Happiness Right Here with Danielle LaPorte

Jun 12, 2020

Or, listen on Spotify

Our patterns of behavior are often rooted in our lack of self-worth. When there is something wrong on the inside, our instinct is to look for external agents to deal with those issues. However, radiance only comes from self-reflection. In today's episode, Danielle LaPorte discusses the importance of introspection, as it allows us to forgive, better understand our stories, and reach a place where we accept our enoughness.

Jeff: I've learned more about people over the last month, just through the backdrop of their life. You know what I mean?

Danielle LaPorte: Right?

Jeff: I've learned a lot about people that way.

Danielle LaPorte: Yeah.

Jeff: For me, this has become my look. I'm not really crazy about it either. I like a cleaner look. Steamed glass, that's too institutional for me from a religious standpoint.

Danielle LaPorte: A little [inaudible 00:00:35]

Jeff: Yeah. I'm trying to reclaim the notion of communion. That's a whole other conversation, and then the plants, bringing the organic inside, I like the metaphor, but still, it's not really me. I'm more of just the wood paneling is good. I would just do plain wood paneling. Anyways, but your backdrop says-

Danielle LaPorte: You can make that happen.

Jeff: ... it says a lot about you. There's a guitar.

Danielle LaPorte: There's a guitar that glyphs says, through creativity, there is success. The Chinese calligrapher of all calligraphers, Santa Fe, 20 years ago and I've been carrying it around everywhere. You're in my studio right now.

Jeff: Look at that. Sounds like-

Danielle LaPorte: There's some of my stuff.

Jeff: It's like you're a painter.

Danielle LaPorte: I am a painter.

Jeff: I know, but it's... Is that a punching bag?

Danielle LaPorte: Yes, I [inaudible 00:01:41] Craigslist and like 15 minutes he's like, "Let's go." I was like, okay, we came home with that.

Jeff: Is that for shadow work by any chance?

Danielle LaPorte: You have to have stuff for your knuckles, I did not know that.

Jeff: Well, there's actually a term called shadowboxing, maybe that's what you're doing. That's a good book title. Come on. Already things are happening, and you get serenaded every day.

Danielle LaPorte: Every day. It's the best part. Actually, somebody asked me about what was one of the blessings of these times and is live music all the time.

Jeff: What do you get to hear?

Danielle LaPorte: Harper doing Led Zeppelin, Harper doing Bill Withers. We went through big Bill Withers. He keeps coming back to the Beatles a lot. Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Then he's mixing in some of the classics with, Tyler the Creator and trying to do all this mash up stuff. It's pretty cool, actually.

Jeff: Yeah. I don't know if we talked about it, or maybe you've seen it on the social media, but we up here at the commune, we got these two tiny little kitties. Tiny, tiny, tiny. Palm in your hands tiny. We've had quite a naming process. We cycled through number of Jewish law firms, Rosenstein and Thornburg, that was going on for a minute. Then we did global despots. [inaudible 00:03:20] and Fidel Catstro.

Jeff: Then transitioned slowly into musicians. In honor of Bill, we did Bill whiskers, and of course Cat Stevens, you can't lose when it's that obvious. If you have any suggestions, obviously we're hurting here.

Danielle LaPorte: Where's the mom? Because I saw them being fed with a syringe.

Jeff: They were strays. So, where's the mom? Where's the dad? Who knows? It could be immaculate. I learned that about an Easter egg that I saw you commented on that where the rabbit... This has nothing to do with anything, but the rabbit has a religious significance in Christianity for being able to reproduce while maintaining its virginity.

Danielle LaPorte: Yeah.

Jeff: I didn't know that. These little bunnies that are immaculate. Anyways, I won't waste your time. I'm feeling cranky.

Danielle LaPorte: I need food, I need chicken.

Jeff: A little morose and slightly diabolical. Coffee and a good time for an interview. There's so much to talk about, and how could we not talk about, what is the zeitgeist? There's so much to talk about with regards to COVID-19 because it has so many dimensions from the political, to the ecological to the microscope that it is shining on the socio-economic inequities. Then of course, there is the psychological.

Jeff: I guess I would just start there with you is what's going on psychologically for you? I guess for your sense of what people are going through in general?

