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Find Your Enlightenment
with Valerie Gangas

Podcast Transcript: TJ Hoisington Interviews Valerie Gangas on the "Unleash Your Greatness Within" podcast.

- [TJ] Hey there, and welcome to the Unleash Your Greatness Within podcast! I'm TJ Hoisington, and in today's "Success Interview," I was privileged to interview author, transformational speaker, life coach, Valerie Gangas. In this interview, Valerie opened up and shared many insights and wisdom around finding joy, finding peace, finding happiness. I tell you what, this was a great interview. So, without any further ado, let's jump right into the interview. Valerie, welcome to the Unleash Your Greatness Within podcast!

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Thank you for having me.

 

- [TJ] You bet, this is great. Your team reached out to me. They were very kind and gracious, and when I got a copy of your book, I scanned through the book. I think your writing is great, I think, I just think you have a lot to share, and what connected me to you, Valerie, was I just felt like, reading a little bit about you, studying about you a little bit, we have a lot of shared values and interests and understandings and philosophies, and I thought this would be great to have you on the show. So, for starters, would you... One of the things we do with all of our guests is we have them give us a quick bio or background on your story, if you don't mind sharing with us.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Sure. So I'm originally from Chicago. I'm living in the Bay Area now, but born and raised in Chicago. Normal childhood, two great parents. My mom was a former nun, she was also a poet, and very much into spirituality, and was my biggest influence in my life, so I had that aspect of my life. Being very interested in spirituality and God and mysticism. I became a comparative religious studies major in college, but at the same time, my dad was in the restaurant and bar business, so I was working with him. It was kind of two lives happening at once. This inner life of mine that I kept pretty private, except for my mom, and then this outer life that I had, working a lot, lots of responsibilities, lots of friends, lots of the socializing. So two things were kind of happening at once, I would say, pretty much throughout my life. And then, in 2011, my mom passed away at the end of January. She had been battling stage four breast cancer for almost 14 years. It was a complete nightmare. It was a lot of stress, trying to keep her alive, going to all of her doctor's appointments, supporting her, emotionally, as much as I could, just giving of myself, just desperately trying to keep her alive, and that was a very long time period to have such strong feelings and that desperation inside of me. And then when she passed away, everything fell apart. My whole life fell apart. My dad had sold all of his restaurants, so I wasn't working. I fell into a very deep and dark depression. I was suicidal. I was one sick pup.

- [TJ] Okay.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] So that's really where all this started. I remember about three months into this dark night of the soul, I was on my shower floor, and the water was hitting me, and I was just screaming out to God to either help me die or help me live. It had to be one or the other. It was a complete and utter surrender on my part. The person that I was had died. It'd gone down the drain with the water. So, it was only weeks later that I randomly met a gentleman that was a friend of a friend. He suggested I learn to meditate in order to get some rest, get some peace. I had a very horrible sleeping disorder during this time period, and I learned transcendental meditation. I had never heard of it before. It wasn't something that was part of my reality, and basically, in one meditation, I went from being completely suicidal to waking up in Disneyland, feeling like I was just in a state of ecstasy and that state just stayed with me. Now, it has morphed into different types of, it's just morphed over time, which it does, but I completely woke up. The lights came on, and I was a different person in 20 minutes.

 

- [TJ] Unbelievable, in 20 minutes. So what, was it--

 

- [Valerie Gangas] 20 minutes.

 

- [TJ] Was it something special with the style of meditation, or was it the meditation plus where you were at in that moment, everything colliding at the same time?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] I think a big part of it was timing, that I had completely died to this person that I was before even learning to meditate, and then, when I did learn TM, which is short for transcendental meditation, excuse me. It felt so familiar to me, like I was coming home to myself. I did find out years later that, excuse me...

 

- [TJ] No, you're good.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] I did find out years later that my mom had learned TM in 1975 in December. I was conceived in January of 1976, so I feel like she was probably meditating while I was in her belly, and it felt so familiar, I just... I keep saying I was born to meditate. I was born to be in silence because everything came together once I had this technique. And my mom never told me that she learned TM, nor would I have thought that she would have, because she was so Catholic, and so... That would've been outside of her paradigm. So, that's a whole other story, but yeah. It was everything colliding at once, I would say.

 

- [TJ] Gotcha, gotcha And I do believe what you're saying here, that maybe there was an osmosis thing happening here when you were in the womb. You know, the latest research with babies in the womb is that they feel the emotions of the mother. In fact, it goes right from the brain stem all the way down, so this can be a positive and a negative, right? Depending on the circumstances, but that baby feels, and it's a powerful thing, so I'm sure you probably were influenced at a subconscious level.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah, it just, it was so... Just a real, a really strong feeling of coming home to myself that felt like it had started in the womb. I mean, I know it sounds kind of abstract, but that was a very real feeling for me.

 

- [TJ] Well, that leads me to a question. You talk about, in your book, "Enlightenment Is Sexy: Every Woman's Guide to a Magical Life"... By the way, can I just ask you? This is a bold question.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Sure.

 

- [TJ] "Every Woman's Guide to a Magical Life". When I read the information, this just isn't practical to women, right? It's not just for women, this is for everybody!

 

- [Valerie] And I did get that feedback after the book came out, but I honestly felt like I was just speaking to women. I didn't think that men would be interested in this type of information. I don't know, it just didn't cross my mind. I felt like I was writing for women, but now, I know that lots of men have read the book. Yeah, it wasn't a problem, so it was just my, my view of--

 

- [TJ] Okay, at the time, yeah.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah, at the time when I was writing it, I was like, oh, women are going to love this book, but men? I don't know, I'm not sure, so--

 

- [TJ] Well, I'm a touchy-feely guy, so maybe I'm an easy one on that. So, no, I think your book was really cool. And the way you write was rich in its content and the style. So, this leads me to a question, and it has to do with intuition. You talk about how to tune in to the universe and follow your gut. I am a huge believer in that, and I actually, about, I don't know, I think it was maybe two months ago, I did a podcast on listening to that intuition, and so speak to that for a second. What's your thought on living intuitively?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] So, for me, I feel like I... Well, first of all, we are all intuitive. We were just born that way. There's a connection to each other. There's a connection to the universe. This isn't wrong. We're not separate from each other. There's a grid that we're all in together. It's like how you have the internet, and you can write an email and you press one button for the connection. Well, it's that way with our thoughts and our feelings. We're all connected to each other. So, I had known this my whole life, basically. I just, I don't know why I knew it. I just knew that I could follow that voice inside of myself and it wouldn't lead me astray. When I didn't listen to it, that's when I would get in trouble. So, I think it was just doing it over and over and over again, for me, that it just became second nature. But after I started to meditate and really have this rich inner world, that's when my intuition really kicked in, and there was an absolute connection between my mind, my soul, my body. It was all in balance and just... Thinking actually took a back seat. It's not like I had to overthink things. It was like something else was driving the bus, and I just was saying, yes to the experiences. So, my gut would say, yeah, do this or talk to this person. It's... I didn't have to overthink it. I'd be like, okay cause it felt natural to me.

 

- [TJ] So true, so true, and I think, to some degree... First of all, I agree, everybody has it. I believe, also, that it's a spiritual gift. That spiritual gift can be developed. You discovered it, but then, through repetition, you became more aware of it where you just learned--

 

- [Valerie Gangas] It's like a muscle, it's a muscle. You've got to keep testing it and... You know, cause I think you could doubt it. If you're just beginning to look at this process, you could say, well I don't even trust myself, how can I... What do you mean this inner voice? But if you keep doing it, even with small things, and just keep testing it, you'll see that after a while, you can trust it. It's higher knowledge coming through us that-- You can depend on, you really can.

 

- [TJ] Well, you say here in the book, "I live in a state of continuous prayer, a never-ending conversation with God/universe, which is always lighting my path, teaching me about my limits and my unlimitedness, and showing me how to live a life of greater freedom, service, and joy." I love that. You know, it turns ... Just for the listener's sake, you know, and if you have a specific story, feel free to share it, but simple things, following that gut, following that intuition has power. And I'll just say quickly for the listeners, some of them know this, but we get new listeners all the time, so I'll share it again. I mean, I remember, one time, calling a phone number on a tape I was listening to at 11 o'clock at night. It was a 30 or 40-year-old tape. I didn't think much about it, but this thought came to me and said, "Hey, TJ you should dial the 1-800 number that's at the bottom of the tape." I thought, that is the stupidest thought... But this feeling kept coming back to me. It was 11 o'clock at night, it was whatever, I was in Utah. We have a house there. I remember I dialed and nobody answered. And then after a few seconds, I get ready to hang up the phone, and this man answers the phone and he says, "Who is this?" and I said, "Well, who is this?" And there was a big pause, I thought, I'm the guy that called, I better say something here. So I said, my name is TJ Hoisington and I was listening to this old tape series of a man by the name of Charlie Tremendous Jones. Back in the 60s he was a motivational guy, I found his tape set at a garage sale somewhere or something like that.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] What a fabulous name.

 

- [TJ] I know, Charlie Tremendous Jones. So then he pauses after I told him who I was. And he says, "This is Charlie Tremendous Jones"--

 

- [Valerie] Oh my god, stop it.

 

- [TJ] I thought to myself, I thought the guy would've passed away. The tapes that I had with a picture of him on it was like 40 years old.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] And he still had the same phone number.

 

- [TJ] Well, it was a business phone number. I learned later was a, he owned a small publishing company and that phone number years later was forwarded to the den in his office, and I thought... So I said to him, I'm Utah time. It's 11 o'clock right now. Where did I catch you? He says Pennsylvania. I quickly calculated that in my mind. I said, "You mean it's one o'clock in the morning?" He said, "It sure is". I said, "I'm sorry, did I wake you?" He said, "Nope". I said, "Then what were you doing at one o'clock in the morning tonight?" And you know what he told me? He says, "I was reading one of the 5,000 books in my den." And he said, "Always learning, always growing." And we spent 45 minutes that night, and to make a long story short, because this story's in my books and so forth. But that relationship opened so many doors for me over a course of ten years. Following that intuition.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] That is a perfect example of what we're talking about. It's perfect. That's what it does for you, and that's magic to me. That's what I call it because it's not... That's not something you could be taught. That's like you're tapping into that inner voice and you're letting that lead that way. It's about trust and all sorts of wonderful things that will really light a path for you. So that is a cool story.

- [TJ] Oh yeah, I'm sure you have many of those yourself and the people you coach, I know that you do coaching and so forth. Hopefully, and I'm sure you do, as you teach people to trust that unknown. To trust that thought. To trust that feeling, right?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Absolutely and I always tell people if you have a desire to write or sing or whatever that is, that didn't come from just nowhere, from out of the sky.

 

- [TJ] Beautiful.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] That's your purpose. That's why we're here so to turn your back on that is to turn your back on why you're on this earth. And I'm not saying there won't be challenges down the road when you follow the road less traveled but that's why you're here and if you're living, you have a purpose. And so I think we get in trouble and I think we suffer when we don't follow that itch of, I want to paint or I want to go out and be a speaker but I don't know why, it doesn't even make sense. Well, it's there for a reason. You're not having random thoughts.

 

- [TJ] And the only thing I would say from a perspective of high achievement and actually getting results is you can't attempt it once or try it once and then think I didn't succeed, therefore it's not for me. No, no, no, follow and continue to follow and follow through on those thoughts. And I have seen over and over in the people that I coach and in my own life that when you follow that thought, those impressions, doors do open.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] They do open and I think to even take it a step further, if you can remove the end result, what you want to happen because of recording an album or whatever you're doing, if you can just do it because you love it and you're being true to yourself and you're listening to this thing, I think you can go further, you can remove a lot of suffering. You're not as desperate. There's no... I'm not saying you can't have goals, but I think where you can end up would be a much bigger place than you could ever imagine. When you follow this. And to limit yourself by saying, oh well I wanna make this amount of money and this is what's gonna happen if I do this, if I do that. It's taking the juice out of it. You do it because you love it. You do it to help other people. You do it because that's why you're here.

 

- [TJ] And you know what, Valerie? This is a struggle in my marriage. Now, let me tell you, I've been married 22 years and I love my wife tremendously. We have a great relationship, but she's more practical. And I know we have listeners here that are probably more practical, so it's easy for TJ to follow my gut, to write the first Swiss Family Robinson sequel in a hundred years, you can find that on Wikipedia, in a hundred years, with a new one coming out... My wife is sitting on sidelines going, why are you doing... what, I don't... She has to quantify everything. And I think a lot of people, I've worked with a lot of people that are in the same plight. They've gotta quantify, they have to see the evidence along the way and I'm constantly coaching people, no, no, let go, follow the feelings. You say in your book, "You don't always have to do things for a result. When doors open, walk through them. Trust in a higher power. Have an empty mind and allow the universe to fill it with all the magic that is infinitely available in the world." I just believe those words are true. But I think it's probably hard for some people to trust that.

 

- [Valerie] We are not taught to live like that. We are taught to work hard and go for what you want and be the best and this pushing, this pushing. But sometimes I think it's in the leaning back that the good stuff comes.

 

- [TJ] The juicy stuff, yeah.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] The juicy stuff, and my mom told me my whole life a million times. "God can dream up a way cooler dream than you're ever gonna come up with in your little mind." And so I always give it up to God or the universe. I don't know what is happening right now, but I just am able to roll with it and I feel calm about it. I don't put pressure on my self. I make sure I take care of myself financially, and physically and all those things. I work that out, but that thing, why I'm here, the writing and the speaking and all of that, I let God take--

 

- [TJ] That's great.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] The wheel, I mean I do.

 

- [TJ] No I'm with you.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Because I can't figure it out. It's too big, it's too big.

 

- [TJ] It's too big. It's too big and there's peace when you follow your conscience for example, that inner voice, like you say here, and then we'll move on to another question. I just love this, I think this is--

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah, no it's good.

 

- [TJ] You say here, "People like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson have attributed their success largely to following inner prompts and not worrying about the results." I love that, yeah you see that with a lot of... You read the biographies of people, they followed those intuitions, those thoughts... And I agree with you. Our limited thinking can hold us back, versus opening ourselves up to being more grateful. We'll get into that a little bit later. All right, so here's my--

 

- [Valerie Gangas] And that's where a good spiritual practice comes in because let's just take meditation cause that's what I do. Every day, falling back onto the self and going past your mind and just sitting in that silence, that opens you up. You're becoming very familiar with this inner world and that's were all the information is, you think it's outside of yourself because we've been taught to think that. But it's not, you are really creating your own reality. But beyond that, it's like the universe is creating the reality through you. So it's kind of abstract cause we're not raise that way so they way you get good at this is you just keep falling back, falling back and through yoga, going to church, whatever it is that you do, some spiritual practice that brings you in instead of constantly going out. That going out all the time, that makes you more confused. You're disconnected from the main computer inside of yourself. So that's just way I see it. Steve Jobs, I mean, he had a deep, deep spiritual Buddhist meditation practice. He spent a lot of his time, he was in India, going on different fasts, doing these different things cause he knew he had to cultivate this inner world in order to create magic in the outside world.

 

- [TJ] Totally and these ideas will come randomly. My son is junior year of high school, or was it his sophomore year? Anyway, he went to... he was hoping to go to state, he was a really good wrestler, Bryce, Bryce and Conner both, but Bryce and I remember he broke his ankle three weeks into the season and he had already gone to state once and he was going back again and he thought, oh my season is dashed and he asked me for my opinion, what should he do, cause we would be in a brace for about two months, and maybe, just maybe he would be healed enough to walk in to districts and then regionals and possibly state, even though he didn't wrestle the whole season. He was really sort of distraught and I told him, I said son, here's what I want you to do for the next two months. I want you to listen to every tape or CD or audio that's uplifting, that's spiritual in its nature that will be bring you closer to God really is what I was saying in my home. I was saying bring you closer to God and I said, "You will be given more power because of that." Anyway at the end of the two months, we met with the doctor, they said okay he can wrestle, but just be really careful and so he wrestled for a week to get ready for districts and he went to districts. He ended up winning first place. He then, the next week was regionals up here in Seattle. He went to regionals and he was really nervous that Friday before, the night before he went to the tournament. And he was asking me some questions and I said, hey just do your best, trust, be thankful for all the blessings that you have. It'll all be good and then that Saturday morning came and an impression came to me. I'm driving behind the bus, following because I was at every... My parents didn't always come to my events. I made sure when I was a parent, I went to everything. So I'm following behind the bus and I get this thought that comes to my head, into my mind and into my heart, really, that said, text Bryce, who's on the bus. Text him to take the cap off the water bottle. Pour water into the water bottle cap and drink from the cap. And if you do that, the impression says, if he does that, you will win first place in regionals and you'll go on to state.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] I have chills all over my whole body.

 

- [TJ] No, totally, so I'm driving and I'm thinking to myself, okay that's another crazy thought, right? So I text my son and I said, Bryce do you have your water bottle with you? He says, yes I do. I said, I promise you right now that if you will take the top off that water bottle, pour water into the cap and drink out of... It's like a Moses moment, right? Drink out of the cap. I promise you you will win first place at regionals and you'll go on to state. I sent it and then I just prayed. I prayed that maybe it would come true--

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Well yeah, you were turning that water into holy water that infused his body.

 

- [TJ] And you know what, with a half broken ankle, he won state first place, went on to state and won second in state.

 

- [Valerie] I live for stories like that. I love it.

 

- [TJ] Yeah, so anyway, okay. Sorry, that's just fun stuff.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] No, no it's so... Listen I know people are having these experiences, but if you don't have people around you that understand that or you feel kind of like, am I crazy, is this really happening. So, that's why I like to talk about stuff like this, cause it's not abnormal. I know this happens to lots of people, but they don't have outlet or... They need to hear a podcast like this to be like, oh, is that what's happening to me?

 

- [TJ] That's normal.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah, it's normal. I mean it is, it is normal. How we are living is abnormal. I feel like I wanna write a book called, "Opposite Land" because that's what it feels like. When you go from living on the outside to living from the inside, it's a whole new world. And you have to learn how to navigate that world and you don't have a map.

 

- [TJ] Right, okay so what are your thoughts on getting rid of distractions? Cause that can sometimes get in the way, right?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Absolutely, so when I had this life-changing experience, I noticed almost immediately that my emotions no longer had the best of me. I felt like, at first I was like, am I a sociopath because things would happen and it was almost like I was watching a movie. I didn't want to change the story, I didn't feel a need to correct anything. It wasn't impacting me, I was just experiencing it. So, it was only two or three weeks after I learned to meditate that I had taken a job with the David Lynch Foundation. The Foundation is a... They bring meditation to vets, into schools, but they were also bringing it into major corporations. And Oprah Winfrey was one of the corporations that she wanted her company, New York, LA, and Chicago, everyone to learn how to meditate. So, again, now remember, I was completely suicidal, so I find myself... It's a long story how I ended up taking the job, I said no at first. But I find myself at work and it's my first day of work. I have no idea what I'm gonna do there, cause I have a restaurant background. Yes, I have all this spiritual knowledge, but I never was a public speaker or anything like that. And I walk into work and they said, go in this room and tell your story, and I walk in and it's Oprah and I and her president of her company. And I noticed as I was speaking to her that I had no fear. It was pure silence, even through me speaking, the words were, I was almost watching the words come out of my mouth, I wasn't thinking them. And I knew I had entered into a different state of consciousness, even thought I didn't have the words back then to describe it like that. And that day I remember thinking, okay everything has changed here, for sure. It's not something in your head, you just gave a talk to Oprah and you didn't even flinch. So then I systematically was like, I gotta get rid of all this stuff from my history that is no longer working for me. I began to see them as distractions because now, I felt like I was on my path and nothing, nothing was going to stop me now. And I saw these distractions as the enemy or something. And so I ended a lot of friendships, a lot of old ways of being, old rituals and things, things that I would do, yeah. There were gone, because I was a one new track and if I didn't get rid of all the distractions, I wasn't gonna be able to accomplish, the work that I was here to do. So I took it so far that when I decided to write my first book, I was like, I have to get out of Chicago. I need to go out in the middle of the country and have zero distractions, be in nature. And so I have the best chance of writing a great book. And so I did. I sold all of my stuff, I rented my condo, I quit my job. And I moved out onto a 14 acre piece of land out in the middle of nowhere Iowa. And I really went ninja on it and removed all distractions from my life. And honestly it was one of the best time periods yet because to live like that, you really start having this rich inner life. You're in silence and you're in nature and you're living the life you're supposed to be living. You're true to yourself and you're getting all this work done. So there's action happening and the silence. Action and contemplation. And I was like, this is how I want to live. And so since that day, I'm very careful what I'll say yes to or what I bring in to my life because sometimes I see it as a distraction.

 

- [TJ] Yeah, it's so true. I often think, what good would it do for some people that are so hooked, for example to social media,

 

- [Valerie Gangas] It's a problem.

 

- [TJ] To take a fast from it. Listen I use social media, but I use it with a purpose.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] That's right.

 

- [TJ] I'll post something on several platforms about this podcast I'm having with you Valerie, right? That kind of a thing. That's part, but I'm careful not to allow that to become a focus in my life and to take over my life. And I think some people, especially a younger generation that's growing up with all that, taking a fast from time to time, I know my kids have done that. Like 24 hours without any social media, turn it all off. Or I know my daughter who's an up and coming Youtuber, she's turned off everything for a week at a time a couple times. I think that can be a good thing to do.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Absolutely, I mean, I'm gonna sound like an anarchist or some, but I feel like the world is set up in a way to distract us from this thing that I'm talking about, to distract us from ourselves. Because if we collectively all turned inward and realized this power we had inside of us, this would be a completely different ball game. We would be living in a totally different world. So it feels sometimes like it's set up to just constantly be distracting you from yourself. I even talk about the self help movement. It's been around for what 50, 60, 70 years. People are more screwed up than ever.

 

- [TJ] Amen to that.

 

- [Valerie] Yeah, so what are we doing here? I feel like starting a movement like the help others movement, because when you help others, that's bringing that inner world out to give. Not just me, me, me, what do I need to fix, I'm this, I'm this, I'm that. It's like, no you have to focus on something bigger than that or you're just spinning your wheels. And it's another distraction.

 

- [TJ] You know what, one of the things that I train on is the Law of Gratitude. I write here in some of the training work that I do, "Gratitude is the foundation of all success and happiness." and it comes from an abundant mindset. So there's three levels of gratitude. This is TJ speaking, but the three levels of gratitude that we've come up with is number one, there's thankfulness. To be thankful for things. But there's a higher level of gratitude which is appreciation. That's a little but higher than making a list of things I'm thankful for. Now I fully appreciate, I feel appreciation. And then the highest degree, number three degree, highest degree of gratitude is contribution. When you are so grateful for the blessings that you have in your life, that you're now willing, like you, to turn outward and share with the world and if you don't have it, give it away first and it'll come back to you. It's the Law of Reciprocity. It seems like people that are happy are very grateful people, so I say it's a celestial law to be grateful. It's just higher, you know, anyway.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah and I think when you're in this space, when you have suffered a lot or you've learned something great... To me it was just a given I was just gonna give it all away 'til there was nothing left to give. That's why I'm here. It kind of feels like, my life isn't even my own in a way. I know that sounds abstract too, but it's... I feel like I work for the universe, work for God. That's my job.

 

- [TJ] For sure, love it, love it, you're speaking truth here on this show and it's great to have you. And I feel you, I can feel your emotion as we do this periodically we're feeling things. You talk about don't settle. The three questions to ask yourself to ensure you're living a life to the fullest. Thoughts about not settling because I agree with that too.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Again, I think when you switch gears... I think also this usually happens in the second half of people's lives, 35 to 45 years old. You might have this light bulb moment where, I gotta get out of a marriage or I gotta change my job, or I gotta live a life that feels more authentic to me. And what happens is you can no longer not be true to yourself. You can no longer be inauthentic. You cannot betray yourself anymore. Your soul will not allow for it. So you start to feel when you're making a decision that you know isn't right for you, or telling a white lie or whatever, it feels like suffering. It feels so inauthentic. That's not who you are anymore. And there might be a time period where you have to go back and forth between this old self and this new self to really get it all aligned to integrate this new energy that's come in, so you're just always living like that. But you come to a point where you will no longer compromise yourself for anything or anyone and then that's when you're in a really good place.

 

- [TJ] True. Okay, let's get a little philosophical now. That's true what you said, that we have to take care of ourselves. You can't give something you don't have. I get all that, but where is the fine line, and I'll ask a separate thing here, where's the fine line between becoming selfish. For example, I know in my marriage, for example, it's been successful because we both give, we both are quick to forgive, we both say I'm sorry. That was not easy for my wife the first year of marriage. She would hang on to things for a few days. That's a different woman today. She's learned to grow and to be more of an abundant thinker that way and so forth. But in the self-help movement, I sort of recoil, and you may not have the same reaction as I do, and that's okay, but I recoil with the term, self-love. I believe in self-love, but I don't like the term if it turns someone to be solely focused on themselves. I believe in self-kindness, self-respect, those kinds of things, but sometimes I think self-love can conjure up the idea that it's all about you. And it seems to me people that are happy in life are those that are serving others.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Oh, absolutely. And again that's the whole problem with the self-help movement. It makes you an egomaniac. It's all about you, it's a victim mentality that you take on when it's just, what am I gonna do for myself. I agree with you, but what I was trying to say was you know longer will be inauthentic. If you don't wanna do something, because it's absolutely wrong for you, it's the wrong thing for you--

 

- [TJ] If it's against your values and your conscience and so forth--

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah, that's what I was trying to say. You're just not gonna compromise, you're not gonna do that. But yeah, will you give everything to your wife and your family? Absolutely, that to me--

 

- [TJ] But I think we live in a world where I'm just saying, with the media, you can watch a lot of shows, repetitively, and it has a drip, drip, drip effect or social media and you look at other people's worlds that we never know what it really is like, that we start to think, well maybe my life could be better if I wasn't with this person and so forth. Where I say, be humble, serve, lift others, treat people as you, based on who they're capable of becoming and they will perform that way. But never go against what's right and wrong in your conscience. Never go against something that's not respectful to yourself.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] And I think if you're not in touch with yourself, if you don't have this inner world going on, you can fall into that trap easily. Cause you're like, oh well just this time and it's not big deal. But it is a big deal and it adds up. And it starts becoming your norm.

 

- [TJ] Exactly, you become what we call past feeling. It becomes your norm. Maybe the first time you did it, you didn't think it was a big deal, but you felt a little bit bad about doing it, and then all of a sudden you continue to do it and you become past feeling and then it becomes normal and you end up living a life that's unfulfilling. I'm a believer that everyone, like you, I think we share in this, everybody has greatness within. Everybody has the specialness within. Through, I think, finding that is in part a spiritual journey. To figure out who you are and what you're gonna live for and how are you gonna contribute. How are you gonna serve people in a positive way and then close your eyes and trust the process and it'll all work out.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] And it is difficult. There has been days where I have cried and thought, why are you doing this to me. I seem like an alien. People are questioning me and my decisions and it's difficult. This spiritual path, it's very it's kinda, not lonely, but you're in this. This is about you and God and so you have to make decisions and it's all falling back on you. You can't always be depending on others. There's no system set up in this world that says, do this and then do that. You're walking into the mystery. You're walking into the mystery

 

- [TJ] And being a parent, being a parent there was no handbook that I received ahead of time.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Oh, I haven't gone down that road yet, but I always ask my friends, what did you do when you took the baby home from the hospital? They were like, freak out and pray for the best.

 

- [TJ] And you know what, it works out for most people.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Right, it works out.

 

- [TJ] All right so let's see, let's wind down on a couple things. What are your thoughts on forgiveness?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] I think when you forgive someone else, you are setting yourself free. That's just another major distraction. You are holding yourself in a hijacked type situation when you're constantly feeling angry and charged about a situation that happened with another person maybe years ago. I do think you can get to the point where you can just let it go, it just rolls off your shoulder. You're not being ruled by your emotions anymore. You're not being held prisoner by these old feelings. They just don't serve you. What good does it do to be angry for 20 years about something.

 

- [TJ] Amen, amen.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] It doesn't work. It just frankly doesn't work.

 

- [TJ] Let me just say that's a scarcity mindset. That's not abundance mindset, right?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] That's right.

 

- [TJ] Abundant people are able... Like let's say someone's going through a hard time right now. Well here's the one thing... and you feel like you're totally out of control, there's one thing you always have control over and that's a new decision this next moment. This next moment. And part of that may be letting go of someone that has offended you. Writing a letter to someone seeking maybe their forgiveness. Maybe you did them wrong, right? There's so many times where I've been faced with maybe hurting someone's feelings or my feelings being hurt only to realize later on I'm the one that caused that.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah, I mean it takes two to tango. So you're always playing a part and you have to recognize that and I think it makes it easier to forgive when you can see, okay I played a part in that too. That just didn't randomly happen. And if things really get out of hand, I always tell people, pray, ask for help, you--

 

- [TJ] Amen, I love that.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] You're out of control, so just say please help me. And I believe in miracles. I've experienced so many of them. I believe in grace and I think when you cry out and ask for help, you will get it. It might come in a different form than you were expecting, but I feel like when you reach out, that hand always comes down and helps you.

 

- [TJ] I love it. Wow, you're speaking so many great, a lot of wisdom, great thoughts. It's been awesome to have you on the show. Tell me, what's your... tell our audience, what should they be focused on around you and what projects you're working on? Where can they find you? what's going on in your world right now that would be a benefit for our listeners to hear?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Well, I just wanted to pick one social media platform instead of being bombarded with 20 different platforms, so I'm on Instagram, I tend to post there the most.

 

- [TJ] Instagram.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] It's just my name, Valerie Gangas. And then my website is also just my name, valeriegangas.com. So I'm working on my new book, doing a lot of podcasts and making some videos--

 

- [TJ] Have you started the podcast yet?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] My podcast is gonna launch probably after Christmas, after the Holidays.

 

- [TJ] Gotcha, I gotcha, and it's gonna be called.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] I didn't want to rush it. It was feeling like there was so much going on, so I just gave myself some time to make it through the holidays.

 

- [TJ] No that totally makes sense. And is it still gonna be called, I see here, "Everything You Think You Know is Wrong." is that right?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Yeah, because those were the first words that came out of my mouth when I had this experience. I looked at my meditation teacher and I said, oh my god, everything I thought I knew was wrong. It was that opposite land thing happening. I was like, I gotta name the podcast that.

 

- [TJ] Well I think your story, so for the listeners based on when you listen to this, I know that you'll be working on a future book. But currently right now, I invite everybody to go get "Enlightenment is Sexy" and I think... you know what truly, as I was reading through it, you have a great story and you have tools in there that can help people succeed and in the spirit that you carry, your countenance is a beautiful countenance. You have a great spirit about you. And so I just wish you... Is there any last thoughts that you would like to share or anything with our audience?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] I would encourage people, just pick up some sort of spiritual practice. Just try it. See what it does for you in your life. And then sit back and watch the magic unfold.

 

- [TJ] Awesome, all right go follow Valerie Gangas. I said that right, did I say that right?

 

- [Valerie Gangas] You did.

 

- [TJ] Valeria Gangas on, and I'll put it down at the bottom here. Instagram and then your website, valeriegangas.com. What a beautiful story. You have a lot of great things to share, and I look forward to staying in touch with you. Good luck.

 

- [Valerie Gangas] Thanks, thanks for having me on the show.

 

- [TJ] You bet. Everyone, go out there and unleash your greatness within.

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