Habits & Health episode 97 with Luke Iorio, former President and CEO of iPEC (the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) in this episode we discuss coaching, balance, purpose, structure and blockages to name a few topics.
Luke Iorio is the host of the, On This Walk podcast, where he and his guests share their real stories and experiences on the challenges as well as what it takes to be centered, connected, fulfilled, and balanced. He is the former President and CEO of iPEC (the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching), one of the largest and most respected coach training organizations in the world. He still serves on the Board at iPEC, while maintaining a personal coaching and teaching practice.
In this episode we discuss:
What about being balanced is most misunderstood?
What needs to come first, before finding purpose?
02:01 Luke’s main role
03:20 Why Luke started coaching
05:13 Coaching, but not sport!
06:26 Difference between a coach, a mentor and consultant
07:06 A consultant
08:36 Why coaches shouldn’t tell a client what to do
11:05 When Luke fist started using inner balance
16:08 Can you help get that awareness?
18:45 What do you mean when you say “balance”?
21:38 Do you work with people 1 to 1?
22:48 What draws clients to Luke?
24:00 Group coaching
24:53 Finding purpose
26:03 Midlife- change of value structure
27:20 Do some struggle with the spiritual side of it?
30:13 Blockages which hold people back
34:18 The near future
37:06 Luke’s podcast
38:58 What should look for in a good coach?
40:55 Favourite book
42:43 Contact details
44:45 Favourite quote
97 – Luke Iorio
Habits & health episode 97.
[00:00:05] Intro: Welcome to the Habits and Health Podcast, where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy brought to you by an educator and coach. For anyone who wants to create a healthier life, here’s your host, Tony Winyard.
Welcome back to habits and health. My guest today, Luke Iorio, who is the host of the, on this walk podcast where he and his guests talk about. They share a real stories and experiences on the challenges as well as what it takes to be centered, connected, fulfilled, and balanced. He’s a former president and CEO of iPEC, the Institute for professional excellence in coaching.
And he still serves on the board at iPEC. And we talk a lot about today, about difference between coaching and mentoring and, consulting. And many other aspects around those sorts of things. We talk about his podcast, about purpose, about balance. So that’s this week’s episode with Luke Iorio hope you enjoy the show and please do share it with anyone who would get some value from it
[00:01:06] Tony Winyard: Habits and health. My guest today, Luke Iorio,
So Luke, you are in New Jersey
[00:01:12] Luke Iorio: I am New Jersey, east side of the states.
[00:01:15] Tony Winyard: Did you grow up there?
[00:01:17] Luke Iorio: I did, I did. I actually, uh, amazingly enough I grew up in New Jersey and if, uh, other than being, uh, Outta state for a little while. For, for college, for university. I, uh, I ended up settling back here with my wife.
[00:01:30] Tony Winyard: and so New Jersey is kind of like, I dunno, it seems like it’s the, the baby brother to, to New York
[00:01:36] Luke Iorio: Yeah. It’s, uh, it’s funny. It’s a, uh, it’s a state that most people know because of our association to either New York and the North or Philly in the south. And, uh, what most people don’t realize is that we’re, we’re a garden state. We’ve actually got a ton of farmland and reservation land and everything else. It’s actually a, it’s a pretty great, great place to, uh, be. There’s a lot of different things we can get.
[00:01:58] Tony Winyard: What is your main role now? What is it you do now?
[00:02:01] Luke’s main role
[00:02:01] Luke Iorio: It’s really kind of two things. Uh, one is actually partly how we got connected is, uh, I run a, uh, a podcast called On This Walk, and that’s actually been something that I’ve created almost as a bit of, uh, it’s actually, I’d say even a little bit less business and more art. Uh, in the sense it was a lot of message, a lot of information, a lot of stories and experiences for myself and guests that I wanted to put out into the world, uh, to be able to share. I still do personal coaching. Uh, I do that as a coach. I do it as a facilitator. So I do some group work. I do one-on-one work. Uh, and most of the focus, uh, which I know we’ll get into some of today, is really around helping people connect to their inner balance. So you can say it’s a bit more on the spiritual development side of things as opposed to the personal development side of things.
And that’s kind of been an evolution. I used to do a lot of business coaching and leadership coaching, uh, but I found that once I started connecting people to that inner game and this, this inner balance and inner peace work, a lot of the things that were external to them, whether it be in their business, their lives, their relationships, all of a sudden would start to resolve in very different manners.
We didn’t actually have to work directly on those things because it was the inner gain, the inner consciousness, uh, that needed shift.
[00:03:16] Tony Winyard: That’s definitely something we’re gonna dig into. But before we get into that,
[00:03:19] Luke Iorio: Hmm.
[00:03:20] Why Luke started coaching
[00:03:20] Tony Winyard: I’m wanna take you back to when, when you first started coaching, what would, can you remember what, why did you start coaching? What was it that appealed to you, or did someone suggest you do it or what
[00:03:31] Luke Iorio: it was, uh, completely found by accident. Uh, I was in the consulting space and I was working with a lot of, uh, small businesses with entrepreneurs, uh, typically under about maybe 20 million or so in sales. And what I was finding was that you could have two business owners in very, very similar businesses, similar size, similar resources, personnel, the whole thing, right?
And one of them, Would take a new plan, take a new structure, a new strategy, and they would just, I mean, they’d shoot the moon with it. It was incredible. And you had this other business owner and the business would go nowhere. It would just completely flounder. And ultimately what that led me to was really looking into, okay, if it’s not really truly the business or the strategy, There’s something else going on here energetically, or, or with that individual.
