It is the month of love, of chocolates, and hearing the big Y-E-S. Taking these two things together in this special Valentine’s Day episode, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen bring in guest, Justin Frank Polgar. Justin is an alchemical chocolate technologist, aka The Minister of Chocolate, who, with his company, YES Cacao, spreads the message of yes and the power of yes through cacao. Together, they take a deep dive into the power that lies with saying YES and how it inquires our decision-making. Taken under different contexts, yes is a powerful word that describes this immense and almost indescribable sensation that turns doors into doorways. Justin ties this to the philosophy and ethos of his company, using chocolate as a delivery system for botanicals that go beyond just the taste but also the sweetness of life in how his products allow the body to discern what is a yes and a no. Learn more about what Justin is championing with YES Cacao and find inspiration in finding the same infinite possibilities in saying YES as you do so in NO.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Power Of “Yes” With Justin Polgar
A Special Valentine’s Day Episode
Do you know what that version of theater that I had of that was, “The sixth sheik’s six sheep are sick?” In theater, I felt like I was a cunning linguist. I was orally fixated as a thespian but, “The sixth sheik’s six sheep are sick,” I was abominable. I remember my theater teacher gave that to me and I was like, “You are a masochist,” and I must be too for accepting this challenge.
She knew that you could handle it. She saw your mouth move and she said, “Let me give that beautiful mouth something to chew on.” You’re still chewing and I appreciate that.
My question to you is, with your Persian heritage being of the blood of the sheiks, the Sufis and the great wise men of the Persian lineage, is it easier for you to say that because of the Persian blood in your tongue?
It is easier for me to feel it and say it, no it’s not. My mom was an Iraqi born in Iran. When she learned English, she learned proper UK English. Not that she had that accent, but there’s different grammar. The first place she moved here to America was Texas. She couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying. Somehow in the translation, she’ll swap words. We would be in a rush to get to school. My mom would say, “Hurry up, the ring is going to bell.” They’re so endearing. I love that. She’ll still do some cute slips or she’ll say, “I’m not from around here.”
Do you speak Farsi?
I speak very little and mostly bad words.
Isn’t that funny that I feel that’s such a common thing when you start to pick up pieces of a new language, it’s generally the swear words?
It’s greetings like, “Hello, how are you? Where’s the bathroom?” but they don’t tell you. Your cousins don’t tell you that’s what they’re saying. They’re saying, “This is how you ask for a cookie.”
I think there’s a fine line between cookie and female private parts.
That’s an uncomfortable word.
You’ve got to spend some time in New Zealand.
Why? That word is not a big deal?
It’s a term of endearment. It’s like, “Your mom is great.” You can say that. There’s a pull your own weight thing. It’s loose. I didn’t know we were going to jump in so fast.
This is what we do on the show.
The intention is that we learn on the show to go there because that’s the name of it. The energy behind words, I often feel that words themselves are our attempt to try and describe reality, but intrinsically I feel that language is neutral. The collective agreement of what those words mean or perhaps the reflection of what the individual believes they mean, give it energy and power. I strongly believe that one can deliver a word. Osho has a great YouTube video about the word fuck. All of the connotations and meanings behind that word, the energy, inflection, purpose and intention of which you use that word can drastically change the meaning of it. Whether we’re using these curse words and whether people decide to unsubscribe or what they will do, to me language is a very neutral thing. It’s how we wield it and the meaning we assign to it in the energy with which we deliver that word, that colors it to me.
Speaking of neutral too, our intention is to release this episode on Valentine’s Day.
Ask the master chocolatier for a conversation. When are we going to release it? It is a little obvious.
It’s slightly obvious, but it wasn’t fully intentional. I was going through the schedule, trying to figure out what episodes we’re going to come out when and when we need to submit them to the editor. I said to Jason, “We have a few guests coming up, which one should be on Valentine’s Day?” Because it’s a Friday and that’s when we do our guest episodes. We both thought that you should be the Valentine’s Day episode. Interestingly enough, on this topic of words, we also have big holidays that the entire world celebrates. We have some holidays that are national or regional and then almost every single day there’s a holiday, like the National Popcorn Day.
It’s a great marketing tool. There is a database you can submit to create your own holiday. For me personally, I celebrate the 20th of every month as a holiday/holy day.
Why is that?
My birthday is June 20th, which is awesome because a lot of times, when you’re born on a specific date, there’s a resonance to it. That’s all well and good. Summer solstice coming into that last day of spring. There’s a holiday embedded in my day of birth. I was also born on Father’s day, which is cool. My wife, Zoe, she was born on March 20th.
I was born on March 21st.
