MGU 115 | Cultural Myths

 

When better to talk about the impacts—the good, the bad, and the ugly—of cultural myths than today in National Frankenstein Day? In this episode, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen dive deep into the things that are perpetuated in our culture through TV, radio, movies, and even word of mouth that are passed down from generation to generation. Remembering Joseph Campbell’s work on the formula of the hero’s journey, they talk about popular culture references spanning from Frankenstein, Santa Claus, Star Wars, and Disney to Greek mythology, religion, conspiracy theories, and more. Jason and Wrobel dig into the ways it affects our conditioning and programming, forming our identity, belief systems, expectations, and ethos. Pulling inspiration from stories following Campbell’s formula, they then share some great advice especially relevant in this time of COVID risks on dealing with curveballs, speaking up, and making mistakes.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Innocent Cultural Myths And Dealing With Curveballs

It’s National Frankenstein Day.

Why? It makes no sense whatsoever.

I think it is. Maybe it was in the past. I take down these notes about national days that I find amusing. As an inside joke, part of the fun of the show is people getting to know us differently in our weird sense of humor. Why should we hide our weird sense of humor?

If anyone’s stuck around, I guess we should tell them why it’s funny to us.

Wouldn’t it be funny if somebody clicked play to listen and heard me talk about National Frankenstein Day and they were like, “Forget it, I’m not interested in this episode?”

I wouldn’t be surprised. This is a little too out there for me. It’s a little too weird for me.

Before we get into the personal inside joke that we have here, I looked up Frankenstein Day and it is in honor of the author, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who was born on August 30th, 1797. She wrote that book in 1818.

One of the greatest and most important things we have to discern in our lives as adults is what we really want. Click To Tweet

I had no idea it was that old. That’s remarkable. That’s been with us in our lexicon. You think about how many Hollywood movies, how many adaptations in novels and comic books. Frankenstein as a villain/horror movie icon, he’s up there with Dracula.

I also find it super fascinating that when you look up Frankenstein, that is very often confused for being the monster, but the story is a Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who experiments with the creation of human-like creatures. It’s interesting somehow how Frankenstein, if you look it up, you see the picture of the monster, not of the scientist in most cases. Although the third picture that came up for Frankenstein Day is a photo that I could see you posing for, Jason. It’s like this mad scientist with his shoulders shrugged and he got this shit-eating grin on his face. It looks like something that you would do in one of your photos.

Given the state of my quarantine hair, I could probably pull it off.

You could for sure. It’s like that shrug photo that you did many episodes back. It goes to show when we’re talking about in an episode that’s coming up with Shannon C, we were discussing briefly how certain myths are perpetuated, especially when it comes to entertainment. We think of it as very light, “It’s just for entertainment. We can tell these stories,” and yet they can deeply affect us. Whether it’s romantic stories that confuse us about what actual romance and love is or something like Santa Claus. I don’t know if we discussed this before. I feel like we might have, but I know I was thinking to myself how it’s weird that we raised kids believing in Santa Claus, and then one day we have to admit to them that it’s all a lie and that’s messed up.

I made a decision I don’t want to have kids, but if I ever were to buy some crazy alternate reality, in my mind, I thought, “I’m not going to do the Santa thing, the Easter Bunny thing, the tooth fairy thing or any of that stuff.” I remember when I found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. It was something that I remember a friend of mine named Doug told me, he’s like, “You know Santa Claus isn’t real. It’s like your mom.” I was like, “No, really?” Part of me was not super devastated by it, but I remember going to my mom and saying to her, “Mom, Doug told me Santa Claus isn’t real. Is that true?”

She’s like, “Yes.” I was like, “Why didn’t you just tell me it was you the whole time? I would have had an even deeper sense of appreciation and gratitude for you and what you were doing. That seems a bit silly.” I wasn’t angry or devastated by my illusions being shattered that Santa Claus wasn’t real. It seems so stupid and silly. I wasn’t angry or upset. I was like, “That was dumb. Why don’t you just tell me it was you taking my teeth and giving $5, or you baking the cookies overnight and making the milk.” I was more confused than anything. I don’t see the point. To me, it engenders a deeper sense of gratitude and thankfulness. What was your reaction to finding out that the Santa, tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and all that stuff wasn’t real?

MGU 115 | Cultural Myths

Cultural Myths: You can exist in the world of structure and title and materialism, but you don’t have to think that it is you and that it defines who you are.

 

I have zero recollection. I genuinely do not remember that experience. I don’t know if I blocked it out or if it just wasn’t that big of a deal, but yes. Going back to my point though, part of it is like a lie. As we talked about in that upcoming episode, I’ve been thinking a lot about that episode with our guest Shannon. I’m excited for the readers and a good reminder for you to subscribe to the show. We don’t even know how many people subscribe because podcasts don’t track that very easily. We can only see how many people read our episodes, which gives us an indication. It doesn’t serve us that much that you subscribe other than the fact that you may read the episodes.

The reason I encourage you to subscribe is that you’ll be notified and you won’t miss out on things like upcoming episodes. Depending on when you read this too, it may be easier for you to look at the show notes at Wellevatr.com. You can type in any keyword in the search and it will pretty easily find the episode. If you typed Frankenstein, you would find it pretty fast. The reason to go to the show notes is that we’ll link to everything we’ve referenced. The show notes are full of images and all sorts of wonderful goodies for you there if you haven’t ever seen it before.

In that episode with Shannon, we discussed how it might be doing us a disservice to perpetuate myths through entertainment. The reason that ties into this conversation is that we know that Frankenstein is a doctor, not the monster, but if you look up Frankenstein, it’s all images of the monster. It’s naturally incredibly confusing. It’s almost in a way, people are saying like, “We all know it’s not the monster, but we’re going to use the monster to represent this story and thus confuse you.” We know it’s confusing, but we’re going to continue to confuse you anyways. I know it’s a stretch, but that’s cruel. It’s like we’re purposefully confusing people. We’re purposefully continuing a myth. We did an episode that ties into this too about myths, like the Loch Ness monster or conspiracies and how sometimes they’re fun for entertainment. Sometimes they’re detrimental. It’s hard to find the truth.

Why I get passionate about this is because I like knowing the truth. I’m a truth seeker as somebody might call me. I also like entertainment, but when it comes to Santa Claus, if my parents had just told me right off the bat, “Santa Claus isn’t real, but it is a fun thing for us to do as a family. It’s a very like culturally Christian thing that we do since we celebrate Christmas. We want to let you know that we’re going to play pretend.” That’s very different than if you are told something over and over again and you believe that it’s true. One day you find out it’s not true, but part of your identity or perspective on the world has been shaped around believing it’s true.

