Self Sovereignty with Mike Gilliland and Euvie Ivanova
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Mike: [00:02:00] Hey guys. Today we have just a Mike and Euvie episode. We’re going to be talking about sovereignty today. It’s been a pretty important subject for both of us, for quite a long time due to the fact that we have escaped the old western, cultural, familial occupational scripts and we’re venturing off doing our own thing in Bulgaria, working online and burning all of those old scripts. Sovereignty is actually a pretty important topic [00:02:30] to us, so that’s what we want to talk about today.

Euvie: We decided to start with talking about sovereignty of mind, because it all starts with your mindset and ends with your mindset, too, it’s a bit of a loop thing. Why don’t we start with talking about what sovereignty is to each of us personally? What does it mean to you Mike?

Mike: I think we should cover the definition first. Basically, to me, the capacity to be the exclusive controller of your own mind, your mind, and your life. That’s essentially what sovereignty is. [00:03:00] You are in control, you are aware of all the options on the menu and off the menu.

Euvie: To that I would add is having a capacity to make sense of what is actually happening around you, then make choices or decisions accordingly.

Mike: On a personal level, for me, I think sovereignty became a really important thing probably when I was wrapped up in a carpet when I was a little kid, just playing around with my brother and his friend. They wrapped me up in a carpet – we thought it would be a funny thing – and then, all of a sudden, I realized how trapped and claustrophobic I was immediately [00:03:30] and freaked out. That point just sticks out in my mind, for some reason, as a significant thing, even though sovereignty for me has played out in a lot of other ways. Never being trapped has been that big lesson in motivation out of that.

After that, it was all about not wanting to do what I was recommended to do, as far as occupation, career choices, that sort of stuff. I was always recommended to go work as a rig worker and drill for oil and [00:04:00] stuff. It was probably my performance levels in school, which coincides with my attendance level, about 50 percent. They just see you as that problem kid and, “You should go drill oil, that’s about all you’re good for.” I never wanted to do that. I basically figured out how to self-teach and self-learn, and that became a very important thing for me to basically use the internet to learn whatever I wanted to learn that wasn’t really being [00:04:30] taught in schools, wasn’t really on the menu of career options for me.

I paved my own way through reading books, watching YouTube videos, that sort of thing. Probably one of the biggest things that stood out to me is the options that were available when I went looking for them on my own, as opposed to what was prescribed by family and professionals and that sort of thing while I was growing up. How about you? What’s the personal significance of sovereignty for you?

Euvie: In my case, I did pretty well in school as a kid. I was creative but I succeeded in the [00:05:00] traditional schooling system. That was actually a bit of a detriment in the long run, because I stayed believing in that system for a very long time and I ended up going to university. Even though, within that university structure, I chose less conservative subjects, I still followed that idea that I could go somewhere in life by getting a university degree. Only much later did I realize that I can’t and I would have been better off just finding my own path from an [00:05:30] earlier age and not wasting time and money on university. If you want to break the mould, then following the mould is not going to get you very far.

Mike: Yeah, I love how many people prescribe the mould to do something different or express yourself or to break free. Really not the way it works.

Euvie: Yeah, that was a big realization for me, that if you want to do something extraordinary, there’s no map. You have to make your own map.

Mike: Yeah, that’s a good point. What was it that you said to me earlier today about having some sort of structure of the map but being [00:06:00] comfortable to then alter the path along the way once you’ve already started?

Euvie: Yeah. Today I was thinking a lot about right brained and left brained rationality and how they’re different. Of course, there are some people who are able to use both, and I think that’s definitely a really, really useful skill. But, for the most part, people rely on one or the other hemisphere. I was thinking about how it would be possible to combine the rationality of left brained thinking and right brained thinking. [00:06:30] The rationality and goal setting in the left brain is basically, you decide on a goal that you want – it’s usually something tangible, doable – then you deconstruct it into steps, resources, things you need to do, timelines, this very specific structure.

