Heart Soul Wisdom Podcast

How to Find Inner Peace and Balance

December 26, 2022 Moira Sutton Season 3 Episode 68
Heart Soul Wisdom Podcast
How to Find Inner Peace and Balance
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Show Notes Transcript

Love & Relationships
Health & Well Being
Spirituality & Consciousness
Freedom & Fulfilment
Passion & Purpose

Steve is a professional writer, teacher, spiritual coach, poet, and author. He brings more than 33 years of experience to the table to help others overcome their challenges and live their Dharma. A lover of sunsets, his search for the truth of our human existence has stretched from the sands of the Sunshine Coast to the hot springs of New Zealand, to the Peruvian Amazon, and has included many energetic healings, and long hours alone pondering the meaning of life.

Originally a high school teacher, faculty head and vice principal then freelance journalist, copywriter, writing coach and marketing consultant, his journey inwards unlocked the pain of the human experience, which emerges in his words that are said to move women to tears and make men squirm.

Steve lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and when not writing and leading groups, can be found at one of the beautiful local beaches communing with Mother Earth or gazing out to sea.

Steve's Website:

Gift: “She’s Okay, I think” Poem

Moira's Website: https://moirasutton.com/

Create the Life you Love FB Community: https://www.facebook.com/CreatetheLifeyouLove1/

Long Distance Healing:

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[00:03] Intro: Welcome to the Heart Soul Wisdom Podcast, a journey of self discovery and transformation. Moira Sutton and her amazing guests share real life stories, tools, and strategies to inspire and empower you to create and live your best life. Come along on the journey and finally blast through any fears, obstacles and challenges that have held you back in the past so you can live your life with the joy, passion, and happiness that you desire. Now, here's your host. Create the life you love. Empowerment life coach moira Sutton.

[01:00] Moira: Welcome to season three, episode 68 how to find inner peace and balance with our very special guest, author, poet and spiritual teacher, Steve Vincent. Steve is a professional writer, teacher, spiritual coach, poet, and author. He brings more than 33 years of experience to the table to help others overcome their challenges and live their dharma. A lover of sunsets, his search for the truth of our human existence has stretched from the sands of the Sunshine Coast to the hot springs of New Zealand to the Peruvian Amazon. This has included many energetic healings for Steve and long hours alone pondering the meaning of life. Originally a high school teacher, faculty head and vice principal, then freelance journalist, copywriter writing coach and marketing consultant, his journey inwards unlocked the pain of the human experience which emerges in his words that are said to move women to tears and make men squirm. Steve lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, and when not, writing, and leading groups can be found at one of the beautiful local beaches communing with Mother Nature or gazing out to sea. So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to welcome all the way from Down Under, Steve Vincent. Welcome, Steve.

[02:19] Steve: Hey, Moira. Thank you. Pleasure to be here and thank you for having me on your show. I'm really looking forward to our chat this morning or this afternoon for you.

[02:29] Moira: This evening for me? This morning for you. I had to get that all straight with the time zones in that because we move the clocks and all that. Do you move clocks down?

[02:39] Steve: Do you do the yeah. Australia is a similar size to the United States, area wise, and so we also have three time zones. But not every time zone has daylight saving the clock. It is really confusing. We might only have a smaller number of states, but the state where I live in doesn't move the clock. The state in the two states to the three states to the south of where I am, they all move the clock. And then the ones in the middle of our time zone, they move the clock. The one on the west doesn't move the clock. So, you could have in just a handful of states, about six different time zones. So, it is confusing.

[03:18] Moira: It is confusing. But here we are. And I want to thank you so graciously because I want our listening audience know Steve's book which we're going to leave on the notes at the end, finding you poems and reflections for the journey into your shadow self. I'm not a big poetry person. I just said to Steve, but this book is a must for everybody. It's just brilliant. So, let's dive in. Let's start with when and what happened in your life that began your search for the truth of human existence and the meaning of life. Both of those things are biggies. What happened? When did it happen?

[03:58] Steve: To be honest, I think it happened the day I was born. Wow, that search. Look, I see a lot of guru type people, and they have these really big discovery stories. I was poor and living on the streets and X Y, and it happened. But I have a very boring, normal story. I grew up in a lower middle-class family, a strong Catholic family, and I was given that model of success, of work hard at school, get good grades, go to university, get a good job, get a gold watch, and everything will be happy. And I been the good little boy, the good little Catholic boy. I followed that and I came to a realization. It probably was pecking away at me for 1520 years before I finally tweaked that, hang on, this is not making me happy. Now, the other part of that is, like, externally, I am very successful. I've been married to the same woman for 29 years, I think that's right, 29. I have four kids. Please don't ask me their birthdays because I get them wrong all the time. They're now all adult children. I live, like you said, on the Sunshine Coast, have a beautiful waterfront home. I have all of what everyone from the outside looking in would call a successful life. But I guess what I'm saying is that those outward signs of success didn't mean I was necessarily happy and fulfilled and in balance with where I was at each stage of my life. And so I've been questioning, and then I've become too painful, too difficult. So, I went and got busy with work and got promotions at work or and then I would come back. So, it's been this constant almost toing and froing for much of my life. And yes, certain things one would consider the outward signs of success careerwise, familywise, material possessions wise. But I still wasn't happy. And I finally got to that, to that point where I started to ask, why? What am I here for? Why when I should, quote, unquote, be really happy? Why am I actually not? And then there were several different things that also happened. The Uncovered came along, and that gave me time to reflect deeper and those sorts of things. But my quest, my questioning of the meaning of life and why we're here, it has been a lifelong quest. And it's probably one of the things, too, that frustrate me continually about the existence in our world here is that I just want a headache pill to take all my questioning away. I just want the easy fix, but I'm sure no one listening has ever felt like that. Just tell me the answer. Just give me the magic pill so I can be okay. One of the things that I think I've learned most is that the journey within, the journey about finding yourself, the journey about being okay with you and with your place in the world and what you're here to do, it is a constant thing. And I think, well, why shouldn't it be? I mean, we take a shower every day. We cook in the kitchen every day. Why shouldn't I do my own personal work every day? Yet we tend to not really see that because sometimes it's pretty hard. I don't want to admit things about myself. I don't want to admit that I'm petty and I'm jealous and all those sorts of things. So, it's been quite a lengthy journey through my life, looking in at all of those things about why I'm here and why do I feel a certain way why do I feel a certain way in this situation? I look at someone else, and, gee, they don't seem to feel the way that I do. So that's been a really interesting, really fulfilling, but really difficult journey to undertake.

