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Vishen: Hi, I’m Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley, the school for human transformation. You’re listening to the Mindvalley podcast, where we’ll be bringing you the greatest teachers and thought leaders on the planet. They discuss the world’s most powerful ideas in personal growth, for mind, body, spirit, and work. Welcome to the Mindvalley podcast. This episode features a remarkable woman by the name of Esther Perel. And I’ll tell you you’ve heard of Esther because her two TED Talks, on, have received a combined 17 million views.

I’ve seen Esther speak at many massive events such as Summit Series, and her sessions are always filled to the brim, literary a waiting line outside the door. And so I knew I had to bring Esther to Mindvalley’s event A-Fest, when it happened in Ibiza in 2017, on the theme of love and relationships because her ideas on this subject are revolutionary. It opens us up to this challenging thing we face in our modern world: love, relationships, monogamy. For this particular podcast, you’re gonna listen to Esther’s talk from A-Fest.

In this particular talk, she tackles one of the biggest struggles couples face in today’s modern, romantic relationships, which is, “How do we satisfy the opposing needs we all deeply crave?” You see, we crave intimacy, we crave love, but we also crave adventure, we crave variety, and so we’re in this bizarre state of relationships where we want our partner to give us stability, to give us consistency, to give us love, but at the same time, we want variety. We get bored by the same thing happening over and over and over again.

Now couples that learn to work with this diametrically-opposed forces have, according to Esther, the healthiest relationships. These opposing forces are the reason why so many couples say that their relationship has lost its spark. Listen to this profound advice from Esther Perel because it may shift the way you look at your current or future relationships. I’m Vishen Lakhiani, and this is the Mindvalley podcast.

Esther: I want you to think of an experience that you had, a moment in your life where you felt a deep sense of security. You can close your eyes if that helps you kind of see the history of your life right in front of you. A moment when you felt safe, content, satisfied, more than successful. Maybe a moment where you’re crying on someone else’s shoulder, and you know you can really let go because they’re there to sustain you. Or a moment when you’re saying goodbye to a dying member of your family, and you know that you’re holding each other all the way to the last breath.

Or a moment when you’re holding a newborn in your arm, a place when you just felt, “I’m enough. There’s nothing more needed in this moment.” It’s safe, it’s trusting, it’s reliable, it’s dependable. Good. And when you have that moment, what was it like for you? Just very briefly, what stood out about that moment for you? And how did you experience it in your body? What does it feel like, physically, when we embody security, trust, safety, familiarity, continuity, belonging?

Hold it and walk with me to the other side of the spectrum of life, and think of a moment, an experience that you had, where you experienced a deep sense of adventure, of novelty, of risk-taking, of boldness where you went outside of your comfort zone into the unknown. A moment when you allowed yourself to do something which usually you may not, when you spoke up when generally you stay quiet, where you stood up for an injustice when generally you’re a passive bystander, where you took the risk to let yourself be seen even if you’re imperfect.

A moment that may be reckless, that may be dangerous even. And what’s it like on that side of the spectrum of life? And what’s it like to embody that? How does the body experience itself, assert itself, express itself when it is bold, fearless, transgressive, adventurous, breaking rules outside the norm even if it’s just your own little norms? You got them? Who has them? Just raise your hands. Who needs more time? Who is out somewhere else? It’s totally fine, too. Turn to the person that sits on your right, and just very briefly let them know what you were thinking of, what you remembered where you went. Go.

You see, every one of us here comes into this world struggling two sets of fundamental human needs. We all have a need for security, for safety, for dependability, for predictability, for belonging, for continuity. But we also all have an equally strong need, men and women and everything in between, for adventure, for novelty, for mystery, for risk, for the unknown, for discovery, for exploration. All of us, from the minute we come into this world, need to negotiate our need for security, and our need for adventure.

Our need for connection, and our need for autonomy. Our need for togetherness, and our need for freedom. Our need for love, and our need for desire. And some of us came out of your childhood, and your histories, with a greater need for security, for safety, for protection. And some of you came out of your histories, your early histories, with a greater need for space, for freedom, for choice, for self-expression.

And many of you may have found partners for whom their proclivities matched your vulnerabilities, so that they can bring to you the parts that you want more of, or at least think you want more of, although many times you will then fight them about the very thing that you chose them for because we all know that the very thing that leads to conflict is often the very thing that we were originally attracted to. Such are some of the contradictions that we live with. We’ve always had this two sets of needs, and they change in the course of our life.