And that led me into a, a much deeper exploration of personal and professional development. And I found a lot of those types of traits of self engagement, self self-empowerment, uh, these types of qualities of personal responsibility. That pe these owners that would be very successful, would take on, and I recognized that I couldn’t reach them through consulting.
Now, interestingly enough, I was not looking for coaching as like a vehicle for that. I didn’t know that that was even a thing. This was my goodness. This is 17, 18 years ago. Uh, so coaching was nowhere near known the way that it is today. And it was a, it was actually Ipec, uh, that the, the founder there and his previous business owner had reached out to me for some consulting work and I ended up, uh, engaging a little bit to answer a lot of the questions they had for me because I saw coaching at the end of their email url and I grew up playing baseball and basketball and everything else.
[00:05:13] Coaching, but not sport!
[00:05:13] Luke Iorio: I thought I was gonna be consulting for a sports company. I click on their website, learn all this thing about this, this new field called coaching. And I recognized that that actually was the modality that would allow me to work with entrepreneurs and help them in the, in the way that they could really take ownership over their business and over their lives again.
And it literally was, it was because of an email that ended up in my inbox. And, uh, it led to a near 18 year journey, uh, in the coaching field.
[00:05:42] Tony Winyard: It’s interesting what you just said about your. , your thinking coaching was gonna be something related to sport. I mean, you know, see, you’ve been a coach now for so many years. How many people do you come across who still, who do think like that?
[00:05:55] Luke Iorio: Not often. It, I, it did. I mean, those, the, the first five years that was constant. You’d mentioned, you know, you were in the coaching field and they’re like, oh, great. Which, you know, what sport is it, university level, high school level, where you at? And it’s like, no, no, no, no. That’s not, that’s not what it is.
Uh, thankfully the, you know, the, the industry, the field, Has expanded that as soon as you say, whether it’s life coaching or personal coaching, executive coaching, uh, people, they have at least some orientation of it now, if in fact they don’t know it really well, uh, depending on the industry or or career track or or personal track they’ve been on.
[00:06:26] Difference between a coach, a mentor and consultant
[00:06:26] Tony Winyard: There might be some people listening who are not so clear on what is the difference between consulting, coaching, being a mentor,
[00:06:35] Luke Iorio: Yeah, absolutely. So if I, if I start with kind of what it’s not, so if you think of a mentor, a mentor is very much going to teach you very specifically from their experiences, here’s what I did. Here’s the path that I traveled. Here’s the things that I, I think you should do. Almost like an advisor saying, you know, these are the steps that I took and therefore, Try to follow in these footsteps.
It’s almost a little bit of a mentor apprentice type of, of relationship that can develop there. Uh, certainly there are some mentors that broaden beyond that.
[00:07:06] A consultant
[00:07:06] Luke Iorio: Uh, from a consultant, you are being paid very, very specifically to come in and fix a problem based on your area of expertise. And in many instances, you will kind of roll up your sleeves, be directly involved, and even help with the implementation and execution of how something then gets done.
So it’s a, it’s, it’s more hands on. And it’s very much about the expertise that you are bringing because they would not be able to solve this for themselves.
[00:07:29] Luke Iorio: Now, coaching flips a lot of this on its head because one of the, the most fundamental beliefs of a coach is that you as the client, you’ve already got the answers.
Within yourself. And so the coaching, uh, the, uh, coach is really one that is meant to employ a process to help a client be able to connect into those inner answers, that inner wisdom, because they obviously, they know their lives best. They just may not know how to navigate around to be able to find that wisdom and unlock that within themselves.
So a coach is there to facilitate process and it really creates a higher degree of self engagement, self-power. That sense of ownership of personal sovereignty because you know, as the client you are actually, you’re coming up with your own answers. You’re solving what needs to be solved. You’re beginning to really kind of chart your own course, and that is then something that stays with you because you now understand how to tap into that, that part of you by yourself.
And honestly, my job as a coach is to become irrelevant, uh, so that, you know, you don’t, you don’t need me. Um, that’s not always the case in, in some other,
[00:08:36] Why coaches shouldn’t tell a client what to do
[00:08:36] Tony Winyard: So can you explain why does it not work so well? When a coach or someone who is supposedly a coach is telling their client what to do?
[00:08:46] Luke Iorio: Yeah. It, it makes the client reliant on answers that are outside of themselves and that has, you know, a variety of different, uh, of implications. The first and foremost is that, you know, you think of. . If you wanted somebody to tell you what to do, uh, go talk to a family member or friend and think about the advice you receive and what’s your response.
Energetically think about, you know, emotionally and energetically, how do you feel when somebody gives you advice or says, oh, here, I know what you should do. You can feel yourself kind of like withdraw a little bit because you know it’s not something that’s directly from inside of you. It maybe isn’t even something you would truly choose for yourself.
And. If you take that little bit of extra space to be able to find that answer within yourself, and you do for a period of time, need a guide to help you sort through any of the assumptions, the interpretations, the fears, the blocks, those types of things that may stand in your way, you do need to learn how to navigate that process.
But ultimately, the choices you’re making are from a more pure part of who you are. They are completely a choice that you have made and created. And so you’re gonna feel a greater level of both empowerment as well as ownership over the direction that you’re taking. If I relate it back actually to when I was doing the consulting work, one of the challenges that I saw in the business owners who wouldn’t like grab a strategy and run away with it, but instead would flounder, was because they very often would keep something at arm’s length because they didn’t create it.
