It's all about fear with Jacqueline. And the first time I met Jacqueline was I think a few weeks ago, and that there is this connection and we talk and, and, and so interesting to hear all your stories. And I thought immediately, Secondly, and I need to interview you and we need to talk about everything so we can share that and put that on YouTube and wherever.
So welcomed. This episode of our story, checking, love it. Thanks Perry. It was a pleasure to meet you that day. We got a really big, deep conversation going, and I'm really thrilled to be back again with you. So thank you. Yay. Where are you? Let's start with with that. Where are you? I am in ballet. California, which is outside of San Francisco, maybe about 35 minutes up the road, if there's no traffic, but, uh, not too far away from the city.
Wonderful. And I want to deep dive immediately. Let's talk about fear. Let's talk about your, your angle in life. It's, it's weird. You know, I, I say fear and you get excited, or why is that? Because I believe that fear matters to your success. And here's why it is a driver for growth. When fear shows up in your life.
It's a point at which you have to question whether the stories you're telling yourself a true or whether they're just stories that you think somehow qualifies, whatever it is that you're feeling. So fear for me has been a major part of my own life. And I had to figure out how to get to the other side of it, but understanding that it drives.
It was really a big game changer for me because you know, a lot of people see it as something you run away from or false expectations appearing real, which is the common thing to say about it. But for me, it's all about what are the stories you're telling yourself. And when fear shows up, when you're avoiding something, when you're denying something, when you're moving away from something, that's the point at which you say.
Let's explore. Let's get curious. Okay. Um, I'm curious now I'm so actually this is it's impossible. If, if, if there's fear then of course there is, there is an inner voice saying I don't want to be bold or I don't want to be gray or I don't want to be fat or let's talk about these fears and simple fears.
Right? And then I can think, oh, oh, it's just me saying that I don't want to be bold. Well, it, it is like the ocean on my head, you know, it's low tide. The hairline goes back and back and back. I'm not afraid of that, but let's, let's turn that into fear that I'm afraid to get bold then isn't so I agree with you.
I'm I'm I'm talking to myself, it's my own story that I'm afraid to get bold. But is, is the, the, the, the scared, emotional fear, not taking over everything because I can say to myself, oh, it's just a thought, but then still deep inside. I may, I may feel. That fear. How on earth do we handle that? I, because I think everybody has a lot of fear in it's life, right?
The question fear is normal. I talk about that too. Fear is normal. Being fearless is not the absence of fear, but it's the courage to take that next step. And whether that next step is about changing your thinking, changing your behavior. Uh, re-imagining reframing whatever the word is that you want to use.
There is a point at which you can say, let's take a look at this fear because fear will keep showing up. So for instance, you told me about getting bolt. Yeah. So you might go bald, you look beautiful bald. You're almost both anyway. So what the hell? I know there's a whole lot of it behind you, but you know, Uh, you got a beautiful face.
You know, I often think about my own hair, which is very thin and, and as I get older, it's getting thinner. And then I think to myself, what would happen if I shaved it all off? What would that look like? You know, again, the curiosity piece is what's really speaking to it here. It's like, how can I get curious about what's that all about?
Because that's really the fundamental question right there. What's that? You know, it's like, I'm getting older now. And I, I, I don't worry about it. I mean, I'm 70 years old, but I'm still very strong. I do CrossFit almost every day. I am very healthy and fortunately I've been blessed with great health throughout my life, but here I am at the age of 70 and I noticed that the skin is getting real.
Kind of creepy and looking like it's all going. So, you know, and I'm working out and I'm going, when is that time looking like that? You know, it's like, it's supposed to have muscle and it does, but the skin is falling apart. Can I get fearful about the aging process? Absolutely. I can. It's like who wants to get old and decrepit?
Well, my mind will never allow me to get old and decrepit. I'm going to look old, but definitely not decrepit. So I have to frame that fear up in terms of. This is a normal part of the progression of life. So are you, are you afraid of death? No. No. That's a strong, no. No. Why is that? Because I see that it's just, you know, it's another transition in life.
You go from life to death, you feel fulfilled, whatever the lifespan is. And so it goes, but meanwhile, are you taking advantage every single day, which I know you are. And I certainly am a being here now. Because it's the old buildings thing of, you know, death is simple. Another transformation I life and my work is all about transformation.
Why should I fear death? In fact, I say to people, the greatest fear is always about death itself, but you're never finished with anything until you're in the pine box going out the door. So when that pine box is going out the door, you ain't thinking about it anymore. You're you're not thinking of anything at that point in time.
Maybe you check. We always say that people are afraid of deaths, that the fear of death is always there, but maybe it's the opposite. Maybe people are afraid to live. Maybe there's a fear of. Yes, I will a hundred percent agree with you on that one. I heard a quote many years ago that that people are born and they die somewhere around the age of 27 or 30, because they're not living the life that they want to live.
