Lee Skunes

Lee Skunes (Yoga Teacher/Dancer) On the Tremendous Life We Have (#22-23)

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Our Guest Today: Lee Skunes

There’s no better time to release this episode than Valentines Day. What is a relationship? What is love? Do we need to have everything all figured out? Join my special guest Lee Skunes today. Standing at 6’9”, he’s legitimately 2 inches taller than Tony Robbins. 🙂

To prepare for my podcast with Lee, I wrote down a series of nouns, verbs, adjectives to reflect upon the impact he’s had on my life in the past year as a yoga teacher:

  • Compassion, joy, beauty, balance, authenticity, integration (yoga, dancing, singing), connection, exploration.
  • Cheerful, hopeful, possible, vocal, visceral, enthusiastic, peaceful, transparent, optimistic
  • Energize, activate/motivate, enable, transform

“Don’t let perfectionism be in the way of where you get the value from. Perhaps your best isn’t always your best, your worst isn’t always your worst. The drive to better, faster, more, bigger seem to perpetuate through generations. But perhaps we should take a step back and realize how silly this notion is.” – Lee Skunes

In this 2-part interview with Lee, he reminded me that true wisdom often comes from the messy stuff in life. As an incredibly talented and aspiring yoga teacher, Lee believes in walking the walk by doing the work. He values his students as much as they value him.

“My students project positive energy onto me. It’s cyclical. Students seldom realize the significant impact they have on my life.” Lee Skunes.

For those of you who are interested in becoming a yoga teacher and perhaps have contemplated the idea for a while, Lee offers the most transparent answers to evaluating whether this could be path for you.

There is a very big entrepreneur part of being a yoga teacher including but not limited to self promotion, marketing, personal taxes, etc. You have to be willing to take on these responsibilities or find someone who can free you from these tasks.

“Work is like play for me.” says Lee, “You have be grounded among transitions, as well as the depth and capacity needed in order to be a full time teacher.”

Lee had a unique pathway to yoga before becoming a full time teacher. He worked at Lululemon and was able to connect with people who were already in this field.

“You have to trust that there are plenty of people who can benefit form yoga. Yoga is a career that’s on-going and a path for you to continue to grow and develop. Some jobs don’t offer this value. It’s a gift and a privilege to be a teacher.” – Lee Skunes.

Make sure to give yourself the space and freedom to explore what you love. Don’t let finance or the outside world get in the way of your passion. It is simple, but not easy. For Lee, his passion goes much beyond yoga. He is dancer, singer, writer, personal trainer, leadership and development practitioner. He loves writing little vignette stories that are “so in the moment”. Why? As much as we want to recreate the moment, we can’t.

“I love watching people lit up over what they do. We should all appreciate the tremendous life that we have.” – Lee Skunes.

Intrigued by why so many people latch onto Lee’s teaching and belief, I often wondered how he got here, effortlessly, as it appears on the outside. Learn more about Lee as a 19, 20-year old in Part 1.

In part 2, Lee talks about his yoga workshops, focusing on the 3rd and 5th Chakra. (If you are new to this concept, chakra represents each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number). Lee loves creating a forum that fosters healthy dialogues, evoking reactions to help people reflect upon the assumptions and choices they make. It is fascinating when people start to confront and connect, the conversations that arise out of this exercise can be very powerful.

Lee also addresses the importance of not seeking for constant approvals and agreements. He says, “Knots are not bad things. Frictions and disagreements are ok. It’s not either, or, but a house with different rooms.” Nature made the gun and nurture pulled the trigger. I asked Lee if he believes that openness and curiosity are something people are born with.

There are, of course, things you are not born with that already chosen for you. Lee shares his stories of revealing his sexuality to his sister and parents, a sweet little tale that involved a Post-It note.

“We think we know ourselves and other people. The privilege is not knowing and being in / exploring the unknown.” – Lee Skunes

Another fantastic yoga teacher, Rachel Bairstow at Coolidge Corner Yoga, asked her students in one Forrest Yoga class as some (myself included) began to struggle with challenging poses after a long day at work: “What if this is all the strength you have today? Can you be ok with that?” I found this approach to be exceptionally powerful but not sure why these questions had such profound impact on me.

“Acceptance and forgiveness are two superpowers. Both acceptance and appreciation allow you to come from a baseline of where you are at, and forgiveness fosters new connections.” – Lee Skunes

To learn more about Lee Skunes, please follow and connect with him via FacebookTwitter, or perhaps treat yourself to his wonderful vinyasa and core flow classes at Coolidge Corner Yoga in Brookline, MA.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, please leave your comment below and share the podcast with your family and friends. Your support will keep me on track and bring many other unsung heroes to this podcast.

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Show Notes: 

  • What is our expectation and understanding of relationships?
  • The world of perfectionism – do we have to be “better” every time, and in everything we do?
  • What has Lee learned through the tragic deaths of his friends and how they shaped him to be who he is today?
  • What is it really like to be a yoga teacher? (What you should know before becoming one)
  • Why is self-development a compliment to every walk of life?
  • Did Lee always had his way – supported by family and friends? Or what was the epiphany for change?
  • I often wondered how Lee got here, effortlessly, as it appears on the outside. Learn more about Lee as a 19, 20-year old.
  • How does Lee conduct his popular yoga workshops focusing on the 3rd and the 5th chakras?
  • Are qualities such as openness and curiosity something people are born with?
  • The privilege of not knowing
  • Acceptance and forgiveness are two superpowers

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Part 1

Intro 0:00
Welcome to the Feisworld podcast, engaging conversations that crossed the boundaries between business, art, and the digital world.

Fei Wu 0:18
I am very lucky to have met a young man whose name is Lee Skunes. Lee is one of my yoga teachers, and a more recent one I’ve encountered. He’s only 25 years old. Yet he was able to change my perceptions toward many things in life. One day, I found myself saying to leave that his energy is simply irresistible. Life can be difficult sometimes. And Lee seems to care that mechanism to help him and his students bounce right back. The secret ingredients reside in the things he says and the things he doesn’t have to say. His classes are always packed, sometimes 45 to 50 students in the Coolidge corner yoga studio. Insane, right? Lee, maybe the holiest guests I’ll ever have on the face world podcast. Standing at six nine. I verified that he is in fact, two inches taller and Tony Robbins. Lee flows through various yoga poses with ease. In this two part interview with Lee, he reminded me that true wisdom often comes from the messy stuff in life. As an incredibly talented and aspiring yoga teacher. Lee believes in walking the walk by doing the work. And he values students as much as they value him. For those of you who are interested in becoming a yoga teacher, and perhaps have contemplated the idea for a while, Lee offers the most transparent answer to evaluating whether this could be a path for you. There is no better time to release this episode than Valentine’s Day. Yay. Lee opens up our conversation with what is a relationship? What is love? Do we need to have everything all figured out? So please enjoy this authentic exchange and hope you find it easy to relate to some of the topics we chose for our conversation. Show notes, links and resources can all be found on my website at FES world.com FEIS Wo rld if you enjoy listening to the phase world podcast, the best gift you could possibly offer me are a review on iTunes and also sharing my podcast with your friends and families. Thank you for being with me on this incredible journey and having so much fun along the way. Please welcome Lee skewness

Lee Skunes 2:46
all knowing guru like whatever it form this name guru wise higher power whatever that name may be and I heard as Debbie was saying it but it’s just a click there’s something so simple and pure about it I’m gonna do that one day

in June and

then Siri for me what what do I want in a relationship? If I do we want a relationship and where’s the pressure to be in a relationship? And do I want it to be polyamorous do I want it to be throttled to I want it to be committed, monogamous relationship and looking at where am I in that and what’s not even saying like what’s the right thing but looking at where I’m at in my life right now. It doesn’t have to be this big thing. Can it just simply be enjoying somebody next to me or, you know, the quick attachment to figure it all out?

