How David Matthew Brown Coaches People to Breathe Out the Fire
Today’s an exciting day. We’re sitting down, talking, and listening to someone who Jason hopes to call a new friend by the end of the episode, David Matthew Brown.
David is a published author, a world-renowned speaker, a teacher, a counselor, a spiritualist, and a man who self-proclaims died and then was reborn.
He’s had a successful podcast where he interviewed some 600 people that includes Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Byron Katie, and Dr. Bernie Seigel. He’s a single dad (a soccer dad, at that), and he was once up for one of the biggest acting roles in the history of cinema, as far as fantasy genre is concerned.
Mr. Brown has been interviewed by CBS Radio, the HuffPost, and he’s here with us today in Hennessey Studios in North Hollywood on the Television Academy campus.
Thank you for tuning in to today’s reassuring episode. Please hit the play button on your favorite listening platform and follow along below.
In this Episode
[01:27] Jason and David Matthew Brown start the show with David describing what it was like growing up as a redheaded introverted kid that loved to read books. He recounts his acting journey for us and shares the early successes that led him to make the move from SF to LA.
[04:44] Jason connects David’s venture to LA with his son’s by highlighting his acting ambitions. David details the doubts his parents initially had about choosing acting over school, and how he auditioned for Band of Brothers and Lord of the Rings.
[08:28] Jason and David break the ice by playing “Never Have I Ever.” They open up about drinking alcohol before 10:00am, lying about who they’ve voted for, taking psychedelics, wearing Speedos, and more.
[18:50] David talks about what it’s like being a single soccer dad and encouraging his daughter’s dreams of playing for the US Women’s National Team. He coaches us on how to encourage our children on and off the field.
[22:35] Jason is intrigued by David’s hot yoga challenge and his book that came as a result: 90 Days of Heat. He explains how the practice helped him ease his nerves and get comfortable in his body after going through a divorce.
[28:10] David describes his near-death experience that led him to drop his acting career, getting certified as a spiritual practitioner and starting White Lion Counseling after recurring dreams of the feline.
[32:13] Jason seeks advice on how we can help people who are mourning the loss of a loved one after sharing his friends’ tragic story of their 3-year-old son. David counsels Jason on how to foster healing when our family and friends are grieving.
[36:05] Jason references one of David’s posts mentioning antidepressants, and asks him about his beliefs on using drugs to treat depression and anxiety. David encourages us to take and do whatever’s necessary to feel better.
[39:40] Jason and David discuss the successes and failures of our nation’s modern school system. David raises concerns about kids’ inability to be self-sufficient while Jason points out our education system’s failure to recognize children’s varying abilities.
[47:02] Jason invites David to share how we can keep in touch with him, and they exchange thank yous to end the conversation.
Jason Hennessey: Do you go by David Matthew Brown?
David Matthew Brown: You could just call me David. [laughs]
Yeah. Tell me a little bit more about who you are like as a kid, like what was that like?
It was an experience, probably for my folks. My parents were both blue-collar. My dad was a police officer. So, that was kind of, if you can see that situation, right? He ruled. His way or no way. My mom worked at Kaiser. And I was a complete introvert.
So, I read lots of books all the time. I’d go on my swing set, I would sing, and I played a lot of soccer, played a lot of soccer and baseball and basketball. And I read books.
And when I went from Catholic school to public school in 5th grade, that’s when I got introduced to what bullies were because the way that I would deflect things is I would tell lots of jokes to get out of situations, and in public school, you can’t do that. So, it’s like fending for your life.
So, I learned some defensive skills like, right? So, then I left. My dad was worried about me because I was really lanky. I look like, “Howdy doody, man?” I have red hair. Teeth were everywhere and glasses. Love books.
And then from there, I just went in- Miss Masters, in 8th grade, I was totally quiet. I didn’t say anything. This kid that I played basketball with, Brad Jensen, got kicked out of the school play. So, she came over to me and she’s like, “Can you fill in to play this mobster?” And I was like, “Unbelievable. What is she talking about?”
An introverted kid, right? Asking this?
Right. So, I go up on stage and I start doing the part. And what I recognize over a couple weeks is girls like guys that make them laugh. So, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I think I found a way in which I was getting some attention.”
So, that led me into acting. And in high school, I think Nishna Valley High School, I just soared. And I think it was a way-
And if I may be honest about that situation, getting in acting, because I know that we are in an “actory” town here. I did it because I think one of the reasons why I really loved it was for the first time in my life, no one could cut my voice off.
You can be heard.
Right, I could do whatever I damn well pleased on that stage, or later on as I got into television and commercials and film, I could do anything that I wanted to do.
