Stefanos Sifandos | What Inner Work Actually Is: Exploring Ego Death, Health Freedom & The Scale of Awareness

“When I say, ‘Do your inner work,' it's in real life and real-time but it's also taking responsibility for your sovereignty. Have a disciplined breath practice in the morning or maybe have a reflective practice at the end of the day to sit with yourself for ten minutes in stillness and silence to think about it. Ask yourself, ‘What could I have done better?', ‘Could I have treated people differently?', ‘How did I speak to myself today?', and pause so that the likelihood of that playing out in real-time when you’re in a more reactive state is going to be higher.” – Stefanos Sifandos

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 382

Relational Alchemist, International Speaker and Author, Stefanos Sifandos, returns to explain what all men face on their road to becoming a great man, what happens to our psyche and self-worth if we're focused on comparison, why we go back to old patterns, and how you can be friends with your ego.

What actually is inner work and what does it mean to be a good man

Join us as Stefanos unpacks the 5 Tactical Virtues for Men: Strength, Courage, Mastery, Honor, and Connectivity.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘When I say, ‘Do your inner work,' it's a real-life and real-time practice but it's also taking responsibility for your sovereignty.' – @stefsifandos ” quote=”‘When I say, ‘Do your inner work,' it's a real-life and real-time practice but it's also taking responsibility for your sovereignty.' – @stefsifandos “]

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Listen To Episode 382 As Stefanos Sifandos Uncovers:


[1:30] Ways Of Being For Men

  • Exploring what ways of being and virtues men can honor.
  • What has changed for Stefanos and Josh since their last interview including Josh going to be a father in 2021.
  • Who Stefanos is today compared to when he first arrived to the USA from Australia.
  • The choice we have to choose which aspects of ourselves we want to feed and bring to life.
  • Exploring the new level of clarity and self-connection that he has now compared to when he was still in Australia.
  • How he's come to a place of doubting himself less and honoring himself more.
  • Unpacking one of the masculine's sickness: Over-extending as we identify ourselves and our self-worth through utility and usefulness.
  • Why we come back to old patterns and toxic ways of being when we're met with new challenges and obstacles.
  • The unhealthy drive he had to be seen as enough by his father.
  • How other aspects of life can become tainted if we bring them into our personal space.

[15:30] Common Wounds That All Men Face

  • How you have to allow yourself to fully feel and embrace all negative emotions to truly work through and let them go.
  • Exploring the common wounds that all men face from childhood and into adulthood including rejection, abandonment, and humiliation.
  • Why men lack ownership and responsibility to see themselves as enough when they turn to others, especially their partners, to give them that feedback.
  • What happens to our psyche and sense of self-worth if all we're focusing on is our competition and doing better than others.
  • Unpacking the different eras of men and masculinity over the last century including the industrial and agricultural revolutions and how that has impacted fathers and their children.
  • The different phases Stefanos went through as a child including being a people-pleaser and a bully because of the sense of unavailability that he felt from his father.

[23:00] The 5 Tactical Virtues For Men

[32:00] Do Hard Sh*T Every Day

  • Why you should begin challenging yourself every day as part of your daily wellness practice.
  • Where you can begin to integrate Stefanos' words of wisdom into your own inner work.
  • The power of meeting yourself on your journey whenever you meet resistance.
  • What other ways you can challenge yourself besides physical resistance including starting a new business, quitting, or asking someone out on a date.
  • Why there's power even in challenging yourself with little things like taking a new route to work one day; whatever takes you out of your comfort zone.
  • Unpacking the differences between the lower case ‘t,' upper case ‘T' trauma, and even crossovers.
  • How trauma can impact our behaviors, relationships, and personalities.
  • Why exploring our traumas calls for actual, active work.
  • How our past can take over the present moment when we haven't mastered ourselves yet.

[43:00] What The Inner Work Actually Is

  • Unpacking what doing the inner work means and why it has to be done in real-time.
  • Examples of active inner work from breathwork and meditation to self-reflection at the end of your day.
  • What came up for Josh during a breathwork session with Stefanos last year including his father-wounding.
  • Exploring what a Father Wound is and why it's something big that comes up for most men during their healing journeys.
  • Closing the gap between the knowing and the doing during the inner work process.
  • How the brain becomes addicted to familiar patterns that keep it safe.
  • Why we're in a constant cycle of giving and receiving love plus why our patterns revolve around that.
  • What threat funnels are and how they're connected to our physical body.
  • The benefits of pausing, taking a deep breath, or going for a walk when you need it such as during an argument.
  • Why at least 70% of all communication is actually non-verbal.
  • The medicine that lies in spending time in nature and placing the palm of your hand over your heart.

