Language of the Soul Podcast

Operating in the Genius Zone with Johnny Tan

February 23, 2024 Dominick Domingo Season 2024 Episode 3
Operating in the Genius Zone with Johnny Tan
Language of the Soul Podcast
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Language of the Soul Podcast
Operating in the Genius Zone with Johnny Tan
Feb 23, 2024 Season 2024 Episode 3
Dominick Domingo

Guest Johnny Tan seasoned this week's episode, like a good recipe, with anecdotes of family nurturance. From the Malaysian kitchen of his childhood through those of the  nine strong women he went on to call Mom, these culturally rich tales were not just about the food that  passed his lips but also the recipes--life lessons-- that have fed his soul. This wealth of nurturing guidance led to the creation of his cookbook, 'From My Mama's Kitchen,'  a celebration of the stories that bind us, the resilience that sustains us, and the many forms of maternal love that guide us through life. We delve into profound themes of consciousness, authenticity, ethics and the value of the past, acknowledging that past, present and future are inextricable. We ponder the mind's default mode network and how it defines our sense of self. We consider the therapeutic power of writing and reflect on the responsibility in honoring the history that shapes our future. This episode is as much about laughter and celebration as the deep-seated values and experiences that make us who we are.

Guest Bio: Johnny Tan is the Founder & CEO of From My Mama’s Kitchen® organization and publisher of “Inspirations for Better Living” magazine. He is also an Experiential Keynote Speaker, Executive Career & Life coach, Mentor, Talk Show Host, and a Multi-Award-Winning & Bestselling Author of From My Mama’s Kitchen - “Food for the Soul, Recipes for Living,” which honors his 9 Moms.  Johnny was awarded the prestigious 2020-2021 Top 100 Visionaries in Education by the Global Forum for Education and Learning (GFEL) and is an Executive Contributor to Global BRAINZ Magazine in 2022. His life’s journey has prepared him to be a compelling new voice on Conscious Living and Working in Today’s World of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Johnny energizes and empowers people to reach their highest potential with a profound transformative message: “Resilience - Designing Our Life to Live and Perform in Our Genius Zone,” to experience the Synergy of Success, Harmony, and Joy, leading them to flow with Life’s Rhythm in everything they do!

Learn more about Johnny Tan at the links below:
www.JoyfulLiving360.com

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!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Guest Johnny Tan seasoned this week's episode, like a good recipe, with anecdotes of family nurturance. From the Malaysian kitchen of his childhood through those of the  nine strong women he went on to call Mom, these culturally rich tales were not just about the food that  passed his lips but also the recipes--life lessons-- that have fed his soul. This wealth of nurturing guidance led to the creation of his cookbook, 'From My Mama's Kitchen,'  a celebration of the stories that bind us, the resilience that sustains us, and the many forms of maternal love that guide us through life. We delve into profound themes of consciousness, authenticity, ethics and the value of the past, acknowledging that past, present and future are inextricable. We ponder the mind's default mode network and how it defines our sense of self. We consider the therapeutic power of writing and reflect on the responsibility in honoring the history that shapes our future. This episode is as much about laughter and celebration as the deep-seated values and experiences that make us who we are.

Guest Bio: Johnny Tan is the Founder & CEO of From My Mama’s Kitchen® organization and publisher of “Inspirations for Better Living” magazine. He is also an Experiential Keynote Speaker, Executive Career & Life coach, Mentor, Talk Show Host, and a Multi-Award-Winning & Bestselling Author of From My Mama’s Kitchen - “Food for the Soul, Recipes for Living,” which honors his 9 Moms.  Johnny was awarded the prestigious 2020-2021 Top 100 Visionaries in Education by the Global Forum for Education and Learning (GFEL) and is an Executive Contributor to Global BRAINZ Magazine in 2022. His life’s journey has prepared him to be a compelling new voice on Conscious Living and Working in Today’s World of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Johnny energizes and empowers people to reach their highest potential with a profound transformative message: “Resilience - Designing Our Life to Live and Perform in Our Genius Zone,” to experience the Synergy of Success, Harmony, and Joy, leading them to flow with Life’s Rhythm in everything they do!

Learn more about Johnny Tan at the links below:
www.JoyfulLiving360.com

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. I'm your host author, dominic Domingo, and I'd like to say quick hello to our producer, extraordinaire Virginia, who this week has earned the title overdue Valentine nail lady.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and I have lashes back. I got my lashes back, all right.

Speaker 1:

Well, I saw your nails. We will actually change up your title very soon because you're not. You know you shouldn't be defined by your nails and your eyelashes, but I did see. They're pretty cool man. They're really intricate, beautiful designs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've never done. I've always like, I've done like red on my toenails, but I've never done them on my hands. So actually having a burgundy red on my hands is like unique for the, for me ever.

Speaker 1:

Does it change your personality when you walk out the door?

Speaker 2:

No, but I definitely think that this is probably my more classic and and lamb nail that I've ever done, because usually I do, as you know, as everybody knows, listening to our podcast. I should do more fun designs, so right now.

Speaker 1:

I'm just trying to try to bring it to story. Like they say, when you wear a red dress, when you walk out the door, your day just goes differently.

Speaker 2:

You know so, so bring it to story here. So here's a story. So here's a personal note for everybody. So I don't celebrate Valentine's Day like everybody does about love. I actually celebrate Valentine's Day as a day of freedom, because I was in an abusive relationship and I actually left that person the night before Valentine's Day to myself.

Speaker 1:

Wow, Did you plan it that way or did it just sort of happen?

Speaker 2:

We had a really bad domestic violent I guess I'm being very candid here domestic violent incident, and so he at the time worked for the Chargers as private security. And, yes, the football team, the Chargers.

Speaker 1:

We go. I think we got that yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, just for those who don't know who the Chargers are. Anyway, so he was. They had a game over Valentine's Day, so when he left for that, the second I came home from work and I was a good for you. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So in a way I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it's self love, right? Yes, yes. Valentine's Day is about self love, looking out for yourself.

Speaker 2:

So for me, putting actual like a motif of Valentine's Day on my hands for the first time, it's a power. Yeah, literally in almost 27 years, because that's how long ago it was. Wow, yeah, that's a beautiful.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Every nail tells a story, yes, but actually your counseling makes a lot more sense now. I didn't know that about you, but I love that you're. You're turning again, not putting words in your mouth, but I would think, turning lemons into lemonade and finding purpose right and helping others in a similar situation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, which is again why, when you and I talked about doing this podcast, why was? You know, I know a labor of love for you, but also one for me because of that, because I understand transformation, because I've been there, beautiful, and they're done that.

Speaker 1:

Well, we will definitely be devoting an episode of this. Now that you live, open that can of worms. That's. There's too much there to not talk about. And I have a Valentine's Day story too. It doesn't involve domestic abuse, but I think people place a lot of significance and importance on Valentine's Day, right. So if you're in a relationship that's not particularly stable, expectations play out if that makes sense. So I have a comical story of that, ended with, yeah, a Jeopardy question and a lot of shouting. That was the end of that one. But yeah, valentine's Day just holds so much significance for people.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

So before sorry, johnny, we've got Johnny waiting in the green room and before I read his bio and introduce him, I have a couple announcements just for our listeners and it's sort of a an update, of sorts. So, firstly, please, of course, visit our YouTube channel If you haven't yet. I've mentioned there's a lot of supplemental content, including video, that just can't, you know, be fitted to this format. So it's all inspiring and please check it out If you well, I'm not going to give the URL just search language of the soul on YouTube and you will find us. And then, of course, subscribe and like it if you would. That would really help, and so we're still building our platform and every subscription or follow really helps.

Speaker 1:

Next, I just want to give you a little update. We take what we can get in terms of encouraging milestones, so our podcast predictor, based on past stats and downloads, predicts how many hits we'll get on our next episode. We are now already, after only two and a half months, in the top 50% of podcasts. Wow, I'm losing my voice. What do you think? I think it's exciting. I mean, I think it's. It's a little overblown, because some podcasts just peter out and they never quite find their footing, if that makes sense. So to be in the first 50% may not mean a whole lot until you're in the first 10 or 1%, but it's encouraging. And again, we take what we can get so to continue, help us continue building our platform and find our listenership. Again, if you go to our Buzzsprout website, which is just language of the soul, dot buzzsproutcom. Correct.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Okay. You will find at the bottom of every episode a little heart button that says support. If you're able to give just a one-time donation or even a monthly commitment of any amount, it'll really help us find our peeps and therefore build our platform. You know it costs money to promote, so any little bit helps. Do you have any help thing to say on that front, Virginia?

Speaker 2:

No, and honestly, as we get more and more support it. I don't want to say it encourages us, but it does give, give us that connection to you as our audience and so it does bond us to you to therefore we look at other things that we can do for those additional content kind of reach out scenarios, because of course we know you're interested and you want more from us, so that we start looking at other things that we can provide.

