Connie-Lee Bennet trains people to be authentic leaders. With her 7 steps process to authenticity, she aims to empower humans to change the world. “We’re talking about authenticity in terms of connecting people to love”, she says.
Imagine a world where our businesses were created from that authentic space of who we are rather than what other people outside of us have told us to do.
I enjoyed this conversation so much. It helped me learn about authenticity, and how people let our traumas from the past dim our true self behind a layer of conditioning.
There is no right and there is no wrong. There are only actions that are in alignment with your truth and actions that are out of alignment with your truth. It’s about me being that spirit with you in this moment, no matter what I’m wearing, no matter what you think of me. Because your thoughts of me are just seen from your filter.
You can find Connie-Lee Bennett on her website and on Instagram.
READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT:
ALBERT: So here I am, in Paris, meeting this wonderful wonderful leader, Connie-Lee Bennett. Thank you so much, Connie-Lee, for accepting my invitation to record his interview.
CONNIE-LEE: It’s my honour, really. Thank you very much for inviting me.
ALBERT: And rather than introducing you, I’m going to just ask the question that you always ask everybody. Who are you?
CONNIE-LEE: You know, when I first started with that, “who are you?” question, I never realised that whenever people interviewed me, they were gonna ask me the same thing. So you gotta be careful what you put out there. Thank you for asking that question, because it’s different who I am and what I do. So who I am really is somebody who’s passionate about impacting the world in connecting or impacting the world so that people can connect with the authentic leader that they are. Because I believe everyone is an authentic leader. And what I do, how I do that is I have many different hats, like many leaders around the world, I think. I’m the CEO of Meraki CLB group. We have online academy. We do coaching. We do authentic leadership training. We do workshops. Annual events. Also have Meraki charity, which really looks at empowering women to start authentic businesses. And I am of course an international public speaker and the Director of Global Woman Club here in France. I’m an author, TV show host, radio host and all round impact all over the world.
ALBERT: Wonderful. So I have many, many, many questions to ask you.
CONNIE-LEE: I’m gonna sit back. I’m gonna sit back way
ALBERT: We’re going to be here for 5 hours. Can we have some drinks here?
CONNIE-LEE: Like glass of wine . An authentic leader likes her wine.
ALBERT: Exactly. So the thing that most called my attention about you is this authentic leadership training. You train people to be authentic. That is so cool because I’m learning about authentic storytelling. So how do you do that?
CONNIE-LEE: Great question.
ALBERT: I’m sorry. I have a feeling this answer is going to go on for, like twenty minutes.
CONNIE-LEE: So I’ll give you the two minute answer. Great. Well, let’s look at the definition of, an authentic leader. To me, an authentic leader is someone, like Tony Robbins says, “the only way we feel fulfilled is through growth and contribution”. So I was really inspired by that on it became the cornerstone of my training. So my training is in two parts. One is about growing, growing into who you are. Really looking at peeling off those layers because we’ve put those layers on to protect ourselves. So we’ve kind of put those layers on, you know about “in order to be accepted, I need to be more intelligent, I need to be more beautiful, I need to have this car, I need to have this, I need to earn that money”.
So it’s really looking at identifying all those places where you are not connected with who you authentically are, and then creating that space for you as a person to connect with who you are daily Creating those consistent daily steps within your morning routine. So we look at creating a morning routine that really connects you with you. And then what we do is look out okay. Connecting you with your life purpose. Not what society has told you your purpose is, but the energy of your life purpose so that you can grow into that. And then also impact the world and inspire others to connect with that within themselves, whatever that energy is.
So it’s about growing within yourself, impacting others to be who they authentically are and then creating a business. So alongside that authentic leadership training is that we want to create leaders in their businesses as well. How do you be an authentic leader in your business? How do you create a heart based business, a soul based business, a business where your business plans- So we look at doing projections, goals, three or five year goals where your business is inspired by your authenticity. Imagine a world where our businesses were created from that authentic space of who we are rather than what other people outside of us have told us to do. We’re inspired by people outside, but what we do is we take all that information and we simplify it and then amplify it from the unique drop of your soul’s purpose, your life’s purpose.
