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About this Episode


In this podcast episode, Karlee welcomes guest Steve Fernandez, where they talk about enhancing your performance at work and redefining corporate wellness. They delve into the fascinating science of sound baths, exploring how crystal bowls and brain entrainment create altered states of consciousness. Steve shares insights from his work bringing sound therapy to corporate settings, emphasizing the importance of experimentation and creating safe spaces for new ideas.

Also don’t miss out on their after-show discussion for our paid subscribers on books that have a tangible impact on Steve’s entrepreneurial journey - and the synchronicities of how they were all introduced to him.

Show Notes

  • Karlee introduces guest Steve Fernandez, a versatile artist with backgrounds in business and science. In this episode they discuss the science of sound baths, corporate wellness, and personal development motivations.
  • Karlee shares her serendipitous meeting with Steve at one of his sound bath events.
  • Steve explains sound baths, crystal bowls, and altered states of consciousness through brain entrainment and Karlee describes her experience of feeling between wakefulness and sleep during sound baths.
  • Steve talks about his innovative work with corporations and the role of sound therapy in fostering self-awareness and community building.
  • He gives some perspective about Meditation Club which offers daily live meditation sessions and talks about the unexpected community that has been formed.
  • Steve emphasises the importance of experimentation and safe spaces for trying new ideas and how ideas from Meditation Club are applied to their work at Fortune 100 companies.
  • Karlee and Steve emphasize the importance of reading the room in a group coaching setting and understanding the level of vulnerability and openness of the participants.
  • Steve shares an example of conducting an empathy exercise with a corporate group and how their responses indicated their readiness for vulnerability.
  • They discuss the need to make mindfulness practices accessible and relatable in a corporate context, often by linking them to science and practical benefits.
  • Steve describes his perspective of the changing landscape of corporate wellness priorities in post-pandemic times and the move away from “wellness” experiences to corporate investments in leadership and development training - ultimately the same thing in different language.
  • Steve shares a recent synchronicity in which multiple people provided him with insights that led to a significant change in his business direction.
Profile photo of Jennifer Spencer looking at the camera

Episode Guest

Steve Fernandez

Steven has a Masters degrees in Psychology and Business from McMaster University and The Schulich School Of Business, along with an Adler coaching and In Depth Channeling accreditation from Delphi University. He is passionate about harnessing the power of mindful thought and creative expression to experience a richer and happier experience of life.

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Host: Karlee Vukets

Featured Guest: Steve Fernandez

Produced by: Karlee Vukets

Editing: Andre Stewart @ Mixed by Dre

Branding: Leon Murray & Cathy Jones @ Bold Move Studio

Intro Graphics: Craig Mazerall Designs

Music: Night Moves by Ivy Bakes

Karlee’s Photo Credit: Olivia O’Young Photography

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Karlee: Welcome to leave room for the magic, a podcast that invites you to embrace the wonder, beauty, and messiness woven into the fabric of everyday life. In this show, we'll bridge the gap between the practical and the spiritual providing inspiration, tips, and tools from our featured guests. So without further ado, let's go make some magic.

Hi, my loves. It is my true pleasure to introduce to you our guest for today, Steve Fernandez. Steve has such a diverse background as an artist and his degrees in both business and science. I can attest to Steve's amazing albums under the name Kampala Social Club, which I will link for you in the show notes.

He co founded the Pause + Expand Community as well as Meditation Club with my premiere guest, Jennifer Spencer, which is the culmination of science, business, and the arts. Today, Steve and I will be diving into the science of sound baths. What does the wellness mean in today's corporate world and questions around people's true motivations of personal development. Steve, it's such a pleasure to have you here on the show.

I'm so looking forward to this discussion.

[00:01:09] Steve: Yay. We made it.

[00:01:13] Karlee: We've been talking about this for a long time. Wonderful. Well, I love to start off each show with an intention. So Steve, I'll let you go first with your intention.

[00:01:23] Steve: I think presence and truth, I think these are the two things that I really aspire to keep in my mind day to day.

So can I be present? Can I be truthful? Yeah. So those would be my intentions. Yeah.

[00:01:35] Karlee: Very cool. And today I would love. I mentioned this on, on the episode with Jennifer, but I, I think what I've admired in yours and Jenn's journey is the bridge between kind of more of a spiritual world and more of a corporate world.

And so today I really hope to show people some tools and help them figure out how to make that bridge for themselves. That's my intention for the show today. To hopefully introduce people to something a little new outside of their worlds and figure out how can they take that to apply to their day to day jobs and their performance at work.

[00:02:08] Steve: Okay. Let's see if we stay there.

[00:02:11] Karlee: I hope we can. We shall see where the magic takes us. Absolutely. So Steve for those of you who haven't listened to my episode with Jennifer yet, there's a story of synchronicity, which I normally end the episode with. But today I'm going to start with one because how I met you was in an incredible moment of synchronicity in my life, and actually one that I feel like has really impacted my life over the last two years. So I'm very grateful to have met you. I was invited to a sound bath that Jenn and Steve were hosting two years ago. I want to say it was two summers ago, probably right around now.

And honestly, maybe two years to the day. The next day, Steve shows up and he's DJing at my brother in law's birthday party. And it was such a moment of synchronicity where we sat down and I remember you saying, Steve, you're like, "Sometimes you get into places and you're like, why am I here? There feels like there's a different reason that I'm here."

And you and I had probably on your break, like good 30, 40 minute conversation about both of our worlds. You were like, "You've got to meet Jenn!" And then I've stayed in your world ever since, and I'm very grateful for that. So Steve, thank you for that.

