The Wonder Dome

#36 Bringing Wisdom to Power (with Devin Martin)

December 15, 2020 Andy Cahill / Devin Martin Episode 36
The Wonder Dome
#36 Bringing Wisdom to Power (with Devin Martin)
Chapters
The Wonder Dome
#36 Bringing Wisdom to Power (with Devin Martin)
Dec 15, 2020 Episode 36
Andy Cahill / Devin Martin

What does it mean to make choices from a place of wisdom, particularly when you're in a position of power? That's at the center of conversation today with Devin Martin, co-founder of Lifestyle Integrity Coaching. The headline of Devin's work is bringing wisdom to power, and he recognizes that the fate of our humanity and our planet hinges on the decisions that we in positions of power and leadership make.

What does it mean to raise our consciousness in a way that enables us to have not only a big impact, but a sustainable, long-term, net positive impact on the futures of our children and grandchildren? These are the kinds of questions that most businesses simply aren't equipped to ask. And Devin's work is about helping them ask it.

This is an incredibly thought-provoking and challenging conversation. I hope it inspires you to sit with the question of where do we go next if we're truly going to bring wisdom to power.

The Wonder Dome Newsletter http://bit.ly/3dTfdPi
Follow Andy on Twitter http://twitter.com/cahillaguerilla
Like us on Facebook http://facebook.com/mindfulcreative.coach

EPISODE #36 NOTES
lifestyleintegrity.com
Integral Theory by Ken Wilber
Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux
The Listening Society: A Metamodern Guide to Politics by Hanzi Freinacht
Art and Physics by Leonard Shlain
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem

facebook.com/LifestyleIntegrity
instagram.com/lifestyle_integrity
linkedin.com/in/integrallifecoach
twitter.com/FLOW_Coach

Show Notes Transcript

What does it mean to make choices from a place of wisdom, particularly when you're in a position of power? That's at the center of conversation today with Devin Martin, co-founder of Lifestyle Integrity Coaching. The headline of Devin's work is bringing wisdom to power, and he recognizes that the fate of our humanity and our planet hinges on the decisions that we in positions of power and leadership make.

What does it mean to raise our consciousness in a way that enables us to have not only a big impact, but a sustainable, long-term, net positive impact on the futures of our children and grandchildren? These are the kinds of questions that most businesses simply aren't equipped to ask. And Devin's work is about helping them ask it.

This is an incredibly thought-provoking and challenging conversation. I hope it inspires you to sit with the question of where do we go next if we're truly going to bring wisdom to power.

The Wonder Dome Newsletter http://bit.ly/3dTfdPi
Follow Andy on Twitter http://twitter.com/cahillaguerilla
Like us on Facebook http://facebook.com/mindfulcreative.coach

EPISODE #36 NOTES
lifestyleintegrity.com
Integral Theory by Ken Wilber
Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux
The Listening Society: A Metamodern Guide to Politics by Hanzi Freinacht
Art and Physics by Leonard Shlain
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem

facebook.com/LifestyleIntegrity
instagram.com/lifestyle_integrity
linkedin.com/in/integrallifecoach
twitter.com/FLOW_Coach

Andy:

My name is Andy. I help people live life on purpose. This podcast explores the mystery, beauty and complexity of life through conversations with an array of incredible practitioners, all of them working at the edge of what's possible. This is a place for big dreams, bold creativity, and fierce hope. Welcome to the Wonder Dome. If you're inspired by this conversation, and you'd like to see it reach more people, you can help the Wonder Dome take flight by sharing it with friends and colleagues, subscribing, giving us a high star rating, and best of all, leaving a glowing review. If you'd like to go even further, consider becoming a monthly supporter. You'll help me keep the lights on and support a wide range of charitable causes. You can learn more at MindfulCreative.coach. Thanks in advance for helping us inspire the world. My guest today is Devin Martin. Devin is the co founder of Lifestyle Integrity Coaching. And the headline of his work is bringing wisdom to power. And that's right where we start in this conversation today. What does it mean to make choices from a place of wisdom, particularly when you're in a position of power? Devin is an incredibly smart, thoughtful, and funny guy, who also is sitting with the truth that the fate of our humanity and the planet hinges on the decisions that we make, particularly that we in positions of power make, in positions of leadership make. And so what does it mean to raise our consciousness in a way that enables us to have not only a big impact, but a sustainable, long term net positive impact on the futures of our children, and their children, and their children's children? These are the kinds of questions that most businesses simply aren't equipped to ask. And Devin's work is about helping them ask it. We dig in today to themes of wisdom, and decision making, and identity, and what it is to come to ground in what you're really meant to do in the world. And how when we're apart from that, and separate from that, and separate from each other, you might be faced with depression, and anxiety, and anger, and powerlessness. But that it's possible for each of us to reclaim that power in our lives, and to help our leaders use that power for the best. This is an incredibly thought provoking and challenging conversation. And I really hope that you sit with it and sit with this question of where do we go next, if we're truly going to bring wisdom to power. So let's get settled in and hear what Devin has for us. Devin, welcome to the Wonder dome.

Devin:

Thanks for having me.

Andy:

Yeah, this is so cool. Our friend, Michael, our mutual friend and previous guest on the show introduced us and it was one of these moments where, you know, we have never met until right now. But I knew if Michael said we should talk that we should talk. And sure enough, we discovered that we grew up one town apart from each other. We're interested in all these- like just like all this juice from the squeeze right out of the gate. So I'm really fun to essentially just press record on the conversation we probably would have had anyways, if we were just hanging out for an hour.

Devin:

Yeah, I'm excited. I have no idea where this is going.

Andy:

Wonderful. You know that- So I got to spend some time on your website. And it's a funny, like, it's a funny thing for any of us who put a website out in the world. There's this- There's- everything's a choice, right? Like, what do we put on there? What do we leave off? And what jumped out to me about your website is like you're starting, right, like headline front and center. You're talking about wisdom. Yeah, talking about turning, like turning towards darkness versus turning towards light. And, you know, in the world of like executive coaching that you and I both inhabit, that's not necessarily the most common stance to take, right? Like there's a much more kind of exterior, results driven, performance driven stance, but I was really moved and struck by the fact that you're starting with wisdom. And I wonder if you could just pull on that thread some more and see what emerges for us today.

