How can we… make change from the inside out?


Today we speak with Brian Berneman.

Brian is a wellness coach and facilitator, who has helped hundreds of people around the world lead more balanced and meaningful lives.

With a background in neuroscience and more than 15 years of experience teaching and practicing yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and different healing modalities, Brian is able to synthesize modern scientific knowledge with ancient wisdom to help his clients get the results they desire. Brian has empowered people from all walks of life to realise their full potential and enable them to live a stress-free and meaningful life.

Committed to conscious lifestyle practices, Brian founded Conscious Action, a movement of people inspired to live more intentionally.

Learn more:
About Laura, coaching & cultural wayfinding: www.laurahartley.com
Follow more on Instagram: @laura.h.hartley
Join the email circle: http://eepurl.com/g9tPRP

About Brian:
Conscious Action NZ – Website
Brian Berneman – Website 

Check out this episode!


TRANSCRIPT: Please note this was auto-generated and has not been edited, and may contain errors.

[00:00:00] How do we work with the systems when we are the systems? And we are the ones that are perpetuating that system?

[00:00:07] If I change, if I don’t want to play by those rules, and then slowly we all start to do that the system changes by itself.

[00:00:17] Laura Hartley: I’m Laura Hartley and welcome to the public love project. This podcast is all about re-imagining and remaking the world, creating the conditions for social healing and collective thriving. Each week, we dive into topics around resilience, social change, birthing, and more just, and regenerative world and how we can use our head heart and hands in action. Before i introduce today’s guest and topic though i have one reqAuest head on over to apple podcasts or spotify wherever you’re listening and hit subscribe rate and review it helps us work to reach new listeners.

[00:00:59] Today’s guest is Brian Berneman. Brian is a wellness coach and facilitator who has helped hundreds of people around the world lead more balanced and meaningful lives. With a background in neuroscience and more than 15 years experience in teaching and practicing yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and different healing modalities. Brian is able to synthesize modern scientific knowledge with ancient wisdom.

[00:01:23] He has empowered people from all walks of life to realize that full potential and enable them to live a stress , free, and meaningful life. Committed to conscious lifestyle practices brian founded conscious action and movement of people inspired to live more intentionally

[00:01:38] Welcome Brian.

[00:01:40] Brian Berneman: Thank you, Laura so much for having me here and a pleasure to be speaking with you again.

[00:01:45] Laura Hartley: one of the things that I’m really excited about with today’s conversation and that I love about your work in general is that you work at this intersection of inner and outer change, but before we dive into what this space is and how we begin to work with it, I’d love to know a little bit about your story.

[00:02:03] And what’s brought you here into the work that

[00:02:05] Brian Berneman: you do today. Definitely. Thank you for that. I always think that it’s really important to know a little bit of where we’re coming from on, on our learnings. So. I’m going to go first a little bit back towards the beginning. So I was born in Argentina. I grew up there.

[00:02:23] I was. Part of or I am part of a family that is Jewish and all of my family escaped at different times from, Europe. The latest was my grandpa. Escaping from PO on the second world war. So I grew up in a Catholic country, but already within a different culture. So that was always an interesting thing of my childhood and little by little, my parents started to get interested more in spirituality and that meant that they were starting to get into the esoteric teachings of Judaism.

[00:03:04] And then through that, they started to get interested in energy and Tibetan Buddhism a little by little, by the time that I was a teenager. My mom and my dad, they were starting to live differently, or we would do things differently at home as an example. We stopped having dinners with a TV, and we just went to only like just talking and small few different things like that.

[00:03:31] And then little by little, my parents would recommend us to read some books around spirituality or what self-help books would be. And then they would invite us, me and my siblings, if we wanted to go to any kind of the classes or to a healer or anything like that. , I was.

[00:03:52] Quite a regular kid. I was into sports. I was watching way too much TV. I was like on internet back when it was dial up. And none of that, I was all the time online. And I was super shy and super stressed out,. And then. I started to say yes to these things, that my parents were inviting me and my siblings to go.

[00:04:17] And I think I was the only one that was really going to everything . I was like, why not? I’ll I’ll try this out. There was something in there that I felt drawn to. I remember as an example, the first day that I went to a Tibetan yoga class, Felt so different than anything else that I have ever experienced in my life.

[00:04:38] And for the first time I was able to feel my feelings. I was able to feel energy in a different way. And also I had a recognition that I knew this. And that has been a huge part of my path, the Tibetan Buddhist teachings. And at the same time, I started to get more into energy. I was feeling the energy and I was like interested in it.