[08:17] Moira: You talk about 1520 years. When did you start this journey? How old were you? Just out of interest, because I think it's an ongoing journey for sure in our lives, because, you know, there's choice in every moment. We're learning. We have things to keep growing. I think that's what we're about to add to all there is in the universe. That's my belief. But exactly when were you at what age were you because I know you also talk about even that you realized at one point that you're an empath. You are a deep feeling, I think your senses of a so am I. And that was a learning curve. Not so much now that's who I am, but for many years, my family would tell me, don't tell other people that you see spirit and you talk to them and all the rest of it. Just shush. And then when I met Cliff, I just told them everything. I said, this is me. If you don't like it, then that's okay. We're not meant to be cool. Yeah. So how old do you think you were when you started this? And I know you said since even birth you've had this sort of place that you're questioning, but when did you really question it? That you realize that the success outside, like it looked to everyone else, was perfect, but inside you knew, no, something's not right here. It's not kosher.

[09:32] Steve: Yeah, look, it's probably around that midlife crisis time of around about 40. That was probably it. I remember responding a lot to the Tony Robbins, Christopher Howard kind of those big personal development events they seem to crack open. Oh, there is a different way of doing things. And I think that's kind of a natural thing as well. Because when we're in our twenty s and thirty s, we're very much searching for identity and we're building career and we're building family. I mean, we had four kids under five at one point and people say, oh, how wonderful. No, it was horrible.

[10:17] Moira: It's just hard work.

[10:18] Steve: It was disease and food, running kids around and oh gosh, it was hard work. We were so tired in the meantime, building career and climbing that ladder within education. So, I probably just pushed that to the back of my mind because it just didn't allow spiritually, emotionally, I wasn't ready to do anything. And it was that probably around that midlife crisis. And this is one of the interesting things too. It's really easy to dismiss people starting to question and look within and look for different answers as oh, it's just a midlife crisis, and that's a form of avoidance as well. And so, I also heard those things, oh, it's just a midlife crisis. And all I started doing was squashing things down, thinking if I just stick to the path, I'll be okay, I'll push through this, I'll get through this, and I think tied up with all of that too. I can only speak from a masculine point of view because that's me. But there was very much a lot of stuff about being the breadwinner and the security of your family and all of those things. And I think over time a lot of that stuff just built up as a pressure. And there was one point, I guess I just went, I've had enough of this. And so, I left teaching and started writing. I guess that was a pretty brave move because, I mean, I had a defined career path, right? I was, I was, you know, on the, the promotion trial as a vice principal and then would have been a principal down the track and secure money, you know, tenure, etc., etc., etc. So, to have four small kids and leave all that behind was, I guess looking back was like I said, sort of a brave move in a way, but I just couldn't stay stuck, you know, in that place. And I just knew that. And I guess like I think I said earlier, that, you know, like the frog in the pot of boiling water, I just had to get out because I just couldn't, I couldn't see myself doing this for the next 20 or 30 years. And because I was questioning, there has to be more. What more is there for me in this career 3D world kind of thing? But also, what more for me is there spiritually in terms of seeking fulfillment and a higher purpose and all those sorts of things. So, I think I've always had the material. And again, this is one of my challenges, is marrying that spirituality with the need we've still got bills to pay, we've still got kids to look after, petrol to put in a car, et cetera, et cetera. And marrying those two things has always been a challenge and that I really didn't understand, and probably till maybe five years ago, that I was an empath. And again, for an alpha male, tough kind of guy, I finally understood why I felt differently or why it appeared I felt differently to a lot of other blokes in particular, a lot of other men in particular. I felt things deeply, and I'd always suppress that. And it gets back to that simple programming of boys, don't cry, I just suck it up, you are not a man, that kind of thing.

[13:52] Moira: That didn't serve me or that brings up something. When I was being brought up, I had two older brothers and myself, and they could do things and be able to do things because they were allowed, which I was not. And I didn't quite understand that as a kid. And then my parents used a lot of times, be the good girl. Right? The good girl, whatever that means. Good girl. If somebody said that to me now, I would like, yeah, shut up. That's about it. This is a little bit kind of a little bit off from what you just shared. I want to hear about this. Awa. Asca the ceremony Ayahuasca in the Peruvian Amazon, I find that interesting. How did you discover that? What drew you to this healing experience? What results did you experience? And tell us what it is. I think a lot of people find it fascinating.

