We often find ourselves rediscovering life in some way. I had the pleasure to speak with Eric Bedell in this episode about how we can rediscover ourselves. You will find much value in today’s episode, I do hope you enjoy it.
When you connect with Eric rediscovering life can be much easier. Rediscovering life should never be as hard as many of us tend to make that journey. Start rediscovering life today with a man that has been in the trenches and survived to help others achieve in life.
Links for Eric
[00:00:00] Ed Watters: To overcome you
[00:00:09] must educate.
[00:00:12] Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn we must challenge what we already understand. The way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself.
[00:00:47] Reach out and challenge yourself. Let’s dive in and learn something right now.
[00:00:58] Today we are with Eric Bedell, he is a holistic development coach. Eric, could you please introduce yourself and give a little background about yourself please?
[00:01:11] Eric Bedell: Yeah. First off, I appreciate you having me on Ed, uh, I’ve been looking forward to having this chat. And wherever the dialogue leads us, I’m excited about it.
[00:01:19] Um, a little bit about myself, I am based in Brooklyn. I grew up on Long Island in New York, kind of bounced around, lived upstate, uh, for a bit, but I’ve been in Brooklyn for a little, permanent residence anyway, for two years. Um, I’ve got a pretty strong family unit, which is, uh, come in, definitely come in handy in the last two years worth of a world
[00:01:46] sort of, uh, let’s say challenges. I guess we could, we could leave it there. Um, it’s been nice having, having some stable support, my background, so like you said, I’m a holistic development coach [00:02:00] and I kind of got into this, uh, in a very roundabout way. I, I struggled with, um, body image issues when I was young, severe bullying.
[00:02:13] I was kicked off of sports teams, uh, because parents of the kids, my own age were afraid I’d injure them because I was overweight. I got bullied as a result of that, of my weight. Ended up changing bus routes and the whole, the whole nine, kind of followed me for a bunch of years until I discovered, I took matters into my own hands dove head first into what I thought would be the solution, which is getting thin, had a fairly good battle with anorexia.
[00:02:46] Um, and that kind of like, that kind of like informed a lot of the rest of my life in terms of seeking solutions for how to feel, let’s say better in my own skin, how to, uh, show up as myself. And that really was the kickstart, but whole bunch of other things happen that I’m sure we’ll get into. From there went to personal training, went into other areas of personal development, ran a concert venue toward, uh, a handful of about two dozen other countries, uh, playing, playing music primarily like punk rock drumming, really bounced around and went through a pretty crazy divorce, which I found the only helpful thing,
[00:03:35] um, or I would say the most helpful thing in that scenario was getting coaching and getting introduced to coaching. And, uh, that’s kind of what inspired me to change gears again and dedicate myself to becoming a coach. That’s a pretty good run on introduction, but hoping that, that satisfies a little bit here and we can, we can use that as some kindling.
[00:03:58] Ed Watters: Being in a [00:04:00] band, especially a rock band,
[00:04:01] I’m sure you’ve had your moments out there in the world. And that, that entails a lot of the times drug abuse, uh, alcohol abuse, uh, sexual abuse, a lot of things, you know, I, I hung around and worked with a rock band. I had a rock band play at my wedding reception, so I, I’m well aware of, uh, how bands can be.
[00:04:33] It’s kind of awesome and cool lifestyle. I’m not ashamed of where I came from, but yet I don’t indulge like I used to in those lifestyles. How, how has that type of environment affected who you are today?
[00:04:55] Eric Bedell: Oh, tremendously, tremendously. I mean, I, first off, I appreciate, I like hearing that, um, and how close you’ve come to that, to that lifestyle. So we can really have a conversation, uh, where I, where I know we’re both kind of aligned on like, understanding what goes into that. And like you said, the drug, alcohol, sexual, whatever, whatever other abuses can show up, they often do, um, in the, in that world.
[00:05:24] So how did that, let’s see, I mean, that absolutely informed who I am today, for sure. Um, not only who I am, but how I show up as a coach, how I show up in my relationships. Because a lot of those things, um, It was, um, it was a very long multi-year battle, but like you said, I also don’t indulge to the same degree I used to.
[00:05:52] And that’s because I, I learned that what I was really after in my life, a lot of [00:06:00] those let’s say vices, uh, were taking me further from it. And so in terms of just what, whatever, whatever area of life we’re talking about, a lot of those things were taking me further, including the ones that I thought they were benefiting at the time, like, you know, creativity and adventure, you know, just, uh, exploration.
[00:06:23] But the truth is when you’re hung over all the time and you feel like shit from indulging in some of these things, it’s really hard to enjoy some of that stuff and be conscious. Uh, you know, it’s just, yeah, I think that’s really it. That’s a great way to kick it back to.
[00:06:42] Ed Watters: Uh, I’ve been at parties after work that ended up being, you know, you’ve got two hours to be to work.
[00:06:52] So you work all day, all night and then you party until two hours before work. And somehow I never got hurt or anybody else around me never got hurt. Uh there’s, there’s many times I look back at some of my indulgent lifestyles and say, wow, how did I live through that? You know, because I, I really suffered from that, you know, lonely heart syndrome where I needed to be accepted
[00:07:26] and if I wasn’t part of the crowd, I wasn’t gonna be accepted. And there’s a lot of mentality that we play with developing ourself, this mental burdens that we put on ourselves sometimes is kind of ignorant really and stupid. Uh, but we all tend to go through that before we look inward and find ourselves and say, Hey, this is [00:08:00] not who or what I really want to be.
