(Sneak Preview) The ways love binds us [1\1]

In episode 1, we introduce you to Transcend’s creator and host, Jeff Riddle, who shares an intimate and gut-wrenching story about how he realized the narrative that defined his entire adult life and identity wasn’t true. And how the real story that emerged was not what he was expecting.

“The real story was far more difficult to face,” he admits. “This is the real story.”

Find out what he discovered, how the real story is turning his world upside down, and the transformational lessons he’s learning about identity in Episode 1 of Transcend “The ways love binds us”

 

LINKS FROM EPISODE

 

MUSIC CREDITS

  • “We All Have Frozen Tummies & Chocolate Faces” by He Can Jog (public domain)

  • “Last Skye Dream” by Xenojam (CC license)

  • “Take This Climb” by Martin Storrow (Transcend theme song) https://www.martinstorrow.com/

 

SPECIAL THANK YOUS

None of this would be possible without the incredible support and guidance of so many loved ones. To the following people, my sincerest love and gratitude.

To Emily, M, and R for your unconditional love and support. To Jess for your words, spark, and strategy. To Martin for being the go-to sounding board and for your beautiful musical contributions. To Aaron for cracking Transcend open with the power of story. To Sarah A for your email genius and support. To Ian for your design chops. To Noel for your generosity. To Chris for your unlimited helpfulness and depth. To Sarah P for your gentle nudges and for your unconditional friendship. To Suzannah for naming Transcend and leading by example. To Kyle for being there through every step of this journey. To Bill and Sheila for your love and mentorship. To Carl for your genius and guidance. To Susan for your cosmic translations and intuitive leadership. To Michelle and Carla for being amazing teachers. To Val for our limited but impactful time together. To Jonathan for your support and showing what’s possible. To Katia for your loving friendship that ignited this journey. To “Branding” Kaye for your genius. To Michael for embodying what it means to be a giver. To Arielle for enabling a huge learning curve. To the late Scott D for your friendship and setting an example. To Khe for your bravery. To San for setting a lot of this in motion. To Kishan, Sunil, Ian, and Gina for your enthusiasm and friendship! To Tamsen for laying out a framework that is now embedded in everything we do. To the Reboot team for believing in me and opening doors that have changed my life. To Kevin, Zoe, Sarah, Alix, and Emily for being there from the beginning and always going above and beyond. To Blake and Jasmine for your visual eye. To Alex for setting a clear example for how to change paradigms and for your medium experiment that made this project possible. To Craig for being a great teacher. To Cary, Eden, Talib, Cami, Kate, MeiMei, Famid, and Sid for your vulnerability. To Lisa, Vivek, Jenn, Leigh, Arjun, and Hiten for opening doors that continue to leave an impact. To the Launch Team for stepping up and being an instrumental part of this journey. To Mike Birbiglia (who doesn’t know me) for your storytelling chops and inspiration. To Bernardo Kastrup (who also doesn’t know me) for your beautiful and important work that underlies this project! To all my friends that have been unwavering throughout the decades. To all those anonymous people that provided hard to stomach but critically important feedback. To everyone that beta tested the many iterations of Transcend. To the early email list peeps who hung in there as we tested iteration after iteration. To my extended family for your support and love. To my Mom who lived her life to the fullest and is still with me every step of the way. To Pops, Garret, and Steven for your strength and love. To Grantie, Gruncle, Deb, Fred, Sheri, Kyle, Jules, Hilsy, Jennifer, Elise, C, B, and A for love and family. To all current and former clients who are a huge inspiration for this project. And most importantly to YOU… thank you for coming along this journey with me.

With gratitude,

Jeff

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Jeff Riddle:I think there’s a lot of fear, vulnerability, there’s a lot of stuff swelling there that I’m just trying to work through. Because it’s time, it feels like it’s time to put this out there and stick my neck out there, and go for it. It’s really time for that, and I’ve just been delaying it I guess.[00:00:30]

Carl Buchheit:

Would it be okay to just go for it? Does it require you to be sticking your neck out?Jeff Riddle:Oh[00:01:00]Jeff Riddle:

[00:01:30]

That’s me, Jeff Riddle, the host and producer of this show Transcend. And on the other line is my mentor Carl Buchheit, and we’re talking about all the ways I’ve been delaying releasing this show. Because through the last 18 months I’ve been creating this, it’s felt like I’m at risk of losing myself. For 15 years I’ve been lost, wandering, completely unsure of who I am, searching for satisfaction, wholeness, and feeling complete. During that time, I’ve told myself and others this story, a story that justifies why I’ve been wandering and never satisfied.[00:02:00]