[00:05:03] So my mom asking if I wanted to have a Reiki healing. And he went and I was like, oh my God, this is amazing. I want to learn this. And I ask the, the person that was the healer that ended up being my teacher. If he would teach me how to do it. And he had some connection with guides and angels and he just closed his eyes and he said, oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:05:29] I’ll teach you. And I was like, oh, okay, cool. How does this work? Like how much is it? And he’s. I’m just being told that for you, it’s for free, because you’re going to help a lot of people in the future. And I’m like, okay. wow, cool. So I, I start to get into all of this parallel to everything that I was doing.

[00:05:48] So I was still, like last few years of high school then university started working as a journalist. And then I decided at one point. That I wanted to move away. I wanted to explore the wall, but also I was a little bit tired of living in Argentina and everything align. The relationship ended.

[00:06:11] I finished all of my studies. And then I decided to finish working as an journalist and I bought a one way ticket to New York and I was like, let’s see what happens. I’ll see you later, you know, start off when you adventure.

[00:06:26] And so. To make the story a little bit shorter. I lived for a while in New York and then in Miami and then I moved to Germany and when I was living there, I finished my contract.

[00:06:40] All that I was doing there was working in marketing and expert in the world and experiment myself. I was like 22, 23 years old. And I was like, okay, I don’t wanna do this anymore. They wanna go to an office and have to work during. Selling like something that wasn’t aligned to, to who I felt I was.

[00:06:59] And I was doing my Tibetan yoga practice as I was doing by myself. And I remember that the first class ever that I did my teacher, she told me about this retreat center in California, where part of the money that was. That we paid for the classes was going there to support these teachings. This is the only place where they taught this in the world.

[00:07:25] So I was like, oh, I wonder, you know, how does that look like, can I actually live there? So I contacted my teacher, in Argentina and she said , oh yeah, you love it. But the process is not that easy. They don’t take in anyone. So I was like, okay, what do I do? And she was like, just message them.

[00:07:41] And I will message them as well. I ended up a few weeks later, living there in the middle of the mountain in a Tibetan booth retreat center. And that was a pivotal time in, in my life because I was able to a, for the first time in my life living in nature. Because I have lived in big cities all of my life.

[00:08:04] So I started to get a lot more connected to nature. I had the time and the space to practice and to go deep into my understanding of the teachings as well as the work that I was doing there. So we were practicing and working and the. Was all about the veteran Buddhist culture, keeping that culture alive.

[00:08:27] So we were making books, we were running retreats and running workshops and classes, and a lot of different things, both in person there at the retreat center and online. And one of the biggest things for me during that. Besides my own personal understanding, that was huge. Like those years that I lived there, my understanding went like so quickly because I was able to have so much time and space.

[00:08:56] And also because of all of the work that we were doing and the way that we were doing work as a way of bringing the teachings alive in every day. It’s one of the biggest things that I took from there to them being able to, to share with people how we can actually be during our everyday life, regardless of our circumstances, regardless if we are working nine to five in corporate, something that we love, something that we don’t using every single moment of our day, as a way for us to be present connected and to be able to.

[00:09:30] To deepen our awareness or to expand our awareness and to be able to, to understand more about ourselves and others. After a few years living there, my. Visa renewal wasn’t accepted. So I had to live from one day to the next and I ended up here in New Zealand where I’ve been now for the last seven years.

[00:09:53] And it’s been wonderful. Just being able to now share all of this. And one of the things that I remember so much that one of my teachers told me one day is what do you love? You want to share? And I love doing this. I love. All of the learnings that I have, I learned the different tools and the techniques that I’ve been able to learn throughout all of these years.

[00:10:18] And it’s, it’s so beautiful to be able to share them with the world and with whoever resonates, because I feel like everybody should know. These things and not everybody will resonate with each of the techniques or each of the tools, but just to be able to have a way of connecting with themselves so they can connect to others.

[00:10:42] So that’s as short as I could make, like 35 years of life. , there’s

[00:10:47] Laura Hartley: a lot to fit into 35 years of life. One of the things that’s really standing out for me, there is just hearing how much that time at the retreat center must have influenced your work now that sense of how do we take what is inherently inner work and actually embody it and bring it to life in the real world, which I think.

[00:11:06] Where, you know, real spirituality kind of comes into practice, but I’m curious to step back a little bit and to just also look at what were those teachings that you were looking at, what was it that you were bringing to life through that work at the center?

[00:11:18] Brian Berneman: Mm, so we had a few different things and I think that not only the way that we were working, but the purpose behind it as well was for me really big.

