The Journey Back to Self with Philip McKernan
I have the privilege of sharing this extraordinary episode with my friend and mentor, Philip McKernan.
Philip is the type of human who’s hard to describe with words. You simply have to experience him. This episode gives you a glimpse into his world, and speaks to why he’s had such a profound impact in my life and countless others.
We cover a range of topics that all map back to finding your true self. This includes realizing our gifts, leading with mind vs soul, the power of crying, creating space for transitions, Philip’s take on transformation and much more. This content is truly extraordinary.
I appreciate Philip for many things. His energy and wisdom influenced my journey for this podcast, the SPACE I’m creating, and the way I’m showing up in the world.
Philip inspires courage unlike anyone else I’ve encountered. I’m deeply grateful for that and the experiences I’ve shared with him.
Enjoy the content!
“I don't trust my brain at all. I don't trust my mind. It’s a place where a lot of dysfunctionality is, a lot of paranoia exists, a lot of second guessing, a lot of hiding.”
“When I get out of my head and connect with my soul and my body, in that more intuitive place, there's not a decision I can make that goes wrong.
“I believe we need to go back and address our childhood within reason, on occasion, in a safe environment with a degree of curiosity to understand how it's impacted who we are today and how it's impacting who we are going to be tomorrow.”
“Typically, when we have a good cry it's a very therapeutic, very beautiful thing. It allows us to relax into ourselves. It can create tremendous clarity. It can allow us to see things that ordinarily just don't appear.”
“It's harder to lean into something when we don't have a clear picture in terms of it's full evolution in advance. And that to me, is the precipice and the marriage of creativity and brilliance and bravery coming together all at one time.”
“As I grow as a human, my work needs to catch up.”
“I see so many people trying to be coaches, trying to be speakers, trying to be this, trying to be parents, trying to be whatever. And there's all these systems to teach you to be something. And many of them, I think, bring us away from the essence of who we are.”
“I think if we think about ourselves a little closer to our own mortality, I think it can be an impetus and a little bit of a healthy urgency towards making changes and transformation.”
[00:00:00] Ali: Welcome back folks. I have a very special guest today, Mr. Philip McKernan. It's going to be really hard to describe you. I've attempted it when I've shared some of the impact that you've created in my life, Philip, and words often fail to do it justice or to seek some version of describing who you are and and what you do.
So I'm actually gonna let you do that. But what I do wanna share is a quick overview of the things that I've absorbed and learned and now starting to feel the courage to demonstrate in my life as a result of meeting you.
And this goes back awhile. There's a really cool story that may come up today if we have time, but among other things, I had the unique privilege of joining you for Brave Life during the pandemic, which is this really cool virtual experience with other people who showed up to really invest in themselves.
Then Brave Soul, which is one of the most extraordinary retreats and trips I've ever taken, which happened last July. And then now I'm very fortunate and blessed to feel included in The Brave Coach community, which is a smaller circle of people who are working with you and under you and through you to really express the art of coaching, which has been one of many gifts I've received from you. So thank you for being here. Thank you for creating space for this. How would you like to introduce yourself?
[00:01:31] Philip: Oh, good God. I really don't know. I don't know how to introduce myself. I can attempt the elevator speech. I can tempt to give you a little mini bio that makes me sound and look good. Uh, but I'm, I'm a guy. I'm just a regular guy who's trying to do his best. And I do have a gift and I used to apologize about that. I used to hide from that. I used to be ashamed of that. And I don't anymore.
And the last thing I'll say about that gift is it's coming through me. It's not of me. So I don't feel, it's actually me and my ego and my gift is the ability to truly see people even when they can't see themselves. And create the space for them to begin to experiment and show up like that. And that is who I am at my core. And I've been like that since I was a young boy and nothing has changed. I think what happened is I just meandered away from myself for a very, very long time. And I'm not that super old, but I ignored myself for a very long time. I ignored my gifts. I try to be something else to fit in. I try to be anything to fit in.
And in that pursuit, I abandoned myself for a very long time. And I understand not just intellectually, but emotionally, what it feels like to do that. And no one on this earth needs to go through that. And my job is, as much as I can between now the day I die, is to eliminate that pain and discomfort and unnecessariness for as many people as I can.
[00:02:47] Ali: Wow. Yes, I'm already gonna say right now, I'm gonna be challenged with how to navigate this conversation because just in there, there were like five things that my mind was firing off on, like, oh, well I wanna ask about this, I wanna ask about this. Where I'm gonna go back to is where you started though, because in the beginning of your introduction, you said, _"I just don't know."_
And I love that humility because in being at Brave Soul, for example, I observed the art that you brought to us in that experience, and I also loved that there were times where you would literally be like, ah, no, no, no, I'm gonna stop and shift here. It's a really unique skill that to me, demonstrates not performing.
Because there's the whole performance. There's what I want you to have, there's the value I want to create, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, which is almost inevitable in mentorship. But to have the humility and the awareness like, wait a second, this isn't feeling where I want to go. That is one of the things that I love about how you communicate and how you show up, so thank you for that.
[00:03:52] Philip: Yeah, you're welcome. I've never introduced myself like I just did. I didn't have anything written in front of me. I don't have any notes. And I suppose I'm gonna attempt to try to draw a correlation between why did I introduce myself like that now. You could go back over any podcast I've ever recorded. There might be one or two nuances, but essentially I, I've never ever described myself like that. And it's because of who you are and it's because of the energy we have here right now. Yes, we're on Zoom. Yes, we're in different parts of the world.
Mm-hmm. But because of the way you show up, it invites me to be a particular way. If you show up looking for performance, I might feel the need to perform because my insecurity kicks in and my intellect kicks in. Mm-hmm. And I guess that's the goddamn point, is that, you know, I think what we do is we, we all want to fit in, but we all feel we need to be something else sometimes in order to do that.
And yet when we are ourselves, our brilliant, beautiful, dysfunctional selves we just create an environment for everyone else to be the same. And I always hope that people, it's not a wish, I suppose it's not even a desire, it's just, um, I can't even describe it, but it's to never ever, ever see myself above anybody else.
Mm-hmm. And I think one of the challenges for, as a speaker, as a coach, as a writer, whatever, when you put it, when you're on stage, people desperately wanna put you on a pedestal. Yeah. A pedestal that you didn't ask for, and a pedestal that you don't deserve. And in that, in that moment, they put you into a place that you're uncomfortable and they put themselves into a place that they, they don't deserve. And, and to stay outta that place is really, really important.
[00:05:18] Ali: I agree. It's funny, I was just having a conversation with another good friend, and we were talking about this concept of status and comparison. Which is so hard to avoid as humans, right. I'll even admit openly that there's times where I've put you on a pedestal, but then there's also times where I've felt being with you and it's because of the presence that you create. And I have this relationship with all types of people in my life. And to come back to your point, I felt that life gets so much easier when we stop that shit. Yeah. When it's just like, hey, we're here. We're experiencing life together.