Then you just execute on the structure. Right brained way of making goals and making sense of the world is more like you envision something wild and ridiculous that has never been thought of before, then you follow signs, [00:07:00] hunches, intuition, creative urges, in order to go down the road towards achieving it. Of course, when you think about doing something really extraordinary, you can see how using a combination of those two paths would be probably the best, because the right brained one is so unstructured that you can get lost or you can lose energy halfway through, and the left brained one by itself can be very rigid and if something unexpected happens or if you’re actually trying to go off the map [00:07:30] and create something new there are certain points at which it stops being useful. You have to be willing to drop your map or hold it very lightly and recognize that it might be inaccurate, or that you might have to redraw the map halfway through your voyage.

That’s a synchronized, two-hemisphere form of rationality and goal setting. I think that people have the capacity to use both hemispheres. Why else would they be there? The way that we are trained in school, by parents, and by society, is a lot more linear. I think that this might [00:08:00] just be a cultural thing. Western culture has succeeded in this kind of thinking, so it has become recursive. It teaches people that, “This is what works,” rather than, “This is one of the methods that can work.”

Mike: I want to swing back to sovereignty of mind again and talk about the menu of options that are typically handed to you in culture, your family, education, career choices, that sort of thing. How can you actually know what [00:08:30] choices are available to you outside of what is commonly presented?

Euvie: That’s a really good question. Actually, that’s a right brained activity, because you have to go off the map of what is known, you have to imagine things that are not known and make connections that maybe haven’t been made before. Even if you’re not making it up yourself, you have to think of where would you have to look to find those other options. In all likelihood, other people would have come up with something else and you can get ideas. I think that’s actually an easier way to do it than invent [00:09:00] something completely from scratch. You can just start looking for less common scripts.

Mike: Pretty much you have access to the stories of any kind of style of life that you could possibly imagining, just by Googling.

Euvie: Reading books, reading biographies of people who’ve done really extraordinary things, who did something really different, I think is really useful. Also, because it shows you how they think a lot of the time, or shows you their life path. How many times they’ve failed, how many times they’ve had to restart or went bankrupt, or they had to [00:09:30] change direction. It shows you that it’s not a linear path, like we are often told it is. Accepting failure I think is a really big part of sovereignty, as well, understanding that it’s part of life. You have a lot to say on this subject. I actually would like to hear your commentary on learning resilience and accepting failure.

Mike: Definitely not being so academic and traditionally career minded has influenced [00:10:00] my drive into entrepreneurship. Once you start on that, relying on yourself and your wits, your ability to produce revenue, make sure bills are paid, innovate, and come up with something that is actually a value that people want. That’s a real struggle and it’s easy to get caught up in all of the get rich quick things, or different schemes out there on the internet that are some quick business idea, like Amazon affiliate or whatever. There’s tons of different examples, I won’t get into that. I think really [00:10:30] just recognizing that it’s all dependent on you and that you’ve got to make it work. First of all, that sets the bar a lot higher for what you think and what you can achieve, because the bar is never really that high in a job setting as far as the pressure goes.

You’ve always got the company to fall back on. When it’s you out there alone, you’ve got nothing to fall back. Hopefully maybe a bit of money saved or something like that. That ‘starve or figure it out’ mentality makes you stronger. Then if you’re just fully committed [00:11:00] to that lifestyle, then sometimes you starve and it sucks. You just get used to that… Well, you don’t really get used to it, because you’re never comfortable with it. You just sort it out in the moment and you always figure something out after. I think for some people, failing once is enough to just crush them.

I think that’s where the mind game stuff comes in. If you’re not mentally resilient, if you’re not expecting that you’re going to be doing this whether it’s working or not and, instead, [00:11:30] money and security is a very high priority for you, then probably entrepreneurship is never going to be a real option unless you succeed the first try. Which is nearly impossible. Yeah, as far as resilience goes, it’s just basically the only option if you’re committed enough to your goal, from my experience.

Euvie: I think that’s also the case with other aspects of sovereignty, as well, because it is that walking in chaos path, where you have to be comfortable with whatever comes, [00:12:00] you have to be comfortable with failure, or to be completely confused and not know what’s going on.

Mike: To be self-reliant.

Euvie: Yes, to be self-reliant. It’s kind of a paradox, but I think a part of sovereignty is being comfortable losing your sovereignty and knowing when you lose it.

