While Billy still soaks up the sun under the bluest skies he's ever seen in Portugal and beyond, the guys reflect on the first year of the podcast before making a big announcement for our devoted listeners! As a bonus, Billy shares his one-on-one conversation with spiritual health coach Lecia Fox from her summer course The Gentlemen's Guide to Inner Work. Billy shares how this course helped put him in a more open mindset before going on his big overseas adventure!
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Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life second half. Join your hosts, Billy and Brian, a couple of average dudes who will serve as your armchair life coaches as we share our life experiences, both the good and the bad, in an effort to help us all better understand how we can enjoy and make the most of the life we have left to live in a more meaningful way. Take a deep breath, embrace the present, and journey with us through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Billy: Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I’m your host, Billy, and, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, Brian on the Bass. Brian, how you doing over there, man?
Brian: I’m chipper today, Billy. If I had a tail, it would be wagging. Chipper. You know what chipper sounds like? Chipper sounds like a nickname of a 50s football player.
Billy: Chipper Jones, right? Chipper Jones, Hall of Fame baseball player.
Brian: Exactly, there you go. It’s a sports nickname, Chipper. Give the ball to Chipper. But on another note, I’m feeling pretty good today. How are you doing? How are you doing over there in Portugal, buddy?
Billy: I am loving life over here in Portugal. Like I mentioned last week, there’s no bluer skies in the world. It was a balmy 23 degrees today. That’s Celsius.
Brian: Celsius, yeah.
Billy: For you Americans out there, all you have to do is multiply by two and add 30 to 32 and then you get it.
Brian: Wow, really? Is that the formula? I did not know that.
Billy: That’s pretty much what I learned is that if you just take the degrees Celsius and multiply it by two and add 30 to 32, you’re going to be in the ballpark.
Brian: So it’s about 78 there.
Billy: Yes, and it was an absolutely wonderful day. I just went for a walk along the beach because I didn’t have much planned. So life is good, brother. Life is really, really good over here. I’m not going to complain one bit.
Brian: That’s fantastic, man. I’m happy for you. What are you learning about yourself over there?
Billy: Well, that’s an excellent question. I think we’ll get to that when we get to the end of the episode. How’s that sound? We’ll keep everybody in suspense.
Brian: That sounds great, man.
Billy: Yeah. How about you? What’s new with the bus? What’s new with your bands? What’s new with your family?
Brian: We’ve taken a couple bus trips, close ones, just with the kids. They slept on the bus last night, actually. They had a little birthday party so we had a bunch of 12-year-olds over and just let them sit out in the bus so it was nice, quiet evening and we were watching movies and stuff and they were out there making a bunch of noise and messes. So, other than that, the Gen X Jukebox now has had their first show. That act is really shaping up. It’s coming together. We got a new thing we’re doing, it’s 90s, but it’s all the pop 90s, like all the 90s bands out there right now are doing grunge and rock and there’s a bunch of good bands doing it really well, like Wicked Garden, those guys are incredible, and doing that sort of music as good as you could do it so I wanted to do something a little different so we did this little pop joint. We’re doing like “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega and “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite. We are doing “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.
Billy: Is that from the 90s? Is that an early 90s?
Brian: It is, yeah. And let me tell you, I’ve never played that song —
Billy: Oh, I thought that was late 80s.
Brian: I’ve never played that song in my life as a musician and when I sat down to learn it even, if you get chills, your hair standing up on your arms and chills down your back when you’re playing “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, it’s time to get out, brother. We ran it for the first time at practice on Wednesday and it sounded great, like great, so, yeah, that band’s really coming together. I can’t wait to get out there. We’ll be out there in another month or two.
Billy: Fantastic. Oh, just in time for my return. Perfect timing. Oh, I love it —
Brian: You will get to see our first official public show probably.
Billy: I’m excited.
Brian: Yeah. Other than that, it’s fall here in Minnesota so it is the best time of the year to be here. Sorry you’re missing that, Billy, but it’s been warm. The nights and evenings have been in the 70. It’s just so cool here right now.
Billy: I was thinking about that. I don’t know why, like an idiot, I chose to leave during fall when it’s absolutely beautiful in Minnesota and then come back in November so I’m actually thinking about where can I go in December, so I’m eyeing up Costa Rica because there’s this website called www.gadventures.com and they do these big travel adventures and they have one in Costa Rica and I’m like, “That sounds like a great place to be in December.”
Brian: Oh, yeah.
Billy: So that’s — I mean, I’ve got the time, why not? I mean, why take a year off from your job and not do anything with that time? So I am very much looking forward to the potential opportunity of going to Costa Rica. I can’t remember if I told you guys this but I am going to Spain on Monday, no, Tuesday, the 26th. I’m heading to Seville, Spain, and then I’m going to Madrid, Spain, and then from Madrid, Spain, I’m flying to Dakar, Senegal, on the western coast of Africa because there is this surf camp that I found and that means I will be able to paddleboard off the coast of Africa, which means I will have paddleboarded off the coast of three of the seven continents. So, I’m getting there, getting close to that bucket list checklist right there so it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve got a lot of good things coming up here in life. You got the band coming up, I got —
Brian: We really do, yeah.
Billy: Yeah, and here’s the thing, we have Season 4 coming up. We’ve been recording and releasing episodes for over six months now. We started back in February and we’ve only missed one Wednesday so far, which was when we transitioned from Season 1 to Season 2, we took a one-week hiatus there, but to our credit, we did release two episodes in the same week when we interviewed Maurice and Daleco from Wurk Gym and we also updated our cover art during that off week so it was a nice productive week for us. We’ve picked up quite a few listeners, thanks to Podcast Addict, shout-out to them. And shout-out to all of our new listeners, thanks for joining us. We hope you’re enjoying our show so far. And we also just hit 8,500 downloads this week, which we’re extremely proud of as well. 8,500 downloads in 39 episodes means that we’re averaging about 216. That means, Brian, we only need to hit 4,659 episodes in order to get to 1 million.
Brian: 4,600 episodes. Okay, that’s not too bad. So, let’s see, if it takes —
Billy: And if we put out one a week, that means that we will hit 1 million downloads in 89 years so —
Brian: Okay, 89 years.
Billy: — we need to continue, we need to continue keeping our health and doing the things that our guests are suggesting to us so that we live a happy, healthy, loved life. And by then, I think we’re really going to hit our stride in the next —
Brian: I think you’re right.
Billy: In the next 90 years.
Brian: We may have it figured out by then. I’ll be 137 when we record our last episode, which I’m okay with. The technology today is allowing us to live a lot longer and more fulfilling lives, Billy, so let’s use the tech and put our brains in a jar maybe after that, I don’t know, whatever.
Billy: If they put my brain in a jar, I think it’s just going to be mush by then so I don’t think that they need to do that. We do have a bit of bad news, though. We are going to take a little break. We’re going to take a little hiatus in the months of November and December because those of you who have listened know what kind of perfectionist I am and you know how all-consuming things can be for me once I dive into them and I was having this conflict of interest because I want to be able to enjoy this trip but I also want to keep up with the podcast. And, Brian, you gave me some wonderful advice and what was that advice?
Brian: Billy, sometimes, you got to embrace the moment and just say fuck it for a minute. Look where you’re at. Have a great time over there. Enjoy it. Bask in it. Bathe in it. You don’t need the podcast. We can get back to the podcast. People will understand that you’re on vacation.
