Language of the Soul Podcast

Love Is a Verb, with author Dominick Domingo

November 27, 2023 Dominick Domingo Season 2023 Episode 9
Love Is a Verb, with author Dominick Domingo
Language of the Soul Podcast
More Info
Language of the Soul Podcast
Love Is a Verb, with author Dominick Domingo
Nov 27, 2023 Season 2023 Episode 9
Dominick Domingo

Host Dominick Domingo shares an article he was invited to contribute to Johnny Tan's  online magazine, 'Inspirations for Better Living.' Titled, 'Love Is a Verb,' the article chronicles Dominick's journey of manifestation—from dovetailing with the universe  through losing everything but his life, to reclaiming his agency in the world. The mechanics of overcoming are universal:  In The Alchemist, Paul Coelho speaks of Beginner's Luck: the alchemy that occurs when the universe conspires in favor of those who pursue their personal legend. Also universal is the milestone in which the alchemy of youth yields to disillusionment. The means by which we recover our powers of manifestation—and thereby our agency in the world—have everything to do with self-love.

This inspiring talk explores the life-altering power of choosing love over fear and the tranquility, satisfaction, and inner peace that comes when we seek out opportunities to love more

We would love to hear from you! Sent US a text message.

Support the Show.

If you would like to make a one-time donation, CLICK HERE, or you can click the support button for other monthly support options.

To learn more and order Language of the Soul: www.dominickdomingo.com/theseeker

Think you would be a great guest for our podcast; please submit a request at LOTS Podcast Guest Pitch Form.

Now more than ever, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and surrender to futility in the face of global strife. Storytellers know we must renew hope daily. We are being called upon to embrace our interconnectivity, transform paradigms, and trust the ripple effect will play its part. In the words of Lion King producer Don Hahn (Episode 8), “Telling stories is one of the most important professions out there right now.” We here at Language of the Soul Podcast could not agree more.

This podcast is a labor of love. You can help us spread the word about the power of story to transform. Your donation, however big or small, will help us build our platform and thereby get the word out. Together, we can change the world…one heart at a time!

Language of the Soul Podcast +
Help us continue making great content for listeners everywhere.
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Host Dominick Domingo shares an article he was invited to contribute to Johnny Tan's  online magazine, 'Inspirations for Better Living.' Titled, 'Love Is a Verb,' the article chronicles Dominick's journey of manifestation—from dovetailing with the universe  through losing everything but his life, to reclaiming his agency in the world. The mechanics of overcoming are universal:  In The Alchemist, Paul Coelho speaks of Beginner's Luck: the alchemy that occurs when the universe conspires in favor of those who pursue their personal legend. Also universal is the milestone in which the alchemy of youth yields to disillusionment. The means by which we recover our powers of manifestation—and thereby our agency in the world—have everything to do with self-love.

This inspiring talk explores the life-altering power of choosing love over fear and the tranquility, satisfaction, and inner peace that comes when we seek out opportunities to love more

We would love to hear from you! Sent US a text message.

Support the Show.

If you would like to make a one-time donation, CLICK HERE, or you can click the support button for other monthly support options.

To learn more and order Language of the Soul: www.dominickdomingo.com/theseeker

Think you would be a great guest for our podcast; please submit a request at LOTS Podcast Guest Pitch Form.

Now more than ever, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and surrender to futility in the face of global strife. Storytellers know we must renew hope daily. We are being called upon to embrace our interconnectivity, transform paradigms, and trust the ripple effect will play its part. In the words of Lion King producer Don Hahn (Episode 8), “Telling stories is one of the most important professions out there right now.” We here at Language of the Soul Podcast could not agree more.

This podcast is a labor of love. You can help us spread the word about the power of story to transform. Your donation, however big or small, will help us build our platform and thereby get the word out. Together, we can change the world…one heart at a time!

