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21 Sep

Ep. 118 – Ryan Weiss – Founder of Waking Up With Ryan

“What I teach about is how the universe can be in control of our life and show us where we are meant to go and who we are meant to meet if and only if we’re open to it.”

Ryan Weiss – Founder of Waking Up With Ryan; Leading Coach and Teacher of Spirituality in Los Angeles; Understanding the ego; Mastering gratitude.


Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Ryan Weiss and his journey as an entrepreneur and coach; Starting off on Broadway; the power of humility and asking for help; A chance meeting with Marianne Williamson.

Ryan’s finer points:

“I had always had a passion for working in entertainment. I had been a singer and a dancer growing up and at 19 years old, booked a Broadway show called Wicked and was doing that on Broadway for about four years which was an incredible experience.”

“It was also an experience that I went into way before I was ready and so I joined a cast of Broadway professionals who’d been doing it for their entire lives and had to learn really, really, really quickly how to be a professional, how to operate under stress, how to operate under anxiety.”

“In that show, I was also cast as what’s called a swing so I covered 12 different parts and every night, I would go on for a different part.”

And that experience taught me so much about operating under pressure, about staying present and focused. Probably the biggest thing I learned, was how to very humbly ask for help.

“So I have moments of memories of standing on the stage behind the curtain before the show would start and the big introduction music would start and I would look at all my fellow cast members and I would simply say to them, I don’t know what I’m doing and I really would love your support and your help and people were shocked that I would that would do that because, God, how could you expose that you don’t know what you’re doing.”

“I guess because I knew that there was no reason for me to know because it was so much responsibility and I never got to actually even watch the show to learn the tracks. So I got to learn about the power of humility and asking for help.”

“From there, I really wanted to produce film and I moved back home, I’m from Los Angeles. I moved from New York back to L.A. where I started working in an agency that was called Endeavor at the time which that show Entourage is based on, which then merged with William Morris to become WME.”

I worked at the company at that time and loved, loved, loved, loved the experience and was also so overwhelmed by the anxiety and the stress and the tension and the competition and the like throwing under the bus of the world the environment that I was in.

“From there, I went and ran development at an epic production company. At 25 years old, I was the director of development at this really amazing production company. I was very grateful for my past, the people that I met, the relationships that I built, the experience that I had, the projects I got to work on.”

“During that time, I kind of had my, whether you want to call it my Saturn returns moment, a moment of existential crisis of looking at what I, of achieving what I always really, really, really, really, really thought I wanted. The level of success, the relationship building and I was kind of simultaneously depressed in the, “Oh my God, I don’t think this is really what I want and I’ve spent all these years cultivating what I thought I wanted but it’s just not really what I want.'”

“At that same time, I had gone to a dinner party that a friend of mine invited me to and as soon as I walked into this gorgeous house for this dinner party.”

I see this woman and she's beautiful and she comes over to me right away and we just start talking and we sit in the corner and we end up having this like three and a half hour, we didn't even eat dinner that night.

“We just sat separate from everyone else and started talking and she just started kind of counseling me and teaching me about these different aspects of new thought. As a dancer, I’d always been in my yoga practice so I had always been receiving kind of these ideas from yoga philosophy that were seeping into me whether I realized it or not.”

“There I am sitting with this woman having this fascinating conversation. She’s teaching me about how, I was 27 at this point or turning 27.”

“She’s teaching me about how I’m entering into what’s called in the zodiac, your Saturn Returns, which is probably epically important for your listeners like the millennial entrepreneur listener to know about right now because 27 to 30 she’s teaching me is this three year transition where you kind of look at the last 30 years of your life, you get clear on what’s working and what you want to continue and you get clear on what’s not working and what you’re ready to shed so that you can prepare yourself for the next 30 years.”

She's teaching me about how life has a way of forcing us into that growth and we'll be in a lot of pain where we'll experience whether it's divorce or bankruptcy or failure businesses or health crises if we resist that change. And so, this was so applicable to what was going on in my life. She was just like blowing my mind.

