Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann
Living by design expert Leslie Sann is joining us on the show for the second time.
She first appeared on episode 425 eight years go when we talked about how life can be made so much simpler and fulfilling just by following some simple advice.
She believes that we should enjoy everyday and find better ways of doing stuff when life seems too hard for us to deal with.
She is the founder of Living by Design, an educational coaching organization, where for more than 25 years she has been helping people live a joyful life by showing them how to live by design rather than by default.
Make the right thing happens by conscious thought, and not just get pushed around by what life throws at you.
As she says “Your success IS my joy. I’m just like that. When you go Up, I go Up. It’s nourishing food for me. Maybe that’s why my dad called me weird when I was a kid. I like seeing other people win and be happy.
How The Dots Joined Up
I have devoted most of my professional life, since 1986, to helping people create a joyful life, personally, professionally and in their relationships, guiding them to live by design rather than by default. Well, even more than that. Live in joy regardless of circumstances.
When I first went into coaching, I called myself a joyologist.
That was decades before the happiness movement.
Why? Because joy is nourishing, always present, and valuable as a guide in creating a life we love.
So did she get to a point in her own life when she thought “Enough is enough, it’s time to make life what I want it to be and then went for it ”
And does she see that most people can build the dream life, or is there a select special group of forward thinkers that get the dream?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Leslie Sann.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Living by design expert Leslie Sann such as:
We share openly why we should all start clapping to bring more happiness into our lives whenever we want..
Leslie talks about why she feels her life is a treasure hunt, and being aware the need to look for the clues is the key to happiness.
We discuss why people should stop, slow down and choose the life that works for them before ever starting to go after the dream.
Why we need to focus on just one thing at one time, instead of jumping between many different things
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann Interview
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock. And start getting the dream business and life you will, of course, are dreaming of. Let’s join your host David route from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:40]
Yeah, good morning to you. Good morning, Jim. Welcome to Join Up Dots. Thank you very much for connecting with us. It’s the first time you’ve listened when you know welcome and where the hell have you been. And if you’ve listened to many of the episodes, you’re gonna like this one because today’s guest is joining us on the show for the second time. And she first appeared on episode 4258 years ago when we talked about how life can be made so much simpler and fulfilling just by following some simple advice. Now she believes that we should enjoy every day and find better ways of doing stuff when life seems too hard for us to deal with. She is the founder of Living by Design an educational coaching organisation where for more than 25 years, she has been helping people live a joyful life by showing them how to live by design, rather than by default, make the right things happen by conscious ball and not just get pushed around by what life throws at you. As she says Your success is my joy. I’m just like that, when you go up I go up is nourishing food for me. Maybe that’s why my dad called me weird when I was a kid. I like seeing other people win and be happy. I’ve devoted most of my professional life since 1986 to helping people create a joyful life, personally, professionally, and in their relationships guiding them to live by design, rather than by default. Well, even more than that live in joy, regardless of circumstances. So did she get to a point in our own life when she thought enough is enough? It’s time to make life what I want to be and then went for it? And does she see that most people can build the dream life? Or is there a select special group of forward thinkers that actually do get the dream? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show for a second time to join up even more dots with the one and only Leslie Sann. Good morning, Leslie. How are you?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [2:27]
Good morning, David. It’s such a joy to be with you. Thank you for inviting me. And that was a lot of words.
David Ralph [2:34]
It was a lot of words. But I didn’t read that. I just I’ve memorised it. Over eight years, I’ve just memorised it because I believe that life should be joyful, I believe. And I think everybody believes that. But it’s a bit hard to get there every day, isn’t it?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [2:51]
Well, I think who we are, at Essence is joy. And then we get distracted into all the noise in the world out there in our crazy brains. And it’s to me, it takes practice and a discipline focus to come home to joy. Come like that’s who we are. At essence. It’s Joy regardless of circumstances. And we forget ourselves. And it’s the process of remembering ourselves back home to joy and peace and creativity and loving and celebrating life this one and only precious life we have.
David Ralph [3:23]
Now, I heard and I think this is true that a baby laughs 300 times a day. And by the time they’re teenagers, they laugh 30 times a day. And by the time they’re in their 30s, they laugh twice a day, and then it gets less and less. And I think that’s true, because I realised I don’t laugh a lot. I might sort of occasionally. But actually that sort of laughing when you’re absolutely wetting yourself. I can’t remember the last time that actually occurred. So do you see that with people nowadays, but we’ve all just got a little bit serious.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [3:59]
I think we got a lot of serious. I mean, if you just turn on the news in any moment, you can get really bring brought down into a world of heaviness and despair. I mean, that’s pretty much to me to have the media’s designed, unlike your show, which is really putting something out there that’s different that’s designed to lift people up into possibility, and to people to nourish their creativity so they can create something different. We don’t have to be a victim to the world’s blah, blah, blah, we can create our own I mean, I love that quote from Gandhi says Be the change you want to see in the world. So if I want to live a joyful life, what do I do? What practices do I design to remember myself back into laughing? And let me give you a trick, David, you have kids. So do you remember when they were little and really little and they were happy and they would just get their body would get so happy? They’d start to clap their hands? Yes, yes. So if you do that, that’s why I heard that. That’s why comedians come on stage and they go You’re wonderful audience give yourselves a round of applause. Because neurologically it’s been found That clapping will trick the brain into being delighted.