You’re also an Equinox. There’s that instant like, “You’re twenty also,” when we met. We had a child who was born on September 20th. He’s on the autumn Equinox.
Were you like, “You better push him out on the 20th?”
It was a funny thing because the day before Zoe started going into labor, there was a little disbelief of like, “The odds of you having our baby on the 20th are pretty good unless this takes way long or way short.” We’ve just decided as a family and as the Yes Family, twelve of our Yes Holidays every 20th we do special.
We should dive right into what the Yes Family means. We don’t do proper introductions when we have people on the show because we don’t want it to feel like this is a structured thing. We’d love some background for the audience. Talk about what yes means to you personally and professionally.
What is the philosophy and ethos of Yes?
The word itself, Yes, everyone has a feeling about it. I think it’s a powerful word. We use it similar to what we’re saying with the intention behind things, behind words specifically. The word, yes, has this opening, this permission. It has also this contrast with the word no, which is contracting. I like to say that yes, it turns doors into doorways. I like to say that yes is a three-letter word that we use to describe this immense, almost indescribable sensation, like saying, “God or yes.” It’s also one of the top three things that people say when they’re orgasming. There’s a lot of power to that.
You mentioned God and yes. What’s the third thing you said?
The F word. Zoe’s a sexologist. She got her degree in Sexology. I don’t know that she claimed the title sexologist. I’m a YESologist. I study what happens when we say yes. The study of yes is such a deep inquiry into how we make decisions. This is where I’ve been coming out. I’ve been doing a bunch of research on the neuroscience of the word yes and about words specifically. One of the things that I learned was that we make 35,000 decisions a day. 95% of them are totally in the subconscious, which is we could come back to the intention of words and the way that the subconscious perceives those too.Yes turns doors into doorways. Click To Tweet
That’s a whole other curious conundrum of conversation and language falling short or missing the mark. You may call these 35,000 decisions and each of them comes down to a yes or a no. Either we’re going to turn left or we’re going to do this, yes or no. I’m going to pick up the fork or I’m going to pick up the spoon. There are all these yes and noes. I’ve been zooming deep into the micro yes. You know your F-yes and you know your F-no. There’s some gray in between, which is where a lot of my curiosity lies. What I’m wanting to do in the field of YESology, and as I share this, is for people to be able to find their yes because that yes is your flow. When you know your yes and you’re able to make the consistent decisions, one after the next, there’s a momentum that happens. Synchronicity drops in and your timing is on point. People are attracted. There’s magnetism. It’s a very powerful sensation to be on your yes flow.
Do you think that’s part of the reason anxiety maybe one of the causes or maybe decisions are becoming harder and harder? Based on your research, there has been such a big increase in anxiety in our culture.
It’s the option paralysis. We have so many options. It’s more important to know where you’re rooted and to know your pillars of how you make decisions and who you are through that decision.
We have this fear of missing out.
Sometimes, I have it.
I was like, “The new title of the episode is The Cure for FOMO.”
I know there are so many good episode titles. How are we going to pick?
This brings up an interesting set of questions because in making choices, we are narrowing our field of vision and we are intrinsically narrowing the available options. If we choose a monogamous romantic relationship for instance, we are by saying yes to that person and that structure, automatically not saying yes or saying no to the other available options by making that choice. Is part of declaring one’s yes for some people the fear of, “Am I making the wrong decision by saying no to these other options?” To condense the original question in your psychological analysis of the nature of yes is one of the biggest fears and I’m curious about what your observations around people’s fears of this offshoot of FOMO. If I say yes to this and drop my anchor by making a decision, I’m afraid that I’ve made the wrong decision or that I’m shutting all these other doors by intrinsically saying yes to this one thing. What is your feeling about that?
This sounds like that’s the practical definition of hesitation. I take this same concept. When we say yes to something, we’re saying no to a finite number, but a very large number of different options and opportunities. Through a linear cognitive space, we would think, “I’m saying no to all these things that are bad,” or “I’m losing my options.” Options are freedom and that to me means that yes, that you’re declaring is greater than a million noes. The impact of saying yes to this gets the power and the momentum of the boundary of all of that stuff that could be factoring into option paralysis. All of these things even in the monogamy space. I’ve had all kinds of experiences, both polyamorous and monogamous. My wife and I are monogamous, heterosexual and committed partners, which was my Burning Man name, to keep it clear and unambiguous.
