Soren Roi of ‘A-Tonal Coaching’: “No matter what you’re gonna do in life, you have to start where you are”

No matter what you’re gonna do in life, you have to start where you are. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t do it. They think they have to GET SOMEWHERE before they can start. In that sense, the first people to gain support from are the people already around you. They might not have […]

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No matter what you’re gonna do in life, you have to start where you are. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t do it. They think they have to GET SOMEWHERE before they can start. In that sense, the first people to gain support from are the people already around you. They might not have any experience or knowledge about what you are trying to achieve, but they have experience in YOU. We are being recognized and created constantly by the people closest to us, our partners, our family and friends. Let them in on what you’re creating for yourself and they will resonate that back. Then begin to do the same with EVERYONE you meet. Sharing yourself and what your’e up to in life moves mountains

Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Soren Roi.

Soren Roi is a second generation spiritual coach. While he did not come to take on the family tradition until his 30’s, he now sees that all of his life leading up to the switch was only preparing him for what he was born to take on.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in Brooklyn with a mother who is a painter and a father who is a spiritual philosopher. I think I had a pretty typical NYC kid upbringing. I had a lot of friends who i roamed the city with, playing in bands and causing a ruckus wherever we could. Most of it was innocent but we did have the occasional run in with the law. Eventually i began going to college at F.I.T. And Hunter College. I studied a wide range of things from fashion to Art and Gender Studies but most of my days and nights were spent thinking about music and playing in local clubs. If i wasn’t playing a gig on the weekend i was probably bartending somebody el’s gig. Music and a sense of freedom were my guiding forces throughout my twenties.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If you keep saying it the way it really is, eventually your word becomes law in the universe” -Werner Erhard

This quote reminds me that when i shy away from truth i am taking away power from myself and my words. The cost of losing my ability to effect my world through my speaking is never worth whatever safety i traded it for.

How would your best friend describe you?

Im often described by my close friends as a stereotypical Taurus. Stubborn but dependable. I enjoy comfort in life but that can get in the way of growth. These types of conversations are common between my and my close friends.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much?

My understanding that I cannot accomplish anything without a higher power

My ability to create space in my life for blessings and accomplishment to show up in.

My desire to share myself with the people around me

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?

I got my first shift bartending at the cool local music club on my 22nd birthday and was in love with working in nightlife from that moment. I was a musician, so i fit the part and the part fit me. This was important because my real love was music and i needed a job that was flexible enough to let me take time off for gigs. As the years went on I began getting more into the promotion/ event production side of nightlife. Me and a friend organized hundreds of music events at the club for a weekly show series title Nothing Changes. This ran successfully for 5 years and harnessed a great community of artists performing and supporting others. But after 8 years i was burnt out and sick of it. Not only the bar life life and concerts, but my own music as well.

And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?

My “reinvention” of myself never felt intentional so it is hard to say exactly how it all happened. At the same time when i look back on that period of my life i can see i was also being guided by something. I think that is the power of a crisis. Being in a breakdown requires us to focus purely on what the next right action is. It gets us back in touch with the present moment. It can be terrifying when life changes it course on you but it also can break us out of our own spell of thinking that we know how our life is “supposed” to be. Sometimes you just have to let life chew you up and spit you back out. Its a cleansing process.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

I have a condition called Tinnitus which manifests itself as a constant ringing and buzzing sound in my ears. Ive had it since i was a teenager but one day after after many years of adapting to it and living with it, suddenly the sound got louder, Much LOUDER. I didn’t t think i would be able to live with such a constant unrelenting sound going off in my ears 24/7. It sort of broke my understanding of reality. It didn’t make sense that this sound could just come on like this and have no end. Our minds cant really grasp the infinite like that. I felt like i broke myself and had fallen into a glitch in the universe where i was destined to suffer forever. I was afraid to go back to work at the loud bar and i was afraid to continue being a musician. It was like the carpet was pulled out from under my identity and i didn’t know who i was without these things in my life, despite having been completely burnt out on them already.

Being raised by a spiritual philosopher was my saving grace in that moment. With no hope of getting rid of the tinnitus i knew from my father that i had to transform my relationship to the sound. The universe was telling me something and i had no choice but to listen, The sound wouldn’t shut up!

