Hey, where'd you go?

Joe Hawley - Spirituality & Finding Purpose After Football

August 31, 2021 Collin Kushner / Joe Hawley Season 1 Episode 14
Hey, where'd you go?
Joe Hawley - Spirituality & Finding Purpose After Football
Show Notes Transcript

Joe Hawley is on a spiritual journey, helping former professional athletes find their purpose. In this episode of the 'Hey, where'd you go?' podcast, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman talks about leaving the NFL to live in a van and travel, finding himself, spirituality, and so much more. Today, Joe is the Founder & CEO of The Härt Collective, which is an exclusive community of former professional athletes — reaching higher levels of awareness, success and greatness outside of sports. 

Joe Hawley:

I think most people just desire, you know, freedom. They want to be seen. They want to be heard. They want to be loved. And we fill that void with material things, and those things will never satisfy. And that's why people, you know, the , the quote, unquote rat race or the hamster wheel, and it , you can never really get to where you want to go, because there's always more to be had. And unless you can really slow down and do some self-reflection , um, you're going to continue chasing things that are not going to satisfy.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Collin Kushner:

Welcome to another episode of the 'Hey, where'd you go?' podcast. I'm your host, Collin Kushner. This next guest played in the NFL for eight years. He's the founder and CEO of the heart collective. He's also a podcast host a speaker husband, newly minted dad, and so much more please welcome former offensive lineman. Joe Holly, how are you doing brother?

Joe Hawley:

I'm doing fantastic. Colin . Thanks for having me brother. Absolutely.

Collin Kushner:

Man. I'm stoked to have you here. This has been a couple months of planning and I just wanted to let you know, I started to grow out a little mustache specifically for this. Although if you're watching the YouTube version, it doesn't compare to that glorious beard.

Joe Hawley:

Yeah. I've been working on mine for a while . I think I haven't seen my own face in like probably 12 or 13 years. I always like

Collin Kushner:

To start with my guests from the very beginning. And we're both orange county, Southern California dudes. Uh, take me back to the early years of Joe Holly , where you're from and what your childhood

Joe Hawley:

Was like, oh man. Going way back, isn't time. A funny thing, you know, it's like, it's so fascinating. How many, you know, I don't know if your listeners believe in like past lives and , and different reincarnation and stuff like I'm really into like all these esoteric. And that's what my podcast is really about as the unanswerable questions of the universe. Right. But then just thinking about this single lifetime and then going back, how many lifetimes, I feel like I've lived just in this one incarnation. It's really fascinating. Um, so to go back to the beginning, I was born in Bakersfield, California and moved to orange county when I was in third grade. Um, started playing football when I was in high school and yeah, I really fell in love with it. And that became a big part of, you know , my journey leading up to where I'm at now and ended up playing a football for 16 years. And , um , yeah, it's, it's fascinating. And I'm really grateful that I was one of those, one of those kids. I think every kid at some point dreams of being a professional athlete and, you know, so focused on achieving that goal, it was, I was able to manifest it into my reality and I'm , I'm really grateful for that looking back. And there's obviously a lot that kind of went into that story and where I'm at now, but that's kind of where it began.

Collin Kushner:

Was there a moment during your childhood where you knew that the NFL was going to be a possibility or being a professional athlete was a possibility or was it something deep down that you always wanted and you were going to do whatever it took to get there?

Joe Hawley:

Yeah, you know, it's funny. I didn't really, when I was younger, I didn't have the dream of playing professional sports. Um, I didn't really like watch a lot of football when I was younger. And honestly, I don't really know why I went out for the freshmen football team. Like I remember, you know, it was like the first time I felt this, this draw, you know, maybe it was my soul calling me to this experience. But I remember telling my friends, like, you know , I want to go play football. Do you guys want to go try out for the team? I mean, all of them like looked at me like, I'm crazy. Like, no, of course now we're going to get killed. Like we don't wanna play football. And then my brother who's two years older than me. Um, he, he actually went out for the fresh freshmen team , uh, when I was in eighth grade and he was our , no one, I was in seventh grade, he was in ninth grade and he hated it. He'd come home every night, like crying to my mom. Like I want to quit like this sucks. I don't want to be out there. And so when it came time for me to go out, I didn't really know anybody on the football team and I just trusted that it was what I was meant to do. And I remember first day stepping on the field, I fell in love with it. And it wasn't until about my, I think my sophomore year , um, you know , my, one of my, my head coach varsity came up to me. He's like, Hey man, you have really good feet. You're strong, you're developing. Um, you know, you have a chance of getting a scholarship if you, you know, keep , um , performing and , and improving. And that was like the first time, you know, especially a male role model, like gave me, you know, positive validation for what I was doing. And so I was like, okay. I was like, okay, I can really prove myself and receive attention and love for this thing. And that was when really the dream was born. Like, wow, I can really make myself something of myself in this game. And you know, I think everybody has the dream of playing in the NFL, but there's obviously so many steps and processes to, to continue to get to the next level. Right. And so when that initial dream was born, it was really okay. I can get a scholarship. How do I get to the next level and get to college? And you know, every step of the way, it's like, how can I get to the next step, get to the next step. It's, you know, people think, you know, he just end up in the NFL. Like most guys it's this process, right? Like you can't just decide when you're in your twenties, like, oh, I want to go try out and play football. It's something that started the young age and you just continue to push to the next level. And yeah, it really , um, I loved it. I, I found that I was one of the best players in my high school, ended up getting all state, all county, all these accolades ended up getting a bunch of different offers and scholarships and ended up going to the university of Nevada, Las Vegas. And it's a smaller school. We weren't very good at football, but the reason I wanted to go there because I loved playing the game so much and I wanted to play right away. You know, I had , uh , some scholarship offers to a few different schools like Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon. I really wanted to go to UCLA. They didn't offer me for some reason. They said my grades weren't good enough, but that was BS because I knew a couple of guys that were going there that had worse grades than me. Um, but it sounded good because I wanted to play right away. And I had this always had this underdog mentality too. I remember the coach , uh, pitching to me this idea of you have an opportunity to really change the program around. You can be a catalyst to massive change. And , you know, even just processing this right now and thinking back, it's like, I want to be a part of something grand and a part of the change , um, even now with what I'm doing. And so I just always had that mindset of wanting to turn things around and change and be a part of something and have that underdog mentality. And, you know , once you went over and it was really hard because we never had a winning season, we never went to a bowl game and really struggled with that. I remember my freshman year I wanted to transfer because , um, you know, just , it was just really hard being on a losing team. I played on a really good high school. Um, but you know, that's the way it was. And there's a lot of lessons in that as well. Yeah.