So you could. Unbelievable strategy, this really great plan. But if somebody isn’t fully bought into and they don’t really see themselves in where that, where that path can take them, they’re not gonna follow through fully, if at all. But those business owners who had maybe just a, a slightly better than average plan, but they dove into it, they made it their.
Owned, they, they created from there, they just wanted to, to, you know, fully roll up the sleeves and go after it. Well, that plan every single day was gonna be more successful than the great plan because of the ownership that was created. Same exact issue inside of coaching. When you create that level of connection, that level of ownership for the path and the choices that somebody is, is ultimately undertaking.
They, there’s really, truly, there’s no stopping ’em at that point. Uh, but it, it connects them at such a deeper,
[00:11:05] When Luke fist started using inner balance
[00:11:05] Tony Winyard: And so when in your journey, I mean, so you’ve been, you say a coach now, 17, 18 years. So you’ve seen a lot. You’ve learned a lot in that time. When did this. Sort of notion of inner balance, first start to appear, when did you start thinking differently about what you were doing?
[00:11:22] Luke Iorio: Uh, well, how do we find those? Those really incredible. You know, turning points and wisdoms within our life. We find it when we have kind of bottomed out . And so for me, uh, I, I ended up going down the path where I was, uh, I was helping actually run the institute and so I ended up as a, even though I was maintaining a coaching practice on the side with some, some personal clients, most of my work.
Was in growing and building and managing and executing the strategy of the institute itself. And we had this wonderful, beautiful run. I was actually the, uh, first individual to take over for the founder as the the new c e o of the organization. And I was about five years into that process, which now is maybe about seven years ago, six and a half, seven years ago.
And, uh, I’m about five years in and I hit a complete wall of burnout. Um, I was, you know, if you, if you think of it this way, uh, if any single one of us. Is this bright light or this flame? I was running around trying to, you know, light the flame on all of these different things outside of myself, and I’m spreading myself thin in all of these different directions as opposed to being more of that, that centered, anchored source within myself.
And so I found myself taking on all of these responsibilities and obligations, trying to keep up with all, all of the, you know, the, the proverbial kind of spinning plates that I’m trying to keep spinning and keep them going. I ultimately recognize that there’s no way that I could keep up with this. And I, I quite literally burnt out.
Uh, it was one of those, you know, on the floor, kind of a moments of, of recognizing I just, I’ve got nothing left in the tank. My energy is completely drained. And in, in that instance, that specific moment. it happened to be on a day that I had attended the fourth funeral of a year that I had been in, and I came home from that funeral.
It was actually a, a, a sort of like a mentor role model for me, and my wife drops me off. She’s gonna run some errands before going out to, to pick up the kids from school. And I came into my house and I did, I completely collapsed on the floor. and just all of like, the, the tears and the emotion and the weight that I’d been carrying was like pouring out of me.
And so I picked myself up. Uh, I, I don’t even know how long I was on the floor. I wanna clean myself up before, before my kids get home and I go upstairs, I get changed and I go into the bathroom to splash some water on my face. And as I’m splashing that water on my face, I look in the mirror and I connect with that energy, that consciousness that resides in all of our eyes that has been there the whole time.
That is, that’s ageless. Even though the, you know, the wrinkles and the, the gray hair around us, uh, may have changed forms since we last connected to it when we were just four or five years old. And so I see this energy, I see this consciousness, I see this kind of younger glimpse of myself, and in that, felt a, a huge wave of energy rushing through me, and as it kind of rushed up and was coming out my mouth, I recognized that that energy was rage.
I was angry, I was frustrated. And I shouted in the mirror of where did you go? Why did you leave me? And of course, you know, you yell into a mirror. What do you get? You get, you get the exact questions you asked, and that conversation comes right back at me, and I recognize that there is, that, that essence, that consciousness, whatever we wanna call it, soul or spirit, whatever the, you know, the language is that, that anybody uses, that has always been there.
and that it was I that left that essence that had left that truth. I had left that sense of peace and balance within myself to go on the journey that I’ve gone on as, as a professionally human being and everything else. Well, this was about seven years ago, and I’ve sort of devoted the, the path that I have been on is devoted to getting back in touch and helping clients and individuals get back in touch with that part of themselves so that they can really, truly feel the essence that every single one of us walks around with.
To me, that’s created through Inner Balance. It’s created through finding that sense of equilibrium within ourselves once again. And that means that we’ve gotta look at the fears, we’ve gotta look at the attachments, we’ve gotta look at the entanglements. We’ve gotta look at all of these things that were internal choices that now have an external manifestation inside of our lives.
But when we can begin to unwind all of that and just get back to that balanced state centered state within ourselves, life gets easier. It gets simpler, it gets more peaceful, it gets more enjoyable or more present. It has this just unbelievable ripple effect across all aspects of our life, our relationships, even our health, um, in some very, very powerful and profound ways.
But I, how do I get there? I was the exact opposite . I realized the importance of it, uh, at that stage of my life.
[00:16:08] Can you help get that awareness?
[00:16:08] Tony Winyard: So two things are going through my mind. Do you think everyone needs to go through that to to, to get to the other side? And are you able to see when someone is going through or doesn’t realize that, that they’ve reached that stage yet and they’re, they are kind of burning themselves out?
[00:16:24] Luke Iorio: Yeah, it’s, it’s, it depends like, you know, all of those answers kind of, it depends. Um, I don’t think somebody has to get to that level of extreme, even though that seems to be the case for many, you know, we are, uh, part of us is wired from that standpoint of, you know, the pain of change until the pain of where I’m at.