Speaker 1:

Right and I do feel like we've found our peeps and there's a little bit of a community, and I've said before it's ironic how many people and this goes to our today's guests. He very nicely invited me to contribute an article to his online magazine, which we'll get to, but it was about largely about overcoming so amazingly, so many of our guests who identify as storytellers not only find catharsis through telling their stories, but in some cases they work through trauma. They will use the words. It saved my life and a lot of them really are on that arc, that similar journey of again finding purpose in life by turning your lemons into lemonade. So I feel like we've met so many kindred spirits. It's a beautiful thing and the podcast always was a labor of love. But to reach more people we got to spend some money. So you know, I think it all works together, but hopefully we can get the word out more by being able to advertise and promote a little more. Yeah, the intention is still the same, but you know what I mean. You got to put food on the table on a roof over your head to be able to do this sort of thing. Sure, okay. So I want to introduce our guest and, like I said, he's been very good to me. I was on his podcast a while back. He had a blast and then again he nicely invited me to contribute an article that I call my TED Talk. I've never buckled down and written an actual TED Talk, but I tried to follow that template in that format and I'm pretty proud of what I came up with. So thank you in advance for being very good to me, and now we're going to hopefully showcase him a little bit.

Speaker 1:

All right, johnny Tan is the founder and CEO of From my Mama's Kitchen organization and publisher of Inspirations for Better Living Magazine. That's the one I contributed to. He's also an experiential keynote speaker, executive, career and life coach, mentor, talk show host and a multi-award winning and bestselling author of From my Mama's Kitchen Food for the Soul Recipes for Living, which honors his nine moms, and I'd love to get into that. It's a great story. Johnny was awarded the prestigious 2020-2021 Top 100 Visionaries in Education by the Global Forum for Education and Learning, or G-FIL, and is an executive contributor to the Global Brains Magazine in 2022. His life's journey has prepared him to be a compelling new voice on conscious living and working in today's world of diversity, equity and inclusion. I highlighted those and I hope we get to them.

Speaker 1:

Conscious living I think that's going to mean different things to different people, right, and there's also mindful. I think that's a great word too. But working in today's world of diversity, equity and inclusion and I think we're all going to have a lot to talk about there, because I'm a college professor and I've gone to a lot of diversity and inclusion meetings in my department and I know that's very much on your radar as well, virginia, in your studies Okay, johnny, energizes and empowers people to reach their highest potential, with a profound, transformative message resilience, designing our life to live and perform in our genius zone. I'm going to be asking about that too, because the word genius didn't click for me initially, but I started researching it and I'm excited to explore what that means to you, johnny. Genius zone, anyway, to experience the synergy of success, harmony and joy, leading them to flow with life's rhythm in everything they do. Beautiful Welcome, johnny.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much. I'm so delighted to be here. It is an honor to be on your podcast and also to run back with Virginia. I mean, Virginia and I went way, way back.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I want to say it's a lot of years I was excited to be.

Speaker 3:

I was in Utah as a matter of fact for her heritage book festival, if I'm not mistaken, and it was awesome, but both of you two are just fantastic. I really appreciate this opportunity to share my knowledge and wisdom and so forth humbly with your listeners.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Yeah, and just so you know, because obviously our listeners know that that's how Dominic and I met was through the St George book festival.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So Johnny and I met the year before you and I met back when before it was the St George book festival.

Speaker 1:

It was called Heritage.

Speaker 2:

It was called the Heritage Writers Guild, yeah, and they got together as a conference. So Johnny came all the way out from Dallas, texas, and was a speaker for us.

Speaker 1:

Wow, awesome. You had a great. That weekend was so inspiring for me. Just, I mean to be in St George, utah. You may take it for granted, but it's such a beautiful spot on the planet and you know you've had some really great visiting artists, speakers, guests, right Panelists very inspiring weekend.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've been grateful that the fact I've gotten to meet so many wonderful people and have kept those friendships you know, like both of you. So it's been, it's been awesome. So, Johnny, because it has been quite some time since you and I have talked, I'm just kind of curious if you can kind of catch it, because I know when we met it was back when you first wrote from my mama's kitchen your actual book that has moved you and propelled you forward into everything you're doing now. So can you just share a little bit about what you've been doing?

Speaker 1:

And your nine mommas, of course.

Speaker 2:

Yes, start there. Start there those nine moms were part of that book, I know.

Speaker 3:

And it's funny, right? Because, like people would ask me and whenever I do my keynote speech and so forth, why do you have nine moms? And before I could say anything, you know they say, was there anything wrong? I said now of course I kid around with everybody I said, well, that was a problem child, you know took the nine moms. Yeah, nine months to straighten me out.

Speaker 1:

Right, it takes the village, they say.

Speaker 3:

Exactly there you go.

Speaker 2:

Well, you can't have too many.

Speaker 1:

You really can't have too many moms.

Speaker 3:

No, you know, that's the fascinating thing about this whole thing, dominic. But you know, what's interesting about it is like when we're growing up we don't really look at it that way. Right, as a child we grew up and the beauty of what I really like about your story and language of the soul and those kind of things, in the sense that it is a storyline. And when you look at life, life is a story. Of course, we all have our own movies that we're in, so we are the actor, the director, the writer, right, yeah, there are times that we can help it. Well, that's no different than, you know, the movie showing at downtown where you can't control the theater, but the movie is the movie and that's you and so like.

Speaker 3:

For me, what's interesting is that the whole process, because I was given the opportunity to come to the United States when I was 18 years old to go to college, and so I flew halfway around the world to be at LSU to study agricultural engineering and it was fascinating. That was like, oh, wow, this is unimaginable, right, it's fantastic. But a year later my father suddenly passed away and that changed the dynamics of my whole existence. Basically, the trajectory just kind of took a left turn or right turn, whichever way you want to look at it.

Speaker 1:

Do you mind going because you were close? Or what was the big change?

Speaker 3:

The big change is because of financially, the financial support, right, and then only that we are a small family. It was just my father, my mom, my sister and me and of course, you know, like everything else, parents kind of have their game plan. How about that? Yeah, for you, they have plans for you right.

Speaker 3:

Precisely. It's funny, you know, as we get older then we realize well, you know, I got a plan, my parents got a plan and God's got his plan. So, very long the line we got to meet in the middle somewhere and so. But that was the interesting thing, because here I was as a young man at that time, as an actually a teenager, right. I was like, okay, great, I got four years of college degree here with agriculture, engineering. I wrote I've always wanted to do something good for the greater good of the world. I said well, you know, I wanted to join a world health organization and I could travel and you know agricultural, you know things. What more can be better? It's food and those kind of things. And hold them behold, when my dad died, that just changed everything. I mean, I was in the situation where I was in school where the most important thing on my mind was how do I pay for my food next week?

Speaker 1:

Your base needs, as they say right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and so you know, you start thinking like what am I doing halfway around and I'm stuck in totally foreign land, and so forth. Of course, and this is interesting because we have lived life right and so they have I was selling plasma twice a week during my junior year.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's if I could ask a quick question, I think it's pretty amazing that as a young person you wanted to contribute. You know it's not even on some people's radar and then you get into that Maslow territory of like you don't self actualize when you can't even meet your base needs right Like right, ultra and food. So how did you maintain the big picture, while you know what I mean in survival mode. That's pretty rare, I think.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you know that comes that interesting thing. I'm glad you brought that up, because what happens here is that the number one thing that I've always driven my life is curiosity, because curiosity turns chaos into peace, because it's like I don't know. Let me go check it out.

Speaker 1:

The moment you said that what happens, that's a certain of calmness that comes to you, right, it's the word surrender comes to mind when you realize you don't know it all and you step into your intellectual curiosity. That's the form of surrender where God does work through you right, where it's not about your mom's plan for you or your own plan for yourself. It's a much bigger plan, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Oh, no question. But it was like what am I doing here? And so that you know, you can just sit around and I look at curiosity. It forces you to take that one step forward. One step forward and see what's going on. It is the unfolding of life, I guess, for lack of a better term, and when that happens, when you always sort of feel that sort of, you know, initial peace, that clarity basically activated my creativity. It gives me the courage to act quietly and confidently, and so that really kind of paved the way, so to speak, all this time till today, to be honest with you.

Speaker 1:

Well, I want to continue this. I want to continue the story linear from the age of 15. But of course I have questions, because I identify as somebody that was always curious about the world. Even as a kid I thought how can you be bored? Whenever I heard other kids were born, I thought this planet is so amazing, how could you be bored? But I want to ask you do you feel like is that a chip, or is that something people can nurture in order to tap into their creativity? Can you nurture intellectual curiosity and brain plasticity?

Speaker 3:

Yes, definitely Because what happens is that? Oh yes, no doubt about it, Because one of the things that we all need to realize that two separate but equal forces that govern all of our thought process love or fear, fear is about us. Well, I can't do this, I can't do that, and so words have power too, and I know respectfully you mentioned about I surrender. Well, guess what? Sometimes surrender is sitting there. That's right, right, right.

Speaker 3:

But without inspired action, yeah, right, right, right. Curiosity, on the other hand. Let me take a step, let me pick out the window and see what the heck's going on. And so love, on the other hand, right, and we have experienced all this even as a child. When we talk about love, it's always the other person, whether he's an animal, right, right, well, we talked about self-love.

Speaker 1:

a moment ago though, right With Virginia. Yeah, Self-love.

Speaker 3:

And that self-love is the energy that propels you, that changes into the love in itself, just regular love. Because when you look through the lens of love you're looking at, when you look at self-love, what I'm saying is that you know you're looking at that vision of you. You know I can do this, I want to do that, I love that.

Speaker 1:

A lot of our guests have mentioned love of craft, like that love is part of the creative process and that you first have to actually and I don't know if I agree 100%, but so many of them have said you have to have a love. And another word is just a passion for your craft, and it could just be a childhood love of cinema or a childhood love of books, but I really relate to that too. But I want to say that you know, to bring it back to story love, screenwriting is love and fear. You could say life is a matter, in every moment, of choosing the lens of love or fear, and I think that correlates with ego or soul. Right, our souls are pure love, all day, every day, whereas ego is very fear-based, it's very survivalist.

Speaker 3:

Right, and what brings it down? For me, that'll make us this when, zal San Deng, you know how like you say, how do you like you know how do you kick, start it right, the initial key. That's where, whether it's self-love or a project that you work, like to say or whatever, ok, to me passion is when the heart creates and the mind formulates.

Speaker 1:

Beautiful. Yeah, Say that again when the heart.

Speaker 3:

Passion is when the heart creates and the mind formulates. Beautiful, because what happens is that what the heart wants, the mind will figure a way to do it.

Speaker 1:

Or to sabotage.

Speaker 3:

If fear takes over yeah. Right, oh, no, I agree with you, and that's the whole idea, like say, if you, you know, you give up, right, you tap out, ok. Then the mind, you know, say OK, well, that's it Game over, right, right. But the heart says no, no, no, no, that's something here. I envision myself doing this, this, this, I mean there's a moment of contemplation, meditation, the one would say, and so forth. Right, but that's what it is. The heart creates, the mind formulates.

Speaker 1:

Well, again, there's so many ways of putting it right, there's so many, oh sure, so much vocabulary, but I, when I hear that I also hear a big part of the greater process is receiving again, whether you call it divine inspiration or just inspiration, I in round would call it from the metaphysical realm. That's what true inspiration is. So you could call that Heart driven passion, right. But then it's got to be executed. So you pull an ego or mind, what we're calling mind, or your brain. You pull an ego to execute something that was actually inspired by the universe itself.

Speaker 3:

That's correct. And that brings me to the point where I always tell people this is unique, because you know we're going to talk about genius zone here a little bit, I'm sure, because you did mention that you want to know that, the concept of genius. And so when we think about it, as we get to a certain point in our life, we realize that we are all born with a unique fingerprint of the minus. We are all given instinctive traits, fears, passion, desires that reflect our authentic self, and this summation of this multitude of ingredients makes us who we are, and we have to just accept it as is, because this is who we are. That's self-awareness, basically. And then curiosity. For me, curiosity educates me about myself, others in the world. You know, it's like a dance.

Speaker 1:

It's kind of it sounds like fitting up. I cannot do that. It seems like finding your place in the world or seeing how you fit in the world with your unique, unique gifts right.

Speaker 3:

There you go, there you go, and that's what it's all about, because now you know, I am that nice guy, I am that great guy, whatever it is, and that's what it is, so there's no difference. So now you have that flow within you. The empowering ripple effect inspires me personally, in my situation. You know to live, you know in the moment and then, of course, within that self itself, during the process, you want to separate every successes as they occur, no matter how big or small. You see, because that is that fuel, that sort of you know, is a synergy. That sort of inspires you, in my case, inspires me, and I teach others to dream, achieve and become.

Speaker 1:

I think that's why I mentioned our silly statistic right being in the top 50. You got to count the baby steps right and you got to count your blessings along the way. It's so easy to lose sight of the small victories Precisely Right.

Speaker 2:

I was saying all the time that I've known Johnny to. I know that a lot of you know the wisdom I'm going to use. I'm going to use that word because I think a lot of the things you say are very inspirational and very wisdom based is because of going back to the nine moms. I know they have each taught you different life lessons that have really helped groom you into the man you are today. No, kidding.

Speaker 3:

I'm like, you know. I tell people. I say, when my life is like a pot of gumbo and I did basically grew up, you know it's funny I tell people. I said, you know, when we get to some age oh, when, I guess, when you're born and somebody with the hand you oh, johnny 10, here's your folder, this is how you're going to live your life. Yeah right, are you kidding me?

Speaker 1:

Well refresh, weren't they all different ethnicities? And because I think the recipes reflected different cultural backgrounds.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and no, yeah, they all. They are all Americans, right, but they are all, you know, have their own flavor in life. How's that?

Speaker 3:

That would be the best way to say it because, yeah, because I met my, for example, when the first person that I met when I came to the United States was my Southern Belle mom. She was my host family and she's from New Orleans but she was in Baton Rouge at the time and you know, and so forth. So I get invited and this is the classic thing and we talk about storylines and so forth in the life is the story so I get invited to Sunday dinners and we'll have Sunday dinners together with the family, and so forth. It's not talking and, believe it or not, she's the only mom that made me eat my vegetables.

Speaker 1:

Was it all okra in the South?

Speaker 3:

No, I have never. I hate vegetables. When I was home in Malaysia, it was so funny, I would you know the Chinese food would have a lot of those. I think it's called bean sprouts, right, that white little thing, you know, with the pasta and all that, right. And so the family would start eating and I'd be like having a small plate on the side and I'd be like picking out one at a time and then halfway through the family.

Speaker 3:

But halfway through and that's when I started eating my mom finally gave up and she cooked separate for me from the rest of the family, and then, of course, she offered to complain. You know, you are a spoiled child. I have to cook something all this different. I said. But, mom, it's so easy A bowl of rice, the main dish, that's it, you know. The rest of the family got a vegetable, got soup. It's actually more complex than what you're feeding me, but it was interesting.

Speaker 3:

So the son of Belle mom, she's really wonderful and she's that polite lady never raised a boy. She ran out of excuses, so and so, but she was very mindful, though. It was very, very interesting because she would bake, not brought cauliflower to a big cauliflower and put tons of butter on it and cinnamon, so because they kind of kind of take away the veggie flavor, right. And then, of course, being in Louisiana, we got our turkey stuffings and all that, and with turkey with oyster stuffings you know bread stuffings and she could get old fashioned way where she literally get the French bread to go stale and do all this kneading and all that kind of stuff and the oyster saying there, and then she put the celery, all kinds of stuff, she blended it all in there and so I say right now I could eat a gallon of it.

Speaker 1:

Wow, I will say. I have a sister who's vegan. I'm at carnivore from way back and because I work you know, most of my adult life I've worked out I've never really felt like I ate a meal unless it had meat in it. My sister is now vegan, as are some of my nieces, and I've really gotten into the creativity of cooking vegan. You know the the sort of industriousness it requires. But anyway, I really am a fan of cauliflower now because it's so versatile. You can do so many things with it. I love it. Maybe not cinnamon. I can't mix my sweets and my savories yet, gotcha.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but what she did was for me was to kind of flavor it to, whereby I won't taste that veggie.

Speaker 1:

Right, right.

Speaker 3:

And so that was really nice, you know, allowing me to do that. And then, while I was in college, I met my Italian foster mom in Papa Bluff, missouri.

Speaker 1:

The way they said we're down to. We've only done one of nine. Is this your second one?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, this is the second one. Well, my, you know my mom in Malaysia, and then we got my mother's mom.

Speaker 3:

That's number two, right? So now number three is my Italian foster mom. So these are the three ladies that when I was in college, they were the moms around me and my Italian foster mom. That story in the South is unique and special because, when I look back in life again, it's amazing. When I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong, my seatmate was a lady, a Hong Kong lady who was, who was married to a British guy, so she was telling me all about the world, right? This then I'm 18, just four months after my 18th birthday. So it's wonderful. I'm having a wonderful lesson here from Hong Kong to Seoul, korea. My seatmate is it was from the, from New York, who is a singer, so she told me about the stories about America and places not to go in New York, right.