Mike: The options go up, I would say, the longer you’re at it. When you’re first starting, your options are very low because you probably don’t have a lot of money, you might get invited to hang out with friends but your business is calling and you have to get something done, [00:12:30] deal with a client, deal with a malfunctioning product or bad shipments or something like that. That all plays a role.

Euvie: I’ve been thinking about this actually. I’ve realized that the more freedom you have, the more responsibility you have to take. This is not obvious to people sometimes, because they imagine… If they don’t have a lot of sovereignty, if they don’t have a lot of freedom, they imagine freedom being this careless, child-like thing, where they can just go do whatever they want and nobody can tell them what to do. It’s all just [00:13:00] frolicking in the field, drinking martinis on the beach and partying.

Mike: Freedom is in the jungle.

Euvie: Yeah.

Mike: Freedom is being airdropped into a jungle and surviving.

Euvie: Exactly. It means you could get killed at any moment, so you have to take responsibility for your domain of control. First of all, you have to determine what is your domain of control, and then you have to take full responsibility for it because when you are on your own, when you’re making sovereign decisions, you can’t [00:13:30] make excuses anymore. You can’t blame your failures on your parents, or your teachers, or your boss, or your wife, or anybody else. You are making those decisions on your own, so you’re the only one responsible for the outcome.

Of course, we’re not saying that you’re a separate thing floating out that’s not affected by other forces. That’s where the sense making comes in. Yes, there are other forces but can you make sense of what is happening and pick the most optimal thing to do [00:14:00] for your goal or your life purpose or whatever. Sometimes that means that you just simply don’t have any options and you have to fail. You have to be prepared for that and accept it, accept responsibility for it. Not blame the crypto markets, or your business partner, your friends or your family who didn’t encourage you enough, or any number of reasons, “I ran out of money.” It’s like, “What did I do that contributed to this failing? What can I do better next time?”

Mike: What are some other elements of [00:14:30] sovereignty of mind that we haven’t talked about yet?

Euvie: There’s a lot to be said about the ideas and belief structures that we use to build maps of the world. Sovereignty of mind also has to do with how do you choose to see the world. First of all, recognizing that it is a choice. The way that we perceive the world is not actually the way that the world is. It’s a constructed thing in your mind that this is a way that your brain simply makes sense of the world. [00:15:00] It creates all these stories, it creates all these concepts and links them together in a way that resembles coherence but, actually, is just a bunch of sensory data and you can arrange it in any way you wanted really. That there might be better ways of arranging it, that there might be better maps or internal belief structures.

I think we’ve talked about a lot of this stuff before in different terms. We’ve talked about law of attraction a bit, or synchronicity, or any of these kinds of things. It’s a related [00:15:30] concept, actually, because what kind of maps or what kind of concepts or belief structures are you using to understand the world? If you switch it out for something else, you might be seeing the world from a completely different perspective, which can actually be beneficial, more beneficial to what you’re trying to accomplish. I’m sure you have a lot to say on this, altering your own belief systems. You did a lot of this work in your teen years, actually.

Mike: Well, the resilience [00:16:00] thing is one thing. The reality testing is another thing that I think is very important. Basically, you have this mantra in the back of your mind that’s always asking, “What is true? What is real? What is true? What is real? What is true? What is real?” When you ask that of enough things – at least, in my experience when I’ve asked that about everything – I can’t really come up with anything that is true. Is this microphone in my hand real? Is it actually provably real? Under the construction that this reality, this dimension that we find ourselves in [00:16:30] is solid, is real, then, yes, you could make a point. But so much hinges on the original thing, the original foundational layer of reality.

Is this reality, not a simulation, not the Matrix, not a hallucination? Is it a multi-dimensional thing? What comes before the big bang? All of this stuff. That’s why people make that joke, “In order to make a pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” It’s basically the same idea. What can you prove is true? I know I, at least, have the insight to [00:17:00] that truth. There is truth, truth exists. But does anything else really exist? I don’t know for sure. I think being able to live in that grey area where you’re comfortable not knowing and you’re comfortable, basically, that any belief system that you have could be completely uprooted from under you, to be able to be comfortable to be tripping up and in the air, in space, in the void, or to be comfortable enough to, once again, find your footing. I just think that it’s a very important thing for resilience [00:17:30] and mental sovereignty to not commit yourself to any belief systems absolutely.