Devin:

Yeah, yeah. I only recently Actually, my, I guess you could say my tagline on my emails and other places has become bringing wisdom to power.

Andy:

Mm hmm.

Devin:

And it's kind of- you could go back to what's his name, Goldblum in Jurassic Park. You know, we're obsessed with what we can Do but we're not really thinking about whether or not we should. And I feel like most leaders don't need more knowledge. They don't need more facts, they don't need more options. And I think of wisdom, you could define it as applied knowledge, but I think of it almost as like a pruning process. Hmm. It's like we have many paths in front of us. And it's almost more important to know which ones not to go down. And it's, you know, and only through experience generally do we learn, actually, there's many ways to get there. But this is the way I want to choose. You know, this is the way that's going to be the best for all beings. This is the way that's going to reduce suffering, this is the way that's going to reduce collateral damage. And so I see plenty of people bringing technology into the world. You know, I don't think we lack for technology. But I do think we need wisdom to yield it appropriately. And, you know, it's funny, I had a pretty defining moment. So I was living in New York City. And at the time, I was leading this Ken Wilber integral meetup where we got together a couple times a month and talked about the world through an integral lens, very philosophical, very spiritual, and occupy wall street was breaking out. And someone said, You should go talk to them and give them some perspective, you know, go drop some integral knowledge on them. And I was like, Okay, wait, wait, Who's there? And what are they doing? And like, what are they trying to accomplish? And I started really trying to like dig into the perspective of somebody who was occupying. And it just started to seem angry, and antagonistic, and anti many, many things. But I was having a hard time figuring out what they were for. And what I realized is that they were seeing the 1% as across some divide, having all the power. And they were saying we the 99%, we're woke. And so fuck you. And I had this moment of like, Oh, my God, no, no, we need to build bridges between wisdom and power. That's what's wrong. And then the second you demonize somebody just because they've succeeded, you're cutting yourself off from power. And I said, Okay, this is and so I left the city for a year, I was on sabbatical and lived on top of a mountain in a log cabin, just doing deep personal work. But when I decided to come back to the city, and I realized I was coming back to New York, back to Wall Street, back to finance, what I said was, I'm gonna help wake up power, I'm going to come in and work with leaders. And I want to raise the consciousness of leaders, because I feel like the fate of humanity rests upon what leaders do. And specifically, I think more business leaders and government leaders, because private corporations are more global, and they're more nimble, they move faster. And they're responsible for the vast majority of the damage, you know, to the environment, but also to people's psyche, to their families, to their emotions, and so we can demonize them. But the image that popped into my head that helped people get it at the time was, um, if you have two choices, you can put McDonald's out of business, because of whatever factory farming, trans fats, you name it all the horrors they're doing. Or every McDonald's could start selling locally grown organic stuff. Which one do you want? Do you want to burn it to the ground and start from scratch and lose all of their wisdom and infrastructure and power? Or do you want to get in there and help them wake up and use their power for better? And the latter seems to me like how evolution works. We don't throw away the previous stage, we integrate the healthy elements of it and throw away the unhealthy elements of it to work together.

Andy:

Man, thank you for that opening. It's bringing up a lot for me. I want to sit for a minute and see which thread I want to pull on. There's something about like the fact that you started with Occupy, I noticed there's kind of a an edginess for me about like, wow, here's a person who I really know and trust as deeply caring about the future of humanity and the inequities that we currently have baked in to our reality. And occupy was, for all of its success and failure, a real expression of like the longing for some rebalancing of the scales. And what I hear you tuning into is this invitation to say, let's really think about the scales themselves. Do we want to actually just knock the scale over and see what happens? Or do we want to really rebalance the scales because those two choices are distinctly different. And I guess I want to hear more from you about why it would be- I have some emerging thoughts and feelings, but I really want to hear from you, but why would it be so bad to just like, knock down the scales? Why would it be so bad to like say, Sorry, McDonald's peace out, you blew it. We're gonna, we're gonna start from scratch, like, tell me more about that second choice that you're aiming for.

Devin:

Yeah, I mean, part of me does love the idea of- I mean, I can't even say part of me loves the idea of Donald Trump because when he got elected, the way I became okay with it was the image of somebody rolling a hand grenade into a room full of corrupt people. And it was like the institutions, I agree, the institutions are corrupt, we need a better system. And it doesn't seem to be working to change it from within. We seem to be getting more of the same. And so I was like, okay, maybe Trump is going to be like an inoculation. Maybe he's going to get in there and introduce- it's like turning the rock over, and you see how gross it is. And we end up just like, destroying, setting the whole thing on fire. You know, and so part of me likes that destructive darkness, just tear it all down. But I think we have to do a lot of violence to get there. And I think a lot of good people with good intentions, get swept up in that. And I've become really fond of saying, there are no evil babies. And one of the most profound conversations I've ever heard, this was years ago, it was Michael Pawling, you know, the journalist and author. And I forget, the the head of Google's philanthropic arm at the time, the CEO of that, and another person and the CEO, or COO of Monsanto, and they were talking about-

Andy:

That's an interesting combo.

Devin:

Yeah. And they were talking about what Monsanto is doing in the world. And it was very clear to me that this person believed that they were saving lives. That Monsanto had increased the yield in fields which were fallow, that they had brought so many people out of starvation, and allowed for the world's population to grow in a beautiful way. And that, based on their perspective, this was all beautiful. And we could talk about maybe this is all conspiracy, and they're lying. But what I saw was a beautiful heart speaking its truth. And I felt like I had a bigger perspective. And I could see, you know, the damage to the environment, which he didn't seem concerned about. He seemed concerned about human life. And he didn't seem concerned about, you know, third order consequences of some of these chemicals being in the environment for humans. But I could see how this was him doing the best with the resources he has. And so it's really easy to throw him away and demonize him. But my thought was, what if I could bring him better resources? What if I could expand his perspective? What if I could give him new information, new consciousness, more wisdom? If I trust that he's a decent human being, I trust that he would change his actions. And so that, to me, just seems like a better course of action than trying to completely overthrow the world order. Because there's just too much to overthrow, like, people talk about throwing away capitalism. And, you know, I'm now doing work with the group Conscious Capitalism. And in a week, where we have a cohort of 25 CEOs coming in, to get trained and coached on how to make both themselves and their corporations more conscious.

