Spirituality is an umbrella term that means many different things to many people. In this episode, we’re revealing our own experience with spirituality and spiritual practices by exploring these questions:
- What does spirituality mean to you?
- What in your life brought you to spirituality?
- What does your spiritual practice involve?
- Where can someone start if they want to develop a spiritual practice?
Whether you’re spiritual or religious or neither, this episode will give you much to think about when it comes to nurturing that deeper connection to something greater.
– Connect with us –
Welcome to the game and going deeper podcast, a podcast by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talk about personal development, mental health, and sexuality. Your host today are the terrific trio. Michael DiIorio, Calan Breckon and myself, Matt Landsiedel collectively. We have over 40 years experience in the personal development world. And if this is your first time listening to us,
we want to welcome you. We each have our own coaching practice, but in this podcast, we’re giving away all of our best stuff. Today. We are talking about spirituality. Yay. I know all three of us really enjoy spirituality. So I’m looking forward to this conversation with you guys. We’re going to be unpacking for questions. So what does spirituality mean to you?
What in your life brought you to spirituality? What does your spiritual practice involve and where can someone start if they want to develop a spiritual practice? So we will continue these discussions as usual on the last Thursday of every month in the gay men’s brotherhood, zoom hangout, where you will have a chance to share your experiences. That one will be on June 30th.
This podcast and YouTube channel is listener and viewer supported. So if you really enjoy what we’re creating, you can support us by heading over to our patron page, in the show notes and contributing to help us support the show or subscribe to the early access option on apple podcasts and gain early access to episodes. That helps us to continue making content for you and supporting our community.
And we do thank you in advance. Also, the game in going deeper membership doors are open and inside you get access to our new course. Building better relationships are healing, your shame course. And over 35 other coaching videos, you’ll also have access to the private members, only Facebook group. If you’ve been wanting to check out our membership, we’re currently doing a seven day trial complimentary,
and you can head over to gaming, going deeper.com to check it out today. So before we jump into the episode, I would like to read a review from one of our amazing listeners. So this was from Glenn. Then he said, first, thank you for allowing me in this group. I am so happy. I found you guys. I love that.
I am not the only one with so many issues about myself. Also. Don’t feel so alone. Your energy is amazing. Thank you. That’s really sweet. All right. So Spirituality, you know, I was trying to figure out I’m like, what do I want to share on this topic? And it’s, so it’s a massive umbrella, right?
It really is a massive umbrella and it means something different to everybody. So I, I first started off. I was really confused. I’m like, and I’m like, I just going to start writing down words that represent what spirituality means to me, or that can be in this umbrella that we call spirituality. And so I wrote down, it’s a bunch of words and I’m just going to list them out.
So awareness, consciousness, trust, meaning faith, purpose, transcendence, ritual, sacred, contemplation, meditation, prayer, mysticism, religion, nature, holiness, virtue, morality, unity, and community. And I’m sure there’s a zillion other words that we could throw in there, but those are the ones that came came. And then there was a few things I started to kind of Google and I was looking for different meanings that different people have had.
And there’s actually a lot of science around spirituality and people doing like qualitative analysis on people and how they experience the sacred. And so it’s really cool. They’re the intersection between science and spirituality is very fascinating for me, kind of that metaphysical that world and quantum physics. So the search of the, and this was some of the things I said. So there was a definition,
the search for the communion, with the sacred. And I love the simplicity of that because it’s so potent and it’s so simple, the search for the communion, with the sacred seeking, the sacred, that lies within us or outside us, right? When you get into kind of the meta of, of spirituality, like we S we look at the universe and we’re like,
wow, like, this is amazing. We can have this universal experience, but really we are that. So we are really just being in awe of ourselves, right? And, and that’s kind of this next layer that I’m really exploring in my own spirituality is exploring unity consciousness and what it means to be non dual, right. That I can look at Michael and I can be like,
we are the same. We come from this same divine energy, and I can look at Callan and I can say the same thing. We we’re, we’re we’re brothers. We come from this same energy. So it’s just something it’s really fascinating. I love this aspect of it. And then this was another definition. Spiritual spirituality involves our capacity to dig deep and find the greater meaning in life,
to align ourselves with a purpose that extends beyond ourselves to find relationship and unity with something greater, such as nature God or the transcendent. And, you know, when, when we, we use the word God in spirituality, it’s an all encompassing term. It, it, it doesn’t have a denomination. It can be whatever you want it to mean.
And, you know, higher power, these sorts of things, the universe, I use all of these, these phrases very interchangeably when I speak about the spirituality. So I just wanted to note that as I’m talking throughout the podcast, I will be using those terms. And then many people turn to spirituality during challenging times. And these are kind the two reasons that identified.
So to explain that which not readily is readily explained by facts and direct observation. So when, when there’s something that we experienced and there is no, there’s nothing that can explain it, science, can’t explain it. And we’re just like, what is going on? There’s something happening here. That’s usually when I connect to my spiritual self, when I need answers about something that I can’t find in,
in tangible reality. And then the other thing is to provide purpose and inspiration. I think those are two really big things on the journey of spirituality that I have received is purpose and inspiration. So I want to go last actually in, in this order. So I want to, I want to throw it off to, for the first question, I’ll throw it off to Callan.
And the question is, what does spirituality mean to you? Well, for me, spirituality means I think two things, the first one is having some sort of a practice that like, you, you know, whether it’s an observed or whether it’s just, you know, meditation, something like that. And then the other part is spirituality is an understanding that there is a consciousness or something that has a consciousness or some sort of something that’s bigger than myself that knows more than me.
It understands more than me is a jillion times smarter than me. And it’s kind of like the fabric of the unknown and cause you know, there’s still so much unknown, right? So for me, my spirituality is understanding that I am not the be all end all. I might be in my world, my own little brain world, but like I am not the be all end all,
there’s something bigger than myself. There’s something greater than myself and appreciating that and having a relationship with that. And with that concept and with that idea, and I really, I didn’t grow up religious and I really pushed against it because I knew I was gay from basically the moment I walked out, which I now was a C-section baby. So I didn’t even walk out.
