Episode 156 Transcending Realms | Understanding Energy, Space Clearing & Spirituality, Interview With Neal Bakshi

Nov 29, 2023

How does the energy in our surroundings affect our well-being? How can we begin to recognize how we respond to our environment both physically and emotionally?

MEET Neal Bakshi

Neal Bakshi has dedicated his life to uncovering the true nature of consciousness. He guides founders, executives, and professionals across Gen X, Y, and Z to step into their infinite potential and achieve inner peace through complete energetic and perspective shifts. As a former Goldman Sachs investment banking vice president who has meditated since the age of five, Neal’s teachings combine the analytical left brain with the intuitive right brain. Since leaving the world of finance, he has become a best-selling author, angel medium, certified spiritual life coach, reiki energy healer, breathwork and meditation instructor, global transformational retreat leader, yoga studio owner, and live event producer.

Find out more at Neal Bakshi and connect with Neal on, InstagramLinkedIn, Medium, and YouTube

Banking on Angels: How an Investment Banker Found Spiritual Fulfillment and Inner Peace by Neal A. Bakshi


  • The importance of being present 6:00
  • What is energetic Space Clearing? 7:43
  • How to begin to clear your energetic space 14:57
  • What is spirituality? 24:03

The Importance Of Being Present

  • What it means when you experience a Spiritual Download
  • What is our “Well of Faith?”

What Is Energetic Space Clearing?

  • Energy, frequency, and vibration
  • How does our space energetically resonate with our own frequency?
  • What is the impact of therapists not clearing their space between sessions?
  • How does stagnant energy affect therapists over time?

How To Begin To Clear Your Energetic Space

  • The importance of setting an intention when clearing your space
  • How do you want to interact with your space?
  • What is smudging?
  • The importance of clearing energetic space for your clients

What Is Spirituality?

  • The importance of breath awareness
  • What is Pranayama?
  • Meditation and ADHD
  • Why should you meditate?

Connect With Me

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The Art of Breath: How to Integrate Breathwork Techniques for Effective Therapy Sessions with Chris McDonald, LCMHCS

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more at Neal Bakshi and connect with Neal on, InstagramLinkedIn, Medium, and YouTube

Banking on Angels: How an Investment Banker Found Spiritual Fulfillment and Inner Peace by Neal A. Bakshi


Chris McDonald: Have you ever wondered why certain spaces feel heavy, draining, or just plain unsettled? Or maybe you felt this way in your office space after a long day with clients. It's not just your imagination. The energy in our surroundings plays a profound role in our well being. In today's episode on the Holistic Counseling Podcast, we'll dive deep into the world of space clearing, exploring the impact they have on your mental and emotional health and why you should pay attention to the vibes in your living and working spaces.

Let's jump right in to today's episode. This is Holistic Counseling, the podcast for mental health. Therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice with confidence. I'm your host, Chris McDonald, licensed therapist. I am so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I hope you're having a good week. I know it's been. Super busy October for me, just catching my breath. Now, the end of October is coming and my Halloween party, which I am super stoked for. But I got a question for you to get to today's episode.

Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt a heavy, stagnant energy? If so, you're not alone. Our environments hold energy. And just as we cleanse our bodies and minds, it's crucial to do the same for the spaces we inhabit. In today's episode, we're going to uncover the importance of space clearing and how it can enhance your mental, emotional, and even physical health.

We'll explore the importance of this. And here to guide us on this journey is Neil Bakshi. He has dedicated his life to uncovering the true nature of consciousness. He left Goldman Sachs and he became a bestselling author of the book, Banking on Angels. He's a certified spiritual life coach, Reiki energy healer, breathwork and meditation instructor, global transformational retreat leader, yoga studio owner, and.

Live event producer. Welcome to the podcast,

Neal Bakshi: Neil. Thank you so much for having me, Chris. I gotta say, I am

Chris McDonald: so excited for you

Neal Bakshi: to be here. I am blessed and grateful to be here and I'm super excited for our conversation. I know we had a little bit of time to catch up, uh, before this and also a few months ago.

So I'm excited to share a little bit about what we're going to be talking about today. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: So I have the big question about how you go from a Goldman Sachs investment banker to start communicating with angels. How does that happen,

Neal Bakshi: Neil? It is, uh, the way I can sum it up best is through an analogy that I'll bring in with caterpillars, which actually have these cells within them called imaginal cells.