I've actually felt this in my marriage where a lot of things shifted several years ago. Whereas none of this pulling and pushing and needing and depending, but, what if we just experienced life together as if we're just here now. I don't even want to use these words, but on the same plane, on the same level because again, there's all the ego, all the thoughts, a lot of fear-based things come into play when it's like, oh, that person's better than me, or they're below me, or they're higher.
I appreciate that a lot. And one of the things I mentioned that I wanted to ask you about is how that relates to fear? How that relates to ego? I heard something really interesting the other day that reminded me of some conversations we've had. And it was this simple mental model of saying that if you were to distill two voices in your head, one could be the ego, which speaks from a place of fear, and one could be your soul, which speaks from a place of love. Does any of that land with you?
[00:06:48] Philip: Yeah. I mean, the way I describe my own physical body in a way is, or my own spiritual journey is I don't trust my brain at all. I don't trust my mind. I never really have, but I think I've been able to put language to it in, in more recent years. But my brain is a place where a lot of dysfunctionality is, a lot of paranoia exists, a lot of second guessing, a lot of hiding.
People stay in their minds, stay in their heads. I know I have and, and do to avoid pain. And when I get outta my head and I connect with my soul, and it does feel like it's outta my mind, and I connect with my body, in that more intuitive place, there's not a decision that I can make that goes wrong. Mm-hmm. It's just actually impossible, even though on the surface it may look like it didn't quite work out. But if I look back over every, every decision that I've ever made, I can pinpoint it down to why I made it. And if I'm courageous enough and honest enough for myself and I track it back.
So, for example, getting into business with somebody. And if I go back to when I first met them, I had 'em on a pedestal and I felt I was in a slightly less, less valued place than them. And I felt I needed them and I couldn't succeed without them and whatever. And therefore I made a decision from that insecure place.
And of course, what happens? The relationship falls apart. And then I spend the rest of, you know, the next five years, blaming them, bitching about them, saying they destroy, they stabbed me in the back. They did this, they did that. And maybe to some extent there as there is a lack of integrity or maybe there's a, a dysfunctionality in them as well, which brought me into their lives. But ultimately, if I'm honest is I made the choice from my head, my intellect only, and therefore, I invited any pain that was gonna come with that.
So I'm not sure if I'm answering your question directly, but to me they're not sure if it's two voices from me. But there's two ways in which I can feel into the world. One is intellectual and one is emotional. And the emotional, I call it _"Soulset"_ rather than Mindset. I think _soulset_ is massively and radically important, and yet it increasingly more and more and more in society, we're being rewarded for the intellect and we don't have a whole lot of space and time and energy for the emotion which is unfortunate.
[00:08:54] Ali: That is so real. That is so real for me. That's very real in one of my other communities, Front Row Dads where we really hold healthy contrast to - _Do I intellectually understand this?_ or _Do I emotionally understand this? _And how they can be so different. So then the question I have to ask to build upon that Philip, is do you have a means of balancing them? When you said those words, I was quickly filtering like, ah, yeah, the mind has gotten me into so much trouble. So do you have any means to be like, okay, this is when I'll let the mind bring some perspective.
[00:09:27] Philip: Yeah. I'm not sure if this is gonna go out as an audio or just a video or both, but, I'm holding a MacBook in my hand, or mm-hmm, you know, a laptop. To me, this is the mind. Mm-hmm. And, I bring this in when and only when my intuition feels right. And then I bring in the intellect just to validate it, to stress test it, to check the data, to whatever. So I might say, hey, I'm really drawn to Ali and, and what is it about him? And I'd love to do some work with him. And, and then I'll bring my computer in and go, so who is he and what is he? Mm-hmm. Yeah. You know, and check, check it out, so to speak. But to me it's not even balancing cuz balancing for me personally, when you ask the question about balancing, to me it's about equilibrium, it's about 50 50, it's about the scale.
Yes. Right. And to me, I never want to try and balance my soul and my head. In fact, I think that would be very problematic for me personally, for me, is I, I wanna make sure that I'm leading wholeheartedly with my soul and that is the primary function and that my intellect is a servant to that.
Mm-hmm. But I feel that when I try to balance it, then I'm not even sure which one is actually calling the shots or not. So to me it's when you're leading from your soul, you don't have to worry about balance. And it's also driven, I'm not saying the question that you've given me is driven from this place, but it could be within ourselves. A space of this doubt that we have is this idea of being, well, if I lead with my soul, it's all woowoo and fluffy and soft and whatever, and you just want to go and hug trees and everything else. And I mean, you've got to bring the intellect in at some point, guys, for God's sake. I know you're not saying that, but that's how humans often react.
Mm-hmm. And I'm not sure that's true. When I follow good people, my life is better. Mm-hmm. When I follow good people, my life is always better. Always. Mm-hmm. And when I lead with the intellect, or I need the intellect to validate something. It just can get a little bit muddied. I won't deviate anymore from that, but follow good people, feel into good people, and your life will be better for it in every aspect.
[00:11:34] Ali: Mm-hmm. That's so good. You know, it immediately reminds me of getting back to a childlike state, which is what Brave Soul gave. Brave Soul gave me so many gifts, and I know there's some intentional design there, part of your art, part of your mastery of just getting back to that place. And ever since coming home from there, I've had this different perspective on watching my children, specifically my daughter Sepia.
She's just turned five, and I kid you not, I believe with my full heart, I learn more from her than she learns from me. I truly believe that. I don't just say it. And I can literally just walk out of my home office, go downstairs and observe someone, to your point, who has a little bit of intellectual curiosity and is starting to build her computer database, which I love by the way.
But then she's just leading from who she is. She'll do some artwork, then she'll go and dance, then she'll come ask me some questions, Dad do you wanna play? And yesterday I was having an off morning, I was just off. Things are weighing me down, what I would call a lot of serious adult things that I totally created and was in all these stories and this stress and being able to just do an we, work out a lot together.
Being able to do a workout and dance with her gave me this new energy. And I just thought after that I was like, I don't think there's many humans, let alone adults that could have given me this same energy, this rejuvenation where it was like night and day shifting. And so as I share that, I'm curious what sparked going back to your past, to your childhood, where did you learn or where did you become aware that that was a key to some of the work that you do?
[00:13:25] Philip: Uh, my own personal journey. So for me, I was trying lots of different things. Mm-hmm. I had success in some of them, multiple failures. And all the time I just had this feeling that I didn't quite have my finger on the pulse, that I wasn't quite operating from a intuitive place, a successful place. I just hadn't found my thing. And, I just kept experimenting, kept trying, kept moving in the right direction. But eventually , it just didn't work to some extent. I just couldn't find my thing, my purpose, whatever you wanna call it, my gift. I couldn't get there on my own.
