We have one of our soul sister’s back on this week’s podcast! Since we last had her on Seeking Center, transformational leadership coach and author Amy Eliza Wong released her first book and Amazon best seller, Living On Purpose: Five Deliberate Choices to Realize Fulfillment and Joy. And it’s even won book of the year by The Magic Pen!
We love this book for so many reasons. First of all, it’s an actual guidebook to discovering your purpose for being here in this lifetime. Amy helps you answer one of the most important questions someone can answer which is, are you living the life you were meant to lead? Then she shows you how to feel more connected to the people around you and how to be truly satisfied with your life. Who doesn’t want that?
For more than twenty years, Amy has devoted herself to the study and practice of transformation. As a certified executive coach using expertise in transpersonal psychology, design thinking, interpersonal neurobiology and Conversational Intelligence, Amy has catalyzed transformative growth for soooo many people, including executives and teams.
We dove in deep with Amy and talked about choices, intention, synchronicity and what’s really ok about procrastination.
For more about Amy and working with her visit: https://www.alwaysonpurpose.com
Find out more about her book, Living on Purpose: Five Deliberate Choices to Realize Fulfillment and Joy
Free Workshop! Buy Amy’s book and send the receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a promo code to attend her virtual Conversational Intelligence workshop for free ($150 value)!
Amy's first Seeking Center appearance, "Living on Purpose"
Connect with Amy:
Visit theseekingcenter.com for more from Robyn + Karen, plus mega inspo -- and the best wellness + spiritual practitioners, products and experiences on the planet!
You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram @theseekingcenter
Robyn: [00:00:00] I'm Robyn Miller Brecker,
Karen: and I'm Karen Loenser. Welcome to seeking center. The podcast,
Robyn: join us each week as we have the conversations and weed through the spiritual and holistic clutter for you, we'll boil it down to what you need to know. Now
Karen: we're all about total wellness, which to us needs building a healthy life on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.
We'll talk to the trailblazers who will introduce you to the practices, products, and experiences. That may be just what you need to hear about to transform your life.
If you're listening to this, it's no accident. Think of this as your seeking center and your place to seek your center. And for even more mega inspo sign up for seeking center.
The newsletter at seeking center
Robyn: We have one of our soul sisters back today since we last had her on Seeking Center. Transformational leadership
and author Amy Eliza Wong released her first book and Amazon Bestseller, living on Purpose Five Deliberate Choices to Realize [00:01:00] Fulfillment and Joy, and it's even one book of the Year by the Magic Pen.
We love this book for so many reasons. First of all, it's an actual guidebook to discovering your purpose for being here in this lifetime. Amy helps you answer one of the most important questions someone can answer, which is, are you living the life you are meant to lead? Then she shows you how to feel more connected to the people around you and
be truly satisfied with your life.
Who doesn't want that for more than 20 years, Amy has devoted herself to the study and practice of transformation
Yeti Stereo Microphone-4: .
As a certified executive coach using expertise in transpersonal psychology, design thinking, interpersonal neurobiology, and
Robyn: conversational intelligence,
Amy has catalyzed transformative growth for so many people, including executives and their teams. We'll be talking about choices, fulfillment, the art
and more. Let's get talking. Hi, Amy.
Hi Amy. Hi. Oh, so happy to [00:02:00] be here So excited.
Karen: Oh, we're happy to see you. Congratulations on this book. The last time we talked to you, it was getting ready to be published and you were putting all the final touches on it, and now it's out in the world.
So maybe we should start at the very beginning. Tell us how you define the term Living on purpose.
What does that mean for you?
Amy: Living on Purpose, funny story. The title of the book, living on Purpose, actually didn't want it to be living on Purpose. I wanted it to be the name of my practice, which is always on purpose. And it was the publisher that said, I think we need to change the title.
And I think, I really don't wanna change the title. I really like Always On Purpose. And they're like we think it needs to be a bit more approachable. And so we landed on Living on Purpose, which feels just as juicy to me. What I like about both Always on Purpose, living on purpose, is that really what it's capturing here is that it's not purpose as a noun, it's really more as.
that verb, it's like, what is to be on purpose and being on purpose is a way of being, which really is one of thriving. It's one of harnessing choice. Being in the driver's seat of your own life, [00:03:00] owning your perception, the way in which you perceive, the way in which you interpret. Being able to redirect, channel your thinking, your beliefs, so that you really are living the life of your own, making the one that you choose and to be on purpose.
It's subtle, it's simple, but it's really it's complex because on the one hand if we go with the always on purpose, that I wanted always on purpose, invites people to just accept or. Recognize that maybe everything really is happening for me, not to me. And that's a choice that we can make.
That everything that's arising really is for me. And if we can learn to be non-resistant to what is, and to see things as gifts instead of as challenges, that's one piece of it. And then practicing. What is it? What is it that I have to be doing in my thinking and my perceiving and in the way in which I interpret so that I can be in that driver's seat.
So all that together, that's really what it means to live on purpose. That's freedom. And that's what it means to thrive. Yes. It really is. how do you want
Robyn: [00:04:00] people to use this book? to your point, it sounds simple, but there's a lot more to it, and you've created a way.
For people to really use this book to guide them. So how have you structured it in
Amy: that way? Yeah I love this question cuz I was really artful about how I put this together. Now I don't know if I've shared this with you all, I studied math in my previous life.
So as a mathematician, it's the way my brain works, I build things off, axioms and it's all about logic. And being able to look at the world and, complex things and distill it down into very clear, very digestible common sensical, logical ways of understanding that are rather irrefutable.
And so when you take a subject like personal development, personal growth, spiritual growth spiritual evolution, that's very abstract. And part of My love and my passion, my strengths are being able to objectively describe and help people through this very subjective process by using logic and strong argument.
And so the way I mapped the book out is[00:05:00] there are five, and I call them deliberate choices, but you can also call them perceptual shifts. There are these choices that you make about how life works, what this means, who you are that you get to make. Cuz that's just how this works. You get to decide how you wanna look at this.
And so what I'm offering aren't objective truths, but they are frames that you can choose that will unlock so much of our ability to feel joy and fulfillment and to thrive. And so these five choices. they're mutually exclusive. You can take any one of them pr, as a practice and start to come back home to yourself.