[00:11:29] And one of the things that I resonated a lot in terms of. Connecting with the inner and the outer. Because we, for the first while that I was there, we were making books for the Tibetan to give back to the Tibetan, bud monks and practitioners. In the Himalayan region. , a lot of the teachings were lost when the Chinese invaded and a lot of the books were burned.

[00:11:59] So a lot of people didn’t have access to teaching. So one of the ways to keeping the teaching alive is to actually have the teachings available and to do that and to work with all of the techs and to the energy that they had and to be able to. Work. And this was just , my way of, saying this.

[00:12:16] So we are making millions of books and, a small team of people with old machines that in a publishing company nowadays, they would have modern machines with a team of, I don’t know, 60, 70 people. We were making that same amount just by being like, sometimes during the year seven people. 20 people like for short period of time.

[00:12:42] And for me having the awareness that every single page that we were putting into those books needed to be perfect. Like they couldn’t be any dog ears, they couldn’t have any like smudges or anything because someone will be reading that book. and for that person, the experience is going to be different.

[00:13:06] , and for me having that awareness of having to be so present to be able to understand how can I actually be so focused and so aware that I’m looking, even though this is millions and millions of pages, I am aware of every single page. And, and that level of, of awareness with the speed that things were going and expanding my, my understanding of time to actually be able to look at every single page and of that with the purpose of what we were doing was so amazing that that is part.

[00:13:50] Of the, the work that, that I was doing that brought me into an understanding that also everything that I’m doing for myself in my inner work is for others. Like there’s no separation, even though. Before I thought that things were separate. And that brought me to a place of understanding this illusion that I still, every single day, like, I’m, I believe like I’m here talking to you and you are there.

[00:14:16] And it’s like, well, like from one perspective, yes, we are separate. But from an another one we aren’t, and that is one of the biggest things that I, that I took from there.

[00:14:25] Laura Hartley: Yeah. And I can also. the level of awareness you need, but also the level of care that needs to be embedded into how you’re choosing to act into all of your decisions.

[00:14:35] I can imagine as well, but, I think this is. A really important topic because very often as individuals, it’s so easy to feel powerless, right? When you’re looking at the world and you’re looking at the enormity and the scale of problems, like things are broken in the world. Things are not working the way that they should be.

[00:14:56] Or in many cases, they are working the way that they should be, but they’re not working to benefit the. how do we hold space for that? How do we hold space for the emotions that come with that, with the grief, the despair, but at the same time also actually feel empowered to do something because sometimes, you know, the problems are so collective.

[00:15:16] What can I do as one individual?

[00:15:19] Brian Berneman: Yeah, definitely. And I think that is one of the ways that, that most people. That powerless and, and, to be fair, and this is not coming from a conspiracy theory perspective, like the fact that we are separated and we have gone towards an individualized sense of experience.

[00:15:43] That means that we feel that we don’t feel as connected. We feel like what we do doesn’t matter, but everything that we do matters like both from an energetic perspective, And physical perspective here, because this is, I, I always love this. Like if 7 billion people would believe that what they do matters, then it will matter.

[00:16:04] And it just takes each and every single person to do that. But I think one of the, the key things with, with this for me is the understanding that and I took this from the Tibetan Buddhist teachings. There’s a big difference. Of how we understand our experience. So we are all, even though, as I said, we are not separate.

[00:16:27] We all have a unique experience or perspective of what is happening in the world. So for each of us, we might be looking at the same thing. And we are all looking from such a different place that we are looking at something different. Therefore, we are all experiencing it in a different way. And also if we have a different understanding how to feel our feelings and our experience, that changes the way of how we approach things.

[00:16:58] So. I, I started to get a lot in, in these teachings into the difference between feeling and sensations and emotions, and the emotions are so tied to our head, to our judgment categorization and labeling of experience. Good, bad, positive, negative. This is frustration. This is anger. This is happiness.

[00:17:22] This is whatever it is. and on the much closer and direct experience, what we are feeling is a sensation in the body, which is there’s some energy moving. And I know that there are times the emotion can be that. So for the way that I learned it, in terms of the language. Emotion is not energy. Motion.

[00:17:43] Emotion is a labeling of the energy emotion. So the feeling sensation is the energy emotion. And if I can stay with the fact that there’s some feeling now in my hand, so there’s energy moving there or there’s energy moving in my chest or in my belly, then I can actually look into. , that’s not too much.

[00:18:06] That’s not something that I want to either push away and not look at it because I cannot handle it. Or it’s not something that I don’t feel like I want to, because it’s too uncomfortable if I can stay, which is what I’ve been doing now for the last half of my life. If I can stay with there’s a feeling there, can I feel it?

