Innocently, we can fall into a habit of resisting the experiences our lives bring us. We resist the challenges, the heartache, the struggle. But what if that’s where the juicy stuff is?
Author and coach Phil Goddard joins me to talk about embracing all that life has to offer, even when it’s painful or challenging, and the wisdom and delight that can arise as a result.
Phil Goddard brings a uniquely compassionate understanding of being human into his work as an executive trusted advisor, leadership mentor, and relationship coach, to help organisations develop teams in which people love to work, love to lead, and love to create.
Phil’s work centres around transforming relationships and leadership through developing a deeply grounded understanding of the principles behind our human experience and the nature of how our experience of life is created
He has worked with Hollywood actors, international models, journalists, artists, authors, film directors, corporate executives, and numerous business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs. A prolific writer, ghostwriter, and author of 5 books, he is also the host of the award winning Coaching Life Podcast, and The Loving Being Human Podcast.
- On the gradual move from the tech world and people management to coaching
- How in the absence of resistance to life, love arises
- How our search for something can often obscure our view of it
- What are compensating strategies for perceived inadequacies?
- On our entirely normal and natural need to be seen and validated
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- Book: The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
- Book: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Book: Tasting Mangoes by Phil Goddard
- Book: It’s Not About the Food by Alexandra Amor
- Book: Musings on Love by Phil Goddard
- Mavis Karn’s letter The Secret
- Book: It’s That Simple by Mavis Karn
Transcript of Interview with Phil Goddard
Alexandra: Phil Goddard, welcome to Unbroken.
Phil: My gosh, thank you for inviting me. Delighted to be here. Thank you.
Alexandra: And from such a long way away. You’re the second person this week that I’ve spoken to from the southern hemisphere. So thank you. Thank you for beaming your way all the way to Canada.
Phil: Only just the southern hemisphere, I think. We’re pretty close to the equator here. And yes, almost the opposite side of the world, I think.
Alexandra: Like if you put a pencil through the globe?
Phil: The American East Coast is pretty much, I know, from the time difference, that’s 12 hours, right? And I think ours is something like 15 or whatever says. This is what you’re saying to record. I record I’m essentially on the next day, and I recommend it. Today’s a good day.
Alexandra: Isn’t that a funny thing that we’re here we are in the present moment, and yet you’re on Wednesday and I’m on Tuesday.
Phil: Some deeply profound lesson in there somewhere? Sure, we can find it. Yes
Alexandra: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got interested in the Three Principles?
Phil: So probably, like many who even listen or have come across the principles I searched, didn’t know what I was searching for. For most of my life, I’ve got a background in electronics and technology. And my first career was very much in technology. I spent 26 years in total in corporate, a lot of leadership positions.
I loved those. I had my first team leader role will be part of a small team of four or five people in 1991. And I just loved that I had some responsibility, as we all have anyway, of course, but some influence as we all have as well over other people. This was a formal responsibility. So it’s really like from there that I really got, I guess, aware of my interest and curiosity in people.
And, I was doing all that stuff about reading leadership books, personal development books and stuff, but it really kicked off in 1998. A spiritual exploration kicked off then when my first marriage broke down. And my brother-in-law at the time handed me M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Traveled.
It’s a beautiful book because he opened the book with the line, “Life is difficult” and then spends the rest of the book explaining how once we can truly accept with grace, that actually becomes a little bit easier. So in answer to your question, I was on holiday in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt in March 2004.
So 19 years ago, I was reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. And I haven’t gone back to this line for many years. So I might have even been quoting it incorrectly. But it doesn’t matter. Because it’s a line in the book, which says something like between stimulus and response is a gap. And in that gap lies your ultimate freedom.
I dropped the book, and I’ve referred to that as my drop the book moment, like I was actually shocked, because I just in that moment, I am creating my experience I just saw in that moment, I’m creating my experience gives me goosebumps, just even relaying that story.
Well, that really started me looking in that direction, like who else has seen this? Who else is teaching this? I came across Michael Neill started listening to his Hay House Radio Show in 2007. And which I think is about the time that he’d come across the principles.
