Podcast Transcripts

Kristoffer Carter, CEO and Leadership Expert, on the Benefits of Meditation

Colin Hunter 0:07
Hey, folks, and welcome to another episode of the leadership tales podcast. It’s an episode with a difference today. So I’m joined by Kristoffer Carter, he’s an executive coach. He specializes in meditation and bringing a spiritual side through meditation into his coaching and his work. He’s also looking after his daughter’s band, who’s 17. And she is just signed her first record deal. So, she’s out there doing that. And he’s got a very nice take from his book about permission to glow, where he talks about four permissions that when you layer them out, as permissions, they talk about this ability to move from a chance to meditate, follow your thinking through to a chance to get in contact with what’s going through your emotions, that chance to move through into the next phase about how do I take those emotions and start to do my own work around myself. And then this ultimate piece, which, you know, I’m hoping that I eventually in my life, I get to some point, which is the permission to glow in the light, which is about how you to give back to society to others to collaborate in an amazing way that impacts on society and generally makes other people’s lives better. So those are the four permissions; you’ll get a chance to listen to him. He’s also a rush fan. If anybody knows me, they know that I love the Canadian band Rush and just happen to be we’re fellow rush fans. So you hear references to that as we go through that.

Colin Hunter 1:50
So yeah, you’ll enjoy Kristoffer Carter looking forward to getting your feedback on this, so let’s go into the background because it’s, you know, the rush piece was where we connected. First off, obviously, the ether got us together, but the rush.

Kristoffer Carter 2:00

Colin Hunter 2:00
Tell me a bit about you and the background of why rush is so important to you. Maybe we will start off? Let’s we could have the whole podcast in a rush. But anyway, let’s go. Yeah,

Kristoffer Carter 2:09
Yeah. Well, thanks for asking. So first of all, what he’s referring to is our first meeting, I started talking about rush and the philosophy of Neil Peart, their drummer and lyricist who passed away a couple of years ago, a total hero of mine, and Colin, like, leaned in, I saw your inner child, you looked into the camera, and you pull you unbuttoned your very proper British shirt, and you had a rush shirt on underneath it. And I couldn’t believe it. I’m like, Okay, this guy is seriously my new best friend across the sea. So that’s when we became pen pals. And the rush is just kind of like that. I grew up in the suburbs in Ohio and the Midwest of the United States and was a latchkey kid from the 80s. And kind of in the mid to tail end of the 80s, I discovered rush through MTV. And I kind of worked my way backwards to all their amazing 70s material, the real prog rock stuff, and then started working my way forward in real-time with the band. But I think what it spoke to me, and I think, from our last conversation once spoke to you, there’s just this pursuit of excellence and precision and higher thinking. But, you know, people can write it off as dorky, mathematic rock, or whatever, but those guys have a legendary friendship, they have a legendary creative partnership, and they just created magic. And I just, it gave me something to aspire to as a kid,

Colin Hunter 3:25
Yeah. It was almost they were fighting against, you know, the, all the authority of that the music, you know, anime, all of these places were just Rolling Stone was like they never accepted and I almost felt like that guided me because it felt like for all the quirky in a bit that you never felt comfortable, you felt you’re on a different path or number of people, they were on that, but I agree, it’s the friendship that they had a natural when you hear the stories of the band’s kiss, and other people that toured with them, and how they reacted to them. And the fact that you know, when they were inducted eventually, it was just that moment, everybody was geeking out, and the precision of the music that playing there isn’t one person in there that isn’t loaded by somebody for what they do.

Kristoffer Carter 4:11
And it’s one of the best in the world. You know, Bobby, I think you brought up something really important, which is we grew up with so much pressure to conform, and they wrote that Anthem subdivisions back in the early 80s about being the outcasts, so they became like the mouthpiece for whoever felt like an outcast and I was a musician kid, you know, always carrying a cello with me to school or electric bass and then there’s a certain group of people that would make fun of you for that or whatever. But the rush was this kind of power. It became this power amp inside me that was like, you know, I’ll show you I’m going to do my thing. I’m going to be a creative person. I’m not going to work in a damn cubicle as you will someday; there was something like subversive about it. And I think that all came from Neil Peart’s lyrics.

Colin Hunter 4:56
Yeah. I also felt that you could take rush and you could Put it into something because it felt acceptable, you know, with Geddy Lee and his Jewish boy background and everything else he used to talk about, there was something about being close to the parents. And then there was family stuff. And obviously Neil Peart. And the real tragedy in his family, this seemed to be something just grounded and connected, which is what we are going to talk about today that they never felt that they got above themselves and plated and, and they saw the fans as the true people who were talking to in the music. And I think a grounded piece for me is, you know, you could be 40 years 40 plus years in an industry, which is cutthroat still be successful and still be grounded. I think it’s superb. Yeah,

Kristoffer Carter 5:36
Yeah. I think at the end of the day, the game is longevity, you know, how do we prolong this and sustain it in a way that’s meaningful, and I don’t see how you can do that without being grounded. And again, rush, I think, really proved that they retired in the most elegant fashion at the very top of their game, you know, playing like three and a half hour sets. I mean, it’s amazing.

Colin Hunter 5:56
It is. And it links to something of infinite purpose for me because they change, they evolve. But there was something about the music, there was something about the three of them together, and even their manager stayed with them so long, there was something that they were on a journey to do something, and I always remember the conversations in the movie when they were talking about when’s the time to go and that you know, that they sort of knew that it was time to go and they knew that that was time to end so however it was the music still lives and is it has an infinite purpose. So I would love to get into moving away; we could talk.

Kristoffer Carter 6:28
We will pick that one up.

Colin Hunter 6:30
You Pick that one up but go into you and your journey because there’s something in your journey that is similar to mine. And that’s if you talked to me about ten years ago and said that I was going to be talking about meditation, I was going to be talking about mindfulness falling out your own thinking, I was going to be experimenting with breath. I was going to be experimenting with neti pot majorities the older ( inaudible) would go nuts, not the net the ominous thing. No, it’s not.

Kristoffer Carter 6:58

Colin Hunter 6:58
So Nettie in Newcastle is the toilet, the outside toilet so but the neti pot but there’s experimentation that I have gone through which you’ve if want to use the word professionalized in a lot of ways to your work, which I would love other people to understand the bit of your journey and how you got there.

Kristoffer Carter 7:15
I take that as asking about how meditation kind of came and found me, you know, in my own personal path, and I was living like most of us do in our 20s in an unsustainable fashion, sleeping on studio floors drinking what I wanted smoking when I wanted just kind of not having a real manual on how to finish the things I had signed up for I got married young, I was avoiding being married, avoiding you know driving in soul-crushing traffic in Los Angeles to get to a job that I didn’t really want anyway, and becoming alienated from the band I was playing in. So like all these dreams were kind of kept far out of reach by my like how I was living basically. And I started surrendering into the path of first personal development because it was just like, Oh, I just want I just need to achieve more, you know, I just need to just do and achiever. And I grew up on all that 1980s personal development stuff. I loved all of it. Like I have walked on fire with Tony Robbins. I did Brian Tracy’s goals exercise, like 1000s of times; I have. I love all of it. But I started realizing that the spiritual path was kind of where all roads were leading for me. And as I started surrendering into meditating, it’s like, you know, starting to run distance running, you know, you run a few yards and want to barf. And then you have maybe run a few more the next day. That’s how meditation was for me. And the more I did it, over time, it kind of gave me the marching orders for my career, you know, it said, you know, maybe you can teach this, maybe, maybe other people need this too. And I started getting more and more awkward, like high stakes opportunities to teach lots and lots of people in a room where I just wanted to, you know, throw up and leave and go meditate by myself. And it kind of, you know, prepared me on larger stages to be a teacher.

Colin Hunter 8:59
It’s one of those moments I remember growing up as because I grew up with my grandfather, being a professor of theology and Church of Scotland minister.

Kristoffer Carter 9:06
Wow, cool.

Colin Hunter 9:06
And I was taken to church by my parents, and therefore there was a moment that I always remember going, so I was part of the church, and there was a Cross, and the Switchblade was a movie that was out at the time. And somebody said, and it was a story of a gang member who converted into Christian being Christian and moved out of the gangs. But I remember I wasn’t really taking my faith that seriously because it had almost been forced on me all the way through.

Kristoffer Carter 9:33

Colin Hunter 9:33
There was a moment when I was watching the Cross and the Switchblade, and I was with two friends. They came with me to watch the movie. There’s an amazing movie, very powerful, but I was in tears. Now, that was going back to when I was 12. Yeah. But I still hadn’t found the spirituality, and we’re going back to that hunt still hadn’t found my place. And I’ve been in exploration to try to find her Buddhism, whatever, and the one that fits the best for me is the Buddhist religion and

Kristoffer Carter 10:02

Colin Hunter 10:02
I can take the Hindu side because there are so many gods that I get to pick and choose. In some ways, you know, it’s good. But when you talk about the spiritual side, just for the audience who are listening, and I think you call them the corporate go-getters, or whatever you want to call it, what are we talking about here?

Kristoffer Carter 10:19
Yeah, so I think there’s an important distinction from when we were kids; you know, you had me thinking back to my church experience as a kid; my parents never forced me in any way to go to church. And the only time I remember really going to church was I had a crush on a girl that went to this one church. And then, when she realized that I was showing up, she stopped showing up. So I was like, sitting with her parents. And I’m like, why am I here? Anyway?

Colin Hunter 10:43
I love that

Kristoffer Carter 10:44
Yeah, the spiritual part is what I think people really gravitate towards, with Buddhism, Hinduism, and anything meditation-based, and I don’t want to limit it to those traditions because

Colin Hunter 10:55

Kristoffer Carter 10:55
Catholicism, and Christianity, certainly all have a contemplative aspect. And when you tap into that contemplative aspect, you get to experience the direct experience of spirit versus this intellectualize. Having a person bark at you and probably shame you from the pulpit of how you should live just never added up to me. But the time we spend in our own private temple and meditation and contemplation, we can feel a spaciousness. And from that spaciousness, we can maybe feel the intuitive voice which I call permission to feel the feels; we could feel the confidence in ourselves strengthening into Audacity to go do things that are tapping into the divine will. And so I started realizing as I was working in corporate circles that anytime you know these companies lot and kind of extol purpose and mission and values, and rare is the company that’s really living that day in and day out.

Colin Hunter 11:52

Kristoffer Carter 1:52
And I look at spirituality truly as how do we hook our little personal car to a much larger horse, whatever that is, maybe it’s a universal force of beloved benevolence, maybe it’s the belief that we can improve the world. That is a spiritual conversation. To me. It’s not only about God and angels and crosses,

Colin Hunter 12:12
Yeah, No. And What I love is that the analogous situations that we bring ourselves to those topical at the moment, I’m looking at Ukraine, and I’m looking at a survivor, an old lady who survived Stalingrad, and she’s protesting in Russia about what’s going on, but there’s a spirit about her and the something she’s gone through this got her in a spirit of faith. And you can tell the police who are trying to arrest her has been really, really careful about because there’s something about them and what I loved and we’re going to go into the permissions that you write about in your book, which are amazing for me, but the fourth one if I jumped to the end in mind.

Kristoffer Carter 12:50

Colin Hunter 12:51
The fourth one about the permission to glow in the light is for me suddenly, by the nature of meditation are the pieces. My best ideas, my link to society, and doing good for other people suddenly released me from all this excuse my language bullshit I had in my head before about what life was about, and it was just about it for others. Yeah.

Kristoffer Carter 13:15
And I like the start with permission for beginning with the end in mind. Because if there’s something that I believe is some benevolent spirit, or God or Goddess, whatever that thing is that organizes this great drama, we get to live in every day, if that force would want something for us. It would be to transcend all of our needy little look at me, protections stuff, and have what we do serve the universal good. And I think a lot of us trip over that in our work. And we’re really blessed to keep navigating towards that. Like how does what I do support other people glowing in the light as well. And yeah, it was by far the hardest permission to really articulate because it feels so utopian in the world that we live in today. And we have glimpses of it that I love that example of that woman because it would be much easier for somebody to stay inside and cover their head and pray for it to be over. But she is defiantly saying no, we can do better. And I’ve seen us do better. And this is what it looks like. And I think people are feeling that come off of her, which is just incredibly inspiring.

Colin Hunter 14:22
I also just love the arts. So going back to the rush piece love the arts because a lot of the people listening to this will be saying so. So I get these moments, whether it’s on top of a mountain somewhere where I’m looking at a beautiful view and suddenly nature is in front of me, and I’m hit by this moment of thinking there’s something more, or it’s your a good friend and I recommended that he went so dear Evan Hanson because I would bet when with my family and for both of us, our kids and what they’re going through at the moment social media, all that that inner turmoil about what it’s like to be a teenager in the social media environment and all of those pieces was brought to life. If in this play and musical, and I was in flooded tears, my daughter next to me was in floods of tears, and the rest of the families were impacted. But this is a banking friend who then went with his family. He said, yes, more recommendations I have. So, for a lot of people, we get small insights into these moments, but it’s almost like a holiday rather than a true moment of being in that space all the time. Yeah.

Kristoffer Carter 15:24
And even more, a reason to make a concerted, vigilant, dedicated effort to creating those gaps, you know, because I struggle, I have three kids, and I really struggle with them being, you know, coming of age in the, you know, the thick of social media and all the addictive tendencies that comparison engine creates. And on the other side of the coin, it is a connection to a universal consciousness when it’s used for a force of good, and it does connect us. But yeah, that tension is real. And we’re trying to just really instill in the kids just a bias for things like nature, a bias for things like real conversations face to face versus talking to people over text. Yeah, it’s a challenging time to be alive.

Colin Hunter 16:09
Yeah. So let’s go probably, and then we’ve squirreled around, as I would say, for the first part, but I would love to go formally into it because I think the four permissions for me are amazing in terms of giving people a framework. I would like to get into them and what they are because I love the language. I have listened to you in another podcast, and I listened to some of the languages. And you have this beautiful ability as an executive coach; we have somebody who’s worked in there who’s got a daughter who’s in a band that you support and work with, you’ve had the band you’ve lived your work into, to what you’re trying to do. But these four permissions really crystallized into what we’re asking people to go for. And I’m saying definitely go for it. But yeah, we’ve got to get them in the mode.

Kristoffer Carter 16:51
Yeah. So if we start at the top of that, it’s real, and this is, to me, the most self-compassionate place to start really is permission to chill, you know, you can actually, in this.

Colin Hunter 17:03
Before that.

Kristoffer Carter 17:03
High-velocity world, you can defiantly sit down and say timeout; I need to remember what the hell I’m doing and who the hell I am. And I’m going to pause the Crazy Train. And in doing so, we stop creating a meditation habit at the core of that. And by doing so, we strengthen our discernment muscle, which helps us remember that we can bring our focus back and that it’s up to us that we don’t have to chase around our day or our client’s needs or our kid’s needs by, like we’re getting dragged around by our hair, we can actually be intentional, we can slow things, we can slow down our experience of this world that we live in. And in doing so, it sets up the second permission, but I have been a meditator for years; I teach meditation, and it is only getting more important that I practice what I preach I’m permission one because life and careers speed up and they can get away from us. And you could blink, and 20 years go by, and you know, if people only pursue and master any one of these four permissions, they’re going to be more than all right. But I always say start with permission one.

Colin Hunter 18:08
And I’m with you because I had a recent experience where I would just be overdoing it. And I was on a board meeting where the US, so I was in the UK. So, it was late at night. And I just had that moment of just being aware, which is going on to permission to, but I was suddenly aware of not fear. I was feeling angry. I was feeling irritated with what was going on in that session. And I had to just stop myself. So, you know, it didn’t say much. Almost retreated. But I was present, but it was retreating. And I had that moment of just breathing to realize that it wasn’t them. It wasn’t the topic. It wasn’t anything else. It was just something in me, and the next day, having had a breakdown when I was 30, I suddenly realized that I was getting some of the signals that I would have then now. And it was actually listening to another podcast and written somebody had been talking about how you remove things from your life. And permission to chill is another way of saying that, but it’s that moment of just going. I’m going to cut a couple of things out. I just wrote an email saying I can’t be involved in this for next month. I’ll be back in contact.

Kristoffer Carter 19:13
Yeah. It’s fine, and thank God for that awareness. You know, I mean that permission to chill is about being with is and being willing to see things as they are, you know, the virtue of sobriety? Which is does this serve me, does this not serve me, and it sounds like you had that moment, and thank God you did you know you may not have had that awareness when you were there.

Colin Hunter 19:33
Yeah. So what is the second permission to get what I was hinting at? But you know.

Kristoffer Carter 19:38
Oh gosh, permission is, to me, the final frontier in my personal work with my coach; it can be the hardest one for men permission to feel all the feels. Permission to feel the feels is once we have done the work to quiet our minds and chill. We can now interpret what our feelings are telling us or trying to inform us, and feelings are these mental projections; they are the above-ground emotional experience. So a feeling is of the mind through the lens of the mind versus the emotional root structure, which is through the body through the feeling. So we confuse those things all the time. And that can be tricky. But when we can, what you did in that example is great; oh, I’m not feeling in a way that serves me. What is this? Just asking that question? Noticing it, naming it, and then you can navigate and, and what is my body telling me it’s this thing doesn’t serve me. And I believe our emotions, our how our spirit or our soul communicates with us. And when we can clear all that static of the mind and just be with what the emotions are, we can, you know, then tap into our intuitive guidance and use feeling to manifest things; use the emotions as fuel to get closer to what we want. But for starters, it’s just really helpful to understand what we’re feeling and why we are feeling that way.

Colin Hunter 20:58
And I liked the comment about men struggling with this because I think there is a gender piece on here. I mean, there’s the struggles on both sides. But I think that you made a comment that I was listening to about women just being closer to this than men love to you to explore. Yeah,

Kristoffer Carter 21:14
I have been married for 23 years, or 24 years this year, with two daughters and a son. And so, I’ve always been really blessed to be surrounded by really powerful women who would just tell me very clearly what they see by opportunity. So my coach is a powerful woman who kind of frightens me. And when I look around the world truly, also, let me be clear, my book has a not-so-veiled, very feminist agenda because I believe there need to be more women in leadership for this exact expressed purpose. Notice how women lead countries handled things like the pandemic versus the confusion and chaos and posturing, and whatever have a male lead, and it’s not to pit male against female, and feminism is not anti-male. But if you go to mom with a challenge, for example, mom will figure that thing out; dad might go ask your mom, I don’t know, what are we doing here? I mean, that’s how that’s typically my default parenting style, you know?

Colin Hunter: 22:13

Kristoffer Carter: 22:13
So I think women are incredibly powerful with seeing things as they are noticing how they feel, maybe a little bit more access to that, and then showing the rest of us what it could look like. And you know, and I’m not saying all women are perfect, like, I joke that men throw man drums, tantrum, like man tantrums. And women, women do throw. Well, man, drums as well.

Colin Hunter 22:34

Kristoffer Carter 22:35
And women, in my experience with clients, with coaches, with my wife, are more likely to tune in to that heart guidance and tell you what to do.

Colin Hunter 22:46

Kristoffer Carter 22:46
Thank God for that.

Colin Hunter 22:48
I love that. Because also, I think there’s a bit about vulnerability and shame and all the stuff that goes with that because I think there’s a piece that, you know, I was brought up to just when things happen; it’s just going on with them. And I would start to fight through it. But, and therefore I do have a blocker in my life. And then when I talk to people who are either I work closely with, I will share that, you know, emotion comes very, in a difficult way to me, I always use the expression that you know, the only time I have ever really fundamentally seen my dad cry, which was passed away last year was when the dog died. And that But I think there’s something in here about the more that you can show that emotion, that vulnerability. And people are willing to come in here. I think that’s where there’s a lot of it. And I’ve worked with a lot of women in my time as in terms of business partners, who’ve always told you leas, Colin, I will follow up now. They were brilliant at doing that because their primary motivation was collaboration. Yeah.

Kristoffer Carter 23:49

Colin Hunter 23:49
And therefore, for my compassion, which you talk a lot about collaboration, all of these words that are now coming into the leadership vocabulary are based on you got to do the work, you’ve got to permission to chill, feel the feels, yeah. And then you’ve got to go into this third one, which is the permission, you have to glow in the dark, which when I first heard I thought, I’m feeling a rush album coming out here.

Kristoffer Carter 24:14
Yeah, totally It’s funny because permission three is the reason why most people hire a coach is to how do I fully self-expressed but you pointed to something super important, right there is that in that scenario, when the women, the powerful women around you are giving you that platform and supporting that platform, which is actually the leader in that scenario? Because I would argue that from the back. You know, supportive leadership is so key for you to be able to go do what you do. And the thing I want to underline what you said is permission to is where our superhumanity is found. We think it’s in permission three, which is when I glow in the dark and I fully self-express, and I say Sorry, not sorry, this is what you get. Then you will see my superhumanity. I look like a superhero. It’s like, well, no, your superhumanity is found in the vulnerability and the willingness to share when it’s really difficult. And so you experienced your father’s super humanity when the dog passes away, and it’s a beautiful thing, you know, but permission three is to self Express, despite the ever-present fear. So you and I were talking before recording about we have keynotes coming up and that primal cortisol sweat lodge that we do to ourselves.

Colin Hunter 25:30
Swim away,

Kristoffer Carter 25:31
When we start realizing that we are going to be confronted with our own power.

Colin Hunter 25:36

Kristoffer Carter 15:36
Where we have to stand and back up and be a mouthpiece for everything we’ve ever lived in articulated, we could start making that overly significant, we could start making that something too, you know, have foreboding, or resistance to and, but what typically happens, and this is something I noticed in childbirth with our three kids, you know, I was there with my wife, she’s delivering these kids naturally when that miracle has to happen, it happens, and you don’t know how the hell or what it’ll look like. But that is that glow-in-the-dark moment where we surrender to our own power. And it is such a beautiful thing. And when I was writing the book, at first, I thought because I come from the rush and being in bands and performing and all that stuff. I thought it was more of the like; here I am, world, hear me roar. And it’s like, no; it might my editor was like, where’s the darkness? Dude, what is the relationship, the darkness? I’m like, Oh, right. That’s the thing I’m always not willing to confront, like most of us are. But in the willingness to do that’s where the magic happens. And I was going to use a rush lyric in that in that chapter, which is from the song marathon from other 1986 album power windows, which is from first to last, the peak is never past, something always fires a light that gets in your eyes one moments high. And glory rolls on by like a streak of lightning that flashes and fades in the summer sky. And that is the moment of power; our power is not a sustainable thing all the time. But it will show up and crack like lightning. And that’s why we use the lightning bolt for that permission.

Colin Hunter 27:09
And I love that because the system of that piece is important. But you’re right, a lot of people use it while I’m doing my work. You know,

Kristoffer Carter 27:16
I’m going over here.

Colin Hunter 27:18
I’m doing it over here. But actually, the field of fields. And going into the final permission is important been, you know, and in a lot of ways I sit in, and we’ve got a mutual friend and Michael Bungay Stanier that we’ve talked about before, you know, and I’ve seen him on stage, and I’m like

Kristoffer Carter 27:33
So impressed.

Colin Hunter 27:33
He’s just natural. I’m thinking, okay, so why would people want to pay to come and watch me do that. And I realized that he would do the same thing, and he’s got a direction at the moment that he talks about in his new book, which is he’s trying to be the leader who gives up power. And for me, as an analogy in my head that really helped me, which is I’m trying to give forth give to others, my learning my experiences my past so that I am giving a gift and paying it forward to other people. But to do that, I’ve got to do my hard work, which is what is my insight was my observations of myself. So I would love you to move into the fourth permission, which is permission to glow in the light because this is my favorite good to say.

Kristoffer Carter 28:15
Yeah, cool. So what I love about watching leaders like Michael Bungay, Stanier, and watching his journey, you know, from the sidelines, it’s so impressive, because he’s a fellow Enneagram seven, and he is a very powerful personality, but to watch him surrender all of that to the greater good of everyone else. So it’s not like, look at me, it’s like, look at you, you know, like holding up the mirror for people, then that’s when we move into permission for is that when you have done this earlier work, and you stay in this work, it’s not like you graduate from permission one and then you’re done with that now and then two then three, but if you’re if you stay in that work, then you have these transcendent moments of becoming part of a collective of others who are doing this work. And then it becomes the look at you look at us; we got this. So, as I joke in the book that the 1980s personal development was all about like I got this you know, like very like aerobic dance, competition type of energy you know Like pumping muscles and you know, sweating and, you know, doing all this thing, versus we got this the unlimited potential of we got this because that is messy and complicated and problematic for us. We treat our feelings as inconvenient and permission to, and we treat people as inconvenient when we’re not willing to give ourselves permission, but when we treat people as they should be as absolute gifts as other divine expressions of their glowing in their own darkness, then we could come together and solve some formidable problems that we’re facing as a species as humans,

Colin Hunter 29:52
because the piece that we’re doing at the moment is around something called a 500. And we’re looking at how we could give back to society, and we’ve done a hard work of the former sense of trying to work out what it is and our version of, you know, glow in the light piece. It’s very difficult to get people to want to almost accept the fact that you’re doing something for others when it makes money and profit.

Kristoffer Carter 30:14

Colin Hunter 30:14
And it’s fascinating. So I probably spent three months trying to convince people that a commercial business doing good for others, making it sustainable to having an infinite purpose is something that that is good. And I’ve almost given up now because I’ve not given up on the project. But I’ve started to realize that as long as I involve other people and engage other people in a conversation towards something and go, and you know what, Michael is one of those people who does that. Another is Leon Davies, who is

Kristoffer Carter 30:44
Yeah, amazing.

Colin Hunter 30:45
She’s just amazing. She invites people in,

Kristoffer Carter 30:48
Those Canadians, man.

Colin Hunter 30:52
It’s Canadians, but I remember that we were having a LinkedIn conversation around the role of women in leadership and roles. And it was fascinating because it was a conversation between women on this chat. And it was Leon Devi who said, I think this is time that we should invite other men in here who have a belief in the same thing and can get involved in the conversation. So getting people into that spirit of it. Yeah. To allow it to collaborate. And talk to me about this, the fourth one, because it’s obviously something that’s come later and you’re thinking, yeah,

Kristoffer Carter 31:27
yeah, you know, it’s so beautiful and powerful and positive and of spirit, I would say that I would have conveniently easily left it out and say three permissions are plenty, man, like, we’re good. You know, like, this is a personal development path. If I get you to glow in your darkness, you’re
doing all right, you know, and women around me, many of whom I deeply admire and respect, are saying, like, what if it’s not enough to glow in the dark, what is going in the light look like? Again, you said something really interesting, where sometimes we get trapped in this binary thinking when it comes to serving the greater good, where we say, I could either be a for-profit business and, you know, a soulless money machine, you know, that chews up people and spits them out. Or I could be this vow of scarcity type of benevolent non-profit. And you know, but there is a powerful middle ground emerging, like the for-purpose business that’s written in this great book, Pencils of Promise. And it’s interesting to see, like, we all know intuitively that as I get more resources, money being one of them, I could serve more people and have more to give. So we have to reconcile that and not live in that binary. And I think that’s an important thing that’s emerging, and this permission for work is that we need the spiritual people to step forward and not, you know, stay in the monastery or be, you know, the vow of renunciation and say, I am here to, you know, reorganize around this and support as many people as I can, and that’s something that my company absolutely grapples with. You know, it’s kind of a slower road to figure out how to do this work and maintain all of our ethics and try to walk our talk in terms of the permissions.

Colin Hunter 33:07

Kristoffer Carter 33:08
It’s challenging but super rewarding.

Colin Hunter 33:10
Now for everybody who does you know, the hero’s journey you’ve got dark versus lights, and we’ve got you to know, how to glow in the dark and how to glow in the light but there are the shadow characters that you talk about for each of the permissions as well which being shadow I would love a good shadow so maybe just share the four shadows that you got in there are some of the characters.

Kristoffer Carter 33:30
Well, I would ask people to see if you could see yourself in any of these critters or any of these critters in yourself. The first is a speedy rabbit, you know, moves too fast, judges everybody for not keeping up, loves to keep buying everybody coffee while they’re sweating through the whole thing. Right? And it can be me as well. And it’s that unwillingness to slow down and see things as they are, and that’s what permission to chill solves for works with speedy rabbit. The next is Game Face slap on the face like how’re you doing? Fine, you know, or I have like I think of like a mother at the sink like frantically washing dishes and she’s so angry scrubbing the dishes and emptying the sink. And you guys are doing; I’m fine. You know, it’s like well, are you that so that’s permission to feel the feels solves for that. The Phantom pest, which is somebody I coach a lot in different forms, is the micromanager and controller where when we’re confronted by our own power, it’s much more convenient to obsess over things that just don’t matter. Like I use PowerPoint fonts a lot because that’s where I spend my time when I’m afraid to ask for the big honking, you know, fee for my keynote, I’ll be like, well, are the PowerPoint fonts correct. And that’s when I’m being the Phantom pest.

Colin Hunter 34:39

Kristoffer Carter 34:39
And then finally, Dark star, which is the permission for character shadow side which, you know, just engineering and creating this whole ecosystem or this successful business that actually protects you from receiving help and sharing yourself fully with others and they seem to be aloof and distant, and there’s not a thing wrong with any of these, by the way, they’re parts of all of us. But we want to learn to work with them. And notice when we’re going to that place because the more benevolent thing is to surrender to greater levels of service like that. I love that example you brought up with Michael Stan. And that’s been my experience of him. He’s doing that work to say like, No, I don’t get this. I want to make this about we got this.

Colin Hunter 35:20
Yeah. So I love that. And before we were talking about it, before I came on, I was listening to the newer giving; the question that was asked at the time was, how do we simply get in, this won’t be a track, and you gave the 478. And I was joking that I was a bit nearly late for the podcast because I was so influenced every night that I was drifting away into my thinking; I would love you to share that just as a technique because I find it useful. And it’s a bit like box breathing as well. It’s in that same space, but it’s a simpler one. Yeah,

Kristoffer Carter 35:50
In the reason why 478 breathing works out. So what we’re talking about is in through your nose for a count of four. So three, four, hold your breath for seven counts 1234567, a deep exhale through your mouth for a count slowly. 678 The reason why that works is we are enforcing specific breathing patterns onto our involuntary nervous system. So where we are reminding our bodies that we are the ghost in the machine, you know, really important, so it restores consciousness. And also, it has all these other biological benefits to it as well. But the main thing is, you’re giving yourself this long, generous exhale, which is like a really important forgotten part of breathing in a healthy fashion. So when people say I need to slow down and take a breath, or usually take a big, deep inhale, and then they kind of do their fluttery little exhale and then move on. But four cycles of 478 breathing take about 57 seconds. And if you don’t have 57 seconds in your day, you’re already screwed, and you’re probably beyond repair, and you should just give up now, but you could find 57 seconds, you know, and when I remember to do those four cycles of 478, when things are getting a little too frantic, or I’m not really hearing what my body needs, skipping the meals, hiding from my power, Phantom, pass all these things that show up, they’re just little reminders, like, stop, drop, and breathe, you know, four-set four cycles, you know, sanity can be restored options, we move from being down in the maze of life to being back up above it, seeing adjacent possibilities. And these are very stupidly simple things that, when you remember to do, become incredibly powerful moves. And so yeah, thanks for asking about 478. Because it’s really the easiest access point back into our power.

Colin Hunter 37:47
And I was listening to a podcast once on the breath. And for a lot of people go and breath while I breathe. That’s fine. And you know, the old macho bit, and it was interesting; I was a really lovely lady, Liliana, who gave me this podcast that she runs called Wow at work. And she was interviewing somebody who’s an expert on breath, and I thought expert and breath and, and a bit like the ten-year-old version of me ten years ago would have gotten really come on. And he hadn’t even he said, and I do this for snipers. Yeah. And I’m like, Oh, my God, and sports people. But this piece that’s we’re actually we’re harnessing something has been around in the world for so long.

Kristoffer Carter 38:29
For thousands of years. I mean, the yogis, the ancient rishis of India, discovered this connection between the soul and the breath thousands of years ago. And Yoga is a science. So if you practice it scientifically, you will get predictable, documented, powerful results. You know, so when you talk about people in very high stakes work like athletes like snipers, what we’re doing and I talked about this in the permission three-chapter around glowing in the dark is that you know, Gay Hendricks in his excellent book, The Big Leap, he talks about, your body doesn’t know when it’s nervous or excited, but if you breathe as if you’re in control, so I use breathing, to cycle up into those moments where I have to give a keynote because it’s not the same mindset I want to have as I’m sitting down at a computer. So think about how you’re breathing. When you’re just, you know, plugged into the matrix doing your thing, you’re kind of shallow breathing, but if you step up, fill your body with energy and breathe deeply. You start modulating up preparing yourself for just a more expansive mindset, and that’s all breathwork, and similarly, you can cycle down from that state back into a more relaxed cadence and but just these, you know, these moments to remember in practice is so key.

Colin Hunter 39:44
And you know, I loved your comment when we were talking last time because I’m a headspace addict. And so well, we’ll get you to separate from your mobile device at some point. I love that because it’s stuck in my head to think about that, but I think I always have two points where I get my best ideas. One is in meditation headspace. They come to me, and they’ll just crystallize. Oh shit, And then think about that. And this mistake is that people think that meditation is about trying to clear your mind and block out your thoughts.

Kristoffer Carter 40:14
Yes, Thank you for that.

Colin Hunter 40:15
So I just wanted to just talk about that. And then I’ll go into the other. But yeah,

Kristoffer Carter 40:18
what I said to you, and I say this to any meditation student or somebody who wants to deepen their practice, is that guided meditation can be great meditation apps can be great because they form a structure that supports you in doing your thing, but it’s some point, you want to move past it, I always look at those, it’s like dad holding the two-wheeler bike seat and wanting to let you go. So you can leave the coldest sack because when you leave the coldest sack, and you start meditating for deeper, longer gaps on your own, out in nature, away from devices, away from any other person’s guidance, you can tap into something even deeper, it’s a deeper personal experience of the meditative practice. So it’s not that any of those things are wrong; I think they’re great. And I would encourage people to go further. So with my own practice, I look at it as the work of just surrendering into greater and greater gaps, more time being out on your own with yourself, versus relying on the guidance of the hand on the bike seat; it’s so there’s always more to savor there. And what I find in my own practice is the more in my practice is incredibly structured because I follow the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, who are considered my guru; it’s a very deep, rigorous path. But when I’m surrendering to the practice itself, things I do experience like a deepening a more expansive effect and the practice, but it’s all hard. Let me under this.

Colin Hunter 41:46

Kristoffer Carter 41:4
It’s not easy for anybody. I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere near enlightenment quite yet. And life keeps getting better more than I meditate.

Colin Hunter 41:54
Yeah, and I think it’s the bit that it is a lifelong journey and learning piece. And the Yoga is the final bit because, you know, I lucked out one day, I was chatting to a lady who runs a local yoga studio and caffeine, and she needed coaching on our business. So I said, I’ll coach you in your business if you coach Me in Yoga so.

Kristoffer Carter 42:13

Colin Hunter 42:13
And I always remember to analyze myself and to go what you need is Ashtanga because we a type people just need Ashtanga. It’s the one that’s in there. But there is something about when we talk about the mental side, the spiritual side, but there’s also the physical side that Yoga does. So I would love you just to

Kristoffer Carter 42:30

Colin Hunter 42:30
To end that. That would be great for me.

Kristoffer Carter 42:33
Yeah, so in Western cultures, and Britain is certainly a western culture, and the United States, we typically think of Yoga as half a body yoga, flexibility, strength, great abs, great butts, in yoga pants, you know, and it’s being further manipulated all the time on social media, and there is a profound benefit to working through the body to get to the bliss at the end and Shavasana. However, in ancient Yoga, when it was really articulated by potentially then the nine branches of Yoga, the body yoga was in preparation for the highest state of Yoga, which just means union was a spirit. Very simple, but it’s a lifelong journey, many lifetimes, possibly, but the body can prepare you to go to more exalted states in meditation, and so the postures, the asanas, were used to prepare yourself to sit in lotus or whatever posture for hours on end days on end, whatever you needed to get to that exalted state. So I come and go with my physical yoga practice, you know, the pandemic definitely put a dent in that, however, and Yogananda has meditation training, there are these postures and energization exercises, we do 38 of them to get the body prepared to sit in a deeper, more peaceful, and all of this what’s amazing about Yoga and why I believe the four permissions are actually a form of Yoga, is that it’s preparing us to align with spirit. And it’s noble work, it’s profound work, but there is a mind-body-soul connection that we have to work with. We can’t just say; I’m just going to, you know, treat my bodily temple-like crap, and not worry if I’m, you know, stressed and fat or overweight or drinking too much, whatever. And I’m just going to connect with God. And that’s possible. And it’s even more probable when we work with the physical mechanism. So I think that there’s incredible benefit and power to practicing Yoga, and you know, the first time we get in Shavasana, in a yoga class, we typically just want to fall asleep, and we look around, and a lot of people are snoring and falling asleep.

Colin Hunter 44:39

Kristoffer Carter 44:39
But when we’re awake in that kind of blissed-out relaxed space, that’s when we really get the benefits of the practice.

Colin Hunter 44:47
And not to cheapen them, but I do remember on the yoga pieces at the end where you had delight, you got the chance to lie down, put the blanket over you. How often have I fallen asleep after exercise? No, but it’s that state that you go through. And I do think the bit I would love to leave it on is that what we’re talking about here is practices, daily practices, getting to the mat, getting to the meditation that builds a platform to allow yourself to follow your own thinking,

Kristoffer Carter 45:15
It’s the perfect place to wrap on because I finished the book with the seven compassionate laws of personal change. And anybody I have worked with as a coaching client who takes significant ground and transforming their lives, their business, whatever it is, they’re there to work on, they get this, it’s in our willingness to practice, that some form of transformation is a foregone conclusion if you’re just willing to practice. And it can’t be the start, stop, like, Oh, I’m going to work on the thing and hire the coach and work on it, and then pick up something totally different six months from now. I mean, that’s how Americans typically do things with their diet. But when you stay in the game of practice, that’s where mastery can eventually unfold for you. And it’s a very humbling long, sometimes brutal path. But when we’re willing to practice, we get those glimpses of what’s possible. And so I love just giving people encouragement; just keep practicing.

Colin Hunter 46:07
Yeah. I love it. Casey, Kristoffer, fellow rush fan, it’s been a delight, a pleasure to have this conversation. And we need to have another one. We need to find an excuse to get it and just riff off some other conversations around this. Yeah,

Kristoffer Carter 46:22
Yeah. Well, I’m going to propose an intercontinental to man, rush, retreat, meditation retreat.

Colin Hunter 46:30
Sounds Good. I’m up for it. I’m there. So I will bring

Kristoffer Carter 46:34
Everyone else’s invited as well. But we will have our own off-site for a couple of days just to like take in some rush and meditation. I think that sounds kind of awesome.

Colin Hunter 46:43
Sounds like my idea of heaven. Thank You, sir. My pleasure to have you on the podcast.

Kristoffer Carter 46:47
My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Colin.

Colin Hunter 46:56
So that was Kristoffer Carter; what an amazing conversation. And I love the fact that he’s basing all of his work on something that’s been there for thousands of years. And we’re getting back to this principle that I’m discovering as the more I discover, the more that I realize that we’ve got some fundamental things in our life like breath, that allows us to release our best thinking, to release our creativity, to move into a state where we can do our own work, we can help others, and we can shape other people’s lives through it. So I love that. I also just love that he is such a generous, giving spirit that allows others to benefit from this. So yeah, you’ll have noticed I enjoy that conversation. And hopefully, it’s really resonated with you, and you can pick out two or three things to work on. We’ll put in the show notes where you can get in contact with Casey and his work and understand that, but yeah, give yourself a break and go out and get permission to glow and read the book and enjoy as much as I’ve enjoyed his company.