How many people live according to other people's. But patients, how many people live according to how they're supposed to live, which is that linear way of doing things, which you and I have completely abandoned in our life. You know, it's just, we do certain things in a linear fashion because you have to, but our thinking is definitely not along that linear track.
Um, and so I think. People are afraid of living really living true to who they are. And that's, my job is to help you highlight who are you? Where do you want to go? And let's look at what's getting in the way, cause that's really the three fundamentals of all coaching practice. And that's what my work is all about.
Who are you? Where do you want to go? And what is it that's getting in a way, because there's a mid part is the critical part. Why do you think. I want to, I want to magnify the fear of living because I find that fascinating. And because it's there, it's everywhere and it's, and we're stuck. Someone said to me, we're stuck in the matrix.
Like the movie, you know, everything is organized. Everything is in, in linear paths and, and that's all nice. And people. Seen me before they think, oh, there is a, there, is he again talking about the linear world, but if, if you would run into someone that you have, that you haven't seen for 20 years and you see that person now in the age of, let's say 50, and that person is clearly in fear of life.
Trying to organize everything and it's not going accordingly, but it's, it's never their own fault. It's always because of the things that are happening around them. And then I have two questions. What would you say, but, and what do you feel? I think I want to know first, what do you feel? Because you're so much into this, you've written a book, you get training and coaching around this.
I think you're doing an amazing job. So I'm, I'm curious if you're willing to share with us, how do you feel when you run into someone who's clearly afraid of life? What happens with you when you see that? I think the first impulse was it said that people have wasted their days, months, years, um, in trying to control life now.
I know a little bit about control. I was a big controller for a long time, you know, and control is really about how can I keep hold of the circumstances that surround me, that piece of what you just said also is there's a victim mentality. If you want to blame other people, you want to blame circumstances.
You want to sit in judgment of whether people are doing right wrong or indifferent. Then you're missing a big piece of, of who you are. So the sadness that comes up for me is wouldn't you like to learn how to do this differently? Now, if I'm talking to a 50 year old Justin passing who's in that fixed mindset, their answer might well be no, I don't want to go there because they're afraid of what they find out.
They're afraid that maybe what they think about themselves as a worthless human being, and that comes up a lot don't amount to much. It's true, but the miracle of it is when you actually examine it, just like a doctor, you're going to examine the symptoms of what's going on. You can then start to see that there are other opportunities, other possibilities that, that you don't have to be in that frame of mind, but it takes courage to want to look yourself in the mirror.
And a lot of people don't want that. Why is it that less than 10% of the world is truly self-aware. And the reason for that isn't, there's not a lot of research done on this, so I'm not just talking out of smoke here.
That's a good one. So the reason for that of course, is people are afraid to look at themselves. But, you know, my programs are all about looking at yourself. I talk about doing deep Dutch. You mentioned the word deep time when we started, I'm all about asking hard questions. Questions are uncomfortable and they're uncomfortable for a good reason because we must get comfortable being uncomfortable in order to change.
And a lot of people aren't willing to build their no.
And then. Really a waste because if we run into someone who would say immediately yes. But yes. And yeah, because, you know, but I'm, I'm very sick, but you know, I'm in an, in a horrible condition and. Whatever it's so difficult when that happens to shake someone a little bit like your rights, you know, this is, these are the conditions, but you're creating the story here and it's, and I'm not a trainer.
So I don't know how to do that. I get accused of being too optimistic, too positive. Yeah. But for you, it's always easy. No, it's not. It's just a way I want to see it. What time in your life, what happens in your life that you were able to flip the switch and think. Wait a second. I'm going to do it differently when something happens to me that I don't like, or when I get afraid for something, I, I stop.
I think about it. I look at myself in the mirror and I change my thinking because that's what I'm guessing that happens with you. Is, is there a moment in time in your life that something happened that you thought, or was it just. You know, a logical pathway of life or it's something have been, or what's the story there?
I was pretty, I was pretty self destructive in the early years of my life. Up until I was about 30, 33, 34. And then I got pregnant for the third time. The first child that gave up for adoption. The second child I left with his father when he was three and a half, I moved from London to San Francisco. And eventually I'm pregnant for the third time.
And at that moment, as I'm sitting there and I was in therapy at the time, and God knows I did enough therapy, 10 years therapy, but I'm sitting with a therapist and it's clear as a bell in my life. And I look at her and I pregnant and she's I say, this child will leave me before I leave. And that meant that she was going to go to college.
She would live her lifespan with me because I'd already left two children behind. And I had to really examine that. And I'm the first child when I gave her up was very hard. I was supposed to give her up as adopt the birth for adoption, but I couldn't. And I had it for three months before I finally had an incident where I went.
