Follow along with the transcript below for episode: Practicing Kindness With Brooke Jones
[00:00:03] PF: Welcome to Episode 350 of Live Happy Now. The chaos of the world around us is creating an uptick in anxiety, depression, and an overall sense of disease. But today’s guest says we can find peace, even in the midst of chaotic times. I’m your host, Paul Felps. And this week, I am talking to acclaimed speaker and author, Udo Erasmus, who has impacted the lives of millions with his teachings on health, peace, nature and human nature. He has combined his master’s degree in counseling with an extensive education in biology, nutrition, and genetics, to discover a deeper understanding of the human condition, and how each of us can create a foundation of peace and harmony to discover better mental and physical health. Let’s start learning.
[00:00:50] PF: Udo, welcome to Live Happy Now.
[00:00:52] UE: Hi. I’m glad I get to do this.
[00:00:55] PF: I’m very glad to talk to you. But what we want to really talk about today is all the change and the uncertainty that’s going on. And obviously, psychologically that has created so much unease and disruptions. Can you explain to us why we find change so difficult?
[00:01:13] UE: Well, we don’t find change difficult. What we find difficult is when the change goes faster than we can comfortably handle it.
[00:01:20] PF: And right now that’s happening.
[00:01:22] UE: Yeah, because everything on the outside is always changing. Right? Everything. The sun shines, and then it goes down, and then it comes up again. And then it goes across, and then it goes down. Change. The wind blows. Everything bends, right?
[00:01:35] PF: Sure.
[00:01:36] UE: So we live. Everything on the outside is surface, is changing, starting and ending. And the rate of change depends on what it is. Nature’s changes are more easily manageable than the mental changes that we’re used to having to deal with these days. And so change is always – We’re always dealing with change on the outside.
And what most people don’t know, or at least don’t give enough energy to, is that in the core of our own existence is the only thing that doesn’t change. Now, we’ve been misled, because I know there’s a guy who said, a president who said, the only constant is change. Everything is always changing. That’s not true. Everything that can change will. That’s true. But there is something that never changes because it can’t. And that is called peace. And that is the foundation of our existence. And we can tap into it by going deeper inside than our mind and our emotions. And that same peace is also the container within the entire universe unfolds.
[00:02:52] PF: So right now, a lot of people are having trouble finding that peace. It’s hard for us to settle our minds enough. I hear people talking about I cannot meditate right now. There’s so much noise, and so many distractions, and so much uncertainty, and they have trouble finding that stillness. So how do we go about finding peace in the midst of all this chaos around us?
[00:03:17] UE: Right. Okay. So when you can’t find the peace within you, it’s because you’re in your head, in your thinking, trying to – Because it comes from the outside. You absorb it, and then you process it, and you have to process. And you have to give that some time.
But remember, at the same time that you’re processing, and having a hard time with it. Remember, at the same time, the peace that is the core of your being is not affected. Not affected by any change ever. It is still there. So if you’re not fascinated by the change, as much as you’re fascinated by peace, it’ll be easier to get to the peace. Reason why we get caught up in it is because we’re fascinated by it. And a lot of what we’re fascinated by is actually not real.
[00:04:11] PF: What is it? What is it that’s drawing our attention away? Is it because of the noise? The social media? The news?
[00:04:15] UE: No. Well, the reason why, our senses are attracted to change on the outside. And that’s a biological survival mechanism. We’re all made like that. Because the moment something changes, whether it’s visual, or auditory, or feeling, we have to assess it. Is this friend, in which case we embrace it? Is this foe, in which case we either run our fight? Or is this irrelevant, in which case we ignore it? But the moment something changes, we have to make that assessment.
So we’re drawn out to change. And whether that’s change on the idiot box, on the television, or whether it’s change in the outside environment. We are made to do that, because we have to do that for survival. Okay? But most of the changes that we’re tripping on, or a lot of the changes we’re tripping on, are just human created. Somebody wants to get your attention. They just do something like that. Right?
If I’m in a room and I have an audience in front of me, and behind me the door opens, I instantly lose my audience. That’s just the nature. Change attracts us. So we have to maybe look a little bit harder than we used to have to, to see whether the change that we’re attracted to, whether it’s actually relevant.
One of the easiest ways to do that, turn off your television, because they get your attention, because they want to get your attention, because they’re trying to sell you something. Turn it off. I did that when it got really crazy. I turn it off, and I’m sitting in my living room. It’s like, “Oh, my God. It is so peaceful in my house.” Right? But I turned on the television. So I actually created the noise box.