“And then I get up from this conversation three hours whatever later and my friend who invited me to the dinner goes, “Holy shit, do you know who you were just talking to?” And I said, “No, no, I mean, she said her name was Marianne but I’m not familiar. Should I know who she is?” And he goes, “Yeah, go to marianne.com.”

“You’ll find the Marianne Williamson work, you’ll find her books, you’ll find that her book A Return to Love started Oprah’s Book Club 25 years ago. She’s been on Oprah every year for 25 years. She started Project Angel Food. She speaks and lectures all over the world about spiritual practice and about this metaphysical text called A Course in Miracles.”

“The funny thing in that moment was I had been studying and reading the text of A Course in Miracles on my own, through my own kind of, life had its way of bringing that into my life about six months before that. So everything was kind of piecing together and of course a miracle suggested that I start waking up every single morning and asking my highest self, asking my infinite self, where would you have me go, what would you have me do, what would you have me say and to whom.”

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Ryan Weiss; Quitting his job; Being open to possibilities; Starting his new journey as a coach.

Ryan’s finer points:

“And things started happening. And there was one day when I was at my production job and there were three projects that I was obsessed with, that I felt where the reason that I wanted to do this work the world.”

“They were going really, really well and we were moving on them and then on one day, all three of the projects collapsed on themselves. Literally all three. One actor that I was building this massive YouTube channel with said, “I don’t want to do this anymore,” and then two film projects that I was working on fell apart, all on the same day.'”

“I was just interested in curious about staying open. I was very disappointed but I was observing kind of this feedback and then a series of other events happened that caused me to realize how disillusioned I was within the world that I was in and on that day, I quit my job.”

I didn't know what I was going to do but I knew that I had become absolutely obsessed with the world of wellness, with the world of meditation, spirituality, A Course in Miracles, yoga practice, yoga philosophy, eating healthy and starting to realize I have an entire inner world that no one ever trained me to be in relationship with and that my outer world is the effect of what's happening inside of me.

“And so, I became obsessed and for a year, I traveled and studied and worked with Marianne and she mentored me and after that, a year later, I ran into an actor that I used to represent at the agency and she kind of noticed something was really different about me. I wasn’t wearing my suit anymore, I was like wearing yoga pants.”

“The next day she asked me if I would come over to her house and at this point, I really, again, I didn’t know what I was going to do. To be quite honest, I thought the idea of life coaching was quite a cheesy kind of manipulative thing and that was my own opinion at the time.”

“She asked me to come over and she opened up, this is somebody very much in the public eye, has done epic acting work and at a very young age, she opened up to me that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and that she was losing the function of her left leg and that she had tried everything and spent a million dollars over 10 years trying to find all these solutions and that nothing was working but something about seeing me.”

“And at this time she wasn’t publicly out about her multiple sclerosis. She said, “There was something about seeing you yesterday that made me feel like even though I hadn’t seen you in years I wanted to talk to you about it based on kind of who you’re being now.'”

“It was a lot to receive in that moment and I didn’t really know what to do except for I knew that I was sitting across from somebody who I deeply cared about and who was deeply suffering and I just kind of was in this space of whatever I can do to help. We started talking about what A Course in Miracles said about sickness and how sickness is a result of a stress that we put on the body that the body is not meant to handle.”

And that that ultimate stress that we put on the body is the belief that we are only our bodies, that we haven't been trained into recognizing that we are actually an unbelievably miraculous energy that is housed inside this body and that over identification with the body puts a stress on it that it's not meant to handle and then acts out creating inflammation and sickness and disease and imbalanced with a unhealthy immune system.

“We started having this long conversation and toward the end of our two hours together, I felt inspired to have her. So I mentioned to you that she was losing the function of her left leg and I said, “Why don’t you come on the floor into a plank position and bring your left leg forward into a runner’s lunge.'”

“she said, “Oh no, I can’t, I can’t.” And I said, “Okay.” And we just sit down, “Why do you believe that you can’t?” And she said, “Well, I haven’t been able to do that for 10 years.” And I say, “Okay, I really understand that and I can only imagine the level of pain and stiffness that you’re experiencing in your leg. But I want you to realize something which is when I asked you bring your left leg forward, you didn’t try. You first went to your belief which is that it’s impossible.'”

