The Booby Trap of Self-Help (And How To Actually Improve Your Life) | Andrew Daniel | Better Man Podcast Ep. 072

The Booby Trap of Self-Help (And How To Actually Improve Your Life) | Andrew Daniel | Better Man Podcast Ep. 072

The self-help industry is a massive industry. And for good reason: Self-help can teach you how to be the cause in your life rather than the effect. It shows you that you can change your life’s direction and outlook. 

But what if self-help doesn’t work for you? What if you’ve read all the books, and still find yourself stuck? 

The unfortunate truth is many that travel down the self-help road find themselves at this fork in the road. Today’s guest, Andrew Daniel is the epitome of this. 


A few weeks after publishing his first book, Andrew found himself homeless, repeating affirmations to himself that he’d be successful. Only later did he realize he was constantly lying to himself and living in a fantasy world. The self-help industry failed Andrew—as it has for millions of others too. 

This came to a head for Andrew when he saw his body move on a video: Despite telling himself he was confident and secure, his body and movements proved otherwise. To quote Andrew himself, “It doesn’t matter what you think up in your head, it matters how you’re showing up in your body.” 

After stumbling upon this realization, he figured out the missing ingredient from the world of self-help: Its teachings stop in the mind—but the body is how you harness this information to actually improve your life. 

In today’s episode, Andrew and I discuss:

  • The booby traps of the self-help industry that are keeping you stuck
  • Why your physical body is more important for your self-help journey than your mind 
  • How to feel your way through life instead of thinking your way through 

And so much more. 

Tired of reading self-help books only to get further stuck?

Listen Now.

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Show Highlights with Andrew Daniel

  • Why reading a New York Times Bestselling self-help book is almost always a waste of time (and what to do instead to actually improve your life) (8:52)
  • What the entire self-help industry gets wrong—and how Andrew Daniel stumbled upon the missing ingredient that makes self-help effective (13:11) 
  • The “Egoic Intellectual’s Pain” men feel after an emotionally traumatizing experience which can ruin your relationships and hinder your happiness (23:33)
  • How to overcome painful situations in life without endless suffering attached (27:48) 
  • How to reveal your deepest subconscious patterns by simply shaking your hands in the air (41:24) 
  • The weird way your mind binds you to an unreal past (and why this creates suffering out of thin air) (55:06) 
  • The “Cinesomatics” system Andrew created for using your body as the ultimate self-development tool (1:01:13) 
  • How the “Story Stop” method pulls you out of your suffering and injects you into your body (1:10:54) 
  • The insidious core belief behind imposter syndrome and self-sabotage which becomes even more deadly after achieving your version of success (1:14:48) 
  • The “Stop Fixing & Start Living” body shift for making all your problems disappear (1:18:03)

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

  1. 1. Get Andrew’s best-selling book: Awaken To Your True Self: Why You’re Still Stuck and How to Break Through on his website here: https://andrewdaniel.org/ 

    On Andrew’s website, you can discover how to use Cinesomatics to actually make self-help effective and schedule an initial consultation with him.
Episode 072: The Booby Trap of Self-Help (And How To Actually Improve Your Life) – Andrew Daniel – Transcript

Dean Pohlman: Hey, guys, it’s Dean. Welcome back to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode features Andrew Daniel is an award winning and international bestselling author and director at the Center for Sina’s Semantic Development. His book, Awaken to Your True Self is a gold Nautilus Book Awards recipient and the number one Amazon bestseller in the U.S. and the UK. And you had a very successful career starting at age 18, creating a particle and physics engine used by top former 100 companies over seven years in the software business.

Dean Pohlman: And then he came out with a book in 2014 called Holistic Sex with Mindful Valley Publishers, and this provided the world with a new paradigm that bridge the divide between sexuality, spirituality and the sexes. He is also an advisor for the Alan Watts organization. So do Andrew has a lot of background in the self-development world. We’re actually also going to get into some of his what he found wrong with the self-development world.

Dean Pohlman: And that’s what I really want to focus on. One big thing, I want to focus on this conversation. So Andrew, thanks for joining me for today’s update.

Andrew Daniel: Thanks for having me, Dean.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, you’re exactly So I usually start these talking about, you know, how did it how did we get to know one another? So I got an email from Andrew telling me about his work, and I looked at the book. I was like, This is really cool. This is a really great concept. So I read the book. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read all of the book on the book.

Dean Pohlman: I read a lot of the book, though, and I skimmed most of it. And what I really like about this is it is a is a nontraditional kind of book in the self-development category. And what I really like about your story is that, you know, you say, hey, self-development was as helpful in a lot of reasons, but there’s also a lot of reasons why it didn’t go deep enough.

Dean Pohlman: So I’m interested and to getting into this a little bit more. So while I’m just monologuing here, I swear I’m going to ask you a question. You’re involved here. I do want to say so. In the past, I’ve done these interviews and we have, you know, we talk about your personal story, right? Your kind of your personal struggle with ultimately what you created, because that’s what most people have.

Dean Pohlman: Right? They create solutions for their problems and they share them with the world. And so and the problem that I’ve had in this podcast episodes in the past is that there’s too much to fit into one episode. So what we’re doing now is we’re going to talk about your personal story in this first episode, and then we’ll do a follow up episode and we’ll get a little bit deeper into the kind of the solution that you’ve created so easily.

Dean Pohlman: Yes. So hopefully those of you listening, thinking, like doing your podcast, are way too long. This is the sort of hopefully so hopefully it’s not too long. So, yeah, let’s let’s get into it. I’m not sure how to start this. So your book Awaken to your true self. Awaken your true self.

Andrew Daniel: Awaken to your true self.

Dean Pohlman: Yes. Awaken to your true self Starts off with talking about kind of your experience with self-development. And you mentioned there’s a lot of good things that have that I’ve that you’ve improved as a result of your, your personal work and self-development, but you also led into, you know, things that were missing. So I’m wondering if you could start off let’s just talk about what does the self-help category get wrong or what didn’t work for you?

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, this is this is something that’s very close to me because I’ve been doing this since 2004. I’ve been learning about this stuff. And first, the first few books I read, you know, Thinking Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, these sort of classics.

Dean Pohlman: The OGs.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah. And they were they were great. They opened my mind to the possibility that there was something I could do to change my life. You know, I grew up, I was bullied and teased. I had worked so my fingers when I was young. So I faced a lot of social ostracization rejection, being made fun of. And there was a lot of stuff that happened that put me into what I call the victim mentality right?

Andrew Daniel: This victimhood mindset where everything happens to me and I just have to react to it. Well, what what the self-help stuff did was the the biggest thing was to show me that there was something I could do about it that I didn’t have to be the effect to life. I could be the cause to my life. And that itself was huge because it said, Oh my God, I’m not just stuck with the hand I was dealt.

Andrew Daniel: The cards that were dealt to me weren’t well, put it this way. My perception of those cards and what I could do with them wasn’t as limited as I thought. And so what the personal development, self-improvement, self-help stuff did was show me that I had hope that I could do something. Something was within my own power to change my life.

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Andrew Daniel: So that’s what put me on this entire entire journey of healing, of development, even entrepreneurship.

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Andrew Daniel: So as I was going through this, as I said, there’s a lot of great stuff here, but there’s a few booby traps. There’s a few things that I found from my own experience and what I saw out in the industry of, I don’t know, fall short or be these booby traps or create limitations. So one of these would be, well, let’s just start with the industry as a whole.

Andrew Daniel: The industry as a whole. How I see it is most stuff that is being put out isn’t very good, especially with the advent of self-publishing. There’s a lot of stuff out there that just is the same stuff, just repackaged, regurgitated. There’s not too much original ideas, original content. And if you look at all of the people at the top, all of the big names, they all know each other from each other’s masterminds.

Andrew Daniel: It’s kind of like this good old boys club. And, you know, I wasn’t and I’m still not a part of it, and that’s fine. But there’s if you look at these New York Times bestsellers, these are the cream of the crop of the bestselling books, self-help books. And only maybe one out of ten or one out of 20 are actually really, like, profound.

Andrew Daniel: The things that have lasting staying power that people could read decade after decade after decade, even centuries later and still be helpful. And so that was one of the things I saw, is that after you learn a certain amount, you just keep coming across the same ideas, just repackaged in a different way. And so sometimes that can be helpful because you need another voice.

Andrew Daniel: Maybe hearing it from another place finally helps it sink in. But it was a real problem in the sense that it’s that saying, you know, you can’t invent something new, right? It’s. It’s the same thing. Mm hmm. So that was a big issue from a an advanced student of self-help is that you kind of just reach the point where you’re not really finding anything new.

Dean Pohlman: So then you read like you read like the old books. Like if you read like the original self-help books, like, if you go way back, like we’re talking like ancient Roman times and you read some of those translations and then you read a new book, you’re like, This is just paraphrasing this book that was written 2000 years ago.

Andrew Daniel: And not even that good.

