This episode with Neal Collins really made me start to rethink my beliefs around real estate, which is something I've struggled with for quite some time. As Neal says, in this podcast, real estate is the commodification of land, which is really the epitome of the transactional world.
He and his team at latitude are really trying to re-imagine what real estate can be and bring it back into a relational model that can allow us to deepen into our connection with the planet and with one. We go far beyond the real estate market in this podcast. However, and we talk about philosophical ideas about our purpose and place here on this planet and the stories that we hold and how that shapes how we interact with the environment and the people around us. And so much more. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
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So Neal, thanks for coming on. You are doing some really different things in the real estate space, as we were chatting earlier, you were, you were saying, you know, a lot of that realm tends to be replicated and, and just copied and, and pasted
and in so many different ways and you guys are really doing something different and challenging the status quo.
What, what is it in the real estate world that, you guys are doing?
Neal Collins: Yeah. So thank, thanks so much. I mean, it's, it's a pleasure to be able to even talk about this. Um, because a as I see it, What we do is we talk about healthy, resilient, and vibrant communities. And, and we really look at home as habitat.
And so we really were looking at how do we, [00:03:00] how do we infuse sustainability into the industry into really the home as such an amazing metaphor. And we realized that sustainability especially defined within the built environment is really couched within solar panels and energy efficiency and all amazing things.
But it, it really, it, it kind of missed the mark in terms of, uh, really the reciprocity between humans and our places and, and the culture that, that flourishes from there. And so the more we get into it, the more we realize, like what we're really talking about is generation. And, and that is really how do we, how do we do regenerative real estate? So that both people and planet can flourish, because I think the, the big thing coming out of the environmental world for me was, uh, this kind of meme that the planet's gonna be just fine without us. And it's [00:04:00] easy to see where we're going, you know, and we have, uh, some pretty alarming indicators. And, and so you get into that mindset of, oh yeah, just let nature take her path.
And humans will ultimately bring us to, to our own demise. And, uh, that doesn't sit right. I mean, that comes at the heels with a lot of suffering and a lot of pain and a lot of tragedy. And, I certainly can't just like dwell in that space, especially not being a father. And so what, what can we do?
Well, we can remember our role as humans, that we are a Keystone species. Like we are meant to create habitat so that all life can thrive. And so that's what we're really doing within the real estate space. And, I like to put a disclaimer that regeneration real estate sometimes is an oxymoron because real estate is the commodification of land and land is the bedrock of our culture and, and of our food and art and all [00:05:00] this, the expression of place.
Um, so I will just preface this with listeners that like, I, I really try to give reverence and honor to the term regeneration as as we do use it as regenerative in real estate.
Stu Murray: Wow, man, that's, that's brilliant. And it's such a different shift from, from where we've been, obviously. As you said, we've really commodified some of the, the most fundamental things that, that we use to, to live on this planet.
And it's, it's gotten out of hand and I love what you say about creating that intention of rooting down and creating healthy, resilient, vibrant communities, and remembering home as, as habitat and even, you know, with the, the solar panel idea. I mean, that's great. It's great. If we can start to shift our energy use, we start to diversify away, start to divest away from coal and other en energy intensive methods.
But, you know, there's something lacking there because what we're still trapped in is a story, a story of consumerism, [00:06:00] a story of the commodification of so many of our central resources and, and the ways that we go about living. And so, you know, it, it sounds not only are you, you know, really trying to shift things, but you're helping to create a new and ancient story about, about how we're, relating to the land and relating to home.
Neal Collins: Yeah, I, I certainly hope so. And I think that rhetoric is, is the entry point into that. And why we really like to, to be mindful about the word choices that we're using, because even, I hate reinforcing the, the kind of binary world that we live in of like left versus, right. Uh, but you start to see that within the, the dominant camps within our culture, even the ones that are very far from center on the left the very like well to do well, meaning folks, they.
They will start to use rhetoric that, that also [00:07:00] begins to other our communities. And so how this shows up is right now, we're living at the very, hopefully at the very tail end of an economic system that really bifurcates or stratifies the entire population. So that just a few are really benefiting.
And then we're left saying, you know, we really need to create affordable housing and we need units and we've gotta just like create as many housing units as possible. And we're creating housing units for low income people and workforce housing. That's what we really need. And like that, that is certainly needed.
Why can we not change that narrative to say, how can we create homes instead of units and get off that economic measure and how can we create attainable housing instead of affordable housing and attainable housing for all, and not just for low income people, because it's no [00:08:00] longer low income people that are housing stressed.
This is everybody that is housing stress right now. We're routinely facing in our urban areas. And now in our rural areas, a complete lack of attainment of quality housing that that really fits with, with what we need at this time. So I think a lot of what we do goes to answer the question, what time is it? and now is not the time to help people sell their house for the most amount of money in the least amount of time, or to help people buy their dream homes. It's really, how do we work in relation and how do we really figure out the best path forward that that really honors the spirit of somebody's dreams and their aspirations, uh, but also connects them to the spirit of home and to family and to the community.
And, and we do that by taking a lot of credence from permaculture, indigenous wisdom you know, really looking across the [00:09:00] spectrum of what are the cultural ways in which we can develop that reciprocity, that we can see ourselves as part of the greater system, and that we're always holding that wholeness within our thoughts rather than Really perpetuating the individualism that comes from all the real estate memes that are out there.
And that's what we're really trying to jam. And even though, you know, we're, we're all on the arc of hypocrisy that like, we're not able to get off of it. You and me and everybody else that like we are living in just like an infrastructure that's been built by 20th century design thinking or 19th century design thinking in a lot of instances.
And I think that really we're gonna without focusing on the future so much But realizing that the 21st century, we have to have a major shift in thinking a major shift in design. And that's the only way that we're really gonna be able to make it into the 22nd century. And so that's really where we're finding our niche within an industry [00:10:00] that has a huge shadow side that is known for exploitation extraction and, and just a, a pretty dark history that you don't have to scratch the surface very far to figure out that like, wow, this, this needs a lot of work.
And that's probably why I ended up gravitating towards this sector. my background really came from wanting to, to see the world as a young guy coming out of Louisiana, south Louisiana, uh, where I left university right after hurricane Katrina. And in, at that time, I kind of knew that the world, uh, was, or we were entering into a world that was very different than what came before us, because I had seen multiple 10,000 year storms, uh, flooding of friends and families, homes of entire cities, uh, watching the, the entire Delta at the Mississippi river Delta start to erode away. And for a [00:11:00] state that's so wealthy in terms of natural resources, it's it consistently ranks in the bottom two of poverty of chronic diseases like autoimmune diseases and cancers it's called cancer alley. And, and so I decided to join the peace. And that was such an incredible life changing experience to just go to a different place in the world.
And, my role was an agricultural business advisor in the Republic of Moldova. So kinda south of Ukraine in between Ukraine and Romania and with a such an ambiguous role, my job was essentially to figure out what the community needs were and how to, to go about learning that and to make connections and, and essentially be an ambassador of peace and friendship and, and not like, uh, an arm of a political instrument, like the us government and there's two and a half years really altered the [00:12:00] trajectory of, of what I wanted to be doing, which was how do we, how do we focus on community development?
