Posts

Erin McCullough Spiritual Dope

Erin McCullough is a thought leader, an in-demand speaker and an international teacher that helps people create IMPENETRABLE JOY so that they can be calm, have peace of mind and meaning in their life, NOW! Erin had an Anxiety Disorder that had her holed up in her home for nearly a year. Through that experience she learned how and why that happened and developed strategies to overcoming and preventing it, which is what she now teaches. Erin vowed that when she found solutions to overcoming and preventing anxiety, she would do whatever she could to make sure that no one had that experience, so that has been her mission. Erin spent a decade studying the Mind/Body connection, Visualization and ways to still the mind. Over the decade she has created simple strategies to Overcoming and Preventing Anxiety, Stress, Worry and Overwhelm so that all her clients live a life intentionally in Joy. She has been an entrepreneur for 21 years and consulting businesses and business leaders for 16 years. If you question who you are and what you are meant to be doing in this life, let Erin help you discover your own path to joy.

Connect with Erin at https://www.erin-mac.com/

The transcript below is machine-generated and unedited.

Brandon Handley 0:41
Hey there spiritual dope. I’m on here today with Erin McCullough. She is a thought leader in the main speaker and an international teacher that helps people create impenetrable joy so that they can be calm, have peace of mind and meaning in their life. Now, Erin had an anxiety disorder that had her holed up in her home for nearly a year, through that experience to learn how and why that happened and develop strategies to overcoming and preventing it, which is what she’s now teaches. and vowed that she, when she found solutions to overcoming and preventing anxiety, she would do whatever she could to make sure that no one had that experience. So that has been her mission. There’s been a decade, studying the mind body connection, visualization and ways to still the mind. Over the decades, she’s created simple strategies to overcoming and preventing anxiety, stress, worry and overwhelm so that all her clients live a life intentionally enjoy. She has been an entrepreneur for 21 years and consulting businesses and business leaders for 16 years. If you question who you are, and what you’re meant to be doing in this life, let Erin help you discover your own path to joy. Erin, thanks for your work in through the technical difficulties. As a as I told you, I’m working on this newer platform. But thanks for thanks for joining today. How you doing?

Erin Mac 2:05
Oh my gosh, thanks for having me. I’m wonderful. How

Brandon Handley 2:08
are you never been better. My whole life has led up to this point. So you know, here we are. Here we are. So I like to start these off with the idea that we are deal sources. We’re talking about like a little bit before we got started here that we are all our source and that the universe speaks through us. And that right now in this moment, the universe is speaking through you to one of the listeners today. What do you have to tell that listener?

Erin Mac 2:36
Well, first and foremost, I believe it is our birthright to be predominantly in joy all day, every day. And if that’s not the experience you’re having, then keep listening. We’re going to talk about all the things strategies, and you know why we’re here what we’re meant to be doing. You know, all the things,

Brandon Handley 2:59
all the things all the things that I love, I love that you kind of chose joy had to go out and I had to go out and grab my, my joy mug. Oh, no. It’s actually like pretty much one of my favorite mugs right as the idea of what you kind of see out first thing I pick up and I carry around, I see I get to see the word joy everywhere I go when I’m drinking out of the mug. So definitely enjoy it. definitely enjoy the word joy and glad that we have the opportunity to talk about it. And I’m also going to be very honest with you. Before I went in, I checked you out a little bit more I was like what kind of fit is this? Right? What kind of fit is this? Because, you know, being a you know, more of a thought leader and all this I suppose like what’s the spirituality fit me and you know, so in your mind, though, like the work that you do is spiritual, you know, the the personal development is spirituality work. Is that set? Right? Is that fair? Yeah. Well, let’s talk about let’s talk about the journey, right, let’s talk about breaking through anxiety. Let’s talk about, you know, how you found yourself in an anxious position and kind of some of the things that you did to work your way through it.

Erin Mac 4:06
Awesome. So you know, my story has kind of like three moments, defining moments, if you will. The first started with the anxiety disorder that you spoke about. It actually came about in talk therapy. I was going to a couple’s group counseling with my husband at the time. And in that first session, I had a panic attack and I never had one before so I had no idea what it was. And the counselor picked up on it right away she explained all you know what it was and first she told me what it was she didn’t really exactly explain what it was. I figured that out later, but she told me that’s what was happening and and from there, you know, she said something’s obviously coming up for you. Would you like to do some individual work and In that individual work, you know, I was telling my trauma story over and over and over again. And what my body decided to do was put up the defense mechanism of anxiety. And so it got so bad that as you said, I hold myself up in my home. You know, it didn’t, it wasn’t an overnight thing and happened gradually, panic attacks, more panic attacks, then, you know, I had one was running, and I was training for a race at the time. And so I felt like I couldn’t run anymore, at least temporarily. And so I stopped running. And then I stopped teaching, I was a teacher at the time. And so it happens that way, you know, slowly, it’s not just one, you know, wake up, and, and no candu. After about nine months of that, she referred me to a homeopathic psychiatrist, who gave me a remedy after a three hour interview, that in 20 minutes basically cured me from the experience of anxiety. That’s the physical chemical piece, right? And I thought, wow, I have a new lease on life, you know, I can go and do all these things. But because of that experience, I was afraid, right. So I decided to move to Hawaii, and move to a small town and have a simpler life, right? Thinking that, you know, then I would never get triggered. And I would just live my life happily ever after in paradise. And unfortunately, while the chemistry piece was handled the mental emotional spiritual piece, not so much. And so I was still there. So in that simpler life, of course, I created anxiety, stress, and all that. So I moved to Hawaii. Immediately, in the first 24 hours, I started a business and I had a client. Within 18 months, I had 20 employees, multiple six figure contracts. And, you know, I was on my way to stress and anxiety. And the second thing that happened that really rocked me to my core was I 10 years into my business of just being frantic and crazy, stressed all the time. A client called in the morning, she was upset, and I would just get so frantic about clients complaining, they got in my car, raced over to a friend’s house, backed into a driveway to drop my daughter off, and I sideswiped her husband’s car or her his truck with my car. And come to find out later, when I came to pick up my daughter, that her husband was under the truck working on it while I hit it, and he thought it was gonna land on him. And that just rocked me to my core, I thought, This is ridiculous. Like, this is no life, you know, running around like a crazy person all the time. And so then I dove, you know, into self development, got involved with a seminar company did all their seminar staff for them, and started to see that there was a different way to be in this world, and starting to make some changes, that we’re having an impact on my life and other people around me. And then about five years later, I

found myself in the middle of a divorce. And for whatever reason, it just leveled me, I was in a dark place. And I thought, you know, I’d spent 10s of 1000s of dollars on seminars, reading all the books, you know, trying to do this other life, but I didn’t really have any legit strategies to doing life differently. So then a series of things happened. I picked up the book, maybe you’ve heard of it, the Course in Miracles, and was about a month and two reading. It’s a daily passage for about a year 365 passages. And nothing I was kinda like, this is interesting, but not really rocking my world. Then all of a sudden, month two, this crazy thing happened where the word started, like popping off the page. It was like the path is joy. The answer is joy, joy, joy, joy. And I was like, finally after a couple weeks of that, I was like literally threw my hands up in the air. I was like, I got the answer. How do I get there? And a series of things happened. I got an email from a gentleman I met. He was teaching a seminar in a wahoo and I thought I’ll fly over for that. I have no idea what it is doesn’t matter just need something positive. And I went and it was a day long seminar on a visualization process that he teaches. And I was so excited by it. I came home and I started using it immediately called my broker who had had my business for sale for like nine months with no bites. And I was like look, I just want to let you know my business is going to sell by the end of the month and there’s going to be a bidding war. And it was like, okay, and long behold a week later That’s exactly what happened. And then I went back and trained this gentleman that I had gone to that seminar, he was having a seminar, to train people to teach his main seminar. And I went and trained for a week I came home, put on my first seminar, and I stood in front of this group of people, and I ditched my notes, five minutes in, because I had this crazy experience where like, everything that I had ever learned, all of my life experience, everything I had ever read, just came together, like at one moment, I went, Whoa, like, this is what I’m supposed to do. Like, I’m supposed to teach people how to find their joy, cultivated daily, and live the life that they’re meant to be living now, without waiting for all the things or the, you know, whatever they think they need to have in order to have that, like, that’s available now. And I happen to also during that few week period, meet the love of my life in these very random circumstances, which I don’t believe in random anymore. And, and so it just all lined up. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last almost four years.

