Joyous Expansion Podcast Transcript Ty Reed, Passionate Recovery Career Coach – Recovering From Rock Bottom One Step At A Time

Brett Dupree:

Hello, Ty, and welcome to my podcast.

Ty Reed:

Hey, thanks, Brett. Glad to be here.

Brett Dupree:

Excited to have you on. I have known you from the Lightworker Toastmasters and I know you have a very interesting story.

Ty Reed:

My life has definitely taken some twists and turns that’s for sure.

Brett Dupree:

Let’s get down to it. Where would you like to start?

Ty Reed:

Well, we can start at the almost beginning if you like. I grew up in Tennessee and live a big chunk of my life in Georgia. And from a pretty young age, I had this feeling that there was something wrong with me and spent much of my life chasing things to fix that feeling or at least make me feel better about myself. And for me, that ended up taking me to some pretty dark places.

Brett Dupree:

What do you feel got you that feeling of laying that something was wrong with you?

Ty Reed:

Came from a couple of specific places when I was six years old, my parents divorced and my mother after that effectively disappeared from my life. And that left me with a feeling of if I had just been a better kid than maybe my parents would still be together. So I started to get this feeling that there was something wrong with me or defective about me. And that feeling was only deepened by the fact that I live and operate in kind of a weird space, racially and socially, although both of my parents are black. Education was super important in my household and speaking proper grammar was the only thing that was acceptable. And so as a result in the late seventies, being a black boy, living in Georgia, I didn’t sound like the black kids and they let me know that on a pretty regular basis.

Ty Reed:

And I clearly didn’t look like the white kids. So I was kind of an outcast and I stood alone a lot and I got picked on and bullied by both races and just never really felt like I had a place. And so it helped to kind of deepen this story that I had already begun to tell myself that there was something off or wrong with me. And that led me. That’s a feeling that I carry much of my life until really the last four or five years. It was something that I just couldn’t shake and led me to chase various things during life and led me to eventually to alcohol and drug addiction.

Brett Dupree:

Yeah. I can understand that as somebody who is mixed race, I remember telling my parents that I was like a black and white television. I always felt more comfortable with quote-unquote white culture, or my sister is the opposite. She always felt more quote-unquote with black culture. And I always felt like not good enough, not black enough.

Ty Reed:

Yeah. Yeah. And you know, the ironic thing, and I don’t know if you have experienced this as well, but the weird thing about that is that my blackness was not only questioned by black people. It was questioned by white people. Quite often, white people would say to me, Oh, you don’t sound black or you don’t seem black, which I understand that they were probably in their own way trying to be complimentary, but it just always struck me as being a really sad commentary on the impression that people had of black Americans. The is we are obviously a very diverse set of folks, just like white people are there’s educated, white people and uneducated white people. And it’s the same thing in the black community. But because of the media attention that certain segments of the population get there is this long has been a perception that to be black means that you are uneducated or you’re not articulate or that you can’t express yourself very well using proper grammar. And those things simply are not true.

Brett Dupree:

Yeah. I remember one time in high school, one of my friends told me as a compliment that I was white.

Ty Reed:

Again. Well, meaning, but not exactly a compliment. And I can relate a lot to what you said about how you kind of identified with the white side and your sister identified more with the black side. I kind of identified with both the first cassette tape I ever bought when I was nine years old, was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. And I bought it because it had, I love rock and roll on it, which was a classic rock song. It was really cool when it came out. But at the same time, I also grew up loving R and B and was obsessed with trying to sound like Michael Jackson when I sang and listened to Prince and a lot of R and B groups of the time growing up, I kind of appreciate both worlds, but it is this very strange space that I feel like occupy sometimes.

Brett Dupree:

Mine was Bon Jovi slippery when wet.

Ty Reed:

Oh yeah, yeah. That’s quality. That’s still good today. Actually

Brett Dupree:

Top to bottom. I love that album. What was your life like growing up in elementary and high school?

Ty Reed:

We moved a lot. My father was a corporate ladder climber before I graduated high school. I think we had moved. It was either 10 or 11 times because it was, and it was all about where the next promotion was. And he was definitely doing the very best that he could for the family. My father is the oldest. I think I want to say 11. And he was, you know, older, the oldest kids tend to be the ones that get out. And he was the one that got out of that very small and poor town in the South that he was born in and did everything that he could to make a better life for me and my younger sister, I lived in a couple of places in Tennessee. I lived in Virginia. I lived in Georgia in Georgia is where my parents had divorced when I was six.

Ty Reed:

My mom kind of went away for a while and then my father got a job in Nashville after that. And then my father got a job in California and I was out there with him for a little while, but I was actually sent to live with my mother at another place in Tennessee and was with her for junior high school, which was, and 80 or 85% black junior high school got picked on a lot. I sounded like Gomer Pyle, a very thick Southern accent or thick glasses. And I got really good grades and I was always on the honor roll and never really got into any trouble and was considered a nerd and weird and strange as I had been pretty much all my life up to that point. After junior high school, my dad had relocated to another job in Spokane. And so I moved out to Spokane for high school and it was a heck of a culture shock because I went from an 80% black junior high school to a 99% white high school.

Ty Reed:

In my graduating class, there were 350 people. I was the only black male and there were only three black people. It was a bit of an adjustment that first year was my sophomore year in high school was challenging. I did a lot of things to try to fit in. I put up with a lot of things like being called the N-word and racist jokes being told to me about me. And then after, I don’t know what it was over the summer between sophomore year and junior year, I had just decided I had enough. I was done and junior year was filled with a lot of fighting. It was every time, the stuff that I put up within my sophomore year, I decided I wasn’t going to put up with in my junior year. There were some scrapes and there were some trips to the principal’s office.

Ty Reed:

And there were some meetings with people after school at certain places that had to happen, but that fighting didn’t have to happen for very long. It was about the first half of the year. One of the things I believe about having to use force or using violence is you don’t actually always have to use it. People just have to know you’re willing to. And once it became apparent, I was willing to I’m sure a lot of stuff was still being said behind my back, but the stuff that was being said to my face or the stuff within earshot pretty much disappeared, then the senior year I was in student government did okay and won a partial scholarship to go to college at Western Washington University in Bellingham. And that’s where I went to my college experience. My freshman year.

Brett Dupree:

How was your college years?

Ty Reed:

My college years were a bit, well, the early years were tumultuous. So as I mentioned, I was in school. I was at Western Washington University on a partial scholarship for academics. And I wasn’t really a drinker in high school, but I discovered a love for alcohol in college. And it really was a love for alcohol. And what I loved about alcohol was how easy it made it for me to talk to women. And the experience that always sticks out the most for me is at the beginning of the school year at Western. And I went there, I started there in 1989. They used to have this thing called the red square dance in the middle of Western’s campus has basically modeled after red square in Moscow. And at the beginning of every school year, about a week before classes started, they would have this throat dance DJ would set up.

Ty Reed:

They play music and it was attended by anywhere from three to 5,000 students. So it was a pretty darn good time. And the dorm that I lived in on-campus downstairs for me was a group of juniors who decided for whatever reason, they wanted to live in the dorms. And they built a bar in their dorm room. The first week we were on campus. So the night of the dance, I go downstairs, everybody’s drinking, I’m 17 years old. And again, hadn’t really drank in high school. And there was this girl doing shots of something, and it turned out there were shots of 151. And I mean the young chauvinist macho kid that I was trying to be, he said, well, that girl can do that. Then I can do that. And between the two of us, we killed the bottle. So the next morning I, of course, am completely hungover.

Ty Reed:

Don’t remember really thing about the night before, but what happened was on the day that classes started a few days later, as I’m walking around campus, all these women are saying hello to me, women that I don’t recognize. And apparently I’ve made quite an impression. And so the connection between alcohol and women, this is when it started to dawn upon me that maybe I could reach for this alcohol thing that would make me feel differently about myself, first of all. And then it would be a gateway to me connecting with women so that I could get more approval and validation to try to feel better about who I was. Because again, I’ve been carrying this, there’s something wrong with me. I’m not a good person thing. For many, many years. I viewed it as a gateway to escape that somewhat. I then proceeded to flunk out of school. The next year I dropped out of school and then moved back to Spokane. Where I have gone to high school, worked there for a couple of years, and eventually relocated to Seattle with a job and went back to school. Finally got my undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Tacoma in 1998, and also had married by that time and was moving on into life. Things felt like they were heading in the right direction, but I still was not really in touch with who I was as a person.

Brett Dupree:

How did not feeling in touch as you were an in-person lead to your downfall?

Ty Reed:

I was always looking for stuff to make me feel better about who I was. I had managed, even though in my early twenties, I didn’t have a degree. I have worked in sales and I’ve always been pretty good at it. And I made, I worked really, really hard as a way to feel better about who I was. And so I made a lot of money and I bought a lot of stuff. And frankly, I had a lot of both relations and relationships cause there’s a difference between relations and relationships. I had quite a few of those with women and again, in an effort to make myself feel better about who I was, but it would always be the same feeling of emptiness afterward. I was seeking fulfillment and to placate what was happening with me inside, but it was always kind of that same hole in the soul empty feeling afterward.