[00:08:03] I enjoy it, I like it, I enjoy the people, but I kind of want something else. Have you had that feeling? And if so, when did you get to that point?
[00:08:21] Eric Bedell: That’s a great question. Uh, yeah, the, I mean the short answer is yes, absolutely. I’m trying to think of where to answer this, what angle to answer this from. But maybe from personal experience, first, definitely went through my own, my own, I don’t know what the word I want to use here. Is my own, uh, self reflective moments, those pauses to assess really what, um, what I was going for, you know, outside of what the social landscape may be suggesting I go for. Or even, uh, indoctrinating to some degree with, with what is expected to be done in one person’s life.
[00:09:04] But so I guess the short answer is, um, you know, I identified as a, I don’t know, let’s say a radical and anti-establishment radical punk from the time I was like 15, uh, from, from around 14, 15 and on. I sort of found that, especially as I was, in the intro is explaining some of this like body image and disordered eating struggles that I faced. The punk rock community,
[00:09:36] especially at that time when I found it, was, it was like a beacon of hope. Like I could, uh, just show up as whoever I was, and I could figure out who I was in this sort of safety capsule. But alongside that was just, uh, you know, the rejection of conventional living. And so like, even when I was younger, I remember [00:10:00] going like, well, who the hell am I outside of what I’m told I should be?
[00:10:03] And what I should do, like you said, to, uh, to feel accepted, that was like probably the first time. But you know, it, it came, there was an ebb and flow throughout the next, um, 15 years or so let’s say. And then I really like, everything came to the surface when I, when I went through my divorce and I was with my partner of 11 years. Um, she, um, had been going through a lot of
[00:10:37] mental health challenges let’s say. And, um, ultimately, you know, what, what came to light was that she needed to explore her sexual preferences. And, uh, so she fell in love with another woman. And I, it was the, the first really, really big experience of, of, uh, understanding that in a lot of times in our lives, we have zero control over the outcome, or it can feel like that.
[00:11:06] And, uh, that I looked at myself where I no longer had someone to, you know, want, like, in your words before, it’s like, want to be accepted and be longing for that acceptance and, um, playing in the social, um, exchange. Uh, it was like, I, I just didn’t, I had no idea who I was and that set me on this course to becoming a coach. Because
[00:11:35] as I started to try really, really hard to figure out who I was, some things started to come to light that I really liked about what was deeper in there that I either ignored or never paid much attention to. Yeah. That’s a pretty long answer there, but yeah.
[00:11:52] Ed Watters: Alright, we love long answers, Eric, that, uh, searching it, it goes on forever.
[00:11:59] I mean, [00:12:00] I’m now about 56 and my wife and I, we have been married for 36 and been together 38 years. And through those,
[00:12:14] Eric Bedell: Congratulations.
[00:12:16] Ed Watters: Thank you. You know, we met at 17. At 17, I was a wild child I’ll tell ya. I told her I’m gonna be dead at 25, you know, you sure you want to go on this ride? And, uh, I come from a Hellbound family, you know, we, we just had it in our blood that it was all about hell raising.
[00:12:41] And we had bikers, biker gangs roll up on the front lawn all the time, you know, it’s party time. And then, uh, yeah, so many different environments that I’ve been surrounded in as a child. My mother and father, they separated a couple times, you know, and I watched these women who were supposed to be my mother, my aunts
[00:13:12] these things in life that we all
[00:13:16] deal with, you know, and for many, many years I struggled with, well, why are you partying? And we’re barely making it over here, you know? And these struggles that build us, like you were talking about, they develope some darn good coaches. Now with my experience, I’ve went to different counselors and I’ve noticed there’s a lot of book counselors.
[00:13:46] And then there’s those trench counselors that get in the trench. They’ve been there, they’ve experienced life in these manners that you have experienced. These are the [00:14:00] people that change your lives. Talk to us about how you interact with people with your coaching. How do you get people involved?
[00:14:11] Eric Bedell: First off that’s a, that’s a great, that’s a great question.
[00:14:14] And I also, I, I love the, the sort of, uh, metaphor there of this, like the distinction between counselors, coaches, let’s say just, you know, service providers of, of like the, the, the distinction of like, what happens when it’s like a trench, a trench counselor. Um,
[00:14:39] I would say, I would say that, um, having gone through the number of things I’ve gone through, um, it, it allows me to connect with people, uh, in different, in different ways. Mainly I think that the biggest thing that’s, that’s useful with being, let’s, like to use your word, a trench, a trench coach. Is that, um,
[00:15:10] sometimes, sometimes when you’re seeking some type of mental or emotional support and assistance, you can, it’s, it’s easy to slip into this, um, the sense of like, well, I’m the fucked up one here. I’m the one that needs help. And, um, there’s something unbelievably humanizing when you can share with a client a difficulty or challenge that you have also experienced or faced in your life.
[00:15:40] There’s something really humanizing about that and it creates like a really strong rapport with people and, and to trust that, oh, okay, well, this is like a person that’s been through some stuff. I feel like my stuff, you know, it’s just, it’s just my stuff, you know, instead of I’m the only one that has challenges and you may never understand [00:16:00] me kind of an outlook. I think,
[00:16:02] I think that’s one way it really helps. But, but I also, I think it’s really important, I should throw a caveat there, because I think it’s, for me, especially my profession of coaching, I don’t try to disclose my, I don’t try to do that too often. Only when it really feels necessary because sometimes there’s two things that happen.
