Image via Uncommon Beat
Acknowledging and taking action upon the inner revelation that every individual is solely responsible for creating their own meaningful and authentically rich life, Author/Teacher, Alexander Dunlop, is an intrepid explorer who is deeply connected to his life purpose. Exploring human potential with endless curiosity has led Alexander to lead others toward their inner compass throughout his latest written work of art, ‘Play Your Cards Right: A Sacred Guide To Life On Earth’, which serves as an empowering tool that propels readers toward actively living their most fulfilling truth. I had the pleasure of connecting with Alexander and his magical mind to discuss ‘Play Your Cards Right’, detaching from a lifestyle that didn’t align with his core, the variety of hats that he has worn throughout life and more.
How a Deck of Playing Cards Showed Alexander Dunlop the Key to Living a Sacred Life on Earth
JG: First and foremost, give us a rundown of your intention behind writing your book, ‘Play Your Cards Right: A Sacred Guide To Life On Earth’. Elaborate on what inspired you to share your message with the world.
AD: My intention in writing the book, ‘Play Your Cards Right: A Sacred Guide To Life On Earth’, is to give people the answers that I found. I had searched for answers in so many places and then found that the answers were hidden in plain sight within the deck of playing cards. There wasn’t really another book on the subject that I really liked or felt that I could recommend to others about the meaning of the playing cards.
I had started coaching people using the deck of cards in 2011. I had been a nutritional coach for awhile and I also started a health center where I was doing health coaching. I was introduced to and found the cards at a party in Brooklyn. Afterwards, I gradually incorporated the cards into my coaching practice and more and more, people found the cards to be interesting and wanted to know more about them. My practice kind of morphed from health coaching to spiritual and life coaching. Throughout my own meditation practices and ayahuasca ceremonies that I was part of at the time, I started to feel like I was getting direct downloads and direct information about the cards and how they once had been the book of life.
Based on that information, I started sharing and teaching with people, I mean, people that knew about the cards, because there aren’t many people who know about the real meaning of the playing cards. I was channeling this information and realized that I wanted to write a book about this and what I have been receiving; I needed to write a book about this in a way that was really going to help people as a guide to the tool (the cards) that was hidden in plain sight for as long as we know. I mean, the cards were persecuted and demonized. It was called the devil’s picture book, and now it’s come back to the light. It’s come back to our consciousness.
JG: Do you feel as though what you sought out externally was something that you found internally? You brought to our attention that you were seeking for the answers and the tool, yet have you in turn also found those answers within yourself?
AD: That’s a really profound question with a lot of layers. I always imagined that there had to be an answer. I just knew it. It was within my imagination or my heart of hearts, if you will; my gut instinct. There just has to be an answer to the almighty question: ‘What is the meaning of life?’….
At the age of seventeen, I had a spiritual awakening. I had grown up Roman Catholic and nothing much happened; it was boring and annoying which led me to basically being agnostic. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale and after a few years of High School, I went on a retreat that my school offered which was on the beach in Miami. On the last night of the retreat, there was a Priest that came to talk to us and it really impacted me. It was a really powerful talk. I went to have a talk with the Priest afterwards and I was sitting with him in what you would call a face-to-face confessional style. I don’t remember what I said to him, but after I was done talking to him, he stood up to pray for me in the traditional way that I had heard of numerous times growing up. Nonetheless, he put his hand on my forehead and something went whoosh through my body from head to toe. It felt like water and electricity all at once, unmistakably from head to toe. In that moment, I felt washed clean. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, there was something real beyond all of the dogma. And this singular experience at the age of seventeen set me on my quest. I am still talking about it now, and it was that very moment that changed my life.
JG: Personally, I perceive age as a number, yet paradoxically, seventeen is within such a ripe stage of youth. Do you feel as though this encounter led you to transforming your life and taking action toward living the life of your dreams?
AD: Absolutely. It transformed me and my family recognized the new version of me that emerged. It launched me toward wanting to figure it out. I had an epiphany and acknowledged that there was something real behind all of this religious rigmarole. It led me deep into Christianity and I became an Anglican Minister. Meanwhile, I had done well in school growing up so I got into Harvard and I was studying Philosophy there. After Harvard, I went back to my Roman Catholic roots and thought I wanted to be a Priest; that isn’t what I wanted. Moving forward, I went from Seminary to Wall Street, which was a strange turn of events, and I was working on Wall Street as a Consultant yet I was still searching for answers and partying like a rockstar every weekend, trying every psychedelic drug that I could find. I did find some answers through psychedelic drugs. After the Dot-com Bubble Burst, I took my severance and my savings and went to India without a return ticket. I was staying in ashrams and meditating all day in Pune, India. I had powerful experiences while I was meditating that were transformative which led me to taking initiation as a Swami. After six months in India, I become raw vegan and that’s when I started the holistic health center with the woman who is now my ex-wife and Mother of my children. It was during that time that I found the real meaning of the playing cards at the party in Brooklyn.