Collin Kushner:

I think when you have the opportunity to leave your mark and to actually have an integral part of building something, I think that that holds so much value as opposed to going to, I'm just using Alabama as an example, because they always win because it's this, it's this machine that just keeps going, going, going, going, going. But like you said, at UNL V there are tons of struggles. You guys weren't winning and that has got to be extremely frustrating.

Joe Hawley:

Mm yeah. There's a lot of lessons in that, for sure. Like learning how to handle failure, I think is a big part of life really. Um, and I've learned that, you know, failure is, it's just where the lessons live. Right. And if you can't, can't win everything. And I think , um, learning how to handle failure was really a big part of the foundation of , of who I am and having that lesson in what I'm doing now, how important

Collin Kushner:

Do you think that is for athletes and people in general to fail, you know , at some point in time in order to

Joe Hawley:

Grow, oh, it's everything, you know, even in my entrepreneurial journey now , um, you know , I've realized that the, one of the big kind of points that's really beneficial to my journey now is, you know, in football, as an athlete, you have to learn to handle failure, like a bunch of micro failures, you know, each day each practice. And it's through those failures that you learn and you grow. And so you see somebody, you know, like Julio Jones on Sunday, just making all these incredible plays. The reason that he is so good and making those ridiculous catches is because of all the times he's failed and learned. And that's what you don't really see on the field. And so everybody, even when you look in the business world or anybody that's successful, you see where they're at now, but you don't see all the different failures that took place. And realizing if you look out into the world, the most successful people in the world are just the people that have failed the most. And it's the people that just keep on going. And , um, you know, I, you know , when I first wanted to get business and entrepreneurship, I was reading all these business books and all of them pretty much said the same thing. You just have to start, right? You have to go, you have to, you have to learn from experience because experience can't be taught. It's only through experience that you learn. And so, you know, I would say the faster you fail, the faster you learn. So you just got to get moving. It's so

Collin Kushner:

Wise and so true. I think early on in my life, I, I was always the kind of guy, well, if I read this article, if I read this book, then I won't fail at this. And I remember my parents said to me, that's not how it works. Like the only way you're going to learn to be a good hockey players , you're going to go on the ice. I was a goalie and there were games where I maybe got 10 goals scored on me as a kid. And that wasn't a great feeling , uh, when your job is to keep the puck out of the net, but at the, at the same time, going back to what you're talking about, those little failures built up, built up, built up, built up and have helped in so many different , uh , channels of life.

Joe Hawley:

Yeah. And the real key too, is, is, you know, once you get to a point real exponential growth is when you can start learning from other people's failures as well. And that's being open-minded enough and having the humility to, you know, reach out and, and find mentors and people that have come before you and learn from them and learn from their mistakes. And then that way you can, you know, grow exponentially because you don't have to make all the same mistakes that someone else has already made them before you. And that will give you a foundation of , of being able to , to grow even faster rate.

Collin Kushner:

So after UNL V you were drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft. Uh , what do you remember about that day and what was that moment like for you?

Joe Hawley:

Yeah, it was obviously a dream come true. Um, I think every, every kid that dreams of playing in the NFL, you know, that , that moment that they're , their name is called on draft day is, is the pinnacle , um, you know, looking back on it now, it definitely wasn't the end of the journey, but really just the beginning of , um, of my journey. And, you know, I ended up playing eight years in the NFL, but that moment , um, it was really beautiful. I mean, I , I had a really good draft process, obviously coming out of you and LV . It was , um, uh , I was a realist, you know, I think some guys, especially in college, like everybody wants to play in the NFL and we all know the, the odds of making it a really slim, but everybody has this mindset that they're going to play. I remember playing with this guy who didn't even play as a senior and he was training for the pro day. And like , like he had a chance of making it. It's like, if I just have good numbers at the pro day, I'm going to make it. And I was like, that's not how it works. And I was a much more of a realist, right. Like I had really good film. Um, and I played a lot and I had this dream, but I still understood, like I might not get drafted. And when I got invited to the combine, that was a big moment for me because my coach was like, you know, you might not get invited. I remember getting that letter. Um, that was a huge moment. I was like, okay, I really have a chance. And I was projected to be a seventh round or free agent going in the draft had a really good combine, really good numbers, really good meetings with a lot of the teams. And there was like three or four teams that really liked me. Um, I thought I was gonna go to the Broncos in the third round, but they ended up drafting a , another center. And that was really one of my first lessons of , of the NFL, of like, you know, it's just a, it's a numbers game and there's just taking the player that they like. Um, and actually it's funny because I think it was the bears , uh, the Eagles and the Broncos that were the teams that were really interested in me. And I had like multiple meetings with our coaches and everything. And so the fourth round came, you know, that , I don't know how to do it now, but that my year, it was the primetime first round was Thursday night in the second. And third round was Friday night prime time. And then Saturday morning was the fourth through seventh round. And so I woke up on Saturday and I'm on the west coast. So like this draft started like six or seven, eight, and , um, had missed my pick in the third round. I thought I was gonna go to the Broncos and the Eagles pig, and the bears pick both passed early in the fourth round. And it was like probably another 15 or 20 picks until the Broncos picked again. And so I was like, okay, I got some time to kinda just relax. Like, no, no, no other teams really showed interest. And so I ended up going and taking my morning dump and I leave my phone on the couch and I'm just sitting there relaxing. And , uh , just waiting, you know, just hoping to get drafted. It's still kind of a dream I'm expecting maybe six or seventh round. And then all of a sudden, my mom I'm at my parents' house and they have a caller ID that kind of announces who's calling and the phone starts ringing and it says, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Falcons. And I'm like, holy. And so like, you know, finish up real quick. I run over to my cell phone and there's like, all these missed calls from my agent and from these numbers, I don't know. So I end up answering the phone and it's Thomas Dimitrov from , from the Falcons. And he's like, Hey, Joe, like, we almost skipped you cause you weren't answering your phone. I was like, how would you like to be the , the, you know, come and play for the Falcons and be the a hundred and 17th pick . And I was just like, I'm blown away. Of course, like so stoked. And it was really a surprise cause I didn't think the Falcons were interested in me at all. And um, you know, going down to, to the east coast to the south , uh, was definitely an eye opening experience too. Cause I had never been outside of the west coast. Uh, and yeah. And that's really where the journey began. How

