The HighExistence Podcast

"Craft over status; art over praise."

Mike Slavin, HEx Dialogues #6

The core HighExistence team members, Mike Slavin, Eric Brown, and Jon Brooks are back with another roundtable discussion.

Lockdown restrictions are easing and it's time to reflect on all the craziness that's been happening in the months prior.

Four topics that seemed to interlinked during this prolonged period of social isolation are placed, flow, social skills, and depression.

Play is a vital form of expression that helps one keep their sanity, enter into flow state, ward off depression, and bond with others.

Social skills are just that, "skills" and the worsen when we are not practicing them. When we are out of practice we struggle to flow and we lack a childlike playfulness.

Flow is when the challenge perfectly matches the skill level, and this state is vital for good mental health.

Depression has many causes, one of the most common being a build up of stress that overwhelms the system. Such stress can be relieved by play, flow, and social relationships.

In this discussion, the team explores the intersection of these topics to spark new ideas and provide guidance on how to make sense of the world.


  • The impact of coming out of the Covid lockdown
  • The idea of the upward vs. downward spiral
  • The medicinal power of video games
  • How to use emotional reward to increase productivity
  • How competition can increase bonding
  • The fact that being alive is worth a celebration
  • The Stoic approach to being successful
  • The secret to being a great friend
  • How to handle neediness and rejection
  • TONS MORE...
Direct download: Dialogues_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am EDT

NOTE: Before listening, view the model here:

— — —

When I first saw a visual depiction of the 4Game model I was floored. Instantaneously, all of the studying I had done across everything from metaphysics to productivity systems sorted itself into a coherent narrative, a structure where everything fit together.

Immediately I knew I wanted to explore this further. To my surprise, there was very little information available!

As the trophic cascade of mental imagery and insight continued, I knew this model had the makings of something revolutionary.

This was the Cultural Theory of Everything.

A model so unwaveringly aesthetic, so deeply comprehensive as to give a shared cultural-cognitive grammar to anyone who was blessed to bear witness to it.

The more I dove into the Unified Culture Field Theory, the more I knew the world needed this. This was the foundation for the deep discussion we as a collective need to have. This is the language that unites the masses.

From that point, I reached out to the creator Jamie Combs, and this conversation is what emerged as a result.

Jamie is a brilliant systems thinker, an intrepid designer and thinker, and I'm extremely excited to be sharing this conversation with you now.

What We Cover:

  • An introduction/exploration of the 4Game Model
  • The personal significance of altering your lenses of perception
  • Creating a common cultural language
  • Deep dives into the short, mid, long, and deep game components
  • Cultivating an individual Way of Being
  • Memetically spreading cultural evolution
  • MUCH more...
Direct download: Jamie_Combs_Final.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 2:50pm EDT

What would your life be like if you woke up every day, ready to unleash yourself on the world?

What would our world be like if our aging elders were comfortable and full of healthy vitality?

What gets in the way of us expressing our immense potential? For many of us, our energy levels, mental clarity, and physiological health are the first obstacle we need to tackle.

But the health field is complex, dynamic, and getting to the roots of the matter is paramount. Today we're cutting through the noise, going straight to the signal of what matters for your health, vitality, and the longevity of those you care about.

Today we welcome Dr. Heather Sandison, Medical Advisor at the Neurohacker Collective to the podcast. The breadth and depth of Heather's insight and experience are astounding, and she brings a holistic approach to managing diseases, addressing longevity, and infusing vitality into each and every day.

Your health is foundational. It is the base that the rest of your life is built upon. It is the prime mover of your personal universe. Given this, we need to take it seriously.

If this piques your interest, if you're excited about dialling in the degrees of your DNA, we have an ongoing partnership with NHC, you can use the code 'EXISTENCE' for 15% off of any order.

Part of being of service for the world is being fit for service. You have to have your own foundations covered, and this conversation is a masterclass in mastering those foundations, and how you can adapt with them as you grow, age, and move through your life.