That is such a service. That’s such a beautiful thing to offer people where you’re saying, “This is my boundary.” We’re saying yes to one thing. We’re saying then no to millions of things. That puts a lot of weight and power on that yes. Within that yes, it has its own infinity of possibility. To take that meta on high level and bring it into practicality, when we’re making decisions motivated by fear, we’re pretty much asking for a karmic lesson. When there’s fear embedded in it, I’m making this because I don’t want this thing to happen or I’m afraid this is going to happen, so I’m going to hedge my bets and make an insurance bet. There’s going to be a little grit to sandpaper through. Generally, and from what I’ve observed, even in my own life, I’m pretty aware of when I have the fear come in and that might mean I’m not ready to make this decision yet, if it’s a big enough decision.
Not making a decision is also a decision.
There is a decision to gather more information. There’s no right way to do this. This is a study. There’s no destination on the yes road, it’s just a self-inquiry.
Did you read Shonda Rhimes’ book, Year of Yes?
I audiobook a lot.
Me too. That’s how I listened to it.
I listened to about 25 minutes of it and I didn’t relate at all. It could have been who I am and where I am, but I don’t have an obstacle to yes.
She does, which was the whole point of her book.
For me, a year of yes, that’s like I’m going to do a cleanse and then I’m going back to making a definitive line. I’m going to do this radical thing called saying yes. I think she was saying yes to get her away from saying no so much.
It was building a new habit for herself.
Also, we can put up a flag in the sand here and say, “Saying yes or being a YESologists means we actually say no a lot.” You need to protect your yes. The fidelity of that yes is all we have in our decision currency.
Jason, every time I hear the word decisions, I think of that TikTok video you’d made with your dog, Bella.
The Decision song.
It’s a very weird video. Have you gotten into TikTok at all, Justin?
I have only observed TikTok and then questioned, “Do I need to do this? Do I need to learn TikTok?” The decision would be a fear-based decision. I’m going to miss out on something. I need to do this. I don’t know that TikTok is the best venue for the message that I have. I like long-form better anyway.
I think a lot about that when it comes to social media as there’s so much fear of missing out. This came up in our episode with Paige. She’s talking about this fear of taking a break from social media. She’s afraid to stop and take a rest.
Because the algorithm will be skewed and then she’ll have to start over and build momentum again and people will forget about you. There’s a litany of fears that can arise from that type of thinking.
I think it’s heavy. That’s another thing that seems to contribute to anxiety. The need, which Jason and I talk about, hustle a lot and how there’s this hustle culture. You always have to go and you should only sleep four hours a night if you want to succeed. A lot of different mentalities on what it means to be successful or what does it mean to get your message out? What does it mean to work hard? How to outwork each other? All these different things that come up a lot for entrepreneurs. I think that the three of us are in this interesting place where we have each been entrepreneurial for many years and there’s a new whole new wave of entrepreneurship happening.
Especially with teenagers and twenty-year-olds who are recognizing how much power they have and starting businesses based on social media and online businesses. I feel like the hustle mindset is perhaps being reinforced a lot because people feel like if they don’t continuously produce if they’re on all these different platforms, they will lose relevancy. It’s not only overconsumption of digital media but the constant creation that people are making and maybe not getting in touch with their whys and the roots of why they feel they need to do that. My ongoing question is do you need to do all of that? Is it necessary?
Justin, you are using cacao and your creative genius with YES Cacao as the Minister of Chocolate to spread the message of yes and the power of yes through cacao. Building on Whitney’s question, as an entrepreneur who is making a physical consumable product with an ultra-clear intention behind it, what has that push and pull been like for you to have a physical consumable product? To want to obviously get it into as many mouths, hearts and minds as possible? Whitney and I have observed it from afar but not having actually been in the chocolate factory with you. As a piggyback on her question, what has that journey been like? What is it like to have something you want to physically get into people’s bodies, the challenges, the hopes, the dreams and the sorrows? I have no idea what it’s like to be a chocolate maker. I can only observe in awe of what you are doing and have done. I know that’s a loaded question, but what has that been like to have taken this journey in this mission on for yourself?
Especially in the midst of a changing time where we have access to food like never before. Anybody can get practically anything from all around the world and we have social media, which gives us a whole new marketing medium but also creates a lot more decisions.When you give someone permission, you're saying for your mission. Click To Tweet
There are a lot of questions embedded in there. What’s it like to be the minister of chocolate?
I’m also curious. I’ve been doing this for a decade and it is a truly organic outcropping of, “I love cacao. I love people. I love herbs, teas, flowers and adaptogens,” before that was even a term. In doing an inquiry, I was waking up every morning and saying, “I only do what I love.” That evolved into, “I only do what serves God’s love or the love that is going to be felt through as many ripples of humans as possible.” It became this expansive journey of following my yes and creating these different formulas. Putting them into cacao and then sharing them. Most of it is done in person, one-to-one, farmer’s markets, making custom batches for people, which is still probably the most fun part of YES Cacao. Sitting down with someone for an hour, figuring out what’s going on in their life, be it a health challenge or a goal like a triathlon, a TED Talk, writing a book or whatever it might be.