Of course, none of these is static. But what is utterly new is that romanticism, and modern love, has brought us to a situation where for the first time in the history of humankind, we want to reconcile them with one person, and in one relationship, and for the long haul, which means that we live twice as long. And how did we get to this that we want, with the same person, to experience the anchor and the waves? And a little bit of history will help us to bring the pieces together because when it comes to relationships and modern love, we actually have undergone rather revolutionary shifts in a very short amount of time.

And since we often live so much in the present, or maybe with an eye to the future, we’d sometimes forget where we come from. So, allow me a three-minute little history course. We used to live in communities. We used to live, actually, in tribes. We didn’t have to come together from 40 countries to create tribes. We actually were stuck in them. Very little choice in those tribes. Very little choice in those communities, but what we did get is a sense of belonging, a sense of identity, and a sense of continuity.

I knew who I was because I knew who I’m part of. And I know what to do because I do what I’m told. And my relationships are organized on a spectrum of duty and obligation, and I’m happy when I fulfill my duty and my obligations, and I feel like I’ve accomplished that which is expected of me. When I’m raised as a child, I am not raised for autonomy, I’m not raised in order to use my words to say what I want. I used to be raised in order to know what other people want from me, and this is still part of a large part of the world today.

But in our communities, we had a deep sense of anchor, very little freedom. And we move, in a very short amount of time, to the cities with major revolutions of urbanization and in the rise of individualism, and production economy, and industrialization, etc. and what happens as we move to the city is that for the first time we are a lot more free but also a lot more alone. And now, one particular word is going to change its meaning radically, and it’s the word intimacy.

In most of the world still today, intimacy, generally, means that we share the vicissitudes of the everyday life. We milk the cows, we feed the children, we deal with the draughts, we deal with the floods, but today in our Western culture, intimacy is INTO-ME-SEE. And INTO-ME-SEE means that when I talk to you, my beloved, you better look at me in my eyes, for mirror neurons and no clicking away. So when I talk to you, and INTO-ME-SEE, what is it that you’re going to see is that I’m going to share with you my most prized, deep assets.

And they’re not my camels and my herds, they’re my feelings, my worries, my anxieties, my aspirations, my dreams, INTO-ME-SEE, I will open myself up to you to come in, and as you come in, you will validate me, you will reflect me, and you will momentarily help me transcend my existential aloneness. Welcome to modern love, and it only starts there. It goes on. So, we have this new definition of intimacy, but we have a few other things, too, that happened. For most of history, marriage was a production economy. It was an economic institution.

More and more in the West today, marriage has been replaced as an experience, as an experiential institution for trust and affection and intimacy and connection. That’s a very different economy. For most of history, infidelity threatened the economic stability of a relationship. Today, infidelity threatens the emotional security of a relationship. For most of history, we married and we had sex for the first time. Today, we marry and we stop having sex with others, at least for most people that is still the norm.

Due to divorce, because we were unhappy, first of all for a long time you couldn’t divorce, you just had the blessing of dying young. Then we finally could divorce, but, basically, we divorced because we were very unhappy. Today, the new bar is that we divorce because we could be happier. Happiness, well, happiness it belonged to the heavens. Many religions understood it as for the afterlife. You suffer on earth, you pay your dues, and maybe you’ll get some fun later on. Happiness was brought to earth, first, and then for a while, it became a possibility.

Today, it’s a mandate. You have to be happy. What’s wrong with you if you’re not? You should. It all depends on you. Get to work. Sexuality. Sexuality, primarily within family life or marriage, marriage and I mean, committed relationships, but there wasn’t much of other kind for a long time, was basically sexuality was a reproductive economy. We had sex for babies, we needed eight babies to work the land, for which we would have ten, two we’re not gonna survive and still, in most parts of the world, it’s a marital duty for women.

But we have shifted sexuality, in the West, to a sexuality for pleasure and connection because if you have bambinos, and you have two, after two you’re pretty much done. So what’s the motivation to stay sexual with one partner, or many partners openly or not openly? But generally, in the traditional model, it’s with one partner. How do people do this when they have a model of sexuality that is now rooted in desire? Desire, as defined by owning the wanting. So, now it’s not because I have to, or because I should, or because it’s expected, but it’s because I want to.

