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Aint No Shame in That Game:  A Truthful Chat with Jacob Sokol, Sensophy Life Coach


Aint No Shame in That Game: A Truthful Chat with Jacob Sokol, Sensophy Life Coach


Do you want the long of it or do you want the short of it?

First, here's the short of it, for all ye blog-skimmers out there:

Today's podcast might be one of my favorites by anyone ever.  (I say this while dancing in a cloak of modesty, of course.)

I kick off the call by listing a few of the many ways my dear friend Jacob inspires me, so I will spare you the redundancy of listing those again here.

Let me tell you, instead, about the call itself.

You’ll see I elected not to remove the parts I was tempted to cut:  apparently when you preach about authenticity, you’re not allowed to polish your podcasts.  Go figure.

Here's the thing I am most proud of both from Jacob and from myself on this call:  while we are *talking* about the concepts of vulnerability, courage and authenticity, we are also *walking* those very same concepts at the very same time.  We are shedding light on subjects that have once brought *us* shame.

We are letting ourselves shine.

If I had wanted to lead you to believe that it was easy for me to discuss those vulnerable topics, my mildly-quavering voice would have belied my efforts.

But it's not my intention to portray vulnerability as something that is easy.  It's only my intention to portray vulnerability as something that is worthwhile.

Now here's the longer of it, for all ye who enjoy a lil' background before delving into a podcast:

If you are not familiar with Jacob Sokol or his website, Sensophy, his story "behind the glory" is a great place to begin.

Jacob and I first met about a year ago when he was assigned to be my trainer for some work we were both doing with the en*theos Academy for Optimal Living.  In my first few hours of knowing Jacob, we found ourselves on a three-way phone call between the two of us and Mastin Kipp (creator of The Daily Love.)

During that conversation, Mastin ran a quick "Love University" intervention on me--which was an incredibly rare opportunity, if you know anything about Mastin.  For better or for worse, I do nothing half-heartedly (especially interventions), so when Mastin asked me a very pointed question, I sobbed and uncovered that one of my core fears is that "PEOPLE WILL THINK I'M AN A**HOLE."  (Please:  when you picture me saying that to those two men, picture the type of crying where your words sound wet because of all of the liquids that are spewing from your eyes and your nose.)

I like to keep it classy.

A reader recently asked me how people who are new to the self-dev community can go about finding their "peeps."  When she asked me this, I immediately thought of the incident now known as  the "I Might Be an A**hole" (IMBA) Conversation of 2012 (for lack of a better term.)

The blubbering and vulnerable revelation in front of two men I barely knew was…well, it was a little embarrassing at the time.  And awkward.

It was awkward for *me.*  It did not appear to be awkward for them.  

In fact, that's exactly when my friendship with Jacob was born.  When Mastin had to sign off the call, Jacob held space for me.  I tried to make a joke to dismiss the awkwardness but Jacob didn't take the bait to move away from the uncomfortable moment.  He just held space.  I felt no judgement from him; only kinship.

To answer my reader's question about peeps-finding:  when I allow myself to be seen and I feel no discomfort from the other person, this is when I know I have found one of my peeps.

HERE'S THE IRONY, THOUGH:  if I had gone into that conversation *wanting* Jacob to be my "peep," I can almost guarantee you that a friendship would not have been born that day.  If I had known who he was at that time, I probably would have wanted to be his buddy, which would have made me more guarded and less authentic on the call.

Which wouldn't have given him the chance to hold space for me.  Which wouldn't have given me the opportunity to feel kinship from him.

Both I and Alanis Morisette want to know:  Isn't that ironic?  Isn't it ironic that when we *want* someone to be our friend, we don't show them who we are?  

So I think we've landed upon something big here, as far as peeps-finding goes.

Ever since that IMBA call, Jacob and I have scheduled periodic check-ins to nudge each other along in our personal and business journeys.  Our stories have similar themes but different scenes and characters, making us sort of like spiritual siblings, in a way.

Or, maybe, if we *all* had *true* conversations with more people more often, we'd find that we're *all* spiritual sistahs and brothahs from othah mothahs.

If we all spoke the truth more often, maybe we'd remember that we're *all* in this together.

On that note, I'm so excited and thankful to introduce YOU--my peeps--to my treasured friend Jacob and to his peeps.  I guarantee he will inspire you.