I was like, but the moment I could really comprehend things. I knew that I was gay. I knew I was different. And I knew that organized religion told me that I couldn’t do that. And so I, I pushed against spirituality in that kind of sense for a long time. And I’ll tell more about this later, but as I got older and I started having that appreciation for something that was greater than myself,
I was like, okay, well just because it doesn’t look like this doesn’t mean that I can’t have that relationship for myself. So for me, that’s what spirituality really encompasses is it’s my chosen relationship that I have with the thing that is bigger than all of us that we can’t explain. Yeah. So what about you? What about your mind? Yeah.
Perfect. I think you said, you said a very well there. Yeah. And both of you guys had a very different, Because I thought I was a man. That’s perfect. That’s exactly what I would say. And I agree completely for me. And I think you made a very good point that it’s a very individual journey and it’s very individual to all of us and you know,
I’d go and say as well, there’s no right or wrong way. Right. And that’s not the point of this podcast either, by the way. I think we all have, we all have a connection to that thing, whether you believe it or not, it’s that connections there. Right. That’s the great thing about spirituality that I believe is that whether you want it to be there,
whether you believe it or not, it’s there it’s happening. So for me, I would say it’s that connection to something greater than myself, more than the spotting, more than my mind, more than my feelings. Just, just, just more. And it’s a knowing, I would say at this point, it’s a knowing that there is that connection there and to that thing,
that energy. And so what am I referring to? I know I love this topic, but I haven’t done, I don’t share a lot on this topic actually, but I am a very much a deeply spiritual person. I just don’t, I don’t talk too much about it. So forgive me if I don’t have all the right words, but that energy that I’m referring to,
I like to say, it’s the energy that animates my body. So it’s the same energy that animates all of us. So it’s not with saying and enemy it’s Matt and Callan and the word animate. I love, I use that specifically because the root of that word is anima, which in Latin means soul or spirit. So I think that that is exactly it.
And it’s the same energy. That’s the same intelligence. If you will, that animates of acorn turning into a tree or an embryo or turning into a fully formed human being. It’s the same thing. And yes, we are intelligent beings, but at the same time, you know, as you guys already know, if you listened to this podcast, my spirituality and exist primarily through nature.
That is where I see it most obviously and where I can connect to most easily. So I would say, yeah, like right now I’m looking at a tree and I’m thinking like, I mean the tree have that same energy that animates us, just like me and you. Right. And I do also want to make a point about religion. Thank you Kalyn for bringing that up.
Because I grew up in the Catholic church. I did grow up from religious ish in Catholic school, Catholic church. I did all the things, all the sacraments, all the community and salt, the confessing law. And I’ve even done a few podcasts here about religion, one of Christianity, one about guilt and shame. And I think religion is actually quite fascinating to me.
I think it’s very interesting, like Callan, I, I pushed it away. I, when I first came out because I was like, oh, these two things are incompatible. I’ve since changed my mind on the, in compatibility. But I, that it’s very different than spirituality. And the way that I see it is that religion is a framework to get there.
So we’re all trying to, we’re all on our journeys to get to this connection that we’re talking about. But religion gives people a framework, which for a lot of people can be very useful. Here’s the rituals, here’s what we do. Here’s what we wear. Here’s how we act. And that for a lot of people is very helpful, not necessarily for me,
but for a lot of people that is very helpful. I like to find my own way, typical Michael fashion. I like to find my own path. I don’t need someone else’s path. However, I will say this. I think that a lot of religions at the end of the day are all a different path to the same end point. And that is that connection to God universe source,
whatever you want to call it. So, you know, I think it’s important. So when I’m speaking, you know, same as mine. I use those words interchangeably all the time. And I do want to make a little note that I see religion as a framework under the umbrella of spirituality, but not necessarily the same thing. You know, like I always used to say,
I consider myself spiritual, but not religious, which I think a lot of people can relate with, but I don’t throw away all aspects of religion by any means. I think there’s, there’s tidbits and rituals, even parables, even in, in many different religions that I like to kind of tick a little bit of each and make it a little mosaic,
but it’s perfect for me. Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah. You guys really help form what I want to share. So thank you. I liked the idea of a mosaic because that’s exactly what my spirituality has been like. Everything I’ve experienced in my life has, has made me seek, right? That’s a lot of spirituality for me is seeking seeking truth.
And I seek something. I find it, it feels good. And it now becomes a part of my spirituality. So my spirituality is very unique to me. And I always say there’s 8 billion paths on this planet to God, right? We all have our own unique path. And some people choose religion, which is something that’s more organized. And they prefer people to,
you know, preach at them every week and share and stimulate that stuff. And then there’s, you know, in my opinion, spirituality, which is like taking from, it might be different religions from different cultures, things like that. And creating a set of rituals or practices or beliefs as a way to kind of form how you relate to the world around you.
I think so that’s kinda my off the cuff. And then I did write a, a definition down. So I put a faith filled belief. There is something greater than myself, something more to being human than the material or physical and that the greater whole to which I am a part of is divine in nature. Spirituality gives me faith, meaning and purpose in my life.
It is a giant umbrella that encompasses my dream towards understanding myself and my relationship to the universe. And I do use the word universe. That’s my preference over God or source or anything. The universe has just this massive giant thing, Never Ending. It’s amazing. Right. And it’s always bringing to you what you need. That’s the thing. Right. And I think that’s,
you know, my, my experience of, of reality has been so dualistic in between ego and mind. And I often have suffered so much because I approached how I approached the world through my mind and my ego for so long. And I could never see that the universe was giving me what I needed, not what I wanted. Right. And then it always,
in hindsight, always in hindsight, I’m like, oh shit, that’s exactly why the universe brought that person or that situation or that suffering to me because it allowed me to shed something that wasn’t serving me. So I could step into this next version of myself that I’m evolving into. So yeah, it’s just, it’s, it’s a really, yeah. I just get this,
this, this kind of feeling of like, when I use the term umbrella, spirituality for me is kind of like this, this, this, this refuge that I can hide under when it’s like pouring and there’s lightning and thunder, it’s just this, this real safe place that I can find a home in and do what I need to do to kind of really connect to myself and others right.
Through my spiritual practices, how I’ve connected with, with others. So yeah. You guys want to add anything else on that question? I just love that visual that you gave the umbrella and like, you know, all the shit could be hitting the top of the umbrella, but you’re under there and you’re like, okay, I can see it. It’s out there.