And as it relates to, um, environmental protection and livelihoods and training and, um, and that's where I started to really bring in permaculture and, uh, and really start to understand like the importance of food within our lives. And like food is healing and food is as a mechanism to, to rebuild biology and biodiversity.
And so to cut a long story, really short, I ended up working with my partner, Alyssa in India, doing heritage preservation work, which was an incredible, very chaotic, like living, living in a city of 7 million people in, in India, really at this point in time where India is a, a nation of 800 [00:13:00] kingdoms that were amalgamated for political reasons.
Um, and now that they are so globalized Hindi is, is a major, um, language English is now getting taught. to, to these kids. Uh, so not only are they not learning their, their ancestral languages, but they're having to learn Hindi and they're learning English and they're really looking at how do we, how do we globalize ourselves to our education and in our, and really, um, what their, their cultural ways are getting blanched out.
And so our job was to really figure out how do we, how do we tell stories about that? And then we ended up in the Maldives doing whale shark research to create a Marine protected area and using the whale shark is the Keystone species. And it, that is such an incredible opportunity just to live into a culture that is so different than ours, but that's whenever we really started to see [00:14:00] some of the chinks in the armor or some of the flaws of, of the nonprofit world, which was, we would start with an amazing project over here and, and like, it would start.
With a great conception of what we would need to do. Uh, and then by the time that we would go out and get funding, we'd be pitching these projects to different donors and we'd end up with a completely different project with a completely different scope that had to meet the funders discretion. And, and so I got pretty disenfranchised with that and I, I realized that, you know, we need to go into a space where, um, a project can get conceived and it can get funded and it can make an impact.
And, and where, where is this? and we really started to look at community development as it is both the hardware and the software, the hardware being the sticks in the bricks or in the MALDI, it's the coral that they [00:15:00] use to build their houses. And in India, it's the, the he valleys that are using thousands of year old architecture systems to capture rainwater and store it in systems and use passive design to, to cool and heat houses.
And like, how do you bring family togethers that you can do multi-generational living? So we really took our time abroad to realize that like, wow, the way that we're doing real estate within the United States and within Canada and within north America really, is not something that is gonna be sustainable in the long run.
And so we, we came back to the states. And I would say dove into a very steep learning curve of what is real estate and how do we learn conventional real estate from the ground up. And, and I will tell you, we got a lot of flag from our friends in the nonprofit world that we're doing incredible work from working for the UN to working for local nonprofits.
Um, [00:16:00] and, and so we, we learned investing and we learned development and we got on with large development projects and we started to learn how to renovate properties and, and that really boiled up into about a 10 year run, where we were building a concept of what we thought success looked like. But over the years really forgot about who we were and what our values were.
And we both got degrees in sustainable development. And so by the time 2019 rolled around. we realize that we're not doing anything sustainable. What we're doing is we're managing hundreds of homes within Portland, Oregon. We're transacting a lot of real estate. We had a brokerage with about 20 agents at that time.
And we were just, we are building a business that we were thought was the pinnacle is success. And, uh, hopefully you can accumulate enough financial resources so that you can [00:17:00] have passive income so that you can have financial freedom so that you can do whatever you want. But we've lived life backwards.
Like we've we came from living on an island with no shoes and swimming in the ocean every day. It, wasn't very alluring to go sit on a beach and drink my ties. And so what we did, and I think I talked about this earlier, is we. We hit pause and we realized that we needed to deconstruct our world in order to rebuild it really with our values as the bedrock.
And so we took our team down from, you know, probably 27 with admin staff down to two and said, what does this look like? What does sustainability look like? Because we wanna be within the real estate industry. It's a big enough challenge with so many different parts going on. Where we want to be able to focus on what that industry transformation looks like and what does that transformation of home look like?
And so that's where we said, okay,[00:18:00] let's focus on how do we infuse sustainability into real estate? And then by 2020, we, we started to put out more language around that for our community in Portland. And then we started to put out, uh, or evolve our thinking into really what regenerative agriculture was all about was how do you build soil biology and community through a management system that sees the whole, rather than parts.
And whenever we had started the, our podcast, we were thinking about it, starting a podcast. We said, you know, what should we call this? And Alyssa was pretty quick to say, why don't, why don't we call it regenerative real estate. And no one was really talking about that at the time. And, and that's whenever we, we started to have professionals and clients from across really from Hawaii to New York, say, I'm really interested in what you're doing.
Can I join? Because this isn't represented within our [00:19:00] local brokerages. And at first it was, it was a bit of a mind problem of like, oh my goodness, like we're very place based. We work at a Portland, Oregon our model doesn't encompass that. And then, you know, we did some, some tinkering and, and we realized that I wanna surround myself with other professionals that want to put these blocks together.
And how can we really engender a spirit of co-creation of a concept rather than a hierarchical model of like, Hey, we're gonna develop a team. We're gonna take over this market. We're gonna expand to this market. And so now what I think we've done really well and continuously learning is how do you, co-create a movement rather than just a brand.
And how do you take something as wide encompassing? What is their generation and infuse that into our work. And, and we realize that there's [00:20:00] a, an entry point that is very different for a lot of people that it's, um, some people may really be interested in how do they, how do they create passive design within their house?
Or maybe they're obsessed with electric vehicles and they're interested in that. And then they get exposed to the ecological side, or maybe they're already into, to home setting and gardening. And now they're really interested in like the spiritual element of it. And so we just realize that the, the broad stroke century points really revolve around five different areas and, and that starts with health and wellness.
And then it goes into sustainability. community ecology and spirit and, and kind of within those five roots of regenerative real estate, that's where it just like fracts out into a whole new realm and, and, you know, whatever, whatever you're really interested in, like [00:21:00] there is certainly a place because we need all interest in all types to, to really engage with this kind of work.
Stu Murray: Wow, man, that , there's so much there to sink my teeth into. And each time I was just like, what, what a journey you've been on? Like that's, that's so informative. The going through all of these different lands, seeing the different cultures. Like I, I remember when I was living in Indian Nepal, like, you know, that alone, just being blown away at seeing three, four generations under one roof.
you know, where we have this model where we're, somebody gets to 70, 80 years old and we, we move them into an old care facility and it's just, you know, these silos and everybody owns, you know, there's no community ladders or community tractors or community resources that are shared. It's, it's such an individualistic model.
And, and that alone was such a eye opener to me, but it hasn't come to a point [00:22:00] in my life where I, I think the seed is there, but it's not fully taken root where you know, that thing is not a full lived expression yet, but there is this longing to, to return to something that just feels natural to me.
Mm-hmm and it it's clear to me that in listening to you speak, like you guys were just stumbling. It's like, wow, there is a, a way of doing something that we haven't been exposed to in this, you know, train that's flying down a single track in the culture that we've been that's, you know, really let's increase the GDP.