And people loved it, or they didn’t like it. But it didn’t bother me because I was expressing myself. Then, I get offstage, I’d be quiet again. Complete introvert.
But I won all kinds of awards, was in all kinds of newspapers in San Francisco as a young kid. People thought that I was going to come down here. And that’s what I was going to do. So, yeah, in a nutshell, that’s pretty much it.
So, within less than a year, I was up here auditioning and all my teachers are like, “No, no, no, you should finish school.” I was like, “No, this is like, too good.”
So, we have a connection there. So, that’s the whole reason I’m out here, is my son.
So, he’s 17. He just turned 17. His name is Zach. When he was a kid, like 8, he would watch the show Walking Dead.
And he watched other TV- And he always said like, “I want to be on TV, I want to be on TV.” I’m like, “Yeah, sure.” “I want to be an astronaut.” Like, sure.
And then, we got a chance to go to this event, it was called the Walker Stalker Conference. And it’s where you can meet the cast of the show Walking Dead.
And so, we went up to him at this event, and my wife started asking him, “How did you get into acting?” And he’s like, “Oh, well, go ask my mom. She’s right there.”
And you know as well as I do, as the parents…
…leading the charge for the most part for the kids at that age. And so, one thing led to another.
She was so nice. She’s like, “Well, you got to get headshots.” And that was it, and that changed the whole dynamic of our world.
And so, from there, he got signed with the People Store in Atlanta. And so, next you know, our paths led us here. I sold my company.
We took a leap. You only have one shot at being like, good parents, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And so, we fully got behind my son and his dreams. And now, we’re just living vicariously through them.
What a crazy journey.
So, I say that. So, it sounds like you had parents that supported you with this acting?
I don’t know if they- My parents wanted me to go to college.
I did not want to go to college. They did not, I think, trust, kind of, the process of it, until I started booking.
Right? When that happened, then, of course, everybody jumps on-board like, “Oh, I saw it. I’ve always seen it.”
So, from my parents, I think growing up Catholic, their mindset is a little bit different, perhaps. I didn’t have anybody in my family that was creative, or acting or writing or directing or producing or all that stuff because I’m sure just like, it was your son?
Right? I’m sure that he’s going to get into all those things, because that’s what happened to me in high school was all some- I just had this mindset like, “Well, I’ll just produce it. I’ll produce it, direct it, and star in it.”
So, that’s what I did, because I liked Kenneth Branagh at that time, and that’s what he was doing. And I was like, “If he can do it, I can do it,” right? I just need one person to know that it’s possible.
But then, as you start to move through it, because I was, Lord have mercy. I was probably like 50 pounds more than I am now.
And so, I think it’s great that you’re supporting your son, because those three things, your mind just races, you’re like, “Oh, my God, I’m on the brink of something crazy right now,” right?
And none of them worked out.
So, I didn’t have that inner guidance that I have now, or inner support. And I didn’t have the outer support because as you move forward, your friends are- It’s so weird being out here when you’re auditioning because they support you, but not really, because they want to get it too. And so, you do have supportive people as long as you’re not doing it.
We’re going to break the ice a little bit here. We have a game, and then we’re going to get into more of your story here. So, have you ever played the game, “Never Have I Ever”?
Uh-uh. “Never Have I Ever,” no, I have never played this game. What do I do?
All right. So, here’s the rules. So, there’s 10 questions each, you get 3 passes, and the first person to get 7 honest answers wins the game.
So, I will go first here.
“Forgotten my wedding anniversary.” That is a negative. My wife and I got married after knowing each other for a month and a half.
Oh, my gosh, congratulations.
Yes, we’ve been married 22 years.
And so, a month and a half, and like I said, we’ve been married for 22 years, and that was April 1st. So, it’s very hard to forget my wedding anniversary.
What did your family say?
We were too chickenshit to tell them. We were young. And we just did it. And later on, they were a little upset, but they supported us later, yeah. We gave them beautiful grandbabies.
And later on, but yeah, that was- I don’t know if that was a regret in my life. I think it was, not getting married but not asking for my wife’s father’s permission. I think that’s the bigger regret there, yeah.
Right. So, I’ve been divorced for 11 years. But when I did propose, I did ask her dad and he’s in Canada.
And so, he wanted me to give him two sheep for his daughter. He was joking, right? I was like, “What?” Yeah, all right, so I read the top card.
Yeah, go for it.
Here we go. “Drank booze before 10 a.m.” I absolutely have. I absolutely have when I was at Long Beach State, and everybody in my dorm was San Francisco 49er fans.
And they had a 10 o’clock game in the morning. And we all drove down to this local pub, who showed all the football games and we got a pitcher of beer at like, 9:45. And I was like, “What am I doing with my life?” Literally, I was like, “What am I doing?”
