Teal Swan is a personal transformation revolutionary. As such, she is considered to be a modern spiritual leader. As an international bestselling author, renowned artist, speaker and social media star, she travels the world teaching self-development, most especially how people can transform their mental, emotional and physical pain.
Teal arrived at her position in the world by virtue of suffering herself. She was born extrasensory and lived in a sectarian community that paradoxically condemned her for and also exploited her extrasensory perception. She suffered 13 years of ritual abuse in this community at the hands of a family acquaintance. When she ran away at 19 years old, wanting nothing to do with spirituality, she became a professional winter sports athlete. Her own process of healing eventually led her back to spirituality.
She mastered her own mental, emotional and physical suffering and then stepped into the role she is in today. She now uses both her extrasensory perception as well as this mastery she has developed to teach other people how to awaken, integrate, live authentically and heal.
Tell me one thing about yourself that a lot of people don’t know about you?
I love Rap. I may be the only spiritual leader who loves rap music and has a subwoofer in my car. Besides having an incredible beat, Rap music can be very deep and superbly poetic. It is also a powerful form of expression for a demographic of people who one would not at face value take to be deep or poetic.
I’m a lot more sensitive than most people think I am. As an expert in my field, I am very confident about what I do and this leads people to think that I am usually extroverted, abrasive, domineering and independent. When people get to know me well, they realize I also have a strong introverted side. Things affect me intensely, I am fragile in some ways and even though I am authentic, people would definitely not describe me as an independent person.
What is your proudest achievement?
Mastering Integration is my proudest achievement. Like all people who experience trauma, my consciousness was fragmented, and I was polarized for most of my life. For example, I disowned the part of myself that was fearful and fully identified myself as courageous. Because of this, I did not caretake my vulnerability and put myself into a lot of unnecessarily dangerous situations. By re-integrating my own fear, I was able to make safer life choices for myself and stop being so harsh with myself. Before understanding integration and how to create it, I experienced life only as distress and internal war. Now, I experience wholeness. I am peaceful and if I am not, I know what to do about it.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted your career would work? If so, how did you handle that?
In the beginning, there was never any doubt in what I was doing or whether it would ‘work’. This is because I did not choose my career. My career chose me. The struggle I had in my career happened about 8 years after I started, when I realized that people in the mainstream may not want what I have to offer, even if they need it.
My specialty is reality. My specialty is truth. I help a person see what is real and true for them and to see reality in the universe at large. Reality and truth don’t always feel good even if it is what will ultimately lead them to creating a life that feels good for them in the long run. Most people prefer what I call “Novocain Spirituality”, information and processes that simply make them feel better even if it is false and temporary and even if it is more harmful in the long run.
I realized that because I offer truth and reality, I intimidate people. Because I intimidate people in this way, I began to feel as if I was born 200 years too early. I began to doubt whether my career would plateau at only those people who are desperate to know the truth no matter how painful it is, and never reach the mainstream. The reality is that this career is not just a career for me, it is my purpose for being and it is the air I breathe.
Therefore (even though I have career goals that I am committed to) if I were to know today that I never would achieve them, it wouldn’t change what I’m doing. The passion that I have for doing what I do every day makes it so there is nothing else for me. It makes it so any doubt I may have doesn’t quell the passion that I have for what I do.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business.
Youtube is the ‘marketing strategy’ that has worked the very best. Almost every person I meet, found me through one of my weekly YouTube videos. What I love the most about YouTube though is that it allows me to market myself without marketing myself. I can offer content that can change people’s lives and offer it for free, so it is accessible to everyone. There is a purity to it because people don’t find me because I have marketed myself. They find me because they have discovered and love my content.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I would say that the toughest decision I have made lately is to no longer maintain personal relationships that juxtapose my purpose/career. My work is my life, and my life is my work. Because this is the case, there is not as much separation between work/life, like you would typically see in people’s lives. It is painful when you have someone that you care dearly for that isn’t compatible to your life. People who want normal friendships and normal partnerships are incompatible to my life.
Having a mission in life makes your life more like a politician’s. The career becomes a family affair. Maintaining friendships outside the career takes time and energy away from the career.
Also, it means that you are not a business owner that strictly keeps a professional relationship with your employees. So, when it comes down to tough business decisions, it’s not as easy as simply firing or hiring someone new. But I do have a commitment to my purpose and passion, and this is my top priority in my life.