Collin Kushner:

Would you have been if you just stayed, continued taking care of your business and you never answered that call and the reason why you didn't play for the Falcons because you're going numero dos, you know ,

Joe Hawley:

It's funny looking back on it now, like I had such an up and down career with the Falcons that it was really challenging for me. And , uh, we can get into that, those, those lessons in that story. But I find it fascinating how, you know, you talk about like the butterfly effect and different choices that people make and how they lead you on a completely different path. Like if I would have been drafted by somebody, another team like my entire life and the entire existence of this reality quite possibly would be completely different. And it's really, it's, it's, it's, it boggles my mind to even think about like, what if they skipped me? What if they decided to go somewhere else? What if I got drafted to the Broncos? What if I miss that call? And they ended up skipping me? Like, what would my life be like? What would the lessons have been like, what would my journey through the NFL had? Like, because quite honestly, when I was the Falcons, you know, first impressions are really big in the NFL and, you know, right . I was drafted to the Falcons to replace a center that they had, that was a 13 year veteran. And when I got there, my rookie year, I was just the backup and they had a really strong offensive line that had played together for three years. And it was really a challenge as a young guy to come in and earn their respect, especially if it wasn't playing on the field. And so that was really challenged for me as a first year of my entire career that I wasn't playing. And like I said, I went to UNLB cause I wanted to play right away. I started my first game in college at 17. Um, and as a, as a true freshman . And so getting to that was really challenging. And then , um, I was kind of waiting for my opportunity, right? I was waiting until this guy has decided to retire. So that was one of my big first lessons. My second year I ended up , um , getting an opportunity to play guard because that , uh, center was still playing. It was his 14th year or his 13th year at that point. And his contract is up at the end of the year. So I ended up being able to play right guard, which I was out of position, but I thought I had a pretty good year, but in the playoffs we played the giants that year. I think it was 2011 . It was the year they went on when the super bowl and we lost in the first round and I had a pretty bad game in the playoffs. And so I thought it was okay because after that season to starting center was set to retire. His contract is up and I thought, you know what? This is my opportunity. They're gonna move me over to the center. I'm going to have my own 13 year NFL career as a starting center, the only NFL guns and just had it , this vision of what that looked like. And one of the biggest turning points in my entire life really was that that year of 2012 , uh , when the draft came around , um, with our first pick, we ended up drafting the best center in college, in the draft out of the university of Wisconsin. And that was like , like the , a rug was ripped out from under me. And like nobody had communicated that with me, nobody had told me and I knew, you know , I've been part of the NFL long enough to know like if a top draft that comes in and like, they're going to play him over anybody else and give him every opportunity to fail. And that led me into this real deep, like betrayal of what the team I felt like they were just kind of, you know, it blindsided me, they didn't communicate with me. And that was really challenging. And so I went into training camp that year thinking I was going to be the starter and have my own long career as a center to barely making the team and not even dressing that entire year. And that led me into a real dark place. Um, I didn't really know how to handle it. I was pointing the finger at everybody, but myself, I was saying, you know, the strength coach didn't like me, that coach didn't like me, the O-line coach didn't like me, I'd go home. And I was drinking a lot. And I was just like in this depressive state, because I just felt so betrayed. And like, I was just to my opportunity taken from me. And that ended up leading to me. I ended up getting suspended that you're , um, for taking Adderall and that's a four game suspension on the PED test. And I didn't realize that that comes out as a stimulant. And it , if you get tested positive on the P D drug test, it's just the same as if you're taking steroids. And so it's suspended for four games. And during that time, when I was suspended, they ended up having to bring in a practice squad guy from the saints to replace me on the roster while suspended. And this year we were like really good that we were 13 and three. We were the number one team in the playoffs. And so when I came back from suspension, the team had to make a decision, okay, do we keep Joe? Or do we keep this practice squad guy that we , we placed Joe with? And that week I came back, they ended up calling me up into the office. I'll never forget this. It's a huge turning point in my entire career and my entire life. Um , they called me up. It was Christmas Eve and it was like week 16. I think we were about to be the number one seat in the playoffs. And I was sitting in front of the head coach and the GM, and they said, Joe, we're gonna , we're gonna release you. We're not going to keep you and felt really blindsided again. And it was the first moment in my entire life that I just was filled with regret. I was like, oh. Like I screwed up. I ruined my opportunity. This is a moment that I worked so hard and I was waiting for someone to give me the opportunity. And now I'm going to be on the streets without a job. And there's nobody to blame, but myself and I felt all of that emotion just instantly when they told me all right, we're going to release you. And I remember one thing came to my mind and I said, you know , it's going to be the number one seat in the playoffs that year. And I said, if the starting center got hurt, would you trust me to play? Or would you trust this other guy that you brought into play? And I thought about it for a second. They got , you know , I guess we're gonna have to trust the other guy. And I was like, okay. And so I ended up going to the hole , that process, which took about 15 minutes and I was about assigned final papers and the guy gets a phone call and he's like, Hey, it's Thomas Dimitrov , the GM he's like, Hey, he wants to talk to you some more. And so I went back into the meeting room and head coach and GM are sitting there and I said, Joe, we thought about what you said, and we're going to end up keeping you. And so what I said to them obviously triggered, I think there was some other things that happened with the roster where another receiver went on air, but ended up for the first time speaking up for myself and like, you know, defending myself. And, you know, the first week of the playoffs that year we were playing the Seahawks. And I was actually for the first time that you're addressing on the sideline as the backup, because of what I said, triggered something within them that, you know, if something did happen, who would we want out there? And they obviously trusted me. And so ended up that moment was a huge wake up call. And so that whole off season, we ended up losing that year , uh , to the 49ers and the NFC championship games . So we just barely missed the super bowl , which sucks. But then I went into the off season and I was just a change man. Like I went in there and I worked my off. I did everything I could to just earn that starting job. I wasn't going to wait for an opportunity to no longer everybody's coming up to me. And I had the best off season of my entire life. They were like, Joe, just keep working. You're doing so good. And like my whole body composition changed. I was getting stronger. I was in the gym extra. I was just showing up and went into that year training camp, competing with the guy that they drafted, you know, with the first pick and a couple of years prior, cause that the starting center that was the 13, 15 year vet, he finally retired. So it was finally finally an open competition between me and this other guy. And I had the best training camp in my life, outplayed them everything. And they ended up giving him the job still because he was a top draft pig . And so that was just really, really hard, but I knew my mindset was in the right place. And I was like, you know, this has happened before I've been through this before I was going to keep my head down. I'm going to grind. I'm just going to continue to prove myself. And this is my contract year. So I knew after this fourth year, I was just excited about going to somewhere else. I wanted a new opportunity, a fresh start because this is up and down of having to prove myself. I felt betrayed by the team. I basically got cut and they brought me back. And so I was like, you know what, at least once this year is over, I'll be able to go somewhere else. I'm gonna understand the free agent and start fresh. And about nine games into that season, that starting center was wasn't playing very well all year. And so finally they ended up benching him and they're like, Joe, we're going to give you a chance to see what you got. And so that the final seven games that you're ended up playing and I balled out, I had like such good games. Right. And I just played really well, which I was excited about. Cause I finally had really good film. And so I went out into the free agent market and I was like, okay, I'm gonna , I'm gonna have a fresh start. I'm gonna be able to go somewhere else. And um, go through the , uh, the free agent process. And the culture really, really liked me. And so since I played so well with those last seven games, the Falcons were nervous that I was going to leave. Cause like, oh wait, maybe Joe is our guy. So they ended up offering me a two year, $6 million deal and ended up bringing me back as the starting center. And so I'd finally, after four years of just grinding up and down, like all these different lessons, I had earned the job of the starting center of the Falcons. I was like, okay. I made it went in, had a really good training camp. Um, and then my fifth year four games in, I ended up blowing my right ACL MCL, totally gone the whole year. And uh, yeah, the journey continues after that. And that's what ended up letting me, they let me go after that year. Cause my knee wasn't right. Ended up going down to Tampa. Uh , but yeah, but the Falcons, it was a , it was a , it was quite a journey. A lot of lessons in there. The thing I