Billy: Oh, I hope you do, listeners, I hope you understand and we hope that you come back. We really have a lot of fun doing this podcast but the perfectionist in me and the performative-driven mindset within me, it doesn’t want to take a break but I think this is a great time to take a break so I’m really proud of the work that we have done and so the nice thing is that we’re going to come back then the first Wednesday of January 2022. During Season 4, we are going to be talking to people who inspire others to reinvent themselves. We’re really looking forward to our guest list, we’re locking that down right now, we’re going to be recording those episodes in November and December when I get back and I’m just looking forward to it. Like I said, it’s going to be right in time for those of you who like to make New Year’s Resolutions. Brian, do you like to make New Year’s Resolutions?
Brian: I don’t, no. If I want to do something, I just do it. I don’t need, yeah, I don’t need like a date to psych myself. There’s those people that need to psych themselves up for stuff, you know what I mean? That are like, “Okay, I’m gonna run this race and I’m gonna psych myself up for it and be ready on this date.” Well, I don’t do that. I just go, all right, head down, let’s do it now, you know what I mean? That kind of deal. I don’t have to wait for anything in particular, like a date like that.
Billy: That’s funny because I am that person because I’m definitely somebody — I’m like, okay, I will start this on the first of the month,” because I like when things start on the first of the month, but only if it’s a Monday because I also like when things start at the beginning of the week. So if the first of the month does not fall on a Monday, then I will wait until it is the first of a month on a Monday and then I will start to do that thing. I just have that linear brain, I like things and zeros and fives, that’s why it’s killing me a little bit that this is going to be, I don’t know, like episode 38 or 39 and we didn’t quite hit 40. These are the thoughts I had today when I was on my walk.
Brian: That’s all right, man. I mean, hey, whatever works for you. It’s not bad. If that’s what works for you, do it. There’s no right way to do this thing.
Billy: Well, I think there’s probably better ways to do it, and like I said, I need to go back and listen to the amazing advice that our Season 3 guests shared and even the amazing advice that our Season 1, Season 2 guests shared. I like going back through those and listening to what they had to say because, like I said last week when Matt Hazard was on, it’s hard to really soak in and absorb what our guests are saying when you’re navigating the show and that sort of thing —
Brian: Oh my gosh, I know. They just give us so much good stuff. It’s often hard to explore it all when you’re on the air so you do have to go back and kind of inventory it and get what you didn’t get the first time.
Billy: Yeah, yeah, and we hope that you as listeners enjoy that content as well. One thing that you can do, if you feel like you want to give back in some way, one thing that Brian and I are going to try during Season 4 is if you listen to our intro at the beginning, which why would you, you could just skip through it, but if you do listen to it, you’ll hear us mention making a donation to our podcast at www.buymeacoffee.com/MMCpodcast, but we wanted to take that a step further by giving you an opportunity to promote something like on a billboard or say something nice to somebody like those jumbotron messages you see at sporting events. Have you ever been on the jumbotron at the sporting event?
Brian: Mason has, actually. He got on it at the Twins one time when we took him, he was probably four or five sitting in the stroller and the camera guy came right up to him and his entire face, his face was like 80 feet on the big screen. It was pretty cool.
Billy: I had a girlfriend one time who put “Happy Birthday, Billy” on the jumbotron when they do the messages at the Metrodome, at the old Metrodome. So I thought that was pretty cool. So, things like that, so you could promote yourself, you could promote your business, or you could just say something nice to somebody, but if you want to do that, here’s what you just need to do. If you buy us three to five coffees, that’s how it works, and I think each coffee costs like $5 so it’s a $15 to $25 donation. Again, you go to www.buymeacoffee.com/MMCpodcast, which you can also find in the show notes each and every week. We will read your message during the segment breaks based on how many coffees you buy us, up to five, all right? So you buy us three coffees, we’ll read that message three times, you buy us four, four times, five, five times. If you buy us 100 coffees, thank you very much, we’re still only going to read it five times. We’re working on a scale so if you do decide to buy us 100 coffees, I don’t know, Brian and I will come and serenade you during the show. How many coffees does a listener need to buy in order for Gen X Jukebox to perform at their house?
Brian: At their house? We can talk about it. If somebody’s genuinely interested in that, let’s talk.
Billy: I think that would be a lot of fun if we were able to have Gen X Jukebox. We could take the bus down there, this is going to need to be a sizable donation.
Brian: Yeah, we’ll load everybody up in the bus and make it happen.
Billy: It’ll be a good time, will be a good time. But we will read your message during the segment breaks. The one caveat, though, is this: your message has to promote something positive. It has to be kind, it has to be respectful or what have you. And here’s the thing. We get to decide whether or not we feel that your message is promoting positive change, being kind, being respectful. If we feel like it isn’t, thank you for the donation but we’re not going to read your message. If you want to poke fun at us and that sort of thing, we can go along with that.
Brian: We could take that. I can take that.
Billy: Yeah, we poke fun at each other all the time, but if things are mean spirited, we’re just going to take the money and run. So some people have made donations. We have earned up to $300 in donations so far. Who says you can’t make money in podcasting, right, Brian?
Brian: Big time. We’re hitting the big time now.
Billy: Yeah. But this is just a handful, this isn’t everybody who has made donations but just a handful of the people who have made donations and have left us really nice messages. Luke says, “Enjoying the podcast. Hope this helps keep you guys going. Good luck in the future.” Mark says, “I have truly enjoyed listening to the podcast and have benefited greatly from the excellent guests and their experience and wisdom.” Kate says, “I so admire you both for doing this podcast. It’s amazing and such a good resource. Thank you for your good humor and honesty.” And Nikki says, “Love the podcast. It has a little something for everyone in midlife mode. Kudos, Billy and Brian.”
Brian: You know what, Billy, I want to say, first off too, if you do have positive messages for Billy and I and kind words like that, we may just read more than once because we love hearing those.
Billy: Yeah, yeah. That’s the thing. Those were such great messages. We really, really appreciate hearing from our listeners. And, listen, if you don’t want to make a donation, that’s fine too. If you do want to give back in some way, the easiest two ways is to either go to Apple Podcasts and just click that five-star rating. And if you want, you can leave a message on there as well, just writing a short review. A couple of reviews that people have left us, “It’s been a tough couple of months on my end so even simple little things tend to help out and The Mindful Midlife Crisis has been a wonderful resource to utilize. Really helps take your mind off things, great hosts, wonderful topics and discussions. Totally will recommend.” Thank you to bladed45, we really appreciate that and we hope that those months are getting a little bit better for you as well. Reinvention Rebel Wendy Battles who is actually going to be a guest on our show, she has a podcast called Reinvention Rebels and we’re going to have her on at some point here during Season 4. “This is my first time listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis and I loved it. I love the energy between Billy and Brian. I was especially drawn to Mina’s vulnerability when Mina talked about going through her trial separation, sharing so openly about her struggles. A very thoughtful episode. Well done. Looking forward to listening to more.” So those are great ways to help promote the show. And the easiest way to promote the show is just by sharing our show with others. If you have an episode that you think will resonate with a family member or a friend, go ahead and share it. During the month of November and December, since we’re not going to be there releasing episodes every Wednesday, you could share one of our old episodes every Wednesday and maybe that way other people can get caught up. That might be a great way to give back a little bit if you are enjoying our show.
Brian: Another thing, if you have a story that you think needs to be told or anything like that, email us, message us, we’d love to hear it. If it will be inspirational or if you have something you’ve been through and you think you can offer some kind of guidance to somebody who is about to or may be going through the same thing, let us know, we’ll entertain it. We’ll put you on.
