EPISODE 34 – Worthiness and Empowered Humility with Pete Holmes

David Nichtern and comedian Pete Homes in front of palm trees laughing

This week on Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck, David Nichtern and comedian and actor Pete Holmes discuss worthiness and empowered humility.


Pete Holmes is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and podcaster. You can listen to him on his podcast You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes or check out his new TV show, How We Roll. His recent book, Comedy Sex God offers a comedic and autobiographical philosophical inquiry on living a spiritual life. 

Somewhere Between Confidence and Cockiness

Following an introduction from Michael Kammers, David and Pete share how they met at a retreat in Maui. They saw each other during breakfast and ended up talking straight through lunch. Their conversational chemistry is apparent as they move into a discussion on creativity, show business, and staying humble. David shares that mindfulness can help us find a balance between confidence and cockiness:

“There is a sort of natural confidence that is not based on being puffed up or too much dualistic self appraisal, but actually engaging some type of genuineness.” – David Nichtern 


Touching The Earth (17:00)

Spirituality helps us become empowered while simultaneously becoming humbled. Through mindfulness, we grow aware that everyone and everything is just as important and beautiful as we are. Pete says:

“That’s what I think is interesting about the spiritual path as a whole. It shows you how special you are, and then it shows you how un-special it is to be that special.” – Pete Holmes

When we look at the story of Buddha becoming enlightened, we are shown that our worth simply comes from existing in this reality. When the Buddha was doubted, he bent down to touch the earth. This display showed that existence is authority. We are all worthy because we are alive.

Church Behavior (37:15)

Pete and David reflect on retreats and how sometimes it feels like we are on our best, ‘church’ behavior when in a spiritual setting. Pete wonders if some people are trying too hard to be gracious, loving, and kind just to get a slice of the spiritual pie. He reflects on being younger and feeling like he was in a cage due to Christian ideals, and how that fear resurfaced for him at retreats. Learning to accept his worth and to remember that all beings have proximity to God was life-changing for him.

“There is nothing you can do to make you closer to or further from the infinite love of god…there’s only things you can do that make you more or less aware of that love. That’s what this conversation is about. This isn’t about saving you or cleaning you or washing you or making you worthy, this is trying to tune your radio into the fact that you were born worthy.” – Pete Holmes

Dreams and Localizing Consciousness (49:56)

When we meditate we are more aware of our perceptions and feelings. Meditating creates a focal point for our consciousness. We can also see this when we dream (especially lucidly). Symbols in our dreams can be messages sent from our inner awareness or feedback from the phenomenal. Pete tells us that when we dream of something, it is made up and created by our consciousness. In order to take it a step further and experience that which our consciousness created, we have to localize a point. We can apply this in our lives and localize our consciousness to reach true authenticity and awareness.

“We’re God localizing itself, restricting itself, willing to restrict itself that it might experience itself.” – Pete Holmes.




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