[00:18:28] Can I integrate that? And can I not get stuck in the story that I’m telling myself, that is what society has been telling me or my past experience? Especially my childhood and all of my trauma and unprocessed feelings, feelings are telling me based on the same type of experience. So if I can get in that space, Then my response to life is so much different than my reactions.

[00:18:57] That if that’s automatic, that’s, I’m processed. I don’t want to look at things when I can get to that place. I feel so much more empowered because a, I am, I am completely conscious , of my experience. I am processing. I am integrating, I’m not pushing down. I’m not pushing away of my experience. And I’m able to see.

[00:19:17] Not in a sense, the false positivity, but I can see the positive side of things from, one other of the, the perspectives or the teachings that I learned and that I shared that is family constellations. We see everything that has happened. Something to be grateful for because everything that has happened brought us to this place.

[00:19:41] So my teacher used to tell me about this story of a person that they were creating. This is many years ago when sustainability, wasn’t such a big thing in terms of products. And this person was creating a company that wanted to introduce sustainable eco products and they weren’t selling. and then he said that they deal with this company.

[00:20:08] They did a constellation work. And what happened was that this person, the leader of the company, the CEO has so much negativity towards all of the companies that were creating all of this bad products for the environment that there was a block. And as soon as they were able to include that, that is what’s happening and that they were grateful that that existed.

[00:20:33] Cause now that can show us a different way. Then suddenly that company started to grow and started to sell a lot of the products that are better for our environment. And I think that when we can start to see things from a different perspective and in a different lens and to be able to be more present and to be able to choose more wisely with information with trusting our feelings, with trusting our own experience, then how things are happening in the world.

[00:21:05] Doesn’t have to be so, so challenging for us to be able to, respond in a way that is going to be of benefit.

[00:21:14] Laura Hartley: Mm. You know, which is such a big thing, but I’m really, you know, I love so much of what you’re saying, but I’m really curious what you would also say to somebody who says, how can I be grateful for this?

[00:21:23] What is there to be grateful for? Or, you know, to change my perspective on this doesn’t mean that the thing itself changes. It doesn’t mean that my pain or my hurt or my trauma. Or the injustice changes. Where is that line as well? Between acknowledging and working with the actual pain that happens.

[00:21:43] Yeah. And then not just, you know, as you kind of said this false positivity of like, oh, it’s fine. It’s like taught me to be a better person and you know what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. And no, it doesn’t kill me sometimes just hurts. Mm. So where is that balance?

[00:21:57] Brian Berneman: Yes. And, and, and, and this is always a very subtle work.

[00:22:01] This, this is something that, and this is so individual as well. Like for each of us, it’s different. One of the biggest things for me with that is that if I’m hurting. I need to acknowledge that and I need to feel it. I need to actually feel the feeling, not the idea of that. I’m hurting the story that I’m telling myself about why that’s there.

[00:22:24] I need to feel that because that’s the way that I’m going to integrate it. , and the gratitude, I think there’s of course we all believe different things are, are the meanings of words are different for me. The gratitude is not about not bringing into the space that, yes, that’s not positive or that’s not good for the environment or that’s not good for people.

[00:22:49] The gratitude is about bringing awareness and a different energy to something that has already happened and that I cannot change on one level, but I can’t change it in the way that I relate to it. And what happens with that is that, and this is one of the things like working with trauma and working with whether this trauma from my childhood or ancestral trauma that I work with is being able to integrate that.

[00:23:18] Being able to, to include that. Not to exclude that, not to push it. Why not to push it down to include that, and then how I’m behaving and how to tackle things then might look different. And that doesn’t mean that whatever is that based on my own view is wrong. That that’s not longer there, but my relationship with what happened is what changes and my relationship with.

[00:23:51] I can tackle that whether I’m paralyzed or I’m freezing or, or I want to fight it or whatever it is, like those reactions that we usually have, that is what changes being able to, to be triggered by those things. And that doesn’t mean that now it’s like, I don’t care about anything because any, everything is energy.

[00:24:10] So like you just go and destroy the earth. You just go and kill people. You just go, no, no, no. Like there’s an honoring of people, there’s an honoring of others, knowing that what happens to me happens to others and understanding that I don’t know people’s stories. They don’t even know who they are. So how can I know and how can I judge anyone?

[00:24:34] and as well, everybody that is doing something that I believe that is not positive or that is wrong. Understanding they have their own shit that they are bringing into this space. And, I don’t believe that anybody in the world is a bad person. I believe that everybody’s doing the best that they can with what they are.