Speaker 1:

Hi guys and welcome to Language of the Soul podcast, where life is story. This is a bit of a mini episode. We're adding supplemental content, as you may have noticed, to our YouTube channel, in addition to the playlists of the podcast itself. So in that spirit, I guess I'll start by saying I'm kind of on a roll. We did two back-to-back episodes today and of course it was inspiring and stimulating intellectually and I'm either running on fumes or I have a lot of momentum one of the two. So I was so inspired and sort of listening back to not the entire episodes but certain parts because of course, themes kept arising and all of it is in the spirit of the podcast.

Speaker 1:

So what occurred to me is this how many times can you say storytelling transforms right? And then, when we talk about swapping out the lenses through which you see the world or transforming your narratives, there's so many ways of saying it right Taking those old warbly records that play out of an infinitum, and in the seeker I call it just writing your own song, co-creating with the universe and owning your own narratives and writing your own song. But it's just come up so much that it's really it is storytelling in a nutshell, on a micro and a macro level. We'll be saying this throughout all of our episodes, but what occurred to me today, too, is we're really finding our peeps. So those of us who have stepped into our purpose, found our voice or, I guess, our authentic voice and then really stepped into the understanding that only by contributing it to the collective do we truly find satisfaction. Right, it's said that the goal is not to be loved, but in the giving of love is where the tranquility, the satisfaction, the well-being, the inner peace lies. So that's what I'm calling contribution. So both of our guests today, like I said, we did back-to-back episodes and I may lose my voice during this mini episode, let's find out.

Speaker 1:

I am thrashed but also inspired, so running on fumes Anyway. But it really is such a beautiful thing when, in real time, you're transforming through the creative process and then art reflects life, right? So I think the inspiration transcends when you transform in real time through the creative process, if that makes sense and it's reflected in the work. That is manifestation in action. And one thing that tends to result from that from being true to your muse or your calling or your ministry or your purpose, or what Paul Kowelho would call your personal legend is you do find your peeps. You attract people that are on a similar journey. That's exactly what happened today.

Speaker 1:

I felt, like you know, I found kinship with these beautiful spirits and we're all on a similar journey, and it has to do with death and rebirth. You know, we've all mourned our life as we knew it and stepped into a new sense of purpose. So in that spirit, I realized, you know, I just have never been good at being a keynote speaker with a single message. I have too many stories to tell and in fact it's hard to be definitive in writing, even not even a memoir, but a single narrative, nonfiction essay, because, again, there are so many lenses you could swap out. Which story am I going to tell? The tragedy or the comedy or the redemptive version? So I've never been great at that. But I am also in awe of a really great TED Talk with a very clear message. My sister recently did a TED Talk and it's a science, it's a really beautiful science, and so a lot of the TED Talks really focus on people that have overcome, not so much necessarily made a lemonade of lemons, but who have lost everything and then rebuilt with a sense of purpose.

Speaker 1:

And so, in that spirit, the closest I ever came to writing a keynote speech or a TED Talk was when I was asked to write an article for Johnny Tan. I had been on his podcast and he has an online magazine and he asked me to tell my story. So, without bogging him down with like well, which story should I tell? I decided to just do a snapshot. Who am I at this moment? And because I am building a brand and a platform which is almost synonymous with defining one's purpose or one's vision. Of course it can evolve, but at this moment, what am I all about? What is the culmination of all the stories I've told about myself to myself all these years? And you know where has it? Where has it brought me? So, in that spirit, just for posterity, and so that once in my life I have something definitive on record, it really was hard to write this article because I left so much out, but I'm very proud of it and I think it's got a really great message that is very much in keeping, like I said, with the shared journey we all seem to be on, these kindred spirits that I've, the Virginia and I both have stumbled into by taking this big step of creating a podcast and birthing it, and I'm just going to take this opportunity and this very short episode to read it. It was in print but you know I hear everyone rarely gets feedback. I don't know if anyone even read it. So here I go and I really hope the message lands. It's very much in keeping with the spirit of language of the soul, the book and the podcast All right.