Danielle LaPorte: Why I'm preparing today. I got really clear on that a couple of weeks ago, and I've decided, it could be in 40, 50 years, hopefully it is, or it could be tomorrow or I could be part of this. I think we're in a passage, we're going somewhere. But I've been... My first response to all this was just pressure, just this compression. I'm like, what am I going to squeeze out of this? What's the clarity? Tunnel focus? It's like, all right, I want to live like I'm dying.

Danielle LaPorte: This can't be like a new age self-help cliché anymore. I started thinking about, who would I love to be as a Crone, and I've seen her and she wears a lot of white and she's still doing lots of yoga and she's lovely, and she's very forgiving. There's a peace my 90 year old self has, and I thought, well, why not now? What do I have to do to be that... I think just aligned with higher love, that deep sense of harmony.

Danielle LaPorte: We all have those people in our lives. I've seen them. We've had dinner with them at the Commune, where there's just this quality of grace. That is what I think, if you can hold that pressure and not lose your mind and not break, you got grace nailed.

Danielle LaPorte: I think Grace is death and sorrow, it's joy and life, and you can only walk one day at a time. I've had really great conversations with my 16 year old son about death and what's the world we want to live in, and then who do I need to be, to play my role in that world? I have to let go of some stuff. I wouldn't say a lot of stuff but some significant things. Just the things I hadn't seen before, a month ago.

Jeff: It's interesting. Now that we've collectively felt the hot breath of the apocalypse on our neck, I think it's accepting death as part of life, that this duality, and this fear that cripples us, and also enhances our life because on some level without death, what would life even be? I read this book recently, Atul Gawande's book called Being Mortal. I learned how essentially modern medicine we do every single thing that we can to extend the life to its absolute terminus. Keeping people in states of misery and pain, just to keep them alive, instead of getting our heads around what it might be to die well.

Jeff: It is interesting. It's opened up, you're right, a lot of conversations because I'm having conversations with Phoebe, my 15 year old, like I've never had these conversations part of it because she can't get fucking rid of me. She's stuck with me, so I get her.

Danielle LaPorte: Worst philosophy.

Jeff: That's right. I think that's interesting, the evolving attitudes and conversations around death and all these archetypes that are emerging, that have always been there. That's why they're called archetypes. But the hang man readying his noose and the Grim Reaper is a long shadow. These shadow archetypes that are in our immediate vision.

Jeff: I bring that up because we're also in this time of almost force monasticism confronting our own shadows. That's why monks go out to the ashram or wherever, to the caves to essentially remove any external stimuli, not just to deal with transitory contentment, but also to do the real work. Isn't the real work to be done right now?

Danielle LaPorte: I have a dangling line of a poem that I'm working on that it goes something like, spirituality is the dance between presence and uncertainty, which makes all of us monks today.

Jeff: Beautiful.

Danielle LaPorte: I think this is a global call to forgive. That's the finest point I can put on it, because if you move... If that's the intention, if you move into forgiveness, you just go through all the sediment, you do the external of the grievances and the resentments, and then what they did, and they and me and versus and all that, and then you get down to you and your role in it. Then underneath that, you get into, well, why did I attract that? Why did I show up that way? Then now we're almost here, we're almost in the center, you forgive yourself. There you meet life, you meet mercy, which comes from, I think the higher source.

Danielle LaPorte: Everybody, right now you think about what do you do on retreat? You bawl your eyes out, you [inaudible 00:11:34] your journal, you let everybody know, I'm not going to be on a Wi-Fi for a while. You go in and you fall apart. This is the perfect time to fall apart. If you can't fall apart now... I want to get into this with you, but it's like, we got to get this. We got to get this, we have to transform as a result of this, or it's going to get worse.

Danielle LaPorte: Well, let me not prophesy, it could very much, very possibly get a lot worse. We can't say, I'm going to deal with my family of origin stuff or I'm going to tell so and so sorry later, or I'm going to confront or dissolve my anxiety when I can be out and about and I'm not on quarantine. No, now is the time.

Danielle LaPorte: Like I was saying to some friends the other day, okay, so everybody imagine. Let's just pretend, this is fantasy, that the whole world, most of the world takes a break for a few months. We all decide we're going to cook our own food, we're not going to go out for dinner, and we're going to do yoga and stretching at home and we're going to have hard conversations with some people, and you've got space now, you're not running around. How's everybody... Everybody, "Of course." We're all like, "Oh, my God, that'd be a dream come true." The dream's coming with all this extenuating suffering. But this is a gift, make the most of the gift. Fall apart, cry in your living room, apologize, amend, Let go, let go, let go, let go, let go, let go. Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah. The forgiveness piece I think is compelling. It's all compelling. The forgiveness piece is poignant because we're carrying around an ember in life. This ember, and of course we're the one holding it, so we're getting burned, but with-

Danielle LaPorte: The ember of resentment?

