095. Howard 'Cosmo' Palmer: Mindfulness, intention, and cosmonauts (transcript)

Highlight [0:00]

Chapter’s show notes…

Cosmo (00:04):
(highlight) So yes, you can change. But the you that exists is always evolving. There is no set you that is not another you. It’s almost like a lotus. You’re constantly opening, but it’s still that oneness of you or that wholeness of you there. And you’re going to learn from yourself, and you’re going to grow, and you’re going to take some good and you’re going to take some bad. The best thing to always try to remember, and I guess that’s what I learned, it’s always best to remember that it’s for your betterment, whatever that might mean to you. But it’s for your betterment, because it’s going to be fun, and it’s not going to be fun. And so, yes, I do think you can change for the good and for the not so good. (/highlight)


Introduction [0:47]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig Constantine (00:49):
(chapter) Hello. I’m Craig Constantine. Welcome to the Movers Mindset Podcast, where I talk with movement enthusiasts to learn who they are, what they do and why they do it. This is episode number 95, Howard Cosmo Palmer, Mindfulness, Intention, and Cosmonauts.

Craig Constantine (01:09):
Against all odds, Howard Cosmo Palmer survived serious heart problems in his childhood to become a healthy, active athlete into his 40s. He describes his childhood health journey and its effects on his life. Cosmo discusses his thoughts on changing your habits and his personal intentions in the world. He unpacks the meaning behind his nickname and connection to cosmonauts, and shares his heroes and inspirations.

Craig Constantine (01:36):
Howard Cosmo Palmer is a self-care, meditation, and wellness advocate. Born in Jamaica and currently living in Colorado, Cosmo uses his mindfulness and meditation practices to balance his other responsibilities, engineering, parkour, and yoga. He is passionate about helping others improve their lives through intentional, peaceful, daily actions. For more information, go to moversmindset.com/95. And I’ll just mention that this is another one of the podcasts for which there is also a video recording. Take a look at that URL, moversmindset.com/95, where you can watch us, as well as listen. Thanks for listening.


Childhood role of movement [2:20]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig Constantine (02:21):
(chapter) As I said before, welcome, Cosmo. How are you this morning?

Cosmo (02:24):
I’m doing great, Craig. And thank you for that introduction. It is early, but not early for me.

Craig Constantine (02:30):
Not too early, good.

Cosmo (02:31):
No.

Craig Constantine (02:31):
Sometimes I have trouble wrapping my brain around … I’m sleepy, and I’m talking to somebody who’s in Germany, and she’s been up for six hours and I’m like, “My bad.” But it’s terrific to have you here. We’ve actually never really talked. I don’t think we’ve ever spoken before, but you’ve been a follower, a lot of our work on Instagram. And I’ve seen you on a bunch of things. So it’s a pleasure to finally get a chance to put a persona to the virtual person that I’ve only barely known.

Cosmo (02:56):
The pleasure is all mine. I’m nervous. I’m speaking to someone-

Craig Constantine (02:59):
Oh don’t be nervous.

Cosmo (03:01):
No, man. I look up to your work, indeed-

Craig Constantine (03:02):
Well thank you.

Cosmo (03:04):
… and just the community that you support, and even your team. You guys do fantastic work.

Craig Constantine (03:07):
It’s all the team.

Cosmo (03:07):
It’s definitely in lines with the meditation that I practice in life. So I just love to see different examples of it, but in a much greater format. That’s how I look at it.

Craig Constantine (03:18):
I appreciate your compliments. I don’t think it’s a very great format. I think we struggle. But yeah, you were definitely right about the team.

Cosmo (03:23):
Well you did change up some things, like you said, where people were thinking before it was … you guys were this group, instead of like a forum, and so now that you have the forum space, and you kind of put that up front, and that’s what you’re using as the conversation piece, I think that’s great. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Craig Constantine (03:41):
Thank you.

Cosmo (03:43):
Yeah, you’re welcome.

Craig Constantine (03:43):
Yeah. I like to [inaudible 00:03:45] a fun place to start that I like is to ask everybody, if you think back to your childhood, what role did movement play as you were growing up?

