#6 Other Ways To Love | Humble The Poet

July 28, 2020

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Humble the Poet’s instinct for rhyme and rap helps him reveal to heal – and encourages others to live outside their comfort zone. Humble shares deep insights and interesting mementoes from a few psilocybin and ayahuasca trips, with an appreciation for the tough lessons that cleared an emotional blockage and ultimately let the love in. Today, Humble is ready to receive the rose – rather than tear it out. And his evolving view to honour love has shifted his focus towards helping the people he cares for to chase their own dreams too.

Humble’s journey embodies the ultimate in resilience and humility and is representative of a new generation of thinkers and makers. in this episode we discuss:

  • Humble’s last minute change of plans to move to LA due to COVID – and how it has made him re-evaluate how he interacts with family.
  • Recently, he had difficulty focusing on producing work – and how self-acceptance and honesty with his peers helped him cope.
  • How information has been weaponized and positive reinforcement is a better way. It’s important we expose ourselves to sources of ideas and people who think differently than you do – ‘our beliefs are not our identity’. It’s dangerous to think you have all the answers.
  • The origin story of Humble the Poet – and how his name has evolved to mean something different to him. Plus, managing a public persona can take it’s toll.
  • Humble acknowledges the challenges in his youth through directed racism – and how it needs to be revealed in order to be healed.
  • Humble details a few trips on magic mushrooms and ayahuasca. He has just as much appreciation for the fun trips as he does for the tougher trips that provided lessons to clear emotional blockage. Ultimately, a shift in his approach to love allowed him to let it in.
  • How saying ‘I’m sorry’ and saying ‘I’m wrong’ can be both be an act of compassion. Choosing to grow as a person is also choosing to love.


Humble: [00:00:00] He was setting the tone for what would be in my head once we took the Ayahuasca and he used the analogy of tearing roses up. You get so many beautiful roses in your life, and you’re cutting them by cutting them at the stem, you’re mutilating love. [00:00:14][13.9]

Ronan: [00:00:19] This is Field Tripping, a podcast dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I’m your host, Ronan Levy. [00:00:28][9.4]

Ronan: [00:00:30] It’s been said to achieve the impossible, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought. And there are a few people whose story embodies this truth more than Humble The Poet. Humble, whose given name is Kenwar Singh, lived the quintessential immigrant experience. Growing up in East Toronto to parents who gave up a life in India to give their children a better life in Canada. He initially took a more conservative approach to life, becoming a grade school teacher. But his knack for language, poetry and rhyme eventually encouraged him to take a leap and launch full time into being a rapper and spoken word artist. Through his trials and tribulations and ultimately to becoming a successful poet, author and writer, Humble’s journey embodies the ultimate in resilience and humility. His first book, Unlearn: A Hundred and One Simple Truths for a Better Life, has become an international bestseller and focuses on helping people better understand how their beliefs and ideas can help them live a fuller, more authentic life. [00:01:30][60.0]

Ronan: [00:01:37] Humble, It’s a real pleasure to have you on the podcast. [00:01:39][2.4]

Humble: [00:01:40] Thank you for having me. [00:01:41][0.6]

Ronan: [00:01:41] Thank you so much for joining us today on Field Tripping. I really appreciate your time. How are things with you going these days? [00:01:48][6.8]

Humble: [00:01:49] Things are fantastic. I’m here in Toronto three days before everything hit I was about to move to Los Angeles and then. [00:01:55][6.6]

Ronan: [00:01:56] Oh, wow. [00:01:56][0.2]

Humble: [00:01:56] I literally changed my flight the last minute. I was in Utah and I was going to fly out to Los Angeles to apartment hunt and then the apocalypse hit. And then I switched my flight, came back to Canada. And then I so I’ve been here since March. And then I just got out of my parents basement and found myself my own place. And now I’m here. Set up, then I’m good to go. [00:02:16][19.4]

Ronan: [00:02:16] Awesome man. Are you planning to stick around for a little bit longer now, or is L.A. still on your in your sights? [00:02:21][5.3]

Humble: [00:02:22] Everybody I work with in L.A. is kind of made it clear that Zoom is good enough probably for the next year, next 18 months. So I can I can get stuff done here while kind of meeting and chatting with people remotely like this. So I think I’ll be here. And I found a cool spot just working away every day. [00:02:38][16.1]

Ronan: [00:02:39] A guy went to high school with me, just moved to L.A. right before the pandemic hit. And hopefully this is not a cautionary tale, but it’s something that I’m still actually struggling with a little bit that wasn’t super close with them, but my age just moved to L.A. His name was Nick Cordero. I don’t know if you’ve been following the news, but he got COVID. [00:02:57][17.9]

Humble: [00:02:57] The Broadway actor. [00:02:58][0.6]

Ronan: [00:02:58] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I went to high school with him. I was tracking his career because, like, he was just the perfect example of success story, starting off from relatively humble beginnings, putting his passion into action and making it and showing amazing traction. And then covid, you know, knocked him down and unfortunately, he passed away. And something I’m still still struggling with to this day. Actually, for the last few nights, I’ve had nightmares actually about contracting COVID. And it’s crazy, even though it’s something that I had never kind of scared me before. All of a sudden, I’ve developed a lot of anxiety. More broadly, people have spoke about this whole pandemic as being the great pause. I’m wondering how you’ve been handling this time and if you’ve had any great insights or reflections or anything. [00:03:40][42.4]

Humble: [00:03:41] Yeah, I mean, from the middle of February to the middle of March, I was probably on about fifteen different flights. So when I moved my flight from L.A. to Toronto, I told my parents, I said, look, we know a separate entrance to the basement, leave it open. Live separately. Both my parents are seventy years old. I was a lot more worried about them than myself. So that first two weeks in complete isolation was a double edged sword. It was you know, I was still paranoid that I’d be giving some that I was much more worried about my parents than myself. [00:04:12][31.1]

Ronan: [00:04:13] Sure. [00:04:13][0.0]

Humble: [00:04:14] You know, getting messages from my sister saying, you know, Dad’s not feeling well, but he’s not telling anybody, you know, it could be anything. [00:04:19][5.2]

Ronan: [00:04:19] Terrifying. Yeah. [00:04:20][0.6]

Humble: [00:04:20] Yeah. And getting home, realizing that, you know, a lot of the reasons my father wasn’t feeling good because he was stressed out about me and, you know, he had a brother who took a vacation in India, didn’t take the warning signs seriously and got stuck in India when they closed the flight. So a lot of that in the early months, mostly in March, it was a really stressful time. And then the moment he actually told me he didn’t feel good. He’s a stubborn old man and that moment. He’s like, I don’t feel good. I was say, look, we’re going to the hospital. You’re getting tested now. And there was no resistance. I knew that he was he was authentically afraid and luckily came back negative. And then probably a month later, my mother complained about not feeling good. And by then we had a drive through testing area there immediately took them there. They got tested again, came back negative. So I think knowing that they were OK, but then also realizing that, as you know, the world was going to begin opening up again, I would be concerned about if I went out for a meeting or if I went out to do a shoot or something, what would I be bringing home? Because they’re in that vulnerable age range. So that’s when I got my own place, know, much to the chagrin. So I think from from that perspective, there’s a lot of worrying as an artist, you know the world pressing pause I think it was definitely a blessing in disguise. [00:05:34][73.7]

Ronan: [00:05:36] Sure. [00:05:36][0.0]

Humble: [00:05:36] I think for a lot of us, we were all going at one hundred and twenty thousand miles an hour, not even taking time to really think about the decisions we were making. And then this forced paused, really required us to reevaluate a lot of our priorities and what we consider normal and what we considered necessary in our lives. So I think for me it was great on a personal level in terms of getting work done because there were no more, you know, emails and meetings and things that needed to happen. And all I could focus on was craft and creating and bringing things to life and working on those things that I never thought I’d have time to work on. So I think from that perspective and I’ve spoken to quite a few artists who also found that, you know, I went through some challenging times around 10 years ago, which really the first time a monkey wrench was thrown into my life. And I think that really prepared me for this monkey wrench. And it made me very aware of other folks who hadn’t had those experiences. And this was the first time that they had to stay home for a month and realize that, oh, wow, my entire life was kind of designed around work. You know, I don’t plan on being in my house for more than three hours a day. And I think for me, it gave me an opportunity to be a more supportive in that context. The big thing was life threw us a curveball, and now we should all be mindful that we should be practicing our swing even when things are going according to plan. [00:06:59][82.8]

Ronan: [00:06:59] One thing I want to ask is I love the name Humble The Poet, it’s got such class and memorability. How did you come up with it? What’s the story behind that? I know a little bit about your story. You’ve been pretty open about that. [00:07:10][10.3]

Humble: [00:07:10] Yeah. So originally I started off this journey in music. I’m a rapper. That evolved in this stuff and just getting into the literary arts and writing in every way, shape or form. I used to go on a lot of hip hop forums and my screen name in all the hip hop forums was Humble, and that was a reference to my heritage of Sikh heritage. You know, the enemies of your peace are your ego, attachment, anger, lust, then your greed, ego being the biggest. The idea is kind of like your ego is the size of an elephant and liberation is the size of a mustard seed. Always trying to be cognizant of my ego being at that point believing my ego is my greatest enemy. I just used the word humble and that was just a screen name. And then I used to involve myself in rap battles. And then during the rap battles and rap battles, you go to talk as much shit as possible and just attack your opponent. I think I had a line where I said, you know, there’s a hierarchy in hip hop where you have the rapper, somebody who just like rhymes, words, then you have the emcee, somebody who uses rhymes to communicate ideas. OK, so I kind of just said, you know, I’m better than a rapper better than an emcee, I’m a poet. [00:08:10][60.1]

Ronan: [00:08:11] That’s awesome. [00:08:11][0.3]

Humble: [00:08:11] It was a big tournament where I was competing against probably 10 people and I won. And then to rub it in at the time, I changed my name to Humble the Poet. So it was never birthed out of being a humble person. It was it was quite the opposite. And then the first time I was ever in a basement studio recording again, some of these mantras with a room full of guys. And they heard me for the first time, but like, you need a rap name. And then I was like, I was thinking Humble, the Poet, they were like that’s a stupid name. And I was like, all right, cool. I’m going to make it my name now just because you assholes think it’s stupid just out of spite So after that, it was like, oh, you know, you actually are very humble. I’m just like, well, think about how humble can it be to call yourself humble? Back then, you know, you’re not thinking that this is going to become your life. Yeah. And I was a schoolteacher. This was this is a way to hide my identity. And then the next thing I know took off and then now I’m stuck with it. [00:09:03][51.4]

Ronan: [00:09:03] That’s awesome. On our last podcast episode that just dropped to us with Julien Christian Lutz, who’s professionally known as Director X, and one of the things that came up with him was how he’s trying to reclaim his name as Julien Christian Lutz instead of being known as Director X.. And it’s a theme that we’re starting to see come up quite a bit. You know, The Rock is back to to Dwayne Johnson. I’ve seen a lot of my friends, particularly people who came from immigrants or grew up in immigrant families, starting to reclaim their cultural names. So, you know, one of the things that really was interesting about it, and it’s kind of the theme that I want to drill down on here, is that very often personas, professional names can become identities or ways of hiding behind our identity. Right. It becomes a persona. It’s not who we are. And sometimes people start to blur the lines between their authentic self and their persona. Have you ever kind of encountered that in your own life? Have you ever worry that sometimes Humble the Poet is not who you really are and who you really are, is not Humble the Poet, and maybe even get categorized or cornered by that? [00:10:09][65.6]

Humble: [00:10:10] Short answer, yes, I’ve seen it in different ways. I mean, obviously, I think with the work I do and the things I write about by default it will always provide a limited view, you know, even as open as I try to be, and still providing a limited view, not to say that Humble the Poet specifically has a different persona than who I am. You know what my mother named me. I think a good example is LeBron James. When you think of LeBron James, you think of greatness. But is LeBron James a great cook with LeBron James, a great dancer? Is LeBron James a great friend? A great driver? We don’t know. But as humans, kind of the way we’re programed is when you see greatness, you assume complete greatness. So I think when people see the work I do, that doesn’t involve me swimming or dancing or cooking or being a boyfriend or watching a movie or picking on my friends or anything, you know, from that standpoint it can create something. But I think and I’ve caught myself when I speak to my friends saying stuff like if I’m trying to give them advice, I’m trying to like give them some insight. I’ve looked sorry to to be Humble the Poet about this, but and I’ll say that but there is a there isn’t a different persona. I’m probably a little rough around the edges than opportunities present themselves. I don’t have those opportunities on podcast interviews or writing a book to be completely super rough with that. But I’m definitely aware of even the idea of being a Toronto boy and how that is perceived outside of Toronto. A lot of people aren’t-. [00:11:35][85.8]

Ronan: [00:11:36] Interesting. [00:11:36][0.0]

Humble: [00:11:36] Especially in the states are not very cognizant of the beautiful city that Toronto is in terms of multiculturalism, in terms of influences. You know, I grew up with West Indians. I grew up with Somalis. It’s a salad bowl is not even a melting pot. You know, everybody’s a child of an immigrant in some capacity. I did an Apple commercial a few years ago and the ad agency said in your poem, Celebrating Canada, we don’t want you to attack America. We don’t want you to be stereotypical, but we don’t want you talking about poutine and mountains. Yeah. And finally, we don’t want you to lean on multiculturalism because that’s played out in Toronto, has been proud of our multiculturalism for thirty years now. Stop bragging about it. Right. Interesting, but not realizing that a lot of other places don’t have that other yet. The city is so futuristic. But when I go to a different city called cultural appropriation. Yet so from that context, I can see a lot of how who I am can easily get misconstrued. And that’s just the cost of being a public figure. The more people that use, the more people have an opinion on who you are. But for the sake of my mental health and the sake of actually having a sustainable career, it became clear to me very early that I have to be myself. [00:12:41][64.9]

Ronan: [00:12:42] That’s a perfect segue to one of the thoughts I was having, which is like one of your most memorable quotes, at least to me, is we can’t get what we want until we know what we want and we can’t know what we want until we know who we are. And like that is so true and so powerful. The truth is, is very often that’s easier said than done on a lot of levels. How have you managed to connect to your true self, especially having grown up and the immigrant experience in Toronto? And I think in one of your poems, you said you had to soak in the hate growing up. Did you see, have you been able to sort of separate some of that experience, some of that trauma, or even heal that trauma to really become who you are right now or who you are becoming? [00:13:22][40.1]

Humble: [00:13:23] Yes and no. I think the simple rule is you have to reveal it to heal it. Right. And, you know, whether you’re seeing it aloud on a therapist couch, whether you’re saying it in a piece of art, writing it in a book or dreaming it by yourself in your room. And I think recognizing what normal is, you know, having a conversation with one of my childhood friends recently and I was just explaining some of the things we saw in high school and then being like, yo, that wasn’t normal. You know, that level of violence was a normal. The police encounters, all of it wasn’t normal, even though the idea of normal isn’t something that can be easily defined. And then realizing how that impacts my ability to walk down the street now or how that impacts my ability to have business relationships or romantic relationships, I think the moment you start to recognize that is the first step to kind of healing it. But I think there’s also certain situations where I’ve been able to identify chips on my back from my childhood dealing with the racism that I dealt with, dealing with some of the violence that I experienced or what have you, knowing full well that informs the decisions I make the day because I’m subconsciously trying to make up for those and not being able to just recognize it and shake it, you know? OK, well, you’re doing X, Y, Z because you were picked on as a kid. I didn’t stop me from doing X, Y, Z, and then part of me kind of like maybe that’s life as an adult. What’s the difference between me doing these then my destructive things and somebody who has a drink after work or somebody who needs the coffee to start their day, or somebody who needs a joint to get through the night. And I think, you know, as adults, we start to realize that a lot of modern life is kind of doing what you can to keep you lips above water. And none of us are exempt from that. And then I guess the goal is to find ways to do it. All of us can’t meditate and eat organic and take seven hour walks every day to make it all better. And I think that level of recognition and treating mental health with the same level of care that we should be treating our physical health. And you’ve probably noticed it too being a Canadian that the access to health care means we avoid it at every cost, even though we have it. And it’s kind of becoming the same thing with mental health as I feel like it should be a priority and we need to spend a little bit more time doing it. So I think from that standpoint, I’m recognizing it. We all have layers and I peel away a layer and I realize it and I share it knowing that other people in the world are dealing with it, too. And I use my years of experience of using simple language to describe heavy things, to add value to people in their lives. But as you said, it’s a life long journey. I don’t think it is to be complete until the credits roll. I think from that standpoint, definitely. But I think transparency, honesty, openness with my with other people have been successful. [00:16:03][159.6]

Ronan: [00:16:04] Yeah. [00:16:04][0.0]

Humble: [00:16:04] There’s been many times I’ve been afraid to share and tell people things and you say it and you cringe waiting for their reaction. And they’re kind of like, yes, I’ve been there too. Or or you know, or even on a superficial level, a lot of people view of vulnerability as a currency like, well, thank you for opening up to me. You know, we’re better friends, but my biggest vulnerabilities are going to be reserved for the professionals who can give me some sort of pragmatic tools to deal with them. I don’t want to share them for the sake of sharing them or to build stronger bonds with people. I just personally don’t see the value of that other than weighing somebody else down. And maybe that’s just because of me and who I am and the assumptions that people have. My inbox is full of people asking me to solve their life problems, not realizing that I don’t have the tools or the ability to make that happen. And I can feel their weight sometimes. [00:16:51][46.5]

Ronan: [00:16:55] Don’t waste this opportunity were the words that Irwin Perlman, who have worked with for years, said to me when I did a session with him in early April of this year, it was just as the uncertainty and chaos around the pandemic was hitting its peak. While such a statement may seem odd in such circumstances. He had a point. If there’s one thing that the pandemic has shown to those who are paying attention is that it’s given us an opportunity to face many of our underlying fears and demons by forcing them to the surface. In my case, it was around economic uncertainty and anxiety. For as long as I can remember, I felt like an imposter and that whatever success I may acheive in life was always potentially just sand slipping through my fingers. Here today, gone tomorrow, maybe never to return. And as the pandemic hit, that fear seemed like it was becoming a reality as I watched my savings disappear faster than I could even spend them. And it was totally outside of my control. And as it was happening, it literally felt like my soul was being sucked out of my body. I was waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, riddled with anxiety. But at Irwin’s direction, I stopped to reflect. Why did losing what I had built terrified me so much? If the expression Easy come, easy go had any truth, why did it feel like losing my savings was like losing my life and what the safety and security mean to me exactly? What dawned on me was that so much of these feelings and fears existed because so much of how I identify myself is directly tied to what I do. That, like most men and certainly many women, I valued myself based on my ability to perform, to provide. The pandemic has forced me and I’m really forced me to let that in, but the make of who I am is not defined by the size of my house, the car that I drive, or the number of zeros in my bank account. I get that these words might sound glib, or trite, or obvious, and had the pandemic not forced me to confront the truth of them, I might think the same. But if you can allow this to be true that you are not defined by your career or your car or your house, if you can allow that to be your truth, then that way lies grace and maybe even glory. [00:19:23][148.0]

Ronan: [00:19:27] Do you have personal experience using psychedelics, LSD, psilocybin, anything along those lines? [00:19:31][4.3]

Humble: [00:19:32] Psilocybin yes. Ayahuasca yes. [00:19:34][1.8]

Ronan: [00:19:34] OK. [00:19:34][0.0]

Humble: [00:19:35] No LSD, anything like that. [00:19:35][0.0]

Ronan: [00:19:38] My experience is fairly limited as well. Have you had any epic trips? This this podcast is called Field Tripping, Epic Trips in Psychedelics. And I really want to use this as a forum for people to be able to share their experiences, because I think there’s a lot in hearing. And I think you talk about a lot in some of your work about just sharing it. And people like, oh yeah, that totally lands with me. That totally resonates with me. I didn’t have that experience personally, but I get what you’re saying and it can shift people. So if there’s any particular experiences you’ve had while using psychedelics that you think were meaningful, that altered the course. [00:20:10][32.4]

Humble: [00:20:10] Yeah. Completely. I mean, I think definitely I think the first time I ever had psilocybin and it was in some chocolate and I was in Amsterdam and it was a beautiful experience. And my assumption was that people are supposed to be. It’s supposed have a beautiful experience, which I’m realizing now in some ways. I referred to it as a successful experience. But success is a lousy teacher. [00:20:30][19.4]

Ronan: [00:20:30] Right. [00:20:30][0.0]

Humble: [00:20:31] And it really was the not so pleasant experiences that end up giving you the lifelong learning that you actually need in your life. And I’ve had quite a few negative. I don’t see them as negative but I’ve had quite a few intense experiences where I was overwhelmed, I was scared, and I had one where I was at a family event just, you know just cousins, just kind of my generation through school. And we were in Collingwood and people’s kids were there and stuff and it was Canada Day weekend years ago and fireworks were about to begin for me and a couple of my cousins had the brilliant idea of, you know, making fun of the stuff in our chimneys and enjoying these fireworks and a whole different level. And right across from where we were staying was a big volleyball court. So what we had done was we had used the sand to put our fireworks in and enjoy and it was just a completely beautiful vibe. What ends up happening is, you know, we set up a whole picnic and everything’s wonderful. And I have this brilliant idea. I’m like, oh, my God, I should go get the boombox. I have to run across the street. We have to boombox back and come back. Yeah, I run and I run inside the house. Obviously, my focus wasn’t there and I think I know I’m sitting on the roof staring at the stars, completely forgot why I was even in the house. People start coming back to the house. I look down and everybody’s cleaning up. And then instantly, you know, sometimes you get hyper insecure. And I started having this vision like, oh, my God. Like, it was my idea for us to go there. I created that entire mess and I did nothing to help clean up. You know, I am such an irresponsible, bad, horrible person. I just made a mess, made everybody else clean it up. The reality was nobody was thinking the fireworks were over. Nobody even knew I wasn’t there. Everyone picked up some stuff, walked across the street, but I couldn’t shake it. And I think that sometimes, you know, that’s one of the byproduct of mushrooms sometimes, depending on what you take, I couldn’t shake this idea and I couldn’t face anybody. I was hyper afraid to face anybody that thought they were going to be very upset with me. I was literally playing hide and seek in a house with twenty people by myself, not realizing that nobody else knew I was avoiding them. It felt so overwhelming that I ended up leaving the house and going for a walk by myself and this late at night and we’re on a street and it’s just below party. You know, college kids partying, loud noise, everything, but then I see a police car roll by like the lights on. And I got very afraid, like they stopped me for whatever reason. And I’ve had quite a negative police encounters. I’m screwed, obviously overwhelmed. Just die of a heart attack. Right. So then I run back into the house and at this point my sister is in bed with her, with her kids. And I just run into her room and confess like I am on mushrooms. I am completely terrified. I need your help. She just said, OK, just lie down. I put my head in her lap and she just rub my head and just told me stories about her life. For three hours. It calmed me down and I remember, you know, sitting in bed listening to her stories until the sun came up. And just as the sun came up, having this new resolve that I was hyper insecure about the fact that I had left my job as a school teacher trying to be this artist and had nothing to show for it at the time. Yeah. After this conversation with I became hyper resolved to to create a better life for my family, people that I care about. And as you know, you know, when you have these these trips, especially on psylocybin, it sticks with you. You don’t wake up the next morning thinking I was just high. No, it sticks. It stays with you. That resolve never went away. The highlights of my life since then have all been things I was able to do for other people, you know? Yeah. My sister is a big Sean Paul fan. I got to take her the Carabana last year. Get her get her in the media pit to see him perform. Get her to meet him backstage like that matters to me than anything I’ve been able to accomplish for myself. And it really just shifted things because I was so self absorbed and not realizing how the rest of my family was living their life until that moment and I realize it came from the negativity and the intensity of of the experience until I found a peaceful situation, which was family, and also just kind of realizing, wow, you know, my sisters are mothers. They have all the wonderful motherly skills, but they’re not my mother. Right. So, you know, it’s all the love without the nagging. [00:24:49][258.4]

Ronan: [00:24:49] Yeah. [00:24:49][0.0]

Humble: [00:24:50] And it was just a beautiful moment. And I remember it had me spend more time with them, had me go over to the places for dinner more because, you know, they they were always they always had my back. It was something that I took for granted. I didn’t realize how many people had taken this journey of being an entrepreneur, the journey of being an artist, this journey of just leaving the script, walking the path less traveled and not having people support them. And my sisters were the exact opposite. They were they would always share my stuff on social media from day one to now, you know, like I have some big accomplishments and they share those. But even the small stuff. I get mentioned in a magazine, they would always do it. But I think that realization really it really put things into perspective of who’s validation I needed. And it wasn’t I didn’t need to get validated by celebrities. And I also didn’t need to prove people who didn’t believe in me wrong. I need to focus on the people who will believe in me and continue to prove them right and let them know that their love, support and energy was always worth it. They didn’t invest any love into me for no reason. And also realizing that I’m do I need to do this for things greater than myself? You know, I need to I need to show my nieces and my nephews other ways people can live, other ways people can earn money, other ways people can believe in love. You know, that’s energized me much more than any personal goal I’ve ever had for myself. [00:26:13][82.8]

Ronan: [00:26:13] And that’s amazing what comes up for me when you say that and wondering if this resonates with you, because I think it speaks to the same issue that I talk about in the trailer, which is for most of my life, you know, until the last kind of five years, I was not able to receive anybody’s love. I always operated on the assumption that at some point I’m going to do something and I’m going to piss someone off and they’re not going to want to be my friend or my family anymore and they’re going to disappear. You know that was a reflection of like my my own childhood and my own experience. But it spoke to the fact that I was just incapable of receiving people’s love right you kow, letting it in and knowing that, hey, I can fuck up, I can be a goof. I can be selfish sometimes, but they still love me. It’s like that is such a powerful experience and it seems to sort of hit there as well, which is you’re so scared that if you shared this or people near your high or thought that you were a bit of a jerk because you didn’t help clean up from this experience, that something really terrible was going to happen. But one amazing outcome, it’s like not only did something not terrible happen, you got to be vulnerable. You got to do exactly what you wanted and you got even more life like isn’t isn’t that such an amazing outcome? [00:27:24][70.4]

Humble: [00:27:24] It’s brilliant. And I had to write that down. You said they’re incapable of receiving love because that’s that’s definitely been something that has been a constant theme. You know, just to touch on another story, I went to Peru to do Ayahuasca and there was two shamans there with the Inca shaman and his, I guess, his apprentice. He spoke English so the shaman would do a tea leaf reading and The Apprentice would a translator. And then one of the things the shaman said to me was, you are a loving person, but you mutilate love. [00:27:52][27.9]

Ronan: [00:27:52] Interesting. [00:27:52][0.0]

Humble: [00:27:53] And at that point, and this is before we had taken anything at this point, he was setting the tone for what would be in my head once we took the Ayahuasca. And he used the the analogy of of tearing roses, you have so many beautiful roses in your life. And you’re cutting them. You’re cutting them at stem, you’re mutilating love. It took me a long time to realize what that meant. And, you know, what it meant was I was trying to, you know, receive as much female attention as possible. And in hindsight, it was to make up for the racism I dealt with. You know, I was of the racism made me feel ugly. It made me feel unwanted. It made me feel unworthy, though, as I got older and I started getting female attention just by being a musician and a public figure, I wanted as much of it as possible. [00:28:39][45.9]

Ronan: [00:28:40] Sure. [00:28:40][0.0]

Humble: [00:28:40] And then getting to the point was like, no, things are amazing. And there are so many individuals that are showering you with love and you are literally you’re a bucket that’s upside down right now. Right. And you think you just need more rain, you need more love and the truth, that is, you’re not you’re not allowing what’s already coming your way, which means you’re not going to allow anything else that comes your way. [00:29:01][20.9]

Ronan: [00:29:01] Totally. [00:29:01][0.0]

Humble: [00:29:02] And again, I’m not you know, that mistake still gets made. I see that with a lot of folks. You know, it’s not just even love between people. You know, we do it with financial goals. We do that with, you know, just getting validation and victories than anything else in our careers. We do that with with pretty much nothing’s ever good enough. We want more. You know, it’s kind of contentment and ambition, not holding hands and. [00:29:24][22.4]

Ronan: [00:29:25] Yeah, careful what you wish for because you just might get it right. [00:29:28][2.8]

Humble: [00:29:28] You just might get it. And then. You’re going to look back and say, oh, my God, I got exactly what I wish for, but I was completely wrong with how it was going to feel now that I got it. [00:29:37][9.2]

Ronan: [00:29:37] Yeah. [00:29:37][0.0]

Humble: [00:29:38] And the truth of it is everything is a double edged sword. You know, everything has a wonderful side to it. Everything has a lot of wonderful side to it. And that in itself, if you go in with that mindset and also kind of kill your enthusiasm towards things. And a good example, I just I just got this new place and, you know, after shuffling around, sleeping on couches for the better part of 10 years and, you know, recently graduating from struggling artist, having a wonderful big loft place is exciting. And then just learning small things like, oh, this place is so big that on full blast, you can’t feel the air conditioning. And that’s just science. Yeah. I mean, like the repairmen showed me on the monitors say, look, it’s coming out of your your vent that like 15 degrees Celsius hitting the ground and twenty four degrees Celsius. That’s what happens when you have a big place, like, oh yeah, OK, so, you know, I’m up at seven in the morning every day because it’s just super hot. But I mean, you know, realizing that everything is going to be a double edged sword, you know, the roses are going to have thorns with the inventor of the ship, was also with the inventor of the shipwreck. And yeah. And, you know, it’s this constant cycle of solving a problem and creating a new problem with it. And I think it was the same thing. Where it’s just at least if we become a little bit more aware of it and what you said was perfect, that’s why I have to write capable of receiving love this word, receive. [00:30:55][76.5]

Ronan: [00:30:57] Yeah. [00:30:57][0.0]

Humble: [00:30:57] The choices that we make, the trauma that we have there, blockages. The love is there. Yeah. And we have the walls up, we build dams, we do all of these things. And not only does the love come from other people, but the love exists within us. [00:31:12][14.9]

Ronan: [00:31:13] Yeah. [00:31:13][0.0]

Humble: [00:31:13] And our need to be perfect, our need to be quote unquote enough, our need to be worthy of it are the only reason we don’t feel it. Yeah. We create these blockages. And I appreciate you bringing that up. I mean, my whole next book is about love and I’m just I have sticky notes all over my walls, all these these unique insights about love that, you know, that are counterintuitive to the clichéd ideas that we learned about unconditional love, romantic love happily ever after. All, that bullshit also blockages from the receiving love. But the people we love the most and the people that we need to have those conversations with often don’t have the tools to even say that I I receive you. I hear you. And I think that’s the interesting thing about this, which is it would be so wonderful to be. And then again, maybe this is me just using smart words to justify my fear of vulnerability. But it’d be wonderful to be able to be vulnerable people who have the tools. You know, I’ve I’ve tried to have conversation with my mother about things when I was younger. And, you know, the furthest we got was I just didn’t know, you know, we grew up like this. We didn’t know that there were supposed to be different ways of doing things. And that still hurt her admitting that it was the best. But there isn’t going to be and I’m sorry there isn’t going to be. You’re right. You know, this is going to be you know, we had our priorities. And I just think from that from that idea that’s really interesting as humans, because we have to develop these tools and often these tools, you know, they don’t teach them in school and they’re still part of that lifelong process of learning. As you said, the tools aren’t going to go away. You don’t have them all overnight and now you’re good for the rest of your life. [00:32:45][91.8]

Ronan: [00:32:45] You know, one of the things is like saying, I’m sorry. It’s not the same as saying I’m wrong. It’s just a genuine expression of compassion. One of the things that I learned from a coach I worked with a number of years ago, which has always stuck with me, and it’s always a balance. It’s it’s never perfect. And as much as you know it logically and in your brain, it’s not always easy to translate into your emotions and into your heart. But he said the only validation that is everlasting is self validation, that if you’re looking to women or cars or money or men, depending on your preferences, you know that that’s not going to be sustainable validation. If you’re looking for validation, that doesn’t work. There’s nothing wrong with liking cars or money or attractive people or anything along those lines. But if you’re looking to them to validate yourself, it’ll never work. They’ll give you a temporary lift and then it’ll fade away. The only validation that ever last is self validation and being to a place where you know you’re OK with yourself. One suggestion that I’d offer to you, because I know it was offered to me and I found it profound, is like even when you can’t have the conversation with people because they don’t have the tools, that’s where meditation can really come in. People think about meditation as trying to quiet your thoughts, but meditation is actually a place in which you can express all the things you want to express and hear all the things you want to hear without ever actually having to have the conversation in real life like Irwin, the person I work with, he talks about is like anger is one thing that most people are terrible, in our society, We’re not allowed to be angry. We’re not allowed to be upset. It’s pretty uncouth. We’ve talked about how that’s changing. But anger sticks with us like there’s there’s chemical and biological consequences to holding onto anger and not expressing it. So what he advocates for and what has been profoundly impactful for me is closing your eyes, imagining the person who hurt you or made you angry and expressing that anger in meditation, right? It cleans it out of your body. It cleans it out of your mind. And depending on how deep into metaphysics you want to go into, when you get into the concepts of morphogenesis fields and all that kind of stuff, it actually changes the world. It changes your relationship with them, even even if you just accept it as it’s helped you process your anger so you can approach the next conversation with them more openly and without such heat. That’s OK. But I actually believe it goes a lot further that somehow, deep down, they feel the effects of the balancing out, the flowing of energy, the expressing of these emotions, even if they’re not verbalized out loud, it’s an incredibly impactful tool. So just offering that up to you. But I ask this to every guest of the show, which is if you could go on a trip with someone or if there’s one person on the planet that you would say, I want you to have a psychedelic journey, take this and go on it. Here’s the blue pill. The red pill. Who would it be? Who would the person be that you’d say, like, you need to go and experience a psychedelic realm. [00:35:33][167.7]

Humble: [00:35:34] Man, my parents, both of them, an iPad became a red pill for my mother. I saw that. [00:35:40][6.6]

Ronan: [00:35:40] Right. [00:35:40][0.0]

Humble: [00:35:41] We got her Dell laptop and, you know, she struggled to use it for a long time. And then years ago, I bought her an iPad, put it in her palms. And I remember I went out for a trip and I came back a month later and she was a whiz, she figured out how to use it very quickly. They’re very intuitive. And she immediately was telling me about different speakers, especially around of both in the Sikh heritage, who had opposing ideas from the things that she heard. And she said them like, oh, my God. And this guy said this, but this guy says this. And now I’m so confused. And I was just like that confusion. That’s where you want to be. Yeah. It’s dangerous when you think you have all the answers. And I’m so happy that, you know, in your late 60s, you’re able to hear ideas that are different from yours. And I feel like both my parents are just at this age now where, you know, their real life responsibilities are done. You know, the I’m the youngest and I’m doing well and both my sisters are doing well and they’re retired. And, you know, they’re in a situation where they can they can afford to be a little bit risky and wild. Yeah. And I would love I would just love it for them to have any, you know, any even even an edible, you know, just anything to just show them a different world or show them a different or just move the flashlight or the spotlight on the same things that they see every day and have that experience. And we’ve had the conversations. But, you know, there’s been a lot of alcohol abuse in my people, but within my family specifically. So they equate every substance the same. Right. There’s been a really interesting conversation, especially around marijuana within me, because those like, look, we don’t argue, we don’t fight. I’m self-employed. I’m doing well. Where’s the danger? You keep comparing me to the alcoholic cousin in the family, I was like, you know, they’re not the same. And what you saw in the villages of India with the you know, the people who were abusing drugs like this is not the same. You know, Mom, you you have a knee injury from when you first moved to Canada. That’s never gone away. You know, this would help with that. You know, Dad, you’re retired. You know, you have the time and space and a beautiful garden to just enjoy that. But, you know, it’s their their beliefs and biases with them are, you know, they worry about me because of that. And. [00:37:45][124.1]

Ronan: [00:37:46] Sure. [00:37:46][0.0]

Humble: [00:37:47] And I’ve tried I’ve tried to hit them with logic. And they look, man, I, I get along with my siblings. I get along with all my extended family, you know, I have there’s no drama or anything in or around me. Yeah. And I’m not attributing that the marijuana, but I’m, I’m explaining how this isn’t taken anything down, hasn’t thrown any monkey wrenches. You know, I’m an adult I’m self aware, you know, I’m not a seventeen year old stoner kid. I think from that perspective I would love, I would love the crack open that door for them and get them on that journey. Definitely there in that space where they can go deep. Yeah. They can afford to go deep in the life with the time they have and it would make me so happy just to see it selfishly. It would make me so happy to see it. And and they’re open people. They’re naturally open people. And I’ve seen that especially as they become grandparents, I’ve seen how much they’ve shifted as people to accommodate their grandkids and the new world. So they’re not they’re not dinosaurs stuck and stuck in the past. So I know I mean, you experience and I was able to take them to Kenya and to see what that did to them. And, you know, and our tour guide became an adopted family member after that to see all of these experiences. You know, it would just be very interesting to make it happen. And who knows, it may happen in a couple of years. You know, I’ll keep nudging them. [00:39:04][76.8]

Ronan: [00:39:04] I think that’s magical. I think one of the amazing things, and I’m sure it’s something that they probably won’t be willing to hear, is that like through cannabis or psychedelics or numerous other potential experiences, not only are you not going to become the alcoholic cousin, in fact, you’ll start to address probably a lot of the issues that caused that cousin to become alcoholic in the first place, because very often dependency is the result of using alcohol. To try and cover pain right and we do it and any number of ways, like we talked about it before, it’s like we use alcohol. That’s a very common way. But the pursuit of money and the pursuit of sex, the pursuit of any number of things very often is motivated, by a way, to try and cover the psychic trauma that we all experience in life. And the cool thing about psychedelics is that it can help unpack that and actually make us less likely to constantly be seeking those addictions, finding ways to connect with ourselves. But with that, I really want to thank you for your time. This has been an amazing conversation for me. I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed how open and honest and vulnerable you’ve been on this conversation. And it’s really touched me. And I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. [00:40:12][68.3]

Humble: [00:40:12] I really appreciate it. I mean it again. The listeners will hear my sticky notes, those writing down, because you just said some great things that I want to keep close and meditate on. And I really appreciate that. [00:40:23][10.3]

Ronan: [00:40:23] I’m always happy to continue the dialog any time. So consider me an open resource for you, for anything you’re working on any time. [00:40:30][6.7]

Humble: [00:40:30] Fantastic. Thank you so much. [00:40:31][0.9]

Ronan: [00:40:34] There were some truly important and powerful ideas that were brought up in my discussion with Humble. First, life is a journey. We all love to fantasize that when we follow our dreams, everything will work out just perfectly, but it didn’t work for me, when I quit my job and struck out as an entrepreneur. My first company was a total flop. And look at Humble. He quit his safe teaching job to become an artist thinking he was about to fly high. Instead, he fell hard, but he got back up, dusted himself off and got back to work. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, the greatest glory in life lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail. While, some people like to say that there are only two certain things in life, death and taxes. To me, the only certain thing in life is growth. Either we choose to grow or life makes us grow. Choose growth as Humble has. Even though he’s now achieved his dream, his success, his fame, he’s still at it listening and learning. Here’s a guy who has made his life about growth and personal awareness. And there he was scrambling to write down ideas I shared with him from my personal growth. I have to say I was really honored and touched when he did that. Choose growth and also choose love. If there is one thing that’s shone through Humble’s epic trip on mushrooms, it was that he liked me and almost everyone I know can get better at being able to receive the love that exists around us from our friends and family. It’s probably the most important thing anyone on this planet can do right now. Well, I’m not going to go so far as John Lennon and say that love is all you need. Life gets way better, way safer and way more meaningful when we learn to receive the love around us. Finally, the only lasting validation is self validation. Try to be aware of the ways you seek external validation in your life and see how it’s never enough. Money, success, fancy cars, sex, adrenaline. So many of us are constantly chasing these because we think it’ll make us feel complete, that it will satisfy that voice in our heads that say we’re not good enough, that we have to prove something to someone. And when we do get some of what we are chasing, it feels good, but only for a little while. It’s never enough. We want more and so we chase it again. So often we chase these things because we think it will fill a hole in us. It will fix the shame and it never does. And then what we have to chase gets bigger and bigger. Some of the most successful business people and celebrities are perfect examples of this. Their shame runs so deep, which is what motivates them so hard to succeed, thinking success will make them feel better. But all it does is give them more time and more money to chase more expensive versions of the same things. And that’s why they turn into such train wrecks, because the chase becomes an addiction. The only way to end that chase is to recognize that the only validation that works is that which comes from within. [00:43:46][191.7]

Ronan: [00:43:53] Thank you for listening to Field Tripping, a podcast dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I’m your host, Ronan Levy. Until next time. Stay curious. Breathe properly. And remember, every day is a field trip if you let it be one. Field Tripping is created by Ronan Levy and produced by Conrad Page. Our researcher is Sharon Bhella. Special thanks to Quill. And of course, many thanks to Humble the Poet for joining me on our final episode of the season. New episodes of Field Tripping return at the beginning of September. So in the meantime, let’s stay connected, subscribe to our podcast, tell us what you think about it and sign up for our newsletter at FieldTripping.fm [00:43:53][0.0]