And I want to with you, and you want me, and maybe at the same time. It’s a lot of conditions to fulfill. And why is it so difficult to sustain desire in the same place where we often feel deep love, but no erotic energy? What is the fate of desire in the long haul? So, what else changed? Monogamy. Monogamy used to be one person for life. That was the definition of the word. At this moment, monogamy is one person at a time. And people very comfortably tell you, “I am monogamous in all my relationships.” And it makes perfect sense. Ask your grandma, you know, or grandpa.

So, all these concepts that we think about have always been in flux. Actually, they have never been static. They’ve always evolved. They evolve across cultures. They evolve across religions. They evolve with the rise or the decline of egalitarianism. They evolve with the changing definitions of gender. They’re not static, and we’re in the midst of an overhaul around that. So, desire has become the organizing principle of modern relationships in the West. In our families, in our careers, in our intimate lives, we want to feel desire.

We want to feel that we own the story. That we’re the authors of our story. That we get to edit the story. That we get to decide when the story needs to end a chapter and start a new one. We want that sense of mastery over our lives. We come to places like this to experience more of that. So, what is this elusive thing called desire? And the million-dollar question around desire is, can we want what we already have? Which philosophers have dabbled with forever. And why is it that the forbidden fuels desire?

And when you love, how does it feel? And when you desire, how is it different? And then lastly, what helps us keep it alive? So, I wanna take us to a few of these questions, wherever we get, then we’re gonna have a conversation about all of these, and it will unfold, right? What I want you to know is in everything I tell you, it’s years of thinking and writing, and my new book that’s coming out called “The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.” And even though sometimes I will sound confident, I am sure of absolutely nothing.

I live the dilemmas that we all live. There isn’t an expert on relationships. There are just people who have thought about it more and can put words to some of the paradoxes, to some of the longings, to some of the disillusionments, to some of the aspirations that we all have. So, when you love, and you think about wanting to know the person, knowing the beloved, contracting the distance, minimizing the threats, having that deep connection, it lives on a different side than when you want.

The verb for love is to have. The verb for desire is to want. And to want requires us sometimes to have a little bit of a psychological distance, a sense of otherness, a bridge to cross. Something or someone to visit on the other side, so that in between me and you, lies this tension called the erotic allure. And I began to think about this dialectic, this tension between closeness and space, in terms of love and desire, and the question that I would ask is, “I am most drawn to my partner when…?”

Not sexually attracted only, just most drawn to. So, what would you say if I as you, “I’m most drawn to my partner when…?” Give me a few.

Woman: We’re laughing together.

Esther: We’re laughing together.

Woman: When we’re making art.

Esther: When he or she…he is making art.

Man: [inaudible 00:19:60]

Esther: When we’re traveling. When we’re adventurous. When we’re on the go. When we’re exploring together. When we’re discovering. That’s traveling, right?

Woman: Present.

Esther: When he’s present.

Woman: When we’re dancing.

Esther: When we’re dancing.

Man: When she’s self-expressed.

Esther: When she’s fully self-expressed.

Woman: When I’m connected to myself.

Esther: When I connect to myself.

Man: And when I’m drunk.

Esther: When what? When we’re not drunk? Is that it? Drunk or drugged, which one was it?

Woman: When we’re deeply communicating.

Esther: Sorry, I thought that one was good, too. Keep going. I’m drawn to my partner when…?

Man: She sings.

Esther: When she sings.

Woman: Heard and seen.

Esther: Heard and seen.

Man: We’re discussing.

Esther: When we’re…?

Man: Discussing.

Woman: When he shines.

Esther: When I see him?

Woman: Shining.

Esther: Shining. How many of you would have that one, “When I see him or her shining?” Okay. How many of you would say, “When we’ve been apart?” “When we reunite?”

Woman: Yeah.

Esther: How many of you will say, “When I’m surprised in one way or another?” Because what I’m seeing is different from the usual? And how many would say, “When I see him or her shining in the lights of others?” Yeah.

Man: Risks.

Esther: Taking risks. So, the first one you’re gonna hear, generally, even about being fully into herself, singing, dancing, traveling, what you’re going to hear is that, “I’m most drawn to my partner when he or she radiates.” Radiates. That’s probably the best word for it. It’s another word for confidence, but it’s confidence with illumination. It has a little-added twist to it. Because when she sings, I am looking at this person who is already generally so familiar and is momentary, once again, somewhat unknown, somewhat mysterious, somewhat elusive, and in this space between me and her lies this erotic allure.