Let's keep, let's keep ramping up production, keep doing these things. And if we just take care of the economy, you know, that the market will just work itself out and people's lives will be better. And it's like, at what point do we hit pause as you did, you know, in your business and in your life and stop the thing like will that really, you know, will things really just work themselves out.
And I gotta [00:23:00] give you credit, man, like stopping, turning from a 27 person company down to.
Neal Collins: Yeah, I'll, I'll say, I mean that not only is that really nerve wracking, but it comes from a place of extreme privilege to actually build something where we had, uh, value in, in what we had built that enabled the financial runway for us to make a pretty deep pivot. Um, so I don't necessarily think that that is something a lot of people could do.
Um, certainly people that have been sold on, on what we need to do in order to, to find success in our lives of like, we go through this industrial educational system to only go get a higher educational degree, to like settle ourselves with a ton of debt. And then that really forces us down a path.
Like, we're [00:24:00] not talking about what is our uniqueness and our gifts to humanity in the world. What we're talking about is like, how do I make enough money to pay that student, debt, to put a roof over my head, to put food on the table? And if you're working for yourself, hopefully paid for some kind of healthcare, even though like, we don't even want to go in that tangent because it is, it is such a joke to even call it healthcare.
It's really just, how do you fork over a huge amount of money, every single month in the hopes that you don't get hit by a bus, uh, is essentially our system right now. So, yeah, I, I think that, um, well let me, let me leave it there.
Stu Murray: yeah, no, totally man. And it, it, you said like at that point, it, and it's, it's good to acknowledge that the privilege that you have, because so many of us, you know, so many people I should say. Are, as you said, living that paycheck to paycheck living, in this realm. And like, you know, is that [00:25:00] designed, is that manufactured, who knows, but there is a system that's been perpetuating itself almost now, unconsciously that we are just stuck on a treadmill and, we're, we're working hard to satisfy that lowest hierarchy of needs, like shelter, food, just enough money to pay our bills.
And as you said, we're in a time where that's getting crazier than ever, that's actually, uh, as interest rates go up as inflation's going up, like the work you're doing is it's so incredibly important right now is people are just in a perpetual state of that sympathetic fight or flight mode where it it's literally just a game of survival.
And from my delusional perspective, I'm, I'm pretty certain that it's hard to reach a, a state of self-actualization when we're, we're perpetually just stuck in a state of survival, let alone being able to contribute, be of service to community, to be able to do things in, in a [00:26:00] really authentic and meaningful way.
When all we're worried about is just that next. How, how am I gonna be able to support my family today? That's just, I know there's so much more for humanity on this abundant planet.
Neal Collins: Yeah, no, that's, that's beautifully said and I, I couldn't agree more because it, it is a broken system.
And I think that once we start to see that we are truly facing a poly crisis and that it's not separate from each other, that like all these. Crises are interconnected. And I think it was a black minister fuller quote. Uh, if we're gonna keep it in the real estate realm of, you know, everything like you pull in one thing, and, you realize that everything is else's, hitch to that web.
And that's certainly true. And I think that's where, we come at it from, okay, we can't, we're not trying to solve these issues. What we're really trying to do is [00:27:00] incorporate wholeness into our work and, and really hold that. And I mean, you brought up the word abundance, and I think that's such a, uh, a completely foreign concept that this infinite abundance just does not compute still.
Like there's so much of me that I'm having to. to unlearn and then relearn how to see the world. Whenever we've grown up thinking that we live in a scarce world with scarce resources and we need to accumulate those resources. And that's the only way that we can get ahead. And I mean, I will tell you, as someone that is classically trained in the neoliberal economic paradigm, as an able bodied white male from a middle income background to say, this is a continuous and steep learning [00:28:00] curve is an understatement.
And just in the fact that, I think with my head or, I build our world with my head and I've really had to, to find myself saying, no, how do I not do that? How do I drop from head to heart? And I have to take that from my partner, Alyssa, who is, truly more spirit led than I am. I have to look to our mentors, and philosophers and guides of how do I resource myself in order to do that? Because that's where I see, a big flaw is that like, I'm just completely inadequate and ill-equipped to, to live in a world of abundance and reciprocity and generosity and wholeness, because I I've been a part of this multi-generational lineage that, is couched within a certain time in humanity.
That there's no way that. I even think that I'm gonna be able to wear this regenerative cloak can get it right from the very first [00:29:00] part. Like it is, it is truly a discipline and practice that I'm, I feel for other people that are trying to attune their life to this, we don't get it overnight.
It is, it's a journey and it's gonna continue long after we're here. And I hope that my son, will pick this up and like we're all living to, or we're all figuring out how to live in this world of soon to be 10 billion people, on this like crazy, beautiful rock floating in this huge, huge universe.
So, yeah, I think that, it's now a time, not to necessarily follow dogma and follow professional paths, but really, what is our unique vocation? And I love the concept of Ikikai. I'm not sure if you're familiar with that Stu uh, Ikikai, this Japanese concept that we've definitely bastardized in the west.
I think by adding this one element. But, when I was first presented this idea by a mentor of ours named Aaron [00:30:00] Fairchild, it was really what is, what's our passion and what's our skillset and what is the world need? And, and where I think the west, has co-opted. This is like what can we be financially renumerated for?
And like, how, if you can imagine that as a four circled Ven diagram, like, how do we find. The, the center of that, and that is our vocation, not our profession, but truly our vocation. And that's what we've really been jamming on right now. And it's, it's now a pleasure to, to be co-creating in a community because that's whenever we start to see, uh, just the legs move far beyond what Alyssa and I can do individually to now, Hey, we, we are trying to put out this concept from coast to coast, and hopefully further afield than that, on how we, we see land in culture in place, and in our role within it.
And so that's, that's the fun part. That's really the, the regenerative [00:31:00] aspect is like we do it through community.
Stu Murray: Wow. Neil, that's some, that's some amazing stuff. One thing that came up there, as we, you said is like, I think Ram Dass who said we're all just walking each other home. Right. And we're just in this journey where, as we work on ourselves, we contribute to the whole.
And so how, how do I heal myself? How do I do that work? It's like, tending to nature as that is healed, it just creates, a land of prosperity. And so if I can tend to my soil, tend to my space, what abundance could I create? And I, I love like I've been meditating and riffing on this idea of a story of abundance.
And, I have to credit Charles Eisenstein for really helping me see and think about the world at the level of story and how much that has really shifted my perspective on things, because I think traditionally, I would've, I relate with you in, that mental aspect and I'm a systems thinkers.
And so I would say, well, this system of government or [00:32:00] this political leader or this corporation, but when you see it at the level of story, You see, they're just a character in the script. And so that CEO isn't, the bad guy, they're just playing their role based on the story that we've created and that we've assumed to be true.
And that's been handed down to us that I would suggest perhaps for millennia, that's been kind of on this train, that's gone unchecked. And it's a story of scarcity and separation where the world is made up of this material, inert material world with a finite amount of things that can be measured and reduced and deducted to all these little different little pieces and parts.
