Love is such a powerful thing. It can take us to places we never thought possible and open doors to new experiences. My next guest embodies this fact beautifully.
Zach Beach is an internationally renowned yoga teacher, best-selling author, poet, love coach, founder of The Heart Center love school, and host of The Learn to Love Podcast. Everything he does is dedicated to helping people lead happier, more loving and more fulfilling lives. He walks this path of love by traveling the world and leading classes, workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings. He has summed up a lot of his teachings in the book The Seven Lessons of Love: Heart Wisdom for Troubling Times. He has also written three poetry collections: 108 Savasana Poems, Drinking Roses on Sunday, and Pebbles. Zach’s writings have appeared on such websites as The Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and MindBodyGreen, while his poems have been seen in such publications as October Hill Magazine, The Oddville Press, and The CHILLFILTR Review.
To learn more about Zach, visit his website and find him @zachbeachlove on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor, take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky, and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out: a Weekly Mindfulness and Meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.
Krystal Jakosky: Hello and welcome to Breathe In, Breathe Out. This week, I interview Zach Beach, who is an internationally renowned yoga teacher, best selling author, poet, love coach, founder of The Heart Center Love School and host of the Learn to Love podcast. Everything Zach does is dedicated to helping people lead happier, more loving, and more fulfilling lives. He walks this path of love by traveling the world and leading classes, workshops, or treats and teacher trainings. He has summed up a lot of his teachings in the book. The seven lessons of love, heart wisdom for troubling times. And he’s also written three poetry collections, 108 Savasana poems drinking roses on Sunday. And his latest one is pebbles Zach’s writings have appeared on such websites as the Huffington post elephant journal and mind body green. While his poems have been seen in such publications as October hill magazine, the Oddville press and the chill filter review. We have a really great conversation about yoga, how he got into yoga, meditation, poetry, and self love. This is a great episode for you to listen to, and I hope you enjoy.
Krystal Jakosky: Hello and welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky, your host, and welcome to Zach Beach. How are you today?
Zach Beach: I’m so well, thanks so much for having me.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah, what’s the weather like where you’re at
Zach Beach: Gorgeous, grea, sunny. I wanna be outside, but I also am enjoying being here with you.Read More
Zach Beach: I’d be happy to in short, my life mission is to bring more love into the world. And I think of my work in the world as being on the level of the body, the heart and the mind on the level of the body. I teach yoga and love to get people to get in touch with their bodies, accept themselves, love themselves just as they are on the level of the heart. I write poetry and do spoken word performances. And on the level of the mind I write and coach, I’m also a love coach and I’ve been on this path over a decade now, and it’s been really wonderful. And I do think that love is the reason that we are here on this planet as human beings. And if you are looking for happiness or meaning or joy in your life, look no further than love.
Krystal Jakosky: Amen to that. Spreading it, feeling it for ourselves and then giving it to others. What brought you to this path? Like you’ve been on it for 10 years. You’ve been on it for a decade, but what, what made you, what enlightened you to this? What made you decide that this is where I need to be? This is what I need to do. This is where I need to go in my life.
Zach Beach: Hmm. Yeah. It’s a very interesting question because it didn’t originally start out on a search for love. It started on a search for truth and the truth of reality, the truth of why we here the truth of what it means to be a human being and what I found. So very interesting when I started on this path is that no matter where I went, no matter who I talked to, rather it was a neuroscientist or a psychologist or a guru or Saint or a mystic <laugh> they all have the very same message. If you talk to a psychologist, they’ll tell you that it is not survival of the fittest. It is the survival of the most nurtured that we as human beings are social beings, which is why our most popular websites are social networks. We all need to be seen, understood, recognized, supported, and this is from birth until death.
Zach Beach: It’s not just our babies that need someone to feed them, shelter them, and be there for them. But our need for social connection is fundamental to our health and wellbeing for the rest of our lives. And this is in our neuroscience, our evolutionary psychology, we are wired to connect. And interestingly, you might go to a church and be told that we know God through love because God is love. Or you might talk to a non-dual teacher like Rupert spirit. And he says that our fundamental self, the fundamental nature of consciousness is one of love. And I’m sure many of your listeners also might enjoy the poetry of roomy. Just, just divine ectatic, love that we discover through mystical awakening. And I wouldn’t say I came to this begrudgingly, but I did kind of come into it. Tangentially is I was like on this search for truth.
