There are a lot of people that give back to their community so much that they end up forgetting to love themselves. In this episode, Blake Bauer and Rodney Flowers enjoy a rich conversation about harnessing the power of love to bring out the best in yourself and the people around you. They tackle heavy topics about dealing with emotions and Blake shares his insight on why it’s healthy to express them in an honest and kind way. He believes that we should be living our lives from a place of love instead of fear, that we should never allow fear to stop us from reaching our goals. Most importantly, Blake talks about a version of unconditional love that focuses on the self. In addition, he explains how our daily thoughts shape and structure the life that we live.
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Using The Power Of Love To Bring Out The Best In You And Others With Blake Bauer
As always, I am excited about this show. I have a special guest with me by the name of Blake Bauer. He is an international bestselling author of the book You Were Not Born to Suffer. Each year he helps thousands of people who cannot find effective support from conventional psychology, medicine or religion. Blake is a world-renowned teacher and speaker with an extensive background in psychology, alternative medicine, nutrition, traditional healing and mindfulness meditation. Without further delay, let’s welcome Blake Bauer. Welcome to the show.
Rodney, thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.
I’m happy that you are here as well. I’m truly excited. You have a diverse background just reading those things about you in the introduction. There’s so much we can unpack with many of those topics. I’m having a hard time finding out where to begin. I want to get to know you a little bit before we start and find out maybe the idea behind You Were Not Born to Suffer. What led you to write that book?
I grew up in a dysfunctional family around a lot of drug addiction and self-destructive behavior. I struggled a lot mentally and emotionally as a child and a teenager, but I didn’t know how to talk about it and wasn’t aware of it. I got heavily into drugs and alcohol as a young teenager to survive socially and fit in, also subconsciously to numb my pain and my psychological confusion and to feel better. I became quite addicted to different kinds of drugs like cannabis and pharmaceutical pills and was drinking a lot. This was some of the stuff that I appreciated when I read about your journey, which was that I played football in high school. I was captain of the varsity football team with my two best friends and had offers to play in college.
I got a bad DUI one night coming home from a party on pills, liquor and cannabis. I fell asleep in front of train tracks in the middle of the night waiting for a train to pass. I was arrested, got kicked off the team and lost my offers. I know you know that was my ego. That was my identity at the time. I completely destroyed it in one night. I went from being arrogant and thinking I was invincible to being extremely insecure, lost and confused. I was waking up every day tortured, psychologically and emotionally. At the age of eighteen, I fell into a suicidal depression. I was anxious every day. I had no idea who I was anymore or what to do with my life. Not only did I ruin everything I cared about and identified with, but at eighteen, you’re facing these questions of, “Do I go to college? Do I study? What do I study? Do I go to work? Is life about making money? Is success and happiness about making money and achieving things in the world?”
I was confused and a mess. I couldn’t think clearly. I didn’t have anybody to turn to. To keep the story short, that’s what set in motion my healing journey. I began waking up every day asking myself two questions. How do I heal myself from this psychological and emotional pain? I felt like life wasn’t meant to be like this. I’m waking up every day miserable and not okay. What’s the purpose of my life? I knew in my heart that life was not about making money and about external achievements. I had grown up around people who had chased that kind of stuff and then ruin their families, were addicted to drugs, ruined their marriages, hurt the people around them.Life is not about making money and about external achievements because people who chase that kind of stuff ruin their families. Click To Tweet
I ended up going to five different universities, studying the things that you named, psychology, nutrition, all the sciences, and eventually, Chinese medicine, acupuncture and oriental herbal medicine. I got into yoga. I started practicing meditation to train my mind. I read every book I could find on healing, God, the universe and quantum physics. Down the road years later, I realized that all I was doing in my healing journey and my search for purpose was I was looking for love. I was looking for the love I didn’t get as a child. I was looking for the love that I never learned to give myself. I was looking for the love that I didn’t realize was my true nature, my soul or my spirit.
The journey to figuring that out was me learning how to love myself and take care of myself mentally, emotionally and physically every day in every situation, which is something I never learned from my parents, at school and in a religious upbringing. I realized that everybody was struggling with the same exact lesson. All this training I did showed me how disease and depression grow in the body from us never learning how to love ourselves as children. I wanted to help as many people understand what I was desperate to understand. I couldn’t function without learning this, without understanding this worldview. This was the game-changer for me.
Why do you feel like that’s the game-changer for everyone else? Why do you feel like people need to know this?
