In 1999 the film The Matrix was released. It told the story of a small band of renegades led by Morpheus and the prodigal son, Neo, breaking loose from a synthetic, lifeless reality they called “the matrix” and the eventual collapse of this artificial and controlling system. Since, the phrase “The Matrix” has become synonymous with the toxic life path promoted to us by institutions, the media, governments…you name it. People feel controlled, mechanical, limited. Within many of us, there is another voice which deeply knows these limits are artificial and false. This voice within is facilitating a mass awakening as more and more are creating lives outside of this matrix and inspiring others by their example to do the same. Our paths have been filled with questioning virtually every area of life where there is a status quo or accepted way of living, seeing past that into a broader, more expansive truth. In this episode, we chronicle our journey through 8 very specific points of departure from the old system creating life anew fully aligned with the truth of who we are. These are 8 highly actionable choices that have dramatically expanded our lives, improved our health and filled us with optimism and excitement. These range from changing our diets, to taking a deep look at our relationship with material things to our daily meditation practice, seeking more powerful and positive inputs and much, much more. In an effort to help others understand the vast range of possibilities available to them inspiring them to also see past the programming of the matrix making more empowered and expansive decisions, we have written an eBook detailing these 8 choices. This book, entitled “Exit The Matrix” is filled with hundreds of valuable tools & resources giving you the power to make similar powerful choices for yourself (ebook download link in the show notes). In this episode of the Ownstream Podcast, we reveal our “exit the matrix” story through the lens of these 8 categories. No more does anyone need to abide by the old rules in our world. There are millions forging a new reality, a new earth, right under our feet. “Exit The Matrix” is our gift to those seeking support in unplugging from this old matrix, or way of life, and join the march forward towards a society based on joy, community, abundance and…limitless living.
Perhaps no other category of our society is in more desperate need of idealism than education. For many students, the schooling experience is one of severe anxiety and worry, of toxic and constant comparisons to others (via “grades”), the digestion and regurgitation of facts that seem far from being truly relevant to real life in our world today. Does this traditional system honor the innate gifts in a child, expressed as his or her excitement? Are we fostering innovation and inspiration, or are we building a dour workforce distanced from the truest sparks within? Envisioning then a new sort of school which allows a child to choose whatever path excites him or her seems to be of paramount importance. Along with a handful of friends, Abel McClennen helped found the La Paz Community School in Brasilito, Costa Rica some 11 years ago. Was there a way to bring foreign-born and local kids together, under the same roof, and build a school that prepared all of them for the rapidly changing world? Could this endeavor help the very diverse community come together? Could a school become akin to a community center, where all were welcome and encouraged to gather and realize their inherent sameness? Thus far, the experiment is working. What emerged in this conversation with Abel is not only a visionary, who is serving the world by helping to create an entirely new format for educating young people, but also a man on a mission, following his own excitement and passion. The combination is riveting. As you will see in this interview, Abel’s love for his path pours into his every word. His excitement is palpable. Perhaps then what we are witnessing within the microcosm of La Paz is the true answer to the challenges of the world. Follow your excitement, what calls to you, and witness what creates itself via this simple axiom. After speaking with Abel, and experiencing the wondrous co-creation that he leads, it’s clear that embodying this and passing this along to young people is an event worth celebrating. In fact, it could be the most important work happening on earth today. We are deeply honored to feature Abel’s story, and his important work, in our series. Enjoy!
We first discovered Bentinho Massaro just after our daughter was born, nearly two years ago. We were new parents, exhausted, baffled and in need of direction. Up pops Bentinho’s smiling face on Instagram and, for some reason, we clicked. We began watching and listening, and magnetized by our resonance with his message, understood that we had found a compelling contemporary translator of the ancient truth of nonduality and oneness – the teacher we had been looking for. In the nearly two years that we have been digesting his teachings, we have radically transformed our lives. In fact, this platform – Ownstream – can be traced directly back to our encountering Bentinho and his work. Ownstream had lurked in our hearts as a deep longing of contribution and excitement. When we discovered Bentinho’s teachings, this passion was released and is now expressed as this platform and growing by the day. Joy, love and profound meaning now permeate our days and challenges that arise can be met with truly effective tools for realigning with the truth of who and what we are – gods in human form (that’s right – and so are you). This perfectly measures Bentinho’s intention as a teacher – to help students find within themselves the truth of what they are – which is the ultimate guide for any person’s life, not any teacher, guru or other external authority. And so, we present this week, with deep love, gratitude and excitement, Bentinho – a brilliant translator of the truth that has flowed here on earth for millennia, but has been covered up and forgotten by most – and the particular teacher who reached us, personally, after many years on the spiritual path. In this conversation, he will describes in beautiful, candid detail his own experience waking up to the absolute truth of existence, how his calling as a teacher expanded from this experience, his view of the universe and man’s place within it and his most powerful belief of all: That anyone – including you – can experience this. Enjoy!