Brandon Handley 11:11
That’s awesome. I mean, and it’s interesting, right, that you came, you kind of came out of a, from what I gathered was more of a business oriented kind of thing versus this pursuit of joy, right, are you that you’re doing now? And I think that I heard you say, on another podcast that, you know, maybe some of this is Woo, but if it is, woo, it’s working out for you. And and you’re okay with it, right?

Erin Mac 11:39
I mean, that’s the thing, you know, people always say, Oh, that’s kind of woowoo. For me, I’m like, I’m looking at woowoo people, they look pretty happy as all I can say. Something too, and

Brandon Handley 11:50
it’s pretty amazing. The idea to have, you know, just try some of these things out for the first time. Very go into a very skeptical, right, this vision process that you’re doing that you’re thinking about, while it seems pretty cool. But then you you go and you try it. And then things start working out. Right. I mean, talk to me a little bit about that. So how did that have that come? And like kind of manifest itself? What was some of your initial reactions when you saw, were even calling it the universe? And what were you calling it? Well, like, what was your know, kind of how, how was that for you?

Erin Mac 12:30
You know, it’s kind of crazy, because you know, how it’s like life. I mean, again, it’s like life unfolds slowly. And you don’t recognize exactly what’s going on. So you look back and go, Whoa, like, look at all these things that happened. That’s crazy. It took me a while to even recognize how much I knew that I was feeling better that I knew. And honestly, you know, I just, I thought I knew what joy was, I thought I knew what happiness was. The thing was, is I was on this, like, roller coaster ride of things, right? It was just like I was so 100% bought into the idea that if I had all the things, you know, a stack of cash, and the house and the car and the successful business, and all the things that we’re told is gonna make us be happy. I had all those things, and I was so miserable, right? But I didn’t even know that it was possible to experience joy. Do you know what I mean? Like I really just didn’t even know what was available.

Brandon Handley 13:39
So I think it’s really interesting that you bring it up, right? I think there’s this, you know, Tale of Two Cities type of thing, where you went, and you got all these things, and you did all the things because this is what we’re taught. But that’s been my experience is like, hey, go through all these things. Because this is what you’re taught. Right? And you’re not doing it maybe with the same intent that some of these other people are doing it right, you’re doing it to a mass and acquire and to be happy and to have status versus what you’re doing now, which is to implement, purpose, intent, and service, right, and the outcome that you’re headed towards now. Right? If you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve already achieved. I mean, listen, if you landed in Hawaii has some clients on the first day and you know, whatever, you know, a mask pretty quick like that, you know, whatever it is that you’re doing right now, I’m assuming is successful, in one way or another, right? And but now it’s aligned to who you are with your purpose and there’s fulfillment and joy in that and the rest of it just kind of comes naturally, right? It comes as a byproduct of that intent and that purpose versus if you could compare To the way that you are running life before, right? You were miserable. You were like, anxious and you know, knocking people’s trucks over on him. Right? And now I’d like you’re doing maybe the same work, I don’t know. But what’s the effort feel like, compared to what you’re the effort felt like before.

Erin Mac 15:21
I mean, you’re, you hit it right on the head, like I am 100% in service of people and myself. And while that may sound selfish, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of where you got to be when you’re in service to people in this way, you know, and it’s a whole different experience, you know, before it just felt like I was grinding, grinding, grinding all the time, you know, like, it took all these things in order to make success, like I really, you know, there are these ideas that we have from a young age, you know, success looks like this formula. It’s right. It’s like, it’s like, hard work plus luck, right, you know, like this, you know, formula of success. And I was 100% bought into that, too. And now, it’s not like that, it’s like, it doesn’t seem like work. It’s not a four letter word anymore. For me, it’s 100%. Like, like, when I give to clients, I give to myself, like, it’s such a win win. Whereas I definitely didn’t function that way in my life before 100%. And now it’s like, you know, while I still have to negotiate, you know, time, you know, balance the things out in my life, this never feels like something I’ve have to do. Like, I’m excited to do it all the time. I feel called to share what I know, because it’s had such a profound impact on my life.

Brandon Handley 16:51
I think it’s interesting to how, you know, on your first seminar, you kind of tossed off to the side and everything you ever knew, kind of fell into this framework. Right, and you were able to just let it freely flow. Right? I mean, what, what looking back, what would you say happened there?

Erin Mac 17:15
Oh, I, I was, you know, I think we’re guided all the time. I think we have support all the time, from all the things, you know, universe, energy in general, you know, I mean, scientifically speaking, energy cannot be destroyed. So every person who’s lived, their energy is here to you know, and, you know, that’s why people talk to loved ones that have passed, and, you know, like, they still the energy is still hear it’s exist, so why not tap into those things? I think, you know, it happens to me all the time. And I’m not gonna lie, it was freaky. You know, because it’s, you know, for somebody who’s like a recovered control freak, you know, a bunch of people and all of a sudden, just free flowing. And not to say it was just random all over the place is still stuck to, you know, we had a workbook and things but, you know, to go off the notes, I still do that. And I just, and I, and I recognize, I mean, even sometimes when I’m on podcasts, like, I’ll just, I’ll wake up in the middle of it and go, Oh, like I, you know, I wouldn’t say it’s me, I want to say channeling, but it’s like, it’s taking energy that exists. Like what I’m telling what I tell people and how I’m in service to people and the information that I share with people. Like it’s not new to me, like I didn’t make this stuff. Right. Right. Right. This is a real learning. Right, right. And when I’m teaching, I see it in the students, it’s like, they can hear me on a deep level, even if they’re not consciously aware of what I’m saying. They’re feeling on a deep level. And that’s coming from not me, you know, I mean, I hear it and I can disseminate that information, distill it down. But it’s, it’s exists, we’re all connected to it one way or another.

Brandon Handley 19:06
No, 100%, right. Truth resonates. And that’s the kind of that that’s the experience and you’re talking to somebody else. And you’re in a room with with these people and and you’re having a truth session on the value column, right? It’s your truth, this is kind of coming through you. And you’re like, I don’t even know, I didn’t even know I could do that. Right? But then, but then the rest of the room is resonating with you. And to me, that’s kind of what it sounds like as happening. And you know, call it channeling. It’s funny too, because, like we we still have our limitations on what we’ll call it, right? Like, I don’t know that. Yeah, I don’t know, I call it channeling I don’t know, you know, whatever. But you know, what you’re doing is you’re at least letting yourself open to, to it, whatever, whatever it is, to come through and to to and through you. Right as a kind of a receiver translator as it were.

Erin Mac 19:59
That’s it. receiver for sure, yeah, yeah. And yeah, and I think we’re all we all have that ability.

Brandon Handley 20:07
I mean, it’s an eight, right. And so, I mean, I don’t know how old your kids are, you know, I’ve got my, my nine year old. And it’s so and and my older child to 11. But you know, it’s so obvious just how like innately in tuned. The children are, right as as as it is and, and then you can kind of watch it literally be kind of like almost a brainwash, but brainwashed out of them, right, like, you know, just kind of have those senses gold and like, you know, go through like this other thing, and you just kind of watch it, you’re like, wow, that’s crazy. Because we go through this relearning experience later in life. Are you an Alan Watts fan? I don’t know who that is. Oh, my gosh, come on now. All right. Alan Watts. Yeah, Alan Watts. You know, he’s a kind of philosopher made. Popular lies, Zen Buddhism. And in the West, West, it’s like in the 60s 70s, right? English guy, you really enjoy him. One of the things that he talks about those, it’s like, it’s like, we’re like salted beef, right? We get all salted and you got it. You got to desalinate that beef. And then you’re like, you’re back to your natural state at a certain point. And that’s, again, sounds to me. I like the way you’re the way you’re going. Right? You’re feeling into it. The what was the cure? I mean, because you had the homeopathic guy, right comes and gives you the cure. What was it? Do you recall? Was it like, a miracle pill? You know, help me out here.