I think that’s actually not great for our mental health. Psychologically it’s can affect us in some deeper ways that you might not realize. Think about this, in the case of Frankenstein, if you spent your whole life believing that Frankenstein was the monster and you got to college, for example, and you’re confidently talking about Frankenstein and someone’s like, “You’re an idiot. Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster.” How embarrassing that would be? It’s a stretch, but what if instead you were educated through society and realized that it wasn’t the monster this whole time. It was the doctor. Thus, you could be educated and still understand the references to it being. I feel a bit irritated by how our culture sometimes allows us to be misled or confused. It might seem like the simple brush off thing. It’s not that big of a deal, but that could actually lead to people having trust issues, getting into embarrassing situations, or just generally feeling confused by life. Who wants to feel confused all the time? Not me.

I think there is a big line of demarcation in my mind when we’re talking about mythologies. Whitney, we’re talking about things that are perpetuated in culture, through media, TV, movies, songs, or even stories that are passed down from generation to generation. If we think about it this is going to be a semi-long tangent. If we think about how stories, mythologies, and religions are passed down, I’m going to link all those three together in my mind. Prior to TV, radio, or even books per se, it was passed down through word of mouth. It was sitting around the fire with small tribal human societies passing these stories, these mythologies, and these archetypes down through the generations. It’s one of the reasons I absolutely love Joseph Campbell’s work so much.

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I’ve referenced him a lot here on the show. He is one of my favorite authors because he talks about how yes, The Hero’s Journey is probably what he’s most known for, and George Lucas admitting that he copped Joseph Campbell’s formula of The Hero’s Journey for the Star Wars saga. That’s been repeated over and over, not just in cinema, but if we go back to ancient Greek, ancient Roman and ancient Egyptian, those kinds of mythologies and religions, we see these archetypes, these tropes, these characters being repeated over and over again. The line of demarcation for me though, Whitney, is that if I read a story from say, the Legend of Hercules, Jason and the Argonauts, or if I go back to the mythologies of Horus and Seth, and the things of ancient Egyptian, I was a little bit obsessed with Greek-Roman and Egyptian mythology as a kid.

I studied it in grade school. I loved those stories, but I realized the reason I loved those stories and those mythologies is because they were religions at the time. We call them myths now, but those cultures believed that Zeus was the supreme god. There were multiple gods. There were Hermes, Hera, and Aphrodite. Much like traditional Hindu culture, there were multiple gods and goddesses representing aspects of life. I think that mythology in a way is an attempt for humans and religion to explain the unexplainable. What are we? What are we doing here? How do we figure out our purpose in life? To me, I think the difference in something like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, things like that is there doesn’t seem to be any enduring message of hope, triumph, loss, pain, beauty and redemption.

We look at religious stories, whether it’s Jesus’ journey in the Bible, Muhammad, Hindu religion, or the story of the Buddha or these ancient mythologies. There’s generally a thread through of awakening, pain, loss, challenge, triumph, death, the things that we go through as human beings. We have these archetypes and these stories to frame them in a way to inspire and hopefully move us emotionally and create some level of relatability that maybe what we’re going through with our personal challenges, our pain, our loss, our triumph is not just an empty echo in the universe that other humans, gods, goddesses, and archetypes have gone through it before. The thing with Santa and Easter Bunny is there’s no redeeming sense of triumph or everlasting message about human existence in it. It’s like, “There’s this like fat white guy with a beard who somehow makes his way down your chimney.” “I don’t have a chimney.” “Let’s just leave that logic out of it. He comes through the window. That’s a bit creepy so Santa is breaking into my house.” My point is like, people always say, “It’s a child’s imagination and it’s fantasy.” I’m like, “I get that part, but to me, religion or mythology has a much more enduring effect on the human consciousness than something like Santa, which to me doesn’t have any real everlasting value.” Does all that rant make sense?

For sure. It’s fascinating. It ties back into our conversation about conspiracy theories, which did trigger some people. We got a very triggered response to that episode because some people do hold tightly to some of these conspiracy theories and believe them to be true. We’re not saying that they’re true or false. That’s part of this cultural confusion that we have where it’s hard to know what’s right or wrong. What’s real or fake, and it’s all up to us to discern, but there’s freedom and not discernment. For me, that overwhelm, sadness, fear, I think it is also about trust in a lot of ways. Trust is a huge part of this. If we don’t feel like we can trust our parents to tell us the truth, that’s a huge issue.

If we don’t feel like we can trust our friends, especially during this time of COVID, it’s been incredibly confusing to make a lot of decisions. I am planning, for instance, a cross country road trip, which is coming up, and part of the work that I feel very overwhelmed about is researching how to stay safe during a pandemic and travel. I feel overwhelmed about it because I haven’t started yet, and the resistance to starting is simply feeling like, “How am I going to possibly figure out the truth?” I have to comb through all of this information that’s loaded with opinions and conspiracy theories. How do I just find basic information so I can take care of myself? Our society is so clouded with misinformation, with what some people call fake news with opinions, arguments, and people doing things for their own self-service, in this case, “The pandemic is great SEO so I’m going to put out a blog post just to capitalize on all the traffic I could get to my website, but I’m not even going to provide anything of real value to somebody who’s seeking it out.”

When you go and Google something or whichever search engine you prefer, you have to sift through so much information to try to figure out what you believe is true. This is incredibly frustrating for someone like me who enjoys research. I imagine it also might be frustrating for someone who doesn’t enjoy research because you might not even want to start looking for information simply because it requires so much time and energy to try to figure these things out, which makes me wonder why in the US we have many issues with our election system. The number of obstacles we’re going to have to overcome for this election that we have coming up in November seems overwhelming because every day there’s confusing information about the politicians.

There is a lot of information coming out about the voting system, like how to vote through the mail and can you safely vote in person and all these things. I already feel incredibly nervous about the simple act of voting. The number of people that may not vote because of that is sad. My rant here is that we started talking about something simple and innocent, like Frankenstein, but it plays into this whole cultural challenge that we have about misinformation, misunderstandings and how something tiny like that, or Santa Claus even, which is misleading somebody for the sake of magic or childlike wonder, which sounds special. That also reminds me of Disney and this came up in our conversation with Shannon, which again, we haven’t alluded to it enough.

MGU 115 | Cultural Myths

Cultural Myths: To be in the wilderness and not have a clearly laid out path in front of you can be terrifying, but it can also be liberating because if you don’t know where you’re at, it becomes a tremendous point of opportunity.