[00:06:11] PF: And let me ask you, because I’m a huge proponent of shutting off the news, and drowning out some of that noise. There are people who say, “Yes, but –” Then you’re going to be uninformed. You’re not going to know what you need to know is going on. So what would you say to them about how they balance that?
[00:06:28] UE: I would say, first of all, it’s changed because they want to get your attention. And most of what they tell you, you don’t need to know. The idea of finding ways to get your attention has an agenda that doesn’t serve you and certainly doesn’t serve your peace. But that’s sort of some other agenda that they have that they don’t even necessarily tell you.
So what I did, I used to be an avid news watcher, because I was always thinking, “Is there anything that isn’t covered by how I understand peace?” So for me, it was kind of like a project. And I’ve never found anything that is not made better by a little more peacefulness, or a little bit more of the unconditional love that life has for your body. So we are in our essence. We are actually unconditional love. And that love is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient in our body. And it runs everything, even though it weighs nothing.
I like that experience more than the experience of getting scattered and getting chaotized by all the manufactured change that people keep pushing in front of me. So I have a place, and I make it a practice every day. I take time to shut off my distractions, to turn off my televisions, to turn off my noise gadgets, my phones. I have one lying on the couch. I just disconnected the battery. So it doesn’t disturb what we’re doing right now. I can do that. But I can do that when I’m not talking to you too.
[00:08:06] PF: Yeah. So let me ask you. Let’s talk about this for a second. Because if people are used to being distracted, and used to having that noise, it can be very intimidating to suddenly go quiet. So if someone decides, “Alright, I’m going to unplug.” What are some of the steps? What are the next steps then that they need to take?
[00:08:24] UE: If they’re used to distraction? Yes, we are addicted to change, and we’re addicted to doing things, and we’re addicted to thinking. And then refuse sit down for a minute and you’re not thinking at all or you’re trying to sit really still and close your eyes, lead everything outside, and just be present in the space your body occupies. And what does it feel? That’s hard. And then people say, “Oh, that’s boring.” Yeah, well, then I say to them, “Fall in love with boredom,” because you’re on the right track. And notice how much peace there is in your boredom.
You say you want peace and you can’t get any peace? The peace is in your boredom. And you’re on the right track because you’re going deeper into your being and you’re out of the distractions, but you’re not quite into the inner light, and the inner sound, and the inner contentment, inner love that is a little deeper than that. So you’re on the right track, because you’ve already distanced yourself from the crazy world of change.
But we’re addicted to it because we’re so used to it. And it takes time to sit still and do nothing. Get really quiet. See how quiet you can become. And then see how deep you can go into that quietness. And then see how long can you stay there. And while you’re doing that, slow down your breathing. Make it calmer, lighter, and just experience what that feels like. What do you see inside? What do you hear inside? What do you feel inside? And when you get good at doing that, you discover that everything that you look for in the world, all your fulfillments all your hopes and dreams, you’re actually trying to get to that place inside, and you’re chasing it on the outside. And that’s why you don’t find it there. Because it’s not on the outside. For every human being, we came into the world loaded with it. It’s within us. Our wholeness, and our feeling loved, and our feeling cared for, and our peace are a part of our nature built into us.
[00:10:33] PF: And that’s fascinating, because not everyone feels like they’ve had that. And you were a child of war. You came into the world under duress, and not under peaceful situations. So you understand this better than anyone, that there are a lot of people who feel like they have never had peace in their lives.
[00:10:52] UE: Yeah. Maybe some people need a war before they take peace seriously. But even if you’re not born in a war, the discontent, the ache in the heart that comes from unfavorable changes, right? Somebody dumps you, or your grandmother dies, or you have an agreement with someone, and they break the agreement. And then you feel let down. You feel disappointed. You feel grief. You feel sadness. You feel loneliness. You feel blues. All feelings we feel in our chest. And that feeling is actually our heart calling our awareness to come back home to life. Because we were there when we were in our mother’s womb. I call it the Buddha tank. Right? When you’re in the Buddha tank, before you’re born, there is no place to go. Nothing to do. Everything’s taken care of. And it’s safe, relatively.
So where’s your focus of awareness? Well, it didn’t have any place to go. You had no language. You had no culture. You were just like a little biological being floating in the tank and the body was getting built. You weren’t building it. You were not responsible for anything. And so your awareness, or your focus, was at rest inside, in its source, in life, and behind that in awareness.
