Jenny Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Welcome to another episode of the holistic life podcast. I’m Jenny, and we are here in the unfuck winnable series. And we are at a coffee shop. So you may hear some odd ends and noises. Basically, we are staying at a place on our Nomad trip that has no Wifi. So we had to figure out where to come to record this, it all is going to work out perfectly because we have an amazing guest. And we’re super excited to bring him on. I just met him recently, actually, a good friend of mine that I know who I used to partner up with for the magazine. I used to coordinate. She introduced him and we had a great chat just recently. We connected. I love what he’s standing for and what he believes in. We’re going to talk about a lot of really cool stuff today. So before we get into that, let me tell you a little bit about David. David Brower, actually, he lives in France, and he is an American, but he moved to France, and he’s been there for many years. And what I love about him is he’s the sensorial guy. So he’s inspired by his own romantic personality. He inspires others globally to connect to each other in meaningful ways to find useful joy in the everyday, create moments of romance daily and find pleasure in the small details and nuances of life. To seek relentlessly to fuse pleasure with purpose, sometimes a tad mischievous, too. He’s also the author of a book called The Dance of the Love caterpillars. It’s the number one best selling romantic love story between two caterpillars that is aimed at romantics of all ages. What I’m most excited about to welcome David on is to really tap into this idea of sensual living and pleasure and hearing more about his story. So without further ado, we’d love to welcome David to the chat show. Thank you very much. Yeah. Thanks, Jenny. And Jai, of course, share a little bit more about yourself, share a little bit more about your journey, you know, just speak from the heart about like, What took you to France? What’s led you to this part? You know, like where you’re at right now today in life?
David Yeah, big question. Yeah, and I say it because I’ve been here 30 years. So. So, no, I mean, I, you know, the great thing is that I was heading on a path that was not mine. When I was in college, I was at UCLA studying political science. And thought I convinced myself that I was going to become a lawyer. Probably the only reason was because during political science class, you know, you would have these open papers with questions that you could just answer and build a case for, right. And, of course, we all know that politics is the most creative industry that there is. So you know, it’s really easy for me to kind of unload my creativity in that way. I mean, I grew up in a family in the movie and theatrical business on both the performance side and the business side. And so it’s always a fusion of that, and probably my path was intended maybe to be in that direction, but it just, you know, it was a very self conscious kid. I was a really small kid, I was very athletic. But when I got to high school, I couldn’t get on to any of the sports teams. And it was kind of the beginning by realizing that I’m different. I’m unique. I’m probably not going to belong in certain circles or places, and my life is potentially going to be different and that became so true afterwards. And so next year No, I’m trying to go to law school and study. I took two prep classes like Kaplan and this other one. Oh my god so ridiculous selling me this sort of over trying over killing I just there wasn’t smart enough, big enough, clever enough. Like and just I just hated, you know, multiple choice kinds of exams and things. Really, really hated that stuff. So anyhow, I, you know, luckily, I failed horribly. And, you know, I’m like, jumping up and down. I better remember this, I was drinking whiskey or something after jumping in bed, crying, and it was kind of a really strange moment. And my dad had always talked to me about Paris. He tried. He tried to make movies here in the 70s. And, you know, it was kind of like, the ultimate opportunity to say, Hey, you know, maybe I should take a break. And what I told everyone was, you know, I’m going to Paris, you know, and I’m coming back for law school in a year, which was Such bollocks. I mean, I wasn’t coming back at all. And so yeah, one way ticket, I was 22, got on a kind of play, basically knew nobody here spoke to me a little bit the language. And, you know, just realize that everything that had made me feel like such an outsider was going to serve me really well here to make that actually a strength, you know, to be the only American of the group to be the only one who doesn’t really speak French at the table to be in any international group of people where you’re the only American also, you know, and yeah, just kind of started to find my way that way. So that was sort of the first big real leap of my life. And I mean, such a big leap that I never moved back to the United States. And that literally has been 30 years now. And I still speak English.
Jai So So did you know when you bought that one, when, when on a one way ticket, you were going to France to stay? Or did it just kind of happen? Were you just like, I’m going to, for lack of a better phrase, find myself and then if I come back to the states to come back to the States, or did you like get to take it was like, Yo, this is probably where I’m going to end up.
David Certainly at the time, I wasn’t using language like, you know, find myself in this any other I do believe I’ve had for a really long time in my life, kind of a fear of, you know, the so called self actualization, you know, am I, you know, especially as I was heading up the wrong tree, by heading towards law school. So, when I bought the ticket, it was almost like I was getting an escape ticket. I was fleeing, because I didn’t know what else to do. Wow. And everyone’s racing along and talking about the next steps in their lives. And, you know, they all say it as if they’ve made the greatest decision of their life. Right? And, you know, oh, my God, how many unhappy lawyers are going out? I love them. I love them. Right? How many of them are useful but no, I mean, to spend a whole life in conflict like that. Yeah, they’re saving people in stuff is nice. But so no, I, you know, I had no idea you know, I thought literally, I would be coming back in 14 months. But how can you see that far ahead? I’ve never even been to a brace. It’s like you’re getting on a spaceship going to a foreign land and, and of course, I came to Paris, France and romance and love came and you know, life is life is like loving.
