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Feb. 16, 2022

Morgan Harper Nichols

Morgan Harper Nichols has become one of the most vital voices of peace, light and comfort in our digital space today. With an Instagram following approaching 2 million, several best-selling books, and art placements with brands like Target and Starbucks, Morgan offers stories of hope paired with vivid paintings.
Morgan recently released her latest book Peace is a Practice. On this episode of Trevor Talks, she shared a little bit about the way she has implemented the concept of peace as a cycle in her life. She also shares a little bit about her music career as a young adult and about how being diagnosed with autism changed her life. Along the way, expect Morgan’s honesty and wisdom to offer solace for your soul.
Get Peace is a Practice, the latest from Morgan Harper Nichols, on Amazon, Target, and Barnes & Noble.
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Morgan Harper Nichols  0:00  
It doesn't matter who you are or what you struggle with. We all deserve the freedom to breathe. We all deserve the freedom to be able to say, I missed it all I know that I am seen and I'm hurt right here in this moment as I am.

Trevor Tyson  0:17  
Hey, everyone, and thank you for tuning in to another episode of Trevor talks, where we talk to real people about real topics and real stories. And here I am. It's the first episode of the new year that I've actually recorded. And I'm so pumped here we are almost two years later, and we're still kicking, you know, 2021 2020 very interesting years. But here we are 2022 with some amazing new content. So thank you guys for sticking around with us. And I am super thrilled and pumped about today's episode because we get to speak with a world changer. She's a poet, a singer, songwriter, artists, activists, and simply an amazing all around individual. And I believe this conversation is going to be one of those that we all walk away from with a sense of a refreshed perspective, and hopefully a sense of peace. Without further ado, here is Morgan Harper Nichols. Morgan. Like, we, we made it

Morgan Harper Nichols  1:17  
it's happening it's happening. I'm so I'm so grateful to be here. I mean, it's it just never, it never ceases to amaze me just how through space and time we all get connected. And and I'm just so blessed to to just even be able to connect with someone who I met a long time ago. Like, way before I was doing any of the stuff I'm doing today.

Trevor Tyson  1:42  
It's insane. Because when we first met, it was before storyteller, the record came out. Yeah. Which by the way, we're gonna touch on that so much in the sub. So just because it's such a good record, like, Thank you, if you're listening this, we're going to talk about her new book, but I'm just going to tell you, the storyteller record is phenomenal. I punch the table right now, but it's allowed, does stupid things with a microphone, but we met in like 2014 2015. And obviously I had no beard. And one of the first words that we had together was you telling me that Jamie grace, your sister didn't finish high school and I'm sitting there admiring her. And so you got me yelled at the first time I met you guys. And that's just how we set it off. So I'm excited to finally be here.

Morgan Harper Nichols  2:30  
Yeah, it's so funny, because I was like, oh, that sounds like something I would have said because Jamie is always the one who makes up these kinds of jokes and pranks way faster than me. So that sounds like one of the rare moments I beat her to it. So she Yeah, she'll say that all the time. Like just make up random stuff. So yeah, you just happen to be that our interaction is happening me one of those few moments I was able to kind of like, beat her to making a funny joke, even though it was completely made up and she did graduate from high school but yeah, she did.

Trevor Tyson  3:04  
She did. And you probably don't know this, but I've wanted to do this interview for so long. Like oh, prior to all this you had your art like before it came this like globally known thing. You were selling it in coffee camper in Monroe, Georgia, Crystal Vyas coffee shop, shout out to her, I love her so much. I still go to coffee camper every time I'm in town. And I remember you had your booth set up and the revolutionary side. And it was always so refreshing to go in there and just be able to see your art. And then the one day I was like, because when you had it like I was still broke, like high school were in such right. But when I finally started making some money, I was like, Oh, I'm gonna go in there get me something and it was gone. And then next thing I know. Next thing I know I'm working at AT and T and every single light green straw girl that comes in has your artwork is their background. And I'm like, What

Morgan Harper Nichols  3:56  
did I miss? You know, the fact that you brought that up? That just means so much I that was such a huge moment when I was asked to have my art there. And yeah, that was my very first time doing anything like that. And I wasn't able to keep it up because I barely said yes to that opportunity. And it because I didn't think that anybody would buy what I was creating. And it was just such I think some people get surprised when they find out like I've had some real insecurities around putting my artwork out there and, and just it's one thing to put your artwork out there and someone likes it on social media or your friend says Oh, I like that. But it's another whole thing to have to worry about. Like, Oh, someone wants to buy this Are you sure like they want to own this like and put it in their house like their hard earned money. They want to invest it in what I make and that's been a huge till this day. It's it has has never become just super easy. So that just means a lot that like, you got to experience that because I ended up being so surprised because we were I ended up having my booth there. And I remember getting the call that like, my artwork was really selling and they needed more inventory. And I didn't have more. So that was actually why I ended up not being able to do it as long as I even wanted to, because I was not prepared for people to actually buy what I was making. So it just means so much that that you got to, you got to see that.

Trevor Tyson  5:33  
It's, it's almost a perfect segue into talking about the piece that you're bringing with your new book, which was let's take it back a few steps here. We just talked about you being so insecure about your artwork being at a local store. Now it's global, and you're working with like the major publishing houses and have your art showcasing all over the globe. Everywhere from the Kelly Clarkson showed a dadgum social circle, Georgia light, let's go. That was obviously not like an overnight thing. And from the moment I heard your voice, and even though like you got well known from poetry and creating your art, like your voice, overall I can you as a person as activists, is just so refreshing to me, like on a serious note, like every single time I see your social media posts, or see a video that you post, and even you and Patrick doing your business, like God's carrying that piece through you and showing it and replicating it. And it's phenomenal. And all of that to say peace is a practice an invitation to breathe deep and find a new rhythm for life is going to be out when this record light comes out that wild,