As you said, like it's not this holistic perspective, but a really mechanistic understanding of the world in which more for you means less for me.
Neal Collins: Mm-hmm , mm-hmm
Stu Murray: and man at, at the root of my heart, like when I sit in that, like I have to heal that. I have to heal that story in myself, [00:33:00] because as you've said, we've, we've inherited that.
And so to work within that, for me, I'm realizing that so much of my deepest work has to be done at the level of story at the level of if I want an abundant planet, I need to be in a story that I know in my heart, that we live in abundance, that more for you genuinely means that there is more for me and to create a space within myself, of prosperity and abundance, that I'm not feeling despair or that I'm not feeling this existential, not enoughness that plagues me in my relationships or in my financial situation or my relationship to the land.
If I really want a richness in this life, it's gotta start in my heart and I need to, as you said, you root down in that, that spiritual level and I'm not talking a woo woo. Anything like. Some real practical tools where I can recognize that there can be more than enough for all [00:34:00] of us to prosper and I don't need to hoard.
And I don't need to do anything to, to do or be, or feel enough. There is just an abundance of enoughness already here.
Neal Collins: Yeah. I, I really appreciate these words. And I picked up that you used the word healing and there's a lady named Mary Reynolds who is an incredible landscape designer, that has essentially renounced doing landscape designs.
She was named one of the top 10 landscape designers of all time, really was hired by, by celebrities and whoever across the globe to create these immaculate gardens and. She came to realize like nature does not confine to these like perfect little symmetrical boundaries. And she said something that, that really stuck with me was that we're as humans, we're very bad at healing ourselves.[00:35:00]
But by healing land, that is an amazing place to, to begin to heal ourselves. And I think like this cultural phenomenon that we're starting to see of, like, we are part of nature or we are of nature and really bringing in biophilia, which is a love of nature. Like it, it, that is so hopeful for me to, to see that look, we're using these principles and, and we're having to like tune in to like, what, what does tap to abundance?
Well, it is by aligning to life's. Principles and not by necessarily saying like, we're gonna go out and we're gonna build all this wealth and then we're gonna be able to afford everything. Like, yes, we do need to, understand that there is a financial component to living in the world today, but there's also a big healing component and, and there's all these other buckets that we can, well, bucket is probably the wrong term, but like, there is, there is a lot of pieces that, that [00:36:00] do form the whole.
And like, you can focus individually on them. Like you can't say like, wow, I'm just, I'm gonna center on oneness and I'm gonna stop like working out. And I'm just gonna focus on my meditation practice. Like that doesn't work for me. I've tried that. So it's, it's really trying to, to understand like what, what does make, um what are the ingredients that really adds up to this and what are the practices that I need to instill and how can I work with other people?
Especially with a lot of my work tends to congregate down to people that are buying land, people that are selling it and people that are developing it and then the policy makers that inform it. And so if we can start to really shift this narrative from, um, how do we build units and how do we do development projects to, how do we build community and how do we build attainable housing?
Then we can start to see, see a shift. And so [00:37:00] that's trying to tie this back into, the general consciousness movement that, that I think is amazing to like, how do we then begin to infuse that into whatever our vocation is. And, it doesn't have to be within real estate. Like I just think that that's an incredible space because not only are we marrying together long term financing, but it's also getting much juicer in that it's the intersection between culture and community and food and space and materials and design and money.
And like, it is truly the vessel in which everything converges. And I can't think of a bigger playground in which to devote the rest of my life to
Stu Murray: That's beautiful, man. And you know, it's funny before talking to you, I guess I've, I've not really contemplated the world of real estate too much.
Like it's been kind of this [00:38:00] thing that just is, and. I've, you know, it's not something I've loved. I thought, oh, I'll never get a mortgage. I don't want to be that story of being house poor. I don't want all of these things, but at the same time, it's like I want to work with the land. These last years I've, I love what you said about if we're not sure where to start in, in our own healing journey, like nature is this beautiful.
She is whole, like, we are wild. We are so wild. And we have these stor it's the stories that make us feel not enough because our innate nature is that of abundance. It is that of the wild intuitive knowing. And, and so when I can tap into that, one of the greatest places to do so is in nature. And I've been on this path of working on homesteading and doing these things lately.
So I've started to heal my relationship. With real estate and with these different things. And when we were talking last time, you mentioned something that really stuck with me, you said real estate is the epitome [00:39:00] of the transactional industry. And I said, wow, like, yeah, it, it really is. And for you to come and work on shifting that narrative at the story level, being very intentional about the rhetoric and that the words that you're using and planting these seeds in the consciousness of, of humanity and the consciousness of the work that you're doing, whether those are fully integrated or not, they're there and they're being planted.
And I'm curious, because you mentioned the five roots of regenerative to real estate and you touched on the titles of these, but would you be willing to share a little bit more about some of what you came up with there?
Neal Collins: Yeah. And, and I wanna pick up to get into that, um, People not realizing that real estate has these like really forms the backdrop to our lives.
And it's incredible that you're getting into it through homesteading. And we had talked about [00:40:00] multi-generational living as well. Like what, what I really appreciate about the last couple years in COVID is that people started to reconnect themselves into like, wow, I'm kind of lonely. This is insane to be going through a global pandemic, like really, uh, doing this alone, like for the families out there and realizing they can't go like grandchildren, can't hang out there with their grandparents.
And like now you're potted up with a few people and maybe you didn't really get to choose those people. That really started to create the conditions in which people can really start to dial in. Like what does life look like? And what does An abundant life look like or one that, which we can all be thriving and, and how can they start to tend to life outside of themselves.
And real estate is one of those. Like we just implicitly take it for grant or take it at face value that like our houses face the road and our roads are dominated and conceived of by [00:41:00] concrete so that cars can drive on them and we can park in front of our houses or in our garages. Um, but that was a design decision.
And I'm using design very broadly from like urban planning down to transactional design, not only the real estate industry that like real estate agents are meant to help facilitate people buy in and selling, but also the, from the fact that like we built our spaces based on transaction, uh, from how do we transact.
The movement of money to, how do we transact the movement of goods in people and cars? Even the fact that we live on grid systems in urban areas that, that has roots within how do we move Roman armies around from town to town, regardless of what country or region that they're in. And so that's really where I think I take an appreciation of what is good design and how do we start [00:42:00] seeing design very differently?
And you see this and in the way that, let's take a house, just a single family house. If you live in. In an area of maybe of, of the suburbs where the you're like one of 12 different designs in this entire neighborhood. Well, that is a transactional design. And then you've got green grass that pervades the entire neighborhood.
Maybe you live in an HOA where you have to cut your grass on a certain day, like that does exist and keep it to a certain height. And maybe you've gotta have the facade of your home, a certain color. Certainly that is pervasive across the continent. And then whenever rain hits our roofs what we do is we don't consider that a resource.
We consider rain something that it'll hit a roof, and now it becomes storm water. And we have to remove it from sight as quickly, efficiently and quietly as possible, where it's gotta be out of sight so that it can be out of mind needless to [00:43:00] say, we're in a drought that is affecting the entire The entire Southern half of the United States, definitely Mexico.