Jeff: The ember of resentment for being done wrong, for being betrayed, just by the world, but also by those that we love or have loved. That resentment and that anger that I think so many of us hold through life that pits itself in our heart, that becomes, I suppose what Michael Singer calls a negative Samskara. But then it doesn't... That your human condition doesn't even... You can't even draw a straight line from why you are living in a state of distress. You can't even draw a straight line from that to it. But it is at the core-

Danielle LaPorte: Very core.

Jeff: ... of it. How do you excavate that in this time of as you very succinctly put, global retreat?

Danielle LaPorte: Well, I think for most of us, we have to work from the outside in, because we're... We just have this groove for grievances that me versus. This goes... We can trace the trail goes, I don't feel connected from the divine, I've been cast out somehow. That's baked into us, but let's just go with, he did me wrong. Just as an example of my saintliness and evolution right now, tell you that as we speak, my ex-husband is on my front porch, eating a meal that I cooked, because he's a firefighter.

Danielle LaPorte: Our son is sheltering with me. It's sad and awful and gorgeous right now what's happening, and they talk through the window, because we live in a really old house with Saran wrap thin windows. If you would have told me a decade ago that I was ever going to cook another meal for that dude, and do it joyfully... I put a lot of love in a potato salad, because in this time of compression, I'm over so much. Don't care, I want wellness, I want to make it through to this passage, I want to live in community.

Danielle LaPorte: I want to... This is what I see in my 90 year old self. You know what she does? She actually goes out of her way to see the best in people first. That's not me on a bad day. It's me on a good day when I've stretched and I've had some ribose tea. I want to do that now. I can do that now and I can make my old old man some potato salad. That's where it starts.

Danielle LaPorte: Won't it just be a great time right now to write a love letter, an apology letter, or an acceptance letter to someone who did you wrong? It's not about... Dear you, I'm laying my burden down, this is a time, because we're on a deathbed. Mother Earth, she's crippled by us. We are dying, we are dying, and we can save this. We can save this.

Danielle LaPorte: I've had some beautiful conversations about actual... Well, not actual resurrection, but miracles where hospice patients, 15% of people who go into a hospice walk out. I've had this conversation with Zack Bush, why is that? One of the reasons they attributed it to is that they give up most of their medication, other than their pain meds. They give up their diabetes stuff and their kidney thing, and they give all that and they decide to live.

Danielle LaPorte: Let's make the connection. I got to give up some resentments. I have to give up some ambitions for sure. I've got to give up this... I've done a lot of work. It's pretty minimal at this point, but I still have a bit of rapaciousness to like what I want. I actually have to give up some dreams. It doesn't mean they won't come true.

Danielle LaPorte: While I'm at it, I'm going to throw in some Netflix. There's a few other things, but that gets me the life I want to live.

Jeff: Yeah, it's a time of shedding. Back to that forced monasticism concept is that, basically our instinct is, when there is something wrong on the inside, we're looking for some kind of external agent to deal with it. It's like, the stove in the kitchen is not working. Okay, I'm going to go do some landscaping to fix it. It doesn't fucking make any sense. But of course, when it's in our head, and it's all up in here, it's very irrational, it doesn't make sense.

Jeff: But in the absence of being able to actually engage with any external stimuli, we can't go down to H&M and buy a new frock, or get on an airplane and have an adventure or even get into a car or whatever, all these things that essentially have been shedded away, have been peeled back. God, we just have to deal with ourselves, and we're not trained for that. We're not trained to live... Sam Harris, who I follow quite closely, he said this thing was really insightful. He's like, "The greatest punishment one can get is the death penalty. The second greatest punishment that is doled out by the criminal justice system is solitary confinement, that we essentially would rather live amongst thieves and criminals and murderers and rapists than we would be with ourselves, Heaven forbid." Because we are just not trained to be quietly with ourselves, because it just brings too much scary shit up. So, here we are. I can only hope that that's a very good thing.


Danielle LaPorte: I always use is this body is just a suitcase but now you're talking about your valise, the suitcase. Your valise is the subconscious and apparently your subconscious is running like 95% of everything you do.

