“I believe that our soul speaks to us through our intuition and our creative expression. I think our creative energy is the frequency of our soul’s essence. “
This week on Small Talk, we sat down with Adam Roa; mentor, medicine man, and creator of conscious content, to chat about what conscious content really is, the meaning of love, and loving ourselves just a bit more.
In 2015, Adam Roa made quite an impressive decision; choosing to leave everything he knew, become homeless, and let his spirit guide him from that point onward.
“For me, I learned many years ago to really start to honor that feeling in my gut and begin to pay more attention to that intuitive guidance. I’ve found that as I’ve done that, my life becomes more and more beautiful, prosperous, adventurous, and most importantly, I love life so much more.”
Following his intuition, Adam walked away from what he once knew as home and walked into uncertainty and obscurity. Having made that first step, Adam’s journey of countless countries, silent meditation retreats, and soul searching began.
“I feel like there are so many people in life that have that acknowledge that feeling of, ‘I want to move here’, or ‘I want to try this’, or, ‘I’d love to step down this path’, yet because of fear or doubt, they never follow that."
Neglecting our instincts and suppressing our urges to explore all that we are and all that we can become, ‘Is a huge disservice to ourselves, and also to the planet’, Adam says.
“The way we find our unique place in the collective is by following those little nudges so we can develop into the perfect expression of ourselves within the collective."
At TrooMe, we believe that the journey is all about each step.
Learning to lean into life and explore where our love lies, is the first step into living the lives meant for us, and being the change that we were put on this earth to be.
Sit back and Surrender;
Adam stepped into a life that was unplanned, unpredicted, and uncalculated. Many people, if faced with these circumstances, would freeze in fear, doubt themselves, and attempt to control their exterior circumstances, for Adam, it was quite the opposite.
“I think that one common misconception that I find with people is that they see surrender as giving up, as this passive thing. But I see surrender as an active action, I see it as a choice to trust.”
Part of what has allowed Adam to perceive surrender in this way is his knowingness that there is a force stronger than himself within this human experience that both guides, and graces us when we allow ourselves to fully sit back and surrender.
“Whether you believe in god, a divine source, or have watched Interstellar, you can start to grasp that there’s an aspect of consciousness that is beyond space and time. When we surrender into that, when we surrender into this idea that whatever I project for my future is only based on my past, meaning that it’s a limited view, a tiny scope of what’s really out there, we surrender into more possibility.”
The moment we’ve accepted more possibilities into our life, and we begin to operate from that space of surrender, life can begin to accelerate more quickly and in ways that we never before imagined. It’s a scary thing at first, to step away from what we’ve known, allowing our innate sense of intuition to call the shots; but once we get a taste of the universal synchronicities that come with trusting; going back to a pre-planned way of living lacks the spark and the joy that we come to crave.
“How I’ve gotten to this place is because every time I’ve done it, every time I’ve done something that others may call crazy, but intuitively I knew was right, it has worked out better than I thought it would, yet not how I expected it would.”
Rarely, when we lean back and trust, do our plans work out in the ways we thought they would. Yet, through this process of surrendering, more times than not, we are granted bigger, better, and more beautiful answers to the questions we once posed.
“If we were to pre-plan our futures and our days ahead of us, literally everything that we plan would be entirely based on our past experiences.”
When we begin to truly humble ourselves, we start to get a grasp on the reality that everything we’ve experienced in our past is but a fraction of the human experience, meaning that anything we could create for our days would be a limitation of what’s actually possible and available to us.
‘I like to live in the world of infinite possibility’, states Adam; 'and in this world, no planning is required.'
Walking Through Fear;
Throughout Adam’s journey, he’s visited over eight countries in a span of seven months, partaking in silent meditations lasting longer than a week, and volunteering in multiple countries; all of which, were completely new and uncharted territory to Adam.
“Was there fear and doubt? Every day, every single day.”
When we put ourselves in situations that are improvised and unfamiliar, going through waves of emotions of highs and lows, of fears and doubts, is guaranteed.
Yet for Adam, this occurrence of doubtfulness is not only found in foreign circumstances, but is something he’s faced with every day.
“To this day it’s not gone. Every single day, I face off with the part of me that says, ‘What are you doing? You’re not talented enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not attractive enough, you’re not interesting enough, you don’t have enough experience."
Do any of these voices sound familiar? All of these voices exist in Adam's conscience, just as they exist in everybody else’s. So, it’s up to us to decide how to deal with them.
“Every single day, I will have some experience of those voices popping up, and instead of looking at them with judgment, I approach them with excitement towards my discovery.”
Through pain, we find out more about ourselves than we believed possible. After going through a breakup with his girlfriend of nine and a half years, Adam says that the painful experience showed him parts of himself he never knew, and served as a reminder that nothing can truly be predicted or planned.
“There are so many aspects of myself that are limiting me from my fullest expression, aspects that I can’t even see right now. And only through the uncomfortable experiences or the times in which I step away from what I consider to be comfort, can I uncover those parts within me.”