Jenny speaks, speaks a little bit about that romance and love I mean, going from you know, that that is legal, the lawyer, you know, and then like, really, it just feels like setting your life free in this journey into France into the land of love, and romance. And that’s a lot about what you talk about. So I want to hear more about romance and pleasure and really talk to us about what sensorial living is.
David Yeah. Well, when I got here was also in some ways a, like a rebirth of my, my connection to love, like women or meeting women, because I’d had a pretty uninspiring time in high school. Like, I literally didn’t really have any, any significant kind of love interest thing. And I was a very small kid and had a lot of shame. And, you know, that’s pretty handsome, you know, kid charming all this, but inside, I was just, I really didn’t feel worthy. That confidence, right. And so when I came here, I mean, you know, again, suddenly, I was just, like, just by default, I was original, right? Just by default. I was you were the guy, you know, I was the guy like, 30 years ago, like the American guy. Yeah, you know, it’s like, you know, I didn’t really have to say too much. But it was just seems kind of a reopening for me to say, beginning of reconnecting with, with that side of me and, and I started to realize here, how sensuous the life was around food, eating, cooking, drinking, you know, all the experience around tables in cafes, and, you know, the food markets, and the unbelievable level of excellence and honoring and ritualizing and tradition, and, you know, it’s like, I, I was kind of blown away already right from the beginning. When I say my gosh, how can they give so much attention to all of this? I mean, what kind of what’s the point really, but then you start eating and you they start talking about it and like, like, the whole experience starts to like the environment starts to bring you into this very sensory experience in your you suddenly realize that there’s a culture around, like, do you know how to eat? Do you know, do you know how to talk about what you’re eating and what you’re experiencing? Can you express that you don’t like this thing, but what specifically is it and why? You know, and then suddenly, like, you suddenly realize that there’s a lot of expression going on here. And it’s not just a sort of positive expression. There’s a lot of, you know, ranting and complaining. And, you know, this kind of stuff, that famous differential kind of famous for that. But overall, it’s like you learn to actually start to really notice, observe, with your senses way more, what’s going on around you, because otherwise, it’s like everyone else is having this experience. And you’re not, it’s like having dinner with people who are eating steak. And you know, you’re eating tofu, right? Yeah, yeah. And I’m like, I don’t want that experience, I want to be part of the experience. So I surrounded myself mostly with only French people, or mixed couples with French people, to just fully immerse myself. And so this, suddenly, I’m getting invited on weekends, and suddenly, I’m getting invited on vacation with people to their, to their summer house on the ocean side. And suddenly, we’re Sunday lunches. And, and again, it’s like this building kind of experience of what it’s actually like to savor these moments of life, including the insane amount of holiday that you get here. As a salaried and employed here, the amount of weeks and how important that is, right now, people fight in their own companies to be able to go on holiday together, you know, it’s, it’s a plan on gear for this kind of thing just starting to open to that.
Jai That’s amazing. I want to know, because I’ve, I haven’t been anywhere besides the United States. Here. In the US, it feels like everything is so Hustle, Hustle, Hustle, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go go. And like you just said, and Jenny’s talked a lot about this, because when she was in corporate America, her big thing was, like taking time off so you don’t get burnt out. And the amount of time that companies don’t give you and you know, the thing that if they did you would be a better employee, instead of them trying to incentivize you with work hard, climb up the corporate ladder, blah, blah, blah, blah. So what was there was like a culture shift to, and that from, like, even being a US student to, like you said, going over to a place like France, where even the conversations about the food is different, and the experiences are totally different?