Danielle LaPorte: If you dug into that subconscious now, you'd interact differently with the taxi driver. We would vote differently. We would show up differently. Here, let's just get down to this. If you dig into the suitcase, that is your subconscious, figure out what's there, the wounds, the shame, all of that, you won't shop as much, and consumption is at the... Well, actually, lack of self-love is at the root of our consumption problem, is at the root of the pillaging of Mother Earth, is at the root of this pandemic, and the political systems that keep it all into place.

Danielle LaPorte: It's very tricky. Well, it's not tricky, it is sadly rare to have a conversation about political systems, and that kind of infrastructure, and your daddy issues. But that's what's driving all of this. Why don't you deal with your daddy issues right now?

Jeff: Yes. That is an incredibly insightful, coherent point, and it's rarely alloyed, this idea that our patterns of behavior that essentially contribute towards systems that are unsustainable is rooted in our lack of self-worth.

Danielle LaPorte: Can I walk you through the lifecycle of a luxury handbag?

Jeff: Yes.

Danielle LaPorte: Okay, because I'm using this to make my point. Why a luxury handbag? Because I'm a chic, and it works. The people who hang with me are like, "I totally get it now." We want to say... Let's just focus on the item. We won't name any brands. Luxury is a relative term. It's whatever you think... It's big fat spending. That handbag is probably made of an animal that was probably raised in inhumane, make you sick to your stomach conditions, if you actually really knew what went on.

Danielle LaPorte: As it's leatherized, there's this big chemical process, we're spewing out toxins into the water that we drink and fish swim in, et cetera. It's probably made by people in a country where you probably don't live, and there may be living above the poverty line. Then it's going to be shipped here, there and everywhere and there's lots of heaving and hefting to get to the advertising agency is going to hire a model to hang out in a photo with that handbag that you are coveting.

Danielle LaPorte: That model has been Photoshopped beyond human possibility. You're actually aspiring to something that's not even real. Also, that... Let's not forget about the company who's selling you the handbag. Their reason for being is to put more money in the pockets of their high net worth stakeholders. It's not about making the planet a better place. It's actually not even about making you feel better, it's just to get richer. You work at a job that you maybe love, that you probably don't... You overwork, so you don't have time for the yoga and you don't have time to grow your own lettuce et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, so that you can walk in a room and someone is going to think you're important because you have this symbol.

Danielle LaPorte: That is going to help you feel the so called love that you didn't get this lifetime or some other lifetime. If you loved yourself enough to not buy the fucking bag or work at a job loved, we might be more well.

Jeff: Yeah. I think it is connected to a sense of our own enoughness. Like you say, it's we live within systems and structures that prey upon perceived deficiencies, and it is there to essentially hurdle messages pat us that portray a false sense of perfection that is unattainable, that preys on this perceived deficiency of not being enough. Then, of course, market goods and services to us to assuage that feeling and to solve our discontent.

Jeff: Unfortunately, that system is so powerful, and it's so entrenched, it's almost a religion.

Danielle LaPorte: Yes.

Jeff: Unlike... I've said this before, but unlike other religions, we seem to happily follow its precepts, because the promise is so intoxicating. The promise is Heaven on Earth, happiness right here. Of course, we're pretty much dissatisfied the second we open the box, and looking for that next transitory pleasure. My great hope right now is that with the stripping away of these externalities, that people have started to develop habits and we can talk about habits, but in this even just short period of time of 30, 40 days that people are starting to realize, I know, this is true for me, that they don't need those things. Whatever was research done on how long it actually takes people to change.

Jeff: Certainly, there's this notion of 21 days, which has birth to all these 21 day meditation challenges or whatever. That's specious, I think, but could you have imagined 40 days ago, that global behavior would be what it is right now? We've always pointed at this inertia around environmentalism, particularly of well, people can never change their behavior. It's just the scope of this problem is too big, people can't stop driving, how are they going to get to work? They can't stop flying. They got to go... But it happened.

Danielle LaPorte: Will and devotion. That's where this all ends up. Habits and do people change, and everybody I'm talking to right now who considers themselves... Any loving being I'm talking to you right now is concerned that we won't have really changed our behavior when we get to the other side of this.

Danielle LaPorte: I just want to have this megaphone that says all idealists, in front of the line right now. You've been in the back. You've been in... I want everybody to use 2020 as their coming out year, "Hey, I went on retreat. I came out." Let's not associate with a virus. Just the whole experience of 2020, I came out and I'm a tree hugger, and I'm a communitarian. I figured out that I'm about love. The business model is going to reflect that now.