David Ralph [5:04]
So if I go into the into my bedroom and start clapping, my wife is she can be fearful for what’s going to be occurring or is she just going to start laughing?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [5:16]
I’d say why don’t you tell me to do that tonight? And let me know.
David Ralph [5:20]
I’m gonna try that tonight and experiment. Yeah, I’m gonna go into the bedroom just clapping HSA, you’re not big smile
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [5:27]
on your face. Yeah. Oh, darling, I’m plod you I’m so happy you’re in my life, then you’ll get to get a smile out of her. I mean, you could set it up to your advantage.
David Ralph [5:36]
She’ll probably say to me something along the lines of you’ll get the applause afterwards, if you put the work or something like that,
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [5:45]
saying, Oh, you’ve been talking to that crazy, Leslie, again, who just keeps promoting choice of joy in the world, right? Sure. Because I know who you can talk into today.
David Ralph [5:55]
Now, if we come back in time, let’s because obviously he was on the show eight years ago. Have you always been sort of joy focus? I try to be joy joyful. And I know that it annoys so many people and noise, my kids big time. But I try to see the positive because it’s kind of not normal people. People like to moan about things, don’t they? So have you always been joyful?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [6:19]
So David, you are met normal? And neither am I and I think a lot of us aren’t normally we don’t fit into the world. And part of what keeps us from our joy is trying to be something we’re not, I think, I guess I was a very exuberant, joyful child. And I have that same energy. And I have found people don’t want me to be joyful. I mean, I’m live through a lot of that. So I know I have choice in about all of this. But there have been times when my joy has been annoying to people, because they go what are you so I’m happy about instead of what are you crying about? I’ll give you something to cry about. It’s like, no, don’t be joyful, I’m miserable. You need to be miserable with me. And there is that statement, Misery loves company, and I say it has enough company choose joy. And that to me is the opportunity for all of us, is to be the one to choose joy regardless what other people think of us because we’re joyful. Regardless, would we think of ourselves, because we’re choosing to go against the grain.
David Ralph [7:18]
I think everyone wants to be joyful. I don’t think there’s anyone out there that says, Oh, I just want to be a misery guts every single day, I want to be miserable. But I don’t make the effort to be that. So why don’t we Why don’t we all go live? I’m only on this planet once, as far as we know, let’s have a really good time and enjoy ourselves. Well, what are we missing?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [7:40]
Well, so let’s pretend you and I are from Planet joy. It’s not from this planet earth revisiting here. And Earth just seems to have a lot of negativity on it. So we kind of get, we’re kind of behind enemy lines. And the way of this world is to foster negativity. So it’s really about being a warrior, in the fact that it’s having that discipline focus to choose what it is we want to create an experience in our lives. And we all know that if you’re a successful entrepreneur, you have to have focus, and make the choices and take the actions to bring you to the fruition of what you want to experience. It’s the same thing with joy. It’s an inner success and inner reality instead of an external example of what it is that a success has looked like. But it is the same process of being on purpose and having the focus about using that
David Ralph [8:36]
with your business Living by Design, which I love the title of it, I looked at that and thought, you know, that’s that’s the URL that everybody wants really, Living by Design, do you think that it is easier to get the lifestyle you want? By designing it first? Or is it easier, or just to see what life throws at us and, and sort of build it out of out of that stuff?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [9:01]
I think it’s a two way process. I think we have to we choose a vision of what we want to create in our lives and we become co creators with life because life has its own agenda. My first book is called Life happens, what are you going to do about it? So it’s learning how to cooperate with my life circumstances. So I’m five foot two. I mean, there’s a whole reality that goes with that like step stools in my kitchen so I can reach the higher shelves but I can be creative around the package I come in and the package I come in, has an intellect has an emotional quality has talents, gifts and skills, has desires and yearnings. So Living by Design is not only designing my life, but it’s also being in cooperation with the design. I am like, what is this package I come in and how does it want to express and give itself into the world? So it’s about being me loving me choosing me and bringing the gift of me into the world to me that Some process that brings me joy.
David Ralph [10:03]
Do you do like being a little person? Because, uh, my wife? My wife is four foot nine. Wow. Yeah, she’s tiny. And for a whole weekend, we got her convinced that she was actually the world’s tallest dwarf. And there was there was a measurement. I don’t think you can say drop anymore. But you know, midget? Because I meet you if I can. Yeah, I don’t know what.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [10:28]
I don’t know. I’m really bad and PC. So forgive me. Yeah. But anyhow,
David Ralph [10:31]
but that whole weekend, we thought that she was the world’s tallest Wolf. And I always look at her sort of moaning and groaning, how difficult life is in many ways. But then when she gets on an aeroplane, she can just stretch out in economy and every cinema, see, she can just stretch, you know, it’s brilliant. She can do some amazing things. So is it something that fills you with joy? Or do you kind of go, oh, it’d be nice to be tall?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [10:55]
No, I mean, it’s just the way it is, you know, I mean, I can stand up in an economy seat and not bang my head on the luggage compartment. And those are the moments that I appreciate my size. At the same time, it’s difficult for me to put my luggage up. So I’ve learned how to ask for help. I mean, I look around for some guy who just, you know, men often will like to contribute that way and just allow myself to receive that. And I make that fun. So it’s about playing with the package. I mean, when I was much younger, I wanted a very high end bike, and I couldn’t get it because at that time, they weren’t making bikes for women. And because of my size, where the bar was, it would hurt me. So I was very grumpy. Not at my size, but at the world that the world wasn’t accommodating me. And, you know, these are the things I’ve learned over the course of my lifetime. Arguing with my circumstances doesn’t bring me joy. It just promotes the misery making mechanism of my mind, and drives me on the hamster wheel of Hades I call it is this never ending cycle of complaining and you know, being frustrated going nowhere. It zaps my creativity. And when I calm down and just came into acceptance, this is how the world is. This is how my body is now odd. And those are ways we shift into being creative. I found a Japanese bicycle, because it’s a different size population that I was able to fit out. And it was was until I stopped complaining and moved into the possibility that I can create what would be useful to me that this door opened up and I found this bicycle. And that, to me is the process of being a creative being. That’s the process of Living by Design. It’s not like I’m going to just have a magic wand and just like wave in and get everything I want. It’s like what are the circumstances? What are the conditions? What are the colours on the palette of life I’ve been given? And what do I want to paint with that?