I use the microphone as an example, but so many things. “You have to get a job?” Do you? Is that real? Do I have to get a job? Can I not be my own boss? “You have to raise kids a certain way. You have to have a house that you own in the west. Can’t raise kids as a digital nomad. That lifestyle doesn’t produce stable, happy children.” I don’t know, you could probably come up with examples, [00:18:00] as well.

Euvie: Yeah. There’s lots. Politics is one that cracks me up all the time. It’s basically the human equivalent of apes throwing faeces at each other and people take it so seriously. Of course, serious things hinge on politics, but most of it is just a show. It’s so ridiculous.

Mike: It’s absurd to me that we… I don’t want to get into a big political discussion, but it is absurd to me that we have these choices. It’s never, “This is something we’re coming up with and we’re electing from the bottom up.” It’s just [00:18:30] you’ve got these ideologies that you have to fit your entire identity into. If it doesn’t fit, then you just ram it in there and you make it fit. There’s nothing more than these two options. To me, that’s just a farce. That’s not real. That’s an illusion. The fact that a whole system is built on this and not functioning properly further adds to the idea that this is simply an illusion. To shortly continue on that political line, what about an AI based decentralized voting system or government system, that sort of thing?

[00:19:00] What could you come up with that takes out the middle man of representative democracy and allows people to have a direct impact without it turning into… I don’t know, what happens in those political systems when it’s a true democracy? It ends up being 51 percent bullying, 49 percent? You heard about that?

Euvie: What? No.

Mike: Yeah, I might just be not describing it well. It’s like, what happens in a real democracy is the majority always wins [00:19:30] but the majority can be 51 percent. Really, half of your population is super pissed off with one thing and the other half of the population is controlling everything and able to just bully everyone else who’s not the majority. It’s not really a good system of government.

Euvie: You mean that is an ultimately optimized democracy? It ends up being that?

Mike: Yeah, yeah. It’s horrible.

Euvie: Yeah.

Mike: Democracy’s actually terrible.

Euvie: Interesting, I haven’t heard of that. If you can think of the link to the resource, I would love to add that in the how notes.

Mike: Yeah, I don’t know, I can’t remember [00:20:00] where I heard it from. It’s basically just there’s dictatorship, which is one extreme, and a direct democracy is just a giant clusterfuck because people can’t make up their minds, they’re not interested in voting, they’re not experts. Then you get populism is a huge issue. I’m obviously not an expert about that, so I won’t continue there.

Euvie: Let’s talk about belief systems a little bit deeper now, and also about perception a little bit deeper. For those who are hearing this and are thinking, “[00:20:30] What do you mean belief systems can be altered? Isn’t there some sort of scientifically verifiable truth? Isn’t there some sort of an ultimate belief that I can have?” This is actually something that you can do in your own mind. You can deconstruct any belief system to see if it actually holds any weight. You could ask yourself why do you believe that and how can you verify it. Then how can you verify that thing, then how can you verify that thing.

When you go down, [00:21:00] it’s turtles all the way down basically. You can’t verify anything and you just get stuck under a cursive loop. Eventually, you bump up against the wall of your own perception. There’s information coming in through your sensory organs, but then your brain is creating this whole picture, it’s filling in the gaps. It’s basically hallucinating most of what you perceive as your lived experience, this holographic perception of reality that we have that is seamless and colourful [00:21:30] and meaningful and is overlayed with all these different concepts and structures that are non-physical.

All of that is created in the brain. It’s a complete construct. It’s a beautiful construct, but it’s a construct it’s not a reality. If you get down to what you can actually verifiably prove from first hand is experience is real, you get down to, “I am…” That’s basically it. That’s the only thing that you can verifiably prove, is that, “I exist.”