Zach Beach: And no matter who I talk to, they’re like actually connection, belonging. This is, this is the path. And you look at many spiritual practices, religious traditions, and they too are wrapped up in this fundamental idea that there is something greater, something divine that is connected and tapped into a universal love and compassion. So that’s kind of like the global, <laugh> the global, uh, idea of how I came to this path, but I’m a human being and I have my own path and my own unique circumstances that brought me to this. And really my, uh, spiritual path has largely been focused on, on yoga. I do think of myself as being open. I love learning about Christian mysticism and all sorts of Southeast Asian and Indian traditions, but I did, uh, have a back injury. And then my physical therapist was like, you should try yoga. And I was like, ha <laugh> yoga. I can breathe, breathe and stretch by myself. I don’t need this sort of thing. Uh, cuz I had an idea of what yoga was and um, wasn’t at all, what it turned out to be and that continuous process of introspection calming the mind opening the heart has been, uh, largely my path.
Krystal Jakosky: So what did you think yoga was beforehand? Like your <laugh> your, your idea was like, no, no, no. That’s just, uh, but what did you really think it was?
Zach Beach: Um, I thought it was a thing for thin white women to do that involve stretching. <laugh> you know, you have this idea, it’s like green eggs and ham, you know, it’s like you have this idea of something that you’re not gonna like, and then you try now and you’re like, oh actually I do. I do like it. And it, it was largely a misconception. Um, but what’s also interesting is, you know, some people say things like, oh, I’m not flexible enough to do yoga. Right. And we say this, um, we say yoga, well, that’s like saying you’re too dirty to take a bath. Like it’s what you, you know, it’s what you need. And you know, when I started, I was stiff as stiff as a board, I couldn’t touch my toes. I couldn’t turn around. Uh, and so I hated it obviously was hard because it was hard.
Zach Beach: You know, a lot of people gravitate. We gravitate towards things we’re naturally good at right. We kind of run away from things we aren’t. So my mind was all over the place, our stiff as a board, I didn’t wanna do this thing that forced me to be with my own tedious thoughts <laugh> and, and see how, and then be in, in pain as my hamstrings were screaming. Um, but it’s the it’s that, um, the things that challenge us are the ones that bring us the most growth. And that’s what I’ve learned is to really lean into that resistance and to see what is blocking you from finding joy and freedom in your body.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah. So I I’m drilling into this cause I wanna know what was the one thing that made you finally go to that first yoga class? I mean, you didn’t want to, the chiropractor said you should, you were really reluctant what finally pushed you over the edge and said, okay, fine. I’ll try it.
Zach Beach: I was just having this conversation with a friend that oftentimes those times, those like really challenging, sometimes tragic moments in our life and uh, being extraordinary, wake up calls. Right. And it was the, this conversation was around another friend who he’s in his thirties and he had had some heart palpitations, right? It’s not a heart attack. It’s just like, could be a heart attack. <laugh> if you don’t. And he took this as a wake up call, he was like, I have to quit. You know, he was a big vapor and he is like, you know, quit this, do this, do this. So, so too, um, for me that back injury, um, my herniated, a disc in my low lumbar, it was the most painful experience of my life. I would ended up in the hospital and I was in my early twenties. Right. And I was like, this should not be happening.
Zach Beach: I should not feel like an 80 year old man who can’t stand up without being in pain. So I actually see that as an extraordinary wake up call that I was going on a certain path. If I wasn’t gonna get injured, then it was gonna happen at some other point in the future. And I required a deep introspection introspection, but what I, what was I doing that was, that was causing this, this pain and this suffering in this life and what can I do to get out of it? And what I always find is interesting, you know, when like with coaching people, for example, is that we all have an innate wisdom and we all know what’s right for us. Right. We all know how much sleep we should be getting. We all know what food is healthy. We all know stress is not good for us, but what is preventing us from doing what we know deep down to be the right thing. And that to me is where practice, where discipline comes into play. And also just having the tools to make a radical life shift that puts you on, on the path towards more happiness, joy, and love. And for me, that was yoga, but there’s so many different paths.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah. So how many sessions did it take for you to fall in love with it?
Zach Beach: <laugh>, you know, I would say it was like six months, which is usually what I tell my students. I was like, give it six months and you won’t stop and <laugh>,
Krystal Jakosky: And it’ll just be something you do.