Erin Mac 21:51
Now Now what? homeopathy is so interesting. It’s so distilled down the amount of whatever the substances may come in. Have you ever taken it before? That’s like little tinctures, tablet. They’re little pills. Yeah, no, tiny, tiny little granules. And, and they taste like sugar. And they have just, I mean, it’s almost like they have essence of the thing. And it really is for the purpose of sort of writing your own self, right? So you introduce it to the body, and the body goes, Oh, that’s right. We use a function fairly normally, in this stage. Here’s the thing that I need. And interestingly enough, when she gave me the remedy, she told me what it was called. And she said, I don’t want you to research it. And this is pre internet. It’s not pre internet, but it was definitely internet was not a thing. Really. This was like 99, there was no Google. Yeah, it was not, there was no verb called Google it. And so, you know, she was just like, I don’t want you to research this. And, you know, just see what happens or whatever. And, you know, and I, I mean, I almost don’t want to say what it is because I don’t want people with anxiety to think that that’s the cure all it’s not the cure all, it was just the thing that made me feel better enough to get on the path to recognizing that the work is internal, emotional, spiritual, and then the body follows.

Brandon Handley 23:29
It’s so interesting, though, right? Because we, we’ve, we believe the other way around, right? Because we see the things that everybody’s doing, but we can’t see the inner work, we can’t see how they’re thinking, functioning, or directing themselves internally to get to that point. So we’re like, Alright, well, I’m just gonna go do all those same things. Right? And it doesn’t it doesn’t work out, right? Because we’re not we’re not aligning all three of those pieces of ourselves together. We’re just like, we’re hammering on one at a time. Right?

Erin Mac 24:02
Yeah, I mean, I think you know, you see people they have you know, I work with a lot of people who have cancer and other diseases because that’s mental emotional, spiritual two, I believe were three equal parts you know, mind body spirit. And if any of those are out of alignment or out of balance, it’s going to show up in the other ones right and in a negative way or and that not wanted way. And often we can, you know, we can skip past mental and spiritual right we can we have all kinds of ways to not feel and acknowledge and, you know, the obvious ones are drugs and alcohol, the less obvious ones are things like being super busy, not ever having any stillness in our life, you know, being helicopter parents, you know, the SWAMI we spend all day every day Trying not to feel any. And, you know, and so you can imagine, and we’ve done it from a young age, like, it’s not really our fault. It’s, you know, we’ve grown up to this idea that we’re not supposed to have emotions, we’re not supposed to feel those things, only very controlled and in very specific ways, depending on the environment, you know, like, can’t cry in a business meeting, you know, you know, are you crying out to lose it? No crying in baseball.

Brandon Handley 25:32
I know, my first, my first go around, like in the podcast room and coaching space was fatherhood. And a big point of what you’re saying there’s is especially as Western civilization, men, emotions, come on now. You know, yeah. That’s it. I mean, and that’s a brilliant question too. Because we don’t know, we don’t know, one of the one of the tools that I use, often is the blue check wheel, right? Just just has the emotions kind of listed out, I hand it to my clients, I’m like, you know, go through it. You know, take a look at this every day, if you don’t know what this one means. Or if you if you think that you do, go double check the definition of that and just see kind of how you’re applying it in your life and how you can use it to, you know, acknowledge your situation, because we don’t we, I suppose I was like, 40, or something I didn’t know, I didn’t know. I was, I guess, like, you know what, because I had a, I had a coaching friend, he goes, because Brandon, I’m not hearing anything emotional, or there’s nothing emotional. I was like, Oh, let me go check that out. I was like, Well, I

Erin Mac 26:32
mean, unfortunately, our society, especially for a man, like you really only allowed to anger is the only like, standout emotion and now, that’s just as tragic. But that’s changing slowly, as

Brandon Handley 26:45
well. You know, I like to call kind of where we are right now in whatever culture like a hippie 2.0 situation. Right? Right. We’re kind of like a hippie 2.0 situation where like, okay, like, maybe if we don’t deal with all the drugs, it’ll work out better this time, right, like, cut it out on like, the illegal substances. And, you know, we can still get to this place, mentally and spiritually, right. And, and, and since we’re seeing that, there’s, there’s the actual benefits are being seen and heard, and, and I think that the pandemic had such a huge influence, because nobody was spared. Right? If anything good came out of level, it’s like, it’s like, level set everything. So, so for the, you know, for the CEO, or business leader that could normally like hop on a plane and do everything that like, his employees couldn’t, he was stuck at home to with the kids having to deal with the zoom meetings. He wasn’t getting a you know, he wasn’t getting a free ride out of it. Right. And so his mental, her mental health was impacted as well. And they’re like, Oh, shit, everybody’s gone through this, we’d better do something. Right. So we see, right? I mean, so I think there’s some benefit out of this whole COVID situation to huge, right, right, the right mental health space of people, spaces, places and things. So if I am coming to you, and I am like, the client type I am is who you were before you got to this choice spot, right? Um, you know, I’ve got success, not like, you know, I’m not Whoo, kind of guy, my calendars, you know, tight and all this stuff. What are you what are some of the first things that we’re gonna do together?

Erin Mac 28:39
First, we’re going to acknowledge and begin to make some separation between the story that’s been running your life, you know, the story of all the rainbows and sunshine, a story of all the, you know, the yucky, the fit, the unfair, the unjust, the abuse, trauma, all those things, not for the purpose of wallowing in and you know, it just to acknowledge where we started, and maybe what’s affecting some of the ways that we see this world, how we perceive people and circumstances, and then take that story and recognize it for what it is the gift that it has been, and will continue to be in terms of showing us where healing and growth can take place. And you know less about all the things all the details in terms of, you know, who and what happened and all of those things. It’s really more about what did you decide about you because of that story. Those are the beliefs and then when we recognize some of those beliefs, then we can understand that, you know, that’s been playing out in the background, that’s the wallpaper so to speak of our lives, you know, where we make decisions from and a lot of the decisions are fantastic. We need not mess with those, but the ones that aren’t serving the future that we want to create. Those are the ones we want to take a closer look at. And so then, from there, I have people do a day, I have them write out a narrative of the day in the life of everything they ever wanted to create in our life, you know, all outcome based, you know, all you know, all the fields, you know, touch, taste, see, smell the whole deal. So exciting, you know, ever, like literally for a moment, wake up until moment go to sleep one day with everything in it, all the people, all the circumstances, all the outcomes. And then they use that in a visualization. And they start their day, because that’s where I found my joy was in that visualization. Understanding a day in the life now, is it about manifesting? Not exactly. It’s really about elevating the emotional experience, because you have that at your disposal at all times. And so we learn that we can our body doesn’t forget things. So when I’m in my visualization in the morning, like, My arms are in the air, I’m like, super excited, like, yes, that just happened. And then yes, that happened to and I mean, tears of joy streaming down my face. I mean, it’s all the things, I’m 100%. And on every level, I’ve raised my emotional experience. And then, like I said, the body doesn’t forget. So when you have that experience, you can recall it at any time. So when you’re going throughout your day, things start to go south, you can put yourself Take a moment, close your eyes, put yourself back into that moment, refocus and move on, versus what most people do is go out, this thing’s not working out. And then there’s all these other things that aren’t working out, there’s that thing, and then there’s another thing I didn’t like, and then this other person, and then you know, and so just got to read the brain and just, it loves to do the same stuff over and over again, and act like it’s new.

Brandon Handley 32:08
Yeah, it’s not. I mean, I think the idea of the brain, right, it’s, uh, likes to be an efficient piece of machinery, right? consumes so much energy, the more efficient it can be. And so let’s just keep doing this thing, because it’s just, you know, hasn’t killed us in the past? Right? If we just keep doing this, we will die. And we may not be enjoying our lives. But you know, it, you know, hasn’t killed us before. So I enjoy I enjoy the visualization. And and I think that there’s a big piece of what you’re saying there that a lot of people when you’re doing these exercises, don’t hammer home, I think, quite enough. And that’s something I think you’re touching on is the idea of the feels. Right. So my guess is that this is kind of a writing in the present tense exercise. Right?

