Anxiety, conflict, self-doubt, disconnection, lack of purpose or fulfillment—if we’re honest with ourselves, for many of us, these are common experiences. Many of us feel unfulfilled by the day-to-day slog of jobs we don’t love and a lack of time and energy to connect with others—not to mention anxious about all the turmoil in the world.
Inspired by years of teaching people how to overcome their limiting beliefs and behavior, and reclaim their full power to live a fulfilling life, Australian author and meditation teacher Jonni Pollard wrote “The Golden Sequence: A Manual for Reclaiming Our Humanity” (BenBella Books) as a manual for people to overcome these core issues and feel empowered to live life on their terms.
24Life caught up with Pollard to ask about his new book, what The Golden Sequence is, and how we can find true fulfillment and purpose within ourselves.
Jonni Pollard: The Golden Sequence is a process that brings us out of the bondage of fear and defensiveness—which ultimately perpetuates everything we don’t want in life—into a feeling of power and connection to an intuitive intelligence that, when fully expressed, results in the most desirable outcomes. Outcomes such as feeling more connected to ourselves and others, having a strong sense of purpose, knowing what fulfillment is, and knowing how best to be of relevance and significance to many others. The knowledge in this book is thousands of years old; I’ve been practicing and teaching it for 22 years and it works immediately.
24Life: Why do you think so many of us feel disconnected from our purpose and from belonging? Is this a current crisis, or has this been going on for far longer?
JP: I think being disconnected from a sense of purpose and belonging has been happening as phenomena since the beginning of our history as a species. I think its wide-scale occurrence today is unprecedented and unique to these times. The way we live does not support and nurture connection and belonging. When we are disconnected from our innate belonging, we are disconnected from our innate sense of purpose. We all share a universal, biologically designed sense of purpose, which is to be of service to the greater good. If we don’t feel connected to that which we belong to, then we are also disconnected from the desire to serve it.
24Life: In the book, you reference that we are “trapped in modern survival mode”—why is this at the root of our sense of disconnectedness?
JP: Being trapped in survival mode simply means normalizing the biological belief that there is a constant and steady threat to our existence—that we must always be on the lookout and ready to either fight or flee for our lives. Survival mode is characterized by always feeling anxious and worried (even when there is nothing to be worried about), often feeling threatened by others, being hypercritical of ourselves or others, and mistrusting or overly trusting others’ motives. We also feel like we are always chasing something and never actually arriving. There is a belief that safety and security comes with accumulating things outside of ourselves. Survival mode plays a leading role in our disconnection to ourselves because the true self resides in the heart in the present moment, and to survive requires we live in the future. They don’t go so well together.
24Life: What does fulfillment mean to you—what does true fulfillment look like?
JP: True fulfillment is the knowingness of our relevance and significance to ourselves, each other and the world as a whole. In this knowingness comes a deep sense of responsibility to bring our relevance to every interaction, knowing it is of great value and importance to others. When we interact in life from this place where our value is seen, embraced and deeply appreciated, we become full expressions of our fulfilled nature. The outcome of our expression of being fulfilled is deeper connections, constant steady growth into greater levels of capability and a deep sense of belonging.
24Life: Most recently, the messaging around finding our purpose has been related to our vocation. For many of us, however, this means jumping from job to job trying to feel “fulfilled.” Is this a healthy admonishment, or should we be seeking our purpose in who we are first?
JP: I believe that purpose is discovered when we acknowledge our deepest desire to be of service to the greater good. From here, it’s really just about understanding how you can do this in every moment of every day. From this perspective, fulfillment isn’t so much what you do, it’s more about how you do it.
24Life: Do you believe that true fulfillment can be found already inside all of us?
JP: I believe that we are by nature fulfilled. The gross misconception is that fulfillment is an import operation, meaning that we get fulfilled by importing experiences and acquiring things to fill what is not there. However, when we establish a deep relationship with ourselves, what we realize is that we are in fact whole and complete by our very nature. Fulfillment is the realization of this and the desire to export this sense of wholeness into the world through our loving and creative interactions and endeavors.
24Life: There is so much chaos and turmoil in the world—poverty, hunger, disease. Many people feel powerless to help or make a difference. How does The Golden Sequence allow us to find our individual purpose and make a difference in the world without necessarily doing something drastic?
JP: I lay out a case that the reason why the world is experiencing such a high level of unsustainable dysfunction is because we humans are so disconnected to who and what we are. When we reconnect to our true nature, it becomes glaringly obvious that all the world’s problems are rooted in the ignorance of our responsibility of belonging to each other. When we realize this and embrace our power to create connection, growth and belonging within ourselves and our communities, we immediately become the change we need in the world. Again, it is not what we do that makes the difference, it’s how we do and why we do it that is important. The Golden Sequence reconceptualizes our “why” and “how” so that we are always living in accordance with our deepest nature of love.
24Life: How do simple acts like gratitude and giving play a role in fulfillment?
JP: Gratitude and giving in my opinion are expressions of fulfillment. When we are fulfilled, gratitude and generosity naturally flow from us because it is our nature to be like this when we are not overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. These two qualities always serve to nurture greater connection, shared growing experiences and a deep sense of belonging.
24Life: If someone is feeling a lack of fulfillment but doesn’t know where to start, what is the first thing they should do?
JP: I always recommend that they start meditating. Meditation opens us up to the deeper truth of our being and the abundance of energy that gives rise to our sense of fulfillment. Meditation also removes the stresses that block or inhibit the flow of insight we require to correctly interpret what is happening in the present moment. I have a free meditation app called 1 Giant Mind that teaches you how to meditate in 12 simple steps. This is a great place to start.
24Life: What’s next for you?
JP: My plan is to continue promoting meditation and our meditation teacher training academy around the world. My mission is to get as many people meditating as possible. Our academy trains teachers at the highest level so they can spread the practice, too. My main job is to support these teachers to be the best they can for their students.
Jonni Pollard is the author of “The Golden Sequence: A Manual for Reclaiming Our Humanity” (BenBella Books, November 2018). He is best-known for bringing meditation to the masses through his organization 1 Giant Mind and its free “Learn to Meditate” smartphone app. As one of the top-rated meditation apps, 1 Giant Mind has taught hundreds of thousands of people worldwide how to meditate. Pollard is also recognized for leading mass meditations at some of the world’s biggest lifestyle events and festivals (Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle, The Big Quiet). He also teaches private meditation and personal development for entrepreneurs, CEOs, celebrities, political leaders and wellness experts across yoga and meditation. Born and raised in Australia, Pollard also has lived in Los Angeles and India, and he currently resides in New York City. For more information, visit jonnipollard.com and follow Pollard on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Jonni Pollard