Dean Pohlman: Right? And definitely not as good. Like, this is like this is this is just this is dumbed down or it’s explained in like a different category. It’s like I’ve took it out of this context and I put it into another context or I like I built upon something that somebody else did, which is building upon this this other book that somebody wrote 2000 years ago.

Dean Pohlman: So there are there if you really master that, not even master, but if you gain enough familiarity with the core concepts that you find in other, you know, self-help categories, you recognize them throughout every one that you read and you’re like, this is this is nothing new. This is all just the same. It’s just presented in a different context.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah. And so the the problem with that that I found is that what happens if you’re still stuck after all of that? What happens if after reading all that stuff like I did and doing a lot of self-help, healing, transformational spirituality, all of this stuff, holistic cleansing, all of these things, what happens after learning all of this? You’re still stuck.

Andrew Daniel: What then? And then. So this leads me to the next thing, is that most of the self-help work out there is information. Now, don’t get me wrong, information is power. Knowledge is power. But it really only does anything if you apply it, if you know how to take action. And so the the even the even deeper missing piece was what I call embodiment.

Andrew Daniel: Everything was based on the mind. Everything was based on the head. It was knowledge based. So of course, it’s based on the head. And so changing your beliefs, changing your mindset. Very important, incredibly powerful, much more powerful than just simply adopting a new behavior without making any change. So really great stuff. But I found it fell short because I had acquired all of that knowledge.

Andrew Daniel: I knew all of this stuff up here, but for some reason, even after being published, even after having the software company, I was homeless twice and so was like, What is going on here? I’ve learned these things. I’ve even learned the secrets. I studied old esoteric principles. It’s like, okay, well, what’s the secret? What’s what’s the real stuff?

Andrew Daniel: You know, that’s hidden from society. And I learned those things, and there were great, but I still wasn’t getting the results. Yeah. And so actually having practical applicable use of this stuff that’s embodied was one of the biggest the biggest missing pieces that, oh, the body actually has a connection to these emotions, to these belief systems, to the mindset.

Andrew Daniel: And there’s something in here that makes the difference. You can see somebody showing up in a space that’s all in their head that knows all the intellectual ideas. Mm hmm. But they don’t do anything with it. You’re like, Wait a minute. If you know all this stuff, how come you’re not the one on TV? How come you didn’t write the book?

Andrew Daniel: How come you don’t have the girl, whatever that is? And so that was one of the biggest missing pieces that ended up helping me break through.

Dean Pohlman: That’s a big topic that I talk about on this podcast a lot, actually, is there’s a difference between knowing something logically and being able to. I use a different term or like kind of a different a different description for what you’re talking about. Your talk you mention like being able to not just know it in your mind, but also being able to kind of intuit it in your body, in your practices.

Dean Pohlman: And for me, I kind of describe it as I talk about it as there’s a difference between knowing something and then really internalizing something and getting it beyond having to consciously thinking about it versus subconsciously acting upon that knowledge. Like there’s a difference between me reading something and saying, Oh yeah, that makes sense. Okay, that’s a good thought.

Dean Pohlman: That’s a good way to look at things and then looking at something or like looking at something happening in my life and then and then by, you know, and then subconsciously thinking about it with that, that new belief that made sense. Right? So there’s a difference between the difference between knowing something logically and actually practicing it, having internalized it, and like making it part of how you behave.

Dean Pohlman: So that makes a lot of sense to me.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, that’s like the have you heard of the the unconscious incompetence, conscious competence? Unconscious incompetence and conscious unconscious competence kind of thing was.

Dean Pohlman: Like a flow through.

Andrew Daniel: Like, yeah, yeah. There’s, there’s four of them where you don’t know that you don’t know and then you know that you don’t know and then now you know that you know and you’re good at that. And then you just do it. It’s unconscious. Yeah. And that’s kind of like that mastery level. It’s where it goes from. Just you have no idea then you know that you don’t know.

Andrew Daniel: Well then you are practicing it with your mind and then it’s unconsciously integrated, like you said. And you’re doing it.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So what are the practices that take you from having this knowledge and actually, you know, taking it into Now this is something that I act with this knowledge now I know that I know and I do. Yeah. So yeah, well, I mean, I think that’s a, that’s a good place to get into it. So I, I came up with a few things based on your book that I think would be good to, to go into and things that, you know, I think most people don’t get.

Dean Pohlman: But I do want to come back to that. I need to we talk about like what are the practices to internalize or what’s the term that you use.

Andrew Daniel: To embody.

Dean Pohlman: And body that sounds sexier than internalize?

Andrew Daniel: Well, well, it’s different too. So the unconscious competence that you’re talking about is great. But that’s that’s still different than embodiment when I say embodiment. So a lot of people use embody as what you just said, right? That’s just unconscious competence. You live it, right? You embody these principles and you little of them in your life. Great. Well, what I discovered that blew my mind, that made the difference between everything else was that I realized that embodiment actually involved the body.

Andrew Daniel: So the stories, the mindsets actually show up in the physical way that you move your body and using the body as sort of a truth telling device of a litmus test, of a set of relevant to every way to know if we are actually doing this has been the biggest game changer because it’s not like, are you embodying the principles of courage and kindness and generosity?

Andrew Daniel: I don’t know. Yeah, I think I am. Well, in this work we can actually verify that. We actually look at the results in your life and we actually look how you show up in the body. And from there we can feel and see if you are actually living these principles or not, because it does show up in the way you move in your body.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm.

Dean Pohlman: So I want to ask, how did you start practicing that or how did you how did you move into incorporating the body movement into that process? But I also want to say as somebody who as someone who’s very as me, I’m very kind of logical minded, like I kind of you know, it’s tough for me to. Hmm, I don’t know.

Dean Pohlman: It’s tough for me to to make decisions with with my gut or to kind of just it’s something that I I’ve been practicing really strongly for the last couple of years and that I’m very conscious of. Even I think within the last few months I’ve been much more conscious about like, what do you feel is the right answer?

Dean Pohlman: I don’t think about it. Just like, what is the answer? So like with my you know, I’ve got a three month old right now and my wife will ask me, do you think she’s hungry? And instead of like thinking about like, well, she hungry me think about it. I’m just like, what is like, what is my life? What is my gut response?

Dean Pohlman: Because I’ve been living with this baby for three months, like I’ve been here, you know, go to work a couple of times a week, but I’ve mostly been here. So instead of like thinking about, well, let’s see, she’s been dead for 45 years, you know, I’m just like, is she hungry? Like, what do I think? Like, I think she’s hungry.

Dean Pohlman: And instead of, like, questioning, you know, like, well, why do I think she’s going like, No, because I think she’s hungry. Like, I’m just so I’m learning more about how do I, how do I get past thinking about something and just like, well, what do you feel? You know? And even another thing I’ve been doing is at the end of the day, I, I ask myself like, this is something that was given the assignment, given me by my behavioral, my cognitive behavioral therapist.

Dean Pohlman: But it’s what’s something I want good today with something like that today. And how do you feel And like I think if you ask me, how do I feel before I sit there, like, huh? Well, and when we think about how I feel, which is bizarre, right? Because you don’t you don’t think about how you feel.

Andrew Daniel: You feel. Yes.

Dean Pohlman: But I have to be, you know, like for me, I have to practice it. And that’s something else in your book is like, you know, you don’t you have a whole section, you have a whole chapter on your book about getting out of your head and into your feelings, which is just like a you know, it’s it’s so interesting to me that that’s even a that’s even a thing because that brings up that brings up so many different thoughts like that.

Dean Pohlman: You know, as a society, we focus more on our logic than we do on like, our emotions. But yeah, that just took me off on a tangent. But you were going to talk about I was going to ask you about how do you how did you start thinking about, you know, the self development world in terms of, well, starting to look at your body and body mind instead of just like, like let’s learn some things and not implement them.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, well, what you just said, you know, that’s the exact same thing. So I’m actually going to tie in everything you just said with that question really wasn’t a tangent at all because I was very similar. I was in my head, I was programmer, all right? So I bullied and teased and so I retreated up into my head where it was safe, right?

Andrew Daniel: I was non-athletic and there was the ex who who tended to make fun of me, pick me last my gym class mocked me. And so in retaliation, in defense, in survival mode, I was like, okay, well, mind over matter, mind over might. And it’s better to be smart than strong. I started to rationalize how I could not have to be in the pain of being in my body of what athleticism and sports and all of that stuff meant to me and so I got into computers and then I was I created a software program and a huge portion of my life I spent up in my head and not only up in my head, but

Andrew Daniel: in fantasy, in my head, and thinking through everything and playing scenarios out, playing all these scenarios out of being rejected by women, of having revenge or you know, what my life is going to look like later on. And I could say, you know, screw all you guys, you know, all of this hurt, full response to this trauma, to this pain.

Andrew Daniel: And so this is what I talk about in that chapter that you mentioned in my book. And this is the egoic intellectuals pain. And this is a lot of times what happens, especially to men, is that something happens emotionally. There’s some feeling that we don’t want to ever feel again. I’m huge rejection, an abandonment from a parent, you know, divorce, you know, something big like this happens or maybe a culmination of smaller things.