Zach Beach: Yeah. Cause you know, like many people, I came to yoga for the physical benefits, because again, I thought it mainly had to do with stretching. Um, but stayed of course for the mental, emotional psychospiritual benefits. As I noticed how this one thing that I was doing once, twice, three times a week was overflowing in positive ways to the rest of my life. Right. Like your boss berates you, and then you don’t flip out. It’s amazing. Like <laugh>
Krystal Jakosky: I know all of a sudden, yeah,
Zach Beach: Yeah, yeah. You have this mind, you start to cultivate this mindfulness that then changes your relationships, changes your perspective on life and changes how you REW certain situations and challenges in your life.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah. You’re so much calmer and more at ease able to let things just roll off instead of take it personally <laugh> and
Zach Beach: Yeah. And like for me, and for many people, like I, you know, I teach meditation now and I find people twenties, thirties, forties, and never once in their life, have they ever closed their eyes and looked within never once. Did someone tell them to slow down and feel into their breath? And I was very much the same way I was looking towards the, to the external world for fulfillment. Never wanted somebody tell me to look inside. And that is the beginning of transformation.
Krystal Jakosky: So what is your favorite way or place to meditate?
Zach Beach: Hmm. Um, you know, I do have sometimes do this workshop, like, you know, intro to meditation and I go over what I call the four PS of meditation. We, and the first one is place. Like it is really important to have a designated place. Rent is through the roof. It’s not usually a room anymore. Usually it’s just a little corner, but that’s like your sacred space. So I do have a nice little ter space with some of my statues of DTS or gurus or things that I enjoy and sacred text and scriptures and some incense and some other, other sacred items. Um, and just to finish the piece off the top of my head’s place practice, and one of my favorite ones is problems because people think that like when you sit down to meditation, just be total peace and contentment, but that’s not the case because we are of course encountering the causes and mental patterns that create suffering in our life. And the, the fourth piece will come to me, just will, we’ll continue.
Krystal Jakosky: <laugh> I, uh, I actually have a meditation labyrinth here on my property and I love it because of the problem aspect of it. Cuz you stand at the entrance of that labyrinth and you ponder, what problem, what issue are you facing right now? What question do you need answers and direction to? And then you just walk this labyrinth. And as you slowly meditatively like intentionally walk this labyrinth by the time that you get to the center, you have this enlightenment and you have answers and a direction and you’re like, oh, this is so much better, but it’s just because you took that time to stop and say, I’m focusing for right now on this issue. I’m gonna peel everything else away. And I’m just gonna be mindful in this moment for this issue and see what happens. So I, I love that you add that P part of it in there because it absolutely is. It’s not necessarily, I wanna forget everything. It’s really a beautiful way to process through those issues, those problems that we all have.
Zach Beach: Oh, absolutely. Um, I remember the fourth P was just posture. So making sure you’re in the right position, but you’d absolutely bring up a very important point that we can meditate in other ways. And walking meditation is such a powerful, uh, practice. And one metaphor that often give around what you’re describing is that if you take a tablespoon of salt and you put it in a glass of water, you will end up with very salty water. You have a tablespoon of salt, you put it in a large lake. Of course the lake is unperturbed. So two in our practice, we cultivate level of spaciousness. So that those general problems in our life don’t affect us nearly as much. And then we can call upon a greater sense of wisdom in order to deal with whatever it is that we’re working through.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah. A lot of my clients, they, they, they tell me, I don’t have five minutes. I don’t have an hour. I don’t have 20 minutes. And I just tell them just being still for a moment or going for a walk for a moment. It’s, it’s the intention behind the activity that you’re doing. You might wanna meditate while you’re standing wood. You might wanna meditate while you’re chopping vegetables. The, the idea is tuning out the world and tuning into that moment. That’s right there so that you can be present in where you’re at.
Zach Beach: Absolutely. You know, and there’s, there’s kind of two schools of thought because some people say like the degree to which you can’t sit down for five minutes and meditate is the degree to which you need to sit down for five minutes and meditate. A lot of times, people like I don’t have time and then they spend 45 minutes scrolling through their phone and it’s like, you can usually make time. Now that being said, we are simply cult, intentionally cultivating certain mental states on the meditation cushion in the labyrinth so that we can take those same mental states with us, wherever we go. And you can have a driving meditation and a shopping in the grocery store meditation and a waiting in line meditation. And you can absolutely bring this level of spacious, intentional awareness into all the areas of your life.
Krystal Jakosky: Little by little it’s baby steps. <laugh> if you don’t think you have five minutes, but then you find you have five minutes, then you have six minutes and then you have seven minutes and you find that you can expand that more and you move from I can’t to wait a minute. I can. And then you start realizing that it’s a possibility and how much it actually benefits you to do that. And you crave that more because you recognize the benefits, just like your yoga practice and, and pausing. It’s it’s a huge, beautiful thing that we’re both teaching our, our clients. And I absolutely love meditation. And just the piece that it brings us, whether it’s meditation through yoga or other practices. And I think that’s really fun. You have written, I’m jumping a little bit, guys follow with me. Um, you have written three books of poetry. Can you tell me about how you came to poetry and what it means, what it does for you?