What We Cover:

  • Heather's personal health regime.
  • The illusion of the dichotomy of natural vs. clinical medicine.
  • The need for high-touch care in the medical field.
  • Creating personalized health programming.
  • The 6 paths of managing dementia.
  • How society can shift to accentuate individual wellbeing
  • Unlocking elder wisdom and ageing gracefully
  • What young adults should be focusing on NOW.
  • MUCH more...
Direct download: Heather_Final.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 1:14pm EDT

Watch interview on YouTube here:

Today, Eric Brown and I sit down and speak to Dominic Milton Trott, the author of The Drug User's Bible.

Here are some words from Dominic that really convey the mission behind his book:

"The first casualty of war is truth, and the war on drugs is no different. This book is a step to counter this destructive situation. People Are Dying. They are dying because of ignorance: because unremitting propaganda is denying them essential safety information."

What Dominic has attempted with The Drug User's Bible has never been done before.

Over the course of 8 years, he self-administered over 150 different chemicals and botanicals.

For each of these he documented the vital safety data, inclusive of dose thresholds, onset times and duration.

In addition, he recorded a trip report: a subjective analysis of his qualitative experience, usually at different time-checks.

Amongst the most well known drugs are LSD, xanax, DMT, cocaine, GHB, spice, phenibut, speed, magic mushrooms, cannabis and opium.

In this interview we sit down and speak to a man who has taken detailed reports on 157 different drugs. 

As you might imagine, it has to be heard to be believed. 

Direct download: drug_users_bible_audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

To join The Accelerated Learning Experience, go here:



Direct download: ALE_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Jules Evans appeared on the podcast last time to discuss his two previous books: Philosophy For Life And Other Dangerous Situations and The Art of Losing Control.

In that episode, we talked at length about the benefits of Stoicism, and also where reason-based philosophical frameworks might be lacking if one wishes to experience a rich, integrated human life.

We dove into topics like meditation, eastern philosophy, and psychedelics as useful additions in our psychological toolkit.

When I asked Jules what he was working on next, he explained that he was in the process of co-editing a book with psychiatry expert Tim Read all about spiritual emergencies.

Considering I am involved in the psychedelic and spirituality space, I was surprised to find that I knew very little about this important topic.

30, years ago Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina wrote a book called Spiritual Emergency where they defined this phenomenon as follows:

One of the most important implications... is the realization that many of the conditions, which are currently diagnosed as psychotic and indiscriminately treated by suppressive medication, are actually difficult stages of a radical personality transformation and of spiritual opening. If they are correctly understood and supported, these psychospiritual crises can result in emotional and psychosomatic healing, remarkable psychological transformation, and consciousness evolution.

With the resurgence of psychedelics and increased popularity of spiritual practices, information on how one might recognise and navigate their way through a spiritual emergency has never been more important.

In this episode of the HighExistence Podcast, Jules and I discuss the book he edited on this topic Breaking Open: Finding Your Way Through a Spiritual Emergency.

I have read the book, and I can't express how important I found it. If you are in any way interested in pursuing spiritual transformation, this book book is indispensable.

To learn more about Breaking Open and the topic of spiritual emergencies, my conversation here with Jules is a perfect place to begin.


  • What is a spiritual emergency?
  • Tips for dealing with difficult spiritual experiences
  • The creative process behind the book Breaking Open
  • Jules' own spiritual emergency and ayahuasca experience
  • Useful guidelines for attending psychedelic retreats
  • Psychosis vs. spiritual emergency
  • Psychedelic intergration
  • The usefulness of psychotherapy
  • The dark side of spirituality
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Jules_Evans_Final_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29pm EDT

To learn more about Richard "Shaky" Shore, Check out the Shake, Rattle, and Roll podcast on Youtube and Spotify


Today's episode is a very special one for me.

I sit down and speak to Richard "Shaky" Shore, Brazilian JiuJitsu black belt, head coach and owner of Shore Mixed Martial Arts (SMMA), and host of the Shake, Rattle, and Roll podcast, where Richard interviews British sporting icons and rising stars, primarily in the MMA scene.

What Richard has achieved with SMMA is nothing short of spectacular. Coming from a place in the Welsh valleys where there hasn't historically been a ton of opportunity, he created a mixed martial arts gym before the sport became the mainstream attraction it is now, and has gone on to build a truly state of the art training facility boasting 3 UFC athletes, and many top level pro and amateur MMA fighters.