Erin Mac 33:00
Yeah, preferably, you know, again, outcome base, so you want to say in gratitude, right, because of high vibration, it’s, you know, I’m so grateful that, you know, all these things are happening in my life, you know, as though they’ve happened already, as they exist in the now. Right. And they will, in your visualization, they exist as already taken place, and done deal.

Brandon Handley 33:25
Right. And I think that, that the idea is that I’m just, I’m just feeling your words now. Because I heard you saying earlier today, the idea is that, you know, what wants to give us the idea that right, so if I can feel it right now, then what’s that doing for me?

Erin Mac 33:42
Yeah, that’s creating, so I can’t tell you how to get all the things. I mean, I think, you know, for me, they’ve come by being in that elevated state. And so, you know, I, what I help with is changing the experience of life, you know, and I think that’s a heck of a lot more important than amassing things, you know, if, if I could show you how to change your experience in your life to joy, right now, by doing this visualization, that seems more valuable to me than, you know, telling you how to make six figure seven figures, whatever, you know, to me, other people, you know, they have other ideas, and that’s wonderful. And, and I don’t proclaim to, you know, claim to be able to help with those things. But I know how to find joy and I know how to cultivate it so that you can have that experience. And that’s, you know, that’s the first step is to recognize that you are responsible for your experience and when you know this, not in like fault blame shame kind of a way, in an empowering way, then you can just choose and choose and choose. Just keep choosing that thing that makes you feel good now, it doesn’t change anything, have goals, do all the other stuff, too. That’s amazing. But, you know, given that we only have this moment here, guaranteed why not make this one enjoyable? You know?

Brandon Handley 35:16
Yeah, no, agreed, agreed. And, you know, if I’m, if I’m, if I’m a law of attraction guy, if I’m, you know, in that space, right, this is how I would, you know, kind of liken it would, and I don’t know who it is, there’s plenty of them out there. That’s like, you know, the happiness doesn’t kind of come later comes now, right. And if you can be happy now, and whatever the circumstance, like you’re talking about, then you can make that choice. Again, like you’re talking about all the time. You can find joy all the time, and anything and all you’ve got to do is again, like you’re saying, If I go through the morning, and I had this visualization, I’m like, Well, I’m feeling the feels. It’s all there for me, everything’s great. Ah, and then like, you know, late in the day, I’m not so feeling the feels. And I’m like, Well, wait a second. early in the day, I was feeling the feels. And this was like that kind of anchor point. Right? Let me get back to that for a second. Because I created that moment for myself. Right, versus kind of letting something outside of me create that it was me who did that Creator of all these things, then, here I am. I’m always like, kind of high vibe. And I’m always like, buzzing, right. And then, you know, you’re basically sending that out into the universe, right? Like, just kind of this this high vibe. And, you know, if we act as if the universe is a force multiplier, right? We know that like anything, you’d come out and throw out, there’s coming back at you like, Well, I better stop, throw a monkey poo, right, like and start the things that I could really use in my life that I want in my life. And then you know, and visualize that and see it, feel it and release it right. I think that’s important, too, is kind of just like, release it and not hang on to the idea that it has to happen, right? You’re talking about the people that are like, well, this, Aaron, I tried this for three days, and it didn’t show up. My life did not change the way you said it was. And I’ve you know, I’ve been doing all the things you tell me to do. But I mean, the idea, again, is to go through those fields, have them do the visualization. And release it because again, you’re creating your own, you’re creating your own space, please in time, let’s face that, right.

Erin Mac 37:25
Yeah. And I got two things to say about that. One is I want to talk about the difference between happiness, his idea of happiness and joy, because they’re different. And I forgot what the other one is. But I’ll talk about the happiness, the joy, that one the rest will come. Right. So to me the difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is fleeting, right? It’s you get the new car, it’s amazing. Eventually, it’s just a car, right? It gets you from A to B, and this game of, you know, getting the things to make you feel good, it feels good for like this amount of time, right. And I only know that because I did all those things. I had the houses and the cars and the successful business and the time flexibility, all the things that everybody would want. And I literally kept like going over finish lines. And going, yay, hooray. I’m happy right now. And then, like, when I was doing trap all the stuff of go across the finish line, I would go home after celebrating for like five minutes. I mean, maybe like half hour or whatever, go home and find another race that I could either crush my time in that was longer hard or whatever. Like there was no end to it, like a couldn’t win that race ever. Joy, on the other hand, encompasses some of the you know, the exuberance and all of that Not always, but it can include those. But it also has these nuances of like stillness and peace of mind, which is not thinking all the time thing. Or overthinking and calm. Right. And so those nuances are available and so rich, you know, they’re either things I didn’t know existed. I had no I mean, maybe I’d heard those words before, but I didn’t really understand them on a deeper level. You know, and so, those differences are important, because the one you just can’t win out. So yeah, get all the things and be super abundant and all the ways just recognize that the journey inside is the one that has purpose and meaning the one on the outside where we collect things. Those are super cool and fun too. They just don’t. They don’t fill you up as a human

Brandon Handley 40:01
I think that I think that those are important distinctions, right? Happiness quick and fleeting, right? and joy is a little bit more kind of like a long lasting coal and Ember of warmth, right? Yeah. But a state of being. Yeah. So let me see here. Two things, two things. So I liken this, what we’re doing here is like spiritual speed dating, right? Like somebody’s gonna, somebody’s gonna tune in, they’re like, you know, I’m looking for my next spiritual date. Right? And, and this could be you. So I’m gonna ask you at least one kind of, you know, question is that, uh, you know, let me see here, whoa, yeah. Why are so many people depressed?

Erin Mac 40:47
Okay, so call it depression, call it anxiety, call it whatever you want any low level experience, which is anything that doesn’t feel good stress, overwhelm, worry, all those lovely words, they’re the same thing. They are the experience of the human wanting to control people and circumstances to fit in how they want them to show up, or they don’t feel good. And the unconscious recognition at the same time that it is impossible to control people and circumstances and events to fit into your agenda. And so you can see where that those two things butting up against each other would create some confusion. And so that confusion looks like anxiety, depression, you know, all the it’s, we have this new, we’ve touched on it before the belief thing, right? So it’s foundational, we made up everybody has them. I’ve not met anybody yet, who does not have these very core ones that are things like, I don’t deserve, I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough. I’m not lovable, you know. And they’re all basically the same thing. Like, I’m not good enough. And so those are underlying all of our decisions and how we’re feeling about ourselves. And then we interact with other people. Based on those beliefs, we have decided what’s right and wrong. So that’s how people are supposed to show up for us, and how circumstances are supposed to show up for us. And so we got into this habit of we learned this piece about when this person says something or the circumstance doesn’t turn out how I want, then somehow it’s their fault, right? So if that person said something, and they’re rude, instead of that person said something triggered something in me that did not feel good. What is that? And why is that there? When we look at that with wonder and curiosity and go interesting, because I guarantee whatever is triggering, you is not triggering me. So that’s how, you know, it’s all you.

Brandon Handley 43:06
It’s true. Um, you know, if if I was spiritually looking for a date, then then I would say, Hey, what’s up? I’m good. And I agree, you know, I don’t think there’s a piece in there that I disagree with. So So thank you, I think that’s a great answer to to it, right? Everybody’s still trying to control the outcomes in some way, shape, or form. And when they’re not turning out the way they want them to. They’re not they’re not accepting it. Right? They don’t see it. And I think that the idea of approaching these triggers with wonder and curiosity versus like, kind of anger and angst is also really why is this can trigger still here. Right? So it makes sense. And I love it. So and what else I know that we talked about, you know, you’re doing the work that you’re doing now, but you’ve got a new endeavor, what are you, you know, what are you leaning into next?

