A (Semi) Serious Ultra-Spiritual Conversation With JP Sears

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Katie: Hello and welcome to ”The Wellness Mama” podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and I’m here today with someone you have probably heard of. JP Sears is a YouTuber, a comedian, an emotional healing coach, which you may not have known, an author, a speaker, a world traveler and a curious student of life. His work is wonderful and hilarious and it also empowers people to live more meaningful lives. He is very active with his online videos that you’ve probably seen where he encourages healing and growth through his humorous and entertaining and informative videos, which have accumulated over 300 million views, which is no small feat. JP is also the host of his own podcast, ”The Awaken with JP Sears Show” that you should absolutely check out. JP, welcome and thanks for being here.

JP: Katie, thank you for having me on. I’m happy to be here and I appreciate you sharing only good things in my introduction. I appreciate you not sharing the bad stuff like, “Oh yeah, and JP is also horribly insecure about certain things” and, so thank you for such a warm, glowing, positive introduction.

Katie: Of course. I’m sure also being in the online world, you get your own fair share of negative comments plenty often enough, which I actually wanna talk a little bit about today. But first I’d actually love to hear because I think most people listening have probably seen some of your videos or understand your sense of humor. If not, I will link to my favorites in the show notes so you guys can watch and listen. But what I love so much about your approach is that you tackle the tough topics that people usually end up fighting to the death on in social media.

JP: That’s a good way to say it.

Katie: Why in the mom world, do I see people go from, you know, kind of to like throwing insults instantly over certain topics? So I’d love to hear first of all, what sparked the idea for this because it truly is genius.

JP: Well, I appreciate you saying that and to me what sparked the idea, it’s easier to see in hindsight. So I’ll look backwards and tell you from the hindsight perspective. It was a marriage of me stepping into more authenticity while also stepping into using my voice to share my perspectives. So stepping into my authenticity, what that means is I’ve always had a sense of humor. I’ve always been naturally pretty funny since I was a kid, but at a professional level, as you had mentioned in the introduction, I had been an emotional healing coach, which is awesome, doing emotional healing with a busy client practice. I’d been doing that for 13 or 14 years before I put out my first comedy video. So during that time I told myself it would be a bad idea to let my humor out publicly. Like, it would discredit me as an emotional healing coach. People wouldn’t take me seriously. But I eventually got tired of betraying myself and taking essentially my inner child that is fun and playful and humorous and putting him in the basement and saying like, “You’re not good enough. You’ll screw up my career if I let you out.” It was like, “Wow, that self-betrayal got old after awhile.”

So I let him out, let my humor come to the public light, if you will, and then also the courage to have more of a voice where it’s like, “Yeah, I’ve got perspectives about things, so let me realize we’re all given a voice for a reason. It’s probably because we’re supposed to use it.” So marrying my humor and my voice together means I started voicing things through humor. And, you know, that started with my comedy videos a little over four years ago and yeah, it felt good. It just felt really good to start sharing my perspectives, which feel important to me, and also hopefully they can be a bit of a light to not only give people laughs but help wake people up a little bit so they can have more meaning and joy in their lives.

Katie: I love that because it seems like what you’re subtly doing in your videos is actually helping increase self-awareness because you’re bringing up these topics that are often very controversial, but you’re doing it in a nonthreatening way using humor. And I think that allows people to evaluate things a little bit more critically and to think. And so it made perfect sense when I read that you were also a holistic coach because that mindset is so there, and it’s subtle, but it’s so brilliant. So I’m curious if you don’t mind sharing, like, what led to you becoming a coach in the first place? Was there… I know like for me, I joke that I got into health trying to fix my own problems. I’m curious if there was something for you that sparked that.

JP: Yeah, in fact, exactly the same, except I was in denial of it at the time when I got into it. So, yeah, because I needed to fix my own problems. You know, we always teach what we need to learn the most. And I think the question is have we learned that we need to learn that we need what we’re teaching? So when I was in my late teens, I got into studying holistic health and naturally through very alternative workshops and learning endeavors. And it was exercise, nutrition, and that quickly led into learning about the powers of stress reduction. And then that led in pretty quickly to what I would just call deep emotional healing work. And pretty quickly, once I got into that, I realized, holy hell, I am getting into this because I need it the most because naturally when you start studying with wise people, part of their teaching is you’ve got to embody the work. You can’t just be a mindless middleman trying to teach people what you haven’t embodied or, of course, you’re not passing on wisdom. You’re passing on knowledge at best.