Andrew Daniel: And we say, Fuck this, I’m never going to feel this again. And so we cut off the feeling and we say, I’m going to be in my head. And then we start living our life from logic and reason, because we say logic and reason makes so much more sense than being emotionally reactive, right? We’ll see. Maybe our sisters or mom or women on reality TV being hysterical and we say feelings, right?

Andrew Daniel: There’s there’s a quote. I think it’s Ben SHAPIRO. He said, Facts don’t care about your feelings. And it’s this mindset of saying, okay, well, emotions and feelings are just this overly feminine, reactive, useless thing. Logic and reason has provided us with the electricity and the Internet and computers and machines and power and all of this stuff. And it’s a very logical response.

Andrew Daniel: However, almost always I’ve seen it come from a response to pain of not wanting to feel. And so what happens is, as a culture, we’ve gotten out of relationship with actual feeling, with real emotion. And so I want to make a distinction here between feelings and feeling. So feelings that we talk about in everyday parlance is usually hysteria.

Andrew Daniel: It’s reactions to feelings. It’s acting out the feelings. It’s pretty much all of the drama and noise around not feeling something that we don’t want to feel crying hysterically. Our opinions about stuff. Oh, you hurt my feelings. All of these things in comparison to logic and reason are inferior. That stuff is drama that is chaos, that is noise.

Andrew Daniel: It really doesn’t help. It is inferior to looking at the facts and coming up with a real conclusion. Now, the difference between that and feeling is everything. Feeling is actually feeling. It’s looking down. It’s going into your body rather than thinking rather than suppressing rather than checking out rather than dissociating. It’s having the courage to go inside and actually feel this stuff that is uncomfortable, that hurts, it’s painful or even joyous and loving, maybe overwhelming.

Andrew Daniel: Too much beauty and love and compassion. And so this.

Dean Pohlman: Thing about feelings, you don’t get to choose. If you shut out some if you shut out one spectrum of feelings, you shut out all the spectrums of feelings. So like, you know, we we subconsciously make the decision to avoid pain by becoming more logical. So instead of like looking at something, looking at something that happened to us, you know, instead of looking at something that happened, we and saying, you know, oh, that hurt.

Dean Pohlman: We look at it and say, you know, well, logically, love, logically, this is actually good for me because and we of you know, we just we ignore that feeling. But when we avoid hurt, when we avoid pain, we also shot ourselves off to like feeling joy, pleasure and yeah. And you know, it’s you know, it’s it’s interesting that we you know, logically we do all these things so that we can be happy.

Dean Pohlman: But you don’t experience happiness. You shut yourself off to emotion. So it’s like, well, yeah, like, well, what do you, you know, what do you do in this for like, if you can’t experience emotion.

Andrew Daniel: Exactly. And so this you bring up a great point that leads to what’s called suffering. You know, in suffering isn’t the pain. Suffering isn’t the hurt that’s inevitable, right? You’re going to get hurt. You’re going to feel pain. So that’s going to suck. So is going to be uncomfortable. You’re going to get rejected. There’s going to be this stuff.

Andrew Daniel: It happens, but it doesn’t mean you have to suffer. But when you numb yourself off, just like if you take a, you know, an anesthesia, know something like this, if you numb out part of your body, yeah, you don’t feel the pain, but you can’t feel anything. You can’t feel pleasure. So when we know now suppress, avoid all of this stuff, it’s exactly what you said.

Andrew Daniel: Well, if you’re unwilling and unable to feel the pain, you’re not going to be able to feel the pleasure. And so that that in the long term creates a lot of suffering because you can end up being some man who numbs himself out, is dissociated. And if you’re in a marriage, you have a family with children, you’re providing, you’re tough, you’re doing everything that you should be doing logically.

Andrew Daniel: But your wife, your children have no access to you. And I get this from clients all the time. Men come in and as little boys, women, I have women, both men and women actually come in and say, my my father. Yeah, he, he, he showed up as in he didn’t abandon the family. He was still there providing, but he wasn’t there.

Andrew Daniel: He, he didn’t show up. He wasn’t fully there and present. And it, it really affects children. So this is this is something that we think is going to help us be happy, but it really doesn’t.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. The irony of that situation is that I think men are being tough, like they’re being they’re being tough. They’re being like like they’re being more masculine, they’re being brave or they’re being like more, you know, tougher by by not doing by not experiencing the emotion are like, bye bye, but whatever, whatever it is. But in reality, like, it takes a lot of courage to be able to is it takes far more courage.

Dean Pohlman: Yes. To be able to experience that vulnerability, to be able to go to a place where you’d be able to walk into an emotional space where you’re like, this is going to hurt, like this is going to hurt me. But instead, you, like you shy away from me, like, I don’t want to go there because I know it’s going to be uncomfortable.

Dean Pohlman: And so when you start to look at it like that and you start to realize, like, I want to be like the you know, I want to be a courageous man or like, I want to be a brave guy. And then you look at like, Oh, I’m shying away from being emotional because it might hurt a little bit.

Dean Pohlman: Then you’re like, Oh, wow. Now you have a totally different perspective on what it means to be vulnerable and to be to be emotional. And it’s actually I think it’s it’s a much more it’s a it’s much harder to do. It’s you know, it’s harder to do, but it’s more rewarding. So. Yeah.

Andrew Daniel: Exactly. Yeah. That’s that’s the irony. It’s like, wait a minute, you think you’re being so tough and strong, but you’re actually cowering away from the pain. You’re you’re not wanting to feel rejection or even in the other extreme, there’s pleasure, right? There’s a lot of us who feel like we don’t deserve love. And to have a woman in her life love us unconditionally.

Andrew Daniel: Oh, no, no. And then we reject it. We push it away, and then they get hurt and we’re hurt. And it’s just because we don’t feel like we deserve it. And so that takes a tremendous amount of courage to go into that feeling, into that shadow and be there and open up to love. It’s much, much easier to run away and close off to love.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Andrew Daniel: So in the short term.

Dean Pohlman: Yes, in the short term, right. This is like a and that’s that’s another theme of the book is like your you’re you’re putting off I remember reading the there’s a section on you know vitamin you know being the victimized yourself which I think is a really fascinating concept because there are so many ways that we victimize ourselves without realizing it.

Dean Pohlman: Like there’s, you know, everyone you, you know, go talk with somebody and they’re going to say like, well, I would want a victim. You know, I wouldn’t want to play the victim. And then you you actually look at their lives or like, let’s sort of think this is a deep dive on what you did today and you realize all the things that they did to provide comfort to themselves in the moment, to absolve themselves of responsibility instead of taking some sort of responsibility or the ability to do something about it, which is this victimization that’s like that’s what it is.

Dean Pohlman: So like, we don’t even realize, like how many ways where we’re practicing victim, you know, making ourselves the victim. But I want to do I, we we talk about some great stuff, but I want to get back to like what made you start to practice, like looking at how you move your body or like, what is the the physical aspect to all of this and how did you start looking into that?

Andrew Daniel: Yes. So I was homeless for the second time and this was again after of being published, after my course was up around.

Dean Pohlman: Just goes to show you that authors don’t make a lot of money on the books alone unless they’re really good. What’s your J.K. Rowling? Yeah.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, it’s not the book. Yeah, you learn that real quick. It’s not the books alone. Unless you have a lot of books that are selling a lot of copies. Even for this book, I’ve sold a lot. But that came from spending ads. So all the money that was coming in, that was being spent to sell the books. So yeah, it’s it’s, it’s very, very different world than it was decades ago.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, But yes, so I was published and three months later I was homeless and I was like, What the hell? Just happened? I thought. I thought I made it right. I thought I had it made. My name is up up there next to all these other teachers that I just was studying for ten years. I was like, This is amazing.

Andrew Daniel: And three months later is homeless. And then I had my software company about a decade before that. So I knew that I was competent. I knew that I was smart. I knew that I could achieve stuff. I wasn’t lazy or any of this stuff. And so it was very disorienting, very confusing. And then I was introduced to the work of my late mentor who started pioneering combine video with movement.

Andrew Daniel: And then working with him is when I started to see, Oh my God, the image I have of myself in my mind does not match what I’m seeing in my own body on the screen in front of me. And so that was the moment of, well, in my mind, I think I’m this wonderful, great, kind, friendly, confident guy.

Andrew Daniel: And I saw myself on video and I said, Oh my God, this is narcissistic, this is manipulative, this is passive aggressive. There’s all this shame. I’m hiding out. I’m playing small and playing dumb. Oh, my God. No wonder my life hasn’t been working. This is the reality of what’s happening. And so seeing that what was showing up in my body was the thing that was actually getting me the real results in my life and how different that was than the image I had up in my head.

Andrew Daniel: That was the turning point in my entire journey. I said, Oh, this is the missing piece in all of the self help work is, Oh, this is the embodiment. Does it matter what you think up in your head? It matters how you’re showing up in your body. And then from there, I spent about five, 3 to 5 years daily doing this embodiment work.

