Episode #86 – Philip McKernan – Heeding the Call to a Courageous Life

“That’s what we do. We deny the parts of ourselves that are the most authentic expression of who we are in this world. It takes a ton of energy, it’s exhausting, but we don’t even realize how exhausting it is until we finally own up to it.” – Philip McKernan



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          • Show Notes
          • [02:08] Patrick introduces his next guest, Philip McKernan.
          • [03:36] Philip and Patrick reconnect over the Zoom waves after several years and catch up with what Philip is up to now.
          • [06:31] Philip expands on the type of work he and his wife Pauline are doing and how they have doubled-down in the last few years to reach as many people as possible.
          • [08:25] The perfect referral that he never imagined – the desire for personal growth and development becoming proactive rather than reactive. The work they’re doing now with clients is broadening and going to deeper to lean into that shift.
          • [11:47] Regrets, They’ve Had a Few. The data collected by a hospice worker on the regrets of the dying; I wish: I’d had the courage to live true to myself and not others’ expectations, I hadn’t worked so hard, I had the courage to express my feelings, I had stayed in touched with friends, I’d let myself be happier.
          • [14:12] Philip’s perspective on why people choose not to be happy.
          • [16:56] Patrick gives some context around aligning with our values and how he got tripped up by compromising his.
          • [18:55] The magic and gold that exists when we explore our past to learn from it. Philip shares an example of this from one of their Ireland retreats and the work that results from that personal journey.
          • [22:40] The way we show up to create an impact doesn’t have to occur in epic proportions.
          • [23:46] A rich and robust conversation between Philip and Patrick is built on the fundamental truth that finding purpose, sharing our gifts, being of contribution and creating impact in a way that aligns with who we truly are, is neither about monetization nor the money. Money is a useful outcome but the joy and truth of giving ourselves permission to connect with people from an authentic expression of who we are, is where the value lives. Listen to the examples they share of how this occurs.
          • [38:42] Philip explains how much of what he delivers in his work from a place of intuition and how that has changed for him over the years. He also shares an observation of Patrick in the spirit of illustrating that our biggest impact usually stems from the things that come most naturally to us.
          • [43:05] Philip delivers a beautiful example from One Last Talk of the impact available to others when we share what’s within our heart.
          • [46:27] Releasing the shame we carry and cling to, could be the single greatest opening to our personal freedom. Similarly, releasing the stubborn need to be right and making amends allows us to move forward with grace.
          • [50:39] In this current COVID-19 reality of self-isolation and slowing down, Philip offers three questions for those who are creating this time for self reflection. 1) Who am I going to be through this crisis? 2) How am I going to remember myself as I look back? 3) How can I nurture myself during this time; how can I support myself, my family, my community, humanity? One bonus question: if the world suddenly flipped the switch back on – are you going to take up exactly where you left off or are you going to make some changes?
          • [56:12] Shifting the stories we identify with: “this is just the way I am”, “this is the way I was raised”, “you don’t understand my circumstances/my unique pain.” These are all mechanisms to shield ourselves from growth and showing up more powerfully.
          • [60:38]: Philip offers another example which shows when we listen to our intuition and challenge the story we have been holding on to, the truth can reveal itself and blossom into self-accountability. Moreover self-trust.
          • [66:38] Philip shares a few defining moments in his life which he has used to fortify his purpose, not diminish it.
          • [71:22] Philip and Patrick discuss their view of strong leadership qualities: authenticity, vulnerability, humility, compassion, empathy, courage and trusting intuition.
          • [75:45] What was the catalyst for Philip’s move away from a familiar life in Ireland, a country he loves, to come to Canada? The courage is in that intersection between reality and pain crossing into possibility.
          • [82:09] The journey Philip and his wife Pauline chose was reinforced by relationships and people who believed in them, fueled them and chose to converge part of their own journey with them.
          • [85:25] A huge shift in Philip’s life came when he realized the thing he had been denying himself was truly his calling.
          • [87:47] Rolling into rapid fire: an impactful book for Philip; favourite swear word; favourite inspirational quote; message at the pearly gates; Philip’s weirdness scale; room-desk-car; favourite tune; favourite movie.
          • [89:31] Philip’s gratitude.
          • [90:26] On one final note, Philip shares a quote from Donald Winnicott.

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