Billy: Absolutely, absolutely. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Instagram at Mindful_Midlife_Crisis. We are also on Twitter at @mindfulmidlife. Message us. Let us know what you want us to talk about. Let us know if you or someone you know has a story that needs to be heard. Because that’s really what this podcast is about is elevating people’s voices because we want you to know, hey, you’re not alone and you probably are a resource for someone else to live the best version of their life. So, one person who has helped me live the best version of my life is a spiritual health coach named Lecia Fox. Now, last week, Brian had mentioned that it might not be such a bad idea for us to do something like a live energy reading with someone like Kristen Brown or do a shaman experience like what Jill Dahler had.
Brian: Or circumcision, maybe. I was looking at a lot of different options.
Billy: Oh, man. I still do need to get snipped so —
Brian: We’ll do it live, cover your vasectomy. You know what? I got the doctor. I got the exact doctor. My doctor was an absolute riot when I had mine done.
Billy: Oh, man. So, yeah, I mean, you want to talk about that is something people our age are probably experiencing, they’re probably making that decision at some point. Oh my god. I can only imagine what that would be like with the mics all set up in there and the recording equipment and like, here’s the thing, I don’t need you with a boom mic down by my stuff, okay?
Brian: I think don’t want to hear you talking. I don’t know if we’d want to hear actual surgery sounds. That’s a different kind of podcast, man.
Billy: The only thing that I am going to be saying on there is, “Please don’t cut too much. Please don’t cut too much.”
Brian: Or sew on a little more.
Billy: Oh, God. Oh, where do I even go from that?
Brian: Anyway, let’s continue on. Let’s continue on.
Billy: Anyway, over the summer, I was enrolled in a course called The Gentleman’s Guide for Inner Work with spiritual health coach Lecia Fox and it was a really great course for me to be enrolled in because I thought to myself, hey, this might be a great way for me to do some inner work before I head out on this big adventure I have coming up, which I hadn’t even actually booked at that time when I started the class in about mid-June, but after listening to some of the perspectives the other guys in the group were sharing and after processing through some of the apprehensions and indecisiveness I was experiencing, I finally went ahead and booked this trip to Portugal that I’m on now and now I’m on my way to Seville and to Madrid and Dakar so I really feel like this course pushed me to take action. And the reason why I chose Lecia over Kristen or Jill is because I didn’t want to work with someone who already knew me. I thought it would be better to work with someone who didn’t have a preconceived notion of my personality and my tendencies, yeah. I just wanted a fresh perspective. So I asked Lecia if it would be okay if we could use our second one-on-one session that she and I had as part of the podcast and she graciously agreed to let me use our discussion so I wanted to share it with our listeners in case you’re wondering what it might be like to do something like this with a life coach or a spiritual health coach or what have you. This was a group that works specifically with men seeking to reflect on their lives to help themselves unpack whatever may be getting in their way to find success or happiness or motivation or what have you. And the guys who were in this course with me are really great dudes and we’re actually going to have one of them on as a guest later on in Season 4 because he has an extremely powerful story that you will absolutely not want to miss.
Brian: That’s going to be an incredible episode.
Billy: It’s going to be great, I cannot wait to talk to him. It’s a story that none of us were aware of while we were in the course together with him so I can’t wait to sit down and chat with him because he actually just got back from doing his own soul searching quest while hiking in the Appalachian Mountains so this will be a nice precursor to that conversation so you understand some of the things that we talked about in that group. So just to give you an idea as to how Lecia structured this course, each guy had a pre-conference one-on-one meeting and then we met weekly for six weeks as a group to discuss some reflective questions she would send us each week and then we’d each do a follow-up one-on-one conversation with Lecia followed by writing a letter to our future selves that she’ll eventually send out to us sometime in the future. So I thought I’d break up this episode like this. The first segment, we’re just going to transition right into it, will be the meditation she guided me through in that second one on one. And then the second segment will be the conversation she and I had because I want you to hear what an extended meditation is like. And, actually, if you’re somewhere safe, you can close your eyes and follow along with that meditation because it’s a universal meditation. Obviously, don’t do it while you’re driving. But if you need like an extended meditation, you can listen to this whole episode but then go back to that moment and maybe if I can figure out how to bookmark where that meditation starts in Buzzsprout, I will do that so, that way, you can skip Brian and I talking like a couple of jackasses and you don’t have to figure out where the meditations start. So I’ll try and bookmark it in there so you can just go right to that. And then in the third segment, I’ll share some of the thoughts I have now that two and a half months have gone by and how what we discussed back then relates to some of the things that I’m thinking about now. So if you’re interested in doing a course like this, you can reach out to Lecia on Instagram and her Instagram is @leciajfox. You can follow her there. She’s got all sorts of inspirational messages on there. She does courses like this for men, she does courses like this for women. If you are interested in learning more about other courses like this, you can always email us at email@example.com or DM us on Instagram at Mindful_Midlife_Crisis or on Twitter at @mindfulmidlife and we can connect you to people like Lecia or Kristen Brown or Jill Dahler or someone else in our network who may be best suited to work with you. So, with that, here’s my one-on-one conversation with spiritual health coach Lecia Fox. Enjoy.
Lecia: So, welcome to your closing out session for The Gentleman’s Guide to Inner Work and I did not, by the way, read your future letter because that’s not for me. I’m literally going to print it out, your address should be hopefully in there, and then in some future date, it will be sent to you.
Billy: Can I make a request as to when that date is?
Lecia: No, but, I mean, I tell you to be in town so you can tell me that.
Billy: Yeah, so that’s going to be kind of the complex part is for the next year, I’m not going to have an address.
Lecia: At all?
Billy: No. I mean —
Lecia: Where’s your mail getting forwarded to?
Billy: That’s a great question that I need to figure out in the next month.
Lecia: Okay, then I will wait to find out what your forwarding address is.
Billy: Okay, that sounds perfect.
Lecia: What an adventure you have coming up and I really love that we got to spend this time right before as you kind of like step back a little bit and get very intentional about what you want to embody while you’re on this trip, allowing yourself to step back into a more receiving mode, because when we travel, we are not ourselves necessarily, like it gives you a different perspective, like you’re going to step out of your life as Billy, as the dean, all these identities, these hats that you wear in your regular life and now you’re just — not just going to be, but you get to be whatever you decide, you want to show up as in these different environments. So, I really encourage you guys to do that once a month check and I think it will be really healing for you and you’ll get to share your experiences and inspire the guys. I want to share something that’s like totally like side note and I won’t say names, just in case you do put this on the podcast but one of the guys in the group who was going to Vegas with his friends originally, remember, our last call was like I’m going to get the cheapest ticket I can find. Flying first class both ways now, please.
Billy: I love it. I love it. I’m so glad he’s treating himself. That’s fantastic. Good on you, sir. Oh, that’s so awesome.
Lecia: Isn’t it great? Yeah, his wife supported it, so he was going first class out there and then turning around and coming back and he said, “I feel like I’m putting out into the universe then that I wanna come back poor,” so he’s like, “No, I’m coming back in first class.” I was like yes.
Billy: That’s so cool because he talked about how disappointed that he was that he didn’t get to have the 40th birthday that he wanted and now he’s living it up in this way. That’s really cool. I’m very happy for him.
