#91 My awesome guest this week is Sky Nelson-Isaacs. A physicist, author. speaker, and musician.
This was a conversation I was pretty excited about. When a scientist writes a book call Living In Flow: The Science Of Synchronicity & How Your Choices Shape The World, he was someone I just had to have on my podcast. Enjoy!
Things we covered:
– How the answers to long-standing questions about synchronicity may be found in the strange world of quantum mechanics;
– How events can be meaningfully related, even though one doesn’t cause the other and
how this is at the heart of his approach to synchronicity;
– LORRAX (Listen, Open, Reflect, Release, Act, XRepeat) process helps us cultivate flow
About Sky: Sky Nelson-Isaacs is a physics educator, speaker, author and musician. He has a masters degree in physics from San Francisco State University, with a thesis in String Theory, and a BS in physics from UC Berkeley. Nelson-Isaacs has dedicated his life to finding his own sense of purpose, beginning as a student of the Yogic master Sri Swami Satchidananda when he was less than five years old.
As an active researcher in quantum foundations, his research is supported through grant funding from a private foundation. An educator with nine years of classroom experience, with experience in industry as a software engineer, Nelson-Isaacs is also a multi -instrumentalist and professional performer of award-winning original musical compositions.
Links & Resources For Sky Nelson-Isaacs:
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Guy: Hi, I’m Guy Lawrence and you are listening to the Guy Lawrence podcast. If you’re enjoying this content and you want to find out more and join me and come further down the rabbit hole, make sure you head back to the guylawrence.com.au. Awesome guys. Enjoy the show.
Guy: Sky, welcome to the podcast.
Sky: Hey Guy, it’s great to meet you and see you in person here.
Guy: Yeah, totally. I, um, I ask everyone on the show, if you were on an airplane sitting next to a complete stranger
Guy: and they ask you what you did for a living, what would you say?
Sky: To be honest? Um, a let me just tell you a story. That’s true. Um, probably what I would do is wait for my for the right moment to, if I have my Ukulele with me, I might stand up and play a song on the plane or, uh, you know, take a moment to talk to all the neighbors and, and stand up and share an announcement about what I’m doing with my book. Um, so like breaking through those kind of social barriers at times when it feels right. And of service has been a journey of learning for me because I do feel like there’s, um, as a way in which these are the barriers that keep us from solving some of the greater issues that we’re being forced to confront in our world right now as we get more interconnected and there’s more people interacting all the time when we’re afraid to speak up about something in the world, whether it’s in our personal life or, um, something that’s impacts all of us, it stops us from being able to make a change.
Guy: Yeah, totally.
Sky: So, uh, the description would be I’m a physicist who studies the foundations of quantum mechanics and has tried to link that study to the everyday world and show that what we would expect to see if, if quantum mechanics applies to the world is synchronicity in our lives. The meaningful coincidences that lead us into flow.
Guy: Amazing. Now, if I sit next to you, I’d absolutely geek out on this cause I’d be, oh my God, that is synchronicity, right here? You and I chew year off for hours, which between us. Yeah. But like, but we’ll what kind of look. Do you get normally from what you just said, you know, the moment you mentioned quantum mechanics and synchronicity in the physicists, like, do you get interest though? Do you just get blank looks?
Sky: Yeah. Um, a lot of, a lot of folks are really excited about cosmology or you know, the, the, the science of, um, what we’re doing in this world. Like people are get a sense of awe and wonder from that. And they really feel like they don’t understand it and, but they’re interested. So I would say the majority of people I talk to have some connection to like wondering about more about why they’re here and what the world, it really is put, we’re putting this place that it feels like there’s no manual. You know, when we’re, and we know now that we’re like at the center of this, uh, this on this sphere of the, called the earth in the middle of the, that’s huge. And in the midst of so many galaxies, we can’t even count them. Not much less. The stars in the galaxy, the galaxies around the galaxy are, you know, uncountable. And it just leaves you with a sense of wonder and complete like mind blown. Like what am I supposed to make of that? So I think a lot of folks really do relate to be able to talk about these things that I spent all my time thinking about.
Guy: Yeah. Amazing. And so how does one then end up studying quantum mechanics, becoming a physicist and looking at synchronicities and flow? Like where did that come from?
