Preston Smiles is a motivational speaker, writer and co-founder of The Love Mob.
Skype interview 13.08.14
The Authentic Man Podcast Series
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What for you is the difference between success and fulfilment?
Preston: Hmmm, they go hand in hand for me. So, the best way I can answer that question is, when I’m in alignment with my true nature – which is love, which is peace, which is joy, which is unity – when I’m in alignment with that, everything is a success and everything feels like I’m fulfilled. So, those things go hand in hand for me.
When you look in the mirror what do you see?
Preston: When I look in the mirror I see a king. I see spirit, I see made in the image and likeness of God. I see a beautiful, perfect being living in its imperfections.
Sun or the Moon?
Preston: Both. The answer is both. Which one do I play in more? The Sun – I’m a morning baby. So I really love, early mornings and I really love surfing.
–How early are we talking, 7am?
Preston: Yeah like 5 or 6.
-Wow, that is early
Preston: It is, it is – although I went the other day, no the day before yesterday, I went on a night hike, and I wandered off into – basically some wilderness and I was sitting there with a couple friends, and we were in pitch blackness and it was a Super-moon. So the moon’s out, it’s gigantic, and then all of a sudden we hear howling, and all of these – like a hundred coyotes were hunting, and they were communicating with each other from across the canyon – and it was this magical experience – we left ‘cos we didn’t want to get eaten by a hundred coyotes, but it was a beautiful experience and I’m going to do it again.
-Wow, and where was that?
Preston: This was at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California.
Can you give me one moment in your life, that if you absolutely had to, you would live over and over again?
Preston: If I absolutely had to – woah, that’s an absolutely fantastic question. I’ve never in my life been asked that, in that way. There was a moment, when I was travelling a couple years ago through Panama, where I was hiking through the jungle. I was about an hour in and it was raining, but it was sunny and it’s jungle so you could barely see to the sun but it was raining, I had mud up to my knees, and I got to this clearing, right where I was going to go surfing and I looked – and all I saw was a sea of green, moving up and down like a wave across the jungle. And I couldn’t… I wiped my eyes and I was like, what am I seeing? And as I focused in a little more I realised that I was looking at like one trillion leafcutter ants moving from one house to another. So it was like literally the floor – just imagine the entire ground was moving, it was like a sea of green – trillions of ants – moving their house – in the middle of the jungle, and I was the only person there to see it. And it just blew me away that, that this was my life, that this kid – you know basically born in Compton California – is now in the jungle about to go surfing, looking at millions of leafcutter ants, while it’s raining and sunny, and he’s in the jungle. I would live that over again.
What’s your definition of Manhood?
Preston: My definition of manhood is, being able to dance between the masculine and the feminine when necessary.
Cats or Dogs?
Preston: I like gregarious anything. People, cats, dogs – whatever it is. And dogs tend to be more big and floppy and fun. So, if you would have said giraffes or monkeys – if monkeys are bigger and funnier then I’d go with monkeys – that’s how it is for me.
Finish these sentences –
In a friend I most value…
Preston: In a friend I most value – we can laugh together, in the hardest times.
In a teacher I most value…
Preston: In a teacher I most value – we can laugh together, in the hardest times.
In myself I most value…
Preston: In myself I most value, not taking myself so seriously and enjoying the ride!
What’s your favourite number and why?
Preston: 11 – my favourite number is 11 and it’s because it shows up all over – everywhere I look. I’ll be on flight 1-11, I’ve lived in apartment 11, on 11th Street. It’s just – it never stops. I view it as a sign from the powers that be, that I’m on the right track. So every time I see 11, I know that I’m marching in alignment with who I really am.
-Has that been since childhood?
Preston: It’s been for the last ten years.
Imagine you’re at the very beginning of civilisation, someone taps you on the shoulder and says ‘Preston, I need help. I’ve got a Bible here, and the complete works of Shakespeare over here. We can only give one to the world, help me decide.’ Which book do you choose?
Preston: Knowing what I know now, I’d choose the complete works of Shakespeare.
-You say knowing what you know now, what do you mean by that?
Preston: Because I’ve seen the results of having the Bible here as the authority, so I’d like to see what it would look like to have Shakespeare as the authority.
Night or day?
What is the one thing you would change about your history, if you absolutely had to?
Preston: If I absolutely had to, I would change – all the times where I knew that I wanted to go left and I went right anyway.
What does fear feel like for you?
Preston: Fear feels like a lie.
Name one man and one woman you would like to know more about?