[14:41] Steve: Okay, yeah. Ayahuasca is a plant medicine. Basically, it's the part of the plant medicine that helps your journey is the DMT. I mentioned personal development stuff with Tony Robbins and those sorts of things. I went to a number of events, but I soon found that particular environment wasn't really for me. And so, by osmosis and by design, I just kept searching for other mentors. And I found a couple in New Zealand who were very spiritually aligned, and they said one day to me, we're going to the Amazon next year. Why don't you come with me? Why don't you come with us? No, I'm not doing that. What do I do that for? I'm not doing that. Yeah, I mean, that was my first defensive response. I did a bit of research into Ayahuasca, and a lot of people say it's the most powerful plant medicine on the planet. And you do go into let me, for the one of a better term, a psychedelic state. There are a couple of things that stood out for me when I was there. My dad had not long passed, and I was able to have a conversation with him. In taking Oscar, I was able to, I guess, journey to other worlds, and see the incredible colors that other realms have. And it wasn't an easy experience, though, because part of that ayahuasca experience is that you purge so it can come at both ends. I did a lot of vomiting, and that purging is you releasing a whole lot of stuck energy and so forth. So, it's not this beautiful woo woo, love and light kind of thing. It's a fairly grueling experience in terms of you purging from your physical body a lot of the stuff that you might have been carrying. Yeah. And I think for me it was life changing. People say, would you do it again? I don't think I would. I think I got the benefit out of it and look, I'm a seeker of pleasure and run away of pain, so I probably wouldn't do it again, even though it was really beneficial for me. Does that answer your question, Laura?

[17:14] Moira: It does. Thank you for sharing. I have a lot of guests now coming on with plant-based medicine, and we have CBD now in our wine stores and all this stuff that was all new and it's fascinating to me. I don't think I'd be jumping at doing it, but I hear what you're saying, and at that time in your life, it brought you a lot of benefits, for sure.

[17:34] Steve: It seemed to open things up to the spiritual world for me. If I could just put a punctuation mark on it. With that, it opened, I guess, opened my third eye, opened my heart a lot more to enable me after that to go deeper. Because I believe one of the things about me is that and I've only just understood this in the last few years because I'm an empath and I felt things deeply to survive in the world. I had ignored, shoved down, repressed a whole lot of things because the emotions were so strong. That was kind of scary for me, particularly growing up. And so, I always suppressed that behind a mask of, yeah, I'm okay doing Oscar actually opened up a lot of that where I became okay and delving into and confronting my emotions. So, it did. It opened up a lot of things. Yeah.

[18:34] Moira: There's so much you said that I want to go from what you just said, just aside, you were talking about growing up and you talk about Mass also in your poetry and how we wear masks at times and they're protectors and how they don't really allow us to go into the dark night of the soul. Can you expand on that about these?

[18:57] Steve: Yeah, absolutely. In many respects, huge chunks of my life have been a mask, the mask of the good boy, the mask of the good Catholic boy who would only do good Catholic boy things. And when that programming runs you from a really early age, it can put some pretty big obstacles in your life, later in life, in the way and one of the things I've got a lot better at in the last, say, ten years, is not having that mask. And if I don't want to do something, I just won't. Why? Because I put myself first, and people say, gee, isn't that selfish? It is, and it's my life. And see, the whole thing with that, well, isn't that selfish? That's a whole guilt trip. We want you to do what we want, not what you want. And when you've worn that mask as a people pleaser, you respond to that, oh, I've got to be liked. I can't disappoint someone else. And all you do in that situation is you are always putting someone else's needs first and subverting your own needs. Why do we do that? It's my life. It's my journey. Why do your needs get put way above my needs? It's a really deep question for that. Many people don't confront because they don't want to be seen a selfish person or not a nice person. And this is really interesting to me. Here's one of the things I've come to learn about.

[20:54] Moira: We're excited to hear what you've come to learn about you've just cut out. Steve is coming from Australia, so there's some Internet issues looking. Steve, can we go to what you found out? You cut out there, and I'm letting people know we might just be having some little gremlins in the air.

[21:12] Steve: You got me back.

[21:13] Moira: I got you back. I think people enjoy that. I'm all about just being open. So, there you go. This is what happens, you guys. So, but you get to hear from Steve, which is great. So, if you could go back to that part where did you cut out? It was more like, again, what we know about pleasing others. And really yes, that's what we've all been told. Like the guilt put on you if you don't do something. Take me wherever you want to go with that suit. But I also wondered, for people who feel like they have obligations in their life, feel like your children are grown now, but let's say grandparents now, or grandchildren or whatever you have, how do people really choose their own my day, my space, and also be there for maybe some commitments they have?

[22:04] Steve: I wish I had a really good answer for that.

[22:08] Moira: Yeah, me too.