[52:00] The Different Stages Of Manhood

  • What reparenting psychology is and how you can apply it to your life to help you be more complete rather than rely on outside factors or relationships to do that for you.
  • Activities that our ancient ancestors did such as hunting and how they can help us become more grounded.
  • The motivation Stefanos had to spend days out in nature to come back to himself and his relationship with the earth.
  • Exploring the different stages of manhood including the Prince Phase when men are deeply integrating and building their kingdom.
  • Why men will naturally go in and out of different manhood stages along their journey and where Stefanos and Josh are currently at.
  • How the current socio-economic circumstances largely around COVID-19 have impacted relationships, mentality, and freedom.
  • Why he didn't feel isolated in nature at all compared to experiencing government lockdowns and the stimulus overload from social media.
  • The recipe to become an embodied man by practicing self-awareness, forgiveness, feeling your emotions, and having difficult conversations.
  • Why some of man's greatest gifts to humanity are their range of emotions, whom they connect with, and how they show up for others.

[1:04:00] Are You In A Comparison Trap?

  • The ego trap and how it keeps us from being fully grateful for all that we have in our lives.
  • Why we can be stuck on the idea that we will never be enough.
  • The impact of putting our parents up on a pedestal can have on our mindset about ourselves.
  • Why there will always be a middle way during our own journeys and there will never be peace in the world because life is like a pendulum.
  • How the experiences that we have, positive and negative, lead us to perceive the quality of our life.
  • Why we shouldn't be asking the question, “How do I find inner peace?” because it's an allusion.
  • The mindset hijacking that the mass media does by constantly putting out negative headlines each day.
  • Why we get caught in the idea that if we have this and that, then we can stop the war inside of ourselves and will be fulfilled.
  • Exploring the alternate fuel source that won't lead us down a path of continued co-dependency.
  • Why answering the question, “What do I need to feel safe?”, can actually be overwhelming for some people.
  • How to bring yourself back into the present moment to help you figure out what you need to feel safe enough.

[1:13:00] Death To The Ego

  • What happens when we find ourselves in an undesirable state of being including spiritual bypassing.
  • How we can keep ourselves from falling prey to the toxic mindset of good vibes only.
  • Why we tend to always stay the course when we've made a decision instead of making changes which is the ultimate ego death.
  • The choice we always have to drop our old identity, ways of thinking, and ways of being but it will come with pain.
  • Why we cannot dissolve the ego and become someone new unless we integrate the shadow work as well.
  • How Josh's stance on Ayahuasca has shifted and why he's no longer an advocate for it.
  • Why you have to do the deep work in a familiar state of consciousness with breathwork and meditation before doing it in unfamiliar states of consciousness using plant medicine and psychedelics.
  • The importance of actually pausing and doing the work instead of relying on the next external factor such as Ayahuasca to heal you.
  • Why Josh had to do a year and a half of PTSD recovery after an Ayahuasca ceremony.
  • The power of doing breathwork to alter your state of consciousness instead of trying plant medicine or psychedelics.
  • 345 Zach Bush MD
  • How to proceed with caution to ensure that you receive the best care and support from your shaman during a plant medicine ceremony.

[1:23:00] Applying The 3 Stages Of Intelligence

  • Unpacking the first steps a man can take as he begins to apply the three stages of intelligence.
  • Why community and surrounding yourself with other men that support and challenge you are so important to help you grow.
  • The difference between meeting with your community in person compared to a Zoom call and why a digital connection does not have the same energetic response.
  • How fear is being multiplied on fear as government officials are releasing statements such as, “If you have to sing, wear a mask, and don't sing too loud.”
  • The mass media narrative right now that wants to divide society when the very thing we need is to be an embodied community.
  • Exploring the choice we have right now: We can feed the fear or do our own research on what's going on.
  • The fact that we humans have been born from bacteria and viruses; we have also survived because of bacteria and viruses.
  • Different thresholds of fear that we all move through and how we can do the inner work and investigate why we are afraid.
  • The personal, emotional struggles he has gone through and what he realized about his negative feelings that has helped him through COVID-19 regulations.
  • Why wearing a face mask and breathing in your own carbon monoxide on a repeated basis is not healthy.