Andy:

It's beautiful.

Devin:

And this is a movement that's happening. This is real, you know, if you read Frederic Laloux's book, Reinventing Organizations, you know, there's so many ways in which companies are realizing how powerful they are. And you know, and some of its just economic. Some of its like, you know, funds are seeing environmental risk as a risk. And they're saying, if you want to de risk, you have to take care of the environment, or else this fund won't invest in you. So there's economic forces at play. But there's also a lot of decent human beings who are suffering, you know, inside of these corporations who just did the best they could in this system they grew up in and they want to do better.

Andy:

Yeah, yes, I was actually. Again, man, I love this. There's so much that's arising for me. I was talking to my dad last night. We're kind of- I'm reading a book right now called the listening society, by Hanzi Freinacht, and it's essentially an exploration of what comes after. And I think you said this before the recording, you talked about post modernism philosophy, which is a school of thought that basically says everything's subjective, there's no meaning in anything. And it can be a pretty soul sucking way to move through the world. Meta modernism is the next sort of evolution in thinking that says, No, there is actually a ground for us to stand on. And we can cultivate that ground by taking care of each other. By taking care of each other's psychological well being, and emotional well being, and by building political and perhaps business systems that are much more humane and much more creative and much more rooted in collective intelligence. So there's this idea that, and one of the phrases he uses a lot in this book is what is it going to take for us to out compete capitalism? Right. So so and so maybe conscious capitalism is an expression of that move towards like the way we've been doing capitalism simply is not as competitive in terms of the best, the greatest good, the greatest profit the greatest outcome, then perhaps another way in which actually, instead of sucking up resources, and dehumanizing people, and kind of funneling everything to the top, there's actually a way in which we could create a world where every single person, or as many people as possible, grow up healthy and whole. So that those babies who are absolutely not evil, there are no evil babies, are born into a world with a lot less hurt, and suffering, and pain. And what I'm really tuning into, like the invitation I hear you're giving people who are really upset right now, and I'm definitely- there's lots of days that I'm really upset about the state of the world, and who want to burn it down is realize that, in most cases, what we think we're burning down is actually just a lot of people's lives, a lot of people who have been doing their best in the system they were born into.

Devin:

Yeah, and I think if you study leadership- like I'm in the process right now of getting certified in leadership circle profile, which is based on integral theory, and based in typing and stage development, and you know, all of the best assessment tools, the 360 profile. And what they've proven quite clearly over millions of these profiles being filled out is that the stage of development that is reactive cannot lead transformation. And so burning things down is a reaction. The stage of development that can lead a transformation is not what Keegan called conditioned mind, but the next stage, which is self authoring mind. And so they don't solve problems, they have a vision. They move towards something, they don't move against something. And if you're moving against something, all you can do is you destroy, okay, now it's destroyed. Now you're stuck. Right? And maybe something beautiful emerges from the ashes, sometimes it does. But there is the option of having a vision first, and instead of fully destroying it, choosing which elements to deconstruct and repurpose, right. It's like, do we burn our trash? Or do we recycle? I'd rather recycle. You know, I'd rather have a vision for, you know, I think capitalism is incredibly flawed. You know, but people are fond of saying, it's like, the worst best system we have. It's, you know, It's better than all the other systems thus far. Right, and Bitcoin and all these things might open up doorways, but we're not quite there yet.

Andy:

Yeah. Yeah. And there's a sense in which- I think there's a kind of trap we so often get ourselves into, because of the way we want to reduce things to binary choices. Either, The system is fucked, and it's oppressive, and it's terrible. Or it's really beautiful. And it's creating abundance for more people than it ever has before. And really, it's both. Like, the best we've got so far. And it's been built on the backs of 1000s of years of lots of really, like, I certainly wouldn't wanr to have lived in the Middle Ages or, you know, like, you know, in ancient Rome, right. Like, we've come a long way for a lot of people, but we've still done it at the expense of a lot of people. And so there's this question of like, how do we keep evolving it, as opposed to just throwing it all out the window and then being like, Well, shit, now what do we do?

Devin:

Yeah, I think a lot of people are stuck in this canceled culture mentality, which like, I feel like we're living in the age of ad hominem attacks. You know, and that's just not clear thinking. Everybody has done something wrong, everybody will do something wrong again. But there's also a lot of beauty in everyone. And if you can find something wrong and use that to throw away everything. You're throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And you'll never be happy with anyone, including yourself. And no system will be good enough. And so we should have no systems and it's anarchy and chaos. And everything. Just it's just, there's actually more violence in that to me, than the current system.

Andy:

Yeah. Yeah. So that makes me wonder. So there's a move towards leadership and there's a move towards cultivating more conscious self authoring visionary leadership. It makes me wonder how we, again if we assume the 1% to 99% distinction is a worthy one, which by it by a lot of measures it is. Yeah. There is a baked in assumption there or an implicit idea that the 1% are the ones who have all the power, but there's something for me about actually helping, really helping people recognize, especially collectively, that the 99% has just as much or a different kind of power. Or there's some kind of like, empowering or reconnection to power and vision and self authoring, that it's almost like, it's almost like not only have we let the wealth funnel up to the top, but we've let ourselves believe that all the power has funneled up to the top. And in a lot of ways, that's true. But there's something there for me about how do we cultivate visionary, self authoring, empowered leadership in- Like, what would Occupy have looked like? Because certainly there's a need for it. And there still is. What would it look like if it showed up in some of the ways that you're playing with right now? Do you have a sense of that or feel that?