 

We think you’re going to like that episode because I loved it. In it, Shannon says that she felt very misled by Disney. She brushed it off like a little joke, but I took it very seriously because I love Disney. I love watching those movies and I love the parks and all the elements of Disney. I don’t mind that it’s expensive and that is a money machine. I can disregard that, but what I take issue with is how many of us grow up seeing these messages and movies that Disney puts out and other entertainment puts out, which is not only confusing us about what’s real but teaching us things that may not actually serve us in the long run. This came up in a book that I’ve been reading. I think this one was in the book, Trick Mirror.

It’s one of the best books. I have been listening to the audiobook version of it, which is read by the author and it’s phenomenal. It is one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to in a while. It is so deep. It’s taking me weeks and weeks to get through it. I’m probably going to relisten to it on my road trip because it’s that good. I think it was in that book where she talked about how, as a female child, she would watch Disney and always stop the movie before it got to the wedding because she didn’t care about the weddings. There were so many weddings in these Disney movies, and looking back as an adult, she realized how much these movies were trying to shape us as children to base our relationships on that happy ending. To prepare for the wedding and what we looked like, how we dressed, the ups and downs of our relationships, the twists and turns.

In a way, Joseph Campbell’s stories are like this too. Shannon also talked about this in her episode, how a lot of the entertainment we receive about relationships is based on the highs and lows. Joseph Campbell’s are like that. It’s about the hero’s journey, but what happens after that end of the story? Then what? That’s the big question with a lot of Disney movies. They’re all about happy endings. What happens after that happy ending? We usually are not taught those things. We go through life feeling a little bit confused, unprepared, or maybe wondering when is our happy ending going to happen? Will it ever happen? What happens after that? Many of these movies end with a wedding. Some people go through their lives looking forward to their wedding and being positioned to them as the best day of their life. I take issue with that. I don’t want my wedding to feel like the best day of my life. Does that mean that every day after my wedding is bad or never as good?

That’s deep, Whitney. It’s a brilliant observation. I think what it brings up for me is how many layers of conditioning and programming there are from the moment that we arrive on this planet. As long as we, I suppose in the idea of the princess archetype, it’s like finding your prince charming, he comes and whisks you away on a white horse with his sword. He takes you to his castle. You have a bunch of babies and live happily ever after. It’s reinforcing the trope that for women, you find a man who’s this big studly, handsome, strapping, powerful person who in our culture usually also means rich and well off. He’s going to take care of you and you’ll never have to worry about another thing.

It’s also an offshoot of the postwar ‘50s mentality of be a good housewife, make the food, take care of the home. Dad is away at 9:00 to 5:00, taking care of the kids, you’ve got a house with a white picket fence, two kids, a dog and a cat. Whatever it is, there are many versions of this over the course of history. What it’s reinforcing in our ethos mentally in our culture is that if you check off all the boxes, we talked about this in our episode with Taylor Proctor of this idea of checking off all the boxes on the list. I think that these two things are intertwined in the sense that, get the right job, have a high paying career, find the right life partner, wife, husband, whatever it is. Get the nice house, buy the nice BMW or Mercedes, whatever the hell it is.

There are so many versions of this. Make sure you check off all the boxes and have all this importance on your wedding, the birth of your first child, all of the promotions you’re going to have at work, saving for your retirement, and having your pension. Then you get to a point in your life where it’s almost like, “If I don’t have these things, am I actually fulfilled? Am I living a good life? What if I’m not married? What if I don’t have a life partner yet? What if I don’t have any kids? What if I don’t want any kids? What if I’m not in this high paying career? What if I don’t drive a BMW, Mercedes, or back in the day it was a Cadillac? What if I don’t have these things? I must be failing at life.”

That’s a very dangerous thing. It sounds innocent like you said, Whitney, what we’re talking about Frankenstein, Santa Claus, and Disney, but underneath the surface, there’s a lot of deep programming that is being done in people’s subconscious. It’s important to examine this because what are we chasing in life? Do we even care about what we’re chasing or have we just been convinced to care? To me, this is one of the greatest and most important things we have to discern in our life as adults. Is what we want really what we want? Have we been convinced by the cartoons, the comics, the movies, the music, our parents, our religion, society, have implanted ideas about what we should want, but we confuse the two? Often the more I go on in life, I’m finding that these things that I was told that I should want at the deepest core of my being, I don’t fucking want them.

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This is the big question, and I think something that we continue to come back to over and over again, which is trying to sift through everything that we’ve been taught to try to figure out who we are and who we want to be, and how do we want to live our lives. It’s a little crazy that we got on this subject matter after me bringing up a silly holiday. I want to say something as simple as a silly national day can turn into a deep conversation so thank you for going there with me, Jason. Thank you to you, the reader, for getting past the first few minutes where it sounded like we were just laughing this off and going to move on. We didn’t intend to talk about this at all.

The core of this conversation is about trying to figure out yourself, given all of the mixed messages we receive in our societies. We are speaking on the subject matter as privileged white people in the United States. Your experience as a reader may be completely different. We have people from all around the world that read the blog and I’m super curious, like, “What is the experience of someone from a completely different culture or background?” When I say culture, I’m referring to the culture I know, but this isn’t going to be the case in different countries, different family units, or different cultures, whatever that may be for you. That’s also part of what’s fascinating here. I think though, it seems to be a very common universal theme of trying to figure ourselves out in the context of the world around us.

That I think is confusing for many of us, which seems to me almost like the human path. It does come back to Joseph Campbell and the positive of him is that Hero’s Journey is very much about figuring out your own identity, carving out your own path, going through these hardships. That element of Joseph Campbell’s work is crucial to us and that’s what it’s all about. It’s that his story structure has been utilized in some of these other ways that we’ve been referring to whether it’s Star Wars. We like Star Wars on the show. I’m not saying there’s anything bad with Star Wars, but it still does follow that same path. People needing to be rescued or people struggling with their parental figures, and what does that mean?

Going against the grain, being rebellious, there’s a lot of messaging in Star Wars too that maybe feeds into some of these things that we’re discussing here. I think those stories also are very much about like, “Who am I?” Star Wars is one of the biggest questions. Luke Skywalker is trying to figure out who he is. He goes through all these journeys to try to come to that conclusion and then ultimately kind of a spoiler alert. When I think of the end of Luke Skywalker, I think of him being very at peace with himself when he goes into this place of isolation and has to be pulled out of it again to play a role and then he ends up doing something powerful at the end of his life, which is pretty cool.

It’s this deep examination that if we strip away the conditioning, the programming, the belief systems, the external material things that we think define us, our career, our title, the amount of money we make. It’s not to say these things don’t have value, but I think that the beingness, like the eternal being that we are has nothing to do with titles, belief systems, conditioning, programming, or any of those things. This is a lifelong examination because the more work that I have done on myself in terms of meditation, mindfulness, working with my mentor, Michael, using psychedelic nootropic drugs to explore other states of consciousness, the pastiche of things one could do to examine one’s consciousness. It’s an interesting thing.