Cosmo (03:54):
Hmm. Well, little fun story about me is that I had a bad heart growing up, when I was born. Actually, four days old into my birth I was diagnosed with a bad heart, [inaudible 00:04:06] aorta, and had to have open heart surgery. And long story short, I had to end up having two open heart surgeries, and from both I was … the first one I was diagnosed as dead, because a four day old baby with an open heart surgery, they had to go from its back. And it’s in Jamaica in the '80s, and unfortunately my mother wasn’t financially capable or stable at the time, so she had to go to a university where they did it for free. So she had to sign a waiver to agree that if these children and this one doctor, whose name was Howard, he saved my life, was to do the work, and unfortunately I spent the next five years of my life in the hospital.

Cosmo (04:44):
My mother moved to the U.S. with my father, and I didn’t meet her again until I was six, going on to seven, when she came back for myself and my sister. What movement has a big play in that in my life, is that they really thought that I was not going to move. I caught a stroke in between that space of one and five years old. So the whole left side of my body wasn’t functional. And they worked me, again this is in the '80s in Jamaica, so if you are familiar with what science was doing then, or medicine, there was a lot of antibiotics and [inaudible 00:05:15] work with the body. Back in the '70s you had that show, the bionic man, so that concept was already there. So a baby with my … blue baby syndrome was the diagnosis. It’s a two in 10 chance that the child lives. And there’s a one in 10 chance that they live healthy. So I’m that one in 10.

Cosmo (05:35):
And it became a big example for, I guess, my family, who then came back, and I was living with my grandmother at the time, but they wanted me to move. I grew up on a chicken farm. We had goats and chickens, and there was no television. I watched TV one day a week, on Sunday, and it was ThunderCats and all that good stuff, but outside of that, it was just, I’m in the yard.

Cosmo (05:57):
So movement was something that I conceptualized as my freedom, to getting better, because when I was four, still in the hospital, I started functioning on my own. Started using the bathroom on my own, started lifting my left hand on my own, and to them, Jamaica’s very big on religion, especially Christianity, and the church and God, and so they kind of coined me as this miracle baby. And they used my examples of how I was moving to kind of learn for other children that happened like me. So movement to me, personally, was a way to live, or to be free from that past or those possibilities. Because if I had died, then I’m a better person now. So I keep using air quotes. I’m sorry.

Craig Constantine (06:45):
Fine.

Cosmo (06:45):
So movement became that. It became my way to free myself. And as I progressed, and the doctor said … I was born [Sanjo 00:06:56], and then my mother changed it to Howard, so Howard Spencer, the doctor, he said that it’s very important for me to not be excessive on either spectrum. (quote) I can’t be super athletic, and I can’t be a overweight person. I have to find a space. So honestly in that way, even consciousness became an important aspect of my life, early. I had to know … I was already feeling my body. So the awareness of it was there, but was I aware of it? Did I become, did I recognize it? And I did in many spaces, and as I grew into who I believe I am now, that’s … movement is everything to me. And it’s different types of movement. It’s an expression. I look at it like art. And it’s a lot of physical representation. But it comes from inside. It’s like emotion … energy, emotion. So it’s very important to me, very important. (/quote)

Craig Constantine (07:51):
Do you remember … I’m wondering how good your memories would be, back this far, do you remember what it was like to transition from living in the hospital to, I’m presuming, going straight to your grandmother’s? What was … did you go visit there in short periods or did they just, okay, one day you’re in and next day you’re out? Do you remember what that transition was like?

Cosmo (08:10):
Well fortunately, and unfortunately, I believe I have something called photographic memory. I visualize stuff. So there is space in my mind to remember when I was actually in the crib, in the hospital, living there, and I had a best friend, who unfortunately passed, around the same age when we were there in the hospital. And I do remember living on the farm. I never … I don’t remember seeing my grandparents, because my mother left at age one, just before … if not then, before that. So I do remember the nurses and the doctors, but I don’t remember going from there to here.

Cosmo (08:49):
Other than there was a space in time when, while I was in the hospital, and coming out of the whole stroke and not being able to move, they would allow you to … the babies to move around and crawl around. Somehow, some way, I was not … someone missed me, and I end up crawling outside. Again this is Jamaica. We have very small buildings. It’s not like a high-rise or anything like that. It’s almost like someone’s home, if anything. And I end up crawling outside into the main street. Luckily I was saved, obviously I’m here. But I do remember that. I do remember that, vividly and obviously. It’s probably traumatic. So that’s why it’s stuck in there somewhere. But I remember spaces like that. And I even remember a space when they were working on me after a operation, and I had to sleep on my stomach, because the scar’s on my back. And I woke up during this, whether it was an operation or some kind of surgical treatment procedure, and I remember the nurse looking at the doctor. Again, I can’t remember words, because I was a child. Maybe I was still three to four, but I do remember that space as well. [crosstalk 00:09:59] yeah. Man.