ALBERT: See, that’s that’s I think where I got it wrong, in my life. So what I got is that because of course I had all these layers, all these onion layers, right?, that I had put myself over the years through all this traumas, all these rejections, all this, all this experiences that I didn’t heal. So what I did is that from these layers, I was wanting to go out into the world an impact people. But what I’m getting from you, what you’re saying is this was the wrong perspective because it was the ego I built, that was wanting to impact the world. What I have to do is to peel those layers off to get back to my essence before all that hurt, before all that belief system limiting believes that I put myself and then from that, once I healed myself, then I could go out to the world. Is that the process you’ve been through?
CONNIE-LEE: That’s the process I’ve been through. And by the way, that’s the process every single human being goes through.
ALBERT: So we know special, are we?
CONNIE-LEE: We are special. But everyone- For me, and this is the journey that we’re all on because it is through our experiences that we find out what our life purpose is. Because I really believe that, this is quite controversial for some people. But I really believe that we are a spiritually being having a human experience. So what that means is that our life purpose, our spark, our souls kind of like essence, that we’re born in this lifetime to fulfil. We learn that the human us learns what that is through all of our experiences. So we we kind of almost choose the experiences in order for us to become aware of where we’re not authentically being ourselves, if we can say it like that. So some of us realised in our fifties, some of us in our sixties. But by the way, I really think that the consciousness we’re in the century, right now we’re very blessed. I’m very blessed because I believe that everything’s shifting right now. We’re becoming more open. I think twenty, thirty years ago we were unconscious of the fact that we needed more. We were happy. But I think energetically things are shifting and more of this need to be authentic is coming out. But yeah, those defensive layers that we created, we did the very best that we know how. And is through that that we are inspiring. Through those defensive layers you’re impacting the world because you know. As you learn that becomes your impact.
ALBERT: Yeah, but my point is- I think we’re talking about the same thing, actually, through different colours, right.
ALBERT: But yeah, what I found- For example, my personal story. I’m not gonna tell my whole personal story
CONNIE-LEE: Please do, I’d like to know.
ALBERT: But surely is like I had to face rejection in my life and for these rejection, what the persona I built learned was that I needed appreciation. I needed to be recognised in order for me to be happy, to be fulfilled. And of course, I was acting from a place of lack, a sense of emptiness from wanting attention to fill my void. So I was acting from one of those layers, and by taking out layers -I have, like, a hundred thousand layers yet still right? So yeah, working on them.
CONNIE-LEE: Well, yeah. I have a hundred thousand and one layers. So you’re one less than me.
ALBERT: And what you say about us being a spiritually being that are having a human experience, I mean, look, what I’m gonna be authentic. If this doesn’t resonate with somebody, get over it. When we dream, when we’re sleeping, when where we are in meditation and these higher states of consciousness, this is what we feel. Don’t you agree? That we are one. We are spirit. That actually the dream is when we are awake.
CONNIE-LEE: Mmm. It’s interesting. Like a different shift, isn’t it? I think a lot of people think it, you know, spiritual being can be whatever they mean by the term spirit. Some people say it’s your essence, your god, your higher mind… It’s different things for different people. But I think that feeling that were a special being is what everyone really does feel, you know, they connect with that.
You know, as you were talking about this whole layers thing, I was reminded about what Louise Hay says. Do you know Louise Hay? She was one of the key cornerstones, kind of pivotal mentors in my life. And she used to share that there are, underneath all of those different layers. Those hurt, those rejections… There’s only two belief systems, and that is I am good enough or I’m not good enough. So you imagine for a moment you’re two years old. And you’re doing something. I always talk about jumping on the bed. Let’s say you’re two years old and you’re jumping on the bed. Mom walks in and says, “Don’t jump on the bed”. What happens in that moment is that you hear, don’t jump on the bed, but you’re unable to consciously process that it’s mom having a bad day. It’s got nothing to do with you. She’s worried about the bed caving. She’s being conditioned by her own belief. You’re not hearing that, you’re you’re hearing “I’ve done something wrong, therefore I’m wrong, therefore, I’m not good enough.”