And we are kind of Dening water into this, this thing that is not sacred and that it is an infinite resource. And we have like created this really vast network of invisible plumbing across our urban grid systems, to remove this water, put it into sewage, dump it into the ocean, or if we're gonna bring it to a wastewater treatment plant, we're gonna use a ton of fossil fuel fossil fuels to, to treat it.
And, and that just makes no sense. Like we, we don't talk about gray water. We don't talk about black water and I will be I'm sorry for using black water. I was brought to my attention very recently that like black water is no longer a term that is politically correct, but I didn't know. I don't know what the next term is for what Blackwater's new phrases.
But we have designed a [00:44:00] world in which we're not thinking circularly about these kinds of resources and it's the same with our nutrients of, you know, most people consider. Okay. We, we have nutrients that are leaving in the form of our sewage, but we're really failing to recognize that nutrients comes in from rain.
It comes in through the front door, through our groceries and where that food and sustenance is coming from. And then, and then it's, it's out of sight out of mind that it leaves in the garbage and it leaves in the recycling, uh, or it leaves down our drain pipes and, and it's now sewage. But we're missing out on like, well, what is our role?
Can we rebuild our soil? Can we think of things as simple as composting and, and where those nutrients are going on this like age old practice of how do we build. And how do we cultivate life? How do we have [00:45:00] agriculture and sustenance within our, our own homes and within our own boundaries. And you start to realize, like, we're not the first people to start thinking about this.
I mean, we, we are in India and like Gandhi was really jamming on this long before bill Mollison and David Holmgren started talking about permaculture where it's like, how do we have our medicinal plants around our house? So that when we're sick, they're easily accessed. And then how do we have our food and our sustenance on a periphery level beyond that?
And then how do we have our trees and our nuts and our fruit beyond that and how do we integrate animal and lifestyle into that? So like, there is so many different ways in which we can design our living that is not so transactional. And so just completely backwards to think. We have abundant energy.
We have abundant water. We have we're just gonna have this life of convenience that where the car dominates. [00:46:00] So yeah that's where we really start the basis of our work with the roots of regeneration, where we realize that, okay, if, if we have these five roots, then what are the branches?
And we look at things like water and design and materials and spirit, and, and that's whenever we can really start to put together the basis of our consulting work and the basis of like, what are you really interested in? And, and start to even build something that we can quantify and measure. Look, if you want to create a net zero house for water or for energy we can do that.
If you want to start to incorporate native or edible landscaping, we can do that. And we can start to see that you can take a conventional property and you can start to transform it. And that really there's no such thing as regenerative home. Although, you know, that's, uh, what people really think of our [00:47:00] company latitude for is like, what is regenerative home?
We start to see it as really what is the process of transformation that we can really send people down. And so that's really how we bring together the regenerative real estate tree.
Stu Murray: That's cool, man. I love that in thinking. In that relational model. It it's something that we've really it's, it's inherent, we, everything is relational in this existence and it's not just this mechanized reductionist.
Again, you know, like this idea that everything is separate and doesn't impact one another, everything is connected. Everything is connected and what we do impacts the next, the food that's on our plate. We might think of, you know, you go to the grocery store, you don't even need to think much where'd that come from and then let alone the farmers that grew that.
But what about the sun? What about the rain? What about the soil? What about the insects in the soil? Turning it up and chewing [00:48:00] it. And what about the, the volcanic eruptions or whatever? The, the fungi that came in and broke the, broke up the rock at some point, like there there's just so much happening that it's, it's impossible to reduce it to one single thing.
From that becomes this relational model where one must go to this. It's it's no longer a linear process. Like you said, like we design systems so that there's a start of an input and then it just goes, you know, and that sure. That can go well for centuries, maybe millennia, but to, to what end, how do you sustain that with billions and billions and billions of people with a growing population?
Neal Collins: No, we can't, I think the wheels are falling off.
Stu Murray: They are. And, and every planet, every species on this planet is operates under a, a closed loop, every species.
Neal Collins: Yeah. Where, where that really shows up for me. And I think a lot of people and, and hopefully [00:49:00] we're gonna start putting these dots together.
really soon is that it shows up in our health and our wealth or not our wealth, but our, our health and our wellbeing that like, if you start to, to look at the long term trends of our, the health of our population, it is so alarming. And like we had to come into this from many of our elders in our lives, getting cancer diagnoses, uh, terminal cancer diagnoses.
My, my mother-in-law passed away a couple months ago, um, due to cancer. And, and you start to realize that, or you start to tune in to these statistics and you realize that now 54% of kids before they're 17 are gonna get a long term chronic disease. They're gonna be battling for the rest of their lives.
54%. That is over half. That is just an astounding figure. And this shows up with things like autoimmune [00:50:00] disease, sickle cell anemia, a D D ADHD, diabetes, like it is off the chart in terms of an explosion. And then you look at the cancer rates too, where a hundred years ago, it was about a one in a hundred people were getting cancer.
And then by the mid 1970s where it's like one in 20 to where now it's one out of two males are gonna develop cancer and their lifetime one out that doesn't include one out of two. And, for females it's marginally better. It's one out of three. But if the trend line continues in this direction that's going to continue to get worse and you start to realize.
something's changing and what is changing well, it's the food that we're eating the air that we're breathing the ways in which we're spending our time. And that's a design systems thinking. And so from that regard, like our environmental design [00:51:00] is of the highest and utmost calling that we can be doing.
And that's why I think that it's really critically important to think about the spaces that we're in and how we're tending to life and how we're inviting community into those spaces. And it's about time that we, that someone was out there. And believe me, if there's another real estate company in the world that was talking about this and really trying to not say here's the answers, we're just gonna put up solar panels in every, on every house in the world and we're gonna call it good.
Because I don't think that's gonna move the needle of culture at all. if there was another company out there doing this, I would've joined it. And that was where we really saw the necessity to say, this is where we need to be. And, and we need to do something about this.
So I think it's amazing that there are philosophers out there like you and others that like, you're able to provide this light [00:52:00] around what wholeness is. And, and it takes others like me to try to catch up to say, oh yeah, let me, let me really incorporate that into who I am and what I do on a day to day basis.
Stu Murray: Mm. I love that, man. And, and that's really where it all comes down to, you know, like we can speak about all these things as much as we want, but. Where what's that look like when the rubber hits the road? I could talk about love or spirit or, all of these things, but like, how do I treat my neighbor?
How do I, what am I living in? Right. Relationship with the environment? Like how what is going on around me? Am I able to grow my own food? Am I able to help support those around me and really be there to be of service? Like there, there is not only is there a scarcity perception of the resources that we have, but there's this existential scarcity that, that we have inside of us.