You and every other college kid, right?
Don’t tell my folks.
“Been skinny dipping.” I don’t think I’ve ever done that. And I think I would remember it if I’d done the skinny-dipping thing. So, I’m going to have to say no on that one.
I don’t think I’ve done that either.
I mean, if I had a GQ body, maybe back in-
Proud of it.
Okay, this one says, “Wiped my ass with leaves.” 1,000%.
He played- He worked downstairs, and his fiancée was upstairs.
I bet you weren’t thinking that you’re going to be talking about that on this story today.
I did not think that it would come up right now.
“Been caught having sex in a public place.” I will pass on that one.
“Clogged an acquaintance’s toilet.”
Oh my God. That’s like the dreaded thing.
I don’t want to say no, but I don’t really remember if that happened, which might not be good, either.
Yeah, that’s like the worst thing ever, right?
I bet. Sounds like the worst.
You’re at a party. There’s three people in line, right? You’re in there, you gotta go, and the toilet clogs up. Oh my God, that’s like one of my worst fears.
“Woken up in a random parking lot.” So, yes, I was 17. And we would go out and buy Zimas. Do you remember Zimas? They were like a clear kind of alcohol. And so, for whatever reason, you put like a Jolly Rancher in it. And when you’re 17, you get drunk off of a couple of them, right?
And I ended up waking up in a berry bush at a bowling alley in Amityville, New York where I grew up. So, yes, I have woken up in a random berry bush in a parking lot. There it is.
“Bought condoms from the dollar store.” I did not or have not.
Who would trust those?
I know. I’ve never done that. I didn’t even know they had condoms.
They might not.
“Tried to hide something from hotel housekeeping.” Oh, absolutely. It’s like, it’s the same thing as like, when you go to the beach and you hide your wallet in your sneaker.
Thinking that nobody will ever look in a sneaker because that is such a secure place at the beach, right?
Yeah, I’ve done that before, like hiding, like a watch, like in a shoe or some socks, so that they won’t find my expensive watch.
“Asked how many kids do you want on a first date”? I have never done that.
But I will say that my uncle, one time was at a bar, and he said to this woman, “When are you due?”
She was not due. She was not pregnant.
And you can’t take that back, right? Yeah.
How awful, like, what are you doing?
When in doubt, don’t ask, right?
Yeah. But like she’s going to sit at the bar?
Maybe, somebody would, right?
At the bar, nonetheless.
All right. “Lied to my friends who I voted for.” Oh, yes. I’ve done that before.
Sure, everybody has.
Why spark the negative energy, right? So, yes, I’ve lied to my friends before.
Especially now, right? So, weird.
It sure is.
“Made a dangerous turn on the road because Waze told me to.” Oh, 1,000%. I think we all have, right?
Yeah, and Waze will take us through random neighborhoods now.
Yeah, and I don’t like it when you follow it, and it takes you to the street and there’s no light.
Mm-hmm. Yup. “I dated someone because they had money.”
No, I mean, where I grew up, it was definitely not a rich area and I got married young. So, I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to date somebody that had money.
“Left my credit card at a bar and couldn’t remember which bar.” I’ll pass on that. I’ll pass.
“Shaved my private parts into a weird shape.” Definitely, no, I’ve never done that before.
I like the beep before. Definitely, no.
“Served a meal that gave people food poisoning.” I’ll pass.
“Shroomed.” I did that one time, actually.
Really? How was it?
I was visiting a friend in college, he was going to UConn in Connecticut. And I don’t remember, I just, it must not have been good. But I don’t do drugs. And that was like peer pressure.
And I tried it. And I think it just made me a little high, like a drunk feeling. But it’s so long ago that I can’t even remember it.
Right. But that’s one of those things, right? I don’t do drugs either. But that might be the option, right? If you’re, or Ayahuasca, like if you’re up in like, some African mountain, I mean, I don’t know.
I can’t say, “No.”
“Jumped from the roof into a pool.” I have never done that, but I’ve seen it on commercials. It looks fun.
Yeah, I’ve got a balcony that overlooks my pool. And my biggest fear is that my kids have a party and do that.
Oh, it’s here.
Yeah, because as a homeowner that’s the last thing you want, is kids jumping from your balcony into the pool, right?
“Owned my own bowling ball.” Absolutely.
Yes. I actually, when I was young, my family would bowl. So, they’d go- I’d be at a bowling alley two nights a week because my grandma and my mom would bowl and I would go down and play video games.
Whoa. And they had their own bowling ball?
Oh, bowling shoes, their own locker.