Is greater than the idea of the pain of change. I’m not gonna make the change. And so unfortunately for us as human beings, that tends to be the case. More often than not. I don’t think it has to be the case. And so there are, you know, there are signs of, of that brewing kind of frustration, aggravation, or even apathy that begins to set in that lets us know when we’re out of balance.
Personally, I love the way that, uh, Parker Palmer, uh, one of the authors, one of the writers that I, I’ve followed for years, uh, talks about this and he describes it as living a divided life. And so when you think about all of the ways that we put ourselves out there, all the different roles we play, even, even the masks that we put on to present ourselves a certain way in, in, in life and in work, we’re putting ourselves.
and then there’s this internal portion that feels as if it’s somewhat separated from all of the different ways that we live. And so you can recognize that all of a sudden there’s a very different mental dialogue going on. There’s a very different presentation that’s going on to the world than what I’m actually feeling inside.
And when we can recognize that dichotomy, when we can recognize that separation or disconnection that, that the outer world, It’s, it’s resembling the parts of the inner world that we don’t want to have, and the parts of the inner world that we do want to have, I do not see outside myself. We can see those signs, we can see it in our self-talk.
We can see it in our level of stress, our level of overwhelm in just usual life. We can see it with the way that we go about making decisions. Are those decisions easy? Do they feel congruent? Do they feel aligned, or do they feel like things that we’re kind of forcing or we have to do or feel like obligations so we can start to look at signs that we’re seeing in many different facets of our life and recognize there’s this feeling of out of balance or out of alignment might be another way it could, it can present that we’re starting to feel.
And those are, those are signs that let us know, okay, hold. I need to take a pause here and do some introspection, do some reflection work, uh, so that I don’t have to crash and burn and, and get to that.
[00:18:45] What do you mean when you say “balance”?
[00:18:45] Tony Winyard: So when you talk about balance, what do you mean by.
[00:18:49] Luke Iorio: So for me, great question. When I think about balance, first and foremost is I think about it from an interstate and I wanna differentiate it just like we did with coaching and mentoring and consulting for a moment when most people hear balance. It conjures up what has been a, a, a bit of a story of farce that’s been presented about balance in, in, by organizations and by time management experts for a long time.
And the, the notion of balance that’s out there is this sense of almost, you know, I think of it as is this image of the ladies, the scales of justice, right? Trying to keep everything in perfect balance and everything is, it got its right place in our calendar. And I can tell you, Absolute recipe for disaster.
It’s it life isn’t meant to be that way. Life is fluid. It changes all the time. To me, balance in, in even just the external, just to give you a representation of it, is more like the surfer on a wave, cuz the wave is always gonna break. The wave is gonna move in directions that you may not even be able to predict.
But a surfer is going to be able to use the wave the way in which life or work is breaking at any given moment and stay perfectly centered for that ride. So now let’s talk about inner balance. inner balance is that, that part of you that allows you to maintain that center, that groundedness, that anchored ness within yourself so that regardless of what’s going on outside of you, you feel like you have balance and you can glide with what’s there.
Well, a lot of that comes from, and I think of my own, kind of my own teacher that, that I’ve worked with for years who’s taught me also a tremendous amount about this, uh, from a place of consciousness is that we’ve gotta take a look at things that get simple. Meaning we tend to make our lives very complicated with a lot of things outside of ourselves.
How is it that we can unwind and unentangle from those things to feel that sense of simplicity, of ease within ourselves? Again, how is it that we can be aware of all of the different commitments that we have made? And commitments don’t just mean us to another person, or us to a job, or us to a relationship.
Commitments can be to belief systems. , they can be to perceptions, they can be to attitudes. And so there’s a lot of inner structure that we want to take a look at because when we have inner structure that’s consciously chosen, not chosen out of conditioning and out of assumptions and attachments, then we get something that’s very stable, meaning again, that very balanced, harmonious kind of feel as we move through life.
And then there’s a variety of different practices and, and ways of working with things so that we can feel. Things like acceptance, flowing more easily through us presence, stillness, silence flowing more easily through us so that we can create that inner state that can be in harmony, and therefore it can move with whatever the notes are of life that tend to come up.
[00:21:38] Do you work with people 1 to 1?
[00:21:38] Tony Winyard: Are you working with people one to one.
[00:21:41] Luke Iorio: I do, uh, I, it’s a very, I work a little bit more limited on a one-to-one basis. Uh, meaning I don’t, I don’t take on a tremendous amount of clients one-to-one, but I do have a one-to-one practice. Uh, and then from time to time I open up group work, uh, that is usually bringing circles together.
Uh, cuz I have also found that bringing circles together, bringing group experiences together can be a very profound way to experience. Uh, not only our inner work, but when we recognize that we’re on this journey, we’re on this ride together, it, there’s a tremendous amount that we can learn from each other as well as feeling like we’re in community to receive that type of support and be witnessed as we’re going through our change process.
[00:22:23] Tony Winyard: Well, the reason I ask, are you working with people one-to-one? Actually, it doesn’t matter whether it’s one-to-one or the groups. So the people that come to you, whether they’re doing a group coaching, they’re doing a one-to-one, do they come to you because they’re, they have some sort of awareness that there isn’t, they need some kind of a balance.
They, maybe they don’t have a co a complete understanding of that, but they, they realize it’s something not right. or what is it that you think draws people?
[00:22:48] What draws clients to Luke?
[00:22:48] Luke Iorio: it’s the awareness is usually around. Something no longer feels in alignment or fulfilling. I think that’s usually where the awareness begins, cuz most individuals, even though I know that a lot of the work that I do is gonna be on like inner balance and peace and these, this type of work, that’s the inner work that’s, that’s kind of like what’s going on underneath what’s, what’s being presented out in the world.