Zach Beach: Yeah, I’d be happy to, I really appreciate the opportunity. I already talked a little bit about how my path started with yoga and a few very interesting transformations occurred when I started on this path. One of which is that I started to like chocolate. Um, I say this because you don’t taste chocolate, you feel chocolate. And <laugh>, you know what I mean? Um, I previously thought chocolate was like, you know, like Twizzlers, jolly ranchers chocolate. That’s what you see in the store. That’s not what chocolate is. Chocolate is an entire experience. And like most people I was living from shoulders up. I was living in my head. I was not in touch with my bodies, my intuition, my emotions, my feelings. And by coming into the body, of course changed my entire experience and suddenly wow, chocolate. Now my new favorite thing, <laugh> another, another transformation that started to occur is I started to write, I started to want to express myself and that it resulted in writing articles and another book and poetry was another way.
Zach Beach: I love to express myself. And I remember reflecting like why, why is this the case? Why do I suddenly have this creative urge flowing out of me? And the conclusion that I came to is essentially that life itself is a creative process. 4 billion years ago, this rock that we call the earth was Barron. And during this time 8 million species have cropped up an extraordinary diversity of life and colors and expressions and sounds. And not only that, but every day, every moment is new. Even the tree that you see outside your window is constantly reinventing itself, constantly changing, creating, transforming. And if we want that creative process within ourselves, all we have to do is align ourselves with the natural creative process of life. And I found that when I align myself some call it like the Dow or the way, or just this basic idea that life is flowing through you and your task is to flow right along with it to let go of resistances, all that holding on, like you’re holding on to the edge of a banks of a river, and the river wants to take you. You gotta go, you gotta go with it. You gotta flow. And of course, as many ways, human beings express themselves through dance, through art, like painting and different things. And I happen to just really resonate with words and the power of words. And the more I get into not only what the words mean and their etymology, but also their sounds. I really also enjoy mantra yoga and thinking about how the vibrational qualities, words often carry the meanings that you are trying to express.
Zach Beach: So that’s how I kind of came into writing and expressing myself. And then when I came into the nature of love and the nature of the heart, I was like, okay, this is it. Poetry, is it poetry? Is this expression of the heart? It is the language of love. And I really love the ecstatic mystical writings that you find of people on this earth who have also come to their own mystical awakening of their oneness with all things like Rumi, like a beer like AFI, but even Christian mystics, like Thomas Merton. And so I have also carved out my own little, little piece in this. I’m not, I’m not definitely not comparing as if only I could be as eloquent as you know, as some of these amazing, amazing writers. Um, but that’s the interesting thing about something like my awakening is that most of these, uh, people that have experienced such a thing end up being poets, they are able to capture the, the, the ecstatic nature of the universe in their poetry, like, like MI by, for example. Um, and I love this path and deeply resonate with it.
Krystal Jakosky: Do you have a poem you like to share with us?
Zach Beach: Mm-hmm, <affirmative> sure I’d be, be happy to, um, and I didn’t have anything prepared, but it’s really great because my newest poetry book is called pebbles and I can get into what pebbles means, but it’s all just short, eloquent, quick poetry. So I know I can just open up to any page in the book and find something lovely, lovely to read without sounding too vain. Of course. Um, cause there is a saying that poems never finished. So only abandoned that’s what I found with writing is you’re like, you’ve struggled looking at one comma for about two hours and you’re like, okay, I’m, I’m done. I’m done with you. This poem is finished. I can’t <laugh>.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah
Zach Beach: But I feel like this is relevant to some of the things that we’ve talked about. This is just opening up to a page. However, so this one goes, I have tried to direct my life in one way and to think of it in one line until the spring comes and I see everything explode in every direction, bird, song huddles, and the light through morning due suddenly I don’t feel so bad about forgetting the oven on or getting lost in a love as wild as the clouds.
Krystal Jakosky: Wow. That’s just beautiful. And it makes me think of like just enjoying being on the patio in the spring and, and taking in the amazingness that is life in that moment. Is there a story behind that poem?