For anyone to feel doubt about what they want to do, is normal, especially when stepping into a new role. The only way to step out of doubt is to walk right through it, begin to take action, and re-write the story.
“Eventually you’ll come to find that what you used to doubt about, you won’t, but you’ll have doubts about something else. You’re always going to experience doubt at the edge of your own growth and expansion, that’s how you know you’re at the edge.”
It’s a scary thing, to be standing on the border of what we know and consider to be comfortable, but remember, no one learned how to swim by holding onto the edge of the pool.
“Art has this ability, like a permission slip, in allowing us to feel.”
Adam Roa is a voice for conscious content, content that comes from an intentional place. In today’s society, with content so easily being produced and distributed every second, being aware of what we post, and upload holds great importance.
We often don’t realize the impact or influence that our content has, which is why consciously creating content is more important than ever.
“I believe that art is technology. And what art has the ability to do, is bypass all of the mechanisms of the human mind, and immediately get someone to feel.”
We live in a society that’s made it very easy to ‘numb out’ any and every discomfort. Jumping on social media takes only seconds to do and provides a quick dopamine hit; just as stopping in any corner store offers candy for our sugar craving.
“A lot of people aren’t truly feeling what’s going on inside, and they’re not allowing themselves to truly process how they feel. However, when they go into a movie theatre, they’re going because of how the movie is going to make them feel. When they put on music, they’re not putting it on for how it’s going to make them think, they’re putting on music because it’s going to make them feel something.”
Being a personal development coach, leading retreats and workshops, and working with people one on one, Adam has learned throughout his training that to heal, we must first feel.
“Whether it be through fear, doubt, or any of the emotions we’ve been talking about; when someone wants to re-write their story, it will require the feeling that’s there. Art has the ability to do what I don’t think anything else on the planet can, which is to give us a feeling.”
It is important for us, as creatives, to look at the content we release and question, ‘what is the story that we are writing for people while they’re feeling.’
When we add art into our lives that tells us to feel something, the messages that are being sent through the content holds great importance. This means that those of us producing said content, have an immensely important responsibility towards what we are putting out into the world.
“Conscious to me means simply being aware. So, conscious content is meant to bring awareness to people about what’s happening and allow them to be conscious and intentional about what they’re writing into themselves as belief patterns and programs.”
We hold the power as consumers, in deciding what messages get through to us, and which do not. As we begin to become aware of what we are putting into our lifestyle diets, as mentioned in our talk with Halim Flowers, we can start to demand art that expands us and helps create more loving stories.
“It’s supply and demand. If we start to put a demand on conscious content, the stuff we watch, the stuff we buy, the stuff we consume; and we stop giving our energy to that which doesn’t serve us, artists will create more content that supports the building of a more loving world.”
Adam Roa wishes to exemplify this form of art.
Through his podcast, The Deep Dive, his book, Treat Yourself Like Someone You Love, and music, he hopes that after hearing empowering and thought-provoking messages, people will begin to become curious about what they’re giving their attention to, and what is truly worth their energy.
Adam is a catalyst for love, in his video, ‘You are who you’ve been looking for’, he emphasizes the importance of self-love, and becoming our own greatest supporter; something that seems so obvious yet is so often neglected.
“I think what makes self-love so difficult, is that there’s this fear that we’re not worthy of love. Another aspect is that love itself is not empirical, so knowing what the loving choice is, is often quite difficult.”
In reality, there is always going to be an infinite invariable of what love actually is. What someone sees as the loving choice, another may see as quite the opposite. Our definition and interpretation of love differs for each and every one of us.
“The hard part is that now everyone is trying to live up to a standard of what love actually is, based on some idea that doesn’t actually exist. If we can start to recognize that the ‘loving choice’, comes down to our ability to choose love in the face of any challenge, and move from that place of love, we will better understand how to love others and how to love ourselves.”
As mentioned in our interview with Jesse Israel, love is a choice.
How one chooses to express love, will not always be the same as how another chooses to express love.
We must take a look at our pasts, at our own personal journeys, and decide how we can show up as love and as our best selves in the present moment.
“There are so many sides to every story, so, what I look for is the overlap in what you see as love and what I see as love. For example, a man robs another man at gunpoint. You may turn to me and say, that was not a loving choice. But, if we look deeper at the incentive, say he was trying to feed his family, we often come to find that love has been the driving force behind each action.”
Based on our circumstances, what we consider to be okay and not okay, we then decide what has to be done to fulfill acts of love. Adam believes to his core that any action, no matter how beautiful or how horrid, stems from love.
“I know how it feels to want to create a safe environment for the one’s that I love, there’s the overlap. And if I can meet that person and have a conversation with him from the overlap that we both love our families, that’s the space of compassion that opens up an entire window of opportunity for us to connect at a deeper level. Only in that connection will we begin to create a safe environment for our perceptions to shift.”