Now. What most individuals are seeing is maybe the path that they have been on that used to be fulfilling feels. It feels like the aliveness, the vitality that used to be there isn’t there anymore. They feel like maybe the path that they’re on, maybe it felt great for a long time, and now it’s like, I don’t even know where this is going.
I don’t, I don’t feel much meaning or purpose in this direction anymore. And so it usually presents more like that, uh, than somebody recognizing, oh, this is an issue of, of balance. Uh, so it’s more of fulfillment, it’s more alignment, purpose. Draining sense of meaning or joy within their lives is usually what they will recognize.
[00:23:53] Tony Winyard: And so when you are doing this kind of group coaching environment, well, do you prefer doing a group coaching to to one-to-one?
[00:24:00] Group coaching
[00:24:00] Luke Iorio: I enjoy both, honestly, , um, they’re, they’re just very unique experiences. So when you, you know, when you get to work with somebody one-on-one, it is this beautiful personal, uh, relationship that, that you can really navigate to every nook and cranny that you need to get into at any given moment. And at the same time, the group experiences, like I said before, there is something about the group dynamic when people feel like they’re moving through something like this and they’re not alone. They feel seen and they feel supported, even if nobody’s actually doing anything for them. They just energetically can feel the support of the community that they’re going, going through this with. And there’s something special about that too. So it’s, it’s kind of, I enjoy both, I enjoy it based on, you know, on, on what needs to unfold at that time.
For the individual that I’m, I’m with, I’m.
[00:24:53] Finding purpose
[00:24:53] Tony Winyard: So you talked about finding purpose, is it a case of when people are younger, money is the main driving factor, and then they realize that there’s a lot more to it than simply just earning as much money as.
[00:25:06] Luke Iorio: Yeah, I think it’s, uh, even beyond money, I would say in the, and there’s some very interesting science on this. Um, there was a, uh, a great book called The Happiness Curve, uh, and I believe that was Jonathan, Jonathan Rauch, who had written that book. And, uh, in that it talks about how in the first half of life, you know, once we get past our adolescent years, we really move into more of this achievement focus.
And so that achievement, it can be money, it can be material, it can be the house, it could be the job, it can be the title, it can be the relationship. It’s, you know, it’s about getting things, it’s about achieving or obtaining, because that’s part of the way that we feel, you know, just evolutionarily, right?
It’s, it’s part of the way that we go out and individuate and make ourselves, you know, like. Somebody that a, a mate would wanna come and find, right? It’s part of kind of wired into who we are. And then at some point when we get to midlife, and midlife can be as early as the early thirties. It could be late as the late fifties and early sixties.
[00:26:03] Midlife- change of value structure
[00:26:03] Luke Iorio: Uh, we each hit a midlife at, at different points for ourselves. There usually is a changing in value structure, and that value structure now is one that starts thinking beyond the self. Thinking in a larger context, it’s usually a lot more relationally driven than achievement oriented. And so there’s usually this community component that ties into it.
And there’s also this desire to more deeply know ourselves because, you know, I, I think of. Quoting other work. Uh, b Bronny Ware was a palliative care nurse who wrote the top five Regrets of the Dying originally a, a blog post that caught like wildfire and then later on a book. And, uh, the number one regret of the dying was that I’d wished I’d had the courage to be true to myself as opposed to the expectations of others.
And in that second half of life, whatever that that mid midlife crisis is, or even quarter life crisis, we begin to recognize that and we want to be true to ourselves. And that’s not about achievement anymore. That’s a, a, a mission of self-actualization. And it, it really is about what are we here for? What are we designed for?
Uh, who is it that we wish to be in relation to this life? And that question usually leads, not who do I want to be, but who am I already that I wanna bring out?
[00:27:20] Do some struggle with the spiritual side of it?
[00:27:20] Tony Winyard: Do you find there’s some people really struggle with the spiritual side of it?
[00:27:27] Luke Iorio: They can. Um, and I’ll, I can use, again, I use myself as an example in this. Um, I was raised in a, you know, a very kind of traditional religion and, uh, that was all fine and well, and everything else, nothing, you know, specifically ever went wrong with it, but I. I didn’t have a deep connection to a lot of organized religion, and that was not a path that spoke to me as I started to go deeper on my journey.
And so I ultimately, I mean, for a long time I kind of turned away from that type of path. Now, ironically, when I ended up hitting this stage of burnout and change, I clearly, I deepened into my spirituality because I started looking at, uh, mindfulness took me into Buddhism. Buddhism took me into Eastern philosophies and the Dao that took me ultimately over to Nas theism and, and deeply into Christ’s consciousness work.
Uh, I’ve had the, the honor of being able to study some indigenous traditions in wisdoms as well. And each of these has kind of reignited or did reignite to in me a very, very different connection to. We would call spirit spirituality. There’s a very specific view among, uh, a lot of the indigenous cultures.
I think it’s actually all of the indigenous cultures, honestly, that they recognize that absolutely everything inside of this life is animated with the life energy, with life force of some kind. And so they view this as a completely living and breathing world. They don’t view it as static. They don’t view it as things.
And so when all of a sudden we start to recognize the alive. Of all things to, to, to connect ourselves to that. Well, that’s a very different understanding of, of spirituality. And so it doesn’t matter what religion somebody may be or have been. It’s really about what is that aliveness, that spirit that is in all things that we are connecting to.