The ancient Sufis had a saying that said, “To be in the world, but not of it.” The way that I interpret that Sufi saying is that we can be in the world as Jason, as Whitney, as podcast hosts, content creators, wellness advocates, all of these titles we have. Whatever money we make, whatever awards we win, whatever people we hang out with. However, we identify in terms of gender, religion, spirituality, whatever it is, the deeper level of existence and beingness is underneath all of those things. I have to remind myself of this all the time, and the Sufi wisdom is something I carry with me. It’s this sense of you can exist in the world of structure, title and materialism, but you don’t have to think that it eases you and that it defines who you are.

MGU 115 | Cultural Myths

Cultural Myths: It’s better to just do something and say something than to be silent and still because you learn so much through the process of speaking and moving forward.

 

That’s critically important because based on this programming we’re talking about these belief systems, what we think we ought to be doing, what we think we ought to have, ought to do, gain, loss, success, failure, all of this dualistic stuff. We often use it as humans to torture ourselves and make ourselves feel horrible when we’re not living up to some idea of how we thought our lives were supposed to be. I’m saying this from direct experience, and I’m still battling through a lot of this myself. I thought that by age 43, I would be in this specific place and I’m not there. There are moments where I’m like, “You failed, you fell short, you fucked up, you didn’t do what you said you were going to do.”

That’s a fatalistic kind of thinking. I don’t feel like that’s a type of thinking that ultimately benefits us. I think that that’s the type of thinking that if we feel like we failed because we didn’t reach these goals that society told us to, that’s an excuse to be unkind, punitive, or mean to ourselves. I feel like a lot of people, myself included, fall into that sometimes. It goes back to what you were saying. As we strip away the conditioning, the belief systems, and the cultural ideals that we think we ought to live up to in whatever your culture is. I’m sure depending on who is reading, your culture may have different ideas of what success, fulfillment, and happiness may be. Going back to some of Joseph Campbell’s archetypes, to be in the wilderness and not have a clearly laid out path in front of you can be terrifying, but it can also be liberating because if you don’t know where you’re at and you don’t know the path you’re walking, that’s a tremendous point of opportunity. It’s where, “I don’t want to walk these paths that have been laid out for me by my parents, religion, society, and culture.” That’s a liberating but also a scary place because then it’s like, “That means that I am going to carve my own path.” That sometimes is a beautiful and also terrifying place to be.

It’s funny you bring that up too because I feel like I’m entering my own hero’s journey in some ways in this context going on this road trip, and that’s something I’ve thought about too. I’m wondering how much of it I should even try to plan, and something I continuously develop in my relationship with is I feel safe when I have a plan. I feel safe when I do research and I understand things. I’m okay with uncertainty on a level, but I would prefer uncertainty when I don’t feel like I can do anything else. As we’ve talked about many times on this show, uncertainty is a given. Nothing is certain. We don’t know anything. We don’t have nearly as much control as we believe that we do, and I think a lot of our society is based on trying to perpetuate this myth of control and certainty.

As we’ve discussed, a huge thing during COVID is recognizing that certainty is a bit of a myth. That opened a lot of our eyes to it during this time where suddenly we feel so thrown off. I was thinking about this during the context of my road trip, but also as a side note, I had a small experience that reminded me of uncertainty because it was something that felt like it came out of nowhere. I’m not going into the specifics on this episode, but I never would have predicted what the small experience I had would be. I didn’t see it coming. Suddenly it was like, “I have another obstacle that I need to get over and I was not planning on dealing with that obstacle today. I thought I was going to do all of these other obstacles that have been on my to-do list and have been on my calendar.”

Sometimes life just shows us something, and now we have another hurdle to get over. I remember feeling similarly with the pandemic. When the Black Lives Matter movement built so much during the end of May, beginning of June, it was like, “This is something I need to address. I’m going to study how to be an ally and add that to my plate.” I remember like, “I have so much education that I need to do right now, but that felt like such a priority and continues to be.” Did I plan back in May to spend so much time reading books about racism and being an ally? No. I plan to read other books but curveball. I decided to make that a bigger priority and I’m glad I did.

Did I plan back in February and March for the whole world to be turned upside down? Of course not. I knew about COVID before that time but didn’t think it was going to affect me, and now here we are. In the immediate time, I didn’t even plan on going on this road trip that I’m about to head out for. That came up over the last few days for me and when this episode is released, I’ll be getting ready to leave. I remember when the opportunity to go on this road trip first came up, I faced so much resistance to it. I was scared and I wanted to say no to it, even though it was something I wanted. It reminded me of a few years ago, a similar experience happened where I was invited to go to Greece for a two-week-long trip, mostly paid for.

Even when you stand still, things still happen. Click To Tweet

It was my boyfriend at the time invited me and he paid for most of the trip, which was very generous of him. When he invited me to go on that trip, I felt so much resistance. It’s interesting to look back on that because it seems so silly. I wanted to go to Greece for ten plus years previous to that. It’s interesting you brought up Greek mythology, Jason. I was so fascinated by Greece and it was like on my list of places to go one day, yet when the opportunity came up for me, I felt scared. Now here I am again a couple of years later, a friend invites me to go on this road trip that I wanted to go on.

I’ve been thinking and talking about going on a road trip for months, yet when the invite was presented to me, I felt scared. How did I deal with that? I started to plan. I started to try to control it. I tried to anticipate any potential obstacles. I am trying to gather so much information so that I can protect myself physically and emotionally and it’s daunting. As I’ve been doing this preparation, I also realize that there’s a very good chance that things are not going to go as planned. I’ve been there before. Jason and I went on a road trip. I planned the hell out of that trip. I had a whole itinerary. I had a schedule for us. Most things went according to plan with that trip, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the case this time.

There are many curveballs. I found myself and continuously find myself trying to anticipate all that and it’s exhausting. It’s interesting coming into this conversation about things like The Hero’s Journey because I think sometimes, we need to enter into that period of uncertainty and the unknown and just be okay with whatever the outcome is, but it’s tough for someone like me because I don’t feel comfortable doing that. My safety is very tied into trying to anticipate challenges because I guess maybe part of me doesn’t fully trust myself to be able to deal with curveballs. Even though, as I mentioned I had a curveball, I don’t know if I handled it to the best of my abilities but I handle it the best I knew how to in that moment.

One more thing I’d add. I felt like I made a little bit of a mistake in that scenario when this curveball was thrown at me. I did my best. I talked to a few friends about it. I got a few different perspectives. I gathered my information and I took some action, then I heard from another friend who I shared the story with and she gave me a different piece of advice. I found myself going, “I wish I had that piece of advice when I’d made my decision.” I found myself wishing that I could have done things differently, but I think this also ties into this conversation of like, we can only do the best that we know how to with the information that we have in that moment. Sometimes we have to make a game-time decision and it might not be the right decision, and that’s okay.