[00:16:25] One, the sort of human possible characteristic of comparison might show up and now it could feel like me and my client are comparing who had crazier challenges to overcome, um, which is not a game you ever want to play with anyone, um, right. And I think the other thing that could happen too is, um, It needs to also stay in a position where, where we are at just friends having a conversation and talking about the crazy shit we’ve been through.
[00:17:02] There needs to be a respect for the container that of coach and coachee and not in terms of hierarchy. That’s not what I mean, but in terms of, you know, understanding that like, Hey, you’re paying me to do this and by paying me, I’m holding this space for you to transform into whatever the hell you, you feel you need and want to transform into.
[00:17:25] And sometimes when you start sharing stories to the, like, too far of a degree, you can lose the appreciation for the, for that sort of distinction.
[00:17:34] Ed Watters: That’s very professional and that is a good coach when you can distinguish, Hey, we’re here for a session, not a friendship that, that’s unique. But a lot of people can just feel and recognize automatically that they’re dealing with somebody of a caliber. In your work[00:18:00]
[00:18:00] you talk about breath work. I’ve often heard about breath work, what does that mean to you and how does it help your coaching?
[00:18:20] Eric Bedell: I’m likely pretty late to the breath work game in terms of, you know, the fringe holistic health practitioners. And, and if we’re being real honest with ourselves, we’re all late to the game because a lot of these practices are thousands of years old, uh, taken from a lot of, sort of really old texts and, uh, adapted for modern understanding, let’s say. But even, even still, um, I still don’t think it has enough appreciation for its power and its simplicity.
[00:18:57] Um, the breath is one of the few tools that connect both to the autonomic nervous system, right? Where like the things that run themselves and the, the parts of our nervous system that we have control over. And being that, that, that being the case, like that means that well, like, there is a reason for that.
[00:19:22] That’s not an accident, that is not a, an evolutionary, uh, you know, misstep, that’s very intentional. Like why, why would the breath be able, why, how, why should you be able to have conscious deliberate control over your breath? And, you know, there’s a, there’s a whole bunch of reasons why that, you know, we can speculate why that’s the case based on anthropology and all sorts of other stuff.
[00:19:44] But without having to go too far into the why is that the case? We can say, well, what’s useful about that? And what is amazing is when you start to look at all of the breathing, uh, the breathing, uh, research, [00:20:00] uh, and I think for a really good, like surface level read for anyone that’s interested in
[00:20:04] anything I’m talking about right now, uh, is that, I think it was a New York times bestseller for quite a bit, uh, came out maybe 2019 or so. Um, James Nestor wrote a book called Breath and he does a great job of like, going through and talking about the anthropological, um, markers of, of ways of breathing and how it impacts our physical body.
[00:20:32] Um, what’s possible with certain approaches to breath work. Uh, so that’s a cool place for people to start, but to more, to more like try to zero in on your question, like how do I incorporate that into coaching? Um, like a real simple example here is when you are in a stressed, closed off, you know, either fight, flight, flee, freeze type scenario,
[00:21:02] if you were to be able to bring some mindfulness, mindfulness to it, you might recognize that you’re breathing super fast. There’s a rapid pace for breathing and you’re likely breathing through your mouth. Um, and that’s for a number of, you know, biological reasons too, right? When we’re going through the mouth, there’s a, there’s a, a much faster uptake and release time.
[00:21:25] Um, it doesn’t get, it doesn’t have to go through the filters of your nose, um, all of, all of these things can happen. And that basically kicks on, that, that’s an easy way to activate your sympathetic nervous system, which is basically like, Hey, we got to do work, like we got stuff to do, we got to be on the lookout. Um, versus breathing through your, like a very simple switch is just intentionally closing your mouth and breathing through your nose.
[00:21:54] Um, there’s so much physiological stuff that happens with that. Uh, and the [00:22:00] reason it’s effective in coaching is that when you just ask someone to breathe through the nose, they cannot breathe as fast. It’s very difficult for someone to like breathe quickly, rapidly, shallow through the nose.
[00:22:15] There’s a lot more, um, there’s a lot more like, I would say mindfulness that comes into play as soon as you do an action like that. And what that allows is the body to switch from sympathetic, you know, excitation into parasympathetic, which is recovery, relaxation, openness. And when that happens in a coaching session, it changes the relationship between the coach and the coachee.
[00:22:40] It often allows the coachee, you know, the person getting coached to be more willing to talk through something that’s uncomfortable, but honest to themselves, they may be more willing to be vulnerable and talk through some dark shit that they would have normally closed off in a, you know, a knee-jerk kind of rejection kind of mode.
[00:23:04] Uh, so that’s, that’s one of the best tools that I’ve found to, to use it among, there’s a whole bunch of others that, you know, long-term, you know, just nasal breathing in general, uh, has just like unbelievable benefits to the body in terms of its function and its longevity. Um, so yeah, I don’t know, hopefully that, that answer’s enough. But that’s how I try to utilize it in, uh, in actual coaching work.
[00:23:31] Ed Watters: Yeah. I find it fascinating what breadth really can accomplish. And, you know, I didn’t even think about breathing until I started listening to people like Christian De La Huerta and these individuals that actually take time to think about it and present it. Uh I’m into those people and I’ll check out that book.