And in that process, unconsciously your body, it touches itself to an emotion. It goes into trauma. You were talking about trauma. We do. We experience that emotional trauma. We don’t want to feel that feeling again. So we create the defensive mechanism of. “Okay, I’m not good enough. Mom is angry with me. In order to be accepted by mom -that sure I need that acceptance, from that space of lack. I’m not good enough. I need to be obedient. I need to be reserved. I need to not fully express who I am.” And I think this is the first kind of, under belief system of “it’s not okay to fully express who I am. It’s not okay to be me.”
ALBERT: That’s when people pleasers are born.
CONNIE-LEE: That’s exactly it.
ALBERT: Who sacrifice who we are in order to please people, to be accepted, to have a place in this society. So my question to you is about freedom. So you connect freedom with authenticity and you say that authenticity is actually the stepping stone to freedom. Right? So my question there is if all of us were totally free- I’m gonna be the devil advocate here.
CONNIE-LEE: I love it. I need you to challenge me.
ALBERT: So, if all of us all of a sudden one day just like this, we became totally free. Authentic. How could we cope with ourselves, with each other? And I’m gonna give you an example. So I’ve always been told as a child, I was too much too intense, too deep, too everything. I’m like too much for some people, right? So what I’ve been learning is I had to tone myself down in order to be likeable. If we just tuned up this for all the planet, all humanity, what would happen? That total freedom?
CONNIE-LEE: I have two thoughts on that. My one thought is that as a spiritual being, I believe that if we were completely free, we would have learned all of our lessons. Which means our vibration would have completely gone up, to its highest. And we wouldn’t exist anymore because we would be a spirit, right? We’d be back to that energy of connexion, right? That’s my first thought.
ALBERT: To my ego, that idea of non physicality is very scary. Because my ego is attached to my body.
CONNIE-LEE: Of course. It’s like “A Course in Miracles” always talks about. It’s like, you know that the ego, its worst fear is not existing, not being. So it needs to fight for it.
ALBERT: And that’s ultimately I mean, “A Course in Miracles” talks a lot about identification, nothingness, about meaningless lives, right? And at first thought it’s like “what? Meaningless life? No no no”.
CONNIE-LEE: Life is empty and meaningless? No, it’s unacceptable! I’m gonna add meaning to absolutely everything.
ALBERT: Sorry I interrupted. So that’s the first that comes to my mind.
CONNIE-LEE: That’s the first thing. But then the second thing is I kind of feel that we have glimpses of that in humanity. So if I could share, you know, when we were chatting earlier on and even now, in this moment, if I can really look deeply into your eyes and to connect with who you are not on a human level that see the spirit of who you are. And me provide that safe space for you to be you and I feel you provide that safe space for me to really be me. Then we are having that beautiful connexion. And in that connexion, we lift our vibration. That vibration is then shared to everyone around us and it just becomes so beautiful. And I think that we have these glimpses every now and again in humanity with certain people, and it’s becoming more and more. So imagine if it were to be twenty four hours a day. I don’t know what would happen. It would be beautiful.
ALBERT: We would forget to eat, we would forget… We would be in bliss, constant bliss.
CONNIE-LEE: We would. And I’m wondering, Yeah, I wondering if… You see, you got me thinking right, because I think that my ego’s like “No, but I still want to be consciously aware of some things that I could make an impact and, you know, have meaning”. So my ego jumped in there and was like “How am I going to answer this question?”. No, I don’t know if I’ll be worthy, but it’s an interesting thing to think about.
ALBERT: I think that the goal we’re aiming at, that’s the utopia… I mean, it’s not a utopia. I really think this is available to us. Yeah, actually, I totally believe- it took me a while to believe this. But now I totally believe that each and every one of us have the potential to reach enlightenment in this life.
CONNIE-LEE: Absolutely, absolutely.
ALBERT: It takes a lot of courage to say this because then the next step is well, just do it. Work towards it.
CONNIE-LEE: It’s hard because enlightenment comes through us learning our lessons. You know, each lesson, each rejection, I think rejection, you know, shows us where we’re not in alignment with our truth. You know, we’re not in that authentic space. Each rejection, each hurt, each pain, each lack of worth reflection is really something that is difficult. And we need to go through that to reach enlightenment. So it is difficult we could do it in one life, but I’m gonna try a few lifetimes. I don’t know if I want to experience lots of rejection in this life.
