James Heppner Self Care Hack
James Heppner is a self-help hacker and strategist who helps people live fully alive, passionate, and fulfilled. He has gone through a dark night of the soul and has come out the other side with an unshakable love of life. He encourages people to accept life's challenges and to look upriver to discover the source of the problems rather than just putting a Band-Aid on them. He offers one-on-one coaching services and a free community call every Friday to discuss wins and losses. He also shares a story about his son, Harrison, who realized that all he had to do was participate in what was directly in front of him to be just fine.
- Apologize to children to strengthen relationships and learn from them.
- Embrace life's wins and losses and utilize them to maximize life.
- Adopt the belief that life owes them nothing, that nothing has to be perfect, that everything is a co-creation, and that nothing traps them.
- Participate with what is directly in front of them to be just fine.
- Join James Heppner’s weekly wins and losses call.
- Check out James Rollins' website for speaking engagements and a media kit.
My life worked until it didn’t. The business was strong, the capital was plentiful, and life seemed all I had ever dared
wish it to be. Performing life vs. Living life nearly cost me my business, my investments, my children, and
my marriage. The never-ending hyper-vigilant striving to achieve the next level of success suddenly awakened
me to the deep emptiness of my current lived experience. Unable to truly celebrate and instead deeply anxious
about the rawness of who I really was on the inside, I flip-flopped between being restless & bored and anxious
Thankfully peace didn’t come, but instead, I fell into a million tiny pieces. It forced me to build a new
infrastructure grounded upon authenticity and gratitude. I made critical decisions like “my joy is not for sale”
and “losses are simply disguised gifts hidden in plain sight.”
I’ve spent the last decade designing my life of gratitude and can honestly say I have an unshakeable love for
my life. Not in spite of the losses that I’ve had to endure however rather BECAUSE of the losses that I’ve
Fearing Fear itself has now left me.
Today I help people ignite their vibrant energy toward life by turning toward what they really want - to
courageously step towards their comforts and discomforts with curiosity and an open embrace of the goodness
that lies at the core of both the win and the loss.
The truth is - Real life is made up of both wins and losses. Both were designed for your good - that's the basic reality.
Without facing and learning how to embrace your losses for greater gain, you miss out.
Why choose to leave 50% of your life experience on the table when you can choose to do the work so that you
can have it all?
Life can be good news - if we let it.
Life can shine In through the cracks - if we let it in.
I INVITE YOU TO TAKE THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE BY ENGAGING WITH ME AS YOUR GUEST ON YOUR
Together we can deliver a transformative and deeply invigorating message that meets people exactly where they are at today.
[00:00:25] and it was eating me alive until finally getting closer to your birthday. Remember coming from a meeting and all of a sudden it just hit me, I couldn't do this anymore. And I thought, what can't I do anymore? And I said, I cannot reveal to him that I feel bad that I messed up. The only thing that I had to reconcile, see the way I understood leadership was if you apologize, there goes your leadership.
[00:00:50] So on my way home, just as I pulled up to the, to the car garage, I popped the door opener, pulled in, and I could feel inside of me that what was gonna happen was gonna end my relationship with him. He would never see me as a father again, a mentor. These are the stories that I felt in my heart, in my head, that if I went inside and was about to do what I decided to do, which is go in and say, Rowan, I'm sorry, that he'd look at me and say, that's it,
[00:01:18] you're flawed. So I go in, remember putting my briefcase down, remember thinking this is the moment. And I had him sit down beside me and he was all excited, like, my dad's home, right? And I said, Rowan, I just wanna let you know, we were having lunch before and you said something. And then, I, I don't know if I was correcting you or, forget how it went, but I mentioned to him, I'm sorry. He looked at me and
[00:01:41] he said, daddy, that's okay, he gives me a big hug. And we know the story and it goes a bit like this, what I thought was gonna befall me, where he would lose interest in me, became the opposite. He became fascinated by me. And so the joy of my life, if you ask me, that, that, that was something that I think I decided, I decided to do something tough
[00:02:08] and I didn't even know there was a different side to how I thought it was gonna go. Cause honestly, this wasn't just narration in my brain, like I had seen everywhere, I grew up in a conservative area and nobody really, their older people didn't really apologize to the younger people, right? And so who is to say that a younger person would ever wanna learn from someone who is deeply flawed, to say sorry. And it's just completely crappy thinking, I know.
[00:02:34] Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. 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. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.
[00:03:25] Today we are speaking with James Heppner, James is a self-help hacker and a strategist that helps people live fully alive, passionate, and fulfilled, consistently. James has a podcast he hosts, Weekly Wins And Losses. James, could you please introduce yourself, let people know just a little more about you, please?
[00:03:52] James Heppner: Yes, master. Uh, my name is James, like, Ed, you did it so well. And my name is James and I'm just thankful to be here and Ed, I've, uh, you know, I really appreciate your show and what you do for your audience. And so I was honored to have you invite me to come on, uh, here today. And, um, so just a bit about me, just a touch of who I am as a human,
[00:04:11] um, there's, there's many stories we live and I think to keep the story simple might be helpful. Uh, let's just say it this way, you know, sometimes we go through the dark night of the soul and I went through that many moons ago and that was part one of my story. And part two of the story, uh, it was where I came from that.
[00:04:26] And, um, and I, and I use all of the experiences that I had and, and, uh, you know, those, those, those, uh, those little troubles that we experience when life gets to us. And it seems to all, we all seem to have a date with destiny when all of a sudden, uh, there's so many things that coalesce and come together and they noodle together, uh, in such a way that it's just like we're going, this is beyond what we've ever faced before.
[00:04:53] And it's not just normal threshold when we bump into something new. This is like, holy shit, right? And so I had that holy shit moment and I checked outta life. Let's say it this way, part one of the story, checked out of life for two and a half years. Was married for several years, almost lost my marriage, my kids, my businesses, my investments.
[00:05:08] Found a way to successfully sleep for 18 and a half hours a day, that's quite the accomplishment for two and a half years, it's what I did. And so I didn't wanna kill myself, but I didn't want to be here. So what's the way to do it? Well, perhaps take melatonin and take a bunch of gravel. And so I was the guy who owned a corporation and I'd say to my wife, I'm going to work, when I felt energetic enough.