[00:02:30]

It was my childhood dream to play professional baseball, and I gave everything to this dream. I was the first one at the field and last one to leave, I’d workout at the gym twice a day, and I took so many practice swings that my hands would bleed. Fast forward to college, and I’m on the baseball team having a great career, and it’s very likely that I’ll be drafted by Major League Baseball and achieve this dream. But unfortunately, an injury during a game ended my career. That night in the mirror, I was staring at the body of a baseball player and the identity of a ghost. I had this dream for nearly 20 years that had defined my entire life, and I was completely lost. It was like as if you’d stuck me in the middle of the forest without a compass or a destination, any decision or any direction was as good as any other.[00:03:00]And that’s the story that I’ve been telling myself and others, that’s the story that I’ve been using to explain why I’ve been wandering, why I went into music and toured the country in a band, and then when things started really working, I left. And then I went into real estate, and within six months was a top producer, and then I left. Then I got into tech sales, and in my rookie month I broke the rookie record by a long shot, and I left. And then I founded a business, and as soon as it started to work, I left. This whole time I’ve been telling myself and others that I’ve been making these decisions, because I’m liberated, I’m liberated from the conventions of culture, that I’m bucking the trend by never settling, that I keep pushing myself to try new things, like I’m some Renaissance man.[00:03:30][00:04:00]But as I started putting this story together, to tell you here in this very first episode of Transcend, and I dug into my past and I found old home videos and tapes and information that really spoke to my history, I realized that the pieces of the story that I’ve been telling myself all these years, they actually didn’t fit together. That this isn’t the real story. I realize that the real story is far more difficult to face, and in fact it’s unfolding right now, unfolding through the creation of this show. So this is the real story.Stay with us as we uncover the real story, explore the nature of identity, and how what I learn might also be affecting you, and reveal how a show about transformation started with its host and creator first. I’m Jeff Riddle, and this is Transcend.[00:04:30]

Music:

My legs may falter, gravel may slide, but I’ll take this ride, one step at a time.Jeff Riddle:

[00:05:00]

[00:05:30]

Welcome to Transcend, where we hear transformational stories from our peers, and the lessons they learn that change their lives. As this is the first episode, I want to briefly tell you what you can expect from Transcend moving forward. Every month our podcast features a guest, and we do this in three ways, number one, we share their personal story about an experience that fundamentally changed them, and that’s the first half of the podcast episode, what you’re listening to right now. Number two, we have a follow up interview with that same guest about the wisdom they learned from that life changing experience, and that will be the second half of every podcast episode. And number three, the Transcend team and I break down the wisdom from these episodes into a variety of articles, exercises, bonus podcast episodes and more, to help you apply the learning from each episode directly to your life.[00:06:00]To get access to all of this bonus content, all you have to do is subscribe to our weekly newsletter, it’s entirely free and you can subscribe directly on our website by visiting TranscendExperience.net, or look for the link in the show notes. Finally, because this is the first episode, we felt it was only appropriate for me to share my story, which as I already mentioned, took a major right turn on me that I didn’t expect. But in the future, you’ll be hearing from a new guest every month. I’m so grateful you’re here and excited to start this journey together, so let’s get on with my story.A few weeks ago I went digging around in some old boxes in our house, and I found it, I found this black and white tape, it had my mom’s full name written at the bottom, and a date in 2001 written at the top. Here’s what I found.Female Pastor:

[00:06:30]

We extend our loving welcome to all of you who have come to remember and give thanks for the life and the witness of Marianne Riddle. We gather as family and friends and community, having loved Marianne deeply.Jeff Riddle:

[00:07:00]

A few weeks before this service, I’m in college, I’m a freshman, 19 years old, it’s the end of the year, and I get a phone call from my dad. He says, “Jeff, your mom’s dying, and it’s time to come home.” Within a few hours my dorm room was packed, and I was on a plane back to San Francisco to the home where I grew up. The next morning when I woke up, I found my mom sitting at the dining room table, and she at this point had been battling cancer for six years, it started in her breast and eventually moved to her liver, and then it reappeared in her brain. When it did, we all, including her, knew it was the end.[00:07:30]

[00:08:00]