We need to have some clarity and somewhat of a true North Star, as we navigate life and understand what matters. We all have a mindset that we wake up with every day. Often it’s unconscious and we haven’t chosen it in a healthy way. Not all mindsets are created equal. Some mindsets lead to suffering and are limiting. Some are okay, but they’re not great. Some mindsets open up every door and every possibility you could imagine. For me, the most liberating mindset I have found is to look at life in terms of everything that happens every day is teaching me about love and how to love myself so that I can be the healthiest and happiest person possible, capable of giving healthy love to the people around me and being of benefit, then just enjoying my precious short time here. That’s the mindset or the lens through which I perceive everything, which helps me not get stuck in feeling like a victim. When something bad, painful or challenging comes up, I think in terms of how and why did I create this? How and why did I attract it? What’s the lesson it’s teaching me about valuing myself and being more loving, opening instead of closing? For me, that helps me move forward, pivot quickly and not get stuck.
Do you feel like this liberating mindset you’re speaking about is available to everyone although not everyone has it? Do you think it’s available to them?
Absolutely. One thing we don’t realize is that we choose our thoughts. When you let your mind run and you aren’t directing it, you’re allowing this default program to run. You’re the one who’s allowing it. We are the ones who are allowing it. We have the capacity to say, “I want to choose to think about this in a new way. I can think about this in a new way.” It’s like coaching yourself. You use your conscious mind to coach your subconscious mind. We all have that capacity. It’s when you’re totally lost in the voice in your head and you think that’s who you are, and you haven’t yet connected to that awareness behind it, which is the part of you that can say, “I was thinking about X, Y and Z. I was lost in this negative thought. I was worrying about the worst thing.”
What’s that part of you that is able to say, “I was lost in thought. I was thinking about things in a negative way.” That’s your deeper awareness. That’s your higher consciousness. For me, meditation was the thing that helped me get more intimate and connected to that higher self, to that consciousness, that awareness inside of me that could then have an objective view on my thoughts and determine, is that thinking serving me? Is that belief serving me? Is that mindset serving me? If it isn’t, what’s something else I could choose to think? To ask the question, what is this situation teaching me? Instead of complaining and blaming, what’s the lesson here for me instead of getting stuck, wasting my energy, negative thinking, toxicity, anger, and taking my power back from those unhealthy thoughts?
One topic that I like to talk about is to some degree, we are all the victim of our negative thoughts and our limiting beliefs, and we don’t realize it. Getting to that level of being aware of your thoughts moment to moment, day by day is where your power is. If we don’t go to the core of our mind, heal the core of our mind, and bring our awareness to that deep dark place that seems so scary or hard to navigate, then there’s always going to be this part of us, a part of our power that we can’t access. It’s like the Joseph Campbell quote, “The cave you fear holds the treasure you seek.” The deepest, darkest recesses of your mind is that cave. If you’re not afraid to go in there, go anywhere and then start to exercise your muscle, that capacity to choose your thoughts, to guide your thoughts, to expand your awareness, there’s nothing that can stop you, which I know you know.
How do we do that? A lot of the audience hears that and it sounds nice. How do we bring that forward? I want to open up that conversation. One of the things I teach is the first step to resilience is self-regulation. It’s regulating yourself. You talked about those reactionary thoughts, those reactionary behaviors when something happens. They’re unconscious, probably not a lot of value and not a lot of self-serving goodness in there. There’s ownership, which is what you’re alluding to. The ownership of those thoughts, which takes a conscious effort to own that. It takes a level of maturity. Given those things to self-regulation, bringing ourselves back to consciousness so that those thoughts are deliberate versus reactionary, take ownership of those things, and then get into that deep part of the mind that you describe that we can’t be afraid to go there. I feel like within those three things, there’s got to be some level of information or practice that’s available for us in order to get to that power that you talked about, to access that power.
For me and what I encourage with anybody that I have worked with is a minimum of ten minutes of meditation first thing in the morning. The reason why is that when we wake up in the morning, even often before we open our eyes, our mind and our thoughts become active. Typically, there’s not just one thought. There’s a dozen or two dozen. In a lot of spiritual traditions, I’m sure you’ve heard the concept that our mind and our thoughts are like wild horses. Most of us wake in the morning and the wild horses are out of the gate. They’re running and we have no control over them. I’m like probably you and most of the people reading. For me, I don’t have one horse. I’m at the racetrack.