Creating a 30, 21 or 27-day chocolate protocol that was basically, “Here are your herbs. You need to take them. You might not take them if they’re in pills or if they’re a powder. If I put them in a chocolate bar, you’re going to eat them every day.” I love that. Something that I’ve been reflecting as this last decade came to a close, it was a lot of good, deep, uncomfortable reflection and introspection. I had gotten away and all along the way telling myself I don’t want to move away from the thing that is at the core of my mission here. That is the person-to-person piece. I am a chocolate maker who has not been commercially making my own chocolate for some years because I have too many hats. If I’m going to be doing my social media, my accounting, our promotions, our marketing and managing stores.
Bringing people on at different parts to help but also not doing that traditional way of entrepreneurialism where you raise a chunk of capital and then deploy a plan. This was because it started so organic. It was like, “Some money came in and I’m going to do this thing.” It’s definitely way more difficult to do it in that way because there’s the unpredictability of when chunks come in to launch forward and to move forward. As I was filling out the last few days of 2019, I was like, “I want to bring this so much closer. I want to bring it deeper in.” We’re here in San Francisco because of the Fancy Food Show. There’s the Expo West show. I love these events for the people connection.
When I think about this food system, which is deeply broken, where I want to connect with a human being with this super special product that I’m not just making it a commodity. I’m making this to be felt as deeply in all of the sensational wonders of your palette and beyond. Treating your brain like it wants to have neuro-plasticity. I’m treating your joints like, “Let’s add some flexibility and some cartilage and anti-inflammatory responses.” I was like, “I don’t want to sell my product in stores.” In some stores, yes. We have great relationships with a lot of our stores we’re in.
Do you have a favorite store? It doesn’t have to be the best one in your opinion. What comes to your mind when you tune into your heart?
I live in Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz, I dig the vibe at Staff of Life. I used to go there when I went to school in Santa Cruz many years ago. I’m a banana slug and I collect them.
What does that mean?
That’s the school mascot at UCSE. Made probably most famous by John Travolta wearing the shirt in Pulp Fiction.
As the close second is the viral video on YouTube, slug sex. Have you seen it? It’s like a National Geographic style super macro lens and it’s these two bananas slugs making love and all over each other. Their whole body turns into a sexual organ. To pull it back to the favorite store thing, at least in Northern California, Good Earth is such a phenomenal offering.
There are two locations. One in Mill Valley and one in Fairfax. To put another depth full layer, we’ve had on their package 99% organic for several years. We don’t have the USDA organic seal because they won’t give it to us.
Why won’t they give it to you?
Some of the ingredients that we use are rare and exotic like blue lotus. Sheila G. did come into the USDA organic purview, but gynostemma tea is not organic. It’s not on the grass list. It’s like some weird loophole. It’s a tea that’s been drunk by millions of people. It’s typically grown in either China or Thailand. Things grown in Thailand, it’s pretty difficult to get organic certification unless you bring a US certifier there, which can be pretty pricey, sometimes $20,000 to $25,000.
We use a lot of herbs and teas. There was a handful of them. Pine pollen also, which for whatever reason, the USDA organization or their representatives we were working with kept on getting it confused with bee pollen. They’re like, “Why aren’t you using organic? Because it’s available.” I’m like, “No.” Pine pollen is a wild foraged thing. Generally, they are in a pine forest and you’re shaking off the pollen. For whatever reason, months and months and so much conversation and they won’t give us the USDA organic. It’s super frustrating because if I wanted to be in stores, this is part of the reason a lot of time a buyer is looking for what are those certifications are going to help it make it easier for their customer to purchase. If I’m not going to be there at the aisle talking to every single person.
Erewhon is one of those stores that’s super strict.
It’s like I’m saying, “No, everything in here is meticulously selected.” It’s not a marketing thing where we’re saying we get the best quality. I’ve been in this for over a decade, sifting through and sorting through. Sometimes a company gets purchased by another company and their source changes. My tongue is the one that figures it out before I hear. I’m like, “That is different.” In that way, the social media venue, if that is what is available as a tool and as a platform to connect directly with human beings. We’re in a very different place for YES Cacao. We’re opening a YES Shop in Santa Cruz, which I’m super stoked.
Does Yes Shop mean more than chocolate?