And it feels so great. And so they all work independently of one another. However, the way in which I put 'em all together, they builds on themselves. And so the way it's structured is I've shared my own stories like where the heck did all this come from in the first place? And it really did come from a breakdown that I had after my first child.
And it was a breakdown, breakthrough experience, we talked about the first Exactly. Episode with you. Yeah, exactly. And so that breakdown, breakthrough [00:06:00] really woke me up and opened me up to an entirely new way of navigating and an understanding and living into that. So then weaving stories, experiences, case studies, science, the research.
In as I take readers through these five choices to really claim the life you were born to live. Yeah.
Robyn: When you talk about choice, that idea of which you introduced at the very top of this episode, which is that it's also perception. Most people don't realize that they have a choice Yeah. In their everyday. That's right. So what do you want them to know in terms of this power to
Amy: choose? Such a beautiful question, and I love that narrowed in on this because this really is our superpower is choice, and most of us think of choice at this level of action.
And think that's where it's all at, that I've got choice at the level of action and behavior. And so when we think about, oh, I'm an exercise choice, yes, I've got choice, we're thinking about moving the pieces around of our lives or things such as yeah, I wanna live a better life, so how about I choose eating this [00:07:00] apple instead of this, bag of chips.
So we think that's where it's at. And I'm gonna make choices at this level in order to live a better life. And I say, yeah, sure we wanna make choices that serve us at that level, but that's not the whole story. And really where we unlock our ability to flourish is when we harness choice at the level of perception.
And so stuff is happening out there in the world, and we have five senses to pick up on. That's stuff. Now those senses take in the inputs, it gets translated in our brain. And then after we have perceived this, we interpret, we make sense of, we overlay meaning on this stuff of life and what we are experienced.
The quality of our life is really born out of the meaning that we have overlaid as a result of what we've perceived. But that meaning we get to choose. But a lot of us don't recognize that we just take it for truth because it's happening in our head. And so if we don't have the tools to get up at that level to how do I actually readjust the meaning I'm making so that I can experience this [00:08:00] differently.
If I don't have access to those tools, I'm gonna be a victim. Of my own perception, and I don't even know it. And then I'm gonna think it's all about making better choices, like eating apple over a bag of chips, and that's not where it's at. Yes, of course we wanna eat apples over chips. Enjoy your life, you eat chips too.
But really where your power is being able to harness, what am I making this mean? how am I looking at the world? how do I wanna look at this? What is this gonna mean to me? We get to decide. And so that's what those five choices are about.
How do I capture choices at that level? And I think
Robyn: just to even zero in on that, even just a little bit more for people, it's this idea of, let's say you have a full-time job and you are looking at it as, I have to get up to get to that job, or I have to show up for that meeting instead of taking.
Accountability and choosing to show up for that meeting. Choosing what is your energy going to be when you show up at that meeting? We have a choice in how we show up, can you look at it like, I get to bring my whole self to this and I'm choosing to be here, so I'm gonna be [00:09:00] my happiest self, my best self.
I'm gonna contribute. My point being that we think of things that , in quotes, I have to do. Yes.
Amy: I love what you're leaning into here and there's a really practical tip that I can offer on this right here, if it's helpful.
Yes, please. A lot of us go through our lives and. We are making choices that we don't really realize we're making, but we're making them, and then we resist them. So for example, for this individual that is waking up and is dreading their day and is and they've got all these judgements about say their boss or their colleagues or the nature of their work or we slow it down.
We say, okay, hold on first, just let's just level set here. Are you prepared to make a different choice right here, right now? Are you gonna leave your job? No. So you're choosing your job right now? Yes. Okay. So if you're choosing your job, you're choosing it. Cool. So that's at the level of action, but to choose it and then push against it by dreading it, by not liking it, by complaining about it.
Essentially what we've done is we've added resistance to the equation, and when we add resistance to the equation, we're [00:10:00] using bandwidth, beautiful, valuable mental and emotional bandwidth. And we're just wasting it because we are eating up our own energy that could be used for something else.
And so very practically, I'll just share a big aha and as this is a nugget that's in chapter four, that when it comes to all the things we can experience all emotion, positive and negative. if we put it on a scale, all negative emotion doesn't matter what negative emotion it is, it could be as mild as confusion.
It could be as intense as revenge. All of it is caused by one thing and simply what it is, it's just when we resist what is boom, we drop below neutral. So resistance to what is the cause of all negative emotion. And it's what drains so much of our resources for creativity, innovation, imagination positivity.
it eats away at our life force. And and we're doing this to ourselves, so fundamentally we wanna recognize that all negative emotion is caused by resistance to what is and if we want to thrive if I'm gonna make the choice to stay in my job right now, cool.
I'm making this choice. So how can I drop the resistance to what is and just let it be so that I [00:11:00] can reclaim all those resources to solve new problems, to think about it this way, to try it this way and so we become more imaginative, creative and we start manifesting what we do want.
Because we have all those resources back. Oh gosh. That is so
Karen: helpful. And I think everybody needs to hear that because that is where your power always lies. That's why they always start talking about the present moment, because in that moment, when that thought is hitting you're either powerful or you're powerless over it.
And the way to be powerful is to catch yourself before you go down that slippery slope and you're so beaten down and you're so depressed, or you're so angry and get yourself back and go, wait, nope. Starts with me. And I get to choose how I feel. It's so empowering. It's so helpful. Robyn knows I try to do it.
I'm trying to do it more and it really helps.
Amy: Can we talk about another
Karen: subject, which is synchronicity. I love saying the word out loud. It feels powerful and magical. Yes. Can you explain what you mean by synchronicity and how that helps factor into living on purpose?
Amy: Yes, absolutely. I think of synchronicity is a [00:12:00] higher ordered, intelligent coincidence. Now all of us know what coincidence is. it's so fun, it's coincidental, coincidence is delightful because that's oh, this is just feels good, but synchronicity factors in that there's so much going on here in this experience of existence that we have no idea.
Robyn: we tell me, by the way, from a mathematician.