And so caterpillars don't actually know that they're about to transform into a butterfly when they're, when they're born. However, when they go into the chrysalis, these imaginal cells activate and come together and help it transform into this butterfly. And so I take that away because going within into ourselves, when things feel really confusing, like things are turning to complete mush.

That's what helped me transform. And just a little bit of background. I grew up in a spiritual family meditating since I was five. And like most people at the age of 12, I became engrossed with the material world. I wanted to become an investment banker, make lots of money. And then I. I did all the things I went to school to study economics and history.

I worked at Goldman Sachs and on Wall Street for nearly a decade. And then my mom very suddenly and unexpectedly passed on in 2020. She went in for a 30 minute outpatient thumb surgery, couldn't be aroused after the surgery, was intubated and rushed to the ER with severe seizure activity in the brain where she spent Nearly three weeks in the ICU on life support before passing on.

And so that was the catalyst for me to go back into myself, to go within. And I went back into my spiritual roots, started meditating with far more intention than I ever have before. And I started to receive messages from outside of myself for the first time ever starting in 2021. It was the same message every single morning telling me that I needed to help people.

And it was so drastically different than anything I'd experienced. What went through your mind with that? I didn't know what was happening. I was like, why does this, these words keep coming to me incessantly every single day. And then what happened is because I kind of ignored it a little bit, but I took note of it.

And then since numbers are so important to me as a banker, I started to notice repeating number patterns. And I know this is frequent for a lot of people. Maybe they see 1111 or 222. But this wasn't just like once, twice, three times a day. It was nearly 20, 30, 40 times a day. And I was like, okay, there's something really weird.

Exactly. And so I was like, okay. And then, so I did some research, meditated on it, realized that numbers are actually a language. Numbers are a form of communication and Pythagoras is actually known as the father of numerology. Ancient Greek philosopher. And so over the course of 2021, I found that I was communicating with angels and I was like, okay, can I have direct back and forth dialogue and conversation as that ability picked up steam over a handful of months.

And then I started to communicate with angels. And then I was like, can I communicate with my mom on the other side? And then that immediately started coming through once that channel was open. And so it was basically there was a, a wave of service that was pulling me forward. That was like, okay, you're, you need to be doing this now.

And so to walk away from managing director titles and a million dollar salary, and you really have to have something that is pulling you forward. Leap of faith. All right. Genuinely, genuinely leap of faith. Yeah. That

Chris McDonald: is crazy to think about that, but you listened.

Neal Bakshi: That's all we really can do. We have to, we have to just allow ourselves to listen and, and let go ultimately let go of the story and how, how we can allow ourselves to be and realize.

what's happening around us.

Chris McDonald: It just reminds me too of how often people don't listen to those little downloads and

Neal Bakshi: messages. It comes back to complete presence for me. I think it's how can you be so completely present with what's happening in each moment that you actually start to realize all of the signs and downloads that are happening perpetually all around you.

And that's kind of what started happening to me. I was like, okay, these numbers are showing up everywhere. Like, what does this actually mean? How can I be so present with every moment that I actually pick up on them? Cause oftentimes life has, life is moving so fast. We can just be like, Oh, onto the next thing.

That's it. Isn't

Chris McDonald: it? Yeah. Not even paying attention. Yeah. So being here in the present moment, really listening, but being open to it too.

Neal Bakshi: Right. There's definitely a degree of that. And I think it's, it comes down to something I heard about developing this well of faith that we all intrinsically have, but how can we allow ourselves to believe that things are, are actually happening and unfolding in a way that.

For example, like we're not just quote unquote, going crazy or too woo woo. I don't really love that word, but it's like, how do we allow ourselves to deep in our own personal well of faith by small, consistent actions to the point where you look back and you're like, okay, now something very profound is happening.

How can I go even deeper with this?

Chris McDonald: I love that question. How can I go even deeper? So it's almost like starting a new path to learn something new.

Neal Bakshi: There's a. Uh, a show on Netflix about blue zones. So people that live to, and so one of the things is people learning something new every day and how do you allow yourself to actually continue that learning process even as you get older and are aging, because that is what keeps the mechanism of the mind really working really sharp.