ALBERT: But there’s only now.
CONNIE-LEE: There is only now. Yeah, that’s true. Says about being an enlightenment just in this moment with the person that you’re with. With the things that you’re doing, it’s the being in enlightenment in all of your actions and everything that you do.
ALBERT: See, with what you just saying that I just feel a bit more calm. I just unclenched my teeth, right, because we’re here. We’re filming this. We know we’re gonna go online, and I feel the tension of that. I feel like, “Oh, I want to look good”. But you saying that, it’s a reminder that everything is all right and there’s nothing I could say that could be wrong.
CONNIE-LEE: No, there is no right (I believe, controversial). There is no right and there is no wrong. There are only actions that are in alignment with your truth and actions that are out of alignment with your truth. But yes, of course, there are things that people do, by the way that are not okay and that are okay. But what I’m saying is that you do the very best that you know how and an action is either in alignment with you and your truth in that moment. And that’s the hard thing. My truth in this moment is very different to my truth in an hour’s time, because we are evolving, changing every second. And that’s what an authentic leader does, is an awareness that I am different all the time. And I need to always be aware of what is my truth now, how am I feeling now? How am I honouring myself more? How can I honour you more? Providing that space for you in this space for me is that that circle. And that’s the second thing I think we’re missing that people are beginning to awaken to. That circle is not just about me. It’s about growing within me. Leaders sometimes haven’t thought about that. It’s growing the mind, not the spirit, and then providing that space for others to grow their mind on their spirit, you know, motivating and inspiring.
ALBERT: OK, it’s like you’re staking so many concepts that I have so many questions to ask. I’m just gonna go back.
CONNIE-LEE: We should be making notes.
ALBERT: I should be making notes. Well, I have them in my mental space.
CONNIE-LEE: I don’t have any mental space.
ALBERT: Because we are empty and meaningless.
CONNIE-LEE: Yes, that’s exactly it! I love it!
ALBERT: You just mentioned motivation and inspiration. I know that you are an inspirational speaker, and my question is between motivation, inspiration and inspirational. OK, I read a while ago that difference between inspirational and inspiring is that inspirational has a purpose to inspire. Inspiring means that it actually inspires us. And then there’s motivation, which totally doesn’t work for me because motivation goes up and then goes down again. So, what are your thoughts about being an inspiring person, and inspirational person, or motivating person?
CONNIE-LEE: Can we pause for a moment so I can think?
ALBERT: Absolutely. I’m going to put the ticker here: 36 hours later… Oh, sorry.
CONNIE-LEE: Wow. Okay, that is such a good question.
ALBERT: It’s so easy to ask questions, right?
CONNIE-LEE: Um, so thinking as I’m talking because I think this is what a lot of us do is we think as we talk. So inspired to me, if we break it down “in” is within. “Spire” is spirit. So my definitions are sometimes very different to other people. Because by the way, it’s just semantics, right? It’s just everyone has a different meaning for different words, so “in” within spirit. So if I’m inspiring, I am connecting you with your inner spirit. And when we connect with our inner spirit, have you ever had a moment when you’re like “Oh yeah”, that light bulb moment you’re like “Yes, I resonate with that” is because that object, that thing, that person has reconnected you to your spirit. It’s inspired you. You resonate with it and it gives you that oomf. Kind of like I’m connected with my inspire. So if I’m inspiring you, it’s the greatest honour because I’m connecting you with your spirit. To be inspirational, I don’t quite know how to answer that, because inspirational… How would you say inspirational applies to inspiral, in spiritual.
ALBERT: Probably inspirational is the intention to inspire.
CONNIE-LEE: So the intention comes from the spirit. So the spirit and me is like namaste, right? The spirit in me greets the spirit in you. The light within me has the vibrational intention rather than the head intention. Because I think intention in super super important because it carries that vibration. So the vibration of what I’m doing is hopefully to connect you with the spirit. OK. Sure. You see, we had great conversations, right? We’ve been together for like, three hours already talking and motivating. You’re leaving in the next forty eight hours…
To motivate I think is mind. Motivation is more mind. It’s more will. A kind of like a masculine power. Yeah, like masculine energy. Maybe inspiration is more feminine energy. And by the way, I’m thinking and creating as I’m speaking. So maybe motivation is more like, you know, I can I’m motivated to wake up, and it’s like more than maybe outside in, versus inspirational inside out.
