Branden Densmore since his overdose (and profound Near Death Experience) in 2014, Branden is called by Spirit to create life-transforming opportunities (magic doors) for heart-centered unique individuals to manifest their dreams while having fun fearlessly.
Branden is the CEO of Gathered Minds Media LLC, where he acts as a certified spiritual mindset coach, business consultant, and digital product creator.
Please enjoy my conversation with Branden Densmore.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 200
Branden Densmore 0:00
I saw all the people who were affected by my death. So all the people who grieved and in particular, I remember my mother, she coming into the room and finding my body on her couch and my body was all discolored.
Alex Ferrari 0:35
I like to welcome to the show, Branden Densmore. How're you doing, Branden?
Branden Densmore 0:39
Hey doing pretty well, how are you?
Alex Ferrari 0:41
I'm doing very good. My friend. Thank you so much for coming on the show. And I appreciate you coming on to tell you tell us your fairly interesting story. You've had a couple of things happen to your life that have been interesting to say the least. So my first question to you is, what was your life like prior to your NDE's?
Branden Densmore 1:01
Oh, pretty miserable. I was really angry person. Self competence issues, self esteem issues. I wasn't happy. I pretended pretended to be happy. But I really wasn't deep down. Not comfortable in my own skin. And you know, I had ups and downs like everybody, but those things really kind of consumed me at a behind the scenes kind of level.
Alex Ferrari 1:37
Did you? Did you have any spirituality or anything like that in religion or anything like that when you were growing up?
Branden Densmore 1:44
I did. I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. Okay. So. And I've always been interested in spirituality. I went to school for philosophy. So I studied different philosophies from around the world. And just always been fascinated by different spiritual teachings, and things like that. Just always been a kind of a curious person.
Alex Ferrari 2:11
Now, when you said you were angry, can you explain what did you understand the reason for that, because I grew up angry, as well. I had a lot of anger as a young man. And even though I was a class clown, in many ways, I had anger and frustrations in my life. And I think I think everybody does at one point or another. But do you mind going a little deeper into what was going on?
Branden Densmore 2:36
Just things would get under my skin and irritate me, and then I would just explode. You know, but I mean, just in general, I was just kind of had a lot of angry feelings. So I think it started back when I was sexually molested when I was eight years old.
Alex Ferrari 2:59
I'm sorry about that.
Branden Densmore 3:00
So that kind of like was a chink in the armor. It affected my self esteem. And I was made fun of when I was a kid in school. But it's just that I had resentments to people. And all of that stuff over the years just kind of built up under the surface. Not even necessarily in my conscious awareness. But like, I was watching one of your episodes before I came on the show, and you were talking about how you would get angry with road rage.
Alex Ferrari 3:38
Cool. I Yeah, that was I was not a fun person to be around in my teens and early 20s. And on the road. It was weird. It's weird.
Branden Densmore 3:47
So just being irritated by by things that other people do. Yeah. And just getting pissed off. I don't know. Am I allowed to say that on YouTube?
Alex Ferrari 3:57
Sure. Yeah, I think I think I think you are I think it's just kind of like any little thing would set you off. That makes no sense where like, like, now someone cuts me off and I'm like, why I wonder what's going on in his life that are shut her life that that she's in that much of a hurry? Or she's they're angry or something like that. They must be going through something. That's my first instinct now before will be like this Emma, Mother Son of up. I'm gonna I'm gonna follow them. And I'm gonna let them know how I feel. Because that was pure ego and pure anger and like, How dare you even look at me the wrong way. If you flipped me off, forget it. We were all I was. I had nothing else to do. It was young man. So I would just literally just chase him down. Just follow them never did anything other than that never went off the highway or anything. But I would get angry. And it was just like, now I look back at that guy. And I'm like, Wow, man, you were so angry and anything would set you off. So that's why I asked us I know a lot of people listening are probably in that place. And they don't even understand why they do it or they're so you Stop being angry that they don't dig in deeper to find out what the cause of that anger is and start to release that anger because you don't seem like an angry person right now, which is a good thing.
Branden Densmore 5:10
Yeah, very rarely you see it nowadays, it does pop out now and again, Oh, absolutely. By, but learn to kind of mellow out and flush those feelings like I allow myself to have the feeling. But just the awareness of it. And looking at what is the lesson that I'm trying to learn in the situation? And when I when that anger comes up.
Alex Ferrari 5:42
Yep, that's exactly the that's exactly what I go through now. Like, okay, if this is in front of me, right now, there's a reason for it to be in front of me. And how can I best navigate the situation to learn my lesson and move on. Without having, you know, as much shrapnel as, as I used to love to take for some strange reason.
Branden Densmore 6:02
Yeah, it's like, there's a wild animal inside of us. Oh, god, yeah. It's like a product of evolution. And it's there. And learning to kind of tame the beast inside so that you can live like a better life.
Alex Ferrari 6:21
I know. Because when you when you allow the beast to run, the biz, the whole, the whole situation, it's not fun for anybody. And the beast could be argued, arguably could be also the ego. And the ego. And the beast, if you will, can be that, but not everyone has that kind of anger inside them. So there's always some reason why, what that frustration is and things like that. And obviously, you've kind of at this point in life, figured out what that was, and have slowly been able to release it through the experiences we're about to talk about. So what was what can you tell me about your first near death experience?
Branden Densmore 6:57
Yeah, so when I was 21, I was in a pretty bad fight, and was kicked in the head multiple times by a guy with steel toed boots. And I went to the doctor after the experience, and he said that if he had been put three more pounds of pressure behind the last kick, that his boot would have gone into my brain. So and I wouldn't have been here anymore. So when that happened, I lost consciousness. And it was just total nothingness. Just to complete blackout. Like, it's hard to explain, it's easy to say, Oh, it was nothing. But how often do we really experience nothing. It was just the absence of anything, total blackout. And after that, I started questioning my reality and my identity. And what am I here for? So I discovered that I had a love of learning. And at that point, I started this educational journey. So I dropped out in ninth grade, by the way, okay. Because I hated school. And I hated the teachers. I hated the students. And I wanted nothing to do with the institution. So I left in the ninth grade and went to work. But that continued for a few years, and then I was in that fistfight and almost died. And it was like nothingness. So it's kind of like, what Heidegger talks about? Martin Heidegger it like I realized the possibility of my own non existence.
