Ep.5 Blake D. Bauer – Unconditionally Loving Ourselves

You were not born to suffer: Tune in to hear how to heal the root causes of insecurity, fear, shame, guilt, self-doubt, low self-esteem, low self-worth, and low self-confidence in order to live a more full and loving life.

Link to youtube video. https://youtu.be/NQqxIJQrhvk

Gissele: [00:00:00] [00:00:00] Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the loving compassion podcast with Gissele. Make sure you stay to the very end for a special treat. Our guest today is the author of the international bestselling book.

You were not born to suffer. He’s a sought after wisdom teacher with an extensive background in psychology. Alternative medicine, nutrition, additional healing, mindfulness meditation and Qi-gong. Based on both his personal experience with adversity, deep suffering and addictions, as well as, his professional success in coaching over a hundred thousand people worldwide. His amazing work integrates what he’s found to be the most effective approaches to optimal overall health.

Please join me in welcoming Blake D Bauer. Welcome Blake.

Blake: [00:00:46] Hi Gissele, Thank you.

Gissele: [00:00:48] Thank you so much for being here.

Blake: [00:00:50] Thank you for having me.

Gissele: [00:00:52] I feel like we’re going through this kind of collective suffering and it’s my personal belief that all suffering at the root [00:01:00] of it is this kind of lack of self love, and so I feel like your book right now is exactly, exactly what we need. So I was wondering if you could share a little bit as to what inspired you to write the book.

Blake: [00:01:12] Well, that is a very loaded question. I like many of us never learned how to love myself growing up. You know, my parents didn’t know how to love themselves and they couldn’t teach me. I didn’t come across that type of learning or teaching in school or my religious education. I never, you know, if I saw it doctor for my physical health, we never talked about my mental and emotional health.

And so I didn’t know it, but as a young person, as a young man, you know, as a child and as a teenager, I had developed a very toxic and unhealthy relationship to myself. In terms of the way I thought about myself and talked to myself, I would internalize and repress my emotions all the time because I had no [00:02:00] awareness around my feelings or how to talk about them in a healthy way.

And so I developed coping mechanisms like we all do. And particularly I started to drink a lot of alcohol. I would overeat to numb my emotions. And then I got into smoking marijuana, and became quite addicted and was smoking a lot of it. Then I got into pharmaceutical pills and started popping all kinds of pills that just made me feel, feel better or feel nothing.

And I was doing that instinctively and subconsciously because I didn’t know how to deal with the overwhelming thoughts and feelings that were going on. Inside of me. And so it got to the point where I was very self destructive around the age of 17. And I had been arrested a number of times for drug possession.

I also played sports growing up and was a top athlete, playing American football. And I was. [00:03:00] Captain of my varsity team with my two best friends. And we were all supposed to go play college football, and we all had offers to play in university. And I got a very bad DUI one night. Driving at about three o’clock in the morning on a bunch of pills, liquor, alcohol, and marijuana, and was driving.

And I actually got to, train tracks in the middle of the night, about three o’clock in the morning. And there was a freight train. And thankfully I put my car in park waiting for the train to pass and I put my head back and I fell asleep. And so, I was relatively unconscious. I remember this a little bit, not all of it, but, a police officer knocked on my window and I remember rolling down the window and I said to the officer, excuse me, officer, was I driving too slow?

And the officer said, no, you’ve been parked here, son for, you know, about 45 minutes and the people who live here. So there’s a car parked, running with his lights on, at the train tracks. And [00:04:00] so I was arrested. I got a very bad DUI. I got Kicked off the football team. And then I lost my offers to play college football.

And I basically at that time district, everything that I cared about and everything that meant something to me, And I basically sabotaged everything that was important to me. And I started to spiral downhill and fell into a suicidal depression where I was, I was extremely tortured and confused and anxious every day I would wake up just with panic and, so much shame.

I was so, so tortured psychologically with shame, self judgment and self criticism. Cause yeah. You know, everybody, I knew, knew what had happened to me, my girlfriend, yeah. Her parents and all my friends, parents, and it was in the newspaper. And I just, I felt so horrible about myself. So it really brought out that I didn’t love myself.

And I had created [00:05:00] this, this horrible, external situation, this painful external situation, as a result of the unhealthy relationship I had to myself, the lack of self love and self care. And so. As a young man, I, I was suffering very deeply. And at the same time, I felt so much pressure to not only just to be able to be functional, but I always, I tended towards being a high, functional, highly functional human being and what I was doing, whether it was with drugs or sports, you know, I, I was all in with whatever I did, but then all of a sudden I was just at just lost and, and tortured.

And so. I had this pressure to figure out how do I free myself from this suffering? And what’s the purpose of my life. You know, I’m 18 in this place, going through my death of self and dark night of the soul and carrying the weight of, I’m supposed to figure out what I’m going to do with my life, who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to do? How am I going [00:06:00] to make a living? Why did I come here? So I’m 18. All my friends are going away to school or starting to work and seem to be just drifting. Okay with the social norms where I’m at I’m 18 and asking all these existential questions, like, why am I on the earth?

You know, is there a God. If there is a God, what is it? how do I relate to this God and everybody else and his life about making money? Is that the key to happiness and success? So that’s all I’m struggling with every single day, all day. To make a long story short, I moved forward just trying to answer those two questions.

And that led me to five different universities, where I studied psychology and philosophy and nutrition and herbal healing. And then I ended up in school for Chinese medicine. So acupuncture and Oriental medicine about the first school I studied with was a very science based, very Western. [00:07:00] Thinking type Chinese medicine school.

And then I went to a school for a five element Chinese medicine, which was the ancient Taoist more nature-based, origin of Chinese medicine. And through this time I, I worked in the area of supplements and natural medicine. I worked with a Chinese doctor and ran his office. I. I studied with spiritual teachers and everything I could find from meditation to yoga, to Tai Chi, to Qi-gong took different, you know, alternative types of healing that are not necessarily conventional.

And then eventually I reached this point of. Clarity where I realized that everything I had done in my educational journey, my own healing journey, my spiritual journey, the thousands of books that I read on, you know, nutrition and God and vitamins and philosophy and healing and health and et cetera, [00:08:00] that all I was doing was really looking for love.

And learning how to love myself. And from my training, I could see how all disease, physical illness develops in the body as a by-product of us having a toxic relationship to ourselves mentally and emotionally. I realized that all I had been doing, I was learning these lessons about how to have this really healthy relationship to myself, which I call.

To love myself and that I was looking for love externally because I was looking for the love I didn’t get as a child. And I was looking for the love that I never learned how to find and cultivate inside of myself, which you could call your soul or your spirit or your life force or your essence, who we really are.

And so, as we were talking about before we started recording, I was when I was looking for love, I was really just looking for myself. I was looking for the love that I am and the love that I came here to give the love that I came here to share through my [00:09:00] work. And, So that developed into me just wanting to share this.

I was pretty naive. I just wanted to help as many people as I could, because I had been so desperate at that time to figure this out. And once I felt I had had this clarity, I just wanted to tell everybody. And, and then that developed into the idea to write a book, which was a long journey, which I got rejected by over a hundred agents and publishers.

Nobody would take me seriously. I was very young. I self published that book. It became a number one bestseller in Australia where I was living. I then sold it. Thank you so much. And then I sold it to a publisher, a traditional publisher. In London, that’s now an international bestseller and it’s now been translated into 10 languages.

And I just continued to teach retreats and seminars and, you know, talk like we’re going to talk, just in hopes of helping people, enjoy their day and their life more and understand how they create and allow their suffering so they can learn how to [00:10:00] stop hurting themselves and start valuing themselves in the present every day. Starting now.

