Daniel Maté: The Art of Self-Discovery, an Inspiring Story of Overcoming the Challenges of a Strong Parental Influence #28


Are you struggling to find your true identity and purpose while living in the shadow of a powerful parental figure (or overbearing society that constantly positions itself as the know-it-all parent)?

Welcome to We Are Already Free, the podcast that sparks your inner guide to break free from internal and external limitations. I’m Nathan Maingard, your host, bringing you authentic conversations with edge-walkers who defy societal norms simply by living their rooted truth. Together, let’s shake off limiting beliefs and embrace the freedom within, empowering you to transform your life and deeply connect with yourself and the world. Let the transformation begin!

In this must-listen episode of the We Are Already Free podcast, I dive deep with Daniel Maté:

Daniel Maté is a Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based author, composer-lyricist, podcaster, and self-described “mental chiropractor”. With his father Dr. Gabor Maté he co-authored the NYT Bestselling book The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture. His theatre songwriting has received the prestigious Edward Kleban Prize, an ASCAP Cole Porter Award, and the Jonathan Larson Grant. He co-hosts the lyric appreciation podcast “LET’S GET LYRICAL with Carice and Daniel”, along with Carice van Houten of Game of Thrones fame. His popular mental chiropractic service “Take A Walk With Daniel” helps people all over the world get unstuck by means of a quick and potent re-alignment of perspective while walking.

In this raw and intimate conversation, Daniel shares his journey of self-discovery, the impact of having a prominent father, and how he has navigated the complexities of their relationship, the challenges of finding personal sovereignty, and healing in the face of expectations and societal pressures.

Some of the topics we cover are:

  1. Breaking Free from the Shadow of a Powerful Parent
  2. The Power of Vulnerability: How Authentic Connections Lead to Personal Growth
  3. The Art of Mental Chiropractic: Transforming Lives with a Change in Perspective
  4. The Making of “The Myth of Normal”: How Daniel and Gabor Maté Tackled Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture
  5. Listen to the end to hear the story of how an unexpected imprisonment supported Daniel’s journey towards finding freedom in the most challenging circumstances.

If you’ve ever felt the weight of expectations from a strong parent figure (or society), or struggled to break free from the shadows to claim your own identity, this episode is for you. Tune in now and embark on a journey of self-discovery, healing, and liberation with Daniel Maté.

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Thank you for being here, see you next week!


Nathan Maingard — 00:06 :

Are you struggling to find your true identity and purpose while living in the shadow of a powerful parental figure or overbearing society that constantly positions itself as the know-it-all parent? Welcome to we are already free, the podcast that sparks your inner guide to break free from internal and external limitations. I'm Nathan Maingard, your host bringing you authentic conversations with. Edge Walkers who defy societal norms simply by living their rooted truth together. Let's shake off limiting beliefs and embrace the freedom within, empowering you to transform your life and deeply connect with yourself and the world. Let the transformation begin. In this must listen episode of the We are already free podcast, I dive deep with daniel Marte is a Vancouver born, Brooklyn based author, composer, lyricist, podcaster, and self-described Mental chiropractor with his father, Doctor Gabor Marte, he co-authored the New York Times best selling book The Myth of normal trauma, illness and healing in a toxic culture. His theatre songwriting has received the prestigious Edward Kleban Prize, an ASCAP Kolporter award, and the Jonathan Larson Grant. He Co hosts the Lyric Appreciation Podcast let's get lyrical with Karise and Daniel, along with Carice van Houten of Game of Thrones fame, his popular mental chiropractic. Service take a walk with Daniel helps people all over the world get unstuck by means of a quick and potent realignment of perspective while walking. In this raw and intimate conversation, Daniel shares his journey of self discovery, the impact of having a prominent father and how he has navigated the complexities of their relationship, as well as the challenges of finding personal sovereignty and healing in the face of expectations and societal pressures. Some of the topics we cover are breaking free from the shadow. From a powerful parent, the power of vulnerability, how authentic connections lead to personal growth, the art of mental chiropractic, transforming lives with a change in perspective, the making of the myth of normal. How Daniel and Gabor Marte tackled trauma, illness and healing in a toxic culture. And do listen to the end to hear the story of how an unexpected imprisonment supported Daniels journey towards finding freedom in the most challenging of circumstances if you've ever felt the weight of expectations from a strong parent. Like a or society or you've struggled to break free from the shadows to claim your own identity, this episode is for you embark on a journey of self discovery, healing and liberation with Daniel Marte. As you know, doing a podcast takes so many hours of work a week, and I've been doing this as my love for you, for the world, for this message. And I'm also really seeking ways that I can make sure that it supports me and my family financially. So I've accepted my first ever sponsor ad sponsor, and it's one I really feel very passionate about because they are literally helping me make this podcast. So I really want to give a big shout out to my sponsor for this episode, my first ever sponsor on an episode of a podcast. To Zen Costa, the ultimate web-based podcasting solution, I've saved literally countless hours since I moved on to their platform. If you're thinking about starting a podcast or already have a podcast but are struggling with the time and technicalities of getting good recordings, I recommend Zen Costa. Zen Costa's modern podcasting stack allows you to do everything you need for your podcast, from record to publish, all in one place. I particularly love how it allows me to record in the best quality even though the Internet connection in my off grid. Solar powered studio is not the most stable. It records tracks locally on my computer and then uploads them for maximum backup and safety. If you've ever lost a recording, you know how much that sucks. So thank you to Zen Caster for fixing that problem for me. Their automatic post production also saves me hours of work and makes me and the guests sound really amazing. Go to Zen caster that's just zeddy NCA S T R dot com slash pricing and use my code. We are. Already free and you'll get 30 % off your first three months of Zencastr professional. I want you to have the same easy experience as I do for all my podcasting and content needs with zencastr. It's time to Share your story, and if you want to help this podcast eventually be ad free. You can find a link to Patreon in the show notes, along with links to Daniel and many of the things we discuss in this episode, all available at already free dot me Slash 28 That's just the numbers 2-8-1 last personal note before we begin. This is a deeply vulnerable podcast episode. Please honor the intense chin with which it is shed. We both share deeply personal, challenging and tender parts of ourselves and our family dynamics. Thank you for honouring this. And I thank my family and Daniel's family and all of us who are on this path of regeneration, of healing, of holistic relating. So thank you so much. And now unto this podcast, this community supported episode with Daniel Marte. And thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate your time and you being willing and available to do this. You've actually been on my friend Josh Snyman's podcast already.

Daniel Matè — 05:26 :

He might have been the first podcast I did, or one of the first two podcasts I did when the book came out and back. And literally those were my first. Podcast appearances, really ever because I'd never been an author before. I'd never really had any sort of reason for people to invite me. That's not true. I've been on a podcast of a friend of mine who talks about musical theater writing and musical theater history, and I write musical. So I came when Stephen Sondheim died, I went on and did an interview about that. But as far as this slew of media appearances in the podcast space, Josh was when I first, and he was it was really great to just chat with him. He was just, it was a great. Conversation, and I was happy to see that people seemed to respond to it lovely i'm so glad he's one of my. He's about to become a coaching client of mine, which I'm actually doing a session with him tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that. So I'm gonna jump like straight into the deep end here because I think the original, the prompting for me to reach out to you was seeing a post about your dad. And I don't remember the exact content, but it struck a chord with me. So my dad is Mach mangod. He's considered one of the top handmade luthiers in the world. He's a phenomenal master guitar maker. He's been a musician his whole life. His mother was a musician. He he's a badass dude. There you go. I see the guitars.

Daniel Matè — 06:50 :

You want to trade dads for a couple of weeks.

Nathan Maingard — 06:53 :

That could actually be super interesting and fun. I mean, i i'm glad. Swap the comedy. This is via a podcast we could do together. Yeah he your pops is definitely someone i'm really grateful for the work that he's done and what I've seen of him in the world. And this is kind of what I wanted to dive into with you because so growing up my dad was a very big presence. Like he's a big he's a he's a big. I want to say a big ego, and I don't mean that in a bad way, but he has a big personality. He walks into a space and he takes over the space and he he's a Leo, if that's a thing to you or anyone listening, but he so I very much felt overshadowed by him. I just and he's super good at so many things, like he's the most skilled with his hands. Person I think I've ever met. He just seemed, especially when I was a kid, hero worshipping. He just seemed to have to know everything and have everything and I never felt like I lived up to that. So I think I felt a resonance around some of the things you shared around having like a big dad. And so I'm just curious to hear whatever comes up for you to share about what it's what your journey has been like with a father that's very much in the public. In many ways. And then how have you formed your own identity around that and how has that, how have you shifted that dynamic over the years and where is that at now? I know that's quite a lot of questions in one, but wherever you want to go.