[00:05:28] So for those few hours I'd say I'm gonna work but really what I was doing, I'd get into the car, I'd find a gravel road someplace off the beaten path, hop in the backseat, grab a pillow and a blanket, and, and, and dose more and sleep more. And so that was, that was part one of my story. Part two of the story is, um, the empowerment of, and so in life, unless we integrate, we won't transform.
[00:05:52] And so we have to let everything serve us. And of course, when you've been checking it out and trying to think your way to some, some better place, you know, when you're, uh, tapping into more fantasy thinking versus just embracing reality, it just gets worse. So roughly at about two and a quarter mark, when I was in part one of my story, I started realizing that, you know, perhaps this was all here for me and it just required of me to be flexible.
[00:06:15] They say you don't have, um, difficult children, you don't have difficult clients, you have inflexible parents and inflexible entrepreneurs, is what you have , right? And so, uh, needless to say, currently, so stage, step two, the second part of my story is, I have an unshakeable love of life. And I don't see, say that, uh, egotistical, far from. I just learned in part one of my story that unless I was going to be empathetic, um, and embrace what was happening in my life, unless I was gonna move from expectation to something different, I was gonna live a miserable story.
[00:06:52] And so, uh,
[00:07:14] So if you have anger, let it stir you towards something, poke at the structure, but remember, you've got to find a way to appreciate. And so I'm someone who is deeply grateful for life, all moments of life. And when I say deeply grateful, again, not in spite of, but because of, and, uh, let's just say it this way, I've spent a lot of time doing this work.
[00:07:37] It's taken me a long, long, long, long time to uh, to finally become, I'm grateful. And I'll just share a little bit of a story before we continue here, yesterday I, uh, completed my annual tax return for the Canadian government, I live in Vancouver. And what's interesting is, for many a moon, what would happen is I would get my, uh, my, my taxation people to do my accounting,
[00:08:01] um, and that's fine. And uh, the only thing is, a couple years ago, I kind of just felt nudged to maybe participate with doing it on my, not filing the tax return, but just doing all the reconciliation instead of me saying, no, I'm so anxious. Cause that, I realized I didn't wanna do taxes cause it made me so anxious, like adding receipts and whatever.
[00:08:19] And, uh, so my talents do certain things on the investment front. I don't do that part, but you know, for example, the piece in my life that I'm involved in with now is, personal development. And so, uh, I don't have a large staff, I have myself, an assistant, my wife, we work together. Um, and so it's, it's quite manageable,
[00:08:37] right? And so all that I needed to do in each and every year now within this business is add receipts, tally it up, send him a spreadsheet, he inputs the data, and then he does all the finagling, the GST, and taxes, and whatever. And, uh, so five years ago I decided this is gonna be my job now, to, to do all the reconciliation.
[00:08:57] And I'm like, Ooh. And, and the first year, what I did, I'm like, now I realize why I handed it off because, you know, when we have anxieties, what, what do we often do? We just give it to someone, just do this for me, right? And really all I'm doing is, you know, I'm holding a calculator and I'm adding, well, we did dinner for $150 and then we did another dinner for, for $75,
[00:09:16] and I'm, I'm basically seeing where we spent money for the whole year, everywhere. And the first year or two it kind of made me like really anxious. And I was, I waited till the last minute and, and then I finally sent it to my accountant and he filed and did what he, whatever he needed to do. Well, the last two or three years, what's, it's an interesting development because, especially last year and this year particularly, I stumbled into that
[00:09:40] I'm actually really beginning, so it's a journey,
[00:09:59] I'll [00:10:00] say it this way, we all have these things that are, that are, we feel conflicted by. We're like, ah, I don't know, this is, this is too hard. But now when I do my taxes and I, yesterday I added everything together, and I kid you not, Ed, and this is like, I'm not a hyperbole guy, I keep facts intact. But my true emotion is when I look at receipts now and I go, oh, we bought the kid Subway,
[00:10:21] oh, we went to Quiznos, oh, we went to the diner at the corner, it actually brings me joy cause I get to see this is what we got to do, this is what we got to provide our family with. And it's like, oh, every receipt is like another piece of gratitude and it's not like, again, hyperbole, but just looking at it being, this is the good news.
[00:10:40] Like I love your podcast Dead in Amer, Dead America, it's like, you know, there's so much of the other side. And it's like, you know what? Honestly, I get it, I get it. People are feeling the strain, but my friends, we get to do something about it. So that was the longest intro I've probably ever done. But you had such an open-ended question, so I just kind of laid it out.
[00:10:59] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's, that's what I like, open-ended. That way you get truth, honesty, and true wisdom out of that. James, I love the fact that you divide it into two stages of life. Really that kind of boils down to what I've observed also, you know, and finding that fine dividing line sometimes can be difficult. But when you do and you finally divide your old self
[00:11:28] from, to your new self, that is actually such a relief. It's, it's finding gold at the end of the rainbow and truly, I think that's when life begins, is when you start that phase two. Talk to us and tell us about how you discovered phase two and what was the boiling point that put you into phase two of life?
[00:11:57] James Heppner: That's nice, the boiling point, right?
[00:12:00] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:12:01] James Heppner: We all wanna know, what was the thing, what was the catalyst that triggered, you know, we all get a little closer to the, to the, uh, to the speaker, we're like, what was it? Cause I think what we want to hear is, so where, so the listeners are being, so where am I within all of this, right?
[00:12:14] Ed Watters: Nuggets.
[00:12:15] James Heppner: Give us some nuggets and give us some treats, right?
[00:12:17] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:12:18] James Heppner: We're, you know, we're just coming for little hints. Um, you know, I'll be, perhaps begin by saying this, right? Stage one and stage two are actually both, in my opinion, helpful parts of the journey. Unless I'd gone through stage one, I couldn't be at stage two. Not, so this is to the point, I like, I like what you're saying.
[00:12:33] So it seems like you've entered stage two of your life and this is where you're living even more fully alive and you've made room for even more. And so when you make room for even more, that means you leave room for, by default, the story you just went through, part one. Now, here's an interesting thing, I have two boys, 17 and 15, been married for 22 years together with the same woman for 27, and what's fascinating to me is, I realized that
[00:13:03] my boys do different than I do, meaning they're at stage one of life and I'm at stage two. So if I'm not careful, as somebody who models forward how I think life is to be, I put them in a bad position. Because most of their life at, at their stage at 15 and 17 years old, is about seeking to move their life forward through answer.