This is the ability to improvise with stuff that we didn’t expect. This is just the nature of life. I find that whenever we initiate something, in particular, something that requires a great energy, planning, persistence, determination, that there’s an element of life called second force. The way that I perceive second force, Whitney, in the way you’re talking about is, obviously a road trip like this is a lot of intention. It’s a vision and planning. It’s trying to anticipate challenges and outcomes. Also knowing there will be things you did not expect and did not plan for and being realistic about it. I think that those moments of second force and understanding that life will present us with second force that it’s not because the universe is a malevolent place. It’s not because life is out to destroy us.

I don’t believe that, but I believe that we are in a reality of duality, that when we initiate energy, that energy is met with us in life. Life will meet us at the energy we put out. Also, when we are launching a big project, whether it’s a podcast or a book. We’ve talked about becoming bestselling authors, releasing books, the TV series I had, the TV appearances Whitney has been on, or the fact that we’ve toured together. It’s inevitable that when we initiate something big that requires great energy, focus, intention and vision, life will present us with that second force and unexpected challenges. Knowing that those are going to be there, Whitney, I’m wondering if that gives you a sense of trepidation or fear like, “I know there’s going to be,” because there will be unexpected things that arise, you know this. Does it embolden you to trust your improvisation skills? Does it give you the opportunity to go, “I know that whatever’s going to get thrown at me, I can improvise my way through it and make on the spot decisions?” Knowing that these curveballs are coming, does it terrify you or do you go like, “I know it’s coming and I’m going to handle it?”

I think trust is an interesting thing and that ties back into the beginning part of this episode, which is how I feel frustrated when misinformation is presented or I find out something is wrong or a lie. It erodes my feelings of trust, and trust is something I’m continuously trying to work on and improve because I realize that I have a lot of trust issues. I can’t think of anything major that happened, but it’s all about these small things. Coming back to the beginning where something might seem small and innocent, whether or not you realize Frankenstein is a doctor and not a monster, that sounds like, “Who cares if you get that confused?” If you spend your life and you add up all of these different moments of confusion, lies, and misinformation, it can erode your trust.

MGU 115 | Cultural Myths

Cultural Myths: It takes a lot of work to just move forward in life, knowing that anything could happen at any moment, and curveballs are constantly being thrown at us no matter what we’re doing.

 

Two things start to happen. You will start to trust yourself less and you’ll start to trust others less. When people lie to you, it becomes hard to trust people because you might always be thinking someone’s lying to me. If you have the wrong information, going back to that example. Let’s say, you’re in college and you competently state that Frankenstein is a monster and someone points out that he is the doctor. Maybe you start to trust yourself less because you don’t know if you have all the information. I have both of those things. I am often second-guessing myself and other people and that is challenging. It does make it hard in these times where I have to make decisions because I’m often wondering if I’m making the right decision or if the person that I’m with is making the right decision, and trusting that whatever decision I make is ultimately the best decision in that moment.

It’s like what I said about that tiny experience I had but how I was reflecting on that. I think what comforts me is knowing that you just have to proceed. Black Lives Matter taught me a lot about this, which was it’s better to just do something and say something than to be silent and still because you learn so much through the process of speaking and moving forward. When you bring that up about the second force, which is not a term I don’t think I’ve heard before, but it’s interesting because I have this fear of not getting another chance, getting it wrong or being rejected, and I’ve had that happen to me a lot in my life.

It’s been scarring. I’ve made mistakes and someone’s like, “That’s it. You’re done. You don’t get another chance.” That’s terrifying for me. I want the freedom to make mistakes. I feel safe when I feel like I can make a mistake. It’s like in school whenever I had a teacher who would be like, “There’s no right or wrong answer. You can raise your hand and shout something out.” I love those types of teachers, but I also had some teachers that if you said the wrong answer they would make a big deal out of it. You’d either get a bad grade or you’d be embarrassed in class if it was in front of other people. That feeling of like, “Is it safe for me to make a mistake?”

I think that’s certainly coming up during this road trip. I feel like any mistake that could happen as long as I’m alive and my health isn’t compromised, it will be a success. My big aim with this trip is to enjoy it, but also to make it through to the end safely. To be frank, my friend and I are two women and there are dangers when you’re traveling. We could get into a car accident, our car could break down. My parents were so nervous when I was initially planning to do a road trip on my own cross country. It had me reflecting so much about how there are a lot of scary situations that women can get into and how sad it is that as a woman, I need to be worried about whether someone’s going to kidnap me, murder me or rape me.

That’s disturbing, and also it reminds me of Black Lives Matter, the number of people that live every single day in fear of their own lives. That’s a sad reality that we live in and I hope that that shifts. On a lighter note, for the road trip, there’s also the concern about COVID and all the precautions I need to take around that. In some senses, there’s no such thing as making a mistake on a trip like this. In other senses, there is because if I made a mistake and got COVID, not only could that affect my health, but that could affect anybody I come in contact with and that’s scary. That’s not going to prevent me from doing it, but it is a reality. It’s a possibility. The same thing goes if I’m not careful, if I could get in a bad situation. Sometimes you just have to move through life and do it anyways, because I could get COVID in Los Angeles going to the grocery store.

I could be killed walking down the street to the grocery store, kidnapped, raped, horrible things could happen to me at any moment’s notice. If we are constantly considering that it’s not so great for our mental health. I guess it takes a lot of work to just move forward in life knowing that anything could happen at any moment. Curveballs are constantly being thrown at us no matter what we’re doing. Going back to the Black Lives Matter lesson for me, I might as well make mistakes while moving forward because I could also make mistakes by standing still.

We can know the truth and do scary things and still feel the magic along the way. Click To Tweet

To touch upon something about you choosing to do this road trip even with the possibility of some of these challenging, awful, painful, or deadly things happening, it brings up a more philosophical overlay with life in general, but in particular with the backdrop of COVID-19. What is the line and what is the balance between preserving life and protecting life at all costs versus actually living our lives? This is an ongoing nuanced, layered conversation about some of the people who are anti-maskers and the people who believe this entire situation was systematically planned. There are a lot of perspectives on that. We’ve touched upon a few of those in previous episodes. Aside from that group of people, there is a conversation about opening the world back up in the sense of many countries and municipalities and cities like Los Angeles. One of them has some pretty hardcore rules in place in terms of the quarantine still in the desire to preserve and protect life and prevent further infections and death. A lot of the anxiety that I have been feeling and also observing other people is that balance between preservation, protection, and prevention versus we realize there are risks here. Can they be mitigated? How big are the risks? Can we somehow calculate them and then live our lives?