Light-Catchers:  meet Sensophizers!  Sensophizers:  WELCOME!!!

Stay tuned after Jacob and I sign off the call - I'll pop back on the mic with a quick summary of some of my favorite big ideas from the conversation!

Jacob:  THANK YOU!!  :)


Here's the podcast!


SO:  will this call help to move you forward, or is it spiritual entertainment at best?

Tell me one helpful idea you're taking from the conversation!

 Don't forget to sign up for Jacob's email updates and also for mine!

Shine on, sistahs and brothahs!  :)



I Want to Knock You Over (Practices in Avoiding Vulnerability)

My boy and I?  Here's how we hug:

As soon as I sit on the floor, a glimmer hits his eye, eager anticipation lifting his eyebrows.  He collides into me and we tumble backwards, his heart landing on mine like a defibrillator charging my soul.  His delighted shrieks land warm on my neck and I laugh from a combination of feigned surprise and actual, verified soul bliss.

It's delicious.

On the rare occasion that I do NOT tumble to the floor when he hugs me [WHY, Self?], he steps back, looks into my eyes determinedly and says, "I want to knock you over."

Ahhhhhh yes, my little apple who has not fallen far from its tree.  I can SO relate.

Lately, I've been hesitant to make time for writing.  I've pointed an accusatory finger at my busy schedule, but let's face it:  blaming "busyness" always smells like avoidance and self-congratulations, does it not?

Whenever I hear someone say they can't do something that is good for them because they're "too busy," I wonder if they realize that they are somehow avoiding vulnerability.

Silly, silly humans.

But--oh, wait:  there I go calling the kettle black again.  Guess I should swan-dive into self analysis to figure out the real reason I haven't been writing.

It probably starts here:  knowing that your time is precious and that I want you to find time for my little blog, I asked myself, "Self.  What characterizes the things that I make time to read?  I read things that are inspirational.  Or funny.  Or authentic.  Or educational."

"I know the solution!" said I.  "I shall make every post informative and funny and authentic and inspirational!  And each post shall include a soulful professional-quality photo taken by moi!  That is all!"

There are three major troubles with that line of reasoning:

1)  It is insane

2)  Sometimes it is not possible to be funny and authentic at the same time, and

3)  The very suggestion that I would need to be anything more than authentic to "deserve" readership flies directly in the face of my "Let It Shine" mantra and message.

When we allow ourselves to shine, we find security in knowing that our ESSENCE is divine.  We are beautiful--not "in spite" of our "humanness"--but BECAUSE of it.  Our "imperfections," our mistakes, the parts of us that we feel inclined to hide from the world--those things CONTRIBUTE to our beauty.  

As I sit down this morning, pondering the real reason I haven't been writing so that I can find the lesson in it, the thing that keeps popping into my head is that my son wants to knock me over.

What he doesn't realize is that he knocks me over whether or not he tries to do so.

He knocks me over with love and pride and joy and tenderness when he colors quietly by himself in the corner.  He knocks me over with love and pride and joy and tenderness  when he dances like an elephant in music class.  He knocks me over with love and pride and joy and tenderness when he gets upset because his sister ruined the zoo he was building with blocks.

When he physically knocks me over, it's because I've allowed it.  It's ME who's different when we don't tumble backwards:  not him.

All he has to do to knock me over is be himself.  

And it's not his responsibility to knock me over anyway.

AH HA!  So there's the lesson.  I set out to be authentic here and immediately shielded my vulnerability by requiring that I also be funny and informative so as to merit readership, which sets the bar high and makes me reticent to write.  As if I'm afraid that my authentic self is not enough.

That insight, this morning?  It knocks me over.


Two updates for you, friends!

1)  I have a new writing commitment.  My only requirement for my posts is that they be authentic (which hopefully is intrinsically inspirational.)  I hope that funniness and informativeness slip in here frequently, as they are welcome guests at any party I throw, but the only way I can encourage people to allow themselves to shine is by modeling it, so I'll throw parties here even when Funny and Informative don't RSVP.

2)  I am indubitably grateful to have recently been featured in the en*theos daily Optimizer.  Check it out if you're feelin' it!  :)


Please say hello in the comments!  How are you doing?