[00:13:29] So they seek to know, they seek to know, I know, I know, I know. Like my, my son and I went for a walk the other day and you know, I kind of noodle really deep into like, uh, healthcare, health, I'm a biohacker, right? So I love it. So that's why they call me self-help hacker, I go really deep nuance, not to complicate, but to simplify.
[00:13:46] And so I go really deep, but I study this stuff, like I'm the guy that imports eggs from California. I live in Vancouver, Canada cause the, the, the, you know, the chickens there have eaten no grain, no soy, they've been pecking at salamanders all year. So it's like these eggs and so this is what I do, right? And I, and I study and I research, and I watch my body and I watch the metrics in my body.
[00:14:05] And so we're walking and then Rowan, my oldest son goes, dad, why do you do that? And then I, I mean, he's asked me these questions before and so what I do is, you know, how do you give a proper answer? So I'm like, well, I know he's not asking for the long talk cause I could talk about this for two hours, if you'd like. But I know we don't have a two hour walk , right?
[00:14:21] So I, so I'm thinking, dude, just don't bore him to tears. So tell him like the short version, tell him, explain this in two minutes or less. So I explain it in really short terms and he looks at me and he goes, dad, just gimme a second. So he stops, grabs his phone, opens up the Google, in a minute, he has apparently done what it's taken me years to develop, which is the answer is, the Google says X. And I sit there and I just go, Rowan, that's so precious.
[00:14:46] I said, you and the Google, Rowan . And what's interesting, instead of me going like, Rowan, you got a lot to learn, you got a lot to, instead of making him feel bad, listen, I know what he's trying to do. He's saying life is going along and I'm trying to find a way how I can buy my first house, perhaps own my first car, if that's even a thing in a couple years,
[00:15:02] if you own a car or not. Get married perhaps, I don't know if he wants to do this. But what I'm saying is, go on a vacation. So much of what we collect, much of what we, um, think that we need to own, which some things we need to own, we need to eventually buy our own t-shirt, buy our own pair of pants. His mom and dad won't do this forever.
[00:15:20] He builds that narrative around answers, he needs to get to the bottom of things. And so I need to leave room. I'm in stage two, I don't go to stage two so that I can make him wrong. I go to stage two to say, yeah, I leave plenty of room for you guys to be there and that's what has him and I not in the competitive space, you know.
[00:15:40] However, at the same time, if I reveal to him what stage two looks like, that means that I include what he's doing. And uh, again, I don't make him feel like he's losing track or he should be like, dad, if, if, if anything, when he hits a major threshold in life, like I did, like my son was diagnosed, my youngest son, 15, Harrison, was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. When that happened,
[00:16:04] so to answer your question, the catalyst, when that happened together with, I was audited by the government and I had the money to pay, I just didn't want to pay. Um, that's what put me over the edge and that's what had to go. This is too much, this is too much, right? And when we see in life that things are too much, we all need role models that reveal to us what life actually is.
[00:16:27] I think, I don't know what your thought is, Ken, but I think, oh, sorry, Ken, Ed. I think life is about stumbling forward, this is what we humans do. Who are we? Are we like Superman who doesn't stumble? The good news is that we get to stumble. And so Rowan, the oldest son, Harrison was the younger one, two years, he was three when I entered my journey.
[00:16:50] Um, actually he was, he was two and Rowan was four, sorry. Um, the oldest son, I remember feeling so bad, thinking like he'll probably remember these moments I'm not around, I'm sleeping all the time. But I think they need to observe what it looks like, that transition to go from stage one to stage two, that line. It's a transition period and sometimes it takes a breath, a hot second.
[00:17:12] For me, it took too long. Listeners, you don't need to suffer as long as I did. Because really what it's gonna feel like when you enter that space is very destabilizing and you're gonna, you're gonna move from gaining your strength from just answers, like you do in the first half of life, to now dipping into questioning
[00:17:30] and uncertainty. So instead of in the first state, you're doing it all for certainty and all for, let's get this figured out. Let's get a house, let's get a marriage, let's travel, let's do these things. The second half of life, you still want those things, but in large part, you've accumulated much of that. So now what it is, is you wanna play with the greater tensions of life, and if you want your lens of life to open further so you can experience a wider angle. You know, America, dead in Amer, America in a large part, we stay dead if we don't mature forward. And when we penalize ourself
[00:18:02] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:18:02] James Heppner: for being in that liminal space and being like, well, we shouldn't feel horrible. It's gonna feel decentering, but actually the human being is strongest and recognizes it always builds strength and feels the best when it's slightly outta balance.
[00:18:17] Think about this, use a human, listeners, if you take a step forward, do you walk like a kangaroo on both legs at the same time? Boom, you don't balance forward like that. The human takes one step forward, one over the other. And so every time you lift your foot and move it forward, you're actually off balance.
[00:18:36] And strength comes when you're off balance, what we actually want. So that transition, it invites us to lean into the off balance part of life. And actually the second stage of life is actually all, acknowledging that every part of life, even the first half is off balance. And it was kind of cute cause we thought we were gaining stability, which we did to some degree,
[00:18:55] but then all of a sudden something came along and said, yes, that's the good news, the first half is over my friend, the second half of life is coming. And you're gonna be in the change room and the coach is gonna be talking to you, you gotta come out of the tunnel the second half, how are you gonna come out?
[00:19:09] You can, you can delay the time in the change room, I was in there for two and a half years, doesn't need to be that long. It could just be a moment, and it can be a moment where you're like, am I gonna resist the threshold or am I gonna lean into a it in a new way? And again, anyone who's in that space, you're gonna recognize it.
[00:19:27] Something's gonna feel bigger than you've ever, and I mean, not just, you're 12 years old and you turned 13 and your best friend Bobby didn't come to the birthday party. It's gonna feel like this is beyond your limit. And when that happens, and oftentimes what I find is, a few things hitting you at the same time.
[00:19:43] For me it was audit, it was my son, high functioning autism. It was me not embracing and, and being empathizing with or empathetic with myself. So when a few of those things transition and they come together, they create kind of this beautiful, and it's not a shit storm, it's actually a beautiful awakening [00:20:00] to transition to the next thing.
