Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Bruce Olav Solheim

Intro Banner of Bruce Olav Solheim

What’s the best way to go through life to bring you happiness? Bruce shares his method for living a happy life, opens up about his experience with domestic violence and shares what he has learned from being a Medium.

Bruce Olav Solheim is a distinguished Professor of History at Citrus College. A US Army veteran, author, playwright, veteran advocate and medium. Bruce has published eight books and has written ten plays, two of which have been produced. His most recent book is Timeless Deja Vu: A Paranormal Personal History. Bruce has had continued paranormal experiences throughout his life, developing advanced mediumship capabilities. He also studies quantum theory and has developed a model that may help explain our quantum reality, ghosts, reincarnation, alien contact, and more. Bruce is an associate member of the Parapsychological Association, hosts his own radio show, Timeless Esoterica which covers the hidden history of the paranormal and he will part of Demi Lovato’s new show, Unidentified, which will be on NBC Peacock.

What’s the best way to go through life to bring you happiness? Bruce shares his method for living a happy life, opens up about his experience with domestic violence and shares what he has learned from being a Medium.

Bruce Olav Solheim is a distinguished Professor of History at Citrus College. A US Army veteran, author, playwright, veteran advocate and medium. Bruce has published eight books and has written ten plays, two of which have been produced. His most recent book is Timeless Deja Vu: A Paranormal Personal History. Bruce has had continued paranormal experiences throughout his life, developing advanced mediumship capabilities. He also studies quantum theory and has developed a model that may help explain our quantum reality, ghosts, reincarnation, alien contact, and more. Bruce is an associate member of the Parapsychological Association, hosts his own radio show, Timeless Esoterica which covers the hidden history of the paranormal and he will part of Demi Lovato’s new show, Unidentified, which will be on NBC Peacock.


Bruce Olav Solheim – History Professor, Veteran Advocate, Author, Playwright and Medium

Jolie Downs: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Bruce olive. Solheim. Bruce is a distinguished professor of history at citrus college. He's a us army veteran and author, a playwright, a veteran advocate and immediate. Bruce has published eight books and he has written 10 plays. Two of which have been produced. His most recent book is timeless deja VU, a paranormal personal history.

[00:00:28] Bruce has had continued paranormal experiences throughout his life, developing advanced mediumship capabilities. He also studies quantum theory and he's developed a model that may help explain our quantum reality, ghosts, reincarnation, alien contact. Bruce is an associate member of the para psychological association.

[00:00:49] He hosts his own radio show, timeless esoterica, which covers the hidden history of the paranormal. And he will be part of Demi Lovato's new show unidentified, which will be on NBC peacock. I'm very excited to learn more. Bruce, could you tell us a little bit more about your story in getting to where you are today?

[00:01:09] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:01:09] Yeah. Thank you Jolie for having me here today. I'm actually up to 12 books now. I guess I need to update my bio a little bit. Yeah.

[00:01:16] I don't mean brag, but I just want, I figure I should update it. And my latest book is called an SAR, the progenitors. So I've written two books since then and a comic book or two as well.

[00:01:26]I just love, I love writing. So we'll just start with that. I John Lennon of the Beatles once said that Music was a life raft for him. And that's how I look at writing. I started writing very young, probably eight years old. My parents had an old manual typewriter that they gave me, and I think they sense that the writer in me, how parents can sometimes.

[00:01:49] Sense in their children that, oh, this is, I think what their destiny is going to be. So my parents were able to do that. And that's been a big part of my life, from, I started with just short stories and then poetry and songs and graduating to longer stories. And then academically I did a lot of academic books and just recently I've switched to. And then some comic books too, which has always been my life's dream of all the things I've published. I think my comic books are the things I'm most proud of.

[00:02:16] Jolie Downs: [00:02:16] Ooh. Interesting. Now I've got to assume, was that because you had a love for comic books when you were growing up, did you always wanted to do this?

[00:02:23] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:02:23] Yeah. And I'm a frustrated comic book artist.

[00:02:26]I'm also a an artist of sorts, not as good as my mom who was very talented painter, but I have been, illustrating or drawing for a long time. And I did a comic strip when I was in engineering school at Montana tech in 1982. And in that comic strip was called snark is about alien.

[00:02:43]Human alien hybrid character and it had humor and history and social commentary and stuff like that. And I, it was very popular while at Montana tech, among the faculty and students. And then I dropped out of school and went back into the army. So then it just. Fell away. So it was only recently that 2019 that I decided I'm going to, I'm going to actually make it into a comic book.

[00:03:06] So I re I brought the character back to life. And and the reason why comic books are so important to me as a writer is because that's how I learned how to read. I was struggling to learn how to read. So it's an homage to the to. To the form that really helped me be who I am today as a college professor and a writer.

[00:03:23] If it wasn't for comic books, I don't know what would've happened. Cause I was struggling so much.

[00:03:27] Jolie Downs: [00:03:27] Oh, I love that. And I love that you're illustrating them yourself.

[00:03:30] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:03:30] Not now I did my comic strip when I was at the at Montana tech, but I have very exacting standards for art and I don't meet those standards. So I had to find a professional artist and it happened to be I found a guy that's been illustrating comics since the seventies.

[00:03:46] Guy named Gary Dumm D U M M. And he sought a Cleveland and he's done a lot and he agreed to illustrate my comics. And Yeah.

[00:03:53] so he's, and he's illustrated my books as well. So we've been working together for several years and so that, that's how I do the writing. I write the stories, create the characters, give them a rough idea.

[00:04:05] I do rough sketches and then he makes it beautiful. So that's how it happens.

[00:04:09] Jolie Downs: [00:04:09] And how did that feel? Cause you said that was near and dear to you when you did the first comic book, since that was how you, you helped learn how to read yourself. How did that feel for you when you first published your first comic book?

[00:04:21]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:04:21] It was a tremendous sense of accomplishment because I did the the difficult route I paid for the printing and myself. So I not only wrote it and paid for the art, commissioned the art, but also the printing as well. So I have. Three or 4,000 comic books in my garage in boxes.

[00:04:37]And so someday that, that, that snark number, one's going to be worth a lot of money, but so I did the whole process myself, which I really enjoyed. And the second. Snark number two, I did through Amazon. I removed myself from the whole storage, the, of the comic book idea which helps with space, in our garage.

[00:04:56]But it was a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I'm done. I've done a lot of things in my life and I'm proud of them. And. But for some reason it was the comic book. And I think it's because it brought everything together. The writing, my love of science fiction, my love of history and humor.

[00:05:10] And I could just put everything into it and visualize it. And like a Harvey P car said, the the, he wrote American splendor in the 1970s. That's who Gary worked with. And that's how I got to know Gary. But he said you can do anything with words and pictures. And I very much believe that.