So I didn’t come across the principles. Then, when I came across the principles via Michael Neill, it was like, okay, what a beautiful way to articulate this understanding that I felt I had seen something. It’s a very concise, simple way of describing how we experience life, how we create our experience of life, and essentially who we are.
So, that was my journey into the principles. And of course, I think, I feel like I’ve gone full circle, I’ve had a number of times, which I will call insights, where it’s like, Oh, my God, I’ve seen something deeper since there was something so when was that? I say 2007-2008 coming across the actual principles, but even nearly 10 years after that, I had a conversation with Dicken Bettinger in 2017.
So I’ve been around, I felt I’d been around this understanding a long time. And I really got a holy moly moment, then of just seeing something deeper. And even since then, it’s like nuances to it. So, it feels like it’s been a long time. And also like, it’s only really recently because of the subtleties that we can see.
I used to chuckle at people as well that really come on. It’s just that simple. Okay, how can you suddenly see something deeper in it? Like the best insights or when you see something for me, it looks like the best insights, or you see something new. But there aren’t any new words was like, Well, if I told you what I’m seeing, I’m going to be saying exactly what I said 10 years ago, but it’s like, wow. Yes, that’s my story and summary principles.
Alexandra: I love that you connected your enjoyment of working with people in the tech world. And of course, now you’re a coach. I think that’s just such an interesting journey.
One wouldn’t normally maybe, put those two things together. But clearly, you were on a spectrum. If that’s the right way to describe it.
Phil: For sure. And It was only a couple of years ago that somebody who was coaching me helped me to see that I had been coaching a lot longer than I thought I had. Because right from the off, I wanted to be the best leader, and I wanted people to love me, which actually they did.
I would have either weekly or monthly, just very regular one on one meetings with people in my teams, and I did that alter my leadership career. And looking back, I can see, that was definitely coaching, I would encourage people to bring whatever they have going on.
And in fact, I think there was a time when I was a much better coach, whatever that means. But I was definitely a more present coach with these people. At times, then some of the times during my coaching and training. And a lot of coaching training in the US when I was trying to be somebody I was trying to, I thought I had to be a certain coach.
So, I can see oh, my gosh, I have been coaching for over 30 years, because definitely have regular conversations like that, some will be very intimate, but some beautiful conversations. But it hadn’t occurred to me that what I was doing, I didn’t know what I was doing. It was just one on ones where people just brought whatever they had going on. Well, that just definitely sounds like coaching to me.
Alexandra: Absolutely. Yes, for sure. I mentioned to you that I’ve been reading your book Tasting Mangoes recently, which I just loved. And so I’m going to go to a couple of things that I found in the book now that I found really interesting.
One of the things you say is that often personal development and spiritual teachings are actually asking us to transcend the human experience, but that it’s in the human experience that we find so much treasure, as it were. You didn’t use that word, I’m using that word. I so agree with that.
Could you just expand on that a little bit for us?
Phil: I’ve had this vision, this dream that we arrive at the metaphorical pearly gates, and if it’s St. Peter they’re like checking off his list and whatever. I think for certainly the first 40 years of my life 54 now but definitely, for the first 40 odd years I think I might get reprimanded.
“What the hell were you doing? You went there to be there. You didn’t go there to try and escape. You went there to experience everything that it is to be human.”
Having said that, I can also see that this urge, this desire to want to transcend whatever will perhaps we mean by that maybe I’ll come back to that. It’s also very natural.
It’s also very natural. And I think for me I’ve fallen in love again with being human hence part of my brand I guess you would say is loving being human that pretty much summarizes what I help people with so where is the magic oh my gosh an overused analogy.
Okay, maybe you want to edit it this bit out. It’s so overused, but it’s also so perfect like the wave in the ocean. The magic’s also in the waves, isn’t it right the magic’s in those in those waves.
I love where I live now in Bali actually is there’s the calmest ocean probably on the island. I love floating in there. But there are people out there surfing it in the distance and stuff like the magic of that. And, I think I might even say that there’s some magic even in the suffering. Gosh, I could talk about this a lot. I’m just trying to think well, what waterway I want to summarize because generally, I will be talking about this for a year in conversation with people, right?