When we feel threatened and unsafe, we end up going into our limited brains in hopes of protecting ourselves. This act of defense, shuts down the blood flow to our pre-frontal cortex, meaning that our rational thought is limited, and biologically, our ability to think clearly becomes limited.
“If we want to actually see people shift and change, we have to create safe environments for our brains. The only way that I know how to do that, is through compassionate conversation and conscious content.”
All You Need is Love;
“If I could instill a practice throughout the world of doing something every day, it would be to love yourself just a bit more.”
Adam Roa has battled with depression for most of his life. Having arrived at a place in which he didn’t think he’d see the light at the end of the tunnel, Adam asked himself a question that would change everything.
“I didn’t know what to do. So, I asked myself the question, ‘If you don’t know what to do, what is it that the universe has shown you so far?”
Having asked this question, Adam was able to take a step back and look at everything he had been shown throughout his journey.
The repeating pattern? Love.
“My whole message was love, and I believed everything that I was saying to others, I just needed to believe it myself. So, the answer for me was to double down and triple down on that belief system.”
Doubling down and tripling down on self-love looks different for everyone. For some, it may be putting aside that extra hour, or two, devoted to reading and journaling. For others, it may look like taking a break from our phones for a day, or even two.
But for Adam, this belief system was instilled through a morning routine designed around grounding, gratitude, and seeking guidance.
“I wouldn’t even turn my phone on until I had gotten to a better place energetically because I was waking up and feeling so, so bad.”
Adam's morning routine sometimes consisted of 4 to 5 hours of meditation, journaling, getting into a sauna, dancing, singing, playing the guitar, stretching, yoga, or taking a bath.
Whatever Adams body and soul felt it needed most, was what it would be given.
“I just refused to start my workday, building myself and my brand, until I got into a better place energetically.”
Although not everyone has four or five hours to invest each morning before starting their days, Adam says that ‘everyone has the ability to fill their day with more intentional actions revolving around self-love.
“Over time it just shifted. All of a sudden, if I was waking up seven days a week feeling bad, it was down to six days a week. If it had taken four hours to get me into a more clear-minded place, it was then taking three.”
Due to his persistent self-devotion and self-discovery, Adam can now confidently say that most of his days are spent in a joyous energetic state.
“The reason why I share that is I didn’t know how or if it was going to work, but I just believed that it would, and I trusted. So, for anyone who’s doubting themselves, or afraid in any way, shape, or form; the answer always comes back to self-love, and how much of that are you willing to put into developing that aspect of yourself that you can start to believe in again.”
Believing in ourselves is an act of self-love. Permitting ourselves to pursue a goal or a vision that we have in our hearts, is an act of self-love.
It may be as simple as taking ten minutes out of your day to sit in front of a mirror and say kind things to yourself.
It differs for every person because no two of us are the same.
“It may start with setting aside a few minutes, but those few minutes are the start of completely turning your life around.”
“I was shaped into the man I am today because of that relationship.”
Throughout our journeys, we are influenced by many things. Moments in time have a way of pulling on our heartstrings, as do places we’ve been and people we’ve known.
For Adam, his journey's biggest influence came from his past relationship.
“The person who pops into my head now is my girlfriend of nine and a half years. We were un-flinching mirrors for each other. To have a ‘sparring partner’, so to say, who was as committed to her own growth, as I was to my own growth was absolutely transformative.”
Community is often overlooked in society. We, as a culture, glorify and place so much value on the ‘underdog’, and ‘lone wolf’ figures; we neglect the reality that it takes a village of support and love to fuel just one fire.
Adam's online community, thecreatecommunity.com, is a safe space in which creatives hold each other accountable and bring out the best in one another.
“When you have people around you who love you as you are and see you as you could be, it's a game-changer.”
“Treat yourself like someone you love.”
We encourage those we love. If a child came to you and told you their dreams and aspirations, giving them encouragement and support is expected. If a child came back from their experience crying and discouraged, we hug them and hold them, soothing their pain and drying their tears.
Yet, as adults, we cry and we then tell ourselves that we’re weak, or that we’re unlovable.
“The inner dialogue that we so often have for ourselves is not the way we would treat someone we love, and it’s not the way we would treat a child. And if cruelty is in fact the way we would treat others, there’s no better way to put it; treat yourself like someone you love, so you can then treat others the same.”
We asked Adam Roa what he knows 100% to be true, his answer;
“Truth is not individual. Every single one of us is living our own lives through our own lenses, so, if there’s seven billion of us, seven billion realities are being lived right now, and each is as true as the next.”
At TrooMe, we believe that each and every one of us has our own unique truth. Being true to ourselves, to our needs, and our hearts is the first step of many that must be taken on our journeys to self-love.
May we follow in Adam's footsteps, consciously creating in hopes of making the world a more loving place, cultivating spaces of compassion for others to feel safe, and most of all, treating ourselves like someone we love.