Devin:

I mean, I think it would have been more inviting. I think it would have been less angry. Like, I think I'm someone who played with anger a lot in my life. I've been very angry at times. And you know, I was very good at expressing it. And what I realized now is that if I really, really sit deeply with my anger and explore its roots, it comes out of love.

Andy:

Hmm, interesting. I was expecting to say it comes out of fear. So yeah, tell me more.

Devin:

Yes, yeah. But it's the fear that something I love is threatened. And so what I've realized you can't get angry unless you have love for something. And so and that thing doesn't feel safe. And then it's an appropriate response in certain situations. But generally speaking, it can lead you to make the situation worse, if you don't understand it. And I find if you sit with anger and breathe deeply into it, and you know, connect with your heart, connect with your gut, connect with your mind, the energy starts to circulate, and it brings clarity, and it brings wisdom. And I bring to me, I feel good, my gut, I feel this desire to lash out. And I bring that energy up, it comes up into my heart. And then I connect with the thing I love, and then it comes up into my throat, and I start using my voice to speak for it. And it comes up into my mind. And I can think clearly about what the right course of action is. And then I can inspire others to be on my side, as opposed to being against everything. And if I just trapped the energy in my gut, I lash out. And it's like gang warfare. It's like revenge, you know, this endless cycle of revenge and it gets nowhere.

Andy:

Yeah, the word that's coming through as you describe that kind of moving of energy up through your body is harmony. Like, in my experience, when I'm feeling intensity in my gut, anger, anxiety, sort of emotions, that are very reactive, and caused me to do things that later I realized we're not very skillful or not very wise. There is also I'm noticing a polarizing counter weight energy. Like, it's not that my heart and my mind and my voice are turned off. It's that they're all doing, trying to do different things around this, whatever the problem is, right? And so the energy still comes out. But it just comes out in a much more reactive way. And a disharmony- like it creates disharmony inside of me. And then I express that and create disharmony in the people around me. And then in the kind of communities I'm a part of. So what I hear you saying is like harmonize first and then act.

Devin:

Yeah, yeah. And the word I like comes from the Heartmath Institute, which sells these little biofeedback devices, which do heart rate variability. And what they've studied a lot is decision making, which is kind of our bread and butter as coaches helping people make better decisions. And they talk about coherence. And coherence means, essentially when your gut, your heart, and your head, which I think of as your instinct, your intellect and your intuition. When the three of those things are aligned, you tend to make decisions you don't regret.

Andy:

Mm hmm. And gut is instincts, heart is intuition, head is intellect.

Devin:

Exactly, exactly. And so I help people parse those three streams, and you have to acknowledge that in our culture, we've taken intuition and instinct and conflated them as one thing. Yeah, literally if you look up the dictionary definition of instinct, it will use the word intuition and vice versa. Because our culture denies that there is anything trans rational. Yeah, so it's a bit of a pre trans fallacy you know, use of that term. We take anything that's above intellect, and we reduce it to being pre intellectual. So intuition is just your guts, just your instincts. But I will say intuition for me is, I think of I know, and it's just a direct apprehension of information. And I can't even- it's unmediated. I don't even know where it comes from. And then I have thoughts about it, which is my intellect and I have feelings about it, which is my gut. But the knowing is separate from the feelings and thinking. Thinking is gonna help you figure out what not to do and how to do it. The feelings are going to help energize you, and there's going to be fear sometimes. That maybe is a good thing. That's exciting. That's gonna mobilize you, you know. And the anger is aggression, which aggression can be a beautiful thing for something, you know, but those are separate from the thing. Right? And often we're really good at denying what we know.

Andy:

Yeah, there's a way in which we can quickly, if those parts aren't in alignment, we can quickly- the part of us what we might call the intellect, the head can quickly rationalize us away from what we know and say, here are all the reasons why that's a bad idea.

Devin:

Mhm. Yeah, we don't realize that fear, The emotion is driving those thoughts. We're feeling fear. And so we're trying to explain rationally why we feel fear. And then we convince ourselves, it's too scary. It's a bad idea. We shouldn't do it. And something simple. Like, how many people have the thought I should quit my job. And the fear is, yeah, but you don't know what comes next. That doesn't change the fact that you want to leave, and maybe you know, for a fact that you should leave. It's best for you, for your heart, for your soul, for your growth as a human being to jump off the cliff. You know, you don't know if the wings are gonna come. Or if you're gonna land in a pool of water, or if there's a bed of pillows, you know, you don't know. But you know you should jump. And we get so wrapped up in the thinking and the feeling that we just ignore that that. And so we're not driven by intuition or faith, you know.

Andy:

Yeah there's, so I had an experience, and like, on the scale of breakdowns, it's like it was a very privileged breakdown to have. Like, it wasn't like- But it was like a big breakdown that I had a few years ago. That's coming up for me as you describe this. And so I want to just try and see if I can really connect the dots because I'm noticing it's here, but I'm not quite sure yet why it's here. So let me sit for a second, yeah. So essentially, it connects to this knowing. I was in a role that was by all rights, the role I was supposed to be in, you know, background in education, public service, nonprofit. I was working for a national nonprofit doing great mission, great work helping, helping lots of young people get better education across the country. But I was just really miserable. And it took me awhile. I won't sort of parse out why I was miserable. But I was. And I knew, in the way that you described, that I was not supposed to be in the chair that I was in. But for a whole host of reasons, I intellectually could tell myself, well just get through it for this much longer, or just wait until this is figured out, or just duh, duh duh, duh, duh, right. But I think the thing I want to share most- so I actually had, I reached a point where my body and I think maybe this is a sort of inverse example of what we're talking about. Or perhaps it's a an expression of what we're talking about, Like my body literally, shut me down. I got an outbreak of shingles, which is adult chickenpox. All of us who have gotten chickenpox as a kid carry this virus inside of us. For most of us it lays dormant our whole lives, but I pulled the short straw and got this nasty- Like, it was like on my face. I was getting these wicked migraines. I like for basically two weeks, I had a permanent migraine headache. My wife who was pregnant at the time had to like leave our house just to be sure that like, you know, the fetus didn't catch it. Like, is intense. And so I had to sit with myself for two weeks and really listen to like, what's going on there. And my doctor is like, yeah, we don't really know what causes shingles. Eh, it's stress. I was like, Fuck yeah, I'm stressed. And the stress, I realized what I really ultimately tuned into was the stress was me, My intellect working so fucking hard to keep me where I thought I should be. That I was essentially using massive amounts of my physiological energy to just keep myself in a chair that I thought I was supposed to be in. And the beautiful thing was, is that like my body finally just had to be like, stop. And the beautiful thing of that gift. as scary as it was, was I really had to kind of come to terms with the truth that I knew and had known for a number of years that I was in the wrong chair, and it was time to own up to it. And owning up to it freed up enormous amounts of energy. Like I got better really quickly. I left my job shortly thereafter. I didn't know what the hell I was going to do with it. And then over the past three and a half years, like I've built my coaching practice, I've launched this podcast, I'm partnering with these amazing companies doing awesome work, and I have so much more energy. And I have two kids now and it's like I'm not- This sounds like a humble brag or something. But no, it's just really like we waste so much energy or use so much energy to keep ourselves cramped in that we don't realize that simply realigning head, heart, and gut, freeing up all that energy makes room for all that. Like you don't, you don't need to know. You're gonna have the strength to keep leaping is sort of the thing that I'm tuning into. And it's like if we could tell people-

Devin:

And we tend to look at how we show up in the world. I often describe it as driving a car with two feet. You have one on the gas, and one on the brake, you know. And so you're using a huge amount of energy to move forward. And then you're simultaneously holding yourself back. Of course, what happens? Like, the car starts to smell funny, and things start breaking, and there's a lot extra friction. And so we look at that and go, Well, this is how much energy I have. This is how much enthusiasm. This is how much intelligence. I couldn't do that thing I've been dreaming of, because I don't appear to be capable of it. But you don't realize when you take your foot off the brake, there's all this energy that comes out because it's not being held back.

Andy:

Yes, it's a great analogy.

Devin:

And I think of like, my two of my proudest moments in life are dropping out. I mean, my parents, between the two of them had three graduate degrees in education. So the only thing I knew growing up was that you go to college or you are a failure. And the only thing I experienced growing up was that school is not where I'm meant to be. And so I went through four majors in four semesters. I mean, I studied sound recording to be a musician. I studied psychology, sociology, and philosophy. Until I finally I mean, I was going through a dark, that deep, deep, dark night of the soul. I mean, being I was suicidally depressed in high school, this real existential crisis. I think, you know, seeing through the world I was living in, and then probably a heavy dose of LSD, and not having any spiritual framework as an atheist to hold the insights, and then being thrown into postmodern philosophy, which teaches you that at its ground, everything is hollow and meaningless, you know, just gave me what it took to feel empty and existentially hollow. And at some point, I said, I'm gonna kill myself if I stay here. I am killing myself being here. And I dropped out of college. And I had- the only thing I knew, I was like, I don't want to be in an office. And so here I am, this guy who has to have graduate degrees to be successful. And the decision I made was to work with my hands and be blue collar. And then, you know, fast forward 13 years, I'm sitting in a corner office, because of course, I end up, you know, running large accounts. And I was head of sales and head of operations and doing security systems and all this stuff. And I was designing security systems for the Federal Reserve Bank and Time Warner Cable, and people like that. And I started coaching part time. For two years, I had a few clients in the evening during the week, you know, I have- And no part of me could see replacing my six figure salary and my, you know, my Brooklyn lifestyle, with coaching, which I didn't even have a vision, you know, 10 years ago of how that was actually a career. And I just decided, I'm dropping out, like, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. But I know what I'm not supposed to be doing. I don't want to live in New York right now. I feel some longing for trees that is just purely visceral, and I can't explain it. And I'm done with this industry. I can't be in this industry anymore. And so I just was like, I gotta go, I gotta get away from here. And it was that that Einstein quote, the level of thinking that created the problem can solve it. And I just decided, I'm dropping out of my life. I'm gonna stop doing everything that is not in integrity. And I'm going to live a life of pure integrity and just try to shift my consciousness for a year. And that's when I left New York. And I rented- I saw a log cabin online on Craigslist, and I sent the guy a check for a year's rent. I was like, I need to live there. And I moved there. And I spent a year just trying to shift my consciousness. And it was just like, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. But I know intuition is a big part of it. And I know I'm going to develop my intuition, and you know, strength training, and reading and meditation and breathing exercises, and yoga and woodworking and music and chanting. And just like, I had a spreadsheet, my day was very full.

Andy:

I love it.

Devin:

It was all things that I was energized and excited by. And my belief was that if I just did that, the ground would rise up to meet me or the path I supposed to be on would emerge. And that eventually led me back to New York City to become a coach. But if I hadn't said no to what I wasn't supposed to be doing, I wouldn't have created the space for the right things to emerge. And I eventually got this huge hit of insight. I literally saw the past eight years. I saw them laid out in front of me, my whole career, like the work I was going to do, who I was going to work with, massive download of intuitive insights. But it started with these tiny little insights of like, Don't do this. Don't do this. Don't do this. Take this tiny step. You don't see any more steps until you take the first step. Okay, I took the step. What about next? I have no idea. Wait, wait, wait, Okay, one more step. Over time. You start to trust yourself more and you start to trust your ability to know what to do more and more. But most people I find are sitting still doing the wrong things, waiting for the sky to crack open, for their 50 year vision to emerge.

Andy:

Yeah. And then they're 50.