David Yeah, it’s kind of night and day, in a lot of ways. You know, this set. I mean, even though I don’t know how many movies make jokes about things like, the French never work, you know, France is a fifth economy in the world or six. I mean, yeah, things are kind of working out right here. And, you know, there’s just a strong preference to use that time to resource yourself right to rejuvenate yourself to have a moment. That’s really lovely. And, and what’s great is the moments are so infused with pleasure. And sensuousness and in the food so amazingly, you’re so engulfed in it all, that it really takes you out of your head, it takes you out of your thinking, it takes you into something that’s very visceral and very embodied. Now I like to say that there’s really only two things that I know of that work all of your five senses. And that’s, you know, sex, lovemaking. And cooking. Okay, cooking uses all of your writing, not entirely, but cooking. Oh, my God. Yes. No, crazy, crazy. Crazy. So yeah, it’s, I’ve always believed that life is not just about work, first of all, and if that’s true, how do you actually build your life? organize your life? prioritize your life? How do you pick a profession? And how do you pick a company? And how do you negotiate your time off and you know, all these different kinds of things that can happen? I mean, it’s shocking to me that Americans are not fighting like crazy. To get holidays into law. There is no law about holidays. Right. Yeah, you know, and so the sort of work ethic, which American don’t have a monopoly on, but it’s definitely there. And I also feel that there’s an overemphasis on life, purpose through work, right. Yes, yes. Not that that’s a bad thing. Yeah, I’m all for let’s do something meaningful, let’s, you know, but let’s not so overly identify that we our obsession becomes our impulse and it becomes our like, we just can’t leave it right. Right. Maybe this and I’ve been there also. I’ve had a lot of that but I do so much cooking because I cook like crazy, you know, and eating that eating moment as sort of my meditation, right? Because I want real life to be about meditation, right? I meditate in the morning. But, you know, I’m saying, you know, like some people use runny, right like some people use sex, like some people use, you know, whatever, um, you could be cleaning up your house iron and washing the dishes, right? You could be working out there in just so many ways, it’s really just a mindset of right how you do that. And for me, that’s how we access living a life that’s more full of pleasure throughout the day, then, then if we just get caught up on this sort of performance for performance sake, we drink the Kool Aid. And at some point, it becomes an addiction, right? Even for people we’re, like, relatively successful are very successful. They can’t seem to kind of go right. You know, their soul has been caught up in that in and on top of it, I feel that you so undervalue under appreciating, give less attention to yourself, your health, your well being, your intimate relationships, friendships, any kinds of activities, you want to learn hobbies and things, that you’re really getting only a small piece of what’s so extraordinary to be living before including travel. I mean, my gosh, travel, you guys are traveling, traveling, traveling is like the greatest teacher ever. It is. You know, like, I remember when I, when I was first here, in the first three months, I went. And I don’t know, if I told you this story, Jenny, I went to a dance place down in Spain. I’d been with friends and I was 23. And we travel around for a few months. And then I went off on my lunch alone. And I found myself in this old village. And so I go out at night to go dancing. And I’m in a, you know, a nightclub, and for like, three hours straight, all they play is Spanish music. And all you know, everyone is singing like all the songs to the words. And like you suddenly realize like, like, wait, there’s, there’s other universes out there. Culture cultures out there. Well, there’s no way to live in Oh my god, that is yes, this are three hours to like I like like, you’re like suddenly like wait a minute, there’s not a mono cultural hegemony over how to live a beautiful life that you love and had a on so many subjects. Right? Right.
Jenny: So how do people who are like, have been only exposed to that gogogo culture, you know, like here in the US or a type of entrepreneur, you know, how do they go about? Are we I’m gonna say, wee, because I’m in that to learn how to savor and appreciate life more, like how do we get better at that?
David: Well, first look at your agenda and see how you’re making decisions about how you spend your time. Do you cut out, you cut off your work at a certain hour, and it’s like, I’m done at four o’clock, or whatever it is, like I’m done. And maybe you still look at your phone a little bit, but like, really like to work , are you really letting it go. And next thing is really, I don’t know if you like to cook, and or if you like to eat. Cooking, of course, I think is one of the most beautiful vehicles of sensuality, and sensory connection to life in the world. It’s an unbelievable meditation. You cannot hold a sharp knife and still be in your head. It’s not gonna happen, right? You know, and if you don’t want to burn something, and you try and do complicated things as you do more, like you need to be super present. Right? Right, you’re gonna burn myself broke this, you know, and then you want the artistic element. Like instead of just putting the food on the table, make it like you’re in the Chateau Versailles, right? Like, it’s a celebration, like, Oh, this is a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, but every bloody night, use gorgeous fabric napkins use like like when you travel bring your own like serious silverware like your grandmother’s you know, so you make you make like a celebration is if you’re in some grand hotel, you know, I’m kind of character to rising but if you start to honor and value and give meaning to that moment, that’s certainly already one way to do it and make it beautiful, you know, learning study about plating. So instead of just putting stuff on the table, plate it puts that little touch of a flower or a parsley stamp, or something like you see on Instagram, right and it changes everything. And then you feel special. You feel like you’re giving some special people that the table you’re like, Oh wow, like, like wait, nobody does this. I must be special. Like they must love me. They must want to For me, they want to give me this gift. And I mean, there’s like so much right there ready, right? And just like, you know, feeling do like, what if this was a romantic moment, because when we’re in a romantic moment, we want to be artistic. So we write a little poem and a little piece of paper that we put on the plate of the person we’re dining with, or the six people have come over for dinner, you know, and then we start to integrate other elements that make it like a more fun and entertaining evening. And if you can lean into art, the arts, arts and culture are magnificent ways also to expand our sense of getting away from a rational world into a more emotional world, you know, the embodiment of dancing, the feeling of singing, and the vibrations of experiencing and singing along. We know this when we go to concerts and stuff. And I think that’s part of it, and then start to have more interesting conversations at the table that are not around work. Talk about the movie that you just saw. And I’m trying to get people to like, you know, when you talk about food, or wine or something you’re tasting, say three things. So don’t just say I love it. Well, okay, why do you love it? I love it, because it’s got a velvety feel on my tongue. And it’s kind of poking my tongue, it’s like bubbling on my tongue a little bit. And it kind of reminds me of cherries, right? And it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong. It’s like the fact that you’re actually using your attention to focus on what you’re experiencing. And you’re externalizing it, that expression is suddenly helping you validate and anchoring and build the Encyclopedia of your senses. And suddenly, your palate starts to get better. And to speak about it gets better, right?