Collin Kushner:

Love the most is that I think a lot of sports fans think, okay, you get drafted, you get that two years , $6 million deal. You're rolling in the cash, you get the fancy, the cars and the lifestyle. And you're just riding off into the sunset. I think what people fail to realize is it doesn't work that way. We're all human beings. That's your job. It's just like me showing up as a video producer. It's my job. And , and, and it, doesn't, you're going to have certain challenges along the way, and it's not always going to be this , uh , rainbows and fairy tale , uh , with dust coming down type of experience.

Joe Hawley:

Yep . Yeah, no doubt. I mean, I definitely had a very up and down career. I mean, overall in eight years I played, I lost my starting job. Five separate times , um, played 90 games. I started 50 games and it was just a constant struggle of having to prove myself. And that was part of the reason I ended up walking away from the game. My eighth year is because, you know , I had to add open competition again with a younger guy at that time. Um , I had started with, with the bucks for two years straight games in a row. And then they ended up wanting to replace me again with a younger guy, went into an open competition. Once again, he was a higher draft pick and they basically brought me back to mentor them . And I remember that year, they ended up giving him the job after training camp. I had a really good training camp, lost my job for the starting job for the fifth time, my career. And I was just, I was tired of having to prove myself, you know, on top of that, my , my physical body was breaking down. But you know, it's not just the physical, like the NFL is , is really a grueling thing, both mentally, emotionally to deal with, you know, the constant pressure and anxiety of having to perform at such a high level. Um, and having to prove myself over and over every time you step in the, in the building, like people are watching, judging, scrutinizing every little move you make. And I was just tired of it. And so that was part of the reason I end up walking away. Cause I was just tired of having to prove myself constantly.

Collin Kushner:

It's a lot, dude. I mean, I think when you, when you're consistently showing resilience and you know, not giving up, I mean again, losing the starting job five different times, I think eventually early on once you shift that mindset, it's like, great, I got this, but when it constantly happens over and over and over and over again, I feel like eventually you reach a breaking point, really? You know what, like I I've given it everything I have the cards haven't, they've fallen, but they're now they're not fall . I don't know . I think there's just a certain line that we all have and you just have to say, I did everything I could, that's it.

Joe Hawley:

Mm . Yeah. And it's, it's hard. I mean, it was challenging in a lot of ways, but looking back on it now, I mean, I'm so grateful for the experience. You know, it's a piece of me looks back and, you know, wonders. What if, you know, what if I got drafted to the Broncos and I became the starter from day one and I had this illustrious ten-year career, like I envisioned, right. But you know, there's, there's not a lot of growth opportunity in that. And I think, you know, most professional athletes, I mean, you hear about the top 5% making all the money and living the lifestyle and you know, the majority of the guys, you know, have a story similar to mine or they maybe didn't even get an opportunity. Like how many guys do you hear about like, like Marcus Latimer? Like I think you had them on your podcast. I mean, that guy was , uh , one of the best running backs in college history. And he ended up blowing his knee out twice and never ended up getting to even play a down in the NFL. And that story is all too common with guys. And it's , it's really, really hard to process as an individual because, you know, the NFL is a machine. It just keeps going next guy up next guy up. And they really kind of chew you up and spit you out. And so there's this bad taste in your mouth, but looking back on it, there's, there's so much opportunity and lessons in that. And I think it creates a lot of , uh, resiliency and character, but it is really hard for a lot of guys to process. And

Collin Kushner:

On top of that, and this, this is what I love about what you're doing now. I'm really excited to dive into the spirituality and in your personal journey of getting rid of all your stuff, buying a van, adopting a dog and go and going on the road, the NFL is such a , um, it's almost like this false idea of what it is to be a man during your playing days. And , and in the locker room, were there ever open discussions about struggles and emotions or was it always everyone having a facade? Like I'm this football player and

Joe Hawley:

Nah , yeah, yeah. I mean, it's obviously there's this, this , uh , you know , false, you know, I would, I wouldn't, I guess toxic masculinity. Um, but when you're in there, I mean, there is a lot of deep, profound connections, right? And I had obviously some really close friends that I played with and there's something really special about playing football. Um, you know, with a bunch of men from, from a wide variety of different backgrounds, different upbringings, different parts of the country, different neighborhoods and, you know, different, you know , colors, even like, you know, and I'm so grateful that I was able to play a sport because when you're out there on the field, all of those stories wash away and it's these two men battling blood, sweat, and tears, and going through just the gauntlet of, you know, physical and mental strength and fortitude to continue to push through. And when you go to battle with someone like that, it creates a special, a special bond. And I think that's one thing when guys transition out that they struggle with is because it's really hard to find that anywhere else. And so, yeah, I mean, there's there wasn't opportunity to really open up. Um, I think you did that one-on-one with guys that you connected with. Um, but you know, there is a huge issue with the mental and emotional health that, that kind of happens. And that's something that I've, you know, gone on my own healing journey of processing that stuff. And that's what I'm trying to bring to guys , uh, you know, former players to help them in the transition , uh, through what I'm the community I've built with the heart collective. Why did you, and

Collin Kushner:

Of course, I want to talk about the heart collective and its mission and how, and how that all began, but before we even get there, why did you sell all your stuff in Tampa and hop on the road for a couple of years? What , what made you decide to go from living one lifestyle and then just totally nuking it all and doing something amazing?