David Ralph [12:51]
That so we’re not talking sort of law of attraction stuff here. We’re we’re just talking about just being open minded, being positive and expecting the best to happen, are we?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [13:03]
Well, it’s well, I guess, I mean, I don’t really work with the law of attraction. But if holding a vision of possibility brings a vibration of that into my life, yes, then that’s the law of attraction. But I think it’s much greater than also, you could sauce about being engaged in action to discover the path, I love to look at my life recently as being on a treasure hunt. So I have this goal, or this target of what I’d like to experience. And it could be an internal experience, such as joy, although joy is my measuring stick, whether I’m on or off course. And it’s like then listening for the clues and being guided forward. But having that vision, and that sense of what that experience is like for me, is what fuels the universe and providing me with that, just that next step. The just then all we’re ever required to do, David, as you know, when you look at your life is just take the next step because that next step may open a door that I didn’t take me to a door that I didn’t even know was there. Because I do that.
David Ralph [14:07]
Because I’m reading a book at the moment Leslie called the power of the subconscious mind by JD Murthy professor or Dr. JD Murphy. And I ready about five or six years ago, I thought was a load of rubbish I really did. My mind wasn’t in the right place. And then I’ve read it about three or four times since then. And, and the other day I was reading it and I I’d be totally honest, this is what happened. And he was saying that if you want to have more money than you ever want, you’ve really got to think about it and think about life is abundant and all this stuff. And I thought okay, I’ll do this. Now. Honestly, I sat there and for three days I just said, I will have more money than I know what to do with my life is abundant financially. Three days later, I had 200 grand sitting in a bank account, and it came from different areas that I forgotten about a pension that had come up I And something else that came up, you know, and I sat back and thought, Wow, this has been weird. This this is a bit weird, even for my cynical mindset, the fact that I went from one point to two underground within a couple of days, and it just came my way made me think, is there more to this than we think?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [15:19]
Yay. So I love that that’s a great story. So I definitely believe so. In what you’re talking about. I mean, everybody speaks about these phenomenons of consciousness in different ways, and so called the subconscious mind. So some people say your point of view creates reality. So what you hold in your thoughts, precipitate action, you know, it’s an energy field that we create in our lives. So if, if what we’re doing is making a request, so you’re making a request, of I’ll have more money than I know what to do with, it’s like sending that into the universe, and then actually creating in our imagination, which is part of the subconscious mind, the experience of what would that feel like, look like be like to have more money than I know what to do with? And say, yes, thank you like, to me, gratitude is of huge part of bringing things into joy. Yes, thank you. I’ll have more of this, please. Thank you, and then start to just experience that as your reality and then see what happens. And that’s what you were doing. The other day, I was having a moment of grumps, I mean, I’m a human being,
David Ralph [16:27]
oh, no, I don’t believe this. And I was having a moment of grace. And
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [16:31]
I was going, what are you thinking, what’s going on in there, and I was noticed I was having some have a habitual worry thing that I grew up in. And I’m continually having to monitor myself and track that and have the discipline to shift. So when I saw that, I took responsibility, and I shifted my focus from the worry is, oh, no, this is going to happen to the choosing, oh, this is what I prefer to happen. And just saying, all of this that I prefer to happen is coming to me now, like similar to what you said, All of having more money than I know what to do with is coming to me now. And what I noticed in that moment, is my whole energy shifted up, I lifted up, I expanded out my, my heart open, and I became receptive to that. And to me, that’s part of being a co creator, we ask, and then we open ourselves to receive and what it was you you got a windfall? How great is that?
David Ralph [17:27]
I’m gonna do it every three days, I
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [17:31]
couldn’t put my name in there, too. So
David Ralph [17:36]
my wife’s name is unfortunately, hasn’t worked for her.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [17:40]
So but but it sometimes will get a windfall like that. But how great is that, or sometimes we’ll get a clue pick up the phone and call this and next thing you know, you have a financial, you know, gig that’s going to give you lucrative reward. I mean, that’s another way it might come in. But it’s about your willingness to ask and then being open to receive that. And also being willing to engage in CO creating it through your action, and your willingness to show up and participate.
David Ralph [18:08]
Well, let’s hear from Oprah. And we’ll be back with Lesley.