“And so, I had her sit and I had to start repeating mantras like, “My body is healed and healthy. I’m willing to know that my leg is healthy. I am strong. I’m feeling into my strength. My body is healing now. I am powerful. I am joined with an unbelievable power of this universe.”

We just kept repeating these mantras. About 10 minutes into it, I kind of could feel her energy shift as if, because of the beginning, you know, you don't really believe it. It's like, all right yeah, lovely idea that my leg is healthy but the truth of matter is that my leg is not healthy. But eight to ten minutes in, I started feeling her shifting into kind of starting to believe this.

“And at that moment I said, “Now, bring your left forward into runners lunge.” And she did it you guys, she did it like a gazelle. She did it like we’d been practicing yoga for her whole life. And she looked up at me with these big beautiful eyes and tears streaming down her face and she said, “I can’t believe this.'”

“From that moment, I just said, “Okay, this is beautiful and this is where the work begins. Your journey moving forward is not just having to do with learning how to heal but learning how to excavate all the unhealed beliefs that have gathered in your mind for your whole life. Not just from the time you got MS but going way back into your childhood, into your relationship with your parents, into your relationship with your community to uncover the beliefs that you have learned that don’t support you being a healthy vibrant successful human being.”

What I teach about is how the universe can be in control of our life and show us where we are meant to go and who we are meant to meet if and only if we're open to it.

“So the next morning she calls me and she says, “I want you to know I wake up, every morning for the last 10 years, I’ve woken up deathly afraid that today would be the day that my whole body would be paralyzed. And this morning I woke up as if it was 10 years ago when I was Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and I danced around my house.”

“And then about a few minutes ago, an hour, I realized what was happening and I had to call you and say thank you. Something shifted in me yesterday and I need more. Can you help me?” I said, “Yeah of course. I’d love to introduce you to my mentor Marianne Williamson. Let’s find you a great nutritionist. Let’s find you a great health coach. Let’s like get your life in order. And she said, “No, no, no, no. I have done so much of that, I want you. I need you to help me. I want to hire you as my life coach.”

“What she didn’t know and this is a whole other longer part of the story but I’ll give you that little note on was that at this point, I had spent literally all my money and I had found I had to find a new apartment because my roommate moved to London and I found this unbelievable apartment that James Dean used to live in.”

“I met the landlord that morning and that I got the phone call from my friend as I was leaving the landlord’s house and the landlord said to me, “The place is yours. I love you. I just need you to write me a check for $2500 for the first month of rent.” And then I got in my car and got the call from the woman who would become my client saying, “I just wrote you a check for $2500.”

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – Building .

Ryan’s finer points: Understanding and mastering the ego; Starting with gratitude

“Part of my work is working with entrepreneurs and CEOs and business leaders to really think really strategically about how they’re building their team. That we can talk about another time. Right now, I want to talk about the underpinning. I feel like you’re asking more about like esoteric and the practices.”

“Firstly, it’s important to understand why are we doing these practices at all. One of the analogies that I use of my clients all the time is, if you were going into battle and you were preparing for that battle, you better find a way to go study your enemy. You better understand exactly what their tactics are as best you can. You better understand what they’re manpower is, what they’re planning so that you can prepare to be at the ready to defend yourself.”

So if you're preparing for battle, you study what you're up against. And so in life, we need to understand the force that we're up against. I don't say this to be sadistic or maniacal. I say this to be really practical which is to understand that there is this thing called the ego and every single one of us has it.

“The ego is an idea that we are separate from all of life. That we are separate from the magnificence that is this natural world, that is the intelligence and the creativity of life. The thing that birthed us here and that sustains us here.”

“The ego is the idea that we are separate from that and that is how the ego gains power because ultimately, if we were 150,000 percent connected to Grace knowing that there was a solution to every problem as soon as the problem occurred, knowing that as soon as we make an incorrect turn for whatever reason, that this universe is like a GPS system that is immediately redirecting our course.”