Ty Reed:

And I just continued looking for something that would help me do that. And at this point, I was a, probably a pretty typical drinker in his mid to late twenties. I didn’t drink during the day. I wasn’t a person that hit bottles over the house, but when it came time to drink, I was drinking for effect, if I only had five or $10 in my pocket, I didn’t see a point in going out because that wasn’t going to do anything for me. I always drank to feel differently from how I felt. And that eventually turned to me needing something stronger because after a while, alcohol just stopped doing it. And I found my way too hard drugs by I was actually a karaoke host, which I was something I did off and on for a while. And I was working in this really dive karaoke bar in Everett, Washington.

Ty Reed:

And it was the kind of place where it was pretty obvious that the crowd was made up of a lot of people who did drugs. A lot of people who sold drugs, I had drugs offered to me probably every, literally every weekend for a year and always said, no. And then one weekend, I didn’t say no, I can’t accurately tell you what I was experiencing specifically at that point. But I can only suspect that it was just kind of a case of the pain that I was experiencing emotionally and spiritually got so bad that I felt like I needed something else. And that was really where it all started. I was 30, I think at that was just before I turned 30 at that point and picked up a drug habit, a crack habit that would then escalate over the next few years until I found myself in 2007, I was 35 years old.

Ty Reed:

And if someone had taken a snapshot of my life, it would have looked pretty darn good. I was a nationally recognized salesperson for a division of a Fortune 50 company. And I had the trappings of material success that came with that a big salary, big brand new house in Mill Creek, beautiful wife by my side, second wife at that time. Fantastic, a cute as a button stepdaughter who was smart as a whip and enrolled in private school. And I was a student at the, in the evening program, the Evening MBA program, excuse me at the University of Washington. So at a snapshot, it looked like I had it going on, but if people had watched the video and, or watch the entire movie of what my life was, it was pretty crazy. I was living as two people. I would spend my day walking through nice offices, wearing nice clothes and talking to nice people and come home for a hot minute and have dinner.

Ty Reed:

Before I went to my classroom at the University of Washington in the evening where I was surrounded by professionals from the biggest companies that you could name in Seattle, who were all doing the same as me trying to use education to make themselves more upwardly mobile in their careers. And I was participating in groups with these people and working on projects and being a significant contributor. And then by midnight, I’d be in a crack house, sometimes wearing a suit. And that was my life. And I lived that way for a long time. And it sounds a little crazy. And it quite frankly was because it’s no fun to be living as two people and to hate each one of them, because while I had achieved what I thought I wanted, cause I thought I wanted to make a bunch of money. And I thought that I wanted someone who could really love me and understand. I would often find myself thinking, is this really all there is. And quite frankly, I wanted to throw myself out a window every day.

Brett Dupree:

That doesn’t sound like a fun feeling.

Ty Reed:

It wasn’t great. Yeah. I’m really happy. I don’t have to live that way anymore. Yeah. That’s obviously anyone who knows anything about alcoholism and addiction knows that that’s just simply not a sustainable way to live your life, to be burning the candles at both ends like that. Life intervened in a pretty significant way. In 2008, I, I lost my job because the great recession, not so long after that, my marriage disintegrated, not because I lost my job, but just because my wife came to her senses, the person that she married and loved as hard as she could have basically sold her a bill of goods. I had shown her the best parts of me in order to secure this relationship with her. And she wises up and decided that she needed to protect herself and protect her daughter, which I absolutely agree with. And looking back on it, I don’t know if it’s that she wised up and decided to move on or if it’s that I pushed her out and I suspect it might have been some of both, but if it was more of me pushing her out, I know why that was having a family was getting in the way of me drinking.

Ty Reed:

Like I wanted to and doing drugs like I wanted to. And that’s hard for me to say, but it’s true. I got exactly what I thought I wanted, which was to be left alone and just be able to do what I wanted. That started a period that I refer to all the time as a slow-motion train wreck over the next few years I had jobs. I worked, I still had some moderate amount of professional success. I was still getting recognized, but my personal life was in a free fall by June of 2014. And I remember this day so vividly, I could probably tell you the date. I think it was June 26, 2014, but I could be wrong. June 2014. I am standing outside. I’m looking up in the sky and it’s a gorgeous day outside. I still remember the feeling of my face and my cheeks being warmed by the sun as I stood outside and wondering exactly what the heck I’m going to do. I am wondering what I’m going to do because I was unemployable. I had switched from crack to meth, smart choice there. So I’m addicted to meth, still alcoholic. And now I am homeless and not homeless. Like I could go to my parents’ place and sleep it off for a couple of months. Or I had a friend’s couch I could surf on. I’m really homeless. I don’t know what I’m going to eat next. Or where I am going to be.

Brett Dupree:

Meth is worse than crack?

Ty Reed:

Yeah. You know, it’s really one of the things, and this is actually the first time I’ve ever talked about this. But one of the things that are really funny is that no matter what type of group that we are part of, we’ll always find someone else that we can look down on. And I remember being a total crack head. I mean, I was a crack head. I remember being a crack head and saying, Oh, those meth people, those people are nuts. I would never smoke meth, those people are the worst. And I, you know, eventually I was smoking meth. And I got to say initially, because I had been a quote-unquote, recreational crack smoker for 10 plus years, and I had managed to hold a job. And I had managed to have somewhat of social life with normal people. But after I made the switch to math, my entire life changed.

Ty Reed:

My social circle changed. I stopped hanging out with quote-unquote, regular or normal people. First, my ability to work, my job actually went up because I was able to stay up for two or three days at a time and just work, work, work, work, work. And at the time I was, I was doing the type of work where I could work from home. And so my productivity initially went up. But as that social circle changed and went downhill pretty rapidly. It’s difficult to work when, you know, even when you’re at your house, but you have all kinds of undesirable people and distracting people running in and out of your house and using it as a crash pad and, and using it as a place to deal drugs out of and do whatever for other business, they have to do. My friends changed my environment change and then eventually my ability to do my job change, to not being able to do it at all.

Ty Reed:

And so meth really had a negative effect on me and it was the, I had really spent much of my time using drugs thinking, well, yeah, things might be getting worse, but I’m too smart for anything to ever really take me down. I’m so smart that I can piece this together and make it work. And I’ve always been so good at sales that I can just make enough money to get by and have my drugs and, and that’ll be it. But meth changed all that for me, all of it. And so I’m now homeless and a bit relieved in some ways to be homeless because the, all that energy that I had been expanding for so long to maintain this life as two people, I could let half of that go. And I didn’t have to worry about trying to put on the face of being a good guy anymore and to maintain this facade, to let people think that I had it all going on.

Ty Reed:

And, and I was confident and felt like a good person. I could let all that go. And it was a weight off of me, quite frankly, being able to just be a drug addict and a petty criminal. Cause that’s what I was, it was liberating for a little while until it wasn’t, it’s not fun going to jail multiple times and it’s not fun to have to constantly be on guard with people. The way that I often describe that time is being homeless and unemployed is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Cause there are no days off every day is a mad scramble for what feels like survival. Now that scramble is most often for drugs and for a roof over your head. And in my case to have somebody to do those drugs and be under that roof with you, but it’s a hustle, it’s a grind. I know people that are still on the street that have been on the street for 10 plus years. I was out there for a year and a half and it was rough, but I just can’t imagine doing it for that long because it is it’s tiring. It’s really, really tiring.

Brett Dupree:

Probably why they age so fast.

Ty Reed:

Yeah. Yeah. I would imagine, I would imagine. And so a typical day of, you know, being homeless on the street is if I have the night before, if I’ve been lucky enough to get inside someplace and inside could be, you know, dope house, crappy hotel room, somewhere up or wrong, Aurora by myself or with other people. Usually, there was a group of us that would throw in like 10 or 15 bucks and get a hotel room. Now it’s 10:00 AM the next morning. And now the mad scramble is on to figure out where the next hotel room is coming from. Because with most of those places, you got to check out by 11:00 AM and there ain’t no late checkout. They’re trying to get bodies out the door so they can get ready for the next group of drug addicts who are going to come in and stay in the place.

Ty Reed:

So now there’s a mad scramble. And if you don’t have the money by 11 o’clock to stay in the room for the day, then you got to go out and you got to hustle, you got to do stuff. And for many of us that include shoplifting. It includes a scam of some sort and includes gift card stuff. There’s a whole bunch of ways that there’s an entire economy on the street that I never even knew about that people use on a daily basis to scrape and get by. I became one of those people that was on that merry-go-round.

Brett Dupree:

How did you end up turning your life around?

Ty Reed:

I had a series of events that made it pretty evident to me that I was out of options. And the last event that really got me thinking about whether I was experiencing something miraculous or whether I needed to do something different was at the end of the summer in 2015.