I’m acknowledging it, but it doesn’t have to be in my sphere. It doesn’t need to be hitting me. Totally. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for that. Okay. Well, let’s move on to the next question. So what in your life brought you to spirituality? I’m looking at very forward to hearing what your guys’s answers are to this. And let’s start with Michael.
Oh, right. Oh my gosh. I love this topic. I feel like each question, could it be its own freaking episode, but I’ll try my very best to keep this one a brief. So the way I want to answer it is, is a very specific moment. Like of course I was going through like many people, all challenging time in my life and that’s sort of what brought me there.
I don’t really want to talk about that though. I want to talk about the very specific moment that it hit me. Like, oh shit, this shit’s for real. So there’s a saying, I don’t know where it’s from, but when the student is ready, the teacher will appear that’s me. The student was ready. I wasn’t looking for an old teacher,
but she appeared. So I’ve had many teachers over over the years. So the spirituality, as I’m sure you guys could, could agree, you kind of go from one to another and they all serve very different purposes, but you always remember your first as they say, so that’s what I’m going to share. Okay. So for me, it was a very dreary Saturday afternoon.
I’ll never forget it. I was lying in bed in my old place being lazy. I had a date later that night and I was in the part of my life where I was still very much reeling and, and having a very hard time getting over my ex. So I was Googling how to get over your ex, Google away as we do what video shows up the opposite,
Southern called how to get your ex back. What’s the name of it? And it was a YouTube video. I’ll never forget it. And I was like, well, this is the opposite of what I wanted, but of course I wanted my ex back. So I clicked on it. I clicked on the video, how to get your ex back.
And it was an audio and it was this wacky old bat shit, crazy lady. And she was talking about energy and something called the law of attraction, which didn’t make any fucking sense to me. And she was apparently channeling this group of entities known as the Abraham. And I was like, this woman is batshit fucking crazy. What is this nonsense?
But there was something about her. I will say as much as my brain was like next video, there was something about her. I was drawn to her. She made me laugh. She was funny. She was eloquent. And there was something that, something to her, to what she was saying, that actually made sense to me and kept me going.
So beyond all that wacky stuff, I stayed, I kind of listened to David. I’m like, oh yeah, well, that’s, that’s interesting. And I didn’t think much of it cause I was going to be late for my date. So I was like, okay, whatever this law of attraction lady is, whatever. We’ll get to this later,
close my laptop, shower, go on my date a lot. So then this is like maybe two hours later, I’m on the stay with this guy. We’re talking, he was talking about his ex. We just broke up with somebody and it was really hard and all the law. And it was very clear to me that he was still in love with him.
And then I was like, well, I’m going to share, my ex are doing here. We were these two guys on a date talking about our exes and how much we love and miss them. And he pauses. He looks at me and he smiles. And does he not fucking say, this is the law of attraction at work? I was like,
what did you just say? The what? Like guys, two hours, two hours after I just shut down my laptop and said, this bitch was crazy. So this, at this point it was like more than a coincidence. I was taken aback. I was like, okay, I’ve heard you. And then from there on the synchronicities just happened.
So, you know, they say the universe first, like throws a little stone at you to get your attention in your early lesson. And the next thing you know, does throws a fucking brick. So for me, that was the brick. And I was like, okay, something is on with this law of attraction nonsense. So yada, yada yada,
fast forward, I won’t go into it. But fast forward a few years later when I started my blog, my wellness blog for gay men, the very first blog post I did was a 12 part series called applying the 12 laws of the universe, which the law of attraction is, but one of 12 of them or there’s many, but yeah, which still to this day,
I refer to these laws as part of my spiritual practice. So that was what brought me to spirituality. It was, it was, I guess, in effect for the law of attraction, which was, I would say the doorway into it, Abraham Hicks is who I was referring to. By the way, you might know her as Esther Hicks. She was my very first teacher.
I still fucking love her. She is wacky basher crazy, but I just love that stuff. And she just has a way with words that I just, I still look up to her in many ways since then, I will say I’ve had some other teachers, Marianne Williamson, Caroline mace, Gary Zukav Michael singer, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer. So yeah,
that was my Abraham was my intro. It was technically a law of attraction video, which I kind of wrote off. And since then, I’ve, I’ve gone much, much deeper into that way beyond law of attraction and to, you know, the full, the full gambit. Thanks for sharing that. I love that. I think, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you kind of that passionate and lit up and I’ve known him for two years now.
So that was really cool to experience that I don’t talk about this and I don’t think a lot of people know us for just a very, very few people know that story. Yeah. Yeah. Now a lot of people know that Like thousands of people now know that story, but I love that. Cause I love as sir. Hey, that’s who Jerry Hicks and Abraham,
like I was the reason I, like, they probably saw me looking off to the side just cause I was going to YouTube to try and find what my favorite meditation is. Like one of my favorite meditations to do is if you go on YouTube and you Google or look up Abraham Hicks, it’s good to feel good. It’s about a 10 minute long video,
the mind blowing NIS of the channeling that she does in that video of like, just like the lot. Like I love it. Cause it’s so logical, but it’s also so spiritual and it just blends both of the worlds that I love together. So yeah. When you were saying that, I was like, I gotta go find that video. So yeah.
So I love that. That’s such a good story. Okay. So what’s the question. Okay. So what in your life brought you to spirituality? I got a journey as well. So mine started God. I don’t even remember the year long time ago. It was after high school. It was like a year or two years after high school. No,
it was after I moved back from the UK, I think. Yeah. So it must’ve been 2008. Yeah, I think it was 2008 and I was building a nonprofit organization called the diversity project and I was going to take like presentations to high schools and take like a diverse group of people. And we’re going to do talks on like bullying and homophobia,
transphobia, homophobia, racism, like kind of all the things together. And we were going to take like special performances from like celebrity type people or local celebrity type people and like how these things affected their lives. And part of that was, I was looking for kind of like a board of directors. And so my old friend, Heather Panell, who you may or may not know,
I’ve talked about her a couple of times she was interested and I’d known her since like middle school since very, very young age. And I was like, okay, cool. And, well, let’s go to the Starbucks that I was working at at the time. And like, let’s, let’s have a conversation about this. And so our, the Starbucks I had worked at and then,
so we go and we’re there and I’m so into it. And so passionate and like just living my best life. It’s like all of these ideas and she just looks at me sideways kind of like, does this like tilt to the side? She’s like, you have no idea. Do you? And I was like, no idea about was she’s like you literally have like angels and guides and all of these people flying around you.