Andrew Daniel: And since then I founded after he passed, he passed about four years ago. I took everything I learned from him. I took everything I’ve also learned on those other ten years, and I kind of brought it all together, took it further with cinema equipment, and then created cinematics. And through that journey of those five years of everything I learned that took me from eight years of self-help work that helped but didn’t quite break me through.

Andrew Daniel: And then those five years of after all of that, what actually did break me through? I wrote this book. So everything in this book were the things that for myself and my clients helped break through, even after I had done all of the work. Some like I’ve done all of the work, I’ve done, everything I’ve the plant medicines, I’ve done, the traditional therapy, I’ve done holistic stuff, I’ve done all of these things and I still kind of break through.

Andrew Daniel: And so I wrote this book for for people and myself of the actual things that did break me through when all of that stuff else failed.

Dean Pohlman: So you talk about, you know, you did these 3 to 5 years of this embodiment work on a daily basis. Like what is some of that actually look like?

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, great question. So one of the things that that I, I learned was that the the body actually contains masculine and feminine within it. So there’s a yin and yang polarity actually within the body.

Dean Pohlman: And so this is this is the concept that I’ve explored a lot recently on this podcast. So it’s.

Andrew Daniel: Oh, great, Excellent.

Dean Pohlman: Yes. So I love this. I love this. I’m glad that you mentioned the yin and the yang, too, because one of the things I just did recently was questioning like masculine is asking is and this is another topic, but like is masculine versus feminine even like the right? Is that even the right term for it? Because I think yin and yang makes much more sense because you hear masks and you’re like, Well, I want to do what the masculine does.

Dean Pohlman: Like, Well, sure, you also have feminine oil. If I do less of the feminine, if I do less masculine, then I’m less of a man and less worthy. You know, like, well, no, that’s not quite how it works. So exactly like that. I like the yin and yang terminology that makes a lot more, makes a lot more sense to me.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, well, and this is this is actually part of the healing is because I could use yin and yang and it means exactly the same thing, but I purposefully still stick to too masculine feminine because it does trigger people because there’s all of that stuff in there. So remember, my approach is as a healer, as a facilitator, which is different than maybe just a teacher out on the street teaching kind of the masses kind of stuff.

Andrew Daniel: So I am looking for the things that do trigger, that do expose and reveal all of the parts of us that need healing that we’re out of relationship with. And so someone would come in and do exactly that and I say, okay, well this shows you’re out of relationship. You have a distorted idea of what the feminine is because it’s not what you think it is just yet, but because you think feminine is inferior and all of these stuff.

Andrew Daniel: That’s what we need to look at. That’s what we need to start healing so you can gain access to all those resources that you’ve rejected because of those judgments.

Dean Pohlman: That’s we had had a relationship guy on the podcast recently and Amelia Palafox Palafox pronunciation. But yeah, one of the main things he says is like triggers are gifts because you like, you figure out like, Oh, that’s something to dig into. Like, let’s figure out why this is a trigger for you.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, it points to what needs healing.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm.

Andrew Daniel: Okay, so I love it. It’s like, Oh, well, that means something needs to be healed, because why am I taking it personally? What meaning am I giving it? It’s, you know, what is that about? And so to our society, especially right now, is just gone apeshit, crazy, insane around anything. What? You can’t even say man or woman without people going nuts now, Right?

Andrew Daniel: So there’s a lot of healing and clarification that needs to be done because a lot of people are having these reactions because of distorted definitions of these things. And then starting that healing, working individually helps the process as a culture.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. All right. So I took you off topic once again, guys. If you’ve done you’ve listened to the shows before, you know, I just go wherever the wherever I want to take it. So let’s get back to you’re talking about examining feminine versus masculine yin yang in the embodiment practices.

Andrew Daniel: Yes. So, so. Well, everything everything we just talked about is stuff that I had to address so daily in my practices. One of the basic things we do is just shaking our hands. And so when you start shaking your hands, you start to see.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, would we do this video too? So yeah, you’re listening this wondering like, what’s going on? I’m shaking my hands like, just like this.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, I would I would back up and shake it however you feel would be natural for you. Yeah. So what we would see here is that your little, your right side is going to be your masculine, your yang, your left side is your feminine, your yin. And as you shake your hands and the way you shake hands where you shake your hands, how you do it reveals all of these subconscious patterns.

Andrew Daniel: It reveals how and what your relationship is to these polarities. And then from that, it’s, you know, doing the work of going into it and healing that and becoming aware of, Oh, yeah, my masculine is dominating my feminine, Oh my God, this is my parents relationship. And you see that a lot. You actually see the parents relationship manifest in the way the child shakes their hands because our mother and father are two primary figures of modeling the masculine and the feminine.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm.

Dean Pohlman: So can you see? So if you look at my hands is there something that you can do? Do you have the lens? Does it work like via webcam or like, do I. Oh yeah. In person for you too. All right, let’s do.

Andrew Daniel: All right. Yeah, let’s do it. So this is your natural. You got to move if you can. Move the mic, please. Thanks. So this is just how you naturally would feel to do it?

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Andrew Daniel: Okay. Yeah. So the first thing that I would see is that symbolically and mythologically, you’re in the underworld where? Right. So your your down in the the lowest part of where you could be in your range. And so there would be stuff here to explore because I would be it is it’s not what I would expect seeing as how you know popular invisible you are out on the internet, someone that would be more visible would actually have their hands higher to be more visible.

Andrew Daniel: Now maybe there’s something there where Ah, right. This is vulnerable. Or maybe there’s a another thing running, let’s say, of wanting to be relaxed. So maybe it’s a way to kind of discharge an anxiety. I also saw that there was a fairly you were fairly relaxed, but there was still control in the hands. So yeah, so there’s a I didn’t see too much because it was so low and slow and the masculine feminine.

Andrew Daniel: So if you want, yeah, raise them up and shake them here. Yeah. So you can see that the, you’re much more active in the masculine and the right side, the feminine looks a lot more shut down and passive.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm. Okay.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah. So go ahead.

Dean Pohlman: You go ahead. Because I have a I have a question about that later because I’m a because I’m an athlete. Like so I grew up playing sports. I grew up working out. And as an athlete in most sports, you’re going to use one hand is dominant. So like when I played, so I played, I played baseball, I played football, I played lacrosse with soccer.

Dean Pohlman: I kicked with my right foot, which means that, you know, my left leg is dominant because I plant with my left foot and then I swing with my right leg. So that’s the leg that I kick with the most. As the lacrosse player. You’re ambidextrous, but you have one side is stronger than the other. So I draw with my right, which means that I’m going to twist.

Dean Pohlman: I have a stronger twist to my left. It’s harder for me to twist my right. So the point of me saying all things these examples is that as an athlete, hearing that your left side is your feminine side and your right side is your dominant side. To me, I’m like, No, my left side is the side that I shoot with less in my right side of the side.

Dean Pohlman: So like, so like I, I haven’t developed like a normal right. I’ve developed unnatural movement patterns because of a sport that I played so like so when I hear that’s your that’s your, that’s your feminine side, that’s your masculine side, like, no, that’s the side that I shoot with. That’s the side that I would shoot with. Yeah. So it’s kind of like to me it’s kind of like I have like a skewed, you know, like I have a Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Movement practice because of like a skewed whatever that would be, because of my background, you know. Yeah. So I move my body.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah. So, so now here’s the interesting thing and we don’t necessarily know exactly just in this one minute, but let’s say we, let’s say you were client. We worked together for a while. Well, the question is chicken or the egg, right? Is your body skewed because of the sport or did you show up in the sport that way because that was your natural inclination in relationship with those sides and those energies?

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Andrew Daniel: And also the flip side is that, okay, let’s say you’ve been dominant that way your whole life. Well, that matches what you said about being mostly logical in your head, because that’s all of the masculine when you line up the hemispheres there, there contralateral. And so the left controls right to the left, etc.. So What, what would be a really helpful thing for you is to start reversing that.

Andrew Daniel: So instead of doing everything with your right hand, start doing everything from the left hand, but not just doing it unconsciously, doing it from the qualities of the feminine right to the feminine is going to be a feeling, intuitive, creative, surrendering, non-linear, non-rational. It’s going to be receptive. It’s going to be an in energy, not a penetrating energy.

Andrew Daniel: So there’s all of these qualities that the feminine is going to take while approaching problems or life. So you go into your business, you go to plan a video, maybe your normal way is this this, this masculine, linear, logical way to do it. Well, then try doing it through the yin way. All right, well, what if we do this nonlinear?

Andrew Daniel: What if I do it from feeling sort of thinking about it? What if I feel through it and then doing that and also using this part of the body and actually tuning into. All right, well, this feels a lot more shut down. What happens if I bring it up? What if I turn this online, start using it? Well, maybe all of a sudden there’s these judgments, right?