Gissele: [00:10:06] Thank you so much for that. your book actually came to me at a time when I was struggling the most. I felt it really kind of helped me start on my journey towards loving myself, even though I have days that I struggle. I wonder, whether or not your book would have been as successful, if you had call it loving yourself, because there is this real, knee jerk reaction.

When people talk about self love, they think it’s narcissistic. They think it’s something that people shouldn’t be doing. so I’m wondering, why you think that is in how that kind of makes it more challenging for us to really love ourselves.

Blake: [00:10:43] Well, it’s ironic. Cause I, contemplated all kinds of titles for the book at the time. And I had already, my website was unconditional self-love dot com and so loving yourself back to happiness and peace and health was a title I played with. I [00:11:00] played with all kinds of titles with self love in the title.

But when I worked with my clients, I always say, you know, Hey, we didn’t come here to suffer. You know, like you didn’t come here to suffer. We were not born to suffer. Like let’s let’s get past this and that’s just over time, just felt really strong to me. And then ironically, I decided on you were not born to suffer.

And that gets a lot of knee jerk reactions too, because you know, I would go to these big mind, mind, body, spirit festivals, and see thousands of people in a weekend. I mean, 20 to 30,000 people. And I did this multiple times a year for years, and people would walk by and they would read the title as you were born to suffer and they’d laugh.

They’d say you’re right. I was born to suffer. And then they’d realize, Oh, it says you’re not born to suffer. And, a lot of people misunderstand the Buddhist teachings. They believe that the Buddha taught that you, you are born to suffer, but that’s actually [00:12:00] only one aspect. That’s only the first statement in his teachings, which is that there is a path to freedom from suffering.

If you follow what the Buddhist call, the eight-fold path. It is the same philosophy is what the Buddha taught and I’m not Buddhist, but we have similar thinking in many ways. So that, that, that triggered a lot of people. I mean, people everybody’s got an opinion, you know, and then some people would say, you know, it’s kind of a negative title, Blake, you should not have the word, not in the title and suffering in the title.

It’s really negative. So, but I never bought into that cause I trust my instincts. And so the primary block that has come up over the years is that we all have grown up with this denial. Of the fact that human beings are intrinsically selfish and it’s not that we’re not selfish in the sense that we’re not generous and giving and selfless to, but we’re also very selfish.

We have both in our [00:13:00] nature, but we’ve learned to deny the selfish truth, this the selfish parts of us. So when it comes to, let’s say someone in their life today they’ll often feel guilt or shame. When they’re trying to do something that represents self care or self love. And for example, someone will feel guilty for wanting to go to a yoga class, or maybe everybody’s eating meat for dinner.

And someone in the family wants to eat a salad, you know, or vegetables or someone wants to go out for a walk for half hour, an hour to do something for themselves. That’s self care.

People are very quick to call that selfish. Oh, you’re so selfish because you want to do what you want to do, or you want to talk about your feelings. And I ask people, you know, are you really such a bad person because you want to go for a walk? Are you such a bad person that you want to go to a yoga class and do something for yourself?

Are you’re such a bad person that you want to have a salad when everybody else is eating meat or something [00:14:00] that you don’t feel good about. Or are you such a bad person that you have feelings? You know, like, Oh, you’re such an evil person, you have emotions. So I start to frame it like this because it’s ridiculous.

But yet we feel so guilty for having feelings and having needs and having desires and having preferences. And. and then this, this brings us to some of the root causes of where, you know, our lack of self love and our-self destructive relationship to our-self develops. And it goes back to childhood where we’re never taught how to honor, what we are feeling, what we do need and what we do want. We were never taught first to become aware of it. And then how to talk about it, let alone talk about it in a healthy way. And that’s for a couple of reasons. One, we model mom and dad, because for the most part, mom and dad. Are struggling. They don’t have never learned how to love themselves either.

So they feel guilty. They feel ashamed. They feel scared. They [00:15:00] feel spread thin. They don’t know how to talk about their feelings. They don’t know how to balance their own needs and feelings and desires and that of their partner or spouse and the children and their parents. And basically, everybody’s just trying to survive and please, everybody all the time, time and keep the peace.

We grow up. Modeling this, seeing this and learning that that’s how you get through life. That’s how you survive. And then. If mom and dad are stressed or absent or reactive, we learn that when we add to that stress or we try to express our feelings or our needs or desires for a lot of parents, it causes stress and the parents react negatively.

So if we. Experience negative reactions to our feelings or our thoughts or our needs at any time during our childhood, we learn that maybe it’s not worth trying to open up because the response is so negative. They get angry. Maybe we get hit. Maybe we, we, [00:16:00] they withdraw love , maybe they call us names.

So we learn to. Feel ashamed and feel bad about just feeling what we feel, needing, what we need, wanting what we want. And it’s like, we feel like, I think there’s something wrong with us for having feelings. We feel like there’s something wrong with us for having preferences. We feel like there’s something wrong with us for having needs or desires.

And then as if you look back through your life and your progress up until today, That’s really where most people’s guilt and shame comes from for, wanting to love themselves or trying to love themselves because they, they feel like they don’t deserve it, that they’re not worthy of it, that they’re supposed to just please everybody all the time to get what they need.

To keep the peace. And, and that’s the ultimate self destructive pattern that has to be broken eventually. And your body will scream at you with disease, your mind, [00:17:00] and your heart will scream at you with imbalance and psychological and emotional symptoms. Your relationships are going to scream at you and be dysfunctional.

Your job is going to be unfulfilling and the, and it just goes on and on and on. And all of these are symptoms. Alerting us of the need to learn how to create a healthier, more loving relationship to our thoughts, our emotions, our body in the present, where we’re true to ourselves. And we give ourselves permission to have a loving, healthy relationship to ourselves because nobody has given us that permission.

And at the end of the day, even when you’re coached or counseled towards it, there’s this point where you need to be the one. That gives you the permission. You know, you can have someone encourage you, but you’re going to reach this block. You kind of outlined where. You’re at a point where maybe you’re not happy in your relationship, or maybe you’re not happy in your job, or you have a big issue.

You need to talk about it’s going to be you in [00:18:00] that moment, in that situation, that breaches the subject and has that conversation that opens up and is honest and honors yourself or. Takes the trip you’ve always wanted to take or takes the course. You always want to take, it’s going to be you to say, you know what, it’s okay for me to be selfish in a healthy way.

Gissele: [00:18:19] And such an interesting perspective on selfishness because we’ve made all of these things wrong, but self-orientation is important for us because otherwise we don’t survive. We don’t take care of our physical body. We don’t survive. I wonder if part of the issue in terms of even how parents, conditionally loved their children, has to do with the perception of how kids have been seen throughout time.

I mean, I remember a time or hearing about a time when children was seen as chattels, right? And, you know, to be, seen and not heard. And so, you know, you don’t have a voice, you don’t have the right to say, or parents will use power over approaches because of that frustration, you mentioned to get them to do what they need, what they [00:19:00] feel they need them to do.

I think to some extent that impacts whether people think they deserve to have a voice, they deserve to be able to give themselves permission to love themselves or to determine their own needs.

Blake: [00:19:12] Yeah, absolutely. And you know, part of, part of this conversation is a very. Is a truth. That’s hard for a lot of people to swallow, which is that, you know, a lot of times children are not planned. You know, it’s a, it’s an accident in a lot of cases and it’s, you know, it’s not meant to, to judge anybody.

It’s just about looking at the facts. And so that’s why sometimes, a lot of, a lot of people grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, like they’re a burden. And it’s this deep subconscious, the thing that lurks their whole life, which leads them to feel unworthy of love, unworthy of wealth un worthy of a good partner on worthy of a great job and worthy of health and worthy of happiness.

And it goes back to feeling like why, why [00:20:00] couldn’t my mom and dad love me a hundred percent and we take it personal. So either they were suffering or they weren’t there, or, they had their own burdens or they were just trying to survive, doing the best that they could, or, you know, they were just looking to have some fun and, the pleasure of intimacy.