Jeff: Yeah. The big shift I've felt for me is the importance of building things at human scale, not a global, industrial scale, and really sticking to that in my own life. But that there is a localization model that is not only at our fingertips, not only addresses global climate change, global corporatism, greed, income inequality, all those things, but it's also so much more fulfilling.

Danielle LaPorte: I think where we're going, because I think so many beautiful changes, it's emerging and lots of it is going to stick is to local governance. But I see it from the heart, outward. Concentric circles. If I look after myself, my shadow, my light, my pain, my glory, all of that. Okay, that's called self-awareness, I know what I need. I know who I need to spend my time with. I know what I need to do to feel good. I know how to take care of myself. My body aches, I take care of it. I feel insecure, I can love him.

Danielle LaPorte: Then what happens, you just radiate it out, and it's like, "Hey, you I can sense what you're feeling." I'll take care of you, and I'll share some of my stuff with you." Out it goes. If we coalesce around smaller groups, you know how everybody's feeling, you know where the weak points are, you know the strong, you share your food. When something toxic comes into that smaller organism, you're all resilient because you're all aware of it. The thing is, the ego loves big shit. The ego loves big goals, like an addict loves sugar.

Danielle LaPorte: We just make monsters and we lose connection with each other.

Jeff: Yeah, we're growth addicted. The fact is we don't need 3%, 4% growth to... In fact, it's not even sustainable, because we're growing at that rate on limited resources. But, not even getting into that, this re-animation of the public square, where you actually as an individual feel connected to the issues that matter to you most. Not some far out weekend warrior version of politics, but actually what's happening in your neighborhood? That kind of civic engagement, where you can actually make a real difference in the people's lives that are right there.

Danielle LaPorte: It also makes you more open minded, because you're stronger, you're more confident, you've got all that nourishment that comes with community. Your ego is just shrinking. You're more open-minded to see what's going on way over there. You might be... I'm looking after my community, I'm feeling strong. What are they doing in China? What's happening in Cuba right now.

Danielle LaPorte: There's less otherness, because your experience is belongingness. That belongingness just infiltrates your consciousness. Everybody belongs, you take care of what's right in front of you, because that is what love does.

Jeff: Yeah, it does. It's an interesting way to get at self-transcendence, but I'll take it. I think it's also... I talked to this woman, Helena [inaudible 00:41:19] the other day. She's Swedish living in Australia. She's been a proponent of localization for 40 years and been to every big interview and convening on the subject and written fantastic number of books on it.

Jeff: I've always come at some of the societal hills from a values perspective. I've always come at it like, all right, the Enlightenment came along, introduced reason and rationality, a value neutral approach to life through the scientific method. Built a scientific method like relationship between humans based on a mutually beneficial, supposedly transactional relationship between humans.

Danielle LaPorte: Not that enlightened.

Jeff: Not that enlightened. Certainly coming out of the fucking dark ages, which wasn't that fucking enlightened either, which was faith based, revelatory, societal organization. In and of itself, it's not that the Enlightenment and its sanctification of the virtues of the individual is not based in something meaningful. It is, in and of its time, but we've taken it to such a degree, that now all we are as humans are transactional, economic units.

Jeff: That's the way that essentially we treat each other. It is essentially... We've built systems and structures, economies, neo-liberalism, government, whatever, on top of that ethos. Of course, it has no values in it. Our systems, the structures that govern our lives as spiritual beings are completely non-spiritual. They're essentially devoid of values, by their definition. I was coming at this as a little bit of a values issue. No, no, we need to re-instill the values that have been echoed across every spiritual tradition forever; love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, these need to be our guiding lights, and we've gone too far towards rationalism and the individual.

Jeff: I've been on that high horse for a minute. She actually knocked me down a notch. She was like... No, no, it's not about values." She's like, "Even the..." I'm putting words in her mouth a little bit, but she's like, "Even the oil and gas executives has values. Probably like a great dad. Probably like, great mom. Goes to the soccer game on the weekends and stuff like that." It's the systems and structures themselves that need to be undone, unwoven, reexamined and recreated that we've created these systems and structures-

Danielle LaPorte: I can agree.