Oprah Winfrey [18:11]
New the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move, not think about, oh, I got all of this, what is the next right move. And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction. Now, the
David Ralph [18:42]
key thing to that clip, Lesley is the fact that she says Be quiet, be quiet. And so many people are quiet. They’ve got like too much to say they’re posting on Facebook or posting on Instagram, though on tick tock, and they’ve got they’ve got too much. Very few people actually take time out and just be quiet. Is that a step towards joy? Do we have to be quieter? Do you think to actually sort of reconnect with ourselves?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [19:11]
So I’ve been working with people for over 35 years. And one of the things that I noticed when I was working on individually or in groups, is that the first thing I would do, and it was something I learned over observation over time, is to help the person calm down, which is a place of quiet, which is a place of peace, which is a place of ease, because if we’re not calm, we can’t be receptive to creating an alternative reality than the one that’s making us miserable. So out of that I wrote my second book, which is called Calm down, lift up into joy, peace and creativity. And that whole book is focused on helping people calm themselves down so they can engage with it. creative, resourceful brain and create an outcome other than the one that they were living. So, yes, to me calming down is essential to being available to experience the joy of the moment, which opens up up us up to create a choice and action and possibility
David Ralph [20:21]
is that I’ve become obsessed with meditation, which I now do this thing called Yoga Nidra. And I do it three or four times a day. And it’s like guided meditation, I found the old sitting cross legged on the floor on a cushion joint. I just couldn’t do it. And, but basically, you just lay there, and this woman, or this man sort of tells you what to do, and you just sort of follow through. And I feel so much better for it. And to the point where I actually realised I woke up during the night, and it was about 20 to two. And I felt stressed. And I suddenly thought, I don’t remember the last time I felt like this. And I wasn’t even sure why I’d felt like this. But it was it was common for years and years since we last spoke, I had acute burnout, and almost come to a sticky end about six years ago. And it’s taken me about six years to sort of unwind and calm down. Now, when we talk about joy, and when we talk about calming down, a lot of people will say, and I’m thinking of my wife here, I haven’t got time for that. I haven’t got time to calm down, I haven’t got time to be joyful, you know? What do you say to those people that say I haven’t got time.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [21:35]
Whereas it’s not like I would just glibly say anything to people, it would be first of all, are they in a receptive place? Are they even interested in having another choice and experience a different possibility? Otherwise, it’s kind of intrusive and rude. But mostly, if I was working with somebody in that situation, I would just really have them examine the consequences of choosing not to choose, and allowing themselves to keep spinning out of control, and to see if that’s how they want to continue living their life. And then you know, we live in the consequences of our choices, and people are entitled not to choose not to have time to do something different. You know, and then I probably would guide them through something in order to bring their if there was a willingness to bring them into a different way of being in relationship with whatever it is they don’t have time to deal with us what I’m calm, I’m way more effective and efficient and resourceful than when I’m all spinning out. So I have an example. You know, those pinwheels? I don’t know what they call them in England, their little whirly wig wheels, that kind of cardboard things like a kid’s toy. Yeah, spin. Yeah. So most people who don’t have time are relating to their life, from the outer edge of that thing, that spinning around, spinning around, spinning around, spinning around, and it really is feels like a lot of moving. But if we dropped down like you do, and you do your yoga nidra into that quiet stillness that play said, Oprah was talking about, from the centre of that there’s still the movement, but we’re relating to it from that centre. And if you look at it, it’s not even moving. It’s this, this still point in the middle, in the centre of who we are, that’s available to us always. And then if I relate to my life circumstances, from that place of calm from that place of peace, it’s a very different experience of living my life, we still can only do one thing at the time. But how I relate to my situation is the experience I get to live in. It’s not the outer circumstances, it’s how I engage with my outer circumstances. That’s our living. Now,
David Ralph [23:51]
that was a great honestly, you go up really was. Alright, go into the world of glib answers. And I would basically say to them for who hasn’t got time, you can always find time to do the things you want to do. You know, you can always find time to watch that Netflix series that you’re watching. So it’s important to find the time to disconnect. And I, I really believe that now I’ve come 360 I would have gone. Oh, you just need to crack on you just need to get on. And now I’m a great believer in less is more, you’ve really got to sort of just allow things to pass you by sometimes and just reach out for the right things.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [24:31]
Okay, so let’s just take a moment to give David a round of applause. Ladies and gentlemen,
David Ralph [24:35]
I want to
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [24:40]
I mean, to me, that’s a win. You know, I talk about that in my first book. And it’s hard so important for us to acknowledge ourselves for the choices we make even the little things although doing yoga nidra three times a day is not literal. But that happened over time. You did it one day you did it the next day. You did it maybe twice a day. You created that It is a discipline practice over time, one choice one meditation moment at a time. And now it’s become part of your life. And that’s how we built. Yeah, that’s how we change one step at a time.
