THIRD WAVE PODCAST
The Evolution of Coaching: Embodiment, Presence, & Moving Beyond the Individual
Joel Monk is a leadership coach, educator, facilitator, and entrepreneur. As a coach, Joel is dedicated to the development of conscious, creative, and entrepreneurial leaders. He co-founded Coaches Rising, a company at the cutting edge of online coach training with a community of nearly 50,000 coaches and participants from every continent on the planet. Coaches Rising has collaborated with some of the leading minds in the field of human development.
- Coaches Rising and the evolution of coaching.
- Translating “emergence” from theory to practice.
- Joel’s journey into coaching, psychedelics, and other transformative modalities.
- The difference between coaching and therapy.
- Why coaches should have a referral network.
- Necessary skills to develop conscious, creative, and entrepreneurial leaders.
- Values, principles, and systems of meta modernism.
- Future developments for Coaches Rising.
This episode is sponsored by Beckley Retreats, a leading holistic wellbeing company that offers transformative self-development programs by leveraging the science-backed power of psychedelics in concert with supportive therapeutic modalities. As a trusted partner of Third Wave, we strongly recommend the upcoming retreats for Beckley in Jamaica, as well as many other locations. Head to go.beckleyretreats.com/thirdwave to book your transformational psilocybin program today.
Looking for an aligned retreat, clinic, therapist or coach? Our directory features trusted and vetted providers from around the world. Find psychedelic support or apply to join Third Wave’s Directory today.
0:00:00.1 Paul Austin: Hey, folks, and welcome back to the Third Wave Podcast. Today, I am speaking with Joel Monk, a leadership coach, educator, facilitator and entrepreneur.
0:00:11.3 Joel Monk: You cannot coach without the body now. If you’re just having like, a conversation to talking heads, it’s really insufficient if you wanna enact deep lasting change and help leaders to thrive in their environments in this complex world. That mind-body split, that’s an illusion we’ve inherited. That’s dissolving, and that all kinds of capacities and ways of collaborating and being come online as we make that journey and expand the bandwidth of the ways we can relate it to the world.
0:00:45.9 PA: Welcome to the Third Wave Podcast. I’m your host, Paul Austin, here to bring you cutting-edge interviews with leading scientists, entrepreneurs and medical professionals who are exploring how we can integrate psychedelics in an intentional and responsible way for both healing and transformation. It is my honor and privilege to bring you these episodes as you get deeper and deeper into why these medicines are so critical to the future of humanity. So let’s go, and let’s see what we can explore and learn together in this incredibly important time.
0:01:23.8 PA: Hey, listeners, I am so excited to have Joel Monk on the podcast today. We go deep into the topics of coaching, leadership, psychedelics, facilitation, accountability and so much more. You know, we often talk, and I often bring on guests for this podcast who have their expertise or specialty in the psychedelic world. And I’ve also brought in some coaches, executive coaches, life coaches, peak performance coaches and facilitators. And today, we’re really gonna bring the best of both worlds together for you. Joel co-founded Coaches Rising, a company in the cutting edge of online coach training with a community of nearly 50,000 coaches. Coaches Rising programs regularly include participants from every continent on the planet, and they have collaborated with some of the leading minds in the field of human development and coaching. Joel is dedicated to the development of conscious, creative, and entrepreneurial leaders.
0:02:23.6 PA: Not only did Joel co-found Coaches Rising, a business that’s dedicated to training coaches, but he’s also had his very own psychedelic experiences, and this is one of the first time that he’s talking publicly about how his own psychedelic experiences informed his coaching philosophy, his approach to growth and development. And so, if you’re interested in coaching, if you’re interested in potentially enrolling in our training program at some point in time and how does the structure of coaching become even stronger as a result of psychedelic use, then you’re really going to get quite a bit out of this today. But before we dive into today’s episode, a word from our sponsors.
0:03:05.8 PA: Hey, listeners. Today’s podcast is brought to you by Beckley Retreats. Dubbed the Queen of the Psychedelic Renaissance by Forbes, Amanda Feilding founded the Beckley Foundation in 1998, a think tank and NGO dedicated to furthering psychedelic research and advocating for evidence-based global policy reform. Now, Beckley Retreats is building a bridge between scientific research and ancient wisdom traditions, the result being a richly transformational program based in community for people seeking the next level of well-being, of purpose and creativity. As a trusted partner of Third Wave, we strongly recommend the upcoming retreats for Beckley in Jamaica, as well as many other locations. Head to go.beckleyretreats.com/thirdwave to book your transformational psilocybin program today. That’s go.beckleyretreats.com/thirdwave to book a retreat with Beckley Retreats today. Alright, that’s it for now. Let’s dive into this next episode. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Joel Monk.
0:04:15.9 PA: So Joel, thanks for joining us for Third Wave’s podcast.
0:04:21.4 JM: Yeah. It’s a real pleasure to be here. And as we mentioned in the check-in, I’m usually on the other side of the table asking the questions, so it’s a real pleasure to be here with you today. Yeah.
0:04:30.7 PA: Yeah, it really is an honor to be able to dive in. And sometimes with this opening question with the podcast, I’ll ask about a psychedelic experience, or sometimes I’ll ask about sort of the origin story, but with you, I wanted to root it in something that’s a bit more present for you, which is a summit that you’re currently hosting. You know, we’re recording this in early July for Coaches Rising. I’d love it if you could just kinda tell our audience a little bit about what is that summit, what’s the focus of that summit, what was the origin of that summit, I think that’ll help to orient us in this conversation a little bit more.
0:05:04.3 JM: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a good question. So every couple of years, we like to bring out a summit, and it’s always free for us. A lot of people will charge for a summit, but it’s really a way for us to bring… To gather together a group of brilliant people, thought leaders, speakers and a community and to see what emerges from the conversations and experiences and spaces that we create in that summit. And so, this one is about the evolution of coaching. And we titled it that, ’cause we were thinking about the future of coaching. But that felt a bit presumptuous, you know? We don’t wanna come across as if we know what the future of coaching is per se. And I think that there’s been a lot of… Particularly from the Anglo-American kind of region of the world, may even use that word, “colonization,” of what it is to develop, what it is to be a leader around… And that’s spread around the world.