Mike: I was reading this book called [00:22:00] Homo sapiens. In that book, close to the beginning, one of the most profound things I learned was how the real shift when we took off as a species and started dominating on the planet was when we invented fictions. Because inside the realm of fictions fits law, hierarchy, any kind of creative endeavour that then turns into a physical endeavour. Corporations, that’s a perfect example. Corporations are fictions, [00:22:30] but when people allow for those fictions to be real and have actual autonomy and laws and things surrounding them, then you can actually make thing happen in the real world collectively. Fiction is basically the launching point of our civilization.

Euvie: I’m really glad you brought this up, actually, because I was thinking about this yesterday. How it seems that we have created a new dimension to reality – we as humans. It’s an internal dimension that exists in our brains collectively, in which we can [00:23:00] do things abstractly without having a physical representation of it.

Mike: Yeah, that happens all the time. We’re really good at doing that. You’ve got virtual reality, you’ve got Facebook, your Facebook account, your persona online, your Instagram persona. All of this stuff. You create fictions everywhere you go.

Euvie: Yeah, and you can create them with different sets of rules than what current physical reality has. That’s why I’m saying it’s like a separate dimension. It’s that for every individual person, [00:23:30] they have their own dimension that they can create with their own set of rules and then they can test that, if it can be ported back into the physical dimension, if they can actually create something in the physical dimension based on what they discovered in this virtual dimension.

Mike: Give me an example.

Euvie: You can create something in Photoshop and then use that design to create a physical thing.

Mike: Like an architect.

Euvie: Yeah.

Mike: Building plans and then have the building created.

Euvie: Exactly, yeah. Or, you can use words [00:24:00] as your dimension and you can deconstruct something logically with words to try to figure out what would happen in real life, if this happened or if this happened or if this happened. You can even just talk to another person using words and brainstorm different outcomes and get a different perspective, then understand what’s going to happen in the physical world, what is likely to happen, unlikely to happen. Or, how you can collaborate to build something.

This is something very unique that humans do. [00:24:30] It sounds pretty esoteric but humans are multi-dimensional creatures in that way. Even if you don’t take quantum physics into account, which, of course, is significant, but even if you just use it as a symbolic thing, this dimension of abstract thinking has different rules than the physical dimension. We might as well treat it as a different dimension of reality.

Mike: Where are you going with that?

Euvie: That sovereignty is, [00:25:00] in part, recognizing that the separate dimension of reality exists and that it is a dimension of reality of your own making. It’s not just the sensory input that you’re getting from the outside world, it’s also what you are using that sensory input to construct. How do you connect all the different pieces of information that you’re getting? What can you build on top of it?

Mike: How do we get back into more practical ways to either test sovereignty, or test your own [00:25:30] mental limitations, or see what’s off the menu as far as choice? What are some practical applications of this?

Euvie: There’s a book called Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson, where he talks about different dimensions of consciousness and human functioning. He gives a lot of interesting exercises for how you can break out of your robotic, habitual way of thinking. One of the examples that he uses that is really simple is, if you consider [00:26:00] yourself a liberal, cut out all liberal media for a month and read the most conservative media you can find only.

Mike: I really, really like that one. I love that advise. That advise has always worked out for me so well. To dive into something that either feels uncomfortable, or feels counterintuitive, or feels like the wrong thing, the wrong idea, the wrong opinion, and just to learn about it but without having to commit to your judgement about it either way. Just to immerse [00:26:30] yourself in basically the enemy’s position, if that’s what you want to call it. Art of War actually talked about this quite a lot, about really getting to know the enemy. It doesn’t have to be always in that oppositional way of thinking, but a willingness to live with the enemy and learn the way they learn, learn the things that they know. Super valuable.

Euvie: Or, if you’re, for example, a very materialist person and you only consider hard science and hard logic, cut out all media [00:27:00] that is in that realm for a month and immerse yourself in the wackiest, weirdest…

Mike: Tree hugging hippy.

Euvie: Tree hugging hippy, mysticism, spiritual shamanism weirdness that you can find.

Mike: Or, if you’re completely wrapped up in that, learn about law.

Euvie: Yeah. If you are a free-thinking hippy and you hate paperwork and you hate structure, then immerse yourself into extreme structure for a month.