[00:23:54] Uh, I’m, I’m really interested in learning more about [00:24:00] breathing because I really think you, you, you mentioned there’s a lot of like science in there. But when we really just start practicing it, it really can help calm us down in a situation. And sometimes that’s a lot of it. All we need to do is step back and breathe to avoid a lot of confrontational nightmare things,
[00:24:28] you know. You mentioned earlier in our conversation about, uh, body image. I find so many people that are destroyed over this. And still to this day, uh, little things, you know, uh, like a woman needing to have makeup to feel beautiful, um, these are body image things that we work with. Um, some of the body images, you work with men primarily, is that correct?
[00:25:04] Eric Bedell: Yeah, primarily I do. Yeah, but I, I have, I have, uh, I have a number of female clients as well.
[00:25:09] Ed Watters: Oh, okay. Well, well, what are some of the body, uh, image issues that men deal with? Can you comment on that?
[00:25:18] Eric Bedell: Yeah,
[00:25:18] absolutely. I mean, well, I mean, maybe a first place to start is just my own experience because I, I think that’ll, you know, as, as a, as a man, uh, growing up, you know, in a fairly, you know, I was in a fairly safe environment.
[00:25:36] Um, and to still be troubled with things like that. Um, it’s, sometimes it’s hard for people to understand. I do think it’s becoming more accepted that men can struggle with that. Uh, but the truth is this, right? Uh, well, I’ll speak from experience first and I’ll, I’ll add sort of like [00:26:00] some social commentary maybe. But I was watching other people that were my age, gaining more friends, um, you know, being more popular with, uh, with potential partners, getting more slots on team sports.
[00:26:17] And there was this sort of common thread that they were, they were physically fit, attractive, um, you know, uh, aesthetically pleasing, there was a charisma, there was a confidence that came with it, there was this like package of people that I knew. And, and I, and I wasn’t getting any of those things, in fact, I was getting, uh, bullied, uh, constantly.
[00:26:47] And I, you know, I, so I think on a, on a, on a personal experience level, it became clear to me like, oh, well wait, like being overweight equals unhappiness. And that’s how I experienced it. And, and then you throw on top of that, how, and this is, this has been true as long as, as long as there’s been someone else, uh, offering media to, to the individuals,
[00:27:15] um, and there’s a lot of reasons for it. But when you have, especially the time I was growing up, you have, you’re, you’re inundated with, um, you know, attractive people in films, and shows, and on television, and, uh, you know, marketing campaigns that highlight, uh, you know, highlight and use, uh, sex and attractiveness as a sales tool.
[00:27:42] And it, there’s like just a litany of things that become, they just infiltrate the culture to the point where even subconsciously we don’t realize that we’re judging ourselves against a standard that’s been built by a massive industry that [00:28:00] uses a very small number of people to embody this stuff that we should all, you know, aim for.
[00:28:06] And I think that’s a big, I think that’s a big part of it. And specifically for men, and this is like an interesting one because, uh, just, you know, in, in sort of a current, the current like sociopolitical landscape, Maleness and masculinity to some degree is like controversial. Um, and there’s a whole bunch of reasons like why we can talk about that.
[00:28:30] But yes, but what’s fascinating is like I had a client that thanked me for being an example of someone of, of a man in the punk rock community that we both sort of existed in. He thanked me for being the example of a man who cared for his body, strength trained, was strong, was confident in being strong.
[00:28:59] Uh, you know, this is how he perceived me. And he was like, that’s all I want. But this culture, especially that like niche culture of punk rock was, you know, it kind of, there’s sort of a sense sometimes that if you embody some of this like strong man, um, you know, this like, sort of these classic archetypes of masculinity, then you’re automatically what, you know, you’d be called like a bro, or toxic, or, uh, someone who belittles women, or is, you know, macho, chauvinistic, whatever. All this stuff, stuff starts to come into play, which is fascinating because it has nothing, we’ve never once talked about personality.
[00:29:46] We’re talking about like physical health and wellness. And I think it’s, it’s fascinating to me that I’ve had clients that are like, thank you for allowing me, for giving me the, [00:30:00] um, opportunity to go after some personal health goals I wanted. Because I’ve been ashamed to become stronger for fear of, uh, falling into this category of toxic, uh, uh, you know, aggressive, whatever else.
[00:30:22] Um, so there’s a lot of ways it can manifest, but that’s, those are just some examples I think, to, to sort of answer you.
[00:30:30] Ed Watters: Yeah. That’s very important that we touch on that because, uh, when we deal with that body image, we have that psychology behind it, like you were talking about, that herd mentality
[00:30:44] basically. This is one of those things that I can actually see people are changing and there’s a shift happening on it. Uh, later today, I’m going to be speaking with Clay Smeltzer and he’s running this brotherhood for men where he’s doing just that. He’s bringing men together and talking about these sensitive issues that
[00:31:14] all men really need to think about and change in their life, or maybe not. But, you know, there is obvious from like the eighties, I remember a big swing on wrestling, a Hulk Hogan and, uh, a bunch of these aggressive individuals. And that’s what everybody aspired to be, that type of image. When we fall into that
[00:31:47] and we are actually looking at that instead of ourselves, because that’s really what matters, who we are not what [00:32:00] somebody else is. Because I like to say, we’re all a big bag of Skittles. We all kind of look different, but we’re the same inside, you know, we got the same flavor and there’s a debate on that.
[00:32:16] But you know, some people say they taste alike, some people say they’re different. Myself, I say we’re all different. So yeah, when, when we recognize the importance of who we are, not who we want to be because of the social norm, that’s very important. And that’s a long struggle to get to that point that’s for sure.
