Truth

Truth

 

1:44

Keri: Okay, hello, and welcome, everybody. Today I have with me, Matt Welsh, the founder of Spiritual Media Blog, and thank you so much for being here today.

Matt: Oh, thank you so much for having me. This is going to be fun.

Keri: Totally. Because I think that you and I—and we’ve never met in person, we just kind of found each other, you know, through through some of our common work—but I just had this feeling that if we did meet in person, we’ve talk for hours. I’m really glad that you’re here today because I’m looking at your background. And I just think that we have a lot in common. The thing that I’m most fascinated with about your story in your background is that you were a lawyer. And you left that to pursue a calling that I’m just gonna guess doesn’t pay quite as much. So would you just tell us a little bit about that decision and what that felt like when you were working in a place that really, I guess the way it sounds like it just wasn’t a fit for you?

A Career Change Aligned with Truth

Matt: Yeah, it really wasn’t. I went to law school and then afterwards, actually worked in Hollywood a little bit as an entertainment agency. And then decided that was wasn’t for me, I moved back to Indiana and started working as a trial trial lawyer for Department of Child Services, which is about the almost exact opposite into the spectrum for legal work. And then in private practice doing Family Law helping people with divorces, child custody issues, adoptions. And yeah, it really wasn’t for me, I mean, I felt like this was something that I really put my my heart and mind into for about three or four years trying different types of legal work, but I really was not happy.

It just, it wasn’t a good fit. For me. It was something that quite honestly, I just wasn’t that interested in. It was really hard for me, I felt like most of the days I was going to work, trying to argue with people, other lawyers, my clients in a very adversarial, pretty cutthroat environment which just wasn’t a good fit for me. But it did actually help me to find some of my true interests and things that I was really interested in.

For example, many of my clients, they’d be going through a tough time in their life like a like a divorce or something. And they might come, they’re coming to me to help them with their legal work, but they would just talk to me about what’s going on in their life. And I would just sit there and I would listen to them and try to connect with them on a more personal level. Unfortunately, that’s not what they’re paying me for.

But I really I really enjoyed that part of it. And I felt the most actual rewarding part of my job was moments when they would say thank you or I would have, you know, people who had been in and out of prison fighting for custody of their children, they’d break down in tears because they might not get to see their child again, but they would again, thank me for listening to them.

And so that got me really interested in counseling and Psychology and mental health. And I just really wanted to learn more about that plus, I had kind of always had an interest in spirituality and personal development. So yeah, I left my law firm at the age of 29, and went back to school to pursue a masters and a PhD in counseling psychology, and now I am working full time as a psychologist and really, really do like it.

Keri: To start over at age 29. That’s just that, I mean, people don’t really do that…did you get any pushback?

Matt: Um, I mean, it was scary. And because especially during some of those transitions, I mean, I was out of work for sometimes six, seven months between jobs, some of my friends or people I worked with, they would ask me what do you what are you doing with your life? What’s wrong with you? You’re 28/29 years old and you know you’re not happy. But you’re a lawyer, you know, you should be happy. What’s wrong with you?

Finding Purpose

Keri: It sounds to me like you couldn’t override your instincts, like, right, your instincts for connection, your instincts for doing something that fit your purpose. Sometimes I think to be a lawyer ,or to do a lot of jobs, you have to be you have to be willing to override your truth. Yeah, you have to be able to suppress it. I always laugh because my husband is in the financial world and every day he puts on his tie, right? And you know, I watch him do this and I always say “There you go, you know, choking up that truth for the day!”

Matt: I mean, for me, it was. I mean, I know a lot of lawyers who actually do do really good work and they’re good people. But for me, I literally was choking off my truth. I mean, quite literally, some days I’d go to work and feel so much anxiety in my chest. I mean, I’d literally be like having trouble breathing as I was walking into this, like law firm and Child Services. I really do feel on a deeper level, yeah, that was my my spirit or my soul, like, gasping for breath.

Keri: And this is the piece where I feel like we have that in common. Because I started off my journey in, well, I actually worked for an insurance company, right out of college. Clearly not my interest. And I remember having a conversation with some co workers, them asking me, but my answer was no, I don’t have any interest in climbing the corporate ladder. And they were just like, really, but if you stay, you know, you’re going to get your 5% raise every year, and maybe someday you’ll be VP! And I was like, No, right on any of that. I want my time with my friends. I want to be outside.

So I see us as living these parallel lives being willing to make changes at later stages in life.