Daniel Matè — 08:15 :

With that, yeah, I mean, that's a huge constellation of topics well. So, yeah, I mean there's two components to having. You know a dad who has a big shadow. Actually three, I would say. Just to be take the word shadow there is his public persona, like the fact that his reputation precedes him, that people know who he is, so people have an out there outside the walls of our home growing up. He has his name rings out yeah so there's a listening of him, you could say in the world, an expectation of who he is and. Now keep in mind, my father was not famous when I was a kid. He was sort of notorious in the Jewish community because he was a Jew who spoke out against Israel's crimes against Palestinians. So he was a pariah in that sense, and I admired and I would say worshipped him for his steadfastness there, although I was also afraid of the rage with which he. Conducted as activism. I mean there was kind of a burning seething but it was a righteous anger. I mean, i but there was something of the energy of it that reminded me of the other aspect of his shadow. But I'll get into that. But so, you know, you would say, you know, growing up in the shadow of my father could mean. In the shadow of other people's expectations of him are the shadow of his public image, right? Then there's the fact that. And truly, he's become a celebrity in my adulthood, really only in the last 15 years or so. I mean, he was a best selling author in Canada pretty much from the beginning. He started writing 25 years ago, but even then I was already in my twenties you know, and. You know, until this book, he wasn't going on Rogan. He wasn't doing all these enormous podcasts so. The Internet. The aughts, not the odds. The 2000 tens were really the time in which so the world found out who he was. But that said, he was still well known in Vancouver as being a, you know, a doctor and an advocate for. The marginalized and things like that. So sure, I did grow up with someone definitely who whose name had meaning outside of our walls. Then there's the aspect of just him casting a big shadow, just as dad like. What you're saying, just big personality takes up a big space. I'm small, he's big, I'm weak, he's strong. He knows how to do things. I don't know how to do things. This is the child's position, right? That's just those are the facts of the matter. That's just comes with the territory. Now that can have a different emotional colors to it. That can be a joyful thing if the father is present and there and focused on bringing the child along. It can be kind of an intimidating thing if the father is a stern taskmaster, but maybe there's still a sense of tutelage and love that's transmitted like wanting that, you know? But maybe it's tough love, whatever. It can also be very alienating because if the child feels disconnected from the father. Then that huge personality is just this presence in the home. But it's not. For me, it's not connected to me, I don't. Really get to bask in it, you know, and it's and it and it's it feels it has the tinge of rejection to it because the child needs connection to the father. I'm reading a really great novel right now by my favorite American novelist, Russell Banks, who passed away earlier this month and. It's called cloud spitter. Excuse me, cloud splitter. And it's about John Brown, the American abolitionist. Sort of mercenary white man who attacked slave owners and tried to free black slaves. And he was a real fanatic. He was a real religious fanatic, but the son is and. Fanatic for justice, you know, and equality. But he believed he was on a mission from God and the book is narrated by his son, Owen. wow and what's remarkable so far in the book is just the relationship between the father and son. And here's a father. Who cast a big shadow in both of those ways, publicly and especially after all the events take place and he was hanged and all this and the sun was swept along and became part of his. Anti slave rebellion movement. He worked alongside his father, but the father also cast a big shadow as the authority figure. But what's lovely is it depicts the affection of that and the. My dad often says if you want to instill discipline in your children, make them your disciples. And I like that play on words because it turns out that's where the word discipline comes from. So ideally there would be that if there's gonna be authority, which there should be, right? Or there could be in the archetypal father son relationship, it would be done with love, with tenderness, with intention. Because, you know, a leader cares for their disciples. They don't abuse their disciples, they don't minimize their disciples. They they're trying to actually empower them to continue on. Like what was Jesus doing with his disciples? He had a very expressed intention. And if he's gonna break their hearts, he's gonna break their hearts to build them up again and to and to get them ready to carry on when he's gone, you know? So I think ideally that's what the father figure would do. So there's that kind of shadow growing up in the loving, nurturing shadow. And then there's the yongyan meaning of the word shadow, which is we grow up. In the presence of our father's darkness in the shadow. That the parts of him that he doesn't tend to himself cast. In the shadow of his rages, in the shadow of his depressions and the shadow of his. For some fathers, you know, or for some sons, they grew up in the shadow of their fathers, indulgences and peccadillos and inabilities to control himself. Or maybe they grow up in the shadow of the wreckage he's left behind or his abuse, you know? So I'd say off the top of my head, those are the three valences, I would say of the word shadow. I haven't answered your question about me, but I just kind of wanted to lay out that groundwork for myself so I could map myself onto each one. When it comes to the second one, in terms of just the loving shadow of an like the protective shadow, like the shadow of, you know, sitting beneath a tall sturdy oak tree, you know, I think that's the kind that all Suns would like to be. In until we're ready to step out into the sun ourselves, so to speak into the sun. Hamlet, as he said, I am too much in the sun, you know, double meaning on that word. I remember that from high school. Shakespeare, maybe college. There was some of that. There wasn't enough of it growing up. It was intermittent because my father could be a very loving presence when we were playing soccer or when we were raking leaves, or when we were going for hikes. Doing physical things outside. On the other hand, he could be. Not attuned and not tuned in to who I was and absent and trying to impose activities on me that I didn't want to do and not being attuned to my sensitivity. And then sometimes mocking me for my sensitivity. And he thought he was just being playful and joking, but just not knowing the difference between when a child is genuinely with you emotionally and when the child is starting to dissociate or retreat within themselves out of defence and violating that boundary. Because a true. Authority figure in the good sense. Will know where the boundary is. And we'll know that to bring your disciple along. You gotta respect where they're at. And that's what the ideal father would do. And my father, respecting boundaries has never been one of his strong suits. As a person, and certainly not as a father, and that's partly an ADHD trait that's partly due to his own. I mean, it's entirely due to his own. Upbringing and conditioning and probably his brain development, if you believe his work. And I, you know, I have no reason not to so. In that respect, there wasn't enough of a protective shadow. In the sense of his public image, well, no. Let me go to the third one first, actually, because these are the ones that are closest to home and that I think they influence the way. A child is going to experience the public image. So the third one in terms of the Union shutter, that was the shadow that was most. Reliable, you could say. I always knew that my dad's dark side was gonna come back. And that it would dominate. When it took over, it completely dominated. Like a cloud system that just completely takes over a sunny day and it could blow in from any direction on any kind of wind at anytime. Took the form of rages, took the form of sullen silences. Took the form of. Workaholic absences took the form of rape, you know, just protracted screaming fights with my mother in Plainview of us or while we were in bed. Or in a restaurant, absolutely no inhibition. No social or no capacity to say something is more important to me? Then offloading my feelings right now. So when I'm in a mood, when I'm in a feeling that is licensed to just no capacity, actually it's just a lack of competence. Emotional competence I would say. And both my parents had it, although my mom was much more conscious than hey, there are children here, but because she was in a really fused relationship with my father for many years. Something they're still working through, but are much better at now. She could do very little to protect us, and she's often said, and she said it publicly, that she wishes if she had known herself better, if she'd believed in herself more, if she'd been more attuned to what we needed, she would have left him when we were kids. And that would have been. At the time, it would have been for the best. I'm glad they're together now. They're great for each other now. But you know, there was a time when it was just the returns had diminished on having two parents who lived together. So my father's I was often unprotected from my father's dark side, that aspect of his shadow. And once it took the form of him hitting me in front of the entire family and he's told this story many times, I have now revoked his license to tell it anymore. It's my story to tell. I told him on a podcast last week that I'm revoking your license to talk about my trauma publicly. You can talk about your parenting, but my the incidents that happened, those things happened to me. So thank you very much. I'm taking them back. And he respected that. It was good so you know, that level of terror. I mean, what it what is terrorism? Except, you know, striking fear into the hearts of people that anything could happen to you at anytime, so you better obey. So that was a fact. That was a funk that was a feature of my early life. Along with the beautiful. You know, loving, playful father we had wrestle with him is great. There was so many great times. But the fact that I couldn't count on them to insulate me from the other stuff meant that they were tenuous, and I couldn't fully trust them, so I couldn't fully trust him, so I couldn't fully trust myself. It always just is the case that Jungian shadow, that dark side, unless it's really managed and accounted for and really atoned for. When it's when it takes over, when there, if there's real restitution, if the father is able to say I really lost it there. That's not who I want to be to you. That's not your fault. But that wouldn't happen. What would happen is he'd blow up, he'd lose it, and then he'd come back to me and tell me how much he loved me. Well, that's actually what abusers do. That's what narcissists do. I'm not accusing them of being either of those things. It's a spectrum. And it also indicates a lack of maturity. And a lack of awareness. Of your impact on other people and what other people need, especially children. So I didn't get that repair. Which meant that then the good times were still built on an even shakier foundation. Which leads me to the first one. I'm giving you a very detailed answer here. I've never really framed any of this way, so I appreciate the question because I always like getting to wonder about things in new ways and phrase things differently. This will be useful to write about in our book that we're writing about adult parent child relationships, which is our next book. His public image? Well, for me, the Emperor has never had any clothes. So his public persona has always made me very uncomfortable. Both on the level of, kind of. A kind of cynicism about it. Now, these days, you know what? I actually see the impact he's making and has made in the world. I believe people when they tell me that he's saved their life or he saved their children from all kinds of, you know. Unwitting, trauma downloads or that he's changed their like millions of people, really. I get that. And the more his work gets out there, this documentary about him, the wisdom of trauma, it's powerful stuff. And he has a gift and he's giving it to the world, and that is beautiful. And I admire that. I don't worship it anymore. I admire it. It's a good thing to do with one's life, especially when one is born during the Holocaust, you know? It's admirable, it's heroic, good for him, it really is good for him and it's good for the world. When I get a little prickly sometimes is when people tell me I would love to have him for a father. You're so lucky. Well, on one level I completely get that there are qualities he has at least. Well, no, he does. But what they're really saying is I would love to have his public persona for a father right because.