Zach Beach: Um, well you told this story actually <laugh> I, well, this, this whole book is about the beauty and appreciation of nature. I think of it as like a walk through the woods with like your guru guru as they point out incredible things. And you know, earlier we talked about the power meditation and how it does create an, an inner shift that is better able to appreciate all the small things around us, better able to extract happiness from the ocean of small beauties that I call it around us. And sometimes I do tell this story in my own classes, along the lines of when one monk was asked, why he meditates so much, why he gets up at three 30 to walk to the temple and spend so much time in front of the altar meditating chanting, da da, da, da, da, da, is he trying to attain enlightenment ator? What’s the point of it all. And he simply replied, I come to the temple every morning to meditate so that I can notice the flowers on the way to the temple each morning. And really one of the biggest transformations of yoga meditation or any, uh, contemplated practice is we realize that what we pay attention to matters. And when we do pay attention to certain things, it transforms our world and we can cultivate a mindful, loving awareness with this world around us and appreciate, um, the natural harmony of this beautiful world that we are a part of and not separate from.
Krystal Jakosky: So you’re living from the heart.
Zach Beach: <laugh> I try, I’m trying my best to live fully in line with my truth and to live from the heart. And I was just, I was talking to a friend, cause sometimes this gets me in trouble. Um, cuz I sound a little vain, you know, but other times, you know, I might be having an argument with my partner and then she’s like, you know, you’re for the love for being the love guy, what you said, doesn’t sound very loving and it’s turns it back on me. And it’s like, I’m human trying my best just as you are trying your best just as your listeners are trying our best. Cause I do believe in a fundamental goodness in all people, we’re all trying our best to be happy to not be in pain or to suffer in this extraordinary human life.
Krystal Jakosky: <laugh> yeah, my husband and I have a similar conversation on occasion. Um, but it’s uh, he, he jokes around and says that it’s the student has become the master. Uh, when, when the other person says, you know, you used to say this, but now you’re doing that. So let’s chit chat about <laugh> where, where does that come from? And what should we talk about now and how should we correct that? And it’s like, it takes you back for a second. It says whole, yeah, maybe I should reenter <laugh> maybe I should check in and see why I had that, that, um, reaction to what was going on. I love, I love that she calls you out. I’m gonna call it calling you out.
Zach Beach: Do so this is, this is the funny thing about it is I’m firmly. Again, I firmly believe in love, right? And I also believe that an intimate relationship is the absolute best container for healing and growth and relationships are incredible mirrors. They reflect back back. Exactly. <laugh> where we need to grow the most. Hopefully in a healthy relationship, you have that person that is supporting you in your growth. And to me, it is so important for someone to call us out on our own crap, I’ll say. And I mean that in both a positive and a negative way, for example, if I go in front of the mirror and I’m like, I’m so ugly and somebody walks into the room and says ugly, you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And then I’m like, really am I? And that cause we can all, they can also interrupt our own negative thinking in the same way. Right? And one time I was like, you know, we have all these thoughts in our head. And one time I had this like negative thought and I expressed it and my partner was like, that’s kind of a mean thing to think. And I was like, it is actually, and I’m not gonna think that anymore. Like <laugh>, that’s one of the ways we support each other is by calling our stuff out, uh, interrupting, negative thinking and we placing it and cultivating more positive thinking.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah. I think our relationships are meant to help us grow. And it’s those calling each other out. It’s those little loving nudges and moments to say, you know what? Let’s take a pause and stretch a little bit. It’s a little uncomfortable in the moment. And yet the growth that can come from that. And the benefit that comes from us, being able to be strong enough is huge. It takes a really deep trusting relationship to be able to do that. It takes two people who are equally strong. If you know what I mean? Like it’s better. In my opinion, it’s better to have equally yolked partnerships. Um, so that one’s not always bowing down to the other one. And they’re able to say, you know, I, I, I, I value myself more than that so they can stand up for themselves, but they can also help you stretch and grow and be out of our comfort zones a little bit more so that we can be even better human beings, every relationship we’re in, whether you’re in it for two weeks, a year, multiple years, you are not the same person you were when you first started that relationship because so many other experiences have happened in that two weeks that you’ve reacted to and changed.
Krystal Jakosky: So taking that moment and allowing yourself to say, yeah, we’re all human. And just like that tree outside that is constantly recreating itself. We are too. So the way I reacted to something a year ago in my relationship may be completely different than the way I react today. And you might not like the way I react today. <laugh> and yet I may think that today is better than it was a year ago. And it’s just another opportunity for more conversation and more connection and more living from the heart and saying, where are you at? And where am I at? And how do we find that balance together?