Joe Hawley:

Yeah. Uh , there's not an easy answer to that. I mean, it's, you know , I think it's a lot deeper. I think there was just like I talked about earlier in the show with, I dunno why I went out to play football in the first place. There was something inside me, a whisper telling me like, go do this thing. And it was the same thing when I was done playing my eighth year, it was this whisper within my soul telling me a it's time to let this go at a time to go experience something new. And I think all of us have that in us at some point in our lives calling us to , to the unknown, to something else. And I think it's a real challenge. It's really difficult to let go of this old story. And I had built this story up and , um, you know, I was living my childhood dream, made a lot of money and realized that there was still something missing. Like I had accomplished pretty much everything that I dreamed of and there , I still wasn't satisfied. And you know, when I was decided to walk away , um, you know, I told my parents, I think one of the biggest challenges for me was, you know, talk about identity wrapped up in football. It wasn't just my identity. It was everybody that I loved and that was close to me. My parents' identity was wrapped up in having a football flare son. I was engaged at the time. Um, and when I, when I told my fiance that I wanted to walk away and I was, I was ready to move on, you know, she wasn't super supportive either to transition out of that relationship like four weeks before I played my last game. And so when I finally walked away from the game, like I felt so isolated and alone, I felt unsupported. And as a huge transition, and I wanted to know who I was without this thing that I had built up around me, the story of , of who I thought I wanted to be and the story of how the world saw me as well. And, you know , I watched a documentary called the minimalists and it really inspired me. I knew a friend that lived out of a van for a couple of years and , um, that really inspired me as well. And I remember sitting on my couch and looking through Instagram and seeing these, all these national parks. And I like was like, I want to see these with my own two eyes. I want to experience life to the fullest. I don't want to be someone that just lets life pass them by. And so I realized I had this opportunity to go figure out who I am. It's a unique opportunity that not a lot of people are gifted with, like, I, I had this, this new found freedom, right? I, I was, I was single. I had some money in the bank and I didn't really have anything to do. And so all of these things lined up, like, I need to go take advantage of this. I need to go figure out who I am without this story of who I've been. And so that's what led me on the, on the journey of, you know, I rescued a dog from the shelter. I bought a van and I traveled the country, which was supposed to be for a few months to go visit some friends around the country and go experience. Life ended up turning into almost two years. And , um, it , it , it turned into a spiritual journey and really think everybody that asks the question, who am I , um, and really looks to listen and figure that out goes on some type of spiritual journey , um, and figuring out who they are. And I definitely really grateful that I decided to go into the unknown and answered that call to go on this adventure, because it's had such a profound impact on my life and , uh, allows me to see, you know, the stories even collectively as a society and the conditioning that we're told of what success looks like, what happiness looks like. And being able to question those things and figure out what it means to me has really been super impactful. And that's really what I'm trying to share with the world. You know, not just former athletes, but anybody really is like, what are you, what are you working towards? Like, what do you really desire? And I think most people just desire, you know, freedom. They want to be seen, they want to be heard. They want to be loved. And we fill that void with material things, and those things will never satisfy. And that's why people, you know, the, the quote unquote rat race or the hamster wheel, and you can never really get to where you want to go, because there's always more to be had. And unless you can really slow down and do some self-reflection , um, you're going to continue chasing things that are not going to satisfy. How important

Collin Kushner:

Is it for people to listen to that whisper that you spoke about to listen to it in order to live a fulfilled

Joe Hawley:

Life? Yeah, I think it's, it's, it's everything, but it's, it's not easy. It's probably gonna be the most challenging thing you've ever done. And it takes a lot of courage to listen to that whisper and really trust. Um, and it takes a lot of practice too . Like you have to be able to slow down, you have to be able to contemplate. You have to find stillness and quiet and really take some time to listen to what that voice is trying to call you towards. And the hard thing, and the challenging thing is these stories that our society and our culture has created this consumer culture, this , this feeling like I'm lacking something and I need to buy something to fill it, like all of these stories and like what success looks like and what happiness looks like, all of these things were programmed into us. And so we have to really question those things and, you know, it's something as simple as like, if you're an artist and you feel like you can't make a living creating your art and you rather go be an investment banker because that's where the money is, but you're going to be unhappy and unsatisfied, and you're working for a paycheck, but there's something deep inside you, that's calling you to go create and be creative because we are all creators. And so it's like, what are you being called to create? And if we keep pushing that whisper down, I mean, a lot of times that's really, what's going to manifest into, you know , physical illness, stress, anxiety, and it really is about, and the cool thing about where we're headed as a sighting society and culture with technology and stuff, there is an abundance of opportunity to make a living doing what your heart is calling you to do and figuring that out. But it takes a lot of self-reflection to even get to that point. It's

Collin Kushner:

Crazy that how our society is built up, it's built up with all this stuff. You have social media and , uh, cars and homes, the way it's built, isn't the way, or isn't the proper way I think, to live a fulfilled life, but in order, and at least in my eyes, it's , it's a constant journey, right. To kind of really figure out who you are and , uh, to follow your heart right. To me, it's just, it takes a lifetime to do, but the way and the things that we have around us, aren't conducive to pushing people in that direction.