[00:32:47] Eric Bedell: Yeah. Can I, can I throw something in on that?
[00:32:49] Ed Watters: Yes, you can.
[00:32:53] Eric Bedell: I think, I mean, first of all, I love the Skittles, uh, analogy a lot, um, And you touched on it before. And I, and I was hoping I’d be able to like bring it back through. Cause I, I do think it’s important. Um, like when you’re speaking about like your younger years of being more, you know, uh, partaking in the more indulgent lifestyles, like you were saying. There was, um, there was a need to be accepted, like you said, this mentality of acceptance.
[00:33:29] And, and I think that comes back into play here with what we’re talking about of, um, you know, sifting through the cultural norm, and acceptance, and assimilation. And I, I, it would be irresponsible, I think of me to say, and this is something that I’ve learned personally, and just through reading, like all of the great psychologists of the last hundred years and
[00:33:57] wonderful coaches and working with clients and experiencing [00:34:00] real change and transformation on the ground grassroots level. Um, total rejection of something is almost always a bad thing. And, and I say that because, right, like, um, even if you think it’s awful, there, there are things in it that like, I’m gonna try and give an example here instead of like talking like, you know, uh, abstract. But like as kids, we don’t, we don’t know who we are.
[00:34:35] We, we simultaneously learn about who we are as we interact with the world and we see models for what’s possible. And like, that’s really important because like we, we all go through these, like you said, we’re always chasing to figure out, like go inside and figure out who we are. Um, and that’s important.
[00:34:57] Uh, but I think it’s also important to remember that we are here on this planet, having this, you and I are having this conversation because we’re social creatures and, and basing ourselves off of the outside world to some degree, to be accepted, to be assimilated, to be a value to other people is also an important part about the human experience.
[00:35:23] And so I think it’s, I think what’s, there are different phases in everyone’s lives where they might, you know, run a little closer to the sun in terms of like trying too hard to fit in by following the norms. And then there’s the other, you know, too far too to Pluto or whatever the hell, it’s not a planet any longer, but it gets too cold and we get, we get too distant.
[00:35:54] Right. Um, but like, I [00:36:00] think, I think even as I’m explaining that, that really it’s, it’s ringing true for me. Like, like the earth is in a sweet spot. Like we were getting it, the right amount of sun, but it’s not too hot. We’re getting, like, I think that’s a really good, I didn’t intend this to happen, but as I’m talking it through, I think that’s a good way to think about how to show up in our lives.
[00:36:24] Like if you remove yourself and say, I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks of me, um, I’m only going to do me. I’m only focused on me. You’re also leaving a lot on the table. You’re way out there in Pluto land and you’re freezing. Um, and if you get, go too far the other direction and you base everything you do in your life on how will I be accepted?
[00:36:45] Who will accept me? I need to assimilate, I need to fit the cultural norm. Then you’re also leaving a lot on the table. Um, and so I think it’s about finding that sweet spot. And I, and I also would say it’s not about balance because I think people overuse that buzzword. And balance, I mean, if we’re talking about real balance is 50/ 50.
[00:37:07] And like you’re not going in the right direction if you’re 50/ 50, you’re staying still. That’s right. So it’s like finding the, right? Like finding the blend.
[00:37:16] Ed Watters: It’s pendulum effect.
[00:37:17] Eric Bedell: Whatever the, whatever the challenge is. That’s it, yeah. So you like, you find the blend that you can maintain in the direction you want without, you know, going over the tips of your skis, but without like sitting back into your heels and popping the skis off, like yeah.
[00:37:35] Kinda like find that spot and it changes.
[00:37:38] Ed Watters: We
[00:37:38] really need to work on our own balance in our own time. You mentioned an extreme, you, you don’t just do something. You don’t give up drugs all at once, you know, it just doesn’t happen. And I know that from experience, but if you baby step [00:38:00] and you keep vigilant in understanding this is what I want and creep towards that,
[00:38:08] that’s how we get change. It comes incrementally, so it doesn’t happen overnight. And you mentioned earlier also it takes years sometimes. Another analogy is like planting a seed, it’s not going to grow overnight. You’ve got to water it, you’ve got to nurture it, grow it, and then you get that fruit. That’s what life is.
[00:38:37] Let’s lighten this up a little bit and talk about why, why you got into music.
[00:38:46] Eric Bedell: Um, it’s interesting. I’m going to answer that, but I’m also going to say, cause we’re saying like let’s lighten it up and let’s go like the music, the music route. But what I always find fun is we are going to find some way that this connects to the other stuff we’re talking about.
[00:39:02] I, I’m positive of it, right? It’ll take a few minutes, but we’ll, we’re going to get there. Um, but like, uh, how did I get into music? I mean, kind of like I was saying before, um, so I’ve, I’ve, I’ve taken, I don’t know, maybe a dozen formal drum lessons. That’s my instrument of choice. I’ve played the drum kit for, uh, Like a little over 20 years now, um, you know, uh, maybe 22 years. And I’ve, you know, I was formally trained on other instruments because I couldn’t, you know, when I, when like the school music programs were happening when I was a kid, it was like, um, you know, you got to pick an instrument that you wanted to learn.