[00:24:57] In this moment. So if someone was traumatized, most likely they will traumatize others. If someone is hurting, most likely they will hurt someone if someone was so suppressed or so focused on trying to going back to. Individualized life to take care of, of themselves and to be able to gather as much as possible because they’re going to die or nobody’s going to give them anything, you know, like all of this trauma that is completely unconscious, those people might be trying to do something from where they are something that is positive for them and not realizing this is actually destroying the earth.

[00:25:39] So when I can hold everyone from that lens of being compassionate towards them, it’s much easier to be able to have a dynamic there. Now that might mean that with some people it’s like, ah, I hold compassion for you, but I’m still going to hold you accountable.

[00:26:05] Laura Hartley: Compassion and accountability are, are two separate things, right? Yeah. That we can kind of hold both at the same

[00:26:10] Brian Berneman: time. Yeah. And I think that, that is one of the things, in the more conscious or spiritual world, like not everything is love and peace, not everything is, ah, it’s just energy.

[00:26:20] It doesn’t matter. As I said before, or that I feel compassionate towards all beings, therefore, you know, like do whatever you want. I have a sense of, I am living in all of these different walls, dimensions, perspectives at the same time. and my own personal work is how can I expand my awareness to hold all of those positions at the same time, all those perspectives, to be able to see you with compassion.

[00:26:51] And also if you’re doing something that I feel like it’s either crossing my boundaries, or doing something towards someone else’s boundaries, whether there is a person animals or the environment, mother earth. Then I might be holding you accountable for that. I might point that out and then I might see if you’re ready to make a change, or if we all as a collective need to make the change as well.

[00:27:20] Laura Hartley: What does justice mean to you? Oh,

[00:27:25] Brian Berneman: great question. I, I don’t believe in the punishment system as we have it. I do believe in self responsibility. I do believe in being able to own our experience and our past and to be able to, to do that inner work of forgiveness first. And if necessary during that seeking forgiveness. Not necessarily need to receive it, but seeking it.

[00:27:58] I think that that is closest to justice than a system of punishment and ostracizing people pushing them away and creating an even worse. Cycle of what we see a lot with certain communities and certain ethnicities that they’re just in, in that cycle of poverty and not education. And then going to jail and, and all of that, I, I think that that is not working.

[00:28:29] So for me, just, this is more taking responsibility and then doing something about.

[00:28:36] Laura Hartley: Yeah. And you know, this, this sense of taking responsibility, I’m really curious as well. If you can elaborate a bit more because you know, this conversation, there’s been two things that stood out to me. You know, one, we are all products of a toxic system, you’re right.

[00:28:49] There are no bad people per se. We are all products of our environment and with different conditions and different circumstances, it’s difficult to say how we might have been shaped differently. and then there’s also this issue that you mentioned of ancestral trauma, and I’d love if you could talk a little bit more on this of like, what is ancestral trauma, how does that pass down?

[00:29:09] And then, we’re looking at issues of responsibility and justice today. How does this come together? Mm,

[00:29:17] Brian Berneman: yeah, so like from a ancestor trauma perspective, I come to it more from an energetic perspective. Something that is hard to, to touch. But as well, I know from a DNA perspective thing, information gets passed down through DNA.

[00:29:36] And actually like you were in your, in your grandmother’s womb when your mom was actually in her belly, like as, as an egg. So we do have a physical connection and everything that happens to a person that they don’t process, that they don’t integrate, that they don’t feel that gets what I call it an energetic blockage, and that gets passed down.

[00:30:08] And until actually someone looks at it. then that will continue to play itself in that dynamic. So, as an example, I see a lot of of my clients with something that they are carrying that is not theirs and they are playing certain aspects. So, for example, like one of my clients that she was always getting into relationships with addict.

[00:30:32] She didn’t know why, but she was always drawn to people that ended up like the relationships ended up breaking because they were addicted to whatever substances or alcohol or whatever. And those relationships were never working. And then through doing this work, we realized that in her family, like some generations ago, .

[00:30:52] what came up during the, the session was that someone in their family was an alcoholic and because of what they were doing, they were excluded from the family physically. And what that happens is that they never dealt with it. they actually is kind of like we’re shutting the door and we are never talking about this.

[00:31:15] So that gets passed down through generations. The fact that something was excluded and not dealt with. And now few generations later, someone is actually dealing with the consequences of that. So one of the biggest things with this is that different aspects of our lives are tied to this and. I know, like there’s a lot of people that don’t believe this.

[00:31:40] Cool. Like I believe it. I have done my own personal work with this. And I do connect with it and I resonate with this. And I know from a lot of my clients that whenever we’ve done this work changes them their lives in terms of whatever was blocking. So the interesting thing with this is as well, owning that.