Preston: I’d like to know more about Ernest Holmes, and the woman I would like to know more about is my girlfriend – Alexi Panos.
Preston: Because I’m studying Science of Mind and the further I dive into the rabbit hole that is Science of Mind, the more I realise how much of an amazing person he was, and how he studied absolutely everything and everybody and I’d like to find some more out.
-Why your girlfriend?
Preston: Because I am absolutely clear that she is my one, and everyday that we wake up next to each other – every time, we have an adventure or something like that, I always learn a little more. It just tickles me, it’s so fun – it’s so fun to keep peeling back the layers of this beautiful onion that I know is for me.
What do you think is the first step that has to be taken when facing a fear?
What would you be doing right now, at this exact moment in time, if you weren’t doing this interview?
Another word for failure?
Preston: Giving up.
If in ten years time you could see one difference in yourself, what would it be?
Preston: I would be – and I will be – brighter than I am now. I’m – I’m stepping further into my light.
One thing you will never compromise on?
Preston: Who and what I really am.
Mother earth or Father time?
Preston: Mother Earth. Father Time doesn’t exist.
In a parallel universe what different career would you chance?
Preston: I’d be a DJ.
-Okay, and would you do that in this lifetime, in the future?
Preston: Yeah, it’ll happen – it’s happening.
-What sort of music?
Preston: All kinds, I would mix speeches from Martin Luther King with crazy house tracks. I would… the thing is I understand that music is the one thing that everybody universally – drops their guards for. So it would be another way that I’m getting the message across – that there is no separation. The idea of me being black and somebody being white is a damn lie. So I would – I would cut through that with music.
If you could have a meal, sitting across the table from yourself what would you both eat and what would you be sure to tell, or ask the man opposite you?
Preston: We would share a juice, and I would tell that beautiful being across the table from me that it’s perfect. That everything, all of it, ends in the same place. So I can either take the tough road or I can take the road that is straight ahead. Either way I’ll end up in the exact same place.
This is just an extra question I’d like to throw out: so you’re very confident in your own worth and your beauty as a man, as a spiritual being. What would you say to someone who is just sort of interested and starting out on their own journey and doesn’t yet have that level of assurance in themselves?
Preston: I would say to get their questions answered and their answers questioned. I would just get under everything. I would ask myself powerful questions and wait for the Universe – God – Buddha – Allah – Krishna – whatever it is their belief system is – to answer. Because the Universe is always answering. So I would ask the most intricate questions like – Why am I? What do I? Am I sure that I am a ‘blank’? I’ve always been attracted to… is that true? – Can I be sure that that’s true? Everything, I’d question education, I’d question everything.
–From where you are now, do you have lots of questions remaining for yourself or do you think you know?
Preston: Nope got millions of them – millions of them. Everyday.
-So it’s an ongoing thing?
Preston: Yeah – I believe that as long as there is breath in the body, that we’ll always be bettering our best. We’ll always be stepping further into our illumination – to our God selves.
Well thank you Preston, it’s been very very – its been quick – but its been very deep at the same time. So I appreciate that. is there anything you want to ask me before we sign off and let you go surfing?
Preston: Yeah – what’s your favourite thing about you?
Tori: Favourite thing about me is – I would say the first word that comes to mind is my vision, no matter where I am whether its physically or emotionally or mentally, I can always see a good place – a better place. I can see that you know, life is about change and if it’s – if I’m in an emotional place which feels kinda difficult, then I can just sit in that and accept that and know that it’s gonna pass. So I would say that – you know – I’m an eternal optimist, and I like being able to pass that onto people as well.
Preston: If you were forced to live somewhere other than where you are right now, and you could never leave that city ever again, where would you go?
-Preston: Okay why?
Tori: Brazil is just beautiful – the jungle, the people. I was in Brazil last October and the minute I stepped off the plane I just felt at home. People talk a lot about us all being one and there being no separation – which I absolutely believe – but being in Brazil and seeing all the different cultures just mixing together and nobody’s staring at anybody, nobody’s really interested. Everyone’s just doing their own thing and loving it. It’s such a contrast from you know, coming from London and if you’ve got a different hair style people want to touch it, and want to look at it. Or if you’re wearing different shoes… everything is kind of separated. So Brazil was just a nice peaceful place, with people just being who they were being. Yeah, it was brilliant.
Thank you so much, I will upload this to my site, and then I’ll send you the link. Does that sound good?
Preston: Yep, you’re quite welcome – have an amazing night.