[00:05:26] And so it just brought everything that I love together into one form. And and I was able to accomplish that in it. And like I said, I've been a frustrated comic book artist, my whole life. So I live vicariously through Gary's wonderful art as well thinking, oh, I did this, but it's really him that wrote, that I wrote it, but he and designed the character, but he.

[00:05:45] Did the wonderful illustration. So it's I, I'm proud of the plays that I've written. I'm proud of the books that I've written and all that stuff, but the comic books are the, for me, the thing I'm most proud of, I think.

[00:05:56] Jolie Downs: [00:05:56] Yeah. Now, what about your history professor? How did you get involved in becoming a professor?

[00:06:02]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:06:02] I've tried different professions. I was a carpenter. I was in the army for six years. Partly as a, for part of the time I was a jail guard. And for part of the time I was a helicopter pilot. I've also worked in the defense industry as a contract administrator working on secret programs and stuff like that.

[00:06:19] So I using my military experience there, but all of that was preparation for my, actually for my writing, because all of those are really unique experiences and. So I, but the whole time I kept getting, I, I had a young family, at 21, I had two kids already and I was in the army.

[00:06:37] So that starting off really young. And so I had to do everything the hard way, and I'd work all day go to school at night. So I finally was able to get my degree. And I decided what I wanted to get my degree in was history because I love telling stories and what is history, but not just, it is a storytelling, and so th so that's. Yeah.

[00:06:57] it just, it seemed to, to match up. And So I've written. Let's see, eight history books, history slash political science books, standard kind of things, from the Vietnam war to a us history, textbook to women's leadership and foreign policy, that kind of stuff.

[00:07:14] And then I took this radical departure in 2018 when I started writing about my paranormal experiences. So later in life, now I've decided it's okay. I'm not afraid to tell people about. The high strangeness that I've experienced my whole life.

[00:07:31] Jolie Downs: [00:07:31] So what changed for you to make you decide that you're willing to start writing about the paranormal? When previously it was very history and political science.

[00:07:39] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:07:39] Yeah,

[00:07:39] it was very mainstream stuff, because I was afraid, I thought I would lose my job. I thought that even though paranormal things kept happening to me and they, frequently and randomly. It was what changed was in 2016 in October of 2016, a dear friend of mine had passed away just a month before they approximately the same age as me also grew up in a Norwegian American household in Seattle.

[00:08:02] And we were dear friends from when we were little kids, he passed away and he came to me in a vision. And I, this is not unusual for me to have a vision, but just to explain what a vision is for me, it's, I'm awake and I see them, they're like a hologram and I can hear them talking. I can interact with them.

[00:08:18] And he came to me and said that it was time to start telling my story. And I said, what stories are you talking about? I was trying to be coy, because I think I knew what he was getting at. And he said all the paranormal stuff, the fact that you're talking to me, that kind of stuff.

[00:08:33] And I said, okay. And he said, don't be afraid. It'll work out. And he told me what it was like in the afterlife which I had some sense of before, now I could actually sit there and talk to a guy that I have known my whole life and he told me don't be afraid. So I, he even gave me the name of the book which turned out to be a trilogy timeless.

[00:08:54] And so I went with it and and it's turned out to be a very good a departure from what I was doing, but still, writing and and helping people understand, difficult things. And I even teach a paranormal class now, in addition to my regular history classes during the day, Teach a paranormal class at night at the same college.

[00:09:11] So there was nothing really to fear. He was right.

[00:09:14] And it was a big risk though. I had a former student of mine who is now a professor at a at a prestigious university. And. Told me that I had committed academic suicide by writing about my paranormal experiences, which just tells you the stigma that's involved with it.

[00:09:30] Here I am. I'm I'm an academic researcher, formal, former Fulbright scholar and professor. I'm still the same person. It's just, now I'm being honest about what has happened to me and trying to help understand it, researching it and so forth. Any way. So that's how that happened.

[00:09:45] And so I think the advice for people would be don't be afraid of taking these of doing these creative things or different things in what you've been doing. It's okay to make a change. And I understand for young people it's hard maybe because they don't want to jeopardize their career Right.

[00:09:59] at the beginning.

[00:10:00] You notice, I didn't start writing those books, those paranormal books when I was in my thirties, I did wait until I was in my fifties. And and I'm already tenured, so I have some security there, but I think it's better to go with those those things earlier in life, because it turns out to be very important.

[00:10:17] You're going to answer some very important questions for you as a person.

[00:10:21] Jolie Downs: [00:10:21] Okay. I would imagine it's very freeing too, to be able to just be open and honest about how you're feeling, what you're going through, what you're living through, as opposed to feeling like you have to hide it.

[00:10:33] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:10:33] Yeah.

[00:10:33] because there's very few people you could really talk to about every once in a while, maybe somebody would bring up a ghost story and I'd say I've actually seen them and they'd say, oh, that's a good story. And I said, no it's real. It is real to me. And then it surprised some people.

[00:10:46] And, but my mom was very psychic. I mentioned that she was a very good artist. She was a painter. And she worked at home and before that, she was a maid, and worked in a factory. So they, my parents were immigrants and they my mom was very psychic. So she had taught me with looking at cards, just playing cards that we could do telepathy.

[00:11:04] And so I was able to practice with her, even though my dad didn't approve. So when my dad saw what we were doing, he'd make us put the cards away and then she'd wink at me, so I knew that it was okay. It's just, you got to respect what dad says,

[00:11:18] Jolie Downs: [00:11:18] yeah, but she opened up that world for you and made, like you said, to made it okay. Because it just, because people decide that they don't believe does not mean that it doesn't exist.

[00:11:30] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:11:30] Yeah, she was the she was the the person that made it okay. And when I would tell her, I told my teacher at school that I have invisible playmates, I can see them and interact with them, but my teacher said, they're not real. And I'm not allowed to talk about them in class.

[00:11:44] I'd come home upset. And my mom had said, it's okay. They're real. I know they're real, but you just, some people you just can't tell, you have to be careful. Who you talk to about these things? So I never let go of it. And I think some kids are told that by well-meaning adults and it takes away a big part of who they are.

[00:12:01] But I had the support system at home, at least with my mother.

[00:12:05] Jolie Downs: [00:12:05] That's great. And what have you learned from going through this process? Finally writing these books now later on in life, what's your take

[00:12:12] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:12:12] It's something that I'd always wanted to do. I always wanted to conduct the research. I always wanted to be open with the stories and talk to people and even teach a class. So it's really matching everything together that I have accomplished. But being told, like you said, it was totally freeing in that sense.