Erin Mac 44:00
Oh, my gosh, I’m so excited. I’m working with couples right now. I just finished doing my pilot course, on partnership. And the reason I’m so excited about it is, well, first of all, I truly believe we are here for spiritual development, or you call self development or whatever you want to call it consciousness. And when we recognize that that’s why we’re here and that all these you know, challenges that come into our life are for the purpose of our growth, then we can, you know, grow and heal and enjoy ourselves, right? Well, what happens when you bring two people together, that understand that there’s a process to healing and growing and understand that same process in a way where, you know, in couples, it’s like, it’s easy to see how escalation can happen because it’s like, especially when I’ve just told you what’s going on. Right. So You said this thing, it made me feel bad, you know, right. So instead of, you know, we do this responsibly, so then we go, Oh, you said this thing, I feel bad. There’s nothing that you can do to make me feel better, I’m in charge of making me feel better. And then they can support you in that, right? And then instead of escalating it’s support, right? So it’s not, you made me feel this way. It’s, I feel this way, and it doesn’t feel good. And, you know, support me in that instead of like, get your beliefs and you know, the things in your life that aren’t working out and escalate, escalate, escalate, it’s like, no, this is mine, I own it, it doesn’t feel good. And then the two of you work together in that capacity. And it’s just amazing to watch couples, it’s exponential, because not only is their relationship so much better, but think of the impact that will have on their kids, the rest of their family, when they can see two fully functioning adults coming together, helping support each other in their spiritual growth. It’s phenomenal. And so that sounds awesome. That

Brandon Handley 46:15
sounds awesome. So where does, you know? What, who’s your ideal client? Like in this space? Right? So I think we got two types of ideal clients, you got the partners, ideal clients, and then you’ve got your, your, your standard practice clients, what is what are they?

Erin Mac 46:30
So ultimately, you know, being an entrepreneur for like, 21 or two years now, entrepreneurs, like me, for some reason, because I get their craziness, I understand that they are under the gun and responsible for a lot of things. And those, typically, and leaders to write just people have a lot of responsibility. That, you know, like to make all the things work out, you know, like to control all the things, those are the people that I ended up working with, because I get them, I was them. And I still have nuances of that, of course, you know, so working on me, and all that all the things. And then couples who are recognizing that, you know, especially when you’re coming together as maybe two, what do they call that the set called the two families come together to blend in? Yeah. Like, I’ve noticed quite a few couples that are interested in working with me, that have that situation, because it’s, you know, it’s already challenging being in partnership, but then you bring in the kids and just escalates all the things. And so, you know, any couple, of course, who’s having an issue, wanting to communicate in a deeper way or, you know, deepen their relationship in some way. Fantastic. And, you know, it’s super challenging when you’re bringing in, you know, other kids and into the mix and all that. Yeah, it’s

Brandon Handley 48:05
hard enough with your own, right. Yeah, for sure. So and where then, where Then should I send people to come and find you, if they’re interested?

Erin Mac 48:18
I think probably the best place to find me is on Instagram. My handle is Aaron, er, I N m A C LLC. And I post like a weekly video on some sort of strategy or something to think about. And I put like, inspirational memes and my stories. And my website URL is in the profile as well. It’s a good way to interact with me, you can DM me, you can private message me or whatever. You know, and I always whenever I’m on a podcast, I offer a free I call it step one to joy call to just get you on the path, you know, maybe I you know disseminate the, the visualization process a little bit further so that you can get started on that and your life or whatever that looks like. And if afterwards, you still want to hang out with me and learn more than great if you don’t, no strings attached. It’s just my way of being in service.

Brandon Handley 49:21
Awesome. And thanks so much for being on today. Thanks for what you do, right? You know, being able to help people make that transition from a Bumble of nerves into something, you know, a little bit more usable and functional in society. I mean, there’s the there’s a reason why that’s your calling. So thank you for being of service and doing that for everybody out there.

Erin Mac 49:47
Oh my gosh, thanks for having me. And thanks for having these platforms. It’s really important to have these conversations, giving people hope and strategies and just something to think about that’s, you know, positive I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you so much. Absolutely.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

After watching Dr. Srikumar Rao’s Ted Talk on Happiness several years ago, I jumped onto Amazon and bought his book “Are You Ready To Succeed”… in the beginning of his book, he tells you who it is for and the best way to approach it… I promptly put the book back down.

I was not ready yet.

Later that year I picked it up, created a mastermind and dove into the book with several others.

I have done this now for the past 4 years, and each time I read the book Dr. Rao surprises me with something else… it is a completely different book each time!

Finally, I picked up the phone and called his office… I had a great chat with his PM and she helped to secure an interview for the show.

This was absolutely one of the highlights of 2020 for me… and I hope that it is a highlight for you…

Just wait until you hear his introductory statement!

Check out his Creative and Personal Mastery Program here: https://theraoinstitute.com/learn/

The TED talk can be found here: TED Talk

The book that lead us here over here:

Enjoy the podcast!

Transcription is machine generated by Otter.ai

Brandon Handley 0:43
Hey there spiritual dope. I’m on today with a very special guest Dr. Srikumar Rao, he is the founder of the Rao Institute and the creator of the pioneering course Creativity and Personal Mastery. Srikumar Rao helps leaders around the globe transform their lives so they can experience abundant joy, no matter what comes their way. Dr. Rao is a TED speaker, author and creator of the pioneering course creative and personal mastery. Yeah, I’m gonna throw a couple of pieces in here, most of my guests would have found you probably through mind Valley, or the TED talk that you and I were talking about. That’s how I found you to be hardwired for happiness. I’m so excited to have you here today. When Dr. Ron and I were talking here just a little bit before this, but Dr. Oz didn’t tell you, you know, there’s one question people always ask you, if you’re hanging out at the bar, and you can have one person that you could talk to? I think you’d make that list for me.

Unknown Speaker 1:40
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 1:42
minority.

Brandon Handley 1:44
You know, just cuz the words not out, I guess enough about you and what you’re doing. Like I said, I always share your book with people who I think are along the way, whatever that means to them. So, Dr. Rao, how I like to start these out is is you and I, you know, we’re kind of, you know, source energy flows through us, right. And the idea is that, you know, the universe speaks to us, and to specific people that are listening to this podcast, or they’re watching the video, what is a message that is coming through you today that you would share with those people,

Dr. Srikumar Rao 2:15
the message that I like to share is that you are not who you think you are, which is a particular body, mind, intellect, complex, you identify with that. But that’s not who you really are, who you really are, is the omnipresent on this see, and ever present awareness that is beyond both time and space. And the biggest mistake that you made in your life is to identify with this particular finite entity and say, That’s who I am. But that’s not who you are. And it is your obligation to yourself to recognize that you have made this error. That’s a tough one.

Brandon Handley 2:59
Right? That’s a tough one. So

Dr. Srikumar Rao 3:01
normally, I don’t go into this particular rabbit hole, certainly not this early, and certainly not in public. But there’s something about the conversation that we had earlier, which said, Hey, you know, let’s just do it and let the chips fall where they may

Brandon Handley 3:17
100%. I love I love that you’re bringing it up right there at the beginning? Because one of the questions I would have is, how do you recognize that right? Even if even hearing that somebody hears that, how do they go about rectifying that?