[00:39:54] And of course, by the time, by the time I got a chance, uh, you [00:40:00] know, even then I had some weird fascination with wanting to play drums. I remember, um, I had, uh, a chorus or, or like, yeah, I think at that time in like elementary school, he’s kind of like the chorus or just music program teacher. And he happened to be a drummer and he showed us, he taught a lesson on improvisation and I remember him playing drums with like
[00:40:23] just a set of sticks, just walking around the room and playing on all these different surfaces and bringing them to life with these drums. And I was like, damn, that’s awesome. Like, I just love, I love that, that that’s possible. And, um, any who I, I never actually got to play in school. Um, I never got lessons that way. And I, you know, it’s just where my family financially was at.
[00:40:49] Like I never, we couldn’t afford drum lessons. So, um, I just, I just practiced alongside drummers that inspired me and like songs I really liked. And I just wanted to play. I remember I got my first drum set, I was like 13 and it was like a real piece of shit drum set, um, like, you know, best we could do. Uh, but it was just,
[00:41:16] you know, I did, I did everything still. I didn’t care the quality of it, I just sat on it. I came home from school, I practiced every day after, when I didn’t have a, you know, like soccer or baseball practice. Cause that’s, I was also real big into team sports. But simultaneously as I was practicing drums and I was going through these, that sort of like disordered eating period of my life, I found punk rock.
[00:41:43] I found, uh, hardcore. And it was this place where not only I could figure out myself in terms of like my physical appearance, but I also, it was just like a lot of the ethos of that world was like, yo, if you can [00:42:00] semi handle an instrument, you can make a band in this, in this genre. And you can play shows. Like it was a vehicle to like experiencing musical expression and,
[00:42:16] and I just dove, I dove right in. And that was, that was it. And I kind of aligned with so much of that whole ethos when I was, especially when I was first getting into it. And, um, yeah, Timeshares is, is definitely still in that world in terms of its, its ethos. And like it’s, for example, like it’s taken us across the world.
[00:42:40] We’ve, we’ve done a couple of tours throughout Europe. We’ve done Canada, we’ve done the full U.S. A whole bunch of times. We’ve like done everything we could really, you know, within reason we, we could, we could accomplish and we did it all ourselves. Uh, we, we’ve booked almost every single show. Someone in the band has booked it.
[00:43:01] Um, we’ve, we’ve traveled in our own van to everything. Uh, It’s the, the, the, the other aspect of this genre of music is this, is this idea of DIY, which is like, don’t wait for somebody else to do it, do it yourself. That’s right. And it’s crazy how that sort of mindset has informed so much of my life, especially coaching. You know, that, that, that opens up a whole other direction that we can take this, but really, yeah.
[00:43:38] That, that DIY do it yourself like philosophy is deeply embedded in me and, and why I like to play music.
[00:43:47] Ed Watters: That’s right. You know, uh, and that, that philosophy, that do it yourself right now. You, you’ve got to instill that in your life, if you wait for [00:44:00] somebody else it’s not going to get done. So definitely, you know, you talked about expression.
[00:44:10] Uh, when we find out that that’s all life truly boils down to is our expression of who and what we are. A lot of musicians and artists they’re really good at that because they find different avenues to bring it out. But truly that’s what we’re all seeking is expressionism and the acceptance of
[00:44:45] self-expression or group expression is vital to our community. It’s, it’s one of those building blocks of a good relationship. And I, I really feel that we have lost the art of acceptance of others expression. How, how do we help that Eric? Is there a way that we can help something like that in our
[00:45:15] world today?
[00:45:18] Eric Bedell: Uh, Ed you just said so much good stuff. I like, and there’s a bunch of things that I’d love to comment back on it. Um,
[00:45:25] Ed Watters: Hit it.
[00:45:26] Eric Bedell: But I’ll answer the question first. Yeah. I mean, I’ll hit this and then I’ll and then I’ll rewind. Um, I’ll start with the end in mind, as we sometimes say in coaching.
[00:45:41] I would kind of agree here that there is sort of an overall lack of acceptance or we could use, I mean, dare I say the word tolerance, um, I mean, that’s, that’s become sort of a taboo word as we talk about, uh, you know, the last 18 to 24 months of [00:46:00] social climate and what people are willing and not willing to tolerate.
[00:46:04] Uh, so that’s a, that maybe that’s a, that’s a whole other bag. But let’s, let’s say on acceptance, um, or, or maybe I’ll, I’ll take some creative freedom here and I’ll say, you know, willingness to allow others to express themselves, um, with the contract that we’re, we’re also then allowed to express ourselves. What can be done about that?
[00:46:27] You know, it’s funny. The first thing that comes to my mind is actually, uh, breath work practice first and foremost. There’s something that I coach people through often the concept of capacity. And it’s a concept that I’m really familiar, I’ve been familiar with for many years in strength training from being a personal trainer and a strength coach for, uh, for like 15 years. Uh, capacity is like very, it’s very commonly spoken about when we talk about like strength training, right?
[00:46:57] What’s your aerobic capacity? What’s your strength capacity? And we talk about like, what are you capable, what’s the full spectrum that you’re capable of enduring, right? Where are your limitations? But only in the last year, have I become really obsessed with the idea of capacity in terms of, uh, mental strength, emotional strength, what are we capable of withstanding without it interfering with our direction?
[00:47:28] And I don’t know if I’m even doing it total justice by explaining it right now. But I think if, if everyone were to practice developing their capacity to, to hold thoughts from others, opinions from others, uh, anger from others, joy from others, whatever. If, if we all practiced expanding our, our mental and emotional capacities, I think the world would be in a much better [00:48:00] place.