And like they are bringing all this information to you so that you can bring it into the world. Now it’s like, part of me is like, oh no, Heather’s batshit crazy. And then the other party was like, tell me more about this. I was like, I’m curious, what’s going on? And we’d always been like friendly to each other and like the acquainted,
but we’d never been like friends, friends. And so from that moment onwards, we both worked together to develop the nonprofit organization, which was short-lived because we were building it in a down economy. It was like, that’s when like all the banks went bankrupt and all that kind of stuff. So that wasn’t a wise choice, but we learned a lot from it.
And through that friendship and through working together, we did so much spiritual work together and she was my, she was my segue into a realm of things that I just had no idea about. And it’s, once you see it, you can’t unsee it. You know what I’m saying? I know you guys know what I’m saying. Cause once you see it and once you go into it,
you’re like, oh, I can’t go back from this. And so she would take me to like full moon meditations. I met such a beautiful group of people that we would just get together. And it was just like friends that are hanging out. We’d eat good food, we’d laugh. And then we just do like full moon meditations and we’d all meditate together.
And it was like 15, 20 people. And I was like, this is wild and weird, but I kind of like, it it’s fun. And then some, some of them were taro card readers in that, you know, various material type stuff. So people would do card readings and it was just, it was just fun and enjoyable. And that’s where I was introduced to a lot of my teachers like Michael,
you mentioned a lot of them like talk to her Wayne Dyer, the wees, Hey Cheryl Richardson. Gabrielle Bernstein was probably my first big like book kind of person because Heather had taken me to the bookstore and I was like, what, what book should I start with? Like where should I start? She’s a go, you know? And she pulled out, I think it was Gabby second book.
I can’t remember which one it was. So that’s where I kind of started. And I just kind of started reading and like really diving into that because I’m a very like logical minded, analytical brain. And so I just started reading and reading and reading and doing my own work and kind of what is Esther and Jerry Hicks, they have a book ask and you shall receive,
I think asking it is given, asking it is given wholly blew my mind. That’s one of my favorite books, spiritually speaking that really like had me going, ah, ha. And then, you know, of course you read the four agreements and all that kind of stuff. So that’s, so I owe Heather so much and I tell her all the time and we’re still good friends.
We still like, she’s building really great, amazing stuff right now. And like she’s built amazing things and I just see so much good stuff coming to her. And I’m so grateful to have had her in my life to be a guide, not only a guide, but also a friend and just somebody to be like, yeah, it’s totally cool. Totally normal.
Do you like enjoy it and provided me that space to explore that side of me without it, you know, somebody looking at you sideways or like, you know, shaming you into it. Cause you know, when you talk about this kind of thing in the outside world, or especially in the gay community, there’s the people who are like full blown down the rabbit hole and you know,
the friends are always like, oh yeah, her, she does the Terra cards, the, this and the that. And they make it sound like very, like, it’s not a good feeling. It makes it very shaming that. And so I was very grateful to have found people who, if that wasn’t the energy and I could actually explore it and just pick and choose what felt right to me and what I enjoyed.
And I think that that’s what a lot of the community and what I’m trying to move towards is that exception of just like, let people be who they are and let them explore these things. Because if you’re shaming it and I don’t know, that’s probably a direction you should go in then, because there’s something inside of you that’s insecure around it because if you weren’t,
you wouldn’t carry a bit. Oh, that’s awesome. Good for you. You know, it’s only when something rubs us and something picks it, something that you know is inside of us, that it makes us do those shaming type things. So that’s my adventure with finding my spiritual path and kind of being led to like meditation, all that kind of stuff.
But I’m curious, I’m curious as to your story map. Yeah. I’ll try and share a story, but I want to say one thing, it actually bothers me when people use the word woo. To describe spirituality because it’s almost like, and people preface it. They’ll be like, oh, I’m going to go woo. Here. So hang with me.
Do you know what I mean? It’s like, why are you taking yourself down a level to prepare people? Do you know what I mean? Like, I feel like I love what you’ve done, how you, you put the bowl on that. It’s like, just let people move their way towards the things that they need in this life. In the reality that they’re choosing to participate in,
that’s going to inform their beliefs and their values and all, all that. Like, why can’t we just give each other space? Right. So if somebody wants to, you know, hold crystal balls and predict the future, like what, what impact does that have on you as a person? That’s what I want people to ask. Like, why do you care if people indulge themselves in,
in things that maybe you can’t understand or see? Right. So I really want people to open their mind to that because I have experienced that my whole life. Right. I’ve been all into the whole, you know, non-conventional things and I’ve, I’ve experienced judgment from my family, from some of my friends. So I don’t, I know what it’s like to be on that side of things.
And it’s not really, it’s not good. Do you know what I mean? But now I’m like, I’m very confident about this stuff. And I lead with it because I know that it’s had such an impact on my life and the life of the people that I associate with. So anyway, that’s a side note. Okay. So my story, geez.
Yeah. I, I I’ve said this before in the, in the past episodes, I struggled with a crack addiction from the age of 17 to 24 and pretty much addiction from the age of 11, all the way to 24, but very, very hardcore addiction in that time period. And I’ve always had some sort of connection to something, but because I shut off my emotions and I ran into a dissociative state and repressed,
I kind of lost that connection. And part of my journey has been about kind of remembering what it was that, that I felt really connected to even as a kid. And so coming out of my addiction, my uncle who is also gay and he’s, he was a print of a mentor for me coming out. He’s like, you should come to my friend’s house.
There’s going to be like this party thing or whatever. And there’s going to be a lady that’s going to be presenting on essential oils. And I’m thinking like, oh, like, okay, like, sure, I’ll go. And it was this young living presentation, which is an essential oil company. So I’m there. And this woman I walk in and I look at her and I was like,
immediately, I just felt like she was almost like my mother or something. Like there was a, her eyes looked so familiar. Like I had met her before and I’ve had this happen. Like I would say maybe a dozen times in my life up to this point now, right. Where I’ve had that experience with people where I’m like, holy shit.