0:06:04.1 JM: And I think part of what we’re experiencing now is that we’re really questioning that. There’s a lot of different perspectives which were perhaps on the margins coming into the center like indigenous wisdom, all types of wisdom around what it is to be human, to live on this planet in these times. And I think that’s a really good thing. So that’s why we’ve got this question, the evolution of coaching. So, we’re really living into that question of in these times, when we’re all just aware of it now, it’s so disruptive these times, you know? There’s all these crises that we face, ecological, social, economical, and they just don’t seem to be going away, you know?
0:06:51.0 JM: So, in these times, what is it to be a practitioner, to be someone facilitating people through these journeys of transformation? How can we serve more deeply in these times? What’s the changing role of somebody doing that? What do… How do we need to look at ourselves? And yeah, it just feels to me, I don’t know about you, but I used to feel the… Five years ago, six years ago, I used to feel like the future was coming, and I was really excited by all these theories and communities I was connected to. And I was like, “The future is coming.” And then at some point about two years ago, I was like, “Yeah, the future’s here, and actually it’s really uncomfortable.” I thought I’d be really thrilled about it, and I am thrilled about it too, so I wanna… There’s this whole side we’ll probably talk about, is they’re incredible times to be living in, but it’s also destabilizing and disturbing and… So, yeah. So that’s in a nutshell like, we’re just exploring all of this territory in this summit, what kinds of practices, ways of seeing, do we wanna be exploring and bringing in? Like working with psychedelics, I think that is a stunning topic for our times. Yeah.
0:08:09.0 PA: Which we’ll be able to dive into more. I think it was Charles Dickens who said, “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times.” And it seems to be a common thread through human history. Before we go full bore into sort of the theoretical, just to ground that a little bit more for our audience, you started Coaches Rising in 2009. And I’m curious, in talking about the evolution of coaching, how has coaching evolved in the last 13 years since Coaches Rising started back in 2009?
0:08:42.7 JM: Yeah, that’s a big question. Well, I think one way that it’s evolving is… There’s a few things. I think traditionally it’s been very focused on the individual and the individual’s journey and even emphasizing being an individual. And I think now there’s some really great approaches coming in, which really recognize the importance of the… Of working with the systems that we’re embedded in. What are these, like the societal systems, family systems, business systems that we’re situated within and really importantly, what are the relationships that we are within those systems? So I think… Again, going back to this perhaps like Anglo-American notion or Western notion, which is over… Emphasize the individual. The individual can really develop themselves and go forth and “conquer.” And there’s good in that, you know, there’s good in that. But I think we’re starting to recognize now that through neuroscience for cognition, things like that, and through indigenous wisdom and ancient wisdom, that we’re actually not quite as… We’re not quite that individual that we think we are. And we’re made… There’s very important facets to us. Like, being in relationship, we’re made of our relationships to people around us, our environment and yeah, the activities we hold. So, I think that’s one really big trend, like, yeah, systemic team coaching. Yeah. I’ll just grab my AirPod, it just fell out.
0:10:32.7 PA: Okay. [chuckle] Perfect.
0:10:34.3 JM: My ears are growing.
0:10:36.2 PA: I’m writing down a few things as we’re having this. One phrase that I will often weave in, whether it’s in our lectures for Third Wave or even in this podcast is this concept of the trans-vidual, which is that we are both an individual, and we are part of the transpersonal sort of collective. And that oftentimes, just like in the Tao Te Ching, part of coming to harmony is balancing the Yin and the Yang, balancing the masculine and the feminine, balancing the light and the dark. Part of that process of human development is balancing both our individual tendencies, the egoic tendencies, with those collective interdependent tendencies of you are part of something greater than just you. And there’s… You know, if we look at the history of thought, like in Greek philosophy, the focus was much more on the individual, which is why we from a Western perspective have that sort of lens, but yet if we explore indigenous… Like you said, indigenous communities, the focus has always been much more around sort of the collective interdependencies. And I think in sort of this evolution of coaching, we’re looking at how do those two balance, so to say? How do we find that… How do we take the best from both, the both/and approach rather than the either/or, making them mutually exclusive necessarily?
0:12:00.4 JM: Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s a really great point. It’s not about critiquing, throwing something out, but it’s a transcend and include kinda move. And I think what you just speak to there really reminds me of these other big themes in coaching, you know, so you mentioned the Greeks, and I think something in our time is we’re recognizing… Perhaps in modernity, we emphasize the rational mind, thinking rational thought as being predominant and Descartes, “I think, therefore I am,” and Cartesian mechanistic thinking kind of predominated and brought forth this scientific, rationalistic world view, which has been… Again, brought amazing things. We wouldn’t be here speaking on this amazing technology from across the world if science hadn’t done what it’s done. But it… I think right now there’s an explosion of interest in mindfulness and movement and psychedelics work.
0:12:57.2 JM: Because we recognize we’ve been living in this thin bandwidth of what it means to be human. Insufficient. You know, we’ve lost the sense of meaning through that as well. So I see this in coaching too, there’s a big… I mean, it’s been going on for a while, but it’s really like you cannot coach without the body now. If you’re just having a conversation to talking heads, it’s really insufficient if you wanna enact deep, lasting change and help leaders to thrive in their environments. In this complex world, it’s like you’ve got to harness the… I mean, harness even isn’t the right word, ’cause that makes it feel like we’re manipulating the body or something. It’s more like we’re re-embodying ourselves. We’re inhabiting our bodies, this beautiful thing, and that mind-body split, that’s an illusion we’ve inherited, that’s dissolving.
0:13:50.3 JM: And that all kinds of capacities and ways of collaborating and being come online as we make that journey and expand the bandwidth of the ways we can relate into the world. So, this is another big trend, and I’d love to talk about unfolding as well, but maybe I’ll just pause and see if there’s anything you wanna add in.