Speaker 1:

That's like a crash. That's a crash course in exposure.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so what happened was here I'm in Seoul, korea. In line at the ticket counter there was a tall gentleman over six foot. He was from Alabama and he wanted to reroute his flight to San Francisco. We were all flying into Hawaii and then we're all flying to, technically speaking, to LA. He wanted to fly to San Francisco. So he was telling the lady you know. And then of course the lady could understand him. So he turned around and looked at me young man, do you speak Korean? I said no, but I said you know, but I understand what you're trying to do and let me speak to her. Maybe we Asian kind of maybe understand each other, you know, when we speak English. So I did. I explained to her what the ticket lady you know, what this gentleman wanted to do and so forth. So he was so happy he puts his hand around my neck speaking about what's your story kind of thing.

Speaker 3:

Right, story telling Young man what's your story, what are you doing in the United States? I said, well, I'm going to Louisiana State University to go to college and study agricultural engineering and all that. Now I have no idea about SCC football, crimson Tide fighting Tigers. And also I said oh wonderful, that's great. And so he said I want you to meet my business partner and maybe you often have dinner together in LA. I said, sure, all right. So that's how I met Ben Wisdom, my Italian foster father. And so, and I came in the spring, so that summer I went up to meet the family and we got instant liking. So you know, that's how we connected with my Italian foster mom.

Speaker 3:

But the story, the reason why I said this, is because it's more. This is the unique sign. Remember, my dad died a year later, right, okay, so Ben had gone back. I came in the spring of that year and so, that's fall, he had flown to Asia for a business trip. He swung by Malacca, malaysia, to visit my parents and my sister and introduce himself and say, hey, don't worry, we'll take care of Johnny over there. Oh, nice, okay. So we kids, who cares about that kind of stuff? But I guess parents are important, right? I mean, you talk about that kind of thing, yeah, you see. And so, guess what? The year later my dad died, and so that fall, when he was in Asia, he swung by.

Speaker 3:

And when I see my mom, because I never did get a chance to go home because, like I say, it was just a chaos thing, you know, I didn't find out when my dad passed away, to three months later, and he was right before my finals for the spring. Wow. And so my mom, you know, and my sister wrote me a letter and said you know, no, we don't want you to come home because, technically speaking, why raise all that money? It's just not practical, you see. And so we weren't from a rich family or anything like that, like I say, you know, but it was okay. And so Ben had gone back that fall and visited with my mom, and so forth, no-transcript. Wow, when you talk about God, you know, things happen in life and that's what I was trying to.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's interconnectivity, I call it interconnectivity, right. So it's really beautiful that it does take a village. But I also hear with regard to intellectual curiosity and creativity, I call it synchronicity. When you're not, like you said, in a prison of four walls, when you're out there getting exposure and your gender rights are going and you've got the oxytocin flowing, you start to see the connection between things, and that includes opportunities, right. Things you might normally tune out really grab your attention as opportunities. So I hear that that's nice, like you were just on fire.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah. And you know, when you look at that, like I say, maybe there is a folder of a folder you know is already chatted out there and that's the whole idea.

Speaker 1:

I think we co-create. A lot of people say, oh, fate, you know, there is some book, or it's fate I in my book, the seeker I talk about actually the gods want us to co-create with them. They want our will, our will, to dovetail with the will of the gods.

Speaker 3:

Oh, no question. Well, let me put it this way. It's to you know, to my way of looking at the validation of what you just said. You know we're given the choice to make decisions, so you always got option, you know. So, all the way back to the, you know two decisions right here or love.

Speaker 1:

Exactly Every moment. I'm not going anywhere.

Speaker 3:

Life is good. I'm stuck right here, you know. Okay, fine, you know, I'm stuck there. Oh love, let's explore, let's see. That's what's going on. Well, eckhart.

Speaker 1:

Tolle, do you know Eckhart Tolle? Yeah, he basically says most human suffering is mind created, of course, a lot of neutral events. We interpret neutral events as good, bad, right or wrong. Right, but he says most human suffering and I totally see this is a product of wishing things were other than what they are.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Whether it's standing at the bank or some kind of pain you've got in your body. But it's kind of what you said. You just have to accept the moment for what it is and reframe your view of it back to story right, tell a different story about your circumstances and conditions.

Speaker 3:

And the most important thing also is that are you wired for solution? See for me? You know when I speak, I tell people, you know, and it's always been my thought process, we're going to encounter things, good or bad, but I'm solution oriented. You got to quit that blame game or that whatnot, you know. Okay, you presented the diss. Okay, what's my next?

Speaker 1:

question. Yep, I call it the long the laundry list of grievances, right. All the reasons you're not in the position you wish were. There's no value in giving your airtime to your grievances, right. There's only in value in looking forward, and that's why creativity is so important and it's my religion. If you have a project, it saves you from a myriad right Of limiting those horribly records you just play over and over again. Look forward to a goal that was inspired Really solves everything.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, and to get to that level of creativity. That's where, like I say to me, I worked it from a standpoint when you allow curiosity to come in and fuel you, curiosity turns chaos into peace and that peace leaves you, you know, produces that creativity you're looking for and that gives you that courage to act. Beautiful, yeah, and so you know that way, you know, okay, I, I, I, as I take the next step and then the third step, let the curiosity fuel you, Go ahead, You're not not telling what you're going to see.

Speaker 1:

Marianne Williamson says it's not about sort of winning the battle, it's about rising above the battlefield, which I love. That.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah. Oh, definitely, Because it's you know well, let me put this way the end game is when you tap out, that's it.

Speaker 1:

Tap up Out. Oh, why is it tap out? Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

That's it, you know. I tell people like, say, you know, you have to look at it this way. Faith, you know, you know, comforts, hope inspires and love empowers. Why is faith comforting? Well, because faith is something you know through the previous process. You're thinking faith is never about the future. Faith is looking in the rear view mirror Because when the moments in time, people will say, well, have faith, dominic, what are they trying to tell you?

Speaker 3:

Remember the time when you did this, this, and then you know that's after that, you kind of kind of chill out for a week and then all of a sudden, bam, you got this creative idea have faith, things will work out. What happens? It helps to trigger you to go back to that moment in time. You're right, I did this. I sat a while for a week and then there, and then bam, it happened, that's it, and it took care of that.

Speaker 3:

And then hope is every day is a brand new white page for you to create your new whiteboard every day. Hope inspires. If you lose hope, party is over. And then it's love and powers. The reason why love and powers? When that's that self love, like I say, it ain't over yet and it's love and powers. Obviously you know you're looking forward because in your case, you create things. You know, because I want to people to enjoy my creation. That's what it's all about. It's the love for other people, at the very least because of the fact that you love out there. That's what's actually pulling you towards it, if that makes sense, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean the words I use is sort of contributing to the collective right. But in a way, if you didn't care about humanity, you wouldn't care to contribute to the collective collective consciousness, exactly, you know, game over.

Speaker 1:

That's it, right. Right, I love it. Yeah, no man is an island. We're all interconnected for sure. Just for our listeners, though, so let's finish up with the moms and then tell us how that got you to the point of writing the cookbook in the first place. That, I think. I think led to your entire brand, right? The cookbook was the first. Yeah, yeah, so anyway.

Speaker 3:

So in college. So I met my three moms right. And then when I started working at 21, that's when, while traveling and just meeting people and so far, I met my sanguine Savannah mom at an event in Savannah, georgia, and then my Texas Earthly mom. She was her company was the company that I used to recruit managers for my company. And then I met my spiritual progressive mom, elsa May, at a business event again. And so these that's how I met the this next three months, and then the final three moms. I met my borrow me structure mom. By the way, I do ballroom dancing.

Speaker 2:

I teach, oh that's right, I forgot about that.

Speaker 3:

So I met my borrow me structure mom and then through my leisure time, and then I met my German mom through ballroom dancing and then I met my Cajun mom through ballroom dancing as well, and so collectively they became my teachers, my coaches, my counselors, my cheerleaders. But I'm interested away from the finish lines and at different times. Now it's all at different times in my life, but collectively they're all there and the beauty of it was when my mom came finally to visit me 15 years later. I left when I was 18. She finally came to visit me 15 years later, which he had the opportunity to come. Everything was time. Their timing was right. My Malaysian mom she was able to meet all this various moms and she was very thankful that all these other moms sort of became like a surrogate mom.

Speaker 1:

Surrogate yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, and each of them has and I labeled them as such. And they tell us the moms about a mom and all this because they all brought something special. They all that's different ingredients in my gumbo.

Speaker 2:

That's the amazing thing too, is because, even though they all were here outside of your mother, who was obviously in Malaysia, the other women were all here in America. They all had that subcultural based on where their background was through heritage versus where they lived geographically within the United States. They really taught you this multi-generational cultural environment at such an age.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and that's the beauty of it and the most powerful thing that again I'm starting to understand to whereby, if there's one commonality that combines all moms and I say that respectfully even in today's day and age, every mom wants the best for their offsprings. And I say this, I know this is and I'm being. I don't know whether you want to call it being sassy or not, but one time I've told people I said think about it this way. Okay, you may not believe this, but even the Taliban moms want to have their suicide son to be the best. Don't embarrass the family.