I train at SMMA, and Richard is my Brazilian Jiujitsu coach, so this interview was particularly special for me.

I sat down to talk to Richard about martial arts, his own story and personal evolution as a coach, leadership, facing your fears, the attitudes required to be successful at your passions, and much much more.

Direct download: Richard_Shore_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm EDT

We're releasing an Accelerated Learning course shortly. If you want to learn more, head over to:

— — —

After going through the traditional medical paradigm, looking for a solution to treat his debilitating OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) – both medications and therapy were failing him.

Left with no viable options, he turned to an unexpected ally — magic mushrooms.

Adam's citizen science work with psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) gave him space and the breathing room necessary to make some impressive strides in managing his mental space.

The results of his experiments here became the foundation for The Mushroom Cure — a dramatic monologue series that Adam created and performed himself, launching him directly into the psychedelic world and into the public stage here.

This is a raw, vulnerable, and real conversation – nothing was left off of the table for discussion.


  • The value of humor in deep transformation
  • The harsh reality of living life with mental illness
  • The promise and pitfalls of modern psychotherapy
  • How mushrooms transformed Adams OCD
  • Where do psychedelics fit in modern society?
  • Psychedelic integration and the growth process
  • Understanding identity during times of flux
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Adam_Strauss_Final_Export.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22pm EDT

Sign up here to get early access to The Accelerated Learning Experience with Justin Noppe:

To watch the video version of this interview visit:


In my first conversation with learning expert Justin Noppé we spent a couple hours going over the ultimate skill... learning.

Learning how to learn gives you a meta skill that can be applied to any activity you want to master, from cooking to web development and design to martial arts to music to writing to... well everything else you can think of.

Most of the high-level people I've met in my life have a certain confidence that comes from knowing they can do anything they put their mind to.

The world becomes you oyster when you can confidently look at any obstacle and confidently proclaim...

"I can learn to overcome this challenge."

After the podcast aired, I wanted to learn more about Justin's learning process, so I asked him to become my Brazilian JuJitsu learning coach.

This may sound a bit crazy since Justin doesn't actually practice this martial art, but if his process worked it should work regardless of the topic being studied.

After just a few weeks of working with Justin I started seeing the results, and other people started noticing at the gym too.

"How are you getting good so quickly? Last week I was smashing, you and now you're smashing me..."

It was at this point I knew we had to share Justin's 5-step learning process with the the HighExistence readers.

If you want to learn more about this, watch this two-minute video:

In the initial podcast I did with Justin, we talked a little bit about reading books, but I wanted to go much deeper on the topic.

So in this episode, Justin and I speak specifically all about optimizing book reading.

If you enjoy books or want to get more from the books you're reading, the next 35 minutes could change your life.

Okay, so what's inside?


  • How to pre-read books
  • The uses and limits of speed-reading 
  • The best ways to read for maximum absorption
  • Justin's number one tip when it comes to learning from books
  • When you should read super slow 
  • The wisdom of book lists 
  • The right way to take notes
  • Vanity metrics when it comes to reading 
  • Tons more...
Direct download: Podcast_Audio_Justin_Reading_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

We're opening the doors to our accelerated learning course with Justin soon. Add yourself to the early access list here.

What does living in alignment really look like?

How do you define the goals, virtues, and morals that will guide your life? And how do you act them out in your daily life?

This is just one of the many topics we explore today on the latest HighExistence Dialogues – with learning expert Justin Noppé with us.

We explore the systems and techniques of unlocking yourself, living up to the potential you have inside of you, and explore how your culture shapes a lot of this early on and what you can do about it now.

Whether it's new skill acquisition, changing your personality and disposition, or getting a deeper understanding of how to connect with others — this conversation goes into all of that and a lot more.

Justin is already the creator of our Accelerated Learning course, so you can dive in behind-the-scenes as we riff on these topics. To learn more about the course, check out the link at the top of this description.


