An Intro To Deep Living

An Intro To Deep Living
With Tahlee Rouillon

18 months ago, I became obsessed with the question "What prevents us from living a deep and meaningful life?"

After months of searching, the answer arrived. It's shallow living.

"What prevents us from living a deep and meaningful life? It's shallow living." ~ Tahlee Rouillon
In this episode

  • I uncover the antidote to Shallow Living
  • define what Deep Living is (and isn't)
  • outline the four broad stages of Deep Living, plus
  • supportive strategies for growth


Tahlee Rouillon 0:03
18 months ago, I became obsessed with the question, What prevents us from living a deep and meaningful life?

At first, I couldn’t answer it. There wasn’t one block that stops us living deeply, just an endless list of symptoms. Things like the weight of other people’s expectations and opinions, the distraction and performative nature of social media. People pleasing and approval seeking, consumerism, hustle, overwhelm, anything that disconnects you from your inner guidance.

But I wanted to know the disease, the root cause of all these manifestations. I wanted to get to the bottom of a rabbit hole. You’re listening to the Seekers’ Sanctuary, a show about creating sanctuary in life, work, relationships, and home, so you can embrace a life that matters to you. I’m your host Tahlee.

But there was no oxygen in the shallows. How is it possible to feel like I was drowning in all the things that didn’t matter? Because the truth is, I want what poet Mary Oliver called the wild and precious life, a life of service, of art, of regeneration, both environmentally and personally. A life defined by resilience, authenticity, doing what matters, of love.

Deep Living is powered by balancing action with rest, practicing presence and gratitude, crafting a kit of supportive tools and habits, spending time in nature and connecting with loved ones, soothing the nervous system and building resilience, becoming your most authentic, altruistic, integrated self.

Essentially, I think the goal of Deep Living is to become more and more you. It’s about thriving in your own purpose no matter what others think. It’s about tuning into the values, desires and callings that you crave need and love. It’s about defining what matters to you, and then having the courage and resilience to live that life.

So why does Deep Living matter?

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious by now that shallow living is hurting the planet, ourselves and each other.

We need to turn to sustainable values, inner wisdom, healing and calm. So we can evolve beyond trauma, hostility and excess consumerism. So we can solve the multiple crises facing humanity today, and access more joy, justice and belonging for everyone.

Is it selfish? I don’t think so. Everyone I’ve ever met that is living a life that matters seems kind, generous and empathic. It seems to me, the less self conscious you are, the more you can serve others from a place of genuine love. And I think that’s what our world needs more of, don’t you?

The first stage I call Lost and Lonely. Let’s face it, the shallow life weighs you down, because you’re wearing the weight of other people’s expectations. It can be isolating, miserable and soul destroying.

Supportive strategies for growth in the Lost and Lonely stage include finding a trauma informed therapist, beginning a yoga or breathwork practice, journaling to connect with your inner self, soothing the nervous system with something like meditones (which are my favorite), watching comedy or belly laughing with friends, writing down three things you’re grateful for each day, and spending time in nature.

The next stage of deep living I call Healing and Hopeful.

Now that you’ve started exploring therapy and soothing tools, you’re ready for more. You’re feeling relief from your anxiety, and you’ve got hope for the future.

You know you feel better when you stick to your self care routine. But you get frustrated that you can’t seem to make it stick.

Supportive strategies for growth in the Healing and Hopeful stage are:

Keeping small daily promises to yourself, tracking your self care habits and celebrating your wins, journaling your progress (because I bet you’re further along than you think), surrounding yourself with nourishing relationships, reading books or listening to podcasts for self development, and practicing compassion for yourself when you slip up or make a mistake.

These things will help you tune into your own wisdom and start to let go of what other people think. A deep self love will sustain you here.

The third stage of deep living is what I call Empowered Empathy. In this stage, you’ve ritualized your self care. You know who you are and what lights you up, you’re feeling more present more authentic and whole. All the healing work you’ve done has truly paid off. And now you’re tuning into a deeper calling.

Perhaps you have leadership aspirations within your community, or you’d like to help others on their healing journey.

Perhaps you’d like to help people grow their own food or teach kids how to meditate.

Either way, you’re feeling ready to be of service and to start playing big.

Supportive strategies for growth in the Empowered Empathy stage may surprise you. I think it’s really important to start learning about the impacts of colonialism and systemic discrimination, and recognizing that all of these systems of oppression are interconnected, and they are upheld by the status quo.

That overarching system is sometimes called the kyriarchy or it’s also called intersectionality.

It’s also really important to appreciate the different privileges that you may hold. It’s also important to understand what it means to be a good ally for marginalized communities, investigating new ways of living that are removed from capitalism, such as zero waste, capsule wardrobes and minimalism, to seek out and listen to diverse voices, and also to become trauma informed, or at least trauma aware.

The final stage in deep living I call the Authentic Altruist. Even though life gets difficult at time, you’ve nailed all the tools and strategies that help you get unstuck. You feel liberated, worthy, and resilient.

You are home to yourself. And now you’re all in on the deep life. You’ve quit social media, you’re researching urban gardening and how to do it. No by month, you’re nourished by creativity, you regularly connected deeply with your loved ones, and you’re actively involved in the social justice movement that matter to you. At this point, the status quo holds no sway. You have the courage to live your values, even when they don’t fit in. You know, it’s okay to be different, and you’re proud of who you are.

Maintaining your awareness now is a vital antidote to the loud distractions of the world. So supportive strategies that help you to be an authentic altruist include breathwork, embodiment or somatic practices like Feldenkrais, a deeper meditation practice or listening to longer meditones tracks, and finding magic in the mundane.

So those are the four stages of Deep Living: Lost and Lonely, Healing and Hopeful, Empowered Empathy and Authentic Altruist.

I want to reiterate that these stages aren’t linear, and that the supportive strategies can work across all stages. You don’t have to wait until you’ve healed your own trauma to learn about systems of oppression. You can start breathwork at any time, and therapy can often help at any stage of life.

If you’d like to read more about the topic of Deep Living, make sure to head over to the blog at I’ve got an ultimate guide on there with all the information from this episode and more. Tune in for the next episodes in this series on Deep Living.

I’ll be speaking with renowned author and photographer Susanna Conway about Deep Living and Creativity. With Feldenkrais instructor, Angela Ashley-Chiew about Deep Living and Flow. And with vibrational designer and modern day medicine woman Sarah Rigano on Deep Living and Ceremony. It’s gonna be amazing. Until next time, big love.

Thank you for listening to the Seekers’ Sanctuary podcast. I’ve been your host Tahlee.

If you’ve enjoyed the music on this show, then you’re going to love becoming a Seekers’ Sanctuary member. You can access hours of calming meditones music on any device with our premium streaming service. Head to for your free trial today. Special thanks to our editor Justin Rouillon for helping bring these episodes to life. Until next time, big love!

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