Daniel Matè — 22:30 :

There is but there that, but that doesn't exist for any famous person. So I would, but basically what they're saying is I would love to have my projection of him for a father. And I know from first hand experience that that's impossible. That's not a thing. Because you have to have a father in the private space. And it's a very different thing to be a father than it is to be a healer out there in the world. And to deliver true things and whatever. And you look at, you know, Deepak Chopra's son made a scathing documentary about his father on tour, Alice Miller, the Swiss psychiatrist who wrote the drama of the fucking gifted child. I added the expletive there, it's not in the title. Her son has written about the terrible abuse he suffered or whatever that I don't. I haven't read it, but really again, kind of exposed. So it's a universal thing. It's not a failing of my dad's persona, particular failing, but it is a real dynamic that is inescapable for me, so I can't really metabolize. Those I don't. I can't take seriously those things and the things that bug me the most. But of course it also comes with the territory that I've signed up for, and it's part of my job. Being his collaborator, especially on the subject of parent and adult child relationships, is that people are going to make me wrong for the ways in which I cope and sometimes stand up to him. Sometimes in public, which is a part of our work, it's kind of showing the dynamic, you know, we let it all hang out. Now, we're not trying to make a big show of our of our friction, but there used to be a time when we started doing this where we couldn't help it. We didn't have the capacity again. Like I said, he didn't that my parents didn't have the competence to hide it well. We did our best, but some of it would spill out on stage and then we would make it part of the workshop. We'd do our best, but when people see me bristling, when people see me interrupting him when people see me. Clapping back at him. What they're seeing if they're projecting from a place of guilt towards their parents or resentment towards their children, they're gonna project and see an ungrateful, spoiled child. A puerile. 47 year old man or however old I was at the time. Who doesn't appreciate his world famous world saving? Save your father now others. We'll take a look and they will see the microaggressions to use a completely at this point banal term, but it means something to some people and I can get what it means just from my own. Experience, because these are subtle things that other people wouldn't see, but some people who have the eyes to see them. Watch YouTube and you see in the comments. I had to turn it off. I didn't realize gobble was such an asshole. Or could be. I didn't realize he was so self absorbed. I really felt for Daniel. I saw that. I don't think other people saw that. Well, about a third of the people see it and a third of the people only see my more macro aggressions because I'm just, I. It's not subtle. I have to be. I've always had to be extra demonstrative to get through to him. So it's just the dynamic. And then the other third or most of them are just like I see you both, you're both lovable. This is such a contribution. And then a tiny portion or like fuck both these guys so. One of my ways of defending myself as a child, and it's I'm trying to grow out of it or redeploy it into a much healthier kind of communication and it's still a challenge, is pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. Fuck you. I won't do what you tell me. Fuck you don't even do what you tell me. Like the hypocrisy. The emptiness of it and pleading my case. And all of that and the fact. That sometimes he believes his own hype. That he gets high on his own supply when he comes home from a speaking tour and he's gotten standing ovations and whatever else. Well, historic, you know, that gets me a little spicy and there's a part of me that wants to rest him down to Earth. And I have compassion for that part of me and. Growing up means. Ok, well what's my real intention? And how effective is my current approach? So I just gave you I think like a 20 minute answer. But that's what you get for asking me such a big question. That was that was utterly on me. Daniel thank you so much for diving so deep and really breaking it down into such beautiful clarifications. I really appreciate it. I feel such a deep resonance with so much of what you said around i just I'll respond to this last piece. Obviously we could go in infinite directions with such a rich kind of tapestry of history and information and what comes up for me is the sense of that in my adult life. So Isaac? Young person, my parents started getting divorced and I say that when I was about 10 and it went on and off for eight years and it was, you know, pretty much as bad as it gets in terms of like the kids being pawns in a battle and.

Daniel Matè — 27:37 :

Especially on and off jesus Mate,

Nathan Maingard — 27:40 :

It was it was rough and throughout it, I really chose my dad because in many ways he was the stable and my mum left and actually disappeared at one point for nine months. And there was a whole story around that. And I he was the rock, the stability and i just couldn't. Like, I remember hearing so often when adults would talk about me around me, which people seem to think is cool to do around kids. But like I remember hearing that and it was weird. I was like they were talking about me and I was right there anyway. And one of the things that would commonly says, well, Nathan is such a good kid like. So well behaved. He's so happy. He's so joyful. He's always just like, so positive. And I remember this little feeling inside me of like a little part of me felt, OK, I guess I gotta keep that part down. Like just keep making it smaller. And my mom.

Daniel Matè — 28:26 :

's gonna have he's going to have such a wonderful depression when he gets older. I can't wait to see what mental illness he develops or what autoimmune condition. Oh, it's gonna be great.

Nathan Maingard — 28:37 :

Dude, it's literally you hit the nail on the head. I mean, it's that has been a part of my story depression and.

Daniel Matè — 28:44 :

Anyway, so that happens when you depress things right exactly. No, I checked out man. I fully checked out. And I'm still, I think when I heard you say like when you expressed yourself working on the shifting this pattern or at least coming into more sort of whole relationship with this pattern. The resonance there for me is checking out. I when things become overwhelming for me, I just automatically go into check out which is get on my phone or read a book, read fantasy or just do something where I just don't have to think about it. And don't have to feel about it, really, obviously. And so, but anyway, what happened was that in my adulthood, in my sort of late twenties early thirties, where I started getting so angry with my dad, when I was starting to do this work on myself, and he was such a different person by that stage. He'd done massive work on himself, years of therapy, men's work, all the things. So meditation and all the wonderful things. And so now I was angry bastard he preempted your anger. Now you can't even be angry with him anymore. I can totally relate to that right that was the feeling of like, I'm angry with someone who doesn't exist anymore and yet, and yet there it was, this prickliness. I actually was called Prickly by a lot of people in my family on and off for years, like people with, well, anything you really prickly like.

Daniel Matè — 29:57 :

It's my mom told me that I was a really sweet kid until I was three, and then it became a porcupine wow and I'm yeah.

Daniel Matè — 30:04 :

Why do you suppose that is, mom?

Nathan Maingard — 30:06 :

Yeah, needing a self-defense and so the reality then became this process of acknowledging. And being kind to myself, I have this there is this anger and my dad's this beautiful older man who's living a really beautiful he's surfing. He's gentle. When people meet him, they're like who's this guy you talk about because your dad's so mellow. Like he's so chilled and easy going and I'm like, well, it's the shadow, right? Like and so when I hear you talk about that I get this resonance of. And it's a very hard one because I want to spend time with my dad. And now and over these years we've processed a lot and now we get on really well. And I do sometimes get really angry and we have big blowouts, but we're both in it together. It's not like I'm the kid who he's crushing. It's like we're the adults who have stuff that we're navigating together and I think that's been a really big shift.

