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Blake D. Bauer: “Take Time and Space for Yourself”

Express Your Emotions Honestly and Kindly Our mental wellness is intimately connected to our emotional health. And our relationship to our emotions directly impacts our mind and thought processes far more than we realize. A significant amount of our unhealthy or negative thoughts are in fact symptoms of repressed emotions. These overwhelming or imbalanced thoughts are […]

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Express Your Emotions Honestly and Kindly

Our mental wellness is intimately connected to our emotional health. And our relationship to our emotions directly impacts our mind and thought processes far more than we realize. A significant amount of our unhealthy or negative thoughts are in fact symptoms of repressed emotions. These overwhelming or imbalanced thoughts are alerting us to the deeper feelings, needs, and desires that we’re ignoring or internalizing.


As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness” I had the pleasure of interviewing Blake D. Bauer.

Blake 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.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

As a teenager and young adult I struggled very deeply mentally and emotionally. In my teens, I abused alcohol and drugs to the point that I was arrested a number of times for drug possession. I also played football in high school and was co-captain of the varsity team senior year, along with my two best friends. When I was 17, during the summer before senior year, I got a very bad DUI after a night of excessive cannabis, alcohol, and pharmaceutical pill use. My football coach found out half way through my senior year season and decided to kick me off the team. From there I spiraled down hill and fell into a very dark depression. I had destroyed and sabotaged everything I cared about and identified with. At the age of 18 I found myself very lost and confused, tortured by anxiety, negative thinking, and suicidal thoughts. My ego, or who I believed myself to be, completely shattered. At the same time, I was facing a major life decision and juncture about what path to take in life. Do I go to work, do I study, what do I study? Is success and happiness about making money? I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to do with my life, which only added to my suffering, shame, and anxiety.

It’s a much longer story but at 18 years old I began asking two questions every day. ‘How do I heal myself, or free myself from my suffering?’ And, ‘What is the purpose of my life?’ I moved forward each day solely wanting to answer and understand the keys to being healthy, happy and fulfilled. This quest led me to 5 different universities, to working for a seventh generation Chinese herbalist and oncology M.D., to reading 100’s of books on health, happiness, healing, alternative medicine, personal development, religion, and spirituality, and to studying with masters in practices like meditation, yoga, tai chi and qi gong. After years of extensive study, work, and personal practice in all these areas, the only thing I grew to care about was sharing what I had learned with other people who were also struggling with their health, happiness, purpose, and relationships. Personally I was so desperate to understand how to feel well mentally, emotionally, and physically, and also to understand the purpose of my life, that when I found the clarity I was seeking, I simply wanted to share it with as many people as I could. This calling led first to private work with individuals, then to seminars, workshops, and retreats with larger groups, and then to the publication of my first book, which is now translated in 10 languages and thankfully helping people all over the world.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I was 24 years old when I had the idea for my first book. I started looking for an agent and pitching to publishers but no one took me seriously. I was rejected by over 100 agents and publishers because they looked at me as though ‘what could this kid know.’ Eventually, through a writing competition, I won a contract with one of the largest personal development publishers in the world, which at the time was a dream come true. The book series I was contracted to be a part of was not doing well and the budget was cut. I was first to go because I was a ‘nobody’ in their eyes. I was so heart broken and confused at first, but then I decided that I would self-publish my book and not wait for anyone to say that my experiences were valid or that what I had learned was valuable. I had a very strong drive and calling, and so at the age of 27 I self-published the first edition of my book. During this time, I reached out to the office of the Dalai Lama many times asking for his endorsement. As a young man finding my way in the world I felt misunderstood in Western/American society because my priorities were not about money or material success, but rather about peace and genuinely helping people. I never got his office to agree but I proceeded to print, distribute, market and travel to speak in Australia, the UK and the US, and my book eventually became a bestseller. A number of the publishers and agents who rejected me years prior later approached me and wanted to buy my book or represent my next work. I share this because I think it’s interesting how life unfolds, but more importantly, I want to convey that if you do not give up on your dream and calling, life will move things in your favor in ways you cannot imagine. If you value yourself and believe in your vision, life will begin to value and support it as well.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