And eventually I started to internalize that as I'm just the problem. I'm kind of broken, I'm kind of screwed. I'm kind of, it's me. It's not the world. It's actually me. And it wasn't from an inquisitive, curious perspective. It was more from a sense of blame. And I came across a psychotherapist who met me one day and said, you started to do some coaching. What if you come across somebody who has deeper psychological challenges that you don't feel capable of actually addressing and holding space for. And I said I don't feel that, but if that did happen, what are you suggesting?
He said, well, you could refer them to me. And, and he wasn't looking for referrals, he was just providing this opportunity. And I said, well I can't refer anybody, and to this day I hold the same. I will not refer anybody to something or someone I haven't myself experienced. Mm-hmm.
So I said, well, why don't we do this. Why don't I book in six sessions with you and I'll experience it and then I'll be able to refer you authentically and say, I not just believe in this work, but I believe in this guy. And on the surface it sounds quite honorable and quite an of a sensitive, thoughtful thing to do. But the other side of it is, this was my way of doing therapy without doing it.
Cause I was only doing it to try it. I wasn't actually doing it cause I needed it. I was way too fucking cool for that. I didn't need therapy. Yeah. So if you think about the sly way in which I presented that to myself. Now, I wasn't conscious of that clearly. Right? Right. But it was my way of getting in.
So my first day in therapy, I'll try and keep this short. I walk into the room, I'm not sure if I told you this story before. I walk into this living room in his home. And as we get to the door, he says, you go on in there and take a seat. I'll go and get a, a cup of tea each. So I walk in, there's two chairs at slight right angles and there's one of them that has a, what looks like a coffee table of Kleenex.
Like it's a triple decker Kleenex box, which looks like a coffee table. Yeah. And I, do you know how ridiculous, like, I don't, I'm not embarrassed by this, but I probably should be. I looked at the Kleenex and the chair next to it and I went, God, he must have a really bad cold. I shit you not. I sit in the other chair and then he finally comes in with a cups of tea.
He stops as he turns the corner into the room. He looks at me, he goes, Philip that's, uh, my chair you're sitting in. I get up, I walk across, sit in the other chair, get my cup of tea, and I promise you, I think I could have put it down on top of the coffee table of Kleenex. And I'm looking at the Kleenex and I'm looking at him and I'm looking at the Kleenex. And internally I'm going, buddy, this, this is just not gonna happen. Like, I'm not gonna cry, like cry me cry. Like it is not gonna happen on multiple levels. One is I'm too cool. Two is I, I know myself well enough, which I didn't. And three, you just don't have that control. Like there was all this ego shit kicking in.
Mm-hmm. And all he said to me, Ali, I'll never forget it. He says, tell me a bit about your life. I'd say I lasted 45 seconds before I burst into tears. Then that tears was replaced by a vibration of pure, not even anger, rage that I didn't even know existed. Mm-hmm. Didn't wanna honor, didn't wanna experience. I would never have considered myself an angry guy because I suppressed a lot of these things. Back to tears, back to numbness, back to rage, back to anger, back to this. Then he looked at his watch, he says, so our time is up.
Now, I dunno if I'm allowed curse on your podcast or not, but of late for that. I said, fuck you and your time is up. I said, I'm only getting started, and I was so mad and I walked out and I won't demonstrate what I did, but I walked out. Do you know when you bend over and you put your hands just above your knees and your thighs and you bend over and you're winded, or you're just outta breath? Yeah. Mm-hmm. And I bent over because I actually thought I was gonna vomit. Mmm. And the amount of emotion that came up that I was unaware of, and that was the day my life changed.
And I don't mean that in a corny cliche way that I won the lottery and everything was awesome. I met the woman of my life and my dreams and everything else. That's not, I'm just saying if I look back, that was the beginning of what I would call the real work and me realizing that actually I'm not broken. I just have had things happen to me and done things to others that have led me to believe deep down that I'm actually not as good as a person as I would like to be. Therefore, I don't deserve a happy life and therefore I'm not going to give myself permission to have a happy, successful, engaged, meaningful life.
And that is why I beleive we need to go back and address our childhood within reason, on occasion, in a safe environment with a degree of curiosity to understand how it's impacted who we are today and how it's impacting who we are going to be tomorrow. And that's why we do it in Brave Soul. It's, it's critically important.
[00:18:35] Ali: Mm-hmm. Yes. I vaguely recall that story. But thank you for sharing it because it is so powerful. It's powerful in different ways, Philip, because just learning about your journey and knowing that you had to step into that and really feel that, and then, it makes me wonder, our relationship to crying.
So let me set that up for a second and then I'm, I'm very curious on your thoughts because I look at, again, my children. Beautiful models for moving emotion through their body and crying is part of this. I couldn't tell you how many times I cried in my twenties or early thirties, very little.
But the last year or two, as I've really stepped into the work, the inner work and holding space for others and being devoted to healing, I have cried a lot. And it's not this game where I want to cry, but it's like I'm allowing myself to cry now. Whereas before, I'd be like, ah, stay strong. Ooh, block that. Right? And there's something about crying, especially if it's like a true like, ooh, that was sad, that I just feel more alive.
And I'm bringing this up for a couple reasons. The one is, I'm curious on your relationship to crying and just anything that comes up for you there. But also I've seen the power of your art, the power of your craft, and what you can do with one question. So what does that mean to you? How have you observed crying and the body's way of dealing with emotion?
[00:20:02] Philip: Crying is a physical demonstration of truth. It's an expression of how you are actually truly feeling. And you know, I remember the first time that I cried for no particular reason. And yet I cried for all the reasons in the world. And I remember sitting in a movie theater in Dublin, and I don't know what the movie was, but I don't remember it being hugely inspirational. Could have been fucking Rocky 15 or Rambo 25 or Lassie 19 or whatever. But a dog died in the movie or something happened and it was a bloody actor dog. It wasn't a real dog or something happened, I think it was an animal died. And the next minute my girlfriend looked over and like the whole row was shaking cuz I was just uncontrollable. And it wasn't that I was sad necessarily with the movie. The movie had triggered something in me. And what had happened was I had been carrying sadness in my life and I wasn't allowing the sadness to emerge.
And there is very few things more exhausting than hiding emotion. So if you're exhausted in the world, it's not because you're living on the fourth floor and you have to go up four sets of stairs every day, which may be cumbersome and a pain in the ass. If you're tired, sometimes the origin of your tiredness is blocking who you are at your core. There is probably nothing more tiring. There is not a workout in the world. There's not a CrossFit gym in the world that will work you out to the point where you'll be so tired from hiding your own emotions and your own truth.