Yeah, so I had my own bowling ball and I would bowl. I was pretty good. And as a 13, 14-year-old kid. So-
And we were in Normandy, we’re going to watch England against Norway. And it was hot. So, we go to this, like rec center, but the rec center has pools everywhere like, they’re lower, higher. They have a huge spa.
So, I walk in, and take us in. I come out to the pool area, and my bathing suit goes above my knees and I swear to God, the French guy goes, “What did you doing?” And I was like, “What?” And he goes, “Oh, you need to wear a Speedo.” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” And he goes, “Rules.”
And he showed me the rules. And I was like, “Oh.” I was horrified. And my daughter is standing there. She’s like in her swimsuit. And so, I go, “I’m going to be back in a second.”
So, they gave me the Speedo. And I came out and I looked at my daughter, and I went, “I swear to God, if you take a picture, or you post this, I will drown you in this pool.” I jumped immediately in the pool and never ever came out.
Never came out, no.
And there’s guys with like, big, pot bellies with Speedos on. I’m sure it’s natural in Europe, but I’m all white. Like I’m giving people light. Everything’s so light. They’re like, “Oh, my God, there’s sun in here. No, it’s just this man. What is he doing?” You know what I mean?
That is an awesome story. And I hope that there are photos…
Yeah, my daughter probably just-
…circulating the, whatever, Snapchat, or wherever they are.
Awesome. That was fun. I appreciate you playing along. So, your daughter, let’s talk about your daughter. So, how old?
My daughter is 13.
And she plays club soccer at a high level.
She’s the team captain of her team. She plays center fullback. So, she’s all in.
So, now I’m just in that lifestyle of like, crazy soccer parents and you’re just traveling around and she wants to play on the national team. She wants to play professionally. She’s really good.
I played until I was 19, but she’s getting coached up by- Her coach is a college coach. Mine was Ray Walker, a construction worker who smoked. He had old hearing aids.
And he’s smoking on the sides coaching us, and I was like, “I don’t think this is right.” But no one’s saying anything, right?
But, so yeah, she’s hardcore. And yeah, just taller than me. I mean, it’s crazy.
So, you’re a soccer dad.
I am a soccer dad. But I’m pretty- I’m not like hardcore.
You don’t have the van with the sticker.
We were at a tournament. This is crazy. At the last tournament before they took like, their 3-week hiatus, and they’re playing this team and these two dads on the other team are dropping F bombs, out loud during the game.
So, the parents in our team are scared. They don’t wanna say anything. So, I had to go there. I’d like, say something. I was like, “Hey, these are 13 year olds. They’re not getting paid, right? And you’re, you’re dropping F bombs.”
I can’t even imagine getting to that point as a dad, where your whole existence is dependent on if your son or daughter win a game.
That’s totally beyond my realm.
Such a bad example.
Yeah. So, your daughter’s 13. But you said you got divorced 12 years ago?
I got divorced. 11 years ago.
Eleven years ago.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Okay. Got it. So, you’ve been a single dad. But you’ve dated on and off then?
I have a girlfriend now. We’ve been together for over 3 years. And she’s got three daughters.
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So, it’s like being around four daughters.
Okay. No bathroom time.
Right, right. You’re just like, okay, all right. Here we go.
What was it like being a single dad for so long, though?
From my end, dads don’t get credit. That’s how it felt. When you’re just around your daughter and you’re driving her everyplace, you’re doing everything just like a mom would do, right?
And then, sometimes, I would have her for 3 weeks. And then, I’d be like, doing everything. And so, I just feel like sometimes, dads get bad raps because of maybe some rotten apples in our society.
But other than that, I love it. I mean, I love my daughter. I love being around her. I love watching her grow.
I think, like what I do now really helps her out. I gave the team, her team a talk before their tournament. The coach wanted me to talk to them about having a winning mindset.
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What that looks like, and things that they can do before a game and get ready.
When you have a child, as you know, especially an athlete, for me it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about in the game, you could see her learning and growing.
The journey and not the destination.
Absolutely, it really is.
And so, I watched this guy do, like a “TED Talk.” He was a soccer coach. So, he developed this thing, you probably heard of it. All you say to your child when they play a sport is, “I love watching you play.” That’s all you say. So, when she’s done with practice, I just say, “I love watching you play.”
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Now, during the week, she may have questions or something might come up. But after the game, after practice, we just keep it simple. And I don’t know, that just keeps encouraging her to go.
It’s all the support, right? And sometimes, it’s just words of encouragement.
All right. So, I want to learn a little bit more about hot yoga and how that changed your life.
[laughs] You guys did research.
Yeah, so I want to know a little bit more about that.