[00:12:28] And it's a big part of me. It's almost as if you're living your life with part of your life is not visible. To other people, you just keep it internal. So now I'm fully out there, if you want to put it that way no pun intended, out there. And and it's Okay.

[00:12:43] There's criticism that comes. There's some people that are, they just don't believe they just haven't had the or as I like to say, everybody's had an experience, it's just, some people acknowledge it. Don't want to acknowledge it for various reasons. And that's one of the first exercises we do in the classroom is.

[00:12:58]We do an experiment called being stared at and what we've, what we find is that everybody can sense when you're being stared at. And and we prove it in the classroom with a demonstration. We, we have all the students pair off and we do this experiment and that is paranormal.

[00:13:13] So everybody experiences it, just not everybody acknowledges it and that's Okay.

[00:13:17] You can't force people to do it. And I understand if people are afraid and. But for me, I'm not afraid of this stuff. I'm very careful for one thing. I don't, when I watch these paranormal shows, I, you see them heading into the building.

[00:13:30] They said we know there's a demon in there. We're going to go in there and confront the demon, I would never do something like that. I believe there is. Okay. There's a demon in there. That's fine. I'm not going in there. I know that stuff can is real. And it's not anything I want to mess around

[00:13:44] Jolie Downs: [00:13:44] Yeah. Now, how do you deal with the criticism? Because let's be honest. A lot of people get prison for a lot of different reasons. How do you deal with.

[00:13:53] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:13:53] I don't take it personally. I look at it as I was told by my friend, gene he's. I talked to him quite often during my meditative spirit walks, which is a big part of this, about two or three times a week. Sometimes four times I will take a meditative spirit walk where I can get into a meditative state while I'm walking up towards the beautiful mountains here in Southern California.

[00:14:12] And I I talk. Jean. I talked to other spirit guides and folks and I that's one of the questions that I ask is how do I deal with this? And what I'm told, constantly told is that I need to keep love in my heart and always operate from a position of love. And when you do that, then you can understand that people are upset they're, and it has nothing to do with.

[00:14:35] More than likely, it's just, you triggered something in them. So they're not really attacking you. They're just afraid. So I have great sympathy for them. Actually. I, I don't get mad at them. I, It's.

[00:14:44] not that I want, I don't want to have an argument with them either. I just, they're entitled to their opinion.

[00:14:49] So I've approached it that way. There's some people who say, I just don't read the negative stuff, but you can't help every once in a while. I don't seek out to F to find who these people are and why they think what they do. I just know that it's because they're afraid or there's a trigger in one way or another, maybe a bad experience they've had.

[00:15:05] And and that's why they think the way they do. So th so I think that's the important thing is that how. Approach it, how, how you put it into context. And and I do know based on my research that people, everybody has a boggle factor, they reach a certain point and they say, that's it.

[00:15:19] I can't go any further than that. I'm not going to, for instance, the latest thing with UFO's or UAPs as the government calls them. Now people say I, maybe there's ghosts and stuff like that, but this whole UFO alien thing, that's. That's just crazy. And that's a boggle point.

[00:15:34] People reach a boggle point, but from what I've learned, experiencing is believing and believing is experiencing. So once you've experienced something, you have to accept it. That's, it's real. It's real. You try to understand it. And once you do that, it opens, like you said earlier, opens the door a little bit more and to more experiences.

[00:15:53] And then it's like going up a set of stairs, a very long set of stairs. One step at a time.

[00:15:59]Jolie Downs: [00:15:59] I'm curious, you've mentioned that you have these conversations with Jean, and initially you said something about him talking to you about the afterlife. Is there anything that he shared with you about the afterlife that you could share?

[00:16:10] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:16:10] Yeah,

[00:16:11] Yeah.

[00:16:12] And every time I do an interview or talk to people, I always mentioned gene. I always feel like he's looking over my back shoulder. He was an actor and he was a very good actor. So he likes to be on stage. So I, all props to my friend, Jean, he was a great actor and he's a great, was a great friend.

[00:16:27] Still is a great friend. But he told me that in the afterlife I asked him, that's a funny story because when I was. W I asked what most people would ask what's it like to be dead, and he laughed and is characteristically very, joyful laugh that he has very infectious laugh.

[00:16:41] And he said, you know what? I don't feel like I'm dead. I'm talking to you. Aren't I, and I laughed, back. And then he said, w where I am, there is no future, there's no past, it's all just the eternal now.

[00:16:52]He said it's he said, it's beautiful. And there's nothing to be afraid of. And he wanted me to pass along some of what he said to his sister and his mother who took it very well.

[00:17:03]They just love the fact that I tell them that I communicate with Jean and. His his wife and his son, not so much, they, I tried to approach them and tell them what Jean wanted me to say. And they didn't really accept it and that's okay. I've left them alone.

[00:17:16]When they're ready, I will help them. And they're grieving, even more I know his mother and his sister are grieving, but they were more accepting of, that I have this communication. so? that's one of the most important things is that he is happy and he's able to communicate with me and he's given me great advice. And the other thing I had, the thing I did when I first started talking to him, as I started rattling off all these questions. Okay. Aliens. Okay. The JFK assassination, I just, everything that was coming to my, can you tell me about that? You are in this position to know that and he just laughed and he said, let me just cut your short and I'll just give you a catch, all answer.

[00:17:49] And I said, what's that? He said, it's all. And I said, really? I said, everything, it's all true. And he said, Yes, So what that did was blew my mind. It's wait a second. So it opened up this idea of multi verses, and different what, what I call forks in the road of time where all this stuff is true.

[00:18:10]So th there's no limit there. The kind of cool thing about it is that there is no limit. And he helped me let go of my fear of death. Not that I'm. You know that, everybody has a fear of death. That's the number two fear. What's number one public speaking.

[00:18:26] right?

[00:18:27] Yeah. So it's pretty serious, but it's not that I would squander in my life. I do everything I can to preserve my life in the life of others. But because I have a mission on this, in this lifetime. But after that, I'm not worried. I'm not worried of of the after, because I know what the after is.

[00:18:42] It's life after life. And Jean is a living Testament to that in the other world. But anyway, That's just some of the stuff that he's yeah.

[00:18:50] Jolie Downs: [00:18:50] Now I'm curious, because this goes along with all these, I feel like this might go along with the quantum model that you had mentioned, and I'm very curious about this, because you said that there's this quantum model that you've developed that may help explain our quantum reality ghosts, to be incarnation, alien contact more.

[00:19:06] Could you tell me a little about, a little bit about.