So what can I summarize in a 30 or 40-minute conversation around this, I’ve come to see. And again, it’s funny how it comes right back to that very first spiritual book that I read. I come to see that once I stopped resisting aspects of being human, including suffering, in the absence of resistance, love arose.
Love arises in the absence of resistance. And there’s magic in that. And I think even that desire to transcend really is coming from a feeling that well, this should or could be different. I don’t know if this is right or wrong, maybe I’ve got completely the wrong way around.
And now when I get to those pearly gates, Peter says, you had it nailed on, you spent 40 years trying your best, I thought you’re gonna make it. And then you gave up?
Alexandra: Exactly. I love that, and I think you’re so right about it just being human nature, to try to avoid suffering, and I really understand why we do that.
If we just lean in a little more, I think there is so much beauty to be found there and less suffering when there’s less resistance for sure.
Phil: I think whatever we have going on resistance acts as a suffering multiplier, and that’s fine. Because I guess if I was to have any gripe about how the three principles are taught, I see them being taught as a means to reduce our suffering. Whereas as far as I can tell, and I’ve listened to a lot of Syd Banks talks was all really descriptive rather than prescriptive.
So the teaching of the principles was often used as learn this, and then you will suffer less. And I think that has come from a place that’s not the most helpful because this reducing in suffering, and quite frankly, it’s not like the disappearing of all suffering, it really is this, there’s something that eases around it.
And it’s like a contradiction that the suffering just becomes easier through understanding, as I haven’t done anything. I’ve not even tried to suffer less. I heard Aaron Turner speaking on a podcast a year or two ago. And he said, he can always tell when somebody is relatively new to the understanding because he’ll talk to them about the principles and they’ll say something like, it’s been beautiful. It’s been it had a beautiful impact on my life.
However, I still notice that I’m experiencing sadness, anger, anxiety, or whatever. Whereas he says that people who have been in the understanding for a while come to see that. Yes, that’s it. And the phrase he used, which I loved, and that I’ve stolen many times since his, we can’t escape the system. Like this is this is all part of the gig, which is the language I use, like, this is it, the heartbreak and whatever that’s all part of. That’s part of the gig.
Alexandra: It’s part of the game. I truly agree. I was going to say there was something I used to think about, which was that it’s like we’re trying to rig the game if we try to avoid the things that are naturally happening within it. And that defeats the purpose as it were.
I’m going to go back to Tasting Mangoes and ask you. There is this lovely quote, so I’m going to quote you to yourself if that’s okay.
“You just might find what you were looking for, when you notice how your search is the very thing that is obscuring your view of it.”
I’d love for you to talk about that a little bit and maybe relate it to trying to let go have an unwanted habit because that’s what we talk about here a lot on Unbroken.
Phil: I’m glad you’ve added the second part, actually, because that definitely will help in my explanation. So here’s the thing: If I search for something, my premise is I don’t have it, or I can’t yet see it, or maybe it’s detached from me in some way.
There’s a guy, William White Cloud, and I continue to credit him because the phrase that I heard it’s just had such a profound impact where, he says, was it four or five words? Compensating strategy for perceived inadequacies.
We employ, throughout life, various compensating strategies for perceived inadequacies.
I can see how anytime that I employ a compensating strategy, my perceived inadequacy or the perception of that inadequacy get strengthened by the action that I’m actually taking. And that’s happening at pretty deep levels, like that’s the message to my subconscious, because you’re inadequate in this way you need to do this, it’s really strengthening that.
So even if we are searching for love that’s how we had a deep psychological impact in us that we don’t have love. And that can apply as well to peace. Like if I’m searching for peace, that means I don’t have it, and that’s why I continue to search. And yet, because I’m searching, I strengthen the belief that I don’t have it done.
So that also strengthens my experience of it. So that’s really what I’m pointing to in that quote. I think habits, like overeating and stuff, I think there’s very often more to them than just that because there’s gosh, okay, so I know that I’ve had at various times not the most healthy relationship with food, sometimes I think I have it nailed.