Andrew Daniel: Maybe you’re judging yourself even athletically. Well, this isn’t a strong. Well, I feel weak. I don’t want to feel weak right. Okay. Great judgment block story that comes up. All right. Maybe it feels more vulnerable. Great. Right. So these are all things that we would normally avoid not wanting to feel. But in this work, we want to go into it to develop relationship with it so it doesn’t run our life.

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm. Okay.

Dean Pohlman: All right. So hand thing. So you learn this from this came from this came from your late mentor. This is where you started learning to integrate the body stuff into it. Yeah. And so what did you notice? What did you notice when you started to. To practice this?

Andrew Daniel: Oh Gosh, my hands. My hands were completely doing different things. So that’s another thing that we see. So when you shake your hands, are they shaking in unison? Right. Do your hands, are they connected to each other or are they doing different things? Are they just completely in different rooms? And we see this we see parents, relationships, even people’s dynamics.

Andrew Daniel: You know, I had a client call, an assessment just a week ago, and and I said, okay, well, it feels like your your masculine is doing this and your feminine is doing this. And they’re like, they just started laughing. I was like, What? They’re like, That’s my parents. That’s my parents relationship. And so what what I saw was that my hands were hysterical and they were yelling at each other.

Andrew Daniel: It was like this bickering, right? Like, if you see it on video, it’s like, this one’s bickering, this one’s bickering. But people do this. They just shake their hands like this. They have no idea. It’s all subconscious stuff. And then you see it. You say, Oh my God. And so this is how the person is relating to men in a women, the masculine feminine within themselves.

Andrew Daniel: And in the world. And so what I started to do say, Oh my gosh, okay, well, this is dysfunctional. And then starting to through not through my head, not through forcing it, but through the feeling. All right. So I go into the chaos, I go into the bickering, I go into the fighting, and then immediately there’s all this pain, there’s all this sadness and longing to have had a functional relationship, to have had my parents love each other and in peace rather than fighting all the time.

Andrew Daniel: And then so by discovering this stuff through my body movements, I started the emotional trauma healing that then started to in turn changed the way that I moved in my body. And so that was a daily practice. That was just one element of one diagnostic. We do other things with archetypes in the body, how archetypes show up around making everything, making money, giving, receiving all sorts of stuff.

Andrew Daniel: And so it’s all done through the body, not through the head.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm.

Dean Pohlman: What were some of your more some other manifestations of you being in your head versus being in your body?

Andrew Daniel: Fantasy? So that was a big one. I was living in a fantasy world. I remember when I was homeless, going around to practice Law of attraction stuff and being like affirmations. I’m abundant, I’m abundant, I’m abundant. I literally had plenty pennies. My bank account and I was delusional. It wasn’t just affirming myself being positive. I was literally denying reality so I didn’t have to face it.

Andrew Daniel: So as up in a fantasy, because the reality was very grim. And so I realized I was living in this parallel world. And so what I said earlier is that I had an image of myself in my head that did not match my body. And so being in a fantasy, being in my head prevented me from actually achieving all of the things I wanted to in my life.

Andrew Daniel: So that was a big thing of the difference between actually choosing something, right? I eventually chose to be an author and the only way I really knew I choose that is once the book was published, it was in people’s hands. Otherwise it could have been. I was choosing to be an almost author or a writer that didn’t finish a book.

Andrew Daniel: So real choices in the real results you get in reality are reality. That’s how you really are. Not the image, not the fantasy that we have in our head. So that was a that was a big one.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So in your book, you talk about, you know, people aren’t going to recognize this immediately if you think about what narcissism is. But you, you talk about narcissism in the sense that narcissism is not just looking in the mirror and loving yourself. It’s looking in the mirror and loving the image of that you think is there. And, you know, there’s there’s it’s not a quick jump from looking at what you think narcissism means and then looking at this manifestation of narcissism.

Dean Pohlman: So it might be helpful to read the book and read that chapter in particular to get to that point. But this is in a way, this is kind of I’m going to kind of segway this to this is related to this concept of the stories that we tell ourselves. So I wanted to bring that up because I don’t think people realize that most of what goes on in our head isn’t reality.

Dean Pohlman: It’s it’s the interpretations of reality. It’s the stories that we tell ourselves. And so I’m curious for you, like, what are some of the other stories that you told yourself and things that, you know, once you started to look at them and really unpack them, that you started to make some significant improvements and in terms of, you know, being okay with who you are, you’re your true self.

Andrew Daniel: Yes. So let’s start off with what a story is, because it’s really, really foundational to this conversation. So a story is basically everything that we tell ourselves around the truth, around the facts, around the actual thing. Right? So let’s give an example. So a story would be Bob is such a jerk. He never shows up on time. And he really is is kind of a really judgmental person that I don’t like being around and I feel icky and he has this weird thing on his face that just really bothers me.

Andrew Daniel: And every time we hang out, he’s, you know, bringing me down. He’s got bad vibes and I just can’t stand to be around him and nothing ever works, right? So this is just like a narrative.

Dean Pohlman: Bob sucks.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah. Damn, Bob. And so this is a story, right? It’s just all of these things around it. Another one is like, what happened to me? Oh, yeah. So Bob did this to me, and I was just being so nice and he just had to come in and then treat me so poorly and I can’t ever do anything right.

Andrew Daniel: I can’t ever make him happy. And it’s just never enough. And if he would only do this right, that’s a story. So you can see in the story, there’s judgments, there’s drama, there’s this narrative. Well, the truth is, like what’s actually happened, Bob, did not show up on time. He disrespected me. And he has a thing on his face.

Andrew Daniel: Okay, whatever. But those are the facts. Those are just the details. All the rest of that stuff was drama. Okay. Well, in the other example, just Bob disrespected me and he when I show up to help him, he does not acknowledge or appreciate it. Okay. So those are just the details. You’re just reporting the details, what the actual feeling is, the actual experiences, all the rest of story and drama.

Andrew Daniel: And so we whip up all of these stories that we tell ourselves, and these stories bind us to an unreal past because it’s not true, especially as time goes on. Those details tend to get muddied up. They tend to blend into a bigger narrative in a story and we have themes of these stories the poor me story, the martyr story.

Andrew Daniel: I also call these myths, right? Because these are overarching stories that affect the whole life. Chances are, if you have a story that people don’t treat you well, that probably happens more than once in your life, right? Because you’ve created a story that you’re such a great person, but nobody treats you well. You probably have that because it’s happened multiple times in your life.

Andrew Daniel: And so these stories bind us to the past because until you stop telling those stories, well, obviously you keep repeating the stories and then you keep getting those same results over and over again. So you’re carrying these past experiences that you’ve distorted with all of this noise and recreating it now in your life.

Dean Pohlman: So these stories that we tell ourselves, we learn. We tell them to ourselves because in a way they help us, because they they they give us more control over the situation. We feel like we have more control over the situation because we recognize the power and we’re like, this is what’s going on. Even if the end result is not what we might want to experience, at least we know what’s going to happen.

Dean Pohlman: And it’s predictable. So we feel like more control in that situation.

Andrew Daniel: So yeah, it’s a certain amount of false safety, you know, certain false control where a lot of us would rather know we’re going to be rejected and not do anything that will get that rejection and stay comfortable, then have to face the chance that we might be rejected. The uncertainty, uncertainty. And it’s and it’s not even just the negative stuff.

Andrew Daniel: It’s positive stuff. We can have stories around things that, oh, everybody loves us. We’re just great. Well, maybe, maybe not. And so we can spin up all of these stories. And really what happens is they’re they keep us away from our truth. They they take us further away from reality. And so this is what I said earlier, is that I was living in a fantasy.

Andrew Daniel: I was living these fantasies. I was telling myself all of these stories, and they just weren’t true. They just were not true. And they kept me in tremendous suffering.

Dean Pohlman: So Did this was the big like, if you could, you know, obviously it doesn’t happen all at once. But was the the big okay, Oh crap, I’m living a fantasy or like, okay, this isn’t working out. Like, I’m not who I thought I was or like, what was your, you know, your Oh, shit moment? Was it when you that three month point after you found yourself homeless?

Andrew Daniel: Well, I had, I had two, one. The first one was when I was 21 and I was and I told you at the very beginning about going from being at the effect of my life to the cause. That was my oh, shit. Moment of, oh, my God, I’ve spent my entire life being a victim. I spent my entire life acting like I have no power.

Andrew Daniel: I’ve been giving my power away to these bullies, to my parents, to all of these things. So that was probably the biggest and most important one. And then the second one is also what I said earlier when I finally saw my cell phone video and said and saw, Oh my gosh, I actually saw it in my own body, that what I thought about myself in my head did not match what I was seeing on video.

Andrew Daniel: And that undeniable proof was like very confronting.

Dean Pohlman: What did you I’m trying to better understand that. So you looked at yourself and you just the person that you saw like that, that it wasn’t who you thought you were or you there was just like such a disconnect between. Yes, it was like, what was that?

Andrew Daniel: Yes. So the practical how that would look. So in this work, instead of semantics, what we do is we have people move, right? So let let’s break down some semantics. So since it comes from video, it’s also comes from the Greek Kino movement and then schematics of the body. So basically what we do is in cinematics, we have people move in their body.

