Spring into Transformation: A Q&A with Bryce Kennedy
By Do The Good Stuff Staff
If spring has you feeling ready for change, you're not alone. Spring is a great season for pursuing personal improvement and transformation. Why? How? In our search for answers, we spoke with Bryce Kennedy, a former attorney and current meditation and Feng Shui teacher, about his transition to holistic health and got tips for using the momentum of spring for transformation.
Q: Why is now a good time for a person to make a lifestyle transition?
A: There are times in a year that are just amazing to catch this flow of momentum. Now is one. The spring is the rebirth. I mean earth is literally birthing anew. Why should [now be] any different? Why should we ignore these massive patterns all around us? We should not! So, we want to start becoming aware of cycles of nature, of ourselves, of everything. They are little turbo boosters to jumping into the next evolution of yourself. So you want to make sure you do not stay the same as you were in the fall or winter. It’s easy to get trapped in the pattern of Netflix, delivery, and complacency. But if that remains, you’re missing a huge opportunity to grow. Listen to the earth. She knows.
Q: What type of big—but practical—lifestyle changes can people make?
A: Gut your home. We are affected by our environment more than you can possibly imagine. It is a direct reflection of what is happening inside ourselves. And by "gut it," I mean go through your closets and toss away all crap that you haven’t worn in two years, throw away all items that make you feel like crap, get new bedding, shred bins of papers, get new art, paint, wipe down every single corner of the home.
Gut your thinking. Now is the time to start thinking differently. The big one is to see where you say "no" to things. You’ll want a coach, a friend, a partner, a journal, whatever to bounce off ideas, get reflections, and see where you have a NO/CAN’T. This type of thinking is pervasive in our society and it is ridiculous. But once you get this down, damn, you live like a beast.
Declutter your online presence. THIS IS A MUST. I believe the reason we aren’t always getting what we want in life is because we are so reactive, so full, so chaotic, that nothing inspirational is allowed to enter. It is time to start a revolution of the mind, by freeing it. Emails, social media, TV, news, is clogging up our emotions and thoughts. And 99.9 percent of it is completely unnecessary. It destroys lives.
Q: CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE BENEFITS OF making these KINDS OF changes?
A: See, this is where the magic comes in. I have had clients lives completely do a 180—many, many, many times. People have fallen in love (one couple I just married), found new jobs, landed an off-broadway show, doubled their salary, rekindled family relationship, written a book, doubled business, found a deep spiritual connection, lost massive amounts of weight, moved to a different country, found the courage to leave a bad partner. When you do these things, the benefits are enumerable. But they always start off with a clearer, less reactive, happier, "YES" kind of life. Things open up. Inspiration comes. Knowing comes. And these are the instincts all humans have. We are guided by our bigger selves as opposed to the whims and comparisons of society. WE are guided by US. Something deep within the core. Who knew... making space, inside and out, would be the way to get everything you want out of life. The key is to catch the wave and momentum to do it, then do it, push boundaries of comfort and complacency, and explode.
Q: Can you talk about the lifestyle you led as an attorney?
A: I worked about 90 hours a week. This was pretty much the way it was for about three years. Every Saturday, we would be done around 7pm. We were excited. It was a real delight to have off “early.” 9-11 was the typical day, and so I worked in something called "Document Review." It was a branch of a firm, but we were contract attorneys. Glorified temps. But my group did work directly for this one firm. The thing that was nice is we had all meals covered and we had a black car home each and every night. It was part of the allure of working for a huge firm. However, the allure wore off very quickly. The big thing that we all had in common was drinking. We drank like it was the end of days. Not everyone—but a very select crew did. So Thursday night until Saturday was game for drinking. But you have to understand, that’s all we really had. [It] was the promise of a release from the prison we were living in. We were making all this money, but had no chance to spend it. Let me take that back: We spent it, but we were rarely available to use any of it. I think I was on Amazon more in those three years than in my entire life combined. I just bought shit. I wanted to fill the void. I was desperate to fill the fucking void inside me. My wife at the time was a bartender. I mean, that was the kiss of death. Steaks and martinis. We got to a point where we were up to 4-5 nights a week hitting the bar. But again, it was all to fill this massive void deep inside me.
Q: Describe your rock bottom moment—when you first embraced holistic treatment.
A: I had always been a terrible sleeper, but now it was getting out of control. I had these things called "Night Terrors." I’ve had them for my entire life but they were escalating to every single day. What I would do is get up out of bed, scream that someone was breaking into our apartment, try and find a gun (we have no guns), and brace for whoever was coming to attack us. And I would physically do this. But I was always asleep while I did it. I was unconsciously conscious. It was like a filter over reality. And this could have been anything. Ghost, zombies, intruders, aliens, spiders, ANYTHING. And we had been talking about this problem at a drunk brunch in the lower east side and someone overheard us. They said that acupuncture would work. They gave me the name of this guy—and that was it. Fate, to say the least. But I didn’t call for some time. I waited until I had a bleeding ulcer in my gut to make an appointment. When I got that ulcer, I realized I was failing. I was failing my body, my girlfriend (now wife), Bridget , my mind, my life. And it was all my doing. I remember laying on my bed, bleeding internally, and I just felt like calling it a day. It was one of those rare moments where giving up seemed like a pretty good idea. But something inside me (or Bridget) pushed me to go and see this acupuncturist. So I went.
Then I found acupuncture. And it changed. Everything. This guy got me. He spoke to me in facts. He needled the shit out of me. He got rid of night night terrors. Seven years later, he has completely changed my life. I now meditate, teach meditation, feng shui, and coach for over-thinkers and skeptics.
Q: Before that transition, you thought of certain self-help methods as “magic” or “hippydippy nonsense.” What advice would you give to other skeptics out there?
A: My advice is always cultivate skepticism—but in a healthy way. Don’t buy it hook line and sinker, but don’t judge it either. It’s this beautiful fine line. When you are on that line, amazing things can happen. So if I could enumerate it, here's what'd I say about trying anything.
1. Do not judge it until you’ve tried it at least three times. (I mean, if you despise it, fine, don’t go). But three times is always a great number to suss something out.
2. Be open to magic happening. I mean this in the most grounded way. But sometimes, shit is just going to blow your mind. And that’s magic. Real magic.
3. Go for the experience rather than being told. There are a lot of methods of prescriptive remedies out there. That’s fine. Tarot card readers, some reiki, astrologers, whatever. They all have excellent people out there doing those methods. But, I am a skeptic at heart. Always will be. The lawyer is still very alive in me. But it’s good because I can discern the nonsense out there. And what I find to be nonsense is when someone is TELLING me something as opposed to me EXPERIENCING something.