[1:31:30] Standing Up For Our Health Freedom

  • Breaking down and answering the question: How long will it take until we stand up for our health freedom and rights?
  • Why things will have to get worse before we are no longer complacent with what is happening in our world because of the coronavirus.
  • Where the collective consciousness is right now and why we have to experience more pain to transform and transmute.
  • How our nervous system has been hijacked as we are forced into fear with the COVID-19 slogan, ‘Stay Safe.'
  • Why the truth about what is going on with COVID-19 and its agenda is actually very clear when you do the research and look at the data.
  • CV19 Truth Series: Protecting Your Health Freedom
  • Why courage is something that we can never embody unless we actually lean into it and practice it.
  • What he loves and doesn't like about the app, TikTok.
  • Further exploring what it takes to be a good man in today's modern age and why it's up to you to figure that out on your own during your life's journey.
  • Why being present and mindful of your thoughts, actions, and what actually matters to you can bring extraordinary wellness into your life.

Power Quotes From The Show

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘We need to take responsibility for ourselves because the moment we say it’s someone else’s responsibility or we blame someone, we're giving our power away.' – @stefsifandos ” quote=”‘We need to take responsibility for ourselves because the moment we say it’s someone else’s responsibility or we blame someone, we're giving our power away.' – @stefsifandos “]

What Happens When You Give Your Power Away

“We need to do our inner work and it leads back to the 5 Tactical Virtues – Strength, Courage, Mastery, Honor, and Connectivity so that we can achieve sovereign empowerment. We need to take responsibility for ourselves because the moment we say it’s someone else’s responsibility or we blame someone for something like not feeling a particular way or experiencing life in the way that we want to experience life, we disempower ourselves and we give our power away. That does either one of two things; we either retract from the world or we lash out in the world.” – Stefanos Sifandos

Navigating The Shadow Way

“The shadow way is about intimacy and relationships. It’s about how you give and receive love. It’s about whether you’re allowing people in and surrendering to that or you are too scared of love because you’re afraid of loss.” – Stefanos Sifandos

Do Something That Scares You Every Day

“Do something that scares you every day and I'm not suggesting you go put your life at risk but at what point do you draw the line? We're all going to have to move through different fears and thresholds; some of which are higher than others. I call it the elastic band effect. Your elastic band or tolerance might be longer or shorter in some areas compared to how it is for other people but eventually it will snap. So you want to bring yourself to the place right before it snaps because that's your edge and then peak over. If you have a deep fear of physical contact, for example, that's a great opportunity for you to look into that and what it actually means.” – Stefanos Sifandos

Links From Today's Show 

About Stefanos Sifandos

Stefanos SifandosStefanos Sifandos has been immersed in deep men’s empowerment work and the exploration of intimate and sacred relationships. Merging the best of eastern and western methodologies and philosophies to promote balance, sacredness and power in life and love.
Using integrative techniques and methods, such as neural-empowerment, Shamanic Praxis, holotropic and biodynamic breath work, trauma release and integration, western psychology, Eastern Mysticism and more, Stefanos has created programs, models and systems to enhance the quality of your life, your intimate relationships and in essence bring you closer to your potential.

What It Means To Be A Good Man

Having also traversed the depths of his own pain, suicidal thoughts and fears profoundly, He has overcome destructive patterns and has faced and overcome multiple ‘ego deaths’. Stefanos understands there is difference between culturally defined masculinity and sacred masculinity. He further explores what it means to be a GOOD man and to be GOOD at being a man in today’s world.
Stef holds degrees in Behavioural Science, Philosophy and a Master Degree in Sustainability & Commerce. He is also qualified in the areas of: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Psych-K®, Vira Tantric Principles & Masculine Ethos Philosophies (Agama Yoga), Hypnosis, public speaking, Reiki, group facilitation, training & assessment, varied high-intensity training methodologies, physical & psychological conditioning and performance coaching.
He also holds extensive experience in the areas of Ayurvedic medicine, life coaching, mindset coaching & holistic health. Stef embodies all of this interconnected wisdom & experience to facilitate authentic & connected leadership development programs globally.

Stefanos' Mission

“My mission is to be a VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS; to assist individuals in actualising the fullness of their potentiality; to relate consciously to each other with authentic love; be a conscious steward of Earth and continue to evolve and expand the entirety of my being – this is my humble gift to humanity and to my own soul”.

Healing The Father Wound As A Woman & Attracting Wounded Men


About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, daughter Nayah + a cat named Cleo. He is the host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath + Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 20+ years as a trainer, researcher + facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. Helping humans LIBERATE their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual + financial self through podcasts, programs + global community that believe in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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