Sky: Yeah, it’s a pretty strange roundabout path. Um, most people end up sort of diverging at different points, but for me, I, I started out both interested in science and interested in my own spiritual understanding. Like, like who am I and why am I here? Like growing up with the suffering of my childhood, which was not that much, but you know, we all suffer as kids or like, why is this happening to me? Why is it, why did it end up in a group of people that don’t like me or why, why does my brother or sister pick on me or you know, it’s not fair. We grappled with the issues of fairness in life and I really ask those questions. Like
Sky: I got the message from people that were around me that like my Stepdad told me, life isn’t fair, but I want to understand that. Like what’s the inner experience of that and, and how do I make sense of the suffering that I see around me and the people that I see not getting along with each other and the problems that that’s causing in the world. So all those questions had a big impact on me. And I studied some, I was introduced to eastern spiritual traditions early on and I also found some other traditions on my own was high schooler and just blossoming into that world on my own. And then I discovered science and physics in high school and college. And it’s another way to study the fundamentals of who we are. Space and time. And you know, the great thing about studying science physics is the first thing you study is based in time.
Sky: Now, I used to be a teacher and the first day of class we’d take a ruler for these ninth graders and we would take cars that had a low battery and would move like really slow. And we take rulers and metro route with a stopwatch and a ruler, how far it traveled in a certain amount of time on the ground, just moving along the ground. And we’d find speed from that and we start to do measurements and understand what space and timer. So it’s the first thing we did on day one of class. And yet as a
Sky: studying, practicing physicists doing research, the last thing we come back to is, okay, so what really is space in time? Nobody really knows. There’s a great book that just came out by caller Rovelli, an Italian physicist called the order of time. It’s very popular. So these are questions that are not answered. And I gradually came to experience more coincidences in my life and started to realize that those were a spiritual experience, but that they must also be explainable by science. Like how did I end up connecting with you right here at this particular time? Or how did I end up bumping into my wife by accident when we were, didn’t know each other that well, but we were in Paris, we meant to meet in Greece and I got sick and had to head home and we ended up bumping into each other in Paris. And it was like this life changing experience that ended up leading us to eventually getting married. You know, how do those things happen there they crossed the line between spirituality because they affect us deeply in their very meaningful and science because they involve real people and things doing certain things in the physical world.
Guy: Do you think this, I keep thinking about those two terms, science and spirituality and um, for me, I kind of grew up with neither, you know, and wells, like it was just really nothing religion, nothing, you know, it was just almost like you said, just trying to figure it all out for myself. And over the years it’s kind of, I feel, I felt like there’s been a, um, almost a stigma attached to the spiritual world or realm. And there’s from a Western mind that can be like, yeah, just Whoa, what the hell is going on over there? And then from the, and then you’ve got the science scientists and science had the hardcore science, but then sometimes it almost feels quite mechanical and not a connection to something either. I mean, from your experiences, do you think, do you think these worlds are merging? Thanks. Thanks to, you know, quantum mechanics and quantum physics and the things that you kind of looking at or there’s still a big divide?
Sky: Well, there’s still a big divide. I think that, um, they think there’s a real reasons for physicists to be skeptical of the connection. And I validate and honor those reasons because there is, there hasn’t been made a convincing legitimate foundational theory, theoretical approach to what the world really is and how it has both spiritual aspects that we interpret as you know, spiritual and inner and meaning based and physical aspects like that case has not been made. And so it is appropriate to be skeptical and to react to some of the what we call in physics hand-wavy ideas like well so then in the end, you know, it’s just kind of all connected. Like they just saying that doesn’t actually connect the dots for people. And I think if people are not convinced it’s actually on me or whoever is in the role to say, okay, I haven’t reached you yet, so what am I not covering?
Sky: What have I not convincingly, you know, presented. That’s the passionate work that I have to do. I I want to connect those worlds. I think it can be done. And the work I’m doing tries to show that it tries to untangle some of the assumptions that the physicist make about the way the world works. Cause physicist make assumptions that reinforce their worldview and that’s a weakness I think that they, that we tend to have and so on. [inaudible] and we’re constantly trying to untangle those assumptions. We don’t, we don’t take them for granted. Like we know that we’re making assumptions, but sometimes we get lost and we realize that like in quantum mechanics there’s this assumption that’s made that we know that quantum mechanics basically says that any system, you’re not observing any object, you’re not observing, we’ll branch into like a tree of possibilities. They’re called the Eigen states.
Sky: So if you send like an electron through a specific type of magnetic field, it will branch into a possibility of going up and a possibility of going down. And both those possibilities, they sort of coexist in, in as possibility space. And the mathematics says that that really applies at all levels. It doesn’t go away when you add up a bunch of electrons to get a human being. But we’ve made this obvious assumption, this observation that people don’t diverge into multiple paths. Like when you walk out the door, you don’t go part of you left. And part of your right or a possibility of you going left and right, like we don’t see that. So there’s this obvious observation that’s made that that doesn’t apply. And then we’ve spent about 80 years trying to explain why it doesn’t apply and why quantum mechanics falls apart at the macroscopic level.