ALBERT: I totally get it. This connects a lot with a very wise person that is in my life. Marina I love you, you know that. She told me “Achievement comes from effort, from pushing from your mind. And allowing comes from letting go, from spirit”. I think that would be a good analogy.
CONNIE-LEE: Absolutely the push versus the pull.
Ease, flow. Upstream versus downstream, right? Abraham Hicks talks about upstream and downstream. Yeah, inspiration is downstream and motivation is upstream. Potentially. We’ve thrown in so many different concepts here. We’re making a melange, a fruit salad of inspiration.
ALBERT: You have to teach me some French, by the way. I just don’t know enough.
CONNIE-LEE: Bonjour. That’s what you need to know. [Speaks French]. That means I would like a glass of wine. That’s the only thing I know. I’d like a croissant, I’d like some wine.
ALBERT: You’ve been living in here four years, you said?
CONNIE-LEE: Almost four years. I don’t speak French. I only know how to order wine and have a croissant.
ALBERT: OK, going back to our conversation. I want to ask you about confidence. Because confidence has been a big thing for me. So as I as I accepted myself and my sexual orientation as a gay man, that took a lot of courage for me. And you were talking about your seven steps to authenticity. And one of them was acceptance. Before it could reach acceptance, I had to put this courage together. But courage wasn’t enough without confidence, without the confidence in me that I could do it. So in what stage of these seven steps that you have, does confidence play a role?
CONNIE-LEE: Great question. Great. Great great, great question. And I’m going to think about it as I speak. Confidence. Well, like you, I’ve found myself in the corner of the room many, many times because of this belief that I was not good enough, I had no confidence in myself. And I believed that who I was just wasn’t good enough. I had to change everything about myself like I wasn’t pretty enough. Wasn’t clever enough, was an intelligent enough like there’s all of these enoughs, right? No confidence. So, if confidence is related to the feeling that you are not enough, what shifted for me was when I really connected with the truth of who I was. So when I realised that I was that spirit, who had that life purpose of connecting people with the feeling of freedom and full expression, And that was my gift. I was the spirit and this physical body, and everything around me was just the kind of manifestation of, like outside things. So I was like, OK, so I’m a spirit, right? Okay, So I’m sitting in that corner and I’m, like, you know, trying to look outside I how can I now be this spirit? And then when I realised that it was about me being that spirit with you in this moment, no matter what I’m wearing, no matter what you think of me. Because your thoughts of me are just seen from your filter, right? We were talking about that. So it’s about you, not about me. So Okay, so when you’re rejecting me, it’s your lesson, not my lesson. And that was the second thing is, I’m a spirit. It’s about you and not me. I started finding the confidence because I started connecting with the truth of who I was.
So in what step is connecting with the truth of who you are? That’s the awareness, which is step two. Step one, as you know, is about trust and safety, like feeling safe to be you. So you have to kind of first be in that space where you take a step back and I like, Okay, I can be me. It’s safe for me to be me, and a lot of people, maybe eighty percent of people don’t feel that safety, right? Okay, so step two is the awareness, which is who are you really? Being really aware of that. And I think that’s where the confidence comes in. Because when you aware of who you are, you can begin to accept who you are. And that’s when the confidence cups in. Maybe it’s a dance between step two and three, between acceptance and awareness.
ALBERT: Okay, so it’s really at the very beginning.
CONNIE-LEE: But I think confidence plays and maybe all of the different steps, because when you’re looking at releasing, which is step four you kind of have that courage to let go of the ego. You have to be confident, have to be courageous and then inventing, which is step five, inventing from the inside, being inspired like “who am I really? How do I want to invent my life? How do I want it to physically manifest?” That takes a lot of courage as well.
ALBERT: How do you invent from blank slate bypassing the story that my mind keeps shouting at me. I’m story about my past, my limitations, the idea I had about myself that I want to transcend, but I still have my mind shouting at me all the time. So how do we invent from a blank slate with that?