Speaker 1:

I was born with no silver spoon in my mouth. The son of a blue-collar Italian-American concrete worker and a homemaker, I learned the tools of manifestation on my own. I learned to self-create in defiance of the status quo. Oh, my humble origins ensured material gain was never the ambition. I simply became the best possible version of myself, growing a platform in which others could realize their capacity. And then, in the way of walking cliches everywhere, I lost it all. This is the story of the long journey toward reclaiming my agency in the world, against great odds. Oh, I'm not out of the woods, not by a long shot. I have no landing pad for my helicopter, nor do I have a helicopter, but the insights I've gained, with or without material abundance, the spiritual riches I've amassed, are here to stay, and the rest will come in time.

Speaker 1:

My childhood was characterized by chaos thanks to alcoholism. The fringe benefit of dysfunction was the inexhaustible creativity. At birth, drawing in my sketchbook, engaging in the creative process though I had no words for it at the time was my way of tuning out the noise. I quickly learned to look within for well-being, inner peace and solace. Like many artists, I learned to express myself in an unexamined way when it was not safe to do so without the surrogate. My craft became the voice I didn't otherwise possess. Creating was cathartic for me. The validation it brought was a mere byproduct. Sharing the work, seeing the way it moved or touched or simply impressed people, was proof I existed. Ego, of course, thrives on such affirmation, but more than that, my pension was a way of engaging with the world, a complete circuit otherwise known as connection. The Landmark Forum, a personal development course popular in the 90s, speaks of our winning formula. It's the MO to which we default when trapped, our saving grace. Like many, the quality I grew into the science of shame became my greatest gift.

Speaker 1:

Though I was reading college level in third grade, neither the public school system nor my modest parents were equipped to channel my academic proficiency. Thankfully, I was driven to make a living through my art. The prospect seemed a hell of a lot better than flipping burgers in a paper hat or continuing the construction work, otherwise known as hard labor, I'd done throughout childhood with my father. Though I was not gifted the tools to be a good student, I excelled at ArtCenter, one of the most demanding and expensive private colleges in the country, before graduating with distinction, on a full ride. I credit to my own hustling.

Speaker 1:

I recall sitting on stage behind a closed curtain at Ebell of Los Angeles, a private philanthropy organization. Their scholarship was one of the several that made up my full ride. We recipients had a single obligation to sit on that stage, behind that musty curtain, while the wealthy ladies who lunch rattled off the minutes from their latest meeting. When the curtains opened to sparse applause, we were to look promising and smile and, of course, eat finger sandwiches until time to leave. For the moment the curtain remained closed, giving me time to look around at my fellow recipients. I suddenly knew I was from a different mold and felt privileged to be sitting there among them. But privilege was nothing I'd inherited. It wasn't based in road opportunity or nepotism or entitlement. It was earned. I was learning the art of self-creation. Despite circumstances, I was learning to co-create by dovetailing with the universe and my own fulfillment of potential. Why not me? I thought, in the spirit of parlaying one opportunity into the next, unexamined of course.

Speaker 1:

My internship with Disney animation led to a position on a tiny film to become known as Lion King. I spent 11 years with Disney in both LA and Paris, painting backgrounds and creating visual development art for Lion King, pocahontas, hunchback of Notre Dame, tarzan and Fantasia. When Lion King became one of the top-grossing films of all time, the bonus allowed me to pay off my student loans in one check, hitting the ground running in the credit department. When came the first car I bought brand new from a dealer, further bolstering my credit, though I remained a minimalist without a materialistic bone in his body. I didn't buy my first stereo till the age of 26. But I relished sharing the alchemy by gifting my parents' trips to Paris and New York for premieres. My efforts to give back extended to returning to my alma mater Art Center, founding their entertainment track and teaching there for 20 years.

Speaker 1:

When I left Disney, the platform I built that allowed others to practice their craft took the form of self-financed live-action films. Many of them won awards in the festival circuit and garnered distribution, leading to a writing resume with original screenplay credits. This in turn led to my career as an author. Thirty years after Lion King's release, I'm still friends with its director. Recently, over lunch, we marveled at a moment in time when the stars aligned, a moment that's become known as the animation Renaissance, when an unlikely family came together to combine a passion for storytelling with artistic genius to change the world. The thing is, what I built for myself proved unsustainable. Changes in the industry meant our unlikely family would disperse, shift focus. Though we're nostalgic about that magic moment, the climate at Disney changed along with the world, and the new rules were something many of us could not abide. Later, the same would happen at Art Center. The legacy would slip and the institution would become little more than a moneymaker. The tale effectively wagging the dog. Teaching was no longer rewarding.