  • Overcoming agreeableness and cultural divisions
  • Navigating interpersonal dynamics with expertise
  • What an 'aligned human' looks like
  • Become anything and anybody you want
  • Building a sturdy foundation for the rest of your life
  • Hard skills vs. soft skills
  • Becoming an interesting person and owning it
  • Deconstructing yourself with real-world results
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Dialogues_5_Justin.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

What would life be like if we could transcend the ordinary?

Now this journey isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a Hero’s Journey of cataclysmic proportions.

Undoing, overriding, and re-learning decades of distilled and conditioned socio-cultural programming is no small feat.

But on the other side awaits beauty, wonder, and experiences far beyond our present imagining.

This is why HighExistence came into being. To serve as a portal, through which the initiates pass, into a world of wisdom and wonder.

As we take an evolutionary step forward with HighExistence, we riff on what it means to transcend the ordinary and become the creators of our own reality.

Won’t you come along with us?


  • What it means to transcend the ordinary
  • The next evolutionary step for HighExistence
  • How to modify and amplify the lenses of perception
  • The mythological meaning of I.M M.Y.T.H.
  • Seeking Truth as the ultimate Hero's Journey
  • Courage and wonder in the face of the mundane
  • What does it really mean to create your own reality?
  • Myth-busting common cultural constructs
  • The awe-inspiring wonder of inter-subjective existence
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Dialogues_4_Final.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 8:02pm EDT

East Forest is a man of many talents.

Composer, explorer, facilitator, innovator, digital shaman — the list goes on.

Many of us know him through the music he produces, the experiences he’s crafted, or for the meditations and retreats that he hosts. He recently burst back into the spotlight with his latest album release ‘Ram Dass’ — a collaboration project he did with the renowned spiritual teacher himself.

It was one of the last public projects that Ram Dass undertook before his passing.

We sat down with East Forest to go into the woods on everything with him: his creative process, his views on spirituality and metaphysics, the value of inner work and exploration, and a whole lot more.

East Forest has the makings of a wise elder — reserved and focused in his speech, but able to convey a level of wisdom and reverence that is truly stunning.

We hope you enjoy this conversation with East Forest, as well as a few samples of songs that appear on the Ram Dass album.


  • What East Forest thinks of music and meaning
  • The production of music as the birthing of the new
  • Navigating uncertainty as a creator
  • The metaphysics of meaning and human life
  • Collaborating with Ram Dass
  • Spontaneous emergence through courageous leaps
  • Digital shamanism and the future of psychedelic experiences
  • Slow down and tuning in with yourself, for yourself
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: EF_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

Watch the video of this interview here.

Patrick McKeown is the author of the acclaimed The Oxygen Advantage.

I was first recommended this book by my friend and mentor Justin Noppé to help with my breathing during Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The book blew my mind. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about topics like health, fitness, anxiety, and stress...

But there was so much highly useful information in this book, I knew I had to started putting the ideas into practice immediately.

Then COVID-19 hit.

The more research I did on this disease, the more I wanted to talk to Patrick about it.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, so the world's leading authority on the Buteyko breathing method should surely have some useful input.

I reached out to Patrick and he agreed to speak.

It was an incredibly illuminating 90-minute discussion, and a few days later I attended his masterclass—did not disappoint.

Whether you're new to Patrick's work or already familiar, there will be a ton of value for you in this episode.


  • How to breathe to avoid spreading and catching COVID-19
  • How to breathe if you are suffering from anxiety
  • The insane benefits of nasal breathing
  • How to combine breath work and meditation
  • The Wim Hof Method and its drawbacks
  • How to measure the health of your lungs
  • Simple ways to dramatically improve your athletic performance
  • Simple techniques to improve your sleep overnight
  • MUCH MORE...


Direct download: Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34am EDT

“We appear to be heading for a level of existence that is beyond our ability to even imagine: the universe is being recalled; we are going home.”

— Bob Frissell

Bob Frissell came into my reality in quite a fitting fashion: By synchronicity.

I was in a bookstore called Myopic Books in Chicago, perusing the esoteric and occult section.

A book caught my eye.

It was called, Nothing in This Book is True, But It's Exactly How Things Are.