CONNIE-LEE: Every second of every moment of every day. Because we think that the monkey mind, the ego, we think it’s going to be turned off. It never does. And that was the biggest lesson for me. I’ve had many lessons, but one of the biggest lessons was I need to learn how to manage my continuous thoughts. They’re not gonna go away. I need to manage them. And it’s like every moment of every day looking at feeling safe, being aware of what the thought is, accepting the thought, because the thought, by the way, is just that scared child that is the defence mechanism. So giving it love, releasing it, saying that it’s okay and then thinking OK, inside out. Who am I in this moment and then expanding into that. So it’s like you growing all the time like growing, growing, growing. And then five minutes later, there’s another reflection of rejection. And it’s is that constant inventing. Because the more you invent, the more you you kind of let go of the past and it’s reprogramming. It takes twenty one days to reprogramme one thought-believe.
There’s the trace decay theory that talks about the more you think something the thicker the neurological trace becomes in the mind. The more you don’t think it, the trace becomes, you know, weaker. So it’s about programming every moment of every day, and this is your human experience, unfortunately. But that’s what an Authentic Leader does is an awareness that they are growing and learning, and they’re not perfect and no one is perfect. We’re always inventing every moment of every day.
ALBERT: This is what you do in your one to one authentic leadership trainings, right? You keep them accountable. What do you do? How do you help them? Is like a weekly reminder that is small things that you have to be aware of before you can maybe step up. How do you do that through your one-to-ones?
CONNIE-LEE: So we do group trainings. And then, of course, I also do individual trainings. Individual trainings I only do every three weeks, because I give people growth work to do. So depending on what stage you are it would be a different exercise that I invite you to do every single day to grow and to release. And it’s up and down and we connect in between the sessions if needs be. But it’s about that growing. And then in the group trainings, that’s up to three to six months, we’re working together on really creating inner and outer lives in our businesses, but also our personal lives. And it’s going through all of those different steps. Accountability does come from me and from others. But it’s like that safe space to what am I feeling today? Today I’m feeling this. Okay. And, you know, holding that space for that person rather than judging it is like OK, asking the questions that they can grow from that they can grow from the awareness of what it is that they’re going through because it’s open is down. We are the heartbeat, right? The heart goes tee-teet. And it goes like this, actually. It doesn’t go like this. It goes…
ALBERT: And that’s life.
CONNIE-LEE: That’s like life, you know. And hopefully creating that space for authentic leaders to be in that safe container group to be in the heartbeat of their lives. It’s super exciting. I love it. It’s really, really amazing.
ALBERT: I want to ask you about responsibility. Because you know, my my mind sometimes is selling me a story that sometimes I buy into, which is a victim story. How critical is it to own our mistakes, own our actions, own our past, have responsibility over our lives, in order to be fully authentic?
CONNIE-LEE: So let’s look at “A Course in Miracles”. “A Course in Miracles” talks about how everything is empty and meaningless, and it just is. So everything that’s happened in your life just is, it’s happened. It’s something that you have done knowing the very best that you knew how. So you did it knowing what you knew, right? You didn’t know anything else, just why you did it. And everyone makes mistakes. And I think there’s a difference between acceptance that I did that, growth from like “Okay, that’s what I did. What can you teach me about who I am moving forward?”. It’s like open. That’s what I’ve done, this is what it’s taught me. Thank you. Gratitude to you, experience, for teaching me about who I am. I now release you. I forgive you. Please forgive me. We are both free.
Versus holding onto it. And this is what we do. Sometimes as we hold on to it, there is guilt and there’s like anger, like, “how could you? You’re not really good enough.” And then that becomes the baggage and we hold it. And then we’re reacting continuously from that part of our mistakes rather than inventing from the expression of who we really are. So again is really just semantics. I think we do need to be responsible in that, sometimes there is no right or wrong, it’s only what’s in alignment with your truth or not in your truth. So how am I growing. But there’s also consequences. So sometimes it’s about “okay, I’ve learned that, but what I did was also not okay”. So how do I honour myself and honour the other people in that situation? On the honouring is an expression of your truth rather than a reaction of guilt, or not feeling good enough. You know, the lack of rather than just the abundance or the ease in the flow. So I think it’s a It’s a tricky one, really, because our ego wants to hold on. But our soul knows that I’ve learned from it and I can let it go.