So I remember when I was 22, I started… It was the first workshop I took with a man who became a very long-term mentor of mine, still a great friend, a guy named John McMillan. I rocked up to his workshop. It was December 3rd, 2002 and I was thinking… I was so arrogant. I thought, “Wow, I’m gonna come here and I’m gonna learn some stuff to teach clients and help them more and just like it,. You know, I haven’t cried for eight years, so I’m super emotionally stable.” Well, that afternoon I was in tears. I mean, and I’m not exaggerating that I hadn’t cried for eight years. And it was very scary for me being in tears and it was, you know, through how John McMillan worked with me. He’s a very wise person. He was able to penetrate the very hard shell my ego had created out of protection. And because I was so emotionally numb, I was mistaking that for like, “Oh, I’m very emotionally strong.”

So it was that afternoon, December 3rd, 2002, that I realized how much healing and growing I need inside. It’s like, “You know, I’m not gonna be fooled by my physical exterior anymore. You know, I’m in shape and I’m healthy, but it’s, like, wow, inside I needed a lot of help.” And honestly I think I still do. You know, our self-worth I think is always a journey rather than the destination. So it really clicked, “Oh, this is why I’ve been so motivated to coach other people, you know, in the beginning stages of it,” because that was the bait that got me into the door that I needed to go through. I think I was probably so arrogant and hard-headed that the idea of, JP go start doing emotional work on yourself for you, I don’t think I would have taken that bait by like, “Oh yeah, JP,. Okay, come do it for other people,” it’s like, “Okay, I’ll do that.” Get in the door and you realize, “Oh, it’s all for me. I need it.” Yeah, I think that’s how I originally got started.

Katie: Yeah, that makes sense. I hear that story in my own life and also I think in so many others who get in this world, thankfully, get in this world to help other people and then realize that there’s so much that reflects back on us that we need to work on. And I think some of the brilliance of that also is realizing…so I mentioned on social media, and I do really wanna shine light on this today. I see so much name calling and hurling of insults in the mom community. And the part that always really strikes me is that when it comes to any of these issues really, and, if we look at it logically, we agree on the vast majority of things. Yet we all choose to just focus and hold onto those things that we disagree on. And, I mean, we are willing to die on those hills. So I’m curious both as someone who’s also in the online world, what do you see as the remedy to this? You talk so much about consciousness. So what do you think it would take to bring some of this consciousness more into the social media world?

JP: And you know, that’s such a great question. If I had a magic wand, here’s what I would bring into the social media world, an ability for people to own their projections. So, you know, it’s so easy for us to take our fear, our shame, our anger, that we have inside. Some of it may be from childhood, but just unresolved stuff. it’s so easy for us to go into the online world and project that out onto other people. Oh, so and so said this or so and so’s a republican or they’re a Democrat. So we just project all of our emotional turmoil outward. And that’s truly an escape mechanism of our own emotions. And, you know, no matter how far you run, you’re still on a treadmill. Like, you’re there with yourself. So we have a I think there’s an epidemic of people really getting into a downward spiral of always needing to project some level of hostility under the guise of intellectual disagreement. But it’s truly just emotional hostility being projected. And I think deep down inside it’s because people are trying to escape how they actually feel about themselves.

But if I had a magic wand, we would all be able to own our projections. So I might project onto the UKV, you know, like you post something about vaccines. Like, “Katie, you… I’m angry at you. You right away say, “Oh, okay. I am projecting anger onto Katie. What am I angry about? Oh, I’m angry because I’m actually afraid and I’m afraid for the health of my family. It scares me, the idea that they might get a disease if they’re vaccinated or they’ll get a disease if they’re not vaccinated. And because I’m really scared, I don’t know how to deal with that fear. So I just projected anger onto Katie because she presented a scenario that makes me scared.”

So in an ideal world, I would sit here, own my projection, and feel my feelings so that they can heal, you know, in a vulnerable state rather than just going on and becoming very combative with other people. And here’s something interesting, Katie. You mentioned, like, in the mother community, people agree on a lot of things and what’s focused on is typically what people disagree about. But honestly, I think if we could realize, we truly agree on what matters most, and, you know, in the mother community, I would… You know, I’m not a mother as you can probably tell by the sound of my voice. But if I was, I would guess what all mothers absolutely agree on is we want our families to be happy and healthy, period. And I would guess that’s what matters most. And we all agree on that but where the disagreement comes in is in these such insignificant realms, which is how to achieve happiness and health for our family.

