5 Steps to Greater and Spiritual Self-Confidence
Wednesday, February 15th, 2023
The confidence you have is vital to the four big areas of your life: Mind, body, relationships and prosperity.
In this article I’m going to explain what confidence is, why it’s your birthright and therefore why it’s possible for everyone to claim it in full. I’ll then identify the one very simple, key action you can take to claim your confidence in any moment.
Having worked through this process for myself, and for other people, I’ve seen how certain cultural obstacles can prevent people from reclaiming their lost confidence. So I’m also going to share two key insights which help make the foundations upon which you can build your confidence.
So in this article we’ll sort of ‘reverse engineer’ back from what confidence is, to discover what the foundational bases for confidence are, and therefore what the blocks are, and how we might remove those blocks from our path.
It is for this reason that I’m going to present these five steps in the order 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. (If unusual counting is good enough for George Lucas and the Star Wars franchise, it’s good enough for me).
So, Step 3…
The first thing is to understand exactly what confidence is. And it’s very simple; confidence is the act of confiding in ourselves. It’s a simple moment of self-honesty.
If we really want to get clinical about the anatomy of confidence and lack of confidence, we can consider the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind holds all the information from all experience we’ve ever had – save that which may have been permanently destroyed by alcohol, etc. Yet the conscious mind doesn’t want all that information at one time, and can’t handle it anyway, and so the subconscious feeds the conscious mind what is required for the current moment.
Except there’s an exception.
The ‘unconscious’ – called ‘The Shadow’ by psychologist, Carl Jung – is that total of your own inner information which has been a threat to you.
This ‘Shadow’, the unconscious, is the gap down the back of the sofa! It is where some of your own truth and personality is lost, and thus it is pretty much the same thing as your lack of confidence.
But why would your own information and truth be a threat to you? Simply because someone at one time who had some power over you (physical, social, cultural, emotional, economic, religious, domestic) disapproved of it. It threatened their sense of self, or their sense of okayness, and so you had to disown it so as to not incur their displeasure, or worse, their rage.
If people hadn’t repressed you, or controlled, judged and conditioned you, why would you lack confidence?! Answer: You wouldn’t!
But if those people are no longer around, or no longer a threat, an obvious question occurs: Is it safe to reclaim that lost confidence?
We bury those parts of us that are dangerous for us to acknowledge about ourselves. This unconscious Shadow equates to your lack of confidence because it represents those aspects and truths about yourself that it hasn’t been safe for you to be honest with yourself about.
An example may be a gay young man growing up in a homophobic household in a partly homophobic society. It may literally be dangerous for him to be honest with himself about that.
So there, you see, we know our target (self-confiding) but we have a problem in hitting our target because someone has put a board in front of it.
This is actually the original meaning of ‘sin’, whose Pagan meaning is “to pick up your bow and miss your target” (page 95 of the Kissing Consciousness book).
That simple act of gaining confidence I promised above is to be honest with yourself. In fact, if we’re talking about you wanting to gain more confidence than you currently have then you are required to be more honest with yourself than you previously have been.
An increase in self-honesty is an increase in self-confidence.
But an increase in self-honesty is dependent upon an increase in self-acceptance, i.e. self-love.
Building confidence requires us to get any self-judgement there is out of the way first.
This may mean being honest with yourself about something you cannot do, either temporarily or permanently. Confidence is not competence. Therefore, confidence is not about telling yourself you can do something regardless of whether you can, as if that is some kind of self-deluding ‘positive thinking’. Confidence is about being honest with yourself if you can and honest with yourself if you can’t.
Here’s my 60 second guide to confidence;
So it’s simple, right, we just face everything?
Well simple does not mean easy, and many people – perhaps most people – aren’t always comfortable facing up to emotions and feelings.
In fact, as a life coach I know that lack of emotional capacity is the most common denominator for many of my clients. If I ask people to assess how comfortable they are with their emotions on a scale of one to ten, the answer is typically less than five, and often around two.
This is why I created the Kissing Consciousness concept of ‘Emotional Infinity’, to help people see how to create infinite emotional freedom.
Whether we consider emotions to be in the body and feelings to be in the mind, or the other way round, doesn’t matter. Forget the labels, ‘feelings’ and ’emotions’, we don’t need them. We can deal directly with the reality.
“The map is not the territory.” – Alfred Korzybski
There are only two places where feelings and emotions can arise – in the mind and in the body. So we need only concern ourselves with ‘events of the mind’ and ‘events of the body’.
If we allow whatever arises in these two vessels to arise, we have infinite emotional freedom.
But as we grow up we ‘learn’ how to be unable to cope with such things. We’re told we shouldn’t cry – one of the stupidest instructions in the world. People who are themselves uncomfortable with their own feelings tell us; “Don’t cry!”
Don’t cry, don’t shout, don’t scream, don’t vomit, don’t go for a run. What else have you been told you aren’t allowed to do as a natural way for your body to process the feelings and emotions which arise in it?
Your awareness is the sky and the feelings and emotions that arise in your body are like the weather. The sky doesn’t resist when it is filled with sunshine, or rain clouds, or thunder, and it is not natural for us to resist. It is learned conditioning. So the first thing to do is to liberate your body from all the ways it isn’t allowed to cope.
Then we come to the mind. Our responses to both ‘events of the body’ and ‘events of the mind’ are informed by the beliefs, attitudes and values we hold in our minds.
If a thought or feeling or emotion arises in the mind do we allow it to be there? Or do we judge it for arising, immediately creating a problem for ourselves?
Just holding an intention of allowing ourselves and our bodily reactions isn’t always enough; we may need to get deeper.
We can only face what arises if it is acceptable enough to us that we’re not too scared to face it, and that is often based on the culture that defines us. Where we have judgements about how things and how people “should be” then we have the potential to resist and fear our own thoughts if they are – or might be – in direct conflict with how we think we should be.
We have all kinds of different cultural programs and conditioning running in our modern world. You may get someone’s approval by serving the collective. You may get someone else’s approval by demonstrating your ability to excel beyond the collective, sacrificing it as you go (“look after number one”). You may get someone’s approval by agreeing with their values of equality – only to anger them by solving an equality issue without forming a committee first.
So who are you to be? Who are you allowed to be? Whoever it is, society wants to define it very tightly. No room for your true nature here; social constructs insist on shoe-horning you into small boxes – and boxes that contradict each other at that.
“Be a sensitive man!” “Be a ‘real man’ and forget all that sensitivity crap!” “Be a modern career woman – but spend 100% of your time at home as a housewife!”
Wisdom dissolves this prison by accepting, valuing and honouring your true nature.
To understand wisdom we can use the logical principle of ‘Subject vs Object’. In logic, a subject is defined as “that which is aware of an object”. Look at (or pick up) any of the objects around you. They are the objects and you are the ‘subject’ that is aware of them.
Wisdom answers the age-old question, “Who am I?”
Ask anyone who they are and they will start with such things as “My name is… I’m [insert age], I’m a [insert trade], this is my body, these are my thoughts and beliefs, I’m this person’s husband/wife, brother/sister…”
…but these are all objects. They’re miraculous, wondrous objects but they’re objects nonetheless. Who is the ‘real you’; the subject that is aware of all these objects?
Do you see? People define their subjective self by objects. And as Integral Philosopher, Ken Wilber, points out, that is a colossal case of mistaken identity on the part of almost the entire human race.
It’s also why he suggests we kind of have two selves; an empirical (or finite) self based on the mind and body, and a transcendental (or infinite) self which is not bound by these objects.
This can be further understood by the spiritual mantra; “I have a body but I am not my body. I have a mind but I am not my mind.”
It’s a big and deep topic that I can only touch on here, although if you’d like to delve deeper then see my free wisdom resource below. But the main takeaway I want this to leave you with is that this insight creates a little separation between your deeper self and all these objects.
That should loosen your identity such that you may have less – and at some point hopefully no – resistance to the contents of thoughts that arise in your mind.
Wisdom, therefore, allows you to shun the conflicting cultural concepts and deal with the reality of you instead.
In short, there is almost certainly an amazing you waiting to be reclaimed.
If you’re going to clear out the crud from the deep recesses of your mind then it’s possible you’re going to come ‘face to face’ with some pretty disturbing thoughts.
This wisdom will allow you to remain sturdy and composed while you observe and consider them.
“What is wrong with me that such a thought is in my head?” Well, you can be reassured by that reaction, because it proves that such a thought doesn’t reflect the truth of your character. If it did you wouldn’t be disgusted by it (see pages 263 and 306 of my book, ‘Kissing Consciousness’ and the section on ‘The Self-Disgust Principle’).
Spiritual wisdom allows rare individuals the freedom to process anything that arises in the mind without fear.
Other people may judge me, but in the privacy of my own mind anything is allowed. In other words, I have made my own mind a ‘Safe Space’.