Andrew Daniel: We can get them on a slack line, roller blade dancing their hands, doing archetypes through the body, causing balls, all sorts of stuff. And then we film it, then we play that video back and I am giving feedback again through feeling. It’s not a body language, it’s not a heavy analysis. I’m feeling those subconscious dynamics underneath their movements in their body, and then as I’m giving them that feedback, they’re seeing it for themselves on video.

Andrew Daniel: So that’s cinematics. So that’s the process that I was undergoing. And so what happened was I was moving, let’s say I was doing a dance and I was just walking around the space, literally can just walk around the room. How you do one thing is how you do everything. MM As above, so below how you move in your body, how I show up on to a call, how I do anything.

Andrew Daniel: It’s how I’m going to do everything else in my life. And so by seeing the way that I moved in my body, I saw that’s how I was showing up in my business, in my relationships, in my life. So, for example, walking around the room, if I’m if I’m disconnected from the space. So I see myself and I looked alone in isolated energy starkly symbolically, I didn’t see that it felt like there was people around me or that I felt safe in the room.

Andrew Daniel: So I started to see how isolated I was from my environment. By the way that I moved, I saw how I wasn’t connecting with the space around me. I also saw how I saw things as threats. I saw how through my movement I was inviting attack and then I would use that attack to beat up with. I could see as I walked around all of the judgments I had of myself in the space I saw as I moved around how I was making it all about me.

Andrew Daniel: And so that helped me start seeing this narcissistic piece where I wasn’t really caring about other people. I was kind of caring about other people in order to get my own needs met. And so, okay, well then there’s a subtle manipulation here. So all of these things started to come through simply by the way that I moved and interacted with the space around me.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. And so was it you’re your mentor who was able to help you? Kind of, yes. Pointing out, okay, so that was how you learned those things. And then he kind of he said, hey, this is what I’m seeing. And you said, oh, that makes sense. And then you were able to. Is that is that kind of what?

Andrew Daniel: Yes, Yes. So one of the really important pieces here is getting that external feedback. So there’s a chapter in the book called The Essential External. And when we’re stuck in our head and were isolated, it’s really hard to see our blind spots. We’re blind to it right? So we have these filters, I call it the perceptual stack. And so we have distortions, deletions, judgments, traumas, all of this stuff in between what really happens in our vision, Right?

Andrew Daniel: So here’s here’s what’s actually happening in the world and here’s what I’m perceiving well, there’s all of these layers of filters in between what actually happens and what we see. That’s why when you have five people all at the same event, they’re going to say five different things happened because they’re not seeing reality. They’re seeing a filtered, distorted reality.

Andrew Daniel: And so having a facilitator, having somebody that has collapsed many and most of those filters in order to actually see the reality, to see these subconscious unconscious patterns that are showing up is really important. And then you have the video to confirm it. So you do it so you don’t just walk in and you have a guru or a teacher or some authority that you have to blindly trust to say you’re being narcissistic.

Andrew Daniel: You’re like, Screw you, dude, what are you talking about?

Dean Pohlman: Hmm?

Andrew Daniel: And then he says, Well, look at the video. Can you see the X, Y, and Z? Like, Oh, yeah. Oh, my God, this is really uncomfortable, right? And so having that facilitation is really important because there, I don’t know, another way to get through the stuff without some sort of feedback, whether it’s through looking at yourself, you know, you can get to a certain point.

Andrew Daniel: In my book, I have an exercise where people can film themselves and they can see stuff, but they’re only going to be able to see to a certain point because their own filters and stories are filtering and distorting what they’re seeing. So getting either another person who’s like myself, who has done the work to be able to see that stuff clearly, or having a group of people that through just the amount of numbers and reflections, you can kind of triangulate on the truth, right?

Andrew Daniel: Because if five people say, Yeah, this is what I see and one person says something different, well, when you have five people, it’s probably that one person that may be distorted and then they can have those reference points through that external feedback. So having it on a video to see this stuff in your own body for yourself, plus getting feedback on what is actually underneath it was one of the most important things and which comes back to the self-help narcissism because you can’t do this stuff yourself.

Andrew Daniel: I tried for a decade to try to figure it out myself because I made it mean something about me, right? If I needed help, that meant I was weak, that I couldn’t do it myself. And so it’s just layer after layer of all of these stories and meetings that I had to collapse in order to finally let the truth in.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So in terms of what were some other things that you did in terms of recognizing those stories that you know, you tell you told yourself, in addition to some of the embody and practices that you talked about, what else was really helpful for you Stopping.

Andrew Daniel: Stopping. So I have a whole chapter in the book called.

Dean Pohlman: Just kind of just kind of being aware.

Andrew Daniel: No, well, awareness is very important. Actually. Having that self-awareness is really the first step, because if you’re not aware, you can’t do anything about it. Yeah. So every strategy I have in the book starts with awareness. You have to become aware of this stuff and it requires courage, it requires a dedication. You have to be committed to this.

Andrew Daniel: And so one of the very last things I say in the book is make truth. The most important thing, make truth the most important thing. Otherwise, if you make comfort more important than the truth, if you make feeling happy, more important than the truth, if you make all of these things anything else more important than the truth? You’re not going to be able to break through because it’s going to be very easy to not be willing to do whatever it takes to get to reality, to the truth and reality.

Andrew Daniel: Reality is really important. It’s it’s the place to get to. When you live in a fantasy, you’re in suffering. When you’re telling these stories, you’re having all these distortions, you’re removed from reality. And so, you know, imagine your life. I had this experience where I felt like I was just watching a movie go by My life just felt like I was just dissociated.

Andrew Daniel: Watching Andrew just go through life. I literally remember moments where I had to go and find a building and just touch marble and concrete. I’m like, Where am I really into my body? That’s how dissociated and shut down I was.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm.

Andrew Daniel: So having that awareness, having that willingness and dedication say, okay, well, this sucks. Am I willing to do whatever it takes to find out the truth about why I’m stuck, why I’m suffering about who I am actually showing up in the world? AS Yes, because I hit rock bottom multiple times. My life depended on it. So I said yes.

Andrew Daniel: And from that dedication I would be in the middle of conversations and I’d notice myself starting to lie or tell a story. And I would stop, or literally in the middle of words, said, No, I just lied. That’s not true. This is really what it is.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm.

Andrew Daniel: And so I started a stopping practice as well with it. Every time I started to go into a story, every time I started to lie to myself or others, every time I started to abandon myself, betray myself, I would just stop every time I would feel the addiction to going. Yeah, but. But, but, but see? Well, I knew it every time I’d abdicate my responsibility to be a victim, I would stop.

Andrew Daniel: And so it was a constant process of stopping, stopping, stopping, stopping. Because what I discovered, this brings us full circle back to the self-help work. And the problem with it is that most of it’s about adding. Most of it’s saying, Oh, you’re not enough. You’re just kind of like the the advertising beauty industry, you know, towards, well, men and women, right?

Andrew Daniel: You’re not enough. You’re by this makeup by this bra. Do this workout right. Eat this kind of protein shake and you’ll have the muscles. All of this stuff is designed to say you are not enough as you are. Here’s the solution. Add this right. It’s always add this because that’s buying, right? That Makes the whole consumerism cycle work.

Andrew Daniel: And so this was an inherent, I found, flaw in the self-help work for students. Now, when you’re starting out, when you’re a beginner, you might not know anything. You might be really young, you might not have experience, you might not have developed yourself, and you might be hopeless and lost like I was. And so having the hope that you could add to yourself that you could become something more than you’ve seen yourself your whole life, that’s very empowering.

Andrew Daniel: That’s very, very beautiful. However, eventually you get to the point in that journey in the transformational journey, where adding more doesn’t add more to your life. And so it becomes a practice of stopping and subtracting my work as subtractive. Because, Dean, one of the things that that we find out that even if you make it, even if after a decade you get the business, you get the girl, you get the life or the guy proven yourself.

Dean Pohlman: Sorry, I had to put that in there.

Andrew Daniel: What did you say? I had.

Dean Pohlman: To say? Or the guy?

Andrew Daniel: Oh, yeah. Or the guy. Yeah. We got to.

Dean Pohlman: Mention that the last time you said it just wanted to be inclusive. Go ahead.

Andrew Daniel: Yes, Everybody, whoever, whoever you get, whatever you want. Money, the fame, attention, whatever. Right. Everything. The love as you fix yourself, improve yourself, add more to your life. Even if you improve, what happens is you get further and further away from your true self. Because even if you prove yourself and say, You know what, I was enough, I could do it.

Andrew Daniel: I am lovable, I am great. Look, all of the value I can provide to the world, it still validates the lie. It’s still validates the lie that we were broken to begin with, that we were unworthy to begin with. That we weren’t inherently already enough, that we didn’t already have what we need. So this is one of the most insidious things, is that even if you get there and improve, if you’re coming from the core belief that you’re not enough, that you’re unworthy, that you’re unlovable, you’re going to you’re going to be further away from your truth.