When I was beginning this process, I wake up and there were at least a dozen, if not twenty horses at the gate ready to go. They were all off. I was not on top of any of those horses saying, “This is where we’re going and why.” I was being dragged behind these horses for dear life getting bloodied and bruised and suffering. The morning is the key because when you wake up and your thoughts are all over the place, you’re waking up anxious and stressed, jump out of bed, panic and go after everything you think you have to do, you’re starting your day stressed, spread thin, confused and fragmented.We choose our thoughts. When you just let your mind run without self-direction, you're allowing a default program to run. Click To Tweet
I teach a particular deep breathing meditation that comes from Buddhism and what the Buddha taught originally. It’s sitting with your body and observing your breath. When your mind begins to wander any thoughts, any voices, you come back to your breathing and your body. You do that over and over again. If you do that for a minimum of ten minutes, what happens is the thoughts come up and then you start to not chase them anymore. You start to not get carried away by them. You come back to your breathing. You come back to your body. What you start to do is you start to harness your energy. Your power comes back to you. Your mental energy, your heart energy, your physical energy, instead of you waking up and being all over the place like a chicken with its head cut off, which is how most people typically wake up.
We don’t know that, but that’s what most people do. They rush around the house. They will have coffee, eat and get ready. They’re rushing and trying to get out of the house. During COVID, who knows what the routine is like. Most people are still aware that they don’t even have to be anywhere but they’re waking up anxious and still all over the place, and yet they don’t have to be anywhere. What’s that about? This is the habit that’s underlying at all. First thing in the morning, you can use the restroom, have some water, but then sit down in a chair, get back in your bed, sit on the floor. You focus on your breathing. You feel your body. When your mind begins to wander, I like to use the technique where you say the word thinking.
No matter what you’re thinking about, no matter what the voices in your head are talking about, you say the word thinking to yourself. That’s an objective label like a sword that cuts through the thought. That’s your cue, “I need to bring my attention back to my breathing and back to my body.” Every time you choose to bring your attention back to your breathing and back to your body, you’re doing a rep just like if you want big biceps or a great butt. At the gym, you got to do those squats. You got to do those bicep curls. Every time you say thinking and you come back to your breathing and your body, you are building that muscle in the core of your mind to not lose yourself to reactive thoughts, to not get carried away, to be present, to be intentional and to be clear.
Most of us never learned this technique. If we learned it at school when we were learning math and the alphabet, we’d all be little masters and magicians with this stuff. Because we’ve been living for many years, our brains are already wired in a toxic way. One of the things that hold people back is that when you start this at first, you’re so overwhelmed by the voices in your head. You’re so overwhelmed by the anxiety in your heart. You say, “I can’t meditate.” That is absolute BS. The only thing that’s stopping you from meditating is the thought that you can’t meditate. The thought I can’t meditate is a symptom of all the crazy thoughts in your head that you don’t want to look at, all the anxiety and pain in your heart that you feel overwhelmed by. We don’t have a lot of good help through that. We think, “This is not for me. I’ll go back to overeating. I’ll go back to over-drinking. I’ll go back to keeping myself busy because this is too much.”
I heard someone say that the hardest thing for a man to do is think. The idea of not having to consciously think is habitual. It’s the preferred way of living. Why do you think that is? Understanding that your thoughts drive you or your behavior, it seemed to me that you would want to attempt to deliberately think certain things so that you can produce certain results. Maybe it’s the awareness of that fact that our thoughts become things or the belief that our thoughts become. That takes me back to that ownership. Whatever is happening, you play a part in it in some way. You have to figure out, how did I create that? How did I produce that thing that’s showing?
That’s what it all comes back to, it is the ownership theme. This is why a lot of us don’t take ownership. You can still blame other people, your parents, your partner, God, the universe so that you don’t have to look at where you’re not taking ownership, where you’re not being accountable for those thoughts, for the things you say, for what you do and how you do it. Also, we don’t have to look at ourselves. We say, “It’s your fault.” Where does that get us? When we’re blaming and complaining, we sabotage our relationships. No one wants to be around us and we push people away.
How do we get to that core of dealing with those thoughts that may show up or those things that produce certain thoughts? You talked about not being afraid to go deep. I want to go there. I want to discover what that is. We all have stuff that hasn’t been dealt with. The more we deal with those things, the more powerful we are. We remove the blocks that are there. Walk us through. What do you mean by that when you talk about not having the fear to go deep to the core of your thoughts?
I’ll talk about it in the context of the present and then dealing with the past. We know the habits we have are old habits. We keep recreating the same thing because we keep doing the same thing. We keep thinking the same thing. We keep getting more of what we’ve had before because we’re not shifting it. It’s like that phrase, “The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.” We have these habits in the present. We keep hurting ourselves and we keep letting ourselves get hurt. We keep recreating the pain in the present. We’ve got all that past pain that we hurt ourselves and let ourselves get hurt from childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. There’s all that to cleanout. First, you want to stop creating pain in the present so that your heart, your mind and your body can breathe. It can then start to vent the old stuff.