And then all of a sudden here comes a child and you know, and so there’s all these different dynamics that I call unspoken truths and like the cliche, the truth is what sets you free. And so there are these truths that we have to be willing to look at and not be afraid of. And then as you do that, you get to this point where you start to realize, well, This is my life, you know, regardless of the circumstance, this is of how I got here and why, and even all the crap I’ve been through and all the trauma and the pain.

But now I got a choice. I’m either going to live this life in a way that I respect [00:21:00] myself and figure out how to heal and figure out how to be happy and figure out how to take my power back and stop giving my power away. Or I’m going to stay in that, that dark mindset of. Feeling like a victim feeling sorry for myself, always blaming, always complaining and that’s okay because we all get to choose, you know, like everybody gets to do whatever they want.

You want to be miserable, make that choice, even if you don’t realize it, right. If you want to be happy, you make this choice to heal regardless of how much trauma or pain you come from. You basically can either feel sorry for yourself, or you can respect yourself. And the only way to respect yourself is to learn how to be true to yourself and kind to yourself and value yourself and follow your heart. Even when you’re scared. Even when you feel guilty and then things heal that way.

That’s how you really start to forgive the people who have hurt you or yourself for letting yourself get hurt, or you forgive yourself for hurting yourself is only [00:22:00] by writing the wrong now. Stop making the same mistakes. Stop hurting yourself. Stop being so self destructive. We live in a time where there are thousands of books that thousands articles there’s so much information on YouTube.

So many teachers, we have so much information to help us really that there’s there’s no excuse anymore.

Gissele: [00:22:21] Yeah, thank you for that. you said something in your book that I hadn’t ever seen before, which was that children are mirrors of the parents in terms of mirroring to them where they’re not loving themselves. And it made me think about, we don’t really know the cost of child abuse. We don’t really know why people go out and hurt their own children.

And I thought if the children are mirrors of their parents, in terms of where they’re lacking love for themselves, the parents aren’t going to want to see that mirror. And that would explain why they would treat their children that way. And so we tend to villainize the people that hurt children or [00:23:00] do hurtful things. Without really understanding what might be at the root of that. So I thought you’ve given me at least the best explanation I can think of in terms of maybe why child abuse happens.

Blake: [00:23:13] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think my, my overarching view on, on this at a ties into everything we’re talking about is that the toxic relationship we have with ourselves is, is like a sickness. It’s like a, it’s like a parasite or a virus inside of humanity. And, and to me, it’s the next step in human evolution is to transform the unhealthy relationship that we have to ourselves, because a lot of us are like sick animals.

You know, we’re disconnected from nature. We’re destructive to the people around us, to the environment and that’s a sickness. and a lot of like native Americans and tribal communities would look at us as being pretty lost in a lot of ways, you know, Western [00:24:00] developed world so, when, when someone is abusive, physically, verbally, sexually.

It’s a sickness and they’re projecting their inner sickness and bringing people into it, just like any toxic person, you know, when you’re around them and you’re in their field and you’re in their environment and you’re in relationship to them, you feel it and you get sucked into it. And so none of this is any attempt for justification, because you got to get to, to heal.

On all levels, you have to move beyond right. And wrong thinking to get to a place of full understanding. So none of it’s saying it’s okay. None of it’s justifying anything. but it’s about going beyond, so you can get to an understanding of where is, where is that confusion and anger and, manipulative, behavior.

Where is that coming from? And unfortunately, a lot of people are very, are trapped inside with a lot of confusion. It’s [00:25:00] like a web, you know, that a lot of people have never found their way out of, and some of us come from pretty toxic webs.

Gissele: [00:25:09] I was thinking about forgiveness as you were talking about, the negativity and harm that some people cause, and I recently read this quote that kind of stuck with me, it was by Lily Tomlin and it says forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. I was just wondering what your thoughts are around kind of the true key to forgiveness, in how we can take a step forward in being able to forgive.

Blake: [00:25:35] That’s so important. So forgiveness is such a loaded topic and there’s a, there’s a number of critical ways to approach it. There is one single most important mindset when it comes to forgiveness. Is in the presence you have to master how not to hurt yourself and how not to let [00:26:00] yourself get hurt anymore.

Because if today in your life, you’re in relationships or situations where you hurt yourself, or you allow yourself to be abused or mistreated. So you allow yourself to get hurt. You’re just creating more today that will later need to be forgiven. And then tomorrow you’re going to hurt yourself more. You’re going to let more people hurt you, and then you’re going to have more anger and more hate. And more hurt that you need to forgive tomorrow on top of today and yesterday and last week and last year and the last couple of decades. Right? So the key is how do I stop hurting myself in the present?

And I’ve distilled it down to four critical, habits. And the first one is expressing what you feel every day. As honestly, and kindly as possible. And the second part’s the most important part is the [00:27:00] kindly, because if I feel hurt and angry, That’s something you said to me, most of us don’t have the language to say, you know, Gissele, I feel so hurt, by what you just said.

I feel really angry right now. And because I don’t, I can’t talk like that. I’d probably didn’t learn that from school or my parents or throughout my life. I’ll probably say something like. you’re such a blah, blah, blah. Right? That’s and that is code that’s our code. It’s the secret language we’ve learned for,

I feel hurt or I feel angry. So we learned to point the finger, say you blame, attack and push away the perceived threat. And so the kindness part is the key, because if we don’t learn how to be kind in our honesty, We basically just push everybody away. S o, so that’s, so, so the first one is to be honest and kind, the second one is again, because [00:28:00] if you’re not expressing your emotions today, you’re internalizing them. If you’re not being honest, you’re internalizing them and you’re hurting yourself. The second part is following your heart, acting in alignment with your true feelings, because how often do you feel something.

But then you don’t act in integrity with what you feel, right? So if you feel one thing, but you do another, you’re scattered and you’re hurting yourself. You’re betraying yourself. You’re not in alignment. You’re not in integrity. So if you feel something, but you act in a different way, you’re hurting yourself and you’re letting yourself get hurt.

The third one is taking time and space for yourself. So everybody, every day needs a little bit of breathing room, even 30 minutes, 20 minutes. Like you need some space alone, whether it’s on a walk or a drive, or you just need some time for yourself to listen to your thoughts, to listen to your feelings, to move at your own pace, to self [00:29:00] care.

So, if you, if you’re spending the whole day stressed out, pleasing everybody else, you’re hurting yourself and you’re letting yourself get hurt. And then the last part is taking care of your mind. And if you’re not watching your mind and intimate with your thinking every day, then your mind is creating stories that probably are true.

And your mind is creating and attracting people in situations that you’re. You might feel like, how is this happening to me? You feel like the victim often have these negative thoughts and then the situations that come from those negative thoughts. But if you become more aware of your relationship to your thinking, you can guide your thinking throughout the day in a healthier way.

So the key is figuring out how to love yourself in the present, which I just outlined and that’s how that’s exactly how that’s actually, how you forgive. That’s how you start, stop [00:30:00] hurting yourself, stop letting yourself get hurt. And that’s how you start loving yourself. And then it’s, and I want to explain this dynamic, which is really important. This is how self healing happens because when you stop hurting yourself and causing yourself pain, And things start to flow properly.

Your emotions are coming out in a healthy way. Your blood and your energy is flowing in a healthy way, which means your immune system starts to flow in a healthy way. Your digestion, your circulation, everything starts to flow in a healthy way. When you do this, that’s where the body’s self healing mechanisms really kick in.

Things are not flowing properly, which is why you feel depressed or tired or sick, or, you know, negative. And so. When you start, creating this healthy relationship to yourself and make it healthier wherever you are on the journey you could be at the beginning, or you could be very far along. It’s still the same process.