Sky: But by thinking about it a lot, I’ve, I think I’ve untangled some of that argument to show that it does indeed apply, but you never actually see those quantum branches of an electron. You always, when you observe an electron, you always get one branch. So the question arises, what would you actually expect to see if you guy were were on multiple branches of a tree? What would I expect to see if I was observing you and what I would expect to see is you just as you are, the question is what would, what would be, how would I describe you before I saw you? Because quantum mechanics is a study of what the world is doing when you’re not watching. That’s what makes it so interesting. And can you think about what the world is doing when you’re not watching it?
Sky: It’s a lot of assumptions, right? You assume the world is doing what it’s doing, but you don’t know because you’re not watching it by definition. And quantum mechanics says it. In that case, everything branches into possibilities. And so then the study of synchronicity is tying those together and saying, okay, when we’re, when we’re coming into the world into a world of possibilities, how is it that we end up connecting with one of those branches versus a different one? I love it. And then, and then depending on how we being, we’re increasing this particular probability intro live. That’d be fair to say. Yeah, that’s, that’s really well said. There’s a process that I call meaningful history selection. So we’re, we’re selecting out the histories that are meaningful to us. And by meaningful, I mean they’re, they align with what we’ve chosen. So I can give you an example of, this is just a really simple example of going to the hardware store with my daughter and I was looking to fix a sprinkler head.
Sky: I had this sprinkler that was putting off too much water and it was dry draining, you know, the water pressure from the rest of the yard. And I wanted to replace it with something that was like very low water pressure. So as a simple errand, but I get to the store with my daughter and you know, there’s like a rack of shelves with all of these different sizes and colors and brands of sprinkler heads. And my daughter is like six years old at the time and she’s kind of chatting away while I’m trying to solve this problem and getting kind of overwhelmed by all the options. And she tapped me on the shoulder and says, Daddy, Daddy, can I go? You know, look at the key guy, the guy who’s making keys over there. And I said, hold on just a minute. I gotta just wait. Just wait please.
Sky: I’m getting kind of impatient and trying to like concentrate on the shelves. And finally she tests me again and she says, Daddy, I say honey, and I’m about to get mad at her, right? But I looked down at her and she’s saying, well, this work, she’s holding up this little white piece of plastic. And I sort of have a moment of about to get upset at her. And then I decided to be calm and compassionate and they say like kind of condescendingly like honey, what I’m looking for is very specific. It’s gotta be the right size. And then I even stopped that and I’d take a look and I said, well what did you, what do you have? And I look at it and it’s a cap to cap off a sprinkler. And he goes, not an actual sprinkler head sprinkler head. And I say, well that’s great, but what I’m looking for is actually a sprinkler head.
Sky: And then I saw myself on, I realized actually a capital work really well. A cap would actually solve my problem perfectly cause I don’t need that pressure at all in that area. And if I cap it off, it’ll give me back the water pressure everywhere else. And so the solution presented itself through my daughter who had no idea what my problem that I was trying to solve was. And the question is, you know, where did she get that piece from? She found it in between the two buckets, just sitting alone on the shelf. So how did that piece get there? Into her path for her to pick it up and decide on that one and give it to me and solved my problem. Now I would call that a synchronicity. The whole chain of events and this meaningful history selection is about how in the moment there’s all these possible branches of history leading to where I am.
Sky: But there are undetermined right there. There’s all these branches that I haven’t decided which one is true yet. Decided is not quite the word, right? I’m not, I’m not consciously controllingness but when I actually interact with my daughter and she finds that piece, one of those branches get selected, the one on which that piece ended up to be where it was. Cause you know, how did it get there? Maybe some guy that day got frustrated with finding it on the ground and set it there or you know, didn’t know where to put it. So set it there. There’s lots of ways that history can unfold to bring that piece of plastic to where it was and then my daughter to keep it to me. So the synchronicities about how do the histories of everything else in the world unfold in meaningful ways so that I can interact with the most meaningful ones.