[00:32:05] Every single family. Like if, if we look back like we have like, so we have like two parents and like the four grandparents and then eight. And we started going back and back and back generation generation, there’s thousands of millions of people behind us. so we all have someone in our family that was a murderer, someone that committed a rape someone that was an alcoholic.

[00:32:28] We have everything in our lives, in our ancestors. So starting to see if nobody before me did any of the integration work, I need to be the one. If I choose to, I need to be the one that breaks this cycle of things continuing to be pushed forward and I can take responsibility of doing that integration and healing work so that nobody else in my family needs to deal with this.

[00:33:01] Now, the thing with how this place in, in, in the world and how everything is actually happening is really interesting. Most of our behavior is automatic it’s reactionary and it’s based on what helped my ancestors survive. So , for example, I did a lot of work with my dad’s dad.

[00:33:25] Because I didn’t have a good relationship with him and I wanted to heal that. And during those constellations that my teacher was doing what came up as well, was that by me doing that also, I wasn’t including the fact that he was a survivor. He escaped from the second world war. There’s so much resilient, you know, and to be able to take on also those qualities is so important.

[00:33:53] So when I take into account everything, then it’s so much easier to be able to see that what most people are doing. They’re just using survival mechanisms. As I was mentioned before, someone that might be a billionaire now and is destroying the earth because they’re taking the resources, all that they are doing is that unconsciously or subconsciously, they are trying to survive.

[00:34:25] They are doing that in the way that their ancestors did it. Even though now we don’t need to do those things. Even though now we know that for example, we don’t need to use the same type of systems that were set up in 200 years ago. 500 years ago is 1000 years ago. We’re still playing them out because we believe that we are surviving now because most people.

[00:34:53] Are completely living unconsciously and we don’t have enough awareness to see things differently or to do things differently. And this is where a lot of those systems that used to be how people survive. Well, we don’t need them now. So how can I take responsibility to heal that and to become more present now with what is, and not what it used to be, and to be able to move forward with that.

[00:35:22] Laura Hartley: And do you see this at a collective level as well? Like, not just for us as individuals, but some of the crises that we’re facing today is this, perhaps this collective experience of systems that no longer service.

[00:35:34] Brian Berneman: Yes, definitely. Like we, like when, when I work with this, when it’s interesting, because my teacher used to say, even though this is called family constellations, this a dynamic.

[00:35:46] Constellations or systemic constellations work. So , for example, I did a lot of healing or a lot of integration sessions with Judaism because that is what my heritage comes from. And there’s been so much trauma for Jewish people, as well as a lot of positive stuff. So I need to do the work for that.

[00:36:06] Now, a lot of the the cultures that are still going through trauma. That is still being lived nowadays. So not only they cannot even heal. What’s been before they are still playing that out now. So we, as people we need to understand, we are part of systems, whether that is our own culture, our own groups, our own ethnicity, our own country, from this perspective, we can work on so many different levels.

[00:36:35] To integrate and to heal healing us becoming whole. It’s not that we’re going to change the past. We are going to go towards a place of wholeness that we can integrate what is, and when we can see that and we can actually acknowledge it as people, then we can move forward. And, going back to what you were saying earlier with justice, for example, How does that look like?

[00:37:02] When in a sense, we all feel like we are always the target, because at some point my family was persecuted. At some point, your family was persecuted at some point. , so everybody that wants justice, even the ones that are supposed to be the ones to make reparations feel like they are the victims . So we all feel like we are the victims.

[00:37:27] From a very deep level. And therefore we are always wanting to point fingers. And if I stay in victim mode, then I’m always going to want revenge. I don’t care to who I’m always going to want revenge. That is one of the biggest things that my teachers to tell me that if you stay in victim, You’re always going to want to have revenge.

[00:37:52] If you integrate that, if you heal that, then you’re going to be able to move to a place of meeting others where they are now and not where their ancestors were.

[00:38:04] Laura Hartley: Hmm. Which when we’re talking about, you know, remaking the world and reimagining the world, I think that sounds like a powerful place that we have to start to look, are we coming at it from a sense of feeling.

[00:38:14] Victimized powerless or are we coming up from a place of actually, okay. I have agency here. Mm-hmm and I’m curious, cuz you’ve talked here about systems at the level of, you know, families, nations countries, you know, by changing our participation in a system, do we change the system? How does that

[00:38:31] Brian Berneman: work?

[00:38:32] Mm. So what, what’s a system. I, how have we internalized systems as well? Because we play to the systems, the systems are agriculture. They are, they are, they don’t exist. Like countries potentially do a little bit more, but How do we work with the systems when we are the systems? And we are the ones that are perpetuating that system?