Joe Hawley:

Mm . Yeah. I mean, maybe it takes lifetimes even. Right. And yeah, I mean, I've, I've really dove in, I think every, every path that we go on leads us away from, from the present moment. Right. And I think what we're really all trying to get to is a place of presence because the only thing that really exists, and this might be a little esoteric for some people is , is the present moment, right? Like nothing else exists except the present moment. And so if we allow our mind to continue to project a future that we desire to get to, we're going to continue chasing that. And if we do end up getting to it, the mind is really tricky and automatically starts creating what we want more. And that's the rat race, right. Is we're never fully satisfied and the real trick. And it takes a lot of, you know, balanced practice tools is to be present with life as it's unfolding around you. And I'm not saying you can't , you know , have dreams and big aspirations. Like I want to make a ton more money. Like there's wrong with money though . When I attach to my value in the idea of how much money I make and how many things I have, and I feel like less of a person, if I don't have it, that's the problem. And it , you know, we live in an abundant universe. And so it's, it's learning how to be present through the experience as it's happening. And, you know, the way to do that is really, you know, for me, it's , it's a lot of mindfulness practices, meditation, journaling processing, but really dropping into the body and getting out of the mind because the mind is really what create gets us out of the present moment. And it's , it's, it's hard. It's really hard. The , the practice

Collin Kushner:

Of mindfulness is so it's so difficult. I, that's something that I'm really into. And I'm the kind of guy where I love going on walks. I don't really like driving. I love just walking everywhere, but it's sometimes I find myself just walking and eventually I end up maybe at this coffee shop, but I don't remember how I got there because I'm not paying attention to the sun hitting my face or the trees. And it's it. I get upset every time because I'm like, oh my God, why can't I just go on this five minute walk? Right. And go, you know ,

Joe Hawley:

Yeah. I mean, that's, the , the breath is a really powerful tool and it's a really beautiful thing. It's the , you know, it's a bridge. It's the only thing that we both, we both do consciously and unconsciously. So like, if you never thought about your breath, you're going to breathe throughout the day because you need to need to, to survive. But as soon as you decide to, you can choose to breathe, you can bring it into your conscious awareness. And that's why it's such a beautiful tool to , and a lot of meditation practices is how do I drop into the breath and focus on my breath and control my breath, because that is when the unconscious is becoming conscious. And I think that, you know , a great quote from Carl Young is until you make the unconscious conscious, you will be ruled by it and you will call it fate. And there's all these unconscious patternings that we have, right. That, that, that rule our lives. Right. And until we can shine a light of awareness on those and understand our unconscious patternings and bring awareness to them, we're just going to , you know, move through life like robots and not really wake up to the beauty. That's all around us that you're talking about. And it's, it is hard with, with the world we've created with technology. We're constantly bombarded with information and input and all this stuff, social media, there's always all these distractions. And it's, you know, even me, I feel like I'm, I got really good practices and I I'm very self-aware, I, I struggle with it constantly. And so it's, you know, that's why all these things are practices. You never fully arrive, right. If you're alive, you're still on the journey. And so it's about creating a proper, you know , routine. I think spontaneity is a huge thing. You know, we get in these routines and breaking it up with spontaneity, doing something you don't normally do is so healthy because it really breaks you out of this monotony monotonous routine of just speeding through life. Because , you know, I don't think most people think about the fact that this experience is impermanent , right. You know, the only absolute truth that I know for certain through all of the experience and learning and all the books that I've read, the only absolute truth is impermanent. Everything is in constant change and shift. That's the only thing that you can actually point a finger and say, I know that for a fact, and we're going to die someday. And until you fully think and confront the fact that you're going to die someday, you're never really going to fully live because you're going to think you have forever to live this experience. And when you really confront that, I think it really opens up life in a beautiful way. And I think death is such a beautiful teacher, and it is a gift because if we didn't actually know we were going to die, then we wouldn't actually breathe and be dropped into the full wide miracle of the experience in the present moment. So I think that's really important. You bring up

Collin Kushner:

So many fantastic and deep points, which is why I was so stoked to have you here on the podcast. Joe , you said something that really resonated with me , um, in your life, beyond the game, your solo Casper, it was just you , uh, you said as within, so without , um, why does that quote hold so much meaning to you?

Joe Hawley:

Yeah. Oh , and I mean, the good thing with any real deep philosophical quote or saying is it has a lot of different layers and what I've learned through this journey to self-awareness and awakening to becoming the creator of my reality is that we're all mirrors for each other, right? And a lot of people are looking for, to change their outer world so that they can feel better internally, but that's not the way it works, because how you feel eternally is how you're going to project out into your world. So if you're really angry and you get triggered a lot, you're going to , you're going to confront a lot of people that are gonna make you angry, and you're going to start being like, why are these people so angry? I wish they weren't so angry at me. And until you realize that you're the one projecting that out onto people, and they're just mirroring it back to you. And, you know, it's just that energy and that's the as within, so without, and so it really is about slowing down and shining that light of awareness onto yourself. And if you do get triggered and feel angry, you've got a question like, why do I feel this way? And until you can find that internal happiness, that internal bliss, that equanimity, that, that peace, that joy from within your external world is going to just reflect back to you how you feel internally. And I think one great tool that I think is the secret sauce to the entire universe. You guys ready is gratitude. If you can find gratitude for , for what you have in your life, it's magical on so many different levels because it drops you into the present moment. It , it gets you away from what you're lacking in your life. What you think you need to feel happy. If you can, you know, have an actual gratitude practice daily. And it's something as simple as having a journal. And when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed, put 1, 2, 3, and write three things, you're grateful for. It could be something as simple as like, I'm grateful. I got out of bed, I'm grateful for this cup of coffee. And it's not about just saying it . It's about really feeling like, wow, like I'm really grateful that for this. And for me, like, I, I try to, if I'm getting too in my head and I'm busy and I'm overwhelmed, it's like, okay, come back to gratitude. What am I grateful for? And when you start feeling grateful from within, like the magic starts happening and unfolding all around you, because you start feeling whole within yourself, then you're your outer world. There's nothing really missing. Right? And so it's that as within, so without, as really about figuring out who you are on the inside, and I think it's a journey everybody needs to go on. I think worst

Collin Kushner:

Thing that we can do as human beings, as a attaching ourselves to maybe another person or a career, like for instance, football, right? Football is in who you are. It's not you, it's a part of you. And I think , uh , we all get caught up in situations when I was a TV anchor, I ran, this is going to sound crazy. But I made that who I was, that was me. And then when I transitioned away from that local TV aspect, I had no clue who I was. And it was, it was weird, Joe , because I thought it was only like a sports-related thing. I didn't think that you can be so wrapped up in your professional success or whatever. And that would become who you are. It became this like wild journey that no one really understood. Shoot. I didn't even, I looked in the mirror. I'm like, what the heck is going on?