Like, I feel like, I know you it’s so strange. So this woman’s name is Gloria. She was she’s at the time, probably about 60 and just had a really beautiful energy. And I was really drawn to her. So she did her presentation and I was like, okay, I’m going to sign up and whatever. And I ended up going down the rabbit hole of like,
I’m going to educate people on oils. And I use them and they were like the most amazing thing. I still use them everyday. I have some burning right above me right now as we speak. So essential oils was kind of like the thing that grounded me, like it really brought me back into like something, I don’t know. It was just,
they’re very potent for me. And then getting into that and doing presentations and kind of being mentored by Gloria. I was introduced to the shamonic community in Calgary, which is pretty strong here. And there’s, there was like healing circles and sound healing circles and all this stuff. So I started attending all these things and I started meeting different people. Like I got connected to a couple of shamans and I started studying Peruvian shamanism around that time.
So I did that for about six years and I worked with these two sisters that teach this and, and this became a really big part of my spiritual practice. Working with the land, working with the elements was a really big part of my connection to spirituality and, and then going through my schooling as well and learning about psychology. So for me, psychology and spirituality are like intersected and there there’s a very fine line between them,
for me, not everybody sees it that way, but I do see it that way. I would say I’m more of a spiritual psychologist and that was also a big part of me understanding me, like my nature, how my mind works. And, and then pairing that up with the, the, the shamonic work and working with, with nature. And then working with my mind,
it was kind of like, I just developed a real strong interest in this and because of the, you know, struggling with addiction, I actually studied addiction counseling and learned how to kind of work with that. And so, yeah, it, it, it came out of suffering. And then when my, I know in my life, when I’m really strongly connected to my spirituality and I really rely on it is when I’m,
when I’m losing meaning and purpose. And that’s happened to me twice now in my life where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. And I was very confused and it was, it was the thing that really helped me kind of understand what it is that I’m here for. Right? Like there’s my human self, which has an idea of why I’m here.
And then there’s my spiritual self, which is what I allow govern me now. I don’t resist it, but it’s almost like a soul purpose. Like my soul came into this life to choose, like I’m here to help elevate the consciousness of humanity. That’s one of my, my, my missions in this life and I do that through spirituality. So,
yeah. Yeah, Yeah. Thanks. Okay. So third question. What does your spiritual practice involve? So Colin, you said that, you know, spirituality for you is very tangible and it’s like, like things that you do. I’m curious, what are some of those things for you? So for me, it’s always it’s floated in and out,
but meditation, I’ve gone through bouts where I could meditate for like an hour, hour and a half, no problem. And like I’ve even fallen asleep in a seated position, meditating and woken up and been like, ha like, no, that’s not meditation. Sleeping is not meditation, but like, that’s how relaxed and how like zenned out I had gotten.
And then, you know, you fall off the way you can get back on you fall off the wagon. And for me it’s all about like, it comes when I need it and I try to implement it into my life. So now I actually have it as like a part of my checklist for my evening, going to bed routine is doing a 12 minute meditation and kind of just like emptying the day out and kind of just bringing it back to my breath and kind of,
I always focus on the blackness behind my eyes. And I always just look at that blackness. And I’m like, I always pick like, just sound music. Cause I don’t like being led. Like I, I enjoy like when Oprah and Deepak were doing there, it’s like, I enjoy those every once in a while. But like for the most part,
I’d like to just do the kind of emptying my space and thoughts come all the time, but getting back to, okay, okay, no, I’m supposed to be like, this is where I am right now. I’m breathing through this. So meditation is one of my things. And then also I’ve started a gratitude journal, which I’ve done off and on throughout the years,
but now it’s been very, very consistent recently and I’ve noticed a lot of changes happening in my life, like really positive ones. So I’m like, okay, there’s something here again. And so I just write down five things. I just pick them throughout the day of like what they are. And it just reminds me of like what happened that day and to be grateful for it because I can then go to bed on like good note of like,
even if something shit happens, then I’m like, but it doesn’t matter. Cause I’m still like, I’m still grateful for these positive things that happened. And I acknowledged the shitty thing that happened, but it’s kind of helps me rebalance out instead of just cause you know, human tendency, we kind of tend to focus on those negative experiences that we have because obviously they stir things up in us that we need to heal and move through.
And so yeah, just doing those two things is really helped me mentally and emotionally to continue like my own spiritual practice for a while. I was trying to like actually study the, a course in miracles, which if people are familiar with, I know that Louise hay and Gabrielle Bernstein and lot of other leaders have studied it and correct me if I’m wrong.
I believe it was two scientists who were kind of like out to prove like the non-existence of religion or God or something like that. But then they actually found that they’re like, oh no, we actually proved the opposite. They’re like, wait a second. There’s something here. And so I liked that kind of, that it’s a weird kind of scientific look at it and,
but it’s very, it’s very heavy. It’s a very thick, like it’s literally, it’s huge. It’s a very thick, very heavy read. So I kind of fall off the bandwagon, but I’ve been thinking to maybe implement that into the mornings. Like before I start my work, just reading like a couple of pages or pages and just kind of,
you know, pondering the questions or the things that they put forward. But I also have like the may cause or may cause miracles for dummies. So I might just read that as well, just to get the, you know, the footnotes of it all. But those are the kinds of things that are working in my like spiritual, spiritual practice. But then my body spiritual practice is like going to dodgeball on Mondays,
hanging out with friends, going out like that’s part of my spiritual practices because that brings me closer to community. It brings me and brings me closer to just being in the reason for existence in humanity. So it brings out that spiritual side of me because I’m like, this is me experiencing life to the fullest. You know, I can go in my,
my little cave and be in my brain and work and do all that kind of stuff. But if I’m not really connecting with other people, I’m not experiencing that to me, that’s cutting off a limb of vice spiritual experience. So yeah, that’s what it is for me. Well said, I liked that. I liked that last part, cutting off a limb of your spiritual experience,
which is the relational. Yeah. That’s a big part of it. Thanks for sharing. What about you, Michael? Yeah. There’s so much of what you guys just shared in the last few that I want to go back to, but I’ll try to stick again. The question at hand, what isn’t part of my spiritual practice these days. I mean,
there’s the actual like conscious, this is part of my spiritual practice, but I think Calin great point at the end there, everything that we do, it’s not like, oh, spirituality is over here and this little part of your life. And like here’s the rest of your life? It’s every everything is it. Like I have an argument with my partner.