Morgan Harper Nichols  6:47  
huh? Well, thank you for even just, you know, kind of reflecting my own story back to me and, and some of the things that that I felt like God has just been doing in my life even just in ways that I couldn't see in real time. And I think that that's why, honestly, like the theme of peace has become such a big theme in, in what I create and what I share. Because it's it's so interesting to me, it's like so much of my life has, when I look back on it, I'm like, this was beyond my understanding. I'm like, I didn't understand why I even sometimes I would think I would know, I would think I know why I was living in a certain city or why I was going through a particular thing. But when I look back, I was like, I had no idea what was going on in real time. But I was like, even though in the moment what was happening was beyond my understanding. At the same time, there was peace beyond my understanding there as well. I was learning how to breathe through every moment, I was learning how to be present to the hard stuff, the awkward stuff, the the stuff that I'm like, Why do I have to do this? You know, why is this not coming together faster? So yeah, I enjoy writing, writing about it. Because I just feel like even just everything that everyone's been going through over the past few years, it's like, I hope that we all feel consensus invitation to be in the present moment and find ways to make this moment meaningful. And

Trevor Tyson  8:24  
yeah, yeah. That's so good. And can we kind of go over like what was the beginning stages for getting this book together? Like, a lot of people like thing lightbulb, but for every author, every speaker, every artists like it all your art incorporates in different ways. So how were you able to translate these words and art and then piece it into a book like this?

Morgan Harper Nichols  8:50  
You know, honestly, it came from a place of feeling like an A suddenly I know I'm not alone in feeling but feeling a little burned out. Feeling a little bit like, do I have to keep doing this again, you know, it's kind of like those, those first few months of the lockdown a few years ago, I felt like there were a lot of people, myself included, like, okay, let's frame this positively. Let's figure out you know, how we're gonna get through this and then you know, once you get to month four or 56789 It's like, okay, I'm a little burned out on the on trying to find positive ways to think about this. And as somebody who is an artist and a creative you know, it's like you're kind of expected to, to, to show up and a lot of times say something inspiring and say something encouraging, but it's like what do you do when you feel like your cup is getting empty and you're not full in the way that you want to be? You know, even for me, somebody who is and who considered myself to be an introvert, like, there got to a certain point where not being around people the way that I used to or having all of my events canceled, like, that still gets to me too. And it was just like, even further getting into like, even the summer of 2020, everything that started happening just around the racial unrest that was taking place, like, That's exhausting. Like, even as somebody who felt like, I maybe had something to say it's a lot, it's a lot to just have to keep taking all this in every day. So a lot of it came from me just asking questions, in my own life of like, what does it look like to get through this? What does it look like to keep pacing myself through every day? And that's where I feel like it's no coincidence that I've been given, I consider it a gift as memory, the ability to look back through my own life, and all these other moments where I've struggled to make it through or I've been trying, getting overwhelmed by the future. How did I make it through? What were the themes that kept showing up? And one of the biggest things was breathing. I've been learning how to breathe through every moment. So that gave me a lot of courage and permission and motivation to write the book. Because it was like, Look, I can't tell you what tomorrow looks like. I don't know what's coming. But I do know that in a million different little ways, we have been equipped for this journey. And I want to look back in my own life and help others do the same. And see all those moments that have been leading us to be able to make it through these new unknowns, and what we can do in the present moment to stay on that path. So yeah, that's that's kind of how it came life.

Trevor Tyson  11:43  
Yeah. And when I sort of reading about the book, and even diving into some of the bits and pieces of the book, I was like, what better time to put this out, like, as someone who struggles with panic attack someone who has had like the anxious moments like repetitively, this is the kind of content that people can really dive into and actually see, like, things that they can apply to their own lives. So when it comes for me like diving in a piece, a lot of times it's a reading something calming, or using the calm app, or scrolling through your Instagram feed. Like, there's a bunch of different resources out there to really help people in the struggling times. But what makes your so unique, like, obviously, you have a unique perspective on anxiousness and pursuing peace through hard times. But even going through your own diagnosis recently, like, how has art and poetry and peace? How is God used to help you personally? And how can other people apply that to their life?

Morgan Harper Nichols  12:45  
Yeah, yeah. So I feel like my answer to this will probably kind of split a group of people into half, like, I feel like half half of the people are going to be like, yeah, absolutely, I get that. But the other half are gonna be like, Oh, here we go, not interested. And that is, honestly, I truly, truly believe that creativity has been a huge way that I've been able to make it through, and how God has used art, to speak to me, and helped me make it through the moments each moment, the complicated moments, the ordinary moments, the boring moments, all those moments, because what making art teaches you to do, and I'm not just talking about painting, I'm talking about writing songs, I'm not writing books, it forces you to slow down. It's like, if you have to paint a picture for someone in a moment that's happening and tell a story. You got to pay attention to the details. What was the weather like that day? How are you feeling? What were you wearing? Does that impact how you were feeling? Because you felt like you were in these restraining tight clothes? Is that the fact that you were wearing a face mask was were you just like, I need to take a deep breath, or were you happy about it that day, because you didn't want people to see that you were upset beneath the mask. There are all these little details that happen within our daily lives that are not coincidence. And it's so easy to get in the bigger picture of like, okay, what are we doing? What's the big take away step by step? How are we going to make it through this present moment. And really, every day, I believe that God is inviting us to slow down, and to pay attention to all those little things. So making art writing poetry or even writing in your journal, anything that that that causes you to, to kind of like exhale or that you've been taking in. It's a way into being present to that moment, and it's a way into being more grateful for ordinary life. And I truly believe that that has been a huge area in my life that I can see very clearly how God has used to sustain me. I was diagnosed To the autism last year, and in many ways, it was not a surprise at all, I have been struggling with a lot of various things in my life in terms of communication, and socializing, and all these different things. And it was through my diagnosis that I was able to see that I had been, I had been struggling, but at the same time, the other side of my struggle, I was able to find strength. And I'll give you an example. So within my autism diagnosis, I have also a sensory processing disorder. And that means loud sounds bright lights, they wear me out, and they wear me out fast.