Chris McDonald: keeps us young, doesn't it? Truly, truly. Yes. Well, I wanted to get to our topic because I'm really excited for this topic too, because I know I saw that you do energetic cleaning of spaces. So can we start with, what does that mean? What is negative energy? Can you talk about

Neal Bakshi: that first? Absolutely. So scientists, physicists, quantum physicists have talked about this since really the, the 1800s and actually even earlier, which everything is.

energy, frequency, and vibration. And even if you hear someone being like, Oh, like, I don't know, the vibe was kind of off there. Well, that's vibe is short for vibration. Every single thing here in this world is vibrating at an incredibly fast rate. If we actually zoom in on the microscopic level, you'll see electrons, atoms, photons, quarks moving at these incredibly fast speed.

They're vibrating. And so if everything comes down to that frequency, and vibration. Well, then what is in our spaces, our physical environment also carries an energetic frequency. So for example, you can walk into a house, for example, if you're looking to buy a house or a new apartment or into an office building, and you can immediately feel an energy.

You can be like, Oh wow, this has a magnanimous energy to it. This has a kind of skeptical energy. This has kind of a dark energy to it. And you can feel those, those energies. And so Energetic space clearings are a way to actually allow you to achieve what you energetically want to desire in that space.

And so what it does is it basically clears out old and stagnant energy and will bring in new energy to allow your space to resonate at that vibrational frequency of what you want. And when I speak about resonance, it's again another sort of law of acoustics, if you want to think about it this way. If you play a guitar and record it on a speaker and then pluck each string individually, put the guitar back on the speaker and play the recording, you'll notice that when each string is specifically played on the speaker, it will resonate on the guitar and the string on the guitar will also play.

And so that is analogous to how you allow a space to energetically resonate with your specific frequency. So if someone was previously living in an apartment that doesn't resonate with your energy, or it feels dark or dense, or someone even passed away in a home that you. You bought, you can clear out this stagnant energy, which is associated with the other being and align it more with your personal intentions.

And that's sort of how an energetic space clearing ceremony

Chris McDonald: works. So what impact can it have if therapists aren't clearing their space and they see lots of clients each and every day and in out lots of heavy issues. So what could happen?

Neal Bakshi: Yeah, this is, this is a really awesome question and I will. I'll bring a tangible example to it.

The CEO of a company based in Rockefeller center, New York, actually reached out to me to perform an energetic space clearing ceremony at their offices because they had recently gone through around, uh, restructuring layoffs, if you will. And they wanted to basically clear the energy out of the office of the former employees that were there to allow.

What is new to come into the space and I share this because it's very similar to how a therapist might be in their office Having calls with someone even if it's virtually you have the energy of a specific person that is there All that that person has gone through all that they have thought in their life all that they have experienced Emotionally that will carry an energetic frequency with it And if you even want to think about Energy is potentially even leaving marks.

Like if someone is sitting in a chair, well, that person's energy is on the chair as well. And so how do you allow yourself to clear the space out of any stagnant energy or just refreshing the general energy of that space to welcome in something new? Because oftentimes what can happen is you have very often, you know, heavy situations or emotions that people are dealing with as they come into the therapy space that will begin to accumulate and cloud the space and after weeks, months, years of this happening, you can feel the energy of a space as you walk into it.

And so as this happens, it can also create energetic sort of distortions, if you will, that the therapist will be picking up on and simultaneously that will be in the field generally. So what I can say is that you can actually start to create a more clearly defined understanding of the person that you're speaking to.

If you allow yourself to have a clear space that you can energetically pick up on, like, okay, this is this person I'm speaking to. I'm not left over with energy that is from, you know, this client that we were speaking to last week or even the last hour.

Chris McDonald: So I'm just thinking, even like if I see two clients in a row, like at my office in person, they're sitting in the same space.

Space. All right. So I guess, could they technically be sitting in the other person's

Neal Bakshi: energy to a, to an extent, I would say absolutely. Because if you're, if you sit somewhere and you even think about, let's even think about it in the terms of a fragrance. So let's say someone is wearing a cologne or a perfume or wearing a fragrance on them, and they sit down in, in, in space, and maybe some of that fragrance becomes attracted to some of the, the cloth that they're sitting on within a chair and.

Once that person leaves, if, if even a new person comes in, you can potentially still smell that fragrance. And I liken that to the same concept of energy because where you sit, you're sort of, your energy is, is there. And where you do certain tasks on a daily basis, carry energy. So if you, for example, meditate in a certain area every day, that's going to carry that frequency of deeper peace.