And what makes that possible is the wisdom to see that I am what I am, and whatever I am is fine, and I don’t need to buy into any social constructs that may constrict that.
So with this new-found spiritual wisdom you have the basis to allow yourself to be open to all thoughts, feelings and emotions, and with that to ‘face everything, avoid nothing’.
That doesn’t mean you won’t feel pain, or unhappiness, or whatever. It just means you can develop the capacity to not feel the need to resist or avoid facing such things – and can therefore always live with confidence.
And this also lessens the suffering. As they say, Suffering = Pain + Avoidance.
This isn’t just greater confidence, this is what’s known as ‘Spiritual Self-Confidence’; an infinite capacity to confide in yourself.
And note the association between ‘spiritual’ wisdom (enlightenment) and ‘Emotional Infinity’. The quality of the infinite runs through both. The purpose of virtually all wisdom traditions has been to help people move from an understanding of their small self to an understanding of their big Self (capital ‘S’), their Universal Self.
Understanding your individual nature as an expression of the infinite loosens the shackles of your identity which may otherwise limit you.
As Tony Robbins observed thirty years ago, people feel the need to remain consistent with their identity, their sense of self. Well if that identity is infinite, isn’t, too, that person’s relationship with their own personality and potential? …and thus with their confidence?
We now have a basis for confiding in ourselves around any topic or feeling. But that doesn’t mean our unconscious Shadow baggage has magically just healed itself and disappeared.
All it means is we are in a really good place (mindset) to do that work.
If you aren’t familiar with Kissing Consciousness, we make things very simple by seeing each moment of life as experienced through a state of either self-acceptance or self-constriction.
We call these states ‘Love Consciousness’ and ‘Fear Consciousness’ respectively, and then notice how all other pairs of qualities such as confidence, fulfillment, living in the flow, choice, and their opposites – lack of confidence, frustration, stuckness, the illusion of choice, fill in under one or the other columns, thus;
Another way in which we bring this to life is with a concept I created called ‘Human File Permissions’. We were all born with only self-acceptance (‘Yes’ Permissions), yet the unconscious, the Shadow I mentioned above, essentially became the sum total of our ‘No’ Permissions.
Whenever we are about to do something, if we have a ‘No’ Permission around it, our subconscious remembers this, and – to keep us safe – finds a way for us to fail to do so. We experience this as self-sabotage, or something like that; lack of confidence.
The purpose of Kissing Consciousness is to help you turn your ‘No’ Permissions into ‘Yes’ Permissions… turn Fear Consciousness into Love Consciousness… so you can live your fullest and truest life.
You can read more about ‘Human File Permissions’ starting from page 60 of the Kissing Consciousness Handbook (and see the index for more page references).
There are two ways to illuminate and heal our Shadow and turn lack of confidence into confidence;
So how do we ‘hold presence’? I’ll embarrass myself; I’ll give you an example of my own.
There I am in the past, fully confident; relaxed, natural, in total control of what I am doing, and then an attractive woman enters the room and all that goes to hell in a handcart.
I was brought up with a ‘No’ Permission around being allowed to connect with women. So for me that was a trigger that changed my state from Love Consciousness to Fear Consciousness.
For other people, their ‘No’ Permission triggers may be different; maybe around money, so they get triggered when the bills come in, or around their body, so they get triggered if someone mentions the beach.
So anyway, in that moment I could either be a victim of my conditioning (if I didn’t understand what was happening), or I could choose to have a conscious response – ‘hold presence’ to the state of Fear Consciousness that arose in me.
And so, in the latter, what we’re talking about here is noticing that the mind has doubts, the body has a reaction, the heart rate quickens, maybe the palms get sweaty, etc. And instead of identifying with this reaction, we observe it as an object. We see it for what it is; a False Self conditioning, nothing to do with who we truly are.
And so maybe as our breathing becomes shallower we notice it and allow ourselves to breathe more deeply again – but without forcing anything, instead inviting the body’s nervous system to process and recover.
In our mind, we realise that we don’t have to identify with the nervous thoughts, we can just observe them as objects, and choose not to react unconsciously to them anymore.
That’ll do for now, I could write a million words here – come to one of my seminars if you want to go into this further.
You don’t have to wait for day to day experiences to trigger your ‘No’ Permissions.
People across the world have proactively engaged in Shadow work to help them reclaim their lost personality aspects and capacities. This is what I do with my clients and at workshops I run.
I even set up Kissing Consciousness so you can do this without me.
By using the following two-part question tool, whenever an energy of self-constriction arises in you, even if you can’t name it or define it, you may ask yourself;
1. Would you like to let it go?
And if so,
2. Ask your body if it would like to let it go?
You don’t even have to be in a ‘real’ situation. The brain – and the bodily nervous system that responds to it – can react all the same to imagination. (Imagine pouring vinegar on your tongue and see if you have a physical reaction). So I could have imagined asking a woman out, felt the nervous system reaction of my ‘No’ Permission, and processed it so I had tamed it, before asking out an actual woman.
You can make yourself and your awareness bigger than the ‘No’ Permission.
We can do this with anything. Right now, you can ask yourself to let go of any conditioning that wouldn’t allow you to earn x amounts of money.
What’s the trigger point for you? A thousand a month? A thousand a week? Ten thousand a month?
I’d better stop there or I’ll be writing for the next month, as I could go off on so many tangents, continue or expand this piece in so many directions.
I hope that helped you.
If you’d like to get more from Kissing Consciousness you can get the first two chapters of the Kissing Consciousness book for free here;
You can buy the book here in both paperback and Kindle formats;
And if you’d like my one to one support with anything at all you can schedule a free coaching discovery call with me via this link;
Thanks for reading.
What Is Success And How To Achieve It
Thursday, April 21st, 2022
Success seems to be the most important thing in our lives, or certainly the media would have us see it that way; that seems to be the way our culture thinks. So what is success?Is it actually worth it? How do we harness it? And why would we even bother? Let’s discuss!
Hi there, I’m James Blacker, I’m an Integral Philosopher, Life Coach and the Founder and Author of Kissing Consciousness, and today I’m going to be talking about what success is and how we achieve it. And before we get into that, I would like to give you something that’s going to really help with that anyway, which is a gift of the first two chapters of the Kissing Consciousness handbook. Today we’re going to be talking about stuff that is really covered in chapter three. And chapters one and two are really the prequel to how we arrive at some of the conclusions that we do about what success is. And that’s going to help you get into Kissing Consciousness as a way of seeing, primarily, success, but also every other aspect of your life. It’s a very simple approach. Chapters one and two will get you there. Chapter one is about living in the flow versus living in stuckness, so that’s very much related to that. And chapter two is about The Power of Love, which is the big prequel to why we think about success the way we do, in this philosophy, at least.
And so that’ll get you a good background to it and give you a complement, so when you add this video to it as the third (element) then you get the whole picture, all the way through chapter two. We’ll fill in some of some of the detail for you there.
So we start after the prequel with the definition of success. The basis of Kissing Consciousness is that we take from The Power of Love, a concept. We divide love into three different types. First of all we identify three different types and then we take ‘Love as Acceptance and Allowance’ as the basis of The Power of Love that we’re then going to use to define what success actually is, because before we get into the world of achieving goals and working towards success, we first of all need to work out what success is and whether we’re on the right track with that.
So what Kissing Consciousness does is to divide every moment of our lives into one of two different states. The first is Love Consciousness and the second is Fear Consciousness. So if we just get those up there as a table – this is what we call a Kissing Consciousness Binary Table. So on the left we’ve got Love Consciousness – and then Fear Consciousness on the right. So the left hand column is all about self-acceptance and the right-hand column is about self-judgement and/or self-constriction. So bearing in mind that we’re using words to try and create a concept, or to represent a concept, these are about the best two words that I can find to define what this Fear Consciousness is.
And it won’t always seem like self-judgement in the head, but it might also be self-constriction and physiology – you know you get that sense sometimes where – your gut feelings – you don’t feel you can succeed in something or achieve something. That is also part of that. So using the Fear Consciousness concept to get a sense of that. So if we get that up there’s a table as well, so you can see on the Love Consciousness we’ve got self-acceptance, and on the Fear Consciousness side we’ve got self-constriction and self-judgement.
So then if we think about those two as our lives being, in any moment, expressed through one of those two states, then we start to think about success… you’ve got two different possibilities for what success is. The first is that success is based on self-acceptance and the second is that success is based on self-judgement and self-constriction, and what this really amounts to is gaining other people’s approval.
So success based on self-judgement, self-constriction is really not going to fulfill us. This is a phenomenon that you might have experienced – I’m sure you have – where people are aware of (that)the concept of success doesn’t necessarily bring them fulfillment. So what society thinks of us as success might be completely different to how you define it; what’s important for you. If you’re being true to yourself, what are the goals that you want to achieve? And, in addition to the goals, how do you want to even *BE*, moment to moment, because life isn’t just about achieving the goals? It’s about the moment as well. So you’re experiencing and enjoying the journey.