The lesson that stands out the most was believing that my vision could come to fruition ‘overnight’. I often felt very clear about what I wanted to achieve and what I would create, and I thought it could happen as soon as I wanted it to. I naively ‘just wanted to get there.’ What I later realized was that even though my impatience was coming from a very genuine place, it was also reflective of the lessons and growth I had to go through to actually be ready for the life I wanted to create. The time between the idea and its actualization is life’s way of testing the depth of our calling, preparing us for what we’ve asked for, and making sure it’s an ideal path or choice for us over time.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’d have to say both my mother and step-father. Neither of them ever understood my choices or my path in life but they never completely gave up on me either. As I mentioned I was very self-destructive and out of control as a teenager. I had a number of people in my family who struggled with drug addiction and similar unhealthy habits, so it was not a surprise that I followed in their footsteps. My step-father, however, was a very old school, straight, and disciplined guy. He didn’t use drugs nor did he drink much. He was very hard on me when he came into my life at the age of 11 and I resented him for it for many years. But as I got older and found my calling in life, I grew to appreciate and respect his influence on me. I always felt misunderstood by both my parents, but they challenged me to think critically and to analyze every move I was making. I never conformed to what they thought I should do with my life, nor did I let their harsh criticism break me when it came my way. As a young man trying to understand myself and life, I used it as fuel and grew stronger in my resolve to prove them wrong. My step-father’s presence always challenged me to have clear logical answers, even if those answers were not what he or my mom wanted to hear. We butted heads often, but he helped me get very clear for myself at a young age, which was in fact what I needed and proved to be very supportive

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

This is a loaded question. Firstly, I’d say it’s critical to walk your talk in terms of cultivating the mental, emotional and physical health that you’re encouraging in your clients or students. Integral to this is making sure you have space daily for your own self-care practices so your energy and health reserves remain full. Secondly, it’s imperative to clean house and ensure you’re attending to your own unhealed wounds and unconscious drives.

A very common theme for helping professionals is giving so much time and attention to other people and not taking care of oneself enough. Underneath this habit are typically unconscious patterns that need to be addressed in order to be both effective and well. Many helping professionals seek validation and self-worth through their work, which is why many people get caught in the loop of never feeling like they’re doing enough. Often our sense of value is tied up in the results we see in clients or students, when in reality the choices a person makes surrounding their health and happiness are really not up to us in any way. Another way of saying this is that we can never save or fix anyone, but in the beginning of our professional career we often try to. We unknowingly derive our sense of self-worth from the unpredictable decisions of other people, which is not a healthy approach.

Rather than seek validation externally, run ourselves into the ground, or try to play the role of a pleasing helping professional, I have found it much more effective to simply be completely honest, real and even blunt with clients. Ironically, when you can share genuinely and directly from what you know has worked for you and for your clients, without seeking a client’s approval or being attached to the outcome, your efficacy will increase many times over. In simple terms, take very good care of yourself, embody an example of a healthy, happy, fulfilled individual, and then just be as real and kind as you can be.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

A few key approaches come to mind.

First, I believe that anything or anyone we take for granted we will eventually lose or push away. For this reason, I think it’s important to find ways to show gratitude for each person, their effort, and their presence, regardless of their role in the organization.

Second, as a leader I think you need to be completely open and honest so you create an environment of healthy, effective communication. This openness encourages the free flow of ideas and emotions, which is critical to staying solution-minded and resolving any personal, relational, or project centered issues that arise. Rather than creating a culture where your colleagues fear you, you can create an atmosphere of trust and safety, where people respect you and simply want to be their best for you and the team.

Third, which goes hand and hand with the first point, is recognizing the importance of simple kindness and respect. Words are more powerful than we realize and as a leader the way in which you communicate and express yourself in every situation is shaping the culture of your organization. If you’re unkind, derogatory, or critical in an insensitive way, your team will feel defensive, unsafe, and resent you, even if they never say so. Their thoughts and feelings toward you will undermine any genuine drive to do and give their best.

Fourth, I would identify what the purpose of your organization is. If you can communicate this mission statement clearly, along with the values that support the realization of this ‘reason for being’, you can offer your team inspiration and a deeper sense of meaning when they come to work each day. Rather than allowing staff to wake up and feel as though they are just coming to a job to pay the bills, I think an effective leader can awaken a sense of purpose in their team so that each person feels that they matter and are part of something greater.