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

Leaving my dead end bartending job of 8 years was very scary because i felt like i had no other skill sets. I had 2 college degrees but no understanding of how to create something out of them. A couple years prior i had even begun Barbering school to become a hairstylist but never completed the state board test. That itself is very descriptive of the type of person i was at the time. I could keep myself busy with things like school which made me feel productive but i could never pull the trigger on anything or take any risks. So the first hurtle was to recognize those feelings of inferiority and inability within myself which had been present way before my tinnitus. I started to see how those feelings had really been running my life. They dug the whole i was now stuck in and investigating them allowed me to begin climbing out. So I took an action and went back and got my barbering license. My best friend put me in touch with a barber that she knew, Fancis Rodruiguez, who worked at a cool little barbershop and i began apprenticing under his guidance. Reaching out to somebody to ask for their help was terrifying. All of my feelings of inferiority came back to haunt me, but it was that action which got things in motion. I couldn’t just slink back in fear now. I asked for something and it was delivered, now i had to keep my end of the promise and follow through.

How are things going with this new initiative?

Although i am still a barber and love it, working in hair was not my “Final Form” so to speak. It was a context in which i learned to create something out of a skill set and put it out into the world. It was where i built the skillset of committing to something and see it through. This ability to create something from an idea was then crucial to where i am now. Currently i’m building myself as a Spiritual philosopher and coach like my Father. Im committed in using my own experience of suffering to guide people going through their own breakdowns, whether it be with tinnitus or one of the many other chronic conditions of life. I believe firmly that although we all struggle uniquely, the fundamentals of suffering and pain are universally human experiences which learning to be with has the ability to transform our entire lives if we will let it.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are so many people in my life i am grateful to for supporting me emotionally through my ups and downs but The most important one would be my father. He has been my constant teacher in showing me what it is to stand for somebody and their recovery. People have a notion that anything with the word “spiritual” in it is some fluffy way of trying to improve ourselves. The approach he has passed down to me is anything but this. Our spirit is a forever wanting and desiring part of ourselves, it is a constant struggle. Healing it involves learning to let go of the way we thought life was supposed to be. Working with people through these hard times is not a cold clinical operation. My father has shown me I must always be willing to confront my own pain and share it with the people I’m working with. Working in this manner is about creating a space for Gods grace reach somebody.

Growing up around my dad, i did not always appreciate his spiritual approach. In my twenties i wanted quick fixes to my life problems. He doesn’t do those. Asking him questions as a child often led to him pulling out several books and dictionaries. Now i see how our words can create worlds. I get lost in their mystical meanings now every day. Sometimes I feel like Harry Potter, having had this whole magical and metaphysical world opened up to me through my father that had been there all along waiting for me to come and engage with it.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

I moved to Chicago on a whim just to start up my relationship with my girlfriend. We have known eachother periferally through the music industry for a long time but something over quarantine just clicked between us. I don’t think i would have previously even concidered moving to another state for somebody, especially not so quickly. Its been a big change in lifestyle, going from living with a bunch of my friends in a bushwick loft to having a domestic lifes with my girlfriend in our home in Chicago. Having this more stable setting has really allowed me to focus on buiding my practice. I love NYC but it can be so distracting.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

I definitely used to struggle with not believing myself. There are still many times that i don’t believe in my self but i no longer really struggle with it. At one point i BELIEVED that my tinnitus was going to ruin my life and make me a failure. This had me think i had to fix my tinnitus, but more freedom came from looking at where the belief about me being a failure originated. As long as the belief that i was a failure was running the show, it didn’t really matter what it was latching on to, it was going to find something to use to drive me nuts and justify itself being true. Our beliefs fall within the realm of our Will, and therefore have a huge say in what we are and are not willing to do and have in life. If we want to move beyond our limiting beliefs we have to first distinguish them clearly, get to know them and get comfortable with having and owning them. A superstition is only dangerous when its seen as truth, the second we recognize its a superstition, its no longer as powerful. The beliefs we have about ourselves are nothing more than superstitions.

In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new.

How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

No matter what you’re gonna do in life, you have to start where you are. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t do it. They think they have to GET SOMEWHERE before they can start. In that sense, the first people to gain support from are the people already around you. They might not have any experience or knowledge about what you are trying to achieve, but they have experience in YOU. We are being recognized and created constantly by the people closest to us, our partners, our family and friends. Let them in on what you’re creating for yourself and they will resonate that back. Then begin to do the same with EVERYONE you meet. Sharing yourself and what your’e up to in life moves mountains

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

When my Tinnitus came back and i was really struggling with it, my instinct was to shut out anything that made me uncomfortable. I felt fragile and damaged and the outside world felt like a scary place that could hurt me further. I was listening to the advice of other people in the tinnitus community who believe that tinnitus can be cured through eliminating stress in our lives and coming to a deeper sense of relaxation. I do believe there is some truth to this but once you attach some goal to the idea of relaxation, its no longer relaxing. My mother was the one who was pushing me to get out of that comfort zone. She would often tell me about a dream she used to have where she was up in the middle of the sky standing on a small square of floating ground. At first she would be terrified and scared of falling, nowhere to move and so she would stand there frozen in fear. Slowly she would begin to discover that as she took a step out of the square, a new square of land would form under her feet to support her. Using this idea of the next step being supplied only as you take it is powerful for me and still guides me. When i have the feeling like i don’t know where my next step is, i know i’m on the right path to creating something totally new.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Tell people what you’re up to

Share what you’re working on with the people around you, Especially in the beginning. When i was younger i was always afraid to let people in on my dreams. It seemed smart to keep them safe util they have been realized. This way any failures wouldn’t be seen by others. The problem with this mentality is that a dream can exist only in my own universe until its translated to the world through language. In that sense, when we share our ideas with others we are Creating something. “In the beginning was the word”.

2. Get a Coach!

I come from a family of coaches, and yet i still rejected this idea for a long time. I was always determined to do things on my own. Looking back i thing i was just afraid of being held accountable by someone else. I see now that no matter what project I’m working on the greatest barrier between it and the world is is ME. We all have our specific areas where we get stuck. Working with a good coach can help us move past our usual plateau’s and discover our true capabilities when were not sabotaging ourself. Having another person committed to your success is a good investment for any project.

3. Don’t run away from your past, incorporate it:

we are often eager to leave aspects of ourself behind when staring a new chapter. Not only does this not work, it actually keeps us more stuck with those things that were resisting about ourselves.

Truthfully, i did not want to start off working with tinnitus clients. Tinnitus seemed like a part of my past that i overcome and didn’t have to think about anymore, but using it as my starting place has given me more freedom and direction within my practice. Its authentic towards my experience. It’s also opened up a whole new way of relating to my own tinnitus.

4. Be a funnel for you life, not a filter.

It can be overwhelming when a project or business starts to get going. Our lives get busier and more full than before and it can be tempting to try and pull in the reigns when we feel too busy. I used to always resist growth because i felt like i already had too much on my plate. When i stopped resisting i realized i could be like a funnel for my life, casting a wide net for possibility and then neatly organizing those opportunities into my life in a manageable way rather than always being on the lookout for what i had to eliminate or filter out. When i was resisting, I was always at the effect of my schedule. When i stopped resisting i found i actually had more control and more peace of mind.

5. Look at your relationship to numbers

Numbers are just symbols which hold on to meaning. At some point in our lives we’ve all had a negative experience with numbers. Maybe you got the wrong answer in math class in 3rd grade, or you didn’t score enough points in little league to win the trophy. Those painful meaning are still hanging on, making our brains go numb every time we try to set goals for ourself or figure out how much money we are spending vs. Bringing in.

My Brother Ryan is more of a money guy. through working with him i’ve begun seeing numbers as symbols which I get the privilege of using to CREATE my future rather than remind me of my past failures. Now my mind goes a lot less blank around them.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would create a movement of forgiveness towards our parents. I think that’s the most direct way to spread world healing

What do you want to be remembered for the most?

I would love to be remembered as an artists and as a vehicle for grace

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Building my website has been one of my current projects. You can get in contact with me at

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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