Courage is Being Scared and Doing it Anyway with Mariel Anderson

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In this episode, Mariel Anderson shares her journey and work with the Shine Foundation for Artistic Expression. They discuss the importance of empowering men with healthy perspectives on intimacy and their challenges in seeking help. They also discuss the historical perspective of men’s mental health.

There is a need to understand these historical factors and the differences in communication and emotion processing between men and women. They also discuss the importance of continuous personal growth and open conversations about mental health.

We need to challenge assumptions, education, critical thinking, and the role of information and literacy in shaping problem-solving skills. Remember that hardships and challenges can build inner strength and character.


{03:45} Meet Mariel Anderson

{04:45} Focusing on Men’s Mental Health

{13:30} Breaking Generational Cycles

{16:40} Challenging Assumptions

{31:40} Exploring Different Perspectives

{37:15} A Titan Develops through Life’s Challenges

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Mariel Anderson Bio

Mariel’s guiding principle is “See the Light, Be the Light.” She encourages others to embrace the goodness, love, and positive energy in our world while inspiring them to become a source of light themselves. With four fundamental rules governing her life—Respect yourself, respect each other, Respect your environment, and Be Kind—Mariel strives to leave a positive impact wherever she goes.

At just 27 years old, Mariel has experienced a lifetime of challenges. She has been an elite athlete, earned her B.A. in Counseling, survived an attempted abduction at the age of 7, and endured the trauma of rape at 15. She faced rejection from the church she grew up in and her own family. Furthermore, Mariel suffered through a gang rape at 18, witnessed the tragic suicides of seven friends, mourned the loss of eight friends to gang violence, and witnessed eight others succumb to drug overdoses. On top of all that, she left an abusive marriage and became a single mother.

These experiences ignited Mariel’s passion for mental health advocacy. Through trial and error in her career choices, she eventually discovered a way to combine her passion, purpose, and heart for service. Seeing the alarming decline in mental health statistics within her country and the devastating loss of lives, Mariel decided to take action. Thus, the SHINE Foundation for Artistic Expression was born.

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Hey, welcome back to the show. I’m here with Mariel Anderson. Mary, how? How are you doing today?

Just dandy, how about you?

Just dandy. I am doing fan ******* tastic as always. Mariel is a remarkable … host. Do I know? How do I say words?

Well, the struggle is there.

I will not edit this out. By the way, staying in a burial is a remarkable individual who lives the motto. See the light. Despite enduring a series of traumatic events, Mariel has dedicated her life to promoting mental health and founded the Shine Foundation for Artistic Expression.

Not Arctic.

Expression. This is my polar bear. This is how we express ourselves. Artistic expression. Join us as we explore Mariel’s inspiring journey and the impact of the Shine FAE, raising awareness and supporting mental well-being through Arctic/ artistic.

We just go into the Arctic and express ourselves. Well, thank you. Thank you. Very much.

Words, words, words. Look. I don’t even know where to start with you. There are so many cool things. Where are you? Where do you want to start? What do you want to talk about today? 


Here is a theory of everything. We’re.

I don’t even know where to begin, either.

Getting it down today

The beginning, I don’t know.

So, what is a shine foundation? Is that your primary gig? Are you doing something else?

No, that’s my primary thing. It’s my primary thing. Yes, I am. I’m changing it from a nonprofit to a charity, like this massive journey that’s been really fun

That because of Canada’s rules of weirdness.

Yes. Yeah. And it’s just like you have to create this. You know, binder, you then go thud on their desk, and then they have the power to say you. I spelled something wrong, though. This phrase, though.

Are you going to use it? Will you fill up your trapper keeper and take it to the government so they can bless it? You have tax-free status; is that what the deal is?

That’s one other thing, for sure. Yeah. And then we can give our donors, sponsors, and all that tax fee that enables them to get some refunds and all that kind of stuff. It helps us make a bigger impact because people are likelier to do so. You know, funds to help us do that when we can give them that receipt.

Yeah, I found that to be the case in America, too. And they’re like, I’d love to support your stuff. And they’re like, Are you 501 C-3? And they’re like, I’m working on it, like, well, when you get over that hump, we’re happy to help. And you’re like, ****, I have to do all this other paperwork. Like I get.

Exactly right. That’s where I am; that’s where I am, 

It’s like we met a year or 18 months ago or something like that. And I think, based on your videos and all your stuff, you were doing it online. Talking about relationship stuff, isn’t that right?

Yeah, totally. So, I went to school and got my BA degree in counseling. Throughout my life experiences, I have been guided towards helping people in their relationships and sexual intimacy. Romantic all, all of that fun stuff, which is funny because it’s the opposite of how I grew up. I grew up in a very Christian, conservative home. And that was like a bubble of just like that in the no bubble.

Right. And I don’t get that because of it. It doesn’t say any of that in the Bible. It doesn’t say thou shalt not have fun in the bedroom like it doesn’t say.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, one area I do have clients and coaches in is sexual intimacy relationships, and I am geared toward working with men.

Really. Why do you think? Why do you think that is?

When we can heal men’s Views perspectives on Hertz around intimacy, you know what that looks like on every level; we have all these men who are empowered to love and be loved healthily. And then, just like that, there is a massive ripple effect on families. And you know, outward, into society, and all of these things. 

