

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like a dial taking and quieting down. I was like, well, that’s

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nice. That’s cool. I wasn’t even trying to do that. But I’ll take

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it. And then I realized my schedule is like, I’d get up,

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take a shower, I will do a minute of meditation. And I’d

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add a little bit of time every day. And I’d still go drink. I

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didn’t stop. But I noticed something interesting. I would

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feel good from the meditation, then I would go drink. And I,

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you know, I still like it’s such a mess. So the alcohol did make

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me feel better on the surface level. But as I kept going, as

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the days went by, the meditation made me feel better and better.

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It was like catching up to how good the alcohol made me feel.

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And one day, I felt as good right before I took a drink. It

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just kind of the drink made me just feel more drunk. So I’m

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like, I wonder what’s going to happen if I keep going? Well,

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within a day or two, I was feeling so good. And from the

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meditation that when I drank the alcohol, like and it was

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sometime in the morning, I felt worse. And that’s when I stopped

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drinking. So this is just as just my story. I’m not saying

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it’s like meditation, like Haha, you could stop drinking, but

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that’s what happened to me. And I and again, it was like feeling

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good. I wasn’t necessarily trying to do that.

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Hmm. Can I add some to that? Like, I feel a lot of times

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people don’t understand that. alcoholism is there to it has a

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purpose. It’s helping us to feel better to cope and right. So you

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have to replace it with something. And it doesn’t have

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to be meditation but but something that is not

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destructive, self destructive, in order to let go of that

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because if you don’t have something to replace it, you

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have that void With us, so painful to sit. And so and this

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is what people are probably most scared of. Right?

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Yeah, that that makes laws. I love how you put that like it’s

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it, there’s a purpose to it. And it kind of it ties in to how I

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stopped because I added in something first right before I

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built a positive habit. So as as I ratchet that up, the other

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habit, the negative one kind of fell away, it just kind of

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naturally disintegrated. Yeah. So I was like, well, this is

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this is cool, because this is like real results. And I’m all

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about that. I’m like, I want like to, I want to feel

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something I want to experience something I want to benefit from

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it. So I start other people at this point, we’re like, Nate,

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you’re you’re looking different to something different about

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you. And I like didn’t tell him what I was doing. So I’m like,

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Oh, this is cool. So it’s not even just in my head. So I

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remember, after practicing for a few months, and just gradually

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feeling better and better every day. I had an experience where I

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felt like I was doing a meditation. And I felt like my

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body started glowing like a light bulb. And it felt really

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good too. It just felt I just felt really warm. I didn’t I

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didn’t have the language for it. But I was having like a

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spiritual experience. All I knew is that just like, Oh, this is

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cool. I feel wonderful. This is great. So it lasted several

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minutes. And then I like river is still in my condo is living

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in my condo in Boulder. And I sat down on my futon and I’m

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just like, this is like, this is the only thing in my life that

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is working for me. And it’s working really well. I feel

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great if I found something that actually works. So I’m going to

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dedicate my life to it. And that’s sort of like the

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beginning of how I turned my inner life around is. And that

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was 12 years ago about and I’ve been I’ve been diving deeper

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into Taoism ever since then. So that’s that’s kind of the

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beginning of my journey. Mm hmm. Wow.

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And I read something beautiful the other day that ask people

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who went through intense trauma and maybe even suicidal

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thoughts. We were meant to go through that journey in order to

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help people who are struggling today, like in some religions,

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they for like what do you say for saw for saw that there is

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going to be very morbid and times where humanity has to rise

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up and catch up and then has to go through very painful periods.

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And you seem to Yeah, you went through that pain and learned to

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Yeah, transform it into something positive now and now

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you can inspire others who are struggling to follow you or to

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start a similar path. How is it for you? And your family? Like

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your parents? Did you ever reconnect with them? Or did you

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leave them back then? And now you kind of drifted apart? Did

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you have like reconnection? Or not so much? That’s,

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that’s a great question. That’s, that’s a cool one. I’ve never

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been asked that before. That’s awesome. It’s very, very

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interesting, because I was when I when I went to college, and

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basically beyond I pretty much didn’t talk to my parents. My my

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father and I and my parents are divorced. They divorced when I

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was seven. My father and I would occasionally have conversations,

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but it was very, it was very surface surface level. It was

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very superficial. But we got along. And my mother and I often

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would would go like, like maybe a year without a conversation.