[22:10] Steve: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is you have to be okay with disappointing people. Now, it doesn't mean that I'm not saying that if an aging parent is in a crisis, you don't drop everything and go and help them. But there's also certain things that maybe aren't as immediate, maybe aren't as urgent as other people portray them to be. So, they get you to do what they want you to do. I'm sure there is a balance, and it's because circumstances and people's circumstances are so different. I think that's one where people need to use their powers of discernment to work out what it is, but I think the biggest one is being okay with annoying other people. That's a big one. And not feeling guilty about that. If I say no to XYZ relative, they're going to think poorly of me. Is that better than or worse than me thinking poorly of me and me feeling guilty about me putting my needs second or third or fourth? That's no way to live, right? That is a very disempowered, very unsovereign, unfree way to live. We talk about democracy and freedom and all those things, but that really starts within. And if you can't be free within your own family and circle of friends and say no when you want to say no, then you aren't free at all. You'll behold into a whole lot of other values, and that's a really big one for people. And the reason I can say it because I've lived through it and I've shed those things, I'll just tell you a really quick story around that. When my book was first published, I approached a whole lot of bookstores in the local area. There was this one place I used to go to all the time for coffee, and they had crystals, and it was just sort of my place, my Bible place, and I offered them my book. And for whatever reason, I know we're going in a different direction. We're not taking books from local authors anymore. And I spent a lot of money there, and I was really cheesed off, I've got to say. Someone said to me one day, let's go to that place for a coffee. And I went, I don't go there anymore. They said, what do you mean? And I said, well, they wouldn't accept my book, so I'm not going to support them if they're not going to support me. And they said, Isn't that ridiculously petty and childish and nasty? And I said, yeah, it is, but that's the way I feel, and so I'm not going to go there. And they kind of went, oh, the old me would have just put a mask on and go, yeah, look, that doesn't bother me. No problem. That doesn't bother me. I'll just go there and pretend that everything is okay and be a man about it and all those sorts of things. But I just thought, you know what? No, there's a line there. And so, I don't go there anymore. And I'm quite okay with being petty and nasty and immature and all of those sorts of things because that is genuinely how I feel, and I can own those feelings. I don't put up a mask and pretend that I'm something I'm not. I have those feelings. I own them, and that is my boundary and lie in the sand. If they're not going to support me, then why should I go and spend money there? And people say that's really petty. Yes, it is. And I'm okay with that because I'm a mixture of dark and light. I'm a mixture of night and day. I'm a mixture of nastiness and beautifulness. And it's only when I accept that I'm both of those things I'm dark and I'm light that I actually find some balance. And what I've found is that when we put other people's needs first, we're totally out of balance, and yet we suppress that after years and years and years.

[26:13] Moira: And I think it goes back to also self love, and I'm writing a book. That's part of it, and we're safe. Or journey to your Heart, soul, and self love and you're being authentic to yourself with being who you are. For Steve?

[26:29] Steve: Absolutely.

[26:30] Moira: That takes a lot of courage to do that. How did you develop that courage and step into this freedom? Freedom for you to be yourself. You talk about also the journey into the shadow is about freedom and flow and letting go of that unstuck pattern. So how did you, through the shadow work, move into this freedom and flow and really be authentic to yourself and take and be courageous?

[26:57] Steve: Yeah, I think there's probably two things in in the research that I did with it. You know, I mean, I think it was Carl Young, the famed psychologist, I think he was probably one of the first to talk about the shadow in any meaningful way. And he said that everyone carries the shadow, and the less we bring it to light in our life, the blacker and dense that it is, it becomes. And he said it's an unconscious snag that thwarts our most well-meant intentions. And those words an unconscious snag that kind of felt like my life. There was always something pulling me back or holding me back or not letting me be true and authentic and alive in the moment. And it was all those things that I suppressed about myself, my pettiness, my shame, and all of those sorts of things. So, it was looking into that and knowing that what I was feeling about it is actually quite normal. It's the human experience. And the really interesting thing when I became aware of that was that in working with other people, either individually or in workshop settings or whatever it might be, it's kind of like the pain that I feel is very much human pain. And so, when I expressed that, gee, I'm nasty and jealous and petty when I'm not being nice and fun and fantastic, but when I own the fact that I do have that darker side, it almost has given other people permission to go. I feel that too. Putting those two things together, the research from the famous psychologist saying that this is the human experience and then seeing the change or the release in other people who can own that part of themselves as well, it was the marrying, if you like, of those two forces that gosh. A lot of the pain that I talk about via my pain is actually also your pain and his pain and her pain and that person's pain, because we're connected as part of the human experience.

[29:20] Moira: So, you've started these. Thank you. That's wonderful. You have these groups, the Pen Dragon for Men that you work with. So, I could see that as you were speaking, that if you're leading this group because you are a sole leadership person, and that's part of your calling, I would say. Is that correct?

[29:42] Steve: Yes.

[29:44] Moira: And when you share other people, you do give them this you create that space for permission for them to share. Is that how you see things and your experience with your work that you do?