Alex Ferrari 8:45
And that shook you. As it would
Branden Densmore 8:47
It shook me, it shook me to the core. So I started questioning everything. And then from there, I discovered wow, like actually like to learn things. I was reading book after book listening to cassette after cassette, and CD after CD of different self development, psychology, spirituality, and kind of went on a binge and discovered that I loved it. And it was just that those aha moments of learning something new, I just wanted more. So I went back to school, got a GED, back to high school, and after that, I went to a community college where I got an associate's degree and went into the next something called the exploring transfer program. So that's administered through the community college system, to show community college students what it's like to go to an Ivy League institution. And I went into that program. And what did two full courses at Vassar Vassar College in New York they're in it was during a six week period to full classes and I got a 4.0. So I aced both classes. Not bad for high school dropout. And then who believed it was stupid by the way. And I know the feeling brother. So went and then got applied to Vassar and got a full scholarship. Fantastic, and then graduated with a philosophy degree.
Alex Ferrari 10:31
That's amazing. That's amazing. So, so what was the next? How long between the first near death experience to the second one?
Branden Densmore 10:42
Oh, let's see the. So the first one was when I was 21. And the second one was in 2014. So I would say, like 10 years,
Alex Ferrari 10:54
Okay. All right. So so what happened in the second one?
Branden Densmore 10:58
In the second one, so actually overdosed from heroin.
Alex Ferrari 11:03
How did you leave that with me? You seem okay. So you just seem to you had a four year did you just got a scholarship, you got out of philosophy, everything Sunny, Sunny and wonderful. And then all of a sudden, you know, 10 years later, you're OD on heroin. There. There's something in between? Can you just give us the Reader's Digest version of that if you can?
Branden Densmore 11:21
So I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and sacroiliac spondylitis when I was 14. Wow. And Crohn's disease, for those of you don't know, it's like this inflammatory disease of the bowel. And then the arthritis was like, throughout my entire body body. So I was prescribed opiate painkillers at age 15. And then ended up getting really dependent. And then I would take too much of the drug, and then have to find more. So whether or not I was calling up friends or buying it from people on the street, or whatever I had to do to get it. I would do it because I was that addicted to the stuff. Where was I going?
Alex Ferrari 12:12
So you were going towards the heroin overdose.
Branden Densmore 12:15
Oh, yeah. Okay, so. Yeah, so I was. But when I had that first near death experience, like I didn't, I was continuing to use throughout that entire educational journey, which no one really knew.
Alex Ferrari 12:32
And you were functioning.
Branden Densmore 12:34
I was functioning, functioning. Not to say that it was easy, because I was in this pattern of taking too much of the medicine before my prescription would fill. And then I'd go into withdrawals. And I'd have to wait to get more from somebody or for my prescription to fill it was just a miserable existence. And at Vassar, I had a back surgery. And then that increased my pain level. And, again, I was I ran out of my medication and got some heroin. So I was like, Okay, I'm going to try this heroin, and it felt good. And it took away my pain. But another reason I was using more than I was prescribed is because of the emotional turmoil that I was in all the time. Always in the background.
Alex Ferrari 13:36
Like a cloud, kinda like a cloud sitting there always. No, it's kind of like just hovering, constantly
Branden Densmore 13:43
Hovering, like a black helicopter stalking me. And it when I would take the opiate, it would relieve that those feelings.
Alex Ferrari 13:57
That's what all of the any drug does, it takes away, that kind of, you don't have to worry about it anymore. You know, we're after the pain. It takes all that stuff away, emotional and physical. And, look, I mean, who doesn't want to not feel that? I mean, I mean, I would feel the same way I completely understand where you're coming from. So, so it wasn't just the physical pain, you had this, this, this kind of emotional, you know, pain hanging around all the time. So it was you try to you were trying to solve two pains. You were trying to heal two pains at the same time. And it was always there both of them.
Branden Densmore 14:37
Yeah. And were in the emotional pain. It was fear. It was resentment. It was self esteem issues. Self competence issues. Not thinking that I was handsome enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not strong enough. I can't I'm not as good as XY and Z person
Alex Ferrari 15:04
I mean, you're running down the classic Kitzur. These are the classic hits of the, of the ego and of the, the the negative chatter in your head. We I think everybody listening has had all of those thoughts at one point or another. But you, it's different levels for everybody. But I mean, I've had all of those thoughts at points in my life, of course. But it was getting, it was getting out of hand, essentially.
Branden Densmore 15:29
Yeah, and I was in the pattern of of taking this drug and the drug would numb the emotion. And it would, it would replace that those negative feelings or dark feelings or whatever you want to call them. It would replace those with feelings of ease. And feeling like I can, I can think straight, I can concentrate on my homework. Without wondering, Gee, I wonder if that person thinks I'm an idiot.
Alex Ferrari 16:02
It quieted. It quieted the noise. Essentially, it quieted the noise that does that. Yeah. And of course, and then you could function because you were able to quiet the noise. And obviously, the pain, the physical pain as well acquire that. That's how I ran out. And then it would get worse, it would and then it was 10 times worse. It's a vicious circle. It's a vicious, vicious circle. So you have it's okay, so fast forward to 2014 you overdose with on on a batch of heroin? What do you see what happened?