Lecia: Yes. So, I just wanted to share that with you because really in these containers, we get the opportunity to reflect on who we’ve been, where we’ve been performative in our life or if we’ve been trapped in these identities that no longer fit us and there’s always an evolution, like it’s always important to just get honest with what do I really want now in life. I actually wanted us to go through a meditation where you just kind of explore so we’re going to do that here in a sec and one of the things that I always do when there’s a new chapter that opens, get yourself a new journal, I know you don’t like journaling, but find — and maybe it’s not journaling, maybe it’s truly just sitting and asking yourself the question and allowing the honest answer to rise up in your body and in your consciousness. What is it that I really want in this season of my life? Because there’s always a quality that you’re seeking as you go and do the things, like great example, a client tells me they want a brand new car. Why do you want a new car? “Oh, ’cause mine’s like a piece of junk,” whatever, but why this car in particular? Why do you want that Mercedes? And it’s okay to say it’s a status symbol, it makes me feel like I have made it in life, so we’re always seeking a quality, a state of being. So, maybe with your traveling, it’s freedom, it’s experience, it’s joy. Think of the greater quality behind what it is that you want to experience as we navigate this. So, let’s do it. Let’s drop in for a little bit, shall we? And just closing your eyes, so shoulders are back, chest is forward, and really stepping in to receiving. In this container, it is so important, you are such a leader in your everyday life. You show up and take the reins and are the one in charge so allowing yourself to receive support is very, very crucial and important for soul that is strong like yours. Taking a deep breath into the nose. Releasing it out to the mouth with a sigh. And you just take four more deep breaths like that and I want you to really focus on where the breath expands down into your belly, into your side body, into your back body, just connecting down, grounding down into your body, giving him permission to just be still, to fully receive where you’re at today mentally, emotionally, and physically. And really check in. Notice the quality, the tone of your thoughts. Honor the emotions, as Rumi says, you are a guest house so if you were to fling open the door and just allow the emotions to move through. What is the tone for today? What are you feeling that needs to be expressed? Maybe it’s joy. Maybe there’s grief, fear, whatever it might be. Allow this container to be the space where you just pour it into and release, as if I put a basket right in front of you and said, “Anything you want to let go of, Billy, you can just put it in here.” What would you let go of? Where have you been resisting something that deserves some acceptance around it? Noticing anywhere the body may be holding tension, roll the shoulders back. Maybe you massage behind the jaw, massage the temples, give your scalp a good scratch. You’re going to tap in the center of your chest, just kind of waking up the nervous system, grounding down and just focusing on that internal experience. And as you’re ready, you’ll just let your hands rest on your knees, either up or down, whatever feels most aligned for you today. You’re understanding that whenever we close our eyes and we begin to ask the greater, bigger questions of ourselves, when we do it with another person, you’re allowing yourself to make space in your consciousness for the answer to rise to the surface, almost like the cream rising to the top. What is it that you desire to receive in this year of abundant travel, incredible experiences? Maybe it’s new connections, deeper, more intimate connections. Only you can know. What spurred this travel? Just sitting and allowing yourself to listen. Maybe you place your hands on your heart or on your belly and just nourish the aspect of you that wants to be held, loved, seen, chosen. We all experience these feelings. See if you can be there for that aspect of yourself as you open up to these answers. Remembering your innocence, your love, your joy, asking yourself the questions, what is needed for me to hear, to see, to know, to experience? What’s the energy that you want to bring to this trip and to the closing out of these 6 weeks together? And remembering there’s no expectations to receive an answer, just knowing that because you pose the question, whether it comes in the form of a song you hear, maybe it’s a post on Instagram, something will inspire you. Trust those nudges, trust what feels really good to you, without any disclaimers, without any explanation, just know that your internal compass grows stronger every single day and that you are so deserving of living a life you desire. So I want you to take an opportunity right now to just celebrate all of the work, the intention, regardless of if you felt you did it perfectly or whatever stories may arise, release them now and for the 6 weeks that you participated in The Gentlemen’s Guide to Inner Work, know that that energy is always transformative when we decide to enter into a container. Think of the breakthroughs, the aha moments, the opportunities that your share sparked in the other men. You have a medicine just by sharing your experience. That’s valuable. Your perspective. So maybe you give a shout about it, maybe there’s a, “Woo! I did it. I committed to myself,” and just letting a smile wash across your face. You were open and willing. And now there are a couple other men in this world that you know are doing the work too and appreciated your presence deeply and your brotherhood. So taking one more deep breath in, releasing it out through the mouth. These last two breaths, we’re going to do a five-count breath through the heart so you’re going to take a five-count breath, breathing into the back of the heart, you’re going to hold for five, and then breath it out to the front of the heart. So, deep breath in for five, four, three, two, and one. Hold for five, four, three, two, and one. Release, five, four, three, two, and one. We’re going to do two more of those. Remember, really pull in that loving energy from the back of your heart, deep breath in, three, two, and one. Hold for five, three, two, one, and release out to the front. And last deep breath into the back, five. Allowing any sort of betrayals, fears, any wounding that still hangs out back there. We’re going to release out to the front, holding that for two, one, and release for five, four, three, two, and one. And then slowly but surely, as you’re ready, you’re just going to come back into the call.
Thanks for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We will do our best to put out new content every Wednesday to help get you over the midweek hump. If you’d like to contact us or if you have suggestions about what you’d like us to discuss, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram at @Mindful_Midlife_Crisis. Check out the show notes for links to the articles and resources we reference throughout the show. Oh, and don’t forget to show yourself some love every now and then too. And now, back to the show.
Lecia: Here we are. Welcome back, sir.
Billy: Good to be back.
Lecia: All right. So, let’s pull it all together. I know we spoke in our last call a little bit of what you learned, what you experienced, what you want to do more of, so since our last call, has anything sort of popped up in your mind? What was it like writing that future letter for yourself?
Billy: Yeah, it was interesting, as I started writing it, I was sarcastic and critical with myself and then at some point in time, it kind of — I feel like I have to start that way and just sort of get that all out there and then, that way, it can transition into, okay, now, let’s forgive yourself and so I wrote that in there so just forgive yourself and if you don’t like these things, here’s a list of things that you could do in order to not feel that way as often, and so those were kind of some generalities and then I wrote very specific like measurable smart goals in there for the next year because, so my birthday is August 12th and, yeah, so my thought was, all right, before the age of 45, you’ve got this year to do these things and so let’s work towards committing to this because I kept going back to what are you committing to and those were things that I wanted to commit to and a lot of it is more physical, health related, but there were some things that were mental health related, there were some things that were podcast related, there were a couple things that I thought about last night that I need to add to that list. So, it actually felt like a productive letter to write to myself and I was taking a look at — because one of the things I was beating myself up about was that I didn’t spend a lot of times with the questions that you would send out on a weekly basis so that when we would meet on Saturdays, you’re like, “What did you thought about…?” I haven’t thought about a damn thing because I’m in summer mode and I’m not here to think, lady. So, I have the five-minute journal on my nightstand over here and I didn’t do anything with it this whole time, and a big part, I have a really hard time writing in a book. I don’t know, it’s just weird to me. I don’t like highlighting books, I don’t like taking notes in books, I’d rather do it on the side with a computer or something like that. So I thought to myself, okay, and I was going through that five-minute journal and I’m like this is set up in such a Billy way, like it’s so organized and it’s structured, the only thing that you don’t like about it is that you have to put pen to paper, so what if you just created a Google Doc and you formatted it that way, and then that way, you would type and in all honesty, I think because once I start typing, then ideas start to flow, but I need a structure and I need a prompt in order to go because I struggle with writer’s block, that kind of thing, or I’ll struggle with perfectionism.
Lecia: Yeah, I was going to say, I’m like definitely.