Ty Reed:

And I was, by this time I had gotten pretty good at stealing hotel rooms and I was staying in a very nice hotel room in downtown Seattle with a couple of friends of mine. And one night I was just overcome by guilt and the shame of all the things that I had done and the depression from having allowed my life to get to that point of homelessness and where I was doing things like stealing hotel rooms. And I decided to walk into traffic and kill him myself. I went downstairs, I took the elevator down. I was staying on 20th floor or something. Took the elevator down to the street, the beautiful night outside. Absolutely beautiful. And a lot of traffic. It’s a Saturday night, you know, typical summer night in Seattle where the sky’s clear, there’s a bunch of people on the streets I’m standing outside.

Ty Reed:

I’ve just got a tee-shirt on. It’s totally comfortable. And I’m looking out into traffic and I’m smoking one of my last two cigarettes. And my complete plan was to finish the cigarette that I was smoking and then put my backpack on the sidewalk and just walk into traffic and get hit by a car and hopefully be killed. And as I’m smoking about halfway through my cigarette and this person starts approaching me, it’s a guy and he looked a little broken down, kind of like me. So I assumed that he was going to ask me for a cigarette, my last cigarette, as it would have been. Instead, he comes up to me and he asked me for help. And he says to me that he is an alcoholic. And he stayed in at the mission, the union gospel mission even kicked out of his house by his wife and that he hadn’t eaten for a couple of days.

Ty Reed:

And could I help him out with something to eat? And that moment got me to stop thinking about myself and my concerns for just long enough for me to focus on helping someone else. Then, I didn’t have any money on me, but I had a, my food stamp card, my EBT card, and it had a few bucks on it. And so I agreed to walk with him to a 7-11. That was a couple of blocks away and get him something to eat. As we’re walking, he’s trying to have some sort of conversation with me. What’s your name and where do you live and blah, blah, blah. And I’m just giving him the answers. It doesn’t matter what my name is. I don’t live anywhere, but that doesn’t matter. You know, I’m just, I’m tired. I’m just tired, I remember saying that at some point in the conversation, he kind of just looks at me and says, you know, God has planned for you, right?

Ty Reed:

That was surprising for a couple of reasons. So number one, I, at this point I didn’t have a relationship with God a couple of months prior when I was feeling really desperate, I’d actually, I’d prayed to God for the first time in probably 30 years. And my prayer was just that my life could look more normal and look better than it looked at that moment. Up until this guy asked me if I knew that God had a plan for me, I had assumed that those prayers had gone unanswered because it didn’t seem like life was getting any better. And so I was taken by surprise when he asked me to add, and I kind of looked at him and just a little dumbfounded, but said, it doesn’t matter if there’s a plan. I’m tired. I can’t do this anymore. We got to the 7-11 and I went inside and bought him whatever food I could.

Ty Reed:

And he was still trying to talk to me and engage me in some way. But I felt like I still had, I was still ready to die. I was ready to go, that I had helped this stranger. It was, I kind of felt like I had the right to die. Honestly, I’ve done what I needed to do here. And I’m tired of doing this. And I go out to the sidewalk, you know, entirely, still planning to walk into traffic and lo and behold, the streets that were bustling before, and there was all kinds of traffic and all kinds of people on the street. There were no cars on the street. When I say there were no cars, I don’t mean there were a couple of cars and there was traffic was moving lightly. There were literally no cars on the street and there were no people.

Ty Reed:

It’s obviously struck me as being strange. And I walked up to the cross street and I looked both ways and there are no cars and there are no people, I got a little mad, you know, it was kinda like, are you effing? Kidding me? Are you kidding? And I sat down on the sidewalk. I still had my one cigarette left and took it out. And I started smoking. And I don’t know if I said it in my head or set it out loud. But somehow I said to myself, I guess tonight is not the night that I die, picked up my backpack and went back to the hotel room. And that if this were a movie that would be the moment when I would have magically turned my life around and gotten sober the next day and never looked back. But that’s not my story. My story is that quite frankly, took me a few more months because it wasn’t the case for many of we alcoholics and addicts is that until we are not only feeling some pain, but we also feel like we’re out of options.

Ty Reed:

Are we ever gonna do anything to change our lives? And eventually, I felt like I was out of options and it wasn’t the remarkable thing about the day that I decided to get sober is that it was really unremarkable. I was in a hotel room. It was March 3rd, 2016, excuse me, March 2nd, 2016. And I am in a hotel room, a nice hotel room that I’ve stolen Sea-Tac with a friend of mine getting drunk and getting high. And there was no event I didn’t get arrested. I didn’t get kicked out of the hotel. I, nobody suffered a heart attack or nothing dramatic happened. I was just, I felt like getting sober was the only move I had left. That was my only option. The next day, March 3rd, 2016, I go to 12 step meetings. I went to three meetings that day and I cried like a baby at every single one of those meetings.

Ty Reed:

And I just kept going back. And I eventually, not soon after I started going, I got a sponsor and I feel like that sponsor was sent by God because he and I had a lot of things in common and he had a message that I was finally able to hear. And I was able to take some direction and put my life back together. But a huge part of that was getting really clear about the things that I believed about myself and the stories that I’ve been telling myself about me for so long. If, if only for the reason of not going back to being an alcoholic and addict, because while we people in recovery, we realized that alcohol and drugs are a problem. We don’t believe they are the problem. The problem is this emotional and spiritual instability. And often the stories, the attitudes that we have about ourselves that lead us to want to do things, to escape that. And so I got really clear about the causes and conditions of why I felt the way I felt about myself. And it was the first time that I’d done that in my entire life. I had started telling myself this story when I was six years old, that I carried with me for 30 plus years and never really looked at. And this was the first time I had done that. And that was really key to me, changing a lot of things in my life for the better.

Brett Dupree:

Awesome. So what were the steps? So after that, you were able to get a job and put things piece of piece back together.

Ty Reed:

Yeah. Slowly I did. You know, and this is something that I have documented through articles and videos, but, I got sober. I, the first job that I took was not a job that I ever thought I would have. I had worked a bunch of corporate jobs before and I had done really well and made money. And the first job that I took was a part-time job, scrubbing toilets at a place that was a 50 plus mile drive from the sober house that I was living in. And I was grateful to have that job because it gave me an opportunity to prove to others. But more importantly to myself that I could be dependable and responsible again. So I had that job and then I got a slightly better job and then a slightly better job. And then I went back to school to get a certificate in manufacturing.

Ty Reed:

One of the career counselors at the school saw that I was always showing up. So my attendance was good and that I always had a great attitude and that my schoolwork was good. And I was generally liked by people in the program. And she connected me with a company that was connected to the manufacturing program because they had a sales job available and I’d picked up some skills in that manufacturing program that would help me in that job. I went to the interview and I think I had a couple of interviews. And while I was nervous about the prospects of telling my new employer about my past, having been homeless and having these petty crimes on my record, I was prepared to tell the truth. I thought about the story. I was ready to tell the truth about it and present it in a clear and concise fashion and let the chips kind of fall where they may and things kind of worked out.

Ty Reed:

They did get the job. I worked there for three years and learned a lot. I was able to also bring a lot to the company because quite frankly if I weren’t someone who was rebuilding his life, they would have been hard-pressed to get someone like me with my educational background and professional background for the price that they got me quite frankly. So it worked out really well for both parties. I got some valuable job experience and reestablished myself professionally. They got a great employee who was really dedicated to the company and was able to help them put some key things in place. Then I moved on to my next position, which was my most recent position working for a large nonprofit in the Seattle area as a job developer. So it was my job to help people who had barriers to employment. Maybe they’re recovering from addiction and homelessness like me or their domestic violence survivors or veterans who have been out of the job force for a while and are looking for a way back in. It was my job to help those individuals secure employment, primarily by connecting with companies in the area, helping them fill their positions with the folks that I was working with. And it was really, really satisfying and has given me a passion to move on and continue to do that. I’m really happy with the way that my career has gone over the last three years. It’s been a great process for me.

Brett Dupree:

Well, that the last job is the thing that has, has kicked off this passion desire to help people get their lives back.

Ty Reed:

It was there before, even before I got this last job, I had started volunteering for a couple of nonprofit organizations in the Everett area, teaching classes that I, with a curriculum that I had created on things like finances and budgeting. For example, if I have screwed over a bank, how do I open a bank account? If I have never rented an apartment before, how do I do that? What does that look like? Also, if I have any eviction on my record, how do I still rent a place to live? These are all things that number one that I had to deal with and number two, their milestones in that road back that need to be marked off because everybody needs a place to live and everybody needs a bank account. And at some point, everybody needs a job. So I, it was my interest in doing that for people who came from before.

Ty Reed:

But certainly being at this last position at the nonprofit really confirmed for me that this is what I want to spend my life doing. I could very easily go back to a career in sales and I could make a bunch of money. I really could, I could make buckets of it, but that’s just not where my passion lies anymore. I don’t, I don’t need to chase money anymore to feel better about who I am as a person. I have plenty of money. I really do. I’m definitely not a millionaire. I’m not independently wealthy, but I have plenty of money and I will have plenty of money, but the ability to be able to do for other people, what people have done for me, people that love me and absolute strangers have done for me, which is to put aside their own self-interest and reach out their hand to a guy like me, who in many ways may not have actually deserved a second chance. I had everything. I had everything and I chose to burn it to the ground, but that didn’t matter. People still saw that I needed help and they helped me. And I want to be able to do that for other people. It’s the right thing to do.

