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Stacey: Welcome to the Gift of Spirit radio show. I am Stacey Lynn, your host. I am so excited for our show today, as we have a feature guest with us this hour, a sought-after motivational speaker and Hay House author Mike Robbins, who’ll be joining us in just a few minutes.
I’m going to talk about inspiration today. Inspiration means in Spirit. You’ve heard me speak about this before on prior shows. Spirit is what we are born into. It’s our natural inner being.
On my own Spiritual journey, I have learned that we are all Spiritual Divine beings first having a human physical experience here. It’s not the other way around. Our Spirit is within. It’s our truth, our authentic self, who and what we are, not what we do. It’s all that we are and it’s what is in our “I am.”
Over four years ago, I experienced Spirituality and I had an opening through meditation. It was during this time of being Spiritually open while I was meditating that I received a download to locate a three-year-old picture of myself, look at this photograph and ask myself if, I could describe myself at three years old in two words, what would those words be? Who was I then?
I did just that. In looking at this photograph, I received in that very moment. These two words came flooding in: sweet and giving. I then felt these words in my heart. I felt my inner child, my inner Spirit, reignited.
Memories began to flood in of this time when I was a child, spending precious time with my grandparents in the summers. It was a heartfelt, powerful moment, being able to reconnect to my inner child.
I was tearful and I felt love. I felt compassion for myself, which I had not felt in some time, because at this time in my life I was so busy running my own business, getting ahead, being a mom, a wife, a volunteer, surviving instead of thriving, living for the future and not living in the precious moment, in the present.
It was during this time of this healing, being with my Spirit and reconnecting that a brand new path emerged in my life, a path that took great courage and great risk.
I felt called on to this new path. I was vulnerable and out of my comfort zone the entire time. Of course, I’m talking about when I said yes to being all that I am and in my Spiritual gifts as a Spiritual medium and Spiritual teacher of meditation and C-level executive coach.
I invite you to say yes and be in all that you are, all your gifts, your truths, reconnecting to your inner Spirit, your inner child, who you truly are.
We have a wonderful guest with us today on Gift of Spirit radio. He is the author of three books, Focus on the Good Stuff, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken, and his latest, Nothing Changes Until You Do.
He’s a former pro baseball player, whose playing career ended due to an injury. For the past 14 years, he’s been a sought-after speaker who’s been doing keynotes and seminars to groups of all kinds.
Some of his clients include Google, Wells Fargo, eBay, Schwab, Gap, and the San Francisco Giants. He and his work have been featured in Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, as well as in ABC News and the Oprah radio network.
Since 2008, he’s been a regular contributor to Huffington Post. His books have been translated into 14 different languages.
For more information on Mike’s work, you can visit Mike’s website, Mike-Robbins.com.
Welcome, Mike Robbins. We’re so happy to have you on the Gift of Spirit radio show today.
Mike: Thanks, Stacey. Glad to be here. Glad we could make this happen.
Stacey: Yes. I feel like everything happens for a reason and this is the actual time to speak about being in your Spirit and all that you are, everything you are. I want to talk about your book, Nothing Changes Until You Do. What inspired you to write this book?
Mike: A number of things. I write quite a bit about my journey in the book. There was a five-year pause between my second book, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken, and this most recent one, Nothing Changes Until You Do.
I was having a conversation with my counselor, Eleanor, who I’ve been working with for the last few years, who’s fantastic. She often says things to me at the time. Sometimes I don’t really like what she says, but almost always, it’s exactly what I need to hear.
We were talking one day and she said, “You know, Mike, you keep trying to change circumstances and situations and people around you. You think if they or those things change, life will be the way you want it to.”
I said, “Yes. What’s your point?” She said, “It doesn’t work that way. It works the other way around.” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Nothing changes until you do.”
It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard that before or the concept was foreign to me, but something about the moment when she said it, I thought, “Oh my goodness.” It struck me in a certain way and it got me thinking about my life, some of my own journeys and some of what I had been speaking about and teaching for many years.