[00:03:26] Steve: Yeah. You use that word synchronicity, which is interesting because another way I see the word synchronicity is signs.

And so I've been asking more and more in my life as I get older what's the reason that I'm here? Even in painful moments and in pleasurable moments. Like, what am I here to learn? What, what's the sign? And it was interesting because I don't remember the entire how the night evolved in terms of us talking about spirituality, but when you meet someone who is aware and is interested in the truth as well.

The conversation very quickly will move there. And I remember that with you is that we were talking for a very short period of time, like literally a couple of minutes had never met each other before. And we were then talking about very conscious topics. That's the interesting thing around, people who are into learning and about uncovering what they know, I find that when you meet them, you instantly bond, instantly connect and you go, right. And that's very interesting to me.

[00:04:28] Karlee: Well, it was definitely the deepest conversation I had that night. They are conversations that I love, but you know, it was a big party and it was a very soul filling conversation.

So I love when you can just meet somebody and dive beneath the surface.

[00:04:43] Steve: Dive right in. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think part of it, I was thinking about when we met and I think part of it is that when you meet other people who come from the same place, which is this unknown place where we all arrive on this planet.

And we start to remember things that we have forgotten. When you meet someone else who knows your language - I just think about it, any trade show you go to, or you go to a concert and you're amongst people that speak your language, you're instantly drawn. So that's, I don't think it any different when it comes to people who are quote unquote conscious which is an interesting term in itself, but just, you know, people that want to have a real conversation about.

What the hell is going on here? You know?

[00:05:23] Karlee: Absolutely. Why are we here? And yeah. And, and what are we attempting to do? So, yeah. So for, you know, I think of sound baths, I've been doing sound baths for years, but I still encounter a lot of people in my life who've never heard it before. To level set for the audience, if they've never heard of a sound bath before, I'd love to hear it from your words as somebody who is a deep practitioner in this field.

[00:05:49] Steve: Okay. It's funny. You would say the word deep practitioner. I feel like I'm a person that likes to play with sound bowls and offer sound baths to people.

Yeah. And it is like playing an instrument, even though it's not a traditional instrument. Sound baths.

[00:06:05] Karlee: You've got some behind you, I see.

[00:06:06] Steve: Yeah. I'm going to bring a bowl in.

So these bowls are the core, I would say, of performing sound baths. They are made of crystal, these bowls. Sometimes you've heard of Tibetan bowls, which are made more of a copper brass, I think. But the science behind sound therapy or sound baths is that the bulls emit a tone and your brain latches onto the tone. It's called brain entrainment. And so I'm learning that when we are able to slow brainwave function down, we can enter into altered states of consciousness and in those altered states of consciousness or when you move away from the thinking brain, wonderful things can happen. Wonderful learnings can happen. Wonderful awareness can happen. And so sound therapy offers a way for one to get out of the thinking mind into the zone or this altered state. And then when you're there, if you're with someone who's guiding you, you can learn some things, you can see some things, you can feel some things. And that's really what sound therapy is used as or can be used as a modality. Yeah.

[00:07:21] Karlee: Wonderful. And the neuroscience behind it, because I know you know a lot about the neuroscience as well is that I understand when you talk about the different brain waves, when you think about, I don't know, all of the alpha, beta, theta, gamma, I think.

[00:07:37] Steve: Yeah. Yeah. That's great. Brainwave function. So your brain is functioning with brainwave activity. And the rate of that activity changes. So when you're in a very heightened state it's called gamma. When you're in your thinking state, like you are right now, listening to this. Taking a new information, new sound, new face s you're in the beta state.

And that's also where you can feel stress is in the, is in the beta state. And then when you go to alpha. Alpha is daydreaming. So when you think you're in a meeting and you're kind of just like off looking out a window and everything's happening, you're conscious. That is considered alpha and then theta is right above sleeping.

So in between alpha and theta is a really interesting place to play and the sound bowls will get you just below alpha, just above theta. And people will often have, I don't know. Have you ever felt this when you're in a sound bath that you know you're awake, but you can't move? What's that like?

[00:08:29] Karlee: It's the same feeling you get when you're waking up in the morning and you're in between that sleep and like opening your eyes state.

It's that exact same feeling. So if people haven't experienced a sound bath yet, that's exactly what I'd liken it to. And the other thing I've heard. Elements we can get into Theta, Theta mode is in the shower and driving a car, which is oftentimes why you get those aha epiphanies for anybody who have had that either going to sleep, waking up in the morning, showering or in the car.

Somehow you get all your best ideas in those spots and you can't write them down, but that's actually because you're in the Theta brain wave is my understanding.

[00:09:10] Steve: Right. Well, theta, you'd actually be sleeping. You'd be in your subconscious.

[00:09:13] Karlee: Oh, interesting. Okay.

[00:09:14] Steve: Yeah. But you're above theta. But what's beautiful about what you're talking about, which was highlighted, and I brought books with me today, which was highlighted in Stealing Fire.

Okay. Is the use of the zone to get into states. And this is where you'll see performance coaches with athletes, get them to a state of between alpha and theta above theta, but below alpha, where you can feel things, you can see things, you can get out of your thinking brain and remap the brain. So now we're talking about neural networks at the study of NLP, which is really thinking our brains have these fixed pathways.