Now the interesting thing is it’s just like getting in shape exercise wise. There’s hundreds of ways to achieve that one goal. So I think there’s multiple ways for, you know, a mother or a father to create health and happiness for their families. And I think when we focus on the disagreement of how, we’re starting to get into what Tony Robbins would call the tyranny of the how. But if we realize, oh, the how doesn’t matter because there’s a lot of hows. What really matters is the goal we all want for our families, which is happiness and health. And Katie, I gotta share this. In my comedy shows, I used to do this bit where, you know, I just really wanted to wake up the raging bull inside of people because it’s fun.

So I would ask the audience, “Hey, who is for vaccination? Raise your hand.” And, you know, usually at least half the audience, maybe three quarters of the audience, raises their hands and you could already start to feel the turmoil and the room the tension like, “Oh, I brought up vaccinations.” Then I asked, “Okay, who is against vaccination?” And typically it’s about a quarter of the people in the room. And I just go through this whole routine to come to the conclusion and help people realize the reason why you are for vaccines is you want your family to be happy and healthy and free of disease. And the reason why you are against vaccination is you want you and your family to be happy, healthy, and free of disease. The disagreement is on how to get to happiness and health. But I think there’s the, you know…and it was fun to do this with the audiences because I’d see a lot of like, “Oh yeah, that makes sense, JP.”

It’s kind of like if someone wants to buy a Tesla, you can go to all these different dealers in different cities. So it might be a different dealer. We might disagree on which dealer, but the ultimate reality is oh, we’re both getting the same end product. So yeah, any way with the online world, I think owning our projections and really realizing we mostly agree on what matters most. We disagree on what doesn’t matter, which is how to get there. And I think what else I would add to the perfect scenario is acceptance. Like, even if we disagreed on what matters most, why do we need to make other people wrong for it? Why do we need to make ourselves right for it? I think that is always an act of undealt with insecurity within ourselves when we need to make someone else wrong and ourselves right. So I think acceptance is a much better antidote where we accept people for being different and maybe we even celebrate that. I think the world would be a scary, boring place if everybody was like me, so thank God people are different than me and believe different things.

Katie: Yeah, I love that. And I think you’re right there’s so much wisdom and that was a lesson I had to learn the hard way too of just realizing earlier on when I was in a place of sickness and trying to find my own health answers, I was much more dogmatic. And then realizing now having gone through all of these years of healing and also just trying to work on myself, the last few years I went through that process a little bit myself, just asking myself the question, if I feel the need to prove that I’m right in whatever this may be, whatever topic, where is that coming from? And I realized in myself, and I think for a lot of other people as well, almost always that comes from either fear or insecurity, which is wonderful because that’s a great window into something deep inside of us that we probably need to work on.

And for me, this led to, I actually made a list of everything I thought I 100% believe to be true. And then I challenged myself, I purposely read at least 10 things that challenged each of those points thinking if I’m right, then it will only strengthen my viewpoint to learn the other side. And if I’m wrong, if I’m willing to die on this hill, I need to know I’m on the wrong hill. And that’s a really fascinating process, which left me with very few things actually on that list. But really illustrated what you just said. So often when I felt that need to prove someone else wrong or to prove myself right, it was coming from my own fear and my own insecurity. But once you realize that, then you can re-frame these online conversations and realize that like exactly like you said, we’re all coming from a place of wanting to do what’s best for our families. And if people are reacting out of anger, almost always it’s because there’s pain. So if we can look at them just like we’d look at our children, if they were in pain, we wouldn’t get angry at them. We would love them and we would accept them. So I think there’s so much genius in that.

JP: Yeah. Well, and so much genius in what you mentioned, Katie. And I think that was such an act of humbleness of you sharing out everything you really definitely believe and then challenging that. Like, wow. To me, that is fertilizing the curious mind. And I think having a curious mind is what allows us to learn and grow as well as have peace. And I think the opposite of that is the mind of certainty. And when we’re certain of ourselves all the time, oh, aside from being an absolute joy to be around like, oh, everybody loves to be around you when you’re certain of yourself all the time. So aside from that, our minds are closed. We believe our beliefs, which means we’re not open to growth. We’re not open to upgrades. But when we’re curious like, yeah, we have beliefs, but we stopped believing our beliefs, just like you illustrated with that awesome exercise you did.