It’s your YES Life. What are the things that you want to have in there? From books to beautiful works of art, paintings, some food items. I’ll be making stuff all the time that I’ll be sharing. When someone comes into the YES shop, there’s got to be a full sensory experience like a picnic bench in the middle. You’ve got your animal spirit cards and tarot cards. We’re doing deep dives and it’s my office. The front half of it is a retail and the back half is the office.
Is this your first public announcement of this?
It had that energy. When you said it, I freaked. Not only because I would be there, but also I’m like, “I think he’s telling the public this for the first time.”
I was thinking about this for a while. I was looking for an office in Santa Cruz. I would go to my favorite coffee shop in Santa Cruz. It’s called 11th Hour. There’s nothing like this. It’s not just about the coffee. The coffee is phenomenal, but the culture in this space. The vibe is effortlessly curated that you want to hang out there. I’d go there all the time and they roast their coffee there. Brayden, who I met at this gathering up in the woods, a birthday party for another fellow food entrepreneur, he told me that he was opening a coffee shop in Santa Cruz. I was like, “There are ten coffee shops. There’s four or five within a quarter-mile of where you’re opening it.” I didn’t say anything right away. I was listening to how he was describing it. In the description, I was like, “I’m going to come to check this place out.” I went there and I was like, “I’m looking for an office space. I’d love it to be downtown somewhere around here.” He’s like, “Steve, the guitar shop guy who’s been there for eight years is moving out of his office. You should be our neighbor.” I’m right next door to my favorite coffee shop in Santa Cruz, which I’m super stoked.
I’m very excited to come back to Santa Cruz.
You told me you want to come up and have some quality experiences. We’re going to create that for you.
I want to circle back to Cacao because obviously, this YES shop is going to be an extension of your philosophy and your ethos. As cacao is often referred to as a delivery mechanism for these super herbs, adaptogens and these healthy functional ingredients. Out of all the delivery mechanisms you could have picked, why that for nourishing people’s bodies and minds. Why that for the philosophy why? Why cacao out of all the things you could have chosen? You could choose a million different food products to deliver these herbs, adaptogens and this philosophy of yes.
It’s appropriate that this episode is coming out on Valentine’s Day, which is a day that a lot of people associate with chocolate. That’s not the only holiday. We’re going to shelf this right back to holidays. Every holiday between Halloween and Easter, chocolate is a centerpiece of the holiday. There’s good momentum there. Additionally, I love chocolate. For me, it wasn’t even I was choosing chocolate as the delivery system. For me, I was already chosen by chocolate. One night, we’re hanging out and Lisa Gutierrez is like, “I’m making chocolate for my girlfriend’s birthday party.” I was like, “I’m sorry, what did you say? You’re making chocolate? You could just make chocolate?”
When I was growing up, my mom would go get those molds at Michael’s, and then those microwaveable bags of chocolate. She would melt them and then we’d pour the molds and I would give them to my teachers. My mom would keep me in good graces with my school system. I’ve had chocolate embedded in me. I was potty trained in M&Ms. Part of my life has been this chocolate thing. When Lisa says this to me and I was like, “Yes, sure, I’ll help you.” We made chocolate that night. I was like, “That was so easy. I’m going to make chocolate every day.” Being a man of my word, I was like, “I’m going to keep making chocolate.” Eating raw chocolate, that was something that I had not experienced before. Once that moved into the availability of wild-harvested raw cacao, then there was no turning back. I have yet to find a food that impacts me holistically, not just through the sensation of pleasure, but also the wake-up. The feeling, the relax and my body, but also I’m awake. For the last several years, I have been eating about a half a pound of chocolate a day. It’s about 150 pounds of chocolate a year.
I imagine that many of our readers understand this, but just in case they don’t. A lot of people think of chocolate as junk food or a sweet treat, dessert or candy. Maybe to them, they’re thinking, “What do you mean?” On a different spectrum, there are people that didn’t know what chocolate looks like in a pod. They’ve never seen a cacao pod. They don’t even know what cocoa powder versus cacao. People that have never had cacao nibs before and expect it to taste this sweet treat. I think chocolate is interesting because there’s a lot of misconceptions around it. For you, when you’re saying that you eat chocolate, you mean you’re eating cacao or you’re eating the actual chocolate product because you make it?
I’m mostly eating botanical chocolate, which is a term that I coined. I have the botanical chocolate on my Google alerts. There’s a chocolate festival in Japan happening on Valentine’s Day. The showcase in the festival in Osaka is botanical chocolate. I was like, “That’s amazing.” I had trademarked that term years ago. I don’t know how it’s related except for consciousness.The way that you hold your relationships actually speaks a lot to your uniqueness. Click To Tweet
Justin, how do you define botanical chocolate? What does that mean to you?