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We’d have like a yearly conversation and wouldn’t be a

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good one necessarily. And I knew and they’re in very emotional

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shutdown places. So what’s interesting though, is I

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monitored this when I began doing my like Dallas meditation

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practice and started like slowly turning my life around. My

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parents on their own, separately started to seem to be more

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mentally healthy, which you know, I just made a mental note

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because their path is not my path. And I’m not their

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caretaker. But I made a note like, isn’t that interesting? So

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as time went on, I still really rarely spoke to my mother until

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maybe about what was it three years ago, or three and a half

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years ago, because I actually started working with a

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therapist. And that side note, some people like might wonders

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is like way you went on the spiritual path for 13 years and

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then worked with the therapist. Well, sure. I love using like

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multiple modalities to like, help me out. And this guy is

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really good. And he actually encouraged me to reconnect with

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my parents. But he was very, very deliberate and intentional

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about how to do it. Because his whole thing is like, Nate, look,

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when you came into this world, you had an emotionally abusive

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relationship with your parents, and they were the adults, they

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were in charge, and you your child didn’t really know any

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better. Now’s your chance to have a new conversation with

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your parents where you lead them and where you are in charge.

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Yeah. And he said, and you can do it on the phone, and you can

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get really quick practice rounds. So one of the one of the

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best things he ever had me do is call up each pair individually.

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So I’d be like, Hey, Mom, I’d like to talk. And I’d like to

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actually talk about our history, and some other things, would you

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be willing to do that? And and she said, that, Oh, absolutely,

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I’m like, great, I will get back to you. And I end the

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conversation, because I’m the one steering the ship and is.

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And I did the same thing with my dad, which was super awkward.

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But the long story, short of that is I’m at a point now where

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I’ve learned that my mother is still in a pretty bad place.

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However, I am connecting more with my father. So it’s pretty

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interesting how when one goes on a kind of on a journey of

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putting their life back together and thriving, that some times

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things can work out with family, mostly I’ve seen the distance is

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the result. But sometimes that’s, that’s a healthy thing.

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And sometimes it’s very, very necessary. And we have to, we

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have to really release our dreams of that storybook ending

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with the same people that might have heard us. Mm hmm.

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No matter the outcome. It is so important, though to feel

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differently now about your parents and you used to you

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might have felt very angry, you are maybe very resentful. And

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you were still carrying that anger inside of you. Maybe if

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you didn’t even feel it and to now, change the relationship is

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such a huge thing for your healing process to for theirs as

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well. For yours, to be able to let go and to not be that victim

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anymore to know that today. You can make your decisions, you can

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set boundaries you can have those conversations or not, is

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incredibly healing and empowering. So thank you for for

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sharing that.

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Yeah. Yeah.

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Oh, it’s my pleasure. And I really love how you said the

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anger that you might not even feel because that’s exactly

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where I was. Someone told me it’s like all your angry

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parents. It’s like, No, I don’t care. I don’t I don’t care.

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Sure, yeah.

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How was it? Like in relationships? Like romantic

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relationships? Did you like as soon as you forgive your parents

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or kind of knew that? You, you have a different sense of self

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now? Did that change the way you were relating maybe even to your

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friends, but also romantic partners?

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Yeah, yeah. And in fact, being able to relate differently to

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romantic partners was the was the purpose behind reconnecting

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with my parents? Because my therapist was very, very smart.

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And I was just an I had a very direct intentions like, Oh,

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yeah, I would love to, you know, have a great relationship and

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maybe get married. And he could see it’s just like, Nate may

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want that. But we need to steer him back to his parents. And I’m

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like, what, what do I have to talk to them for? I’m over that

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easily. And he’s like, trust Trust me. Trust me on this.