[29:56] Steve: Absolutely. Yeah. And here's the thing. I think it's because of all those layers of conditioning and all the masks and all those sorts of things. And again, I will speak more. So, from a masculine perspective, it was never quite okay for men to say that I do feel weak. I do feel broken. I'm really jealous of that guy who just sold his business for $10 million, or the neighbor who bought a big boat or a Ferrari. I'm jealous of that. Like, it was never it was never okay to say things like that. And my belief with that as part of the human experience is when we lock those things up, it very much is a heavy burden emotionally to carry. It might not seem like a lot for a day, for a week, for a month, for a year, but if you're carrying a whole lot of locked up emotions through your life, my goodness, is it any wonder that we are tired and stressed and we lack focus and where we have all this resistance to flow and all of those sorts of things when we haven't owned our stuff and haven't been in a place where it's okay with safety, without judgment, to be able to express what you really feel, then life is challenging. And I can just remember one of the guys in the last group I ran, he emailed me two weeks after we'd finished our block of work together, and he said, look, I just want to let you know that unsolicited, my family have said how much happier I am, how much lighter I am. He said it was all because within the work we were doing, it was safe for me to admit that won't divulge his confidence. And then all of the things that he felt had been holding him back. That was a really special moment in that gosh. If us humans just were able to have a space where we expressed without judgment, without fear, without condemnation about, this is how I honestly really feel, and just let that energy go, because this is one of the other things I believe, is that words are medicine. Words are hugely important. The words we say to ourselves, plus the words we say to other people, i. Really believe that words are medicine. Now, as a writer, I wouldn't actually say that, but words are medicine. And if we can create safe the trendy word today is containers. But if we can create safe containers where it is okay for me just to say I really hate this, I feel jealous about this, whatever it might be that releases so much pent-up energy where we no longer have to pretend that I am okay. This is the other thing more. This is really interesting, right? One of the questions I have asked all the time is that I have felt unhappy at times and when things haven't gone well, I felt unhappy about that. And I know one of my patterns is I've clung to the attachment of being happy and okay, but nature isn't like that. We have summer and we have winter. We have night and we have day. We have sun and we have rain. We have light and dark. We have a combination of opposites. Yet suffering has occurred to me and been created by me in my mind, because I only accept when things are okay, or things are good. What I perceive is good, what I judge is good. And one of the messages to people I work with is to accept that like nature, light and dark happens. We will have our good days and our bad days if we cling to just only ever accepting one side of an experience. What we are doing is setting ourselves up for failure and for unhappiness.

[34:09] Moira: It's true there's a lot of work out there now, but it wasn't out there, I don't believe, and I've been in this field for a long time, where you dive into the emotion now. You don't just bury it or go get busy or you talked about this too. I was going to let everybody know, sign up for Steve's emails. They're brilliant, every one of them. And you talked about right now with the Christmas and people being busy and just really just stop and take a breath and check in. And again, that whole thing is with the word being present. And that's the gift in the moment to really be with yourself. And this whole thing about risk and being vulnerable are really important aspects of healing those wounded parts of us and embracing them as part of ourselves. Because we both know, and I know a lot of people in this audience know that there's nothing wrong with us. We're not broken, we're whole. And that's part of the human condition.

[35:13] Steve: Correct. Although what I would put as a caveat to that, it's easy to think that we are broken and that's what our mind does. The reality is we're not. Yet it's easy for our egoic mind to make us think that we are broken. And I think that this is an interesting thing, too. I don't want to go too deep down this rabbit hole, but that's okay. One of the things about religion is that it puts our power on an outside source and outside savior if you like. And what that does, it disempowers us because we're looking outside of ourselves for an answer. Whereas, like you suggested, in my view, we are whole, and the answers do reside within us, yet we've been told, we've been conditioned to look outside. That's where salvation lies. And I just wonder if that serves humanity or not. That's a very deep question and very controversial.

[36:23] Moira: I think it's a great question. Yeah, you talk about the ego line every time I hear about ego and that I always think of Wayne Dyer, and he has ego as edge got out or edged your higher self or the universe, whatever it is for you. But I find that very interesting. So how do people stop running from other fears that might be running their lives? Like they're fearful of this, their fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking bad. And like you shared a lot of examples, fear of people judging you. How do you stop that? Do you have an exercise you do with people? Or is there something you would say to somebody to start down that path to really for free?