ALBERT: So you’re saying that taking responsibility ultimately is learning from seeing our mistake consciously, learning from it and letting go.
CONNIE-LEE: Yeah, being responsible for your growth.
ALBERT: Good one. That’s a good one.
CONNIE-LEE: Yeah, rather than being responsible for what you did honouring what you did, being aware of what you did, being honest about what you did, owning it, but not holding onto it.
ALBERT: Owning it but not holding on to it. That’s a very tiny balance there, right? I’m owning it, but I’m not holding on to it.
CONNIE-LEE: Yeah, this is one of the hardest things, really. I mean, I hold on to something that sometimes I’m still holding on to, and each time it comes up, I have to be like “Okay, that’s what I learned. Thank you for the lesson. Please forgive me and let it go”. And then it comes up again. But not as much as it used to. And I think, energetically, we hold onto these memories and that story in our body, and it’s quite complex, our spiritual growth, we’re the body, we’re the spirit, we’re the emotions and it’s like letting go and reinventing. There’s lots of facets to us.
ALBERT: You know what a shaman told me once? Of course it was channel, right? To a question about who are we? Are we our bodies, are we our minds, our spirits…? His answer was” Apparently we are the drivers, we are the car and we are the road”. I’m like boom!
CONNIE-LEE: That’s really deep
ALBERT: Yeah, yeah. I’ll see him in a few weeks. James, I’m gonna ask you again. What did that mean?
CONNIE-LEE: It’s super deep.
ALBERT: I’m enjoying this conversation so much because I’m sure that when I watch this video again, I will just see so many new layers of understanding. Ultimately you’re talking about truth. Not the true. Truth, like essence. One thing I’m learning over mistakes and mistakes and mistakes in my life, is that there’s always more. And when I think I’ve learned everything I have to learn and oh, no, go back to it. Re-read that book, re-listen to that interview, talk again to that person. He’s gonna tell you exactly the same. But it’s gonna feel totally different.
CONNIE-LEE: Exactly, and that’s what’s amazing. Is like re-reading things, re-having conversations because you’re different. Your openness to learn on a deeper layer is also different. And another thing that a leader is, is always open. Always open.
ALBERT: Do you mean vulnerable?
CONNIE-LEE: Vulnerable but also open to learning. Because every person is your teacher, every situation, every moment, every everything is your teacher.
ALBERT: It’s like Marianne Williamson says, right? That actually being a spiritual teacher is like everyone is your teacher. It’s not that you are the teacher, it’s everyone is your teacher.
CONNIE-LEE: Yeah, and that’s so beautiful. That’s really deep for people to actually get that. A true leader is not a leader. A true leader is being led by other people, being inspired by other people.
ALBERT: So basically a leader is just a channel. Just a ways. So would you say that when a leader is then corrupted by grandiosity or ego, then it stops being a leader? Does ego disqualify you from being a leader?
CONNIE-LEE: Maybe an inspirer. An authentic leader. I think. Yeah, it’s a tough one to really answer. It really is because everyone is doing the very best that they know how. And everyone, you know, I might be in my ego for one day. But then the next day, I’m not in my ego. I might be in my ego for a year, but then for the next ten years, I’m not. So, you know, maybe certain leaders are at different heartbeats. At different frequencies within their heartbeat at different times. But yes, it’s about you connecting with that resonance. Because as you change, you need different people. So maybe this leader is not in vibration with you at this time. Then you find another one, and then you come back to that leader.
ALBERT: And this flows perfectly into my next set of questions. Don’t worry, it’s just gonna be five or six hours.
CONNIE-LEE: Okay, this is like a documentary on me. I love it. It makes me feel very important. And I’m learning from you as well, because as you’re asking questions, you’re making me go deeper within. I love it. Yeah, Continue. Let’s let’s dive deeper.
ALBERT: My question here is about authenticity, and I’m gonna bring it back to movies. Okay, I’m gonna I’m gonna talk about two things. One, you can leave that for the final one. The first one is…
CONNIE-LEE: I don’t know how you’re remembering all these questions.
