Chris Grosso – Ep. 8 – Jonas Elrod

Jonas Elrod is a southern writer and director, grew up in GA with a deep appreciation for story as a means for change.

He fell in love with stories told on porches late at night of fallen heroes, misfit love, and spiritual redemption. His appreciation for personal truth and deeper meaning has been a compass for his fiction and non-fiction work.

His first documentary feature is Wake Up, which premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival. Wake Up found a wide audience in theaters across the country and was the premier episode on the Emmy award winning Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The film was partnered with an interview by Oprah Winfrey.

Jonas’ latest project is directing and hosting a series for the Oprah Winfrey Network titled, In Deep Shift with Jonas Elrod, which is an unflinching look at what walking a spiritual path looks like. The series tracks Jonas as he travels across the country in search for people whose lives are forever changed by breakdown and breakthrough experiences.

Episode Outline:

  • Wake Up – Jonas discusses his own spiritual awakening as documented in his film Wake Up, which happened one night while staying in a hotel in San Francisco and consisted of seeing spirits, geometry, various symbols, auras and more.
  • Letting It Go – Jonas and I discuss how we each deal with criticism, haters, skeptics and so on in regards to our work.
  • Pitfalls – In the Wake Up documentary, Jonas’s wife Mara expressed what I personally consider a healthy skepticism towards some of the so-called gurus and illumined teachers of our time. I follow up with Jonas on that as we talk about some of the pitfalls and trappings we’ve seen and that we’d caution others to be weary of on their spiritual paths.
  • In Deep Shift – Jonas talks about his hit show on the OWN Network, In Deep Shift, which wrapped up with the final episode featuring the legendary Alanis Morrissette.We discuss breakdowns and breakthroughs and integration on the spiritual path and much more.
  • Way Outside Of The Box – Jonas & I talk about finding your authentic self and spiritual path. Not trying to imitate others and seeing spirituality in all areas of life—from skateboarding to music like Nirvana, The Jesus Lizard, Townes Van Zandt and more.
  • Be Cool And Don’t Be An Asshole – Jonas and I wrap things up by discussing the importance of insides over outsides and how what’s happening in our hearts is far more important than what we’re showing the world on the material level.

Episode Recommendations:

Jonas’s Work: Wake Up Documentary, In Deep Shift With Jonas Elrod