I grabbed the book and began to page through it.

In the few days prior I had discovered and begun reading the work of Drunvalo Melchizedek, a fascinating spiritual teacher who discusses things like unity consciousness, sacred geometry, ancient civilizations, miraculous feats of spiritual masters, and Merkaba energy fields.

Paging through Nothing in This Book is True, I was serendipitously surprised and delighted to find mention of Drunvalo Melchizedek.

I realized the book extensively discussed Drunvalo's teaching and elaborated on the same general constellation of topics.

It became clear that it was "heavily indicated" to purchase this book and read it.

I would later learn that the book, originally published some 25 years ago, had become a cult classic and sold half a million copies worldwide.

I devoured the book in the coming days, greatly enjoying its mind-bending contents.

Then, on a whim, I decided to email the author, Bob Frissell, after discovering his website. I mentioned I'd be interested in interviewing him.

Within a couple days, he replied, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Bob and I 'sat down' digitally and had one of the most far-reaching, cranium-detonating conversations I've ever had.

It was a lot of fun.

If you're open to radical ideas that will challenge your understanding of history, the origins of humanity, our purpose on this planet, and what we're truly capable of, you won't want to miss this one.

Visit for more podcasts. 

Direct download: Bob_Frissell_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33am EDT

Important note:

The HighExistence dialogues are where the three creators Jon Brooks, Eric Brown, and Mike Slavin come together to discuss life, the universe, and everything in between.

But if you'd like to follow up with us individually, be sure to subscribe to our new YouTube channels. Here are some places you can find out more...

When’s the last time you learned something for the first time?

It might have been a while.

For many, education stops the moment school is finished. Should it continue to be this way? How we can learn new skills so that we can stay sovereignty and adaptable to a future that is constantly in flux?

Learning is the ultimate meta-skill.

It is the foundation of acquiring any other skill. It is the foundation that resilient humans are built upon.

To this end, there are a number of techniques, mindsets, and teachers that can be instrumental in helping us move towards mastery.

In the latest instalment of the HEx Dialogues, we dive into the nuance and opportunity present in learning, bending reality, and picking up the pace of skills acquisition.

If you find yourself wanting to become more adaptable, to level up quickly and consistently, this is a blueprint to doing exactly that.


  • The great teachers and allies along the path
  • A massive list of recommended readings and resources
  • Jon, Mike, and Eric's take on what we're learning right now
  • The fundamentals of skills acquisition and learning
  • Is accelerated learning real? The potential and pitfalls
  • The shortcomings of the current educational matrix
  • How to bend reality and the journey to being superhuman
  • The long and short road to mastery
  • MUCH MORE...

See the Full Show Notes and Recommendations Here

Direct download: Learning_Dialogues_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59am EDT

Do you hear the call right now?

The call to rise up, to step into your power, to be the hero. To take actions for yourself, your community, and your world.

These are the tests that we've been waiting for.

This is the call to be a Hero.

This is where you can demonstrate the fruits of your inner work.

In times of uncertainty, the best things you can do are often the smallest steps. Take care of yourself and others. Remaining grounded and centered. Check-in on others and see what help is needed. Coordinate information and resources. Contribute. Show Up.

It is under this thread that we embark again today on another Dialogue, sitting down to riff on these concepts and far more, dissecting the mythological significance and opportunity that the COVID-19 pandemic is offering individuals.

With some reframing, some individual empowerment, and a lot of diligence – we can all find space here to step further into our power, to embrace this as an opportunity to rise up and be the Hero in a time that needs more of them.


  • Cultivating sovereignty in uncertain times
  • The slippery slope of framing humanity as a virus...
  • The danger of listening to successful people
  • What nobility looks like and why it's been lost
  • How the Hero's Journey relates to global events
  • The revitalization of the Warrior archetype
  • How to be the hero that the world needs
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: HEx_Dialogues_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm EDT

The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented historical experience.

Many of us find ourselves somewhere amidst the confusion and seeming chaos, looking for a way to orient ourselves, to be of service to our families and our communities, and for the opportunity hidden somewhere within the fog of emergent confusion.