Billy: Yeah, and so I’m like, okay, then one of the things I’m going to work on is getting this set up in like a Google Doc format because I’ll take this computer with me while I’m traveling and that way I can write what are you grateful for this evening, like what did you see, and just use it as a document of what — and not even necessarily what I’ve seen, I’m sure I’ll put those things in there, but like how I’m feeling along the way as I sort of make this journey, that kind of thing. So just documenting the experience, taking maybe fewer pictures so that I can be present, documenting it enough to be like, okay, this was really cool and this is something that I want to show people visually but also understanding that there are things that I’m going to see with my eyes that in no way, shape, or form is this camera ever going to do it justice, that sort of thing. Or even just having a GoPro if I have the GoPro attached to me, then I can just let the GoPro capture it while I see it with my own eyes and then I want to ever revisit it, I’ll have the GoPro, that kind of thing. That sort of stuff just kind of popped up in my head. I already feel like I’m going on a tangent so I’m going to just turn it back over to you.
Lecia: That’s probably just how you work though, that’s how Billy works is I’ve noticed in our sessions together, so everyone dives in differently and this is of course just some perspective and I don’t ever feel that there is a right or a wrong. Look, there isn’t. There is no perfect way to do this work. What I will say is know that about yourself. Literally something I was going to bring up in this call was like it usually takes you about 10 to 15 minutes before I get to see the deeper parts of you. It’s not even a visage or a mask, it’s more of just like you navigating that perfectionist voice because you like to do things efficiently and very well right away. Right away. That’s the Billy I have been presented. And what I find is when you get into the more messy stuff, and by messy I just mean it’s more flowy, it’s not as structured, it’s not as like pretty put in a package. That’s where the navigation kind of comes to a little bit more protective mode. I feel your energy going a little bit and you’re like what do I want to share and what am I not quite ready. The reason why I give the five-minute journal, everything is crazy intentional because what happens is as you do put pen to paper, (a), notice the resistance around there and, like I said, there is no right or wrong, (b), you’re going to start to recognize patterns in your thinking. You’re already very aware of them, which is you have to get out that analytical, maybe it’s a parent’s voice or it was a teacher’s voice, it was someone who like had high expectations of your potential, remember we had that whole conversation around potential. So once you get past that, you get into the more tender parts of Billy and the more really beautiful soft, well, what if I don’t have a plan. That’s okay. What if it’s not structured? That’s all right. So just knowing that about yourself, you’re right, give yourself what you need to be able to step back and reflect, just notice because you have that beautiful Leo energy and I love my Leos, yet at the same time, it’s the entertainer, it’s the projector, it’s the big mane and the noise and all of it. So, notice even when you’re alone where there are performative tendencies, because we all do that. We all have personas and they’re normal. But persona versus performative are two very different things. So, checking with that and be as honest as you can when you are in these spaces of how do I actually feel? What is it that I really want to experience as you are out and about and traveling? And I love the fact that you’re going to be documenting because you’re right, you want to be able to look back a year from now, September 7, 2022, and be like, wow, this is how I felt going into that day and this is how I feel now and how have I changed? Or remember more of yourself.
Billy: So, I think I’ve said this before but my favorite quote, the only tattoo I would ever get is this Walt Whitman quote — no, I’m not a tattoo person. This quote that resonates me, and I remember reading it in college was Walt Whitman and it’s, “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes,” and I feel that’s what my meandering thoughts do is they go down this route but then I think about this, but then I talk myself back into this and so I go back and forth so many times and I think about even that’s really hard for me to establish beliefs and principles and values because I guess maybe in my mind those are cemented and I —
Lecia: You don’t want to be trapped by that.
Billy: Yeah, I don’t believe that our beliefs and our values should be cemented, I believe that they should be ever evolving and I think that’s more of a perception thing for me is that the word “belief” and the word “value” hold very concrete foundational blocks for us to build who we are, that kind of thing. And so I guess I kind of look at who I am as more, and maybe this is why I’m so drawn to water is because I look at it as more of a body of water that’s shape shifting all the time. I think that’s just kind of where I am on this life journey and how I see myself and I don’t know how pretentious that sounds but it’s just kind of where I am with everything, and especially going into this year, this is one of the first summers in years where I haven’t checked my work email to see who’s trying to get in contact with me and having to resolve an issue or having to prepare for something, like one of my main roles is to do the freshmen orientation and we’re the largest high school in the state, so that’s almost 1,000 freshmen that I have to account for to ensure that they have this positive experience coming into the building and it’s 170 juniors and seniors that I’m leading the training and I’m the guy who’s supposed to be doing that, and I have to do that this year. And there’s a control where it’s like this is a program that I have really built up, like it was there before I got there but I have taken on this program and it feels like this program in many ways has become my legacy and as I was leaving the school year, I was worried, like, gosh, what’s going to happen with this program? And I just haven’t thought about that program and I haven’t thought about work at all this summer and it’s really been liberating but I almost think at the same time that’s also why I’ve been a bit apathetic, that’s why I haven’t been as reflective during the time in between the meeting, that sort of thing, because I think I’ve said this before, I only run at two speeds, I’m either going all in or I am in park and that sort of thing. So I think I was coasting during the week and then going all in during our weekly meetings, that kind of thing.
Lecia: Yeah. Well, we talked about that too. A lot of times, when we have a specific route in which we show up in the world, and you’re like completely releasing that identity right now, like you’ve taken off that entire outfit and you’re just like, “Bye, y’all,” so now finding your two, three, four, finding what lights you up in this season and allowing yourself to say, and it’s not pretentious at all. You are the creator of your life. Fully, everything around you, even in your room, when you look at everything around you, someone had to conceptualize that first so this trip was a seed within you long before you finally decided yes to it. So I think it’s powerful to acknowledge the fact that you understand that there’s normally a lot of control for you and you’re choosing to step back and have acceptance, that this is not my baby to protect. You’ve allowed some trust in, like I trust that someone else is going to take good care of this and I don’t have to. It’s like first-time parents, when they go out to dinner for the first time and allow someone else to watch their baby, it’s like, okay, we’re going to just put faith out there that like someone else can do this too. So, I think that it’s good and hopefully the forgiveness has really settled in over not doing the questions or anything like that because, now, you get to utilize these questions as an opportunity to reflect on your trip. And they’re always going to be there, they’re pretty timeless questions that you can dive into and I think if you guys ultimately decide to do the once a month, that will be a really powerful time to just check back in and recommit, because like you said, beliefs, your principles, your values, yes, there are some I feel that can be concrete and cemented into, “I’m enough, I am deserving of the life that I desire,” things that I feel like society reflect back to you the opposite so those have to be your strongholds that no matter what, those are real, those are alive in your field. But, yeah, if you want to change your mind about the projection thing of like marriage, children, lifestyle, things like that, yeah, you get to decide what your beliefs are there. And it can change, and giving yourself permission to be like, “Well, maybe what I wanted yesterday is not I want today,” and I think in our first call, we talked about family projecting on to us and when we stay in small towns, people don’t really enjoy when you start to change because then it’s a reflection for them on where they’re staying the same. And looking back on that now, I’m hoping for you that you got to see such a big shift for you and how courageous it is to stand out from the crowd because internally and innately, that is like death for the ego, because there was a time in human history that still lives in your DNA that says if you step out of the main circle, you will die, you won’t survive so that takes a lot of courage to do.