If you keep putting salt on the wound, it’s never going to heal. If you keep hurting yourself in your life, then all the old stuff can’t come out. The layers of the onions are stuck inside. First, I’d say meditation. I’m going to go back to ten minutes of meditation in the morning. The thoughts we think in the morning create our day and shape our day. You could say that the thoughts you think in the morning create your life. Your life is the result of everything you’ve ever thought. It all starts in the morning. That is integral. The second thing that’s integral is getting in tune with what you’re feeling in the present, what you need and want, and learning to articulate that vulnerably in every situation. You need to learn to be able to say, “I feel hurt. I feel frustrated. I need some time for myself. I miss you. I have feelings for you.” We’re so ashamed of our feelings that we do all these crazy things to hide them and manipulate our surroundings so we don’t have to be vulnerable.
The other thing is that a lot of our crazy thoughts are symptoms of repressed emotions. Think about the ocean. You don’t see everything that’s going on down in the deep dark ocean but you see the waves. Our thoughts are like the waves. A lot of times our thoughts are screaming at us. That’s because our subconscious is full of all this stuff we’re not dealing with in the present and from the past. Learning to express your emotions honestly and kindly is a key to going to those places that we’re talking about. One thing I also wanted to say is that we do the meditation, expressing ourselves vulnerably, and there are a couple of other things I’ll touch on, but we do it even though we’re scared. The fear doesn’t go right away because we’ve had a lot of fear for a long time.The thoughts you think in the morning create your life. Your life is the result of everything you've ever thought. Click To Tweet
The key is to realize, “Up until now, I’ve let fear stop me, which means I’ve let myself be the victim of my fear.” We often blame the thing we’re afraid of and say, “I’m afraid of you, so I’m the victim of you.” The truth is I’m the victim of my own fear. That’s how you take your power back. You’re not giving your power over to someone or something outside of yourself. When you realize that letting that fear have so much influence over you has not gotten you what you want, and has kept you stuck or kept you in an unhealthy situation. You start to realize you have to get this view that I have to be true to myself. I have to look at this stuff even though I’m scared.
I love that John Mayer song that says, “Say what you need to say even if you’re shaking.” That’s what it is. You got to learn to be so true to yourself and look at the truth even if you’re scared, even if you’re insecure, even if you feel guilt, even if you feel shame. What happens over time, when you are being true to yourself, when you’re looking at yourself, that is self-love. That’s an act of self-love. That is the truth inside you, the love and the light inside you. That love and that light are so strong, it becomes like Pac-Man. It eats the fear. You got to use that light inside you. You got to use that love inside of you for your wellbeing instead of turning it in on itself. That’s what happens. We have become our own worst enemy.
When we let that fear, shame, guilt, insecurity stop us, we become our own worst enemy instead of a best friend that’s coaching us like, “It’s okay to be a little scared that you’re about to tell this person what you feel. It’s okay to be scared that you have these crazy thoughts. That doesn’t mean ignore it. You can work through this. I’m going to hold your hand.” Most of us didn’t have the unconditional love that we needed from our parents, so we have to become our own parents. We have to become our own best friend and give ourselves the unconditional love and support we never got from the outside world. If we wait on it to come from somebody else, a woman, a man, a parent, a family member, we’re going to be waiting a long time. A lot of us have been waiting a long time. I don’t want to keep waiting. I want to live my life, love wholeheartedly and enjoy my days. I don’t want to be miserable. I’m not going to wait on someone else to fix me, save me or give me permission.
It’s the true definition of taking control of your life. I feel like a lot of the things you said are all great. It’s a sense of protection. Fear is an illusion. It’s almost like, “If you’ll be your true self, this is what can happen to you.” We’re afraid of that thing happening to us to the detriment of expressing our true self, being real with ourselves, expressing true authenticity. It’s like a lie. It’s very deceitful.
It’s leading to an important thing that I like to clarify for people. For you and me and for the readers, if we have a place in our life where fear is stopping us, it protects us and keeping us safe. Everybody has a place in their life where fear is stopping us from expressing something we feel or from taking action and following our heart in some direction. It can be little or big. It could be in your marriage, relationship, work, a family member. Everybody has something they’re not addressing or not taking action enough towards or taking enough time for themselves. When you break it down, what you’ll find is that we all have this belief that if I’m true to myself, if I express myself, if I follow my heart, if I take good care of myself 100%, then everything’s going to go to shit or it’s not going to work out.
We have this belief that we will be punished, that we will fail or that everything will be ruined so then we go back into our shell or into the cocoon, and we go back into that comfort zone. If you keep analyzing this, what you’re going to see is that when you say, “I can’t do this because I’m scared. I’m going to hurt everybody. Everything won’t work out,” you’re saying, “I don’t trust life. I don’t have faith in the universe or God. I don’t trust that the universe is a good place or a supportive place.” What I like to show everybody is that when you think about the universe, God or life, all you’re doing is thinking about it. It’s a projection of what’s in your own mind, your own head out onto reality.