[00:48:00] Um, and an easy way to do that, or, you know, to your point before, it can take years, it can take a long time. It’s a, it’s a simple practice. It’s really not easy and it’s not an overnight success, but I have found, and I’ve encouraged clients to seek this, like, sit with yourself, close your eyes, and you don’t have to be a Yogi,
[00:48:24] you don’t have to be like an expert on breath work. Close your mouth and just breathe through your nose and try and aim to make your breaths as long and as slow as possible. And let’s say you take 30 breaths like that. And on the 30th breath, you breathe out, you exhale completely and you try to hold your breath with no oxygen, right?
[00:48:49] No air in your lungs for as long as you can. That simple experience, that is a tactile, that is like an, uh, that is a physical experience that you can do to test your capacity to be without. Uh, and that, I think there’s a lot of good application there. And you could do the reverse, you could also take a breath in and hold that.
[00:49:16] Now that’s, you can, uh, like I’m, I’m adding some philosophical stuff to this, but you can also then test, oh, what’s it like when I’m at full capacity? How long can I hold that? And testing sort of that range of what you’re capable of enduring. It’s a very simple thing. I don’t think, I think people listening to this may, you know, depending on how open you are to stuff like this, there may sound like there’s some woo woo spiritual kind of shit here. But I’m, I’m purely talking about, you know, how easy it is to transfer that experience into your mental and emotional state.
[00:49:56] Because when you are sitting there breathing, it’s [00:50:00] just you and your breath and you get to practice what that feels like to be totally with or totally without. I don’t know, hopefully that answers the question of how do we move forward? Like what do we do about this like idea of, you know, waning acceptance in, in our culture?
[00:50:19] Ed Watters: You know, Eric, that is so powerful, what you just said. Capacity, it’s a simple word but the meaning is so deep. And I spoke with an individual that teaches police officers, and we spoke about the police relations in America. And we brought that specifically up about capacity of police officers. And I think it’s very vital that we understand what we mean by capacity and the ability to handle the stressors of life.
[00:51:03] Our capacity is different in situations. So understanding how important, how vital it is to our eroding society, capacity means everything. And it’s not to diminish anyone, this is to help develop people, to make sure we all are not diminished in any way. We have to educate ourselves, we have to educate ourselves in so many things. And that increases our capacity and how we do that comes in many, many ways.
[00:51:52] We could go down the rabbit hole on that, so big. But I’m glad you did [00:52:00] bring capacity up because capacity means so much and it gets overlooked so much. I, I really think that is an indicator in how we can start bringing our nation and the world back to a more balanced world for everybody to enjoy themselves in.
[00:52:29] Eric Bedell: I was just going to say, I think if I were to add only one extra thing on that, and I totally, I’m glad you, I’m glad it’s resonating with you. And it’s cool to hear that experience you had in speaking specifically around, you know, police officers, which have been at the, the, the, the highlight of a lot of criticism over the last two years.
[00:52:52] Yes. Um, you know, increasing capacity in, is, is, is a benefit for everyone. Um, it, let’s see how do I want to, but, uh, actually before I go that direction, the thing that I wanted to add on here is, uh, how, how do you know what your capacity is? Well, you practice. You constantly, you have to stay committed to the practice of testing yourself.
[00:53:25] And without that commitment, the act, like if, let’s say the opposite, like we just expect to be able to handle anything life throws at us. All I mean, you know, if you, if you didn’t run a marathon, could you expect that you could complete one if they, if you just got dropped on the, on the track and you had to finish 26.2 miles? Like that, that feels like a stretch, man.
[00:53:50] Like, but, but if you practice even just a little bit, you continue to test yourself and, and it can be specific and [00:54:00] relevant to your life, the challenges you face and it should be relevant to your challenges. But if you continue to test yourself just an inch, one degree, 1% daily in whatever that area is, uh, right?
[00:54:15] Like that is the, that’s the way forward. It can’t be, uh, there is no on-off switch. It is, um, you know, it’s a, it’s a constant refinement and there’s no rival that, that, the rival is the path. Uh, so it’s continuing to practice when you do that. When you say to someone, like another great example, I think is really good here
[00:54:40] and then I’ll kick it back to you. Is like someone probably wouldn’t say they’re an athlete or they are, yeah, let’s use that word. Someone might not say they’re an athlete if they’ve gone to one CrossFit class. But who would say they’re an athlete? It’s probably someone that participates in athletics regularly.
[00:55:08] And I think that’s a good, that’s a good sort of like way to, to demonstrate, like in order to become someone that has a deeper capacity, you have to be that, you have to practice that, you have to regularly show up to test yourself. Because only through that consistency do you see what is, what it is, or do you find what it is you’re after?
[00:55:31] I just wanted to throw that in because I think that’s really important here.
[00:55:35] Ed Watters: No, I really agree. I, I think that is exactly how you increase your capacity, baby step it in. And you know, that falls into our passion. If you have a passion, don’t let somebody tell you you can’t do it. I’m here to say you can do it.
[00:55:57] It’s, you’ve got to just [00:56:00] step yourself, baby step yourself to whatever your passion is.
[00:56:08] Eric Bedell: I love that. Yeah, go ahead. Well, um, not really quite a challenge, but I just think something that’s important here and it’s something that drew me to wanting to even have this conversation. Because a lot of your mission aligns with, with a lot of mine and there’s this under, there’s this like underpinning theme of, of, uh, honesty, of truth, of authenticity, maybe.