And I also feel that men are less likely to search for that help or talk about it, like men’s mental health globally is like. … There are so many terrible statistics about, you know, suicide, mental health, overdoses, and drug use. And all of these things, and men have most of those going on, like, yes, women do, for sure. But we are also more likely to seek help, support, or talk about our feelings than you. You don’t, right? And so, I feel like there’s enough service. Not enough. There could always be more.

Oh yeah, no, I fully agree. One of my last speeches talked about the state of men and what is going on with them, and, you know, broad strokes, at least from an American perspective like World War 2. That whole event damaged the men in this country; huge amounts went overseas to fight. 

And, of course, there were ladies, too. But when you talk about, like, the Judeo-Christian view of how, you know, the family is, they were talking historical stuff, right? The guys, generally the leader and stuff like that, were so broken after those events, and then Korea and Vietnam continued, and now you know. Persian Gulf Global war on terrorism, like we’re just doing it to every new generation of men. 

But after World War II specifically, men were hurting, and they got into alcohol and drug abuse and treated their spouses and children terribly. And it just went on from there. That, along with legislation, really allowed welfare as a thing for and support for single moms, as that started branching out. 

So where we’re at currently is that we’re in a place where we have a generation of single Moms who are mostly single parents, but a generation of single parents raised them. 

And so, when we look back, even including childhood, the early 1900s is when the child labor laws came into effect. So before then, through all of time, there wasn’t such a thing as childhood, right? The job needed to be done as soon as you could start lifting a hammer or doing whatever. You started working on the farm or wherever you were, and then it’s like the 1910 somewhere in there; they were like kids under seven who can’t work anymore. And then they kept moving that lineup. 

So, we’ve got a bunch of single families. Homes we haven’t figured out as a society how to even have a childhood, yet we don’t know what we still don’t know what we’re doing following the broken men and the broken homes. 

So, instead of encouraging someone going through problems to stay with their spouse, I’m not talking about an abusive situation. I’m talking about where they’re fighting; they’re not getting along, just bored, or whatever. And then they ask their single friends or their parents, who are single parents. Oh, I did it. You can do it. You can. You really can do it. But there is just something that ladies don’t know or understand about raising a man. 

In my last speech, get your thoughts here in just a second. I did the speech at a Toastmasters event, and they were all ladies. It’s like me and a bunch of ladies. My perfect event, right?


But I used a little story, like about one of the young men who had helped me fix my fence. He is completely broken. He’s like 23 and has no idea how life works. I was talking to him a little bit, and he did something that I know inherently is not right. It’s not wrong, but he’s putting power tools in the dirt. Put him down on the ground. And I was like, hey, man, tools don’t go in the dirt. These are the tools you use to make money, right 

So they get taken care of. So they get put down on a hard, clean surface. They don’t just get tossed in there. I’m not talking about a shovel, but like a saw in a few. And things like we’re in the dirt. He’s like, Yeah, I’m spending a lot of money replacing all the parts and the bits. And all this stuff. I was like, if you put it in some place where it won’t roll away or hide in the grass like you’re going to do it, and all the gals that I was speaking to, none of them knew that guy rule of not putting tools that they had never heard of. And I’m not saying that ladies aren’t capable. I’m not saying that in the slightest. 

There are just some things they don’t understand about men. Ladies like to talk face-to-face. Stuff. Guys like being shoulder to shoulder, not talking, sitting shoulder to shoulder, and watching a game build rapport in a relationship with men; it doesn’t work with women, so all the single moms get down on their knees and look their sons in the eye. Look me in the eye. Guys don’t do that when they’re in trouble. They don’t look someone in the eye. It’s wrong for guys to do that. It’s not how we work. But then Mom forced him to do that. 

Just so outside of their being in character, and obviously, not all people are the same, but What a really bad place where the men are hurting and lost and not understanding how to move forward, and then they’re not talking about it. One of the reasons I do this show and all the other stuff I do is to talk about my ****. To give guys primarily permission to share their own stuff.

Yeah. Yeah, totally. It’s so. What are your thoughts on all this?

OK, so now we’re going to rewind. No. No, it’s so important. And you’re right; there are so many things that women don’t understand, and there are. And so, in some ways, it’s kind of a beautiful thing, where with women who are equipped with emotional regulation and communication and all of those kinds of things, then you’re seeing, you know, the boys who are growing up with them becoming men who understand that. Still, then, they become maybe a little bit outside of that. What other normal men would act like or be like, and they’re considered a little bit more feminine or, you know, all these things and get stuck with all these labels, right? 

Because they grew up learning things differently and from different perspectives. Yeah.

It’s interesting, though it’s my first time having somebody explain. It’s the shoulder versus the face-to-face thing to me. I grew up with brothers. My parents stayed together. I have a dad. I was going to say I had a dad. I still have a dad. He didn’t talk a lot about his emotions, either. He didn’t really, right? 

And so, there’s a lot of stuff there. Yeah, there’s a lot; mental health is huge. It’s just global. It’s just a global pandemic that’s going on. Everybody was talking about this, you know, pandemic and COVID, and all this stuff. Yet, OK, can we just stop for a minute because mental health issues have been around longer than COVID has, which is growing exponentially every day? Why are we not talking more about that, right? I think …  hurt, people hurt people.

But you know.