For example if you’ve got a business, hopefully you enjoy the the process of it as well. Otherwise you could wait 30 years for what you might call success and then think; “Well, actually I could have enjoyed that along the way!”
And so then we can bring in another concept here, called Permissions. ‘Human File Permissions’ is a Kissing Consciousness concept, and this is exactly the same thing. Love Consciousness is essentially a ‘Yes’ Permission: You’re allowed to be you!. And a ‘No’ Permission is what happens under Fear Consciousness: You’re not allowed to be you! And that sounds like a really strange thing.
When we’re born, we have total ‘Yes’ Permissions around everything. It’s kind of almost as if the concept of ‘No’ Permissions doesn’t exist. But as we grow in childhood and in teenage years and all those kind of stages in between, what we find is that the way we *are*, and the things we want to do, aren’t always acceptable to the people around us.
And depending on those people, they might seek to control us, to deny us what it is that we want to achieve… possibly even to repress us, because… let’s say that makes them uncomfortable, i.e.the fact that we might achieve something or be good at something, or even be charming, it could be a simple thing… If we’re lucky, they’re a conscious, aware, responsible person and they can recognize that that triggers them and go away and deal with that feeling responsibly in their own time. Now if you lived on this planet for any length of time you’ll probably be aware that that doesn’t always happen. Most people don’t think that way. More of the time what you’re dealing with is people who get triggered, react unconsciously, and typically this is what a lot of our childhood experiences can be. They’re essentially a way of learning ‘No’ Permissions.
So the things that are great and beautiful and true about us become dangerous to express. So we have to deny them, to push them down into the unconscious – what Carl Jung would call the shadow – and they get denied. So then our very nature is being constricted. So therefore our very definition of success is being constricted.
And so at this point I’m going to work on the basis that you’re with me on the fact that we want to pursue success based on self-acceptance, rather than based on self-constriction and self-judgment. Essentially, what Fear Consciousness does when we are repressed by others, is they’re saying… what they’re saying to us is, “Here’s my truth, make it yours!”, and of course in such circumstances, often they have physical power over us or economic or domestic or social power over us, and possibly also psychological as well . All these kind of things come into play.
The upside of that, though, the good thing, is that once we move away from that – perhaps we become adults, we live in our own place, or maybe it was a school bully or a crap teacher at school – we go beyond that then we no longer have that fear that if we don’t do what they want we’re gonna get problems – negative consequences.
If we then recognize that’s what’s happened we can start to reclaim those parts of us that have been denied and reclaim, essentially, what is our success. So we start to define success or think of it in two different ways:
The first is as goals or achievements… A few years ago I was part of a group and somebody got into trouble… they were giving a speech and they got confused around the concept of there being no such thing as failure. And they were talking about a boxing match, actually, and the guy had lost a boxing match and the speaker was trying to explain that there’s no such thing as failure. And his audience quite rightly pointed out that the guy *had* failed to win that boxing match.
We don’t need to be afraid of the word failure, but if we’re going to use quotes like “There’s no such thing as failure”, what we need to understand is what we’re talking about in terms of being true to ourselves moment to moment. We can, of course there’s such things as failure in terms of whether we… any goal we set to achieve, if we either don’t achieve it in time, or we don’t achieve it fully then there’s a certain degree of failure there, and we don’t need to be afraid to say that.
So you’re talking about goal setting between this moment now, something in the future that you’re going to achieve or you set it like a finish line for your race; either you’re going to achieve that or you’re not. So that’s goal setting and achievement. But prior to that, what we have is, as I say, you’ve got success based on the actual moment; whether in this current moment you’re in state of self-acceptance, i.e. Love Consciousness, or whether you’re in a state of Fear Consciousness, self-constriction.
And so really that quality of Love Consciousness and success as a state in the moment is the primary form of love, the primary power of love. And also it should inform the goal setting.
So it doesn’t work the other way around. It’s not like we pursue our goals and try and achieve our goals, but in the meantime we don’t worry if we’re not being true to ourselves, or if we’re in the state of Fear Consciousness or self-constriction. That’s not really going to work. We’re going to be aligning our achievement of our goals by primarily, and in the first instance, getting this moment right where we’re in self-acceptance, which is the state of success.
The opposite of that is the state of frustration. So we can get those up on the screen again in a Binary Table. So we have success on the left, under Love Consciousness and frustration (rather than failure) in the moment under the Fear Consciousness column, because that’s what’s actually happening there… in that moment where we’re not in self-acceptance, we’re trying, we’re struggling to become something and we’re simply having frustration because we’ve got that ‘No’ Permission from our conditioned past that we need to release.
And so this brings us onto The Kissing Consciousness Tool.
It’s very simple tool, based in pragmatic reality. Whenever we find that we’ve got a self-constriction or we suspect that we have, we simply asked ourselves two questions.
The first is; “Would you like to let that go?” And this is an instruction, or an invitation to your conscious mind and your free will, recognizing that you’ve been operating under the effect of some self-sabotage, or self-judgement or self-constriction. You think to yourself, “Yeah, absolutely I would like to let that go! Thank you.”
And then the second question is, “If so, would you like to ask your body if it would like to let that go?” And normally when I talk about such things I get a physiological reaction from my body, because it’s kind of … I equate the … Kissing Consciousness equates the body and the subconscious mind is essentially being the same thing. And when I start to talk to my body then I get a reaction and it says it’s gratefully … it’s thankful to be appreciated and acknowledged.
And the point is, let’s say you want to achieve a million pounds, a million dollars, whatever currency you’re working with. Getting a millionaire mindset isn’t enough to achieve that. You need a millionaire physiology. There are plenty of people who can intellectualize the concept that, in theory, they should be able to allow themselves to earn a million pounds, a million dollars if that’s what it is they want to achieve. But to actually be comfortable in that skin, physiologically, and go out and achieve it is a different thing entirely.
So success, in in terms of Love Consciousness, we can recognize that Love Consciousness exists in both our conscious mind and in our subconscious, and in our body and our physiology and our flesh.
And so when these ‘No’ Permissions are created they’re actually created in the body as well as in the mind, so that your mind … let’s see how this would happen, so you’re a child of eight years old maybe, and you’re excited and enthusiastic, and somebody reprimands you and says; “What a stupid thing you’re doing there!” Maybe it’s not stupid, but maybe they can’t handle what it is that you’re doing. So you sort of constrict.
So mentally, that gets shut down; “Well, I won’t do that again!” There are problems, but physiologically also the nervous system shuts down. And you see that, if you see people who have had really terrible childhoods where they’re repressed a lot, the nervous system is just down here, completely shriveled up.
So actually when you’re using The Kissing Consciousness Tool, as well as freeing up the mind, the consciousness, to become aware of your possibility to achieve what it is that you’re capable of achieving, there’s also the sort of physiological release. The constriction in the body unclenches, releases, diffuses, all of that kind of thing. It might be physiology that’s been trapped in your body for 30 years – you can just invite it to release and … start to gain some freedom from it.
So that’s that’s the tool and then what we have then is our primary version of success, which is just based on self-acceptance in the moment. And that’s also the same thing as being at one with ourselves, rather than being at odds with ourselves, and you could also call that congruence, so you’re congruent with yourself, rather than incongruent, so we can see those also displayed in the Binary Table, if we can show those…
And so what I recommend is that you make this the starting point of everything that you’re doing. Whatever moment you’re in now, that’s your point of power for how you can influence your life. You can’t change the future in the future. If you’re going to influence the future it has to be done in the present moment.
So therefore first thing to always do if you want to achieve success, and if you want to achieve your goals, is to become aware if you’re operating from a state of Fear Consciousness and self-constriction, self-judgement.
If you’re not, there’s no problem, just flow naturally with what you’re doing. There’s nothing that is required to do because everything happens spontaneously.
But if you are, and you can notice that you are in the Fear Consciousness state, then you can ask yourself to release that. First of all, the very fact that you notice it changes things, because you go from having negative thoughts, let’s say, in your head and in your body, rather than … if you’re thinking those you’re going to be identifying with them, but if you become aware of them, actually what you do is you create some perspective on your own thoughts. So you become the *observer* of the negative thoughts, rather than *being* the negative thoughts. I hope that makes some sense.
And actually that gets a degree of control back, and then you can recognize; “Oh, hang on, I was operating under conditioned, negative effects there!” And you can change your approach when you realize that that’s the case.
So that’s why you would then bring in the Tool – ask ourselves to let go of that kind of rubbish.
And then also, by definition, if you’re asking to let go of self-judgement and a self-constriction from maybe 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago, by definition what you’re also doing is you’re asking yourself – your deeper self – to step into the new you! …The new you who you would have been had that self-constriction event never happened in the first place!