So, when I was going through my divorce, it’s a stressful situation for everybody. And so, I saw this thing, it said, “Hot yoga.” I think it was like $30 bucks for the whole month.
So, I was like, “You know what? Why don’t I do 30 straight days of hot yoga, and then I’m going to blog on it to keep me accountable.” So, I’m going to blog every day about what this experience is like for me and what I’m learning.
So, I did the 30 days, and I was learning a lot about myself, like my mental health, my physical health. It was helping me with so much stuff. And then, the lady that ran the studio was like, “I think you could do 60 days.” And I was like, “I think you’ve lost your mind.”
So, I did 60. Then, I did 90 days. And I was like, “I don’t know if I’m going to be here again. So, I’ll go for 100.” So, I went for 100. And I felt like that day 1 to day 100 was my phoenix rising because by the time I got to like I think day 45 or 50, my breath was taking over.
So, I was no longer in my mind where I was watching people willfully trying to do the pose because they were concerned about what people thought about them, but I had done it, like so consistently that my breath could care less about what you thought of me, and I realized how strong my breath was with the poses.
And it just became an other-worldly experience where I was like, “Holy man, this is exactly what they’re trying to teach us and talk about,” right?
Because this is just my observation. I’m not saying this is true or false. Just observation. When you go to yoga, a lot of people are angry. It’s probably because it’s squeezing your liver or whatever it’s doing.
It’s squeezing. I was like, “I wonder why that is.” And I was like, “Oh, because no one has the heaven part. Everybody’s concerned about the Earth part.”
And the heaven part is the breath because when you breathe your breath in, it cools down the entire system. And when you breathe out, your breath is hot. So, it lets out all that stuff, but if you don’t have the prana, cooling down that Earth energy, then you’re not balanced.
So, that’s what that experience taught me because I was starting to come out totally balanced.
But my point being is on day 101, I got in the room, and I’m not even joking. I was like, “Holy crap, it’s hot.” And I went, “I’m done.” For the first time, it was hot.
Because I bring some of my friends. They’re like, “I don’t know how you’re doing. This is too hot.” And I was like, “It’s not hot, it’s fine.”
How hot does it get in there?
It’s like 101.
But it’s a different type of- Because it’s like they have air coming in.
But what’s great is, it warms you up fast. So, within like 2 minutes, you’re already in it. And you’re sweating and the sweat is great and all that. There’s a lot of benefits to it.
I haven’t done it since.
So, it was my healing moment to get through my divorce and rediscover who I was by getting comfortable in my body again, and getting comfortable with who I am, right?
Yeah, I’ve never done yoga…
…ever in my life. But people that I know swear by it.
And so, but then again, I don’t know if I’ve ever meditated ever in my life either. And I know, there’s so much power in that.
So, that’s something that in my 40s that I’m going to try to slow my brain down and start to do more brain and mind activities like that.
For me, it’s not so much about the meditation.
I think what we’re learning right now, more than anything, is that we’re learning how to reset and calm down our vagus nerve in the nervous system. And the way that you do that is, you do that with longer exhales. And that’s pretty much what we need in our society now.
If you were to breathe in for the count of 4, and then you breathe out for the count of 8, that longer exhale tells your nervous system that you’re safe. And I think when we get in the mind, right? It’s all fight or flight.
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So, even if you don’t meditate, and you decide to just start to test out your breathing, that alone is significant, because it changes all the rhythms and stuff.
So, this 90-day, 101-day, I guess rather hot yoga, it inspired you to write a book?
So, what I did was, I had written a book before called The Book of Light: The Heart Opening. And that was for meditation.
And so, my publisher of that book saw that I was doing this and she said, “Why don’t you take your blogs, and we can edit it into a book.”
So, it wasn’t as though I sat down and did a lot of writing. I just did a lot of like, going over things to see what would fit.
So, if you do day 1 through day 90, which one of my friends did, it does, it is healing, because you’re going along with the same journey I went with, and it’s all different things I used.
I was just in a space of like, “Gosh, man, anything can be helpful. Any story could be helpful,” right?
Yeah. So, I guess that’s where I will start on my new journey.
I’ll pick up your book.
And what is it called?
Okay. I like it.
Sounds like a sex book, “90 days of Heat with David Brown.”
So, let’s talk a little bit about where you are now. So, White Lion Counseling. Tell me a little bit more about that.
So, it started when I was- So, like I brought earlier as a full-time actor out here in the Screen Actors Guild. That’s all I did, which amazed people because like, your son is going to realize this.
You go to parties. People are like, “What do you do?” You’re like, “I’m an actor.” Like, “Okay, where do you work?” Right? Like, people, “Wait, no, I’m an actor.” “Okay, what have you done?”