Branden Densmore 16:35
So I was in my mother's apartment at the time. And I was just full of anxiety because I was going through withdrawals. I'm just waiting for the guy to show up is he ever gonna get here got checking the clock, like, it already been days that I've been in withdrawals, and I was just miserable. Finally, the guy shows up brings me the heroin. And I did it. And finally the nightmare is over. And I'm feeling off, I can just relax. And I can think straight. And I don't have to be into this, this inner turmoil. Finally, it's over. And I can just relax. And it felt good. And next thing I know, I realized I was dying. And all of a sudden, I'm outside of my body. And I'm looking down at myself. And I'm wondering, I'm dead. Like, what was the point of my life?
Alex Ferrari 17:39
That was the first question you had your head.
Branden Densmore 17:43
That was the first question. Yeah. What was the point? I went through this whole, you know, sexually molested, went school, raised in a religion started doing these drugs and dropped out, went on this educational journey. Now I'm dead. What was the point of it? And then became aware of a presence in the room. And I didn't see anything I didn't see like a person standing there or some kind of a spear or anything. I just became aware of a presence. And I was given like a vision of the future, I guess, whether or not it was actually the future that or alternate timeline. I can't really we can only speculate. But I saw all the people who were affected by my death. So all the people who grieved and in particular, I remember my mother, she coming into the room and biting my body on her couch. And my body was all discolored with like pus running down my face. And she she started just crying and screaming, my baby my little baby has she had had all those memories of me as a tender little child. All those memories of me as somebody that she loved, that she raised, that she cared for so much. And there I was dead. A corpse discolored with pus running out of my mouth. Then I was shown all of the people that I would never meet you Really, all of the experiences that I would never have all of the joys that I was supposed to, to experience in life. And, um, and it's kind of like, I was in a holodeck. Like from Star Trek.
Alex Ferrari 20:19
It was kind of like a like, it was kind of like a future life review, if you will.
Branden Densmore 20:23
Yeah. It's hard, kind of for me to explain and to put into words. But yeah, it was like that. Did you? Did you?
Alex Ferrari 20:32
Did you see faces? Like, did you see your wife? Did you see your kid? Did you? Or do you just the energy of that situation?
Branden Densmore 20:40
I saw it everything. But after the experience, everything was fuzzy.
Alex Ferrari 20:47
Okay, so at the time you saw everything crystal clear, but it was not afterwards.
Branden Densmore 20:52
Exactly. So then next thing I know, I'm that the everything changes again, I'm back in the in the apartment, standing there. And I hear a voice. And it was just a very matter of fact, voice. And it wasn't like a booming. Like God voice it wasn't a whisper. It was just a very matter of fact, voice that said, now your life is over. You wasted it. Jesus. That's rough. That was it was like a kick in the stomach.
Alex Ferrari 21:35
Kicking the balls, my friend. Are you kidding? Stomach? kick in the balls. He's like, so your life is over now. And you wasted it?
Branden Densmore 21:42
Basically, yeah. And I started to panic. Of course. I'm like, what, like, this can't happen. This cannot be happening. Please let me live. Please, please. I will do anything. I will do anything to make this not happen. I didn't want to have my mother go through that pain. But anyways, I just begged and begged. And next thing I know, bam, I'm back in my body. gasping for breath.
Alex Ferrari 22:19
So do you know were you clinically dead? You don't know. You have no idea? Because there wasn't anything like that. But you were you were definitely not there.
Branden Densmore 22:29
Right. I mean, I can't say with any kind of 100% certainty that I was dead. But that was my experience.
Alex Ferrari 22:41
Yeah, it was definitely an out of body experience to say the least. Wow, you almost had a It's a Wonderful Life. kind of vibe. Where you saw the world without you in it. Yeah, kind of a vibe. Yeah. So you didn't see anything? Anything else? No. You know entity do well, by the way. Did you after after the fact of this NDE did you do more research into nde's and and even in your philosophy of spiritual education? Did you understand what a spirit guide is? Do you think that voice was?
Branden Densmore 23:23
Umm.. I'm not sure who the voice was. It there's different possibilities. But I had always been interested in spirituality, and knew about spirit guides and things like that. But didn't really delve into like studying about NDEs and things like that. What I did was I immediately went into a detox. So I was in detox for seven days. And I learned how to Yeah, right after that. I called crisis. And they came over and did an assessment. I went to the hospital for seven days, and had to learn how to tie my shoelaces again. That's how bad it was. I couldn't think I couldn't move. It was just terrible.
Alex Ferrari 24:12
Let me ask you Did no one realize you were on drugs and opioids at this point, like at this level, the no one around you saw signs.
Branden Densmore 24:23
Some people did but they were users. Got it. And family some family members knew but there was nothing they could do about it.
Alex Ferrari 24:33
Okay, okay. I was just curious on like, how well you hit it.
Branden Densmore 24:38
I was pretty good at hiding it.
Alex Ferrari 24:40
So you go through to you go through detox. During detox does anything do you see anything? Do you happen? Because I've heard detox is pretty intense, to say the least. Did you what was going on through your experience at that point?
Branden Densmore 24:56
It was just hell Um, pain, emotional turmoil, trying to just even learn how to tie my shoelaces again. There were no like, real spiritual type experiences during that process. But when I was there, and I'm gonna say this, I don't want to, like discourage people. I'm not like a doctor or anything like that. Okay. So they offered me a medication while I was in there called Suboxone. And it's something that they give to opiate people. And he's, I'd said, No, I don't want it. And he was like, well, people have a 98% probability of failure. Like, if you leave this hospital, and you're not on an opiate replacement therapy, 98% of people go back. And I knew that if I went down that road, I would probably be dependent on that opiate replacement. So I refused. And I'm glad I did. Because now, you know, it's been, what, nine years. And I haven't had an opiate substance over those nine years.
Alex Ferrari 26:21
And how are you handling the pain?