There’s an opportunity there to, to practice spirituality or we’re doing this podcast. This is an opportunity, maybe more obvious one to practice my, have a spiritual practice. So it’s always there, but I’ll answer it in the obvious way. Like what, what does my conscious spiritual practices involve a spiritual practice? The way I like to define it is we talked about how there’s many different paths to the same end point.
The spiritual practice is finding what that path might be and what is on it. So I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it. I think there’s only what’s right for you. And like I said earlier, I borrowed teachings from pretty much anywhere in everything. If it feels good, if it fits me, I’ll use it. So for example,
I’ll read taro cards, but I also pray. But the way I pray is not the way they taught me how to pray in school. Definitely don’t pray like that. If a priest heard the way I talked to God, he or she would, or he would have a meltdown because I talked to God or the universe as I would talk to a friend,
like I would cuss the bitch out sometimes if I’m not happy and that helps me. And then like, it’s not like, I don’t believe that there’s this God, there is like, oh, I’m judging the way you’re talking to me. I don’t believe that at all. That’s not at all the way I view God or the universe. I don’t think there is any judgment there.
But anyway, that helps me. If I’m not praying, like speaking, I might journal, I might just talk to God in that way. That’s a, w that’s a form of prayer. I, I pray with, with feeling though. I think that’s why I use my own words because my words feel like I can feel with my words, other words,
sometimes that’s not true. There will be affirmations or mantras that I really, that really speak to me. And those ones I can like get behind. And I love when people share those. So it really helps me. But yeah, so prayer is a big one feeling that like that I can talk to this, this energy that, that, that animates me helps me as if it’s a person.
But I would say probably my biggest spiritual practice is again in nature. It’s also my greatest spiritual teacher and I don’t really have a specific practice besides just getting into nature and observing it, being around it for me, there is incredible amounts of symbolism in, in nature for spirituality. I refer to those 12 universal laws earlier. They’re all laws found with the nature,
polarity, rhythm, divine, oneness correspondence, all of these things go hand in hand, gender masculine, feminine, all these things are, are in nature. They’re not even things that were given down by some, by some like being, it’s just, they’re there, they’re there for us to observe. It makes it very easy for me. I could observe it.
I could believe it. So I think in terms of practice, you know, I’m that guy Apartments. So patient with me, but I’m the guy who like be walking down the street and having a conversation I’ll just stop and like, just look at a plant or a rose and just be like, Wow, look, And be like, okay. Yeah.
Can we keep going? Or like the moon, the moon is something I always like, I will almost get into an accident driving if I see of the moon and like, like, I’ll look at the moon. Like I will stop in my tracks if I’m walking and like just stare at the moon and just be in awe of it. I don’t know what it is.
I’m just that guy. But there’s something there for me. I feel so connected. I don’t know what it is. I feel so, so connected when I can Experience myself through nature. I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it again. I don’t really have the language for this, but that’s the best way I could describe it.
So getting into nature, being, being with it, realizing that I am part of it. We are, we’re all one, right? Like I said earlier, I am the same, the same energy, the enemies, the tree is the one that animates me. We are together. We are one we’re here of the same. Yeah. But also the fun things like taro,
you guys know, I love my arrow, Oracle decks, my taro, I got, I have a stone here that I like to use for grounding. It’s beautiful day. Also. I have the essential oils, like mad. I mean, these are all, I don’t know if these are practices, but these are all things that just helped me feel connected so that they help get me there.
They’re part of my path, the part of my journey. That’s all I got. Thanks. And I would say they are for sure spiritual. Cause if you think about it, that plant that you’re stopping and observing is literally in the vibration of that oil that you have. Right? So it’s like the plants are giving us, they’re sustaining us. It’s like everything is so interconnected.
I always say I’m a, I’m a human being, having a spiritual experience. Right. And then there’s human beings who are having a human experience. And then there’s human beings who were having a human and spiritual experience. Right. It depends on how much you want to go into this. And I’ll talk about that in the next question, around believing,
versus being skeptical and what that means for, for developing a spiritual practice. But as far as my own spiritual practice, I feel like it’s the same as you might feel like I’m always, I’m always in that space. It’s just, it’s how I’m, I’ve been incarnated into this life. Like I’m, I’m meant to perceive pretty much everything through the spiritual lens,
which is great because I like the depth of it, but sometimes it’s a bit much, right? Because I’m always thinking so deep and contemplating so much and looking for the meaning and everything that it’s like, I have to learn how to simplify my mind sometimes and just focus on things that aren’t so complex. But so in my practice would be one of the main things would be the pursuit of truth,
right. And just always trying to move towards what feels in the deepest resonance to meet and my nature. And I believe that truth isn’t, I believe there is absolute truth, but I believe we’re all kind of tasting what that means and perceiving it and creating our own reality because of it, which is why there’s so much division in our world is that we’re all perceiving the world through a different lens.
Right? So I’m, I’m always pursuing my truth. What that, what is in most alignment and authentic to me and my nature. So that’s a big part of it. And then from that truth, kind of deep diving within myself to understand my nature and therefore the nature of the universe, right? Because understanding myself allows me to understand what it is that created me,
right. And why I was created in the way that I was created. So, and then there’s a saying spirituality without shadow work is not spirituality. My friends. And I stand by that in such a big way, because we, the things that are obstructing us from connecting to the divine to source to God, to whatever you want to call it are is the,
the, the disturbed human self, right? The disturbing go, the disturbed mind that is not allowing us to see clearly or feel clearly and shadow work is what allows us to clear that stuff out so we can have direct access to the divine. So shadow work is a big part of my journey and also inspiring the activation of other people’s shadows as part of my journey too.
And I try not to do it intentionally, but sometimes it comes out because I did. It’s just part of my nature, right? To kind of stimulate things so people can, you know, obviously elevate their consciousness. That’s my intention is always pure. I’d never, I never used that in a, in a non pure way, but, and then self discovery of what is me and what isn’t me,
that’s been a big part of my practice. And specifically the last two years, which I would describe the last two years of my life as the hardest by far is the deconstruction of my conditioning and what isn’t me, and then grieving that. And that’s been so hard for me because I was so to this concept of who I was, and in the end it was not me.