Speaker 2:

I mean you can go all the way back to Sparta. I mean Spartan mothers. Holy cow, those women. They were tough. They definitely raised those children to be warriors.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, I mean to be the best. Don't make our family look bad.

Speaker 2:

Exactly.

Speaker 3:

And that's the commonality, you see, I agree with that.

Speaker 2:

Being a mom of three, I absolutely agree with that.

Speaker 3:

So anyway, so what's interesting, like I say again, I think that's the uniqueness. And then the book came. It was a funny thing for the book, to be honest with you, because I remember vividly. It was somewhere in the late nineties, and so what happened was my mom came and visited me for the last time and then, you know it is a guy thing, though you know like okay, she's kind of getting old. You know, I better start saving some of the food recipes that I, like you know, start writing down, you know, and I say, and then I thought about it, I say you know well, that might help my sister too, because she grew up the generation as women like she doesn't like to cook.

Speaker 3:

You see, it was so funny when we were growing up. One time my mom was trying to teach you how to cook rice and she told my mom for dinner, you know? And she said I'm not hungry. It was like my mom and we all look at her. And then, of course, my mom cooked right and guess who is that the dinner table?

Speaker 1:

She joined us but she's not.

Speaker 3:

no, no, we women don't cook, you know we want, and so it was really funny. But anyway, so I said you know I call her. I say Lane, I'm going to write a book about mom's recipes, so I say oh that's great, that's so helpful.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I'm going to call it from my mom's kitchen for the soul recipes for living. And I remember the time when we have a time difference, so about 13 hours difference, malaysia in the United States. So when I come home from work I will start cooking and my mom would have just finished the morning chores and we'll talk on the phone and just chit chat and she's telling me whatever it is she wants to tell me. You know, I don't, I don't hang up on her, I let her finish cooking and so we'll talk five hours. So now and a half, and so. So there was just a wonderful thing, and you know, in recipes and while I'm cooking, she helped me out. And then later I thought, hmm, I like some of the Cajun recipes, the Italian recipes and all that.

Speaker 3:

So I call my various moms, I say, hey, look, I'm putting a book together and I want to have some of your food recipes. So, yeah, sure, no problem. Well, that's perfect, right. Well, guess what? Uh step, I think was like seven years went by. I didn't get it off the ground Something, or rather just kind of, you know, I just couldn't get it going. Finally, my Italian foster mom called me up, and one year every year she calls me up on New Year's Day. So that year she called me in 2008, 2007,. Actually, she called and said hey, are you going to finish this book before I die?

Speaker 1:

Actually.

Speaker 3:

I've got to.

Speaker 1:

I got to ask you a question because I just illustrated a book, for this is a little shout out to some friends. I grew up with Greeks and Cypriots. Yeah, a lot of our family, friends and literally across the street were Cypriots. So I grew up with Greek foods, doing the Greek dances, but anyway, very recently and I won't say her name, but the matriarch is the same thing, getting older and they all thought, damn, we better get these recipes on record here. So they wrote up a cookbook and I illustrated it, very proud of it. I will say the name, just to plug it from my kitchen to yours.

Speaker 1:

What was it cooking? With love from my kitchen viewers. But anyway, they found and this is my question that it's so intuitive. She just throws a pinch of this and a pinch of that. So they had to put a gun to her head to get her to commit to an actual recipe with tablespoons. You know, because it was so intuitive and my grandfather's saying things she's from Calabria, she's a hundred percent Italian and she's a caterer, but yeah, you really have to sit them down and force them to commit when it comes to an actual recipe. Did you encounter that at all, or were they a little more?

Speaker 3:

I guess a game to take qualitative about it Sorry. No, no, they were great. Yeah, like even like my, especially like my talent foster mom and so forth when I was in college, like I said when I was up there explaining the holidays and stuff that we would make homemade muffaladas.

Speaker 1:

Well, what I'm getting at is it was so intuitive for them that they never really thought about how much of this or that am I putting in. They just throw a pinch of it and they don't really think it is.

Speaker 3:

This is what I have in my book a dash of this, a smidgen of that.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, exactly, from my house. I love it.

Speaker 3:

And so, yeah, it's all of you know there's no such thing as okay, right there, there's three quarters of coffee, right.

Speaker 1:

No, yeah, they wouldn't commit in some cases.

Speaker 3:

No, no, there's no such thing as that, you know, and there's all this improvisation and so forth, but that's the thing, the beauty of it. So the whole thing was supposed to be a cookbook, and this is a surprise for you, the reason why seven years went by. I just couldn't get it off the ground for one reason or another. So, after talking to, I said, I told my, my, my eternal foster mom, I said, no, this year definitely, I'm writing it. As a matter of fact, this April, right after market, I'm going to be doing it. So I started sitting down and writing. I spent every post myself, every night for two hours. I'll write and whole and behold, within through two weeks, what came to mind was it's not the food, johnny, that counts, it's all the recipe for living life that I think that I was given, you know, taught, and I finished it in nine months. Ironically no kidding, I'm not.

Speaker 1:

Well, how did that occur? Did that occur as a flash of inspiration? Or when did you realize this symbolism or the significance of it?

Speaker 3:

Yes, I sat down and stopped putting it out on paper. And it's not about the food it's, it's about, like, what did I, you know, got out of from my Southern Bell mom, my eternal foster mom, my, you know, and all those various moms? And that came to being because it was a unique experience. And so at the end of the year, on December 21st, as a matter of fact, I finished the book. And so when I look back, this is interesting. But had I been that guy thing saving the recipes? Three of my moms are not admitted into the book. That's the catch. That's why I couldn't finish it.

Speaker 1:

Mmm, I see.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and because of the recipe for living life, all of them were in there, mmm.

Speaker 1:

Did you find curiosity? Did you find that that angle is what people responded to? Your readers responded to was again, the implications beyond just cooking a great meal.

Speaker 3:

Yes, because what happened is that things that Dominic is like, what you know when we're growing up, things that you know recipes for living life that mom tells you that you don't want to hear.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

Are you not ready to hear yet?

Speaker 1:

It's like a pill. The pill goes down easier, right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, you know. It is that kind of thing where, when this is life, okay, somewhere along the line, right, when we're growing up, oh my God, mom, is God right? And then when we hit the beauty, she may be wrong. I don't think so, you know. And then somewhere along the line, have we got all the God? She's dead right. We go through all that process, right. And that's what this book is all about, you know. It is about conversations about life, love and laughter and the things that they taught you know along the way. And so in the book it was funny because my initial editor that read it, you know, and so much is she said you know you talk about because the kitchen is where you know. Let me put it this way, you all know this you get called into the living room with your first and last name. You're in trouble.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, I was the youngest of. I was the youngest of four kids, so it was Tina, renee, tony, nick the Ker-Wild to get to my name.

Speaker 3:

But when you get called in or when you're in the kitchen, the kitchen table, you can have the conversation.

Speaker 1:

You know that's the hard of having to know. This is what I. I just want to direct it a little more here. It's what I hear in, that is, or I guess I want to ask you did you begin to appreciate them more or the messages they imparted to you by writing the book, by honoring them and writing it? It sounds a little bit like yeah, yes, it's a combination of both.

Speaker 3:

Yes, it's a combination. I wanted to, you know, again, it's shifted. You know it's that guy thing, remember, I wanted to it's out of. I wouldn't say selfishness, but it's a meeting. You know, like wait, I better save all this food recipe. And then it turned out to be hey, it's more than that.

Speaker 1:

Well, just to generalize it again, this is my agenda and this is a big slant of the book and the podcast is, I think sometimes I'm not about to define art or beauty right, but in a way any creative product or any creative venture is putting something on a pedestal or highlighting it or putting a frame around it so that others can appreciate it. So in a way I feel like it is a form of love when you give your attention to something and you're really celebrating it.

Speaker 3:

So, oh, no, no doubt about it. No doubt about it Because it's a celebration of life. It's a celebration of the moments. You know it's interesting. Like I say, you know when you're in it you don't appreciate it. It's after the fact, when you look back you know. Remember, we always say you know, like at that time it wasn't funny, but when you look back you can laugh about it.

Speaker 1:

Right With time and perspective but also the act of putting pen to paper. I will say this I used to be an awe of memoir and creative nonfiction essays. I have a really good memory. I mean I remember coming out of the birth canal, but I did wonder you know how much is actually there? Only by putting pen to paper Do you realize how much you can actually recall about an event or an interaction. So much there, and the act of doing it, I think, brings it all back. But also, in the end, so much love is available to you by you know, to me and celebrating something in that way, even if it's a skating. You know I have some stuff that's kind of dark and but there's always love behind it. You know, even if you show a dimensional character with you know rough edges, there's always love and you access that by putting pen to paper. Kubrick would say you know everything's theoretical when it comes to craft until you actually sit down and write Right.