This clearly is going to be very destructive. I mean, that was really killer one night, literally rageful. And I looked at that moment and I went, whoa, you need to give this child away. You do not want to bring her into the same story that you were raised in. Um, so that was an opening right there. And when I left my son with his father, it was because I knew, I didn't know who the fuck I was, and I didn't know.
What I was capable of doing, but I also knew that I didn't want to drag this kid with me second story to do whatever it was I was going to do. And there I arrive in San Francisco with a backpack and, you know, 800 bucks in my pocket. And not knowing anybody and having to go figure it out as I went along and then I ran into my husband three months later and I've been with him for 42 years and talk about roller coaster rides.
We got a lot of story on that one too. However, when I get pregnant for the. Yeah. Yeah, we, we, we've got a lot of story here
is that you asked, but that moment of turning and that was a very big moment or turning for me, it was like, yes. And now I've gone on to have two more children beyond her one step daughter who arrived from Thailand to complete streets. God did I have to work that one out? And then I had a last child, but at the age of 39.
So I've, I have been mother and now the child left behind at three and a half. He and I are closer than ever. We talk every weekend, he's in England. So it, you know, so you're going too fast for me. So your first child that you gave up for adoption? Yes, you're in contact with him now. And the first one I gave up for adoption is gone that one.
Yeah. Okay. And then the third, fourth and fifth ones, they live in Los Angeles and California. So, um, we're in reasonable contact regularly, but the point being is my children have been the catalyst for my look in the mirror and see what your bullshit is because it needs to change. And that was it. That was it.
And, you know, we talked about having our backs against the wall before you're willing to change. And that's true for a lot of people being willing to change, which is part of my program too. How are you willing to change? That becomes that daily exercise of pay attention, pay attention to your thinking, pay attention to your behaviors, pay attention to your relationships with other people, because it's not all about them.
Most of us have been. Yeah,
what happens if you don't do that? What would have happened with you? If you would have not been able to look at things differently and say to yourself, okay, this is, this is gonna change. You know, this is, um, yeah, I think I would have, um, participated in destroying other people's lives. The inherit, the dysfunctional behavior.
Yeah, I probably would've killed myself at some point, either drugs or alcohol. Um, I was in AA for five years before I realized it wasn't about the drinking. It was about the thinking when I realized it was about the thinking I thought, oh, okay, I can have a glass of wine again. Terrific moderation and everything.
The glass of wine. Now I have more than one if I want, but I don't have a problem with it. Put it that way. Yeah. So, you know, it's, it's those moments and there are cumulative. Do you think, do you think it's, it's possible? This is an open door, of course, but it's, it's still interesting to talk about it. So my question was, is it possible to change it?
Is it possible to reach out to you and say, okay, I've had, I want to do things differently. Of course. Everybody's different. Still, you have so much experience with so many people that you've seen changing. And
what does it take to change choice? Yeah. Make a choice. And even when people tell you, I CA you know, I don't have a choice. Well, you just made a choice. You made a decision on that. So it always comes down to, what do you choose to do about it? If you choose to do nothing, then that's fine. And to your point, many people do go through their lives, just going along to get along.
So rock the boat. Don't make me think too hard. What do you think we have so much just function in the world. You know, it's a big deal because a lot of people are willing to take the time to analyze, to get, get curious about why do I do the things I do? Why do I think the things that I do it's simply about it is what it is.
And I do anything about it and you hear that over and over and over again. And my argument is always, oh yes, you can provided. You're willing to make different choices. And there's the rub. So we should inspire people to get more curious, because I feel when I, when I listened to you that it's it's choice, but it's also to curiosity in yourself that if you're no longer curious in yourself, can I do this or am I able to change things then you're never going to change.
So, if you're not curious anymore about any other option, any other life, any other possibility, then it stays as it stays. And then if you are afraid of living, that's what it is. Yeah. Yeah. And here's the thing about curiosity. Children are four years old, asked 365 questions a day. I just throw a number out there, but they ask lots of questions.
Why, why, why? I mean, you've had young children. There are days when the why questions. Yeah, answers just because, cause you can't be bothered figuring it out any longer, but that questioning becomes a big deal. And that's some, it's a piece of all my work is very deep questions as questions and all my books as questions and all my programs.
But the point being is that we must be willing to be curious enough to ask that question and adults lose their curiosity in school because you're expected to continue. I think you expect it to keep your hand down. Don't keep asking why, because you know, that's, that's, that's not where we're going here.
I have information for you just shut up and take it, which is why the educational system is so fucked up. Frankly. You're not allowing for that. Non-linear thinking of let's explore. Let's see where this can go. And that's a big piece of, of you and I, we we've done this. When you started the octopus movement, you were like, I got a great idea here, but I don't know how well this is going to go, but I'm going to check it out and I'm going to stay open.