David Ralph [25:13]
Yeah, absolutely. And I now do it. Soon as I wake up in the morning, so I’m still in bed, so that doesn’t matter. And when I do it before I go to bed, and so I’m already in bed. And if there’s a time in the middle of the day, you know, I can do it as well. But it’s brought so much clarity, it’s brought so much. Just awareness, I suppose I’m more aware of what’s when things are going wrong in my life, which before I couldn’t see that, but when you focus in on what’s happening in your body, it’s like that treasure hunt that you said, there’s clues all the time, you know, all the things that are sort of occurring, when you’ve got aches and pains, I used to just think, oh, just got aches and pains because, you know, getting older. But now I can just see that it’s part of you being out of whack somehow. And there’s a reason why you’re getting those aches and pains, which then brings you to feel better for yourself. And then you feel more joyous. And then you’re the most annoying person on the planet that everybody hates, because you can’t stop clapping at them, and smiling.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [26:18]
Well deflect on that I, you know, I actually teach a class called lift up into possibility together, because I’m about being the change I want to see in the world. And I want to surround myself with people who choose to be more joyful. And so I have this programme that’s been going on for almost three years now over three years that I created after COVID hit because I was so tired of people just buying into the virus of feeling fear and doom and gloom and saying no, we have other choices we can be bring something greater into this world with our focus and our intention, and be a joyful contribution. And, and so when I go up, you go up, when you go up, I go up, that’s the world that I choose to live in. And if somebody in my life at this point, when I have autonomy and choice, and I need my my grown up, I don’t have to hang out with that. I can choose who to be with. And if someone finds it to be me to be miserable, my joy to make them miserable. They can either choose another way, or they can choose to go away. I made a joke, and that makes me happy. And that’s just the end of it. Right?
David Ralph [27:31]
Yeah. But don’t you find that a lot of people now, I don’t actually want to be with them anyway. You know, I a lot of people that I used to know I now think to myself, Why did I hang around with you? Yeah. It’s not joyous. You bring me down. I’m very aware of the energy of life, and how some people you meet, and you feel really great after being in their company. And you think, Oh, that was a great afternoon, and others. Oh, what was the point? Isn’t that?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [28:02]
Yeah, what do you know, this is a tricky thing. judgments are irrelevant. Like what I think about that, I think the key I wanted to get back to, and I’ll leave it in, when you were talking about the yoga nidra. And it was helping you have more awareness. And it also is helping you have more intimacy with yourself. So you could be kinder and more caring towards yourself. And to go back to what you said before that a person who says I don’t have time for that, to me what that person is saying I’m not willing to be responsible to develop self awareness, and to be responsive to my life and make more conscious choices so I could bring more ease and joy into my life. You know, people think being joyful is trivial. It’s not it takes great courage to be a joyful being on this planet.
David Ralph [28:51]
Now, I know you do a lot of work, breathing. We all do. We all do a lot of work breathing. And when when i About six years ago, I had this person asked to come on the show, who said there was a breathing expert. And I thought now you’re not, you know, I’ve been breathing all my life. I’m not buying into this. Now, I totally understand that we most of us breathe in a different way and a wrong way. And we breathe from the chest instead of the belly. And you know, there’s loads to it. You do a lot of teaching on this. Why should people focus in on breathing because as I say, we all do it. We all do it without even thinking about it. Why should people go actually, this could be a life changer.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [29:33]
Well, you know, there’s so many breaths is like the new mindfulness. So it’s very, very popular right now. And it’s tonnes of research to demonstrate the positive benefits of breathing and there’s so many different ways to do it. Breath if right now if the listener would just take a moment to bring your attention to your breathing without trying to change it in any way. Just to notice the breath. And just be aware of the rise and fall of your torso, your chest, your belly, just notice how your body’s breathing. And just in that moment, you may also be aware that your shoulders start to relax, everything starts to let go. And it’s a doorway to coming to that quiet place that we’ve been talking about. And look how quickly that happened.
David Ralph [30:30]
Because I found it astonishing when I first did the yoga business, how I could feel tingles running all around my body. And it was like having small rodents running around me. And I thought,
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [30:41]
I thought, What is this? What’s happening? oxygen, oxygen? Yeah.
David Ralph [30:45]
And then I realised that actually, yeah, what I was doing, I was allowing my body to operate at capacity. And, yeah, I was just laying there. But it was very weird at the beginning of all, this is strange. And now I kind of I’m addicted, that that feeling. So if I’m doing the breathing work, and I’m not getting that, I kind of think, um, it’s not going right today, you know, it’s, it’s, that’s what I’m aiming for? Well,
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [31:11]
maybe, maybe you could let go of that standard of measurement. Maybe that was the response to the body when it first started getting more oxygen than it was used to. And maybe now your body has a greater capacity for that. And there are different signposts that you’re on course. So one thing I just want to, we want to be really careful not to compare ourselves to ourselves in the past, or anybody else. So what you’re talking about is referencing a past experience, and then expecting it to be like that, always, that’s way too restrictive. It doesn’t give you the opportunity to expand into what the next opportunity and growth and state of evolution is for you. The other thing we do to get stuck on the misery making train going nowhere fast is to start to compare ourselves to other people. And that out of comparison comes self judgement and judging other people and all those things keep us stuck in a loop that is not joyful. And so that’s a huge habit to break is the habit of judging ourselves and judging each other because it really doesn’t do anything except to make us unhappy, it certainly doesn’t inspire us to creative action.