So, I was going through that experience. I got to Century City Mall. And they used to have an outdoor courtyard. And my girlfriend, I met my girlfriend at that time. And then, she was talking to me and I was eating this chicken Caesar salad and I swallowed a bone.
And so, the bone went this way. And I thought it was a piece of meat. I don’t know what I thought. But I swallowed it, it got stuck in my throat like literally lodged. And so, there’s an awareness that happens where- Normally when people are in, like their normal, everyday experience, and they’re dealing with fear. It’s not so clear.
So, that’s where I knew I was in trouble because I got so ultra-present because my air was going like my air was clogged. And she came around, she started to give me- trying to give me the Heimlich. And all I heard was, “I’m not strong enough. I can’t do this.” And then everything went dark.
And I couldn’t hear anything anymore. And I was just in this like- I got chills. And then, I was like just in this place that felt like a mother’s womb. That’s the only way I could describe the amount of love and peace that I felt with no body.
I died- probably around 10 minutes. And then, when I came back, I entered my throat and my whole body filled up, and then I launched this thing out of me. And there’s a crowd of people.
And this grandma came running up to me and she was, I mean, literally red eyes and tears, hugged me. And then, the guy that did it is the craziest part of the story. I thanked him, the Fire Department was there, they’re checking out my throat. I go, “Hold on a second, I want to talk to you,” whatever.
And then, the Fire Department was done. And I looked over and he was in a dead sprint, running that way. And he ran behind a building. I never saw him ever again.
And at the moment, because my mind was constantly worried and anxious about acting work, right? All I thought about was, “It’s probably my guardian angel. He’s probably just like, I can’t believe he just swallowed-”
Oh my God.
I mean, I had no idea who the guy was, right?
So, that gets you to where we are now, which is that because of that moment, I lost all my ambition to act. I lost all ambition for money. I lost all ambition to like, strive. It was scary because you have to pay your bills.
But I literally had no drive anymore.
So, I went, and I taught a class for Eckhard Toll out here in LA, which had something like 75 people one night a week that would show up.
And then I went and got my certificate.
What were you teaching?
So, he had a book called The Power of Now.
And he needed teachers to teach it. And I resonated with that book after my experience. So, that’s what I did. I was a teacher.
And so many people came out of class, and it was on donation. And I was like, “This is unbelievable.”
So, then I went to get my certificate, it’s called as a practitioner, or like a spiritual practitioner, which is someone that is present with you as like, almost like a pastor, I guess. Yeah, that brought me into like, bereavement support.
And so, White Lion was a moment where I started having these dreams. And one of them was a white lion, and a white lion came to me in a dream and it never left. So, I was like, “Oh, my God, white lion energy, like White Lion Counseling. This is what I do.”
Such a fascinating story, how that led you to where you are. I’ve never experienced anything like that.
So, it reminds me of an experience that resonated in my life. So, we have some friends in Georgia, and they lost a 3-year-old- I’m sorry, he was 10 years old…
…through a tragic accident.
And for me, like that’s my uncomfort zone. I can sit here and talk to you all day long about life and business, but when somebody deals with death, that makes me so uncomfortable, right? Because there’s nothing I could say or do to them, that’s going to make them feel better.
And so, for the listeners out there that might have the same kind of uncomfort that I have- On the plane ride going to Georgia, I didn’t- Like, I was so scared to see my friends, because I didn’t know what to say to them, right?
So, I just got there. And I didn’t say anything when I saw them and we just hugged, and that’s all I needed to say.
So, for those that are uncomfortable with death, is there a better way when you’re close with somebody and somebody close to them dies?
So, I like what you had to say. You were honest, it’s uncomfortable.
It is uncomfortable.
And but, we’re- In our society, everybody wants to be comfortable but where’s the excitement? The excitement is embracing being uncomfortable.
So, when you’re uncomfortable, that opens us up to listening, right? Most people like you know, especially when someone passes away, are trying to fix that other person so they feel better. But the best thing that I would do, the best advice is just, listen.
Because most people, it’s uncomfortable for them too when they’ve lost somebody, they don’t know what to do, and experience all the things that are going on inside of you as you’re doing that.
I was watching a podcast recently. Mike Tyson of all people was on the podcast. And the podcast host, I can’t remember who it was, asked him, “How do you deal with death?”
And he’s like, “It’s part of life. I definitely grieve, but I look at it as I was just thankful for the time that I was able to spend.”
Right? That’s deep from Mike Tyson of all people, right?
That’s powerful. It’s the truth.
It is the truth, yeah. So, yeah.
And so, death is just, I’m personally not afraid to die. My wife is definitely afraid to die.