So that’s going to be more confident, even if it’s only by a small degree, that’s gonna be more confident, more relaxed body, more aware, more intuitive. So you’re actually reclaiming that.
And again, once we have that Love Consciousness state then success actually flows naturally from that. If you’re capable of something – and an opportunity for it to be achieved arises – and it’s something that you wish to choose – it’s your truth that it’s your choice – then as long as you have a ‘Yes’ Permission around that, i.e. you’re in the state of Love Consciousness around that particular topic or concept, you will automatically and spontaneously go and achieve it.
So what we what we’re really doing is not necessarily finding things that we have to gain in terms of psychology and consciousness and physiology. What we’re doing is we’re removing the negatives.
And then that frees us up. Of course, yes, we might have to study academically to achieve something, or we might have to train physically – all these kind of things. Or we might have to find out how we might launch a business or how we might market a business, and such like.
We do have to do these things, but if we’ve got ‘Yes’ Permissions around them then they’re going to happen spontaneously as a result.
They don’t happen without us doing anything, but they do happen essentially automatically and spontaneously and they flow from that state.
So primarily what Kissing Consciousness is all about is recognizing that all of what I’ve been talking about leads to the simple practice in the moment: If you’re in the Love Consciousness, self-acceptance state; no worries – there’s nothing you need to do because everything’s flowing. Or, if you’re not, you can notice that and just let it go and invite a release so you can get back to being who you are, being true to yourself and let everything flow from there.
So essentially that’s like undamming a dam. If there’s a block of a river you’re removing the block and letting things flow again.
So let’s go to some questions…
This is very important because in our culture we have a conventional concept of success which probably involves a red Ferrari, a beautiful wife or husband or whatever it is, family, lots of money, all that kind of thing.
Now that could be someone’s definition of success and actually some of those things are quite nice. I quite like the idea of most of that. But for every individual it’s going to be whatever is real for them. So it doesn’t have to be that at all. It doesn’t have to be any of that. It’s nothing whatever to do with what other people decide is success. It’s entirely what makes you happy, what you want to do, what’s your choice.
And this is where 90% of the failure and confusion around success comes from, because people… and this is quite remarkable to the degree… I find this remarkable how much people do this; they get unconsciously dragged into running their lives and operating their lives robotically assuming that what society decide defines is success is A) the only version of success there is, B) wise and sensible and C) to be followed by everybody as if we’re all homogeneous, and that this is what one person’s success is, so therefore it should be and has to be for everything for everyone else.
This is the biggest problem that human beings have with success, is trying to live up to something which is a concept of a collection of ideas of what success represents, whilst at the same time, deep down there’s a sense that that doesn’t necessarily reflect who we are.
And certainly if we adhere too strictly to that, then that’s really going to constrict what we allow ourselves to do and how we allow ourselves to pursue success with fulfillment. And the obvious quotes that come to mind are; “Success without fulfillment is failure” or “Success without fulfillment is nothing”. And quite right! So we want to remove that.
And so what success looks like almost has no rules to how, what what a successful life might look like. You might see somebody and think; “Wow, that really looks like the opposite of success!” But to them it might be success. So there are almost no clues.
Almost the only thing you can look for, in terms of what success looks like, is whether a person looks congruent – whether they look at one with themselves. Are they comfortable with their own choices? And you can kind of get a vibe or a sense of that.
People who have that tend to be magnetically attractive to other people because A) there’s a recognition that someone isn’t needily looking for outside, external approval for what they’re doing, and B) is that they’re they’re aligning with nature. They’re aligning with reality. So there’s something attractive to that quality as well.
So yeah, great question, you have to be mindful not to worry too much about what success looks like, and, of course, tragically we’ve seen a lot of people who, on the outside have what we would consider to be the trappings of success; money, awards, fame and all that kind of thing, and there are any number of stories of famous people we know of where, sadly, we’ve found out that that hasn’t been the case.
This is a great question, I love this question.
One of the things that Kissing Consciousness does is uses Integral Theory’s Four Quadrants … if I ever talk about the Four Quadrants, automatically I’ll do something like that … to get a rough sense of what can be achieved in life, in terms of success.
So we’re talking about … and I like to apply our very own kind of flavor of what the best or the most fulfilling of those Four Quadrants might look like. And again this is down to your own interpretation.
So the first quadrant is the upper left quadrant, so maybe I’ll get a … let’s get a diagram up on the screen there so we can see how that is working. So the first quadrant, the upper left quadrant, is the individual interior.
So the way the quadrants work is that the left hand side is the interior, the intangible, non-physical. And the right hand quadrants are the physical, external quadrants. So they’re things you can touch physically.
And to complete that, the top two quadrants are the individual quadrants and the bottom two quadrants are the collective quadrants.
So essentially what you have is the individual, non-physical mind, so that’s your mental health, emotions, thoughts, feelings.
Second quadrant would be your physical body – there we go – plus the brain, because that’s a physical thing as well. You could, in theory, touch it physically. That’s the second quadrant.
And then third is interior again, so you talk about relationships, and the fourth is social systems, and the way I like to interpret that for success and life coaching kind of concepts, is prosperity. And we could call it money, but actually it’s something a bit broader than that, it’s sort of all of the prosperity that we have socially and the quality of life around fulfilling our potential.
So we have the first quadrant, ideally would be deep, unselfconscious joy and happiness. Second quadrant would be an ecstatic, liberated body. Third quadrant would be blissful, harmonious relationships. And the fourth one would be fulfilled creative potential, so that whatever economically, financially is going on for you that’s a reflection of the fact that you’re allowing yourself to engage with all your creative potential. So again, what we’re talking about there is ‘Yes’ Permissions, rather than ‘No’ Permissions.
So anyway, we’ve got our four quadrants and I said I would explain how we measure that. What’s interesting about this, something that I pointed out to a colleague in Integral Theory a few years ago, about 15 years ago … we were talking about this, because I noticed a temptation in life coaches that they like to have their clients focus on things that they themselves can measure, because then they can make claims about how good they are as a life coach.
So let’s say I help my client double their income from 100,000 to 200,000. Or I helped my client lose 30 lbs of unwanted weight from their body.
Well this is the key. On the physical side, the the external quadrants, the right hand quadrants, what we’re talking about there are physical things, so they can be more easily measured. So you can measure someone’s finances by looking at their bank account. You can measure someone’s body lots of ways. You can put them on the scale and weigh them. Also there’s actually other things you can do, you can measure qualities of lung capacity, arterial elasticity, there’s all kind of things that can empirically be measured physically with those two quadrants, the body and especially money.
So that’s how you measure success there.
Now that doesn’t apply to the other two quadrants, because they’re intangible, they’re interior. So what we need to understand there is that doesn’t make it impossible to measure success there, but what it does mean is that we have to be a little more creative in how we measure success, because there’s nothing physical – we can’t bean count – two, four, six, eight, ten…
So the way we do that is we might give ourselves assessments. So I say to you, “Well, out of 10, how happy would you say you are?”
Let’s say you say “Seven!” Okay, great. So if I then say, “How happy were you ten years ago?” So “Five!” Okay, so you’re doing well. Or you might say “Nine!” Okay, so what’s happened?
You’ve now got some measurements for what’s happening A) now and B) where you were, and perhaps also where you’d like to be, so you can start to see some direction to the measurements.
So if you were 9/10 happy a few years ago and then you’re 7/10 happy now, then we might want to ask the question; “Well what’s happened and can we address that?”
And if you were 2/10 and you’ve gone to 5/10, rather than saying, “Well, 5/10 isn’t great”, you might think; “Well hang on, you’ve gone from two to five! That’s a real achievement. That’s fantastic.
In fact, you could go from minus five to two! You could have a happiness rating, self-rating of 2/10, and that would be fantastic (in that context). So that’s how you measure that.
And the same applies to the lower left quadrant as well, which is relationships. So you say, “How happy … how would you assess the quality of your relationship – give it a score out of 10!” And you say “Nine!” Great! Or you might say, “Three!” Oh okay, there’s a problem, you’ve got a relationship that you’re measuring 3/10, so that’s how you measure success in the right hand quadrants and in left-hand quadrants.
So they’re essentially, again, they’re all the same questions … similar questions. And again the point there is that it comes spontaneously if you are already in a state of Love Consciousness and self-acceptance around whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve. And if you’re not then you release the blocks first of all and then … so you’re removing not just psychology but also the physiology, so you’re removing the blocks to those, and then what we call the ‘mechanics’ of success, like the things you actually going and do to achieve success, kind of tend to flow from there.
And as part of that is the kind of feedback loop process, so you might, if you started, let’s say you start a business to run a restaurant, it’s not failure if it’s struggling the first few months or you’re learning the ropes. That’s natural, that’s part of the process, that’s part of the journey of success to learn the ropes, refine what you’re doing, change things, tweak things, iterate, improve as you go, learn from people who’ve done it before maybe.