Morgan Harper Nichols  15:48  
And at what point in my life, I was a touring musician, and if you know anything about a show, there's a lot of loud sound, bright lights. And I would feel so exhausted after a show. And I wouldn't know why. I was like, oh, it's because I didn't get enough sleep, or it's because of something I ate. Who knows? I had all these reasons are because of the timezones like, I was just disproportionately exhausted all the time, like, no one would have known it by seeing me, but I was. And while that was a struggle, at the same time, that sensitivity that I have to sound, it's what helps me be able to sing the way that I do. It's what helps me be able to record inspirational videos the way that I do, because I'm so sensitive to how even my own voice leaves my body and how it sounds and how it reverberates in my own body. And in the room I'm in, I'm so sensitive to it. And the same with light, my sensitivity to light, it's what helps me see colors within colors. And it helps me paint different hues that I might not even be able to see have had I not been so sensitive to color. So it's just been really fascinating to see how, how this one area of my life, creativity has ended up teaching me so much about the the wholeness of my own experiences, and not just framing everything as, Oh, well. Here's this, this thing that I'm ashamed of, or it's hard about my life, it's like, well, there's also this other aspect of it. And I want to continue to welcome the grace that allows me to hold room for all of it. So yeah, those are just some of the things that I've been learning. And in that way, I've just been really encouraging people to kind of find ways to be more creative in their daily life, like even if it's just being more observant, because I really do think that there's a there's a lot of there's a lot there to cover and learn from.

Trevor Tyson  18:05  
Do you think when or if you'll get vulnerable with me, you don't have to, but I'll open it up for you if you want when you got this diagnosis. Like it's a little bit different. Obviously, when you get it as a child, you get an A diagnosis like this as an adult. Did you take it in a positive? Like, oh, this makes a lot of sense. It gives me a lot of clarity, or was it like, God, why is it always me? You know?

Morgan Harper Nichols  18:31  
Yeah, yeah, that's such a good question. Yeah, I feel like for me, I was diagnosed at 31. And for me, it actually was a very positive empowering moment. It felt like it felt like all these years where I was asking those questions, why me? Why do I struggle so much making friends? Why am I always so exhausted? When I'm at events? Why do I struggle with just simple tasks that other people seem to be able to do? Like just answer 30 emails back to back and just go on throughout their day, it takes me three times, the time it takes someone else to do it just because I have to really mindfully listen and read through everything. So I had all these little moments in my life where I had been asking why me? Why this? Why is this so difficult? Why is this simple thing so hard for me? And honestly, I can I mean, just to get really vulnerable. I would say that a lot of my kind of, like those breakdown moments in my life where I'm just like, I feel like a total failure. A lot of it came from like not feeling like I couldn't do the things that seemed simple for other people. That to me, honestly, is some of them that some of my lowest lows have been from that place. Like I remember being in high school. And I mean, the lowest low I ever felt as a teenager was when I was taking a tap dancing class. And I was terrible at it. And that was like, because it was just like, it was so simple. Like, this routine was so simple for everyone else in the room. And I felt so alone. And not being able to do that it just like it became, it was just like the last straw. It was just like, wow, I really am no one if I can't learn a frickin three step, tap dance routine for beginners. Not to mention also, I was like 14, and everyone else in the class was like in their 30s or 40s. So that didn't help either. Because it was like, it was like the beginner class for adults.

Trevor Tyson  20:39  
If that makes you feel any better at all. I cannot picture you tap dancing. I just can't see it. Yeah,

Morgan Harper Nichols  20:47  
it's not a thing. Yeah, it's I retired the tap shoes long ago, and I never looked

Trevor Tyson  20:58  
here in it here in the taps and seeing you there.

Morgan Harper Nichols  21:03  
Well, thank you. But yeah, back then it was just like, I was trying so hard. Because I mean, you know how it is when when especially the younger you are, it's like you want to have like your thing, you know, especially if you have peers who are like good at sports are good at

Trevor Tyson  21:21  
that was not me, I totally relate with that. My dad will be outside throwing the football with all my brothers and I'd be running out and I'd be running away from it. Like don't be throwing stuff at me like this. What I mean, I was never to sport sky. So I really

Morgan Harper Nichols  21:34  
Yeah. And then I feel like kids today have it even harder. And I mean, you're a little bit younger than me. So you probably can relate to see with with social media. I mean, now kids have to deal with like, their classmates like going viral. And it's like, well, what's my thing or, or just seeing your classmates get into prestigious universities? And then maybe you didn't, and it's just that sort of wears down on you. So it's like, you you recognize, okay, I can't do all the stuff that everyone else does. And then you go off and try to do some simple thing. And you can't do that either. Yeah, a lot of my moments have have been that. So, you know, when I consider all those moments like that in my life, and then I consider that when I got to my diagnosis, it felt like wow, finally, all of those moments where I felt like, I cannot keep up. Now I know that there was a reason, there was a huge a huge part of that was a reason that yeah, I just I was trying to do a whole bunch of stuff that just wasn't for me. You know, I was created one particular way as an autistic person, and I for 1am proud of it, I'm happy about it, I'm, I can celebrate who I am even in the midst of struggles and and that's not at all mean, being like toxic positivity, like, oh my gosh, my life is so great. Now that I know, I'll just say it's like no, there are some real issues. I mean, even for autistic adults, a lot of autistic adults, like struggle with finding jobs or struggle with getting in relationships and those things are real. And at the same time, I'm like, it doesn't matter who you are or what you struggle with. We all deserve the freedom to breathe. We all deserve the freedom to be able to say I missed it all I know that I am seen and I'm heard right here in this moment as I am. So that's that's I'm grateful that that's how I felt in that moment. I felt seen I felt heard I feel supported. And I think that those are just like I'm like I want everyone in the world to have that moment you know whether they're autistic or whatever it is that they're going through I'm like everybody deserves to have that moment where they're like through it all everything I went through I feel seen I feel heard I feel supported I feel loved. I felt understood. Those are huge. So that's that's how I felt in that moment.