Lastly, I would encourage self-care time and space during the workday. Your team will be healthier and happier if they can take some time every hour or two during a long work day to do something that nourishes them. This can be a break for coffee, exercise, meditation, a chair massage, or to get some fresh air. Actively encouraging this will lead to improved mental, emotional, and physical health, which in turn will result in a team that appreciates their leadership and wants to demonstrate optimal performance.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.

Express Your Emotions Honestly and Kindly

Our mental wellness is intimately connected to our emotional health. And our relationship to our emotions directly impacts our mind and thought processes far more than we realize. A significant amount of our unhealthy or negative thoughts are in fact symptoms of repressed emotions. These overwhelming or imbalanced thoughts are alerting us to the deeper feelings, needs, and desires that we’re ignoring or internalizing.

Throughout a given day we’re either aware of what we’re feeling and then expressing it honestly and kindly, or we’re not. When we internalize our emotions regularly, we literally create a build up of inner tension, which then causes physical stress and an increase in cortisol levels. This leads to further psychological stress, negative thinking, a lack of tolerance, limited patience, and the kind of unhealthy reactions that hurt both ourselves and the people around us. Over time, internalizing what we feel very literally causes depression and leads to further struggle in all life areas.

Every time you internalize your emotions, you’re not only rejecting your true self and hurting yourself, but you’re literally causing stagnation in the flow of energy and blood in your body, which always translates into depressed, agitated and frustrated thinking. This process becomes a vicious cycle that actually weakens our immune system and keeps unhealthy lifestyle habits in place. If we feel we do not matter — that our feelings, needs and goals do not matter to ourselves or to the people around us — this form of self-harm grows into resentment, pessimism and eventually physical illness. Maintaining the healthy flow of blood, energy, and emotion is critical to keeping our mental and physical immune system strong. The only practical way to do this is to honor what you truly feel, need and want on a daily basis, and share it with whomever you’re in relationship with.

Simply expressing yourself is however not quite enough. There is one more vital step. The key to expressing ourselves effectively is understanding the importance of expressing what we feel as kindly and mindfully as possible. Most of us learned very aggressive forms of communication that hurt and push people away. And these habits leave us reacting mentally in ways that create shameful, guilty and self-critical thoughts. For example, if you think about a situation where you’ve been upset, deep down you likely felt hurt, frustrated, angry or misunderstood. But rather than knowing how to say ‘I feel hurt…’ or ‘I feel angry…’ we tend to point the finger, blame, curse, raise our voice, and say mean things that push people away. This then causes further distance, misunderstanding, and regret because deep down we really don’t want to speak in hurtful ways, even when we’re hurting. In simple terms, we cannot maintain mental wellness unless we learn to be kind and mindful with our words in every situation.

Act In Integrity

We often feel one way, and then say or do the opposite. Following on from the above step, it is a critical to our mental wellbeing to act in alignment with what we truly feel, need and want. Each time you allow fear, guilt, shame, or self-doubt to stop you from moving in the direction you genuinely feel is right or best, you literally hurt yourself and stop your blood, energy, emotion and immune system from flowing properly. The result of this dynamic is always negative thinking, inner conflict, and a weakness in our mental health.

If you reflect on your life today, you’ll most likely recognize a situation where you feel something you’re not expressing, or where you want to take an action that you’re not taking. If you ask yourself why you’re not 100% in integrity in these situations, you’ll discover that you hold a belief that if you express yourself honestly or you act in alignment with your true feelings, things will not work out. In other words, you’ll see that you do not trust life fully because if you did, you would have faith that you can be 100% true to yourself and everything will be ok.

We don’t realize that our self-doubt is actually a symptom of all the times in the past that we have betrayed our true feelings, mistreated ourselves, and not acted in integrity. So when you say you do not trust life, what you’re really saying is you do not trust yourself. If you think about how you’ve probably treated yourself over the course of your life, and how many times you’ve betrayed, hurt, or been cruel to yourself, it becomes easy to see why you dis-trust both yourself and Life. Paradoxically, the only way to heal your self-doubt and low self-esteem is to act on what you truly feel, need and want, even though you may be scared or uncertain. Over time, this vulnerable honesty with yourself and with others builds into deep self-confidence, self-respect, and belief in yourself.