And so that’s part of the natural process. So that doesn’t necessarily mean… you’re still gonna be in the state of self-acceptance while that’s going on. That doesn’t mean anything in terms of Fear Consciousness.
Yeah, absolutely, and one of the things I was thinking about earlier is that, because we have this binary of self-acceptance and self-constriction, we can then integrate our achievement of our goals by making sure that we’re always in this state of self-acceptance.
So let’s say you have a financial career goal that you want to achieve success in. And that’s probably an ongoing thing year after year, decade after decade. Well almost certainly that’s not going to be the only goal that you want to achieve in life. You probably have goals around relationships, and I would hope goals around your health, and so what the checking in with your state in the moment will help you to integrate is to integrate one goal with another, because you could be damaging a relationship if you’re focusing everything too much into the career. And people will damage their health as well, and some people will damage both.
So actually, if you’re tuning into your awareness you can go the extra mile at work, but then you might tune into the awareness and your physiological response is giving you that instinct, that gut instinct, intuition, saying; “Okay, I’ve gone the extra mile but I’m not going to go the (second) extra mile. i’m going to do something different and invest some time in the relationship or look after the body or something like that. And I hate the word ‘balance’ but I love the word ‘integration’ – you integrate the goals naturally by always being in your instinct and in your wisdom to make sure that’s going well.
Yes, success should always come before work, because: What is the work for?!
Unless you’re enjoying the work for its own sake and you’d do it regardless of whether it was paid, things like work, money, essentially they are means to an end. They’re not the end. So the end is happiness, fulfillment, quality of life, so always we want to be thinking about whether any work that we do… does it align with where we want to be going and what we want to experience and the outcomes we want. So if it doesn’t why do the work?
This is really a question that brings up compassion in me because it kind of implies that the person asking the question is struggling with the idea that they can coexist.
And absolutely, there’s a certain alignment that we’d hope to be naturally there; rather than success being something that you have to sacrifice your happiness for in order to get, really what we’re looking for is something that aligns with what’s true for us, and therefore will naturally, effortlessly align with our happiness.
There’s a caveat I want to put to that, though, which is that there are essentially two ways to define happiness.
The first is that you can think of it as an extreme emotional state, something like that. So that isn’t going to be the case all the time, but if you think of a second form of happiness, in terms of Love Consciousness, so you’re in self-acceptance then you’ve got, essentially, happiness as contentment.
So you might not be happy with the way everything’s going, but you might be content in the sense that you can be an acceptance with yourself, whatever is arising, so there’s a certain internal composure there, and we might even start referring to the Kipling poem to get a sense of what that’s about.
So if you’re aligning with your success in terms of Love Consciousness, you’re also going to be aligning with your happiness as contentment. Or essentially what we’re talking about there is happiness as a reflection of the fact that we’re in self-acceptance.
And then happiness, whether we’re on an emotional scale, we don’t want to worry quite so much about that, because we don’t want things to… we don’t want to get attached to the idea that we’re always going to be in that elated happy state, because we’re not. And there might be times when we’re unhappy, sad, or even grieving, but you can be grieving from a state of Love Consciousness and self-acceptance.
So the point is to recognize that emotions are just emotions. It’s kind of like the sky – beautiful clear day today, the clouds are passing through the sky – it’s a clear day. There’s blue skies and clouds, so there’s no rain. The sky doesn’t have any resistance to whether it’s filled with sun or clouds or snow or what have you.
And it’s the same for human emotions, so we can be in that state of self-acceptance and just let the emotions come and go. And the more we do that, the more the ones that we don’t want are just going to arise, be experienced; we get what we need from them and then we can let them go.
Well first of all, success isn’t just a journey, it is also a destination. Success as… in terms of Love Consciousness is a journey in the sense that we’re always measuring it in the present moment, the current moment.
But also you have success in terms of the goals and the achievements. These are sort of landmarks along the way in life. So you want to be combining a contentment in the moment with a modest and reasonable achievement of the goals that are realistic for you to achieve as you go, just to keep that going forward, make sure you’re not stagnating. So we do actually want a bit of both there.
The reason why we consider success a journey, in part, is, as I say, so that we don’t have that aspect where we’re worrying too much about the future. If we’re always worrying about the future then the future never arrives and we’ll never enjoy the moment. So we really want to appreciate that the miracle of life is is always right here now.
Well for the last forty years we’ve had a global economic system running the world called Neoliberal economics, which states that “Only money matters”, so from that point of view all that system cares about its profitability, but absolutely not in terms of the wider context of your life, as I’ve explained a few times now, you really want to be thinking first and foremost about your quality of life and what it is you want to achieve, and then have money serve that.
So if you’re… if you’re only prioritizing money and that causes you to think or treat people dishonestly or not worry about any influence on the environment or anything else like that, it might be very difficult for you to then go home and have a happy family life and be comfortable in your body, because you might know that deep down you’re not aligning with all of your deeper values and possibly even values that you’ve never even considered, but just as a wider context and appreciation for what your life can be.
And primarily we talk about… people talk about their Inner Guide; they don’t talk about the conscience quite so much, but they’re actually the same thing. So if you can live an alignment with your own conscience then that’s a great way to achieve success, as a journey as a success, because your conscience is essentially – a true conscience, not your conditioned conscience, about what you’ve been told is right and wrong – but your own internal sense of conscience, is actually the… the compass, the guide for what’s true for you. So that is essentially the same thing as your true success.
Yes, again, depending on how we’re considering them, but there’s nothing inherent in success that should lead to failure. In terms of whether it can be bad or harmful, then that depends also what we’re putting on it. So in itself there’s nothing inherently wrong with the success but of course we do want to make sure what’s motivating it… is it aligning with our our internal values and what what we think is the difference between right and wrong? And whether we are keeping the kind of lid on it, not getting too big headed in our ego.
There’s another question I had. If I can find it a moment ago.. Here it is, yeah, so what happens when success goes to your head?
So what happens when success goes to our heads, and we’ve all been there, is that we gain achievement in a certain area and we actually overplay it. And the reason we do that is because we subconsciously or deep down we have fears that we won’t achieve in other areas.
We know that there are other aspects that we’re trying to achieve and we’re trying to fulfill our basic, genuine, healthy desire to have our needs met and if we have some ‘No’ Permission, some Fear Consciousness around that – people have blocked us in the past so we’ve got constrictions – there can be this tendency when we get success in a different area, to overplay the hand, and to try and compensate.
So again this is an unconscious reaction, it’s not particularly healthy. Well it’s not healthy at all. It’s just sort of covering over insecurity. So actually, when we do that we might realize that we’re avoiding something that we could perhaps face up to.
Okay, so I hope that’s been really helpful for you. There are linking concepts there, I’ll do a video at some point on The Power of Love, and also do one on positive thinking and go into a bit of detail there.
If you haven’t already, as I say you can click the link at the top of the description and get chapters one and two from the Kissing Consciousness handbook. Chapter one is going to talk to you about being in the flow and chapter two will really give you the prequel to what I’ve talked about today in The Power of Love and will allow you to really get into how Kissing Consciousness works, get familiar with The Binary; the two states of Love Consciousness and Fear Consciousness; how that links up to success, how that links up to The Power of Love that we identify, and then all the various other aspects that it can lead on to, and there’s, goodness, I mean there’s 430 pages there, so there’s quite a lot of stuff in terms of … well let’s have a look, shall we? … how that plays out with regard to timing, positive thinking, creativity, genius, trusting our knowing – all these things are reflections of either self-acceptance or self-constriction, so once we get that basic framework there then you can really start to take that further and open up all kinds of areas like your creativity, your genius, your positive thinking, and really get your life working.
So good luck with that, thanks for listening and I’ll see you again.
Real Life: Your Awareness Trumps Your Beliefs and Your Conclusions
Saturday, July 31st, 2021
In my June column I explained that ‘conscious living’ is our ability to be true to ourselves; the only sensible measure of true success that there is. I’ll now explain why awareness, rather than beliefs, is key to that.
You may have heard the Chinese saying that: “He who chases two rabbits catches neither.” Oh, that’s sounds really wise! Yes, I’m going to commit that to myself as a belief system! Well done me! After all, I don’t want to dilute my focus! Here’s another proverb: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!” Oh yes, that’s really wise, too! After all, if one ‘egg’ has a problem I’ve still got the others to fall back on!
Hang on a second! I’ve just realised that those two proverbs contradict each other. They are complete opposites! And pretty soon I’ll realise that virtually all pieces of advice have opposite versions. I now realise that I can’t just rely on my belief systems to run my life and make my decisions for me, I have to use my own skill and judgement to assess what’s really true for me in each given moment. And it’s this insight which led Rikka Zimmerman to this profound piece of wisdom:
“What if you can trust YOU but you can’t trust belief systems?”