You know how the number one way to tell if Someone’s broken, aren’t you? If they’re breathing, they’re breathing; they’re broken; they are. And you know, some people listen; this might push back. And, like, I’m not broken. I get that that fierce response tells me that that’s not true.

Is there something to drink?

No matter what, you know what childhood looks like for anybody, right? We always try to fix the things that bother us as kids with our kids. Right. So, you know, back in the day, you know, get abuse in the home. Right. That was huge. The next generation-built homes without abusing them, and they weren’t cared for. Basic needs, basic needs stuff, sheltered clothing, all that stuff. We’re taking care of that. So, the next generation focused on that stuff, and then Kids are like dads. You lucked up. You’re not emotionally available. Well, ****, girl. I didn’t know there were emotions until two weeks ago. I had no idea there was more than one. Right. 

So the next generation, like my daughter’s generation, will grow up having all that stuff done. We will focus on the emotional needs and the communication with our kids, but they will miss something for that next generation that will come by fiction like you ****** me up. You didn’t. I don’t know what the thing is, but every generation has something that didn’t work out with the previous generation. 

And so, it takes time to get through this stuff and work it out. The last 100 years have been amazing, with some growth in some areas, but I didn’t know about emotions. And my daughter was, you know, feeling sad about our relationship when we’ve been working on it, and it’s going in a good direction, but like

I Didn’t know. I just didn’t know how to function, let alone that there was more than one emotion, and I was also supposed to care about other people’s emotions when I didn’t have any.

Yeah, yeah, it’s true. And I say to so many people that our kids will end up in therapy because of us one way or another like it just. It is what it is. You could have parents like mine who have been together since they were 15, like our house was. Seemingly full of love, right? And they did the best they could. But I mean, all four of us kids are ********. The Choices they made in raising us were right, and all four of us should. Be going to therapy. Right.

And then I have a daughter, and I’m like, OK, these are the things that ****** me up for my mom and dad, so I’m not going to do that to you. But even in teaching and raising her in a way opposite to my parents, I know I am lacking in something, and she will need to talk to somebody and process it. Right? Yeah. It’s just, yeah, you can only. It’s like we do the best that we can with the tools that we have. Right. And so. It’s just being able to be.

I think that one thing that I love about my life is that I’m continuing to always search for new tools, like what’s a different way I can explain this or what’s a different way I can process this for myself so that I can then teach somebody else how to do it. Life is about evolution. It’s not about growing. These are the cards I was dealt, so I’m just going to, like, ******* whatever, right?

Hmm, I like that you used that term. These are the cards that I was dealt. Have you ever played a card game before? 


I didn’t think that you had, you know, because it’s a Canadian thing. 


I was just playing the hand that I was dealt. It’s like, you know, you can fold that crappy hand and get a new one. In every card game I’ve ever played. You get the chance to get different cards all the time. The cards that I was dealt were crap. I played those as long as I could, but I held on to them for far too long, and when I finally folded them, there was a whole other world out there waiting for me and available for me that I didn’t know existed because I was so focused on the cards I was dealt.

One of the things I’ve been doing this summer is one of those kinds of explorations. What I’ve been doing is Challenging the things that we think we know. It’s something I didn’t realize I had kind of done my whole life, and other people are like, Yeah, Travis, you’re very challenging and almost like it’s a bad thing, but it’s not because we get told something along the way. 

Like, oh, these were the cars that we dealt with. And we just have to deal with it; if you don’t challenge that assumption, you will operate. Right. And somewhere in your operating system, in your being with those words, you will use that for the rest of your life until it gets challenged. You’re going to hear a sound bite from some politicians. 

And it will sound stupid like it’s easier to get a gun than a library card. We’re not going to devolve into a gun control thing, but that sentence is a sound bite, and it’s dumb as ****. Is it true that getting a gun is easier than a library card? Not in the slightest. But if you heard that and onboarded it, used and repeated it without challenging it. Like you, you can’t. I can’t do it. That doesn’t work. It might work for you, but, man, it doesn’t. Work for everybody else.

That’s like, literally. Like my childhood in a nutshell because of growing up in a Christian Conservative home, OK. And just like a little disclaimer here, my parents like many of my stories, which revolve around how I grew up and how unhealthy it was for me and my siblings. 

And I challenged my parents five years ago. I had to cut them off completely or whatever. I came to them five years ago. Set boundaries said that this is how I needed to be treated by them; otherwise, they were not going to see me. They would not see my daughter like it was, just like when something needed to change. It’s not you. Then, over the past five years, they have blown my mind with the amount of growth. They’ve come through, like, it’s amazing. 

But I grew up in this little bubble, and it was like you couldn’t challenge anything. I was homeschooled until 7:00, and then in seventh grade, I went to a Christian private school that was affiliated with the church that we went to. And, you know, we had, like, even in our science. It was the creation story; they didn’t have any. Science is in there. If it was over, if somebody claimed that something was over a million years old, it was like blasphemy because the earth isn’t a million years old. The Bible says it’s, you know, what I mean? 

And so, it was just like all of these things that were, like, infiltrated into my brain as being truth. This is what is real. And anytime that I challenge it, I am a challenging person. I got it right. And I just like that we never learned about any other religions. Like sex? Like, not like, nothing drinking. Drugs are like nothing. It was just Like Nope. Out of the bubble, is it okay to not challenge it? Right. And then, at some point, that serves no one any good purpose.