Take Time and Space for Yourself

Time alone, to be with your thoughts and feelings, to move at your natural pace, to care for your body, and to do things that make you feel alive and well, is another critical key to mental wellness. We all need space each day to breathe, reflect, relax, move, or do things that bring us joy and make us feel well. Without this personal time, there can be no health, happiness or clarity. It’s life changing to seriously consider how you might create more space in your schedule, so you’re not always over committed, rushed and stressed. This might entail waking up a bit earlier, saying no to plans with friends or family, or not scheduling every hour of your day in the name of productivity. Even in terms of self-care, it’s ironic when you hear people rushing and stressed to get to a yoga class. This approach becomes counter productive when you’re always pushing yourself, or trying to please everyone around you. Try to slow down, stop running, and listen to your deeper feelings and needs. Our mind needs time to unwind and relax if we want to function and live at our best.

Take Care of Your Mind

What you think about and what you give your attention to throughout the day literally shapes your life. If your thoughts are scattered or negative, then your whole day is going to feel the same. For this reason, it is critical that you develop a healthy and deeply intimate relationship with your mind. Practically speaking, the morning offers the greatest opportunity to consciously create a day that feels good to you and is supportive of your mental health. The thoughts you think when you first wake literally set the tone for the type of day you’re going to have. If you wake feeling anxious or stressed, and you don’t do anything to shift it, your day is going to be full of anxiety and tension. However, if you intentionally take 10–15 minutes in the morning to take care of your mind, you can prevent yourself from feeling spread thin and then go about your day feeling more present, clear and centered. When you break it down, your habits of thought in the morning basically govern your entire life. So understanding how to work with your thoughts in the healthiest way upon waking is essential to taking care of yourself, creating what you want in life, and simply feeling well.

Simple Deep Breathing Meditation

Wherever you are, take a few slow, deep breaths into your belly or lower abdomen. After you read this section, you can close your eyes if you’d like to. I recommend closing your mouth and breathing through your nose. Feel your whole body, starting at your feet, moving up your legs to your hips against the chair you’re sitting on. Then move your attention upward to the top of your head, and then down to your arms to your fingertips. Please breath deep into any tension you feel and just let yourself be. Using each inhalation to expand and open your body from the inside out, you can literally create more space within to welcome everything you’re thinking, feeling and experiencing here in this moment. Simply focus on your body and your breathing, and when your mind begins to wander just notice it, and then intentionally bring your attention back to your body and your breathing. It’s very helpful to say the word ‘thinking’ to yourself each time you notice you are lost in thought. It is an objective prompt for you to make a choice to bring your awareness back to your body and your breathing when you notice you were carried away by your thinking habits. Practicing this daily, starting fist things in the morning, will help you to 1) stop feeling powerless over negative and overwhelming thoughts, and 2) it will help you feel more centered and clear mentally.

Practice choosing and guiding your thoughts.

Most of us don’t know that we have the power to choose thoughts and guide our thinking towards things that make us feel well. Just like driving a car, when your mind starts to drift toward negative thoughts that cause you stress, you can ‘turn the wheel’ and guide your mind back in a healthier direction. The main reasons we’re not aware of our innate ability to do this is because one, we simply never learned how to and two, because most people just allow their thoughts to run wild and unchecked, which is very damaging and directly undermines our mental wellbeing. Many people also believe they are their thoughts, or the voice in their head, which is not true. Our thoughts are only a part of us, but they are a very powerful part. If we don’t develop a healthy understanding of them they will sabotage our mental health and happiness.

Here are three very simple yet effective ways to guide your thinking. Please note that each step is defined by you exercising your innate capacity to choose what you think about and to guide the direction of your thoughts.