And it’s a space in which what is generally so known becomes momentarily, once again, somewhat unknown, so that I can explore and first and foremost be curious. The essential experience that comes with desire is curiosity. Exploration and curiosity. When my partner is confident, or when I radiate it’s the same. When I am confident. When I’m in myself. When, you know. The second one is when we’ve been apart, and when we’ve been apart or when we reunite or when he’s away or she’s away or they’re away, what happens is that we get to connect with the other dimension of desire, which is that it’s also rooted in longing and in absence.

There is something about not having that allows us to want more. Not just because we want what we can’t have, but because when we don’t have it right in front of us, it allows us to engage our imagination about what not only what it is, but what it means to us, or what this person means to us, represents for us, and who we are in their presence. When I’m surprised, because I can be surprised because I’m drawn to my partner because he’s vulnerable, and it’s not typically what I see.

Or I’m surprised because I see you do something that you don’t usually do. Or I’m surprised because you come to me with a different tone that you usually do. But surprise breeds novelty, change, difference. That, too, is a ferment of the desire. And when I see my partner in the eyes of the others. When other people are taken by his or her intelligence, their words, their charm, their wit, their humor, their looks. Basically, when I experience in the moment that my partner doesn’t just exist in my own gaze, but also exists in the gaze of others. And they don’t belong to me.

They, actually, I don’t own them. At best, your partner is on loan with an option to renew. What we often think is that once we commit your mind, and the long series of songs and poetries and proverbs that have fed a kind of romantic possessiveness, have often led us astray. “I’m most drawn to my partner…” speaks to this tension that needs to exist in the realm of desire. Can we want what we already have? Which is the second question is best answered if we accept that we never have the person who is next to us.

They have never belonged to us. They’re actually free to go. Of course, we can control them, we can lock them up, we can create a system of surveillance, but that’s not intimacy or closeness. What was it that she said? I need to know where I wanna be next year. I can’t even find my GPS. These days you have a GPS on you from, you know, from a distance from the other person. We can be controlled in fabulous ways. It has never brought anybody close. It just brings them there, but that doesn’t mean they’re close.

It can make them physically there, it doesn’t make them present. And most and foremost, no surveillance ever breeds trust. Not in the intimate realm, and I would venture a little political line, and not in the global sense. So, they never belong to you, so how do you cultivate their interest? How do we maintain this desire? What does it mean to stay actively engaged with someone? And how does it mean to stay actively engaged with ourselves in the presence of someone?

How do I remain interesting to myself when I’m with you? How do we not create situations that so often happen in modern couples, and especially when they’re busy and on the go and active, and reaching far out the way many of you do, which is that often our erotic self exists outside, and the leftovers come home? And the erotic self is the self of desire. It is the self that is playful, that is engaged, that looks in the eyes, that is immediately responsive. It’s a very different self. It’s curious. It’s active. It’s present. It’s focused.

It’s all of what we would like to experience in the intimacy of our own relationship. But many of us have become much more adept at having that person on the outside, and the one that comes home is the one that wants to chill. I’m done. I’ve put out. I’ve put my charm out. I’ve done the effort. Here’s the place where I don’t wanna have to work so hard. And the less we want to work so hard because there are also no rewards or no immediate rewards, and no danger of being fired, or at least not tomorrow morning, we become lazy and we become complacent.

And desire chaffs on the routine laziness habits and complacency. It just goes numb. It goes numb there. It doesn’t go numb all in all. And then the question, can we want what we already have? What is the difference between love and desire? And why does the forbidden fuel desire? Because you see very interesting thing when we begin to understand the anatomy of desire is this, most of the time we have a model of desire that breathes freedom and possibility and choice.

Great. But at the same time, when I do what I’m allowed to do it’s fantastic. But when I do what I’m not supposed to do, for many of us, that’s when I really feel that I’m doing what I really want. There is something fundamental about breaking rules and transgression that makes us feel that we touch freedom with a capital “F.” So, the forbidden fuels desire because the forbidden, even if it’s our own forbidden little things which we haven’t given ourselves the permission to feel, to do, to say, it’s not big things.

But the moment we break out and we reach beyond the inhibitions, the boundaries, the borders, the prohibitions that we have set to ourselves or that our culture and our religions set to us, we experience a sense of affirmation and reclamation that is unmatched. What happens today, though, with the notion of freedom, is that, you know, for a long time if you wanted to date, you had to cross the square, and you had to cross the village square, and you had to find two, three people to choose from, and that was that.