David Ralph [32:19]
When I got off of social media, many years ago, when I started Join Up Dots, I was all on to being everywhere I possibly could. And then I just got weighed down at it. And now I speak to people and I go is that person still doing things, you know, is not in my remit. I don’t notice them at all. But you do realise how easy life is when all you’re doing is what you have to do. And you’re not looking at what other people are doing. And they’re not doing the thing, because they’re three steps ahead of you. And you think well, what’s the point may look brilliant, you can just sort of like just just crack on really. And it becomes it becomes a pleasure. And I don’t want to know what people are doing in the past. You know, because I think a lot of them probably aren’t doing it anymore anyway. And the ones that are doing it, they’re on their own path. And I just wish him all the best in the world. But you get success quicker by just focusing in on yourself, don’t you, Lesley?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [33:20]
Well, I mean, yes, it look what you’re talking about with yoga nidra for you, the joy of that the feeling of relaxation and greater well being of that, that
David Ralph [33:31]
I’m still slightly embarrassed to talk about it. I do talk about it on the podcast, but it’s so different from who I was a few years ago, I still feel like you know, I am sort of secretly watching pornography and then telling everybody that I’m doing it. But
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [33:46]
meanwhile, your example ship can be an inspiration for somebody to choose for themselves. Well, what it what would be my yoga nidra that would help me expand and be more joyful and be more at peace and increase my well being. So your willingness to talk about your yoga nidra into the world might be a contribution, but you’re doing it for whatever your good reasons are sharing that with people but I share about my successes and failures a lot. Because I’m just another person on this planet doing the best I can and for me when I share the things that work for me, it might help somebody experiment with that to see if that can help contribute to their lives. Why would I want to keep that a secret?
David Ralph [34:34]
So when you started your business I’m always intrigued by this because, you know, it says on the front you can learn anything learn to fly from the inside out. Your success is my joy. Now, what type of people did you first get back come over to you because I didn’t imagine. Most people don’t realise that they need to be joyful because they’re so busy in life.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [34:56]
So you’re reading from my website. So back in the day I called myself a geologist. And these Chicago Times interviewed me. And really back in the day, this is way before the happiness movement, people made fun of me. Because they go, I remember one person saying, We don’t want joy, we want you to help us through our pain and our suffering. Well, I was presenting the opportunity to actually step into a different reality, where the pain and suffering is a contribution to that which is greater it becomes the fertiliser for us growing ourselves to our next level of expansion, evolution and growth. And so out of that thing, I just was young, and it was challenging for me to take the hit my ego didn’t know how to handle it. And I changed my, how I identified myself and called it Living by Design, which made sense to me. It’s like, why exclude people because they’re projecting their judgments and opinions on me, why not be more available to people like who are looking to receive what it is I have to offer. So Living by Design is really about being on purpose, living, consciously making choices, learning growing, that success isn’t really an outside job. It’s who I become in the process of living my life. Everybody on the call is messed up royally has had hardship has had challenges has done things they wish they never had done. We all have. So what we have to learn about the now what how do we lift out of that? How do we make use out of that? How do we turn that whatever you want to call it into fertiliser to grow ourselves? Because we can’t avoid that it’s part of the human unfoldment. It’s part of being alive is to go in directions other than we ended up in places we did, we weren’t planning on going but so a lot. So because
David Ralph [36:58]
because this is one of the things about the yoga nidra that I can’t quite deal with. But I’m starting to remember a lot of things that are not that proud of things that I actually sort of blush and think oh my god, yeah, I remember that. And, and there’s a lot of things. You know, we’re young, we’re stupid. We were drunk and doing weird things and stuff. But it’s starting to come back to me now part of me kind of goes, well, this is a good thing, David, because you obviously buried it down. You’ve forgotten it, and you’re getting the out of the system. And the other half of me with the louder voice goes squeezing it down. I don’t want to see it. It was all right where it was. I don’t need it to come to the surface.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [37:41]
Yeah, that’s a great example. Thank you for bringing that up. So which voice are we listening to? There’s a man I don’t know about you. But there’s more than one voice in my head. There’s voices that are mean to me, like their voices that try to bully me There’s choices tried it like the one that does Oh, push it back down. We don’t need to listen to that. And there’s a voice of kindness and you going this is great. Better out than in, just Oh, wow, this is a clearing. Like, just let it go. David, you don’t need it anymore. Wow. Does it get any better than this? Yes. Go out on the breath by you know, like, which voice Do you want to listen to?
David Ralph [38:16]
Right? It’s not going that’s the problem. It keeps them it doesn’t die come to the surface and just float away. It’s like keeps on coming up. And I keep on blushing and I haven’t blushed for years.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [38:29]
Let me give you a tool. Let me give you a tool. So when it comes up, you go I released this, I let it go just on purposely let it go with the breath. I forgive myself for judging myself. And then just just practice letting it go on the exhale. Every time it comes up. Like they’re like cafeteria playoffs. There’s so many judgments in there. There’s so many things in the shame or the ways we’ve heard ourselves or that voice Oh, we don’t want to look at this. There’s so much garbage in there. So you may have let it go. And there’s just another plate that you’re letting go. So just go Yes, thank you. I’m letting this go to and just have fun with it. And then write to me and let me know if that wasn’t a contribution if it doesn’t help at all. I mean, I’m imagining it could be really useful if you practice it. And the weird
David Ralph [39:12]
thing is I had a guy on the show who was saying everybody’s got traumas, everybody’s had traumas in their life, and I was going I haven’t had any traumas. I’ve got no traumas. And and now I realise I’m like trauma Central. And and there’s traumas in every part of me and it’s bothering me Leslie. I feel like I’m I’m like a snake that’s pulling its skin off somehow and becoming a different person.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [39:38]
David Ralph [39:39]
How that’s not good. Leslie, that’s not good
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [39:43]
to be a snake. I mean, that’s actually on my website on the first page. You know, sometimes that place of growth is it feels like a snake shedding a skin and feels really vulnerable. But how you going to grow into the next best version of you if of yourself if you don’t let go of who you were so you can become I’m more genuinely who you are, but won’t be does
David Ralph [40:03]
like who you are becoming what happens if you’re actually quite happy with, with who you were. And then all these things get kind of brought to the surface and it makes you into a snake man that you don’t like.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [40:17]
Well, I’m not sure I understand what that means but who you are as who you are, David, what we’re letting go is all the falseness the false identities, the ways we pretended the ways we’ve distracted ourselves, we’re just letting go of the things that aren’t real and becoming more genuine. Who we truly are like, what is what is there possibly about you David this not to love?