[00:20:01] But it's gonna feel so different from the first half. The first half, everything is about, I'm getting closer to like, the answer. So I take the Google and I say, eggs are bought for this reason. And dad, you're silly, you know? And it's cute that he does it.
[00:20:13] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:20:13] James Heppner: And it's needed because he needs to figure out, not just how to get eggs, but he has to buy socks, his t-shirts, his eggs someday. So he has to move along, which, which is, you know, which is needed.
[00:20:24] Ed Watters: That is so, so wonderful how you outlined that. Uh, the one thing I really enjoyed about researching you is you had your kids come on and your children actually told people what they thought about you.
[00:20:45] And you know, I listened to those podcasts and your son, Harrison, let me quote, I can learn from you so much. And his second quote that I grabbed was, quote, It feels like I can really connect with someone greater than ever. This is fascinating. And then with your other son, the, the two quotes that I grabbed out of that was, the first quote, quote, I think dad does a fine job at walking that line between fun and games.
[00:21:23] And the second quote is, actually, I got three from him, Always someone you can talk with. And then also, Always willing to admit his mistakes. It's, it's really telling when you bring your kids out and because they're authentic, you can tell if they're , you know, off in skew in one way or the other kind of instantly.
[00:21:54] So it's really telling about James, who he is by your interaction with your children and how concerning you are with their wellbeing and giving them that space to find that fine line and cross it. What was the joy about working through going from a life without, um, a marriage and kids, and then boom, you're thrust into it and all of those responsibilities hit. What was that like for James?
[00:22:38] James Heppner: That's a loaded question and a really good one at that. You know, what comes to heart for me, and I can't help but focus on, uh, when you said, what's the joy in all of it? And oftentimes, and we know where joy comes from, right? Oftentimes we forget though where it comes from.
[00:22:55] The depth of joy comes from the depth of pain that we're willing to onboard. And I'll never forget, and I may cry when I say this and I'll be honest, I love crying. I never used to cry or laugh, but now to me, life is tears and laughter and it's feeling and I love it. I'm safe with it, meaning, it's just an arrow.
[00:23:12] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:23:12] James Heppner: I don't stay, I don't stay crying, I don't stay laughing. I'm just like, it's all here for me now. But it's a feel, so if I cry, I cry anyway. I, uh, I'll never forget, so when I was a child, my dad never said, that I remember anyway, I'm sorry, for anything. Now, very nice man, good man, God-fearing man is who he was.
[00:23:34] Great person, great role model for me, amazing. But that generation just didn't do that, right? And so it wasn't like he had anything untowards me, if anything, he had a lot of love for me. However, you know, in life, you know, and I know somebody like Tony Robbins and I study under many people, and Tony's one of them.
[00:23:53] But Tony will say, no matter what you do, you fuck up your kids. No matter what you do, you fuck 'em up. So what's interesting is, so if I look at my dad, I'm going, well, he wasn't intending to fuck me up and nor, nor was it the biggest thing maybe. But the only thing is, what I observed in him is, that he was kind of the stoic being.
[00:24:11] He had it figured out and he was my father figure through that modality. And so influence for me was determined by when you get things right, you're influential. If you apologize, that just reveals you got it wrong. And so add a little, uh, punch to it, my dad was a pastor of a megachurch, so of course I thought this must be the way to do it, right?
[00:24:40] And so it was fascinating. So Rowan comes along, he was born. And I'll never forget Meg said to me when we brought him home, I, I'd mentioned to Meg, I would stay home for the first couple of days, I wouldn't go to the office. But the office needed me so I said, honey, I'm just gonna go for like an hour or two,
[00:24:56] I'll be right back. And cause we built a new house and we wanted to really acclimate with, with a new baby, and she calls me and she says, Hey, baby. I said, yeah. She says, uh, you know, you, you so nicely put the bassinet here beside my bed and Rowan's here, and he's all nice and tucked in. But she says, baby, I just got up
[00:25:17] and I looked at him and he can see straight through me. And I'm like, Hmm, interesting. And I said, oh honey, don't worry, I'll be right home. No, no, no worries, you are just thinking about this too much. And I come home and there she is, she's kind of soothed herself a little bit. Rowan grows, he's, he's a couple months old now.
[00:25:38] And the interesting thing about Rowan is, his eyes were really like, he seemed like an old soul, I'll be honest. We put him in the high chair, now he's able to sit up. And we give him like, you know, how to give him spaghetti or for his birthday, put a birthday cake in front of him and he plays with it and slaps his face into it.
[00:25:52] And I'll never forget how I would tease him and bug him. And he would look at me with this in, this inquiry that seemed to say, I get what you're doing and I'm gonna play it up a notch. You know, it was fascinating. Now he's one and a half, and of course, sometimes I don't always do well. I don't mean not to do well, but no matter what we do, we fuck 'em up. And sometimes we realize what we're doing to fuck 'em up only after it's happened.
[00:26:21] So how do you undo that? Well, you can perhaps kick the can down the line and hope that it never comes up again, or you can just maybe speak the unspoken and reveal to the other person, hey, I don't know if you feel like this, but I think I may have messed up. So basically, I'm sorry. And I remember this bugged me for about, it was a month, so now he's a year and six months, seven months, and then a year and eight months, a year.
[00:26:46] And it was eating me alive until finally getting closer to your birthday. Remember coming from a meeting and all of a sudden it just hit me I couldn't do this anymore. And I thought, what can't I do anymore? And I said, I cannot reveal to him that I feel bad that I messed up. The only thing that I had to reconcile, see the way I understood leadership was if you apologize, there goes your leadership.
[00:27:11] So on my way home, just as I pull up to the, to the car garage, I popped the door opener, pulled in, and I could feel inside of me that what was gonna happen was gonna end my relationship with him. He would never see me as a father again, a mentor. These are the stories that I felt in my heart, in my head, that if I went inside and was about to do what I decided to do, which is go in and say, Rowan, I'm sorry, that he'd look at me and say, that's it,
[00:27:39] you're flawed. So I go in, remember putting my briefcase down, remember thinking this is the moment. And I had him sit down beside me and he was all excited, like my dad's home, right? And I said, Rowan, I just wanna let you know, we were having lunch before and you said something. And then, I, I don't know if I was correcting you or, forget how it went, but I mentioned to him, I'm sorry. He looked at me and
[00:28:03] he said, daddy, that's okay, he gives me a big hug. And we know the story and it goes a bit like this, what I thought was gonna befall me, where he would lose interest in me, became the opposite. He became fascinated by me. And so the joy in my life, if you ask me, that, that, that was something that I think I decided, I decided to do something tough.