Billy: Yeah, I think what I struggle with when it comes to what I’m doing and taking this leave, that it’s an act of vulnerability and that it’s brave and that it’s courageous, that sort of thing, I struggle with, or is it more that you have the privilege to do it? So I feel like that, coming back to that a lot of times, it takes me down a peg, and not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, that it humbles me so that I don’t blow it out of proportion in some ridiculous Eat, Pray, Love mindset, because, to me, that’s such a toxic mindset and I don’t know where you are with that book but I’m very critical of that book because I feel like there is a lack of awareness, particularly around her privilege and so, for me, that’s always in the back of my mind is that don’t ever forget that there have been certain privileges that you have. But on the flip side, you have also made good decisions, you have also worked to get to this point so it’s a delicate balance between the two. Hmm,
Lecia: Let’s dive in on that a little bit because I love the balance of the scales. Yes. Let’s pull back into abundance theory and down into believing that there isn’t more than enough to go around. So, I have a deep belief that when people shift their perspective, their mindset and release the chains that are oftentimes projected onto them, no matter where they start out, there’s a lot of projection onto white men in our country right now. That’s like you have all the privilege in the world, yet there are also tons of very poor, not utilizing this privilege necessarily people in our country as well. So I look at it oftentimes as a mindset and with you going and choosing to travel, yes, like you said, you saved up the money, you planned the trip, you’re doing all the things, think of how many people you know in your life who could afford to do this but never will because of their fear of, “It just can’t happen for me because I have kids, because I have —” even though there’s evidence out there of any situation you can ever think of, someone has overcome it. No matter your race, your gender, anything, there is someone out there who is an example, a living demonstration of overcoming that obstacle. So, sometimes, I’m careful and this is just my belief, to not project that what can happen for me cannot happen for anyone else. My belief is that it can and it should. And one of the things with last year’s big movements, being in a small town in Kansas at the time, I got to see the fear and we’ll just go all the way out there, I protested with my parents for Black Lives Matter and I just wanted to like feel and experience what’s going on right now., what’s the climate here in this small town. With people driving by spitting at us, cursing at us, things like that, I looked at my dad and I said, “You do know that this is all fear based, that if there was true equality, their innate deep fear that they cannot speak, they don’t have the words for it quite yet or the awareness is that there will be less for them,” and that is a belief that has been perpetuated for generations, for centuries, that only one person can be on the top. So what I think you are a living example of is, yes, take not only the full spectrum of what’s available to you, but have in the back of your mind the gift that you can be as you travel. You’re going to spend money in people’s shops who depend on tourism right now. You’re going to maybe meet someone and drop one little golden nugget of kindness or advice or guidance and it could change their life. You never know how spirit is going to use you on this trip and how you will be influenced by it. You may come back and forever enhance your student’s lives because of that year. So, taking it into a much bigger perspective and I know that was a lot so you can come back with how you feel about that.
Billy: No, I think that creates a new perspective for me and I feel like maybe it gives me a little bit more permission to enjoy the trip.
Lecia: Yeah, yeah, that’s powerful. I hope it does because I think everyone has this opportunity to be a gift to those they come in contact with and to receive gifts and so what spurred you, in my belief, is there is somebody you are to meet, there is someone you are supposed to cross their paths and vice versa, and it’s going to be a serendipitous and you may not even notice it, it’ll just be something that’s so simple. But for those who have the good, and you’re at least aware enough to say, I want to take advantage of this and, at the same time, I want to bless others and vice versa, we don’t want to spiritually bypass, I don’t want to love and light stuff. Like you said with the Eat, Pray, Love, I don’t want to be like, but what I will say about her experience is she gave a lot of people permission to get out of relationships they were not happy in to go and chase their dreams and, right now, until the pendulum swings and we continue to make change and bring equality financially and perspective and expanded awareness to everyone, it’s important to continue to live as an example of that balance. It’s not like you’re going to go around and just be like, I remember one time I was in Italy and there were these Americans and they were like yelling at one of the Italian servers, like, “Why is the food taking so long?” stuff like that, I was like, “let’s all say we’re Canadian,” because in my head, I didn’t want to be connected to the way that they were responding. I’m like, “This is Italy, it’s slow food, just sit back and enjoy it. What do you got, like, you got an appointment that you’ve got to get to at the Coliseum? Chill.” So I have no doubt you’re going to be a traveler that really takes in and enhances the environment.
Billy: It’s funny that you mentioned making connections because that’s something that I wrote in the letter that, for me, it’s important to develop connections wherever I go. And I firmly believe that your network equals your net worth and that’s one of my favorite sayings and I’ve really made it a point, particularly in the last year with the podcast, to do my best to make connections with people who I value, who I respect, but then to not just let those be a one-off. And I haven’t done a great job of following up with a lot of those people but I feel like I need to continue to not access them as a resource because that feels opportunistic and it feels lechery, but I feel like I want to make sure that I’m reciprocating and saying, “Hey, I also have something to offer,” or if anything, if I don’t have something to offer, I do know someone who does and I would like to connect the two of you, like I’m very much a promoter, that’s one of my strengths is that I’m very much a promoter and I like to give voice to people who I feel are doing great things and that’s a big reason why we do the podcast is because it can’t just be me and Brian talking the whole time about our experiences, there are other people who have different experiences and we need to provide a space for them to share those experiences and provide an outlet for people to hear those experiences, process their own experiences and then maybe that in and of itself gets them to share either with us or with someone else, like we’ve talked about it before where one of our listeners heard one of our episodes and shared it with his brother because it helped him understand what his brother was going through and, now, his brother’s a devoted listener and we had the two of them on one episode and it was a beautiful episode, a very tragically beautiful episode, and another friend of mine reached out and said, “Your podcast is hitting me at the right time because I’m going through this trial separation,” and I asked her, “Do you want to come on and talk about this?” Because we’re willing to bet that there are people who are going through something similar, she said, “Absolutely, if it helps somebody get through their situation, I would love to do that.” And those are always our most listened to episodes, which is very interesting because you would think that the people who have large followings or something like that or are professionals in their field, that they would have more downloads, but it’s usually the everyday people that don’t do things like this but then they post it on their social media and then people are like, “Oh, my gosh, you did a cool thing,” whereas it’s almost kind of like the experts that we have, their audience is numb to it because they do so much of it. And those are such really fulfilling episodes for us because these are not experts in their field, they’re just experts in their situation and in their experience and they can share that.
Lecia: Thank you for sharing that with me because what I sense shifting in all of our fields, and this is energetic and industrial, like everyone, even in my coaching practices and everything, my belief is you have the power within you. You have the wisdom within you. I’m here to be a reflection of where I see you’re at and for each person to say, “Okay, let me take a step back,” I’m always really great with perspective, like, “Well, let’s pull back and see where we can look at it from a heart space.” Sharing those stories is using that privilege. I mean, anyone can upload a podcast. I’m learning how to do it right now and I’m like, “It’s free. It’s not a big deal.” People in some of the poorest areas in different countries have cell phones still, they’re like, I mean, I’ve traveled to many third world countries, I’m just like, “You still got a cell phone?” And access to the internet. So sharing these stories, you’re right, they are the expert in their situation. People want to hear how is Susy from down the street actually handling her marriage? How is she navigating this right now? I had a couple conversations last week around sexuality that are going to be on my podcast and it was very vulnerable and very like do you always have these thoughts too? And it was almost like, oh my gosh, we aired it out. And so that’s what I love about these coaching containers too, like The Gentleman’s Guide to Inner Work, it was like the three of you got to be like, “Oh, shit, me too. I feel that way too. Okay, that’s how you feel? That’s great.” And it normalizes a lot of these shameful thoughts and experiences and it takes away the masks and the projections of this fear of not being perfect, of what will people think of me, if I could take that belief away from everyone, what will people think of me. This world will be so different. People would all be living in their authenticity. So, the fact that you’ve got that podcast to continue to grow yourself, will you still be recording while you’re traveling?