Zach Beach: Absolutely. You bring up so many important points and your, your thought process is very much the same because first you like relationships are meant for growth. And in my head, I was like, the primary thing is safety. And then you were like, but you can’t get there until <laugh> you have that foundation. And I was like, absolutely true, because life can be challenging, right? You could leave for work, hit traffic, go to work, get berated, like go to the store, find somebody yelling at another person like stress, stress, stress, stress, and you come home and you ever just come home and just melt into your partner’s arms. <laugh> like, you pretended that you’re okay throughout your entire day. And then you come home and then you have someone you can tell I’m not okay. And that to me is most fundamental. Is that a relationships?
Zach Beach: And this particularly is true. Family life are the primary function is a place of safety and security. And from that absolutely that is where the growth can arise. And you also bring up what I was mentioning earlier that every day is new. I’m not gonna be the same person after finishing this conversation. And <laugh> because I’ve learned a little bit, I’ve had a little bit of my own stuff, call it out and, uh, and learning and growing through here. So, you know, successful, successful partnerships are those that welcome that opening. Welcome that change. Welcome that growth while supporting and loving each other through it.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah. So for you, where does self love come into that?
Zach Beach: Well, so many ways I could go take this. What I’ll begin with is by saying, I think that our task is to love everyone and ourselves people often forget that you are included in that everyone. I do think our human task is to widen our circle of compassion and love to more and more peoples in the world. And that we are also in that category of people. And I don’t believe in the common cliche that you can’t love somebody. If you don’t love yourself or even saw one of those like Instagram wisdom things. And it was like, no, one’s gonna love you. If you don’t love yourself, just like, wow, that is harsh. Because often we learned to love ourselves via how somebody else loved us, ideally in a perfect world. And it’s not a perfect world, but ideally our parents loved us. And that showed us how self love and how loving when self is supposed to look like.
Zach Beach: But if we didn’t get that, hopefully we have, we find a loving partner who shows us that we are worthy and deserving of love. That being said, uh, the research shows in science shows that those who do have healthy sense of self-esteem healthy self love do end up being in higher quality and happier relationships. So it’s like, you know, the salt, like in your broth, right? <laugh> it helps bring, bring flavor and accentuate the qualities of, of the soup to continue this metaphor. And there’s a lot of reasons for that, but a huge one is that when you have a high level of self love and self-esteem, it stems from realizing that you are worthy of love during happiness and that you will expect that and ask for it in your relationships and people with low self-esteem tend to be treated poorly and almost subconsciously like, think that they deserve it.
Zach Beach: I don’t wanna, like, I’m not like victim blaming anyone, but they tend to put up with more negative behavior. Like if I have low self-esteem and you’re like, you’re kind of a jerk, I’ll be like, yeah, it’s true. Like rather if I have high self-esteem and you can call me a jerk, I’m not gonna take it personally as much. And I’ll be like, I don’t, um, tolerate this behavior in my relationships. If you’re gonna continue to name, call me, then this relationship is isn’t going to work out. Right? So something like setting healthy boundaries, um, is a really important part of self-love.
Krystal Jakosky: Lots of things were just popping up in there, but you brought it back again to like that mirror of reality in our relationships with others is also our relationship with ourselves and how we can learn from that and how we can learn like, oh, they’re treating me really well. And maybe I do deserve that and it can help heal us and change it. And yet the others also true of saying like projecting that out. I deserve respect and love and kindness. And so it’s very much a two way mirror that really helps people benefit. And I think that if we look at our relationships, that there are some relationships that we have, where we, for some reason do take more crap from that person. Then we would take from another person and that all of our, all of our relationships, we need to find that balance and learn how to set the boundaries and learn how to say, this is me all the time, not just with you and you, because we often put on those masks to try to morph a little bit, to be more accepted by some people, maybe it’s at work, um, or in certain social circles where you want to be attracted or want to be welcomed by people.
Krystal Jakosky: And so finding that own your own inner truth and being able to cling to the, I am worthy of love and happiness and joy in life. And I don’t wanna settle for anything less because I’m worth that. And since I’m worth that, you’re worth that too. So I’m just gonna mirror that to you. And if it doesn’t work out, then that’s okay. Maybe we either need to have a conversation and set some boundaries, or I can take that relationship. That’s not so healthy and just kind of put it on the sidelines and not have it be a central part of my life.
Zach Beach: Absolutely. I do sometimes say that love and the love we have, and our capacity for love is unlimited. It’s infinite. That being said, we are in finite bodies our time and where we can be physically <laugh> is, is quite limited. And yes, there are many relationships either we have to be in, or we need to be in with our family or with our work. And that is where boundaries can play a very important role. And you can say, I love you. You’re a fundamentally good person, but I do not wish to be treated in this way. So you can create, you know, I’m only gonna see you on Christmas, right. Once, you know, once a year or something like that. Um, and absolutely we do have to put on certain faces for things like work and other things.