Speaker 3:

Right and again. What do you want to focus? To say you want to you know again, like you know are you focusing on all the misery? Are you focusing on the love?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think, even if you, if you think of writing or any craft as your catharsis, and let's say you've gone to therapy, you've dug in the dirt. You know what makes you tech, at some point it no longer makes sense to dig in the dirt and you think actually I feel stable, I can look forward to a spiritual practice, I can look forward to my goals and I'm sort of free of the past. You never quite arrived, but maybe you feel like you know what. No more digging in the dirt. I don't want to replay those old warbly records anymore. I want to look to the future with a strong spiritual practice, Even in that scenario.

Speaker 1:

I think when you sit down as an actor and play a role, you run the risk right of tapping into dark places.

Speaker 1:

That's why actors are usually in therapy.

Speaker 1:

When I write, I spend nine months doing a collection of stories, for example, and I know I'm dancing with the devil by bringing up old shit right, I try to keep it in check, but what I want to throw out there is this, and most writers will attest to it Even if you think you're writing about a certain character arc or a story arc, you think you know what your thematic content is and, Virginia a lot of our guests have said this there's always an unexamined level on which you're working through your issues or experiencing catharsis.

Speaker 1:

What I have noticed and some of our guests have confirmed it, is you are writing policy for your life by re-digging in the dirt, in those dark places. You're actually not necessarily making lemonade out of lemons, but sometimes you're reframing things through the act of writing and you're actually freeing yourself. Does that make sense? So I don't shy away from the darkness. I embrace the darkness in my writing, but you have to know you're actually coming out the other end, hopefully with something of value to others, but also maybe a new way of looking at things, a new tool that you might not have otherwise stumbled into.

Speaker 3:

I totally agree, and what I meant by that also is you know, of course, by nature for me, I've always looked. This is where can you do? You look at the. You know the glass half full or half empty, right, it's natural. Again, this is based on each people's makeup and so forth. I've always and this is the interesting part the glasses always have full. That means you have more to put in.

Speaker 1:

The glass is always half empty.

Speaker 3:

Okay, the glass is always half empty. Why? So that you can put more food in it. Beautiful, so in a way, you can, you can lose to sleep.

Speaker 1:

Well, and I call it, I call it choosing, choosing what to give airtime to right we can all feel very, very overwhelmed by world events, but I don't know the wars that are waging right now.

Speaker 1:

And so I heard something the other day, because I found myself not putting my head in the sound like an ostrich, but actually limiting my exposure to things that are disempowering Right or that don't speak of human potential. I really choose what to give airtime to you, but I heard something. I'm not going to get it quite right, but it was something like being informed but detached. If you can be informed but not attach your own sadness or disempowerment to a situation, maybe that's the way to exist in the world. I don't think there's much value to sticking one's head in the sand.

Speaker 2:

I was going to say my mom's comment to that. It means exactly what you said, dominic, but sure you stories tell me live in the world but not out of the world. So don't get attached to everything that's going on, but be aware you know and promise it.

Speaker 1:

Was your mama Zen master. No, she was spiritual, but no. Well, who said that Be in the world but not of it? I think that's a direct quote.

Speaker 2:

I don't know what.

Speaker 2:

she would just say it, and she never told me who if I'm going to Google it, it is yes, you're probably right, but she never told me because that's just my mom, but yeah kind of bring it, bringing this around a little bit to just some of the things you're working on, johnny, because I mean, a lot of what we just been talking about also is, of course, building resiliency and life. So which goes back to you know, dominic, you want to know more about the genius zone. I know that your resiliency leadership is about designing our life to live a platform in our genius zone. So can you kind of talk to us a little bit about that, how everything you've learned kind of plays into that.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, certainly. Well, what happens is that, again, we talk about we, each and every one of us, are unique, right, and so that's the most important, if that self realization, that, because sometimes we get caught up with, oh my God, you know, I'm not really that smart, I, you know, I've barely made it out of school, I certainly don't have three degrees from the Ivy League school and all that. But no, each and every one of us have the unique genius within us, and so what is the genius zone? Here is where again that it may sound repetitious where curiosity turns chaos into peace.

Speaker 3:

Clarity produces a creative mindset, inviting the courage to act with quiet, graceful confidence, and living in the moment allows us to celebrate the successes as it occurs and then find. The perpetual synergy of success, harmony and joy inspires us to continue to dream, achieve and become, and when that happens, we are now flowing with life's rhythm, we're utilizing the divine emotional intelligence skills that we have, and we will experience an ever expanding personal bubble of quiet confidence. That's the difference, because a lot of times people say, you know, oh my God, you got to step out of your comfort zone. You know the thing that come to mind when people say that is was that somebody was telling me. I remember watching this cartoon before the Rope Runner show. You know like every time they go beep beep, they're stepping on the comfort zone. The boat will fall on the.

Speaker 1:

Right. Well, mary Ann Williamson says you know we have this colloquialism take the bull by the horns. She's like really think about it. Would that really be a smart thing to do?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so you know, from that standpoint of view, so what I tell people, you know, we always expand our comfort zone. You know we didn't just, you know, put somebody in the space, you know, capsule and shoot them to the moon and say, hey, when y'all get their colors? You know, we expanded a little bit, a little bit, well, which Apollo landed on the moon number 17. You see, yep, so you know, we expand a little bit at a time, a little bit at a time, and that's what it's all about. This is about self-expansion. And then you as a director, you understand this. We are all said, hey guys, you're all ready with all the prop and all this. Yeah, okay, good, we got all the everything written down right. So, technically speaking, you are 100% ready. Well, guess what, when you show up just for the fun of it, let's show up over in St George, we have no control over the climate. Oh, yeah, yeah, for that day, for that day, you know, we have to make full of stuff.

Speaker 1:

Well, filmmaking as an independent filmmaker. I will repeat a conventional wisdom and that is Murphy's Law. Filmmaking is Murphy's Law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. So if you can, you can pivot and be organic about your process. I've got some stories about like you can't get the train schedule.

Speaker 3:

Right, right, right. So, and that's the concept where I'm saying you know, you are always 100% prepared, you 100% prepared, but it's when it's show time. You the goal is, your 100% is 80%, because the 20% is in the moment.

Speaker 2:

No, that makes a lot of sense and I can see that yeah.

Speaker 3:

But you're ready, though. But, however, if you're only like 75% prepared or 80% prepared when you show up, well, guess what? You're 40% off. And that's when you're like ah, and you don't realize it's not the place, it's you Right, you see, because you have not max yourself out to the 100%, so that when you're there, you only got 20% to worry about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, because I mean and that's the thing I think, that a lot of people forget, you know, when they're going through life and they're telling their own stories and stuff that you know, like you know, like Dominic mentioned earlier, like how he tries to not focus on the negativity is I think that's what happens is is everybody gets so focused about what they can, you know, not not all the preparation limitations.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they, they, they focus on the limitations, or even what they can't control, which is that 20%. So then they become unadaptive to the right.

Speaker 1:

And so they become reactive. Again. To tie it all together, that's when you succumb to fear, right, right, it's kind of infinite possibilities. So, again, just to tie it back, because so much of this is interrelated and there's so many ways of saying it.

Speaker 1:

But I hear a little bit too that there's a micro and a macro right we all have to achieve, or to accomplish or to manifest, whatever you want to call it. I like manifest. To manifest, you have to sort of dissolve resistance, right, and some of that resistance is in negative self messaging from your childhood that societal norms and sort of the status quo that you've internalized on, examined, that's on a micro level to do. And to step out the door in the morning right, you have to do some self talk sometimes, right, right, or hopefully, once you're aware of it, you can more. Or if you meditate, you can just find that alignment before stepping out the door.

Speaker 1:

But there, you know, I would say there's an arc of like learning to quiet the voices of doubt is how I put it. Or, you know, I mean, look at it and again, this is a big thrust of my book is like, just look at all this sort of sayings or regional colloquialisms that are limiting when it comes to human potential. Women are this, men are that. You know, like there's so many things we don't even question. So I think anyway. But then on a mic, on a macro level, to go back to something, you said, like you know what? It didn't. We didn't land on the moon immediately. It took some trial and error, but it also took sort of reframing our understanding of the human condition in light of right, human capacity and potential. It's an arc, anyway, but maybe you know in every moment, like we said earlier, it's the choice, the free will to swap out your lenses, and we're saying fear and love. But another way of saying it is sort of quieting ego. You can tap into your pure consciousness, which is infinite potential.