You know, we think upwards of 60, 000 thoughts a day. So we've got these repetitive patterns of thinking over and over and over again. Well, if I want to change a behavior, I'd like to change the way I think. It starts there, it's really like simple. If I think different then I couldn't act different. Well, in order to change those neural pathways, which are very grooved or very fixed, when you suspend thinking, you have the opportunity or slow down thinking, you have the opportunity to change how you think you can be aware, you could notice.

And that's why, you know, some psychology too, that, you know, you look at somatic psychology CBT, the cognitive behavioral therapy. They're really trying to go within the mind and sort of have person become aware of what they're thinking because it's the awareness that's the change. It's not like, I know people like to say, put a post it note on the fridge for 28 days and you're going to change the way you think.

Some of those grooves are pretty, pretty well wired. You know, I've got grooves that are been around for the 50 years I've been on this planet that I remember. Right. So that's what's great about going to that theta state or above it is that you have this ability to change the way you think.

[00:11:03] Karlee: Yeah. Well, speaking of you'd asked me, what does it feel like? I've worn an Oura ring for about a year now and I remember it's only happened a couple times, but occasionally through your sound baths, I will wake, like I'll come out of the meditative state and I've been very conscious the whole time, but it's cool the visualizations that come up and the relaxed state that I'm in, and it'll ask me if I just had a nap. Which actually tells me that I entered that theta brainwave state because they think I'm sleeping. This ring thinks I'm sleeping. It's very accurate. It's not just like, you know, if I'm relaxing on the couch, it asked me if I'm napping.

So it's cool to see the science of that. And some of the technology picked that up as well, just on the day to day without having, you know, I know there's a lot of science being done around mapping people's brains and the waves during these types of flow states and meditative states.

[00:12:00] Steve: Yes. Yes. Yeah, I think that artists really understand this because when we make art or create art our best art comes from when we turn the thinking brain off and when we turn the thinking brain off, we stop censoring. We get very vulnerable with whatever our medium is. And that's where you know, there's lots of rituals that artists will have when they go towards a creative process.

And, you know, over the years I've learned from so many, you know, watching the greats being around them. I'd be like, why, why is he doing that exercise before he goes on stage or, you know, being in a session with, with certain people, I'm noticing their ritual around, some use alcohol, some get high, some have nothing going on, some have to do it at a certain time of the day, some people have to go for a run before, other people can't start work at 11 PM at night, right?

These rituals that get them into flow state. Yeah. And so that's, it's an, it's a very integral part of all of our lives. We all get into flow states. We just do it different ways. We all do it different ways.

[00:13:07] Karlee: Well, one of the things you and I have been talking about, there's not only just artists, but high performing athletes have that same type of pre-performance routine as well.

And, your goal is to bring that to the corporate world. So tell me a little bit, because I think it's very revolutionary hearing some of the companies you're working for, like law firms and the stock exchange and doing sound baths, right? Like, like they may have never heard of sound baths before. These are very corporate environments.

And I think hearing you and Jenn going into these spaces, if you could just start with what exactly is some of your experience with that? What does that look like? Are you in boardrooms doing this? Is it retreats for these companies? What are some examples of how you're working with corporations in this perspective?

[00:13:54] Steve: Well, we don't have a plan and that's part of the magic of what's happening with Jenn and I is we don't know any better and I've learned in life when you don't know any better, you'll go out and do things that people who have regimented fixed ideas of how things work won't attempt. So very early on, I remember telling people within the therapy community, "Hey, I want to go in and start doing soundbaths and meditations," and I remember someone saying to me, "Oh, you can't do that because HR is gonna, doesn't want to open up Pandora's box."

And I thought, okay, well then let's not tell them we're going to open up Pandora's box. Let's go in and talk about it in a different way of called relaxation and wellness. Right. And people were having these incredible openings and sometimes there would be tears and sometimes there would be things that will come up and we realized the responsibility was, "Hey, something's there. Talk to somebody." And people can handle that. And we learned from really great teachers how to do work in groups. And we, we took that model from Ryzio, our coaches or our teachers, they're not coaches. They're like some of the most insightful group therapists, Marty and Ken at Ryzio. And we learned from them how to hold space for a group.

So we thought, well, why don't we take that concept and try it within a 30 minute session and bring up topics that are just very, "Hmm, like what's my work life balance like?" You know, we took that topic and we took concepts that we learned from them about like, there's three major relationships you have in your life, your relationship to yourself, your relationship to others, and your relationship to your career or hobby.

Well, these are the three major relationships. So let's talk about this in 30 minutes and have you visualize what you think balance should look like, then drop you into a sound bath and then talk about it afterwards. And lo and behold, people are like, Oh, this is really helpful. But what we don't realize we're doing is we're helping them in a therapeutic sense to be aware.

And I think the time has come where we don't need to be afraid of helping people be aware. So we didn't have a plan of like, is it going to be off sites? Is it going to be a meditation club? Is it going to be recordings? We just did it. And now we're seeing what people are asking for. And then we evolve.

So that's a big part of our iteration is. I think we're in our 10, 000 hours of learning. You know, the Malcolm Gladwell book. Is it Blink? I think it's Blink.

[00:16:17] Karlee: No, it's the other one. Outliers.

[00:16:21] Steve: Outliers. And he talks about the Beatles performing 10, 000 hours in Germany to get good at their craft.

I actually was thinking about it the other day. I think we're in our 10, 000 hours right now. We're just trying and learning and experimenting and getting better at our craft of taking people inwards and then where the application will be, where that stage will be, will appear to us. It is starting to appear in different ways.

So it's exciting and it's changing, you know, which is a hard thing to deal with is change. Yeah. So. And does that make sense how we're doing it?