And then I can catch myself using food as something other than nourishment, I guess. But it might be a moment, I might use it for emotional nourishment. In fact, side note here, I think we could wipe out obesity in a generation, as parents, if we stopped using food as a reward mechanism.
There’s a side note, but the thing is, food becomes quite complex because we have an emotional relationship with food, other than it being food, fuel, and nourishment for our bodies. So I think that whole overeating thing, generally. In my experience, when I’ve delved into this, both in my own experience and with clients is never really actually about overeating, right? That’s a byproduct.
That’s a coping strategy. Overeating becomes a coping strategy. So we want to look at, well, what’s the perceived inadequacy, the perceived absence? What is it? And it can be? For sure, like, Oh, I’m lonely, so I’m eating well, okay, so feeling lonely, completely natural.
What is it? So is there a perceived inadequacy that I can’t deal with the loneliness? So there can be many different things to look at there. But the overriding thing is not really it. It’s really what’s behind that.
Alexandra: Thank you for saying that. The title of my most recent book is It’s Not About the Food. I totally agree.
Shifting gears slightly, one of the things you come back to a couple of different times is your relationship with your dad and how getting curious about him was a big moment for you.
I wondered if you could share a little bit about that because I thought it was so impactful for any relationship, not just with a parent.
Phil: Gosh, I’m just noticing as well; even the emotion in me is quite alive with this one. Because, so I didn’t like my dad for all of my childhood and the vast majority of my adult life. It wasn’t until I was 48 that I had this moment, which is funny because I thought I’d done some work before then.
I was like, I’ve forgiven him. I remember a girlfriend I had years ago said, there’s still more for you to see here. It’s like she could see so you could say, okay, it looks like that to you that she was actually spot on. Well, I think the emotion, by the way, is because I just came back in Bali in February. I’ve been back to England for a few months and in Greece as well.
And so I say goodbye again, once again, to my dad, who’s now 88, like my plan and has proved to be valid for a year. So, there’s this thinking there, and it’s like, okay, well, I didn’t enjoy my dad. And in fact that he got really bad press in my first book, Musings On Love and I even used the term abuse. I had this moment of I’ve seen more and more and more and more and more the role of my stories in life.
You’ve probably heard Byron Katie says no two people have ever met. And what she basically pointing to is that we only experience the story of the other person. A client of mine recently when I said, there are six people in your marriage, there’s you and your husband, then there’s your husband’s story of you and your story of your husband.
And, then, there’s your story of you and your husband’s story of him. Like, there’s like this six people.
So I realized in a moment, I thought, I call this stuff going on, I won’t use a word that you might have to bleep out. Anyway, I had done all this stuff going on about my dad, and who knows where the thought came from. What’s it like to really be him, though? We had been talking about my book and stuff.
And I just realized I don’t really know what it’s like to be him. I can imagine what it was like being me in his situation. And I imagined what it was like for the story. That’s my story of my dad in that situation. And it was laced with lots of should and musts, and what have you. And I just noticed him. I never spoke to him about it.
I never asked him how did you feel when you got home from a long day at work, as four of us children, you got home and I said, I remember you getting home and having your dinner, separate from us because it was too late for us. And he would have his dinner and put his headphones on. And for 30-odd years since then, I’ve been saying, God, how out of order was he to just block out his family, right? That was my story.
He admitted, he found it tough. He found it hard being a provider, being really tired, and then expected to be there for his children. I have to say, I do chuckle at people who say who’ve never I’ve never been a parent yet. And then they’ve they’re about to be in that like, no, we get it.
So I just asked what was that like for you? In essence, what I was getting to know, we’re what we’re here; I could see his coping strategies for life and for how he was feeling. And realize, I mean, this is a phrase that’s used very much, and the principle is the innocence of that and just doing what makes sense.
And that leads on to something else about forgiveness, because it’s like, where I was coming from before was like, oh, what he did was wrong. But in my understanding, in my moral high ground, I can understand that made sense to him. So yes, I forgive him. However, when you have a real depth of understanding, I can see that he was innocent.
And therefore the condemnation, no, it was the condemnation, was unnecessary. And without condemnation forgiveness is unnecessary. It was like it just made sense to me. I just started to really get to know well, this is yet another layer, but I started to get to know who my dad thought he was. Because all I got up to that point was who I thought my dad was and who I thought my dad should be. When I started to get just to get to know who he thought he was.