So I think this mind of certainty, that really, really stunts our growth, our learning, as well as our peace of mind because certainty is a psychological constriction, and constriction, much like if we go into the fetal position, when we get scared, constriction is always a sign of we are being controlled by fear, but curiosity is the opposite. Curiosity. It’s expansion. It’s openness. Curiosity says, “I’ll go into the mystery and I’m willing to be afraid. That’s fine.” But when we’re controlled by fear, what makes us controlled by fear, according to my delusional point of view, is our unwillingness to encounter the fear. So we actually get afraid to be afraid. Therefore, we’re controlled by the fear because we’re in constant avoidance of it and certainty as a psychological posture of constriction that actually helps us avoid our fear, not get rid of it or process it or escape it, but just avoid it temporarily, which means we are enslaved to fear. So we’re being controlled by a fear-based consciousness when we are operating under a sense of certainty rather than curiosity. Ironically, I feel very certain about what I just said. So I think I’m full of crap.

Katie: I’m curious. So you’ve done years and years of work with clients and then now you also now reach millions of people through your videos. But were there any tools that you used or that you even personally used that helped people to work through that process and to work through those fears or the insecurity or that need to be right? Like, anything tangible that people can do?

JP: Yeah. You know, it’s a simple question and it’s hard to digest and here it is. When we get angry, anger is always a symptom. So whether, you know, however you get angry, some of us get hot and yell. Like, for me, when I get angry, I close down. I get quiet, I withdraw. So recognizing, like, where on that spectrum you typically express your anger. So when you notice your anger, ask yourself this question. What am I afraid of right now? And our anger always wants to make it about the external. Someone else, something else, the world around me. That’s why I feel this way and that’s truly dis-empowering to ourselves. It gives our power away. But if we can transcend that with the question, what am I afraid of right now, then we get access to our heart and we get to reclaim our power because we put a stake in the ground that says, “Yeah, I am responsible for me and how I feel. Therefore, I have the power to change it.” And just pause right there and a lot of us would say like, “Okay JP. I come to, what am I afraid of right now? That sounds dis-empowering. Like, I’d just sit there and be scared all day.” Like, no, you probably won’t have to be scared all day. Yet if you come to terms with, “What am I afraid of? Am I afraid someone else’s view might be right? Therefore, I might be hurting my family? Am I just afraid they might get hurt one day? Am I afraid I might lose my husband,” whatever it is. But when we can come to terms with that fear and actually know what we’re afraid of, then we can actually process it. And we can digest it a little bit, even if it’s just a little bit.

But the other cool thing is when we ask ourselves, “What am I afraid of right now,” the thing inside of us that needs our attention, it gets our attention. But when we’re constantly reacting into a state of anger or frustration, we are ignoring the thing inside of us that needs our attention. So much like if you know, if you’ve got a three-year-old, the three-year-old’s tugging on your shirt. “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy.” You know, she needs your attention. So that happens inside of us with our inner child. When we’re afraid, there’s part of us pulling on our shirt, it needs our attention, and we become more whole and connected inside and dare I say, more peaceful when we notice the part of us that’s afraid about something. It might be a rational fear. It might be irrational. So I think even just knowing and feeling what we’re afraid about, that means we’re becoming a wonderful mother to our own self. Yet, if we don’t know how to ask ourselves when we’re angry,” What am I really afraid of right now,” then that’s just like ignoring the hurt, needy child, the scared child who’s pulling at our shirt. We’re just turning the other way and projecting our emotional outrage on to someone else around us.

So I think becoming a great mother to ourselves is, that’s, I mean, it can be sometimes easy to mother other people heavy on it sometimes. I know it can be quite challenging, but the real challenge I think is being a good mother to ourselves and when we are afraid being there for ourselves. And then just lastly, I know a lot of men… I think women are more evolved than men yet I know a lot of men would say, “Well, you know, I’m not really afraid about anything.” It’s like, “Well, yes you are. It’s part of the human condition.” When we think we’re not afraid of anything, it really means we’re afraid to be afraid. So we’re just not aware of what we’re actually afraid of. So being afraid is our birthright. And when we allow it, I think it actually adds benefit to our lives. But when we don’t allow it, then it’s kind of like us saying, “It’s not okay for me to be me because, you know, sometimes the real me is afraid. So that’s just not okay.” So I just wanna stress being afraid is part of the human condition. It makes you one of us. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re defective. And I think knowing when we’re afraid, it’s a beautiful opportunity to find more peace through knowing and feeling what we’re afraid of.