How many people talk about spending more time in nature? Yearn for time outside, in the ocean, forest, mountains? When we lived in NYC, talk of getting into nature was practically a mantra on the street. The thing is, while most people feel a call to nature, few end up spending much time there. Not so for Amy Schrift. After a heavy dinner out in the city, Amy felt a call to feed her body more naturally. That week, she discovered a living foods diet, and began eating only raw fruits and vegetables–a lifestyle she maintained for 8 years. Step by step, she reshaped her life in NYC to live as naturally as possible. She spent as much time as she could in the parks; learned where to forage fruit in upper Manhattan; shut the lights off at sunset; even slept on the floor of her high-rise studio apartment to ground herself. As she experienced it, something far beyond her was calling—she was being drawn forward by a deep force within and without, toward a more vibrant, awake, and powerful life than she had ever known. Through her, a new vision for her life emerged into being. Within two years, she was led to a parcel of wild, undomesticated land in Costa Rica. On the land, Amy lived for many years alone–or as she says “all one”–with nature. She slept under the stars without cover; planted and ate from the land; worked the fields naked in the sun; and co-created a farm and home together with her land, water, and air. Thirteen years later, the effect that this way of living has had on Amy is palpable immediately upon coming into her space. She brings a presence, awareness and clarity that are extremely rare today in our busy times. She is clearly at home and has become one with nature, its pace and rhythms. Imagine who you could be and how you might live if you heeded the call inside of you. There could be an entirely new person and a wild, open, expansive life awaiting you on the other side of that call. If you have ever felt a call to nature, and wondered how it might change you or your life, you will be riveted by this interview. Enjoy!
For Nazarah Merah, awakening from the spell of the “real world” needed to be complete. Various times in her life, she had experienced a profound blooming of consciousness, even having it penetrate her body causing her to pulse with the true force of God. But, this time, she was determined to lock into this state. No more would this be a fleeting experience, but a permanent feature of her life. The prior evening, she had been at a free talk given by the spiritual teacher Bentinho Massaro, and had a dramatic and powerful awakening experience in the lecture hall. This experience continued afterwards at a local restaurant, with other attendees. Following this, she knew she needed to find a quiet place to integrate, so she wandered along a stream in Sedona, Arizona seeking the ideal spot. She sat herself down, and again approached – and passed – the magical threshold of “the veil”. From that moment, Nazarah has lived in this space of pure awareness. And, it has moved her to serve in all manner of ways. It also cleared her of her prior addictions and patterns of thought which only caused her to feel imprisoned in her own mind. We explore this remarkable journey with Nazarah on this episode and how, to her, every experience has been perfectly orchestrated to trigger the awakening she has discovered. What struck us both was how accessible she makes this experience seem to be. She acknowledges that the “veil” is less a hurdle than ever before given various recent changes on the planet and that the main hurdle blocking anyone from this magical experience is…belief. Do you believe this is possible? Or not. The choice is yours. Enjoy!
We’re three weeks into our Costa Rica adventure, exploring and enjoying this gorgeous country. And, quite consciously, we’re considering this special place as a future home for our family. We’ve felt called here, through various channels. In many ways, it feels right and true to be here. Much feels aligned to who we are and our values. But, as far as a specific place to be (i.e. city or town), we’ve yet to find it. What we find interesting is how clearly we have been led to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and how, after being here awhile, it’s clearly not the place for us. What it is is another breadcrumb along the path, leading us somewhere – a “where” that isn’t exactly clear yet. And so, we are here in Costa Rica, actively looking and exploring and have yet to find a spot that really rings the bell. Sure, there is plenty more travel to come – Dominical/Uvita, Samara/Nosara, Tamarindo. But, we felt it would be valuable to drop into this space with you and share about how the quest of pursuing your dreams looks like after you’ve departed and…before you’ve arrived. We present here a very candid and true portrait – in real time – of a young, western family adapting to life in another country on the hunt for a place we can truly call home. All the challenges and conditions that naturally emerge when you go for it, but aren’t there yet. For people who long for another way of life, but who might be hesitant – we hope to share here a behind the scenes view of what it actually looks like. Our aim is to encourage you to go for it, but to also know what to fully expect as you depart the old for the new. Enjoy!