So, all of that searching, twenty-five years of searching, all led up to that moment where I found that the playing cards actually show us the mathematical fabric of reality. The cards show us the Quantum Field of reality and once we know our cards to play, we can be in harmony with who we are. We are our soul’s blueprint in this lifetime. I didn’t find it all at once. I found it through meditation. I found it through contemplating it over and over again in ceremonial content. Therefore, yes, you’re absolutely right; I ultimately found the answer that I was looking for internally by downloading it directly. But, I would have never known where to look without the external tool to prompt me to look in that place for the answer.
JG: I can see how you were a Philosophy Major at Harvard. Ultimately, you have worn so many hats throughout life and the dynamic variety that you’ve encountered has led you toward being able to connect with so many different human beings in an empathetic and compassionate way. I perceive that that has propelled you toward being a leader and writing ‘Play Your Cards Right: A Sacred Guide On Earth’ as a tool to not only aid in your own well being, yet aid in the collective well being of society.
AD: Totally. You are hitting the nail on the head. It is my purpose that I am here to empower and lift up other people with the spiritual knowledge that I have. It took me a long time to accept that. I did wear many hats and interestingly, I was always looking for spiritual knowledge and studying the spiritual masters, yet I would call myself a businessman. Even when I started the holistic health center, I was still classifying myself as a businessman. It was only when I found my cards to play that it validated my own inner yearning, but like I mentioned, there was an external tool that validated my inner reality. The cards allowed me to own my inner reality and shine forth as who I am.
JG: You brought up leading a raw vegan lifestyle in the past. Are there any wellness practices that you ensure to incorporate into your everyday life that enhance your quality of life? Rumor has it that you are quite the cyclist.
AD: I love riding my bike! That is my preferred daily activity. I do like to go for walks now as well. I start my day every single day with a glass of warm lemon water. I squeeze half of a lemon into the water and add fresh turmeric, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper. I drink eight ounces of that and it’s the first thing that I put in my body every morning. I like to drink green juice every morning as well. I prefer to eat vegetarian at night because what I have found is that I sleep better when I do which leads me to waking up refreshed in the morning.
Back when I was a kid, I played so many sports. I often joke with people and tell them that I have more injuries in my body from playing sports rather than any drugs that I have ever taken. It was actually athletics that did more damage to me than drugs! These days, I am not interested in running marathons; I am more interested in going for leisurely strolls.
JG: I perceive that you have encountered quite a bit of extremes throughout your journey. Did you previously lead a life where you didn’t incorporate similar wellness practices and had experiences that led you toward your current lifestyle?
AD: You are really astute in your observation. I grew up on the Standard American Diet eating grilled cheese and hot dogs. As an adult, I suffered the consequences. I had terrible psoriasis. I had terrible irritable bowel syndrome. I had really bad sciatica, and the doctors told me that there was no cure and that they could only mitigate the symptoms. I was 30 years old at the time and knew that I no longer wanted to live like this for the rest of my life which sent me on my holistic journey to find the cures. I was able to cure myself by radically changing my diet and lifestyle. There is so much that we can heal by letting food be our medicine.
JG: Indeed. What are your current aspirations outside of writing? Are there any projects that you working on or any experiences that you have planned that you’d like to share?
AD: I have quite a few projects going. I’ve written the book, ‘Play Your Cards Right: A Sacred Guide To Life On Earth’, and what I’ve put together are programs for people who want to go deeper and really embody their cards. I am creating a self-study program for people to read about their cards and work through coaching exercises on their own. I am also creating classes for people that want to train in this knowledge and learn how to read the cards for themselves. I offer professional certification training for other people who want to read the cards for a living.
JG: Fantastic. What is your perception of a life of happiness?
AD: To live our lives like it’s our favorite game to play. That is my own mantra for myself: to live my life like it’s my favorite game to play. If we can approach our life like a child at play with all of the riddles, puzzles and challenges that we face, then that is when we are really engaged in a joyful and abundant way.