Brett Dupree:

So if someone who somehow is listening to this on their lowest point in life, especially in addiction in some sort of honestly, whatever it is, it could just be video games, honestly. And they feel like their life is at their lowest. What advice would you give them to take that next step?

Ty Reed:

Well, the first thing I would say is that it’s never too late. It doesn’t matter how bad things seem or how far you feel like you’ve fallen. It’s never too late to make a change. The next thing I would say is that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the prospects of changing your life radically. But change is actually easy. Change is happening all the time in nature in the world, things are always changing. What’s difficult about change is making the decision to change and then continuing to make that decision to change because changing your life is not a decision that we make one time or that you make. One time. It is a decision that has to be made over and over and over again. If I say to myself on Monday, I’m not going to call myself stupid anymore. Then I got to make that decision on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, going forward.

Ty Reed:

That’s the difficulty about change is choosing and deciding to continue down that new path in order to achieve that. My suggestion would be to start with something small if it is video game addiction or it’s drug addiction or alcohol addiction or whatever. The first thing that I would say is you reach out for help. That’s the first thing. And people will, especially people that are alcoholics or drug addicts will say, well, I can’t go to treatment. I can’t leave my job for a month or I can’t leave my family for a month or whatever. There are lots of steps in between being addicted or hung up on whatever you’re hung up on and going to a 28-day residential inpatient treatment. Now eventually maybe for some people, they’ll obviously have to do that, but there’s a lot of steps in between. There is talking to someone that you trust and just letting them know.

Ty Reed:

I’m not sure if I’m in trouble here, but I might be. Can I talk to you about this? If you don’t have that person in your life, I suggest that you talk to a professional. Now, this could be a counselor, but it doesn’t have to be, if you are not in a position to afford counseling or a therapist, you can go to your clergy and talk to him or her about that. But our secrets keep us sick, talking to someone and getting this out of us, and not holding in the shame about it is really the first step. And from there, I would just recommend that you take baby steps. If you can, if you’re an alcoholic, maybe try to drink a little less every day. If you have the ability to do that, if you are experiencing anything else, try to break it down into the smallest steps possible, and then just do conquer one step at a time because often it is too difficult to wrap our minds around making this huge change.

Ty Reed:

And quite frankly, for most of us, if we’re still limping along in life and things are generally okay, we’re probably not going to make a huge change unless something drastic happens quite often, people who don’t eat well, they don’t do anything until they have a heart attack. And then once they have a heart attack, that’s a major event. And then they get motivated to change their lives. But for many of us, we won’t be lucky enough to get that desperate. And if you’re not that desperate, then I would recommend baby steps as a way to accomplish what you want to accomplish, because you can get there and you deserve to be happy. It’s just a matter of taking some action and deciding that that’s what you deserve,

Brett Dupree:

Are you available to work with people who are in this situation? And if you are, what would that look like?

Ty Reed:

I absolutely am available to work with people that would be in those situations. And what that would look like is an initial free consultation, or just, just a conversation. I don’t even want to call it a consultation, a conversation. Let’s just talk a little bit about what’s happening with you. And you can then decide what is right for you. But I am not a licensed therapist. I have a good amount of education in my background, and I certainly have some life experience with this so I can help you from my life experience. And if you feel like that is valuable, I am open and ready to talk to people about this. So you would reach out to me through my email, you would, and we would connect that way. And then we’d have maybe a zoom conversation or a phone conversation, and really see if this is something that you need to explore more.

Brett Dupree:

So someone’s listening to this interview and think, wow, tirade would be a great person to speak at my school, but what exactly would his speech be like? Could you give people a taste of the subjects and like how you structure your message? What are your messages?

Ty Reed:

I love to speak about myths and stories and especially the personal myths that we carry. And so the way that I define a personal myth is the stories that we tell ourselves that shape, how we view ourselves and others in the world. So a typical speech for me would be me taking a topic like an escape. So the myth of escape. So there’s this myth that many people have that if we have a negative self-image, we can somehow escape that by reaching for things outside of ourselves. So we can reach for gambling or sex or money or shopping or drugs or alcohol. It’s thinking that those things are going to somehow cure what is happening with us inside, but real change the opportunity for happiness. It’s an inside job. So this myth is that we can somehow escape ourselves by using all these other things.

Ty Reed:

But the truth is that we need to focus more inward inwardly. And in order to have a real shot at happiness in the life that we really want, many of the speeches that I deliver are based on my life experience of having done this, reaching outside myself constantly. And the things that I believed about me in the world, focus through the prism of addiction to connect with the audience because although there’s not going to be a ton of people in the world that I’ll speak to, that can relate to having lived this to people and been a crack and a meth addict and ended up homeless on the streets. But pretty much everybody can relate to looking around their lives and feeling like certain things aren’t right or wondering how they got here. Those are the connection points that I use with audiences to really deliver my message.

Brett Dupree:

Awesome. So we are coming to the end of our time together. And one thing I like to ask my guests is to do a one minute of motivation. You can imagine this as if you are going talking to your eight-year-old self in a time machine type situation, but unfortunately, you only have a minute and tell you’re plopped back into the future. Or you can think of it as if you can condense your entire life’s message and purpose into one minute. So you’re ready. Sure. Let’s go.

Ty Reed:

I know you might feel scared and I know that you might be doubting yourself, but I can definitively tell you you’re going to be okay. And I can also definitively tell you that you’re better than you think you are. You’re not as bad as you think you are and you deserve to be happy. You do. And no matter how rough it gets, I love you and you’re going to be okay.

Brett Dupree:

Thank you, Ty, for being on my podcast, I really enjoyed your story on how you just never felt good enough. And even though you kept on like living almost the perfect life of a good, having a good kid, having a wonderful wife, and also then having the sales job, but having that empty part in you, causing you to fill it with drugs and alcohol, which have caused you to crash your life. But at the same time, you’re able to, through seeking out, help from others, being able to take your life and rebuild it in such a way that not only are you rebuilding your life, but you are also creating a situation where you could help people who are going through something similar from a perspective of somebody who’s been through it. Been there, done that. So that gives you a unique perspective that a lot of people don’t have and to utilize your pain and English into something great that can serve humanity. So thank you so much for everything you do. Thank you so much for making this world a better place. And thank you so much for being in my podcast.

Ty Reed:

Thank you, Brett. I really enjoyed being here today.

Brett Dupree:

May your day be special.

Ty Reed:

Likewise.

Joyous Expansion Podcast Transcript – Deena Janel – Trusting Your Gifts To Live A Joyful Authentic Successful Life

Brett Dupree:

Hello Deena and welcome to my podcast.

Deena Janel:

Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here and I’m honored. Thank you so much.

Brett Dupree:

You’re very welcome. Excited to have you on. Says here that you are a natural clairvoyant.

Deena Janel:

Yeah, I am. Pretty cool, right?

Brett Dupree:

Yeah. That’s pretty interesting. How did you discover your gifts?

Deena Janel:

So I had really ever since I was born, as I grew up, I would always remember seeing things and then they would happen, or I would tell my mom, like, you know, the phone’s going to ring or this would happen. You know, I kind of suppressed them for a while as I went through, like my teenage years, even though I was always really interested in the metaphysical realms. But then as I got older and I started working my full-time job, they really started to explode. It was my full-time job. And my dad passed. Then they became stronger and stronger than being able to find things that I didn’t think that I would find at my full-time job and really started diving more into my intuition and started seeing more and hearing more amongst other things.

Brett Dupree:

What was so frightening about them? How did they show up?

Deena Janel:

I actually remember still being a young child. I’m going to say under the age of seven, I remember a very vivid dream that I had. I still remember that to this day and I actually thought it was real. It was so vibrant. I remember that. And I just remember just things like that throughout my life. And as I got older, after my dad passed, I saw my father after he had passed with my eyes open. I remember seeing him in the corner of my house with his wings. And he was in his tuxedo that he got married and to my mom, you look just like that. And I remember seeing him, like I said, with his wings and he was just telling me he was okay. It was amazing to me to see him would the way I did it took me back. But it was really awesome, to be honest with you.

Brett Dupree:

So are you afraid of being judged by your friends? When I came to this,

Deena Janel:

I was afraid of being judged by everybody. I have this huge fear and I was scared of what my family would think. I thought that they would think that I was crazy. I was scared of what my friends would think, even though they’ve always accepted me for who I am. Like I said before, I was always into the metaphysical stuff. They kind of had an idea, but it was still scared because it’s, you’re coming out saying yo I’m different. And some people don’t believe in this because it goes against religion or they just are very closed-minded and don’t like it. And that’s okay. Like there’s no judgment from me from that. But I was also very scared of work. One of my biggest fears, more than my family and my friends that terrified me,

Brett Dupree:

That people were learning. You’d lose your job.

Deena Janel:

Not that I would lose my job. I didn’t think I would lose my job for this. But what I thought was that one, they could send me for a psych eval. Two, I know I would get made fun of, and I did because it’s different. I have other full time job, I work in a very male-dominated profession who is very left minded thinking, not very open-minded at all. So it is almost irrational for this to be, even though they’ve used some mediums before, they just it’s different and different. Isn’t okay. In some rooms

Brett Dupree:

You kept on mentioning that you are afraid that people will think you’re crazy. How did you know that you weren’t?