Cosmo (10:00):
And then I remember growing up on the farm and jumping the fence and being chased by the chicken. There’s this whole thing in my family about me always getting chased by the chicken. And it’s just, it was great times, Craig. I don’t want to … I just remember it so much because, fortunately … I keep using that word, I apologize. I … trauma has been a forefront of my life, and so I allowed it to help me get better through the spaces that I can control. That’s it. Just do my best at it.


Changing your default [10:39]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig Constantine (10:36):
(chapter) So do you think that … I’ve always wondered, how much people can change themselves. So I was, I would say, average active when I was a kid, and I got into playing American soccer, football, for a while, and I was … It always felt to me as I growing up, that I was trying to force myself to be active. Looking back, I realize like, “Look at all these things I was trying to do to try to become more active.” But I [inaudible 00:11:05] ever feel like I was drawn to it. And it sounds to me like, because in times of depression or times of great stress, I tend not to default to activity. I default to more sedentary activities. And I’m just wondering, sounds like your, despite all of the challenges that you’ve faced, your default setting is to be active. And I’m wondering how much do you think people can change that, if you agree that there’s some sort of set point like that, how much do you think people can change it? So somebody is, wants to really become great at parkour, but they find themselves starting from where I am, do you think people can completely change who they are?

Cosmo (11:48):
What you are is what you perceive. Right? If we use the senses or the idea of self. So to answer that in that way, to change is only … one deep way is based on your actions, and your intentions behind it, and then the habits that it creates. So you can be drinking a lot, and then not drinking a lot, and that’s a change. And that’s a different you. And of course the chemical reactions are there and so you can claim to whoever that you’re better now. So yes, you can change, but the you that exists is always evolving. There is no set you that is not another you. Like there’s no … it’s almost like a lotus.

Cosmo (12:33):
You’re constantly opening, but it’s still that oneness of you or that wholeness of you there. And you’re going to learn from yourself, and you’re going to grow and you’re going to take some good and you’re going to take some bad. The best thing to always try to remember, and I guess that’s what I learned … I’m sorry. I just remembered something when you asked me that question-

Craig Constantine (12:51):
No it’s fine.

Cosmo (12:51):
… and it brought a tear to my eye. It’s always best to remember that it’s for your betterment. Whatever that might mean to you, but it’s for your betterment. Because it’s going to be fun, and it’s not going to be fun. And so yes, I do think you can change for the good and for the not so good.


Personal intentions [13:11]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig Constantine (13:13):
(chapter, highlight) You mentioned intention as you were talking just there. And I’m wondering what your intentions are for yourself these days? What are the kinds of things that, when you’re really thinking about what you want to do, what are your intentions for yourself?

Cosmo (13:31):
For myself is to be an example to the world that you can learn to love yourself, through what we have as life, and be whatever that means to you, and then give back. I like the word legacy, but I don’t like what I feel is associated with it, where it’s this given thing you have to do, more than it’s a breath that you live every day of your life. And that becomes like your legacy. Like something you’re walking through, not like a stamp.

Cosmo (13:59):
So my intention is always to, no matter what I’m doing, to be authentic, and just to be honest with myself. And sometimes that honesty looks like, you know what? I don’t care what anybody thinks. And I’m not even entertaining any conversations about it. And that’s my honesty. And now it might come off aggressive, because people like to share opinions. But at the end of the day, I feel safer in that space. And that’s what goes back to what I’m saying earlier about my authenticity and just going at it in joy. It’s very difficult to change your mind, much less to even convince yourself into things. We kind of do that through the idea of patterns, or things around us, or environment. We use the environment to help us choose. But there are times when it becomes the opposite, where the environment is allowing you to choose other. You can’t assimilate. You have to de-assimilate. You have to go into another [crosstalk 00:14:54] yeah, yeah.

Cosmo (14:55):
And so my intention is that. To learn my space. I go by Cosmo, and I’m wearing the suit because I’m so exited for this interview and this opportunity. You have some great, great people on this platform. Like when I was introduced to Movers Mindset, and you brought in people, I’ll drop a name, like Ryan Ford-

Craig Constantine (15:14):
That was a fun one.