And I think when we can tap [00:53:00] into that, what you're talking about, like being of service, finding a way to contribute to something bigger than ourselves is this longing, that cries out in all of us and you know, what, what you're doing to help shift our relationship to the land, our relationship in, in community with one another, how we design cities, how we design individual housing is, is so beautiful. And again like I said, as I've been meditating on the level of story I love that you're going to the root, I was reading a Rupi Kaur poem not too long ago. And she said to really get to to do the deepest healing, we need to go to the root and kiss it all the way up.
And, there's just this power there in it is like, we're not just pruning branches, you know? Oh yeah. Let's slap a couple solar panels up and like, Hey, that's a great step. If you're buying solar panels and doing these things, but we're stuck in that story of commodification wall.
Just work more on my job or, even having [00:54:00] solar panels, like you said, and acknowledged yours is that comes from a place of privilege, right? Like not everybody can even have that luxury to, to afford solar panels or do these things or buy that electric car. What is it like electric cars and solar panels are gonna save everything.
No, We need to go deeper. We need to go at the root of these things as, and I love how you call these the roots of regenerative, real estates that then inform the branches and allow us to live in right action. Because I think that's that fundamental perspective shift. And you talked about Buckminster fuller as well, who brings up these, uh, he also talks about parallel structures, right?
And I've, I've recently talked a lot about, it feels often I can't help, but think we're, it's like, we're just rearranging furniture on the Titanic here. And , you know, like at what point do we start to take these things and actually make new life rafts and new structures because we don't need to denounce anything it's falling apart.
Our way of [00:55:00] living is eroding us. And the statistics you just shared are, are really scientifically rooted, tangible examples of that. So how do we go in and create healing? From the roots all the way up, and that has to be done at that level. And I'm curious, like with the values, like when you said you guys stopped everything and really meditated on the values and principles that were going, going to guide the work that are thrusting you into the important stuff you're doing now, like what, what are some of those guiding values and principles that, that move you forward?
Neal Collins: One of the things that I had taped to our refrigerator, uh, that, that is certainly guiding principle in my life, in bold blue letters was health is wealth,
and that's significant to me personally, because if you search, [00:56:00] uh, maybe other podcasts that I've been on there, especially pre 2019, You start to realize that the real estate industry really perpetuates this mindset of like wealth, financial wealth, financial, or financial freedom, like so many people latch onto this concept of financial freedom.
And they see this as just like the holy grail. And so by really trying to rearrange that equation in my mind to, to say, no, it's not an equation at all. Like, what is wealth? Well, wealth is health. Wealth is relationship. Wealth is community. Wealth is putting our hands in the soil. Wealth is having our loved ones in our house or on our property and spending time together. Wealth is the ability to, to have space in the morning to, to meditate [00:57:00] and to read and to work our bodies. Wealth is the ability to go pursue a vocation. Wealth is creativity in its art. There's just a lot of different ways that this shows up that like, yes, financial wellbeing is part of it, but it does not necessarily start with that as the pinnacle.
And so I, I had to do a lot of unlearning around that and I was part of several different groups where, you know, I, I think they really tried to embrace whole life design, but at the top of the thing that you're tracking, it's always, what is your, your passive income? And, and so I think it's really, how do we.
How do we start to, to prioritize what, what really matters in our lives and, and realizing that what matters in my life is gonna be very different from what matters in your life. But there is a, a foundation to this. And so [00:58:00] really figuring out what that is and, and how to, to start at tuning to that and starting to, to realize like, Hey, maybe, maybe you do need to tend to life beyond yourself.
And like, we started to see this even within the Victorian age. Um, if, if we're gonna to frame it in like the most recent history that like house plants have been. In rage and in Vogue for a long time, because people realize like it's a way that they can, they can attune themselves back towards our, our roots and like that we're not just city dwellers meant to dwell and steal and glass and concrete, but like, we need to be around life.
We need greenery. I've done a lot of walks in the woods and you start to realize like, well, what happens whenever we're we in the woods? Well, we're breathing in enriched oxygen that, that is coming out of these leaves that not [00:59:00] only boost our mood, but it boost our immune systems. And like we're breathing in soil that, that is filled with life itself.
And that is also boosting our immune systems and like the colors green, it relaxes our parasympathetic nervous systems. And so that's, that's really where I think a launching point for me is realizing like we have to come in through the health and wellness space first. That's why, in terms of the, the order of hierarchy for, the five roots of regenerative real estate, I usually hit that one first, although, you know, quickly as my work now really focuses on attainable housing and, and community development. I'm realizing how woefully inadequate I am in the space of equity and access and justice since social justice and like really trying to hold space to learn more about that and educate myself and to like find other mechanisms [01:00:00] and ways and relationships in which to bring forward my privilege to, to help create space for others. So I think it's really finding, like, what is, what's your entry point and starting there.
Stu Murray: Mm, yeah, it's easy to, to over complexify all of this too, to the point of inaction where you say, well, this is just big. This is just too big for me. Right? And it's like, that's kind of, you almost, uh, there's almost phases or iterations of our lives, where we just, you know, accept a narrative that's handed to us from our parents, from culture, from teachers to, this disillusionment that we go through in this anger and rage. And sometimes if we're stuck in that point, we want to tear something down or we want to have this rage that seeks to destroy or seeks to, to demolish these things, which is rooted in the intention of wanting something better.
but perhaps not having right action and right. And right means of [01:01:00] going about to actually achieve these things because if we wanna see true wealth, and true wealth being what you so well articulated that resonates with me. If we want to see that, then the means have to justify the ends that we're trying to achieve.
You know, we, if we want to see peace and prosperity on the planet, well, we need to tap into our hearts and, and tap into our environments and our relationships and cultivate this peace and prosperity there. We need to work. We need to work in a non-hierarchial circle style place where we can actually listen to each other where we can learn to listen, like walk with humility. Walk with both of our feet on the ground and our heads attached to our bodies and be here. Not assume that we have all these answers and this is perhaps the time of letting go the time of shedding. What's not serving us so that we can make space to, to usher in these new [01:02:00] possibilities, these new ways, and perhaps even ancient ways of being where life is alive.
As you said, this soil, like the, when I was listening to you speak just there, it's like, there is an aliveness in this environment that we so often overlook and that that's magical, man. Like we're living in this magical universe and is full of wonder. And so just tuning into that, it makes me want to, to honor it, to live in a way that makes just how I am and who, who I am and how I show up a means of honoring such a beautiful existence.
Neal Collins: Yeah. My, my wife, Alyssa and business partner, and really the person that like is not only the spiritual holder of the company, but also the ones, the one that like can really keep the wheels on the, she helps push me in so many different, [01:03:00] amazing generative directions.
And, um, lately has really been jamming on, uh, Vedic architecture and Aruveda like modalities of living and, and that, like, she reminds me, we're all Stardust. , you know, everything that like that we are in our like human flesh as well as like the materials in which we're building our homes to the way that nature is organized in itself.
And these These arrangements, like it, it's all cosmic star dust, and there's, there are deep ways of being and healing that we can take. And so I just find like living on that edge and really continuously committing myself to that journey and like trying to do the work is how I gain agency through it.