Guy: And with that thenbecause synchronicity is an interesting thing and I love the fact that like looking at your book as well, you know you’re intertwined in synchronicity with flow and for me a lot about with flow is being able to almost stay in the truth of who I am and things present themselves along the way and opportunity and be willing to be open to that. I mean how far have you taken this work? I mean do you live your life by looking for synchronicity and and living in flow and trusting that process? Cause I think for me personally it was very difficult to kind of let go of the old self to find these states and actually trust them and cause sometimes we meeted by things that a rational brain doesn’t even make sense of when we could dismiss it quite easily.
Sky: Yeah. Well sort of two ways I want to approach that. One is a story of synchronicity of being in flow and then the other is touching into what it feels like to be uncertain in life and to cause the flow really is brings up a lot of uncertainty. We can’t really know where we’re going to be next if we’re in flow, if we want to know where we’re going to be next, we’re going to get out of flow because that’s, that’s like creating our own path even at with disregard for what’s actually happening in the world around us and flow is about an alignment between what’s going on inside me and what the world is showing me and the benefit of flow is that possibilities that I couldn’t myself imagine become possible because I’m actually interacting with the world in a novel way. In Real, in real relationship.
Sky: But for me, living in flow is definitely something that I practice. And that’s, that’s really the hard part of this work is not just intellectualizing it and saying like, here’s the theory of how synchronicity works, but here’s how it shows up and challenges us to be more in relationship to life into people so that we can well, so we can be more fulfilled by those relationships and get to more harmony with each other. So there’s an example that I have of, um, that I wanted to tell of getting into flow. And so often opportunities come up that I missed because I’m, I’ve got preconceptions, you know what I mean? I think I know how things are supposed to go and I say no to an opportunity that I realize afterwards I should’ve said yes to. So I was in graduate school, I have a master’s degree from San Francisco State University in physics and I was, he was in that program.
Sky: I would commute by two and a half hours by bus to get there twice a week. And, uh, I was really enjoying being there and being part of the student body community of physicists, physics students. And there was a camping trip that was gonna happen in the first couple of weeks of school. And I was really excited about attending the camping trip because it was a chance to get outdoors with people and have a good time and make some bondings and some new friends. But I have a daughter and a family and we lived two and a half hours away. And I thought, well, there’s no way I can go on a camping trip on some weekend and compete with traffic and be away from my family or bring them with, with us. Like it just, it’s too hard. And so the camping trip was approaching and um, I just didn’t even look into it even though, but in my court, here’s the important thing in my core, if I took the time, the statement is I do want to do the camping trip.
Sky: So if we check in with ourselves and we, if we can get clear with, without these stories about why it’s not possible, like those aside for a moment and just check in what’s, what do I really feel? It doesn’t mean I’m going to do it, but what do I feel? What I feel is I want to do the camping trip and that’s pretty clear for me. But then two days before the trip was a student asked me, are you going to go on the trip? And I said, well I can because I just lived too far away and you know, and then I caught myself again, this is, this is a process that the process is, or acts l o r r a x. Listen, open [inaudible] reflect, release act and don’t give up. So the first step is listening, right? Listening to life. And here I was listening to this person and he’s asking if I’m going to go camping and then opening my mind, well maybe I should find out more about the trip.
Sky: And so I ask, where’s it going to be? And she says, oh, it’s going to be up at the observatory on Mount Baldy. I was like, wait, wait a minute. Mount Baldy is like 10 minutes from my house, so you’re coming to me to go camping. I didn’t even occur to me that that would be the case. So immediately I was like, okay, I guess I’m doing this. And then I realized as I got home that my daughters, there’s a second part to the synchronicity. By the way. My daughters had a birthday party the next day at a friend’s house and I thought I really wanted her to come camping and I wanted to be at the party with her and I thought there’s no way to do both. So long story short, when I’d finally inquired as to where that was, it was at the, it was a five minute walk down the trail on Mount Baldy at the picnic grounds the next day. So we spent the night and then the next day walks down the trail and attended the birthday party. So this is how flo can unfold to make life. In this case, it’s just more meaningful, more rich for me to have an experience camping with the observatory telescope with my friends, and then at a birthday party with my daughter and get to experience all of that. Okay. And what was really evident was that I almost got in the way of all that because I was afraid. Yeah.
Guy: And that’s where the uncertainty can come in. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Could you just touch on what you said again? Cause that was a question for me anyway. The Lorax cause I think it’s really great to have, like you said, to have an infrastructure to break breakdown. So you kind of know that you can lean into this flow state and not just kind of go with the flow, but say, you know.