[00:19:08] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:19:08] Yeah, I call it the quantum nexus. And what it is that the alien world, the spirit world and the quantum world are all really the same thing. And it goes along with what a quantum physicist David Boehme taught, the late David Boehme American physicist said that there is an explicate reality. Or what he called the explicate order, which is as our everyday reality, where things are solid objects, we're talking, we, we have this reality, he said then above that is the implicate reality, which is the quantum world, the way subatomic particles work. And the way things are really just wave forms, in fact we're just wave forms.

[00:19:50] With certain probabilities and we don't see the world that way because the explicate order is an interface, like we have an interface to our computers. Best way I could describe it as like we have a keyboard, we have a mouse, sometimes voice control, all that is an interface to what's actually going on inside the computer, which is the toggling of voltages and all that mysterious stuff that's going on.

[00:20:12] So our explicate order. Is a way for us to live our lives. And it's really just an interface that the objective reality is the implicate order. That's the quantum world. That's the way subatomic particles work. And it's sometimes rises up to, or comes down to our level. So we get glimpses of it when remarkable things happen.

[00:20:33] We see ghosts, we see aliens. We have these experiences. We talked to people who've passed on whatever, all that are glimpses of this implicate order. And then above that, which is really cool. So there's three levels above that is the super implicate order, which is the one consciousness, God, the creator, whatever, you want to imagine it to be, but there is something above all that.

[00:20:57] And that's the way I understand it. And just in a practical sense, what really led me to this is and I'm not the only one that thinks that there's, physicists and scientists that think this too. But the. And I'm not scientist, I'm a historian and a storyteller, but anyway, and an experiencer of the weird of the high strangeness.

[00:21:15]I've had ghost experiences and a lot of people have documented this, talked about it.

[00:21:19] They say, Okay.

[00:21:19] I was in the room, a ghost vibrated in all of a sudden it was there. And then all of a sudden it was gone, it disappeared, or it went through a wall, went through a ceiling, went through a door, People who've had alien experiences, alien contact. They say the same thing that the, this alien creature appeared out of nowhere and then vibrated out of my reality.

[00:21:38]There and a physicist, explain this to me. He said that really, it's just they're vibrating in and out of our reality that it's a different vibration or it's a different at a higher level.

[00:21:48] Jolie Downs: [00:21:48] Yeah.

[00:21:49] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:21:49] they can interact with us in that way. And I thought there's a connection there and it, and that's, what's going on in the quantum world too.

[00:21:57] And everything's a wave form. W we don't see it all the time, because we ha we are living in the explicate order where we're using our interface.

[00:22:04] Jolie Downs: [00:22:04] In aren't we operate in a lot of us had to lower energy, really, and some of us

[00:22:09] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:22:09] And we have to re to remain sane and let's just put it that way. I If we were looking around and seeing everything connected, like a wave form, it would be so freaky to people that they could very well lose their minds. And I have actually a theory about that uh, people who are schizophrenia and so forth, there's chemical imbalances, but I asked the psychiatrist once, just out of curiosity, I met a psychiatrist and I said, Hey doc, have you ever thought about that

[00:22:33] maybe, some of the people that are really mentally ill schizophrenia and so forth, that they could be really psychic. And they just don't know how to get back to this reality. And he looked at me with this very serious face and he said, that's a very scary thought. He told me, he said, it's a very scary thought.

[00:22:51] And anyway, so it's very, it's really interesting. And w what helps me, and I think it helps everybody who's psychic or psychically inclined, which I think everybody has this, but some people have a little bit more than others is you have to be grounded. And like in my case ginger, my wife is a very practical, very smart lady, very practical, and she supports.

[00:23:12] All of my, telling the stories of the paranormal, but she's not in that world. She's a very practical minded person. So when I tell her, okay, I just talked to Jean and he told me this is going to happen. And this is what happened. And she'll say that's really nice, but can you come help me work in the garden because we really need to get these plants, these pots moved.

[00:23:30]And so what that does is brings me back down to this reality, which is very important to operate in. You have to make a living, you have to interact with your friends and your family. Spouse, whatever and do all the things we're supposed to do. So I think it's very important that that I have the contact in the other world, but that I have this grounding here and somebody who supports me in that.

[00:23:53] So I think that's really important for folks.

[00:23:55] Jolie Downs: [00:23:55] Yeah, definitely. There's so much that you've done, Bruce, that we haven't even touched on. And I know we won't have time to touch on everything, but besides you mentioned being a Fulbright professor and scholar in 2003 in Norway he's won the bronze star. Bronze star won two awards from the Kennedy center for the American college theater festival commissioned by the kingdom of Norway and funded for full production run with the original American.

[00:24:16]Founded the veterans program at citrus college and co-founded boots to books, which is the nation's first college credit transition course for veterans. He's a co-founder of lockdown theater, which has produced three stream plays during COVID pandemic. I there's so many different things. I'm curious, Bruce, what do you feel is key to having continued success throughout life?

[00:24:37]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:24:37] Is that you put fear aside and you take risks that you think that are calculated risks. I'm not saying, take life, life-threatening risks. But if you think something is the right thing to do and you have the talent and you have the people together. Go ahead and do it.

[00:24:51]Don't be afraid. There's really no limits. The only limits we really have are what we impose upon ourselves. So I, there's certain things I know I'm not going to be president of the United States. For one thing, I have no inclination to go into that world. I'm not a politician, I'm not even political at all there's certain, within reason. You can do anything you set your mind to do. And I, I did not have the highest test scores, sat scores or whatever. I didn't get into the best, most prestigious universities. I didn't let that stop me. In fact, when I went to graduate school, I applied, I remember I applied to the university of Washington where I had gone as an undergraduate and flunked out.

[00:25:29] And I tried to go back there to get my history PhD. And they said, no, your scores are not high enough and whatever. And you got to realize every. You're competing against as a 4.0. And I said I guarantee I will succeed. How about that? I'll tell you, I will guarantee I will succeed.

[00:25:45] Now we can't do it. And I said, okay. So I ended up at bowling green and I finished my PhD in less than three years.

[00:25:52] Jolie Downs: [00:25:52] Wonderful.

[00:25:53] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:25:53] Which is, there are people that struggle for seven or eight years or whatever, but I was laser focused. I'm not saying that to brag. I'm just saying I wasn't the smartest person in the room, but I guarantee I worked just as hard if not harder than everybody else, because I wanted to accomplish this thing and I wasn't going to.

[00:26:11] Anybody stopped me. I wasn't going to let myself more importantly stop

[00:26:15] Jolie Downs: [00:26:15] Yes.

[00:26:15]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:26:15] And So.

[00:26:16]It's amazing what we can do. And you hear these stories all the time. If people say, oh Yeah. People can do amazing thing, but you really can that's, that's the, there's no real secret to it.