No, pretending things don’t exist to maintain the family or household structure is not helpful, and Christians should know this, right? Because of how the Catholic Church propagated Christianity, it’s Catholicism, and it’s the same thing that’s happened over the last couple of generations in the Middle East: they’re the ones holding all the cars. 

They’re the only ones who know how to read the book. And they’re telling you what it says and not allowing you to explore it alone. I was in the Middle East for a year. Have I enjoyed the area? I love meeting people and talking about different things; some of the things I learned were shocking that I didn’t. I knew it could be a thing, but I couldn’t understand it. 

One of the things this is just a random, for instance, like they have like. It’s. It’s an island, right? It’s on the Persian Gulf. It’s the beach. There’s a beach all the way around, and they have places you could go fly-boarding and rent jet skis and cool stuff. And I went on their website and was like, Yeah, this will be great. But they didn’t have, like, posted prices on stuff. And I got there, and we did whatever I had and had a great day, but I was like, That’s weird. Like, you don’t post prices of your stuff on here. Why is that? 

And this is his word… He’s like, well, the Saudis don’t read. And I was like, The Saudis don’t read! He’s like, yeah, they’re great in business and do all this stuff, but everything’s with a handshake, and they’re personal integrity. But, like, they don’t read. And I was thinking about that and talking to another friend who had been there for several years, a couple of years. 

And I was like, how does terrorism take place? And I was talking about the Quran as a whole, and I’m sure people will push back on this stuff because, just like any religious book, there’s some **** in there, too, right? But you know the culture there when you explain or talk about terrorism, like, you cannot be Muslim, you cannot follow the Quran and do that behavior like they don’t work anyone who’s a follower of Islam. They don’t behave that way. They do some other shady **** that we won’t get into, but If these Terrorist groups are doing what the Catholic Church did, they’re holding the book and telling you what it says, which you can’t read and verify yourself. Of course, you can create fanatics and terrorists because they can’t check it for themselves. 

They can’t look, go, and verify that **** isn’t there. You’re lying to us. They can’t do it. They can’t read. And I’m not assuming that they’re all illiterate. That doesn’t make sense, but I could see how it could happen as the Catholic Church did a long time ago, How would we get to that point?

Yeah, that’s right. And it’s like when you have people in a controlled environment. Right then, you’ve taken away their power. Really.

It sounds like school. It’s true. It’s true.

That was cool for me anyway. But yeah, just seeing somebody, it’s so important to challenge, like, I remember when we had to take Bible class or whatever in school. And the teacher would get us. to memorize a verse from the Bible. And then, we would have a quiz the next day, and we would have to write word for word, and then we would have to write down what it meant. Which he would also tell you.

So now, it’s like news today. Here’s the news story: 2-minute clip. Here’s 45 minutes of How you should feel about it.

Yes, right. OK. So, I’m not lying to you and saying this was a weekly argument between this teacher and me because I Would never write what it meant to him. I always wrote what it meant to me and failed the class because of that. That was how it was, but I just wouldn’t like it. I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that. I’m like, but that’s not what it means. I don’t understand. Like, what the ****?

That’s one of the reasons they call it the living word because the definitions and what it means to you change over time. Right, it’s supposed to. Grow and evolve with you, and you’re understanding. Yeah, I just am. I do not mean to turn this into a whole religious conversation, but it seems like we’re going like this.

It just happened. Damn.

I’ve been at a crossroads, which is interesting because Travis’s definition means from the crossroads, which I think is funny. But yeah, right. You know, I’ve got some shows. I’m doing some podcasting stuff. I love meeting and talking to people, but I’m like, what the heck? Is there a point to this? Am I using it? This is for a thing like, what is? The purpose of some of this stuff I’m doing other than having a great damn time doing it, you know? 

And so, a friend challenged me to go back through the Word and read certain Bible sections in a certain order to help me understand. So, like, I went back and read through Matthew. And because I was studying it, looking through some of the stories and the things Jesus said, I don’t remember. I never read that stuff, like I’m reading again for the first time. 

And I’m like, what did he say? He did what? This is far different than what I remember and read through. All the red text is words spoken by Jesus and different things. But it is in a different context than where I’m at now. 

So, they recommended that I read the four gospels and then read Paul, the most prolific writer in the Bible, and then go back and read David the, the second-most prolific writer in the Bible, so read them in that order. 

So, I’m interested to see how my thoughts, direction, feelings, and understanding of this will change through those things. I’m kind of excited to see it.

Yeah. So, I’m interested too. I’m interested, too.

What happens?

To give you an update on that, it’s been a while. Since I read before

But I think I think you do. I had, you know, very different, but somehow both tumultuous upbringings. You know, you sounded like you were in basically the same house with the same family for the whole time. And I was in 36 different places. And I live with my mom and my grandma. Or in foster care of all these other things, when you go through things in life, they suck. Right. 

They suck at whatever level they suck at, but I’m under the impression that all of those things shape and create who we are. When I look at problems or things that happen, you know what I like. The scale of chaos in my life is much different than the average person, right? Something that might be a four on my scale because it’s like, yeah, it’s a thing, but it’s not, you know, anything that works might be a 9/10 on somebody else’s scale, right? 