Fei Wu 4:25
I’m still answering.

Lee Skunes 4:29
I just I wish there was like your turn a page and there’s your answer. But it’s not.

Fei Wu 4:34
It’s not. And believe it or not, it’s not even the case where people who are married. I once thought you know, you’re probably much younger than

Lee Skunes 4:43

Fei Wu 4:45
Yeah. So 25 I remember when I was younger, it’s like has to be pretty trivial. Like, you know, I once thought that married people had all figured out and I realized my parents never had a

Lee Skunes 4:59
chance No, no, we put this like pressure and pedestal on people to like, I put it out myself to have it all figured out or like people who are older have it all figured out people who, quote unquote, look successful have it all figured out. And it’s like, it’s no, like, we’re all in that same. And some people have are better than others. And you’ll, you’ll like, expand in some areas, and then you’ll contract in those same areas and like it never I wish it were finite, and you always just kept going up. But that’s clearly not how life works. It makes sense.

Fei Wu 5:35
It’s like that this is great. I hails

Lee Skunes 5:41
from Abathur podcast, Coolidge corner. Exactly.

Fei Wu 5:45
You know, my mom is using my mom as an example, as a very, very successful artists. And she’s 62. She’s been going at ISA for 50 something years. And growing up, I was always painting drawing. And I, you know, at school, my art teacher told me, you have to be better every time. Like, that’s what life is about. That’s what learning is about. My mom told me when I was six. She said, No, she’s like, Fe, and whatnot. Oh, my fingers are getting better someday is some days, I’m one step forward, two steps back. And I was thinking, Whoa, this is, this is amazing. Yeah, we made a suit difficult on ourselves, sometimes, you know,

Lee Skunes 6:25
and in the world, we’re like, I went to the Boston Conservatory for a BFA in Musical Theater. So this whole world of perfectionism in this world of, especially as artists, the pressure to not fail, like we this, this stigma, and in being an artist and having to have it all sorted out when somebody asks you, What do you want as an artist? Like what are you creating as an artist? I personally heard I didn’t hear a lot from teachers, but I took it on as that was like, the way to make it as an artist was be perfect. Do it right every time do it better every time. It’s a lot. It’s exhausting. It really isn’t. It actually put me in the hospitals and stress ulcers, I was pushing myself too hard. And and it’s just it’s, it’s healthy. It’s not how to live life, when you’re six feet under like to be driven by perfection, not saying don’t go and expand or go and try new things or be better. It’s just that don’t let that be like the defining thing of where you get value from either did better, which means I am better. No, it just means that you happen to be doing better what you did. And the next day if you do, quote unquote worse, or what you think is worse, which is never reality, because somebody else is gonna think it’s your best. So even what you think is your best isn’t actually your best everything because your worst is next year worse. Yeah. So to measure that, right, so valuable. It’s the world of being an artist is so malleable, and it’s a privilege.

Fei Wu 8:11
And I think partially of what you experienced all the discoveries Self Realization you’ve had at such a young age. I wasn’t I don’t think I was where you are today when I was 25. But I didn’t notice a tipping point of when I was around like 2627 Not much later, I started to look at life in the valuing my own life differently. Start asking what I want. So warning is I think beginning into your late 20s. To me, I think that was really an age of struggle over the course of 20 789 it was like okay, I’m approaching 30 I must have accomplished what is my statement, what is my signature, all of that?

Lee Skunes 8:57
I think that there’s I want to say I’m not part of that. I don’t want to pretend like I’m not part of that and that doesn’t bother me and then I can blow over it. But it is very much like very much I find for myself and my generation and no don’t want to put a blanket statement on it. But this this drive to better, faster, more bigger. That seems to perpetuate and keep going and we should take a step back and and realize how how silly it is to let that drive it I had a friend of mine, who was 31 years old. And he seemed the same interview he was working on was actually in the summer boat in the news on boston.com. He was working I don’t know exactly what happened. But something involving work where he was working the phone niacin, his head hit a mason retaining wall. And he was knocked out, brain dead. In the ICU, no chance of surviving. And three days later, after everybody had seen him, flocks of people that come to see him, I took him off life support. And he passed away. And I wasn’t able to make the wake of the funeral. But a friend of mine sent a photo and the people going to the Wake was was blocks of people waiting to go see him just like block so people to go see this man. And it was just it was one of those wake up points where I was like, what, what do I want to do with my life? Like, what do I actually want to do with my life. And I didn’t get to this wisdom from ease, like I am a believer that wisdom and experience while it does come from success, the meat of it does come from the messy stuff of life. Like the messy so ago, when I was 18 years old, a friend of mine, she’s happier than me isn’t half Cambodian. And just the pressure from Vietnamese and Cambodian, they stuff for her family. I don’t know all of it. And I could be making a general assumption right now. But what I know from her own experience, it was a lot. And she ended up committing suicide and she was like 18 years old, and I was supposed to see her the next day and hang out and watch Desperate Housewives, it was like, you just you think you know, you have control, you think you can understand the big picture. And sometimes it’s just a complete waste of time to just sit there and try to sort it out. And once again, I’m not invalidating growing and expanding, and that’s part of life too. But to be able to find that dance and that and be able to step back and just appreciate it, not have to know what’s gonna come next. Or have to have it all handled. I think that’s the big one that drives me. It’s like, I’ve got to have it all handled. I’ve got to have it figured out. I’ve got to know what’s coming next. And like, I can’t even just sit and enjoy, like, the things I have right now. It’s in our culture, right? You go from Thanksgiving, being thankful for what you have. And the next day going 20 more. Yeah. I know. Right. Right. Right. And so my family kept asking, What do you want? And I was like, I don’t want any. I don’t I don’t need anything that like you said need, but what do you actually want? And I said, I still don’t want anything like I just want to come home. I haven’t been home for Christmas for I’m going to my dad’s Christmas for over two years. I just want to come home and see family. Like there’s got to be something you want a mic. I don’t know how much louder I can get about this. You know?