Yeaaaah!!!!! What a fantastic insight! If you rely on belief systems, they can always let you down because they are only concepts that represent reality, not reality itself (‘the map is not the territory’). But if you commit to always trusting your own knowing – that ‘knowing’ that you have when you stop justifying your beliefs and conclusions, and instead communicate openly with yourself – then you have the ultimate protection from tripping yourself up! What is justifying? It’s when you know something to be true, but aren’t ready to admit it to yourself, and so you tell yourself an overly intellectualised story that justifies going against your own true ‘knowing’, your own inner wisdom. In Kissing Consciousness, justifying is an expression of Fear Consciousness.
So, we need a new relationship to beliefs in which we hold them lightly, rather than lock them in as conclusions, which are an inhibitor to living from awareness. At first, this may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable, but with practice we can nurture and develop our natural ability to make decisions for ourselves and strengthen that capacity. There is no crutch this way, nothing to rely on, but for those who choose this way of life the rewards are a ‘real’ life. This is the choice of conscious living!
“Let it go…, let it go…” she sings. But how?
Thursday, July 15th, 2021
As Queen Elsa sang in Disney’s Frozen, the concept of ‘letting things go’ has become a norm in our culture. In my last column I promised to explain how to ‘let it go’; now it’s time to deliver.
WHAT? If we’re going to master ‘letting things go’ we need to understand what it is we’re letting go of – and where it is. When we ‘hold onto’ something it’s because we have some form of fear or discomfort around the issue. This makes us feel the need to control the situation, the outcome. We get attached to something, and feel resistance to the opposite, because we’ve been conditioned to feel that some things are not okay.
So, we’re letting go of what I call ‘Fear Consciousness’, which is always a falsehood. You can’t let go of something that’s true, but you can let go of your attachment to it – or your resistance to it. You may be a great painter but fear losing the talent if you’ve been told you’re useless without it. You may be of a certain political or sexual persuasion but fear admitting it to yourself if your family is against it.
WHERE? Science has shown that when people oppress us such that we have to suppress – bury – aspects of our true personality, it doesn’t just create a ‘wound’ that exists in the unconscious mind, it also resides in the body, in the nervous system. So, if your elders repressed your natural capacity to become a millionaire, it’s not just the mental beliefs of that possibility you need to reclaim, you also have to release the constriction from your nervous system and also reclaim – step back into – the body, the physiology of a person willing to receive their millionaire potential… which is actually pretty much everybody. So, we need to let go of a false sense of self… from our unconscious mind and from our body.
HOW? Ten years ago, I wanted to both quit my job and engage with a famous author I’d met online, called Peter Ragnar. But I had fear of becoming homeless, plus shyness about interacting with ‘famous people’. So, I just asked first myself, and then my deeper, subconscious mind and my body (same thing), to let go of those fears, and a couple of months later I simply found they had gone. I quit my job and had a great chat with Peter, who’s since written to compliment my book. Kissing Consciousness calls this ‘Passive Letting Go’ – ask yourself and your ‘Subconscious Bodymind’ to let go of something and then just let the request run its course. You can literally ask your body; “Body, would you like to let that go?” With ‘Active Letting Go’ you ask questions just the same, but you intentionally stay present to the mental, emotional and physiological resistance that typically arises as a result of challenging that historical oppression. Staying present means we allow the feelings to arise without either avoiding them or chasing after them. This act of acceptance integrates them back into our authentic self.
Your Resourcefulness, Your ‘Conscious Score’ and Your Two Lives
Thursday, July 15th, 2021
Is it fair to say life is challenging at the best of times? And now the pandemic has come, life is even more a matter of survival – not just directly from the disease, but economically, psychologically…
Every one of us has an invisible ‘score’ for how conscious we are. Please don’t buy into any notions of conscious living being something flowery for spiritual types, because it is actually one and the same as your own capacity to be true to yourself. ‘Conscious’ just means aware of what is motivating us and driving our actions in a given moment.
When people judge and scold us – usually as children – we shut off parts of our true selves and instead unwittingly take on a false self role in order to gain their approval. This becomes the unconscious’ – a ‘bag’ in which all the unacceptable parts of ourselves are repressed.
If you imagine a cross-section of society, some people will be brought up in a very loving manner, with a kind school culture and an empowering community environment. These people may have ‘Conscious Scores’ of eighty or ninety percent or maybe more. For these people, they are rarely ‘in their head’, find life relatively easy, are almost certainly comfortable in their own skin, and probably wonder what all the fuss is about.
Contrast that with a child who is brought up by abusive parents, an authoritarian school culture which psychologically beats them down and a community that relentlessly manipulates them (perhaps for profit, e.g., incessant television advertising) and you see an adult emerge who may be lucky to be even thirty percent ‘conscious’; unable to be more than thirty percent true to themselves. This is a major inhibitor to living, and even more of a disadvantage when a global pandemic strikes! Where is the emotional and psychological resiliency? Their capacity to tap into their own natural resourcefulness will have been hugely compromised.
Everyone has a ‘conscious score’ between these two extremes. If we then imagine a life in which we had known nothing but unconditional love and acceptance for who we are since birth – domestically, socially, environmentally, culturally – we would be one hundred percent conscious, one hundred percent true to self, with access to one hundred percent of our innate resourcefulness. We would also be unrecognisable from the people we see ourselves as now. Yet this is the more real ‘us’.
The good news is that we can reclaim every last bit of that. Kissing Consciousness is all about closing this gap; helping people to close the gap wherever they wish to. In the next article I’ll show you how, but before then you can also listen to this recent, fifteen-minute radio interview I gave explaining all of this context in more detail. Listen in at www.kissingconsciousness.com/discovering-magazine
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02045 165 091
You, Me and Discovering: Welcome to The Adventure of Kissing Consciousness
Thursday, July 15th, 2021
Hello! I’m James and I’m thankful to Discovering Magazines for inviting me to connect and share with you through this new column. I’m very excited about what you may get out of it.
I’m the founder and author of Kissing Consciousness, a conscious living movement, and I’ve near-perfected the art of helping people to release the conditioned, and therefore false, limitations, self-judgements and self-constrictions that we pick up on life’s journey. Uncover those and you’ll shine like a beacon.
Although you were born without any sense of any need for self-limitation, this life has set us all our own personal ‘portfolio’ of what Kissing Consciousness calls ‘Human File Permissions’; other people shape us to make us feel parts of us are, or aren’t, allowed. This can be anything big from whether we feel free to pursue the career (or lover) of our choice, to whether we can receive a compliment without blushing.
As well as releasing self-constrictions we’ll also learn some fascinating insights around human nature: Emotions don’t need to be scary in the way we’ve been led to believe. Confidence is nothing to do with being loud, it’s merely honest self-confiding (the clue is in the name; confidence). Genius is available to anyone in any given moment. Stress is impossible without self-judgement creating a conflict with our ‘truth’. Positive thinking is basically just the absence of negative thinking.
The key to all of these is the removal of self-judgement and self-constriction. Self-judgement stops you being honest with yourself (confidence) because the judgement implies you ‘shouldn’t’ be a certain thing. It prevents your ever-available genius because it makes you second-guess yourself. It is the negative thinking that impedes what KC calls ‘Positive (Not) Thinking’. And self-judgements make us fear emotions because the notion of how we ‘shouldn’t’ respond to them (crying, shouting, running) creates anxiety around facing them.
At any time, these life skills are essential not just for surviving but also for thriving; the real mark of health and wellbeing. Throw in this COVID era, which is basically global system failure’s ‘sequel’ to the 2008 global financial crash, plus many other system failure challenges like extreme wealth inequality and mental health pressures, and the value of optimising our self-acceptance, resourcefulness, emotional strength and mental health support is obvious. So, I look forward to sharing with you again and imparting more insights.
Oh yes, the name! It’s from the acronym, ‘Keep it simple, stupid’ (KISS).
Life Coaching Tip: Improving Your Odds of Avoiding Cancer and Other Diseases
Thursday, June 24th, 2021
Yesterday’s coaching tip that I shared was about the possibility that one in two of us getting cancer in our lifetime doesn’t have to be a reality for us, despite the fact that that’s what’s been predicted simply based on the past, and we can actually impact that and change that statistic and turn it around.
So this coaching tip will have to look at the ‘how’, or we’re going to start to look at the ‘how’, because there’s hundreds of things that we can do that I would suggest relate to cancer, and the first thing is to understand that cancer and heart disease are degenerative diseases. We don’t really die of infectious diseases like influenza and tuberculosis anymore, certainly not in the Western World.
So then we have to look at why are one in two of us getting cancer? And this is really about the assault on our cells. And it’s also about why I mention Neoliberal economics, the global model that we’ve been living under for the past 40 years, because that is sociopathic by design, as I’ve mentioned. It doesn’t really take into account people or planet, as you might have noticed we’re destroying the planet. It’s purely concerned with shareholders. What that’s meant is that there hasn’t been effective regulation to care properly about you; you and I, and the kind of things we’re consuming.