Trevor Tyson  24:09  
You've said grateful so many times and it just it puts a song in my mind Yes, girl I wish I had like on this board here like your whole album just like all this vulnerability and all this talk about peace is like one of the things that really hit home for me with reading through the book was when you explain pieces a cycle bike you could break the cycle but if you get your rhythm down you know you can try to find that piece so for like me struggle with panic attacks panic disorder. I have to have those like, steps like okay, you're not dying, breathe, and people are like they're looking for a one stop shop like they'll google how to cure a panic attack. achar whatever. There's, there's not a blueprint for that. But there are things that you could try to implement. So in your perspective and what you write about in the book, how can we turn like peace into a cycle?

Morgan Harper Nichols  25:14  
Yes, yeah. So, you know, one of the key components to, to practicing prays and looking for that freedom to breathe in the present moment is something we have to practice, like, it's not something that we just figured out one day, or when we read a book. So what I hope to do is to is to give people a practice, like not so much like, here's your three steps that will, that will apply to every single scenario in your life. Now, I wanted to give people something that they can practice. And what I found to be so fascinating is that when it comes to our breathing, even though we breathe every day, all day, when it comes to breathing appropriately, or taking deep breaths, that's something we have to practice. So I started to do some research on respiratory cycles. And as I was looking up different images and things, you know, I'm no doctor. But as I was just looking at different images, the artist in me couldn't resist that sometimes, like when they're when people were making, like, making these graphs of like how the respiratory cycle works, they would use this image of a circle is inhale and exhale. And I'm like, oh, it's kind of like, it makes sense. It's something we move in and out of over and over again, it's kind of like, we have to practice breathing. We have to practice a lot of things in life. Oh, you know what, we also have to practice peace. And I saw it as like the cycle. And I'm like, Yeah, practice is kind of like a cycle. It's something that we have to go through and try over and over again. And the same is true with peace. Peace is something that we have to practice. So I just saw this theme here. And at first, it was kind of like an artistic thing that I was noting just like a visual theme. But I noticed it was a layer deeper than that as well. I was like, even if you just look at your own life, anything that you eventually figured out how to do, you had to practice it first, you had to keep coming back to it over and over and over again. So I just feel like in these times of uncertainty that we're all in, it matters that we practice good things we practice, things that will apply no matter what scenario we're in. And peace is one of those things that I think we can practice not only for our own individual lives, but also for our communities and those that are around us.

Trevor Tyson  27:46  
That's so good. And before we wrap this up, I just want to acknowledge like, I felt like I just got out of therapy, by the way. We will have the link in the description for the book and everything. But there's we've talked about your record so many times, because I'm just a mega fan. I can literally quote them all. Oh, there's one song on it that I want to talk about. And as I can't say myself what you did with Matt Powell, I'm How about I can't see myself, I can't see myself coming to my rescue is what you do so well. And when my strength is filled, the story I'll tell is something that you can't leave me on my own. Oh, alone. I can't say myself, like a butcher did a little bit. Okay, you overall, is good. Where? Where? If you can remember? Where did this song come from? What's the testimony? What's the story behind it? And is it still on like DSPs for people to listen to?

Morgan Harper Nichols  28:46  
Yes, yeah. So that song, I can't save myself. It came from a place of thinking about people in my own life who I know, are, who are needing help. You know, I think it's, it's very, sometimes it can be a little easy in our modern times, because we do have so many tools, you know, when you think about even something as simple as like, being able to call 911 Like, that didn't even exist 100 years ago, you know, it's like, we have a lot of tools in our society that we're just like, oh, yeah, if I need help, if I need this, I did that. And I got it myself. Like, I don't need anybody else. I could just go and you know, do this and do that. But if you talk to someone who has been battling years of chronic illness, or you talk to someone who has who has sought out help and hasn't been able to get it, you know, a lot of times there's a lot of shame that those people end up being put on them like, Oh, can you just you know, try X, Y and Z and feel better or can you just do this and I really wanted to write something specifically For those people, and also anyone who has ever felt like, you know what, I don't know how I'm gonna get out of this. And to know that there is and that the line of the song says how your love refused to leave me on my own. And that there is a love that refuses to leave you in that place. And God's love is there to help let you know that you're not alone. And that's an eternal love, a divine love that doesn't fade, a love that doesn't go away. So even when you're feeling like, Yeah, I'm at the bottom, and you're feeling shame for being in that place. And you're feeling like, I shouldn't be able to get myself out of the situation, but I can't and I just, I need some help. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And I just really truly just want it that to be known. Because we're not islands unto ourselves. And, and I think also to another group of people that I was just really thinking about when that song was written. I'll sing my a lot of different people in my life is people who are maybe in a mental health crisis. You know, I think that's another huge one. Where, you know, someone might literally say to people, like, oh, it's all in your head, it's all in your mind. Like, you should be able to just do this and do that and be fine. It's like, No, we should have absolutely no shame for needing help through that, even if, even if it is something going on in your mind. Like, it's so funny how that that gets thrown around. Like, it's just in your mind is like you do know, the mind is like really complex and like,

Trevor Tyson  31:37  
we have thing, and we still

Morgan Harper Nichols  31:39  
have barely figured it out what's going on up there. So

Trevor Tyson  31:44  
your car motor is just on fire? Yeah.

Morgan Harper Nichols  31:49  
Exactly. Yeah. So it's like, yeah, these started small things. And I just wanted to write something that let let people know that they're that they're not alone in it is absolutely okay to cry out and seek for help when you need it.

Trevor Tyson  32:05  
Okay, so here's my seuls.

Morgan Harper Nichols  32:09  
I'm not getting into it. Yes, the reprise value.