Cosmo (15:14):
… people like him are … yeah, yes it was. And even the recent one I see, and I don’t know if it is the recent one, but the lady … the woman, lady, that does tantra, as well as … You have so many examples of people that use movement, or the concept of the body expressing itself through the mind, that it frees them. It’s a way to move. And we know through parkour and Belle and be strong, be useful, I add a piece on the end of that, is to be conscious. Because through it all he was conscious. This is how he was able to develop these forms of movement, and teach himself how to land softly. And then his son became conscious. There is a be strong, be useful, but outside of the human representation, we all learn through those connective senses. And it’s my intention to be an example of that. (/highlight)

Cosmo (16:05):
(quote) I’ve died twice, I’ve gone through some traumatic things. I still have a major disconnect with my parents. I used … there’s still a lot developing there for me. But I’m also 40 years old. So I’m also looking at life like this is my, and I came up with this term the other day, it’s a personal term. And I know the word has a negative association, but it’s my death walk. It is my walk to the path that I know is coming. It’s inevitability. And the best thing to do is be able to say, “How much can I look back and enjoy what I see?” (/quote)

Cosmo (16:42):
Working in the hospital that I do now, I’m always around young and old, and that energy is given. You get to see the beginning as much as the end. And sometimes the in-between when a person gets to live again. So having the past that I did, and now in this space and time meeting you as I am, and being in this environment, back into it, it’s really showing me the importance of how important it is to be the best version of yourself, and live that example. But we also have to pay bills and stuff. So there’s life that happens.

Craig Constantine (17:15):
Yeah, there’s always that balance of the nuts and bolts. I like the metaphor of, like it’s an office building. There’s things you got to do on the ground floor. You got to sort the mail, you got to take out the trash, and there’s things you do on the third floor, which is cook the meals-

Cosmo (17:26):
I like that.

Craig Constantine (17:26):
… and then there’s the … sometimes you go all the way to the penthouse, with the high ceilings and the big windows, and you look down on the city, and you’re like, “Well okay, what’s the plan here?” I don’t know.

Cosmo (17:32):
Adulting is hard, Craig. Adulting is hard.

Craig Constantine (17:38):
Absolutely. Yeah. I keep trying to find a clever way to misspell adulting in a hashtag. It should be like a self-referencing, I can’t even spell.

Cosmo (17:47):
I like that. I like that. I like that.

Craig Constantine (17:49):
There’s some good computer jokes like that, where I’ve seen functions in computer programming that are related to spelling, and it’s always spelled with one L. So like the function-

Cosmo (17:58):
And you get it.

Craig Constantine (17:58):
… will [inaudible 00:17:59] fix underspeling. You’re like, “Well played.” I like when things are self-aware enough to not take themselves too seriously. And you strike me as somebody who is not … one of my faults is that I tend to be a class clown. If people give me a platform I can really go. But you seem like someone who is very self-aware and able to laugh at oneself, and like, “Oh yeah, there’s that flaw. Okay. It’s still there, keep working on it.”

Cosmo (18:27):
Yeah. Like I said, it was the examples that happened to me that allowed me to navigate through that, and learn the inner workings. It’s a journey. There’s nothing I can do other than accept it. There’s a lot of things that I want that hasn’t manifested, or just not happening. And it’s physical as much as mental, but there’s some wins in between that. There’s some really great wins that sometimes show up out of spaces that you didn’t know. And what is it? When preparation meets opportunity, or something like that.

Craig Constantine (18:59):
Yeah.

Cosmo (18:59):
And you ride that wave. Here-

Craig Constantine (19:02):
Here we are.

Cosmo (19:02):
… in my honesty, here we are. Yeah, come on Craig.

Craig Constantine (19:05):
Yeah, work out the journey for the two of us to wind up here at 9:51, 7:51 on a Thursday.

Cosmo (19:12):
And to be men, and to be men in a society that, right now, personally, our space needs to learn to balance with the feminine energy, and the one within us. Like the feminine and masculine energy within us needs to now stand up, and we need to learn that with each other. And look at us now, man. We are here for a … I don’t know about the purpose thing, but we are here for our purpose, because we brought ourselves here.

Craig Constantine (19:40):
Yeah.


Cosmonaut [19:41]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig Constantine (19:41):
(chapter, highlight) Non sequitur. I’m going to … this is going to seem random to anybody listening, but I don’t ever get a chance to talk to people about astronomy. Let’s talk, let’s go into this space thing. So why, what is it about Cosmo, which I’m assuming comes from the idea of cosmonaut, what is it about, I’m going to guess, space exploration, NASA, and cosmonauts, and what is it about that that drew you to it? And maybe you want to dive in by, what was the spark? What was … I have a lot of great stories related to stuff like that. What was the spark that made you really turn on to astronomy, NASA, space exploration?