Botanical chocolate is using chocolate as a delivery system for botanicals. That could be super herbs, teas, essential oils, medicinal mushrooms such that it’s not for flavor only. It has to go beyond the flavor addition because lavender chocolate is lovely. Are we using the lavender for functionality? It’s about intention and what the chocolate is being used for. Like language, our intention comes through. Botanical chocolate has to have a functional direction or some type of benefit that’s coming through beyond what normal chocolate would be offering. It’s not for flavor only. Oftentimes, that means having a lot more of something. Some turmeric for example.
We’re not putting a little bit of turmeric to color it and we’re not putting a little bit of turmeric so we can say there’s turmeric in the bar. We’re putting 800 milligrams of 95% curcumin turmeric, which is a fatty serving so that your body actually registers, “This is an anti-inflammation response.” That feels nice. It’s not a mental thing. It’s got to be physically felt. Not everyone is sensitive in that same way, but chocolate versus cacao. Cacao helps with sensitivity and allowing your body to discern and learn what is a yes and what is a no.
When we eat chocolate, that’s a commodity. There’s a numbing effect. There’s this hum. The way I picture it is every single tree, every plant is the same. They’re exchangeable. It’s like this big herd of homogeny. I like to embrace cacao, which is through wild-harvested cacao. Every single tree has a unique character with its ecosystem and forming it with certain bugs and organisms all feeding in and certain types of bees. There’s such intelligence to nature. When we’re eating food that contributes to our connectedness to that intelligence, it feels different. One of my favorite gurus saying, adages or quote is, “Are we eating for two inches of our tongue or eating for this six feet of our body?”
I can almost guarantee you that that’s going to become one of Jason’s go-to adages.
That will become part of my adage cosmology.
It’s because you get to say tongue and mouth and it’s good.
It’s wonderful because what that elicits in me is eating for more than just the transitory pleasure of the moment. Although we respect to pleasure and pleasure is important as people are withholding pleasure a lot in our society. That’s a whole other subject and there is a lot more than just the momentary pleasure of consuming the thing. It’s thinking about how is this contributing to my longevity, my contentment, building my body on a cellular level, my neurotransmitters. To me, there’s so much weight to that quote because it’s thinking, how consuming this thing feeding me so that I can continue my mission on this planet? There’s a lot of weight and that’s a dense, beautiful adage you use.
When you give someone permission, you’re saying for your mission. I feel like everything that I’m creating be it the shop or everything that’s more appropriately being created through me and I’m being inspired to push through, has to have that deep permission vibe. I want people to feel safe to be themselves, which is missing in our culture. People are wanting to conform and ignoring what’s their truth.
I feel like a lot of people don’t want to conform or are afraid.
It’s conforming to the non-conforming narrative.
This actually one of the reasons I like TikTok for example. Interesting because you get to observe a lot of people. There are so many users on TikTok. It’s a huge opportunity for a psychological study, especially of people between the ages of 12 to 23. There are people of all the ages, demographics and locations on TikTok, but there’s this culture on there. It does seem there’s a lot of people that want to break out and not conform but in a way. Sometimes when you are so committed to not conforming, it’s like you’re swinging so far in the opposite direction, you might as well be conforming because you’re just conforming to something else. There’s this interesting human desire to find your own way, but sometimes they’re not finding your own way. You’re getting lost and thinking that you’re finding your own way, but it’s what everybody else is doing.
I witnessed this and I feel like I know where Jason’s going to go with it.
There are a million versions of this. I’m going to get a bunch of tattoos and piercings, be in a punk rock band, be a hardcore straight-edge vegan and do the suspension. I’m into BDSM and I’m going to adopt all these animals. I’m going to ride a motorcycle. Whatever it is, I’m going to do all this “radical stuff.” There’s another punk rock, BDSM, motorcycle riding. I’m not the only one. Then it begs the question of this idea of unified field theory or consciousness that exists beyond our bodies that people are tapping into that. I’m not the only one who’s had this idea and there are other people into what I’m into.
How radical am I being if other people have this exact idea and are living a very similar life and are passionate about the same things? This quest for non-conformity finds me in “conformity,” because I’m finding all of these people into the same “weird, freaky” stuff that I’m into. It’s not so weird and freaky because they’re into it too. Maybe we’re all tapping into this universal consciousness, God consciousness or whatever you want to call it. Are there any original ideas or is anything actually that radical? That was a massive rant.
What is radical to you?
It’s also the word mainstream.
To be honest with you, I’m not sure that there’s anything all that radical anymore.