Katie: That’s such a good point. You’re right. It shines a light and lets us see parts of us that we wouldn’t normally be able to see and work through. And I think of, when you mentioned earlier that you had not cried in eight years because that was part of my journey as well, I had sexual assault earlier in life and in high school and it’s something I talk about now because I know statistically one in three women have. But for me, that’s when I built the walls and I decided I would never be hurt again. I would never be scared again. And I basically shut down emotions so that I didn’t have to feel those things. And so for a lot of years, I just focused on, like, achievement and proving I was worthy enough and all of these things. And it took me a long time actually to dismantle that enough to admit that I was…like to start feeling fear again and to start feeling anger.

Like, I went through a lot of time where I kept my emotions in check at all times. And a part of my own journey was even, like, feeling that anger and almost having, like, this rage come out of me from all of those years of that pain being trapped. But it was so enlightening. It was painful. It was incredibly painful, but so enlightening to actually shine light in those wounds and then to work forward because I feel like you can’t work through things until, like you said, you see them and you feel why they’re there.

JP: Beautiful and incredibly inspiring, Katie. And I love your realness that it was painful to get in touch with the feelings like, yeah, of course, and, you know, out of everyone listening to this conversation, I am the least qualified to use the analogy I’m about to use. But with childbirth, you know, of course, it’s painful it to one degree or another and that’s because you’re letting something come out of you. So it’s very painful, yet we know it’s very purposeful. It would be death to the mother, death to the child, if we didn’t let the child come out and go through that pain. So I think just like the pain body we carry inside of us, we’ve got to push that out, not through denial or avoidance, but through the introspective vulnerability and feeling our feelings. That means, you know, when those feelings that are all built up go through the birth canal, yeah, it can be painful and it too will pass. And I think, man, that the real pain is not letting it out. It’s like, okay, then the pain just…it’s compounding interest. It just builds up and up and up and up and up and eventually it’s gotta come out one way or another. And I think we, you know, the pain price is much lower when we choose to go in there proactively.

Katie: Absolutely. And I’d also love to talk a little bit about relationships with you because you and your wife are so precious and you guys are on social media.

JP: Oh, thank you.

Katie: She’s adorable and you guys seem like you have a really solid, amazing relationship. And I’m curious if it’s not too personal to talk about because I know that she’s vegan and I think that you aren’t based on what I can tell from social media. And I get this question so much from people who are in a relationship with someone and they have differing views, often about diet nutrition, but it could be about anything and that’s a big sticking point for them. So if I’m right that you guys have, like, a little bit different of approach, I’m curious if you could share how you guys have managed to make this work and stay harmonious.

JP: Yes. Yes. So you’re right. She is a vegan. She has been for 9 or 10 years and I eat anything, I mean, healthy and organic, but I feel best when I eat some amount of meat and some amount of plants. So yeah, it’s like we’re different food religions but here’s how it works for us. We operate with acceptance, not, you know, not out of we need to relate via agreement. No, that’s a head phenomenon. Like, the knowledge in your mind, what you think is true versus the knowledge in my mind, what I think is true, that is a very shallow connection to go with. But acceptance, now that’s a phenomenon of the heart. I think the head agrees or disagrees but it’s the heart that accepts. So for me it’s a beautiful experience to see our differences and accept each other anyway.

And I would dare to say that means our differences become a catalyst for greater love because I think love is very synonymous with acceptance. And Amber and I, we’ve had many conversations where, you know, she had shared with me, you know, JP early on and in my veganism, I was very dogmatic. I was one of those angry vegans you do videos about and she shared, “There is no way I would’ve started dating you, you know, eight years ago.” But she has seen where she’s grown into much more acceptance, not self-righteousness or dogmatic, but just like, “Oh, this is how I want to eat now. That’s how JP eats and how he thrives. Cool.” She accepts me. And then, you know, vice versa for me. I get to accept her for having differences.

And I would also say it’s a catalyst for not only acceptance but also respect. I think it’s very disrespectful when we look at someone and say, “You’re wrong and you should be otherwise,” whether it’s, “That’s the wrong religion,” or, “You should be parenting your child the way I parent mine,” or, “You should eat the way I eat. You’re wrong.” That’s very disrespectful and I would dare to say it’s very shaming. So I think that…by the way, those are all ingredients to destroy your relationship. It’s basically all slow drip poison. So I think the fact that Amber and I met when we were both, you know, in our mid-30s was helpful because we had a point of maturity to accept and respect each other that we probably wouldn’t have had in our mid-20s. So honestly, acceptance and respect is the heart and soul of how we’re so compatible. And I think we actually thrive more because we have differences.