Daniel Matè — 31:00 :

For sure. I mean that's that is called. Well, updating your operating system to be in reality. Because that is what's happening. That's called developing competence. That's called respecting yourself and respecting the other without. Contorting yourself to do so. That's a great foundation. I mean, that's where we are too. In our case, we have this extra incentive to do so because we do this workout in the public now. It's not that we need to do it so that we can be a good example and that we don't really give a shit about being perfect. We're willing to show things. It's more that our work needs to have integrity in that if we're going to guide other people. Through these things, we want to know these things really well, and we want to map out some exits, you know, so. We're actually at a place right now. I think we're going to have a mediated conversation this weekend with a mutual friend of ours because we got to a bit of an impasse last week. And it wasn't clear to me that he was capable of hearing me no matter how succinctly responsibly. Comprehensively and generously. And responsibly I communicated and. You know his response to my final sort of long email expressing my grievance. Which of course itself is a holdover from childhood. I used to have to write them the longest letters in order to even get any kind of for them to relent. In making me wrong so if I could express. Myself, in a lot of words, very clearly. Then I would get them back on my side, which itself is a kind of trauma because the child shouldn't have to work so hard. It's kind of maybe how I became a writer and very good at it. But his response to my last one was, I'm really tired, Daniel. It's late here. I'm flying tomorrow. We're traveling. Let's pick this up soon. I'm sure we can work this out. And I was like, OK, well, I look, you're 79 years old, you're busy, you're traveling. That's fine. You didn't rebuff my communication, but you're deferring responding to it. And the next day I realized, you know what? We're going to need help with this one. I actually don't. I respect you enough to not try to force you. To digest what I just said all by yourself, and I don't trust myself to be able to take your response in a way that's not. Because I'm so activated right now. That having a third there would really make a difference yeah, I what is some of the tools? So you've because you're talking about these processes like one of them having a mediated conversation which I'm gonna process right now with a man who's I don't know very well. But there's a potential. I have big feelings. There's a charge and I'm actually feeling quite scared as I'm saying this I'm connecting it to our conversation and realizing in some ways I think I have seen him as a bit of a father figure and I'm feeling some of those old feelings of that. I'm not enough. And that I'm the one who's fucked up and I made it. I did it wrong and it's all my fault and Oh my God, that's so it's interesting to notice that. And one of the things I'm considering is a mediated conversation. And so I'm curious about is what are some of the tools that you've used along the way that you might recommend to others that have supported you in having an actual authentic relationship with your dad?

Daniel Matè — 34:22 :

Well, this is one of the places where I am fortunate because I have a father who's willing to engage in this stuff on this level. You know, not everyone does. I mean, first of all, not everyone has a living father. Those who do, not everyone has a father who's in their life, and sometimes there are very good reasons for that. In fact, probably there are always good reasons. The question is, does it have to be that way? And for some people it does. What are the tools? well. It starts with an intention. It starts with being able to imagine the possibility of something more true and more updated and more grounded into adults. And at least one person has to have a glimmer of that possibility. It doesn't take mutuality necessarily. I always say in the workshop it takes 2 to tango it takes 1, not 2. Which means the old dance steps. If you stop dancing, you step off the dance floor. The music's going to stop, and the other person's going to be like, what's going on? And that takes something, because we always want to have it be 5050 while you're still doing well. If you want to have a miserable relationship with your parents, have it be 5050 If you want to have a one with a chance of it being satisfying, have it be 100 A hundred, which means just have it be 100 because you can't do shit about their hundred and it's really not your place to judge it. So whatever they're giving you, that's their home.

Nathan Maingard — 35:43 :

I love that man, that. So I actually had that was the turning point for me in this storyline on this anger towards my dad. And we've been working on myself and working and again so grateful. I have a dad who's available like and who's done work and understands structures of sort of conscious communication, et cetera. So we did a piece where we sat down, I said I have some things I need to share with you. And we sat down. We had a chance to each speak and share our peace. And I had this realization while I was speaking. It's like I'm scared when I walk into the room. I mean, I know you're there because I'm scared of something. I'm gonna do something wrong and I was so terrified about it, you know, and I and I led and as I was speaking I was crying and it was wow, this water release and I and afterwards he's like well, thank you for sharing. He said. And I just, you know, that story is no longer my story. He's like i've done my work on that stuff. I don't carry it anymore. And he has apologized to me at different times. But in that moment the lesson that he gave to me through his own hundred % as you say, was that he wasn't going to. Got i'm so sorry Nathan. Like, I fucked it up whatever the thing was that I was looking for, subconsciously it was like he wasn't going to fulfill something. Some box that he ticked needed to tick and that freed me. I was like, my dad is doing the best he can and he's here now and I'm really fucking enjoy him. So wow. Let's just let go. Let's act. Let go a little.

Daniel Matè — 37:05 :