Branden Densmore 26:25
I had to do emotional pain or physical pain, both. I'm on medication that kind of quiets down my immune system so that it's not attacking itself. Both my Crohn's disease and arthritis are in remission. That's great. And with the emotional pain, I went through a spiritual process. So after the nd, and after the detox, I went through the spiritual refinement process. Can you explain that a little bit? Yes. So in my experience, the addiction was only a a, what do you call it a not substance, like a like when you have a disease, and there are certain signs that you have the disease that point to the symptom. Symptoms, thank you. So the the addiction, for me was a symptom of a deeper problem of different things that were within myself that I hadn't dealt with. And I didn't know how to deal with my emotions. And I had to, like, figure out how to deal with my emotions, how to reprogram my mind, and how to create another reality from scratch.
Alex Ferrari 27:58
And please explain how God's green earth you did that? It sounds like a pretty heavy lift by friend.
Branden Densmore 28:07
It was have you heard of the 12 steps? Yeah, of course, of course. So I went through a step program, Alcoholics Anonymous, which I wasn't even really an alcoholic.
Alex Ferrari 28:18
Sure, but you are addicted to a substance. So it helped.
Branden Densmore 28:21
It helped tremendously. Like, I went through the steps, and I gave it my all, like I put 100% in, because I knew that I wasn't going to make it if I didn't find a solution. And I needed a solution. So I did the steps. And a little while after that I actually had a profound spiritual experience. That was like completely transformative and really confirmed that I was on the right path. And that I wasn't crazy. And that spirituality, and not that spirituality is real, but that that that I have allies and that they help get help. I have help. And they're helping me and I'll just tell you what happened. I was having a hard time and was praying a lot. And I was in my shower, and all of a sudden felt a light like descending through the ceiling. And it came down and it just I was like what is going on? And then the light just penetrated me and pierced every aspect of my being like I was thinking of all these things from my past like I'm not worthy of this. Like this being is just too powerful. Why is it here and why me? And the light just went through all of the was thoughts like they were nothing. And it went into my body. And it just pierced every aspect of me. And I felt this profound peace and a profound love. And an appreciation for who I was, despite all the things that I had done wrong. It's like those things didn't even matter to this to this entity. So that helped me a lot
Alex Ferrari 30:31
As it would, sir, as it would, as it would. So, as far as all those all the all the noise in your mind, and all of these negative thoughts that so many of us battle with every day that gone or you just deal with it differently.
Branden Densmore 30:49
A lot of it's gone. Okay. And some of it's still there. And I'm becoming aware more and more of it recently, it's starting to become clear where I still have some work to do. But most of it's gone.
Alex Ferrari 31:08
Most of it's gone. And you are, I think this is something that's interesting is when you're in, like when I was in that moment when I was younger and road rage, if you will, I was not aware of what was going on. And it sounds like you were able to get a little bird's eye view kind of pop out a little bit. And now, when those thoughts come in, you are conscious of those thoughts where before you were just you were inside the mix, and now you were kind of pulled back. You're like, oh, no, that's the thought. That thought still there. I've got it. Okay, there's some there's something causing that thought. So I got work to do, as opposed to feeling it 100% Now you gotta at least pull back, get an A bird's eye view of it and go. Okay, that's happening again. All right, I got to work on that. Is that a fair explanation of it?
Branden Densmore 31:56
Yeah, that's a fair explanation. And the feelings are like a barometer. Like when when I have a feeling of anger, or a feeling of fear, I know that something is wanting my attention. So I can kind of catch myself before I go out of control.
Alex Ferrari 32:20
So it's still a battle. It's still a battle without question, but you have more ability to deal with it at this point. And as you get, keep going and going, you'll be able to deal with it more and more.
Branden Densmore 32:30
Yeah. And like, when I was when I had that near death experience, I had no money in the bank. I was living in a crappy little apartment. More than broke, like less than broke. false friends. No vehicle. Full of fear, negativity, self doubt. Limiting thinking.
Alex Ferrari 33:05
So you weren't sure you were a catch is what you're saying?
Branden Densmore 33:11
Yeah, I was. I was a piece of work.
Alex Ferrari 33:16
I mean, you were like, You were batting them off with a stick, basically. So what you're telling me,
Branden Densmore 33:20
Right, right. Now somebody you're you would want your daughter with put it that way. Fair enough. Fair enough. But, you know, I had a good side. Of course, I had a loving side. You know, I was a compassionate person. And give you the shirt off my back. I gave too much. Yeah, people took advantage of me. But um, so I mean, that's where I went and where I am now. Is that here I am speaking to you on next level. Next Level Soul. Yes. Podcast. Yes. And I'm comfortable.
Alex Ferrari 33:58
You are extremely comfortable, and very raw. And I do appreciate that. By the way, you know, I'm asking difficult questions and you're just very calm and comfortable with answering them and I appreciate that. And the reason I asked those questions is to help others listening and watching because I think your story is something that can give somebody that someone who's who is currently going through what you went through some hope. And that's the reason I do this show is to help other people who are trying to figure this life thing out. It's not it's not for the faint of heart this thing this life thing. No, it's not definitely not on this not on this planet. Maybe other planets are different, but this planet this is this is a rough gig. This is a rough games game simulation, if you will, the levels keep getting harder and harder. And the bosses that you have to defeat are usually the bosses inside yourself in so many ways. So after this after this, the spiritual awakening and the Near Death Experiences To choose do any research on other near death experiences? Or how did it change your beliefs, spiritual beliefs, that you start going down certain paths to kind of educate yourself or at least understand what happened to you? Did you know exactly what it was what had happened to you like, Oh, this is a near death experience?
Branden Densmore 35:18
I did. I knew it was a near death experience. But I afterwards, I didn't really research it much. I delved into the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. And I started going to meetings, and I started volunteering in the community. And then, you know, I want to just follow up to give people more hope. Is that you know, here I am on next level, soul, and I'm competent. Yes, you are. But I bought a new car. I bought a house. I married the love of my life. And I have a son. Oh, Daniel, who's five months old. Oh, God bless. And I am experiencing fulfillment in life. That's deep fulfillment. So what happened? Back then I wasn't I didn't have that. I didn't have that sense of fulfillment. It was, I was always trying to get it. But I couldn't get it. I couldn't find it.
Alex Ferrari 36:34
So what did so what? What was it a switched inside you? Besides all these experiences? Is there something that switched inside you to change? Because it's exactly the same in a different level of mind. Like I have no longer road rage, something shifted in me that that changed in the way I look at life, the way I look at things around myself, and don't let the ego or the beast if you will drive the car anymore. But what was that thing? Because you're, you're still Brendan. But you're different versions of yourself. So I'm sure people listening right now are like, Well, I'm in the old version of Brendan, but I need to get to this new version of Brendan, what do you what do you suggest? What was the thing that made you shift?
Branden Densmore 37:23
Dealing with the resentments of the past.
Alex Ferrari 37:28
Branden Densmore 37:30
But letting go in a way that was effective? Because I had let go before, and yet I still had these feelings. And resolve resentments is one. So being angry at things that people did to me in the past, and be finding a resolution to that. Another one was the fears, the fears of everything. Whether or not it was public speaking, talking to new people, afraid of what people think about me. And then worried about X, Y, and Z, am I going to be able to pay this bill? Am I going to be able to pay that bill? Fears!
Alex Ferrari 38:24
Branden Densmore 38:25
And then worry about the future? And about like, am I going to die? And my mom's not going to be proud of me? Yeah, no, all of these things in the mind.
Alex Ferrari 38:41
And it's always in the mind only now that this is happening to you, in many ways, like you're living in the past and worried about the future, which is your imagination and living in the past, which is your memory, but you're not living in the moment.
Branden Densmore 38:52
Right! Yeah. So dealing with the past, and dealing with the future. And the feelings about those effectively, methodically, with concentration and like, I'm not going to, I can't let this thing take me down. I've got to find a solution. Because I don't want my mother to find my dead body. That gave me the fuel I needed, or the drive to push through the difficulty. It wasn't easy. Dealing with the resentments facing the fears. And the self esteem issues becoming my own best friend, instead of my own worst enemy.
Alex Ferrari 39:43
That's powerful. I will. It's so true, man. I mean, that voice inside of us. If that was a human being we would run away from that voice as fast as humanly possible. But it lives with us. 24/7 And you're right, be your best your own best friend. Suppose to your own worst enemy, that's extremely powerful, because most of us deal with, we are abusive, who are abusive to ourselves, just brutally abusive. And I have to give you credit, my friend, you are a fighter, you are a fighter you fought through a lot in your life so far to get to where you are right now. And I've had a lot of near death experiences on the show. And I've spoken to many of them. And one common thing comes from all of them is that when it happened to them, it was something they needed in their journey in life. Either they had skewed off course. And it was the shock to the system that needed to be put back on course, which sounds like what happened to you, that you were ready, you were going down a road that you weren't gonna be able to get out of. And then, but there's always a choice. There's always a choice, like at the end, like, you could have said, You know what, I'm out of this life, I don't want to come I don't want and you would have easily just died right there. But seeing the other side, whatever you want to call it, the thing that you saw, understood you well enough to know, let's show him this. This is what he needs right now. To get him off the ground. Not this other thing that worked for that other person, but it's custom made for you. And seeing your mother and seeing the world and seeing everything that you were going to miss is that thing that you needed to Yeah, to get yourself on the on the right road. It's it's pretty, it's fascinating, my friend, I applaud you seriously.
Branden Densmore 41:28
Thank you. Maybe tough love.
Alex Ferrari 41:32
Always tough love. You know, dying is tough love. Tough Love Goes dying is probably the toughest of all the loves. And coming back. That's a tough love approach to fix. But you know what, sometimes you've got to get to the bottom before you come back up in. You know, I've gone through, I've gone through a lot of things in my life, nothing like yours. My, my journey was different. But I was almost bankrupt. I almost lost everything. I was in a depression for three years after not being able to be close to my dream and again yanked away from me being abused, verbally, my life threatened by a mobster. It's a whole story. It's a whole thing I want to get into. But all of that. And I had to hit the bottom before I was able to come back up. And I don't know if I've said Price said this on the show before. But when I was about to sign bankruptcy paperwork, I yelled out to God, who Oh, by the way, wasn't the most religious or spiritual. At that point in my life. It was a young man. I said, Alright, God, if you don't help me, I'm going to sign these these papers. And I'm, and I don't want to do that. I want to pay back my debts, this debt that I put myself in. So if you don't help me, though, I'm going to sign this. And the next day, I got a call from my very first boss. And he's like, Hey, man, I don't know if you're looking for work or not. But there's this job up north, about being an editor on a TV network. Do you do you want you should go up there already give a good review, give you a good recommendation for you. And I was off and running. And it wasn't easy.
Branden Densmore 43:18
But so you said that you were going bankrupt?
Alex Ferrari 43:21
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Branden Densmore 43:22
What was your business?
Alex Ferrari 43:23
Oh, no, my business was being an idiot. I had spent so much money on stupidity as a young man, that I just my credits weren't my credit card was going up, I didn't have work. My ego got completely out of control. I was self destructing. In that way. I didn't have substance abuse issues. That wasn't my path in this life. But I had to deal with all this other stuff, almost. I was gonna lose my house. You know, I was never at the place where I was gonna get homeless. I could have stayed with a relative or someone. But I was at a very dark place. And the bankruptcy paperwork was the only thing I was gonna save my house. Just you know, because all these creditors were coming after me. You know, I was as dumb as like, I'll have one credit card, pay the other credit card and let them figure it out. That's how stupid I was.
Branden Densmore 44:12
You mentioned ego. Yes. Oh, yes. So can you say a little bit more about that? What do you mean?
Alex Ferrari 44:20
Well, the ego went out of control because I had a little bit of success in my my early career. And then I was given an opportunity to direct a very big movie for a mobster. $20 million movie. Then I met the biggest movie stars in the world. And I flew out to LA and I'm having lunch and dinners and, you know, the limos and that whole thing, you know, working it's and I'm 26 kid. And then I wrote a whole book on this, by the way, and if anyone just goes to my website, they know the book is shooting for the mob. And then it was all yanked away from me. have been that close to the dream for a year, by the way, while being verbally abused, every day, by observe holder being verbally abused everyday by a bipolar gangster. Who will like one day when moments like you're the greatest hahahahaha, I talked about being like going to work everyday with Joe Pesci from Goodfellas. And the next moment, I'm going to kill you, and I'm gonna throw you in a ditch somewhere for someone who was not ready to deal with that, you know, as a young man, I had no defenses for that I'd never dealt with that. So going through all of that was so and then after, after I was finally let go out of that situation. I just couldn't function. I couldn't work. There was no, I couldn't get jobs. I was just basically selling comic books on eBay to make a living.
Branden Densmore 45:50
So when you say your ego was out of control, what do you mean?
Alex Ferrari 45:54
So my ego when I was starting off, I started off very fast. And I was making a lot of money, a lot of money. Quickly, when I was a young young man, as an editor,
Branden Densmore 46:05
What effect that have on you,
Alex Ferrari 46:07
Oh, my God, it was, it was the stress self destructive. Because Because I, I, when you're a young man, and you're like, I have all the money in the world. And you know, I could do whatever I want. It's just like, you know, cars and equipment and doing stupid things. And you might, you couldn't, I couldn't fit my ego in a house, it was just so massive. And that was the self destructive part where then I was like, Well, you know what, I'm going to do this now. And I'm going to throw away all that might work and, and that's where it started. So then I started to like, gain debt and debt and debt and debt, because the money wasn't coming in the way it used to be. And then as a lesson, I think the university Let's send them this mobster to break them down a bit. Because he he's out of control. And let us get let them get as close as humanly possible to his dream that he has been living for his entire life, and then get yanked away from him. And let's see what that's going to do. And I so grateful that I didn't get that movie off the ground. Because if I would have, I don't know where I would be, it would have destroyed me having that much. That much attention, love that fake love, whatever you want to get just attention, mostly spotlight, all of that would have destroyed me. So I needed to be broken down to a place where then I had to humble myself to come up. And by the way, I'm very stubborn. So it took me even even when I came back up many battles over the course of the next 20 years, to deal with all of that, and only seven, eight years ago, maybe I kind of started to wake up. And the podcasting, believe it or not, was the moment, not this show. But my other shows that I started about eight years ago, when I started to give back to people. If knowledge tried to help others, my life changed. And then that took me to where we are today. So that's a small example of the journey. But the ego is always for me. The ego is always that cloud behind me that I call him the the MMA fighter who sits on your shoulder and just waits for you to just look away, and then he punches you out, or chokes you out. But he's always there waiting. And it could be six months could be a year and he doesn't even make a peep. And then boom, ah son of a got caught again.
Branden Densmore 48:29
Alex Ferrari 48:30
Sideline. Exactly, exactly. So that is that is the thing that, that, you know, the humbleness that you have to have, and giving and being of service, you know, is hopefully a place a path to become more humble. But yeah, that's, that's exactly what
Branden Densmore 48:47
I want to throw something out there. That's, that's controversial. Okay. So you said that you were that when you had that success, then you were right on the verge of accomplishing the dream that you had for a long time. You said you were you were full of ego. Is that the term?
Alex Ferrari 49:11
Among other things. Yeah, ego.
Branden Densmore 49:13
What about somebody who is on the other end of the success spectrum? Do you think that they can be full of ego?
Alex Ferrari 49:24
Absolutely. I've been helping filmmakers and screenwriters on my other shows for almost eight years. And the level of delusion that I run into is remarkable because I can recognize that delusion because I had it for a decade or two. So I can recognize it and others very quickly. And the craziest part about any artistic endeavor, but the film industry specifically, is that the delusion that you need to believe that can even be done is the delusion that hurts you. Because you need a level of delusion to believe that you're going to be in the movies, an actor or a writer or a director, you have to be delusional, a little bit a little bit you have to be, if you're going to be an artist, and like, I'm gonna go and dance and make a living as a dancer, you have to be slightly delusional to believe that that's a possibility. And I don't I don't say that in a bad way. I say that in a good way. But when the delusion becomes so when you things don't work out, and delusion becomes bigger and bigger and bigger, that's ego, having to build you up to survive this thing, and then when you go down the road for so long, it's hard to you can't pull back, it's very difficult to pull back. Unless you've got events that just, that's when life does start slapping you around. And that's when you hopefully will humble down. And just because you love something doesn't mean it's something that you're meant to do. In many ways I've discovered. And not the saying that I don't love filmmaking, I still do, and we'll do it again in the future. But the difference is that it's skewed a little bit like everything is everything is set up perfectly, in my opinion, good, bad or indifferent. And at least in my life, it was where you look back, as you know, I've been around the block a couple of times in this life. So I can look back and go, Oh, thank God, I didn't get cast in to reality shows, with filmmakers in it. And I made it to the very end. And I was devastated that I didn't get in. And then I looked back and going, Oh my God, thank God I didn't get in. Because the directors that did get in their careers were torpedoed. You see what I mean? So everything kind of works out the way it is. But ego is, is a dangerous thing. And it's a wonderful thing. You need ego in order to be able to do things, but you need to, from what I've learned from people I've spoken to on the show, I think the best approach to ego is to treat it like a child, a five year old. When he starts to talk, you go back and be like, no, no. That's it, you need to stop that that's not the way here nope, nope, that's not the way we're gonna do it. And you talk to it as a child. And it kind of, but you can't fight it is like trying to fight a fight, you will understand this, sir. And about four and a half years, you can't fight a five year old, I have children, you cannot fight a five year old. But you have to talk to them a certain way talk to him or her or he or she in a certain way to be able to get to move on to get into the restaurant, to get out of the restaurant to get into the car to get out of the park. These are conversations you have to have a five year old. So you treat the ego in the same way. And it seems to work. But that's just one path down the road. This has turned into a conversation and interview with myself now. I love it. I hope it helps people.
Branden Densmore 53:02
Let's talk more about you.
Alex Ferrari 53:05
Yes, let's talk more about me. Yes, my ego loves this. No. I, again, I share these stories, because I hope someone listening can take from both of our extremes. Two very different stories, two very different experiences. But we've kind of okay, down to the same place.
Branden Densmore 53:26
And then just Yeah, I'm just going to interrupt because remember how I said I was going to say something controversial? Yes. So I'm coming from the other end of the spectrum, the success spectrum. And I was a victim, right? Eight years old, sexually molested short. And I was had resentment. And the resentment tore me apart. Right. But the thing that I didn't realize is that the resentment was ego. Interesting, holding on to the resentment was my ego. What do you think about that?
Alex Ferrari 54:14
Makes it it makes sense. The ego is there in some ways to protect you to keep you safe. You know, the ego does have that position in your life. It is all about itself in many ways as well. It is disruptive and Kenny if you let it out. It's it's some it's it's like any tool and in many ways a hammer could kill or it could build a house.
Branden Densmore 54:45
But this is this is what's controversial is that well How dare I say that about someone who was sexually molested. I was sexually molested. Right! And I was self centered in my holding on to the resentment.
Alex Ferrari 55:09
I don't think I don't think it's I don't think it's you, when you said it the first time, it made all the sense in the world to me, because the ego would hold on to it because the ego in many ways was the one that got the abuse as well. So it's dealing with it in its own way. And holding on to it is the way to deal with it. Because if it if it lets go of it, it did it ever happen. In the egos perspective. We're getting deep here, guys. So anyone listening, please, if we are offending you or anything, please forgive me. We're just trying to work work this this concept out. But I think that's, you know, I'm no psychologist. But I think, from my perspective of experience with the ego, and from people I've spoken to on this show, that the ego is holding on to me look, oh, let's go back to my experience real quick with the ego. And I'll tell you, I held on to the experience of that mobster for 20 years, and on a subconscious level, I wouldn't let go of it. on a conscious level, I let go of it. I was doing everything externally, to try to make my dreams come true. Everything and then some to try to make my dreams come true. But on the back of my head in the in the subconscious of me, the ego was like guiding my decisions. So I would fail. I would get close and fail, get close and fail. Till I finally said, Well, wait a minute. I when I wrote my book, I was like, Oh, I didn't let go of this. I never let go, I was unconscious of the pain that that situation caused me. And that trauma that was applied to me. You know, from slight physical abuse, to absolute mental abuse, I was in an abusive relationship for a year with a bipolar psychopath, basically. So I had not let go of that abuse. And I had not let go of that trauma. But my but my upfront, I was completely up like I don't even think about I never sat there and go, Oh, poor me. Poor me. Oh, this what happened to me 20 years ago, I never thought that ever. Once in a blue moon, someone would mention something and I would become up but I would never, I think that's the flag. That's the red flag. I just never Yeah, I never did anything. It didn't bother me. But when I finally wrote the book, and I saw this emotion, just wash come out. I was like, oh my god, this is still there is not just a story, this thing is still affecting me and guide me. So once I released the book, almost exercise the demon out of me, if you will, then I was free of it. And then when I was free of it, a lot of the other things that I was holding on to I became free of as well. So then I became all these things like those those ideas like I'm not good enough. What are people gonna think all this kind of stuff. And I just said, Screw it. And I started I made my first movie. Within a month, went off, got a bunch of great actors made a movie, sold it to Hulu made it for five grand, everyone's like, you're insane. And I made it and I didn't care. I made a second movie right afterwards, experiment didn't care what other people thought it was from. So and then all of a sudden, things just opened up. But by me writing that book, it is the thing that exposed what was going on. And what had been driving so much frustration in my life for close to 20 years. So yeah, that's that was ego holding on to that trauma, because it's the way it defends itself. But when I released it, and let go of it, truly let go of it. Then the ego is like Okay, so that's not our identity. That's not who we are.
Branden Densmore 59:09
We're now how would you apply that to someone who was sexually molested?
Alex Ferrari 59:14
Man, this is now we're getting into a territory that I don't I don't have credentials to do. All I can tell you is from my experience, if you have a traumatic event, that that you went through whatever that is, I will by traumatic event. So by releasing that through writing about it through telling the story of through accepting of it, but to understand that you are not the traumatic event that happened to you and you can let go of that because your identity I my identity was wrapped up on a subconscious level. That's how sneaky this damn bad thing is. on a subconscious level. My identity was wrapped up to that trauma. Even though on a conscious level, I was not even aware of it truly was not aware of it only when I opened the door to the book, then it had to come out. Because by the process of writing, it had to come out onto the page to tell the story. And then when I was going through that process, which took me about six months to a year to write the book, because it took me forever to just go to the gym, I was crying while I was writing, it was so emotional, I would skip chapters because I knew where I had to go to the process. So we're getting through all of that, I finally released it. So I would say, if my experience of a traumatic event is you can transplant that on any kind of traumatic event. And again, I cannot tell you what the feeling is of I've never been abused sexually. So I have no idea what that is. I don't know if this would work for someone like you and that sense, or someone who would have that kind of experience. But it could be someone who was in an abusive relationship. I don't know. I just know what it works.