Cosmo (20:17):
Hmm. If it was one path, it was back to our earlier conversation about learning more about myself, learning what my astrological sign was, my rising sign, my sun sign, and my moon sign, and then what that means to me as a universal body. So I didn’t really follow daily astrology, more than I dug deep in the concept of astrology. And I found a teaching called cosmic astrology. And what it speaks on is that if you think of astrology and the signs of sitting on a clock, you want to go reverse on the clock. Right now we are going as an energy body, all right, clockwise, in a way that’s very masculine in energy, given the result of the reality we perceive. So through the knowledge, it’s to go the opposite way to introduce the feminine. And now, when you look at concepts like when you flush the toilet or when water goes down in Australia versus the U.S. or the U.K., it turns a certain way, and we know that it’s something going on the earth. So the earth is in space, and it’s moving. Okay. There’s also other energy bodies within that that makes that move. We’re in a galaxy. So I’ve always think that it’s important to keep that representation as much as I am here on earth, because it was easier for me to accept when I got bad things in life, that people aren’t who they always perceive themselves to be.

Cosmo (21:41):
Like this racist thing that just happened to me is not because this person is that racist, it’s maybe because they’re hurt. And it’s okay, and maybe I can move past it. And maybe I can’t, and next time I need to look out for it and be careful, because it hurts me when that happens. So to me that was always my higher way of thinking. I didn’t have my father in life, I mentioned that, and he was very emotionally unavailable due to his past. Unfortunately his father killed himself when he found out that his mother was pregnant with him. Because he had some psychological thing, as being a law officer in Jamaica, that if he can’t provide, then he doesn’t … and he was sick. Lots of reality in space is happening there.

Cosmo (22:28):
So for me, the cosmonaut wasn’t a … So the Russians were the first in orbital space. So that knowledge to me means, if anything, they were also the first to be the space within themselves, get internal, because if you think about it, we have so much gravity, and when we jump there’s … It’s scary, whether you want to jump off of something or jump onto something, there’s still a level of fear. To conceptualize orbital space, where there is no gravity, and balance, because it’s also psychological. They talk about people can’t stand space too long because you’ll get space madness. It also happens here on earth. The space when you’re not in your space, if you’re not within your mind. So cosmonaut is more of a play on, to have a cosmic knot, to have a cosmic mind.

Cosmo (23:19):
To always have a reference or a betterment of self and people. Easier said than done, not Mother Teresa or this guy or that guy. It’s more, again, to save yourself. As a black man it’s very important to me to know how to save myself here and here and here. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is, but it’s … in America, I’ll speak there. That’s where I live. So it’s very important to understand that. (/highlight)

Cosmo (23:44):
I didn’t understand that coming here. When I was six and seven, I didn’t know what racism was. I didn’t know what you can’t have a friend was, or this friend. In Jamaica, you have Asians, you have Indians, you have whites, you have … and we’re all Jamaicans. Now obviously there’s a difference, like with Rastafarians and Christians, and light skin and dark skin, but that’s not a negative, more than it’s a obvious perception. Racism to me became something that was hurtful, because I couldn’t understand how I was at fault for that. So that’s an example of a space that I grew up to live into and learn to deal with. I still have to find out who I was. How am I supposed to know if I like music or I like this instrument or all these other things, if I’m constantly allowing my external environment to define? And not growing up with the example that nowadays we can use that, if our parents is there to give us the influence and the love.

Cosmo (24:37):
My mother is very loving. But in contrast to my father, it’s like night and day. So there’s still a balance that I need to find for myself. I can’t just be feeling that it’s always great and I just need to be underneath my mommy’s arms, and everywhere I go I try to conceptualize moms. No. And I can’t think the other way either, that that. So it’s being able to learn and then keep learning, and then understand that learning is a skill, and to be cosmic about it. And strangely enough, I’ve always wanted to have people represent that. But every time I come up with something, it seems to internalize or redirect back to me, and people think I’m cosmonaut. My whole cosmonaut was in hopes that people saw themselves as cosmonaut. And to be their own cosmonaut. But I’m just really good at something when I love it. And I go in. And I buy different color spacesuits, and I do parkour, and I pontificate, and I meditate, and I jump and I swim and I do yoga, and I hope that it’s a representation of a character more than it is like nowadays, where you have a name so much associated with a star.