  1. Choose right now to think about 3 things you are truly thankful for. When you have time, try making a list of every little thing you can think of, that you’re grateful for. Notice how you can shift how you feel by intentionally choosing what you think about.
  2. Choose right now to think about 3 things that you really want in your life, such as; to be happy, to travel somewhere, to take a class, to create an amazing relationship, etc. Here again, it’s helpful to make a list of everything you want, when you have space. Notice how you can shift how you feel by intentionally choosing what you think about.
  3. Send prayers or well wishes to the people you care about most. Think about the most important people in your life and intentionally wish them the best in health, happiness, love, finances, and whatever additional needs they have.
  4. For optimal results, I recommend doing at least 10 minutes of meditation in the morning to set the tone for your day, and then immediately after, intentionally take these three steps in choosing and guiding your thoughts. This practice first thing in the morning, before doing anything, is a key to breaking through wherever you’re stuck and creating your day in a way that supports your mental wellness.

Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.

Dive Into the 5 Steps Above

The busyness of life and the demands of attending to our responsibilities often limits the time we’ve devoted to truly caring for our mind, our emotional life, and to the critical subtleties of healthy self-care. It’s crucial to address the 5 steps above because with more time on your hands you will reflect on your life and the choices you’ve made, and everyone wants to look back and both respect themselves and feel good.

Start ticking off your bucket list.

No one wants to leave this world with significant regret, so I think it’s important to start doing all the things you’ve wanted to experience throughout your life, but never made time for or gave yourself permission to. For example, taking a domestic or international trip that you’ve always been interested in can unlock deep joy and enrich your sense of life satisfaction. Returning from these experiences often leaves us feeling fulfilled and well, especially in the midst of our ‘normal’ routines and habits.

Spend time with friends and family

It’s common to neglect personal relationships while building and raising a family. Many people allow their world to become very small because there’s only so much time and energy to attend to our major responsibilities. As a result, it’s easy to lose touch with friends and family members who you do care about and who’s company you enjoy. This can lead to feeling isolated and not talking to anyone about your feelings. The sad irony is that the people you’ve lost touch with are likely going through similar experiences. But many people never risk reaching out. I encourage you to be the one to reach out and attempt to make a plan to reconnect and catch up.

Try new things until you find activities or hobbies that bring you joy

I find many people don’t know what makes them happy or brings them joy. If you’ve worked hard your entire life to provide for a family or to raise your family and maintain your home, there often was not a lot of time to just explore hobbies or subjects that were not practical in some way. It’s very supportive of your mental wellbeing to just go try new activities without being attached to their outcome or their practicality. For example, take a painting class, or a writing class, or a cooking class, or a dance class. Or all of them. If there’s any subject that peeks your curiosity or that you feel an instinctual positive energy about, just go book in and allow yourself to explore it. The parts of us that we often abandon or neglect in the name of hard work or practicality, typically hold the keys to long term mental and emotional health.

Exercise Daily

Mental wellness is directly linked with physical wellness, which is why it’s important to make sure you find a form of movement and exercise that you can do daily. Even simply walking will keep your circulation strong, your immune system functioning more effectively, and your thoughts and emotions flowing in healthy ways. There are many forms of exercise that you may not be familiar with but which are very effective, enjoyable, and gentle on the body. Yoga, tai chi, qi gong, dance, and swimming are all wonderful forms of movement for your body which will keep your mind sharp and well.

Say What You Haven’t Said

It’s common to live for years with important things unsaid. Both expressing love and resolving old wounds are very important in terms of mental wellness after retirement. With more time to think, unaddressed conflicts will surface and there will be a choice to say it either matters or it does not. In my experience many people will leave this life with significant regret because they did not tell the people they loved how much they love them while alive, or they allowed old wounds, mistakes, or pride to justify never finding peace in an important relationship. With these dynamics in mind, it’s very important to tell the people you love how much you love them before it’s too late. It’s important to apologize for any harm you caused another person when you were less mature and unaware. And it’s also important to be honest with anyone who has truly hurt or betrayed you.

Just because you might be the older person in the situation does not mean something can’t happen to your children or to the people around you before your final days. People get ill, people get in bad accidents, unexpected things happen. For all these reasons, I encourage you to write a letter to these important people telling them how you feel. You can also pick up the phone, or find a way to make plans to talk. We tend to lose whatever or whomever we take for granted and this is true for our health as well as for our most valuable relationships. In the name of leaving this world with peace in your heart, be fully transparent and tell the people you love how you feel. It will make every situation better and healthier over time.

How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?