At this point, her body had given out, she’d gone through so many rounds of chemo and hormones, and she could barely move, and she’s in a wheelchair, and has a hat on because there’s no more hair. And you could just tell she was ready to go. So 19 year old me sits down at the table with her, and we had this profound conversation, we talked about the next 40 years of my life, as if my mom would be there. We talked about me meeting my future spouse, and about my mom being there to meet her for the first time when I bring her home, and the phone call to tell her we’re engaged, and of course to the wedding. Then we talked about that same wife and I having children, and calling my mom to tell her we’re pregnant, and her being at the hospital, my mom at the hospital to hold her grandchild for the first time.[00:08:30]

[00:09:00]

And we talked about my career, the man that would be in the world, at the time it was about baseball and about getting drafted and getting to play professionally, and all these things that I had dreamed of. For these few hours that we had this discussion, it was magic, it was like we transcended space and time, and got to live out this period of my life as if she would be there. And then every once in a while it would hit us, that wasn’t reality, that we were here in the present in 2001, and she was dying and within a few weeks of the end of her life, and then we’d cry realizing the reality of the situation. That was the last significant conversation I had with her, because shortly thereafter the brain cancer took over her functions, communication ability, and she wasn’t able to communicate anymore. And then shortly after that, she died.[00:09:30][00:10:00]The feeling I had, and I didn’t realize until recently, the feeling that emerges often is this helplessness. This feeling of just complete lack of control, this thing that you don’t want to have happen, and you can’t do anything about it, and you, as a 19 year old, witness this person who shaped your life, shaped the world, shaped your identity, just disappear, this is how it felt. And it’s like you grasp for anything that will keep you connected. As I listen to that memorial service, I listen to the full tape of all the stories, and I listen to a young version of me who performed a song I had written for her, and listen to my dad, who’s not much older than I am now, give her eulogy, even though you could just hear how broken he was.[00:10:30]I started to realize that maybe this wandering all these years wasn’t because I was searching for a new identity, because I had lost baseball, maybe all this wandering had something to do with my mom, and somehow trying to stay connected to her.[00:11:00]

Carl Buchheit:

The experience you would like, is what? We have one or two options, it’s going to be true, you will publish your work to universal acclamation, or not to universal acclamation.Jeff Riddle:The not so universal acclimation is unavoidable, it’s absolutely unavoidable.[00:11:30]

Carl Buchheit:

It’s likely to be a hold out or two, and then what would you like to experience?Jeff Riddle:

[00:12:00]

I’d like that to be okay, I’d like to just, I’d like to have that. I know that’s true, and there’s no way around that, and I’d like to go into it with an understanding that, that’s okay. That it doesn’t change what I’m doing.I found this home video and when I watched it, I cried. My mom is younger than I am now, and I heard her voice for the first time in nearly 20 years, I didn’t even recognize it. I guess I’d never really realized that what I had imagined her voice was, and what it actually sounded like, was different. But this video actually brought it all together for me.[00:12:30]

Marianne Riddle:

This is the lovely Riddle Mansion, let me introduce you to our lovely kitchen.Jeff Riddle:It’s about 1985 in this video, which means there’s a lot of short-shorts and a killer mustache. My dad’s following my mom around, and she’s giving a tour of our house, because our house is under construction. But she’s not highlighting what’s being done, she’s highlighting what’s missing.Marianne Riddle:

[00:13:00]

To my left, your right, we have our orange curtain, which goes through to our breakfast room, which goes right directly outside, not via a door.Brock Riddle:Let’s show the trap door.Jeff Riddle:My mom is being literal, I’m about three at the time, my brother’s about a year and a half, there are no walls on half of our house. And in the video he can just open up the sheet and look out onto the street.Marianne Riddle:

[00:13:30]

And here is our sink, lovely as it may be, we have to keep it clean under there, because our neighbors can see what we have under our sink.Jeff Riddle:

[00:14:00]

[00:14:30]

This is the house I grew up in, a house that was missing walls and stairs and had wood exposed everywhere, and nails and everything. It’s shocking to me my brothers and I even survived living in this house for our entire life. It wasn’t until many years after I moved out of the house, after my mom had passed away, that the house was completed. So when I reflect back on this journey, as I was putting this story together, and I was listening to these tapes, and thinking about my history and trying to put it together, it occurred to me that I haven’t been wandering, trying to find this identity and just constantly choosing new things and trying new things, and living this liberated life. That in fact, what has really been going on is that I have been trying to stay stuck in that struggle, in that suffering, in that feeling I had when I was 19 sitting at the table with my mom, realizing that she was about to die.[00:15:00]