[00:38:57] If I change, if I don’t want to play by those rules, and then slowly we all start to do that the system changes by itself. And the funny thing is that we have this sense that things don’t change and that things are permanent. From a Buddhist perspective, but also from reality, everything changes, nothing is permanent.

[00:39:22] Everything is in permanent. Therefore even though what seems to be rigid and what seems to be done permanently will change. Every system will crumble. When I don’t know how can we accelerate some things? That’s the point, but everything will change. So for the better or the worst, it will change how we can use our own experience to be part of the change.

[00:39:52] I think that that is. Being able to, to bring that sense of self responsibility, that sense of being connected to the fact that I’m not alone. And even though there’s know seven, 8 billion people, there’s lots of people. That are in different parts of the world that are taking self responsibility that are doing their own work, to be able to create the world that we want or that they want each individually.

[00:40:20] And a lot of that will actually be connected to what I want, what you want or brothers in the world want. The only thing is that because we are in such different places and geographically like age, whatever it. We don’t have as much connection. So we feel a lot of times that we are alone in this. We’re not alone.

[00:40:39] There’s so many of us, we just haven’t yet connected. So for me, from. Energetic unconsciousness perspective. We are doing the work just by me doing my own personal work. I am helping to change the system. The more people that change it, the faster that that will start to happen. The same with.

[00:41:02] Even a company when they start, there’s a few people that are going to buy the products and suddenly, there’s a point, I think now, even the experts know it like a point when there’s enough people that are buying into this product that suddenly like everybody starts to, to buy it. And. when we do this energetically, it’s the same.

[00:41:22] If I do my work, if you do your work, if lot of people do their work slowly, we’re going to change it. And the more people that are doing it, the faster it will do it. And we don’t need everyone to change because there’s so many people in the world that they are just going to do. What’s out there for them to survive today.

[00:41:39] So the ones that we are privileged enough to not have to survive today. To be able to live our lives and to be able to decide how we want to live, it’s our responsibility to be able to do something, to change things, because those other people, they are just surviving today and they might need us in a sense to do something that is going to be of much more benefit to them so that they can stop surviving and they can live their lives.

[00:42:09] Laura Hartley: Taking this responsibility for coming back to our own actions and our own experiences. where do we begin with this? I know you mentioned at the beginning, this coming back to the body, coming back to sensations and feelings. And I think we’ve actually had this conversation on your podcast that I started my work in a very similar place that I remember.

[00:42:28] I, I must have been in my late twenties when I first discovered that emotions actually had like corresponding sensations in my body. And I was like, oh my gosh, what is this? Wow. It was like, this is liberating. That’s all it is. But where do we begin this? If we are looking to start. This idea of the inner work for outer change, this inner work to help guide us into a more imaginative and more beautiful, a more just and regenerative world.

[00:42:57] Where do we begin within ourselves?

[00:43:01] Brian Berneman: Mm. We begin where we are. For everyone that is listened to this, where you are, is the place to begin. How it will look different to every single person, because I do recognize for me, it was coming back to the body, coming back to the feelings. And as you just said, coming back to the recognition, wow, there’s this other thing there for some other people, it might be actually.

[00:43:24] Connecting to their community, connecting to their family, learning about their lineage, even though they might not be working on it from an energetic standpoint or from a , feeling standpoint, just acknowledging that when, when we start to take that responsibility for our own experience, then.

[00:43:47] That is the first step when we feel like we actually matter. And what we do actually matters to the collect. Because from that place, we start to make the change for me. And this is I was recommended because it is my path. It’s coming back to the body, using that somatic experience, working with people that understand and how to actually deal with, with these things, because this is always one of the biggest things for someone that hasn’t been in touch with their feelings and with their body.

[00:44:23] It’s not that easy to come back to it. If that has been our mechanism for protecting ourselves and for surviving. So it’s not always like the go and do a yoga class and you will start to get more in touch with your feelings or YouTube something and do it. Sometimes we need support.

[00:44:41] Sometimes we need someone that is going to be able to, to guide us or to support us in our own work. I always say to all of my students at universities, of all of the things that I share, find the one that you resonate with and take that first step and start to actually live through that.

[00:45:04] And little by little, then you might be able to realize like, oh, now I can do this other thing. Now I can actually look at that feeling. Now I can go and have this conversation. Now I can actually stand in front of my parents and tell. No, these are my boundaries or stand in front of my parents, or stand in front of my housemates and tell me like, Hey, when I’m doing this, , I need to communicate your boundaries.