[00:26:27] It's just. You just don't take no for an answer. And I always thought of it as, if there's an obstacle, you go through it, you go over it, you go under it, you go around it, whatever you just, I tell this to my students too, because a lot of them they'll tell me I didn't think I was very smart because I had a teacher that said I was dumb or whatever.

[00:26:44] And I said that is horrible. That person shouldn't be. That's not a job of a teacher. The teacher's supposed to empower the students to their fullest potential and allow them that, encourage them not destroy them, not destroy their confidence. And I teach at a community college where they're all, salt of the earth kind of people there's no rich folks, going to my community college.

[00:27:05]They're mostly people of color and, Mo most of them first-generation going to school. Like myself might as the first one in my family to ever go to college. And so I really understand where they're coming from. A lot of them family obligations. They have a couple of jobs and they go to school, which all of that stuff I, I did.

[00:27:24] So I really understand them. And I try to help them break down those obstacles and those barriers that they think are going to stop them. And I say that they're not going to stop you because you're not going to let them stop. You.

[00:27:36] Jolie Downs: [00:27:36] Now, what about a time that you dealt with a big obstacle or a big challenge or had a failure and what you learned from it?

[00:27:43] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:27:43] Yeah I had I remember a When I joined the army, the first time I dropped out of the university of Washington, I was feeling pretty bad. And then I decided I needed some discipline. I knew what I needed. It's funny. You think you're at a low point. You think people don't know what they need.

[00:27:58] You really do know what you need. I need to discipline. I needed a success. I surprised my friend by saying I just joined the. And he said, really this, I was over at his house and then he sees, should tell my parents. So I went into, and his parents were like college professors, very highly educated people.

[00:28:14] And I said Hey guys, I joined the army and they looked at me and they said, you just ruined the rest of your life. That's what they told me. And, but that, oddly enough, it inspired me. It made me think okay. That's what they think, but no, it's, this is a stepping stone to what I need to do next. And it?

[00:28:33] actually was.

[00:28:33] I learned discipline. I was around people, one guy, I remember he was from Mississippi and I asked him about joining the army. I told him why I did, because I needed this. And I asked him why he joined. He said, because I've never had three meals a day.

[00:28:52] Jolie Downs: [00:28:52] Wow.

[00:28:54] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:28:54] So it's all about perspective, what are, so I really got to know folks that I never probably would have got to know.

[00:29:00] Not that I came from a rich family, it was a middle-class family, immigrant family. But there were people that had a really hard go of it and they were trying to make themselves better and they all came in there for different reasons. But the main thing is that we were all there together and it really.

[00:29:15] Helped me understand what I needed to do to be successful. And I needed to have discipline and I needed to have a respect for the hard work and what other people have to go through and feel how lucky I am. And so I think that's, that was one of the first obstacles. And the other ones are along the way you you discover that things have happened to you in my case.

[00:29:38]One of the huge obstacles I had was that I, and when I, and this is a very personal thing, hard to talk about, but I think it's very important for people to hear this because so many people don't talk about it. But when I was a kid, I was a baby.

[00:29:51]And I was sexually abused and I had so blocked that in my mind, but it was impacting me every day.

[00:29:57] And it came out in bad ways and that, I had a very hair, a hair trigger temper, and it could be violent, and. So I was able, when I was finally 32 years old, I was actually in graduate school in a PhD program when I finally realized that I needed help. And that was amazing.

[00:30:17] Jolie Downs: [00:30:17] That's big.

[00:30:19] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:30:19] it was a turning point in my life. And I was, I had lost my custody of my kids. I lost my marriage. And I was still doing okay in school. So I, at least I had that, but it was a turning point in my life. I had to realize what had happened to me And begin to process it.

[00:30:35]Jolie Downs: [00:30:35] And how did you do that? How did you get through this?

[00:30:37]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:30:37] One thing I realized is that, and I think it was, I was in a class and it was a mandatory class. I had to go or I'd have to go to jail, or I would go to this domestic violence program because what happened is that I tore apart my house, I got into a fight with my first wife, my ex-wife and I CA I destroyed the inside of the house.

[00:30:58] I just went berserk and I got arrested. And. That's an eye-opener when you get, cause I worked in a jail, and all of a sudden, now the cops are coming to get me. And I go, I was just, I was like, I, it was like, I woke up from a bad dream or something. And I remember the first day the guy came in and he said, Hey, I realize all you guys are depressed and sad and whatever.

[00:31:21] And he said, but I'm here to tell you that you're not bad people. You've just made bad decisions and you can start today to start making good decisions. And you will turn your life around now. And I took that to heart and I said, wow, because a lot of times when I guarded people in prison, they told me all these hard luck stories that happened to them.

[00:31:40] They were abused as children. They had all this terrible stuff happened to them and, but then they said, and that's why I committed robbery, or that's why I murdered a guy or whatever. And I'd listened to that and they'd go well, The argument to that of course, is that there are lots of people who had a very hard life and treated badly and know poverty and they didn't murder anybody.

[00:31:59] They didn't commit armed robbery, they didn't do any of those things. So it is possible to make good decision. And even despite what has happened in your past and you are a good person, and that's what I tell him. I said, you do your time, keep your nose clean, do your time, and then start over and you can start clean.

[00:32:18] You're a good person, start making good decisions. And that's what they need. They need some kind of hope. You know that they're not a bad person. They've just made bad mistakes. So I believe very much in redemption,

[00:32:29] Jolie Downs: [00:32:29] I do too.


[00:32:29] Yeah. I think that's really important. Now, what about a regret? Have you had a big regret and something that you've learned? Yeah.

[00:32:38]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:32:38] That's an interesting question because I made decisions that made things very hard for me and other people, but ultimately I've learned from them and I, and people have asked wouldn't, you want to go back and do something different? Maybe I wouldn't be who I am today.

[00:32:54] If I hadn't made the, those mistakes, so I'm, I accept all of it. I accept the good decisions. I've made the bad decisions. I have no regrets about it. I'm in a position to talk about it. So like when I talk to my class about domestic violence. I tell them my story and people, their eyes are bugging out of their heads.

[00:33:10] It's wait a second teachers, aren't supposed to talk about stuff like this, and I said it's a epidemic in this country. People need to talk about it. And if I hadn't had that experience, I wouldn't be

[00:33:21] able to help them. And I, and there's always somebody in the class who comes to me after class and says, you know what I'm in a very abusive relationship, and I need to do something about it.

[00:33:29] And I said, Talk to them about it. And so it, it always, even if it just helps one person, those experiences ultimately have made me into who I am today. So I wouldn't, I don't regret any of it. I don't wish I was younger. I'm 62. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. I look in the mirror, I look at a happy person.