I’m not saying this because I’m an anti-masker. I wear masks out in public. Even if the statistics are overblown and even if there is a component of this that has been systematically programmed, and there are misinformation and lies, I still feel like wearing a mask is healthy and solid with my immunity. It’s more to potentially protect other people. That aside though, it is a question. In overly protecting, planning, and being cautious, how are we limiting our ability to live our lives? There are risks in most things, as you’re saying. You could get killed, raped, infected, and dead in LA walking down the street. Not to be morbid, but you’re right. At what point do we say, “I know there are risks involved?” Every time we get in a car and drive down city streets, there are risks involved. Every time we get on an airplane, there are risks involved. We go rock climbing. We go hiking in the woods. I don’t know that I have an answer. It’s more just to open this dialogue because you piqued my interest in this. Where is the line between being overly protective and saying, “Fuck it, I’m going to live my life?”

I think it is one of those things where we don’t always have a ton of control based on how we’re educated, how we’re raised, the circumstances that we have, the opportunities and access that we have to things. It’s different for each of us. Each of us is often faced with these questions. Can I trust the situation? What is the best answer for me right now? What is the best course of action? I think that a lot of us deal with this every day in some capacity and it can be very overwhelming. So much so that we may get paralyzed and feel unable to take action and to be afraid. This reminds me that I had my call for my group Beyond Measure. I’m in a stage with Beyond Measure of testing it out with a small group of invite-only people.

Eventually, it will be opened up. For the readers, you will have the opportunity to be part of Beyond Measure at some point so stay tuned because I’ll share with you when that time has come. We have these weekly calls, which are something I never could have even planned or predicted. It’s one of the greatest things I feel like I’ve ever done professionally because it’s taken on a life of its own and it leaves me speechless sometimes. In this episode, we talked a lot about boundaries and this is inspired by our episode with Shannon, which I think by now everybody’s going to be chomping at the bit to read that because it’s great. It was thought-provoking. I reflected a lot after doing that episode on boundaries and what do boundaries mean for me and other people?

That curveball I experienced was about a conversation that I didn’t see coming and it ended on a note about boundaries. How this person had to set a boundary with me and I didn’t even realize that I might’ve crossed the boundary. On our Beyond Measure call, we as a group discussed our boundaries and it brought up so many emotions within people. People started to realize where they felt like others have crossed their boundaries and how that’s led them to feel unsafe or unable to trust others. I started to recognize that many people are living their lives from all of these different experiences that have shaped who they are. Their worldview can feel blinded until somebody else opens it up and maybe positions it in a way where they can see outside of that perspective and realize that either life feels scarier than they realize.

For me, I think I went through most of my life very innocent. It wasn’t until either I went to college or the year before college, I started to realize more about the world because I grew up in such a small town. I was very protected and isolated in some ways, which was beautiful, but in other ways there was a lot of ignorance that I had. I guess my whole life, I’m trying to shed away my ignorance. Working on recognizing where I might’ve been racist in my life and how can I be a better ally, that’s all unfolding. Some people might be more on the innocent side of the spectrum. Others might have had traumas or experiences that shaped them to trust the world less and to view other people as being unsafe.

I have this huge desire to make people feel safe. The core of my development with Beyond Measure is to give a safe place for people to open up, connect, get support, and share the highs and lows of life. I’ve realized through doing this program that a lot of people have never experienced that before. Going back to this question, which is how do you proceed when there are horrific possibilities? I think we just don’t have a choice. When it comes to the road trip, I felt that resistance come up but I said, yes, anyways. I considered saying no. I considered putting it off. I was hoping that my friend would cancel, but the more she said yes, the more I said, “I want to say yes too, but I’m afraid.”

MGU 115 | Cultural Myths

Cultural Myths: Might as well make mistakes while moving forward, because you could also make mistakes by standing still.

 

I am grateful that this friend has invited me on this journey because it revealed to me so much about her that I didn’t even know. We’re both learning so much about each other through the process of planning, which is such a beautiful gift. By me learning about her, I’m learning how I haven’t trusted other people. I’m learning and noticing the ways in which I’ve tried to control situations and continue to control situations. The big lesson is that life is just a challenge. Life is hard a lot of times. Life is scary and uncertain. To me, I proceed during tough times simply because either I know I don’t have a choice. Even when you stand still, things still happen.

You could be sitting in your home in Los Angeles, there could be an earthquake and you’re crushed underneath the roof. Not to be morbid but we have been. You could be struck by lightning. There are many freak accidents. You could be hit by a bus. You could just be doing the most innocent thing and have a heart attack. We don’t have that control. We might as well go and be brave and do things anyways, whenever we have that desire to try. I also think that the reason I proceed during times of resistance, fear, and uncertainty is knowing that I’m going to learn so much more about myself. That’s ultimately the big reason that I’m saying yes to this road trip. It is a hero’s journey moment for me. I know that I’m going to come out on the other side with a lot of happy memories and a lot of unexpected things could happen.

I’m choosing to go with it. Ultimately, I don’t have to do anything, but I’m looking forward to seeing what I learn about myself. Jason and I have already planned to do an episode about my experience and we’re going to bring my friend on. She said yes too. She’s someone we’ve wanted to have as a guest on the show for a while. I’m not going to reveal who she is, but she’s an amazing person that some of you may know through her incredible work. I look forward to sharing all the lessons that I learned along the way, and we’ll be documenting it as well. If you would like, you can follow me on Instagram. I haven’t decided if I’m going to be posting about this on my @EcoVeganGal account or my @WhitLauritsen, which is my new account. If you’re following us on @Wellevatr our Instagram account, I’ll make sure to post something there for you, and Jason might share something on his, so we’ll make it easy for you. At the very least you can read that summary episode whenever it comes out.

As we get close to the finish line with brand shout outs and the Frequently Asked Queries, I just want to input one small thing, going back to Joseph Campbell. I suppose putting a bow on this conversation, Whitney, talking about the fears, the trepidations, and feeling scared and doing it anyway. We look at a lot of the mythology of these monsters, villains, demons, these scary things in the cave that we are afraid to face be it a dragon. Any kind of archetype of a scary monster in all of these mythologies and religions, much like in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke is on Dagobah and Yoda is training him and tells him to go into the cave and the swamp.

Luke has a vision of Darth Vader. He battles with Darth Vader’s apparition and he beheads Darth Vader. He takes off Darth Vader’s mask and sees his face there. These fears, these terrors, these proverbial demons and monsters that we face and we’ve seen in all of these religions and mythologies over the centuries. Ultimately, when we go into the cave and we face the dragon, we realize that the dragon is us. There’s no externalization. It’s not like, “It’s this monster outside of me.” The monster is a product of our thinking. It’s a product of our fear, conditioning, and not-enoughness. To me, I always remind myself that if there’s something that scares the shit out of me and I’m externalizing it, not in every situation, but most situations, that thing that is scaring the shit out of me, the proverbial monster is a construct of my own thinking.

