From childhood, Stan Hartmann lived with a nagging feeling that something about him wasn’t quite right. He never liked the activities other boys did, and when he grew up, he took on his father’s business with great reluctance. He married, had a family, and became a Christian. Later, he remarried, but was never able to enjoy a sexual relationship with a woman. His thirst for God was deep, and even when he quit working to focus only on his spiritual search, and reached the apex of that search – experiencing full realization of the Absolute One – there remained an underlying tension in his human existence. He didn’t like living. Then, one day, his partner lovingly called out the elephant in the room of their two-year relationship. She asked why he could not make love to her. The truth exploded out of him: “because I’m not a man!” In that instant, years of lies and pretending revealed themselves, and shed themselves from his body like layers of unshackled bondage. Stan experienced for the first time the truth of his authentic self, the reason he had never felt comfortable in his body or truly joyous in his life. Becoming one with his authentic self, Stan became Annie, and with the veil lifted, embodied life took on new glory, joy, and meaning. Becoming her fully embodied, authentic self, she now understands the experience of life as the Creator intended in knowing itself in this way – the full experience of “God in a bod.” Most important, she says, this is an experience all of us can have – in fact, we are meant to have it. This is why we came here: to understand and come to know, through the power of contrast and with infinitely joyous (re)union, who we really, truly are – our divine selves. It’s not about gender, ultimately – it’s about the burning truth inside of each of us that we are holding back, pushing down, disallowing – a truth that is perfectly unique to each human being, and their authentic self. Annie’s story is truly about the journey of every human life – finding out who we really are, and embodying it, experiencing it… and becoming One with it. On the other side is pure technicolor: the wild joy, light, love and radiance of this creation. Enjoy!
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.
Sometimes when we begin to meditate – and especially when our meditation practice takes off – we may feel that we are living a secret life. For Rodolfo Carrillo, the exploration of his “secret” inner life began at age 7, when his mother introduced him to meditation. He had fallen, and was experiencing some pain in his body. Until they could reach a doctor the next day to treat his injury, his mother told him to sit quietly, and together, they meditated, generating a healing energy. Despite broken bones in his foot, Rodolfo experienced only mild pain until he reached the doctor the next morning, who was in shock at his calm condition. Rodolfo began to practice meditation from that point forward, and devoured everything his mother shared with him about the subject and practice. Living in a uniformly Catholic Costa Rican culture, however, he kept his meditation life secret throughout his youth and young adulthood, all the while pursuing a fairly culturally traditional outer path – making grades, going to college, and starting a career in business. As he began to work closely with family businesses, it became clear that his true life purpose would call for the merging of his inner and outer lives – and specifically, would require him to bring forth the understanding he had cultivated in his inner life to offer healing in the outer. He now works in one life with individuals to remove their blockages in this way, as he continues in his other life to heal family businesses. The bridging of his inner and outer lives is live and in progress for Rodolfo, who explains that he is still understanding how best to bring forth his inner gifts to maximize his contribution to healing in the world. What is evident from our conversation is that Rodolfo is a truly gifted, intuitive seer and healer – one who has tapped through his inner life into a higher power for healing than one typically known or experienced in our society today – a power, that when bridged effectively into our society, will be pivotal in healing the world. Enjoy!
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!
Born into a fundamentalist Mormon family in rural Canada, Freyja (then, Catherine) was taught to keep her head down and not raise her voice. At age 15, she entered into an arranged marriage as the second wife of a 25-year-old polygamist man, and joined his community. She spent the next 28 years raising 12 children in this marriage, and abiding by the repressive rules set for women, wives and mothers in the community. One day, she attended a training to grow herself and her work, and something awakened inside of her – she got a taste of what the full power of God really felt like and the vast freedom, possibility, and Power she had within. Returning back to her marriage and community, she couldn’t put away what she had experienced. She was permanently changed, and could no longer believe that she and her life were supposed to be so small. So, she did the unthinkable: she left. From that point on, as she followed her own truth and power, everything changed, and her life was set ablaze with magic. Having spent years in a loveless, sexless marriage, she began writing with purpose and passion about the relationship she wanted and deserved. Two weeks later, she met her new husband, life partner, and partner in life purpose, Michael. Having long been called to be a healer, Freyja discovered a modality for which she was uniquely and divinely suited to share with others – Integrative Orgasmic Healing. IOH applies deep sustained bodywork to specific pressure points that store physical, mental, energetic and emotional trauma to release adopted identity limitations and create space for a new reality to emerge. The results are transformative. For Freyja, where once existed a quiet, fearful, obedient wife, has risen a powerful, soulful woman, purpose-driven healer, loving and sensual partner, and abundantly joyful mother. She prioritizes joy, pleasure and purpose as her divine birthrights, and as the gateways to living her calling on this planet. At a time when women are coming forth to bare their repression to the world, and at a time when it is becoming obvious to most that this repression is, in fact, universal, the transformative power of this work for individual women and for our collective is immeasurable. We are deeply honored to share Freyja’s story with you on this week’s Ownstream Podcast. 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!
For a number of years, the freedom of living a simple and mobile lifestyle called to us. We’ve always loved to travel, and have felt the most free when traveling with very little – be it roadtripping across the States with little more than a few outfits and a cooler, or traveling through Asia for months with only 24L, school-size backpacks. All of these were very temporary living situations, though. When Stephen first approached me about living in an RV, then, I balked pretty hard. I didn’t like the look and feel of RVs, on the inside or outside, and I thought we would feel cramped. Customized tiny homes, on the other hand, felt very exciting, and I could imagine us building one that met all of our needs and joys in a home. Enter #vanlife. Learn all about our Sprinter van conversion build, and especially how we did it with our 1-year old daughter Sofia. Included here is our video tour of the converted van, plus many pics showing the various choices we made. Overall, we LOVE our van and highly recommend it as both an option for living and for long-term travel. If this interests you, and you have questions about the video or the post, please feel free to comment! We will write back and help you as much as we possibly can. Thanks!
Often we accept things we’ve been taught or told, until one day something strikes us as being a bit “off”, and we begin to ask questions. For Ross Lukeman, that something was the traditional story we’ve been taught about home ownership and freedom. That is, if you own a home, you have achieved the American Dream. It struck Ross as strange that people buy homes, believing this story, then design the rest of their lives around paying for that home – staying in jobs they don’t like to pay a mortgage, putting off the things they really want to do, and living that way sometimes for the rest of their lives. He also found it strange that he never learned about any types of “alternative” dwellings in architecture school, only the mainstream ways of building and making a home. So Ross began probing a question that gets to the very heart of how we live and enjoy our lives: What other types of homes are possible, and, specifically, what type of home will maximize a person’s experience of freedom? He created a website dedicated to this question, and traveled across the country interviewing people building and living in all kinds of homes he hadn’t learned about in school: strawbale homes, earthships, and even, vans. As it tends to happen when a person follows their natural interest, a calling emerged for Ross. What he found in his search was that the type of home that will create the greatest freedom depends actually on the individual – and what’s most exciting and expansive for them, specifically. For Ross, what quickly became the most exciting was #vanlife. He started living in his own van, and now he helps people do that – online course, van builds. This is how we learned of him, his van conversion resources that are online (see shownotes for links to all of Ross’ resources). If you’ve ever wanted to live more simply, build your own home, explore another way of living, this episode is for you. 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!