Joe Hawley:

Yeah. I think it's a journey everybody goes on because we create these, these stories, right? And they're these internal stories and that's all the ego is right. The ego is a construct. It's your personality. It's, it's developed to the experiences of your life. And so you create this, this story of who you are and how you show up in the world. And when something, a big part of that is taken away, or, you know, you transition out of it, it leaves a hole. And you're like, wait, that, I thought that's who I was. And it's no longer who I am. So who am I without that? And you can take that into deeper and deeper levels, right? Like even in the spiritual esoteric teachings, it's like, who answers asking the question? Like, who am I right? Like, am I this physical body? Well, you know, like, like the guru say like, are you your hand? Like if you cut off your hand, it's, it's not a part of who you are. Right. And so I'm not my body. And then you, you become, when you start doing mindfulness practices and meditation , and you start becoming the observer of your thoughts, I think that's a big step in being able to shift your internal dialogue and internal narrative, that when you become the observer of your thoughts, you can't be the thoughts because you're observing them. And so it's about dropping deeper levels back into, and you realize like, I am the conscious awareness of this experience and I can choose and create the story that I want to live. And I think it's really beautiful when you go through a big transition, a lot of people to call it a dark night of the soul, right? Like that was mine. When I, when I left football and I left my relationship, I left everything I'd ever known. I didn't know who I was. And it's easy for me to look back and be like, oh yeah, like I went on this spiritual journey, but like, it was really challenging then because I was going into the unknown. I didn't know what to expect. And as humans, we want to create this comfort zone, this certainty, this, this facade in this like re enforcing the idea of who we are in the world. And when a piece of us has taken away, for whatever reason, it's really challenging. But it's also a beautiful opportunity to go on a journey to figure out who you are without that thing. And you said attachment, right? The key is to when you find the next thing is once you have that awareness it's to not attach that thing. Cause like we said, the only real true as it is impermanent . And so that thing is going to constantly shift as well. And so I think the key to finding really strong peace and equanimity internally is to understand and permanence and not attached to things. And that's why I love the Buddhist philosophy of non-attachment is, and it's really hard, but it's constantly questioning things like what , what would, what would I be like if I didn't have this and continuing to like , let go, that's the purpose

Collin Kushner:

Of life. I think to constantly ask yourself these questions , ask your , ask ourselves these questions , uh , to, to look fear right in the eye and , and to, and to keep going for these opportunities. Because if you play it safe your whole life and you don't take deep breaths and, and , um, you attach yourself to all these things that , that aren't , um, that aren't stable, so to speak, then, then what kind of a life is that to live?

Joe Hawley:

Mm , yeah, I think once you understand that fear is just an illusion, right? Like how come I have different fears than you have? It's probably because some experience when I was younger, told me not to go do something because of, you know, whatever, whatever it may be. And, you know , I love the saying on the other side of fear, lies freedom. And I truly believe that if you're looking for purpose in your life, you're looking for something to break you out of a rut, like figure out what, what scares you the most and go do that thing, go towards it because you'll realize you go do it and you can move through it. You'll find deeper and deeper levels of freedom. And until you can really conquer all those fears and understand, they're just illusions they're stories within yourself, that limiting beliefs telling you why you can't, they're just stories. And you can start once you fully understand that you can start creating the life you want. And it's usually the thing that we're being called to do is the thing that scares us the most. And that's why it takes a lot of courage to show up and go after the things that scare you the most and the people that do are the people that find real success, real happiness, real fulfillment. Jill , I don't want to lose sight

Collin Kushner:

Of this. I want to talk about the heart collective. Um, you, you are the CEO and founder of it. What is the heart collective and how did you come up with this brilliant idea?

Joe Hawley:

Yeah, the heart collective is a as a community built exclusively for former male professional athletes. And we know we talked a lot about my journey of finding myself and on my journey on the road, I , I joined a couple of different communities and masterminds and, and people surrounded myself with people that are focused on this type of inner work. And I realized, I think that's the biggest thing missing from the transition out of sports is a community of guys that are going through a similar experience. And there's a lot of unique challenges that come with playing professional sports and leaving it all behind. And, you know, it's hard for normal people that haven't gone through that experience to hold space for that, right? Like I can't go tell someone I'm , I'm struggling with finding my purpose and who I am and all this stuff. And they're like, you lived your childhood dream, you made millions of dollars. You can do whatever you want. Like go live on a beach. Like, what are you talking about? And, you know, it's a really beautiful thing that I was able to get to a place where I had accomplished everything I wanted and made a lot of money and kind of reach retirement at a young age to realize like, oh, wow, this isn't it, this isn't the end. I need something to do with myself. And I think a lot of people don't realize that until they're 65 70 and they work for this idea of retirement, and then they're confronted with those questions, like, wait, now what? Cause people think that's the vision. That's what they want to get to. And then you get there and you realize, oh, this is what I was waiting for. And luckily I was able to experience that a very young age to ask these deeper questions. And so realizing that the biggest thing, you know, the NFL provides very superficial resources for the athlete and transition. Um, I'm not super familiar with all the other major sports leagues, but I'm sure it's the same way. And it's all about trying to figure out what to do next. They think that's going to solve the problem. And, you know, I think it's really the community I'm building is providing a safe space for guys to support each other on the experience and asking these deeper questions of who am I without this thing. And being able to be around guys asking those same type of questions, I think is really powerful. And we're also launching a, a masterclass series through the heart collective for athletes. And non-athletes where we bring on a bunch of thought leaders, coaches, experts in a wide variety of different fields. Um , and we're launching those just came out with our first one last month. We're doing those like once or twice a month. So if you are a non-athlete as well, and you continue on to want to ask these deeper questions and continue to learn , um , definitely go check that out on our website, the heart collective.com. Dude, I love what

Collin Kushner:

You're doing so much you're giving. And that's why I asked you that question earlier on in the podcast about what the locker room atmosphere was like. And did you have these conversations with people because now you're in this spiritual locker room, so to speak and there are no think you said again in your podcast about people think a guy should look like Rambo, Rambo goes in and he kills 17 dudes and he walks out of there unscathed. Right? And you're providing these athletes with an opportunity to think below the surface and not just take any job, not just go into real estate because you have a personality, but to think deeper about what the mind, body and soul really wants.