What is it? “What you resist persists”?
So, we have all this fear. We have fear like a tiger is chasing us, and there’s no tiger.
That’s what anxiety and worry and all that stuff is people believe that there’s somebody- It’s all- [panting]
Uh-huh. You got people that are depressed, which is a real state.
Right, and it’s because they’re depressed about things that have happened.
And then, you have people that are anxious, right? That live in the future, right? And then, you miss out in the present.
So, depression, right, is you depress the feeling.
So, you need to express that feeling.
So, that’s why it’s important that what we just talked about, like when someone passes away that you just listen because as they start to talk more and more, they start to get that stuff-
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And that’s healing for them, right? Most of the time, yeah, depression is awful because everybody’s experienced in their own way, like minor or major. And sometimes, just listening to somebody…
…is a benefit.
So, speaking of depression, and anxiety-
You’re like, I was reading your bio, and this is depressing.
No, actually the opposite.
You had shared that.
So, what’s your personal beliefs and thoughts about taking drugs to help with depression and anxiety and stuff?
I think if it’s helpful for you, definitely do it, right?
Whether I view that as a right or wrong or whatever, it doesn’t matter. So, let me just preface that.
But I honestly believe that doing work with breathwork and teaching people about breathing- that, that is a drug.
It’s a drug that is of benefit that people can use, even if they are taking a drug.
I just think that sometimes we grip onto all these things ‘cause we don’t think that we have the power to move through it, right?
I’ve seen people start off with antidepressants. And then, as they start to heal, they start to slowly let go of that thing, and then they get off of it, right?
So, there is that possibility.
But I also feel like when it comes to drugs, or anything, like shopping, like over-shopping, drinking, like whatever all those things are, right?
They’re fine in moderation, but when they take over your life, because you don’t want to look at your emotions or be with yourself, then that’s a different topic, right?
A lot of people have a tough time being in their own body, right?
But it’s people’s own preference for if that’s something that they want to do. I mean, some people would need it.
Yeah, sometimes it’s just having an open mind to do things that are new, that are uncomfortable, and breathing exercises is definitely one of those things.
Or like you had brought up, right, like yoga or whatever. There’s some alternative methods that people choose that help them, and sometimes it doesn’t.
For me, my worst- Like I said, I don’t do drugs, right? I don’t take any medication. I’m probably, clinically, ADHD.
Nice. You work a lot like my girlfriend, right?
Yeah, yeah, sometimes my kids will just mess with me at restaurants and put the ketchup bottle down as I go to the bathroom, and they know that the moment I get back, I’m going to be picking it up, right?
Yeah, but I think about it, for me personally, I have the same beliefs as you. If it works for you, then that’s all that matters, right? But for me, I think it would probably would have taken away my creative side if I started to do that, right?
I like what you just brought up because like, I just brought up, my girlfriend is- has ADD but she is so her mind. It’s so beautiful. It’s so intelligent, and creative, that she’s able to do so many different things at once. And they all are amazing.
All right. So, I wanted to also talk about school. What’s your thoughts about the modern-day school system? Are they teaching the right things? Are we working off an antiquated system? What’s your beliefs there?
So, I feel like it is a system, right? It’s like a belief system. And we negate the basics in that system.
I teach at a daycare, and I teach mindfulness to 2 to 6-year-olds. So, mindfulness is the awareness of your emotions that are coming up: your breathing, your body, and an awareness of you.
So, am I aware of myself, right?
So, for example, one of them, I call it an “angry gorilla.” So, the gorilla gets upset at the playground, what do you do?
What we’ve taught them is that, when you breathe in through your mouth, the breath is cool. When you breathe out, it’s like fire. So, when the gorilla comes, what do you do? You breathe in and out, right?
So, this 2-year-old boy, Wally, stood up, and every time we bring up the angry gorilla, he stands up, and he starts breathing in and out, and then the gorilla goes away.
So, in our school system, we don’t teach kids how to manage their emotions. We don’t teach them how to manage their finances, right? We don’t teach them things that when they leave school, they’re properly self-sufficient.
Right. That they’re sovereign beings, that they know how to manage themselves, that they take responsibility for themselves, that they are accountable, right?
Instead, we put them in a system where they want everybody to be the same, like workers. It’s like they’re training worker bees, right or wrong. But, “Follow your boss. “You have an assignment, do the assignment.”
Mm-hmm. “Don’t cheat.”
Yeah, don’t cheat.
Right, right. Be honest. And then, if you’re honest, they’ll still punish you, right?
So, my daughter goes to a charter school. Now, her school drives me up the wall for the mere fact that like, “Everybody wins,” or, “Be nice.”
