What is a Good Life? #55
Finding Inner Stillness with Lauri Poldre
On the 55th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast, I am delighted to introduce our guest, Lauri Poldre. Lauri is an advisor, mentor, and artist, helping people regain clarity and inner peace through sound, meditation, and nature immersion. In 2015, he quit his job to travel for 2 years and study meditation, sound healing, and mindfulness. Since then, he has performed at events and released recordings that have been streamed over 1 million times.
In this episode, Lauri shares with us his journey from suffering to seeking to experiencing inner stillness—where we can be at peace with our own unfolding, and where the answers to our many questions naturally emerge without our interference.
We explore the distinction between experiencing emotions and identifying with them, the considerable importance of asking questions—particularly ones we can’t presently answer—and the great benefits of resting in stillness and what can emerge from the silence.
Whether it is an awareness of what is, an alignment with our true nature, letting go of obsessions with upgrading ourselves, a connection with nature and its abundance, or its impact on our creativity and how we live our lives—there is so much to take from this episode, especially for those of us toiling with our self-development and spiritual paths, suspecting we are fundamentally missing something. The stillness and silence that Lauri points to may offer considerable help.
The weekly clip from the podcast (6 mins), my weekly reflection (4 mins), the full podcast (53 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
There’s something really practical I’d like to touch on from what Lauri has observed in the stillness he so frequently references in this week’s interview.
It is our capacity to experience our emotions while not identifying with them. This has probably been one of the most profound shifts in my life over the last few years, and the realisation of this has coincided with the cultivation of more silence in my life and inner stillness.
When it comes to tendencies of ours to a particular emotional reaction that we don’t enjoy about ourselves, we seem to have a few ways of responding to it. One, we may get emotional at the emotional reaction, compounding a loop. Another may be analysing it to pieces—our triggers, our pathology—labelling our reactions under further expanding umbrellas and labels. Thirdly, we may create a planned response or insert a new narrative in response to any thought or feeling that has occurred.
However, I am growing increasingly wary or suspicious of our analysing everything to the nth degree. I am also highly dubious of our mental chatter being both the “poison” and the antidote. While I suspect creating mechanical approaches and responses to life may often rely on willpower that won’t lead to sustainable change or for our relationship with something to fundamentally change.
I have long suspected there is something we are missing, something deeper, and more natural. The realisation of which has not come from perfecting or intentionally upgrading my behaviour but from simply sitting in silence, observing and feeling what is occurring inside of me without being led, coached, advised, analysed, following a process or technique, or even without trying anything at all.
The longer I do this, I witness that there is simply too much occurring; my inner landscape is changing so rapidly—whether thoughts are joyous or fearful, whether my emotions are angry or loving, it all happens, appears, and disappears so quickly in the silence that it is impossible to really identify with any of it. I wouldn’t have enough words to be able to describe myself accurately, and so much of it would be seemingly contradictory that even if I did describe myself in such a way, you would think that I am mad.
While all I am left to say that is consistent or constant, if I were to identify with anything, is my consciousness or awareness.
Now this doesn’t mean that I walk around in a blissful state proclaiming “I am only consciousness” and that I am like Teflon to emotional experiences. Most certainly not. However, what I’ve noticed in the last few years is that I don’t hold onto my emotions or states of being—whether joyous or depressing, creative or destructive, loving, fearful, or angry—anywhere near as much as I used to do.
This has led me to being far more open with my emotional state, which has led to three significant developments.
Firstly, the openness and frequency with which I am regularly informing others of my emotional experience means that when I do react emotionally, based on what I have been telling them before, it makes whatever has just emerged much more understandable and human.
Secondly, by not denying certain feelings or thoughts exist within me, I am much less defensive around acknowledging my behaviour and being accountable for it. So it avoids the whole needless to-do of playing lawyers with our words and actions and never getting closure.
Thirdly, I am much more compassionate and understanding of other people’s behaviour. Even if someone has pissed me off or I’m judging them, by realising how complex the inner terrain of the human experience is, I am much less inclined to be stunned, offended, or take something as personally. Once again it’s not about perfection of behaviour, rather the attachments are less sticky.
While I could read about the fleeting nature of emotions and try to adopt that perspective, nothing quite compares to having the lived experience repeatedly. Having the space, silence, and stillness to regularly observe this shifting of thoughts and emotions allows me to truly understand or feel something. It’s a regular practice throughout the day that is much more about slowing down, having fewer distractions, noise, activities and appointments than a specific time for meditation, etc. Though you’d probably be surprised what continues to get done spontaneously from this place of stillness and alignment.
While silence can bring us into an unfolding unknown, that doesn’t allow so much for premeditated ideas of fixing ourselves or solving problems or emotions, from my experience, it also has a tendency to naturally disentangle many of the problems we seem to be looking for solutions to.
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3. Full Episode - Finding Inner Stillness with Lauri Poldre - What is a Good Life? #55
4. This week’s Questions
How do you feel in moments of stillness and in silence? Are you comfortable with them?
Are there times in your life where you have noticed and trusted an inner wisdom beyond your intellect?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed around 200 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.