Krystal Jakosky: Yeah. We’ve kind of been all over the place. I love how we just kind of moved from yoga and your background to meditation and then poetry. And now in relationships, you really have a wealth of knowledge. And so it’s been, you know, it’s delightful to chit chat with you and be able to flow through so many different things. I wanna jump back to, you said that there is a meaning behind the title of pebbles.
Zach Beach: Oh yeah.
Krystal Jakosky: I know. I’m like, wait, is there anything that we’re yes. We’ve gotta circle back to that. So tell me about that. Tell me about the title of your book.
Zach Beach: Well, first I’ll just say, cuz you were like, oh, we’ve been all over the place. And that is what I’ve found about. The nature of love is it covers everything it’s interdisciplinary, as you might say in academia, right? Covers every aspect, every aspect of our life, from our relationship to ourself, to our relationship, to others, to the world and to God, our spirit or whatever you might word, you might, whatever, whatever word you resonate with. Um, and coming back to kind, <laugh> the power of words. Um, and almost the vibrational qualities that they carry. Um, I remember reading in one of Mary Oliver’s book, one of my favorite poets and your many of your listeners are probably familiar with, it was actually a book in writing poetry. And she was saying how there’s a huge difference between a rock and a stone. And although these might be synonyms in the dictionary, if you listen to how they sound, it tells you what it is.
Zach Beach: So a rock very hard, sharp, jagged. Maybe you could, you know, carve it into an Arrowhead or something or spear, but a stone it’s smooth. Even like the O like your mouth makes this O like this round sound. And of course it’s something you might find in a river kind of smoothed over by water. And I always like to think about, oh, what is this word? Like, trying to say, what is it, what does does it get across? And so this idea of pebbles is meant to engender a lot of things. One that of a Zen garden, which is often very empty or what I call abundant and simplicity. It’s also meant to en engender a Palm river where you can, where it’s quite clear, and you can see the pebbles at the base of the river, but also just going back to how sound even this word pebbles is almost like rocks are coming, like pebbles are coming out of your mouth, as you say it, you know, like, and it even has these two lowercase BS to it, which is also just like these little pebbles are like in the word itself.
Zach Beach: And that to me is what it, what it’s all about is about appreciating the small things in life, looking for the, what I call the gems in your life or the ocean of small beauties that are around all of us, having gratitude and appreciation for the tiny things in our life. Of course, pebbles is meant to conjure the earth and our connection to the mother earth, mother Gaia, pat mama. And all of those things is just wrapped up in this one little word. And I often tell people, if you wanna find the meaning of being human in life, you have to look at a more metaphorical description of the world, a more metaphorical reality. You’re not gonna find the meaning of life in a dictionary in literal definitions. We live beyond, beyond that. And I believe everyone’s a poet and we often use metaphors without even realizing it. You say, oh, she gave me the cold shoulder. I had a rough day and it takes a texture of roughness and applies it to your day. Metaphors is a common, uh, is just used in common parlance. And even children understand metaphors. You don’t even have to explain it to them. And this to me matches the real embodied experience of being human.
Krystal Jakosky: I absolutely love it. I love listening to you talk about it and it conjures up so many things I could go on, like down a rabbit hole forever with you, because I feel the same way. I feel like emotions. We have a vast, I just innumerable amounts of emotions that we experience, and it can be on a daily, hourly minute by minute annually, whatever it is. But there are so many words to describe the emotions that we’re feeling. And so one versus another and how they can really better, um, illustrate what’s really going on for ourselves. Words are so beautiful. And I love that you have found this little niche in expressing yourself using those words and putting them together and being able to just bring that beauty out for other people to enjoy as well. So, and I love the imagery behind pebbles and the name of the book. I think it’s just beautifully done. Absolutely beautifully done. You have the two other books as well.
Zach Beach: Yeah. Can I speak to what you just mentioned though? Because I absolutely, especially in communication and relationships, it’s so important to being, be able to identify one’s feelings, to name it, to tame it, to express your feelings in order to, to get in touch with your needs, which often, and almost always, uh, underlie whatever it is that you are feeling, but, um, words will never fully encapsulate the human experience. And what I often love to do sometimes in poetry workshops is to really ask somebody what their emotion truly feels like. Like we call them feelings because we feel them, right. And you will immediately go into a metaphorical reality, which to me more accurately, it describes the human experience. For example, like something tragic happened in your life. What did it feel like? Did your world shatter like glass or did it feel like there was a bowling ball in your stomach, right. Did you implode into a, like, you know, did you become so small and insignificant or did you just, you know, get torn apart? These are all metaphors to describe how we actually experience reality as human beings. So I’ll make that point. And then what was your question? <laugh>
Krystal Jakosky: I was, um, asking you to share us just a little bit, share with us just a little bit more about your other two books.