And, I often witness as well, another characteristic I see sometimes at an event. Sometimes people say, oh, McKernan, he'll make you cry. I don't make anyone cry. I am not that powerful. I may ask questions. I may invite you to connect with a part of you that may stir emotion, which actually is a great thing. But I cannot make people cry.
But one thing I witness sometimes at events where if someone is beginning to cry, there's always one, if not two, if not almost five people who want to jump for the Kleenex, grab the Kleenex and sprint across the room to mop up the tears of someone else. Or at least present them with a Kleenex to say, hey, you mop them up and mop them up fast.
And I used to look at that and I always had a reaction to that and I examined that and I said, what is my reaction to that? Like, what is it about? And then I eventually asked people not to do it. And I, and the way I described it is them crying and you trying to help them stop the tears or mop up the tears is less about them.
It's also less about you caring about them, it's more about your uncomfortableness with tears. Yeah. And so in society, thankfully, we're starting to get to a point where we're more accepting of tears. But in Ireland, it's still where you can cry if you're drunk and you're crying over nothing. You can cry if your dad or your mom died, but only if you're close to them.
And, um, other than that, just don't cry. And to me, that's what we're brought up around. That's what we're conditioned to think about. And I cry an awful lot right now, and I don't mean a lot as in it's too much or it's not enough. I cry the perfect amount of tears because I don't find myself holding back and suppressing those tears. I just had three people deliver our _One Last Talk_ this morning to me from an organization in Scotland. And one of the ladies found herself apologizing for crying. And the Canadians, our Canadian friends are often synonymous with apologizing and being apologetic too much. But it's a human thing.
And uh, I said, you do not have to apologize for crying, but you may have to apologize to the world, maybe your family for not showing up emotionally, not allowing them to see all of you. That's apology that I might want you to give, but I probably wouldn't. And I said, if it's any consolation, probably the first person to cry at _One Last Talk _at your organization when we run it in a few months, it's gonna be me. I'm not predicting that. I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but I'm really comfortable with tears and, um, to me it's just a simple human expression. In the world today it's actually even more acceptable to be angry than to cry. That's how fucked up, uh, and how imbalanced that piece is. And I think being able to cry in front of your children is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.
[00:24:10] Ali: A hundred percent. Couldn't agree more. Some of the most impactful moments I've had with both of my kids is when they've seen me vulnerable, when they've seen me cry, and when I can finally muster the words to explain the love that's underneath some of those tears or the sadness.
You know what it reminds me of, Philip, to your point of there's so much anger in the world, it's everywhere. Different variations, different flavors of it. I think it's arguably the easiest emotion to both evoke and kind of freely express. Another good friend that I just did a podcast with recently tuned me into this cool understanding that often anger is just a bodyguard for fear or sadness.
And as I sat with that, I'm like, holy shit, that is so true in my life. There's very few times where I'm truly angry and in the Conscious Leadership world, I use that as a way to say, _something needs to change_. That's what anger means to me. Whereas fear,_ something needs to be known_ or sadness, _something needs to be let go of_. Those are usually the two things that are rooted underneath that anger.
And it is amazing. You know, back to your point that the conditioning, the programming of seeing crying is a negative thing. Oh, that's not masculine. Hundred percent. And associating, whereas it's this beautiful thing, to your point, it's this beautiful thing that if, to really emphasize the way you describe it, getting to a place where you're not holding back. Cuz if you're holding back, that's the whole point. Right?
[00:25:37] Philip: Absolutely. I mean, I, if you're not willing to get angry, you won't experience depths of joy. Mm-hmm, if you're not willing to cry for being sad, you'll never cry because you're joyful. Mm-hmm. Um, so our inability to cry and society's reluctance to allow us is just depriving all of us of, of a next level of joy. Because there's very few situations when someone cries that they stop afterwards and say, I feel worse. Right. Typically they feel remarkably better. Or two is they've got some, some embarrassment and shame about having dropped their guard in public. And that just shows you how much energy they're pouring into looking good in humanity.
So that's another insightful thing for many people as well. But typically, when we have a good cry, as we often refer to it, it's a very therapeutic, very beautiful, beautiful thing, and it allows us to relax into ourselves. It can create tremendous clarity. It can allow us to see things that ordinarily just didn't appear.
[00:26:32] Ali: Yes, yes. Oh, yes. Okay. I wanted, uh, shift for a second. First, I wanna actually share some gratitude around this whole podcast, this word _SPACE_, this t-shirt I'm wearing. A lot of that is a byproduct of things I learned from you and I was able to sit with. In fact, that word evolved when I got back from Brave Soul. Amongst all the things that made that event extraordinary was the amount of space. Like, just the amount of space physically, mentally, emotionally, connecting with self, with others. So again, I'll just keep telling you how awesome that was until you tell me to stop. But that word landed with me in different ways where it started to change and shift and mutate.
And I was like, oh my gosh, I don't know why, but this is the word. And so I've jumped on it. I renamed this podcast The Power of Space. I'm still even learning what it's gonna become, which is probably something I picked up from you as well. You know, not having this whole goal-based, achievement-oriented thinking, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna grow to this.
It's like, no, right now it's just SPACE and it's going to become what it becomes, which is a really beautiful thing. For me, that's like staying in the Zone of Creativity and surrendering to see what happens. And so, as I shift into this world, one of the things that piques my interest and take this question wherever you want, is where are you creating space right now in your life?
[00:28:04] Philip: Hmm. So before I answer that question, I, I wanna go back and you said I'm gonna keep pouring on gratitude until you tell me to stop. I am gonna tell you to stop, or I'm not gonna tell you. I'm gonna ask you , and I'm gonna, I'm, before I take it off the table or attempt to, I'm gonna take 10% of it. Okay? For me personally, I'm just gonna steal 10% of that gratitude just for Philip.
But I'm gonna take the other 90%, and I'm gonna put it straight back at you because you said something very profound and very simple. Is that word landed, that word emerged. That word came from me, that it's not even the word, it's everything what space represents for you. And what I would respectfully say, my ego wants to say, well, without Brave Soul, SPACE wouldn't exist and therefore you wouldn't be doing this.
And everyone should come to Brave Soul. And my ego, and my scarce part of me wants to say that. The reality is this, is that Brave Soul is a space that's created by me, by whatever, using leveraging nature and music and thousands of years of history here in Ireland, et cetera, to create the space for things to emerge that are already within a human being that they just can't access it.
So with the greatest respect in the world, my ego wants to take all the gratitude in the world that you can give me and more keep bringing it on. But it will be very unwise of me to take that because it would deprive you of the opportunity to own what it is you have created and what has emerged from within you.