[37:06] Steve: Yeah, one, it's a constant. Like a shower every day it's a constant, but I still find it. I'd love to say, look, I've got this one process mora and if you just do this, all of your problems will be solved. Right? But I struggle with that still and I don't struggle with it. I face that issue every day. Why? Because I'm human and it's part of the human condition. And I think that for me, the key thing is acknowledging that I feel that way and not suppressing it. So, to start with, how do I feel in this moment? Well, I feel really jealous because on social media this morning, I saw my neighbor Mary, blah blah, blah, blah, blah. That's okay right now, if you go and burn Mary's house down because of it, that might not be okay rather than stepping over the line, but I'm being a little bit facetious there. But the first thing is just to own how you feel so much of the time we are taught to suppress that because it doesn't look good. But to own how you feel, I think being present enough to be honest with yourself is the key and how that then manifests. Like I said, words of power. So, if you write that down, I think that's really important. As in journal, you get your journal at today I'm feeling really annoyed because I saw on social media, Mary down the road, blah blah, blah, blah blah. I remember when she did this and that made me feel real. Like if you actually own that, it's surprising how subtly powerful that is because you actually look at and become friends with almost a part of yourself that you tried to ignore. Now, you imagine if you cut yourself in half, you're only half the person. Yet that's what we often do, right? We ignore those parts of ourselves that we don't like. We ignore those parts of ourselves that do spike some uncomfortable emotions. And I say to own that. The first part of it, though, is to be honest with yourself. Yes, I am feeling this in this moment. Because so often in the busyness of the world and our conditioning, we don't accept that we feel negative things or what we perceive as negative things. And I think that's so important. So, to use your words internally, for goodness, I don't stand in a meadow somewhere and just speak out what you're actually feeling. Sit on a park bench, talk to a tree, even people go, well, you sound like you're crazy. Well, no, I'm just processing my emotions. Whatever works for you to own how you honestly, really feel in this moment. And we've only got this moment, so how you honestly really feel in this moment. That's the first thing, I think any change process, if I could just slightly go on a tangent, but any change process to me has three things, right? The first thing is awareness. You can't change something if you're not aware of it. So, us having this conversation and your listeners hearing it might make them more aware of being able to accept and being okay with some uncomfortable emotions that they might be feeling. So, awareness is the first thing. That's step number one. Step number two is to go manual. And what I mean by that is that because of the busyness of life, of paying bills and working and family and all of those sorts of things, we are often on this autopilot of just speed. Everything is just so fast and we're all busy and I've got to get the to do list. And often we'll feel an emotion and then we'll suppress it because we're busy. So, there are times so when you're aware of something, there are times in when you go what I call manual. So, you almost pause and go, okay, I'm feeling X-Y-Z again. And then the third thing you can do is actually take action to change that. And that action might be to go and write something in a journal. It might be to make a phone call. You need to make whatever it is. Those three steps are really important to actually acknowledging, owning, and loving a part of you that you might have suppressed. So, you've got to be aware of it. You've got to have the mental space to go manual, and then you've got to take some action in the real world. And that's one of the things too. It's easy to get caught up in love and like kind of stuff, but unless we alchemize things by changing the behavior in the real world, we don't really affect change. And so, they're probably the three things, but it all starts with being honest with yourself. My cafe example is a valid one because in my honesty, in that moment I did, I felt jealous, I felt rejected, I felt all of those things and I was happy enough to own that. When I did that, I felt great freedom because it was okay for me to be authentic with the guy who wanted to go and have a coffee with me in that moment. And I didn't care. What if he had said, oh, buggy, I'm not going to do it? Then I was okay with that, you know. And so, I think it just it's being honest with ourselves. I think that's the key.

[42:20] Moira: Thank you. I love the process. It's three steps. I also think it's a real decision to do the inner healing work for our lives because our lives matter. And to like you said earlier, like instead of putting everybody else first, put ourselves first. Because if we can't look after ourselves, we really don't have very much to give other people unless we're going to burn out. I love that you talk about here, about the connection between obligation, as we've seen some of that stuff, and a mini death. And one day that you were feeling crappy, and you agreed to do something and then you decide, like, that's not good for me. Your only obligation, you were saying in the book, was to yourself. But to say that it's a mini death, I think those are big, like red stars to say to people, what are you doing in your life every day and what do you want to do with the rest?

[43:14] Steve: Yeah, it sounds a little overdramatic, but when you do something out of obligation, when you put someone else's needs first, a tiny little piece of you, I believe dies. And that tiny little piece of you that might die might be that part of you that is your personal power. It might be that you are putting yourself first and managing your life better. When you're not allowing that to happen, a little part of you just is damaged by that. I really believe that. And yet we're so conditioned emotionally to do good things for other people. I guess. Here's the thing. If I don't do good things for other people, read the way they want me to, then that makes me a bad person. And that's rubbish. I'm a bad person. I'm a good person. I'm both of those things and I own those. I donate to charities, I do free spiritual works and presentations and things. So, I'm not a bad person, but sometimes I am. I'm a mean person and sometimes I'm hugely generous on both of those things. But I own the fact that I have both of those sides of me.

[44:37] Moira: I think that's like also realizing the polarity that we're in this planet. Like you said, there's night, there's day, there's good, there's bad, there's up, there's down. That's kind of like our universe is at the hope and to embrace both parts of that, that's part ourselves, to free the spirit, free the soul. I love all your poems. They're just so deep. Thank you for you to get there and write. How do some people say, here I have it in front of me that you've helped other people explore their shadow side and discover in this case who we really are. How would you define who we truly are, Steve?

[45:21] Steve: What a question.

[45:23] Moira: I know that you can answer it, though.

[45:28] Steve: Okay, so my belief is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience on a macro level. And I think a big part of that experience is us figuring out this thing that is life here to learn some soul lessons. I know one of my soul lessons is about self empowerment. And so, the situations that have been placed before me in my life may not have been overly pleasant, but they've given me opportunities on that journey of self empowerment. And so now I can say no. And I do say no because my needs, because it's my life, are more important than other people's needs. And so that self empowerment thing is big for me. Maybe someone else's purpose for life is to find self love. Maybe someone else's purpose in life is to support tens of thousands or millions of people, whatever it might be. That whole thing about our journey of life is a really interesting one. Again, I wish I had a simple answer. I think that's one of the often when people start looking at this stuff, when there is not a simple linear answer. And that's the other thing, right? We like black and white, we like absolutes and we like linear. And yet my experience is that none of those things are actually reality, right? It's uncomfortable, it's messy, it's two steps forward, one step back. It's repeating mistakes over and over again until you finally get it. I have been put in so many situations like that cafe one, and it took 50 years or thereabouts for me to finally say, no, I don't want to do that. So, I get lots of opportunities to learn my soul lessons and they still come up because I've got lessons to learn.