The love inside of you. The [00:31:00] pure love in your heart. Your essence starts to flow through your veins more. And the love, this is how the love inside of you actually heals you because he heals yourself because that of constantly hurting yourself. Like every day, just stabbing yourself in the heart, breaking your own heart, betraying yourself, putting yourself down, telling yourself you’re not worthy of all things good.

When you open up and you’re like, you start to say, you know what, it’s okay for me to feel what I’m feeling and talk about it. It’s okay for me to do what feels good to me. It’s okay for me to take some time for myself. It’s okay for me to take care of my thinking. So it flows in a healthier way. The love inside you starts to heal the layers of pain in your heart from the inside out.

And again, only we can do this. No doctor, no therapist, no healer. Nobody can do this for us. This is the final frontier is learning how to give [00:32:00] ourselves that much love and care.

Gissele: [00:32:04] Yeah, absolutely.

Blake: [00:32:05] And then that’s how we forgive ourselves for all the pain we’ve allowed and created. And then lastly, the other thing that I think is really important is just writing letters. To all the people you hold grievances towards, but that’s again, secondary because if you’re still hurting yourself today, you’re just going to create more pain. So write a letter to everybody alive and dead that has hurt you, or you feel angry towards and just write everything you’ve never said to them, you don’t have to give it right. They don’t have to give it to the person if they don’t want to, but at least take the time to write it and get it out.

Gissele: [00:32:41] Everything that you mentioned, there is an element of personal responsibility, and even though negative things happen to us may not be our fault, but it is our responsibility. I was wondering how you thought that responsibility. In being able to be more loving towards [00:33:00] ourselves can lead us to freedom.

Blake: [00:33:02] well, it’s a good question. And again, so loaded. I mean, the big theme is, you know, at what point do you stop giving people the power to ruin your life? So if someone has hurt you in the past and you’re letting it ruin your life today, Stop because you’re like giving them too much power, too much control it’s.

And to me, the only way to heal is to make the most of our life today so that we feel that the suffering served a purpose in making me strong in making me more loving in making me more aware and in teaching us. I’m never going to let that happen again. I am never going to let someone mistreat me.

And I think that’s the biggest thing is we got to stop giving our power away to the people who, who, who didn’t value us enough. And we have to value ourselves enough and say, you know [00:34:00] what the truth is is they didn’t know how to love and value themselves. So they couldn’t teach us and they couldn’t value and love us fully because they didn’t have it inside them yet.

They hadn’t unlocked it. They hadn’t healed there, but it had nothing to do with us, even though it felt personal. It actually wasn’t personal. And none of this is bypassing. I have the thing, the pain or the sadness that comes from trauma and abuse . But if you do this day by day gently, and you don’t have to push it, you don’t have to force it.

It’s just each day developing more love for ourselves. More honesty, more kindness, more authenticity, and day by day, it heals the trauma. It heals the pain, it heals the anger, it heals the betrayal. And it’s just day by day. It’s not about a quick fix, but it’s about, you know, it’s like, let’s say you’re drawing a map, you know, and you’re in Colorado and Colorado has 14,000 foot mountains, you know, and if you’re at 5,000 C-level and you draw the map, Your view of what the [00:35:00] terrain really is, is not going to be so accurate, but to the top of that 14,000 foot mountain, you’re going to be able to look at the whole terrain of the area with a lot more clarity.

And so I’m using that as a metaphor as we have to do, take our mindset up to the top of that peak, that 14,000 foot peak so that when we look back on our life, The past, when we looked at the present and we look forward towards the future that we’re looking at it from the highest perspective possible, because we don’t realize that.

We choose our thoughts and we have the power to choose our thoughts. And so for anybody who’s listening to this, if you don’t realize that you have the power to choose your thoughts, that means you, you just let your thinking run and you let the voice in your head or voices in your head, run the show.

And by allowing it it’s just like abuse when you allow it. You know, there’s a certain point of accountability. And it’s not about blame. It’s just that there’s this whole other [00:36:00] mindset or, or way of thinking that’s available. And so. that’s the key to this accountability. Your question of responsibility is, is that. I can find a way to think about this situation that sets me free, because if you’re thinking about the situation in a way that keeps you trapped, you’re thinking about the situation in a way that keeps you trapped.

Whereas you can think about the situation in a way that sets you free, and that’s how you take your power back. So. The person who was unconscious and caused you so much pain and was destructive. They’re still with you destroying you and your life because you’re allowing it, even if it was when you were a child and you’re in your forties, fifties, or sixties.

And it was a horrible abuse. If you’re still living with it, they’re like the ghost of it. And you haven’t found a way to think about it that has free. Freed you and served you, then you [00:37:00] need to try and find a way to think about it in a way that serves you. Now, like there was a purpose to this suffering.

It taught me the importance of sticking up for myself. It taught me the importance of protecting my daughter or my son. It taught me the importance of being a loving and understanding parent. There’s always a lesson. There can always be a lesson in it , and then that leads to, you know what? Yeah, that was horrible.

And it was a rough child, or it was a rough part of my life, but now, so it’s not all in vain. I need to make the most of this. I need to just do what makes me happy. I need to love with all my heart. I need to follow my dreams. I need to achieve my goals so that I can look back and say, you know what? All that pain was worth.

It, it made me so strong. It made me so loving. It made me such a good person. And I wouldn’t change that.

Gissele: [00:37:52] May I share a quote that really it was one of your affirmations. It was, I’m not a child anymore. I will not allow the past to [00:38:00] punish me any longer. And for me that was like, wow, I’m doing this to myself. Right? Like, you know, whatever experiences I had and my parents had, and their parents had, I continue to carry that in relive that every time I relive those experiences.

So it goes to that responsibility in terms of being more compassionate and loving to myself in terms of understanding and accepting that whatever experiences I had happened and whatever my parents experiences. Were as they were, but I don’t need to keep reliving that anymore. So thank you. That, that was really helpful.

Blake: [00:38:35] Aw I’m so happy

Gissele: [00:38:36] I was wondering if you could share this story of the butterfly, because I think it fits in nicely with what you were mentioning, around how the suffering can actually be helpful.

Blake: [00:38:46] Where this came from was I was going through an experience of myself. This was during the time while I was writing my book and, something had happened and I had felt pretty, upset and I was crying and I was in [00:39:00] Australia and I was outside and it was sunny and it was beautiful, but I was feeling very emotional.

And then. I saw this butterfly, this beautiful blue Ulysses butterfly and. And all of a sudden, I just kind of snapped out of the mental and emotional no place I was in and was just captive, because I was very raw and tender and present in this butterfly, just it’s energy and the sun just hit me so strongly.

And so. I ended up reading everything that I could read about butterflies just for days and days and days. One of the stories I came across, which I think some people have seen in different places, but it was really powerful for me at the time, was this story about a woman who had wanted to watch a butterfly break free of its cocoon.

She had wanted to watch the process. And so she had found two cocoons and brought them into her house [00:40:00] and, and said set them up on a table, near a window and, you know, with, with lights and, and had wanted to watch the process of them liberating themselves from their cocoon. And so eventually one of the butterflies started to come out of its cocoon and she had, she watched.

And from her perspective, the butterfly really struggled And it took it a while and it, you know, it had to push its wings, you know, and, and squeeze out and push out. And then when she said that, when it finally had made its way out, it laid on the table quite exhausted, but then it, it needed a rest.

Then eventually it got up and it flew and it flew out the window near where she had it. And so the second butterfly hadn’t quite yet gotten to the point where it was ready to, to break free. And so she thought she would do the butterfly of favor. And so she went and got a razor blade and she thought I’m just going to, you know, cut a little hole, like line, a little opening to help the [00:41:00] butterfly get up, get up, get out.

So she did that and the butterfly never went through the process of. Pushing out of their cocoon and, and it just stayed there and it never came out and it had actually died. And so it never flew. It never got up. And she was so confused because she had wanted to ha she was just trying to help. And she was trying to support the butterfly.

So she had had a friend who happened to be a biologist, you know, and educated in sciences. And she went and asked her friend, why would this have happened and explained what she had done? The biologist explained, that the physical and energetic struggle that the butterfly goes through to get out of the cocoon.

So the, the strain and, the struggle, the stress of pushing against the cocoon and eating its way out and all that time and energy and struggle. Forces a liquid [00:42:00] from inside the body cavity of the body, of the butterfly. It forces that liquid out into the tiny capillaries in the wings. And it’s that process of struggle that actually fills the.

The, the capillaries, the little blood vessels, the little skeleton of the butterfly’s wings and eventually. It’s it is the thing that gives the butterfly’s wings, the strength to actually fly to flap and to take flight. And so. I was just blown away by that story, because for me it represented that it, without that struggle and that suffering and overcoming it and finding our ways to overcome it, we don’t have the strength to become a free and full expression of who and what we really are.

And the way that, that represents a metaphor. That’s really good. Imagine that your soul or your [00:43:00] spirit or the energy inside of you is like a butterfly. And so inside of you, there’s this butterfly with it. Wings expanded filling your legs, your arms, and you’re just a, a full expression, wings out, a version of your self.

Not internalized, not scared, not repressed, not hiding, but just. You’re you’re just you, you’re just all of you expanded open, not ashamed, not scared of being judged. And so that’s why I included it in the book because I, for me, my, my suffering and the journey to free myself from that suffering, which was a process of being unaware, being a Caterpillar, going into a cocoon to heal and figure out who I am and that eventually.

Learning to break free and just be a full expression of who I am. And I think that that’s our journey. It mirrors our journey through life and often [00:44:00] all of nature actually, you know, mirrors our own life cycle because we are a part of, of nature. so. Yeah.

Gissele: [00:44:09] I love that story, because to me it signifies that we already have everything that we need within ourselves. Right. We’re already the butterfly. We just go through this process of suffering and all of these experiences with all of these relationships to help us get to the, to the stage where we can kind of fly out. the only thing that I liked about kind of that analogy was, you talk about the ego not being our enemy and how at first it it’s like our protective factor like that cocoon, but later on, I guess it becomes too tight and it pushes us out. so I was just wondering how you thought that the Ego kind of prevents us or impacts us in being able to love ourselves.

Blake: [00:44:49] Well, it’s, it’s a really good question. And I’m glad you asked about it. I haven’t talked about this in particular for a while, on an interview, but as I was going [00:45:00] through my healing journey and I was instinctively, felt that I had to accept and love all parts of me, even my ego thoughts, even that part of my psyche.

And because I felt like. That part of me served me. It, it wasn’t there by accident, you know, does the universe or God create anything by accident or does everything that exists? Does it exist for a reason? Like how could it, how could it not be meant to be, you know how, yeah. And so I came to this perception that I had created my own ego.

Like a Caterpillar creates its cocoon to protect myself psychologically as a child, because right in, in, in psychology first, the child has no self. And then it starts to develop its self, its psyche, its identity. And so I feel that we develop our ego in that limited identity. To protect us and to give us a feeling of control, right?

[00:46:00] Because we often feel powerless and we have no control. Like as a baby, we’re very vulnerable and dependent. And then as we age, we feel often very powerless and out of control. So what do we do? Well, we cut our hair a certain way and then we feel in control, we wear certain clothes, right? We, we wear, you know, you might wear makeup or nail Polish or, you know, put.

Posters on the wall or stickers on your car. You know, we all fight in these ways to kind of cont we build out this cocoon and we’re like, this is who I am. This is my ego. This is my identity. And I might not have control over my household and I might not have control over, you know, everything we have for dinner, you know, this is all his kids.

I might not have control over my little brother or my older sister or my mom or my dad, or them hitting me or screaming at me, but you know what this I’ve got control over. I can control this idea of myself that I see in my own [00:47:00] mind. And I can control this idea of myself that I project out into the world.

And in my mind that we create that as an act of self love to survive until we’re ready to heal the pain that’s underneath it. And let go of all the limiting identifications and aspects of our psyche and thinking that don’t serve us and that are not in alignment with who and what we really are.

So we stay attached to these beliefs and these identities, because we don’t know who we are without it. And the truth is you don’t need to stay attached to any belief or any idea. And as you go down this path more and more, you just become who you are in the present, and you don’t need labels and you don’t need the ego so much and you don’t need to be like, this is my identity.

I’m gonna fight you if you, you know, that’s why we’re so quick to [00:48:00] attack and going full circle. When I said. If I’m hurt and angry. And I say Gissele you, this, you, that that’s, that’s what I say. You, you, you, you know, I blame that. I point the finger, I’m pushing your button for your ego to blow up. And what we do when that happens is we, we want to fight to the death.

You’re not going to tell me who I am. I know who I am. I’m a good person. I may. Be mean right now. I might not be very nice, but I know I’m a good person. So don’t, you dare attack who I think I am. Even if who you think you are is not who you’re being right now.

Yeah, and so then the natural progression of that is to learn, to let go of that where you don’t need the unconscious walls anymore. You don’t need the false identity that you’ve manufactured. Protect you anymore.

Gissele: [00:48:54] Do you think that that’s basically what you did like in your self sabotaging , you actually [00:49:00] destroyed everything you had created and kind of had to start from scratch and had to kind of go, not that everyone has to do that, but I’m saying sometimes we self-sabotage because we’re so out of alignment.

that maybe that’s the way to get us back on track when there are other ways that we could do that by listening to ourselves or listening to our body, you mentioned kind of how physical health is connected to, not being out of alignment.

Blake: [00:49:22] yeah. I, I had had so much pain and, and really a very unhealthy environment that I created such a toxic, ego identity. You know, it was, you know, an athlete who was very destructive with his body, you know, drugs and alcohol, substance abuse. That was very destructive for my body.

I also sold drugs during that time. That was part of my ego. So I developed all of these aspects of my identity that gave me, made me feel like I mattered, made me feel like I was in control, made me feel [00:50:00] important, made me feel loved and appreciated, but they were all, they were all on a self destructive foundation . And the truth is, is that at least half of people who are going to listen to this.

Are in the same boat because half of the world gets to a point where they’re in a marriage or have created a family. or spent 20 years, 30 years in a job, or, you know, with a company. And they realize, I have no idea who I am. I created this whole life. Cause it’s what I thought I was supposed to do or what everybody else was doing.

And I had no idea who I really am or why I’m really here. And that happens at least half of the time, if not more. So. The sooner you get back to being true to yourself in the present, getting in touch with what you feel and need and want and doing those four things I outlined, which were the key to forgiveness. They’re also the key to loving yourself. When you start doing those on a daily basis, you will prevent future catastrophe.

[00:51:00] Gissele: [00:51:00] Mmhmm, I’m just wondering what advice you would have for people that might feel too afraid to do that too afraid to move forward to those four steps.

Blake: [00:51:09] So, for example, let’s say you need to have an important conversation with someone you could, for example, write them a letter first, prepping yourself. So you feel clear and all that energy is not just bubbling in your heart with anxiety. You might write a letter to just get it out and look at it and have a little bit more space with it.

And inside of yourself, that’s a helpful thing. And then . When I teach my live retreats, I often point out, you know, when people raise their hand to talk, I point out how a lot of people often feel anxious when they’re about to make a comment or ask a question and we talk about how we felt that way in school as kids. And

Gissele: [00:51:48] Or do a podcast

Blake: [00:51:49] Or do or do a podcast. Yeah. So, so, perfect example, if you think about in the present moment right now, In your heart in your body. [00:52:00] And this is true for every listener is everything from your whole life that you’ve never opened up about. So if you’ve had feelings about anything that you didn’t talk about in 30 years, where what ever’s there, where did it go?

Right. It’s interesting disappear. It’s in your heart, it’s in your body. So that’s why when you raise your hand and you’re really present, and you’re about to open up from your heart in the present, or have a hard conversation, or have a conversation like this on a podcast, you open your heart. It’s like you open the lid to the can of worms and guess what?

It’s all there. And that’s why there’s so much anxiety. And so much fear is because. We kind of think if I break the dam, you know, how am I going to stop? Cause there’s so much, there’s so much I don’t talk about. I’m so sensitive and there is so much I don’t talk about. And there’s so much I haven’t talked about over the years, [00:53:00] but you have to realize if you get, let’s go back up to that 14,000 foot mountain peak.

So because you feel overwhelmed and scared, does that mean. You keep living a lie and you keep hurting yourself. And is that really worth it? Right? Cause there’s implications to both, right? If you’re stuck in a situation that’s not healthy and you’re already aware of the implications of finding a new job, leaving a relationship, addressing a difficult situation.

It’s like all these are the implications that I have to deal with and that’s overwhelming. And you know what, I’d rather not. I’m just going to keep the peace and I’m going to keep living a lie. But meanwhile, I stay miserable. I just get sicker. I feel less and less. Well, and that’s an option. And everybody listening is welcome to choose that.

Because it’s your life, it’s their life. On the other hand, I can open up and start to express these things that I feel [00:54:00] overwhelmed by. I can write a letter to myself. I can write a letter to the universe. I can write a letter to God. I can start writing a letter to the people in my life and just start getting this stuff out.

And what comes from that is health more peace, more, self-respect more believing in yourself and trusting yourself. And when you do the latter or the first one, and you continue to live the lie and you continue to avoid the implications of the truth to keep the peace or to stay comfortable and safe, your life is never going to be wonderful.

Never being your best self, right? Like as a woman to your daughter, you’re going to set an example that you know what, you’re not worthy of this.

Your, your place, places here as a man, you’re going to set an example to your children. As you know, this is, you know, a man’s only supposed to do this. He’s just supposed to be a provider, be a angry and you know, never [00:55:00] expresses feelings or are you gonna be an example of vulnerability and health and connection and sensitivity, right?

So what’s your legacy. So let’s put this in perspective. So for me, I would, I am very scared of waking up tomorrow with regret, let alone being on my death bed full of regret, feeling like I lived a lie or I didn’t love fully, or I didn’t do my best in this life. So this puts it into pers o yeah. It’s scary to live your truth. Yes. It’s scary to be honest and kind. Yes. It’s scary to follow your heart if you haven’t been doing that all the time, but then when you get over that fear or you start living like this, what’s, what’s beyond the range. What’s on the other side of that rainbow , is self-respect a legacy for the people you love and your children. And this is the other one [00:56:00] we didn’t kind of get to is your cup will be full every day, which means you have more to give, and you’re not going to be angry, bitter, resentful, or sick from what you give.

Whereas if you keep letting the overwhelm anxiety and fear control you, so you stay hidden.

So then let’s say we all get to the point where we know that we need to start loving and caring for ourselves more and live this truth. Live this honest kindness, walk that path of self love as we do that. Objectively, we have so much more to give, we’re kinder. We’re more loving. We’re more generous, but yes, you are going to be scared of hurting and upsetting people.

You’re going to be scared of ruining your marriage or ruining your finances or hurting your children. You’re going to have these fears come up, but. The key is to keep things in perspective that I can’t go back and keep living the lie and hurting myself. And I want to set a really healthy example, be my best for the people [00:57:00] around me.

So I got to do this, which means I have to do it even though I am scared. And so that’s the key is to know that the fear doesn’t go away right away. It stays, it can stay for years sometimes, because if you’ve been doing it every single day of your life for 30, 40, 50 years, your body’s used to the opposite. So it takes a bit of time to build new pathways in the brain, develop new habits for your nervous system to not be in fight or flight all the time and to relax into. Yeah, exactly. And to relax into who you really are and your true nature, instead of always pretending. You always trying to control everything around you.

So you’re always. Your nervous system, your muscles, your everything is contracted and holding on and not relax because you’re so afraid of losing control. You’re so afraid of people knowing the truth. You’re so afraid of making a mistake, whereas you go the other way. Yes, at [00:58:00] first there’s a lot of fear, but you start to relax into your natural state of well being, and then that becomes a raging river.

And it will remove every obstacle in your way, if you let it, but you have to let that, which means stop fighting, who you really are. Stop fighting. What you really feel. Stop making yourself wrong.

Gissele: [00:58:25] Beautiful. Thank you. I was wondering how mindfulness can help us with the fear as we embark on that journey, because there’s going to be times. And I think the biggest worry is that as we face that journey and it’s happened to me as you face that journey, there are times when. The fear becomes overwhelming and you want to turn back.

You want to go, well, maybe not today. How can mindfulness helps us help us actually keep going?

Blake: [00:58:52] Well, I would probably say you can’t do. Any of this without mindfulness, because [00:59:00] to talk about your feelings, you have to be aware of what you’re feeling. You have to be mindful of what you’re feeling to express yourself in an honest kind way. You have to be mindful of. Oh, I’m blaming instead of taking responsibility for what I’m feeling and saying, I feel I need, I want, you have to be mindful when you’re thinking this isn’t going to work out or he’s, it’s going to leave me or nobody will ever love me.

Or no job will ever take me again. If I leave this one, I’ll never find another job. You have to be mindful of those thoughts, those limiting beliefs that you’re thinking before you can shift it before you can do anything about it. So it’s, it’s everything you mean. That’s one of the silver linings I think of the pandemic is.

And I actually think it’s actually part of why it’s happening. If you, again, let’s go to that 14,000 foot mountain. Our world is, has been moving too fast. We’ve [01:00:00] been moving too fast for, it’s not healthy for anybody. And then we consume. Too much, we waste too much and it’s all part of running too fast.

It’s all part of running from ourselves. It’s all part of running from the truth. If we really are not separate from the earth and from nature, then it makes sense that our self destructive relationship to our-self. In our own thinking, our own emotions and our own body, our own being is mirrored back by our relationship, to the earth.

So when we pollute the earth and we don’t realize that pouring toxic chemicals into the water and the soil pollutes our food, pollutes, our trees, pollutes our water, pollutes, our air, which is the only thing we can. Survive on, on the planet. Where do you draw the line? Where are you [01:01:00] separate from the tree?

Where are you separate from the ocean? We’re you know, where are you separate from the river? Really? We’re not, it’s just a misconception. And so again, it’s all a mirror of our relationship to our-self. And so because of the toxic relationship we have to ourselves, we’re not mindful. Cause we’re not mindful of that.

We’re also not mindful of the toxic relationship that we have to the earth, which is just a mirror of our relationship to our-self.

Gissele: [01:01:29] And I feel like COVID has really shown how interconnected we really are with each other, with how dependent we are on each other. Yeah, it’s, it’s been, it’s definitely an opportunity for us to be with ourselves. Cause if you actually think about it, we’ve been sent to our rooms. We’ve been sent home for those of us who have home.

There’s some people that don’t have homes, and forced to look at not only ourselves, but also the systems we’ve created, which don’t mirror, the loving compassion we wish you could have.

Blake: [01:01:58] Yeah, [01:02:00] absolutely.

Gissele: [01:02:00] Yeah. Strange times, huh?

Blake: [01:02:03] Very, yes, very.

Gissele: [01:02:06] I did want to ask a question about, gratitude during the time of COVID, especially since you mentioned, you know, physical ailments and all of those pieces are, are a sign of, you know, where we’re out of alignment and not loving ourselves . With everything else that’s going on in terms of the, anti-racism movements, which is very needed in today’s world. I was just wondering how the practice of gratitude could help us get a little bit closer towards loving ourselves.