Speaker 3:

Precisely, and that's what genius zone is all about. It's about knowing that, hey, I'm unique, different, I'm special. I'm equipped with so much stuff. That's why you have tall guys who can play basketball, but they ain't more of a dumb playing soccer. I'm just giving an example of you know I'm being a physician.

Speaker 1:

You know what I'm talking about, but it takes a while to own our gifts, precisely precisely.

Speaker 3:

Right, right, right, and that's the whole idea, you know. So this is the kind of thing where, as you acknowledge that you know, no, you are plenty, you are enough. And so how do you tap into that? Is that moment in time in realizing that you know. Okay, I know my strength is I can do this. You know that self-awareness, like I say Me, my, one of the things that I teach of is the self-awareness is part of the six pivotal things in finding your genius zone. Self-awareness, me, myself, and I, me is the you. You see, you know, and that's a lot of time. People don't realize that you know because you've got three, you've got your, the things that you want, people, the me is what you know. Like Robert DeNiro used to say, you're talking to me.

Speaker 1:

You're talking to me. Did you rub my lamp? Yeah?

Speaker 3:

Right, right, because me is what we want other people to see, that's our public. Me, right, okay, myself is the one that, guess what, even your intimate partner don't even know, because it's very secretive in some ways. Right, because you know what you like, dislike, your vulnerability and so forth. Well, guess what? The I is the combination of both and that's the authentic you.

Speaker 1:

I want to. I want to respond to that. You know I do a lot of what I call dog walking epiphanies. When I'm walking my dog, you know all that fresh air gets my dendrites going. So even if it can make its way into a book or an essay, I don't know for posteriority, I sometimes just recorded into my phone and just the other day I was thinking about that how we have all these systems for understanding not just the human psyche but the human condition, right? So ego, super ego. So I hear, and what you just said, there's something called the default mode network. Virginia. Are you kind of covering that in your studies at all?

Speaker 2:

Literally what do you write? And especially when you said the ego and super ego, I was already in my brain there.

Speaker 1:

Right. So the default mode network is the thing that separates us from all this interconnectivity we've been talking about. Right, it's a very survival based thing. Right, that we have in our prefrontal cortex because we're very sophisticated organisms. Right, it actually has value. But it very much separates you from right. All the rest of the particles in this universe, and I call that the personality, the ego, it's all kind of synonymous, right, you do some shrooms or acid and suddenly you're like nope, there is no me. So your default network is more active when you feel threatened, right, and I think it relaxes a little bit when you feel safe. Right, right, but I just heard that a little bit in the me is something.

Speaker 1:

And actually my mom, you know, was in hospice for two years and watched her decline and lose her sense of self because of dementia. So with Alzheimer's and dementia both I have learned, trust me, firsthand, that what goes by by well, everything that wants to find you. So you know, there's a really great movie about early onset Alzheimer's with Julianne Moore. I forget the name of it, but amazing. I love Julie. Am I saying it right? Marianne? No, Julianne Moore, Anyway, and she very much. Yeah, she was a college professor, Her character was a college professor and of course words are pretty important as an academic, but she just defined herself by her knowledge. So of course it's terrifying when it starts slipping through your fingertips. I watched my mom, you know, not only you know not be able to find her words, but then not actually be able to finish this complete thought or sentence. And then when she finally did, it was complete Dr Seuss. She would tell you something straight out of a Dr Seuss book without batting an eye.

Speaker 1:

But then of course it got to the point of her vocal cords couldn't even produce a tone. So in all of that, what's left? Well, her core essence, she became more of herself. You saw her soul, the thing that has. You know what I mean? Just pure love, and not with everybody. My mom was pure kindness all the time and pure love. So I think that's a really beautiful thing. I don't know why I went down that path, but maybe when you dissolve the default mode network and all those labels I'm a mother, I'm a wife, I'm a wig shop owner, in my mom's case a costume shop owner and you kind of dissolve all those labels, what is left? Maybe it's the pure consciousness we've been talking about this whole time.

Speaker 3:

It is. I mean, when you tap in, you know, and now the big word is everybody oh, I'm authentic. You know, that's great. Yeah, I mean, authenticity is a big word. That really counts is authentic integrity. That's a big difference and that's something that I'm not selling out.

Speaker 3:

Being true to yourself, in other words, not selling out, yes, and you know your values, your core values, to give you an example. But this is something that I learned from my Southern Belmamb, right? Well, everybody's got their own different thing. Remember, like I say, we all got our strength, our weakness, whatever you want to call it, right, our drinks right. So she puts it in a very beautiful way but charm may open doors, but it's your integrity that keeps it open, right? I?

Speaker 2:

love that. That's a good effect.

Speaker 1:

I have to follow up on that because you know, I feel pretty fortunate that I come from a long line of men and women, really strong women, not tough chicks, but strong women. I distinguish between tough chicks and strong women. But also I feel very lucky on both sides all integrity, all the time, men of their words, not just my dad would give you the shirt off his back, but you know what? He's a man of his word and I inherited that. So I sometimes feel like maybe the only one you know, like I dated somebody that said, yeah, words are cheap. Yeah, I thought, well, clearly you've been disappointed and you know I have empathy and sympathy for that, but you have not had that demonstrated to you.

Speaker 1:

I at the time and I think I've evolved a little bit at the time I thought, well, words are all we have, our contracts with each other, our codes, the codes we live by, right, that's kind of all we have. So if you look at the world, philosophically, right, flux says that you can disprove anything with a Socratic method by shifting your perspective or you know your semantics. Nothing holds really true except abstract theorems, right? So I have they call it the noosphere our morals, ethics, codes, principles, all those invisibles, are the only thing that are absolutely true and ultimately true. I hope I didn't lose you. No, no, no, no. One definition of sin.

Speaker 1:

one definition of sin is going against the self. So a lot of people think you have. You don't have an internal compass, you have to have a book to tell you what's right and wrong. I'm one of the few people who think, actually, if your mom erased you, right, you do have an internal compass and I love that definition of sin that you're A missing in the mark or B betraying yourself.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and what governs that, though? This is the important thing. We all, I'm hoping, okay, but it's intention is the big one right here, because what happens is that we all set out to do things right, but in the course of trying to do things right, we may not do the right thing sometimes, but then that's where you do the moonwalk and picture.

Speaker 1:

Or an image right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but on the other hand, you do and I give them and I'm being bold now, like I say you got Elon Musk, okay, some Elon Musk for better or worse. Okay, here's the guy's trying to give us to Mars, all right, right, okay. Now you got another Elon Musk okay. And again, this is just by using that same example. Who's making billions of dollars over people's dead body because you're selling drugs or those kind of things. So your intention, you get my drift, right, right.

Speaker 1:

Well, I just wish there was an Elon Musk that, instead of trashing this planet and finding a new one to live on, I wish some Elon Musk somewhere would feed the hungry on this planet without worrying you so much about Mars.

Speaker 3:

No, I agree, but then what you have is that if we are in the global village, we always want to have somebody who is a forward thinker.

Speaker 1:

Because I get it. I get it, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And I get what you're saying, but sometimes. But you see, that's when we no longer look ahead and we're just looking in the moment. We're no longer live for tomorrow, we're living today and we're not going to get anywhere.

Speaker 1:

So you're saying there's no design just live in the moment. You have to have an eye on the future.

Speaker 3:

Oh yes.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes.

Speaker 3:

And then, of course, you cannot just live in the future. You know, without you know, what people forget is this you know we need today to plan for tomorrow.

Speaker 1:

Well, the moment is all that's real. You know that Eckhart Hull's the Power of Now is all about how it's really all that's real. Everything else is projection or telescoping to the past. But I like the idea too that I literally in junior college I was probably 18, my first grade of writing class in junior college I wrote a little story called the Train Station and I got to dig it up. I think I would still like it, but it was just two people waiting for a train and a train station and it was all an allegory, of course.

Speaker 1:

But she was an old lady going to her high school reunion and she couldn't wait to reunite and specifically, you know an old flame that she wanted to reunite with. He I forget where he was going, but you know like his life was shit now. But I have this and that on the horizon and this to look forward to, and they both were completely missing out on the moment because one was fixated on the past and one on the future. You know, so you actually miss, maybe, opportunities in the moment if you're fixated on the past or the future. Anyway, that's what my 18 year old me would have said.

Speaker 3:

No, no, it is true. But you know well. But that's part of the the growth process. As a child, somewhere along the line, we're always living in a moment. We couldn't care less about what happened yesterday. Right, I think you step, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and well.

Speaker 3:

I'm a.