[47:43] Moira: I don't think it ends. I think it continues. We pass from this body into whether there are other life that we're going to live or back into spirit. Now, at the very beginning, we talked about how you help others overcome their challenges and live their dharma. Explain to me your definition of dharma and how do people live their dharma.

[48:05] Steve: I'm very pragmatic in how I teach people and what I teach. And dharma for me is your purpose for being here that might involve your work, but it also might not involve your work. It might involve, as in when I'm say work, your paid employment, your way of getting money for this world. So, it may involve that or it may not involve that. To me, the thing is that are you free in doing what you are doing and doing it because you are free as opposed to obligation?

[48:47] Moira: I love that. Would that be how you would say to somebody ask that question? If they're doing something for them to find their personal people are always asking what's my life's purpose? I don't know what that is, let alone my dharma. They don't know what it is for them to just bring in that question around freedom.

[49:09] Steve: Yeah. What does your soul at a very deep level, let's strip away the bills you've got to pay. Let's strip away your role in a family, whatever that might be. Let's strip all that stuff away when it's just you and your soul and what is it that you really want to do out of freedom here in this world? And sometimes that's really, really difficult. Now, I know I have a gift with words written and spoken. And so, part of my dharma is with the help of words to help heal people, quite unquote heal. I use that term, I guess collectively from the challenges that we face in life. Here's the other thing, too, I guess in amongst all the layers of conditioning and all of my people pleasing and all of those sorts of things, it took me a couple of careers and probably 20 something years to actually work that out. Now I say to people who figure that out much earlier in life, how blessed you must be to be on that path that you are here to do. Because I know I've only just discovered it, even though I've probably known it, I've only just discovered it in the last about ten years. And I guess it's never too late either. We are very ageist in this world. I'm 54 now and I just feel like I'm just almost ending the apprenticeship and starting to hit my straps kind of thing, even though I've got decades of experience. But I think we box ourselves in and label ourselves and we're very quick to label ourselves and that doesn't serve us at all.

[51:19] Moira: I'm just listening to you, and I like that you shared with the last ten years because I think, again, I know my listening audience and a lot of them are struggling with different parts in their life. Let it be relationships or they’re work in the world and they're all very I would put them in the categories spiritual people and for them to know you're young 54 but to realize it can be any age that you maybe have this revelation in your life and just to go back to your process awareness manual take action. To go back to that.

[51:56] Steve: Yeah. And that's the thing. Like I said, I don't want to be redundant with this, but you can't change something unless you are aware of it. And that is so the first step of being aware of it and then owning it. And what I mean by that is being okay with that, to put it in my context, to own the fact that I'm a word man, right? I'm good with words spoken. I am good with words written. If I don't own that part of myself, then that gift doesn't come out right because I'm embarrassed to talk about it or don't want to be seen or whatever it might be, right? But acknowledging being aware, acknowledging and owning something is massive. And I believe that layers of social conditioning, that is often the hardest step for people to take, because we don't want to be seen as something different to the mask that we have put on for ten years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, whatever it might be.

[53:07] Moira: I think it's what you said, too, when you're carrying around all this extra heavy energy versus lifting our soul, being ourselves, the freedom and everything. It's heavy. It's like tiring and heavy and no energy. And then we have all these stories we tell. We don't have time; we don't have the money. I hear it all the time. And I have my own stories. Like you, I will always be on the spiritual path, and I have my own issues and that to deal with. But I also look at each circumstance and challenge as a reframe into what is the gift in this. That's my biggest question, and it's part of my next book. What is the gift in this? But to really look at that because you also had challenges there. I know that I read that sort of like, who am I to do this with your writing? When that voice that was talking within yourself, for you to work through that, to realize, yeah, you are a good writer, you are good with words and maybe hear that voice, but also really grow from that, you must have got to one point that said no to that voice. Is that what happened with that?

[54:20] Steve: Yeah, it was a combination of that. And I think probably the thing that was probably two parts, but one, I shed that I shucks. It's nothing. Kind of oh, that little old thing. That kind of the anti tall poppy kind of response, you know, oh, look, it's nothing. It's not much. You know, I'm not much. Again, part of society's conditioning is to diminish ourselves, so we don't look to be egotistical and big headed. So, there was part of that, but the other, I think what I needed, and again, being that empath, and this is what I discovered about myself being that empath, I needed some external validation. And so, when you know, things like when you said to me this morning, I just love every one of your poems, when I showed during the writing phase, I showed people some of my poems, and they went, oh, wow, that really moved me. I actually had tears when I read that. When I heard that once or twice, it could just be people being nice. But the more I shared, the more I heard that what that kind of did was quiet. That ego voice that says, no, don't put it out there, because if you put it out there, it's unsafe. And I had a lot of that going on, plus a lot of the eye shucks, it's nothing. So, in sharing with other human beings and getting their reaction and not everyone reacted that way, by the way. Some people went, oh, yeah, no, it's not really mine. But others, I know when others really connected with it, and it moved them emotionally, and I knew if it moved them emotionally, that it would move other people emotionally. Not everyone, because poultry isn't it for everyone. Looking within isn't for everyone either. But those people who are most attracted to it were attracted to it and had a visceral emotional response. And that was almost that for my egoic mind under the laser conditioning. That was almost the external validation that I probably needed to go ahead and publish the book and do more work with people and so forth. So, yeah, I'm a human being with all of those things, the same as everyone here listening. So I have those challenges as well.