In 2002, I was with Dr Myron Wentz, the founder of Sanoviv Medical Institute, and he was sharing statistics on how food is the primary cause of cancer, followed second by smoking, and of course all those who smoke are probably eating the same diet that the rest of us are eating – modern diet being processed foods and particularly highly processed foods… are going to be an assault on the cells. And, of course, things like alcohol are as well.
But also, it’s not just about the foods and what we eat and what we drink, it’s a wider toxic environment, so… I’m going to give you an example here. This is something that I use because I was concerned about the aluminium in deodorants …not to mention the fact that they block the pores up. So I got myself some aluminium free deodorants – there’s one called Pit Rock there’s a roll on there, and this is just a spray. But unlike conventional sprays you don’t choke on it the moment you just spray it around the room – you know, that kind of effect that you get. But more particularly it’s kind on the body and my body was certainly delighted when I started using that product. And that applies also across things like toothpaste; are you aware of what toxic metals are in conventional processed toothpaste that we use? What about the metals in the shower water that we’re showering in, the drinking water that we’re drinking?
Then you’ve got pollution in the environment, of course, we’re breathing polluted air from car fumes and all those kind of things. So it’s basically, as I see it, as a numbers game for the cells, and so this is why we need to move beyond the Neoliberal, the conventional society which just produces these products and doesn’t really care too much what effect they have on people as long as it creates a profit for the shareholders, and start to proactively become aware of what we actually imposing upon our bodies.
And we’ve seen recently the case with Johnson & Johnson, the unfortunate ladies who saw a link between their ovarian cancer and the asbestos in the talcum powder that they were using. So unfortunately if we want to avoid these kind of consequences we have to be proactive to find out what’s out there and what’s going on.
Life Coaching Tip: Will One in Two of Us Get Cancer?
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021
In this life coaching tip video, Kissing Consciousness founder, James Blacker, suggests that the claim that “one in two of us will get cancer in our lifetimes” is actually a mere prediction based on what would happen if we – i.e. the human race – do nothing to respond to the fact that our current behaviour is self-destructive.
Hi everyone, James Blacker here, Founder of Kissing Consciousness with a life coaching tip for today – quite a heavy topic you may have seen recently a TV advert statistic coming out saying that in in our lifetimes one in two of us will get cancer.
What do they really mean by that? They actually don’t mean that one in two of us will get cancer in our lifetimes. What they really mean is that if we take the statistics of what’s happened up until now and we continue doing the same things and we project them forwards and assuming that nothing else changes, then based on what’s happened in the past what will happen in the future is that one in two of us will get cancer.
Now that’s basically you and your partner isn’t it, let’s think of it that way, one in two people. Is it acceptable to you that you get cancer? Of course it’s not. Is it acceptable to you that in order to avoid you getting cancer your partner gets it? Of course it isn’t. So that leaves one option; and that is that we change whatever it is that we’re doing that’s causing such high degrees of cancer, and the same goes for heart disease as well. You’ve seen these things; one in two die of heart disease, one in three die of cancer, and different stats for the United Kingdom and the United States and they change over time. A decade ago they would be slightly different, but that’s basically the ballpark.
But that statistic that one in two will get cancer in our lifetime; that presumes that human beings have no capacity whatsoever to recognize a self-destructive behavior and change it. But of course that’s what we have to do. If we want to avoid these horrible statistics we have to buy out of the conventional systems and ways of living that we’re currently doing and find what it is that we need to be doing differently, and do that.
So i’m not going to go into all the details of the specifics of various things, but that’s the the overall message of today, is that we need to start finding out what they are. Anything that’s conventional is going to get conventional results, so we have to look at what’s different to that and that will certainly mean that we start listening to our bodies, but it’s also going to be looking at the fact that for the last 40 years we’ve been living with a global economic model which is literally sociopathic by design.
Neoliberal economics has been designed so that the only thing that matters is shareholder, bottom line return on investment, so employees don’t matter, consumers don’t matter, standards don’t matter, all these kind of things. So the first thing is to understand that that’s the world that we live in. Then we have to opt out of that to the degree to which it’s causing these this horrible health diseases – the kind of statistics that we’re talking about – if we want to have something different happen over the course of our lifetimes.
Dating Coach Tips: Offer Your True Self
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021
“I Can’t Fall in Love with Your False Self!”
This dating coach tip comes from my book, ‘Kissing Consciousness: Inviting in a World Beyond Self-Judgement‘.
Whether we show up to a date as ‘smooth as silk’ or ‘clunky and tripping over our tongue’, we can always have a chance of making a connection as long as we at least show up sincerely and don’t intentionally try to put on an act or wear a ‘mask’, metaphorically speaking.
People may often be tempted to put on a fake persona that they feel may make them more attractive or more acceptable, but this actually makes it impossible for the person sitting opposite from you to be able to connect with you – because you’re not presenting you, you’re not offering them you – you’re offering them a false persona – someone who doesn’t exist. This is a key dating coach tip.
For example, if you have nerves and you relate that openly and honestly to the person you’re dating, at least that’s authentic and you’re communicating from Love Consciousness (your True Self). And in any case, maybe your nerves are really excitement in disguise!!
Are you trying to date or court someone from your Being, or from your self-judgement? Doing so from your self-judgement is the False Self. Whilst Conscious people might have every compassion for you, and won’t judge you for the fact that you’ve been conditioned through negative life experiences to hide your True Self, the False Self is not something that someone even has the chance to connect with.
People can’t authentically fall in love with your Fear Consciousness because it’s a False Self, and so it’s not real. For the other person it’s like being invited to shake hands with a ghost.
Now this doesn’t mean that we have to have healed all of our baggage, all our Fear Consciousness, before we can date or have a relationship. It just means we relate honestly where we are with that.
Indeed, in a Conscious Relationship, both parties will typically recognise the importance of doing ‘Shadow Work’ and will often both have more they wish to address, and so it can be seen as a (shared) work in progress or journey.
Whenever we want to return to our True Self and provide the other person with an authentic version of us they can interact with, we can do our usual thing and release our self-judgements. We can remember The Paradox of Love Consciousness: By having no resistance to being triggered into our False Self we begin the return to being our True Self.
Everywhere where you’ve tried to court and date people from your self-judgement, would you like to let that go?
And would you like to ask your body if it would like to let that go?
Life Coaching on Bucks Breakfast Radio
Thursday, May 27th, 2021
Pippa Sawyer: You’re listening to Bucks Breakfast. That was Goldfrapp and ‘Ooh la la’.
Now, my next guest, James Blacker, is a life coach and healer of trauma, and after the twelve months we’ve had as a nation, or as a global community, I’m sure we all need a little bit of healing, whether it’s our mental health, whether it’s our direction in life, our career choices, our choices in love or what we do with ourselves in our spare time. There’s just so much to talk about here. But let’s just introduce James first of all, good morning, sir!
James Blacker: Hi Pippa, how are you?
Pippa Sawyer: Yeah, not bad at all. Thank you very much for joining me. You’re written a book called ‘Kissing Consciousness’ and it’s about the two states of being which all humans alternate between. Can you expand on that, just explain what you mean by that?
James Blacker: Yes, certainly. So if we think of our life starting from birth, I mean when we’re born we don’t actually have any particularly well-developed mind at all, but after a certain age of around two years old we do have a mind that we kind of have associated as our own, but it has no sense of limitation to it.
Limitation is something that comes afterwards, and often comes through various experiences that we have where parts of ourselves are considered unacceptable to those around us, and so we learn that it’s not safe to show them.
And so this is where we get these two states of being: A person who’s brought up with a lot of unconditional love will probably become an adult with lots of confidence quite naturally, without any effort.
But those who’ve had various challenges, or been told they’re useless, or they’ve had trauma or anything like that, they’re going to find that quite difficult, so they develop this second state of being that we’re talking about.
So you’ve got on the one hand self-acceptance, and on the other something that’s somewhere between self-judgement and self-constriction. And so, of course, that’s how that develops, through various experiences, and so what we want to do is get rid of the self-constriction and help people get back to self-acceptance.
Pippa Sawyer: Okay, so self-constriction, then, would you describe that as a self-defence mechanism? Are we trying to protect ourselves from going through that hurt, that pain again that we suffered earlier in our lives, is that it?
James Blacker: Absolutely. What’s happened is we’ve learned that whatever that part of our personality is, or our interest, we’ve learned that it’s not safe to show that! Somebody has chastised us for it, or it could be in more stronger terms they’ve given us the message that it’s not acceptable to show that.
And so yes, as part of our survival mechanism a deeper part of us that perhaps we didn’t understand at the time puts it in a kind of a box for us, so that we forget about it and it becomes what’s known as ‘the Unconscious’. And so yes, shut away for safety reasons.