Today, we have a village that is a big global, digital village in which I don’t have two or three choices, I have thousands of choices. And on the one hand, it gives me opportunities that I have never had, but on the other side, it also gives me what is called the paradox of choice, right? Two choices, three choices, great. Five, still good. A hundred, crippling self-doubt and massive uncertainty. So, there’s never been a time where people ask me this very question more than ever.

I’ve done this for more than three decades, “How do I know when I’ve found the one?” But that question, of course, from Cinderella already you know that question. But that question has come up with a new twist because what is the one today when you have that sea of possibilities. The one today is the one who’s gonna make me wanna close my apps. The one today is the one that’s gonna make me no longer think that maybe there’s something better around the corner that I didn’t think about, that I should still go look, while I’m under the table looking at you and saying, “What else is out there?”

The one is the one that’s going to quieten all my inner rumble that’s going to be, oh, so extraordinaire, that I no longer gonna want to think that I haven’t found the one yet. And the one is the one that has to give me a sense of certainty that is basically impossible to get. People who find the one are people who completely understand that life at best are imperfect, and you live with uncertainty. You just hope that if you put in more, and you become the one, you’ll make the other be more of the one.

That love is a verb and not a permanent state of enthusiasm given to you by someone else who is perfect, while you still are not. I guess this resonates for a few people. So, with that choice, with that need for certainty, it matches something that I think has really become one of the trademarks of modern relationships, which is this, we still want in the…and I’m gonna talk now about the monogamous probably mostly heterosexual, but we shall see what happens after gay marriage model.

I think that there’s a whole proliferation of new models and relational configurations that are challenging a lot of this, and I hope we get to talk about that, too. But a general model that has really been kind of the legacy with which we enter into this story is this. We still want economic stability, support, companionship, social status, and maybe kids when we commit to somebody, married or not married, it doesn’t matter. But we still want all of that plus now I want you also to be my best friend, my trusted confidant, and my passionate lover to boot into our 80s. It’s a given.

What this amounts to, people, is this. We’re asking one person to give us what once an entire village used to provide. And that is a tall order for a party of two. So, where’s the tribe? Where is the tribe? Where is the community? Where is the multiple people that help us, so that maybe the relationship isn’t the source of all our nourishment, but it is the bridge to all the nourishments that we can find in the multiple parts of our lives, which we then bring back to the relationship, and then give it its energy?

When I work with couples, and I am still a practicing clinician daily, and I work with couples pretty much all over the globe, I speak nine languages, I can translate, so I get also the real cultural nuances that I know are present in this room. I don’t get them all, but I’m aware of them, let’s put it more like that, is that I see two kinds of couples or relationships. Doesn’t even have to be even two, it can relationships of three or four. There are those people who are not dead, and there are those people who are alive.

It’s a very important distinction, and there’s a line that I stole from Dan, who’s sitting in the back, which I think is priceless because one of the things he always said was, “You don’t measure the success of a relationship at a funeral home.” It is not just because you stay together forever that it actually means that it was good, or even tolerable for that matter. So, what does it mean to not be dead? To not be dead for me is people who experience fear, lack of trust, legacies of trauma, oppression, tightness, and you survive when you’re not dead.

You can survive, but you do the basics. You certainly don’t have rich, fulfilling lives, meaningful lives. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about protecting yourself from danger, emotional and physical and relational danger, economic danger. Alive is this. It’s a body that opens up. It’s expansive. It reaches out. It allows things to come in. It is the ability to play, to discover, to explore. And when it comes to desire, there is one map I want to quickly draw with you because I want you to then think, which one of these children is you?

You sit on your mother or your dad or whoever your parental figures lap, whoever raised you, and at some point, every one of you jumped off to wanna go and discover and experience the world. You went to play. You can experience it now in the role of the child or if you want to bring it in the role of sexuality and intimacy, do it in the version of the adult. You’ll see the resonance. When this little child leaves, there’s an adult here that can say a few things. If the adult says, “Kiddo, the world is a great place. Go, have fun, play, enjoy.”

Then the little kid is gonna go and go further. And they will experience, and those of you who are there, experienced togetherness and separateness at the same time. Safety and adventure at the same time. Mystery and trust at the same time. But many of you did not get that answer. Many of you got the answer, “What’s so great out there? Don’t we have everything we need you and I? I am lonely. I am depressed. I am anxious.” All kinds of messages that said to you, “Come back.”