Alexandra: Wow. And I’m so curious. Your dad is obviously British. So pretty stiff upper lip, I’m imagining.
Was he open to your curiosity?
Phil: I remember being amazed by it because I can probably summarize. We never had any deep and meaningful talks. We never had any conversations really about feelings. In fact, leading up to this breakthrough moment, I’d had what I found a very painful breakup with somebody.
And at the same time, just looping back to what I said earlier is like, I was utterly heartbroken at this breakup. And yet, at the same time, I could see this is cool. This is fine. Let it be, even the sobbing in the fetal position in my lounge. There was still in a level of awareness that this is all-natural, let that be.
Anyway, I got to a point I was around him one day. And he just said, Well, how are you doing? And I just burst out crying. I was a 40-odd-year-old man. And he said, Oh, come on. Now come on. Now, let’s not be having that here because that is that whole, like stiff, stiff upper lip attitude. And we never had any conversations about feelings; there wasn’t that affection there.
And there’s a bit of me I’m chuckling about that. I remember at the time, and things have developed since then, I don’t even know if he’s aware of this or shared that I’ve shared this before in other interviews and what have you. But since, like these conversations, I used to go to his house.
And I would sit on the sofa. And he would sit at a chair which is at right angles. When I go around now, and probably nine times out of 10. He comes and sits on the sofa with me. I bet he doesn’t even realize that he’s doing that.
Alexandra: That’s lovely. Wow. that’s beautiful. I think I resonate with that a lot because I can really relate. When my dad came home from work, he didn’t put headphones on, he drank. It’s the same impulse. We do what occurs to us in the moment in order to cope with whatever’s going on in our thinking and all that stuff.
So, I can completely relate to that. And the reason I asked that question about whether he was open to your curiosity or not – my dad has passed away now, and he would never have answered a question like that if I had asked.
It’s lovely that your dad has moved on to the couch with you.
Phil: I don’t think he was comfortable about it because it was uncharted territory for him and but he accepted that book with such grace when I offered it to him. I was excited about my first book, and I forewarned him. I’d written stuff in the book my first book first couple of books really were stuff that I’d written over a period of years, and I forewarned him that there’s this stuff that I have written in there and published which I would probably write differently today and after reading it.
He was so excited to read it. He took on board advanced warning of course and afterward he said I’d like to talk to you about some of the things in the book because he actually was something that I think stirred in him and this is what I see in all of us like we all do want to be known. We want to be seen heard understood and indeed validated.
And like, oh my god, how much personal development relationship coaching do we see that says we should transcend that overcome that deal with that? It’s like, no, this is we’re not designed to just live alone. And it’s like this is again part of the gig is to be relating with each other with nature and having those innate needs.
I’ve given up on trying to transcend hundreds of 1000s of years of human evolution. I have a need to be validated. I have a need to be seen, heard, understood, as did my dad so he would have never used those words.
But, I really honor him, and I’m so grateful to him for honoring that desire to want to have that dialogue because, up till then, it does need some time since he’s very stubborn. I am, too. I can see like there’s stuff I get from him. I don’t know if it’s generic or conditioning, but like I can be really stubborn too. He doesn’t like to be wrong.
That’s probably my favorite thing altogether out of the Stephen Covey book has habit three I don’t know four. “Seek first to understand, then be understood.” And if you want to know how to transform any relationship, professional or personal, if you take that, seek first to understand, then be understood. That’s that whole curiosity thing as well.
So, at that moment, so grateful because it totally transformed my relationship with him. We hug each other, and I have to say we’re so different. It’s not like, oh, he’s a best buddy that I love hanging out with like we’re so different.
He’s not someone that I wouldn’t be choosing just to hang out with, but what again, instead of me resisting how he is and entertaining all of my stories, right in the absence once again of that resistance, there is this very natural novelette the guy’s my dad and once we start on the thought train so once I started really appreciating oh my god, how hard it was for him or what a wonderful provider he was? Of course, he is.