Because when we feel that type of connection to life, it opens us up and we can feel the, the kind of, the flow, the connectivity, the peace that is inherent in, in that flow of things. And so, uh, for me, I did go through that path. It was a challenge for me, and I hit many different obstacles of, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
You know, I, my view of God, my view of this, my view of that, right, and I’ve got all of these old beliefs, goes back to those inner structures we were talking about before. I’ve got all of these old structures that were making me unstable. That were not, that were not fueling my sense of balance within myself, and so I needed to connect to those beliefs that allowed me to restore that balance that allowed me to restore that connection.
I find that to be a very spiritual path, and I’ve gone through this with a lot of clients who have become disenfranchised with a more traditional religious approach, have also gone through it with clients that are very deeply connected to a religious tradition. This is just a different way of walking.
[00:30:13] Bloackages which hold people back
[00:30:13] Tony Winyard: The way you are seeing things now is so different to how you did 15, 20 years ago, and was it a case then you had many more sort of blockages stopping you from seeing the way you see things now.
[00:30:25] Luke Iorio: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:30:26] Tony Winyard: And so, Are many of your clients in that same situation where they just, it’s, it’s difficult for them to, see things in a very different way that you are describing about, especially how things are often seen in, in many eastern societies.
[00:30:41] Luke Iorio: Yeah, they, I would say those blocks are there, but a, a, you know, a, a door has been opened or there’s a, a crack that’s letting the light in. Right. As, uh, as has been said many times and. So if you, if you think of this as the journey that people have gone on, when people start to become disenfranchised, when they become, you know, no longer as fulfilled or as happy as they once were, they don’t feel like they’re in the flow of things once more, uh, the, the, the way that they used to be and.
They’ll go on a journey initially seeking external solutions. Right. And I, I know obviously the, the connection that you’ve, you’ve had to health, and I’m sure you’ve seen this, where people will hit this stage of maybe stress or burnout and then they’ll get really, really focused on their health. They’ll get really, really focused on exercise, let’s say, or nutrition.
But they’re not doing the rest of the work. They’re looking for an external situation to change the way that they feel internally. And so a lot of people will start on a path like that. They’ll seek adventure, they’ll seek vacations, they’ll seek fitness. They’ll, whatever it is. Or they’ll seek addictions.
They’ll seek other things that that do not serve them. And ultimately they recognize that none of that, all of that’s temporary. None of that is working to make a more substantial change. And after a while, Of going through a variety of things and maybe even trying things that are a little deeper. Maybe they’ll take a yoga class, maybe they’ll get into a little bit of meditation, but it’s still surface level just to like calm them down, but not really to go within.
And they’ll reach a point where they look around and they go, I’m the common denominator. Like I’ve tried all of these things. Those it, they didn’t work. But the one thing that’s in common to all of those things is me. and then all of a sudden it’s like this, this light bulb goes on where maybe they don’t know the answer, they don’t know the direction, but they do begin to be open to the fact that, okay, I’ve gotta explore what’s within me.
I’ve gotta turn inward a bit to discover what’s actually going on. That’s usually when they’re finding me.
[00:32:41] Tony Winyard: The main theme of this podcast is, is about behavior and habits and so on. And so a lot of what you are talking about is, is people’s behavior. So when you are helping people, how, how do you help them regarding behavior and habits? What would you think about that?
[00:32:57] Luke Iorio: I So, uh, Everything we talk about ultimately has to get re-grounded into behavior and habits where it won’t take hold within our lives. That’s, that’s the integration work that we need to do. And so part of it can be the behaviors, which are new practices that help them with the exploration. That’s part of the kind of the journey, right?
So, uh, part of the explorations might be. A lot more time journaling. It might be meditation, but a very introspective form of meditation. Not a, uh, not meant to clear the mind, but to focus the mind in what they do. And those are some of the behaviors or the habits that help them with the journey. But then ultimately, We need to ground those behaviors in the way they’re making decisions, the way that they’re building relationships, the way that they’re creating trust in relationships consciously through the way they communicate and the way that they set expectations, uh, through the creation of boundaries, healthy boundaries, balanced boundaries in the way that they operate within their lives.
So it, it ultimately, Any of that deep spiritual work has to be grounded in something practical. It’s gotta be grounded in, in the way that we are actually relating, communicating, deciding, living, working, leading, et cetera. And, uh, so it’s a, it’s a very fundamental part of, of what this journey entails.
[00:34:18] The near future
[00:34:18] Tony Winyard: and how do you see your practice changing or what you do in the next sort of five, 10 years?
[00:34:24] Luke Iorio: Hmm. You know, it’s funny, that’s, that’s, it’s a funny question to me because I think it’s a big piece of how I’ve changed in the way that I’m doing this. Um, A lot of what I’m doing right now is I’m sort of surrendering to the flow of where things are taking me, and I’m, I’m, you know, I’m fortunate enough to be in the position to allow things to unfold.
I don’t, I don’t, I’ve not, I’ve chased the achievement, I’ve chased the money, I’ve done those things, and I know where that led me and what it felt like. And so now, I know there’s broad strokes. I know like for, you know, somebody asked me just yesterday about the mission of my podcast and really what’s underneath what I’m doing and why I’m sharing these things is that I recognize just how much the imbalance that we’re feeling, the hurt or the pain that may be going on within us is projected out onto the world right now.
And then we’re blaming the world for it and we’re, we’re focused out here as opposed to doing our own healing and holding work inside and. Why do I share that? I share that because the journey I’m on right now is trying to stay connected more to the mission of this is the way that I wish to support anybody that I can speak with, that, that, that I work with, or that hears the podcast or any of the things I’m doing.