David Ralph [40:39]
I groan and moan when I’m putting my socks out. Okay, that’s your body. Apparently I sue you are apparently I snore because my wife my wife goes to bed with me. And then during the night she goes into the spare bedroom there’s there’s a few things there’s a few
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [40:58]
but those things just come come with being in the package you know, the body mind emotions are is just the package we’re driving around this lifetime in. But who we really are is the fuel that animates the vehicle, which comes in on the breath, which I don’t know I’m my practice is from the vantage point of spiritual psychology, which is that we’re much greater than we know ourselves to be. And part of the joy of living is to remembering ourselves back to the greatness not greatness is in this world. version of greatness for greatness, as in the expansive place of joy, loving and peace. That is who we truly are. So what’s not what’s to not love about a snoring buddy? That grunts when he puts his socks on? Yeah, I might be uncomfortable and annoying, but it’s not a bad thing. I mean, probably anybody on the call listening now snore. Oh, look at all those hands that went up, David, anybody on the call to have a hard time putting their socks on? Oh, look at all those human beings and about, you know, beings in a body on the call.
David Ralph [42:05]
You want this is nuts and bolts time, right? This is nuts. Okay, I realised that through certain things that have occurred in my life over the last few years with family sort of issues and parents getting older and stuff. I realised that I can’t remember the last time but I cried. As as I don’t remember crying as a kid. I don’t remember crying at all. No, I’ve never done it. Now I must have done it. Now. We’ve all these sorts of things that are popping up into my head nowadays, I’m starting to wonder whether there’s going to be a period, but I’m totally out of control. And I’m like a blubbering mess, where people think he’s having a breakdown because I’ve kind of, I’ve designed myself, I’ve lived by design, see what I’ve done there. That’s quite clever. And I’ve created my, my being and my persona, to not show these emotions, you know, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with being that that out of control person.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [43:11]
Well, it’s not about being comfortable. It’s about being alive. Being alive is uncomfortable. So if you go out of control, like what are you afraid might happen if you start to blubber and so what so the mind that part of you that wants to stick it back in the closet, that’s the part that’s trying to control you and control everything. We all have that? It’s not very effective. And it makes us miserable. Because we’re not in control. Life happens. emotions happen. Thoughts happen, bodies snore, what are we going to do about it? We can be kind to ourselves, and allow the experience without judging it and let it finish itself all emotion is is energy that’s moving to completion. So
David Ralph [43:55]
embarrassing, isn’t it? It’s embarrassing when you when you’re operating in a way that you don’t actually understand yourself? Yeah, well,
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [44:03]
because you’re not used to it because you’ve created this persona, which is not your being to keep it all under wraps, you know, and at some point, it’ll just you, I mean, I think it’s great that you’re starting to release some of these things in a safe place. At home in your bed when you’re doing yoga. Nidra just let yourself have your feelings. They don’t last forever. The biggest fear people have about having big feelings is that they’re going to take over their lives. It’s not true. But that that voice and love that you shared that voice because we all have that voice, the one that wants to keep it shoved in the closet, so that we could put our stiff upper lip and just go out into the world showing the world this thing we created which isn’t really who we are who we are so much greater than that and who we are, has deep tears when there is a loss and who we are laughs so loud and falls on the floor. Who we are is everything in anything It’s all of it.
David Ralph [45:01]
So you’re saying just be just whatever happens, just accept?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [45:07]
And if that’s a huge thing to learn, right, which voice Am I listening to? The voice that said to you, oh, good, David, let it out, or the voice that says no shove it back in the closet, like learning how to be disciplined, and to allow kindness to come through us towards us and into the world takes practice. We weren’t raised to learn how to do that to be genuine to be real. So we have to teach ourselves. And that’s a trauma David to be taught to separate from yourself. Being born into this world in a body isn’t trauma. Do you see babies laughing when they come out? Are they crying?
David Ralph [45:45]
I didn’t see. However, when mine came out.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [45:48]
It’s not amazing planet, even gravity, you know, takes has it takes its toll. So we just you know, it’s stand up and joy and lift up and do our best to get up again every time we fall down. And that’s when we develop ourselves and our strengths. And our character is because we keep choosing keep choosing. Keep choosing kindness, keep choosing joy. It takes courage.
David Ralph [46:12]
So when you had the grumps the other day, yeah. Did Was that was that good? You know, because that is just being who you are. It seemed like you went Oh, come on. That isn’t me. Let’s get away from the crumbs. But shouldn’t Shouldn’t you just be going? No, I’m grumpy today. And that’s what I got a beat.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [46:30]
But that’s that’s why I said I was grumpy. And I go, Well, what is this? And I go, Well, you know, is there a message here? And I said something I wasn’t paying attention. And so sometimes that comes in as a, you know, negative energy because I miss something. And I moved into being with the part of me that was grumpy. I wasn’t making it wrong. But I was noticing as Oh, sweetheart, you’re having a negative focus. You’re imagining bad things are happening. But we can do something about that. And with kindness, I said, What do you think about this possibility? And I just moved my focus. So I didn’t ignore it. I didn’t try to suppress it. I actually took that energy and I gave it a different direction.