That's great. Well, it let go of you know, another Shakespeare quote I love. The quality of mercy is not strained. Same thing goes for forgiveness. Forgiveness happens when the conditions are right. You can't force yourself to forgive somebody. It you get the you know the debt gets forgiven. The tax gets forgiven. You know the toll it's taking on us and we get released you know. But there's a, there is a nuance here that I think is important for many people listening especially those who don't feel like they have a parent who's. You know, game for this, but even those who do because. And I'm still wrestling with this one. And I don't quite know how to nail this one, like how to totally stick the landing on it, but I know it's important. Something I'm going to explore in the writing of this book, I think, and I think that's why it's coming up. It's also possible to air too much on the side of oh, bygones or bygones. Because bygones are not bygones sometimes. It starts first of all. You have to acknowledge. The material facts of the matter, which is that this is the least equal start to our relationship imaginable. No other relationship in your life, every single other relationship in your life, except maybe teachers. But you don't have to like. Keep having a relationship with teachers. That's limited time. This is open-ended. And it starts without your consent. You weren't around to consent. When the idea of you was conceived, nor the physical reality view was conceived. They made all the choice. And you didn't get to select who they were. Now they didn't get to select who you were either, in all fairness. But you know, they had influence on the genetic material. And you know that they were the ones who ostensibly were setting up the environment for you to grow and learn and be conditioned. And of course most parents, especially young ones. Don't get to make conscious choices about that because they're carrying their own trauma. But the fact is. There's no parity in the origins of this relationship. Your nervous system was conditioned by theirs, not the other way around. You don't owe them anything. Or at least you didn't when you were born. Any notion that you did is traumatic because it's a complete offense against nature. They owed you everything in the sense that you needed what they had and nature would have them give it to you. And of course, circumstances and. Both psychological and material, in our current world especially, get in the way of that. That's what our entire book, the myth of normal, is about so. In other words. For most of us, in a sense, the relationship started off with no choice. And with some huge disappointments of expectation. Not conscious expectation, neural expectation, nervous system expectation. Our system needed it like lungs need air. The differences are psyches can cope, we can find ways to adjust, and the ways we adjusted became our neuroses, they became our issues, they became sometimes our physical and mental ailments. So there's just absolutely no equality or parity in the origins of the relationship, OK, well you could say, well, fine, that's how it started. But now it's the adult child's job to see the parent as a fallible human being and to let go. That's fine as far as it goes, and certainly in the personal development path. I don't want my healing to be contingent on anything coming from my parents. And that would be true whether they're in my life or not. In my life, alive or dead, sane or demented. Healthy or addicted, it doesn't matter. If I'm trying to get reparations. For something that will never happen again, which is I'm a child and I didn't get what I needed, I'm fucked. So that is true. But like any psychological or spiritual truism. If it becomes dogma, it becomes a lie. And here's the sense i think and I'm not entirely sure. But I'm starting. This is starting to emerge from, especially as I speak to people who were outright abused or abandoned as children. And who have decided not to be in relationship with their parents. But it's also true for me, I think. Now in your case. Your father says he's done that work and he's left that behind. That's great. The proof of that will be in his behaviour, not in his statements, not in his declarations, but in his actual behaviour now. You can't control how he behaves in the rest of his life, and maybe you see things about how he's behaving in the rest of his life that trigger you, well, that's really none of your business. That's his business. And there are ways in which the way my dad sometimes speaks to my mom, or the way he treats other people, or the way I see him conducting his life, which have nothing to do with me. And the part of me that gets up in arms about it is still the hurt kid, and I'm taking things personally that actually have nothing to do with me. So that's very important to realize if I'm going to grow up. And there are things that do have to do with me because they're happening in our relationship. Now, even there, it's possible to say, well, don't take it personally. That's true in the sense of he doesn't mean to do it. It's not my fault that he's doing it. It's maybe not his fault that he's doing it. But in every other relationship in my life, my personal development means developing boundaries and saying no when things happen and letting people know clearly and having healthy anger. I mean, hell, that's one of the four A 's of healing that he writes about in the book we wrote. He certainly advocates it for everyone else in the world. Well, excuse me if I'm still figuring out what health, what healthy anger is. And I'm learning what it is because I can feel the difference. The unhealthy anger is choked and vindictive and trying to hurt him as revenge. The healthy anger has vulnerability to it, but it's no less fierce. And if he doesn't like it, that ain't my problem. It comes from respecting myself and insisting on. Having my boundaries honored. And having my feelings considered. As I would expect in any relationship as an adult. And the fact is, as I said, behaviors is where the rubber meets the road. Well, there were certain behaviors. That are direct. They're not just reminiscent of when I was a kid, their direct continuations. Of what I went through when I was a kid and their direct continuations of the things that hurt me the most. And what hurt me the most is not what he thinks hurt me the most. What hurt me the most is the things that hurt me the most. And I'm realizing that things like not keeping his word. Going back on his word when he feels differently. Focusing on the fact that he doesn't like the way I communicated something, as a way of not hearing in good faith what I'm saying, appealing to his moods. Or sort of. Excusing what he does as the alibi of I'm tired or it was a crazy week. Which, you know, some people call gaslighting. It's your problem if you're upset because I'm not accountable for it, that lack of accountability. I don't have to take it personally in the sense of my dad hates me. I don't have to make up a story about it. And the other thing is trying to make restitution by appealing to his loving feelings. This happened recently where before, he acknowledged. And received my angry communication. He was an in effect, trying to kind of push it off or defer it to be like everything's OK because you are much loved. That's what he wrote. You are much loved over here and I just said that doesn't wash. I don't care how you feel about me. I want you to respect me and until I know that you heard what I said. And that it matters to you to. Respected enough to respond to it, to get it. To have. Maybe some compassion for me as your son. Not some syrupy I love you. I truly don't care. I mean, it's nice to know. But in that moment it doesn't make a difference because what he's what he's subtly saying, or at least what I take from it. Is don't be so mad at me. I'm your father and I love you. Well, that's a direct continuation of not taking accountability, not repairing. Ok, now do I get more angry at him than someone else? If they did that, yes. Is that a double standard? I don't think so. I think it's completely understandable. I don't think it could be otherwise, unless I try to contort my mind into some kind of spiritual pretzel. And gaslight myself into thinking it's fucking possible that it's not gonna be more. Hurtful to me when my father does it. Now if I can get to that place of equanimity, fine, great. With integrity. But that's not where I am and. You know, I'm in therapy myself and. What's emerging for me is this relationship will be founded on my self-respect. Or it will be bullshit and I'm not going to settle for less and I'm going to take the risk that that'll result. In a less close or less frequently, you know, a relationship with less contact. Maybe it's not what I want, but I'm willing to torch even our work in collaboration. I'm not going to write a book about adult parent child relationships. That's predicated on me selling out on myself. Now, I don't think that's gonna have to happen, because I actually do. And I told him this, I believe. I trust him, actually, and I trust in his love for me in a deeper sense. And his respect for himself and his desire for the truth. And I desire, you know, I respect my own ability to get across what I need. And some things about him will never change. And if I don't accept that, I'm being insane because something's about me will probably never change. And he's 79 years old. So my brother has had to remind me. You know, maybe it's not reasonable to expect this to change. And that's true. So I have to watch my reactions. And be discerning but. I'm learning that being responsible doesn't just mean. Saying oh, it's all on me. Yeah, you know what else is on me? Admitting when I'm angry. And taking a look and seeing what's that anger about? And what can I do about it? And sometimes what needs to be done? Is to get it across and insist on it being heard. And if it's not, there are consequences to that for the relationship, just not punishment. But it would affect any relationship if an if an important communication wasn't hurt. So it's a very delicate balance and I'm not even sure I'm right about it. Like, I'm not even sure what I'm saying is true. But at the moment I don't see any way around it. And it feels empowering on some level. And my therapist agrees with me, so I'll go with it for now.

Daniel Matè — 49:12 :

Yeah, there's a.

Daniel Matè — 49:13 :

Course I pay. I pay her to agree with me. But that's not true. She disagrees with me all the time yeah but.

Daniel Matè — 49:19 :

She acknowledges the emergence of an advocate in me for my core self that's not about reacting like a little toddler. But also isn't going to react like a scared cowed. Intimidated sun? Gonna be a man about it. And sometimes men wrestle their fathers that's, you know, look at fucking Greek mythology or. I mean, killed his father. And he killed his father in a way, because he denied the prophecy that he would. He had, you know, Editus had enough hubris. I mean, I'm reinterpreting this a little bit. But he wouldn't look at that side of him. Nor the side that wanted to fuck his mother. Own her in a sense, you know, steal her from his father so. What we don't? Examine what we don't you know inspect. Tends to come back to bite us yeah anyway,

Daniel Matè — 50:15 :

That's my answer.

Nathan Maingard — 50:15 :

I think that's a key piece though, is the willingness to inspect and to stay flexible in the inspection, like, as you said, dogmas, the destruction.

Daniel Matè — 50:25 :

It is dogma is the destruction, but what do you think of what I said about? The whole. Anger, peace, and drawing the line when it comes to behaviors that are. Unacceptable continuations of things that were wounding in the 1st place. Because for me the wound isn't completely disinfected. And it may there's going to be scar tissue and it may smart my whole life. It may, there might be an, you know, a bruise, and I don't want that poked.

Nathan Maingard — 50:50 :

Well, thank you for asking the question and there's it's a beautiful topic that you've raised and i still also am learning what is healthy anger. I still don't really 100 %, I don't know what it feels like in myself. I really like your explanations about it. And I'm like what does that actually look like when I'm angry? Because anger has such an association with power and domination in my own rage and rage yeah and that control and like, I'm the one who's angry, so I'm gonna crush everything else in my anger. I'm saying that this piece around boundaries and around acknowledging, hey, the patterns that are happening now don't work for me now. And drawing boundaries around that. I I'm actually going through something like that as well, which I don't know that I can go into too much detail, but there's some dynamics within my family. You know, we've gone into so much detail, but I was.

Daniel Matè — 51:42 :

Like maybe I shouldn't have I mean i'm sitting here questioning whether it's appropriate but I do think that you know we both signed up for this so it's.

Nathan Maingard — 51:48 :

Fine, exactly yeah and I guess I will preface it with honoring my dad because i think it's what you expressed earlier. So many people will never get to have a conversation like this with their dads, whereas I get to have conversations like this anytime I want with my dad. And that's a really big difference. And i admire him greatly. And he is an example to me of a. An elder who has, who's a good elder, and I'm grateful for him and proud of him and that that's kind of the foundation of our relationship at this time for me. And saying that there is a peace right now in our family dynamic where the feminine and the masculine, the men and the women. On a very practical level there is a split that has happened and has been happening specifically with my dad and my mom. They haven't had an actual proper conversation of like 2 adults acknowledging their history and just being OK to be to the fact that they're going to be parents together for the rest of their lives. It's only come to me recently this insight that they don't get to check out of that responsibility as Co parents they have checked out. Of it, and it's causing, I think, massive ripples within our entire family structure, the entire context of.

Daniel Matè — 52:56 :

Are there any? Are there any children left to parent?

Nathan Maingard — 53:00 :

No so there is. I'm the eldest, and then there's my brother Josh and my sister Lucinda. And that's the first marriage. And then more marriages. My mom had another daughter. My dad's second wife had two kids from her previous husband. So it gets complicated and anyway, so The thing is that I feel like my dad, there's a responsibility that I perceive. And again, this is my perception, this is my judgment on it. This is my view is that there is a piece that he isn't owning that is a piece of responsibility and accountability. That word that you use, which i really believe in and that he's unwilling to go to. And we've had deep conversations about this and if for him, it's just not something that he feels that he wants to prioritize. Really even maybe believes and it's a piece that I'm struggle with because at times it comes out in the way he speaks about what happened during the divorce what happened with my mom and what happened and I just and what I've started doing is that at that point I would just say if you want to get into this like I'm available to get into it and I just there are aspects here that I think are really not being looked at that are very important that I would that I will call you out on and I've called him out on it many times and I'm even wary of that term calling him out. It's I'm. Acknowledging there's a piece there that feels messy, dirty, to me, poisonous actually is it's like you said, an unclean wound. And to clean the wound there has to be a willingness to actually look at it and get into it.