Katie: That’s beautiful. And to add to that, I will say that that’s been sort of my experience as well that for a lot of years I had to be pretty dogmatic about health because I had an actual illness I was trying to work through and my husband didn’t. And so he was not always on board with the changes I made. And that was a little bit of a point of contention for us for a while. And what I realized was, first of all, he’s not my child. It’s not my job to tell him what to eat or how to eat. But, like you said, there’s actually beauty in us having those differences and in respecting that independence because I think in marriage, especially, sometimes you love this person so much, you can get so wrapped up and then, but then you project and want so much of your identity to come from them and so much of your like emotional fulfillment and everything. And that’s a lot for a person to take on. And so it seems like with you guys, you found a great balance of maintaining that independence and accepting the beautiful independence of each other, but then also being very complimentary and working together to make each other better, but in a way that’s just so respectful. So I love the example that you guys put out of that on social media and I’m glad to hear it’s very much that way in your life as well.

JP: Yeah, thank you for that. And, of course, we do have our challenges. I don’t wanna paint a false picture of that it is all rose petals. And, you know, I love your question, Amber always…she shares with me, like, she laughs at it when, you know, some of her followers are self-righteous vegans and they’ll message her somewhat nasty messages of, “How can you be with JP? He’s not a vegan.” And Amber will share her version of what I just shared. She’ll share it with them and yeah, I mean, and maybe it goes in one ear out the other, but also it might help people to wake up, to live beyond head-based agreement relationships, and go into the territory of real connection and go into acceptance-based heart relationships.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s such a key of what you said too, is that getting to that point of whether it be religion or food religion, which basically is religion at this point or no religion, which is also a religion at this point.

JP: Too many religions.

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Katie: At the end of this we are all people and if we can’t love someone anyway just because they have a differing viewpoint, that says a lot about us, not just about them. And that’s something to work on. I’ve talked about this a lot. I know you’ve talked about it some as well. I think we’re missing so much authentic community in our world today. This is something that used to be much more natural. We lived in smaller areas and we didn’t have social media and all the things that distract us. But I feel like we’re so in a sense connected by technology now but we are missing this really core part of humanity, of this true authentic community. And I know that it’s something you’ve talked about. So I’m curious how you foster that in your own life.

JP: Yeah, you know, we moved to Austin, Texas in June and why we moved to Austin, Texas was for no other reason other than it felt great here and we loved it. And since being here I can see why we were drawn here. The community of beautiful people that I’m immersed in is so supportive. I feel so inspired and supported and called to my greatest self with the community of people that I’ve been able to immerse myself. And so honestly, I think we need each other and it’s gonna echo a part of what I heard you say. You can get a lot of benefit from online worlds and then, of course, there’s the shadow side. But there’s something about in-person human connection that connects with the very ancient that lives inside of us. I mean, there’s something very multidimensional that isn’t captured in the online world.

So to me it’s important whether you go on meetup.com or you just start going to various organizations and functions to find a spot where you feel a sense of community and tribe. And a great friend of mine recently we’re having a discussion and then he was asked that question like, “Well, how do you find people who like will inspire you and support you?” And his answer was so genius. He said, ”Go to where those kinds of people are.” You know, if your normal social endeavor is, “Well, I’d go out and they have drinks every night,” well, you know, they’re a much lower percentage of people in a bar are going to be the type that are gonna probably feel very supportive and inspiring to you. So you might need to change your environment. Instead of going to the bar you go to, you know, a meetup on spirituality or a meetup on nutrition where maybe the kind of people you need and want and what thrive by their support you might find like, “Wow. There’s more of them there than the there are at the bar.”

And you also mentioned Katie a couple of times, the combativeness that can happen in the online world. When we’re with people in person and when we make sure that’s a somewhat regular staple in our lives, I would say we shed the crap where it’s very easy to yell at someone online, “You’re wrong. I’m right,” because there’s not really a face there. They’ve got a screen name and maybe they have a profile pic, but still it’s like, “Oh, I’m messaging this Facebook account,” or, “I’m writing something angry on a comment thread.” It doesn’t really register, “I am saying this to a human being.” But when we’re in person, and maybe we’re having a round table discussion with a wonderful group of people and disagreements come up, it’s much more likely that we’ll work through the disagreements and get into the heart and soul of a connection that matters far more because there is a person in front of us. And, you know, the stakes of just yelling at someone and calling them a name and, “You’re wrong,” the stakes are much higher when you’re in person. Therefore, we don’t really do that as much. So I think that in-person communities tend to bring out something really magnificent in us that needs growth and development and fertilization that the online world doesn’t necessarily always handle 100% for us.