So, my scale for chaos is vastly skewed. One of the great things about it is that everything is burning down like I know how to operate. I know how to do it. I know how to keep a calm head. I knew how to get things done when chaos existed as a kid. I knew I was learning many ways to solve the same problem I would see. It is done in all these different locations with different families and different people, and I see it being done in different, But I saw all of them reaching the goal of whatever it was, so I know that there’s not just one way to solve something.

I could also meet and talk to people and make fast friends with damn near anybody because I was only changing schools. I was always changing neighbors. I was always in a new church. I was always in a new environment; those are some of the fruits that came from what was. Planted within me, how would you say you know what are some of the things with the fruit of your life based on some of the things that you?

I think one of the things is the sense of belonging and being in a safe space where you weren’t judged; you were just able to be you and be loved for who you were. That was something that was lacking in my life. 

And so, because of that, and that’s such the need for us is to feel safe and like we belong. And when you don’t get that in your family unit, you are suddenly searching for it everywhere, right? And you get yourselves into lots of trouble sometimes trying to find that. But you know what it feels like not to have that. And so, I know what that felt like for me, and it was so detrimental to who I was as a kid. I just wanted a home where I wasn’t going to be judged or where I could talk about things. And it would be something I wouldn’t be getting in trouble for. Are you curious or not? You know all of these things. 

So, because of that, I have become somebody like that, right? I kind of like you. I’m a chameleon. I can go anywhere and be in any sort of group, culture, or subculture like it doesn’t matter. And I will be OK. I will have social anxiety because I just do. But I’ll be OK, and I will. I will leave that situation, and people will feel like they would like me to come back. I made them feel like they belonged with me. It doesn’t matter where I go. Right, and so. Yeah. 

So that’s something that’s walked with me through my life—just being able to create that space within myself. For me, belonging to me is a safe space. And then, anybody who comes into contact with me, how can I make you feel like you can just breathe and be authentic? And just be unconditionally loved.

That is wonderful. I don’t think I’ve been able to do that quite yet. Some people call me challenging. Some people call me a straight-up instigator. Whenever I’m in public, I try to conduct some kind of social Permanent. I’ve said this before on the show, but I love finding people stuck in their hamster wheel or whatever. The thing is that whatever routine they’re doing, I try to follow it. I want to kick them off their hamster wheel so they can join me momentarily. 

One of my favorite people to do that with is waiters, and waitresses don’t like it when they’re slammed, right? Not when they’re just trying to get stuff done, and you’ll make it through the day. Like, if there’s, you know, some space, then not too at A at a brewery across the street from my house. 

And there’s a guy at his eye who was, like, messed up, obviously injured. It was red. There was blood in the eyeball. And it was very obvious. And he came to the table. And it was like holy. ****, man. Like, should you? Be in the hospital. And you know, I got into that interaction and, you know, made him laugh and do some other stuff, then came back at the end. And he was like, I went to the hospital about two weeks ago, and I’ve been working because I have to. He’s like that, but you’re the first person. To ever ask if I Was OK. Not at the restaurant but at the brewery. In two weeks, no one he interacted with since the incident asked if he was OK. If he needed help, 

And that, I mean, breaks my heart a little bit that people are just not Engaging with the people around. Them right. They’ll go to their lunch, have their little circle of people, and run through the same kind of discussion they always have about sports or whatever. Garbage to drum up and chat about. And, like, the rest of the restaurant doesn’t exist. And they’re there. 

They’re just on their hamster wheel of how they interact with those people. And they never do anything. And they never challenge anything, and they rarely seem like they’re even trying to grow as a person at all. Yeah. What do you think about that?

Those are. I can’t be around people like that.

The instigators, like me or like people,

No, I love instigators like you because I’m similar, right? Like, and it’s true. It’s so important to be able to see outside and to acknowledge that everybody has a life.

And when you are in that person’s presence, you’re a part of that person’s life, whether that’s for a split second because they are your waiters, or It’s an extended period because they come on as a client, or, you know, whatever looks like they’re a follower on social media, you get to share moments in time with that. Years later, why are we not putting more intention into what we do now? 

Right. It’s just that it’s such an important piece. I used to work at a safe house for people at risk. Teen boys. OK, this house. Oh, my God. The stories are just endless, endless, right? But there is this one. One boy was there. He was the first one in the house on my birthday, my first time coming to work. He was there for probably about seven months because he was just from an abusive home, and you know, all of these things that put these kids into a safe house, and he and I were having a talk, and he would always come home stoned. And I was supposed to get him in trouble and like. You know, write it up, call people, and do everything. And it’s like, I’m not going to ******* cause. I know I can’t. I didn’t do it.

And you’re like, puff, puff, pass, dude, you have to share that stuff. I don’t know.

I mean, maybe I wanted to, but no, but what would happen is he would come home, and he was good at art, like when I would see him doodling sometimes, and he was really good. And so, when he came home, and he was quite obviously like blazed to heaven, I would be like, I want to watch TV and eat Snacks, and I It was like, no, no TV snacks. Sure, but we’re going to sit at the table, and you’re going to do Art. And he was like, What the ****, right? He hated it, but he also Loved it at the same time. Time. 