Pippa Sawyer: Okay, okay, and actually the conscious or unconscious bit is the key, isn’t it, because we don’t realise why we’re exhibiting these behaviours and why we sometimes bring upon these things onto ourselves which stop us from moving forward.
James Blacker: Yeah, that’s right. There’s a difference between the subconscious and the unconscious, and we’re all familiar with the subconscious as that thing that regulates our body for us without us thinking about it, or when we’ve driven down a country lane for five miles and we’ve realised we weren’t paying attention; something else was driving – that’s the subconscious.
But the unconscious is a different thing. It’s the unacceptable bits, and as you say that kind of creates what’s kind of like an invisible force field that stops us being true to ourselves in those specific areas.
Pippa Sawyer: And can it be fixed, James, this is the key?
James Blacker: Yeah, absolutely, that’s the point of my work. Essentially, to fix it what you’re doing is you’re reversing the process of what happened in the first place.
So when these… let’s say you have a mini trauma event that you find that some aspect is unacceptable, what happens is there becomes a change in the psychology that you kind of forget that part of your personality or you bury it.
But science has also shown that that effect happens in the nervous system, as well, in the physiology of the body. So there are two places that it happens, and so in order to reverse that, essentially what we’re doing is we’re reversing those two experiences, those two actions in the body.
So they were put into the unconscious – and we need to use our conscious awareness to bring them back out again. And that’s all assuming that it’s safe. So let’s say the person who was constricting you has now moved on, you’ve… whatever, you’ve got a new home, you’re now an adult and what have you, then perhaps it’s safe to start looking at things to actually reclaim them.
Pippa Sawyer: And I guess that could be quite a painful process, so how do you guide and help people through that?
James Blacker: Well the first thing is that everything seems to come down to emotional intelligence and emotional freedom to be able to handle whatever happens, so the first thing would be to teach people that whether we call them emotions or feelings, they’re either happening in the body or in the mind.
So if we are unconditional with the body we allow it to deal with emotions and feelings however it wants to, whether that’s screaming, crying or going for a run, or whatever.
Then if we also don’t judge ourselves for what might happen to pass through our thoughts, then we allow a kind of freedom in both mind and body, and so we don’t have any resistance, necessarily, to what’s occurring in our emotions and our feelings.
So it’s not necessarily the emotions or the feelings that are the problem, but most of people’s difficulty is the resistance that they have to those emotions and feelings which creates a kind of a tension.
But actually if they can flow with them then there’s a sort of different experience to actually touching base with them.
Pippa Sawyer: Yeah. It’s interesting that you talk about the physical body, because, I think we’re all aware that we have constricting thoughts and so on around different scenarios and situations, but to understand the physicality of it – talk us through that.
James Blacker: Yeah, okay, so what we call this is ‘Unlocking the Moment’ or ‘Unlocking the Consciousness’, because you’re getting back from what Kissing Consciousness calls a ‘No’ Permission to a ‘Yes’ Permission.
Now the problem if you only do that intellectually is you only half-unlock the Permission. So you kind of have an intellectual sense that you ought to, in theory, be able to allow yourself to achieve or pursue whatever it is, or step into that, but the physiology doesn’t support that.
So as much as people talk about having a millionaire mindset, or a mindset for a great relationship, that’s only half of what you need. You also need the physiology to go with that.
And you can imagine somebody who has an intellectual understanding of their freedom to ask somebody out on a date, but if they don’t have the physiology to go with that they’re stumbling their words, they’re coming across… whatever… they start sweating the moment they start talking and all that kind of thing.
So you do need the physiology to actually complete the unlocking and regaining of all of what was lost before.
Pippa Sawyer: Yeah. You work as a coach, James, so you’re working one-to-one with your clients, and obviously all of that work is confidential and needs to be anonymous, but can you give us an example of somebody that you’ve worked with or a situation that you have managed to unlock and resolve?
James Blacker: Ah yes, tricky one, pretty much across the board. As you say, it’s tricky with the confidentiality thing. The big three things that people have issues around are money, relationships and their body.
So over time, whether one to one’s or in group sessions, I’ve worked with people who have released blocks to all of those.
So in relationships, the big thing is often, let’s say the man goes into fear around the relationship, he goes into attachment to the relationship, attachment to the woman, and develops a fear of loss.
And so that fear of loss becomes a kind of a vicious cycle that becomes needy and unattractive and all that kind of stuff – and then makes it more likely that the woman would become disinterested.
So that’s one example there that you have to reverse that paradox and get people into a state where they’re operating form their confidence and their fearlessness.
Pippa Sawyer: Yeah.
James Blacker: And then with health, often, with health because of these things, because they do exist in the physical body as well, that can be, depending on what the health issue is, but if it’s caused by these self-constrictions then that can unwind the body.
So if you imagine a constricted psychology and a constricted body that goes with it, that’s not necessarily an enjoyable thing for the body; it’s tight, it closed down, hunched shoulders, all that kind of thing.
So actually if you invite the release there, the body can straighten up, relax, release, breathe a bit more and all those kind of things.
Pippa Sawyer: Yeah, yeah. It sounds wonderful, I mean what percentage of the population do you think would benefit if you could sign everybody up for a one-to-one session with you, what percentage of the UK do you think that you could help?
James Blacker: I don’t know, 98%, 95% maybe, something like that.
It’s interesting; I’ve got a note to say a story. I was in a short seminar a couple of years ago – somebody else’s, as part of a business day, somebody did an hour-long session, and this lady asked a room of 20 people; ‘How many of the people in that room considered that they had wellbeing?’ And nobody else did, literally nobody.
And this actually was a room of reasonably high-achievers, so there were ex-headmasters, council workers, and most of the rest of the people were those who ran their own business. So that’s quite astonishing and that was pre-Covid.
So I think we have a sort of superficial, physical view of the world and society functioning and such like, but actually underneath it’s quite… there’s a lack of wellbeing, it’s quite dysfunctional and problematic.
Pippa Sawyer: Is it a British thing, James?
James Blacker: No, no, it’s not. No, if you think back into history, if you think of the centuries that we’ve had, we’ve had the Victorian era, and then we had the war era, and so there was a lot of trauma there, and so humanity’s never really got – yet – to a point where people are being brought up in a state of unconditional love, and allowed to express all of their aspects of themselves without judgement.
So we’re kind of… we might get to a point over the next four years or something like that where that comes in a bit more, but no, it’s certainly not just a British thing.
Pippa Sawyer: Is that the seat of everything, then, being brought up with unconditional love?
James Blacker: Yeah, pretty much, because the old cliché is whether you’re brought up with money or not. But actually because we see people who were brought up with money who are successful, and people who are brought up with money who are a mess. And we see people who are brought up in poverty who are successful, and we see people who are brought up in poverty who are a mess. Then that’s not necessarily the most important factor.
But actually, if we’re allowed to be ourselves in every way then that’s a great freedom to give a child growing up.
And the opposite of that is… essentially what we’re talking about is what Carl Jung called ‘Shadow Baggage’, where you have to deny parts of yourself.
So if you have a lot of that it’s been kind of said to be like trying to climb a ladder when you’ve got a broken arm.
Pippa Sawyer: Yeah. Yeah. James, tell us about the book, is it out now?
James Blacker: Yeah, the book’s been out since last September. It’s called ‘Kissing Consciousness: Inviting in a World Beyond Self-Judgement’, and it’s available from about 6,000 stores worldwide, online, in Kindle and paperback format.
Pippa Sawyer: Okay, and obviously we’re not going to have you on the other end of a Zoom or sitting across from us in a room, so is this a step-by-step guide to unlocking the things that are constricting us? How is the book formatted?
James Blacker: Yeah, yeah absolutely, well actually I did a Stockholm seminar back in Sweden a few years ago and I realised that after a good event the energy just goes away, just naturally, because it does, people go home.
And so I needed a book, and also I’ll be doing facilitator training so that people can carry on the stuff even when I’m not here.
Now the book goes through ‘The Power of Love’ and explains what that is. Then it explains these two states that we’ve been talking about; Love Consciousness and Fear Consciousness, i.e. self-acceptance and self-constriction.
Then in the next chapter it goes into the tools and how you get rid of that. And then finally in the last three chapters, applying that to three things I talk about; money and body and relationships.
Pippa Sawyer: Fascinating. James, it’s been a delight to chat to you this morning.
I first interviewed James eight years ago back in another life, so it’s great to see you looking so healthy and being successful and thank you for talking to us this morning, it’s a fascinating topic, and one we could talk about for… well all day, actually, but the book is out now, it’s called ‘Kissing Consciousness’ and you’ll find James Blacker on social media and on LinkedIn and various other platforms. Do you have your own website, James?
James Blacker: Yeah, KissingConsciousness.com. It comes up on Google because it’s such a strange name.
Pippa Sawyer: Lovey. Okay, KissingConsciousness.com. James, thanks very much for joining me this morning.
James Blacker: Thanks, Pippa. Nice to speak to you again.