0:14:13.0 PA: Transcend and include. I mean, I love the… Even bringing up the Cartesian Mechanistic thinking. About a month or two ago, I read a book by David Abram called Spell of the Sensuous, which was all about sort of the unfortunate consequences of being such a linear sort of thinking and particularly the downsides of writing and how that has pulled us out of the present moment, how that’s pulled us out of relationship with nature and connection. And of course, David himself is such an articulate writer, and he addresses this in the book around like, how do we remember or go back into the wisdom of the Aboriginals or the wisdom of these indigenous groups who have learned to intuitively be with whatever is coming up? And I think that’s… You know, when you talk about unfolding or sort of how things are emergent, it goes back to what we were just touching on at the very beginning of the conversation, which is, as coaching evolves, as humanity evolves, there’s a certain level of uncertainty that we’ve been sort of protected or blocked from in the way that we’ve constructed our society.
0:15:26.9 PA: And so, a lot of I think leadership is recognizing the truth of how uncertain life is and actually being able to navigate and adapt to that using whether it’s certain modalities or certain protocols or whatever else it might be.
0:15:44.4 JM: Yeah, spot on. We actually tried to get David Abram in the summit and we just couldn’t get hold of him, so I really appreciate his work and… Yeah, it’s so spot on what you’re sharing. I think that we’ve tended to abstract… We built this capacity to abstract out of our experience and reflect, and there’s good things about that, but there’s something which is insufficient, I think. There’s this journey we’re all making back into the immediacy of our experience, and I think that’s where we can access these capacities that help us to work with emergence, to unfold in emergence. We can talk about what we mean ’cause that might just sound really abstract, but it’s really practical, you know? Because I think that that capacity is what allows us to navigate complexity, to recognize that we’ve always lived in a complex world. But like you say, you know, it’s like the conditions were just a bit more solid and stable and it allowed us to perhaps ignore that to some extent, or just feel like that level of certainty.
0:16:49.0 JM: But now, I think collectively we’re being invited into quite a radical journey, and I hate to be presumptuous about where we’re gonna end up, I don’t know exactly, but I think we can see some common themes. But yeah. So this journey back into the immediacy and the felt experience of the moment and what that allows us to do, and so…
0:17:17.3 PA: Well, let’s talk a little bit about that in terms of like… Kinda this practicality of being with, or the practicality of allowing, or the practicality of emergence and unfolding. When you sort of are communicating that, what do you mean? Like, how should the listeners at home and think about that from a practical perspective?
0:17:39.0 JM: Yeah, great. It’s a great question. So I’ll talk about it in relationship to coaching, but I think it’ll be quite obvious how it can relate to our experience too, you know, day-to-day experience. And I think… I’m curious also how it relates to the work you do with psychedelics. So, just contrasting, this also fits in with like, what’s a move within the field of coaching? So I’ll just preface it with that, ’cause it’ll help me make more sense about what I’m about to say about Emergence. So, there’s been these schools of coaching which have emerged which are really about closing the gap, yeah? So it’s like, who am I now, and where do I wanna be? And then I’m gonna try to get to that place. Yeah? And there’s something good about that, but it can also really close down a lot of sense… Close down this possibility for emergence to take place, and it can create a sense of pressure. ‘Cause often, what’s happening is that there’s a sense of deficiency, which is actually driving a desire to envision that place we wanna be. And so, we’re starting from that premise. We’re kind of saying, I’m not okay as I am now, I’m not whole as I am now, I’m insufficient, and so I wanna get to that place.
0:19:00.1 PA: And I think there’s a new era of coaching emerging which says, no, it’s about actually, the more important thing is to be where you are right now. And as you begin to be where you are, you include your experience, and you begin to welcome what’s here as it is. Your experience begins to unfold and to reveal more depths. So it’s a bit like a wine taster, if you keep coming back to your experience, it’s like you begin to develop more and more subtlety of taste, the different bouquets and after taste and so on. But what… So coming to the practicality of it, what I notice in my coaching is that if I’m with a client and they bring in a topic and we begin to… To come in to this, the present moment and say, “What’s here now as we talk about this?” And really inviting them to shift from having a change agenda, like, “Okay, I need to get somewhere,” to actually dropping that change agenda and embracing what’s here. So for example, they might notice that they’ve been having trouble with a colleague and they’re feeling… They’ve been feeling frustration and anger about it, and so we just begin to presence that frustration and anger. And often, this is where depth comes in. So I’m gonna try and keep this practical, but bringing in theory.
0:20:35.5 JM: So often what we’ll notice is that that person is actually identified with a part of themselves in that moment, and so that’s a really key moment. We might notice, “Oh, there’s a part here.” So I’ve been inspired by internal family systems with this part of the work. And so they can actually notice there’s a part that’s frustrated and then they dis-identify from that part into what Richard Swartz would call Self with a capital S, but I call that presence. That’s the word I use. And it’s when they shift into this greater sense of Self, that they can be with that part in a way that it starts to feel valued and appreciated, and it can begin to integrate. It gets this kind of attention that it never received when it was a child. That’s when these parts often form. And so… But that shift into presence is really key because it allows us to embrace our experience in a way, like our sensations and emotions as they are. And if we just let things be as they are, we just notice that without us doing anything, they begin to change. And so someone might be feeling a sensation in their chest, and then they recognize, “Oh, there’s like…
0:22:00.2 JM: It’s a hollow feeling, and as they just allow that hollow feeling to be there, they recognize they’re feeling sadness. But then they recognize there’s a sweetness in that sadness, and so they’re unfolding as we’re embracing. And what I notice is that the coaching conversation is so alive yeah, there’s an intelligence that comes online. It’s not dependent on me as a coach to get the client somewhere to know everything, I can just embrace them in this way. There’s this aliveness that comes through and an intelligence that comes through and that’s their development unfolding into the moment. So yeah, maybe this is making sense to people, maybe it sounds a little bit abstract still, but it’s a much better way than trying to deploy a method and get the client to a certain place I find.