So, then he and I would sit there, and he would draw. And like, then start talking to me about his life and, you know, all of these things, right, and through all of these stories, I would just listen. And then, finally, one day, I told him, you know, you’re really important. I just feel like you need to know that. You’re important when you show up back here after you leave. I’m glad that you came home. And you are now, you know, a player in my life. And I’m glad that you’re here, and he will look at his face. It was like color left his face, and he looked blankly at me. And he said you’re the first person who has ever told me that. And I was like, holy ****.

How old was he?

Right. He was 16.

Oh, man.

Right. And it’s like, oh.

That is.

Like how? How often. So, you know, all these people who are the instigators, troublemakers, or doing things that you’re just shaking your head or standing outside the door causing a ruckus. Whatever it is, those are usually the people who don’t know that they’re important, who’ve never been told that they’re valued, who’ve never been handed the tools, the support, or the love to make better choices and better decisions, right? 

And so, and it’s amazing how impactful you saying that to that waiter or me saying that to that boy, right? Those are things that stay with them forever. And it’s something so simple.

I frequented several foster homes in my youth, and for me, that was always the most loving, supportive environment I was ever in because everything else was just much crazier than I thought. I didn’t feel at home. I didn’t know what that feeling was like. I’m home and safe till I’m in my 30s. I didn’t have that feeling for 30 years. And you said there was always some person in my life for whatever season they were on the roster, right? Some people poured into my life, which got me through everything.

So, you took the time to be with him And then tell him what you thought of him because he needed to hear it. That is just so valuable, and so many more people need to be able to do something like that. Just be present with the people. Around you, even if it’s just even. You only stand to do it for 3 minutes a day. Like, do that for 3 minutes. Whatever that is, please, dear God.

Yeah, yeah.

Take those 3 minutes to say something nice, too. Someone around you, like Kirby or Bill, is encouraging and telling me, you know what you’re doing great. I appreciate you. That goes such a long way. It goes such a long way towards people. You know, maintaining their humanity.

Yeah, totally. Yeah.

So, we’ve been talking for a little while right now, and I’ve got to ask the question that I love to ask: I want to know what makes you tight.

OK, I think my ability to understand that life doesn’t happen to us; It happens to us. Is there something that has made me entitled because I’ve been able, like me, to understand that? Even though I like to think I understand. That before, there were words for it. For years and years and years, Years, because so many things that were not in my control happened to me. Role, right? Like growing up in a Christian home. That’s like I had no control over how my parents chose to raise me. Or, you know, I’ve been raped multiple times and didn’t choose that. Or, you know, there’s like all of these different situations that happen, trauma that arises, and being able to say, OK, but. I didn’t have a choice in that.

What do I have a choice in? How am I going to look at that? Learn something from it, or have it become something like that? It doesn’t have to stay negative. I don’t have to be a victim in that moment. In that moment or that time frame, I was maybe a victim. But that’s not where I need to stay. Right. And I don’t ever want to feel powerless.


Right. And so, when you can understand how to regain your power and be courageous. Then that’s something that I think makes a Titan.

Oh, I love that. I love that. This topic comes up quite frequently in the show and every other area of my life. It’s not what? It’s not about the event; it’s about what you get from the event. There’s no number on the stock market, for that is the reason for your life, right? 

When this is at the highest it’s ever been, people are going bankrupt. And when it falls to the bottom, people make billions of dollars. The fact that it goes up or down has nothing to do with you. And it doesn’t mean anything. Whoever is the president or the prime minister, how much effect do they have on your life? Maybe one or two things, but if you’re just blaming the president all day like that doesn’t help you, it doesn’t matter, right? It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, where the blame is if the thing happened. And what will you do with it now that it has happened? 

Now that it’s that’s Happened and Being raped, growing up in foster care, going through terrible things—everyone’s going through something horrendous; they all have it; it’s different. Every story has a different label, but it happened, so now, will you take responsibility for your life and everything in it and move forward, or will you stay victimhood and play your sad song everywhere? 

And I’m not saying that people don’t need time to heal. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying it’s been six years since, whatever the thing is, that happened.

Are you seeking healing? Are you trying to make it better? Are you growing as a person? Are you? What is the thing that’s happening? I won’t discount a bad day, but if you’re my inner circle, like the next day, I’m like, alright, what are we doing about it?

Yes, 100% right, and that’s totally a good point, like bringing up the processing: it takes time to process trauma. And you know what? There’s a time when, like, the first time I got raped, I was 15 years old. OK, a long time ago.

So, after 15 years, no, no. Oh, my God. 20 years of holy ****, I’m old. OK, 20 years later, I’m doing that. Sometimes, there’s still a moment where I need to pause and be OK with that emotion, that hard emotion because of what happened, and process it. And then OK. And then move on, right? What is it if healing isn’t a thing? 

Healing isn’t a linear thing. Healing is up and down and around. And all these things, and you think you’re fine. And then all of a sudden, something reminds you, and you’re like, Oh, ****. It’s like, Here I am back. Here again. Right. Have you ever seen the guy who stares at a trampoline, walks up the stairs, falls off, bounces back up to the stairs, and goes on? Well, but, like, it’s like, that’s life, right? You’re continuing. You’re always attempting to move upward and onward, but sometimes things bring you back down. But how resilient are you? How able are you to process it and then continue moving forward? Right, because also, life will deliver you the same lesson in a different form over and over and over until you figure it out. 