So I wanna say that really, really clearly. Thank you. So thank you for what you're doing in the world and for the courage that you're demonstrating. Not just putting a podcast and a message out into the world, but not knowing exactly where it's gonna go. That, to me, is the epitome of courage. It's easy to launch something when we know exactly where it's going.
It's harder to lean into something when we don't have a clear picture in terms of it's full evolution in advance. And that to me is, is a, is the precipice and the marriage of creativity and brilliance and bravery coming together all at one time, okay. Mm-hmm.
Now going back to your actual question that you, you finished with, you need to remind me of cuz I was more focused on of course going back and down that. Yeah. So space to creating, where am I creating space? Well, okay. So today is a very unusual day that you asked me this question. So Brave Soul has been a part of my life for 14 years, and if you asked me, and I can't believe I'm telling you this, this is just coming out in the last 24 hours as a real possibility, but there's no announcement yet.
Wow. 14 years, Brave Soul has been the flagship program that we've created. It's been the greatest piece of art that I think I've ever had the privilege of being a part in bringing to life. It is the canvas in which I think I've created some of the most important work that I've ever done. And yet intuitively I've been called to let it go.
[00:30:41] Ali: Wow. Oh man. Hmm.
[00:30:46] Philip: I've been called to let Brave Soul go, and if I even linger a minute, two longer on this, I'll probably completely break down, which would be okay. But I have not shared that with anyone outside of my wife, Pauline. And I mean, literally 24 hours, not even 24 hours has this conversation come up.
So that's my truth. Uh, I don't know. I'm not gonna say I'm doing anything or I'm not doing anything, but that, that to me is, is, is one big thing that even there's different forms of letting go. People sometimes will not enter, enter a conversation because they're afraid it'll mean absoluteness. But I have gotten to a place where I can have the conversation about letting something go without committing to doing it.
And, and the problem is in there are resistance to the doing. It means we can't have the conversation. And I think one of the healthiest things we can do as humans is to imagine what if I wasn't an entrepreneur? What if I didn't have this business? What if I didn't live in Denver? What if I wasn't married? Not to undermine us, but to free us of some of the restrictive thinking that we create because of these scaffoldings in our ecosystem.
Another thing that I've just let go of literally last week was, and, and the reason for this is that I feel that every five years, historically, I would've changed businesses. So I was in the vitamin business for five years. I went to the wine business for five years. I went to the coffee business for five years and that's just a rhythm that I had much to much judgment from people. It's like you're always jumping, no, I'm not always jumping. Five years is a hell of a commitment, right?
I'm moving towards something different and my five years of the work that I do, I'll be doing this work for the rest of my life. But how I do it and the way in which I execute myself needs to emerge and grow with me. And as I evolve as a human being, maybe slowly, okay, um, and I do think it's slow. I don't think it's massive and I don't think I've enlightened and have arrived. As I grow as a human, my work needs to catch up. Hmm. And that sounds arrogant, but it's not intended that way. And I just feel that I've grown to a place where I want a different conversation. I'm ready for a different conversation and therefore when I look back at my life or look across the other side, I need to let go of certain things.
I've been writing my own personal memoir for two years and I've just officially shut it down. It doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel like it's an evolution of who I am. It doesn't feel it's where I am. So all the time, energy, money, and the ghost writer that was working with me, cause I'm dyslexic and challenged, reading and writing, they were working with me. Shut that down two weeks ago.
So there's two areas. A project that I've been working on for two years that's taken a lot of money and a lot of time, I've shut that down and had to let that go. And Brave Soul, which has been part of my life for, and it's not like we run 200 events a year, Ali. We run three or four events a year.
Brave Soul being the pinnacle or being the entry point, or being the whatever. And I've let it go emotionally to the point where I'm prepared to have the conversation. So there's just two areas in which I am creating the space to see what emerges. And I cannot tell you what just happened in my life this week.
In fact, fuck it. I'm gonna tell you, and I'm gonna tell you, and the reason I'm gonna tell you is I'm not gonna give you names, but I'm gonna tell you because I want to just, so one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. We've just connected in the last week about the idea of writing a book together or running an event together, or collaborating on a podcast around a certain movement.
Second thing that's happened is I wanted to go to Africa and I've been in Africa before, but I wanna bring my kids to a safari. And I just got approached by somebody who wants to bring me in to speak and then maybe do a retreat and then fly a group of people to Ireland and do a retreat here. Another thing that just happened is I've been invited to Mexico to speak and, and this is just a snapshot of what happened this week, and I shared that with you for two reasons.
One, when I look back at my calendar five or ten years ago, say 10 years ago, and there was nothing, crickets. No one wanted me, no one wanted the work, no one was open to the conversation. And now I look at my calendar and go, do I get to do this? Is this actually the life I'm living? But secondly, and more importantly, I'm sharing that with you because some of this stuff wasn't in the pipeline for like five years, or if it was, it, it didn't just land.
It didn't feel free. It didn't feel fluent. And because I let those things go, the universe is saying, and now you're finally ready. And allow us to present these opportunities to you to decide whether these things want you wanna do and or other people want to do. And when we let go, we're often focused on what's next.
What do I need to do? What book do I need to read? What do I need to consume? In the words it's implying there's something missing. And I'm sorry there's fuck all missing in our lives. Yes, we need to learn about something sometimes, but if we could just shut off some of the noise and just allow the wisdom that we already have innately inside us to emerge, such as the concept of SPACE as you see it, it was inside you.
Brave Soul was the space in which it had an opportunity to present itself to the world. And you were brave enough to allow it to come. The easy job for me is to say it wouldn't have happened cuz of Brave Soul. And by the way, I'm the shit because I'm so good, I was able to bring it out. Both of those will be a lie. I know I rambled a bit there, but that's, that's what's coming.
[00:36:03] Ali: So good. Oh, man. Well thank you for this real time and this just speaks to you. Reflecting back to you, this is who you are. Like, no, fuck it. I'm just gonna tell you, I love that, it just weaves all these things together. You're not holding back.
That's amazing. I have to give you feedback that I think that takes courage to do this amazing event that people like me could give so much praise to. And then what's fascinating is that when I asked you where you're creating space, instead of like, what most humans will do, well, oh yeah, I'm, I'm creating space for this and I'm gonna go do this. I've got this project, or we're gonna go on this vacation. You actually talked about things you were letting go of to literally create more space, which is beautiful.
In many ways, that's the point. That's been the model for me. It's been the, the constant teacher of being like, sure, you can go fill space with this or that, and be on the hedonic treadmill and look for the next hit, the next dopamine spike, the next, oh, that was so awesome.
But in reality, that game is really, really hard and never ending to play. At least I've realized that. One of my friends John Vroman says, stillness is a move. The ability to just be with yourself and appreciate where you are. Immerse yourself in the journey, which is a lot of what I've extracted from some of the, the experiences I've had with you is amazing.
So I am naturally inclined to be like, well, what is this new stuff? But I'm not gonna go there. I appreciate what you shared. That's amazing. So at some point I will have some curiosity, but I'll just reemphasize that, wow, that takes tremendous courage and that is another powerful word that I've been using a lot lately. Especially as it, it balances with fear, Philip, is that I've, I've really seen my world in a new lens, especially relationships with other humans and environments and challenges.
I'm like, great. There's this fear and then there's this courage, like, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna embrace it? I think that's why your brand is so powerful and just the way you speak to it is always landed with me. Where like, using the word brave. It's not easy. It's not easy to step out.
One of the things I wanted to talk to you about as it relates to that is transitions. So this has come up in different ways for me, it's come up in our Brave Coach community and it ties right back into space. Often in times we go through these reflection periods, introspection, we do our work and then we realize, oh shit, I need something else. Or there's something else calling me, calling my soul.
But there's this really, really uncomfortable transition period and I'm just filtering my, my perspective. What's your advice to people who feel the calling or know there's something bigger, something they're called to? How can we sit in those transition periods, which can be so uncomfortable?
[00:38:54] Philip: Yeah. So I'm writing notes to, um, two things, pain and impact. Mm-hmm. So when we make, or when we're contemplating or when the idea of a transition is emerging. Oh my god, I could go so many places with this, but here's one characteristic I see. When we hear a calling, so a calling is a whisper, a calling then is a little bit of a physical nudge. A calling is a kind of a, hey, we're starting to get a bit pissed off, you're not listening to us here. Then a calling is a sign from, you know, a bird poos in your shoulder or whatever it happens to be. Mm-hmm. And then sometimes the universe takes out a sledgehammer and says, okay, buddy, you're just not listening. We're gonna take you out at the knees.
Yeah. And it's a divorce, it's a sickness, it's a whatever. And it's, and, and it's kind of a reminder that um, a hit over the head to say, you're just not listening. And I think some of the advice that I would give in advance of this is that we should be asking ourselves better questions earlier on in the process. Like we talked about earlier on. Okay, I'm in a business, I'm turning over X amount of dollars, or I'm in a job and I'm making X amount of dollars, whatever. And, um, why don't I just not sign myself off that I'm gonna be doing this for 10 years? Well, what if I disentangled myself or untethered myself from the identity around this business and just said, you know what, if I didn't do this, who am I without my business?
Ask yourself better curious questions. And do that earlier on so we don't get embedded in the, in the essence and the fabric of the business to the point when if it sells or if it fails, you go into a spiral of a loss of identity around that, right? So, so that's one.
Two in no particular order is look at the pain in which you are in compounded over a period of the next 10 or 15 or 20 years, if you don't transition. Mm-hmm. People say, oh, transition's very difficult. Well, yeah, no transition in my personal experience is even more painful. Mm-hmm. But I dunno what you mean. I said, well, why don't, you know what I mean? What is the true cost?
I spoke to a business owner yesterday and he talked about the complexity of his life and his business, which is interesting, and a different conversation for a different day, which he created. And when we get very close to a transition, when a transition is emerging, we don't even know what it is, but we just know there's something coming up.
That's the time we build a, build an extension in our home, buy a puppy, have a baby, or open up a second office. I'm not saying babies are wrong, puppies are wrong, offices are wrong, extensions are wrong. Sometimes the impetus for those is the wrong energy. We're doing it to distract, to tie our selves in and so on and so forth. So be really careful and mindful of that. But I think it's really, I said to this business owner, I said, you aware of the cost? He goes, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I said, let me ask you this, the question again, are you truly aware of the real cost that the complexity of this business places upon you?
And he said, no, I'm afraid to think about it, essentially, is what he said. Mm-hmm. And what he's afraid of, he's afraid of going to the doctor about the lump on his body because he's afraid that it could be something sinister. And yet we all know whether it's sinister or not, the sooner you go to the doctor, the better.
So we need to address and ask ourselves, is this business truly? And another thing we often do as well, Ali, as we, how many people say, no, I love my work. And then I say, so what is it that you love? Well, I like this. And I go, so you like it or you love it. I'm just really confused. Yeah. Well, no. Well, I like it. And we use this word interchangeably with like and love, and they're massively and radically different words and energies.
And then the other side of it is that when we think about transition, and I'll leave it, maybe just leave it here, is we think about transition in a very selfish way. But Philip, it's gonna be hard for me, but Philip, I don't know what I want. But Philip, I've been in this job for 20 years, but Philip, I own this business. My identity, my, me, me, my, my, I, I, I, whatever. Shut up and stop talking about you just for a second and think about who could be impacted if you did make a transition.
Well, my, my kids might be inspired in the future, in their lives to not stay in a job or a business or organization that doesn't serve them, that doesn't respect them. The work I'm thinking of doing might actually inspire other people. And to get out of your own way to imagine the impact that you can make in the world. Beyond the transition that you're reluctant to take.
And I wanna add one more thing in, not designed to overwhelm people, but my experience, and I'm gonna hold up three, well, two items and I'm gonna use my mic as the third.
My phone is the thing we're doing right now, which we know deep down is not right for us. The place we live, the house we live in, the work we do, the job we have, the relationship we're in, where we know intuitively. What we tend to do is to focus on what this is. And we make too many promises. We tell the world on Facebook or Twitter or or Instagram that we're gonna do this and it's gonna be massive and this is what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life.
We have no right to make that promise. And my experience is it's not what we're doing right now. It's not what this represents, it's what lies beyond both. And I'm speaking a lot more, um, keynote speeches recently about transition. And I'm encouraging people to contemplate what lies beyond both of those things that are emerging and are currently in our bodies and our lives.
What is the thing that lies out here? And I had two coaching calls today with clients who are so scared of the unknown, this thing out here, but it's not unknown. It's so known to them. It's so familiar. It's so deep, it's so authentic, it's so spiritual, it's so aligned. It's the essence of the person that they're afraid to get to.
They're afraid to execute this because if they failed doing this, they've failed at their core. And yet, in my personal humble opinion, I don't think it's possible. Sorry for ranting on there a little bit, but that's some of the things that I witnessed around the, the idea and concept of transition.
[00:44:53] Ali: Do not apologize because that's the good stuff. I can't make any of that better. These are just amazing insights. But what I will do because it ties into the conversation today, I will map it right back down to children.
They move on and they go through things, transitions, whether they're daily transitions or monthly, whatever it may be. Experimenting, playing, being in the world as themselves until we teach them not to, until we teach 'em to be serious and get a job and get the money, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, is how I sarcastically play that story out because it's a hard lesson I've learned over and over again.