Even in your kitchen, that's sort of a place where you go to cook meals. That's sort of that active area lively if you have people in your home. So all of these different spaces carry energy. So absolutely what I'll say is it can only really help your own ability to show up for your clients. And also create a space that is clear, calm, more inviting for the client themselves as they step into a space that has been cleared energetically.


Chris McDonald: I'm wondering, too, if it can impact therapists in the long term, emotionally, even physically, if all this energy is just stagnant.

Neal Bakshi: And that's an interesting point because It probably has the potential to. I don't obviously have scientific reasoning behind that. However, if you think about sage, people often use sage as an energy clearing, space clearing smoke.

And in my ceremonies, I similarly use sage as well as a number of other tools. But what it actually does is sage actually has powerful antibacterial benefits and can actually. destroy bacteria in a space when it is burned in that space. So any sort of harmful bacteria that may be in sort of a basement or anywhere that you are, it can actually remove some of that bacteria from the space.

So that's great. Yeah. It's fascinating actually on sort of this, this cleansing level that it has on even the physical, physical properties that we see, that we can observe. So

Chris McDonald: clearing as an energy, but literal clearing too of maybe some bacteria, that's always good to know too.

Neal Bakshi: Genuinely, yeah.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, so do you have any recommendations for therapists?

Is there simple things that they can do like in between sessions just to keep a clear

Neal Bakshi: space? Yeah, awesome question. So there's a few things that come to mind. The first is opening a window. It's very simple, very easy to do. And It creates an opening for energy to leave and energy to enter. You often think about on a beautiful spring day or a fall day, you want to keep the window open to allow that nice current of air to come in and refresh your space.

So you're not really in this stale space. So even something as simple as keeping a window open. is incredibly useful and powerful to allow energy to leave, energy to enter. Similarly, something as simple as lighting just a little bit of either sage or palo santo in the space to sort of clear the energy.

It really doesn't need to, palo santo doesn't really burn excessively. I would say sage burns relatively excessively. Palo santo will stay lit for a handful of seconds to maybe a minute or two. And if you genuinely just go around the spaces and primarily clear things like where the person was sitting, just smudging the smoke over it, corners, specifically corners of rooms generally can hold a lot of stacking energy gets stuck in that corner.

And if you go around and sort of clear the energy of the corners where the person's sitting and have that window open so that the energy can leave. And simultaneously new energy can enter very simple things that someone can do after a session before the next session to kind of just refresh the space energetically and also when you do something like that, your intention is ultimately what drives what is happening in that space.

So you are tangibly putting physical action behind your intention to say, okay, I want to clear this space so that. My new client can come in and feel more at ease, like this is their energy that they can come into and we can have this conversation and dialogue where I can start to actually pick up on even more subtle energy bodies of the client that I'm speaking to.

Chris McDonald: So having some kind of intention can help drive this too. Absolutely. And well, how do you want your space to be? So maybe that's something for listeners to think about. How do you

Neal Bakshi: want that to be? That's a very important and prominent point because when I do these energetic space clearing ceremonies, it actually starts with a grounding ceremony for the person and the space.

So it's truly visualizing that space being very grounded and where it is. Like having a genuine grounding cord for that space going deep down into the center of the earth, because that is allowing that space to be present with where it is. It's not allowing it to be sort of in this theoric space of like being able to receive other people's energies in a very chaotic way.

The space feels grounded, similar to how you as a human can feel very grounded versus up in the clouds or spacey or heady or overthinking. And then what we do is we actually, because I work with angels. We will call in angels to first bless the space. And then I will actually ask the person that I'm doing the ceremony with to pull out a sheet of paper or notebook and specifically write down their intentions for what we are setting in the space.

So, like, what is happening in that space? For example, if it's an office, we want to have growth here, we want to have business profitability, we want to have service to our clients. If it's a home, maybe it's more focused around. We want to have this be a really loving place for our family. We want to have a lot of harmony here.

We want to have a lot of peace here. So you, you literally create the intention that you want. And then what we will do is we'll go through the space, be it office, house, event space, apartment, and I'll use Reiki energy. Reiki is a form of energy healing. I'll use Reiki energy symbols along with various smudging tools, Palisanto, Sage, amongst others.

And then we'll literally clear the space of that energy to set the intention for what it is that they do want to call in. And then at the end of it, we will go through a guided creative visualization of what is happening in that space. Because imagination is actually the bridge to the invisible world.

We often lose track of this as we get older from being a child. And so after that visualization, we'll then go into just a brief angel card reading. Something that I like to do.

Chris McDonald: Oh, so you add all that together for this

Neal Bakshi: energetic clearing. Exactly. Make it into a little ceremony. So, so people can have that full experience of what's happening here.

Chris McDonald:

Yeah. I was going to ask you too. So I use, I have, um, some Palo Santo spray. So would that be good for other therapists to even use a spray? Cause I know some people can't use actual smoke in their

Neal Bakshi: offices. Yeah, absolutely. And that's. Absolutely. Okay. So using a spray similarly has that same intention. And if you think about, like, why, why is Palo Santo so, so impactful?

People may be asking, okay, like, what is Palo Santo? Like I hear about people using it, but Palo Santo is from a very sacred tree. And so the tree has these benefits of actually grounding, clearing and grounding. And so in indigenous cultures, they use it for in various ceremonies and medicine ceremonies and just.

generally to clean the body, to clean the spirit, basically, that is around the physical body, to clear the energy field of the physical body. And so if you similarly use a spray that holds that same intention of clearing the energy field around an object, or you can, you know, spray it in the office or on the couch or wherever it is.

To have that same intention of saying, okay, this is clearing the energy of the person that was here before and we're welcoming in basically a tabula rasa clean slate for what is going to be here going forward. And if you do that consistently, you're actually starting to really feel into the energy of your space in a much.

Cleaner and clearer way it'll be Yeah. Quite interesting if, if uh, some people wanna report back on how they find that. Yeah,

Chris McDonald: absolutely. Because I'm wondering too if um, asking your clients how they feel in this space could be helpful. 'cause that could give you a cue. 'cause you may not be picking up on some

Neal Bakshi: things.

Absolutely. I, I think that's really an interesting point as well. How can you ask your clients how, how are you, how are you feeling in this space? How does it feel? And the other side of that is, I'm curious how. Maybe truthfully someone who would express what they're, what they're feeling or what's happening in that space for them, but we're far more energetically aware than I think we give ourselves credit for and feeling into that and from numerous and countless conversations I've had with people who have been like, Oh, I walked into this place and it felt like really off or it felt like it wasn't my home or I could feel really hurt stories about people telling me different spirits were in their house and different, they could, they had experiences with this.

And so they wanted me to come in and sort of clear the space of what they felt was, was it was a being that was, that was there. And oftentimes if they, when they looked back at it, they were like, Oh wow, someone actually passed away in this, in this house that I'm in. Or there was actually a story of someone who lost a child when they were living in this house.

And so all of these things that have sort of. come to me has really shown me that you can, people can genuinely pick up on what the energy they're feeling in the space actually is.

Chris McDonald: Because I wonder if it's been helpful that I do try to clear my space. I use crystals as well and try to use all different kinds of modalities for my space.

And, um, but I have a lot of people, even the new space I have where I'm in person one day a week that people come in there and they're just like, it feels so good in here. And then the space behind me, everybody that sees this office, they're just Like, Oh, I feel so just bright and just feel comforting.

And I don't know if that's from clearing or if they just like the color of my office, but you know, it is kind of the, I've heard this without even asking people that they feel that, you

Neal Bakshi: know, first of all, your office is incredibly inviting and I think it's, it carries a number of different aspects with it.

And so part of it definitely can be energy clearing. Other parts of it are aspects of feng shui. And so this is also a concept of how can you place certain either crystals, objects, flowing water, greenery, live plants, uh, geometric patterns in different parts of the space to actually make it.

energetically different. And so that's why you see things like maybe the vibrant colors, maybe the, that sort of mandala ish thing you have on your wall, these different sort of geometric yin yang patterns you have, the live plants, all of this comes together. And also the symbology behind everything comes together to create an overall aspect for what someone is experiencing as they walk into this space.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, I didn't even think of that with feng shui because I've, I had learned, I actually had somebody on the podcast before about that, but I didn't even think about it when I put this together. Cause I always try to decorate with trying to see how it feels like where I put things and very intuitive on that and try to do it that way.

So, but sometimes I guess that comes through with, with a feng shui, right?

Neal Bakshi: Unbeknownst to you, you're just doing it naturally. It was your natural way of doing it. Right. There's a really awesome, uh, feng shui sort of intuitive teacher. Her name is Marie Diamond out of, uh, Belgium. She's, she's super interesting.


Chris McDonald: I love that. Well, I know, um, another thing that you mentioned that I could ask you about was just spiritual practices in general. So what is spirituality to you? What does that mean for you?