There’s lots of things he did, like he disowned me for ten years, right? I cannot imagine doing that to my son and yet we discussed that he is talking about how it was with his second wife, the woman he left my mother for. Oh my gosh, that sounds like an impossible situation like he’s having to choose between his wife and his son.
Anyway, yes, I think we digressed a little bit. I’m just super, super grateful for that. I don’t know for sure, but I have seen it many times since that if I am curious.
There’s something in that, like, I can always go first when I’m coaching somebody around, they’re relating. If I want more intimacy, the number one requirement of intimacy is safety. So am I providing safety for intimacy? Am I curious about the other person?
Am I willing to go first? Will I be the change that I wish to see in how I’m relating? So classic, isn’t it, and it all fits together? So, just super, super grateful that everything led up to that moment? And indeed, what blossoms.
Alexandra: Oh, gorgeous. We’ve mentioned your books a few times. And one of the things I wanted to ask about was the writing process. You mentioned there that some of them were writing over a long period of time. Tell us about it, just tell us about that.
What you enjoy about writing? What motivates you that thing to share what you see
Phil: whatever’s alive, energy, I can be inspired by BS. In fact, I’ve written about being inspired by BS. It’s lonely, like really, whatever is alive. And there are some things I published a book, just poetry. I had this moment one day.
It was, I think it was, about 3:30 In the afternoon when I thought to myself, I wonder if I’ve got enough poetry to publish a poetry book. And so I then started getting stuff together. And by the following morning, that was published on Amazon. I’d just put it all together, put a cover, and whatever.
I can talk about that, like, with my clients who say, Oh, I’d love to publish a book, but it would take too long. Okay, we can do it in less than 24 hours if we want to, so that some of that poetry has just I can read it. In fact, Facebook’s memory sometimes just reminds me I can read stuff that I’ve read.
Oh, wow. And I can even see stuff in it deeper that I didn’t see when I was writing. It says that cliché thing about writing this stuff that can come through us like the genius, the true self, spirit, whatever names we want to use, there’s that there’s some writing that I’m really opinionated.
Just like my dad, I’m really opinionated about stuff. The difference that’s happened is I have a very casual, very light, humorous, amusing relationship with my opinions.
Because I can see that they’re not they’re not correct. That’s all they are. They’re just my opinions. But their stuff, I can feel energized about that. I will right and can be in a bit of a rant, I did something quite recently, actually, about some aspects of the coaching profession. So that was genuine.
And here’s the thing writing becomes just really the vehicle of expression. I noticed that there are times when I tried to write never worked out very well. I can, and in fact, a friend of mine reflected back to me exactly that it’s some of your writing is just like mind-blowing. And then I can hear saying, I can tell occasionally I see something your yours. I think you’ve tried with the hammer. You tried to drive to make a point.
So there isn’t a single reason why, right? It just happens. And in a way, I feel five my books a bit of a cheat because I say Well, I haven’t written any books. I’ve written stuff and the stuff that’s in those books I published elsewhere, predominantly on social media, and sometimes I written for online magazines a few times, and then I’ve just, like, collated stuff, put it together, and put it in a book. Interesting.
I’m noticing now there are two books that I do have in progress. And I’m like determined not to publish that stuff. I’m going to write a book, and it’s not going as well, and not finding that so easy. So I have to like to ease up on that and just let the writing flow. So writing is not really something I do. It’s something I allow
Alexandra: Lovely. That’s well said.
I was in Portland, Oregon, recently with Michael Neill and Barbara Patterson. And Michael has just published Mavis Karn’s first book. And so he told a little story there. He said he went to her and said, Mavis, I’d love for you to write a book and share your wisdom and that thing. And she said, I don’t know how to write a book; there’s no way.
And he said, no, but you know how to write letters. And so that’s was referring, of course, with her most famous letter to the children, the boys in prison. And that’s a collection of her letters, it’s lovely. It’s a really nice and really nice book. So we’re just about running out of time here.
I do want to ask you about Bali, and what drew you there, and what keeps you there?