Sky: Yeah. So the first two, two things I did there was listen to the, what’s being said. Yeah. Listen or observe or notice. Notice is a really good word. Like it could be, you know, um, I just lost my job. Or it could be, um, my spouse just got angry at me for something. Like any event in life can trigger the need to just notice what’s happening, listen to life, especially when there’s, we’ve got some emotional reaction, like some resistance thing. No, that can’t be that way or I’ve got to fight back. So that’s when we stop and listen. So listening is about pausing life long enough to then open our minds and opening our mind is important. Cause usually we come at the world, at least I do with preconceptions, you know, my spouse is angry because whatever, or I’ve got to defend myself because otherwise, you know, um, and so listening and then opening. And then once we’ve done that, we have the chance to reflect. And this can take some time and reflecting as a chance where we get to see how our own goals to really think about what our goals are in this situation, which are often not accessible to us right away. Like in a flash. We have to take some time and say, well, what do I really want here?
Sky: And in the case of camping, what I really wanted was to be connected to the students. Um, and to be able to go on the trip. And, um, and once I’ve done that, like I, I encourage people to have ready to think about on a regular basis. What are the core things you’re, you’re wanting in life right now? Like, do you want like be honest with yourself and be clear? Like, prioritize for me, I want to have a strong, healthy family relationship with my daughter and my spouse. Um, I want people in my family to feel good and strong. I want to have my work and my book be a value in service to people, into me. For me to be feel fulfilled with that, to do the work necessary. And I want to have my research, you know, be part of what I’m doing.
Sky: And, um, and I want to have close relationship with a couple of friends, you know, and whatever’s, and I want to make a difference in the world. You know, I want to follow things like the Amazon rain forest and the painful things that I really care about that are happening in the world that I’d like to contribute to. So, but that’s like it. That’s my list. So finding what are the three or four things that are really, that you’re working on right now, and actually you can even be more specific, like, like I named some really big things, but actually right now one of the things I really care about is get hitting a deadline for next Sunday when I’m going to be playing music for an an event like out of the next seven days. I want to make sure that I’m preparing for that.
Sky: Like that’s, I want to prioritize that. And so in the reflection process, I’ve got that on my list of this is what’s important to me right now. And once I’ve listened to the situation, opened my mind and reflected on what am I real needs and goals, I might have a different perspective on what’s appropriate action. So in this case, when I learned that the camping trip was near my house, I can see that it made sense for me to try and go. And then there’s a step of releasing, which incidentally I added later on in the, in the development of the process because I realized that at this point, even once I know kind of what I need to do, like I know that the campus would make sense for me. I’m still attached to not going cause I’ve been planning for like two weeks not to go.
Sky: So I have other things in my head that I’m going to do that night or I’ve got other reasons why it’s difficult to just pack up my, my sleeping bag and my daughter’s birthday party thing that was happening was another reason why I had to let go of all that stuff because now I had new information that required me to release my attachments in order to then make a new action. So once I’ve listened and open and reflected and released those attachments and assumptions, I can then choose an action. In this case, you could say it was to go on the camping trip, but you could also just say the action was to go home and talk to my wife about it and find out if there was a way to make the the the birthday party work. But I wouldn’t have done that action if I hadn’t have stopped and paused and listened to an open and reflected and then this process just keeps going. Right? It’s, it shows up, it’s happened. It can take 10 seconds or I’ve had, it had taken over a year for this whole process to unfold where I didn’t realize what the purpose or meaning of an oven event was in my life for a long time. And it comes full circle and I realize I’ve got to take some action on it. The key part is not to not to quit. So the x stands for, don’t, don’t give up on any of these goals. Just keep going through this cycle.
Guy: Yeah, that’s the beer. So I laid out and, and I think a is a couple of things that sprung to my mind when you settle. That is one, for me, it was being able to have the humility to know that sometimes you need to just be of, be with it. And somebody said to me a long time ago, would you rather be right or happy? And quite often I was always one to just be right. You know, and, and, and duration when you’re talking to me or my ego, you know exactly who wants to be right. And the other, the other thing as well is the, is the release and that having that detachment from something, um, can call, you know, that can be, but you know, when you fully, um, when you can fully like go, I often think about, you know, we live close to s uh, some surf beaches here and things and there’s times where you find yourself in these states and you can fully detach from all your worries, your problems, and you’ve, you find these beautiful states and then when you come out, synchronicities occur and things start to appear.
Guy: It keeps me in all and it always reminds me these things.