“If we knew that we lived in that level of support, we literally wouldn’t have a problem because as soon as a problem “occurred” we would be open to the solution and the solution would arise.”

The ego wants us nowhere near that level of creativity, that level of trust, that level of compassion and connection with each other and it gains its power by separating us from that all of life I like to call it.

“So it manifests a world where we’re all separate from each other and then creates these brilliant by the way, the ego is brilliant, a brilliant network of thoughts that collectively give us all the evidence in the world that we’re not supported, that we have to struggle to get ours, that we have to compete to get ours, that we have to manipulate others to get what we think we need in this moment.”

“To understand that the ego is this powerful force just like gravity. Gravity is this incredibly powerful force that connects us to the earth, that’s amazing, but also if not counterbalanced, gravity pulls us down to the earth thus causing contraction in the spine, things like scoliosis. And so, knowing that gravity is pulling us down, is this downward force, we do active things every day if you want to be a healthy person to counterbalance and to rise up against this downward pull of gravity.”

“The ego is this thought system that is consistently at the ready, from the moment we wake up in the morning, from the very moment we open our eyes, this ego thought system, the idea that you’re separate from all of life is immediately trying to pull us down. And so, we need to do what we need to do to exercise, just like we go to the gym to exercise our physical musculature, we need to lift our spiritual weights.”

We need to lift our mental, emotional, spiritual weights every day in the knowing that this ego is trying to pull us down.

“It is vitally important that from the minute we wake up in the morning and the minute we open our eyes, we start turning on the light. We start calling on our own warriors, on our own military of love and trust and abundance.”

“The feelings that we actually want to feel in the world because if we don’t do that, the darkness will set in. It is like neutrality equals darkness. If I’m not a part of the solution, I am an active part of the problem.”

“And so a couple of practices, very, very simple, everyone can do, the moment you wake up in the morning, go to gratitude. Think of five things that you can be grateful for. Then open and ask.”

“A Course in Miracles, this metaphysical text that I study and teach teaches that all this universe needs from us, all life needs from us is our willingness. It doesn’t need our brilliance, it doesn’t need our talent, it doesn’t need our relationships. It just needs us to be willing and that it responds to even our slightest invitation so that if you are feeling disconnected and unsupported and stressed out, it probably means that you haven’t yet spent enough time opening to a grace that can lead the way with you and for you.”

I'm not talking about spirituality from kind of like a mansy pansy my problems stuff. I'm talking about a spirituality that is active in our lives if we allow it and that is practically working to make us the best versions of ourselves.

“And when we are that, we show up for our lovers with intimacy and connection and we listen. We show up in our work with a hunger to make it work, to touch people, to reach people, to change the world. We show for our children in a way because we have access to the fact and to the idea that my life matters. That my life is meaningful.”

“Segment 4: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

If we don't proactively turn on the light the darkness will set in. - A Course In Miracles



Ryan Weiss – Founder of Waking Up With Ryan

Ryan is a leading coach and teacher of spirituality in Los Angeles.

Ryan’s private coaching, made up mostly of Entrepreneurs innovating their chosen field, and classes guide students to navigate the blocks we inevitably face.

He founded “Waking Up With Ryan”, a daily morning email reaching thousands of people to wake up with intention, gratitude and a willingness to take on the day’s challenges with grace and resilience.

He frequently speaks at organizations about the role of true Spiritual practice in a modern world.

You can start getting the Waking Up With Ryan morning emails for free by visiting wakingupwithryan.com.

Currently recording two podcasts; One with Kelsey Patel called BREAK UP WITH YOUR BULLSHIT – a limited podcast series (think of it like an online course) to find freedom from the anxieties in your personal life so you have the room to affect the world; the Second: OUTLIERS with cohost Jorge Perez interviewing innovators who are chasing the game in their chosen field who happen to be LGBT

Check out Ryan’s site HERE |  Social for Ryan: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


Episode Sponsored by:



Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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