Authors & Thought Leaders

Bailey Chase on Spirituality and His Greatest Role: Fatherhood

Published on June 8, 2017

Article by Bailey Chase for Bodhi Tree

Most people know me from TV shows such as Longmire, Damages and the new Twin Peaks. I’ve been acting for 21 years. I began right after college, where I was a jock, living most of my life going from the weight room to football practice to baseball games. When I first moved to L.A. to pursue a boyhood dream, I wanted to go down a different path. I knew I was searching for something, a deeper connection, but I didn’t know what. Within a year I discovered yoga, and that’s when my spiritual transformation began.

I started going to the gym less and reading more—Surfing the Himalayas, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior and Deepak Chopra to name a few. In my 30s, the acting roles started to shift from the all-American stereotype to darker, more challenging characters. Yes, I would still play the nice guy to keep my career afloat, but now I find myself portraying wounded and conflicted deep-thinkers and feelers. They’re more like me, and more like the people in my life now. I wrote Spiritual Gangsta for these people, those who want more, to feel more, to know the truth.

Spiritual Gangsta book coverWriting Spiritual Gangsta

I was inspired to write Spiritual Gangsta because I was tired of seeing others suffer from the same common, self-defeating (yet conquerable) emotions that I battled for more than 20 years. Being a fierce competitor and enjoying seeing others improve, I knew I could help. I am blessed to have had a lot of interaction with the fans of my TV shows over the years and to see them light up when they meet me. It’s a similar phenomenon with my readers who have experienced something similar in their lives, such as family dysfunction, drug addiction, anxiety or depression, when they hear my story and become motivated to face their own.

I chose the title because I feel like you have to be a bit “gangsta” to get to the truth. It doesn’t just fall into your lap; you have to do the work. If it were easy, everybody would be blissful. Being a “spiritual gangsta” is about finding the truth of the moment. Letting go of our ideas—past and future—and just being right here, right now. In the book, I talk about meditative tools like witness consciousness, non-attachment and aligning your intentions with your actions to find your own truth.

Balancing Spirituality and Fatherhood

I have an unpredictable work schedule, but no matter what, I practice yoga every week and chant whenever I can. I have three kids under the age of three, so I’ve had to adapt my spiritual practice to my life. Instead of seated meditation, I find stillness in the chaos. I calm my mind by connecting to my breath when the babies are crying or the terrible twos possess our daughter, so I can share my calm energy with them. By not reacting, I’m finding the truth in the moment. This is what I talk about in my book—connecting to that thing deep inside that resonates in us all: human connection.

My spirituality has inspired me to dig deeper in my career and not settle for an easy path. But most importantly, being a father and a husband has completely changed my outlook as a person. It’s not about me anymore—it’s liberated me from me. Having kids has not only made that connection I was searching for so much deeper, but it also has taught me humility and grace. I’m not in control of everything, only how I react to things and the message I put out. Do not confuse surrender with failure.

Osho said, “Happiness is not something outside to be discovered but something inside to be realized.” It took my becoming a father to experience this. My path has never been more rewarding. Being a dad is a gift. Enjoy it. Is there any better job? Not in my book.

Published on: June 8, 2017

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