Sky: Well, I’m, I’m really going through that process of myself. I want to sort of feel into how that’s been showing up for me. You know, the question of mistakes I think is really valuable. One of the things that keeps me out of flow is when I feel like I’ve made a mistake. And the thing about mistakes for me is that they tie into really old patterns of what I learned when I was younger about what happens if I make a mistake. You know, I feel like if I make a mistake, my friends might ditch me if I say something wrong or somebody, you know, my parent might give me the cold shoulder and I’ll be abandoned or, um, so what happens for me in my growth process lately, I’ve been, um, so working on the next phase for my research and I’m trying to figure out where support is going to come from and where my network is going to be for that.
Sky: And I’ve noticed a lot of inner, um, you know, dialogue or, or difficulty or, you know, what’s the word? Um, noise and things like fear and anxiety and stress. And, and then when I’m, when I’ve got that going on and then I make a mistake, it could be anything, you know, but like, you know, I don’t say something right on an interview or something and, um, my mind takes that information and mixes it all together and says, well, now you’ve made the mistake, this mistake, it’s going to mean that all these fears let these things you’re afraid of are going to happen. And then suddenly I’m, I’m stuck in this place of, of out, of flow because from this place, I don’t have access to a part of me that is creative or optimistic or able to work and work with difficulty and have grit and keep the work going.
Sky: It’s a part of me that wants to fold in and, and, you know, give up. And this is such a key place where to get back into flow. There are tools we can use like the Lorax process or another tool that I find really valuable that I talk about in my course that I’m leading is how to really feel those, this chattering feelings of fear or anxiety. Because as long as we’re spending energy pushing them away, like if my, if my fear is saying you’re going to fail and be broke or you’re gonna be laughed at or whatever, and I’m pushing that away cause I just don’t want to hear it, I’m spending all my energy pushing that away. MMM. And so there’s a way, there’s tools that I’ve worked through that allow me to have the strength and the openness to feel that possibility and, and, and not resist what it would feel like to fail.
Sky: What would that feel like to me to experience that in my body? And it’s, I would say it’s a sensation in my chest. You know, I don’t want to use the word feeling too much cause people have different notions of what that is, but it’s a sensation in my chest, like actually experienced the sensation on my chest. And when I can do that, then I can breathe again. And it’s like I’m standing in a tunnel and all I can see is the end of the tunnel and it’s got this fearful thing on it and I’m just obsessed. But when I can feel the emotion in my chest, I can start to back out of the tunnel and look around me and realize I still have a lot of options and that’s when I can get back into flow. Cause I can see that, oh yeah, well tonight I’m invited to this thing and it’s gonna make me feel more connected to my community and more like I have more possibilities in my life and that’s gonna allow me to get more work done and to that’s, that’s the only thing that’s gonna get me back in motion towards my goals.
Guy: Yeah. It’s, um, yeah, it’s interesting. I always, when I, when I see the fee is coming up, like exactly like you say, I’m always curious now to try and be the witness and be the observer and have that perspective of looking at what’s going on in my body. And quite often I’ve, I’ve noticed that there’s so many well trained behaviors that, that start to come up. And unlike you say, if we become more and more observant and I’m not frightened to feel what it is, um, it’s been a huge difference. Huge difference. And it’s amazing how much we are frightened to feel something as well, you know? And then of course we make choices and actions daily to avoid those things.
Sky: And I think that there’s, there’s this really tricky switch of, um, I would call this a spiritual dilemma, whether you want to call it spiritual or not a totally doesn’t matter, but it’s a dilemma in or it’s a, it’s a mirage kind of where I tend to think that the real thing I’m trying to learn here is how to do x, Y, Z in the world. Okay. And how to, how to be more this or be more than that. And so I can be successful either in my relationship or with my job or with my creative work that I’m doing. I think that I know what it is I’m supposed to learn here and I, and I’ve got to actually kind of a story about why I’m not able to, like, I’ve always got some reason why this thing I’m trying to get better at, I’m just not good enough at it or you know, something like that.
Sky: And yet I wonder, and I’ve had reinforced sometimes whether what’s really being taught is how we handle ourselves when we make mistakes, how compassionate we are with ourselves, how much we’re able to deal with ambiguity and to be on our own side even when we do something which we’re afraid is going to undermine our physical safety to stay in, in the court with ourselves. And I find that usually what I do habitually is, um, I try and address my fears by beating myself up about something. Some mistake I made. I think I just learned to do that when I was younger. It was a coping mechanism. Like the only person I know I can really change is me. So I’m going to try and change myself so much. Every time something bad happens that it doesn’t happen again. And the learning then for me now is not too, um, not to try and fix myself in the outer world and keep just trying to narrow myself into a better and better box, have more skills and more, you know, handling things just right. This really rigid conception of what it means to be me. But actually how do I feel about myself and what I’m doing in the world and how, and because that actually isn’t really about me in the end when I’m able to be more compassionate with myself, I find that my relationship with my daughter is just way different. My relationship with my wife is way different and in all my relationships and all my actions tend to have more spaciousness, more room for wonderful things to emerge.
