Awaken with JP Sears
JP Sears is a YouTuber, comedian, emotional healing coach, author, speaker, world traveler, and curious student of life. His work empowers people to live more meaningful lives.
JP is also the author of “How To Be Ultra Spiritual,” (Sounds True Publishing). He is very active with his online videos where he encourages healing and growth through his humorous and entertainingly informative videos, including his hit Ultra Spiritual comedy series, which have accumulated over 300 million views.
Credits to: Awaken with JP
Who Is JP Sears In Real Life?
It’s hard to take a guy who wears a lace headband and a purple orchid in his hair seriously, especially when he’s telling you how to become gluten intolerant and “ultra spiritual.” And if you’re confused whether JP Sears wants you to believe him or not, that’s just the way he likes it. The soft-spoken, ginger-headed, Youtube self-help guru is such a master of dry, deadpan comedy that it’s difficult to tell when he’s poking fun at the culture of life coaching versus when he really wants you to connect with your inner child—but, as he’ll tell you, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to do both at the same time.
Sears, a veteran “emotional healing coach” with a legit clinical background, is redefining what a granola, gluten-free, hippie can be, using humor to (in his words) “till the soil for a more sincere seed to be planted in [your] heart.” The 36 year-old star of such viral videos as “If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans” visited Onnit HQ recently to talk spirituality, healing, and just who the hell he really is.
Onnit: How did you get interested in spirituality?
Sears: In my late teens I began a search for something more. Something more than status and achievement. I just felt an emptiness inside, like there has to be more. I sure as heck didn’t know what I was searching for when I began but I think my mind started to become open.
This lack of meaning I felt inside got me to open my eyes to what else life might offer. From there I encountered some important mentors who opened me up to the spiritual world, which I would define as the world beyond the five senses.
Where do you think that emptiness came from? How were you raised?
I was raised pretend Catholic. My mother was Catholic and wanted my sister and I to be Catholic to please her parents because that’s how she was raised. But my dad was an atheist. So there was a nice balance. I got a taste of spirituality but not the kind of overwhelming dogma that can be traumatizing. I think the answer would be that I was very emotionally disconnected as a child and through my teenage years, and probably still to this day—although I’m working on it. I think the emotional disconnection really created a sense of emptiness—if I’m not connected to myself, of course I feel empty.
I would disconnect from emotions because I was trying to be the stable one in the family. I’m not allowed to be afraid or angry or sad because I need to be the one who brings balance and stability to the family. I need to take care of mom and dad. But what that really was was me not giving myself permission to be a child, and one of the important, beautiful gifts of being a child is being connected to your emotions.
Are you saying you never felt really happy or really sad?
I mean the peaks and valleys were really small. I’d feel a little happy at times, a little sad at times. But only feeling “a little.” Anything more than a little emotion one way or the other triggered the breaker that caused an electrical disconnect of my emotions. I didn’t know that was strange at the time because that’s just how things were.
“The worst life ever is a life that never changes. It may be the most comfortable life but it’s the least fulfilling.”
Who were these mentors who began to enlighten you?
Paul Chek [founder of the world famous C.H.E.K. Institute] was my first mentor. At first, I was interested in exercise and nutrition, so I sought out Paul. This was in 2001. At the time he wasn’t really open about his spiritual beliefs and teachings, so it was a surprise when I started learning spirituality from him—how people’s emotional health would heavily impact their physical health. My interest in him through exercise and nutrition was essentially the gluten-free breadcrumb trail that got me interested in the subtle aspects of life, like emotional health and spirituality. He was the messenger who could deliver it to me. I saw Paul at the time as a rock star.
If some boring-looking dude in a suit had shown up and started talking about emotions, I would have said “Whatever. I don’t want to hear about it.” But when it’s Paul Chek, I thought, “Yes, I DO want to hear about it,” because I found him very interesting.
The next mentor I had was John McMullin [journeysofwisdom.com], and he’s more directly all about emotional healing. He’s an amazing person—an angel inside of a human body. I learned how to work with people at the heart level. How to resolve pain, wounding, trauma, self-sabotage, and self-imposed limitations. The most integral part of my journey, of course, has been working on myself.
You’ve said that you discovered your own need for emotional healing by coaching others. Have you been able to heal your own wounds?
Have I healed them? Probably not. Am I healing? Hopefully. I think healing is probably infinite. After we get out of acute pain we might start calling it growth but it’s the same thing. I’m still affected by my wounding but I’ve made progress on it. The first real meaningful wound that I became aware of was on December 3, 2002.
Wow, you remember the exact date?
I was 21. I had been working with Paul Chek so my mind was open but my heart hadn’t quite arrived yet. It arrived on December 3. It was the afternoon of my first class with John McMullin. He’s very intuitive and he saw through the stoic façade I had—the “I have everything put together in my life.” This was such a persistent façade that I thought it was real. I thought this is how I am. I am so strong, stable, and put together. I hadn’t cried for at least six years before that day, probably longer.
