On Getting The Gold

A gold coin

Ta dah! I recently launched my first podcast, Out of the Clouds, thanks to Seth Godin and Alex Di Palma, as I just completed TPF5 (now called The Podcasting Workshop).

For context, I should say I was always going to do it; host a podcast, that is. However, I ended up developing it in the middle of a pandemic, on my own, for over ten weeks, alone with my cat: that was not part of the plan.

As a result, even though I worked hard – on my day job, on the podcast, on my studies (to become a certified mindfulness and meditation teacher), it wasn’t as linear a process, and I wasn’t as quick and ready-to-ship as I have been in previous workshops.

For starters, I published Episode #01 before publishing the trailer. I then decided not to promote it or tell anyone about it because, in summer 2020, there were many other attention-drawing world events. Although the Black Lives Matter movement might feel far away from my rural Switzerland, it just felt totally inappropriate to celebrate, let alone launch, despite the fact it was an important personal milestone. So, I simply put it out there, into the world, without a fuss.

Being non-linear and doing a soft launch are both tactics in and of themselves, and they have their advantages too.

When I wrote the show trailer a few weeks back, I was seeking to introduce myself and my background to give context for those listeners who aren’t my friends or extended network. I wanted people to get to know me, and I was hoping this would engage them and encourage them to listen. Makes sense, right?

Meanwhile, there was a refrain knocking around in my head, going ‘who do you think you are to be putting out a podcast??’

Thankfully, as I was writing, I remembered the words of my close friend and mentor, yoga teacher Diana Rilov – who also happened to be the first guest of the podcast.

She used this expression that her own teacher, Dona Holleman, had taught her:

“Be a pirate, Diana! Get the gold and run!” she was told.

In other words, Holleman was telling her to learn as much as she could from her, or any teacher for that matter, integrate it, make it her own and move on (to the next teacher I’d imagine).

This very much stayed with me. It felt like it could explain the show’s fabric and my motivation for interviewing people. I too was going to get so much from each and every conversation. ‘I am too going to emulate this idea,’ I thought to myself, ‘let me be a pirate, get the gold and run’. 

Right after writing my daily morning pages, only days later, I picked up Steven Pressfield’s book The Artist’s Journey. And this passage below stirred something else in me:

“Resistance is the dragon that guards the gold – the gold of our authentic self – our true voice, our artistic and personal destiny.”

This quote felt nothing short of a revelation, a big ‘A-ha’ so to speak. Pressfield offered an explanation for the resistance I felt before hitting the publish button on the podcast that first time (and pretty much every single time since). Because every time I put a piece of work ‘out there,’ scarily, I am putting out my voice, a part of myself that would otherwise remain hidden – or perhaps only visible to those close to me.

‘Who am I to do this,’ the voice of fear, is also the voice of the gold, the part of me who actually really wants to express itself and is seeking this bigger platform to offer something to the world.

I’ve gotten the gold from so many, who have inspired me, from Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, more recently, Brené Brown, Dan Harris and Rick Hanson and many more.

I’m so grateful for all the artists, writers, bloggers, podcasters, directors and photographers who’ve inspired me. I’ve “gotten the gold” from so many: from Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, and, more recently, Brené Brown, Dan Harris, and Rick Hanson and many more. I’ve benefited from the risks they’ve taken — they too had to start somewhere, and I’m guessing many if not all were damn scared of pressing the ‘publish’ button. But they did, and by doing so they gave me so much.

So that’s what I am seeking in the conversations on my show. I am seeking to get the gold! And I guess it’s also what I dig for in my writing. In the podcast. In my relationships.

Somehow, to access and uncover ‘the gold,’ the underlying flame or truth of who we are.

That which connects us to each other.

Ta dah!