Billy: We’re definitely going to keep on going with the podcast while I’m traveling so we’re looking into how we’re going to do that best. We have some ideas and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s just a matter of what the logistics are, but we’re working those out, we’ll keep everything going.
Lecia: I love that. Well, if you could share for any man who is feeling like — I specifically loved this group because everyone was at a different place in their personal development path and that often happens in groups but I tend to attract women, even though a majority of my audience, 67 percent are men. On social media, I actually don’t tend to attract a lot of women when it comes to coaching. So, what is something that you would share or say from your experience to help them feel safe to enter into something like that?
Billy: I think there is just beauty and release in sharing those stories, yeah, and that you will feel a sense of guilt and you will feel a sense of shame in the things that you’re thinking and the things that you’re saying and the things that you are doing, but once you’ve aired those out and cleaned out your closet, I guess, so to speak, then you can start the organizing so that you can put things back the way that you want or you can discard whatever it is you don’t need. And that, to me, that’s why I’m such an advocate for therapy too, like this conversation right here has felt more like a therapy session than a conversation session because you have provided insight for me, you’ve allowed me to share some insecurities, some vulnerabilities, some successes, some meanderings, and so I think when a person is allowed this kind of space, it clears the clutter so that you can move forward with your life.
Lecia: We’re just letting that land because that is so true. That’s literally all I want to provide are safe spaces for people to just purge out the shit that does not serve them anymore. Yeah, I have such a faith in humanity, it’s probably unrealistic but I don’t care, because I’m like I just don’t care what you’ve done in your life, I believe in redemption and I believe in forgiveness and I believe in everyone’s ability to choose their story differently every single time. So thank you for sharing that with me. It has been a crazy honor to get to coach you and I feel like this space was a lot of me kind of sitting back and allowing you guys to percolate, which was really — it was a fun experience, for sure, my first time coaching men in a group.
Billy: Yeah, I enjoyed it. I particularly liked once we got into about the third session, I felt like there was more room for us to start sharing and that’s really when you got to see each person develop and grow and I felt like, once we got to that point, then that’s where people started to give themselves permission to live their best lives.
Lecia: Yeah, yeah. You’re so right. That third session, it just like busted open, it’s like everyone was like, “Okay, let’s just be us. Let me just — okay, these guys are safe.” You guys needed like a couple sessions to be like, “Do I like you? Is this a good environment?” And that third week was just like…it gives me an example of maybe how long I want to make the next coaching container so I appreciate that.
Billy: Yeah, and it was kind of one of those things where I remember the first two sessions, I’m like Lecia’s doing a lot of talking and I got a lot of things that I want to say and share. I was like getting impatient, like when do the guys get to talk? And then we got to three, I was like, “Oh, here we go. All right, let’s get after it,” and I always forget that not everyone is like me and just wants to openly share everything right away, that a lot of people need to warm up to that, and so I have to sit back and remember that just because I’m open and vulnerable doesn’t mean everybody is open and vulnerable. What can I do to promote openness and vulnerability in the people around me? How can I make them feel safe in this space? How can I make them feel comfortable in this space? And I feel like, for me, it’s, (a), sharing my experience but then, (b), asking questions that maybe they haven’t thought about yet and they don’t have to give a full honest answer yet, they can just ruminate over it for a little while.
Lecia: Yeah. And having been a teacher, I think you carry that energy within you, to you’ve had to be the one that goes first. And insights, the self-reflection, so you’re right, it does take time and that’s essentially why sometimes we have to, as a coach, warm people up to the space and if they’ve never been in something like that, you definitely could hop into something more advanced for your next investment, if you wanted to, I think you’re ready for deeper conversations around energy and masculine and the means to be a man and really navigating those experiences. But I think you guys are developing into that anyway. And I will be seeing you going forward because we’re going to get these sessions going and also, hopefully, when you come back into town, you’ll swing by Arizona.
Billy: Yeah, I’ll absolutely let you know what the plan is.
Lecia: Perfect. Well, let’s close it out and you’re inspiring me to go sit out and tan because you’re like glowing and radiant right now, I don’t know if that’s like good words to like describe, if men like to be called radiant, but your energy is very fresh. So just closing your eyes and tapping back into your body and, yes, even that matter of fact self, releasing the mind for a moment, it’s a beautiful tool, but just stepping into the heart, the emotional self that has no rationale, it’s wild and hopefully never tame, and just allowing yourself to feel the gratitude of the medicine that you brought to the table, that your energy alone brings permission to so many, remembering that and just noticing the voice that negates your choices or patterns or behavior and just seeking deeper compassion for yourself. Taking another deep breath into the nose, breathing it out through the mouth with a sigh. And taking this opportunity to just send out that reciprocal love, gratitude, care to your brothers in this container for the way that they showed up, for what they may be going through. We each have struggles that sometimes we never share, even in these deeper containers. So just remembering that every single person that you are going to cross paths with, they’re going to be blessed by your energy just by your smile and by who you are. Seeking to release judgment even further on your path. It’s from this space of just deep gratitude and celebration for my brother Billy that I say, “And so it is,” and you can slowly come back into the call.
Billy: Thank you so much for these amazing sessions. I really appreciate it.
Lecia: Absolutely. I want to like hug, I always feel like… Air hug. All right. I’ll talk to you soon.
Billy: All right, take care.
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Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. That was my one-on-one conversation with spiritual health coach Lecia Fox as part of The Gentleman’s Guide to Inner Work course that I took over the summer. And, as I was listening to it, a lot of things resonated with me but I’m just going to touch on a few of them. I think the one that really sticks out is navigating the perfectionist voice that’s in my head and getting past whatever the expectations are of my responses and notice when I’m having these performative tendencies and asking myself, “Did I do this right?” Like I will say that, even during this trip, I have been able to let go of that a little bit.
Brian: Good for you, Billy. Good for you, buddy. That’s progress, my friend.
Billy: Yeah. I think I’m very much somebody who schedules each minute of every day while I’m on a vacation, and there have been, especially when I got to Lisbon, I was in Lisbon for a month and I’m like, “You know what, this is just gonna have to be one of those slow and steady wins the race things right here,” and I would wake up, I would set my alarm for eight because I just wanted to be up but then I would take the morning to eat breakfast and drink tea and check email and check Instagram and that kind of thing to see who, just keep up with the social media aspect of the podcast and just kind of slowly start the day. And then, at noon, I’m like, “Okay, I’m gonna go outside and I’m going to get into an adventure today,” or maybe in that four hours in the morning, I would be like, “What am I gonna do today? What should I check out? How am I going to get to Setúbal? How am I going to get to Troia? How am I going to get the Cascais today?” Do those kinds of things, which, in the past, I would have had that outlined months in advance and there would have been —
Brian: Good for you, man.
Billy: — no wiggle room whatsoever. And are there days on this trip where I’ve been like, “That was kind of a waste of a day,” like I didn’t really do what I wanted to do or I didn’t really accomplish a lot? Yes, absolutely. Did I one day because I wasn’t feeling too hot binge watch four episodes of The Morning Show on Apple TV from my phone? Yes, I did. I spent four hours in my bed and just watched The Morning Show just because I’m like, “You know what? Sometimes you just need a vacation from your vacation,” and I just needed a light day. And was that a waste of a day? Yeah, it was, but the way —
Brian: I have never wasted a day sitting around, I’m going to tell you this right now. I don’t get to sit around enough, if I’m sitting, I’m like, “Oh, man, I wanna do that again.”