Zach Beach: Oh yeah, for sure. So, as I mentioned, I love poetry and I would often read it during my workshops, during my classes. And particularly during that special moment in yogurt class, we call Shavana Shava, meaning corpse and ASNA meaning pose. So that final end of class, where you just lie down and melt into the blissful nature of your being. And I would often read different poems during this time and search for great poems to read during this time. And after a number of years of teaching, I was like, Hey, I want my own words to describe this experience. So I started writing my own trama poems and beta testing them in my own class. And after writing many of them, I compiled them all into a book that’s known as 108 Shavana poems. So if you know, 108 is a very sacred number, both mathematically and spiritually.
Zach Beach: And this book could been really awesome because people will reach out. Uh, and they’re like, oh, I read this poem in meditation. Oh, I heard this poem in my yoga class. And I wanna thank you for it. And, uh, and it’s funny, cuz you were asking me like, what does pebbles mean? And I gave you this long answer to this one word. And just a few days ago, somebody like emailed me out of the blue and was like, Hey, what does this line mean in your poem? I was like, oh, I’m glad you asked <laugh> and then I gave them this like long lengthy answer. And uh, <laugh>
Krystal Jakosky: Just, you just love words, <laugh>
Zach Beach: Words. It’s true.
Krystal Jakosky: And your other one is, is it tea with roses?
Zach Beach: Uh, during tea with that’s a, that would be lovely. I should make a call. I should write a poem called tea and roses. Um, I’ve just been so into tea lately and tea ceremonies. Um, but yeah, my first poetry book was called drinking roses on Sunday. And that was my poetic way of saying that love is my religion. Whereas is symbolizing love. And people usually go to church on Sundays, which is why it’s on Sunday and drinking is just like just taking all, all the love in that’s what it’s about.
Krystal Jakosky: See, I love it. I absolutely love the imagery and the joy. And um, I hope you guys look into his books and check it out because he’s obviously got a lot of love in his heart and he really wants to expand and just put that love out in the world. So, um, is there anything else that you would like to share with our listeners?
Zach Beach: I’ll share this interesting thing that has been on my mind lately because I will do these things called yoga teacher training, which will certify people to become yoga teachers. And what’s happened on multiple occasions is we’ll have them practice teach like a very short se sequence and then we’ll teach it and then I’ll say, great job everyone. And I’ll start to move on and somebody will raise their hand and say, can we have some constructive criticism? And I’m, I’m always like, Hmm, how should I be? How should I respond to this? Because we all have this deep idea that’s been ingrained in us through our education system. That a, an important process of our learning is for us to do some something. And for someone to tell us exactly what we are doing wrong for us to hand in the paper and to get it back and to have all the X, X, X, this is wrong, this is wrong.
Zach Beach: This is wrong. And I think this is one of the biggest obstacles we have towards loving ourselves is we think there’s something wrong with this. And this is what I say in my head. <laugh> when someone asks for constructive criticism, and this is what I’ll say to your listeners, which is that if you look outside and you look at a tree, is there anything wrong with that tree at night? When you look up at the stars, is there any star that is out of place? Is there anything that could be improved about the sunset? What makes you think there is anything wrong with you? You are perfect. Just the way you are. You are worthy of all the love that your heart can hold. There is nothing you need to do, improve or change about yourself to be worthy deser and deserving of love and belonging. So whatever you do love yourself, forgive yourself for being less than perfect. Accept yourself just as you are in all that you are, you are just as much an extraordinary phenomena as stars as the riping of water and a stream and this beautiful world that we live in. And there’s nothing I said it before, but I’ll say it again. There’s nothing wrong with who you are. You are fundamentally good divine, loving nature.
Krystal Jakosky: Mm. You guys heard it here. <laugh> that is so beautiful. And so kind. And so spot on. Beautiful. Thank you. How do people find you?
Zach Beach: So my name is Zach Beach. You can find me at zachbeach.com and on social media @zachbeach.love. And thank you so much for having me. This has been a wonderful conversation.
Krystal Jakosky: It’s absolutely been a delight to have you on and be able to connect today. So thank you very much for being here and, uh, until next week guys take care of yourselves.
I hope this moment of self-care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m @krystaljakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time, take care.