Deena Janel:

I began to trust it more because I wasn’t hearing when they speak to me, they’re not telling me anything bad. They’re not telling me to harm anybody, anything to do anything harmful. They’re telling me good things. They’re telling me uplifting. They’re telling me things of hope. They’re giving me messages to help heal people, to help find things, to help solve problems. And they’re also showing me evidence of that because I am an evidential medium. Like when I had souls come through from the other side that has passed, they would give me things that they had given somebody or that they had said to somebody or that they showed me how they looked like. So how can you deny that? I knew I wasn’t crazy. I knew that there was nothing wrong with me in that aspect.

Brett Dupree:

So how’d you gone about deciding to embrace your gifts?

Deena Janel:

Well, I always knew it was a part of me, but that fear always held me back because of what would other people think? Because it’s different. It’s something that people don’t talk about because of fear of judgment of society. In some sense, even though it’s, I think it’s becoming more of a norm. Now, those things still held me back, you know? Cause you do want people to accept you. I had to push it all aside and I just had to move forward. So I had to do it.

Brett Dupree:

How’d you do that?

Deena Janel:

So what I did was I started to, I always read books on these topics. Then I started to take a class on how to develop my gifts. And I developed my gifts quickly. Spirit only gives you what you can handle and when it’s at the right time, apparently, it was the right time because I just developed incredibly quickly.

Deena Janel:

I learned to trust it and what they were giving me. I would meditate all the time. That’s something that I always do and try to do. Every day is to meditate. I practiced constantly every day I would practice.

Brett Dupree:

What did you do to practice your gifts?

Deena Janel:

I would practice with people. I would go online, go to different sites where you can practice. You can learn there are groups all over Facebook and just different domains. You can go to where people talk about anything that physical, we can practice here and their strict rules and were practiced with my friends. They had a friend that I would practice with and I would also do it at my full-time job, but I would keep it to myself. It’s not something that I would say to other people. So if I was going somewhere doing something, I might try to see or ask what was going to happen when I got there. And then let things roll out. As they may

Brett Dupree:

How’d it feel actually coming out and turning this into a business?

Deena Janel:

First thing was, it felt like it was the right thing for me to do. I know it was the direction I was supposed to go in. Actually thinking back. I remember as a child being like, I wanted to be a medium, I wanted to have my own business doing this. And I thought it would be really cool as I began to develop. I’m like, yeah, well, this is the goal. This is where I want to go. So to be able to push through it, I knew it was right because it just flowed the pieces coming together were easy for me. But there were still times that were very hard for me as well to go through it because the more I went into developing it as a business, the more I had to come out to other people. And this is where my fear came in.

Deena Janel:

I was worried about judgment from others. And I did receive that, but I had to push past it in order to get where I wanted to be for this to be a full-time business for me to live my purpose. And that’s the part that made it all worth. It was to push past everything that I was fearful of to be able to be where I’m supposed to be, where I’m able to serve the spirit, to serve people, and help them heal. So starting it to be able to do that felt good. It felt right. It’s where I’m supposed to be. But going through the process also was very hard emotionally because of the judgment from others, the fear of failure, the fear of I’m not gonna make the grades. You were worried that you’re not going to be good enough. Do you know? Well, I did anyway, or that you would hurt somebody or ruin her life. That’s not what I’m here to do. That’s not serving spirit or anybody. So it was twofold if you will.

Brett Dupree:

So you said that you, when you first started out, if you’re practicing on people, how did you move from practicing on people to accepting payments?

Deena Janel:

What I did was when I started to practice or when I was still in, when I was training, I guess you could say, when I was done that, then I have friends that obviously know about what it was and what I did. And they started, they’re like, Hey, we have, I have a group of people that want you to read for them with, do you want to do a party here or do a party there? And I’m like, sure, absolutely. So I would go and start doing house parties. And then from there came the private bookings and it just expanded like that a little bit over time. So it wasn’t like I didn’t go to zero to a hundred at all. I literally had to take every step, but that’s really how it started was my friends saying, Hey, read here. You know, I got somebody who wants to party. And I went from there.

Brett Dupree:

Cool. It’s nice being surrounded by supportive people.

Deena Janel:

Absolutely. I have to say, I’m incredibly grateful that the support my friends have given me, like none of my friends have turned their back on me from it nor has my family. They embrace it. They’ve helped push me and they’ve helped get me off my feet. They really have.

Brett Dupree:

I know a lot of people who are in spirit almost feels guilty for taking money. I’ve had that conversation before. How’d you feel about that aspect?

Deena Janel:

I don’t have a problem with it. I feel that it is an energy exchange as well. I don’t do everything for money though. There’s a lot of times I do things for charity. There are times that I will read people without getting paid for it because it’s what I feel like I’m compelled to do. Also during my full-time job, when I’m talking with the spirit or they’re showing me things, I’m not getting paid for that either I’m using it for the goodness of humanity to help people maybe to get to a means to their end or to help them. So something doesn’t happen to them or to help them solve a problem. So I don’t always get paid, but when I do, it’s an energy exchange.

Brett Dupree:

How do you connect with your spirit guides?

Deena Janel:

I say a little prayer before every reading that I do, or if I do like a gallery style or a big group type of reading, I say a prayer that tells them that I’m ready to start reading. I also grabbed myself beforehand and I really pretty much say the same prayer every time. And then I just begin and they just start saying things and showing me things. It’s like the light switch turned on after I say the prayer and ground myself.

Brett Dupree:

So what do you like most about being a medium?

Deena Janel:

I like that it enables people to heal and it helps to heal. I like that. It helps people to connect to the loved ones that they don’t physically see anymore in their physical bodies where they know that their loved ones are still watching them, hearing them a part of their life, which is incredibly important all the way around. It’s important for just the healing aspect of it is tremendous to me, it’s huge because I’ve been there myself with my father when he passed, I had a reading myself. I know how much it helped me just to process the emotions of him not being there anymore and for the healing aspect. And that really helped me with that. And to be able to give that to other people, I know what type of change it can create in one’s life. And that’s really important to me to be able to do that to people, to be able to help them with that. And the incredibly grateful spirit is able to, or I should say spirit gave me the gift to help serve them, to help that purpose.

Brett Dupree:

So in your information, you sent me, you told me you, you said, you said you were a no-nonsense reader. What does that mean?

Deena Janel:

So I give it to you how I’m being given the info. So that means that you might not like everything that I’m telling you, but I’m not going to sugar coat things. I try to say it as nice as possible, but I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’m not there to hurt anybody’s feelings. It’s not what I’m doing, but I’m giving you the information that spirit is giving me for the person’s highest. Good. Might tell you things. You might not want to hear

Brett Dupree:

That can’t always be easy.

Deena Janel:

Absolutely not a hundred percent. It’s not now I do not ask for bad things and readings. I have people sometimes who come to me who are very nervous if it’s their first reading or maybe their first reading with me and they don’t know how I were, it’s something they might be fearful of. Is, are you going to tell me death? Like, I’ll hear, like, I don’t want to hear death. I don’t want to know death. Or maybe some people might want to know death or if they’ll die or when they’re dying or if somebody in their family’s dying. Well, I don’t get that information. That’s not for me to have spirit. Doesn’t give me that info. It’s not for me to know. So you’re not going to hear that from me. That, to me, that’s something that is, I would not want to hear in reading myself. So I don’t give you bad or yeah, I would say like bad info like that. I’m not going to tell you that I’m not being told that. So that’s something that’s gets asked. A lot of me

Brett Dupree:

Curious. What makes somebody your ideal person to read

Deena Janel:

The ideal client? See, that’s hard to say, because I wouldn’t say that there is an ideal client, but because you get people from all walks of life. But I would say the person that would be ready to be read by a medium would be somebody who is open to receive whatever spirit has to give them who is able to listen without judgment and continue with the info to process it later. I think those are the best qualities or things that should be in place when somebody comes or goes to a medium for reading would be to have those things in place or be ready for that. If that makes sense.

Brett Dupree:

Fantastic. If somebody who’s listening is in their teens and they’re discovering their psychic gifts, what advice would you give them

Deena Janel:

First? If you’re in your teens? I would say if you’re interested in something like that, maybe read a book on it. Maybe look at joining teen groups about expanding your gifts, obviously with permission from a parent, of course. And I would also say to not go around and read people because you got to know ethics in this. When it comes to this, you got to be able to be mature with these types of things. And the situations that spirit might tell you and spirits not to be fooled or played with, really, you can, you don’t want to hurt anybody or hurt anybody’s life. So there’s a great responsibility for being given these types of gifts. So I definitely would not go around just reading people at all. It’s nothing to be played with, but you can explore it with the permission of a parent or reading books or joining groups. If that makes sense.

Brett Dupree:

No, that does. So what does it look like to work with you?