So you learned the lesson. Oh, you didn’t learn the lesson. We’re going to give you another chance to learn that lesson. I don’t understand why I’m always in bad relationships. Well, let me tell you, you didn’t learn the lesson.

Yeah, seriously, it’s kind of humorous, but not when you’re in it. But when you look back and finally learn it, you’re like, Oh my God. I could have avoided it. So many of these things if I’d taught them the first time, but also, as we kind of chatted about. All those times, you had to go and have another opportunity to learn it. It all becomes tools in your belt. It’s all experiences. It’s all stories. It’s all part of your road map, right? So, I recently read a book I don’t remember.

Congrats. Is this your first?

Which one was it?

One, there’s some like when this gets published, like back some, like Internet trolling.

I know. Thank you. It is good.

Like Travis, you were. The worst—how could you say that?

Oh, my God, that’s hilarious. OK, but in this book I read, the author talked about a study of these scientists who wanted to create the perfect forest, so they made this like a biodome out in the desert.

I saw that movie in the 90s.

No, no. I didn’t even know it was a movie. No, I wasn’t even allowed to watch Disney movies because there was magic. OK.

Oh, there’s magic in the Bible.

Oh, right. Yes, yes, miracles.

Moses, part of the Red Sea

Water to wine. That’s the important one.

That’s an important one. Yeah, yeah.

That’s true. These scientists built this dome in the desert and trucked in all the earth they had. Like, they have perfect oxygen going in. And all these things, and they planted all these trees, bushes, and stuff. And they were really happy with how well everything was growing. And but it was like, maybe ten years down the road, and all of these trees that they planted were seemingly healthy and kept falling over for no reason. They were just Like us.

Did they not bring it in? They’re not bringing in the right fungus to create the bed of the forest.

So, they’re trying to figure it out, right? They’re going through all these checklists, but we have this. And then and then, suddenly, somebody goes, we don’t have wind.

Don’t have wind?

Because they’re in the dome, they’re protected from everything. OK. And so, by trees, out in the natural forests and right, they’re experiencing all of this exterior turmoil and events of wind and storms and all these things that are blowing them around. And their roots have to go deeper to the ground; they have to go out to connect for support. Right. 

And so all of these trees in this perfect place did nothing. They were just pretty on the outside. And then as soon as possible. And then, as soon as they got too heavy, they fell over, right? 

And so, when I read that, I thought it was so beautiful because that’s what our Life is. We can try and make it as perfect as we want, but at the end of the day, the wind, the struggles, and the experiences that are hard, uncomfortable, or traumatic. That’s what we do. It is the opportunity; that’s what creates our depth, our understanding, and our empathy. And you know, all of these important values come from hard times. 

Mic drop.

That’s it. The interview is over. We can’t go any better from here. I’ve never heard it put in that context before, and I’ve never heard it put in that context before. I’ve heard a few other scenarios where they talk about, you know, more than 80% of the world leaders having a horrendous upbringing because it creates that strength. That’s inherent in that person. There are two major things. You either have the internal or an external drive driver, right? The internal drive comes from situations where you keep getting less until you learn the damn lesson, right? 

A lot of broken people out there are attracted to other broken people. And wondering why it doesn’t. Work out, but the external factors If you don’t have that internal drive from that hardship, right? If you don’t have that thing, that motor that’s just pushing you, like my wife, who grew up on the farm next to her grandparents and the next house over. And like everything else, it’s all self-contained. She has her chaos scale; it’s much different than mine. Right? 

Because she didn’t have those factors, if I’m talking about the stuff that affected me, she feels she doesn’t have room for any of her stories because it wasn’t that bad for her. It was bad on her scale but not bad compared to mine. And you can’t. You can’t compare the two. As we talk about these terrible things that happen to us, this makes us who we are. 

This is the stuff that creates that Titan with us and in us. This is the stuff that creates our superpowers because everyone’s got them. Everyone’s got a superpower where, like, man, you did this thing like, oh, yeah, like it was no big deal for you. The super easy thing was you. You could do it in your sleep. And it’s a superpower compared to most of the population because They said that because they have no idea how you did it, even though it’s so easy.

When we have these things that we go through that we built through, this makes us valuable to society and the whole. That’s the thing that people get put in our path to where you can use those tools to help them out because they don’t have the tools to do with themselves, but they have no idea what their tools are. When you talk about something like, well, many people ask me, how am I supposed to answer the question? What makes you tight? 

It depends on you, man, what? What roots do you have? What things were built within you to get to where you are now because the core of who you are is what makes the fruit? It’s what you know that builds the company. That’s what you know, which gets you through school. That’s what gets you, you know, your wings as a pilot. Like, that’s all the fruit of the core of who you are that was growing. 

And people want to. Yeah, none experience that hard. They want to just get to the easy. And every time you push, every time you struggle, and every lesson you learn, that makes your comfort zone bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. It’s like, oh, Travis, how can you travel anywhere? The world. Well, the first time I did it, it was terrifying. You don’t know anything. 

But I’ve been on dozens of trips to a dozen countries. All over the place, and now, for me, it’s easy, but you better not believe it the first time. I did it. I didn’t suck terribly at it; I didn’t pack the right stuff, bring the right money, or have access to the bank card, and I didn’t like it. I showed up as a whole. The country is like, dude, what are you doing here? I have no idea I got no idea, but here we are.