I'm going to stay curious and I'm going to try to stay up on impingement until I know where this is going to land. That's really hard for a lot of people because easily go to judgment. They don't go to curiosity. I'm curious. You're how old are you again? 70, 70, only 70. How old, how curious are your friends of 70?
Is how curious is your age? Not as curious as me. No, but no, really? So how do they see you? So, so how does your friends look at you then? Yeah, they looked at me as a little anomaly, frankly. You're seven retired you're, you know, don't, you have enough money in the bank to go traveling the world and do what you want to go.
And I'm like, eh, no. I already did that. I did that my forties and fifties, I'm here in my seventies now just trying to make a living. So, you know, it's, it's a, it's a, uh, a shift in the paradigm of where you're supposed to be at this point in your life. And yet for me, because I'm so passionate about what I do.
And you can definitely tell that. I'm looking at the, at least the next 10 or 15 years, you know, 18 85 90. And I'm still doing this conversation. It's like your, your friend, yo YOKA who's in her eighties. You know, her zest for life has never demanded. She's she's still there and going and yeah. And what do you think of that?
Well, let me give you my advice because I've had decades of experience, you know, so I mean, the wisdom pieces are really interesting playing at my stage applied to because after all these decades and all the experiences I've had, yeah. I've got a thing or two to say about how human nature runs. I've been watching it a lot for seven decades.
Yeah. No one can tell you, oh, it's easy for you to say. That's it possible, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it's not just about the saying for me, it's about everything I teach. Everything I talk about is because I have been there done that and I know what the stuff looks and feels. And it is damn difficult. And even today, I mean, you know, God bless my husband.
He's the complete opposite of me. I'm an optimist. I always believe in the better tomorrow. And he's the pessimist he's lying there. Well, we'll see, you know, um, I've lived with that for 42 years.
Um, relationship advisor, marriage advice. I think you should do that as well because there's a lot of experiences as well, opposites attract, but look at us in the octopus movement, all nonlinear, old, crazy, everything is possible. We love solving problems, so we're not afraid to have problems, bring it on.
We find it all interesting, but then our partners often the opposite of ourselves. One security and make sure it ever everything is stable and it's, it's a love, hate relationship we have maybe with our partners. Right. There's certainly, you know, there are moments of friction, shall we say? Um, trying to get some alignment, but I do find that the older we get.
We're actually getting a little bit closer to the alignment stage. So, you know, but God knows it's taken enough time, but again, he's, we've both lived non-linear lives, you know, for, for a lot of reasons. And, uh, It's been an unorthodox life that most people look at, who've gone through their professions, had their careers, you know, Aaron, their retirement, blah, blah, blah.
And that's most of the people around me, frankly. Uh, so, you know, they kind of look at us and we are in a bit of an enigma. They quite figure this out, but they're not curious enough to ask cause it's being nosy.
So they just accept it. It is what it is. I'm writing down. Are you curious enough? And I want to, I want to add that to the title of this conversation, this interview. Are you curious enough? And it's all about fear, but the question before fear is, are you curious enough? And I saw it recently. I saw an article in the BBC somewhere.
There was this rock climber. He created a video or it wasn't YouTube. I don't remember. So he was hanging in. I'm afraid of Heights. That's my only fear. I don't have a lot of fears in my life. Heights is for me. Probably in my previous life, something happens. That's why you look at the Netherlands. You don't have to worry about it.
You know what? My favorite country in the world is where I would love to live in the mountains. I find it scary as hell, but I love it. It's so beautiful, but I'm afraid of Heights anyway. And I saw that picture of that rock climber, and he's like, I got knows how high he is without any ropes without anything.
And he talks about how he controlled and mastered his own fear and that he enjoys his own fear. And then you see a picture of him hanging there. My thoughts and, and, and sweats is immediately in my armpits and everywhere else. Just looking at the picture seriously. Even I can feel it now. And the only thought I can have is if you're hanging there, the only thing I could think about is I will die because I will fall.
Right. And, and he describes that he has the same thought of course, but he mastered it into. Something really nice. And the, a different quote on this fear is the sharp edge of excitement. Yeah. I think about that for a moment. Maybe we should use that one. Fear is the edge of excitement, sharp edge, edge of excitement, excite mints.
The first time that I heard that I thought, oh, is that why I've been living on a knife edge all my life. That makes sense. Let's let's let's use that one. I want to thank you so much. I hope we've inspired a lot of people to get curious. That's that's first beautiful step. Be curious about yourself. Go to the mirror.
Now, look at yourself and think how curious am I? That's a cool one. I like that. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. We will share all the information about you and your bio and all the links and your website underneath the video or in Nepal cast or whatever. Um, please do a, have a look of people and, and face your fear.
Be curious, go, go to the edges. It makes life so much more interesting and it's so short right before, you know it you're 70. And before you know it, the pine box is going out the door. Exactly. Thank you so much. I love it. Thank you. Thank you so much. Bye-bye.