[56:59] Moira: Steve, I also love how people purchase this book because it's great, and I'm not just saying that. I wouldn't say it on one side you have the poem, but then you have my reflections, and then you allow people to work through their own. You can do the work with this book.

[57:16] Steve: Yeah.

[57:16] Moira: Steve, there's so many I would like you to read, but you choose one of the poems you'd like to as we conclude today, a poem that you would like to share with our listeners to inspire and empower them on their journey.

[57:32] Steve: Yeah, sure. I think the one I'd like to read is A Message to the Birds. And actually, before I do that more just to pick up on the point that you made, I guess one of the things with poetry that I have struggled with myself over the years when someone writes a poem and it's about a tree? Now, is it really about a tree, or is it about that something is the root of all whatever it might be? Sometimes poetry is really difficult to understand. And so, one of the things I did with the book was that, like you said, I put my reflection, so I explained to the reader what the motivation was for that and why I wrote that. And hopefully that bridges the gap sometimes between the mystery of poetry and people's understanding. And A Message to the Birds came to me one day. I know I was feeling pretty down. I was feeling really heavy with the world. And we've got these little, little, tiny little black and white birds in Australia called Willy Wagtails. And they're feisty little things and they'll chase bigger birds, and they'll flit here and there and flit here and there. And one day they turned up and were noisy and chirping and I just went, man, you guys are so cool. Yeah, they're little black and white birds. And then I looked up in the sky and there were other birds flying around and I just went, man, I feel like **** this morning. And look at you guys, why can't I be like you guys? And so, a message to the birds just came to me then as a result. So here we go.

[59:13] Moira: Okay.

[59:15] Steve: To fly like a bird in the skies forever free chirping away loud as you like happy for others to see or to saw like the sea eagle majestic and high o to let go and roam like that it makes my heart sigh to swoop down and rest or just sit and be still? To do whatever you feel must be a great thrill? You start each day with a happy bride song and gather together in a spirited, naughty throng every day, it seems you have it all together able to flow and thrive no matter the weather your nimble and light in every single way Ought to be that clear it must be the happiest day, but you do it all the time all through the seasons. Never, it seems weighed down by your demons. Liberty is your birthright to fly up higher loft your heart must be pure so happy and soft you may be tiny and not so significant, but you have much to teach this here 3d variant because I watch you flit, fly, and wish I was so. But my search goes on, my battle rages to and fro. Please keep showing up, my little feathered friend. You inspire my quest which never seems to end. But just being there happy, light, and free helps me find those qualities very deep inside me.

[01:00:49] Moira: Thank you.

[01:00:58] Steve: I think to me that sums up the human condition, the human quest. Why can't I be happy and light and free? Why can't I be like that little bird? It's a really interesting question anyway, and.

[01:01:17] Moira: Then your reflections are amazing here. Like what if you were free like a bird? Where would you go? What would you do? Really? Let go and see what comes to you to allow your imagination to open up to that. And also, what your qualities have you buried? What's stopping you releasing them all from that? Thank you. Thank you, Steve.

[01:01:41] Steve: Thank you. I guess to just circle back to that. The reality is, is that I am free. I am like that bird. Yet circumstances conditioning my egoic mind, the stories I tell myself, what runs in me, my victimhood, all of those things, those things rob me up. That freedom, that I see in the bird. And so when I look at the birds every day, they are a reminder that I am free, like them, even when I don't feel like that. Right.

[01:02:20] Moira: Just beautiful. Steve I always ask my guests at the end of the show if they would like to share the gift they like to give to the listeners. It says a thank you, being part of the community and all the links to Steve, his workshops, and your gift will be below in the Show of Notes. If you can share that, Steve, that would be wonderful.

[01:02:40] Steve: Yeah, sure. Would love you, and I invite you to go and download the poem, She's Okay, I think. And She's Okay, I think is the story of a very dear friend was telling me one day how she only found out 20 years later that her daughter, her daughter who was very, very capable, always had things sorted out and was never in any problems. She found out 20 years later how, after the birth of her first child, how badly her daughter suffered from postnatal depression and the sadness that that caused her. And the whole thing of She's Okay, I think, is that story of how we do, based on our own perceptions, not really see someone who's really close to us, maybe because we're too busy or we just assume that they're okay. But yeah. So, by all means, I invite you to go to Steve Vincentonline.com, Stevevincentonline.com, and download the poem She's okay. I think it's a very self reflective and I think it's almost a sobering poem as well, about how we show up and how we're present for those we love and care about most in our lives. It's a very sad poem, though. Very sad.

[01:04:09] Moira: Thank you, Paul. Steve, thank you so much for sharing, for your heart and soul, your wisdom on how to find inner peace and balance. Thank you. Namaste.

[01:04:20] Steve: Namaste. Mora thank you very much. And I just hope I brought some value to your listeners. If nothing else, that first thing of awareness that is so important, awareness and then being able to own it. So, thank you very much for your time, Moira, and thanks, everyone for listening. Namaste.

[01:04:36] Moira: Namaste.

[01:04:45] Outro: Thank you for listening to the Heart, Soul Wisdom podcast with Moira Sutton. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Please join our community@moirasutton.com and continue the discussion on our Facebook page. Create the life you love. You will be part of a global movement connecting with other heart centered people who are consciously creating the life they love on their own terms. Together, we can raise our consciousness for the greater good of humanity and for our planet.