Mike: Why?

Euvie: [00:27:30] First of all, you learn a different dimension to your being. You might pick up some useful tools, you might realize that you’re actually really good at some things on the other side, and you might also realize that there’s some really valid and useful ways of thinking on the other side. Then eventually, you might realize that taking sides is just stupid.

Mike: Hopefully. Hopefully that outcome is what they arrive at. More likely, they’re going to learn how to better destroy their enemy.

Euvie: Yeah.

Mike: Either way, it works [00:28:00] to your advantage.

Euvie: Yeah, that’s one thing. What kind of exercises have you done to get yourself off of the map and into creative territory?

Mike: I’m definitely very focused mindset. I’ll just pick something I want to do and I’ll just keep hammering away at that thing until I’ve got it. I think the biggest limiter for me is just imagination, how big do I want to go. I think that’s definitely doable. It’s very mechanical. I think that’s doable for anyone. Just, I don’t know, open up your mind, [00:28:30] think of what you ideally want, look for other people who are doing that thing, then break it down into milestones and steps, and then just chip away at it every day. There’s no magic to it.

Euvie: For people who might be living in a very habitual lifestyle and can’t really think of anything that they might want to do that is outside of that, but something in them is yearning for it, just study biographies of different kinds of people. Just read biographies of very [00:29:00] varied types of people. You might get ideas for what you could be doing. Just see that there are other scripts available. Even if you’re not inventing something completely your own, at least you might get an idea of what path might be more fulfilling to you.

Mike: One thing that has worked really well for me and has been a really difficult thing in the past has been to learn how to sit with my thoughts and not respond to them. Being that I have had all of this heightened anxiety about being an entrepreneur and not having [00:29:30] any safety net and traveling around, this crazy stuff that we do, I have had these high anxiety moments where I feel like I’ve got to be productive, I’ve got to be doing something, I’ve got to be making use of every minute of the day. Actually, that’s extremely detrimental to your mental health, to be chasing after things all the time.

Learning how to just sit with that discomfort of knowing your body, the monkey, just wants to get up and do something has been extremely beneficial, because then the real inspiration [00:30:00] and the solutions and creative solutions for these problems come up. A much higher level than what you’re looking at them from the day to day consciousness level.

Euvie: We can transition into talking about meditation a bit more here. That’s one of the exercises that you can do in meditation is you can observe your own mind. What is it doing? If there are looping thoughts, what are they about? It’s your prefrontal cortex, its function is to make sense of the things and to conclusively decide that things [00:30:30] are something. It makes concepts really well. If there’s an unresolved problem, according to the prefrontal cortex, that thing will keep going on and on, on loop, in your head until it’s solved. If you can quiet the mind, if you can bring your attention to your breath, or your body, if you can shut up that loop of thoughts, then you’re immersed in four billion years of evolutionary wisdom that you carry in your genes.

[00:31:00] There are creative solutions, there are different perspective, there are other ways of looking at things, and, of course, there’s just tranquillity so that your body can rest for a while.

Mike: I think there’s just, like you said at the beginning of this conversation, when basically our culture enforces this logical way of thinking, I think we have a bit of a heightened hubris about our ability to solve all problems with logical thinking. We really think that’s the way that anything gets done and solved. I myself am [00:31:30] extremely guilty of that in the past, of thinking everything is a puzzle to be solved. Because that’s the way I think, I like puzzles. Everything is just, “Fill in the gaps of knowledge until you understand the thing fully and then it can be deconstructed.”

Actually, I’ve learned over time that sometimes just shutting the monkey mind up, shutting up the logical mind, all of that stuff and just being completely void of thought, that these solutions, the most ideal, optimal solution just pops [00:32:00] into my head without any effort or focus whatsoever. That’s been a continuing lesson I have to remind myself of, because I’m so habituated to solving problems with very strategic, focused thinking, and it’s not always necessary.

Euvie: It doesn’t help that you’re actually skilled at it, so you generally get good results with that problem-solving mind. Sometimes, with over use, it definitely just causes more anxiety.