Speaker 1:

At a very formative time, I was gifted Paul Coelho's visionary fiction novel the Alchemist. In it, coelho calls our muse, or calling our personal legend, the universe, he goes on conspires in our favor when we obey it. He calls that alchemy beginner's luck. I would come to recognize the changes in my world as the natural progression of things. My own writings often centered on overcoming disillusionment. I likened the process to the internalization of doubt through cracks and fissures in some self-created armor. We manifest when we're unaware of our limitations, when the world is our oyster and we don't know any better. Heartbreak added to my disillusionment. I remember the day I told myself I simply would not survive another heartbreak, with the sages of intentions framing it in the most virtuous way. I set out to be complete with her without a relationship. When someone came along who was a nice addition to a complete life, rather than simply filling a void, I'd be open to it. The thing is, my currency dried up. In the waiting, I grew comfortable with the walls I unknowingly built around my heart.

Speaker 1:

In March of 2019, I landed in the emergency room with a full-blown AIDS diagnosis and a litany of opportunistic infections that read like war and peace, so numerous were my diagnoses. I finally told the nurse, who read them off just tell me what I don't have, it'll be quicker. I'd lost 20 pounds, was septic on admission and am lucky to have lived. I was discharged after 18 days with a life I hardly recognized. Oh, there had been signs, bouts with skin cancer, where early warnings my immune system was going on strike. Without medical insurance and a subpar healthcare system, I'd chased a diagnosis on my own dime. My medical emergencies paying for skin cancer excisions and reconstructive surgeries out of pocket had put me in a financial hole and I got behind on taxes. And now I was faced with bills for an 18-day hospital stay at nearly $10,000 per day. After discharge. There were plenty of complications more skin cancer excisions, bone loss from the ARVs that were saving my life, severe athralgia, myalgia and neuropathy.

Speaker 1:

Suffice it to say, recovering during a pandemic was challenging. Facilities were impacted and the triage mentality assured. I thoroughly slipped through the cracks. All my consults stalled, including physical therapy. My recovery landed in my own hands. So I upped my game, putting my spiritual practice on the front burner.

Speaker 1:

I'd always taken a holistic approach to health, nurturing mind, body and spirit equally, but the stakes had never been higher. From daily meditation to regaining my strength, through my own physical or therapy regimens to herbs and supplements, even adopting a rescue dog to up my oxytocin levels, I dedicated myself to regaining my health and my agency in the world. You see, when you have a brush with death, your perspective broadens More than that. Like a deer in the headlights, you're forced to take stock and figure out how in hell you landed where you're at, how the alchemy of youth can so thoroughly slip through one's fingers. Despite my best efforts, the world's erosive thought forms and paradigms had somehow gotten in through chinks in the armor. Oh, I thought I was doing pretty good at life, but over time everything had been taken from me, everything but the one thing I was not willing to give up my life At the height of the vicious cycle. I had two bicycles. I'd retired my card of the government in my state of poverty, stolen from beneath my nose. In one week, the law of attraction was in full force, to the point, I literally found myself dodging cars that swerved toward me on the sidewalk. The universe was conspiring all right, conspiring to do me in.

Speaker 1:

What I learned in my journey of self-discovery is at bottom. I didn't love myself enough to protect what I'd manifested. I didn't have the tools to care enough about my thoughts and feelings to escape toxic situations. Staying was all I'd known as a child. Before landing in the hospital, my last two freelance jobs were a far cry. For my glory days at Disney, the circumstances were nothing short of degrading. Respect for artists had long since become a thing of the past. So I put up with a degradation, all the while feeling the compromise taking its toll on my body. I knew full well that emotional stress equals inflammation and inflammation equals disease. And yet I remained. Over time I learned my inability to love myself far from self-loathing was rooted in the internalization of negative messaging from my alcoholic household. I'd have to devote myself to learning the art of self-love, despite tools I was not given. My biggest discovery is one I did not see coming. Nothing had been taken from me. I'd self-deprived due to that lack of self-love, and so, over the next year, I trained myself to care enough about my thoughts and feelings to look out for myself. But here's the clincher there was more to learn.