But I’m here, present, not perfect.

Yeah. Present. Not perfect.

Yeah, but that’s true. Like I said, one of my favorite things is outside our comfort zone, where we grow; there’s not very often a point where I’m just comfortable. Like almost every single day, I do something that terrifies me in some way, shape, or form because that’s where I’m going to learn or that’s where I’m going to grow. If I just want to stay comfortable, like in this case, it will be boring, and I’m a little bit. I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. I was more into it in a physical space before I had to deal with many chronic pain issues. 

But, like downhill longboarding, losing is like jumping out of planes. Whatever, right? I loved that, and then my body started to force me to slow down to process some trauma in my life, so my adrenaline-seeking went towards things like this, like doing a podcast or public speaking or trying to make a new habit. Communicate more healthily, or you know all of those things, right? They become a different way to step outside your comfort zone, which isn’t an adrenaline rush. When you step outside your comfort zone in some way, being comfortable in the uncomfortable is like

Comfortable in the uncomfortable, yes.

That’s where I like to be. As soon as I feel comfortable, I Get uncomfortable in a way that I’m like, oh, I need to do something. I need to learn something new. I need to put myself in a situation that will help me evolve past this place.

The thing that gets me is that many people say that talking about the top of the mountain is nothing and everything is what it took to get there.

When you’re going through something that you’re striving to do, Like, when I went through flight school, I was like, holy ****. Like, this is a lot. There are people in their early 20s who don’t have any dependents going through, and they’ve got whatever they need to do in the day, and then they go drink in the evening and hang out at the beach. And like, I was doing it with a wife and two kids, and she worked, and the kids were in school, and I was insane right the whole way as I go through this process. 

And then the second it’s done, and you get the wings and the accreditation or whatever the thing was, you look back on it right after you finish, and you’re happy for two seconds. You look back on it and say, well, that wasn’t that hard because you made it through it. Right. Because you make it through it, it’s so hard. It’s so hard every step of the way.

And when you do it, you’re like, oh, well, that wasn’t too bad because of that whole process. The whole time, as you, you know, busted out of your cocoon to get to the place where you can truly fly. And then, once you fly, you wonder why you didn’t do it the whole time. Like, how could it possibly be the whole time? Yeah, like the entire time, the entire time.

It might feel like imposter syndrome when you push yourself when you are in that struggle when you’re doing that thing. Like what? What? What right do you have to be here? Right? You’re not even trying with your life if you’re not feeling that. If you’re not feeling that regularly, you’re not even trying.  It is what it is. 

And people got to work on that as we’re getting ready to come to a close here. Mary, I wanted to give you the chance to provide a little encouragement to people out there. Someone who’s struggling That’s just trying to do something they’ve never done before. It’s the first time putting a toe. Outside of that comfort zone, you know, what would you do? What advice would you have?

Just to keep going, like, have that resilience and drive to push past it, because exactly what you said. Once you’re on the other side, you’re like, OK, right. And then and then that adds courage to your belt. I think, you know, being courageous means being scared and doing it anyway. There are so many things that happened in my life personally that I am scared. Jealous. You know, shaking, sweating, whatever. Right. And being able to come through that on the other side, like, do it anyway. And then come through on the other side, and you build so much rapport within yourself that you show up for yourself. Right, every time you show up for yourself, you hold your shoulders back a little bit more and your chin up a little more. And that’s what’s important. 

And I think the final thing is to see the light as the light, right? This world is full of chaos, trauma, and negativity; bad news is all we get. And you know all of these things are going on, so you also find what you look for. Right. 

And so, if we’re always trying to see the light in the world and see that positivity, see where there’s a, you know, somebody helping someone else or all of that when we’re looking for that, we’re going to find it and also be that for other people because my favorite quote, I’m going to slaughter. 

So, I’m Just Doing Like Short Is by Marianne Williamson, and she said that our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate but that we’re powerful beyond measure, right? And that’s like When we shine, we unconsciously permit others to do the same.

So, it’s contagious when we’re looking for and being that light. It’s contagious, and everybody needs that kind of contagion.

I just want to infect the whole population with positivity. I love it.


Courage is being scared and doing it anyway. That reminds me of a scene. Have you ever seen the lethal weapon movies?

A long time ago.

Yeah. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover There’s a line at Danny Glover. And every film he says, I’m getting too old for this ****. Right. And as we get older, we start feeling that way. But the thing is, he said it a lot. And then he went and did it anyway. I’m getting too old for this, but we’re doing it. Here we go. Right. I also wanted to come back on one other thing. You talked about the adrenaline rush. It is so interesting that when that happens to people, it generally results in one of two ways. 

It results in exhilaration, or it results in anxiety, or paralyzing fear. And the difference between the two is the story that we tell ourselves. The adrenaline hits. Why did it hit? Which story are you telling? You’re at the top of, you know, an uncharted mountain, snowboarding and fresh powder. Do you have anxiety or acceleration? What story are you telling yourself in that moment? Really. I wanted to thank you so much for being our guest today. Please let people know where they would like to stay. To connect with you.

Probably on Instagram. Actually. Yeah. @Mariel.Nicole

@Mariel.Nicole, we’ll have those links in the show notes and all that fun stuff. Thanks again, Mariel, for being my guest.

Well, thanks for having me. It’s been wonderful. 

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