Mike: For example, I might make a massive trello board with a thousand checklists [00:32:30] and each card can have this really detailed process, when just giving someone a three-sentence piece of instruction on what to do and they can go off and solve it themselves in their own way… It’s actually much more efficient and intelligent to just do the simple version.

Euvie: Actually, the reason why meditation is so good for the mind is that – and they’ve shown this in lots of studies – that it synchronizes your whole nervous system. [00:33:00] Without meditation in our world that is full of distractions, high pressure, you’re being pulled in a million different directions, your brain is an orchestra before the concert starts. Everybody’s practicing their own thing, it sounds like a cacophony, it’s terrible, the instruments are out of tune. That’s what your brain is doing normally. They actually measure it in terms of percentage of brain synchronization when they do these studies. I think most people are at 30 percent. [00:33:30] It’s really bad. Really not optimal.

When people get into these deep meditative states, especially as they get more skilled at meditation, they can increase their brain synchronization to 60, 70, 80, 90, 95 percent for some really experienced meditators. That’s why you come up with optimal solutions and things that you haven’t thought about before and new perspectives, is because you’re using your whole nervous system, everything. Your limbic brain, your neocortex, your prefrontal cortex, [00:34:00] your sensory networks of skin, your gut brain, everything is working in sync. There’s a lot of wisdom in that, which often gets forgotten I think in these kinds of urban western societies, where people get really cut off from the wisdom of their physical body.

A lot of diseases actually come from that, because people are just not listening to their body. They’re stuck in their head and feeding their body with sugar and alcohol and caffeine and all these different things that are numbing it all the time. They’re not even getting the message. [00:34:30] If you can just sit and shut off your mind for a bit, just learn to listen to the body, it helps everything.

Mike: Cannabis has actually been a really important tool for me in that respect of just sitting back and listening to the body for once. So many weeks go by if I don’t do it – months often – and this tension builds up in the back of my neck, my joint will start aching. I’ll realize after just taking a little bit of cannabis that I’m tensing up in certain areas of my body, or I haven’t stretched [00:35:00] in quite a while, or I’m not feeding myself properly. Everything just floats to the surface, what I’m ignoring with my own body. That’s been a really helpful tool.

Euvie: I think actually plant medicines are generally a really amazing tool for reconnecting with the body and with the limbic system, some deeper unconscious, as well. We’ve talked about some of them before. I find another really, really good method is to immerse yourself in nature. Cut out all stimulants, like sugar, alcohol. [00:35:30] I know alcohol is a depressant, but any kind of chemical interference in your body. Obviously, any kinds of drugs. Cut all of that out and immerse yourself in nature. Cut out media. Preferably have a bit more solitude, not in a big group. That in itself, even if you’re not doing any kind of meditation, that in itself immerses you into a whole different dimension of your sensory experience and subconscious that is really, really useful.

Mike: I agree, it is useful [00:36:00] to make a big leap or bound in one direction, or many directions in your life. Whether or not it’s sustainable after that experience is really a big question mark for a lot of people. For me, I can never really tell if one of those meditation retreats or ayahuasca experiences or anything is going to have this long-lasting affect on me afterwards if I don’t bring to my life some sort of integration of those lessons. That really just comes down to [00:36:30] habit and hard decision making about what you’re doing with your day.

I’m concerned though, probably the biggest thing that’s ever had an affect on my mental clarity, my ambition, is meditating twice a day. That has been massively powerful. I’ve only done it a couple of times and for short periods of time, but when I did do that, just everything changed. Some meditating early in the morning, first thing, then again in the afternoon, [00:37:00] three or four PM. Even sometimes earlier, depending on how early you get up. That break up of the day has been just massive. It’s almost like I get two full days in one. That’s how transcendental meditation works, too. It’s all focused mantra meditation. You focus on an object for 10 minutes. I’m not sure if the do the open awareness one after that. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly just mantra, but you do it twice a day and that’s why everyone rants and raves about TM, because it’s one of the only practices [00:37:30] that requires you to do it twice a day and break it up, break up your day. I didn’t even think about that when I was meditating more frequently, but that’s exactly where the benefit comes in is that second time that you do it.

Euvie: For me, I got the best results when I was meditating really a lot.