[00:45:26] You know, when we’re able to get to that place, then every single little step that, that we can take actually is positive. And for some people, things go like this. And for some people it takes time and it’s about being true to ourselves and to be able to be kind and compassionate towards to ourselves, to do the work in the time and the space that works for us, not comparing us to anybody else, not looking at others.

[00:45:58] Just looking at others for inspiration, just looking at others for things that I want to awaken in, in my experience, qualities that I want to embody, but not in comparison that I think that is one of the biggest things that is underway for us. So coming back to the body, coming back to the breath, coming back to more simple life like slowing down, it’s like, where are you going?

[00:46:22] To do all of these things to get stressed and not be able to eat well, not be able to move one, not be able to have good conversations, not be able to listen when we are able to slow down that changes so much.

[00:46:37] Laura Hartley: And is this the same when we’re looking to find our best actions in the world, when we are then looking to take this work out to actually help and to remake things, is that the similar process there of finding what is right for.

[00:46:51] Brian Berneman: Yeah. I, believe that everything is what resonates. so I’m going to do what resonates with me and I don’t care if other people think that that’s good or bad, I’m just going to go with what resonates. Now, I got to a place of understanding what resonates with me because I’ve done this, this work of feeling.

[00:47:08] So now it’s so much easier to recognize this resonates, this doesn’t and I’m just going to follow this now. I think that as well, To, to do this outer work, we need to recognize our interconnectedness. So your life has an impact on my life, even though I might not realize that we all have an impact on each other’s lives, we all have an impact on environment and the environment has an impact on us.

[00:47:39] I think that now there’s much more awareness, but if, if we don’t have any bees, then we cannot pollinate a lot of the food that we have. So therefore, our food system will change and therefore how we survive might change and, When we start to understand how interconnected we all are, that changes.

[00:47:57] And from a family constellation perspective, we are so much closer than we believe. Like, just think back, we might have someone in common like a hundred generations ago. So, if I can see everyone , As a member of my family, then how does that change my approach to how I treat others and how I see others and how I understand that.

[00:48:24] So whether I want to see them as family, or just the fact that we are all interconnected, then how I approach things. It’s very different and not every, not only everyone but everything. So if I connect to the waters, if I connect to the land, if I connect to the animals, then my behavior changes because I’m much more aware of my impact or our collective impact on.

[00:48:54] Laura Hartley: Okay. I mean, Brian, you have offered so much today, so I really wanna thank you for that. But I do wanna ask you one final question as well. You know, that if there is one piece of wisdom that you were to kind of succinct into a message to help us transform the world from, as it is to, as it could be, what would that be?

[00:49:15] Where would you start us to look for social healing?

[00:49:18] Brian Berneman: I would reiterate a few of the things that I mentioned in terms of coming back to the body, coming back to the feelings, integrating work from slowing down and being able to do that integrated work of our experience and our ancestors experience. As well, I think that it’s really important to be able to understand and do the work of understanding our values and the things that we stand.

[00:49:42] And then seeing if our actions are aligned to that. So if I can start to behave in a way that aligns more with what I believe in, then we are going to get to that world. We’re going to be so much closer to a thriving world than where we are now that.

[00:50:04] For some people it’s beautiful. And for some people it’s not at all. And for a lot of our animals and our earth, it’s not. So if we want to create that change, we just need to look and understand how that inner work that we’re doing has an impact out.

[00:50:22] Laura Hartley: Brian, thank you so much for coming on the show and for everything you’ve offered.

[00:50:26] Brian Berneman: Thank you. Thank you for having me and thank you for keeping on doing your work to be able to, to spread this. Not only like doing your inner work, but sharing with so many as well. So thank you. Thank

[00:50:38] Laura Hartley: you everyone. Please go check out Brian Berneman and conscious action. New Zealand. All of the details will be in the show.

[00:50:45] I do love it when topics and guests are suggested. So please feel free to reach out via my website. publiclove.Enterprises. Otherwise you can reach us on Instagram @laura.h.hartley

The In-Between

Navigating transitions - personal, professional, societal - can be tricky work. So often when we...

Resting When It’s Hard

If you’ve been reading my work a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about internalised...

The Third Way

 Years ago, I had a conversation with my therapist around accepting certain family dynamics as...

Hope in an age of despair

Hope is a practice. It is the stubborn commitment to believe in possibilities that we cannot yet...

Hot Take: Leadership Is Not The Same Thing As Power

Hot take. Just because you’re in a position of power, doesn’t mean that you are a leader. A common...

Gracious Limits

This is a Guest Post by Carol Wilson, the Founder and Transformative Conversation Guide for Table...