7:58 The Choiceless Choice

Matt: Yeah. I mean, on some hand, I don’t know if this is your experience on some, and it was very difficult because I was walking away just from what I knew and what, you know, a lot of people thought, you know, this is a good, normal, stable life. That was difficult. But on the other hand, it was so easy. I mean, it was just a tremendous sense of peace and relief, as soon as I walked away.

I literally remember, you know, when I, when I started my master’s program, I started actually doing counseling pretty soon after I started and it was just, I felt happy. I went to work and I felt happy, and like, a sense of relief. And I mean, I literally had never felt like that sense of happiness and peace before. So that’s pretty powerful.

Keri: I always wonder how other people do it. Quite honestly, because it’s such a strong instinct in me to speak my truth. Yeah, I, you know, I always say now if I had to go back into the corporate world, and I had to play those games, and you know, I don’t know that I could do it.

Matt: I don’t think I could either. I mean, yeah, it’s almost like I think some people call it like, it’s like the choiceless choice. I mean, I had a choice. But I mean, at the same time, I, you know, if I didn’t make that choice [to speak & live my truth] I just would have felt pretty miserable the rest of my life.

Keri: Well, you would have still had anxiety, I’m sure. And who knows what would have come like those chest pains you were talking about? Yeah. You know, for me, I always come down with chronic hives whenever I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing anymore.

9:46 Body Wisdom

Matt: I think you’re right. I mean, our bodies really don’t lie to us. They really can give us insight and feedback on you know, some of the choices we should make.

Keri: Right and like and you can suppress it— you could have gotten on anxiety medication or whatever other kind of drug and pushed on.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, I could have I mean, it was, but I would have probably spent the rest of my life like grinning and baring it. And then I, like actually thought to myself, like, man, if I go back to school, like I’m 29 I might not actually graduate until I’m like, you know, six years old. I’m 35 years old. And then I talked to my dad, and he’s like, if you don’t go back to school, how old were you? Will you be in six years? And I’m like, 35.

Keri: Oh, that’s wise.

Matt: Yeah, that was actually pretty nice point that he made.

10:40 Authenticity

Keri: Yeah, definitely. In your interview and in your background, you talk about how you wrote an article from my blog on this, which was a very popular blog, by the way, on your goal being authenticity. That that’s your greatest goal in life is authenticity. Yeah. So can we just start by letting me ask you what do you think that is exactly to define it for the masses?

Matt: Sure. I mean, I think for authenticity, I think it’s a willingness to pursue your interests, your values, what makes you happy, and then also a willingness to speak your truth and express your needs without apologizing for it. What but what do you think because I, you know, I’ve always I, authenticity is one of my goals, but I’m like, man, I really want to learn more about this. Like, what is authenticity?

Keri: Totally. Because I think that you and I—and we’ve never met in person, we just kind of found each other, you know, through through some of our common work—but I just had this feeling that if we did meet in person, we’ve talk for hours. I’m really glad that you’re here today because I’m looking at your background. And I just think that we have a lot in common. The thing that I’m most fascinated with about your story in your background is that you were a lawyer. And you left that to pursue a calling that I’m just gonna guess doesn’t pay quite as much. So would you just tell us a little bit about that decision and what that felt like when you were working in a place that really, I guess the way it sounds like it just wasn’t a fit for you?

Matt: I agree. I do think there is like an inner knowing and, you know, one thing that you had you had written about in our, in my blog, and the interview that we did was talking about, like the idea of a soul. And I think that that really does come to play when you’re talking about authenticity. It’s like an inner knowing or connection to the soul. And I mean, that’s so hard to define and means different things to different people. But I do think that that is part of being authentic.

12:59 – Conscious Inauthenticity (Wearing masks, not speaking truth)

Keri: Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you choose inauthenticity? Or you choose to wear a mask or you choose to pretend to be something or something that you’re not consciously?

Matt: Yeah, I mean, unfortunately, yes. I mean, I, I’m human, one of my greatest goals is to speak my truth. But I mean, I, I don’t always do that. And it’s hard. I mean, sometimes I might not speak my truth, if I’m afraid to upset someone else. I mean, if somebody asked me my opinion on something, I might not share it because I’m afraid that it might upset them. I wish this is something that I didn’t do. But it’s still I mean, the ability to speak my truth. I mean, I’m getting better at this. But this is something that I’m always always working working towards.

Keri: And when you’re in those situations and you’re conscious—because there’s a difference between when people do it, like unconsciously they don’t know that they’re pretending at something or they really think they are that or whatever—but like you and I, when we’re making those decisions, we’re making them consciously and there’s a different weight about that. It hurts a little bit more.

Matt: It does. And I mean, for me, it’s sometimes I’m struggling because I’m concerned, you know, what’s this other person going to think? And sometimes I’m concerned if like, you know, what’s this other person going to think if I really go after what I want in life? Or it might be something simple, like, you know, what’s this person gonna think if I wear a tie, or I don’t wear a tie, like just the silliest examples? So yeah, yeah.

14:49 Authenticity in Friendships & Relationships

Keri: And I’ve been working in my life to with friendships, and trying to choose those friendships that I can be my true self around. I had a really good group of friends last year. But there was always this part of myself, I would hold back sort of my new agey, weird stuff. Because I knew that that wasn’t something that was comfortable for them. For a little while, that was fine, you know, to not talk about the soul to not talk about, you know, my sense that we live multiple lives or these kinds of things. But after a while, it started to fatigue me, I’ve sort of made the decision to let that us go.

Matt: I totally agree. I can relate to that, you know, I’ve had bad past friends and past relationships, where like, I’ve either, you know, I don’t tell them that I meditate or I’m in a relationship and I’m like,I do like to meditate at night and they’re like, don’t use that word. That’s weird. But fortunately now, I’m married to a wonderful woman who like one of the first things I told I was like, I do like to do meditation. I do like to do yoga at night. And that usually takes up about, you know, 20 or 30 minutes of my time. And she’s been so supportive, accepting and understanding of that, and you’re right, it just, it makes those relationships so much easier.

Keri: I think it actually serves our own ability to love ourselves.

Matt: I agree. I mean, I think that’s  authenticity is so important, powerful as if you are telling yourself at your core, I matter. I make a difference. And I should share this part of myself with people.

Keri: Here’s the other question that I wanted to talk about a little bit, When we’re authentic, it’s not even just for ourselves. It feels good for us to live an authentic life, but we’re modeling it for our friends, we’re modeling it for our children.

Matt: Absolutely. It really is powerful. When you see other people being their true self, you’re like, Oh, it’s okay. If they’re doing this, you know, I can do this. And that’s all right. So yeah, that is true.

17:20 Men & Women in Spiritual Growth

Keri: Okay, so let’s see, I wanted to ask you a question. So I know that when I reached out to you, I teased you that you were my first man that I was having on the program and that I was going to make you speak for the whole male race. And I was kidding.

But but actually, I actually do have a question for you. Here’s the backstory: I had an interview a couple of weeks ago with our local New Age magazine, and he asked me a question that stumped me. I’m glad because it’s created this movement in my mind around this question. I don’t remember exactly what it was. But it was something about how we see women more prevalent in the spiritual world. We see them doing more of this work towards authenticity, and towards wholeness and all the other words, we’re talking about, truth, self-love. Are women just more naturally predisposition towards these kinds of practices? Or are they just simply choosing this more often? I didn’t have an answer for it, because I don’t want to speak on behalf of men, and their predispositions. But I’m curious what you might have to say about that.

Matt: Oh, I mean, I think that’s a very fascinating and interesting question. I mean, it’s one that I thought about because I started reading a bunch of these self-help and personal development books and then a few years afterwards, I found I read some statistic that it’s like 75% of women read these books and only 25% of men do.

So I kind of wondered the same thing. I, you know, I think some of it is socialization and that a lot of these self help books and books about spirituality, they’re talking a lot about emotions and feelings, expressing your true emotions expressing your true feelings. And unfortunately, a lot of men are told the exact opposite.

Men are told—Don’t be afraid, you will be a baby if you’re afraid. Don’t cry, don’t be sad, don’t be anxious. I mean, it was just like, you know, is very ironic. I, I do therapy. I did therapy with this older man and I said, what advice would you give to some other guy going through a similar situation? And he said, you know, be a man. Suck it up. Like, this is kind of the message they’re taught. And a lot of these books, fortunately, are teaching people, you know, it’s good to be able to express your authentic emotions along those same lines.

I think some men, it’s their ego, they’re less likely to try to ask for help, or they’ll see how asking for help is a sign of weakness. So I think some of it is socialization. I mean, as far as a predisposition goes, You know, I don’t know. It does seem that some, you know, that men may be less inclined to be more connected to some of their emotional responses, which I don’t think is healthy. But there may be some predisposition to that. I don’t know.

Keri: Well, I ended up sort of bumbling my way through that question. And to be quite honest, I don’t know that it makes any sense that there would be different predisposition in terms of ability. You know, it seems to me that both men and women, we’re all human beings. So our ability to say access states of meditation couldn’t be any different. And in fact, you know, the Yogis were all men. Original Yogis. So so there’s that piece. I, I think that you’re really onto something with the emotional piece that in order to go on a spiritual journey, there’s going to be this emotional journey as well. And that that’s really what’s being pushed up against.

So I guess the follow up question then would be how do you think women can support men so that they are more interested in willing to take these opportunities? Because I really do think we need more men to help make the changes that we need to make in our culture, through spirituality through spiritual growth, personal growth.

How to Bring Men into the Movement

For instance, how could we make men feel more comfortable in a yoga class?

Matt: I mean, that’s a good question. Again, sometimes I do show up to yoga classes, I’m the only guy there. And I mean, I’m a normal person, I just want to do yoga! It takes a lot of courage and strength to be vulnerable and speak about their emotions. If you see a man talking about his sadness or his fear, to let them know, that takes a lot of courage really, for you to talk about that, as opposed to seeing it as a weakness.

Keri: You know, it’s interesting, because what you’re talking about right now is bringing up a memory 15 years ago, when I was first starting this journey, and my husband was not, you know, so I was going I was undergoing a lot of change at the time. And he was sort of, Whoa, hat’s going on? But there was a point during my journey where I sort of turned to him and I said, I want you to be more authentic and whole and be more, and I want you to tell me how you really feel. And then he started actually doing that.But here’s what happened. I went, Whoa.

[laughter]

Matt: When a man expresses their emotions, I mean, now I’m being very stereotypical. When I open up and express their emotions, a lot of times the woman’s like, what’s wrong with you?

Keri: It’s Yeah, because it’s scary, So initially, I had said, I wanted that. And then when I saw it, I was like, Oh, I’m not ready for this. Right. You know, and so then, of course, we’ve moved past that over the years. You know, the more you suppress anything, the bigger it’s going to be.

23:55 Expressing Emotions

Matt: Right, exactly. So I mean, I mean, I work with a lot of men where it’s like, Like, typically when it comes to emotions, they will suppress it until they explode.They’re like, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. And then they just erupt in anger. Not healthy at all. So yeah, I mean, I think just giving them the space to express it and acknowledge it as normal.

And I think sometimes it can be helpful to, you know, to let them know, some of the benefits of it, say, yI’ve noticed you’re kind of, kind of seemed like a little tense or stressed lately, you know, sometimes it helps to talk about those things, and might help you be a little more relaxed or focused and also being very mindful and aware of where they’re at. I mean, some, some, some men and women are just wired to be less emotional. So it might not be as as easy for them and also respect that too.

Keri: Yeah. And of course, you know, we are kind of lumping in some stereotypes…there are women who are had trouble opening up emotionally and we’ll state that for the record. But I do think that for culture to move and for us to really actually reach a tipping point where there’s, you know, greater awareness, greater compassion greater, you know, sense of connection and belonging with one another. Just one sex can’t do it. Right? We need to all go there together.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. And I mean, again this is a stereotype, but I do think that a lot of men, they’re just not good at expressing emotion like they’ll either suppress it or explode it. But if they can practice it, they see like the power in it. It’s very powerful and freeing to be able to tell someone, I’m feeling very anxious right now. And and it’s like, all of a sudden, when you acknowledge that emotion, it actually loses some of its grip on you and you actually become a little less anxious.

Keri: Absolutely. There’s something about naming your emotions that almost instantly tames them.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, I like that phrase. I’ve heard that before.

Keri: Yeah. Well, getting back a little bit…sorry, I put you on the spot with all that stuff there.

Matt: It’s my honor to speak for the male race! Yeah, sure, there’ll be a bunch of men and women out there who are like, he just totally got that all wrong.

Keri: Well, we might both have gotten it all wrong. But you know, we’re having the conversation. And I think that’s what this is about, really.

Matt: And I really appreciate you asking that question and having that conversation, because it’s, it’s not an easy conversation to have. But just by talking about it—and I really appreciate your understanding and respect and willing to listen, because I mean, that does move the dialogue and conversation forward. So thank you.

26:48: Inner Knowing/6th Sense

Keri: All right. Well, let’s see, I just the other thing I wanted to ask you is, as you’ve taken this journey, towards greater truth and authenticity for yourself—do you feel like you’ve developed a sixth sense In terms of sensing it from others?

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I think I have developed a sixth sense. I mean, I do think I have always probably been a little more intuitive than the average person. But I mean, the more authentic I am, the more I can I feel like I can pick it up on people. I can sometimes tell when people are feeling, they’re telling me the truth, or they’re being genuine, or, you know, do they have a hidden agenda with what they’re saying to me or why they’re saying it? And so, I mean, I’m not always right. Sometimes I probably do become overly sensitive to some of that. But I mean, the majority of the times, it’s like I can pick up, Okay, this this person is not giving you the whole truth or they’re really mad at me, but they’re not telling me.

Keri: Yeah, because I feel like that’s happened for me too. And I agree that sometimes I think I’m I’m overly I can be overly critical if someone isn’t all the way being themselves or, or something, I have some work to do in terms of my own compassion for people who aren’t on this journey.

Matt: I agree. I mean, I probably have become less tolerant of people who are being inauthentic. I mean, to a certain extent, that’s been helpful because it’s like, I have much more difficulty being around people who I feel like are being inauthentic or have a hidden agenda. So yeah, it’s hard to balance that with being compassionate.

Politics & the news

Keri: Totally. I and, you know, I’m going to ask you this too, because I don’t really shy away from politics on my, on my Facebook page or, or anywhere else. So how do you how do you see what’s going on in Washington and this, you know, we’re on this path of authenticity and it feels like there’s just so much facade, and there’s so many lies. Is it tough for you to watch these days? Or do you? Do you stay away from it?

Matt: Well, it is tough for me to watch. I do try to limit my exposure to the news. But I also like knowing what’s going on. So I mean, I do try to follow it, I’ll spend about 10 or 15 minutes a day, trying to keep up with it. I’ll tell you, for me, probably the hardest thing is that people, people on both sides are so critical of the other side if they disagree, so oftentimes, there’s not a conversation. It used to be if you disagreed with the other side, they were they were wrong or you disagreed with it.

And now it’s like, if you disagree with the other side, they’re bad or they’re evil, or immoral. And I think that that’s really shut down the conversation. Because nobody wants to have a conversation with someone if they’re being if they’re going to be accused of as being evil or bad. And so I think that has really limited a lot of these conversations that is hard to watch.

Keri: I could not agree with you more. I mean, we really have demonized one another and we’re not seeing the humanity in each other anymore. We’re not seeing the good intentions are not seeing the hearts. Part of that is intentional, like you said, like, you know, when you were a lawyer, you wanted to make personal connections, but it really wasn’t allowed. There’s a phrase in Washington where they say, you know, if you want a friend, buy a dog.

Matt: Yeah, I believe it.

Keri: AI can only imagine what it must be like. So I do have some compassion, but I’m like you, I try to limit it, because it hurts my heart a lot to to watch. So much name calling and vitriol back and forth. But, you know, I think the best thing we can do is continuing our path and our journey and continue sharing it with others.

Matt: Well, I just I really Really appreciate, you know, the work you’re doing to I mean, the I mean talking about authenticity, wholeness, psychology and the soul. I mean, these are just really such important topics to talk about, and things I really like to talk about. So I mean, I appreciate you giving me a chance to speak about these and a very real and practical way.

 

Dr. Matthew Welsh J.D., Ph.D
Founder of Spiritual Media Blog

About the Guest

Matthew welsh

Spiritual Media Blog is a website that features guest posts, articles, interviews, and reviews about spirituality, psychology, and inspirational entertainment. Please visit http://www.spiritualmediablog.com for more information.

Dr. Matthew Welsh J.D., Ph.D. is the founder of Spiritual Media Blog. After graduating from law school Dr. Welsh created Spiritual Media Blog to be a source of inspirational content, media, and entertainment. He began his career in Hollywood working for an entertainment agency, the William Morris Agency, and then as a trial lawyer for the Department of Child Services in Indiana. He realized that he was not happy working as a lawyer. So, he quit his job as a lawyer to pursue his calling to become a clinical psychologist and obtained his PhD in Psychology. He now works as a full-time clinical psychologist.

Spiritual Media Blog is a creative outlet for his passions related to psychology, spirituality, and inspirational entertainment. His hope for Spiritual Media Blog is that it provides you with content that is practical, inspirational, and entertaining.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment