Joe Iadanza is the founder and Director of The Living Room Studio in Glen Cove, NY, a sacred space for individuals looking to deepen their spiritual practice through spiritual counseling and meditation. He is an alumnus of Ithaca College and a friend of "Light on the Hill" Retreat Center in Van Etten, NY, where he is both a graduate of, and a teacher in their three-year transformational "Hidden Treasure" program. In 2016 Joe completed a two year course of study culminating in his ordination as an Interfaith Minister. Joe has been profoundly changed over the last sixteen years through contemplation, self-inquiry, meditation, and the study of spiritual and sacred texts - especially A Course in Miracles - which he teaches at The Living Room.
What do I do best?
I think I’m getting pretty good at letting people be exactly where they are without wanting them to change. Every single person’s journey is unique. I can’t really see the bigger picture or how one person’s journey ultimately influences the human collective. I’ve come to understand that a desire to change another person is an attack on them and their process. Patience, acceptance, and true forgiveness are a big part of my personal work.
I think I’m a pretty good dad too.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I’m only ever the best version of myself! Sometimes that “best” looks very different that at other times. LOL. I’m certainly aware of, and touched upon, my undefended True Self. So, my work continues to be throwing open my windows and doors and sweeping out my closets to remove the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence in me.
What are my aspirations?
Right now… Helping my daughter get her college application process completed and finishing off my tenure as a full-time dad. She needs her folks now, as much as she ever did. It’s been an honor to nurture my beautiful daughter.
I don’t have much of in the way of business aspirations. I try to go where I feel called to be, and I try to get out of the way of the guidance so that I don’t screw it up too bad. I’ve just moved into a new studio in Glen Cove, NY where I teach meditation and offer some workshops and one-on-one Spiritual Direction. It’s been nice to get to know a new community. There are a lot of eager folks here.
My Biggest Success?
Being truly happy and at peace with my life and the people in it. If you had known me 15 or so years ago, you’d realize that’s quite a miracle!
And, again… Raising an amazing daughter.
Oh! And absolutely in continuing to find joy and deep love in my marriage of twenty years. That leads into your next question.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Realizing, every single time, when I thought myself to be so friggin’ evolved, and my wife to be “holding me back” by not joining me on this spiritual “quest” of mine, that it was always my crap, my judgment, and my unconsciousness that was clouding the truth and destroying things.
I’ve learned that souls don’t really come together unless they are at the same place - spiritually speaking. It may look imbalanced. But, our unconscious wounds draw us together as much as does the plan of Spirit. And sometimes there’s ways that we’re supporting each other that aren’t visible on the surface. I’m not saying everyone must stay in a current relationship. But, there’s always a lesson for both of you. We’re often too quick to move on rather than to figure it out. There’s a way to make your relationship holy again.
Forgive, rinse, repeat.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My dad. He’s an immigrant and really worked hard to achieve his American Dream. We’re built very different in how we go about moving through the world. But, ultimately, I think we want the same thing.
My wife. She’s a really hard worker. I don’t think she knows how amazing she really is.
My daughter. I didn’t understand unconditional love until I first held her in my arms. She’s my greatest inspiration! I wish I could truly love everyone as much as I love her. I’m working on it!
My mom. They say this inner work affects seven generations: This one; Three forward; and three back. Of all the people in my life, I never expected my mom to have been so affected by this work. Her willingness to look at her wounds and heal herself has really healed our relationship. I’m very grateful for that.
My grandfather Sam. He passed away sometime ago. He was a WWII vet that came home with, what today would be called, severe post traumatic stress. His life was a story of redemption. The Catholic Church was a solace for him. Over the course of his life, he moved from a being religious rule-follower to a true mystic; experiencing in his soul the true Gospel of Love and forgiveness. He blessed everyone he ever met. He was an amazing man.
Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina: My second cousin, twice-removed. It’s hard not to be moved by having a saint in the family tree.
Alice McDowell, my Spiritual Director. Alice was a professor of mine back in college in the early ‘90s. She and her husband run a retreat center in Van Etten, NY called “Light on the Hill”. She has been an incredible guiding light for me these last 25 years, and she’s helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people to discover their Hidden Treasure, their True Self.
I’m a big fan of Bruce Springsteen. I’m a musician and appreciate his commitment to his craft, his connection with his community, and his honesty about his inner process.
On the authors and studies front: A Course in Miracles, Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Richard Rohr, Pema Chodron… So many voices have helped point the way for me. I’m very grateful.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Florence/Tuscany is my favorite place to vacation. Maybe I’ll find myself out there permanently one day. I spend a lot of time teaching and retreating at Light on the Hill Retreat Center in Van Etten, NY. That’s my happy place. And, I love churches, and large, empty arenas and stadiums.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I get a kick out of my guitars. I put them together myself. And I have a pretty badass Harley motorcycle my wife and I like to bop around on.
My Current Passions?
I just heard this great band out of Michigan named “Greta Van Fleet”. It has once again restored my faith in rock and roll ;) I can’t stop listening to their EP.
And I’ve been enjoying doing some Cross Fit these days. That’s new for me. It’s been fun to push this body a bit to see what happens.
Thanks for asking! Many blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!