Billy: That’s a good point and I think, again, it goes back to perspectives, like I got to do all these great things so it wasn’t a wasted day because, you know what, I didn’t have to work. I got to do whatever I wanted. And, granted, because I don’t have kids, I kind of get to do whatever I want, but I feel like I’m doing and seeing things and maybe I’m not doing them in the most perfect way because when you’re overseas or when you’re in a new city regardless, you see a lot of amazing things but you’re like, “What is that? I don’t know what that is.” It would be great to have maybe a guide explain it, but you can always go back and read up on those things if you found them interesting and that sort of thing so I haven’t felt the need to perfectly plan a day. And I think something that’s helped me with that is that when I was in Lisbon, I actually made a connection with this guy from Italy, his name is Chiro, and a big part of this trip has been making these new connections and I think Lecia and I talked about that is how can I use this opportunity to make connections and expand my network in a way that doesn’t feel like I’m monetizing or turning people into a commodity, it’s just you’re making genuine connections, and Chiro was fantastic because he’s kind of in the same position where I am where he quit his job, he’s been traveling around for a few months so he’s really trying to figure out what his next steps are and so we bonded over that and he really challenged me to get out of just what I knew of Lisbon. So he had these bus routes down to a tee, like he knew how to get to way out places like Cabo Espichel and though we got out there and we realized, oh, there’s no bus out to Cabo Espichel like we originally thought so we were in a town called Sesimbra and he had read the bus route wrong and we’re like…so then, of course, my anxiety is building up because it’s three o’clock and it’s a beautiful day and I’m like, “Dammit, we’re wasting daylight,” I’m spinning this in my head and he’s like, “Well, we could we could Uber out there,” so then the cheapwad in me is like, “Oh, God, this is gonna cost $30,” and then we got out to Cabo Espichel and both of us, at the exact same time, just started thanking each other, like, “Thank you for coming with me,” “No, thank you for coming with me.” It was remarkable —
Billy: It was beautiful. And it’s just one of those things where you’ve said this a lot of times where nothing ever goes to plan but things still can work out if things don’t go to plan, like sometimes you can over plan or sometimes you just have to go with the flow and those are things I don’t do well.
Brian: Billy, they always work out. I’m going to give you a tip, no matter what, they always work out, you just got to have your attitude right about it.
Billy: Yeah, yeah. And, oh, man, like I said, it was just the stunning scenery, if you don’t follow us on Instagram, I’m posting all my pictures, go look for the pictures from Cabo Espichel because they’re just stunning, and I would have never gone there without Chiro and I could have been pissy about not getting a bus out there and having to spend that money. Once we got out there, none of that mattered anymore. And then the other funny thing is that when we got out there, there’s no bus back, obviously, and there’s no cell phone reception out there either so we couldn’t call an Uber. So, luckily, there was this very lovely couple and we said, “Are you going back to Sesimbra?” and they said yes, we asked them for a ride, and they gave us a ride back. And, the funny thing is we got back at 8:03, the second to the last bus left at eight, so we had to wait around until 9:30 and we needed to make sure that we caught that bus and, luckily, we caught that bus but, again, it gave us a little bit extra time to sit around and chat and get to know each other a little bit better and it’s those happy accidents and those genuine connections when you meet people. I’ve met so many amazing people on this trip and I need to make sure, I need to commit to keeping those connections alive because Chiro lives in Sweden. Now I’ve got a friend in Sweden that I can go visit. My friend Carla, and I call her my friend, we only hung out a couple times but you just have — like we talked about energy with Kristen Brown, that energy that I had with Carla, she is a lifelong friend. Carla is the Portuguese version of Sara Betru.
Brian: Very nice.
Billy: Yes. So, of course, Sarah Betru is one of my best friends, I love Sarah. Carla is a great friend and I can’t wait to go visit her back in Lisbon someday. We’ve already talked about and, of course, I’m like, “Carla, you need to meet Chiro, he’s awesome,” so the three of us hung out. So now we’ve got this group chat and we’re going to stay connected that way and we’re already making plans to go visit one another in Sweden or they come to the States or we go back to Portugal or we meet somewhere else, like those connections are really, really important and I’m glad that Lecia mentioned that because it reminded me of just how important it is to continue to connect with people and to seek out what gives me pleasure. And one thing that gives me pleasure is just being a promoter. Brian, you know this, I would say over half of my old Facebook posts in the past were mostly go listen to this local band, and they were usually bands that you were in.
Brian: Yeah, oh, yeah, for sure.
Billy: I would just tell people you need to go check out this band and these were not bands that I was in, and sometimes I wasn’t even going to be at the show. They were just shows that were being performed and maybe there were three bands that were going on that night and I was only going to go to one show but maybe you didn’t like that type of music so you should go check out Good for Gary or you should go check out Sell Out Stereo or go check out The Fontanelles, just bands to go see because I want people to get out and enjoy things that I enjoy. One of the nicest compliments anyone has ever given me is the reason why I like you is because when you’re excited about something, you want everyone else to be excited about it too.
Brian: That’s pretty cool. And they’re right.
Billy: Yeah, and that’s why, like with this podcast, I want our listeners to meet these guests and to hear from these guests because they get me excited and so I just know that they’re going to get our listeners excited too and that’s why I love promoting other people’s awesomeness and I think another big thing that I learned from this course, as I was reflecting on it and listening to this conversation again, is that there’s that balance between privilege and what potential impact I can have on others as a result of that privilege and we talked about that with Ericka Jones and I struggled a little bit with, gosh, I have this privilege to go out and do all this travel while other people don’t, and Lecia said, “Hey, listen, you can’t feel bad about that because you’re having an impact on others,” because you’re spending money to help these small shops and you’re spending money to help these Airbnbs and you’re making these connections and she said, “You need to find that golden nugget of knowledge maybe that you impart on somebody.” So, of course, the golden nugget of knowledge that I’ve been imparting on people that I talked to is that, by the way, I have this podcast, and if you want, go ahead and take a listen. And I worked at in naturally, that’s not what I lead with, and if I get the sense that people aren’t really in to it, then I don’t go into it but —
Brian: That would be pretentious if you did. “I’m Billy. I’m the host of a podcast, you know?”
Billy: Yeah, yeah, and so make sure that I talk about it naturally, just like anybody would talk about something that they’re excited about naturally. And I think we’ve picked up a few listeners here and there from these travels and I know that we’ve picked up significantly more international listeners, thanks to Podcast Addict, and I’ll tell you what, I hope you can hear the excitement in my voice as I reflect on, I guess, the growth that I feel that I have undergone, I was beating myself up last week because I felt like I hadn’t made a lot of growth, but it’s why it’s important to surround yourself with positive people because it’s people like Brian and it’s people like Matt and it’s people like Lecia and it’s people like all the guests, people like Carla and it’s people like Chiro who enhance my life and make my life so much the better. And I’m so gracious for having those connections and it’s important not to lose those connections. It’s important to continue to maintain those connections, seek out those people. And we can be a connection for you too. We can connect you to others as well. Reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.
Brian: This is for you guys. Honestly, it is. Without you guys telling us what you want to hear and what you like and all that stuff, I mean, we have some incredible stuff coming up for Season 4. I mean, in the preliminary meetings and everything, I mean, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been about a season. It just seems like we keep getting people that have just knowledge stores that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s just pretty amazing. So I’m also excited about Season 4, Billy.
Billy: Yeah, yeah. And if you’re a regular listener and you are missing us, reach out to us —
Brian: Reach out.
Billy: — connect with us. Let us know how you’re doing, let us know what’s going on. Share your successes with us. We want to brag about you as a listener as well because we truly value each and every single one of you out there —
Billy: — and we cannot wait to get back to it. So, for Brian, this is Billy, thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy, and loved. Take care, friends.