  1. Once again, the 5 steps above for mental wellness are key for younger people to learn and practice. It will help them avoid a great deal of struggle and heartache in their adult lives. If they learned the 5 steps outlined above, they would develop a very strong and healthy sense of self, and they would also be empowered to create a very authentic and fulfilling life.
  2. With the prevalence of technology and social media in our world today, many young people don’t have a strong sense of self, or who they are, independent of the identity they’ve created in the virtual world online. This is a major problem because one’s identity must come from a deep connection to oneself apart from any association with their image on social media or the internet. I have spoken to therapists who specifically work with teenagers and they have shared how a client often cannot or will not engage in conversation until you ask them about their life and identity online in the virtual world. There are dangerous symptoms arising now where a young person will sit face to face with another human being and there is a very real lack of engagement and presence. But when this same person is spoken to in terms of who they are in a virtual world, they then come to life and have something to talk about. I see this as a growing and serious problem.
  3. With this in mind, I think it’s important for children and teens to have time away from their phones, computers and video games, so they can develop a connection with themselves — with their thoughts, their feelings, their physical body, and their surroundings. Time in nature and time with other human beings, free of technology, is a simple and critical solution to help balance living in today’s world, which is only becoming more and more consumed with technology and the virtual world online.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

I first read The Power of Now when I was 18 years old and suffering very deeply psychologically and emotionally. I was tortured by my thoughts and this book was the first time I’d heard the idea that I was not just my thoughts. Reading about this, helped me to stop identifying solely with my mind and to stop believing everything I was thinking. It helped me access a deeper part of myself where there was health, self-compassion, and also old emotional pain that I needed to heal.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

There are three movements I would like to start.

The first would be an initiative to teach children from very early on how to practice the 5 steps to mental wellness outlined above. These are the most effective keys and habits for staying well throughout one’s life mentally, emotionally and physically. They represent precisely how to love, value, care for, accept and believe in oneself, and we would all be better off learning this from the moment we enter the school system — at the latest. That said, this could come to fruition as a new form of education with these principles representing the foundational philosophy. Additionally, this can be integrated into existing models and school systems as a learning module that’s taught to educators and/or brought into schools via specially trained mental health/emotional intelligence consultants.

The second one is a follow on from this first movement and actually came to mind because of this interview. To help children learn the 5 critical skills listed above as early as possible, I would love to develop a training that all new parents and/or pregnant women could take through the hospital, in relation to their primary care doctor, or their OB/GYN. This could educate expecting and new parents on the 5 core habits that support optimal mental, emotional and physical health both in their children and in themselves. A movement like this would help shift the early childhood home environment for everyone involved, which would lead to healthier parents and significantly healthier children.

The third movement would focus on supporting teenagers, young adults and adults who never learned these necessary skills and thus have put themselves in a negative position in life. This would be a network of homes and rehabilitation centers for people struggling with addiction, depression, suicidal tendencies, mental illness, or living on the streets. I hold a view that many people who have children should not have had children, because they are either not ready yet to be responsible for another life or they are very unhealthy in themselves. Often children born into this kind of environment have trouble growing into a functional healthy person, because they never have any form of constructive support at home. Life is very challenging as it is, even when you have functional parents or guardians, and many people are set up for a life of suffering because their parents are not functional or well. With enough resources I’d like to oversee rehabilitation centers that serve as bridges to living in the world with the healthiest habits I believe a human being can learn, adopt and embody.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I have many favorites. And my book is full of these from other writers and thinkers. The quote below is one of the most meaningful to me. From a young age I instinctually knew that love and understanding love was very much connected to the purpose of life. This led to many heartbreaks and challenging life lessons with family, friends, intimate partners and in my professional life. I worked very hard and have been very lucky to now have a life that centers on healthy love for oneself and healthy love for other people, both personally and professionally.

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself
in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, ‘The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.’ “

Viktor Frankl,

Nazi concentration camp survivor,

Man’s Search for Meaning

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram

@BlakeDBauer

https://www.instagram.com/blakedbauer/?hl=en

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/BlakeBauer1
https://www.facebook.com/YouWereNotBornToSuffer.by.BlakeDBauer

LinkedIn @BlakeDBauer

https://www.linkedin.com/in/blake-d-bauer/
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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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