So, at school, they want you to be nice. How does that feel compared to being authentic? My daughter’s school system is teaching all these kids to be nice, and everybody wins, which is not reality. That’s not life.
My daughter learns on the soccer field, you show up with a winning attitude, you want to win the game. Otherwise, why would you be there? But there’s no guarantee you’re going to win.
So, for me, when we look at life, that’s the life that we have right now, that it’s not fair. You could put everything in, whatever, and it’s not going to turn out that way. Great.
So, in our school system, we need to teach them: How do you manage that?
Right. How do you manage failure? Because you need to fail to learn.
You’re not going to learn it by winning, right? So, you need to make mistakes and be comfortable with making mistakes.
And so, that’s what drives me up the wall because anybody can memorize stuff and do a test. Anybody can.
Took me a lot of work.
Yeah, that’s not my way of learning-
But that’s what we’re doing.
Yeah, but that’s what we do, we memorize…
Uh-huh. We can do it.
…for a test just to make the test, and then we move on to something else. It’s the exact same thing, just a different test.
So, there’s all these little tests to keep you busy throughout the year to get you to the next grade.
So, if you play that game well, then you move up to like college, and then you move up to get a PhD, right? But none of it means that you’re smart.
If my daughter was to leave school- She’s going to 8th grade right now. If she was to leave school and was able to manage her emotions, know about finances, like how to invest and how to do different things.
And that she would know, “I’ve got this, I can handle this.”
I think that’s what happens, right? People graduate. And they’re like, “I don’t know.” They have no basic needs that they’re taught.
So, two things come to mind. I think school is valuable, right? Because if you don’t have school, you don’t know how to write, you don’t know how to speak, right?
You come across uneducated publicly, if you don’t.
And my coach, so I’ve got an executive coach, his name is Cameron Harold. He did an amazing “TED Talk” about raising kids to be entrepreneurs.
Yeah. And so, that- I saw that TED Talk like 10 years ago, and I’m like, “When I grow a business and I can afford to hire him as my personal coach, like he’s going to be my guy, right?” Because it resonated with me.
And so, last year, we brought him on as my coach, and I’ve got a friendship with him, personal relationship. It’s awesome, right?
Whoa, congratulations. Yeah.
The power of visualization, right? I’ve seen it. “He’s going to be my coach,” right?
In this “TED Talk,” he specifically talks about an example in high school where he was good at this. He was good at that, right? But he’s sucked at French, because he grew up in Canada.
And so, what did the school system do? They’re like, “Hey, parents, he’s really not doing well in French, we need to get him tutors,” right?
So, get the tutor. Tutor would come over, sit with him, and he still sucked at French, right? He didn’t like it. It wasn’t his passion but what he was really good at was public speaking, right?
So, why didn’t the school system, and this is his words, not mine, instead of getting him tutors to teach him something that he didn’t like, that he sucked at, why not take those same tutors and invest it into making him accelerate at the public speaking?
Right? Which he was way better at.
And then, he goes on to say, as a society we condition people to, “Success is you grow up and be a doctor, and be a lawyer,” right? But there’s so many other roles that people can be and be defined as successful.
That’s the way I’ve always looked at life too. Because I knew at an early age, I was going to be an entrepreneur. I was like, selling Blow Pops out of my backpack in 5th grade, right?
Wow. Yeah, yeah.
So, I’d make like- So, I’ve always had that mindset, but I agree about the whole school system.
On that, though, like with social media, right? And I think you are passionate about this, too, like does social media give our kids, conditioned them to have the wrong role models?
1,000%, there’s nothing social about social media.
Right? And you don’t have to- It’s like people that text you all the time and they don’t want to talk. They just want to get their point out.
And purposely put you to voicemail and text you back, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, so that you can’t say anything back. It’s the same as social media, right? Like, I’m going to get my point out, I don’t care if you like it or not.
And then, now you have people that are like, if you comment or you disagree, and they don’t like you, then they’re going to, like, push you away.
And you’re like, if it’s not reality, like reality is we’re a diverse society. You go all around the world, there’s different cultures and different ways of viewing things, and sitting with things, and that’s how we learn about each other.
I appreciate you stopping down and being on the show. For those that are listening, how could they get in touch with you if they would like to?
If you go to Instagram, you can go to White Lion Energy or @WhiteLionEnergy. That’s probably the best way. Yeah, all my work is done through referrals. So-
Great. But yeah, one new follower.
[laughs] Yeah, right.
There it is.
You’re like, “Here I am. Here I am.” Yeah.
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Well, thank you so much. I appreciate you, you coming in.
Appreciate it. Thank you for having me.