For example, Rodney, if I judge you, it has nothing to do with you. I’m judging you because I judge myself. I’m judging you to put you down in my mind to make me feel better. I’m judging you to put you in a box, “This is Rodney. He’s like this.” That makes me feel better. It makes me feel secure. It has nothing to do with you. When I say, “I don’t trust life, I don’t trust the universe, I don’t trust God,” what I’m saying is, “I don’t trust myself.” The question is, “Why don’t I trust myself? I’m a good person, am I not?”
If you look at how you’ve treated yourself throughout your life, how many times you’ve hurt, judged, criticized and betrayed yourself, how many times you’ve put up with stuff you should never have put up with, how many times you’ve let yourself be mistreated, then you start to see, “I have not been that great to myself. This is why I don’t trust myself. That’s why I don’t trust life. That’s why I don’t think things are going to work out.” It all comes back to that lie, to that betrayal of ourselves.
Blake, what does love have to do with all of this?
That’s the name of the game. Everything’s happening in the name of love. That’s my worldview. The purpose of life is to learn about love. In order to learn about love, we have to love ourselves so we’re healthy and happy. We can give some good energy, attention, affection, and be of benefit to other people. For me, it’s all in the name of love. That’s one cliche but that’s one worldview that shifts for people. Are you living your life from fear or are you living your life from love? That’s right where your life goes fear-based survival, lack and limitation to, “I want to thrive.”
If you want to thrive and you want to make your time here worth it and not just get by or not just coast, love has to become the driving force. The love for yourself, for the people you care about, for whatever you love to do, for your work or hobbies, and love for the planet because a lot of us are destroying the planet. That’s the shift from fear to love. It’s from surviving, coasting and staying in your comfort zone to living your life, having your heart open, being a good human being in a time where there are a lot of people closed down, angry and suffering. It’s about being that kind of person just like I hope that our conversation is for other people where it’s like, “There are good people on this planet. I want to be here.”Everything happens in the name of love. The purpose of life is to learn about love. Click To Tweet
When you’re like that, you make other people want to be here. Whereas when everybody’s cold, shut down and fear-based, it’s like you go out and you don’t connect with people and people don’t connect with you. It’s like, “I don’t want to live here like this because that’s not how we’re meant to be here.” We’re not animals hunting in the forest anymore. It’s not just live or die like that. That’s part of our evolution. The energy of love is synonymous with the evolution of one human consciousness, and then genetic and biological evolution. It’s that awareness and the embodiment of love.
I asked the question because I sometimes feel that it’s the missing link. There’s a lot of effort. We have drive, technology and intelligence. We have a connection to some degree. It can get better. We have engagement. It can get better. We have diversity. It can definitely get better, but yet there’s still something that’s missing. There’s still a lack of full expression, full connectivity and engagement. There’s this individual fear and inability to express who we are and fully contribute the gift that we have. There’s still poverty. I can go on and name all of these things. I don’t want to give energy to those things. The question is how can we get more love? How can we cultivate the fuel that we need to turn things around individually and globally? If love is the answer, why isn’t there more love? What can we do to cultivate more love?
Carrying on from everything we’ve been talking about, starting with taking care of your mind, working with your thoughts. It all starts with us being the source of it. We’re either the solution or we’re part of the problem. We’re one or the other. Part of the solution means that you are doing your part to unlock the love inside you, to heal your own pain, your generational pain and trauma that’s been passed down from your mother, father and your grandparents, to heal those wounds have then become a conscious source of wisdom, compassion, love, intelligence and truth on the planet. It starts with our thoughts because we all know that if we’re thinking negative and toxic thoughts that we’re not at our best for the people around us. It’s expressing our feelings, our needs and our desires.
Every time you keep it in, you repress it and you’re not true to yourself, you’re hurting yourself. You’re letting yourself get hurt, which is creating more inner toxicity and pain. You can’t be loving and you can’t be your best because you’re full of pain. You’re hurting yourself. You’re keeping in the truth. We all have these needs that have to be met to be healthy, strong and well. It’s like an apple tree needs water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow into this strong apple tree that’s of benefit to the people and the environment around it. We have needs that need to be met for us to be of benefit as well. Taking care of our mind, our thoughts, being true to ourselves and it has to be honest and kind, which is another part of the conversation.
The third part is we all need time and space for ourselves. We’re wondering about the pandemic because a lot of people are lockdown with people. They’re frustrated. People are projecting, dumping and blaming. You need to get out of the house, go take a walk, get in your car, take a drive. We all need a little bit of time and space for ourselves in general, specifically during the pandemic. We need time on a daily basis to hear our own thoughts, that inner voice, to feel our feelings, to move at our instinctual and intuitive rhythm in our society. We live in a fast-paced world. This modern materialistic, consumer, capitalistic world we live in. A lot of people are part of the rat race. We’re moving so fast to try and chase the dream, pay the bills, keep up with the Joneses, give our kids what they want, give our partner what they want.