I think this is the other thing that happens with social media. We’re exposed to many other people that we realize that we’re not that unique after all in certain ways. It all depends on how you define your uniqueness. Of course, we all have our individual elements, but to Jason’s point, maybe all the things you listed out that combination of lifestyle is not as unique as you thought. There’s a Facebook group of a few thousand people that are into that too. We didn’t have that a decade ago. It’s still relatively new.
Perhaps we weren’t aware that exist. People being into these unique radical proclivities, I’m the only one in my small town doing this thing and then the world opens up and we’re like, “There’s actually a lot more people than I would have possibly even imagined being into this thing.”
I’m the token radical person in my micro-community. There’s a lot of nuance to this because when I think about what is radical and when I think about being unique. First of all, there is that question of what is the drive to be unique, which I believe you guys did cover in another episode. Podcasters research their interviewees, but I want to also research my podcasters.
In full disclosure, since we don’t do interviews, we don’t do research. We like to open it up and have this authentic conversation.
I wanted to know how many envelopes I could push.
We want you to push us as far as you want. Get uncomfortable.
I don’t know that you want me to push all the way. I do want to comment on this base of nuance and relational currency and our relationship to the character that we’re creating. That contrast and who we were and who we are becoming, that is very unique. Our relationships with each other are very unique. I haven’t listened to a lot of Jordan Harbinger’s content, but one nugget that came through my consciousness was that our networks are like our fingerprints. Nobody has the network that you have in the way that you have it. The way that you hold your relationships actually speaks a lot to your uniqueness.
To put a cherry on top of this and the necessity for us to find our true voice and to be these purpose/ being in our pure pose where we’re ourselves contributing. We each have unique missions to be adding to this beautiful pyramid here. Our culture has been missing some tools that are super important. Because we have the social media tools, we have technologies as tools. One of the things that I’m budding into a more mainstream conversation is psychedelics. That piece of what psychedelics can do for emotional intelligence, for shifting our perspectives. Yes, you can get high and have escapism, an amazing time. We’re talking about feeding the six feet of your body. Same concept, same holistic relationship. When we use psychedelics for the purpose of growth and for knowing thyself, that’s going to be a huge shift.
When the permission goes out where it’s decriminalized and beyond that recognized for its therapeutic benefits, which it has been. There are plenty of studies and there’s a big movement pushing through to bring psychedelic therapies, micro-dosing and bringing that into mental health. The same way you would go get a juice at the juice bar. Being able to have access to tune in frequencies. That is coming and coming fast. That’s an exciting piece that at least where chocolate isn’t involved is going to be a great delivery system for that. I may or may not be working on a project with that.
It’s interesting to see what’s happened over the past year with CBD. We’re drinking a CBD water and now, there are all these sparkling and CBD waters. There’s CBD in chocolates, coffees and on and on. That’s new and it happened so fast.
Hopefully, we learn things as we launch these substances into the legal sphere. Things that were illegal that then go through the gray market and then become legal. Because there’s a lot of education around CBD that has not been published. You have to dig pretty hard to find out that there’s a big difference between having CBD derived from hemp and the benefits you’d get from that versus the benefits you would get from a CBD derived from a cannabis plant. That has maybe even just the smallest amount of THC in it. Not that it’s going to be psychoactive, but the pain relief benefits. There’s no comparing the two. You can have a 500-milligram hemp drink and you can have a 25-milligram CBD that’s derived from cannabis.
There’s a huge difference in that. The education around that, which I think is also begging for people to step up in teaching the curriculum and organizing models for emotional intelligence such that we have permission to get uncomfortable, to feel safe and to have permission. I can see that’s in a long-form, the direction that yes and YESology goes is about teaching us to be fluid in our emotional intelligence and how to also relate that to our intellectual intelligence. I started 2020 with a ten-day fast. That ten-day fast solidified so much of this momentum for this next decade. I highly recommend a monitor or ease into it if you need to. That was a potent clarifier of how all of these things are coming together and what my role is in it. It’s been fun. Also people are addicted to food and you don’t know that until you don’t have food for ten days.Promises are not real until the money's in the bank. Click To Tweet
Cleanses teach you a lot about yourself and I love that you are on such a journey to not only learn about yourself, but then to support other people and learning about themselves. The basis of this show is talking about what we’re going through and hoping that it inspires somebody else to think differently, to try something else out and to seek out some new information. It’s amazing to chat with you and know all of these things. It seemed like even Jason didn’t know about you. How long have you guys known each other?