And seeing how that evolves and unfolds with them and for them. And so for myself, that allows me to feel like I’m deeply connected to who I am as a human being, is helping people on that journey and helping myself on that journey. And if I’m there, Then whatever unfolds is, is in alignment with that. And so I know that today I do a lot of one-on-one coaching and I do some group work, and that’s the basis of what I do.
Um, I do have visions of, of some longer term programs and some summits and things like that that I’d love to run. Uh, but I’m gonna let, I’m gonna let kind of life and spirit and the marketplace tell me if and when those are the right ideas. And I think that’s also reflective. The longer term plans that I used to set, it usually actually led to different expectations and attachments where I would then stay laser focused.
And frankly, I got rewarded for that for a long time, was being able to set a long-term vision and going out and achieving it. But then I crowded out the magic. I crowded out the fun. I crowded out the spontaneity of letting things unfold as they were meant to. And so a lot of my planning right now is, Maybe a couple of months at a time and really kind of winding with this journey and seeing where it is it’s gonna lead.
[00:37:06] Luke’s podcast
[00:37:06] Tony Winyard: You talked about your podcast this, then who, who would you say your podcast is aimed?
[00:37:11] Luke Iorio: Uh, so very much the, you know, the individuals that we’ve been speaking with who are, are beginning to recognize there’s this deeper journey that they’re getting called to, uh, I have found that most, you know, I can’t say that they, I, it’s easy to say it’s that middle-aged demographic of 35 to 50, 55 or so, but, uh, I know of, you know, 20 year olds and 60 year olds and 70 year olds that are listening to my podcast right now that are, that are sending me messages.
Uh, I think it really is, it’s that deeper journey and. It’s the, the individuals that. They’re looking for more of what you know, sort of what we are doing right now, which is a much deeper conversation. One that is not just about what’s the one idea that I can implement that’s going to save me five minutes today, or the next piece of advice I can receive from this expert.
It’s. Individuals that are not only on the deeper journey, but they want to hear the journey that others have and are on, you know, watching unfold for themselves right now. What are the struggles that they’re running into? What are the challenges that they’re hitting? Uh, how have they gotten themselves out of some of these very, very difficult moments and, you know, difficult feelings and emotions that they have gone through so they could feel like they were more empowered or more on purpose or more aligned in their life again.
And so, uh, that’s really the common denominator. It’s. The types of situations that you and I are chatting about and people are tuning in and saying, wow, number one, I don’t feel alone. I feel like I’m connected to a, a larger group of people that are actually going through this. And thankfully they’re willing to share about it.
They’re willing to talk about it, and it’s like inviting people into the conversation as much as possible so that. They can see themselves in, in this work, they can see themselves in these stories and see if that begins to unlock something for them that that allows them to take the next step on their path.
[00:38:58] What should look for in a good coach?
[00:38:58] Tony Winyard: If there’s anyone listening who maybe is considering. Having a coach, they, they’re starting to think maybe you could help them. What, what things would you say, what should they look for in a good coach?
[00:39:12] Luke Iorio: To me, you know, the, the biggest thing with a coach, first and foremost is your level of rapport with them. Uh, you need to be with somebody that you feel like you can trust and open up to. Because that’s fundamental to the coaching process. Uh, sure You want to check their credentials, check their experience, kind of have the, the logical list of let’s make sure that they’ve done their stuff.
Let’s make sure they’re trained, let’s make sure they’re certified, that this isn’t somebody who just hung up a shingle cuz they, they think they’ve got good advice, but, you know, check those credentials. But I mean, truly, It’s your level of rapport with the individual. How, uh, how do they, they make you feel in terms of safe and secure and accepted in what it is that you have to share.
And then obviously, how do you feel based on maybe an initial session or something like that with them? How do you feel in the way of, of where they can help you draw out of yourself the types of answers that you’re looking for to see things that you haven’t seen before. And so in that trust, that rapport that’s built is a, is there something there that’s, that, that you can feel is getting produced that you can feel is opening from that type of an experience?
So it’s a, it’s a very personal type of process. Uh, I am not, I think you’ve gotta check all the credentials, but I do not think you can select a coach based on their credentials. Uh, it, that’s not where it’s gonna, that’s not where the progress is gonna come from.
[00:40:36] Tony Winyard: Yeah, I agree. And one, one question I, I never do tell people this, but one, some, one thing I often think about telling people is any person you are thinking of being coached by, ask them if they have a coach, cuz if they don’t, and that’s quite telling
[00:40:50] Luke Iorio: Yeah. That’s a great sign. , absolutely. Most definitely.
[00:40:55] Favourite book
[00:40:55] Tony Winyard: So, um, we’re, we’re gonna, yeah, we are. Time is flying by as it always seems that there, so question. I always ask all my guesses. Um, and I find it’s fascinating. So many answers I get. So can you think of a book that has really moved you in any way?
[00:41:10] Luke Iorio: Yeah, absolutely. Uh, the Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer, and, uh, I think you could tell from one of my, my answer before about the, you know, five, 10 years out, uh, I, it’s something I’ve very much taken to heart. There is such a beauty in the way that things unfolded for him, the faith that he had and the way that you know, to me.
So for those that aren’t familiar with Michael Singer, he also wrote a bestselling book called The Untethered Soul. The Surrender Experiment, which is actually his second book, tells the tale of everything that was going on for him as he was actually writing The Untethered Soul, which is this deeply spiritual book.
And his life was all over the place. Like he had so many things that he was going through, and yet he just had that peace, this balance of it’s gonna be. It’s gonna be, okay, let me see where this goes. Let me see where this next thing goes. And it was this just beautiful serenity that was actually underneath what could have been described as total chaos that was going on around him at different moments.