Dr. Srikumar Rao 3:32
That is a very good question. And the short answer to that is it requires both a lifetime of effort, and no effort at all. That sounds like a paradox. It is a paradox. And paradoxes are only resolved when you reach a higher level of consciousness than you were in when you created or heard that paradox. It’s a little bit like the protagonist in the book, The Alchemist, which is a wonderful one had to go all over the world to find out that what he wanted was right where he was. So it’s pretty much that way we identify with this particular body mind, intellect complex, but that’s not who we are. And there are countless sages and you know, realized beings who have pointed out the way one of the persons who’s had a profound influence on me is Bhagwan Ramana Maharshi, who was an Indian sage, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century, mid 20th century, he actually passed away in 1950. And he has written numerous books, his disciples have written numerous books, which are transcripts of instructions that he gave. So he is a phenomenal source. He is recent, there are many persons who have observed and recorded his teachings that firsthand. So something that he says at some particular point in your Or evolution will suddenly make so much sense that he will stop almost as if you’ve been hit on the head with a hammer. And all of a sudden it will become completely clear to you. We have this mental chatter, which is this incessant talk going on in our head, you know, what is this guy saying doesn’t make any sense. You know, what does it mean? I’m not the body. Of course, I am the body. You know, all of that is mental chatter. And it’s always been with us mental chatter is like an unwelcome relative who showed up at your house, and you can’t kick him out. But we tend to ignore our mental chatter, suppressive work grounded to the best we can, despite that, and that’s a big mistake. Because our mental chatter really creates our life. We think we live in a real life we don’t we live in a construct. And we created that construct with our mental chatter and mental models. And once we recognize that, we’ll find, hey, if I don’t like what I am experiencing, I’m going to go in and change what I have created. And when you do that, you’ll find it’s possible to get to a point where every day is a blast, you get up in the morning, you’re profoundly happy choice, not because something happened, but you are so profoundly choice. And one day you discover that there is no you and there is only joy. So that is a life journey, if you will, but many stages, and even a very cursory application of the kinds of things that I share in the book, are you ready to succeed, will immensely immensely improve your experience of life? So the book that you created, right, and talking about these shifts, and these evolutions, and, you know, being being impacted by this gentleman, you mentioned there, you went through, you went through physics, right, you’re you you went to your physics and you went to marketing, then you went to academia. And then at some point, you decided, you needed to share this stuff out, you needed to teach this in the book, right? It isn’t so much a conscious decision as an evolution, because I was profoundly unhappy with what I was doing. Professionally, I was a Professor of Marketing and a great deal of what I was teaching. I really didn’t believe in didn’t believe it or not, in the sense that it didn’t work. It did work killer, I knew personally how well it worked. But I didn’t think it was good, either for the individual or society. To put it bluntly, I think a great many products are put on the market, which essentially, humanity would be better off, you know, if we didn’t have that, do you really need Cheetos, and many different flavors of that, and 14 different flavors of coke and, you know, to pay, so a lot of creative energy, a lot of resources are being poured into stuff, which is have marginal or even negative utility to society and individuals. So I had always been reading spiritual biography, mystical autobiography, and one day I came up with a bright idea, why don’t I take the teachings of the world’s great masters, which, incidentally, I resisted for a very long time, because I have a Western mentality. And I came from Missouri. So very show me was very much a part of my ethos. And I said, there must be a lot of people like me, so let me talk to them. Not from Peters, what do you got to believe? But let me talk to them from a viewpoint of why don’t you try it and see if it works in your life. And the thought of doing that made me come alive. So I did. And I created the course it did. Well, I moved it to Columbia Business School in 1999. And it exploded. It was the only course of Columbia which is a university wide draw that students from law school, from business schools, from the School of International Public Affairs from journalism, Teachers College all over the place. And then it’s spread by word of mouth. So I’ve taught it at many of the world’s top business schools at Columbia, at London Business School, and Berkeley at Kellogg, Imperial College. And now I teach it privately in New York, London and San Francisco. Obviously, all live classes are temporarily halted because of the pandemic. But you know, it’s not going to be around forever, and we’ll see what happens. I do a lot of corporate engagements. And I also have personal coaching clients. And I only work with clients who have a enormous desire to have an outsized impact on the world, they really want to make a dent in the universe. And at the same time, they also are aware that they are on a spiritual quest, and they want spiritual growth. And many of them think that they these two are in conflict, but they really aren’t. And how to show them that not only are they not in conflict, but they with each other synchronously and harmoniously, that’s what my coaching is all about. That’s fantastic. I

Brandon Handley 10:07
mean, again, like I told you the beginning here, that’s kind of how spiritual dope came about this podcast where it’s just said, Hey, you know, there’s an alignment here, that’s much greater than if you were to just initiate a personal will, if you will, right. So you can only get so far as a person. But how far can you get as a spiritual being? Right is kind of the mental shift. Right? That’s a, you talk a little bit about the mental models. So that’s the mental model that I’ve set up for myself, that I tried to share out the podcast, you talked about mental models, again, as a construct, what would be an example of a mental model? For you?

Dr. Srikumar Rao 10:48
Oh, sure. A mental model that I have is, oh, gee, there are people who are interested in what I have to say. So let me go pull it out. That’s the model. Now understand that we typically tend to think of models in terms of good or bad, or right or wrong, that’s the wrong way to look at it. Because every model at some level is false. You push hard enough, you penetrate deep enough, it’ll crumble. And every model at some level is true. Otherwise, it will have come into existence. So supposing you say the mood is made of green cheese. That’s the right and at some point, you know, there was a moon that was greenish, and it looked to be, hey, maybe it is made of green cheese. But that’s a marble that will crumble pretty easily, you know, with now, especially now, with telescopes, and people landing on that, and so on. So the thing about models is don’t look at it and say, it’s right or it’s wrong, whether it’s true or its false. The true test of a mental model is does it work for you? Does it work for you in your life now? And the answer to that is yes, you adopted you tinker with it, you make it even better for your personal circumstances? And if the answer to that is no, you drop it. So the test of a mental model is, does it serve you well, at this stage, whatever that stages, but of course, you’re always looking out for data to confirm your mental model. And if you’re doing that assiduously, you will find that many mental models you hold, do not serve you well. And once you recognize that, you drop it, you’re always looking for a better mental model until you come to a point where you drop all bottles, period.

Brandon Handley 12:41
That and one of the things that I realized reading about that in your book, was just the idea of being able to drop a model, because we’re so emotionally invested in our models, that we’re almost scared to let it go. Even if it’s not serving us anymore.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 12:59
You cannot drop a model models are like desires. You know, let’s say you’re a smoker, you can’t say I’m going to quit, stop my desire to smoke, the best you can do is say I’m going to abstain from smoking weed. Every time someone lights up, you see a cigarette or a cigarette, you’ll say, Gee, I wish I could have a cigarette, you can’t stop that is similar way you can’t stop or drop mental models, the mental model has to drop you, the desire has to leave you you cannot leave the desire. That’s a very important point that I’d like to get across.

Brandon Handley 13:34
That makes sense. I mean, that’s how drinking was for me, I’ll call it just kind of it just fell away. It’s no longer

Dr. Srikumar Rao 13:43
a drop away. And you no longer have even been designed to that. And then you know that you’re finally free of that Incubus

Brandon Handley 13:51
to be free. Don’t give us it is very liberating. Yes, right, very liberating. So I want to get back a little bit to the part where you were resistant to, you know, going forth with the course and even before that, resistant to some of these ideas that you shared in your book, if I recall correctly, your mother’s was fairly spiritual. And she would tell you stories, and you would you would resist the stories itself. Let’s talk a little bit about that.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 14:18
But I’ve come up with good counter examples and feel very proud when I came across really good counter examples.

Brandon Handley 14:25
So what would you what kind of what kind of things would she say to you? And what would your counter examples be? And then, you know, when did you finally accept those things?

Unknown Speaker 14:36
Well,

Unknown Speaker 14:37
you ever did,

Dr. Srikumar Rao 14:38
but I think this is one that I mentioned in the book too. She will always look at everything and look on the the what we would call look on the bright side. So and many of these states are, you know, part of I grew up in India, so it’s part of Indian tradition, the Hindu tradition, if you will. So there was a tale of I Man, and he was just taking a walk. And he saw this great big watermelon. And it was rolling around in the field. And there was a, a cherry tree or a palm tree or something like that. And, you know, there were all these fruits high up. And he said, Isn’t that silly, you know, you have this tiny fruit and his way up or a big strong tree. And here’s this huge watermelon and it’s on a wide and the ground. That is silly. And then he went to sleep under a tree and a tree fell on his head. And he looked up and said, Oh, if I had been a watermelon and get a say, that was given as an example of God, or the universe has wisdom in them. Right? I looked at that and said, Yeah, okay, that’s so what about coconuts? And what about durian at that time, I used to be in Burma. And durian was a very favorite tree fruit there. And the durian is a great big, prickly fruit exactly like a jackfruit. And, you know, it grows on a tree high up, but it probably weighs around 20 pounds, or more and high up on a tree and Dorian drops in your head, you’re not going to get up and stop thinking philosophically, you’re gone. And similarly, a coconut, you know, if it’s in case, you take fibrous shell, and coconut drops in your head, again, you’re not going to walk, you wake up and start talking, thinking philosophical words. So immediately pointed that out. And my mother shook her head and didn’t say anything. Because she knew I wasn’t there. I didn’t know I wasn’t there, I thought that I just want a brilliant debating point. And I was very, very pleased with myself. So that’s the kind of thing she was always telling me stuff, which I was pushing back against. But something over she said, Actually muster seep in, because all of a sudden, it came together and came together extraordinarily powerfully.