Trevor Tyson  32:11  
Now all y'all know why I don't have a music career. Morgan does. And this has been great that just thank you for being here. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing about just everything you're doing. You're doing so much. It's not just a book coming out. It's not just art and poetry being released. It's not just music, like you're being very vulnerable and transparent with people. And it's encouraging millions all over the world. So thank you for taking time to speak with us and pour into the audience here. And I'm just excited to see what else God is going to do through and you better reprise this record. Yes.

Morgan Harper Nichols  32:48  
Yeah. So you got need to need it. We got some things in the works. Yeah, I'm, I'm still so proud of that project. Like it's me, too. So we're all to hear you talk about it. I really am proud of it. So yeah.

Trevor Tyson  33:01  
Well, if you are watching this right now, all Morgan socials are going to be in the description below. Be sure to go check out peace as a practice, which is in stores everywhere. And the link is, of course below. Thank you to new release today. And the whosoever is for powering this episode. And again, Morgan, thank you so much for being here.

Morgan Harper Nichols  33:21  
Yes. And thank you. Thank you,

Trevor Tyson  33:24  
Morgan, Harper, Nichols.

Brian Layne  33:28  
Hey, man, that was an incredible conversation. Just hearing you know, the backstory, which made it even better.

Trevor Tyson  33:36  
It all started from her telling me that her sister didn't graduate high school. And I was just admiring the fact that she was a successful recording artist. And then I got yelled at. And at the time, she was like, one of the biggest things in Christian music. So that was like, that was a definitely a fun experience. Not many people get that

Brian Layne  33:55  
to meet somebody before like anything big happens. And then they're still that same person. Even after all the fame and acclaim and all of those things. It just adds another layer, some more depth, and some more appreciation to the whole situation. I can even think of the word,

Trevor Tyson  34:13  
the big holes, the whole thing, the whole thing there.

Brian Layne  34:17  
The thing that you know, you know, the thing, man, the thing,

Trevor Tyson  34:19  
that thing, and one thing that, you know, with Morgan is a little bit different, because when I heard her voice for the first time, I was like, There's no way that she's not going to be a world changer. She just had that personality. Her husband, Patrick is an amazing dude as well. And the fact that she found her success and poetry and art is something that I think is beyond encouraging for her sister to blow up the music. Then she put out a record as well, which I talked about so much in this episode, because the storyteller record is amazing. It should have four Grammy nominations overall, and I just think it's one of the best records ever created.

Brian Layne  34:58  
I feel like they should come up with like a A like a Grammy or a Dove Award for, you know, like best personality, best

Trevor Tyson  35:05  
personality or we could just create like the Trevor talks awards, and it can be the Trevor's pick for best album of the decade storyteller by Morgan Harper Nichols,

Brian Layne  35:15  
or best personality? I mean, she does definitely have, I wouldn't get that. Definitely not bro. But honestly, you can't give yourself the award, you're the one giving. So you possess all awards. So it's like an innate quality that you just want to say, Hey, I recognize you as a Mohsen qualities that I have in you.

Trevor Tyson  35:35  
What are the stipulations for this award? How do you get nominated? Well, you just remind me of myself. I would never do that. That's, that's totally a joke.

Brian Layne  35:44  
Yeah. But no, Morgan, she's, she's got a beautiful personality. And I really, really aligned with her message. And it resonated with your story. So it's, it's, it's incredible. When you run across people like that they're few and far between. Yeah,

Trevor Tyson  36:01  
it's few and far between, but also just the message of the book, you've got to make that time for peace. Everybody deserves a little bit of peace. And when you make it a practice and something that you really hone in on, this is something that me and you do, like we have to make time for ourselves. And it's hard to do, right. Like I know for myself, I'm not I'm not very good at decompressing and distressing. And just her message of the book like pieces of practice, bro.

Brian Layne  36:26  
Yeah, well, after it, you went to some kind of float tank and, and floated. I guess

Trevor Tyson  36:31  
we may have talked about this in the Christian Stanford one, but but just just in case we didn't. It's literally maybe 10 to 11 inches of water with over 1000 pounds of medical grade Epsom salts, and it has more salt in it than the Dead Sea. So when you get in, it's not like you can drown or anything. And because it wouldn't even have your whole body underwater, you just float. And there's no light, there's no sound. It's definitely not for claustrophobic people. But they do have them that aren't in these small little like pods. Yeah. But I found a lot of clarity in there. And it's not like one of those religious experiences where you're just healed of everything. But there's something about hopping in and practicing that piece, right? Yeah, laying there floating and water. It's like your body temperature. So it was like 95 degrees, right? And it's just you and your thoughts. And you obviously don't have your cell phone in there, you don't have anything to distract you. But I think with paying that amount of money.

Brian Layne  37:32  
Let me ask you this. So when you're in the tank, and you're, you're naked. Oh, and asking that. But so you're floating into tank, all of those voices. Because you know, normally you're distracted by all the sounds and the movements and the cabinets, closing the doors, opening the cars going by the dogs playing around, whatever, there's something going on. There's always noise that distracts you from the inner noise. And so when you're isolated from all of that outer noise, How loud is it really in your head?

Trevor Tyson  38:02  
You know, the first 10 to 20 minutes, I was in there and you lose track of time, like 100% track of time. But you get it takes time. For me. For example, it took like 10 to 20 minutes for me to get okay with being in there like it. It was weird, like you do have those loud voices. But once you get used to it, you just find yourself in the still place. And it's like, instead of having a million things racing us like, oh, did I get this done for this client today? Did I onboard this thing properly or this or that, you know, like, you have those things that go through your head. But I think that that's part of the psychology that goes into it. Like you work through these things, and you're able to slow down and you can even feel your heartbeat like starting to slow down. And when you're in water that's like your body temperature. It sounds weird, but you just have to experience it. It's almost like you don't have a body. It's just your brain and you hear your heartbeat. Yeah, vastness of consciousness and you have fun like NPR. And you're floating. So you're like, oh, like moving around and kind of like, just you have that still peace. And it was a prayerful moment. For me. It was meditative and prayer. It was it's something that I highly recommend, even if you're a claustrophobic like they have like rooms that are like pools with just like curtains and such that you can hop into and it's not as closed off, but it's an experience, you know, and making that practice to be at peace was it was pretty healing for me.