Cosmo (25:45):
So you have the Michaels, you have the … I don’t like … I’m not a fan of that. I don’t have idols. I have people in my life that I feel that use the best example of themselves, and I learn from them and I’m thankful for that. There’s a lot of gratitude and appreciation for that. But I don’t idolize nobody. Because I can’t. I don’t have space for that. So it’s more important for me to be the best version of myself through examples, but looking up to someone is moreso like in this moment. Like I said earlier, I don’t know if that was recorded, but I look up to you, to creating this space, because I didn’t do it. And not because of me. It has nothing to do with me. I’m in the space with you, you allowed me here, and when preparation meets opportunity all you can do is be thankful. That’s all you can do. And so how often does that happen, when we’re conditioned in school and life and expectations and relationships? Those things are real, and they have to happen if you want to live out here with the rest of us, but then you still have to find yourself.

Cosmo (26:50):
And we kind of condition, through substance abuse, and to find ourselves, that’s why you get on some drugs, and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I knew it.” Okay. You could have done that without that. If you [inaudible 00:27:03] some space happening in your actions, through your actions. And I want to be representation for that. So I do that. And that’s why cosmonaut was created, and the spark of it was that if I explained that. It was just being my better self, and looking at my astrological body, and how that is a universal representation of my everyday, because that’s what astrology means. You got all the same signs. Everyone has a sign. It’s just a sign that you were born under, called your sun sign, represents the day you were born. And if you think of it, the date and time you were born, there’s a snapshot of the universe, or all the planets in their position, and between that, that is your cosmic self. And everyone has a different thumbprint of that, because we’re all born at different days and different times. Now obviously you and I could have been born April 22nd at 8:00 on a Saturday, but not necessarily in the same hospital, and if it’s in the same hospital, it’s not in the same delivery room. So also [crosstalk 00:28:03]

Craig Constantine (28:03):
… same people present.

Cosmo (28:04):
… geographical representations. So and I think it’s important for us to not get so caught in our ego and our self-emotion, more than to understand that we represent a body that is bigger than ourself, of ourselves. And then there’s a conscious body we all share, like being able to know something that somebody else knew miles away, but you guys never spoke before. How did that come together? How did that happen?


Heroes and inspiration [28:32]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig Constantine (28:32):
(chapter) You were mentioning talking about people that inspired you, or that … like in the sense of not so much a single person that you were following, but like different people at different times presenting something that was inspiring, or maybe heroic, if I can put words in your mouth. And I’m wondering if there’s a snapshot or a story, because I love to collect stories. If there’s a particular person that you can think of, and you’re welcome to scrub off the names if you don’t want to say who it is, but if there’s a particular person and an experience that you’d want to share of, here’s something that I experienced about someone, that you found was inspiring, or that you felt was heroic.

Cosmo (29:12):
Hmm. You’re right. There are different examples in my life, because I moved and grew, I moved a lot growing up. And for the things that I experienced, if we use like Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is a very big example in my life because of the philosophy that he lived. How he was more of a philosopher, and that physical aspect of his life became a great representation, to the point that it just continues to permeate in history. His works continue to go on, and we’re still learning more about it now today. So if we use him as a umbrella or a top view of someone who wasn’t living for your example of him, nor was he expecting you to live for his example of you. He just did it for the best example.

Cosmo (30:01):
Then I want to say most of my teachers in school, because I was … I accelerated well in school. I tested out of grades. I didn’t even have a middle school. I went to sixth grade, and then I immediately went to ninth grade. So my ninth grade teacher, Miss Evans, she really taught me a lot. She taught me about learning from my mistakes, and learning from my weaknesses. And even my elementary school, we go back before that. Again when I came here, I had these big lips, even bigger, my name was Howard, and Howard the Duck was a big thing.

Craig Constantine (30:36):
Great.

Cosmo (30:40):
With an accent, being in Florida, Fort Lauderdale, at the bottom, in a melting point full of immigrants, everyone’s got to find some way to survive, so if you got to get picked on, so that overweight child doesn’t get picked on, then guess what? Somebody’s going to have to take the fall. So I became Howard the Duck. And it really affected me to when I’m started learning that education was going to get me out of the space of being bullied, I got to one school, and I changed my name to Tony. And Tony was my dad’s name. And my teacher, Miss [Calimero 00:31:16], she asked me, my fifth grade teacher, again someone who inspired me, she said, “You’re always going to find places in life …” Hyperbole, like what she kind of said, paraphrasing, she said you’re always going to find spaces in life where you’re not comfortable, but if you don’t learn to know who you are, then you’re always going to be uncomfortable.

