The Reality-TV Star Helping you Find Inner Peace (Without Heading to an Indian Ashram!)

NSW Yoga Holiday Practical Mindfulness
Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Mar 06, 2024

Luke McLeod may have made his television debut in 2017’s season of The Bachelorette. But there’s so much more to the man than (not) receiving a rose from Ms Sophie Monk. In fact, in the year’s since his first small-screen appearance Luke has carved himself quite the reputation as one of the most passionate advocates and male voices for practical mindfulness. As well as finding his own real-life Bachelorette off-screen (Luke married wife Brittany Bennet in a beautiful Hunter Valley ceremony in in February 2023), the founder of the Soul Alive App, is now also a published author. Who released his book “Everyday Enlightenment: Why You Don’t Have to Become a Monk for Meditation to Change Your Life“, this year. We crashed Luke’s book launch Party (hosted by Jackie O) to discuss healing, happiness and why you really don’t have to book a flight to Rajasthan to reap the benefits of inner peace.

Luke McLeod Practical Mindfulness Everyday enlightenment
Practical mindfulness: Author Luke McLeod, putting his book Everyday Enlightenment into practice

Q: Can you share with us the inspiration behind your decision to write a book on meditation. Particularly for regular people?

A: The inspiration has come from this inner place of wanting to help people in a very practical, relatable manner. When I first got into meditation I would use it as a performance tool to help me with my work. Namely to be able to focus for longer and make clearer decisions). It wasn’t until a series of heavy things happened in my personal life that I explored how meditation can really help deal with, understand and manage my emotions. After learning how to use meditation in this manner, I wanted to share how others could do this too. Without all the fluff. So I created an app (Soul Alive) and decided to write a book

I’m not an academic or clinical psychologist. Nor try to be. However, I have studied over 20 different types of meditation practices and traditions. I wanted to write this book and connect with people where they’re at. Not come from a place of superiority. And this is where I think I can be quite relatable. I’m an ‘everyday’ person who has just found an incredible exercise. One that anyone can do and can have a profound impact on our overall wellbeing.

Q: How did your personal journey with meditation begin, and how has it impacted your life?

A: I originally got into it to help me with my work. I was in a pretty high-stress/pressure position and needed to be able to perform without getting overwhelmed and stressed out. A lot of the people I looked up to (like Steve Jobs) meditated and credited meditation to helping them be able to manage and perform at a very high productivity level. I know meditation has made me a better person overall. Period. Probably the biggest impact is how it has shown me our precious life is. And how to really experience this incredible gift we’ve all been given.

Q: What are some of the strategies you discuss in your book to make meditation accessible for regular people. What practical tips or techniques do you offer to help individuals incorporate meditation into their daily lives?

A: In short, I offer a process people can use and follow called The Soul Alive Method. This has three main stages to it. The Relief Stage, The Healing Stage and The Happiness Stage. Each stage offers guided meditation to try, tips on how to overcome the usual challenges you’ll face and personal stories to help people relate to.

Q: Can you share any personal anecdotes or stories from your own meditation journey that readers might find relatable or inspiring?

A: I start the book off with sharing a conversation I had with my Dad when he was told the news that he might have lung cancer after having triple bypass surgery. And how this moment brought on this very real reminder of how fragile life is. Most of us have or will at some point experience a similar moment in our lives. One that just puts everything into perspective. I vowed to myself at that point to squeeze as much as I could from life and meditation is the tool that shows and trains you how to do that.

Q: What are some common misconceptions about meditation that you hope to dispel through your book, especially for those who may be new to the practice?

A: A big one is to change how people see and use meditation. Most only use it when they feel stressed and although it can certainly help in these moments, I’d love for people to see it more as something they want to do. Rather than something they only do when they need to. I love meditating. It’s like my favourite meal. Not a chore. Not a pill I pop only when I’m ‘sick’. If people’s perception of it changes to this, more people would be meditating, more often and that would be amazing.

This shift in how you see and approach meditation also removes the expectation from it. When you try too hard to meditate it won’t work. Meditation is an act if surrendering to the moment. No amount of will power and effort is going to help you with it. So by first just enjoy it, it will do so much for you.

Q: How do you see the intersection between mindfulness and the challenges people face in their everyday lives, and how can meditation serve as a tool for navigating those challenges?

A: In the book I talk about this disease called “Unawareitis”. How over the course of our lives we slowly become more unaware until we either end up in this unconscious complacency state or in this incessant pursuit of more state. Meditation and mindfulness is the cure and way out of either of these modes of living.

It can first provide us with some much needed relief from these damaging states. Then it can used to help us navigate, deal with, and heal from all the damage these states have had on us. Lastly, it can be used as a vehicle to explore and show us how to ‘really’ live this life we’ve been given. Open us to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who might be skeptical or hesitant about trying meditation for the first time?

A: I would first ask them why? Meeting them where they’re at and understanding why they have this opinios shows that it’s not some dogma you have to abide by. I would then relate it to something that they enjoy doing. And how it can be used to enjoy that passion even more. Shift that perspective from one of skepticism to curiosity and then maybe even interest. Once there’s genuine interest there. The meditation will do the rest.

Q: Are there specific meditation practices or techniques you find particularly effective for individuals with hectic schedules or demanding lifestyles?

A: I would recommend they explore some type of relief meditation. A simple Body Scan meditation is perfect for this. It gives the thinking mode of our minds a break and allows the body to relax for a moment. Once you feel like you’re in a calmer state I would recommend they explore productivity-type meditations. Transcendental Meditation (TM) is great for this. It trains our ability to focus for longer easily and effectively.

Q: What are your thoughts on the “Art of Attraction” as discussed at launch and in your book?

A: I think people are most attracted to those who seem comfortable being themselves. If someone is trying too hard to ‘attract’ something in their lives, this either comes across as fake or desperate.
The best way to begin the process of being comfortable with who you really are is to give thanks for what you already have. This puts you in a state of contentment and ease. And that is what attracts people or anything else you want in your life.

Q: Finally, what do you hope readers take away from your book. And how do you envision it making a positive impact on their lives?

A: I hope it first lifts the veil on how unaware we’re been living our lives (Through no fault of our own. We haven’t known any better). Then I hope it provides them with a clear, attainable and relatable process with practical exercises on how to navigate out of this fog we’ve found ourselves in and into the ‘light’. In other words to ‘enlighten’ them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Marie-Antoinette Issa is a contributor for The Carousel and has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, Concrete Playground, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.

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