And some of you may have done exactly that. I’ll give up a part of me in order not to lose you. I’ll forgo my freedom in order to secure my connection. And that’s one child. The second child doesn’t come back right away because they’re are very zesty and curious and eager, and they wanna go, but they’re constantly looking over their shoulder. “Am I safe? Am I gonna be punished? Am I gonna pay the price for this? Are you gonna collapse on me? What happens when I attend to myself?”

And that person, often in the beginning of a relationship, experiences a great ability for security and adventure at the same time. But as they become more intimate, so down goes their desire. The more connected I become to you, the less I am able to want my own. Not just sexually, as a whole. The third child doesn’t come back because there’s not much to come back to. So, take a moment because in every relationship you will notice that there is often one person who is more in touch with the fear of abandonment, and the fear of losing the other, and one person who is more in touch with the fear of losing themselves.

And these two are often in a relationship with each other you see. So, there are three tensions I wanna highlight, and you can think about which one is you. Which one you were, which one you are today, and what you wanna change about this. We’ve talked about security and adventure as one of the big tensions in desire because sustaining desire is really about reconciling these two seemingly opposite forces. That’s really what it’s at. And I will tell you right away, it is not a problem that you solve, it is a paradox that you manage.

There is no answer. There are lots of things you can do, but it isn’t because that’s how you get away from this. It’s just how you live with it better. The second tension is the tension between mystery and transparency. We’re in an era of massive transparency on all fronts, and we’re forgetting that there’s a powerful aphrodisiac in not knowing everything. Not knowing everything neither inside relationships nor on social media, leave something to be discovered. If nothing is hidden, nothing can be discovered.

Religion understood that fundamentally. If we’re going to live secular spiritualties, we need to bring back mystery. We need to bring back mystery as in foreplay for that matter, too. It’s the same idea, rather than immediate gratification on all fronts. It’s the difference between sexuality and eroticism. Sex, rather blatant, an act, the nature, the biology, the animal. Eroticism? Sexuality transformed by the human imagination. It’s everything that gives it meaning. And imagination is not direct, necessarily. It plays with the hidden things behind the corners.

And the third tension, after mystery and transparency, is trust and betrayal. The people who live on the side of not dead often don’t trust. In order to play, to discover, to explore, to open up, you must have that fundamental glue that gives every relationship its essence, its timelessness, and its truth, it’s called trust. And many of us have experiences of broken trust, of betrayal, and of needing to know how do we mend? How do we bring back? How do we repair, as in pairing back?

When trust is broken, it’s actually about reintegrating a new truth, and a new trajectory for desire, so that I can once again feel safe enough to want, which means that I can once again feel secure enough to feel free and feel free enough to build more security. It’s a loop back and forth. When it comes to love, it’s our imagination that is the greatest actor, not necessarily the other person. Thank you.

Vishen: Hope you enjoyed that episode of the Mindvalley podcast with Esther Perel. That podcast was brought to you by Mindvalley’s A-Fest. A-Fest is a massive beautiful event that we put together in a different location on planet earth, every six months, exploring a theme. And these themes range from biohacking to love and sex and relationships, to longevity. And A-Fest happens in exotic locations around the world. It’s sort of, like, our version of TED Talks. It’s world-class speakers like Esther, but just like TED, it’s an invite-only gathering, and you can apply to get an invite.

It’s not for everyone. With A-Fest we bring together some of the world’s most incredible thinkers and speakers, and we put them in front of an audience or people who are in a position where they can help these ideas spread. So, you could be running a company of several hundred people, you could be a principal in a school, you could be a famous blogger or a television star, those are the kind of people you meet at A-Fest. And it’s a really loving, wholesome, amazing tribe. People come as much for the community and the friendship as they do for speakers like Esther.

So, if you think A-Fest is for you, here’s what you can do next. Go to, and you can apply there. You can also see pictures and so on of what happens at A-Fest, or you can check out Mindvalley’s A-Fest channel on YouTube where our talks, in video format, are all available for you to watch, including this talk with Esther Perel. Take care, guys. Hope you enjoyed this episode of the Mindvalley podcast.



The Mindvalley Podcast aims to bring to you the greatest teachers and thought leaders on the planet to discuss the world's most powerful ideas in personal growth for mind, body, spirit, and work.

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