ALBERT: They keep coming up. We could be here for days. So first of all, horror movies. Horror movies, in my view, they just play on fear of people. So in a very shallow level to move them, using these very powerful energy of fear which is not really connected to our essemce. So And I’m talking about horror movies because my question would be… Would horror movies be authentic? I mean, if they really inspire in a dark way, but they inspire people because they move people. They make them feel fear. They move them, right? So what horror movies be authentic. That connects to the second and hard question, and it is would a murderer who’s actually murdering somebody and he is fully present in that moment, would that murderer be authentic?
CONNIE-LEE: Okay, so inspiration means to connect someone to their spirit, right? So if a horror movie is connecting you with your spirit, then it’s inspiring. Authenticity is being who you authentically are in that moment. So if the producer of that film is creating something where he is authentically being him in that moment, then he’s being authentic. If the person watching it is allowing himself to authentically express himself by screaming, then yes, that then that’s invoking authenticity. But remember that we’re quite complex. So there’s also some stuff maybe that’s happening on an unconscious level with horror films. But that’s not your question, is it? So your question was, is it inspiring? Yes. If it connects someone with his spirit. If it moves someone away from his spirit, then it’s not inspiring. And these are just broad, black and white answers, and everything is grey in life.
Your second question… So they are conscious that what they’re doing is murdering somebody else? They’re not mentally unconscious or unaware? Because, being a psychologist as well, I understand that there are mental disorders. And there’s also conscious and unconscious intentions. Are they consciously aware of the intention?
ALBERT: From your question, I’m picking up that somebody who is not conscious cannot be authentic?
CONNIE-LEE: But they can be authentic, because they’re unconscious. But they’re being authentic in this state of unconsciousness. Because that’s their full expression of what they’re aware of.
ALBERT: I think this is the core of my question. So you can be fully authentic and be unconscious.
CONNIE-LEE: Yes. Unconscious in terms of like your belief or your awareness of spirituality.
ALBERT: But then… Yeah, I think I have to ask this question. Was Adolf Hitler authentic?
CONNIE-LEE: So again, semantics. If we’re looking at the term authentic, authentic means you’re being your truth. Your truth is, you know, in alignment with you or not in alignment with you. But also remember that we were drawing the distinction that some things are okay and some things are not okay. Some things are of a high vibration, which means they’re okay. But some things are of a low vibration, which is not okay. And we have intentions that are OK and intentions that are not okay. A murderer who’s conscious that they’re murdering someone that is not okay because their intention is a low vibration Adolf Hitler. He was intentionally murdering millions of people. That is an intention that is not okay. But he was acting in his truth because he wanted that power. His truth was, I want power. This is what you were talking about with movies. Is like the fear and people. Power and money and love. The biggest driving forces. And we’re talking about authenticity in terms of connecting people to love. Some leaders maybe connect with power. Authentic for them is being in their power. And some authenticity is being in that, you know, fear or money. Yeah. So it’s super super interesting, like all these different puzzle pieces. We’re creating a puzzle, right? And there’s lots of different puzzle pieces to think about.
ALBERT: So then I’m picking up. After this conversation I’m considering changing the title of my series of interviews from Authentic Storytelling into Authentic and Inspiring, maybe?
CONNIE-LEE: Maybe just inspiring?
ALBERT: Maybe just love, peace, pure bliss. But yeah, this is something that was in the back of my mind and that was coming back when you were mentioning that I can be fully authentic in my moment now, in my point of my journey now. But I won’t be as inspiring or inspired as I will be in the future, if I keep growing. Even though I will be at the same level of authenticity, maybe.
ALBERT: So inspiration here is the big word.
CONNIE-LEE: I think so. We never started out thinking that it was gonna be about inspiration. But this is where we’ve ended up.
ALBERT: I’m just having goose bumps. Connie-Lee, thank you so much.
CONNIE-LEE: Thank you. Seriously, it’s been such an honour to have grown with you through this conversation.
ALBERT: And I have a feeling that this conversation could go on for hours and hours. Actually, next time I come to Paris, I will let you know.
CONNIE-LEE: Thank you. Next time I’m in Spain, I’ll let you know.
ALBERT: When you go to Barcelona, or when you go to London where I’m based, let me know. Yeah. Thank you so much.
CONNIE-LEE: Thank you. An authentic hug, I love it.