Brandon Handley 17:07
Yeah. So I mean, I had a very similar experience. You know, my mother was always talking about being being aware. And it was all about awareness. And, you know, as you were talking about earlier, you know, I’m very well, there I am, right, there I am, I can touch and feel and see myself, what else do I need to be aware of. But you know, 40 years later, it all kind of like a rubber band into the back of my head at all, it all finally made sense. And it sounds to me, it was kind of similar for you were all the things that your mother had been teaching you at some point, boom, there it was. And did you ever did you ever have reached out to her and say you were right,

Dr. Srikumar Rao 17:43
towards the end of her life, she got a sense of that. I’m really very sorry that she had passed on before she had just started teaching the course at Columbia. And then she passed on. So she never knew how successful it became or all of the other things that happened after that. And, you know, that’s one of the regrets of my life. But she is somewhere where she knows all about this anyway, because she’s nodding her head and saying, See,

Brandon Handley 18:14
I told you so. I said, you’d be lucky. What is it one of the Dorian fruits don’t drop out of the sky?

Unknown Speaker 18:20
Yeah.

Brandon Handley 18:22
So so you know, one of the one of the interesting things that I find about your book? Well, a lot about it is interesting to me, but one of the parts is merging the the spirituality and the material. And he talked a bit about how, if you, I think I think you’re kind of talking about it with the marketing, right? If we’re just trying to sell these things, you know, there’s another color of toothpaste, there’s another thing of Cheetos. There’s another way to do it. And I think that that’s what you’re opening up to, right in the beginning of the book, we want to talk a little about like, how somebody should approach it that way, like looking for material and spiritual gains for people.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 19:02
When you’re looking for spiritual gain. A lot of people think that it is separate from spiritual, spirituality and materiality are two totally different things. But they really aren’t. We are stuck in this illusion. And there is a Sanskrit term for it called Maya. And Maya manifests itself as the world around and we’re striving in this world of Maya. And it’s perfectly possible for the US that striving as a mechanism for your growth. So let me share my view on life. And my view on life is the only thing you ever do in life is you work on yourself. And everything that is given to you is a tool which you use to work on yourself. That includes your job, your carrier, your partner, if you’re in a marriage, your children do the work you do, they’re all tools given to you to work on yourself. You use them as skillfully as you can, if you’re an entrepreneur, you run a company, you want your company to be successful, you want your employees to be happy to loyal, you want them to grow, and you try to be the best star employer you can be. But in the process of doing that, what you’re really doing is you’re working on yourself, if you’ve got a wife, you try to be the best husband, you can. But in the process of doing that, you will click on yourself, if you have children, you try to be the best father, you can. But in the process of doing that, what you’re really doing is you’re working on yourself all of these tools. So the only thing you ever do in life is you work on yourself. And it is your job, your responsibility to use all the tools you’ve been given as skillfully as you can, but recognize that there are tools and recognize that you work in yourself. That’s what everybody does. Some do it consciously, some do it unconsciously, in those who do it unconsciously, he made a mess of the wonderful tools that they have been handled. And sometimes they don’t even know that they made a mess of that. Right? You are where you are the persons who come to my programs to recognize that they have some incredible tools, and they use them with care. And with skill.

Brandon Handley 21:16
I think that you started off this conversation with telling us, you know, kind of who you are, you know, it’s your obligation to discover who you truly are, because you’re not who you you feel like you are. And so that, to me kind of aligns with what you’re saying here to work on yourself is to discover that piece, is that what you’re saying? Because I think a lot of people would interpret that, initially is saying, I’ve got to work on myself to be more successful primarily on the exterior. Whereas I think what you’re saying here is wrong

Dr. Srikumar Rao 21:47
with that just so long as you recognize that that simply is step on your path. And that’s not what you truly want. You know, if you talk to people, what do you want? What are you ambitious? Oh, I want to be president, I want to be CEO, I want to have a big mansion, I want to have a private jet. Why do you want all of that, and you’ll find ultimately, what it boils down to is, I want to be happy, I want to be happy period, I don’t want my happiness to end I want to be free from suffering, period. Right. And it turns out that the only way you can truly be free of suffering is to realize that there is no suffering to begin with, because there is no person entity who is suffering. And that’s the only way you will ever reach a stage where you are not suffering where you are eternally happy. So getting to the point where you recognize that there is no you who is suffering. That is what the great game of life is all about.

Brandon Handley 22:48
And you talk about that being a process. I still remember the first few times that I heard somebody say trust the process as I exactly what am i trusting? And exactly what is that process? My guess would be, again, that this book is most of the process.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 23:10
All you need is a portal, it’s a portal to the rabbit hole. You get down the rabbit hole is are you want to go out deep you want to go. But eventually if you go all the way, there is no you left to emerge.

Brandon Handley 23:27
What’s interesting, too, is you you have you have a prerequisite to read this book, and seven others prior to being able to even apply for the creative personal mastery program,

Dr. Srikumar Rao 23:41
the required readings, correct,

Brandon Handley 23:43
right? How did you decide that those were the seven books that were the

Dr. Srikumar Rao 23:48
filter arbitrary, and those seven have changed in the course of my teaching it? Okay. And basically, each of those books was selected, because it has the capacity to ajar you in your thinking, but maybe things are different from the way you thought they were. So they’ve got a great capacity to shake. You get the machinery between your ears working and unarrested. So you see, maybe what I thought all along, isn’t really the way the world is. And that’s a good start to entering into the creativity and personal mastery program.

Brandon Handley 24:28
Yeah, I have a complaint because each one of those books was great. Right? I was like, well, this one too. How could this be so good. Right. So the recommendations, I really enjoyed them from from the creative, personal mastery, standard reading and then you’ve got in the back of the book, you’ve got just I mean, a 12 year 12 month reading list and then I think you’ve got like a 12 year reading list if somebody was to go through the rest of the books in the back there. What if you were to rewrite this book today? would you change? Would you edit anything add to it.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 25:02
No, I don’t think I would add to it I have found I’m writing another book right now, which will cover the same material, but it will cover the same material in a much more direct fashion as I started off our conversation with, in other words, instead of leading to it gradually, as I have done in, are you ready to succeed and just come up with a guide, this is what you’re really looking for. And this, this is it and then discuss is going to be a short book I don’t anticipate will be very long, but it will be I hope, but thing, a very pregnant with possibility. And my estimate is that there will be relatively few people who are ready for that. But those people will somehow discover it, or it will discover them and it’ll be reduced to them. Now,

Brandon Handley 25:53
that makes sense.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 25:54
I model may happen may not happen. I’m fine either way.

Brandon Handley 25:58
Right. And he talks about that. There’s a couple more points that and these are all right in the beginning of the book, which I love, because you said you while you don’t dive right into the end result in front of the book, you set a stage, you set a really great stage for you know, here’s, here’s kind of what to expect. And here’s how to really leverage this book, which I really appreciated. And and in part of that was just what you’re saying there to want something, you know, enough, so greatly. Right? That that’s all you want. But to be okay with it not happening. Talk a little bit about that. Because you know, we want these things so bad. How can we want to save something so desperately but be okay with it not happening?