Katie: Absolutely. And if you look back throughout history, there were actually periods of time where people would intentionally do that. They would purposely get together with people that they knew they disagreed with and they would have respectful conversations because they realized the dialogue actually improves all of us. And, like you said, for getting us to be more respectful and exercising that muscle, but also because we learn from hearing things that stretch us that are difficult or that we disagree with. And you’re so right. We’ve lost a lot of that. And in modern times and like you, we moved somewhere and prioritized community and people where it felt right to be. But I’m curious because you also are in the online world and I wonder maybe you’re funny and you don’t get, like, that makes you immune to the negative comments. But if you get the negative comments, how do you personally deal with those? I’m asking somewhat selfishly because I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better after 12 years in this, but there’s still those comments that they know how to find your insecurities and to like touch your deepest pain points. I’m curious. How do you keep a tough skin or maybe you don’t? Maybe you feel that and move through it.

JP: Well, you know, once in a while I’ll feel like the tingles. I got tingles in my forearms and chest and like a little heat in my face. I was like, “Yeah, they got a nerve there.” But, you know, to me the first, second and third priority of dealing with negative comments online is the same step, which is don’t engage. You know, first off, if someone’s trying to hurt you through criticism, then that means they’re a hurt person. You know, only hurt people try to hurt other people. And the last thing I want to do, and I’m guessing the last thing any of us want to do online, is hurt someone who’s already hurting. So we have to realize when someone’s playing the role of the bully, they’re really hurting. And if we just hurt them back for trying to hurt us, then we’re hurting a hurt person. So I think don’t engage is the first, second, third step.

And another reason why I am so adamant with myself of don’t engage on negative comments is in the history of the internet, the history of social media, I don’t think a single person has ever had their mind changed through online banter. You know, when the negative comments start getting exchanged, like, that never changes anybody’s mind. It’s just everybody loses. So what I’ve found is as I’ve distanced myself and my rule is I don’t engage, I become much more immune. It’s like it, you know, a pathogen hits my skin. Cool. But, you know, skin being the largest part of our immune system, it doesn’t really penetrate. It doesn’t get in. But if I start engaging, it’s like, okay, now I’m itching where the pathogen is, I’m breaking open the skin, and that’s what lets it penetrate in to really hurt me. So it’s much better to just have a little mosquito bite surface irritation where you don’t engage verses, you know, you engage and you really bring the pathogen deep inside of you and then it’s just a recipe where you have made yourself lose.

Katie: Yes. That’s such a good point. So I got quite a few questions from my listeners that they wanted me to ask you. So I wanna make sure I reserve a little bit of time now that we’re getting toward the end to ask you these. And the one that came up quite a bit was that you poke fun at pretty much every lifestyle and diet, which is awesome, but they’re really curious, what do you actually do in your real life? Like, what are the needle movers for you? What does your daily routine look like?

JP: Yeah. You know, I love to be very mindful without being obsessive about nutrition. So I eat gluten-free organic plant and animal-based and depending on how much I’m working out, the amount of meat I eat will be from small amounts to medium amounts. Just my body’s needs change. And yeah. I love to do short bouts of yoga throughout the day. I work out with weights doing functional training. Meditation is an important part of my daily routine. Well, most days, and sometimes when I need it, the most I find I don’t do it. But yeah, those are some of the more important elements for me. And, of course, I think sleep is a very important part of supporting my healthy body and mind. So, you know, with the videos I do, yeah, a large amount of them are, you know, making fun of nutrition or health elements. And whatever I’m making a video about, it’s important to me to only do videos on things that are important to me because I don’t wanna come from a place of disrespect and tearing something down.

What I really love to do is take topics like spirituality that are really meaningful to me, but poke holes in the dogma and the egotisticalness that can infiltrate relatively pure water. So someone might think, “Well, JP is making fun of essential oils and he thinks those are stupid.” Well, no, I think they’re awesome. What I’m poking holes in is the dogma surrounding them. Like, “Oh, you got in a car accident and have a compound fracture. Well, let’s use an essential oil and get you into my down line on that.” Yeah, I’m gonna slice that up with the Samurai Sword of satire in a video for sure.