Daniel Matè — 54:32 :

Yeah, that's a very interesting situation. I mean, i have, i do this thing called mental chiropractic. Alright, take walks with people. And if you came to me with that, I would have some things to say about your perspective on it, which is maybe totally, and maybe you'd have things to say about mine, but I guess I'm the guest on your podcast. So, but that's a tricky position to be in. For sure, I hear that.

Daniel Matè — 54:58 :

Yeah, it is a tricky.

Daniel Matè — 54:58 :

Situation, because I do think yeah do you want to share? I mean, if you want to share somebody share it, man. Like I'm. Yeah, let's do this thing sure well, remember I said that there were things about the way my dad conducts his life now that are none of my business and that I couldn't do anything about if I tried, and that I'm only going to get frustrated. I can have my judgments, I can have my opinions, my assessments, but they just are of no consequence. All I have is my conditions, my standards, my boundaries, which is another totally overused word. But let's use it. From what I can see, unless there's some other. Exigent circumstance. You're not saying your dad's relationship itself with your mother is his business. There is no there is no. But just let me say this. There is no Co parenting happening now, nor will there ever be. There may be Co grandparenting, but that doesn't require any Co. They don't need to be parents anymore. He is your father. She's your mother. But parents, parent parenting is a verb, and there's no more parenting to do. There is being a mother of an of adult kids, there's being a father of adult kids. They don't need each other to do that. And you don't need them and you never will again need them to be on side together. Now, if you're having family events together that require their cooperation, collaboration and coexistence, well, that's a different thing. But the I would be wary of the part of you. That's looking to redeem a past that will never come back. That made you suck? That you suffered from? It sounds to me like that is an old wound. That, you know, trauma is not what happens to you, it's what happens inside you. And divorce is traumatic, but something happened inside you and there's a need that was unfulfilled. And that when your father says what he says, obviously of course it's going to upset you, of course it's going to sting. Now that doesn't mean you just have to sit there and take it. You can say that I don't want to hear about it, but that's different than saying if you want to get into it, this is poisonous and I'm going to call you out. Well, you're already. Getting into it by saying that, yeah, the way to not get into it is to say. You know, the minute that topic comes up, I'm hanging up because I can't manage myself to listen clearly. It's just too loaded for me.

Nathan Maingard — 57:17 :

Well so to me it's a piece around and thank you there's definitely more context here. So one of the pieces is my sister Lucinda who's five years younger than me lives in the States and she's a straight. I'm we are estranged not by my choice by her choice for some years now. And a part of it that kind of initial motivation around it was around my dad and some of the sort of behaviours there. And then it became me and for further context my sister listened and I were absolute best friends for many years. Like deep. And I think in many ways she hero worshipped me. So I also understand the rebound from that of like Nathan's not perfect how dare he and that she's processing that in her own way and I and I honor and respect to 100 % and I feel like that is a part of this bigger picture where my parents so the fact you mentioned events like I'm going to get married sometime soon. I'm going to have a kid with my lovely lady and we're going to have these big events and for the rest of my life as long as my parents don't get their shit together. Just to have a fucking conversation and have some kind of amicable thing. I have to deal with it forever and it's I'm it's so infuriates me. I don't care about what happened then, but they clearly still do.

Daniel Matè — 58:32 :

Why are you going to have to deal with it?

Nathan Maingard — 58:34 :

Well, because, well, I don't. I mean, I could just uninvite them from the events, which I really don't want to do. And then I suppose that's my choice as an adult to have invite my parents to my.

Daniel Matè — 58:42 :

Wedding and that's one option. The other option. Is to invite them to. Have someone else who's your wedding planner. Organize it so that damage is minimized and to say to them, I'm not dealing with this, it's my wedding, I request. That you find a way. To have it be. This way, at a minimum, peaceful, tranquil, whatever. It would be really upsetting to me if this spilled over and that's all I'm going to say about it because. I can't afford to get embroiled in this anymore and I can't help you guys.

Daniel Matè — 59:23 :

That's an option.

Daniel Matè — 59:24 :

That the having to deal with it, the compulsive needing to get involved could be. I'm not saying it is. It could be still the hurt preteen teenager in you or even younger because people don't get divorced out of the blue, right? that. Who took on the coping role of trying to make peace, trying to be the bridge or whatever. You know, sometimes my mom will talk to me about what's going on with my dad, but I have to be very. Careful, am I able to? Listen to her just as a person and reflect back to her what I hear going on for her without, you know, letting it seep into my view of him. Do I, do I or have her, you know, can I support as a family member without being invested in the outcome? And it sounds like that's very difficult for you and you resent. Getting involved in anything that you resent is probably optional.

Daniel Matè — 01:00:22 :

I love.

Daniel Matè — 01:00:23 :

That would be my, that would be my like anything that you resent. Because resentment means. Doing something you don't want to do. Under the pretext of having to do it. And you know, resent, I think in French is Liz Santia. Which means to feel again and again the things that you didn't feel in the 1st place was just like, fuck no. So I don't know. I mean you'd have to see what's available to you in that way of looking at it because the proof is in the pudding. Like when I do mental chiropractic walks with people, I'm not trying to convince them what the truth is. I have no advice to give. But if they're stuck I want to give them access to a different point of view and say, OK, well is that closer to what my intentions are then the frustration and stuckness I was feeling before? So this isn't this isn't one of those sessions, but that's probably where I would take the conversation.

Nathan Maingard — 01:01:17 :

Well, thank you for offering that. And actually I think more than anything that idea of resentment and resentment being a choice has offered me some an insight into my own part about this.

Daniel Matè — 01:01:27 :

Resentment is not a choice, it's a consequence. Of choices right so.

Daniel Matè — 01:01:33 :

No one chooses it? Yeah, it's a natural consequence. In fact, it's a natural consequence of acting like you don't have a choice, right? It's a consequence of choice lessness. Theoretically, we have a choice, but when we act as if we don't have a choice we don't really have, we're not claiming a choice. We can't see it, so we don't claim it. Now, there's a part of us that has gets a payoff from that. Because if I don't have a choice, then I'm not responsible. But I'm not gonna tell someone they're doing that on purpose. It seems to me that resentment is the consequence. Of not knowing how or not making an important enough to step into choice, because the minute we choose, we can't resent anymore. I chose because we were responsible, right? It's owning the responsibility.

Daniel Matè — 01:02:25 :

Yeah, which is the only access to happiness and self-respect in the world. But that doesn't mean we're gonna do that. Because who wants to give up being right?

Nathan Maingard — 01:02:34 :

That sounds really uncomfortable. I don't think I i'm in for that. It's actually one of my favorite things is that moment where I go from righteousness self. Like I'm I've so got this two actually. Just hearing someone and being like wow, that sounds really wow. I really hear you. Thank you so much for that. It's like this big relief actually every time it's letting go of this huge fucking effortful energetic identity that I've been carrying. It's a fantastic feeling, but I've very rarely if ever has it been like easy to get to that point.

Daniel Matè — 01:03:10 :

I think in some ways. That demarcation line can sometimes be the line between being angry and giving up the anger. Sometimes it can be the demarcation line between unhealthy and healthy anger, like in the case of my you know. Copious emails to my father last week. The first one I sent was just full of vitriol and sarcasm and like, well, you got what you wanted. I'm more upset now. That's bad faith. That's taking him in bad faith and being the victim and resenting as if I don't have a choice. And then he wrote back to me like, I'm not gonna take this. Like this is bullshit. And something clued into me. I'm like, well, maybe he's not meaning to hurt me. Maybe he actually doesn't understand what I'm saying. Maybe I've never said this because I haven't really seen it. Ok. Good faith, then I'm going to assume he does want to know. Some part of him wants to know, even if in this moment he can't take it, I'm going to write it out. And I was able to end the second email by saying I'm only telling you this because I love you too. And I respect you. And so it's worth it to me. I'm gonna, i give a shit, and I'm gonna bother. Other people wouldn't bother with their father. You know, because they just have a dim view of the possibilities. I don't. And that felt to me nutritious. That felt because there was grief mixed in with the anger. And that's what I wasn't being responsible before. I was trying to push away my grief. And instead just and grief, that is. Skated over or ossified becomes grievance. So you know, again, I don't want to fetishize. Peace in the valley. I don't wanna turn. I shouldn't be angry or I'm not. When I'm fully, spiritually enlightened, I'm not going to be angry, no. When I'm as enlightened as I want to be, I'm going to see my anger for what it is. I'm going to see the opportunities to communicate it. I'm going to see what doesn't need to be communicated or just what can't. I can't expect to change, and I'll make peace with that wow well, thank you, Daniel. I did not expect us to. We've basically had the first question has guided this entire conversation and we're already over an hour. It's the best. It's so such a great conversation and I. Yeah, I think for me it's this honoring. It's an honoring of the. At least for me, I speak for myself, my from my father's son connection and my lineage of men and the work that my dad and I are both doing. And from my perspective, the work that you and your dad are doing to make a change in the story. And I've really honour this conversation for that.