Blake: [01:02:34] Absolutely. so practically speaking, if you think on a daily basis, let’s, if we start right now with everything that’s going on. If there’s anything, any challenges that have arisen in your life, whether it’s being locked at home and just not liking it, if it’s relationship issues you’re having with a family member or spouse or a partner, because you’re trapped inside so much more, if you’ve lost your [01:03:00] job or your income has been affected, if you got sick from the virus, all these things. Trigger negative thinking.

And so it’s critical even when we’ve had a setback to still be able to find the things that we appreciate are in our environment. So, you know, for me, I’ve spent a lot of time with my sister and my mother, so I’m really thankful for them and to be with them, you know, I’m thankful to have a nice home to spend time at.

I’ve been, I used to go to the gym every day. But I’ve been now walking every day and I bought a spin bike for the house because I had gotten into spin only three weeks before the quarantine. Cause I don’t like cardio. And so, but I had started to like spin and I was bummed that I couldn’t go to the gym.

So I bought a, a reasonable spin bike on Amazon. Had it shipped immediately, put it together. It was doing spin outside in the sun and the fresh air. [01:04:00] And so it made me do some other, the things that I wouldn’t have done and that I was really grateful for those new habits, switching things up. you know, so being able to, you know, all, I teach retreats in person throughout the year.

So for I teach anywhere from six to 12 retreats a year, either in the U S the UK, sometimes Australia, and all my retreats were canceled this year. So that was a bummer, you know, I’m used to seeing hundreds of people, thousands of people live each year and I love doing that. And so it was, I felt sad at first that I wasn’t going to be okay to do that.

It affected my, my finances as well, but. It made me think, well, I’m really grateful for this, and I’m really grateful. I have a roof over my head. I’m grateful I can pay my bills and I’m grateful that I have opportunities to consider new things. And so there are always little things we can find to shift our thinking. And still enjoy your day, even though things are not perfect, you know?

And I once heard this [01:05:00] quote that. You know, life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful or wonderful, you know, it’s like we don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful or wonderful. So the, and, but this is, this is self mastery and learning that you always have a choice, you know, what are you going to choose to focus on?

It’s up to the listener. You’re welcome to be. Yeah. You’re welcome to be miserable as much as you want, but you know what the people you care about probably won’t want to be around you. And if you’re so busy, Focusing on everything that’s negative. You’re going to miss all these opportunities to catch up with friends or have a deep and meaningful conversation with someone you love or find a new business opportunity.

That’s right there waiting for you. If you would open your mind and not be so negative and so closed. But again, it’s all a choice and that’s, that’s one of the most important things we have to see is that. Every day. It’s a choice from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, what we think the way we think [01:06:00] it’s a choice.

Gissele: [01:06:01] That’s what I loved about your book, because it reminded me that every day I have to choose to be more loving and compassionate to myself everyday. I have to choose to be more compassionate and loving towards other people. If I want to create the world that I. Hope to create or help create in terms of where everybody feels included, love and accepted, but it’s a choice.

Blake: [01:06:23] absolutely.

Gissele: [01:06:25] You talked about in your book that nothing is outside of God. and I love that. it got me thinking though, that if nothing is outside of God, then the people that I think we struggle with the most are part of source. So the people that hurt George Floyd are part of God.

The people that, are, you know, right now hurting other people are part of God, and it made me wonder. because in another part of your book, you had mentioned that a lot of the people that we find hurtful or actually mirroring back to us, the areas that we need healing could the people that are the [01:07:00] most hurtful and do the most horrible things, really be our best-est friends in that they’re helping us really work towards our own self love and love for others.

Blake: [01:07:10] Yes. So I, yeah. Yes. A hundred percent. I, I agree with that. And these are tricky waters, right? Because we can use, we use these and I do use these big perspectives and sometimes people feel that that’s. Making excuses or justifying bad behavior, but it’s not, there’s a way to think like this and say that what happened here is horrible and not right.

And even people call it evil, but evil really is fear and pain and confusion if you really un-pack it. So, I mean, if you look what happened with. With George Floyd and what happened in the world and what it set in motion and the conversation that it started, you know, maybe it was a tipping point we needed [01:08:00] and it doesn’t make it right.

And it doesn’t justify what happened, but then would, would this whole situation have come into people’s awareness as strongly and would there, would people now be asking themselves, you know, how privileged am I. What is my privilege. You know, how can I use my privilege to help the underprivileged? you know, so, so there’s a chance events that, that is set in motion.

It’s hard to judge, you know, You know, it’s not fully in our control, but how we deal with it. And then, then our own individual thinking and actions in relation to that, and just keep coming back to what you were saying in our own personal life, how we think, how we talk, how we treat other people, it all starts there.

You know, when you, when you, when you pass someone on the street, a stranger, you don’t know, regardless of skin, color or background, you know, how quick are you to judge and. How quick are you to close down in [01:09:00] that, you know, that, that intimate, private place inside of you and only you can be that honest with yourself and work on those things that when you realize, you know, I’m really quick to judge men.

I’m really quick to judge. Women. I’m really quick to judge people of this ethnicity. I’m really quick to judge people who drive this kind of car. You know, only you can be really honest with that subtle inner voice. And that’s where the web that’s where the real work is, you know? And, it’s just, we, we only see the external, we see the effects.

We see the results. No. Talk enough about the cause same with illness. We see the cancer is oppression. We see that the addiction. Well, we don’t talk about the cause effectively enough, because I think the cause has been very misunderstood in a lot of ways, going back to all of our conversation. And so.

Gissele: [01:09:53] In your book you say, as we learn to love ourselves unconditionally loving anyone outside ourselves can actually [01:10:00] becomes a conscious process of expanding our own love for ourselves. And so that really struck me because I thought, when you think about hurt, people hurt people that if we were all working towards loving our own selves, like you said, that love would expand outward and we would have more to give other people.

So I’m curious as to why this is still kind of a taboo conversation in terms of us loving ourselves. Right. Like why we don’t understand or see, and maybe I’m missing something. In terms of how beneficial it is for us to be working towards own self love.

Blake: [01:10:31] I think again, it just comes back to misunderstanding and not having maybe the most practical, concrete understanding of what is healthy self love. Practically. What’s a healthy miss manifestation of selfishness because we’re so used to the majority of us in the world operates in what I call an unhealthy selfish way and it has inertia.

So there’s all this momentum, which is everything we’re seeing in the world. It has a lot of momentum, [01:11:00] a lot of speed. It’s like, you know, you could have a vision for You buy a piece of property and you want to grow an Apple orchard. You know, it takes time to plant those seeds. And for those trees to grow big enough, it takes years and decades for it to grow strong enough to become a refuge for people and animals and to bear fruit, you know, it takes time. And so, because we’ve been stuck in this self destructive, Living that’s been passed down from generation to generation and is really peaking at its worst, I think right now, because I was just talking to somebody recently, you know, our entire economy is really based on you’re not enough, so you need to be more, do more and have more, right.

And so, you know, you got it. So then you ask yourself, well, where’s the root cause, Where is the root? Where does it start? Where’s the root cause? Cause it’s cyclical, you know, it’s, it, it does come from the [01:12:00] outside in, but it equally comes from the inside out.

And so what do we have the most control over though is from the inside out.

And so that’s where we have to start. And the more we do that, like, you know, in my lifetime, I would love to see, you know, I’d love it. You’re teaching this all over the world for the rest of my days. And in that I would love to teach as many parents as I can as many children as I can as many schools and teachers as I can, so that we start to reshape.

Everybody’s inner world. And then the outer world that we create. And I think everything we’re going through right now is part of that too.