If you don’t take a little time for yourself every day, then you’re going to be spread thin. You’re going to be short and resentful. You need a little time to recharge. Give yourself the medicine that is healing for you. For some people, their medicine is taking a bath, playing some basketball, playing the piano, reading a book, having some tea or a coffee, exercise. Whatever your medicine is, you need that medicine. That’s where it begins because those three habits in particular stop you from being at war with yourself. You’re only a war with the outer world when you’re a war with yourself. If you’re taking care of your mind and you’re not at war with your thoughts, if you’re listening to your emotions, your needs and your calling, then you’re not at war with those inner drives.
If you take time and space for yourself, you’re not at war with your body’s needs to be well and nourished, to get the kind of medicine it needs. Your nervous system is healthier. The flow of blood and energy in your body is healthier. Your digestion is better. You want to have healthier lifestyle habits because you’re in touch with yourself. You don’t want to feel like shit. You don’t want to eat or drink anything that’s going to bring your vibration down, give you indigestion, or take away from good sleep. This is all about being so connected and in tune with yourself that you realize that there’s value in that. Not because someone is saying you should do this but because you like feeling good. There’s a big difference between liking and feeling good. That’s what that’s about.
When you’re like that, then you go out into busy streets where there are cars and people honking. Everybody’s stressed out because they’re not doing those things but you are. You become the solution. Instead of being the other person who cuts the person off, that cuts you off or flicks that person off. Someone screams at you so you scream back and you get out of your car. If you’re not at war with yourself, you’re not going to let yourself get caught up in that. When you’re not in touch with yourself and you’re lost to yourself, you’re going to get lost to the world in whatever is going on, especially with what we’re going through with the election, people losing their jobs and people dying. We need to be in touch with our center. We need it now more than ever. This is a big wake-up call for us and for humanity. I don’t think it’s going to get so much easier that quick. We’ve got a big year ahead of us. We need to be doing these things now more than ever.
I love the way you describe taking care of yourself as it relates to the world. It takes me back to the passage, “Be in the world but not of the world.” You described it so beautifully. It also took me to the passage of being salt of the earth, be the flavor of the earth. By taking care of yourself, being the best version of yourself, being in tune and connected with you puts you in that place to be the flavor of the earth. That’s what we need because everything else is just bland. It’s reactionary. That’s what everyone else is doing. It’s survival mode. That’s what it is. It’s still loud seemingly out there. To bring a sense of calmness and peace to the chaos, that’s the flavor that we need. It’s the flavor that we should strive for.
A lot of times there’s this illusion that if you make more money and you have more accomplishments, you have more peace. It’s like chasing the carrot. You have this lifestyle. You can do this and you can do that, and because of that, it’s going to be great. Life is going to be good. What we all should search for is calmness of mind and peace. The more you have a calm mind and peace of mind, you can accomplish the things that are necessary for you as it relates to your contribution to the world. I don’t want to leave out that because if we’re here, there’s a contribution that we all have. We want to explore that because we’re here for each other. Finding that peace and finding that calm is the step to understanding that contribution and getting more in tune with that contribution that you have so that you can give it to others.
I love the apple tree because for me it symbolizes abundance. It gives fruit, oxygen, shade and woods for fire. Birds and squirrels build their home in it. Think about one little apple seed on the earth. Do you think that that apple seed is stressed out about that big apple tree? I don’t think so. I think it’s got this blueprint. It’s how it was designed. It’s in there at the time of the seed. It needs what it needs to grow into a full and strong expression of itself. That’s how we are. We need to be able to find out how to take care of our mind, how to be true to what’s going on inside, listen to that inner guidance, and not be so worried about everything else.
If you follow that piece, you’re going to grow into the strongest, most fully realized version of what you were designed to be, what’s baked in your DNA and baked in yourselves. If you believe you have a soul or spirit, what’s in that soul, what’s in that spirit is going to blossom just like the apple tree blossoms, just like the rose blossoms because you’re giving yourself and you’re getting what you need. Everything else takes care of itself. I don’t think the apple tree is looking at the orange tree or the rosebush and thinking, “I was a rosebush or I wish I was an orange tree.” The apple tree is at peace growing into a full version of itself.If you don't matter to yourself, you're going to always feel like you don't matter to anybody else. Click To Tweet
For me, when I’m the most focused on that, that’s when I feel the best instead of looking at what other people have or what they’re doing. Everything grows at its own pace. Everything blossoms at its own pace. Even the apples on an apple tree don’t grow at the same time. All the buds on the same rosebush open at different times. We do so much comparing and it’s so unhealthy. That’s why going back to the theme of our conversation, if you stop looking outside so much and you go into all the deep dark parts of you that are there to get to know, they hold this power and love, you will have more peace and more flow in your life.
Listening to you takes me to the word nurturing. That’s what we’re talking about, nurturing yourself. The world could be a great big distraction keeping you from nurturing yourself. When you talk about the apple tree versus the orange tree versus the rosebush, the apple tree isn’t distracted by anything. It’s in its place and in its environment that’s conducive for its growth and its expression. It does it. It’s not distracted. We allow a lot of distractions to interfere with our gestation period, our nurturing, our growth. It’s protecting that. It’s creating that. I have a mentor. When we first started our relationship, one of the things we’ve talked about was sacred space. Everyone needs sacred space. That space needs to be protected. That’s that space where you could go to get what you need to fully express yourself, to be the best version of yourself, whether it’s meditating, whatever it is. It’s that environment that has to be protected.
That’s so profound because what we’re saying here is don’t allow anything to interfere with this core space for you. Without that environment for that seed, the apple tree can’t exist. Don’t ever let anything distract you or come between this particular space because this is the core of your essence. This is where you are going to be able to be you, express yourself, give of yourself. It’s your space of connection to the universe and yourself. If you remove that, then you’re essentially removing yourself. Maybe not the right choice of words to describe that but it’s sacred. It’s worth protecting. Sometimes we get distracted from those things. We don’t allow ourselves to nurture ourselves, to nurture those thoughts. We get on autopilot. We lose a sense of consciousness to ourselves, which is integral to our growth and our wellbeing.
I love the concept of space and sacred space. It is necessary. It’s our fear that if we don’t keep rushing, keep running, keep stressing, we’re not going to get it done. We can’t blossom if we’re not coming from this fear. Another thing that came to mind was FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. You don’t take the time for yourself to be with yourself because you think, “I’m missing out on the opportunity to make another dollar or to get this done.” Everybody’s out doing X, Y and Z. Am I approaching this wrong? That’s all coming from this not valuing that time and space for yourself to move at your natural pace, to be with yourself, to take care of yourself, to get to know yourself.
Everybody eventually realizes that that holds the highest value and everything else is secondary. I don’t know about you but I’ve always had to learn the hard way. A lot of us are stubborn and we’re habitual creatures. This comes back full circle to where we started the conversation. I view all of our suffering and all of our struggles as a cry from our soul, asking us to love ourselves more. We are stuck in this habit of not valuing ourselves, not valuing that space, and giving ourselves that space to unfold. Something has to happen to wake us up. That’s how I look at a car accident. You’re stressed and rushing. It’s like, “How the hell did that happen? How did I let that happen?”
You get cancer and you think, “Where did that come from? Where did this lump come from? How did I get sick?” You find out your partner’s cheating on you or you cheat on your partner. There are these things that build and then they become a wake-up call. For me, the way of interpreting is where have I not been valuing myself? Where have I not been loving myself? Where have I not been true to myself? Where have I not been talking about my feelings and my needs? Where have I not been taking time to nourish myself and giving myself that space? Where have I not been taking care of my thoughts that I let this get out of control? Unfortunately, these are hard lessons but they’re life’s most important lessons.
How can people connect with you if they wanted to learn more about you or work with you?
The most practical and economical way is to check out my book on Amazon. It’s helpful, no BS and it’s effective, which is You Were Not Born to Suffer. I’m on Instagram and Facebook under my name, Blake Bauer or my book.
Thank you. I want to bring up a point about something that you were talking about. We compare ourselves to other people. Sometimes we look for validation in those people to justify who we are to some extent in some of the things that we’re doing or we may be thinking. It’s funny because we never relate who we are, what we’re doing, and where we are to the universe or to God. I don’t mean to sound religious. When you mentioned how we do that comparison, it took me to a thought where if we don’t feel we’re validated based on someone else’s judgment of us, it will move us into action. We will not do things or do certain things in order to gain this level of validation. This could be personal for me. I’m bringing it up on the show because that’s what’s coming up for me. I’m just being authentic.
How does that relate to your relationship with your God or your higher power, your universe and where they see you? I started thinking about the tree. Not each apple on a tree grows at the same pace, but it’s right where it needs to be. If you thought about it, the apple had a consciousness. It started comparing itself to another apple, which was a little bit bigger. It might try to have a little bit more fertilizer or a little bit more juice in order to get a little bit bigger because it feels it‘s lacking in something. In terms of the environment and the energy that produce the tree, it’s right where it needs to be. Even if the shape of it is a little bit different. One may say, “That’s an ugly apple,” but it’s perfect for the universe.