[00:33:48] You couldn't say that earlier in my life. I was yeah. Accomplishing things and doing stuff. I didn't love myself. I didn't, I wasn't happy with who I was, but I am now. So I wouldn't trade that for anything. I'm just, all of the mistakes, I accept all of it,

[00:34:04] Jolie Downs: [00:34:04] thank you for that. Answer that. What do you think has helped you find that love for you?

[00:34:07]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:34:07] A lot of counseling, a lot of reading, a lot of just starting small, just be kind to yourself, because it really starts with that. Just start being kind to yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself, except the mistakes you've made and realize you can do better. And just those little kindnesses you do to yourself and then that, then you're kind to others because if you're kind to yourself, then you're, you have love in your heart.

[00:34:28] It always comes back. My spirit guides tell me, you got to keep loving your heart and operate from a position of love, and that's really the secret. And that starts with yourself because you can't be kind and loving to other people. If you're not kind and loving to yourself and all of that leads to good deeds, it leads to doing

[00:34:48] good work because you always are approaching it that way. And when people are, like nowadays it's so many people are arguing and they're so angry with sh I turn on TV or the news or whatever. And I just see there's so many people that are so angry and upset, and I feel really bad for them and all these terrible things are happening, but the, you have to operate from a different position, a position of love.

[00:35:11] I hear people talking, I don't hear loving words coming out of their mouth, and that doesn't mean you can't practice tough love, just like with any parent knows that, tough love means you. Sometimes you can't just give everybody what they want. You have to use the wisdom that you have and the love that you have for that person in their success to, to tell them no, sometimes that you can't do.

[00:35:32] Or you're going to have to accept your punishment for what you've done, that type of thing. And then you build on that. So I, Yeah.

[00:35:38] I th that's the foundation. It really just comes down to that. Keep love in your heart, always operate from a position of love. It sounds easy, very difficult

[00:35:47] Jolie Downs: [00:35:47] it's a practice. It's a practice.

[00:35:49] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:35:49] have to practice every day, every single day.

[00:35:52] Jolie Downs: [00:35:52] Yes, you do. I completely agree. It is not easy, but it is the most worthy practice

[00:35:58] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:35:58] Yeah, because then you can help, if you're kind to yourself, you're kind to others and then you're part of the solution.

[00:36:04] Jolie Downs: [00:36:04] exactly.

[00:36:05]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:36:05] You're making a difference every day. I tell my students, if you wake up in the morning with that love and kindness in your heart, and you

[00:36:12] try to make a positive difference every day, just thought, just think if everybody on earth did that, how much better this world would be.

[00:36:19] Everybody approached the morning, every day, like that, that, what am I going to do to make things better for everybody today? And it could be a very small kindness, helping a stranger, helping you're an elderly person in your neighborhood or whatever, you know

[00:36:33] Jolie Downs: [00:36:33] Yes, we can all change the world simply by waking up and making that decision.

[00:36:37] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:36:37] Yeah, I think so.

[00:36:39] Jolie Downs: [00:36:39] Now, what about. And because you've learned a lot. You clearly have had a lot of lessons in life. What is something that you've learned that has brought the most benefit to your life that you feel can benefit others?

[00:36:52] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:36:52] The thing that's the most benefit? I would say it starts with the foundation, my, my parents, and recognizing who my parents represent. And I've heard so many stories of people how they grew up. And I'll just give you an example. My parents, we, I grew up during the sixties.

[00:37:08]During the civil rights era, the Vietnam. Stuff. And it was, we talk about how divisive things are today. It was very much like that in the sixties, too, for many different and all the same stuff, it seems like we're arguing over the same stuff in some ways. And my parents were very loving.

[00:37:24]They weren't like lovey-dovey types, they didn't go around saying, oh, I love you so much. It's just, they would demonstrate it every day in their kindness and toleration for other people.

[00:37:37] Jolie Downs: [00:37:37] Yeah.

[00:37:38] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:37:38] And so that's where I think I, I learned from their example,

[00:37:45] Jolie Downs: [00:37:45] It's the best example to give that's wonderful.

[00:37:48] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:37:48] That's the foundation. I went off to make all kinds of mistakes, but then I came back to that. I had the foundation, so I could always come back to that foundation. And, for instance I remember I was playing with some kids in the neighborhood and they said a bunch of bad words and they were calling people.

[00:38:03]I think they use the N word. And I had never heard that in my house. So I came home and I said it, and my mom got really mad at me. And she said, you realize, that's very mean, and that's not what we, that's not how we refer to people. And I said Billy said that or whatever the name was, the kid.

[00:38:18] And so whatever that kid was learning in the house, they were learning and they were learning, things that were harmful to people. And I was so I'm very lucky. My, my mom and dad only had a sixth grade education, but they were pretty smart and they knew, what was going on. I remember my mom took me and this is important as my in terms of being historian.

[00:38:38] My mom took me to a native American protest in the 1970s, early 1970s in Seattle. And she was not a scholar or anything. She was very intuitive. So she took me there and I saw real Indians real native Americans with real issues about some territory that they wanted back that had been taken by the military.

[00:38:58] And they were going to convert it into golf courses and condos. And the Indian tribes said, Hey, how about letting us have some of that land back that we originally had? So we can make a community center and an alcohol treatment center and all these things to benefit us. And so it was a big argument and.

[00:39:14] I saw real native Americans, not what I was seeing on Saturday morning, westerns, films. And my mom wanted me to see that she wanted me to see that and talk to these people. Now she didn't preach to me or anything. She just gave me that experience. And I talk about that every semester, when I talk about, native Americans and the importance that they have for this country. And so that's just an example of that foundation that I was lucky enough to have. And then of course, my, my dad even know he disapproved of the paranormal. He was the bravest person. I know. So my mom and dad actually, and my dad worked in a, he was made to work in a slave labor camp during world war II during the Norwegian, the Nazi occupation of Norway when they lived in Norway.

[00:39:58]He was a fisherman, like a deadliest catch kind of fishermen up in Alaska and he was a carpenter. So he's a hardworking, tough as nails kind of guy. And so I always hardworking, always they, they were spiritual in their own way. They weren't like, It w you know, in, in a demonstrating their spirituality or whatever all the time, but they were very spiritual in their own way.

[00:40:20] And so it was, that was the foundation. So that's probably the most important, I always have to start with that, that I was very lucky to have that foundation.

[00:40:28] Jolie Downs: [00:40:28] That's a very big deal and it goes it's the foundation. So it takes you all the way through life. Yeah. And it's very lucky. Now, is there a one change that you believe listeners could make right now that would help them get closer to their own success?

[00:40:42] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:40:42] Yeah.