[00:28:30] And I didn't even know there was a different side to how I thought it was gonna go, cause honestly, this wasn't just narration in my brain. Like I had seen everywhere, I, I grew up in a conservative area and nobody really, their older people didn't really apologize to the younger people, right? And so who is to say that a younger person would ever wanna learn from someone who is deeply flawed to say sorry. And it's just completely crappy thinking, I know, but that's what it was. And so, I dunno if that answered your question, but.
[00:28:55] Ed Watters: No, no, that's good, actually. You know, learning takes that pain. And I, I was diving into what you do and, uh, you state pain equals Please Accept Inner Nudging. That's wisdom right there, you know?
[00:29:16] And accepting that pain, but diving in and understanding what is that pain telling us? This is what's gonna change us and I love how you put that in, it shrinks it all down into such a tight package. How did you come up with something like that?
[00:29:37] James Heppner: That's so good and, uh, it draws me. So earlier, and I'm sorry, um, Ed, I didn't, you asked me what was the catalyst, you know, for all of it. I think, and I'll, and I'll just kind of answer that the best I can here. The catalyst for me, going from stage one to stage two is, um, you know, I just had enough of excluding things and not accepting myself and not loving, uh, what was happening inside of me, right? I, [00:30:00] I started, um, being there, right? And so the concept of pain came right after I exited part one of my story.
[00:30:08] Never forget, one day I was going for a drive. My wife and I, we went to this restaurant with friends. She took her car, I took my car cause I was in a meeting and we went separate. We're, we're together most times, but this is one of the moments that this is what happened, she drove her car, I drove mine. And uh, so we're at this luncheon with friends and we're just having a nice time and just a relaxed moment
[00:30:26] and it's, it was nice. And uh, after the meal, you know, we walked outta the establishment and I got into my car and she gets to hers. And I'm driving back home and, um, oh, what's fascinating is, I just start like, there's a big smile on my face, but then I start crying at the same time. It's just like joy and pain,
[00:30:45] same thing. And I'm like, you know what's funny? A couple of years ago, and I was reflecting back to the depth of my journey, like stage one, like when I was basically sedating myself, trying to check out of life. And I thought, wow, this is so interesting. I thought, you know what's funny? What's funny is I've grown so much and if I pointed to where it all came from, it was because of that journey,
[00:31:08] it was because of that. And then I thought, what's the purpose of pain? And what's interesting is I thought to myself, you know what, James, if you're not careful, you're gonna create another painful scenario. But you get to decide if it's gonna be, the unhelpful side of suffering, or it's gonna be the helpful side of suffering, which is just pain.
[00:31:28] And I thought, what's the purpose of pain? And I thought, you know what? Here's the thing that I didn't do during my story. I just call it my, part one of the story was just my story. Was, I didn't lean in, I didn't accept the inner nudgings, Please Accept Inner Nudgings, pain, Please Accept Inner Nudgings. And I thought, you know what's funny?
[00:31:48] Um, and actually funny, it wasn't so funny for me then. But um, I remember I had to create something cause I realized that I had so many positive associations for the journey that I went through. That I likely create, you know how it is, we live by pattern. So my body would likely pull me back into a place at some point in time.
[00:32:05] Cause I had such good memory. I mean, good, it was horrific. It was a hell, a hell of my, uh, of my life. But it brought so much deep, impactful, like unbelievable shattering through old barricades moment that I'm like, I, if, if you'd asked me, I don't know if I really could trust that my body wouldn't pull me back there to some degree.
[00:32:27] Because I had such fond memory of where I was now, like, and it's not utopia that I'm living in, but it's just, it feels like I can embrace life and it feels so nice. I don't have to resist it, and I build a relationship easier, and my, my, my marriage is going well, and you know, you know what I mean, Ed? It's just all of these things are just so impactful and so Please Accept
[00:32:49] Inner Nudgings was literally, I'm driving my car and I'm thinking this through, and I become aware that on the dashboard of a car are lights. And when lights come on, it's a nudging, when your engine light flashes, it's a nudging. Yeah. And so if we're not careful, we go, ehh, I'll do it later, ehh, I'm getting used to the light flashing.
[00:33:10] But the, eventually the light will bring us to the realization the engine didn't have oil,
[00:33:15] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:33:15] James Heppner: something happened, the car stops and now we're in the unhelpful side of suffering. So thanks for sharing, but yeah, Please Accept Inner Nudging, which by the way, Ed, I have to just hand it to you, I really respect, like you do your research and um, and you really get with it. I really love that about you.
[00:33:31] Ed Watters: I try, I try.
[00:33:33] James Heppner: You do.
[00:33:34] Ed Watters: Yeah. I, I, I really enjoy people, you know, this, this has helped me come out of my own desperate situation. You know, I'm still learning day by day, it's a never ending process for me. And I still go through my depressive bouts. But I'm learning through those inner nudgings, I call them trigger points,
[00:33:58] James Heppner: Nice.
[00:33:58] Ed Watters: to really accept what is going on and kind of step back from that instant response and really think a little bit. Breath work, take a breath and just chill for a few minutes, and it really helps. So I, I really enjoy what you do, James, I, I think what you offer is very valuable. Talk to us about your services, what your coaching services are, what you offer for them and your speaking services also, please.
[00:34:36] James Heppner: Yeah. So perhaps I can just share a bit like this, uh, imagine one day you're going for a walk and there's a little stream and you walk up towards it. And it's a nice sunny day,
[00:34:45] you take your shoes off and there's some pebbles on the side, but it's mostly soft and you sink your toes in and it's warm. And you decide to take a little seat. You've packed a little, uh, you've, you have a little backpack beside you, you got a little sandwich inside. You open it up and take a little bite and it's good,
[00:34:59] it tastes nice. And you got a little piece of fruit you're gonna have after, and you're about to have a little nap. And all of a sudden you see two things floating towards you. You're not sure what these things are, but as they come closer, you begin to realize these are bodies. And so what do you do other than, what does a person do other than enter the water?