0:23:00.1 JM: And there’s a probably a… There’s a world in which at least what I found is the North Star is helpful to clarify, where are we going? Where is the compass pointing? Where is that top of the mountain so to say, because it provides a direction. And so often when we talk about psychedelics, these visionary plants like ayahuasca or psilocybin or wachuma, or 5-MeO even, can help clarify that, that sort of deeper why, if you will. And yet, where we often find ourselves is an over-fixation on that North Star. We become… We try to predict too much, we try to put too much… Too many of our eggs in that basket, so to say, we become too attached to it even.
0:23:49.6 JM: And so what I’m hearing, what’s coming from you is clarifying the North Stars can be helpful, but presencing the actual relationship, in the moment of the emotions that are arising, of the challenges that are present, of shining lights on these un-integrated parts, the shadow parts so that they can become seen and become part of who we are rather than this sort of red-headed step child who we continue to repress. All of that is helpful on that path towards wholeness, because I find oftentimes that whether it’s people who are in particular coming to psychedelics from a therapeutic lens, or whether they’re coming at it from a leadership perspective, there is the sense of wanting presence, wanting to feel whole, and allowing is a huge element of that. And for me personally, it’s where my work is, and I think a lot of… My sense is a lot of people who come from a western lens, it’s where a lot of our collective work is, is to be more in the present scene, to be more in the emotions rather than in the overly linear mechanistic sort of mind of what’s next, what’s next, what’s next.
0:25:04.9 JM: Yeah, it’s really well said and wholeness, I think is a really key word. I think that is part of what some… People want to feel a sense of wholeness that you can experience as a felt experience, not just as a nice idea, but as something where you’re like, “Wow, in this moment, I feel whole.” And that’s a profound experience for people to have. And people have that in the coaching that I do. And that wholeness isn’t exclusive of painful feelings or pain in general. It’s inclusive, but it’s a very different kind of feeling, and as you speak about the work you do and what you notice from what I say is… I remember some of the psychedelic experiences I’ve had where it allowed me to make this very shift that we’re talking about, out of parts, out of personality, into an expanded sense of self, where… Of course, psychedelic experiences can be incredibly rich and diverse. So I’m speaking about one particular aspect of it for me, but yeah, where I could certainly be with myself. I could offer myself compassion and on MDMA, I remember feeling this great self-love towards myself. These were really healing experiences, just this immense sense of self-love, and that’s what I’m talking about in this work as well, this shift into presence, dropping that change agenda, and then allowing the process to unfold whilst yeah, you also know what you’re doing, it’s not just chaos, you have a framework within which you’re working within.
0:26:56.6 PA: So you were just touching on this a little bit with your own psychedelic experiences, but one thing we haven’t heard yet from you is just your story a little bit in terms of how did you get into coaching? What was that process and path for you to become a coach, and then not only become a coach but become a coach of coaches in that way, and what modalities have been closest to you? Have been most helpful for you. It sounds like psychedelics were, but I’m sure there were many other modalities as well on that path of development for you over the last many, many years.
0:27:37.0 JM: Yeah. That’s a good question. I’ll try and tell an abbreviated version of how I got into coaching ’cause it was interesting for me actually. I was a DJ and an artist, so I would spend my days in my studio making paintings, by the way, which was like… I realized that’s… The way I talk about coaching is the way I made my art. I’d sit there and I’d make these paintings and sculptures, and I’d be attuned to what was emerging in the work.
0:28:07.0 JM: Anyway, so I was DJing and an artist and it was very hedonistic, so I was taking drugs at that point, but I woke up one morning and I basically just burst into tears, [chuckle] and I just made a decision in that moment to sell all my records and travel to India. It was kind of a cliché move, but this knowing, it was resolute, and it wasn’t a rational… I didn’t sit down and deliberate, Okay, what’s going on in my life and how do I… No I just… It just popped out and I’d hurt people, and I’d lost touch with who I was. So I went to India and I was doing a Buddhist pilgrimage and doing a lot of spiritual practice there, and it was when I was there that I met two men who were traveling around India testing spiritual teachers, that’s why they’d come out to India. [laughter] It was really fascinating. And they came out of a meeting with this teacher, and they were there talking to my friends and they basically said to me like, “Why would you wanna become a monk on the side of a mountain?” I remember I got really triggered, I was like, oh, just give me a second.
0:29:16.3 JM: And in that moment, again, I was like, either I can just ignore these men or hang out with them and find out what just happened. So I did, I spent the next two or three days with them, they were quite a bit older than me, and they introduced me to new Advaitic ideas like the more effort you make, the further away from the truth of who you are you go, and just blew my mind as a good little Buddhist, and I remember sitting on the side of a mountain one afternoon and I just popped into a unitive experience, sense of self just disappeared and it was incredible, I just started laughing. And so I came out of that though, and I went into an existential crisis and, because certainly, I’d had this experience and I was like, well, who am I, and all that. What do I do? And I just couldn’t put it all back together, and so I’m getting to the point where I found out about coaching, so they mentioned this guy, Ken Wilber, and by that point I was like, I don’t wanna know anything about anyone you talk about from now on. So Ken Wilber get lost, and it was on a retreat when I got back home where I bumped into this Ken Wilber book three different times by accident on this retreat, somebody had a Ken Wilber book, I thought I’ll check it out.
0:30:38.2 PA: And do you remember which one it was?
0:30:39.5 JM: It was… No Boundary. It was one of his earlier books and…
0:30:44.2 PA: It’s my favorite of his.
0:30:45.5 JM: Right. Yeah.
0:30:46.1 PA: It’s a good one. It’s a shorter one.