Daniel Matè — 01:05:55 :

Yeah, I would love to i mean, thank you for that. And i honor the work you and your father doing as well. It sounds beautiful and it's going to look different than mine, you know? But if we can contribute. If all of us can contribute to. Broadening the horizons and possibilities for this. Somewhat inescapable relationship that's again, totally unique. And you know, busting through this, it is what it is. Resignation that so many people fall into. Because truth is, you don't really need to have any kind of relationship with your parents or with your adult child. You're done. You know you're cooked. It's there's no more development that needs to happen in that relationship and there's no more caretaking that needs to happen. And someday someone's gonna die and you'll have to deal with that, and then you'll deal with that and that's it. But that's just part of life. What about the decades in between? What's possible there? What would it mean for families? If we took it on with some degree of consciousness and like something was possible, you may be cooked but the relationship isn't. The relationship's always. Growing and expanding and changing yeah well thank you. I so I wanna take a few more minutes to kind of just ask one more or one or two quick kind of quick questions and then we'll go to the little private round for the for the supporters of the podcast. And I really want to touch on this to honour your work is that you have this book the myth of normal and you use some words in there just in the title around you use the words toxic culture. And so I really I don't want to spend too much time but I really this just the title of your book I'm like my God we I could literally talk about this book this for hours and i kind of yeah anyway so there's a sadness in me that I don't get that opportunity today and I also have really loved our conversation so if you could summarize just in. Even just the title for me the idea of why is it normal a myth and that might be too big a question, but also.

Daniel Matè — 01:07:56 :

Why no i can bottom line it?

Daniel Matè — 01:07:58 :

Yeah Yeah,

Daniel Matè — 01:08:00 :

I can bottom line it. I mean, first of all, it's easy for me to sum this up because these are my dad's theses. This is his fundamental. I helped flesh it out and express it and. More enjoyable to read ways, but you know, but the intellectual property of it really mostly belongs to him and that's why my name is in a smaller font and the preposition width is used as opposed to and. The regards to my contribution, that's exactly how it should be on this book, so full credit to him. Normal is a myth because, well, the myth about normal you could say, I mean that would be an alternate title is that whatever is normal is also natural. Yeah, and healthy. We get used to things. Human beings are remarkably adaptable. We can live in all kinds of environments. But that doesn't mean that the things we adapt to are good for us, or that the adaptations themselves are sustainable. Certainly the adaptations guarantee our survival in the short term. So if I become someone who can't express his anger because expressing anger is going to threaten the relationship with the people I need. Well, that gets me out of childhood intact somewhat. But there are fault lines and fractures in me that they're going to express themselves as my bones grow and as myself grows and as I move through life. Being authentic to myself, feeling what's inside me, expressing all my emotions, is going to become more important than holding on to this or that relationship when I'm an adult so. There are many things in our culture that are normalized. Made invisible, sometimes even praised and lauded and rewarded. Like overwork or being super nice or whatever else. That are actually really bad for us. They have physical and mental consequences. And that's what the book details. Or it's not just a screed. There's all kinds of scientific. Evidence for what we're saying. So yeah, the myth of normal basically is that. What we see is what's supposed to be. And that takes some 500 pages to unpack because you know, as Noam Chomsky said, in the political media space, if you're going to go on a mainstream television program and you have 4 minutes in between commercials to talk about. Us foreign policy? Well, you can't get any counter hegemonic view across with that concision requirement. You can only repeat the same normal things that people say, but if you actually want to bust up a myth. You gotta take some time to show people that it is a myth. And then unpack why it's a myth. And what the consequences are. And then you can say, well, what are the alternative views? So that's the myth of normal, I would say yeah well, so the flip side of that also is there's a myth of abnormal, which says that some people are, you know, people with mental illness, people with addiction, people with, you know, there are people who get cancer and there are people who get multiple sclerosis, and there are people who are bipolar and there are people who are addicted. And those people have abnormal problems. I mean, when I did a psychology degree 25 years ago, which I did nothing with, there was a course called. The normal psychology, well, that presumes that there's a normal against which these people are judged as opposed to a spectrum of ways that we cope and some of them are socially sanctioned and some of them are not. Some of them disrupt our lives in different ways, but they all have consequences for ourselves and others. So, you know, abnormal is also a myth as far as toxic culture goes, you know, the word toxic has become a sort of pop psychological word. Toxic masculinity. Toxic this, toxic that, a toxic personality. While toxic actually only is a relative term. Toxic to whom or toxic to what? Because what is toxic? You know, peanut butter is toxic to a dog. But not to a human. I think I'm thinking of peanut butter, maybe dark chocolate, something like that. Yeah, chocolate. Ok, peanuts are toxic to some of the peanut allergy, but they're not toxic to me. So toxic doesn't mean bad or morally wrong. It means not good for the thing. And the word culture itself has a biochemical meaning. If we raise microbes in a solution in a Petri dish, we call that solution a culture. That's why you have active kombucha cultures or yogurt cultures, because those probiotic bacteria. Were raised. They were cultured. So a culture can be healthy to a certain Organism or not healthy. And what we're saying is that these again, normal, these things that are normalized in this culture, in fact foundational, they arise from the foundational principles of the culture. For instance, that human beings are atomized individuals who are only looking for their individual, quote, unquote self, interest without respect to the collective. That's a complete evolutionary speaking. That's a fucking blasphemous lie. It's just not true. And it's not how we evolved at all. We involved. To be collective and interdependent and that self-interest meant the needs of the community as well or it included it. So if a culture is based on falsehoods about what's good for us, well, then it's going to be toxic to us, not good for us. And it's going to have physical and mental consequences, and also societal consequences. Suicide rates, mass shootings unhappiness. Economic insecurity. Crazy inequality? War and militarism even, you know, it's going to be self-destructive in the end. The you know, and what we're saying is that all these things are not a you know, they're a feature, not a bug of the way we live. Man, thank you so much for some right for well for illustrating or for giving a little. It's almost like take a quick photograph of a view and then I would love to like dive into the picture with you but perhaps we'll have to get you on another time and there i will share a little more.

Daniel Matè — 01:14:01 :

I'd love to talk more about my mental chiropractic work and my podcast, which are the two things I have to plug that don't have to do with my.

Nathan Maingard — 01:14:07 :

Father well, why don't you plug those now and then? I wouldn't talk with you about in the after chat. For the for the patrons, i've got a I've really wanna talk about lyrics with you. About your let's get lyrics yeah So give it. So give a bit of a plug to those things, please. And actually it's a good time to let people know like what how they can find more of you and why they might want to work with you, etcetera.