Amy: Yeah. No, we know nothing. And I'm such a stickler about this. We think we know stuff, but we don't. I'm gonna sound kinda super philosophical here, when it comes down to it, the only thing we could ever say for certain and know for certain is here it goes.
I exist. That's it. That's the only thing in my direct experience is I exist. In fact, I don't even know if you both exist, Robyn Karen, like you're on screens. I don't even know for a fact if you exist. I've got five senses that are picking up on this sense data that tell me you're real. And hey, guess what?
We're in agreement that you're real. And I like that agreement. But the truth is, it's an agreement. It's not a truth, it's an agreement that you are real. And so [00:13:00] when it all comes down to it, we don't know anything. We're just making up all these stories and we have agreements on how to coexist, but there is no ultimate truth of this is how it should be, or this is how it shouldn't be.
And we really don't know anything. And so synchronicity, again, is a choice to look at coincidence with meaning that there is some purpose and meaning behind these things happening that are for our highest good. And synchronicity follows when we are truly following our inspiration, which I believe is the language of our soul.
Robyn: Oh, I love that you put it that way.
Amy: and to me, what feels so delicious about synchronicity is it taps into this beautiful experience of faith that there is something bigger. Now, I am not religious in a traditional sense, of any sort of organized religion, but I'm very, as we're all soul sisters here, I'm very spiritual and I believe, I choose to believe that there is something bigger going on that is connecting of all of us.
It's consciousness, love and consciousness that [00:14:00] we are all a part of, that we are expressive of, but a part of, and we are connected in ways that our five senses can't comprehend. And with these wonderful minds of ours, there's just no way we could start to fathom what else is going on. And so synchronicity, honors that there's something bigger going on.
And we get to appreciate the mystery, but experience the delicious effects of it and just revel in that. I love it. And to me, I've just decided it just means I'm on the right path. And when you know you're on the right path and you choose to know, and you follow your inspiration, you keep getting signs of synchronicity.
It's like those amazing breadcrumbs, like yes. I'm following my soul's purpose. Yes,
Robyn: actually speaking of that foundational background that you have in math, it's that's a pattern. it's looking at it that way, at least, on this other level, this level of choice to look at it that way.
And then to me personally, I look at it as
Amy: validation. Yep. I love
Karen: it. As you were talking I was thinking about how, I'm looking out at my window here at how we are so evidence based on everything, [00:15:00] in our day to day, but when you think about how you can look out the window one day and it's gray and dreary and there's not a leaf on the tree, and then all of a sudden you look and you see this greenness and richness, it's like you didn't actually see all of the stuff behind the scenes that made it happen.
And yet it happens. And I think that's what we forget about in life is that we're so caught up in like you were saying before, the tangibility of what we see and
Amy: experience that we
Karen: forget about so much unseen that goes on behind the scenes that is so powerful and that we have access to.
Amy: Beautifully said. And you, I think where this is so tingly and exciting and scary for a lot of us is it requires a bit of surrender. because what's on, what's the flip side of trusting, loving, falling in love with reveling and synchronicity. It's really trying to control and so many of us it has so much to do with how we're conditioned in our society that we're trained to believe that we control every piece of an outcome of our lives.
And what I'm saying is, I'm hearing myself saying this, it might sound a little counterintuitive here, cuz here I'm saying, [00:16:00] oh, we get to control our mindset and we have choices that we get to make and that is true, but stuff is gonna happen, And so the stuff of life we really don't have control of.
And in fact, like you look at your lives now, both of you, Robyn and Karen could you have anticipated that you would be doing this today? Go back, 10 years ago I would you be like, would you even anticipate that you could have even planned this? No. And no one I ever talked to says, I knew exactly I was gonna be right here. there's just no way to control or plan. And so to really ease into and delight in this thing called synchronicity, it does require a bit of surrender. Here's another choice. It's always working out for you.
Robyn: Yeah. And what that brings up, I know for me is it.
Comes to letting go of fear and trusting in faith and love, because control to me is, comes from fear. Yeah. And so it makes sense that most of us have worked at that level of trying to control, but that's because we're coming from that place of fear rather than coming from the place of love.
Amy: absolutely. Oh, and , can I [00:17:00] share a little personal story here? It's so relevant. So I'm in the process of a two year mindfulness meditation teacher certification just to add to my toolbox. And as a part of this, I did a a silent meditation retreat. All week. Completely silent. And I don't know if you've either done this or anyone listening has ever gone through a very rigorous silent meditation retreat where it's what essentially it's insight meditation, and the idea is that you eliminate all distractions. For a lot of people they're like, oh my gosh, you don't talk for a week.
And I'm like, that was no problem. Honestly, not talking wasn't the issue. It's you have no phone, you have no computer, you have no tv, you have no, you can't read. You're not journaling. All you are doing is you are with yourself. You're mindfully walking, you're mindfully eating, you are mindfully sitting.
You are mindfully watching. And so in the process of this for a week, you become so intimately familiar with the nature of your mind and how you cause your own suffering. It's wild. And I share this because control, as much as I know about what I know and I try, with so much love to live What I study and I write about, and the thing that [00:18:00] I am wrapped up by is time. I am always three steps ahead of myself, always planning for the next moment. And I know the hyper achievers out there the same way. It's like you're planning for the next year plan and you think you're being effective, but man, what I saw, oh my gosh, it is just a fear B, it's just all control.
it's this false premise that I can control and be safe by being a few steps ahead and being up on time. And it's just, the ways in which we seek controller try to control. It's so subtle and it's so invasive.
Robyn: had you done one like this before,
Amy: Not in the way it did it this time.
This was a global one. And so I went, I was away by myself , in another home just by myself, but I was silent by myself. We were on community virtually worldwide. And so I had to log on. So the only work, yeah. How does that work? Work? So I know it sounds a little, so I had to log onto Zoom.
, so there was one link I would click and we'd all be in Songa. We'd all be, for two hours, three to four times a day, and that was it. And then, you log off and then you're by yourself. And so [00:19:00] that to some, to a certain degree, it was I would say maybe a little more challenging because I've got a place in Sacramento and I love it, but it's our home.
And so I wanna go do the things I'm used to doing. No, can't do that. And it's like lot of self there. Yeah. And so it's not like this special place I went to, yeah. Where this mindset is reserved for that particular environment. I had to bring it to my environment, which really made it meaningful, I'll say.