[00:16:52] Karlee: It does. And for those who don't know, in the meditation club, Steve and Jenn go live three days a week with their meditation club and have done for the last three years.

You started in the pandemic, right?

[00:17:04] Steve: Two years. Yeah. Two years. Yeah. We started, we started in the pandemic, so it's been going for two years.

[00:17:09] Karlee: It's really remarkable. I messaged him and I said, you can take a day off.

[00:17:16] Steve: Yeah. Well, what's your experience of meditation club? Tell people because you know, seeing it from your eyes being part of it.

What's your, what's your experience of it?

[00:17:25] Karlee: It's a nice live community. I find a lot of the online platforms are pre-recorded and there are recordings of the live calls for those who cannot make the morning time periods, but it's so nice to be in a community. There's a very active chat.

And the insights you get from the group, it's just a nice reset for the day. It's a good accountability to get into a routine of meditation or come back to it. If you fall off of it for a little bit, there's that excitement, because it is a great group that you've built and a community that gathers in the mornings.

[00:18:04] Steve: So, yeah, what's interesting about what you said is the community part. We didn't realize that's what we were going to be building was a community. What we thought , what I thought we were going to do is we're going to get on, offer this product, and it's just going to grow to be thousands of people.

Well, it hasn't done that. Not yet. Yeah. But what we're learning from it is how do we get into a space? Meet the people where they're at try to be as personal as possible and also be as wide as possible to have everyone feel welcome. And then have them learn something about themselves, wrap it up in 30 minutes and move on with your day.

Yes. And that's what we learned in Meditation Club. And then we take that into companies and inform it for what they need. And so what's interesting is that we've never talked a day publicly about Meditation Club. We don't advertise it. We've kept it very behind a wall. And I think after two years, we're going to start talking about it.

We're going to start to market it. And. I don't know if we're, we're insane or if we're brilliant and probably there are, they're like, they teeter on the side of it. I remember Dave Grohl saying from the Foo Fighters, you know, what brilliance is, is a passion for insanity. Right. And the part that is grueling is getting up 8:30 am three times a week.

And sometimes you don't feel like being there, but you get up and you show up as yourself. And we've tried just showing up in days we might be in tears, like literally Jenn and I might be having such a bad day and we'll just talk about it. Yeah. And we don't claim to know anything more than others.

I think that's a big part of it too, is... I've noticed that a lot of teachers, a lot of people who are leading are not showing the truth behind the tough days. And I really gravitate towards those people that show me the realness of it so that I believe it's available to go up and down. So again, we didn't know that we just showed up as we thought we should.

And so, yeah, it's been an incredible, incredible learning experience, but also we're forming ideas there that we're taking into corporate. Right. So it becomes a playground. Right. And I think that's really important in any business is that where's your experimentation? Where's your playground?

Where's your safe place to think up new ideas, to try things. Yes. And then, you know, if I told you with fortune 100 companies, we're helping them channel dead people. That's exactly what we're doing. We're doing that. Yeah. I can tell you exactly how we're doing it. And you'd be like, whoa. And what we've learned.

With all of this work, it's all about safety. So no matter what you're doing and any role you are in life, if you want to connect with people, they need to feel safe. They need to feel like I want to be vulnerable with that person and how we create those containers is what we're really striving to achieve.

So, yeah, that's a, that's a big part of it.

[00:20:58] Karlee: Yeah, there's so much goodness there. Okay, I'm going to pick up on this most recent thread then in terms of using that language, right? You're not talking about like, Hey, right now we're going to channel channel the other side. How do you talk about it in a corporate setting to make it more accessible for people?

[00:21:14] Steve: Read the room. You really got to read the room. So that's been a challenge because in the post COVID era. We're mostly talking to black boxes, right? And we're not the kind of facilitators that come on and demand you demand to see you. In fact, we tell you to go off screen once we go into the meditation, we turn our screens off.

So, we've had to learn how to energetically pick up on cues. So it's by the questions we ask and how the responses come. So I'll give you an example. The other day we were doing, an experience around empathy, and it was for a company and they were in Nashville and we were being broadcast, piped into their retreat.

All 10 of them were in a room in Nashville and we were being piped in and we wanted to do a experience around what is it like to be in a difficult relationship or a difficult environment? You know, when you get closed up intense and we wanted them to experience that. So we asked them the question, you know, type into the chats, someone or something that makes you feel tense.

And I'm thinking like they might say the grocery store or traffic or you know, give something that's kind of situational. Right. All 10 typed in, spouse, mother, brother, kids, they were like, I was like, oh. So there was my cue. My cue was this group is available to be that level of vulnerable. Wonderful.

So we're often taking cues of how they react. And then in that one, we can watch them. We could see where they were when we were putting them into the visualization, where they were being resistant and working with resistance. And also, having people know that this work is difficult, you know, like slowing the brain down going into visualizations.

It's very difficult. So our language is you're not doing anything wrong. In fact, you can't do anything wrong when you do an experience with us. You can't because you're going to notice where your mind is going all the time. And that's the practice. I think meditation is misunderstood. Meditation is not the practice of slowing down and not thinking. Meditation is the practice of being aware. That's all it is, and you can do it for 5 seconds, you can do it for 5 hours and we really try to dispel that. So it's also, you know, when we talk about these concepts, make them, bring in the science, lead with the science, right, we lead with the brainwave activity, we lead with Navy SEALs use visualization techniques, right.