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Well, he actually he did more than say, trust me. He talked

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about like, Look, I’ve actually done gone through this without

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Other people, and it really helps. So yes, because what

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happened was, as a result of me, being able to steer the

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conversation with my parents, whether the relationship had a

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happier or more loving outcome or not, I changed the way I

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related to them. And I kind of rewired my brain for relating to

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them. And they were my original programming. So what happened

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was, yeah, when I would talk to it could be on a date I gave,

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when I talked to a woman on a date, all of a sudden, I was a

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lot more open and fun and spontaneous about where I would,

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I would, you know, go with the conversation. Because here’s an

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interesting tidbit. You know, guys who were kind of like, it’s

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like, ah, I struggle with dating, because, you know, women

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say I’m boring. Like, that’s because you’re angry. And

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you’re, but you’re, you’re, you’ve got a lid on it, you’re

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shut down as a result. So there’s, there’s a lot of like,

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what people see on the other side is like, guys just kind of

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boring. It was a flat conversation. The reason there’s

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no liveliness is because there’s so much emotional baggage,

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stuffing down half of your energy as a human being. So as a

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result, you’re going to come off flat. And because your feedback

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is like boring, you never realize it’s really the anger.

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That’s what needs to be resolved. Wow,

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that is such a thing. I know, people who will listen to this

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will be like, holy I you know, sometimes we’re so close to the

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to the key to the solution, but we just don’t see it. And you

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made it very visible just now with the lead on and, and the

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board. Like, I never thought of that. Also, when when you blame

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others to be boring, it’s usually yourself. Like you’re

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not allowing a flow of conversation. And, and then as a

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result, you blame the other person or she was so boring. She

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was so closed up. But it was all you who were not capable of

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being okay was who you are and confident in a conversation.

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Right? Yeah, yeah. Cuz when you say someone, well, someone’s

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boring. It’s like, well, they’re a human being. Did you have any

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compassion for just being able to hang out and see the light

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and another human being? There’s always that, yeah, or just be

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like, I appreciate where that person is on their journey or

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something. You can say it’s like, well, we didn’t resonate

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that Okay, fine. But, but yeah, and saying someone else’s

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boring. It’s just like, it’s kind of it really is just one

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more flavor of the circumstances had power over me. It’s

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crazy. How good for you. When you first gave up alcohol when

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you first dove into meditation? Did you have situations maybe

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it’s due, you don’t remember anymore. But situations where

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you had a choice where it was like, actually, like it was good

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with the alcohol, I can go back. You know, where you had to make

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a decision? Or was it very clear that meditation is taking over

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now and this is your path?

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It was honestly, it was very clear to me because I did stop

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drinking because of willpower. It really just didn’t feel good

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anymore. That’s just what happened to me. Now, there were

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there were there were other things in my life where there

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was more willpower required, like when it came to like paying

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bills regularly, or keeping, you know, keeping my place clean, or

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being more social, where I had to remind myself, hey, this

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spiritual walking, taking helps, but that’s all it’s going to do

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is help. It’s going to give me the inner strength to do what’s

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best for me, but I still have to do what is best for me. I can’t

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use meditation to swap out hard work. It’s an adjunct. So So

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yeah, it was I had those situations for sure. And I still

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do today. Mm hmm. Yeah, I

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think it’s, it’s part of our lives and you just got to

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embrace it and see that it’s okay. You just don’t need to

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engage in it anymore.

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Yeah, and I think a lot of people get involved in sort of,

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they dive into their spiritual part of life and maybe

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meditation to escape or To get something where it’s just like,

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well, I couldn’t it’s kind of like people who kind of dive

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into the law of attraction versus like, I can’t do

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anything. Right? Well, let me let me go try this spiritual

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thing. And and it’s almost like a way to bypass away that they

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really do need to grow inwardly. So it’s, it’s, it’s a, I’ve just

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don’t kill the messenger, but I made, it’s just like, Look, I

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have found that the spiritual path is a part of your growth.

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And if you can’t sort of use it to avoid an inner maturing that

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you need to go through.

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Yeah, that’s so wonderful, thank you so much. I feel like it’s

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been so valuable already, everything that you’ve shared.

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If there was three things that you had to write down for a

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person who’s maybe not quite there yet, but who had maybe a

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little bit of an awakening, listening to you now, what would

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be the three steps or maybe tools that you would recommend

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for a person to help themselves.

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The first is having a meditative practice. And I love like the

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really simple foundational practice of breathing into one’s

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belly and feeling the breath going into your belly. And And

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what I’d write down for this person is one of the three steps

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is we have we’re an information overload, there’s so much out

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there. But the power for meditation is taking the time to

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feel, feel the energy, because the more you feel the energy,

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the more energy you’ll build. And the more you focus on

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feeling, the more sensitive you’re going to get to it. So

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songs, songs, just like that. Now feel nothing for meditation,

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heck, I can really, okay, I was that guy. It’s not going to be

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overnight. It is a muscle that must be built and, and sitting

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quietly, and breathing into your belly is a great way to do it.