Brian Layne  39:35  
A lot of people were like, Let's do meditation and or just empty your mind and all of these things. For me sitting still, that sounds hard. But what sounds easiest to float, you know, like, it's kind of like a induced meditative state. You know, like

Trevor Tyson  39:50  
the the float thing. Maybe that's a gateway for you to be able to invite yourself into that prayerful moment. Yeah, maybe you do it like two or three times and you're done. Um, I've read and listened for the Lord to speak and all of that. And I read downloaded the calm app the other day, because I was like I need to practice. So I'll like, I'll just lay there on the flat surface of the floor, like preferably very hard surface, because chiropractors are even tell you that laying on a hard floor is very good for your spine is very good for your body. And I'm not a medical professional. So don't take me up on that. But I believe it. mattresses are maybe even bad for your body because you're not lining your body properly. Right. So I downloaded the calm app, I saw where Jay Shetty, had his calm thing on there. And I tuned into it. And for seven minutes, I was like, I'm not going to touch my phone. I'm not going to do anything, but just try to practice but here's the thing. I feel like I'm getting to a place where like that meditative stuff's cool, like, invite yourself into a place of peace. Like, that's fine. But once you just get into that place where it's just you and God, like you can have some zen music or something playing like, boom, Gong started off, but when you find yourself comfortable with being still being at peace, being just with yourself and God and inviting him into those places, so that's where I found my piece all the little

Brian Layne  41:16  
fundamentalist parts of me are like

Trevor Tyson  41:20  
mine and

Brian Layne  41:23  
part of me this is like jumping out and it's funny that he's mentioning Jay Shetty. Of course, this this was the first one that showed up. It was marketed to yeah, that's my former boss. So you would think that I'd have a lot more peace than I do. So it just shows you that it doesn't matter where you are you can be the you can be the bishop in the church, the preacher behind the pulpit you can be you yesterday influencer and you can have the least amount of peace

Trevor Tyson  41:46  
my new favorite pastime is telling. And this is a joke before people take into context. My new favorite pastime is explaining to aspiring entrepreneurs and young people getting into their careers that no amount of career success is going to fulfill them.

Brian Layne  42:01  
Absolutely not, man. And one of the things I think was it has been hard for me to find that that Zen or that that prayerful state, you know, it's the noise. You're so every time you go into prayer, you're usually begging for something. You're usually like, Oh God,

Trevor Tyson  42:18  
please help me with this Lord, if

Brian Layne  42:20  
you'll just do this and it's bargaining and there's never that that fellowship and so you know, I was inspired by your visit to the the cryo chamber or whatever it was called.

Trevor Tyson  42:34  
It's like a D.

Brian Layne  42:36  
Deprivation chambers on like, some sort

Trevor Tyson  42:39  
of deprivation chamber Well anyways,

Brian Layne  42:41  
is I'm gonna have to check it out. And because, you know, number one, your body's engaged in something. And I think that's one of the most incredible things for people with like, add and stuff. Because when we're trying to sit still, when we're just trying to, you know, be mindful of God and everything that he's doing for us, our minds are running 1000 miles an hour. And then not only that, our bodies want to fidget and we want to look at the, you know, something on the wall, or just get distracted, or somebody just text me, you know, like, it's one of those things like, where you just, you just lose focus really quick. And everybody, you know, on the apps, like, gently bring your awareness back to your mindful state. And you're like, okay, yeah, after I go on this rabbit trail, down the rabbit hole. And so getting back to that deprivation chamber, getting in that water, that engages your body, because you feel the sensation on your body. Obviously, you don't have any sound, you don't have any sight because it's in the darkness. But you're, you're, you're kind of doing something you're not you're in motion. And then after you like, listen to all the mental chatter, you know, you're supposed to, I've heard people tell me, like when you're trying to find peace that's in state that you're supposed to observe the thoughts like clouds moving through your mind. But don't, don't, don't try to grab it. The cloud. It's one of

Trevor Tyson  44:02  
one of the things that I found to be super helpful in my journey to finding peace and or panic disorder, and just panic attacks in general is decluttering. My like, starting with a cell phone, like that's one of our mic for me and us speaking for us. We work on our phones all the time. That's our main source of income. Like for agencies, we deal with social media a lot. So I feel like it kills your your your mind. It does. And I turned off notifications maybe two years ago. So clients, I don't have any kind of notifications coming to my phone at all. But another thing was therapy. And I personally use something called better help, which, like I travel a lot, I'm never in one spot. And with better help, I'm able to take my therapist with me in my pocket. And that's been super healing for me. I know you've been trying to get me to do it. I have been trying to get you to do it. And I'm not angry or anything. Maybe somebody's listening and they're like dude, Therapy is something that I want to do, but I just don't have the confidence to do it. I don't know where to start b e t t e r h e l forward slash Trevor talks, and we're partnering with them.

Brian Layne  45:15  
I feel like if I talk to the better health counselor that they're gonna need to go to like confessional. Afterwards, you're gonna be like, This guy is crazy. This guy needs help.

Trevor Tyson  45:26  
That's the good thing about a therapist though their contract really obligated to not talk about your issues with anyone unless you like

Brian Layne  45:32  
they may need some better help and probably messing around. To my level,

Trevor Tyson  45:37  
it's exciting to partner with them to be able to provide this pieces practice message.