[00:40:44] I think I'll come back to the, this idea of keeping love in your heart and operating from a position of love. It sounds very easy, but it's actually very difficult. So let's say you, somebody is arguing about something and everybody has this, unless you're a sociopath or a psychopath, which I have guarded those people in prison, but all the rest of us, we're just regular people.

[00:41:04]And if you listen to that quiet, inner voice, That tells you, people say I didn't know that was wrong and well, that's not really quite right. Cause you knew when you made a decision, you decided to do it the wrong way. Your inner voice is telling you? No, that's probably not a good idea.

[00:41:19]It's, I know you're angry, you gotta, maybe somebody said something that triggered something, but you got to think twice, think three times, think of your words very carefully and process it through your heart. That's filled with love and then you'll figure out the Right.

[00:41:33] words.

[00:41:34] So I think that's probably the most important thing because people get into a lot of trouble. I'd see it. Social media by just mouthing off, whatever comes to their mind, they're really angry. They're upset, they're afraid. They just type it in there and then there's no filter going on. And then people react to them and then it snowballs into this big mess.

[00:41:54] And I think that's, that, that gets us into a situation. Like I think we have today where people aren't listening to each other, they're not. Respecting each other's differences of opinions and working together. So I th I think that's the most important thing. Really keep love in your heart, operate from a position of love.

[00:42:12] Jolie Downs: [00:42:12] thank you. Now, is there a book or a talk video or movie that has had a very big impact on your life that you think others could benefit from as well?

[00:42:21] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:42:21] Oh man. There's so many. I read so much. I read two or three books at a time and I've just, I read bits and pieces. I'm not like a person who starts at the beginning of a book and then goes all the way to the end and then starts another I'm reading books all the time, skipping around. In terms of the paranormal stuff in the quantum nexus stuff, I would say the holographic universe is a tremendous book and he the guy passed away.

[00:42:45] What is his name? Anyway, it's called the holographic universe. I just gave the book to my daughter. I passed it because she's very psychic, so I gave it to her. And anyway, so if you're interested in that's a good one to start with in terms of oh man. In terms of literature or inspirational stuff that the other thing I really Joseph Campbell, the power of myth and and I really that was pretty foundational for me.

[00:43:09]I listened to so many days. Podcasts and lectures and, Ted talks and all this stuff. And I find something in everything. In fact, I feel like everybody has something to teach you. If you're listening. And you're paying attention. Every I don't think it's random. I don't think it's random that we have encountered each other, there's something that, that we're helping each other with.

[00:43:28]And everybody we meet every day has something to say has something to do, even if they don't know that they're doing it, they're giving you a bit of wisdom that they've collected. It's we all have a little, we all have little puzzle pieces and we want to share. And if we share with other people, we can build a bigger picture, to see the bigger picture. So it's, we have to share those puzzle pieces. And Yeah.

[00:43:51] so there's just too many sources to say any one thing I've been, I consume a lot.

[00:43:56] Jolie Downs: [00:43:56] And thank you for sharing your puzzle pieces. Thank you for sharing those parts that are harder to talk about the sexual abuse and the domestic violence that you went through with yourself and going through that experience and coming out the other side, it's incredibly valuable.

[00:44:12] And is there anything that you would share with someone who might be in a struggle like very angry in, in that dark place and Really feeling very lost that, is there anything that helped you because I know you went through the program and you had people help you through that. Is there anything else that you would share with someone who might be feeling that way to help them get themselves out?

[00:44:31]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:44:31] I've been through a lot of therapy in my life, and I can tell you that the best program and I've been through it all. I've been to so many different counselors and through the VA, I've gone through it three years now. The dialectical behavioral therapy. So DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy, and it really gets to the essence of why people are angry.

[00:44:51] And it has, it talks about the three minds, the emotion, mind, the logic mind, and the wise mind, and it really breaks it down really nicely. It, I think it's easy to understand, hard to implement, that's the thing about it, but it really has been very helpful for me and.

[00:45:08] And I'll just say what the if you're a person that is in a bad, abusive relationship and you're the person, that's the cause of it. You have to love yourself enough to get help, you are a good person. You just, you're making the wrong decisions and you can make good decisions.

[00:45:22] And if you're in a relationship and you're at the receiving end of that, you need to give it a break. And maybe that relationship can be salvaged, but it has to be a new relationship based on something else than whatever it was initially. So you need to get out of it and you need to get out of it as soon as possible before.

[00:45:41] The police get involved before people get hurt before, all those terrible negative things happen. And it's that's extremely important. You have to love yourself enough to remove yourself from that situation and give yourself and the other person a chance to heal and get better.

[00:45:55] Jolie Downs: [00:45:55] Oh, such good advice. Thank you for that. Yeah. So now for your books, where can people find all of your I'll have your website on the show notes? Is there any where else that you want to direct people to come find your books and find information?

[00:46:08]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:46:08] The website is a good place. Bruce Olav has all my printed books. All of my published books, all my plays my, the music I've done. The comic books everything's there. Most of my books are available on Amazon. Or Barnes and noble or whatever, online bookseller. So that's, that's where they can find it.

[00:46:25] You can see the progression from the more academic books to the paranormal stuff and yeah, so it's all there. You can see it all, All there, out in the open.

[00:46:33] Jolie Downs: [00:46:33] All right. And so before we go, I want to ask you my last question. What are you sure of in life?

[00:46:39]Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:46:39] I am sure that I am a good person and I believe everybody has good in them.

[00:46:46] Jolie Downs: [00:46:46] I love it. That's a great answer. Thank you so much, Bruce. This has been a wonderful talk.

[00:46:54] Bruce Olav Solheim: [00:46:54] Oh thank you Jolie. I appreciate it.

Jolie Downs:

There is so much to learn from Bruce’s story.

Bruce has held many roles in life, he’s been a carpenter, was in the army then became a contract administrator before going back to school to get his degree in history and becoming a History Professor. He spent his time writing in the evenings and also became a published author writing various text books, history books, fiction books, comic books and now books about his paranormal experiences.

I love that Bruce has had many iterations of himself when it comes to work. There are so many options out there for us. You don’t have to stick with the profession you chose when you were young, you can make a change and you can be successful at doing so – at any age. Do not sell yourself short by staying in role or profession that isn’t fulfilling you.

I love that Bruce was able to push past his fear to begin writing about the paranormal. So many of us are holding pieces back in fear. We so fear being judged, don’t we?

So we hide those pieces of ourselves, sharing with only those who feel the absolute safest. But what would happen if we felt free to share all the parts of ourselves, judgers be damned? What would that feel like?