Jeff: Yeah. Help me out here, because I heard her, but-

Danielle LaPorte: Or the links in the chain. Let's take the oil exec who's a great dad. He's the system that needs to come undone and to be dismantled to see what is the wound, what is the ill thinking that is driving him to be loving at home? But to support the pillaging of the mother. There's some division, some fracture in his spirit there. I would venture to guess it some family of origin wound from this lifetime or another lifetime, that has gone unnoticed, unexamined, and most definitely unhealed.

Danielle LaPorte: To heal that to... It's an opening of the heart. You get into that subconscious, you see it, the only thing you can do is you're going to get to a point where all you can do is have enough love for yourself to hand your pain over to something higher, something greater than you. There you have it, yourself meets the God-self, meets your God-self.

Danielle LaPorte: If this is problematic actually, the systems outside of us, the government outside of us, the community... We're making up these systems. We can't get into this oppositional thinking of something is being done to us. At the very least, at the very least, we are participating in those demeaning systems. Just start there. I'm not saying victimization isn't happening. We don't need to get into that. There's a Harry Potter Voldemort scale battle on the Earth right now of light forces and dark forces, but they are all within us. We're either saying yes to shit treatment, or we're wielding it.

Jeff: Okay. There's a variety of, I suppose, different circumstances facing people right now. Obviously, there's people that are very sick. There's also these unbelievably brave souls like your ex, and hundreds and hundreds of people that have emailed me; nurses, doctors, medical professionals, supply chain workers, grocery clerks, biologists, government workers, Army Corps engineers, essentially out there. Then there's 18 million people in this country, in the United States that have just filed for unemployment.

Jeff: There are small business owners like me, basically just trying to scrap it together and keep everyone on payroll. If I can just do that, that's it. Then there's a whole... Probably the overwhelming majority of people, there is home, and cooking and crying and laughing and a little bit of Netflix and contemplating life and living with less and coming to new realizations, reprioritizing things. That's a significant spectrum.

Danielle LaPorte: Well, and those without shelter.

Jeff: Yeah. The fact that that can even exist-

Danielle LaPorte: It's agony.

Jeff: ... it's heinous. It's grotesque. How do you deal with that spectrum of experiences right now? Because here we are, we're having this conversation that has a lot of hope in it, but then sometimes I try to check myself I'm like shit, there are situations that don't feel very helpful.

Danielle LaPorteThe week of retreat where we decided okay, it's time to stay inside for a while on behalf of our wellness and everybody else's wellness. All systems get clogged. It's difficult to get groceries, I'm not going to the grocery store. I have a lung condition. I'm getting apples on my porch. I had thought for a minute... I felt this panic, I messed up my grocery order, and we weren't going to get food for two weeks. Then I just went into, well, somebody else isn't going to get food right now. Someone else can't afford the food and someone is used to not getting food very much at all, ever.

Danielle LaPorteI think there's something about making your personal pain, transpersonal, and be... I'm not talking about spiritually bypassing and sugarcoating it when you're happy, positivity, and there's a gift in this, but this is a time to use our pain to connect ourselves to other people. I've been scaling my own pain, that's been helping actually a lot.

Danielle LaPorte: There's a lot for so many of us to be so grateful for right now. Like personal protection equipment, how many hospitals in developing countries... I know women in Haiti who are delivering babies with one glove and some thread, and this is the edge that they live on. Am I going to complain about having my apples delivered? But the spectrum I feel that if you are generally well, and if you are deeply devoted, and you can tap into your inclusive nature, and live heart centered, and be generous, then it's your job, it's our job right now to pray for, to meditate for, to clean our surfaces for, to do all these things for wellness on behalf of the people who are suffering the most.

Danielle LaPorte: I can sit here on my perch and say, this is global group therapy, and this is a cosmic passage that we're all crossing through to live into our beautiful ideal. Well, what if your lungs are heaving and you're on the front lines and you can't get an apple? Don't worry about it, we got you. Those of us who are in relative comfort, and awakened, awakening, we're going to carry your pain for a while, because that's what love does.

Danielle LaPorte: We'll carry your pain by creating new systems. We'll carry your pain and prayer. We'll carry your pain by growing food and creating shelter. This is part of the... The opposite of that ideology is what's got us so messed up. I earned it, I'm going to keep it. Now, you earned it, it's a blessing, and you best share it.

Jeff: Yeah, that's beautiful, that there is an honoring of the work that those of us who are not on the front lines can brace and take on.