Jai I gotta say, you’ve truly blown my mind. Because I’m you’re talking about I’m thinking, because one on one of the things our business does, where we’re a wellness lifestyle company, and when people hear well, well, people in the United States here, wellness, they want to automatically put us in a health and fitness box, like, oh, to be healthy, I have to be fit, I have to go to the gym, I had to eat differently. But what you just said is, you know, people who are burned out, and they’re like, Oh, my God, I can’t wait for my next vacation. And it’s like, why are you waiting for your next vacation, you can literally have these experiences without leaving your home. Or you can have these experiences every day of the week if you choose to and not have to go anywhere. And that’s going to be a tremendous leveling up to your health and wellness within that your own private intimate scenario situation. Right there.
Jenny And I want to throw like some in here cuz I’m really curious how you handle like what Jai said, right? Because Jai, Jai, is zen Jai’s the Zen master in our relationship, I’m the recovering type entrepreneur, right? And so as you’re talking through all these things, I step back into my previous self, where you would have told me these things I would have been like, yeah, yeah, that sounds great. I really want that. But when it comes, when it comes down to choosing, do I slow down and savor the food? If I slow down and do this, I would have chosen, like you said, to find my purpose in the work. And so how do we really like, you know, take what Jai says and what we believe in? Like, how do we take all that and help somebody who’s in so much of that, like, I could just as you were saying it, I could go back to my old self and be like, that sounds great. But I’m busy. You know what I’m saying? Like, how do you really make that leap to feel like you have the purpose and the pleasure together?
David This is why I use pleasure as the doorway. Yeah. Because a busy person still likes eating really great food, right? Yeah. You know, you’re like having fascinating conversations, they’d like to be entertained. So as you start to integrate that more into your daily life, you’re getting more that the problem is people don’t, and eating is transactional. And so they go from being super busy actually treating and delegating their food experience, more than I think they should, to restaurants and stuff. So what do they do? There’s no break in their day. Like, you’re just going at it even when you go to dinner, you’re going at it because you’re not coming to your senses. And you’re not even present really you’re a little present. You know, you’re enjoying your savoring, etc. And I’m saying you know, if you’re a high performer in your work life, and your personal life and your experience in life, you know, is not ramping up. This is going to catch up to you one day, and you’re gonna realize you’ve been missing life. You’re going to realize also that potentially you’ve lost something in your life. Now, I’m not talking about your work, right? You’ve got something in your life that could be a relationship. It could be your connection with yourself. You suddenly wake up and you’re like, I’ve been killing it so much. Like who am I? Right? No and and at the end of the day, Really? Are you? Are you loving your life? Are you loving it because you’re following what, you know, you thought was the path to living a successful life, which for a lot is successful work equals successful life. So I think that you can’t force someone to come to that conscious awakening, right? This said, if someone doesn’t feel like they’re getting enough pleasure in their life, and yet they’re killing it at work. And yet, it’s never enough. And even when it is, it’s not enough. And they’re kind of stuck on this hamster wheel. So, you know, if they want to live their life like that, you know, I think that’s okay. But think about the people around you in your life, like, are you? Are you giving them the life that they want with your presence and your attention and sharing beautiful, sensuous, pleasurable moments like attentiveness, and presence, and awareness and all these things, it’s like the main thing that makes life worth living, because that’s the only doorway to be able to actually be with it. So if you’re, if you’re only doing that in your work relationship, and even there, I would question that, if you’re so kind of narrow, focused to my art, and to my mind, you’re not really living a fully expressed and experienced life, you’re living life through like a black and white lens, when there’s all this other color here and think about the way you’re raising your children. Think about the impact you’re having on the people that work for you. And its performance for performance in its extreme case. And, you know, everyone’s got to decide for themselves, if that’s the life, they want to leave. But if you have the least bit of inkling that maybe there’s something different, there’s a different way of experiencing it, maybe I can actually even be more effective and sustainable. In my work, if I start integrating these other aspects, maybe my well being will be better. I mean, I worked in very, you know, top performing entertainment companies, Disney and IMAX. And I can tell you, I would fight like crazy to go on holiday. I can tell you that I worked almost every weekend, collecting at the box office, and there were all kinds of things. But, you know, never, never missed an opportunity to you know, use my senses to come back and have a beautiful moment. And not just with work people, right in my own life. And you know, to build your own life, and you’re not even let’s even talk about money. Like some people are crushing it money wise. But like, at the end of the day, what’s left in their bank account, what are they invested in Where’s are they’re really building are, they just kind of like spending so much to satiate, and to, you know, kind of feel like, like to work so hard, they should be able to, you know, be paid to do whatever they want and great, everyone needs to experience that. But I think that’s a little bit of short term thinking and at the end of the day, you’re really enjoying your life and not burning out, not getting sick, right before you go on holiday. I mean, it’s the most ridiculous thing ever. For going to climbing the Himalayas and swimming with the dolphins and, you know, going and building schools in some exotic country going having a yoga retreat, you know, this friend of mine, who’s a lawyer of all things went to go on on holiday for two weeks, like a year ago, he posts on Facebook, he’s, he’s going to holiday first time, it’s because his partners are like, you have to go on holiday because you’re gonna you know, you’re good, something’s gonna snap, you know, you have a stroke or you can have some kind of problem. And he’s like, man, so he goes, he goes for two weeks apparently to some standard resort in Mexico somewhere. And he sits by a pool and reads some novel or something. And after a week, he comes back and he posts on you know, it comes back a week early on Facebook, you