Devin:

Yeah. And they're so entrenched, there's so much inertia and they feel like shit and they're sick. They have autoimmune conditions or bad back or migraines. And, and they're just stuck. And I think saying no is just one of the biggest, most powerful options we have to doing- Just don't do the wrong things, start there. Yeah, there's a way in which the no actually becomes a yes to something greater, even if we don't quite know what it is yet. Yeah. And I guess you could say this is the saying fucking you to capitalism or Occupy coming out. You could say that I'm contradicting myself. And I think there's a way that's true. Like, you do have to personally choose your own path. And I don't think that means demanding the whole system follow you before you've stepped into your own path, you know, Yeah. Yeah. Man, that's awesome. I love that story. I'm finding a part of me is really activated around this question of how to balance or harmonize the real truth that because of the inequities in the system, some of us are in a position to choose to opt out, right. Like there's a sort of certain kind of opt out that you made, and that I made that was privileged by the many opt ins that we'd unconsciously already just been like, Oh, I should do this, I should do that. This is right. And there's a way in which there are like some people who are just sort of like longing to be able to opt the fuck in. They're like, you know, sort of excluded on the other side of the of the gate, right.

Andy:

And so there's this kind of like, this sort of almost, you know, if it weren't our lives and our species, it would almost be like a tragic comedy that the system keeps saying like, this is it. Come over here. And once you have all the money, this is it. Right? And so it's so seductive. And then those of us who end up inside of it in some way are like, this is it? This is it, right? And it's like, I almost want to figure out how do we just do it, like an end run around on that. And like, get more people over to the other side of the gate and say, like, yeah, we're gonna build on top of this system. Like conscious capitalism is an example of that movement. But we're also going to acknowledge that many people haven't even been given the permission, like the opportunity to play in the system. They've just been kind of like, on the receiving shit end of it being like, Ah, what the fuck? And it's like, I wonder how- it's a paradox there. And it's a pretty uncomfortable paradox, right? And I wonder how people like you and I can engage with that, while still staying really centered in our hearts and aligned in our guts and letting that heart harmony continue to exist? Because if we get out of harmony, then we're just back in the mess again.

Devin:

Yeah, yeah, I saw that we both spent a few years volunteering as a big brother. And that was, that was when I was living in the city and doing the wrong work. Yeah, that helped me feel balanced. I spent three years with this young man helping him navigate, you know, a life of challenge that I never could have imagined. And just a complete lack of privilege. And, you know, really trying to get into the system and have some success within the system as it exists now. And I've come to the place now where I realize the system is the problem. And the leverage point for me appears to be the leaders, the people who actually have- You know, I see myself as having this ripple effect, where if I can get inside the mind of a leader and help give them more resources, so their perspective evolves. And then they create a more just and equitable and, you know, beautiful system, then as we're drawing people into it, they're going to be held and supported in a much more robust way. And there's a part of me that just wants to go work with any little individual and help them thrive. And then there's a part of me that says, holy shit, we're running out of time. We got to find the biggest, you know- Archimedes give me you know, give me give me a lever, and I'll move the world but like, I have to know where to stick it. Where do you put that, right? Yeah. And there's something else about like recognizing, actually that we don't need one planet size lever. Or, like either we need lots of levers, or we do need a planet size lever, but we need lots of people pulling on it from like different points on the lever. Sort of like a way in which you're helping, you're kind of working with leaders to help them reimagine the systems they've already created and participated in. But there's also this kind of possibility that we also might like "both and." We might both do that and create new systems that run in parallel and start to weave in, in other ways, right? Like I'm thinking of like the sharing economy. I'm thinking of intentional communities. I'm thinking of places where people are realizing that if there are 30 of them, they can take care of things like education, and childcare, that currently cost a lot of time and money and energy.

Andy:

And that they can grow their own food. And that, you know, there are ways in which, and that doesn't mean they're like- Some of those people might just be like, I'm gonna go over here and hope to god that like, no one notices, you know. But like, there's a way in which actually, they might have quite a lot to teach us and that we could empower people to be like, yes, you might get a job at this company and make a six figure salary. You might not, we can't really control that. But you can learn how to educate yourself, and you can learn how to feed yourself, and you can learn how to lift and educate others up and feed others. And at some point, like the two meet. Like the more conscious capitalist system evolves. And then like all the people who are ready to say, and look, here's all these ways that you can live together more justly and caring for each other and not just care about who makes the most money.

Devin:

Yeah, yeah. And I think the world is a more complex system than we can comprehend. And Charles Eisenstein speaks really beautifully about being in the mystery and doing what your heart is calling you to do. And that includes, you know, this the CEO of a global organization, stepping back and quitting to go take care of his dying mother for two years. And the idea that you know which one is more important, is misguided. I do believe that you have to really, truly be deeply attuned to yourself and your surroundings and how the two relate. And I don't think we can necessarily quantify the things the way we're pretending, you know. Yes, I can point to a CEO and say that they seem to have more power. But you know, a butterfly wing can cause a hurricane perhaps. And we need a lot of little experiments all over the world. And I'm also simultaneously, I moved out of the city, I found this beautiful little community up here, and we're all experimenting, you know, especially during COVID. You know, what does it mean to raise children together? What does it mean to really educate children. We have friends who are homeschooling, friends who are hiring teachers and bringing them into their homes. We have this little private school that has done completely outdoor education, and it's totally separate from the, you know, public school system. But I think it's a beacon. I think it's a place to look, you know, and so I think, yeah, it's a lot of parallel processes. And we can't quite say what the answer is or how they're going to relate. But certainly we all have a part to play. Yeah, yeah, I love that. And what I'm getting from there is just really a deep commitment to say, if we can get as many people as possible, moving from that place of alignment, head, heart and gut, saying yes to what they know they should do or no to what they know they shouldn't do. Even if they don't know what comes after, that that's actually going to unleash a level of collective energy that's currently just like being bottlenecked by all of the dynamics we see playing out everywhere. Like we just keep getting outcomes nobody wants. And I think that's in large part because we're not giving ourselves permission to be in alignment. And we're not creating the space where that's more likely to happen for other people, too. Yeah. And I work with creatives as well, and musicians and directors, you know, people who are making shows and films. And I think that's a huge piece of the puzzle. I was talking to my wife the other day. We were listening to, I don't know, some song that just came out, I forget what it was. And I was listening to the lyrics. And I was thinking about the energy in the world, and how there's this like, huge feeling of change, almost like the 60s, where people feel like we're shifting our consciousness. We got to take over the powers that be. We got to like, really, but then I was thinking, Wait, what was the pop music in the 60s? And it was beautiful. It was love and psychedelics and vulnerable and emotional. And when I listen to that pop music today, it's love songs, and it's bling, and it's, you know, misogyny, and it's- There's a misalignment, something's off. You know, and part of it is those people we're talking about who just want to be included. You know, and so they're taking having money, and social status, and they're putting it on a pedestal just because they're left out. And that makes perfect sense to me. But I feel like there's this latent energy that needs to emerge, which says, through archetypes and stories, and mythology, what are we moving towards? What's the next stage? And I don't feel like the myth of the next stage has emerged yet. You know, Charles Eisenstein again talks about the place between stories, and what it calls for is the letting go, it's jumping off the cliff, it's being in the unknown. And I feel like that's the call. It's like, we know we have to let go of some of what's not working. And there's this huge mystery presenting itself. And I think the first strands of the fabric that will be woven together generally come from artists. And so I'm very curious, like, who are the artists that are about to emerge? What are the stories they're telling? How are they making meaning of the world? Man I love that. There's another guest on the show and a friend of mine, Aithan Shapira, sort of entered into the world that you and I both inhabit through the arts. And he's been doing a study of what kind of art emerged during different periods of crisis throughout history. Like, for instance, what kind of art was being made during the AIDS epidemic, or what kind of art was being made during, like, after World War Two, or during the Spanish flu or during the black plague, right. He's been looking at all this stuff. And he hasn't yet emerged with like a conclusion. But I've had a chance to glimpse into some of the research he's doing.

Andy:

And what's remarkable is that there are many periods, just like you're tuning into, where, for instance, after World War Two, there was a huge movement from the federal government to bring grants into local communities. And there were grants for like, you know, things like cultivating land, and some of the stuff we would assume the government would do, but they also gave a huge grant to artists. And some of the most influential artists of like- Like the name that's coming to mind is Jackson Pollock, but he's one of hundreds of examples of artists who emerged during that period where for some reason, the leadership was aware enough that they said we have to invest in culture, or else whatever comes next isn't going to work. And so there's this sort of like, I hear you saying that too, like, how can we invest right now? We're in it, we're in a pandemic, we're seeing the way the systems are not working. It's in time of unknown, the old story of like the perfectly oiled machine where, you know, that just craps out money for everyone is clearly not working. So like, what's next? We don't know. But maybe the artists who are making art right now are going to give us some glimpses into that future.

Devin:

Yeah, there's a beautiful book, I think it's called Art and physics by Leonard shlain. And he looks historically at how di shifts in thinking occur. And what he found was that artists started painting in different styles before both mathematical and physics breakthroughs. So like, you can see how the ability to take another perspective emerges before we have the math to explain it. Oh, yeah. That's the intuition, followed by the intellect. Yeah. Yeah. The intuition works. There are many parts of your brain that are pre verbal. This is one of my great explorations. When I started really exploring my own consciousness was realizing that the stuff that I can think in thoughts is like the top- I'm skimming the surface of my mind. And I spent a year or two trying not to allow myself to think in words. It's very difficult. And what emerged first is images. And I became a musician and I, you know, I put out albums, and I wrote a ton of music. And because you're tapping into a more primal, maybe more archetypal, more emergent level of consciousness, which you can't quite yet explain. And you know, sometimes even if you do put it into words, you probably have this experience. You write a song, and you think you know what it's about. And then years later, you go back, and you're like, Oh, that's what that was. Okay. Yeah. I was telling myself something I needed to know. And I didn't even understand.

Andy:

Yeah, it's like a message to your future self through art. Yeah. So there's this, like collective intuition. Artists know- sensing into new ways of seeing the world that then get articulated by people who are thinking about it more analytically. I wonder how the collective like, if we think of that same analogy, collectively, we've got collective intellect, collective intuition. I wonder what like, how collective instinct shows up in that picture?

Devin:

Slowly. Yeah, yes, is there anything that- is your intuition giving you any hits? What's, say more about slowly. I mean, yeah. So when I think of collective instinct, but what I really think of with people, what really matters more is sitting on top of instinct is what I would call reflex. So these are like trained habits. And I'm sure there's an epigenetic factor. I'm sure it's passed on before our genes change. There's some kind of nature or nurture, I don't know. But there's a way of being in the world, which is near physiological, but just primal. And it's the slowest thing to change, you know, and it's learned from our environment and from our ancestors. And it includes- Like, I have a theory that Jews whose family have been through the Holocaust are more anxious. You know, the Woody Allen, the neurotic Jew, like that stereotype. Like, I know a lot of that are in my family. Like, Yeah, it's true. You know, I think the pressures of society and culture and experience, get moved through our body and they show up in our fundamental approach to being in the world. And so I think that's, you know, it's powerful, but we have to really careful with it too, because there's a lot of pain there. Right. Right. So there's maybe some opportunity to explore in really safe healing environments, what our reflexes could look like if they weren't always rooted in traumas that come from the past. Yeah, yeah. And it's also realizing that there's this wellspring of energy again, if you can get in alignment.

Andy:

Yeah. Yeah,

Devin:

Because anxiety is excitement. It's energy. You know, if you get down as a meditator to this sensational level before the story, you're telling yourself about what the sensations mean. It's like this effervescent champagne bubbles. Excitement and anxiety and fear are one in the same on a phenomenal level. If you interpret them and interact with them and relate to them. And if you try to contain that excitement, you get anxiety. You know, it's like, oh, no, I don't want this and you try to suppress it and keep it in your belly. And if you like, breathe it, you get excited, and you get inspired, and you move that energy.