Neal Bakshi: Awesome. So spirituality, uh, if you want my academic version of this, it. originates from the Latin word spira, which is to breathe.

And so if you actually get into spirituality, it's that who can breathe that the person who knows how to breathe basically. And so spirituality to me is the breath of life itself. And so while that is nice and etheric and all of that, it's, it is very true because if you think about, uh, ancient yogis who have also taught that breath is the cord that ties the soul to the body.

And if we can be conscious and aware of our breathing. We can actually start to transcend the body. In Maslow, you have your basic needs, you have self actualization, and there's actually a step even further than that, which is self transcendence. And so there's, how do you allow yourself to be so innately focused on the breath?

You can then start to rise above breath awareness. And to me, that's why so many meditation practices focus on the breathing. Focus on your breath going in and out, right? And so ultimately you transcend all that is and rise to this plane of basically being all with everything and simultaneously being nothing with everything.

It's, it's this concept of fully and completely letting go. And I think it's, to me, it is a perpetual and consistent practice that isn't just like spirituality is you sitting down to meditate for 30 or 40 minutes a day, or spirituality is you reading the spiritual text. I think it's. How do you take what you experience in these deep meditative states in your practices of reading deep spiritual texts in your own reflective journaling practices and carry this with you in your daily waking life so that you can truly live this peaceful life where you're not so intensely swayed by what is happening in life?

It's kind of like that level of emotional mastery in a way that you receive from being in a state of profound peace where you can sort of be the observer of the one experiencing life. I

Chris McDonald: love the definition you gave because that's very, I ask people that question a lot. Yours was very unusual, which I really loved because thinking about rising above with our breath, because I hadn't really thought about that.

You said, what did you say with the breath is connected that we're trying to rise

Neal Bakshi: above? Ancient yogis in India, Paramahansa Yogananda, whose spiritual path I was raised on. talks about breath being the cord that ties the soul to the body or

Chris McDonald: that ties the soul

Neal Bakshi: to the body. Yeah. Yeah. And so if we start to, to focus on that breathing and really actually we can do things like Pranayama, which is life force control, which is translated from Sanskrit.

You can move the energy of the body using your breath to actually start to withdraw. the energy from sort of your five telephone senses. So you're all of your five senses, which act like telephones in this world, how we move around this world into your spinal column to actually start to move that energy up your spine to reach this state of self transcendence.

And so A lot of Indian yogis or spiritualists can enter this state known as Samadhi, which is this complete breathless state that some yogis have been known to be in for days at a time. So how can someone stop their, their breath and their flow of heart rate in such a, such a way that. The body actually doesn't need to expend that much energy to, to give the vital forces what it needs.

And so that's, that's that whole concept of Samadhi and coming within and rising above thought consciousness. Have you gotten there

Chris McDonald: with your

Neal Bakshi: meditation? I actually, I really, I have, and it's, it's not something I've yet been able to do on an extraordinarily consistent basis, but I've, I've tasted this twice.

And it was truly one of the most profound experiences I've ever had. That is what shows me that this is something that's possible because I have experienced this twice. So I'm not saying this from a space of like, Oh, I've read all of these texts and this is what it's like, and this is what you do, but it's, it's something that you really got to consistently work at.

And again, I've only experienced this twice. So it's how do I continually bring myself into this high vibrational. Frequency state that we talked about earlier to allow myself to be able to merge with that infinite consciousness that is all around us. That's just

Chris McDonald: so profound. I love it. I think that it would be hard if you're not someone who does this regularly, right?

The meditation and breath work, but I'm so impressed that you've, you've meditated since you were five years

Neal Bakshi: old. It's something in the beginning that I wasn't probably, I mean, I know I wasn't, I wasn't very intentional about, I did it because my parents wanted me to do it and all of that. And so as a elementary schooler sitting still and Concentrating and closing your eyes on one spot for hours at a time isn't the most enticing thing you want to go out and play.

And like, but it actually really taught me how to like, not respond to every itch, not respond to every shuffle, be really sort of how to focus my concentration, my energy, my attention, my willpower. And I think something today that's even so topical is the concepts of, of ADD, ADHD. How can we start to actually bring some of that concentration to our young people?

And I think that meditation is actually a phenomenal, phenomenal tool. And I will say that for years, if not decade of my life, It was very difficult for me, meditation, very difficult. And it's not something that necessarily happens instantaneously, although for some people it very much can. And so oftentimes it can be very discouraging to be like, Oh, I'm doing this consistently.

I'm not seeing these results. I'm not getting there. But it's kind of this concept of how do you allow yourself to just do it with that well of faith, almost that we talked about earlier. How do you allow that well of faith to deepen? So maybe it's starting with shorter periods. See how you can go deep in short periods and then start to expend, extend that out.

But numerous studies have been done. I know Amishi Jha and a number of other sort of researchers have studied the impact of even 12 minutes of meditation. that is possible for people like who are in the army or other very intensive fields. That sounds more

Chris McDonald: doable than if we spent hours like

Neal Bakshi: you mentioned.

It's, it's all a progression. I think it's all part of the journey of life. And it's interesting because we're often so myopically focused on the outcome, right? So we're always like, Oh, it needs to be this, and this is the outcome. But something I come back to is Zen Buddhist monks talk about. I'm doing a specific task for simply the sake of doing the task.

So if they're cleaning the monastery, they're not cleaning the monastery with the need that the monastery needs to be fully cleaned there. That will be the end result, but they're cleaning the monastery with full and complete presence of what they're doing, which is just cleaning the monastery. So how can you just be so present with the task at hand that the end result actually begins to take care of itself because you're just so fully present with what you're doing.

And that's,

Chris McDonald: I think with meditate, it was just weird that you said that too about the result that people get focused, but it's we don't go into meditation for the result, right? We can't have expectation. We just have to see what's there and be present. I think that's the hardest concept because I do hear a lot of clients like I can't meditate and I have monkey mind and my mind's all.

Well, yeah, everybody's mind does go, but it does get a little easier. The more you do meditation too, that your mind is a bit more settled than if you do it once a year, then of course it's going to

Neal Bakshi: be more difficult. Exactly. And I'll share something interesting just as you bring up that, that concept of what some of your clients say about it.

One of these experiences where I did leave my body for an extended period of time in meditation in this experience, I became what was what I experienced was the thought thinking itself. And from that standpoint, I realized that we are simply the thought that is thinking itself. So whatever we tell ourselves actually becomes our narrative and reality.

So if we continually say, I can't meditate, can't do it, have monkey mind, you actually, you actually begin to create that for yourself. You begin to manifest that even more strongly for yourself because you're falling into this well worn neurological groove that you've created. And what happens is. That becomes your reality.

So then when you can't meditate, all you're left with is saying, I told you so, like I knew it. Well, yeah, that's because that's what you've been telling yourself over and over again. And that's why to me. It comes back to self talk. Self talk is one of the most important things because if we are truly the thought that is thinking itself into creation, how can we be so aware with what we're thinking, what we're saying, that we can fill ourselves with more empowering thoughts, more empowering feelings?

And that's actually interestingly where things like self healing and all of these aspects start to actually take form and take shape. The thought

Chris McDonald: that keeps, that's thinking itself. I'm still stuck on that. I'm like, Whoa, we're getting deep here now. Wow. So I'm trying to, Hmm. I know listeners. That's something to think about, isn't it?

So we manifest more than we thought when we have these narratives.

Neal Bakshi: Truly. And it's hard to realize that because we don't necessarily have that awareness that it is really creating such a ripple effect in our lives. But I think that is actually where it comes back to how can we be so extremely present with what is happening in the moment that we just focus on what is happening right now to an extreme extent, to the point where it's like, how can I actually be very self aware of what I'm thinking, what I'm saying, even if it's a habit, like simply shaking my leg or biting my nail or whatever it is, how can you bring it.

Really deep presence and awareness into that because in this, in these experiences, stillness is ultimately where you can let spirit speak through in that state of stillness. So lots to

Chris McDonald: think about from this conversation today too, but going back on what you said to you about, um. You know, kids now having shorter attention spans.

I just saw something on the news about that and they're saying that our phones is just making it worse and video games that, you know, we have the attention span of a nap, right? A little bug. So I think parents listening to really think about encouraging meditation, doing it with your kids and just opening that space to go within, because I think.

I think the whole world is just looking too much on the outside, external, looking for everything on the external, but really we got to go within more.

Neal Bakshi: It's all, it's all going within. And the earlier you can start it, even just as something I noticed with my sister raising my niece, who is now two years old, when she has sort of these, uh, extreme emotional outbreaks, which she'll.