[00:56:41] Um, and so I think part of that is being real with yourself and saying, what’s my passion? And then where does my passion meet my expectation? And like really looking at okay, okay, right? I’m super passionate about swimming. Can I expect to be Michael Phelps? Hmm. Hmm. That might not be helpful. Like, is it possible to get there?
[00:57:09] If you can recreate the same thousands of hours of practice Michael Phelps has put in. Yeah, maybe. But I think passion meets expectation and honesty, being honest with yourself, like, okay, cool. Um, for example, like I had a client that all he wanted to do is create a band. Um, he, you know, he was going through a lot of, he had a lot of challenges with his relationships and, uh, there’s a lot of health stuff kind of like embedded in there and he had just a lot of difficulties.
[00:57:38] And what he really wanted was to create music as a vehicle for, you know, just an outlet, like you said earlier, expression. And what we actually got to was like, Like where the success, where he found success was letting go of this expectation that forming a band and playing [00:58:00] live shows, that was the only way he considered it a success,
[00:58:04] and when he shifted that to I’m going to be committed to playing, to holding my guitar and learning one thing, that’s it, per day for five to 10 minutes, that was it. I mean, he, the, the, the exponential explosion in his energy towards it, how confident he was about playing guitar, it was crazy. And he realized that like, oh, this expectation I had of myself to make a successful band, and play shows, and being asked to plan all these bills, that actually wasn’t really even necessary.
[00:58:40] He just wanted to be in the process of doing it. And that’s why I wanted to share, like, just while you touched on passion, where it meets expectation, I think is like a great place to look and be honest.
[00:58:52] Ed Watters: That is a very good point, I’m glad you brought that up because expectation doesn’t always meet passion
[00:59:00] that’s for sure. But anyway, Eric, our, our time is running short here. I could go on with you for hours and hours here. Um, I would really love to talk more with you about things later, possibly, but how can people,
[00:59:21] Eric Bedell: Yeah, I would love that.
[00:59:22] Ed Watters: Actually, let’s first of all go with your call to action. Do you have a call to action for people?
[00:59:30] Eric Bedell: I’ll start here. My, my call to action in your, whoever’s listening to this, um, if you feel compelled by anything we’ve chatted about in your personal life. I would encourage you to, if there’s something you feel like you are frustrated about, have not made changes around, haven’t started, want to pursue, feel stuck,
[00:59:52] um, you’ve thought about things that you want to go after but you haven’t taken the action, you know what you should do but [01:00:00] for some reason you’re not engaging in the actions around, around that knowing, I would say choose the smallest thing that you could do today in five minutes or less. And if it takes you, if, if you look at it and you think it will take you more than five minutes, shrink it down. And do that today, create some, some, you know, uh, kinetic energy, some actual action around this thing that you want to go after, because I guarantee you, it will start to prove to you that you can move in that direction. But make it so damn small that it’s harder for you to not do it than to do it.
[01:00:42] That’d be my call to action just in your personal life. You know, if you found anything useful here and you wanted to have a conversation about what, what working with a coach might look like, or even if that’s not your full intention, you just want to connect. Um, please, I love getting emails, I love reading from people that have heard anything that I’ve spoken with, and this has been like such a great, this has been such a great conversation.
[01:01:06] Um, so I, I’m sure that any of your listeners that, that hit me up, I would be, I would be really excited to read. So please visit my website, um, feel free to shoot me a message. Uh, the portal on there is very easy, easy to use. It’s, the website is ericbedellcoaching.com, um, and if you’re interested in seeing what coaching could look like for you, uh, I offer free exploration or discovery calls.
[01:01:37] Uh, you can book that also right through the website, um, there’s an appointment calendar right in there, but if you don’t feel comfortable with that, shoot me a message also and we can, we can go from there.
[01:01:48] Ed Watters: You know,
[01:01:48] Eric, the best coach is one that’s lived it and you’ve definitely lived it. And I appreciate everything you do.
[01:01:59] [01:02:00] So I would like to invite you back on sometime and we could continue on with this, but best of all, thank you so much for sharing with us and being part of the Dead America Podcast.
[01:02:16] Eric Bedell: Ed, I am really grateful for, uh, for the opportunity to get on here and, and get to meet you and chat with you, Ed, I honestly had a great conversation and would love to come back.
[01:02:24] So I thank you very much. And, um, thank you for doing this. I really appreciate it.
[01:02:31] Ed Watters: Now, before I let you go, one last question. When can we start listening to the Eric Bedell podcast?
[01:02:44] Eric Bedell: That’s a great question. Um,
[01:02:49] it’s, it is on, it’s, it’s on the radar, it’s, it’s happening. Um, I’m going to start launching some episodes and kind of figuring out exactly how that’s going to look by, uh, probably close, probably within the next month or so just, just prior to the start of the year. And, um, and I appreciate your inspiration for how you show up as a host in, uh, you can, you can bet that part of how you show up is, is how I’m going to, uh, to aim to show up for my guests also.
[01:03:22] So I, I just want to acknowledge you for that, but,
[01:03:25] Ed Watters: Thank you.
[01:03:26] Eric Bedell: Yeah. Um, hope, yeah, my pleasure definitely. Thank you.
[01:03:30] Ed Watters: I’m super
[01:03:31] excited to hear when it comes out, please shoot me an email.
[01:03:43] Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America [01:04:00] Podcast. I’m Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever
[01:04:04] you may be.