Andy:

Yes, I want to flag one last thing for you, if you haven't read it. And also, for anyone listening. It's a really important book about this called My Grandmother's Hands by Resmaa Menakem. And specifically relates to the way that racism and racialized trauma over generations has been embedded in all of our bodies. But it is filled with wisdom about how to heal from that and how to create, in our bodies, starting at that place at the ground floor, new ways to experience an encounter, and then interpret and act on what we're feeling, which is often just like so reflexive that we act before we even notice what we're feeling.

Devin:

Yeah, that brings up to me like one of the real turning points in my life. So I grew up in Massachusetts, and, you know, it's a pretty white liberal state. But I grew up in a pretty, I don't know, Christian, Catholic, whatever it was town. There weren't a lot of Jews. You know, I knew a few other Jews, but I also dealt with anti semitism in like, the playground, bullshit way. And I used to get in a lot of fistfights. I used to fight people because I was really good at anger. And, you know, um, and at some point, I don't know, late Middle School, early High School, someone came up to me, and they made some anti semitic comment. And it just like, my head broke open. And what I saw was ignorance. I said, Oh, this is a foreign thing to you, and you don't understand it, and therefore you're scared. And I went from anger to softness. And I wanted to give this person a positive experience of the thing that scared him. And I never again got triggered by someone's racist comments. Because I used to get in fights when they made Black jokes, or Jewish jokes, I was just so triggered by the racism. And then all of a sudden, I said, Oh, you're scared. I need to step outside of this suck. And realize that this is just a reflex. This is just like, this is what ignorance looked like. And that was one of the moments when I realized, raising consciousness. That's why I'm here. I don't think there's an evil baby. Like, I don't think they were born evil. I think they don't have enough experience, to understand the thing they're confronted with. And so they feel threatened, and they're afraid. And the appropriate response is to help calm their nervous system, not to activate it.

Andy:

Yeah, brilliant. I want- maybe we could end with that, Devin, because we're coming up on our time. And I sense that, like, we've really danced in this beautiful space. And what I'm landing with are essentially three takeaways. One, that if we can really get in touch with our whole system, and help it harmonize, a lot more energy can pour through us. Two that often saying no to something that we know we should say no to allows for way more space to open up, allows for all sorts of new possibilities. We simply can't imagine when we're in a place of repression or containment that you're describing. And then three, that there is this really- that anyone anywhere, can connect to these really underlying systems through simple like, you just said it. Like he just needs to breathe and calm his nervous system right now. And that, like wherever you are, that there's really simple, accessible things you can do right now to start to create more of that space in harmony and possibility in your life. And I wonder maybe we could close with that. Like, maybe there's something we could do right now for people listening. I don't want to put you on the spot.I guess I do want to put you on the spot because I'm doing it, but like is there, could you lead us through something or share a tool or an experience that might help people take what we've been playing a lot with the intellect and start to move it down into their heart or their gut.

Devin:

Yeah, I mean, I've been. It's funny, I work with a lot of extraordinarily intellectual people. And just recently, my favorite practice to give people has become the body scan. And it's partly to help heal trauma, because somatic awareness, I think, is the root of healing. It's where it begins. And it's partly to help them get in touch with their innate wisdom. And so I would ask everyone, you know, who's listening right now, to drop out of your head, get below your neck.

Andy:

And so just like, guide me through it, and then let's just assume that anyone's listening can join..

Devin:

Yeah, so maybe place your hands on your belly. And close your mouth and take a deep breath in. And as you breathe in, I want you to allow your belly to expand. So take a deep breath in. And hold it in, let your awareness swim in your belly. And as you're ready, exhale. Let's repeat that one time. Breathe in. Hold it for a moment. Just feel the pressure there. Feel the energy swimming around, and then release. Now take your hands and bring it up over your heart. And on your next inhale and want to allow your chest to expand. So Breathe in. And hold that as well. And then release slowly. Let's repeat that when you're ready. Take a deep breath in. Let's hold that for a moment. Really bring your awareness into your chest, into your heart. As you're ready, exhale. And now come back into the world. And notice if the tone of your awareness is different. Has anything changed? If so, it's your perspective.

Andy:

Yeah, beautiful. There's so much I want to share. But it just feels like I want to let people really connect to what's changed in their perspective and their experience right now.

Devin:

Nice.

Andy:

I'll suffice it to say that I'm super grateful that Michael introduced us. I knew from the moment we hopped on that we were going to have a fun conversation, and it was fun. And here at the end of it, I really feel a sense of of expansive possibility. So thank you for for playing. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for doing what you do in the world.

Devin:

Yeah, man, this has been this has been a blast. Thank you for having me.

Andy:

Yeah, you bet. For anyone who's who's listening and wants to find out, I'll make sure to share it all online. But like just in the moment, if people want to find more about what you're up to, where should they go?

Devin:

LifestyleIntegrity.com is my website. You can find me. I think I own that in Google. So Instagram or Twitter or wherever, Lifestyle Integrity. Right on. Well thanks again, Devin. It's been great to have you in the Wonder Dome. Yeah, thank you.

Andy:

Thanks for tuning in to the Wonder Dome. This podcast was produced by me, Andy Cahill, with support from Kaleigh Cerqua, and audio editing services from John Nolan at Middle Mountain studios. The theme song was written and performed by Todd Marston. You can find the Wonder Dome wherever pods are casted. If you dig what we're doing here, please share widely, subscribe, and give us some love on the review boards. And if you feel called to support this humble offering to the worlds, while also making an even greater impact in the lives of others, consider becoming a monthly supporter. Not only will you help me keep the lights on, and keep the show going for as long as I'm able, but 30% of all member contributions go directly in support of causes, like the Black Lives Matter Movement, United Nations Refugee Agency, and the National Resources Defense Council. You can find out more at my website, mindfulcreative.coach, where you can also sign up for my newsletter. Learn about my transformational coaching work and get plugged into exclusive offers and community happenings. In the meantime, I'm wishing you a life of purpose, power, and presence. We need you now more than ever.