Fei Wu 12:50
That’s really fascinating, I think, you know, that might ask or when the incident happened with your friend. The from the first time the second story, and the second one sounded like you were 18. Yeah. And the first one when you came to the realization of how you’re gonna live your life. How old were you at the time

Lee Skunes 13:09
that literally happened this September. Like this September, I coached him in a leadership program for about five months, and we talked almost daily, like it was almost daily that we would connect and coach or he would call me about something where we would see each other on Friday nights in this leadership program. And it was it was here Wednesday morning. It was 625 I saw my phone phone blow up. And there was a comment on Facebook that said there’s somebody shared a status that only you and 24 other people can see. I was like, that’s kind of weird. I thought it was kind of like, you know, people get like, hacked and emails and stuff like that. So like, I kind of put it aside, it’s like, no, this is coming from so I swiped that and looked at it. And they were like, Hey, by the way, so and so is in the hospital, and he’s on intensive care. And we don’t know if he’s going to wake up. And the wind was just knocked out of me. And I went and got taught the class, made it through, call my mom bawling in the bodywork room over there just just being so clear about what I want to give my life to right now, who knows if it’s forever but right now like giving my life to helping people, whatever that may be. Whether that’s yoga or being an artist and contributing that or just sitting with a coffee, I just got clear that like things are going to come and go but like those the value of the connections of people I’ve gone through about 10 funerals in my life since I was 18. So losing that many people get to really clear about the priorities. And what goes beyond the superficial and what goes beyond the necessary day in day out to what you need. That was very clear for me

Fei Wu 15:00
Well, I’m very glad that we had this conversation before. I was going to tell you why I was so excited to interview you. And so today when I was at work, I left for lunch on my own. And so I brought this a little notebook is one of my co workers said, during the most stressful times would have you had like some little notebook and his was completely beat up, right. And I had to go to some bookstore and get this like really cute one. But it was really such a relief when I try to write things down. And it’s almost like a meditation itself. But anyway, there’s a special page for you about why me is so awesome. And I try it as complete as organized as like, scribbles all over the place, but I never started any podcasts this way. And but I said, what are some of the words that come to mind? And I was going to form these words into questions I may ask you, and I realized I don’t have the form questions that were just gonna come naturally. So some of the words that came to mind are compassion, you know, joy, beauty, balance, authenticity, integration, integrations, and you as a yoga dancer, a singer, all of the above. And the teacher and connection exploration like your student who’s constantly learning and always willing to learn. I can see you when you’re 67 is at 90 that you’ll still be you you know, and thinking about like some adjectives like cheerful hopeful, possible, you know, and vocal

Unknown Speaker 16:44
and visceral connection. And I was

Fei Wu 16:48
thinking, Okay, I was gonna stop there. I was like, Wait, but Wait, one more was just a few more. I think about what you know, you make everybody feel so energized. But at the same time what other people feel as a result I’m speaking on behalf of other people, their students with you on my stock them and maybe interview them on the way out. Wisely, so awesome. And record now is calmness and peacefulness. Yeah, it’s really interesting, right? It’s all the energy, but yet you feel a sense of peace of mind. And so I was thinking, you know, transparent, optimistic and, and you’re an enabler, you sort of enable, enable and activate and motivate others. So that’s a lot all at once. I just had to, to Bill all around. And it’s, it’s really amazing. I was thinking that every time I rushed to Coolidge corner after work from Downtown Crossing, it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour versus over the weekend, probably will be like 15 to 20 minutes, right. And I’m always rushing. The point of getting here is to be calm and stretch out and feel the love. But by the time I get here, I’m usually sweating his stuff. is like, I’m trying to hurry so I can get here and relax. Yeah. And then. But I then I see you. And there is no you told me that the tragic story happened in September, I believe that somehow approximately when we met for the first time, and I didn’t have a clue about that, because I couldn’t tell you didn’t carry it on you. And you continue to project your energy in such a positive way onto everybody else. So let me pause for a second like Are you surprised to hear all that? Are you used to it?

Lee Skunes 18:44
No, it’s not. It’s I’ll be completely frank. It’s not that I’m surprised to hear it. But it’s still something for me to get used to the big acknowledged in that way. Because there’s part of me is like, Oh, if you only knew, like, if you only knew it was also going to be like behind that. And also, it’s happening in front of you. It’s like it’s it’s the dance of like being a teacher of walking the walk and doing the work. I feel like a great teacher is somebody who’s willing to walk the walk. I was just talking to somebody yesterday, just about like the I’m not surprised by it. Because those are definitely like things that I love about myself. And like I definitely like, whenever I’m not having so great of a day or things are not going the way I like them to go. hearing somebody else how they listen to me definitely pulls me out of that usually. And I don’t think students really get the difference you make on teachers. Like it’s cyclical. It’s not just like I can have the crappiest day and go teach my Tuesday 545 class here and don’t alter my day. Like we also look forward, I won’t speak for a bit, but I also look forward to teaching for the people that I get to see. It’s not just like the other way around to. So

Fei Wu 20:12
your classes are always packed. I value

Lee Skunes 20:14
I value students, like I know you guys, like quite frankly, you could choose anybody that city is saturated with yoga. Yeah, you could you could choose whoever you wanted to go to. And yes, some people come from time, yes, people, some come for convenience. And some come for whatever reasons, but it’s, it’s I value who shows up in the room. And sometimes it can be misconstrued as caring too much, I totally understand that. But I don’t care. And I think also where you’re asking if it if it’s something new to me, it’s not new, but it’s always it’s always nice to be appreciated, it’s sometimes being a yoga teacher can be very lonely, which people it’s funny, because you can be in front of a ton of people, and still have the experience of being alone.

Fei Wu 21:11
Yeah, as part of my listeners, you know, I don’t really know about the age range, they’re kind of there’s a pretty big spectrum, a spectrum to be honest. And there are a lot of people thinking about freelancing, or just inventing something as entrepreneur and someone, my friends have thought about being a yoga yoga teachers and some eventually left their jobs, doing what I was doing advertising, consulting, and became yoga teachers, I think, in recent years, as in the past five to eight years, to your point has become very competitive. So people who are still dreaming, thinking about this career, I would love for them to get a sense from you what it’s really like.

Lee Skunes 21:57
It’s a business. It’s like any other business. But it’s also for me, it’s it’s not let me kind of like compartmentalize it, I guess. I mean, it’s all one picture, but I want to kind of give the the listeners as well as people who are interested in it. different avenues to look at it for some parts people are going to check out and other parts people are going to be highly interested in. So as a business, you are your own business, right? Like you’re you’re handling your own finances, most of the time, you’re handling your own taxes, they take you out of your paychecks, you’re handling your own self promotions, you’re handling. So there’s a very big entrepreneurial part of that, if that’s not something you’re willing to do, just going to be completely honest, if it’s not, if it’s something you want to do full time. And that’s something that’s your concern, might not be the path for you, or start to look at avenues that’ll help you to be freed up around that. Work to me feels like play my teaching classes feels like plate to me. And so there’s this capacity for myself that I found that okay, like now that I’ve got the rudimentary mechanisms down of like, of how I sequence that class, the rest I can play with, and now I’m at this tipping point where, okay, I’ve played in this way for so long, how I taught, and I’ve kind of been I will say struct, as the word have started to delve into different ways of looking at how I teach, there’s a whole new ground to break for me right now we’re in that so as a yoga teacher, it’s never finite. It’s constantly evolving, just like anything in the health and wellness field. So there’s a sense of like, being grounded among transition. And that if that’s not something you have a depth of, for a capacity in, at first can be very scary, it can be very daunting to be able to be with transition and move through that stuff. That being said, if you have any ounce of exploring it and do so, like if you have any else if you’ve ever had the inkling of a thought of like, I want to be a yoga teacher, like try like not try because you can’t you do or do not. Right. You can’t try to be pregnant. You either are or you’re right. I mean, you can try in the action itself. Sorry. Like, that’s not what I mean to say. But like, either you are or you aren’t. And that’s the reality of it, right? Either you do it, you go for it, or you don’t, right. So if there’s any inkling of doing it, I say try it out, go for it, explore it, see if it is and then choose. It’s like It’s like talking about running a marathon and thinking about an over analyzing and look You know, the time you spent thinking and analyzing and talking about it, you could have spent actually trying to run or going for runs, or doing a half marathon and then choosing, okay. Is that what I want to do next? It’s like when people are like, Oh, I’m too inflexible for yoga, Have you never been to yoga class, so you don’t know, you don’t know. So the role of being a yoga teacher, for me was also unique for how I got in the door. I worked at Lululemon for a year, so I had these connections that were already starting to come to fruition, when I left the company, so I already was connected into studios, I already knew people who are in this in the field, which is a different African than what some people have, some people have no connections to different studios, other than being a student there. So interesting, there are plenty people out there in the world that need yoga, that that would benefit from it. So there’s not a lack of, of resources, and there’s not a lack of people looking for it or don’t know where to look or, or are unclear about the value that they could get from it, they have some story about what yoga is.

Fei Wu 26:14
I think some of the benefits is being the teacher the flexibility, yeah, the the, you know,

Lee Skunes 26:20
the freedom of schedule, the the flexible schedule, like the the things you can the like, just like the other benefit, I’d say it’s just like, it’s a career we are ongoing to go to grow and develop in. And that’s a privilege like to like, at some jobs, just don’t write some just, you’re there and you’re there. Yet, right. And the other privilege is just like the can to gift. Like, some people can see it as a job that you just go and you do and you were black stretchy pants, and you say a few words, and you throw a few fingers out there. But like, for me, it’s really been a privilege, it’s a privilege to give back to the people and, and I remember one of the teachers here, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but said that being like teacher comes from the word like rabbi, or like. So like, the responsibility is as us as teachers to know what we’re talking about. And the responsibility of us to know what we’re giving men because people put their bodies in our hands in a way. And there’s a trust that’s built. And so having that foundation of trust as a teacher to take responsibility for that is his, it’s also part of of being a yoga teacher to at the end of the day, like I love that, okay, and I never thought that at 25. This is what I’d be doing. Like the career was like, finish your BFA go to New York, try to make it as a starving worker, hopefully get something hopefully somebody wants you for your height, and then run with it. I never thought I wouldn’t be doing this. How tall are you? Six, nine. So you know it. If any listeners out there are have any interests, like give yourself the space to explore. And then go from there. Like don’t let circumstances get in the way. Don’t let finances get in the way. Don’t let the outside world have an impact on something that you’re passionate about. That’s what I do for a living to live my passions.

Fei Wu 28:41
your passions. goes above and beyond just to yoga. Yeah. And there’s dancing and singing. Am I leaving? And

Lee Skunes 28:50
yeah, so musical theater. Now going towards a personal training degree as well. So passion is also I love writing. So write like many vignette stories. If you’ve never, how I like to think of my writing is as if you had a moment in time. And then you stopped the time and you had a magnifying glass looking at the whole moment. I think that’s what I love about being an artist and performing is that it’s so in the moment, as much as we want to recreate that exact moment. You can’t

Fei Wu 29:24
just take in the picture and yeah, it’s gone.

Lee Skunes 29:26
Yeah, that moment is gone. Yeah. And there’s there’s that tragedy there’s that we don’t we’re not in a president enough to know that we’re in the present. You know, we’re already on to the next thing and the next thing so like my passions are dancing, it’s singing, it’s theater, it’s writing, it’s reading. It’s it’s personal training lately recently. Leadership work is something I’m really passionate about to what is that? So I’ve done about two and a half years of Leadership and Development work with a global company, that its only purpose on the planet is to empower people and what matters to them, whatever, whatever that may be. Right? So. And so I find that with any I had a conversation with another teacher about this, like if you’re looking to be somebody in the yoga field or and just in general, right, like trying some sort of like leadership or coaching experience or, you know, self development to go along with whatever your passion even if it’s not anywhere near that if it’s like being a scientist, right? Or like being a dad, like or being a stay at home mom or being a working mom, or wanting to invent like the next cure for cancer, right? self development is such a beautiful complement to any or any or every field of life that I recommend anybody does it, how have you find that to write one has many rooms, when it comes to leadership and development work. And the self I find to be highly valuable? Whether it’s Tony Robbins, or its landmark worldwide, or if it’s, you know, Lifespring or if it’s even yoga, like for as many people as self development. So that is also a big passion of mine is having people just be lit up about what they want to do.

Fei Wu 31:20
And Tony Robbins, you know, it’s people like to debate over that I’m a fan. Yeah. And I didn’t want to be a fan for the first time just because, but now I think about how tall who’s taller you are Tony Robbins.

Lee Skunes 31:32
I don’t know how tall he is. I’ve never I see, I don’t know enough about his programs to talk about him too. So like, I don’t know exactly what goes on and many of the programs, right, I just know, from my own experience what I’ve gotten from mine, and everybody’s gonna have their own experiences. And it’s so funny when I was a kid, even a couple of years ago used to be so righteous about like, No, you’re gonna do this, because this is where it’s gonna work. And this is the best way it’s gonna happen. But I’ve come to just kind of be a lot more lacs about it be like, Okay, does it work for you?

Fei Wu 32:04
I came to that realization last year when I was 30. So you were five years ahead of me good for you. I consider myself to be extremely advanced, but like some more somewhat advanced and, you know, like people and, and I always had, I guess one of this almost a struggle I had is I always felt older than I actually was. Especially when I was 18. All my friends are 2830. But no, nobody cares is like your friends are 45th Nobody

Lee Skunes 32:35
cares. conversation with another teacher literally, when I when I was getting body worked on right before this, it was like

just you’re 31 years old. I’m 25. And there’s, it’s okay to be where we’re at, like, where we’re at is not bad. Like,

I’m not saying this is the case for you at all. But for for me, it’s like, a lot of what can drive me as like, this isn’t it just isn’t it isn’t next thing isn’t. Next thing that’s gonna be that’s gonna be it. And then once you’re there, you’re like, it’s the next thing is that’s it, you know that there can be a pressure. And you can kind of hear it in the culture. And in the conversations about knowing more and being better and being the best and being on top and having it all have other being enlightened or being successful, that get pushed way out to the extreme. And then we don’t actually appreciate, like, the tremendous lives that we have. I mean, how great is it that our biggest problem right now, like, for us right now is having this conversation. Like that’s the biggest thing we have to deal with right now. It’s not like getting a byline. It’s not trying to find food, right? It’s not trying to find a house or, you know, knowing where your next paycheck is coming from. It’s like the thing that we quote unquote, have to deal with right now or be a part of this, this conversation. Like it’s extraordinary, like, even 100 years ago, being 25 and 31. But something completely different 200 years ago,

Fei Wu 34:30
you should be glad to honor yours again. Should be glad that you’re still living. Yeah.

Lee Skunes 34:34
Yeah. And so it’s just a kind of, like, take that moment to be like, You think your life is really hard and you’re dealing with these struggles, but it’s like taking that moment to just appreciate and put into perspective, like how amazing our lives really are. And like it’s doing Your laundry at the right time is the biggest problem you have. One of my friends goes, she’s like, if that’s your problem, you’re gonna get a bigger problem. You’re gonna need it, you’re gonna need a bigger problem because life is gonna have problems. Yeah, yeah. Welcome to Life. Life. So what can be

Fei Wu 35:17
difficult? Yeah, yeah. And I think the reason why I think I immediately saw a connection. Granted, we never had dinner together, we never sat down like this ever. We didn’t grab coffee. You know, I was in the class of many classes of yours. And I’m just done. I’m very interested in how other people respond to, in this case, how you teach how the things you say this things you don’t have to say. And that’s why I think one day I surprise you by saying that I find your energy to be irresistible. Which means, you know, if you believe in what you’re doing is the right thing. You feel good about what you’re doing, you don’t need, you’re not someone who need approval to do what you do, and people will latch on to it. And a week ago, I was interviewing this musician, Ralph Pearson, Jr. for my podcast. And he was very open about he’s like, I’m a musician’s musician, which means I don’t work for the record company, I’m not going to write music that’s going to please a crowd for a certain period of time or certain age, because what if they change their mind, you got to change your music, and change who you are. And I thought it was really deep. And, and that’s a feeling I got from your class is, I look around, you know, you know, how to goes ages 18 to 80, or 70. Here, and, and everybody was in sync, and I think we, we divide in those world. You know, I think United States is like, the country that does this, the least is to categorize people by age or by race, because we’re all this hodgepodge where you know, and yet still, sometimes we talk about people that way that you’re young, I’m old, you’re an artist, and I’m not. And you create a class where we’re all in this together. We’re a team, we are one. So I think that is really powerful. And I guess my, my follow up question I was wanting to ask you is, Have you always been this way? And have you always been supported this way by your family and? And friends? Was this something that you created out of your experience kind of over index the other way? You know, I often think

Lee Skunes 37:44
about, oh, yeah, I can be pretty righteous. Here, cubs? Yeah, it’s I it’s, it’s all going back to doing the work and I’m nowhere near you know, I’m never going, I’m perfect as I am. And I’m never going to be perfect. And I’m always going to strive just innately into being a better person. That started probably about two and a half, three years ago, like prior to that, I would have asked you a question so that I could talk so that you had asked me about it. And if you didn’t, I would say it anyways. You know, probably three or four years ago, just in being like a, you know, just being a young 20 year old, like 1920, like, thought the world was all about me, I definitely still have those times where I want it to be about me, or I think it’s all about me, or that it should be all about me, right? And it hasn’t always come like that. And there are still times in my life where it I still go back to that where I want it to be about me or I still look for approval, and that just like that, that doesn’t go away. I’m getting better at being aware of it. But it still happens definitely. Like, I still want people to like my classes, like, I still want people to like me, and that’s that’s, I’m not saying it’s ever gonna go anywhere. I can just start to be an adult about when that happens not to be like, Okay, do I really need their approval or do to what’s the thing that’s behind it? And it’s not I was pretty not saying it’s going to be pretty but definitely wasn’t always like this. And I think to go back to you’re talking about before to in the classes that I find that there is a dance as a dance of offering what I have to offer as a teacher, and also listening to what’s in the room. It makes no sense for me to teach let’s say that everybody’s lying on a bolster in a class like a bolster for those of you don’t know in yoga, it’s like a half body pillow that you can use along your spine are different ways to support the body. If I Thinking about teaching an upward energy class where everybody’s lying down in their back, it would be a complete disservice, unless I found a way to gently bring them back up. And even in that process, if I’m seeing resistance and fighting the room, there’s a certain responsibility as a teacher to listen to what’s going on up there with my students. So to say to not listen to whatever’s going on out there, I think is a little too far. But I think that there is a listening to be like, What? What can I offer that’s going to benefit them that I know will and then what’s going what’s needed what’s required that’s in front of me. That that didn’t come right away that came with a self development of a leadership work and the practicing of teaching and listening from other teachers who, who are at where I want to be, or just being in the space of, of all of, of yoga and self development and the world of being an artist says that it’s, it’s a responsibility of us to also offer what’s what’s needed out there.

Fei Wu 41:00
So that concludes part one of my conversation with Lee. In part two, we started off talking about the workshops, Lee conducted add Coolidge corner yoga, I have been to two yoga workshops focusing on the third and the fifth chakra. If you’re new to this concept, chakra represents each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven and number. Li loves creating a forum that fosters healthy dialogues evoking reactions to help people reflect upon the assumptions and the choices they make. It is fascinating when people start to confront their true feelings, the feedback coming out of the exercise can be very powerful. So make sure you tune in and I’ll see you very soon.

Listen to more episodes of the face world podcast, please subscribe on iTunes where visit face world.com that is f e i s wo rld where you can find show notes links, other tools and resources. You can also follow me on Twitter at face world. Until next time, thanks for listening

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Part 2

Intro 0:00
Welcome to the Feisworld podcast, engaging conversations that crossed the boundaries between business, art, and the digital world.

Fei Wu 0:18
Hi, everyone, welcome back to the face world podcast. I am your host Fei Wu. This is part two of my conversation with the lovely Lea skewness I highly encourage you to listen to part one as well, where we discuss practical philosophy, love and relationships, and what it’s like to be a full time yoga teacher and much, much more. In this episode, Lee talks about his fascinating yoga workshops at one of my favorite yoga studios, Coolidge corner yoga in Brookline, Massachusetts, focusing on a topic chakra, which represents energy and spiritual power in the human body. Furthermore, we discuss if openness and curiosities are something people are born with, and things that are chosen for them. Lee shares his stories of revealing his sexuality to his sister and parents. A sweet story that involves a post it note. Without further ado, I hope to indulge you my listeners today with a brief recording of Lee’s singing. You can find all three full recordings at the end of this podcast. Lee is a fearless artist who didn’t reject the idea of having me do this in an empty room. Nothing representative of a professional recording studio. I love being his audience. If you enjoy this podcast, please help me write a review on iTunes and hope you check out the other episodes as well, where I interview unsung heroes from all walks of life. All the tools and resources will be available on the website as well. Phase world.com Thank you so much for stopping by. And being part of this incredible journey.

Lee Skunes 2:10
It’s not a pillow that excites me that threw me. Oh no. It’s just the nearness. You It isn’t your sweet conversation that brings this sensation. No, no. It’s just the newness of you.

Fei Wu 2:53
In addition to my monthly membership, I sign up for your chakra workshop about a month ago. So I’m getting old.

Lee Skunes 3:00
Okay, four months ago, a couple of months ago,

Fei Wu 3:02
okay. First time I got it right. It was really amazing. I wonder, you know, as a student of yours of yoga, that was something that I was interested in, even though I didn’t even share it with you. And the class was pretty, the workshop was really packed. And we all enjoyed it. So I love to welcome you to do it again. But maybe you can give my audience an idea of what you did.

Lee Skunes 3:27
Yeah, so I’m actually doing one in January, I’m doing the third chakra I just did one on the fifth chakra, which for those of you don’t know, the chakra is it’s a, it’s a system of the body that for most is seen as there are seven different centers of your body. And in that, there, each chakra tends to have things that are related to each of the chakras. And so the fifth chakra has to do with communication, and how you give and how you receive it. And it’s usually it’s this, it’s the chakra between your heart and your mind. So it’s the bridge between the two. How do you speak your mind? And how do you speak your heart? And how do you find the dance between the two and how how to communicate that in the jaw has residual effects of what gets lodged in there. Whether that be energetically or in the muscles they all intertwine. It’s not like you can pull one apart or where that starts to send things and other parts of your body. And a great way to think about it too is that one starts at the bottom and seven is at the top. If one is large, like the base one is large at first is large then you’re guaranteed to have the rest of them locked up. And if the second one is out, it’s guaranteed so it’s like an up from a bottom up perspective. And so So we run that workshop where we looked at the fifth chakra, which is communication, and then yoga poses that can help to unlock it. And a couple of writing from like self development experience exercises that can let you get that the stuff that you’re unwilling to communicate outside of you in ways where you don’t have to verbally use it, because sometimes talking only gets you so far. And talking is great. I’m not saying don’t talk, but talking can talking as a big, great way to deal with things. And sometimes we’ve got to sneak out at different ways, whether that’s body work, are painting and drawing or as you know, as an artist, like finding other avenues beyond verbal to express. What’s like stuck, or what’s, what’s kind of causing that?

Fei Wu 5:51
And some of the questions you asked, this was an exercise we did before the workshop started. And I thought it was really powerful. And, you know, I’m not stealing your workshop material. But some of the questions I remembered is like, what are some of the words that you always associate, you know, associate yourself with? That could be very unfair? And do you still remember any of that? Yeah,

Lee Skunes 6:15
it’s like, the question I asked was like, what are the things that that you say to yourself that you would never speak on? Like the five worst things you say about yourself that you would never ever say about somebody else? And then what are the five, five or 10? Things are the five things that you have thought about saying to other people and have never said, and this is it’s this question came from one of the courses that I was in, we’re still in actually, and, and it’s fascinating what happens when people start to when people start to construct it, people actually start to take an honest look. And there are many times where I absolutely don’t want to where I pretend like things were fine in the map to like, deal with what’s actually underneath it. And sometimes it’s not pretty, it’s not comfortable, and it’s not normal or safe. But it’s the conversations that get to arise out of that are some of the richest conversations you can have, like one of the one of the ones that I call my mom, like three weeks ago, and she was seeing somebody before who, you know, had some alcohol issues. And something I never would have said to my mom, before I said, Mom, it seems a good five people to fix. And you take care of them, and you nurture them. And I’m wondering where that comes from? And why do I see that like with the rest of us in the family? And it’s like followed, I think that you’re, you’re better than that. And I never would have said that to before. But I love you enough to say that too. And that just spurred this whole hour conversation about the things that we don’t say to each other that I made up at age seven that I can’t make my mom upset, you can’t make her cry. You don’t want to do anything to upset your mom, because she’s just gonna cry. And then we’re like, no, she’s an adult, she’s 37 years old, she can handle what you have to say.

Fei Wu 8:24
Interesting. So it turns out she was okay. She was

Lee Skunes 8:26
great about it. But it’s like you we hold people like the babies, like they can’t handle what we’re about to say like that. We need to protect them from something and in doing so you actually hurt them.

Fei Wu 8:40
Yeah, this is really interesting. Because why am I doing everything five years after you did.

Lee Skunes 8:47
You’re doing it when you do it. Exactly. going

Fei Wu 8:49
at your own pace. And I had the exact same feelings for my mom as well, because we’re very close. We were so close is that perfect circle, the perfect relationship you can’t possibly damage you ruin it. And I waited 2930 years until I opened up to my mom about the fact that she sent me away to focus on her career sent me away for about four years between the ages six to 10. That really hurt me. And I started to realize that that experience shaped me into who I am today and still influenced me in terms of the decisions I make or how I make them. Right. And she was very shocked. I don’t think she she was able to talk to me for a couple of days. And then she started unlike your mom, she couldn’t really handle that. Yeah, and she couldn’t talk to me for quite some time she finally open up let’s just say it took some time and she apologized to me for the first time in my life. And she kept apologizing my mom, it’s actually okay now so it’s interesting I think what I reminds me of one thing I find it very intriguing about you is, you are not just a unicorns making everybody so happy, everything is like going to be great. You actually evoke reactions, and some reactions or happiness, calmness. Some of them are tough, like, make you think about your question some of the things you do, but then the outcome is you’re very glad that you did that. And I think to your point, like being the teacher, you’re responsible for not only creating the environment, but also foster very healthy conversations. Sometimes an internal dialogue that happens. That’s, that’s so fascinating. So is it the case that your parents will be supported you to do the answer to be a singer?

Lee Skunes 10:49
No. Mom more than dad, I think Dad would still love me to be a doctor. He appreciates what I do. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate everything that I do at all. Um, I came up to my mom, when I was 14, came up to my sister and I was 10 and came up to my dad when I was 18. And the journey of my dad and I getting closer, it’s still happening. But the beginning of was not pretty. Not at all, like my dad, and I didn’t talk for a while and very hit or miss not being on the same page. My mom was, my mom was a singer as well. So she’s played, she played think two or three instruments growing up, she ended up going to college with the head of the voice department at the Boston Conservatory. So when I got my acceptance letter, she knew who she was. So like, she my mom has always been an artist. And my dad’s an artist too, just in a different way. Like he didn’t, he’ll tell you himself, he didn’t really do the best in college. It’s not how his brain works. He’s an artist’s of being on people. And he’s a master at like, relating to people and being with people. He works with custodians for a living like so he treats them like kings. So he knows how to be with people from whether you’re the CEO of a company, or whether you’re the one who is mopping up the floors, and everybody’s gone. So my dad is supportive of who I am the most menial conditionally wasn’t the case, always. But he knows how happy it makes me and I think just having a son be happy is what he’s most concerned about. Whatever that is, there’s a point where almost half the conservator is like, you know, datum, I’m done with theater. This isn’t for me. It’s funny, because it’s like, I want to run a personal training and exercise science. I’m really fascinated by that. And he got on the phone, he said, Look, you finish your degree, you do what you gotta do to finish it. And if you need to do something after then you do it. Finish your degree. And I never asked him why that came about. He’s still alive ever since I’ve never asked him like, haven’t asked him why, why that? Like, why are you so committed to me finishing my degree? My sister has always been not always she has been, she never would have had to two and a half years solid. Lo Behold, we’re on the same page into some different ways of expressing it. I couldn’t hear it. what she was saying, Man, it was just brother and sister. It’s just part of the siblings growing up. But she had become really close and then supportive of her. And really, she’s supportive of me. And they actually both going to come up for the musical. But yeah, it’s there. They’re there now.

Fei Wu 13:26
Yeah. How long are you might not even remember this, because sometimes I have trouble recalling the duration of something at this point. And sometimes I feel like people that are if, you know, we’re from the same generation, even though you know, six years for our age is still pretty big gap. But I want people to know, I want people to openly talk about this, that sometimes. friction between people, especially the people that you love and care about the most, with the knots that you create, that takes time to resolve

Lee Skunes 13:59
takes time, and having not isn’t a bad thing. Yeah, I think we get so quick to like, Oh, you have a different opinion than I do. Like I have to do whatever I can to be on the same page and agree or see your point of view. And sometimes you just got to you ain’t gonna do it. And I mean, different people were different and you’re gonna work different ways, and that’s totally fine. Like the world is not going to crumble. If you don’t get along with somebody or a family member. Life will still move on and you’ll still be able to do what you love to do, even if a family member or friend doesn’t agree with it. One of my best friends like we’ve had disagreements about relationships and sexuality and isn’t like what is monogamy like what defines monogamy like all these different avenues and we’ve had different points of view and just being okay with it. It’s a healthy discourse. It’s a healthy thing to have to have people in your life for a little bit of devil’s advocate The Earth just had this experience a couple of hours ago, like just having somebody press up against what’s actually coming out of your mouth. That’s good, that’s actually a really good thing. The world wouldn’t work the way it worked if we didn’t have people who didn’t have the same point of view as us.

Fei Wu 15:20
Interesting, like, pretty boring.

Lee Skunes 15:24
But it would be pretty boring. And I agree, that sounds great. It’s what I’m saying no. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s sucky part of our friends, it’s shitty, that, you know, it leads to certain outcomes like war and, and, you know, protests and, and circumstances that we’re currently in right now to with Ferguson, and the Eric Garner case, and all of that, like these unhealthy outcomes of discourses of different points of view. That in those circumstances, if we could be on the same page about we’ll make a world of a difference. But then, in other avenues of life, it’s nice to have that healthy. It’s not even like, either or, it’s like a one house has many rooms in this house, and you can all fit in this house. It’s not like you’re outside of what’s happening in the world. It’s not like you, and then there’s a world like you’re in it. And to have all those different flavors of how to look at the world is great. There are many parts of the world, I have no clue about. Like I went to high school and didn’t take chemistry. I took two years of human biology, and that was my chemistry experience. I like some things I like chemicals bond together, and all of that stuff like that is like not in my league. And yet I have friends who are scientists, and it’s what they do for a living. Or like the world of business, like I know some business, but like some people are masters of the world of business, and their brain just works that way they’ve trained it to work that way or, or some would say that they’re hardwired. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with that. But it’s like some people are really that’s what that’s how they work. And so it’s like, wow, I would never think of looking at that situation. That way. If it were just me, and we all agreed that way.

Fei Wu 17:23
Do you think that some people are just born open minded and welcoming? Or do you think is so much of as to do with our brain?

Lee Skunes 17:36
I don’t have like a solid answer on that. How I’ve seen it in different ways and write about it in different ways. Is like nature, made the gun and then nurture pulled the trigger. So like, there’s a whole world of like, I think it’s called epigenetics, which is like your family’s history is in your genes, right? And then there’s this whole world of like, gray matter. And like that, who you are, is very malleable and shiftable. So I can’t say which way it is for me. But like, I know, for sure I didn’t choose to be gay. Like I didn’t just like choose one day to be gay. Like, that’s just how I am. Right. But there, there are certain things that one could say are malleable, like character, and trust and compassion and forgiveness that they have chemical. I think some of them do have chemical, like responses that happen when you have those experiences. But there’s so much about that that still malleable that it can’t just be like this is the one way yeah, you know, all I know is I’m really thankful that there are people who are up to look for that. So that people can have some exposure to to different ways of looking at it.

Fei Wu 19:08
Yeah, I think it’s both and when you think about, especially nature versus nurture, there’s so many elements of brain sounds like this one thing, but it’s really various experiences and pieces, the twists and turns that, you know, that kind of shape us into who we are today. And you know, you brought up sexuality and I’m really interested in you know, the sounds. It sounds funny, but I feel like so many people need to be educated on this subject. And I think you need to be open minded to listen to someone to tell you their true stories. And I think a lot of people either people who respect or object, especially people who object is A lot of that has to do with insecurity. And I think that really comes across and like more than just your game not, or I think people understand so many things in life. And all they want to do is they want to just close a door, they want to shut it down. So they’d never find out why. But I’m always I’m interested in, in sort of learning more about that. And, you know, I, today on my way to work, and I was thinking like, oh, man, when I start covering this topic, I might get a little emotional, is I thought about, you know, nobody, in my opinion, non doctor, but nobody chooses to be gay, we’re not. And I thought about my own personal struggle, and 31 years, in relationships and all that the words of her head was someone my family or my friends didn’t necessarily approve. You know, that was a big struggle. But, you know, what was it like growing up for you?

Lee Skunes 21:07
I didn’t really have it hard. Like, good. I came up to my mom and I was 14 on an orange posted know that I was gay. She asked if I like this girl named Brittany cabin Hoff. I said, Nope. And then I just ended up continuing being gay. My, my dad had more of a struggle with it. He’s had some experiences that have shaped how he views what it means to be gay, and what kind of implications that could have. I didn’t really have I went to the conservatory to where like, I would say, 75 to 80% of my class in musical theater was gay. So it’s like, you’re gay. So what? Like, what else about you? That shaped? Like, how I view people? Yeah. And so like, it’s a great like, there’s a culture to being gay, that just goes with being gay. And there’s a culture to being straight. That goes with being straight, right, and not saying one’s better or worse, or that you’re not gonna hear other sides of it. But for me, it wasn’t a big wasn’t a big like, issue in high school or college. I got beat up once in junior high, and that was it. So it definitely has an impact on how they view the world. But it doesn’t necessarily be the defining thing of me.

Fei Wu 22:33
Did you grow up in Massachusetts?

Lee Skunes 22:36
I grew up in Minnesota right outside of Fargo, North Dakota. So I grew up like in the Midwest. My friends didn’t carry that. Link. There wasn’t like really the big topic of conversation I really didn’t date in high school. Just focused on my like my studies and my friends. Just enjoyed it. So

Fei Wu 22:58
I really hope every story. I wish every story was like this.

Lee Skunes 23:02
It’s not Yeah, that’s not. And

Fei Wu 23:05
I’ve always felt comfortable around, not just sexuality. I’ve always felt comfortable with people of different sexualities different per, you know, personality, well, it’s tough to but ethnicities. And I choose to be surrounded by people who come from such different backgrounds, I just find life to be so much richer and interesting. As a result of that.

Lee Skunes 23:34
It is it’s, there’s a good quote, I’m totally gonna butcher right now. But it’s like, go talk to somebody who is blue collar or white collar, go talk to somebody who lives in a totally different social class, go talk to somebody that lives in a completely different country. Go talk to somebody who is 10 years old, go talk to somebody who’s 80 Just talk to strangers. Yeah. It’s really learn a lot about you and how you not only like to manage conversations, like to try to control them and see where they go. But also a great way to just look at the world through a different lens.

Fei Wu 24:15
And there’s so many hidden gems are so fascinating. And you think so, so many of us make assumptions about people, scenarios. And for instance, the sounds really funny is like, when I was in San Diego, traveling there for work, and I happen I was doing my mom when it was art show and a couple of guys that actually the son, a son and a father and we started talking and I started bragging about me being a skateboarder between the age of a nine and 13. And I just kept going on and describing the tricks and then I found that the guy was actually Pro Skater. I feel really embarrassed. So just me being 2223 at the time and I And more recently, I came across this gentleman at work. And this guy was not particularly like super build muscular and he mo Hogans. Very friendly carried like a little Hello Kitty lunchbox he’s daughter made for him. Yeah. And I was joking. I thought he’s like, he’s probably a pushover. He’s a nice guy. And I found out that he was, he will think he was a Navy SEAL. He was a trained military, he was actually a sniper. And you just don’t know. So people stop making assumptions about what you think, you know, like, be open minded, and be fascinated by what the world has to offer

Lee Skunes 25:39
to you. You have no clue. Yeah. We think we’ve been ourselves. Like, we think we know here. Yeah. Like you have no, you have no idea what the other person’s been through, and you have no idea who you are, or could become like, we walk around like no one else thinking we know everything about ourselves, other people, myself included, you know, I’m not outside of that at all. But the privilege is not knowing. Like, life is a lot more fun when you don’t know. Like, there’s so much more to dive into, like the course that I’m taking right now is all about being in the unknown and being okay with the unknown and exploring the unknown, not to get somewhere. But for the sake of exploring for the sake of just being in the unknown.

Fei Wu 26:34
And it’s one of the things I love the all the instructors, I just love the studio. It’s a great studio. Yeah, all you guys are our friends. And there’s like, trust each other. You’re like brothers and sisters. I remember one of the things that Rachel said during class was, if you feel unbalanced today, if you can’t live yourself up today, what if you’re okay with that? What if this is all the strength you have today? Can you be okay with that. And I thought it was really powerful. Because that day in particular, I was probably losing my balance. And I had a long day, I did not have the flexibility. But I made an effort to be here and to connect with myself versus staying late at work and, and making that decision instead. And I thought it was so you know, basically the opposite energy of what we talked about at the beginning of the podcast is we always have to be better each day, each minute of every day. But instead to saying what if I’m okay, what if I can be respectful of myself? Is that okay? Yeah, maybe I can be a better person, as a result of

Lee Skunes 27:41
acceptance and forgiveness are two superpowers. They say they’re just superpowers like acceptance of not saying you agree with it, or even like it, but just like acceptance, like accepting something exactly as it is in this moment. And then forgiveness not only for others, but for self like forgiving yourself for whether you the the actions that you took, or the thoughts that you had, or what you said to somebody might not have come across exactly how you wanted it to. But those two worlds of like acceptance and forgiveness, like a radical. They’re pretty amazing places to to live in.

Fei Wu 28:31
And I think the theme of who you are, as you were describing was appreciation. I think those two superpowers, I think really Foster’s work conditions appreciation, as

Lee Skunes 28:43
it does. Yeah, I think the acceptance, really, it allows you to come from a baseline of where you’re half, like there’s something missing. And there’s something that needs to be added to that level of appreciation and forgiveness is forgiveness is a little bit more about I don’t I don’t know for appreciation comes from forgiveness. But I would say that’s something that arises out of forgiveness is is connection by forgiving yourself and others for what has done or hasn’t been done or what you said or what they said, allows for something else to show up like something else to be created a connection or a partnership of some sort to come out of that not

Fei Wu 29:31
create space around yourself to think in this day and age. We are so conditioned to be so tightly, you know bounded and you can’t react when that’s the case. You know, I I’ve wanted to I think this room is perfect. I would love to get some of your singing, you know? Yeah Oh yeah, I’m a huge fan of what you do at the end of the class. And the only other time I heard that song was when I was a believer now when I was going through certification training years ago like 10 years ago with a couple of Indian teachers that was the only time and you brought it back and then we’ll watch on YouTube and I realize you sang you know professionally at all these and it wasn’t even the best recording ever but I could just hear I could as an artist I have appreciation and sensory to really know that’s what that’s like Yeah, yeah, so I’m gonna record you can start and whatever you want and so I’m just gonna be a your audience and

Lee Skunes 30:47
a few I have five or six so

Fei Wu 30:52
when you release an album

Lee Skunes 30:57
Yeah, I’ll pick a few so the sun is on Namo and Satnam Carson is a really good version of it so I’ll do my best

oh this is Hello Oh day to day mood day today oh oh

the first one I’ll do one more first time I heard the song it’s awkward in which for what I know just means like all knowing guru like whenever it form this name guru wise higher power whatever that name may be and I heard him off saying it but it’s just a click there’s something so simple and pure about it so I’m gonna do that one day

in juga and see and see me and Judah is hey

Fei Wu 34:49
so beautiful i i feel like i’ve done yoga today this is so cool. i The there’s like one YouTube A video I saw last night it was I don’t remember the song Exactly. Is there something that you’ve been? There’s something like, either modern or

Lee Skunes 35:15
I’m a big jazz standard guy. Jazz. That’s from my voice fits. Sorry I love the newness of you that’s like my go to I can do that for you.

Fei Wu 35:30
Very special. Okay.

Lee Skunes 35:33
It’s not the pillow that excites me that through Zen three. Oh no. It’s just the nearness you it isn’t your sweet conversation that brings this sensation. No, no it’s just the newness of you things and feel so close to me. Oh my wife stream Austrians come to

pick up the words

I lead us live to and Chad me if you only grant me who to fill you ever so tight. And to feel the newness you

Fei Wu 37:17
You made me feel like I cannot stop podcasting and capture moments like this. Don’t stop. Yeah. It’s so special. And trust me, I indulge myself in my own podcast. Yeah, yeah. This is so cool. You know, sometimes I leave like I wish I asked that question. But it’s not that important. You know, it’s about this moment. And you’re so open. This is not a professional recording studio. And I think, you know, singers, artists who were very self more self conscious, just because how we were their condition. Like Oh, can’t do this until this is the very best setup. Everything’s perfect. I’m feeling the best that I can reveal myself. But I just find you know, I think you encouraged me to kind of find beauty in just a moment, this moment. To listen to more episodes of the face world podcast, please subscribe on iTunes where visit face world.com that is f e i s wo rld where you can find show notes, links or other tools and resources. You can also follow me on Twitter at face world. Until next time, thanks for listening to

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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