Speaker 1:

My journey back to health, against all odds, became the basis of my pandemic book, the Seeker. The mythic fiction novel was a parable of the spiritual journey we all share, but it mirrored what I'd endured play by play, and all that I'd learned as a result. It's said that every character in a novel is an aspect of the author's psyche. My protagonists, ameteus and Icarus, were dual aspects of me. One was all mind and ego, the other all heart, integrating the two in the writing of my novel was a way of reconnecting with my compassion Principal. As a glacier slow to melt, icarus warns in a pivotal scene, the principal I had clung to as a defensive protection from the chaos of my childhood no longer served me. It was a form of judgment that stood in the way of compassion. Reconnecting with it was the equivalent of opening my heart.

Speaker 1:

In the final chapter of the Seeker, in the spirit of all heroes' journeys, ameteus symbolically returns home. His completeness in the end lays not just in opening his heart to compassion but in being of service. As it turns out, adopting my pit-bold bowie was the best move of all, and not because of the oxytocin factor Having someone other than myself to care for had opened my heart. The thing is, love heals us not in the receipt of it but the giving of it. Love, after all, is a verb, though learning self-love is an important step in self-actualization and therefore contentment. Study after study shows that well-being and satisfaction hinge on purposeful contribution To the whole of humanity or within our grass-root circles. The characters in my novel had made the Yellowbrick Road journey and return home. Now it was my turn. Language of the soul, its companion piece, distilled what I'd learned into academic terms. Now it was time to put all that theory into practice.

Speaker 1:

I'll never forget a vivid moment. Soon after my discharge from the hospital Things were still fuzzy and surreal from the meningitis, but the images are clear as day I was standing in line at APLA's Food Bank, surrounded by down-and-out folks. I'd been able to tune out for much of my adult life the raw hostility and despair I saw around me. The drug addiction and mental illness were a side to the gay community. I'd glimpsed but refused airtime. And now I was one of them and hope was a luxury. Suddenly, the irony occurred to me. In my idealistic youth I'd delivered Project Angel Food meals to homebound AIDS patients. I'd marveled at their grace under fire but still knew I had something they didn't. And now I depended on those very same meals.

Speaker 1:

If being the member of a club you once dismissed doesn't yield compassion, I don't know what will. The truth is I'd gotten all I'd asked for. The genie archetype is the prime illustration of the law of attraction Ask and ye shall receive. I'd prayed for spiritual humility through minimalism, but that's another word for scarcity. I'd asked for more compassion, always more compassion, that I might conquer ego once and for all and see the world through loving eyes. Oh, this is not a cautionary tale about being careful what you ask for or bargaining with God.

Speaker 1:

I would not trade my spiritual growth for the world. I feel I'm out of the woods in terms of my health. The path forward is not certain, but I'm confident my circumstances and conditions will catch up to mirror my spiritual growth. After all, we all deserve ease, if not abundance. I'll continue to value my thoughts and feelings enough to maintain a high vibration and, yes, self-love. But what I've learned is we must turn the focus outward by actively loving others, finding those opportunities outside ourselves to give love, not just receive it. That laundry list of circumstances and conditions that make us all walk in cliches I have so much love to give. If only the world would allow it no longer holds water.

Speaker 1:

Every moment, storytellers know, is an opportunity to choose fear over love, to choose the heart over mind and ego, to swap out the lens through which we see the world. But, more importantly, in each moment the onus is still on each one of us to seek out opportunities to love more. Love is where you find it. Alright. Thanks so much for listening. I was not wrong. I'm losing my voice and I think I'm going to go drool on the pillow. Alright, thank you so much. See you next time. Bye.

Transformation and Finding Purpose
Journey of Self-Discovery and Resilience
Choosing Love in Every Moment