So I, I found that to be a, uh, uh, not only a helpful book, but just a very profound experience that he shared
[00:42:10] Tony Winyard: And is that a book? When did you first read that?
[00:42:14] Luke Iorio: a while ago. I’ve read, uh, several times, but it’s gotta be, it’s gotta be probably at least eight, 10 years ago
[00:42:20] Tony Winyard: Oh, well you just answered the next question I was gonna ask. So when you’ve, so you read it 10 years ago and you’ve reread it again and you’ve seen it, the different light, I’m guessing when you’ve
[00:42:28] Luke Iorio: completely. Oh yeah, yeah. Means that’s one of those books that, you know, you, you read it originally and you’re inspired and then you go through something and you’re like, oh, let me go back and read that. Cause I’m gonna understand it in a very different way now, . And that’s, that’s what unfolded for me.
[00:42:43] Contact details
[00:42:43] Tony Winyard: if people wanna find out about more about you, your podcast, where, where would they look?
[00:42:48] Luke Iorio: Yeah, so the, uh, the podcast as well as the website is on this walk, so it’s on this walk.com. Uh, you can find on this walk podcast on all the major podcast platforms wherever you’re listening to, to Tony’s show here. Now, uh, you can find on this walk. You can also connect with me through, uh, through the website and I’m all over social.
So if you look up D as in Daniel, Luke, Iorio, I O R I o. If you look it up on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Instagram, you’ll find me and uh, connect with me there.
[00:43:19] Tony Winyard: and why the name On This Walk?.
[00:43:22] Luke Iorio: Hmm, there are many meanings to on this walk. And so, uh, one of which is, uh, just very practically, I have spent a lot of time, uh, hiking with friends and small groups through the last several years. And those experiences of being on this walk with them have been very, very, uh, deeply touching and profound for me at times.
Uh, it’s also that. I describe myself as a coach, but I use that term very, very loosely at this point because there are so many modalities that I have trained in and that I use to support a client based on wherever they are. And so I like people to think of, of me, I’m walking with you for a period of time to support you, and I will draw on this range of experiences to support you.
So I’m on this walk with you. Uh, but then the last of which, uh, is from some of my time and some of of some friends of mine. That come out of the indigenous traditions. And there is a phrase of being on this walk, uh, within some of the indigenous cultures. And it specifically is meant to be on this walk of life, meaning to be in this embodiment, to be on this incarnation.
How are we choosing to use this walk? And so it, it, to me, it’s also a very deeply, uh, spiritual, uh, connection of me thinking about where I am at this point in my life. What is this walk about?
[00:44:45] Favourite quote
[00:44:45] Tony Winyard: And finally, Luke, is there a quotation that resonates with you for any reason?
[00:44:52] Luke Iorio: Yes. Uh, one of the ones, and I’ve actually, I’ve commented on this recently, uh, I love sharing it. It’s a quote from Steven Presfield and he wrote about it in the book, the War of Art, and he talks about the two lives. So it’s the, uh, we each have two lives. Uh, we have the life that we live. And then we have the unlived life within us and between the two stands resistance, that dichotomy, that gap, that resistance is the work that I do. Is working in that space so that the unlived life that exists within every single one of us, we find a way to be deeply in connection with it and learn how to bring that out of ourselves so that we can feel like we’re living a whole life as fully as we should.
[00:45:37] Tony Winyard: Why, why do you think that particularly speaks to you? That quote
[00:45:41] Luke Iorio: It’s, oh, that’s lived experience. And that’s, you know, that’s part of the burnout process. It was part of the, uh, imbalance into balance that I walked through was feeling, you know, these moments of, I know that this is the life out here that I live and, and the one that everybody can see. And yet I know there is this unlived expression that is within me that’s more creative and more artistic and more loving and very different than the persona that I was, I was choosing to portray, to fulfill some of the roles of my life.
And I wanted to be able to tap into that unlived life. I wanted to be able to express myself from that deeper place. And so that’s very much part of, of the journey that I’ve been on. Um, I’ve referenced Parker Palmer before. Another wonderful writer. And he, he talks about living a divided life. And it is because we feel like we’re fragmented at times in all of these different pieces.
And when we fragment in that way, there is always sediment. There’s always something that’s left that is not getting addressed well, that’s the unlived life and I want to bring that back for people to tap into, to feel that vitality, that aliveness, because that’s the life they’re meant to bring into this world, cuz it’s the one that’ll be most fulfilling to them, most meaningful to them.
And it’s also the one that will produce the most for the.
[00:46:53] Tony Winyard: Well, Luke, thank you for your time and for coming onto the show. It’s been, uh, it’s been a real pleasure and I’m sure you’ve, there’s some people that you’ve really helped with some of the wisdom you shared, so thank you.
[00:47:02] Luke Iorio: Thank you, Tony. Thank you so much for what you’re doing.
Next week is episode 98 of habits and health. And my guest is Tom Glaser. A licensed psychologist and life coach with 35 years of experience. And he’s also a bestselling author and yoga instructor and his book, full heart living, conversations with the happiest people I know is, one of the best sellers on Amazon.
So we talk about counseling, writing, teaching, and his passion for helping people live their best lives, about his book and many other things that’s next week. Episode 98 with Tom Glazer. I Hope you enjoyed this week’s show have a great week
[00:47:40] Outro: Thanks for tuning into the Habits and Health Podcast where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on your favorite podcast app. You can also sign up for email updates and learn about coaching and workshop opportunities at Tony Winyard dot com.
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