Robyn: Do you feel like it has changed you coming back into
Amy: real life? Oh, for sure I would best part I'd say that wasn't a real life, but no, she felt like normal family. More my day to day. My, I've gotta come back to being mom. Exactly what I mean. Yeah. Yeah. Business owner, author. Yeah.
All the things. what was so invaluable was, at the end of it, I literally had to sit down and I have a diagram of this and you're gonna laugh. I literally mapped out how my mind works. I saw I have two polar ends, , in the way that my mind is drawn and what links them and how it shows up in the gradients in between.
I [00:20:00] literally had to map this. And so to see it so clearly now as I go through my day, I can see exactly where I fall and for what purpose and where I'm getting caught. And that right there has given me a way to Remove myself from self-imposed drama really quickly. And I also, because of what I'm te telling you about time, I've known this, I think I've even shared this with you, the last podcast.
time has been such a weird thing for me. I am so gripped, I'm a slave to this thing called Time. And I know it's a construct. It's so ridiculous. And in fact, first year my husband and I went to Burning Man years and years ago I was named on time, which is that's so unsexy. I don't
Karen: wanna be named on time.
That's awful. Give a better name.
Amy: It's awful. So on time has just been my, this thing that I'm hooked by, I've been like how do I unhook myself? It was going through this silent retreat that I didn't just conceptually understand it. I embodied a whole new wisdom about what was happening. So that I, now literally I've been able to get out from underneath it.
And I have choice there it is choice. [00:21:00] In a whole new way. So has it solved it? No. But now I have choice in a way that I didn't have choice to not choose it. And I bet too,
Karen: in all of those minutes that you spent with just yourself away from technology, you realize how much time slows down. And by being at the mercy of time and fitting so much into your day, you have less and less of it.
And then when you literally can stop and slow yourself down, then time expands. it's so mind blowing and yets so simple. I'm sure you learned a lot about,
Amy: What about
Robyn: too, even in terms of all of these different responsibilities that you have on a daily basis as a mom, as a business owner, as a partner, and all of that.
how did that I impact things went
Amy: on without you? Oh boy. Did they go on. And, it was actually, it was interesting. We had a pretty tragic so my 10 year old, she's a highly sensitive, beautiful being on the far end of the spectrum of highly sensitive. And long story short, her beloved teacher died tragically.
So the week I was [00:22:00] gone, she died tragically of a brain aneurysm. And anyway, it was just one. And the thing is, we discovered that I have an aneurysm last year, and so something that we're monitoring so , like all this stuff around it.
And so of course, I'm away and there's this agreement with the whole family don't reach out to mom unless the house is on fire, sort of thing. It's okay, the house is on fire so they, natural of course reach out. So I am in contact with my little one as the days went on.
Now, of course, naturally, what was so incredible because of the nature of where I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to be able to meet those moments. To meet the emotion in a way that it was almost as if. Wisdom was emerging from me. My old habits of, oh gosh, and you wanna make him feel better and how do you, and as parents, we show up and we just do the thing.
And it was wildly different. There was a presence and a reverence. And here, okay, let me, here's a good example. I'm good at, as a parent, I've learned it's important to validate the emotions your children have, And rather than me doing [00:23:00] that, here's what emerged. My daughter's sobbing.
I'm crying with her. Cause I loved this teacher so much as well. And what came out of me, instead of saying, oh honey, you know what? I know you're sad. I'm sad. I didn't say that. What I said was, and I didn't choose this, I swear to goodness it just came out. Honey sadness is here right now. Sadness is here with us right now, and She took a deep breath and she looked at me and like we were crying at the time and it was just, there was just this sadness is here and that's okay. And it wasn't until after I got off the phone with her and I was reflecting on that, that was an interesting way of thinking about it. And then I, after, as I chewed on it, I was like, that's so interesting cuz we're so quick to say I'm sad.
You are sad. And we hold on to these narratives that kind of keep us stuck in drama. And not to say that what my daughter was going through was drama by any means, but just self-imposed swirl as a result of the . Narratives we say when in fact really it's just emotion is here with us right now.
and if we can relate, I mean imagine if we just all spoke to each other like that. Yeah. Emotion is here. I
Robyn: think there's two things. Really what I hear is number one yes. [00:24:00] just acknowledging that it's here, it's not who you are. But I think the other thing too, people are so quick.
Whether you're a friend or a parent or anyone, people are so quick to be like, you're gonna be okay. Don't worry. Oh
Amy: God. You're gonna be okay. Yes. And you weren't saying
Robyn: and that wasn't even part of the conversation right then. It was, this is where we are. This is where we
Karen: you made it feel like it's not gonna be forever. In that simple way you
Amy: expressed it. And it wasn't taking
Karen: it away. It's just that,
Robyn: yeah. It's not ignoring it and also not making it who you are.
Karen: The way you said that anyway. Was so gentle and yet real
Amy: that's the way you are. It should be expressed that way. thank you. I love that you, it's so subtle, but it was just so powerful and, I'm reminded of did you ever read Jill Bolt Taylor's book?
My Stroke of Insight? Yes. You did a Ted Talk on this. It's so fabulous. She's so Oh, so good. She was a neuro anatomist who had a stroke. And what's so fabulous about the book is that, here she's the scientist that knows very intimately the nature of the brain. And so the moment she [00:25:00] realizes she has a stroke and she has this thought like, oh my gosh, yes.
How many scientists get to actually experience what happens in the brain while it's happening? So she goes through this experience of having a stroke and there's so many incredible lessons in this book. The book is phenomenal, my stroke of insight. But one of the things that really stuck out to me, That she experienced was that.
And as a scientist, I really, I was like, ah, she's a scientist. I'm taking this for truth. What she's saying here that she validated cuz experientially and now backed by what she knows about the brain. And when it comes to emotion is energy that is meant to move. And it's only meant to be there for about 90 seconds.
And the only reason we get wrapped up in it is because of the stories we tell and the narratives we tell and the labels we use. And so it just, I'm reminded of that, when I think about how oh, sadness is here, really honors the fact that, okay, this is a body of energy. This is something that here is, that is meant to move.