Deena Janel:

How does the reading go? Right. Okay. So when my clients come to me, I read in a multitude of ways. So I do email readings. I do phone readings. I do video readings as well as in person. My favorite way to read would be email or phone any way that I would say phone video, and in-person readings are all gonna run the same. First. What happens is I explained to my client how I work, how I receive info from spirit. I can usually tell if a client has a bunch of questions they want to be answered. If they want to go straight to the point with that, or they like to usually work my way, which is usually how it goes. So what I like to do is to, for the first half of my client’s session, I’d like to ask spirit, what would they have for the client without the client asking me any, this will be called it like a cold reading style.

Deena Janel:

So I just start talking and giving the information from spirits to my client without any questions. The only thing I really ask is, does this make sense? The client tells me yes or no. If no one wants to start to elaborate more of Spirit’s got more for me. I ask them just to help somebody understand what they’re saying now, after the first half, usually during the first half spirit answers the questions for my client, what they want to know. So usually I would say three quarters if not, all of their questions are answered. And then the second half, then I go into their questions that weren’t answered. If there are any or people on the other side that they want to connect to, if they don’t pop in, in the first half,

Brett Dupree:

Do you have any stories where you really helped someone or some success story that you’d like to share?

Deena Janel:

I’ll give you an example of one. It’s not the actual thing that actual happened. I’m just going to change a few variables in it, just because they don’t have a client’s permission. And I don’t put out people’s and felt like that. So of course, and this has happened a few times as an example like this. If I do a reading for somebody and let’s say they connect with their mother on the other side, and during the reading, their mom gave them a peacock feather and the person like a peacock feather. I don’t know why my mom would give me a peacock feather, like, well, it could be, she’s telling you you’re beautiful. Like, and looking up like the shamanic meanings of peacock, and that’s a message from her could very well be that could very well be something that you might see in the future. And you know that it’s from your mom. The client’s like, okay after that client goes home and walks into her bedroom and finds a peacock, feather on her bed sends me a text. Oh my God, you’ll never believe this. There’s a peacock feather on my bed. And that is just validation from her mom. That, yes, it was me talking today to you. If that makes sense.

Brett Dupree:

That’s really cool.

Deena Janel:

So things like that happen a lot, which I think is awesome. It’s just a validation of, yeah, it was me and yes, it’s true.

Brett Dupree:

We’re coming to the end of our time together. And one thing I like to ask my guests to give one minute of motivation. You can imagine this as if you are going back in time to your eight-year-old self, and you want to tell you everything, you need to be happy and joy-filled life, but unfortunately, you’ll have a minute until your plopped back into the future. Or you can think of it as condensing your life’s mission purpose into one minute, are you ready?

Deena Janel:

Follow your heart and your soul’s calling for. Then you will find your utmost joy and happiness as you will really step into your power and your purpose. When you follow your heart and soul, it pushes you to be true to yourself, your authentic, beautiful self. As you follow this, remember to never dull your shine or your one of a kind qualities for anyone or anything because of fear of rejection or not fitting in, believe it or not, more people will also embrace you for your rare qualities and believe in you and what you were doing in your life. And in your service. You are a change-maker, a leader, and a healer who help other aspects of themselves that they feel too vulnerable to unfold or reveal to the world. At the present moment, you are doing this simply by your actions alone, the ones that need you will watch and observe, but not always be vocal about how you have helped to inspire them to live their best life.

Brett Dupree:

Awesome. Thank you so much for being on my podcast. I’ve very much enjoyed listening to your story on how a first you were afraid of your gifts, or then you embraced them. And how very important it is to surround yourself with the support of people who can help you. Because when you do that, it just makes things in life easier and embracing your gifts to help other people through what they’re going through and to just live their best lives. So thank you so much for being on my podcast and thank you so much for everything you do for this world.

Deena Janel:

Oh, thank you. It was my pleasure. Very grateful for this. Thank you.

Brett Dupree:

May your day be special.

Joyous Expansion Podcast Transcript Mariko Frederick – Coming Back From Death To Help People Live Their Life’s Purpose

Brett Dupree:                    Hello, Mariko and welcome to my podcast.

Mariko Frederick:            Thanks for having me.

Brett Dupree:                    I’m excited to have you on you are the first person I’ve ever talked to who died?

Mariko Frederick:            Nice. I’m excited to share it.

Brett Dupree:                    So who were you before that experience?

Mariko Frederick:            Good question. So before my death experience, I was an avid rock climber. I was living in the mountains in Lake Tahoe and had been living in the mountains for about, I think all in 10 years. And I was a climber, an avid hiker backpacker, and I had a practice in alternative medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. I did the healing, the nonacupuncture healing form. So I’m board-certified in Asian bodywork therapy within national certification commission for acupuncture and Oriental medicine acupuncture.

Brett Dupree:                    You said Non-acupuncture?

Mariko Frederick:            Yeah. So there are three branches of Chinese medicine. There is acupuncture, there are Chinese herbs and there’s something called Asian bodywork therapy and Asian bodywork therapy is like energy healing and acupressure portion of Chinese medicine.

Brett Dupree:                    I did not know that.

Mariko Frederick:            Less well known. It’s kind of the less known branch of Chinese medicine. And so most people think of Chinese medicine and they think of acupuncture, but really there’s also a whole field within that in herbology and acupressure and energy healing. And that’s what I practiced was always the energy healing acupressure and our biology.

Brett Dupree:                    Oh, interesting. So what got you to the point of, well, yes. Death doesn’t know how to answer that question.

Mariko Frederick:            Funny story. It gets kind of complicated. The basic thing is that I had not been feeling well. I had unknowingly contracted Lyme disease, hiking in the forest. I unknowingly contracted it three weeks prior to my death experience. And so when I went in for treatment with somebody who was practicing alternative medicine, I went in for the treatment, unbeknownst to me, this person had no license and no credentials and had opened a practice by using somebody else’s license. This person hurt me, injured me to the point of having a near-death experience. And so that’s how I died. And then it got more complicated because it was very difficult to recover because I also had Lyme disease. And that was kind of brewing in the background.

Brett Dupree:                    What was the recovery like?

Mariko Frederick:            Brutal. The recovery from which part? The death, yes. Okay. It was so, so it’s intertwined. That’s why I ask, I have two things going on. So one was the death experience and it was, it was brutal. The recovery took, it’s hard to say how long it took. It took a minimum of a year, but truly I was sick and mostly in bed for three and a half years. And most of that was due to Lyme disease. And eventually, the Lyme disease went into my brain, but the recovery from the death experience, you know, here’s the thing. It took a long time. It definitely took a long time for me to physically heal. But I would say the deeper healing that I had to go through was really a spiritual healing and emotional healing. Because when I came back from that experience, I felt like I was there for so long that by the time they told me I had to go back, I barely remembered who Monica was. And so coming back into a body that now can’t stand up and is in horrible pain, it felt helpless. And so I think that the recovery was brutal really emotionally and spiritually because, in my death experience, I felt home. And then coming back into my body, I came back into a very sick and injured body. So that part was actually the more difficult part of the recovery.

Brett Dupree:                    What did you mean by, they told you that you’re going back

Mariko Frederick:            When I died. So it’s a whole experience when you leave this world. And so it’s funny cause we use the word die. We use the word death, but really there is no death. I never felt more alive than when I left this world. I never felt more alive than when I died when the experience is long and that’s going to be in my book because I can’t get this all out in our podcast. I wish I could. There are souls on the other side and they’re not souls in my experience that you see with your human eyes because you’re not in your human form anymore. I was told, I was given the assignment on my life. It felt to me like I was being downloaded. And then after that, I was told quite a few things, but really it was that it wasn’t my time that I had to go back and help people see my personality.

Mariko Frederick:            It didn’t really go away. So of course, soaring in this bliss and love and infinite, just ecstatic love when they said you have to go back. I said no. And they said, you have to, it’s not your time. They, it took three times for me to finally say yes. So they had to explain it to me that each soul has a specific time that they leave this world and you can’t go before that time and you cannot go after that time. And this was not my time. I had to go back and serve. I had to go back and help.

Brett Dupree:                    You came back from death and you’re starting to, what process did you, how did you heal?

Mariko Frederick:            I use so interesting again, back to the death experience. When I was told to go back in my body, I tried, I was like, okay, like I knew how to do that. Right? I’ve done this before I found that agreeing was not enough. And then I said, I can’t, I don’t know-how. And it felt like I was being pushed from behind and just flying through space really fast or something. That was just the feeling I had. And the next thing I knew it was in my body. It hurt when I hit my body. It was like being run over by a train. I first thought when I took my breath was when I started breathing again was I have to go to the hospital. And in that moment it was almost like they brought me back into the death experience back into the bliss, back into the love and said, don’t use Western medicine.

Mariko Frederick:            And then there, I was back in my body. After that moment, interestingly enough, I didn’t seek out Western medicine right away. I went to my acupuncturist who had before I went to school who had trained me in Chinese medicine and theory and herbs. And so I went to him who he lived a few hours away and he started treating me and he started healing me with mostly with herbs. And then five weeks after the experience, I thought, you know, I don’t know if there’s permanent damage, right? There’s blood in my urine. My urine looks like oil it’s that it’s stinking to the day something was wrong. Right? And so I went to a doctor of all the people on the planet, this doctor, I go into his office and I tell him what happened. My career started out working in it’s like an ICU tech in trauma intensive care.