Daniel Matè — 01:14:28 :

Yeah, so I mentioned my mental chiropractic work before. That is a service that I call take a walk with Daniel. You can find it at walk with daniel.com And if the explanation I'm about to give is not sufficient to understand what the hell I'm talking about, you can book a free 15 minutes. Consultation call that talk with Daniel. But the main thing I do is I take walks with people come to me with one specific thing in their life that is currently stuck, that they'd like to get unstuck about meaning. They're in a situation where they feel choiceless about the point of view they have about it. They can only see it one way, and that might clash with everything they know or everything they believe, but they're still stuck with it and it's not helping them deal with the situation effectively. So it's not like, oh, I have daddy issues or commitment issues. I'd say go see a therapist in that case. But I'm seeing my dad next week and I'm dreading it and I can't sleep. Well that you're stuck about that. So we take a walk literally. They walk where they are. I walk where I am. If we happen to be in the same city, we do it in person. But the vast majority of my clients are living all over the world and not in New York. And I have a conversation to guide them. Towards a different more. Flexible, creative, supple. Enjoyable point of view, which is kind of like what a chiropractor does with the spine alignment. I'm trying to get them aligned with their actual intentions, not stuck in some kind of compressed or pinched or. Disordered way of looking at it. So that's Waqa daniel.com And I really enjoy it. The only reason I do it is because I enjoy it. I don't do more than one walk a day. I'm not trying to make myself a mental health practitioner or something. It's not my main. It's not where my identity largely lives. I'm a musical theatre composer. And lyricist and I run this podcast and you know. I have a lot of other things on the go, including writing the books, but I love doing this with people. Gets me outside for an hour and a half every day, and I like. Guiding people to a moment of crystalline clarity, it really it really enriches my life so. And this other thing that people can check out is a podcast relatively new. We're only four episodes in at the time of this recording called Let's get Lyrical with Charisse and Daniel. So Daniel is me. And Carissa is Carice van Houten who Game of Thrones fans will know. Game of Thrones fans will know as Melisandre the Red Sorceress. And I confess I haven't watched much Game of Thrones and when I tried it, I couldn't follow it. Or get interested in it. But I know she's great and she's been in a lot of other stuff too. She played Tom Cruise's wife in the two in the World War Two film Valkyrie. She was in a Paul Verhoeven film in Dutch and, you know, very celebrated actress, actually in Holland. And we met recently via her interest in the myth of normal actually. And we became fast friends. And I told her that I had formally had I still do, but I don't really do it anymore. A YouTube channel all about lyrics called lyrics to go and. I said just on the spur of the moment, do you want to do a podcast with me about this? Because she had expressed a love for songs and lyrics and she said sure. So it's just a show where we pick a different theme every week. We might maybe do episodes focused around this or that artist, but. We just listen to some songs and we breakdown the lyrics and we riff on them. We react to them, respond to them, talk about how they relate to our view of the world or our lives and. I'm loving it. It's just a real. Blast so people can check that out on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts or Spotify. We have a YouTube channel where we post select clips from the episode. Like you, we have a Patreon where if people subscribe for 5 bucks a month, they can get full video access to extended versions of every episode and, you know, unlimited leap replays of our live streams. We had in my dad on the live stream last Friday talking about trauma, illness and healing songs. So we did The Beatles, Kelly Clarkson, Nirvana, Suzanne Vega. Johnny Cash. The rapper LP from around the jewels and. Who else? Oh yeah, Kendrick Lamar and Paul Simon. And there were a whole bunch we didn't get to like Metallica, Faith No More, just a bunch of stuff. But we'll have to have him back for Part 2. And it was fun.

Daniel Matè — 01:18:50 :

Amazing so, dude.

Daniel Matè — 01:18:52 :

That's all that's all there too.

Nathan Maingard — 01:18:54 :

That's all right. So little did you know, but my great love of my life, the one thread that has run through my entire life since I was, I don't know, as long as I can remember, is lyrics. I've been learning lyrics to songs since I was about 7 years old. I know more lyrics to more songs than anyone I've thus far met, although I have a feeling you may. Also have that tendency and i actually.

Daniel Matè — 01:19:16 :

Was silver. The silver medal is nothing to sniff at.

Nathan Maingard — 01:19:20 :

I was a professional singer-songwriter for 10 year, around 10 years before this current manifestation of what I'm doing. And so anyway, let's get into that in the post. Like i thought one more very important question I must ask before I forget is when you hear the words, we are already free. What does that bring up for you?

Daniel Matè — 01:19:41 :

Well, that in any circumstance where we experience ourselves as not free, an alternate perspective is available. Or possible? We may not be free to see it immediately. Because it's a paradox. In some ways. We are not already free until we are. We don't have a choice until we do, but there is a world in which nothing needs to change in the outside world, and we don't experience being stuck. And that's what my mental chiropractic walks are for. Nothing has changed by the end of the walk in the situation. The other person hasn't changed. The job hasn't changed. The neuroses haven't changed. But the perspective has and it leaves a person with an actual freedom to do something about it. So yeah, I would think of it as a reframing and i learned this very. What, did I learn this? Yeah, well look, I was in jail in Mexico for 3 and a half weeks a couple of years ago and then I got deported. It was an immigration thing. I overstayed my tourist visa and I got randomly picked up on a bus and there were moments in there very much in the first week or so. And beyond where? I was not. Free at all. I was the victim of my circumstances, and I was. Pissed off about it and I was. Coping strenuously in various ways, which was interesting in itself, getting to see the ways that I cope with adversity. And there were other times. When I was choosing to be where I was. Not liking it. But I wasn't suffering about it. And not only that, but I was coming to realizations about my life that were making me. Believe in myself more and I was really remarking on my own resilience and finding resources in me beyond my own personality that I respected and that felt like they had integrity, you know, and I had COVID in there two weeks of my sojourned there was a COVID so-called quarantine. Of course I was stuffed into a tiny area with twenty three. Other guys but. That experience taught me something about. That freedom is available in a sense. And i'm far from the first person. Who's been confined or incarcerated in any sort of way and it was a pretty mild in terms of the conditions. It's not like I was, you know, running away from. Big tattooed guys who wanted to do something to me. It was very friendly. It was mostly small Peruvian guys or Ecuadorian guys who were shorter than me. I'm pretty short trying to get to the states but. Whether it's Malcolm X or Victor Frankel, you know, Primo Levy, guys who were in the concentration camps finding some kind of freedom. In the most unfree circumstances. I would say that there is freedom available. Even when our bodies aren't free. Even when our lives aren't free. And that doesn't? Minimize the need for physical material freedom and does it shouldn't obviate. Then it shouldn't turn into a kind of gas lady. Well, everyone's free anyway. It's all on how you look at it. So we don't need it to tackle poverty or inequality or, you know, climate disaster or whatever no. We gotta do something good with our freedom. So that more people have the freedom to realize their freedom beautiful well, thank you so much brother. I'm excited to jump into a thing or two more in the after talk. But other than that, just thank you so much for being on the wheel already free podcast and it's an absolute blessing to have you here. Thank you.

Daniel Matè — 01:23:30 :

Mutually so thank you so much for having me.

Nathan Maingard — 01:23:34 :

What an incredible journey we've had with Daniel Marte today. Thank you so much Daniel. What a blessing. You can find links to all Daniel's good work at already free dot me slash 28 That's the number 2-8 plus a bunch of the other stuff we discussed. Links and fun things like that. And guess what? There is even more. I had a fun bonus conversation with Daniel after our main recording where we dived even deeper into something. Although we didn't dive into this at all in the episode, but we dove. They dived into the art of songwriting, the power of lyrics, discussing songs like the Temptation of Adam, Donald Fagan's New Frontier, and many others. If you enjoyed this episode and can't wait to hear more from Daniel, or if you're into lyrics at all as much as I am, you won't want to miss this exclusive bonus content to gain access, just become a patron. There's a link at the Shownotes already free dot me slash 28 by becoming a patron, not only will you unlock this enthralling extra conversation with Daniel. Late, but you'll also gain access to a wealth of bonus content and the chance to connect with like minded listeners in our community. Don't miss out lovely listener. Head over to the Patreon page and join us as we continue our journey towards understanding growth and the freedom that lies within each of us. Already freed up me Slash two eight twenty eight see you there. And one last little personal note, this has been a very intense episode. If you still listening to this, I super appreciate you. Not many people listen all the way to the. And I just want to check in and say if you are feeling some of the heaviness, some of the intensity, feeling some of your own challenges and blocks in your life that you're going through because of your own journey with intense parental figures or intense society. Put positioning itself as a parental figure, I would super love to support you. So please do reach out. You can still just go to already free dot me slash 28 There are always links there where you can send me a personal message. I will reply. I would love to have a conversation with you. I'd love to see where you're at and see how I can serve you. And moving through those blocks because you came here to be already free. You are already free. And sometimes all we need is just a reminder of that. Just to support in the reflection of the mirror of another. I'd be honored. Thank you for being on this journey. It's an absolute blessing to be here with you. I'll see you next week.

Nathan Maingard

Nathan Maingard

Nathan Maingard is a wordsmith giving voice to those who feel isolated and lost in these times of mass delusion and dis-ease. A breathwork instructor, modern troubadour (empowering songs, poems & stories) and ILS pro coach, Nathan empowers down-to-earth seekers to be their authentic selves. In this way we can feel, heal, and grow a beautiful world together.


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