It started me on a path where I was starting to write this new book and sharing a lot of stories and experiences from my own life and from people I worked with. I think that’s such an important, and often the most challenging aspect of most of whatever we do, is dealing with ourselves in the process.
You were talking a bit about looking at the picture of yourself at three and having compassion for yourself. It’s a simple concept that most of us, particularly those of us who listen to a radio show like this, probably understand, but actually practicing compassion for ourselves, for most people I know, myself included, is challenging.
Stacey: It’s because we’re always looking ahead in what we’re doing. We’re always looking ahead and saying, “We’re going to feel this way when we get here.” Actually, what you’re saying and what is true is the opposite.
Mike: It is. It’s like my friend Robert Holden likes to say, “There’s no amount of self-improvement that can make up for a lack of self-acceptance.”
That’s so true when you think about it. For many of us who are on our path, on our Spiritual journey, wanting to continue to grow, develop and evolve in the ways that we do, again, that would draw us to listen to this show, that would draw us to read these types of books and do this kind of inner work, which is a beautiful thing. A lot of times, if we stop and we’re honest with ourselves, the motivation for that is actually shame.
It’s thinking there’s something wrong with us, “I’m flawed. I’m broken. I’m bad. Let me fix myself and then I’ll be loveable. I’ll be acceptable.”
It’s a very natural thing that happens. We’re not bad for doing that. We just have to be aware of that, because if the motivation for anything that we’re doing is coming from that place, it’s not that whatever we’re doing is, in and of itself, going to be unhealthy or unproductive, it’s just not ultimately going to be giving us what we want.
“There’s no amount of self-improvement that can make up for a lack of self-acceptance.”
The irony, a lot of times, is we’re searching for something that’s already there, thinking, “If I just lose some weight; if I just make my relationship better or I fall in love; if I just get that new job or have my business grow a little bit, make a little more money or we move into a nicer place.”
All those things, in and of themselves, are great things to desire. Every one of us have had many experiences in life where you accomplish something, experience something or get something- you do lose the weight, you do fall in love, the money shows up-, not that it’s not exciting, but it’s kind of depressing because you realize, “Oh, darn. That wasn’t the thing. I thought that was the thing that was going to make me feel better about myself.”
In reality, not only does it not, it points to the fact that that sense of self-acceptance, that sense of self-compassion ultimately of self-love is really what we’re after. We don’t need to lose any weight, make any money, fall in love or get any kind of validation or feedback from anyone else in order to have that.
Stacey: Yes. It’s, as you’re mentioning, going within, instead of going outside. The outside part is short lived. The inner being is the piece of who we are and when our light gets turned on. When we’re coming from that place of our truth, of our Spirit, of all that we are, the light starts to get put on around us when that happens.
Not only do you write about the concept of being vulnerable, but you write about yourself and your life in an incredibly vulnerable and personal way in this book. It is scary for us to open up to this, but how wonderful it is. Could you talk about that?
Mike: It’s so interesting because I had lunch with a guy yesterday who had reached out to me. He had read my book and lived here locally. I had an event in San Francisco. We live in the San Francisco area.
He was asking me a similar question. We don’t know each other. He just reached out. He’s an interesting guy, so I was going to meet with him.
I sat down and the first thing I said was, “Alright, dude, here’s the deal. You know a whole bunch about me because you read this book. I shared a whole bunch of myself personally. Can we start with you telling me a few things about you?” We had a good laugh about it.
It is a bit scary to put ourselves out there in different ways. I chose, as I often do with my work and have for many years in my other books, but in this one in particular and in how I speak, I often share my journey, my process.
From the time I was a kid, I always had this sense. I would listen to other people talk. I was fascinated by other people. It always felt to me like there was a life.
Whether I was a kid on the playground or in class or I was playing sports, or as I got further along in life and then was in college and then got into the working world, this thing we’re doing, the fear of life.
Then there was my own internal experience, where I would deal with all my fears, doubts, hopes and dreams and what was going on inside for me.