Joe Hawley:

Mm yeah, yeah. That, that analogy is really good. I mean, it's this, this immature vision of what real masculinity is, right? And in our society, in our culture, it's told like the Rambo story, like he goes and defeat 17 enemy, and he's in the tree and he's beat up and he's, he does it all by himself. And he comes out victorious. Like that's not real masculinity. Real masculinity is being able to ask for help, being able to be present, being able to support each other. And, you know, creating community really provides that to do that deeper healing work. And I think it's not just for these guys, but it's for the collective story and narrative that we are all living in our society and culture is like, how do we shift out of this idea that I need to do it on ? Even in business and entrepreneurship, it's like, why can't we collaborate? Why can't we support each other? And I think that's where the world's going, where there's we live in an abundant universe. We're all here. If you show up for, with , with good intentions, have to be of service to the world, to the greater good, which is really cool about playing team sports. You already have that altruistic nature of the reason I was able to push myself past my breaking point constantly, physically, mentally, emotionally, because I was doing it for someone else. I was doing it for the guy next to me. And so if we can come together and create community to support guys in that journey outside of sports, there's such strong, mentally tough discipline, know how to handle failure. They have such a strong foundation of what it takes to be successful. They just, you know, they just they're lost when they, when they lose this thing, that was such a big part of their identity. So really helping support them to find a bigger vision for the future and doing it together, I think is going to be really, really powerful. And I'm excited to continue to , to grow the community and offer this kind of work to the guys that are interested in it. Joe , why

Collin Kushner:

Do you think we de-humanize athletes?

Joe Hawley:

Oh man, it's funny. Like , uh , I mean it's entertainment, right. And they're just, you know, commodities. I, when I was playing, I think that a good analogy , um, and I don't know how appropriate this is, but I feel like former athletes are like strippers, right? Like we are used, are bought , put our bodies on the line for the entertainment of, you know, men usually. And w you know, we put our physical bodies on the line for entertainment and yeah, it's really, really challenging. I think, you know, even the NFL, like looking back and doing this work and realizing how difficult the challenges , uh, of, of transitioning out of sports was by going through it, experientially for myself is the NFL is all about protecting the brand. They're all about the game. And, you know, the next man up, like if, if every player today decided to go on strike, they would just find a bunch more players, cause people want to play. And they create from a very young age, this deep desire to make it and be successful and be the guy. And then you realize at a point like, oh, wow, I'm so replaceable. Even the top guy is , you know, Tom Brady, the Patriots, didn't sign them back onto the next one. And like, you can debate whether that was a good choice or not, but everybody's replaceable, you know, and it, it, it, the , the game will go on. And until you fully experienced that, it's , it's hard to understand as a player because you just feel like that's where you feel your validation, where you feel important, where you feel needed. And then all of a sudden you're not needed anymore, whether it's injury or just you getting older, you know, next man up you're out, you're washed up and you got to figure it out. It's really hard in terms of your , your

Collin Kushner:

Family understanding your choices. Did they eventually get to a place where they were able just like yourself to leave football behind to understand that you were going on a journey to find true happiness?

Joe Hawley:

Yeah. Um, you know, like we talked about as within, so without and realizing when I first walked away, I had a lot of resistance to my, my parents specifically. Um, and I had, I had just really had a lot of resentment to the idea that I was treated more like a football player than their actual son. And I was projecting that onto them. And, you know, as within, so without we're all mirrors and it wasn't until I started, I went on this journey, this internal journey of healing that resentment and forgiving and letting go until I was able to really reconnect with my parents. And I'm really grateful. I've gotten to a place where that love has reconnected, because until I figured out who I was without the game, and how was I going to expect them to know who I was at the game. And so going on an internal journey and finding out who I am now, I show up around them. I'm Joe , their son, again, because I know who I am in relation to them. Not because I was lost in my identity as football as well. Do you miss football at all? Yeah, man. It's, it's funny, dude. Like, I think I was a rare breed because I loved the game so much. Like if you go put on any, any film of me in any, any time in my career, I played, I was probably the hardest playing player on the field, especially as an offensive lineman. If you watch me, I was down in the field around the receivers and I always wanted to be the guy that had the glory. I wanted to be the guy to touch the ball. And so as an offensive lineman, the only way I could do that is try as hard as I could to make, you know, make that block that broke the guy for the touchdown. And I'm, I do miss the game. I miss the , the, the, the competition, the pureness of it on the field game time. And that's, you know, it's fascinating. I love the game so much that everything else that went into having to perform on the field in a way , um, to reach that kind of level, like, I, I hated working out. I hated practice. I hated having to do all these repetitions, but I showed up and I did it, and I went through it because I loved the game that much. And so, yeah, if I could go back and just suit up and play the game without all the other that goes along with it, I would do it in a heartbeat because there's something so pure about the competition and being out on that field, dropping into the flow state and just , um , yeah. Yeah. I miss it a lot. Joe Holly,

Collin Kushner:

Everybody, I appreciate the time. Make sure you check out Joe, the heart collective.com , Joe dash, holly.com , Instagram, Joe dot Holly . And you have three think fantastic podcasts, quantum coffee, life beyond the game. And , uh , one with your wife called loving life .

Joe Hawley:

Yeah . Yeah. The podcast is a lot of fun. I might might've bitten off more than I could chew at three podcasts, but they all have their own unique purpose. The quantum coffee is really exploring the unanswerable questions of the universe , uh , spirituality, ideas of God, and just getting different people on and their different perspectives. Because when you go down a path, you realize that we don't really know anything. And so it's fun to discuss that. And I think anybody that thinks they know , um, continued to question because you don't know. And , uh , the wisest people, I know, they'll say they don't know really much of anything except the idea of impermanence and then life beyond the game. I bring on former athletes to talk about their transition stories and kind of stuff behind the scenes, which I think has been really impactful and really cool. And then the love and life podcast is a lot of fun and think it's really unique. It's a kind of a real reality show type audio experience, there's sound effects and music. And it's conversational with me and my wife and it Chronicles kind of how we met. We met two weeks before quarantine happened, quarantined together, and now we are married and have a baby a five week old baby, like we talked about. So it was really just divine. And I think that podcast is there's a lot of value in there if you're , um, you know, interested in, in learning how to, you know, relate with a partner in a conscious way, in an aware, oh , with awareness. Um, and we just share kind of really intimately and openly and transparently about our journey through life.