I started life in investment banking, burnt out and sought to find answers about what it means to be human and feel truly alive.
Nowadays, I live to share soul-wisdom so you can better understand and connect with your inner life.
People often ask me:
“How did you go from Investment Banking to Inner Truth?”
Well, that was quite the journey…
I grew up in an ordinary suburban town in the middle of the UK, went to a conventional school and sailed through with no real issues (save for an unhealthy addiction to video games).
Like most people aged 17-18, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life so I chose to study something ‘sensible’ (Business) so I could get a job after all was said and done.
University was a great liberation from the small-town mindset I had grown up in. I was surrounded by a lot of smart, diverse, driven people that had their eyes firmly set on a bright future. Culturally though, it was a poor fit for me. Everybody was in to rugby and both the social scene and currency of attraction was firmly based in your involvement in that.
Against that backdrop and the weight of typical self-confidence issues at that age, I started to feel that I wasn’t enough. I needed a ‘USP’ of some sort to prove to myself I was something. So, I doubled down on studies and career planning. Summers perhaps better spent travelling and surfing were instead spent CV-building and networking.
At the time, Investment Banking (IB) was the ‘pin-up’ career for the most ambitious of undergraduates. I didn’t go to private school or OxBridge, but I knew I could make it if I worked hard enough.
Long story short. I graduated and started work at a big bank in the City.
Where It All Went Wrong
The early days of IB were a blast. It was tough and constantly stressful, but you were surrounded by very smart people in a fast-moving environment. I still miss being around many of those talented people.
For me though, banking lit up all the lights in my mind, but something still didn’t quite feel right. Deep down, I realised I didn’t care about money, I was there for prestige (ego) and that was coming from a severe place of inner lack. It would take me years to realize that I couldn’t find riches in the outside world to fill the poverty I felt within.
Feeling restless, I opted to move around teams in the bank to try to edit my experience enough to come to peace. I thought I had found it with a new department which had a great boss, great team, and great prospects.
One problem. The market dipped as I joined and we had no deals, no pipeline, and no work to do.
So, completely opposite to what you might expect in IB, I ended up in a bizarre situation of going to work for 12 hours a day with absolutely nothing to do.
Sounds great right? Full pay, no work.
For a few weeks perhaps, but the weeks stretched into months and in that vacuum all my incessant ambition, drive and restlessness went inward and I turned the full bore of my mind onto worrying about whether I would get made redundant, whether I was ‘making it’ as well as my friends, and how it was all my fault.
All those hours of worrying and worrying turned me pretty unstable. Outside of work I turned increasingly to drinking and drugs to find any kind of joy in life. Things came to a head on Easter bank holiday weekend in 2012 when I went through a particular blowout, woke up the next day and didn’t feel right at all.
I couldn’t sleep at all, couldn’t think straight, and I couldn’t stop worrying constantly.
It felt like my mind and body were going to war with each other.
This was the start of an incredibly difficult period in my life. I suffered from chronic anxiety, insomnia, memory loss, physical exhaustion, and depression. I developed a host of physical issues along with it like hypertension, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and severe skin breakouts. To cope I had to turn to some pretty unpleasant medication which made me feel worse in many ways and also ashamed for having to do so.
Somehow, I marched forward through this extremely isolating and traumatising experience for several months. I went to near-suicidal levels of depression which I shudder to think about even now. Worst of all, I told nobody about it because I felt ashamed and so I suffered in silence.
Eventually I decided to quit work, end the relationship I was in, and leave the city for a while.
Finding A Path
I took five months out to travel South America, which probably saved my life.
I straightened out, found some perspective and stabilised my mind.
When I got back to London though, I still didn’t feel like myself. I wasn’t in crisis at all but I still felt tense, couldn’t sleep right and deep down felt things weren’t lined up internally.
Researching for someone to help with my breathing, I happened across a Taoist healer that specialised in a particular form of eastern abdominal massage therapy. Marching in I thought it would be 2-3 sessions then back on with life, it turned out to be quite different!
Instead of looking at the symptoms we spent the hour pulling apart the thoughts and beliefs that had got me into this state of affairs. That first session shined a spotlight on a lot of the ways I was looking at life that I had never really questioned before.
It was the beginning of really waking up to the nature of reality.
Over the next two years, I went through a period of deep inner and outer inquiry with my teacher. On the inside, I developed regular meditation and yoga practices to help cultivate a stronger felt-sense of life and detach from the thinking mind. On the outside, I became relentlessly curious about how the mind, body and soul fit together and fell in love with writers like Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell and Eckhart Tolle as well as eastern spiritual texts like the I’Ching.
Back from travels I had settled into another ‘business-type’ job, building a company with some friends. Whilst it was good to exit corporate life, it soon became apparent that this new role wouldn’t be good for me long term. Fundamentally, I didn’t feel passionate about it.
With the business doing better and better it was hard to point at anything external for this feeling of splitting apart inside. In mid-2016 I took a somewhat radical step in pursuit of answers and flew to Peru for a two-week ayahuasca retreat. Like most people, my ego got some healthy humbling and instead of a jaw-dropping psychedelic experience, I received a much calmer message which was simply to trust my feelings more.
When I got back, I spent a month reflecting and decided to quit work, return back to the UK and figure things out on the hop. For me it was an extremely tough decision to push through the conditioning I had around it, but one I’ve never regretted.
The pursuit of truth is and should be the highest possible virtue of your life.
— DAVID NEWELL
With time and space, I moved back to the UK and down to Cornwall in 2017 for a few months. I settled into a life of walking, reading, surfing and immersing myself in everything I was curious about.
Around this time a friend introduced me to the poet David Whyte. His work on the conversational nature of reality, the necessary suffering and vulnerability involved in an everyday life, and how to live at a frontier of being truly alive, hit me deeply.
His audio course became an almost religious listen and I thought about how powerful this medium is for speaking about the intimate and often taboo topics of our inner life.
All I wanted to do share this knowledge and create this experience for others. A few months went past and by some divine inspiration at the solar eclipse in Oregon I figured why not create a platform for experts in spiritual wellbeing to speak to young people.
And so Inner Truth was born.
Your Inner Truth
My friends used to joke that through this journey I had become ‘David 2.0’ but when I said this to my teacher she simply remarked, “actually its David 0.0, you’re going back to your true self.”
I think in essence, that is what Inner Truth is about.
If you feel restless, numb, disconnected or disillusioned in some way, chances are something deep within you is trying to get your attention and I urge you to follow that feeling in pursuit of your inner truth.
A major part of this work is being willing to “live the questions” that are coming up inside and provoking you. Don’t shy away from having a difficult internal conversation just for the sake of temporary ‘comfort’.
The pursuit of truth is and should be the highest possible virtue of your life.
I think if you look deeply into it you will see that life generally expands in proportion to your willingness to receive it. By that measure, the cultivation of curiosity and courage within your character is fundamental to your development into a fully realised and joyful being.
To that end, Inner Truth is here to pose the questions that, if you open to up to them, will change your life.
I want to empower you with the knowledge of the great wisdom-keepers we partner with at Inner Truth and encourage you to take their teachings out into the real world and see what resonates for you.
As the Buddha said, all true wisdom comes from lived experience and to that mission, Inner Truth is about opening your mind to new worlds that allow you to unlock your highest possible self.
Above all, everything we do is about making ‘soul work’ accessible, enjoyable, and most of all, beautiful.
Inner Truth Media Ltd,
PO Box 6945,