And hopefully I can be a conduit of that of not like a prescriptive, like you need to do this and this to have this really [01:04:00] sustainable health, but how do we commit ourselves to it? A lifelong process and in which transformation is totally possible and like life's principles, how do we continuously commit to learning those and aligning ourselves to them? Like that's amazing. And you have to take from these people like Charles Eisenstein, who I really hear a lot in you're speaking and the way in which you're conceptualizing these topics. And I just, I think it's so cool to to be a, to be alive right now, and to really help create a different culture.
Uh, but that's what it is. Like if it was as easy as putting solar panels on and driving electric vehicles, like I, one part of me thinks, wow, that would be amazing. That's so easy. We can figure out how to do that. Like you just need to go mine, the materials, create the panels and then find the money to put it up on, on top of these [01:05:00] rooftops or what we're now doing is like we're putting solar panels across of across farms.
Unfortunately that's like such short term thinking, and then this is definitely not encapsulating the whole. And so we don't have a technical problem. We have a psycho spiritual problem. and I don't like, I know some people don't like to call it problems because problems are mean like we're solution seeking and maybe we are, and I just don't have the vocabulary to to think of like, what if it's not a problem then what is it?
But I, I certainly know that we're not gonna get there through technology alone. Like we've had the technology for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands or millions of years to live on this planet and inhabited in a way in which we're not gonna toward ourselves. So why is it that the last 150 200 years, maybe if you wanna stretch it out to like 2000 years like, why is it that we were on this different cultural [01:06:00] story that, that seems like it's going in in one direction and that's not a good one.
I don't know. It's a thinking it's a thinking issue. so yeah, I, whenever it goes back to story and how do we tell a different story? And is it we're going back? I don't know. I don't think that we're, we need to, to necessarily go like, think that we're all gonna be able to re indigenize ourselves as some, like, as beautiful as that may be it, it's not a going back. It's understanding that like we're an evolution. Everything is in constant evolution and our, our role is to not diminish the ability for life to, to not evolve. And, and we can do that and it's totally possible. We just need to, to rearrange our thinking to, to get there.
Stu Murray: Yeah. I couldn't agree more and it's like, there are tremendous teachings from the ancient ways that we can draw upon as we [01:07:00] move forward.
And I think there's a beauty in being able to hold reverence for that and being able to acknowledge that. I mean, we know this, we know our story, our culture is so much more than we've known where we came from. And so there is value in that, but I think you're right as we can bring, you know what comes up for me there is like bringing the masculine and feminine, bringing the, the modern and the ancient wisdom together.
Like we have technological capacities to transform the environment in ways we never. But at the same time, we've had technologies to live in right. Relation, as you said for so long and it's not been about the technology. It's been about the intentionality, the stories the ways in which we live in a relational model.
And I think, we're at an exciting time where we can actually weave these ways of being together to take us even further than we ever could. And to live in a [01:08:00] new and exciting way that could take us somewhere that I don't know where it's going, but , I know how to get there.
Neal Collins: Yeah, it's an unfolding. Do you listen to Michael Mead? Much?
Stu Murray: No.
Neal Collins: Oh, Michael Mead is somebody that you should certainly put on, on your radar. Um, he had a great recent podcast episode where. He was talking about, like, we are in this story that we like to tell of apocalypse.
And if you look even a across biblical references, like it, it's not hard to find mentions of apocalypse, but if you're to look at the whole, there is apocalypse and there is apocalypses the rebirth and the regeneration. And that is about. And what is the story of regeneration and revitalization and health and healing.
[01:09:00] And that's what I'm really excited about is like how do we start to tell different stories to ourselves and to what is possible that speaks towards potential and the potential that comes from collective wisdom and in understanding that the wisdom does exist already within nature and within humans, like it is innate as, as innate as evolution is.
So how do we start to tell a different story and one that it is based, as you said on abundance, um, does that's how we're gonna get there, but Michael Mead. Yeah. I mean, what a crazy way to, to really conceive of whole, between apocalypse and apocalypses. And I love that term apocalypses, like how beautiful and that's where, you realize so much of what is right now is just a shadow of what it could be and what it was. And so if we're gonna understand what our, like, we're, if we're gonna remember our role as humans, [01:10:00] then I think one of the highest callings of our time right now is how do we revitalize land and community? And and so I get compelled to not just like, how do we reimagine what a single family house looks like, but like, how do we enable people to see themselves as stewards and, and revitalize place?
That's so cool. That's why I like love everything that's going on within the permaculture movement. And no matter if you want to call it permaculture even like at the much longer lineage of stewardship that comes from indigenous cultures, like I I'm not gonna hit that, that off ramp, but yeah, that, that's where I think that we can, we like to pull in a lot of different ways in which what does story look like and how do we tell a different one?
Stu Murray: Yeah, man, that's brilliant. I'm gonna definitely check out Michael Mead and I love that idea of apocalypse versus apocalypses. And what comes up for me there in you [01:11:00] sharing that like in, in instantly is like this energy of apocalypse being this fear based ending, which is what, oh, carbon dioxide is going through the roof, all species.
Why are we changing our ways? Is it because we're like, are we scared of losing things for ourselves or where apocalypses is. Okay. Here's an opportunity for a rebirth. These things aren't serving. This is the shedding. This is the letting go and this opportunity to, till the soil to be able to come back and regenerate, to revive, to bring life back as a celebration, let's make this change like, as we create and weave these new stories together let's not do it out of fear and despair.
We don't need that energy. As we create the new, we need to celebrate. We need to come together. We need to honor, honor diversity, right? A diversity of not only our ecological environment, but diversity of thought, let's celebrate our differences of opinions. Let's not, like [01:12:00] blow everybody out for holding different views in us.
Let's learn from each other. Let's figure out how we can dive into. Relation into deeper connection, into deeper things through diversity, because as you said, in creating resilient, healthy communities in order to do like what's resilient in nature. It's, it's when she's diverse, when we have landscapes and ecological systems that have a diversity of organisms and, you know, landscapes and, and tears in it, like there's just, that is where something is going to thrive.
And we need to mimic that and bring that into the way we show up as humans in our culture, because there's something there lying latent in her that we can just learn. So, so, so much from and as you said it's not going to be a dogmatic pathway forward. And so as we weave these things and each person can tap into their healing and find what their vocation is[01:13:00] there's something, you know, listening to you today is lighting a fire inside of me, Neil, and it's just, it change comes from inspiration. It doesn't come from coercion, from mandates, from new policies, like the real lasting, authentic change is going to come from us, standing in our truth, doing our healing, working with each other side by side and being in that state of inspiration and celebration.
That's where we're really gonna make the shifts that we need on this planet.
Neal Collins: Hmm. Yeah. That's, that's beautiful. stu Truly. I mean, that raises the hair on my arms in the back of my neck to know that like there's other people that that share that same sentiment and have energy for it because I, what I really worry about is like, we are so attuned to getting our news from [01:14:00] these media corporations that pedal and doom and gloom, and it like our bodies shut down to that. Like it really, once it, it makes us retreat and not rise to the occasion. And so how, how do we lean into like, just a, is it faith that life is abundant? Maybe it is faith.