Sky: So it’s counterintuitive.
Guy: Yeah, I hear Ya. I hear Ya. I, I question cropped in Nana with your science background, I’d be intrigued to know what you think about this, but do you think, are we victim to circumstance or is there an element that we’re actually creating the, Oh, our reality around us?
Sky: That’s a great question. Uh, this is the beauty and I think the most important skill that I take away from the study of synchronicity, when, when I can trust that the synchronicity is working in the world. This process of meaningful history selection, where the choices I make, and this is how it works, I make choices because I have some kind of anticipated experience. I want to have, I want to experience being at a play on time. So I run for the train and AH, my actions are driven by some anticipated experience that I want to experience that influences the branches of the tree so that the ones that are more likely to get me to the play on time become more likely to happen. And I ended up maybe getting a synchronicity, which helps me. And so bring me back to your question. What was your question again?
Guy: So are we a victim to circumstance essentially, right.
Sky: So the cosmos then is responsive. It’s responding to the choices we’re making. And if we can see every event that shows up in life as part of that process [inaudible] then we can actually be ready to learn from life at any moment and in really meaningful ways. I don’t mean just making the boasts the best of a bad situation, but actually looking at situations and saying what I have to stand to gain from this situation is actually what I need to learn right now. Like this is the thing I need to work on. I just trust that because this wouldn’t be happening otherwise. So you know, if my, if I’ve got a girlfriend or boyfriend that’s breaking up with me, like it takes a lot of spaciousness in ourselves to say, okay, this is really painful, but I actually trust that this is what needs to happen right now for me to get to my next level of what I want to, who I want to be in the world.
Sky: So a lot of times is, and, and I want to present a caveat that I come from a privileged background. You know, I feel safe in my house and I, I have generally enough resources to make choices in my life. And there are a lot of people that don’t have those kinds of freedoms. Um, so I’m not suggesting that we apply this without any questioning to every single circumstance. And in science we take a simple situation like, you know, where there’s not all the, all the big constraints and we say, well, how does this work? And I’m trying to suggest that in general circumstances in our lives show up when the need to [inaudible] and our job is to look at those circumstances and say, okay, what is this showing me? Where is this leading me? And so we become not victims to circumstance because we actually, we actually are grateful for whatever the circumstance is and what we can do with it.
Guy: Yeah. Beautiful. Giving it a different meaning. I am, I got a couple of questions I ask everyone on the show sky. I’d be interested to hear, um, where the time, what’s, what’s been the low point in your life that you’ve had looking back later? It’s been a blessing.
Sky: You know there’s a lot, I guess I would say. Um, but I don’t mean that in a way that is victimy I mean that in a way that, um, you know, I think I certainly have a lot to learn coming into this world and I’ve been committed to learning it as best I can. Uh, I would say, you know, eight or nine, nine years ago, um, I hadn’t experienced where I was really, um, working hard on being a professional musician. And I was, I think objectively I was being pretty successful. I had a group of people with me that were playing with me that were really believed in what we were doing and I was building momentum and I had a set of experiences happened that triggered a sense of insecurity in me and discouragement. And I essentially just sort of pushed it away and was like, oh, this isn’t happening.
Sky: And I told myself that it just wasn’t working. Now I think it might’ve been working and I don’t have any evidence anymore cause that that opportunity went away. But because I stepped away from the opportunity, it didn’t come to fruition and I ended up going down a different path. So one of the things that I think synchronicity really teaches us, and that is really the core essence of the course that I’m teaching, but living in flow course is about how we make choices. We’re all making choices all the time. And at this particular low point, I saw two choices. One to just keep working on the dream I had and the other was to let it go because it just wasn’t working. And when I chose to let it go, that’s what ended up happening. And I, looking back, I have a lot of sadness around that now.
Sky: At this time in my life, I’ve reached that point again and recognize the same feeling come up like, oh, this isn’t working. I should have, I’ve missed my chance. And because of that previous experience, I feel a little different. I feel a stronger sense of determination and a stronger sense of self determination. Like it’s up to me. It’s not up to like the external world to tell me whether or not this is going to work. It’s up to me and it’s helped me get through this place of real difficulty inside myself, real self doubt and discouragement to, to discover a new level of solidity and strength that comes from within me. And I wouldn’t have had that if I hadn’t had gone through that experience nine years ago.