0:30:47.8 JM: Right. Yeah. ’cause he’s known for these door wedges. So I read… I got home and I didn’t actually read that book, I can’t remember which one, I think it was like a brief history of everything, and he answered all these questions that I had one by one, and I just lit up like a Christmas tree, and it was on that retreat, somebody talked about coaching as well, and it just fit for me, I was like, oh, it just has everything that I care about, people, development, spirituality, and that’s when I pursued coaching and started to train up, and my trainings have been kind of fairly, fairly a bit of this and a bit of that. So I’ve trained in somatics and adult development theory, and mostly I’m recently being inspired by Steve March and his Aletheia approach to coaching, which is also starting to get a lot of traction now, people like John Vervaeke and the Metamodern people are really taking to his approach, and I think it’s one of these approaches which is part of this new wave of coaching.
0:32:01.0 JM: So yeah, yeah, that’s kind of my journey into coaching. I think I probably took a bit too long talking about that, but I see this whole thread of experiences where something shifted in my life, they were very like… Those moments and probably we all know them, where certainly something shifts, of course, we’re making decisions all the time, but it was a key, pivotal moment. There were several of those that took me into coaching, and that’s how I found my business partner, Lawrence at an integral coaching workshop, and Coaches Rising was born. I’m not sure, I think you asked me another couple of questions.
0:32:41.4 PA: Oh yeah. And you kind of weave this in in terms of what modalities then have been most relevant for you, it could be on your own developmental path or even that you’ve weaved into coaching, you mentioned somatics, you mentioned… And Steve’s a friend, the Aletheia coaching approach as well, it sounds like with meditation, that was a huge opener for you, I’d done some reading online and also saw some stuff about tantric sex workshops that maybe had been informative, any others or any other context you wanna provide on those?
0:33:20.8 JM: I think we’ve got the main ones. Yeah, for sure. Meditation, somatics, adult development theory, Aletheia. Yeah, tantric sex workshops. They were pretty far out. Some of that’s…
0:33:34.9 PA: Was that with ISTA?
0:33:36.4 JM: No, it’s with TNT, The New Tantra. Yeah, they’re pretty, pretty intense. Yeah, I don’t know how much we could even talk about some of the stuff that goes on inside of there, but it’s pretty intense and very much oriented around sexual encounters from the beginning, Crazy Wisdom type of approach, so they can throw you in the deep end. Lots of really powerful rituals, so yeah, that whole mix. I think I just invite people, coaches especially, I don’t know how many coaches listening, but coaches are usually immersed in a cross-disciplinary approach to their own development, which I think is needed.
0:34:25.8 PA: So one question that often comes up, and this is more particular, I would say to the psychedelic space, because the lens has been so much on therapeutic modalities, because of all the research coming out on, hey, psilocybin is great for clinical depression and MDMA is great for PTSD, so about 95%, of the conversations in the media are around the therapeutic use, and yet, since I’ve… I’ve been doing psychedelics about 12 years, I started Third Wave about seven years ago in 2015, I’ve always held that torch of performance leadership awareness, growth, human development, and I’ve really tried to explore those intersections. So often a question that I’m asked is, what is that difference between coaching and therapy? And so I have that same question for you, is how do you sort of… How do you tow that line, clearly in coaching, there’s shadow stuff that comes up. But I guess how do you see the differences between those two and how do you… As a coach of coaches, how do you navigate that, how do you teach your coaches how to navigate that landscape when they’re doing deeper, especially IFS work or even deeper shadow work. What’s the orientation there?
0:35:36.7 JM: It’s like you’ve opened Pandora’s box here. This is like the perennial…
0:35:39.9 PA: Okay, good.
0:35:41.4 JM: It’s a great question, it’s a great question. So I’m about to go on a journey where I’m gonna bring together a few people where we go deep in to explore this question, because I wanna go into it more because there’s different answers to this question, and I think it’s evolving too, so, one way you could talk about the differences that coaching’s focused on development, it’s focused on our unfolding, our forward movement… I don’t even wanna say future-focused, ’cause I think it is…
0:36:23.8 PA: Like becoming almost.
0:36:23.7 JM: Becoming… Yeah.
0:36:23.8 PA: The process of becoming, right?
0:36:23.8 JM: Yeah, exactly. And then you could say, therapy’s about healing. Yeah, it’s focused on integrating the past, and there’s a lot of immense value in that, and I think we’re quite unintegrated people in general, no criticism, it’s just… There’s quite a lot of work to be done there, and I think this is… Well, once you’ve said that, then it gets much more nuanced, so A, a lot of work I’m doing with people is very therapeutic, it is very integrative, that just is that… Yeah, if you’re working with IFS you’re working with integrating parts, you’re in territory where you’re doing this deeper emotional integrative work, and I think so that… Yeah, and so you need to know what you’re doing. And of course, it’s really important to recognize, for example, being trauma-informed, when might you recognize these symptoms of trauma in a client? And what do you do in those moments? So recognizing when you’re getting out of your comfort with the territory you’re in, and how do you then pivot, how can you be respectful to the client in that moment, not just close down the coaching. And at the same time, I think a lot of coaches can be overly scared about going into these deeper territories, some… But there’s a bunch of coaches who feel like that’s not the work of coaching, and I yeah, I think it isn’t.
0:38:00.0 JM: And it can be. I think it’s important, and I’ll just say this. Yeah, I feel more and more that… Again, it comes back to what I was saying around like we have these self-improvement projects, and a lot of that creates this sense of striving, and I know when I got into integral theory, I was like, okay, I wanna get to the top and we could talk about that, ’cause I think I’m questioning now, the linear stage-like structure of developmental theory, now seeing them more as modulates of experience, but what I wanna say is that, yeah, there was a striving in me… How can I get to the top? And actually, what I’ve found is the… One of the most powerful accelerators of my development is the integrative work, it’s this inclusive work, embracing the shadow integrating, and then out of that, I’ve unfolded, my development has unfolded without me trying to control where it’s going, and… So yeah, to add that in, I think it’s really an important topic right now, what is that difference, so yeah.