know, worst idea ever. I will never ever do that again. And I’m like, if this person hasn’t completely misunderstood what life is about from my perspective, what free time is, don’t call it vacation right? free time there’s two weeks you can go anywhere on the planet learn something like do a purposeful thing if you want but so caught up in that so addicted in that he’s under exercise his freedom muscles now it’s almost like people who retire and like they died very shortly afterwards. Right right like they’re looking at a man like the age of man after they retire. Right? But why because they’ve so identified in so given to that. And I think this is where we get a little bit kind of caught up in that is you know, we just get so You know, caught up in that. And I mean, surround yourself with people who don’t do so much of that, you know, make commitments that are like you have to show up just to break the pattern. Because that kind of addiction I think is of an older period. And today we have way more agency and leveraging in choice and options I feel. And you can integrate like Jay, you said, I’m all for what you said every single day is a way to do it. We don’t need to go traveling to some exotic place, every single day you can make your life pleasurable, since the oriel release and feast, an experience. But if you don’t value that, if you don’t start giving that value, if you don’t give it meaning, if you don’t make it purposeful, right? Make it purposeful, right? There’s so many ways to experience that. And I’m telling you, your relationships get way better. And your decisions get better. You’re not just you know, making worse decisions. You’re making really good personal life decisions. And for your children and your relationship. And like suddenly, like you’re not No, you’re not going to that crappy restaurant anymore. Because your palate is better. And you start You’re so present. Now that you’re like no, I’m not what am I eating? No, no, no, I don’t want that. I don’t want this. Like suddenly, like the world starts to open up to you. It’s like, this thing suddenly goes like this. And you’re not afraid of it anymore? Yeah. Didn’t you start dating and
Jenny Right. Now I would love to have this romance, right? Because I know you’re in Paris, the land of romance, you wrote a book about romance. And even you lost your romantic love of 27 years. So I mean, romance has been a big part of your life. And I think everything we’ve talked about, I really wonder how many Americans and I can only assume because I’m an American and live here, right? How many Americans really don’t experience romance or maybe even know what it is. So I gave you a couple different ways you could go with that question. But I would like to go down the romance path a little bit.
David And maybe you saw the film that really I created with 33 people who I asked them the question: is romance essential in your life? Did you guys see this? Didn’t see it now? Oh, yeah.
Jenny I can’t watch it.
David Yeah, so is romance essential in your life? And if so, why? Right. And so 33 people gave me video responses. And it’s half men, half women. And there’s, you know, an 11 year old, there’s a 77 year old. And it’s an absolutely fascinating video because the definition of romance is seemingly quite different for everybody. Some of them, very few of them actually took the very strict, you know, chocolates and flowers and went to dinner on Valentine’s Day, right? There’s so many other ways of living romance in your everyday life, that’s about making other people feel seen and desired and noticed and heard. Right and you know, touched and that you actually have this kind of romantic way of looking at life that you want to make the moments like dinners at home, you want to make it a little bit a little bit more jazzy. You’d light some candles tonight. You don’t need to like official celebrations. For God’s sake, don’t go buy a card that’s already been written on your own. Write your own poem, and then recite it at the table. You know, I want for Valentine’s Day I learned secretly to play the harmonica. I learned this I learned a song for my spouse who of course first thing she says to me after I played she was crying everything. She’s like, Where did you find the time to do this? You know, and like you never forget that. Right? Right. Right. So it’s like how can you make moments of life unforgettable and the key really to romance is that in the beginning, romance is really easy. The honeymoon phase, everything is new. It’s the first time you’re doing things together. And yet it’s really the seeding of noticing what the other really loves and enjoys and savers right? And together, what do you really enjoy? Right? Because there’s things that maybe one of you will love and the other doesn’t so much and romance can be about you going to something you’re not so happy about. But you go there with his full heart as you possibly can for the other person. Like you go to that family lunch, you know that you just can’t stand the uncle, you know, you want to you know, just tell them to eff off. Take it you prepare yourself and you take it third degree and you say that this contrast in this given this is real loving. This is real romance. And just to continue to find ways to bring a certain sense of novelty is obviously Probably the easiest way to keep things there. And I just want to say that like, like, when we get so caught up in our work and all these other things we come on, we have very little energy left. And then that’s when we start to have conversations. And we’re in a really bad space, because we’re so caught up in, you know, it’s like the worst time to make decisions about where to have a discussion about, like, you didn’t empty the dishwasher yesterday, yeah, you like, like you’d like the chosen moment is not so ideal. So I find it actually quite beautiful in very loving, delicious moments, to start to have intimate conversations. And to come, you’re in such a beautiful place, and to just kind of, you know, together, like agreed to speak about some of those, some of those kinds of things, you know, you got to really fight to, and I don’t, I’m not a fighter, I’m really a lover. But you know, in a in a metaphoric sense, you got to really fight to keep your, your, your couple your relationship as something that remains on a pedestal, and I need that in the most positive sense,