Cosmo (31:36):
So I said, “Well I’m Tony, and I’m fun, and I’m a cool kid.” And even though people might make fun of me, so what? Look at your feet. Look at your face. Look at your … and I became my own comedian in that way to kind of play it off. And so getting picked on, you didn’t want to get picked on me, because I was smart, so that means I was also witty. So then I turned back to my teacher and said, “Thank you for teaching me those things.”

Cosmo (32:01):
And so my teachers. Another person, I don’t want to use his name. And her name. But a group, a family, they really took me in at a time when I needed family in my life. When the mother father balance wasn’t … the inability of it wasn’t enough. They saw that somehow and took me in. And I grew up with a friend that always felt like I was his big brother. But to me, we were just the same age brothers, and I needed that. I needed that. And so I’m very thankful for people just, I guess, seeing the things I couldn’t say and allowing me to … finding space for me and helping me and allowing me to grow. The relationship I’m in now, the woman I’m with now, she is very opposite to me. And that becomes a balance that I couldn’t ask for more than I did ask for. When I intend on good things and I vibrate into that consciousness, then I expect that reality to manifest. So and not in an expectation to ego, expectation to vibration. It’s like a … you can’t see it-

Craig Constantine (33:14):
Not going to worry about that, yeah.

Cosmo (33:17):
It’s colors. It’s chakras, this vibration. If you’re doing one thing, then you know it’s going to … excuse me. You know certain things are going to come out of it. So if you do another thing, certain things are going to come out of that, too. So if you just work with that, then it is. So teachers, if I want to paraphrase, teachers really, really are my biggest teachers, my biggest supporters, or people that I look up to in life.


Encouraging engaging [33:44]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig Constantine (33:45):
(chapter) I’m really, I don’t want to say, “I’m passionate about,” but it’s true. So I’m passionate about getting people, and I’m just going to say people who do movement-type things, because I’m not trying to change the whole world. I’m passionate about getting people to engage with each other more. I mean, if they want to engage with me that’s great. I’m one of those people too. But I can’t engage with everybody. So I’m passionate about trying to get people to engage more. And you are clearly someone who is, I’m going to say, putting yourself out there. And I don’t mean like, “Hey, look at me” kind of putting yourself out there, but you express your thoughts, you share images and movement, and you’ve created a website-

Cosmo (34:28):
My dad says I wear myself on my shoulders.

Craig Constantine (34:30):
Oh, that’s a good phrase. And what I’m wondering is, so there are people like you who are able to do that, and then there are people who are sort of, I hate to say invisible, but they’re more wallflowers. In this space movement, they’re wallflowers, in, well literally at dances. They’re wallflowers in discussion. And my experience has been, having talked to a lot of people, not just on mic, but in somebody’s party somewhere. I always wind up in a cool conversation off in the corner, and those people who don’t put themselves out there, they have just as many great things to say as people who do put themselves out there. So I’m wondering, this is a bit of a stretch, and there is a question. I’m wondering if you have any idea how we can encourage people who are holding back, or may not even realize they’re holding back, to put themselves out there more in … because you and I know that doing that helps you clarify your thinking. It helps you discover new ideas, and when I do that the feedback I get is, whether it’s positive or negative, it’s useful. I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on, coming from somebody who’s got that skill or that ability, how do we encourage that in more people? And maybe first I should say, should we encourage that in people?

Cosmo (35:42):
I gotcha. I think for me it was a learned skill. I was introverted in that way, feeling there was something wrong with me, and then finding a way to be self-expressive about it. So I think if a person wants to be that way, then one of the first things they can do is learn to get with the things that bring them the most joy. Because the more you get comfortable with getting involved with the things that express that, that allows you to come out more, then the more you can step into other spaces where you haven’t learned how to do that yet. And then maybe you’ll find the spaces that you want to do it in, versus the space you don’t want. So back to your example, maybe in a party, this guy or girl doesn’t want to share who they are, but if you sit down one on one with them, you find even more out. And it’s the same person. They’re just in a different environment. So it doesn’t mean they didn’t have the skill, it just, in that example, just means they weren’t in the right space to express it easily.