That’s well said, Jason. I think that’s a wonderful way to summarize this. Sometimes these episodes are not easy to summarize and it doesn’t even need to be. I appreciate you attempting that at least.

We can also find the magic in hard times. Click To Tweet

Let’s do brand shout outs. There are many. We have mentioned this company in a previous episode, it was early on. If you’re a longtime reader, you may have read this episode. It was an episode about Beyond Meat, the IPO, the positive and the negative response, the financial implications of the innovations going on in the plant-based meat industry. I tried this when it first came out, but I didn’t jump on the bandwagon, but I have been going absolutely crazy on the Beyond Meat sausages. I have been going to Lassens, which is a local natural food store here in Southern California.

I’ve been loving it because it’s gluten-free, soy-free, the ingredient list is pretty simple and I feel great after I eat these sausages. My girlfriend, Laura and I made a dinner for her mom where we made Korean japchae noodles and did some grilled sausages in there. We had some German-style with spicy mustard, sauerkraut, and these amazing gluten-free buns. I have been going ham-not-ham on these Beyond Meat sausages. I’m in love. They are so delicious. I’ve been using them in many different styles of cuisine. Honestly, I can’t get enough. I’m eating them a lot and I’m loving them.

I am grateful you brought it up for a couple of reasons. One is because we get a lot of queries related to Beyond Meat because we’ve talked about them a few times, how they went public and the IPO, and how I bought stock with them. I love seeing Beyond Meat developments. They had their first commercial come out, which was well done. I think Beyond Meat is incredible. I had some too. I like buying their ground beef alternative because you can make it into meatballs, burgers or add it into sauces. There’s so much you can do with it. I liked the taste. The sausages I agree are fantastic. They have the breakfast sausage, which is good. They’re available at Dunkin’ Donuts and a few places offer them.

I’m in complete awe of Beyond Meat. I’m partial to them. My stomach feels awful when I eat Impossible Foods. I have nothing against Impossible aside from the fact that they use genetically modified ingredients. That does bother me, but I’ll eat it from time to time and usually regret it because it doesn’t make me feel good, but with Beyond Meat, I feel pretty good after eating it. Sometimes it upsets my stomach too just because of my digestive issues. I think overall, Beyond Meat has been transformative. I talked about the KFC chicken and all of that. I’m glad you brought it up because the sausages may not get that much coverage. I think a lot of people focus on some of the other products and the sausages are outstanding.

I’ve tried a lot of the other brands like LightLife. I’ve got to say their sausages are okay. No offense to LightLife. Some of their products are nice, but the Beyond Meat sausages are solid. My favorite LightLife product might be their Tempeh. They make good Tempeh. I’m trying to think about what else I’ve had by LightLife that I enjoyed. There’s something for everyone out there and we’re so fortunate to have many options. That reminds me too at Trader Joe’s. They have a Beyond Meat like patty that I think is not good. Have you tried their Turkeyless burger, Jason? It’s awesome.

I’ve seen the hype on TikTok and Instagram about it. I have not yet tried it. You like it though.

I thought, how could it be any different than the beef patties that they have, which are gross. They just don’t work for me, but the Turkeyless burgers at Trader Joe’s are lovely and surprise me. I was never a big turkey meat fan growing up, but I love buying these from Trader Joe’s. My shout out first is based on this delightful experience that I had because of Instagram. This woman who I found out has been following me. She said she discovered my YouTube channel in 2010, and this is the Eco-Vegan Gal channel. She gave me thirteen or so of the chocolate products that she hand makes.

MGU 115 | Cultural Myths

Cultural Myths: The monster is a product of our thinking, of our fear, of our conditioning, of our not-enoughness.

 

This woman is so talented she hand-delivered them to me, which were 9 or 10 chocolate bars/truffles, a chocolate elixir mixed with mushroom powders, and two of these jars, which are like a raw vegan cookie dough/flavored nut butter. They’re cashew-based and they’re outstanding. I’m sorry to say, Jason, I already finished both jars. I tried my best, but it probably wouldn’t have been something good to share with you anyways because I was dipping the spoon in over and over again after putting it in my mouth. It certainly wasn’t a good thing to share during COVID, but I do have plenty of the chocolate left to share with you if you don’t wait too long. Here’s what’s cool. Her company is called Hopf Chocolate. Andrea Hopf is her name and she is a magical human being and super talented.

They’re all raw vegan chocolates that are incredibly flavorful with beautiful packaging. She was born and raised in Germany and she originally moved to Los Angeles to be a musician, but then decided to start this small chocolate company. She says that this is what truly brings her joy and you can taste it through her work. I’m just blown away. Her packaging is plastic-free. She uses plant-based chocolate sleeves to put chocolates into that are certified compostable. I don’t know how she has accomplished all this on her own. She sells them at Farmer’s Markets and online. Also, all of her butters are palm oil-free. This woman has gone the extra mile. She uses superfoods like Maca. These jarred treats, whatever you want to call them. One of them is a truffle cream that you can have for breakfast or dessert. One of them is a Maca chocolate chip cookie dough made with cacao nibs. I feel like as I’m sharing you these details, you’re like so envious of me right now.

I’m frowning. You can see it. It’s my version of that emoji. That’s me.

These are amazing. I would have been still blown away simply because of this woman who gave these to me. It was so generous and she just had this magical energy behind her that I am astounded by. It’s the icing on the cake how amazing her ingredients and products are in general. If you dear reader wants to support her, she’s got a lot there. There’s more that I want to try. If you’re in Los Angeles, you can find her in some stores out here. You can go to her website and you’ll find all the details. I’m pretty sure she delivers around the country, but I’m not 100% sure. Especially during the summer months, it might be challenging for her, but it’s worth it. Even if you got the chocolate elixir powder, which is fairly easy to send in the mail. That is delightful because she makes iced hot chocolate with it. I had to try it and I had another one. I mix the powder into some hot water and then combined that into my coffee latte and have this incredible chocolate mushroom latte with a little bit of stevia added in. It gave me lots of energy and made me feel good drinking it.

I was going to say that explains your energy level over this episode, Whitney. It’s not that you’re low energy on episodes. I feel like this one, in particular, you’ve been a few notches on the dial higher. I was like, “That explains it.”

I don’t know if it’s just that or that I got fired up on the subject matter. One more thing before we move into the Frequently Asked Queries. One of these days is National Trail Mix Day. I’m curious. Do you have a favorite trail mix combination or a brand that you like that makes a trail mix?