For Bruce, he made the leap, and yes, he did get some judgement, one person even telling him he had committed career suicide! But what he really found was overall peace and connection which led to an opportunity to continue the discussion through a new paranormal class he now teaches. As Bruce found, it’s incredibly freeing to be open about who you are. He had been living his life not fully visible and now he is living fully out there, embracing who he is.

What have you been hiding from others?

Perhaps we can all learn from Bruce and allow those hidden pieces an outlet to be free. It’s ok to go out and try different, creative things. It’s ok to make a change. Who knows what beauty you may call into your life by doing so.

You may not be able to drop your fear, but you can learn to walk alongside it. I’ve never learned to eliminate fear, but I have learned how to make it my companion. Promise yourself you will no longer allow fear to stop you from being who you are.

Bruce had the best advice on how to deal with unwanted criticism or judgement. He said, you keep love in your heart and always operate in a position of love. When you operate from a position of love, you can understand that when people are upset, it’s not about you, it’s simply that something within them was triggered. So he no longer gets mad at people, everyone is entitled to their opinion and he allows everyone theirs, sending them love while moving on in life with his own.

How beautiful.

How freeing.

How powerful.

Can you imagine how much more wonderful life would be by simply giving love rather than judgement? Think about how great life would be for you if you simply gave up judgement for others and for yourself and instead filled the space with love. You can do this, you can create that world for yourself. You get to create your world through the stories you tell yourself. And you are telling yourself stories every day. For example, Instead of telling yourself the person who just cut you off in traffic is a big careless jerk (or other colorful language), tell yourself that this person is on their way to help someone in need and needs to get there quick or that this person just lost someone close to them and they are in a fog or that this person is ready to pee their pants and needs to get home ASAP – whatever you want to think, you get to choose. So choose a story that allows you to send love to your fellow human and watch how that love comes back tenfold.

Moving forward, Every time you find in a situation where two stories can possibly be true, you owe it to yourself to choose the one that causes you the least amount of pain.

I found the insights passed along from Bruce’s friend Gene, incredibly profound.

There is no future, there is no past, it is all the eternal now.

How beautiful. And what an important reminder for here and now. We need to stop and breathe and practice that mindfulness and feel that peace that is no future, no past and only now. We are not our thoughts, yet we let our thoughts hijack almost every part of our day. Instead we need to work, because it is a practice, at luxuriating in whatever you happen to be doing in any given moment. What do you see, feel, hear or touch in this moment? Whatever it is, relish it. Savor the conversation with your family member, marvel at the deliciousness of your meal, engross yourself in the music, bask in the feel of the sun upon your face and delight in the breeze upon your skin. You will experience more joy, happiness and positive emotions.

He also reminded us that There are no limits, the only limits that exist are the ones we put upon ourselves.

Within reason, you can do anything you put your mind to if you stay focused on your goal, don’t take no for an answer and break down those barriers and obstacles by going over, under or around, just not letting them stop you.

Remind yourself every day - You are limitless.

Bruce shared with us that when he went into the army he was told he had made the biggest mistake in his life. How many of you have been told something similar? I know that I was told I would sorely fail at starting my own company. I’ve been a successful entrepreneur for 20 years now. I know I told my brother he was making a mistake when he joined the air force. The air force was an amazing experience for him and now he has a wonderful role with Apple. Bruce did the same, Instead of allowing others to color his experience, Bruce let that inspire him to use the experience as the stepping stone he needed for the next stage in life.

The bottom line – this is your life – you have to do what YOU need to do, what is right for you, not what is right for anyone else.

So ask yourself – are you currently on your own path? Or are you on someone else’s?

I am so grateful for Bruce’s vulnerability and honesty talking about his experience with sexual abuse as a child and then being the perpetrator of domestic abuse himself as an adult.

How powerful is his sharing?

His story shows clearly how hurt people will hurt people. After hurting his own family, he entered a domestic violence program and was given the opportunity to learn how to heal amongst an incredibly important message.

You are not a bad person, you’ve just made bad decisions. You are a good person and you can now make good decisions. You can turn your life around right now.

What is the best next decision you can make?

Go do that. Then ask yourself the same question over and over again.

Bruce has gone deep into himself and learned from all of his difficult experiences, he’s done the work, the therapy and counseling, and has come out the other side. As so many others have done before and after him. When Bruce shares his story, opening up in complete honesty, it’s incredibly powerful, not only does he give us the opportunity to learn from his hard earned lessons but he also gives us all permission to share our stories and to be vulnerable right along with him.

Please share your story with others, we have so much to learn from each other. We can all be a part of each other’s learning, healing and growing.

Bruce is now happier than he has ever been in his entire life. At the age of 62, when he looks in the mirror, he sees a happy person. And isn’t that the goal?

Are you able to say that? Do you see a happy, satisfied person when you look in the mirror?

If you’re not, know that you are not alone, you are one of the great many. Too many people look in the mirror and see fault rather than gratitude and appreciation for all that is and all that has been, standing in front of that mirror.

As Bruce shared, he couldn’t say that he was happy with himself earlier in life but when you do the hard-internal work and you learn from your experiences you eventually figure out how to love yourself and build that fulfilling life.

Bruce shares the most important components of this, being kind to yourself, being accepting of yourself and the mistakes you have made. You must keep love in your heart and operate from a position of love for both yourself and others. It starts with you. How can you be kind and loving to other people if you aren’t kind and loving to yourself?

So feel all that love in your heart for yourself, bring in that gratitude and appreciation for everything that makes you you and become your own best friend. As Bruce shared, ‘Becoming your own friend means taking care of yourself the way you would someone that you love. And that is hard. But it is necessary.

Are you treating yourself like your own best friend? If not, it’s time to make some changes.

Being loving and kind to yourself will lead to kindness for others, good deeds and good works and you will become part of the solution making a difference every day. As Bruce tells his students, just think if everyone were to wake up in the morning with love and kindness in the heart with the intention of making a positive impact each day, however small, how much better would the world be?

That’s the world we all deserve to live in..

And it starts with you.

So fill up your heart, do it right now, feel all the love and appreciation for yourself and your life and carry it around with you. Wake up tomorrow morning and do it all over again. Start coloring your world with your love.

Take Bruce’s advice and when faced with someone arguing with you or bringing forth that negative energy, take a moment to think twice and again three times processing what you want to say through love, through your heart, being careful with the words you choose. We need to listen and respect each other so we can finally hear what the other side is saying. AS Bruce said, we all have puzzle pieces we can share with other people and everyone you encounter has a puzzle piece of wisdom to share with you. Simply by taking the time to listen, you can give someone a great gift, as in the end, we all want to be heard and understood.

So this is my wish for us all, that every day we will fill our hearts with love for ourselves and for others, going forth with positive purpose and kindness and operating from a position of love in every encounter throughout the day.

Until next time

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