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And also by focusing on your breath, you’re going to calm

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down your mind without trying to fight your mind. Yeah, so the

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second thing I would say for someone is like the habit of a

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meditative practice like that, which could be a very, very

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powerful one. Because I think, by the way, some people won’t be

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like, Oh, just sitting and breathing into your belly.

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That’s no, come on, give me give me the real goods. It’s like no,

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that that really is that really is a very effective, powerful

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practice. So the second thing I’d say is, it’s not about it,

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fighting your it’s not about making enemy of your thoughts. I

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spent my first 25 years being at odds with my thoughts and and

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having this clash with my own thoughts. when really it was a

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matter of stepping off the treadmill of Well, let me think

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positive Oh, no, I’m not thinking positive. Oh, shoot,

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I’m gonna attract something bad. I can let me just shut up. Like,

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why do I keep living as it’s like, and most the time, I was

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just thinking about something as angry about the, the reason a

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meditative practice works so well is you get to jump off that

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treadmill. It’s like, I’m not gonna participate in it, it’s

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not a matter of like, Well, let me try it out. Think my thoughts

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somehow it’s like a dog chasing its tail, I’m just not going to

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participate. So And the third thing I would say is that, it’s,

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it is like, an it’s part of your life, like, exercise, or making

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sure your sleep is good. or working on your career instead

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of overnight. Think daily discipline, and the results will

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take care of themselves over the long term. Be pat yourself on

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the back just for putting in that five minutes per day if

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you’re building the habit. And, and, and, and what will happen

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is maybe in that week, you know, you’re gonna be like, Alright,

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this is nothing much. Maybe that month, you’ll be like, well, I’m

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getting some results. But I don’t know, this doesn’t really

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seem like, keep going. Because over a period of several months,

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you might be like, I guess there’s something to this. Other

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is, it’s like, well, I’m feeling a little bit better. People are

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treating me better. Life’s getting a little bit better.

Unknown:

It’s like Well, yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s great. Let’s go

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to the point because what’s gonna happen is five years from

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now, you’ll look back and you’ll go Thank God, I did that. Yeah.

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Yeah. So that’s, that is the key. So that’s what I would say.

Unknown:

Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah. Maybe start out and do it as you brush

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your teeth right? couple times a day, just a couple minutes and

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see what happens. Become familiar with your thoughts.

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Become familiar with your monkey mind up here and then don’t

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engage. If it’s not positive. If it’s not leading anywhere good,

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then just choose to not engage and yeah,

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very Absolutely.

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Because it doesn’t matter what the thoughts are. You can still

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breathe into your belly. It’s like, Okay, I understand. I

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understand that. This is just like, My thoughts are screaming

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louder than ever. Oh, look, I can still breathe into my belt.

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Yes. Beautiful. Thank you so much name for your time. That

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was a very, very good time and awesome to get to know you. And

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then Ben, if there is listeners out here who want to reach out

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to you, is there any platform that you can provide with or

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should they just buy your book? Of course mentioned your book as

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well? Is there a way to reach you if there’s questions?

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Well, there I do have a blog. So on Nate Rifkin calm it’s just

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just my name. And I post regularly. And, and yeah, for a

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really kind of deep, like, get into the nitty gritty of the

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story and kind of be held by the hand and lead through a lot of

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this. A lot of the factors in spiritual walk. You know, I took

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three years to write this book, and it’s on Amazon. It’s called

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the standing meditation. And actually, I even have a website,

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the standing meditation calm, which, which just goes to the

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Amazon page, but makes things easy. So that that that would be

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the way I mean, I wrote I wrote that book, in terms like if

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some, if someone were I was at, you know, 13 years ago. This is

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the book I would want hand it to them.

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Mm hmm. That is so beautiful. Wonderful. So I will make sure

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to put that in the show notes as well. And yeah, otherwise, thank

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you so much for your time here today. Well, thank you or it’s

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been really, really wonderful. Thank you so much for listening

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to this interview. And if you have any questions, reach out to

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me on facebook. Aurora Eggert is my name there are on Instagram,

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the Borealis experience. And if you enjoy my content here,

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please leave me a review on Apple podcast, who would mean

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the world to me. Thank you, and I will be out there very soon

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