Life in itself is magic, and being alive is a magical experience. Click To Tweet

I don’t think that I have purchased a trail mix in God knows how many years. There was a brand and I don’t know if they exist anymore. I haven’t looked for them in years, but they were around in my early raw food days. David Kaplan had a company called Transition Nutrition. He had a Bliss Mix Divine that was pistachios, coconut shreds, goji berries, and macadamia nuts back in the day and that was pretty bomb. That is the top two of my favorite nuts, macadamias and pistachios. I threw in some soft gojis, some coconut, and spices. It was $25 a bag. It was something crazy, but that in terms of bagged trail mix, if any version of that is still out there, I’m giving an old school shout out to Transition Nutrition and their Bliss Mix. For me, if I’m going to make it, pistachios, mac nuts, cacao nibs, goji berries, mulberries, almonds, and cashews. I’ll throw in a little bit of cinnamon, cardamom, sea salt, shake it up in a bag and you’re good to go.

I’m not a huge trail mix fan. I appreciate it, but I don’t love fruit or dried fruit. I don’t go out of my way to have it. I wish I could remember off the top of my head, this brand that I have in the kitchen, which I’m not going to go get. I feel like it starts with a letter Z. I know the packaging but I don’t remember the brand name. If you’re curious, it was a very delightful mix with sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. It was good. I got a sample of it. As far as trail mixes go, it was very satisfying. I do want to give a shout out when I did a quick search for vegan trail mix. One of the brands that we enjoy came up, which is HNINA Gourmet. They make a sprouted trail mix made with pure maple syrup. It’s all raw with seeds, nuts, coconuts, dates, and maple syrup. It looks lovely. I don’t think I’ve tried it. Nina makes wonderful chocolates not to compete with Hopf but they’re both LA-based. It’s similar but different flavors, different varieties of things. If you want to support two small businesses that are made with a lot of passion and you want some trail mix, check out Nina in addition to Hopf Chocolate.

Let’s do our quick run through the Frequently Asked Queries, Jason, and this might be tough for you because some of these we could probably do whole episodes on and maybe we will. I can answer this one very quickly. Where to buy MAD TASTY? It is a sparkling water brand that I am obsessed with. They are based in Los Angeles, but you can get them in different parts of the country and some stores. I think they might ship around the country. You’ll have to double-check. The best way to find out is just to go to MadTasty.com. That will give you all the information if you can order online or if you can find it locally in some stores. They’re in a ton of coffee shops and cafes in Los Angeles and in some stores. In fact, I saw them at a little store that I love called Pantry LA. They started selling there. That store is delightful. If you live in Los Angeles, please go to Pantry LA because it is like a mini Erewhon, which you probably know if you’re in the area, or like a mini natural market.

It’s upscale, it’s pricey, but it’s nice to go in there because they have a great curated selection of wonderful natural products. Most of them are organic. Some of them are biodynamic. That’s a huge passion of theirs. They have wonderful people that work there. They’ve got a coffee bar. They make matcha there. They do sell MAD TASTY. MAD TASTY is pretty easy to find in LA, look on their website though, to see where you can get it yourself and try to order it online. They have three different flavors of sparkling CBD water that Jason and I love. Jason, for a query, we already had a funny one. Talking about Frankenstein and vegan trail mix I think counts as funny. What does this phrase mean to you? “Keep the magic alive” was the query.

I’ve heard that phrase mostly in conjunction with romantic relationships that people that are in deep romantic relationships for a period of time. I’ve seen that phrase with coaches or relationship experts saying, “I’ll teach you how to keep the magic alive.” That’s the most colloquially used phrase. To me though, it also reminds me a little bit of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s work where he talks about keeping the magic alive and not dying with your songs still inside of you. The immediate hit is relationships and that comes up a lot. You have this spark with someone and it’s the initial hormones, pheromones, and sexual attraction. The sex and physical connection is crazy in not all cases, but many cases that fizzle. I usually associate it with trying to rekindle the spark in a romantic context.

I would say so too, but think it can be extended to all different aspects of your life. I suppose a great note to end on here is to encourage you to keep the magic alive even if you feel let down by life or scared. If you’re noticing the uncertainty, if you’re feeling confused, misled or misinformed. We talked a lot about those things. Bringing up Disney, for example, which feels very magical. Sometimes we just want to focus on the magic. We don’t want to focus on the downsides of a big company like Disney. Sometimes we want to believe that Frankenstein is a monster and not a doctor. Sometimes we want to believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny, all of these things. There’s nothing wrong with believing in magic. We can know the truth and still feel the magic and we can do scary things like going on road trips and notice the magic along the way. We can also find the magic in hard times. Life in itself is magic and being alive is magic. To keep the magic alive, I would say being alive is a magical experience.

That’s probably the biggest quotable of the day, Whitney, being alive is a magical experience. Being present to the magic, the beauty, and the wonder that already exists around us. Dear reader, thank you for being with us as always here. As we’ve mentioned throughout this episode for all of the resources and things that we mentioned and all of our social media links go to our website, which is Wellevatr.com. We are on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and also TikTok. It is @Wellevatr. We will be back again with another magical journey with subjects that are going to take us to places we didn’t expect. That’s a microcosm of life.

You never told the inside joke about Frankenstein.

You’re right. I didn’t. A quick story as we wrap at the tail end here. A couple of years ago in the early spring, this was early March of 2018. I adopted my French bulldog, Bella. If any long-time readers who follow me on Instagram or any of my social media channels, you have seen many pictures and videos of my mini Frenchie, Bella. No more than two weeks after I adopted her Whitney at the time was going on a little trip for her birthday. Whitney asked me if I would watch her Jack Russell Terrier, Evie. I consider Evie almost like my dog. I’ve known her for many years. We’re familiar and loving with each other.

Evie was here with Bella, who again was brand new, I had her about two weeks here at the house. I was feeding them in different locations. I somehow had left the door open and was distracted. All of a sudden, I heard some crazy barking and screeching. I run out and Bella is looking concerned like, “I didn’t do anything.” Evie is bleeding from the face. So much so that I had to take Evie in the next day and get 4 or 5 stitches in her face. Evie is all healed and fine, but she does have a slight scar on her face. As a joke, after her stitches came out, I started to call her Frankenstein because as you may know, the Frankenstein monster was covered in scars and stitches made up of different human body parts. One of many Evie’s nicknames is Frankenstein. There you go. There’s the backstory.

You’ve also explained to people what can go wrong because I was on a road trip and my dog had to get stitches. Hopefully, that does not happen this time on my next road trip, Jason.

We’re going to keep it injury-free.

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