Because guess what? Everything is impermanent. Nothing is meant to stick or stay emotion, anything. And so that right there if we just [00:26:00] even say, oh yeah, sadness is here. Disappointment is here. Whatever it might be, we honor the fact that it's meant to move and we take ourselves out of the equation.
It's like what Robyn said before, it's not like I am.
Karen: That's really powerful. Can we talk about more science?
We all love to talk about the power of intention. Another one of our favorite words, and you talk about Lynn McTaggart's, the intention experiment in your Oh. Which is so fascinating in itself. Can you just share a little bit
Amy: about that? Oh let's see. I came across the intention experiment.
think it was in high school. I came across the book and I just devoured it. and really what I love about Lynn McTaggart, that she was this journalist that became very curious about what the heck is happening with all these studies on intention that none of us know about.
And so she goes on this investigative journey to uncover what has been done in the government with the C i a and all of Princeton and Yale and all of these big [00:27:00] universities that have gone forth to really study the power of intention. And so this book called The Intention Experiment, is a collection of all of those research studies that prove.
We have a lot more power than we realize. And our chosen intention, our chosen focus, and the intention that we hold does, it is powerful. And in fact, I'll tell you I can't exactly remember what the study was, but at some point she mentions the Para Laboratory, Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab.
I don't believe it exists today. Cause I went to look it up a while ago and it, I can't find it, and they were essentially they were curious about this power of intention. And so what they built out of this lab was called the mind lamp.
Are y'all familiar with this? No. So I bought it. I have it in my other office. It's this lamp. And you can't find it. , they're not doing it anymore. But I'll tell you what this is. So it's a lamp that has this mood change.
It's a really cool lamp that has this mood changing color light, and when you plug it in, [00:28:00] it's you, there's two modes. And on the first mode it's just, it's a white light. And then what you do is you just, you send your intention to the lamp. You're like, I wanna turn it blue. I wanna turn it blue.
And then you imagine turning it blue and then the lamp will all of a sudden start turning blue. And then you get all excited and then it goes back to white and you're like no. So it's like helping you train your focus. And then it can go to green. It can go to purple. And so people might be thinking like, what the heck?
That just sounds goofy and weird and crazy. The technology it's built off of is the same technology as the random event generators, if you're familiar with this. So random event generation technology is essentially when you need a massive sample of. Of random data for whatever kind of study you're doing, you need something that's going to be Statistically sound in generating random events. so let's say ones and zeros. Ones and zeros and ones and zeros. if it's statistically sound, you're gonna get like pretty much 50% zeros, 50% one. So it's this technology that can produce it randomly.
Okay, cool. but what they [00:29:00] found was that if you take this random event generation technology, and let's say you put it behind a computer screen and now you put a person on the other end of the screen and you say, okay, intend to see more ones than zeros. Then they will use this technology to flash the zeros and ones on the other side of the screen.
Now the user that's witnessing the screen is gonna intend, I'm gonna see more ones. I'm gonna see more ones. What they have proven is that you can skew the data in a statistically sound way to actually see more ones than zeros, which is not possible with a random event generator, right? Cuz you're always gonna get about 50 50 50, 50 50.
So they were like, wow, there's something really going on here. So we do have the ability to affect change with our intention. So what the para laboratory did was they took that technology, they put it in a lamp, and so that you could do exactly that. So to essentially Chris I wanna see blue, I wanna, I'm gonna see green, I'm gonna see purple.
Super fun. Yeah. And so that is why this lamp
Robyn: I'm frustrated. They don't make it anymore,
Karen: have to
Robyn: come over just to use yours, yeah.
Amy: When [00:30:00] I come visit y'all I'm bringing it. Yeah, But that's, the inspiration I had in reading all of these studies that have been, not just in universities, but within our own government, I just thought, oh my gosh, there's so much going on here.
And so as I write the book, I back up some of these practices with we've got this, there's this that's been studied. There's all of this that's happening. this isn't just wishful thinking here,
Robyn: and we've talked about this a bunch on our podcast in general.
Intention is a daily practice for me, and I know it is for Karen. And to what you're talking about it's we are our own super computers, There is this energy coming out of us that, to your point, can skew the data. You know what I mean? So if you can skew data, you can change your life, you can make Yes.
you can make powerful, intentional choices for your life. So to have that backed by science in some way just helps to validate your own
Karen: power. And it goes back to your power of choice again. Yeah, it does. Intention
Karen: right. [00:31:00] It's really being clear on what that choice is for what you want to experience.
And again it's so interesting how all of these practices, when you've laid them
Amy: out as you have Amy, it's oh yeah. Of course.
Karen: And yet so much as you just said in the beginning, it's a way we're taught,
Karen: our lives aren't that simple. There's so much confusion in the way that we're taught to think and perceive.
When we break it down is
Amy: just as simple as a choice. Which
Robyn: to actually talking about inner opposition. Which you talk about in the book. what
Amy: does that mean? Yeah. So I am a huge believer, that everything that we're experiencing, it's the result of the relationship we have with ourselves.
So we, all of us have a relationship with ourself, and that self relationship forms the primary perceptual lens we look through. And so as we look through to the world, we think that what's out there is objective. It's not really objective, it's just a projection of this relationship we have with ourselves.
Now, for most folks, and particularly in westernized culture, for most of us, we have a [00:32:00] wonky relationship with ourselves. Meaning we choose to hold these limiting beliefs, or we think we're lacking in some way or we're not good enough in some way, or we're not worthy, we're not deserving.
And it's subtle but that experience of that inner resistance, To self is what I call inner opposition. that there's this tension within ourselves, to ourselves about ourselves that we haven't fully embraced our wholeness and completeness. And again, if you look at a two-year-old, if you look at a three-year-old, they fully embrace their wholeness and completeness.
They do not have inner opposition. They have not taken on any decision that they are not good enough or not worthy. what happens is because of our neurobiology, we're all programmed to be hardwired with one another. And so rejection really is wildly triggering. And my hypothesis, my research and the reason I wrote this book largely, was because of this fact right here.