Dr. Srikumar Rao 26:38
That’s a paradox, Brandon. So let me tell you a story which illustrates that there was a sage who had two disciples and both of them were wonderful disciples are very conscientious, very diligent in their practices. But both of them had an insatiable desire to know when they would become enlightened. So they were constantly pestering him to say, Master, you are all seeing you know everything. Please tell us when we will become enlightened. So finally to get him off his bike, he said, Why don’t you come to me on full moon night, and I will tell you, and he was hoping they’d forget. And of course, they didn’t forget and promptly full moon light, they light it up, they prostrated before him and reminded him of his promise. He said he would tell us. So doctor, the first one and said, My son, you have been very diligent in your practice. And I’m very pleased with your progress. You will be born three more times three more lifetimes, and you will become enlightened. And he was physically dejected. His shoulders sagged, he said, Oh, my master, I’ve tried so hard. And you tell me I have three more lifetimes. So woe is me. And he walked off disconsolate. And he talked to the second disciple and said, Hey, you see the tree behind you. And it was a mango tree in full bloom, and they were bangles and leaves. They said, as many leaves as there are on that tree that many times will you have to be reborn, and then you will become enlightened. And the students said, that’s our master, you promise me that I am born so many times, and then I will be enlightened, oh, how wonderful it is. And he started jumping with joy. And the Master said, My son, you will be enlightened now. And he touched him on the forehead, and he was enlightened right there. Right? So it’s very much a factor like that it’s an oblique answer to your question, because your question, in order to answer it, you have to reach a level of consciousness different from the one where you created it. But there is both immense striving, and effortlessness. That is the thing that people find most difficult. Here’s the paradox. Many teachers, including the Buddha said, human life is rare and in human life, the desire for enlightenment is rare. So do not waste a second time is too precious work word, achieve enlightenment and this rebirth. And at the same time, things happen when they happen, the flower blooms when it is time the fruit ripens in the correct season. And there’s nothing you can do to hurry the process of. So the two are in contradiction. But they really aren’t in contradiction. They are, as I said, a paradox and paradoxes are only resolved when you go to a higher level of consciousness. So these are things that you cannot talk about logically, but you will Intuit that both of them are true. And you’re not only at peace with the ambiguity in the contradiction, but you can embrace the contradiction. That’s what my course is all about helping you recognize it’s not either or it’s both and I I appreciate I appreciate the course too, because you know, you can. And and this has been my experience so far.

Brandon Handley 30:06
I told you at the beginning here, I’m reading it for the third or fourth time. And it’s a totally different book this time than the first time I read it. And the first time I’ve read it, I’d have to say that it was primarily for personal success gains. Right, right. Right. Yeah. You know, am I right? Is the seed You bet I am, let’s do this thing. Absolutely. And as you know, my evolution has come about is, I don’t think that I’m fully there. But there’s the idea that the merging, right and understanding that I do these things with great effort, but if I do them in alignment with, you know, kind of a joy, or, again, with this podcast, bringing something to others to be of service to others, as well as myself. Things open up differently, the world opens up differently in a different way. Now, I’m just curious, did that happen for you when you created this, this course, and is that when you kind of first recognized it?

Dr. Srikumar Rao 31:06
Before I go there, let me also share with you that the paradox that I outlined to you has many parallels in the hard sciences, physics, you know, I used to be a physics major, as you pointed out. So for example, we still have not been able to reconcile what we call the wave particle duality, is light a particle or is light a wave, and it exhibits characteristics of both. So we’ve got an infrared wave particle duality, but we haven’t been able to resolve it exactly like that. You can use both, and at certain times one is appropriate, and other times the other is appropriate. But they’re both true. So coming back to my own life, yes, I am discovering that a lot of things that I tried hard and struggled to make happen. I don’t struggle anymore. I do make effort. I put it out there. But even therefore, it doesn’t seem like effort, because I’m doing it because I’m calling for, I don’t pay any attention to deadlines, because most deadlines are completely artificial. And you know, if I happen to meet it fine. If I don’t happen to meet it, I don’t beat myself up, you know, it’ll get done when it’ll get done. So I’m letting life evolve, as opposed to try to force my will upon the universe, if you will.

Brandon Handley 32:24
enjoy that. And I think that the other story that you tell in the book is how the one, you know, I was looking for enlightenment or something of the sword, and the master tells him 10 years, yeah, right. He goes, Well, what if I double my efforts, and he goes out 20 years, and it’s crazy, because that’s helped me to just kind of slow down a little bit, right, that that story in of itself is just inclusive. And it’s right in the beginning to which is, you know, again, the the the book is very nicely for, for anybody who, who’s kind of looking to do the self discovery journey,

Dr. Srikumar Rao 32:59
right? Correct. Yes.

Brandon Handley 33:01
So asking this question. You know, I don’t think it’s too tongue in cheek, but would you consider yourself along the lines of a guru? No. Okay. Okay,

Dr. Srikumar Rao 33:12
I do consider myself, a person who has been chosen for whatever reason by the universe transmits some great truths. But I want to emphasize and I state that in the very beginning of the book itself, these are not coming from me, these are coming through me. And they are the transmission of a tremendously powerful enlightened masters. And I have probably introduced distortions in them. Because if, by being the imperfect human being I am, but I try to consciously try to introduce as few distortions as possible, but if there are distortions, it’s all mine, if there’s any power, it’s all theirs. And that’s just a statement. This is the way it is teaching this to your children. You know, being a father myself, right?

Brandon Handley 34:05
I’ve got a couple children. And I know you’ve got you know, you’ve got your children and grandparent children along the way, right? How do you try to prevent them from kind of our mistakes, right, waiting till the end of our lives? Or midlife? How can they How can they notice?

Dr. Srikumar Rao 34:23
And I don’t think you can each person has to have his or her own life journey and make their own mistakes. And a lot of the things that I see them doing, I can recognize, this is not the ideal, but there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. And I don’t even try because they have their own their own path and their journey of growth. And like, you know, my mother monster shed many tears when she saw how her son was turning out, but it all worked out in the end. So I’m not shedding any tears, you know? Call avail is available and at some point it will become relevant and what is relevant they will pick up. But it is what it is. So I try to be supportive, I try to inject this at the appropriate time. So what I think are appropriate times, but I don’t have control. And I don’t beat myself up on that either. It is what it is.

Brandon Handley 35:22
And one of the books I thought that was really interesting that you shared was the Stanford course.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 35:27
Right? And creativity in business. Yes.

Brandon Handley 35:31
And I thought that it was really interesting to that, who’s the Jim Collins came out of that course. But is that where you got the the vo j from?

Dr. Srikumar Rao 35:39
The DOJ, probably I did pick up from that. And actually, that book was instrumental in my creating my course. Because I thought it Michael Reagan pulled it off at Stanford, I can pull this off at Columbia. And I did. So he was an inspiration, man, he was very supportive of me, by the way. We were in touch for a long time after that. And he said, Thank God that you were keeping the flag flowing. Because the very year that he retired from Stanford, that course disappeared. Interesting.

Brandon Handley 36:11
That’s interesting. And I bring that book up, because when I read it, of course, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. Right. Very similar to your book. There’s a lot of universal wisdom in it. And I guess, you know, it’s great to see that that was an inspiration for you. Because again, that’s this podcast, is to show others that there’s a different path that you can kind of go along that there’s people that who have gone before you that have been able to kind of figure it out, right

Dr. Srikumar Rao 36:43
and put Yes. And put it together. These are the signposts along the way. And they’re encouraging people who are coming saying yes, there are others who felt the same way. And maybe they discovered or said something that I can use to help me in my journey.

Brandon Handley 37:01
Right. All right. Well, Doctor, I don’t have anything else really top of mine, except for you know, a big thank you for for coming here today. I know that your time is limited. I’ve really enjoyed having you on where should people go to kind of find out more about you and what’s next for you.

Dr. Srikumar Rao 37:17
They can go to my website, which is www v Rao institute.com or they can email me directly my email is my full name three Kumar, s [email protected] And if they go to my website, the rau institute.com and click on the button which says join our community. They will get information they’ll be on my list to get my blogs, and they’ll also get information about my programs.

Unknown Speaker 37:51
Fantastic. Thank you for being here. We really hope you enjoyed this episode of the spiritual dove podcast. stay connected with us directly through spiritual dove co You can also join the discussion on Facebook, spiritual and Instagram at spiritual underscore go. If you would like to speak with us, send us an email through Brandon at spiritual dove.com. And as always, thank you for cultivating your mindset and creating a better reality. This concludes the most thought provoking part of your day. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to stay fully up to date. Until next time, be kind to yourself and trust your intuition.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai