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Have you ever felt like you’re changing, but the people around you aren’t? In this thought-provoking episode, Rob and Eric Rob explore relationships’ profound impact on our personal growth. Discover the power of genuine community and how it can fuel your transformation journey. Learn to define yourself in your relationships while cultivating an inner circle that supports and nourishes your growth. And come to terms with the reality of necessary endings.

 You can watch the videos of all of the Living Richly Podcast episodes on the Living Richly YouTube Channel.

Show Notes for Episode 27

Here are the resources that Rob and Eric referred to on the show.

Key Concepts from Episode 27 – Transforming Together

Have you ever felt like you’re changing, but the people around you aren’t? That was the focus of this week’s episode.

Transformation is like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly- a deliberate and irreversible process. And there’s no going back!

Relationships can feel awkward when you’re evolving. Over time, people develop a social dance with each other. When one partner changes the dance, it can create anxiety in others.

Here’s an interesting fact. The brain continues to develop throughout adulthood in three stages: the socialized brain, the self-authoring brain, and the self-transforming brain.

The lowest level is the socialized brain, where individuals behave to fit in and belong. The self-authoring brain thinks for itself and defines its own point of view but can become rigid and struggle in relationships if it doesn’t evolve further. Less than 5% of the population reaches the self-transforming brain stage, where individuals remain open, flexible, and teachable and can still be influenced without losing their sense of self.

The universe may test your resolve on your current path when the closest people to you are not moving in the same direction. Eric and Rob shared personal examples of moments that tested their determination.

A great test of maturity is the ability to define yourself while remaining connected and open to different points of view. Finding your voice in relationships is a powerful area of personal growth. There is also a strong need for community and belonging. The ability to embrace a both/and approach on this front is a key to living richly in relationships.

As you grow, you may need to step away from specific communities and choose the right ones to participate in. The people in your life impact you significantly, and their level of influence on you determines the level of impact.

What does being defined and connected in family and close relationships look like? How do you show up as your most authentic self? Caring for oneself is crucial. Only then can you be fully present in all of your relationships.

Pursuing personal passions or being your best self may be lonely if those closest to you don’t understand or support you. Being authentic and opening up about your journey will attract like-minded people into your life, and your relationships may shift as you pursue personal growth.

Our relationships are essential for affirmation, validation, support, affection and attention. Even the most challenging and painful moments play a significant role in our lives. And healthy relationships create powerful, life-giving, and healing moments.

The episode covers how to live richly when the people around you aren’t. Eric and Rob discuss insightful principles and share their own experiences. Ultimately, people must decide based on their circumstances and what matters to them.

The importance of awareness in relationships is also discussed. It helps us see what has been out of view. Yet, while awareness informs us, it doesn’t transform us. Transformation comes from practice. And the best practice is in our day-to-day interactions with the people in our circle. Even difficult people can be a classroom for learning a new way of being.

Joining or leaving a community is a significant decision, and it can be frightening for some people. But, it’s vital to figure out the right communities to belong to. Pursuing personal passions, defining yourself while remaining connected, and taking care of yourself are all important principles to consider when trying to live your best life.

Community is crucial for living richly, and finding the right fit is essential for personal growth and well-being.

Consider these ideas if you want to improve your relationships and navigate personal growth and transformation. Take the time to reflect on how specific examples can impact your own relationships. Try out the practical tips and strategies provided. Connect with the personal anecdotes and stories shared in the episode. Take action and apply these concepts to your own life, and you can create meaningful and lasting change in your relationships. Start today!

If you enjoyed the episode, please leave us a 5-star review on your favourite podcast platform. You can also share it on social media.

Until next time… Get out there and live richly!

Episode 27 Transcript

Transcript: E27 – Transforming Together

Rob Dale [00:00:00]:

The person who’s kind of pushing against you with Sandpaper isn’t necessarily bad. It might be exactly what the universe has put into your into your path for your own growth. Hi, and welcome to the Living Richly podcast. My name is Rob Dale and I am here with my great friend Eric Deschamps. We are so excited to have you with us here on the episode. We’re going to be talking today about relationships.

Eric Deschamps [00:00:33]:

Oh, no.

Rob Dale [00:00:33]:

And this started out as an email from sure.

Eric Deschamps [00:00:37]:

We want to tackle this topic.

Rob Dale [00:00:39]:

No. I’m a little nervous. We made a commitment we did to our listeners that if they had questions, if they had comments, they could send those to us. And we’ve certainly received a bunch of them. And we want to encourage you if you haven’t had an opportunity to do so. We love your ideas for future episodes. If you’ve got some stuff you want to send to us and things to consider the best email address for people.

Eric Deschamps [00:01:04]:

To reach us, they can actually just go right to the website And there is a form right there that they can enter in a topic request.

Rob Dale [00:01:13]:


Eric Deschamps [00:01:13]:

Wonderful. If you want an email address do you want me to answer your actual question? Sure. Is it important? Info at Livingrichley Me will get you there. You can also ping us on any of the social media channels. You’re looking at me funny. You can ping us on any of the social media channels. We’re on Facebook, we’re on Instagram, we’re on YouTube, we are on Twitter, we are on LinkedIn. Even you can find us there. If you’re following us, send us a DM and make a request. We’re kidding around. I’m actually really excited about this topic and what a great question that provoked it.

Rob Dale [00:01:50]:

Yeah. And so in a nutshell, the question was, how do you live richly when the people around you are not? Right? That was kind of the who was the reaction that I think we both had. And then it was like, do we really want to answer that? How do we answer that without telling people what to do or not to do? And we’re not going to do that. We recognize that every situation is different, every circumstance. Right. We’re going to talk in the principles and theory. We’ll talk about our own experiences, but certainly recognize that every person needs to, in some ways, ultimately make decisions based on where they are, on what matters to them, on how they’re living out. They really got to figure that out for themselves as to which relationships they choose to stay in and not to be a part of. But we want to look at that. And we got thinking as we started to break this down as to how we use this as an episode in the podcast was to look at relationships, a number of the different types of relationships that we have and how does living richly kind of impact and affect relationships just in general. But let’s start with maybe a conversation around because we’ve talked about this a number of times over the course of this podcast. Is the idea of just living richly and why community itself matters so much.

Eric Deschamps [00:03:19]:

Right? Well, I think the question asked by one of our listeners just highlights, again, the importance of community and how much we do depend on the people around us, our inner circle, the people closer to us for so much. We look to them for affirmation, we look to them for validation. We look to them for support, for affection, for attention, all of it. And none of those things are unhealthy unless they’re taken to an unhealthy degree. And I think we’ve said this right from the outset, that can you do this journey alone? Can you become your best self on your own? Perhaps. But part of it is, I think, that relationships we were talking about this just before we started recording that when you think of your life, you think of your most significant ordeals, the most difficult times you’ve gone through. Most of the most significant pain we have experienced or will experience in life is in the context of relationships, right? From our first formation in our family of origin, where most of us emerge with a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly that we carry with us into the rest of our lives. It’s been said you can leave home, but home doesn’t often follow you around, right? And we carry unhealthy baggage and issues from those relationships. And then you think of your first romantic relationships to perhaps marriages that didn’t work out or friendships that broke down and the pain caused by those. And even in relationships that don’t break down, there’s an awful lot of pain in marriages that are still intact. And there’s a lot of pain that can even be experienced among friends, right, where things are said or done that are extremely hurtful. And I think that’s just part of the human experience. I guess the point to all of this is that not only is our most significant or most painful moments experienced in a relationship, I’m convinced that the most powerful moments, the most life giving moments, the strongest healing moments will be found in healthy relations.

Rob Dale [00:05:32]:

Well, and certainly you go back and look at just, again, the origin of species. And if you were to get right into the notion of why did the Homo sapien thrive and survive and thrive, the way that we have is because of the communities that were built and established way back before we even established well into language and all of those things. We would come into communities, the fittest would survive. But that’s how it’s right in our DNA, the notion of our growth, our well being, all of this stuff is found within the community, within the relationships that we have. And so they’re absolutely critically important. The living richly model, really, we talk about it’s very difficult. I think it’s almost safe to say it’s impossible, maybe, because we are just so careful not to put any barriers on what it is to live richly. But I can’t think of a scenario where a person can truly live out their best life in complete solitude.

Eric Deschamps [00:06:40]:

Right. I think I’m really excited that in a few shows we’re going to be having my mentor and someone who’s influenced us both pretty deeply, jim Harrington, joining us for a couple of episodes. And I love what he said to us recently where he was talking about how in relationships we become aware of things, but how awareness and we were just talking about this on our recent episode with Kelly Flanagan. We talked about bringing things into our awareness that are not currently in our awareness. Listen, it’s been said knowing is half the battle, and that’s true. There’s something about going from this is in my blind spot now. I can see it. And there is nothing I think, more revealing than friendship relationships, people close to us who can help us see what we’re not seeing. But Jim’s comment was so powerful when he said, but awareness doesn’t transform. Awareness informs, but it doesn’t transform. What transforms us is practice. And I remember Jim saying this to me years ago when he was pointing to some of my closest, most meaningful relationships and saying, that’s where the work is going to be. It’s there that you’re going to learn how to love again. You’re going to learn how to be loved. You’re going to learn how to mature and become your best self. It’s going to be engaging with the people within your community, even the folks that you find difficult, and they’re going to be those relationships are going to be, in many ways, the classroom, the laboratory, where you’re going to learn a new way of being. And at the time, I said, Fuck that, and fuck you, Jim. And fuck you, Jim. Right. But I’ve come to realize and recognize that he’s absolutely right. So to the question, maybe we jumped before we go too far and then perhaps forget it. What do you do when you’re trying to live your best life, but perhaps your partner or your best friend or someone significant to you that is part of your inner circle is not doing that? How would you answer that question?

Rob Dale [00:08:41]:

Dump that shit. Sorry.

Eric Deschamps [00:08:46]:

And we’re done. Thanks for showing up, and it’s been a great show.

Rob Dale [00:08:50]:

And there’s a clip. Listen. Yes, let’s answer that question. But to get into heavy ones, I would start with even just when I think of some of the kind of what we would call the edge of the circle relationships that we have that often can affect that. Right. I’m very passionate about the gym that I attend very much. Hey, listen, it’s where I met Wendy. So there’s always going to have meaning for that. But the community that I’ve established and built there and what I find is because there’s a community of people with similar values where they are very much encouraging of one another, we cheer each other on. We do a competition every year where they call it the dry try, dry Triathlon. And what you find when you do the dry try, I couldn’t do the last one because I had an issue with my knee, but I’m there and other members are coming in who aren’t participating in it just to cheer and celebrate and hoot and hauler as other members are doing it. So the vibe around the gym is if you’re going to a place where whether it’s a gym or some of these other subculture like again, outer circle communities and they’re not serving the right need, I could just as easily be going to a gym where it’s all bravado and guys just kind of trying to one up each other and everything like that not going to be healthy and not going to help me live my best life. Sometimes it’s measuring and as you grow, it’s choosing to step away from certain communities, right? We’re both part of some subcultures, whether it’s with Jeeps or with the kayaks or whatever. And some of those communities, there may be seasons where you go, you know what, there’s not an alignment there, there’s not growth for me to be found there. I need to choose the right communities to be a part of. And so I think that’s the first place that I would look at is making decisions. And sometimes those are easier. They’re not always. You made the comment to me earlier about sometimes just even that kind of change can be frightening for some people. What if I have to find a whole new community of people to hang out with? Well, maybe, but being able to find those communities and to see where they’re kind of figure out who they are.

Eric Deschamps [00:11:05]:

You refer to it as some of these communities, they might be called affinity groups, right? These are communities that we belong to because there’s a shared common interest, right? And for me at least, those would belong sort of if it’s concentric circles from my inner circle to right acquaintances and beyond, they would be on the periphery for sure. Affinity groups where I connect with people because we share something in common, but it may or may never become more than that. And if I no longer share that interest or they no longer share that interest, typically then you just move on. But for some folks, what might be on the outer edge of my concentric circle might be much closer because that might be for them all that they have. So leaving any community or making a decision to be part of a community is a big decision. We said this in a previous episode that you really do become like the four or five people you hang out with the most. So choosing who your inner circle is, again, I can be part of all kinds of communities and I benefit from them because we share something in common. But the level of influence in my life, the level of impact, is minimal. If someone from the Jeep community said something to me that was hurtful or rude, I probably would just like, whatever, right? I wouldn’t attach a lot of weight.

Rob Dale [00:12:24]:

Really? That’s all you’re doing.

Eric Deschamps [00:12:27]:

We won’t get into it. But it probably wouldn’t be a significant reaction. Actually, it probably wouldn’t affect me all that much because I’m like, you barely know me. So for me, the stuff that’s always been the most difficult is inner circle relationships. In terms of my fear, when I think of the fear of rejection, the fear of people not liking me if they know the true me, if they get to know the true me. I think we can hide in affinity groups, right? Because we only have to reveal so much. I think as you get closer and closer, whether that be friendship or romantic relationships, even your children, those relationships are far more revealing and have again, both the potential for tremendous fulfillment, joy, love, meaning, and also open us up to tremendous risk when it comes to getting hurt, being hurt, being disappointed, being let down.

Rob Dale [00:13:22]:

And I think so again, the five people close, right? Maybe. I’ll encourage you right now, if you’re listening or you’re watching, just to take a second, kind of think about who are those five closest people and are you good with that? And again, let me use my five closest example. I’m not going to name names.

Eric Deschamps [00:13:45]:

I’m going to make the top five, I hope.

Rob Dale [00:13:49]:

Yeah, of course you are. Absolutely.

Eric Deschamps [00:13:52]:

He’s going to insert your voice saying yes from a previous episode at the end of me asking in post production, that’s going to be a big affirming, booming yes.

Rob Dale [00:14:02]:

You have to watch the mandolin, you have to mandalorian, but no. So when I think of the five people, and right away three or four names, people come to mind. I don’t know. Five immediately come the fourth or fifth, kind of I could debate on who they are, but I can think of those first few. Some like you very aligned, and we can have incredibly deep, wonderful conversations, Wendy and I. Powerful, deep, intimate conversations around living your best life. Others that are in that I would consider in that inner circle. I’ve got one, for example, a good friend of mine who point blank said, yeah, I listened to a couple of the episode, not my thing, not really interested in listening to the podcast. Right. But welcomes and is always interested in conversations. If we’re sitting down, having a cigar, having a conversation, and I’m sharing the latest insight that I’ve had, or discovery, very open to having that conversation and embracing, they may not look and say, I’m interested in being on the journey with you, but damn, I support you on it.

Eric Deschamps [00:15:11]:


Rob Dale [00:15:12]:

So that’s a part of my inner circle. So your inner circle may be people who feed you and help you grow in your own, what you’re working through. Others in your inner circle may not be fully able to appreciate or understand what the journey is that you’re on, but they invite it and they welcome it and they encourage it because they know it’s good for you.

Eric Deschamps [00:15:32]:

Right, exactly, right. I think that’s a great distinction to make. And I think the other is that just because people aren’t necessarily on the same path you’re on, doesn’t mean they’re not on a path of their own. So we have to be careful that sometimes we don’t. I remember when I first started training again back in 2013, and I think I drove you and Trev crazy for a while. And other people, my kids. I think if they said, if you talk about the gym one more time, right, we’re going to murder you, or something. Because I was so excited and so passionate about it. I talked about it all the time. And then you start to feel a need to like, well, you should do that. And you start placing these shoulds and.

Rob Dale [00:16:17]:

Musts and hass should all over others.

Eric Deschamps [00:16:19]:

Yeah, you should all over the people around you. And again, they might not just be ready for that. And so there’s this, I think, a maturity that comes over time to understand that just because this is something that’s very important to me at this season of my life, if it’s not necessarily as important to the other people that are that close to me, but they support me in it, then that’s one thing. I think if you’re in relationships where they’re not on the same path and don’t encourage you to pursue your own, I think that’s a whole other dynamic that one has to consider.

Rob Dale [00:16:53]:

Yeah, exactly. And so let’s go there because that is the next step in this. It’s again, one thing to have people who are on a different journey but encourage and support yours. Now, if the problem you have is you say, no, they have to be on the same journey as me. We had that conversation when we talked about dogma when it came to our rituals. Right? And when you get to that point where you say, no, my rituals have to be your rituals, I might suggest that the issue isn’t the other person, but it’s you and how you live out your best life. Right. To figure that out, if, though, are they at a place where they’re saying, no, I’m not interested in being on the path with you and I’m not interested in you being on the path, that’s a difficult conversation and it does have to become and where I would start is it would be a difficult conversation. We like to call them sorry, I’m spitting all over you. We like to call them a dangerous conversation.

Eric Deschamps [00:17:50]:

I know, yeah, I need windshield wipers.

Rob Dale [00:17:54]:

And if you’re listening, just ignore that. No, but it’s having that dangerous conversation. Dangerous to the status quo. Right. And it may be dangerous to the relationship. It may be that you have to with some of these individuals that are, again, the friends of the five closest. It may be that you have to say, maybe it’s time for us to move on from this relationship. I don’t know if this is one of those made up studies or if it’s genuine, but I’ve heard that just as you change careers, every whatever it is, seven years or something like that, that your primary circle of friends will often shift every seven years or something like that. Whether that’s true or not, again, I know that oftentimes the people you think are going to be your ride or die buddies ten years later, you’re like, oh, yeah, I wonder I should check in on them and see how they’re doing. Because you’ve gone in different interests, different relations. So you may need to with some of those individuals. It may be that you have to have a hard conversation and say, listen, I’m on a journey here. If you can’t support me on this, I wish you all the best I need to continue on this journey.

Eric Deschamps [00:19:02]:

Right. I think it’s the notion again, of when we define someone who is maturing and becoming their best self, there’s two very important dynamics at work there. One is the need for self differentiation or definition of self defining oneself in the world. I think a lot of folks lack that definition, and we’ve talked about it time and time again when we talk about folks who don’t have their own values, will live according to someone else’s. One, folks that don’t know, don’t get clear on what their richest life looks like, will live according to somebody else’s definition, or they’ll just kind of go with the flow in order to fit in, right? So someone who is defining themselves as getting clearer on what matters to them, clearer who they are, they’re finding their voice more and more in relationships. And I know that’s been, for me, probably one of the greatest areas of personal growth in my closest relationships, primarily romantic relationships, but even in my friendships, is finding my voice. I’ve always had one for others. And I talk about this in my story. I would be the first to come to someone’s defense. I’d be the first to champion the folks who don’t have a voice of their own. But again, because of how I viewed myself with such shame and such deep self loathing that I didn’t. So that growth that has shifted, right. The ability to define myself more within my relationships. Now, some folks are very defined, but there’s a second element there’s this self differentiation. And then there’s the need for community. There’s the need to belong. And I think some folks out of a desire to belong are not self defined enough. There’s other folks that are so self defined they struggle to be in meaningful community because they perhaps have become too rigid in their worldview, too set in their ways, so to speak, too inflexible that it’s kind of like their way or the highway. And that would also be defined as just as a lack of self definition would be in some ways in some circles called a measure of immaturity. The person who can’t connect or maintain any kind of meaningful community because they’re too rigid and too set in their ways would be another expression of that. I think the true test of maturity is our ability to define self while remaining connected. So this sense of in some ways I’m becoming more defined, more clear, and yet at the same time more flexible, more open, more curious and understanding that I’m not just a sponge that’s going to absorb everything that comes my way, but that I can hear a different point of view. I can interact with someone who sees things very differently for me without taking in everything they believe is my own, but I can stay connected to them.

Rob Dale [00:21:59]:

Well, and of course, and you have other people who right along with what you’re talking about is that the potential for growth because they’re in a community that maybe is where it’s hard to be their authentic self. The potential for growth there it can be the pushing the easy button to say, well, I’m going to go do my thing now and I’m not going to be in this. And it is almost an opportunity you can avoid having to grow in those difficult areas where the person who’s kind of pushing against you with sandpaper isn’t necessarily bad. It might be exactly what the universe has put into your path for your own growth. And so I would certainly say before somebody makes the decision to kind of walk away from their community because, well, they just don’t get it or they don’t want to get it, the first question would be really around how do I live out, authentically, live out my best life in this? Even if it’s hard, right? And to make that effort and to make sure that it’s not just the rigid. I had a conversation with someone this week in one of my calls. I was blown away by how arrogant and confident they were that they were right and everyone else around them was wrong.

Eric Deschamps [00:23:23]:

Is that how that works though?

Rob Dale [00:23:24]:

Everyone else was wrong and no matter.

Eric Deschamps [00:23:26]:

How when we have conversations, right.

Rob Dale [00:23:34]:

And as much as I tried to bring in, well, what if maybe there’s a flaw in your thinking they were just like, but there isn’t, right? And I remember at the point I just kind of went, okay, well, I guess we’re done on our call. And this was somebody that I’d been asked to kind of connect with from a client had asked me to talk to this person on their team to figure out how they might I just want to see how coachable they are. If you go into those environments like that now, that’s not living richly anyway. Probably it’s a little bit off of where the question would have been if you’re going in that. But I would certainly say in any environment, to go into those conversations at the starting point is, okay, I’ve seen transformation. I’ve seen growth. I’ve seen all this happen. I’m in these situations where I don’t see it happening. How do I be the influencer in here? And how do I start to maybe impact their lives before I just say.

Eric Deschamps [00:24:34]:

Exit exit stage left. Yeah, absolutely. And I think there’s two things because I think both you and I, we’ve shared this on the show, and we’ve had multiple conversations where for probably the first time in our lives, we are in a romantic relationship with someone who’s on the path, not the same person, because that would be weird, really weird. Our listeners just dropped off or picked up or picked up.

Rob Dale [00:25:02]:

We might have to list in a.

Eric Deschamps [00:25:03]:

Different category for the podcast. But we both are in relationships now where we have so that’s been really a big shift for me in terms of having someone in my life that I am engaged with who we can have these meaningful relationships with. But the other part of it is when your person or your people that are closest to you don’t appear to be on the path, remember that the universe may be testing your resolve on this path that you’re currently on. Because, remember, if defining of self is one of the goals, right? Being able to define yourself means being willing to go against the flow, being willing to and by that, I don’t mean necessarily going back to what we said earlier, telling people they got to do it the same way that you’re doing it or whatever, but being true to the path. I still remember when I was, like, 16 years old, and back then, it was around church and it was around faith. But I was part of a friend group. And when I began to embrace my faith more, there came a point where I had a conversation with my best friends at the time, and I was like, Guys, what’s going on? You don’t ask me to come out to anything anymore, and I haven’t seen you. And I was feeling really left out. And they said to, well, we see that you’re on a path that’s really important to you, and this is about as mature as 16 or 17 year old boys could be at the time. But you’re on this path. It obviously means a lot to you, and we don’t want to hold you back was kind of the message they gave me. Right. So a friendship can be a test. The universe can use friendship to test your resolve to keep moving in a certain direction and refine it further doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a need to end those relationships. But I do think we also struggle with necessary endings. We have a hard time when we’re faced with something that may be coming to its natural end. People come into our lives for a reason and sometimes a season. And when that reason or that season is over, we struggle to let go. But it may be in that letting go that we’re able to latch on to something new. What served you? I love what Kelly said on the episode he was on when he talked about, in different words, basically said, what got you here won’t get you there. In other words, what served you to this point may not be what serves and supports you moving forward? So there’s this, I think, this delicate balance and dance between the increasing defining of self. What does it mean for me to live richly? What does that look like for me? And how do I do that in community? I think it’s those two dynamics coming together that leads to its truest expression. Because, listen, let’s face it, if you’re not in relationship with anybody, it must be very lonely. One, but two, how do you know any of that stuff is real? Because it’s in relationships, people can often act like sandpaper. Right. They rub you the wrong way. But it’s designed to, what? Rub out all the rough edges and really, again, test your resolve to keep moving in that direction.

Rob Dale [00:28:12]:

Yeah. I don’t know if you can test how well you’re living richly without having in isolation. In isolation, right. Without having those people there. And I think this is why we’re struggling with because we’re purposely trying not to say either stay in a relationship or leave a relationship, because it’s impossible for us to be able to we can speak from our own experience. I know that in the past, I have left in the case of significant relationships, I have left relationships just simply because I wasn’t mature enough, healthy enough. I didn’t leave them in a mature way. I would sabotage and really end relationships because I didn’t know any other way.

Eric Deschamps [00:28:55]:

You never left me. Rob.

Rob Dale [00:28:56]:


Eric Deschamps [00:28:56]:

I love you, man.

Rob Dale [00:28:57]:

Not yet. Wait. Yeah. I didn’t say.

Eric Deschamps [00:29:07]:


Rob Dale [00:29:08]:

What? I don’t know what you’re talking about yet. No.

Eric Deschamps [00:29:14]:

And the podcast, as you know, it just came to an official close, folks, it’s been a great 27 episodes.

Rob Dale [00:29:19]:

First there was three.

Eric Deschamps [00:29:23]:

Then there were none.

Rob Dale [00:29:25]:

Then there were none. But I certainly can say that there are other times, like relationships. Relationships where I did so in in one of the more recent times, my I was in a place where I had begun the transformation. I. Was in a I knew I had defined my values. I understood now I still didn’t do it well. When I ended that relationship, I didn’t do it well and would certainly look back and go, boy, I wish I had had more of a voice and communicated and spoke up and said the things that I needed to say in a more timely fashion. I didn’t, shoulda, coulda, would have, right? I mean, I didn’t. And I can learn from that and grow from that and I wish people all the best. But I knew at that point I needed to align the relationship. That significant relationship needed to really align with where I am and where I was going. And again, it had zero to do with the other person other than just I needed to get that voice and to figure out who I was. That didn’t make it easy. Letting go is rarely easy. Sometimes it is when we just want to run.

Eric Deschamps [00:30:50]:


Rob Dale [00:30:50]:

But if you want to let go.

Eric Deschamps [00:30:52]:

That’S not letting go. That’s escaping.

Rob Dale [00:30:54]:


Eric Deschamps [00:30:54]:


Rob Dale [00:30:55]:

Thank you.

Eric Deschamps [00:30:55]:

That’s running away.

Rob Dale [00:30:56]:

Boy, that’s so powerful. There is a massive difference between letting go and running away. When we let go, we let go with a sense of it is an openness of inviting them into their richest life, their journey, if they choose to or not and for us to be able to do the same.

Eric Deschamps [00:31:17]:

Absolutely. Keegan and Leahy, in their Immunity to Change Work present this incredible model about the adult brain development and all the research that’s gone into that in recent years. And they basically say that from infancy till about your mid 20s both your physical body just naturally grow and evolve. And so does your brain, right? And then it reaches sort of its maturity at the age of 25. Now, it used to be that the predominant thought was that once you reach the age of 25 your brain stops developing and over time you can’t really develop it any further. What you can develop is how you use it. So think of it in these terms that by the age of 25 you’ve got all the brain gear you’re going to get and the rest of your life is spent. Basically. How do I use the gear better? Through experience and all that stuff. Well, that’s been completely debunked now and they’ve seen that the brain can continue to develop right until the day you die, actually, like the neuroplasticity of the human brain and its ability to continue to form new pathways and neurons and the rest of it. However, the research shows that where in the first 25 years of your existence that brain development happened automatically with or without your involvement, just like your physical growth happened with or without your conscious involvement, your brain developed the same way. When it comes to your brain evolving beyond the age of 25, that is a choice one must make. And it’s something that doesn’t happen on its own. And here’s the really fascinating part. They talk about three stages of the development, and this is all tied to this concept of relationships. They said the lowest level of brain development for an adult is what is called the socialized brain. The socialized brain is the individual who does most of what they do to fit in, to be accepted, to be part of the crowd, to not stand out too much, to make sure that I belong somewhere, that’s the socialized brain. And 70% of the population lives there and never evolves beyond it. According to the research. The next stage is what we call the self authoring brain, or what they call the self authoring brain. And the self authoring brain, this is that definition of self that I was talking about. These are the folks that begin to think for themselves, define their own point of view, find their own voice, become their own person within this larger community. But over time, the self authoring brain, if it doesn’t evolve any further, becomes that rigid set, can become that rigid set in your ways kind of person that then struggles in community because it’s kind of like a my way or the highway, everybody else is an idiot kind of perspective. Ultimately, only less than 5% of the population reach the third level, which is called the self transforming brain. This is where our brain has advanced to a level where not only are we defined as individuals, but we remain, again open, flexible, teachable, coachable. We can still be influenced, but not at the sake of losing our sense of self. Does that make sense? In other words, I can be in a relationship and I can normalize discomfort. I can normalize that it’s okay, that in a healthy relationship there’s discomfort, there’s tension, there’s even disagreement. Whereas for me, for many years, any tension, any discomfort meant this person is going to leave me, this person is going to abandon me, this person is going to not like me anymore, and I have to do everything that I can to win them back, right? And this was in friendships. This was even with my children. Any discomfort in the relationship, any tension, caused me tremendous fear, tremendous stress. And now to be in a place where having done that work and continuing to do that work, of defining myself and being able to say it’s okay if we don’t agree. It’s okay if we don’t see eye to eye, we don’t have to agree on everything but normalizing things that oftentimes we catastrophize almost and make it like if this is existing in my relationships, then the relationship must be over. So there’s so much wisdom to be found in all of that.

Rob Dale [00:35:35]:

There really is. And again, we’re going back to when you are in a relationship with somebody who perhaps isn’t living richly or isn’t certainly kind of at the same place that you are or anything like that. Again, what that really ties into is this notion of you have to focus on what you have control over and that’s you and your response and what you bring to the table, how you show up, all of that. Right. If you come in with a confidence and with a focus on self and the other person chooses to reject, again, you’re showing up and bringing your best version forward in that relationship. The reality is some relationships end and it’s painful, it’s difficult. What I would certainly encourage listeners who are asking that question is you have those conversations even in how you end a relationship, you can choose to end well, but you have those conversations to, again, set, this is who I am. And as you change, people around you may not it may be different, right?

Eric Deschamps [00:36:48]:

Again, to borrow a gym ism and Jim will probably talk about this when he’s with us, but when you engage in the work of transformation, and again, we use that word very deliberately, because some things in our lives change, but when they are transformed, they can’t change back. It’s like the caterpillar who becomes a butterfly. This is not a reversible process, right. The caterpillar can’t or the butterfly can’t spin a cocoon and go back to being a caterpillar. So when you engage in the work of transformation, or to borrow again from the hero’s journey model, you’ve been invited, you departed from your comfort zone, and now you’ve returned and you’ve evolved. You’ve changed. You’ve in many ways been transformed. You will find sometimes that the relationships that you were accustomed to, or some of them, don’t feel the same. Because anytime people interact together, whether this in friendship or romantic relationships, parents with children, we see this in the workplace between employer, employees, colleagues, where human beings interact together for any length of time, over time, they develop a dance. In other words, a set of social exchanges and interchanges, where you do this and I do that, you break left, I break right. You begin the work of transformation, you come back, they’re expecting you to break left when you break right. And you’re not breaking right anymore. And it’s going to feel awkward, just like if there was a dance competition and one partner decided just the night before the dance competition, I know we’ve been practicing tango, but when we show up on the dance floor tomorrow, I’m going to waltz. Well, that’s going to be problematic. Right. So when you fundamentally change the dance, you’re going to set off some anxiety in the people closest to you because they’re not used to you showing up that way.

Rob Dale [00:38:34]:

Yeah. And we often will recommend books and articles or YouTube videos or whatever here on the podcast. And one that I think really speaks to that well is a book called Games People Play, Right, which is an Albert Alders book. And such a good book really outlines those different games, the dance. There’s a bunch of different games that are mentioned.

Eric Deschamps [00:38:55]:

His best book title, by the way, this is the actual book title, how to Stop Making Yourself Miserable About Everything. Yes, absolutely everything.

Rob Dale [00:39:06]:

No, the actual title, because I’m reading the book right now. How to stubbornly refuse to be miserable about absolutely everything. Yes, absolutely everything.

Eric Deschamps [00:39:15]:

I know I was close.

Rob Dale [00:39:16]:

Yeah, you were close there. But yes. How to stubbornly refuse to be miserable about everything? And a great book and so much insight into that. Some of these relationships, these are the relationships that form, come into our life, leave our lives, whatever. The one other relationship that we haven’t talked about when it comes to this is the family dynamic, the actual, the relationship that in some ways, oh, don’t go there. You can’t pick your parents, right? You can’t pick your siblings, you can’t pick your family. They can be a challenge and how we interact and how we have those lives and I guess right out of the gate, what I would suggest as being the primary lesson that I’ve learned when it comes to family dynamic. Now, I’m not close, certainly with much of my extended family. I certainly have relationship with a number of people that are in my family, but not that same level of interaction. But I would certainly say it’s okay to put boundaries around what is acceptable and not acceptable when it comes to your family unit and what you will allow and what you won’t. And again, you can’t control their reaction to that. You can choose whether you will engage in it or not, right?

Eric Deschamps [00:40:33]:

100%. And there’s the old joke, if you think you’re enlightened, go home for Christmas, right, to see the family again. Family, that’s a whole other layer in those concentric circles. To your point, let’s face it, all of us have family members that if they weren’t family, they probably still wouldn’t be in our concentric circles. But because of the family bond, we continue to interact with them. And some family members may be talking like that about us, right? So we may be that challenge for them. But in family, again, where there’s been often again a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly, where we’ve experienced some great things, perhaps some painful things, perhaps it’s a really mixed bag. And I’m still working this through and.

Rob Dale [00:41:27]:

It’S part of my part of journey.

Eric Deschamps [00:41:30]:

It’d be easy to run away. It would be easy to just escape. It’d be easy to let go under the guise of I’m letting go. But really what I’m doing is just ejecting. But what does I’m asking the question, what does being defined and connected look like in my family? And beyond that, even in my closest relationships? How do I show up as my most authentic self? Taking care of myself the way that I need to take care of myself so that I can show up more fully in these relationships in a healthy fashion and not in many of the unhealthy ways that I showed up in the past. And it’s a big question that I’m still working out, but I think the path to healing, at least for me, is going to be taking some steps down that road. Let’s come back quickly before we wrap up today’s episode to our listeners original question, because I want to touch on an angle of it. The reality is, and I think we’ve touched on, but just to make sure we’re absolutely clear on this, we’re not telling anyone to do something without careful thought and consideration. And for us to answer a question that big with very little background information is, I think, why we’re approaching it more carefully and trying to give all of our listeners something to think about on many different fronts when it comes to the people that are closest to us. The reality is, if you’re trying to pursue anything, whether that be a hobby, whether it be a career, whether it be a passion of yours, whether it be the living, richly journey of being your best self, if there is no one in your inner circle or very few people, if there’s no one in your inner circle that really embraces that and can be part of that, it is going to be a lonely journey. And I think, again, that’s where you will find perhaps some shifting may begin to happen, because alone is not the goal and lonely is not forever. You may have to go through a period of isolation or a period where it may feel like you’re very much on your own. But I think when you begin to broadcast or begin to have conversations with people or you begin we believe even this podcast is more than a podcast, that it’s actually a community. It’s beginning in a form of people that are saying, hey, me too. Count me in. I want to live my best life. And I’ve got some ideas about that, but I could use some help, some support. I think when you start to take those steps to be your most authentic self. We’ve said it in previous episodes. We continue to say it now, is that your people will show up, your tribe will begin to show up. But don’t be surprised that there begins to be a shift in the relationships that are surrounding you as you pursue your best.