And so I love that not only you're bringing that energy to the world because it's a serious topic with deep fear for almost everyone, I would say. And it maps back to courage. It maps back to being brave. It maps back to something you've said that always rings in my mind, Philip, when I'm thinking about doing the work, coaching is, are you willing to step into this? Right. Are you willing to step into this? Because most of the times it's like, nope. And then it's a hundred percent always about fear.
Nope, I'm scared that this is gonna happen. That's gonna happen. And you know, I think a, a beautiful place to end, or at least I have a, a few fun questions I wanna ask you, but to end on this, is that with coaching, transformation, you just described some stuff I was gonna ask you about, like, what are some big blocks for entrepreneurial folks who have these amazing talents, this amazing art to bring the world, but aren't willing to transition.
But I'm really curious about what does transformation mean to you? I have a sense of how your relationship with it on your journey, but when you're doing work with people, when you're just with people, forget about even using the word work, cuz sometimes that's heavy. Do you see transformation? Do you feel it? Is it something to strive for?
[00:46:53] Philip: To me, transformation is transforming into something. Um, I don't know what the true definition of it is in the dictionary, for example. Uh, if I could just step back a little bit in terms of entrepreneurs, you were indicating like what are one or two of the big things you'd see?
One of the big tragedies in the world is entrepreneurs in particular, is they spend a lot of their life executing and working on their talents, but never honoring their gifts. And for me that relates directly to the question and therefore my, my attempted point around it. And that is for me, when I'm working with somebody, I want to know more about who they are at the core and what are some of their gifts that they have that they haven't necessarily played with, danced with, walked with on this journey and honored.
For me, transformation is, is not about becoming anything. Mm-hmm, it's actually just allowing yourself to be more of who you already always were since you were a young child.
Mm-hmm. It's about getting back to the essence and I think the most powerful thing I have witnessed today, for me personally, is one of your very opening comments is that I actually truly believe that my daughter is teaching me more than I am teaching her. And I think if we could realize that actually we don't bring kids into this world to form them like we want them to be, that kids are brought into this world to help us and to remind us of who we actually really are at our core.
And a lot of us just need permission. We don't need permission, but we do. Permission to do what it is we want to do. And when I say that to people, they look at me as if I'm speaking a language they've never heard. What do you mean do permission? You mean be selfish? And I go, no, we need to come up with a better word than selfish.
What would you like to do? Lots of people understand the dysfunctionalities with relationships. My mother's this, my mother's that, my mother's this and my mother's that. And you won't believe how she speaks to me. What do you want from the relationship? But I mean, yeah. Did you hear me? What do you want from the relationship?
And people go, uh, uh, uh, uh, I don't know. So you want a bitch about it, but you have no idea what you want. And then they go, but it's not even possible. I said, what's not possible? My mother will never change. I said, change for what? To create what I want. But you still don't know what you want. So what am I actually saying?
What I'm saying is that a transformation, to me, bottom line is creating a space for people to come home. Mmm, yep. To themselves. And yet most of us think about transformation is what we need to transform to become something else because there's something wrong with me to begin with. And most relationships, unfortunately, are built upon a premise that, um, show me a man who wants his partner to do nothing other than believe in him.
And I will show you a woman who wants to be loved for who she is, not who you want her to be. And one of the dynamics in relationships, and we do couple's work, is when a partner presents the idea of a couple's event to their partner, it's typically a man to a woman, in this particular situation. They don't see that as, I want you to grow.
They see that as I want you to grow and therefore I want you to change and therefore it's interpreted, well, what's wrong with me now? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So to me, transformation is coming home.
[00:50:08] Ali: Mm-hmm. That is so beautiful. Another friend said it in a slightly different way, but it's exact same concept is that we're all just walking each other home and in terms of like community and truly showing up as ourselves. Wow.
[00:50:26] Philip: However, Ali, the one thing I'll say is I, I don't disagree with your friend. But, but the challenge is I'd like to think we're all walking each other home, but a lot of us are walking people in the wrong direction . If that makes any sense.
I think sometimes we think we need to be a certain thing and we need to be a certain person. And that one thing that drives me nuts is a lot of this speaker training in the world that teaches you how to be this and be that and be robotic.
The first time I ever reached out to a speaker trainer, because I wanted to become better at speaking, and I reached out to this guy and he said, I spoke to him for four minutes and he said, yeah, no problem. We can get rid of that. And I went, rid of, sorry to clarify. Rid of what? He goes, oh, your accent. I said, you wanna get rid of my accent? I don't have a very strong accent. I'm clearly Irish. For most people would, would recognize that, but I didn't come to you to get rid of my accent. Why did you make that assumption?
And I see so many people trying to be coaches, trying to be speakers, trying to be this, trying to be parents, trying to be whatever. And there's all these systems to teach you to be something. And many of them, I think, bring us away from the essence of who we are. Not all of them. Mm-hmm, but many of them. Right. So you need to be aware and cognizant of that as you begin to journey out into the world.
[00:51:32] Ali: Absolutely. Yes. An enormous distinction because to your point, that powerful statement is something anyone can just drop and be like, yeah, the whole point of this, we were walking each other home, et cetera.
Whereas back to how you shared your view on transformation, which I love, is that it's about finding your way home your true self, which is hard. It is not easy. And I love that because a lot of times when I, I spark this and I'm even guilty of putting transformation on this pedestal man, we're gonna grow and expand and increase, where in reality, so much of it could be distilled in being like, no, no, no, no, no.
Back to what we talked about earlier, it's actually about removing things. Absolutely. And letting go of identities, which is another scary thing.
Wow. Okay. I have a few fun questions to wrap up.
[00:52:25] Philip: Now, I've got a quick clarifying question. Are these gonna be fun for you or me? Or both of us? But go for it.
[00:52:30] Ali: So, they're designed for you. I think they're gonna be fun, but we will see won't we.
The first one, and by all means, I will confess there's projection going through these questions. So, cool, bring it on. So I selfishly wanna know and, and get into to some of the details of your life. So the first one is, what's the coolest thing you've experienced in restoring a castle?
[00:52:53] Philip: Oh my God. That's a great question. Uh...
[00:52:55] Ali: And I didn't say, I didn't say they'd be easy fun questions.
[00:52:58] Philip: Yeah. Um, I think the funnest thing, actually, one of the funnest things was we purchased this castle, we've become stewards of this castle. Mm-hmm. It turns out that we were just so drawn to it energetically. There was something about this particular building, this particular land, and we subsequently found out that the family that originally built it who ran the kingdom of The Burren, which is an area in Ireland, built 22 castles. And we were thinking, wow, we didn't know that. And then the historian who found out all this said, and 21 of them were built to protect one, which is the center of the kingdom for both the leadership and physically the center.