Phil: I moved into an apartment in Ipswich in England. I woke up one day and realized I didn’t want to be in my marriage anymore. I’ve been divorced twice. And I was just so clear. So I moved into an apartment. I had what would look like the dream life, be a huge house, fast cars, eating at restaurants, and whatever.
And I had enough of it, I didn’t even want a garden. So it’s like there was this, I went from this huge life to this small move into this apartment, just for six months until I work out what I want to do with the rest of my life. And I was there for nine and a half years. It became a bit of a joke. Anyway, so Bali came up in a conversation with a friend. There were a few things that happened.
And again, there’s not a single answer to this. The predominant thing was that actually, there’s two aspects to moving to Bali; there’s a moving away from England, there was some friendships that had evolved to this or perhaps should come to completion would be much the most kind way of saying. These are long-term friendships to 20 odd years, 30 odd years.
We change, right? We evolve. And it just became really clear, okay, these friendships are complete. And so what was keeping me in England, other than family, and what have you? There was less of that. And, there was this thing in me that I’d always talked about it moving to somewhere warmer.
And then, I had a friendship with my partner. For a number of years, actually, we met in a Facebook group. It might have even been a Michael Neill group, by the way, so we’ve been friends for a while. And then, in early 2019, this friendship, we just became more in that we were sharing more, talking more.
And then we bumped into this point of like, well, we don’t know if we want to cross this particular line. It was never any, like, flirtatious stuff, but there was a lot of love and affection there. I just felt like there’s more to explore.
So I came to Bali predominantly to get away from perhaps some sadness, quite frankly, of things that had completed in England, and to meet this beautiful young lady who I am now in this life partnership with. I mean, that’s been very, very bumpy. But, there are the reasons really twofold the away from and the towards.
Alexandra: Wow, so interesting. And there is a section in Tasting Mangoes where you talk about the, for lack of a better way to put the pros and cons of Bali. The mosquitoes versus the nice warm evenings, the water versus the weather, the fresh fruit. So I guess that goes with anywhere we live.
Phil: I did that like, again, looking for a place that I could pour called Paradise. And I’m not really convinced it exists. But I definitely see that there’s a state of mind that that feels like paradise. But like all states of mind. It’s not permanent and is transient. Right?
Alexandra: As we wrap up, is there anything you’d like to share that we haven’t touched on yet?
Phil: I think we have touched on it. But I do want to labor the point because I invite people to really look at just how much time we are spending resisting what really are very natural aspects of being human. And what might happen, what might be available to us, what experience of life might be available to us.
If we just let up on some resistance. So here’s the thing. I know she won’t mind me sharing with you. It’s anonymous, but somebody I know has experienced what we would call a betrayal. And so she was telling me on a call, I hate him. I feel like I hate him. And I don’t want to.
And I simply said, Well, to me, under those circumstances, it feels like having those feelings of hatred is perfectly natural. And, yet, by then telling yourself while resisting that, it’s like you’re torturing yourself twice. How about you allow yourself to hate him to the best of your ability to feel that hatred to the best of your ability? We both laughed at this.
But, like, that’s the same, really, with any feeling that we have. How about if we really allow that, if we really allow us to feel that to the best of our ability, like none of our feelings really need a coping strategy? They all really do pass.
So, that’s what I just really invite people to look at to see what’s it like to stop resisting being human. And once again, love arises in the absence of resistance. I just invite people to consider what it’d be like to love being human.
Alexandra: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Phil: I’m mostly active on Facebook. And people can find my profile, I set up a domain, which will just take you to my profile. FBPhil.com can just take you to my Facebook profile, you can just follow me, I’m getting close to a Facebook friends list.
So I might not accept a friend request. But you can certainly follow me and engage there. My very out-of-date website, there’s my podcasts on there. PhilG.com. And my email address is on my website.
I’m always delighted to hear from people if they’ve read something of mine that’s touched them or even if they don’t, if they don’t like it. I’m also happy to hear from them.
Alexandra: That’s generous of you. Thank you so much, Phil, for being on the show. I really appreciate it.
Phil: Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with you. I’ve liked being this side of the whole podcast set up, so thank you very much. Thank you. Good.
Alexandra: Oh, you’re very welcome. Take care. Bye.