Cosmo (36:42):
And you made an example earlier about, you like to think of your task in life or your existence in life in different buildings. Just like you have that, we are all in that way. And maybe, through my example and your example, how we are better versions of ourselves now, that they can learn that they can do it too, in smaller spaces. Maybe they just want to do it for their family. And it’s better for them there, versus like us who have the confidence, maybe using ego to step forward with it in a positive way, confidence, to talk this way, so that they can find some resonance. My hands, I’m sorry. Find some resonance. No, but it’s … I coach, right, and so when I’m teaching children, like even yesterday, a friend of mine, [Marquise 00:37:30] and I, we were out training, and four boys came up to us. And they were all cousins, and they saw us doing some movement, and they’re like, “Oh, you guys do parkour? I do parkour, I can do a back flip.” And so randomly we created a class for them that we’re meeting them Sunday at 1:00 to kind of introduce them again to the basics.

Cosmo (37:46):
My point being, is like you can tell the energy of all four of them. One was kind of open, one wasn’t, and the one who did the back flip immediately doesn’t even do parkour. He’s too cool for that, because he can do a back flip. But I tell you, I tell you Craig, by the end of the session that we created together, he was the most willing to commit, and as much as the most humbled about it. And again, he was just in a different space. His hair was dyed. He’s like 10 years old and got Jordans on and baggy clothes, and I’m like, you know how much confidence he might has to have every day, and be 10 years old dressed like that? Again, he may not even want to be that confident, but his parents dress him like that. And so he has to represent. And so I think it’s for every individual to find that space that allows them to be best expressive, and then hopefully at some good intention, not hurting anybody, because you can’t go around smacking people because it feels good. Yes it does seem to feel good sometimes, you want to smack someone, but you can’t go around doing that. So you have to find a space for it.

Craig Constantine (38:59):
Find a healthy way to vent that energy.

Cosmo (39:01):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Craig Constantine (39:03):
All right, well, I always hate to say this part, but I want to be mindful your time, because we’re coming up on about 45 minutes, and I think the things you were saying there at the end are … I really agree with that. I think that’s a good thing for people to think about. It’s always tough, because we keep these to 45 minutes, because it makes me and the person I’m talking with, it makes us stay focused, and I think it also keeps the commitment for people who want to watch down. And then I always like to say, this doesn’t have to be the only one of these we do. We are allowed to talk on and off recordings in the future. I have been to Colorado multiple times. So I’m sure our paths will cross, especially-

Cosmo (39:34):
[inaudible 00:39:34] I want to say I’ve seen you before, in all honesty, especially in the space of Apex. But I don’t know if it was-

Craig Constantine (39:41):
I don’t think I’ve ever been to Apex. I haven’t actually been to any of their gyms-

Cosmo (39:44):
No? Okay.

Craig Constantine (39:45):
… yeah, I was only in … Well, see here’s what I’m thinking. How long have you been in Colorado? This is going to be a tangent. I spent-

Cosmo (39:51):
Well, consistently since 2014. But I came here in 2013.

Craig Constantine (39:54):
You know what? It is completely possible that we ran into each other. I was in Boulder for weeks at one point, with a friend of mine, doing the-

Cosmo (40:00):
Okay, and I lived in Boulder all this time.

Craig Constantine (40:01):
… rock climbing thing. It’s completely possible that we-

Cosmo (40:04):
It’s possible, it’s possible.

Craig Constantine (40:06):
So cool, all right. Well, let’s call it there. It was a pleasure, like I said at the beginning. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you. I always love when you kind of know somebody, and then you get a change to talk to them and spend some time with them.

Cosmo (40:15):
Yes, yeah, you put a face to an image maybe. To a person.

Craig Constantine (40:22):
Yeah, a persona, and how people communicate.

Cosmo (40:22):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Craig Constantine (40:22):
And-

Cosmo (40:22):
And I knew you were going to be a humble guy, man, I knew it. I knew it from how you, in your personal life, your blog life, and the things you talk about. I’m behind that, reading that too. [crosstalk 00:40:32] And I don’t know you, so it’s better to learn from you, and I want to again thank you and your team for creating this space. It’s very important for us to have this space to speak freely as much as movers, and mindset is very important. I advocate for it all day, and I love that you, again, do your best version of that too.

Craig Constantine (40:54):
Thank you. As I said before, thank you very much.

Cosmo (40:56):
Thank you.

Craig Constantine (40:56):
So it’s a pleasure talking to you, Howard, and I’ll let you get on with your morning. Thanks.

Cosmo (40:59):
Bye.

Craig Constantine (41:00):
Bye.

Cosmo (41:00):
Thank you, Craig. Have a great one. Bye.