Mike: But that’s not really available to everyone.

Euvie: I know. It’s harder for people to find the time. I just wanted to share my own experience that, for people who do have that time flexibility, I was meditating [00:38:00] one to three hours a day every day for over a year. Before that and after that, I was still meditating every day, but not quite such long stints. That’s when I was making really, really rapid progress. At that point, the most difficult thing becomes the integration, because you’re getting a lot of brain change very rapidly and you’re getting a lot of insights really rapidly. Then what do you do with all of that physical restructuring and information, as well? That’s really the big question. [00:38:30] It’s been actually really good that we’re both doing this in parallel. We’ve done it a bit asynchronously.

Sometimes there were big chunks of time when you were doing more meditation or I was doing more meditation, but we had each other to bounce off of. I think that’s been really valuable to share experiences. It helps for integration.

Mike: I think going back to what we were originally talking about with sovereignty, about having choice of your day. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re on your own versus if you are [00:39:00] working a career and you’ve got a 40- or 50-hour work week, that sort of thing, there’s actually not a lot of time to do any real thinking for yourself and to develop yourself outside of that job. But in the entrepreneurial lifestyle or with some of those jobs that give you a little bit more free time, you can take the time to learn. For me, audio books have been really key to my constant progress.

Actually, you’re going to feel lazy and just not up to it. You don’t want to be productive every day, every hour of every day. [00:39:30] But in those lazy chill out moments where you could be watching YouTube or Netflix, TV, something brainless, you could actually be listening to audio books and developing. It still gives you that dopamine hit of entertainment, but you’re actually picking something up from it. That’s been incredibly powerful for me over the years.

Euvie: Yeah. Actually, I wanted to extend also my comment about having each other to bounce off of and share experiences with. I think finding the others, [00:40:00] as Timothy Leary said, find the others. In this case, it means find the people who are investigating the deeper nature of reality, who are investigating sovereignty, who are going off the map, who are trying to do something different outside of the box. Find those people, because they might have some knowledge, some wisdom that they’ve gained along their path. Also, it makes you feel not alone.

You’re able to connect with people on a different level. Not to say that it’s like some elitist thing, like, “I’m on a different level.” It’s just it’s a different head space [00:40:30] that you can enter together with people. It’s very positive when you’re not the only one doing it, because then it helps erase self-doubt or any kind of weird feeling, or if you’re not sure that you’re going crazy or you’re doing this stuff and you feel on your own, basically alone and not safe in it – finding the others is really beneficial.

Self sovereignty is something that we’ve been thinking about and learning to practice for a long time. Self sovereignty means the ability to choose the direction of one’s own life, and being the exclusive authority over one’s own body and mind. Other synonyms for it are personal freedom, self determination, and liberty.

It’s a subject we have talked a lot about with our podcast guests as well. In this episode, it’s just Mike and Euvie, and we discuss a fundamental aspect of self sovereignty – sovereignty of mind.

We share some of our stories of successes and failures in learning to practice self sovereignty. We also suggest some ideas, techniques and exercises from our own experience that others can try if they want to gain more sovereignty in their lives. Ultimately, self sovereignty is a deeply personal thing, and something that each person figures out for themselves.

We invite you to explore this important concept in order to better understand and navigate today’s world.

If you want to do something extraordinary, there is no map. You have to make your own map. - @euvieivanova Click To Tweet

In this episode of Future Thinkers:

  • What is self sovereignty?
  • Self-teaching as an alternative to formal education
  • Left-brained and right-brained goal setting, and how to combine them to achieve loftier goals
  • How reading biographies of people you admire can help change your worldview
  • Why learning how to fail is an important part of the path to freedom
  • Why to increase freedom we must also increase responsibility
  • How the brain constructs our conscious reality
  • Deconstructing belief systems and reality testing
  • Practices and exercises that will help you build your own sovereignty
It’s a very important aspect of resilience and sovereignty not to commit yourself to any belief systems absolutely. - @mikegilliland Click To Tweet

Books and Resources:

More from Future Thinkers:

The more freedom you have, the more responsibility you have to take. - @euvieivanova Click To Tweet

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