Andrew Daniel: And what happens is people start getting imposter syndrome or they start feeling like a fraud, or they’ll self-sabotage. Because still, underneath all of that, there’s that lie. And so if that partner, that money, that success is taken away from them, well, guess what? It then validates, again, the lie that they weren’t enough, that they were unlovable, etc., etc., etc..

Andrew Daniel: And so the only way through this is through subtraction. It’s through subtracting all of the things that are not who we really are. And it’s to getting back to that truth that we are enough, that we have everything we need, that we are lovable. There’s nothing wrong with us. And if you go on the journey of growth and healing from that place, everything you’re going do is going to be sustainable.

Andrew Daniel: Everything you’re going to be doing is based in reality. So it’s not about not learning or growing or healing anymore. It’s the place we’re coming from while doing it and the process that we go about achieving it.

Dean Pohlman: So it’s a difference between I’m doing all the self-improvement because if I didn’t do this, if I didn’t achieve these things, then I wouldn’t be worthy. But it’s going back to it’s going back to I don’t need all of these things to prove the narrative that I’m worthy. I’m worthy without all of these things. And that’s.

Andrew Daniel: Exactly.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So that’s and that was, you know, reading your book, there was one really big light bulb moment, which is the we only have problems when we create problems. And this is you know, I was thinking about this in the context of what I been going on that day with me. And it was I think I looked out at my my backyard and I was like, oh, I need to do this now.

Dean Pohlman: Like, I need to you know, I need to make this addition to the backyard. And I’m like, Oh, great. Now I have I’ve created this new problem myself. Like, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve added unnecessary stress to my life because I have, you know, I have looked at something that I think should be improved. I have put in my head that I need to get this done or I’m going to be worrying about it if I don’t get it done.

Dean Pohlman: And I like if I had just not created the problem in the first place, there would be no stress around it. So we problems. The problems only create when we exist them. And then getting to the bigger theme of that, you know, being your true self is, you know, we come up with these ideas of how we need to fix ourselves.

Dean Pohlman: But if we were to give up the expectations of what we think we should be and just accept who we are, then we wouldn’t have those problems of self-worth to begin with.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, it’s the the quest for the solution keeps the problem alive.

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Andrew Daniel: Right. Yeah. So you you saw the backyard and you’re like, Oh, look at the solution. Well, that created the problem. Yeah, right. And if you said, Well, I don’t to do that, I don’t need to add this thing in. Well, then there was there’s no problem. And so practically in our own life, right. It’s like the more you look, you know, how do I become lovable?

Andrew Daniel: I need. I need to find the solution to become lovable or to be enough, Right? Oh, well, it comes back to what I said earlier. You’re adding more. You’re finding the solution, which creates the problem. It’s a math equation. It’s literally a math equation, right? You have you have a plus one and you’re equaling zero, which is peace.

Andrew Daniel: And what do you have to do to get zero when you have a plus one, a negative one, Right. So you just having that equation creates the necessity of that problem. And so if you stop having to fix yourself and again, this isn’t just mental gymnastics, you actually have to embody this stuff. You actually have to be at peace.

Andrew Daniel: Well, then the problem just goes away. And so we spend our life in the self-help work, work, you know, reading books, books, taking more courses, more courses. Mm hmm. Well, guess what? It keeps implying that there’s something wrong if you’re doing from this perspective. If you’re looking to fix now, you could just grow, right? You can just read because you love reading.

Andrew Daniel: That’s wonderful. But if you’re reading because you need to solve a problem, well, guess what? Well, it keeps the problem alive. Well, what if you just stopped? Would you have the problem anymore?

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Andrew Daniel: You know, it’s like a I don’t know. This is imagine having, like, a a militia, and it’s training all of the time to fight, and it’s just doing it, you know, for years and years and years and years, man, you’re going to get antsy. You know, they’re going to want a problem so they can use their solution.

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm. Mm.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I like how. I mean, you have a whole chapter on get out of fixing mode.

Andrew Daniel: And stop fixing and start living.

Dean Pohlman: Yes. Which I think was a something. Yeah, I like that concept without, you know, just stating the obvious or just, you know, just agreeing with you and nodding my head and saying, Oh, yes, yes, I agree with this. Yes, the concept is great. And getting out of fixing mode and into a moving out of and I think a general sense of what we’ve talked about today is it’s getting out of this reactive mode and getting more into a a proactive or a creative sense of thinking.

Dean Pohlman: So we’re not looking at problems to solve. We are we’re not looking at problems to solve. We’re not looking at, you know, here’s the problem and I’m going to fix it. But instead, you know, do you see what I’m trying to get at?

Andrew Daniel: Like it’s yeah, it’s having a vision, right? So we can spend our whole life trying to fix ourselves so we can be enough. Well, or you could just be enough and create the life that you want.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So at creating going after, like, what’s, what’s exciting, etc.. I mean, so I think about in terms of like I was able to like think about this in terms of like mental yoga for example. So I was thinking like, okay, like, well, social media got to fix our social media. I don’t like that part of our social media.

Dean Pohlman: Like, I’m not really happy with this, this, this, this email series that we have for for new members right now. I got to fix this. And then but getting out of that and getting into like what would be really cool to create or like what would be.

Andrew Daniel: Really.

Dean Pohlman: What would make me excited Like what would what would what would really help, you know, our customers, What would be something that like like, hey, let me explore this possibility and coming at it from this this it’s and it’s there’s it’s almost totally opposed ways of thinking kind of it’s coming at it from this like this problem solving.

Dean Pohlman: If I don’t fix this, my business is going to fail. And then coming at it from like my business is fine. How can I make it even better? Like, how can I make something like really cool? And it just, well.

Andrew Daniel: It.

Dean Pohlman: Feels different.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah. Well, it’s also a great example of this yin and yang aspect, right? This yang is very linear. Let’s solve the problem. Let’s fix things. Right? There’s us as men, right? We like to fix the fuck out of everything, which is great is great. But as you know, if all you have is a hammer, everything’s going to look at now, look like nails.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah. And so more of this yin quality is going to be more of this creative, right? Literally just from rational to creative. And it’s going to feel different. You’re not thinking about it in a different way. It feels different. So you literally just did just such a perfect example of a yin versus yang approach to the same thing.

Andrew Daniel: And so it’s not like one’s better or worse than the other, but you could look at your life and say, Well, what is going to lead me to the life that I want? There’s times where, you know, there’s times where need a fix, something like if it’s actually broken and there’s other times where it’s actually nothing to fix, nothing’s broken.

Andrew Daniel: You’re just looking at it that way. Well, then look at it through this lens. Oh, yeah? Well, what can I create? What feels really good to move here? And so it’s knowing when and where and how to use either approach. When does black work, when does white work, when does yang work? And this yin work is a masculine approach.

Andrew Daniel: Work as a feminine approach work. And then ultimately what we do in the body is, as I said earlier, this comes back to that. The handshaking is how do we get the hands doing the same thing? How do we get their range to be the same? How do we get them to be on the same page? How how can we get them to dialog with each other?

Andrew Daniel: And so when you embody this, you’re actually embodying all those resources that we just talked about in a practical situation. And you can go, Oh, look, oh, and then you just you just do it like, as you said earlier, you act from that unconscious, competent place and you do what needs to be done from the most fruitful energy, from the most fruitful approach.

Dean Pohlman: So that gets me to the last question I want to ask for. Go into the quick part two section. But, you know, we talk about being able to be in your body, being able to be aware of these movements. So have you noticed a correlation between overall alignment to true self and people who are practice movement and are in their bodies more frequent than people who are not?

Dean Pohlman: So like if I you know, if I exercise regularly, if I’m a dancer or if I have a yoga practice or if I you know, I think there’s a I think we can draw there’s there’s you know, I’m thinking I think that a dancer, for example, would have much better embodiment practice than a weightlifter. But I don’t I don’t know.

Dean Pohlman: That’s just my assumption. Have you noticed anything in your work that can we, can we say some sort of correlations about that?

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, well, one of the things is that we do find that athletes or anybody that does a physical movement practice is generally going to have greater physical intelligence. So they’re going to generally have much more physical range besides obvious stuff, right? So like a gymnast is going to have a much more flexibility and range than, let’s say, a heavy weight lifter.

Andrew Daniel: You know, stuff like this. What I what’s less of a correlation is more of not of a correlation is that I found more interesting is that it’s not it’s not everybody. So what I find is that there’s a lot of people that are doing fitness or dancing or all of the stuff, but they’re all in their head, they’re all in technique, they’re all coming from ego.

Andrew Daniel: They’re not in feeling so you can move in your body great, without feeling it, without having any of that feeling component. And you see that a lot a lot of modern dancers are just doing technique. You don’t get moved by it. It’s the difference, Dean. It’s the difference. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched ice dancing, figure skating.