Gissele: [01:12:40] Yeah , that’s so beautiful. We’ve rejected ourselves for so long that I think now we’re coming to understand that this is the world we’ve built because we’ve been too busy rejecting ourselves. I would love to see that in schools, we put so much emphasis on learn this and learn geography and learn history.

We don’t spend enough time teaching [01:13:00] kids, how to love themselves being loving and compassionate relationships. And do the things in, when you think about it, we spent all of our lives trying to find love, but we don’t talk about it in those kinds of environments or even in business or organizations. We don’t talk about being compassionate and loving.

Blake: [01:13:16] Right.

Gissele: [01:13:17] I did have a couple of final questions. The first one was just kind of a weird random thought, which, which was, if we are source, Then we should have the same capabilities as source and therefore we are only limited by our own limited thinking. Would you say that’s accurate,

Blake: [01:13:39] Yes, absolutely. I do think that’s an accurate, except in one, one case. So I think we are not separate from the source. But this, but the source and this is, this is kind of a, we are, I, my perspective is we are one with that source one with the universe. And if the universe is [01:14:00] synonymous with God, we one with God, we’re not separate.

But if the universe is an ocean, like an infinite ocean, we’re not separate from that own ocean. And yes, we can harness a lot of the ocean, but we’re still just a cup of that ocean. And so we’re very powerful and, we’re very powerful. So I feel that we are one with the intelligence that gave birth to the universe and to nature and the earth.

But if you were to sit in meditation for ah 10 years focusing on trying to with your finger, create another physical universe. You could create one in your imagination, but to actually create literally a physical universe. I don’t know if you would achieve that. And I’m a very big thinker.

Gissele: [01:14:57] Fair enough.

Blake: [01:14:58] But I’m very realistic and [01:15:00] practical.

I think, you know, a lot of things are possible, you know, it’s like, yes, everything is possible, but, but not everything’s possible for each person because not everybody wants everything. You know, we all want different things, but what we really want in our heart, that’s pure. I think that’s all possible that life, that experience of life, that freedom is possible.

There’s value in being able to expand your mind and your consciousness, as far as you can go to entertain all possibilities, but the, but you have to have the yin to that yang. You have to balance it out with practical application of the infinite intelligence. I mean, I think you think more in terms of someone like Albert Einstein, who, what he discovered or the people who discovered electricity and, or, or creating airplanes and flight . We are capable of absolutely amazing miraculous [01:16:00] things, but it’s, it’s helpful in terms of creating the life you want and shaping the life you want. To have a filter of, you know, that’s a really cool idea. but is that really the best use of my time and energy? You know,

Gissele: [01:16:18] And I appreciate what you said about the practicality. Cause I think that was one of the things that I also really appreciated about your book is that it’s very practical and that you include questions. You include affirmations, you include practices that people can do. So it’s not just about you sharing the information of here, love yourself. There’s actually real concrete things that you put in there to help others, you know, embark on the journey.

Blake: [01:16:43] Yes. And so I was just thinking, as you were talking, in terms of the brain and, and, and neuroscience, it said that when you visualize and experience your, your brain and your body responds in the same way as [01:17:00] though you were actually having that experience. So from that perspective, you could imagine.

Anything you want and live inside of that imagined world and have the feelings and the chemical hormonal responses to that world. That’s actually why virtual reality is becoming popular. And, and in the next, next 20 years, it’s going to become huge, but that’s still a virtual reality. And I think some of that, I, I actually feel that a lot of that is a symptom.

Of human beings, not really wanting to be here fully and not knowing how to be on the earth fully, because it’s been so painful on the earth that we want to get away from the earth. Through, Hey, let’s go colonize Mars, because we’re destroying the earth or let’s live in virtual reality or let’s just trip on Ayahuasca and LSD and acid and smoke pot or mushrooms all the time.

So I’m not judging. I’m [01:18:00] just saying to anybody, who’s listening, you get to choose and you can do whatever you want. But if you want to have a better experience here, there are a lot of ways to be here, fully heal. All the things that don’t feel good about. Being here become an example of a really amazing human being that makes other people want to be here and be an amazing human being, which will make other people want to be here and being an amazing human being. And that’s how we turn this planet into the garden of Eden, where the heaven that it always can be.

Gissele: [01:18:36] Agreed. And what a beautiful way to end . What’s next for you? Like, what are you currently working on that you want to share with the listeners?

Blake: [01:18:42] Wow. Well, we’ll have to do another hour, but, I have a lot going on at the moment. I’m working on a new book prior to that, I had started writing a movie, my first movie. Yes.

Gissele: [01:18:53] Can you just give a, Coles notes? Version of Whats happening.

Blake: [01:18:56] The movie, the movie is between the battle [01:19:00] between art and technology and young people’s spiritual, spiritual journey, but just the human journey to protect their, their soul, their art, their creative expression, in the face of evil applications of technology. So, and then I’ve got a new book going on. I’m taking my first online retreat ever in August. I was very resistant to teaching an online retreat, but with COVID, I’ve decided to give it a shot.

Gissele: [01:19:30] Why were you resistant?

Blake: [01:19:32] Because I love healthy human connection and I love it facilitating in person events for people to have that experience.

So for me, it’s not ideal to sit for a weekend on zoom.

Gissele: [01:19:44] Wonderful. I was wondering if you could just do like a brief two minute meditation just to kind of get us out .

Blake: [01:19:52] Yeah, absolutely. We can. So I guess for everybody who’s listening, I’m going to invite you to close [01:20:00] your eyes, please. And I’m there. I’ll do it with you. If you’ve been, walking or driving while listening to this, I would encourage you to pause it and come back when you can sit down. Or take a break, go sit somewhere on the sidewalk or the curb or the grass wherever you are.

So I’m gonna ask you to go ahead and close your eyes . I would invite you to inhale deeply through your nose and fill your belly and your chest. So slow, deep breaths through your nose. And you can exhale out your mouth or your nose, whichever you’d like. And if your nose is clogged, go ahead and breathe through your, your mouth.

So just nice, slow, deep breaths through your nose, and just really feel your body sitting where you’re sitting or laying where you’re laying and. Just for a moment, try and breathe [01:21:00] as deeply as you can into your lower abdomen and your chest. So slowly filling up with as much oxygen as you can.

Some people will likely be thinking right now. We’re having a conversation with yourself that’s natural, but, when you notice that you’re thinking I’m going to invite you to in your mind, not out loud, just say the word thinking in your mind. And when you say the word, thinking, use that as a cue. To objectively name that you’ve been thinking or lost in thought, and then come back to your breathing.

So intentionally shift your attention and your focus to your breathing and feel your whole body sitting or laying here. And again, take some nice, slow, [01:22:00] deep breaths through your nose and fill your belly and your chest.

And again, if you’re talking to yourself or thinking. Just very gently without beating yourself up, say the word, thinking, and now bring your awareness, bring your attention back to your breathing. Feel your body sitting here, your whole body.

Feel the breath. Come in. So fill your belly, your chest. You can even fill your back, expand from the inside out.

An exhale. Nice and [01:23:00] slow.

And then I just say, take one or two very slow. Very deep, expansive breaths and exhale very slowly.

To close just say, ask yourself, what am I feeling right now?

And when you get up from this meditation, from this podcast, I would encourage you to move forward and just be a hundred percent honest and kind about what you’re feeling. About what’s [01:24:00] true for you right now about what you want in your life, even if you’re scared and just keep moving forward from that place.

From that inner truth.

Gissele: [01:24:15] Thank you so much Blake for being here. I really appreciated that. And, to everyone, please out and get Blake’s book. You were not born to suffer available on Amazon. and join us again soon for another podcast. Thank you so much, Blake.

Blake: [01:24:29] Thank you, Gissele. Thank you very much.

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