[00:15:30]

That if somehow, if I could stay in that pain, in that struggle, in that suffering, that maybe I could stay connected to her. It’s something that we humans do, we say I love you by saying I’ll be like you. I love you mom, and I’ll struggle like you. I love you mom, I’ll struggle and feel those feelings for the rest of my life so that maybe someday everything will be okay. Of course, it’s unworkable, it’s loving, but unworkable. So as I put this story together and started to realized this, it occurred to me that I’ve been living out my life like that house that I grew up in, never allowing it to be fully complete, never allowing myself to fully realize my potential of who I am, and feel the fullness of myself, so that I can then move onto the next thing. When your house is complete, then you can do other things.[00:16:00]

[00:16:30]

In the same way, I’ve been resisting having things be good and okay fully. So that’s the beautiful thing here, this Transcend project is that opportunity. It’s an opportunity for me, every time you hear from me, every podcast, every article, every newsletter, email, is me having to face that choice to say, “You know what, I want to be me fully. I don’t want to suffer anymore or struggle, or have things be hard.” I want to be complete. We’ll take a little break, and then when we return for part two, we’ll be digging into my story even further and uncovering the wisdom and life changing lessons I’m learning right now. Stay with us.[00:17:00]

[00:17:30]

Did you know Transcend is more than just a podcast, I like to think of it as an experience. An experience to help you take what you learn here, and then do something about it. Our team pulls apart the wisdom of every single episode, and then we package it into actual steps in a variety of formats. Those formats include articles, visualizations, exercises, and more, and they’re available for free through our weekly newsletter. To find out more or sign up for our newsletter, visit us at our website TranscendExperience.net. That’s TranscendExpererience.net, or you can find our website in the show notes.[00:18:00]Welcome back, I’m your host Jeff Riddle and you’re listening to Transcend. In the second half of our show, we interview the storyteller, and this is an opportunity for us to dig into the wisdom and the lessons and uncover the differences that made a difference for them through their transformational experience. But since for the first episode we decided to share my story, I’ve asked a very dear friend Sarah Peck to step in and help with the interview, and she did a remarkable job. Now Sarah is a really brilliant mind who runs a business called Startup Pregnant, which we’ll link to in the show notes. She’s also based in New York City, so you may hear a little of the hustle and bustle in the background of her audio. Anyhow, I’m really excited to bring this interview to you, so let’s get started.Sarah Peck:

[00:18:30]

That was quite the episode, so I want to first ask you, when you listen to it, when you listen to your own story, how do you feel, what comes up for you?Jeff Riddle:

[00:19:00]

I just listened to it right before we started our interview today, or started this discussion, and as I shared, I’m really raw today, and I guess when I listen to it there’s a part of me that feels like we’re really, there’s this incredible progress that’s happening and evolution. And I can feel how I’m evolving, and of course this project’s evolving, and there’s all these things that are moving. And then I’m also feeling all of the discomfort of that, you start choosing more of what you want, for me the point of what I’m learning about myself here is choosing to have things be better, and then all of a sudden, things are just better.[00:19:30]They are better yes, but then there’s all this loss too, and there’s this mourning of what you were, or who you were, or what you were in relationship to. And that’s actually really painful, and it’s uncomfortable, and so it’s not like you just ride off into the sunset and life is fantastic. It’s a little bit of, you ride off into the sunset, and you’re always moving away from and having to be in relationship to all this other, all these other feelings that are painful. So yeah, it’s all of it.Sarah Peck:

[00:20:00]

I think there’s something so interesting about what you’re doing, there’s this paradigm out there of achievement and success. I have achieved it, I have reached the top of the mountain, I have success, and now here I will show you how it works. I just think what you’re doing is so interesting, because you’re showing the process of, that’s not what it looks like. How does that sit with you?Jeff Riddle:

[00:20:30]

[00:21:00]

Yeah, it’s really marketable, if you just buy this thing you’ll be happy. Or if you just reach this destination, or you lose this weight, or make this amount of money, then everything will be okay. And that never works, we’ve been bought into this idea that these things, you can just buy your way to these things, or you can just achieve your way to these things. And the truth is, you are always there, you’re the constant, the external world doesn’t affect that. The process is very internal, there’s nothing outside that’s gonna make it better, it’s just constantly working from the inside. And that’s been my hope with Transcend, I think when I finally finish this first episode, or at least the first story we just heard, it was a real pivotal moment, because it was the first time I saw what I was trying to do, which was to really expose that inside part, that process and the discomfort and the joy and everything in between.[00:21:30]Really see that there’s this tension constantly in our experience, no matter what we do and no matter how successful or unsuccessful Transcend is, I’m still always a part of that, and I’m still a part of that journey. The me is always here, here in the now, and I’m always feeling that. So it doesn’t really matter what happens, it’s about my experience. I think that’s so much more accurate to anything we want in life, success or otherwise. I want it to really show that.Sarah Peck:

[00:22:00]

What’s your relationship to Transcend? Do you sometimes have the experience or feel like you’re putting your identity into an unknowable or unachievable outcome? Because that happens to me all the time, where I’m like, “I will be this person if this happens with this project.” Can you talk about your relationship with Transcend, and your identity as it relates to Transcend?Jeff Riddle:

[00:22:30]

[00:23:00]

I think Transcend is a reflection of who I’m choosing to be moving forward, I think that’s what I ran into, one of the things I didn’t realize was how much I’d been in identity with … Another word we can use, it gets a little muddy, because these are words, but they’re really more feelings, experiences. But in belonging with my mom, and that feeling I had when I was 19, sitting at the table with her, and she’s about to die, and I’m feeling this crushing sense of no control and just wanting to be held. But of course, in that situation she’s not gonna be able to hold me, even though she probably still was as my mom. But just desperately wanting to feel that embrace of somebody or something larger than you, like a parent to a young child.[00:23:30]

[00:24:00]

And then, for most of my adult life then, avoiding having things be good, because I would have to separate from that, I couldn’t any longer be a child. That’s harsh language to use, because it’s not like I was just being an immature kid, it’s different, but it’s that having to really step into the experience of being an adult where you are holding others, you’re holding your children, you’re holding your spouse, your friends, your family. Where you, and it’s happened to me, I’ve found, having to find ways of being held in a larger context, having to really question meaning and life and purpose and these things. I have my own theories about that now, in a non-religious sense, but having to embrace that, the fact that you don’t have that anymore, at least that feeling, you have to find it or accept that you don’t have it, one or the other.But I think for me, Transcend has really become a vehicle to step into that version of myself that I’d like to be.[00:24:30]

Sarah Peck:

[00:25:00]

I want to ask you actually a specific question about the story in the episode, because I think it’s a recurring theme that happens on an unconscious level for a lot of people. This theme that as soon as things start working, we leave, or we sabotage it even. It’s almost the idea that success is more terrifying than failure in some ways, because you’ve got, as part of this story you talk about, you moved nine different times, was it? And you find success in a project, and then you move on, you go to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. Can you talk about why you think that’s happening, and why people do that?Jeff Riddle:

[00:25:30]

Yeah. The story, I think we talked about that offline, the moving part, I think it was 18 times in 15 years or 14 years or something like that, I moved. The math was, I did the math it was 9.6 months, every 9.6 months I moved everything I owned. And then in my careers, until I found my work in coaching, I think the math I did on that, it was every 7 months, 7.3 months or something I changed careers.Sarah Peck:This was from the baseball career?Jeff Riddle:

[00:26:00]

[00:26:30]

Yes, 22 until recently. My wife and I are settled in our long term home, and we’re very happy in that, but 22 until 34 or 35, I can’t remember all the numbers. It was like 18 times I moved, and then the career was crazy until I was about 31, 32. I constantly tried new things, it was crazy, and that’s why I literally thought I was a Renaissance man and thought I was so liberated. But it was crazy, it was totally crazy. And it was completely because of this, self sabotage is a strong term that we use, I don’t like how it’s often used in the self help world, because it presupposes that we’re wrong for doing it, that we’re bad. If we could just toughen up, and be more disciplined, or whatever is being said, that somehow it would be different.[00:27:00]

[00:27:30]

And the reality is, that’s not how that works. You would never look at a 19 year old me, who’s sitting there just desperately trying to hold on to some connection to his mom, who’s about to die, who just wants to feel that love and wants to feel her as a part of himself, this person who has shaped his entire world. You would never say to that 19 year old, that desire is wrong, just suck it up kid and get some self discipline. That would seem so ridiculous, when that 19 year old me is not being seen, that need to feel connected to her is not being seen, I freaked out. And that’s what self sabotage is, it’s not us trying to make ourselves wrong, or this inner critic term is another one that comes up, it’s not that we’re somehow bad or have parts of us that are wrong.[00:28:00]

[00:28:30]

If we’re always having to fight ourselves, which is the standard approach, and we’re always in this internal civil war of battling with ourselves, then we’re never winning, because some part of us is always losing. It doesn’t actually mean we’re making any progress. I think that’s the piece that most of us miss, because we’re often told otherwise. I think that’s why we see self sabotage, we see somebody who maybe grew up in a family with parents who really struggled with their health, maybe were really overweight and had a lot of body issues, that child will want to belong with their parents, or with their mom or dad. And so we’ll say, subconsciously ever since they were a young kid, “Mom, I’ll be like you, I love you, and I’ll struggle just like you. That’s how you’ll know I love you.”[00:29:00]Then we’ll grow up, and they’ll always struggle with their weight, and they’ll be thinking, told that they’re wrong, and they’re terrible, and you have no self discipline because you eat pizza or whatever. And underneath all of that, it’s not someone who is wrong or bad, it’s someone who is just trying to say I love you to their mom. It’s extremely noble, but it’s just obviously unworkable, by suffering it doesn’t make it better for their mom. But underneath that, is this desire to be in rapport, be in belonging with, to maintain the identity that they have been choosing for their whole life to contain and keep this love intact. We would never say to a three day old or three month old or three year old, who says, “Mom, your struggles will be my struggles, I will struggle like you to make it better for you and show you I love you.” We would never say to that little one, “You are a worthless piece of shit.”[00:29:30]

[00:30:00]

We would embrace them with such love and kindness and thoughtfulness and appreciation for how loving and noble that choice is, even though it’s not workable. And so I think that’s the missing key here to this journey, when we run into things like self sabotage, or the inner critic, or just struggle. Most of the things we struggle with somehow probably revolve around similar things here, and when we can start to get comfortable with who we are and our choices and why, and it’s of course way more challenging, but in that is this texture of love and wholeness. It’s so much more effective for actually moving forward.Sarah Peck:

[00:30:30]

There’s so much here, I want to unpack this with you a little further, because I feel like everything, it’s just on the tip of my understanding, but I’m not quite there yet. First, it feels like, I love that you reframed the word self sabotage more as reaction, you start to get really successful, but then there’s this inner reaction that’s happening. It comes out as an expression, whatever it is. I identify with my mother, and if I go this way and I become uber successful, I’ll lose this part of me that’s really searching for love and belonging.Jeff Riddle:Yes.[00:31:00]

Sarah Peck:

A couple of questions, let’s unpack it, first how do you start to become aware of it? When do you, maybe tell us about your experience, when did you start to notice that this was even a pattern in the first place?Jeff Riddle:

[00:31:30]

[00:32:00]

That’s a really good question. I’ve been mildly aware of it for a long time, because for a long time I’ve been doing it, when you move 18 times and have a double digit careers in less than a decade, you reach a point where you have to look at all of it and go, “Wow the same thing keeps happening, and yet the only constant is me.” In my case, it wasn’t like I was changing careers for example within a very specific field, it wasn’t like I was changing healthcare jobs. It was like, I was a musician who toured in a band, and then I was in real estate, and then I was in tech, and then I was in consulting, and then in this entrepreneurship. I was in such randomly different industries, for example, that there was no content. You couldn’t be like, “Oh it’s the healthcare industry, or it’s this government regulation XYZ.”[00:32:30]

[00:33:00]

There’s no way I could point at something outside of me and say that’s the problem, because after a while it gets so ridiculous. So for me, that was very true. I think that’s a great starting point for anyone that wants to recognize this, is to look at their past and notice the struggle. There’s two ways to do this, one is what is it that you would like, is there something you’d like that’s different than now. Money’s a really easy example, it’s not always the best example, but it’s an easy one. Gosh I really want to make more money in my life, or have more money in my life, and I’ve always struggled there. Choosing what you would like, lets you know that there’s a gap there, or just recognizing where you’ve been struggling in an ongoing basis that you would like to have it be different.[00:33:30]As soon as we can do that, then we can look back over our history, and we can see all the ways that we’ve been struggling. Struggling in relationships, or with our health, or whatever, there are countless ways we can struggle. But we can see that, “Oh wow, here’s where I struggled there, and here’s another point, and here’s another point,” you start to go, “Wait a minute, what’s the problem? Is it really money or health or lifestyle, or is it me? Is it something that I am creating?” That’s a really hard thing to do, not because it’s not hard to see it, it’s right there in front of us, it’s hard to recognize that we’ve been choosing it. Most of us don’t want to admit that or address that or deal with it, and it’s because that means that we then have to take responsibility for our experience.[00:34:00]

[00:34:30]

I’m not saying, we’re not getting into, you’re born into really rough conditions somewhere in the world in a third-world country, that gets into big spiritual questions, and I have my thoughts about it, but it gets really complex. I’m speaking to whoever’s listening to this right now, we here in this community, likely a lot of our struggles, not all, but a lot are self created. If we can face that, and at least get a little clarity there, and take responsibility, I think we’ll find that it’s a really great foundation. Because if we can take responsibility and recognize that some part of us, we don’t have to understand it, but some part of us is self creating some of our experiences that we don’t like, we can at least then also have the authority to choose a new experience.[00:35:00]You can’t, if you’re a victim to something, you can’t then say, “This is what I want,” victims just can say, and it’s a strong word, but if you’re in that space of things are happening to you, you can only say “I don’t want this anymore,” you can’t actually say what you do want. It’s a hard thing to do, in no way am I saying, those of you listening right now will go, “Oh I got this, I’m totally taking responsibility for everything.” It’s not that simple, and it’s not that easy, and it’s not that fluid, but it’s certainly the general direction we want to start moving towards.Sarah Peck:

[00:35:30]

So much yes, and so much, I’m nodding over here. This is gonna get into the way metaphysical, but a yoga teacher told me once that if we really truly had transcending and learned everything we needed to learn, we would then be ready to leave our human bodies. As long as we’re here with the human body, we have more to keep engaging with and learning with. Which I think is so interesting when it comes to the Transcend podcast, because we learn something and then we unlock a next learning that our souls need.Jeff Riddle:

[00:36:00]

[00:36:30]

Right, you think about how we think about people 400 years ago today, we laugh at the things they believed, how stupid and silly they were, and we have to have the humility to realize that in 400 years people are gonna do the same to us. The truth is, we’re always in the middle of life, we’re born in the middle of life, we die in the middle of life, there is no destination. I think that gets back to that if/then thing we talked about earlier, if I could just be successful, then it will be okay. There’s no destination, there is no destination, we will always be on the journey, and then we’re gonna die someday. And if that’s the case, then there is only us relative to where we were.Sarah Peck:

[00:37:00]

Reflecting back what you said in unpacking some of this, because I think this is so key to what’s going on in your story, I love that you shared that you start to look at the patterns. Sometimes you just need more data, it took you 18 moves to start to wake up and see, “Okay here’s a lot of data about what’s happening, and what’s common?” And then you even shared, how do you start to take responsibility, instead of saying these things are happening to me, what’s my relationship to these things that are happening, what’s my role in choosing these experiences? My next question though is, once you start to notice it, once you start to become aware of it, how do you integrate in this, what seems like its intention, in contrast.[00:37:30]On the one hand you’ve got this loyalty to your mom and the experience and the love that you have for her, and on the other you have this desire to create a great life for yourself. How do you make both of those things whole? How do you integrate them together?Jeff Riddle:

[00:38:00]

It seems to me in my experience that we’re always, we’re facing two things, we’re facing the question, what would we like, and whether we’re aware of it or not, but it’s the driver, it’s desire with choice, to be a little more intentional about desire. But it’s really asking ourselves, where do we want to go, what do we want to learn, what do we want to grasp, what do we want to create, what do we want to be, who do we want to be. At the same time, we’re faced with where we are, who we are, right now, and all the stuff that comes with that.[00:38:30]

[00:39:00]

19 year old me, sitting at the table with my mom, has been with me in that form pretty much up until very recently. What I mean by that is that part of me has been a place that I’ve turned to, unknowingly, but I lean on, and that version of me shows up and acts out the need. Until very recently, when I’m realizing I don’t want that anymore, I’d like to have a new experience, so I choose what I’d like, I’d like to choose to have things be good and easier, with less struggle. I’d like to find a way to relate to my mom that doesn’t require me to struggle or suffer. At the same time then, I’m also faced with where I am and who I was and all of that past, mid 30s amount of life.[00:39:30]