And you’re a whole, enlightened. Filled with light. Lit up from within. In peace. In unconditional love. And then when you were born, then you had to get to know the world. Your senses took you out. You got disconnected from inside. And that’s where heartache began. That’s where that feeling, that uncomfortable feeling in your chest began. It’s always there. Now we distract ourselves from it, because we don’t like it, or we deny it, or we try to explain it away, or we ignore it, or we blame it on somebody.
And what I say is, now, when you feel that, when you feel like when your heart aches, that’s a really good time to sit down. Be completely still, and just feel it. Don’t judge it. Be with it. Accept it. Acknowledge it. Maybe even embrace it. Because it’s the greatest gift. Heartache is the greatest gift you’ve been given other than being alive, because it’s your call to come home. Heed the call by sitting in it and this far behind it. Like less than a hair’s breadth behind your blues, or your loneliness, or your heartache. This far less than a hair’s breadth behind it is your wholeness. You can’t skate around that heartache. You actually got to drop through it, into your wholeness.
And then you’re back in that place where you were before you were born. And that’s the exalted state that all the masters talked about, Buddha, and Christ, and Krishna and all of those guys. They all talked about a stillness practice, and becoming present. The kingdom of heaven is within you. Right? And the master lives in that kingdom. The master is actually life. Energy is the master. And that is also Christ. And that is also solar energy. Because we are solar energy gadgets. And that energy comes through green plants. We eat the plants. The solar energy is stored in the bonds between atoms and molecules. We break down those molecules in our cells, that energy is released, and that’s our life energy. And that energy, when we experience it by going into that energy within us is the master experience. Experience the direct personal internal experience of life energy.
And like I said, you can see it. You can hear it. You can feel it. So you say in your darkness, there is light, and you are that light, and that light is the master. In your silence, there’s a sound, the sound of silence. And in your emptiness, there’s love. You’re deep enough. You experience some calmness. Your whole – There’s nothing do you need to do. We have all of that, that we think we need to be getting somewhere. We have all that within us already. I would say thank God, because if we lost it, if it wasn’t always with us, we’d probably misplace it. Where did I put my glasses? Where’d I put my peace? Oh my God! Oh, I got to find it. No. It’s already within you. And you only always have to bring your time inside.
Now, you have things you got to deal with in crazy times. And that’s important. But it’s also important that you take the other side. The confusion, the chaos and the peace, live within us at the same time. And if we understand that, and we get good at negotiating between the clutter and the peace, then we can literally go wherever we need to go at will, anytime we want to. But that takes practice. And we tend to go out into the world every day automatically through our senses. Coming back has to be deliberate. And we don’t tend to deliberately do that. That’s why we’re good at going out and getting caught up in all the craziness. And not very good at going in and staying in the peace, in the midst of that craziness.
[00:16:18] PF: Yeah. And I think something I hear over and over right now is people are looking for that calm and peace. But as you said, they’re not able to really take that time. They’re not willing to take that time. And so much of this is related, as you’ve said, to past trauma and unresolved emotions. But another thing we see going on is fear. And that’s the fear of what’s coming, and the division that’s happening right now. And just a huge tidal wave of fear is going on. So what do we do to manage those feelings as well?
[00:16:51] UE: Not different. The peace is still within you. The most important thing is to understand. The peace will always be peace within you. It will never be affected by anything going on in your world. The unconditional love that life has for your body will always be unconditional love that life has for your body, independent of whatever’s going on. And when it comes to dramas, and traumas, and all of the things that we – And everybody has a long list of those. There is not a kid who wasn’t traumatized in one way or another. Because there are no perfect parents. No perfect children and no perfect situations. So we all have that to deal with. And how do we deal with it? One as we think through. Maybe made decisions that aren’t working for us anymore. When we had trauma, and then we got caught up in the trauma. And then we play it to ourselves over and over again. Maybe the trauma happened once, but we recreated it 1000 times, right?
So we have to deal with what that was. And we may need to learn some things about to how to avoid it, and how to deal with it and all of that. But ultimately, we want to go back to the peace and the love and relearn, or refocus, to be able to live for life instead of always living for the memory of a trauma.
[00:18:18] PF: Yeah, that’s a huge step for someone to be able to do that.
[00:18:22] UE: Yeah. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.
[00:18:25] PF: Right.