If you have been doing the work in your life, now is a chance to put this all into practice. To maintain your composure, to rise up in the face of adversity, to become a beacon of light in the dark.

But where do we go? What will we do? How do we make sense of what is happening to us?

These are the questions that we explore in our first HighExistence Groupcast. Come and join the core HighExistence team as we sit and discuss what's been happening and what we can do about it.

We'll be releasing a number of these informal Groupcasts together exploring anything and everything that's coming up for us.

Right now, we feel a strong call to show up, to be of service to our community, to you.

We dig into the what, why, and how of rising up, of how to be the Hero in this time, how to walk towards the Dragon of Chaos and rise up as the world wants to push you back down.


  • Discovery of the Presence of God by David Hawkins
  • Nondualism and 'lesser emotions'
  • Fear and social contagion
  • The presence and prevalence of COVID-19
  • Practical and tactical steps to take for yourself and others
  • The mythological significance of this time
  • How Stoics respond to adversity and uncertainty
  • Reclaiming play and peace during isolation
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Groupcast_1_--_CoVid19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

I get faced with the question, "Why would you do more than one plant medicine retreat or ceremony? What is the value?" And really, fundamentally, after doing one, you're a different person. Really. Completely. Particularly if you dive super deep into process, you can fundamentally transform. And with that brings a whole different life; a whole different set of goals; a whole different personality structure; a whole different set of problems and challenges that you face. So for all the same reasons that enabled you to go into one, you can go into more.

— Eric Brown, HEx Podcast #32

Using psychedelics is a fantastic way to see what your ordinary mind is like and how it works.

For many of us, psychedelics can reveal patterns that are going on all the time, but under the intense spotlight of plant medicine we see it less as a background murmuring and more of a strong soul-punch that makes us writhe around in agonising self-reflection.

There is so much advice out there on set and setting and how to navigate a difficult psychedelic experience, but one of the few people whose advice I would take seriously on this subject is Eric Brown.

Eric is the type of psychonaut that can dive very deep into process and yet still remember his training—breathing, mindfulness, cognitive distancing, trust, surrender.

Whenever I talk to him after an experience of his, I am amazed at how lucid his recollection is and how he navigated the difficult moments with Jedi-level calm.

So it was my pleasure to spend 3.5 hours (longest interview ever) going very deep into Eric's recent 3-week trip to Peru where he partook in a very strict plant diet, which included copious amount of sacred tea drinking, ayahuasca, kambo, and fasting from modern distraction and pleasure.

This episode of the podcast will show you in vivid detail how plant medicine works, how it can transform you, how to prepare, integrate, and generally think about working with ancient plant technologies.


  • Eric's retreat and psychedelic experience.
  • The trap of viewing retreats as the next spiritual high.
  • The difference between lying and bullshitting.
  • Eric's view on meditation and how he practices mindfulness.
  • How to prepare for a psychedelic experience.
  • What do do when a "bad trip" happens.
  • Eric's story of the 3-week dieta in Peru.
  • How to "communicate" with the medicine.
  • The right and wrong way to integrate mystical experiences.
  • WAY MORE...


Hangout with him at an Apotheosis Retreat

Read Eric's work here.

Say hi on... Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Direct download: Eric_Brown_Dieta.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EDT

“Here’s the thing. You are not responsible for other people’s feelings. They’re not incompetent children. They’re adults who can handle their own feelings. They can work through disappointment, hurt, anger, sadness, and upset. In fact, doing so will make them stronger and healthier in the long run. You cannot stop others from feeling all discomfort, or all pain. It is an impossible task, a fool’s errand.” 

― Aziz Gazipura, Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself

There are four main models of how anxiety is caused.

The first three are fairly obvious:

  1. Exposure — we get anxious about the things we avoid
  2. Cognitive — our irrational thoughts can make us more anxious
  3. Biological — changes in our biochemistry can make us more anxious

The fourth however, is a little harder to grasp:

"The hidden emotion model."

This model stipulates that we can get anxious because there are very obvious things in our life that we are not addressing.

The hidden emotion model, is really just another way of saying "niceness."