Katie: Yeah, that’s awesome. And you do a great job of it by the way. Another fun question that came through a lot from a lot of the women listening, which I thought was a little bit funny. They all want to know about your hair care routine and how do you keep your hair silky.

JP: I love that. Man, I love the question and it’s very simple. What is it? I use Giovanni Shampoo and conditioner. It’s a natural like tea tree oil kind of shampoo and that’s it. Yeah. I wash my hair. I mean, anywhere from every other day to every two or three days, just depending on when it needs it. So yeah, that’s it. And of course, I meditate over my hair for a short 11 or 12-hour meditation every day too. That seems to be important.

Katie: The real secret. The truth comes out.

JP: Okay, having good hair, it’s 90% mental and 10% physical. So you gotta get your mind set right with good hair.

Katie: Absolutely. It makes total sense. And then also a question I love to ask somewhat selfishly is if there’s a book or books that have really impacted your life. I’m an avid reader, so I’m always looking for new recommendations.

JP: Yeah, I’m illiterate Katie, and I’m offended that you would assume I know how to read. I’m kidding. So yeah, you know, there’s been so many great books and two tend to stand out above the rest. There’s a book called ”Conversations with God Book One” by Neale Donald Walsch and have you by chance heard of that, Katie?

Katie: I have.

JP: Yeah. So that book, it was the first book on call it spirituality that I read. I read it for the first time when I was 19. And it honestly, the title, it seems like, “Oh, that’s gonna be a pretty dogmatic religiousy kind of thing,” and it’s not. It’s much more of a philosophical book. And it made a difference for me because a lot of what it said, I had this sensation of, “Oh, that’s what I’ve always thought. I just didn’t know I thought that.” And it felt very liberating to get in touch with some deeper truths of how I see myself, how I see the world, and how I fit into the world. So ”Conversations with God Book One ”by Neil Donald Walsh has been…it hit a sweet spot for me. And then I’d also say ”The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is literally a timeless classic in my mind as well.

Katie: I love both of those and for you guys listening I’ll make sure the links are in the show notes if you wanna read either of those. Speaking of the show notes, JP, where can people find you to stay in touch? Because like I said, I think the work that you do and the humor that you bring is so needed in today’s world and I wanna make sure people can find you and stay in touch with your work.

JP: Well, right now I’m in my home office. Soo if you just creep around and peek in my windows in my house, don’t trample the rose bushes. That’s the best place to find me. And if you’re more of an online kind of person rather than the in-person stalking kind of person, which is preferable, all my social media is Awaken with JP. So, you know, I’m putting new videos out on YouTube and Facebook every week. So, you know, YouTube’s probably the best place to find me. And I also love connecting with people on Instagram. So “Awaken with JP” and also my website, awakenwithjp.com. I’ve got upcoming cities and dates for live comedy shows I’m doing and some other cool stuff on there. So feel free to check me out on all the things on Awaken with JP.

Katie: I love it. It’s on my list. I wanna make it to one of your shows sometime this year.

JP: Yeah, I’d love for that to happen.

Katie: And the last question I love to ask is, is there any parting advice? If you could spread one piece of advice far and wide or at least all the people listening, what would it be?

JP: Yeah, you know, the simple thing we’ve all heard so many times, but we need to keep hearing it is kindness. And honestly, I’m guessing most of us on this conversation, it’s pretty easy to be kind to other people and I think that’s great. We want more of that. That’s cool. But here’s where it’s really that I’d invite all of us to double down into kindness to yourself. How about we flip the script on the idea of treat other people the way you wanna be treated and we flip it to treat yourself the way you like to treat other people. You know, I know for me, I can be my own hardest critic all of the time. So I think we all need a little bit more kindness in our lives, principally from ourselves. So, and I would ask everybody to find something about you to be grateful for and celebrate today and see if you can bring more appreciation to yourself through the beautiful act of kindness.

Katie: I love that. I think that’s the perfect place to wrap up. This has been such a fun interview, JP. And like I said, I’m a huge admirer of your work and I think you bring so much, much needed calmness and awareness and humor to controversial topics. I love that, and I will link to the videos that I love that you’ve done in the show notes so that everyone can find them. But thank you for your time. I know you’re also busy.

JP: It’s been such a pleasure, Katie. I love all your beautiful kind words and I appreciate the heck out of you having me on and having a conversation for your community. I love this.

Katie: And thank you to all of you for listening. We’re so grateful for you sharing one of your most valuable resources of your time with us today, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama” podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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