[00:35:16] You know, you start walking slow cause you're thinking they're, they might just be floating down the river like the lazy river at, at uh, at Disneyland. But no, these people, it's, uh, you're wondering are their, are their faces down, are they turn upside down? So now you're going pretty quick. And the rocks that are on the, on the shore, the, the slight pebbles, you're running so fast, the rocks are hurting a little bit, but you don't even care,
[00:35:37] you just run in. You get into the water and you realize there's a bit of a current going on. So you gotta kind of get deeper in because these things that are floating, you realize their bodies and they don't look alive, you're not quite sure. One's upside down, one's right side up so you think perhaps they're still a chance for you to save them.
[00:35:51] So what do you do? Any good human would go in and not just pull out one, you'd pull out both, right? So you, so you get about pulling up both. You have two hands, you think, and they're floating close together so why not pull up both? So you manage to pull both out, it's quite tiring to be honest, but you manage to do it.
[00:36:08] The current's kind of yanking you along, but you kind of do it, you successfully do it. And you have 'em on the shore and, and, um, you have a cell phone and you, sure enough, you realize that one might still be alive. But you just call the paramedics and you're, and they come pick them up and, and so they're trying to revive,
[00:36:22] and the one that was upside down, they, they, they don't pronounce he's dead, but you're, you're thinking he's probably gone, or she's gone. And so you think it's now finally over and you sit there and go, whew, that was an experience. And you're like, okay, okay, I'm, I'm really tired actually. So now the sandwich and the piece of fruit, and you're going, now I'm just gonna relax, but wow, this is quite the experience.
[00:36:43] I'm just, I'm just gonna chill for a bit now, like that was a lot to take in. You're about to doze off and uh, you feel a little, uh, uh, wind pick up, a little breeze. And you look over at the water, it's so precious, it's like lapping up against the side now. A little more white caps, uh, different things going on, and you're like, wow, the wave's coming in. Such as life, waves in, waves out. And all of a sudden you spot four, not two, four, four of the same.
[00:37:11] You're like, what do I do now? You're like, wow, what I did before is what I'm gonna do now. So you get in there, but you quickly begin to realize you have four extremities but not four that can properly grab onto a body, it's two hands, four bodies. And you're like, if this moment is here to teach me one thing, who am I in this moment?
[00:37:27] So you reach in, you reach deep, you grab two. And you're struggling and you go, and the other two are moving away cause the current's picking up. And somehow, somewhere, not a clue how, but you manage to somehow caress these, move these bodies together and you drag and push and with all your might you get these bodies to shore.
[00:37:49] You call the paramedics and sure enough they come pick up the bodies. And there you are and you're thinking, incredible, what are the chances? I mean, this is horrible, but I mean, wow, I was here for this moment. This is just, I don't know what this is, I feel like walking away, cause who knows more might be coming.
[00:38:07] Chances that more are coming are not likely. This time you're taking a little rest, you're taking a little rest. All of a sudden you hear somebody shouting up river, you awaken. This, this one is alive, but instead of four it's eight. First there's two, it's four, it's eight. And you're going, holy shit, what the fuck do I do now?
[00:38:28] It's hit you, where are all these bodies coming from? But you're like, I gotta get 'em. But you're realizing you were so exhausted from four, physically it was almost impossible to do what you did before eight, eight. One's alive, but not able to even like carry themselves or swim to the shore. So here's the thing, what do you do?
[00:38:49] You try to rescue eight. Sadly, sadly, the one that's alive is so fearful he finds a way of hanging onto you and drowning almost you and him, but he ends up drowning before you do. You manage to get three bodies to the shore. The one that was alive and the other four, so five in total, float down river, they're gone.
[00:39:13] You don't know if you could have saved them or not. The only thing is what you're doing, you're just standing there, you call the paramedics, they come pick up the three. Only thing is, that you realize is, holy smokes, what is going on? Now you're getting really curious where this comes from. And so you begin to do the math and you begin to realize this is what life does.
[00:39:32] Life sends you two, sends you four, sends you eight, sends you 16, and you go, will I accept that life will just come at me. Now, some people, there's nothing wrong with it. Some people just build a bridge across this little ravine and they just end up yanking bodies all day long and they're okay with that.
[00:39:50] Nothing, we need people like that. However, some people are, look at that and say, it's just putting a Band-Aid, not a problem. Putting a band-Aid over a problem, it's not [00:40:00] really getting to the base of it. So there is, so to your question, people looking for me and my services and what I do, there's, there's a subset of humanity that says, listen, we can be about building a bridge and yanking bodies out, however, it goes from eight bodies, to 16, to 32.
[00:40:17] Invariably you lose a whole bunch. And those of us who say this is bandaid work, we don't tell these people who built the bridge, you're doing wrong work. We just get curious about something different, we get curious about going up river to discover where the bodies are coming from. But what it requires for that to happen is radical acceptance,
[00:40:36] acceptance of the fact bodies are coming, that's how it's gonna be. We're gonna lose some, we're gonna win some, we're gonna, that's how it is. Win, lose, draw, it's gonna happen, it's a reality of life. So we have to, in that moment of acceptance, we have to do a love or a, a kind gaze both towards the preferences of life we want and the things that we don't want, and be okay and say like, that's life.
[00:41:00] But then with that level of acceptance, we take a walk along the shore, we walk way up river. And we, so people come to find me because they want to discover what the master, where is the master switch? What would change life? Where am I creating the unhelpful situations? Where am I creating the unhelpful sufferings?
[00:41:22] Cause here's what will happen, I've seen this happen too many times in life. People, even if you are someone who's yanking bodies out, you're helping society. The only challenge with that is, if you think that the generations to come aren't gonna be getting more of these, invariably you're gonna run amuck. So even if I don't build a bridge, even if I just yank bodies out, and maybe life gives me two bodies at a time, I can always do it.
[00:41:48] The only thing is my kids will get my two bodies after I'm gone plus two more bodies. And so you kick the can down the road, invariably it doesn't work. So people choose to work with me in two ways, one of which being, if you really want to go deep and you want to get to it, and you people on this show, you know who you are.
[00:42:07] When you're feeling a nudge, you know who you are. You know that, listen, you got to connect with someone one-on-one as a mentor, as a guide, as a strategist, as a self-help hacker. That's what people call me, I didn't call myself this, this is what people call me. I've been in training in several modalities, the idea is to listen to who's in front of me, find their strengths, tap into the modalities that work for them.
[00:42:33] Then with that, we find the master switch, and with that we begin to change their life in massive, massive ways. So that's one-on-one work. And again, you people here listening, you know who you are, you'll feel it. So reach out to me, go to my website, it's simply www.jamesheppner.com. J, A, M, E, S, H, E, P, P, N, E, R.com.
[00:42:55] Go contact me page, reach out, and we'll get you in for a discovery call and just see if we're a good fit. It's really simple, it's really, there's no strings attached. And then of course, for all you others, it's not good, bad, or different. There's many of you that'll be like, listen, this sounds nice, this sounds nice,
[00:43:14] I'm not sure if, if one-on-one work is for me right now. And again, you'll know who you are, you'll feel that. I invite each one of you to come and join us, we have a, um, community call every Friday, no charge, at noon. where we literally language, we make available the space, we language a win and a core loss of the week.
[00:43:40] And what happens is we turn our face towards both sides, not making one right and making the other wrong. Not one good, not one bad, not needing to churn a negative into a positive cause it was never a negative to begin with. It was the reality of life, think about it, folks. The happily every after Hollywood, the rose is given.
[00:44:01] When does life really begin? It, the marriage begins then, that's when it begins. That's not how it ends, that's just when it begins. So 50% of your life is when you perceive you lose or when you actually lost. So if we don't want to, if we choose to live fully alive and want to maximize life, we're gonna utilize life, not eliminate life.
[00:44:26] And to utilize means we turn our face towards both perspectives, where we're winning, where we're losing. And at the end of the week we can come and share this with people. And people from around the world, you should see their eyes light up and, you know, we don't change a negative, or sorry, we don't change a loss into a positive cause it was never a negative to begin with. Just by saying it removes the sting very often.
[00:44:52] And it's like you embrace it, it's out in the open now, you don't have to hide it. When I checked out for two and a half years, my friend, I did this cause it's hiding from something. But when you just embrace it and like, I lost this, you know what happens when you finally reveal that you've lost something? The next week when you want to try anything,
[00:45:09] anything, whether it's a new business, whether it's applying for a new job, you know what you're gonna have to safely onboard is that it's not gonna, the fuck, go the way you thought it was gonna go. It never ends up exactly the way you thought it was gonna go. So you're gonna have to, you're gonna have to build a musculature to be like, I'm okay if it doesn't work out the way I thought it was going to work out.
[00:45:31] So you're gonna, you're, you know, you're constantly doing a mini funeral for how you thought it was gonna go. So guess what? When you begin the week, because you ended it well on the community Weekly Wins and Losses call, you begin to start the week with wanting to take courageous, bold action towards a thought or a dream.
[00:45:47] Not because you have to have it the way you want it to go for you to say it was well, but you now say whatever happens is the good news. And I want to participate with what I get, not check out. I want to utilize, not eliminate. I want to be with, I want it as it is. And so the good news is this, Monday morning when you want to take courageous action because you've done this work, whether it's one-on-one work or this group work, when you think of
[00:46:22] an acting, a thought, a new thing, you go, could I? And you're feeling slightly dangerous and afraid, you'll be like, and why can't I? And then you'll find, whoa, wait a minute. And to the exact degree that you have done or not done the work of kicking the can down the road, when you kick the can down the road, it looks like suppression.
[00:46:44] Trying to eliminate, my life is accolades, I'm just good. Losses, that's garbage, that's from the devil . No, that's 50% of life, 50% of life. So anyway, I invite each one of you, make your decision, whether it's me or someone else, I could care less. If I'm your guide, awesome, if I'm not, awesome. But do the work where you get beneath, beneath it all, the, beneath the infrastructure, the thing that controls your life, how you perceive it. The human being perceives, I win or I lose,
[00:47:17] that's what it is. Reckon with it, reason with it, maximize it, utilize it. I know I sound like a broken record and it sounds like dystopic heavy work, but actually it's quite fun, it's quite lovely. We don't change the facts. It's not positive hyperbole, it's work. But guess what? When you build a relationship with your inner life, my friend, Ken, you know what happens when you build a relationship there?
[00:47:45] That's a beautiful little sound you here. And now all of a sudden life, the harmony of it, you can experience it, not because you're trying to take difference and make it the same way, the way you want, but you get to onboard difference and just embrace it for what it ends up being. And instead of just yanking bodies out the river and hope you're keeping up, you get to get to the undertow of all of it, which is like the ultimate leadership spot of your life.
[00:48:07] You don't have to wait for life to get better. You literally are like, and I can't control life, life will be what it is, but I'm just curious what I can do. And so again, for those of you who are a little sick and tired of pulling bodies out, bodies of those situations of your life. You're sick and tired of cleaning up messes, whatever that ends up being. Going to the doctor
[00:48:25] just when you have a headache, you know, you're sick and tired of look, looking for the magic pill. And you want to get to the base of it, you wanna stop wasting your life. You're gonna find me on, on our website there.
[00:48:36] Ed Watters: Yeah. Uh, and, and you can find out about your speaking events, engagements there also?
[00:48:43] James Heppner: Yes. And thanks for asking, a lovely, and just as a little, uh, pointer, um, on my website, you will find there's a link, uh, uh, on, you know, on the page which says Weekly Wins and Losses, just Wins and Losses, that's where you click on so that you can join our weekly, uh, no charge Friday noon call. But speaking engagements, exactly the same. So you can reach out,
[00:49:05] for those of you, whether it's keynote, whatever it ends up being. Please, yes, go there and you'll find speaking engagements. And again, contact me page is the simplest way, and my assistant and I will, she'll, she'll direct it and, and direct the thing as needed. And there's also a media kit link, uh, there as well, so, absolutely. Yep.
[00:49:24] Ed Watters: All right, James. Uh, before I let you go, do you have a call to action for our listeners?
[00:49:32] James Heppner: Well, that's a, that's a loaded one, you know. To me, it's, to me, it's like this, right, Ken? Like, Hey, I'm just a person, I think the gift is we're all just people. And my call to action is what, what calls, drives me to action every day.
[00:49:46] And you know, I'm gonna try to make this as wide as possible, but I can't help but think this changed my life. So if this does anything for any one of you, then let it be something, right? And, uh, here are my four values that I go through [00:50:00] every day. Um, number one, and I want you to ask yourself, so audience listeners, ask yourself, how could this apply to me?
[00:50:08] Or does this apply to me? And if so, how would it make my life perhaps a little more fluid and a little more the way that I would enjoy my life a little bit more, I'd enjoy myself, my own skin suit a bit more. So number one is, life owes me nothing. So think about it, if you adopt a belief, life owes me nothing, wow.
[00:50:26] All of a sudden whatever you get is like, yeah, it owes me nothing. What was I thinking? I'm entitled to a different experience? Wait a minute, owes me nothing. Okay, number two, nothing has to be perfect. Oh, my friend, I used to be such a perfectionist, how to be perfect. I say, I'm sorry, and that might be the worst news.
[00:50:43] The only thing is the fact when I show Rowan that I'm not perfect, he loves me more. So ask yourself listeners again, where in your life are you creating havoc? Your unhelpful challenge, the unhelpful side of life? The unhelpful, uh, distressing, conflicting parts cause you say I apparently need to have it figured out,
[00:51:01] which leads me to number three.
[00:51:22] Weekly Wins and Losses, nothing traps me. Listen, I get to decide what this is and I get to let life teach me what it is. I don't have to even bring meaning to everything, meaning step one. Number two is, you let life teach you. Nothing traps me, it's all here for me. I challenge each one of you listeners, when you think something traps you, ask yourself, where did you once think that about a certain situation or about a relationship?
[00:51:45] But now that time has passed, you realize this helped you to become who you are. So when you adopt a belief, nothing traps me, everything frees me, your life ends up changing. And so, um, the thing that I always wrap it up with is this, two things, number one, I'm now happy to join hands in what is happening all the time, everywhere. Even without me, but also with me, as needed.
[00:52:09] Number two, I do not need to be in control, nor do I want to be. I simply need to allow it and to participate with it. And so my final story, and I know you listened to Harrison and Rowan, I'll share this with you, and that is, I take Rowan and Harrison to school a couple weeks ago and Harrison's got high functioning autism, smart little cookie,
[00:52:30] he's in the 99th percentile. He can take two loose leafs of, of, of information and he can read it twice, twice and he's got the thing verbatim, down. Pretty, pretty intense, pretty intense and stuff, right?
[00:52:45] Ed Watters: That's good.
[00:52:45] James Heppner: In the, that's good, driving to school. And, uh, so he is a smart cookie, right? Very, very smart that way.
[00:52:53] And, uh, Rowan's sitting beside me in the passenger seat, Harrison's sitting in the backseat. And I look over, like I normally do to the boys, I ask them, not, not the same question, but kind of something in line of, Hey, what are you looking forward to today? Meaning what you look for, you're gonna find. So what are you looking forward to? What are you putting out there looking forward to? Sorry, just gonna turn my alarm off.
[00:53:12] Ed Watters: That's alright.
[00:53:13] James Heppner: That's okay. And, and, and then Rowan says to me, uh, well, he just goes on his thing and I love it, it was just beautiful. And, and then I can't, can't help but spot in the rear view mirror, there's Harrison,
[00:53:23] he's just kind of looking at the window as contemplating, he's really quiet. And I'm picking up that he's not having a really good day. And I said, Harrison, what's going on? I said, how about you? What are you thinking? I don't want to make him think it's gonna be positive, or what are you even looking for? I just said, Harrison, what's today gonna be about for you?
[00:53:40] Not what are you looking forward to? What's, what's it gonna be about for you? And he looks forward and he's looking a little sad, and I, and he says, dad, and I say, yes, son. He goes, dad, I got it. You know, I hate to say it. But I've realized one thing, dad, and I'm like, Ooh, what's he gonna say? Cause he's a pretty smart one, and Rowan, the same, same way. But it's interesting, often our deep pain draws us to deep joy.
[00:54:07] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:54:07] James Heppner: And I was so proud of him because he lived, he, and in what he said, he liberated himself from deep suffering. So he did what took me two and a half years and he did it in a moment. This is what he said to me. He, he says, dad, I realize all I have to do and now I'm listening.
[00:54:21] All I have to do, he goes, dad, all I have to do is, I just have to participate with what's directly in front of me, then I'll be just fine. And I'm like, oh my goodness, how is that not, that's, that's pretty profound. Yeah.
[00:54:37] Ed Watters: Yeah. That's good, right on. I like that.
[00:54:40] James Heppner: Participate.
[00:54:41] Ed Watters: That's a good way to close this out, you know, participation, you're not getting anywhere if you don't participate.
[00:54:48] James Heppner: Exactly.
[00:54:48] Ed Watters: And it, it starts right in front of you.
[00:54:51] James Heppner: Yeah.
[00:54:51] Ed Watters: I love it. James Heppner, uh, you can be found @jamesheppner.com. Uh, people can find all your contact information there. I wanna say thank you for spending time here on the Dead America Podcast, you're a person that actually gets it. And I truly appreciate you being here, thank you.
[00:55:13] James Heppner: Well, Ken, um, I'll say it this way, I think, and again, I don't know why I call you Ken, but I know you're Ed.
[00:55:19] Ed Watters: It's all right.
[00:55:20] James Heppner: I have no idea,
[00:55:20] Ed Watters: I answer to anything.
[00:55:23] James Heppner: Ed, it was an honor to be here with you. And, uh, hey, brother, I, like you, did a whole bunch of research like I do for anyone that I get on a talk with.
[00:55:31] And I'll, I'll, and I'll tell you something, brother, I honor you for your work and for what you're end up or for what you're about and what you end up having brought to the surface here. I, it's, you know, it's just been an absolute pleasure. So thank you so much.
[00:55:43] Ed Watters: You enjoy the rest of your day, sir.
[00:55:46] James Heppner: You take care.
[00:55:51] Ed Watters: 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 Podcast. I'm Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.
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