For many years, I thought I was crazy. I thought, “How come no one is talking about what I’m feeling inside?” I was always drawn to people who would actually talk about what was going on for them inside. It made me feel less crazy.
As I started to speak, write, teach and coach people, I felt like one of the services I could provide, for lack of a better way to describe it, is sharing a bit about what’s going on inside of me. Not to be narcissistic and self-absorbed, but rather, “Here’s what’s going on inside my head and my heart. Can you relate to this?”
What’s amazing, I’m sure you can relate to this in your own life and your own work. The more we do that, the more other people say, “Yes, me, too.” Then you start to have a real conversation about stuff.
However, it is scary. It’s also funny this morning- I’m not sure what prompted me to do this- I was up early. I got on the internet. I was looking at some reviews, which is always a dangerous thing to do, for me and my little ego. There are Amazon and other places where they review books. There’s a thing called Good Reads where people recommend books. It’s great. However, for whatever reason, I’ve noticed people are pretty harsh on there in general.
I got on Good Reads and I was reading some reviews of my book. There were some nice ones, but there some people who said, “This guy is totally full of himself and self-absorbed, and all he did was talk about himself.”
It was so interesting. It was a great exercise in the process. That’s the thing that often holds us back from putting ourselves out there vulnerably. We might share our heart and soul.
This is your life and a relationship and work. Whatever we do, we put something on Facebook, we put it out in the world, and people get to say whatever they want to say about it. Sometimes they’re not going to say nice things.
At some level, yes, that kind of affected me a little when I read those things this morning, but at the same time, do I really care what some random person writes on the internet about me and my book?
They’re entitled to their opinion. I don’t have to let that impact me one way or the other. However, it’s a good lesson for us to ask ourselves, where are we holding back based on the opinions or even perceived opinions of other people?
Where are we holding back based on the opinions or even perceived opinions of other people?
Stacey: Right, and seeking approval. We’re here to serve with all of our gifts. When we come from the place of serving, instead of seeking approval, it is so natural. The flow that comes through us.
We’re all vessels here. Everything flows through us. When you open up to come from a place of helping and healing others with what you are experiencing in your life, you’re giving them permission to go there and to do the inner work. I commend you for that.
Mike: Thank you.
Stacey: In the coaching world, this is what we do as well. It’s so needed, because there are not a lot of opportunities for people in life to reflect and go there. They don’t know that it’s a necessity for growth.
Mike: It is. Sometimes what can happen in the coaching world and in the self-help/new thought/Spiritual world that we’re in, we get so focused on “We have to be positive. We have to focus on our affirmations and what we want.”
That is absolutely true. Our thoughts create things. All of that is so true, but the reality of being human is there’s light and there’s dark. There’s all of it. We can embrace some of the dark side, some of shadow.
What happens a lot of times, in the moment when you’re feeling scared, angry or sad, those emotions are just emotions. They’re not bad, evil or wrong. They’re just emotions that want to be expressed. If we have freedom to feel those emotions, they move right through us in a really powerful way.
Stacey: They move right through. That’s right.
Mike: They do, but when we resist them, when we avoid them, when we’re busy thinking, “I have to be positive all the time,” even the most positive people experience grief. Even the most positive people get angry sometimes. That’s normal. It’s called being human.
I read a great book recently by Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, which is all about creativity. She talks a lot about fear. It’s called Big Magic and the subtitle is Creative Living Beyond Fear.
She’s really clear. It’s not creative living without fear. Fear is a part of the journey if we’re going to live a creative life, if we’re going to put ourselves out there in any vulnerable way.
Of course, your fear is going to show up. The question isn’t whether it shows up or not. It’s, how do I relate to it? Do I have a relationship with it so it doesn’t have to drive the car or run the show?
I think what happens sometimes, even when we’re intending to be positive in a real way, we often sugarcoat the uncomfortable things that come up. Then we end up not dealing with them.