David I’m surprised I don’t have my own children. But I’ve always been quite surprised by people that don’t put their couple is the core of their life. Because that’s where the energy comes from, that’s where you can waste a lot of emotional energy, that’s where you can, like when that should be, like the core of the sun, right? Like when that is humming along, you know, this happy wife happy life, you know, the husband, feeling that he’s, he’s present, and, you know, can offer solutions, when that’s something that makes sense. And like, there’s this dance that’s going on. And that your, your, your attention to honoring that and making that beautiful is such a great thing. And it takes two to tango, sometimes there’s one more than the other. And this is the great thing. I’m like, pulling you back in, you’re heading off in, you know, I don’t know, you’re drinking too much. And I’m sort of helping you come back. And you know, right, you start smoking we turn in Yeah. And then you know, you get a little bit away, you know, or your finances are a little bit too. Oh, you’re having trouble at work. And like, let’s say it’s like this content, like give and take, but obviously cannot be a one directional thing here, one cannot turn off. And then expect that, you know, the vibrancy of this, this world that you’ve created is going to emanate to everything else. And when and when that is good. And the trust is there, like magic is possible. Yeah. And then you can go off and do things on your own and do things with friends and stuff. But like you can’t spend your whole weekend playing golf away from your spouse who hates golf. Right? Sorry. How does that make sense? That doesn’t make any sense?
Jai It makes no sense at all, in my opinion, golfers hate me. And they understand one of my biggest things is, you know, with with people who get who get married, you know, they get caught up in the in the Daydream, you know, the wedding, the ring, the the the person, you quote unquote, fell in love with, you know, and then it’s like, Val, if you do the traditional vows or whatever, you know, it’s for for, for better or for worse. That doesn’t mean once you’re you know, when you’re glammed up, and when you’re not glammed up is like we have decided to do this together, no matter rain or shine. I think a lot of people just want to look for the sunshine moments, the rainbow moments, and I want to say forget, but they kind of neglect those those days when it’s when it’s storming, you know, you know, kind of like you said, the other person is drinking too much and you you have to bring him back, you know, or, or vice versa, whatever it is, and you were the one who has to be pulled back, like I feel, those are the times that kind of reinforces the bond of the relationship. You know, those times for me, is when you can look at that person and say yes, this is why I wanted you to be my spouse or significant other partner is because when I was at my lowest, I knew you could pick me up and vice versa. I want to do the same for you. Instead of like oh you’re not the person I thought you weren’t know where people change. People change. And if you’re basing all that on a day, where everything was fucking perfect, and you think that’s going to be like that for the rest of your marriage, your your disillusion
David people should really spend less money on their weddings and spread that money out for their fifth 10th 20th anniversary like last in a bank somewhere. incentive
Jai yielding yielding
David Something like this. Yeah, I know, interestingly, my marriage was basically a green card marriage because we were in love and living together. But my visa just kept running out and so we just kind of decided that way. But we trusted each other. And it was really risky. I mean, my spouse was 19 years older than I was. Wow. So, you know, everyone looked at us like we were absolutely crazy. But we knew, or we didn’t know. But we trusted each other and, you know, started to build a life together from Aaron. I mean, I literally told my parents not to come to the wedding. Don’t come, it’s not a wedding. Can you believe this? And we basically had a wedding here in my, in our home here, which was the best party ever. Yeah. But there was no like, you know, so called honeymoon. So co-winner, I have never worn a ring in 30 years. My spouse wore her grandmother’s ring. You know, at the party, we got a lot of free food from her sister who is working with the restaurant world here in Paris. And, yeah, I mean, there wasn’t this whole, like by the dress that it used to be sort of, like overblown anything and do weddings like this, everyone needs to say what they’re sort of playing right now. Their preferences. But like you said, Jai, if suddenly, that becomes some kind of, like, ludicrous reference of what it is, that’s kind of problematic, because I think, you know, real love is in these little moments, where, like, you know, I’m putting the cream on your burn shoulders, right? I’m like, right? And because I noticed, and you didn’t, I’m still looking at you. I’m still watching your back. And, you know, also just preserving energy to come and be together. Correct. Again, you can’t waste all your energy, you guys are sharing this with so many people and guiding people, like you can’t, you can’t give away so much of that energy, to stuff that doesn’t nourish what you want to sustain in your life. You know, so it’s really a decision now, you know, it’s like, is it’s not just a signature on a piece of paper. It’s not just a ceremony. I mean, we know that more than half the time. That doesn’t work out and scandalously probably the figures within the first 357 years are really complicated. This said, this doesn’t exonerate people from stepping up in, you know, not just blaming the other for not, you know, taking time to heal and, and grow as a human being. And it’s like in lovemaking or like sex, let’s say consent is something that you need to ask for again, and again. And again, it’s not like you don’t just ask for consent once, right? You know, in that kind of those kind of relationship, and then you just assume that you have it for the rest of your life, even in married couples, you know, so like, the respect, it’s there, and, and also like, like, I always said to, to my wife, our measure of our wellbeing is both of us together. So we add both of our well being together. And that average is what interests me. That’s what we’re aiming for. So it’s not just about me, and not you. It’s not just about you. And I mean, we have to help each other to get to the highest share, you know, ratio, right. And so, that’s not so easy. Sometimes when there’s health problems, addictions, unforeseen illnesses, and immune system things. And there’s so many things that happen around us, you know, that are very difficult to handle. But when the love is there, and you keep coming back to it, because you’ve chosen to make every day, the day, so you make a beautiful meal together, you know, you stop complaining that it takes so much time to prepare. That’s all part of the ceremony. Right? Right. You know, it’s like, this is the, like people who say like, cooking is a chore. I’m like, well, you you, I don’t this I don’t see it at all that way. Cooking is an effort. Cooking takes some time, though, you can get way more strategic about that. And it doesn’t take so much time. You know, I’ve been so strategic about certain parts of life and the rest are like, like even getting strategic about romance. They said, You Come on, like in your job there when you’re making money. Right? What do you think of a strategic mind, like you’re not getting paid this month until you know the strategic plan about how you do build romance in your life? Like, so it’s like, how do you just use what you love to do in the work world, and just bring a bit more of it into your personal life and that romance?
