Best-selling author and world-renowned thought leader Preston Smiles discusses the subject of human awareness, its direct application in the high performing entrepreneur’s life, and how this affects the human family. He’s been featured in Forbes, Cosmopolitan, L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, and Origin, as well as contributing to the Huffington Post, Daily Love, and Good Guy Swag.
Being Present to the Magic of Now
One of the big challenges for every high performing entrepreneur is finding ways to deal with the paradox of planning for the future, but being present to the magic of now. “It’s very important as an entrepreneur to be future casting, but it’s also super and highly important to be present in the journey, because so many of us get caught up in the destination, trying to get there,” says Smiles. “Then one day we look up, 20 years from now, and go, ‘where the hell did my life go?’ What it’s always been about is the journey, and I’m constantly in that dance.”
Smiles says he is learning how to carry this fantastic journey of human being, without having it weigh him down. “My new mantra for the week has been ‘care, but don’t carry,’ ‘give a fuck, but not too many fucks.’” The point is to enjoy the journey.
Enjoy the Journey
I asked what methods does Smiles employ to be sure he is enjoying the journey.
“There are a couple of things,” he says. “One, I attempt to be the silliest version of myself I can tap into.” He believes that if you’re not having fun, you’re missing the point. He makes it a priority to schedule plenty of play into every work day, so every fifty minutes he takes a break. “I go outside, look up at the sky, go to a tree, I’d touch the plants in the planter. At one point, I took my skateboard and just rode it down to the beach. I’m just constantly taking breaks, and making sure that I play in between all that serious work.”
He also focuses on his proper breathing technique. We can become overwhelmed and anxious when we stop breathing correctly. “I keep centering,” he says, “and bringing my breath all the way down to the bottom of my belly, just focusing on this amazing thing that so many of us take for granted.”
The Condor and the Eagle
The Wisdomkeepers documentary by Jeffrey Wium is basically these men from the Andes who are deep in prayer for the earth and what’s going on. They say there is a prophecy of the condor and the eagle. There is this ancient wisdom that exists, and they’re storing that wisdom in the indigenous people and connected tribes in the mountains of Tibet. They are the condor, and the westerners are the eagle. These tribes value truth over power. For the most part, the western world values power over truth. Truth doesn’t care about our personalities, our opinions, doesn’t really care about anything except for the truth, which is love, and there’s not much else. The prophecy is that they’ve been waiting for us to come together with them. Bring the truth to the world, and the western mind can keep expanding and amplifying it. That is our magic. That is our medicine. And so, together, we build a new world.
Relationship to Ancient Wisdom and Plant Medicine
I asked Smiles about his relationship to ancient wisdom, medicines, and plants, and how it has impacted his life as an entrepreneur and change-maker.
“One of the best and most amazing ceremonies I’ve ever had was December 21, 2012, which was the beginning of the eagle and condor paroxysm. The ceremony was in a teepee in Joshua Tree in the middle of the desert. It was interesting because during the ceremony there was a lot of singing, and howling, and people just having an experience.” During one point in the ceremony, everybody was loudly singing, and they became aware of another sound just out back of the teepee. Smiles continues, “I sort of turn, and you could see, because we had lights in there, shadows outside the teepee, and it was the sound of about thirty coyotes that had come and were just screaming with us. It was absolutely amazing.”
Smiles believes we already have a global mind. It’s called the internet. He loves how it connects us from all over the world. “And we are now in the process of creating the global heart”, he explains. “That merging is happening, and there are way-showers being birthed, people stepping up and stepping in, all over the world.”
“One of the ways that is happening is through plant medicine ceremonies”, he confides. “People are connecting with mother earth, with mother nature.” He believes they are tapping back into what ancient wisdom and mystics have done for thousands of years. And he is a part of that. “For me”, he says, “once a year, since 2009 I believe, I’ve done many ceremonies in between that time, but at least once a year since then, I have had communion with Mother Ayahuasca, and mushrooms. Both of those have been fantastic vehicles for me to see and hear the voice that doesn’t speak. It’s been powerful.”
Plant medicine is not for everybody, but the main message is reconnecting to our natural selves and speaking the unspeakable. This is the time we must share our truths with the world. When we, the western world, value truth over power, then the prophecy will happen, and we will have the co-creation of heaven and earth, and that’s really what it’s about.
The Bridge Experience
I also asked Smiles about the Bridge Experience. “It’s a two-day experiential workshop where we put people in very highly confrontative, compromising experiences, so we can overwhelm the nervous system, so they can see what’s there,” says Smiles. “And then we give them tools, so that if we never see them again, that their life is changed forever, that literally, they are cellularly changed. They leave, a different person, with an embodied understanding of what it feels like to stand in one’s power. It’s really beautiful, and I think we have 20 something exercises. People are laughing, crying, playing. It’s not for the faint of heart,” he concludes.
Scheduled appearances for 2017 include Australia, L.A., Virginia, the U.K., and Canada. For details, check the website.
A Message for Top-Performing Entrepreneurs
When I asked what message he would share if he was speaking in a room with 30 of the highest performing entrepreneurs in the world, Smiles had a ready answer.
“I would remind them to love louder, to turn the volume up on their love, because when we amplify our love, we amplify our lives,” says Preston. “I would remind them that it’s very easy to get caught up in trying to make a bunch of money and have a bunch of stuff.” He reminds us that a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs, get caught up in that trap. It’s not about money or success. Happiness doesn’t live there. He believes that love is the ultimate truth, and it is that we are truly seeking.
He teaches that love increases your bottom line too. “When you are loving on your people, when they feel loved, when they feel seen and heard, your people perform better for you, and for the company. And when you’re in love, when you’re on fire, when you’re actually enjoying the journey and the process, people like being around you. When you amplify your love, you automatically amplify your life.”