David Ralph [47:12]
I’m wondering before I pass you on to the Sermon on the mic to your younger self, I’m now wondering, less discern, I feel like therapy on this this episode. I wonder if my whole life is fake? Because I always tried to look on the positive. I always try to be cheerful and I the word try. I don’t just accept I don’t just allow myself to be you know, I always kind of go no, come on. I’m going to be happy today. And maybe I should just not.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [47:44]
Well, that I think is a bigger question than what everything you said. And I’m kind of going to be careful about how to respond to that. Because it’s two dimensional. And when it’s really a multi dimensional inquiry.
David Ralph [47:59]
No, yes or no Yes or No Leslie saying?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [48:04]
I don’t think so. You know, there are parts of all of us that are fake. And I think part of what we’re doing is discovering what what’s true for me, what’s light for me, what’s joy for me? It’s an adventure. You know, I know when I’m off course, because I feel heavy. My body, like you said earlier hurts. I’m kind of like Grumpy is like, what am I? Where am I focusing? And then you know, how do I come back into alignment. And what you said earlier is sometimes I’m just having a grumpy day. And that’s okay. That’s just part of just being alive. Some days are just off days. And the other thing I want to say David, choosing to have a positive focus is not fake. Choosing to pretend everything is okay. When there’s trouble in the you know, stuff going down. That’s a disconnect from reality. But choosing to find the gratitude, what’s right about this, how can I make use of this to be engaged and to it with intention to bring it into goodness, there’s that’s a beautiful, beautiful way of being in relationship with yourself in your life.
David Ralph [49:09]
I feel better now. Leslie? I feel
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [49:13]
it’s my job. My goal is to leave the world better than I found it.
David Ralph [49:17]
Yeah, I’ve decided that I’m gonna suppress everything in me. And just just wander around like I’ve been doing for the last 52 years. That’s, that’s no, yeah, that’s not true. Yeah, I don’t need to see these things. It’s all it’s all gone. But I’ll tell you the next time it occurs, I’m going to try to sort of push it away and just go okay, good, be gone. Like a balloon. Take your memory and the float out the window and be gone.
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [49:43]
And I forget, you know, whatever this is, you know, it’s just old energy from the past coming up to release you know, so it’s it’s like clearing it’s just a clearing, it’s now you’re giving yourself the space to let the emotion from the past the energy that we wanted to move back then but You didn’t let it move because you didn’t want to embarrass yourself. So here you are laying on the bed doing yoga nidra is because Oh, finally I can get out. So let it go. You know, if you need, if you need to look at it, it won’t go and you can do another step. I mean, there’s so many tools, there’s so many ways to engage in our consciousness. We’re multi dimensional, there’s no one right answer. There’s no technique that you get to learn before something happens. Again, it’s being present. Now, what is this? What can I do with it? What else is possible? What’s the loving action? I mean, there’s all these ways to engage with our lives moment by moment. And that engagement to me is what brings us joy.
David Ralph [50:47]
Yeah, that’s a nice way to finish his show valleys. It’s almost like you know what you’re talking about. There’s Lee, just just just for a second, just for a second? Well, this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to, and it’s the Sermon on the mic, when you get for a second time to have a word with your younger self. But this time, you get to speak to the person who was on the show eight years ago. So if you could go back in time and speak to that person, what advice would you give them to help them over the next eight years? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades, is your time to talk. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [51:31]
we go with the best bit of the show the Sermon on the mind the sermon on
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [51:51]
Oh, so I’m so so it this is to me, the me that I was eight years ago. Let’s see, I had just finished my first book and was embarking upon a whole new phase of my life. And I want that part of me to know it only gets better. The best is yet to come. Just be you love you choose you and just go for the joy Leslie let your creativity shine, follow your next path. You only have your life to live nobody else is. So choose you be you love you. And celebrate this gift and be grateful.
David Ralph [52:31]
Oh, lovely advice. So Leslie, how can our audience who have been listening today connect with you?
Living By Design Expert Leslie Sann [52:38]
My websites, Lesley san.com, they can write to me at Lesley at Leslie sand.com. I have a blog, I put out fun articles every two weeks or so I have classes I would love anybody can just write to me. I’m just happy to talk to anybody. And if I could be useful, it’d be a joy
David Ralph [52:57]
to have all the links on the show notes. Leslie, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you’ve got even more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths is the best way to build our futures Leslie saying thank you so much. So do you think that you’re looking for joy? Or maybe joy isn’t something that you even think about? Maybe it’s just the life I’ve been going through a lot of changes recently. And as I said on the podcast, I’m not happy with what’s happening. It feels like I’m slightly out of control. Maybe that’s a great thing is should I just be letting it go? Let me know. Drop us a line join up firstname.lastname@example.org Or come over leave a voice message tell us are you feeling the same thing? Do you feel like you’re you’re going through certain changes, interesting stuff. Until next time, thank you as always for listening to this episode of Join Up Dots. And as always, we will be back in a couple of days at least to give you more dots to join up. Until then we’ll see you again. Cheers. Bye bye.
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