Friday, October 16, 2020

Blake D. Bauer Interview - You Were Not Born to Suffer

Photo Content from 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.


What inspired you to write You Were Not Born to Suffer?
I suffered deeply in my teens and early 20’s. I had a painful upbringing and developed a very destructive relationship to alcohol, drugs and food. I hit a rock bottom at 18, after getting a very bad DUI on pharmaceutical pills, cannabis and alcohol. I was a co-captain of the varsity football team at this time with interest to play college football. But when my coach found out he immediately kicked me off the team. This triggered a downward spiral where I found myself tortured mentally and emotionally with no idea about what to do. I had destroyed my young fragile identity and ego. This led to me having no idea who I was or what to do with my life, and then I fell into an even darker place where I was suicidally depressed, anxious, insecure, paranoid from my drug use, and deeply confused.

Instinctually a feeling grew inside me that there had to be a way out of my suffering. I believed that life was not meant to be so hard, which led me on a quest to find freedom, peace, health and clarity of purpose in life. From 18 onward I devoted myself to my healing because nothing else mattered to me. I worked in the alternative health space, I went to five universities, I studied practices like yoga, meditation, and Qi Gong daily in depth, and I read 100’s of books on health, healing, spirituality, religion, science and personal development.

Eventually I realized that my entire healing, spiritual and educational journey was really my process of learning how to love, value and take good care of myself. From all my training I could see and outline how most forms of mental and physical health issues were the result of us never learning how to love, value and care for ourselves practically as children. Our parents, teachers, and community leaders didn’t really know how to themselves so they couldn’t teach us, and so this cycle of self-destruction was being passed on from generation to generation.

I was desperate to transform my own pain and to understand how to really heal, be happy and find purpose in life. So when I found this clarity, I very naively and genuinely just wanted to tell as many people as I could. The very next thought was ‘I’m going to write a book.’ I became overwhelmingly driven to explain to as many people as I could what brought me clarity and relief, in hopes that it would do the same for them.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I’d say that everything and everyone influenced my writing. In addition to my personal healing and growth, I’ve had the honor of working one on one and in groups with thousands of individuals helping them address their deepest wounds and improve the quality of their health, life, and relationships. Witnessing people in such a vulnerable and real way impacted me deeply and I learned a great deal from each person I worked with.

Throughout the years I was working on my book, every person I met and every personal heartache and insight that I experienced, informed the practical lessons I was writing about. What I understood about my past and the awareness I was integrating in the present, all converged into what I hoped would be a very practical, no b.s. support to life’s greatest challenges, for as many people as possible.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I can’t choose between two that come to mind. The first stems from each time I meet someone or receive an email from someone, who has read my book and who genuinely feels it has changed their life. These experiences inspire me to keep going and to continue doing the work I do. The second, which is intimately connected to the first, would be the fact that I was rejected by over 100 agents and publishers when I first pitched my book. I was 24 years old when I first started working on it and the publishing world looked at me as a young nobody, that couldn’t know much being so ‘green.’ Eventually, through a writing contest, I won a contact with one of the largest personal development publishers in the world, only to have that project fall through for ‘budgetary reasons’. This was heart breaking. It was also the tipping point where I decided to value my ideas and my calling to help people completely on my own. I decided to self-publish the first edition. I printed, found distribution, marketed, and traveled three continents teaching based on my ideas. The book first became a top bestseller in Australia where I was living at the time, and then a few years later an old traditional publisher in London bought the book from me. It’s now an international bestseller in 10 languages. It’s been very rewarding to not let anything stop me from following through on the inner knowing I had to share my ideas and approach, in hopes of simply helping as many people as I could.

Can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about You Were Not Born to Suffer?
Beyond what one might gather from my answers above I would say that the book outlines what I feel are some of the most important life lessons we face as human beings. More specifically, it outlines how to love, value, express, honor, believe in, and be true to yourself practically each day. I feel the book can help anyone who is really suffering, if they are willing to give it a chance. Every chapter ends with very confronting and practical questions/exercises, which have proven very effective.