0:39:15.5 PA: Would… And I’m curious, what do you teach around the specifics of your network, whether it’s in coaches rising, or how do you think about the importance and value of networks? And what I mean by that, just to be super clear is like, as a coach, if I have a phenomenal body worker. I’m not a body worker. If I think my client would benefit from body work, I’ll refer them out. If I think… I don’t know IFS that well. If it’s clear they have some IFS parts work that they really need to get into, then I’ll refer them to a specific therapist. If they’re clearly showing signs of some deep trauma, adverse childhood experiences, then I’ll probably refer them out to a clinician who can handle some of that deep work. So what’s your lens on the network? How do you think of the value of networks as people navigate the coaching space?
0:40:04.2 JM: Oh yeah. I’m with you on having a network. Yeah. So, it’s an interesting question because yeah. First of all, I think it’s just really important that you have people that you can refer to and there’s a specialism taking place so you can recognize when to refer people and how to do that in a compassionate way, not in a way that the client feels some level of rejection or there’s something wrong with them. And yeah, you’re plugged in, you know some people you could refer them to. So I think I’m just on that. I think that’s really important and I think it’s important that we have a certain level of generalism or at least understanding that… Like I said before, A, you can recognize in the moment, like you just said, when someone might be displaying signs of early childhood trauma and that you don’t just refer someone immediately in that moment, but you’re able to be with that person in the moment and perhaps help them regulate their experience. So you don’t start doing deep trauma work with them, but you can help them regulate and ground in that moment. And so yeah, I think yeah, you need a network and there’s… Perhaps we’ve done a disservice to generalists these days I think specialism’s become a big thing and there’s good in that, but being able to… Cross paradigmatic training for me is really where it’s at, so, yeah.
0:41:40.4 PA: I love that. And that, I think is a good… That’s a good opener for my next question, which is going to bring in a lot of the stuff that we’ve talked about today. And as I was reading through and doing some research beforehand, it’s very clear that your focus, which is a very similar focus as mine, is the development of conscious, creative and entrepreneurial leaders. The lens that I’ve always looked at that through is, in 2018, I read Ken Wilber’s book, The Religions of Tomorrow. He talks about the example of the printing press, how the printing press basically enabled a mercantile class. It wasn’t that everybody needed to become literate. It was that the top 10% of people became literate and that created this sort of exponential logarithmic effect where they built the systems necessary to create a society that was literate.
0:42:30.8 PA: And he uses that as an example of the spiritual awakening. It’s not that everybody in the world has to wake up, we just have to get 10% of the world to sort of wake up and recognize their interconnectedness. And from that perspective, from that point of view, they will create these new systems that then allow for mass enlightenment, so to say, in the next 100 or 200 years or whatever that is. So I’ve always been motivated by psychedelics as being one of those tools because of how efficacious they are, as long as there’s great boundaries that are set. So just in the last bit, you mentioned Cross Paradigmatic. And so I’m curious when you think about that, Cross Paradigmatic. What skillsets are necessary to help facilitate the development of conscious, creative and entrepreneurial leaders?
0:43:19.9 JM: Well, that’s a great question. It’s a big question again. So I think we’ve been speaking about some of them today. So I think this meta competency of unfolding of yeah, being able to work with people in a way that they unfold, and their development emerges out of that unfolding rather than a pre-ordained, prescriptive notion of what development might be, because I think that’s the problem with some of these theories is that, they become a little too simplified, or maybe that’s not the fault of the originators of the theory, but that they have become caricatures. So this unfolding. This, I think is a really key part of this. So conscious entrepreneurs… And then I think… So I would say this, I’ll lay it down. So spiritual work, so what is it to shift out of parts or the self which is more of an egoic defence kind of maintaining a sense of safety and belonging and not to disparage those things, but yeah, what is it to access an expanded sense of self? Consciousness is the currency and then inside of that, yeah, soul work.
0:45:00.8 JM: I would call this. It’s something I do with people. So what does life want with you? That’s something I’m interested in. So this is part of this whole theme of like getting out of… I guess that part of soul work or purpose work, we could say that or the development into a unique self. Part of it is, asking that question, “Who do I want to be?” Yeah, but what I found with leaders in these times is that, there’s a potency that exists with when you say, like, “What does life want with me?” So you flip that question around and you start to attune to “What is life asking of me?” And that’s… So there’s an emerging quality to that and so, yeah. So that I think is a key part of this cross paradigmatic training for me, and then there’s just a bunch of… There’s a bunch of learning around what is happening in the world right now. So what is the paradigm that we’re in? “What is the world view that we’re in right now that’s probably breaking down modernity?” You might say. What are some of the deeply encoded beliefs within modernity that perhaps we’re ready to let go of?
0:46:22.4 JM: What do we wanna keep as well, and what might be emerging in this new world view and how does entrepreneurialism fit in with that? So I’m really interested right now in ontology and design, this notion of… Arturo Escobar has written this book, Designs for the Pluriverse which… I do have some criticisms of the book, but in the main it’s a really brilliant book. He’s talking about how we’ve designed a world which is designing us, and then we’ve forgotten about that. And the way we’ve designed the world has emerged out of a western Anglo-American world view, which is proliferated around the world. And now there are these marginal worldviews which are coming back in. So having… Being clued up about that, I think is interesting. As well as just a bunch of… There’s just a bunch of entrepreneurial principles, which I think are just really essential for people out there who wanna go out and create a business. I’m kinda like, “I learned the hard way doing that,” so, making mistakes. So I don’t know if this all makes sense, but it’s like a gestalt of places that I go to to continually grow and learn body work semantics. What is it to become embodied? That’s a never-ending journey, a mystery for me. Yeah, so I don’t know if this is all coherent. It doesn’t sound so coherent, but yeah.
0:48:11.8 PA: No, no, no. A couple of things that are popping up, individuation, the path of individuation. That’s what you, I think would call this process of the soul work so to say of asking. There’s that oft-used cliche, “What you seek is seeking you,” which I think goes back to that point of, “What is life asking of you?” And there’s the prescriptive notion of development, that’s something else that you mentioned. This is something I emphasize again and again in our programs, “This is not a prescription. This is not one-size-fits-all,” and I think this is part of the challenge of frameworks of human development as frameworks are not meant to be prescribed and yet we sometimes look at them through a lens of prescription.