[00:18:25] UE: The first thing is you got to know that that light and that peace are within you. The second one is, do you want that? And that’s really, I think, the big question. And do you want that more than you want all that other stuff? Because your focus is going to go to what you like the most. If you like change the most, and you like adventure the most, and you like chaos the most. And now then it goes too fast. But you’re addicted to change and to always be monitoring change. And turning off the television set is the very easy thing to do physically. It’s not supposed to be mentally, right?
And so what does it take to fall in love? If you spend time and you practice, you discover, you are magnificent in your nature, even if you got warts on your nose and hairs on those warts. You are absolutely beautiful, absolutely magnificent. The idea that dust, and water, and a little bit of air, and a little bit of solar energy can mix up together in this way for you to have the human experience with all its dramas, and all its traumas, and all its feelings, and mood, and thoughts, and creativities, and beauties, and uglinesses. That dust, and water, and air, and solar energy can have that experience. What an incredible gift. Because water by itself can have that experience. And dust can’t. And air can’t. And solar energy can’t. But all put together, the way you’ve been put together through a whole biology that took billions of years to put together, you get to have the human experience.
So there’s a reframing that we can do. But the more important thing is that we know, no matter what is going on, there is a peace that is available to us, that is accessible if we learn how to access it. It’s worthwhile to learn how to access it, because the world you live in is created by wherever your focus goes. So if you’re living from peace, you live and create a peaceful world. If you’re living from anger, you’re going to create enemies where there aren’t even any, because anger requires an enemy, and then you create a world of enemies. If you’re fearful, then you look for danger. And if there isn’t any, you’ll imagine some danger into being. And then you live by hiding or whatever it is that you do with fear, right? But we could live in heaven on earth if we actually did the homework, to come back home to ourselves on a regular basis, and then drag that beauty, that peace and that love into what we do in the world, and we create a world out of that. Why we have so much craziness going on? Is because we haven’t done that for 200,000 years.
[00:21:37] PF: How big a role does having a support system play in this? How important is that? And how do you create one?
[00:21:43] UE: Oh, well, that’s a double-edged sword, the support system. Because when you’re leaning on the support system, then you keep accepting and promoting and going along with stuff that is absolutely destructive. But if you can stand on your own feet, you have that peace within you, whether anybody agrees with you or not. Whether you have any support for it or not. The support you have is that there’s a hunger, there’s a pain, there’s something inside. Like, “I need that.”
And that power of you needing that, your need. It’s kind of like when you’re thirsty, what kind of support group do you need in order to pour yourself a glass of water? You don’t need a support group, but you need some water, right? And when it comes to peace in chaos, you don’t need somebody else to give you the peace, because they can’t. This one, it doesn’t come from the outside. Water comes from the outside. This one doesn’t come from the outside. This one is already on the inside. You already have it. It’s only a shift of focus of awareness that is a required. And the ache – That’s why the ache is such an important. That’s why it’s such a gift. Because if we didn’t have the ache for it, we would get lost, and we would never find our way back to the piece that is in us. So this is a huge gift. The greatest gift we have other than being alive is when your heart aches, is when you feel the need. But we don’t get it explained. So probably the best part of this particular episode is I’m reframing it for you. Greatest gift, calling you home to yourself, where your magnificence, where your awesomeness, where your life and where your peace live.
[00:23:32] PF: That’s really beautiful. Udo, you have given us so much to think about. And you’re talking about change. You’re changing the way we think about our own traumas. And that is really – That truly is a gift.
[00:23:45] UE: Right. But not just changing the way to think, but then doing the homework to sit and relax into it and let go into it. This is not a doing. This is an undoing. The thing everybody says, “Well, how do I do that?” Well, if you want to go to being, which is the foundation, because you can be without doing, but you can’t do without being. So this is the foundation. You have to undo. You have to stop doing. And that’s hard for us, because we’re addicted to doing. So sit through the addiction until you find your home.
[00:24:18] PF: I love it.
[00:24:19] UE: It’s not easy. And I’m not trying to make light of the difficulty people are having, but it’s possible.
[00:24:29] PF: That was Udo Erasmus talking about finding peace in chaotic times. If you’d like to learn more about Udo and his teachings, or follow him on social media, visit our website at livehappy.com and click on the podcast tab.
That is all we have time for today. We’ll meet you back here again next week for an all new episode. And until then, this is Paula Felps, reminding you to make every day a happy one.