You know pro basketball players and Olympians have been using visualizations for years. Why not you? Let's start with that. Okay, great. Now we've got that critical part of us that thinks this is all spiritual, a little bit less active. Right. Now let's talk about what are we doing once we get you to that flow place?

What are we doing with it? Right? And then that becomes the container. Is it creativity? Is it better teamwork? Is it empathy? Is it performance? Right? It's all there. And you know, we can talk about how we're talking less and less about wellness and that's sad, but we're learning when it comes to mental wellness it's not being prioritized.

It's just not being prioritized and I don't think it's any one person's fault. One group's fault. It's a human issue right now. It's really a human issue. And I don't know, we can go in that if you want to talk later about that, but, you know, that's what we're up against is how to reframe wellness in a way that makes minds feel safe, actually taking the information.

That's what we're really experimenting with now.

[00:24:40] Karlee: I'd love to go there now because I found it interesting that you shared with me that, what did you say? You said, well, this is not popular in the corporate space right now. And which is interesting because in pandemic wellness was very much a topic of conversation and you're seeing a shift in that again.

So speaking of like. What's the market asking of you? What are you finding these days?

[00:25:02] Steve: I can imagine all the life coaches are going, "Oh, fuck him."

listen, this is all I know. We can only go off the data that we have. Right. And what we learning is where are the budgets within companies going? Where do they allocate their budgets, where does the money go?

Where the money goes is where the priority goes is very, very simple. It's a Peter Drucker quote. Just follow the money. The money's in leadership and development. So if you take a look at the amount of, of funds and people in positions for leadership and development versus wellness, you will see a big disparity.

And the reason that I know. Intrinsically in my body, that wellness is not a thing is I look at human beings and how much of our life we spend distracted. We would love, we would love to say that we're really interested in our mental health, but our actions don't show it. So I think it starts there. It's a human behavior thing.

And I think part of it is technology. Part of it is this, you know, our phones and how we're constantly tethered. Okay, so put that aside. We went through the pandemic where everyone had to reset. I don't, I think, I think the world will look back and we're still just coming out of it. If you think we've been around for tens of thousands of years, being two years out of a pandemic is literally a millisecond in human evolution.

So if you take a look at what happened in the pandemic and this great reset where the world stopped, I can't remember a time where the world stopped. Literally, we were forced to stop and everybody had this in that time we scrambled. When we scramble to how do we take care of our people as we go through this new work life transition and we still don't know what that looks like, by the way, we're still trying to figure it out.

Well, let's go dump our money into this 1 area and talk about it a lot. Talk about it. Talk about it. And I think now people have come back to the reality of shareholders. And now you can talk about this from stock prices growing up. I don't remember that companies had to make 15, 20, 30 percent growth targets a year.

I don't remember that being the case. Was it the case? Think about it. Was it the case that your portfolio had to grow by 20 percent a year?

[00:27:17] Karlee: It's a good question. I mean, I've been in the financial industry for a little bit, but I mean, 15%+ growth is a very high aggressive target in general. Because I'm a certified financial planner, we have got guidelines as to what we can project out for people and it ain't in the double digits in terms of being conservative with people's stock portfolio. So I agree with you.

[00:27:41] Steve: Yeah. So think about it. Like, if someone at the top is behold to shareholders that have that expectations. Well, at what point are they thinking wellness is going to benefit, like my team slowing down, taking a quote unquote break, restoring self is that going to help my bottom line?

But if we go in the door and say, "Hey, we're going to help you make more money and help you with performance." They're like, "Oh yeah, I want that." And that's why I think leadership and development is being embraced. I think wellness is like. - we don't have time for this right now. So if we go in and Trojan horse, our offerings as leadership and development and offer them the same thing, that's what we're going to experiment with.

And I think it's going to work and I think in time, you know, like all athletes have to take time off. There's a time of the year where pro athletes do not play. There's there's a schedule for every athlete who trains that they have downtime. Bands don't tour 365 days of the year. Taylor Swift is going to have breaks.

Why wouldn't we do this in corporations, right? Because if you think about it, corporations are one big entity. Right. And I don't think we're there yet. I love, I love to use like the analogy to physical, we use the physical wellness and mental wellness. We compare them often. And there's a 45 year gap between physical wellness and mental wellness.

I think maybe even Jenn talked about this, but how in the eighties, we started to prioritize physical wellness. We put gyms into companies. We started to do particip-action in Ontario, Gold's gym, 84 , good life fitness, 79, like these gyms started to pop up. We started to do physical activities in community, in groups.

We're just playing catch up with mental health. So I think, you know, sometimes when you look at what Pause + Expand is trying to do with meditation club and. Do it online, make it easy and accessible, affordable. We're trying to start that trend and you don't take it one step further. This is, this i the reason that live is important is because usability sucks.

It sucks. That's why by Peloton, I think is brilliant because you get on and it feels live, right? And it's easy to do. But, you know, take a look at some of the usage of apps out there. You know, I don't have to call names out like at 5%. So we download these things to our phone and then we just leave them on our phones, right?

So this idea of having a trainer for the mind. I think it's going to happen. It has to happen.

[00:30:03] Karlee: Well, similar with gym memberships as well, right? Like how many people are actually using their gym memberships versus it just renewing automatically. And then all of a sudden you're like, Oh crap, you look at your credit card statement and realize you've been paying for these memberships for a long time.

[00:30:16] Steve: Yes. Yes. The stat is 400% increase at Christmas to a 1-in-10 usage of a membership. I was reading that. Yeah, I was reading that. Yeah. So Where do you think it's going though? When you, when you look at wellness and business,

[00:30:33] Karlee: Well, it comes back to that idea of personal development. What I'm seeing is a lot more of these spiritual tools that people are talking about, be more openly talked about in a corporate landscape.

So for example, I think Steve Jobs and Ray Dalio and Jerry Seinfeld, they've talked a lot about their transcendental meditation practice. I think there's a lot of celebrities that talk about that now that wasn't as talked about in an entrepreneurial and a business context, 30 years ago. It was kind of like, do it in secret. Don't let people know you're doing this and that it's part of your routine. So then when we highlight success, what I find is a lot of entrepreneurs highlight the, Oh, it's the marketing technique, how I built the finances of the business, but actually how much of that is done because of the mental development that these entrepreneurs took on and did. Things like Steve showed the book, Stealing Fire earlier that I recommended and sent to him because they talk about in a Google landscape, going to Burning Man and using psychedelics and all this stuff. So it comes back to what I talked about earlier. What is the personal, what is the actual motivation behind personal development?

And ultimately, I think there's a lot of wellness and personal growth. I think a lot of it is still in service to how do we achieve? How do we succeed? How do we succeed financially? I think there's still an intrinsic motivation that is driving a lot of this personal development. And sometimes I reflect and I think about that in myself as well. How can I show up better and work? How can I be a better business owner and that kind of stuff and using some of these spiritual tools or personal development tools in that way?

So I'm seeing it, definitely, you know, occur, but I do find people are being more open about it with the language of origin, not necessarily let's translate to corporate language.

There's still a lot of translation that happens. The part of the show is, you know, how do, how do we not like, I just saw Liz Gilbert do a talk about mysticism in front of an audience in a convention center of thousands and thousands of people and she used the word mysticism . And I thought that's where we are at the cusp of being able to talk about things like mysticism, psychedelics, psychedelic healing in a very public setting.

[00:33:01] Steve: Yeah, let's hope it doesn't get shut down like in the 60s because they were very close then. And as you're talking about that, I've been thinking about what's driving humanity right now and I always think it's, I think it's a balance between. The soul and the ego, you know, and I think that part of the reason why physical health really took off was partly because of the ego.

I want to look a certain way. I have to fit in a certain kinds of clothing. I have to. attract a certain person . It was feeding the ego. It wasn't for the soul, which is, I want to live a life that is healthy and gives me more time because really, you know, time is the biggest currency is the most, is the most valuable currency.

It's time and you know, in the form of freedom and purpose, right? Knowing what to do with time. And, and I think those are the polarities that sometimes I feel I fight myself. Like, why am I doing this all, you know, what's the reason ? What am I getting up and driving myself to do the things that I'm doing?

Is it really of pure intention of love, you know, or is it about fear of not having enough? You know, those, those questions I think about.

[00:34:12] Karlee: I love that you said that earlier. You mentioned this as well. When you show up to meditation club and have the off days and the questioning and that not being shown enough, I think the other thing that's not shown enough is the questions that these leaders in this, this industry coaches, whatever it is, they espouse this wisdom and this inspiration, but actually the questioning that we go through internally about, "is this even something I believe, or is it something I've heard and I'm regurgitating?" I think it's such a Brandon and I have these conversations all the time. My husband, for those who, I don't think I've mentioned Brandon on the show before, but we have these conversations all the time.

Like it's healthy to say, you know, I'm saying this, but do I even believe it? And questioning the internal motivations as well. Those questions don't really get asked that much. And I find you and Jenn do a very good job in meditation club saying, we're saying this, and then all of a sudden you get to a place in your own life where you go, "Does this still hold true or is there a new evolution of this belief that I need to lean into?"

[00:35:20] Steve: Yeah, we've learned that a lot of the work that we're doing is for ourselves. It's so, you know, when I say these things, it's so much like being a music artist. I made music for many, many years and did relatively well trying to become famous. And I would write songs thinking I wanted to be on the radio and I want to be famous and I want to have my Grammys and that's my dream and it got me far and we made money and we had a great deal and a run and then I started making music because I want music that I want to put on it, and it's for me, and I learned, had nothing about Grammys, had nothing about being popular, and I started again. And when I started this new project, it's like literally the last two weeks, it's started to pick up on its own again, and it's like if your intentions come from a very pure place, You will win in life. You will have happiness. It will show up, it just, it's not going to be necessarily on the way you thought it should be or people tell you should be.

And so I think when Jenn and I do a lot of these meditations, we're writing them for ourselves. And then we just happen to share them with everyone. And what we don't do a good job is go back and listen to our own meditation. Jenn and I were in a fight the other day, like just screaming at each other. It had something to do around self confidence and she literally did a meditation that morning about courage.

And I was just like, did you listen to your meditation from this morning? She's like, I don't want to, I'm like, and it was one of the best meditations she had ever done because she did it off the fly. She did it from the heart and that's when our best work comes when it's not, it's done from a flow state from the heart and it's truly vulnerable.

And so that's where I'd like to live, you know, most of my life is in that place. So even being on a podcast like this, part of me before I got on and I didn't sleep well last night. And I've been sleeping well, fine, like for the last months, like this came out of last night and I woke up and thought look, "What's going on, Steve?" My subconscious was like, "You better look smart, you better look smart on this podcast. And by the way. Don't come off like you know it all because we already know Steve that people don't like it when you're a know it all. But have something to say."

It was like my critic was like going through all the iterations and I was like well These are all the things I could talk about and and and and I was just like, "I'm gonna tell them that!" Because this is the mind that I wrestle with. I wrestle with this mind that's so insecure at times yet has so much things that wants to say and it gets all messed up sometimes and I'm not myself.

Yeah. The truth of the matter is, I know very little and I'm trying to put things together, right? And I'm trying to help others. That's really the truth of what I want to do. But for so often in my insecure mind, it's been like, "I've got to be the number one in the room. Or I've got to be the smartest guy."

Those qualities which are not attractive to connecting to other humans. If that makes sense. It is very successful, by the way, that kind of personality has done me well. It's performed well, it's afforded me some beautiful things materially in life, but I was really lonely at times. And that's what I'm learning on this new trip, you know, post the breakdown of Steve midlife crisis, the post part.

It's like, slow down. Find your people. Find the consciousness. Do things for the passion, you know, and what do you, what is your soul trying to learn this time around? Do you ever think about like what you're trying to learn this time around in life?

[00:39:02] Karlee: Yeah. I think about that a lot. I also think about if I go back to a second, cause I've got an analogy I always talk about like of what you just said in terms of you could be doing the same thing, but the foundation on which you embark on that journey is so important, right? Because you could be doing the achieving, doing all the things, but if it's coming from a place of trying to prove, trying to prove to yourself, trying to prove to other people, oftentimes you get to that final destination, you've climbed the mountain and you go, shit, this doesn't feel like I thought it would feel. Right?

And I thought there'd be this feeling at the end and you might feel it, but it's fleeting because you didn't do the work to feel that way all along. You didn't enjoy the journey. And, and it's so cliche, but it is so true of like, you know, do I enjoy the journey every single moment? No, it's a roller, you know, I liken mine to rollercoaster, right?

Which rollercoaster are you on? You could be on two different rollercoasters, but you're still having a different experience, but it's which rollercoaster you strapping yourself into on that ride. That is kind of how, how are you showing up and doing the things is, is to me, actually, I think even more important than the achieving, because the achieving will feel it's in the day to day versus the final destination.

You know, one of my favorite quotes growing up was happiness is not a destination. It's it's the journey. And I try and live into that. I get caught up in the same trap as people do all the time waiting and feeling the anxiousness of where I would like to be and where I am today. I have to slow myself down all the time to say, okay, it's in these conversations.

And Steve, I totally agree with you . Actually I just released an episode called Remember Your Magic. Actually by the time this one will be released, it wouldn't have just been released, but when we're filming this, it just came out. And I talk about at the very end, I say, this podcast is really for me and releasing something that I've wanted to do for years and do this.

But oftentimes I always look back in my journals that I wrote and all of a sudden an intention that I wrote six months ago from where I was at that day speaks more to me now than it did back then.

[00:41:29] Steve: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

[00:41:31] Karlee: And as an artist, I think, and the creative process, I think there's a lot of people who write books, who do the meditations like you do, and we're all just doing it for ourselves, and what we're processing and going through at the time.

[00:41:45] Steve: Yeah, you know, it's, it's so true what you just said there, what was coming to mind as you were talking is what an interesting time to be alive as a human being on this planet. And what I mean by that is I was speaking with one of my teachers, Judy, her name's Judy and she's this incredible woman that teaches out of Delphi, which is this incredible school of mysticism in Georgia.

And Jenn and I have been going there for years in training . Judy was talking about at this time in the world, the pillars are all falling down. So all the structures that we have built up over the years are starting to erode. When you think about pillars and what we believe is being true and they're coming down, you can see it in so many different areas.

So, you know, take currency for example, right? There's real fight with cryptocurrency and banks and banking systems. There's the idea around religion. What is true? What is not? Is religion as popular? You can see it in politics, you know, governments and, and democracies and the changes even within, like, if you look at America and what is happening there. You can see it in the environment, right? Mother Nature is definitely sending a very clear shot across the board that she's going to do something, right? She's had enough. You can see it in space travel. You can see. So all these belief systems of what we thought was true are coming down. And they're coming down relatively quickly.

And it's been happening since the 50s or 60s. But we're at the hockey stick part where it's going to speed up. And then you've got the infusion of technology coming in, the decentralization of power. You've got a lot of people who had power trying to figure out how to hold on to it. And a whole new rush of people coming in saying, let's break those down.

What's left? You know, what is left as we move through this system to a higher earth or a newer place or more into the light? And that's where I think conscious thinking. Is really important when people are going to, I believe people are going to look for a way out of the chaotic nature of what society has become.

It has come become relatively chaotic. I remember a day where I'd come home from school, I'd play outside with my friends and we might have dinner together and it was like relatively calm, peaceful. And I watched my children growing up, and between the phones and the video games and the Snapchat and the information we're processing so much more information than we ever have before.

And we're in the matrix, I believe, even more so. Yeah. It'll be interesting what this all starts to fall down. It's going to, I think it'll happen in our lifetime, the rate at which it's happening. You know, internet did not really exist 20, 25 years ago. Cell phones, 2010, AI now. Now. Yeah. I'm really curious about the jobs that are going to be created that my kids are going to be employed by that I have never seen before.

Yes, for sure. You know, so.

[00:44:53] Karlee: Well, I think even your job, it's like. Five, 10 years ago, people would be like, I've never seen something like that before.

[00:45:00] Steve: Technology didn't exist. People didn't have the thought of getting on. Zoom wasn't acceptable pre COVID. We didn't get on group Zoom calls and get together as a community and talk about topics that are interplanetary.

You know, that was very niche. You know, our community is very mainstream, you know they're not fringe. All that stuff is coming to the center. That's part of the boundaries coming down.

Even look at the stock exchange. How much can I trade on my own, right? Which was something that you needed a broker and all of these walls to go through.

Those walls have come away. Right. And my friend who I was talking about, you know, what will advising look like in even two years, in five years, in 10 years, right? What would that look like? Oh, it's incredible.

[00:45:52] Karlee: Wonderful. Well, actually. I'm going to move to wrap up the conversation because I typically like in a certain amount of time, but I'd love to stay on and as people just know, by the time I launched an air this episode, I'll have launched our podcasting community.

So feel free to tune in and you can get some extra bonus footage from Steve and I, because we're going to continue this conversation over in the bonus footage. And we'd love to have you .

[00:46:16] Steve: I want to talk about the books that have moved me in the past year in the bonus footage. Because I think some interesting stuff's going to happen.

[00:46:24] Karlee: Okay. Awesome. Well, if you're listening, please join us in this membership community as part of the podcast community. We'd love to have you and you can listen to some more juicy stuff. So Steve, as part of this episode, though, I love to wrap up. I shared a story of synchronicity earlier. Is there a story of synchronicity that's on your mind right now?

[00:46:43] Steve: You know what I was going to go back and yours is that's a great one. And I'm going to share the books in the after show, but there was a moment of synchronicity recently where I looked at the signs and within four days, I had four different people tell me I need to change my business. And one after another, they came out and out of the blue, they told me things that when I strung them together, it was the same message and it was very clearly laid out for me how to change the business. And the first person came with a certain book and said, this book, just, I started reading it and I thought of you, you should think about it. The second person came along and said, I was talking to a really high level NFL sports coach, and he's doing visualizations with his athletes.

Have you ever thought of doing that with CEOs? On the third day, a person approached me with this concept of mindset. And on the fourth day we went and tested what we did at big company downtown Toronto at the stock exchange, and they loved it. Those are the synchronicities when they come in a really tight window.

That's an example of we completely shapeshifted our business over something like that. So that would be the one that I would think of recently.

[00:48:04] Karlee: Yeah. When you talked about synchronicities being signs, I think one of the things I love about that is oftentimes we do think about our own intuition and gut and we forget that sometimes messaging comes to us through other people.

And so. Being aware and keeping that awareness of what's coming to us through others. If I've heard Jenn and I talked about this episode, if you've heard about the same book from two people or the same movie from a few different people, you should tune in and listen to that. If it's happened twice, sure, maybe you throw that off as a coincidence, but then all of a sudden it's three, right? If it's four, like in your world or like this, you cannot, that is the universe knocking. And that is something saying, Hey. Pay attention here. This is, this is something that is in alignment for you, I think.

[00:48:51] Steve: Yeah.

[00:48:52] Karlee: And you may not know why at the beginning and then all of a sudden you read it. I know I sent you a book last week, the Stealing Fire book, and here we are talking about it twice on the podcast.

[00:48:59] Steve: I want to talk more about that in the after show because I'm on chapter three and it's saying things in there that are going to connect all the books that I read this year about it.

[00:49:09] Karlee: I love it. And it's so funny then the order you get them in as well. Right?

[00:49:14] Steve: And that's the exact order I needed them. This is the crazy part.

[00:49:20] Karlee: Yeah. Yeah. I've got a very similar story to that that I won't dive into fully here, but very similar story. When I got into the financial industry. About money. It was like, I had this very quantum book about money. Then I had a little bit more practical. And then I had a very like practical, here's what stocks are in like a very numeric perspective, but it was such a beautiful arc for me to really understand my own beliefs around finances and money and my own relationship to money in a more tangible way. But it was also how those books came to me. It was very influential at the start of my financial career and it's something that I integrate slowly, but surely over time as well.

[00:50:01] Steve: I think one of the things to leave with people is if you want to pick up on the signs, ask yourself, why, what, what am I here to learn?

And the more that you ask yourself that question. And just allow the first thing that comes to mind, that becomes your signs. And this is a process that I think through a meditative state can be helpful. When I slow my mind down and I ask myself the question, what am I here to feel? What is going on with me right now?

It jumps out at me. So when I'm in a grocery store and I'm really irritated, if I ask, what is it here for me to learn? Sometimes I'm like, I'm not supposed to buy the chocolate chip muffins. Okay, fine. Right. But other times it's like, This person is saying something that I'm not listening to, right? So yeah.

[00:50:49] Karlee: Yeah. Wonderful. And then as well, Steve, how can people get in touch with you? I will always put it in the show notes as well if there's any links, but people want to connect more, learn more about meditation club or your work with corporate. If they've got a corporation that they may think could use your work, how can they be in touch?

[00:51:07] Steve: I just think go to And even as I say that, I'm like, a site is going to get overhauled, but that's where you'll find us. And I think

always reaching out and just being curious about how we can facilitate and have that conversation is what we just love doing. We just love the conversations to be honest.

That's the big thing for us. Yeah.

[00:51:26] Karlee: Wonderful. And I'll put your LinkedIn and other socials as well, so they can find a way to reach you. Yeah. Okay. Wonderful. Well, audience, thank you so much for joining us today on this episode of Leave Room for the Magic. And Steve, it was such a pleasure having you here.

[00:51:41] Steve: Thank you for dreaming this up.

[00:51:43] Karlee: So excited with how this conversation unfolded, and I'm also looking forward to the bonus content shortly as well, because there's going to be some goodies in there too. Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you, everybody. And we'll see you again in a few weeks for the next episode.

Take care.

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