Jai Also what you just said, and it’s like, we’ve been in a lot of conversations with people and you know, this conversation, this thing of work, life balance, comes up, always comes up and I’m not a big I don’t agree with balance. It’s Always counterbalanced. And what you just said was more like work life integration, because there’s always going to be a given get, you know, a push and pull. But if you learn how to integrate the things that you’re great in and work and bring it to your relationships to to your lifestyle, and vice versa, the things that you’re good at and your lifestyle, and bring that to the work your workplace or your environment, I think that that really starts to, to solidify the the work life integration, you don’t have to worry about balancing ms balancing that because you’re never going to be completely balanced. There’s always a shift in a calendar shift. And, okay, I got to go over here and I got to come over here, I got to go over here. But it’s like the integration of everything. And learning how to make it work together seamlessly.
David It’s very, so very articulately, expressed by Jai. And that’s really what is and when I talk about pleasure with purpose is performance. It’s exactly that to make purposeful things more pleasurable, and to make pleasurable things more purposeful. You know, I mean, there’s this great example, which you probably heard about, about, they did like a study about cleaning people, where they had two different groups, and I’m going to, I’m going to march all over this study, and it’s gonna be you know, go fact check this, but the story is, you know, the moral of the story is solid. So, like cleaning people were in two different groups were told one of them was told, for the next five weeks when you’re cleaning, we just wanted to let you know that cleaning is like going to the gym. It’s like a workout, right? Yeah. And the other ones, they told nothing. And so what happens, of course, the people would spend the five weeks with this purpose and intention in better shape. Yeah. So when we take cooking as a chore, of course, it’s not, you know, if cooking is the most grandiose, deep spiritual exercise that you can do, because it brings you back to exactly what Vipassana meditation does, going through sensations, and using your focus and awareness, and then actually savoring it and appreciating it and being in mindfulness. It’s all there, like in regular life. And so when we, when we fall into the cliches, that it’s a chore, it’s like washing the dishes, someone’s watching someone’s drying, and you’re having any intimate conversation, doing something manual is so valuable. If you’re just there saying let’s put it in the dishwasher. And then again, we can get on to going back to something in our head or, like there’s too much delegation, right? I don’t mean, I have a Ferrari kitchen. I’m telling you one day when you come to dinner here, you know, my kitchen is insane. I don’t have a washing machine in my kitchen. Right? Okay. So, but anyway, it’s, it’s just like that overlapping. And I’ll just add one more thing. One of the things that I do sometimes when I’m doing chores around the house, and I’m alone, potentially, I have a picture that I took when I was at the Taj Mahal. Here, the Taj Mahal in India is an exceptional, very romantic structure that you feel . When you’re there, the story behind it is horribly, crazily hard to accept, but it’s very powerful, because the Emperor, whenever he was called, he lost his wife. And so he hired an architect, and said, I want to build a structure that will honor her. And he said, so that you will feel what I feel, and you will build something that will remind me of this and honor this, I’m killing your wife. Wow. Okay. And so they built this unbelievably sensuous structure that’s just mind blowing. So when you’re there, there’s a fountain of depth to it. And there were all these men that were working, rooming in the fountain, just keeping a clean, and I have them in front of the Taj Mahal. And I say, if I can see any chore I do in life, like I’m contributing, and I’m working in this palace, at Dave, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, you know, I’ll get into an abundance mindset. And I will find purpose in it. And I’ll be like, these cleaning people that it’s a workout. And you know, when I start to take the stairs instead of the escalators, and they start to breathe as if I’m exercising, suddenly, I’m getting this like, enjoyable thing. And suddenly life is like this endless, you know, adventure of how can I build the pleasure and do it and make it purposeful when I didn’t? And now we don’t just get caught in not seeing pleasure, for pleasure sake, it’s a bad thing. You don’t want to live there though. Right? This is because people are on drugs all the time. Right, right, or you know, whatever. And you don’t want to be the purpose for a purpose, or a performance for performance. I feel life is meant to be joyful and enjoy something juicy about and you want to not go crazy in the accents. And I just love the words they use. Jai, I’m just, I’m all into that I’m all really about that. My question, I hope that all of our questions are about integration. Integration is everything. We’re in such a, you know, masculine feminine energy world, black and white, yes and no, on and off lightswitch. And I’m like, No, there’s a variator button that I want, right? For the collar. Like, I want the volume button and the tone and the pitch, like, right? Not. Yeah, yeah, I want to tweak it in my way. And I want to have different kinds of experiences. And I don’t want to be so caught up in whether you have it or not. There’s so much nuance. I mean, it’s a very kind of tantric way of looking at the world. Right? Right. This is for me, this is, you know, sensuous sensuality, and love and loving. And it really goes into the domain of feelings and emotions also, right? So we start to allow ourselves to say, maybe I can feel this, and it’s not happiness, but it’s something that’s part of me, and I’d want to integrate it. And if I allow myself to experience it, and sense it, I don’t immediately go into some habitual pattern or something. You know, this integration is just so everything like, this is what we want, right?