That is a good lesson for us. When we take that step back, we remember who created us and how we are created. That’s the only judge. If we can remove what other people think, that’s another one of those distractions that we talked about. Be okay in it and have peace with where we are and who we are. You can go to bed at night and know you are nurturing yourself. You’re taking care of yourself and you are loving yourself to the best of your ability. You might be right where the universe wants you to be and that’s okay.
Blake, I want to say thank you for coming on the show. I don’t even want to call it a deep conversation. It’s been a rich conversation, a loving conversation, one that can be read over and over. It’s a check for us. It’s one of those things when you’re feeling a little distracted, you’re feeling a little off course, you can come back. This is a rebalancing or resetting type of conversation to put things back into perspective. We need those things to help us stay on course like the GPS recalculating. I want to thank you for stopping by and sharing your words of wisdom and your time with us. I appreciate that.
Thank you so much. It’s been so nice.
As we end the show, we always like to ask our guests the Game Changer Mentality question, which is how can we continuously bounce back from adversity, dominate our challenges, and win in the game of life?
There’s a lot to talk about on this topic. I’m sure you and I could talk for days. One thing that I’d like to leave everybody with is that if you don’t matter to you, you’re going to always feel like you don’t matter to anybody else or to the universe. What that means is your thoughts have to matter to you. Your feelings have to matter to you. Your needs have to matter to you. That nourishing yourself has to matter to you. Your calling, whatever turns you on, whatever lights you up has to matter to you. If it doesn’t matter to you, you’re going to feel like life is not worth living. The only way that life feels worth living is when you feel like you matter. The only way to feel like you matter is to say, “My feelings, needs and calling matter.”
It’s like what we were talking about in the beginning about when I judge you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s because I judged myself. Everything we think about the universe, life and God is a projection of our own mind. For me, it was game-changing when I started to think in terms of what if I’m not separate at all from the universe, from life and from God? When you take that ownership, which means you can’t blame God, life or the universe, then it is all about what I’m thinking. It is all about what I’m expressing or not expressing. It is all about my habits.
We sell ourselves short. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for how much power we have. We are so powerful. Think about when you’re angry and how that affects other people, or when you are lit up or in love and how powerful that is. Think about what human beings do. Think about we created an atomic bomb. We play God with life or death every day. Think about hospitals. Doctors and nurses play God every day. We drive these cars that can take a life in a second. You think about airplanes, space travel, Zoom, Apple, the MacBook computer and Microsoft. We are capable of so much when we stop limiting ourselves. For me, it was game-changing when I stopped limiting myself in terms of, “Blake is this small XYZ, this small identity, this small ego with this small story.” I started to embrace my unity with all life, the universe and God.
It’s ironic. One of the insights that inspired me to write my book was the idea that once I love myself unconditionally, loving another human being becomes an act of self-love because where’s the boundary. Until you get your inside right, until you clean your own house, all your attempts to love other people are going to be a bit tainted, which is why you got to get your house in order so that your love is pure and it’s not manipulative. You’re not giving to get. You’re giving because like the apple tree, you can’t help but be an apple tree. The apple tree is not trying to get anything.
Until we do that, we give to get, we manipulate, we love because we want something in return. It’s conditional, twisted and toxic. That’s why we get so confused. It comes back to the little things we were talking about. The answers don’t have to be these big, shiny, magical, complicated things. They are the salt of the earth, simple, practical. Work with your thoughts, talk about your feelings, talk about your needs, follow your heart and take care of your mind. What if it is that simple? If you focus on that, everything else will take care of itself.
Blake Bauer on the show. Thank you again so much for stopping by. It’s so beautiful.
Thank you for having me.
There you have it. This is another successful episode. Sometimes we feel nurturing ourselves is a bit selfish. You’ve heard that before. I want to challenge that thought and listen to why it’s so important to love yourself, to nurture yourself. I believe in giving from your overflow. You have to do the things that fill you up to the point that you are overflowing. You give from your saucer instead of giving from your cup. Until next time. Peace and love.
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About Blake D. Bauer
Blake D. Bauer is the author of the international bestselling book You Were Not Born To Suffer. Each year he helps thousands of people who cannot find effective support from conventional psychology, medicine, or religion. Blake is a world-renowned teacher and speaker with an extensive background in psychology, alternative medicine, nutrition, traditional healing, and mindfulness meditation. Based on both his personal experience overcoming deep suffering, addiction, and adversity, as well as his professional success with over 100,000 people worldwide, Blake’s pioneering work integrates what he’s found to be the most effective approaches to optimal mental, emotional, and physical health.
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