0:48:55.8 PA: Frameworks are meant to be broad and abstract, and we’re supposed to take protocols and modalities and really personalize them. So there’s no one-size-fits-all framework, as we all know, which is why I think these human developments… They can get us about 80% of the way there, but they can’t take us that last mile. That last mile is really up to us as an individual in terms of how we listen and what we choose to do with that listening. One thing you mentioned, and I would love to go a little bit deeper into, you were starting to hit on it, but these beliefs on modernity. And you’ve already mentioned metamodernism. I’ve brought up metamodernism on the podcast a handful of times. A few years ago I read The Listening Society, which is sort of the beginnings of metamodernism and reaching that. And then Vervaeke has been talking about it, Schmachtenberger. You have the rebel wisdom folks, all those sorts of things. What are, just to ground that a little bit, what are those beliefs of modernity that are dying, so to say, and what do you see as values or principles or systems that will emerge in this sort of Metamodern framework?
0:50:05.4 JM: So what I wanna preface now is I haven’t thought deeply about this out loud to myself. And I wanna just really underline, I’m no means an expert on this, yet, so I’m exploring this work myself and… You just named a bunch of really brilliant thinkers who I deeply respect and encourage people to go out there and listen to. I think that there are a number that I’m… I’ll keep it personal to begin with, the notion of linear progress itself. So, yeah, this idea that things will keep improving, and that… Basically just there’s this sense of linear progress that, one, it’s a neat journey like what you do, one thing, and then that next thing happens and that… I just… It doesn’t feel to me like that’s how it works. I think, again, if you consider indigenous world views as well, they have non-linear notions of time and growth. And I think, again, I’m really exploring this stuff myself. But that just seems to have something deeply true to it to the point where I’ve noticed if I’m in a part of myself, for example, and I’m thinking, “Oh I’ve got all this work to do, it’s gonna take ages,” I’m resisting doing it. And so I mean, it’s resistance, basically.
0:51:49.5 JM: And if I actually, first of all, become aware of that and then fully engage with the work, there’s a sense of exponential creativity that can start to open up where I certainly I’m like, “Wow! Oh God, I just got it all done,” or “It was incredibly enjoyable,” and actually some really beautiful things emerged out of this. So it’s just a small example of where, upfront, I’m projecting this grind and this linear sense of I’m moving through it. But actually, there’s a mode of being where there’s an exponential sense of creativity and emergents taking place. So I think that linear notion of time is one of progress and development, and the time is something else that I’m reflecting on. Like I’ve been inspired by Jeremy Johnson and his book, Seeing Through The World, which I recommend to people, but the breaking down of modernity. This is what Gebser, Jean Gebser was pointing out that when you… Modernity has reached its peak and it’s breaking down, then around time we’ll start to feel like time erupting into experience, and what he means by that is that time becomes a real issue.
0:53:20.3 JM: So if you’ve notice right now it’s like, things feel like they’re speeding up all the time, and time is money, we have these sayings, or we have the singularity, and so it just feels like I’m on a journey to kind of… How can I put it? Like I don’t want to say transcend time, but it’s like there’s a concretization of time, I’m starting to become aware of my relationship to a time in a way that creates freedom, freedom from those notions of time is money or it’s all speeding up, and I haven’t got enough time to do everything I want to do. That kind of feeling. So that would be one… I mean, just the mechanistic world view that we have, that we don’t view ourselves as being whole and interconnected. I think a predominant thing I would say is up right now is just this sense of separation, being a separate individual, that’s all we are, materialistic world view that actually what’s opening up is a sense of our relatedness. I think relatedness is just coming to the foreground of fluidity. You see it in everything… Gender fluidity, it’s like everything’s being questioned, all these fixed, separate. It sends notions of what it was to be human in society are certainly being questioned, and so there’s a fluidity that’s opening up, which can be destabilizing too, ’cause it’s suddenly like…
0:55:06.1 JM: This is kind of how I thought the world was, but now it’s changing all the time and it’s quick, but there’s something about that inter-connectedness and a sense of unity and whole-ism. And so, yeah, I think that’s some of the stuff and like I said, I really… I think we’re only at the beginning of it, and maybe even in our lifetimes, we might not… Some people talk about a time between worlds and this liminal space we’re in, and I don’t think it’s gonna be like in a year. It will be at the other world, I think it will be… Maybe in my lifetime at the end of it, we might feel something cohering or maybe never, maybe we’ll just get used to living in this fluid… I wanna find a more positive word to an uncertain, but you know, this fluid world that we live in now. Yeah.
0:56:07.3 PA: Right because there is this sense of modernity has been building for, we could say really since the printing press and the enlightenment and the industrial revolution, and that what people say is beyond modernity is post-modernism, right? But post-modernism is largely a critique…
0:56:31.4 JM: De-constructive as well.
0:56:32.8 PA: Right and that is really what we’re in right now, it is questioning everything, and we’ve been in it since the ’60s, when psychedelics first came on the scene, right, that was the first time that post-modernism was really introduced and it was clear that modernity was not really working for a lot of folks any longer, and so even what you’re speaking to is, what is that new level of coherence with this Metamodern framework, where instead of it being monolithic in modernity, it’s fractal, and how do those fractals… How do we create coherence with a fractalized landscape? Understanding the value of the individual, the community, the larger state kind of how we organize people, and that I think is when we talk about your mission of conscious creative and entrepreneurial leaders, we’re talking about leaders who can hold the complexity of that fractal landscape, and have the intelligence to understand how does this get created, but also have the presence to be with it as it emerges and not feel like it needs to be, like you said, rushed out that everything will happen in due time.