Jenny I mean, this has been such a powerful conversation. I’m excited because I have food here in front of me, I have avocado toast, Jai has a cup of fruit, and I am going to totally approach this avocado toast differently than I would have if I would have scarfed it down a couple of minutes before the call. I can’t wait to hear about it. I’m excited to try this out. And you know, I’d really love for you to share a little bit more about where to find your book, you know, who would be a good person to tap into the dance of the love caterpillars and read that fictional story about romance. And you know, if someone wants to learn from you, and learn about how to be more sensual, how can they
David Yeah, thank you Jenny and Jai you can reach me obviously on Facebook as David Brower, b r o w e r, I’m quite active, they’re quite active on Instagram and the handle there is @thesensorialguy. And of course my website, which is davidbrower.com for dance and love caterpillars My name I’m using David Charles Brower, which you can find dance on love caterpillar’s online in the States, you can even find it on book bookshop.org, which I really liked, because that’s supporting local bookstores. And there’s also a really delicious, sensuous, beautiful audio version of the book. It’s on Audible and on Amazon. Listen to a sample of it. He has an original, it’s me doing a beautiful narration. I mean, it’s part of it. But it’s really because of the integration, I’m using jazer happy marriage, the audio, original musical soundtrack by VR even over dittrich, just super exquisite. So it’s a 12, 15 minutes original piece of music. That’s a company there. And if you can’t go up, you can find it now who is really who could read this book and get something out of it. And we’re almost we’re about 70 reviews, you can go up and read quite a bit, everyone’s kind of getting different things about it. But you know, my story is really about having lost a loved one. And desiring to remind myself that in life, we begin again and again. And again, this is how we demonstrate that we love life, he trusted again. And as we start to trust it, or to really, overall savor it, know that life is full of all these contrasts. And the best way of demonstrating that we know that we’ve lived at our own pace is to get over our losses, our griefs, our challenges, and to start again and just savor life, enjoy life, live something new and different. And just begin again, just like in meditation, right? Your thoughts take over and you just said you just self you know, start again. And again. And this book is a message of that really, and that we can be metamorphosized but really what matters is until then because we don’t know in their unknown in the uncertainty savor life, in your life in the ways we’ve spoken about integrating all these beautiful things.
Jenny I feel so at peace. I feel even as if our chat here today was a little bit of a meditation itself. You know, I just feel really good. I feel really excited. I feel really inspired. So I want to thank you for bringing your energy into this. Do you want to add anything before we close up? It’s been an awesome combo. Yeah, yeah. I know thank you for coming on, you guys reach out to him. This is a great compliment to the unfuck with level series because it provides a totally different perspective of how you can approach life. And the final question I want to ask David is, what is your favorite quote? And how does it speak to your journey?
David I’m horrible at remembering quotes, my favorite quotes, because it does evolve and change. There’s a quote that comes from the movie Alice in Wonderland. I believe it’s, I think it’s the Mad Hatter says it unless it’s Alice. Or maybe Alice. Either one. It’s something along the lines of, you know, you’re totally insane. You know, you’re totally crazy. But the best people are.
Jai Mad Hatter. Yeah. Yeah. Alice said, You’re, you’re mad. Oh, you’re crazy. You’re insane. And he said, Oh, but my dear, the best people are. That’s good for me right now. I love it.
Jenny I love it. Well, thank you so much, David. Thank you guys for listening. We’ll catch you in the next episode. Thanks for having me. Really appreciate it.
Jai You can subscribe to The Holistic Life Podcast from your favorite streaming platform. And don’t forget to check out 2jholla.com to stay in the know as an official today’s insider Mahalo for tuning