Brian Layne  45:42  
Well, it's great. I've seen the results just in your life, how you come back, much more peaceful. You know, when I'm trying to blow you up with some business and stuff, and you're like, Hey, man, I'm on the phone with my therapist. And I'm like, cool, bro. Enjoy. And then you come back and you got clarity. And to me, that's incredible. You know, two things you've done recently, you know, your BetterHelp and when you've been doing better health for a while, but then you're the deprivation shed the float tank. Yeah, the float tank. Those things are inspiring. And then you wouldn't got a frickin massage. Like this has been like the Ritz this week. I mean, you've been bougie all the way new gym membership. Oh, new Jimmy, brand new, Trevor 2.0. I would even say 2.5 right now.

Trevor Tyson  46:29  
And it's not one of those like, my New Year's resolution like no, you remember, like, I was just like, You know what, this week, because last week, like be really honest, vulnerable. Like, it was a stressful week, man. Like, it was really stressful. And it was a there was a lot of mental fog for me. So I was like, Okay, I know what to do to help clear this up. But am I going to do it? Right, right. And the answer for me was, you just got to do it. Like I think it was Sunday night. It was after the float tank guy came in, I was like, let's go get massages. You're like, No, I'm not doing and I'm like, I'm going like, just bounce on the car went and did it and you got to reward yourself. And it doesn't have to be in a luxurious way. That's, that's not what we're saying at all, like, take time for yourself.

Brian Layne  47:15  
The world cheats you all the time. Life sometimes leads you down a disillusion path. And as the old adage from the streets goes, Don't cheat yourself. Treat yourself. And you know, you've got to take care of yourself. And and that's in all seriousness, and I witnessed it firsthand, I have my own practices that I do to take care of myself, but I'm pretty sure I could do some better help. Yeah, that's for sure. And, you know, just getting back to Morgan, in this conversation, which is inspired by her book and her story,

Trevor Tyson  47:49  
her message, do not suggest she is a full blown adult. And last year as an adult, was diagnosed with autism.

Brian Layne  47:58  
And you wouldn't tell it, she's like super high functioning.

Trevor Tyson  48:00  
She's very, she's 100% high functioning. But her response to it was very inspiring to me, being as she didn't see it as negative. She was like, You know what, this has a lot of clarity to it. Like, she's an amazing poet. She's an amazing creator. But there were some things like with learning and just things that quote unquote, people, people without autism are able to do very well and she wasn't able to grasp on to it, right. So it provided a lot of clarity. And there's a stigma around stuff like that. So for her to be able to come out and say, Hey, publicly, I am autistic. That's very empowering. A lot of people would have kept that to yourself. And if there's not anything negative about it, which is the weird thing, there's so much stigma around this stuff. Just be honest, be vulnerable with people let people know that they're not alone in this journey. Just imagine how many autistic people that are out there that were inspired. Like, if Morgan can do this, I can do this. I'm not going to let my diagnosis become my identity. I'm going to use that as clarity and go kill it in life.

Brian Layne  49:06  
Can you imagine Morgan? When going through life like me and what's wrong with me? Like, why can't I pick this up? But I'm so good at this, but yet I struggle with this. And then all of a sudden, yeah, she's like, she finds this out. She's like, Haha, you know? And, you know, I've never had that like mindset like autism is bad. Always think, Oh, they're autistic. That means they're genius. That's why I always think of when I hear someone who's autistic or something. Their genius is something Yeah, and I hate to stereotype, but you know, it's this woman is true.

Trevor Tyson  49:35  
It's very true, either last year or the year before I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which was a main cause of my panic attacks. Wow, untreated hypothyroidism, and I get a phone call. I had my best friend Ray in the car with me. And I got a call and they're like, Hey, your results came back. You have what's called hypothyroidism and the way they delivered it was like concerning For me, like I hope they don't do it other people. They're like, hypothyroidism, here's no context, but it's a lifelong disease, but it can be 100% treated with medication. So you'll be on medication for the rest of your life and I'm like, no context on what's going on like, like, am I gonna die but no, like it was, you know, I've

Brian Layne  50:17  
got an anxiety disorder. Exactly.

Trevor Tyson  50:21  
That's why we took bloodwork. It provided a lot of clarity for me, because once I got on medication for hypothyroidism, a lot of the fatigue that I was experiencing left, I'm still always exhausted. So we haven't got to the bottom of

Brian Layne  50:34  
that, but like, I'm telling you that melatonin don't do my melatonin. Melatonin is a gift from God. Too much of it can cause a real long thing or struggle with I talked to my therapist about it and talk to her better help better help. promo code

Trevor Tyson  50:53  
no promo code just Trooper tighter forward slash Trevor talk that's a promo code. Well, you know what you put the forward slash and the Trevor talks you know, I'm saying but this this conversation is healing for people. I know this book is going to provide a lot of clarity Morgan's message in general, if you go follow her on Instagram at Morgan Harper Nichols, which all the links are in the description. She's just a very giving person her platform actually started to blow up when she started do free art for people. She was like, hey, send me your story. And maybe I'll make a poem out of it.

Brian Layne  51:25  
You know what's really cool is the like one of her beginning stories is the art at the coffee shop.

Trevor Tyson  51:31  
That I thought that was coffee camphor cocoa coffee came from my go to place my hometown. It's an amazing place one of my best nearest and dearest friends in the world. Crystal video, owns it and runs it. And it's it's just super awesome to think about like her art. I remember I would go in as I explained in the show, and I'd see it I'm like, Man, Morgan is gonna go places. That one now went in and it was gone. And it was because she couldn't keep up with the demand. So now she's got this very lucrative business. So many people are engaged in what she's doing when I worked at and T girls would come in. And like I told Morgan, it was It wasn't like your basic white girl stereotype. But I mean, you see a green straw coming in when I'm transferring their data nine times out of 10. Their background was a Morgan Harper Nichols quote. So it was just one of those things where I would see it and I'd be like, dang, like, she's doing it. And it was inspiring for me to get out of my shell, and try to do something for myself.