Mariko Frederick:            So I’m expecting this guy to kind of go whatever. Right? And so I tell him what happened that I had a death experience and that I’m not supposed to use Western medicine, but I really need to know if there’s permanent damage. He just stops. And he’s like, I can’t believe it. I had a death experience eight years ago. And so he understood that assignment, that instruction that I shouldn’t use Western medicine. And so he really just did labs to see if he could figure it out. And I don’t think anything was super conclusive cause it was weeks later and I was sort of healing. That’s what I did. And so I continued to seek ways to heal. But like I said, at the same time I had Lyme disease in my body and that was just tearing through my body while I was healing from one experience, I was getting worse from the other.

Brett Dupree:                    How long did it take you to fill the like you have reached here to the point of healing? I guess?

Mariko Frederick:            Hmm. My experience was 16 years ago and I would say that it’s really just been in the last couple of years that I have consistent energy, that I feel good all the time. It’s not something that I stop looking at while I don’t consider myself to have Lyme disease. You still do get treatments once or twice a year to keep my health up. I get vitamin IVs and I get different things. I take a lot of supplements that I would not normally have to take. I feel good now, but I would say it was really 10 years of struggle.

Brett Dupree:                    What got you into wanting to help other people and serve you see here on your bio, it says you’re able to see and hear people’s destiny.

Mariko Frederick:            Yeah. So that’s the gift I came back with after my death experience. And you know, it didn’t happen like day one. Like I said, day one, I was very sick over the years. What would happen was I would be having a conversation with someone and I can just see what their next was. I could just see what they really should be doing. And I started to allow myself to voice what I was seeing for them in the beginning when you’re first using your gift. And this is a brand new gift, right? Like I was good at healing people on the physical level and maybe even the emotional level, but this was a different level. This wasn’t healing. This was literally just having this knowing about somebody. And so I just started to play with it a little bit and say, that’s really curious. It’s funny that I said that to you.

Mariko Frederick:            And then not long after sometimes a year after they’d be like, you know, we have this conversation and what you said is exactly what just happened. And I’m like, interesting. And that would happen again and again. And then finally I really started using it in my healing practice and people would come in and I would literally see the assignment on their life. And that’s what I recognize it now is that I see the assignment on their life, what they’re meant to do before they leave this world, how to do it. And I get a lot of specifics now about exactly how they’re going to do it, what to do, what their purpose is, what the assignment is clearly obstacles for them. And that’s, that’s how I use it today.

Brett Dupree:                    It sounds like a big responsibility.

Mariko Frederick:            Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that’s why it’s taken me so many years to start really using it and saying that out loud.

Mariko Frederick:            That’s a big thing to say out loud. It took a long time and many people to watch it become very accurate and go. Interesting. Okay. So I guess that’s just the gift I came back with and then I had to get into it’s okay. That I have this gift it’s okay. Because for me, I came from that background, especially we talked earlier being from an Asian culture, Japanese culture. It’s like, you’re supposed to go to school for anything you do, you know, and this isn’t something that you go to school for. I can’t prove it. I don’t have a degree know, it’s just what I am now. And so I have to follow that assignment on my life. So that’s what I’m doing and I’m helping other people follow the assignment on their life as well.

Brett Dupree:                    I assume of what you do, that you deal with a few people who are less quote, unquote haters. How do you deal with people who send you things of that nature, that kind of energy?

Mariko Frederick:            I don’t get a lot of that. I really don’t get a lot of it. The circles that I hang out with my friend group were very mixed. Race by friends are all different cultures, black, white, Hispanic, Jewish, all kinds of races, right. Asian. And so I don’t get that within my group or anybody that they hang out with. Occasionally I’ll get somebody’s social media that says something. And it’s not even that what they’re saying is bad. It’s just that I could feel their frustration inside. It’s really about looking at saying, who am I here to serve? And if I offend somebody that I’m here to serve, then there’s a problem. Right? I’ve got to look at myself. I just kind of ignore the people that energy that would send anything to me. But honestly, I haven’t had it very often when I have had it. Okay. So there’s one time, but it really wasn’t a hater. It was just, somebody sent me the wrong picture. Let’s just put it that way. It was an accident, but I haven’t had a lot of like hate coming toward me.

Brett Dupree:                    Oh, that’s good. So what made you want to write a book?

Mariko Frederick:            That book has been in me for since I came back, a lot of it was about sharing who we are and the journey of the soul and what happens in our life, in the afterlife. And so it’s been a really long journey to be able to voice this out loud and tell everybody really what the journey of the soul is and give them all the specifics. And it’s been difficult for me, I think because it’s a book that I haven’t read yet. And so to step out in a space that you might be the first one to say these things can be a little scary, but yet I know that when I die, this is literally what I’m here to do. I don’t get an out. This is literally the assignment in my life. They could not have been more clear. So I can’t even say, Oh, I didn’t know. I know when I’m here to do. And so that’s really where the book comes from and my business, my company, which is called sole priority. And I feel the working title of the book is going to be sole priority life in the afterlife. That’s a working title. So we’ll see.

Brett Dupree:                    So I’m interested. How long has it taken?

Mariko Frederick:            The book? You know, I would say it’s really, I’ve known it since literally lying in bed. When I came back, I knew that I was here to work with a lot of people and share my story, but I was too sick to do that for a decade. I would say it’s really been in the past seriously in the past five, six years that I started writing and having like a little bit of a rough draft and really writing it down. And then now I’m working with a literary agent and I’ve got more help around it. Hopefully, that’ll get published this summer,

Brett Dupree:                    I guess. I don’t know if my question is going to be off base, but it sounds to me like, it’s interesting to me that you had this life calling and this life journey, but still had something hold you back from expressing it in your book. So I’m wondering if it was something that was just not ready to come out yet or that you kind of had to allow your work through some fears of getting it out there.

Mariko Frederick:            Definitely. Yeah. I mean, it’s hilarious. I was talking to some friends yesterday and they were laughing at me. Cause even just yesterday, I was like, well, I mean, maybe I should write this book. Maybe I should pivot over here. I know it’s literally Mariko, you died and you’re still resisting. And I’m like, I know it is. It’s hard to step out and say, Hey, I know this information and I know it because I experienced it. And that’s a very difficult thing for me to say. And so to get really clear on what this is, because it’s not that when I use my gift when I talk about life in the afterlife when I can answer very clearly about what happens in the afterlife and even down to why I do the work I do, the real reason is that I don’t want anyone to die with an assignment on their life.

Mariko Frederick:            I don’t want anyone to leave this world and hear the words. When you leave this world, they show you the big version of what you could have done. They’re like, here’s what your life could have done. This is like, this is what your potential is, right? When you realize you didn’t meet that potential, I don’t want anyone else to ever hear the words you die and you can’t go back. You’ll never be that person again. It’s too late. And so that’s why I do the work. I do the part that I have been, let’s call it how it is. I’ve been dragging my feet to speak about is that I stayed completely awake or conscious or however you want to put it between my last life and this one. It’s not just the death experience that I had when I was 29 years old. It’s also that when I was born, I remembered everything that we go through. And I thought everyone did. I didn’t know that people didn’t remember that. Tell us that 19 years old.

Brett Dupree:                    Right? I have no idea for me. It’s just darkness.

Mariko Frederick:            Most people don’t remember. And for me, it’s not even a memory. Like I didn’t forget it. It’s just the way I remember last Tuesday. It’s part of me. It’s part of my it’s part of who I am. The bigger story that I’m here to share is literally the journey of the soul and the life that we go through in the afterlife. What happens, what happens when we die? What happens all the way up until we’re born again, that’s really the story that I’m here to share. And that’s a big part of why the police had me back.

Brett Dupree:                    Yeah. Something that you said before that it’s too late. You can’t go back. This is what you could have been. That sounds like the saddest thing ever.

Mariko Frederick:            And I live with that feeling of how it felt. I live with that every day. And that’s why, you know, when you said, jeez, that’s camera, what you said exactly. If your reaction to that, I can see what people are meant to do. It was like, that’s, that’s a lot. And it is, but I’ll tell you what’s is knowing I have this gift and not using it. That’s worse.

Brett Dupree:                    I believe what Wayne Dyer was quoting someone else, like don’t die with your music still in you.

Mariko Frederick:            Yeah. I think a lot of people do. And for several reasons, it’s one of the things that I’ve seen over and over and over again, is that when people are looking for their purpose and they’re really looking to do the thing that they feel called to do, and maybe they can’t even identify what that is yet. But what they do know is that the people around them don’t see it. One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we wait for the people around us to see the assignment on our life. They can’t see it because the universe, God, however, you call that higher being. Didn’t give them that assignment. They gave you that assignment. And so not everybody can see it, but a lot of times we wait and we look for permission from the people that we love the most. And then when we don’t get it, we don’t do it because we’re sitting in confusion. I actually have on my website and everybody’s welcome to go there. Soulpriority.com. I have the five biggest mistakes people make when trying to find their purpose. And that’s part of, one of them.