I met Justin at a Cinco de Mayo party in 2009 at the house he lived in in the Hollywood Hills. I brought some raw chocolate brownies with the syrup and he was making his chocolate. It was one of those meetings that it was an instant bond. One of those, in my opinion, rare instances where you’re like, “This human being is going to be in my life,” and here we are many years later. I think that this mission that we talked about, he reminds me of a Ram Dass quote that we’re all just walking each other home. The resources and wisdom you have. Whitney, I and dear readers, if you’re attracted to this show and Justin’s wonderful work YESology, there’s a similar mission in sharing the resources, the wisdom and the love to walk each other home. I deeply believe that. I strongly feel there needs to be a part two, that coming up to Santa Cruz to celebrate the opening.
We’re going to have a show set up at the shop. Come bring your equipment and we’ll have wires crossed everywhere.
There are tentacles and tangential streams that I have placeholders in my brain that I want to jump down even more rabbit holes with you. I think the perfect opportunity is a road trip back to Santa Cruz. Do you have a name for the establishment?
The sign on the front of the shop says YES Cacao since we moved in there. I think keeping it YES Cacao. It’s a beloved brand and we’re taking a little bit of a left turn after investing beaucoup dollars in branding, but not having raised enough money to see the branding all the way through the marketplace. It’s the timing of how it happened, which is a whole other lesson set out of being an entrepreneur and wanting to leap forward but also needing to keep the feet planted. Also, knowing that promises are not real until the money’s in the bank. We can plan, but until it’s in there. I have this fully branded epic unveil of YES Cacao that’s just sitting on a shelf waiting. I need this grassroots for my soul and I need to be able to touch people and talk to people directly, I’m going all the way back, not back which is forward and starting to do farmer’s markets and having this shop so I can be doing demos and festivals.
Remember we saw you at Lightning in a Bottle years ago.
We’re doing a Back to the Future tour. The bars are going to be in white envelopes with stamps on them. I’m taking it all the way to as simple as essence as possible.
As long as you keep that Karma Mellow flavor.
The golden chocolate. It’s now called Brain Power, but the owl is still there.
As long as the owl is still there, that’s important.
The owl has a coat with its wings open and there’s this whole merkaba and this whole thing is beaming out.
Mr. Justin Polgar, the Minister of Chocolate, thank you for being with us.
It’s such a delicious pleasure.
It’s such an auspicious meeting with you always. Part two will be coming soon. For more on this incredible human being, his chocolate exploits and his YESology, YesCacao the website and YES Cocoa on all of the social media. Get this man’s chocolate, put it in your mouth, experience it in your being because it is a transformative experience. I do not use that terminology lightly. For all more of our exploits, we are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, @Wellevatr.
I’m going to give an invitation to our readers. I want badly, goodly and so deeply for you to feel and register the power of the word, yes. Something that I did for several years was when I woke up in the morning, I opened my eyes and I just said, “Yes.” I invite the audience to program that into the start of your day and see how saying yes at the very front bumper of your day shifts the way your brain kickstarts. Open your day with a yes
I’m doing it too. I already decided.
That’s an amazing analogy for what all of us are going through all the time.
Every time I hear the word, decisions, I think of that little video and the decision song.
I make a lot of jingles.
I that’s such a good genre for you.
I feel like I could own the jingles genre. In 2020 I feel like I’m going to extend those vines into that. Let’s do a jingle for YES Cacao on the spot. “If you wake up and you’ve got a frown, better gets your body some of the YES Cacao. Whether you’re in the past or in the future, better get your butt right here now. YES Cacao.”
I felt the vibration of creativity. I have an epidermal experience. You jaw-dropped me.
When you do your next version, you have to integrate the owl and all the little characters.
I will work on something.
We have plenty of opportunities to play.
Thank you for being here with us.
It’s such a pleasure. Thank you.
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
- Paige Snyder – previous episode
- YES Cacao
- Fancy Food Show
- Expo West
- Staff of Life
- Good Earth
- Lightning in a Bottle
- Slug Sex Viral Video
- OSHO: Spiritually Incorrect
- Twitter – Wellevatr
- Facebook – Wellevatr
- @Wellevatr – Instagram
About Justin Polgar
Justin Frank Polgar is an alchemical chocolate technologist, aka The Minister of Chocolate!
Focusing his chocolate innovation toward education in the holistic health and wellness category, Justin reallllllly loves chocolate. Making chocolate with Willy Wonka style, he is an inspirational cheerleader for everyone to find their YES.
When he is taking a moment away from his educational art project Yes Life Foods, you will find Justin chanting “YES!”, dancing like a wild child, concocting in the kitchen, getting praisey with Zoë, drinking tea, adventuring to foreign lands, and engaging plant medicine of the old pharmacopoeias
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!