Rejection registers like death to the brain. It's highly triggering it, it literally registers as pain. And so we do everything we can to avoid it. And when we're born, we don't have inter opposition. [00:33:00] But as we develop and when we're developing, we've got these underdeveloped brains. We've got these primitive brains at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
We can't make sense of, irony or sarcasm. We don't know fact from fiction. And here we are, these tiny, beautiful little beings in a complex world. And when we experience significant perceived rejection, to the brain, it's oh my gosh. And so what will happen is we'll take on these beliefs about ourselves in order to make sense of the pain.
Those beliefs are the birth of inner opposition. So if I'm holding a belief that I'm not worthy or I'm not good enough, Or I'm inferior or I'm lacking, or I'm a loser, or I'm not smart, or whatever it might be that I needed to take on in order to make sense of an experience of my life.
Those beliefs that's really what fuels this inner tension that lives within me, and it's what everybody knows that feeling. It's what keeps us from speaking up in a meeting it's what keeps us from putting ourselves out there and making that bold move of say, quit my job and start this business.
it's that stuff that keeps us from living holy living. Yeah. We talk in the book
Karen: about [00:34:00] that story about your mom taking you to school for the first time and how vulnerable that you felt. And even though you were an outgoing little kid it made you feel rejected by your mother.
And even though we know that's not where your mom was I can see how those moments you
Amy: carry around with you. you're
Karen: too young to really, as you just said, to make sense of them. And so that wound is always there and then perpetuates as you grow older and older.
Amy: Totally. And I'm so glad you bring this up because, it was a double-edged sword sharing this. and I do everything I can to make it super clear that, inner opposition is gonna happen because stuff's gonna happen. Like my mom dropped me off at daycare and my gosh, my mom, she wanted me to thrive.
She wanted to be with other kids. She was so excited for me, thinking this was the best thing and it and it was the best thing. But from where I was sitting, I was like, oh my gosh, my mom's rejecting me. Oh my gosh. and so I was like, I must not be good enough. She doesn't want me around.
And what I love about sharing this story is that it's gonna happen to all of us. And my firm belief is that it's meant to happen for all of us [00:35:00] because guess what? We can't claim who we are unless we know who we're Yeah. And so we all have to go through this process of separating from who we are because in order to truly live an authentic life that we choose, we have to choose it.
But to choose it, we have to know who we aren't. and if we don't have that experience, We're just gonna blindly go through life and just where we're. Okay. That's not living on purpose. That's not living on purpose. And so I share this because my sister, I've got beautiful twin nieces who are just now four years old.
And I can't tell you how many times I'll get a text from my sister. Oh my gosh. I think I just did the daycare moment with my girls. I just did that. I just did. She's freaking out. And I'm about Kate. Did I I'm constantly thinking about that. Did I, am I gonna, am I gonna screw 'em up? Am I gonna screw 'em up if I do this?
And I'm like, oh my gosh. And as parents, oh, we just have to embrace that we're gonna do our best and we're all our children are gonna be, and we can only protect
Robyn: for so much. That's the other part of it. You can only, there's only I think so many of us, That we talk to.
All we do is try to protect our kids from [00:36:00] feeling rejected, from feeling pain. And number one. We can't do that. That's, it's most likely not possible. And that's not even serving
Amy: them. No. No. Really not. No, definitely not. And, as, and I, it's, I have to practice this all the time as a parent myself, recognizing how much I want to shield my children from pain.
But, something that I've been able to discern in the process of having written the book. So actually I didn't, I don't write about this in the book, but it was only after I wrote the book that this distinction came to me. And it's been super helpful for me and for my clients as I share this, but, we're always on a growth path.
Humans. That's just that's our directive, our biological directive is to grow, to progress, to move in a certain direction. So we're always growing whether we like it or not, right? By virtue of experience by, by you name it, we're always growing. And so what we don't tend to think about is that we're growing in two ways and we're either growing on purpose or on accident.
And what I mean by that is that we're growing by virtue of the things that we choose that we wanted. Let's say, oh, I, I signed up for this course, I [00:37:00] went and did this. And so the stuff that we wanted in order to expand that stuff that we actively choose. But guess what? We are equally, and I would even argue more powerfully growing by the things that were on accident, the pain, the failures, the upsets, the tragedies.
We equally grow. From those dark moments, we grow in the light and we grow in the dark. You look at a plant, it doesn't just require sunlight, it needs to be in dark, stinky soil, right? And so it's growing both ways. And so what living on purpose really is all about is how can I gracefully embrace and get excited about both?
Cuz guess what shit's gonna happen? Tell you just
Robyn: Just what happened, while you were on your silent retreat and this tragedy happened in your family, in your community. And how did you react to it? And how did you help your daughter react?
And deal and cope. those
Amy: are the times. Those are the times. That's exactly right. I would even say even if we're not parents, if you're listening in it's noticing our desire to shield ourselves from the pain.
Recognizing that actually. There's something [00:38:00] here. one of the choices, I love this chapter cuz the chapter's titled Manure Makes Beautiful Blossoms. And it's, there's so many times we go through shit moments in our lives where in the moment it's oh my gosh, this was so unwanted.
Oh, this is a failure, this is an embarrassment. This is so painful, this is so stinky. And it's wait. No, it's not shit. It's manure. it's not stinky. I mean it's, it doesn't smell good, but man, it's the fertilizer. And this is something, again, if we wanna live on purpose and thrive, we're not gonna be able to take away all those shit moments.
But what we can do is con compost them to fertilizer and use it in and recognize it's really happening for us. Yeah. We talk about another
Karen: which I love that you bring up in the book, which is what I hear from a lot of people who wanna do this work. Who are seekers, who want to both.
Grow spiritually and personally, but they procrastinate because
Amy: they're afraid to make that choice.
Karen: And you say that procrastination isn't always a bad thing. Can you tell us more
Amy: about that? Oh, absolutely. So if we decide that synchronicity is something to get excited [00:39:00] about, and if we're bought into this idea that this feeling of inspiration is the language of our soul, and it's the path of least resistance to the most abundance then there's an opportunity to look at procrastination in a whole new way.
And, most of us think of procrastination as a negative, that this is a symptom of laziness or lethargy or whatever. And I've decided and I, for me, I don't look at it that way at all. I use the way I feel in every moment. As information. And so if I have intentions, cuz again here he goes back to intention.