That’s part of the reason why I shared some of what I shared so vulnerably in my book. I want to talk about this. I’m someone who wrote a book called Focus on the Good Stuff. I’m committed to gratitude, appreciation and positivity.
Stuff happens in my life and in everyone’s life. We have to figure out how to be real about it so we can move through it. Otherwise, we just end up stuffing it down in all these places. Then it comes out at some point in really destructive ways, if we don’t deal with it.
Stacey: Exactly. You touch on grief a little bit in a number of the chapters in your book. You touch on the theme of death and loss. You’ve had significant losses in your life. What have you learned from these losses in your own evolution here?
Mike: Both my parents have passed away. My mom died in 2011. I write quite a bit about that in Nothing Changes Until You Do, because it was such a profound experience and it taught me so much.
In both of my parents dying, as well as my mentor Richard Carlson, who I just adored- Richard wrote a great series of books that many of us have read and loved called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
Richard’s death back in 2006 was shocking. He was 45. He was healthy. He had a pulmonary embolism. Even in the shocking-ness of that loss or of my mother dying a few years ago, as painful and awful as those experiences have been- anyone listening who’s lost anyone close knows- there’s also so much beauty, magic and healing that can show up around death.
“We often sugarcoat the uncomfortable things that come up. Then we end up not dealing with them.”
Eleanor and I talk about this a lot. Most of us as human beings, especially in our modern, Western culture, don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to deal with it. We don’t want to think about it. It’s bad.
It’s the anti. What’s our culture focused on? Youth. Beauty. Productivity. All these things. Death is the antithesis of that. In reality, it’s the only thing that we all know for sure is going to happen to us. We walk around like it’s the big elephant room, but we don’t want to talk about it.
Right as my mom was about to die, I remember having this thought. She had gotten diagnosed with cancer. It was pretty quick. It was three months from the time she got diagnosed to when she passed away.
As it was getting closer and looking like she was going to die soon, I was out on a run and thinking to myself, “I wonder what it’s like for my mom knowing that she’s going to die. That must be really intense.” We’d been having very beautiful, very intimate conversations about lots of stuff, but I hadn’t actually asked her that, “What was it like?”
As I’m having this conversation in my head, I’m running, and then I stopped. I literally stopped in my tracks. I thought, “Wait a minute. I know I’m going to die.” I just don’t live like that. I don’t think about it. It freaks me out. I think about my girls. I think about my wife. I get scared when I start to imagine it.
Then I thought to myself, “What if I didn’t freak myself out about thinking about my own death, but actually brought it into my conscious awareness on a regular basis, in a real, genuine way?”
That is the truth for all of us. While we don’t need to walk around paranoid all the time, if we lived our lives a little more aware of our own deaths, I think we’d live very differently. Some of the stuff that we choose to do, maybe we wouldn’t do. Some of the stuff we’re afraid to do or say, maybe we’d say, “Do you know what? What’s the worst that can happen?”
Holding back from making ourselves vulnerable to others, expressing ourselves passionately, putting our love out there, opening our hearts. As human beings, I think remembering that this physical incarnation is limited is a really important thing.
In Closing: Know That We All Have a Spiritual Purpose Here.
We’re all here for a reason, to be on this path and to give from our hearts everything that is coming in to help so many people around us. If we can be in that place, accept where we are right now, be here in the moment and have gratitude and appreciation, as Mike mentioned. We all go through this stuff. Everyone goes through challenges, obstacles and loss. It’s a part of being here.
Thank you for joining us on the Gift of Spirit radio. We want to thank Mike Robbins for being our featured guest. You can find more information on Mike’s work as a motivational speaker and an author by going to Mike-Robbins.com.
If you are interested in Spiritual mentorship and are experiencing Spirituality and Spiritual gifts or you would like to schedule a Spiritual reading or guided Spiritual meditation to be in your Spirit, and also to connect with Spirit above, you can click here to learn more, and click here to schedule your session.
Stay tuned next month for “Part 2” when we share Mike’s thoughtful replies to questions from our callers. Many blessings to you in this New Year!