Quite often, the quest for freedom hinges on the clear realization of its opposite – slavery. For Steven Michaels, the pivotal moment came at a bank, when, as a young entrepreneur and husband, he sought to remove the last of his money to buy groceries. Last he checked, he had around 600 bucks. No money was there. After double-checking, the teller told him that his money had been removed by the IRS. Gone. From that moment of powerlessness, Steven made it his mission to maximize his understanding and experience of freedom and liberty in our modern world. It has been his sole focus for nearly 30 years. This quest to be “free in an unfree world” rather naturally created a strong interest for Steve in the rise of cryptocurrencies and, specifically, bitcoin. In fact, after much study and personal experience, Steve’s very simple position on this exciting new market is to invest only in bitcoin (and no other cryptocurrencies), as he feels certain that bitcoin will be the final “crypto” standing. In this deep and candid interview, Steve describes the many ways that we are not free in this society (ways we often may not even recognize or question), and the solutions he adheres to to defend and empower himself in this reality. Seeing bitcoin as a powerful and unparalleled new tool of self defense, he very clearly tells the now 9-year history of bitcoin, and its wide-reaching implications across our society. He talks about why it’s the best crypto out there for investors, and hints at how sky high he believes it eventually will go. While Steve’s general approach to life, freedom and empowerment is in many ways inspiring, a central aim we had with this conversation was to educate people about cryptocurrencies and, specifically, bitcoin. It is the belief of many, including Steve, that crypto’s hold potential for the most significant transfer of wealth in our lifetime, and we would like nothing more than for you to get in on this dramatic change. Enjoy!
There are 1410 miles between Fairhope, AL and Monteverde, Costa Rica. We know this because while interviewing this week’s guest, Marvin Rockwell at his home in Monteverde, describing his epic journey there from Alabama in 1948, we pulled it up on Google maps. Of course, the internet wasn’t at the disposal of Marvin and the small community of Quakers heading south from Alabama in 1948 on their way to Costa Rica. Nor were fully completed roads. Marvin and three other men had just completed a year and a day sentence for evading the American draft, recently implemented to staff up the Korean War. Deeply against killing another, the group sought more peaceful pastures, and was drawn to Costa Rica given its warm, welcoming climate and recent decision to ban their military…entirely. In this episode, Marvin shares his remarkable story. He also talks about how Costa Rica has changed over the years, and how it hasn’t (it still has no military and a strong commitment to peace, for example). We learn about how he and others started the Quaker community in Monteverde, how they learned to farm and make a living there, how they tried (and failed) to construct an airstrip, the various adventures he has had since and the one key element that has allowed him to do so many different things over the years following his own, unique path. Marvin Rockwell quite literally blazed his own path in the world and his story will inspire you to do the same. Enjoy!
Once you begin to question one area of life, the lies suddenly begin to unravel everywhere. Along the way, you are likely to encounter all sorts of characters shouting their version of the “real story” from the rooftops. When you find someone as eloquent, trustworthy and well-researched as Dr. Pam Popper, however, you grab your seat and listen. As you will find, she held nothing back in this, our second conversation (she also appears on episode #6). She starts off with a bang, describing her concern with the over-medication of Americans for mental illness, pointing out that the commonly held notion of a “chemical imbalance in the brain” has no research base. She goes on to call into serious question the safety and value of vaccines, powerfully illuminates the profound dysfunction and profit motives in our system of modern medicine, and concludes with critical health care recommendations that can benefit everyone. While we discuss some challenging topics, where we are always ultimately left at the end of conversations like this one with Dr. Popper is with profound hope, marveling at the natural power and grace of the human body. It seems that if we simply nourish it properly and avoid or eliminate the toxins that the modern world promotes, it functions beautifully, quite capable of living a long and healthy life. Certainly, this formula is playing out perfectly for Pam. She is now 61 and has no vision of retiring or slowing down. She owns her own gym and yoga studio, eats a whole-foods plant-based diet, works around the clock as a doctor and teacher (by choice and loves it), and pumps out two videos and a ton of content each week spreading the truth about some of the most controversial health issues of our time. If the truth about nutrition, drugs, disease and the human body interests you, you will hang on Dr. Popper’s every word. Enjoy!
For Natalie Sisson, doing anything which doesn’t feel good for too long sets off an internal alarm. So, some 10 years ago, after too many days of feeling “off” at a corporate job…she quit. What’s remarkable about her decision is that she didn’t have a solid plan for what to do afterwards, but took the leap anyway. What unfolded from there is truly epic: 70 countries in 7 years, multiple online programs helping other digital nomads, a very popular podcast, her own book and a vast array of experiences that many only dream about. And, as she describes in this week’s Ownstream Podcast, she mainly follows the simple breadcrumb trail of her excitement. She is comfortable not knowing what lays past the horizon. This outlook has given her the amazing ability to leap where others might balk. And, it has given her the conviction that others can do the same. She recently gave up the digital nomad lifestyle and now owns land in New Zealand and, with her partner, has a new vision of freedom and service. What’s wonderful about this conversation is that Natalie believes that anyone can do this. The path she has walked isn’t for the few. It’s for those who decide it’s for them. Consider yourself warned: this conversation might give you the clarity and motivation to decide to take the leap yourself. Enjoy!