Brett Dupree:                    Yeah. I’ve talked to a lot of entrepreneurs now who they went into, whatever they went to is just because that’s what their parents wanted them to do.

Mariko Frederick:            Yeah. It happens a lot. And I think that the old way of doing things where we’re born and we’re supposed to pick a career and make money and have kids, people want more nowadays.

Brett Dupree:                    Yeah. I think that’s true. Plus we are in a position now where we’re privileged enough in the Western world, at least in a lot of places though, to be able to want more. And

Mariko Frederick:            Yeah, exactly. We’re not on survival mode. We’re not just hoping that we have enough for food. Hopefully most people in this country, there are still some that unfortunately in that position, but when you’re living the assignment on your life, the other thing I recognized in my death experience is that there can be a lot of abundances tied in with that and abundance in all forms, right? Not just money, although sometimes money, oftentimes money, but sometimes it’s the abundance of health, the abundance of joy, the abundance of love, the abundance of knowing and living each day, fulfill that, you know, like, you know that you’re doing exactly what you were called to do and that peace of mind is worth everything. When you decide to step into the assignment on your life, even though it can be hard, even though people won’t believe in you, even though your assignment might not fit into the life you see right now, when you get there, it just feels right. And you have the support you need. And oftentimes if you’re serving other people, there is a path to financial abundance as well.

Brett Dupree:                    Yeah. One thing, the more means you have, the more means you have to actually help people and serve as well. That’s one of the benefits, one of the spiritual aspects of money.

Mariko Frederick:            Exactly. And so the more you have, the more you’re in alignment with your purpose. And if that purpose helps bring in financial abundance, you can serve from your overflow. You can give from your overflow. But if you’re just scraping by and sitting in confusion and really not moving forward into that divine, it’s hard to serve from your overflow because you, yourself aren’t feeling as fulfilled as your potential is for you to feel fulfilled.

Brett Dupree:                    So what does it look like to work with you?

Mariko Frederick:            I have a few different ways to work with me. One is the very popular way is it’s my life clarity intensive. Traditionally actually literally up until COVID. I would do that in one day. It was a half-day intensive and I would record the session and we would talk on the phone and I would literally go through all areas of your life.

Mariko Frederick:            Anything that’s getting in your way, the obstacles, what you’re meant to do before you leave this world, how you’re going to do it your five-year plan, your one year plan, and all of that done now because of COVID. And I want to serve in a bigger way. I’ve actually opened that same intensive up to where now it can take me three months to where we work twice a month for three months. And I gave you the same information, but now, because people have more time on their hands, they can take an hour of time. We can talk and then they can go and digest it and then come back with questions and do that again and again. So that’s one way that I work with people and then the other way, and that’s for people that really know they have something in their life they’re meant to do, and they just want the answers.

Mariko Frederick:            They’re just like, you know, short and sweet. Give me the answers and that’s what we do. And they’re ready. Right? A lot of, if you’ve been to my website, a lot of the people that I work with are highly successful. And so they don’t need a lot of time. In fact, sometimes that same life clarity intensive that might take somebody six hours or three months, somebody else might get the whole thing in two hours. They don’t need a lot of time, right? They just want the information and they go, and I have another way that people work with me for a longer period of time where we worked for a year. That’s my emergence program where, you know, you have something to do, have no idea what that is, and you literally want to emerge into the person that can do it. And that’s the other way that I work with people.

Brett Dupree:                    What is your favorite success story?

Mariko Frederick:            I have so many, you know, there are so many different types, but I would say early on when I started doing this work, before I even called it life clarity intensive before I even knew what it was, I knew it was going on, but it was still fairly new to me. And I had somebody call me for a session within five minutes. I said, and I didn’t know this person. I’d never met them. And I said, why haven’t you quit your job and started your business? And she’s like, what? And I said you need to quit your job and stuff and just start going off on her. And I’m like this and this and this and this, and this is going to happen and this should happen. And this she’s just like, aren’t you. And fast forward, she has a seven-figure business that she enjoys today.

Brett Dupree:                    Beautiful. What do you enjoy most about what you do

Mariko Frederick:            Serving the biggest thing. It’s just knowing that I’m helping other people get to the assignment on their life. That when I leave this world, you know, as much as I talk to my clients about abundance and as much as I help most of my clients, I mean, so far I can knock on wood because I can’t guarantee these results. It was like a side effect, honestly. But I started watching how all my clients started making more money. And it literally was, I was like, it’s a side effect. And I didn’t know that this was going to happen. But that’s where I’m saying, living in your purpose is oftentimes in alignment with abundance. It’s not always money. Some people don’t need money, right? Some people, already have a lot of money and they needed abundance in a different way. They want to be happy. They want to feel fulfilled.

Mariko Frederick:            What was your, sorry? I got sidetracked. What was your question?

Brett Dupree:                    What do you love most about what you do?

Mariko Frederick:            Thank you. I was living in what I love most about what I do. What I love most is when I, so two things, one, just knowing that I’m living the assignment on my life, knowing that I’m doing what they send me back to do. That’s probably what I love because it fulfills me. What I love most about my day is when I work with somebody it’s so much fun because we get talking and they’re like, literally within five minutes, you knew everything about me. How did you know that? What I love is just unpacking all this stuff, all the blocks that they think they have in their life. And just to unpack that so quickly and say, here, this is another possibility. This is a big possibility that can go do this.

Mariko Frederick:            And I love their excitement. I love that. Everything. I tell them every time, this is what people tell me. They’re like, gosh, you know everything you said about me, everything you told me to do, it’s like inside. I knew it, but I couldn’t have told you, I didn’t have the words to express it. But like everything you said hits them, everything I say to them, they say it just hits me. Like it’s true. It’s fun. Because when that happens, they have the success of looking for, they have the outcome and the results they’re looking for. And so that’s probably one of my favorite parts is delightful. It’s fun.

Brett Dupree:                    I guess, give people either when this comes out, your book will just be coming out or almost coming out, give people a little preview of why they should check out your book.

Mariko Frederick:            So this book is going into something that I’ve never really talked about out loud because it’s so much till impact. But really when I came back with was a few, a couple of things, but one is the three priorities of the soul. And so that’s why I named my business soul priority as well. Right? Because there are three priorities of the soul, and unpacking. Each one gives you the path, not just to higher consciousness, because that’s really the main thing we’re here to do, but also potentially the path to turn your purpose into profits. And that’s something that I’m really passionate about because let’s face it. Like we know we’re supposed to be spiritual. We know we’re supposed to meditate. We know we’re supposed to pray. We know all these things, right. And very few people really do. Very few people can say, yeah, I sit down and I meditate every day because they get distracted with life and work. I’ve been able to have a meditation practice since I was 19 years old for decades. But to be able to be, and people used to say, gosh, you know, you’re so lucky though, because look at your job, right? It’s just an alignment with that. What I’m finding is other people’s jobs are in alignment with it too. And so when you find that alignment between your soul’s purpose and abundance, people are all in that’s fun, right? That’s fun. So then they do the work because they’re in alignment with the calling on their soul.

Brett Dupree:                    It sounds exciting. I look forward to reading it. We are coming close to the end of our time together. And one thing I like to ask my guests is to do a one minute of motivation. Can I imagine this as if you are talking to your eight-year-old self and you want to commit everything, you need to live a happy joy-filled life, but then your plopped back into the future and under a minute, or you can think of it as condensing your life purpose into a minute, but are you ready?

Mariko Frederick:            I’m on a game show like fun. So I would tell her, to stop looking outside of herself for the answers. And this is not something that you’re going to be told when you’re that. Even at eight years old, there is a part of her. There’s a part of her soul. There’s a part of her wisdom inside that knows better than the outside world. And I would tell her to follow that, knowing to follow that intuition, because that’s going to bring her closer to the assignment on her life, not to worry and seek too much approval from people on whether or not she’s doing it, right? Whether or not she’s making everybody happy, whether or not she’s going to the right schools and going to get the right job and have going to have the right career. Because it’s really the knowing inside of her that she needs to follow. And that will bring her happiness peace of mind and will be a way for her to help the world become a better place. And so it’s really about being solid in listening to your intuition and following that instead of anybody else.

Brett Dupree:                    Awesome. Thank you so much for being on my podcast. I very much enjoyed listening to your story on, well, the since the first person I talked to that died, how you died and came back and at first struggled to heal, but were able to get past that and be able to see and help people and serve people in such a wonderful way as living your purpose is extremely important as there’s this nothing more fulfilling than being aligned with your soul’s desire, your soul purpose, and helping other people remove those blocks is such a great service. Do you mind using that word? So thank you so much for being on my podcast and sharing yourself and thank you so much for what you do for our society.

Mariko Frederick:            Thank you so much for having me here. I appreciate it. This was a fun conversation, and I think I want to also thank you for how you show up in the world and thank you for allowing people to share stories that are going to bring them more joy. I think this is something that’s missing in our society. And I just want to say thank you for showing up this way for all of us here.

Brett Dupree:                    Thank you for that, may your day be special.

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