When we are "nice" we let things slide, we don't speak up, we suppress our emotions, we make sacrifices we wish we hadn't...

All of this can lead to suppressed feelings, and ultimately anxiety and depression.

This used to be me, until I started consuming information by Dr. Aziz Gazipura.

At its core, being nice is about being liked by others by making everything smooth. No waves, no friction. It’s based on this (woefully inaccurate) theory: If I please others, give them everything they want, keep a low profile, and don’t ruffle feathers or create any discomfort, then others will like me, love me, and shower me with approval and anything else I want. 

― Aziz Gazipura, Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself

Dr. Aziz is someone who has all the charisma of someone like Tony Robbins (who he trained with), but has a PhD in clinical psychology.

What does this mean? His work is both entertaining and scientifically sound.

Dr. Aziz has many profound insights about life, psychology, and transformation, but he specialises in social confidence.

In this episode, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Aziz.

Here’s what we discuss in the episode of the HighExistence Podcast:

  • Why he focuses so much on "niceness" in his work.
  • The role of trauma healing vs. self-optimisation.
  • The importance of Shadow work, and how to do it.
  • Finding balance between being assertive and compassionate.
  • Dr. Aziz's transformation out of shyness.
  • How to express yourself unapologetically.
  • And much, much more...


Direct download: Dr_Aziz_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

In today’s episode of the HighExistence podcast I sit down for a wild and wide-ranging discussion with Eric James.

Eric is a serial entrepreneur, award-winning photographer, magician, app developer, and all-around polymath who has discovered principles that help him engineer his own luck.

It just so happens that I met Eric in a stroke of luck 5 years ago at a dinner party.

He walked in and I instantly recognized him but not as a person I had met before.

He looked like a celebrity to me but couldn’t quite place it.

As I started talking to him suddenly it clicked.

Eric had started one of the first online magic shops.

It just so happened was watching his video when I was in 8th grade trying to become a magician myself.

And now here he was standing in front of me 10 years later.

We hit it off so well that we ended up becoming roommates for 2 years.

And this little anecdote is just scratching the surface of Eric’s stories of surfing serendipity (wait until you hear about Elon Musk and Richard Branson).

Here’s what we discuss in the episode of the HighExistence Podcast:

  • White Swans: How positive plot twists and happy curveballs in our lives can change everything (and why it’s important to hold the faith in the face of adversity)
  • How a bed bugs, a breakup, and 200K in tax debt lead to an important encounter with Elon Musk
  • Eric’s path to meeting Richard Branson in an attempt to become a space photographer (see his photography here)
  • The counter-intuitive truth on goal setting: Why big bold goals are easier to accomplish than small ones
  • Living laterally, portal jumping and leaving traditional career paths behind
  • How Red Light Therapy can be used to boost energy

Mentioned in the podcast:

Direct download: Eric_James_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

Mike Gilliland and Euvie Ivanova sort of remind me of a Sagacious Power Couple from another dimension.

Their Future Thinkers Podcast—focused on evolving technology, society, and consciousness—has garnered 3.5 million downloads since its genesis in 2014.

They've interviewed Titans of Insight such as Daniel Schmachtenberger, Ken Wilber, Jordan Peterson, Charles Eisenstein, Jordan Hall, and Nora Bateson.

They've spent years traveling the world, earning a living as digital nomads, and have spoken at myriad events on multiple continents.

I was fortunate to befriend Mike and Euvie some years ago and first met them while traveling in Bulgaria.

From our original meeting, I've been impressed by their humility, groundedness, centeredness, penetrating insight, and no-nonsense approach to life and spirituality.

I think of them as two of the most actualized humans I've had the honor to know in this lifetime.

As such, I was supremely delighted to have the opportunity to interview them for the HighExistence Podcast.

Naturally, I wanted to ask them about all the juiciest stuff:



No Self...

The human shadow...

The future of Earth...

Their relationship...

Their impending parenthood...

And their most profound transformational experiences...

So I did, and we traversed some truly rich and expansive territory.

I hope you enjoy this Kaleidoscopic Journey as much as I did.

Direct download: Future_Thinkers_1_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49pm EDT