Andrew Daniel: Mm hmm. But there’s a difference between the skaters that they do it perfect. It’s beautiful. While they have great form and you’re like, Oh, that was great. Versus the ones where you’re like, you. You cry watching them, they literally move you, right? That’s why it’s called being moved. Something moves us.

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Andrew Daniel: That difference I’ve discovered, and I do. This is when I work with people in Hollywood, Olympic athletes, very high performers in the world. This is singers, musicians here in Nashville. This is really the Secret X Factor that everybody wants to know what it is. What’s that thing that just makes the difference? It’s like that’s the that’s the multimillion dollar secret.

Andrew Daniel: I’ll tell you right here, it’s feeling it’s actually being in the feeling connected to the body emotionally, energetically. The whole system’s online rather than coming from ego technique, your head strategy, all of that stuff is your mind, your ego kind of informing and telling your body what to do rather your body letting your body move. Now that is something that’s becoming more and more because as a culture, everybody’s on their phones, everybody’s in their heads, they’re not in touch with, they’re feeling, they’re dissociated.

Andrew Daniel: There’s all this trauma. People are less grounded. If you go back, here’s here’s a just a perfect illustration of this. Watch some modern, I don’t know, musical or dance movie or something like this made in the past few years. Then go back and watch Frank Sinatra. Right. Go back and watch Rita Hayworth. You know, go back to that generation of dancers, of movers, of Hollywood actors.

Andrew Daniel: They feel completely different. You can watch those movies. They’re all enjoy they’re all having fun. They move much more and core down here in their body. They’re not up in their head. They’re not in their chest. And ego, they’re not performing, you know, as in selling themselves out. Go on Instagram. It’s it’s it’s it feels gross. It’s a completely different.

Andrew Daniel: People are doing it for attention. They’re in their ego. They’re not really having fun. They’re putting on a mask. There’s this fake smile there. You know, it’s just it’s a completely different energy. So this correlation I found, well, this like almost a correlation surprised me a lot because I said, oh, well, this person’s in their body very flexible, they’re very strong, they should do great.

Andrew Daniel: And you see them shut down, you see insecurities, you see shame, you see a lot of. Yeah, self judgments, criticisms, all of that stuff gets in the way between them and their true self. However, with that being said, people that have a greater physical intelligence who do the work and are willing and ready to commit to it tend to move very, very fast because stuff’s because it’s built in.

Andrew Daniel: You know, they have the muscle memory, they have those neural pathways. It’s just the emotional components that have been blocking them.

Dean Pohlman: Hmm. Okay.

Dean Pohlman: Men, a lot more questions that I have. Good thing we’re going to have part two here, and we can talk more about practicing, feeling more about the stories we tell ourselves, more about what being your true self actually means. So that’s going to be next episode. But part two here. This is my rapid fire section. First question here, what do you think is one habit, belief or mindset that has helped you the most in terms of your overall happiness feeling?

Andrew Daniel: Sort of thinking my way through the world, Feeling my way?

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Mm hmm.

Dean Pohlman: What’s one thing you do for your health that you think is overlooked or undervalued by others?

Andrew Daniel: That’s a great question. I would say I move in oppressive practice, but I would also say nutrition. I think real nutrition actually giving your body everything it really needs. So so health, just like really caring about what real nutrition is. Because without your health, you got nothing. You know, the richest people in the world, billions of dollars if they don’t have the nutrition, if they don’t take care of what’s going on inside their body, they’ll give it all up to be healthy again.

Dean Pohlman: Mm hmm.

Dean Pohlman: True. What’s the most important activity you regularly do for your overall stress management?

Andrew Daniel: It sounds kind of lame, but I like to take long, hot showers. Okay, That’s a nuisance. Just. I love it. Yeah, just. Just relaxing. Just. Just taking a break. No screens away from everything and just. Just stopping. Just having that moment of. Of peace.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I like that you brought up the stopping thing, by the way. I didn’t say I didn’t reply to it, but I like that you brought that up. It’s something that I’ve started. I’ve realized doing in conversations when I realize I’m just saying something because I’m trying to keep the conversation going and I’m like, Why am I saying this like this?

Dean Pohlman: I don’t really feel like this.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: So anyways, let’s get back to it. What’s the most stressful part of your day to day life?

Andrew Daniel: Well, something I’m very blessed to have and for a lot of people wanting to work with me. And so I have a very, very busy schedule. I have stuff to do. So right now, the most stressful part of my life is trying to get all of the things I need to get done. Done?

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I hear that. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing? Men and their wellbeing right now?

Andrew Daniel: Culture, the office culture that is vilifying men and does not care about young men, men in general that have thrown men to the wayside and vilified them for just wanting to exist and be men and masculine and love. So yeah, I think this Western culture that has vilified men as a whole is the biggest threat. Yes It’s incredibly toxic.

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, Destructive to the entire society.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I did a, I did a solo podcast and I talked about masculinity in general, but kind of the, the backlash against certain aspects of, poor manifestations of masculinity, but how that has transcended or built into this movement against anything that’s associated with masculinity, that’s the problem. Yeah. Yeah. No stuff. No, it’s tough to talk about like I guess I get I got like, I got people, like, mad at me because I talked about like you made a podcast about masculinity.

Dean Pohlman: You said that, you know, you want to be more masculine and feminine like. Yeah, I do like that. That’s how I feel. Yeah. You know, But like.

Andrew Daniel: And making you run for it. Yeah. And what you said is really important is that no doubt, there has been men that have had shadow masculine aspects that are incredibly destructive, right. Just, just how men in the West has had a war against the feminine for centuries and millennia is terrible. It’s awful. You know what we do to the environment, what we have done to women, even femininity in general, there’s incredibly awful things.

Andrew Daniel: Well, women aren’t innocent either. There’s incredibly toxic and shadow feminine aspects from women as well. That has happened, however, because men have generally, you know, assumed the throne, so to speak. It really has that top down effect, which should change. That stuff is terrible. You know, the billions of people that have died and suffered because of some of these destructive, shadowy aspects of men and masculinity needs to be addressed.

Andrew Daniel: And it’s a few people. It’s a percentage out of all men, and it’s a percentage of all masculinity. People seem to quickly forget that. It’s also masculinity that has created society and culture and civilization and protected and provided it and have done all of these beautiful, wonderful, amazing things. And so it’s not an either or, it’s a yes and.

Dean Pohlman: Mm.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I think that’s a that’s well said and it’s, it’s like, it’s, I’m glad that you have the courage to say that it’s, it’s something that like I’ve also I realized like wow it’s not easy for me to, to say this and it’s very, very unpopular to say like I want to figure out how to practice like masculinity and you see masculinity and you’re like, even me, like I see masculinity and I get triggered is like, oh, it’s going to be like, this is like toxic masculinity.

Dean Pohlman: They’re all getting together and they’re like, figuring out how to be more toxic, be masculine to everybody. Yeah. And that’s like, and that’s just because like of yeah, that’s kind of the overall culture that we live in is that it has made us suspicious of men getting together with only men and also of masculinity in general So yeah, it’s, I think that’s a good answer and it’s something that hopefully we’ll be continue to bravely be discussed and and yeah so thank you.

Andrew Daniel: Thank you.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. All right well, until next time, guys, if you’re interested in following Andrew, highly recommend his book. A lot of really thought provoking, thought provoking topics. Um, just bolded statements, examples, things that you might be able to relate to your own life and point out and look at like, oh, wow, that is something that I do enjoy. Where’s the best place to get the book and also to check up on you?

Andrew Daniel: Yeah, so the books awaken to your true to your true self when you’re still stuck in how to break through. Everything’s at Andrew Daniel dot org. I’m going to be starting up some YouTube stuff soon, but I’m mostly off social media.

Dean Pohlman: Good for you. Yeah.

Andrew Daniel: Well I, I was on social media for 12 years since the beginning when I was in software. Yeah, it’s like, Oh, this is cool. And I was using it to suffer. I mean, I had 20,000 followers and post stuff that would take 2 hours, right and I’d get 0 to 1 likes. I’m like, This is this is the biggest race of my life.

Andrew Daniel: And so I deleted everything I got off of it. I have some stuff up just to be able to run ads or message people. Yeah, And in the time I spent, I would have spent suffering and talking to people that didn’t care at all about what I said. I went in and wrote this book and then it won an award and became a bestseller.

Andrew Daniel: And it’s changed tens of thousands of people’s lives and said, Oh, that was a much more productive use of my time. Yeah. So everything’s. Andrew Daniel dot org. My book, my third, if there’s any slots available to do an assessment, there’s stuff there. If you’re interested in systematics, there’s a link there to check out what. That whole modality is about and if you want to get in touch, there’s a way to contact me.

Dean Pohlman: Cool.

Dean Pohlman: All right, Andrew, Thanks, guys. Until next time, we’ll be doing another one of these follow up episodes, and I’m gonna be asking more questions and and digging a little deeper here. So hope you enjoyed this episode of the better Man podcast. And Andrew, thanks again for joining me.

Andrew Daniel: Thanks, Steve. Appreciate it.


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