She'll say, like, it's okay to feel sad. What do we do when we feel sad or upset? And my niece is now like, we can take deep breaths. I love it. It's amazing. I'm like, what? And then my cousin was over, like, last weekend and she was like, I just, like, she's like, I just learned how to do this last year, like, and she already knows how to take deep.

So, like, even these small little things are just, like, How can you just allow that awareness to be within the child or the young person as a tool of awareness? And again, similar to my story, it's not going to be something necessarily that you see benefits that are reaped of in maybe the first year or two years.

For me, it wasn't even for decades until afterwards, my, I was meditating for a quarter century before I ultimately started to like, Receive messages from outside of myself, communicate with angels and start to receive these, these channelings. And it's something that will pay dividends well into their life, but in the story of my mom may not even physically see it in this realm to see the impact that meditation can have or what you're doing or how you're raising your children has, but oftentimes is a something that they have within their toolkit that can be unlocked at a later stage.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, and I wish that something that all, all children could have in this world, right? What a better world we

Neal Bakshi: would have, for sure. That's what we're creating. We're creating that better world right here, right now. Yes.

Chris McDonald: Interconnectedness, right? So what's a takeaway you could share with listeners who may be just starting their holistic journey?

Neal Bakshi: One of my biggest takeaways comes back to. Just the simple topic that we were talking about today around clearing one space. And when you allow yourself to clear the space that you're in, even if it's just your home or your office, you allow your energy to be much clearer. You allow yourself to be able to pick up on the subtle nuances that you can see.

in that space, in the clients that you're with, similar to how you pick up on, on facial changes when someone's speaking or body behavior, you start to pick up on the energetic subtleties of what that person is feeling or what that person may not be saying actually is reading in between the spaces even more powerfully.

And I think by being able to have a space that is cleared from previous clients, even your own self difficult conversations. You create more of a clean slate for you to be able to receive something that can be even more impactful as you show up for your clients and even as you show up for yourself.

Chris McDonald: Thanks for that. That's really beautiful. So what's the best way for listeners to find you and learn more about you?

Neal Bakshi: Sure. So people can find me on my website, neilbakshi. com and E A L B as in boy, A K S H I dot com. I'm also on Instagram at neil. bakshi on LinkedIn and yeah, I have a, I have a couple of books I've published as well.

One is called Banking on Angels, which is on Amazon and other one is called Second Chances from Surviving to Thriving. So I'll talk to you soon. Bye. Yeah, multiple different avenues. I'm all around the U S and the world delivering various talks and workshops and retreats. So people can always find me in person online and I'd love to just hear from everyone.

So, all

Chris McDonald: right, we'll have that in the show. No listeners too. So you can do that and check him out, check out the books too, but thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Neil. This has been

Neal Bakshi: great. Thank you for having me on, Chris. It's been a really awesome conversation and I hope that your listeners take away something really powerful for themselves as they are able to go through being able to clear their spaces a little bit more intentionally.

Chris McDonald: Absolutely. And that brings us to the end of another episode, but be sure to tune in next Wednesday when another episode drops. And I have a question for listeners. Have you been wanting to integrate breathwork into your sessions, but are unsure how? Are you needing more continuing education credits? I know shifting from traditional talk therapy to more holistic modalities can bring feelings of uncertainty and fear.

I know because I've been there too. But I'm here to tell you as a licensed therapist that you can do this work and this is within your scope of practice. So I have found breathwork to be one of the most powerful modalities therapists can use in sessions. And now I have a recorded training just for you to watch on your own schedule so you can be prepared.

So join me on this remarkable journey as we delve into breathwork techniques. And now this is available for 1. 5 continued education credits for 65. Go to hcpodcast. org forward slash breathwork course. That's hcpodcast. org forward slash breathwork course. And once again, this is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love.

Till next time. Take care. Thanks for listening. The information in this podcast is for general educational purposes only, and it is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are giving legal financial counseling or any other kind of professional advice. If you need a professional, please find the right one for you.

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is proudly part of the SiteCraft Network.

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The Art of Breath:  How to Integrate Breathwork Techniques for Effective Therapy Sessions 

Have you been wanting to integrate breathwork into your sessions but are unsure how?   Or maybe you want to refine your technique? Join me on a remarkable journey as we delve into breathwork techniques and how to integrate them safely and ethically into sessions. 

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Self-Care for the Counselor - a holistic guide for helping professionals by Christine McDonald , MS,NCC,LPCS