Rob Dale [00:44:14]:

Yeah. And then the other thing that I would say it’s so good, Eric, and what I would add, I think, on the notion of going back to that original question again, what if you want to live richly and the people around you don’t is don’t assume that they don’t, right? Have we had the conversation? And I would encourage this. We take a few minutes to talk about, well, what if they do? Now what how do we build that? How do we grow that? But to have that conversation, to be able to say, hey, I’ve been working on some stuff and things have been going on and I’m learning some. I’d love to talk it through with you. I’d love to hear your thought. Maybe it’s just inviting them into the conversation. Maybe they’re sitting back going, man, I didn’t know how to approach it, and you weren’t bringing it up, and so, oh, I thought you weren’t interested. Oh, I didn’t think you wanted me a part of it. Right? We don’t know if we don’t ask or certainly let’s not assume they don’t. There’s very few people if you say to them, hey, Eric, would you like to live your best life? Go? No, I’m good.

Eric Deschamps [00:45:17]:


Rob Dale [00:45:17]:

No, I’m happy. Being mediocre, being average, some, but most are not good. How do I do that? I don’t know how to do that. I think I am doing whatever it might be, engage and start having the conversation. And I would certainly say if you’re in a community, you say, these people really celebrate me, or this person really celebrates me, and I know they love me and I love them. All right, if that’s the foundation, start having conversations. One of the most interesting things that Wendy and I did very early on in our relationship and I share this story in one of the episodes might have been my story, or I can’t remember which episode, but I used the values deck cards that you first introduced to me. We used the values deck, the deck of cards to work through values. And we would flip over each we were driving along, we were on a road trip, and we’d flip over each card, look at the value, and then we would just talk about what that means to each of us. And it was incredible, the conversations that stemmed out of using a tool like that deck of cards. And so just starting into the conversation, don’t make the assumption, because the other person may not be communicating that that means they’re not interested. Maybe they don’t know how to bring it up. So be the one that brings it up, right?

Eric Deschamps [00:46:33]:

And I think that’s the point is there comes a point in the journey where, as I’ve mentioned earlier, your sphere of relationships are both your support system and they’re also the classroom that will teach you what these things that you’re learning and seeing about yourself and the world around you, how you can move from we said it earlier, awareness doesn’t transform. Practice transforms. And by practice, we mean practicing the things that it’s one thing to say, well, here are my values. It’s another thing to say in the midst of this very difficult relationship right now, or this very difficult challenge that I’m facing, what do my values, how do they inform, how I show up? What do they tell me? That’s practice, right? One is awareness, the other is practice. Well, this over here. The awareness piece, if it just remains there, isn’t terribly useful. You may be a more aware individual, but nowhere near being a better version of you. So, again, this is where we don’t want to be making assumptions, but we also don’t want to be hanging in in places where we know that the future is not there, becoming more comfortable with necessary endings and I think in friendship and so forth, often we just hang in longer than we need to.

Rob Dale [00:47:54]:

It is rarely easy. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to happen. So one of the things that I would encourage you if you’ve been listening in and maybe you’re even new to the channel, is to check out our website. We certainly provide some resources and some tools at the website, which is Livingrichley MEACT Act, and you can go there to find some of the different resources. But even as you go through the entire website, you will see links to all of previous episodes of the podcast with some descriptions around that. And we do cover a lot of the little elements of what Eric and I have been talking about today. We cover those more fully in some of the other episodes, so encourage you to just spend some time, check out the website. You’re going to find all kinds of great resources there.

Eric Deschamps [00:48:44]:

And Rob and I have just been sharing our experiences around what Living Richly in relationships looks like. But we’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts? And even if they don’t agree with ours, we’d love to hear from you and engage in this conversation. So please, you can reach out to us through the website. You can reach out to us directly at Rob at Livingrichley Me. You’re probably going to email me first because Eric at Livingrichley Me, whoever your favorite host is, that definitely is going to be me. But we’ll see. Reach out to us directly with your thoughts, your ideas, and please make sure to subscribe, share and leave reviews for the podcast. It does go a long way towards the podcast, reaching a broader audience and getting the Living Richly message out there.

Rob Dale [00:49:29]:

I want to thank you so much for taking the time to listen. As always, we recognize that I am the most important person on this podcast. Until next time, have a great day. Al.