Guy: Beautiful. Beautiful. Um, what does your morning routine look like?
Sky: Well, when I started writing my book and I, I, I got really committed to writing every day and that was part of the practice that led to me having a book and getting published and an hour each day, like no matter what or more, but certainly an hour, no matter what, of uninterrupted time, 60 minutes. And the best time for me to do that was before anyone else in the house got up. So I would get up at five or five 30 in the morning and right. And, um, and I still have that habit. It’s not always, it’s usually not five. It’s usually closer to five 30 or six 30. Um, but I love it. It’s, it’s hard. You know, it’s like I do want to sleep, but, uh, I like getting up. It’s this lovely period of time where I get in flow. I definitely get in flow then, and that’s why I do it.
Sky: And so I’ll do that. And then when it’s time to wake up, my daughter, I’ll get her up and my wife will get up and we’ll make breakfast. And, um, sort of urge her along to get to school and then get her out the door and uh, get to settle into how I’m going to be creative this day or what tasks I needed to take care of and get into flow as best I can. And beautiful. I’m an early bird too. Yeah, definitely my best both part of the day for sure. It was 7:00 AM for this podcast as well, so. Right. That’s right. Yeah. That’s good. Um, if you could have dinner with anyone tonight, anywhere in the world from any time frame, who do you think it would be and why? You know, uh, right now I’m going to say Jason Silva. Okay. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Jason Silva.
Sky: He is, um, uh, a guy who is a philosopher and um, he speaks about the re imagining of awe and wonder in our lives and the importance of, you know, what I really feel to be true, that we are languishing in a sense of what is the meaning of our lives and where do we fit and how do we make change in a world that doesn’t seem to be responding to us. And he says, we do that by really livening a sense of awe and wonder in our lives. And that gives us back autonomy and a sense of purpose. And he does it so well. And so in such an empowering and connected way that I’d like I learned from him every time I watch his videos.
Guy: Fantastic. With everything we’ve covered today, like we’ve told a lot, what would you like to leave the listeners to ponder on?
Sky: I encourage what encourages me is that flow is a process by which I don’t have to sacrifice what I need in order to make someone else happy or, or solve the problems of the world. And I don’t have to sacrifice the problems of the world in order to make myself happy. These things all come together. Like all, all of the problems that we’re facing right now collectively are actually an outgrowth of not living in flow. As amazing as that may seem, it’s all a result of not being able to tap into what is my purpose in the world and how am I showing up. So the more we can strip away layers of conditioning as individuals and can come into flow with each other, the more we also create that kind of flow and harmony in our relationships. And that ripples out into the dialogues that happen because between nations and in Congress and in governments and all of those things are related to the way that we relate as human beings. And that is related to whether we are able to access a sense of awe wonder and flow.
Guy: Umm, beautiful. Beautiful. Is He’s made way. Could we, are we able to get a copy of your book? Like is it, um, is it been Audrey shipping from the US
Sky: Um, that’s a good question. It’s available in a lot of bookstores. It’s um, distributed by penguin random house and it’s available on online as well. So, um, I definitely have had some readers in New Zealand and Australia and um, so check out your local bookstore if it’s not there, ask them if they can order it because a lot of times they can. Yeah. And that certainly is awesome when we get requests like that
Guy: of course. And I use Booktopia as well over here and I think that ships, um, I think it should from the UK, but it gets you quicker than some of the Ausie, um, or the shipping companies as well. So.
Sky: Yeah, you can find out more about the book at the website, livinginflowbook.com. And I also have this course that I’m putting together, which is a video course which takes you from a place of feeling stuck or disempowered in your life and connects you with tools and resources to be able to make choices based on what your heart is really aiming for. And to see synchronicities as stepping stones to get there. You know, synchronicities that show up as stepping stones today. Like what’s right in front of you, can be a clue to how to get to what you’re after. So you can find out more about that at the website, www.uthrivehere.com/livinginflow
Guy: slash living in flow, will it link from your main website as well cause I know people will remember living in flow for sure.
Guy: Yeah. Beautiful. Beautiful. Well sky, thank you so much for coming on today mate. Um, I really appreciate everything you’re doing and I’m so glad you reached out and connected.
Sky: Thanks Guy. It’s great to make your acquaintance too. I really appreciate what you’re doing and we’re learning from each other.
Guy: Yeah, thanks man. Thank you.
Sky: Alright, take care.
Guy: Bye. Bye.