Speaker 1:

Scorpio, I again feel like sometimes I'm the only one that care. I'm going to write a book called the value of the past, because so many people, when they redefine themselves or they outgrow a relationship, they have no reverence for the fond memories or the nostalgia or maybe the gifts they were taught in the past. You know, I think a lot of people, and it sounds very virtuous and commendable to say, oh, don't. Yeah, I'm on the past, don't perseverate. Of course not. However, what about those warm, those memories keeping you warm on a cold night, right? Those fond memories? I'm just a Scorpio, so, and I think, relevance wise to, we're so quick nowadays to take our old folks out to the field and shoot them. Jane Fonda gets me up in the morning because she's all about continued relevance. So we want new politicians, right? We want young, fresh blood, because the old boys network is no longer working. We need to return some value to the wisdom of experience that comes with age, if that makes sense, right?

Speaker 3:

Well, no question about and the way I look at past is this the rear view vision always provides you with a window of opportunities and possibilities ahead.

Speaker 1:

Beautiful. Yeah it's all lessons led. It's all a continuum right. It's all. Yeah, it doesn't even exist, if you write, if you believe quantum mechanics it's like a construct of man anyways.

Speaker 2:

Well, I was going to say the past to you know, going back to kind of what you're talking about, dominic, and I mean even what you're saying, johnny, is. I mean, the past helps to find who we are today, and who we are today will help to find who we are in the future, and that's the thing All three are. Let's just talk about. You know like you're talking about. You know like you know time and how it is a construct, but at the same time that's why you have, like that grandfather you know what people talk about time travel, the grandfather, you know, theory is because Tell me, I don't know, if I know that one, the grandfather theory is.

Speaker 2:

the grandfather theory is if you, if you're in the future and you go back to the past and you like, whack your grandfather and now you suppose we don't exist, but yet you're still existing because you're in the past.

Speaker 3:

Right, right.

Speaker 2:

So like there's like this weird, I don't know the whole.

Speaker 1:

My brain can fall. You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

When you get into that logic like not going to go any further than that, because my brain Can fall to be followed beyond that.

Speaker 3:

because I definitely not have a physicist in my family, but I am definitely not at that level.

Speaker 2:

Anyways, my point is is, when I always hear people talk about time travel and all the different theories and stuff, I always think the one thing I was saying is all a continuum, like it's all happening at the same time, if you really think about. Because, like I said, our past defines who we are today, and who we are today defines who we are in the future, and so they are all interconnected all times.

Speaker 1:

And it sounds a little bit too like again. What lens are you going to swap out? What the bleep Did you guys ever see? What the bleep Do we know? I?

Speaker 2:

never saw that.

Speaker 1:

I still recommend it. It was probably late 90s, but it talk about pop culture using buzzwords like authentic self and things like that. This was really a pivotal moment in pop culture, where, you know, the New Age is like just a lame section of the bookstore where they lump anything to do with what's called mentalism, anything you don't know where to put, and mentalism has been alive and well since the turn of the 20th 19th century. Sorry.

Speaker 2:

It's like the psychology section.

Speaker 1:

Right, I just think it's a silly. It's a silly, awkward section of the bookstore, but anyway, this was early on when the public really was redefining spirituality in the context of institutionalized religion, and it was 90s, but it that way. But it's a really great film about quantum mechanics. That speaks to all of this how you know if multiple realities exist on different planes, and it's the observer effect we really are choosing all day, every day, which one to step into. And so that does encompass past and future, right, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Right, and the way I put it is like I tell people you know, we live in a closed system. You cannot create order without creating disorder somewhere else and obviously you cannot create. You know that's it's important. Just people don't realize it.

Speaker 1:

Well, entanglement it's like every particle of the universe. I think of it like a word puzzle sliding tiles. In a word puzzle, All the particles of the universe are entangled. I think that's what you were kind of saying, right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and from you know, from the John Q public. You know I tell people just think about it this way, okay, and we are. You know you, all three of us, okay were affected by the cell phone. I remember before the cell phone, we remember a whole bunch more numbers than we do now.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah. I remember every one of my elementary school friends numbers right now Robbie's a record 843-5858. Robert Blatch for 9540502. And that was when Burbank was 818 and two and three did this. What the hell, what a lame use of my brain cells, though.

Speaker 2:

And street addresses Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So what's funny, you know we, we move forward in life, right, you know, and so forth. And that's I'm not saying it's bad, like I say. What I'm trying to say is that you know we live in a closed system. You know you cannot create something good without creating something. You know, you know something that costs and effect basically right, because that's what it's all about. Because you know, just imagine the next time you get stopped by a cop in the middle of nowhere oh yeah, I know people I can call and you don't have a cell phone. You're going to be in jail, buddy, you don't even have a phone book to call. You know, forget about the yellow pages.

Speaker 1:

I love cause and effect though, because people like to talk about punishment and good and bad and right and wrong and karma, right, it's really just cause and effect and it's a really consistent force in the universe, right? So I have noticed, when you get into a certain mindset like some of these manifestation circles or law of attraction circles we're talking about, yeah, there can be gurus who make everything a proprietary brand, right, and they have to make it a teleological system that's airtight and really just make it proprietary, so they use their own language. But most readers I am going to get in trouble now A lot of us I'll include myself in it A lot of us can't embrace the idea that you know what many principles coexist. A lot of forces in the universe coexist, so you're going to never they just.

Speaker 1:

I think it's a form of resistance where, if I have to take responsibility for all my actions and what manifests in my world as a product of my thoughts and feelings, then what about dot, dot, dot? And they try to find holes in it? Right. What about the starving children in Africa? Right. But you know what? The law of attraction coexist with many other forces. Even if you're chosen guru won't acknowledge they're all coexisting.

Speaker 3:

Right, right. But that comes back to the education. I'm sorry.

Speaker 2:

I was going to say, I was going to say the best. Probably analogy to that is when you throw a stone in the wall and water, the ripple out effect. I mean that's right there, there's your visual or action and reaction in physics Every action, yeah.

Speaker 3:

What is it? Equal, equal effect on things and people don't realize that. And that's the whole idea, where you know, when you talk about something like this, but it goes back to you know, you mentioned just now about society in general, our global village. It comes back to the educational side of the equation, to whereby are we teaching the right things, right, and so, and there's a very fine line here, because and I say this respectfully you know well, you know what I did this because God makes me do it. Okay, that's good. Well, I did that because the devil made me do it. Okay. So where are you?

Speaker 1:

Where's your responsibility?

Speaker 3:

Where's the ownership at? Where's the ownership, dominic? Like you were saying, you know, like it's never my fault.

Speaker 1:

Right, the free will yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you know like no. What God meant by free will is you have to take ownership for your action. Yeah, and that's why the whole idea is that, god, I'm so sorry I did this. Please forgive me If not. You know I need that.

Speaker 1:

We have a lot of convenient ways of skirt skirt skirting responsibility.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, skirt, skirt or even rationalizing it.

Speaker 1:

Right. Well, yeah, rationalizing, projecting and attribution are alive and well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, starting because we're at the top of the hour, I would love for you to share with our audience more about where they can you know, learn about you and you know from my mom, my kitchen. I know you also have your nonprofit as well with the from your mom's kitchen, any of your educational platform and, of course, your genius zone concepts, so you can share a little bit about where they can find that information, and we'll, of course, include those links in our description here of the podcast, but just so those who are driving can mentally take note.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. If I'm not more about me, the best place to go to will be wwwjoyfulliving360.com. That's joyfulliving360.com. And as far as from my mama's kitchen nonprofit, just go to wwwfrommymamas, and mama's is M A M A S and then kitchenorg, and that's where you can find all the information about the nonprofit and what we're doing in terms of trying to build a better world through our genius zone education platform. And so came this and everything else, like say about me, about my radio show and so forth, even speaking, and then everything else. You can find all that within those two sites.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and speaking of your show, because you do do your own podcast. I know it's on blog talk radio, how I know they can listen to past episodes, but when do you put out new episodes, just so our audience knows about that as well?

Speaker 3:

So every Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock.

Speaker 2:

Okay, thank you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and you can catch it again. It's on the. It's on both of the websites you can see and just click on, or you can go directly from my mama's kitchen talk radiocom.

Speaker 2:

Right, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I really truly feel honored to have had you on and, but I forgot how inspiring you are, so, thank you, it made made my day much better. Thank you so much.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, I really appreciate it. It's been an honor to be sharing the air with you guys. It's just been totally wonderful.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much. Thank you again and to our listeners, thank you, go ahead, virginia.

Speaker 2:

I was just going to tell you, ronnie, thank you?

Speaker 1:

Okay, all right. And to our listeners Remember, life is story and we can get our hands in the clay, individually and collectively. We can write our own story. See you next time.

Trauma, Purpose, and Valentine's Day
Curiosity and Resilience in Life's Journey
Exploring Curiosity, Passion, and Self-Awareness
The Interconnectivity of Life
Power of Moms
Recipe Book and Life Lessons
Celebrating Life and Writing as Catharsis
Exploring Human Consciousness and Integrity
Value of the Past and Responsibility