0:57:44.0 JM: Yeah, and to just build on what you’re saying that that complexity intelligence isn’t just based in rationality and the ability to increasingly take more perspectives and reflections and abstracting out of experience that there is an inclusion of the complexity intelligence of indigenous wisdom, for example. This is one of the things I’ve been talking with people about. My friends, Spring Chang in particular, that she’s upset because often we’ll play something like indigenous wisdom at a lower level of maturity on these maps of development, these theories of development, but actually there’s an incredible, incredible complexity intelligence in a lot of these cultures, if you think… And again, I’m out of my area of expertise here somewhat, but the ways that people in the jungle, indigenous people can navigate that jungle and commune with the jungle is incredibly complex and rich in a way that we as myself, I’ll speak for just don’t have access to that… Those modes of complexity. So yeah, I think that’s for me, a part of this and maybe I’ve heard as a critique of metamordernism is that it is emphasizing that kind of perhaps like cognitive, if we use that word cognitive capacity, that cognitive maturity to increasingly take nuance and subtle perspectives, which is important, but perhaps not the whole picture.
0:59:31.4 PA: So, we have about five minutes left, and so I’d love to wrap up with kind of one final question for you, which is largely around the vision of Coaches Rising and the vision of coaching in the future. That’s how we started this conversation with the evolution of coaching. And I’d love just to hear you wax a little bit about as a visionary yourself, how is it that you wanna grow and develop Coaches Rising, let’s say over the next 5-10 years? And it’s funny because I know we talked a lot about presence in so it could just be you’re following the one track to the next so to say. But I’m sure there are moments in time where as you’re sitting down and reflecting about what this could become, there’s stuff that gets you really excited. So what is it, right now, that’s getting you really excited and energized about the work that you’re doing in the world, basically with Coaches Rising?
1:00:23.9 JM: Yeah, no, it’s a great point. So yeah, we can do that, we’re definitely kinda taking on a complex, sensitive approach to our development, taking one step at a time. And yeah, for sure, there are things which really light us up. I’ll just bring some stuff out. We sat down, myself and one of the partners in the business, and we had just this image of a space where there were all these people coming in and developing themselves as masterful practitioners of facilitating transformation, refining these modes of perception, other than purely the cognitive. A kind of cross-paradigmatic training school for coaches who could come in and immerse themselves in different modalities and importantly, connect the modalities and synthesize and cohere the modalities. It’s a bit like the X-Men score or something like that. So whether that will manifest one day, we’ll never know, but I think it speaks to where we feel we’d like to go, which is… I’ve been talking about it a lot in this conversation, but what are these… What’s on the edge, basically. So, what does… For example, some of the… What’s some of the wisdom from Shamanism? The incredible healing and transformational technologies from Shamanism that may benefit by being proliferated in the world, and I wanna be cautious.
1:02:06.2 JM: I’m more sensitive to this than I used to be that without us just stealing that information or appropriating it inappropriately, and recognizing the incredible dedication and journeys that real shamans go through and how easy it is to call yourself a shaman these days when you’re not. But for example, yeah, what could we learn from them and how could that empower the work that coaches do? So that’s an area… Yeah, I think on a more practical level, we’re just really passionate about increasing the impact that we do because we really believe that coaching… Coaches can play a key role in these times without being activists, that there’s just a need for a deep transformational work to facilitate that work and that coaching represents that way of being in the world, and that even the word coach is becoming too small. If we just throw that word out, what is it to be in transformational relationship, to reveal the transformational encounter? That’s what we really care about, and how can we empower people doing that work so that we can navigate these times? That would leave me thrilled. If I felt like we were really… And I feel like we’re playing our own small part in that, but if I felt like we continue to play a robust role in that over the next few years, I would be very satisfied.
1:03:40.9 JM: Yeah, that’s why I’m really pleased to meet you, Paul, ’cause I’ve been thinking for a while, I just wanna… The one area I don’t know as much about and I wanna know is psychedelics and coaching. So you just showed up, and I’m hoping this is not the last conversation we have.
1:04:01.5 PA: This will be the first. The first of many. And I’m loving this. A couple of years ago, I came up with this idea of the new spiritual gymnasium. So to say right? Like the ancient Greeks, they would go and have these academies, these gymnasiums that they would train themselves in, and there seems to be a deep desire for more and more of those. And that’s what I’m hearing with this almost interdisciplinary cross-paradigmatic school, or other people might call it a mystery or a magic school. Having that physical location, as you and I both know, it’s… For business online is wonderful ’cause it can scale, but where it’s not so great is really the sort of beating heart, the community element, and the bonds and relationships that are formed through that. So that’s a similar lens that I’ve also been looking at. The third Wave is I would love to buy a retreat center, almost like an Esalen Institute type retreat center that becomes a place for workshops and retreats where people live year round where there’s food grown. It’s really a thriving community because that… Even though we didn’t talk about it a lot in this conversation, a lot of the healing, like we’ve talked about, is in recognizing that interdependency and what that actually means is we’re connecting with other humans and we’re in relationship with these other humans. That’s huge to all of this.
1:05:31.0 JM: Yes. Inspiring. Yeah.
1:05:36.7 PA: Well, this has been… It’s been an honor to have you on the podcast, Joel, just as sort of a way to wrap this up, if folks wanna learn more about the work that you’re doing at Coaches Rising, maybe they’re interested in your next program or some of the things that you have coming up, where can we point them? Where should they go?
1:05:52.2 JM: Yeah, I would definitely point people to our website, that’s the place to go, coachesrising.com, and I’m not sure when this is going out, but the summit is coachesrising.com/summit. So it’s coachesrising.com/summit. And that’s a free summit, so even if you hear this after the summit’s ended, you can just still go and access it, and everything’s gonna be open and downloadable. And we’re having some really rich conversations. I’m pre-recording so next time I want you in it. You asked a bit late this time, but… So yeah, I’d just recommend for people to check that out too.
1:06:34.6 PA: Beautiful. Well, Joel, thank you again for joining us for the podcast. Thank you for your pioneering work with Coaches Rising and kind of what you’re doing for the coaching paradigm at large. It’s been fun to be able to chat with you today.
1:06:47.6 JM: Thanks Paul.
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