Danielle LaPorte: Now's the time to turn to the inner practices. You can't live whole, you can't live... Radiance only comes from reflection and introspection. You can get into your own valise and look at your stuff, and that has to happen. But this is a time to do all of those esoteric practices for the mother, for the Earth, for each other. It is the time to be in prayer.

Jeff: What did Zach say about some of the environmental implications... I've read it two different ways. Certainly like in Los Angeles, we're enjoying the clearest air that has been in existence for 30, 40 years.

Danielle LaPorte: Emission's down 30%, what?

Jeff: Yeah. I've seen images all across the world, similarly in China. Even read... There's a study by a Stanford University professor that even went so far to say that COVID-19 has actually saved more lives than it has cost in China, because of the reduction of particulates in the air that cause cancer or pulmonary disease especially with older folks.

Jeff: I've seen some of the hopeful and positive signs and then I've also seen some of the warnings on the other side, which is, we can't really hang our hopes on a pandemic to solve the underlying issues of global warming and climate catastrophe. I'm wondering where you are on that. I also know that you talked to experts in that field.

Danielle LaPorte: Well, I had a fantasy for a long time, and it felt almost like Disney. Not my naïve fantasy. Why can't we just shut her down for a year? What if like, if I were Queen for a day, I would say, "All right, we're going to just go lowest possible consumption and production for a year." Then of course people would rush in and say, "Well what about the economy?" Be like, "Well, we're going to create all these systems to take care of each other." Then we're going to ease back out.

Danielle LaPorte: We only can take care of the environment if we ease back into things but we create thresholds, otherwise, if we get revenge spending and revenge manufacturing, it's like now we're going to run our factories 24/7. Well, I've been saving up for those shoes. This is the time to feel the delight of living with less and just how equipped we are.

Danielle LaPorte: I mean delight like, it's the little things... Today I just pulled out a spoon that I never use in the kitchen, it's my good spoon, but today's a good day to use your best. That small metaphor is translatable to so many things. We have all that we need from the love and the compassion to the Victory Gardens.

Jeff: Yeah, it's imagining a new reality in which we own less, lest do we be owned, which is the case so often. We often think that in our great feats of innovation and progress... Progress, God, I've been hanging out with you too much.

Danielle LaPorte: Wink.

Jeff: Progress, thank you. That there's this linear amelioration of mankind where it's like, okay, you take the agricultural revolution. We figured out how to domesticate animals and to grow crops. Now we've domesticated agriculture. Well, actually, that domesticated us, who ended up living in a home and not exploring and foraging. It completely changed the way human beings lived. We weren't engineered to harvest crops, we were engineered to roam the Serengeti.

Jeff: Essentially, every time we think that we've figured something out, now fast forward, the accumulation of trinkets, mega mansions, devices, cars, mortgages, loans, who is the one that is doing the owning, who is owned? So much that we feel like we have no choice over our own life just to maintain all of the accumulation of things that we have tried to forge upon ourselves in the name of, I don't know, happiness, contentment, success, accomplishment, I don't know.

Danielle LaPorte: Self-worth.

Jeff: Yes, back to that. What's the message? Can you sum it up? You're good that way.

Danielle LaPorte: The message is, your life is a micro of the macro, and now is the perfect time to... I would say, it has been an invitational retreat. First, being a choice. We're not an obligation. If you are retreating, you're doing so on your freewill. Then use that freewill to look within and see what's been holding you back from love and fulfillment and your radiance. When you get through that passage, you're not going to need the trappings, you're going to know you're loved, you're going to know you're loving and we will design different systems that are based on wellness, but this is the time to forgive. Forgive it all. From there, a new vision emerges.

Danielle LaPorte: We should be... If all goes well, if all goes well, we will be unrecognizable in the most simple and different way on the other side.

Jeff: I love you, Danielle LaPorte. In the new story, once a year, as I told you, I'll get in my horse and buggy and I'll come up the coast, visit you in Vancouver.

Danielle LaPorte: In the new story, I will have lettuce for you.

Jeff: Yes, I'm there. Only in the summer. Ciao.

Danielle LaPorte: Ciao.

Leading teachers, life-changing courses...

Your path to a happier, healthier life

Get access to our library of over 100 courses on health and nutrition, spirituality, creativity, breathwork and meditation, relationships, personal growth, sustainability, social impact and leadership.

Try Membership Free for 14 Days

Stay connected with Commune

Receive our weekly Commusings newsletter + free course announcements!