  • 1. I realized that the path to finding the source of love within us, which is also the path to embodying the love that we are, is one that requires all of us to answer the evolutionary call to master loving ourselves unconditionally, because this is the only way to truly love others, find peace, be well, or do our personal part to make this world a better place.
  • 2. In my experience, which I am sure is similar to your own, there is no such thing as ‘normal’. Although it is so common to think ‘he or she is normal but I am not’ or ‘their family is normal’ or ‘why can’t I just be normal?’ deep down we all know real life is stranger than fiction. Maybe the reason we can never get to ‘normal’ is because it does not exist. It’s like trying to find a city on a map you’re holding, only this city never existed and the person who drew the map did not know what they were talking about. Being normal is mainly about being socially accepted, or, in other words, avoiding the judgement of other people. Of course no one wants to be criticized, but at some stage we have to make a choice between rejecting ourselves in exchange for the approval of others and taking the risk of being honest about our thoughts and feelings, regardless of the consequences. Eventually you will realize that the pain of rejecting yourself is far greater than the pain of being rejected or judged by other people. So if being normal or socially accepted means you do not speak and act based on what you genuinely think and feel, you will always remain unhappy.
  • 3. Eventually, I think we’ll all remember that love is the pr4ism through which every human need is met. In my opinion, from the very beginning of this universe right through to the beginning of this lifetime, we all take form and are created in the energy of love, which is why, whether we’re aware of it or not, it has always been our destiny to return home to the source of love from which we came, only to realize that we never actually left. Our depth of peace is simply an evolution in how clearly we (1) perceive the truth of our existence, and (2), feel the real love that gives it meaning.
  • 4. We’re all born knowing we came here to enjoy our life, our body, and to experience love as completely as possible. We know we did not come into this world to become stuck, numb, unhappy or unwell. Although some of us believe we have to die or be reborn to be free, the truth is that physical death is not the real road to salvation. Our true liberation is waiting for us here and now, in this lifetime and body. All we have to do is find the courage to speak our truth and follow our heart no matter what.
  • 5. You do not need to break down physically or mentally before it’s okay to talk about your emotions or to take personal time to care for yourself. It’s okay to attend to yourself now, before seeking love, attention or security externally makes you feel worse than you do today. If you don’t give yourself space and permission to understand this truth within you, it makes it hard to find or attract the true love, connection, peace or happiness you’re seeking.
  • 6. For those of us who often feel inadequate, insecure, undeserving or unworthy of love, we will constantly abandon and betray ourselves for the love of others to the point where we repeatedly find ourselves in situations where we feel used, unappreciated, valueless or worthless to those around us as well as to ourselves. Underneath these painful situations, however, is the empowering truth that we’re not actually victims in any way. We’re actually the ones who’ve compromised ourselves for the conditional acceptance, approval, attention and support of other people and thus we can change this self-destructive pattern.
  • 7. Desire that is free from denial and fear actually leads to joy, healthy creative expression and peace. The evolutionary force of the universe, which is alive inside every one of our cells, is always guiding us forward towards the health and happiness we seek through our desires. Regardless of how hard we try, the universe’s desire to express itself through our physical existence cannot be stopped, because you and I are both one with, and also the result of, this creative force and intelligence that deeply desires to know itself and enjoy itself through everyone and everything that comes into being.
  • 8. The primary reason so many of us do not have faith in ourselves, in our life’s purpose, in life itself, in the universe or in God right now is because we know that in the past we have not related to ourselves from a place of unconditional love, kindness and honesty. Rather, we know we’ve hurt ourselves by lying to ourselves, compromising ourselves, abandoning ourselves, not valuing ourselves, and by not expressing our truth. Most of us do not trust ourselves because we keep betraying ourselves on a daily basis out of fear. We keep giving away our personal power, happiness and security to other people in exchange for their conditional and often toxic love, acceptance, approval and support.
  • 9. As we welcome our experiences fully through our breath in each moment, we become one with our experience and thus quite effortlessly put an end to a significant amount of our suffering. By opening to life with each breath rather than contracting, we organically accept our unity with all that exists. As a direct result, the pain we’ve felt from feeling isolated, insecure, mistreated or unloved eventually melts away into the loving silence from which it came, and all we’re left with are the joy and bliss of simply being alive.
  • 10. One of the most important realizations I’ve ever had in my life is that it is not until we jump, take a leap of faith and risk everything we’ve known before that life can give us what we desire most. The logic behind this is that when we allow ourselves to be the victim of our fears – meaning we allow our fears of failure, judgement, pain, rejection or the unknown to stop us from being true to ourselves or from pursuing what feels good to us – our heart remains closed, which literally blocks us from receiving the very things we’ve been seeking or asking for. It’s like being tortured and starved of food for weeks, but when someone opens our cage and offers us nourishing food, we are scared to leave the cage and we keep our hands over our mouth, refusing to receive the very things we need. In other words, when we allow our fears to drive our choices, the actions we do not take and the opportunities we allow to pass us by are symbolic of us rejecting both ourselves and the life we were born to live.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
A few things come to mind. Fall in love completely, without letting fear or pride stop you. Spend time in Italy and the mountains of Colorado. Apologize to the anyone you’ve really hurt.