And that that’s the confusion and that exhaustion of that deconstruction was so hard for me. And so self-discovery is a really big part of my journey. And then some of the things that, you know, like the tangibles that I think are probably one of the funnest things of spirituality, which is like crystals and Oracle cards and tarot cards and plant medicine and breath work and conscious relating,
which is something that is very, I wouldn’t say new, but it’s, I’ve taken it to another level now is like, just, I’ve done a lot of deep inner work and a lot of shadow work. And now my relating game has kind of changed. Like I’m able to kind of be in conscious relationships and not be so activated by them and be able to stay present in them and not be like codependent and like have to move too much into their experience.
I’m able to kind of really stay more grounded in my experience, which the Louie, because it’s exhausting when you’re living in other people’s stuff, working with the land and natural elements, as I said, and then the, one of the biggest things that I’m now learning, I never saw it this way, but is a sex and sexuality and intimacy because in my opinion,
it’s like, that’s, that’s one of our direct access points to the divine is when we are in these sexual connections. And, and, and when I say that, like, I don’t want to deface, like, but from, and I’ll speak from my own experience, but more sacred sexuality where there’s something that, where I F I feel like I’m able to connect with somebody on an emotional and an intellectual and a physical level for me,
physical sex. Doesn’t take me to those higher realms. But when I’m connected with somebody, and let’s say we have a really great conversation and we have an like a heart to heart, and then we have sex. It’s, that’s completely, that allows me to access those points that I, that I want to get. But I’m not saying that somebody can’t access those points from physical sex,
but for me, it doesn’t happen. And then embodiment. So everything I just described above, if I’m in my body, it elevates the spiritual experience. If I’m just in my mind, it doesn’t really take me to those places that, that allow me to really maybe access the truth or the alignment of the truth to who I am. So, yeah,
my spirituality happens in my body. My psychology happens in my mind. That’s kind of how I’ve discerned the cheese. So, yeah. All right. Final question. Where can someone start? If they want to develop a spiritual practice, let’s go to Calin. All right. So for me, I’ll just say like how I started, which was books,
I’ve read books. I listened to audio books. They have, you know, I love the app Libby, and I think Michael, you use it as well. And I don’t know, Matt, you might use it. No. Okay. But yeah, Libby it’s through the library. So you can just borrow audio books and borrow books for free,
at least here in Canada. I don’t know. I, it might be down in the states as well. And then just let yourself play, find some, find some mentors, you know, that’s what I did. I, I, I looked around, saw who was out there. I did some digging, found some mentors in the shape of like Gabrielle Bernstein and Dr.
Wayne Dyer and hay house has a bunch of, like, if you’re just looking for somewhere to even just start hay house as like a company, as a whole, they kind of produce the large portion of, you know, spiritual teachers and mentors and that kind of a thing in their ballpark of, of stuff. So kind of go in that direction and find people who resonate for you.
I like people who dig into like the sciences and those kinds of things. So I really resonate with those kinds of teachers, but books and reading is really where I started and go take it easy. Don’t you don’t need to go, you know, down the rabbit hole and go as far as you can. And just like, believe everything that you read,
like take on what resonates true to you. And, you know, it’s like pick out a card. That’s like any spirituality for me is pick out a card. What resonates for you? Great. If it doesn’t okay. Leave it for whoever it does. Like, you don’t need to rage against it or whatever. It’s just, you know, okay.
I like this, I like this. And I like this. Okay. Well then I’m going to make it my practice and just start easy and just do 1% at a time, you know, do one little new thing for me. That was, you know, okay. Implementing meditation again. And then after that, got good. Okay. Implementing gratitude journal again.
And like each time I can kind of layer things on, because once you build the habits into your system, then it’s easy, then, you know, you can add it in the next thing and just kind of let yourself have fun with it. Don’t take it so seriously. And don’t make it like the, be all end all, or has to be this way,
or it has to be that way. It has to be whatever way fits you. And what’s right for you, but that does not mean it’s right for anybody else, because we’re all unique and individual, which means we’re all going to have unique and individual ways of practicing. So that’s it for me. What about you, Michael? Exactly what you said perfectly like repeat,
yeah. Have fun. It’s it’s not, you know, the word spirituality, I think for a lot of people brings up a really like serious vibe. At least it does for me, or when I, when I say that word out, so I go to spirituality, but it’s like, no, it’s super fun. It’s a lot of fun.
It could be sex. Like Matt was referred to, for me, I kinda got into it through the kind of manifesting kind of avenue led me down the rabbit hole. And I’m someone who loves going down rabbit holes. So I did, but I think, you know, if you’ve made it this far into the podcast, obviously if there’s something here for you think back to what we’ve said today,
does anything kind of spark your interest, spark your curiosity. Start there both go with, just be curious and say, oh, that was interesting. He talked about something. I wonder what that’s about. Of course, like I was saying, you know, get outside. There is, I think for a lot of people, an energy in nature that if we it’s there,
I just don’t think a lot of people are paying attention to it often enough. And if you let yourself go there and you feel like yourself, just be present with it. Th it’s magical. I would, I would. And I use that word very deliberately. For me, it feels magical. So, you know, there, there are lots of ways to inspire yourself within nature.
Meditation is a good one as well. I think at the very least what meditation did for me is that led me to understand how my thoughts and my feelings were not who I was, that I was the witness, the consciousness, the awareness behind all that drama. It wasn’t until I actually did a few meditations. I’m like, oh, oh, I’m witnessing these thoughts.
I’m just, I’m just feeling these feelings. It’s not who I am that really helps. So I definitely think there’s a lot, a lot of benefit in starting a meditation practice. It could just be a few minutes, could be guided unguided. There’s lots of apps out there. Yeah. Have fun, have fun with it. It’s it’s super fun journey to be on it’s your journey.