Branden Densmore 1:00:55
I've never told anybody this, Alex. But I was in my fourth step in Alcoholics Anonymous. And it's the step where you basically, you figure out like where all of your resentments are, where all your fears are, and you write it out. So the first one on my list was being sexually molested. So I got myself a sponsor and Alcoholics Anonymous, and they review that list that you carry with you. That's their job. And they show you how to deal with the resentments. I had no idea how this was going to go. So I went in and met with my sponsor, and and did that first one. And I'm like, you know, I'm resentful at this babysitter who sexually molested me when I was eight. And he said, Okay. I'm really sorry, that that happened to you. That is terrible, and should never happen to anyone. But let me ask you a question. Have you ever wondered if he had been sexually molested? The person who molested you? I said, No. I never considered that. He said, well, a lot of people who sexually molest other people have been molested themselves. I said, huh, I never really considered that. And he said Did you ever wonder if if he had been if he had been abused in any way? And I was like, No. And he's like, so you've held on to this resentment? And you never really thought about whether and why he did it, and what motivated it and where it came from? And I said, not really. So he said, If he had been sexually molested himself, would that make his action more understandable? I said, I guess, because it would make sense that I mean, if you had been sexually molested, maybe you would molest somebody else. Like that would be maybe a cause. Right? So I mean, the point is, is that I never considered his feelings. In 25 years. I just hated this person. And never took a step back outside of myself. To to wonder, Well, what did this what was this person going through that they did that to me? In other words, I was just thinking of myself as a victim. pain that I went through. And I had this happened to me. And yeah, that's just it's justifiable for me to feel that way. Or angry at this person, that's it's normal. But I don't want to feel that way anymore. I don't want to be angry at someone at that level. So how am I going to get over this thing? Does that make sense?
Alex Ferrari 1:04:29
It makes perfect sense. For me, I I not only forgave my mobster, I call my mobster. And my gangster only not only forgave him, but I am empathetic with him. Because the amount of of abuse and experiences that he had to go through to become that person is pretty pretty intense. Not only is that but he was also on diagnosed bipolar, there's no question in my mind that he was that as well. So, you know he, he was dealing with life the way he knew how to deal with it. It is a it's difficult to say out loud. But it is something that after much contemplation over you just like he was doing the best he could could have done better, could he have not been so abusive could have not taken advantage. Those were the skill sets of that man, that's that was the world that He was raised in. That was the experience that he had. And I know for a fact that a lot of it came from pain, spent a lot of time with that man, I heard a lot of stories. He was just pain, a lot of pain. And he lashed out to protect himself. And he took advantage of people to protect himself, because that's the way he the only way he knew how to do. So I have no resentment, no ill will to the man. He he, in many ways, played the part of the character that I need to be played in my life at that moment in my life. person like that doesn't have any place in this in this time of my life. You know? And also energetically? Would it make sense? For someone like that to be in my life at this point? I don't need to learn that lesson anymore. Right? You know, so. And not that trauma is a lesson. But I don't know, again, in my life, it was something that I needed at that time. I'm not saying that for you at all. But for me, it's something and maybe there would there's an easier way I could have learned that lesson. But apparently I didn't learn it and the universe did what they did. But when you start looking at things from a much broader look of like, life plans, going through pain, and I've asked a lot of spiritual masters channels, mediums, these questions are like, Why would you choose pain in this life? Why would you on the other side look and go, I want pain in this life? I want I need to go through this, I need to fight through this. I need to go through this to struggle. Why wouldn't I just come in, in a loving family in all the money that I need in the world and be wonderful and help people? And why wouldn't I choose that as opposed to you know, pain and drugs and trauma and all this other stuff that happened to me? Why would I choose that. And for my understanding is because the soul wants to evolve in a way that they have to walk through those things. Because if someone gave me this example, and it was a great example that like if you were born into a family who had a five star Michelin restaurant, and all you ate your entire life was meals out of that restaurant, which are arguably the greatest meals in the world. People traveled from around the world to eat there, but you born into it. And then one day you you need to eat McDonald's, or fast food. Sorry, McDonald's. You need to eat fast food to go oh, oh, this is not you need that other side. To appreciate this side. The difficult, this is a difficult conversation to have when someone's in a traumatic event. But I hope it gives a little perspective to it because both you and I have gone through different kinds of traumatic events. And we both came out the other side of it. And I know I appreciate what I have now much more because of what I went through as unpleasant as it was for me in my life. And I I assume for you and yours. Yeah. Alright, so Brandon, this has been an amazing conversation my friend thank you so much for being so raw and honest and I hope this conversation helps people you know it. It started off one way ended off another but I really do hope it helps people. I'm going to ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests. What is your definition of living a good life?
Branden Densmore 1:09:25
When definition of living a good life would be definition for living a good life is finding inner fulfillment. Like inner peace, a place like fine getting to the point and finding a place a calm amidst the storm. And getting to that to that core would be That would be what I'm striving for. And I help and others do the same. I'm a spiritual certified spiritual coach, by the way. And I started my own business. I don't think I mentioned that. I think you did. You mentioned it earlier. Yeah, it I mentioned it. Okay. So yeah, I'm a certified spiritual coach and business consultant. But anyways, finding that that inner center where you can't be tossed around and finding something that you really love doing.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:31
Now, what is your definition of God?
Branden Densmore 1:10:35
My definition of God is. Question answered.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:43
Fair enough. And what is the what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Branden Densmore 1:10:50
The ultimate purpose of life? I can't I can't answer that question.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:55
Fair enough, my friend, and where can people find out more about you and the work that you're doing?
Branden Densmore 1:11:00
You can find me on Facebook, Branden Densmore, Branden Densmore on Facebook. Maybe you can include a link in the description of the video of yours in contact me I am taking a few more clients. It's kind of overwhelming right now because I'm taking on a lot of clients, but I am. I do have a couple more spots available. So if you want to work with me, let me know.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:28
It might become a little bit more overwhelming after this air sir. So apparently, prepare yourself. And do you have do you have any parting messages for the audience?
Branden Densmore 1:11:40
Parting messages give yourself a break. Give yourself a pat on the back. Learn how to become your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy. And you don't have to talk to yourself in such a derogatory manner. Don't talk to yourself that way. Treat yourself with respect.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:03
Branden, appreciate you brother. Thank you so much for for being so raw and honest and telling us your story. And, and thank you for everything you're doing in the world, my friend. I appreciate you.
Branden Densmore 1:12:14
Alex Ferrari 1:12:16
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