But I think faith comes faith is amplified. Whenever you have enough people to break through the noise, maybe by creating noise another kind of noise itself to to start to tell a different story. And so that's why coming onto a podcast like this is really important. And to continue to do this work because you're likely not getting paid to do this. you're likely trying to figure out who the audience is and how this comes together. And I think that's beautiful because it, [01:15:00] this is the kind of storytelling that we really need. And I remember to 2020 we thought, you know what, let's do a podcast. That sounds like a great endeavor.
And the doubt that crossed my mind was there's already so many podcasts out there. I don't know what we're gonna cover. Like maybe there are all played out. And I'm so glad that I didn't succumb to that fear because I realized like even if 30 people listen, that's amazing. You just impacted 30 people's lives with the potential for how do we create a different culture, even if it's by measure of two degrees and the sailors that are listening to this, you realize like if you chart course two degrees different from where you're intending to go, you end up in a drastically different location. If you're sailing over a long distance and that's what this is this is endless.
This is life like we're, it's not a marathon or we're not [01:16:00] running a marathon, like two degrees of separate of degree difference, like puts us in a completely different universe and really a short amount of time.
Stu Murray: Thanks for sharing that Neil that's, that's a really, you know, it is something that, that still comes up for me in my own insecurities and my own dealings with not enoughness is well, you're right.
Like there's no, it's not the pay. It's not any of these things. I care about shifting that story too. And there's a calling inside. And, but then, that voice that comes. what are you gonna say? That's not already been said, people are already doing these things like that.
Just these voices. It's like, well, who are you to say that imposter syndrome, all these things that come up but really, as you said even if it's 30 people, whatever, right. That, that can come together and say, oh, I heard this thing on that and it's shifted, it's shifted something in me.
Or it lit that little flame of curiosity or inspiration inside of me that led to me making a different decision today, which led to, who knows what that different decision [01:17:00] could lead to. So I really appreciate you, sharing that as still something that comes up for me quite frequently, especially starting anything new, where it's like, there's plenty of times to just hit the eject button when metrics don't go up, or all of these things are, not taking off in any certain external validation way. I'm trying to really put that monkey mind aside and lean into trusting the internal compass. It's like, is this a fuck yes. You know, is this something that, that really fires me up? And I feel inspired to do, is this part of that vocation that you speak of? And I think that's the metrics that I need to honor and listen to and just trust in that process unfolding. And clearly that's you know, a journey that you've been on in, in your own, right?
Neal Collins: If you didn't have that voice, if we didn't have insecurities, it mean that we're not living. , [01:18:00] like we're, we're all human and we're all fallible. And that's what makes us so complex. And I think that's beautiful and it's a discipline and a practice. That's probably the big words that.
That I really need in my life just to continue down the path is like the discipline is the highest, um, the, like it's what, the consistency that I need in my life to, to kind of block out a lot of the noise that I don't want and the influences that I don't want. And if it was easy, then man, that would, it certainly wouldn't be as soulful
Um, and it's hard, it's really hard. I think we can all give ourselves grace, like we're human, we're living in like really crazy times. It's crazy to bring a child in, into the world right now. Uh, but at, at the center of it is, is mindfulness and [01:19:00] understanding that like we are, we are of nature.
And so, yeah it's been a pleasure to riff with you about this. I'm. I'm just excited that there are people out there like yourself that like so deeply feel this and are starting to like really be the culture creators cuz that's that's the ticket is how do we get this out there to 30 people, 300 people, 3000 people, 3 million people.
Like the scale doesn't necessarily matter. As long as it does start to resonate with people and they start to see that there's agency and that we're not like reinventing or we're not inventing, we're just, we're kind of reremembering.
Stu Murray: it is a re remembering and we're, again, as Ram Dass says, we're all just walking each other home and it's been a real pleasure talking to you, Neil, and for anybody who is listening, whether that's 30 or 300 or however many, whoever [01:20:00] listens to this.
Somebody's feeling that spark of inspiration and wants to learn more, or get in touch with you to find out about any of the services that you offer or join in on the movement. Where can they go?
Neal Collins: Yeah, that, that's a great question. We are on the heels of launching a brand new website. It will have the same website as our current address, which is choose latitude.com.
Our company is latitude regenerative, real estate. We have a really healthy and thriving community that supports it. And I think that's the, the real difference here is that like, there's not just this subject matter expertise and where we keep it closed off, like come enter into the community. We have an amazing mighty networks community. We've we've got a, a great event scheduled in at the end of August. If you're listening before then, I'm not sure when this is getting published, that is a regenerative real estate gathering and an amazing place in a, at the [01:21:00] river bend farm, which is a living community challenge site where, you know, it's things like they've got to achieve local materials, be net positive on energy and water, and they're thinking about equity.
So like we, we really tried to align like any kind of events towards what does it really look like to embrace the spirit of regeneration through design or through community. I've got a podcast called the regenerative real estate podcast. That if you're not listening to this one, then, then switch over and, and see what other real estate professionals are doing in the world.
Because I think that's the application that I'm really getting at is who are these, like these professionals that they see the forest through the trees and they're providing some kind of guiding example. And, and whether it be like social justice related culture work, or it's [01:22:00] architecture, VA architecture, and we need to talk about what that is.
And like those are the themes that I really like to explore on this podcast. So there is a myriad of ways to, to really join in. And the call that I have for people is. Is to, to not see this as like a community or movement that can well, let me rephrase this. We need all voices and we need everybody's energy in it.
If you're interested in living in community or if you are interested in, in home setting great, like share what you're enthusiastic about, it helps inform those of us that, that may have some entry points and resources that you can use. But you also have a ton of, of expertise and knowledge and wisdom that you have gathered over the years that can really help other people, even if it's just [01:23:00] some encouragement of like, Hey, go grow a tomato plan.
If this is the first thing that you can do, or or why don't you try this or try that. And I think that's. That's the spirit of co-creation that it's not just boiled down into the people that work with us, but it it's boiled down into the communities that, that we're just really grateful to be a part of.
Stu Murray: I love that man. And we'll make sure to link all of these in the show notes for anybody to, to access easily. And, uh, I know I'm, I'm particularly interested in, in following up with this and, and getting involved in that network cuz in talking to you today and, and just checking out everything you've been doing, I am so inspired and, and really know in my heart for it to be true that the, this is part of that change and part of that new story.
So thank you, Neil, for, for your courage and your commitment to, to helping to be part of that, uh, Weaver, one of those weavers of the new culture, then that new narrative.
Neal Collins: Yes, [01:24:00] it's my pleasure. And thank you for the invitation to come on here.
Stu Murray: Thanks for tuning into this episode. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did make sure to subscribe to this podcast and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok at @stumurraypodcast. Check out the Stu Murray podcast available on all streaming platforms and leave a comment
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Let me know if this episode resonated with you and what you want to hear more of as we move forward in the future. Thank you so much. And I'll see you next Monday.