I would love if everyone I cared about was as deeply committed to my mission as I am, but this isn’t always the case. I do my best to help people realize what their true commitment is, because if someone is out of alignment with what they are doing, it isn’t good for anyone. But when people realize that their true desires for their own life are not in alignment with the way that our lifestyle looks (traveling around the globe, intense pressure, being in the public eye, security risks etc.) facing that incompatibility is really hard.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I was born for this. If you look at people who are very successful in their given field, often it is as if they are ‘designed’ for it. I am designed for this in so many ways that even though I tirelessly develop my craft, I have many advantages. I never had to learn how to speak on stage. I’ve always felt more comfortable with cameras on me than off of me. I was born extrasensory.
My language skills were off the charts as a tiny child and I have “theorized” about life for as long as I could write in a journal. I am successful because I am able to translate complex and objective universal concepts into language everyone can understand. I am extremely detailed without losing the big picture when I do this.
I use every minute of the day purposefully and am fully present and focusing when I’m doing it in the moment. Also, there are people in this world who are extrasensory and there are people in this world who have suffered in the worst ways and have figured out how to transform that suffering. The first usually teaches spiritual concepts that are abstract and don’t make sense for physical existence. The second usually teaches practical steps but misses a whole chunk of reality as well as the big picture. Because I am both, I am like a bridge or the integration between spiritual information and temporal information.
I often say that if I did not suffer like I did, I would be just one more person without my feet on the ground but with lots of spiritual awareness. Having suffered like I have; I understand how to connect people to information that will set them free from suffering. For example, the spiritual truth “there is no death” may be true in higher dimensions, but it does not change the fact that in the physical dimension there is death.
It does nothing but damage a mother who has just lost her child to say, “there is no death”. I am able to create a ‘fusion’ between the temporal and non-temporal plane of existence so that people can grasp both aspects of reality. I can connect the unknown to the known.
What does the future hold for your career? What are you most excited about?
I have always said there will be two phases to my career. Phase one will be more about my personal career. It will be about building a huge worldwide presence and building resources and connections. Phase two is where I will take what was built up in phase one and start to create positive world change.
At the end of the day, the company I started is a positive world change company. So, phase two will be the time when I can begin actively changing things like the justice system, the mental health system, the healthcare system, the food industry and the education system etc.
For example, phase two will be the time where I can invest in technology and products that will positively change our world. I can start programs that will require my time and focus that are alternatives to jail. I can open end of life care centers etc. This, especially bringing in quality people who are just as driven as I am to do this with me, is what excites me for the future and what is to come the very most.
What do you like to do for fun?
Believe it or not, my career is really, really ‘fun’ for me. But aside from my career, I love cooking. I love to try different restaurants. I love skiing. I love horses. I love playing with dogs and other animals. I love tennis. I love beach volleyball. I love to play board games and watch movies.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your career?
Global Entry Identification Card. It makes such a difference when so much of your life is spent in the high stress airport environment to be able to check into the airport seamlessly. Also, as an extrasensory, the scanners they use in the normal screening areas are actually painful for me. Walking through a standard metal detector (which is what most pre-check lines use) isn’t nearly as bad for me.
What would you choose for a career if you were not in the career you are in now?
I would be a Surgeon who specializes in Obstetrics. I would make a really good surgeon. I have no problem with the pressure of having someone’s life in my hands. I can be focused for hours at a time to a degree that is beyond most people.
I’ve had an obsession with obstetrics ever since I was a child and I don’t have a problem with blood. Plus, my hands are ideal for surgery. And If I had to do something else, I’d be an opera singer. And if I had to do something else, I’d be an executive chef.
If your life could be summed up in a saying, what saying would that be?
If you take no risks in life, all that will happen is that you will arrive at death… safely.
What message would you like to share with the world?
For thousands of years, spiritual practice around the world has had one prerogative: To transcend the ego and overcome it. In other words, to transcend the physical. But all this is coming to an end because it must. Ending your war with the ego and taking it as a part of yourself is just as important as dis-identifying from the ego and seeing that you are more than it.
The physical and nonphysical must become one. All polarities in this universe are a necessary part of awakening. And Integration is in fact the true path of enlightenment.