If I have an intention that I'm going to produce X and I'm gonna get X out in the world, let's say, or a, b, c, out in the world, that's my intention. Now my job is to trust and to know it's gonna get out there, it's gonna happen because I have an intention, it's gonna happen. Cool. So there I am.
Okay. It's gonna happen. So now my job is to listen to myself, to my thoughts to listen for the sensations in my body as to, okay what's the inspiration leading me to, to get this out into the world? Now procrastination tends to feel heavy. It tends to feel like, oh, I [00:40:00] should be doing this and I'm not.
I should be doing it this way. And so we tend to hold back. So I say, hey, maybe that's just valuable information that is you on some higher level. Telling you that right now is not the tie. Right time. Because guess what? If you believe in synchronicity, then something's lining up in some other way.
And so yeah, you could go forth, go ahead, but I'm gonna guarantee you the return will not be worth the investment and you will end up getting a, B, C, or whatever it is X out there in the world, but there's a better way. And so procrastination, I call it it's just the information that, something's bubbling up here. The and the timing isn't just right. And so my way of playing with it, and it is, it's fun. It's like a game. It's like this is an A truth, this is a, this is just an approach, this is an approach that. Completely takes the resistance and the negativity out of the equation so that I now have all my resources so I can be with what is in a whole new, in an imaginative, creative, and positive way.
And so now if I am with what is in a positive way, now I can hear and listen for those [00:41:00] insights and inklings and opportunities that I wouldn't otherwise see if I was on myself about procrastination. So now I'm open and in that openness, oh, this idea of oh, wait. Oh, and so this is where synchronicity starts to emerge, and then absolutely.
A, B, c or this thing called X will be out in the world, but it will have happened in the most delightful, unexpected, non-resistant way because I was listening. And so what this requires is, one, you gotta stop calling it procrastination and just say, Hey, this is information. And then two, you have to trust.
You have to know it is gonna happen. And this is where people get tripped up cuz a lot of them don't wanna have that trust that it's gonna happen. They're like, whoa, no, because they need the control. And I say, no, it's a surrender. If you have an intention that you're gonna get this out in the world, then just know that it's gonna get out in the world.
So one of my favorite mantras, I always, it is so part of my dna, n a, I don't even verbally say it because it's been my d n a and I always share it with my clients is, if you really wanna go by this and you wanna play with this and have fun and live this way, cause it's super fun. If you live this way, it's so great.
Then the mantra is, it's gonna work out and it's gonna be great [00:42:00] because when has it never not worked out? And is it, when has it never not been great? So why assume this particular time that I wanted to get a, b, c out in the world, it's not gonna work out. No, it's always gonna work.
It's gonna work out. So you just have to take on, it's gonna work out and it's gonna be great. And you just have to surrender to that knowing and follow your inspiration that you do have to do. when minute
Karen: that you feel that resistance. That's the key, that there's something to know there.
And maybe for some people, procrastination is about maybe it's not the right thing. Maybe they're procrastinating cuz they really deep down don't wanna do it. Or they don't think that's the right path for them, but everybody else tells them that's the thing that they should be doing.
So I think there's something to know in the sense that procrastination could be your inner voice saying just slow down. Yeah. And listen for the right time. Or decide if it's what you really wanna do. That's right.
Karen: love that. I think that's gonna make a lot of people feel a lot better.
Robyn: I love thinking about it as information. Along with
Amy: the mantra. Procrastinate does not equal laziness. it just does not, it's just information.
Robyn: reminds me of something I was talking about with a friend recently, which is when something feels like you're pushing a boulder up a hill, that's [00:43:00] information. Yes.
Amy: That's right. and again, it's a choice. You can go forth. That's right. But is there another way?
Karen: That's so true.
Robyn: Let's talk about practices that people can use in their own life experiences. There is something called Find your
that you have in your book. Yes. Can you talk about that?
Amy: Oh, boy. Yes, I can. there's so much lead up to what this.
You know how to really speak to the swell. I love this analogy because it's so descriptive and captures so perfectly the practice of living on purpose. okay, so I'm gonna take a step back in order to lead up to the rumble strips of it To get us there.
And one of the biggest principles, and so I'll just share with you all and, and the listeners and here, that choice number one is fundamental. And so even though I've said all these other choices are independent, choice number one really is fundamental. And that one is if we're gonna thrive and flourish, if we're gonna live the life we were born to live, we have to decide that we're going to feel it out, not figure it out.
And the reason this is [00:44:00] so important is because everything we want, Is because we think it's gonna make us feel a certain way. It's not for the thing. But everybody thinks that they want things for the thing, not necessarily for the feeling. We haven't fully looked at the whole map. We just stop at the thing.
Oh, I want the job, I want the money, I want the title, I want the bigger house. I want the relationship. And so we, we think that it's all in the thing, but really everything we want is because we think it's gonna make us feel better. And essentially we want the feeling we think we would have. So what happens is we don't look at that full map and we stop at the thing.
And so we get really good at navigating towards the thing, and that's figuring it out. And so all of us have been trained and school has done a great job of this, is teaching us how to calculate, strategize, and figure our way to our goals. But that just gets us halfway. Because many of us have goals that we haven't even fully checked.
Does this actually give me what I wanna feel? Because how many times have you talked to somebody who is dead set on a promotion, who is dead set on this bigger title? I really want [00:45:00] senior vp. Oh my God, I'm gonna do everything I can to get it. And yet deep, deep down, what they're dying for is spaciousness presence with their family and ability to laugh and to feel joy, and to feel balanced.
Like how many people want that feeling of balance and feeling of agency. And so deep inside, what's really wanted is this feeling of presence and connection with their children and their spouse and with their life. But they haven't pulled that into the equation cuz they have been conditioned.
I want the title, I want the title, I want the title, I want the title. And yeah, there's this sense, yeah, I'd love to be more present. But they're not prioritizing that cause they're not thinking about it as feeling they're thinking about it as thing. So now they go forth, they go, and they do everything they can to get this promotion, but now they're reporting to a boss.