Brian Layne  52:32  
One of the things I'm noticing a pattern with Trevor, for all y'all listening out there that like, he meets like a ton of people. And it seems like everybody he knows goes on to do something incredible. So like, I guess the key here is to meet Trevor. Don't say, Jesus. Jeez, man. I need to know Trevor and Jesus. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. But no, it seems like you've had you have a lot of these incredible stories like what Steven Stanley and all these other people me, that's a homie. Wow, like, so like, just watching this whole thing. Just as your friend as your brother as your business partner. I think I'm more in it for the show. Like the like the story. I'm like, Okay, what's gonna happen next, Trevor? One day tune.

Trevor Tyson  53:16  
The funny things is the intro and outro music that we've been using for Trevor talks going on. We're going on our second year, right. Steven actually created the intro and outro music and the first few episodes he edited. Wow, I recorded it with his SM seven be in his studio in his house. And this was before everything really popped off.

Brian Layne  53:41  
Yeah. They made a favorite Tik Tok video of mine. That's yeah. Yeah, sure. Go Steven Stanley. Good.

Trevor Tyson  53:49  
That's the best tick tock ever. I don't see why. Like, not that we deserve to go viral for that. But it was me meowing and Steven doing like a fun piano like a saloon tune is when you

Brian Layne  54:02  
listen to that, like 200 times, dude. Yeah, it's it's

Trevor Tyson  54:04  
my favorite. Like that should be my ringtone. Yeah,

Brian Layne  54:07  
I love it. Man, this has been really cool. And once again, this is only number two for the after hours show. And I just feel privileged to be here. And I thank you for inviting me into to your Trevor talks living room. I just am really grateful that I have an opportunity to be a part of something that you're doing. It's amazing.

Trevor Tyson  54:26  
It's really cool that we get to offer this for the day one people because you know, we we did the show for maybe 50 Something episodes before we actually started doing video right? So the people that have been following the show on audio platforms know about the after show and we talk about it very minimal in the video episodes. So just know if you're hearing this like this is years in the making me and Brian have been wanting to do something together for a while. So the fact that we get to have these conversations and share them with you and try to encourage you like this whole show. Its purpose is to be an asset to you and your journey.

Brian Layne  55:03  
And if you have any questions, make sure you go over to Trevor's pages. You can find him on Instagram, Trevor talks, find him on what

Trevor Tyson  55:10  
get her get her pivot Facebook,

Brian Layne  55:12  
Facebook. Yeah, we're playing on MySpace.

Trevor Tyson  55:15  
I've never had a MySpace. That was before my time, Facebook was my first social media platform. I saw a young guy,

Brian Layne  55:21  
but you can find them on Facebook, Instagram, and pretty much all the popular platforms and send them a question. If you have any questions that you want us to talk about topics, anything guests. Yeah. And if you haven't left a review on his podcast, leave a review. It helps. vaguely, vaguely

Trevor Tyson  55:41  
vaguely is a great word. We got I got a I did get an email about a review that we got this past week from Kelly in New York. Awesome. She's a nurse in New York. She's a mom, she left one of the most heartfelt, beautiful reviews. And it was it. It was about the show, but it was about what God's doing through it know about what it's meant to her to hear the stories. And that was very encouraging for me, like I got that, I think on Wednesday, and I wasn't in a low spot. But I it was,

Brian Layne  56:15  
it's a community of people helping each other out.

Trevor Tyson  56:17  
Yeah, like we're a community of people. And, Kelly, if you're listening to this right now, thank you for sharing what the show's done for you. And it was it was just so beautiful. She's a nurse and a nurse throughout the pandemic. And it's, it's been hard on her so that we were able to be a light for her. Praise God, like we moved to New York City.

Brian Layne  56:40  
And sometimes when you're just trucking along, you're like, man, is this really doing anything. And then somebody comes along like Kelly, and just those that, that spark to the to the turns into a fireman.

Trevor Tyson  56:50  
People get lost in the big guests and all that stuff. And for me, it's not like, our interviews are consistent. I'm not. I mean, I talk about their accolades. But that's not what it's about. Yeah, it's good. Now the person, yeah, let's get to know the people. It doesn't matter who you are, where you came from what you believe, like, God's got a plan for you. And a lot of us came from very different beginnings. And I think it's very empowering for us to hear how God has used each and every single one of us in our unique journeys to become the unique people that we are today. And when we hear that, we learned that, you know, God loves us, He loves the uniqueness of us.

Brian Layne  57:32  
There's a real big move going on right now where people are starting to see the profound emptiness of social media platforms and fame is fleeting and vague and are really starting to turn back to the community. And they're really starting to look for those pillars. And sounds like Kelly is one of those pillars, you know, out there grinding hard taking care of the family, you know, living by example. And so those those stories of encouragement matter, and they make an impact.

Trevor Tyson  58:01  
Pieces of practice is available wherever books are sold, the link is in the description below. If you get a chance like Brian said, go subscribe, leave us a review. It means the absolute world. It it makes a difference. Because when you leave those reviews, not only does it get us more of an opportunity to be like presented to new people, but it helps grow the community. We don't get paid to do this. Right. Don't it's it's all this all passion. We're independent. We love Jesus. And this is this is a movement of some sort. And God's really, it's a labor of love. It's a labor of love. And God is using it to make me feel like I just got out of therapy every single time I record. I feel like I got out therapy and now we're doing these like it's therapeutic as well. So

Brian Layne  58:52  
we'd love to be a part

Trevor Tyson  58:55  
of you guys. Talk to you next week.

Transcribed by

Morgan Harper NicholsProfile Photo

Morgan Harper Nichols

Popular Instagram poet and artist Morgan Harper Nichols (@morganharpernichols) has garnered a loyal online following of nearly two million, and each poem she shares is created in response to the personal stories submitted by her friends and followers. In addition to her burgeoning career as a poet and illustrator, Morgan has also successfully established her reputation as a musician, with her song “Storyteller” amassing more than one million Spotify plays thus far. She currently has partnerships with Target, Starbucks, Kind Bar and more. She and her family live in Phoenix, Arizona.