[00:40:00]

[00:40:30]

And that I think is the harder part, at least in the Western world. We’re pretty good about pointing towards what we would like, we’re pretty good about saying I want this, here’s my goal, here’s my direction, here’s my intention. We’re not so great at being, of not holding judgment towards ourself and for who we’ve been. What I mean by that, my mentor Carl, who’s in the story, he’s a huge influence in my work and a lot of the theory and ideas that I have, he’s the primary influence, and he has this great metaphor, the old fisherman, he has this respect or appreciation for the sea, but some days the sea is very fruitful, it’s sunny and it’s glassy, other days it’s a storm and it could kill him. He could hate the sea one day, and love the sea the next day, but there’s a respect, there’s an appreciation for what the sea is.[00:41:00]In the same way, we have to look at our experience, our past, and find a way to hold that non-judgemental stance of not making it wrong. And by doing that, I’m bringing all of me forward, so that I can then move off of it to the next thing. And then make that choice, and actually move forward. Because most of us spend our time yelling at ourselves and making ourselves wrong and feeling shitty, trying to overcome and overpower our inner critic, or feeling so bad about ourselves for self sabotage, or fighting eating the pizza. Sitting there just looking at the pizza, saying, “I’m not gonna eat it,” and then feeling really bad when you do. All of that just keeps us stuck, I’m not saying it’s easy by any means, this is where it gets really gray.[00:41:30]This is not, you can’t package that, you can’t market that easily, you can’t put that in a pill or in a weekend program. But it’s at least a really beautiful starting point to explore the potential for growth, and change, and transcendence ultimately.Sarah Peck:Jeff, what do you want, someone listening to this to really feel and experience, what’s your hope for this community, the Transcend community?Jeff Riddle:

[00:42:00]

[00:42:30]

I want them to know that they’re whole and complete just as they are, I think that’s one of the biggest struggles that so many of us have, especially those of us looking for this type of material, is that we don’t feel that. We are trying everything in our power to feel whole and complete and capable and okay, and I think that’s a big part of what I hope people will get out of Transcend and being a part of this community. I hope that they can recognize that their struggles, their discomforts, their fears, their joys and loves and all of those things are just natural. I just hope that they can feel like this is a place in a community, in a collaborative effort to help them see that truth in themselves, that love that’s there, that wholeness, as I hope that I get that experience too.[00:43:00]It’s a constant ongoing part of my journey, and I don’t want them to ever feel like I’m some guy with all the answers, I’m not. That’s why I want to ask other people and not experts and gurus, I want to ask real people, “What’s your experience,” and dig into that. As I said in my story, for me I want to feel complete and be complete, and I guess ultimately that’s what I hope everybody who is part of Transcend can start to have a sense of that experience, just as I’ll be working towards it.[00:43:30]

[00:44:00]

I really hope you enjoyed that episode, we’ll be back with a brand new one on the first Sunday of every month moving forward. This means a new guest, a new transformational story, and new wisdom. In the meantime, all the action will be in our weekly newsletter, and this is where we’ll explore, dig into, and further unpack the wisdom from these podcast episodes. It’s entirely free, and you can sign up at our website, that’s TranscendExperience.net, or the easy way is just find the link in the show notes.[00:44:30]Finally, thank you to Sarah Peck for stepping up and helping with the interview, thank you to the Transcend team, oh my gosh, that’s Jess, Aaron, Martin, Sarah, Ian, and Noel, I could not do this without you. To the many wonderful friends and colleagues that have influenced this project and helped along the way, my deepest gratitude and appreciation. There are so many of you, and you know who you are. To the Transcend launch team, woot-woot, thank you for your love and support, for putting us on the map, you’re amazing. Of course, a huge, huge thank you to my loving wife Emily, and to my two beautiful and wonderful kids who have been there with me this whole journey, who’ve told me the truth when I needed to hear it, and just did it so wonderful. I love you guys, thank you for everything.[00:45:00]And then of course, thank you to you for being here, for being a part of this community, for listening. Really, if you think about this story today, it wouldn’t have been complete, it was not a complete story until you turned it on and pressed play. So I’m really grateful, and just so thankful to you for being here. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be with you, until next time, this is Jeff Riddle wishing you well.

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