No one else gets to tell you what to do. No one gets to tell you how to do it. I think that’s part for me has been really fun with respect to body. You guys had talked about like, you know, spirituality is in the body. I think the simpleness of like feeling my lungs breathe in and out. I think on one podcast,
I talked about going to get an ultrasound on my heart and like almost broke into tears because I was like watching this heartbeat. And it was like, this fucking thing has been beating my whole life without me having to do anything. I haven’t told her what to do. It just does, no matter what I’m like, that blows my mind. Like,
so I sometimes I’ll just put my hand on my heart and feel it beating. And that for me is it feels very connected because again, for me, that intelligence, that beats my heart is, is my connection. Yeah. So those are some fun ways. If you’re, if you’re into the things like Oracle decks and stuff, I have a bunch.
Yeah, you guys do too. I know that for those people who are analytically minded, there’s a book that I want to recommend. It’s called a waking up by Sam Harris. It’s called a guide to spirituality without religion. So if perhaps you were grew up in more of a religious background, like I did, it really helps differentiate and untangle those two concepts.
So a death recommend that. And of course, last thing, obviously, guys a hit up, hit us up, not Kellen. And I, we clearly all very much love this topic. We can, if you’re curious and want to know more like it’s a great place to have someone that you know is going to be okay with having questions for me,
once I kind of went down my journey, all of a sudden these people start to show up, showing up in my life as it does. Let’s the universe does, who were like, oh, well, all of a sudden now they’re in interest astrology. And they’re telling me about my moon and rising. I don’t know what the fuck that was.
I was like, I’m a Gemini. What does that mean? But like, all these people started showing up. And as you, as you make yourself open to learning, the universe will fill in the path for you. So yeah. Reach out. Yeah. Well said, well said I wrote down a few things. The first one I think would be lead with curiosity.
Like I said, my little soapbox rant about like people who are skeptical and who judge this sort of stuff. I, when I, when I, because I, there was a part of me maybe at, at life where I was a little bit skeptical, but I think I’ve always been more of a believer, but I do understand the skeptic. I understand the skeptic mind.
And, but I wanna ask somebody who’s struggling with this and maybe there’s judgments coming up with some of the things we’re talking about in this podcast. What do you gain out of believing and what do you gain out of not believing? Just the simple, just ask yourself that. Because most of us, we are we’re skeptics because we don’t want to be fooled.
We don’t want the wool pulled over our eyes. So we’re always looking for, for things that are not real or not genuine. And then there’s the believing, which is, you know, believing in the possibility that this we live in a, in a abundant universe with infinite possibilities and anything can really be possible. Right? So I just think that for me,
this is my own experience. Gravitating towards believing has always led me to positivity and gravitating towards skepticism has always led me towards negativity. Not going to say that’s going to be everyone’s experience. But for me, that’s what, what comes up and believing tends to be more rooted in love for me. And skepticism tends to be rooted more in fear. So again,
it’s like, where do I want to draw my attention towards? The other thing is follow. What inspires you? The feeling of inspiration? I think I love that even more than love. It’s just such a amazing feeling. It’s like something is completely takes over me and I just get inspired to create. It’s like my creative life force is energy. Energy is just flowing.
So for me, I know when I’m inspired, it means I’m on the right path and I’m being guided and something beyond me is like, yep, here’s this inspiration to show you that you’re, you’re, you’re right where you need to be. Right. And then that leads to like looking for the meaning of things happening in your life. For me,
that’s, that’s a big part of my spiritual practices. Like when things happen good or bad, I’m always trying to look for the meaning. Why would this happen? And being curious around that and exploring that, I think that is spirituality within itself. And it could be like a great way for somebody to start to explore something beyond just the reality that they’d have chosen to kind of participate in,
which is the reality of probably their psychology, right? That there’s something else there that may be meaning will, will lead you to that practicing virtues. I have a thing, something called the virtue project and there’s like a hundred virtue cards. And I work with these cards as a way to, I guess, just keep myself working towards bettering myself, like different virtues,
humility, these sorts of things. So virtues is almost, you know, within each virtue, there’s going to be some sort of spiritual element that you can play around with. And then my last one is observed nature. Like Michael said, like when you’re observing nature, you’re observing yourself when you’re feeling your own heartbeat or focusing on your breath, you’re literally participating in this massive universal intelligence that’s playing out.
Whether you choose it or not. Right. It’s it’s there. So yeah, those are mine. I love those. I do have one that I, I forgot that I want to say is that, you know, this is lifelong. It’s not a be all end all. It’s not like right now, it’s all of this is like, once you make the decision,
it’s like, it’s a lifelong kind of a thing. So that’s why it’s take your time. Go slow. You don’t have to do it all at once because you can and just enjoy the fact that you’re going to be able to go on this amazing adventure for the rest of your life. Having this knowledge now. Yeah. Yeah. I love that.
Anything from you, Michael? Yeah. I just don’t know if, if you know this map, but the word inspire, which I know is your, your instance for it to be authentic, but the word inspire is actually the Latin, the root is to breathe in. Hmm. I did not know that that’s helpful. So Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Thanks for sharing that. All right. Well, thanks everybody for joining us on this journey. Hopefully you learned something valuable today that you can, like Calvin said, start practicing little, little bits here and there. And if you’re not already come and join us in the private Facebook group, the gay men’s brotherhood, where this is exactly what we’re building,
we’re building a conscious community of like-minded like-hearted gay men who want to personally develop and, and spiritually develop, right? So it’s a great place to access that. And if you are watching on YouTube, please leave us a review. We love to hear from you guys comments, and we will share them in, in future episodes. And if you are on your favorite podcasting platform,
please like subscribe, do all the things I feel like we don’t have to be as repetitive anymore. People know what to do, send us some love, share your thoughts and feelings really that maybe we’ll just start saying that at the end, but anyways, much love to everybody. And thanks again to you too. For, I got one more cause this weekend in two days,
we are having our pride event in Toronto. So I just want to mention that in two days on the 18th, if you’re in Toronto, you want to come and hang out. Michael and I will be in Riverdale park from 6:00 PM, till 8:00 PM, celebrating our pride with everybody else. Everybody is welcome. All friends, family it’s completely open event, bring towels to sit on or something to sit on and you know,
some soda or something to drink and just come and hang out for a good time. And yeah, that’s just one to remind everybody that the event information will be in the show notes as well. Cool. Yeah. Good reminder. All right. Well until next episode, y’all take care.