And I go, okay, which one was it? And he goes, the one that you guys bought. Oh my goodness. And of course I looked at my wife and I went, well, of course that's why it felt so extraordinarily energetic in the land, the place you walked through. So discover that was, was extraordinary. And, and yet no surprise.
[00:53:58] Ali: Hmm. That is so cool. I have to share something because it relates to this. So while we were together in Brave Soul, we had some beautiful time in nature. I believe this is when we visited the Cliffs of Moher, which is some of the most dramatic landscape I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of the world.
So I was like, whoa, this is real. And we had some time to hike together. I don't even recall some of the shorter conversation, but what I do remember is I told you, I was like, you know what Philip, this is the second time I've been here and there's something about this land that just speaks to me. And you just looked at me in a stoic way cuz you had something to do to steward the group.
And you said, "trust that."
And that, those are the only two words I needed to hear. So I go home after Brave Soul and as I'm kind of reintegrating into my world, Gabrielle and I, my wife did a _23 and Me_ DNA test. And I kid you not. I'm 52% Irish/British, mostly Irish though because my grandparents had a very strong Irish origin.
And I'm just thinking, I'm like, I could make up all these stories, but I'm just gonna go with, there's a part of me that lived here through lineage and that's why this speaks to me. So when you start Absolutely. I just got goosebumps when I heard you talk about the castle, cause I didn't know that particular fact. And it's just like, I, I strongly believe that there is a relationship to land that we all have in some way.
[00:55:25] Philip: A hundred percent. A hundred percent.
[00:55:27] Ali: Beautiful. Okay. Number two, probably an easier, quicker one. What animal are you most scared of?
[00:55:34] Philip: Ooh. I would probably have to say elephant because I was almost killed by an elephant in Africa. Oh. Um, as in like very real, like not an elephant chased us from a hundred yards. I was, I was caught in the bush. Um, I was a bit of an idiot. I got too close. The bull elephant charged, was gonna run me down until I ran around a tree, which wasn't an intellectual thought process.
My body just took over. Mm-hmm. And I just got to the car and the safari, place called Yankari National Reserve in northern Nigeria. Um, and I was literally three, five feet away from being knocked over, trampled, thrown up in the air. This bull elephant had killed before. So I would probably say elephant, even though I don't think about myself being scared of any animals. But I had a really close encounter with an elephant. Wow. Really close.
[00:56:20] Ali: Yeah, that's powerful. Thank you.
[00:56:22] Philip: Which by the way, I think has shaped a lot of my thinking, not in terms of the elephant or the safari or almost dying, uh, or sorry, I do mean specifically almost dying, I think. Not that I would wish it upon everybody or anybody, but at the same time I'd wish it upon everybody.
And I think if we think about ourselves a little closer to our own mortality, I think it can be an impetus and a little bit of a healthy urgency towards making changes and transformation, going back to our previous conversation. And I've experienced that twice, but that was the closest I ever came to dying, and it was pretty close.
[00:56:52] Ali: Hmm. Yes, yes and yes. Agreeance to thinking about mortality. This has come into focus more for me recently. I was just thinking about this morning actually, I was running at the track and for some reason it's snowing here today in Denver. I was thinking about if I were to go. And I actually can feel that emotion rising again. But it was a healthy reminder of like, hey, we're not invincible. I'm not invincible. So yeah, enjoy today which we're doing.
So the last question I have is, what's one of your favorite or fondest childhood memories?
[00:57:28] Philip: Um, it would have to be a day where my dad, it was a very rare day. In fact, I don't remember it happening before or since, but that's not a criticism. I'm just gonna focus on the day itself. I was sitting beside the River Liffey across my hotel called the Spa Hotel, which turns out ironically now that I sit here, it was a transformational place cuz it was the place I had my first ever speech at a best man's wedding.
And, um, there was two fishermen and they were fishing for trout and salmon on the river. And my dad was reading me a book. My dad wasn't a very good reader, so I can only imagine the courage it took for him to sit down with his own son and read, even though he was severely dyslexic and challenged reading as indeed I am in my life.
And there was a bit of a splash in a rock pool where the river had subsided in a rock pool beside us. My dad got up, walked over, and there's this magnificent, beautiful, I, I think it was a salmon, this big lengthy salmon. Maybe not as big as you get in Colorado or in the US or Canada, but pretty lengthy.
And um, the fisherman shouted over and said, what's there? My dad said, oh, it's a salmon. They said, oh, whack it over the head, or grab it, or whatever. Oh, you lucky, lucky bastard, whatever. And all this kind of stuff. And my dad, I was lucky, my dad didn't say a word. He went over to the grass and he pulled out two lumps of grass in and held em in his hands and it was leveraged to pick the fish up.
And he comes back to the, to the pond or the little rock pool, and he, and he goes down, he finally gets the fish in, in amongst his hands and the sandwich of grass and makes for the river. And much to the absolute shock of the fishermen, he leans over, puts the fish in the water, and the fish just sits there for like, what felt like five minutes, just for like a couple of seconds.
I actually think looked at my dad and then with two flicks of the tail gone into the darkness of the river. And I remember two things. One is there's my big grown ass dad who's my hero, and yet he has this capacity to be so tender. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And so caring and in a little way, maybe there was a little bit of just a slight jeal.., not jealousy is the wrong term, but a almost a longing for him to, to treat me like that.
Not that he treated me poorly, but to treat me with a bit more compassion. But it was a lovely insight into his love for nature and defying what other people think he should do with, in, in this case, a fish. Like I'll kill it, eat it, whatever. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but um, that's the memory that comes up.
[00:59:58] Ali: Wow. Hmm. That is special. Thank you. That's special for so many reasons, but I'm gonna leave it there. Philip, thank you. Thank you for being here, for creating space for this today. Thank you for helping me on my journey. As I mentioned before, there's a plethora of things that I've absorbed from you, and I just appreciate you being in my life. So, Anything left unsaid before we wrap up?
[01:00:25] Philip: Nothing. Thank you for having me on and, and thank you for being so beautiful and compassionate and tender and inquisitive. That means a lot to me.
[01:00:34] Ali: Awesome. And I will see you in April.
[01:00:37] Philip: Yes, you will indeed. In Ireland. Yeah. Look after yourself. Thanks Ali.
[01:00:42] Ali: Yes.
Ali is a creator who's passionate about guiding people to their truth. That's a fancy way of saying he wants to help people realize their most authentic life. He's a father, husband, podcaster, blogger, technologist and many other things that inspire him to stay curious and learn. He's also a huge advocate for nature, hiking, adventure, testing physical limits and experiencing the natural world.