They can't stand, they're working, a third of the more time they're now managing more people and it's completely counter to actually what they really wanna feel. And so now their life looks phenomenal on paper because it's what they said they wanted, but they are dying inside.
And now they feel like now they're helpless and hopeless. It's shoot, I've now sought out and I've achieved everything that I said I was going [00:46:00] to, and now I feel worse. What the heck is going on? And so there's so many, and this is why a lot of people come to me. It's because they're quite successful, but they feel like their lives are hollow.
Like what? More? What? So then I'll usually hear what more can I want? what am I supposed to be doing? What's my purpose? If it's not this, then what? And we end up asking that question, what's my purpose? Cuz if it's not this, then what? It's often because we've been figuring it out, not feeling it out.
And so I share this because if we're going to begin to flourish, we have to bring feeling into the equation. And we now have to use feeling as our guide. Because if everything we want is for a feeling, then why not start moving in the direction of what you makes you feel expansive and energized and inspired versus constricted.
And so what ends up happening is if when we start to make the shift from figuring it out to feeling it out, now we use our feeling as our guide. And if we use our feeling as our guide, now we're going to follow inspiration. Now inspiration. When we have inspiration, and I know if any of you all are listening and you have felt inspired, it [00:47:00] is this incredible feeling of expansiveness that's usually in the chest or deeper in the body, and it's, oh, and it's like your eyes get bigger and your chest kind of expands and there's this grounded, buzzy but present feeling and you've got energy running and it's very energizing, but grounded now that's the path to follow because that's the path of your purpose.
That's the path of joy. and it's listening for that feeling is so important versus following the thought. That feels really constrainted because this is gonna get me now feeling I bring that up because now we're talking about rumble strip. Our rumble strip is this imaginary boundary that I have imagined that we have between When we are living in our purpose, when we are living our whole and complete self, when we are in that place of, living by these choices, let's put it that way. We're living by these choices and we're living in our whole and complete self. Okay, cool. That might be true for about half a day.
And now you walk into this event that you're supposed to do for work and all of a sudden you start to feel a little constrictive because guess what? This narrative like, oh my gosh, wait, maybe these [00:48:00] people don't do I know what I'm actually talking about. Do I actually belong here? We go through these experiences because, when the environment changes, Our inner dialogue's gonna change and these insecurities might kick up.
The inner opposition might kick up like, oh, those false beliefs that we have held onto since four years old say, are there. We don't really get rid of 'em. The work is to not get rid of it. Cuz you can't, the work is to just not choose it. The work is to not live from that. And so to not choose it, you ha really have to feel for it.
You have to notice when it's there. So the rumble strip it's a metaphor for recognizing when you start to sense into that hole, gosh, there's that part of me that's skittled, you start going off into the bushes. And so the way we can start to play with and use this rumble strip is one.
You have to get really familiar with first what does it feel like to be in this insecure, false part of myself where I'm living from false beliefs. What does that feel like? Ooh. And it's usually up here and it's a figuring it out thing, versus what does it feel like when I'm really just feeling like I'm living my essence.
And when you [00:49:00] have those two , you're pretty clear about what they feel like, then your job is to just, stay the course. And notice when you start veering off, you start getting off into that rumbles. Oh, okay. And you catch it and you're like, oh nope. Back on course. And so I think it's later on in the book, I've got a lot of practices and techniques.
Is it makes a lot of sense when we get to that point. Yes. What do you need to do to get to that place or that point to catch and then come back into your whole and complete self?
Robyn: You set that up really well considering that. I know, it's towards the end of the book, but it's such an important concept
For someone. All of us have one, and , what I people love hearing is just, and in order to really, to do this and have fun with it, you just have to decide that you're intolerant of feeling crappy. That's all. Wow. You just have to decide you're intolerant of feeling crappy. and then that way, then the rebel strip's okay, there's my rumble strip because crappy is over there.
That's so true.
Karen: This has been amazing. I have one other question though I really wanna ask and that is what have you learned about yourself, Amy, in writing this book? Was there anything that surprised you when you [00:50:00] saw it all come, together, or anything that you put in here along the way and you were like, Wow.
Amy: Oh gosh, so much. I would say I wrote this book because, I've been doing this work for over a decade now, and this process, these choices that I started working with clients many years ago, it was working wildly, just wildly successful.
And I thought I just have to get this out there in a bigger way. Cause I can't work with every single person, but a book can reach more. and at the time when I wanted to write the book, it just felt so complete in my own mind and it is complete for what it is, but in the process of writing it and moving forward, and as the years progress, it's oh my gosh, there is still so much more.
There is still so much more. and it has been such a, Humbling process, to come up with either to come across studies that counter what I am saying and I'm like, shoot, did I just set people up and then I'll find another study that actually supports And I'm like, no I, and I feel like I'm just in this open-minded learning still.
I'm still learning. I'm still open to it. I am still my biggest student of this. Also, uncovering [00:51:00] more. Cause I live everything in this book I live. And I have to say, I feel so blessed to have the life that I do, and yet I still uncover so much. And the process of just following these five simple, they're simple but profound steps.
You think you understand it and then it just gets deeper and, oh, and there's so much more to uncover and it's so rich and it's so delightful. I guess there it is. I've had visceral, very embodied. Wisdom that it's a never ending process.
And I would say too,
Robyn: just that your intention, what you stated just in answering this question, your intention has certainly been achieved because you have reached so many people and you're creating a foundation for living on purpose, , and the more that you grow and the more that you learn, the more you'll share.
Because that's your overall intention in general. So there'll be more books and there'll be more ways for you to share because that's your intention going back to what we talked about. So thank you. Thank you for capturing that brilliant mind and all of your experiences and the research that [00:52:00] you've done and , in the strategic way, you did lay this out for anybody who wants to live.
A more joyful, fulfilled life. You've captured it.
Amy: Thank you. I really appreciate that. Thank you so much.
Robyn: Can't wait to do more with you, Amy.
Amy: Oh, likewise. We're just beginning gals. You're just beginning.
Robyn: It's beginning's. So true. And you can find out more about Amy, including working with her and more about the book and where to find and buy the book at.
Always on purpose.com. And we'll have everything. We'll have lots of links in our show notes, so thank you, Amy. Well done Amy.