What is your most treasured memory?
I’d have to say the days I spent with my late brother a month before he overdosed on heroin… Not the happiest but definitely one of the most treasured.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
I have way too many, truly. I always say that truth is stranger than fiction and all fiction comes from truth. My mom loved the TV show Dynasty, which is where she got my name ‘Blake’. Not only was I named after a soap opera star, I was also born into a very dramatic and colorful family. I have an uncle who owned a high end gentleman’s club in Chicago. He also owned the Gianni Versace store in Chicago and helped president Bill Clinton ‘meet’ women. I had another uncle who made 10’s of millions of dollars as commodity trader, only to pass away with nothing at a very young age. His wife, my aunt, was found dead in a bathtub years prior. I lost a brother to heroin, who I was told was set up and given a ‘hot shot’ or a poisonous dose because he owed money to the Hell’s Angels. And the list goes on and on. Although I am working on a new book, I also spent two years studying screen writing with the top teachers in the world and I’m looking forward to writing a few films. I have too much material to work from.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
A few come to mind. First I’d have to say the process itself. I love to have coffee and lose myself in my writing. As I described above, receiving genuine feedback from my first readers was another very meaningful memory. And lastly, I would say when I started receiving copies of my book in different languages. My little vulnerable, genuine, and naive idea at 24, grew into a reality that is helping many people every year in dozens of countries.

Take charge of your health, happiness, and inner peace with this authoritative guide on treating yourself with kindness, acceptance, and compassion

In this life-changing book, Blake Bauer explains why depression, addiction, physical illness, unfulfilling work, and relationship problems are caused by years of hiding your true emotions, denying your life purpose, and living in fear. Having already helped thousands of people find lasting solutions that conventional medicine, psychiatry, or religion couldn't offer, You Were Not Born to Suffer will show you how to free yourself from these destructive thoughts, habits, and situations that keep you from being happy and well.

In simple practical steps you'll learn how to slow down and create a healthier relationship to yourself that is based on acceptance, kindness, honesty, and self-worth. You'll also find out how to transform the stress, anxiety, and insecurity that result from constantly trying to please others into lasting confidence, self-respect, and inner peace.

Whether it's negative thinking, financial worry, loneliness, guilt, or self-doubt that's holding you back, Blake Bauer's words will move you to take better care of yourself, heal old pain, and courageously move forward. If you're ready to enjoy your life, feel passionate about your work, and create fulfilling relationships, this book will support you to live authentically, love wholeheartedly, and finally value yourself enough to put everyday health and happiness at the center of your life.
You can purchase You Were Not Born to Suffer at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you BLAKE D, BAUER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of You Were Not Born to Suffer by Blake D. Bauer.