John brought up a time when I was seven and my parents were going through a separation and my sister was relying on me as a father figure. John brought up questions that made me look at that and realize how tough that was for me and I really hated it but I started to connect to emotions. I started bawling my eyes out and that was so unnerving for me because who I thought I was was suddenly shattered. It’s not what I wanted but it really was what I needed. I opened my heart to emotions, unresolved pain. It initiated an ongoing journey to connect emotionally to who I really am.
So what exactly is your job? Are you a coach, a counselor?
Present day, I don’t know how to define it. I’m a collage of different things: Youtuber, speaker, performer, author. I coach people at retreats and make guest appearances. I’ve always worked in the “helping people” profession under the umbrella of a coach. So how I became a coach is that I started working with people as a personal trainer, doing exercise and nutrition. Then as I was getting more into the emotional coaching world and getting really passionate about that, I started applying that work to my existing exercise clients. It was a smooth transition.
What’s next for you?
Theres a TV show being shopped around to networks that may get picked up. Cool if it is; certainly OK if it isn’t. It would be kind of a sketch comedy show. We’ll see what happens. There will be more books in the future. Later this year I’ll do more of a full-on stand-up comedy, authenticity tour.
Credits to: Sean Hyson of Onnit
CLICK HERE to read the full article
The problem with JP Sears
You might know JP Sears from his popular ‘Ultra Spiritual Life’ videos in which he presents a parody of faddish new age ‘spiritual’ beliefs and healthy eating/life coach gurus. See, for example, his viral send up of self righteous vegans:
Sears’ videos are often funny and witty and have proved popular with skeptics and rationalists because they effectively lampoon various fad diets and new age spirituality, highlighting the hypocrisy and logical leaps made by supporters. This has led many to assume that he is a comedian with a critical thinking or skeptical bent. Unfortunately, this seems to be an unwarranted assumption.
The first warning flag is that Sears not only lampoons new age spirituality and self-help, he also is a genuine life coach (about to launch a premium subscription service).
Sears personal website describes him as a “an emotional healing coach” who offers one-to-one sessions and organises retreats “to empower people to live more meaningful lives”. It also explains that he holds “certification as a Holistic Coach Advanced Practitioner through the Holistic Coaching Institute in Columbus” and “served as a faculty member for the C.H.E.K. Institute from 2006–2013”. The Holistic Coaching Institute is ‘real’, as is the Corrective High Performance Exercise Kinesiology Institute and both are chock-a-block with dubious pseudoscience. John McMullin, the head of the Holistic Coaching Institute, promotes courses on ‘bionetic homeopathics’ and Paul Chek (the man who put the Chek in CHEK institute) endorses every pseudoscientific position he can find, including hardcore anti-vaccine conspiracies.
It would be unfair to damn Sears for his associations, despite his glowing endorsements of McMullin as a “powerful mentor” who “changed his life”and promotional videos for the CHEK Holisitic Lifestyle Coach program
. After all, couldn’t his satirical videos be indicative of how his views have changed based on his experiences within the ‘holistic lifestyle’ industry?
Maybe… but probably not.
Sears’ qualifications and chosen career are warning flags but it is the actual content of his videos that set off the loudest pseudoscience klaxons. He might be best known for his satirical parodies of egotistical new agers but if you look a bit deeper into his content you start to see elements of the anti-science sentiment and fondness for conspiracy theories prevalent throughout the ‘holistic’, ‘wellness’ community.
Take, for example, his ‘How to be Mind Controlled’ video, posted just a month ago.
Here Sears offers a sardonic monologue ‘arguing’ for the benefits of notthinking for yourself and letting the daily horrors promoted in the media leave you fearful and easy to control. It might be tempting to interpret a video like this as a welcome call for people to think critically about what they see and avoid sensationalist media coverage. But Sears’ advice seems to go further than this and mid-way through the video he inserts the line:
I want to be heavily vaccinated so I can be protected from the diseases that I’ve been told to be extremely afraid of.
The implication here is not subtle; Sears’ likens vaccinations to terrorism and other fears exaggerated in the media order to keep control the gullible. But is he just joking? Again, it’s possible. But it seems unlikely that he threw a random jibe at the anti-vaccine movement in the middle of a video which otherwise relentlessly hammers the message that mainstream narratives cannot be trusted.
Sears’ commented on the issue on his facebook group by poking fun at those voicing concerns at the anti-vaccine line saying: “I think it’s the end of the world because JP said something about vaccines.” Not entirely helpful and also a convenient way to promote standard anti-vaccine rhetoric and then sidestep criticism with ‘lolz, I’m just joking… (or am I)?’
Credits to: Chris Kavanagh of Medium
CLICK HERE to read full article